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Gerrit Schaapman, Ripon (California)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, Leeuwarden

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants II-6.
G.H. Schaapman to Mr. S.J. Hoogland.

Ripon Calif. Aug. 11: 1935.
Dear Uncle and Aunt,

It is about time that we write a letter.
On July 31 Mother fell over a piece of wood  and broke the hip of her left leg.
She is in the County Hospital and has to be in a plaster cast for 3 to 4 months, but she is very well.
It looks as if she likes it there, only the language is a bit difficult for her.
But there is a daughter of Kroll who is a head nurse on the floor she lies on and she [the head nurse]  can talk Dutch, when she understood it well.
We as children are going to visit her every week by turns.
Till now she had visitors every day.
She was visiting Mrs. Keuning for a week and there it has happened.
In a few weeks the children have to go to school again.
It will be very quiet then and I also have to do everything on my own too.
They already can help a lot.
These days we are busy with the beans, every other day I have to pick the beans, two to three buckets full.
I dried some of it myself and made French beans from it and also salted beans.
This week I've salted beans for mother and I'll also tin/can some for her.
Now Gerrit has to finish the letter.
Uncle, we and mother send you congratulations and that Uncle and Aunt may celebrate this day for many  more years.
Greetings from all of us, Sadie and children.

Ripon California Aug: 23-1935.
Dear Uncle and Aunt,

My wife insists that I have to write to you.
She already scribbled a full sheet in her solid Dutch language.
However I don't have much news.
These days we are busy making hay, this is the fourth cut.
This summer we were very busy, Thijs and I have each planted about five Hectares beans and Roelof has about eight Hectares.
Because we are working together a lot to save wages, we were very busy.
But when this cut of hay is gathered in, the biggest pressure is over till we have to harvest the beans and that starts about mid September.
We have this summer very varied weather, this spring rain came much later than usual and during this summer sometimes some days of extremely cool weather and then some days extremely hot.
If the thermometer rises to 105 or 106 [degrees F.] as happened several times then it is pretty warm.
We are lucky that we always have the cool sea breeze, that is why it is always cool here at night, so one can sleep well.
Here we live about 80 miles from the San Francisco bay.
People are building a bridge over the San Francisco bay, this bridge will be 4½ miles long and will cost 77 million dollars.
The cables which have to carry this bridge weigh 1750 pounds per foot.
By this, one should say there are still dollars, don't you think?
It gives work for several 100 men for a long time.
However things got a lot better during the last year there is still a lot of unemployment and there are many who get support to be able to live.
We don't have reasons to complain, we can manage well however we cannot save much.
The children grow and with them also the costs.
Last spring the government forced us to have our cows examined for tuberculosis, we had 27 heads vaccinated, 5 cows fell out, those were the oldest cows we had.
Thijs lost 12 and remained 6 cows and some heifers.
Roelof lost them all, he had 8 cows and some heifers, he just could keep his 2 years old bull/steer.
Now he is farming without cows, which is possible but on the long term not good for the farm because one also don't have dung to fertilize the land.
The butter is a bit better priced compared to last year, now we get about 35 cents a pound it is still no gravy-pot but one can almost make a living of it.
If one gets a pound a day per cow, then it is 35 cents a day per cow, which is very possible.
The hay is about 7 dollars a ton on the  fields and calculated is that a cow eats his own weight in hay in a month.
You can calculate how much profit one can milk from a ton of hay ( a ton is 2000 pounds*).
It is possible that one of our neighbors will make a trip to the Netherlands, his parents live in Groningen [most likely is that they live in the Province, not in the city], his name is van Til.
If you wish to meet him, let me know, then I'll ask him to visit you.
In that case I'll have to pay him the traveling-expenses from Groningen to you.
We know him very well.
Twice a day he comes here to get the milk to bring it to the factory, he has a milk-route.
My letter had some days delay, I'll try to finish it now.
Yesterday I went to the agricultural show, one can see there a lot of machinery, live-stock and horses.
There are a lot of nice horses, heavy horses and racing horses.
Trotting-matches are held and those working horses are put in 4 or 8 and sometimes 12 to a wagon.
Those horses are very well trained, people can drive backwards with them as well as forwards, they run as well as they step, they even go at gallop and can stop in a very short distance.
There was one horse of less than three years  old that weighted 2190 pounds.
I like to see those heavy horses in the harness, especially when there are 8 or 12 together in the harness.
Before I forget Uncle, I wish to congratulate you with your birthday and hope that you may celebrate this day in health for many more years, together with Aunt.
On which date is your birthday, I really forgot it.
Mine is on September 8.
If I am still alive I'll be 46 years old then, I am gently getting old, isn't it?
I started to get some gray hairs.
This afternoon my wife went to the hospital to visit mother.
She [mother] feels very well, now she has to lie on her abdomen for a few hours every day, she always lie on her back.
She was staying for a week and then the accident happened.
It happened early in the morning and she sat on a chair the whole day with her broken hip, she thought it would get better, she didn't realize that it was broken.
Not before in the evening at 7 they phoned us and then we went there and after some deliberations we decided to bring her to the hospital.
Now I'll stop, it is almost 9 o'clock thus bedtime because tomorrow we have to make hay again.
Heart greetings from all of us, your loving nephew and niece, Gerrit and Sietske [Sadie].


*When the text is written between (  ) it was written by the one who wrote the letter.
If the text is written between [  ] it is written by the translators.