Nancy Grammer Letter – Wash Tubs and Wood Stoves

Lisa Shea was working on a research project in 2002. Lisa wrote her great-aunt Nancy Warren Grammer for information about Nancy’s childhood. Nancy was the older sister of Lisa’s grandmother Jane Warren Waller. The three siblings were born in rural Tennessee and their childhood was during the Great Depression.

Nancy – June 8, 1918
Joe – January 3, 1921
Jane – December 4, 1924

This letter was written by Nancy dated January 29, 2002.

Dear Lisa,

It was so great to hear from you. Your tape idea was great, but … I’m much more fluent with pen & paper. I’ll keep the tape in mind in case I become modern enough.

To answer your letter I started out with notes which became too much for your addressed envelope. Will send the notes after our usual shopping day, Friday.

Your interest in Senior Stories is inspiring. Oddly enough, I had told Kate she could eliminate the Christmas pages from her scanning of the Baby Book, which pictures and tells of my pre-school years. And after that (if you can still stand it), I thought I’d go through the picture albums and shortly (I hope) characterize different family members.

You may know that our folks were farmers, so everything will be from the southern, country slant. The atmosphere was SLOW, no locked doors, no electricity, no TV, no washing machines or driers, no radio for a long time, no indoor plumbing.

Saturday-night bath was a wash tub, the same big round metal tub that was used each Monday to scrub the dirty clothes for the week. And of course there was the HUGE black iron pot that had a wood fire around it to boil the clothes. And then there was the wood cooking stove that created so much heat in the kitchen that it was unbearable in hot summers.

Your grandmother, Jane’s job was to carry in stove wood. My job was to carry in wood for the fire-place. Joe’s job was to milk cows twice per day. Joe was 2 years younger than I. Jane was 6 1/2 years younger than I.

It amazes me that you are so interested in the SLOW era (the GOOD ole days). That is, unless you have to take a bath in the wash-tub in the middle of the kitchen, or hurry to the Johnny way out in the back yard during a rain-storm.

Better stop before I run out of room again. Hope that Kate can scan soon.

Have the best year yet.

Love GREAT Aunt Nancy. 🙂 Still love your smiley faces.

Here is a photo Nancy sent of her and her younger brother Joe.

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