Category Archives: Letters Home

My Columbia Record Order

Feb. 1987

I apologize for the way I wrote most of this letter.  This stupid Robin Hood style, as I call it later in the letter, makes me want to travel back in time and smack the crap out of me. Maybe the stress of school was pushing me over the edge. I like that I seemed to have just received an initial order from the recently bankrupt Columbia record club.  I’m sure that I was kidding about pirating my new tapes.  I remember all those tapes.  Good stuff. Played the heck out of them.  It’s interesting how little of my life I remember.  I have no memory of the hotel experience or the play or, of course, almost everything I ever learned in most of my classes.  Fortunately Regan didn’t reinstate the draft in order to invade Nicaragua. Unfortunately it didn’t take conscription for the U.S. to invade other countries. (Unfortunately they invaded them, not that we didn’t have the draft, you know what I mean.) So here’s the letter.  And again, I’m really really sorry.

To the Clan of Sears of Abilene from the first born son of Bill and Elaine.


First I address my baby brother, second son of Bill and Elaine, the one to who was passed on the height, the one who is called The Milkman. I did, as did those of my hose who accompanied me, enjoy immensely the ballgame against the cursed Irish.  It was a blast, I can well and honestly say.  I plan on attending all of the sub-state and state contests as i can well manage with my busy days.  The State contests fall upon the first end-of-the-week of the annual Spring Rest and therefore should be of no problem to attend.  Also of interest, perhaps, to Sears the younger is the names of the tapes which I received by the post today. The list includes inclusively–Paul Simon, Graceland; Bangles, Different Light; The Cars, Greatest of Hits; Elvis Costello, Blood and Chocolate; Iggy Pop, Blah, blah, blah; REM, Life’s Rich Pageant; George Thorogood, Live; U2, The Unforgettable Fire.  You can pirate any of these which happen to tickle your fancy when I come home the second Fire or Saturn day in the month of the war god Mars.

And now for a more general information which, I surely hope, is of interest to all of the Clan of Sears of Abilene not excluding the noble hound Sadie and the imperial (for I believe there is such a word) Cookie.  This end-of-the-week I spent in Kansas City of Kansas where I attended the Acacia retreat of officers, at which we discussed amongst the members of teh alumni, problems and issues of interest in the house of Acacia of the State University of Kansas. It was a good time although we locked ourselves out of one of our two rooms and the, if I may say so, skin head of a night manager (for it was the last hour of the day of Fire) would not let us back in. Therefore we had no choice but to sleep, the lot of us, in one room. It was, in the morning ironed out, and we did not render forth gold, nay or any other currency, for the room we did not use. We stayed, by the way, at the Double Tree, of which the Clan of Sears of Abilene has, on occasion, rested their heads at the end of a hard day in Kansas City of Kansas or Kansas City of Missouri also called KCMO.

Our formal is this end-of-the-week. Yes, yes, before ye get started let me tell you I have a place for the Lady S to stay–she will be the guest of Lady S of Abilene.  It should be a very good time. Concerning my marks at school, I am doing am doing above all of my classes the I (Sorry I’m getting a head ache from all this Robin Hood talk–I’ll have to stop.) [Thank god.] I’ve taken two tests in P. World – 99% & 92%. I’ve taken two quizzes in Music – 92% & 96%. I’ve handed in 1 paper in Acting – B (but I can’t act). We took a test in Am Novel – haven’t’ got it back yet. And as far as I can tell, I’m doing fine in Library–far as I can tell. I’m struggling not to get behind, but I don’t know what the big deal is. I’m always behind by now.  Things are going along at the same old pace. Seems like last year this time I felt the same way–like I’m really tired and would rather be doing just about anything else.  Just what a parent whats to hear, huh? But have no fear. I’m not contemplating quitting school–not yet. 🙂

Are we going skiing over spring break? Just curious. I went to a play with Michelle S the other day. It was a weird one. Tomorrow From Any Window–real weird. I’ll have to tell you about it later.  I also went to see the Little Rascal Festival this weekend.  100 nonstop minutes of Buckwheat, Stimey, Weazer, Spanky, Butch, Alphalpha, Darla, and Pete. Fun. Welp, thanks for hte letter. Guess I better get to some reading–Saul Bellows Henderson The Rain King. Of course for my class.  See you in about two weeks at substate and three for state and spring break.  Send me a schedule of times and places and dates for all the games.  Bye bye. Love you.


P.S. I thought these articles from the Collegian were kind of interesting–scarey? maybe.  Don’t throw them away.


Good old Olds

January 1987

Family Dear

Finally got a little time to write you a letter–let you know what’s going on. The Big “I” was this week so I’ve got a little studying to catch up on–not much.  I can’t believe Man’s P. [physical?] World. We’ve been in there for 5 days–more than a week and a half–and we’re already tp ot acceleration (“Now that’s the rate that uh, that something speeds up, or slows down–whoa, heavy!”) but I am spending a lot of time reading for Am. Novel–three hours a day this week.  I’ve got Rick S. in my Intro Music class.  He said he may go home this weekend and watch the Pokes at the Salina tourney. Haven’t heard ho we did.  When is the Wamego game going to be played? K-State took a crushing defeat yesterday afternoon to OU. Ouch. If we could have made our free throws and lay-up.  (If ifs and buts were candy and nuts . . . ) Tell Doc D. that if he wants to make any KSU- KU basketball bets, I’m more than willing to get some more free Coke.  We finally figured out what rooms we’re going to have and I’m all moved in.  I’m upstairs, down the hall, first right after the bathroom. Saw a good movie last week–“The Atomic Cafe.” It was a bunch of old 40’s and 50’s film footage about he New Nuclear Age–army training films, news clips, ads for nuclear proof neighborhoods, duck & cover, etc. It was pretty funny.  I’ve got some questions from it.  Mike, do good against the Salina teams. See ya.

Love, Matt

P.S. “Don’t say anything you wouldn’t tell Stalin.”


I guess I got a pole job

November 1986

Dear Sirs,

How’s everything going? Things here are the same. I will be home Monday the 24th about supper time.  This was a pretty busy weekend. My Icthus Bible Study had a retreat out at a farm. Slept in a shed like cabin–it wasn’t too bad.  The retreat in general was a lot of fun. We also had a party at the house this weekend. It was a gangster party. I did have a date with a girl J.F. set me up with. She was a neat girl. I had a good time.  The picture lady took 26 rolls of film–I guess some kind of record.  I got a Radio-TV test back. I got a 98%–not too bad.  I got a B on a speech I gave today.  I took a test today in Political Science–don’t know how well I did–not great.  And Reporting–uhh, nuf said.  But I did get a letter from my Philosophy (Ethics) teacher that said I was doing pretty well and encouraged me to look into other philosophy classes in the future. Is pop coming up this weekend? I’ll be home that Monday, so if so, great and if not, great. Oh, they finally caught up with me on the 12th.  It didn’t hurt a lot. See you soon.



I’m sure I studied a little

I don’t remember most of what I write about in this letter. But it makes me feel like I took advantage of my time at K-State. And I have not idea what the article was that I sent home.


I went to the Rainmakers concert last night.  They were pretty good.  (Worth four bucks anyway.) I saw Vando and Fink there; along with Dickson, Arnberger, Lumpy, Angie H and Schmuts. Tuesday I am going to go to Second City–the comedy group.

There is a job available at Lee School (the one right next door). It’s only one hour a day, during lunch setting up tables, working with the kids, I don’t know what else.  I’m going to see about that–the principal called over here to see if anyone was interested.  I can hear dad now “Wooooo five hours a week!  Woooooo!” But hey. I’m pretty busy and $17 a week is $17 a week.  Besides, I like working with kids.  So anyway, I’m going to see about that.

Mom, mark your calendar now! November 12 and 13 at the Kansas State Union–the Tin Drum. Another fine cultural experience brought to you by Kaleidoscope. Thank you, thank you.

Speaking of Germans, could you get me Kiki’s address sometime.  I guess I’ll be home this weekend.

This weekend was Little Sister Olympics. this consists of a bunch of dumb events following a week of dumb events, followed by a party at the Pike house (which I didn’t go to because of the Rainmakers). I participated in the Egg Race. This was like a wheelbarrow–me walking on my hands, one little sister pushing me along with my legs. Only I had to crawl down with a raw egg in my mouth, drop it in a can, and come back. (It’s a relay race, 3 legs.) I was the first leg and of course I lead the whole way and my team-mates lost it for us.  My egg broke also so I just held it in til I made it to the bucket.  I also participated in the bucket brigade, but by that time–last event–we were so far out of it that we shout about every other bucket into the crowd or opposition or fellow team-mate. it was pretty fun.

You know that white wrinkle shirt I have.  The other day it got the whole pocket ripped off, but mom sewed it up good as new.

I went to Mike Warnke Thursday (Boy I’m busy). I took a kid in the house. He was pretty close minded about the whole thing, but not upset that he went.

Do good, or I hope you do good, Mike at Lyons. By the way, the guys in the house want you to know that if you want to come up on your birthday, they would be glad to give you a pole-job.

Guess that’s about it.  I’ll be “coming home” this week-end.  This article was in the Collegian last Friday.  See you latter.

Love, Matt


Remember Milo

After returning home from Arizona, I continued to write letters home from Kansas State.  The highlight for me from this letter is the obvious Letterman reference in paragraph two.

Monday [Sept.] 22


Hi Ho

Glad to hear Mike ran well Thursday. I called Gram & Gramp yesterday to thank them for the fridge.  Gramp was at the farm helping with the Milo harvest, but I did get to talk to Gram. She said mike ran well and of course she enjoyed going to see him. She said she had just baked an apple pie and needed someone around to eat it.

Mike–guess who’s coming to Manhattan Friday. Friday at 3 PM the Pikes are having the Otis Day and the Knights play at a porch party.  They are charging $10 for the band and refreshments. We will probably be able to hear them from here, or could just go listen from the street.  Also, Second City–the comedy group from which came Bill Murray, John Belushi, John Candy, etc. will be here in October ($5). And–as if that weren’t enough–and by golly, don’t you think it ought to be–the Rainmakers (Let My People Go-Go) will also be here in October.  Don’t tell me that Manhattan isn’t the cultural center of the conquered universe.

Well, we had a party yesterday–no Saturday, yeah, Saturday.  I never did get a date. I tried. I tried.  But next time I guess I’ll have to start trying earlier.  After a few tries I decided that I wasn’t going to go with some bimbo I didn’t even know, so I said, “punt it” and went by myself. I ended up having a good time anyway.

Mom, I saw your old sweetie’s kid at Icthus last week–K C. I talked to her some.  (Asked her to the party but the Theta pledges were having some kind of retreat that weekend.  I know–I asked two of ’em.)

C called last night.  I think she and I are going to go to Coffeyville this weekend and meet M and maybe M S and watch P play some ball.  C’s still at KU of course, M is at ORU, and M S is still at Liberal, but may (or may not) come here in a semester or two.

I guess L somehow took a pill which had penicillin in it.  She is real allergic to the big P. and had a very severe reaction to it. It put her in the hospital for a little more than a week where she learned how “dumb-butt-ish” army doctors are.  I guess she’s alright now.  Usually if one misses more than a week of basic they have to repeat all of it.  But whoever is in charge is letting her continue on.

So I probably won’t go to the Renaissance Festival in KC–although I think it would be cool and that Mike might like it. C’s mom and dad are going–you might see them there.

Gotta go eat lunch.  Mike, if you are interested in seeing any of the attractions listed earlier, let me know.  See ya all later.  Good luck at Clay. I love you.



That’s How We Do A House

This is the last letter from Arizona.  At the end of the summer, little brother few to Arizona, and the two of us drove home via San Diego, Los Angles, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, family in Colorado, and the long drive through Western Kansas. We were 19 & 17.  Dont’ ask me if I’d let my kids do that at that age. At any rate, we arrived home alive and unharmed, despite our shady lodgings in the city of angles–no phone in our room–had to walk to the corner to use the pay phone to order pizza–one of us made the call while the other kept an eye on the young men hanging out down the street. Based on this letter, it appears that I have done at least one good day’s hard work in my life.  The Kentucky Fried Chicken mentioned below is the one I fell off of when my ladder came out from under me, dumping me and a half-gallon of yellow paint into the drive through.  As a result, I went to the emergency room just in case. That story didn’t seem to make it into a letter.  I’ve done a little research, it appears that “antsy” is the preferred spelling.



Typical long 13 hr day yesterday–well, let’s start on Wednesday.  We started a house Wednesday. That is D, K, and myself. First D & K sprayed the whole outside of the house with the first coat.  Meanwhile I cut in around the windows with a roller and held the shield for them where necessary.  Then they put on the second coat and helped me wash the windows where they over-sprayed or I “over-rolled.” That all took about 5-6 hours and was the end of Wed. (Wed. morning we wall papered a Kentucky Fried Chicken place.) Then yesterday K & I started about 6 AM (D had a meeting with a guy til 7:30). He wiped off the fascia–the trim around the top of the house–and started brushing on its first coat.  Meanwhile I taped off the windows on the inside.  Then I helped him finish the fascia while D did some spraying on the inside–the ceiling.  Then I caulked the shelves (I caulked the windows yesterday). THEN K finished spraying the inside of the house and D & I stained all of the doors and trim (Most houses just have painted doors & trim.) (Bout 12-13 hours) Finally this morning we sealed the doors & trim and cut in the walls & ceiling (2 hrs).  Alls that’s left is to sand the doors & trim & touch up.  So I guess that’s pretty much how we do a house.


Right now the S’s are getting ready to go to Tuscon. They are going to spend the night.  Then tomorrow morning at 6:00 K & L are going to come get me and we’re going to the Chericowas (spelling prob. not even close) to hike.  D said he was going to pay me what I needed for school next semester which I told him was $2500.  He said fine.  Last Sunday we and the C’s went to Tuscon to pick up D C at the airport.  We ate at El Torito–goooood. All you could eat Mexican food – yum.  Strolling musicians too.  I really don’t have anything exciting to tell you.  I didn’t do anything this week much except work.


Sunday evening July 6

Yesterday in the mountains was really nice. (If wrong spelling doesn’t help you to locate them–they run N & S and are located just west of New Mexico & just north of Old Mexico.) They were lush green–like Colorado Mts.  the first ones we climbed (weeks ago) were pretty dry and rocky–but not these.  We ended up going about 12 that’s T-W-E-L-V-E miles.  It was good and I didn’t hurt at all this morning. As a matter of fact, D & I just finished a 3 or 4 mile run.  Best I’ve run in a long time.  We ran from C’s house to here.  they (the C’s) had lunch here after church, then we played some cards–Nerts–then we watched a video at their house (Turk182–not bad, pretty good, ok) and then ran home.  Yesterday I got a letter from the Colorado Slocombe’s informing me of their move and telling me what was going on in general–that was nice. Tomorrow work starts at 5:30 AM (98.6 on your FM dial) so I had better hit the sack.  Thanks a lot for your call Friday, although it made me a little ancey, ancy, ancie, ? to come home.  Tell everyone out there in Abilene land “Hay!” Be sure to try to find out when I need to be back to Manhattan cuz I want to spend a least a week at home before that.  Tell C thanks for the good letter and Mike–you should bring her to Icthus with ya’ll.  Cuz I say so.  See ya soon. I love you all.  Night night.



The Great Softball Cryout

[I have not idea what the softball cryout it/was. I don’t know what happened to Mike’s turtle. Some mysteries are just lost to time.  I did figure out the p.s and p.s.s. with the help of Google.]




Mike – thanks for the letter

Mom – thanks for disinheriting me

Dad – thanks

Actually parents – living with two parents of a young son who at present is teething very badly makes me appreciate very very much your raising me.  Thanks a lot. (Of course I don’t think it will be necessary to remind me of this during any future arguments that may occur between us.)

Mike – in response to your letter: Good deal about Sports Editor, sorry about your turtle, and I’ll believe the Cosby tape is coming soon when it gets here.

Thanks for the pictures and it’s good to know that the R.C. is still delivering that controversial, intense, horizon expanding journalism that we have all come to expect. (Have you ever heard [of] the ball–softball-cryout after being hit by Palmer.  Mike, could you get a little farther from the plate.)  In the softball league that D plays on there is no official.  the team that is up to bat supplies two–one at home and one at first–they cover the whole field.  As far as strikes and balls are concerned, the pitch to be so high of course but there is a piece of rubber or indoor/outdoor carpet that goes behind the plate as illustrated in diagram 2.


The area behind the plate is the “strike zone.” If it hits there it’s a strike, otherwise it’s a ball.  Kinda different.

Since I’ve been here I’ve seen 1 dead scorpion in a house we were painting, 2 tarantulas in the road, which we stopped to look at, and a bunch of road runners.

Saturday morning N and a couple of neighbors are having a garage sale.  I think I’m going to buy a Van Gosh (Starry Night).  It would sure add some class to the room at the house.  I’ve been running about every other day about 2 – 2 1/2 miles.  D & I are going to go 3 1/2 Sunday morning.  Mike–remind me to tell you about a great game we can play on the way home.  And when you get here we–you & me & D & N & M–are going to do something –go to the mountains or something. I wish you people would let me know when I need to be back to school. I haven’t accumulated enough stuff to sell anything at the garage sale–but I’m working on it–it’s a joke!  Well, I haven’t told you much, but I don’t have anything left to tell.  See ya soon. Love you.  Keep me posted.



P.S. “Dress cool – like your life depended on it.”

P.P.S. Dress up – Go anywhere

Dress down – like you just don’t care

Remember one simple rule

Dress cool


Missed Out on that Sweet Government Contract


[Dad’s handwriting at the top of the letter] Check enclosed 370.72

Sun 20


Sorry I haven’t written for a while, but I talked to ya the 14th and I’ve been busy workin’ and I really haven’t had that much to tell you–still don’t.  I told D about paying me by the hour and I don’t know if he’s going to or not.  Probably depends on how close I am to 2500.  N cooked me up some beans–just got done tonight.  We went to Legal Eagles tonight.  It was pretty good.  Seems like Mike should bring some traveler’s checks or a credit card or something for out trip to L.A. cuz we’re not going to be able to write checks and we don’t what to carry around a Million Billion dollars with us.  (He may  want to bring some tapes so he doesn’t get sick of my good music). I haven’t learned squat on my git fiddle and I didn’t see any video copier.  I’m starting to make a list of places I want to go in L.A. I think it’s cool that the church is meeting in homes.  This week has been pretty busy.  I worked a couple hrs today and about 5 yesterday. But things should be slowing down to regular this week.  The fort job has been moved from Aug 2 & 3 to later so there goes my $28 an hour.  That’s what D would have had to pay me.  Thanks for your letters.  Tell everyone howdy.



P.S. American Flyers [thumbs up pictogram] – pretty good

Lazy Sunday

It appears that my time in Arizona is coming to a close and Mike and I will be following our dreams to L.A. He flew in and accompanied me home, through L.A., Vegas, our cousin’s house.  But maybe more about that later.


Enclosed is another piece of evidence attesting (?) that I have no golfing skills whatsoever.  But it was fun.  They–the clubhouse–was all out of cheap balls–or so they said–so D & I each bought 3 $2 balls.  In nine holes each lost 2 ($8). Nice orange Top Flight XL’s too.  Also enclosed is a column that I thought was kind of funny.  My last week is next week. I’m ready to hit the coast.  This evening–pretty soon–there is a picnic in city park for the players on the city church league ball teams and their families and anyone who may be spending the summer with them.  I’m out in the Arizona room right now on  my bed.  While N’s mom is here I am staying here (Arizona room). Last night we all went out to “the club,” a restaurant that D & N have membership to and get like 1 free or cheap meal a month or something.  It’s the city’s oldest building–has been a saloon, hotel, trading post, house of ill-repute, etc. I had a half a slab of BBQ ribs.  Could have eaten the other half.  Goooooooood! Also saw Top Gun–pretty good.  Legal Eagles–good too. Gotta go to this ball thing–write more later.

I’m back.  Picnic was ok.  Good burgers.  Afterwards we played Peanuts, Nerts, Blitz, whatever, here with M & J.  L & I won.  Gonna read some and to go to bed.  Be back tomorrow after church.

I’m back.  Went to the Nazarene church this morning.  It was pretty good.  Mostly just laid around this afternoon.  Good ol’ lazy Sunday afternoon. Dose Mike change planes or just wait in Denver.  N says Denver airport is a booger of a place to change planes.  Just thought I’d tell ya. You probably knew anyway.  Tomorrow looks like a busy day.  We’ve got to finish the Kentucky Fried Chicken, touch up another house, and stain a bunch of wood for another house for the guy I explained sort of what we did. Like I said yesterday, I’m ready to hit LA and go home.  See you soon.