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.


It wasn’t his birthday or Christmas (FGK 258)

A lovely letter to Grandma from Aunt Annie. Dishes are still left/misplaced at the Hall – although we’ve moved to disposable dishes for most things. While there’s nothing quite like having a cup of tea from real china, as a board member I am grateful we don’t have to spend hours washing dishes. It’s kind of fun to see how often the Hall is mentioned in these letters – it really was the hub of the community back in the day. Santa is coming back to visit us there next weekend and I’m really happy to see that we are able to gather together again.

RR no 1, DeWinton

21st Nov, 1956

Dear Edna:

You made one little boy so happy today that I just had to sit down and tell you about it. He came home joyfully with his parcel. It wasn’t his birthday or Christmas so he thought he was real lucky. He liked his tie very much and so do I. They are the smartest things they have thought of for little boys in a long, long time. Of course, it goes without saying he enjoyed the candy and chicklets. He had a wonderful time investigating your lovely Pearce. Thanks a million for the lovely earrings. I am going to enjoy wearing them with my black dress. I don’t know how you remember us when in Florida. You must of had so much on your mind. We do appreciate it very much Edna and thanks again for your lovely gifts.

I have been going to answer the nice letter you wrote after your anniversary but just hadn’t got around to it. In fact I have been laid up with a bad back. Just old age I guess. However, it has slowed me up considerably and all I can do is get the meals and sweep the floors. I hope it will leave me soon as there is so much waiting to be done.

If you find that you can make use of those drapes to your satisfaction you are welcome to keep them. Don’t worry about sending them back. They have been in the dewar down here for 9 1/2 years now. I have these windows in place of two now they only use I could make of them would be to make pillows etc out of them. So you just use them if they are what you want. However, if you think you would like something else you just get what you would like. It’s always fun to dress up windows. If you use these drapes there is one thing you’ll have to do and that is either have them cleaned or wasn’t hem. I was really ashamed to send them to you so dirty but I wasn’t sure whether they would stand a washing or not.

I left my cake plate at the hall the night of your party – isn’t just like me to march home without it. If anybody remembers about a strange plate being there you’ll be able to identify it as mine.

Well, I guess I had better close for now as it’s just about time to get supper for my little family.

Thanks again for everything

Love, Annie


I never saw a pair of jeans all nite (FGK 257)

24 Nov/56


Well the big dance wasn’t at Milo after all it was at Arrowwood and did I ever have a tremendous time. The hall was just packed and they were mostly young people.

There was very little drinking and I never saw a pair of jeans all nite – take note Marsh.

Tell Clarence and Harvey – if you see them – that Roy King and Bill Steiner are going to Mexico for a month next week that is if Roy’s father gets back in time. Mr. King left for the States last week for an indefinite period and Roy’s sure mad cause they can’t leave until he gets back.

I’m going to a show at Champion tonite. Annie’s mother is in the hospital and she doesn’t get out of visiting hours in time so I guess Ted and I will go alone.

Mrs. Oldfield has phlebitis and has been in bed for a couple of days. I worked a split shift yesterday so went over to cook her dinner. Poor woman, no wonder she had to go to the hospital today.

I’m going on nites Fri nite and sure mad too cause there’s a dance at Milo that nite. I get Thurs off and don’t have to go to work until midnight Fri so I might be home over the duration.

Got a letter from Bernice (that girl in Stettler) she sure is bored up there. Was hours cleaning for her mother last week.

Got a new pair of shoes. Black patten leather flats, and guess what they’re a size six 1/2.

I went in and asked for my big eights, I was swimming in them. This country does wonders.

Well haven’t got anymore news.

Love Sheila


Becoming a Nurse in Florida (FGK 256)

Well, this letter is certainly an interesting gem that I never imagined that I’d find. Auntie Sheila was going to join Mom in Florida? I’ve never heard of this before – has anyone else? Every once in a while I come across something in these letters that reminds me how deeply Auntie Sheila loved my mom. I can only assume that she was wanting to relocate there to be with her 16 year old younger sister. I wonder what happened? This certainly could have changed the course of her life since she met my uncle at her job placement in Vulcan not too long after this.

State of Florida

Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education

230 West Forsyth Street

Jacksonville, Florida

November 7, 1956

Miss Sheela Copithorne (this is their typo not mine)

RR#2 Calgary

Alberta, Canada

Dear Miss Copithorne

This is to acknowledge with thanks your letter of November 2, 1956 regarding licensure as a Registered Nurse in Florida. For your convenience, we are enclosing a reciprocity application form.

We would like to call to your attention that in order to be eligible for licensure in this State, the applicant must be a citizen of the United States or have declared legal intention of becoming a citizen.

The applicant must also have had three months Psychiatric Nursing (written in pen beside this “I’ve only had 6 weeks” – Must have been written by Auntie Sheila), including both theory and experience.

Please be sure of our desire to give you every assistance possible in becoming licensed in Florida, and we will be looking forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely yours,

Florida State Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education

Hazel M. Peeple’s, R.N.



Must Go Wash My Hair (FGK 255)

32 Dix Ave

Ormond Beach

Feb 3, 1958


How are you all? For once the weather was warm enough to go out and get a tan. Some of us went down to the beach this afternoon and it was just jammed . All the race fans are in town.

I went to a party last night with Barb and some of her friends last night. We had a very good time.

It was supposed to be a wiener roast but it started to sprinkle so we moved it indoors. It got nicer later however.

We went to a rock’n’roll show last week. It was in the Peabody Auditorium. That was the first time I’ve been there. It’s a lovely building, just new.

I got my ticket all right, thanks. It will be nice to have that $18. I’m getting Col Sampson to write an educational letter for me so I should get someone else to write the personal one, and someone who has known me for a long time. Or do you think I should get Mrs Webb or Mrs Franks to do it?

I couldn’t wait for my doctor’s forms any longer and had to send in my application papers without them. Please send them down as soon as you can so I can forward them.

School is doing ok I guess. It gets rather boring sometimes but I think I’m passing. French and Latin are still my hardest subjects.

I got a letter from Sheila last week and one from Geordie.

We are all doing fine here. Mrs Webb has had a cold all weekend but so far Barbara and I haven’t got it.

Sounds like you are having lots of excitement with the curling. I’ve been trying to explain to them down here what curling is. The nearest thing to it seems to be shuffleboard.

Say “hello” to everybody for me. Must go now and wash my hair.

Love Margi


Ida and Ollie went to the party too (FGK 254)

“If I wouldn’t eat so much maybe I wouldn’t get sick” these words were soooo relatable. Especially since I’ve spent the last year rebuilding my gut and body after years of cramming my feelings and food down there. Sounds like it was a really nice New Years – she may think she isn’t sharing much news, but I find it fascinating!

Cochrane, Alberta

January 9, 1956

Dear Margie,

Hi kid! I was sure glad to get your nice long letter. I guess I’ll have to give you writing paper more often, eh? I gave your letter to Kay to read on Friday and she forgot to give it back so if you asked any questions, I’ll answer them in my next letter. Ok?

Gosh I’m glad you’re getting along so well Marg. When do you have to see (I forget what you called it) all those doctors? What do they do?

I sure wish I would have known that anyone could visit the hospital on Christmas Day. I could have gone in to see you I think. We didn’t go anywhere.

Sounds like you got less sleep than I did New Year’s Eve. I went to Jumping Pound with Scotts. After the party at the hall, Mr and Mrs Scott went to a house party, and Max and Heather and David and I went over to Ollie Edge’s. Gail and Myrna and Bob and us four were the only ones there because Ida and Ollie went to the party too. We really had fun. We danced , listened to the radio, and ate until 4:00 o’clock! After that, we went to Rowan’s to get Mr and Mrs Scott, and then we went home. I got in the house at quarter to five! So we really celebrated. I didn’t have to get up at six o’clock though. I didn’t get up until ten. I wouldn’t have gotten up then but we were having company for dinner and I had to help.

Gosh, are the teachers ever piling on the homework now. One night, I had four hours of it. I guess they really mean business.

We’re going to record our cantata on Friday. It’ll be kind of nice to have. I really like it because it has so many carols in it.

The choir is thinking of doing Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta “HMS Pinafore”. It’s really hard but it’ll really be fun. I sure hope we do it. It would take about a year to learn so you can imagine. It takes two hours to sing.

Guess what? I think I’m going to cut my hair. I don’t see David until the end of April and by that time it’ll be long again. The split ends are getting so bad that I just have to do something to it.

Gosh, there just isn’t any news around here. Oh – there was a hockey “round robin” yesterday with Bowness, Springbank, Morley, and Cochrane. Morley won. I didn’t see very much of it because I had too much homework to do.

Mum made me stay home from school today because I’m sick to my stomach. If I wouldn’t eat so much maybe I wouldn’t get sick. Oh well.

I guess I better finish this so Dad can mail it.

Be good

Lots of Love, Donna xxxooo


Keep my Tootsies Warm (FGK 253)

Cochrane, Alberta

November 25, 1953

Dear Margie

Hi! Gosh was I ever surprised to hear that you had gone to the hospital. Sis told me that you had been phoning and I was going to phone you but she said you were going to phone back (that was kind of long and drawn out wasn’t it?) Well, anyway.

Honestly, Margie, you’re going to get some awful silly letters from me. I can write pages about nothing. I’ll write “heaps” of them as you say, so don’t worry I’ll just tell David my letter writing time will be divided equally between you two. I’m mad at him. I finally get a little short letter from him on Tuesday but I haven’t got one since. No, I’m not really mad at him because he really has been busy. You know those two fraternities that were rushing him? Well he got “bid” in 100% to both of them (Gosh don’t think my buttons didn’t pop!). He joined the Phi Delta Theta Frat so he’s a ‘big guy’ now.

Mum is working in Andison’s store for about six weeks because June Morris, the regular clerk, has gone to Kelowna to lean the business of Andison’s store there. They’re going to move it to Cochrane or something. Well, anyway I’ve got the job of making supper for “my family” every night (they’re going to get spaghetti quite often). Nothing like learning when you’re young eh?

Oh, do you know what? I made the cheerleading team. Was I ever surprised because there were a lot of really good kids. I’m pretty proud of myself anyways. Heather made it too.

I think I’m going to work on the year book this year too. I don’t know what the set up is yet though. I think Heather is too, and Lawrence Copithorne, too.

Do you know what else? I got a brand new pair of flight boots to keep my ‘tootsies’ warm. They’ve got squirrel lining in them. Gosh!

Gosh, Margie, if you think of anything I could give David for Christmas for heaven’s sake let me know. I’m wracking my poor feeble little brain to death. Mum and Dad thought it would be a good idea for our family and his family to get together and get him a portable record player. That would be a good idea because then I could give him that record “Dream on my Love, Dream on”. Let me know what you think about it because I just don’t know. It’s an awful problem. If he was a girl it would be so much easier (ha ha).

I might be going to the dance at JP tonight although I’m not to fussy about it.

Well I just had super and I also found out I”m not going to the dance because it’s snowing and Mum’s afraid it’ll turn into a blizzard. They’re having the macasin (? Maybe moccasin? ) dance tomorrow night so I”ll be able to go to that.

Well, seeing that I have such a weak brain I can’t think of anything else. I think I”ll go to bed now and catch up on some sleep. Honestly I’m about beat.

Bye for now. If I get up early enough I’ll write more before I mail this.

Didn’t get up early enough, will write more later.

Love Donna (DesJardins – from the return address)

PSS write soon!!!


Big Grey Cup Game Tomorrow(FGK 252)

I don’t know who Kay is, but she seems to be somehow connected to Jumping Pound – at least enough to want to go to a dance. Although, the dances here used to be legendary so who knows. Anyone know these people?

Nov 25th, 1955

116 Poplar Road

Calgary, Alberta

Dear Marg,

Well, was I ever surprised when I heard you were in the hospital. I bet you couldn’t remember where you were at first. It would sure seem funny after being away so long. Are there still a lot of kids you know in there?

Well, school is still dragging on. Gee, is French ever hard. I don’t know if I’ll ever get it. Don’t take it next year unless you know you’re going to have a real good teacher. That’s one reason I find it so hard. I think, because Donna and Elaine find it fairly easy, they have a good teacher.

Let’s get off such a boring subject. There’s a big dance at Jumping Pound tonight. Wish I could have gone but Dad wouldn’t let me go because it was too cold. I was going to go out with Delores and Maureen Bowlen. All the kids were going to go.

Big Grey Cup game tomorrow eh? I’ll bet you’ll really enjoy it. You’d better be careful how you bet or you’ll lose all your bobby-pins. Have you got a bet on with Claudine for it yet? How did you and Claudia turn out in all your bets on the season’s games. Last time I heard you were handing a dollar over.

Well, I guess this is all for now. It’s time I went to bed. Will write more tomorrow.

Wake up!!! (It’s after ten). Mum and Dad have gone over to Safeway’s now and when they come home they are going downtown. I’m going to begin looking around for Christmas presents. What a job!!

Elaine, Rose and I went to the show “Lucy Gallant”. Was it ever good!! It was a story of a girl who loved clothes, and she came to a small little town and opened up a big fashion store, and then she fell in love with a rancher there and had to pick between him and her store. Of course in the end she picked him!!

We’e got our phone now. Our number is 494949. If you’re ever up and near a phone in there (this if if they let you use the phone) phone Elaine and I.

I don’t know if I should start this page or not. I don’t know what else to tell you.

Are you listening to the Grey Cup Parade? (I think it is) I sure hope Edmonton wins again this year. If Calgary can’t do it, it will have to be Edmonton, just to keep it in Albert eh?

Here it is Saturday night and the Edmonton Eskimos did it. Even if I don’t understand football I am glad when someone wins!!

Well this seems to be all for now. Write when you’ve some news (soon).

Love, Kay

PS. I’ve sent in Moments to Remember for you, tell me in a letter if you have any favourite songs.


Dollars to Doughnuts (FGK 251)

This was a friend from the hospital.

Postmarked 1955

Dearest Coppie (mom)

“Hi ya kiddo!!!” I decided to write you instead of wasting money by phoning (Scotch you know!!)

I haven’t even been home for the last week! I’ve finally ditched Bowness for a while to come and stay with my grandmother on the North Hill, a block from our old house at that.

I’ve just been debating on whether to go see Bill Haley on the 22nd or to go to a show. I’m dying to see him! We should get together and to Marg!??!!

I haven’t’ been doing much during the day except to study!!! Big deal eh?? What you been doing lately besides study “Coppie”??? Will you be going to a high school next year or what? Man!! I’d sure love to go to one for “ten” but I’ll bet a dollar to a doughnut, I’ll end up doing it by correspondence. Bah!!

Any parties or dances lately?? I never get to do anything at dear old Bowness. We probably won’t get to Calgary ‘til August!!

Gosh! Im dying to hear your records “Coppie”!! I’m tired of having “jazz sessions” so my self. Any new (I can’t make this word out – it looks like Bastics but according to urban dictionary – the only definition I could find- that means someone who is both a bastard and a spastic. Will be tucking that away in my memory but I’m pretty sure that’s not what she meant).?? Guess you would’ve told me when I saw you last.

Do you ever hear from Janet or any of the old gang?? Marg fried, Valerie, Zoe, Donna, etc?? I don’t.

Any “dolls” you can introduce me to Marg? Desperate galoot (?) aren’t I?

Guess I’ll end her here since I’ll be talking to you on Tuesday. I hope to be hearing from you kiddo!

Bye now

Oodles of love



It’s such cold soup (FGK 250)

It seems these (not so) passive aggressive nudges about letter writing and the quality of letters is genetic!! I’ve often thought that in the 1950s Vulcan probably felt as far as Florida, just sans a long plane ride. But not being able to phone, or the luxury we have now of FaceTime must have made the miles seem so much longer. Was the saying “cold soup” something that was a thing in the past and somehow got lost? Because I’m going to revive it in my vocabulary. Cold soup bothers the heck out of me, I thought it was a really good description.

I was always so mad at mom for forcing me to go to Brentwood, I didn’t want to go and I believed in my heart of hearts that it was just because they didn’t want me at home (and I still think there’s some truth to that). But mom always swore that it was because she loved her time at boarding school. These letters help me see that there’s probably some truth to that as well. Grieving is a complex process.

I don’t usually read letters in advance, but I did see one ages ago that I think may have explained the situation mom is talking about here. I wasn’t sure of the context so I shelved it for a later date and that may be now. I’ll have to go searching for it again.

1061 Volusia Ave

Daytona Beach

December 11, 1956


Well!! After a week of dead silence I at last got some letters but alas only to find them composed entirely of questions! No news. You know the affair a la Rich is such cold soup to me now it is rather boring to write about it now but dear folks here is a letter composed entirely of answers. I hope you enjoy it.

I’ll send Janet something for Christmas, Mrs Franks home is much more convenient for me than Rich’s was – only one story three shallow steps into it and I can climb all but steep steps myself now. I have a bedroom to myself. There is no one else living in the home. Mrs Franks says the only reason she didn’t take me before was we had the arrangement with the Rich’s and she didn’t know how to get me to school. She wouldn’t tell an untruth and she said it’s convenient. You know I was only going to stay here temporary and the Colonel had some other places hunted up but she said it was lonesome before (she doesn’t go out except with the other woman secretary, and her daughter at the office) and everything worked out so well she asked me if I would like to stay here permanently. Of course I said yes because she is so much like a real mother and we get along so good.

The expense of all this would certainly be more if you came down. I hate to bug you but you know I”m a much better business woman than you are. Since I’ve started running my own life i”m paying $60 or more dollars less in a month than I was when you set me up. You’ll be more expensive of course if you come down and set up housekeeping because then there’ll be two of us. You wouldn’t save physio money because Mr Walsh is paying that for me. By the way it would be very nice of you to write him at 701 south Beach Street and thank him.

I meant what I said about getting into the house myself. I can get up the steps. There is room for my wheelchair. Carharts drove me to Mrs franks the day I left Rich’s and offered to anything for me, left me their address, and made me feel much better. I guess i can give them a try.

Mrs Franks gives me physio at the office now and naturally does a much better job than Mrs Rich and I am showing a marked improvement already. Charlie drives me there after school and I do my homework until it’s time for me then she does it after I get dressed we come home (to save another question Charlie is a boy from school and a safe driver).

Mrs Franks and Mrs Jenny (her secretary friend) went and got all my stuff from Rich’s. Hank (leave me tell you about him sometime!!) offered to get my board for me but I preferred to hire somebody so Mr Ollenlike gave me the name of a man who does that sort of thing so he did it for $1.25.

Mrs Franks lives by the arch on Valeria Ave a few blocks from the hospital. She doesn’t leave me alone in fact tonight she was scolding (teasing) me about having to curtail my social life ‘cause I”m leaving her alone. I’ve always got invitations to places to go even if she did want to go out.

I can get to church now too. She doesn’t have TV but I’d never have time to see it anyway. I never have to stay alone at school becuase I always come home and go to schoo with one of the boys.

There!! That’s all the questions answered. Your letter sounded as if you were frantic. Mrs Frank and I were laughing away over a joke last night and we thought after just how it’s too bad you can’t see us. I feel guilty having such a good time when you up there are so worried. Cheer up1! I don’t supposed you’ll be pacified until you see it yourselves.

I just love Daytona. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t think I”d be coming back to Florida next year. To think I almost went to Cochrane and I never would have known all of these kids! By the way we’ve had our senior class (12th grade) elections (which are lifetime) and I”m class treasurer. Ah the life of a senior!!!

I always have my lunch with the rest of the kids from school at Robbies and Tony is always inquiring about you and says to say hello to you.

I’m sure getting teased about my accent you know either me or them has one – they say I say aboot and they say some words so funny to me.!! Great fun! Running out of paper so must go

Love Marg xxxxx

PS ordered your Christmas gifts last week but they may be late. Am enclosing pictures of the house please return when finished with them. Guest room is mine.

Got my blue coat today. Thanks a lot.