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Gerrit Schaapman, Ripon (California)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, Leeuwarden

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants II-27.
G.H. Schaapman to Mr. S.J. Hoogland.

June 26, 1938 Ripon Calif.
Dear Uncle and aunt,

First I like to congratulate aunt with the increasing number of her years and we wish that aunt that day may enjoy for many more years together with uncle.
This letter won't be in time as was meant unless we send it by airplane.
But we also thought it would be nice to send a snapshot from all of us.
Brother Albert Schaapman has a camera, I asked him if I could use it for a moment but the camera was with one of his friends so we had to wait a few days and last Sunday there was so much wind that we could not make a portrait.
Then uncle and aunt would say: what kind of a country is that.
Now one of our neighbor girls will come in the afternoon and take a photo from all of us in our Sunday clothes.
So uncle and aunt we meant it well but better late than not.
How is your health these days aunt?
Here with Mother [she] and children it goes well but Gerrit could be better, he is ailing of the appendix and won't be better until it is removed but Gerrit cannot get there right now.
Aunt must have finished spring cleaning now.
We have finished it too and the children have vacation again.
They already can help their mama very well, when school starts again all the children will go to school, it will be quiet then.
When they all talk together then there is a lot of noise and [their] mother becomes nervous from it and then there is the devil to pay.
Yes aunt I don't have the children under control as my father.
Father could rule us with his eyes, but I think there is a skeleton in every cupboard isn't it?
Now my sheet is almost full and Gerrit also has to write.
The brothers and sisters are doing well, the other day Ytje said I have to greet uncle and aunt from her.
They were here on May 30, we hope to visit them soon.
Mother is well too.
Also greetings from her, maybe she already wrote you.
Greetings from all of us and we hope to hear from you soon.
Your niece Sadie.

Well aunt those portraits are not very nice but I think you can see the difference with the last one.
From the left to the right:
Gerrit, Sadie, Johanna,
Bertha, Clara, Lucille, Gertrude.

Dear Uncle and Aunt,
My wife scribbled a few sheets and now she thinks it is my turn.
First congratulations on Aunts birthday and I hope that you may celebrate this day together for may more times.
How is your health? Is Aunt well again?
Since last fall I am ailing from my appendix, sometimes it goes well and sometimes I am suffering from it.
I think one day it has to be removed, but that is very expensive.
Our doctor is a Hollander and therefor he wants to do it for 100 dollars, most doctors take 150 and the cost for the hospital come on top of it which is amazingly expensive, so that will cost another 100 dollars.  
One cannot work for some time so one has to hire people to do the work which cost 35 to 40 cents an hour.
It should be not that worse if we get better prices for our products but that is not very good these days.
The butter is 1/3 cheaper than 6 months ago which makes a difference of 75 dollars a months with our 16 cows.
Times went backwards fast last year and thus there is a lot of unemployment and strikes were the order of the day last year at many domains.
The workers have a lot to say as they all are organized, the one's who are not members of a union they are forced to be one otherwise they don't get a job.
The milk hands are also mostly members of the union, they want 90 dollars a month, board and lodging, one day off every 2 or 3 weeks etc.
If the farmer need a new milker he has to send a message to the employment agency and then they send him one, we are not free to hire the one we like.
This holds for the large dairy farmers who have much live-stock, there are dairy farms which have 100, sometimes 2 or 300 cows.
We, small farmers, don't have these problems.
The grain is also cheap here, the threshing is done, the barley is sold for 85 cents to one dollar per 100 pounds, the oats for about the same price, so it is also not very good for the grain farmers.
The beans are still cheap too, I still have beans from two years ago, I have two different  kinds.
One kind is now 2 dollars an 45 cents per 100 pounds, the other kind about 2 dollars and 75 cents.
I planted beans again but the prospects for a good price are not good.
The beans look nice they are very promising.
The poultry farmers didn't have it good for a long time, it is going to be better these days.
Eggs bring in 22 cents a dozen, a long time they were 18 cents.
When our neighbor Hoekstra visits you, he can tell you all about that,  he was a big poultry farmer.
He sold all his hens before he went to Holland.
Did he already visit you?
I think you'll appreciate his visit, he is a well educated man and a social talker.
He is a neighbor of van Til who also visited you.
Tomorrow, June 27, we start making hay again, this is the third cut and this time there will be a lot, more than the second cut.
This spring we had damp and chilly and cold weather for a long time so it didn't grow well.
The weather is still irregular, by turns warm and cold and windy.
During the first hay cut the horses bolted twice with the mowing machine.
One of my brothers came with me in the field with his car, he drove behind me and I didn't see him come neither did the horses.
When he was right behind me the horses took fright and bolted, I could stop them but of course the machine was broken down.
I repaired it and the next day I was mowing less than half an hour they again bolted  and of course the machine was broken down again.
Then I fetched my brothers machine which has tires and then I no longer had any troubles .
A few weeks ago I had the horses in front of the bean planter and then they tried to run away again but that ended well.
One of the horses caused it, he is 8 years old and amazingly strong, he weighs about 1700 pounds.
Actually I don't have enough work for the horses, they are too luxurious, I have only 16 hectares land which is not enough for a good pair of horses.
Brother in law Thijs broke two 3 years old horses this spring, all by himself.
He is a first class horseman.
Thijs is strong, when he has the reins in his hands they don't have a chance to run away.
One of them often hit but now she is quite tame, now I stop, it is bedtime.
Hearty greetings from all of us. Gerrit.