Christmas Letter, 1967

Dear Family and Friends:

Thank goodness that we still have one time of the year when we pause to recall the words ‘Peace on earth, good will to men’ and to remember those who are dear to us.

This has been another marvelous year for me–many inspiring, exciting things have happened. Far too many to tell about in detail on these pages. Working with the student is always challenging and often rewarding.

One of the most exciting things that happened this past year was the trip to New York with the then ‘Y Americans’ (Now the Sounds of Freedom.) when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. I don’t ever remember enjoying a trip so much. Perhaps that was due to the fact that many of the students had never flown before, and only four of us had been to New York previously, so I enjoyed the many experiences through their wondering eyes. I was very proud of them every minute because they behaved so well and wherever they went they made an impact on the people whom they met.

We were back in Provo from Monday evening until Tuesday evening and left for Southern California for a week’s tour. This was an exciting time also because while we were there, the group made a movie short for the Ralston-Purina Company for which the University was given a fund. All day they filmed on the rocks at Cabrillo Beach where the Tijuana Brass had made a special a few weeks before. They gave four good concerts at the various stakes in the area, sang at Disneyland to a marvelous audience and also gave a high school concert where the students gave them one of the most spontaneous standing ovations I have ever seen. One day during the tour they also went to a ‘hippie pad’ in the hills above Los Feliz Boulevard in Los Angeles, where the acoustics in this once beautiful mansion are supposed to be excellent, and auditioned for the vice-president of MGM studios. As a consequence, they cut a record this Fall that we hope will be released around the first of February.

For the General Board, my visits took me to the usual wonderful stakes from Delta, Utah to Cleveland, Ohio. Toward the end of March, I also went to Dallas, Texas to the American Personnel and Guidance Association convention. So I felt that I covered the country pretty well for one year. In connection with my Church work I also had the privilege of being sent by the MIA to a youth conference in Urbana, Illinois in July, that was held on the University of Illinois campus, and this was a tremendous experience. I met so many find young people as well as their great leaders.

My summer was rather quiet otherwise and I rather enjoyed staying home for a change, although the days went by in the usual quick flurry of work and activities and I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I had intended.

As to my family, we have added two wonderful grandsons during the past year and are looking forward to another addition in April. On May 16, Steve and Cheryl had a darling baby boy whom they promptly named Matthew, and on the 26th Linda and Rich also had a red-headed boy whom they named Ian. From his pictures, he is a darling also. Joan and Cliff are ‘thinking pink’ concerning their third to arrive in April.

Marilyn and Steve till live in Arcadia around the corner from each other and both of their families are doing fine. Marilyn and Chris are working hard at beautifying their home and doing most of it through their own efforts. Steve and Cheryl have added a beautiful master bedroom and bath to their home along with a large family room they added last year.

Cliff is doing well in his teaching at the college in San Bernardino, and is also busy in civic theatre in Redlands. Joan is enjoying being a housewife and being home with the two boys. She manages to work in the Stake Relief Society along with the aforementioned activities.

Linda and Rich are still in San Jose, and we were especially thrilled with their new son after the many tries that Linda had attempted. We could hardly believe that at last she carried the full nine months. I haven’t seen the baby Ian since he was a week old, but they will be spending Christmas with me, so I will have a chance to get re-acquainted with him. Rich’s orchestra is going great guns and he is achieving more stature all the time as a conductor. Linda is doing some composing but mostly takes care of her family and supports Rich in all his activities.

I had vowed to keep this to one page, but it seems that brevity escapes me.

I have so much to be thankful for this Christmas Season. Life gets hectic sometimes, but in general it is good and I am blessed far beyond anything I deserve. It is my hope that this will find all of you enjoying good health and looking forward to a wonderful holiday.

Love Klea

(Marilyn: Mother wrote this in a small notebook.)

September 7, 1968 Aspen Grove:

  • Who am I? Twenty-six years ago today my only son was born. So I was a mother for the 4th time. I remember not believing the nurse who she said it was a boy. I thought I was still under sedation and dreaming.
    • How fast the years have gone past. Steve now has two darling children.
    • What am I today in contrast to what I was then?
    • More patient?
    • Less critical??
    • More loving?
    • Closer to my Heavenly Father?
    • A good citizen?
    • A good neighbor?
    • Fulfilling my ability as a creative person?
    • More cognizant of how precious life is:

Of the above, I can answer a resounding yes to only two; more patient and more a firm belief that life–any life is precious.

Less critical? It is no wonder I put two question marks after this, but I’m working on it. Try harder.

More loving. Yes, but this could also be worked on so that I remember to let people know they are loved.

I don’t pray enough. And sometimes they are rote prayers. I must work on this unceasingly. I love the Church and my Heavenly Father, but there is so much more I could do.

A good citizen. I vote, but I’m not active enough otherwise. What can I do to help my country out of the morass of violence it seems engulfed in? Start with me? Yes, but beyond that what can I do? Try to help the young people I work with to see the evils of mob dissension?

I’m a very poor neighbor. I should try to make time to get better acquainted and do thoughtful things for them. Well, enough of that introspection. Even though I am critical of my actions, I still feel good about myself as a person and know that while I am not perfect, my Heavenly Father loves me and is patient with me, and most of all I’M TRYING!

Now to this day. September in Aspen is a glorious time. The colors are turning. The air is crisp. The sound of the small river as it tumbles over the rocks in a symphony of sound that Tascaninni

could not reproduce. Occasionally a bird darts from limb to limb o the tall pines.

Just months ago I stood in the Sacred Grove. It was beautiful and soothing to the spirit. My feelings there were deep and reverent. What a fitting place for the boy Joseph to receive his vision.

In essence, this is my Sacred Grove. I shall never receive a vision but my soul is renewed. I am reminded again of Gods goodness to me and I thank Him for letting me be here in this lovely place. I am a creature of the mountains and would be lonely without them. Help me—help me to be a better person that I can be more worthy of my blessings.

And, Father, please let me have more moments like this when I can feel the joy being alive. Let me always feel that life is a wonderful journey to be lived fully; not shirking the problems that must be overcome, but having an over-riding feeling that life is good!

This morning I feel with Emily in the play ‘Our Town’…”Oh! World, you are too beautiful to stand.” Please let me always see it this way.

Tuesday morning, September 10, 1968

Again I am sitting in Aspen’s pale sunshine. Again the sound of the water as it rolls over the rocks. Again the sound of birds, the craggy rocks with the lovely Fall colors like a ruffle around the middle

The War in Viet Nam seems far away as does the campaign. Four more days here and I’ll return to the raucous blasts of Nixon, Humphrey and Wallace. But, we can’t despair about our country. Somewhere, there must be people who can come forth to lead us away from the waste, the evils of our present situation. I don’t feel that Nixon, Humphrey and certainly not Wallace can do it. Who can?

Well….the ‘here and now.’ How can I help Kim? (We think this Kim was Kim Burmingham.) He is struggling so with his desire to follow ‘in His steps’. Next year, is he attempting too much all at once? I want to keep our theme in mind all next year and always too. But, perhaps years have mellowed me and I can accept the ‘perfection before sundown’ bit realizing that I can only approach walking in His steps a small bit at a time. I can ask, “What would Christ do?”, but my answer and my actions will be imperfect.

I can only keep trying.