Thursday, October 30, 2014

Letters from Esther, #11

I am writing up a series of letters my grandmother, Esther, sent "home" to her siblings in North Dakota as she traipsed around the world working for the State Department as a working woman before it was chic. Letters were chosen over phone calls because long distance calls were expensive, and it was sometimes difficult to hear well at a distance.

This letter is the next letter I have from Esther by date. It is actually a postcard, addressed to Jennie Efraimson, Perth, N. Dak R.F.D.1. (Rural Fire District 1) - 4 cent Project Mercury stamp!

Dear Jennie & All: Thought I'd drop you a card & let you know John is back in the hospital in DeSmet. He don't want to eat on account of his stomach. We just came from Desmet. He was taken there yesterday. So dont know how long he'll be there. His room no is 105. We are here in Lake Preston & having our clothes washed. Thanks for the newsey letter I rec'd few days ago. Rec'd a nice long letter yesterday. From your sister Esther. Love Esther

The postcard photo is of Vampire Peak, Cedar Pass, Bad Lands Nat'l Monument, South Dakota: "This outstanding peak in the bad lands is seen from the foot of Cedar Pass, where the park service headquarters are located."
In conjunction with this postcard, there is a partial undated piece cut from the local newspaper speaking about Esther's visit to South Dakota. This must be about a different visit, though, because on this visit apparently Jennie was WITH Esther. How funny is this?! Can you imagine an area so small that events like this made the newspaper? Here is the full content that I have:

Lake Norden
(continued from page 3)

Mrs. Marian Hanson entertained Mrs. Esther Holien of Silver Spring, Md. and Jennie Efraimson of Rock Lake, N. D., Ernest Lindstrom and Mrs. Pearl Kangas at dinner Monday at Antonens Cafe. All were guests at coffee of Mrs. Pearl Kangas in the afternoon. Mrs. Holien returned home recently from Leapoldville, in the Congo, where she spent the past year and a half as an employee of the Agency for International Development. Mrs. Holien entered the government service in 1942 at Washington, D. C. and has been in the foreign service since 1958, serving in Vietnam, Korea, Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland (Now known as Malawi) and in the Congo. During the tense period in November, 1963, when members of the American Embassy staff were held hostage at Stanleyville, and their subsequent rescue, the murder of Dr. Carlson. Mrs. Holien was at Leapoldville, helping...

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