Tag Archives: Janssen

Happy Birthday David

Letter transcription:


Dear David:

Your birthday gift is inside, so don’t throw the card away until you have found it. Also you are to give Bonnie ¼ of it, to make your gifts come out even.

We went to Earl Park last night to give a program about Switzerland. The teachers of the Earl Park grade school (they now have no H.S.) and the sisters from the Catholic school and the priest from the Earl Park Catholic Church were present. The meeting was held in the basement of the Presbyterian Church. The sisters were quite friendly and Dad discovered that one knew many of the sisters he had known at St. E. Before the meeting we went to Kentland and I stopped to see Mrs. Myers. She thought she was going to have another attack last night (I mean the night before) but didn’t. She had not had anything to eat all day. I felt bad about having to leave her, but since she won’t go to a nursing home, my hands are tied. There is a very good nursing home about a mile from here. Dad could take care of her and I could go out and see her every day, but she won’t talk about it.

Dad has the duty today, but hopes to get more done on the kitchen tonight. So far, we have the sink, garbage diser and dishwasher in place and I was able to use that corner today. Also Dad has the easterly wall paneled and the cabinets in place. He put them up so well, I think it would take nothing less than an earthquake to dislodge them. I am at present cooking with an electric skillet. Our stove – a built in unit won’t be in until next week. I have cooked that way before – if you remember 146 W. G.

[page 2] The Janssens came Sunday to bring John to Purdue. They stopped just before we left for church, so they attended church with us and then we took them to the Chinese restaurant. I rather think they didn’t care too much for Chinese food, but at any rate it was something different. We are to go to La Porte and visit them some weekend before the leaves are gone. They have so many maple trees, they said we should see them in the fall. La Porte is called the Maple City.

Have a happy birthday.

Love Mother

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/04/10/happy-birthday-david/

Winter Storm

Letter transcription:

Sunday January 29, 1967

Dear David and Bonnie:

It happened at about 5 am on Friday. We were without lights for 27 hours. Also power to keep our gas furnace running. Dad couldn’t get out of the driveway. We finally managed with the help of Herb Schultz and Harold Oliver to get Mrs. Myers out here. We kept a fire going in the fireplace – and incidentally I didn’t burn all of the things in the corner – and kept half way warm. We made the folding couch into a bed and put Mrs. M. by the fireplace and heaped her with covers and she said she was warm as toast. We kept the fire going until nearly 11 o’clock. The next morning we got up early and started the fire again and the outside temperature was 12. We were able to cook with my old iron chicken fryer in the fireplace and I had stocked up on groceries on Thurs., so we had plenty to eat. I heard the grocery stores ran out of several items – like bread and milk. There were many people stranded in Kentland – all traffic was halted from all directions. All motel and hotel rooms were taken and about 100 people stayed in the gym and as far as I know some are still there. No traffic is allowed to go north, except people like Dad who went to the hospital Saturday and today. The National Guard brought in an auxiliary electric system and food so the gym was warm and food was provided for the stranded. Dottie McClure helped cook. I didn’t ask her who else was on kitchen duty. She told me she had stayed in the gym until 3 am Saturday to help service coffee, etc., to the National Guard and others. Dad says he thinks the guard brought in cots, so there was some provision for places to sleep. Even if there were no cots, at least the people there had warmth. I think probably every fireplace in Kentland was in use with more than one family gathered around. The Janssens have a camper and it is equipped with gas, so they slept in it. John spent the night in Hensley’s house keeping their fireplace going. They have been out of town for the past 3 weeks. Our John called and there was the same situation in Champaign – a breakdown in the electrical system. His house was cold, but he has a gas stove, so he could stay by the range with the oven turned on. He said the grocery store where he buys his supplies has an electric eye door, so he couldn’t get in there. He said he had enough groceries to last a day or so. We haven’t talked to him since Friday. During the time the electricity was off here, telephoning was limited to emergency calls. One other thing so when the electric power was off and the water tower was emptied, that was it. We had been told to prepare, so we had a few containers of water – so we could flush the toilet if the water did run out. I got up at 2:30 and looked to see if Mrs. M. was asleep – she was – and I put some more covers on her – and then I tried to get a drink – no water. We set up a card table by the fireplace and with three chairs in a semicircle kept fairly cozy during the emergency. It was awfully cold going to the bathroom. We thought we wouldn’t care to go back to the “good old days” before modern conveniences. I didn’t try to go to church this morning. Dad said there were paths through the town, but no place to park. The temperature has risen, but not above freezing since the storm hit. The sun did shine yesterday, but today we had more snow. Our TV aerial bent over so all we can get is Champaign. We have listened to the radio – WGN – and had heard this is the worst storm of the century. The expressways in Chicago are still jammed with stalled cars and trucks. People just have not been able to get their cars away from where they had to stop during the storm. O’Hare has been out of business for several days. The word was flights might be resumed today, but nothing definite. We had been told that the electrical repair job might be temporary, so we have kept Mrs. M. two nights and she is staying again tonight. Something happened to her apartment and it was (the furnace) cold until late this afternoon. Dad said he thought she had better just spend another night here to be sure the heating system is fixed properly. I have made the prediction that the town of Kentland will acquire an auxiliary system to take care of pumping water into the town tank in case of such another electrical failure.

I am planning to go to Lafayette again Friday and see a house for rent. We were called about it – the agent called us Thurs. We had just about decided to get a small apt., as we told you, but if this house is suitable, we probably will take it. Dr. Hensley is coming Thursday to talk business and possibly sign contract. He has been released from his contract at I.S. and will be here to take over the office Mar. 1. He also plans to come on Feb. 28 to be here a day or so before Dad leaves. Everyone here who has said anything about the change say they hate to lose us, but don’t blame Dad. They think it is time for hime to take it easy. Many of Dad’s patients say they are going to stay with Dr. H. Several of the OB have told Dad they are going to stay. I think Dr. H. knows he is getting a good thing. Dad told him if he would sit back and let the girls run the office they would make a living for him. It isn’t

[page 2] quite that simple, but I think he knows they will be a great help to him.

Love Mother

P.S. I will get your pills & spansules mailed next week – that is tomorrow – if I can get out of our driveway. I thought you might want the tax receipts. We saved some of the things you had in the corner – but did burn quite a bit. By the way, you had some of “my” books stored in there. That package from bookshelf was a bible dictionary and was sent to you so you could take advantage of the low price. I think I will just keep it for a while to see what they do next. I may write and tell them to send me postage if they want it back.

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/03/24/winter-storm/

Another Program

1966-03-22-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

March 22, 1966

Dear David and Bonnie:

Mrs. Myers came home from the hospital Sunday. I didn’t get to see her yesterday, but intend to stop on my way to the office as soon as I finish this. We have discussed her situation and we think she is going to have to go to a home of some kind. We think she should not be alone. I think she is coming to that point of view of her own accord. I know she doesn’t want to, but I think once she would get into a nice home, she would enjoy the fellowship she would have with others. She is afraid she would find undesirable people she would have to associate with, but I told her I thought she would find most of the people in places like Wesley Manor would be quite nice.

Dad and I went to Aunt Ruth’s yesterday evening to give a program for a club (PEO, whatever that is or stands for). When we got to Kankakee we drove through a downpour that amounted to a cloudburst. Fortunately we didn’t get into anything worse. On the road from Kankakee to Wilmington much water was on the highway and we had to drive with caution, but by the time we returned home, the water had drained off. We are having a little wet weather today, but nothing like what we drove thru yesterday. Our program last night was about Bali and Aegean Sea cruise. I took some wood carvings and materials from Bali and wore the dress which I had made in H.K. Dad wore his H.K. suit. Several were quite impressed with the carvings and the materials, but most of them awed and ohed over my dress and coat. They all seemed to think it was beautiful. We even got Dad to get up and show off his suit. I told them that even the pants were lined and he is his usual manner asked if they wanted to see.

We are still not satisfied with our stereo and the store here is going to have a man from Chicago come and look at it. Janssen said they were checking as far back as West Germany—that is where it was made. We should get satisfaction in time. Since I am trying to learn German by records (I have it on tape) I really don’t have much time to listen to records and you can believe me, the TV just sits, unused most of the time. We like the book which you sent. Dad thinks we will get a lot from it. I really surprised myself when I tried to read a little to find that I really could read some. I listen to this tape for hours at a time, just to familiarize myself with the sound of German being spoken. It looks so much different on paper that it sounds—such as: Konnen Sie es mir auf der Karte zeigen? I am referring to Konnen. Besuchen Sie uns. Auf Wiedersehen.

Mit Liebe

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/03/09/another-program/

Bitte Post Wort Buch

1966-03-10-gry-p-1March 10, 1966

Dear David and Bonnie: Bitte, post wort buch. Danke schon.

I was opening letters and discovered when I had finished I had 3 checks from GM and in examining the checks saw I had opened your letter. We had our stocks divided (according to advice from legal authority, so we now get two dividend checks from each company). You won’t need to divide yours yet for a while, but in time you may need to.

Send me copies of your translations if you have time. I think I answered your question about Mrs. M. in my last letter. Also this week two pictures of the children were mailed and I hope you have them by now. They should be coming down for a weekend before long. David is now five weeks old and I know he has changed a lot.

The Sears store was able to get a field man from Dayton to look at our stereo. It is much better and also the amplifier for the hospital has been put in working order again, so maybe now my radio will be brought back home. Janssen sent a cabinet (combination stereo, FM & AM) set so I could listen to the opera last Saturday and there was such a frying noise it almost ruined the reception. I have the radio turned on now and the same sound is coming through.

Something is going to be built on the corner across from Williams and Lynch Ford. Most of the trees have been pulled up and burned. I have heard a restaurant is going to be built. That corner looks so much different now that those trees are gone.

For your information, we will be in Rome almost a week, so we should be able to see a few things. I am reading a book about Petra now. Have finished Crime & Punishment. Some story. It really had a happier ending that I thought it could have.

I talked to John recently and he evidently recovered from his teeth pulling. He seemed to think it didn’t bother him.

1966-03-10-gry-p-2The new Buick was delivered today and Dad and I went to Morocco this morning and got the new license plate. Dad is going to continue to drive the leased car until Apr. 1. I have to have some painting done on my car, so will get to drive the new car one day next week.

Love Mother


M. Harris has been in hospital for back surgery, but is home. I haven’t been to see her but plan to go tomorrow.

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/03/07/bitte-post-wort-buch/

Waxing Floors

1964-07-15-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

July 15 – 1964

Dear David & Bonnie –

I presume you have been having a vacation as you mentioned in one of your letters, the reason we haven’t heard form you recently. We received a long letter from Bonnie’s mother one day last week. They evidently had a good time in Japan.

Today I am having the piano tuned. I was desperate and told Daddy I had to find a tuner. He said, “Why don’t you try the yellow pages,” and I did. Not only found a tuner but a means of getting rid of the extra piano in the church basement. This man is from Lafayette and rebuilds pianos besides tuning. I found 4 jobs for him today. Seems I wasn’t the only one looking for a tuner. I thought I had better get the piano in shape before John gets home. We received a cable from him Monday the 13th which had been sent from Malang the 8th. He was ill and couldn’t leave when he had planned. We hope by now he is in Hong Kong. His cable said he would leave Djakarta around the 14th.

You won’t believe what I am going to tell you, but I cleaned the built up wax of the kitchen, family room, hall & bath room floors all by myself. Seems John H. had other jobs he had contracted and I decided that wax – really it isn’t wax but more like varnish – had to come off. I was on my hands and knees part of the time – using wax remover which doesn’t remove but just loosens, then I brought the scrubbing machine from the office and with steel wool pads got the rest off. I started last Thurs. afternoon and yesterday – Tuesday – I almost finished – that is cleaning and waxing. I decided to use paste wax and buff. I just have where my desk, couch, and washing machine area to wax then it will be finished. I was so tired yesterday

1964-07-15-gry-p-2[page 2] afternoon I went to bed for two hours and hardly moved. I think every muscle in my body ached, but I had the satisfaction of knowing the floor in clean and shouldn’t need such a cleaning for at least six months. Liquid was is a bad word as far as I am concerned and mothering could induce me to use it again. When I was in the cleaning process that stuff would come off in sheets. I used a paint scraper in places.

I am going to Greencastle Sunday evening to attend School of Missions – that is if John’s homecoming doesn’t interfere. I hardly think he will get to Chicago before the 26th since his departure was delayed about a week. He was planning to spend some time in Hong Kong & Japan before coming back to the States.

Dad & I went to Mt. Ayr Monday evening to give a program for the Hospital Auxiliary and had a record crowd. Meeting was held in the Methodist church. Every seat was filled and folding chairs had to be set up. We showed our Hong Kong and Cambodia pictures. I just hope no one was disappointed. We received many compliments & comments after the meeting was over.

The Janssens are going to the Black Hills and into Colorado for their vacation. I got them some Triple A guide books and told them about our trip via the Million Dollar Highway – The Alps of America. Do you remember that drive? – it was the trip when we visited Colorado Springs and went to the top of Pike’s Peak. They plan to visit Mesa Verda National Park – one of the places we saw as we were on our way to see John.

Don’t forget to write.

Love Mother

Thanks for the pictures.


©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/01/01/waxing-floors/

Heading to Tokyo

Letter transcription:

1964-01-19-gry-p-1Dear David –

Sun. the 19th. We have just checked out at Reef Hotel and have to wait a little while for transportation to airport. Our plane leaves at 5:20 – We have to be there for customs inspection by 4:30 – the Gray line will come for us at 4:00. We had to check out at 2:00 or pay for half a day (to stay in room another 2 hrs.) so decided to wait in lobby. It is so pleasant here I don’t mind at all, and will get some letters written besides.

We went out to Dick Ward’s again yesterday afternoon – or I should say he came here and picked us up in his car. We took a short tour of Bishop Museum, then went to their home for dinner. They like to play bridge, so after the children were in bed we had a bridge session. They are so far away from any relatives they seemed to enjoy our visit, last Sunday & yesterday.

We had three letters when we returned from outer island tour yesterday – yours, one from Art & one from Janssens. All told the same story – that there had been a blizzard and 1500 people stranded in Kentland. Art sent us a picture he had taken of the snow piled up at 3rd & Graham. It is hard to believe there could be that kind of weather anywhere, sitting here enjoying the sunshine and balmy breezes.

We enjoyed our tour of outer islands very much. It is hard to believe there were so many people taking vacations, but we met quite a few.

We attended First Methodist Church this morning. There are two services and we attended the 11:00 a.m. We were trying to get all of our packing done so didn’t get to earliest service. We sent a package home and when to get to Indonesia I think we will give some of Dad’s pants to John. Dad doesn’t like the tight look – so we will have some made to suit his tastes in H.K. [Hong Kong].

We will arrive in Tokyo – according to plane ticket at 9:30 tonight – after losing a few hours and one day – we will leave here Sun. & arrive there Monday although it is just a 7 hour flight.

Love Mother

We have two days in Tokyo before to go on an out of town tour.

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/11/29/heading-to-tokyo/

Spring Blizzard Blocks Highways

1961-04-24-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

[Wright 533 – Handwritten by David]
Kentland, Indiana
April 24, 1961

Dear David:

I think an epistle like the one just received deserves an answer. Glad to learn of your good grades and suggest that you do what is necessary to improve your grade in Government. I can’t understand why it should give you trouble, when you are so interested in the subject. Just try a little harder. We are going to Indianapolis Saturday to spend the night and attend a Blue Cross meeting. We will be staying at the Athletic Club (on North Meridian Street, a few blocks north of the Circle). We will be coming back home Sunday afternoon. If you want to come to Indianapolis Sunday, we will be at the Athletic Club. There is a meeting in the morning. I told Dad I would go to Church, so if you want to come up and see us, let me know and we will make some definite arrangements.

From all reports Kentland probably had more people staying here Sunday night than had ever stayed here before. The Mingles, Wengers and Janssens kept people. People all over town kept travelers and the overflow stayed in the gym all night. The roads were still blocked until Monday afternoon. Without a doubt the restaurants and hotels and motels had more business than they had ever had in one day.

We had a letter from John last week. He is planning to be home – arrive in Chicago – July 5th. He will be leaving to return to Indonesia August 1st (unless he has made some change in his plans he didn’t mention). His plane arrives in Chicago at 10:10 PM so we should be able to go meet him.

We are having rain today. I had intended to work in the yard some, but it keeps raining every little while. The rose bushes we set out the day before Easter look like they are about ready to start growing. I am ordering another set (7) to finish the row. I am also ordering some mums, so that I will have some flowers this fall. Dad has been mowing the lawn every Thursday. Now that the weather is warmer, with this rain, everything is beginning to turn green, (that wasn’t already green) and it makes me want to get out of doors.

Let me know about Sunday.
Love Mother

To read more details about the blizzard that stranded travelers, click here.

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/09/20/spring-blizzard-blocks-highways/