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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Letter One - Moving To Genoa


Dear John                                 June 15th, 1970

We moved to Genoa, Nebraska yesterday.

Genoa is a really, really small town. There are only 1,050 people that live here! I would explore a lot, but I have to take Summer school because I didn't do enough homework at my old school in Madison, Wisconsin.

There are some cool things here, though. The school library has all these books about Frontier Pioneers. I'm reading one now about Wild Bill Hickock. He was a marshal or sheriff. (I'm not sure which, I haven't gotten that far in the book yet.) The teacher is really nice. Her name is Mrs. Olson. She makes the class interesting.

My step dad is giving me .50¢ a week to mow the lawn. I'm saving up for new handle bars, a banana seat, and a sissy bar for my bike. I can't wait to put those on! There is a kid whose dad owns the Standard Oil station on Main Street. His bike has chopper forks and a steering wheel instead of handle bars!

Over >

[drawing of bike with steering wheel]

So that's what the Standard Oil Kid's bike looks like. It's painted a dark purple. He said that his dad welded the steering wheel and extra-long front forks. You can see the weld marks.

There's a huge empty field behind our house, and railroad tracks at the other side of the field. The train goes by late every afternoon. You can't go barefoot in the back yard, though! Sand burrs!
[drawing of sand burr] They stick in your toes and feet, and it hurts like crazy!!!

So what did you do this month?

Your friend,


John's hand-written reply:

Letter 01: Ice Age Territory - John to Dan Reply

1 comment:

  1. Well I finally made it out of Natchez for a trip. My grandparents took me all the way to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. So we were near your neck of the woods. This was the furthest west I've ever been.
    And when we crossed into Kansas from Missouri there was a sunflower forest! There was a sign saying this area was covered by glaciers in the ice age. And at one time bison roamed those parts.

    It would have been great to see you out there in the windblown plains. Something about the great plains with their wide open skies makes me want to sing cowboy songs under the stars. But I'll make it out t here. You and me will ride bikes in the big sky country. When I think of those men hunting Wooly Mammoths in the Arctic frost my heart is filled with wonder.

    Dear Dan,

    I hope you get that bike of your spiffied up like you want. I know you will. God those sand burrs sure would make me keep my shoes on. Here in the south we have black stinging caterpillars. They fall from the trees and crawl all over the yards. Stepping on them barefoot is asking for some big hurt.

    Those pioneer books are a great find. Living in your little bitty town sounds good for the soul. Hey I wrote a poem about going to Kansas. Here it is:

    My First Trip West

    Saffron sunflower forests rose
    Under turquoise vault of heaven
    Welcomed me to pelagic plains
    On the edge of an ice age land
    Where bison once roamed free

    Your Friend,