Thursday, August 21, 2014

Letters From Esther - 1

I have come into a packet of letters from my grandmother, Esther, to her sister (my great-aunt) Jennie (and other family members). I will post them here weekly, and link them to her "Letter to My Family", to reflect where they were written on the timeline.

This first letter was written shortly after Esther's return to Greenbelt, MD, after visiting Perth, ND for her mother's death and funeral.

October 26, 1945

Dear Rupert and all,

Thank you so much for your letter that we received last night. It was most welcome, needless to say. Yes, I certainly hope he has (Rudy) had both the cable and letter by this time. [Rudy was in the military at this time - World War II, and they are hoping he received the note to let him know his mother died.] After I got back here I heard that the best way to get in touch with anybody in the Service is to notify the Red Cross and they do everything, even to getting transportation for them and all. That it is much quicker than cabling them direct. Too bad we didn't know about it at the time.

Yes, I understand exactly what you mean. [We don't have Rupert's letter, so we don't know what she was responding to except to try to extrapolate.] Things do seem kind of meaningless now, but we must remember that Dad and the rest of the family are also concerned and interested in what the others do and even if Mother doesn't know right at the moment what we are doing, she will someday. So we must keep on living like she would want us to.

I agree with you on the superiority of the Sunday programs. [Lutheran Church? Television? Radio?] I too rather dislike going out on a Sunday afternoon just for that reason. I will have to this coming Sunday though. First church here at Greenbelt, (the choir is singing), then Finnish church at 3:00 and after that the National Lutheran Chorus is giving a concert down town here so I should go to that too. That is quite a session, isn't it? Have to leave the house about twelve and it will be at least eight before I get back.

The kids don't have school today, teacher's meeting, so Carole, Ida Mae and Larry are going to Georgetown to have their teeth checked out and will stop here at the office on their way back. Wayne was going too but is taking someone else's place at the gas station. He wanted to get himself a leather jacket. [I think her point is that Wayne is working extra hours to earn money to buy the jacket.]

I was surprised to hear Vi and Gene went on to Ohio as I received a card from them from New York Mills and she thought then that they were going to b back home by Sunday. It will be nice for them tho, for him to see his folks and Vi will meet them. That is quite a long trip too, isn't it? Ohio doesn't seem very far from Washington. [DC]

How is your weather?Ours has been superb ever since I got back until the last couple of days when we had rain. Today the sun is out again and its quite warm.

What did you think of the President's speech? [That would be FDR. Makes me want to Google FDR speech for 10/1945.] I wonder if that will go through with all the opposition it has. [Social Security? Military draft?] It probably won't affect you anyway, Rupert, as you will be past 21 then. Wayne thinks its a good idea and is all excited about going already even though he won't be going till he is 19 if it does go through. [Now I need to ask Wayne if he ever did serve in the military...]

Well, I guess I better cut this out and get to work. I have been very busy since I got back until today. This is a Board meeting day, but they decided not to have one this week. We just got through transcribing the mess we took last Friday [the shorthand from that day's Board meeting]. We wrote steady for three and a half hours and had about forty pages of transcription. I hope I never get anything as bad as that again. I usually like to do something that is a little difficult as I think things that are easy are too humdrum and monotonous but that was just a little too much. If it hadn't been that the two of us took it together we never would have made any sense out of the whole thing.

Write again soon.

With much love,


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