May 1, 1947

Pub. in the kitchen:                               Weather:  Spring Hash
Crestfallen Manor                                  Circulation:  46
339 Frost Ave.                                     Editor:  Genevieve
Rochester 8, N.Y.                                  Publisher:  Charles

Dear Subscribers:

This rag is beginning to shorten my life.  It seems no time at all between issues.

But maybe Iíll turn out to be a real country editor after all!  Got my first PAID subscription during April.  No fooling!  It came from a pal of mine for 20 years who has a fine sense of the financial.  ďYou should get something for all the work you do getting it out.  I certainly want to miss any issues,Ē she said.  Thanks Sally.  What with buying paper by the ton, envelopes by the 500 and all those stamps, weíre going to have to apply for a 3rd class mailing privilege!

So, when you come to see us youíll see my first dollar hanging above my desk - K 83529376 D.  Iíve always wanted a dollar to frame and to point to in my declining years, but by golly they sure made a lot of Ďem before I got one, didnít they?

WEATHER:  Enlarging on the above.  Weíve had everything lately.  Easter Saturday it poured but Easter Sunday was one of Godís best days - right out of His upper right desk drawer and we, of course, got it quite by mistake.  Since then weíve awaked two mornings to a white fairyland with from 2 to 5 1/2 inches of fluffy snow ermine on everything.  Furnaces are on and off like teenage love affairs.

SPRING:  Itís here, regardless.  We havenít taken down the storm sash because there are still many panes of glass held in the windows by atmospheric pressure only.  Until we can be sure of a warm, sunny weekend in which to putty, the sash stay up.  But weíll be able now to take the paper packing out of the cracks in the kitchen and around unused doors.  Weíre awfully fancy, though.  Youíve heard of poor whites thru the South tacking newspaper on the walls for warmth in winter but Iíll bet you donít know anybody but us who plug up cracks with Cleenex!

SCIENCE:  This is, however, the season of the year when my scientific bent straightens out.  Can anybody explain to my satisfaction how a single forgotten cigaret can burn down 1,000 acres of trees or a 27-story hotel when I canít start a fire with the following:  1. a furnace; 2. 100 lb. newspaper; 3. 13 qts. coke (and I mean the dry kind, not that suffixed with cola); 4. a large quantity of dry wood; 5. a box of matches and 6. a bin of coke.  And I was once a Girl Scout!

IMPROVEMENTS:  The bathroom now has a nice even floor with white tile linoleum on same.  You should have seen us Easter Saturday waltzing the tub out into the hall.  Now when we have time to finish the painting it will look quite nice.

At the moment Charles is busy building an alternating board-and-picket fence across the back.  Heís including a nice big 10-foot double farm gate for the convenience of visitors with cars.  Thereís also a 4-foot garden gate for the girls to swing on.  Thoughtful cuss.

NUTS, continued from April:  Sent a copy of the Bulletin to the Editor of The Companion and he took it like a man - turned it over to some gal to answer.  She got out the old oil can and after reminding me of the slight difference in our circulations, mentioned an Easi-Build house, a decorative plan for a cold water flat, talk about a trailer, life in a Quonset hut, etc.  which they have featured.  Godfrey! how people do miss the boat!

There are thousands of old junkers like ours all over the country but people donít want them, even though they may be facing homelessness.  Everybody is too keyed up by magazine articles and linoleum ad pictures over basement playrooms, tile baths, oil heat, picture windows, hardwood floors, asphalt tile covering, fireplaces, arched doorways, streamlined kitchens, etc.  People are too darned lazy to kick in work on an old place to fix it up.  They break up, send children off to orphanages and boarding homes and then move in on reluctant in-laws if they canít get Uncle Sam or somebody to finance them into a "dream house" where they wonít have to lift a finger.

Thereís an article in The Companion this month about what to check in a house before you buy.  But who in the name of time could afford to buy a perfect house and ever get it paid for, let alone pay the taxes and keep the place up?  The same issue carries and article which says it cost between $8,000 and $20,000 to raise up each of your young Ďuns to be 18 yars old depending on how much long green you have to stuff into Ďem.

So, assuming thatís right, add it up.  You buy a perfectly darling house for $15,000 or $20,000 with an equally darling and form-fitting mortgage covering it at 5% per annum for 20 annums.  If you have 3 kids, as we do, just add another $24,000.  People, youíve got to work one way or the other to do it and weíd rather do it bit by bit on an old house!  The alternative means that you wouldnít dare be peacefully sick in bed for a couple of weeks once in a coonís age or lose a buck at gin rummy or you would never make it!  Brother, mortgages chew hard and swallow worse.

I still maintain modern magazine contribute hugely to our social unrest.  Except for Womanís Day which is always goading people on to stretch their muscles and make something out of what they have, most magazines whip up envy, jealousy, dissatisfaction and greed.  They deliberately, or otherwise but I strongly suspect the advertisers make it the former, donít try to stimulate their readers to see the possibilities that lie within their grasp if they will work in their leisure time to improve what they possess.  Work as a hobby is a lost, unmentionable art.  Buy, Buy, Buy, thatís the theme.  People think youíre crazy for working.

Quonset Hut my eye!  What about the articles they used to run about making a sod shanty more cheerful with a few yards of Turkey Red muslin, and instructions included how to dye the muslin yourself!  Iíll be those old girls didnít get to a movie that night or have a few rubbers of bridge or even get a slight bun on!

a la MODERNE:  Speaking of being up to date, get this:  The plaster fell off the walls of that tiny pantry when Charles to add shelves so he paneled it in pine plywood, no less.  Classy, thatís us.

ACCIDENTS:  Mr. OíToole got himself run over and now carries his left hind leg.  We donít know how itís going to work out.  He may have to take a sleeper because we canít afford dog surgery.  Meanwhile he wastes his time and ours hunting left handed trees.

DRAMA:  Finally saw "The Hasty Heart", Communityís Rotary play and it was grand.  This is an exciting town, all right.  Also saw "The Song of Bernadette" at Holy Redeemer Parish Hall and enjoyed it immensely, even though things are run entirely different from Players.  These folks use almost a Chinese simplicity in their sets, whereas at Players everything must be perfect right down to orange juice in the glasses, etc.  (The only exception is liquor.  What they mix up for a rum Collins would kill you after a two-week run!)

ACCOMPLISHMENT:  Learned to knit Argyle plaid through the patience of two gals at Players.  They just about had to open up my head to get it in, though.  Now it seems easy.  Life is like that.  Just pick up every stick you see to make a cross out of and soon thatís easy, too.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:  Eliminated this month.  The letters were entirely too flowery.  Somebody suggested I write a book; another said a play.  Funny, but nobody with a man size printing press coaxes me!  Think Iíll try a childrenís story for Golden Books, but Simon Schuster will probably sock it right back in my teeth.

JUNK:  Saw an article recently about junk with which a woman just about furnished a house.  She was ingenious but it still looked like junk to me.  We like our system better - buy junk and make it look like something.  I canít think of anything in our house which was bought new excepting my desk which I had before I was married and Howdieís crib which is now a third-handed one with Pauline in it.

The curtain problem around here is whatís getting me down.  With 19 windows and 4 glass-top doors, Iím hard pressed for something to hang at each.  Even at three bucks a pair, thatís dough.  Guess Iíll have to watch for a high society rummage sale where the ladies get tired of looking at the same pattern, instead of the curtains getting tired of hanging together, thread by thread!

Wish Iíd known Henry Ford was feeling peeked.  I wonder if heíd have slipped my $500 in that will after he was reasonably sure he couldnít spend that whole 500 million?  I must have a low I.Q. I canít even think that much money let alone imagine what it must feel like to have it.  But it sounds almost depressing; so much in the midst of real want.

ODDMENT:  Howdie has an upper front tooth out and has learned to whistle after a fashion through the hole.  "What about after the tooth comes in?" "Oh, the other one will be out then."  "And after that?"  "Iíll just have to quit, I guess."  Short musical career.

WARNING:  Several nice things were said about my lecture about orphans.   One thing, though; donít expect any expressed gratitude.  Those kids have been cheated out of so much, they donít feel itís necessary to fall all over you for a slight favor, like a well-trained child will thank you for a lollipop when mama beams an eye them.  But if youíll look in The Book youíll notice that when the man fell among thieves, not a word was said about his gratitude.  The question was, ď Who was a friend to the man?Ē  So go thou and do likewise.  Give the kids some treats if you can but YOU get the joy out of it.  They arenít joyous - for good reasons.  Lots of people are bigger skunks than any Planned Parenthood campaign among the four-legged variety would produce in one thousand years.

Adios, muchachas and muchachos.  Vaya con Dios.