October 25, 1939 letter home

Now this is definitely something that would be odd today: to receive a pheasant in the mail, and then proceed to eat it for dinner. I love these quirky snapshots of rural life 75 years ago!
Oct 25 envelopePostmarked London Ont. Oct. 25, 1939, 10 PM

Mrs. Clarence Duck, Morpeth, Ontario

23 McKenzie Ave.
Wed. Oct. 25, 1939

Dear Folks, –

First I’m going to address a line to you Ike – it was about time I heard from you – every other word in those letters is Slim, Slim, Slim, Slim this and Slim that – I was just going to write a letter & tell you to cut it out. I want to know what you’re doing. I’m thinking you had better calm down a little or I’ll have to come home and calm you. When I see Slim I’m going to tell him what I think. He waits till I leave & then he takes everybody out. I scare them stiff you know.

When I got that parcel I couldn’t imagine what in the world was in it. The pheasant wasn’t tough and we all enjoyed it very much. It was quite a surprise.

I'm envisioning something like this! Claude Monet 1869 Pheasant oil on canvas Private Collection

I’m envisioning something like this!
Claude Monet 1869 Pheasant oil on canvas Private Collection

Sporting it out to Petrolia last Sunday eh? You people seem to cover a lot of ground since I left. I can’t remember ever being to Moraviantown Fair even. I can just picture Dad doing the milking and finding the calf at one o’clock in the morning. He likes to milk so well anytime. I’m not planning now very much on coming home on Friday. There’s nothing special going on this week-end. I won’t know until Friday what my assignment will be for next week. If there is anything special going on this week-end or you want me to come home for anything, why let me know. Monday night is the Halloween Party. I don’t know whether I’m going or not. It’s a masquerade & I haven’t anything to wear.

Now for some orders. If Ike hasn’t harvested the vegetables (beets, carrots) yet, you had better put her at it. If any of the Chinese Cabbage is green it would make good feed for the hens.

If I’m not home before the teacher’s cheques have to be made out, make them out for two cents less than they were last month. (that’s 2 cents less for Marjorie & 2 cents less for Miss Blue.)

Last Friday I rushed home at noon, crammed down some food & rushed back to near the Normal where I was to meet the other girls that were going to Buck Collegiate. I don’t know whether I told you that Buck Collegiate is away out Dundas Street east. We take the bus downtown & then transfer to the street car. The bus & street car service in this place is atrocious most of the time. They are supposed to run every 11 minutes & some every 7 minutes. I say every 11 minutes, bologna!!!!

Well we caught the bus at 12:45 and got down town O.K. & then had to wait ages for a street car. It was 1:39 when we got to Buck and the lesson due to start at 1:30. Some rush!!! Got through there O.K. Had to rush back to Normal at 2:30. When we came out the door, a street car was stopped out in front & we took to our heels and ran – 12 of us. A sedate way for school teachers to act!!!! Then we were a half hour late in getting back to Normal. I got my assignment – to teach history to Grade X second year high school – Battles of Fort Frontenac, Fort Duquesne, Niagara with regard to capture of Quebec.

I didn’t get up last Saturday until 10 o’clock. At 10:30 another student Jean Scott called me up. She had to teach the lesson following mine & her introduction was a review of mine so we worked to-gether. Saturday morning we went over to the Normal school library & selected 10 books on the subject. Saturday afternoon I went over to her place & we worked on it. She is from the West but has been down here a year. They are doing light housekeeping where she is – I say save me from that. I had been wanting to go downtown every night last week & hadn’t gotten there, so I went Saturday night. Bought myself a pair of dark green gloves & some other things that I needed. Went to a show & one of features was Tony Martin in “Winner takes all.” – it was rather funny.

I wonder if her physical culture suit looked anything like this?

I wonder if her physical culture suit looked anything like this?

Sunday I didn’t get up until 9:30. It rained off & on all day & it was cold. Just at church time at night it poured rain for half an hour so nobody went. I even did some work on Sunday. – cleaned my running shoes for one thing.

There was an old lady from Toronto here, lecturing us on Monday & Tuesday – 6 lectures. Had to be back at school at 1:15 on Monday. From 3:50 to 4:30 we had religious study and from 4:30 to 5:45 we had Junior Red Cross. I got home at 6 o’clock – 1-6 are pretty long hours. By the way, I have learned to knit, I can plain knit, purl & do ribbing now & think it is rather fun – don’t get much time. I may get started on my socks before too long now.


Other possible Physical Culture styles.

Monday I got my white smock for cooking, $1.25 yesterday I got my suit for physical culture $1.85 – I haven’t put it on yet but I think it will be funny. I don’t know whether I can get into the pants or not.

Today of course I went out to Buck to teach. I took some lunch to school and went from there. Agnes Fletcher went with me. We left the school at 12:30 & took a Richmond car downtown. It doesn’t take you all the way out but we walked it & got there in plenty of time that way.

My lesson didn’t go over so hot. I knew what I wanted to say but just haven’t got the knack of how to say it. The teacher told me all my faults but I could see most of them myself as soon as the lesson was finished. They study history from a different slant now than they used to.

I have to teach Grade I next week and it will be almost like the first lesson because it will be so different. I don’t know how I’ll make out with the little kids. This morning it was cold as I wore my suit & my coat. Before noon it was pouring rain & had moderated. It was raining when we left Normal & rained most of the afternoon – it even snowed a wet snow. The weather beats me. Yesterday after 4 I went uptown with Ilene King – I like her very much – what I see of her. If she were in my form it would be better.

Well, I have been rambling on & on for some time. To-night is my breathing space between one lesson & the next. I can’t think of everything I want to tell you when I write but will close now & post this you will get it to-morrow. Last Friday night Mrs. Howard & I went to hear the Toll Brothers. It was LeRoy here. The next door neighbour had tickets & they couldn’t go so they gave them to us & we went. I enjoyed it very much. Keep up with the good work in writing. Love, Helene.

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One thought on “October 25, 1939 letter home

  1. Pingback: November 1, 1939 – Halloween party | The Farmhouse Chronicles

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