Grandma's picture

Grandma's picture
Grandma's Passport photo

Sunday, March 20, 2016

38 - Marie Lulay's Letter to Grandma - 18 June 1936

Click here to read story from beginning

Story so far: Grandma Cecile had reached her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslovakia. She had crossed the United States by train, from Oregon on the Pacific coast to New York on the Atlantic coast. The Europa, a ship with the North German Lloyd ship line, had carried her across the
Atlantic Ocean. She had reached her destination of Nieder-Mohrau and had written some letters back home. At the same time, her family back home wrote  letters to her. All of those letters would take about three weeks to arrive at their destination.

The same day that Grandpa Alois had written, so had my Aunt Marie.
Marie in 1942
Marie, or Mary as was her real name, was Grandma
's step-daughter and oldest child.
We can get an idea of what life was like on the farm back then by the contents of the letter. It was all written in one block of text. I added paragraphs to make it easier to read. Here is what she wrote:

Beginning of Marie's letter

Stayton, Ore
June 18 - 1936

My Dear Mamma.

Always wanted to write always am busy. I hope you got there alright and are having a good time. My pen won't write [the ink fades in and out on the paper and here she switches to pencil] We are all well. Betty Papa & boys[1] are all well. They are getting along fine. 

Gus got announced[2] in church Sun. So will get to go to a wedding dinner soon.[3] 

we canned 38 jars and later 11 more jars Papa says thats enough strawberries I want to make some jam yet for myself and you folks. we sure are busy now with the kids picking berries. It sure does rain every day & how it pours today is the first day of Sun-shine again. How long it will last I don't know. 

Betty wants me to say Hello & for you to not worry & Have a good time and then she said (You could come home again) ha ha But you should have a real good time. first. I sure hope you feel good

the children were at Betty's Sun. Stella Ruth & Margaret.[4] they said Papa was real jolly they went to the other place & said Gus had that house scrubbed good.[5] Conrad Spenners[6] were there to[o]. Mr. Soope was at Dad Tues. so you see with all the work no-body has time to think much

I must close & get busy will try and write again next week So don't worry write soon
With love - from all to all
How is your Sister did she know you Did you see all your Bro. already
By By
Me & all
Give these Pictures to your Sis. I'll send those that Clara took next time.[7]
End of Marie's letter, note torn bottom edge

Apparently Marie did not take time to worry about things like punctuation or spelling. Sometimes words are spelled wrong, sentences end with no punctuation or paragraphs, as mentioned before. Not all sentences start with capital letters. 

Nor does she use fancy stationery. She wrote on what looks like a sheet of tablet paper, and the bottom was torn off. She must have been using scraps. This was in the days of the Depression, and people made do with what they had.

[1] "boys" - meant John, Tony, Gus and FB Beitel, Grandma's sons

[2]  "announced" meant that they had read the banns of marriage in church that Sunday. It was then the custom to both read aloud the banns and publish them in the church bulletin for three weeks in a row before the wedding took place. That way if anyone knew any reason why those people should not be married, they could bring it up.

[3] Gus Beitel would marry Anna Krantz on June 30, 1936.

[4] "the children" refers to Marie's older daughters, Stella, Ruth & Margaret; when she says they were at "Betty's", she means they had gone to Grandpa's house down the road on the farm, Betty and Stella were the same age and they all played together 

[5] By saying "the other place" and "that house", I believe she is referring to the property and house where Uncle Gus and Auntie Ann would first live.That was the house across Thomas Creek, next to the Jordan Bridge in Linn County, Oregon. Betty's letter of June 9, 1936 indicated that Gus was starting on the house on Fern Ridge Road, but it would not be done before they were married.

[6] Conrad Spenner was a friend and neighbor of the Beitel's. He & his family must have been there helping with the house preparation.

[7] Apparently Marie enclosed photos. Grandma must have given them away, they were not with the letter. Not sure who Clara was. If I remember correctly Clara Lulay lived in Sublimity and would have been an in-law of Marie's, it could have been her.

To see the images larger, click on any and you will be able to scroll through them all.

Story to be continued......

To read Post "39 - Who Was Alexander Schipka?" Click here