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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

THE LETTER: FACT OR FICTION?























My cousin Yvonne (she's descended from my 2x great granduncle Leonidas West) out in Washington State was going through some family papers the other night and found this letter mixed in with them. She sent it along to me with the comment that she and her husband thought it had to be a joke but wanted my opinion. I read the transcript she sent and then looked at the image of the letter and knew what I thought.

How about you?

The text:

Dear Son, Your paw has a good job now for the first time in 48 years We are a grate deal better off than we war. Your paw gets $14.95 every Thursday so we thought we would do a little fixin up. We wint to the catalog house fer one of them thar new fangled things they call bathrooms we ad heard tell about. It has to be put in shape by a man called a plummer. One side of the room is a big long white thing like the critters drink outter only you git in it when you want to wash all over. On the other side is a little white thing they call a sink. This is far light washin such as your face and hand. but in the corner now son I'll tell you we've got somethin thar. This little contraption you put your foot in and wash it clean and then you pull a little chain and you git clean water for the other foot. Two lids come with the thing and we ain't got no use fer them in the bathroom so I'm usin one fer a bread board and the other that had a round hole in it, we took and framed grandpaw's pitcher. Those catalog folks was awfully nice to deal with. They sent us free a big roll of written papers. Take kur of yourself your loving mom

So what do you think? Fact or Fiction?

11 comments:

Circlemending.org said...

I've seen that in various forms over the years. It's clear someone transcribed it as it is torn from a spiral notebook, which was a recent invention (1934): see http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2006/07/15/first-spiral-notebook/
Cute, but hardly fact.

Brett Payne said...

Has to be a joke. The handwriting is accomplished enough for the sentiments expressed to be a complete work of fiction, in my opinion.

Regards, Brett

Laura Vona said...

Modern sentence structure with seemingly intentionaly misspelled words, my guess is faux...

galleri (Sundee) said...

I was going to say the handwriting is not of that time. Possibly like circlemending said...transcribed.
So fiction :(

Cheryl Fleming Palmer said...

Fun to read, have to admit. I agree, it is fiction. The paper is a big giveaway in my opinion. Sure gave me a smile for the end of the night though! Thanks!

Terry Thornton said...

Fiction. Funny fiction. LOL!

Terry Thornton
Fulton, Mississippi

Lisa Swanson Ellam said...

Fiction. But someone has a great sense of humor!
Lisa

Texicanwife said...

Definitely fiction. I've read this one, in various forms, many times. The paper, as always noted, is a dead give away that it is a modern writing.

Still... all in all, very cute!

A rootdigger said...

I thought i was funy about the clean water for the other foot, but a hoot when I think of some ones face pearig out of the make do frame. Notice how they used everything. no waste there. loffmy socks - jo

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

This is an old joke. My mother had a huge collection of these things that she and her friends used to send to each other. I have several of them. The modern equivalent, of course, is those things we are all the time getting in our in-boxes in e-mail!


The paper is from a stenographer's pad, which secretaries used to take dictation in shorthand. A lot of the jokes of this type my mom had were either on steno paper or were typed.

Brenda said...

I would vote for fiction. It gave me a good chuckle envisioning what was written.