Wednesday, October 24, 2012

June 18, 1934

June 18

Dear Fay:

Here I am in good old Cali doing nothing and not doing it much better than I did in Ogden. The change in climate was good for me, anyhow. And there is lots and lots of fresh fruit to be eaten for nothing. I guess that I could be in a worse place.

How is the old hip? I'll bet that you have given up and gone back to dancing by now. I'll admit that you should do something about that case of nerves before you chew all of the corners off your mother's newest deck of cards or something. i was scared for my underwear! I've seen these shows where some nervous dame starts to unravelling them.

I guess that you have something to do most of the time, anyway - picture shows or something.  There isn't even a picture show in this burg. The only amusement here was a strike that the fruit workers staged. We had Reds and bums and A.F.  of L. workers and everybody else out of work down here for the free meals. The fruit men lost plenty of money because of these strikers.

So far here have been no deaths due to the fighting and that is something. There are deputies and regular cops around here by the hundreds with everything from machine guns to gas bombs as armament. That doesn't sound as if I should be having such a dull time does it? The truth is that it is not as interesting as it sounds. I have read magazines by the score, done a house cleaning, walked for miles, and developed into a very accomplished loafer - all inside of a week. Oh, yes, I drove Aunt (Mrs. Wilkin to you) down to Oakland last week. I went to visit the C.U. and took in a picture sure (with vaudavill (how the h--- do you spell it?))

This is certainly a great country. I wish that you could see it. I'm sure that you would like it. I am in love with Calif as a state. That is, I like all of it. If I'm lucky, this is where I'll come to live when I'm out of college.

To get back down to earth however, if I don't get a job inside of the next two days I am coming home. There is no use in just wasting my time like this - not that my time is valuable, but there are things that I can do elsewhere.

Well, as I am running short of paper, if not of time, I guess I'll have to close. I'll be thinking of you until I hear from you or see you again.

With lots of love,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

April 13, 1934

April 13, 1934

Dear Fay:

Are you still having your troubles like those you wrote about last week? You had me feeling almost sorry for you - if I didn't know that that yeeping is a matter of form with you. You will probably make a flock of A's in your subjects.

Todays is Friday the thirteenth and I have had no bad luck whatsoever. I believe that I even got a good grade in the Physics test this morning. As I was going to town today, a black cat ran across my path. So I have had all of the signs, but, so far at least, none of the promised results.

I am doing about the same as usual, only I have to work a little harder just now. This is mid-quarter and I have about three exams coming up the first of next week. But nothing peps me up like a good stiff exam. Heh, heh!

I spend all of the time that I am not in classes or studying for them or swimming or going to club meetings, by eating (as much and as often as possible), sleeping (ditto), drinking (water), talking, reading, and day dreaming, not to mention movies and baseball, and then I repeat the process. By far the most important of all this is, of course, the part about eating and sleeping. In fact, I have eaten so much lately that I have gained about five pounds. I now weigh 141 lbs. I may get man-size yet.

I think that I shall be coming home in about a week. This weekend is going to be a busy one, but I think I'll be in Ogden, next weekend. If you are a good girl and help your mother with the dishes andall, I might give you a call when I arrive.

In the meantime, keep your nose clean, kid.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

April 1, 1934

April 1, 1934

Dear Fay:

I started out by writing a letter to the folks. I was none too enthusiastic about writing it either. But as I am now warmed up to the job, I find myself hunting for people to send letters to. I happened to think of a nice girl that I know at home and here I am writing to you. So much for the excuse ----.

Having done nothing much during the elapsed interval since you last heard from me, I have nothing much to relate as to activities.  About the inactivities, however, much could be said. I do study some, though. My studies are not snap courses and they all require quite a bit of preparations. I have an eight o'clock class every morning but one, and my classes run through from then to six o'clock every day but Friday. Then (on Friday) I have the afternoon off except for a one hour class. I go to the open swimming periods two nights a week and that constitutes the greater part of my fun for the week. I have a lab all Sat. morning and I study on Sat. afternoon, but on Sunday I do Nothing (with a capital N.) The nothing includes baseball, walks, magazines, eating, sleeping, loafing, spreading the bull (a favorite pastime), going to shows, tennis and in the case of my roommates and me, chemical experiments.

I spend a good deal of time setting around and dreaming. I am especially good at that. I find myself with a book open and my eyes glued upon the spot where the little groups of letters tell me the value of the charge on an election and I find my thoughts in Ogden, or the Grand Tetons, or in sunny California. And there you are. I cannot help thinking what a bust of an electrical engineer I am likely to be.

Last night I was about to go out with the fellows to the the dance at the Moose Hall here. It is a terrible dance and everything there is soused. I probably would have been in that condition by the evening's end, but the drunks were even too drunk for me. I was disgusted, as was the majority of our party, and we went to a midnight show and had a lunch afterward at three o'clock. This morning I slept past the time for the Easter service, so I didn't go to church. I'm going to the dogs, Fay! One of my roommates who is taking the same kind of engineering that I am says that science can take the place of religion. I am beginning to believe the same. I can explain parts of the bible more satisfactorily, at least to myself, by use of analogies to the fourth dimension which proves nothing.

How are all of your love affairs coming along? You can confide in me. I surely hear plenty of them around this house. All kinds - good and bad. One of the boys has a book on love that is intended to leave nothing to the imagination. In that sense it succeeds rather well, but for that very reason is very far from being a work of art.

One of my letters is visible proof of the wanderings said to occur in the feeble mind, but having, as I stated in the beginning, very little importance to relate I am able to fall back upon the small details that ordinarily escape notice - and which are sometimes interesting. But as the hour grows late (it just struck nine) I fear that I must close.

Write and tell me all about every small detail as I have just done. Hold nothing back that isn't important. It is a great American custom - like dealing with the bottom of a cold deck.

Surprisingly enough, I will close without verbosity.

Lots of love,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

March 20, 1934

(On University of Wyoming letterhead)

Dear Fay:

I had a terrible ride up here, and now that I am here, I wish that I was elsewhere.

Do you still believe that man is a terrible experiment? You must have been reading Macbeth the other night. There is a scene in that where the Lady wishes to lose all of the milk of human kindness, or that it would turn to gall, or something.

Before I got to register yesterday, the basketball team arrived home. We gave them a regular welcome. Two bands and the whole team and University turned out to give the boys a cheer.

I registered for 18 credit hours including two kinds of physics, chemistry, calculus and some other small stuff. There will be plenty of work to keep me busy for a quarter. My average for last quarter was only 2.6 - which is slightly above average. (It would correspond to a C+). I have done quite a bit of studying in th e last two days and I am now quite a bit ahead of the classes.

Maybe it won't impress you as being news, but I at last got to go swimming once more. My daily swim has become a daily habit with me. I surely missed it for the last two weeks. When I was home I told you, that I was on the swimming team. I didn't break any records in any of the meets, but I got so I could swim fairly well. And its good exercise of sumpthin.

I hope that you will excuse my having written you on both sides of the paper, which is, I understand, not good form. I was slightly too lazy to go back to my room for a fresh sheet. Will do better next time.

I am sorry for the way I have been to you for the last few vacations. I will try to make that up to you when I am home again. In the meantime - have a good time. I'll try not to speak in parables the next time we meet, but we got more to the foundation of things last night more than every before - at least I did. Maybe you already understand me. If so, congratulations. I don't understand myself. The more I try, the worse it gets.

Well, I doubt if I said anything of interest. It's the thought that counts, anyhow. I hope to hear from you soon.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

August 11, 1933

August 11

Dear Fay:

I swear that I would have written sooner if I had had time. I still owe about four letters to various people.

For the last two weeks I have been working plenty hard. The hardest since I've been down here. And I have worked long hours for this week. I put in from eleven to sixteen hours a day. Night before last I got only three and a half hours of sleep. And you know how I like to sleep. I didn't lose sleep over any Mexican girls, either.

What are you going to do this winter? Are you going to Weber? I am going back to good old Wyo. I guess that I will go to the  World's Fair in Chicago when I am through working down here. It looks as though our time spent together will be rather small. Why don't you go to U. of W. then we wouldn't just be writing letters.

Is it still hot there? It is only around 100 here now. Practically freezing.

I haven't done a darn thing but work since I sent you the last letter so the news value of this will be small. I told you about us going to Yosemite didn't I? That was a swell trip. We drove up there.

Well I have to eat in a hurry and get back to work. Tell everybody hello for me. Give Marge my congratulations in your next letter.

My Spanish has had no exercise since I have been here, but -

Hasta la vista
Con amor

Monday, September 24, 2012

July 26, 1933

Brentwood [California]
July 26

Dear Fay:

I suppose that you have cussed me by now for not writing sooner, or is it a cussing matter with you? I owe about three letters now. I have intended for the last two or three days to get busy with a pen - but I didn't until now.

Things have been happening here thick and fast. My folks came down for a few days and they had to be entertained. And I have been working ever since the first of July except for a few days in between jobs. But in spite of that, I have not earned any fortune yet. I worked for a while at two-bits an hour and then for fifteen cents. This last job is over now and I think I'll land another tomorrow. The fruit business is very uncertain. You don't know when you are working and when you are not. I was just layed off at 2:00 afternoon.

My job consisted of piling boxes that had just been through the box washer in the largest fruit drying plant in the world.  The boxes were quite wet when I get them, and I was also wet after a minute or two. It was a sloppy job, and hard work for only fifteen cents an hour. I sometimes had to pile as many as five thousand boxes in a day. now if you would like to use a little simple arithmetic (is that spelled correctly?) here are some statistics that I have gathered. The lugs (or boxes as you will) weigh 8 lbs a piece and the water from the box washer weight another lb. 9 x 5000 = 45000 lbs which is 22.5 tons. I carry the lugs 3 at a time which gives me 1666 2/3 trips with the three boxes over an average distance of 30 ft. 30 X 1667 = 50,010 ft = 9.47 miles in 10 hours work.

This is a great country for scenery, and while my folks were down here I got to see quite a bit of pretty country. We drove down to Santa Cruz and Monterey and all along the coast. You get a lot of good practice in your Spanish by just trying to pronounce the names of the towns down here.  I swam in the ocean. It was hard work. The water is pretty heavy to swim in. We also drove through a big redwood forest in the Big Basin. The drive was beautiful. We took two days to make the trips. It was nice and cool on the trip, too. That  was something. It's hotter than hell here. This valley that Brentwood is in is called Diablo Valley because of the heat. It was 110 in the shade today. I put in 9 hours work with a scrub brush yesterday under a tin roof with the temperature around 105 all day.

Although when I am working I am just one of the hired hands. Mr. Williams is the big boss. He rides around in an Oldsmobile and smokes expensive cigars, etc. Everything he and Aunty (Mrs. Williams) do is expensive. I have a good hunch that Mr Williams makes around $350 a month. He  made $100 more than that last year. So he can afford an expensive car and expensive habits. I drive the Olds around once in a while. I wish that you were here. We'd go for a spin tonight and a moonlight swimming party. Moonlight swimming is swell down here. I went swimming this afternoon with a fellow from the place I was working (the dry yard). He and I had just got layed off at the same time.

What are you doing now days? Going on partys and dancing and everything I suppose. I have been to just one dance here and it was a flop so far as I was concerned, although I did learn about one guys love affairs. They included an incident concerning a Filipino and a knife. When I am working I don't bother hunting up amusement. I just go to bed. You know how i love to do that.

I don't know when I shall be home again. I may not get home until the latter part of August. I'll work here as long as I may. In spite of the heat. I rather like it here. But I will be seeing you soon - not soon enough of course.

Well, give my regards to your folks. Tell the snipe sisters "hello" for me. (Maybe they will take offense at that nasty word - so show it to them) tell everybody "hello" for me. Even Pat. Write soon.

Lots of love,

Friday, September 21, 2012

July 6, 1933

Dear Fay:

I've moved again. This time I am in California, the land of the sunshine. I called you up the morning I left. You weren't home and I had no time to call up the number that your sister gave me, so I had to give up,. You see, I didn't know that I was leaving until 8:30 on Thursday morning and the train left at 10:00. I had to pack in a hurry.

I reached here on Saturday at about noon. After dinner I visited the B.G. Fruit packing concern here, and that night I had a job. I worked for two hours that night, and the next day, Sunday,  I started in earnest.We worked all day the 4th of July. I haven't had much time to play around down here, or to write letters. I was laid off today, however, and I have time to catch up on little details like that. I believe and hope that I shall get another job tomorrow. It will be quite a bit different from the one I have been doing.

There are lots of cute Spanish girls down here. I guess I"ll have to date a couple of them just to learn Spanish, of course. I might have to feel around and see if they carried a concealed knife of course, too. You would not mind that would you?

I expect that I shall be down here for quite a while. As long as I can get a job in fact. So I may not be back in Ogden for very long before school starts. This travelling around all the time doesn't permit us to get together very often does it?

How is Marge's matrimonial venture coming along. I'd like to see the wedding and kiss the bride.

Well, I have to get this letter off in the mail, so I'll be seeing you.

Write soon,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

June 9, 1933

[On a small postcard]

Dear Fay:

I suppose that you have been wondering where I have been lately. Or does it matter? Well, anyhow, I have been touring the northwest. I drove a lady up to Walla Walla, Washington, and then I came on up to Seatlle on the train. It's a great country up here. If I could land a job, I'd stay I Guess, though, I'll be driving back over the Columbia River Highway in a couple of days. This country up here, and especially that along the Columbia is beautiful. Well, it's the middle of the afternoon and I need sustenance, so don't say too many mean things about me for I'll be seeing you soon.


Friday, September 14, 2012

May 10, 1933

803 Fremont St
Laramie, Wyo.
May 10

Dear Fay:

How do you like the passionate letter paper? [It's pink.] I suppose that you have summer there by now, and everybody is happy. We just finished having a two-inch snow about an hour ago. It is almost gone now. Other than the weather however, I and all the other heathen here are all right.

The "heathen" and I want to thank you for favoring us with the picture. I think its a good one of you. I am afraid that your effigy (picture to you) gets shocked once in a while here, though.

I should by all laws of etiquette or however you spell it, have written sooner, but I haven't had much time for letter writing this week. Once in a while you have to study up here.

My mother is coming up here. I don't know how long she will stay. She is coming up tomorrow at noon so as to see the "Elijah" the we are putting on up here. I am playing a flute in the orchestra. We also have an R.O.T.C. inspection tomorrow and Friday.

I guess this quarter will end on the 5th of June for me. I'll be darned glad to get home. I'm sick and tired of studying. Besides regular class studies, I have read six outside books and reported on them, and I am on two more now. These last two are hot ones - one is on anthology, if you know what that is, the other is on psychology. It's all brain food.

When is graduation in high school. I should know but I have forgotten. I should like to see it if I had the chance - probably won't have the chance.

Well I have to go to class now. That's the trouble with this college - too many classes. I'll be glad to see you when the struggle here is all over.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

April 23, 1933

803 Fremont St
Laramie, Wyo.
April 23

Dear Fay:

You made a dirty crack about me not writing you, so I thought I would write one just to spite you.

I didn't see you on Sunday for several reasons - not the usual ones. In fact, I didn't get soused during my whole sojourn.  Dorseys were up to the house - they drove up in their Ford. Going home they had a wreck and my mother went down to Salt Lake to take care of them. We had a lot of second hand excitement.

I had a swell time at home, but I would have liked to have had more time there. I probably won't be home again until the end of the quarter - if then. There is a possibility that I may go to camp after school is out.

I'll be glad when this quarter is over and i can do something besides study.  Guess what.

I suppose that you are doing nothing as usual. Just going through the same old school day with maybe a dance at the end of it.

And I don't think you can tell character by writing. My character couldn't be this bad. (A slight pause while you slip in a compliment.)

Today and yesterday we had been having snow fights here. It snowed me in the last six days than it has during the whole winter up to now. It has all melted off now, though, and we are now wading in mud a foot deep. Good old Laramie!

If my grammatical structures begin to get complicated, you may buy that it is the fact that I have been writing English all day long. I wrote three book reports today.

My room-mates say to tell you that you are still the object of their affections, and they have made a joint request for you to send me one of your high-school pictures! One of these rascals is a regular shriek. He has always wanted you to write to him as he likes your picture. You might drop him a card. His name is William Bouns. Tell him 'hello' for me - we may not be on speaking terms or something.

Aside from the bologny - which was by request - I think you're pretty nice, so don' t let any of those shrieks do anything that I wouldn't do.

Tell Glenn L 'hello' for me. He'll be glad to hear from me I'm sure.  did he give you _____? Like a lot of other things, people's opinions are not worth as much to me as they once were, so I do advise you to lte him have a good time. His favorite pastime was always in bauling people out.

Well, tell the folks "hello" and tell Edith to keep her hair straight.


Monday, September 10, 2012

January 5, 1933

U. of Wyo.
Jan. 5

Dear Fay:

Before you tear this up I want to apologize. I don't you wrong. It wasn't that I was drunk and forgot the date - I wasn't that drunk. I'm on the water wagon now at least as long as my New Year's Resolutions are remembered. But, as I was saying, I worked all afternoon and I just plain forgot to call you up. I was going to a dance that night with Si and Pat and I was going to break that date with them and hunt you up, but they wouldn't let me. That may sound like Ballyhoo to you anyhow.

I had a lot of fun while I was home - skiing and skating, and running around, and its a good thing as it will be twenty-two weeks before I have another one.

Oh, yes! I want to wish you a Happy New Year, Fay - Did you make any good resolutions? Maybe you resolved to have nothing to do with bums like that Richards guy or sumpin like that? I really think, though, that you should resolve to quit chewing and swearing.

How is High (you know - O.H.S.), and are they all treating you right. You can reply to that question or not as you wish. Remember your Constitutional rights, or has that got anything to do with the constitution. I don't know, maybe you do.

If you wish, you may excuse the handwriting, but it doesn't make any difference. And ti's no use to suggest using a typewriter either as I don't type myself and don't know any good looking girls here that do.

We played Stanford in a basketball game yesterday and beat them 42-24. Our table in the Commons laid bets on the game and I won - I had guessed 40-25. I was only off 1 point of the total score. Tomorrow and Sat. we play Western State. Those will be swell games. Why don't you come up and see them?

Do you know anything more than you did when you opened this? Well, that's good. Do you know anything else? If so, write and tell me about it and do you still love me?

Well, tell your folks and everybody else I know "hello" for me.

Hasta la vista,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

October 7, 1932

Laramie, Wyo.
Oct. 7, 1932

Dear Fay: -

I was glad to receive your letter.  It was the first one that I have received for a week. I've been working pretty hard and I haven't sent many either.

I was in Ogden for part of a day. I didn't see anybody except Si and some of the kids that were at the service station. I spent the whole time at home and over at my grandmother's explaining where my money went and why, and what I had been doing that I shouldn't have. I've spent this whole next week after that catching up with my studies, which are longer and funnier than ever.

Outside of going to classes, I haven't left the dorm this week. I've been to two or three dances at various sororities and there is a dance tonight but I'm a little too absorbed in studies to enjoy them. I do think I'll break away tonight though and go to a movie.

I spent a lot of time trying to get pledged to a fraternity and I succeeded, but now I don't think I'll join. Such is life. The U. here is swell in spite of the studies. The studies bother me. I'm not used to too much studying.

I'm going to try to get back home before Thanksgiving but I'm not sure that I'll succeed. I hope i can but I'm not going to ruin my eyes and my small brain studying all night for a week afterward.

Well it's about dinner time and I'll have to beat it. Here's love to you and I hope to see you soon. Write soon again. Tell the folks "hello" for me. Also give my love to Alice & Marge & Edith and anyone else who will be interested.

Love -

Saturday, September 8, 2012

September 23, 1932

[On a small postcard]

Dear Fay -

I received your letter and was darn glad to get it. You answered a lot quicker than I do. (Excuse the childish scrawl. My hand is tired. I've been doing lessons.) I've been having a pretty good time here - have a lot of new friends. I sure like the place in spite of the hard work. I suppose you like high school preey good this year. I think I'm coming home next weekend. I may be there for only one day though. I'll (probably) be over to see you. We might talk things over. You can't get much on a postcard. Did you ever see a batchelors room? You ought to see ours here. It's littered. It's also late. So I guess I'll go to bed - (Famous last words) - I gotta get our sleep. I also guess I'll wish you love & quit.

I'll be seeing yu.

Friday, September 7, 2012

September 13, 1932

[On a small postcard.... in upper right corner: Mens Residence Hall, U of Wyo. Laramie, Wyo.]

Dear Fay,

I suppose you thought that I wouldn't write for a month. This will come as a surprise then. I'm just getting acquainted here - sure are a lot of nice fellows aqui. I went to a dance last night. A kind of get together dance for the freshmen. I sure like the U. here. The dorm is swell. (The next few sentences are dictated  by a new pal - it'll be a variation.)

--And speaking of "swell", I've just  the "swellest" guy who has the greatest conception of himself of anyone I ever met - (including Pat!) Oh hell! Write it yourself~ She's your girl.--

It took us a long time to agree on that letter. The "new pal" was going to say "swell girl" but I thought I'd spare your feelings. I haven't got a thing into this letter, but I'll write you a real one if you answer this. Just wrote to say "hello" anyway.

Loves and Kisses---- xx

Thursday, September 6, 2012

August 18, 1932

(On a small postcard)

Dear Fay,

How is you? I is fine. Thought I'd let you know that I got to Kans. OK.

Been eating watermelon ever since I arrived - lost much sleep.  Also chicken. Speaking of chickens, I haven't met any, so I'm still faithful, even to letter writing.

I notice that the moon isn't so full now.

My cousin Violet is plenty good-looking. I've been trying to get her to come to Utah for awhile. She'd be a knockout there.

These wasps aren't conducive to good letter writing. Do better next time.

Love --- Lee R.

June 4, 1932

(Written on envelope:
Lee Richards
145th field artillery regiment
Camp W.G. Williams
Jordan Narrows, Utah)

Dear Fay,

I don't know whether you know what has happened to me or not, but here I am in camp. Maybe you think we haven't been working - just a minute I've got to go and see some guys over in the battery get initiated, they are getting the ant curse-

Well as I was saying I've been working plenty hard for a change. First we practice and then we go parade and then we play a concert. [He played the french horn.] In between times we police up the camp and clean out the tents! We make our beds up one way one day and another way the next day. We have to change our uniforms on an average of 5 times a day. As this is Sat. afternoon I have plenty of time and I am going to rest and write letters.

We've sure had luck in getting a good, clean bunch in our tent. You know Si Taylor, and Wayne, and Clyde Moore they are in my tent.

I guess I'll go over to Lehi tonight to a dance or sumpin. I deserve a change. What gets your goat is the hours you have to keep here. We get up at 5 A.X. and go to bed at 10:30 P.X. and you know I'm used to 8 hours of sleep every night.

We had an inspection this morning - first the band and then the tent was inspected. When they inspected the tent I was in no. 1 cot. I stood there at the head of the bed while the Colonel messed up my cot. I couldn't help smiling when he grabbed the foot of the cot and dumped eveything off. Oh yeah I got a kick out of that.

I hope you are having a good time with all your boyfriends. This is mostly work and no play.

There's a lot more I could say - (This is the day after I started the letter) - but I have to quit.

So hasta la vista,
Lee Richards