By Jim O'Leary
An e-mail newsletter for and about Waverly people, used with permission in the HLW Herald and on this web site.
Dec. 22, 2001
This just in from England!
Dec. 16, 2001
Sudbury, Suffolk, UK
To: Santa Claus
Care of: The Waverly Star
All I want for Christmas this year is two tickets (one for me and one for my wife) to fly to Waverly for the Fourth of July celebration in 2002. If possible, I would prefer American Airlines from Heathrow to Chicago and change for Minneapolis, because Northwest deserves never to get any business from me ever again after the debacle of June of this year when I flew to Waverly.
Sure, they'd go nonstop from Gatwick to Minneapolis, but after this year, I've made a vow never to use them again, even if it means I have to change over. I'd even change over in Gary, Ind. if necessary.
Oh, and also, could I have some world peace?
Thanks again for all your hard work.
And there were other letters to Santa
Dec. 17, 1933
I am a boy, nine years old. I want a few traps for Christmas. And next comes any kind of game to play. It is going to be a game so two can play.
I hope you like it up North. All I want for Christmas is a pair of ice skates and a game.
Donna Mae Jolicoeur
Dear Santa Claus,
For Christmas, I want an accordion, a blackboard, candy and nuts.
Dear Santa Claus,
Set of big dishes, a little table and two chairs.
Lois Ann Martinson
Dec. 10, 1933
I want an oil truck and a watch and a sleigh and a street car.
Care of J.A. Dignan
Dear Santa Claus,
I have four sisters. Their names are Dorothy Ann and Rita and Bernetta and Margy.
Bring for Christmas a game. Bring Dorothy Ann a story book. Bring Rita a tan and a scarf and a pair of mittens. Bring Bernetta a dress. Bring Margy a pair of silk stockings.
Patricia Marie Klich
Nov. 16, 1933
Dear Santa Claus:
How are you? I am just fine. I am a good boy. For Christmas I want two cap gun pistols. With a belt or a pair of socks.
Dec. 20, 1933
I am 12-years-old and saw your notice in the paper, so I expect a present. I have been quite good during the year. I got 100 in deportment and industry in school last month. My name is Irving Doering, address, Waverly, Minn. I will be in town Saturday afternoon so I will see you then.
Signed Irving Doering.
December 19, 1933
How are you this year. I hope you are well, as it is almost Christmas.
This year I want a running watch and a book. Margaret wants a doll and we would both like some candy and nuts too.
Dec. 14, 1933
I want something for Christmas. I want a BB gun, shells for it and a pair of boots. My brother, Anthony, wants a BB gun too, and a caterpillar.
Dear Santa Claus,
I heard you are coming to our town Saturday so I'll ask if you could bring Bobby a train, cause he cries for one even in his sleep. I spose Harvey would like something too. He's two-years-old. I would like a doll.
But if you haven't that, it's all right.
Merry Xmas to you, Santa
These youngsters were responding to a Waverly Star headline which had promised: "Santa Claus will be in Waverly next Saturday."
The story went on to say that the whole community should take part, and that "children from the country" would be especially welcome.
"The Legion Auxiliary have placed a large Christmas tree in the square at the Malone-Johnson corners, where they have invited Santa to pass out a present to every little boy and girl that comes to see Santa."
The story the following week noted that the visit was a huge success.
But Marks McDonnell, the editor of the Waverly Star, did report that when Santa Claus came to call on him in his office with a little bag of candy and nuts, he recognized him despite the suit, beard, and pillow.
Marks reminded Santa that he had not yet paid for his subscription to the Waverly Star and owed him for two months of advertising.
Way to go, Marks.
Marks "Ye Towne Gossip"
A. J. Ogle and Nap Le Duc were in Montrose Tuesday night conferring with Montrose members of the Waverly baseball team.
Tommie Litfin had his nose skinned quite severely Friday when he ran into a tree in Railroad Park while playing ball.
It turned out to be a bad time for the Litfins. In the following week's Waverly Star, there was this piece of news:
Miss Margaret Litfin had the misfortune of getting one of her arms in the washing machine wringer the last of the week. It has swollen quite a bit and has been causing her a lot of annoyance.
Another horror story from the great depression
"Riding the Rails"
Falling from a flyer going 60 miles an hour near Fairmont and landing on the pavement of a cross road, a transient named Turner emerged last week with a few scratches and bruises, but otherwise uninjured.
Turner, with a friend, was beating his way home for Christmas from the CCC camp at Milford. Riding on the tender, the fireman of the locomotive flyer asked Turner to kick some coal down into the bottom of the tender.
He tried to comply, and lost his balance, tumbling off backward. When the train reached the next station, a search party went back along the track to find his body but were unable to locate it. Turner turned up the next day, after lodging for the night at a nearby farm, practically unhurt.
Prices in 1933
At Mellon's Store, Folger's coffee, vacuum packed, was going for 29 cents a pound. A 10-pound sack of sugar sold for 48 cents. Even at those prices, many people could not afford to buy groceries.
The WPA for ladies
Although they didn't call it that, there was a WPA for women. In a program whose funding would end on Feb. 15, 1934, the federal government set aside $13,639 so that Wright County could hire some women workers.
One hundred fifty women were put to work, many from Waverly. They had to apply at the National Reemployment Office at the Wright County Court House in Buffalo. How many of our mothers and grandmothers worked there?
Young Hitlerites told how to choose wives
From the Literary Digest for December, 1933:
"Only blondes with blue eyes, an oval face, and white skin. Nazis are warned against brunettes of Mediterranean origin.
"Wifes should not be selected if they are actresses or athletes or in the "liberal" professions of social work, medicine or journalism. Only an industrious and pure girl, who is adept at housekeeping should be selected. She should be able to handle children well. The Hitler youth are to choose this kind of woman 'even though she may be stupid.'"
Quote for the week
"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'"
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