1984, April 8: Letter from Jed to G&H

One-and-a-half-page handwritten letter on animals-making-jokes stationery. The joke on this one shows two small cartoon birds sitting on sunflowers; one says, “Do you know how tall sunflowers grow?” and the other responds, “The same way short ones do!”

On the top of this, Helen wrote: “Keep—precious letter from dear boy.” Which I find a little embarrassing—I don’t think it’s an especially great letter, and I wonder if the fact that I rarely wrote to them made it seem more valuable to her. :(


Dear Grandma and Grandpa

Thank you for the car key. So far I haven’t had a chance to use it (I haven’t taken my driving test yet at the DMV because I haven’t had any practice since New Year’s and driving partway home from Washington). Peter has been very busy at work and I’ve been busy with schoolwork (the third quarter of the school year just ended). That’s also the reason this letter is so late (sorry)—I had an oral report due on my birthday and was sick all weekend after that and through Monday. Then I had make-up work and tests (one math test which I still haven’t taken) and so I’ve been very short on time until just now.

Although I didn’t have a party, I went to one two days after my birthday—two sisters whose birthdays (2 years apart) are on the 31st of March and April 1st.

Grandma—I have enjoyed using the afghan that you knitted for Peter (I sometimes wrap myself in it if it’s cold while I watch TV or do homework). If I paid for the materials, would you consider making knitting a scarf for me? There’s no hurry, and it’s not for anything in particular—just that several of my friends in a club I belong to have long, woolly scarves and when I ask where to get one, they say they had them knitted by relatives.

I hear that you’re going on vacation in Europe! I hope you enjoy it! It sounds like a great way to relax!

Love (and thanks again),

your grandson Jed


car key
I assume that (part of) my birthday present from George and Helen had been a key to Peter’s car. I apparently had my learner’s permit (which let me drive under adult supervision, and which iIrc student drivers could get at age 15½) but didn’t yet have my license (having just turned 16).
IIrc, Helen did end up knitting me a scarf. I think I liked it quite a bit, but other scarves that I liked better later supplanted it. …Helen may well have been happy to get this request, for all I know, but even so, I feel like it was poor form for me to send a thank-you note that included a request for another gift that would require Helen’s time and work.

Join the Conversation