Entry in a vintage 1964 high school yearbook. Note that the pen (and apparently their relationship) changes halfway through the message.
To my Dearest [boy's name],
Hi! It has been lots of fun knowing going with you and I hope we never break up. We have had so much fun together. I will hate to see you leave me this summer when you go fishing. I think you are a wonderful guy and I am very glad that I am the lucky girl to go with you. Even though we do have fights it is worth it. Well I wish you all the luck in the following years to come. I will never forget you [boy's name] and I hope you will never forget me even though we do break up. Good luck with your fishing this summer. Hope you catch alot of fish. My one wish is that you are always happy. Be good and keep smiling.
The Dog House restaurant postcard from Helen's 1963 visit to Seattle, including the fairgrounds of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (now the Seattle Center).
9/22/63 Dear Bea & Jeanne, We went to the Bethany Pres. Church this A.M. and then to the fairgrounds. Of course it had to rain. Did take a few pictures. Had strawberry waffles at the Belgian booth at the Food Circus. Saw quite a bit but the rain got the best of us. Then we drove to "The Dog House" and had dinner. Then came on home. Are going to ride the monorail tomorrow. Hope everything is OK there. As ever, Helen.
Bittersweet letters from three little New Jersey girls to their married older sister, Mildred, written during the 1918 flu pandemic that killed millions of people worldwide. Text is transcribed under the scans.
From her little sister, Evelyn:
Dear Mildred I was out side Tuesday but I could not play with the outher girls I could not play in the back yard I could only sit down but I had to go in after while. Katheryn ran over to the gate she thought I was going to come out and play.
Dear Mildred I like the card you sent me I no the verse momma don't think I am strong enough to walk down the stairs.
Dear Mildred the book is very nice I read the book all through it is very nice. papa bought me a new pad.
Dear Mildred I thank you for the cotton it is very nice. we brought it to school first Bernice brought it to her tacher then I brught it to my teacher and my teacher let all the children see it Edith teacher father was so sick and the teacher had to leave the children out of school early because he was so sick that she had to go and see him and he died one sunday not very along ago school let out because of this sicknes I am going to school tuesday if I am strong enough maby. I cannot tell you anything about Edith teacher or school send my love to Russel.
From her mother:
Ridgefield, Nov. 1-1918
I should have written to you today but had but there is not time left for that -- I have just finished a letter to Laura -- the first for two months. The children are doing nicely now. Evelyn has been getting up about noon since Tuesday and I still carry her up and down stair -- I feel better to day than I have since this sickness came. Hope you and Russell are O. K. Yes the box came and I stored it in the Attic after I had opened it -- I was startled when I saw the 5th Ave. Adress on it and wondered what had happened -- Your Loving Mother
I am going to let Bernice take this down to the P.O. Her first trip down.
From her little sister, Bernice:
Ridgefield, N. J.
I recied my birthday present it is just big enough for me and it fits me fine. The sleves are not to big and they fit me well. Papa and mama like it very much to and they say that it will have to be my best sweater.
I to reied the card you sent me and thank you very much for it. I am saveing it because it is the only one I have. I know the peice that is on the frount of my card by heart.
And I also thank you for the nice book you gave me. I have readed it through twice and like it very much my story is about Dumble Bee who was so lazy and would not work. And learned how to work. I have so many things to write you about I hope you will get this letter in good time.
Lovely Bernice I am feeling fine
Give my love to Russell
I also forgot to tell you about my brithday party papa and mama gave me a pair of brown gloves and a new tress is orange and light blue stripes with blue cloer and eaves. And Kathryn small gave me a pencil box which I almost get every time I liked this all very much hope you have a happy Hallowe'en I am writing this in the munites I have because the girls are waiting for me to come out and play
So I close my letter with a which that you and Russell will keep well good by
From her little sister, Edith:
Ridgefield, N. J.
Oct. 31, 1918
I thank you very much for the book. I got the book yesday eveing I read it after supper and I enjoyed it very much.
I heard that you are going to make me a sweater but you had to knite Russel one first for he needed it very badly.
I hope you will have a very happy Halloween. I am going out this eveing with my pupunkin for a little while I have a new pad for a birthday prestent on Bernices birthday I got a new green dress.
I have been up now for a week. And will be the first week I have been out Satrday.
I injoyed the card very mcuh to Kathryn is going to writgh a letter after we are all well.
Evelyn will be out for the first day Monday She got up last tusday and she is very glad to be up again.
Evelyn had the badest case of all she had nomonea [pneumonia] with her's I had the slitest case of all.
One of the little Berger Boys died sunday the day when I was taken sick so ther is only three boys left.
The the four boys were sick an the father and Ant. they all live in the same house next to Smalls only the mother dinent get sick but they are all up and out again.
I never met Chris Wedes. But J. P. Patches was a treasured friend. While some say his recent passing means our childhoods are truly over, I see it as a call to rally the troops -- the legions of Patches Pals who were lucky to have him in our lives.
Every weekday (before *and* after school for many years), J. P.'s TV show for children would be broadcast live on local Seattle television. Yes, he was a TV clown but he was much, much more than that. J. P. wasn't your manic or sad circus or parade-type clown. Extremely funny and quick, he never lowered himself into being an "in-your-face", attention-seeking Bozo. He didn't need to try that hard.
Children's television was so different back in the 1960s. While some nationally-broadcast shows did indeed have toy tie-ins, there were no rows of J. P. Patches play-things at toy stores. There was just reliable old J. P. twice a day on the TV and that was enough for us.
J. P. wasn't make-believe. He was a real person you could meet at the local Pay n' Save, the Woodland Park Zoo and other special events across the city. If you were super-lucky, your Girl or Boy Scout troop visited the set where the show was filmed. But even though it was produced in a real set in familiar ol' downtown Seattle, his TV show also magical. J. P. could see into our homes with the ICU2 TV set and announce there was a birthday present for Johnny in the dryer. His yearly trip to visit Santa at the North Pole was something I looked forward to every single year.
The show was crazy with lots of memorable characters played by Bob Newman. But underneath the slapslick and Patches chuckles, J.P. respected us, never talking down to us. He promoted good behavior, as evidenced by the Patches Pal Checklist and Santa's Pal-o-Vac. There were rules and you were expected to follow them. But he also had the ability to laugh at himself when things didn't go quite as planned.
At local events, J.P. always asked your name with a firm handshake, looking at you straight in the eye. He had a way of making you feel special. At the Shoreline Classic Car show in July 2011, when I reminded him that he "ding-a-linged" my ponytail at a Ballard store in 1968, he exclaimed, "Oh yes! I remember you, Jeanne!"
My challenge to Patches Pals can be summed up with these words: "Be J. P." Be J. P. to the children you encounter along life's journey. Respect them individually. Expect good behavior (while also admitting that you too mess up sometimes). Be present and reliable. And most important, remember the fun J. P. brought into your childhood and give a bit of that magic back to the little kids of today.
1952 yearbook inscription from Vista High School, Vista, California.
It is not easy to put down on paper all the fun that we have had during these last five months. I have never been with a person who is near as sweet and fine as you. You have been to me, all that I ever wanted or hoped for in a girl. It has been a truly great pleasure to have been able to go with you. You are as sweet and have all of the qualifications as nearly perfect that anyone could have. Most of this is due to the fine upbringing of your wonderful parents but the rest is brought on by your charming personality and physical attractiveness. I feel that I can safely predict for you a great future in whatever you do for with your qualities anyone could become the best in whatever field they undertake. Take care of yourself and always remain the same honesty, sincere, and charming person you are.