An "international" letter, written on stationary from Mexico. This is pre-Philmont and indicates John's impending illness which would send him to the hospital instead of Philmont. Apologies for getting these letters and postcards out of chronological order. Many of them I found quite recently (while looking for something else) in a box of things which I thought were mostly Ballantyne related.
Serena’s in Peru, Roberta’s in Europe, Catherine’s in Michigan, John's not feeling well but still hopes to go to Philmont. Transcription follows.
July 14, 1972
Dearest Family –
So glad to hear from all of you just in the last day or so. Sorry that you not gotten any of our cards or letters til you were ready to mail your letter, Serena. Roberta, we got your letter written in Venice and the card from Florence, both in tonight’s mail. Quite a trick of yours, Catherine to send two cards with the same stamp. Will see that Mrs. [Priscilla] Walker get s heres. She just called yesterday morning to get your address.
Everyone is asking about our roving daughters and next week will add the male members of the family to the list. Everything is shaping up for Daddy and John to leave next Monday morning. They have been taking off on a little hike every evening with an increased load - got it up to 45 pounds Wednesday and then I think John overdid it for has not been feeling too well yesterday or today. Dizzy and sore - Grandma was so worried about him, she had me call Dr. Hale and we ran over this afternoon to have him checked for a possible hernia but he was checked out OK, thanks goodness. [But evidently didn’t check for any disease picked up in Mexico.]
Grandma had ceiling trouble or rather with her bathroom and had the plumber from Martinsville up. He tore a big hole in the kitchen ceiling which he covered over once but Grandma has had John several times to add more layers to it before she has it papered. It is such a hard place to get to and so this had added to John’s difficulties. But John did do a real good job. When you are ready to have your plastering done, [Catherine’s] X, just call on him.
We have run into a snag with Bill Marine so they aren’t going to have their “you-know-what” Roberta to go to Philmont but may have it real soon - too bad for I know that Gene Williams was counting on it too but they ran into a snag with the trim according to the latest report. It is so close to the time for the 1973 models that it would be nice in some ways to wait but haven’t done anything about it yet. Might never get Daddy in the mood again for such an expenditure.
Too bad about your blouse Serena - is that the purple and brown one that you took with you? Hope you are able to find something down there to go with what you have. Sorry about your shoe, Roberta. The good shoes that you took were your blues ones like Serena’s brown? No doubt that you can get it fixed if you are in one place long enough. Sorry to hear about your poison ivy, Catherine - how about an annual shot? Guess it has been a while since you last had it though. We found that Bactine works about as well as anything - also Fels Naptha soap. No doubt it is a thing of the past now, I hope.
Miss Lucy Hildebrant was so happy to get your card Roberta and was so showing it to everyone at Americare. There was a big article in the paper about Louise Waldren which we will try to enclose - too bad that she must suffer from Muscular Dystrophy but she talks quite frankly about it.
Grandma is worrying about your beverages down in Peru, Serena. Roberta, if you don’t want to drink the water, order bottled water (not necessarily mineral water) - at least what we got in Africa was very good. We also drank a lot of coke & other bottled drinks in both Africa and lately in Mexico to be on the safe side. Was hard to believe that it was so cold when we left for Mexico and cold again when we came back - 54º but sure was hot there - especially in Acapulco. Got our last film back that we mailed to Cincinnati Fasfoto but still waiting for ones we took to Dayes a week ago today. Hope you all are getting a lot of nice pictures.
Serena, it would be fine with us, if the family invites you to stay longer in Lima or if you have some suitable company to go with you in stopping in coming home, tho we would like to see you before we leave on the 14th of August in going west [and on to the Orient]. We do not want you for your own sake traveling around by yourself. Okay.
All your family
PS Does it seem like a long time ago since we were in Meadville?