Letter of November 19, 1977

Nov. 19, 1977

Ranch folks

Hi, it’s your suntanned comrade, Marlene, in the land of beauty & freedom!

I have been working on Jan’s [Jan Wilsey] crew and we get to travel all over the property. It’s a nice way to get to know the land & country. We hunt the wild edo [eddoe], Jan laughs when I say that, in the windrows by the edge of the bush. You were right, Claire, the bush is thick & beautiful plants & flowers everywhere! We use our cutlasses to cut into it & pick greens & eddoes, it’s really great! We plant fields, pick cutlass beans & everything! Father has provided an amazing community for us. Right now Father is passing out gum to everyone & people are taking blood pressure, everyone gets it done regularly, playing guitar, cards, writing letters, playing. So many things are happening at once. It is a real town now, Claire, 37 cottages, really nice, 5 large dorms, woodshop, sewing room, & an excellent medical clinic. The food is great, had cheese eddoe casserole roll tonight with greens, orange & spice cake last night for dessert. The banana pudding is out of sight!

I saw Daren [Janaro] the other day burning a pile of something to make lye soap & the day before cutting wood for the cooking stove outside, he almost finished his chess set, it’s neat, all hand-carved pieces, perseverance that guy has! He was painting the board last night & very proud of his work! His hair is bleached out a little & looks blonde almost & long, he usually wears a bandanna tied around his head & looks real outdoorzie [outdoorsy].

They go to elementary & jr. hi school in the morning till around 12 o’clock and go for a nap & do a work project till from 2:30-4:30, and take a shower & eat. High school students work on field crews from morning till 11, then eat and have classes from 12-3, and help in the fields again. It is a great system! We talk about principle a lot & say gratitudes twice a day. Our crew is really good & would you believe that Laura J. [Johnston] lifts & carries bags of eddoes like potatoes, as if they were nothing! She couldn’t even give a strong karate punch in the States, remember? She is tan & healthy looking & loves the fields. Jocelyn & Mike C. [Carter] are on that crew, Karen Lendo & Shirley Hicks & she is a great worker, Sebastian [McMurry] usually works with us too. Ron T. [Talley] just went to the woodshop. Mary W. [Wotherspoon] works on the banana crew & is really tan. Just stopped & got a piece of bubble gum from Father. When we’re out in the fields, it’s nice & warm & them a breeze comes up or a light shower falls & cools everything off, feels great! Over to my right Pat G. [Grunnet], Diane L. [Lundquist] our singing with some children & Darius [Wheeler] is playing cards. He was so glad to see me! Is tan & very happy. Jeff [Wheeler] is a good worker, healthy, eats like a horse! There are showing Planet of the Apes on video right now. Sometimes they have movies going in the pavilion & video movies in the dining tent, you don’t know which one to go see! Father provides so much, it is great working with the collective! Saw Dorothy [Buckley] and told her to write. She’s very happy. Mauri [Janaro] is working with Chris [Talley] on the rabbit project, she is real happy, looks a little taller, beautiful girl. She stays with Chris mostly & seems content. Just showed Danny B. [Beck] Don’s picture & he grinned from ear to ear! He looks great and promises to write a letter so. Bonnie [Stahl] just came over & says hi to Carol [Stahl], just gave you her picture. She was happy to get it. She says “I like the schools here, we have crayons, color crayons, pets too. She wanted to write that I liked the card you gave me. Nancy S. [Sines] works on the banana crew I think & is real tan. Bev [Livingston] & Preston [Wade] just got the picture. Kim [Dutra] & Preston said it made his night, he was grinning so big & Bev was happy to see your picture. She has found her place in the storehouse, & is happy, right to her. I don’t know what Preston does, but I’m sure he has written & told you he said he wrote five letters. Bonnie is still sitting on my lap.

When you come bring rubber boots, headscarves – Chris, Jakela [Debbie Sines], & Kim get khaki pants & field hat, work shirts, three short & long sleeve. Claire, send address of Lipton so I can send for Jeff’s x-rays. Bring everything else on list. Rita McE says we can always use pins, glue sticks, & paper. Well, Father has given us a great opportunity, a new life and new hope! Hope everything is running okay at the ranch, I know how busy it can get. Father really appreciate your work and strength back there. Curtis’ father appreciates you a lot. Edith looks really great slimming down real nice & looks real healthy. Well got to close for now. Father loves you & blesses us every day.

Father’s love,

Take care,

Marlene

Originally posted on February 17th, 2013.

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