May 19 1950


I was puzzled by the difficulty Cyn was having getting a job, since I would have thought she was, even with only English credentials, capable of being a supply teacher and she would have had glowing  references from the administration in Toledo, where they had offered her a job in 1947!  However, my husband reminded me that she was now married- possibly in Ann Arbor women teachers had to be single? It seems very strange to me now, and my teachers in elementary school a mere 6 years later were married women, but that was Canada. (Mind you, the Catholic school board that my husband started his career at in the early 70s fired their married women teachers if they got pregnant, although that changed in his second year teaching.) However, it could be that Cyn just did not want to get involved with the uncertainties of supply teaching.

The pictures that Cyn refers to in this letter, from the Toledo visit Cyn and Cec had made, were perhaps the product of the camera that printed out the photos immediately, most of them already published with the letter describing that visit- except for the funny one included to make Carol laugh. They are printed on solid stock, and did not stick in the scrapbook like the other photos!

[This letter is typed on onionskin paper in red, very hard to read.]

May 19, 1950.

Dearest Mummy,

I am practising my typing, so thought I would see how many mistakes I could make for you! Actually, Mary Dockerill told me last week that she had got a form from the University to apply for a job, so as I was in town I trotted in and asked for one too. Not only did they give me one but invited me to fill it in there and then, so I did, and handed it over, and was politely informed that if I cared to wait a few minutes their interviewer would see me. I was quite overcome at this speed, but waited and was interviewed by a nice woman who told me that they had some clerical jobs and that if I cared to work at my typing and then come in and take their test, I had a chance of getting one. So Cec got me a typing book, and every evening I have practised for an hour. This is extra as I have just finished my hour, but thought that it would help my speed and also get lots onto a few sheets so that I can send the pictures as well. I am cross about my speed because one evening I got as fast as 50 words a minute, and since then I haven’t been able to get quicker than 45. Very annoying!

The pictures I am sending are the ones I told you about when we were in Toledo last. On Wed. evening Mr. K. called me for a telephone call, and it was Til. I hadn’t heard from them since we were there last, but she was ringing to say they had been busy, but that she was coming to Ann Arbour with a friend Cecile the next evening and would call in to see us. I remember that I have the days all mixed up now- it was Mon. that Til called, and Tuesday at about 6 o’clock she arrived and stayed for about an hour while Cecile was busy in town. We had coffee as she wouldn’t have dinner, and she told us that both she and Lois have been so busy, she giving as many as seven concerts a week. She was looking very tired, and also Bill has left for Panama now and I think she would probably be upset with that. Jan is to follow him later. They finish school on June 9, and are going down to Alabama straight away, so we are going down next weekend to see them, as they will be away all summer. Cec has been very busy as I told you, but on Wed. he gave his paper to the Group and seemed to feel quite pleased with the way things went. Anyway, it is over now, so he has a little breathing space and we thought we would go to Toledo while we had the chance. The Atkinsons you know, have been asking and asking us when we can come for a party they want to give us – a sort of welcome back for me, I gather, and of course we have been putting off and making excuses! However, I felt we couldn’t do that forever, so I wrote and said how busy Cec had been and that he was still so busy that we felt we couldn’t get away for a whole weekend, but would love to come through for a day, and suggested two Saturdays, whichever suited them. So far I haven’t heard, but I told Til to keep it dark that we were coming to stay with them! Oh dear, isn’t it difficult!

With Cec being so busy, and my typing activities we have done very little since I last wrote. At the weekend I went and babysat with the Sutherland girls on Sat. evening, and then when Dr. and Mrs. S. came back they insisted on collecting Cec and bringing him over for a cup of tea, and we had quite a gossip and a lot of fun.

[Switch to typing in black ink.] deRe Mom, just a few lines too show you that I can tipe as good as your dotter, but it is harder two spell. lots of LOVE cEc. [Back to red ink, with reference to O. Douglas, ‘The Setons’] Fish lawffed! And me too!  My chubby hubby had a lot of fun doing that! On Sunday we celebrated by going to the Drug Store and having a chocolate milk shake, which is practically my favourite amusement! No wonder I am still spreading. I tried on my summer dresses this week and I am now a sad woman – I have proof of what I suspected! My pink and black is too tight to do more than bust over my bust, and my tussore is tight over the ‘ips. The latter I am going to try and let out but the other one is beyond hope. I asked Mrs. S. whether she thought Anne could wear my things and so she is going to try them and see, because the pale turquoise one with the buttons is very short now and also my blue corduroy suit is short and tight, so if she can wear my things she might as well have them. Really, I have had all those things three and four years now so it isn’t too bad. Cec is mad because the trousers he got in France last year and also the ones he got the year before are not only tight around the waist but have shrunk at the cleaners so we are making up a parcel and sending them all to his young brother!

What do you think? Yesterday morning we had a card and check from Marie and Sam Dorman! The card was “A little late for your wedding” and Marie wrote on the back that she had waited till we came over here and had just got our address, and as she didn’t know what we would like she was sending us a cheque. It is for $15 which seems a huge sum to us at the moment and we are so excited about spending it! We are going to town tomorrow to see what we can get and we are rather hankering after a waffle iron if we could get one!

I had a note from Auntie Ettie asking us what we would like and we thought of asking her for a fan as it would be a blessing here in the summer. Another thing we could do with is a clock as the only one we have is my little travelling clock which isn’t very good – Cec’s alarm clock we left beside the bed in Cambridge and Joan has it. I had a letter from Joan not long ago and she is getting quite het up about the wedding now. She was describing her dress to me – it is white lace with a stiff organdie petticoat to make the skirt stand out and sounds very pretty, but Joan says she thinks she’ll look like a tea cozy! She is getting married at Chesterton too, but isn’t having any bridesmaids. They have a nice little cottage in Royston, and are trying to get the one next door so that they can knock the two into one and so make it bigger.

Last night we went to the pictures for the first time for ages. I met Cec after work in town and we had a cup of coffee at a drug store and a hamburger, and then went to see Olivia de Havilland and Ralph Richardson in “The Heiress”. It was very well acted but kind of miserable, but there was another silly picture with Robert Young which was funny. We then walked home and had a huge supper of eggs and bacon and chips!

Looking back I see that I began to tell you about the pictures and then forgot to go any further. Well, Til brought them and now that we see them in the cold light of day we don’t think they are very good, but they are funny anyway. We are sending you the best ones and hope they’ll make you laugh – the Piano Virtuoso will I know!

Remember Pam Holbrow who is now out in Bermuda? I had a letter from her the other day, very tickled to know I’m married and in the U.S. again. She is staying in Bermuda for another year and hopes to take a trip down to Jamaica this summer – she had wanted to make a trip to St. V. etc. on the Lady boats but it was too expensive. Have we any relatives or anyone she could see in Jamaica? I told her we had relatives everywhere but can’t think of a soul in Jamaica!

Must stop now before I go onto another page – hope you and Auntie Moo are having fun! I’m looking forward to hearing from you next week, then will answer both your letters. 

Love to Auntie Moo and lots and lots for you 

    from your

Cynnie & Cece.

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