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Boukje Dijkstra, Ripon (California)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, Leeuwarden

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants II-1.
From G.H. Schaapman to Mr. and Mrs. Hoogland.

Ripon, Calif. Dec[ember] 17, 1933.
Dear Uncle and Aunt,

This year is almost out, if we want to write yet we have to be quick.
It is a long time ago that we got the “kwartierstaat”*  from Uncle.
So Uncle and Aunt maybe will say to each other: that's nice, I had a lot of work from it and this is my reward, may be it's not even arrived there, what to think of that.
But Uncle we want to thank you very much for it.
We are always too busy to write and wait till we have a rainy day and then still we don't have time because we have to pay visits then.
If the weather is nice there is always work to do.
When it is possible we have to visit Dick and Jennie this week, they had a baby-girl on Friday Dec. 15. All is well, now they have 2 [girls].
Do and Ida had a baby-girl on Nov. 17, they have 3 children now, 2 girls and a boy.
Little Dirk will be 2 years old on Dec. 22.
Jennie's girl will be 4 on Dec. 27.
Do and Ida's baby is named Kathleen, the name of Jennie's baby I don't know yet.
[Upside down on top of the first page is written] The baby of Jennie her name is Shirley Dean.
We all are healthy, but I have problems with my stomach, I have a diet once more, nothing but bread, milk and eggs which is hard when mother has to do the cooking but I feel much better.
I suffer from ulcer's [she wrote this word]  and it has to be cured with food.
Gerrit has pain in his back these days, or rather I think it has to do with his kidney's.
The children are healthy except a little cold and mother is well too.
Well I should stop now because Gerrit also has to write now.
So Uncle ans Aunt we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a  Happy New Year.
Hearty greetings from your niece Sadie and children.

Dear Uncle and Aunt,
My wife is ready writing her scrawls [He is making a joke] and now I'll try to add some.
We were planning to write often but didn't come to it.
The ancestor list [kwartierstaat] you sent us we received it in good order, many thanks for it, I find it very interesting.
I never had seen such a thing before, quite a job I think to search for all those names.
What you wrote in the little year books I read with interest.
In that you wrote how the Swiss families held there divine services in former days, with one of the eldest speaking and that the cantor read out a few lines to sing those lines together.
Here there is an American church who hold there divine services in the same way.
The don't have teachers who have studied, it is always one of the elderly who is acting as a spokesman, they also read a few lines and then sing them together.
The seniors greet each other with the kiss just like in Jesus days, they baptize when they are adults by immersion in the river.
They refrain themselves absolutely from politics and refuse military service and to carry weapons.
They were simple cloths and most of them have a long beard.
This sect is called Dunkards here, I mean those people came from England in earlier days and were named quakers [founded by George Fox in 1650].
The situation of the farmers, particularly the dairy farmers, is still bad.
The butter cost 18 cents a pound, here it already has been as low as15 cents.
The government buys some part of the immense supply, they already bought millions of pounds but there is still about 140 million pounds in stock in cold storage as they call it here. In Dutch they call it “in koelhuizen” I think.
When there comes no change, the peasantry will be destroyed here too.
The duty or tax on houses, property and land which should have paid in Nov., only 50% of it came in.
Then at the end of Dec. comes the water tax for the water we irrigate the land with, which cost 5 dollars an acre (2½ acre is 1 hectare) which also won't come in all.
Lots of people are poor or become poor, which obviously can be seen in all kinds of criminals who are committed .
Murder, robbery and kidnapping are the order of the day.
For those kidnappings mostly are claimed large ransoms, 50 or 60 thousand dollars are usual and are sometimes payed too.
It seldom succeed to catch the criminals.
The other day a young man, son of rich parents, was kidnapped in San Jose which is a few hundred miles from here.
At the moment this young man stepped into his car to drive home, some fellows jumped in the car with him, weaponed with  revolvers, and told him to what place he had to drive.
When they came in a wood near a river they killed him in cold blood and threw him into the river made heavier with stones.
The police succeeded in finding the perpetrators and put them in jail where they confessed their deed.
After some days of dragging the body was found in the river.
After the people found out that the body was found thousands of people rushed into the jail, opened the doors with big steel beams

[Upside down on top of this page is written] Happy New Year.

And turned both murderers out of it and hung them in/at a tree while the police had to watch against it powerless.
There is almost not one day that the papers tell about robberies.
Those fellows go in the bank in broad daylight  with a revolver in their hand, ordering the personnel to keep their hands up, take some thousands of dollars, jump in the car which is usually waiting outside the door with a  man behind the wheel and off they go in full speed.
It goes so quickly that almost all of them run away before someone knows what is happening.
Well Uncle and Aunt, my paper is almost full and I'll stop, mother will write too, otherwise
the letter will become too heavy.
Hearty greetings from all of us. G.H. Schaapman.

Ripon, Dec. 27, 1933.
Dear Brother in law and Sister,

Now it depends on me as Sadie says, she brought their letters to me a few minutes ago and I have to add some.
I promised her to do so before the postman comes here.
Yesterday we visited Jaantje [Jennie], on the 15th their second girl was born.
We hoped with them that it should be a boy, but everything is as fine as possible.
We all are happy with them.
The eldest [girl] is 4 years today, she is also very happy with her little sister.
Ytje's youngest is 4 weeks older than Jaantje's baby, she is also very well and grows fast.
Oh it is so pleasant that they grow well.
Clarence of Thies and Anna had a beginning of pneumonia last year, now they have to take care for a cold,

[On top of this page is written upside down] Everything you have sent I read with pleasure, also those little year-books.
Thank you so much for the trouble you have had from it Sj[ouke].

Now he is healthy again and bright.
On the [next] 5th of May he will be 4 years old and he is tall for his age.
Sometimes he comes to me and is able to bring his message over, although Anna also gives him a note with him, he can tell it to me very well, he is such a nice talker he looks a lot like Thies [Thijs] I think.
Last days it is very misty here, day after day we don't see the sun.
Here in Ripon it is much lower than in Redlands thus there are more misty days during the winters, the difference is 1300 feet.
Nevertheless life is much more social here.
The bigger the city the more you are alone except the dearest friends.
I find that we here live more together as Dutch people.
I often go out for a day.
Many Dutch people come and get me for a day and bringing me home too.
When people invite me they always say we'll get you and 'll bring you home, so I cannot refuse it.
They all are very kind to me.
Mrs. Keuning came here to visit me last Wednesday.
They had to go to Ripon to do their shopping.
I asked her after her maiden name, which is Gaadsche Nieuwenhuis.
When she was a school girl their ship or fishing boat lie in the Leisterdiep [a canal in the province Friesland, also named Frisia in English], her father was a fisherman.
Her oldest sister was named Akke.
May be that Lolkje Bierma can remember them.
The oldest and youngest sisters both died but she still has relatives in Minnertsga [a little village in Frisia], a brother I think.
She had not got a letter from him in a long time but when I visited her for a few days in Nov. she received a letter from her relatives.
A son of that brother works with the Bank in Leeuwarden or with a business firm, I don't know that well.
Two daughters of them [Mr. and Mrs. Keuning] are married, one of them lives in Redlands and one in [Belflour she wrote] Bellflower, which is too far from here to visit them.
But because she likes company herself, she likes us to visit her now and then.
She often comes to me to drink a cup of tea when they are shopping here in Ripon.
Although it is a little late when [you] will get this letter, nevertheless I wish you all a Happy 1934.
That it may be a happy year for all of you.
When you write K[laasche] [Mrs. Hoogland] please write me a lot about the relatives, how they are doing.
Many greetings from all of us and most from your sister B. Schuiling-Dijkstra.
[In Holland we  first write the name of our husband and then our maiden name.]

[At the left side of this page is written] This letter seems already thick to me, later on a sheet more.

*A list with the names of every ancestor, as far as known, as there are: both parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents etc.