Just think - only a week ago I was down in Saltsburg. It seems like a beautiful dream. This week my mind has travelled back there so often that, more than once, the family here has had to pull me out of a reverie. Dad suggested that that is a nice way to travel; it doesn't cost much. Speaking of travel, I had such interesting seatmates - going and coming. The first was a wholesome little woman, a Mrs. Buck, from Detroit, who was on her way to Johnstown and her dying father. Her brother-in-law rushed her to East Liverpool in his car, and there she caught my bus in the nick of time. We had supper together in Pittsburgh. I gave her a self-addressed post card before we parted, and she was to let me know if she got there in time. Isn't it strange how you get so interested in someone you will never see again? I'm still waiting for that card. I mention Mrs. Buck because she gave me a good formula for stretching butter. And, oh, brother, how we need it! This recipe was in a woman's magazine years ago: 1 envelope of plain gelatin. Dissolve in 1/4 cup cold water. Melt over pan of hot water. Add 1 can evaporated milk (or top milk). Cool to "jell" point. Chop up 1 lb. butter and melt over warm water to the point where you can hardly whip in the gelatin-milk mixture. this doubles your butter. Mrs. Buck says that her husband insists on the 'prepared' butter, shortage or no shortage.
My seatmate from Pittsburgh to Saltsburg was Antoinette Cup of the 'suburbs' of Clarksburg. She was a WAC, stationed for the most part in England. She had many interesting experiences, one of which was the Victory trip in an airplane over western Europe, including Germany. This was a sight-seeing trip, given to all the WAC's at this certain base, who cared to go. Miss Cup is a very nice person. On the return trip what a contrast in travelling companions! From Saltsburgh to Pittsburgh our refined and erudite Margaret Jackson, whom I was glad to know just a little better; from Pittsburgh to Cleveland a waitress from some little town or suburb of Pittsburgh. At seventeen, over her father's protest, she married a Syrian, ten years her senior, who, it developed later, was subject to epileptic fits. His cousin was a physician, who kept him doped and kept her in ignorance of his malady - until after her second child was born. The first child has fits and the second has terrible migraine headaches. The boys are 15 and 14 now. Eight years ago the father had to be put in an institution. She has never forgiven his deception. She got a divorce, and is now going to marry an Italian sailor boy, working in Cleveland, as soon as they can find a house. She is a Slovak. Surely, after all these difficult years, she is entitled to happiness. The young man is devoted to her boys. And what of the poor boys? Heredity is a terrible thing when it blights the innocent.
My family welcomed me with open arms - because, in my arms, I bore butter and Crisco; the golden butter by kindness of Ina; the snow white Crisco through the kind efforts of Pearl Kennedy. Cleveland is practically Spry-less and Crisco-less - at least, in these parts. I was gone only a week, but in that week our young son fell in love, and I became, in absentia, a member of a new sorority - the great sisterhood of women whose boys have gone away to one of Uncle Sam's training centers. Virgil Jr. was called home from Ohio State (where he was ridin' high) to join the Armed Forces Feb. 28. His contingent was sent to Camp Atterbury, Ind. When I came home, Margery had a list of mothers who had called, in the hope of forming a kind of mothers' club - that we might keep in touch, share the latest news, etc. Virgil and his pal enlisted in the Air Corps for two years. V. was sent a week ago to San Antonio. He counts it a great adventure. San Antonio is truly a beautiful city - the most beautiful that I have seen. ***
Just a word to the Presbyterian C.W.A. The rest of you can stop here, I forgot to tell you, apropos the letters P.C. ('Preach Christ' and 'Plow Corn') written in the sky, that the day after my invitation from Mayme Whitesell arrived, via Ina. I looked up in the sky for a message, telling me whether or not I should go. I saw the letters, S A H A. That spelled for me, "Saltsburg, at high speed" Since then I have wondered with a sinking feeling, if they meant, "Stay at home, sap." Never again will I appear before such a large and learned group without a carefully prepared speech. I knew what I wanted to say - but it was all scattered - and some of it should have been left out. But this one thing I want to say to you all: Help your new minister, whoever he is, to be a good minister - a good preacher. If you have real charity in your hearts, and real evangelism in your souls, you will encourage the good in him, and help him overcome his weaknesses. I assume he has weaknesses. We all do.
One of the best friends I will ever have - Almira Lytle - let me know when I was on the wrong track, and making a fool of my 11-year-old self. True friends watch out for the pitfalls. Be a true friend to your pastor. With very best wishes,
Florence B. Taylor
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