[Postmarked March 30, 1973]
It's been a long time since I've written to you. Maybe you'll like Virginia better than Texas. I am glad you were stationed closer to home. Last Saturday and Sunday nights Cherry Hill put on performances of "To Kill A Mockingbird." I was in the play portraying a prosecuting attorney convicting a black man of assault and rape. The play was very successful. The half-filled auditorium for both nights was a pretty good crowd. After the play Saturday night, the cast and crew went to Little Caesar's for a party. The live entertainment consisted of a piano player and a guitarist. Songs to sing along with were shown on a screen from a slide projector. In all, it was one of the best times of my life.
Mom wants to know if you received a subscription notice from SKI magazine. She sent one notice down to you in Texas with your Texas address on the envelope in place of the Inkster address. She wrote your Texas address on the cellophane window of the envelope and she's afraid that it might rub off. Another notice of subscription arrived here today.
I heard that Gary Kiester was getting married from Debbie D'Angelo. Did you know about that? Who is he getting married to?
Mike told me that Debbie Franklin was dating one of the teachers at Cherry Hill. The teacher was the junior class sponsor, Mr. Bihun. That surprises me.
Wedding plans are being made now and that's what we hear a lot about now around the house. I'm looking forward to being an usher in the wedding party. I've never worn a tuxedo before.
Only about nine more weeks to go until we are out of school. That's one thing I'm not looking forward to. My entire social life centers around Cherry Hill. If I can get a job this summer it won't be so bad.
With Grandpa coming home from Florida this Thursday, Lynn and Bill will be coming home. Bill will be sharing Mike's and Mark's bedroom when he gets back. So I'll keep the bedroom to myself. I really enjoy the privacy of that room very much.
There isn't any room in your record cabinet for the records you sent home, so I'll just put them on your bed, along with your guitar.
Mom sends the stamps with love.Signing off,
I am at this moment attending a meeting at the Warren Service Center, first thing Monday morning. I have not too much to do in this meeting. The Dept. is going over the work that is supposed to be done by June and I answer questions only on jobs that I have estimated. I am taking advantage of my unproductive time to get this letter out to you. I thought last week I should have written then in case you didn't get home this past weekend but then you did think there was a good possibility. I thought I would be writing this on our new typewriter which we bought at Sears the same afternoon you & Bill left. It's a fine typewriter except I took it back for a repair or replacement already Saturday. The ribbon changer doesn't work due to a tiny plastic part breaking. It works alright on one or other level of ribbon.
Bill really enjoyed the return trip, especially the Sky Line Drive which he spent 6 hours exploring last Monday. He spent the night near that town where you would get on the Penn Pike. He would like to go back there again I guess and spend more time.
We saw an ad from the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce in the paper yesterday. You are right in the middle of a big tourist area. Hope you get the chance to see some of the sights.
Mark spent some of his hard earned money Saturday, & bought a 10 speed bike. It took a while to get it properly adjusted but now it works fine and he loves it.
Did you get all your income tax returns in? You should have one for Detroit, too, if they took any out. Especially if you are due any refund.
Easter is coming April 22. I wonder if you will get a long weekend off including Good Friday. Seems like a good weekend to get home. In case you get stuck without an airplane reservation on any future trips home, you should consider taking the bus. It might take a little longer than hitchhiking but it could be more sure and you could catch some sleep during the trip especially if it is at night. I guess the Greyhound line even stops in W. Dearborn on some lines, but maybe not on the Toledo run.
Spring is giving us some beautiful weather now although tonight's forecast is for rain & snow. It can't last.
Greg and I spent most of Saturday working on paneling in the basement. We got all of it up except a couple of small sections on the wall at the driveway end. I have to patch up some damaged ceiling tiles, clean the floor tiles, and get rid of a lot unwanted toys and stuff, and the place will be looking pretty good. Oh, I forgot about the stairwell. We have to decorate that too. Well, I am sure all the jobs will be done by the time of the June wedding. Now that the old homestead is getting so improved I hope the neighborhood holds up so that we won't feel like we have to get out for safety or other reasons. Personally I don't think that this will happen. At least for quite a long time yet. Although quite a few people are moving out not all are being replaced by blacks, and those blacks who are moving in, so far, are quite nice people, as far as we can see. An integrated neighborhood can be quite acceptable. It really depends on the individual people. If you remember some of our neighbors who have lived where Hayes live now color has nothing to do with the type or desirability of neighbors. Even our good long time friends neighbors we seem to have so little to do with it seems a shame. I really would welcome more sociability in the neighborhood but it seems we have so little spare time, or mainly more correctly, so little interest to have a lot of parties. Perhaps large families have less need as well as time for a lot of socializing. This is not to say this is the best arrangement or consequence. Well, life is more interesting with changes and challenges to keep us busy trying to solve them; even when we need a rest once in a while.
I have applied for a job-change here at Edison. There is an opening in the Buildings & Properties Dept. for an Engineering Supervisor. The job reports directly to the assistant Director of the Dept. and has a couple technicians working under the man. It is an A-15 which would be another 2 grade jump if I were to get it. It has to do with heating and air conditioning and alterations, etc. in the office buildings & W.S.C. mainly. I am enthused about the possibility. I think I am qualified, but I suppose so are a lot of people. So the chances may be slim but I pray for the best, God's will be done, and we shall wait & see.So Long for Now,
April 11, '73
Seems like a long time since I have written a letter to you with your phone calls and your visit home. I rather expected to see you home this past weekend.
That's what you planned when you left here with Bill. Saving your money for Easter leave?
Bill really loved his ride back over the mountains skyline drive. I think that he is hoping to go back this summer some time after he quits work.
Speaking of work--I suppose your dad told you how the work in the basement is coming along. He and Greg worked most of Saturday and Mike helped him after dinner last night. The paneling really looks pretty but the basement itself looks like a disaster area. Slowly but surely we'll have it completed for the festivities in June.
Lynn spent the weekend in N.J. with Bob and said they made a mistake in naming the date in June. It should be next month or sooner! So she is more sure than ever that her decision was the right one.
Mary Lou and I are going downtown this noon. Eating lunch at Edison with your dad then hopefully buying my Mother-of-the-Bride's dress. It is kind of fun to go shopping for something you really have to buy even though it is going to put a dent in the budget.
Well, I have to get Mark's peanut butter sandwich made now and get ready to pick up Mary Lou.
Haven't asked you about your schooling because you seem to be so bored with it a few weeks ago. Hope things have improved for you.Take care--Love,
[Postmarked April 25, 1973]
Hope to see you this weekend--not that the weather is supposed to be hot. Your checks are deposited in your acct. Not much new since last we talked but my thoughts and love are with you.
[This letter is a puzzle from Kellogg's, a card 3" by 10" with a writing side and a picture on the other of a toaster sailing in a boat on a lake. Milton's Puzzling Notes. Write the letter and break up the pieces for the receiver to put them together to read.]
Monday [April 30; postmarked May 1, 1973]
It has been quite a while since I have written, hasn't it. It was good you didn't come in this past week end, or rather Easter because the weather was rainy and not so nice. This past week end, though was pretty good here although I read that you had some rough weather on the coast which would have been bad enough to drive through I'll bet. I checked into the cost of renting a car from Budget Co. I figured that if 3 or 4 were coming all the way to Detroit area it would be cheaper than a bus or even flying, although I don't know if you have to be 21 or not. The cost would be about $200 round trip at the rate of $11 per day including total insurance coverage, and a fee of 9 cents per mile. It would be more complicated though to get 3 or 4 guys to agree on a schedule. Maybe flying wouldn't be that much more.
The latest news here is Lynn got her diploma from Marygrove today. She skipped the ceremonies at the college yesterday and stopped by today to pick it up. We did have a little party here, though, with our family plus grampa and Sr. Ann Louis. And Friday is Lynn's birthday, 24. She really is getting to do a lot of celebrating this spring.
And may I be one of the first to congratulate you on graduating from QM school. I hope you will have made it more than satisfactorily so that you will be given the best of assignments.
I got notified today by Employment that I do not qualify for that job I applied for because it calls for a mechanical engineer and I am an electrical. I called them and the guy in employment said that all the 14 applications would be sent to the requesting department anyway so maybe they will want me anyway, although then they might have to advertise the job over again making electrical eligible. So it seems slim that they would go to that trouble unless the other 13 were not anything to chose from.
Well, how's the sightseeing going? You probably won't have much more time down there to see the territory. I imagine it wouldn't be too bad in that area during the summer. Bill is leaving his job this weekend. I don't know what he is going to do all summer but I know he wants to go out West for a couple weeks. He may do that before the wedding.
Guess there isn't much more news so I'll close now. Let us know when you get word of any new assignment. Maybe we will see you first.
Wed. Morning [May 2; postmarked May 2, 1973]
Here it is-just in time, I hope. Only thing new since we talked last night is Bill's ball playing. His first game is tonight at 9:30 under lights at Garden City East. He will be disappointed if it rains because he is getting a big kick out of playing. He discovered some new muscles in his practicing every night. Dad and I are going to watch.
I am off now to the Credit Union-then to the post office. Your C.U. balance is now $429.64
Luck in your tests!Love,
Friday Night [May 11; postmarked May 12, 1973]
I write this not knowing whether or not you might come in tonight or tomorrow. I suspect you won't, though, since we haven't heard from you in this regard. You should be having some news soon I imagine. If you have not heard by the time you read this the latest news here is that Lynn and Bob's wedding has been postponed. Lynn really hasn't determined that Bob is the one yet. She really doesn't know him as she should because he has for so long been living so far away. Therefore, she is going to move to Morristown a week from Sunday, May 20, so that she can see him often enough to become more acquainted. Then after a while she should be able to know for sure whether she should marry Bob or perhaps marry Julie whom she has been seeing for a bit before he left for the east last week. He still is trying. So, all the plans are being dismantled and shall be put away for a while. Perhaps there could be a Fall wedding but don't ask me who.
Bill has left his job and has been taking it easy for a while. He has been out to Eastern and is planning to take an audition for a music course of some sort. I don't know the connection but I am sure he will fill you in when you meet again. Do you write anyone anymore? Do you get any mail yourself, aside from the family? We haven't had very much warm weather yet. A lot of rain this week. A river just north of here was raised so high by all the rain that you could see under it.
Hope you are having a good time now that you are a graduate ( I hope). See you soon?
Where are you hiding yourself these days? We thought that we might have heard from you yesterday. Maybe all the lines were busy?
I do get concerned when I don't hear-Did you get your money order o.k.? Did you pass your final tests? We presume that your new assignment has not come through yet.
I don't suppose Lynn wrote to you yet. She has been putting off some important phone calls although the lines from N.J. and N.Y. have been hot and heavy recently!
She has postponed the wedding and as of now she has no definite plans as to when, where or to whom it will be. Details are confusing but I do know that she isn't too happy right now. Bob is coming in by Greyhound Saturday and she is moving out there to stay with his folks until she finds a place to stay and a job. He is driving her back in her car on Sunday. She said that she wanted to move to N.J. anyway, because she loves it out there and perhaps she can make her decision between Bob & Julie this summer.
I know this reads like a soap opera but I could not see her marrying Bob next month still being so unsure of her feelings for him.
Anyway, that is the latest in the saga of Lynn versus Bob, versus Julie.
Now, will you please sit down and tell us about yourself? Please?My love and prayers be with you!
[Birthday Card postmarked May 15, 1973]
[Birthday Card; postmarked May 17, 1973]
It must be weird, I haven't written a letter since you've been in the service. It's just that there's never anything to say. Life here is just a drag, school's a hassle, and I'm really bored out of my mind. It will change once I'm safely out of school if I ever get out of school where I'm floating along on the usual D's & E's (just kidding). Know that I have my new bike (a Ross 10 speed). I'll be going everywhere hopefully. Dad brought up going to Niagara Falls & Toronto but I was hoping we would be sliding West, like Colorado. I sincerely doubt it but it still a dream, to ski the Colorado mountains if I learn to ski which I hope to learn to do as soon as possible.
So the next time some exciting news breaks out I'll write, meanwhile Happy Birthday.Your brother,
[Birthday Card; postmarked May 17, 1973]
On Friday, the 18th, I am taking Ellen Flavin, a sophomore, to our Prom at the Roostertail. I rented a tux at Valentie's for $30.00. A blue, single-breasted model with black lapels and a yellow ruffled shirt. Bet you still remember your prom date with Mary. I'll probably eat at the Chicago Road House afterwards.
I am running for Senior Class President right now. My chances are favorable. Only a few weeks left of school, thank heavens!
I am working steadily at Allen Lumber. Greg just started working there last week. Bill quit there a few weeks ago, and I got a raise up to $2.00/hr.
That's all for now. ByeHappy Birthday!
154. Mary Lou
[Birthday Card; postmarked May 17, 1973]
[Birthday Card; postmarked May 17, 1973]
John, your dad and I will send you your birthday gift when we hear from you-where you'll be stationed. It would be great to be able to hand it to you personally!
In the meantime think happy thoughts today-Love, Mom
Happy Birthday, brother. I read that you moved to a more exciting spot in VA. (balling green?) A few of us wrote letters & things and hope you are going to receive them, for they were addressed to your previous alma mater.
Anyways, I quit work for the summer, and I have a lot of time to spend. I would like to drive down there again this summer. I can bring your guitar, if ya just write to me & tell me how to get there. I can make the trek in the last part of May & part of June.
June 8th I have to audition & take a one hour exam at Eastern to qualify for Music classes. July & August there are days here and there that I have to go down to EMU (register, orientation, etc.) and Aug. 27 is my first day of school. So, write me soon so I can see you soon.
[Birthday Card; postmarked May 18, 1973]
Sunday [May 20; postmarked May 21, 1973]
It is late afternoon of a beautiful day. Your mother and I went out to Romeo where they had a series of six old homes on display. These were fine old homes all built in the middle 1800's and wonderfully restored by the latest owners. The town is full of these places and it was very interesting to go through the three we did see. There such lines at most of them we didn't have time to see them all.
We got your first letter from Camp Hill on Friday. Not too swift a service but the word was very welcome as we were becoming concerned that we hadn't heard from you in such a long time. I hope and trust that the place isn't as bad as you thought on first impression. It certainly is in the midst of historical and important vacation land and I presume you will get more freedom to get out and see the sights than even Ft. Lee. My friend at work is taking his family to Virginia Beach next week in their camper and will be staying overnight at Bowling Green. Hope you get to see Washington this summer.
Lynn left yesterday with Julie for Arlington Del. Julie starts to work at a Chemical Co. there as soon as he finds a place to live and she went with him to find a place nearby so that she can decide for once and for all if she should marry him, or maybe Bob. It looks from here, though, that poor old Bob is a distant 2nd and fading fast. But the way that she keeps changing her mind you really can't bet with too much certainty on what she will do next.
I am sorry you won't be here for the anniversary or for a furlough but I should think you might get a weekend or several free to come home if you wish and maybe they might give you more than that, what with them owing you some leave time from last year.
I hope the forwarded your mail, not that you got to much from here but there was some including the money order Mother sent. I renewed your Free Press subscription for 6 mos. Yesterday. You should resume receiving it in a week or 2. If you really do stay down there without getting home I wouldn't be too surprised if someone from here got down there for a visit. That would be one good way to get your guitar back although I don't know how soon it would be if at all.Well, Mother wants to write tomorrow so I had better leave something for her to say.
May 21, '73
Happy Birthday, John,
Hate not able to bake you a birthday cake today. Especially a rather momentous one. It has been such a swift 21 years. Little kids always seem to live in the future but I'll bet you are doing some of that too, these days. Well, only 11 more months-maybe less. Hope your cards arrived by now and you got my message. What would you like us to send you for your birthday gift?
Lynn left home on Saturday. 24 years of accumulations stuffed in the little Mustang. Julie flew in from his parents home in Buffalo so that he could drive her to Wilmington, Delaware where she hopes to find a place to live and a job.
Just like a couple of gypsies. Taking off for an unknown city with no place to live-(Julie doesn't have an apt. either.) Lynn has your new address and told me that she would write to you and tell you all about her latest escapade.
So today I washed walls, ceiling, curtains, windows, etc. and gave the room over to Mary Lou who will most likely turn it into a jungle. She has two huge posters of dogs to go up on the walls and along with Snoopy and a 3 x 5 memo board filled with pictures of animals it will look more like the Humane Society than a little girl's room.
Greg and Mike have to get down off cloud 9 again and get back to school work. Greg took his girl, Cindy Jones, out for dinner Saturday night-to the "Top of the Ponch." He didn't go to the prom.
Mike's tux looked very much like the one you wore-blue suit, light blue ruffled shirt and black velvet bow tie. Ellen looked pretty in her pink gown. I hope the pictures turn out-they both looked very nice.
I feel badly about your idea of not being able to get home, especially next month. I did so want my whole family with me that day. Lynn is coming home that weekend. She has a fitting for her wedding gown that Saturday. Maybe by then she will have her head together. I don't want her to rush into anything again.
Well, back to work. The washer and dryer are calling my name.
Let us know what's going on with you. Ok?Love,
160. Mom and Dad
[Western Union Mailgram dated May 24, 1973]JOHN J SCHNEIDER
BILL IS ON THE WAY TO SEE YOU SHOULD BE ARRIVING FRIDAY AFTERNOON
SO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR HIM BEST WISHES AND LOVE
MOTHER AND DAD<1387 COLONIAL DR<INKSTER MI 48141
161. Mary Lou
May 27 
[The Newspaper called The Editor was 3 sheets of her pink, 5.5 x 7 inch stationary with 3 side staples. The first page had 3 columns of news; page 2 had 2 comics glued (Peanuts and Marmaduke), and a continuation of a column of sports, and 2 advertisements: one for Beautiful Betty's Beauty Salon, and one for Hudson's (the word Hudson's above a pencil drawn girl in a long dress). The 3rd page had 4 more comics pasted. The news is as below.]
Weather Cold and Rainy
Vacation Time. The kids of St. Norbert School is having Memorial day off. The next week is a full week. Then they have only the next week and 3 days the next. In total there is 12 days left.
Family Going Away. Everyone seems to be leaving! Lynn's in Delaware. Jim is going to Toronto, Bill is visiting brother John in the Army. Only 4 out of the 8 children are at home!
Weather. As you can see from the top of the paper it is cold and rainy. It was supposed to get up to 70 degrees but I doubt if it did!
Canceled Because of Rain. The Tigers were scheduled to play the Oakland A's today at 1:30. But because of the weather it was canceled. Hundreds of disappointed fans had to go home.
Tigers Win Again. Tigers beat the Oakland A's the second time this series. The score was 8 - 5. The first game it was 1 - 0. (continued on p.2)
Freehan made 2 hits, Northrup had 3 hits. Rodregez and Brinkman scored once. And a couple more scored once. The Tigers continue to hold their First place lead over the Yankees.
I hope you like my newspaper. It's one way to tell the news!Your Sister,
[no date; no postmark]
Enjoy your visit with Bill! This enclosure is for your birthday. I really ache for your happiness but hope that your inner strength will carry you over these dark days. I have every confidence in you to shake these blues. ("Blues" have inspired some beautiful music in the past. Perhaps you can come up with another "Stormy Weather."At any rate, take this with our love, prayers, and hopes for better days.
Wednesday p.m. [May 30; postmarked May 31, 1973]
Put down your guitar and hear the latest bulletin from the Schneider news.
Jim brought Linda Barrazini over last night and announced their brand new engagement Can you make an October wedding? Honestly, I am getting wedding fever now-with all the talk and plans and cancellations from Lynn-now, to hear from the "swinging bachelor" that he is going to go double instead of single-wow! Do you know Linda? Ever met her? She seems like a very nice, down to earth type of girl-pretty, too. She will be 21 in August and Jim will be 23 in July-Both Leo's-a healthy combination. Jim called tonight asking advice on buying a diamond. He called and told Lynn last night. She was quite shocked but I hope it doesn't pressure her into any ill advised decision.
Bill got home at 3:30 this afternoon. He spent a few hours sleeping (?) in a rest stop near Breezewood last night and started for home about 5 a.m. No problem with the car but he only had $1.00 in his pocket and hadn't eaten all day. His ball game was cancelled but he is out now. It is great to be so young and resilient-like you young people.
Hope you enjoyed your leave. I am glad you weren't alone on a holiday. Now that you have your friend guitar with you perhaps you won't hit the panic-depression button. Anyway, you can run up to Wilmington and your sister will be glad to share a pad with you. I sent her money that was borrowed for the car so she won't be caught short before she gets a pay day.
Perhaps we will be able to see you one of these weeks. You know that I'll be thinking of you often so please write and tell us how things are going with you. O.K.?Much love,
PS. Loved those pictures from Ocean City!
Sunday Evening [June 10; postmarked June 11, 1973]
It is a hot one, just about the hottest day of the year. We didn't have much spring. Just a lot of rain and then, plop, summer. But then, it could all be changed in a day or two.
This has been a real busy week for me. Relating it backwards. . . . I went for a spin in Bill's car with Mary Lou and the top down this aft. It started out for a 15 minute drive to see if the anti-leak stuff I put in would stop a rather big leak at the water pump. I thought it was a seal behind it. The stuff, Bars Leak, did the job fine, and the ride turned into a two hour venture out to Northville for a sip at the old artesian well, a stop in Plymouth for a pop, and a visit to the nature center in Hines Park. It was a perfect day for a ride in a convert. Although I probably won't get one.
Then last night we went to a surprise party at the Marge Healy house. It was for Sr. Barbara Mary. There was quite a large crowd of St. Norbertites there including our former pastor, Msgr. Horkan. Which reminds me. Fr. Boyce, whom you should remember, died this past week. It was heart. The crowd chipped in (ahead of time) and bought Sister a ticket (round trip, of course) to Florida. She has an aunt in Ft. Lauderdale. That plus spending money for all she has done for St. Norbert's especially the school.
Then, I spent the daylight portion painting the kitchen. I never thought I could do it all that fast but mother helped with the windows and I finished just in time for the big horse race. The inside of the cabinets were not done but that can be done any time. About 1 a.m. I had finished putting on a primer coat, having worked since after supper on Friday night. I had been patching it where needed at odd intervals over the previous couple weeks. But now it was coming down to the wire where I had to get the job done. You see, we are having a party here next Saturday night. Well Jim had to tell us because mother was planning on having one, too, and about to send out invitations. So the surprise party is no longer a surprise but we are both looking forward to it with more enthusiasm than ever. We think it is wonderful that our kids would throw a party in our honor, just because we stayed together for 25 years. Well, I know it's not just for that. We expect to see you here, of course. That reminds me of my parents 25th anniversary. They had a big party at home with all their friends an relatives and I was over seas in Saipan. So I saw the pictures. I hope you can make arrangements with Lynn to come back together. If not you could probably catch a plane. I hope she got word to you. She left the apartment (in case you haven't heard) and moved to Morristown N.J. Julie took over her apt. lease.. Maybe Bob will be bringing her back here although I thought she was to come in Friday. I will look up Wisnewski's address in case you need to get in touch with her.
I worked 3 late afternoons this week, only 1 1/2 hours each, but that helped to make the week fill up.
I wonder how your allergy is. I am on serum C now but it isn't preventing the symptoms from bothering me. I take a Contac occasionally when it gets bad. I got a late start on the program but I expect next year it shouldn't be bad at all if this thing really works like it has for Mike. You probably will have to start over. Giving the shots daily to yourself in the leg isn't bad. It's a lot better than going to the clinic every day or two. After the C serum is gone (about 3 weeks) I will have to start on the heavier stuff with shots by a nurse at the G.C. Clinic, first weekly, then bi-weekly, then monthly for a year or two.
The rain then the sun for the last 3 or 4 days has really made our place colorful what with the extra flowers we put in the garden a week ago. Looks real nice.
Guess I'll close now so see you Friday or Saturday be the good Lord willing. I remember you every day in my prayers so I am confidant everything will turn out all right for you as long as you have faith too.With Love,
Sitting in Dr. Dodrill's office just waiting for him to give Greg his annual check-up and to O.K. Michael after his little episode a few month's ago. My writing is being done on my lap thus explaining how it looks like hen tracks.
Your dad and I are back to normal after our long and wondrous three day celebration. We missed those of you who could not share our special Mass celebration on Tuesday. You probably would have thought that it was "far out" to see your Mom and Dad clasping right hands and repeating those famous lines, "I, Audrey, take you Lou. . . ." etc. My voice, and your dad's too, was a bit unsteady. I was very conscious of five of my children witnessing these vows.
After Mass we took Fathers Petit and Cusmono, Grampa, Sister Ann Louis and Eve Ann to Dearborn Inn for breakfast. Jim had to pick up his truck at 8 so he missed the Mass but he did meet us for breakfast-Pepsi uniform, chunky shoes and all. The 13 of us had a great time!
That evening your dad and I went to Fox and Hounds for a great roast beef dinner.
Now the streamers and balloons are gone but I will be a long time remembering the joys of having my family and good friends around me to help me celebrate!
Guess it is too soon to hear from you but don't forget your promise to write more often, even if it is just to say "there is nothing new." You looked so grim and unhappy last weekend. I wish that there was something I could do to lighten your burden-like push the clock faster for you.Love and kind thoughts for our "minstrel of the dawn." [A reference to Gordon Lightfoot's song of that title, a favorite of mine.]
Monday Night [June 25; postmarked June 26, 1973]
It has been a little over a week since the really big party and it seems so long ago. It was such an action-filled weekend that it will live in memories forever. Once again thanks a million for your part in the party and especially that immense gift which you all participated in. It really floored us and we will be eternally grateful that you were all so generous. And I was very glad that you were able to be here. It made the weekend perfect.
We had a real nice Tuesday. Bill thought the little ceremony at the anniversary Mass was very impressive. We went up to the alter step and renewed our marriage vows with Fr. Petitt. And then we went to the Dearborn Inn for breakfast. Eve Ann, Grampa, St. Ann Louis, and both the parish priests joined the family. Jim left his Pepsi truck in the parking lot as he joined us for breakfast. Then your mother and I finished up the day with dinner at the Fox and Hounds, the fancy place out in Bloomfield Hills. Fr. Petitt gave us a Metro Passbook coupon for the place which knocked about $6 off the bill.
Yesterday late afternoon several of us went to Cobo Hall for the Italian Festival for our supper but after walking through the crowded waterfront we decided to go to the restaurant instead. We didn't find a very good one but it wasn't a total loss.
The weather has been perfect here this past week. Of course, we waited long enough for it. Mom just left for bed and she says hello. Say goodnight, John. Did I tell you I have an interview appointment on July 11 for that job I applied for in Bldgs & Properties? 14 applied for it the last time and this time the requirements are a little more varied. I really don't know if I want the job but the interview on the 11th will let us both know a little more about each other.
Right now I have the typewriter in my lap in the living room while the Tiger-Red Sox game is on TV on Toledo's station. Bill is out in the wagon. He had more bad luck with his car. The water pump really is shot. It leaks water like a river. He was lucky it happened at Inkster and Avondale while on the way home from Allen Lumber in Redford where he is working a couple days per week while doing a couple at the Inkster yard, in addition.
That about sums it up for now. So long for a while.Love,
What a beautiful, sunny, hot day here. The days are slipping away and before I know it the summer will be gone. I'd like to grab and hold on to each one and you would like to push them away faster and faster. Right?
We have been busy around here lately. Last Friday morning four of us helped Grampa move some of his things from Longacre to Kundig Center. He has taken a room down there to be near Sr. Ann Louis for the summer. It is like a motel complex for senior citizens. He likes it but it is so tiny in comparison to his house.
Michael and Jim Dillon are removing all the wallpaper and paint. All grampa's things are stored in the basement. Wow, what a mess!
Then, your brother James has been helping to fix up his and Linda's prospective house. They bought Grampa's old stove and kitchen set. Your dad helped him move it Saturday.
But the biggest news of all is about our newest star border. Her name is Pepper. Mary Lou picked her out at the Humane Society Friday afternoon. She is about 6-8 weeks, is black with brown boots and brown eyebrows and Mary Lou is taking complete charge of her starting with paying $15.00 towards her purchase. Maybe she will write to you about her new "baby."
Bill started a new job this morning. You know how he hated working at Allen Lumber. Well, your dad and I were talking to Mrs. Polak Saturday. She told us that her husband needed a fellow to help load cargo planes at Willow Run airport. 12 hours a day, six days a week, (about 66 hours a week) at $3.25 an hour. At time and 1/2 after 40 hours he will be making a nice little bundle a week.
It will be hard work, perhaps, but it may eliminate part time work while he is in school. This job only lasts for about 2 months. Most of the men working on this job are college men, working their way through school. Isn't it nice that I have friends in high places?
Think that I have brought you up to date on happenings around here. Now, what about you? I keep watching for the mail from Va.Love,
The Fourth of July
Fire crackers are popping around the neighborhood, mother is resting on the bed after a bout with her allergy which gave her a tussle when she mowed some of the back yard this afternoon in preparation of our picnic (nothing serious, just some blowing), Greg and Mike have left for Belleville Point for a dance which they are having this evening, and Bill has gone his way for some leisure and recreation after a good day's work at Willow Run. Yes he has a new job, just started yesterday. Mr. Polak hired him on as a summer help for Zantop Airlines to load and unload cargo planes. It's good pay and promises lots of overtime, like today at double time, and he can save up enough for school plus what he has already in just the 2 months left before school starts.
Jim and Linda still don't have a wedding date, waiting till she finds a hall I guess. He must be getting kind of disgusted. Seems the Berrezini's are the problem so far, like expanding the list so the hall they had was too small. Have you heard from Lynn? Being so close I thought you might have gotten together again. But I guess she has her problems, too. We talked to her today on the phone. She and Julie might tie the knot after all. That Bob must be really an understanding guy. She is still at his house, though.
I suppose you had the day off this holiday. What did you do? Where did you go? Did you see any of the tourist type sights around that part of the country yet? Speaking of going. Mother and I went to Pine Knob Monday night and saw the old Jimmy Dorsey orchestra, Helen O'Connell who was quite a good and good looking singer when I was your age, and the Mills Brothers who recorded songs in the late 1920's. And they still are very good. Ever hear them? You must have. In August we are going to Meadow Brook to see the old Glenn Miller Orch. I got tickets for Greg for the Carpenters and America, and for Mike for Chicago in August.
Well, your last summer in the service is well on its way through. And soon you will be getting a new assignment. After your reaction to every place you have been so far I have little hope that you will be very pleased at your next place. So I just hope you can make the best of it. If you do you won't believe how beneficial these experiences are for you. They can teach you fortitude which is the ability to stand up to tough things and under tough circumstances. This old life is no bed of roses any where along so the better a person can face it the happier and better off he will be. And it would be nigh impossible without Christ so don't you lose Him.
You should see Hayes's new 4000 miles LTD next door. Blue with a white top. Gets one to thinking. But still would like to get 100,000 on mine. It just turned 87 which leaves me about a year from my goal. It still runs good, though.
I don't suppose you have a camera with you. I wish you had more pictures of the places you have been. It would be nice for us to see and you would appreciate them later in life. You don't believe that do you?
Guess I'll close now. You really must be kept busy since we don't get too many letters. Incidentally we are leaving for LA Sept. 13, on to Hawaii on the 15th, back to Frisco the 23rd and home the 26th. Really looking forward to this trip.so long,
July [July 10; postmarked July 10, 1973]
Here the east has been having a heat wave and I can just see you and your friends swinging on some vine and landing in a river! Sounds like something out of Tom Sawyer.
Your letter was gratefully received but did leave me with some questions. It was the first time you have mentioned "chicks" in any letter and you were very vague about this particular "chick." Just a first name. Would you like to tell us how you met her? Is she a local girl?
I pictured the camp as being out in the middle of nowhere. Is there a movie house or a soda bar or a bowling alley or someplace to dance around your camp?
Not much new here at home. We haven't heard from Lynn since we called her on Memorial Day.
Jim's wedding plans seem to be finally getting organized. They have, at last, been able to get the hall for the reception and the church settled for the same date. It is now set for November 9-Friday evening at 5 o'clock.
Your dad and Mark helped Jim move into the house last Sunday. A good way to protect the place. His knee is bothering him again. It seems that he jumped into a pool from someone's garage last Saturday night. Must have been a wild party! Anyway he has to stay off it for a week and have X-rays again-just like last time.
You were luckier than he was. That fork lift race could have hurt you. Is this the way you guys spend your lunch hour? [A friend and I were goofing off while high on the job inside a food storage warehouse and backed up our forklifts to a closed warehouse door in order to "race" a short distance. I forgot to shift out of reverse into drive, and when the race started I backed into the door--lots of damage! I was ordered not to drive a forklift again!]
We got a new glider for our patio and this is where I am writing to you from. It is very nice, I think.
By the way these cartoons are by Mark. I noticed that he has every page in my writing pad drawn on.Bye, bye.
171. Mary Lou
Thurs. Morn. [July 12; post marked July 13, 1973]
It is early in the morning now. I just got finished feeding Pepper. (Pepper's my dog.) I feed her puppy food but today dad came down. He couldn't find her puppy food so he gave her Rice Krispies! I can hear her chewing them. Now I will tell you what Pepper looks like: she has brown feet and brown eyebrows. She is black on top and a black head. Part of her cheeks are brown and there is a little brown on her stomach.
Nothing much else to say except that Lynn wanted me to come and visit her. Mom said that some Friday I could come out on a plane all by myself and they would drive up to talk to her about something.
I just saw the sports page that he Tigers beat the T. Rangers 14 - 2! How's that for a game.
Well, that's all for now.As always,
Friday [July 14; postmarked July 14, 1973]
It is hot & windy today. Of course, in the uncooled Service Bldg. I didn't notice it, even at my noon time walk, but it wasn't as hot then as now. It's 93 I think. But it will cool off tomorrow just as it did yesterday. It has been rather fine weather here lately. Funny, when I wrote my last letter and mailed it on the way to work, it was the very day we got your letter in the mail delivery.
It was rather different and I'm glad to see you have some interest and diversion now, what with the swimming and your new friend. I hope things are still going ok. They seem to change so fast for you. Same here, though. These wedding plans can't seem to get settled for Jim, and we haven't heard from Lynn for a while. Why not write her and maybe she would like a visit, or could come down. She is working now @ Bob's company, but what has happened in the last week or 2 I don't know.
Your letter revealed how moved and emotional you can become so quickly. You must not feel the worst, rather be optimistic and not expect too much from a girl too soon. A man, any person I guess, can feel smitten with a person of the opposite sex and feel like he has never felt before. I realize this, I am not too old to remember the emotions of sudden falling in love with a girl. This is natural, but remember this, it doesn't always mean the feeling is the same from the other person, no matter what. They can feel for you in any of a variety of degrees and it is not your fault or credit nor is it theirs. It just seems to happen. Therefore, a close relationship may grow, or it may decline. But to be of any value it must be mutual. And to be very meaningful it must be lasting and this takes time. No couple weeks or couple months can really be a sure sign of lasting happiness.
Mother says hello. Said she wrote-Probably gave all the news.
Let's see . . . . cleaned the LTD plugs last nite, had my job interview Tuesday. Will be a miracle if I get #1 out of 20. Cartwrights are moving out, using a "U-Haul" van. Doing it themselves. Mike helped them yesterday. They can't get in their new place yet so they have to move twice. They are moving their stuff into a friend's place now.
I really got to get at the painting around here. The house needs painting, at least in part, on the outside, and also the garage door. Well, tomorrow is Saturday so maybe I'll get a start.
Our union people in the Construction Dept at Edison voted to go on 4, 10 hour days per week, for a 2 month trial period, I think. They may offer it to us but I think it would be optional, because I don't think I would want to do it myself. I have been getting some overtime in the last couple months and I have so far limited a daily stint to 9 1/2 hours. That isn't bad a couple times a week, and you get paid, but 10 hours a day, 7:15 to 6, 4 days in a row, no thanks. At least that is what I say now.
Guess there isn't much more now. But, please stay cool, keep your senses, don't overdue anything, keep the faith (you had in grade school), and don't underestimate the power of prayer.With love,
Mark has "The Orphanage" on (in the dining room) and the All Star game is on in the living room so if this letter is a little bit incoherent you'll know the reason why.
We have had another birthday this past week, Mark is 14 now & a real Kung Fu devotee. He prances around here just like these cartoons on the bottom of the page. Can you believe he enters high school in September? Greg and Mike find it hard to believe but then I find it hard to believe that they will be seniors in Cherry Hill in September. So you see, time does pass and come next April, you'll be home, too!
Speaking of Mark's birthday. . . .we did miss you and Lynn at our dinner. Jim brought Linda, and grampa and Uncle Bud were here. Jim's 23rd birthday is the 30th and he told me that Linda wants to make Lasagna for us all. Hope she makes enough-everyone here loves it.
Lynn has called us a couple of times in the last few weeks. Nothing has been decided as far as her future goes.
How about you? What have you been doing with your days, evenings, and weekends? When is the end of this temporary duty?
Your father is deep into maps and tour books trying to plan two trips. One to Hawaii, of course, and one to the East, trying to cover Toronto, Niagara falls, Morristown and New York City. That trip is supposed to be within the next 3 weeks or so. Lynn wants Mary Lou to fly in to visit so that angle also has to be worked out if possible. I am just sitting back waiting for the word before I get too excited. So many plans have been made in this family this past spring and summer and then been cancelled that I hesitate to count on anything as positive. It is good to remain flexible. If things don't work out as you hope then you can bounce back quicker and with less unhappiness.
And that is my Polly Anna thought for today. Please write and let us know your thoughts?Love,
Sunday [July 29; postmarked July 30, 1973]
It has been quite a while since I have written hasn't it. This does not mean that I don't think of you often because I do. In fact I think of you daily in my prayers asking God to watch over you and take care of you.
Our trip is settled now. We leave for Frisco Sept. 18. After 3 days there we go on to Hawaii for 7 days and nights (2 islands), and then back to Los Angeles for 2 nights, returning to Detroit on Sept. 30. I got a AAA book on those places and reading about the sights makes it sound so inviting that we are anxious to try it out. We may also take the kids on a little vacation the first part of August. Lynn wants to take Mary Lou on a plane trip so she may drive home with Julie and fly back with M.L. Then we would follow down with the car in a couple days and pick her up, at the same time visiting New York City for a day or two. Then return via Canada and visit Niagara Falls on the way. If we did that it would be nice if you could come up for the weekend visit, say in Morristown or wherever we may land. If there is any chance or interest why not write and see if we could set up a schedule. We probably leave on a Sat. or Sunday so Mike could work thru Sat. He has told them he wants a Mon. thru Fri. off. Our only limitation as to time is we must be back on August 10 to go to Meadowbrook for the Glenn Miller Show.
We got the station wagon full of repairs the last 2 weeks. Troubles always seem to come in threes. This meant new brakes new muffler and pipes, and new tie rod ends on the steering. It just turned 71,000 miles so I hope it's all set for a while, like until we want to get rid of it. It's a peppy little car, though, and I hope it can last a while.
Don't you have a chance to get pictures taken there. We would like to see some of the sights of the area and the places you go. It would be nice if we could come down there and visit. If it weren't for our big trip we probably would. Well, we can see what your next stop will be. Any word or rumor on where you go next?
I guess grampa is about set to move into an apartment in Farmington with the next week or two. He went out today to try to settle the matter.
Last night we went to the wedding of the Cartmill girl Denise. Did you know her? I work with her dad and I think she went to Cherry Hill. She teaches in Ohio now. We were at Shay's last Friday night. We heard the bad news that Ruthie Shay who had married a couple years ago just got a divorce. The guy who seemed so nice before turned out to be a bum who wouldn't work, played around with other women and even physically abused her. Now her life is ruined at 23. So more than ever we are concerned that Lynn doesn't marry somebody just because she is tired of trying to figure them out or because it seems the easy way out. I wonder if young people ever learn by other's example or experience.
No news on the job I applied for yet. As I said before I really don't care too much because in our department there promises to continue to be a lot of changes and this job I have is not bad and it pays well. The Company is continually searching for cost cutting and it may even get down to layoffs although I really don't expect to see this. It's a funny thing to think of this at Edison when the auto Companies like G.M. are going great guns and even hiring people.
It's a beautiful day here. The twins went to Cass lake and Bill is up at Higgins Lake with some friends for a couple days. Will be back tonight. He spent a night at Eastern on a get acquainted-orientation program they had Thurs. He starts school in a few weeks or at least before Labor day.So long for now and do write unless you have done so the last day or two.
It is unusual for me to take time out for letter writing on a Saturday morning but the next few days will be so busy that I may not have another free hour.
We are into another month and if I remember correctly, you said that your temporary duty down there would be up by September. Right? Any rumors concerning your next assignment? You realize, I'm sure, that you have a little over 8 more months to go. It wouldn't surprise me if you know the number of days and hours!
Bill says that today will be his last at the airport job. I thought that another two weeks of pay would tempt him but he says that he wants to rest before school starts in these three weeks. He did take a long weekend last week to go up to Higgins Lake with a bunch. While they were there, they ran up to Macinack Island (that doesn't look like the right spelling but no one here knows how). Only spent 2 hours there-can't imagine any one spending that short of time, especially when it is his 1st trip.
Lynn is coming in on Wednesday to pick Mary Lou up and they are going to fly back to N.J. on Thursday. Lynn promised M.L. a long time ago to treat her to a 'plane ride and is now going through with it. M.L. is quietly excited about it.
Your Dad, Mike and Mark and I are going to drive over and pick her up next Sunday and show them N.Y. City and Niagara Falls. Hope the weather is nice. I do wish we had the time and money to drive down to see you.
Greg doesn't want to take time off from work. He is salting his money away with visions of a car dancing in his head. He won't be allowed to buy one before he is out of high school but their graduation will be here before I know it. Powell's did a nice job on Greg's picture. I'm waiting to see Mike's proofs now.
And now, on to the Post Office and Great Scott. [A grocery store.]Much love,
PS Mark gave Jim 10 free car washes for his birthday last week so Jim brought the "Ray" over for his 1st wash today. Mark's home made card was cleverly done.
That was one of Jim's best gifts, I think.
Linda made a Lasagna dinner for us all the next day and we all enjoyed it.
Their wedding was postponed, too, but I guess I told you that, didn't I?
Aug. 15, 1973
The five of us are zipping along route 81 at 65-70 miles per hour with Mike driving. Mark & Mary Lou and Dad & I and Mike left Swiftwater Inn about 11:30 this a.m. We only spent the night there, coming from N.Y. City where we spent part of Monday and Tuesday showing the kids the sights and sounds of "sin city." Remember I told you that we were going to pick up Mary Lou?
We side tracked a bit today and stopped at my grand parents old home in Wilkes-Barre [Pennsylvania]. Saw some of the results of that big flood from hurricane Agnes.
We may reach Niagara Falls tonight. I would like them to see the Falls lighted up at night as well as in the daylight. Then we leave for home sometime tomorrow.
It has been a whirlwind of a trip since 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Michael certainly has been getting some different driving experiences. He drove through one of the heaviest rain & wind storms that I have ever seen. Many cars pulled over and stopped along the Penn. Pike but your dad had him keep going-sometimes 30 miles an hour. I was really nervous and he was too, I'm sure. It was a long, long, two hours.
We thought that Bill would come with us but he changed his mind at the last minute. He didn't want to miss playing ball in the tournament game.
Mary Lou is probably quite anxious to see if her brothers took good care of her pet fish and dog and also her seedling fir trees.
I hope that when we get home there will be a letter from you waiting for us. I am beginning to worry about you again.
Enclosed is a glamorous picture of our motel in N.Y.C. It is located in the Puerto Rican district-Did you see the film "West Side Story"? Well, that was the neighborhood they shot the picture. Remember the song, "Slaughter on 10th Ave."? Dirty place! I would hate to live there.
I'll mail this at our next stop. Take care of yourself!Love,
[The postcard of the Skyline Motor Inn, 10th Ave, NY City; Mom wrote: "Everyone but Momma swam in their 9th floor pool. Crazy place to put a pool!"
The letter was written on the Inn's letterhead.]
Sunday Eve (Saturday) [September 9; postmarked September 10, 1973]
I wonder how your first week back at Lee went [Ft. Lee]. I hope you have found smooth waters there. I suppose we shall be hearing soon the latest news even if it is only how things are going there. This weekend finds us in a very different weather situation from last week end. It is rather cool although not too cool for me, still shirtsleeve weather during the day.
Today was grampa's birthday and we had him and Sr. Ann Louis over for dinner. Tomorrow at noon we are going to a brunch at Eve Ann and Bill's new home in Farmington. I haven't seen it yet but it is really supposed to be fabulous. I'm anxious to see it. They are having a big crowd over between noon and 2 to show it off to their relatives.
I got your keys back which were found in the rear of Perk's station wagon. I presume you don't need either one of them now. Incidentally, the Perkovich family is moving to a home they bought at Mohawk and Cherry Hill, that's just this side of Telegraph in Dearborn. They have been moving this weekend except that a couple of the boys are going to live here at the old house until it is sold.
Gerry Perk had her car stolen Tuesday from the parking lot at 8th & Beech, a private lot. She works at Edison you know. Well, the next day the police found the car somewhere down on Fort St. near Dix. The trunk had been punched open, the spare tire had been stolen, the ignition all goofed up, and a tire flat. I don't think it had any more damage. She was lucky. It is being fixed up at some Ford dealer's. She just had it repainted and had a few pieces of trim still off. They must have taken hers because they knew how to start a Mustang.
I guess Lynn is planning to come home the day after we leave which is on the 18th of Sept. She will probably be here until we return from Hawaii. I changed your subscription address so you should not miss getting the Free Press. The sub. runs to November. For your sake I hope we can change it again soon, unless there is a change of heart at Lee. That's about all the news for now.Love & prayers,
Sept. 10, '73
Just received your letter and it did relieve my mind concerning that discipline action. I am glad that you are, outwardly at least, a bit cooler. These two years do test the mettle of a man, don't they? I'd like to think that the next several months will be easier for you.
As for that man you hitched a ride from-It is always a shock when you find yourself in a bad situation. Now you know why I worry about my boys almost as much as my girls. This crazy world has so many minds that begin and end with that three letter word. So many subtle ways to brain wash adults as well as youngsters into believing wrong things-books, (most of them best sellers) movies, gay libbers, etc. ad nauseum. You really have to develop quite an inner strength, don't you? [Mom's referring to me hitchhiking back to Camp A.P.Hill from the Richmond airport at night and got picked up by a guy in a VW bug, who after a short period, put his hand on my leg and kept it there, obviously wanting to get "physical." I froze, and just sat there calmly, heart racing, not knowing what to do, but asked to get dropped off when the next exit came up. He finally removed his hand and stopped to let me out.]
We had a nice brunch at Eve Ann's yesterday. Their new home is quite big and very lonely. Still not finished in spots but one always has something to work on when he buys a home. After 23 years we are still working on this one.
Your dad told you that Lynn was coming home to help out next week? That pleased me a great deal and left Bill with an easier time at school-he won't be tied down to be here at 3:00 for Mary Lou's protection. Old worrisome Mom again.
We will have our address in San Francisco and Hawaii listed here on the board if you have any reason to reach us. I hope your new assignment comes through soon so we can send you cards on our trip.Gary Kiester (Watch the ie)
We'll be talking to you soon.
Much love and crossed fingers on a new assignment!
Sat. Nite [September 15; postmarked September 16, 1973]
This is a cool and clear evening. The sun has yet to set and the day has been beautiful, as we are rather used to in this part of the country in the fall of the year. Fall really doesn't start until about the 21st but it's funny how after Labor Day the weather automatically starts to turn cool, at least in the evenings. It's my favorite time of the year.
When you read this we will probably be in Frisco, Tuesday, right? As I told someone at the office yesterday, if the trip is about half as good as the anticipation is it will be a great success. Lynn comes in Monday nite and we leave at 9 AM the next morn. Friday about noon we take off again for the Islands. . aloha . . I expect we will be sending cards out along the way so you can look for them. I have four rolls of 35mm for the Yashica and still am planning to get 8 rolls of movie film.
Tonight Mother and I are planning to drop in on the Las Vegas nite party at St. Norbert. If we don't win something at the wheels maybe we will win the trip to Las Vegas. Wouldn't that be a gasser? Maybe you will win it. I put your name on a few tickets.
Did I ask you if I got the right address for the Free Press? If you are getting it there it must be all right I suppose. I think I added Bowling Green; maybe not.
Quite a house the Dillons have. Beautiful family room with the peaked domed ceiling and massive stone fireplace. Looks like a lodge. Have a horse farm right behind their shallow back yard and the horses come right up to the edge of the fence. One even got into their yard, while the little Andrea, or someone, was out there. In the meantime houses on this street are just not moving. Miners moved without selling and if it doesn't go by Oct. he says he will rent it out. The Cartmills are supposed to move out soon into a new home and theirs isn't sold yet (on Stollman). Jim and Lucy next door took theirs off the market. First he isn't changing job location and second the interest rate on mortgages is so high those who can are waiting for a drop in the rates. I hope things stay alright here in this neighborhood so we can stay here if we want to. The place will be all paid up next summer.
Well, as the sun slowly settles in the west I shall sign off until say Tuesday or Wednesday when probably in the room at the Chancellor Hotel in San Francisco just a block off Union Square I will make out our first report of our journey.Love,