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From Ida (in Huntsville, Alabama) to her brother (in Norwalk, Connecticut)
Bill = her husband
Della = Della Hodges Hardison, her late father's 3rd wife
Aunt Mary Lou = Mary Lou Hardison Barnett Foutch, her late father's sister
some names removed and replaced with relationship (in italics to show where it's been done)
Dear Les and Dolores and all,
Greetings from the warm South. It has really been sunny. Children (and me) are all brown and enjoying the heat. There is a pool 1/2 block away and it is the nicest we've ever seen--larger than Olympic sized and we spend a lot of time there.
Last week the principal of our school took his wife on a second honeymoon to Florida for a week. We had their 5 children for six days. 2 sets of twins and a single. Everything went very well, but one morning I caught Bill sneaking out of the kitchen with his coffee. Said he couldn't face 10 people at breakfast till he had at least one cup. The house did ring, but we all enjoyed it.
Speaking of school, the children had a good year. Next year my oldest daughter may be in a class of 3. There may be some more admissions before fall but right now that's how it stands. My middle daughter and my oldest son may be in the same room, but they will have to weather that.
We haven't had hardly any company and that's been a disappointment. We had hoped to see a lot more of the South and we are way behind schedule. Della said she and Aunt Mary Lou might come out this spring. They were afraid to start out however, because "the Negroes were uprising." I haven't been able to convince her that the natives around here are peaceful.
I am enclosing the last letter I received from her [1968 enclosed Della]. She has inquired before about the stock in Daddy's name and the "40 acres" (is that the Johnson place or the spring + cave?) I don't know any more about the price of that land than I do about battleships. I think she needs a good lawyer who knows that country to advise her. By the way Bill says that the stock has taken a jump and is worth a hundred dollars. It should be sold I guess but I haven't any idea what to do about it. Why don't you call or write me, dear brother, so that I can write back that we are unanimously confident that she will handle it well.
Are you going to California soon? I wish we were on the way. Maybe you could sneak down this way for a visit. Let the children stay with us and could get away by yourselves for a few days. We have the room and the [can't read word] is quite pretty.
I went to a farewell coffee yesterday for 5 Martin wives [Martin-Marietta where her husband worked]. Of the 30 families that came to Huntsville that makes about 10 that have left. There are a lot of people who don't care for Huntspatch but we really can't complain. We like Colorado better but I suppose that's because of friends we had those 12 years we were there. We just got sad word that one dear friend who just adopted a boy (their fourth child) is now losing a battle against cancer. They will have to give up the child and that will be hard for the whole family. We feel pretty helpless being so far away.
Bill has finished his letters and wants to mail them now so I will close abruptly and commune with you again another time
Love from us all
To go to enclosed letter, click here: 1968 enclosed Della