June 1977

This post will start with a letter from Marge, just so you won’t be surprised.

Dear Everybody,

Bob will no doubt have an attack from the shock of my writing this, but it is good for him! For myself , the big news is that girls and I are going to Florida, where I will study Spanish with some friends, 6 hours a day a week for a month.  I plan on leaving next Monday, June 27 and returning either the first or second week of August.  I will be taking the trailer and spend 4 days going down.  My address will be: C/O Erskine Holt, 37 Corvilla drive, Zepherhills Florida,


For all of you who plan on calling me (!), the number is 813-782-7323.  This is going to be a very new, very big experience for me, going this far by myself, and being responsible in a much larger measure than I ever have before.

Aristocrat - 2

Aristocrat Trailer

 We have been making lots of preparations – doing things to the trailer; we bought a screen-house-tent; on the trip Easter I drove the trailer a total of 15 hours; and I’ve had to hitch and unhitch and back into the driveway here several times.  The girls have also been learning how to help with  hitching and so on.  In fact, they are learning some other good things too – they wanted to do some extra things for extra money around the house, and so Louise is trimming the lawn, and doing some weeding.  Ingrid does the lawn mowing, something Bob never did like doing, and she and Louise have been preparing the front porch for painting.  First the railings, which were slightly rusty, by brushing off the rust, uncercoating and now painting with Rustolium.  Then they will do the concrete.

Marge 1977 or 1978

Because we will be gone when Louise’s birthday rolls around we are going to have a mini-celebration today.  Shortly we will go pick up a friend of hers from school to stay overnight.  The weather looks good, so they will sleep out in our screenhouse (also giving us practice in erecting it). Both Ingrid and Louise did very well in school – Ingrid only had to take 2 final exams, since she had an A average in all the other courses. We have not gotten her final grades yet.  Louise had all As or Os for outstanding, except for S for satisfactory in handwriting and gym.

Ingrid has been suffering from allergy problems, she seems to have inherited it from Bob.  They both get miserable at times, although it only lasts about a month.  Bob has had his third bout with what-ever-it-is and achy muscles and tiredness.  After a couple of weeks of it combined with allergy, he went to the doctor, and is finally getting better.  I tease him and say that except for no fever, it sounds like malaria.  I, on the other hand have been healthy, except for a sore throat a month ago.

green peas on white ceramic bowl

Photo by R Khalil on Pexels.com

I’m felling fine and really am looking forward to this trip.  A challenge and a time to grow.  Before we went south at Easter, I planted peas and beans in my garden, the beans never sprouted because the ground was still too cold, but the peas did beautifully, and we have been eating them for about 2 weeks. They are almost gone, which is good.  The tomatoes and peppers are coming along, and also onions.

I think we mentioned earlier that we all took tennis lessons – that was fun, both to learn the sport (you will be seeing us at Wimbledon any time now) and to do something together.  Unfortunately, we have not had time to play since the lessons ended, but we hope to do so during the summer.

I will now do what Bob usually does – say I’ll leave room for him to say something, when I have covered many of the news items already!

Now from me – Bob.

I am recovering again from my malaria as Marge so jokingly(?) called it.  I have really been dragged out since Memorial Day but am in pretty good shape now, or at least recovering from the latest bout and hope it stays that way.

In May I had an article published in the trade journal Electrical World about one of my projects at work.  It started out when Some time ago when the consultant who worked for us originally asked if we would agree to having an article published, as he thought the job would be a good reference.  He hired a PR agent who used us as a basis for the paper I had delivered on the subject last fall.  The PR man paid us a visit and got more input, but I had to spend quite a bit of time editing it so the flavor was what we intended and then the magazine article editor did some more editing but the end result was pretty good and I got quite a few compliments on it. We have had some visitors interested in learning more about our approach.  I even got paid $90 for it so I guess that makes me a professional…but I’m glad I don’t have to count on that for a living.

My Heathkit transceiver is finally operational.


Heathkit Logo

 I finished it a couple of weeks ago and took it up to one of the fellows at work who has some test equipment.  As it turned out two of the transistors from Heath were bad; we found that out the hard way but were able to locate the problem and correct it so it now operates as it should.  I ordered an antenna from Sears and as luck (?) would have it, they are backordered on that item.  I do have a bit more work to do though in getting the cabinet put on, but it is frustrating to have yet another delay.

Louise expressed an interest in building a radio and so I got her one for her birthday from Heath.  It is an eight transistor A.M. radio and should be a worthwhile learing project as well as a decent radio when finished, and I think she is capable of doing the work on it.  Whenever she expresses an interest in technical things, I try to encourage her even though her interests seem to go through waves of interest and lack of interest for a new one.

I am trying to make some rhubarb wine.  We had some rhubarb in our little garden, but we already had some canned from other years, so I thought I would get out the  old winemaking equipment and try that out.

That’s it for now.


About R. F.

I am a retired Professional Engineer who spent my working life in the electric utility industry. I am now a volunteer instructor at the University Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
This entry was posted in 1970-1980, Coopersburg PA, memoir, Summer vacations and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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