Dear Grandma & All

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Prelude: This letter was written on September 4, 1925 by a woman named Ida to her Grandmother & all. Ida is from Kingston, PA, but I have no envelope and so I know not where grandma and all live.

 

THE LETTER:

Dear Grandma & all,

Just a few lines this morning, it looks very much like rain and is so close can hardly breath. Jesse’s mother is here now, has been here two weeks. Everyone is feeling pretty good, only me, I have a dreadful cold.

What was the matter with Juddy when he died? I was certainly surprised when I heard it.

Mother has quite a nice place where she is but not a very good business place, I don’t think. She said she thought maybe we would bring you up there with us when we were up there.

Tell Aunt Rose I will write to her later as I can’t think of anything to write and really don’t feel like writing and have my sweeping to do.

Well, I will close for this time. Hoping to hear from you soon.

From Ida

 

COMMENTARY:

Well, Ida gets right to the point, doesn’t she! She writes this letter dutifully and gets all the important information in without skipping a beat. It makes me wonder a little about the time period and what kind of communication most people had. Writing was the main thing…not everyone had a telephone in the rural areas and only 50% of people in the US had electricity in 1925. So, what did they do? They wrote letters and tried to keep in touch. Then like Ida, they went back to their sweeping.

One last thought about this letter, the way she signs it at the end with only a “From Ida,” It’s very strange and not very affectionate. I wonder if she was just in a hurry to get it done, or just wanted to be precise, or what?

 

HISTORY:

Here is a link about the progress of technology through the years: https://pietistschoolman.com/2012/07/30/the-spread-of-technology-since-1900/

 

Dear Sis

fullsizeoutput_1d0fPrelude:

This letter was written on June 15th 1945 by Ben Gasiewicz. He wrote it from California to his sister in Lackawanna, New York. It was written while he was in the United States Navy and stationed at Point Montara, California on the U.S.S. Caperton. (A Flecher-class destroyer)

THE LETTER:

Dear Sis,

Well how are things at home and in the country? It looks like I’ll have to depend on you now to let me in on what is going on. Virge used to do a swell job of reporting but now that she’s getting married, who knows what she’ll be doing. This is what I’m writing to you for. I want you to draw some money from my account and give it to them as a wedding gift. What do you think of $30.00? Is it enough? Incidentally, while I was home on leave, Gene gave me $25.00 as extra traveling money. Will you draw out $25.00 and pay her back. It’s a little bit late but assure her for me that I really appreciated everything. Let me know as soon as you have done these things so I can neat finely.

It’s been a long time now since I’ve had copy of the Lackawanna Leader, and since this is an excellent way of knowing what is going on at home, I’d appreciate it sent to me weekly. You can get some kid in the neighborhood to pick up copies for each of the days, every Thursday at Dam Polske. They have a stock left there weekly.

Oh! Yes, one more thing, how is the popcorn situation around Hamburg? If you can get a couple of pounds of the big yellow seed, how about sending me some every once in a while. We have a good hot plate in plot and can pop our own.

How is dad feeling lately? I heard he was sick for a while. Did the Boss go to Canada this year?

I had a picture taken a short time ago in Honolulu, while walking down the street and I’ll send it home shortly. It ‘aint too good but it’s informal and that is the kind I like best.

We had in the past week transferred to the states for staff school, the finest officer the ship had. He was always cool and knew his stuff. Lt. g.g Parks was his name and I spoke of him while home as the officer from Washington, D.C.

Aside from that everything else is under control but I must say that free time is as scarce as sunshine in the winter. We eat well and I’m in the best of health. Our officers and crew are unbeatable and now have 2 more Jap planes to our credit.

If you see Stan Pictnowski tell him I’m still waiting for a letter. Hello to mom. Shelly. Answer soon.

Brother,

Ben

 

COMMENTARY:

We’ll my first question is, “How is the popcorn situation in Hamburg?” I’m not sure why, but I just love this line? It almost sounds like the name of a movie. Introducing, The Popcorn Situation! (A 1940’s story about a girl a sailor and a big popcorn heist in the suburbs of Buffalo… Anyway, I like it and it made me laugh. Ben sure had a lot of instructions for his sister and some of them not too easy. Like sending the weekly paper; that would be quite a job to keep up on.

I also think one of his last remarks was very interesting. “Our officers and crew are unbeatable and now have 2 more Jap planes to our credit.” The war had not yet ended. I’m guessing they shot down or captured the Japanese planes. It’s illuminating now to hear this voice from the past talk about his war victories and count them. It was the world they lived in, the world they survived in. It brings the reality of a war to a simple letter written to a family member. It makes you wonder what it was like living through a world war, and having a family member personally involved in it.

 

HISTORY:

Here is a link I found for the ship Ben was on: http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/650.htm

The Lackawanna Leader no longer exists, but I found a link to site where you can read the old papers: http://fultonhistory.com/my%20photo%20albums/All%20Newspapers/Lackawanna%20NY%20Leader/index.html

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Brooks

IMG_5188Prelude: This letter was written on July 9th 1940 from Carl Heck of Buffalo, to Mrs. Brooks. I have no envelope or location for Mrs. Brooks, but have two other letters addressed to Carl Heck, which is how I know he is from Buffalo.

 

THE LETTER:

Mrs. Brooks,                                                   July 9, 1940

I hope you will accept my apology for not writing to you sooner. I am not very prompt in answering letters but in this case I have an alibi. Although I have been attending work each day, my parents & I have been spending the nights & weekends in the country. It wasn’t untill a few days ago that dad had an opportunity to stop home and pick up the mail. When I read your letter, I felt honored to have been thought of in regard to such an opportunity to enter R.P.I. I’m sorry I am unable to use this help, but appreciate your recommendation. I am sure some worthy person will be found who will fully appreciate this financial help towards his education.

I am glad you believe I deserved the Dartmouth Award. It was a surprise to me and I feel deeply honored to have been selected for the award.

I saw the name of Myron Good in the paper the other night as a recipient of a four-year scholarship to the University of Buffalo. He well deserves such an honor and I wish him the best of luck.

Speaking of wishes, I wish you & Mr. Brooks a very happy & enjoyable vacation and hope to hear from you again.

Sincerely yours,

Carl Heck

 

COMMENTARY:

What a fine young man Carl Heck seems to be and what a nice letter he wrote. I’m not sure why he did not take the award, but I think it was because he already went to the University of Buffalo. I know this only because I have another envelope that was addressed to Carl from the University of Buffalo that had something called a university record in it. It looks like some kind of report card and it lists grades for three classes. I also have a letter from the Veteran’s Administration addressed to Carl about a disability claim.

Anyway, I like Carl. He is very well mannered to write Mrs. Brooks such a nice letter. Why does it seem like people were so much more polite back then? There seems to be a genuine kindness in people that many lack today. I think we can learn from history and from Carl’s letter that there is always time to be kind and that a kind word can hold a lot of weight.

 

HISTORY:

There was not a lot of information to go on here. I looked up the Dartmouth Award and there are several to Dartmouth University. Here is a general link: http://alumni.dartmouth.edu/serve/recognition/dartmouth-alumni-award

I looked up R.I.P in connection with Dartmouth and I found one video link. I’m not sure if there is any connection but here it is: https://youtu.be/jL271-ECoYM

 

 

Summer Postcards

Summer Postcards

Prelude: In honor of summer, this week I am posting a few vacation post cards. The first one is from Aunt Thelma to Kathleen. It was written in 1956 and sent from Paris, France to Buffalo, NY. The second is from Dorothy to Master & Miss Simonds. It was written in 1962 and is from Costa Brava, Spain to Huntington Station, Long Island, NY. The third is from Jim to Robina & Bob Taylor. It was written in 1975 from Arizona & New Mexico to Eggertsville, NY. The fourth is from Charlie & Marg to the Thomas’s. It was written in 1961 from Alexandria Bay, NY to Youngstown, OH.

 

POSTCARD #1:

 

Dear Kathleen,                                              8/23/56

I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which is on the picture, and it was fun.

Hope you write me often as I miss you very much. Take good care of Grandma and Grandpa for me.

Love,

Aunt Thelma

 

POSTCARD #2:

I am having a very enjoyable holiday here at Castelldefels. The weather on the whole has been fairly warm and sunny. On Palm Sunday I visited Montserrat, a sight well worth seeing. I have also visited the sights of Barcelona but I have not been to a bullfight as one is suppose to have an escort. Shall write to you soon.

From- Dorothy

 

POSTCARD #3:

Hi,

Had a beautiful ride today across Arizona & N.M.. Last night had a excellent Mexican dinner, so good I could still taste it this morning. I drop off a piano tomorrow, in El Paso, then Houston, N. Orleans & Atlanta. I see the Sabres have really been scoring lately. Thanks so much for having Diana and I for the Chicago game. We both enjoyed it very much. Lockport Sabres Fans were very envious of our seats.

Love always

Jim

 

POSTCARD #4:

This is lovely country up here. Going to Alexandria Bay tomorrow & take a boat ride. Weather fine.

Charlie & Marg

 

COMMENTARY:

What can we say, these people are on vacation and we only see a little bit of their experience. It’s interesting to read what they wrote and what impressed them in their travels. People are people and the little bit of humor Jim adds to his card about his Mexican meal is fun. Dorothy gives us little more information about her travels. Aunt Kathleen basically wants to be written back to and Charlie & Marg give us only a sentence. Everyone is traveling so what can we expect. Sending postcards and collecting them was once very popular. These four give us a little insight to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s of Postcard writing.

 

 

HISTORY:

The Eiffel Tower – Here is a link: http://www.toureiffel.paris/en

Castelldefels – Here is a link: https://www.spain-holiday.com/Castelldefels

Montserrat – Here is a link: https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/tour/montserrat-spain.html

Barcelona – Here is a link: https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com

Alexandria Bay – Here is a link: https://www.visitalexbay.org