More Coal (Gladys)

Letter transcription:

Monday – Feb. 14 – 1944

Dear Daddy – Yours of Feb. 3 & 4th came today – also Mark’s birthday letter. You letters made a good valentine – however your presence would be better but maybe it won’t be long. Mark was much pleased with the money order, but said it would be better for you to come.

Since the roads are still snowbound in places there wasn’t any school today. There was more snow today so there probably won’t be school for a day or so. I was able to attend music club at Foulkes, since the boys were home to keep David. Mark stayed home – John went with me to hear the Opera La Bohème. We had never heard Foulkes’ phonograph and decided it didn’t sound much, if any, beter than ours. Of course they have a much more elaborate cabinet. Theirs vibrates when it starts to play so it sounded a little natural, because ours gets a hum or buzz once in a while.

We got some coal today ($22.43) from the Lbr. Co., $9.50 a ton, but it’s the best and incidentally the only kind our furnace wants to burn. I called Chet Harlan and he was completely out of any kind of stoker coal but has a load of “Milco” on the way and promised to send us some as soon as it comes which he says should be Thurs. or Fri. I’ll take it too because we will use it, in time. John went to the basement to take a look around and he says the new coal made a lot of dirt – If the boys are home a day or two I think we will try to clean up a little down there.

[page 2] The Music Club chorus came here to practice on a new cantata they want to give in March. Their pianist didn’t come so John played for them. John weighed this morning on the office scales, now in the upstairs bathroom, and he weighed just 100 even – 5 lbs. more than I weigh. He got out this morning and shoveled snow, then it snowed more and by the time the chorus arrived the walk was covered again. Bob Schurtter hauled the coal this afternoon and mildly “bawled me out” because we didn’t have the drive shoveled off. I just ignored him. He helps Chet out when he (Chet) gets short of help and needs truck drivers. He often works on Sat. or holidays. He will be in the Navy as an ensign sometime – probably before school is out – then he won’t have to haul coal, etc. I would predict before the war is over he will be glad to haul coal again. Maybe I am wrong. – What am I ranting about? Maybe I didn’t like it because he said what he did about having the drive cleaned off. Anyway we have coal again and that is the main thing.

Sorry your Christmas box was so mutilated. The chewing gum wasn’t very good but all I could get at that time. I did wrap those boxed with heavy paper & card besides using cigar boxes. I used the same boxes so I could wrap them better.

Mark is waiting to take this to town so must get it finished.
Love Mother

YEG1944-02 - Mark in snow

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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3 thoughts on “More Coal (Gladys)

  1. davidmadison1942

    Because the old 78s were so heavy, and could accommodate only 6 or 7 minutes of music on each side, it really wasn’t commercially viable to record entire operas for sale to consumers. There is a great book by John Culshaw called “The Ring Resounding,” which tells the story of the first recording of Wagner’s Ring Cycle–four operas, 13 hours total! The recording by the Vienna Philharmonic, Georg Solti conducting, took SEVEN years, 1958 to 1965. Because long-playing, “high fidelity stereo” records had been invented, the project was launched, on the old Decca label. It was phenomenally successful, and even today that recording remains definitive, especially because of the singing talent available in that era. And thanks to advancing technology, I have that very recording of the four Ring operas on my……wait for it….on my cell-phone. 🙂

  2. davidmadison1942

    “You letters made a good valentine” should read “your letters”

    “Mark was much pleased with the money order, but said it would be better for you to come.” 🙂

    “it didn’t sound much, if any, beter than ours.” should read “better”

    “We had never heard Foulkes’ phonograph” Just a reminder here: the records at the time were made from slate, were heavy and very breakable. They revolved at 78 RPM and each side contained only 7 or 8 minutes of music. The opera would probably have had a couple of dozen records in the set. Recordings of whole operas really became feasible after the invention of the “long-playing” vinyl records. The Music Club might have listened to excerpts only.

    What a mess with the coal. Who knew you had to know so much about coal!

    “…he weighed just 100 even – 5 lbs. more than I weigh.” WOW!

    “Maybe I am wrong. – What am I ranting about?” LOL 🙂 sounds so modern!

    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Great info about the records. Most people who do remember records may not realize the change/evolution of the record. I tend to think of only 33s and 45s because that is what was around when I listened to records. I had a friend who used to collect wax cylinders, which came before the 78s.


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