Mixsonian Larry



From Mom

Mom at her desk in the Physics Department
Mom at her desk in the Physics Department

In July I received two typed letters from Mom which were on University of Florida, Department of Physics letterhead which she wrote while she was working.  At this time the Physics Department had one of the newest “Word Processing” systems and Mom quickly learned to use it.  She likely used typing up such letters was “practice” on the new system.  

Mom by this time was the senior “Administrative Assistant” at the Physics Department, the University no longer used the term “secretary.  Mom pretty much ran the business of the department which was of considerable size with its many professors, associate professors, graduate students, and considerable number of staff for the department.  She described her work in a letter,

Mom's Letter

Dr. Hooper [the department chairman] had been out in California for the past three weeks, and when he’s gone I get all of his problems and phone calls to solve. Then since the new fall semester (previously quarters) starts for the payroll I had to get all the paper work! Just to get one new professor on the payroll takes 16 items, and we have 2 new professors coming and 18 new Graduate Students, and 5 new post docs. Then all old graduate assistants and all old faculty have to be reappointed, along with their new raise. A dern lot of paper work!

Mom would often say how busy she was but evidently she had time to compose and type up a rather long two page letter in which she described what her, Dad and family had been doing the previous week, who visited who, what her and Dad had for dinner, updates on family members and so on and then paragraphs for each of us kids. Some of the highlights…

July 14, 1981

Dear Brenda, Tom, Beth, Mark, Larry and David  

David, I’ve been expecting a letter from you for over a week now, you know you owe me one.  I do hope my last letter got to you, I sent it over 2 weeks ago, it was a typed one. Also did you get the little stove daddy sent to you?  I really wonder if I could make the hike up there? Do you think I can?  Also what hiking trail would be the easiest? You know daddy is still talking about hiking up there over Labor Day. We would leave here Sat. Morning, hike up to the lodge Sunday, hike down Monday, and come home Tuesday. We would like to see you wand do that if you think I could make it. Please advise.

David was still up at Mt. LeConte Lodge and mail was brought up with the supplies by lamas.

Beth and Mark.  I’ve been looking for a letter or phone call from you now for two weeks.  Hope everything is OK with you and that you are doing well and not sick or anything.  I have confidence that by the time you get this we would of heard from you. 

Well it was nice to know I wasn’t the only one of the kids that Mom made feel guilty for not writing or calling her.

Brenda and Tom, Kristopher, Jeremy and baby Andrew.  We really miss you. I started a tope on July 4 and can’t seem to get around to finish it up. I bought a new recored to record for you Krisopher, and I’ll try to do it this week.

Mom and Brenda had started sending cassette tapes to each other for some time since it was so expensive to call long distance to Austria.  I was home visiting Mom and Dad once and they had me say a few words on one of the tapes..

Larry, Julie and Anne. It was nice talking to you Larry, and I can’t wait til you call and let us know your definite plans for your wedding. Oct. 24 seems to be a good time since Florida has no football game that week-end. Oh, I almost forgot, Dixie and Marvin set the date for them to get married, Sat. Aug. 29. Mom said she’d only believe it when she sees the marriage certificate!

Julie and I were planning to get married in the fall in Gainesville and so we had to plan around the Florida Gator football games which Dad had season ticket for and didn’t want to miss.   

Mom closed the letter with, “Everyone owes me a letter now, so I’d better get some. We love all of you and God bless each of you and take care of you. Love, Mom & Dad.”  Mom loved letters and writing but I’m sure I didn’t write, but I did call regularly and visited them up in Gainesville once or twice a month. 

From Mom

On July 30th I received another long typed letter from Mom on Physics Department letterhead. The first page was mostly about who, what, when, and what her and Dad had been doing since the last letter.  “I had mom over of supper. We had a London Broil steak cooked on the grill, mashed potatoes (my how I miss my mashed potatoes, just for 2 people, I hate to mash them, they just all get stuck in the beaters of the mixer), fresh cooked squash, toss salad, and sliced fresh peaches for dessert. I try to have mom over for supper every Sat. Night.“

Mom and Dad had decided to go up to see David at Mt. LeConte and wrote in the letter to David about plans and questions for the hike up to LeConte.

Mom wrote to Beth and Mark in the letter saying, “I sure miss you and cooking supper for you. It’s lonesome eating supper with on 2 of us.”  Mom also update Beth on Sheba, which was Beth’s miniature dachshund which she had left with Mom and Dad. Mom wrote, “I think daddy is still feeding her too much, as she’s getting fat. (Just like someone else I know!.”   That someone else being Dad.  Sheba would be the first of a number of dachshunds that Dad would have. 

For my part in the letter Mom wrote.

Well, Larry are you and Julie still getting married now on Nov. 7th?? David ought to be home from La Conte by that time. Hope you, Julie and Anne are having a good time in Washington, D.C. Wish I was going with you. Someday I wat to go back as we didn’t get to see all of the sights that year we went. Call us when you get back, so we can plan the dates to come visit you. I need to let Sue know so she can expect us, as we will spend the night with her.

Aunt Sue and Uncle Jimmy also lived in Melbourne a couple of miles from my house on Easy Street. Uncle Jimmy was the manager of the Belk’s Lindsey department store in Melbourne.  Even with them living so close I seldom saw them in Melbourne.  I probably saw them more when we both were visiting family in Gainesville.

From David

In Mom’s letter she also included a copy of the letter that David had sent her dated August 6th.  His letter was mostly about Mom and Dad’s plans to hike up to Mt. LeConte but did say,

“The last day for the Lodge is November 9th, so if Larry’s wedding is the 7th, it may pose a problem – I would like to close the lodge – sort of an eventful day with celebration and all.  But I won’t miss the wedding of course. Wonder if Julie and Larry will have children.”

I was happy that with marrying Julie, I would gain a daughter, Anne, and I would have liked to have more children.

From Brenda

The first of August I received a letter from Brenda saying she was excited that Julie and I set a date to be married of November 7th.  She said wrote,

    I have never met Julie but everyone in the family writes and really like her.  Anne sounds like a sweet girl too! I can’t imagine you as a father but then I can’t imagine myself the mother of 3 boys.     

    We are really getting old aren’t we?  Buy now you will have a family and won’t be so lonely in your old age.

Getting old?  I was only 28.  In the letter she asked about what she could get me for a wedding present and suggested a cuckoo clock saying, “they make good clocks her.”  She also suggested, “Very pretty and elegant looking” crystal wine glasses.

From Mom

I was happy that with marrying Julie, I would gain a daughter, Anne, and I would have liked to have more children.

Updated: 07-27-2023

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