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by Margaret Stevens Galligan, d/o Fran Wachdorf & Frank Stevens, niece of Ed Wachdorf, to her cousin
"a shame to see relatives for something like that" means funeral of Dolores' father
"heard what happened at your Mom's house"--someone broke into their CA house and stole very specific things (coin collection for example) while the family was in Chicago for the funeral
some names removed, relationship substituted, in italics to show where it's been done.
Key to some of the others mentioned:
"your mom" = Irene Pfleger Wachdorf
"your father"= Edward Wachdorf Sr.
Harry & Justina = Dolores' brother & wife/ Marge's cousins
Sam = a dog
Aunt Louise = Louise Lift Pfleger, I think, w/o Henry Pfleger, thus aunt of Dolores
Mom = Fran Wachdorf Stevens
Bud, Ray, George = Marge's brothers
Aunt Lett = Lettie Wachdorf Myers (I think) aunt of both Marge & Dolores
December 10, 1966
I was going to write sooner but then you were in the process of moving so I thought I'd better wait till you're at least settled a little bit. That really must be a mess moving all your belongings that far. Did you send the furniture ahead and how did you go, did you drive? Then the process of getting the kids in school and getting the house settled before the holidays.
I sure did enjoy seeing all your kids and your brothers. I haven't seen all them together in years. It's always a shame to see the relatives for something like that. I was surprised to see your Mom looking so well too. I know even my kids can't believe we have so many cousins. I think we should have a reunion every once in a while. I also heard what happened at your Mom's house while they were here. There sure are some lousy people who would take advantage of something like that. There has been some of that here too.
I had a very pleasant visit with your brother Harry today. Justina and their daughter were there too but Justina took her mother shopping. We saw Sam do all his tricks and my daughter was just wild about him. Harry got me a typewriter from a woman in the office. Ours gave out from age and she was selling this one cheap. With my son in college and my daughter in high school, there's always home work and then it's handy for letter writing. I have the car on Sat. now because I take my daughter to Catechism at the Holy Redeemer School 95th & Millard for deaf classes. She loves it, but I have to get up early and have her there at 8:45. We hope she will make her first Holy Communion next May. She's all excited. Then I go take Mom grocery shopping. We usually hit somewhere just to bum around. She needs to get out. She has been sick since your father died. She had a bad cold and with the emphysema too it almost turned to pneumonia. She has been in the house almost 8 weeks. She had to take shots to keep her lungs clear. This is a new vaccine they're trying out, so far so good.
It was too bad about Aunt Louise. I'm glad we got to see her at the wake. It's been years since I've seen her too. She lived a good long time.
We all hope Bud is happily married. Non of us has seen him since the wedding. They got their apt. all fixed, then Bud's wife got pneumonia. She was off four weeks. She was back to work two days and her mother started to hemorrhage from the mouth and nose. They took her in to emergency and they packed her nose, and when they took it out she started again. They put her in the hospital and all they can find is very high blood pressure. The doctor said if it hadn't happened that way she would have a massive brain hemorrhage and would have died. She has to quit working and she isn't too happy about it. She has a hard job. She's head dietician for Holy Cross Hospital, and she starts work at 3:30 in the morning to have breakfast trays ready at 7:00. So with all the goings on Mom has seen Bud only a couple times and then on the run.
Mom won't admit she misses him, but she seems to get along o.k. except for the money she could use. We haven't been able to find anything in small apt. she could afford. It's almost as expensive as a big place. Guess she will stay the winter there and then we will start in spring again. We all like Florence but she just doesn't get into crowds often. People scare her. She's been alone so long.
Your new home sounds real nice. We had a Cape Cod in Dolton and I loved it except for the bathroom upstairs. It was not near schools too and that was a problem. I do hope you can get a quick sale on your house in Bloomer. I know you probably could use the money to say nothing of the extra worry.
Are you all ready for Xmas? I have done some shopping for my daughter but the two big kids are a big problem. When you can buy toys it's better, when they get big it seems the clothes they get anyway and mine can't even think of anything they want. We have a grab bag for the rest of the family, this is the first time because our family is just too big and we have 12 Godchildren.
We had a pleasant Thanksgiving Day. I had Mom and Ray, Aunt Lett, and had invited George and Jean and Crystal. Two days before Jean got the worst case of Mumps the doctor had ever seen. Her neck was even with her shoulders. She had to stay home in bed and George and the baby came and then I kept her a couple days. I hated to part with her. She kept me busy.
I have been busy otherwise too. This week is Xmas cleaning at Mom's. I have all the rugs, curtains and drapes clean and doilies done up, so all I have to do it put it back together again. Then I do my own. The kids are out of school next Friday so I do hers first so I can be here with my kids.
Well Dolores, the lights are dimming so I guess that's the clue it's time for bed. My son is commentator at 2:30 A.M. Mass in the morning. He drives but Ben feels better going with him. Guess Daddy's are as bad as mothers. We see so little of him, he works part time and then school and all the homework.
I hope you all are real happy in your new home and there's nothing but peace and contentment. Have real Happy Holidays and when you get the chance don't forget to drop me a line. Say hello to all the kids and Les too (the kids will probably say which one was that)
Lots of love from all five of
Next letter = postcard from Frank/Bunky Wachdorf to his mother in CA, postmarked 12-24-1966 from Hawaii, picture of women stringing leis, says in total, "Hi--tried calling you from San Fran before we left but phone was busy. We are on Philippine Airlines to Manila--See you on the way back--Hawaii is gorgeous--Frank + Jinny