happiness

Marshall was right (FGK 268)

Mom was funny! I sometimes feel that I missed out on her sense of humour. Maybe our senses of humour were just different. But I get a real kick out of some of these letters. And while she hardly ever sent me letters while I was away, she would send the kids little tokens all the time – little souvenir type things or bookmarks – so that they knew she was thinking of them. And they loved it, they would get so excited when there was mail from Grandpa and Nana.

Also, it figures her phone number had a CL in it….

618 N. Halifax Ave

Daytona Beach

Oct 17, 1956

Hi!!

You’re probably wondering if I’m still alive or not it’s so long since I wrote to you! I’m beginning to think you’ll just have to be satisfied with two letters a week.

I’m glad you got my telegram Sheila, but i”m sorry I got you out of bed. What time did it come? You see i had to get it off before school so I did it quite early and forgot about the time difference! If I know you, you probably needed something to get you up!!!!

We’ve been having rather rough weather here as you’ve probably read so actually I haven’t been going out very much. Yesterday I went to Mrs Frank’s and she thought that I was doing just fine. Some Saturday she’s going to drive Jetty and I over to Florida State University in Gainesville because she thinks I’d be able to go there. I’m writing for a catalogue first. She’s sure nice isn’t she?!

Jetty’s father arrived last night and she’s leaving at noon tomorrow. He rented a car and after I had physio we went for a drive down the beach. We went further than I ever had before and farther down there is quite a bit of wild life (animals you own – maybe people too!!)

Marshall was right – he said everyone would write a lot at first and then drop off – well so far everyone else has been pretty faithful but I would like to hear from my family once in a while. Yesterday I got a little note from Sheila – first word in a week! So – get to work. If you stop so will I!!

School’s going fine. You’ll get a report card around the first of November. It’ll probably make you rather ill but they say it happens to the best of us so maybe you’ll recover!!

I just got my last letter sealed up when I remembered you wanted my phone number so I wrote it on the outside. If you missed it it’s CL2-8072.

Oh yes, the man at the laundry and the man who runs the National Airlines both said to say “hello” to you mom!! You sure must have made a hit down here! I’d keep my eye on her if I were you Dad!!

I’ve only spent $10 since you left two weeks ago and that’s not bad considering I bought some clothes and all sorts of extras kept cropping up. I pay my rent again this Saturday. I hate writing cheques!!

The basketball team is starting up at school now! Just wait and see we’re going to beat all the others – that’s if our star players don’t get kicked out of school first!!

Well, I just go do some French – just homework I’ve done in it compared to Latin it’s a snap.

Love Margie xxxx

WRITE

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Who is the one (FGK 267)

I love this letter – such a typical teenage letter. I like Janet. And although we don’t get to hear about who “the one” was at that moment for 16 year old mom – I’m glad she had a great social life, and even gladder that she waited and found “the actual one” later on in life.

1230 5th Ave South

Lethbridge, Alta

March 23/57

Dear Margie:

At last you’re hearing from that long lost pal of yours way up in the North – that foreign land of Canada!

Gee, it’s so long since “I’ve writ” that I don’t know what to say! I’ve really been living a very dull life of late- nothing but study and more study! This weekend I’m staying at Lana Culhan’s, a girlfriend’s here in Lethbridge. Mom has gone to Vancouver at last (with Grandpa Bishop) and Auntie Flo is staying at home with them, so Marge went home this weekend and I stayed ‘cause both of us would be wasting our time. OH dear, dinner’s ready and you know my weakness where food is concerned.

Well, Monday is almost over thank heaven! We had a simply ghastly French exam – would turn a horse’s stomach!

How are your folks Marg? I do wish I could see them – and you again but not at present I guess.

Am glad to hear you are having a wonderful tho’ busy time this year. Isn’t it odd though? It seems that the harder you work and the busier you are, the more fun you have.

I have recently had to settle down and work this year but I haven’t found it too much of a grind really. Although it’s practically unheard of, I actually find the work interesting! Of course, I get really down and out at themes but I suppose that’s natural too eh?

Who is “the one” or is he at all anymore? Tell me his age, height, looks, and everything!!! You’re sure getting non-committal in your old age! I’ve been curious to find out whether you go steady or just go out ‘steadily’ with half a dozen different ones! Gee, I envy you with such a choice. PIncher and all small towns are absolutely destitute for more of the male species. Lethbridge, though somewhat of an improvement is still a far cry from being plentiful as far as boys are concerned. Now with MEN – well that’s an entirely different story.

The weather has been so beautiful lately! I changed to my summer coat and immediately we have a little rain, then a violent hailstorm and finally enough snow to cover the ground- all in the course of about an hour! Oh, for that Florida sunshine! It’s cleared up again now and is as nice as the middle of summer – if it only lasts! I despise overshoes!

Did I tell you Charlotte was married? I guess that’s another reason I haven’t written, we’ve been so busy!

Last July she produced an engagement ring to everyone’s shock and amazement! She’s only 3 mo older than I am you know (17). Well she took grade 12 until aboutFebruary when she decided she wanted to quit school and get married. Of course Char has never had a great deal of ambition to do anything else so for her I can finally see the point. I’ll send you the clipping from the Herald – and you can read about the wedding. It was really very lovely. I’ll try to get a picture of myself in the dress I wore as a bridesmaid and send it to you. The other bridesmaid was dressed the same, only in pink.

Well, I could ramble on for ages and still not say much, so I’ll get down to the everlasting homework!!! Will try to write a little sooner next time.

Send me a picture of yourself- and your roommate too if you can. I’d love to have one as I only have those Glastonbury ones Hamers took – remember?

Don’t work (or play) too hard eh?

All my love

Janet

Janet enclosed a clipping of the newspaper article written about the wedding. I love how small towns used to describe social events.

<handwriting at top> You should have seen the “loot” they got in presents. It’s unbelievable really, but they need every bit of it. Am going home to their wedding dance this fri – Mar 29

Dwyer-Hammond Rites Performed in United Church

PINCHER CREEK – A wedding of wide interest was solemnized on March 9 when Miss Charlotte Edna Hammond, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Henry Hammond, became the bride of Ian Larry Dwyer, son of Mr. And Mrs. Thomas Dwyer, all of Pincher Creek, at an afternoon ceremony held in the United Church with Rev. RM Moriatey officiating. For the occasion the church was decorated with ferns, baskets of pink and white tulips, and daffodils.

Wears White Gown

Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a floor length white gown featuring a strapless lace top with rhinestone trim and full net skirt worn with matching jacket. Her lace and net veil was caught to a rhinestone studded tiara. She carried a bouquet of red roses, white carnations, and stephanotis.

Miss Janet Hammond as maid of honour and Miss Patsy Dwyer as bridesmaid wore identical long gowns of brocade net in blue and pink. The Junior bridesmaid, Miss Rosemary Hammond chose a ballerina nylon sheer of powder blue. Each carried colonial bouquets of pink and white carnations.

The groom’s attendants were Bruce Hammond and Thomas Ferguson. During the ceremony, Donald Lancaster sang The Lord’s Prayer and O Perfect Love, accompanied on the organ by Mrs. AL Freebairn. Ushering the many guests were Garth Upton and Murray Hammond.

Following the ceremony, the recreation hall, prettily decorated with bouquets of spring flowers, was the setting for a reception attended by 140 guests. The toast to the bride was given by Rev. RM Moriatey. Assisting at the receptions were members of the WA.

For her daughter’s marriage, the bride’s mother chose an afternoon gown in toast shade, flecked with sliver and matching accessories, with corsage of pink carnations. The groom’s mother wore a black and white wool dress with white accessories and corsage of red roses and white carnations. For trailing to points in the States and at Pacific Coast the bride donned a flecked brown wool suit with red accessories, complemented with a corsage of red roses. On their return the young couple will live in Pincher Creek.

Out of town guests included Mr and Mrs W Cleland of Taber, Mr Donald Jensen, Edmonton, Mr and Mrs Orrin Dwyer, Mr and Mrs Willard Dwyer, and Mary and Charles Dwyer all of Lundbreck. Mr and Mrs Emery Groningen of Cardston, Mr Gordon Chrighton, Camrose, Mr. And Mrs R Mensaghi and Mr and Mrs FW Butcher and Cheryl of Fort Macleod. Mr Jack Sandeman, Crowley, Mr LE Diamond, Calgary, Mr and Mrs Jack Langton of Cranbrook, and Mr Robert Hedderick and Miss Helen Coleman of Red Deer.

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March 7, 1956 (FGK 266)

Most of these letters are a lot of fun for me to share, as I’ve said some of them make me a bit more emotional than others, but in general this has been such a great experience for me as I’ve been learning more about who mom was – and as a fortunate and unexpected byproduct more about my grandparents, extended family and community (not to mention more about myself). The last newspaper clipping here though was really hard for me to post. As I’ve said, I typically just reach my hand in and grab a letter and share it, reading it for the first time as I type it out. That clipping, however, which is mixed in with the letters and a ton of other clippings, keeps placing itself in my hand. It hurts my heart to look at it and so I’ve continued to shove it down to the bottom of the box because I don’t want to look at it. Today I decided that’s exactly why I do need to acknowledge it. That’s how my mom lived in the hospital. In wards like that. Rows and rows of children who were sick and fighting for their health and in some cases their lives. It’s humbling.

These non-hospital related articles were just left around the two that had relevance, but I found them kind of interesting – it’s cool to see what was important in 1956. Turkeys apparently.

If you don’t know who Eric Harvie is he’s worth learning about. I learned about how he was part of the group of business men in Alberta in the early 1900s who put money into beautifying the faces of small towns in Alberta. His legacy lives on in the Glenbow Ranch – the provincial park that is just east of Cochrane. I remember his son Neil (who was older than my parents) coming to see my dad for legal advice- never would you imagine his net worth as he was such a humble and down to earth person every time I met him.

Eric Harvie Gives Cash to the City

Mayor D.H. Mackay said today the city is trying to place building sites to the west of River Park on sale as soon as possible. This followed the signing of an agreement Thursday between the city and Glenbow Investments Ltd handling the donation of 2 1/2 acres of land and $100,000 from Eric L. Harvie QC.

Mayor Surprised

The mayor was surprised when the large cheque was handed to him Tuesday. He had expected only to sign the agreement.

The signing and handing over of the cheque marks the end of a four year controversy over Mr. Harvie’s contributions.

Because, seriously, who doesn’t want to read an article about a turkey thief?? I’d so much rather read about this than the headlines of today.

Turkey Thief Goes to Jail

A 29 year old Calgary man, Douglas Shaben, Tuesday in Supreme Court was sentenced to 12 months at hard labour in Lethbridge jail after being found guilty of obtaining 17 turkeys form a local food wholesaler last Christmas by false pretences.

The stay of proceedings was granted by Chief Justice C.C. McLaurin on a second similar charge.

The sentence was handed down after evidence disclosed Shaben had posed as a buyer for Shell Oil Co and in return sold the turkeys for $241.89 to the Calgary Electric Light Department.

Character Witness:

A character witness, Robert Leslie Howell, a minister of the Christian Church testified Shaben was “a sincere fellow willing to help people at all times.” The minister also stated Shaben had been generous in his donation to the community fund.

Shaben was represented by J.S. Palmer. Earnest S. Watkins was crown prosecutor.

You know me, any opportunity to drive home the importance of wearing a helmet. My life was saved in my “rushed unplanned dismount” a few years ago because I had my helmet on.

Safety Helmet Saves Worker

And employee of Mannix Construction Ltd was saved from serious injury by his safety helmet about 9:30 am today when a piece of pipe fell on him at 9th ave and 1st St. W.

Bill McLean was taken to General Hospital by Starr’s Ambulance. He suffered head cuts but his condition was considered satisfactory.

Witnesses said the man’s safety helmet was flattened when the piece of pipe tumbled down on him.

Plaster Casts, Wheel Chairs and crutches have not dampened the spirits of the girl guides shown above. They are members of a company in the Red Cross Crippled Children’s Hospital, and are pictured during a lesson in know tying at their meeting Tuesday night. Smiling happily form left to right are: Muriel, Brenda, Emily, Patsy, who is yet a Brownie, and Lillian.

This is the photo – it sure brings a lot of feelings for me. Also though, how cool that Gene Autry came to visit. I remember when I was teaching in Airdrie years ago the kids talked about how Paul Brant would go to the Children’s Hospital and visit them – and this was when his songs like “My Heart Has a History” were topping the charts. It meant so much to them and I’ve had a lot of respect for him since then.

Cowboy Star Visits Hospital

Young patients at the Red Cross Crippled Children’s Hospital Thursday morning got a real thrill when cowboy movie star Gene Autry paid them a visit. Autry is shown above talking to a ward full of bed-ridden youngsters. He was in Calgary for a show at the Corral Thursday night.

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Do you know what silver fish are?(FGK 265)

This girl’s dream reminds me of a really funny/weird encounter I had while grocery shopping at Kroger while we were living in Roanoke. This older woman – I had never seen her before and never saw here again- walked up to me and said: “let me tell you about a dream I had last night. I was standing inside a weird building and I was getting so hot. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing until suddenly I realized that I was watching my own cremation. I didn’t know what to think of that.” I also didn’t know what to think of that. I can’t remember what I said in response – but it certainly was one of the oddest grocery store conversations I’ve ever had.

I am fortunate never to have had to deal with silver fish, but we did have stink bugs all over the place when we lived in Roanoke. They used to drive me nuts, but interestingly enough I got used to them and didn’t pay them much mind after a while.

I assume that Walden is Thoreau’s Walden. I was about 18 the first time I was introduced to that book. I fell madly in love with it – it was assigned reading for an English class I took at MRC (now MRU) and I became obsessed with living in the woods for a year to understand myself better. I was so thrilled when – decades later – I lived within driving distance of Walden Pond and we were able to drive up and spend the day there. It’s funny what life brings you.

April 15, 1958

Dear Margaret

Hi! How’s life? How is vacation? Bet you’re having fun you lucky thing.

Have you seen Mr. B recently? The night I came back, I dreamed he was dead, it was perfectly awful.

Do you know what silver fish are? We have tons of them in our room. It’s perfectly dreadful. I hate them.

A brown and white, sliver fish found on the wall. Squashed with a “suitable container”. They are all over our room in all different sizes. Ranging from ___ to ___ (see the photos I included). I just HATE them. They come in different colours. White, brown, and two tone (white and brown stripes).

Above and below you can see her drawings of the dreadful silver fish.

Walden (the book I was reading) is due Monday and I have read fifty pages (there are over 200). I don’t even understand what I”m supposed to write about him let alone how to do it. I”m just plain stupid, I guess.

I left my lovely Latin letter in my pocket åbook with a check for $41 on the bus to school. I only just got it back. Bright girl.

I have to read Walden now.

Write soon

Love Joanie

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A woman of exemplary character (FGK 264)

I know this letter was written for mom, and damn it must have made her happy to read this man’s description of her, but as a mom myself – I can imagine how humbly proud Grandma must have been. This man managed to complement the whole family, and even the entire community in his letter. How fantastic to have such wonderful things written about you! Sometimes the more sentimental letters from people I knew and loved leave me a bit teary eyed, but this one had big ole fat tears running down my face. I would feel so incredibly happy if someone spoke of my family this way. Grandma and Grandpa were remarkable people.

Copy for Mrs. Percy Copithorne

March 26, 1958

San Diego College for Women

Alcala Pk

San Diego, California

USA

Gentlemen:

I have been asked to write you with reference to Miss Margaret Copithorne, of Calgary, Alberta, who is making application to enter your college as a student.

I can heartily recommend this young woman as being of exemplary character and very attractive personality, and I am quite convinced that she could profit very greatly from attendance at your institution.

I have known her and different members of her family for several years. In fact, her brother and sister attended Mount Royal College and were exceptionally fine students. Her father and mother are very respected people in their community, and she is a fortunate young woman who has been raised in a Christian home of good ideals.

With every good wish,

Yours sincerely,

John H. Garden

Principal

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Mom’s Valedictorian Speech (FGK 263)

As far as I can tell this is mom’s valedictorian speech when she graduated from high school in Florida. Personally, I found it really interesting to hear her perspective on private schools since, as I’ve mentioned, I always thought I was sent to one because they just didn’t want me around. One thing I found extremely stressful about that school was the fact that we were divided into “sets” – it was either 1-4 or 1-5 I can’t remember which. Set 1 was the “smart kids” and we got progressively stupider as the sets went down. This wasn’t something that was hidden or suspected – it was just a fact. Then all of our grades were publicly posted outside the classroom. So it would be Melissa, Math 10, set 2 (I actually was in set 2 for math it stressed the hell out of me- pretty sure I belonged in set 4), grade 62 or whatever. And I would be there ranked in order along with the rest of the class so we all knew each others’ business. That said I got a remarkably impressive education that year that I was there – it’s only been recent years that I’ve really appreciated that and sometimes wondered what my life would have been like had I completed school there. Either way – it makes me very happy to read and remember how much Mom loved her time in Florida.

Faculty, fellow students, friends, needless to say tonight is full of expectations for the future and , yet, we cannot help looking back over our past school days. As we do we are grateful for the many advantages that we have received. We have been a little more fortunate than others perhaps, in that we have had the extra benefits available in a private school.

Our opportunity for this additional education dates back to the early schools in America. These schools were based on the English Grammar School, using their textbooks, teachers, and methods. “Dame schools” were established and small children were sent to the homes of the village women to learn their alphabet and a few words. Since the government, at that time, was reluctant to undertake the education of the masses, all these schools were independent. In later years, the sure place of private schools was established by Supreme Court decisions which stated that everyone has the right to go on and try to obtain a higher education, if it is possible.

The growth of the private school since the early days has been phenomenal. Today, in the continental United States 13.9% of the total school population attend independent schools. Most of these schools strive to avoid becoming overcrowded, but at the time of the report they are filled to capacity.

We feel there will always be a continued need for independent schools as they are particularly suited for the rigours instruction of the ablest students and have the opportunity to find, guide, and educate adequately these students. This overcomes one of the serious drawbacks in mass education – the fact that since the average high school is geared for the overall student, there is no real program for the advanced student. By tradition, equality in education has been used to develop the rising generations, but contrary to general practice, the private schools do not equalize their students. They do not limit their exceptional students to the requirements of the average. Each is given work according to his abilities and those who can go on ahead are not kept back. Students are developed to the full extent of their capacities because each is considered as an individual – not merely the member of a group. It has been truthfully said that a student goes through a large school, but a small school goes through the student.

As some 92% of private school graduates enter college, emphasis is placed on the scholastic side of the curriculum. the student spends more time on his studies which are not the “snap” elective courses, but the heavier courses essential for success in college. The University of Kansas reported that of a survey made of 300 freshmen, two-thirds had not taken the necessary literature courses required for college. Private schools try to overcome this defect by giving the student as much preparation as ossicle for their freshman term. Because of the small classes instructors can give the prospective college students the work and advice required more easily.

We have found an independent school can better fulfill the needs of the student. It is free from political control, hence it is in an advantageous position in that it can carry out methods that cannot be tried in the larger, more complex systems until proven. This means that it is able to adapt its curriculum to the changing needs of today. A well balanced program can be planned to fit the total personality of the student, developing him to be independent intellectually and socially. He is not only guided in his classes, but is taught how to appreciate his leisure time. He is encouraged to do extra reading, attend dramatic performances, and be active in his community. We feel, that under the present pressure in education today that the private school is preparing its student more for society and his obligation to society.

The fourteen of us who have stepped across another threshold of our lives here tonight maintain that we are here for two purposes. One, to be honoured: honoured by you, our parents, our instructors, our friends, upon the completion of a task begun 12 years ago. But, more important, is the second reason we are here- to proclaim to you our belief in the future and our promise to take our places in that future. Being now a part of the young adult world, we are aware of the uncertainty of the future but with the guidance you have given us during our formative years, we strive forward with the strength and faith you have nurtured in us. For this we are grateful.

There is a beautiful Ingenious saying which said “A man once said to a lump of clay ‘What art thou?’ The reply was ‘I am a lump of clay, but I was placed beside a rose and I caught its fragrance.’ We have been placed in your hands for these years and we have caught your strength and faith – your fragrance. With your continuing guidance the future is bright in an age of uncertainty.

Thank you.

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The Doodads Keep Coming Apart (FGK 262)

32 Dix Ave

Ormond Beach

Oct 13, 1957

Hi y’all!

We’re spending a “quiet Sunday at home”. For some reason I didn’t want to do anything but stay at home and rest. However, as it turned out I’ve spent nearly all my time doing homework. That goes for the whole weekend.

We were supposed to have a party at Serge’s house this week but it has been cancelled because of the flu. We were also supposed to have a beach party on Friday I don’t know whether we’re going to have it or not. If we don’t I may go with Barb and some kids to a football game in Orlando.

Barbara Linkous is back from the North. It’ll be good to have one of the old gang back.

A visitor just dropped in on Webbs. As soon as she found out I go to Seabreeze Private she asked me if I knew “those “O’Bryne girls” as a matter of fact I do and really like them. I think they’re full of life and lots of fun, she thinks they’re wild, undisciplined brats. They’re full of Irish fun, laughter and goodwill but I”m afraid Mrs Webb thinks they may be too wild. – Don’t worry I’m not “wild”.

We went to see Elvis Presley’s picture Friday night. Very lovely movie.

I’m going to Mrs Franks for my exercises on Tuesday. We are going to decide whether to go every week or every month. She sent me a birthday card and wants me to go to Gordon’s for a shrimp dinner sometime.

I was down to the beach last week but didn’t see anyone I know.

The typewriter arrived in fine condition. We had a bit of trouble getting it unpacked but it’s ok now except for the “a” and “d” keys have to be ganged to kingdom come before they’ll print. It sure is cute and I really like it. Thanks so much.

Barbara is historian of the DCT now. They had an article about it in the paper today.

Nancy has been calling quite often lately, usually right at supper time. They are all fine and send their regards.

Larry is doing fine, he’s about as poor at writing home as I am.

We’re playing some tapes on the tape recorder right now. There are some old ones Larry made before he left. There’s one where he is interviewing which is quite funny.

The school car took me to school the other morning as they happened to be going by our house. Webb’s car is getting quite run down the doodads keep coming apart but we keep praying that it will stay together for a while longer.

I wore my green suit when I went out last week and all the kids really liked it. I wore my reversible shirt today.

School is doing ok – I guess.

Must go now

Love to all

Margie

ps say “hi” to Anne and everyone.

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Tornado Scares and Tobacco Greenhouses (FGK 261)

With tornado scares and tobacco greenhouses being built we certainly know we aren’t in Alberta anymore! No wonder mom enjoyed Florida so much (not for tornadoes and tobacco -but other things), it really sounds like she was having a great time and had lots of people to hang out with and care for her. I had to include a photo of the letter – I know I talk a lot about the handwriting in some of these letters – but this one was particularly beautiful. And it was on that crinkly paper that people used to use (she says like she wasn’t alive and writing letters in the time of crinkly paper).

As I go through these letters I realize that this could be the last generation where we can find these kinds of gems – who wants to sort through the millions of spam emails I have to find anything of value? And even at that most of what I send is via text and that gets lost with time. (Although I did blog when my kids were little and that has left us with a wonderful diary of that time. I printed them off into little books for Dad years ago and now they’re mine again.) I so appreciate all of these letters. I started this journey as a way of grieving mom and trying to learn more about her – but it’s given me so, so, so much more than that. I’m really grateful for this whole process. And I should say it hasn’t always been an easy one for me. It’s brought up a lot of feelings, memories, and emotions that I’ve been working through. While it hasn’t been easy it has been so worth it. There’s plenty more to come, but I also want to thank all of you who read this and share these memories with me. It means a lot ❤️.

624 N Peninsula Drive

Daytona Beach

Florida

April 20 – 58

Dear Mrs. Copithorne

Every week I think of writing you but things get in the way.

We are having beautiful weather now -sunny and warm. Margaret and Nancy were on the beach again yesterday afternoon and they are both getting quite brown.

We had a tornado scare one day this week. The schools were let out at 1pm but the storm passed by on either side of us.

Mr Adams flew home a week ago and phoned last night that he expects to be back by Wednesday morning. Had to see about getting the tobacco greenhouse started before he came back.

Margaret says you may come to Daytona next month. If you do we would very much like for you to stay with us. We have an empty room with Bill being away to school.

If you would consider this we would enjoy having you.

We would not want you to feel tied down – but be free to come and go as you would like.

Expect this is a very busy time on the ranch. Doesn’t seem like another school year is almost over.

i was asked this afternoon to be one of the chaperones for the junior-senior prom next month. Peg is a junior this year.

Know you will enjoy seeing Margaret graduate. We will miss having her stop by when she goes away to school next year. This is all part of their growing up and being able to manage on their own.

She does this so well and so cheerfully.

Trust this finds you all well

Regards to the family

As ever,

Hazel Adams.

This handwriting is a work of art (and there’s Jessie’s butt because she insists on being part of this process).
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The School Kids are Really Wild (FGK 260)

It’s hard for me to believe she wrote this while in class hiding it from the teacher because it’s easily some of the best handwriting I’ve come across so far. I don’t know who Ruth is or how mom knew her – there’s no last name attached to it either. Funny how our fear of our moms finding out we aren’t studying to what we think are their standards seems to be an eternal problem. I wonder how long she had to wait to get her TV. Even in the 70s (which should not be as long ago as the calendar says it is), we had a rocking 12 channels – but my childhood best friend only had 3.

701 – 21 Ave NW

Calgary, Alberta

March 28, 1956

Dear Margie

Don’t worry about yourself tracking so long to answer my letters. I do next to nothing and I still can’t find time to write.

I’m in school right now, supposedly studying Biology but I can’t concentrate on it. (Don’t ever let on to my mother).

I bet you had fun at that party for Donna, we don’t very often have parties like that but I sure wish we did cause I think you can have an awful lot of fun. You are going to get fat eating like that. Oh well it’s more fun that way isn’t it.

So you went to Banff for the carnival eh? I bet you had fun. I’ve never been but quite a few of the kids from school went and they sure had fun. I hear though that the school kids are really wild when they get up there.

I’ll let you in on a secret, I don’t follow the game of curling either. My dad is sure crazy over it. I didn’t see that show The Glass Slipper but I heard that it was quite good. I haven’t been to a theatre in ages, although the other night I went to the drive-in but it was crumbly. I went with three boys. They were really funny, they didn’t have very much money an there was only a little bit of gas left in the take so any time they could they would turnoff the ignition and let the car coast along.

This darn teacher keeps staring at me so if you find you can’t understand the letter it’s because I have to pretend I’m studying. How are you coming along with your correspondence course? What grade are you taking?

We haven’t got TV yet (darn). We still have to wait for colour and seven channels (so Dad says). I have been running down to my girlfriend’s and watching it.

At school we have been lucky, so far we haven’t had any real big tests before our holidays, just about two small period tests but they are enough.

(I’m at home now)

My Dad and I are on our way to pick up Margaret from the hospital. How did you like the surprise party for Sheila?

Margie I sure would like to see you! If it wasn’t an inconvenience you could maybe come out during the Easter holidays? If you have other plans just tell me because I wouldn’t want to impose on you and maybe you could come back here.

Say hello to the rest of your family for me.

Love, Ruth

(On the back of the envelope she wrote:

D-LIVER

D-LETTER

D-SOONER

D-BETTER)

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happiness

We’re always fooling around (FGK 259)

1061 Volusia Ave

Daytona Beach

Dear Mom, Dad, Marsh, and Sheila

Hi!! Just thought I’d better write you and let you know I’m still alive. These past two weeks I’ve had so many other things to think of that I”m afraid my schoolwork and letters got neglected. Don’t expect too much of my report card this time especially in French and Latin and I don’t feel Mr Rich would feel so so disposed as to give me extra good marks either. – you can imagine what they think of me!!! Right now I’m busy trying to get my schoolwork caught up.

Christmas – sorry to get this bit up so late but —- Adam’s have been swell get them something really nice. Carharts have also been nice and i don’t know what I’d do without the Colonel so… if you have time try to get something for Donna, Kay and Janet. I think I’ll buy Mrs Franks an electric alarm clock. That seems to be all I can think of right now but I’m so sleepy (I just finished my homework). Mrs franks is rally making me behave. When I was on my own I kept later hours etc but she is making me go to bed an hour earlier and seeing I do my homework!! One of the boys from school picks me up in the morning and takes me home in the afternoon. I go down to Robbie’s at noon with all the other kids from school for lunch. Mrs Adams phones me up last night and invited me over for lunch today so I went and had a nice chat with her and Nancy. There’s the nicest pair of girls my age – Bobbie Lou and Sherry – living next door and we have a lot of fun visiting back and forth. Jetty phones every night – she has got permission from her father so she will probably be leaving Rich’s any day now.

I’m sure having a lot of fun with Mrs Franks. We’re always fooling around. She considers me her daughter already I think. There’s this character here who I’m out particularly crazy over when he phones up we have a system now either I haven’t done my someone etc so I can’;t go out or we’re just leaving to go somewhere. Works too thank heaven.

We had a shower for Kay yesterday before she goes to the hospital yesterday. We went to her house in New Smyrna and had a ball. New Smyrna won’t forget us soon.

I’ve got so many invitations for Christmas I don’t know what to do. Sounds like I’m going to be busy round ‘bout that time.

Well must go do Christmas cards

Love Marg xxxxx

ps will write more when have time.

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