Sunday, December 19, 2010


So he mentions hitchhiking in this letter. I think he does a bit of this in Iowa as well later. I suspect he told me about it before I went off hitchhiking in the 1970's. One day when I was much older I asked my mother why they had let me hitchhike across the country when I was 21 and she said 'let you!' let you!' what do you mean let you?' and I got the idea that at that age there was not a lot of listening on my part. I hitchhiked off to Friends World College in New york in the summer of 1972. My friend Barbara and I hitched up to Iowa to my grandparents and then to Illinois visiting friends and relatives along the way. We got stuck in Kentucky on the way to see my sister Bonnie who lived on 'The Farm' in Tennessee. We were not getting any rides and then finally a car stopped and we got in, the guy seemed a little sleezy to me. I was in back and Barbara in front. He pulled off on a country road and then into the woods. then he pulled over in a secluded spot and suggested that one of us shack up with him. By then I was getting my pack on and getting out of the car, talking while we did it. I still remember the words, 'no we don't do that' 'we're religious' we can walk out of here, no problem we're from Colorado'. We were out of the car and walking down the road and he drove off. Barbara had asthma and we took our time walking back to the interstate where there was a gas station. We were kind of terrified. It was at the gas station that the scariest thing happened. We went inside and found out where we could get a bus. Remember there are no cell phones back then, so we called my sister from the gas station and said we were giving up and taking the bus into NY. We just could not make it across Kentucky. To get to the bus station we thought maybe someone would give us a ride. I went out when a family drove up for gas, as I approached the car, the lady in the front told her kids to roll up the car windows and they did, this is July in Kentucky, no air conditioning. They all rolled up the windows and would not talk to us. This for me was the scariest part, having other people afraid of us. Finally a policeman came along and he took us into the next town to the bus station. Now that I have done some nonviolent training I can see how well we acted in the situation we were in in the woods. We never said a bad word about the man, we didn't even look at him. We just affirmed ourselves as strong religious people and kept on moving. I think that dad had much better experiences hitchhiking in the 1940's.

October 26, 1943

Oct. 26, 1943

Dear family,
I don’t have anything to say this time and I’ve been awfully busy the last few days and I suspect I’ll be busy for some time. They have nominated me for work committee chairman and they had another guy too but he withdrew and so I reckon that they will have to elect me. I’m not a bit anxious about having the job. It takes a lot of time but I will get Saturdays off. Oh well I guess it is about my turn to do some of the committee work.
I let a fellow talk me into doing some carpenter work for some nice people in Eugene. I had worked overtime and had a couple of days coming so I went up on a week-end leave. That’s not the same as furlough. I went up 2 weeks ago last week-end and again last Sat. and Sun. I’m not done yet. There was another guy went along last time and we both worked on it. We get 75 cents an hour but I hate to take their money so we did 12 hours and only charged for 10. I need some shirts and sox so I can use a little money. I suppose I’ll go to more shows too. Thanks for the last dollar Dad. Talking about money made me think of it.
These people that I was working for, their name is Etter. He is a research lawyer and works in connection with the University of Oregon that is in Eugene. They built their house about three years ago and it is quite a house. It is finished inside with Hemlock in a sort of a barn style. Real pretty. They have a big room upstairs that they built for FOR meetings and now they have a baby boy about a year and a half old and they don’t have any good place for him to sleep so they want one end of that room partisioned off with three doors and they will put Jonny’s bed in there. That’s what I was doing. It is quite a job I got the pieces all cut and the supply truck is going to bring them down here and I’ll smooth them up on the power sander here then they will take them back next week. The planning was taking a long time and I was out of overtime too. Those people are really swell they have been down to visit the camp several times Orvil (that’s his name) is the FOR secretary for the northwest I think so he is more than interested in us.
The camp here is going to have an open house program here this Fri. and there are several things that they want to get done before then so I’ll be working up some more overtime. I do kind of like to get out into civilization once in a while and that’s a pretty good way to do it. I hitchhiked up and came back on the bus. That was kind of fun we rode with a couple of truck drivers they have big diesel trucks with big trailers out here and it was one of them that I rode in. They sure make a lot of noise we could hardly talk. They aren’t supposed to take hitchhikers at all so I had to sort of duck when we met a car where they could see me.
Well this turned out to be quite a letter after all. Don’t you guys work too hard. It is raining very well here now, it doesn’t have to try at all. It has been doing that for about three weeks now. I’m real proud of myself for not writing about it before. I reckon that the boys are all picking by now just about anyway.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nuts and guns

I think it is interesting that many people think that pacifists would not own guns. In this letter Dad talks about someone killing a deer near the camp. I should say shooting a deer. I believe most people in rural areas farms or ranches in the US will own and use guns including Quakers. I do not recall stories of Dad and his brother's going deer hunting but I do believe they had rifles and may have killed some wild animals. There is a clear difference in the early to middle part of the 20th century between killing for food or to protect livestock and the killing of other human beings. I think as we became less connected with the food chain there has been more of an anti-gun movement and all guns are seen as potential weapons against other people. There is the story told in our family of the Osborne relative who had his gun confiscated during the revolutionary war, when it was returned to him after the war by the local militia, he destroyed the weapon and buried it, saying that he did not want to hunt with a weapon which had been used to kill men.
On the theme of nuts, there is mention of collecting fillburts in this letter. Here in southern New Mexico we are entering Pecan and Pistachio harvest time. Further north there will be pinons as well. We get a bit nutty here.

October 14, 1943


Dear folks,
Its hard to realize that it is the middle of October out here. Back there you are getting all hepped up cornpicking now and here they are picking nuts. There have been several of the camp boys out working on farms picking “Filbert” nuts. This is on project time and the Gov’t gets the money. The boys say that nut picking is pretty slow work. These are cultivated nuts not wild ones.
Thanks for the Buck, Dad. I always appreciate one of those things.
I don’t know about that shoe stamp, does that mean that we have only one pair of shoes for the whole year? Or are they going to give us another stamp too and not have a deadline about buying them? However I don’t think that I’ll need another pair of shoes. I have plenty of work shoes now and so I’ll just let you keep the stamp and whoever needs it first can use it.
I’m working in the wood-shop now and likeing it. I do little things like building some drawers for the kitchen and an ironing board for the laundry. There are lots of thing to do. They are figuring on about 150 bu. of potatoes out of the garden and I have to fix some sort of a ventelated bin for them. We have six hogs that are about ready to butcher and I’m afraid that I’ll get mixed up in that as someone found out that I might know how. It seems nobody ever helped butcher before.
The deer hunting season is on now and one of the fellows shot one. We havn’t had any yet, it seems that they have to let it age a few days to get the best flavor. It was a 5 year old buck and they had about 150# of dressed meat. That guys was really proud. He killed it with a 22 rifle and was about 2 miles from one of the spike camps and had to have some of the other fellows help him carry it in.
Its good to know that you are going to get the beans combined before Christmas isn’t it. I hope you have good weather and get the corn out in good time. The boys must have a little hole in it already don’t they?
I finally made up my mind and canceled my Coast and Geodetic application. So I recon that I’ll be around here for a while.
I’m sending you a copy of the Reporter, it has some good statistics about the Cos that are working in Mental Hospitals.
We had a speaker last night that was a CO from England. It was very interesting. He told us about what they were doing with them over there. It seems that they have, roughly, about three classes of cos. Noncombatant, which serve with the army like ours do. Then those with conditioned consciences, they let them do one of several conditions that the Tribunal says they may and they usually are something connected with farming or some war job and they can have all the money they make. Then there are those with complete exemption that in many cases have organized to help with the evacuation in air raids and things like that. I think their setup is more reasonable than ours. The country gets more work out of them and they get less publicity.
Guess I’ll quit
[Enclosed: The Reporter, October 1, 1943. Volume II, No. 7]

Sunday, December 5, 2010

creative thinking

The line that struck me in this weeks letter is the following: "the human mind being made to do creative thinking and work and if we get into some thinking or work that we don’t think is creative we aren’t living normaly." As the semester ends we all talk at the college about creative and critical thinking and how we want students to do it. I've been taking a couple of classes on online teaching and learning and boy do I love the creative part of it. Learning and thinking about things seems to run in our family. I also sure agree with the statement about wanting to make progress, I think that is what is so difficult right now with the economy being so sluggish and in education we are at a point where the money does not want to come our way but the students do. It is probably time for a paradigm shift. I feel I have made some good choices, we are not getting raises so I thought what can I get and decided to apply for this program to get a Masters Certificate in online teaching and learning. In this way I feel I am making progress and getting something for my efforts, plus planning for the future. I am finding that the online teaching lends itself to creative and critical thinking. I've been challenged but am also having a good time.

October 7, 1943


Dear Folks,
Got your letter today. I have been going out to the “Big Creek” spike camp this week to set up a foreman’s quarters. We got done tonight. We rode out in a truck every day it takes about an hour each way. I didn’t like it very well. We made the building here in camp, it was the prefabricated kind.
I think I am going to get to work in the wood shop for a while at least till I get it fixed up again. I don’t know whether I want to stay here this winter or not yet. I should make up my mind and cancel my application to the Coast and Geodetic if I stay. I like the shop work better than anything else but if they keep me fooling around on buildings I’d just as soon be surveying. The surveying looks good cause I’d get to see some other parts of the country. Right now I think I’m in favor of staying here more than going.
Twenty men just left on a fire before I got in from work tonight. I was a little disappointed not to get in on it. But I have been on three so I guess I shouldn’t be a hog. Maybe they will need some more then I’d get to go. Its kind of nice having a bunch gone, I had three cups of milk tonight. But the fire eats are much better quality.
I’m inclosing my shoe stamp. I don’t need it and I’ll bet some one of you can use it. The ration board has all of our books and they issue us a special shoe stamp when we want to get shoes so all I did was fill out the blank to get a pair of shoes and I got the stamp and I guess its nobody’s business if I send it home. I’m sure that you can get rid of it.
Say but the country is really filling up with new babies around there. I’ll bet Bob is strutting around like every thing now.
Well, I guess I’m about out of anything to say.
“Abundant Living” is good stuff. I suspect that skipping around is a pretty good system for you Dad. Some of the stuff at the first got a little monotonous. I just passed page 100 a day or so ago and there is some good stuff there. I read today or yesterday about the human mind being made to do creative thinking and work and if we get into some thinking or work that we don’t think is creative we aren’t living normaly. I could think of people and times when I had seen that happen but didn’t know what was happening. It seems that a person has to be making progress or he just isn’t happy.
I reckon that I’ll have to start telling Dad not to work too hard again now that bean season is on. Just don’t get into a mental sweat, life is too short,
With love and stuff,
P.S. I almost forgot the cookies. Thanks a lot Mom. They are just as good as ever after that long trip. The fellows like them too. They got here Monday