Category Archives: Genealogy

Records and a New Stereo Cabinet

1966-01-06-gry-p-1Letter transcription:


Dear David and Bonnie:

This came to us, but I think it should have been sent to you.

Dad is about to complete the cabinet for the stereo. You may be interested to know that I am keeping my records in the order in which you left them. I have played for my own enjoyment when I am home alone all my Christmas records, except the one Mark and Shirley gave me and John took it and is going to get me something else. After listening to all those, I have started to listen to all my records as you have them stored. I was listening some today, but had the washing machine going and there was too much noise. (I mean the classical ones.)

We had a very nice visit with Mark and Shirley and the children. They certainly were happy to get the hi-fi and it didn’t get much rest after we got there. Becky and Kirk had some records they wanted to listen to, then we listened to some of Mark and Shirley’s. They have quite a nice collection. I am glad the children will learn to listen to good music. We came home Jan. 1, arriving in time to get lunch and then watch the tournament of roses in Pasadena. Dad didn’t get a baby while we were away, but said the office was very busy and he has glad he had stayed home. He said if he had taken Friday off, he probably would have been in the office alone most of Saturday. I suppose he had a point there. One year he gave the girls the day after Christmas off and had to spend most of the day working the office alone, so he decided he didn’t want any more of that. Anyway, he was anxious to get some work done on the cabinet. I think it will be very nice when he gets it finished.

1966-01-06-gry-p-2[page 2] I had an appointment with R. Huth to work on our taxes Jan. 3. I took the car to the Cadillac place and was told they could work on it. After keeping my appointment with Huth, I shopped some, ate lunch, then to the garage. They had lost my ticket—or rather had misplaced it and no one had touched the car, so I just sat in the garage and waited and it was a good thing I did. The last time I had the car serviced here, they had failed to do a lube job and the mechanic told me that was the reason the power steering wasn’t working. So besides getting the window mechanism repaired I had a lube job done and a new belt put on and now it works like new. The next time I take the car to a garage here, I suppose I will have to tell them everything I want done. I thought I had specified a complete job the last time.

It is about time to have supper. I think Dad needs a break.

Love Mother

P.S. Bonnie—Do you want a desk day book? I received one today.

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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Jamboree 2017

For the past two years, I have attended the Southern California Genealogical Society’s Jamboree. Four days of genealogical heaven, listening to speakers from around the country, like Judy Russell, Elissa Powell, Dr. Thomas Jones as well as our top genetic genealogists CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger. This year I debut as a speaker. I am presenting one of my favorite topics Fashion and Photography. Some of my readers may remember the series I did a year or so ago–Fashion Moments. This lecture draws from that series of written blog posts. As some of you may know, there are many great free resources out there for identifying different fashion trends. Lots of eye candy, too!

I will also be participating in the NextGen panel, discussing different ways societies can reach out to and recruit younger genealogists. Additionally, I will be be selling and signing copies of my books in the Author Nook. I hope to see you there!


Christmas is Coming

1965-12-16-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

Thurs. Dec. 16, 1965

Dear David and Bonnie:

The wrapping room (wherever you want it) will be open when you come home. I talked to Mark last night and he said he thought they might have Christmas for the children before they come down Christmas Eve and though you wouldn’t mind sleeping a little longer. However, I think he plans to be here by noon. He said the children were quite excited about Christmas. He was telling me that Kirk has a memory like an elephant. He had promised Kirk he could have some eggnog before going to bed, but for some reason he didn’t get it and went to bed in a sulk. At six o’clock the next morning Mark had to go the bathroom with him and although he was groggy with sleep he said, “You wouldn’t give me any eggnog last night,” or something to that effect. I said, “Why do you have to get up and go to the bathroom with him?” Mark said he thought at that hour he was so groggy he might fall in if he didn’t go with him and another reason, he is too short to reach the stool. I think you will agree he is pretty cute. (fond grandmother speaking)

My Christmas cards haven’t come, but I found some Christmas correspondence cards from last year, so have written to the McGraws (Louise bought another wood carving for me in Singapore and I wanted to send her some money). Also wrote to the Mercurios, the Easterlys, the Moores and a few others. Marie Mace has remarried and we received a card from her today—Mrs. Don. Shewmaker.

I don’t remember whether I wrote you about Aunt Clara, but she isn’t very good. I am afraid from the way she looked when we were down there and from what was going on—she is losing so much weight and can’t keep her food down—or couldn’t when we were there, that she isn’t going to get better.

I want to make it to the P.O. before it closes, so must get this ready to mail. We are going to Country Club tonight to a party for Hospital. Dad is making a Lazy Susan for Lea’s table. He just started on it today, but I think he will get it finished before they come home.

Will be looking for you some time Christmas Eve.

Love Mother

P.S. I can’t remember whether there was a letter enclosed with the Echlin information.

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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Haven’t Time to Write

1965-12-10-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

Dec. 10, 1965

Dear David:

I really haven’t time to write—it is time for my siesta. I have been working in the office this week to help Edna get caught up with insurance forms. Yesterday (Thurs.) I took the leased car to Lafayette to have it serviced and did a little shopping for myself and Mrs. M. Dad opened this letter by mistake. I thought you could perhaps use it before Christmas. Mark is going to meet you at the airport since they plan to come down Christmas Eve. Lea and Bob will be here, also John, so we will all be home for Christmas.

Tomorrow night my S.S. class will meet here for Christmas Party and I am not ready. Tonight we go to the Hospital for annual meeting. Maybe I will have time when we return after the meeting to get a few things done. At least I am not going to knock myself out trying to clean. I think everyone will have just as much fun whether or not I dust the books, etc.

I must get to that siesta, so for now this is all. We should have the stereo installed by this time next week.

Love Mother

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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Thanksgiving Week

1965-11-29-gry-p-1 Letter transcription:

Nov. 29-1965

Dear David and Bonnie –

I am writing again in Wilmington. Will spend the night here and then go home in the morning. We have had a full week. Last Tuesday we went back to Kentland—stopping in Kankakee to shop and eat. It was about 4 PM when we reached Kentland, so after a short siesta I went to the office and after we had dinner I was ready to fold. Wed. we started preparing food for the homecoming. John came home about 2:30. Lea & Bob came in time for dinner. Mark, Shirley & children arrived later in the evening. Lea & Bob left to go to Bob’s parents in the afternoon (Thurs). M. & S. stayed until Fri. afternoon. John left to return to Champaign after church

1965-11-29-gry-p-2[page 2] Sunday. Dad & Aunt Ruth & I went to Clay City to attend the Alumni Tea. None of the Yegerlehners were there, so we went out to see Clarence. Aunt Clara is not well. She had an operation for cancer last summer and also had cobalt treatments. In Sept. Clarence and Clara visited Aunt Ruth & Clara seemed fine. They had stopped to see us, but that was while we were away. Aunt Ruth was quite surprised to see how thin Clara is. Uncle Clarence told Dad she isn’t able to retain her food much of the time. We went on down to see Ralph & Faye. Faye said she is quite upset over Clara’s condition. Evidently from what Faye told us the cancer wasn’t all removed. I have never seen Clara as thin as she is now. Just a shadow of her former self.

1965-11-29-gry-p-3[page 3] Duane has a church in Rockford, Ill. now. He was in Shelbyville, Ind.

We stopped in Brazil to see Vic & Beulah. They told us Marie had been married recently. I called her and she and her new husband, Mr. Shewmaker, came to Vic & Beulah’s to see us. All in all we had a very nice day, except for seeing Aunt Clara in such a poor condition.

Today I made statements and mailed them as we were ready to leave town. Aunt Ruth folded them and stuffed envelopes. I ran the amount on the adding machine and when I showed Aunt Ruth how much it amounted to, she said she could see why I would spend a day making them. (Not that we will collect one third of the amount.)

1965-11-29-gry-p-4[page 4] Mrs. Myers didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving with us. She was upset and couldn’t eat. I went to see her the next day and she was feeling much better. She was looking in a Sears catalogue and wanted to order a bathrobe. I told her not to buy anything until after Christmas. I found one that I thought was quite pretty at Ashton’s, so bought it for her for Christmas. I was wondering what I would give her—now I have that taken care of. I think she is going to have to go to a nursing home because I think she shouldn’t be alone. I think she is thinking that way herself now. I have had a full day, so think I will soon take a bath & retire.

Love Mother

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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Getting Aunt Ruth

1965-11-22-gry-p-1Letter transcription:


Dear David & Bonnie –

I am writing this in Wilmington. I have come to get Aunt Ruth. We plan to go back to Kentland in the morning. Mark & Shirley & children and John will come home for Thanksgiving and incidentally Dad’s birthday. I hope you remember to send Dad a remembrance. Mark & Shirley will go back home Friday but I think Aunt Ruth will stay and go to Clay City with us next Sunday. The High School is having an Alumni Tea and Dad said he would like to go. We haven’t been down to see any of the family this year so if we get to go we’ll visit relatives besides attending the Tea.

Yesterday we attended the open house for the parsonage and as I am on the Commission of Worship, took a part in the

[page 2] ceremony. Dr. Baily was in attendance. He asked me if you are attending Yale and of course I told him you are at B.U. and also assisting a history professor at Emerson—I think I put it this way, “he is attending B.U. and also teaching at Emerson.” Dr. Bailey complimented our congregation on the fine parsonage we have secured (and paid for). He said it was one of the best in the district—this is for our size church.

I asked Mrs. Myers to spend Thanksgiving Day with us, after Doris told me they were going to be out of town that day. She was a little hesitant about it, but I thought if she is able to come she shouldn’t be alone. She is a little discouraged about her recovery. I stopped to see her Fri. & Sat. and she was wearing her pjs & robe.

1965-11-22-gry-p-2-3[page 3] She did get dressed the day she had her hair washed and set. She still complains about not having any strength. At her age, that asthmatic attack didn’t do her any good.

Aunt Ruth has a very nice apartment with living room, kitchen, bath & 2 bedrooms. The heat is electric, which is very convenient. She as a good view, being on 2nd floor. I think she is quite settled here—she lives just across the street from Methodist Church but of course you know she attends Presbyterian.

Mark called us last night. Kirk had an ear infection and they took him to the Dr. They promised him he wouldn’t have to have a shot but the Dr. said the infection was so bad he should have a shot of penicillin. Kirk told us over the phone he had a shot.

1965-11-22-gry-p-4[page 4] Mark said he insisted on having a band aid on the place where he had the shot.

Aunt Ruth has color T.V. but there is something wrong with the aerel (sp.) and she doesn’t get the best reception.

We are going to see the local movie—if we decide it is worth seeing.

Love Mother

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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A Stone Fence

1965-11-14-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

November 14, 1965

Dear David and Bonnie:

Your last “line” received.

Today I had to attend a meeting at the church in the afternoon and since Dad was on a baby case at the hospital and the recorder was on I stopped to see Mrs. Myers for a few minutes. So far she hasn’t worn anything since her return from the hospital but pjs and housecoat. She said she has an appointment for a shampoo Monday, so she will get back into her clothes again. She complains of weakness and I know she isn’t very strong. You don’t need to mention anything in your letters to her about what I write about her, but I think she is going to have to go to a nursing home sooner or later. Mrs. Borman is getting ready to open a home in the place where Krulls used to live (where Funks office used to be). Mrs. M. was asking me about it today. I think she would be much better off to go to a Methodist Home like Wesley Manor. Regardless of where she goes, I think it is going to come to that, simply because she is not able to be alone. You know she has all her eggs in one basket, namely AT & T and there has been some unpleasant news in the papers recently about the company and the stock has declined in price some, however, not enough to alarm a person. She told me today she was upset about it. She even contemplated selling, but I told her the capital gains and taxes would not leave her much. Harold had told her the same thing. I told her if she wanted to secure her future, she could go to a nursing home like Wesley and she would be taken care of, regardless of the stock market. It would cost her something to enter and she would have to pay something to stay there, but if she signed her stock over to the home they would take care of her. There is a home at Earl Park that is very nice and only a person with her means could afford to enter. I don’t know what her decision will be, but I feel she is trying to decide what to do. In the past she has been very adamant about entering an institution, but I think she is beginning to realize that is what she needs. Now don’t mention any of this in your letters to her.

We are still studying the stereo situation. While Dad was at the hospital this evening and after I had had a siesta, I listened to one record of Cosi Fan Tutte—then Dad came home and we had a snack. We decided we didn’t need much to eat today. We have been eating walnuts. The Mercurios gave us canned fruit, fresh apples, almonds and English walnuts and I have been shelling the nuts and the result has been—too many nuts eaten.

Next Sunday the parsonage will be consecrated. Since I am on the Commission of Worship I had to help plan the program. Dr. Bailey will be here to preach in the morning and be present at the open house and consecration service in the afternoon. You know, or you will in time, a consecration service cannot be held until a building is paid in full.

Joy Funk is going to be married Jan. 15. Some of Arlene’s friends had a shower for her Saturday. I saw Nancy at the shower. She and Don are living in Rensselaer. I told her you and Bonnie will be home for Christmas. I suppose you and Jim and Chuck and some of the crowd will want to have a party sometime during the time you are home. Jim tried six times, his mother told me, to call you the day he was in Boston.

The McClures and Bob and Ruth Ford and Dad and I are going to give the Johnson’s a house warming next Thursday night. We have been wanting to have it since they moved, but since we were away the month of Sept. and too busy in Oct., it had to be put off until next week. I suppose you know they live on N. 6th Street (where Jack Spencer used to live).

1965-11-14-gry-p-2Dad bought a new humidifier for his office and brought the old one here to the house. It runs constantly and is quite noisy, but I am getting used to it. Since it makes the air so much better (so they tell me) I won’t complain.

This morning I took my tape recorder and gave R. Zell’s class the first lesson in “Acts, Then and Now.” I couldn’t do much today but that, because there wasn’t any foundation for discussion. I handed out the books and questions today, but if they are as responsive next Sunday as they were today, I may give the tape to Russ and tell him to run the tape or do anything he wants to do with it. When I came home after Sunday School I asked Dad if he had even talked to a stone fence. I said that was the feeling I had talking to that group. They were about that responsive. I could use an hour or more giving those lessons,

[page 2] but while we were away in Sept., someone decided an hour was too long for a S.S. class, so they decided to cut it back to 45 minutes, and have a closing service. When we got the order of service changed to church first, we eliminated the opening of S.S., which to my way of thinking was not necessary—then someone had to get this closing service thrown in, and for what reason I have yet to discover. Had we not been away, I think they would not have succeeded in making that change. I wasn’t here to keep the hour for S.S. lesson.

Love Mother

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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