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.



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.


Babies and appendectomies (FGK 249)

This letter makes me grateful I never became a nurse – having to do parent duty for sick kids was enough for me. How great that she mentions how much she likes this town, especially since she also mentions a certain man who is joining them on an outing – and he became my uncle which I consider a huge blessing – and then she spent the rest of her life in the area. Gosh Auntie Sheila had a lot of character. Also, when I was young and living in Lethbridge for school Auntie Sheila was the only person who regularly wrote me letters. I don’t even think I responded (I should have a talk with teenage me), but I appreciated them so much and they made me feel less lonely. I do think she also wrote to others of us who went away when we were young. Seeing her ask for letters (twice now) makes me realize that she deeply understood the importance of loved ones reaching out and letting you know that you are important to them.

Vulcan Municipal Hospital

19 Nov/56


Just bot back from the store and a couple of little boys about 8 or 9 years old whistled at me – I whistled back and you never saw such a stunned pair. I guess girls don’t do that here.

I’ll be like Margie and start off by answering your questions

Mrs Oldfield appreciated your invitation very much but she feels she should keep pretty close to her DR. She goes to see him quite frequently.

Seven nurses work here and one girl that is a combination of lab tech and X-ray technician – also a nursing aid.

I hope Barry is ok

I don’t want to take piano lessons I just haven’t got it in me.

She’s (Miss Simmons) making next week’s times out tonight so I don’t know when I get off.

No I didn’t go to the Armistice Dance. Anne said it wouldn’t be any good.

Hope Auntie Lottie hasn’t got TB

Yes we have TV but I haven’t’ been in to watch it so I didn’t see Elvis Presley.

Our meals are quite good.

I didn’t have a baby Wednesday nite.

The people down here sure raise big families. They’re all young girls about 24-25 with five or six kids. It seems that the only thing people have wrong with themselves down here are babies and appendectomies.

You know that Aunt of Annes that’s in the hospital, well I gave her an enema today and right in the middle of it she started vomiting all over the place. I tried to soothe her but she said “oh that’s all right nurse I feel much better.” She was saying this between gushes. Cheerful person.

Anyway, when I was re-sterilizing the tables I let it air dry – completely forgot about it – and the table was just a heap of red goo. Guess I”m spoilt. Been used to having things sterilized for me. Anyway rubber sure stinks.

Every time any of the visitors go past the desk someone always leaves us some candy so we’re well stocked up. Nice town this.

Anne and I nearly always go to that restaurant where we were, for a milkshake every nite. Went to a dance at the school at Red Cross (that’s the name of a place eight miles west of here). There was nobody there but old people and their kids so we came back early.

Anne, Bob, Ted Burger, Mrs Oldfield and I are going to the show tonight (Pete Kelly Blues).

Guess I’ll sleep tomorrow although I’m certainly not tired, guess it’s the altitude.

What’s the matter with the rest of the family – can’t they write? Guess I’ll have to send a (I can’t make this word out – listor? butor? Ugh – I feel like I fell flat on her threat lol) up there.

Love Sheila


Love Letters in the Sand (FGK 248)

Wait… Mom liked pin-up/muscle boys? This is not the woman who raised me!!! Haha. Oh how she mocked me for buying Tiger Beat. I could tell I am not a 16 year old girl because now I am much more interested on the things that were on the back of the clip outs. Lots of them backed onto a comics page and I kinda wish that they’d included all the comics. Remember the weekend comics – the “colour comics” – what a big deal they were!! And then when they started printing them as their own little book!!! Oh I loved that. Anyway, I included some of the backs of the clippings as well.

32 Dix Ave

Ormond, Florida

June 25, 1957

Dear Margaret

By now you have probably gotten my postcard. Marilyn’s baby was born on the 21st. It’s a little girl. She weighs 8lbs 4 oz. I haven’t seen her yet.

I got a letter from Barbara yesterday. It was very nice to hear from her.

It is raining out now.

I am going to the show tomorrow to see “The Wayward Bus”

My newest records are:

Jenny, Jenny – Little Richard

Searchin’- Coasters

Elvis’ new one is really cute. “Love Letters in the Sand” is still number one.

I am sending you some more pin-ups of the Mr. America contest. Boy that Deanne Cates is in everything. I think I am finally getting a little tan. I haven’t been to the beach for a couple of days now.

Well Margaret, I will have to close now, for the mailman is coming. Will write later. Write me soon.

Love to all



Drinking tea made from rusty water (FGK 247)

This letter is from Auntie Shiela to Grandma and Grandpa. I love that Auntie Sheila got (very appropriately) a little sassy at the end. Made me smile, I miss her.

Thursday November 15th, (I think it’s 1956)


Have you sold the steers yet? I was wondering about it since you’ve had this snow – or did you get it?

Had to work 4-12 last nite but I”m back on days again.

By the way I didn’t go to the dance and anyway the ones that did said it wasn’t any good. We had a couple of guys in since suffering from acute alcoholism as a result of the dance. I guess they go all out down here.

I’m going to play -or rather try – and play badminton tonite with the English girls and then I’m going over to Anne’s to give her mother a massage. She’s kinda gone into a depression since Mr. Oldfield died and she says the messages I give her help a lot. I’ve been doing it – outside of last nite – every nite since I got here.

Anne and I went to Mossleigh Tues. nite or did I tell you that already? Anyway, in case I didn’t tell you, we went up to see 3 school teachers, I already knew one but we had a gay old time, drinking tea made from rusty water etc.

Everybody down here drinks tea even for breakfast. I have my bottle of “instant max” that I tote over.

We got over those by-ops safely. It took from 9am to 2:30 pm. At the General we’d have both done them in an hour and half.

I was down in Medicine today. Nothing interesting happened.

I was sure impressed by the meals here. The meals are very nice but also we have matching china and silver, white linen tablecloth, matching linen napkins in napkin rings no less. Miss Sissons sits at the head and pours tea. Quite a change from the General. It was etiquette to keep one foot on the ground there.

Say how about a letter once in a while – arms broken?

Supper time so must go

Love, Sheila


We’re all so nervous (FGK 246)

32 Dix Ave

Ormond Beach

May 18, 2958


No letter at all last week but I guess you’re busy. I know i sure am. I got an average of 4-5 hours of sleep every night last week and went about 48 hours without any sleep at all. I had to put my term paper in and typed straight through from 3pm Thursday ‘til 1pm Friday stopping only to eat supper and to drive to school in the morning. All the seniors are the same – we’re all so nervous that our hands actually shake all the time!

I had to to to Mr Bailey’s yesterday for a meeting. I am head of the planning committee of the senior banquet and prom so I had to work out the seating arrangements. I have to make a short speech that night too. That is the night after our exams and the night before our graduation ceremonies and afternoon reception. I have to be at the reception all afternoon because I am a class officer and in the receiving line.

There was a barbecue for all the seniors last night so we all had to go. The sophomores and juniors were giving it. I had a pretty good time. It was a lot of fun. I wish I didn’t have to leave here.

Adam’s say to tell you their invitation still holds. Mrs Franks called to say she has an extra room with twin beds in it and will be glad to accommodate you all, meet you at the plane and all that. Cal Sampson was inquiring about your place to stay too so I guess you won’t be sleeping on a park bench anyway.

Our exams sound as though they are going to be very tough, most of us are scared to death about them.

We tried on our caps and gowns last week. It sure was a good feeling. They look so nice. They are white with a blue tassel on the Moros board. I wish you all could see me in it. I look like a very scholarly person if I do say so myself!

Adams invited me over to the country club this afternoon. I don’t know whether I’m going or not.

I have a mound of English and Latin this afternoon.

Must go

Love Margie

I think I will probably have a nervous breakdown before the end of the month!!!!