Letter February 21, 1959:
“Talked to Linda’s teacher. She’s a WHIZ I guess in school – really smart but still has personality problems. Teacher says she teases and will not take corrections and is a poor sport.
KIDS. Try as you can you never know how they act outside. Linda has a fine understanding teacher this year – lucky for her! [Linda note: Certainly nobody ever asked me how my mother treated me at home! I’m glad to read that perhaps I ‘acted out’ – I could never be myself in front of my mother….] She does not go to Brownies we decided to give her one more year and let John have his year first seeing he’s older! She’ll go next year.
Cindy is her own almost too sweet self! She’s a angel to Sharon and Sharon is still babyish but wants to be big!”
Letter April 14, 1959:
“Linda got her report card yesterday. She got the only 100% in the class on their term test. I’m proud, aren’t you? – and so is she. She’s doing fine. The principal is strict and I agree. Makes them eat all lunch or no recess, no wet shoes and pants (even during break-up) and for that I’m especially grateful now with a long ride back.”
[Linda note: I remember that principal! She made me take my canned peas out of my milk carton and eat them. I had squished them all in there because I hated them the first time around. I REALLY hate them now! We couldn’t leave the lunchroom if we didn’t finish lunch. They played a record all lunch period, same record all year long. “Swanee River” on one side and “Down By the Old Mill Stream” on the other. I’ve never forgotten those songs, either! It was enough to drive a kid MAD!]
We’re all tired and nervous. Kids got report cards – excellent. Linda got all As and John fine in reading now, almost A – but has arithmetic problems!
They’re best sports ever – even Linda! [Linda note: “Even Linda.” I can hear the derision in my mother’s words as I read this, and feel how they tied in knots around my stomach. The 6 of us are living in a 1949 trailer that was MAYBE 8’ by 25’, with no bathroom, water or electricity as we were parked in a neighbor’s field because we could not drag that trailer up the steep mountain disaster of a road to our homestead.]
See rest of this letter here:
“Yes, you’re right we’ve all been sick except Linda [Linda note: I don’t think my body DARED to get sick!], and John has been home for 2 days but can return to school tomorrow!!
Bill came home Friday with a high fever and Saturday he stayed in bed. I had Cindy and Sharon in bed – they’ve really been sick and now have been in bed for over one week – fever and all!!”