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Key to those mentioned:
Art, Bunk, Dolores, Ed (and Marge), Harry, Jerry, Larry = his children
Dick = Dick Heagberg, who was husband of his deceased daughter Irene
Diver / Hilda & Emmet = his wife Irene's cousin Hilda Grimm & her husband Emmet Diver
Frank & Millie (Vrzak) = neighbors
Howorka: Clara Howorka, his wife Irene's friend
Louise = Louise Pfleger, widow of his wife's brother, Henry Pfleger
Mae = Mae Wachdorf, his sister
Viola/Violet = Viola Marek Fries, friend of deceased daughter Irene (her photo is on Letters page)
Frieda, Nevell, Bill Collins = ??
Removed the names of grandchildren, replaced with relationship in italics
Jan 5 1954
Dear Dolores, Les and grandson,
If it were not for you we never could keep up on the news as letters are too far apart from the rest of the gang. We probably received more mail from you Ėwait until I go in and count. Iím writing this letter sitting out on the patio in the bright sunlight with just a sweater on. Yep, hereís the actual count. Dolores-21, Harry-3, Jerry-3, Ed-1, Art-2, Mae-3, Diver-1, Bunk-3, Jerry's oldest-1, Louise-1, Dick-1, Howorka-1, Nevell-1. Total of 42 and you exactly half.
Of course Iím not counting notes on Xmas cards as quite a few were received with half a page of writing on them. Mom says they count too but no soap with me. Got over 80 cards so you see we are gone but not forgotten even at the other end of the States. We take a day off after the mailman fills up our box when we hit the jackpot from you. Itís always a handful at once, and then another long stretch until the next good fortune. However in the mean time you can see we get an occasional letter from someone to keep us happy.
Now since we donít get any more cards, some of our trips to the mailbox will be in vain. Even Larry always asks, any mail for me? Wish you would ask Peanuts and some of his brothers to pen him a line separate as he acts kinds lonesome for news, even though he reads ours, or rather listens to Mom read them aloud. We donít get a chance at them until her royal highness allows us to read them second. She has a line form to the right and no cheating. Itís a pleasure to see her open that front door and jump with joy when she sees that mailbox bulging with mail even if itís for the previous inhabitants as we still receive their mail.
Two of the Sinclair boys sent us a Sinclair calendar, one desk size and one large wall size in a big tube, and was Mom all fingers trying to open it. Also one day we got two packages from Frieda and one from Jerry. Hilda and Emmet sent us, for me a beautiful pair of pajamas, and Mom a chemise and Jerry forwarded me one from Bill Collins of Aharn (?) Sign Co. Six linen (illegible four letter word) with my full signature sewed in. Then of course Larry came out with an exquisite gift from all of you, that gorgeous television. Was it wonderful New Years day with Carnival of Roses, Rose Bowl, and other bowl games. Larry hated to quit looking as he had to go to work and leave here at 1:30 p.m.
Hereís what happened since Dec. 21st as I have some diary notes. We had a beastly fog on two different nights. So bad that you couldnít see more than ten feet ahead on one night, and it lasts until late morning until the sun can dissipate the fog. The next one we couldnít see across the street and by morning it was cleared away. All this was before the 21st. Larry went to work at Western Air Line on the 21st, Monday, and Mom and I were scared stiff if he would have to come home in that fog after he quit at 10:30 p.m. So far so good, no fog since. Temp was 80 degrees and a beautiful day. I sat out on the patio in my shirt sleeves and we enjoyed the sun to the utmost.
We hit the jackpot with five letters that day, one from Art, Marge, Jerry, Viola out here, and Dolores with her Xmas card. We sent Vi a Xmas card and she replied Hi folks, are you living out here? If so, get in touch with us. We intend to later. This is the day we think Larry had car thieves who stole his headlight rims and V8 insignia. By the way, he was instructed to go to the garage and get fixed today by his insurance company.
I sprinkled lawn that day and got pretty wet, catching a little cold which has since left. I watch out now and donít get so frisky. Mom worked and ironed that day and as the day was clear as crystal it was dried in a hurry. Also a little old man came around asking for old papers and we were glad to get rid of them. Next day was Tuesday 22nd finished sprinkling all day long. Quite a sizable lawn to handle. Also have to water all the flowers and sort of wash down the walks. That was all for that day and believe me I was tuckered out pulling and hauling the hose around and holding it up at armís length sprinkling.
Wed 23rd I went out and bought a tree for $1.00. About six feet tall, just enough to say we had one for our little baby boy Larry. Bought 15 lights and 3 boxes of tinsel and that was the extent of our tree decorations. Then we bought our victuals for Xmas including a nice turkey with all the trimmings, and was it good. We all ate until we were stuffed. No company, as Frank and Millie had her mother in. They had their turkey bought due to change in arrangements. Now we invited them over for New Years instead. On that day we had mock chicken legs, having her mother visit again. We were all sick of turkey, hence the change in menu. Just think, itís only up to the 23rd and I am at the last page of this letter on page six. And you have not heard all yet, although you see I have tipped off a few pieces of news such as Xmas dinner and New Years also. Saving the rest for next time so you see you can know now where to pick up at for your next letter. Keep up your good work and are we pleased to hear of your good fortune of such a grand home and wonderful grandson. I could ask a hundred questions but I wonít get that nosey.
Love and Kisses from all of us
Mom, Dad and Larry
3845 W 154th St.
To go to next letter, click here: 1954 Jan 11