Letter of May 16, 1978

May 16, 1978

Hi ranch folks!

A big hello come to you straight from the beautiful land of Guyana, Jonestown! We have been having some beautiful days here, the weather has been clear & sunsets breathtaking! The land is really lush & green, everything is blossoming, every inch of clear land is growing something. We are talking about going into intensive farming by rotating crops, planting new plants between crops as one crop is maturing. We’ll have to get horses, carts & several compost houses built. It would take 200 acres of land & produce 3/4 crops a [per acre].

That is the latest project we are considering. We had considered raising peanuts for a cash crop but are considering it more closely. We have made “peanut butter” for us, it really is good, a real treat. They made some peanut butter cookies the other week, sooo good. And also peanut butter fudge, it reminded me of Reese’s peanut butter cups. Yum! We had some fresh pork tonight for dinner with greens, rice, sweet potatoes & cornbread, I was stuffed!

Folks don’t worry about your weight, have fun eating, you’ll be able to take off the weight here pretty quickly. The fresh air & healthy diet will take care of any extra you have on now. Mary is getting down really nicely, Pam [Bradshaw] dieted and has lost 50 lbs. and is working on the rest. Rose Mc. [McKnight] is getting down really nicely, and Sue N. [Noxon] doesn’t have far to go, so eat all you want within reason & enjoy. Eat that pizza & lasagna for me!

Well, everyone here is, of course, doing nicely. Mauri & Daren [Janaro] said they wrote letters tonight, so you should be getting those soon, Claire. Mauri is content with their animals and a really nice looking girl. I was looking at her the other day thinking how pretty she actually is, you must have those pictures that were sent by now. Daren is just as independent as could be, more outspoken & confident. You’d be proud of him, he definitely doesn’t get weepy or depressed. He really stays on top of his news & always answers complex questions in S. [socialism] class. You’d be amazed! Kim [Dutra], as I said, Bippy [Davis] is in my class now, and she really is a lovely girl, very sweet. She is bright & answers questions quickly & seems to enjoy school. She is “earning” stars & happy faces in class for her behavior & is very happy about it. Maybe we can send a card back in a few weeks for you to see & I’ll have her make you a picture. She said she wanted to. Jakela [Debbie Sines] thanks you for your letter. It is appreciated, I know you you’re very busy there. Teaching school is really a challenge & exciting. Dad has provided such interesting materials here & we are making more wooden learning objects now. No one who was trying could miss becoming a good teacher with all that’s provided here. I hear you want to go into another area, all opportunities are provided here for everyone. Curtis thanks you for your letters, much appreciated. Hope everything’s going ok for you, your dreams will come true here also. I am always pleasantly surprised at the way you express yourself and writing. You have a grasp of principle that few people recognize, it is a crime that you weren’t able to go to school because you have a very sharp mind. There are more opportunities here for you to use & sharpen your skills & I’m sure you look forward to that. I would be very happy to see you develop your insights further. I appreciate your sensitivity & concern [for] your children, another virtue that too few people have. I hope to hear from you again but I understand if you’re pressed for time, I’m sure you’re working faithfully hard, as usual, in your quiet, faithful way. Take care of yourself. Dad thinks a lot of you. Chris, hi, well, I know you’ll love it here because Christine would love to have someone sensitive to animals come over & help with her brood. Of course, Dad is providing opportunities for people to fulfill their dreams & you are no exception, everybody seems to fall into place here. I know you are keeping up your end of the work there & caring for the animals in your sensitive way, I’ll be glad to see you. Hi, Sue [Suellen Williams], you’d be surprised how much Will has grown up, not much taller but mature. Pat [Grunnet] calls him the “little lawyer” and he sure is! He analyzes everything with a fine tooth comb, better not have any loopholes in your logic or he’ll get ya for sure! His best friend is Tad [Schroeder] & he is sure to report how his behavior was in school every day. Will is really well behaved and a real together person, I really enjoy him. Hope your job is going ok, the work that you do is appreciated here. Bonnie & Don [Beck] just wait to get here & see our new school set up, you’ll really like it, it’s really getting together. Pat just told me how Danny’s [Beck] doing. He is tops in math in her class and steadily moving ahead in reading on level 7 now. He isn’t rushing so he is steadily improving. He is also tops in behavior & loves to carve things with Ronald B. [Beikman]. They hang out together most of the time. Hey, Ray [Godshalk], hear you’re helping out there, glad to hear it, say hi to Viola [Godshalk] for me. I always liked her outspokenness & determined nature. That you’re putting on some weight tear yourself, while I say have fun, eat your heart’s delight, I know you’re working hard. Mike [Klingman], hope you’re getting all those good movies taped and children’s specials. I wonder if that movie we taped it didn’t turn out that filmed again? The big screen is supposed to be coming soon so we can view these good movies. Ellen [Klingman] sure is turning out some great baked goodies in the kitchen. She like to bake & she sure is now. The boys are really growing and doing well. Todd [Klingman] seems to grasp some principle very well, of course he is pretty smart. April [Klingman] is getting more & more together & seems happy in school. She looks forward to seeing you & talks about when she went to the ranch when you were there. We’ll all be glad to see you.

Well, ranch family, I’ll close for now and write again in a couple of weeks. Claire, the letter writing could use some ink pens & appreciated the glue sticks you sent. Mauri, Darius [Wheeler] & Daren, received your packages ok & needed the thongs, those wear out fast, so couldn’t go wrong on things like that. Darius was thrilled to receive a package through the mail. Well, take care, I think of all of you often.

Your comrade,