Sunday, October 16, 2016

Letters from Marilyn - Update 7

Happy Sunday and cheers to a new week ahead, my friends! I cannot guarantee a post next weekend as I will be road-tripping, but until our next update I hope this is a substantial enough entry. The photo in this post is of Marilyn (right) and a friend of hers at Augsburg.

Today's focus is on November/December 1951 and January of 1952. The majority of Marilyn's letters during this time frame focus on news from home and the people living in Ray (or from Ray). While I know of some of these people, I don't know all and as such, will not be including any of that material at this point in time.

In November/December, M writes frequently about her upcoming holiday plans to come home and all the holiday activities happening at Augsburg. She talks about the pretty snowfalls in Minneapolis and the festivities. Move over, Halloween and Thanksgiving. I'm already ready for Christmas, just from reading these months of letters!

One last thing I found interesting in these months: Marilyn's cousin asked her to write to a fellow army buddy of his. The two of them were in the same division together in Korea. M wrote regularly to her cousin, and at his request, began to write to his friend as well. I don't have these letters, but Marilyn writes about them to her mother in her regular letters. A bit confusing, I know. Writing a letter about another letter she wrote. Regardless, she mentioned that another troop had come in to relieve her cousin's division and that their spirits were a little higher now that they'd get an opportunity to rest, as tensions were high. 
November 12, 1951 regarding the argyle socks she mentioned in her freshman year letters (I laughed reading this): I have nearly finished the pattern in one of those argyle socks I started. Maybe I'll have them completed in a couple years!
November 12, 1951: There's a real big write-up in today's paper about the Garrison Dam project. I read some of it and found it rather interesting.
November 14, 1951: Dear folks - I woke up this morning to a beautiful white world. It's still snowing too so maybe we'll get quite a bit now! [M and I agree that snow has a way of making things appear new and pretty.]
November 16, 1951 regarding Minneapolis news: The police have been searching all week for three little boys (brothers) that have disappeared from their home. They gave up the search today and frew the conclusion that they must all have drowned as they found the caps of two floating down the river. Isn't that terribly sad?
November 29, 1951: Yesterday they told us in choir that we can't wear lipstick for our concerts. I don't quite know what to think. I guess it really doesn't make too much difference. Our new manager has some different ideas, but we like him.
January 22, 1952 regarding the oil activity in North Dakota: The kids really ribbed me on tour about the oil. Of course, S [name excluded] was the instigator all the time. He calls me the oil magnet and he even asked me one day when the sopranos didn't hit a high note squarely if I wouldn't oil it! Do you know there's never any peace?
January 28, 1952 regarding the choir singing at the National Lutheran Evangelism Conference: Mom, it's the most magnificent thing I've ever experienced. There were 9,700 people there and it was a beautiful service. The speaker seemed to be speaking right to me and its the first time for years that I've really been moved. I just sat there and my whole life seemed to will up into this moment. As you probably know I've felt so unsettled lately and more mixed up than I've ever been. Well this speaker tonight brought to my mind how the Lord really has a purpose for my life too, if I only let him use me. You just can't imagine how good it feels to me to just get this all off my chest and I also know that being the wonderful mother you are you will understand how I feel. I only hope in the future I can do a better job than I have been. This [letter] may seem rather odd but don't get worried - I really feel wonderful now and I can't think of anyone better to unburden my problems to than my folks. [I found this letter to be so profound, I couldn't help sharing some of Marilyn's words about life.]
While I continue to post these regular entries with Marilyn's words, I am also in the early drafting stages of the novel. Next to it I have my newest copy of The Writer's Market, an ever-present reminder of my goal and dream to be a published novelist someday. It might not be with this story, but that's the great thing about stories - there's always more of them to be told. As Marilyn ends her letters: love always.

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