What books tell

March 22nd, 1931

3735 32nd St.
San Diego, Calif.
Mar. 22, 1931.

Dear Bro. John, –

I have not heard from you so hope everything is better.  This is Sunday night and lloydine is at League and Guy is asleep in his chair.

I have a cold but not bad.  Lloydine is just over one.  A good many have colds, probably because we have had a spell of very warm or hot weather, more like July weather, after some cold nights last week.

I have an idea it is cold in Kansas for March as we have been reading of cold and snow.

I wonder if you have had a talk with Dr. Morton.  I read in the library here about cases of failing memory and find it is common to lose memory of one thing or names, etc. without losing other memories.  It happens when old age damages or impairs certain brain cells, or when that part is not well nourished by the blood.  The second happens if the artery (usually left side of top of head) gets thick walls (making it carry less blood to feed the brain, or, if a fibrinous ‘clot’ forms to partly stop the flow of blood.  This latter is usually the cause when when there has been any valvular heart trouble.  The other parts of the brain will remain in good shape because they get the usual nourishment.  Unless there is a stroke of appoplexy the the patient will not change except for the better.  Memory may be regained but generally not.  However, rest and relief from any mental excitement was the cure suggested.  The only thing that could be done.

Now that may be so but it may not be the case here.  Only a Dr. could know and he would probably be guessing.  Another thing was that the patient could often write the names he could not speak.  Or he could spell them and not say the word.  Also he could understand but not reply to questions sometimes.  It was not a sign of a weak mind but was merely lack of blood in one small part of the brain.

Well, I will close but I thought this might help you to know what it might be, as far as books tell.

I expect I will hear from you in a day or two and if I can I may be able to come awhile this summer, unless you need me sooner.  I surely hope everything is much better by now.

Your sister Hemmie.

Next HNB Letter – March 31, 1931.

[1931.03.22 / day – HNB to John Backlund Jr. in Lasita, Kansas.]

March 14th, 1931

Air Mail – 3 2 cent stamps.

3735 32nd St.
San Diego, Calif.
Mar. 14, 1931.

Dear John, –

I have more time today, Saturday, and will write a line.  I hope things are better by now at your end of the line and that you can get your oats in and other work done.  But if someone must stay in the house I don’t know how you can.  Where is Aunt Margaret?  I wonder if she would be any good?  If I would not need to come until May 22 I could travel so much cheaper.  Then I would get a 5 mo. return ticket for 75.60 plus about $11 for sleeper.  Now I would have to pay $53 one way, plus $11 sleeper.  The return ticket now is $115, plus sleeper, as they charge more one-way going west than east.  I would get only one way if I went now.

If I leave here on, say a Monday at 8:30 A.M. I would get to, say Kans. City Wed. night, or wherever I would change for home, as fastest travel takes 2 nights and 2 1/2 days.  The telegraph office (Western Union & Postal T.) has my new address and phone number here so if anything happens wire Mrs. GDM. 3735 32nd St. S.D. and I will hear at once.  You better have a talk with Dr. Morton to see what he thinks.  So many old folks lose their memory and anyone much alone is apt to get to hearing things.  It might go on without change for a long time.  Guy’s father’s mother was that way an awful long time.  She died several years ago nearing ninety.  Whatever happens there is nothing you can do anyway.  It is a worry of course but one just has to do the best and let it go at that.  I will come if you send for me, though, at any time you need me and pay you back later.

It is just unfortunate we got so tied up just now but Guy has worked so little in the past five months we had to do something, and now he can work on his house for three months and sell it and that will be better than wages.  We were lucky to have the credit to borrow enough to build and the loan company demands an extra good house so it will be saleable.  They specify the size and materials for each amount loaned, and have to approve the location of the lot.  So we are forced to build an expensive house or not get the money.  We will build 1420 sq. ft. and have a 2 car garage.  Guy has begun to build the forms for the foundation and has most of the first expenses paid and we have only about $50 cash in the bank left.  But we pay our bills and live as cheaply as we can and the lumber Co. will give lumber as needed, and the loan Co. will pay by installments as the work progresses.  So we know we are safe.  We don’t have to pay the loan for three years, nor interest for 3 months.  We can rent the house when done for $50, $15 a mo. more than all our payments will amount to, if need be, or we can live in it almost as cheaply as we rent now.  Or we can (and will) sell it and make a profit, if we sell even below the present market price of houses that are selling right around it now.  We still have our Hupmobile and if Guy sells he can pack up this summer and come East to get me, I tell him, but he thinks he will be busy building from now on.

Anyway, I will be ready if you need me.  And write me how she is, and if she can be up and about –

Best Wishes, Your sister, Hemmie.

Next HNB Letter – March 22, 1931.

[1931.03.14 / Saturday – HNB to John Backlund Jr. in Lasita, Kansas.]

Emergency

March 13th, 1931

Air Mail – 6 2 cent stamps.

3735 32nd St.
San Diego, Calif.
Mar. 13, 1931.

Dear Bro. John, –

Your letter received last night.  Am very sorry to hear it, but it is to be expected at that age.  If you need me I can come and stay indefinitely, but unfortunately we have tied up all our money just now and I would need about $50 train fare.  Guy & Lloydine could get along here without me very well.

If it had been two weeks ago we could have had the money but we just bought a lot and borrowed every cent we could to build a house and the loan Co. won’t pay us a cent until the foundation is in and the sub floor on.  Then they pay a little at a time as the work progresses, paying most of it after the work is completed.  That keeps the builder scratching for cash all the time.  We went over our limit and decided to try to get by till we could sell.  Believe we can sell before the house is really done – two or three months.

I have to go to teach today so can’t write more now.  Telegraph me, or write.  (Address above) if you want me to come.  Guy says do what I think best.  If it was after May 20 I could get return rates 1 1/3 for 5 months but now I would get one way.  If she gets better I can wait to go until May 20 but if you want to get your crops in you need me now to stay with her.

I will write again tonight when I have more time.

Guy & I staked out the house last night and today he is digging the foundation.

Your sister, Hemmie.

Next HNB Letter – March 14, 1931.

[1931.03.03 / Tuesday – HNB to John Backlund Jr. in Lasita, Kansas.]

We sold our house

March 3rd, 1931

San Diego, Calif.
Mar. 3, 1931

Dear Brother John, –

Well, at last you hear from me again.  Thanks for the Valentine letter.  I read you have a bit of snow to begin March.  Is that March coming in like a lion or a lamb?  The ground hog saw his shadow here but we have had a week of fine weather now, after a month of rainy days, and I think it will not rain anymore.

You see I did not put any street address to begin with.  Now I hope you will not think it hard to remember a new address as we were at the last one three years.  We sold our house last Thursday, for cash, and gave possession Saturday so we were very busy moving   We rented a house Friday and are settled now for a month anyway at 3735 Thirty-second St. and are now looking for a lot to build another house to sell.  Guy has had work only about two weeks since in December and he wants to build while he can do it himself as he will soon be able to get a job because building is beginning to pick up a whole lot here.

Mar. 6, Friday –  Well I had to stop writing on Mar. 3. so will now go on.

Have been very busy looking for something to buy.  We have found a lot we are going to build a seven room stucco on it but had to borrow a lot of money.  There are eleven houses under construction in sight of our  lot and none is for less than $4,000 as that is the building restriction.  Our lot is one of the best and we hope to make money on it within a year.  It is one mile from State College and in the boom area.  Streets are paved and we are 1/2 block from a business street with transportation lines.  We were 14 miles by street-car from College before, and Lloydine spent 2 1/2 hours a day on the cars going to and from school.  Now she can go in 7 minutes by auto bus.  That is why we sold and got closer to school as she has 4 years to go there.  (Where we rent is a 30 minute ride to school)

It is quite a job to build a house, but we will move in as soon as the walls are up, and save rent.  The people we sold to sure got a bargain as our house was so well-built and had the best of materials and paint with solid brass hardware and cast aluminum light fixtures, etc.  They like it too.  But we made a little on it, after we paid the mortgage of $2,000.  (which was to run five years more.)

Mar. 7: –  Well I will continue this morning.  It is cold enough to have a fire so I am by the stove, but a mocking bird is singing outside in the sun.

I have a notion our new house will be sold before June so I am wondering whether I have a home or not.  We are asking $5,500 for it now (before it is built) but will put the price up if we have to wait till we move in to sell it.  Then we will build another one.  We bought from some men Guy has known for ten years and he used to build houses for one of them in Arizona.  The other man was secretary to Governor Campbell of Arizona when we knew him in Phoenix.  They own the subdivision here near the College.

We were sure lucky to sell our house the way times are now, and we were not on the boom side of town either.

I taught two days last week @ $6 a day.  But last month I taught only 5 days and I don’t know if I will have time to teach any more as there will be plenty to do helping Guy build.  (I am quite a carpenter’s helper)

We have all been well.  Lloydine goes to the dentist twice a week and he is straightening her teeth wonderfully well but he says he has only just begun.  We hope some day to be able to pay him but he says it is all right if we don’t.  The latest X-Rays show she will never have wisdom teeth below, and the upper ones are far back of where they could come through.  So that is worrying him now.  But he is a very smart man and we know he will figure it out someway.  He has brought her eye teeth down in place so she need not worry so much about them any more.  We notice a change every week.

You remember Randels, related to Cora Chaffee.  Well, they have been losing money and are not so well off as when they came back from Kansas and bought a Drug Store.  They have had two drug stores and then he got an auto agency and nearly went broke, and almost went back to Kansas last summer.  But just then, instead, they started a lunch counter and tiny restaurant business and the oldest of the two girls got a job clerking in a dry goods store and they are still in town and say they are making money again.  I guess they are, too.  The youngest girl is in her last year of High School I guess.  The oldest finished last year.  They both know how to spend.  We do not visit but sometimes meet them in town.  Lloydine is a pretty quiet girl and has other friends.

We have not seen Dorothy Chaffee yet.

Guy’s folks are well and so is “Uncle Will”.  His father (Guy’s) does not work often but has an income from his two small houses and Uncle Will’s board.

We sold part of our furniture and kept some.

We kept the old cat and he is here with us.  I have not unpacked very much yet until we know if we are going to move again.

Write to us at this address:  I must close.

Your sister, Hemmie

3735 32nd St.
San Diego, Calif.

(Phone H 3996 R)
If you need to give a tourist our address.  It is not in the phone book

Next HNB Letter – March 13, 1931.

[1931.03.03 / Tuesday – HNB to John Backlund Jr. in Lasita, Kansas.]

Emergency

March 3rd, 1931

Air Mail – 6 2 cent stamps.

3735 32nd St.
San Diego, Calif.
Mar. 13, 1931.

Dear Bro. John, –

Your letter received last night.  Am very sorry to hear it, but it is to be expected at that age.  If you need me I can come and stay indefinitely, but unfortunately we have tied up all our money just now and I would need about $50 train fare.  Guy & Lloydine could get along here without me very well.

If it had been two weeks ago we could have had the money but we just bought a lot and borrowed every cent we could to build a house and the loan Co. won’t pay us a cent until the foundation is in and the sub floor on.  Then they pay a little at a time as the work progresses, paying most of it after the work is completed.  That keeps the builder scratching for cash all the time.  We went over our limit and decided to try to get by till we could sell.  Believe we can sell before the house is really done – two or three months.

I have to go to teach today so can’t write more now.  Telegraph me, or write.  (Address above) if you want me to come.  Guy says do what I think best.  If it was after May 20 I could get return rates 1 1/3 for 5 months but now I would get one way.  If she gets better I can wait to go until May 20 but if you want to get your crops in you need me now to stay with her.

I will write again tonight when I have more time.

Guy & I staked out the house last night and today he is digging the foundation.

Your sister, Hemmie.

Next HNB Letter – March 14, 1931.

[1931.03.03 / Tuesday – HNB to John Backlund Jr. in Lasita, Kansas.]