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From Harry Wachdorf to all his siblings (carbon copies, typewritten) postmarked 2-5-1969
NOTE in these letters the ... is his writing style, and does not denote some section having been omitted.
Some names removed and relationship substituted, in italics to show where it's been done.
Mom = Irene Pfleger Wachdorf who died 1-7-1969
his brothers Jerry, Larry, Art (and wife Irene & daughter), and Ed (and 2nd wife Chris)
Dan Laughlin = funeral home director, I think
Virg Poole = Virgil Poole, neighbor of Wachdorfs from 58th St. days
Justy, his wife, and her Aunt Mary, mother, and brother Frank
his aunts Mae and Midge Wachdorf (sisters of his late father)
It's about time that I did some writing, even if it is on a carbon paper basis. I HOPE I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO TAKES THE CARBON PAPER IDEA CAUSE THEN WE CAN ALL BE INFORMED BY EVERYONE ELSE IN THE FAMILY AND MAYBE WE'LL ALL KEEP IN TOUCH A LITTLE MORE FREQUENTLY. And of course the best way to get a letter is to write a letter...and when you get a letter from me... remember you're on the hook for an answer.
I think most of the states have been in mourning ever since Mom died for the skies have cried pretty steadily ever since. Speaking for Chicago, we have had only 15% sunshine for the month of January but fortunately we started out today with a big bright sun and just the right amount of crispiness. I'm kind of tickled about it for my daughter is going to the big dance at Maria tonight...it's the Snow Ball Dance...formal...and at the Merchandise Mart. Her first such big event and she's all excited. They are going to the Ivanhoe for later festivities.
In talking to various of the people gathered together with us for Mom's Wake and Funeral, I find myself very proud to be one of her kids. Many people, including Dan Laughlin, commented on the fine family Mom had and how close knit we were. Of course Mom was the knitter that made it so but I'm suggesting that each of us take up the needle and keep it so. I think it will always be so but with a little effort on the part of each of us I'm SURE it will. I was quite proud of being a Wachdorf for it was quite a pleasure to hear everyone comment on what a very nice bunch of brothers and sister I had... and I couldn't agree more heartily. And of course I have to add our sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, as well as all the kids. Now as Virg Poole said, "wouldn't it be nice if we could all get together at least once a year." I like the idea.
We had the Pilgrim Virgin at our house last week and of course the Rosary was said for Mom. We had her for the entire week and everyone said the Rosary aloud. It's too bad you don't have a Pilgrim Virgin where you are for it's a nice warm devotion that puts a little extra meaning into praying. Also at our Mass the Sunday after the funeral Mom was remembered publicly in the Mass and our parish bulletin also asked for everyone to remember Mom in their prayers and masses.
The week after Mom died so did Justy's Aunt Mary out in San Francisco. She was 95...a ripe old age...and had been in declining health for a number of years. Our weather was so bad that Frank and Mrs. Hannigan couldn't even get a flight out of Chicago to attend the funeral. They had waited for hours for the fog to lift and finally had to return home in defeat and disgust with our weather. And if you think we had it bad, the news sure wasn't very cheerful from California. Larry, I'm sure you haven't seen that much rain in years and years. The only thing I could think of was the fact that getting into work...or bring stranded there...was your biggest problem. Weren't you so stuck once before...you got to work and could hardly get out because of water?
We had our son home for a 12 day vacation between semesters and I never heard so much ukelele playing in all my life. He got a uke for Christmas...no it was his birthday...and ever since he's been hard at it. One thing you have to say for him...when he takes to something he really perseveres in his pursual of perfection. We got him a book on chords and he quickly learned how to play a few easy songs but that was only a beginning of his appetite for greater things. He worked like a beaver on new chords and of course as I have many volumes of good tunes with chords and lyrics, he selected some old favorites of ours that most young kids would choke on and proceeded to master them. He now sings the melody and accompanies himself with the chords. If he didn't know the chord I would figure it out for him and he'd then make a chart... or rather, he already had the chart of chords and he just added it on. If it was too difficult to finger he figured out a decent substitute and away he'd go.
His singing is improving although at first I would have put him on a par with Larry. Some chords are hard to come by and in some tunes he sings I almost fall on my face waiting for him to find the chords for he has suddenly suspended the song in mid air while he searches with his mind and his fingers for the missing chord culprit. At times his intonation gets as bad as his rhythm (and most Catholic couples can appreciate that) but our knowledge of the lyrics lets us know what we were supposed to be hearing. He got his report card this week and it was a goodie...3 A's and 3 B's. And of course I have to add a pat for our daughter too for she was just elected to the National Honor Society.
Last Saturday the Sodality at Maria, of which our daughter is president, put on a Father-Daughter Dance at school and as she was in charge of it this year I got the job again. It was the most successful one they have had to date and made about 600 bucks clear. I of course had the opportunity to get off the stand and dance with her a couple of good dances and later we went out with a few other fathers and their daughters for a little refreshments. Seems as though Aylwards Corral was where all the fathers took their dates but we all had a good time there.
Aunt Midge is still in the hospital but I understand she is coming along real good and will be home soon. She had a breast removed but it was caught early and the reports are good. I talked to her the other night and her spirits are real good. I think she'll be ok for many reasons, but mostly because they didn't have to do a lot of extra cutting...the tumor was so small. Aunt Mae has been having a few problems as she has a heart condition that she is doctoring for. I guess she has to be pretty careful.
Things are good at Jerry's house...Ed and Chris are doing real good... heard from Art's daughter and Art had a small cyst removed from his back but he had no problems with it other than having it removed and Irene is doing fine too. And of course we're all well here.
Everybody dredge for news now and let's hear from you. And of course we'll stay on the ball here at 7039. Luv'n kisses from me and my Mrs.
and God Love You All...we sure do.........
To go to next letter, click here: 1969 March 26 Larry