*Grandmother’s 3-27-1964 Letter to Mother (written day of great Alaskan earthquake)


letter from grandma to mother – written on the day of the great Alaskan earthquake —

March 27, 1964

Dear Mildred:

Today will be “Good Friday” if I can make it so.  I am going to settle down to a stricter routine than ever before.  Believe me.  I’m making out daily schedules as if I were in school – to see if I can accomplish more in writing.  There’s so much I do want to accomplish in the next few months.  I must, or I’ll burst.

No wonder a man can do his job with more contentment.  He has one good, definite daily and weekly assignment.  But the wife and mother has a dozen avenues and goals tugging at her.  I’m like that too.

When work gets light, I worry so much I can’t write well.  I wonder, then, whether I should be out “making contacts.”

So all together I have not “finished up” materials on four different BOOKS which should be re-vamped and fixed up.  Oh, Mil I must.  You must push me and I’ll push you!

Mentally I’m trying to figure how to lay away #s so I can get up there – without $ worries.  And, how my mind can be at rest there to do some writing.  If I have to lecture etc. regularly I’d be “tied down.”  That’s what I like about my own work – freedom to go and come – pick it up and leave it by the case.  Tutoring is the same.

But believe me, generally, short tutoring sessions are useless.  Has to be a da-by-day affair 4 – 6 weeks to accomplish, like summer school, anything.  Otherwise they think nothing is accomplished!  And people are so hard to please.  And children can be so indifferent.  Unless parents are like you and make children interested to work at home on homework for a tutor, results are not satisfactory.  My whole “secret luck” is fact that I love youngsters and can easily “motivate” any one of them if I have them regularly.

So – – –  I have decided – to really be “dashing” and trust the good Lord for our $.  I’m 100% on writing beginning April 1st.  (Hold your breath.)  I am following up all my past cases Mildred and “writing the best book ever” in defense of Tests in Guidance and Counseling.  This has been my dream since the beginning.  I have thousands of tests, if I want to do them all.  But I’m beginning with Flintridge cases.  They have been loyal to me since 1947.  (Imagine!)  I’m shocked when I think of months and money – Where does it go?  We just move along so simply.

Anyhow – Mr. Lamerie, the founder and President – retires at the end of May.  So I want to get all I can ready before he leaves.  He and I are two fools who love the boys and the parents and their problems.  Dickenson is a business man and strictly academic – but good.  Only the record of the school counts.  He thinks Mothers are fools are ruining mankind.  May be right – though he adored his own mother and took great care of her.  He just thinks Mothers of today spoil all the children.

Anyhow – Mr. Laverie sent out a questionnaire to all alumni – as follow-up.  They have given me all data for my use too.

So – – –  oh – – –  oh – “Do or die” I’m classifying my test data on 100 cases to see what happened as far as test data and vocational information may be related to present life work.  It is an exciting project.  I’ve been tabulating all spare time this week – (one reason no letters before.)

Upon results of this little follow-up, I’ll decide whether it will pay to carry on in a “big-way” with all my tests.

They don’t care what has happened to their “drop-outs” – but I may follow up those who have been tested – later on –

Anyhow this will be good work – for or against tests.  At this stage I couldn’t care less!

If this goes well – I’ll pick up that B.U. follow-up to complete = almost ready.  That would be something too!  [Boston University]

Well, all in all, this data could be taken to Alaska with me (for completion) – if there could be a chance to remain for awhile!

Just how I can make the $$ roll out of these projects I am not sure – but somehow.

In the event $ are slow I want to get two “plans” or patterns for short “case studies” for newspaper syndication and longer ones later.  I know people love to read cases in papers when in “letter-styles” or Question and Answer Styles.”

And so I have collected and filed pages and pages as you have on Alaska until I’ve been in a “confused muddle” of papers.

Now, as of April 1st, I shall try out 6 samples of finished copy as if ready for an editor.  Once a pattern is set, the rest is easy.

So – the same goes for you!  You and your Alaska papers?

Today I bought 2 new paper-file-cases – one for you and one for me.  I’ll send yours today.

Also bought new typewriter ribbon – ready for our notes from Bert and your letters on Alaska.

[Linda note:  Strange, transcribing this letter today, October 12, 2009 – 45 years after this letter was written.  It took a long, long time for this transcription job to get done – and even now not sure what’s the use or good to come out of it all!  Evidently grandmother intended to type out mother’s letters (as confused as they have always been without DATES on them) – my grandmother would have so loved computers!  I certainly would not be doing this job without one.]

Once a week I’ll ship what I have done – whether much or little!  O.K?

At least let’s START and TRY this!

At end of April we can plan ahead for another month, perhaps for summer work.  But let’s begin this now, please.

You did not tell me size of notebook paper – for Bert’s notes so I’m enclosing sheet of one I use, because it can be loose-leaf, and be placed on your bookshelf.  If you want larger size let me know soon so I’ll type all the same size.

I put the lecture notes on smaller size, but actual writing or notes for articles on larger sizes and in manila folders as larger 3-hole-notebooks.  The folders fit accordion-pleated file I am sending.  It’s only $2.65 here.  I “give” it to you with my blessing.  You’ll be surprised to see how much you can put into it.

Well – no more now – I must stop saying what I am going to do – and TYPE NOW.  By the time you get this Easter will be over.  Has been rainy cool weather until now.  Today it’s 72.  Think it will be a pleasant week-end.

Hope to get to church.  Otherwise plan to WORK HARD!

Would love to see you all this week-end!  I’ll be sending happy thoughts your way.  Hoping and praying for future.

Know how busy you are.  Appreciate even – your “quickies.”

What did you decide about Howard and the well?  What did Bill think?

Kiss and hug each one of my darlings as soon as you get this letter.

Don’t worry about anyone, or anything!  Good things are ahead.  Read that Golden Book and you’ll be inspired – Love always and ever – Mother –


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