I just came across some school pictures and report cards completely by accident today, January 31, 2010. It’s very disturbing to see how many days I was absent from school in the first grade. I was NOT a sickly child. These were days my mother kept me home because I was ‘in trouble’ — and being abused.
“Tonight is movie night at school – only John and I are going and Linda can’t go as had terrible report of conduct from her teacher, until she improves!!! It will be a reward. Isn’t that maddening when I’ve worked so hard teaching her! Gr-r-r. John is doing well in all ways this year his teacher said Tuesday night.”
Did she think beating and terrorizing her child was hard work? I am so MAD at that teacher! All she would have had to do was to care enough to ASK me what my life at home was like!
In mother’s November 18, 1957 letter:
“I’ve ‘a sewing urge’ too. I think I told you I bought some beautiful turquoise corduroy material and cut it out last night and finished it already – an almost full circle skirt and now I want several more. It cost less than 4:00 including zipper, thread etc. and I even made my own button hole.
The girls watched ‘wide-eyed’ and have been most interested ever since I made ‘set’ – ‘gown, blanket, bib for Graces’ baby. (So sorry it didn’t get there in time for shower).
I had a brilliant (?) idea – I hope. If Linda [age 6] takes care of her clothes and I have a ‘good behavior’ report (teacher says her work is EXCELLENT) then she gets her ownsewing machine for Xmas. I got the idea last week when I bought the material. Next door in the hardware shop they were putting out Xmas toys etc. and I saw it. She can help make her own clothes and I sent today for ‘darling doll wardrobe’ for all their dolls. I saw it in “Everywoman’s’ magazine (which we can get here) and checked in pattern books but none as cute.
I told her about idea after last P.T.A. meeting, when teacher told me and evidently she has been very good since then 9she says) but I’ll check with teacher.”
I don’t remember this and certainly never was given a sewing machine. At 18, as soon as I was out of Naval boot camp and settle in the barracks in San Diego for my training school, I found a woman who also lived there and asked her to teach me to sew. I made my own clothes then and loved it.