Tuesday, October 29, 2013

8. The Letter I Was Hoping Never to Write... June 19, 1964...

This concluded my post yesterday...          
June 19, 1964
Dear Folks,
"I don't really know how to begin this letter.  I'm afraid I won't be able to express myself as I would really like to but I'll try.  I was hoping I'd never have to write this kind of a letter but I'm afraid that now it is necessary...
To continue...
"To put it bluntly, things are rather rough out here.  We still don't have jobs even though we've tried almost every place in Estes Park.  Everyday we hike down town to the employment agency but without any encouragement.  Most every place we've gone to has told us they have all the help they need.

"This morning, however, one place took our names if we planned to be here for the next 1 1/2 weeks.  This would be waitress work.

"Two other restaurants told us to come back this afternoon and talk to the managers as they were out at the time we stopped.

"But the situation as I see it is that there won't be any work until July 1st or the end of next week.

"At that time I'm positive there will be work we can get but that means staying here another week without work or any source of income.  I'm sure the only kind of a job that would be worth taking would be waitress work as nothing else pays very well.  Waitress work doesn't pay well either but I guess tips are tremendous.

"A motel owner called Mrs. Manford yesterday and asked if she had any IV (Inter Varsity) girls.  We weren't here but she called back and said she needed one girl to do cabin work for $100 / month + a room.  The girl would have to live with the other cabin girl already there and you have to get your own meals.  We said we'd call her back if interested but we decided we just wouldn't be able to make any money at that job.  We also would rather not be separated as it would probably get to be terribly lonely for both of us.  It's already bad enough that way for us.

"Well, I guess that's about our situation.  Probably nothing until July 1st or sometime next week.  I'm willing to stay here and keep trying for work as it would probably be harder on me to admit failure and come home than it would be to stick it out...  Of course it's terribly discouraging to keep hearing that every place has all the help they need but I just can't believe the Lord would have let us come all the way out here and then not help us find a job...

"It has been rather cold and windy out here this week but today a person is comfortable outside with a sweater.  We were warm last night for the first time but today we're going to move from our little bunkhouse to a cabin a few feet away which Mrs. Manford owns also.  We couldn't move there at first because some boys that are leaving today were staying there.  This cabin has heat, a shower, a stove and refrigerator so that'll be much better.  We'll probably have to pay more than $.50 / night for it though.

"...I think if we can make it through until we get jobs, it will be good for us...

"I got a wonderful letter from John today which he had written Wed. night before he got my letter...  He really wanted me to go to BTR for the 3 week Christian Life Camp and I know it would be wonderful but I just didn't see how I could afford the $105.00 (2013 = $792.16) that it would have cost... We could get loans for practically the whole amount but that would still have to be paid back.

"The worst part of being here without jobs is that we don't have much to do except walk around.  Everything costs so much so we can't afford to do anything entertaining and we're so rested up, we got enough energy to want to do something exciting but we can't.

"This is worse than going away to college for the first time but I don't know what to do.

"To tell you the truth though, if we have to stay here another week and a half, we'll have to have more money.  Right now we've got about $8.00 and we haven't paid Mrs. Manford anything.  We haven't spent a single cent foolishly though.  Just for food and not even too much of that.  We've bought some wieners and bread so cook most of our meals at Mrs. Manford's which we think is cheaper.

"I'm not absolutely positive how long it will be before we get work but like I said before, I think we'll be able to get jobs by July 1st.

"If we can get through next week, I think we can make it but we have to live next week somehow.  Since I think we can get jobs by the 1st, I suppose it would cost more to come home than it would to stay here.

"Well, I guess there's not too much more to say.  We're without jobs and money, we're lonely but at least I'm willing to keep trying to make it.

"Let us know what you think we should do and either way, whether we stay or come, it's going to take more money.  Will pay it back though when we get some of our own.

"I guess I don't have too much more to say now.  I think we're going down town again now to talk to the managers of those 2 restaurants and also to mail this letter.  If you would want to call us anytime, we can be reached at Mrs. Edith Manford's, Estes Park, Colorado anytime after about six at night...

"Hope to hear from you soon and keep praying.  Love, Lee

"P.S.  The cold I've got now is about the worst I've ever had.  Pray that I'll get over it soon.  I feel pretty miserable as my nose runs all the time..." 

My thoughts today:
How must my parents have felt as they received this letter?  They were doing the best they could to raise 5 children on a dairy farm with very limited means.  Both of my parents valued education and wanted college educations for all 5 of us even though they could not provide the funds themselves.  I'm sure they appreciated the update even though it must have made them heartsick.  But I'm confident they would have been even more earnestly praying for their 2 daughters so far from home and lonely.  And that was comforting then and now.

How would prayers be answered - jobs or a premature return to WI from Colorado for my sister and me?  
Will continue the story...

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