*1963 – September 8 — Dad’s Letter to Mother

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Sunday evening, September 8, 1963

My Darling Mildred,

I spent Saturday, or most of it, in some pretty distinguished company – a Colonel, a Lt. Colonel, a GS-15, a GS-14, two 13s, — and me.  The meeting we went to was called by the Mayor of Anchorage, to get everybody together to form a group to push Rampart [dam].  There were the Mayors and most of the Councils from both Anchorage and Fairbanks, Senator Gruening, Representative Rivere, Governor Egan, and just about all the political wheels from all over the State.  Saturday morning they heard talks by Col. Sawyer, the District Engineers, and several other knowledgeable people.  Then in the afternoon they set about organizing committees and getting ready for action.  What they’re talking about is something like “Operation Statehood,” to publicize Rampart and try to push it through Congress.  It’s going to take something like that, I’m sure, because there’s bound to be a lot of opposition to it.  We left right after lunch, so we didn’t get to hear the talks by the Governor and the Senator – which should have been interesting.  I’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s paper to see what they said – maybe I’ll send you a clipping if it’s interesting.

I spent nearly all day today at the office drawing plans and figuring lumber and roofing, etc. for the homestead.  It came to about $800 for the stuff I’d have to get locally – and pay cash for, plus about $300 for windows and doors that we could get from Sears on account.  That doesn’t include insulation or interior finishing, a well, a light plant, pump, water heater, fixtures, plumbing, wiring – just a few little details.  If I can put in the cesspool and rough-in the plumbing, it would be all we’d need before winter – if we could wait ‘till next year for a well.  Don’t worry, I’m not about to do anything drastic yet!  I’ve been looking for a good buy on an old pickup, but haven’t see [sic] any, and wouldn’t buy one without talking to you first.

This week I’ll get a battery for the tractor, and some lumber and nails, and get them up there so I can be busy next weekend.

Saturday after I got back to town I went to the Jeep dealer to see what I could find out.  I had in mind asking when the models changed, but what he told me was most disturbing.  He said that they were about three months behind in their orders – just couldn’t get any from the factory.  I’d already written to the dealer in Portland asking if I could get one on the 20th, and I’ll probably get the same kind of an answer from him.  Also, if you’ve been checking there you most likely got the same answer too.

That may lead to difficulty – about living on the homestead, I mean.  That Chev. Will go up there OK now, but I don’t know about the winter.  I think we’re going to need a Jeep for a long time yet.  I’d hate to drive the Chev back up here and then trade it in on an old Jeep.  Maybe if we can’t get a new Jeep outside, we could get a Scout or even a Land Rover.  I’ll just have to wait and see what I hear from you, and the dealer, about this business before I can tell what to do.  If we’re going to live there this winter we’ll need two vehicles, and I might as well get a pickup now so I could be working there evenings.  But if we’re going to have to rent a house in Eagle River just because we don’t have a Jeep, then there’s no use getting one now.  If I’d had a pickup – and some money, of course – all the time you’ve been gone I could have had the place done by now.  But as it is David’s going to come back and see that Daddy hasn’t fixed his house up pretty at all.  Another month would do it – but I’d much rather have you come back to it the way it is now, that [sic] anything. J

I’ll find out tomorrow about my trip, but no matter what I’m going to plan to drive back with you – if you’ll do part of the driving.  I worried so, all the time you were driving down there, and I was so thankful you got there safely, I couldn’t stand coming back here alone and waiting for you to drive back alone.  I’m proud of the way you managed things, and of how brave you are – and a good driver too – but I want to share the rest of the trip with you.

I’ve figured out all our bills, you can look at the enclosed yellow sheet to see what it comes to.  I didn’t get the money Friday – I had signed “D.” instead of “Dennison” and had to go back downtown and correct it.  She said she would deposit the money in our account, but I’ll wait until I know it’s there before I send any checks – I need a checkbook anyway.  I was going to get a money order to send with this, but instead I’ll mail this the first thing in the morning, and send the money after I’ve been to the bank.  I hope you didn’t have any trouble cashing the check I sent Friday.

I’ll try to get out to Mt. View tomorrow nite to see about those pictures – I’ve wished all along that I’d had them, and I’m anxious to see them.

I’m waiting anxiously to hear more about the school situation there.  I wasn’t sure, when I thought about what you said, whether the kids were behind the schools there or whether by going to school there they were going to be behind when they come home?  In any event, the sooner they get back in their own school the better off they’ll be.

I’m getting more anxious to be with you all the time, and I know the closer it comes the more excited I’ll be.  I don’t care about going anywhere or seeing anything – I just want to go to you, my own Mildred.  I love you forever and ever, and dream of you always, Goodnite, Bill.

Tell the children all that Dad thinks of them and loves them, too.  Dad

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see in context with*1963 – Mother’s Letters

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