JOHANNA'S LETTERS - 1965


LETTER FROM MABLE HEATHER (Johanna Duffus Short's daughter)


61 A Grange Court Dr.
Bexhill on Sea
England
Jan. 12th, '65

Dear Emma,

You will be wondering when I am to give you any information about John Duffus, your grandfather. John Duffus, son of my grandfather, John Duffus of Dundee, born about 1826 or there about, are the only Duffus' who had male issue. Grandpa had a sea captain brother whom we called "Uncle Polly" because he kept a parrot (he was Mamma's uncle of course). He used to catch whales in the seas of Russia. I remember we had a whaleskin rug in the kitchen. He had only two daughters. There was another uncle who helped grandpa with his tailoring business in Dundee, but he only had one daughter who died.
I've been jogging Mamma's memories of the past which isn't easy now. I think I'm right in saying your grandfather was the last of the Duffuses. It was interesting to know someone is researching into it.
So sorry your husband hasn't been well last year. Hope this year will be better for him. I should think the police force in America have a very waring time. Ours are finding it very trying & "the man in the street" is asked to help all he can, which I think we should.
It's nice your son has such lovely place, where you can go & spend your holidays. It's something to look forward to.
Mamma is sleeping more & more in the day time, but enjoys getting up & seeing friends when they come.
We are going to the theatre this week for our outing.

Kind wishes for the New Year,


Mable

LETTER FROM MABLE HEATHER

4th April 1965

Dear Emma,

You will be surprised to hear that Mamma passed away on the 25th March and was cremated at eastbourne after a service at our English church on 30th March.

My four children with one wife & husband, a nephew & his wife came so it was quite a crowd of us to be there. We were not sad, as she was wanting to go & lately her breathing became difficult. It turned out to be bronchitis & then pneumonia, the last couple of days & she gradually went. Fortunately the nurse, who helped us, was able to came in for extra time the last 4 days, so I was bale to lie down for extra rest.

The doctors thought she was in very good condition. One said he was honored to have attended one so old. Everyone had a good word to say of her. About 20 friends came to the Church service. My eldest daughter, Claire, has stayed to help me spring clean the little bedroom.

Her son & his friend had been walking in France & they have dropped in here on the way back. They are university students. Claire is going home today & the boys tomorrow. It has tided over the sudden being only two of us.
We miss her a lot, but now will be able to get out together & plan a holiday on the Continent in late September.

Mamma still kept her 3 working books from school when they wrote "copperplate." I thought you might like one -- I will send it later.

Your letter came after Mamma died. I'm sorry you haven't been well, but hope you are better again.

Thank you for your enclosures. I expect you will enjoy your sunrise service. I hope the sun is there to welcome you. I shall think of you then. Shall look forward to your letters now & then.

Love

Mable Heather



LETTER FROM MABLE HEATHER (Johanna Duffus Short's daughter)

61 A Grange Ct. Drive
Bexhill
Sussex
May 4th 1965

Dear Emma,

This is the writing book I promised you.

It was written when she was 12. We don't write "Copperplats" today, do we? We had three of these at 12, 13 & 14 years. I'm sure Mamma would like you to have one.

I have a good deal more time to myself now & had three of the families down from Bexhill in the past 6 weeks & we have been up to Harrow. It's about 12 miles from London to my daughter Barbara. We stayed 5 days & also called on Donald in the west district Ruislip, where the American Air Force have their base. Unfortunately, the weather was wet & cold. Still walked about quite a bit. Saw our old home at Staunor's ?. Everywhere houses & factories are being built.

The end of May we are going up to Birmingham to stay with our 2nd son Geoffrey & will stay 10 days, as the cricket season is on. My husband is an enthusiastic watcher. I shall do other . . . . .


LETTER FROM MABLE HEATHER (Johanna Duffus Short's daughter)

61 A Grange Ct. Drive
Bexhill, Sussex, England
Nov. 29, 1965

Dear Emma,

I was very pleased to get you Xmas letter with its newspaper enclosures.

For a moment, I wondered if "Meg" was a relation of yours. We never call her anything, but Margaret & usually have Princess before it. It's interesting to see how the other countries do things.

What a wonderful recovery President Johnson must have made to be able to join the dancing so soon after his operation. Doctors are clever now-a-days. I'm so glad to know your husband came through his experience safely. I should think a holiday in Florida would do him a world of good. The knowledge that he is now retired takes a load off men's mind too I think. The comfort of knowing you needn't get up early or go out in all weather.

I think the police give a great deal of service to their country.

Well, here we are near Xmas. It makes spring seem near. What a wonder the changing seasons are. We should get so tired of the same temperature. I met someone from South Africa who said "Oh those long hot days are awful." They'd rather settle here

We may go up to London for Xmas day, we haven't settled yet. Sometimes the four families meet. The Birmingham, Cheltenham families going to the London ones. It's so nice traveling in Winter.

I've been to the Commonwealth Exhibition in London lately & also a musical show, so we are getting about freely now & enjoying it.

I expect all your young folks are looking forward to Xmas & its festivities.

I expect you've heard about these places on the Almanac. I thought a few notes would add interest.

Best Xmas greetings from,

Mable.


LETTER FROM MABLE HEATHER in 1963 (Johanna Duffus Short's daughter)


61, H, Grange Court Dr.
Bexhill, Sussex, England

Dear Emma,

Mamma thanks you for your birthday wishes. She is still going strong and enjoying life. She must be tough to stand this cold weather. Of course, all she does is sit by the fire well wrapped up & a rubber hot water bottle at her hands. It's really been terrific -- the cold. The warmest place was in bed with two bottles. I usually lie down for an hour in the afternoons as I'm 72. Still the thaw has come with slush, mirk, but the first snow drop is up in our garden, so spring can't be long in coming now.

Mamma had a wonderful birthday with friends calling in on three days running. I made he a festive cake with 103 & Happy Birthday in silver & decorated it with oranges & lemon segments & silver balls. We had the Press & Photographer by 10:15 am & a telegram from the Mayor. We did not invite any of the family as we only have two bedrooms in use during the winter. We put plants & store apples in the room upstairs then.

I'll enclose the cutting. They have smoothed out the wrinkles.

You haven't had it too cold when you wrote, so I hope you have missed it altogether. I suppose you get hot in the summer. We seldom get up to 80 degrees. I hope you all had a Happy Xmas. You have quite a crowd living near, I think, so can get together. It makes a very jolly time then.

Shall be looking forward to hearing from you again about Easter.

We are hoping one of our families will come then to stay with us for the week end.

With all good wishes for 1963.

Yours sincerely,

Mable Heather


Fairhaven
The Reddings
Cheltenhan
Olds, England
June 26, 1966

Dear Mrs. Donald,

I received a letter from my grandmother on the 22nd and she has told me all about you. I would be delighted to visit you when I am in New York. I arrive there on July 17th & return from there to U.K. on October 3rd.

I will have to find a job when I get there probably in the New York area, I am not sure quite what.

I a few days time I have to travel down to London to visit the U.S. embassy where they examine me and I hope eventually stamp my visa
While I am not working I plan to travel around quite a bit on the Greyhound buses for which I have a 19 day ticket.

I should imagine however I would find it difficult visiting the national parks in this way.

In a weeks time the University term will have ended and I will be traveling from Hull in Yorkshire down south to Gloustershire where my parents live.

My sister Peggy is at the University of Birmingham which is about 45 miles to the North of Chellinham whereas Hull is nearly 200 miles away.

I hope you will be able to write to me before I leave.

Yours sincerely

Michael Rowell

LETTER FROM JESSIE S. WILKIE (Johanna Duffus Short's daughter to Cathy Trapp, the daughter of Emma Duffus Arnold)

38, Menglee Park Av.
Glascow
22 July 1968

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Trapp,

We were so sorry to have missed you when you were in Glascow, as we were anxious to trace our relationships & to hear all the news of the families connection.

I was wondering if you had any connection with the Trapps in the "Sound of Music" (as it is an uncommon name). Of course the Trapps of Austria settled in America when they escaped from Hitler.

I have just been reading Maria Trapp's autobiography & found it delightful reading -- the film was charming.

I was ready to ask so many questions, had we met, about the Duffus Clan, as all I know my mother's half brother John Duffus went to America many moons ago. My mother kept up correspondence with him, I know, for years, but of course that is not today or yesterday.

I am 81 now myself & my husband is 84 (enclosed photos just taken at Loch Lomond in the Summertime.

I would be delighted is you would drop a line at your convenience & tell us about yourselves & relatives for the Duffus side.

Hoping as you say we might meet another time.

With best wishes,

Jessie S. Wilkie


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