Search This Blog

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Conversations With The Dead: October, 1974


Dear Teresa,

I'm taking a chance and sending this to your old address just hoping you'll get it. I tried to call you Sunday so I could tell you I was leaving town & couldn't get anyone. Everything happened so fast & I was riding with this girlfriend of mine and had to leave when she wanted to...

I've been having more trouble with Sonny. His son lives in Fort Worth and happened to come in where I was working & I knew it'd only be a matter of time before he showed up because he's been calling Mother & Mother Wise, trying to make them tell him where I was. He just won't believe I'm not comming [sic] back & he's still drinking & seems to think he can make me, from what Mother said. So, this girl that was working where I was, was going to move here, (she had an uncle here that just opened a place, & he needed waitresses & wanted her to work for him) & she said if I wanted to get away before he showed up I could come too, because her uncle needed about 5 waitresses. So, at the last minute I decided I would, for everyones sake. This time, I won't tell anyone where I am, not even Mother, so maybe he'll give up & stop bothering everyone. If he thinks I'm in Fort Worth & seeing you, he might even start calling your daddy, & Patty, & I sure don't want that. I'm the one that married him & it's my problem, no one elses. And if I can keep working (without having to run from him all the time) I'll have enough money to get a divorse [sic]. Her uncle pays real good, & we share an apartment & ride to work together, so I won't be out much money. And we are close enough that I can come up to see you, every few weeks. I hate having to do it this way because I won't get to see you like I want to, but I don't know what else to do right now. I just hope you understand. Sonny's a sick man & he can't help it, but I know he'll try to hurt me & I can't take the chance of him maybe bothering other people just to get at me. He's just not responsible for his actions. But I can call you, & as soon as I make enough money, I'll come up on a Saturday. (I'll let you know when, ahead of time). And your birthday present will be a little late because I'll have to mail it, but I want to call you first, so I'll be sure you'll get it. (I didn't even have enough money to call you last Tuesday night, that's how broke I was, & I won't get paid until Friday, but I'll wait until Monday to call, to give you enough time to get this. I want to be sure you'll get it before I mail it). I hope you like it. I just wish I could have seen you, before I left. I know it'll be 2 or 3 weeks before I can get back, at least, & it seems like it's been forever since I saw you last. But, like I said, I'll call you & we'll make a big day of it, when I do come. O.K.? I promise honey, I'll try to make it all up to you somehow. Things will settle down some day. And I already feel more relaxed, just knowing that there's no way Sonny can possibly know where I am. I was nervous all the time in Fort Worth, wondering when he'd pop up again. And maybe after I get the divorse [sic] he'll have to accept the fact that I really mean it.

I like my job & everyone is real nice. Kathy (the girlfriend) is a lot of fun & really nice.

Well honey, I guess I'll close so I can hurry & get this in the mail & I'll call you Monday (your birthday!) & see if you got this. If you did, then I'll mail your present the same way. I love you very much, & miss you terribly. Be sweet & pray for me.


*I guess I got my birthday wrong. I'm only nine. I'll be ten in a few days. And I do pray for you, Mom. My prayers go up in the shape of a pyramid. You're at the top. I ask God to protect you, keep you safe. Then I pray for my hamster, Ben, and continue on down the list of important people and it takes me forever to finish. I pray that the communists won't invade our country because the films they're showing us at my new Baptist church are about communists shoving bamboo shoots through the ears of people who believe in Jesus. I don't know if I'd admit I believe in Jesus or not. I'm scared either way. And confused.


  1. My eighth grade teacher used to hand out pamphlets such as "Fighting Communism Texas-Style." She also used to drool out of the corners of her mouth.
    And I think of your mom and her fears, and all the Sonnys there are in the Land Of the Free, and I think about the wonderful life we've built for ourselves in America.
    The back story here is one of building horror that rests on the question, Will Sonny Catch Up To Her Now?
    This series has quite an emotional impact.

  2. Oh my Goodness, I don't even know what to say. I've read all the letters you posted. If you turned this into a book, I would buy a copy for everyone I knew on every holiday.