Post 76 — The Write to Remain Silent

Everyone takes a turn writing to the family back home.

Everyone takes a turn writing to the family back home.

With Larry off in California visiting Stanford with the Samoan group, Jean took over the correspondence to the family back in Detroit. Since most of the new and interesting Samoan experiences had been covered in the past three and a half years, the letters tended to focus more on the Broquet girls and how they were growing. You could only mention the non-stop parties so many times before everyone got really irritated.

“Karen’s girlfriend who had gone to Seattle is back so now she has someone to fight with. Kathy and Carolyn are going around with the same gang of kids and are thick as thieves. They even changed bedrooms around so they could share one. Chris is right in the middle of growing and is very much aware of it. The other day she said she really didn’t enjoy playing with dolls anymore but couldn’t think of anything as a replacement so she has been reading a lot and alternately being nice and nasty to Karen. She is the only one of the group so far who has gotten chubby. She is not fat, but kind of hippy through the hips and middle. We are trying to discourage the third and fourth helping of potatoes.”

While her daughters may have wished for a little more discretion while discussing their journey through puberty, the truth was that Jean often censored herself when she wrote to the family. The slightly white-washed version of their life made everyone at home feel more comfortable, and Jean didn’t have to constantly explain why it sounded like they were living in a state of alcoholic bliss and free love. Her letters to Larry were a little more chatty.

June 25, 1967 

Dear Larry, 

If they are sober enough to remember, I am going to have the Grants mail this in Honolulu. There is to be a small party next door so I will take it over when I am finished. 

After we dropped you at the airport, the ride back home was uneventful. However, about four o’clock in the morning, the phone rang and it was Barb P. – she wanted to know if her daughter Diana was here. Carolyn, (she who claims she never sleeps) when asked if she had seen her, muttered something unintelligible but Kathy said she had seen her at the airport. I relayed this information back to Mrs. P. It seems that after Bill had brought Diana home, she had turned around when no one was paying any attention and snuck out the door. Myra F. said she and Riley were spotted walking down the Tafuna road at nine o’clock the next morning. Already the word is out that Gordon K. is furious at his parents because they won’t allow him to go the “all night picnic at the sand pile.” Stay tuned. 

Karen had the shortest case of mumps in history, if that is what she had. No swelling or nothing. Just the runny nose and bad breath. 

Kathy is trying on an old dress and holding out all the excess material as a result of her five pound weight loss. Carolyn said very enviously, “Gee, I wish I had someone to break up with so I could lose weight.” 

We started out to see a movie but Karen, who didn’t want to go in the first place, threw a temper tantrum about being hungry. She is on her third bowl of Cheerios but I still think it was an act. 

Carolyn just called from the club and wanted to know if she could go out to the airport. I said no. She didn’t even ask why. 

We all went to 5:00 mass today and the sermon was all about St. Peter. Father Lynch was telling about how Jesus was walking on the water and Peter wanted to, too. So he did, then did a double take and started to sink. The next line was “Ye of little faith!”, but Karen misunderstood it to be “You little fink.” He does have that strange eastern accent! 

We have that large cat with the funny voice staying under the house and he’s in heat. Apparently he is confused about the gender of our cat. He also has a ripped open hide — must have been in a fight. Also a large bloody patch on the back of his neck. 

The phone just rang. Kathy wants to know if she could go to the airport. I said no. She didn’t even ask why.


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