Archive for June, 2009

Dear Mother and Daddy;

It is pouring rain out today, the first rain we have had in 40 some days. Your nice letter came yesterday and we were so glad to hear that daddy is getting along so well and that he liked your new hat. Did you wear it to church Sunday? Have you worn your dress yet? Now don’t you go working so hard and getting all tired out again. There isn’t anything you have to do that won’t wait. What color are you going to paint the living room? How did daddy like the pictures of the kids and the mountains? What did Winnie say about them?

We have had a lot more roses since you left. There is only one more bud on the red bush now, but the pink one is loaded.

How is the weather back there? Is it still hot? Did they find anything wrong with Chris at the hospital? When does Norman leave? You certainly had a lot of company waiting to welcome you home. It was too bad that you had to change buses so often. Did you have Scenecruisers all the way? Dale felt so bad when you left. He had to look the other way when the bus pulled out.

We went to church Sunday. The kids started Sunday school. Margie went with us. Harold Jr. was spending the week with his grandparents so we weren’t annoyed with him all week end. Sunday afternoon we went on a picnic over to Saltwater Park. Just us. Mary Ann and George had gone to Auburn to her Aunts. Bruce was working on his yard. He was the front all seeded now. Loretta and Mary started work Monday at the cannery, and I am taking care of Helen. I pick them up after Dale leaves for work, and take them to Kent, and bring the baby back here. They are working 10 hours a day, and some of them are working 7 days a week. I call Cindy before I leave, and she and Diane are usually up and partly dressed when I get home. They like school.

Last Wednesday, the day that school started the bus broke down and didn’t come until after 10 o’clock, so Thursday, they were up and ready for school by 7:30, and I wouldn’t let them go down to the bus stop until 8:30 the time that they used to catch it last year, so the bus was early and they missed it. They didn’t want to miss school so I got Mark and Elyce up and dressed and we went after gas, then tried to find the school. They couldn’t remember exactly where it was, and we stopped and asked at several places and no one knew exactly where it was, so we didn’t get there until about 10:30. It is a nice school. When we got back Loretta and Mary and Norma, their neighbor, were sitting in the car waiting in the driveway for us. They were going to pick beans and wanted me to watch the baby.

Oh yes, last Tuesday the Furnace man came and cleaned the furnace and hooked it up to the thermostat and put some new igniters in it. He said that it should be alright now, but to let him know if it doesn’t work right after we start it. Now all we have to do to light it is to turn the thermostat. That will be nice.

Labor day Dale went over to help George with his new sink, so they all came over here for supper including her mother, brother and sister. Her mother made some berry pies. They were good except they were so soggy. She hadn’t put any thickening in them.

Yesterday I made 2 fresh peach pies and one berry pie. The kids picked some berries for me Saturday. I have to bake some cookies today. I don’t have anything for their lunches. I froze one of the peach pies. I don’t know how long it will stay in there.

Don’t forget to send me your and Daddy’s sizes. What did Velma say about the pictures? Did you tell her that I will be writing to her one of these days?

Dale has got it into his head that he wants to build onto the garage this fall. I wish we could, but I don’t know. I told him to have the lumber man come out and give us an estimate on the cost of the material.

Mark has transferred his passion for rocks to sticks now. I find them all over the house.

Karen just woke up. Helen is in the teeter-babe. I am going to put her to bed for a nap as soon as I finish this. Elyce is coloring, and Mark is asleep so everything is under control. I ironed my old white ruffled curtains Saturday and am going to put them up here in the dining room and wash these. I want to tint them too, and have them ready to put up for the holidays.

Janet moved last week. I didn’t get a chance to see her before she left. Mrs. Dozier says that she is going to stop and pick me up next time she goes over there. I want to see her house.

Harold’s car broke a piston Sunday, so he and Dale are going to work on it this week-end. Margie says he told her that he liked her pumpkin cookies, but couldn’t she make some oatmeal ones or something for a change, so I gave her my oatmeal cookie recipe.

Well, I guess that I have told you all the news. Dale worked last Saturday. I hope he will get a few in for a while.

Is Velma going back to school this fall? I guess that daddy really missed the TV while you were gone. It was probably too hot to watch it anyway. Maybe I will do some sewing today if all remains quiet. I did a few inches on the rug last week. Have you started one yet? Well, I guess that I had better close and try and catch the mail man.

Lots of love,



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My Dearest Daddy,

Well my time here is getting pretty short. Only two more days, and I will be almost home when you get this.

How are you to-day? The sun is bright first thing this morning and its supposed to go to 80 or 85. It’s been really hot in Calif. Yesterday it was 112 in Los Angeles.

Patricia made biscuits for supper last night, they were big, high up ones, and were they good. She started making the girls dresses yesterday.

We are going down and look at the lake to-day. I’ve only been down there once and it was at night so couldn’t see much. Elyce is always telling me when I’m out in the back yard, be careful Grandmother don’t go too far you will fall in the lake. ha! ha!

Mark is beginning to talk and after he gets in bed he calls “Dale.” He sure is cute. Patricia says he looks like you. Hazel said he does too.

Mary Ann, George and their children and Loretta, and her neighbor Marjorie and Harold are coming tomorrow (Sat.) for a fish-fry. Sun. we are going to church then come home and have dinner, then get ready to go to the station. Be careful honey and don’t try to do too much. I’ll get things all taken care of when I get home. So until Wed. Bye Bye honey. I should get in about 9 Wed. eve. Maybe a little earlier.

Lots and lots of love,

Always your


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My Dearest Daddy,

I received your nice letter this morning and was glad to hear from you. How are you? Is everything OK? Only a few more days and I will be home.

Yesterday Diane, Cindy and I picked some black berries, great big ones, I guess they were thimble berries, right at the corner of Patricia’s drive way there are bushels of them, they are just starting to ripen but oh! the stickers. To-day Patricia made a pie of them and was it good.

I mailed a box when Dale came home last night, so it should be there Tues. if not before.

Patricia’s friend came over this afternoon, then one of her neighbors came and invited us to a Stanley party. Patricia and Loretta went, but I didn’t, I stayed with the children, they haven’t got home yet.

It’s been real cloudy to-day. Patricia washed, but the clothes didn’t dry.

Sat. her friends are all coming over and they are going to have a fish fry. Sun. we are going to church.

I guess Norman will be gone when I get home. Tell him I’ll be thinking about him and be sure and come by when he comes home on a week end.

Are there lots of tomatoes? I hope so, so I can put some in cans. Velma told me before I came they were going to a cottage. Didn’t Winnie come out and wash your things? I don’t know what’s wrong with her.

Well honey guess I’ll close for this time. I’ll have Patricia call you on her way home Sun. The bus leaves at 10 PM so I’ll get in Wed. evening.

Has Ethel and Delia been out? They will probably be out Mon. I’ll write tomorrow. Be careful honey. I’ll soon be home. That was nice of Mrs. Brose having you over for dinner. I don’t konw how I’m going to repay all these people. I’ll soon be home honey, so Nite, Nite, for now. Lots and lots of love.

Always your


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My Dearest Daddy,

I didn’t write last night it was 10:30 when Patricia and I got home from Seattle. We drove up instead of taking the bus. Dale was late getting home and we thought we could make better time to drive.

We had baked salmon for dinner last night and it sure was delicious.

Hazel and Berleigh got here yesterday (Mon.) morning about nine o’clock. They didn’t stay long, they had breakfast with us and looked around and took some pictures then they went on. They left about 12:30. They have a new Olds 88 red and ivory, it’s pretty if it was a different color. She said they left home Thurs. from here they were going to Oregon to spend a week then stop in Wyoming for a few days. Berleigh only has three weeks.

Honey how are you? Is everything all right? I didn’t get a letter yet this week, maybe to-morrow. I’ll be leaving Sun. so will soon be home. Yesterday it was really warm, 86. And to-day we have a fire in the fireplace.

Honey I put some thing in a box so my suit case won’t be so heavy. I’m going to take it to the post office as soon as Dale gets home.

I’m putting in a couple of rose petals, they will probably be dried and shriveled up some, but I thought you could get an idea of the size of them. They sure are beautiful.

It’s almost time for Dale to come so I better close and get ready to go to the post office. Be careful honey, take care of yourself and don’t try to do too much.

Lots and lots of love.

Always Your



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My Dearest Daddy,

How are you tonight? We are all fine and had a wonderful day. Patricia’s friends Mary Ann and George came over this morning at 8:30 and we all went up to Deception Pass, 104 miles from Patricia’s. We crossed the Sound on the ferry and then drove some more. It was a beautiful drive. Not so high up as Mt. Rainier. We could see Mt. Baker all covered with snow.

There was the biggest picnic tables there, made out of boards cut from those big trees. And seats around in the park made out of hallowed out logs. We had the stove going and the table set, all ready to eat and it was so cold we moved inside. There was a building there with a huge coal stove in one end and a fireplace at the other end and 8 big picnic tables in it, and 2 sinks and drain boards to wash the dishes, hot and cold running water. We left there about six and came over Deception Pass bridge, it’s about 3 or 400 feet above the water. We stopped, got out and walked on the bridge and watched the boats. They looked like toys.

It was 10:30 when we got home. Patricia drove their car and Dale rode in George’s car, they have a little Austin. The kids sure didn’t waste any time getting to bed and asleep when we got home.

Well honey this time next Sun. I will be on my way home. I leave at 10 PM so I should get home Wed. eve.

Patricia is going up to Seattle tomorrow night (Mon.) to get some material for dresses for the girls for school. We are going to take the bus.

Honey you said in your last letter you used the last of that paper. I think there is some more there where you got that, at the end of the book case.

Is your medicine holding out all right? And do you put the little patch on your knee?

Well honey I think I will close for tonight, and go to bed. Patricia and Dale are already in, and I feel like I sure can sleep. Boy the traffic was something coming back. Tail lights as far as you could see, for miles. Be careful honey. Take care of yourself and go to bed and get your rest. Don’t bother trying to clean the house, it can’t be too bad, and I’ll soon be home. Nite, Nite for this time Daddy and lots and lots of love.

Always Your


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I’ve decided to try and get back into the swing of the letter writing, among other things, but first I’d like to share a collection of photos sent in by reader Nicole, who happened to be in the cemetery where the Aray family were buried and was kind enough to share:


She adds:

The text from the historical marker at the cemetery reads:
Washtenaw County PI-53 Historical Marker, Washtenaw County Historic District Commission

“Hardwood Cemetery
This peaceful parcel of land, named for the family who donated it, is the final resting place of a key figure in the founding of Ypsilanti as well as prominent participants in the Underground Railroad.
William Webb Harwood came to the area from Palmyra, New York with his wife, Sally and their children in 1824.  With Augustus Woodward and John Stewart, Harwood platted the village of Ypsilanti.  In 1829, he erected a dam and established a gristmill and, the following year, built Ypsilanti’s first schoolhouse.  Moving to Pittsfield Township in the mid-1830s, Harwood became a supporter of the abolitionist movement and offered sanctuary to escaping slaves.  In this endeavor, he was joined by Asher Aray, a man on mixed race whose family farmed east of the Harwoods on the Chicago Road (now US-12).  In 1853, Aray sheltered a group of 28 slaves whose flight to freedom was documented nationwide.
The Arays and their relatives, the Days, are both buried here in an unusual show of tolerance for the time.  Harwood Cemetery, once the central burial ground for Pittsfield Township, also contains the remains of Robert and William Geddes, two of the area’s original land patentees.”

Thank you, Nicole!

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