18 Ruth explains proposed Constitutional Amendments at League of Women Voters meeting

September 18,1934

Dear Kinny,

You surely are writing the letters and we are very glad to get them. You’re just spoiling us and I suppose you will soon be too busy to write so often and then we will miss them. School sounds like a pleasing and exciting adventure to you. I hope the Algebra will clear up and I do think it would be a very good idea to get a Latin Grammar and review a little in it. In fact I don’t see how you can do without one. I should think the Latin teacher could get you one at school. I can see you like shorthand and typing best. Daddy had a good laugh over your typed letter. You know he thinks he’s quite a typist.

Well I’ve been to League of Women Voters today and I was on the program to explain the 5 proposed Amendments to the State Constitution. I did it in the form of a discussion—throwing out questions to the rest on parts which might not be so easily understood. Mrs. Lundgren went with me and she said I made everything clear and she knew how to vote now, better than she would have if she had not heard the discussion. Mrs. Sidney Strong served pumpkin pie with whipped cream and a cherry. Her baby is home now—a beautiful red-haired child—blue eyes.

Josie Roetzer called up last night and asked me to give a reading at their Ladies’ Aid tomorrow. I didn’t like to refuse—so I will read a short one called “Round by Round”, and then conclude with “Lord, What a change within us—one short hour, spent in Thy presence will prevail to make” etc.—that I know from memory.

Tonight is Mr. Rice’s Recital at the M.E.Church. We are going to hear some high class music. I think you read his program in the Atwater Press. What would May say if she could read your letters and hear it called the Pest? Mrs. Stene was at the League today with May. She just sits in a corner and acts out of place. I made a special effort to speak to her as I really do feel sorry for her.

This is Wednesday morning. Myron took my pen to school because I can’t find it so I am using that black wreck—and Harriet has been using red ink in it. Well the Recital was great. He has wonderful control over his tones just as he has been trying to teach us. The accompanist played 2 numbers from memory—one was an Impromptu from Frans Schubert and another I think was Lieberstrand or something like that. She was much more advanced than you are of course. She made such cute little bows after each appearing. She wore a delicate pink lace gown with a sky blue sash.

I have noodles and left overs baking in the oven. It smells good. The tomatoes in the garden are ripening fast now so I have canned 3 pints this morning and we have them every day for a vegetable sliced. There has been no frost here yet but I noticed Mrs. Borgeson’s garden on the way to the cemetery was black when I went out Sunday. That of course is more out in the open.

I just went out to see if I could find an onion in the garden but the weeds have covered them over. Mr. Bard was in the alley so we visited a bit and then Mrs. Manning came to the back porch and Olga Peterson came across from the school-house. They both laughed because they caught me visiting with the preacher. Mrs. Bard said he guessed we would have to be more careful in the future.

Ruth working in her backyard garden

Dr. Anderson told me once that the best gargle is—1 teaspoon soda and 1 teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water. And I have been told that gargles that are too strong only irritate the membranes of the throat. Perhaps that is why yours stays sore.

The Pontiac is sold—I don’t know for how much. I didn’t ask Daddy. Guess he must have made something on it for he seemed elated. Myron doesn’t like the idea. Daddy got a Ford “pick-up” in the bargain.

Well I must be at the dinner. Those hungry folks will soon be hurrying in and they can’t wait a minute you know.

Mrs. Swenson called up this morning and visited a long time with me. We will have a Food Sale—Sat. Sept.29th.

Well as you say Toodle OO—(which somehow doesn’t seem to fit me) Your Mother.


Dear Kinny, A note for you—

You are a brave good girl to try to overcome your lonesomeness. You wouldn’t want to be here in this unprogressive town—running around doing nothing. Every girl in the U.S.—just out of H.S. and 18 years old is going thru the same pangs you are if they have gone away to school. Think of the army of girls of which you are a part! You have it the best of any of them. Most of them are among strangers who don’t care what happens to the girls. When I see some of the girls running around here evenings—I think “Oh how glad I am Kinny is having her chance”. While you are doing dishes and working, go over your lessons in your mind—have a book handy where you can glance at it and study while you work. Believe me then you won’t have time to be lonesome. Do you remember what Grandma Hall told me when I thot I was going to die in St.Cloud? “If you come home—I’ll send you right back. Now laugh that off.”

Boy! What a chance to go to that school! How could God be so good to us who deserve so little? Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if I’m really your Mother and if you’re really Kinny!

You wouldn’t have time for piano anyhow this year—no matter where you were. You will have to reserve all piano practice for summers from now on. Kinny—just think how little chance Winnie has had—just because she hasn’t an Uncle ROC and Aunt Ev. You will be meeting some girls and boys at school now and that will help to take up your thots. When you got too bad—just cry it out and right away you’ll feel better and go to your Heavenly Father about it and write all you want to me.

Sometimes I feel bad when I get your letters but then I know as soon as you have told it some one you feel better so then I know you are O.K. long before I read the letter. I think you ought to take whatever allowance Aunt Ev offers you. You will need it for Christmas presents.

Here’s a poem by Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)

My fairest child, I have no song to give you;

No lark could pipe to skies so dull gray.

Yet, if you will, one quiet hint I’ll leave you

For every day.


I’ll tell you how to sing a clearer carol

Than lark who hails the dawn on breezy down;

To earn yourself a purer poets laurel

Than Shakespeare’s crown.


Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever,

Do noble things, not dream them, all day long;

And so make Life, and Death, and that For Ever

One grand sweet song.


I’m so glad you help Aunt Ev the way you do. I have so much to be glad for, that you are making good. Myron worries me Kinny—he’s wasting so much time and goes so much. He won’t listen to me. Mother.


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Atwater, Minnesota: 1934-1935 Copyright © 2019 by Ruth Dukelow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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