Introduction to Eric’s Letters

Eric writes:

Christmas 2011

Dear Erin,



When I was growing up, we lived with my Grandma Fanny for several years. She always talked and talked. She had several wonderful stories from the farm about Grandpa selling barbed wire for fences, Grandpa winning a car, or her trading chickens for a car, and so many more. After Grandma died, we all looked at each other and asked, “Did anybody write down any of those stories?”

I am sorry to say that many of those stories are lost forever. After that happened, Guy decided that this should not happen again. So he asked your Grandma Grace, Grandpa Louie, Uncle Jim, and Grandma Lucy to write their stories. After they finished, Guy made copies and distributed them to the kids. They are wonderfully cherished books.

For the past several years, I have worked on writing my stories for you. I think it is time that you have them. So, please enjoy these stories of my life. If I think of more, I may send you some from time to time that you can add to the notebook.

These letters are yours, written especially for you.


Merry Christmas and I love you.

— Eric H

Winter Nights with Cora

Grace and her doll

Grace & Doll (Click to enlarge)

Several of Grace’s stories have focused on the fun she had with friends. If you read between the lines and pay attention to some of the short sentences you’ll notice that they didn’t have much on the farm in the thirties. The picture to the right is of Grace with her doll at the home place. There isn’t much (any?) paint on the wall. The concrete step looks a little rough around the edges. Look closely at the ground. Do you see any grass? How about Grace’s hand-made dress?

This summer we took a road trip with the grand children. Their car had more toys and clothes than Grace had in the entire house. (That may be hyperbole, but not far from the truth.) In 2015 kids have electronic tablets, endless clothes, and multiple dolls with nicer clothes than Grace had on the farm.

Grace ends this story with an anecdote that I could repeat almost word for word, just with a different childhood friend.

Grandpa Guy Havelick



Grace writes:

Dear Kids,

Many times during my grade school years Cora White would come and stay overnight at our house or I would stay with her.

Their farm was less than a mile south from the schoolhouse so they always walked to school. Their house was one story and sprawling from being built on too. Cora had her own room as her older sister Florence was gone to high school and the boys shared a room. Continue reading

New Beginnings

Ken and Lucy

Ken and Lucy

The months after the war ended must have been heady times. Ken and Lucy had worked in Seattle for a couple of years after training in Minneapolis. They met new people, grew up, and visited with relatives passing through Seattle to and from the Pacific Theater of operations. Not bad for a couple of kids from Gardner, North Dakota.

Now they’re off to new adventures back home in Fargo. Family was there. After such an adventure they must have been eager to just go home.

Lucy writes:

We left Seattle with such a happy feeling you just have no idea. Of course – no job, no place to live – the little house on “Hungry Point” (that was what our section of town was called) was no place for someone expecting to have a baby. Everything changed again.

Continue reading