Thursday, July 31, 2014

31 July 1962 A letter from Helen Davidson Toronto

                                                                                  Salt Lake City, Utah
                                                                                  July 31, 1962
Dear Laura,
            I've been going to write this letter since before your birthday, but this has been the most hectic summer I can remember and it seems that I have accomplished absolutely nothing to speak of.
            From your letter to mother it sounds as though you are having quite a time in the old East.  I do hope though that you won’t be like so many that have lived in the East and just have never taken time to see the places there that so many people drive thousands of miles to see.  We have friends who lived near Washington for at least 15 years and had never taken the time to visit the places of interest right there in the city, such as the capitol, the white house, the library, etc.  I know it all takes time but it is worth it many times over.  It is just like people here never going to the temple grounds, or Bingham mine etc.
            You wanted us to see what we could do about housing for Betty.  Mont called the housing director yesterday and talked over the situation but he said the only thing Betty could do now was to come a few days early and get something.  This doesn’t sound reasonable to me and I will try to get down to Prove soon and talk to Norma and Ed and see what we can find out.  The director did say that there just isn’t anything at all in the dorms and that there is a long waiting list, they don’t make any promises to those on the waiting list before the second semester.  Bob Toronto’s girls had a place in a home not far from Norma, I believe they did their own cooking, however.  I will see what I can find out for you as soon as possible.
            One of the girls from our ward is married and living in your town.  I talked to her mother about you and she was very thrilled and was writing to Marilyn a few days ago so she may have talked to you already.  She is Marilyn Neely Knudson, 5827 Old Chesterbrook Road in McClean. She graduated from the BYU, married and moved there.  She has one little boy and is expecting another baby soon.  Maybe she can give you some suggestions on housing in Provo.  She is a very nice girl and very talented in things like road show production and musicals.  Her mother is our theology teacher in Relief Society and is a wonderful person.  Their father died of a heart attach about 8 years ago and they have had some struggles, nothing like ours of course but for this area they were difficult. I think an uncle was responsible for Marilyn’s schooling.  She has a sister married to a Cornwall and one married to (I think, Carl Buehner’s son – one of the Buehner’s anyway.  She has two sisters and two brothers still at home.
            I had an unusual experience a week or two ago.  Early one morning a woman called saying that she was visiting her folks home, she was from South Carolina (Myrtle Beach) – her husband is a judge at a big army base there.  One evening she was seated next to the Secretary of State at a big function and in the course of the conversation he found that she was originally from Salt Lake and he asked her if she knew us.  She has been away from Salt Lake for twenty years and has traveled all over the world.  He told her that we were good friends etc. and said that he could always spot the Mormons and liked to sit by them because he could get to drink their liquor.  She said, “well maybe I’m one of those Mormons who like to drink their liquor     “.  He said, “Heaven forbid, I never want to meet one of those.”  Anyway they had quite a conversation about Salt Lake, the Mormons, and the Welfare Plan.  She said that he had everyone at the table straining to hear every word.  There was the governor and all kinds of high officials.  She was so excited in telling about it.  She said she was so grateful that we had been members who stood up for what we believe because as they have traveled around the world some of the people who hold high positions from Salt Lake have not done so and it has been hard for her.  Her husband is not a member, and Frank Thornton said to him, “How can you keep from joining up with them.” She said that it sent her husband to thinking, and it has been a real boon to their branch there at the base.  At any rate in the course of the conversation she mentioned having a sister in McLean and somehow I’ve mislaid the name or never did get it but she teaches school in Arlington, so you may run onto her.  The woman who called was Mrs. Bill Watts, I believe.  I had all the information written down and now for the life of me I can’t find it.  Anyway this woman who called me is at present at an army base in So. Carolina and her husband is an army officer – an attorney and a judge at the base.  You can see why I should have written this sooner.  I hope you can locate her sister through talking around.  Her name might be Bennett.
            We have had so many things happen around here this summer I am a bit of a nervous wreck.  It seemed to start about the 12th of July and hasn’t let up.  Sally went to a swimming party with 12 other little girls from the ward. It was a birthday party for the daughter of our Relief Society president and they went swimming at Elmo Garff’s place out in Holiday.  Sally had an ear infection so she couldn’t go in swimming but could sit an watch.  It was a warm night and very, very cloudy. LaFarne Garff asked me if I wouldn’t like to go with her just to sit an watch, but we had been to the BYU all day with the Relief Society on a tour and I was tired, besides I wasn’t worrying about Sally because of her ear so I just stayed home with David.  Everyone else was away.  At any rate little Linda Snelgrove drowned, she is the 10 year old daughter of Lucille Wilcken from down on Adams street, if you remember.  It has been such a tragedy for both families and the ward members. LaFarne of course was in worse condition than the Snelgroves so I had to just take over all the Relief Society duties with the help of whoever I could get. Lucille and Barr have been wonderful about the whole thing.  Linda was a little girl just full of vim and pep. They just had the three girls and six boys, so Linda had to keep up with the boys, she was the oldest girl.
            Just a week after that Mont, David, and Joey were going to Tabiona and Roosevelt when they had a blowout up in Daniel’s Canyon and the car turned over.  It came over the news and gave us all such a scare that I haven’t gotten over it yet.  No one was hurt which was just a miracle, the car was wrecked to the tune of about $1200 or more.  It was in the paper and over the radio so we were besieged with calls.  At the time Mont was acting governor because Gov. Clyde is over in Europe - he and his wife went over to meet their daughter who was just released from her mission in England.
            Then a few days ago Grandma Frederickson, next door, had a bad stroke and is in very poor condition.  She has been in a home for six months and it has been very hard on her.  It would be such a blessing if she could just sleep away.  She thinks the Lord has forgotten her, I guess. We were in to see her yesterday and it was sad because her mind is so clear.
            Melba Ralph Black lives in our ward and she has a 19 year old son who has Multiple Sclorosis and is to the point where the doctors have given up.  Sunday the Bishop asked the whole ward to fast for 24 hours for him and then last night we had a prayer meeting at the ward.  June Ralph Jones and her family were there too.  It is very sad because Melba just has two boys and they are very nice and nice looking and very smart.
            Well, there are other things that have happened but this is such a morbid letter that I better stop.
            We had young Roland and his new wife down for dinner on Sunday and had a nice visit with them, they went to church with us.  He has a beard and has had it since before they were married.  Mother can’t stand it, but I think he looks better with it than without.  He says half the people tell him to leave it than without.  He says half the people tell him to leave it on and the other half says he had better cut if off.  His wife likes it, and I guess if she doesn’t mind nobody else should.
            We have friends who live at 7315 Radcliffe Drive, College Park, Maryland. They are Ralph and Betty Huber.  They lived by us when we lived on Wilshire Place.  They have several girls, two of them married, and a little boy.  They are wonderful people and so nice to know.  If you ever hear of them thru the church I certainly wish you would say hello to them for me.  I don’t know whether they would be in your stake or not.  One daughter went to the AC and is now married and I believe lives in Logan.  There are lots of other people there I would like you to say hello to but I can’t think of them.  If you ever meet Sister Bennett, Senator Bennett’s wife, I hope you will speak to her and tell her that you are my sister.  She is so nice and a real wonderful person to talk to.  She is President Grant’s daughter.  I would like to get a cook book from her that she was selling a while back – it is ( receipes) of Senator’s wives etc.  She was selling them to raise funds for the Republicans.  I guess if I took the time I could reach her here because her husband is running for reelection in November against Congressman King.  Although King has to come out on top in the Primary first, but I guess he will.  I hope Bennett wins in Nov. though.  King is a good man I guess and has a nice wife and family, but some of his ideas are way out in left field.  Mont says that he is one of those men that is fine in Church but when he is in politics its just another world entirely.  But that seems to be all too common now a days.
            We have had a very cool summer here so far and I hope it hasn’t been too bad for you there – how I hated the summer in the east, I used to wonder how people could stand it and survive.
            Its about time for the mailman so I better get this letter off quick.
                                                                        Love to all of you,
                                                                                    Your Loving sister, Helen

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 1957

                                                                        (write to me soon)  July 16th 57
My Dear Laura & Harold,
                                    Here I am home again safe and pretty well.  I came home yesterday.  Mont met me at the Bus.  Roland & Lois took me as far as Boise.  Roland had some policies to deliver on the way so he just took us along.  I left Boise about 11 P.m. and got home next morning at 8:15 a.m.  Roland & Lois had to go back to Payette after I left some 60 miles.  Janice was with them. I guess she would sleep all the way home.  I just can’t remember whether I wrote to you while I was gone.  I left here on the 27th June for Payette.  Roland met me at the Bus, the next day we left for Woodinville where Lorna Jane lives.  There was Roland, Dorothy, Lois Ann, Jimmy Margaret, Molly and me.  Lois and Janice were already up there.  We went by way of Burns and Pendelton.  Roland had business at Burns.  We stayed near John Day that night in a Cabin, and started out next morning for Payette.  We went through some lovely country and the weather & roads were good.  We stopped for food at places where we could buy milk & cereal, bread & Jam and such.  We took plates & spoons & glasses with us, and ate at the Parks by the way.  The children had a good time, but they got plenty dirty.  They don’t know how to keep clean for traveling.  We got to Lorna Jane’s about 6 p.m. such a lot of us to go in where a new baby just 5 days old and Lorna Jane in bed.  Next day was Sunday and about 6 a.m. young Roland phoned from Seattle that he was there and Roland and Glen & Lois went to get him.  He had a friend with him, a Catholic boy.  We all went to Sunday School about 8 miles away except Lois & Lorna Jane.  I bathed the baby and Lois got dinner.  Roland & Lois left that night for Seattle.  They had to be at the Hotel because early Monday morning They left by boat for Victoria for their convention.  They were there until the 4th July.  Young Roland & friend left for Payette Sunday night also.  I bathed the Baby every day till the 4th and Dan Main came out to Glen’s place to see me.  He had been fishing from Seattle, and gave me directions where to find his mother in Vancouver.  Juanita & husband came about noon on the 4th and took me to Bellingham to see Bro & Sis Boroughs. Juanita’s parents. [Laura’s note:  The Boroughs befriended Mother when she went to Bellingham Washington where Papa died.]  We had lunch with them, and all of us started out for Vancouver.  The Boroughs also.  Sister Boroughs is an invalid  but they lifted her into the car she likes to go. It was a hot drive and hot in Vancouver.  They took me to my sister Lebbie’s and I stayed with her that night.  On the 5th I went to my cousin’s Jessie Rose. She had moved and we had a time finding her place.  I took a cab there.  It cost me $3.15 to get there.  I stayed there till next day. Roland & Lois came to Jessie Rose’s place the night of the 5th and stayed till after eleven p.m. then went to Lebbie’s to sleep.  They came and got me next day and on the way back we saw my sister Jessie.  Poor thing her memory is completely gone.  They asked her if she knew me, and she said Oh Aye, she is my Grandmother.  When they told her I was Jennie she took me in her arms and hugged & kissed me.  My heart was so sad I just sat and held her hand.  I wonder if the Lady there keeps her clean.  We had to wait quite a while before she let us see her, and they live far out in Vancouver.  They had cut her hair, and it was like a brush and gray.  I just couldn’t stay in Van any longer.  If Roland & Lois could stay I might, but they had to be back home as young Roland was leaving and had to be back at his base on the 12th. We got back to Lorna Janes on the night  of the 6th on the 7th the baby was blessed.  We all went to S.S. and fast meeting.  On the 8th we left for home.  We left Dorothy and Jimmy with Lorna Jane.  We got as far as Lewiston Idaho that night and slept at a Hotel there, and was on our way again early next morning.  We visited Grand Coulee Dam and lots of other places and waded in the Salmon river, and always ate by the wayside.  We saw the Payette lakes and got home late on the night of the 9th.  I stayed with them in Payette until Monday and got home yesterday.  I am glad I could go.  It took more money than I thought but Dan Main gave me $20.00.  My heart was full when he gave it to me.  He is Sister Jessie’s son, and Juanita & Beecher were also very kind, and took us all over Seattle. Now my Dears, Be Thankful to the Lord that you were raised Latter Day Saints and try to Do your very Best in raising your children to Love one another, and Love the Lord with all their hearts. May the Lord Bless you all in all your righteous endeavors.  Lovingly Mother.  (over)
What a Blessing it is to be able to say that we know that this Church is the True Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I pray that all my children and Grandchildren will gain that Testimony for themselves, and try as best as they can to live its principles.


                                                                                                            July 30, 1957

Dear Mother,

            The days come and go, and there is never a minute to sit down to write a litter.  I don’t believe I have ever seen such a busy summer.  The children have been up to their ears in work, and I have been trying to get the dinning room and living room painted.  It all started when the couch Alvin was sleeping on feel apart, and we called the salvation army to come and get it.  They looked at the couch in the living room and wouldn’t even take it.  They said it was in too bad a shape.  The good will finally took the couch in the living room, but Harold and Alvin had to take the other one to the dump.  No one would even haul it off.  So for my birthday Harold ordered a new sofa, and I couldn’t bring a new sofa in without painting.  Not that it didn’t need it.  Alvin has helped me a good deal with the painting.  He painted the ceilings of both rooms, and we have two coats on the dining room, but still have the trim to do, and one coat on the living room with the trim still to do there too. Yesterday we put up apricots, so didn’t get any painting done, and today everyone is gone.  In fact they have been gone most of the last month.  Betty and Jane took care of the wilson children for 4 days over the 4th of July, then again from the 15th to the 21st.  They earned $70.00 between them.  Then last week they each went to camp for half a week, and on the 22nd Betty started working half a day every day cleaning Johnny Runyan’s new Motels. She will have that till school starts, and will probably get 75¢ a hour there.  This morning Alvin took er to work, and on the way took Jane to Lela Runyan’s to baby sit probably all morning.  Louis has been spending 2 or 3 mornings down at Mr. Taskys cutting lawn and pulling weeds etc.  He pays him anywhere from a dollar to 3 a week.  Alvin has been working 3 evenings and all day Sat., and I am hoping that each of the 4 older ones will have enough to get there clothes and books for school.  Harold hasn’t had much work at Ward’s lately, and he counted on that to pay for the stove and sofa, but I imagine that when the school rush starts he will have work again.  He needs some time off during the summer anyway.
            Since we came back from Salt Lake we have put up about 50 lbs of peas, frozen, and some greens that neighbors have given us.
            Alvin is just now back from taking the girls, and the little ones are all with him.  The dishes aren’t done, and there is washing to be done, and ironing, and the painting, and Swede from down the street just brought a sack of beet greens, that will have to be fixed.  The Stake Mutual had a carnival on July 20, and Harold and I were in charge of the food sales, and that took a good deal of time.
            It seems like when the family is around I just can’t think. Everyone is asking me something all at the same time. I have thought so much of the letter you wrote after you returned home from your trip, but every two words I write some one is asking me a question, and I can’t think what I was going to say.  At any rate I am glad you went, but I imagine you were tired.  Why don’t you plan on spending the winter here with us?  We would love to have you.  We need your calming influence in our home.  Mr. Tasky thinks that by October he wants to come and live with us, and I couldn’t have him unless we had another room and a bath built on.
            I must stop now, and get something done.  Will you call Amanda Willits and tell her I intend to write soon.  Betty came home from camp Sat. night, and was sick Sunday and Monday, sore throat, and ear aches.  Vernon Willits was here for a few minutes Sunday eve. and helped administer to her.  He came over from Salt Lake to get his Father and take him back with him.  His Father has been sick.
            Take care of yourself, and do write soon.