1974, March 1: Letter from Marcy to G&H

Nine-page handwritten letter from Marcy. The first eight pages are on both sides of four sheets of three-hole-punched lined notebook paper; the last page is a smaller lined sheet torn out of a top-spiral-bound notebook.

The top of the first page has a set of wobbly lines drawn at the top that were apparently supposed to say “HI” repeatedly, with extra vertical lines (like two or three hash marks) at the beginning and end of each line of text. I’m not gonna try to replicate that here.

Content warning for Marcy expressing concern about her waist size.


Wow! I was just standing around wiping the table when and thinking about how David never acknowledged a book we sent him about a month or two ago, and wondering if x he got it, when I realized I never acknowledged your latest box of over two weeks ago - with which was a true marvel. The real true prize - actually prizes - were the brown pants and the incredible pendleton robe. The pants came at an hour of dark despair over my increasing abdomen — I’d just vowed to get it down to where I could consider buying a pair of pants when these came along and blew my resolution by fitting — tho I have to wear a long shirt to cover up the part of me that looks pregnant. It’s getting better, though — aikido and less gobbling — tho tonight I made lasagna for an alleged special occasion, which did it no good at all.

The pendleton robe is incredible - wherever did you find it? Peter never had a chance — it’s mine MINE MINE — besides he already had 3 he never wears. Larry loves the other one you sent at Christmas, Mark never wears any. He prefers to show off his beautiful skin and freeze after a shower (That kid is so healthy it’s terrifying. Can’t get him to brush his teeth or get his feet dry ’cos, as he insists, he doesn’t get cavities and never gets too hot or too cold or too wet or sick. But realizing how much more sane & whole he’d be if he stopped x eating garbage is very xxx hard for him to see. Lots of coke and candy bars, gallons of sugar in his cereal (he’d prefer Cap’n Sugar Krispy Baddies if I’d buy that kind of stuff) but he doesn’t have any idea that besides being “not sick” he could actually be healthy (mens sana & all that) if he’d eat better.)

Anyway, so I was needing a robe and the Pendelton is so soft and luxurious. Only trouble is the worn collar & it’s a little short. I have a plan to make it into a long skirt, but I’m too attached to it as a robe already. Oh, indecisnion! indecision!

(Pardon my scribble. I’m ready to fall asleep at the switch. It’s been a long day)

The blue robe is good, too. Peter wears it to wath watch Sherlock Holmes in. (We have a regular weekly date for Sherlock & Watson. x Kids have to get out x or go to bed and we enjoy it immensely!) The rest of the stuff was pretty good, too. Bedspreads and sleeping bag have been well used already - Jed loves the white one, and I’ve been trying to get together to write to Margaret to thank her. It’s interesting to see it on his bed, with a picture Gail sent him on the wall next to it.

The bath mats were truly x welcome, and the purple “trivets” (?? doilies) and such. The other clothes were by and large not right in size, and x what I’d like to do is trade them with a neighbor who also has foster kids— of different sizes. oh, except one gold flannel wool shirt, which I’ve xxx worn constantly. It’s not exactly my style in looks, but it sure is my style in warmth & comfort, and never seems to get dirty. Huzzah! Wool actually seems to shed drips and drops and such.

Joaquin had a kind of slow birthday. He got one “big” present, paid for by my mother, of the fisher-price play xxx garage, which is hardly as good a toy as some of their other ones. (The play village was a real winner) Then he invited two friends from the bay area to his birthday party xxx (tomorrow) and theyx couldn’t come — one was almost able, and we’d made arrangements and everything—and he has no friends of his own up here as yet ... So a little boy from Jed’s school who we take care of a lot will come, and Jed, and Larry (Mark will be in a basketball tournament) and the other little boy’s cousin, and another friend of Jed’s—

Then I had a substitute job today so he felt pretty left out, with Jed in school and me in school. Looking for a nursery school for him but so far no luck. They’re too yucky or too expensive of time or money or both. Or too far away.

Note in margin: He enjoyed your card a lot!

xxx Oh, the xxx sox. They were just perfect and very very xxx sorely needed. Tights, too.

The valentine present turned out very strangely. I let Mark open it, as I was cooking, and he xxx just assumed all the stuff was for J & J. So they got all the look loot. The books and puzzle were most popular. Everyone enjoyed the whole thing. When I finally figured out that the little figures were supposed to be for the other boys, it was too late.

Oh, I can’t even read this. I’ll fix it up tomorrow. G’night.



“Hi” on front are x from Jed w/ help from ’Quin

At this point the letter switches from pen to pencil, and apparently skips forward a day or two in time.

They did it in the morning (Saturday) while I was at aikido - then came home in a hurry so Peter could take Larry to the Juniors’ aikido class— Baked Joaquin’s cake (by a honey-devils’ food recipe you once sent, Grandma, it was lovely) and a banana cashew spice cake for extras. xxx Then your package came — it was grand. The clown was just in time for the party, the Sesame Street Calendar continues to be a real delight - spent half an hour with it when we were sposed to be getting ready for the party. They liked the MacDonalds height chart, too. The party was a smashing success. Lots x of tiny wee presents, honey ice cream (home made on the spot) and cake & grape juice soda. I made a tent of sheets and chairs in the living room and we staticked a bag of balloons and stuck them to the ceiling. At the end two kids took pins and ended the blast with a big bang. It was a really nice afternoon.

The rest of the story about yesterday was that we’d been expecting Larry’s social worker to bring x Larry’s little brother for the weekend, but she couldn’t make it. Which we didn’t know till Friday afternoon. So we’d spent two days cleaning and getting dinner ready ahead of time as I was planning on a doctors’ appointment (xxx) (check-up) Friday afternoon. Then Peter was left with a lot of xxx last-minute stuff when I got a substitute job at the 11th hour — and then it was all for nothing, fancy dinner and all. But we enjoyed it!

End of letter. let us know how & when you’re coming! love, us.

The Google Docs OCR system was in fine form for this letter. Here are some of my favorite substitutions that it made:

  • brown pants: brain parts
  • abdomen: aldemmen
  • gobbling: gothling
  • Christmas, Mark: Chaos tras Mash
  • Cap’n Sugar Krispy Baddies: Wagazzadlies
  • Sherlock & Watson: Melicht Idatsomas
  • real winner: vel über
  • valentine present: oalextric pussit
  • loot: lust


I just learned that this is a clothing brand; hadn’t heard of it before.
This is the first mention of aikido in these letters, but Marcy mentions it as if it had been part of our lives for a while. I don’t know what led us to it. Various family members continued to do aikido intermittently for at least the next several years. (For those unfamiliar with the branches of aikido: the US West Coast version is about as close as you can get to a pacifist martial art, unlike the US East Coast version, which I gather is all about breaking people’s legs and such.)
I’m not finding any info about a Sherlock Holmes TV show that was on the air in 1974, so I don’t know what this is about.
Dunno who that is.
Peter’s ex-wife. At some point in my childhood, I think we were on pretty good terms with her. I’m not clear on why it’s “interesting” to see the juxtaposition of the picture from Gail with the bedspread from Margaret.

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