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Gerrit Schaapman, Ripon (California)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, Leeuwarden

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants II-18.
G.H. Schaapman to S.J. Hoogland.

May 2. 1937 Ripon calif.
Dear Uncle and Aunt,

We are just home from the church and now first write a letter to Uncle and Aunt.
First thank you very much for the congratulations and the  hand kerchiefs as aunt calls them, but they are too nice for that for a long time.
I was busy cleaning the living room and thought that the nice doily's, as we call them, have to be in the cabinet with the glass doors where the tea cups are in, so every one can astonish at them.
I just needed them, aunt guessed that perfectly.
Thies' wife will also use them for that  purpose, she needs four, her mother will make another one for her.
We got the letter on our birthday and the package last Thursday April 29.
Ytje and Jaantje must get them yet.
We didn't celebrate our birthdays together.
A few days before I spoke to Ida but she said she thought it was not possible for them to come because Do was very busy in the fields and it is such a distance.
In the afternoon the sisters in law came and mother came in the morning to have a cup of coffee.
We all are healthy.
The other day we had made a photo of the children but I didn't get them yet.
I hope to send one of them to aunt.
Our oldest daughter Johanna will graduate from class 8 this year.
There are 27 [children] in that class, 18 girls and 9 boys.
Gerrit's sister passed away on March 3rd, she was ailing a lot.
Their maid is going to leave them on the 12th of this month, she will travel to the east with her uncle and aunt, where her 2 brothers and a sister live.
For sure she was a notable housekeeper for the Meurink family, one cannot pay that in money.
As sisters in law and relatives we will offer her a small surprise this week before she leaves.
Now his daughter Annie, which is 17 years old, will take care of the household.
She is a fine girl and there are just 3 children, a boy of 10 years old and a girl of 5 years old, she will go to school next year.
There are about 156 children at school.
The brothers and sisters are doing well.
Jaantje and Dick expect another baby.
As you will know they have 2 girls.
Geertje and her husband live in Oakland now, he works in a store there.
These days Roelof is painting Mothers house.
Aunt I will urge the other children to write a letter to uncle and aunt, even it is in English.
On the 21st of this month we are married for 15 years, on the 20th Gerrit's brother Joe and his wife are married for 18 years.
We hope to celebrate that day together with Joe's.
The girl [daughter] of Joe Schaapman is still ailing.
On May 3rd Jennie [Jaantje] and Dick are married for 9 years and on May 7th Ralph [Roelof] and Fannie 6 years.
I still can remember that Pieter was with us in former days, please greet them.
Also greet cousin Ytje and her husband, thank her for her letter, it was difficult for me to read her hand writing but Gerrit read it out to me.
Thanks again on behalf of every one for the hand kerchiefs and the girls also thank aunt for their candy, they liked it very much.
Now I have to stop because Gerrit also has to write.
Greetings from all of us to all, also from Mother.
Sadie and children.
How are uncle Gerben, uncle Douwe and Aunt …..? uncle Roelof his wife doing? Bye.

Ripon California May 3 – 1937.
Dear Uncle and Aunt,

My wife wrote her letter and now she says I have to do my job.
I think I don't have much news.
Since a few weeks we have the first cut of hay in and the second cut will be ready to mow in about three weeks.
Now we have time to make the bean fields ready and planting the beans before we have to make hay again.
Bean planting here usually starts at the end of April and goes on till early July.
Here a lot of beans are planted on land where we first harvest grain.    
Beans of last year I have not sold yet, I thought I could get six cents a pound for them but all the farmers had the same thoughts.
Most of the farmers who didn't need the money directly kept them to get six cents but we smart for it now.
Because of the many strikes this winter they could not be transported when the time was there.
Beans are one of the articles which are consumed in the winter time, when it starts to be warm people don't eat beans.
Twenty miles from here there is a harbor from which many beans are shipped.
The boat-workers struck 96 days last winter so everything stood still.
In the same city the laborers in the spinach factory struck.
Where they can the spinach they were fighting a lot [the laborers].
The police had bought all the pickax handles of the shopkeepers  to use as cudgel in the fight that was expected.
The strikers picket with the factories to prevent the factories operating. in town
Then the mill owner announced that they should start to work again at the moment the first truck with spinach arrived with the factory they started to fight.
They hit with cudgels and threw tear-gas bombs and stones and there were even gunshots fired, with the result that about 60 men came in hospital.
Later on they made an agreement so now they can work undisturbed.
The strikers claimed 62½ cents an hour for the men and 50 cents for the women.
They also insisted to get a half day wage if they only have to work one hour in the morning or if they have to work 5 hours the full day wage and for overtime for every hour 1½ hours wage.
Those laborer-unions become very impertinent.
Here it is almost as far that it is a  necessity for workers to be a union-member otherwise they are unemployed.
The workers themselves really have nothing to say, if the leaders of those movements declare a strike they have to obey.
And then they say America is a free country, the freedom is restricted here more and more on many domains.
Today I read in a Dutch paper, which is published in America, about a meeting in I mean Enkhuizen in Holland, where it also was very tumultuous. 
I believe a certain rev. Bik speeched for the Anti Revolutionary Party and the Socialistic Movement didn't agree with it at all.
These days one of the Dutch people here has visitors who are relatives of Minister Colijn, Jacob de Graaf is his name.
His wife is a sister of Mrs. Colijn.
Those people come from the Haarlemmermeer.
This week they will go back to Holland because they want to be home before the elections [in Holland].
Brother in law Thijs must have his live-stock vaccinated tomorrow, to see if there are signs of tuberculosis.
I think it also will be our turn in a few days, they come every six months.
They were with us four times, first time we lost 5 of the 27 and not one ever since.
Roelof farms without cows which is not good for the place on the long term, because the land gets no manure.
One can do without it but one can also see the difference.
Ytje's and Jaantje's husbands both have cows too.
Geertje and her husband now live near San Francisco, he works in a big store now.
They sold the farm, after what people  told, he had to sell or the creditors took it from him.
I believe they had 25.000 dollars mortgage on the place and sold it for 35.000 [dollars].
I mean they had that place together, Geertje's husband, his sister and his mother.
The mother sold her house some years ago after there was told she could not keep it.
Usually  it is so that if one cannot keep the place because there are too much debts on it, there are more debts.
So it is a pity I think he is a very nice man, the other day I met him for the first time.
They are married for 1½ years so it was about time that we as brothers in law should meet don't you think?
I got a good impression of him and it seems that I found favor in his eyes too because when he and Geertje next time visited mother I was near the barn when they arrived and Geertje immediately went into Mothers house, I didn't see her at all but he came to me and we talked for quite a time very sociably.
He is well educated and thus a good talker.
It seems that mother was not well informed when she wrote you that Geertje's husband was abundantly provided with earthly goods don't you think?
I don't think there is no progress in being a servant instead of own boss.
Well Uncle and Aunt I have to stop, it is over 10 o'clock and the others already sleep.
Hearty greetings from yours affectionately nephew Gerrit.