Coming Home 1967
[Kashan Velvet & Rayon Mills]
14 August 1967
I am writing carbons this time because I don't have time to sit down and write each of you. Daddy has kept me busy at this typewriter the last two weeks. He is trying to finish up all his reports and systems to leave here and it has kept both of us busy.
We went to Tehran and got our schedule for the return trip changed. We leave Tehran Sept. 6 and go directly to Izmir, Turkey, bypassing Jerusalem. We felt it was just not a good idea to try to go there now. Pan-Am did not have time to verify our change in hotel reservations but they were going to try to get the same hotels for us that are on the intenerary I gave each of you, however the dates will be changed. We will stay a day longer in Izmir, and a day longer in Rome, and arrive in Zurich at the same we had planned. We will leave here August 31, so if you hurry you can write me one more letter to get here before we leave. You could write to us at the hotel in Zurich and write on the envelope Hold for Arrival. We still will be in Washington at the same time we had planned. Daddy has to go to Barcelona, Spain from the show in Basel but he is hoping he can leave the show early and still get home at the same time, or October 7.
Where in the world this summer has gone, I don't know. It just doesn't seem possible that we will be leaving in only 2½ weeks. We are ready to get home though. We have enjoyed the summer and it has been good for all of us. Jimmy has grown so you won't recognize him and Daddy has lost so much weight you won't know him. He is feeling good though but he hasn't had my pound cake and ice cream to eat between meals. Jimmy says for Edo to please have a chocolate cake for him and plenty of chocolate milk! We finally found some peanut butter - no crackers, but he says it even tastes good on this unleavened bread.
We went to Tehran on Jimmy's birthday. I had gotten a box of cake mix and baked him a birthday cake the night before. This stove isn't any good and it was not the best cake I've ever made but it served the purpose. On Friday night we went to the Sha-Er Grill in the hotel and had a real nice dinner for him. The man in the grill plays an instrument similar to an accordian and when he came to our table Daddy asked him to play Happy Birthday, then he played Downtown for Jimmy. We really had a nice dinner. I even tried the caviar, which is suppose to the best in the world, but if it's the best, I won't try it anywhere else. I don't like caviar.
The weekend before that we went to Isfahan. It is 260 kilometers from Kashan to the south. We really enjoyed that weekend. Isfahan is more Persia to me than Tehran is. We stayed at the Shah Abbas Hotel and it was the most elaborate hotel we we've ever been in. Abbas was Shah (or king) in the 16th century and Isfahan was the capital. The hotel is on the sight of an old caravanserie (go to your dictionary and look that one up) and is built around a beautiful courtyard. The entire inside is painted with pictures from the time of Shah Abbas and someone told us it took 600 artists one year to paint the inside. The dining room is a very large room with a beautiful winding staircase to the balcony. The bannister to the staircase is very intricately carved and is simply magnificent. If the hotel were in the states we probably would think it garish but it just seems to fit the setting it is in.
We took a sight-seeing tour and thoroughly enjoyed it. We went into 3 mosques and they were something to behold. It is just hard to understand how anyone could take such tiny pieces of colored tile and put them together in such elaborate scenes. But when you see the elaborateness and money that is in them then look at the poverty of the people who worship in them it gives you something to think about! The most interesting to us was the Masjid Juma, or Friday Mosque. This dates back before 1121. Some tile work has been added to it over the years but when it was built there was no such thing as tile and it is made entirely of mud bricks. But when you look at it you just wonder how they ever built such things back in those days. The bricks are very intricately carved and the domes are mosaic bricks. A very interesting thing about the other mosques was the light reflection in the domes moved around the dome as you moved around the room.
We went to a palace that Shah Abbas used to entertain his royal guests. They are doing some restoration work on it because so many of the original paintings have been plastered over during the years.
We went into some of the shops there where they were making silver items, working on brass, painting pictures on very small boxes, doing copper work and so many other things. Most of them have small boys, not as big as Bobby, working in them. They say the father teaches his son his trade and they start learning early. But you should have heard your mother bargaining in the shops. I didn't buy much mainly because of getting things back home and a lack of money was only a minor item! But we had fun bargaining for things. But I saw some things I would really love to have.
In the bazaar we saw them using hand blocks to print cloth and it was truly an amazing thing to see. Of course I wanted some of everything I saw. They handcarve the blocks they use for printing and some of them are very elaborate.
By the time you all get this I suppose Bobbie will be in Panama. She was waiting on her port call the first of August. We are glad she got to go on but sure will be sorry not to get to see Theresa again until she is a big girl.
Lynn, the pictures and clippings you wrote about in your last letter never did arrive. Did you mail them?
Bo, we sure did appreciate your letter. I guess you will be the only one who can come see us when we get home. By the time Daddy gets home, Edo won't be able to make that trip and Lynn and family are too far away. There is so much I would like to tell you about but just can't get it all on paper. We have made a lot of pictures and I just hope they are good.
I don't know whether I will have time to write again before we leave but I will try to drop a card or two along the way home.
We love all of you and wish we could see you.
All our love,
Mother, Dad, Jim
My secretary is getting better. Not too many mistakes on this one.
Sis - Forget about the glue
The Letter - Page 1