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Family Letters Bind Us (pt.1)

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

In the rainy summer of 1971, we began to create a new home 800 miles away in Georgia, for our three girls, Grandma, and ourselves. At various times that year, the girls would stay with friends and family, or kept Daddy company in Fairburn, Ga. where he worked 12-hour days and came “home” to eat and sleep at the Holiday Inn in Newnan. With no email, cell phones, Internet, and very few phones of any kind, we managed to keep up with each other by snail-mail.

Here are Dave’s chronicles, starting out alone:
Monday 7-5-71
I arrived here in Newnan without problems. Beautiful trip down, flew straight south down New Jersey and crossed Delaware Bay below Salem and then flew south of D.C. which I could see quite well….

Cloudy and rainy here in Atlanta with thunder showers. Holiday Inn here is nice, very new.

I stopped off in Peachtree City and caught up with J.C. [our builder, Jay Brogdon] working on our lot. It is all cleared and leveled and staked out for the footings to be put in tomorrow…. Our front porch and windows will look out right on a nice pine tree not more than 10 feet from the front porch.
Saw several boats and water skiers on the lake.

Bad car crash right on [Ga. Highway 54] where you cross to go over to the country club. Smashed Ford Falcon lying on its roof when I came along. No one badly hurt.
I drove around Newnan this evening after supper. Nice town! Lots of old big houses and churches. Nice looking high school and town library. Everything closed up for the holiday [July 4].

Had a nice buffet supper of Bar-B-Q pork chops and black-eyed beans.

Miss you all already – though this would be a boring place if you came down as it is south of town with nothing here to do. I’m going to watch the early movie.
First day over with, and I am very tired. My new lab is still so far from finished that there is much doubt whether it can be done before startup. Somebody did a beautiful job ordering all my new things. This ought to be a great lab when we get it all together. Everything from soup to nuts has been ordered and most of the stuff is here somewhere.

The big drawback is a lack of lab benches which were held up by a strike somewhere. I can’t start putting things together until I have some place to put them.

I went by our new house site this p.m. J.C. has dug out all the ground for the foundations… I took two pictures of the holes and trenches. House looks small.

Mary, I saw several kids about your age, both boys and girls on our block when I went by. The house across the street has small type kids, 5, 6, 7, or so.

Lake [Peachtree] really looked nice – light wind blowing and water all blue and rippled.

The day really ran by…. The desk I am using is right next to the plant manager’s office. Big problem is trying to make phone calls. Only two phones in whole office complex and trying to get a line is impossible. Plenty of work ahead. Love to all….
I completed my first two analyses here. Simple test really but made difficult by lack of lab space and equipment. The things that I tested were or met the spec.

I went to Atlanta at 2:30 and made closing on the house. Very easy and pleasantly done. We now owe Fulton Federal S & L $28,000 with the first payment due Feb. 9, 1972 and thereafter for 300 months….

Our house…is all ready to be shipped from the factory, all components are put together. JC says it will be here Tuesday and he should have it under roof by next week. He put in all the footings today….Couldn’t pour the footings before with the ground so soft from the rain….

I sure am using the radio I brought along. I have it on all the time but I haven’t been able to find a “good” music station yet. Pops is the nearest I have located.

I walked around downtown Newnan this evening after dinner. Town was closed up tight. That is something we are not used to. Pretty little town, about the size of Woodbury [N.J.]. I saw what looks like a nice fabric store and also several clothing stores. Also a big library.

I am going in to work tomorrow as I have so much to do….It was very warm here today. I am well, but lonely….
Nothing much new here. Rained like mad this morning. Caught me out on top of a string of railroad cars and I got pretty wet. Didn’t help J.C. and our house any either. I stopped by there this evening. He has all the second floor outer walls up…also the walls around the garage. House looks bigger all the time.

We were down for two days at work because of the oven. The X-ray people are now putting together my new unit. Things look so different that I’m wondering if I’ll be able to operate it.   

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