3726 Florence St., San Diego, Calif.
March 12, 1929
Dear Brother John, –
It is about time to write a letter and say Hello to the folks “back East” and ask if they are thawed out yrt as it is nearly the middle of March and the warm (?) west winds should be blowing hard. We have had blue birds here, and ribins too. (But they are often with us in January.)
Lloydine was glad to get such a nice letter from Grandma and you with the help of St. Valentine. We read the trains were snowed in but the air-mail goes better, and now they have reduced postage to 5 cents anywhere in the U.S. It used to be charged according to distance. I guess I have a letter to answer, myself, written on Valentine’s day.
It seems to be moving times – sales, etc. and you will soon have neighbors all around the country. It is pretty cold and bad for that and I am sure you have had an unusual winter since Xmas. I hope you will better weather now and get the crops growing all right. I suppose the wheat was hurt some.
We have had unusually cold weather for several months and not quite enough rain. It has frozen ice, a little, perhaps four or five nights and nipped my marigolds, begonias, and nasturtiums so some leaves turned black. Of course the further inland you go the colder it is. We are only a half mile from the bay. Several days the sun could hardly be seen in Los Angeles because of smoke from smudging citrus orchards but here we just saw smoke in the distance.
We have been thinking we might see smoke(of battle) towards Mexico (18 miles away) but so far the Mexico near here has been loyal and no trouble is expected. Anyway it would not bother us. There is only a small town there (Tia Juana) and bare hills around it. And they depend on tourists from here and are very friendly on that account.
We are all well. I have been feeling fine since I went to the dentist and had $10 put into my mouth. There was a lot of money there before that but it was aching for more. And lloydine got a $15 pair of glasses that have made her feel fine and look funny. She does not look like this picture but the glasses do. She is 1/2 inch taller than I but she does not look as old as in the picture. She is not so solemn as a school teacher either but likes to play marbles and chase the cat. She will have to wear glasses a few months, when she uses her eyes, and then perhaps will not need them unless she tires her eyes again. They have helped her already.
Lloydine had the “flu” the week of Washington’s Birthday and missed school all week. She was in bed most of the week before and I guess it was already the flu, too, but I was in bed only three days. Otherwise we have kept right at our best most of the time.
Guy is appraising buildings for the “Tax Factors, Inc.” in the northern part of San Diego County, for a basis of taxation and proberty values. He has his office now in Fallbrook, 77 miles north of here. This is a big county. Last week I spent a couple of days with him, driving from ranch to ranch in the mountains – or hills – very beautiful country – and striking a small town now and then. He comes home Sat. and goes back Monday. I went up on a stage* and rode home with him Saturday. It was a nice trip for me and he gets lonesome riding alone, or so he says. We were in the avocado country, ($1,000 an acre, when newly planted,) and some grape and citrus. But formerly there were olives there and now the big trees are worthless – no market – costs too much to pick them, the olives, and ship them. There are acres and acres standing idle, full of trees. Guy does not appraise the land, only the buildings. There are other “land-men”. They have maps and pictures taken from airplanes to help them find owners, buildings, etc. It is all very elaborate and takes a big organization. Offices here are on three floors of a big building and the headquarters offices are in San Francisco. Guy will be with them another month or two when they finish. Building here in town is not active altho in the section where we live there have been new houses every week or two.
John Persson is selling Hudson & Essex cars in Brawley. He came over Thurs. and went back Fri. Stayed at our house. He had a lettuce buyer, Mr. Black, with him that he was trying to sell a car to. He said he had sold a good many cars since Jan. 1. They both thought we had a nice view and home place here. We have a nice garden too. The fruit trees are almost in bloom , are late this year. We have oranges and lemons on trees planted a year ago. They are big but green yet. I set out 75 strawberry plants, now in blossom. We have black raspberries set out and “young berries”. I have a bed of 100 pansy plants in bloom, also a big bed of verbenas of every shade. Poppies, geraniums, ageratum, carnations, iris (Easter lily), nasturtiums, petunias, marigold, phlox, salvia, anemones, sweet alyssum, hyacinths, and some others, all in blossom besides a lot of kinds that are not ready to bloom. Gladiolus is up six inches. I have 50 up and 100 more planted.
Well, things just grow here but so does every kind of bug to eat it, green aphis and black now.
I got a long letter today from Mrs. Oscar Bergstrom. She said Lee Miller died of appendicitis. That is sure too bad. And several cases in the hospital. It seems like Westlings have had a lot of misfortune. First one and then another in illness and operations, and deaths. Esther said the roads were awful now so they had not been visiting at Lasita. Oscar had a bad seige but is over it again altho he takes cold easily, she said. I am glad to hear they are well. She wrote a nice letter.
Well if you read all this it will be nice – of you. But you must not strain your eyes.
I am on the election board Mar, 19 again. That is a city primary.
I heard all the inaugural program and now we have a fine president and vice pres. the country will be all right. I tuned in on a program in Tulsa, Oklahoma one night but have not gotten Green, Kans. yet. (Maybe this will find it.)
Well, no more tonight. Greetings to Mother and Best Wishes to both of you.
Your sister, Hemmie
also Guy and Lloydine.
P.S. Thanks for the information about how cold it gets in Kansas. (I know how warm it gets, myself) I think it is just right in summer.
Note: *”stage” was a term still frequently used to describe a “buss”, (motorbus) now known as a “bus”.
[1929.03.12 / day – HNB to John Backlund Jr. in Lasita, Kansas.]