A 1936 Letter from Oakley to Oma 

who had traveled by rail to 

Los Angeles, California at the time

(Click the Image to View)
Image of Page 1 Image of Page 2 Envelope

Transcript of letter:

Explanation of letter:

       Bham Aug 10 - 36
Dear Oma;-
               I have Re-
ceived 3 cards from
you   This is ans. to
your reques
I went home as usual
Sat.  weather good but
hot  The boys came
in Fri. night   had a
big time but it did not
Seem like home and you
gone  I don't know any
thing to write   every
thing a bout as you
left it   I am well and
Still on the Job
we hauld in Some
Sills Sat. for house

[page 2]
Old man Swats had a
Stroke and is bout to
die   the Old woman over
on the rad was found
dead   I may have to go to
Six days a wek Some time
Soon   I signed a contrack
for my Shack at a Dller
per month and hope to
Stay there quite a while
I hope you will have
a big time but dont for
get me   I will close
     with much Love

In 1936, modern interstate highway
travel did not exist.  Traveling the
U.S by rail was common since 1870 .

As an employee of the railroad,
Oakley's family had free passage.  
Oma enjoyed going to New York,
California, even Canada for free.  
She sold her crafts to help pay
for other expenses.

While on this particular trip to
California, she wrote home to ask
how things were going.  In his
reply, Oakley told her the local
news then mentioned that he and
sons "hauld in Some Sills Sat. for
"  He built his home out of
logs and finished it with mill sawn

My father recalls surfacing those
logs, floor joists, with what he
called a "foot adze", a sort of axe
shaped like a hoe or mattock for
chipping away wood.  My father,
Wilburn Glenwood Vincent, used
the tool to get the logs level
enough to nail down floor boards.

Oakely also mentions his "shack"
at work which he rented for $1 a
month. My father said it wasn't
much more than a crude shelter
but Oakley slept there all week
while at work then returned home
on weekends.