Letter from Isabell "Belle" Creen O’Donnell to her mother Charlotte Kerner Creen O’Donnell

Notes for reading: Belle’s half sister Lottie (Charlotte Louise O’Donnell) was 22 years younger than Belle and would have been about 11 when this was written. Belle was in the Catskills and her mother was in Brooklyn.

July 23, 1938
Dear Mother,

Received your letter and we were all glad to hear from you. I do hope things will work out so you get that pension soon. You certainly have had to wait and fight long enough for it. (referring to her husband James J. O’Donnell’s death in 1931).

This week has been pretty miserable up here. We have had 3 days of rain, more rain than we have had all season. I hope you don’t mind me making Lottie obey . She was made at me today because I would not let her wear her hat out in the rain. It would be distroyed and she would have no hate to go home in. She also has been wearing her good shoes steady up here. She won’t wear her sneakers. She says you said it was all right for her to wear her good shoes all the time. If it is, it is all right with me, I just wanted to let you know in case they get kicked out why.

I am going crazy with flies up here. A farmer pastures his cows not far from me for a few days and since then I am doing nothing but squirting flies around and still they come in swarms. That’s the country for you though.

This spiritualist I told you about opened a beautiful tea garden up here and when he died a man by the name of Barclay turned it into a dance place in fact its really like a night club. They have a bar and grill and swell orchestra. His wife Kay Barclay and I have become quite friendly. They close the place up here in Sept and have another they open during the winter in Fla (Florida).

The neighbors have been very nice about taking us for rides in their cars and all in all when it doesn’t rain there is always something to do up here. One of the neighbors are taking the children into town this afternoon to the movies and is calling for them when the show is over.

Lottie certainly ought to put on some weight she claims she gained 5 lbs but I don’t believe it. I make her drink 3 glasses of milk each day and they all get ovaltine going to bed each night. She like the milk up here and some times she drinks more even. I think you ought to have her tonsils out though as her ribs stick out just like Genes did before he got sick.

If any one is coming up to visit this way you ought to take the chance and come up. The ride would do you good. You are managing to get around I see, still and you are certainly having enough company which I certainly am glad of.

I hope Joe (possibly Joseph Creen, her brother) does something soon. I haven’t heard another word from them. It certainly was nice of Mae (Mae Kerner her aunt) to do what she did.

Well darling as everything is about the same – we’ll close. With Lots of Love, As Ever Belle

P.S. The baby is so fat you would never know him. He is going to be fat like Allen and he looks like Mary Ann. That spiritualists house you were asking me about is 11 rooms has two bath rooms steam heat and elec. It is on 11 acres of ground and also has two smaller houses on it, plenty of fruit trees etc. but I would never be contented sleeping in a haunted house.

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