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1955 letters

(1955 Apr 27 details Irene going into the hospital with severe diverticulitis; 1955 Aug 8 details grandson being hit by a car while visiting)

1955 Jan 10 from Edward Wachdorf Sr: on the birth of a new grandson, Bunk's gang departed, grass dead, Larry going about with John Folz 18-yr-old newly-wed nephew of neighbor ("She learned how to cook with running around the stove with a book in her hand and a pot in the other and writing home to her mother for recipes, mostly how to cook spaghet and other dago dishes. You should appreciate her dilemma from past experience"), glad the newly-weds are in with neighbor Frank so that Irene ("her with her sympathetic views") doesn't have to keep doing his chores, jokes about grandson apparently punching his paternal grandmother hard enough to raise a welt ("you will soon be back with slugger before he has his grandma floored with an uppercut or worn out with his gleeful pranks. Some sparkplug, always firing to keep going at full speed without missing"), writing on stationary given by Harry-Justy Paul Cecilia, thanks for Xmas gifts, got Irene a gong set, "All like them, even Bunk and family, just ask them."

1955 Jan 13 Larry from Larry Wachdorf, a thank you note mocking his gifts, especially jacket with checks that glow, with old fashioned pockets ("they're useful, which makes them archaic. What would Dior say?") Gives himself credit somehow for sister Dolores and sister-in-law Charlotte having babies recently, in veiled references to do with bursting at Christmas and tax exemptions. ("P.S. This is a thank-you note? It actually is, from my bottom, and you can't hardly get 'em bigger than that, you know.")

1955 Jan 14 by Edward Wachdorf Sr. on birth of new grand-son-of-a-gun, on new neighbor John Foltz settling in, roses and lilies in bloom but adobe gooey-gooey, "It's my dirt and wants to cling to me," please send flat iron as Mom's went caput, half tells a Larry story, says "he is just as talkative as ever, the mute...Tell the youngsters their toys are put away in a safe place and waiting to be taken down by them the next trip," expecting visit by Carrie Baldwin, "Mom is pounding on the dinner gongs to come and get it so will sign off"

1955 Jan 15 by Edward Wachdorf Sr. on Dolores' baby, Christmas aftermath, Larry & Harry's letter-writing competition, Larry "enjoys his records and came home the other night with envelopes of new ones, some of which sound like the cat on the back fence and he calls that art. Better he should listen to the records from home with that famous tenor, RICHARD, or that giggler Eleanor. With Harry having acquired that new fandangle tape recorder, where do we fit from now on?" On Larry & neighbor John Foltz, an extended riff on Larry's so-called singing ("even the ceiling looks down on him with awe"), they trounced him at pinochle, expecting Carrie Baldwin to visit soon.

1955 Jan 17 Harry by Harry Wachdorf to his sister, a poem in defense of his homely new nephew, mentions also his daughter's bladder infection and son's cold.

1955 Feb 9 Irene by Irene Pfleger Wachdorf to daughter Dolores, longing to see new baby, wondering if he's keeping her up with colic like 1st did, worried that no one is writing, busy with guest Carrie Baldwin who brought so many gifts Irene "told her before long she would be standing on the corner with dark glasses and a tin cup."

1955 Feb 13 by Edward Wachdorf Sr, primarily about visit by his wife's friend Carrie Baldwin, where they took her, and trips to see her friends the Grants who used to live at Ida Wilson's house on 58th st, sent her home via TWA and she can be reached via his sisters in Chicago. Next letter gives a less informative but more colorful account of the same.

1955 Feb 16 Two on same page, both by Edward Wachdorf Sr

First one on taking Irene's friend Carrie Baldwin to see sights, giving quotes of the "glamour babe" and her "horse radish spread on thick," but Irene liked having one of her cronies in town. On pruning roses. On Larry's schemes etc ("He has his Mom always yelling, Oh Larry stop that as she gets up with the chair tied to her back or she loses her apron altogether. Good thing he don't find how to untie her ---- or she would be mortified"), and he tells young newly-wed neighbor John Foltz "never to let a woman boss him around and not get started young but train them early. He takes him out evenings for ping pong, pool and putting practice. If she don't divorce Johnny it won't rest in Larry's lap, he's trying his darnedest."

    Second one on Baldwin again but in detail on Larry purchasing ping pong table too big for the house, "Mom has learned the Mambo since it arrived, dancing around here, wringing her hands and moaning so loud that the neighbors thought I was abusing her. Can't wait until Larry arrives to see if a frying pan will fit around his dome," mentions neighbor Jeanie Foltz putting on weight in a significant place, calls her husband Johnny wild, expects Larry to destroy the lawn with his golf practice, laments "I can just about see us at the table in the kitchen and next see a ball that's been slapped come ricocheting into someone's puss just about the time the mouth is open to admit some rare morsel of Avocado all smeared with dressing..."


1955 Mar 15 by Edward Wachdorf to daughter Dolores, primarily about her toddler and infant sons, "If energy counts, you should send him out here to Yucca Flats to lead our scientists with Atomic experiments," oblique references to the boy melting plastic and eating bugs.

1955 Apr 1 Irene by Irene Pfleger Wachdorf, on Larry getting house-proud, "wants to call in an interior decorator to do all the rest of the rooms and dad and I nearly had a fit our neighbor across the street said a friend of hers had a decorator come in and paint their living room and he charged them $200 and $100 to paint a bedroom wow wouldn't that be awful," neighbors Jean & John Foltz looking for apt under $65 because she's pregnant, Peanut coming in May, probably Madge, May, Ruth, Leona in summer, first ref to neighbor Janet King, lists all those from whom she hopes to have visits, frets about health of Char's father (heart trouble) and Les' father (hospitalized), mentions Irene's mother, Char's mother, mentions many grandchildren, hoping Sinclair sells to Arco (refers to it as Richfields) so Ed Jr might move their way, ref to his daughter no longer working for TWA, asks if son-in-law's parents "like living on the North side. I bet they like it  a whole lot better than living on the South side with all the colored folks."

1955 Apr 27 by Edward Wachdorf confessing Irene went into hospital, spent night vomiting blood, passed out in church vestibule, passed blood, brought home and again "it was practically all blood and dark as coffee," called doc who advised heading to hospital, "Her blood pressure was down to 80 and she looked like a ghost. She obligingly went through the same performance at the hospital," diagnosis diverticulitis, resulting in required change in diet, detailed. Surprised by Jerry calling to find out what was up before they'd reported to anyone, but neighbor Jean Foltz had written her mother and her mother told Jerry who "lost no time in getting this end on the wire to ask some anxious questions." Back home, all well. Larry prepping for visit by Peanut. Big Harry's widow Lydia Harnois and sis Loretta visited. John & Jean Foltz moved.

1955 May 15 by Edward Wachdorf about a visit by Wilbur "Peanut" Schuch and brother Frank, Larry took them to Vegas, to see the local sites (listed in detail), looked at Peanuts' photos "Very very wonderful, only wish there were more as they sure are glamorous," had over his brother Harry's widow Lydia and her sisters Alice and Loretta Harnois and nieghbor Frank Vrzak, "Hey, things are getting real serious with Frank and Loretta, in fact they asked Irene and I to be the best people at their wedding next Saturday," says Irene still not up to snuff and pushing herself too hard, "Letters is the best tonic I can prescribe and I mean the double doses, prayers might help as she has so often prayed for you."

1955 June 4 by Irene Pfleger Wachdorf worrying that she hasn't heard from anyone, on Frank & Peanut visiting, then some friend of her husband's whom she doesn't name, looking for work; on Mae, Ruth & Leona (sister-in-law & nieces) planning to visit, on wedding of neighbor Frank Vrzak to Loretta Harnois, sister of brother-in-law Harry's widow, "now guess what happened, Loretta was operated on this morning for gall stones and her gall bladder broke just before they took her up to be operated on. After only being married since May 21st too bad for too as he is just about where he was before he got married," mentions two grandsons one of Charlotte's and one of Dolores', "feeling fine only for that diet I'm on which doesn't let me eat very much or what I would like to eat either."

1955 June 14 by Edward Wachdorf, taking Irene to the doctor, "Hope he gives her the green light today so she can eat well again," recaps visit by Peanut & Frank Schuch & friend/former client Warren Marshall, mentions upcoming visit now by just Mae and Leona, recaps Loretta's gall bladder surgery, more on Peanuts' photos, more detail on Larry & Schuchs going to Vegas, "They said at one place you have to pass through an aisle of one armed bandits to get to the real amusements. Imagine being surrounded by temptations such as muscle developers clamoring for all denominations of coins as high as silver dollars? They...kept on reiterating about the places displaying Marilyn Monroes with restful looking bumps...encouraging drinks, free...What a place to get drowned or get full of jolly spirits for the good of the order, yes order one or more as long as it lasts, the do-re-me of course," planning trip to Chicago leaving Larry behind, Jean & John visit 3 times a week.

1955 July 30 by Edward Wachdorf Sr, saying that son Bunk & family are coming, wondering why they don't hear from anyone including recent visitors like his sister Mae and niece Leona, says everyone has a case of "Lethargy or better known as lazy put it off trouble," on the bees chasing him around his garden ("this year they kinds resent my presence and want to play with me"), mentions Dolores' sons, Larry's golf (horrible pun involved).

1955 Aug 8 by Edward Wachdorf Sr, on visiting son Bunky & family, and Bunky's young son getting hit by a car. Was gathering match books for his grouch bag. Joint birthday celebration with granddaughter Susie, can't walk without stepping on toys, plans to sightsee curtailed waiting for banged up grandson to recuperate, health report says Irene holding up but "not entirely O.K." and reports himself gaining weight, turning brown, and Larry's golfing in the 70s. Plans to visit Chicago in Aug or Sept, call from Dolores with Harry & Justy doubling up on the call, taking post-graduate courses in child raising to prep for seeing all the grandkids and to deal with Bunk's.

1955 Oct 6 Irene by Irene Pfleger Wachdorf, on returning to California from trip to Chicago, missing everyone but glad to have seen grandsons and great-granddaughter, glad daughter Dolores not uptight when left alone while her husband travels, hope all are healthy, details her and Ed's recuperation from the trip, "Didn't we have a nice time at Margaret's, only sorry Jinnie + Francis couldn't have been there. I hope Harry will have them talk on the tape recorder too before Francis brings it out," Larry did his dishes and laundry while on his own, getting caught up with washing, ironing, housecleaning, mending.

1955 Oct 13 by Edward Wachdorf Sr, describing a human rosary K.C. ceremony, on Irene tripping over hose, "One hand bleeding, two knees skinned and lacerated, two nylons ruined and Mom's disposition undescribable...She hiked up her skirt to show off her knees to Larry, while he turned to me and said, was that all you did? Just then I saved him from your Mom's fury by tucking him under my mighty arm for protection while he smilingly looked on. See how the men folk stick together." Her health reverting to good with Larry making her toe the line or he ties her apron strings "You ought to hear Mom scream Larry, Larry, Larry, Larry stop that while she tries to get her blood to boil. Too bad she lost so much  she cannot even get it hot, the poor anemic." Thanks for hospitality in Chgo and come any time.

1955 Nov 26 by Edward Wachdorf Sr., on visit by wife's sister-in-law, Louise Lift Pfleger (widow of Irene's late brother, Henry), whom they took to Capistrano & to see Rose Bowl stadium, saw preparations for parade underway. "neaked into the bathroom" and Larry took over for a paragraph, both mention tape recording made and sent off to Harry's, one whole side "usurped" by Irene. Expecting Ed's oldest daughter & her husband en route to AZ, mentions grandsons.

1955 Dec 14 by Edward Wachdorf, on wife's sister-in-law Louise Lift Pfleger returning home because her pipe's froze. Son Ed was instructed "to inspect and get a plumber to fix the damage and then advise us. Did he? He did not, and all the while we were consoling Louise that she could depend on Ed." She picked the garden bare but "Mom was in heaven." She sewed up a storm with fabrics from yardage place, "Had her up in the hills where I threatened to toss her off if she mentioned yardage again as sometimes she became peaky." Prepping tree for Xmas, got gifts from Mrs. Baldwin. Had Ed's daughter & husband out. Apology for no new tape recording for Xmas, Larry's fault.