1961 Will & Betty Harris Family Christmas Letter

December 13, 1961 314 N. Fremont St. River Falls, Wis.

Dear One All:                                                                                                             The greatest news of the past year was the summer session.  We lived on the shore of Lake Mendona for ten weeks.  After a few days of shopping a 14 foot runabout and a thirty-five horse-power motor was acquired with water skiis and a wonderful summer of fun began.  Merry lived at the French House most of the time and took music and French at the U.  Bruce was at the State Music Clinic for three weeks, living in a new dormitory and getting some experience  with college living.  Doug played first base for MIddleton in the Babe Ruth baseball league.  Betty was enrolled at the U. of Minnesota but was doing her Master’s research at the U. of Wisconsin.  This may seem confusing, but it is possible to do.  She is well along on her Master’s Degree in Art Education.  Will taught two classes, Wechsler Testing and the Gifted Child and had a wonderful time. This was graduate teaching so it was a special treat.

        The faculty of the University was very cordial and many friendships of graduate days were renewed.  One of the high times of the summer was family night at the Union.  This was unexpected and unusual.  We did have many guests, 22 one weekend and 12 the next.  There was lots of floor space in the cottage and we used it.  Several people have mentioned that they almost dropped in on us during the summer.  You should of, there was always room in the lake!

         Although our house trailer did not move this summer for the first time, we did make several side trips.  For sports we saw our Milwaukee Braves in two of their best games of the year.  Buhl pitched a one hit game, and we saw Spahn win game number 300 of his career.  After that the team fell apart so we went elsewhere.

          Of course the family has grown in size.  When Merry is in heels alongside Bruce, Doug and Will, there are four six footers now.  Betty hasn’t gotten any taller, but some whiter.

          All but Doug sing in the Red Wing Madrigal Singers and enjoy it.  We’ve given several concerts and plan several more.  Betty teaches art at Prescott for the fourth year.  She attended an extensive seminar on Frank Lloyd Wright this summer, including side trips.

          The house has received a new furnace, pipes, perimeter registers and all.  We are now starting a complete remodeling of the kitchen.  The main structural changes have been made, the electrical work is done and some painting.  Cabinet and appliances remain.  There is still much to do.

          Merry has been taking voice lessons from a fine teacher at the U. of Minnesota.  She begins student teaching at  Spooner in a few days.  It will be music and French.  She will be away for eight weeks teaching full days.  She has the Spring quarter to go before graduation.  Next summer and year will probably be graduate work at the U. of Wisconsin.  She made many good contacts there and hopes to continue where she left off.

           Next summer Betty will have to be in residence at the U. of Minnesota.  Will has to teach at River Walls, Merry will be at Madison.  The boys may be at the Music Clinic at Madison.  While we enjoyed cottage living this summer as much as anything we have ever done, we do look forward to some leisure camping in our neglected trailer.

          During Thanksgiving the whole family visited the Ted Harrises at Madison,The Benharts at La Grange and Will’s sister and mother at Wheaton.  We drove 400 miles in fog and rain but the hospitality more than paid for the tough trip.  The highway improves each time we go this way. Someday it will be all free-way here to Chicago.  Happy Day!

           There are so many other things to mention, and memories to recall, but let this suffice to remind you of us and our wishes for all that is good in the coming year.                               With Love,                                     The Harrises                                              Douglas                                                 Bruce                                                    Meredythe                                                        Betty                                                           Will



On this day