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Old family Newsletters

Journal by bcagle

If you find, or inherit, a box full of old letters and snippits of papers, don't rush threw them. They may contain some interesting tidbits about family members that can lead you up a new limb or out to the tip of existing ones. Below is a jewel I almost tossed because it was so yellow you could barely read it. But, I took many hours and transcribed it. When I come back to read it, I am surprised at how much information it actually contains. Enjoy this little piece of my family's history.
Note: The Rounder was a letter that was sent out and passed from one family to the next. Each family would add their news and send it on.
"Birds" was the pet name my ggrandfather used for his children's families (my grandmother)and likewise "ducks". Interesting that this farm family used animals as 'pet names' quite often.

Dodgeville, Wis. May 13, 1917

Dear Birds,
The Rounder came yesterday and Charley brought it
home just as I got home from a twenty mile ride over
rough roads, so tired that I could hardly sit up. But I
did sit up and take notice of every letter in the pack.
I sat down by my fire and read and read and when I
finished I found my face wet with tears. This rounder
has been a long time on its toad and has hatched several
chickens on its route. I vote tha Lethe and Irene beat
us all to a stand still, when it comes to writing an
interesting letter. Father's letter sent me back to old
times. Uncle John LeVake and I used to go over there to
see the girls and there is where he got acquainted with
the girl he afterwards married. We used to walk down
the river on the ice. It was only twelve or fifteen
miles and as far back again, but what did we care for
that. Maybe none of you ducks son't know where that
school was.
It was at old Richland City. The Old Academy was
afterwards moved to Spring Green and it is now a
dwelling house. Professor Silsby that father speaks of
afterwards went into the Army as Captain of heavy
artillery, and after the war published a newspaper at
Selma Alabama and I believe died there. I went to that
school the next year with the girls. Nearly all my
class went into the army and some of them distinguished
themselves, and many of them lie now in soldier's
graves. Uncle John LeVake was the last one of the old
settlers of the valley and the last old soldier there
out of 37 who went from the town of Wyoming. Some are
still alive but they live now in other places. *****Well
I had to stop just now to take Bobby a ride down the
walk as Rob is dressing for church. She takes him over
to his grandmother's while she goes to church. Lethe's
boy is somne smart boy, but you all must remember thathe
is a whole lot older than our Bob and don't weigh as
much by 2 or 3 pounds. So don/t run away with the idea
that he is the whole cheese in the baby show. Ask Andy.
He has seen them both lately and if he don't say that
considerin' all the circumstances and the chance he had
that our Bob is in the show to stay yet awhile. Oh i
could spin yarns for an hour yarn about with her but
postage is going to be raised soon and I do not want to
break the bunch. One thing I will say and nobody can
prove to the contrary, our Bob knows O and can point it
out on a Quaker Oats boc. That Sawyer county kid can't
tell O from a pig's tail. Ajiamo has it about right
about women folks finding a hob for a man around the
house. I never was out of a job since I got married.
The kid's round robin get around about twice to your
once and keeps me busy guessing riddles and doing the
stunts that Helen Hones thinks up. I hope she does not
run away with the idea she is a poet. There is no money
in that and it does not help mother much. Poetry is all
right in its place but I would rather be able to write
such a letter as Lethe or Irene can write that be able
to write all the poetry in the world. As father says in
his letter, a good conversationalist is the rarest thing
in the world. My last stry in the Chronical got micxed
up in the mill some way and the printers made hash of
it. I have to take a lot of kidding about it. People
that have been reading them ask me what kind of dope I
smoke. I son't wonder. The printers make my story that
was all paged and arranged so I thought they could not
get it mixed,sound like the ravings of delirium I am
going to tell the editor that when he gets over his
drunk I will lwt him have another, and not before. They
don't cost the paper anything snd the trouble to keep
them straight should be raken. A short story is as much
a work of art as a building, and to put the windows
where the door should be and the roof in the cellar
would be as sensible as to cut a story in the wrong
place and print it hindside before.
My garden is all up but corn and potaotes. My tomatoe
plants in the box in my window are turning yellow from
some cause after all my care of them. I guess I
willhave to buy some after all. I have soil in my
garden and my neighbor's garden as fine as dust. The
neighbor is complaining that he can find nothing to hoe.
I don't intend he shall unless he hoes plain dirt. I
would like to get a whack at Beula's garden with my
garden plow. Several of the neighbors have bought themn
a plow like mine and threw away their old planet Juniors
hoes and rakes. So I won't find so much to do as usual,
and I'm afraid I will run out of work which would be a
calamity. Some times when I see those old differs
sitting around on boxes down town I envy them their
ability to take it easy, and then when I see the
expression on their faces and listen afor a moment to
their whining pessimistic talk I thank my lucky stars
that I am not built that way, and glory in my tasks even
if they weary me. I am well and as contented as can be
besides having all my real want supplied.
The ancient Gander, (mistakes are as copied from copy
of original letter.)

Viewed: 1975 times
by bcagle Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2006-06-14 17:05:25

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