Friday, January 9, 2015

while cleaning, found a stash of letters from Aunt Mary, who is a well of old family stories and genealogy...

11-22-2014 When you were a baby, I thought you were one of the sweetest babies in the WHOLE world! And today, almost 50 years later, you are still very dear to me. The room that I helped decorate (Vaile Mansion) turned out to be beautiful. We've gotten many compliments and I'm proud of it. We 3 friends enjoyed the camaraderie. I hope we'll be able to continue decorating for several years to come! Aunt Dona's birthday is Nov. 28. I think she's around 88 or 89. Her daughter, Dona, would've been 70 this fall. She, your dad, and cousin Butch (George Ross) were all born in 1944. Fred & I have been learning a new card game called GOLF at the senior center and we both enjoy it. (they also go to thrift stores, senior citizen center events, cafes for birthday celebrations.) Virginia called to say that Alvin Sorenson died. He was a bit older than her and me. ( I think 77.) Virginia said that Aunt Maude's 3 daughters Isabel, Sue, & Vera were all pregnant at the same time. His funeral was in Indianola on 11/17.
Jan. 5 2015 Aunt Dona's niece Laura Marie Phillips Young (I think 68) died from cancer recently.
Aug. 28 2014 On the night (wee hours, around 2 A.M.-2:30 A.M.) of 8/26 I heard coons running around on my roof, then a really loud commotion. I grabbed a flashlight, turned on outside lights, didn't see anything, but left one on. After daylight, I looked around outside and saw where they'd pried off shingles around the roof line on each side of my fireplace chimney and had an actual hole made on one side. I attempted to put up a barricade which didn't stop them. So yesterday eve I bought old fashioned moth balls and dumped them into the hole and worked my fanny off putting sturdy stuff against the hole and a concrete stepping stone against it and it was still in place this morn. Going in/out yesterday eve, carried in perspiration dealing with this problem I caused myself another one by locking myself out. I borrowed screwdrivers and a little pen flashlight from neighbors several houses down, took a basement window out, crawled through the crawl space, dungeon dark without a flashlight, climbed into finished side of basement, got lights turned on, got my house key, backyard gate lock key, and my flashlight. The pen flashlight was difficult because one had to suppress a button the end. I barely got the window back in before dark, even so, it was hard to see and I had to work mostly be feel because I couldn't hold my window frame, screwdriver, and flashlight all 3. When a keychain came apart not long ago, my house key fell off in the car and I arrived at my front door with only my car keys, so I dug out my hidden key and like a moron didn't re-hide it.
Dec. 27 2013 Today is 100 years since my dad was born. The long hours of darkness, often too cold to get outside and walk, car woes, a let down from the anticipation of planning & 18 days of completing the Vaile kitchen decor and of writing of your dads passing on so many Christmas notes/letters, I think all contributed to me having the blues and feeling BAH HUMBUG a lot of this holiday season. Maxine wrote that Marjorie Hamilton (91) passed away. She was the daughter of Clem & Madge (Boyd) Hamilton.
(undated) After Mom died and Freeda was preparing to sell dad's house, she sent me a cross stitch pictures that Mom made and gave to her Aunt Mary & husband Charlie Uhler for their 50th wedding anniversary. When Aunt M. moved into small quarters, she gave it back to Mom. I'm glad that she did, so it can stay in our family! I'd like to use it in 2015 decor, wedding theme at the Vaile. ...a quilt, (Texas lone star, I think) made for me winter of 1957-8 by Grandma Daisy and given to me for high school grad. gift.
Jan. 5 2014 Virginia told me that Orville & Ruth (Flanagan) Dale's son Eldon & his wife Sue were having a ball reading info you'd put on the internet about Grandpa Johnnie & Grandma Daisy. I have some tidbits. Grandpa Johnnie would sit in a cane woven seat chair behind the wood burning heating stove & cut off the white portions of pop corn with a knife (pocket knife, I think) and gum them. He wanted his socks snow white and grandma would boil them. He wore high topped shoes, both work shoes and dress shoes. He wore overalls for farm chores and with dress slacks suspenders. He used Vitalis hair dressing and was very meticulous. (deb's note: my dad was also very meticulous.) Grandpa drank Hadicol (or Hadical?) an energizer. Grandpa listened to Gabriel Heater (not sure of the spelling) for the news. HE listened to the Great Gildersleeve and Baby Snooks (her voice was Fanny Brice) on the radio and I liked the latter. Grp. made fish bait called "STINK BAIT" that he kept in a covered bucket on the enclosed back porch. He loved to fish and sometimes at Cainesville he & Grm. would take us kids along to Rock Riffle (it was somewhere northwest from the John George corner on Pea Ridge. As I recall, it was a bit n.w. from Surprise School.) We could walk across the river on rocks and play at a distance so as not to disturb the fish. After they moved by us at Trenton, we kids got to go with them sometimes to the Princeton sale (auction) barn. One time at Cainsville Grp., Grm., & dad went to a farm auction. The men and Grm. got separated. When bidding began on a pressure cooker (Mom wanted for canning) both dad & Grm. began bidding & after awhile discovered they were bidding against each other, otherwise Grm. probably would've gone on bidding not to let anyone outbid her. One time Grm. was reading aloud and she kept saying "Shoot, shot. Shoot, shot." Finally Dad said "Oh, shoot, shot, shit!" Boy! That got her dander up! Grm. wanted Grandpa's casket to be brought out to our house and put in our livingroom and a wake held. Mom & dad obliged even though it was June and HOT. She had a phootgrapher to take pics of Grp. in his casket. She carried one of those pictures back and forth from Calif. in her suitcase. Grm. could never keep the seams straight in her nylon hose. One time she came out with her slip showing. Of course, Grp. told her. She trotted back into the house, hitched her slip up over a piece of twin she tied around her waistline, hurried back out to the car and we were on our way. Grm. kept a long braid cut from Aunt Nona's hair and beautiful penmanship of Aunt Nona's in a trunk upstairs at Cainsville. She referred to her deceased daughter as "Little Sister." Aunt Mickey (Uncle Marvin's widow) wrote that Grm. was very disappointed that he stayed in Ca. when he went out after high school to visit Aunt Vi instead of coming back to the farm. He had a dog that crawled under the house, mourning him and died. Grm. referred to her mother (Grm. Boyd) as "Poor old ma." she called Aunt Cora "Corie." Grm. wrote some poetry in the early 1960s, sent it to an address she saw in a magazine ad, believing that they'd use them as songs and pay her. But they requested money from her. She went to her banker who told her that they should pay her not the other way around. We older 3 got to goto/from Columbia & stay in motels when Grp. saw doctors. Once Grm. turned a kettle over our heads to take a shower. Grandma received a record with one of her poems being sung by a woman. I'm sure she must have sent money for it. They made her believe she had great promise. She wanted Al & me to listen to it and guess (as if we knew) who was singing. I guessed "Shirley Joan?" Aunt Anna's daughter. Grm. always thought we had to many clothes. She would rant, "When I was a little girl, I had only 1 good dress!" That was sad, of course. Her mom (Grm. Boyd) was like the old woman who lived in the shoe! Such was common before any birth control pills, vasectomies, etc. Grm. Boyd had 10 children, I believe and maybe one that died in infancy. Grm. liked to interfere with our upbringing. Dad would tell her, "You raised your kids. Now, I wish to Hell you'd let me raise mine!" She loved to check how many miles we put on the car when we were teenagers, so that she could tell dad the following morn. One night we saw her peeking out when we drove in. Freeda announced that she was going to outsmart Grm. She stuck a piece of adhesive tape over the odometer, locked the car doors, which I doubt we normally ever did, then we went in our house to watch. Right away, Grm. came out in her nightgown, flashlight in hand. she tried to peek in through the locked window. Freeda & I had a fit of the giggles. of course the next morn right on cue Grm. trotted over & wanted to know what that tape was doing on the dash. Whenever she had gotten on Grp.'s case, he'd declare, "It's Hell if you do and Hell if you don't!" (deb's note: hmmmm....I think I remember my dad saying this, as well!) Grm.'s siblings believed she (as a widow) & Aunt Cora should care for Grm. Boyd & not expect them to leave their husbands. She was hot over that! Grm. canned meat & anything edible when at Cainsville. electric lines didn't come that far. Someone recently told me that there had been a town or community called Rock Riffle. I think it was on Missouri side in vicinity of Davis City,IA. In the fall of 1953, Grandma Shafer came down to the farm for a visit. Grandpa Johnnie's tombstone had been set, so Grm. Daisy asked Mom & Grm. Shafer to go with her to Martin Cemetery to check it out. Roger may have been with them unless Dad was watching him. Us older 3 kids were in school. Hearing Grm. Shafer tell about this many times was hilarious. She said, "Daisy drove ?MPH the entire way up the highway. Then, when we got to the cemetery, she stepped on the gas and we shot between the entrance posts at 45MPH!" I think it wasn't more than 25MPH, Freeda might remember, but I know it was a snails pace on the highway. Yup! That was Grandma Daisy! Grm. was a spunky old gal for sure! Dad always said that she 'herded' the car. One time she was taking me and Freeda and maybe your dad to Cainsville to visit with Grm. Boyd after Grp. Johnnie died. Her car was parked right outside the back gate to our house under the big mulberry tree. She would kill the engine, roll backwards, try again and again until the car was down against the fence that ran behind the garage over to the milk house. After mom, dad, & Roger lived in Ca., he came back on the train with her when he was 14. Mom & dad gave him orders not to ride in a car with Grm. if she rented a car. Virginia printed off some pictures for me a few years ago. one is Grm. Boyd and children (Freeda, your dad and I are in the group. I'm guessing our ages at around 2, 4, and 6. virginia is also in this picture.). one is a portrait of Grp. Sanford Boyd. One is a portrait of Grm. Daisy as a young woman, she was pretty. One is Grp. & Grm. Boyd with small children and he is holding Grm. Daisy when a baby, plus other pics. (undated) Trisha's oldest just turned 10 on 2/7.

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