1956 Will & Betty Harris Family Christmas Letter

Article Description

314 N. Fremont St.                                                                River Falls, Wis.                                                                    Dec .15, 1956

Loved ones all:

This is edition six of our family letter from River Falls, and the fourth from the above address. This year we add two Canadian addresses to our list after an eighteen-day trip into Manitoba. The biggest family news involves the use of Gabriel, our vacation house trail. From April to October we used it for picnics, overnights, week-ends, and long trips. We totaled 47 days and 4, 980 miles altogether. The trailer was in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Manitoba during this time. What a grand summer we had and how many of you we saw, because Gabriel allowed us to travel so much.

          Our main trips included a Peoria, Illinois, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa venture, a Winnipeg, Riding Mountain National Park leisurely swing, and a visit to Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Appleton, with Terry Andrae State Park as a base. In Manitoba we spent eight perfect days on Moon Lake, first to escape from the 35,000 people who were in the park the week-end we arrived and secondly because it was such a perfect spot. The weather was ideal for the whole trip. Our trailer was always the object of great curiosity since it is California made and not common in this area. Once or twice we felt, however, that we frightened some people that we might be staying permanently.

         Merry is especially thrilled right now with her driver training class at school. She offers to drive every once-in-a-while, “So that Mother and Dad can relax”. She got a better clarinet this fall and is the only Sophomore on first clarinet. Only four clarinets are permitted in the orchestra and she was fortunate to make that this fall too. She is in the girl’s sextette, girls chorus and mixed chorus. Probably her most remarkable achievement though, has been that after watching football games with no comprehension for so long, she has become one of the first High School girls to know the difference between a punt and an off-side penalty

          Bruce has begun piano this year and has shown good interest and ability. He memorizes music quickly and plays in a very pleasant manner. We hope this can continue. His school work improves and the percentage of attendance gets better each year. He is a real sports authority and needs all winter to recover from football bruises and contusions.

         Doug inherited Merry’s old clarinet which has been repaired and he has begun to practice on it. He may be in Junior band next year. He is a charter member of the Neighborhood-He-Man’s Women-Hater’s-Club. This means that he is only interested in Barbara, Karen, Sharon and one or two others.

         Will keeps moderately busy teaching at the State College. However, as time goes on a little more time is available for reading and planning and a little less of the rat-race to keep up with details. There are 76 faculty members now. This represents a great variety of talents and interests and along with over 1,000 students keeps things buzzing. We just received permission to offer a major (we’ve had a minor) in psychology and are beginning to train school psychologists.

        The biggest improvement around our house during the summer was that our street had curb and gutter installed and the street was resurfaced. It makes a tremendous difference in the frontal appearance of the place. We have become more in love with the house each year, and of course as you all know, it is at its most livingest around Christmas.

        Our plans for next summer are taking shape. We will be gone week-ends frequently until June seventh. After Commencement, we will have two weeks for a short trip close to home. Then the college has a six-week summer session in which Will must teach three courses. Following this, we will have six or seven weeks for a major trip. For this long trip we want to concentrate on Michigan this year.

       We will probably begin in the upper peninsula and work slowly down through the state visiting the parks and points of interest. We will then swing through several neighboring states and come home as time permits

       We will not be in Florida this Christmas, but next year we have great plans for getting deep into the southland. Just where it will be, we don’t know yet, but we are anxious to put Gabriel to the test of a long winter trip. What a way to spend Christmas - say on the ocean beach!

       This is all for this year, and so we say, “God Bless You Everyone”



                                   The Harrises,                                              Betty, Merry, Bruce, Doug,Will

Article Activity Stream