1974, September 3: Letter from Marcy to G&H

Ten-page handwritten letter, mostly on unlined paper.

Content warning for one instance of the R-word (which I’ve redacted).



Hi! What a lovely surprize! You really did get that package off before you left. You are both amazing!! So is U.P.S., of course, but then it’s their job. They somehow got the box here with no mishap, but when Ivan picked it up to carry inside, one of the ropes slipped off. I let him open it — he had a great time. The motorcycle boots were the great attraction for him, of course, but I’d just bought him some black lace-up boots (would you believe $1800?) on Saturday, and fortunately for my peace of mind they (yours) were too big for him. But just fit Larry, who had been a little miffed that he had only gotten desert boots on the shoe day. (course that had been his choice...) Larry’s big news is that he’s going to be in 9th grade — that’s high school — and take driver ed (he’ll be 16 in October) and be able to flirt with all the older girls, etc - It STARTS NEXT TUESDAY!!! thanks be to the powers that be. Hurray!!!!

Anyway, the package was, as they say, a gas! Starting with the great rope and ending with the thoughtful grandparent’s parting reminder — that you knew all along it wouldn’t all be perfect so here’s for the leftovers. As a matter of fact, Grandma, this time you were almost wrong! Everything except the pointy-toed boots is just right on — perfect timing on every piece. My potholders were on their last legs, or a little beyond, I haven’t been able to use cloth napkins almost all summer, the sheets were as welcome as rain in August, the sewing things were a joy and a delight, the car model kit hasn’t been closed in four or five hours (George is xxx currently tripping out on it), and that lovely little dress is so perfect I could cry.

Jed & Joaquin and their father whatsisname will be back tomorrow — I put the pretty sheets on their beds for a surprise. They’re having a lovely trip! Hope the same has been true for you & that you’re caught up with the jet lag and all that — especially, I enjoy thinking about the vistas and visions of Alaska that must have been yours, aplane and on the ground — hoping to hear all about Paul & Linda soon.

John called Saturday — we’re all agog about their visit, sorry Elizabeth won’t be coming, tho.

Here’s our big news: some friends called from the City the other night with a tale of xxx woe: they’d been adopted by “the most wonderful puppy in the world” but their landlady was very uptight about dogs & was evicting! them on account of the pup, and did we know of a home for her till they could tie up loose ends and find a new home, about a month — ?? Well, who’s the best foster home in these parts, anyway? So they brought our dog’s name up on Sunday evening, and I fell head over heels in love with her. I am totally smitten — don’t know how I’ll be able to give her up when the time comes — (but being prepared helps —) she has not left me at all, obeys nearly every word — I’m teaching her to heel. She is so sweet and loving and gentle — was evidently mistreated by some fair young man, as she has a hard time letting Robert, Ivan, Larry & Dale (a neighbor) pet her, but clearly loves Zack (her master — he’s dark and plump) and took to Mark & George right away. She loves women & kids, dogs, cats, horses, & even cows, when she gets near enough. She’s real good with the chickens, helped me herd ’em when they got out yesterday, goes into the coop & shares a few snacks with them. (We got a rooster, a leghorn named Charlie. The girls are Anastasia, Arabella, Euridicye, Henrietta, and Biddy and Henny Penny!) (names vary as I often forget)

Last night at 9 I got a call from George’s mother in Little Rock, Arkansas, saying she’d put George on the plane (I’d advised her to do this if he got obstreperous) & he’d be at S.F. Internat’l at 2:30 a.m., local time. So after much shilly shallying we set off at 12:55 — Ivan & Larry couldn’t wake up, so x I took Robert (can’t leave him alone as he does crazy stuff like turning off the electricity) and our dog’s name and a xxx stow-away, Purr-foot, the all-black kitty. She’s Robert’s cat, and I guess she felt it was her job to share her master’s fate. I drove through the worst fog I’ve ever xxx driven in (tho it was worse coming home) got bad directions to the airport, got there in the nick of time — (2:40) xxx then our dog’s name wouldn’t pee — no place smelled right to her, so I took her in with my fingers crossed. She was super good! I had to x carry her thru the “no dogs allowed” part, & gave her some lessons in "heel” x the rest of the time. George was in fine shape, escorted by a steward (I’d never seen an airplane steward before) and we had a nice trip. Had to stop and nap on the way home, which was another first for me — got to bed at 5:15, and up at 7:45 for an 8:30 appointment. It was some night — were it not for vitamins I’d have quit about 4:48 and again at 7:48, but fortunately I seem to have survived (on triple vitamin rations) — even manged x a long walk with x my new love after it was over — (she waited for me in the car for an hour while I was interviewing the doctor this morning — needed a house doctor — this one xxx said I look too young to xxx have two kids, and I agreed that she looked too young to have graduated from medical school.

Enough of all this — I may have to get Peter to type it so you’ll get it deciphered by next month —

so many thanks for the wonderful goodies, the neat clippings, and xxx most of all the thoughtfulness.



P.S. Here’s a notice, if you’d care to disseminate it:

Armand is blind & redacted by Jed. He is looking for his original foster parents, who have gone to parts unknown. They mean a lot to him; it is thought they could help him bridge some gaps & possibly restore some facilities. Their names are Margot Roch (possibly remarried) and Richard Roch (“Curley.”) Armand is now 19; they had him “two-and-a-half to four-and-a-half” as he tells it. If you could look in x your local phone book, ask friends in various cities, & send me any likely addresses, his devoted foster mother would contact them.


This boy’s foster parent is a lovely woman who taught music to some of our kids (as well as lots of others) at plumfield school. They all love her immensely. Her own kids are grown & her devotion to Armand is incredible. He’s pretty incredible too. His grasp of English is impressive, considering his emotional age — he definitely makes you want to find Margot & Curley for him.

(not pronounced Mar-go but Mar-got.)

Amusing Google Docs OCR errors:

  • big news: buz beso
  • some friends: pone frieds
  • chickens: liches
  • we set off: cake sex
  • neat clippings: most clogponse
  • Mar-got: Merbot Presumably a merperson robot.


Dobe’s stepdaughter. (I’m not sure exactly when Dobe and V (Elizabeth’s mother) got married; they may not have been married yet at this point.)
I never knew until now the story of how our dog arrived. If I’m understanding right, this all happened near the end of August, 1974, while Peter and Jay and I were off on vacation. Marcy continues to refer to the dog as our foster dog for the next couple of letters, but the dog ended up staying with us long-term.
plumfield school
A company called Plumfield was the previous owner of our house; the Hearthlight flyer says that Plumfield had had a group home in that house. I’m not sure whether that’s what Marcy meant by plumfield school, or whether there was a school somewhere that was separate from the home.

One Response to “1974, September 3: Letter from Marcy to G&H”

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