The Rest of 1958

Physics Division, N.R.C. 1958. Cec back far L., Hin Lu, Boris Stoicheff and Dr Herzberg front R.

A quick overview of the rest of 1958.
School, in spite of an amazing 40 absences in March and April because of our West Indian trip, apparently went well for both of us, and come the summer, both of us successfully advanced to the next year.
However, Charlie, with his birthday in December, was the youngest in his Kindergarten class and so the school decided, at the end of his Kindergarten year, that he should go into the non-accelerated class of Grade 1. Our parents spent the summer brain-washing him into accepting the fact that he would not have Linda’s admired teacher, Mrs Rueter, but would have the teacher our babysitter’s boy, Johnny Lockwood, had had. So we went happily off to school in September 1958, and at the end of the first week, Charlie came home in tears- they were going to move him into the accelerated class! The brain-washing had to be reversed, Charlie was integrated into Mrs Rueter’s Grade 1 and everyone was fine with it- except Mrs Lockwood who was miffed!

The church had grown both in adult congregation and Sunday School. Although still housed in the school, there were dreams of building a Hall or a Church, and various organizations had been formed. The Ladies Guild would meet in the fall, and hear a talk on Fancy Cooking by Mrs. Cecil Costain!

On the relatives front, there was news on both sides of the family. Little Mona, of the unsuitable (and unknown) job, was married in May, with her brother’s bride of the year before as one of her attendants, and no doubt wedding presents from Cyn and Carol.

On the Costain side, Carman and Leona Costain in Cambridge not only had a son, David, but also Carman succeeded in bettering his performance in hockey! I’m sure his work, too, was going well.

In the summer, the Moors- Dix, Cec’s eldest sister Merle, and their family- came through Ottawa, and the cousins finally met. John and Lorne were teenagers and Bruce was 8, a year older than Linda. The adults enjoyed their visit, met up with the Atchisons- the other sister Lea and family- and at some point (perhaps this summer, maybe in the next couple of years) the Moors moved from Port Arthur to Brantford in southern Ontario, which was much more possible to visit! We adored the Big Boys and got on beautifully with Bruce (not always true of interactions with Darryl Atchison, also 8, whom we saw 4 or 5 times a year.) The older boys were very kind to the younger cousins and we all enjoyed being a big family.

6 Cousins! Patty Lu sitting on John, Linda, Darryl, Charlie, and Bruce.

Cec went to the Spectroscopy Conference in Columbus in the summer and in August Linda had her 7th birthday with a slide as the big shared present in the summer. Charlie turned 6 just before Christmas. Both continued to do well in school, in spite of Charlie being in hospital in the fall- since neither of us know why, it can’t have been that serious.

In England, there was more serious news among Cyn’s friends. Amy Stainthorpe, who was wont to make acid comments to Cyn and Carol if letters were delayed, died in Newcastle, and Dr. Stainthorpe- Charlie’s godfather who had given Cyn away at her wedding, with Ruth as her bridesmaid- and his daughter Ruth Haynes would have received sad letters from both Cyn and Carol.
Another death in Newcastle left no one to write to: little Stephen Mitchell was left without family when his grandmother Mrs. Scott died. His mother Irene – a dear friend of Cyn and Carol’s- and a year or two later his father, had died when he was a toddler- and his grandmother had been bringing him up, but their friends were horrified to hear that after her death the little boy of 6 had been sent to Australia as an orphan. Cyn, Dottie, and Nan had all moved away from Newcastle by this time, and no doubt heard of this after the event, but all worried about the fate of the boy. I am assuming this happened sometime in 1958 because Cyn’s Christmas parcel list, which had mentioned sending Stephen a ‘Frontier Set’ in December 1957, did not list him for 1958.

Nan’s move from Newcastle to Cheshire was recorded in Cyn’s scrapbook with a change-of-address card, and a picture of Sandy, whom I assume had successfully advanced to Grammar School in their new location.

The year ended with a happy Christmas for the Costains, with Dr. & Mrs. Herzberg and their adult children Agnes and Paul, coming for Christmas dinner.

March 16 1957

Cyn’s letter opens with her guilty confession that she has anticipated her April birthday and opened the small parcel her mother sent with the West Indian delicacies she’d asked for! The Burney Sugar Cake she refers to (may have just been the family name for it) is a street sweet, ginger (hence ‘burney’) in crystalized sugar, which I love too, but I think her
eating it on arrival was a wise move on Cyn’s part, since the last time I brought some back from a St.Vincent visit, the ginger shreds got mouldy before I could finish it!
Cyn is obviously still recovering from her miscarriage, tired and resting when she can, and the explanations about the cost of the blood transfusions are a reminder that Canada did not have a medicare system at this point although the federal government passed a bill that year that started the discussion with the provincial governments. It would be another decade before that was settled.
A reminder about Cyn’s Father, Dr. Ewing: He, a Protestant from Northern Ireland, had been institutionalized before Cyn had married and she & Cec and Carol had left England, and had since converted to Catholicism. He had been considering being buried back in Ireland, which would have been a problem since his immediate family lived overseas, so hearing that he had changed his mind would have been a relief, and the Newcastle cemetery where his neighbour Mr. Sheedy lay more familiar to them.

Box 330
R.R.1 Ottawa
16th March 1957

Dearest Mummy,
What do you think I am doing? Lying in bed eating Burney Sugar Cake & making a PIG of myself! I know I should have kept it for more than 2 weeks yet, but when it arrived yesterday I put it away & then today I took it out again & opened it! Actually I didn’t think you would scold me for opening this one as the other has also arrived, but the mailman put a card in our box to say it was too big to go in & I must collect it from the P.O. I will really keep the next for my birthday – I don’t think Linda would let me open it – she was quite worried about my opening this one, but was resigned when I told her you sent another – she said “My, what a kind Mummy you have!” Haven’t I, though?!! Cec & I had some stewed guavas for dessert tonight & oh – they were yummy! I don’t mind them being stiff or anything – I just love them anyway & I did enjoy them so much. Please tell Doris & her sister (wasn’t it her sister who sent you the guavas?) that they were the nicest thing I’d tasted for a long time – most delicious & delectable! As for the B. S. Cake I can see I’m going to put on pounds – I just can’t resist it & am nibbling away all the time! Thank you very much Mummy for two of my Favourite Foods – I can’t tell you how much I am appreciating them. I am looking forward to my other parcel, but in the meanwhile this is lovely! It’s funny, when I wrote and asked you for the things to eat I thought that the cashew nuts would be the easiest to get & maybe you wouldn’t be able to manage the other 2 & here it was the other way around!
I also have to thank you for your nice letter written just last Sunday which arrived this evening. Cec got it from the mail box after Lindy was in bed so I will give her your letter in the morning & she will be thrilled! She has been asking me ever since she wrote if you will have got her letter yet & she will be so pleased to have a reply. Her tooth is still wobbling away! She has had 2 weeks at school without being absent so things are looking up, but don’t imagine for a minute that we’ve all been well for 2 weeks – oh no! Ha! Ha! Cec has had another cold & last weekend he was feeling better so we planned to all go out on the Sunday & have dinner in a restaurant. On the Sat. evening Cec made a pan of popcorn as a treat & Jimmy came in for it & Cec shared it with them so none of them had very much (the children love it now). Then at about 1 a.m. Linda felt sick & from then until about 4 a.m. we were busy! She sicked up a bit & retched etc. but I thought it was just too much popcorn. Sunday she was better, but wan & not eating, so it was just pointless going out to eat & we just stayed at home. However on Thurs. I suddenly got the trots very badly but it only lasted the day & then I heard from Phyl that she had Andy & then Nancy with the same type of thing – just lasting about a day – then Margie had Danny with the same – then last night Charlie got it! He sicked up & had quite a few spells from about 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. & today has slept mostly but been drinking juice & ate a little supper & is all right now I think. Of course, we’d again planned to go out for dinner tomorrow so whether we’ll get or not I don’t know!!

Well, we did go out for dinner & although Charlie still looked a bit peaky he was full of enthusiasm and had turkey for dinner! He & Lindy had a lovely time – so do I! – and Lindy was most intrigued because it was St. Patrick’s Day & all the restaurant was decorated in green & the waitresses had green hats on – the hostess even had green fingernails! Unfortunately poor Cec has the bug today & is feeling quite miserable this evening, but one good thing is that it doesn’t seem to last long so I hope he will feel better in the morning.
I went to S. School yesterday morning for the first time & the poor lady, Mrs. Kuhn, who took my place must have been more than delighted to see me. She has had such a time as not only have I been absent, but Pat Tomlinson also & even Mrs. Dunn who helps Pat, so poor Mrs. Kuhn for 2 Sundays had both classes to cope with! Pat is resigning as she is finding it too hard with trying to cope at home as well as go out to work & the children haven’t been well & she has been quite worn out. I am sorry as she is such a nice girl & I shall miss seeing her, but I certainly think she has been trying to do too much. Yesterday we had 5 teachers there, just for a change, & of course not many of the children showed up! You were asking about Mrs. Martin, my babysitter – yes, I still have her & find her just as good & dependable as ever. She is a staunch Anglican & also teaches at our Sunday school but has the 8 & 9 yr. olds I think. At the moment she is having a worrying time as her husband is in the hospital for a strangulated hernia operation & they also took out his appendix, & she is kept quite tied with her old mother-in-law, so she can’t get out till her husband is home again. He was getting on well though the last I heard. The Dutch woman, Ann, whom I used to have, is also sitting again & was here on Friday evening when Charlie was sick. The children are so different now about sitters- they like to see them & say hello & even had a strange babysitter, a teenager, a week or so ago & never minded. Charlie didn’t make a bit of fuss about Ann staying even when he was sick & as Ann has a little girl, Deenie, in Linda’s class at school (in the afternoon though) she & Lindy had quite a chat.
We were out on Friday to have a buffet supper at Willa & Stewart Woods’. They had invited Lu & Pete & Margie & Cy & ourselves, but when we got there we found the Garrets hadn’t come as Margie had this bug too & the 2 little children had had croup & she was pretty worn out. We had a nice evening with a very enjoyable supper & wine, but before the end of the evening what with being tired & the wine I was yawning away! I’d had a busy day as I’d been to Dr Kastner in the afternoon & I’d been finishing a dress to wear & then Charlie throwing up his supper! After we left he sicked up again & then when we were home a few more times. Dr. K. examined me & says I’m to go on with the iron & to come back in 2 months. Apparently he may then have to cauterize me which sounds horrid, but Lu assures me it’s just a little “zing”!!
The dress I made I am very pleased with – I like it better than anything I’ve made for myself. It is made of the jersey I bought at the Mill last Fall & I worked hard at it all last week to get it done for Friday evening – & just managed it! I covered buttons & belt buckle & even made bound buttonholes, so I am improving & I was pleased with the fit. Lu was very complimentary & said it looked most professional which pleased me as that is what I always think about her things.
Re. the doctor, I told Cec that you thought he should have a check up to & he agreed but said his blood was O.K. anyway as he went to the Hospital a couple of weeks ago & gave a pint of blood to replace one of those I had & of course they tested him then. He will give another later on – Cy offered to, as he is a regular donor, but Cec thought that as it was just 2 he could return them himself. It was $60.00 for blood, but when the blood is returned you only pay for the use of the service etc. about $10 or so. Imagine – no one who has had jaundice can be used as a donor, so I would never be any good! Apparently the bugs still float around in the blood.
Cec & I have been giggling over you & the modern artists! I am quite sure we would both agree with your comments. Lindy, by the way, was delighted with her letter, but amused that you thought it was a duck on the pond – she says it’s a fish! Despite your compliments about her picture, she is no artist – she is like her Mama & sticks firmly to houses & trees & nice simple objects! Charlie even more so – he doesn’t try to colour much & isn’t nearly so interested in crayons & cutting & doing things like that as Lindy was. He has enjoyed the cut-out-&-stick books you sent him, but he wants me to help when he does it although he is getting a bit better at it now.
You were asking about our dinner at Dr. and Mrs. Narasimham’s – well, it was very nice & not nearly as highly spiced & seasoned as I feared! (The pork chops were were for our lunch by the way)! We began with glasses of juice, then for dinner (buffet style) there was rice (cooked with bay leaves & cloves) a curry of vegetables (potato, cauliflower etc. but not too hot), eggplant fried in batter & another dish I’ve forgotten – also a salad. Afterwards, there was a most interesting dessert – it looked like nice white snow balls floating in syrup! The snowballs were made of the white part of junket sort of, sieved & formed into balls around lumps of sugar, then simmered in a sugar syrup, & then the sugar lumps melt & the balls are hollow. They were very sweet but nice.
Phil & Alex’s party some weeks ago was great fun & I enjoyed it. I had a nice sleep in the afternoon & went to it feeling quite rested – most unusual for a Mama! We played one or two games & had a good supper – it was a potluck did I tell you? Everyone took something & I took boned stuffed chickens – 2 small ones – & they were much enjoyed.
In talking about the Christmas present list you asked about my Father & I have been meaning to tell you I had a letter thanking me for the children’s photo. I sent him the laughing one & I was so surprised because he really seemed proud of it & taken with them & before he’d shown no interest at all. I shall send you the letter to see what he says, & then last week I got another letter – not so clear as the first, but still talking about the children’s picture. In it he says he has decided not to be buried in Ireland but in the cemetery where Martin Sheedy is as it would cost so much etc. & talking about the children says something about “they could use the money in 20 years time” so I don’t know what he means, but I knew you’d be glad to hear the end of the Irish idea. I will send both letters when I answer them.
I also had a short letter from Mrs. Scott thanking for Stephen’s present – they are still in Killingworth & Mrs. S. seems to be getting on all right. I send him something at Christmas as I feel I would certainly do it if Irene were there & now she and Bill are not the poor little fellow needs remembering even more. [Mrs. Scott is Stephen’s grandmother, both his parents having died before he was 3 (he’s 5 at this point).]
Lindy’s dress from England was the pink & blue checked smocked one I got Nan to send when she got your jerseys – I think I must’ve told you about it – anyway I saved it for Christmas. Cec smokes a pipe a bit now, but still cigarettes too most of the time. Charlie’s razor isn’t really electric you know! It is just a little plastic thing that goes b-r-r-r as you press it on you & it cost about 35¢! He loves it & always shaves when Daddy does! My pale blue dressing gown was a big surprise – at least I’d asked for a dressing gown, but Cec chose it. I took it to Hospital in a case with me & then they sent the case home with Cec the next day, so on the last day when I was tripping around for routine x-rays etc. (everyone is done) here I was in a little Hospital shift! I was in the Civic [Hospital] by the way – Cec asked Dr. K. about the St. Louis de Montfort & he said “My God no – they’d just let her bleed to death there!”! It seemed very nice to me & people who have been in seem to like it, but they are apparently short of nurses & the doctors all seem to be a bit wary – also it is very French of course.
We still hear from Gunborg & Gordon – she wrote me a very sweet letter about the mis. – & they really seem to love being in England again. Their house sounds most palatial & upper crust!
I will be very pleased to send you the Memo slate things & the Pancake in your B’thday parcel & also the Scotch tape – I’m glad you told me & don’t forget if there’s anything else just say the word.
I must stop now as it’s late & poor Cec has gone to bed – hope his tummy is better in the morning. Forgot to tell you Claire is coming every other Wed. again & I do enjoy having my floors done for me! Cec says I should keep her & I will for a while anyway.
Must away – love to Auntie Muriel – hugs from the children & lots of love from us all –

December 7 1954

While Cyn and Cec were happy in their new community with their little family, there were tragedies amongst her friends in England, both in Newcastle and in Cambridge. Living so far away and in touch only by letters that took so long, Cyn would have felt miserable and helpless.

7th Dec. 1954.
Dearest Mummy,
I was so sorry to hear from your letter on Sat. that you had flu. I do hope that you are feeling quite better now & your cheery self again. It always seems maddening to have colds etc. in the summer, so it must be extra trying to have flu in St. V. – bad enough in the snow & cold – & no wonder you felt miserable. Talking of snow & cold we have lots of both now – the snow began about a week ago – we’d had some which melted before that, but this is the light powdery kind which stays & looks so pretty. The children love it & as I have to go out with them, I put in good work shovelling the driveway – good for my figure! So far I haven’t pulled them on the sleigh as the snow is so light & not packed yet but that will come I know! We are all well & fine – I have a cold sore on my lip & an aching arm from washing the kitchen walls yesterday, that’s all!! Cec is still going back every night but it was supposed to be finished last month so I’m hoping it will end by Christmas at least! Your parcels & cards for Charlie came yesterday & I have hidden them!
I had two such sad bits of news from England last week that made me feel unlike writing much. The first was from Nan, to tell me that Bill Mitchell, Irene’s husband, had died after being ill just 9 days. He had had what seemed to be indigestion for a while, then got sudden very bad pain & was taken to hospital & operated on. The operation was successful, but complications set in & despite all efforts he died. That leaves Mrs. Scott with the little boy Stephen to look after & bring up – he will be 3 in March. Isn’t that a sad beginning for a little fellow’s life? His own parents give him for adoption & then both his adopted ones die – one wonders how Mrs. Scott will ever manage as she was ill at one time, wasn’t she? Poor Bill and Irene – at least I’m glad for Irene that she went first.
The other news was from Miss Smith at Coleridge School telling me that Tadek had been knocked off his bicycle and killed one morning on the way to work. The day before their little boy was one year old. I have thought of nothing else ever since & poor Anne. Life has been so hard for her & this will be such a terrible blow. Having the children to bring up alone will be such a great responsibility, but thank goodness she has them to comfort her. Both Tadek & Bill were such good, nice fellows.
This is a sad letter, Mummy, for nearing Christmas time, but you know how I feel & I know you would want to know. Your Lindy & Charlie send xxx. Lots of love from us all, Cyn.

July 14 1953

Tues. July 14, 1953. 

Dearest Mummy, 

Thank you so much for your nice long letter about your holiday in Mustique – I am so glad you had such a lovely time & that the trips there & back weren’t nearly as alarming as you expected. We were all very interested in your description of the island & tell A. Moo that the map is very clear! The letter arrived this afternoon & I am very sorry you were disappointed in getting no mail from me – I know by now you will have, but I have been slipping from one week to two lately I’m afraid. I like Carman very much at & I’m delighted to have him with us, but there is no doubt about it that I am kept busy with 2 babies and 3 men! I get up at 7 as Carman has only one bus he can catch & pack lunches for both him & Cec – he has no canteen where he works & it is ‘way out in the country – isn’t it silly? Of course with him here I cook & bake a bit more- cookies etc. & although I don’t do his personal washing there are extra towels, sheets, etc. & the children seem to wear more & more clothes all the time! Claire has been coming fairly regularly recently thank goodness, so that has been a blessing.

Carman’s present for his brother! I remember him as very good at presents, and am sure they enjoyed it.

Since I wrote last, who do you think we have seen? Your old friend Charlie Barnes & his wife! She is an Ottawa girl & they are here from B.C. visiting her family, so we had them over on Wed. evening. Of course I was very curious about Mrs. B (Phyl) (ex-air-hostess) & she is very nice- slim & dark with short hair- vivacious & slightly gushy!! But Charlie is FAT! Yes, & of all unbecoming things has a chin like a bullfrog!! But still nice! They have a little girl of 9 mths, Nancy. On Sat. evening George had a meeting of the ex- Cambridge Canada Club with Cec & Charlie & one or two others (Jim couldn’t go) so I had June & Margie over & we had a Girls’ Gossip! I knew Margie was curious to meet June, so I am now all ears to hear what she thought of her! But she is so much nicer & more content now. She has got a Fellowship at N.R.C. for next (academic – Oct.) year, so will be doing congenial work again too- is keen to start a family though!! Poor Margie has been having a bother again- she asked Cec & me & Carman & Pete & Lu to dinner last Fri. evening (Lu’s baby due a week today) & on Fri. morning had to cancel it as Danny had ‘flu. She was so fed up as the boys have had coughs & colds on & off & the baby has never really been good, so she has had such a time. However, as we had Donna (the babysitter) all ready & I didn’t want to cook dinner (!) we took Carman & collected Pete and Lu & went out to the Island & ate Chinese food & of course enjoyed it as much as ever!

I can’t remember if I told you in my last letter, but it is so important – your Grandson has 2 teeth! He was fretty for 3 or 4 days after we had him to the Dr. & we thought it was the shot & then Cec suddenly found 2 front bottom teeth! Don’t worry about the overalls being big – he is wearing all the clothes now that Lindy wore at 1 yr. & will soon be out of those! Lindy wears all the dresses she wore last summer- I turned down hems of 3 or 4 & then found they were all too long & the unturned ones looked far better!

I have been thinking of poor little Irene all week & know you will be too – I can hardly believe it yet. I wrote to Bill & Mrs. Scott, but there is nothing to say except that I loved her & miss her already.

xxxxs from your babies & love from us all – Cyn

July 6 1953

Mon. 6 July. 

Dearest Mummy,

I seem to get worse & worse about writing letters, but somehow I always seem to be odd- jobbing in the evenings these days – and – like you – Cec & Carman & I play cut-throat once in a while! 

Thank you so much for your Air letter which came today (29th June) & A.M (25th) & a long A.M. letter (22nd June) which came last week.  You were all set for your trip to Mustique (?) & I hope that you had a simply lovely time, not marred in the slightest by the whale boat! 2 1/2 hours didn’t sound a very short or quick trip to me, but as Jean’s descriptions often tend to be a bit dramatic, I hope that this was the case & that you didn’t find crossing nearly as bad as you expected. The bathing & picnicking will be fun & I’m sure you will be enjoying the change.

Since we last wrote Charlie has been christened. It was on the Sat. afternoon (27th) & just Cec. & Lindy & Charlie & I were there as Boris had a previous engagement at a wedding. The Rev. Stuart was very nice indeed – so sweet with Charlie, who chuckled & “talked” through the service! Lindy was most intrigued with the brass plate jug etc. by the font & Cec had to keep grabbing her to prevent her grabbing them! The original idea was that Boris & his girlfriend Joan & Jim & Lee & Barry would come to a buffet lunch on the Sunday at 12:30. However, a very sad thing happened to some friends of Jim & Lee’s- a young Jewish couple called Leon & Toby whom they originally knew in New York. They moved to Ottawa about the same time is J. & L. & have a little girl Robin about Barry’s age & now have a baby boy 3 mths. old. Well, Leon was killed in a car accident driving from Toronto & the funeral was on Sunday, so J. & L. & Barry went & looked after the children for Toby while it was on. Boris & Joan couldn’t change their time because of other arrangements so we had a kind of busy day – they came to lunch at 12:30 (Chicken Tetrazzini, salad with stuffed eggs, hot cornmeal muffins, christening cake & ice cream) then left at about 3:30. Boris brought Charlie a lovely little silver christening mug & is having his initials put on it – this was the first time we met Joan, his girlfriend, by the way & although she is pleasant, we don’t think she is nice enough for him! The Ganders arrived about 4, just exhausted. It was a terrible hot, humid day & Barry’d had no rest, so we had tea & fed the children & put them to bed, then later had a salad supper around 8 & played a hand of bridge.  I was tired!

Wednesday was Dominion Day & Cec & Carman had a holiday, so we went a little picnic to Rockcliff Park in the afternoon – Lindy loved it. We had Charlie to Dr. W. for his 6 mths. check up a week ago on Friday- he weighs 17.6 & is taller than average- says he is doing fine. He got his 2nd shot & was quite fretty (for him!) for 3 or 4 days & had us up at night or so – however last Sat. Cec discovered 2 new teeth- bottom front! Have some snaps to send taken after christening.

You will of heard by now of Ruth’s son & also I expect from Nan of Irene’s death. I got Nan’s letter today & can hardly believe it- poor little Irene- she loved life so much. Nan & Dottie had said she wasn’t well, but I didn’t realize how bad it was. When you are away you can’t help but think that people are the same as when you left. I feel so sad for Bill & Mrs. Scott – they will miss her so terribly & so many other people will too.

Lindy & Charlie send hugs and & kisses.  With lots of love from us all – Cyn.