Donald Klein

Donald Klein’s Letters Home

Note: These Letters are posted as written.

Following are a series of letters from Donald Klein to his mother from Manumit between 1928 and 1930

Feb 20, 1928
Dear Mom,
How’s the Pussins wusums. I’m fine. So are you I hope so any way. Well I’m learning something besides French I’m learning fracktons too.

Dear Mom,
I am so sorry that I did not write before. But I forget all about it. Mom Bunty told me that Nellie Seeds has a bottle of Codliver Oil for me, is this true?  I am feeling fine how are you feeling?  I hope you are feeling well. I send my time building dams down by the stream, I made a little Sailboat it is almost all finished except the sails.
love Donald

Dear Mom,

I arrived safely at camp. And at about half past seven I was all unpacked and then I wrote this letter. I wrote this letter because I need stamps, envolous. My roommates are Gerald and Bustor and I thing that they will be nise friends for me. That’s allI have to say so I have to close.

Manumit School
Pawling N.Y.
June 5, 1929
Dear Mom,
Did you enjoy your trip it got rather chilly, that night I would have been cold if I hadent pulled  up my other blanket.
Mom, do you know Irv’s father? He’s coming up and tell us about pigeons and he is said to have some rabbits, goby fish.
I know were there are three nests that has babies in them for a while. Now I’m watching a nest, (in fact two nest) with eggs in them it a intresting prossess.

God Dam! Those rotten may flys are still here I wish something would happen to them they so they vanish suddenly.
A so said transparent fish, which is the only fish that dosent lay

eggs.                                                                                                                  Oct.1, 1929

Dear Mom.
The letter I wrote you was a disgrace. But I had to get off a letter before the mail went out.
I feel awful. I’m not in the seventh grade. I don’t know why not, but I’m not! I didn’t have a chane to talk to Nellie about it but I trying to get one. I wish you’d write to her your self. I don’t enjoy my self in the younger group much.
I suppose I’d better anser your questions: I’m feeling fine, but the little sniffle that I had is still with me. I’m trying to loose it before the winter sets in.
Yes we hade swimming twice since I’ve been up here. It was rather cold but we all enjoyed it a lot. I’m happy about the engine and how. I’ll write them to change my address so you won’t be bothered with my magazines.
I’ll write Lou all right I won’t foreget him.
Never worry about my teeth, I clean them. Don’t you worry. About the braces. I was supposed to come home Thanksgiving but I’m not. Nobody is. But if you want me to come home write Nellie that I have to come home for my teeth. And Bunty too.
I’m in the same dorm as before but it’s fixed up better. There are four kids from last year. And Mr. Wecheler little boy.
that’s all
Lots of love
sugar beat.

Manumit School
Pawling N.Y.
Jan 23, 1930
Dear Mom,
We had some sled riding! Wow! You shouldn’t ask! We use all the old trails of two years ago. Boy its swell to feel your self going down a hill with the wind streaming through your hair. My gloves come in good use now. I use one pair (pigskin) for work, and the woolen ones for sled riding and skating also. I got my hockey stick fixed.
Now you get a inventory of my finances. My bank account is $L75. Oscar paid me $.30 he still owes me $.70 Bobbie D. owes me $1.00 and I owe Jerry $25. I have a two dollar check from Benard (boy who bought album, to be deposited to-night. I sent for the album and will try hard to be as carful as I can with my money and not spend a lot of it on stamps.
I’m worn nights when I wear the old pajamas with feet. All the boys envie me their feet get damed cold at night.
That’s all
Love and lots of it

Love                            Love                            Love
with                              with                              with                              Donnie
A                                 A                                 A                               otherwise
Kiss                             Kiss                             Kiss                             known
as me
These Letters aren’t made
Right but I think you get the meaning

May 28, 1930

Dear Mom, It seems as if I can’t get a pair of shoes or sneakers the right size. The shoes you sent me were about a size to small for me. I tried to sell them to someone to save the trouble of sending them back.
I made a rug and a box in craft shop. They are supposed not to be reserved for any body. I wanted them but I don’t think I’ll get them. I wanted you to see them before they are sold.
Of course your coming to the spring festival. Is Lou coming or the Marrs. You can’t eat here except on Saterday night. The Manumit Associats are coming so everything will be filled up.
Lots of love

Dear Mom,
Well I arivved safly as you see. And I’m actually getting over my cold fast and furious.
I think I saw Pete on the train. He reconiced me too. Ask His sister Fanny if he was on the train.
Mom I missed a bobsled ride the kids went all the way to Patterson with the truck horses pulling them.
John Murfey went away for good not because he was fired but he got a better job.
Now we have two history classes the senor and the joiner. I’m in the senor.
Love Don
P.S. Please send me some rocomalt or any other king of malt. You can get it in the drugstore

Dear Mom,
You said you wanted me to write to you. I’m therefore writing. This letter maybe pretty crazy handwriting, as I wrote it in bed.
I really don’t have any thing to write to you. As you were just here. Tell me how things are in the office. Is your Job still secure> I hope ?????? Give my regards to every body in the office, tell Blumberg to “go die in an alley”.
Of course you know that Bunty is staying, and of course I’m very happy, even though I said I didn’t care whether she did or not. I think Lee was the main cause. In fact I know so. To-night I went canoeing A.W.O.L. with two other guys.
Lots of Love,

Dear Mom,
I got your letter and stationery so I wrote as soon as I got it. My poison ivy is all better so you won’t have to worry about that . I’m feeling fine I hope you are too. The last time I was weighed I gained a ¼ of a pound. I’m glad to hear that you are coming up Sunday I haven’t seen you for at least a month. The weather is fine up here I am wearing shorts, sneakes, no underwear, and 1 shirt. I’m eating better and better all the time. Mom if you’d ask me some quistoins I have more to write. So I close.
Love don

Dear Mom,
In your letter you said that we aught to have skating soon, well we had skating before you wrote me. And if it dident rain we could have it to-day (Thursday).
Well mom we have history now and this is how we work it we pick a subject anf then draw a picture of it. I’m studing the asent of man and I started a picture of the way man came from a jelly fish. I enjoy it very much.
Loie brought two ducks from the city and they are so soft I helped him to feed them but it was to much for me to take care of the rabbit and the ducks. I’m enjoying myself throly.
Love Don
P.S. please send me some envelope and stamps you can buy 25 envolopes for 5C.
P.S.S. The watch Loie gave me is keeping the right time.

Thanks, Aulay for posting Don’s letters.  You must agree that his spelling is certainly creative, and then some.  But at Manumit we went to class out of sheer desire to learn, not because we had to.  I think Don’s letters are a strong argument in favor of learning one’s A B C’s before getting out in the world.  Hi, Don.  Your big sister here, getting a kick out of what you sent Aulay.  Love you.  Don mentions my nick-name which was Bunty. When Bianca and I went to the Woodstock reunion together,  we announced “Binky and Bunty hit the road.”.  The exchange of emails from all of you, even tho’ Don and I were not at school when you  were still gives me a wonderful feeling of family.  Thanks.  Ruth Rosner