"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.
That myth is more potent than history.
That dreams are more powerful than facts.
That hope always triumphs over experience.
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death."
~ Robert Fulghum

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cute As A Monkey?

When mom left her home and family in Arizona to join daddy in Greece letter writing, almost daily, became mom's connection to them.  I think they said, "I'll write you every day" and took it literally.  I am talking books, on some days.  When Grandma Shaffer, mom's mother, "cleaned house" for one move, she gave mom what had been saved of those letters.  When I first started working on the "Hidalgo" genealogy and assembling pictures, bibles, stories and the like I stumbled on these letters.  What a find, right.  Okay, now 10 years later and having the time to reorganize and sync all of my notes, I am putting these letters in page protectors and reading them.

They wrote on tissue thin writing stationary with fountain pens.  All of the letters are in perfect condition.  They are somewhat hard to read.  Oh, wait ... not because of the fountain pen on tissue paper.  My mom's cursive is somewhat small, but stretched and seldom can you see white space in her "e", "s" or "a".  Just hard to decipher, I should say. 

Letters were dated and denoted place:  "Up In the Air", "On the B & O", "New York", "On the Atlantic", "Athens", "Germany" ... and wherever else they might be when writing.  Letters generally started with something about "writer's cramp" or "not doing anything" ... seriously ... they were living in Athens.  While nothing had been done one day, another letter was penned the next day - oh, a letter to mom's family and one to daddy's family.  

Funny ... mom described hotel rooms and restaurants in detail, to include how clean the place was.  She would have made a great critic for the travel and restaurant industry!  During one rainy week daddy complained his tan was fading (I wonder if "tanning" is a genetic thing). Daddy remarked on a picture of mom's brother and how he had bulked up from using bar bells - he thought he "might be too old" to use them ... he was 23.  

Some phrases that caught my eye - 
     "... she's (Cindy) growing like a bad weed" 
     "... she (Cindy) climbs on everything ... sometimes I think she's part monkey ..."
     "... we don't buy steak at the commissary as it is $1.45 a pound"
     "Ordered a '52 Chevy, 4-door ... cost $1,605 ..."
     March 12, 1953 ... "after dinner we went to the theater to see Gone With the Wind ..."
     "... Cindy and I will just sit tight ... I will go get Nadine and Michael Charles ..."     
     "... she's (Debbie) getting as cute as a monkey ... take after the Hidalgo ... bald ..."
     "... Debra's got quite an extensive vocabulary and chatters all day long ..."

I had one question for my daddy.  Exactly how cute is a monkey with no hair?  Daddy told me, "As cute as I want it to be".