Monday, April 19, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: McPherson History, Letters from Uncle Ralph, Oct 2,1980

Amanuensis: a person employed to take dictation or copy manuscripts.

I read about Amanuensis Monday in Heather Rojo's blog "Nutfield Genealogy," who read about it in  Randy Seaver’s blog “GeneaMusings” and he read about it on John Newmark’s genealogy blog “TransylvanianDutch”.  That said,  for me this is a great way to transcribe and post my Uncle Ralph's letters.

An everyday kind of guy, my Uncle Ralph wrote letters telling his sisters of his daily life in the 1980s as well as regaling them with family history that he remembers.  In this letter,  he mentions his sister Margie, who was the next youngest to him.   He  also tells his baby sister, Olive, about  the older generations and stories that she was too young to remember.


Dear Olive & Norman,

Your letter came the same day I wrote to you. Getting some funny weather now. Supposed to be a Santa Ana that can get only within 5 mi of the beach. Most of your Santa Anas, its just as hot at the beach as it is on the desert. This ones different. 70 degrees at the beach till 5 mi inland then to 95 to 100 & the desert 116 yesterday at Palm Springs.

Knocked $30 off the elect bill this last month but it was still almost 46.00 but the weather had cooled so we just had the house open with a fan or two on.

Not much news, its mostly all political now. The Liars are out in full force now. So I never listen to them. I just read their record and on most of them its pretty shoddy.

Yes I suppose being the youngest & coming to Calif so young you might not even heard of most of your relatives. I didn’t keep in touch like Margie did but I met lots of them & knew of others & nearly all the older generations are in Wisconsin. Some in Iowa, not many in Minn or Mich. In wis there were the Burmeisters, Fosses, Irelands & McPhersons, also a few Foys , in Iowa, the Fiskes. In those days people were close knit, some of them never got over 50 mi away from home in their life time. In those days, and late in the afternoon would pull into any farm house & ask to stay all night. It was common precedure if you lived close to a highway & very few would take money for putting a person up. I know 2 or 3 times a year some one would stop at our place to stay, team & all & all of them Perfect strangers. In one way it was a way of getting outside news (outside of a 20 mi circumference). Also in those days you might work for a neighbor 4 or 5 days but never think of getting paid except by him helping you.

I can remember Dad giving me hell. He was going to shock grain for another farmer & then that fellow was to shock corn for Dad. The only thing Dad and Mother had to go to Madison so Dad told me to go in his place which I did but when I finished shocking his grain, he asked if I’d rather have the 3.00 or have him come up & shock corn for me. The 3.00 looked big to me & it was no problem for me cut and shocks the corn. Only I didn’t know what bawling out I was going to get when Dad got home.

Write when you can & say Hi to everyone.

Ralph & Sally

1 comment:

  1. Joan, your Uncle Ralph sounds like a character. I think this Amanuensis Monday is such fun. It keeps the blog fresh I think. Thanks for stopping by my blog. It is just such a thrill to know someone is reading what I write, as I'm sure you know also.