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Jul 2010
When Mom died in June of 1991 Dad was rather lost,
like the rest of us. I started writing little letters in
big print so he could read them. He would not talk on
the phone so this was the only way to make contact.
I found out later that he carried them around in his
bib overall pocket and pulled them out from time to time.
Occasionally they would get washed and when Sharon
let me know I would run off another copy and mail it.
It became a means for me to remember the past and help
Dad at the same time. My kids loved to hear stories of
when I was a kid so I would recycle the stories between
the kids and Dad. Now as I read them it is a reminder of
things that have become a little fuzzy over the years,
also a reminder that I need to fill in the gaps of the stories
and leave them for my kids before it is too late. So here it is,
such as it is, if you are interested.

=======================================

    Letter­s to Dad

    Nov. 14, 1991

    Dear Dad,
    Your grandkiddies, as you call them,
    send you a big hug from Idaho. Sara is
    five and in Kindergarten this year and
    doing very well. Kristen is in the forth
    grade and made the Honor Roll list the
    first quarter of the year. We are very
    proud of both of our girls.

    Do you remember when toward late
    afternoon you and I would get in the car
    and “Drive around the block” as you
    always said? We would go up to Cliff’s
    and go east for a mile then down past
    Cleo Mae house and on back home. I
    remember you would stop at the junk
    piles and I would find neat stuff, like
    wheels from old toys, that I could make
    into my toys. I think of those times often.
    It was very enjoyable.

    I will be writing to you in the BIG PRINT
    so you can read it easier.

    It is snowing lightly here today. Supposed
    to be nasty weather for a while.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ——————————————————–

    Dec. 3, 1991

    Dear Dad,

    Just a note to say we love you. I miss very
    much talking to Mom on the phone and
    having you play Red Wing on your harmonica.

    I remember quite often when I was very
    young, 4 or 5, and we would go out to the
    field to change the water or something.
    The sand burrs would be so thick and you
    would pick me up on your back. I would
    put my feet into your back pockets and
    away we would go.

    These are the things childhood memories
    are supposed to be made of. Kristen and
    Sara love to hear the stories about when I
    was a kid and what you and I did
    together. I try with them to build the
    memories that they can tell their kids.
    Thanks Dad for a good childhood.

    Bye for now.
    Kristen and Sara send you a kiss and a
    hug.

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    Jan. 12, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    We went to Oregon for Christmas and
    had very good traveling weather. Do you
    remember when you and Mom went with
    us once to Oregon at Christmas and
    there were apples still hanging on the
    tree by the Williams house? We made
    apple pie from the apples that you
    picked. Turned out to be pretty good pie.
    There weren’t any apple on the tree this
    year. I thought of you picking the apples
    and bringing them into the kitchen in
    your hat if I remember right.

    We have had some pretty good times
    together. I was thinking the other day
    about a picture that I took of you about
    12 years ago. It captured you as I will
    always remember you. If I can locate it in
    all the stuff, I would like to get it blown
    up and submit it to the art section at the
    Twin Falls County Fair this year.

    I hope this finds you feeling well. I love
    you Dad. Kristen and Sara send you a
    kiss and a hug.

    Oh yes, I would like for you and Tracy to
    sit down sometime and talk about when
    you were a kid and record it on tape. I
    would like to put your remembrances
    down on paper.

    Bye for now.

    Your son, John

    ———————————————————

    Feb. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Happy Valentine’s Day!!

    Spring is on the way and soon you will be
    85. Just a spring chicken, right? I hope I
    can get around as well as you do by the
    time I am 85.

    Thanks for the letter. I will keep it for a
    very long time. It is the first letter I have
    received from my Father in 48 years.

    Talked to Ed the other day. He said he
    talked to you on the phone and that you
    were wearing your hearing aids and
    glasses. Great! Mom would be proud of
    you.

    Talked to a guy last week who is
    president of the John Deer tractor group
    here. He invited me to bring my “M”
    John Deer to the County Fair and
    participate in the tractor pull contest.
    Might just do that.

    Well the page is filling up using these big
    letters but if it makes it easier to read it is
    worth it.

    Bye for now Dad, I love you. Pennye,
    Kristen and Sara send their love too.

    Your son, John
    —————————————————-
    April 13, 1992

    Dad

    Though the years have past and you are now
    85, you are still the same as when I was a
    child. The memories of going with you to the
    field, when you were “riding the ditch”,
    surveying in a lateral, loading up the turkeys
    in the old Ford truck and taking them to the
    “Hoppers” - is just as if it were yesterday. I
    think of you playing Red Wing on the harp. I
    remember when during the looong cold
    winters we would play checkers. You would
    always beat me. I learned to play a good game.

    Not much has changed except we are both
    much older now. The values you did not speak
    but lived out in front of me has helped make
    me what I am today. I pray that I will be a
    good example before my children to help them
    on their way through life.

    On your 85th birthday, I want to wish you a
    Happy Birthday and thank you for being my
    Father.

    Love
    John

    April 13, 1992

    ————————————————–

    June 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    I hope this finds you well. The Stevens
    family in Twin Falls Idaho is having a
    busy summer. Kristen just finished the
    fourth grade and was on the Honor Roll
    for the entire year. Sara will now be a
    big First Grader next year.

    The other day we went out to eat and
    Kristen had chicken and noodles. She
    said, “This tastes just like Grandma
    Nellie’s noodles.” I hope they can keep
    these memories fresh and remember all
    the good times we had back in Nebraska.
    It is difficult to accept that things have
    changed and will never be the same again.
    We miss the weekly phone calls to Nebraska.

    It is clouding up and we might get rain
    this week. It is very dry around here.
    Some of the canals will be cut off in July.

    Bye for now.

    Your Son John

    Love you Dad. I think of you often.

    —————————————————-

    June 22, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Hope you had a good “HAPPY PAPPY”
    day. This note is to wish you a late
    “HAPPY PAPPY” day.

    I was thinking the other day about the
    times you would take me roller skating
    out at the fair ground on Sunday
    afternoons. I really enjoyed those times. I
    remember how you could give a little hop
    and skate backwards. For me staying on
    my feet was a challenge.

    Sara will be 6 years old June 29. Seems
    like yesterday when she was born. Time
    has a way of passing very quickly.

    Love you lots Dad. The family sends their
    love too.

    Bye for now.
    John

    —————————————————

    Aug. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Just a note to let you know that your
    Idaho family love you. It was good to talk
    to you for a minute or two the other day.
    I miss the harmonica playing you would
    do over the phone.

    We are all well even though the place
    was covered with smoke from all the
    forest fires last week. It got a little hard
    on the lungs at times but the smoke has
    moved on now. Probably went over
    Nebraska.

    Talked to brother Ed the other day. He
    had just returned from from Nebraska.
    Ed said you looked good for 85.

    Bye for now.

    John

    —————————————————–

    Sept. 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    I am sending a copy of what Mom sent
    me a few years ago of what she
    remembered about growing up. I wish I
    had more. How about sitting down with
    Tracy and Sharon and telling them some
    of the things you remember about
    growing up? They can record it and I will
    put it on paper. I would really like that.

    We are ok here in Idaho. Summer had
    disappeared and it is school time again.
    Kristen is in the 5th grade and Sara is in
    the 1st grade. The family went to the
    County Fair today for the second time.
    One day is enough for me.

    I think of you often and love you Dad.
    Thinking of the good times we had
    together while I was growing up always
    makes me happy. You and Mom raised
    four pretty good kids.
    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    —————————————————–

    Oct. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    We are fine out in Idaho. We are having
    beautiful fall weather. It has not frozen
    enough to get our tomato plants yet.

    Kristen and Sara are doing very well in
    school. They brought home their mid
    term report cards and are getting A’s
    and a B or two.

    Remember when we would go out in the
    corn field and pick the corn by hand? I
    would drive the tractor and you and Ed
    and Wayne picked the corn and threw it
    in the trailer. You guys kept warm from
    the work and I was freezing on the
    tractor. Before that we used the horses
    named Brownie and - was it Blackie?
    The one that kept getting out up north by
    the ditch was Brownie. He figured out
    how to open the gate.

    I remember the times that you were
    hauling cane or sorghum from the field
    east of Mercers and I would ride behind
    the wagon on my sled.

    I had a very good childhood really.
    Thanks for being my Dad.

    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ——————————————————-

    Nov. 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    It is snowy here and cold. I have a hole in
    the back of the house I must get sealed up
    to keep the cold out. We are redoing this
    part for the kitchen.

    Kristen and Sara made the Honor Roll
    this quarter in school. Kristen’s teacher
    said he wished he had a whole room full
    of Kristens to teach.

    Sorry the phone connection was so bad
    when I called the other day. It was good
    to here you say “hello hello….” any way.
    Glad you are feeling better.

    Your account in the credit union is about
    $34,000 now.

    I was just thinking back when we were
    cultivating corn with that “crazy wheel
    cultivator”. The one that you drove the
    tractor and I rode on the cultivator and
    used the foot pedals to steer it down the
    rows. I remember sometimes it cleaned
    out some of the corn row. Cultivator
    blight, right? It was kind of hard to keep
    straight. Those were the days.

    I keep remembering little bits of things
    while growing up. Sometime I will put
    them all together for my kids to read
    about the “good ole days”.

    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ————————————————
    Dec. 17, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    The snow has fallen and the kids stayed
    home from school today. The wind is now
    blowing so it will begin drifting the road
    shut. Besides that the whole family is sick
    with a cold.

    We are putting together a Christmas gift
    to you but it won’t be ready for
    Christmas. It is something that you can
    watch over and over if you want. So
    Merry Christmas for now.

    Last night was the kids’ school Christmas
    program. Kristen started playing the
    flute this fall and played with a group for
    the first time this week. She did very well
    and I got it on video.

    Time to get this in the mail. Love you
    Dad.
    Bye for now.

    Kristen and Sara send you a kiss and a
    hug.
    Your son, John

    ——————————————————

    Jan. 11, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    We have a lot of snow on the ground
    now. I was telling the family about the
    winter of 49 where the snow covered the
    door and you had to scoop the snow into
    the house to dig a tunnel out then haul
    the snow out through the tunnel. That
    was a 15 foot drift wasn’t it? It sure
    looked big to this 6 year old. Then the
    plane flew over the house for a few days
    until we could get out and signal an OK.
    Those were the days! What I do not
    remember is how you took care of the
    cows and stuff during this time. I
    remember being sick and Wayne took the
    horse and rode into Broadwater to get
    oranges and something else. The big
    white dog we had went along and was hit
    by a car. Wayne had to use a fence post
    to finish him off. I remember feeling very
    sad about the old dog.
    We haven’t had this much snow in 8
    years.

    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are with you all.
    Bye for now. Love you Dad
    The family send a BIG Hi!!!!

    Your son, John

    —————————————————-

    Feb. 9, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    When the kids go to bed they say “Tell us
    a story about when you were a kid on the
    farm”. So I tell them things that I write
    to you and a LOT that I don’t write to
    you. The other day going to school we
    were talking about one of the first snow
    falls we had this year. I spun the van
    around in circles in the parking lot and
    they thought that was GREAT fun. Then
    I told them about the time that their
    Grandpa cut some circles in the Kelly
    School yard and hit a pole with the back
    fender. Do you remember that? I
    remember Mom bringing it up every now
    and then. Then there was the time you
    got a little close to the guard posts along
    the highway just west of Broadwater and
    ripped the spare tire and bracket off the
    old Jeep. Of course none of US ever did
    anything like that. HA.

    It is good to remember back and tell the
    kids about the things we did “in the old
    days”. They find it hard to believe there
    was no TV and I walked through rattle
    snake country to go to the neighbors to
    play. It WAS a good time for me and I
    had a GOOD Dad to help me grow up.
    Thanks again Dad. You and Mom did a
    very good job on us four kids. Sometimes
    we don’t show it often enough but I for
    one thank you and LOVE you.

    Soon you will have another birthday.
    Before you know it you will be 90. I
    should be so lucky.

    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are with you all. Bye for now. Love you
    Dad
    The family send a BIG Hi!!!!

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    Mar. 9, 1993

    Dear Dad,
    Time has a way of disappearing so
    rapidly. I was going to write you a note
    two weeks ago and now here we are.

    It looks like spring is just about to arrive.
    I am ready for it. I’ll bet you are ready to
    get out side and do something. Do you
    miss not farming? I think often about the
    farm and the things we used to do. The
    kids always ask for stories about being on
    the farm. I tell them about raising a
    garden, rattlesnakes, floods, the BIG
    ONE in 49, anything that comes to mind.

    The family went to Sun Valley about 70
    miles north of here Sat. with Kristen’s
    Girl Scout troop for a day of ice skating.
    Pennye used the VCR and played back
    their falls and no falls. It reminded me of
    the times you would get your old clamp-
    on skates on a cut a figure on the ice. I
    never was very good at it. You could hop
    up and turn around. I couldn’t stay of
    my back side and head. I still have a big
    dent in the back of my head from the last
    time I tried. Nearly killed me. So much
    for that.

    Next month you will have another
    birthday. 86 years! Before you know it
    you will be 90.

    I paid your insurance for another year
    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are w
John Stevens
Written by
John Stevens  Idaho moved toTexas
(Idaho moved toTexas)   
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