Letters From Paris
This is a short personal history in the form of letters written by my mother while we lived in France for a year and a half in 1959 and '60. As the editor, I've added a few comments and clarifications, but for the most part, the letters tell, all by themselves, an interesting narrative of a young woman, wife, and mother struggling to raise a family of three young children in an unfamiliar setting. More
In 1969, just a few years before my grandmother passed away, she presented my brother, my sister, and me each with a loose leaf notebook of photocopied letters that my mother had sent to her from France while we lived there in a suburb of Paris in 1959 and 1960. The binder sat on various bookshelves gathering dust and was transported with me as I moved from place to place, no less than a dozen times in various cities of Iowa, Illinois, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Washington during that forty-one year period.
My mother’s photocopied letters were fading and the pages were yellow after only a few decades. By the time my children, much less my grandchildren, are interested enough in their heritage to care to read these letters they would be lost or illegible in their current format.
As a tribute to my mother and father, my ancestors before them, my aunts and uncles, many of whom are mentioned in these letters, and my grandmother whom I loved so much, I decided to transcribe these letters into a format that hopefully will last at least a little longer. Many people who read an earlier printed version of these letters told me that they thought the story they told was fascinating and that I should publish the book for a general audience. Here it is. I hope you enjoy the story.