1971, mid-May: Letter from Marcy to G&H

Five-page handwritten letter on unlined paper.

Postmarked May 21, from which (plus a May 1971 calendar) I deduce that this was started around May 14.

Friday Evening, late

Dear Grandma & Grandpa

Just a brief note to say we’re sorry we didn’t make it on Mothers or GrandMothers—day—we just don’t seem to keep track of holidays, as we have our own—like the day we celebrate someone’s birthday, the day we have a train ride, the day the Financial Aid form came in positive—($1750 for next year, zowie!) The day we cleaned all day & shampood the rug for a Johrei meeting—with our minister, John Tatematsu (going to be once a month from now on) and about 15 or so people were here (that was today) including a 9-day-old baby who’s been recieving Johrei for months, now. Her name’s Bethra, and she’s so small & soft.

Your letters, check, dollarses, etc, are most thanked, most belatedly. But still unreplied-to, as right now all is buried under piles of piles of piles. (all dumped in the Study to clean up the living room) Jed is saving his dollar for a train ride from the Duck Sanctuary to Fairyland for Children, at Lake Merritt, in Oakland.

Off to wash the dishes & munch on leftovers, then more Villager crises

Goodnight, love from us all





11 pm Monday

An Ode

Yet once more, oh ye dishes,

And once more ye leftovers brown

And moldy, and yet sere,

I do ignore your fiercely calling sound

And with dark fingers rude

Do letters write before the table’s clear

For I am tired of housework, and no more

Will do before tomorrow’s day is clear.


How can a respectful former-almost-English-major do such a wicked thing? Oh, well, it gets the haunting lilt out of my brain, where it was revolving. Actually, it’s not that messy, but the cricket frogs is chirpin’ outside

(Spring is here

The Frogs drink beer—

The Birds xxx chirp;

The Frogs burp.) x and I can’t run dishwater to drown out their lovely music. So I put on my new bright-gold mandarin robe that my neighbor found for me at the Swappe Shoppe (where I also have found a velour suit & a magnificent pants-suit, and Peter a suit & many useful clothes, & all the kids’ clothing, all for the taking & eventual trading.) and proceed to finish that Mothers’ Day letter that I never did find a stamp for that day.

Anyway, we recieved your card & check the next day so I waited to thank you properly:

Thank you Properly. and good, too! It was indeed useful. And (I think) the only mothers’ day card I’ve ever recieved. (This was only my fourth, after all).

Joaquin celebrated it (M’s day) belatedly by weaning himself day before yesterday! It was quite a surprize!

What happened was on Monday Jed had a fever & (as we told you) we thought it was the old Chicken pox. But the pox never showed up—Joaquin had a fever the next day, so I started nursing him more (he was down to one for nap, one to wake up, one for bed, and a few during the night) so he’d be more comfortable if he was going to be sick. Jed got better fast, but Joaq (pronounced WOK) progressed into a very heavy teething venture—four at once, all eye teeth. This often brings him fever and discomfort, but always before he let me comfort him. By Saturday he’d been up every two hours for two nights in a row, and when he xxx napped (on me) in the afternoon I sneaked him into nursing while I put him down. That was the end! He’s refused to touch it since. But still wanting me to walk with him in front of me, clinging around my neck. Only he won’t fit in the space, there,.


on which note I fell asleep.

Yesterday I donated some milk to Childrens Hospital & felt a lot better; by today I’m well on the way to being dried up… mentally, too, as it’s after midnight again, lots more news if only I could remember any, but sleep xxx beckons with convincing plaisance…

Got a magnificent letter from John

nope, no shaklee bugspray. write to Northern Calif. Committe for Environmental Information, P.O. Box 761, Berkeley, 94701, for their May ’71 newsletter w/article on The Backyard as an Ecological Unit, & perhaps inf on your local ecologically oriented information center.


“Duck Sanctuary,” “Fairyland for Children”
Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge and Children’s Fairyland are still around. I’ve never been to the latter as an adult, and have no memory of childhood visits.
The Villager was the University Village neighborhood newsletter that Marcy was co-editing (as mentioned in a previous letter or two).
“An Ode”
Turns out this is a parody of the opening lines of Milton’s “Lycidas”:

Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more,

Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere,

I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,

And with forced fingers rude

Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.

Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear

Compels me to disturb your season due;

For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,

Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer.

2 Responses to “1971, mid-May: Letter from Marcy to G&H”

  1. 1980, Spring: Poem for Jay – Peter, Marcy, Jed, and Jay

    […] know, Marcy didn’t often write poetry; this is the only poem of hers that I know of, aside from a Milton parody in a 1971 […]


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