A couple years ago, I was given an amazing trove: a dozen letters from my mother to her parents, written from 1964 to 1968. Kathleen digitized them for me, so I'm going to be posting them. I'll probably wait to post most of them until after I finish posting photos from Marcy's childhood and youth, but I'll post the earliest letter now, just to get started.
These letters were all written on a typewriter. We've mostly cleaned up typos and spacing issues, except where they're referenced in the text or look like they might be intentional or I just wasn't sure how/whether to change them. One or more "x"s usually indicates letters or words xed out. Capitalization is all the same as in the original.
Marcy wrote this when she was 21 years old. She was attending Antioch College, which had a co-op program in which students would spend a few quarters doing practical work elsewhere; in this case, I think she was on her way to Arizona to work (as a teacher, I think) on a reservation—probably the Navajo Nation, but possibly Keams Canyon, which I think is Hopi? Not sure; further research indicated.
Here's the letter:
Accept or not as you will, but I'm typing this in a plane about to take off from Austin, to San Angelo to somethin' else, to El Paso, where I'll have about an hour's layover to look up an old friend from school, thence to Tucson (pronounced too-sahn) to stay with Rhodes, Carolyn's boyfriend and an old friend of mine, and his family and get the driving test out of the way. ..... fgoog. god bless dramamine. this is a prop flight (propellor) which is very cheap and quite bumpy. My milkshake and paanutbeuuter, no, peanutbutter crackers are coming out of my ears and may xxxxx come out elsewhere pretty soon. The hop from San Antonio to here was pretty damn rough. No, nobody minds if I type--they can't hear it.
Reason is, that Carolyn just got accepted to the peace corps and had to go back to school early, so her mother wouldn't let her take three more days to drive me to Tucson (we are pretty much flying on the left flank, which happens to be the side I'm on, and is a teensybit x disconcerting.) anyway, her mother won't get to see her for two years after June, so she's a bit reluctant to give her up. (it is a FINE looking world out there. nothing but miles and miles of nothing but texas.) (and clouds, below us for the moment, that really ARE torn tufts of cotton, and the sun drawin water through them, and we go through q a t thick greay-blue one, and are out and above and free )..............
anyway, the bus would have cost about ten dollars xxxx less, and taken about 22 hours longer. total plane fare $45.45, because I got part of the flight at half-fare, being under 22. (the part from san antonio to El Paso) I still do not face with equaminity the wonder of flying, of being above the clouds and in the blue part of the xxx sky and just some thin cirrus streaks above us and then the stratosphere, 'way up there. Stewardess says we're at 8000 feet, which isn't a lot, but it ain't a little either.
Mexico was glorious. We drove to Monterrey, stayed in a luxurious motel, ate out at a very very posh place (due to Carolyn's family being extremely well off) and drove up a high, fine mountain--with pines and firs and the whole valley spread out beneath. Saw some fine cactus and all sorts of beautiful crafts and exciting people. Carolyn's family used me to buy their liquor, as they're only allowed to bring in a quart apiece, but I'm from out of state and allowed a gallon. Mrs. Awalt is a very sweet, charming southern lady, a lady all the way and a very very shrewd businesswoman. She runs a whole string of food concessions, and has done it all herself since her husband died nearly 8 years ago. Makes a damn fine living, with a new cadillac every year. (Ick! I dislike big cars--I'll take a new Hillman Minx every year, thanks, or a new Karmann Ghia every 5 years. The latter is the Volkswagen sportscar. I'LL take a new Volkswagen every 5 years too, if anyone is so interested.)
Today is Tuesday, 4:30 pm. I'LL be in Tucson by 9 tonight, and in Keams Canyon by saturday, I think. We were in Mexico saturday and sunday. Yesterday, two of Carolyn's friends from High School came and took me on a grand tour of the old missions, San Juan Bautista, San Jose, San Francisco Espada (Sword)....they were really fine places, the last one was on a river, and was falling apart and exciting. We saw the Alamo, numerous times as it's in the heart of San Antonio, but it's said to be very boring and no one cares to go except the greenest tourists
How is the stereo? I have lists and lists of records (mentally) I wish I could rush xxxx right out and buy for you, and a few I'd like to buy for me...all of which I'm sure you'll hear at the end of March or thereabouts, when I get there.
what else have I done....hmm. Listened to lots of live Flamenco, played by some old friends of Carolyns friends friends etc. Ate more rich expensive food than I care to think about, and gained xxx some weight in the wrong places in the process. Drank tequila, which x is very good in small dosages. Rode around the countryside. Went shopping in San Antonio's Better department stores and bought mostly nothing but some slacks and a bathrobe. Had an awful xx turkey dinner for christmas day, and a good texas steak last night and a lobster in Nuevo Laredo, mexico and veal steak in monterrey and a preponderance of shrimps everywhere. Haggled in a Mexican Market, for earrings and a silver ring (15 pesos, or $1.26, about) and had a glorius time altogether.
We're losing altitude fast, approaching San Angelo. Next stop Odessa. Time to take a nap.. .....what a weird, pretty city this is.
[handwritten] and what a messy touchdown. Plop. We are now (in theory) spread out all over the runway and our pilot loses his job.) and there is black ink all over me.
3 cheers for Trans-Texas airways.
[handwritten on back] YEEK! No envelopes. Keep hoping - if you see this you'll know I found one. Happy New Year.
Postmarked Tucson, Dec 31 1964. Written on front of envelope, probably by Marcy's mother, Ethel: “Rec'd this 1/2/65.”