Handwritten on light blue letter-sized paper, turned sideways and folded in half to make a four-half-page letter.
Oddly, the return address on this letter indicates that it’s from “The Peder Hartman's.” The spelling of Peder is because that was Peter’s original (middle) name, but by this time he consistently went by Peter in most contexts and George Peter in some formal contexts. But regardless of spelling, I was taken aback to see Marcy use the pluralize-the-man’s-name naming convention. I suspect that either it was a joke or she was doing it because she thought it would please George and Helen. (I was also taken aback to see her insert an apostrophe into a plural, but I’m guessing that was just a typo.)
Hi. found this while I was looking for a postcard to send, to let you know your reservations are made, for Thurs, Fri, & Sat nights. All kinds of things we’d love to do with you, being free and all. But not free yet. Tons of work to get finished. So we’re really working very hard. Have to get off to shop & water the garden—lots of incipient ketchup, some coriander (Peter’s favorite green for salads) (scallions, beans, peas, & one tomato in Jed’s own garden) flowers, radishes, garlic, daikon, red lettuce—The garden plot was written up in the S.F. Chronicle yesterday. Pictures of friends & all.
Did Peter ever tell you that he bought a
xxxbike? Now he glides along on his trusty white steed, with a kid in the seat on the back, even, sometimes. They love it.
ARGH. So much is happening. // Do you have a primary in Washington? We’re really impressed with McGovern. Looks like he might get us out of some of the messes Nixon’s gotten us deeper into. (Besides, with a distinguished name like George, how could he miss?! We all know what good things it does for a man!)
Oh well, so I try. The boys are finished lunch, my witty attempts are at an end, off to the store & on to Victory.
On the envelope, Marcy added:
What this letter was really about was to say thank you for the pillow! We love it! Kids use it for a hat, when they can.
- ??? I can’t figure out anything else that word might say (unless it says Icetelierp), but I don’t know what kind of plant she would have referred to as ketchup.
- Apparenly when I was four years old I had my own garden, with a tomato in it! This kinda makes me want to grow tomatoes.
- The 1972 Democratic primary for the US Presidency. Wikipedia says: “The California primary was ‘winner-take-all’[…]; while McGovern only won the California primary by a 5% electoral margin, he took all 273 of their delegates to the convention.” McGovern went on to win the Democratic nomination, but he lost the election to Nixon.
- Marcy wrote this letter about two weeks before the Watergate breakin, but I gather that it was unclear to most people how deep the Watergate situation went until early 1973, well after Nixon was re-elected.
- I don’t know who George and Helen voted for in the 1972 election, but they did display a large Eisenhower/Nixon banner on the front of their house at some point in the 1960s. (Which is a little odd, given that the Eisenhower/Nixon administration ended in 1960.)