John’s birthday is quickly approaching. Before he left for locations unknown, my grandfather sent his oldest son some birthday money. In typical John fashion, the money was spent on records. John was the musician in the family. He was gifted musically and can be credited with introducing opera and other classical music to the family. When I was growing up, we always listened to the local NPR station to hear the opera that was being broadcast on the weekends. I guess I can blame my Uncle John for those long, torturous car rides. I still change the station when the opera comes on here on Saturday afternoons. Sorry Papa! In all seriousness, they aren’t all that bad, they just aren’t my cup of tea.
My father took me to see my first opera when I was seven. I remember shopping for an appropriate gown to wear. It was yellow polyester with little applique flowers, a creation that would make me cringe today to see it. But hey, it was the 1970s. We saw Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Boston Opera House. I still have the picture book which I was given in preparation for the event. It lives on the bookshelf among my children’s many books. I’ve even read it aloud a few times. When I attended graduate school at the University of Michigan’s Rackham School of Music, I had my first experiences working on a few opera productions. The Theatre Department was part of the School of Music so we were required to produce at least one full opera as part of our season. I even worked for an opera company for a few seasons (Opera Theatre of St. Louis) during my summer break. So I may not enjoy opera the most out of all the theatrical and musical venues out there, but I do have an appreciation for it, all thanks to my Uncle John.
August 17 1942
This has been a busy day. I was talking to Luik about getting some stone for the driveway-it was getting thin in spots-so he brought us a load this morning (5 ton). It is finer than the last load. I had the boys smooth it down and that was quite a job, but the driveway looks much better and there is enough to keep in good condition all winter, especially by the street. It was so thin in
(page 2) places I was afraid we would have ruts after the fall rains, and after a freeze and thaw. After they finished with that I kept them busy doing odd jobs until after the lunch dishes were washed. Mark is still making solid models. He has gone to town now to show Mrs. B. his latest. I should buy him a dozen he works them up so fast, but they quiet him down and I have noticed he is less nervous when he works on them. I am still giving him the Vit B + Phenob. At first he would be a little drowsy after the doses but they seem not
(page 3) to effect him now. I have been sending him to bed early and he sleeps well.
I am to go to see Dr. C again this week. Haven’t decided whether to go Fri or Sat. Sat being John’s birthday, I may go then and take him along so he can spend his birthday money. He is going to buy a record. He was saying which one he wants. I think it is from one of his favorite operas. I haven’t decided yet what to buy him. I’ll bake and decorate a cake. If I felt a little better I would have a weiner roast, but I hardly feel equal to so much activity, so will compromise with cake + ice cream.
(page 4)We were in the drugstore last night and Boonie said he had sent you a box of candy. While there Dr. + Mrs. Dinwiddie from Lowell came in. He has enlisted in the Army and is being sent to a camp down south. Mrs. D. is one of Bill Strole’s girls. The Dr. is a dentist. I imagine you knew him or knew who he was thru the Stoles.
It is about mail time and Mark is begging to go back to town, so must get this finished for him to take.