Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Mail Call: 5 Dec 1935 (George)

George, Cow and Dogs in 1930s print
thanks to Doc Pugh.
From George Potter in Cabool, MO to his daughter Mary Potter in Washington, DC

Includes a story of David Potter's troubles driving his sisters to school:  the third flat of the day leaves him fixing the tire by the light and heat of a "small bonfire" near Sargent, MO.

Mary is advised to have the boarding house serve her liver twice a week to offset anemia (which also affected George's mother, Mary Hasbrouck Potter; a blood test would "be a good plan").

An extended version of the demise of "Betty Cow" suggests that George had a very close call; the cow nearly collapsed on him. "and nothing but the devil looking out for his own saved me."

A good dinner was had on Thanksgiving in spite of it all; "chicken, pie etc."

Dog lovers should avoid the tale of Pat the Dog's puppies on the last page.  Plenty of ill luck for the cow and dogs.

"Art" (Stewartson) is Mary's current boyfriend,
"Gregory" must have been the previous model, not much favored by George, Elaine or Dorothy.
No picture of Art, though.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mail Call: 21 Nov 1935 (George)

George Potter , Cow and Dogs (*)

From George Potter in Cabool, MO to his daughter Mary Potter in Washington, DC

Mary takes the hint from a previous letter and sends the tax money.

"Betty Lou" the cow died suddenly, and neighbor Arch Brooks and Arch's mules helped George drag the remains into the woods.  There is a more detailed and alarming account of "Betty Cow's" demise in the next letter; it was actually a close call for George himself.

George comments on Glady's Oct 30 rant about Dorothy having gone wild..."a swallow of gin makes any ones breath smell like a distillery and dont take much to set a girl giggling"

"The young people are all wild pretty much but I think they will settle down in time."
"Arch" is neighbor Arch Broooks

"Soph" is daughter Elaine Potter, staying with George's sister Dora in St. Louis.

(*) Note on photo: this was image-processed from a negative, only one of four that I have found.  I will put a scan of an original print up next time.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Mail Call: 9 Nov 1935 (George)

George Potter in Cabool, MO to his daughter Mary Potter in Washington DC:

Coat on the way; "try and not see the ghost of the old hen that went to pay the postage"

Follow-up to Gladys' earlier rant about Dorothy gone somewhat wild; she is engaged to a "nice guy" although one much older and frequently married.  Nothing comes of this, eventually.

"You never say what you think about helping us on taxes, etc"

"Can't get in on gov. work as we have a home and cow and chicks etc, have got to be destitute"

"Dora & Walt & Soph & Bob"  Dora is George's sister in St. Louis, Walt Bremerkamp is
her husband and Bob is their son.  Soph is, as usual, George's daughter  Elaine Potter.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Mail Call: 30 Oct 1935 (Gladys)

From Gladys Potter in Cabool to her daughter Mary in Washington, DC.

Dorothy Potter's earlier visit to the big city (St. Louis) has given her ideas and much attitude; she has taken up with an older man with a kid somewhere.  Nothing comes of this, of course, but it is a running theme in many of the following letters.

(The original of this letter is in pencil and much faded, this has been heavily enhanced (sharpened) to make it legible here.  I don't usually do anything to the scans, but this one was too far gone for that policy to make sense. The odd speckled effect is an artifact of the sharpening process.)

"Dora" is George's sister in E. St. Louis
"Lillian" was George's niece, daughter of his late sister Bessie Johnson.
Lillian was back with Emma Parker in Corry after a stay with Dora.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mail Call, 19 Oct 1935 (George)

"He who laughs last gathers no moss"

Dorothy is boy crazy, the old Buick is terminally ill (David is researching a junkyard Essex).

Marjorie gets to play "Stink Base" at Sargent School.  Coach Google tells me that this was an Ozark-specific variant of freeze tag, where those tagged frozen had to run to the aforementioned "stink base" and stay there until tagged free by their team-mates.

A tiny sample of 1930's anti-Semitism is quickly walked back; problem bosses come in all ethnicities.

"Emma" and "Em" are Emma Potter Parker back in Corry
"Draughon's" is the business school which is owed much money.
"Dora" is George's sister in E. St. Louis, IL, now at a new address.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mail Call: 29 Sep 1935 (Gladys)

From Gladys Potter in Cabool to her daughter Mary in Washington DC.

The clock is now broken, with the only time check being from the neighbor's daughter, Mary Brooks, coming over to visit.  Otherwise, just guess.  Convenient for Dorothy, who is coming in really late (but no-one knows how late, since the clock is dead)  Clock has been broken "for over a month."

"I would like a birthday real often if I wouldn't get old too fast."

"making ketchup...full even to the bottles white polish comes in"

Gladys turned 47 on September 25, 1935.

"Mary" is neighbor Arch Brooks' daughter.

"Dora, Walter and Robert" are Gladys' in-laws from E. St. Louis, the Bremerkamps.
Daugher Elaine is still staying with them, but Dorothy has come home.
Clipping enclosed in letter:  "Out Our Way" 17 Sep 1935 J.R. Williams (fair use claimed)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

19 Sept 1935: Letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission

On September 19, 1935 Mary Potter finally had a permanent job at $1620 per annum.

She worked for the SEC in Washington DC, Philadelphia for almost nine years.
On May 2, 1944 when she enlisted in the WAVES, with orders on June 15, 1944.