All these years later, as I am writing these “stories” of my life, it is hard to remember exact dates and sequences. I came across this letter from my Mom that must be from 1975 or so since she tells me at the end to say “Hi” to my brother David. David only lived with me on Larkin Street in 1974 and then again, briefly, on Bush Street in about 1975 or 1976.
My Mother and her husband, George, had bought seven acres from my uncle, my Mother’s brother, Delbert Walling, (everyone called him Deb). This piece of land was in Hunters, Washington on Lake Roosevelt which was a lake that was formed when Coulee Dam was built. There was nothing on the land when they bought it and they liven in an Airstream trailer for a year or two as the started work on the log house George would eventually build.
At first, they had no electricity, no running water, and no sewer. They had kerosene lamps for light and hauled water in jugs from Spokane. When I visited them there, they didn’t even have an outhouse at that time!! You had to just go out with a shovel, dig a little hole, do your business and cover it up with the shovel. My visit, to say the least, was very short at that time!
At some point, Darlene was having problems and so Mom took in her kids, Chris and Misty. At the time this letter was written, they are living with Mom in Hunters so this must have been after they had been there for a while and had obtained electricity and running water and had moved into the basement of what would become the log house.
My Mother mentions wanting to take in some “Mexicans.” Some of what she says about that in the letter may sound racist by today’s standards but Mom was a product of her generation and family. All these years later, I realize that Mom was a bit of a racist but appreciate that she raised her kids not to be. She was, after all, a Republican and most of her family were Republicans. Many of them saw her as liberal because she really taught us kids more “liberal” values.
I will probably be coming back to this story and adding to it but here is the letter of that time: