Wednesday, February 10, 2016

1986 GHU Letter -Feb.10

[postmarked 2/10/86]

Dear Harold & Jean –

At last it has warmed up some what.  With a week of Feb. with us it certainly is time for a little warmth.  Mary & Bill were invited out for early supper & to play cards afterwards so I have things all to myself.

Yesterday we had a busy day for 2 ladies asked to "borrow" the use of the house for a meeting of the U.M.W. monthly meeting.  They brought rolls & Mary furnished the tea & coffee & dishes for them.  There were 23 present.  There are folks who would like to have the meeting but lack room, dishes, & chairs.

Bill is getting over his cold be degrees.  Rob & Cindy have both been out of school for several days this week with colds.

We have had 2 letters from Joe since he left N.Y.  He is in Indonesia, U [?] bird Bali  – Says it rains every day sometimes & is damp & hard to dry anything.  Scenery very pretty.  A lot of frogs which bother his sleeping.  Using candles for lights.  The bath room is ?

We attended a concert last Wed. night given by a group of men  5  from Canada.  They really were good.  I used Mr. Garrets ticket for he has been ill & in the hospital for a while.  He has arthritis for 1 thing.  He can't find a way to be comfortable.

I am having a time with these new hearing aids.  It is hard to get them placed right.  Mary is a help but I must learn myself.  They don't slip in as easily as you might thing.

We had a letter form Mary V. today & she plans to come to Fla in March which is fine.  But so far you are all coming at a different time.  So if you want to be here at a time when anyone of the family comes it will be to you folks for it is too much for me to write & make arrangements.

A week ago the Meth. church was broken into & several things were taken of value as well as a few minor.

John Bankhouse [?] had his bicycle taken & is now using Bill's (which he does not use.)  Mary's has a flat tire.

It is my bed time.

Love, Mother


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

1986 Roberta's Letter -Feb.9

2-9-86
Dear Folks,

Greetings from cool Arizona – cool as in COLD – makes me realize how I would not be able to survive an Ohio winter!

We had a most interesting day – had a late lunch with some friends of Sid's in Mesa – then stopped at  3  nursing homes & County hospital on way back home.  1st stop was the Classy nursing home we stopped in out in East Mesa – where the administrator once worked for the County.  Visited a lady there who had once lived at Sr. Village.  But guess who else we saw there – both of Marion Magill's parents – both patients there.  I'm most curious & will call long term care office on Tuesday to see if they are county patients.

We went from there to an awful nursing home in South Phoenix – an all-county facility – such a switch from the 1st place!  Visited Ernie there – who had been here at Christmas – he from here to skilled level of care at the nursing home.

Did I tell you we got free tickets for Sr. Village for DISNEY ON ICE – it was a beautiful show & for many of them the 1st ice show they had seen.

We have sent out / given out 500 invitation to our open house.  It's supposed to be RSVP – but so far only  8  people have confirmed!  It will be pure guess work when I order the cookies & paper-goods tomorrow for the party!  Right now I just wish it was already over!

Wendy Jean called tonight – she has taken up an interest in SPANISH – & has some tapes that she would have liked to have played while we were on the phone!  She is such a character!

We have had  3  people more in this last week & have  3  more moving in this week.  One of the new ones cries most of the time.  The ladies that are in the house with her have volunteered to help me 'KILL HER' (their wording) I've told Sybel (the CRIER) that she must go outside to cry – just as we require smokers to go outside to smoke.  I'm afraid she is going to get her tear ducts infected – & I told her that too!

The psych nurse saw Sybel – but she is already on so many psych drugs she can't be put on more.

Think I mentioned the gal that moved in that had a major stroke at 32 – When she gave birth.  MARGE – she is doing great – happy to report!

Sid is busy, busy, busy w/ the NARFE news letter.  It's good that he enjoys it all so much – cause it is lots of work!  He does a real professional job on the paper!

Sid has been asked to be the official photographer at the State Convention – for NARFE – so it will be at Lake Havasu – the end of April.  I'm hoping to go w/ him – we will take the trailer.  I can sun tan during the day & banquet it up with Sid at night.  Now – isn't that the life?

OK – it is getting late & I best sign off.  Your letter mailed the 27th got here on the 7th – Should we blame a Federal Employee – or just the system?

Much love,
Roberta

1976 Catherine's Letter -Feb.9

February 9, 1976
Dear Mom, Dad, and Mary Virginia,

Hi!  Thanks for your latest letter.  I am not going to Philadelphia after all so I won't be passing through New York after all, however I will plan on seeing John and Dad in Exeter.  X has expressed a desire to see John and Dad also so he will probably bring me down – I would guess in the latter part of the afternoon.  Hope that is OK.  Gerry (my latest heartthrob) has also expressed interest in meeting some of my family but I'm not sure that it would be so terrific to have both X and Gerry present at the same time so perhaps you can meet Gerry on some future occasion.

The Sanford Bicentennial Year is getting busier.  Did I tell you that I am the historian for the Bicentennial Committee?  So far all I've had to do is collect all the stuff that gets printed, minutes of the meetings, etc.  The hardest part will probably be putting the stuff in some sort of order to be saved for posterity.

I'm still going bowling one night a week plus I'm going to go tomorrow morning with one of my girlfriends.  I'm still not too good but I have a good time.

X heard favorably from the U. of I. and he has submitted his resignation here effective as of June 1.  The library Board meets tonight so perhaps they will decide whether to offer me his job or look for somebody else.

I got a post card from Serena.  She has a very unique way of saying absolutely nothing.

Well, I'll be looking forward to seeing Dad in Exeter.

Love, Catherine

Monday, February 08, 2016

1976 Roberta's Ceylon Letter -Feb.8

February 8, 1976
Dear Family,

Hi!  We're back at Colombo & at the Holiday Inn enjoying the pool – we got here from Ratnapura on Friday – spent 2 sleepless night at a small hotel right near the beach – but even closer to the R.R. tracks.  It was only 10 Rupees a night each but we figured we were here to rest up before going back to India and if we couldn't sleep – so today we moved to the Y.M.C.A. – the location is good – it's only 4 Rupees more a night each & we have a fan above us!  Before the trains ran every hour it seemed.

We made reservations to fly to Madras.  I had decided if I did go by train I would splurge both from here to the Port – also from Rameswaram to Madras by going Air Conditioned – which turned out to be only $3.00 cheaper than flying.  It is only a 2 hour flight to Madras – and will I ever enjoy this after the terrible boat & train ride here!  Going to Madras the 12th – which means I'll just have 1 month left in India.

I'll be leaving Mike & Mary in Madras – I hope someday you can meet them.  They kind of remind you of the Fisher (Alice) family – really fun people.

Yesterday we went to the Ceyfish Restaurant – I had the biggest splurge meal I've had since I left home – had lobster & prawn – 1 pound lobster & about 8 good size prawns – cost me 30 Rupees – $2.50 – cheapest & best lobster I've ever had!

We saw a Woolworth store here – but didn't think it is part of F.W. & Company.  We've seen Kentucky Fried Chicken boxes but can't find the place!  Colombo is alot more modern than Indian cities.  But get away from the city and its a new ball game.  Transportation – once out of the city is such a problem –  so crowded & not safe!  India has poor roads but the R.R. system there is really well developed – cheap & halfway efficient!

Still eating alot of fresh fruit – and too much bread & butter.  Food here generally TOO HOT –

Hope all is fine – maybe I'll have a letter waiting for me from you all in Madras – or Bombay –

I'm getting tan – just wish it would last till I got home!

Love,
Berta

Sunday, February 07, 2016

1956 The Browns – Three Generations of Publishers

A.W. Brown, R.M. Brown, J.Scott Brown
Three Generations of Publishers Passed Away
clipping from Hancock County Independent, (New Cumberland) West Virginia.
February 9, 1956

A.W. Brown, founder of the Independent was born in Wellsburg, W. Va. in 1854.  Came to New Cumberland in 1876 and he in company with S.M. Morrow, founded the newspaper.  On October 25, 1876 he married Mary V. Morrow of Fairview (Pughtown) Hancock County.  They had two children, Robert Morrow Brown and Lucie S. Brown.

During the famous Van Baker trial, the Independent published a daily issue.

Mr. A.W. Brown died in May 1906.

R.M. Brown

Mr. Brown was the dean of Hancock attorneys and member of one of the county's oldest and most outstanding families, was born in New Cumberland, November 21, 1877, son of the late A.W. Brown and Mary Morrow Brown.  He was educated in the public and high schools of this place and attended Wooster, Ohio College one year, graduating from West Virginia University Law School with the class of 1903 with A.M. and L.L.B. degrees.  He was admitted to the bar the same year.

In 1910 the popular attorney became united in marriage with Leora Scott of Somerset, Pa., who preceded him in death July 23, 1944.  [He died Oct. 4, 1946]

Begins Newspaper Career in 1906

The outstanding public figure began his newspaper career in 1906 as a reporter on the East Liverpool Crisis during his summer vacations, and after the death of his father, founder of the paper in 1877, and for forty years served as its editor and publisher.  But his dynamic personality and burning ambitions carried him into other fields of prominence.  For four years he served as prosecuting attorney of Hancock county, and for six years clerk of the circuit court.  Two terms saw him seated in the House of Delegates, and for many years he acted as chairman of the Republican County Committee, also as the New Cumberland postmaster for four years.  At the time of his death he was secretary of the Hancock County Bar Association, city solicitor for the town of New Cumberland, legal advisor for the Hancock county draft board, divorce commissioner, having served as acting commissioner for the past three years, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and the Booster's club.

He was a Presbyterian, member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, IOOF, K of P and Junior Order, Lions club, and Boosters club.

Surviving are his son, J. Scott Brown, one grand-child, Robert Wilson Brown, one sister, Mrs. M.W. Ballantyne and daughter-in-law, Mrs. Margaret Wilson Brown, all of New Cumberland.

J. Scott Brown

J. Scott Brown, third in succession to publish the Independent, was born on September 19, 1911 in New Cumberland.  He was educated in the public schools, also attended Culver Military Academy.  While in High School he was active in sports and played football for several years.  Later he attended West Virginia University and was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.  After finishing school he was married to Margaret Virginia Wilson of Wellsburg.  They had one son, Robert Wilson.

In 1936, Mr. Brown entered the insurance and real estate business.

He was always active in the civic and social organizations of his community, trying to help in any way he could to better his home town.

He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, Masonic Lodge, Boosters club and served for many years on the Hancock County Republican Executive Committee and one term as member of the House of Delegates.

On January 24, 1956, death claimed the third member in succession of the Brown family to publish the Independent.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

1976 Roberta's Ceylon Letter to G'ma & Hortons -Feb.6

February 6, 1976

Dear Grandma, Uncle Bill, Aunt Mary, & Rob –

Hi!  Postage is a bargain here (only 8¢ for this) so I'm trying to get out my correspondence – HA!  Right now we are in Rutnapura – that is where all the gem mines are in Ceylon.  Yesterday we went out to the gem pits – which is a really deep well – 1 guy is down below and they kept sending down buckets via rope pulley – then he would fill them up and send them back – after this they would work out the dirt.  But while we were there they did not find any gems!

Ceylon is alot like India – but transportation here is not good at all.  We had wanted to go & see what is supposed to be the 3rd largest waterfall in the world – but after figuring it would take 2 &1/2 days minimum to reach – I decided I could look at a picture in the tourist info sheet and be satisfied.  Roads here are bad – buses are even worse – and trains are terrible!  Gee – I sound like a complainer – don't I?  But to get 40 miles the way the crow flies – you would have to go 132 – the way the buses go – and more than that by train.  If a bus has 30 seats they sell 50 tickets – and everyone comes – they are crowded, HOT, and smelly.  But Ceylon is a pretty country – they just need to develop the transportation.

So what we are doing today – going back to Colombo – to enjoy some more good food & good swimming at the Holiday Inn!  We spend our days there & at night return back to our cheap hotel!

Aunt Mary – I think of you whenever I eat a really hot (spicy) meal – they do have good ice cream!  When we get back to Colombo Mike (I did write you about Mike & Mary – didn't I?)  want to go to what is supposed to be the best golf course in Asia.  For $2.00 you can play 18 holes – I think I'm going to give it a try –

Grandma – I wish you could be here to mend my clothes – since November they are beginning to show signs of needing repairs – And Rob – so often I've wished you could have been here to carry my suitcase – after this trip I could work for U.P.S. again – HA!  Rob – you would love some of the beaches here –

Write me in Delhi c/o YMCA Tourist Hotel.  I could use air-conditioning here alot of times ––

Love,
 Berta

Friday, February 05, 2016

1946 Jean's Library School Graduation -Feb.6

1946 Jean's Diploma Library School graduation 
(Case) Western Reserve University -Feb.6

1946 Jean's Letter – info for Library School graduation 
(Case) Western Reserve University

Thursday, February 04, 2016

1976 Roberta's India Letter -Feb.3

February 3, 1976
Dear Family,

Hello am now in Hikkaduwa – a real tourist spot – we (Mike, Mary & myself) have really been disappointed here as it is very expensive, and very tourist oriented.  I don't know if I told you but they thought they had a small house here for 2 weeks – but that did not work out – so the three of us together got a nice room at a small hotel (3 rooms in all) right on the beach!  In the morning the waves are nice – but by the afternoon & evening they really get big!

I'm enclosing some stamps for John – it's up to you if you want to send them to him or wait till he gets home in March.

–– Now Wednesday morning –– almost 7:00 – everyone else is still asleep so good time to write letters – you'll never believe what I'm learning to do – play cards.  It's a good past time here.  So far I've got pinocle (sp?) down pretty good – sometimes I mess up bidding – tend to bid to low!  I always think – gee – if you all could see me playing cards you would not believe it.

We have had fun here – twice we rented goggles to see the fish & coral areef.  But because of the necessity for my glasses I could just set the goggles on the water and then look down – which let me see some fish & some of the coral reefs – but nothing like what I could have seen if I could have gone under swimming.

I'm beginning to get a tan – but the back of me is RED – laid out too much on my back one day!  The water here is really clean – but the people are unbelievable.  They walk around w/ a sheet around them – then on the beach they lie nude on the sheet!  I'm not talking about the natives.  I'm talking about the young people from the U.S., Europe & Australia.  They all try – it seems – to take the prize for being disgusting!  Also you walk past them and they want to borrow $ for food, for a way back to Colombo where they have $ waiting for them (according to their stories), etc.

Because of all this – we are willing to leave the beautiful beach – this morning we are going to Ratnapura –  that is what is called the gem mines of SRI LANKA.  Ceylon is known for its gems – everywhere they are sold – but you have to be careful – or you will get something cheap for a high price.  Also BATIKS are sold everywhere!  That is cotton w/ designs in it – done by hand w/ wax and dyes – I'm not sure exactly how.  You can buy really nice wall hangings, shirts, long skirts, etc. – Alot of batik work is done here – also alot of mask making.  Masks are usually very colorful – and very unusual designs.

To get to Ratnapura – which isn't all that far away – if you would go the way the crow flies – we will spend at least 6 hours – if things go right!  We 1st go to Kalutara (north of here on the sea) then to Ratnapura by bus from there.

I'm not sure exactly what or how much I had told you all about Mike & Mary.  They are from Iowa – a good Catholic family – have 12 children in there family.  Last year (1974) their father died in a car accident.  Mike taught English in Afghanistan.  He has already traveled through Bangkok, Malaysia, etc. – really anxious to get there because he says it's Western w/ a touch of the Orient.  They keep saying – come on & go w/ us – I would love to but don't feel I can take the chance to get the same charter flights they have out of Calcutta & Burma.  Also my $ isn't enough to be buying plane tickets home – to live on, I have plenty, but not for both.

Mary is just a year younger than me – she has worked at Nantucket, Mass the last 3 summers – which is where she made her $ as a waitress.  Has always worked in Restaurants so we have alot in common.  We always laugh here & say we should teach them to be efficient – restaurants here are very slow – food comes in shifts – Food here is very expensive & spend about $2.00 a day for food.  In India I never spent that much!  Here instead of rice it is noodles.  Alot of foods are rationed here – sugar for one thing.  We should have brought sugar from India!  In India on the streets they sell sugar cane juice and also pieces of sugar cane – whre you chew them, get the juice out and then throw away the pulp.

Fruit here is cheap – every morning we have fruit.  Yesterday I had prawns – they were devilled – really hot – kept eating bread & butter which help cut it a little!

The bugs here are bad – mosquitoes, flys, etc. – we bought these coils you burn which help alot.  I don't know why where you have nice climate you have to have bugs too!

I hope you got my message saying that from now on to send my mail to YMCA Guest House, New Delhi.

It's time for breakfast – I'll add more later –

– Now  in Ratnapura – What an experience getting here – just had to take 3 different buses – cost us about 6 Rupees each – less than 50¢!  But took almost 8 hours!  When we got here we saw a nice hotel right near the bus station but we figured that might be too expensive – so we walked 1 mile about in one direction to a guest house – but no rooms – so we ended up at the hotel near the bus station – paying $7.5 Rupees a night each.  That is about 60¢.  The room is nice – the bathroom is down the hall.  We all get 1 room together – last night we played some more cards – when I get home I'll be ready to take all of you on ––

This is beautiful country – hilly – everything nice & green.  But here as in India you can see great poverty – I've had some of the best curds & honey here – it's a desert [sic] – also people eat it for breakfast.  Ate egg hoppers one day – something like a fried pancake –

Please tell everyone hello for me – I'v written few letters & I hope people understand.  Just 5 weeks & I'll be home ––

Love, Berta

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

1976 Catherine's Letter -Feb.2

February 2, 1976
Dear Mom, Dad, and Mary Virginia,

Hi!  I appreciated your calling on my birthday.  Sorry I wasn't more awake because I'm sure I could have carried on a more decent conversation.  Your special delivery letter arrived about 9 A.M.  Thanks for the card and the check.  I was thinking of either buying material to make curtains or buying some curtains but perhaps you would consider that too practical.  Maybe I'll buy some new clothes instead.  At any rate I've got the money collecting interest until I do decide.  Please thank Ruth Shoemaker for the card she sent, that was a surprise.

I've been going out with this guy named Gerry (pronounced like Gary) so on my birthday he took me out to dinner at Russo's which is an Italian restaurant in Milton, N.H. (about 20 miles from here).  I had a very good dinner and they had a band so we stayed afterwards for awhile and danced.  All in all it was a very nice birthday and now I only have 362 days until my next one!

I went bowling again on Saturday but I didn't do much better than the time before.  I guess it is going to take awhile for me to improve.

I also tried to give blood on Saturday but they won't take any from me until June because of my having been to Senegal.  They said though that if I had taken the anti-malaria pills they wouldn't have been able to take my blood for three years.

X got back from the midwest.  (Maybe I told you that on the telephone – I really don't have too much recollection of our conversation).  He thinks there is a pretty good chance of his being accepted. [to graduate school]  It is Champagne-Urbana where he will be going not Chicago.  He is supposed to hear definitely this week.  If he does get accepted then his plans are to leave Sanford either in May or June.  Nothing definite has been decided about whether they will hire me to take his place but from the rumblings it appears that what they will probably do is to make me Acting Librarian for some period like 6 months to a year and then if they decide they like me as librarian and I decide that I like the job then I will become the official librarian.  The addition is still scheduled to be opened in April.

Well, I hope to hear from you again soon.  Let me know if you have any special thoughts on how you would like to see your money spent.

Love,
Catherine

P.S. Thanks too for the the stamps.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

1976 Roberta's Ceylon Letter -Feb.1

February 1, 1976
Dear Family,

Hi!  I've really been living in luxury these last 2 days – at least during the day!  Friday we went to the Holiday Inn – had a good Western Meal I had a Chef Salad and a hamburger and about 6 glasses of water w/ ice cubes in it!  Then yesterday we went back to the Holiday Inn – about 11:00 AM – paid 5 rupees for a ticket to use the pool.  Swam & laid out till about 12:30 then again had lunch – this time I had prawns and another chef salad!  Then went back out to the pool & stayed till 4:00 – we got our moneys worth.

It is very HOT here  humid.  During my splurges I spent $7.50 1st day – only $6.80 yesterday – that is counting everything – room, food, transportation, stamps, etc ––

Colombo is a nice city – alot more  modern & more cultured than India's cities!

Today we are going to Hikkaduwa – that is on the coast – South of here – North of Galle.  Mike & Mary have arranged to have a bungalow there for 2 weeks – and I'll be w/ them.  They are really nice – down to earth – they had not enjoyed India though.  From here they are going Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, etc. – Hawaii – then home!  A trip I'd like to take – if I just had an American Express Card! (HA!)

Postage here is a bargain – 1 Rupee is about 8¢ – this is 1/3 of U.S.'s price!  We've bought 2 coconuts – dry kind, pineapple (12¢) & lots of bananas.  They are very small – but you get 10 to 12 of them for a Rupee!

I'm a little red this morning – in India you cover your body up from head to toe – then too I was out plenty long yesterday.

From now on DO NOT send any more mail to Bombay – please mail c/o Y.M.C.A. Tourist Hotel, New Delhi.  Please pass word on to G'ma, Ruth, etc. –– After I leave Bombay that (YMCA) will be my headquarters I plan to go to Kashmir  perhaps make a trip (quick one) through Pakistan to Karachi.  But this will really upset my Indian friends – India - Pakistan have their problems –– (Also other places in North – ALGRA, Jaipar, Udaipur, Mount Abu, etc.)

Please don't get used to hearing from me every 2 days  HA!  My greetings go to everyone – Ceylon is nice – but still bugs and instead of rice – noodles.

Mary V – saw a snake outside the hotel.

Love, Berta

Monday, February 01, 2016

1976 Roberta's Ceylon Postcards

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, an island country in South Asia near south-east India, was known from the beginning of British colonial rule until 1972 as Ceylon.  It is roughly the size (~25,000 square miles) of West Virginia and is 18 miles from India at its closest point.
Ploughing Scene in Sri Lanka postcard - mailed 1976
1976 Roberta's Ceylon postcard to Wells 
[late January or early February 1976]
Am now in Ceylon a small country near India.  The tea here is really good – also alot of delicious fruit – pineapple, papayas, 5 different kinds of bananas –

I've been swimming – it is only about 85º here – this picture common sight here & in India ––
Love, Berta

Transplanting paddy Sri Lanka postcard - mailed 1976
1976 Roberta's Ceylon postcard to John
[late January or early February 1976]
Hi – Right now am sitting by the pool at the Holiday Inn – enjoying the life of luxury – but in a few hours we will go back to the Y.M.C.A.

Ceylon is a tropical country – constantly HOT – the big drink here is coconut water – you drink it right from the shell.   Save on dishes that way – Hope you are enjoying your last semester –
Love, Berta 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

1976 Roberta's India Letter -Jan.30

Jan. 30, 1976
Dear Family,

My – what I have gone through in the last 24 hours – but I'm now in Colombo – in a "hotel" about 3 or 4 miles from town!  Yesterday about 9:00 AM went to buy my ticket for the ferry – leaving my things at the hotel.  Got there & found out – after waiting in line for almost an hour that once I got the ticket I would have to proceed through all the formalities of customs, etc.  So ran back to the hotel (about 15-20 minute walk) & got my things – then back to buy the ticket.  With luggage I didn't walk – took horse drawn affair.

All foreigners had to buy 1st class tickets – 50 Rupees – !  2nd class only 28 Rupees!  There were alot of young people going over on the ferry – I met & am now staying at the same hotel of a brother & sister from Iowa.  Mike (the brother) just got out of the Peace Corps – taught Eng. in Afghanistan for 2 years.  His sister (Mary) came over in November & travelled overland through Europe 1st.  She is my age – he's a year older.  Most of the young people I've met travelling have been very disappointing – always trying to beg $ out of me – giving some sad story of "woe" – I don't trust any of them – I always say go & see Am. Saxle [?]

Anyway – ferry was to leave at 2:00 – it left at 3:45 – arrived in Ceylon 7:00 – trip was rough – then train for here did not leave till 10:30 – no sleepers available.  Before we got on train they gave us all these cards – BEWARE OF THIEVES on the trains.  Keep possessions secure near you.  Needless to say we all had a sleepless night – arrived in Colombo about 9:00 AM – did see some beautiful country this morning on the train.

Ceylon is – in general – I think cleaner than India – Animals look healthier – Money rate is 12.6 Rupees to a dollar – but everything is more expensive here.  I spent 6 Rupees for breakfast (Amer b'fast – eggs, toast tea.  Mike & Mary very picky about what they eat – they prefer Amer. food – haven't even tried alot of the Indian food.

I have a beautiful view outside my window – coconut trees, palm trees – everything nice & green!  It rained last night – 1st rain I had seen in Asia!

Hope all is fine – am going out now to eat & check the town out w/ Mike & Mary ––

WARM here – Humid – but I don't pay extra for Air/Conditioning.

Love, Berta

Saturday, January 30, 2016

1976 Joe's Dakar Letter -Jan.25

Jan. 25, 1976
Dakar, Senegal
Dear Uncle Harold and Aunt Jean and all,

I must not wait any longer to excuse myself for not writing my Christmas wishes to you all sooner than this.  But with the art show and Cathy's arrival I was quite busy!  We certainly had a fantastic time together and I'm sure you're already aware of this.  We didn't travel as much as when you were here but we did use our time as best as possible.  Our trips to St. Louis, Banjul and Joal were very relaxing, a lot of fun.  I must be wiser now or just a little lazier but those ordeals from Mopti to Sangha were not a part of Cathy's tour!  She seemed to like the beach a lot!  Alion my Senegalese friend gave her tours from day to day in Dakar while I was at the art show so she did do a great deal.  She did some terrific cooking – cookies and great homemade pizza. I gained weight while she was here!  She was an excellent guest and a joy to have around just like all the other Uibles who have been on Horton Tours Incorporated –

Cathy brought over a new camera and said that you all had bought it for me.  I thank you very much because my old camera stopped working after I got back from the States.  Now I'll be able to take those pictures that I surely will want to take my last days here in Senegal.  You are very generous people and I feel very grateful – Thank you –

Enclosed are some materials I used for the art show; the program, price list and posters.  I think you'll enjoy looking through them.  I'm sorry I live so far away that you couldn't come to see the show.  It was a lot of fun to do.  I am happy that Cathy was able to come when she did so she could share in this big event.

I'm wondering about Roberta.  How is she doing in India?  I know she'll do fine and that's she's having new experiences galore.

My friend Bill Tilton went to New Zealand and wrote me that it was truly wonderful.  He said he was definitely going back one day to live.  He did say that jobs were non-existent.  I'd like to hear about your trip there.

Cathy and I enjoyed your Christmas letter.  She wrote and said that you hadn't got postcards that she mailed from Senegal.  That seems very strange indeed –

How has winter been so far?  I miss the warm fire on a cold winter's night.  All that good food too!

In all probability I'll be coming home this summer – leaving Senegal at least for the present.  It will be difficult leaving friends and a way of life that has given me 6 years of happiness.

I'll be looking into that job for Saudi Arabia as soon as I get back.  I hope I can get something with Raytheon Corp.

Well, time to close and say good-bye – I'll be looking forward to hearing from you soon – thank you for your letters.  My Best to you in the New Year –

Love, Joe


Friday, January 29, 2016

1976 Roberta's India Letter -Jan.28


January 28, 1976
Dear Family,

Am now in Rameswaram – am staying in a lodge run by the Ramanathaswamy Temple people – 6 Rupees a night – plain but clean – Laid down to take a nap as I took the 5:00 AM train out of Madurai – since I had no alarm I slept (?) w/ my light on all night – as it would have been trouble jumping in and out of the mosquito net to see what time it is!  1st time for me to ride "passenger train" – and what a riot.  To give you a hint of how it was – only 100 miles between Madurai and here but it took almost  7  hours!  Every ten minutes we made a stop – some short, some not so short!  It's HOT here – if air conditioned travel was within my budget I would sure use it.  But you can fly for the same price as you travel Air-Cond. on the trains!

Madurai I really liked – as I wrote the Temple is out of this world.  Also went to the palace there – built in the 17th century– it was OK. But not all that much after seeing the temple!

K.R. Baby gave me alot of handicrafts (birds carved from coconut tree bark, wine glasses from coconut shell, woven mats, etc. also some jewelry I'm not wild about.  I hate a heavy suitcase so I went to a tailor & got them wrapped up and sent on their way.  Also sent some clothes w/ them.  When I get home remind me to tell you all the hassels [sic] of sending a package out of this country!  But to "appreciate" it you must go through it yourself!

Back to Madurai – there is a Gandhi Memorial Museum there – it is full of pictures & quotations of his – told his life history also in story & pictures.  He was a great man – kind of like Abe Lincoln or Martin Luther King.  He was for the common man & the problems he faced.  I wrote down lots of his quotes – here is one I thought exceptionally good – "A civilization is to be judged by its treatment of minorities."  Also just 2 days before he was shot to death he said "Death is a true friend.  It is only our ignorance that causes us grief."

The museum also had alot of stuff that belonged to him – clothes, furniture, etc.  He was – I repeat – a great man!

The South in some ways is cleaner than the North – of course I say that w/out being an expert on the North – since my stay there was limited.  If I had the time & money I'd like to stay another couple of months.  I'm just getting good now at checking out hotel:  I look for 1) bugs, 2) bathrooms, 3) Bed.  Also I'm getting good at washing clothes out by hand & at asking questions & getting action.  Maybe I should try to write tour guide books for a living.  Fodor I find to be expensive – and India on $5 & $10 book is ok but some of the places he mentions – I swear not even an Indian would stay – rooms too small, poorly equipped, undesirable locations, slightly deteriorated condition – to make a long story short.

Next letter from Ceylon – Hello to all – hope everyone is A-ok ––

Love, Berta

Thursday, January 28, 2016

1976 Catherine's Letter -Jan.26

Monday-January 26, 1976
Dear Mom, Dad, and Mary Virginia,

Hi!  Received your letter of 1/21 on Saturday (1/24).  What is Serena's new address?  I sent her a birthday card to her old address.  I like the carpet you got.  That room must look really different.

As you may or may not know from the letter I wrote to Mary Virginia, I went to visit John yesterday.  I took the bus down in the middle of the afternoon and the last bus back to Sanford returning here about 11:15.  We had a good time.  I saw more of the campus than I had seen before (the only things I was previously familiar with was Browning House, and the library.  We had the buffet supper at the Exeter Inn which was very good and featured nice thick slabs of roast beef.  John really ate it up.  His new room is bigger and gets more light than his old one did.  There also seemed to be a constant stream of guys coming to visit him and he said that he felt much more at home than he did last year.  I showed him my pictures from Africa and he showed me a letter he had recently received from Roberta.

Thank you for stopping to see Mrs. [Priscilla] Walker.  I am glad that she got the flowers.

Please wipe the idea of me and a car out of your minds.  If I wanted a car I could have the land rover, or I could sell the land rover and buy something more compact and easier on the gas mileage.  However, I DO NOT WANT a car.  If after a period without a car I decide that I do want one then that would be the time to get one.

I am tentatively planning to go to Philadelphia on February 13 and returning through NY on either the 15 or 16.  The 16th is a holiday.  I have not yet heard from Doug and Debbie in Phil whether this is agreeable with them.  If Dad is going to be free the following weekend I could gt to NY or he could come to Sanford or we could meet in between.  I am quite flexible on that account as long as I don't take too much time off from the library.

I went bowling again last week and although I improved slightly over the time before I still have a long ways to go.

I got a birthday card and a letter today from Grandma.  She and the Hortons seem to be doing well.

Well, I hope to hear from you soon and please let me know what options you come up with for getting together in February.

Love,
Catherine

1906 J.W. Ballantine letter -Jan.24

Today we have a letter from J.W. Ballantine to Nat (Ballantyne), written on stationery  of Hill and Ballantine, Hardware and Groceries, Bellevue, Idaho.  We can presume they were related, though the connection is currently unknown.  Nat had a younger brother, James, who moved to Idaho sometime between 1910-1920 and in 1920 was a general store merchant in Boise.  Possibly there is a connection.

J.W. "Uncle Jim" Ballantine – who was he?  Here are some details:

  1. He wrote a letter to Nat Ballantyne in 1906 signed "Uncle Jim"
  2. He was partner in a a Hardware / Grocery store in Bellevue, Idaho in 1906
  3. Nat's father, Alexander Ballantyne (1841-1885) Had three brothers who would have been Nat's uncles, David (born 1837) – nothing is known about him after 1860; George, who died in 1900 and James, born in 1840, died in 1907.  Alexander also had four sisters.  
  4. A woman named Lena is mentioned.  Jim's wife, Philena, born 1843, died in 1907.
  5. In 1889 James W Ballantine was appointed Postmaster of Muldoon, Idaho.  Muldoon is now a ghost town in the mining area, not far from Bellevue.
  6. According to Pennsylvania Veterans Burial information, he had been a Col. in the Civil War.
  7. Though his Civil War records show his name spelled as Ballantyne, he evidently changed the spelling as not only does this stationery show his name spelled Ballantine but his and Lena's gravestones in the Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh also has the Ballantine spelling.
  8. Jim and Lena had a daughter, Clara, age 4, listed in the 1870 census.  Presumably she died before 1880 as she is not listed in that census.
  9. Lena and Jim both died in 1907 and are buried in Pittsburgh.  


The letter follows:


Jan 24th, 1906

Dear Natt

I should have written you long ago – but I expected that I would have made arrangements to visit Pittsburgh this winter but my partner (Mr Hill) has been afflicted with rheumatism that he could not attend to business – so I had to remain at home –

Lena – met with an accident about 3 months ago – we started on a visit to Boise City – and in getting of [off] the cars at Shoeshone missed the platform in the dark and struck the edges of the platform and injured her leg below the knee – she did not complain at the time – but on arriving at Boise City – it became so bad that I had to take her to the hospital – and she had to remain there two weeks before I was able to bring her home –– she has intirely [sic] recovered now and joins in sending love to all – We had a severe snow storm about a week ago – snow falling to the depth of 3 ft – and has had the effect of cutting of business almost entirely – and will remain so until the roads can be opened up again.  The outlook for business here in the spring looks very favorable – as quite – a number of new mines are being opened up – and will be in shape to produce ore as soon as the roads are opened – in the spring ––

We send love to all – and tell your mother we would be glad to hear from her ––

Your Uncle,
Jim

More about J.W. Ballantine can be found here – Idaho State Historical Society, Reference Series about Muldoon

  • In April, 1883, J. W. Ballentine came out from Pittsburgh to organize operations at Muldoon more efficiently. That spring he had twenty charcoal kilns in production there. Then he contracted for a forty-mule pack train to bring eight tons of upper Fish Creek iron ore six miles each day to a wagon road.
  • Running out of operating funds, he had to shut down entirely in October. In November he managed to add ten miners to his staff of four; encouraged by finding some carbonate ore rich in silver as well as lead, they undertook a lot of additional development which incidentally provided an ore reserve of more than four hundred tons that winter. By May of 1884, they had blocked out enough low grade values to justify an investment in a fifty-ton concentrator. That spring Ballentine returned to Pennsylvania long enough to obtain a lease, June 1, that would enable him to enlarge his plant and operate Muldoon's mine with a partner.
  • By October of 1885 he completed a large moving project, hauling all his tram and mining equipment from Muldoon to a more promising North Star lode on the east fork of Wood River. Then in 1886 he went into cattle ranching at Muldoon.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1986 Family Letter from HH & Jean -Jan.26


Sunday, January 26, 1986

Dear Family:

We have just finished dinner in the living room by the fireplace.  Leon Salisbury has been cutting down some of our old trees so we have plenty of wood to use.  The DP&L crew is also to come and cut out some of the bigger trees.

Today at Church was "Women in the Pulpit Sunday."  Ann Bailey, a teacher in the New Vienna Schools spoke on the provocative subject, "Zipper Your Mouth."  The Bell Choir had the special number and we had a good turn out.  Jane Ann Hause ?, her husband and their baby were at the services.

Yesterday, we went to Wilmington in the afternoon, made a stop at the new Super X Drug Store in Wilmington and got a few of their specials.  Supper time found us at East Clinton High School where the Band Boosters were having a supper for fund raising.  Think it was the first time we had been back to the high school for a long time.

Last Wednesday we took off in the truck for West Virginia.  We stayed at an old country inn, the the Wells Hotel in Sistersville that had been in Country Inns, the one the Morgans gave us a few years ago and the ones put out by Norman Simpson (Country Inns and Back Roads).  The next morning we went a few miles north to Paden City to get a load of marbles.  They have quite a facotry there where we saw it in operation and also the Corning factory just across the road.

We just listened to the tape Mary Virginia gave us for Christmas (hadn't been able to find the tape recorder) and enjoyed it so very much – her synthesizer is used along with some background tapes really is a wonderful tape: something to cherish for many years to come.  Also played the tape that Roberta sent us that Anne Hamilton had been sent by her family on her 72nd birthday and found it enjoyable and glad she was willing to share with us.  They had written new words to Yippee-eye-oh (spelling?) and it was so clever.

Interested in hearing how Serena's classes at Roosevelt are going as well as Roberta's at Phoenix Community College on meal planning.  Both of Serena's are math related – computers basic & possible college algebra.  Talked to her on her birthday before any sessions and not able to reach her afterwards yet.  Yes January is a birthday month for Carol, Catherine and Bill Horton also have birthdays to celebrate this month.  Glad to have had X, John, another couple and their two children spend part of last weekend with us.

It was nice having John and X and their friends here last Sunday and Monday (Martin Luther King Day).  We hated to have to leave them Sunday evening but couldn't talk them into going to the concert at Wilmington College where Mary Virginia was singing and playing.  Mie Young's parents were there and they stopped off in New Vienna afterwards to see John and meet X.

[Love, etc.]

1976 Roberta's India Letter to GHU & Hortons -Jan.26


January 26, 1976
Dear Grandma, Uncle Bill, Aunt Mary & Rob,

Hello!  And happy Independence Day – Indian that is!  Since I've been here there have been so many holidays – 1 reason for that is that there are so many different religions here and whenever one religion has a holiday – everyone celebrates.

I'm now in Madurai – it is one of the 4 holiest cities in India.  It has one of the biggest & most beautiful temple here – inside the temple is a hall that is called 1,000 pillar hall – but there are actually only 997 pillars.  (I didn't count them – this is a known fact!)  The Hindu people flock here to see & wash their feet in the holy water!

I'm staying in a gov't run tourist bungalow in Madurai – it's plan and simple – but clean – costs 6 Rupees a night – about 72¢!  No hot water but cold water from 5:00-7:00 AM and 6:00-8:00 PM.  That has been the case in most places in India.  Very few places can you just go & turn on the water anytime during the day!

Kerela state (South India) was beautiful – it reminded me of how Florida must have been a hundred years ago.  Beauty without commercialism!  Rice & tapico [?] (something like a potato) is the diet of the South.

I'm planning to go Thursday to Ceylon – the 29th of January.

Grandma – I haven't seen a wheel chair in India yet!  Travelling in India is an experience – I always thought I was strong willed before but this trip has made me more so – good or bad I'm not sure which!  Sometimes things don't come so easy here – but then the sense of accomplishment is a great feeling!

I hope all of you are doing fine – often I think of you – how Uncle Bill must be playing golf (& reading the Wall Street Journal) – Aunt Mary practicing the piano, How is the SOAP OPERA?, Rob working out & listening to his music (or studying!?) and Grandma washing the dishes, folding clothes and peeling vegetables (& watching some T.V.).

Me – I'm getting good at living out of a suitcase.  I'm already dreaming of a trip to the other Asia countries in about another year – I'll have to work a little in between.

Hoping ALL is A-OK.

Love, 
Berta

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1976 Roberta's India Letter -Jan.26


January 26, 1976
Dear Family,

Hi!  Have been busy the last hour trying to get out postcards to people I've been meaning to write since I got to India some 10 weeks back!

Got to Madurai this morning – 7:00 AM – came on night train from Trivandrum.  Kerala is by far my favorite place in India – not so much to see & do there but oh the land was beautiful.

Just in the last 2 days I've been convinced what a small world it is.  1st on Sunday I went w/ K.R. Bady [?] to Mitraniketan – "an experiment in education – community centered" & met & talked to the director – who went to Antioch College (Yellow Springs) & studied under Dr. Morgan – whose daughter I went to FBS w/.  Also he worked w/ Pendle Hill [?] – Philly & thus knew alot of the good Quakers I know!  He is an Indian – most interesting program he has going – then in the Trivandrum bus station I met a girl from Chlesea (sp?) area – N.Y.C. – whose family happens to belong to Hudson Guild – but have never been out to the farm.

Alot of mosquitoes here – they buzz all around my netting – but don't get in w/ me – the South is nice but the bitter comes w/ the sweet.

I never went into details but from Trivandrum to Cape Camorin I sat w/ a couple from Bangalore.  When we got there we went around to the hotels – mostly full – we went to the room – anyway they got a room for  3  & treated me like their daughter.  She has a brother in Pittsburgh – he is in the Air Force & she used to teach English literature in college before she was married.  Have just been married 2 months – both in their 30s.  I have their name in my suitcase – and I don't want to get out from under my net.  Really a nice couple – I have met very few people that have given me trouble – if they do I zap them w/ a story than I'm an advocate (attorney) here on business – the story works like medicine every time!

The temple here is beautiful – I went around w/ a guide for 2 hours almost so you know it must be something!  Such details found in the carvings – etc.  Temple most beautiful one I've seen in India.

Plan to go to Ceylon 29th – oh – I made reservation in Trivandrum – March 12th – 1;15 AM – leave Delhi for NY.  15:35 – arrive N.Y. Leave La Guardia (sp?) at 19:00 – arrive Columbus 21:00.  Is this ok?  Please confirm.  Best connection I could get – I must be in Columbus landed by March 13th or ticket not good.  Will find out in Madras if flights are confirmed.  It was funny – the man said Columbus has 3 airports – you will be flying into the Columbia S.C. one – Finally we got it straightened out –

Thought I'd never find climate too hot for me – but plenty warm here!

Love, Berta

1986 Roberta's Letter -Jan.26

1/26/86 11:00PM
Dear Folks,

I've been getting out the January birthday cards – Carol, Catherine & Uncle Bill!

Mother, remember the play we saw advertised in Diamond's Dept Store – I did go back & buy the tickets.  It was quite an experience!  We enjoyed the play & also the experience!  The Unitarian Church is sure liberal.  They had a full Bar right in the back of the sanctuary – lots of people sitting in the sanctuary drinking beer & eating pretzels.  Lots of booths – pro abortion & other issues – Serena would have loved it – Mary Virginia would not have been caught dead there!

Friday was a busy day for me – going w/ Sr. Village to the Disney Ice Show – we were given 30 tickets ($9 value each) for the ice show.  Only 12 from here went – so enjoyed giving rest of tickets away to friends of S.V.  Sid picked me up there & then we went to PC.

We have tickets this Thursday to the play – Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf – at Phx Little Theater.

We continue to enjoy the exercise bike – now I've got ear-phones to the Radio/TV that I can use when on the bike.  Sid uses the bike w/ more tension that I do!

Would you please send back Ladies Against Women article to me?

Thanks for calling this p.m. – always enjoy talking w/ both of you –––

Much Love,
Roberta

Monday, January 25, 2016

1976 Catherine's Letter to MV -Jan.25

Sunday
January 25, 1976
Dear Mary Virginia,

Hi!  Thanks for your letter.  It was good to hear from you.  I am sitting under the hair dryer right now so thought it would be a good time to answer your letter.

This afternoon I'm taking the bus to Exeter to visit John.  We are going to go to Vespers, then to a pancake supper.  After that some guy is going to talk and then I will get the bus back to Sanford.

Thursday night this guy named Gordon took me out to dinner and then we went bowling.  We were going to go snowmobiling but it was too cold (about +2º) and very windy.  I had veal and eggplant for dinner.  I'm still not very good at bowling but I'm getting better.  I remember once a long time ago going bowling with you in Wilmington and you beat me.  Do you go anymore?

It's too bad you didn't do so well in school the last six weeks.  Maybe you should study more!  What kind of stuff are you learning anyway?  Have you read any books lately?

Well, I hope you write to me again soon!

Love, 
Catherine

1976 John's Letter –Jan.22

Thurs. Jan. 22, 1976
Dear Family,

As you may notice my enclosure, you probably realize the reason for this letter.  I was taken by surprise to receive application forms from Cong. Harsha for a page (summer) appointment.  It just came today so I am very anxious to complete it as soon as possible.  If you will please fill it out and send it to him (Harsha) directly, I would appreciate it.  I, myself, have forms, essays and transcripts to prepare.  But if I have any chance whatsoever, it's well worth my time.

All is going much better this week for me.  I was able to make changes in my schedule so that all four of my classes are from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the perfect schedule.  I still have only three classes each day and work in library an hour each morning.  In addition, I can stay in my squash section.

Political activity is picking up.  Several Presidential candidates are coming to speak at the Academy, including Shriver, Reagan & Carter.  The others are sending representatives.  I met Shriver's son last night, as he stayed with Father Morrissey.

I have a very busy weekend coming up.  Catherine called last night to say she was coming down Sunday evening for a few hours.

The weather is really cold.  The wind today, about 20 m.p.h., reminded me of Chicago as I was practically swept off my feet.  Down to -5º tonight.

Well, sorry to make this so short.  However, I have alot of paperwork to dive into and afternoon mail is picked up shortly.  Hope all is well.

Love, 
John

P.S. I could sure use some 13¢ stamps.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

1956 J. Scott Brown passes away –Jan.24

John Scott Brown was born on September 19, 1911, in New Cumberland, West Virginia, the child of Robert Morrow "Bert" (1877-1946) and Leora Hay Scott Brown (1880-1944). He married Margaret Virginia Wilson (1913-1976) on June 15, 1937. They had one child during their marriage, Robert Wilson Brown (1941-1983). He died on January 24, 1956, in Weirton, West Virginia, at the age of 44, and was buried in New Cumberland, West Virginia.  He was a nephew of Lucy Brown Ballantyne (1880-1957), first cousin of Jean Wallace Ballantyne Uible (1922-2011) and first cousin once removed of the Ballantyne-Dailey-Uible cousins.


1956 J. Scott Brown passes away –Jan.24
John Scott Brown, 44, editor and publisher of the New Cumberland Independent, a Republican weekly publication, died in Weirton General Hospital at 6:50 a.m. Tuesday [1/24/1956].

He was admitted to the hospital Sunday night.

Mr. Brown also engaged in the real estate and insurance business in Hancock County.  He was a member of the executive committee of the Hancock County Republican Party.

He was a charter member of the New Cumberland Lions Club and held memberships in the New Cumberland Boosters Club and at Williams Country Club, Weirton.

Mr. Brown was a member of the Masonic Lodge No. 22 AF & AM in New Cumberland.

He was a graduate of New Cumberland High School and attended West Virginia University where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi social fraternity.

Mr. Brown was a member of the Presbyterian Church.

A native of this community, he was born Sept. 11, 1911, a son of the late Atty Robert Morrow Brown and Leora Scott Brown.  Mr Brown inherited the paper from his father who was a Republican leader.

He leaves his widow, Mrs. Margaret Wilson Brown; one son, Robert Wilson Brown, 14, at home and an aunt Mrs. Lucie Brown Ballantyne of New Cumberland.

Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Funeral home, in charge of Rev. Wm. S. Flurkey, pastor of the Presbyterian church.  Interment in the local cemetery.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

1946 Jean's Salary

In 1946 Jean W. Ballantyne began employment with the Cleveland Public Library at a salary of $0.81 (81¢) per hour.  A paycheck and a salary increase notice are scanned below.

According to the Cleveland Public Library website the Glenville Branch opened in 1909 in the Village of Glenville's old Town Hall.  In 1927 a new building was built at 660 Parkwood.  That library was replaced in 1978 and is now located at 11900 St. Clair Ave.  The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History website informs us that Glenville was incorporated as a village in 1870, settled first by farmers and then by immigrants from Scotland, Ireland and England.  In 1905 it was annexed into the City of Cleveland.  It's lakeshore location made it a fashionable summer residence for Cleveland's affluent families.  By the 1930s the population was of mostly Jewish background with a growing contingent of African Americans.  Riots occurred there in 1968.

Later in 1946 Jean was promoted and moved to a different branch.  We will learn those details in a few months.

1946 Jean's paycheck from Cleveland Public Library -Jan.23
at 81¢ per hour this paycheck would reflect 12.2 hours
1946 Jean's Salary Increase -Mar.1 Glenville Branch, Cleveland Public Library

Friday, January 22, 2016

1976 Roberta's India Letter to John -Jan.20


Jan. 22, 1976
Dear John –

Thanks for your "Christmas letter" – and glad that you are thinking about working at Hudson Dream Farm – to me the job as concession operator would be a good one for you.  You would be the one to decide how much you would make – as it would be your job to keep "merchandise" in – also you decide the hours you want to work – and of course – the more hours, more effort put into stocking it – the more $!

I'm thinking seriously about going back – as driver.  I must be writing Mr. Ream but as it stood last year I pretty much have the job wrapped up!  You sign a contract for such & such a job – so you should be safe from being switched to another job.

I'll be there for your graduation!  My calendar is marked – I don't want to miss seeing the 195th class of P.E.A. graduate – which includes my sophisticated brother.

Yesterday I had some day – came from Alleppey [Alappuzha] to Quilon [Kollam] by boat –46 miles – took 9 hours – not the luxury type boat either.  It was a riot – packed full of people getting off & on w/ all their things every 10 to 15 minutes.  Was beautiful – coconut trees along the say ––

I can't believe the classy offices at Wells – who is going to get them?  Yes – I want where the action is – the braiding room ––

The South is really nice – but few "fair skinned" people make it down this way – thus I seem to be the center of attention.  In Trivandrum [Thiruvananthapuram] I'm treating myself to a 1st class hotel – hot water, western toilet – comfortable bed!  The South has more than its share of bugs – I'll be in Ceylon in about a week – will try to get you some stamps from there.

Hey – did they ever find out about the thieves?

See you in March – but in the meantime let me hear about your program for the summer of 1976!

Love,
Berta

Thursday, January 21, 2016

1976 Roberta's India Letter to Hortons -Jan.22


January 22, 1976
Dear Uncle Bill, Aunt Mary, Grandma & Rob
      (and could I forget Kitty)

1st of all if my memory serves me right – it is the time of year to wish you a Happy Birthday, Uncle Bill!  I hope you have a happy one and I'll be thinking about you on the 31st!

I'm now in Trivandrum – just 50 some miles from the Southern most point in India – where I plan to go tomorrow.  Three oceans meet there – the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, & the Indian Ocean!

Yesterday I had an experience – came by backwater from Alleppey to Quilon – took about 9 hours to cover 40 some miles – beautiful all the way – coconut trees lined the water – Then from Quilon came on here by bus ––

I like India – but travelling is some kind of experience – getting from place to place is almost as "rewarding" as seeing the sights once there!

In Trivandrum I'm treating myself to the luxuries of life – comfortable bed, hot water, western style plumbing, etc.  It's costing me just less than $5.00 a night.  OH – I even have a bath-tub!  In most of the places I stay you take a bath out of a old medal bucket!

I bought a "Hindi made easy book" and learned alot of phrases, words, etc. But these people don't speak Hindi – Even the Indian people have trouble when they travel outside of their own area.

Except in the big cities (Delhi, Bombay & Calcutta) the telephone numbers are only 2 or 3 digits (i.e. 29, 62, etc.)

You can write me at Bombay – then they will forward it on to me.

Hope 1976 is off to a good start for every one ––Eat a green salad for me – I eat enough rice for all of you ––

Love, Berta

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

1976 Roberta's India Letter -Jan.20


January 20, 1976
Dear Family,

Am now in Alleppey – came by bus today from Cochin.  It was with comfort in mind.  The journey just took 3 hours – but if you consider it is only 64 km (about 90 miles I think) you see that travel in the roads are slow.  The roads themselves are not good – narrow in alot of places – where only 1 way traffic could go at 1 time.  I was really taken in by the beauty of the land – should have taken alot of pictures but instead talked to a Catholic priest most of the way here.

None of my tourist books gave any hotels for Alleppey – when I got here I asked an older couple sitting behind me if they could recommend a suitable hotel.  The wan went off & asked a policeman – soon there were about 10 men gathered around discussing where would be the best place for me to spend the night.  Finally it was decided the YWCA would be the best – so they put my suitcase & sleeping bag in the police "car" and I jumped in – and they personally delivered me to the YWCA.  I felt a little funny getting out of the police car – more like a jeep – all eyes were upon me as I got out!

My room here is adequate – 1 chair, 1 Indian type bed – no sheets – no pillow – Do have attached Indian style bathroom.Am paying 5 Rupees for the room – and could have had 3 meals for another 3 rupees.  But I decided against that as I wanted to go out this afternoon & check the town out.  Also I'll be leaving tomorrow AM before breakfast is served.

Alleppey is a water-borne city – it is the coil center – of Kerala.  Coil rope is made from coconut husks – then made into mats & carpets.  The food here is also cooked w/ coconut oil – had an egg omelette for lunch – for supper had vegetable Biryani.  That is just a fancy name for RICE – It's like fried rice – has good stuff mixed in w/ it – a nice change from white rice.  I have 1 request – when I get home NO RICE, POTATOES, or BREAD!  I would love to see a Ponderosa right now – eat a big steak & good salad.  I think I would leave the potato though!  Also ICE would be a treat for me.

Lamb (mutton) is very cheap here – also fish – but I'm careful where I eat meat.  Chicken is always the most expensive thing on the menu.

Tomorrow I leave for Quilon by boat – – it takes 8-10 hours – cost 1.50 (18¢), that's a pretty cheap days entertainment & means of getting somewhere at the same time.  The boat is to leave at 7:00 AM – but I am to be down there by 6:00 AM as they don't sell tickets ahead of time.  I could have left tonight to Quilon by boat at 10:00 PM but I decided I would rather put the $ out for a hotel room so I could make the trip during the day time.  Since I don't have an alarm I have to go to bed early so I'll be sure to wake up!

I got your letter yesterday – written Jan. 1st – THANKS – was good to get news from home.

–– It is now Wednesday – 21st of Jan.  Have to laugh when I reread above paragraph as to going to bed early – Last night as I was writing this 3 girls at the YWCA knocked on my door & wanted to know I wanted to go with them to hear a revival – so I went.  Happened to be an American preacher from PA – but did not have a chance to talk to him.  Service wass suppose to begin at 8:00 – we got there early at 8:15 – it got started a little after 8:30.  About 10:15 we got back – the mistress made some tea and we sat up & talked till almost 12:00, came to find out one of the girls was from Trivandrum – but working in Alleppey as a teacher  All 3 girls work in Alleppey.  I seemed to be the only transient guest there.

So this morning at 6:00 they (3 girls) woke me up and then went down to the boat jetty w/ me.  Very few times have I had to see myself off – the boat left about 7:30 & the trip was beautiful – just – little slow!  the boat was full of people – and All types of things – we made it seemed a hundred stops – w/ people getting off & on – Most of the time the boat was packed – I'm glad I made the trip – I'll never forget it.  Got to Quilon about 5:00 – and bus station was right next to boat jetty.  I had thought of staying there but all my books had no place to suggest so I went to see about next bus & it was ready to pull out – I got to Trivandrum about 6:30 – made some phone calls – YWCA, 2 other cheap places  but no rooms.  So called up MASCOT – and from last night to tonight went from Rags to Riches!  Fodor's book has it  mentioned as 1st class – reasonable!  It's also in the India on $5 & $10 a day book.  My room is 41 Rupees – but it is the NICEST I've had in India.  Has little extras like – soap, towels, even stationery (but its heavy!).  The bedroom is as big as most of the restaurants in India – I have a big sitting room and a WESTERN style bathroom w/ tub that has both HOT & COLD water!

1st thing I did was to take a bath.  And I needed one too after being on the boat & bus today.

It cost me less than $1.00 to go from Cochin to here – $1.00 + 2 days – HA!  Kerala is a beautiful state – but full of my friends the mosquitoes – Last night at the YWCA there were lizards in my room about 3-4 inches long.  Mary V. you would have liked them.

So now I'm in Trivandrum – haven't seen much of it – except the bus station & then to here.  Tomorrow I'll go to the tourist office (which is right here in the hotel) then plan to go by bus to KOUALAM Beach – it is said to be one of the finest in the world.  Only about 8 miles from here.  Then Friday plan to go to Cape Comorin [Kanyakumari] – Southern most tip of India.  Will go & come back same day.  Will go on bus from bus station – not tour – K.B. (don't know her name – but girl at Y.W. from Trivandrum) gave me explicit directions as to what buses to take – etc.  Then on Saturday I am to meet her as she is coming home for holiday – Republic Day – Jan. 26th.  I had planned to go to Ceylon that day – from Rameswarem (by ferry – city runs on Mondays & THursdays) but won't go now till 29th or 2nd.  Will finish up the South 1st – except for Madras & Pimpri-Chinchwad.  Will probably leave here Sunday or Monday for trekking.  Will talk to tourist office tomorrow about best schedules (bus & train) there.

I'm ashamed how few letter & cards I've written – esp. to Grandma & the Hortons.  I hope you pass on the news in my letters – or the letters themselves.

It is HOT in Southern India – today in the boat you could see alot of boats go by & the people in them had umbrellas over their heads.  My room has 2 big fans – nice right now – but come mid-afternoon – another story.

People are dark – look very close to a negro.  They stare at fair skinned people –

I'm enclosing some pictures from Otty – please send them on to G'ma.  Now don't I look good & healthy in them – TOO HEALTHY – too much bread, rice & potatoes!

Again – thanks for your letter – I'm anxious to see (after March 13) the new offices at Wells!  I have plenty of film – alot of times a photo doesn't get taken because it either seems inadequate or I'm too busy talking – etc.  India would be a good country to have a movie camera in.

Bombay seemed much more modern than Dakar.  Bombay is THE CITY in India.  It's the fashion city, the Industrial city, the "Hollywood", etc.

I finished up the soybeans [?] my 1st couple of weeks gone.  The space in my suitcase is OK – I did mail a small but heavy package to you all from Bangalore.  You won't be getting it for awhile – hopefully when it comes you won't have to pay duty on it.

I'm sleepy tonight – after my short night of sleep last night!  But I was glad to have the chance to talk to some Indian girls.  You do not see India girls (my age) travelling – I don't know what they do w/ themselves!

I've had 3 letters from Jackie Phalen – each time w/ only a 10¢ stamp on them and they come just as fast as yours!  Only Jackie would get by w/ it!  Every time I can plan for enough I let Banerjee know my address – then he forwards my mail on – he wonders what I'm up to – as he said I could cover the South in 3 weeks.  I'd like to get back to Bombay but I feel that while I'm in the South I should see what there is to see – also as I've said before – travelling from place to place is no picnic & I find I have to give myself time to rest up in between.

In the South you eat off of Banana leaves – after each person thrown out.

Got J.B. letter – written Dec. 25.  I thought about him alot today as I saw many row boats coming down the river.  As I said before – it was beautiful trip – coconut trees lines the waterways.

Hope each one of you are fine – my trip is more than half over – next year (or maybe 2 years from now) I'll take a LONG trip – covering the Middle East and India Again!

My greetings to one & all –––

Love,
Berta



Monday, January 18, 2016

1976 Catherine's Letter -Jan.19


January 19, 1976
Dear Mom, Dad, and Mary,

Hi!  I'm trying to be more regular in letter writing so I am sending you another letter even though I have not yet heard from you!

I got my pictures back on Saturday.  Amazing, but most of them turned out.  I will send some of them on for you to see at a later date.  I need to look at them some more and see which ones Joe might like to have copies of.  I think I'm having more trouble readjusting to American life than I had in Africa.  My digestive system is not yet completely back to normal.

My social life seems to be picking up somewhat.  I went dancing Wednesday night and last night.  Saturday night I went to a country much show featuring Red Sovine (if you ever heard of him) and Sunday afternoon I went to a spaghetti dinner – party.

X has gone to Chicago this week so I am in charge at the library.  I hope nothing terrible happens while he's gone.  It sounds like he has a fairly good chance of getting into the doctorate program at the University of Illinois.  They don't accept very many though so time will tell.  At the moment I am very satisfied with my life in Sanford so my plans for the near future do not include moving away from here.  I was thinking though that I might spend the remaining one week of my vacation in New Vienna this year, seeing as I haven't really spent much time with you all during the last few years.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Love, Catherine

Items from Uible photo album