|Letters from Agnes in Rome to Bud in
New Jersey, December 1962
We are well and doing fine. Although we are managing quite well we miss you and will only be happy when you are home at Via Lattanzio. Mrs Garniers has consented to let us stay.
I know you must have many things to do but if you get a chance drop us a line. I hope you won't have difficulty settling tings. Do the best you can. What ever you decide if fine with me. I love you and want to be with you. I hate this separation
Love and kisses Agnes
December 7, 62
I was very happy to receive your letter and glad it is warm in the good old USA. It has been quite cold here. About 30 degrees. I didn't think it got that cold. Everyone tell us it warms up after December. You better bring the red blanket back. A potty set for Kevin. I think you can get a collapsible one. I have tried and can't find one. His backside is so big he buckles the potties here. I would like to train that character.
Mrs Garinier came the other day. I gave her the rent. Everything seems "lovely in the garden". The phone is working. The hot water faucet in the bathroom was running away quite a bit. We call the portieria (sp?) and he got the plumber . The plumber came right up and fixed it. Cost about $2.50 for part and labor. It was not a washer but another part that look something like this (I). The portierie seems very anxious to please us now.
I could not reach Cathy Miller but called Lucy Lin and gave her the message that we will stay here. I think it best. At least they know the number of us. Maggie and Tony have Steven and Sabina. The other night they went to a dance at Marymount and had a very nice time. The laundry matt is here. The busses for the kids schools are set. We will have to take the little problems of this apartment as the come along. I guess. It is cold here but it won't last forever. Maria has her room right across the street. Guess who she has for a room mate? Remember the dark haired girl at St Susanna's who said she couldn't help over hearing our conversation. Well she is Maria's room mate.
Margaret Baker got in touch with me (by phone). Maggie and I met her yesterday at the Spanish Steps and had tea with her. We are going to met her tomorrow at the Spanish Steps. It is a holy day and there is to be a big celebration there. The Pope may be there. So I am going to take the kids. She also plans to come over Sunday and see where we live. (I hope the place holds together)
How are you really doing? I hope you are not to worried. I know you must have a lot to decide. Whatever you decide will be fine with me. Can you give me an idea when you will be back? I sure do miss you. Have you gotten in touch with Edgar? Maggie wrote to him and told him to right to you mother. You do the same and I will also tell him to do so. I wrote to Rita. I am going try and write to Barbara and send cards to some other people who are anxious to hear form us (I hope).
You better give our mothers a call. I will write. Our phone # here is 35-33-85 in case you need it.
The kids have been good except for the usual nonsense.
Here are a couple of samples of my signature for the record. You could Trace them
Agnes B Land
Agnes B Land Agnes B Land Agnes B Land
Take good care of yourself please.
All my love
P. S. I did not cash that $100.00 check we made do with what we had and made it with some to spare.
Dec 9, 62
What a lonely Sunday! I miss you more & more every day. I never know I could be so lonely. I know one thing this is our last separation no matter what. I will not do this again. I hope you are well and everything hasn't been difficult. I think about you all day and night. If you are not able to get back by the 15th let me know by a cablegram or something otherwise I will meet you at the airport.
The kids are all well and go on the same as usual. I hope you have gotten some of my letters. Yours are a shot in the arm and keep me going until I get the next one. Italy is not the same without you. Please, please let me know when you will be back I can hardly wait for your return.
Letters from Bud in New Jersey to Agnes in Rome, Italy November December 1962
November 30, 1962
Arrived in Idyllwild at 2:30 P. M. and I reached Morristown at 5:00 P. M. I sat next to two old gals on the plane. They were on the last leg of a flight around the world and had been gone 4 months.
I picked up the mail last night, about 60 lbs worth. It will take a week to open it all. There was no personal mail.
The house In Morristown was all in good order but no lino and no oven or burners. I wanted to see Jack O'Donnell so I took the heaters back and they insisted I stay there last night. They enjoyed hearing about Rome, etc.
I balanced the check books and found the missing check was to me for $200.00
Sent $400 to you. Western Union takes the money from me and sends it to American Express in Rome made out to you. Take your passport and go to pick up the money. Maybe you could call before going to be sure it is there. It goes out night letter so it should be there on Monday.
Saw Mickey Wallace just a few minutes ago and got Edgar's address from her. I will write him tonight.
I will write again tomorrow. If you write send it to Bernardsville.
December 2, 1962
The weather here is just perfect. It has been up in the 60s everyday since I have been here. The ponds all are covered with ice though, must have been cold last week.
I stayed at Barbara and Jack's Friday and Saturday nights. Barbara had returned the T.V. and I reimbursed her ($44)
When I arrived at the Morristown house the other day I noticed that someone had backed out onto the lawn in the rear yard and chewed up quite a mess. I found out who it was- Barbara. When she and Jack were returning the Comet she backed their Ford out onto the lawn to make room for Jack to come in with the Comet. They had to call a wrecker to tow them out.
The Ford of ours was parked outside whoever drove it up from Green and Persons parked it and took the key with them. Paul drained the water out and I only hope he got it all out. It would not start- dead battery.
I called Paul- he had not been working. He came down on Saturday. I am going to let him work a few days around the house. The trench settled in the front lawn and lots of other small things to do.
Stopped at Kitty and Al Willis last night until 11 o'clock. They send their regards.
Write to Bernardsville.
December 4, 1962
I took the Ford to the fellow who says he can get me $200 for it. When I cleared out the back of the car I found the lost rubbers. I will bring them back with me.
I spent Sunday might at the house in Morristown. I had Tony's sleeping bag on a thick cot mattress. Paul brought me a sheet and pillow that Pats wife sent over.
I stopped to see Barbara yesterday to get some papers & the vacuum. She was mad that I didn't come Sunday night and insisted I stay there each night. So last night I had supper with them and stayed over night there.
Paul stopped over at our house to pick up some tools. Mrs Mezger asked him if I had been over to take anything out of the attic. She said that the day they moved in Mr Mezger put their Christmas things in the attic and he had to push things aside to make room.
A couple of days ago he went to get them out and found the attic only half as jumbled as it was. I went over to get the Ford registered and took over the picture frames. Mrs Mezger was worried because the newspapers story of our trip said we stored our thing in the attic. She was afraid someone might have taken this as an invitation to help themselves when no one was home. I looked in the attic and everything looked OK to me. I asked her if she knew there were two attic, one in the house and one in the garage. This was the answer. He had put the box of Christmas stuff in the garage attic and latter not realizing there were two, looked for it in the house attic. We were all very relieved. They have invited me to dinner on Thursday.
John is supposed to come tomorrow to lay the floor.
I finally located the ovens and burners. The trucker claimed he could not find 108 Washington Ave. Morristown. He has a big bill for storage which Youngstown might have to pay. They will re-deliver tomorrow morning.
Paul went back to Penn. Last night- to sign up for unemployment. Wednesday is his day. He expects to come right back. I told him I would help him and check a few builders to get him a job.
Let me know if you had to cash the Oak-Land check for $100 so I make sure it is covered.
I looked for a letter? How are you making out, the kids, etc.
We are having some Rome sunshine this morning.
Barbara wanted me to tell you how mush she misses you. They went out for an evening with the Harters. Neither can stand him for more than five minutes. I am going to run an ad in the Morristown paper for this weekend.
I'll sign off for now so I can get this in the mail.
December 5, 1962
I had dinner with Kitty and Al last night. I guess that after my remarks about how good the food was in Rome, Kitty had to show me how good the meals are here. She had Southern fried chicken with black bean soup and the works. It was very good.
Al is on his new job, something to do with industrial construction & remodeling. He had a long list of terms he wanted me to explain. I always thought Al was big but Wayne is bigger than Al; and still growing. And politeness & respect in everything he says & does, or Al would knock his block off. Plenty of "Yes Sir" & "No Sir" and when he is asked a question his answer is loud & clear, military style.
I finally finished sorting and reading all the mail that was piled up in the Bernardsville P O.
Yesterday Jack Barry wasn't feeling too hot. Mrs Lo Sapio made spaghetti & meat balls which Barbara served the night before. I thought it was good but Jack says that every time they have it he gets sick. Barbara can't shut Mrs Lo Sapio off.
Paul worked two days, raking cleaning & filling the sewer line trench that settled. The house yard and everything looks real good. I have had a fair amount of people stop but no customers yet. Several Real Estate people stopped and I told them to add their commission on to my price and go ahead. Today I will call more and see if they can do anything.
I stopped to see Mrs Kappeller yesterday. John had not worked for a month, bad back. I told her we say a fellow who looked like John in Rome and we all had a good laugh. Mr Kappeller wants me to call on his former college roommate and very close friend, the ambassador from Brazil to Italy, who lives in Rome. Mr Kappeller's brother, Pedreo Kappeller owns a magazine called "Manchete" printed in Brazil. Mr Gouthier, the ambassador, is also a large stock holder in the Manchete. He speaks English so it might be fun.
The lino had not been put down in the kitchen, nor had the oven & burners arrived so I am trying today to clear these things up.
The weather has been beautiful, up to 60 each day, but very heavy frost at night. I drove Jack to the station this morning and it took 10 minutes to get the ice off the windshield.
Jack's friend, whom we met (the ones with the two adopted kids) will not go to Parish after all. Jack said he was very upset, also they had expected to see us there. I guess the Kellys are as bad as the Lands because they have not written a word to Barbara and Jack.
The other night I collected the money from Hopper. What a crybaby. I shut him up by showing him close to $900.00 worth of stuff he got from me and told him if he didn't pay me what I billed him for, then I would give the whole $900 over to the lawyer for collection. He paid me in a hurry.
I assume you have received the money by now but if you haven't send a telegram in care of Barrys.
I miss being in Italy with you and the kids. Above all I miss being with you.
Both the lino and oven & burners came a day ahead. Except for a few pieces of shoe molding the house is finished. I believe that this is the best finished house I have done. It really looks good.
I wanted to see Shirley and Howard last night but by the time we finished dinner at Barbara it was after 9 o'clock so we talked for an hour and went to bed.
It is raining for the second day today. It looks pretty dismal out.
It is not hard to tell what Paul will do now. I got the report from the unemployment. He is allowed $50 per week for 26 weeks!
I heard that the Davis had a fire the other day. Something caught fire behind the stove. Nothing serious but lost of excitement. All the fire trucks came.
I wrote to Edgar to let him know I am here and to check when he expects to be home for Christmas.
Let's have a letter. I have no idea how you are making out.
It is snowing like mad. The rains ended yesterday afternoon with very heavy winds. The sky cleared and it turned very cold. About 10 o'clock last night it began to snow and has done so off & on all night. There is about an inch right now.
I had dinner with the Mezgers last night. They were very nice and the house looks terrific. He is the nearest thing to Karl Faust (except Karl Faust) including color slides and all. He wanted me to see the old house in which they lived in Rochester. He also taunted me with his pictures of Rome.
I was a few minutes early last night on my way to the Mezgers, so I stopped to say "Hello" to the Fowlers. They want me to come on Sunday night for supper.
Yesterday I stopped to see Howard Barrett at his office. He invited me to a cocktail party that Steve & Jessie were having for a new doctor moving into the neighborhood. Then he, Shirley & I would go out to dinner afterward; this is on Sat. night.
Shirley is having a birthday today. Howard says this is one subject Shirley avoids. She will not tolerate any reference to it, whether serious or in jest. The only difference between her birthday and any other day is that she has her mother come for the day.
I put the oven in yesterday and it is the nicest oven I have seen. It has Sufra-Ray in the upper oven with the rotisserie and a full size lower oven, much larger than ours.
I have just about convinced myself that I will have to rent the Morristown house if it doesn't sell this weekend. I found a way to do it, the only hitch will be finding a tenant, but this shouldn't be too difficult. I have an ad in the Morristown paper for this weekend.
This is about all the news today.
The snow stopped late yesterday afternoon and it turned quite cold last night. Today is very clear with a bright sun & the snow is melting quickly.
I met Phil Hurley the other day. (He now works for Green and Pierson). I told him about meeting Father O'Donnell. Yesterday Jack O'Donnell (Father's brother) looked my up. We had a long talk. I met his wife and kids (6 all under 10) Incidentally he tells me that Art West has done it again. They are expecting their 12th. Jack is a heck of a nice guy, looks and sounds just like Father O'Donnell. He works (sells) for a manufacturer of tubing.
I stopped for gas at the station where I left the Ford. He decided to buy the Ford for himself. I am to stop tonight and he will give me the $200.00.
I noticed that the Mezgers have planted two small blue spruce in the two boxes on the front porch.
Tony could send a note to Miss Yagle. She fell in school and has been laid up for a spell. I am not sure how serious the fall was (Mezgers's daughter said she was pushed.) but she was in the hospital but is home now.
When you write to Barbara thank her for putting me up. She has just about made me one of the family.
I hope to make a dash over, to Long Island someday this coming week. I would like to go over one afternoon & return the next morning. Just long enough to see my mother, your mother & Rita and Vic.
I called a flock of Real Estate people on the house. Everyone is very impressed with the house now let's see one of them sell it.
Larry Wanthouse is now a salesman for Auggie Schmahl!
Sorry for the scribbling but I write these letters sitting in the car.
December 8, 1962
It started snowing about noon today. About one inch fell by 5:00. In the past hour another inch fell and it is coming down even harder now.
I am on my way to Fowlers for dinner.
Last night I went to Steve Barretts cocktail party. Met lots of people there. Saw Mrs Provost with braces & crutches, she looks in sad shape. The couple the party was for are very nice. The party ended with Jessie's colored maid giving a twist demonstration. Remind me to tell you about several of the other couples.
I am not having too much luck selling the house. I have worked out a method in which by re-financing the house in Bernardsville, we can keep both houses: all I will have to do then is find a tenant.
I got a letter from Edgar. He can't be back in Bernardsville until the 18th. If I can wind up all my affairs before the 15th I can still use the 17 day excursion rate but if I stay beyond the 15 it will cost me another $134.00 If this is the case I will wait to see Edgar.
In the 10 minutes I have sat here writing his letter another ½" of snow fell. I hope I can get up the hill to Fowlers.
I'll write again tomorrow.
Tues AM Dec 11
It was 90 last night. There is 1½" pf snow on the ground. The street dept is salting & sanding the slippery roads.
Speaking of temperatures-coming over on the plane the pilot spoke over the intercom when we were about halfway over. He had just radioed to N.Y. airport. The weather in N.Y. airport was beautiful- temperature 56 0. He said the temperature outside of the plane at the moment by coincidence was exactly 560-BELOW
I had a delightful dinner and a good time at the Fowlers on Sunday night. Nick & Estelle should be the ones to travel. Estelle though her art courses, etc and Nick in general seem to have a real good knowledge of the treasures of the world, especially Rome.
The Ford has been sold. I have the money. I got $200 for it from the fellow in the gas station. He feels he got a real good deal.
My plan at this moment is to wind up all the things necessary to finance, so both houses can be rented. I will give a free hand to the Brokers for two months. ( I figure it will cost about $200 to hold the house for two months. (I can get the high school kid across the street to unlock the doors in the morning and lock them at night and to shovel snow if necessary). The brokers will try to sell it first but rent it only as a lost resort.
To put all this together will take until Friday. Friday afternoon I will drive to L.I. to see the mothers & Rita & Vic and return Sat A.M. Return the car, take the train to N.Y., the bus to the airport and take the flight 114 which leaves New York at 7:30 P.M. This flight stops in Paris and then on to Rome, arriving about 1:10 AM Sunday, Rome time. I will try to follow this schedule but there are a lot of loose strings and I might have to stay a few days longer. If this is the case I will wait to see Edgar. At any rate I will call you when I arrive at Rome airport and try to keep you posted by mail till then.
Larry Cerciello (& Sammy) stopped yesterday. They asked me to come to their house for dinner on Thursday night , FOR SPAGHETTI. I don't relish the idea but in the intense sincerity of the invitation I could not get out of it without hurting their feelings.
The other day when Paul was here I had him pick up a box of tools out of our garage in B'ville (Hammer, saw, nail set, rule, etc.) He went home to Honesdale on Tues last week to sign up for his unemployment and took the tools with him. I guess the roads have been bad so he has not returned. He probably will want to be there this Wed to sign up for his unemployment so I guess I won't see him until Thursday of Friday. I have a few small things to do in the Morristown house so I guess I'll have to go to B'ville to look for more tools.
Tonight I am to have dinner with the Barretts. Howard said he won the timed boat run contest his club had (as a result of his testing the day we were with them). He was only off by two minutes on his predetermined time on a plotted course that took them four hours to cover.
I am writing this in the kitchen in Morristown house and it is now 9:AM so I better get going.
Wed 8:00 AM Dec 12
It 8 degrees above this morning. The weather changes from beautiful spring like days last week to real winter this week. The ground is still covered with snow. All the main roads are sanded and quite clear but the side roads are still all ice.
There must have been a day of deer season yesterday because every second car had a deer tied over the hood. I saw one that had been hit with a car- what a mess- It happened very near Whitman's Cabins.
Although I have been sleeping at Barbara and Jacks I do my toileting at the Morristown house. This morning I was caught short and used the toilet at Barrys. John ) came down a few minutes later and said "somebody check the bathroom, there is an awful smell in there". Cute little fellow.
Last night I had dinner with the Barretts. The biggest surprise I've had in a long time was to see Jeff. I guess the last time I saw him he was still crawling. He is now.3 ½ years old and smart as a whip.
I used to wonder how Dan would manage to carry the torch for the Barretts in the field of law. The Barretts need not worry with Jeff coming along. He will be able to carry a torch in each hand.
I am becoming concerned that if I leave on Saturday I might leave too soon. The last time we left J O'D said not to worry he could take care of all loose ends. He didn't do a thing. I feel I shouldn't expect or trust anyone to finish things for me. The progress has been slow for me. I feel I should have the house open and be available if I expect to rent or sell. Yet no one (bankers, lawyers, etc.) will even move unless you sit on their doorsteps each day. I am torn between missing prospects or waiting for things to get done. If I stay past Saturday there are three penalties
The advantages would be
- It means being away form you & the kids a few more days.
- I will have to pay an additional $135.00 on the plane ticket
- $50 more on the care rental
All this hinges on how much I can get done in the next few days. If I decide to do this I will write you as soon as possible. I will call Edgar and plan to pick him up on the 18th wherever he gets a ride to (I thing he said Princeton)
- I would see Edgar
- He offered to sit in the house during some of his vacation
- If the house is being covered I can really concentrate on cleaning up the paperwork and stay right on it until it is completed.
- He would have transportation while I am here and perhaps after considerable thought I might let him use the car after I leave . He can then return it to Laty (?). It won't cost anymore.
- I will be able to return with peace of mind. That rented, sold or whatever, everything would be done.
I miss you all