Monday, February 29, 2016

1976 Roberta's India Letter -Feb.27

February 27, 1976
Dear Family,

Hi!  Did the U.S. stamps make you wonder for a minute?  Met a girl today from New York who is leaving tomorrow so thought I would take advantage of "AIR-MAIL" service!

I got my Afghanistan visa today just by luck.  They told me to come after 1:00 pm – so I spent the morning just looking around in shops – and at my leisure.  I got there about 1:15 and they were locking up the place – as they close at 1:00 pm.  I had to "bribe" the guy (5 Rupees) – bribing is a common practice here – but I only do it in RARE occasions.

Now to go back – I mailed you all a letter this morning explaining how I had decided to make a quick trip to Kabul.  In Hikkaduwa I met 3 Peace Corps people – through Mike – who are in Kabul – they were in Ceylon on their holiday.  One is TEFL director, 1 an Architect and the other works w/ the local newspaper.  Anyway I met them – quite by accident in Delhi – the day I arrived, Feb. 24th, and they said "you must make a trip to Kabul."  They wanted me to come with them but too many hassles – I would have had to have gone II class unreserved and I did that once & I don't intend to do it again.  Also I needed a visa which takes 2 days to obtain.

So tonight I'm going to Amritsar – then to Lahore – Peshawar – then to Kabul.  I'm not looking forward to crossing the borders – they say they don't make it easy on you – but I'm no amateur traveller at this point in time.  Today I made my reservation back to Bombay from Delhi.  I'm already in a hurry to get back to Bombay – I'll be just 4 days there before I return home (8th of March - 12th).

I was having a cup of tea this afternoon & an American woman & daughter came in & sat at the table next to me – I started talking with them and they were from Indiana – the daughter goes to Woodstock school – where Betty Bobb (who Mrs. Salisbury knows) works and the mother (also the father) are doctors in a Mission hospital here in India.  They have been in the U.S. the last 3 weeks.  I couldn't believe the weather they were describing.

Mary Virginia – how did you spend your birthday?  I bet Ruth came in – or did you all eat out?

Last night there was another wedding here – there was one here when I was here in November (YMCA).

I wrote you all just this morning about my trip to Agra.  I hope you do read the history of the Taj.  I had & it made it alot more interesting when I saw it.

Just this week I spent – or have cashed in half of my travellers checks.  If it wasn't for my plane ticket my trip would have been extended.  But in a way, I think it is a good idea to come home while you are still having "fun" – while I'm still enjoying travelling!  But when I get home I'm going to start saving my $ for my round-the-world trip!

I'm enclosing a post card of the Gold Temple in Amritsar that I'll be seeing.  Mike & Mary sent it – you can read their comment on Indian food.  They hate it – and didn't even try it.

Mike might try for lifeguard at Hudson Guild – I hope I get my job there – especially since J.B. and maybe Mike will be there!

Just 2 weeks from tonight I'll be leaving ––

Hope all of you are fine.  I really enjoyed all the letters the last week (both here & in Bombay).  If I work at the shop some when I get home I'll get caught up on the news quick.

Got to go – train leaves in 2 hours – first time in awhile I have to see myself off ––


Saturday, February 27, 2016

1986? GHU letter to John -Feb.26

Note Card titled "Balconies", Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – J.U. Horton 1979
Feb. 26 – [unknown year]
Dear John & X –

It is always good to hear from you, but to reply is something else.  Now as to my return home I will make it when the time comes so don't think about you not being able to get away for after all John you are holding down a job & that must come first.

Aunt Mary is at the beauty parlor & I think Uncle Bill is watching a golf tournament at the town course.  He was able to join the one here located by the lake this year so that is very convenient if you enjoy playing.  That certainly would not be for me.  I would be thinking about my yard if I was able to get out.

The church is having their annual roast beef dinner Sat. evening.  They sell 500 tickets & no more.  Aunt Mary will have a 12# roast to fix & is to make 6 doz. cookies.  The committee has quite a task to get people to fix the meat & make cookies.  Too many elderly people being member in our church here for cooking affairs.  The younger people are now living more west even out by Lake Osborn & have a growing church there.

It has been so cool this winter in Fla it hardly seems like the same place.  But this week has been warmer.  Except the nights are still cold.  so the swimming has been cold for people, if they went.

We have attended several good plays & concerts.  A couple of Sundays ago we attended an afternoon theater where the churches were sponsoring a film "Johni" – taken from her life experience which was interesting.  It is also in book form & makes good reading.  She is paralized [sic] from her neck down after diving & breaking her neck.  [Actually the film/book was titled Joni: An Unforgettable Story by Joni Eareckson Tada, published originally in 1976.]

I have a mocking bird's nest in a bush out side of my bed room window, so spring is around the corner –– ?

Hope to see you sometime in Apr. of May –

Grandma U. –

Friday, February 26, 2016

1976 Roberta's India Letter -Feb.26

Dear Family,

Hi!  Here I am back at the YMCA – same room as in November except 2 flights closer to the ground – which is fine because there is no elevator in the "bargain section."  Somehow I've changed since November – the bugs here don't bother me – mainly because (1) I've seen RATS in some hotels and (2) they aren't mosquitoes, they don't bite.  Also this morning as I had my breakfast I really enjoyed the corn flakes – in November I turned them down.  They do have excellent breakfast here – Tea, toast, cereal, eggs & banana.

Yesterday was one of the biggest (in more ways than one!) days for me since I left home.  I took the tour to Agra – leaving at 6:00 AM.  Asked the Reception people to wake me up at 5:00 AM & when the bell-man did he had tea, toast & banana for me.  Got to tourist office about 5 minutes till 6:00 – bus left by 6:30.  What a day – but the Taj was beautiful!  Read the history about it – how the Shah Jahan's hair turned grey right after his wife died – and how it took 20,000 laborers to build it – he brought in experts from Persia, Turkey, France, Italy, etc.  This man vowed to build a memorial to his wife that would surpass ANYTHING – Today they say it would cost $70,000,000 !

But just as you enter the grounds I saw some of the worst & saddest looking beggars.  If you let them they can get to you – I saw 1 man – he looked about half dead – half alive.  He had saliva all over him & then flies on top of that.  After awhile in India you harden yourself to such things – but this man did look AWFUL!

We also saw some palaces – etc.  It was funny to hear of the games the King played – one being "HIDE & SEEK."  Another game – played in a huge court yard – but the players were people – something like chess.  Visited tombs too – the $ that went into such things – beautiful designs done w/ precious stones ––

Afternoon we went to Fatehpur Sikri – about 1 hours away from Agra.  It is a deserted city now (except for the tourists) but once it was as big as London.  I think yesterday I saw more tourists than I saw all together between Bombay – and further South to Colombo.

Yesterday we made  4  meal stops & 3 shopping stops – getting us back to Delhi at just before 1:00 AM !  I was tired & some.  As I've said before – luxury buses here are only in name – also they are not made for people w/ long legs & wide hips!

I arrived in Delhi – afternoon of 24th – after checking in here I decided to take a walk.  Was standing on a corner & hear "HEY ROBERTA" – I turned around & there were people everywhere – I couldn't figure out who I had heard – but I heard "Roberta from OHIO" so I just stood there.  About 2 minutes later 3 Americans – who are in the Peace Corps in Kabul, Afghanistan – where Mike was –came up.  I met them in Hikkaduwa [Ceylon] – had lunch w/ them one day while we were there.  Anyway, they were in Delhi just for the day leaving for Amritsar by train that night.  They tried to talk me into going w/ them but I had just bought ticket for Agra (30 Rupees) plus I would need an Afg visa (2 days).

We had supper together later that day & they outlined trip to Kabul (Train, bus, train, bus) so today I went to the Afg embassy – forgot photos – so had to come back to the YMCA – I paid 55 Rupees to get visa – which I'll get tomorrow.  So it look like I'm going to make a FAST trip to Kabul at least I'll get to see the countryside –

I'm leaving tomorrow night for Amritsar – depending on how long it takes at the border I should be there in 3 days – I've heard some awful stories but I'm hoping for the best.

I Had a most interesting time in Nagpur – but did not get to see much.  I have had a cold – but it got very bad there – along w/ upset stomach.  When I got up 23rd – Monday they said they had called a Doctor. He came & wrote me out 7 prescriptions – I thought I'd get over it w/ out all this – but medicine has really helped.  Nose drops, cold tablets, etc., etc. –– The Dr. wouldn't take any $.  He is friend of the family we stayed w/ – also knew Banerjee – the medicine – for everything was just over $2.00 – so at least not a costly illness.

I had made reservations to leave Nagpur to Delhi for evening of 23rd which I decided best not to cancel.  Everyone was very concerned about my travelling but I made the trip OK.  My stomach was better before I left & my cold almost over now –  I never did feel so bad w/ it that I had to go to bed (during day time–)

As I had said Banerjee friends own card board factory – he said minimum wage per DAY – now  7  Rupees – and that is for 10 hour day.  And as efficient as I've seen Indian workers it is good that labor is cheap!  The factory has about 50 employees – they have a giant house – even have running HOT water.

I don't think I've written to you how I was tried to convince NOT to come up North, Banerjee got out beautiful picture of the Taj Mahal – and had me read the history of it in my books, etc.  Then he described the marble, oh  and said – "Why is it necessary for you to see it in person? when you can sit in Bombay and know the history & exactly how it looks."  Each time is is harder for me to leave Bombay – I'm looking forward to coming home on the 13th but I don't look forward to leaving Bombay.  Sometimes I think it might be better for me to have flown out of Delhi as originally planned – but I'm enjoying a light weight suitcase – etc.

Thanks so much for your letter here – I had  7  letters when I got here – I'll call you all from New York – as the plane might be late – etc. –

When did you meet Panna's boyfriend?  Must have been in a letter I did not receive.  Did they tell you that her parents are VERY UPSET over the whole thing?  And that the whole time I was at her parents house I was asked questions of how much $ does Dan's parents have?  See – for Dan to get a working permit in India would be very hard  if not impossible – because the Indian Govt says there are too many Indians out of work – As the husband of an Indian he would have no problem staying in the country but to get a job here will not be easy.  There are alot of details to this that I'll go into when I get home.

I had a BAD EXPERIENCE at the Mehta house.  1st I knew we would be going shopping so I had gone to Amer. Express & cashed in $100.00 – because I also wanted to have $ to buy ticket North (before I knew I was going to Nagpur) & I had decided to buy Banerjee a briefcase we had been looking at – Anyway my 1st night there I counted my $ before going to bed – and the next day at the 1st shop we were in I found myself short 450 Rupees (just over $50) .  It made me sick – I hated to say anything but that night I told them partly because I thought should they find that much they would wonder about me & also because I was concerned over losing that much!  (I told them that I had lost 250 Rupees).  Well – it wasn't found.  The only thing I can figure out is that one of the servants took it while I was taking my bath, or eating breakfast.  That is the 1st paisa (100 paisa makes 1 Rupee) that I have lost in India – so that is pretty good – but still so much $.  $50 American money is worth a fortune here – Banerjee & the Jhangianas were really upset.  The Mehtas did not want to even ASK their servants because they said they would quit on the spot.  They (the Mehtas) said how sorry they were – but that did not bring back my money.

Anyway – I did go & get the briefcase for Banerjee – it cost me alot more than I planned.  But it is a NICE one & I figure why buy something cheap if it is something you want to last!  What made it so expensive was the TAX.  India has the craziest tax system – up to 50 Rupees – 5%.  Up to 200 Rupees – 15%.  More than 200 Rupees – 20%.  Well – I paid 20% tax – but I figure the gov't here has alot of good uses for their tax money.  Today I went past the American Embassy & to see the luxury of the building & big cars around & then to see the slums nearby the gov't could be doing better w/ their $.

You asked about the drug problem in Ceylon – as compared to India it's about the same – but the problem is not w/ the local youth – but w/ the Americans & Europeans.  99% of young Americans I've met here are on drugs – it is a shame the name they give our country –

I was surprised to hear of the  Zakhanis moving – I've had the foods described many times – the sweet "gulah jambo" is really good when they are warm.  I've had too many good sweets in India – it will be a nice switch to go back to salads!

This afternoon I hopped on 3 different city buses & made the complete rounds – 30 paisa each time.  Pretty cheap entertainment.  Delhi is a nice city – but I'll take Bombay any day in comparison!

My plans for when I get home & well – after a "holiday" one needs to REST up – also DIET––

Now Friday morning – I'm going to lie in bed and write letters as I'll be the next 2 or maybe 3 nights on the road.

I've alot of film left – just don't seem to enjoy being the typical tourist shooting pictures.  I should have taken it to the Taj Mahal & sold it at 300% profit.  The prices of film there were unbelievable – but people w/out film were buying it.

Hope your trip to NYC & on was a good one.  Bet NY is cold now.  Be sure & order some hot (at least warm) weather for me.

Today plan to send telegram – hope it arrives in time – Mary V. – my day tomorrow as your birthday will be spent crossing the border into Pakistan.  On Catherine's birthday I went into Ceylong. On the day after Serena's birthday I took the boat ride from Alleppey to Quilas.  None of it really planned to go along w/ the birthdays.

It's almost 7:00 now – and I want to get a bath – HA – bucket bath – before the hot water is all gone.

Thanks for all the letters recently.



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

1986 MV Letter -Feb.25

February 25, 1986
Dear Mom and Dad,

After our discussion over dinner on Sunday night, I have put more thought into whether I really want to graduate in June or December.  I have made a decision that I feel comfortable with and I hope you can respect.

A senior recital takes a tremendous amount of preparation – usually four years of private lessons.  In case you don't remember, I didn't start my private voice lessons until last summer, which means that very little repertoire has been built up.  The usual amount of literature learned in one quarter of voice lessons (memorized) is two pieces.  12 pieces is tremendous amount of literature to learn in such a short time, let alone trying to do work for 8 other classes in addition.

Every time I'd think about trying to get done by June, I feel terribly overwhelmed; the same feelings I had when I was supposed to go to State Youth Fair Youth Choir and "couldn't"; the same feelings I had when I was a Sophomore and only completed 17 hours in two quarters; I can't explain it, other than I feel so depressed (for lack of a better word).  When I feel that way, I can't concentrate or get anything done -- all I want to do is sleep, which doesn't do any good and accomplishes nothing.

I do not consider having to come back in the fall as something hanging over my head.  What great plans do I have for this fall?  I was under the impression that I was simply going to take a year off to get some money for graduate school and basically take life easy.  I would need the time to recuperate from burn out.  But if I would take a lighter load in the Spring and a light load in the fall, I really don't feel that I would have that much burn out, if any.  I want College to have been a good experience.  I need to do more than sit in my room and study; I don't mind studying, but I also want to be able to experience life to the fullest and enjoy it.  Is that a crime?

I respect the fact that the two of you like to travel, but I will tell you one more time that I don't share that interest.  That is what makes me an individual – I cannot and will not be a carbon copy of you.  I love you and I see nothing wrong in having some of the same interests, but I also need a separate life.

I have decided to stay the extra quarter (semester).  I hope you can respect my decision.  If not, I am prepared to find some other way to finance my final semester.  I hope this has not been a "bomb", but it was something that I needed to express my feelings and make my own decision.  I'm ready to stand by that decision.  Have a good trip to Florida.

Mary Va.

[Transcription note: minor typos and spacing errors have been corrected, others may have been made in the process!  Please excuse both the writer and the transcriber.]

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

1976 Banerjee Letter -Feb.23

P.G. Banerjee
February 23rd '76
Dear Jean and Harold,

It was really a pleasure to receive your letter when I came back to Bombay after a business trip, a few days ago.

Roberta is back in Bombay after she had been to the southern part of India.  She seems to have liked the south because of the varied atmosphere, temples, beaches etc.  During her stay of two weeks in Ceylon she has tried to acquire a tan and I must say it looks becoming on her.

I certainly don't need to be thanked for helping Roberta in here.  As anybody else in my place would have done the same for her, and at that for a person who is genuinely interested in knowing about our country at large.  I do really hope that you also would plan a holiday to India and allow me a chance to introduce you to our country.  The cities in India, especially the metropolises like Bombay represent a true cross section of our country, depicting the varies hues of life in true colour.  I do sincerely hope that you would cash in on the next opportunity that comes by for you to visit India.

Next, I thank you for the refill which arrived here in good condition.  I am really grateful to you for taking all the trouble of sending it all the way.  It was indeed kind of you.  Thank you again.

I trust that this letter finds both of you in the pink of health and good cheer.

I close, with kind regard.

Yours sincerely,

P.G. Banerjee

Monday, February 22, 2016

1976 Roberta India Letter to GHU & Hortons -Feb.21

February 21, 1976
Dear Grandma, Uncle Bill, Aunt Mary & Rob,

Hi!  Aunt Mary got your letter yesterday – written Jan. 21st and to think Bombay is suppose to have the best mail service in the country!  Actually most letters come in much better.

It was so good to get the news of you all.  Grandma I'm glad you are having a good winter – but Uncle Bill I hope what you had was VERY SHORT LIVED!

I'm glad you all made plans to go to the golf tourney – I know you will enjoy it.  That is the way to live – make plans & go – I'm so thankful I decided to make this trip – there were a hundred of reasons NOT to go though – like Leslie backing out – etc.  I've met such wonderful people – especialy Banerjee & the family he stays w/ here in Bombay.  It is impossible to explain them – but for instance after a meal if I try to say "THANKS" – they always say "Do you thank your family for your lunch?"
Now Sunday AM – just arrived in Nagpur – Central Indai w/ my friends.  (Short trip – Just  20  hours by train.) They came here on business – then I'll be gong North from here.  Glad for the chance to see central India – India is a VAST country – full of variety – sometimes I feel like I'm in an open air museum –

Rob – I'm anxious to hear about your plans for next year – you asked about mine Aunt Mary – I wish I knew – but one thing I know & plan to live by – that time & tide wait for no one – enjoy the present – the future is yet to come & who knows about it.  Well – enough philosophy – but to make my point – I'm not worried about my future.  I figure I know how to work & whatever I put my MIND to –––

Aunt Mary – thanks for all the stamps – The Indian people are MAD about anything from the U.S. –

We're staying in Nagpur w/ friends of my friends – wealthy ($) Indians. – own a card board box factory.  By far the biggest house I've seen in India – 2 cars w/ drivers, numerous servants – even hot running water (have hot water heater).

Sounds like you all have had busy winter – when I get home we will have alot to get caught up on –

What are Joe's plans for next year or are they made yet?

Grandma – my clothes could sure use some of your attention!  This trip has been hard on them – I bought very few & they have had a WORK OUT!

Hope this letter finds each of you in good health & happy ––

My best –

Love, Berta

Sunday, February 21, 2016

1976 Roberta India Letter to MV -Feb.20

February 20, 1976
Dear Mary V,

I'll be thinking about you Feb. 28 as you celebrate your 12th birthday!

Got 2 letters today from you all – dated Feb. 1st, and Feb. 8th.  And they claim that Bombay has the best delivery in all of India.

I'm glad J.B. is taking the job at the farm – I wrote to Mr. Ream to confirm my job – you will have to come up & visit us.

How did it go at the Zakhomis? [sp?] His family in Calcutta take the prize for asking NOSY questions.  The Indian people are a curious & straight forward bunch – but his family made you feel like you are in a courtroom.

I'm really enjoying my "CARDS" – I think they are one of the best buys I've made since I've been gone!  Just wait till I get home – you'll be surprised at me!  Have learned 2 more games since I got here in Bombay – one is easy – but the other one a touch hard!

So you hope to go to Florida this summer?  How have you been saving your $ ?

Please tell Ruth S. hello for me – got a letter yesterday from her – she has been a faithful writer –

See you – March 13th – 8:30 pm!



Saturday, February 20, 2016

1976 Roberta's India postcard -Feb?

1976 Roberta's Taj Mahal postcard to Wells -unknown date

Hi- This is really beautiful – all marble.  Emperor built this for wife as a memorial!!  It took 20,000 men 17 years to build it!  It was built in the 1600's.

It's cold in the North – maybe 65º – I have to guess because they don't have the same system we have –

See you all soon – Love, Berta

Friday, February 19, 2016

1996 Helen Carr photo clipping -Feb.20

Helen Ruth Spence Carr, 1916-2007, was the step-daughter of (Uncle) Harry Clarence Hiestand, 1872-1967.  She was the daughter of Mary Olive Cope Spence Hiestand, 1883-1971, Uncle Harry's second wife, and Charles William Spence, 1871-1925.  She had two siblings who both died as young children.  Helen married Wilbur "Wib" Carr, 1919-1995, and they had a son, Richard.

Uncle Harry and his first wife, Ella A. Gabriel, 1876-1925, were the parents of three children: Lina 1903-1919, Joseph Franklin 1906-2004, and Paul 1909-1980.

Harry's was the oldest of his siblings – Luna (Mitchell) 1874-1970, Dorsa 1876-1959, Fawley 1879-1881, and Gladys (Uible) 1892-1993.

1996 Helen Carr photo clipping -Feb.20 Hillsboro Press Gazette p.8

Thursday, February 18, 2016

1986 Family Letter from HH & Jean -Feb.18

February 18, 1986

Dear Family:

We are getting back to normal after a "flying trip" to New York.  Had a real bargain on the People's flight from Cincinnati at $29 per person each way.  Enjoyed having the Walkers go with us . . it was their first trip to the Big Apple.  They took a Gray Line Tour on Friday of the sights.  Had a package deal at the Omni Park Hotel which included a buffet breakfast each morning, which was really excellent . . . loads of fresh fruit plus all the customary items.

Oh yes, the weather in NYC was great, guess we missed the BIG snow of the season here while we were gone.  Right now it is up in the high 50ties, so plenty of variety.

Your mother went book shopping in NYC and is going to Columbus with the Sabina librarian to buy some more books for the library.  This Friday we are going to Cincinnati for the day for Dad has signed up for a continuing legal education course.

Unleaded gas in Wilmington is now 93.9, plus several bargains at the grocery as Kroger is trying to keep the new store from making too many inroads.  They have had chicken at 39¢ a pound and milk at $1.29 a gallon.  We got some nice bananas and oranges at 10¢ a pound at the new store.

Plan to leave for Florida a week from this weekend, visiting some friends en route and arriving in LW on Tuesday, March 4th.  We do hope that is OK with the Hortons.

[Love, etc.]

1976 Roberta's India Letter -Feb.19

February 19, 1976
Dear Family,

Hi – again – Mr. Mehta is mailing letter to Panna today & wanted to know if I would like to include anything so thought good chance to send you more details of my trip to Madras especially.  As we went into Ceylon (29th Jan) we had to declare $ on form – then as you exchange $ the banks would make a note of it on the same form.  Well – somehow I miscalculated and figured I had $100 more than what I actually had. (The reason for this being that I had left $100 in Bombay – Anyway – the black market in Ceylon is very bad – and when I went through customs & I could not account for changing the $100 over – they (the customs people) really got excited.  !st I got pretty upset but then I just told them I had left $100 in Bombay & had figured that I had that $ w/ me – then everything was A-ok.  Alot of people smuggle in gems from Ceylon.  The man ahead of us looked very nervous – but he got through ok – then I went to use the telephone & Mary found an envelope of small brown stones he dropped.  We don't know if they are worth anything – 1st we divided them – then I just let her have all of them because I'm not that mad about such things.

I'm just now beginning to get caught up on my sleep – after the nights I spent on the trains.  My 1st night here – right across the street there was a wedding at 12:00 midnight.  Then last night was the reception – We had a good view – as the Mehtas have a big terrace – also they are on the 5th floor – (I'm glad they take afternoon naps here.)

Ceylon was a nice country but it has the poverty – I had heard what a rich country it was – I'm sure that is true for those who have the gem mines – but not for the average person there.

All over India – especially in the cities – there are bill board signs w/ sayings on them.  Someday I'll have to write them down – but some of them are "HARD WORK IS THE ONLY SOLUTION" – DISCIPLINE IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR" – "WORK MORE, TALK LESS" – "EVERYONE MAKES THE CHOICE – ORDER OR CHAOS" – "HELP PROVE WE ARE A NATION ON THE MOVE."  And in Bombay you see the signs – "GIVE TO ONE BEGGAR, AND YOU CREATE TEN MORE."  Which is true –

The Mehtas are pure vegetarian so have had some really delicious vegetable dishes here – I especially like the eggplant.  They make their own butter, curd, buttermilk & cheese – need I say how good it all is!  The Mehtas also belong to the Jain religion – I have uttermost respect for the Jain people I have met.

Mr. Mehta ready to do – so I'll finish for now –

Love, Berta

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

1976 Roberta India Letter -Feb.18

February 18, 1976
Dear Family,

Hi!  Am once more back in Bombay – now at Panna Mehta's family's place where I spent yesterday afternoon & evening.  She called up last night but don't know if she called you all to say I was here.

1st – It has been confirmed – I have the flights I requested – which means I'll be in Columbus at 8:30 pm – March 13th.  Will you all please write me & confirm it that you all will be there?  It is TWA – flight 151 – My plans have changed some – as I'm now flying out of Bombay – it is no more than to fly out of Delhi – and it is what I decided I would rather do – for 1 thing I will be able to leave everything here but the bare necessities as I travel North – for another thing I'll be able to see my friends 1 more time before I go – which is the main reason behind flying out of Bombay.

Because of this – please continue to send all mail here – Don't worry if you did send any to the YMCA in Delhi – I will write them concerning it.

I seem to have trouble finishing my letters – or to most people I have trouble starting them!  Had a very enjoyable day yesterday w/ the Mehtas – still w/ them – but Banerjee is to come tonight to pick me up.  Yesterday went shopping – went to the old part of the city – no cars – just horse pulled carts – we rode in one.  Then in the afternoon went to new part of town – bought some blouse pieces, leather bag, etc.  Quite a definite change from NEW part to old part of town.  But as Indian cities go – Bombay is a new city – it was developed thanks to the British.

OH – Monday Tuesday morning after arriving back from Poona I broke the lenses in my glasses – what luck I've had – within 6 weeks 2 broken pairs!  So I'm getting good use out of my sunglasses!  (Will get other glasses back today)

Mehtas have a big flat – 2 LARGE bedrooms, plus large sitting room.  They have ideal location – not far from city, etc.  Very expensive cars. but close by are the huts – it doesn't make sense or look good ––

Beggars are not allowed in downtown Bombay – so they all go the suburbs – like Bandra.

Please pass the word as to my address – also please confirm about your being in Columbus March 13th 8:30 pm

I'm missing all the news concerning the election primaries – bet JB in active in it – do hear about Patricia Hearst case –

My best –


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

1946 Letter to Jean from WVU Librarian -Feb.17

Florence Reese (1900-1986) was an instructor of library science at West Virginia University.  

February 17, 1946

Dear Miss Ballantyne:

I was very happy to hear from you -- I am not at all surprised that you have chosen children's work, for that was what you wanted from the start and usually you come back to the thing which has challenged your interest.  It is an opportunity to have the experience you are having to keep with you if you remain there or to take with you wherever you go.  There are only two children's librarians in this state.

Raney seems to be having a wonderful time with her elementary libraries in Raleigh.

We have a record enrollment with 1500 G'I's.  I have two classes of Library Science 1 with 60, they fill room 8 and we have had to limit the classes had one section with a finish of 33 last semester.  The upper division classes are increasing.  We had a registration of 90 in Library Science.  Plans are on foot to remove partition between 8 and 9 and use a combined group of seminar rooms for a practice collection.  I am glad you like Western Reserve.  Drop a line when you have time always enjoy hearing from you.


Florence K. Reese

Monday, February 15, 2016

1976 Roberta's India Letter -Feb.16

February 16, 1976
Dear Family,

Hi!  Greetings from Poona – which was quite an unexpected trip for me – Arrived in Bombay late Saturday night – Ramesh (Benergee's friend) Jhangiana picked me up & stayed the night w/ his family.  Then Sunday Benergee comes in from Poona – where he had been on business for a few days – then Sunday pm – we (Benergee & myself) took off on the slow train to Poona so he could finish up today his business.  The train-ride was quite an experience – could not get reservations so just had to buy 2nd class tickets (7.50 Rupees) each – then you go to 2nd class unreserved & fight for your place.  We were lucky as we both got top sleepers – but the majority of the people were on the floor – or sitting very crowded – the train left at 10:30 pm – arrived here about 5:00 am – so I'm sure glad we both got  sleepers.

Benergee had planned on me taking a tour today of Poona – but because of the moon (YES – MOON) it is some sort of holiday – We did get a room at a cheap hotel – mainly so he could clean up, etc. – also because we won't be going back till 10:30 pm tonight.  Since no tour I've been here this afternoon laying down, writing a few letters, etc.  After tonight I will have spent 3 of the last 4 nights on a train.  It is kind of funny because I went through Poona on the train from Madras to Bombay.

It was good to get back to Bombay – Sunday noon they had all my favorite foods – and did I ever enjoy – the food in the South was almost too oily for me –

I got Ruth S's letter – written Feb. 4th upon my arrival to Bombay – I guess a letter from you all went to Madras then will be coming back as I left there before my schedule ––

Benergee showed me the nice letter you all wrote him – he was "thrilled" that a busy American took time to write.  He is such a nice guy – hope someday you can meet him –

On the train from Madras to Bombay – played cards almost all day with some people – day went really fast I can play about 4 games now – I like Rummy – I went out & bought a deck of cards in Madras – can you picture that?

Bombay (& Poona too) is so nice – no mosquitoes & bearable heat –

Tomorrow Mike & Mary leave for Burma – then after a week go to Bangkok – I'll be w/ them in thought –

I did get my visa extended – till March 25th but after 13th of March my plane ticket is of no value ––

Everyone in Bombay has said about the weight I've gained – which I'm afraid is true –

Mary V – Ruth told me you had a cold – hope it's past tense – I know Ruth enjoys her phone – phones here are a luxury – but so many things here are luxuries – that we consider a necessity – or take for granted.

Love, Berta

Sunday, February 14, 2016

1976 Roberta's Letter to G'ma & Hortons -Feb.11

February 11, 1976

Dear Grandma, Uncle Bill, Aunt Mary & Rob,

Since I'm leaving Ceylon early tomorrow morning I've got to make myself write these!  This last week I've really enjoyed the luxury life during the day.  Right now I'm at the Holiday Inn – after staying in YMCA's & YWCA's this is definitely a different style of living.  It is something just the change in people at the places – here you meet the foreigners – there w/ money from the U.S., Europe, etc.  Have met alot of men from – or who are working in Saudi Arabia – they come here to enjoy & spend all their money!

Tomorrow morning I'm flying to Madras – I figure from the money I save by staying at the YMCA this week instead of here at the Holiday Inn I can afford to make the trip!  Mike & Mary are also flying tomorrow to Madras where we will both be for a couple of days – then I'll be heading to Bombay and then North and they will be going to Calcutta – then to Burma.  They have really been nice to travel with – both have plenty of get up and go.  The only bad part of it is  – is that they like food like they have at home In Iowa – and me I want to try all the different foods here!

Did I tell you that I've learned (am learning) to play cards – alot of times we sit around the pool and play.  I like pinochle the best – We are getting pretty tan – but it came fast – so I hope it doesn't peel off just as fast!  The 1st day my nose got really RED!  That is the 1st time that has ever happened.

The fruits here are just delicious – there are 5 different types of bananas – the cheapest ones – which are small are 6 for about 3 or 4 ¢.  The best which are also small are about 4¢ each.  The oranges here are not good.  And I haven't seen a grapefruit since I left home – but oh the pineapple & papaya are delicious.

My best to each of you – I'm hoping for some mail in Bombay –––

Love, Berta

1986 MV's Valentine Picture

Happy Valentine's Day (1986) from Miss Mary Uible, Music Teacher

Saturday, February 13, 2016

1976 Roberta's Letter to MV -Feb.11

February 11, 1976
Dear Mary V,

Hi!  As fast as this month is going it will be your birthday before too long!  I've really enjoyed Ceylon – between the YMCA & Holiday Inn we have had the best of 2 worlds.  At the "Y" there is a trampoline, 2 ping pong tables, 2 pool tables, etc.

Last night I went out to a family who I met when I went to Church.  I was under the impression he was the minister but he is the lay leader or something like that.  Really nice people – have a daughter 14 [or 17? 19?] who collects stamps – she gave me bunches more for John.  Also alot of coins that are no longer in circulation here.  Then they gave me a bunch of different kinds of spices to take home – but they are all the HOT variety so I plan to give them to the Jhangiana family in Bombay – somehow I think they will appreciate & use them more than us!

Mary V – I'm getting pretty good at playing cards – I've got solitaire down good & if I work on my speed I can do OK on double solitaire.

I'm enclosing some $ – from Ceylon.  It is worth about 15¢ each.  Please give one to Ruth Shoemaker – OK?  I thought it was funny that it is made in England.

I bought a mask here – the kind you hang on the wall – it is suppose to scare away diseases and the like.  I also got some Ceylon tea – and plan to give that to the Jhangiana family in Bombay.  In India – except through the Black Market – you cannot buy things made outside of India.  Alot of American companies are in India – but the products I think are of an inferior quality.

I hope school is going good for you – have you missed any school because of snow yet?  It is hard for me to imagine it being cold – as here it is so HOT – and you feel it everywhere – because air conditioners are not a common thing.  Some restaurants have an air conditioned room – but you pay 10% more for the same food if you want to enjoy the cool room!

Last night at the Bernard family they had all these different types of snacks for me to try – all fattening – every time I go in I say I'm going to get rid of what I've put on – but so far it hasn't worked.  Some of the things last night were – coconut mixture rolled up in a pancake type deal, dates w/ strawberry jam, biscuits w/ jam, waffles like what you buy at the county fair, etc., etc.

Yesterday just near the Holiday Inn there were 4 girls about your age putting on a dance using snakes – they had them wrapped around them – afterwards they took up a collection for money.

One of the popular deserts here is yogurt w/ honey on it – or if you want something really special w/ honey and nuts on it.  Tea in most restaurants (NOT the fancy ones) costs you 50¢ – but if you use sugar it is 75¢ more!  (local money – not U.S.!)

I've got to close this so we can get going & get this in the mail.  Tomorrow at 7:00 AM we catch the bus to the airport –

Hope all is well –––


Friday, February 12, 2016

1976 Roberta's Letter to Aunt Sarah (Horton) -Feb.11

Feb. 11, 1976
Dear Aunt Sarah,

Hi – I'm ashamed of myself for having been such a poor letter writer on my trip!

I've had a very enjoyable trip.  After seeing Delhi, Calcutta, and a few places near Calcutta I went to Bombay and then South.  The Southern part of India is full of natural beauty.  Also there are some of the most beautiful Hindu Temples in the South.

The last 2 weeks I've been in Ceylon – I've thought of you here when I drink the good tea!  I went out to Ratnapura where the gem mines are – but because of the prices – looking at the gem stones was enough for me!

The fruits here are so good – the pineapple, papaya, bananas, and the coconut.  They use the coconut in everything.  In cooking they use coconut oil, drink the coconut water, and use coconut in so many different food.  I'm glad I like coconut!

At first I found the food in India to be too hot and spicy – but now I'm used to it.  When I get home the food will taste plain!

I hope this winter has been a good one for you.  I hope to come to Florida in March after I get home, we will have alot to talk about.  I'll have to tell you all about my trip.

My best to you –

Roberta Uible

Thursday, February 11, 2016

1986 Catherine's Letter -Feb.10

Monday, February 10, 1986

Dear Mother & Dad,

Hi!  Thanks for the nice birthday card, the beautiful vest, and the money!  I had a very nice day – since it was my storytime day at the library, I did read one birthday book, Sam's Birthday by Hutchins but didn't mention that it was my birthday or I would have had to listen to each child tell me about their birthday!  Gerry fixed a good dinner with some of my favorites like fish and stewed tomatoes.

A large envelope from you arrived for Wendy today.  She will be home from school in a few minutes so I can let you know her reaction.  I also got the letter from Wells regarding Toys N More, last Friday.  My court date is March 4.  I had the sheriff's dept. serve the papers as I figured that he wouldn't pick it up if it was certified mail.  I haven't been in the mall for a few weeks so don't know if the business still has the doors open or not.

I did buy a new pair of shoes.  They are gray naturalizers -- I'll model them for you when you come to Colfax.

Here's the school bus so I'll take a little break!
8:45 p.m. -- Wendy liked the Valentine's, the Scotland poster and the Spanish-English coloring book.  She has been trying to learn Spanish so that fits right in.  She even has some cassette tapes checked out of the library on learning Spanish.

Did I tell you we bought her an unfinished desk with her Christmas money?  Her choice of color was bright yellow.  Gerry just finished painting it a few days ago and we moved it into her bedroom.  It looks really nice!

I appreciated your letter to me, also.  Sounds like you have really been busy putting on the programs!  Hope you have (had) a nice trip to NYC.

Thanks again for the birthday gifts and for all the birthdays !

We were able to play golf and go bike riding again this weekend!  There's a little skiff of snow on the ground today though.

Catherine, Gerry & 

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

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,

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!


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 ––


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.


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 

Items from Uible photo album