MIZMARILYN'S MISSIVES

MIZMARILYN'S MISSIVES... THE MANIACAL MUSINGS ON THE MEANDERINGS, MISADVENTURES, AND MISHAPS OF A MISGUIDED MISCREANT...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mama wrote letters....


My grandmother and step grandfather, in 1941. Bonho... I’m sorry I don’t have a full length picture of this outfit, as the sleeves and cummerbund make it look quite interesting!

In 1972, when my mother was moving her mother down to Los Angeles from Oakland, her mother told her to be sure and “get the letters under the house”. There Mom found boxes of letters from her sister and her, written to her mother from 1934 until 1972. Lots and lots of letters. As she began sorting them, she read them to my father, who loved listening and reminiscing about all the things they had experiences. It occurred to my mother that their life was in those letters, so it became a serious endeavor. Unfortunately, my mother occasionally ‘censored’ them, and some of them were missing, so a bunch of the ‘good stuff’ is gone forever, but they are such a history of our family that it doesn’t matter...

She started typing them with the thought of putting them in a book, and such a book it is.... I don’t know how many letters there are. Phone calls were so expensive in the early days of our family that writing was the only way she could keep her mother up to date. There are thousands of letters. The ‘book’ is a spiral book of pages typed on both sides, and it’s about 2 inches thick. I’ve read it several times. I was the official ‘proof reader’, so I read them once with a red pencil. The biggest problem in trying to blog about this is, once I start reading, I can’t stop. I’ve been meaning to write this for several days now, but just can’t tear myself away!

She started writing when she and her sister were in a Mountain camp for the summer. She was 14, her sister was 13. My grandmother was getting a divorce, something she never told them until she remarried. They went from the camp to Bethel Women’s College in Hopkinsville Kentucky. They thought she was sick, and that she had gone to Nevada to get better. She had, but in a totally different way.... They sent the letters to their father’s address as usual, and the letters were forwarded to her mother. Mom wrote, as she was typing the letters, “Of course, the reason they sent us to Bethel, which was a junior college was because Dad told Mom he wanted a divorce . He told her she was too old for him... at 40... and he had met someone else. Chick (my step grandfather, and a good friend to the family even before the divorce) found out, through the closed circuit Coast Guard that she was in Reno, he went to visit her, and the rest was History.” They married in December, a month or so after the divorce.

My mother was an interesting writer. Even at 14 she was very mature as she took care of her younger sister and fretted over her ‘Marmee” (taken from “Little Women”). She does ask for money often, not realizing that her mother’s fortunes were precarious at the time. After all, she needed 10 cents for a notebook, and 5 cents for a coca-cola!

At Bethel College she writes about the “Pamillo” bug that eats holes in all the girls clothes, preferring the more ‘expensive’ materials. She writes, “Boy, they stress religion around this here dump... From 9:30 to 12:30 I was in church today. ... I got all worn out just listening to people pray. Well, I guess I’m just an old heathen”.

I could go on and on... I started marking the pages I wanted to tell you all about, but slowed down as I started reading again...

So I’ll tell you some things about the world as our family experienced it..

albeit through my mother’s eyes...

which sometimes wasn’t as the rest of us saw it...(grin)

My Mom and her stepfather...

5 Comments:

At 8:03 PM, Blogger bonho said...

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! I'm sick as a parrot over those shoes in the second pic. RED WEDGIES. Could you just DIE?

And the photo at the top is just as juicy. Love the top of the outfit, 'smore than enough. In fact if I saw more, I might just pass out.

The letters sound absolutely fascinating. I'm just a sucker for this stuff. Thanks so much for sharing it all with us, it takes a lot of the edge off a very long day.

 
At 6:00 AM, Blogger theshriek said...

Stop reading! We want to hear more. -)

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger marsh said...

more please! *AG makes big imploring Cindy Lou Who eyes at mizm*

 
At 1:52 PM, Anonymous mizm said...

.I'm a sucker for imploring eyes... dang... (starts reading faster)

mizm

 
At 3:40 PM, Blogger Peebs said...

So THAT'S where you've been hiding! I was getting worried.

This is gonna be fun. Letters, oh, we got letters!

I must agree with bonho on one point, those shoes are killer!

 

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