I’m not at all sure of the date on this two-page handwritten letter—clearly a Monday at some point after July 4, but dunno if it’s July 5 or July 12. There’s another letter from Peter dated July 16, and I think this is unlikely to be after that. I’m working from a photo of this letter at the moment instead of the original; when I get home in a couple weeks, I’ll check whether there’s a postmark date or something, and will adjust the date of this post if so. For now, I’ll assume July 5, though I’m dubious about that.
Dear Jed & Joaquin--
How are you boys doing? I was very glad to be able to talk with you on the 4th of July, and glad to hear you were (mostly) having a good time. I hope you got to see some kind of fireworks (I didn’t see any, but heard many bangs here in San Fran) (I did GoShinTaiGoji Fri. & Sun. nights, and Marcy just now (4:30 a.m. Mon.) came back from L.A. Tsukinami-sai).
So by the time you receive this, you will have been at Uncle Dave’s & Aunt Karen’s house for several days -- I am sure you will be enjoying life on the farm, there is always so much to do...
Well I heard from your grandma how much you boys have helped her -- “That How Good!” Also, I’m glad to know you met Jason -- I bet he’s really neat. Hope you enjoy working & playing with Elizabeth.
Marcy & I are doing fine, except we miss you a whole lot... if we get too lonely, maybe Marcy will drive up there & get you...
Well, I’ve been very busy building in the basement at Heath’s house in Mill Valley: I finished painting at Schenk’s house in Larkspur and Jordan & Michael are working at the Maywood House in San Rafael. Silver & I are tearing out beams, putting in new ones, building the walls & doors & closets of the bedroom, bathroom, & playroom, cutting windows through the walls -- it’s all called “framing”...
I hope you two are remembering to channel Johrei to each other for at least a little while every day... have any of your kith ’n kin received any Light from you? (kiss’n cousins?)
Well it’s almost time (6:30 a.m.) for me to rouse myself & clean the altar room and prepare the on-nikku tray (you know, the water, rice & salt...), so I’ll close for now. Please write me & let us know how you’ve been, & some of the things you’ve been doing. (Did you go out in the boat?)
Say ‘hello’ to everyone, & give them our
Written sideways in margin: P.S. Grandma wanted to know your middle names: in case you don’t know how to spell them, they are “ELYSDIR” and “redacted by Jed”... spacey, huh?
- 4th of July
- I forgot to mention in notes on the previous letter that this wasn’t just any old 4th of July; this was 1976, the US Bicentennial. It was a big deal. But I don’t remember anything about the celebration, or about the particular fireworks that we saw.
- goshintai goji
- I vaguely think that this was the name for taking care of the altar and other things at the church.
- In Shinto, apparently a particular kind of monthly ceremony; presumably our church had adapted this, as it did with various other aspects of Shinto.
- “That How Good!”
- No idea what he meant by this. I would guess it’s a reference to or quote from something, but dunno what.
- Our then-new cousin, about 10 months old.
- Another cousin, about my age.
- Peter later said on many occasions that he was a master carpenter, and I think that he must have learned and practiced carpentry before Jay and I came along. But it only just now occurred to me that I never saw him do carpentry. I don’t know why he suddenly went off to build stuff during our trip, nor why as far as I know he didn’t continue after we came back. He didn’t have shop tools at home, and he never taught us any carpentry, even though he taught us lots of more-intellectual stuff (like math). Puzzling.
- There was a rowboat at the beach house; I vaguely remember going out in it once or twice, but not sure whether that was this trip or a different one.