(August 2, 1934)
I am staying with Uncle Kenneth, Aunt Nora, and their three children; Allan, Joyce and seven weeks old Muriel, at Star Prairie, Wisconsin. I arrived in New Richmond Tuesday night and Uncle Douglas met me there.
I believe I left off on the “letter diary” at my arrival in Cleveland, therefore I will begin there. The first day at the Fair I started at the 12th St. Gate and then went through the park parallel with the islands, very thoroughly during the day, and also through the island. I looked at everything and went inside everything that looked interesting. There were many interesting things but nothing outstanding.
The second day I went into old England where I met a friend of the Draz’s which they had told me about their. That evening I saw the Chrysler track where Barry Oldfield and his “held drivers” put on a demonstration with Plymouths. They took two Plymouths and ran them through some pits where they certainly did some wonderful tricks. I saw the Ford building that afternoon and in it were some wonderful old carriages and autos, some of the most interesting I put on the inside cover of the diary from the railway booklet which I sent you with the other junk.
Of Interest at the Ford exhibit
I took another big section that day and the next day finished up with the trip through the Fairgrounds. I saw the Drama of Transportation which was quite a lot like the Fair of the Iron Horse, which we saw in Baltimore. I was supposed to start Monday morning of this week but I dropped Alfred’s watch on the tile floor in the shower and broke the balance wheel staff, and had to wait to have this fixed. I got started about noon and walked about out of Chicago before getting a ride. This man carried me about 2 miles and then I walked a mile or so and was carried another 2 miles. I walked about half a mile and was carried about a mile, than I walked another half-mile and road a mile and then got a ride for two blocks, then I got a 5 mile ride and walked about a mile on a wrong road, but I got a ride to the right one very quickly. Next I walked 2 miles rode two, walked one, rode two, walked one, rode one, walked one and got a ride in a Ford V-8 truck for almost 100 miles, about that time it got dark and I walked along a little traveled road for about 5 miles when a model T picked me up and took me into Madison, Wisconsin where I was going to look up Rudolph, but at a drugstore they told me that he was not in the same house and they called Harold’s home and found that Rudolf was in Chicago studying for a higher position and Harold was in ___, Wisconsin for his hay fever but a cousin of theirs was at Herald’s place, and they invited me out for the night. Fred Shaken (the cousin) was there with two classmates and they are all going to the University of Wisconsin. I left early the next morning with Star Prarie as my goal. I walked about 2 miles and discovered I had left my bathing suit but decided not to go back as the house would probably be locked anyway and then the first crack off the bat a 1934 Chevrolet came along and picked me up, the driver decided not to be the driver and so I took his place. We stopped and he got a glass of beer and gave me a bottle of root beer, then we arrived at the Dells, Wisconsin (a state scenic place in case you don’t know), he had me drive in and he showed me all one could see from a car and then we went on to his destination. Then I walked about a quarter of a mile and was picked up and carried about 6 miles. I walked another mile and a 1934 Studebaker picked me up. I walked through a small town and was carried about a quarter of a mile and then walked another quarter of a mile when a Packard picked me up and carried me about 3 miles. That I walked about 2 miles and a Ford picked me up. I was going all the way but suddenly the fan pulley broke off, the generator stopped working and the broken piece broke one of the fan blades and caused a big hole in the radiator (the motor had only been driven 1200 miles since repairs and there was no cooling system ) so we limped into a garage with a very hot motor and I went on alone again.
I got a ride in another 1934 Buick and for the first time in my life, much to my sorrow and discomfort, we came upon a very horrible accident, a boy on a bike had been struck and apparently very badly hurt. The one hitting him had apparently evacuated and left the boy to die. The new Buick I was in went on to the next town for a doctor and we did 85 and 90 all the way (about 4 miles).
Here I got out and started on very nervous and feeling rather terrible. However, this was apparently a very eventful day, for almost every ride brought a new experience as you have probably already seen. The next ride was in an old Chevrolet with a razor blade salesman who stopped at every gas station to trade razor blades for gas so as to get to St. Paul. At one gas station we learned that the hurt boy had gone on ahead of us to the hospital at Eau Claire so apparently there was still life in him. I don’t believe I will ever know if he lived or not and certainly will try to find out very hard. Well, to go on, the traveling salesman slowed me up so much stopping for sales – gas – that I was glad when he finally decided to stop and I gladly left him. Soon I got a ride for about 8 miles and then another about three with little walking in between. Then right away another ride right to the road which runs about 10 miles, into New Richmond, which is about 8 miles from Uncle Kenneth’s place. This ride was very fast as the man was trying to get to Indianapolis at a certain time, he had already averaged 45 for the last 300 miles and he had a Ford model A about a 1931. Well, when he let me out, I walked along the New Richmond Road about a mile when a young fellow about my age picked me up in a model T that carried me to New Richmond. He said he and two other boys are going to take this Ford roadster to the coast in a few weeks. (I wished him good luck but I did not believe it possible). At New Richmond I called Uncle Douglas and he came and got me. (Uncle Kenneth has no phone). Ever since I have stayed with the Kenneth Peabody’s family, but I have met Uncle Douglas his wife and two of his children, Stanley and Francis. Friday, Uncle Kenneth dropped me off in Uncle Rex’s yard but Rex was not home, however I met his wife, and his two children, Russell and Marshall.
(This maybe the picture Uncle Burton is talking about.)
On this farm (the old Peabody farm) there is, as you know, a cottage built by Aunt Helen and Aunt Dorothy. Uncle Burton, now 87 years old, lives there and he is a mighty fine old fellow if you ask me. He said that he has a marvelous picture of mother just before she married you and he is going to send you and each of the children separate copies of it. He also gave me three photographs which he said are imperfects. I will explain them all when I get home if you do not know the places and faces. I guess Uncle Burton is the only one that sees much of Rex but I have a feeling that this family is probably coming together again because Uncle Kenneth drove into Rex’s yard today (he told me it was the first time) and he talked with both Russell and Rex’s wife. The Rex Peabodys have invited Uncle Burton for dinner Sunday night. Uncle Frank’s daughter Barbara is here with Uncle Kenneth until the 12th, so of course I have met her. As I said at the beginning , there is a new baby here and they are crazy about her of course. They are having very hard times this year and Uncle Kenneth and I were talking together and he said they had gotten no hay at all this year, of course the well for running water is dry but they have got a hand pumped well which holds up pretty well. They all wanted me to send their love to you.
I like them all very much although I have not seen much of any but the Kenneth Peabody’s. I have seen the cows milked. Today I went with Uncle Kenneth and watched him run the binder. I am having a wonderful time and hope you all are.
Lots of love to you all,
My present address is in care of Mr. Kenneth Peabody, Star Prarie, Wisc. Route 1.