Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Friday, October 24.

Dear Andrew and John,

Just a few lines to say all's well and let's hope you're on your way. I got your letter of the 17th here at the office today, Andrew, and Mommie's from John came out to Hydes she told me lunchtime.

The only eventful thing worth mentioning is that last night while I was teaching, someone sprung the car door and stole my topcoat off the back seat; they left the raincoat right beside it. And I had the car parked right on the corner under a bright neon sign at a parking lot on Park Avenue. I wasn't in the parking lot but you couldn't help but see someone fooling with the car. I tried to find a cop but finally gave up and went home. The damage to the car is covered by insurance but the coat is goodbye.

Hurry home.


Editor's note:

This is the last of 68 letters Charles sent to his brothers in Korea. A year before, the trip to Korea was a rough one. The ship on which the brothers traveled took a long time arriving because it "zig-zagged" to avoid possible submarines. John especially hated the trip and told his brother that he wouldn't be surprised if they went home on the same "God damned" ship.

The brothers came home safely on the same ship that brought them to Korea. John and Andrew returned to the jobs they had before the war. Andrew was a supervisor for Chevron Oil Company and retired around 1987.

John became the editor of The American Home Builders magazine. He founded the Long Green Valley Playhouse and performed and directed many plays and independent movies from 1960 and until his death in 1980.

Charles continued working for the Burtons. In 1957 they moved across the street from "The Inn" to 13107 Long Green Pike. He and Ann raised three more children.

Copyright 2012 Stephen A Conner

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Radiator Key, If You Please

Tuesday, October 21, 1952 1:21 p.m.

Dear Andrew and John,

The parcel postman just walked into the office with two wire-bound boxes from you, Andrew, and one brown paper wrapped and cord tied from you, John. They seem to be in excellent condition with not a dent or tear. I shall throw them in the back of the car and take them with me today, to lock in the storeroom on the third floor when the kids aren't around to ask questions. We won't touch them till you get here.

The radio this morning said that Washington had just released information to the effect that boys scheduled to be rotated from Korea during October had another wait coming, from two to four weeks because "of the manpower shortage" whatever that is. Are they mowing them down over your way too fast to be replaced. Let's hope you're under the wire because otherwise we'll just have to keep postponing Christmas by turning back the clock like they do in Congress.

A letter came home yesterday, forwarded from Catonsville and addressed to Gran from American Oil. It is not a form letter, but a regular typing job and I forgot to look at the signature to remember it. I do recall the fellow's name began with a B. Anyway, it was asking Gran for your address, Andrew, and if you would be at that address come Christmas as they wanted to send you a little "remembrance". Ann replied on the bottom in her handwriting and didn't tell them you would be out but that you were scheduled to reach home by the 18th of December and anything could be sent to your address at Hydes, Maryland. So we shall see.

Our National Radiator special is circulating its little heart out and keeping us toasty warm these last two days. The temperature dropped to 24° last night and is going lower tonight. If you can still use any influence, John, stay in uniform and wangle us a radiator key when you get back. I was so sure we wouldn't have need of one that I left our one and only at 25. Nobody sells the things.

Got home late last night from school to find Ann feeding the Baltimore County police coffee in the living room. They had motor cycle cops at every crossroad from Towson to Hydes, two in front of our house and more on the other route to Harford Road. They were still in summer uniform and mighty cold. Mr. Baldwin is laid out at his home and all the politicians have to find it, so they used this method of signposting.

A little notice In today's paper says that Bette Davis made a pre-show curtain speech last night and told her audience she had to lay off for a day or two on her doctor's orders as she had put in too much practicing for Sunday's opening of Two's Company.


Next Posting: October 24, 1952

Copyright 2012 Stephen A Conner

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bette Davis Takes A Fall

Monday, October 20, 1952

Dear Andrew and John,

We've started around on the virus again. Arlene was running a temperature Saturday and Sunday but wouldn't stay in bed. Yesterday was such a beautiful day, though, that we didn't want to wait any longer. Before I went to church with Arlene at 10:30, I gave the Boehms a call and told them we would pick them up about 1:00. Came back from church a bit piffed because I missed Communion for the first time since New Year's 1945--on a Sunday, that is. Don't know what happened; when the bells rang at Communion time the altar boys hopped up and went for the water and wine instead of the plates. The people looked at one another but no one attempted to do anything about it. We left home at 12:15, just Ann, the little ones and myself and went in at Cousin A's and Cousin C's for a minute to see their newly decorated kitchen. We were back at 2:30, gave them a tour of the place and sat around and talked. They stayed and ate with us and didn't leave till 7:15. I made the round trip taking them home, taking my time, and was back in the house at 9:10. I'm glad we did it yesterday; it was 65° and the route all the way is lined with trees that have just turned. You no doubt had a quick glimpse of autumn as your winter set in with a bang. Over night the temperature here fell to 40° and when I called Ann this morning to tell her Aunt Til had called me to say hello, Ann said it started to snow at 9 this morning and at that time - 12:15 - it was still coming down. I'm sure it won't lay. Tonight, the weather man says 26° so we're getting into your territory. The only thing is, yours is there to stay and ours is so changeable. I think Cousin A and C. liked the place except they wouldn't want to live out there. They acknowledged that with a car town was very accessible. Cousin Anna even took a glass of our special blend $1.69 a half-gallon sherry.

Arlene got her pup on Saturday morning and I have to admit it's a pretty nice hound. Four months old, housebroken, even though it stays in the cellar, and all white with black dots and a black ear. Name of Lady MacBeth but we call it Mac for short as everyone refers to her as him. Mike tolerates him, I mean her; Kathy loves her and leaves her; but Stevie eats it up. He trails it around the yard and shares his cookies with her. I don't think it will grow as large as I mentally predicted as we find it is dalmatian with just a dash of bird dog. In her gallops around the yard, every once in awhile she'll stop, raise one paw, straighten the tail and point a bird perfectly. Maybe you'd get used to her.

We did the usual grocery shopping in Jacksonville on Saturday, I mean Friday night, but drove in as far as Parkville Saturday afternoon to the 10-cent store. We got around to TV promptly at eight so as not to miss Jimmy Durante with Frankie Sinatra. It was a very good show and Frankie kept out of it most of the time. Somehow Show of Shows continues just as good and the guest hostess was a bit different this time - Alicia Markova, the ballerina. She did a 15 minute bit toward the end from Les Sylphis or whatever that ballet is. Gunther's Playhouse had another 2 hour film "International Lady" with George Brent, Illona Massey and Basil Rathbone. It was an A, with nothing but familiar supporting actors but I managed to see a 1942 copyright date. A little earlier in the evening we missed "Bicycle Thief" which I told you was presented last summer for the first time on TV. So, as I've said, they're going around again and you'll be just in time for some good ones.

In one of the envelopes or in with the movie review of the Times I'm going to put a review of Bette Davis' new "Two's Company" show I mentioned not having heard when I wrote about Tallulah last week. Coming in to town in the car this morning - I have the radio on for the news and heard that Bette collapsed in Chicago last night where Two's Company was putting on its first performance. She had to be carried from the stage in the first scene by two stagehands, the commentator said, but was back to finish the end of the show and made a curtain call to tell the people "You can't say I didn't fall for you."

Streett Baldwin died yesterday afternoon; was only 58, the papers say. He was coming around Saturday even though he couldn't speak but contracted pneumonia and that finished him.

That last paragraph of yours, Andrew, about the visit from our mutual "cousin" was something. The letter just came this morning. I couldn't resist telling Ann about it lunchtime. I asked Cousins, A & C if they had heard anything and they said no, their trip to Chase never materialized. We'll have to have Aunt Hannah out sometime and see if she will tell us the score because I'm sure she knows.

The postman dropped by the house the other night to ask if I would buy stamps or if I could buy stamps for Doctor from them and not here in town. I told him Ca-Ma-Sil used a postage meter and that the rest of the stamps didn't amount to more than 10 or 15 a month. He said that strange as it may sound that would mean a lot of business for him. So I've gotten permission to get most of our regular stamps out there. I noticed they have an Esso gas dispenser next to the store so I dropped by Friday, being pretty low. Mr. Sewell was coming out of the store with a pan of something as I went in and I said I wanted to get some gas. He said just to help myself and give the money to Ma; that if she wasn't in the store, just to yell and she'd answer. And that's what happened. I also found the mail doesn't come out on the Ma and Pa. It comes twice a day, delivered by truck, morning and afternoon. The postman's route, he told me, measures a little over 50 miles and he has 1,475 stops or potential ones. That's really something and I'm glad we're about the first on the list.

Stay well till you get the heck out of there and I'll get off a few more letters until I hear from you that you're sure you're moving out the end of the month.


Next Posting: October 21, 1952

Copyright 2012 Stephen A Conner

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Trip to Hydes and No Room in the Bed

Friday, October 17, 1952

Dear Andrew and John,

We've been having such beautiful weather, it must be due for a change. Each day the paper has predicted rain or cold and it has continued to warm up in the morning and today is another in the seventies. The warmth of the ground and the condensation has caused early fog, though, and wait till you see it. Coming in toward town or rather until you hit the road to Towson there are several mile stretches where you couldn't see one car length in front or behind. But you only find this during the fall or spring or perhaps some warmer winter weather. Did you notice the flowers advertised on the back of the Times movie section of last week; to bloom from November to March.

If this weather and our health holds out, we plan on getting Cousin Anna and Cousin Claire Sunday for the afternoon. I haven't called them and don't intend to until Sunday to see how things turn out. We did get a 'phone call at home from Cousin Claire on Wednesday just to see how things were. I haven't talked with Cousin Anna since week before last.

Annie Clapsaddle called me here at the office to say they were back from Texas. Does not intend to call out home any more since they charged her 75¢ for the last call. They brought Earl's mother back with them and Earl does not know whether he is going back to Bridgeport, Conn. to work or perhaps somewhere in Canada.

It was such a nice day Wednesday, that Ann took the kids for a walk to the Hydes Post Office, which is where the Ma and Pa Railroad crosses Hydes Road on the map. I paced it off with the car and it comes to 7/10 of a mile so it isn't too far but they got a ride back with the postman which didn't hurt any. I believe I have already told you that Peterson's said they open at 7:30 and close around 9:30. I asked the feller at the Post Office-general store for his hours and he called to the back room, "Hey, Ma, what time would you say we close up evenings?" She yelled back, "Oh, about midnight". So there you are. You never have to worry about running out of anything with him that close. Suprisingly enough his things are fresh though they do cost a penny or two more. Ann and I laughed at his window decoration-several boxes of Kotex piled atop five or six shotguns and dozens of packages of shells.

I find I haven't another darn thing to tell you. The little ones are still sleeping beautifully from about 7 or 8 p.m. till 1 a.m. Then we start playing checkers: in comes Mike to our bed. Kathy can climb over her lowered sides and she will appear next or Stevie will use one of his three words and call me. I can't fit any more so I go in the other room to Michael's bed. Or if Stevie and Kathy monopolize our bed I take to the couch. When it gets colder I'm going to protest.

I'll get another out on Monday but just like you to hear from us. Ann says she'll talk your ears off when you get home.


Editor's notes:
Ann Clapsaddle is Ann's friend from high school.

Next Posting: October 20, 1952

Copyright 2012 Stephen A Conner

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Dalmation and News From Catonsville

Wednesday, Oct. 15.

Dear Andrew and John,

Here's another I hope you never receive unless you're on the way back. You each actually received a piece of mail, forwarded from Catonsville. Ann opened one (they're both alike from outward appearances) and it's a wedding invitation from someone in Philadelphia; very fancy and even embossed paper. I forgot to look at the date and can't remember the name other than it being Italian sounding. Maybe I should have sent one to you but we thought and still hope you might be on your way.

Just got finished wrassling with Metropolitan Life Insurance. They cancelled policies on Ann, Mike, Stephen and Kathy because their office reported they hadn't been paid for September and October. I had been worrying them every few days since the last of August and they kept saying wait, that they had a collector out in our area. We waited and waited but he never showed up so last week I called the head office and they advised me to pay by check to them which I did including an extra month to keep us ahead. Now I find we had to or rather have to send everything by mail but they can't find the check I sent last Monday a week.

Streett Baldwin is still hanging on by a thread and Ann was over next door in the back yard taking the clothes down for them yesterday and had taken Stevie with her. They have a full sized sliding board for their kids and Ann says she was reaching for a clothes pin and saw something flash by out of the corner of her eye and it was Stevie head-first. She dropped everything to go to him but he had somersaulted and was halfway up the ladder again, this time to come down the conventional may. She said in five minutes he had worn himself out and that was his first experience with such a contraption.

One of Arlene's relatives 'phoned her that if permission was granted, they had a dalmatian puppy as a gift. I kept my big mouth shut and Ann gave with a hesitant OK. We had to go to Peterson's store for bread and while there an animal that just came to my belt-line walked out of the back storeroom and Ann asked Mrs. Peterson if it was hers. She said Oh yes it was their six month old dalmatian puppy. Ann just looked at me with her mouth open and I continued to say nothing. Now Ann is busy talking Arlene out of it. At breakfast she said we'd have to keep it outside and down the cellar and putting out food and water would be a big complication for you-know-who Stevie would toss the critter for the food every time, gentle lad.

Ann's letter from Mrs. Bellis was a nice long one. She has been trying to get out our way with Ruth but Clyde has been using the car. Mary has managed to get a pass to see Francis, her husband, at Bainbridge; and a group of her classmates from last year gave her a huge shower, with another one coming up next week.

I saw no TV Monday or Tuesday so I have nothing to report there but I picked up a News this noontime and am enclosing several articles from it. I thought Louella had retired when her husband died but you can read her column in one of these letters.

More tomorrow or Friday.


Editor's notes:
The Bellis' were next door neighbors back in Catonsville. Mrs. Bellis' daughter Mary married Francis in August.

Next Posting: October 17, 1952

Copyright 2012 Stephen A Conner

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Fire In Baldwin and Tallulah Does Durante

Monday, October 13.

Dear Andrew and John,

We're working naturally and so is school tonight but the banks and most of the business offices are closed down today honoring your birthday on yesterday.

One Friday, I mean on Friday afternoon I 'phoned Abe and he is feeling much better since he found he has only a tendency toward diabetes and not the actual stuff. Noontime Mommie told me she got a letter from Mrs. Bellis but didn't read it because I have to keep these calls from the office to home short. Got the 'phone bill Saturday and Arlene had called her friend Mary Margaret in Catonsville to the tune of $1.19 worth. For other news of Catonsville, Virginia called Ann to say she was dropping in on Sunday and Dee called again Friday to say no they wouldn't. And yesterday afternoon we have a - I can't even think straight - we had a short visit from Ellen and Gerry Bures. They are anxious to get out of West Edmondale where they bought their new house but can't find cheaper quarters elsewhere. They're so darned on edge they're nervous wrecks.

It was raining Friday evening so we postponed our trip to the food store till Saturday morning. It cleared Saturday noontime and I fixed the back door and wiped off the car and then drove Ann and the kids as far as Woolworth's on Harford Road. We were gone a little over an hour and came back Long Green Valley Road way to find fire engines racing past us to a big fire. If you still have a map or remember my describing Peterson's store and packaged refreshment shop, it's right next to that. Burned down into the ground with not a beam or shingle standing were the post office (Baldwin) general store and hardware and a good part of Baldwin Motors, a combination garage, repair shop and sales agency for tractors and farm equipment. Doctor's property ends down that way - it's almost a mile from the house really -- and one of his barns full of hay was partly burned. Arlene went with her friend Ann Woodward, our second neighbor to the south, and her father who is a member of the volunteer firefighters. She said they had eleven fire engines there but it got too much of a start. Ann didn't see the results but I drove past yesterday morning with Mike and Kathy when we event to pick up Arlene from Mass. Ann and I went to 8:30 yesterday for a change as it was Holy Name and in memory of our 8:30 Mass six years ago. Father Doran takes his good old time and has a sermon no matter how long he talks on the matter of Propagation of the Faith or the particular problem for the Sunday. We got home from 8:30 Mass at 10:02 and it started on time. Arlene was out in half an hour. We could go over on Harford Road to an earlier Mass or in to Towson but I think it's better to stay in the parish and they need our two-bitses.

I guess it was about 5:30 when we got back Saturday and I didn't look at the paper till after we ate so were we surprised to see Tallulah listed for All Star Review at 8 p.m. We were up and waiting for the beginning. You remember how Jimmy Durante used to and still does close by walking off as though into the distance. Well, Tallu comes from way back walking slowly and playing with her hair, right up into the camera and croaks "Hello Dahlings". We loved it. Her support all through the show were no less than Ethel Barrymore and Groucho Marx. But the show was all Tallulah's. She danced, sang and had several skits to herself as well as with the others. It was from New York as she remarked Ethel and Groucho had flown in from Hollywood. I liked her semi-final, a solo of how she had gone from her place at 59th Street to visit some friends in the country -- way out at 181st St. on a thing called the subway. Maybe it's old stuff but we enjoyed her applying at the money changing window for a drawing room and saying of course they would take her check. She pauses and gives her name as the fellow has evidently asked who she thought she was. She says, "I'm Tallulah Bankhead", then another pause listening to him and reaches her hand through to shake saying, "I'm so glad to know you, Mr. Bonaparte". Just as she is about to board the subway train, the camera follows her past a big paste up ad featuring the head and shoulder picture of Betty Davis and "Two's Company" which is apparantly her latest. Tallu goes past, does a double-take and then comes back to whip out her lipstick, hunch over the pic and step aside to show her decorations of glasses, a mustache and beard; no talking. Her ending of the show was a reversal of the beginning; saying "'Bye Dahlings" in front of the camera and walking slowly to music off into the rear center. Show of Shows did everything right as usual, this time with a host, Dennis O'Keefe. After this Ann retired but Arlene and I sat to watch Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett and George Sanders in "Son of Monte Cristo". I didn't realize it was such a big production and lasted just five minutes short of two hours.

We sat around all yesterday and had finished eating and cleaning up when Gerry and Ellen came. I guess they were here from about 5:30 till 6:30. We went up to TV for This is Show Business which was fair and Colgate's Comedy Hour had a pretty good show in Bob Hope with Fred MacMurray and Connie Haines. Phil Playhouse which last night was Goodyear Playhouse came on with some gypsy offering O Ramany. Ann said the author is a good one but we didn't care for the beginning so turned it off for the evening. Ann heard Mrs. Baldwin next door calling and I went down and read awhile. Ann came back and told me she had promised to go next door to stay with the kids in the event Mrs. Baldwin would be called back to town. Her husband's father, Streett Baldwin, had suffered a heart attack and stroke on Friday. So far they have kept it out of the papers for some political reason or other but as of this morning he's hanging on. The doctors now say there's no hope whatsoever and he is paralysed except for the fingers of one hand.

On our ride to the ten cent store Saturday we had to go past the Maryland School fort the blind on Taylor Avenue. They have their annual sign out advertising apples and cider. Ann says, from past experience, there's none better. They'll have it for some time but we don't want to get any as it might turn or that might be for the better also. It's only twenty minutes away by car.

That Stevie slob at the table will shovel in three helpings of meat, potatoes and vegetables I couldn't come near downing, then sit back with his shoulders slumped and mouth omen and wait for the monstrous bubbles that usually follow. Right after eating his stomach hangs down the way Kathy's used to. Nothing new on Kathy this week but Mike is due one of my famous haircuts no later than tomorrow.


Editor's notes:
October 12, Columbus Day, is Charles and Ann's sixth wedding anniversary. It is also the birthday of twin brothers, Andrew and John.

Next Posting: October 15, 1952

Copyright 2012 Stephen A Conner

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jimminie Head

Friday, October 10.

Dear Andrew and John,

Ann waited till I got home late last night to let me read about the cancellation. Will it do any good to write a congressman? Here we were hoping for Thanksgiving and now we got to keep our fingers crossed about Christmas. They have to let you out by the 6th of December or am I just being silly.

Here's last Sunday's church notices which I've been carrying about with me.

Whether or not they change shipping schedules or what have you, I'll keep writing through the month of October and though I know the Army is not that efficient, maybe they'll cut off some of the letters and reroute them at San Francisco. So in the event they surprise you with a hasty evacuation our way, this may be one of the last letters Korea bound and we'll he only too happy if you're already on your way and miss this one.

Have I or has Mommie told you about "jimminie head". That's a game Mike and Kathy play with Stevie and he loves it. You recall the "Jimmie's" chocolate variety on ice cream cones; outside, they use dirt; in the bathroom, water; and in the kitchen, it's cereal. Luckily the little slob has one of my special whiffles and Ann has to shampoo only once per day. He sits outside as patient as can be while they shovel on the dirt in the one corner of the yard that is not grass covered. It's only when it gets in his eyes and mouth that he protests.


Next Posting: October 13, 1952

Copyright 2012 Stephen A Conner

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Previous Tenants and Mickey Mantle

Thursday, October 9th.

Dear Andrew and John,

Haven't much to tell you but like to get something off anyway.

When I got home Tuesday I found that Virginia had called and cancelled her trip to see us. She and Connie were supposed to come but one of them couldn't make it.

Kathy's virus in her tummy persisted through this morning and I called home noontime to find out how she was and Ann says she's much better, having produced her first burp in three days. Stevie, the slob, is back in there shoveling in the food with both hands. His face is getting fat and he's going to outgrow Kathy in the weight department. But she's getting taller, I'm sorry to say, though I do think she'll still be in the cute stage for a couple of months till your return. Mike is all legs and has his spells of eating like a horse and staying away from everything but you can't call him unhealthy. Arlene we don't have to worry about. In the Christmas Card we chose for this year, I put her name next to a caption of Food Editor. Stephen is saying just a few more words but understands everything. His pronunciation is not as good as Mike's was at the beginning, as he calls our little girl, Kaki and has a few other wild expressions but you can't cross him up. I think you'll find Kathy changed most for she was just saying a few words as I remember it when you left and now she'll string an endless sentence into 5 minutes without faltering or stammering. But she's got to warm up to you first. And that'll probably take a couple of hours. When we went out to see Abe last month, while Ann was downtown shopping that day, Kathy wouldn't even look at Abe for the first hour; she buried her heady in my shoulder even when he tried to give her a little china dog. Abe is having a bit of trouble right now, too. I guess it's the combination of his father and I'm sure there are financial difficulties. He was feeling so bad he went to see our Dr. Gallager who gave him a thorough physical and suggested he take hospital test for diabetes. So Abe tolls me he was at Mercy Hospital for 5 hours on Monday with some sort of glucose test and there is a show of diabetes. His father is on the first floor at home, apparently to stay and the bathroom Buzz has half-built is still unfinished as you know Buzz. I asked him Monday what's new in Catonsville and he said nothing that he could see.

Tuesday evening I sew about an hour and a half of TV. Milton Berle has gone the way of the many others and is now on only every other week. In his place we saw the last half of a show sponsored by Buick with the regular performers apparently being Joe E. Brown as a clown and Dolores Gray and a John Ratti as singers. I don't know if the circus is to be the continual scene but that's what I got from it. Last night we saw the first half of Godfrey and Arlene switched to a new show starring Frank Fontaine and Patti Page with some very good dancers and sponsored by Scott. They played up their Cut-Rite wax paper and paper towels and Scotties but no mentions of the toilet tissue; Ann says they probably don't think that good advertising.

It turned quite cold Monday night. Western Maryland had temperatures down to 28° but we went no lower than 42°. Today it's raining but I'm sure we'll have nice weather again in October.

Andrew, you mentioned you'd like to get out of uniform as soon as you can when you get back and I've been thinking about fast ways of obtaining something decent to wear inexpensively and if we could run out as far as Sam the Tailor in Catonsville, I noted he is now carrying a full line of suits as well as slacks, coats and other men's wear. And knowing him, he'd put the cuffs on and make the alterations while you wait. In an hour I bet you could get pants and a coat, if necessary. And if either or both of you don't have company and intend to go on a shopping spree, I'd like to take off and see what they're offering these days. I'm down to one pair of shorts myself which I'm washing out at nights and those dacron socks I bought in the spring of '51 are still holding up pretty well. The rest of my wardrobe is good enough for another year, except for ties and there my last additions were what you two gave me last Christmas. So I'll provide transportation if things work out and I also know your credit is OK at Katz for when Ann talked with the fellow the last time he called to say he had received your remittance, Andrew, he said he was glad as you no doubt would want to use the account when you got out.

We've been learning a little more about the Barbours, the people who occupied the house before us. Jean Baldwin next door and Mommie lean on the fence or hang up clothes together. Mrs. Baldwin said one day this past spring she came over to what we occupy now to pick up laundry that was left while they were out and Mrs. Barbour was stretched on a couch smoking and reading while one of the smaller girls was dragging dump trucks full of dirt in front the outside and dumping the loads behind the pillow on an armchair with no correction from Mrs. B. Also, Mr. Barbour made all the clothes for the family in the garage and in the cellar and also sponsored a baseball team which met several times a week in the back yard or the Pasture across Long Green Valley Road. The kids were never supervised And one night in early summer, when Mr. Baldwin was on the verge of trying for his bar exam, at 2 a.m. in the morning the kids were whooping it up in the back yard. He asked them to quiet down a bit and Mrs. Barbour stuck her head out of the window and yelled, "Ignore him, he don't own the place". And just before they moved, referring to Mrs. Burton she said, "We're going, but I called the old bag up and gave her hell."

I heard the last two games of the World Series on the old radio here at the office and the papers around are giving Mickey Mantle the hero role. I mention this as I went down to Peterson's store last night for some bread and one of the farmers was addressing a small group and saying, "I was with the Bums and if it wasn't for that wop, Mickey Manuel, we'd have beat 'em."

Take it easy with the final moving. Mr. Pearson here at the office picked up a bag of Micalith at the mine and got himself a hernia which he has to have operated on in December.

Two weeks from today!


Editor's Notes:
Two weeks from todayis the deadline for John and Andrew to leave Korea!
Charles' employers own a mine that results in a product called micalith.
Abe is a longtime friend of Charles

Next Posting: October 10, 1952

Copyright 2012 Stephen A Conner

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Frankie and Ava Have Split

Tuesday, October 7th,

Dear Andrew and John,

I'm late this week; had a busy day yesterday and could only get off the Times. We got a letter at home from you yesterday, John, and we hope the cold has cleared up. Wouldn't want anything to delay departing for either of you. Nothing has come to the office yet in the way of packages but I think six weeks is the minimum we can expect service. We had a little trouble with our mail but I think it has been corrected. When we didn't received our 'phone bill or Hochschild's by the end of September, I called and found they had been mailed out. Ann asked Mrs. Baldwin next door and she said oh yes a little girl down the road, the same one who had gotten in her deep freeze in the cellar, has been caught reading the mails in the neighborhood and then tearing up the evidence. We hope nothing of importance has gone that way. Hochschild's and the C & P are mailing out new bills today and the postman is now going to toot his horn when he puts mail in the box as it can't be seen from our part of the house.

We shopped again at the grocery Friday evening and had things cleaned up for some TV by 9:30. It's dark at 6:30 now but we're getting used to it. We saw some quiz program and then Ann and Arlene were almost asleep and gave up but I sat through an English mystery called "Tangled Evidence" with nobody I recognized. I worked on the car and played around with the kids Saturday as the weather stayed in the seventies. We didn't have a visitor or hear from anyone as usual. It wasn't until after supper however, that we looked in the paper and saw WBAL had taken off Show of Shows for a darn pro football game. We put the Stevie to bed and pajamaed Mike and Kathy when Arlene called down she had it so we went up and found Show of Shows coming from Washington and clearer than we used to get it at home. Following that, we switched hack to Baltimore and enjoyed Abroad with Two Yanks with Dennis O'Keefe and William Bendix. The hostess on Show of Shows, I forgot to say, was Wanda Hendrix. She has changed her hairdo or let her jaw dawn or something for where she used to have a heart shaped, face, it's now square: looks like Kathryn Grayson. Speaking of show people, I heard on the radio this morning that Frankie boy and Ava have split up--Ave giving him her wedding ring back, of all things. Sunday, Arlene and I get home from church at twenty minutes to twelve and the 'phone rang two minutes later, which I answered. It was Virgina asking if we'd be home Tuesday (today) and I said of course, so she said she'd be out this evening. She talked to Ann about two weeks ago and was supposed to drop by but came down with a bad cold. Kathy picked up the virus on Sunday that we've all had but wouldn't stay abed, just wanted to be held. It reached a peak yesterday when she tossed her breakfast but this morning woke bright and happy. Sunday afternoon we left Arlene at home with the World Series and took an hour's ride to Jarrettsville, which was new to me. It's only 8 miles and we circled back around the farms and home as Kathy was restless. It was another lovely day and nice and peaceful. We ate early and brought the little ones upstairs with us for TV. Red Skelton is on at 7 p.m. Sundays this year and on film. I don't think it's as good. He was followed by Jack Benny's monthly appearance and I had forgotten to look who was to be on the Colgate Comedy Hour. At 8 o'clock they flashed the station break announcement saying next in line was Colgate Comedy Hour. There was a 15 second pause and the announcer came in to say "We're waiting for the Colgate Comedy Hour from Hollywood". Still nothing, and here's where it got good. Again the announcer came in to say while they were waiting we'd have a film of something by Schubert. The music swelled up in the background but they must have pushed the wrong projector for on the screen came the regular motion picture makeup " The Thief of London" starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Valerie Hobson; that faded to "With" and pictured Alan Hale, nodding, and the rest of the cast; then fade-out and as the first scene came on everything went black for a moment, then there was the conductor leading the Schubert symphony. That was followed by another short and finally at 8:20 the announcer returned to say that we would watch Tanhauser for the next forty minutes as there had been a "disagreement" with the engineers in Hollywood and the Comedy Hour would not be seen and heard. We switched over to Ed Sullivan who was having an ASCAP show of all famous composers in person, playing their own melodies and it wasn't bad. Philco presented a pretty good one--Jeffrey Lynn in "Black Sheep". After that we turned it off.

Ann found a cleaner who seems to do good work. Anything sent on Wednesday is returned Saturday and pick-ups Saturday come back the following Wednesday. I believe he charges a dollar where I was paying 75¢ before but we can't be too particular when you're off the beaten track. You'll have to look forward to seeing the place next spring as you're missing a lot of the good scenery right now. The only thing around in the roar of flowers seems to be something out front which we're not sure whether it's a rose bush or a blackberry vine. In the back yard are three or four lilac bushes. Maybe we can add something that will bloom right away. We have searched the store room for your tulips and as I've said to Ann, I still believe the movers made off with a lot of stuff as I can still remember making the last trip to the truck and he slamed the door before I got there and said that's all. They may be at the bottom or some of the carton boxes and I hope so. In the last days at Bloomsbury with Mike and Kathy, and Jane, Edward, Susie, Tyson Ann and many others roaming the house, they broke the radio-record player combination and Mike's little record player as well. Some of these quiet evenings we've wanted to listen to the few records we managed to save. I shouldn't really say few because there are about 50 or so. In transit, our Nutcracker Suite and part of the Carmen Abe and I bought were broken but a lot of individual records are left. You mentioned in a letter a month or so ago that one of the boy's father had sent him a 45 r.p.m. I played one for the first time at Ann Clapsaddle's and I remember telling you I liked it but now they've added something new to that, what they call 45 extended play records. Each side of a regular size 45 plays about 8 minutes. At Parkville last month I noticed Read's was selling a big counter of popular 45's at four for a dollar so they must be overproducing.

I'm copying this last paragraph from a Prentice-Hall Accountant's Weekly Report which came yesterday and the case is listed as true:

A New Orleans lawyer sought an RFC loan for a client. He was told that the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to property offered as collateral. The title dated back to 1803 and a had to spend 3 months running it down.

After sending the information to RFC he got this reply: We received your letter today inclosing application for a loan for your client, supported by abstract of title. Let us compliment you on the able manner in which you prepared and presented the application. However, you have not cleared the title before the year 1803 and therefore before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary that the title be cleared back of that year."

Annoyed, the lawyer replied: "Your letter regarding titles in Case No. 189156 received. I note that you wish titles extended further back than I have presented them. I was unaware that any educated man in the world failed to know that Louisiana was purchased from France in 1803. The title to that land was acquired by France by right of conquest from Spain. The land came into possession of Spain by right of discovery made in 1492 by a sailor named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the then reigning monarch, Isabella. The good queen, being a pious woman and careful about titles, almost, I might say, as the RFC, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope upon the voyage before she sold her jewels to help Columbus. Now the Pope, as you know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, who, it is commonly accepted, made the world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that He also made that part of U. S. called Louisiana, and I hope to hell you are satisfied."


Next Posting: October 9, 1952

Copyright 2012 Stephen A Conner

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Bad Battery and Good Reception

Thursday, October 2 1952

Dear Andrew and John,

Monday night on the way home from school, I was crossing North Avenue at Maryland Avenue in the car and the fellow in front of me thought he heard an ambulance or fire engine but it was several blocks over. He jammed on his brakes and I did likewise. There was no accident but I couldn't start the car so there I sat smack in the middle of North Avenue which is about an acre wide there at the market. Finally some nice fellow in an old Plymouth gave me a shove and it started OK. Got home all right, turned the motor off and started it again and it seemed fine. So, Tuesday morning I got up at 5:30 to go to the 6 o'clock Mass for Forty Hours and it wouldn't turn over. At 7:30 I got Richard to give me a push with the truck and I made the trip to the Auto Clinic without trouble. The battery had gone up. I ran it right over Wards and they made it good as I had a three year guarantee and bought it last November. All this and I was back in the office at 9:55.

The virus in Mommie's tummy got worse on Tuesday, continued into Wednesday and then stopped just as suddenly last night. Mike's case so far has been mild, just play a little while and then run for the bathroom. I'm sure it's not the water or anything. Doctor says it's airborn and when you go to the store you hear various ones complaining of the same thing.

I didn't see TV Monday or Tuesday nights but went up at 7:45 last night for Perry Como, then Godfrey and the Kraft Playhouse which you may have seen a year or so ago. New actors, Scott Forbes and Maria Riva in Michael and Mary. By the time you get home they'll be just coming around to all those you have missed. After Kraft the only thing on was rassling and the fights so before going to bed I tried a few channels and found Philadelphia clear and the sound excellent. Maybe it's only because of the good weather but I'll try it again some time. The Washington stations had a little snow but much clearer than Catonsville and the sound is good. So as I said before, we're going to wait to look around for a set. Mr. Lucas says they're so tight now and the prices are so stiff because of all the new stations coming into existence and they're making allocations of a dozen or so to dealers where they used to try to push carloads off on them.

Another bond came through from Catonsville yesterday for you, John. This one is dated August and is probably the last. Taking out the one we used last January for Virginia's friend on the play, the refrigerator, etc. you now have 9 in the box, I'm sure.

Ann received a letter from you yesterday, Andrew. The only thing I meant about text books was that through the school I thought maybe I could get for free or at wholesale anything you two would like that you may have discussed, seen or heard about in the service. I forgot to cut a piece out of Sunday's paper that I wanted to send you two. Johns Hopkins has been advertising their McCoy College division. Their first semester just started and this year includes about a dozen or maybe twenty subjects, listing the price of each and the length of time. For example, they had something on play writing, fifteen meetings of one hour each and total cost $12. There was also something on drama and the theater. Nothing was priced more than $15 and you can take as few as you care to.

We received a post card from Ann and Earl, somewhere in the South and a "see you in two weeks" closing. Ann still thinks Earl's father will talk them into staying down there with him; a couple of good subjects to practice his bone crushing on.

I've told you we're going to buy from now on at the Cloverdale Farm store but during the week, for odds and ends such as bread, cereals and soups, we dash down to Peterson's, beyond the church. Ann was pretty woosy Tuesday night but she went with me. To show you how the country people are, we bought three dollars and something worth of groceries and then, after she had run it down on the adding machine, I went over to the package goods part of the store for a carton of Pepsis which I paid for. We were all the way home when Ann opened her purse on the kitchen table and found she hadn't paid for the groceries. She went right to the 'phone and told the gal (wife of the owner) and this Mrs. Peterson said that when we went out the door of her store she had said to herself that she wasn't sure if we had paid but not to worry about it. I took them the cash last night.

Also on Tuesday night, I located the Wilson Methodist Church hall where we have to vote and signed a green slip to transfer our sheets from Catonsville to the new district and precinct as we are still in Baltimore County.

It's too bad you'll get home after the weather has grown colder as I want you to see the Pearce's corner plantation restaurant, as they call it. It's all on one floor right on the corner you see on your map and you eat on a wide porch that completely circles the building lighted by hundreds of all colored lights. I don't know what they do in the winter unless there's some way to close up this porch which I can't see right now. We haven't been there but Mrs. Baldwin told Ann the prices are low and the food pretty good but maybe that's by her standards.


Next Posting: October 7, 1952

Copyright 2012 Stephen A Conner