Letters from Normal School: January 17, 1940

This week’s letter was particularly newsy – 8 pages long – and there were three photos enclosed in the envelope. No reference to the letters was made, and nothing is written on the backs. I only recognize Helene in one of them.

vintage letter from London Ontario

January 17, 1940: 8 page letter from Helen Duck to her mother in Morpeth, Ontario from London Normal School

23 McKenzie Ave.,
Jan. 17, 1940

Dear Folks, —
Well another week is finished. I still have a cold. My nose has not run quite so much to-day and I think it is somewhat better. I have had enough cold ever since I came back to be uncomfortable and make you feel rather miserable. I think about 2/3 of our form have one. London is full of them I guess. I heard that one of the girls in Form I had completely lost her voice to-day, so that is still going too. I think I am going to stay in to-night. There are 4 double features on here & I have seen one of each one of them – I saw 1 in Ridgetown, one in Windsor and 2 in London. A couple of the girls wanted me to go skating to-night out there by the river but I thought it was too cold. They have an outside rink at Thames Park which is near the river. I think I need those red mitts to skate with. I almost think you had better mend them and send them to me. I can’t see how I can stand it to skate outside without them and I really don’t care about the looks of them.

There were some things I wanted to tell you. If Ed McLaren hasn’t got that school box, there is quite a bit of foolscap in those big books. I wanted to keep quite a bit of it so if you still have them I wish you would take it out. There are some long envelopes that I bought for the school section in the desk. Put those in the box for him. You might keep 1 or 2 of them too.

Don’t forget to mound up those rose bushes with straw or something. The freezing & thawing of last week won’t do them any good. This is long distance orders.

Now to back up a bit. I know by your letter that you hadn’t got mine yet. When I don’t go home on Friday, I usually try to write you a line so that you will have it on Saturday.

Last Saturday I didn’t get up until 11:45. I just got downstairs in time for dinner. I went down town after dinner. Went to a show. Saw, “The Secret of Dr. Kildare,” with Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore and “The Five Little Peppers and how they Grow.” I liked them both very much.

1940 women Ontario

Helene Duck is third from the left. Who are the others? Not sure if this is a photo from Normal School or from Morpeth.

Saturday night I wanted a book from Marjorie & a lesson plan from her roommate so I went over there about 7:30. Ruby was working & we talked for awhile & then Marjorie decided she wanted something to eat so she & I walked down to Haffmen’s. We called at a store too & she bought some things to eat to take home with her. Then we came back here. We are eating up my chocolates that Aunt Ella gave me. Marjorie went home about 10:30. She was going to Port Stanley on the L. & P. S. On Sunday to see some of her old friends there & she wanted me to go with her.

Sunday was a terrible day here. Marjorie called and we decided not to go. Afterward however, she did go alone rain or no rain. It just poured rain all day Sunday & a terrific wind was blowing. By night it had changed to snow. We have had about 3”-4” of snow here since then and it has been getting colder. I see by the paper that it was 3* above zero last night. It is even colder to-day. I think because you feel it to-day even though there wasn’t much wind.

I was going to go to church Sunday morning but it was such a terrible day that I wasn’t out anywhere.

Monday night we had some work to do for Mr. Clark out of the public school Composition. I don’t have one of those so I called Marjorie to see if she had one. She said she was just thinking of putting on her hat & coming over & I said to come ahead. So she brought her book & we did it together. She stayed until about 9:45. Marjorie may not be so good-looking but she is real. I like her better all the time. There is nothing coarse or tough about her. I went upstairs after something Monday night when she was leaving & she told Mrs. Howard that she wanted most of all to get her year here because her Mother couldn’t afford to send her hardly. She told Mrs. Howard that one of the Normal boys had called her up for a date but that she didn’t want too many dates. She goes out about once a week with Ted (her friend here) but she gets in about 11. They quite often just go walking because she likes to walk. The girls there did quite a bit of walking before it got so cold. Mrs. Howard told her that she was going to have her over some Sunday for supper (dinner I should say).

1940 couple by brick house

I wonder if these are the Howards, with whom Helene was boarding.

Well I taught my lessons to-day. Miss Buckle told me quite a few things but I don’t know how many marks she would give me. She said though that they seemed to know what I am teaching in arithmetic and that was the important thing. Betty Frosdick (she boards with Marjorie) and I walked home together. We were nearly frozen. It is really cold to-day. I went in over there for awhile and got thawed out. Marjorie was out then.

Well, strange things have been happening to me. Monday night we had religion & then Red Cross, and when I walked into the locker room at 5:40 to come home, there on a chair was a Sc of Education. I didn’t think anything of it but then I thought, “That’s just the colour of the book I lost,” so I lifted up the cover and lo & behold there it was. I didn’t know just what to do but I just took it. To-day one of the girls in my class came up to me and asked if I had lost a science of education. She told me that she had been using one with Wade in the front of it. She said she took it from the lost & found table just before the examination because she had lost hers and wanted one. So I guess Miss Gahan sent it up to the table alright. This girl wants me to sell her my new one now. She had not business to take it off that table. Strange things do happen.

I was glad to get your letter yesterday & the news. So Ike called on you. I wrote Ethel and her that letter – carried Ike’s around until yesterday. They didn’t stay long did they? Did she act as if she was scared of you? Well, I guess I’ll get out and post this. Mrs. Howard hasn’t been out since Saturday and I dared her to walk around the block and I guess she is going to go.

Yours with Love,

I have a pair of rubbers here now.

[enclosed in this envelope were several photos with nothing written on the back. Helene is in one of them.]

1940 women London Ontario






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2 thoughts on “Letters from Normal School: January 17, 1940

  1. Pingback: Letters from Normal School: 1940 | The Farmhouse Chronicles

  2. Pingback: Letters from Normal School: 1940 Visit to the Kellogg’s factory | The Farmhouse Chronicles

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