Friday, August 8, 2008

Russ at Julie's House 1966 - Page 1 Click on photo to enlarge


Transplanted said...

These pictures are just great. I love you MJ. I wish I'd met Russ. Grandma's stories about him are hilarious.

Anonymous said...

I was cleaning out my sewing room when I found this letter which Russ had sent me while I was at Reed College in 1969. We would have been 20 years old, that is, I would have been 20 and he would have been almost 21. If I live to be a hundred I would recognize his handwriting from all others: no caps, lots of commas, an almost spidery hand, though he would laugh to hear me say it.

I thought Russ’ kids might enjoy this glimpse of the young man in 1969. By the way, stamps were 10 cents.

February 2nd 1969 Ground-hog’s day

dear julie,
happy to hear from you, karen gave me your first letter and i just received your second yesterday. Today is karen’s birthday—ah she is so beautiful. We are worlds apart, karen and i; karen is the angel in the family and i the devil. she is such an inspiration to all who meet her, and i am such a, shall i say, expiration. While she inspires fresh air, innocence, and energy, i expire tobacco smoke, degeneracy, and lassitude. ah well, song after song melts the day into night: sunset….and then, the night into day again: sunrise…..
julie, i should dearly love to venture northward up portland way, i need a change of climate. since i returned from mexico this time, i have been going on this distasteful, foreign trip of living at my parent’s house and looking for full-time work. i have short hair and a discontented expression on my face, mostly because in this christian family my role is that of an ex-dope-fiend in the process of rehabilitation; a sullen, rebellious youth struggling out of the morass of spiritually dislocated values that have been debilitating me for these past six or eight years.
i was hoping to go to Antioch, but the tuition is such that the larger part of it would have to come from my parents. Thus if they made the investment, they would expect to see a worthwhile return in terms of a decisive change in my way of life. so that idea is still up in the air, and i have perhaps a month to think it over before the application deadline has been passed.
in any case; tomorrow(monday) i shall go to the employment agency to inquire about work. if i don’t get a job tomorrow, then i shall be on my way by wednesday, to the probable displeasure of my parents. Ok?
By the way, my family is in good spirits and health—they are good people, you know (& you always used to say)……and mexico---well, as i’m hopin’ that i’ll soon see you, i can tell you then. you say it’s snowing? what a treat!! well, here’s hoping that i make it; if i don’t i send my good wishes. we’ll get together sometime. by the way, in case i can’t get up there this week, could i have your street address or whatever? i can’t very well look for you in Box 825, can i? Please say hello to jeanie, & send her my love, will you? Be sure and listen if possible to the double-beatles album, spec. “dear prudence” “while my guitar gently weeps” “happiness is a warm gun” “blackbird”—oh well, all of them.
I love you, russ

Julie O'Toole MD, MPH said...

Still thinking about you Russ. I imagine that will never go away. Be somewhere, my old friend, running along an autumn's ridge, soft wind in your curly blond hair, with one hand waving free.....