Monday, April 27, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: Bees, Chicken and Corn

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

The below letter was written by my great grandmother, Margaret (Denyer) Van Every to her daughter Minnie in 1917. Minnie was my grandmother Myrtle's oldest sister. Evva was another sister. Marguerite and Shirley were Minnie's two eldest children. Agnes was the daughter of Willa, another sister of my grandmother's; Willa had died in 1916. Jud was my great grandfather Melvin Van Every's brother. Melvin was an apiarist (beekeeper).

Phoenix June 1, 1917

Dear Daughter Minnie

As I have a few minutes time I will write you few lines. We are all well but have not found a location yet altho we have bought 35 colonies of bees. I believe this is a good honey country but there is so many bees here it is hard to find just what you want. Agnes and I are here in town waiting for Daddy to go look at some places we were told we would like. It seems like every body here is so busy they just don’t have time to do anything. How do the crops look by now. I guess everybody plowed up their corn. There is some tasseling here about 3 feet high which will never amount to much. I see some cotton which looks good but the people have very few gardens. it seems tat every body lives in town. When we go out in the country nearly every house we see is closed. This seems to be the ideal chicken country for the small breed of chickens. They say it is too hot here for the large kind. How is every body. Do you see Myrtle much? I wish you could see her real often. I believe she is grieving for me. Tell her I am alright and if anything happens I will let her know first of all.

I write Myrtle oftener than anyone because I am afraid she worries about me.

I sure sleep well. The nights are so cool you have to have blankets on the beds. They say this is unusual here.

I am getting tired of this traveling around no place to lay your head. It was fun at first but now it is more like work. I wish I could step right in your house and see what you are doing .

Tell me all the news. Do I know the man Miss Della married? Tell Marguerite and Shirley I will write to them soon. You see my knee is my table and I don’t enjoy writing much. Tell every body hello for me.

What is Horace doing. Are the bees doing anything yet. I wonder if Evva is with you yet. I sure enjoyed myself while I was with her.

She intended coming your way there real soon. I am looking for a ltetter from you real soon and I hope I will not be disappointed. If I got a letter from you one week and one from Myrtle the next and one from Evva and Bro Jud inbetween I am all right. Agnes is just the same. It takes a clean dress every day to keep her any way clean at all. Every thing she sees she wants me to buy it to send Myrtle. Kiss all the children for me. Write when you can.

Lovingly, your mother

Here's a blown up section containing the one word I can't identify. It looks like lassalin, and from context it has to be something grown on a farm.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, please add a link to your post below.


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I believe it says tasseling. The corn should have been much taller before the tassel appeared.

I like your new template.

John said...

Thanks! I looked tasseling up, and I agree, that is likely what she wrote.