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1953 letters

Below the photo gallery are brief recaps of the letters written by Edward Wachdorf (and one by his wife, Irene Pfleger Wachdorf) when they first moved to Lawndale, California in 1953. To read the full transcription of any letter, click on the hyperlink at the start of the line. The move to California was for Ed's health, as he had emphysema. Their son Larry joined them. The letters continued (increasingly from Irene Pfleger Wachdorf instead of Edward as his health slowly failed) until his death in 1966, and then her death in 1969. Some were to daughter Dolores, but just as often in later years they made carbons and sent out copies meant for children Ed, Art, Harry, Jerry, Frank (Bunky), and Dolores all at once.

My favorite of the 1953 letters is 1953 Dec 21 for the jocular tone. No particular news in any of these, though. The letter of 1953 Dec 16 is also mildly interesting in its discussion of 1953's modern technology (they had to have a man out to arrange television reception, and marveled that they could get 7 stations).  

Some of these photos are probably the ones referred to in the 1953 letters, and two are of Peanut Schuch, mentioned in the letters. Click to enlarge. Once enlarged, to zoom, move cursor to right of image, back onto image, and click again.

Ed Wachdorf in the new house

showing his calla lilies

Irene showing the roses

laughing by the roses

Think this is Peanut Schuch at Santa Anita

Peanut Schuch flanked by Art and Ed with Jerry behind him

1953 Dec 9: Edward Wachdorf Sr to daughter Dolores. Writes of son Larry driving their car from Chicago to give it to them, of his health, of adaptation to new California home and his wife, Irene Pfleger Wachdorf ("Mom is the swellest girl now. Taking things easy and not so upset as usual"). Mentions sons Larry, Harry and Frank (Bunk) plus Frank's wife Jinnie. Mentions Larry's friend Peanuts (Wilbur Schuch) and daughter Dolores' friend Marge Habercorn. Mentions new neighbors Frank & Millie Vrzak. Gives the new phone number.

1953 Dec 14: Edward Wachdorf Sr. to daughter Dolores. Writes of trip to Redondo Beach, of first wash day in new home, of the lovely weather and the lovelier flowers in their yard. Mentions his wife Irene, his neighbor Millie, his sons' friend Peanuts, his son Art, "the Wachdorf girls," (not sure which he means, his sisters or his nieces), his wife's cousin Hilda Grimm, his wife's sister-in-law Louise Pfleger, his wife's friends Clara Howorka and Betty.

1953 Dec 16: Edward Wachdorf Sr. to daughter Dolores. Writes of son Larry arriving safely, of their new TV and the tune up man coming so "we have 7 stations to take a pick from," sings the praises of automatic gas heat, the flowers in the yard, the weather, talks of wash day, wonders if Peanuts (Wilbur Schuch) has gotten film (both still and movie) developed. Having neighbors Millie & Frank over on Christmas.

1953 Dec 21: Edward Wachdorf Sr. to daughter Dolores. Mentions sons Larry , Jerry, Ed and Ed's wife Marge. Of Larry having the car partially stripped by leaving it parked at the curb overnight. Writes of receiving multiple letters in one day from Dolores ("Mom said oh cut the foolin' and let me hear it straight"), of a letter from Ed and Marge "in Marge's inimitable style," of the fog, of shopping, of hearing from Viola (probably Viola Marek Fries, a friend of their deceased daughter Irene "Sis" who moved to California).

1953 Dec 25: Irene Pfleger Wachdorf to Dolores. On Dolores' son's first Christmas, sending a little gift. Mentions trip to Compton to see someone, but name not clear in cursive. Alvia or Alma might be the first name and the surname is Klein or Klem. Adds on scrap of paper tucked into card, "Am getting terribly homesick and donít mention it to Dad."