October 16, 2000
I must admit that last April, when I offered to type Gertrudeís handwritten remembrances, I was not really looking forward to it because (forgive me for this, Gert) reading Gertrudeís writing these days is not the easiest task! So while I was typing it, my focus was mainly on deciphering the words, and it wasnít until I finished typing and began to proofread that I began to get interested.
Now, I find myself totally intrigued and Iím glad Iím the one who transcribes your notes. (I get to see them first!) When I find a letter from family in my mailbox, I wait until I get upstairs, get something to drink, settle on the sofa and open the envelope carefully. I then begin reading the next chapter of this Ďmysteryí History. (I call it mystery, because of all Iím learning about our family.) I think itís a tribute to every one of us who has contributed either pictures or prose that I have yet to be disappointed by what you sent me. And from your response, I know youíre happy to get it, too!
Unfortunately, we cannot retrieve the memories of those already gone and, I hate to say it, but our numbers will continue to diminish. Thatís why itís so important for those of you who havenít sent me anything yet to sit down with paper and pencil in a quiet place, and just jot down anything that comes to mind: memories, favorite sayings, or perhaps even a recipe. It doesnít have to look beautiful and the grammar and spelling doesnít matter. Just do it before you put away this letter and forget about it. (Iím enclosing a self-addressed envelope to make it even easier.) Or, look through your photographs, pick out one or two and send them, instead. Iíll make 15 copies of them and return the originals to you promptly. Please try to send me something by the end of October; I want to do another mailing in November before my second cataract surgery.
My daughter, Linda, has also contributed her services Ė she typed a large part of the original History, and did all of the final proofing. My efforts amuse her Ė she says Iím turning into the one who orders T-shirts for the annual reunion! Well, I wonít be planning an annual reunion and please donít hold your breath waiting for a T-shirt; but if you find yourself in the Washington DC area, Iíd be so happy to see you. My home and office numbers are at the top of this letter and, for those of you on email, my email address is up there as well.
I hope this finds you all well and happy, and eager to write back!