VOICES FROM THE PASTHarviell, Mo. R.1, Box 31
May 1, 1940
Dear little Daughter:
I sure was glad to hear from you today. I had been wondering why you didn't write if you didn't get to come over. We knew Vera was at the Cafe but we didn't know she drove her car. If we had known the car was gone we would have come over after you last week. Why didn't you write and tell us? We have the car here at home so let us know we can come after you most any time. Ben is at Alicia. He writes like he will be home Monday. We may be over after you the first of next week if you can come.
Ben will be at home for awhile this time. It has been so wet Samuel has only got to plow 1 1/2 days. If it ever gets dry enough they will be awful busy here trying to get crop planted. We never got any potatoes planted or early roasting ears. Our potatoes we got planted are up good. We have 24 little chicks. Paul has 2 hens setting for you. O yes, we sold our Cricket cow to Mr. Sanders and bo't a good Jersey with a young calf last week. The calf will be 4 weeks old Sat. How is your cow and calf doing?
Ben came home from Winona last Monday and went to Alicia on Wed.
We haven't got to go to town yet to get you a birthday present.
Who was the man that was baptized?
Vianna is all o.k. growing and sweet as can be. Yes Morgan's are holding meeting at Harmony.
There wasn't a very big crowd at the birthday dinner but we had a nice time. We wished you were there. Zelma is at home now. She went up home with Otis and Agnes and stayed almost 2 weeks. Lee hasn't got the trimming for her dress yet.
We were over at Edna's yesterday. She is pretty good was wanting to see you. Luther and Alice are going away tomorrow so Grandma will be home with Edna.
Daddy won't be home til Mon. I think he will stay home for quite awhile then. So perhaps he can come to preach later if she wants him. I hope we get to go to the fellowship meeting Monday night. We had a wind and hail storm and almost a cloudburst here Tuesday evening between 5 and 6 o'clock. The hail beat so hard against the windows we tho't it was going to break them.
Lee is writing [too]. I don't know if you can read all this or not. Lee says we really are writing a newspaper.
We washed today. Our wringer sure is a big help to us.
Old Kate has 4 awful pretty pups.
Lots and lots of love to you. Hope to see you soon.
Tell Ambrose "Hello" and to come over too.
Ben wrote he has an awful cold and cough and don't feel well at all.
Another letter to Lois who lives in Doniphan. Today it's a 30-minute drive from Harviell to Doniphan. It must have taken nearly 2 hours in Grandpa's model A. "Town" is Poplar Bluff. About 15-20 minutes from Harviell now.
"Ben" is the author's husband (my Grandfather) -- once she refers to him as Dad. He's out of town helping churches in Alicia and Winona. He was the circuit rider -- in a Model A. Vera is Ben's sister who had been living near Lois in Doniphan (hence, the access to the car). I don't know where the "Cafe" is. Zelma is another sister of Ben's. I believe both of them were preachers, too. Vianna is the author's only grandchild at the time, the daughter of Paul. Edna is Edna Langley. Luther and Alice are her parents. I'm not sure where her husband Dick Langley is...possible in the army? Edna has a baby Shirley Langley (who later was Miss Missouri) born close to this time. The Langleys were close friends of the family; Lois and Edna were good friends.
Lee mailed a 12-page letter in the same envelope. This one from my grandmother is 6 pages. The woman in the photo is not my grandmother. I just found a wringer picture to demonstrate what she's talking about. My mother had an electric version of it in the late 50's. I once caught my hand in it. Ouch! The electric one had an emergency release, so no broken bones.
Neither of them mention WWII. I think Grandma is too concerned about Lois' well-being. It seems to me that by now she knows things are not right. -the postscript to Ambrose (Her errant son-in-law), the repeated offers to come and get Lois. As much as things change, they remain the same.