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Oct 18, 1978, Santa Monica, CA

Dear Joy and Don: I really haven't forgotten about you although it may appear that way. I have been SO busy that I haven't had time to write. First I was back home in Indiana for two weeks, then came home to get ready for the garage sale and sell furniture, then this week we had Christmas, complete with tree and dinner, I haven't had time to breathe...or to see much of Holly for that matter.

Mike and Kathy are leaving for Germany.

I did pretty well with the furniture selling and garage sale, Made about $800 on the furniture and about $500 on the garage sale. I sold all the furniture I wanted to sell with the exception of a couple of small chests that aren't worth much anyway. We sat here for a few days with out tables or beds, but the woman who lives above me generously loaned me her table for Christmas dinner. Now she is doing without until I get it back upstairs. Mike and friends are still sleeping on the floor. I never know how many young people are going to come tumbling out of that back bedroom. He and Kathy are leaving for Germany on Tuesday morning, They have managed to get over $5,000 together, a tidy sum to try to make a start with. If they can't begin a career with that kind of money they might as well come home.

The latest report from the Peace Corps is that I'm to report to somewhere in Chicago on Nov, 3. But, so far, I don't have verification of that. Another change since I talked to you is that we have to wear dresses in the fields, and that temperature in the mountains drops down to 10 above.

So when you step out in 10 degree weather some morning next winter, think of me shuffling around over there in my dress trying to keep warm, I'm going to buy the heavy acrylic tights to put on under the dresses. In case I forget, mail to me overseas should be addressed to %Peace Corps Office, P.O. Box MS 554, Massru, Lesotho, Southern Africa. I should be there before Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, we had a nice one, Bill gave me a lovely billfold and some film. He brought Kathy (Mike's girl friend) and me Christmas corsages of red carnations and greenery He said the florist commented "Aren't you pushing it a bit" when Bill ordered the flowers, I brought my little pine tree into the house and decorated it and dug out the Christmas candle, etc.

It really cleanses the soul, doesn't it to sort things out, get rid of them and start afresh. I cleared out a lot around here and hope I never collect so much again.

This is about the first time I've used the typewriter since I left the EO [Santa Monica Evening Outlook] and you can certainly tell it from the typos. I invested in a little 9-pound portable to take with me overseas. It is so cute, fits into my carry on luggage. I've been using that for any typing I've had to do.

I really haven't seen much of Holly. She is still very close to Don. He spends almost every night up there and stays at the house even when she has to go out. Holly and I went to dinner last week and Don stayed at her house, patiently waiting for her to come home, Holly loaned card tables, etc, to me for the garage sale and bought most of my formals. Don bought a few things, too, I haven't talked to her all week.

Joann relaxing on her porch in Santa Monica.

Pat arrived home from Hawaii about a week and a half ago (after six weeks in the islands) and looked like a bearded hippie as he climbed off the plane. I couldn't believe he was my son. He said he had an incredible time, part of which he spent by himself on one of the remote islands. He ran into some people who live in caves on the island, they live off the land, eating fruit as it comes into season, He is going to stay around LA until Mike leaves, then head for Wyoming. A friend of his is working up there and is making $9.50 an hour in a mill.

Pat is talking about coming down to seen me next year if we can swing it, I told him I would kick in $500 on the air fare to South Africa.

All kinds of rumors are floating around about the Outlook, There is still A LOT of problems with the presses and there are still apologies in the paper about the late delivery... Tuesday's paper was delivered here Wednesday morning. Judi Bloom quit. She was telling me that Ron Funk was trying to sell his share of the stock, I don't know anything about classified, of course, because I don't talk to any of those people anymore. Guess morale is really bad but wasn't it always???

Toni Frank bought my car for $3,200...not too bad since I paid $3,464 for it. They also gave me the funniest farewell party. We want out to lunch and each person came up with what they thought I might need in Lesotho... like Kaopectate, a fly swatter, a miniature hoe and garden set, a small watering can, a roll of toilet paper, etc,

We had really good response on the things I advertised in the bargain box but there were very few calls on Mike's car. He sold it as a result of an ad in the Indenpendent-Journa1. Red made some big stir about getting together before I left the Outlook but we never seemed to make it. Then I went on vacation for two weeks and he said that he was going on vacation for the first two weeks in Oct. Holly tells me that Margie showed up at his house during the time he was on vacation and that a blue van was parked in his driveway for the full two weeks, Apparently he went with someone other than Margie, I haven't heard from him since he came back.

You had some excitement on your street that you may have read about in the newspapers. Somebody put a rattlesnake in the mailbox of the two attorneys who live near the corner of Bollinger and Marquez (I think it is)... the white house. The rattlesnake was traced to Stan Kenton's son who is a member of Synanon. The rattle had been cut off the snake and it bit the attorney as he put his hand in the box. He spent about a week in the hospital. The attorney had been investigating Synanon and had just won a suit against it.

Not much to report from your place. The Greek seems to be living there (or his son is) but there isn't much furniture in the house. You can see all the way thru it. When I talked to Red, he said they were building on the back. Apparently enclosing your porch next to the bedroom and putting in a bath on that end. There is no change from the front except that the shrubs have been cut back somewhat.

Better sign this off, If I go into another page, I may never get it mailed. Please forgive the typos. Staying at home really makes you rusty fast!

Much love, Joann

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