Feb. 29 – 1964
Dear David: Your letter was here when we arrived at about 12:30 or a little later. This hotel used to be palace of a Maharajah. I haven’t heard the history of place, but it is fabulous. I have just washed and pin curled my hair and I am sitting in a breezeway however I don’t know what the proper name is for it. There is a courtyard to my left and our room opens from court yard. We came here by car – a tortuous journey lasting 5 hrs. In Agra yesterday when we started our tour to see Taj Mahal and after points of interest our guide wanted to know if we could understand him. In our conversation we discovered he belongs to Methodist Church. There is a Methodist school is Agra and although that wasn’t on our tour he took us to the school – it is Holman Institute. I had prayer calendar in my purse so knew there was an institution in Agra. I looked up the name – he had said Miss Schaffer was head of school. When we stopped – we were in a pretty good tour car – when you consider standard car here – and caused quite a flurry in the courtyard. There was an old man who evidently works for the school and he went in and told Miss Schaffer the Bishop had come. When Miss S. came to the door we told her who we are and then she explained what had happened. Dad assured her he wasn’t the Bishop. We didn’t stay very long but she seemed very pleased to have us stop. I asked her if she had may Methodists stop. She said she has a lot of tourists stop but not so many Methodists. There are 800 students enrolled in Holman. There is also a Baptist Church & school – an Episcopal – a Catholic & Seven Day Advent, so the missionaries have been here a long time and judging from observation there is much yet to be done. It is very dry here and much like Arizona. There is much marble in this palace, but it is gritty. The grounds here are kept watered so are very beautiful with green lawns and flower beds. We will be here yet tomorrow and then go back to N. Delhi Monday. Last night we went back to look at the Taj in the moonlight. It is lovely in either day light or moonlight. When we first looked up at the stars directly over the Taj saw one moving so we watched and it was a satellite – either U.S. or R. While we were looking at the Taj in the moonlight we saw a couple with two children who had come on same plane. The man was taking a time exposure. We were talking to them – something we have found is usually easy to do with other Americans. They are living in Pakistan and were on a little holiday and were going back to Delhi last night. The man is working on a huge dam project and they told us about their American city – walled that is – in Pakistan. It is completely modern with supermarket and frozen foods – something unheard of for people who live in this part of the world. Bonnie will know what I am writing about because her mother’s cook goes to market every day. The missionaries told us their cooks go to market twice a day. They think freezing good spoils the taste. It was hard for us to tell people how I buy groceries, that is make them understand it could be done by the week or two weeks. Incidentally I had read about that dam project in Pakistan in the book I read recently about the World Bank. I was very happy to learn about your good grades and hope you will make honor roll. I think that will be a good way for you to graduate. Mrs. McGraw said Bonnie had written that you tow were not going to graduation since she will be travelling half way around the world to see Bonnie graduate and since you are our last one too, I think it would be cheating us for you not to attend. Think it over. I hear a plane going over. There is an airport here and had I known what a drive we were in for, we would have come by plane.
[page 2] The roads are very narrow and not too smooth and there is everything besides cars on the road. We saw a truck that had lost a wheel and had turned over this morning. Our driver is a Sikh – pronounced Seek. He wears a turban and has long hair – however his hair is braided and wound around his head under the turban. He also has a beard all over his face except above and below his eyes. He is a very good driver and is very well informed. He has been working for tourist bureau since 1956. He speaks very good English. He calls me Madam and Dad Sir. He wants to take us for a drive around the city at 4:30. We are to have our tour tomorrow. I am still looking for a letter from you about why you aren’t driving the Chevrolet. Mark just wrote and said the Ins. Co. had run an investigation on us and that you weren’t driving the car. Mark has had trouble with the Cadillac. I wrote to him to take it to Tub in Kentland. I had a letter from Mary K. Anslett and she said she thought sure she had seen Chuck Tuberty driving our Cadillac down the street. We checked with Mark’s letter and when she wrote would be the date the Cadillac would be in Kentland for repairs. I hope Tub was able to get it in order. I wrote Mark we didn’t intend to leave a dud for them. We receive letters at every stop. We have written to the hospital all along and groups and individuals keep writing to us and tell us how much they enjoy getting our cards and letters. The Ansletts have adopted a little girl and her letter had the announcement. We knew they were trying to adopt a child but didn’t think it would take so long. M.K. said Marge Janssen is working temporarily at Sears since the girl to replace M.K. wasn’t satisfactory.
©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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