Monday, July 28, 2014

Letter from Rubye (Hammond) Burns to Esther (Headrick) Pritchett, 1987

Letter from Rubye (Hammond) Burns to Esther (Headrick) Pritchett, 1987:
Rubye Burns letter, page 1
Rubye Burns letter, page 2
Rubye Burns - envelope
This is a letter from Rubye (Hammond) Burns, of Knoxville, daughter-in-law of Alice (Headrick) Burns, to her "aunt," Esther (Headrick) Pritchett, of Ringgold, Georgia, near Chattanooga. By 1987, Rubye was blind, or nearly so. This letter shows that she probably used a word processor ~ at one point, a sentence runs off of the page. It is a chatty letter, mentioning little events from Rubye's day-to-day life, recent drought and heat, U.S. news, and relatives. She describes her dinner, which is typical of a Southerner's favorite kind of meal: meat, cornbread, and summer vegetables from a friend's garden. Plain sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, and a dash of salt (optional) are a typical side dish. Some of the older country people in the south still keep a big backyard vegetable garden and can their own food, though it's not as common as it once was, when nearly everybody did that. Those who don't have a garden usually get to share in the proceeds of a friend or relative's vegetable garden. Below is a full transcript:

[Transcript, page 1]:

Tuesday-July 28th. 11:30 A M

My dear Aunt Pritchett,

So glad to hear from you last Thursday and to known you are well. I didnt write last week as I have been so hot, like everyone else and had to close up the house with the Air conditioner on all the time it was just to dark for me to make any kind of effort. Just did what I had to and that was it. I mostly listen to my Talking Book machine like you would sit and read a book. Today is the first day in two weeks or more that by this time of day I havent turned the A C on. We have had no rain in 15 days and everything is brown-just dried up. Seems like we are experiencing a summer like last. I see your temp in Chatt. has been a hundred.  Just hope you have been cool.

I went to Lindas last week (WEd) and spent the night and helped her break and can 2 bu. of green beans. She got 42 qts. and gave me two messes to cook. They were Ky. Wonders and so good.  She had plenty of Gr. peepers to I made her 24 stuffed ones for her freezer. When I get home I am so tired. Don't mind going once in a while. I also did 5 loads of clothes and dried and folded them all up with the exception of the towels. I left them in the dryer fo finish. Figured they could fold them.

I want you to quit worrying about the pillow tops you have for me. Yes I would love to have you come anytime you can. You know that!! If I had someone to bring me to see you I would.  You know we both are in the same boat. Life is too short to worry about much of anything really, but we both love one another and that is what co [cut-off; type runs off of page]. I will love the pillow tops even if I never see them as i know you did them in LOVE, but have faith enough in the big MAN upstairs that I will get to use them and that you will be to see me soon!!

I hope you are enjoying Ben or if he hasnt arrived yet I know you will have a good time. Excuse me I forgot when you said he would come.  Any way tell him I said hello and would like to see him also.

[Transcript, page 2]:


Linda told me Jan had called her and that Jan was still planning on meeting us in the MTNs on Aug 8th and if Jan caouldnt make ut she would call and let us know.

My vision seems to be better or I have got adjusted and learned to use what sight I have.  I still cant read much if any and doubt I could drive a car, but I havent lost hope.  I dont know if I ever want to drive the way traffic is and the crazy people out that think they can drive.  Have you been hearing of all the shooting on the freeways in Calkfornia they are having?  About 8 persons have been killed because of drivers that are so impatient.  Hope it dont catch on in Tenn. or any where for that matter.  Cruel old world out there!

I won't get to come for the reunion as I will be in the MTNS.  Sorry.  Tell all hello for me.

Bill wanted me to ask you about the Balm of Gilead tree.  It is loosing its leaves and he cant figure out if the dry weather is causing it.  I sure would hate to for it to dye.

I have managed to keep my patience \flowers/ at the patio porch watered, but this  morning the water dept ask everybody to stop watering gardens, grass, washing card, etc.  I guess the water situation is getting critical.  We are supposed to get a 30% rain this afternoon and evening.  I sure hope so.

Bill and I were right busy last week with putting a new drain field in \and/ a new top on the septic tank.  Bill had a Company build the top and do some patch work and he borrowed a back hoe to dig  a 60 foot ditch and Bill laid the pipe.  Now he is waiting on the man to come back and cover it up.  With gravel all it cost us $500.00  Oh well that is better than paying rent in an Apt..  I know all along I will have to pay out for maintencework.  I would drather be here than any place I can think of.

I must close and fix me some dinner.  Think I will microwave me a stuff pepper. I have some green beans cooked and cornbread, so i will slice me a tomatoe and an onion.  Dont that sound good. ha.  So glad you get to go out and eat instead of cooking.

You stay well and write when you can.

I love you the most!!!

[signed] Rubye


[Return address]:

Rubye M. Burns [privatized] Road
Knoxville, TN 37932

[Postmarked Knoxville, TN 379, 30 Jul 1987]


Mrs. Esther Pritchett
114 Lamar Street
Ringgold, GA 30736

[Note: both Rubye and Esther are now deceased.]

I've also made this letter available on Family Search. 

Surnames: Headrick, Pritchett, Hammond, Burns

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