Mary's view from the South

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

Found a goldmine of letters the girls wrote back and forth to their parents while Dave was helping start the production of fiberglass insulation in Fairburn. I was at home in New Jersey, readying the house for sale, while they spent the summer swimming or wishing they could. It’s interesting to see their perception of their new home in Georgia.

Aug. 3, 1971, from Mary, 13, to me:
How’s everything up north? Things are fine down here, though slightly boring. The house really looks great. Hope it gets finished on time.

Peachtree City is really nice. I just wish there were more people in it, and a bigger main street. Someday!

I’m sitting here in the Fairburne (sic) library now, as I have been since 12 o’clock. (it’s past 4 now.) It’s really nice. Alice is mad because they won’t let her go into the adult section.

Everything’s so new here! There’s none of the old houses you see around H.H. (Haddon Heights, N.J.)

The motel we’re staying in is really pretty crummy, but it’s clean except for the possibility of roaches. Anyway, it has a TV and a bed.

The trip down here was good. Dad seemed to fall asleep all the time! We stopped at 3 rest stops on the way down so he could take short naps. I’ve never seen him act that way before. We didn’t have any arguments, though. I really like the picnic area and the lake. I can’t wait until I can take out [Dad’s] canoe.

Tomorrow I hope we can go by the high school. Dad keeps telling me how rotten it looks, so I’m prepared for anything!

Tonight we’re going to cook our first meal of canned spaghetti and meatballs down at the park. I hope I can think of more imaginative things for dinner.

I like the meals you get at Mama Cruze Inn. They’re really good. Hope we can go there some more instead of cooking our own meals.

After we ate our first meal at the Inn, we went back and realized that there was a piece of tape over the keyhole on the door. The key wouldn’t work in it. So Dad sent Alice for the old lady, and swore at the door (he was holding a bag of ice in his hand). We were both looking at the door, and finally we realized there was a key hole in the door knob in which our key fit perfectly. Luckily the old lady hadn’t heard Alice, or wasn’t there, and we called her back quickly. Stupid!

Grandma: Since I forgot to take the holly trees, could you water them and the other plants for me? Also, Dad wants us to start strawberries here, so could you take a nice plant when you move? Thanks. Hope my bed’s comfortable. Love, Mary.

Don’t throw out my cactuses!!

August 13 (1971) from Mary to Grandma, still in N.J.
I hope Jean was all right after swimming. She’s lucky she could go. I wish I could swim somewhere. It’s either very hot, like today, or else raining. I can’t decide which is better.

The house is looking great – the roof was finished being shingled, and wallboard was put up so the house isn’t just framework in the inside anymore. Dad took some pictures of the inside and outside.

I went to church on Sunday in Peachtree City. I liked the minister [Rev. Don Smith] a lot. The church is really modern, which is OK with me.

Thanks for looking after Hermie [hermit crab] for me. I hope his noises don’t keep you awake. He loves to move around at night. (By the way, he ISN’T a monster!)
I saw my high school [Fayette County High School] on Sunday. It looks all right, but it had a lot of old desks and chairs in it, and it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned up since June. The part I DO like though, is the hothouse which has plants in it even now. I hope I can take the course in horticulture in a couple of years, probably when I’m a junior.

Are you going to take a strawberry plant with you when you come down? Or do you want to buy some down here, or forget the whole thing?

We picnicked out last night in one of the Peachtree City parks. We had beef and gravy on bread, corn and prunes. Pretty good.

Love, Mary                   
sallies@juno.com

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