*Grandmother’s 4-5-1964 Letter to Mother (after earthquake)


letter from grandmother to mother

Sunday April 5, 1964 3 P.M.

Dear Mildred:

How many, many times I have re-read your letter that came last Thursday – with details of your downtown trip.  I marvel over again how near you were to [J.C.] Penney’s and all those danger spots!  Your map showed me too.  Certainly God sent his protecting angels to guard you!  Am I ever humble and grateful.  I wish I knew my Bible well enough to quote the verses which tell that in the last days – two men will be laboring in the field and one will be lost and one will be saved.  I’m determined to look the verse up.  I often think about it when catastrophes strike some down but no others.

When I told Kathleen [her typist] you were safe and how near Penney’s you had been she said:  “She must pray often.”  (She lit a candle for you in church last Sunday and prayed.)  Prayers do count.  I know.  Oh Mil how I prayed:  “Dear God send the Angels of Mercy to guard and guide them.”  I don’t know where I concocted that prayer of my own, but it brings me faith, peace, and trust.  How many times I ‘send it up’ for you and yours!

(More of religion and Mrs. Ecklund’s [sic] another time.)

Am forwarding the cuttings from our newspapers about the quake in case you may want children to keep a scrapbook on it.  In years to come they’ll value them – maybe.  And – you may want to use some of them – in your book somewhere.  Anyhow – I’ll send them along.

They kept me shuddering but well informed.  Oh – how near you and Bill were!  Thank God again for his protection of you, Bill and the children.

I don’t wonder that you shiver when you drive down town.  Don’t quite yet understand how Bill found way home safely!

You didn’t tell me about John in tree house – Did tree fall or sway.  Did he know what was gong on?

And the girls.  Did Mrs. Ecklund [sic] and girls know it was earth quake?  [Linda note:  This strikes me as a ridiculous question!]  Where was Mr. Ecklund [sic]?

Sorry about her well – but lucky it wasn’t house.  That crack was nearby.  Oh, Mil – I’ve been worrying less, of course, but still uneasy this week.  No wonder you are.

You’ll hate to have children in school this week – but they’ll examine school carefully before they allow it in session.  Saw pictures of the Anchorage Elementary School etc.  As you say – it was a blessed city that had no more deaths than it did.

People here were truly deeply affected for all Alaskans – our friends felt so deeply for you – C and C too – Mil – I called up Flora and Jack and read to them about you being so near Penneys!!

Made me realize that action and emotions will spark your writing, because even names of stores, streets, and towns prove more interesting than words without action and descriptions.  But – thank you – don’t give me any sad, dramatic news about earthquakes ever again!

This is first day that I feel normally relaxed.  I’ve been working hard – but under tight nervous-tension.  But you have too.  Today I feel more at ease inwardly, as if things were O.K. again.  Are they?

You were wonderfully calm about it.  Nothing like that scalawag on the telephone to his mother – Glad you told him off!

Thanks for all the Anchorage papers.  Saw about Johnny Johnson and the store at Peter’s Creek!  Evidently she is dong well there?  Hope so.

Saw about Glenn Briggs and his political (?) activities.  He [sic] working at it.  Not so bad – if he likes it.  Good for his type of business, perhaps.  He can have it and so can she.  How did the apartments survive.  How is Mrs. Still teaching.

Thanks for box of cards.  I’ll use them – and “yes” I can use the stockings.  Perfect size – lovely color.

Can you insure house now?  Must be able to — ?  Or impossible?  Also make out the will as you said you thought about it at time of quake.  I pray you’ll never need it, but it’s neglect that makes children suffer.  If no will, any property takes years to pass through courts and state gets its share – and lawyers get theirs during delays!

How did “the crowd” below make out with their lawyer in Washington on taxes to properties?

No news now – I am struggling this week-end over income tax report.  I am worried.  I may have to refund half of last year’s Social Security.  Shouldn’t have worked so much – but wouldn’t have had the money.  This worries me a lot – Should I just “set by” and refuse work?  Guess I’ll do it.  Going to make out a “plan” that way – and submit it to you – and take balance of time for writing.  But I can’t if I don’t get all my Social Security next year.  You see they take $100 out for each $2. earned over $1200!!  Have to add up my income now and worrys.[sic]

Will write again as soon as I complete income tax report –

Then – I’ll have TIME to type up stack of material all ready to go!

Thank goodness you dropped out of Bamen’s Class!

Don’t like his looks – nor his stories – nor his philosophy.
Every author reveals himself, his philosophy and thoughts through his characters.  No wonder he is Freudian.  I don’t like his stories.  But his power to describe a person seems good.

His stories are only anecdotes – character – descriptive – essays.

I do not like them.  More of that later.

Must return to my figures.

Glad you have file – and not scratched even!  It’s a sign?  Oh Mil – I feel so thrilled and eager for you.  Love – Mom.


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