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There are two letters on this page, both written 4-14-54 by Ed Wachdorf.

To jump straight to the second one, click here: Art & Renk


Char & Jerry = daughter-in-law & son

Marge & Ed = daughter-in-law & son

Dolores = daughter

Jinny =daughter-in-law

Larry = son

Millie = Millie Vrzak, neighbor


Preparations he speaks of are for the upcoming wedding of Marge & Ed's 2nd daughter


Typed letter but handwritten at top says, "See bottom of 2nd page first. Bottom of 2nd page has added, "Dolores this is a copy of letter going to Marge and Ed and as I do not have time to write another, thought this would help a little. Still have a few more to go to catch up on the rest. Might give you a copy of theirs too."


April 14th 1954


Dear Ones:

        Boy it's a long time since I last wrote you and I guess you know it. But then it's not too terrible as I know you are too busy to be bothered with mail these days. With all your preparations going on you are probably even too busy to take time out to eat and sleep. Now I can thank you for saying Phooey to that mass production letter I so carefully planned and was trying to institute. Anyway, I had good comment from Dolores who agreed it was rather unique and a precious time saver. Saved wear and tear on my brain and spared me time to attack another jig saw puzzle.

        That's getting to be a big problem with me now, trying to hold my supremacy against those  two beasts of prey, "vultures" that sit in whenever they get a chance. They don't wait for a written invitation to participate, not them, they just barge in and try to take possession of the the situation, yes, even trying to abolish me from the pastime until I run over with lava, in other words, blow my top. In your imagination you might solve the answer or get a clue as to whom I am referring. Bless their little hearts. That's one way to keep them occupied so they won't steal the opportunity to beat me to letter writing. What are you snickering about?

        The weather has been toward the perplexing type. As you look out you don't know it it's cold or just plain nasty. No sun today, rather cloudy, hazy and inclined to be a little foggy. These day catch me staying in to give the puzzles a good work-over, or catch up on my correspondence. Letters from home are spacing themselves further apart. Don't know if all are busy, getting their rose gardens in shape, or if you are busy planting Kohlrabi and Swiss-chard.

        You should see the garden we have. It's again in full bloom, the showplace of Lawndale. People drive by slowly admiring the roses, while pedestrians stand there and gawk. Some even steal a pretty rose or two. The cactus are also in full bloom and what a variety of colors. Too pretty to pick, that is I mean by us. The kids think otherwise, as they have a handful before we can shoo them away. Caught neighbors the other day taking pictures with their loved ones in front of the flowers which I suppose will find their way to some hometown, bragging that they were taken in front of their house. What the heck am I crowing about, you would take it for granted that I am trying to make a pretensious impression of our accomplishments. Boy how this county develops one's conceit.

        Wait until I go fishing, won't I be able to tell Whoppers? Mom and I were over to the pier at Redondo Beach last Friday to buy some fresh fish and see how the fishing was getting along. Just wanted to see if it was time for me to rig up my tackle and set out to get the big ones. We saw them pulling in nice size "Pacific mackerel" about two to five pounds from the pier. As soon as the days decide to stay warm, that's where you will find me instead of puzzles.

        We did not hear from Dolores in so long that Mom and I were really concerned, even little Larry, so we wrote a few of you to find out if we had offended them in any way. No response so we got desperate and phoned her house twice in one night, but alas I guess they were not at home, so we put in a call for Jinny, the closest one to their place and were appeased somewhat by her answer, but still a little worried. A few days later we got her letter, explaining everything, and were we back in the pink again. Then before we could answer, she called us on her birthday to reassure us again and it was like getting out of purgatory with a steed of white horses taking us up into heaven. She used to write every day, and as we had not received any word for over two weeks, you can see why we were desperately apprehensive about her silence. Sometimes you chicks alarm us when you 're hibernating, so keep on scratching, at least on paper, and put it in the mail, that will keep us from molting or losing any feathers.

        As you asked in your letter if we would stay at your house, we were happily entranced, but we have decided to break everyone, I should have said, going to give everyone a break, and stay a few weeks at all their places, so you see our 15 days vacation will be well occupied, just by sleeping always. That's a stiff assignment, trying to please all, as all have petitioned us to stay with them. As Char & Jerry were the absolute first, they will get the first preference, probably you next and so on. The way I eat now, no one will want us for too long. Mom will be satisfied with scraping the bones and eating the leftovers.

        She is over at Millie's right now, still nursing her back to health. Think she has a bad case of jitters. Pleads with the doctor to find something terrible wrong with her so she can claim sympathy from all around her. When you hear Mom complain, you know there's something wrong in LAWNDALE. It's getting to be repugnant, crying hunger with a loaf of bread in each hand. This is Mom: Eat this Millie it's good for you. Oh Irene not now please, a little later, and that's the way Mom's time is wasted. When she denounces, it must reek.

        It looks like the bottom of the sheet is appearing and as the keys are also unsteady, it must quitting time so this is it until we see you


Love from all of us

Mom, Da-da, and Larry


(handwritten at bottom) Using up one of Mom's discarded envelopes at the stamp was affixed thereto and it would be a shame to waste it,

signed Tightwad.




Art & Renk = son and daughter-in-law Irene

Bunk = son Frank who works for TWA

Dolores = daughter

Larry = son

Millie = Millie Vrzak, neighbor

Peanuts = Wilbur Schuch, Larry's friend

Renk = nickname of daughter-in-law Irene Safranski Wachdorf

Sabina = Sabina Masonick, daughter-in-law Irene's cousin


(typed at top) Dolores: copy of letter transmitted to Art & Renk

April 14th 1954


Dear Ones:

        Think it's about time that I had a relapse of letter writing. As long as you're not forgotten there's hope, and we think of you all plenty. Mom even talked to Sabina the other day, begging and pleading with her to take her surplus bacon fat rendered into cans. It's getting to be a problem to store anymore so she is now begging for a taker. Has petitioned the neighbors, but nobody wants it either and I'm not going to substitute it for butter.

        Understand from Sabina that you have moved into your new place and I bet it's the cat's meow. Expect to be in Chicago sometime this month, possibly the latter part. Will then be more than pleased to pass judgment and tear your place to shreds with criticism, as no place compares with ours. The garden and landscaping is out of this world. So many people go by our place now and stop to admire the flowers. Roses are as big as a head of cauliflower and a galaxy of colors. Calla lilies are in full bloom for Easter and plentiful. Cactus flowers are also beautiful with variegated colors with much brilliance, that my spelling is lousy, guess that's changing the subject in a sentence.

        Weather has been just like my spelling, and all day too. Since Bunk left, he put the curse on our weather. If he can't have it that good back home, he don't want us to have it either. It was in the high eighties all the while he was here and Mom says it's been frigid since. Never gets below 60 but that is rather chilly for out here. This is the season for cloudy, hazy, fog and rain. Were expecting a change for better any day now as everything is in bloom. Our blackberry vines are loaded with blossoms, which means a bountiful harvest, yum yum.

        Mom has been nursemaid to Millie for the last two months. Getting to be monotonous, as she does not seem to want to get well. Always aching worse than ay other person with twice the afflictions. Mom tells her to eat and she cries I can't, won't you please wait until a little later, which never comes. When you hear your Mom grumbling, something has got to give. Larry and I keep on reminding her that her neighbor is taking her for a ride, but you know Mom, she has been made a sucker before. Wonder what she will do when we up and take off for more pleasant surroundings, that is folks of course.

        Can't beat this place for living, with such a glorious climate. That's kinda double talk you will say after I berated the weather ahead of this sentence. Have had my topcoat on twice since we arrived, and my B.V.D.'s all the time. It gets cold at nights. You go to bed with your hands feeling like icebergs. Our lease runs out the 23rd of May and we are not sure what is going to be our next move. Would sure like to buy this place, but will take that up with the clan when we arrive.

        Larry seems contented and never will give us a direct quote. Keeps on saying, it's alright and that's all we get out of him. Whatever you do is O.K. is his standby saying. He still takes in his golfing and shows. Today he drove 70 miles up the coast to a town called Ventura, north of Hollywood. Another time he went east to Palm Springs about the same distance in the desert. He has already seen as much of California as we have and probably more. He will get passes later in the year about August. He intends to fly back home for his vacation. Maybe he misses you screwballs plenty and Peanuts too. If he does, it's his secret as he never squeals, or if he does he talks to himself in a monotone voice.

        I saw out here in the papers that that painting is getting to be quite a fad. They claim to have sold millions of sets. It's very nice for those that have the patience to follow numbers but personally I prefer jigsaw puzzles. Still have not finished the first picture, including the assistance of Larry. When I get in I want to see some of Renk's masterpieces. Understand she has done very well at painting. Did any of the others follow through? Don't hear a word from any of them on that subject.

        Also out here they a T.V. charade program which has quite a following as to viewers. We watch T.V. every night, sob stories of Loretta Young, Cisco Kid, Kit Carson, Fights, Baseball, Frosty Frolics, Roller Derby and many film stories. We have channels 2-3-4-5-7-9-11 and 13 to select from. This Frosty Frolics I speak of is an ice skating exhibition and it's really great. Beautiful costumes, scenery, wonderful skating, doing waltzes, polkas, jigs and all others, and the pulchritude, not bad, Larry says as he smacks his lips. I imagine some are falsies but how bumpy they look. Even Larry says, stretch them horizontal on the rug and I'll walk on them barefoot.

        [section begins with single spacing instead of double spacing of lines]

        I am at this letter the following day and what a day. It's darker and is it gloomy and chilly. Started crowding to save from using another sheet of paper. I've heard of scotch tape, but now it seems it's paper too. Mom as usual is over to Millie's house again trying to get her to eat breakfast which will take plenty long, using tempting persuasion. If it's in the book, Mom will use it but it's a difficult problem, trying to dissuade her willpower to resist, even things that's good for her.

        We are waiting for the mailman now to see if our passes from Bunk are in the mail so we can sure start arranging our trip without any obstruction. As time is also creeping along just as fast as this sheet, it's time to say,


Love from all of us to you all

Mom, Dad and Larry


Dolores this is a copy of a letter going to Art & Renk. These are meant for you so it does not seem so long between letters. Believe me we know how it does feel to wait and how anxiously we tear the mailbox loose from the wall to eagerly grab the mail


To go to next letter, click here: 1954 Apr 18