We have various items in my house that belonged to my grandfather, Bob Hasty, but just the other day we found something that I treasure above all else, a letter. A letter brings back his voice, his way of speaking, and helps me remember him more vividly than anything else.
The letter was written in April 1958. My parents had been married just over a year, and were struggling financially. My dad was trying to sell insurance, and he wasn't great at it. My mom was teaching school.
Papaw was working at Lockheed, designing the wires in the nose of airplanes. Even though he had been a "jock" in his younger years, playing and/or managing baseball teams for more than 25 years, he was, in fact, quite brilliant. When he retired it took more than a year and he had to train 2-3 men to replace him.
this is the terrific poster my cousin's child, Michael Hasty over at Inkhaus designed
Here is the letter, typed out:
Dear Elva & Tony,
Had your card when came in this pm. Would like to come down but just don't believe I can sit that long. [He had problems with his hips and lower legs] Built me a sunhouse. I'm getting in the sun all I can. [he believed in the healing power of sunshine, which is a great source of Vitamin D]. Believe I'll be better if can get about as tan as a punkin. Can't understand this mess. Haven't been able to turn my head but just part way since Buck was a calf.
The man called me today, said he had the puppie. I went up and got him. He is about like Pete was when we got him, only his face is a little uglier. He got sick coming home and berped on the front seat. I would let him ride with me. We have about as much use for that thing as a hog has for a sidesaddle. [they later had to re-home the dog]
You know something? [this was his way of saying "remember/know how much I love you," words he just couldn't say verbally but the phrase "you know something" was always said with great tenderness and his meaning was obvious]
Darn if I don't believe the men are going on strike at Lockheed. Six thousand of them voted Sunday, 90% of them voted to strike. Lot of darn fools up there, or I'm crazy, one.
Just talked to Bobbie. He said he has to go to Dobbins Saturday & Sunday [he was in the air force reserves I think] and he also said that Myrtle might not need to ride that much [his wife, who was pregnant]. I would like to ride down. But to sit too long sho does give me a pane in the ---.
Haven't played any golf in a month. Unless I can free up some in the knees hips and shoulders there won't be much more golf. [He loved golf] Well, had 61 years without much trouble guess shouldn't kick [up a fuss? not sure why he used the word "kick" but it's plainly written].
Y'all come on up when you can.
Reckon Mother will be back before Sunday week. [My grandmother was off visiting one of her sisters]
P.S. How's insurance business Tony? Excellent, I hope. [FYI, my dad was a terrible insurance salesman and they were always broke, until he went to work for the bank]
There's an extra letter written on the back of a note from my aunt Marcel:
Just talked to Mother. Awfully sorry to hear of your bad luck. [ankle issue] but hope you will be feeling better soon. Had couple of notes from Marcel. Thought I'd send them on. She left this space. Thought to maybe use this blank side. Looks like I may be working all the time for a few days. Two hours overtime each day, 8 hrs. Saturday, probably 8 Sunday. Look out vacation. Can you make it. Just talked to Sonny [a nephew] he wants to come down and bring Mother back. His vacation starts this Friday. He said he may run down one day and back the next if it suited everybody.
Love to Tony and Elva [this is part of the quote from Sonny I think]
You know something -