December 1929

Serious wedding planning and job searching has begun.  I’ve included some, but not all, of their plans and schemes.  One would think they were planning a big wedding!

This photo was just labeled 1929 - not sure when it was taken.

This photo was just labeled 1929 – not sure when it was taken. Maybe this is the car John calls “Old Nancy”.

Ruth 12/3/29
It has been a real temptation to me today just to sit down and dream of you. If it gets any worse I am going to have to give in to your appeals and come and live with you. You shouldn’t put it that way because I would like so very much to be with you and then to think I am so far away. My mind and heart are not here much any more. I am constantly thinking ahead to the time I can just be with you. I am sure now that the time has come for us to be married. I almost feel tempted to let someone else struggle with my gang the last semester. No, Im not going to talk like that nor even think about it. I don’t think it would be a wise thing to do.

Ruth 12/4/29
Dad hasn’t told me yet if I can have the car for sure Friday evening. I do so want to hear that concert. We can’t stay with Catherine’s folks so I wrote to Mary Way to ask if we could stay with her in Sioux City. We won’t mind a little inconvenience if we can just hear the concert.
We had a real party down at the house last night. Roy’s birthday was Friday after Thanksgiving and,following our old custom of having a party for everyone who has a birthday, we had to throw one for him. We had a lovely dinner and then played a few games fooling around. Later we pulled taffy and popped corn. A good time was had by all.

Ruth 12/7/29
The cold is penetrating into the marrow of my bones even though I am sitting directly over the register absorbing all the heat there is. Very seldom do they ever give us very much heat and when they do it is too much. I suppose they have been away from the house a good bit of the day and haven’t kept the fire up much. Meyers is so cold she can’t sit down so she is correcting her spelling books standing up.

Catherine, Roy and I drove to the city on Friday. We went to Catherine’s home for supper and then we went to the concert. Two men played on two big Steinway grand pianos. The program was marvelous. I don’t know when I have enjoyed anything so much.  They played for nearly two hours and then I was sorry they stopped. We were with Mrs. Heizer in the box to the right of the stage. Mrs. Heizer knew the artists so she took me with her back stage to meet the men. I was quite properly thrilled and certainly appreciated the privilege.

Ruth 12/15/29
I am so tired of school now. I think perhaps after Christmas vacation I will pep up just a little. I did last year and got along much better the last semester. I’m giving up two of my music pupils – the ones who come on Saturday. I have to give up something and I would rather it would be my music pupils rather than my own lessons. I just can’t give up my lessons with Mrs. Heizer. I don’t know when I’ll ever get another teacher I like as much and can do as much for me. Saturday afternoon another pupil of Mrs. Heizer’s came over and we did some two piano work. I enjoy it so much. (Rachel’s note: We always had two pianos in our livingroom. Mom taught her students two-piano pieces and she had a friend who would come for supper on Sunday evenings and then play with her. One of her greatest joys.)

I went to a bridge party last Friday evening and really had a most enjoyable time. I am beginning to learn the game quite well and find some pleasure in it, but it gets terribly bore-some to me. For once we had quite a formal party and the gang acted really decent all evening – they usually get so silly as the evening wears on.

Dale left the car for me as he went to Belden to play basketball. He came back with the other boys.   They won their game over which Dale is quite elated. To hear him tell about it he was quite the star player.

Ruth 12/17/29
By the little old kerosene light I shall take a little time to write.  I liked you letter so much this morning. I laughed and laughed over it and have been laughing all day. It put me in good humor. We are having some good old winter weather today which has early blown me out of my room at the school building.

I was trying to sack candy and nuts for my school children this evening so Ray came over to do his Christmas wrapping too. Due to the storm we have no electric lights tonight. Ray says you can stay with him as long as you like over Christmas break. I am more than happy that you have decided to stay over a few days to visit our school. The light has come on again and I must make a dash for the bed while it is light for in a moment because darkness may reign again.

Ruth 12/19/29
I will be so glad when tomorrow is over. It is going to be a perfectly “ripping” mess. My children are so excited about the program and tree. I won’t be able to get a single thing out of them as far as classes are concerned. Christmas comes but once a year so why not let the children have a good time. I can’t imagine how the program will turn out. Mother said she wanted to come up for it if she could get a way into town. I hope she can. It would please the kiddies to death to have her come.

You never could guess what Mitchells gave each one of us teachers for a Christmas gift tonight. After supper they brought out enormous boxes for each of us containing big angel food cakes. Each one of us, mind you, got a whole cake. The gang got Mrs. Mitchell an electric waffle iron. My dream is to have one like it someday when we have a place to use it. (Rachel’s note| waffles were a special meal I remember at our house. Mom would put the waffle iron on the diningroom table and Dad would  ceremonially make the waffles. Creamed chicken on waffles…yum!)


John 12/4/29
Perhaps I shouldn’t tempt you by asking you to stay with me, but I do so want you to be with me.  You mustn’t do it, though; we would never be as happy as if we had waited. To you is due the happiness which we now enjoy because our love is respectable.

I wonder what you folks would think of your latest wedding ideas. I suppose your folks would rather like to have us, together with my folks and Mr. Carrell, be at your home for dinner after we were married. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? It would be rather late, however, for us to reach a desirable destination by evening. Perhaps not though. It will be great fun to work out these plans with you.

I’ve been “head over heels” in work this week. Tonight I had basketball practice, last night Y meeting, and tomorrow night practice again. We play our first game on next Friday evening. In between times I have lesson plans to make, lessons to study, letters to write, papers to correct and dozens of other little jobs. Oh, I’m having a good time! But I should dislike to spend my life at my present work, there are too many larger things that I want to do.

John 12/8/29
Have you bought many Christmas presents yet? Don’t buy all of yours before I come up so I can help you buy some of them. I haven’t purchased any yet and I don’t think I shall for a week or two. Won’t we have fun next year when we go to buy presents – that is provided we have any money.
The “hey bear” of defeat seems to shadow me. My boys lost their first basketball game last Friday night by a score of 15-8. It was a very good game though. We should win next Friday when we play Platte Center here. I wish we had a good gym; it would make my work so much more interesting.
I told you, didn’t I about our being invited to Creston by Ray Barnes? We went last night and certainly had a good time. There were nine of us besides the Barnes who had attended Central. Mrs. Barnes served a wonderful supper and afterwards we just talked over old times. before we left we sang “Old Gold and Maroon” and my heart almost wept for old NCC. Many memories came back to me of good old times. I hope those memories may often afford us much pleasure when we recall them. We were late getting to Creston because we had to wait for someone. When she didn’t arrive I cranked up “Nancy” and piled four of the girls in it and headed for Creston. Say, “Old Nancy” surely got us there too.

Upon thinking further of the plans for our marriage, I’m caused to have doubts about the plan you suggested. There I go making it harder for you by showing indecision myself. There is one feature about the plan that I dislike and that is the presence of so many people. I’ll talk to your mother about it when I come up and see what she says. I wish you would make some suggestions about where we should go for our honeymoon. It is no easy matter to decide. I agree we should leave sight-seeing for another time but should we go east or west?

John 2/10/29
You are having some wonderful experiences through your work with Mrs. Heizer. I’m certainly proud of you for being able to have them. It would have been good to have been with you at the concert. I know how you enjoyed it.

Last night we practiced basketball in Columbus. Afterwards I stopped at home and Mother showed me the letter that you had written to her. Of course she was glad to get the letter and I was glad to read it. You are very considerate of what people do for you and I love you for it. Your letter to Mother made me realize how whole heartedly you had entered into my love and life.

John 12/12/29
I agree with you in what you say about our marriage though I should dislike to do it on the spur of the moment. That sounds absurd after we have been in love so long, doesn’t it? But you know what I mean. I think everybody would feel happy if we would be married at Central and then go up to your home ater we return from our trip. I know such a procedure would suit me perfectly.   I wonder what I shall do the early part of the summer? I hope that I can get some work and keep it up to the time we shall be married. Then we’ll rest and get ready for whatever we must do in the fall.

Procrastination and lack of funds have kept me from buying insurance, but today I bought some. I’ve planned on doing it for some time and the chance came when Mr. Pearson, our former banker, tried to sell me a car the other day. I bought $2000 worth for the present. I was puzzled as to whom I should designate as beneficiary – you or Dad. If anything should happen to me before we are married I should want you to have most of the insurance but it seemed best not to reveal to Mr. Pearson the fact that I was going to be married this summer. It won’t hurt this community to be i the dark as to what I am going to do. As soon as we are married I can change the policy and have it made to you. ( Rachel’s note: Dad kept up this insurance policy until his death.)

This is the actual insurance policy John bought in 1929

This is the actual insurance policy John bought in 1929

John 12/15/29
I’m in such a good spirit today that this should be a good letter; you may be the judge. In view of the fact that I have quite a few things to get done, and also that I want to visit your school for a day or two, I think I shall not come until on Christmas day. That will enable me to go to Central first, get my business over, be at home on Christmas eve, stay and visit your school, and be with you on Christmas day as well. Then you will have time to rest before I come. The only objection I have to doing this is that I can’t be with you as early as we would like.
I was rather surprised when I received a letter from Lewis Moon who is secretary for the Baltimore Yearly Meeting. He inquired whether I would be interested in taking a position a pastoral secretary for two meetings in southern Virginia. He suggested that these two meetings were good; one of them in a small town, the other near Norfolk, VA. He also said that the staple crops in this community are peanuts and cotton. He also explained that as pastoral secretary my work would be somewhat less than that of a minister and more that of just a secretary who would supervise and encourage the work. I think I shall write to him to find out more about it, although I’m not looking for such work just now. We would certainly be a long way from home if we went down there, but I don’t think we will. I can imagine that Guy Solt has been spreading propaganda about me to some of these folks.

Surprising as it may seem, my boys defeated Platte Center here last Friday night by the score of 12-2. The game was a good one but I detest to see a game on such a floor as we have here. While we were winning, Columbus defeated Central City at Columbus 20-10. Harold was elected captain of their team last week.

Yesterday I went to Columbus and while there I underwent a physical examination for my insurance. The doctor said there was nothing wrong with me physically. You see I was anxious to get examined before we got married so that if any illness overtakes me I know it would be your fault!! Isn’t that wisdom?

John 12/20/29
Guy Solt sent me a note yesterday accompanied with a letter from Mr. Hodgkin, chairman of the new school in Philadelphia. Guy suggested that he thought I could well spend a year at this new school. Also that I should be careful not to get tied up so that I would lose my ambition to go on to school. No, that I refuse to do. I realize how very great a temptation it will be to settle down and keep on earning, but we shall go to school in 1931.
I’m going to Central City in the morning. I’ll be at your place, dearest girl, on Wednesday afternoon as early as possible.


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