Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Harold writes a letter to his sister Ruth.

Capitol Hotel
Amarillo, Texas

                                                                                               April 29, 1964
Dear Ruth & Ock;

            Looks like I get around don’t it?  I left Washington April 19 and will return home May 2nd.  While I have been gone Betty our oldest daughter gave birth to a baby girl (April 24).  Laura called me long distance to give me the news.  She wrote yesterday saying all is well.  That Betty would be coming home today.  I don’t know any other statistics but will [be] happy to get them first hand on Saturday when I get home.

            I was sorry to miss you last month when I stopped over in Salt Lake on my way home from Boise Idaho.  It was wonderful to see Mother however and I was happy that you were enjoying your trip to California.  Although it was good to see Mother, I am forced to say she appears to have lost considerable ground since last June when we were last in S.L.C.  It makes my heart acke to see her so frail.  Yet she assured me she has no pains.  She was looking forward to your return.  This was good in itself to see that she was looking forward to something.  I could see Ruth that it must be a terribly big job for you day after day taking care of someone so helpless.  The rest of us owe you more than we can ever repay.  Which reminds me to ask.  How are moms finances?  Please let me know.  Are you still able to take the amount we agreed upon?  When its gone those of us who can will see that you get it are paid provided we know.  Also, Ruth, you owe it to yourself and family to speak up.  If and when it becomes a bigger job than you can handle.  But I know it will be hard for you to do.  Its hard for me to think of Mother being any place than with one of us.  I know you as a wonderful sister and a loving daughter to our Mother.  Our Fathers (both of them) in Heaven will bless you for what you have already done.  Keep us posted and let us share your concern.  Tell all hello for us.  It was good to see Mel and his family and mother.

                                                Your loving brother

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Four days of writing get mailed get mailed on a sixth day: April 27 - May 2, 1942

                                                                April 27, 1942
                                                                643 Cedar Street

Dear Mom,

            We got your letter this morning, and it is the first we've had since your letter last Mon.  It was good to hear from you, altho I’m sorry you've got house cleaning to do.  It is always such a job, but then you always feel better when it is done.
            Today is the 27th and I guess Royce is on his way home, or almost.  Tell him hello for us.  Some of the missionaries here that knew him or of his work speak highly of him.  I hope that you will know when Lois is going to have her baby so you can be home when Pearl is married.  It seems strange to talk of her getting married.  She thought all of us would be able to be at the temple when she did, & here none of us will hardly.  If she is going to use my clothes perhaps Helen can wash the veil and do it up.  It needs cleaning badly, altho I believe everything else is ok.  Jean Carlson wanted to borrow them around the first of June too.
            Harold & I walked down by the river tonight and the fireflys are beautiful.  Looking at them from a distance it looks as tho you are looking at a city from a hill with a thousand glittering lights.  We've never seen anything quite like fireflys at home.  But it is after 10 o’clock & I’m tired, so I think I shall finish writing in the morning.
                                                                   April 28
            The frig hasn't come yet, altho we are expecting it today.  I have stayed home all morning waiting for it.  It will seem so good to have a place to put our food.  I've just put Alvin to bed, and here I’m sleepy again.
                                                                   April 29th
            Well Mom, this is the 3rd day I've been at this letter.  The weather has been so sultry for the past few days I haven’t felt like doing anything.  Today the wind is blowing quite stiff, & it feels so refreshing.  We sweat all the time, day & night down here.  You can wake up in the middle of the night as wet as can be, yet you feel cold.  It is just like our July days not now, hot & sticky.  You have to bathe every day.  I don’t know if you could stand the heat if you did come down this summer.  We’ll have to wait & see how it is.
            I told you about Mrs. Magee didn’t I?  She lives across the street, and she has surely been kind to us.  She has taken to Alvin as if he were her own child.  The other night we went over & sat on the porch visiting till 8:30 or more.  They had a child’s porch chair that their boy & girl had used, and they gave it to Alvin.  It is really large enough for me to sit in, and yet it is very low.  Alvin insists on climbing up on me, & if you can read my writing

[type written letter in the same envelope]

                                                             May 2, 1942
Dear Mother,

            I had just about given up trying to get a letter off to you this week.  It has been so hot and sultry, and sticky I just haven’t done anything.  Even at night it is so hot we can hardly sleep.  The last two days Alvin has had heat rash on his chest and shoulders quite bad.  I have put his sleeveless shirts on, and he has been wearing that little short suit you gave him, but I will have to cut off the sleeves.  They come just a little below the elbow, and are too hot for him.  He won’t be able to war the long pants I made of the denim very much longer.

            It seems as tho something is trying to stop me from writing.  Mrs. Powell, a young neighbor just dropped in to see how I was, and stayed talking half an hour.  She has been asking me all kinds of questions about our church, and she has never heard of it before, and it is hard for me to explain it all to her, so I decided to start on something easy, and tell her only so much at a time.  She will ask me a little every time she comes over, and it is certainly easier than trying to sit down and tell her the whole plan and program of the church.  In fact I find it impossible to do that, and very impractical for her to grasp too.

            Monday we have to go and register for sugar rationing, and we will be allowed ½ lb. Per person a week.  This week we are unable even to buy sugar.  But then I suppose you are having the same thing at home.  I got in 25 lbs. before this week, so I will be able to put up a little fruit.  Strawberries are almost over here, and they are 1.50 for a case of 24 cups.  They are almost as good as those we have at home, but not quite.  Dewberries are on in full swing now too, and they are the biggest nicest berries I have ever seen.  They are 2.00 for a case of 24., but I’m not going to put any up unless they last till after the end of next week, and I’m sure they will.  The new vegetables are just coming on now.  Radishes, beets, carrots, and potatoes.  We bought a bu. of potatoes at the market (new) for 60¢.  They are all small, but they are very good.  Fish seems to be getting cheaper all the time.  Last night I bought 20¢ worth of fillet of red fish which tastes very much like trout, and we had enough for supper last night, and enough for mine and Alvin’s lunch today.  I’m glad we can get some things cheap down here anyway.

            Yesterday fishing season opened here, and it was Harold’s day off, and for a couple of hours he went down to the river and fished.  You don’t even have to have a license here to fish like they do at home.  He caught a couple of cat fish, but gave them to a little boy on the stream.

            Today is Saturday, and we are going out to the park for a picnic for the closing of Mutual.  Alvin and I are going out about 4, and Harold and the boys are going to meet us out there at 5:30.  I told you they were getting a day and a half off didn't I, and they have to work a half hour longer at night.  Now they are going to work at 8, and working till 5.  They leave here at 7:15 in the morning, and by nine I have all my work done, and then it starts getting hot.

            I’m sending $6.00 in this letter.  The one I owe you, and 5.00 more to pay the Star.  Then will you let us know if that pays them in full.  I’m very glad you did send the ten on, because it was just before payday, and we were pretty low.  The frig. Just got here yesterday.  It was held up because of flood waters in western Texas, and we were surely glad to have it.  The last few days the milk wouldn’t keep fresh one day, altho Mrs. Brown next door gave me a pan of ice cubes every day, or I don’t know what I would have done.  We turned the frig on last night about 4, and it ran till bed time, then stopped.  This morning the box was hot again, and I took the cord to an electrical shop up the street, and there was a loose connection.  We were glad that nothing else was wrong.  In coming down a little of the enamel was chipped off the front, and the men that delivered it said they would send the claim agent out to retouch it.  The box it came in was almost in splinters when it got here.  The only thing it could be used for is kindling wood, and it is no wonder, the thing is so heavy.

            We will send some pictures of Alvin the first of next week, altho they aren't very good, because the sun was so bright they are somewhat dull.  I got a letter from Mary, and one from Dan this morning.  They are all well, altho Mary says she is having a time getting caught up after two trips to Salt Lake.  She also said that Mary Jane had cut her first tooth, which reminds me that Alvin now has 3 double teeth thru.  We also got a letter from Jennette yesterday, and one from Harold’s brother Gorden the day before.  Jennette seems to be quite satisfied with their house now, and I am glad.
            I went to the Dr. yesterday, and he says I’m all ok, except I've got to watch my weight.  I could tell I was gaining too fast, so I had been watching what I ate before I went.  It seems that the change of climate has something to do with it.  Don’t worry about me, because I will be careful.  The Dr. also told me to walk more each day, so I’ll have to get out in the mornings before it gets too hot.

            Write and tell me when you are leaving for Oregon, so I can keep in touch with you.  Alvin is asleep now, so I think I’ll lay down for a while because I have to make two dozen sandwiches for the picnic, and I don’t want to be too tired to go.  And next time I hope you don’t have to wait so long for a letter from me.

            With love from all of us,
                                 Your loving daughter Laura
                                               Alvin, and Harold

Saturday, April 26, 2014

This edition of the Family Newsletter includes a week of missionary letters including one from today.

                                                                   The Carlson Family Newsletter Number 42
                                                                   April 18, 1994

Dear Family,
            It is P. Day, and I think my brain has been turned off.  The past week we have been very busy, and the coming week promises to be just as busy, although not with missionary work as such.  This evening we will go back over to Glendora to contact 3 more people we would like to see baptized.  Younger missionaries are not given the privilege of going back into an area from where they have moved.  We will visit tonight only briefly however.
            This coming week is full.  First of all, we have a new companion, Sister Shin from Korea.  She will finish her mission May 10, and will be with us till then.  Tomorrow we will take her to one of her Korean contacts in Arcadia.  Wednesday, the whole mission–missionaries–will go to the Los Angeles Temple for the 11:a.m. session.  It will take most of the day.  Then Thursday and Friday mornings we will put in 2 hours of community service each morning.  We get pretty discouraged when we can’t find anyone to teach.  We had a wonderful Chinese couple.  The woman was especially interested, but we felt that her English was not quite good enough for us to teach, so we invited the Chinese Elders to go with us.  We went alone the first time, and the second time we went with them.  However the Elders took over the lesson in Chinese, but they took 2 ½ hours to give it, and when they called back to set up another discussion, she wouldn’t let them come back.  She said she didn’t have the time.  Maybe we can try again.  We just don’t know.
            We went to a referral who wasn’t home.  A neighbor told us she was out of town.  We started talking to the neighbor who spoke mostly Spanish. I could converse with her somewhat.  She has 3 children under 8 years, and feels she needs a church for them.  She told us we could send some Spanish missionaries, but warned us that she would have to take religion slow with her husband.  She wants the missionaries to come during the day when her husband is at work.  We hope they will follow thru with her.
            We had a couple plus an Indian man come to church a week ago, but the Indian man has gone back to India because his wife in India had a baby girl last week.  The couple we are still teaching, but He is in the National Guard, and is gone one week-end a month, so they didn’t get to church yesterday.  We also started teaching a 22 year old member who quit coming to church when she was 14.  She had a baby at that time.

                                                                               April 19, 1994

            Tonight we finally found our new referel home.  Her name is Marsha Carlston, and she has a husband.  They are both born again Christians.  Boy, were they out to get us.  They told us that we don’t believe in the Christ of the Bible.  We believe Joseph Smith is God.  Satan is not a spirit brother to Jesus Christ.  God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are one God.  Jesus Christ is the very eternal God.  Joseph Smith received visitations from Moroni, an angel of light.  The Devil is an angel of light.
            They went on like this for an hour.  We all three bore our testimony to them.  We also refuted their statements with scripture, but of course, they didn’t believe us.  It made us realize that we needed to know the teachings of the gospel completely.  It also made us realize we could not argue with them.  There was no way we could change their views. They called me a Temple Mormon.  I asked them what they meant.  He said, “have you been married in the temple, and taken all those covenants and secret oaths?”  I told him we had no secret oaths, and yes, I have been married in the temple for time and all eternity.  It would take me pages to tell you all that went on during that hour, or it was more like an hour and a half.  I think it upset them that we wouldn’t argue with them.

                                                                               April 22, 1994

            The day we went to Arcadia, it was necessary for us to stop at the bank.  We drove into the parking lot, and parked alongside a very lovely car.  The woman in the car called out, “you hit my car.”  I was the only one getting out of the car, and I stood up and said, “There is no way we could have hit your car.”  But she said, “But you just hit my car.”  I said, “there are 3 of us in this car, and we would have been able to tell if we had even touched your car, which we didn’t.  She got out, and pointed to a dent in some beautiful chrome.  I didn’t even answer her, but hurried into the bank.  When I got in, I immediately went to the teller and told her what had happened, and when I turned around to point her car out, she was driving out.  I guess he thought she had a couple of old ladies, from our of town–our car has a Utah license–and she figured she could make us pay for a dent in her car.  We didn’t hear any more from her.  I had never heard of anyone trying a trick like that before.
            Days go by, and I don’t even get a letter finished.  I know that Trina has been in the hospital.  I tried to get her by phone but she had been released.  I hope she is feeling better.  We have heard that President Nixon is very ill.  Anything we hear is from someone else.  We have no access to newspaper, radio, or TV.  In a way, it is very good.  We don’t hear of all the rime that is going on.  In another way, we know of very little that is going on.  That is ok also, because most of what is reported is bad news.
            Most of you know that I try to grow Amarillis bulbs at Christmas.  They are so beautiful, but very expensive to buy the bulbs.  Here, they are in full bloom in every one’s garden.  Instead of 4 or 8 blooms, they almost grow in hedges, with so many blooms you can’t count them.  They are in every color, and oh, so beautiful.  I don’t think Californians realize the beauty they have all around them.
            Our avocados are falling every day.  We can’t reach any of them to pick them.  They are too high, so we pick them up off the ground, and use them if they are not too bruised.  They have what they call finger avocado’s and we have a few on our trees.  In the store yesterday I saw some for sale at $6.99 a pound.  The season for Avocado’s is almost over.  Our oranges are all gone, and our lemons, altho we see trees still loaded with both.
            We went back to our little Spanish lady this afternoon, the one that lives next door to the Born again christian.  The Spanish lady was not home, altho we had made a definite appointment.  Maybe the neighbor told her how bad our church is.


Uncle Willard said there was a bad accident in Provo Canyon involving a Carlson boy.  Could it have been one of the Carlson’s from Charleston.  They are from a brother of Alvin E. Carlson, Dad’s father - Jack Carlson.

                                                            April 26, 1994

Alice just called: 4 P.M. Tues.  There is two inches of hail on the ground, thunder and lightening, the worst storm Alice has seen in the twelve years they have been in Yorba Linda.

Big preparations are goin on for Pres. Nixon’s funeral tomorrow.  The schools here are closed all day tomorrow.  Four former presidents will be there plus Pres. Clinton.  She says the skies have been full of helicopters


Thursday, April 24, 2014

A new house and another baby on the way and another letter

                                                                                                        April 24, 1955

Dear Mother,
            It has been two weeks since we came back from Salt Lake.  We signed the papers for our house of the Tuesday we came home, and started to move on Thursday.  Harold stayed home on the Friday, to help move, and we finished on Sat. and got Chambers moved into our place too.  We some how got to church last Sunday, and Sunday School too.  Then too, our first day in the house I had morning sickness.  I was a week over, but I thought it was because I had been sick for so long.  I had such high hopes for geting this house in good working order, and fixing it up, and getting settled.  The Lord has different ideas I guess.  He doesn't give me even one minute to think of things material.  It sometimes makes me wonder if it is wrong to use our energies in trying to make things look nice around us.  No Mother, I’m not bitter, and I’m not unhappy.  I’m just tired.  I just wonder if I have the energy to keep things in running order.  I've always been so sick the first three months that nothing but the absolute essentials gets done.  I’m trying to get plenty of rest so I can maybe avoid that this time.  I don’t know whether that is possible or not.  You don’t need to say anything to anyone about it yet.  I hadn't even intended telling you, but somehow over the years no matter how far apart we have been I have felt the influence of your prayers in my behalf when I needed them, and I feel that I need them now.
            This week Amanda and Vernon Willits have had word that they will be transfered to Salt Lake, and must be there by the middle of July.  They have seemed like such a permenant part of Barnum Ward that it seems strange for them to be going away.  But then we see changes all around us all the time.

            I learned this morning that Sister Junie Smith’s sister lived in our house on Virginia for years, and that old Sister Vivian spent her first night in that house when she came to Denver over 50 years ago.  So I guess that house is older than that.  Everyone seems so happy that we have a new house.  I would like to have some new chairs for the dining room, and some livingroom furniture, but that is going to have to wait.  Abbie Shelton came into Denver this morning, and will stay with us till tomorrow morning, then continue on her way to San Antonio.  She was happy she could stop off and rest a little.  No one knows better than you what a long trip it is to make all at one time.  We are very happy to have her here too.  She got in this morning at 9:30, and we went to Sunday School.  And we all had a nap this afternoon.  Harold has gone to a Stake priesthood meeting, and I have to be to church at 5 to sing with the singing Mothers.

            Abbie is awake now and we haven’t much time so I will close.



Our address is 580 So Alcott
Telephone West 4-4933

There is another earlier letter 1949 from Jane Davidson to Laura that didn't seem appropriate for Facebook, since I had worms and Grandma seems a bit depressed, but I guess I'll post it here:

                            3112 So. 7th East Salt Lake City, Utah April 24th 1949
Dear Laura,
I was so glad to get your letter, as we were wondering how you all were, as Harold had been sick in  Salt Lake and no one had heard about you.  I hope you are all better by this time and that Jane will soon be all right.  You will have to watch her after she goes to sleep at night, about an hour after.  Take a piece of cotton with vasoline on it and wipe off her rectum.  Mary said that is what she had to do with Mary Jane.  It seems they all get them at some time.  Did you get a letter from Scotland from Elgin.  I guess yours went to Estes Park and I hope you left your address to have your mail forwarded on to you.  It is a kind of a mixed up affair but Roland and the others said they would just leave it as it is.  The thing is will they be able to send it on to you.  You might try at the Post Office in Denver and find out if they could send it to you in a money order.  They don’t know here what to do.
 [NOTE:  this letter she speaks of is concerning my inheritance from my grandparents Davidson, as grandmother has just passed away, and the home had been repaired, and they wondered if we wanted to contest the repairs.]
          Bro. Murdock at the church office said he didn’t think we could get it because of this new law that went into effect over a year ago.  He said they couldn’t send any tithing from over there, so I don’t know.  You might write some of the others and find out what they are going to do.  We haven’t heard from Pearl yet about it.  We are all well here at home.  Willards cold is better.  Helen had a headache and upset stomach Friday, and Edna has had a headache again, but they all seem fine today.  I didn’t go to Sunday School, but am going tonight as Harvey Brienholt is going to speak.  I haven’t seen many since I came home.
I haven’t seen Mother Carlson, just talked to her over the Phone.  She was worrying over Genevieve.  I saw sister DeYoung.  They took me to an open house that Sister Taylor had for Bro. Taylor’s mother.  She was 84 years old.  I saw Laxmans there & Sister Phillips and Sister Carlson down there & Bowers also Beth and Mabel [Laxman] and Norma Taylor.  I will finish when I come from Church.

25th.  Well I didn’t finish last night.  It is 7: a.m. I went to bed early as I was tired.  Harvey and his girl friend gave talks.  Harvey’s mother wasn’t there.  Bro. Brienholt offered prayer.  I met Mother Carlson and Ruth and a few others.  It looked as if some never missed me.  I guess that’s how it is when one gets old, and inactive in the church.  I haven’t done much since I came home.  I have to crochet a shawl for Mary so I better get started.  I would like to come and stay with the children and if Pearl and Royce comes I will see them and then go on to Denver.  I guess I can keep things going for a week or two then you will be around again, but I can’t keep everything going.  I mean the washing and ironing and you know, I just get tired doing nothing, and don’t care to go much. Jennette expects a baby in October. I guess she will come down here. She doesn’t say anything about her affairs any more.  I don’t know if they have chickens any more, she never says.  Now I better stop and get a little breakfast.  I hear them moving around.  Well bye by and do write soon and hope you are all well and that Harold has found a garden space.  It seems a shame that nothing is planted in our yard, but I can’t help it.  Lots of love to you all from Mother.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

41 years ago

April 23, 1973

            Harold - dist leader Lyon
            New address/  Chez Thome
                                    74 Cours de la Liberte
                                    Lyon, France

Dear Family,

It is Monday morning again.  Yesterday was Easter, and I believe for the first time in the history of the Carlson Clan we didn’t cook or color Easter eggs.  In fact, a pound of Easter candies, and a chocolate rabbit were all we got.  Yesterday afternoon Grandma and I went to Salt Lake to Bill Davidson’s missionary farewell.  He is going to the Northern mission, with headquarters in Chicago.  Most of the family were there.  I’m afraid I get too tired tho.  I haven’t gone in the car lately without nearly going to sleep at the wheel.  I don’t get to sleep before midnight, and am awake at 6:A.M.  Last night I got to bed by 9:30 for the first time in months, and slept till 7:A.M. and I felt better.  Will has been going out playing night games with the neighborhood kids every night till 10:P.M. and I am going to have to put a stop to that except for a couple of nights a week.  This every night has got to stop.  He went again to McDonald’s and they always say come back in three weeks.  This time he is going in every week till they get tired of seeing him.

Elda Mae Runyan and Lee Gaskill came by one evening last week to visit.  The Runyans were here on a youth temple trip.  They did baptisms in the Salt Lake Temple and in Manti.  Denver school had a whole week off for Easter Vacation.  Grandma is quite a character.  About 9:15 P.M. she said, “When are they going home.”  I told her in a little while, and asked her if I could help her get to bed.  She said, “No, I had better not go to bed.  I had better stay up and help you get rid of them.”  I took her to the bedroom and told her that those ladies had come all the way from Denver to see me, and she said, “Denver isn’t very far away these days” “Tell them that the goblins come out after 9:o’clock at night around here.”  We just had a good laugh over it.  Elda Mae was saying that Grandma Lucy is now in a nursing home, that her mind wanders, and George has taken over her property and finances.  Lee Gaskell spent the night with me, and mentioned that Tim Runyan is not active in the church.  She said that he started working for Jerry Slaughter and got in with the wrong bunch.

Lou called Friday evening, and he has only one more test to take, and his average percentage is 90, and he will graduate on the 18th, and they will be here by the evening of the 19th.  He is going to get spoiled with the army coming in and packing all his household goods etc.  The army will even come here and get all their things from here.  Kirkhams will have to bring the things they have up there, and the Army will pick them all up here.  Boy, some people have it easy.  They will have 15 days off, and then they will be going to Ft. Riley, Kansas.  We can go see them on our way home from Virginia.  Will can’t get off school till the 24th, so if Laurie has had her baby, we will leave the afternoon of the 24th of May for Virginia, and will go as far as Loveland, get there about 1:A.M., sleep till about 5 or 6 A.M. and then get going again.  We will probably make one more stop before we get to Virginia.  We are taking the old car.  I will buy 4 new tires, and have someone check the car over good, and I think we will make it ok.  Lou and Karen will stay here till Alice and Sam arrive, then they will go on up to Salt Lake.  Of course Laurie and Marlin has room for them if they want to go up there.  By then, maybe the snow will be gone from the road.  Yesterday the sun was out all day, but it was quite cold.  It snowed nearly every day last week, and as I looked up at the mountains, I felt that we were in the garden of the selfish giant where it was always winter.  The deer were even down on the mountain again on Saturday morning.

I’ll be glad when my May lesson is over.  It has been quite hard for me to concentrate long enough to prepare a lesson.  I sometimes feel like I have nothing, or no object to my life.  I work till I am ready to drop just so I won’t have to think.  It is crazy, but I will either get a job by fall, or start going to school, and try to catch up with my children.

Harold I feel that you are going thru a testing period with so little activity in the church in the city of Valence.  This is probably the hardest time of your whole mission, and the way you discipline yourself will determine how you feel about yourself, and your mission.  There is someone in that town looking for the gospel, or you wouldn’t have been kept there for so long a time.  Keep searching them out.  Hope the tapes arrived ok.  Lou and Karen’s David is going into the hospital to have his tear duct probed.  It has been clogged since birth, and they had it all scheduled for last week, and he caught cold, and they had to cancel.  They were going in again today to have him checked.  End of paper. Lovingly, Mother

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Laura got her letters written, to her sister and to her mother

                                                                                         April 22, 1942
                                                                                         643 Cedar Street
                                                                                         San Antonio, Texas

Dear Helen [Davidson Toronto]

            I’ve been here over a month now.  Sometimes it seems longer than that, and yet when I realize a whole month has gone by it seems to have gone on wings.  I came outside to write so I could watch Alvin at play, but he wants to be climbing on me or the chair or getting into my stationary.  He is just a regular boy.  The pockets on all his trousers are half torn off from stuffing them with rocks.  The last few days he has noticed the airplanes, and when he is in the house and hears one he drags me to the door.  He is saying some words very well now, but he is still too lazy to talk.

            Sunday night in church Reed Clinger, the one staying with us had to administer the sacrament, and when Alvin saw him he stood up on his chair waving his arms, and yelling “Weed, Weed.”  Later Harold had to talk, & he yelled Daddy and made so much racket while Harold was trying to talk I had to take him to the door.  He has been pretty good in church tho since we came.  Next Sunday night the Relief Society has charge of the program and they asked me to read a poem “Our Prophet.”  It is very short and not hard to learn.  It is nice to go to Relief Society here.  All the women are so friendly.  They hold it Wed. evenings so the husbands can stay home and take care of the children. 
            I should write to Mom today, but don’t think I’ll get at it.  Harold will be home at noon, and we are going to walk to the Market.  It is about as far as our Mkt is from your place I imagine.

            The boys are working until 5:30 again instead of 5 and they have a half day off before their day off.  I don’t know which I like the best.  It was good having them home at 5:20 and supper over with early.  But then, they are only half an hour later.

            If I don’t get a letter off to Mom tho. Tell her I’m glad the frig is on the way, and that they had someone come & pack it.  I should have thought of having it done that way myself but didn’t.

            I’m glad Mont is still working.  Hope he can work into something good, or at least keep what he is doing for a while.  You spoke of renting your house, and going down home.  Perhaps if you did that you would have the place to yourselves for a while.  We would like to have Mom come down about July 1 and would like her to stay 2 or 3 months at least.  The trip would be too hard on her if she didn’t stay that long.  But then I’m wondering about the heat here at that time.  If it is too bad I wouldn’t want her to come till later.  It depends too I suppose on what Pearl is going to do.  I suppose you are all waiting anxiously to see Royce again.  I’ve just got dinner over with, and put Alvin to bed so I think I will write to Mom before Harold comes.

            Take care of yourself Helen, and make your health the best you can.  I’m surely feeling tops.  With lots of love from all of us,

            Your loving Sister

P.S. I’m half tempted to send that yellow material home so you can make a dress for Pearl.
P.S. Tell Mom what I’ve told you if its worth telling.

                                                                                       April 22, 1942

Dear Mom,

            I’ll bet you breathed a sigh of relief when that frig was finally out of the house.  I’m so glad you had someone come and pack it.  I should have thought of it myself, because I was so worried that the boys would get hurt trying to lift it.  It is worth the $6.00 not to have the worry of it.  If you haven’t sent the $9.00 but I’m afraid by now you have, I’d say to send only $4.00 and have Pearl pay the other $5.00 to the Star, and see if that paid them in full.  If you have already sent the money we will send another $5.00 on the first, and I hope that will clear us of the Star.

            Harold has started a checking account, and each time he gets paid will put his full check in the bank.  Then we write checks for our rent and any other bills, & the check stub is a good receipt in keeping track of our money.  Reed pays us $15.00 every 2 weeks, and I use that for the house plus some of our own, then all that is left is in the bank.  It seems like a good way to save money.  The last check tho we had to take just about all of it out again, but once we get on our feet I think we will be ok.

            We are going to have a phone put in.  Reed wanted one, & said he would pay half the bill each month.  I think I’ll feel better with one in the house too.

            The boys are back working till 5:30 at night again, and they will have an extra half day off a week.  Harold will be home at noon today and have tomorrow off too.  It might be better at that I don’t know.  He decided not to take the Spanish class tho, because he wouldn’t have time to come home for supper, and we wouldn’t see him at all.  He is looking around to see if there isn’t some place giving lessons just 2 or 3 times a week instead of every night.

            I wrote a letter to Daniel & one to Helen this morning, and my hand is getting tired.  I sent a card to Dr. Gleave, Harry & Gert, & Harold’s draft board.  I also wrote to Delsa Duncan this week.

            The Dr. is giving me the same kind of iron capsules for my blood as Sundivall did, altho not so many of them.  I think my blood is up considerably already, altho I’ll have to watch my weight.  In the 5 months at home I only gained 6 lbs, and the month I’ve been here I’ve gained 5 lbs.  I am watching tho that I don’t eat so much.  I walk so much too you’d think I’d walk my weight away, but you can walk a mile here, & it is like walking 2 blocks at home.

            I hope Sister MacIntosh is better.  I guess Pearl is all in a dither over Royce coming home.  I hope you are not cleaning too much trying to get the place looking nice before he comes.  I wish we could send enough money to have the 2 rooms papered.  No one would like to see it done more than I.  At Church the other night Harold met an Elder Bloomquist who was in Sweden when he was.  He was here on vacation & lives within a block of Daniel in Calif.  We are always running into someone we know.  Looks like I’m running out of paper.  May God bless you Mother, & help us to see you soon.

            With love, Laura

Monday, April 21, 2014

A sweet letter that explains a lot

[Handwritten by Harold on the back of paper with the following letterhead]
                                                                                                Austin Texas
                                                                                                April 21, 1945

Dear Mother Davidson:
            Laura told me about her calling you on the phone since I have been gone.  And as I read her letter I thought it would be nice to write to you too.  I have been away from home a little over a month now.  My work has been interesting and Texas weather has been like early summer back home.  For the last two days it has rained continually here in Austin and yet it is almost too warm to wear a suit coat.
            In spite of the pleasant nature of my work I oftimes am on the verge of quitting my job.  I would like nothing better than to have a job back home paying me just enough to get by on.  I’m not cut out for a traveling job that takes me away from my wife and babies.
            Lately in our letters Laura and I have written about coming home for a couple of weeks sometime in May.  If we do I have a slight feeling I will sort of nose around for a job while we’re there.
            I suppose most everything has changed back home too.  However it would be wonderful if Laura and I could just visit our mothers once in a while.  Laura worries a lot about you.  She needs to hear your voice once in a while too.  I have told her to call you on the phone as often as she likes and yet the darling girl is a Scott and hesitates because she wonders whether we can afford it.  I love Laura for a lot of her little Scottish ways Mother.  In fact the things I love most about her are the things you have taught her.  Her faith in Our Father in Heaven and in doing right toward all people.  I can hope for nothing more than as she and I grow older she will be as kind and sweet a mother and grandmother as you are.
            I have missed church most of the time since I left Denver.  It seems that I finish my business in one Texas city on Saturday evening and must start early Monday morning in a city some 5 or 6 hundred miles away.  This has meant all day Sunday on the train.  It seems as thou the Government expects their traveling representatives to do this.  This made me happy to hear that Roland did not take that job that had so much traveling in connection with it.  I have managed to go to Sunday School and Sacrament meeting twice since I came to Texas and I have been able to arrange it so I can go again tomorrow.  Laura has been able to go too as I left the car with her.
            Well Mother dear I must close for this time but hope that perhaps sometimes next month Laura and I will be able to see you in Salt Lake.  Write Laura when you can as she certainly looks for your letters and I in turn can get the news you send through her sweet letters to me.
                                                Your loving son,


Sunday, April 20, 2014

The spring after her husband died. Timp Lodge. It has been 41 years.

April 20, 1973

Dear family,

I usually write every Monday morning, but I didn’t even think of it till Tuesday, then couldn’t seem to find the time.  Laurie and Marlin moved up to the lodge last Sat. the 14th, and Will and I helped them in the morning, then I took off from the lodge and went to Tabiona, leaving Will there to help shovel snow.  I brought Grandma Davidson and Aunt Jennette down, and we were going to stop at the lodge and pick up Will.  We got about 500 yds above Sundance, and the ruts of snow and ice were so deep that I couldn’t get up.  They told me I had to stay out of the ruts, but to do that you had to practically ride the side of the hill.  The snow banks on both sides was about 10 feet tall.  I tried 3 times to get up, and finally gave up and went back to Sundance and called them on the phone.

Monday night Marlin and Laurie tried to get up, and couldn’t make it, so they walked from Sundance.  Sunday afternoon Laurie came down to church alone, and trying to get back up she ran into a snow bank, and put a dent under the front fender, and peeled off some paint.  She called here, because she couldn’t get hold of Marlin, and Marlin ran down the hill, and he and the man from Sundance pulled her out.  They have found that if they put some cement blocks in the old Plymouth that it makes it up the hill with no problem.  They can’t get rid of it yet, because Marlin was afraid she might be at the lodge alone when the baby is due.  It is ironic that the Plymouth will make it up there.

Last night we all went up to the Lodge Palmers from Aurora, and the Barrauses, There were 17 people in all, and Laurie cooked a turkey, and we celebrated Marlin’s graduation.  He graduates today.  We still had a little difficulty getting up the hill, but I think that the spring is the worst time of the year, because the snow is starting to melt, and the deep ruts occur.  Grandma was very upset, because she couldn’t tell where we were going, and the snow frightened her.  I couldn’t move away from her all last night.  Yesterday it rained and snowed all day, and this morning there is a blizzard, and we have a little 2 foot apricot tree in full bloom.  I don’t know whether it is frozen or not.  We covered it the night before last, but forgot last night.  Yesterday the snow didn’t stay on the ground, but this morning the ground is pretty well covered.  It is bitter cold.  We are beginning to feel that spring will never come.

Two weeks ago Will bought a ten speed bike, and the first afternoon the front tire split open.  They replaced it, and the second day he was riding it in circles, and the back rim warped out of shape.  They also replaced it.  They said it had been sitting in a crate for 8 months or so.  I hope he doesn’t have any more problems.  Last week the mixmaster stopped going, and they said they would fix it and give me a years guarantee for $11.00.  The same day the toaster wouldn’t work.  The toast wouldn’t even go down, and they wanted $8.00 to fix it, so I didn’t leave it.  Then last Sat. the washer started acting up again.  I called the repair4 man and he came on Monday, and told me it would cost $60.00 to repair.  At first he thought he had it fixed, and then ran it thru the cycle, and it wouldn’t spin.  He took it apart again, and touched something with the screw driver, and it spun ok, but water spued all over everything from the main tub.  Then he took off the top spindle and said the barings were wearing and didn’t know how long they would last, so I told him to haul it away.  He also took the toaster, to see if he could fix it.  So now we are in the market for a new washer.  In the meantime, we are using the one downstairs.

Lou and Karen say that as of now their first station will be Ft. Riley Kansas, which will not be too far from home.  We would love to have you come even for a few days.  You should get here by Monday the 20th, only Monday is the 21st.  That will be about the same time Alice and Sam arrive.  Will can’t get out of school till the 23rd at the earliest, so it will be the 24th before we can leave for Virginia.  That isn’t going to help Betty and Blen much if Betty is on time with her baby.  At least we can let you have a vacation from the children after you come home from the hospital.  I’m hoping we get there before you go to the hospital.  Next Saturday Will is going to see a Dr. in Salt Lake about his nose.  He still breaths thru his mouth at night, and we have been told for years that he would have to have it operated on, and this would be the best year for him to have it done.

                                                Lovingly,        Mother

<Hope the tapes arrived ok.  Next time we will have to edit them.>

[P.S. to Jane and Ken] We love to get your letters.  Hope your new car is a good one.  

I'm trying to catch up with today

To Mrs. Jane S. Davidson, c/o L. F. Toronto, 870 Wilshire Pl., Salt Lake City, Utah, April 19, 1947

Dear Mother,

            I wrote to you the first part of the week, but was so upset with Jane I didn’t send it.  I believe she missed you more than we could tell.  She started whining for 2 hrs every night after she was put to bed.  The last 3 nights I’ve been closing the door & letting her howl.  It is 8:20 & she just now settled down.  She calls Mother C. Grandpa, and you Grandma.  She is as good as gold the rest of the day, but just figured she didn’t have to go to sleep when put to bed.

            Your letter telling of Jennette came this afternoon.  I do hope she is feeling well.  I know you are glad when it is over.  I am going to send Alvins white shirt to one of Jennette’s boys, it is too small for him around the neck, and it will be a long time before Louis grows into it.  I am also sending a jersey dress Mrs Niemeyer gave me because it was small for her, but I look like a sausage in it.  It is old, but Jennette can wear it for afternoons.  I won’t get them off till after the first of the week so don’t look for them too soon.  I’ll send them to 3112.

            Louis is as hungry as a bear all the time.  The last 2 days his nose has run, and his gums are swollen.  It looks like his top teeth are going to be a big U.  I can’t keep him in anything anymore.  He fell out of his high chair again, & off my bed.  We can’t leave him for a minute in the high chair, so we take the sleep-safe & tie it on the high chair, then pin him in.  And he just wiggles & squirms to get out.  We took him to Denver a week ago Wed. & the Dr. just took hold of his penis & pulled it apart.  It didn’t bleed, and he didn’t cry but it was terrible the stuff that was under it.  It was no wonder it irritated.  It is surely clean looking now.  He crawls like a streak of lightening on one knee and one foot.

            We all went to Denver except Alvin, & he stayed at Thompsons after school.  When we got there we bought a vacuum cleaner at Mother C’s request.  It is a compact, a cylinder type and it seems real good.  We’ve surely taken a lot of dirt out of the house with it anyway.  Then after I took the 3 children to the Dr. we went out to Niemeyers for the afternoon.  Maxine & her two children were there too, & when Harold came we all had supper together.  It was good to see all of them again.

            Mother C. also had Harold cut a piece of hose so I could fill the washer without lifting buckets.  Why couldn’t we have done that. 

            Mother C. visited with Aunt Nell all day.

            Before I forget the cleaning fluid is called Safeway - Brush Top - Spot remover.  Mine is all gone & I’ll have to get some.  You can get it at any drug store.

            The wind is howling tonight.  But for 2 days it has been rather nice.  Tues. we had 4 inches of snow, but it was gone by afternoon Wed.

            The package came with the shirts & booties.  The shirts fit Jane fine, & surely cover her stomach well.  I believe she can wear them up here all summer.  Harold walked over to Candlands with me last night & she was so pleased with the booties, & Mrs. Young too.  Tomorrow is Conference in Greely, and we were sent a program.  On it Harold was scheduled to talk on Temple Marriage.  They didn’t even ask him.  I’m glad he is being given the opportunity.  We will leave Jane & Louis with Grandma Carlson.  Greely is 30 miles to the North & East of Loveland, & it will be a long day.

            The new room is still in the making.  They sanded the floor yesterday, so it should be ready by Tues. & Wed.  They have already painted, and it has been a steady stream of men in here since they started.  Yesterday they put in our missing light switches on the porch, kitchen and bathroom.  We still aren’t going to do any painting.  I got some curtains for the porch at Penny’s in Loveland for $1.00 a pr. [drawing shows two long side panels with short middle panel] & they are flowered, & look nice.

            How was Pearl when you went to Logan?  Is she well?  It seems that a good part of the family was together at Conference time.  The pictures were surely nice.

            You said in both letters that Wid hadn’t been well, but didn’t say what the trouble was.

            Mrs. Candlin’s shower was a week ago Thurs. & I bought some rompers for her & we took over the booties, so it isn’t necessary to send a jacket.  If you do send it I’ll keep it for another time.  I sent to wards for rompers for Helen & Mrs. Young, but just got one pr. & gave them to Mrs. Young.  Will send again for Helen.  Mrs. Roberts address is (Mrs. Claude Roberts, Estes Park.)

            Mrs. Young told us that Mrs. Thompson has made up her mind not to come to S.S. any more.  She hasn’t said anything to us, but I believe Mrs. Young is not in a position to give her any help.  They see each other a lot.  They both seem to have more time than I.  We don’t want to force anything on Mrs. T. but felt she was interested, so we want to meet them more on a social basis.  We spent an evening visiting with them last week without mentioning religion, and hope to visit with them often. 

            I am feeling fine, and my shoulders haven’t ached since a week after you left.  It seems good to be free of that ache.

            I’ve been writing for over an hour, and must get to bed, because we will have to leave by 8 in the morning.  It sounds good to hear of the flowers blooming and the trees and grass green.  So far, spring is still eluding us.  The wind is still quite raw, altho last Sun. we all went for a walk around the area.  It is still howling tonight.

            Yesterday was the last day for kindergarten.  Betty has been going the last 2 weeks, and I’m glad it is over.  She did enjoy it tho.  They divided the supplys, & Betty got a large blackboard on legs, and it has kept them busy.

            Goodnight Mother, may the Lord bless you.  I’m so thankful that you were able to stay with us so long, & for the help you gave in teaching the children.  I’m trying to spend more time with them & less time working.



A longer letter from a few years later

                                                         April 18, 1960

Dear Mother & Helen,

            I don’t know where the time goes.  I never seem to find time to write.  Last Sat. Jane had to speak at Youth Conference, so I made a suit for her out of some pink wool, so that took Wed & Thurs & Fri last week.  None of the others had any thing new for Easter.  We took the little ones on a short picnic Saturday, But it was cold.  Even tried to snow.  Yesterday was nearly as cold, and today it is a lovely warm day again.  All last week while the children were off school it was lovely & warm.  They all went back to school today.  Alvin was off from last Wed until this Wed.  He has been working for Karl Runyan all week, and can probably work on Sat’s too.

            Last Thurs. I finally went to see Dr. Whitely, at Helen’s suggestion.  He suggested that I go to the hosp. For a curetment.  My period started the day we left Tabiona and wasn’t over till day before yesterday.  Sometimes it was red, and sometimes brown.  So they will do it tomorrow at 2:P.M. and I will be home Wed. by noon.

            How is Joey after his stay in Denver?  The boys really enjoyed having him and missed him when he went.  It is too bad the plane ride was so late.  I’ll bet he was asleep before you were home wasn't he?

            Yesterday was the Easter program.  Harold gave the scripture reading, and little Willy gave the scripture reading in sacrament meeting.  He talks real loud and isn’t afraid.  There was a little girl giving one and she forgot hers.

            Willy gave: “The Lord God spoke: For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” and yet he was asleep before the meeting was over. I hate the late hour.  It is always 8:30 before we get home.

            I’m going to try to knit myself a stole out of that white wool I brought back but so far all I’ve got done is 2 rows.  No time for it either.

            How is the pup?  She is surely a fast one.  Is she eating any better?

            Have you heard from Pearl again?  I’m going to write to her & Jennette too.  I haven’t written to Jennette since we came home.  We are enjoying the mutton.  It has to be cooked a long time, but it is real good.  We had a leg roast yesterday.

            I hope you are having warm weather and that you are able to get out in the sunshine.  We have lots of daffodils in bloom.  Harold has been working overtime nearly every night since we came home.

            Take care of yourself Mother, and may the Lord bless you.



April 17 and 18

                                                                     643 Cedar Street
                                                                     April 17, 1943
Dear Mother,

            I’m slow at writing again, and I shouldn’t be when I am so anxious to hear of you.  The babies are over a month old now.  I hope things are quieting down a little for you.  So Jennette’s boy has red hair.  What are they going to name him?  Are both the girls getting along ok?  Is Burnell going to stay on the farm all summer?  When does Jennette expect to go back.  Has Pearl heard what Royce is going to do yet.  I hope she doesn’t feel bad about his losing out as a pilot.  It may be the best thing for him.  Tell one of them to write & give us the news.  I know they must be busy tho.

            It would be wonderful to come home this summer, but we are not making any plans.  We are still paying off bills, but the end is in sight.  We still owe 50. On our insurance loan, but we are going to forget about it for a while.  Other than that we are down to $19 in Dr. bills.  Harold hasn’t heard from the Navy yet, and may not for some time.

            You should see our garden Mom.  It would do your heart good.  We are eating beets & greens & peas.  Our radishes are all gone, and the beans & carrots aren’t quite ready.  We also planted 12 tomato plants.  We are still getting 3 or 4 eggs every other day, & it helps out.

            Mrs Muegge has 40 baby chicks, and 4 hens. She has turned her back yard into a chicken farm.  She is raising them to eat.  Browns too have built a chicken coop &I have 35 baby chicks.

            I have finally found out that it was red bugs that bit us last year.  You remember they got you so bad, and the only thing that kills them is oil or vaseline.  I’ve really been bitten up this year, but rubbing oil onto the bite kills the bug & the infection stops almost immediately.  We can’t go out in the garden to pull vegetables without getting some.  Alvin too is bothered, but Harold seems to be immune.  Guess what!  I’ve got a sewing machine.  Mrs Muegge gave it to me to use as long as we are here.  She wouldn’t sell it because it was her Mothers.  It works wonderful.  I guess that is why I haven’t found time to write this week.  I made a dress & bonnet for Betty this week out of that green stripe dress I wore last summer.  It is so cool & she looks so sweet in it.  I have another dress & bonnet in the making out of a blue check print.  I’ll enclose a sample to let you see it, & send some pictures of her in them later.  Right now she only has 3 dresses that will fit & it is too much to wash them just to put them right back on.  They are getting worn out.  I’m going to make some simple print dresses for every day.  Betty weighs 22 lbs now, but is getting to be quite a mama’s baby.  She cries if a stranger looks at her.  I believe she is going to cut teeth any day.  Today he[r] chin had a slight rash on it, so I guess it won’t be long.  She isn’t content unless she is on the floor, altho she doesn’t crawl.  She is so heavy I don’t let her stand unless she pulls herself up in her bed.  It is 4 P.M. & both of them Alvin & Betty have been asleep since 2.  The wind is blowing this afternoon & it is nice & cool.  

You should hear Alvin repeat the poem Little Orphan Annie from start to finish.  Harold was saying it one day just for his own amusement & Alvin made him repeat it over & over until he learned it.  He puts all the expressions in it any one could.  It is the same with any other rhyme or poem.  He says so many things now, but all too often he will talk so fast he can’t keep up with his words, so just touches them lightly, and we have one grand time trying to understand him.  The other day he had the phone book on the floor, & as a rule I don’t let him have it, & asked him what he was doing with it.  He was paging thru it and said “going to call gra-ma in Salt Lake.”  Not long ago he found one of those Peacock feathers we got at the zoo & brought to me & said “Pea cock feather, got at zoo when gra ma was here.”  Mr. Scotts 2 boys were here all morning & he played with them till he was worn out.  I guess that is why he is sleeping so well.

            Harold is working regular 8 to 5 now & has been for quite a while.  I guess it will be permanent.  He is working Sundays again for a month.  He has to work on Easter too.  Strawberries are on her, & by next week should be cheap enough to put up.  I’m going to make as much jam as I can.  We can’t remember when we’ve had jam.  We just can’t buy it in the stores any more.  Dewberries will be on within 2 weeks too, so we have a busy time ahead.  The Relief Society sisters are going to get together & bottle beets right after easter.  They are on good now, & they must be when we are getting beets out of our own garden.

            Well, I guess that is all the news here for now.  We watch so eagerly for your letters, and I know I should write more often.  I wrote to Helen last Sun. & this is the first one since.

            May the Lord bless you Mama with health, and strength & those things you need.


P.S. Mrs Brown’s Mother gave me patterns for Betty’s dresses & bonnets.  I’m trying to get some of Alvin’s clothes packed that he has outgrown.  They are not too good but maybe Merrill or Edna’s children can wear them a time or two.  I haven’t any room to keep them here,.  I may get them off this week.

            April 18 -

I wrote to Jesse this morning