Three-page letter written on graph paper.
This is the last letter that Marcy wrote to George and Helen. There’s one more letter to come that she wrote to my uncle Paul and aunt Linda.
In the final paragraph, there are a few parts of words that were whited out and written over (for comic effect); I’ve put [square brackets] around the letters that were written on top of the whited-out bits.
Maybe, just maybe, with all these lines I’ll be able to write clearly - for a page or so, anyway. Here’s our big news: we got a piano!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s old, 1895 or ’97, but Ed says it’s in good shape, and he knows pianos pretty well. It’s huge, too: what they call an Upright Grand, with beautiful scrolling above the keyboard and ugly ol’ legs underneath. Ed is giving the boys lessons (he has a degree in music, did we ever tell you that?) and maybe me, as well. Our house feels warmer and cosier - we’ve made a few furniture changes to accomodate the Giant, and some people gave us a “new” rug for the living room, which sits atop the old one, and we’re really feeling harmonious. Now we need to look at tax shelters with what’s left of the money. (I know it’s not taxable, but Peter’s income is.) The piano only cost $500, by the way. such a deal!
Anyway, the purpose of this letter (at last) is to invite you to come down. We have an empty room at present (the mice and borrowed TV live there at the moment) and I’m feeling pretty good (even with a transfusion
xxximmanent) (I mopped the floor and went shopping yesterday) and seems like it would be a good time to have you. I don’t want to create any problems vis-a-vis your going (or not going) to Springfield for the princess’s arrival, so feel free to decline. Two sentences redacted by Jed. Course I don’t expect you to take care of me, and I’ve hired a lady to do some cleaning (her first day is tomorrow and I hope she will vacuum up the ceiling cobwebs and wash the not-very-blank-ety blank xwindows.) so really I want you to come just to visit. Do they ever have those 10-day excursion fares any more? Whatever you do, don’t fly Pan Am, unless you feel like being treated like a steer in a feed lot. Harriet & Jack wanted to get xxxtheir half price fare to vacation in New Zealand, and took Pan Am to LA to see our aunts. But now they say Pan Am couldn’t pay them to get on one of their planes again. This has been my experience, too.
Oh, what I was going to say before: I promise not to go to any extra trouble. The gnomes
xdo the vacuuming and you can cook for yourselves or allow Joaquin, the chief chef, to include you in his meal plans.
We’d all love to see you, and hope you will accept this fine offer, Mr. and Mrs Hart[felt]. Think how your neighbors eyes
xwill pop all along, xuh, Taco[lby] Avenue, Mr and Mrs xxxHart[ley], when they hear about your adventure. Please accept this fine offer and be the first in your home town of, uh, Puyallup, to visit our lovely establishment.
Ugh. end of commercial.
much love from all of us
- …I have no memory of our ever having had a piano. And I have no idea what happened to it.
- My cousin McKenna, whose birth was impending.
- Harriet & Jack
- Older cousins of Marcy’s, who lived in Palo Alto. I’m still not clear on what exactly the familial connection was.
- “Joaquin, the chief chef”
- IIrc, Jay was indeed doing a fair bit of cooking by this point, at age ten and a half.
- “accept this fine offer”
- I was thoroughly tickled by this paragraph. It was really nice, reading this, to get one last glimpse of Marcy’s sense of humor, which I feel like only peeked out now and then in these letters.
- Hartfelt and Hartley are, of course, mixed-up versions of Hartman; Tacolby is a modified version of their real street name, Tacoma Avenue; Puyallup is another town in Washington (George and Helen lived in Tacoma).