Life in St. Petersburg, Florida (11) – Tests, Projects and Lilacs – April, 1935

My Grandmother died when my Dad was nineteen and her youngest, Dave, was only seven. Biss was fourteen, a terrible age to lose her Mother, and she didn’t take it well. She acted out and my Grandpa and Arla’s sisters thought it would help Biss if she went to St Petersburg and lived with Aunt Anne, also helping Anne, a single parent,  with her two children, Don and Gwen. She tries very hard to write to her Dad every week, sometimes more often, and he writes to her every week.

Tuesday morning

11:26 AM

4/16/35

Dear Dad:

I better explain first about the letter you just received (yesterday or today). You see I was getting sort of worried about my allowance. I just stated that I would write to you whether you did to me or not and so I did. I did not send the letter until after I had read yours but I figured that I might just as well send it anyway for it was all sealed and ready to go. The bell has rung so I will finish this later.

It is just after lunch period now and my history teacher has disappeared so I am taking time to write a little bit further. I am going to a play with Bill tonight and do not

Art Mantle, Biss and Lad Guion

Art Mantle, Biss and Lad Guion

expect to take a vacation tomorrow as I had planned, but Friday instead. There was a boy in this history class who drew a picture of President Roosevelt which looks more like him than he does himself. Ralph – the painter – is going to send it to President Roosevelt in a week or two so you see our history class is quite “fed up” about it and we look at the world as though they were trash.

We had a geometry test yesterday and it was quite stiff but I think I passed it. I’ll let you know when I get my paper back today. My daily use of the King’s English has become quite careless and I am trying to work myself back to a high standard – Aunt Anne is helping me immensely. We are starting a contest hear in history so I have to stop.

I am now in geometry and there is such a commotion that I cannot hear myself think. There is going to be a school exhibit and I am making a project for French and also for geometry so I am quite a busy child which is quite unusual for me. In English we had to write some informal letters – I wrote one to Dan and I am going to send it on up to him. Am glad Alfred’s party was such a big success. It reminds me of my birthday party about five years ago – as I remember it. We did not get our papers back so I cannot give you my mark. We’re going to have a departmental test day after tomorrow – I don’t mind them especially. I like writing these letters like this for it makes the day go so much faster. At last we can have peace to do what we like! I’m in sixth period study – I suppose that has become a familiar phrase. How do you like Peggy’s Westport friends? I imagine they are a very nice bunch. We are all gradually becoming very dark because we go out to the beach at least once a week and the sun is very hot! I don’t see how it can be done but if you can figure out a way I would love to have some lilacs when they come out.

Love,

Biss

P.S. Is this a quick enough answer to your letter?

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