February 28 1956

By February 1956, Cyn and Cec had already decided on their summer holiday, and had started to make plans for it. They had written to their friends in Ohio and Michigan and asked if they could visit as a family in June when they drove down to Cec’s annual Spectoscopy Conference in Columbus, Ohio. They hoped to stay with Gunborg and Gordon Sutherland in Ann Arbor and with Til and Lois, the teachers Cyn had lived with during her US exchange year, in Toledo, and see their friends in the area.
Gordon Sutherland, Cec’s professor at Cambridge and his wife Gunborg, had become good friends with Cec and Cyn during their years at the University of Michigan, and in the early new year 1956 the science community heard that Gordon would be leaving the University of Michigan and returning to England to become the Director of the National Physical Laboratory. Cec called to congratulate him, and got in return a post card of the University of Michigan Stadium (annotated by Gordon to point out that its seating capacity of 97,000 would be raised to 100,000 next year!) of thanks:

A.A. Feb. 6th 1956
It was so very nice of you to telephone your congratulations. This is to give you my warmest thanks & to let you know that it is now official & was probably published in the London Times today. We look forward very much to your visit in June. Leonard Bovey will be here this weekend.
Yours ever

Carol knew the Sutherlands from her visit when Linda was born in Ann Arbor, and also Leonard Bovey and his wife Connie, who were friends and colleagues from Cambridge days whose son Christopher had been born just after Linda, but had moved from Ottawa back to England a few years earlier. Leonard is obviously on a business trip to North America this February.

Tues. 28th Feb. 1956.
Dearest Mummy,
We were so delighted to get your nice long letter yesterday & to hear of all the fun you were having with Mill & Ford [Cyn’s cousin, Milly and Ford Pembleton from New York]. I knew that they would be the nicest guests possible, but it is so lovely that you are having such a good time too- a sort of holiday for you as well – & of course they are both so enthusiastic over everything that it must make it extra nice for everyone. I am sure that you will have a wonderful time in Bequia & I am most curious to hear all about the Soufriere & how you get on.
I am afraid that I have been a long time in writing – I sent a lot of odds & bob’s by sea one day, but I meant to write you a long letter & somehow it got put off, so this is to tide you over in the meanwhile. I seem to have been busy – nothing special, but this & that! The party was a big success but I’ll tell you all the details in the long letter & the S. School is doing fine. There must be about 60 – 70 children altogether, but of course all divided up we don’t see them all – thank goodness! I have about 6 tiny ones – between 2 & 3, & that is enough at first.- We are not really organized yet, but it is beginning to get going now & will do well I think.
Who do you think we had to dinner with us last night? Leonard Bovey! He dropped a note after Christmas saying that he might see us in Feb. & I wrote saying to stay with us if in Ottawa, but he actually stayed with another couple, the Greens. They had a “do” for him on Sun. evening to which we were invited & then last night Cec brought him home to dinner. He looks much the same, but his face is fatter & – shh! – a little bald spot! (Leaves tomorrow- has been all over U.S.) He had pictures of Christopher & Connie & the baby – the latter prettier than Christopher was, although he looks a nice little boy now! Connie had a bad pregnancy & has more migraines etc. now, so doesn’t seem to be in the pink exactly. I took Charlie for his annual check up with Dr. Whillans yesterday (everything fine) & then dashed home & got dinner for Leonard, so I was busy – & pooped at the end!
On Sat. we had the most awful weather of the winter – a storm with the highest winds ever recorded in Ottawa & freezing rain. Ford & Mill will love hearing this!! All sorts of damage & power lines down etc. – we had no electricity for 3 hours, but fortunately it came on again in time for dinner. Everything is now sheeted in ice & it has been cold since but sunny. How nice when spring comes!
I will write again soon – hugs from Lindy & Charlie – they are both well & full of fun. Lots of love from us all – Hello to the Pems – from Cyn.

October 19 1950

Oct. 19th, 1950 

Dearest Mommy,

Each evening this week I have meant to write to you, but we have had three days of real Indian summer with temperatures in the 80s, and so by evening I have been in a coma! Summer clothes put away long ago of course, so everyone is sweltering as well as amazed and feeling very lazy! I am having a busy time at work this week too, as we are having a conference of the travelling supervisors. They are the people (8 women & 2 men) who travel all round the States & engage the interviewers and train them and supervise their work, & they come back to Ann Arbor two or three times a year for meetings, discussions etc. They are having this conference in another building, so I haven’t even seen them yet, but all my bosses- Charlie ( Dr. Charles Cannell Head of Field Office)- Shirley, (Assistant Head)- Edie (Secretary) – have all been there – so I have been holding the office together – or feel as if I am!

Sylvia – the girl who shares the room with me- has been away most of the week with a kind of tummy flu that is hitting everyone, so I have been All Alone! I feel very important answering the telephone and making momentous decisions on my own- Big Business Woman! I might add that there are hundreds of people milling around in the rest of the Institute, so don’t think my responsibilities were too enormous!!

Cec is in the midst of one of his horrid sessions of hard work, and toils from morning till early morning again – as I leave him still working when I go to bed each night. He has got most of his equipment by now, & besides building that, is working on some stuff for Dr. S. so has more than enough to do.

We got a letter from Len Bovey written on board ship, today, & poor things – he & Connie had both had a hard time the first few days. Len said he was feeling better (3rd day out) but apparently Connie has had “nervous debility” for the last month or so, so wasn’t too good anyway. Len has had unofficial word that his PhD is O.K. so we are very pleased about that and hope they like it in Ottawa. Did I tell you about your friend Charlie being married? I think I did in my last letter – we heard from George Lindsay, who is also in Ottawa now.

Because Cec has been working so, we haven’t done much, but last weekend I had quite a busy time. On Sat. morning Mr. & Mrs. Kaufman took me to the Farmer’s Market, & when I got home I cleaned the flat. Then in the afternoon I walked up to the Sutherland’s and helped her get ready for her dinner party for the Bishop. I peeled potatoes, made carrot sticks & celery curls, made cocktail snakes & canapés, & helped fix the table- also gave moral support! I met the Bishop – he seemed nice, but very Bishop-y! Gunborg was having 10 people, & she had a coloured girl, Viola, in the kitchen, & Anne & Kirstin were to wait on table! I rang up this week to hear how it all went, & Gunborg said it was fine- the food was good- everyone seem to enjoy themselves & the children waited very nicely & were a great asset!

On the Sat. evening, Cec & I went to the Student’s Cinema League, to see “Great Expectations”. I was so delighted to get a chance to see it after all this time, & we both enjoyed it, except the fact that either the film was old & broke, or else the fellow running it didn’t know how! Anyway, in all the exciting parts it faded out & you can imagine the indignation from the students!

On Sunday I had some of the girls from the office to tea. They were all tickled to bits at an English tea, so I asked Edie, (she brought a friend of hers, Arloa, too), Milly & her husband, Jerry, and Dawn & her husband, Bert. Eight was quite a squash in our little room but we all got in! Edie, Milly & Dawn are the girls I go out to coffee with, morning & afternoon, mostly. Edie is my immediate boss & is a very sweet, quiet, nice (single) girl – sweet-looking & wears glasses – she is by far the most popular girl in the whole place I think, because she is so nice & friendly & always the same & always has time to speak to everyone. Milly is a Canadian girl- small & is one of the secretaries. She is quite nice, but Cec &I didn’t like her husband much- (he is a student) he is very dark & Italian-looking & wears a bow tie! He has a funny accent- either broken English or Brooklyn! Dawn is a funny girl & I like her immensely- she is thin & looks slightly Katherine Hepburn-ish, & has Dottie’s downright way of talking & is very amusing too- we both liked her husband too- he is nice & easy-going & friendly & is studying law.

I had egg sandwiches, (with chopped chives) liver pate & cucumber sandwiches, orange cake, fruit cake, cream puffs & shortbread & they all had a wonderful time & we forgot our diets & ate & ate! I made the fruit cake, orange cake & shortbread one evening, & on the Sunday I filled & iced the orange cake, made the cream puffs & sandwiches & shined the silver, so as to do my best for an English tea! All the girls wanted to know who the photo of the “beautiful lady” was in the bedroom so I hope your ears burned!

It is getting late, so I will retire to my squeaky bed! We were going to Til & Lois’ this weekend to see their new house, but have postponed it till next weekend (27th) as Til has a concert on Sunday. 

My love to Auntie Moo & to Auntie Ettie if she has come too- also to the cousins. 

    With lots & lots for my little Mama 

              from Cynnie