Different Cultures – Understanding Indonesia and Nigeria

Idjen 45 – Phone 4544
MALANG (Indonesia)
Malang, April 22, 1964
My dear Ilona,
How glad to received your first letter, and honestly you are the first pen pal of mine. I live in Malang of East Java, it is a mountain 444 meters high about the level of the sea. Malang is a small town but we can get everything we wanted, such as schools, movies, swimming pools, shops and sightseeing places and the climate is always cool.
I have 3 small sister named Fei Ling, Siu Ling and Han Ling, they are 8, 6 years and 3 month old, and don’t forget my lovely dog, named Lessie with white fur.
I send 2 photos to you which I hope to get your family photos later on. I collect many stamps especially overseas stamp all over the world. Don’t you like stamps?
My father have a modern home-furniture industry. Which he draw and produce it in the town, sometime I shall send you some lovely photos of it kind. Now, Ilona, my name is AyLing not ay Hing as what you write on your first letter, please remind it. Thanks to you for your kindness and greeting to your sister and parents.
Sincerely yours
Go Ay Ling

T.A.B. Owoyele, 2, Inasa court, Lagos, Nigeria
September 1964
Dearest Ilona
I am very suprice when I saw your letter on Monday, and I had in the letter that you have wrote it since APRIL 18th 1964.
Please don’t think that am a poor or lazzy pen-pal I don’t know that you wrote a letter to me. I have passed out my first school leving Certificate in 1963. But know I am Eletrical, so if you have any book in Eletricen please sen it to me. Know I am 15 year old. The meaning of T.A.B. is TAJUDEEN ALANI BHBATUNDE My father had died but my grandfather is a DROMER.
Please if you have more pen-pal send it to me
Thank your faithfully TAB Owoyele


May 2 & 17 Church Confirmation

May 2 Today Mommy, Beany, Mrs. Schulz, and I went to Hudsons. I got material for my confirmation dress. I also got my heels. Mommy is collecting the money for the conf. My shoes have stacked heels. They’re comfirtable.
I got in trouble last nigh. Daddy almost belted me one.
I belong to the Bob Green Fan club. I sent the money for the Beatle Fan Club.
I have about 140 Beatle cards.
Hinkles dog had puppies. They are just carling. They’re so furry. Kids in my homeroom class:
Terri Brown, Debbie Cochrane, Sandra Cruse, Carolyn Dulanney, Judy Fagerland, Charlene Gibbons, Darlene Kos, Debbit Meadows, Kathy Millard, Sally Tumakuski, Valeria Smith, Carol Neil, Bill Dewey, Bill Hover, John Harrison, Riley Mahar, Bruce Wright, Lenny Miller, David Miller, Ronald Meyer, Bob Lauriela, Alan Verley, Ken Yessey, Bob Anderson, Larry Green, Ken Portis, Melvin McIntosh (Negro), Chuck Prater, Chris Barlett, Duane Swan

May 17 This is a big day in my life. I was confirmed, at Redford Lutheran Church by Pastor Edward Westcott. Mommy said the pastor smiled the time Rebbecca W. came up and the time I came up for my blessings and certificate. I almost triped once. I took my first communion. I had a light blue dress.

It was grand.

Last entry of 1964


Life Sounds Good on the South Dakota Prairie

Rt 2 Box 160
Milbank, S.D. 57252
April 5, 1964
Dear Ilona,
I got your letter yesterday. I was glad to get it and so was my sister because she was wondering if Kathy would write to her. She was glad to hear that she would. When Loretta found out when her birthday was she started to laugh because my sister will also be 11 April 22.
Today we were at my Grandma & Grandpa Skaaress for dinner. Then about 2:00 we wnet skating with our second cousins who are 6 & 7 ½ years old. We are also going skating tomorrow night. When we got home my Grandpa Brown came over and said my Great Grandpa Dragt had died this morning.
In school I was the Y.C.L. Delegate. I had to write a speech and give it to the superintendent. It was picked for one of the top seven. I gave it Monday and I got 2nd place. Now I get to go to the capital of our state Pierre for 3 days. There are 3 others going besides me 2 more boys and 1 more girl. I am going May 4,5,& 6. My mother made me dress already and is going to make me one one more dress & a pair of pajamas to take along. Yesterday when we were cleaning I stuck my had out the upstairs window to shake a rug and the window fell on it. My fingers weren’t broken but just got black & blue.
What church to you got to? We go to the American Lutheran Church. We have our service at 10:45 and Sunday School at 9:30.
My mother s birthday is tomorrow the 6th. For her birthday we got her a charcoal suitcase. We are going to have a surprise birthday party Tuesday night, but she thinks we forgot all about her birthday.
I can’t think of any more so will quit. I have to hurry and get this in the envelope so my mother won’t read about her birthday.
Write soon
P.S. Please send me some Beatle cards.

Rt 2 Box 160
Milbank, S.D. 57252
May 12, 1964
Dear Ilona,
Jean is fine and so are most of my fiends.Today in school she broke her glasses.They broke off right near the lens.
We have one day of school left,but we have to go to school on Thursday for our picnic.After the picnic we are going bowling.Then on Friday we have to go to school for about five minutes to get our report cards.
Yes,my sister did have a happy birthday.The girls from out school and the teacher came over after school for her party.
Yes, I would like a bookcover from your school.
I like the”Beatle” cards.Ia ma always going to take them to school and show them to Jean.My favorites Beatle is John Who is your Favorite?
To explain my trip and tell about it would take to long.I will send you a copy of my report in my next letter.
Yes,I have heard of Watertown.In fact we live so close we sometimes go shopping there. Its about forty miles from here.
Would you please send me a picture of yourself? I am very anxious to see what you look like.
I have to got to bed now because we have tests tomorrow so I will quit.
Your friend,
P.S. My brother said he would get a bookcover from Milbank High School. I will send it in my next letter.
Was the tornado in Michigan near Detroit?

Rt 2 Box 160
Milbank, S.D. 57252
June 9, 1964
Dear Ilona,
I got your letter yesterday so I decided to write right away because I didn’t have anything else to do.
Yes, I got the bookcover. I think it is real nice.
I would very much like to have one of your comfirmation,because I am anxious to see what you look like.I haven’teven started comfirmation yet,but I will start this fall.I have to go to comfirmation for two years before I get confirmed . I will be a freshman when I get confirmed.
I have found a girl who will write to shelly.Her name is connie dragt.She is my seond cousin.Her address is just Twin Brooks,South Dakota.
Do you think you will have a hard time to find something to do when you get out of school.I sure do now that school is out.I get the dishes done up along with my sister and then I go watch T.V. until it’s time to getva meal again.We have to straighten up the house of course,but that doesn’t take long.
My sister finally wrote a letter to Kathy.She lost Kathy’s address so she sent it to your address,so if you have gotten a letter addressed with Kathy’s name on it give it her if you haven’t already done so.
Do you know how to swim?I don’t really but I am learning from seeing other people swim .Id o Know how to do some of the float On the last or second to the last Tuesday of every June we have a Dragt family reunion in Minnesota. The place we go to has a swimming pool,so you see we get to go swimming in a swimming pool once a year.
I can’t think of much more so I guess this will be all.Please write soon.
Yours truly,
Nancy Ann Brown
P.S. Yes,I do like stamp collecting. I have an album to put them in . I am enclosing a stamp for you.

Rt 2 Box 160
Milbank, S.D. 57252
Aug. 4, 1964
Dear Ilona,
I’m very sorry I didn’t write sooner, but I have been real busy and everything’s in a mess right now. We are building a bathroom and a livingroom. Our old living is real small. The carpenters started a week ago yesterday. It will be all done a week from today.
I don’t know what the top hits are but my favorite siners are 4 Seasons & the Beach Boys
Sunday I went to the show Beach Party that was real good! Two weeks ago Sunday I went to Advance to the Rear. That sure was good. Last night I went roller skating.
On the 4th of July we had a picnic with some relatives at the Milbank park.
I am watching T.V. and I can’t think of anything else so I’ll quit
Love, Nancy

Indonesia and Nigeria – English is not their First Language

Miss: Go Ay hing
Djl Idjen 4
Malang Indonesia
Dear Ilona,
Some days ago I got your address from my cousin.
She says that you are looking for a pen friend and I will be glad to write you.
My name is Ay Ling I am ten years old and I am in the fifth class of the elementary school of the sisters I am a girl.
My hobbies are drawing, collecting stamps, souvenirs and pictures
I like christmas cards and pictures Jesus and Mary
Where do you go to school? In which class are you?
Where do you live in big or small town?How many season has your town? I live in Malanga cold town in eastern Java.
We have two seasons a day and a rainy season
Now we are in the rainy seasons.
How many sisters are you? And
How many brother are you?
I have three sisters Her name is Elfe, Sive hing, Han hing
I think I have written enough.
Will you write me soon?
Ay hing

T.A.B. Owoyele
2, Inasa court
Lagos, Nigeria
April 1964
Dearest Ilona,
I am very surprised when I see your letter and the greatting card which you put in the letter, and I got it on the 5th of april 1964 and as soon I got the letter and —? To post office to buy Airmail to reply it. I hope that you are in good condition of health. Hope your work is going on well
Please when you want to reply this letter send me some name of yor friend and your picture as quickly as possible.
Tank You
I am you faithfully


February 1964 – Offended by a Pen Friend


I bought a Beatle Album. Its called Meet the Beatles. I love it.


Feb 16 I overflooded the toilet. The water went all he way into the hall. It started coming through the tiles in the basement! I got really scared. Daddy said all the tiles were going to pop, so he tore one out.
The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. I just love them. Even Ringo.


                Elena loves Beatles                                                  Beatles my true loves.

Feb 17 The tiles didn’t pop. Daddy made a mistake.

Feb 20 I not going to write to Joy Hopkins any more Her last letter was very insulting!!
I’m in 9B. My classes are:
Latin Mr. Arbogast; History Mr. Keliher; Algebra Mr. Faust; English Miss Sarin; Homemaking Mrs. Zimmerman; Health Mrs. Kiebler (Micthell)

The offending letter from Joy:
2505-27th Street,
Vernon, B.C.,
December 21st, 1963
Feb. 12/64
Dear Elena,
Thanks a million for that gorgeous T.V. guide!
I received your letter to me and thought it was crazy. That was the second last one. I didn’t want to write to you anymore. But then I got your last letter and it was much better, please try to write more interesting letters.
Yes, I love the Beatles, I really think they’re sharp! I saw them on Ed Sullivan Sunday and I nearly had cat-fits! Of those kids would’ve stopped screaming and tearing their hair out, we might have heard more of them. I just bought a record of them a few hours ago! I also got one of cliff Richard’s. All my penpals like Cliff but the Beatles…well I guess you have to be a little queer to like them anyway! The Beatle record I got was “She Loves You”. My favorite guy is Ringo Starr, the drummer!
I just love the T.V. guide you sent me! (The cover anyway)! It took me a week to get over my happiness and I’m still thrilled!
Do I have a boyfriend? That’s a hard question to answer nowadays isn’t it? Because you like a guy for one day and the next day it’s someone else! But I’m not really that type! I’m going steady with my girlfriend! I’m always thinking of Dick Chamberlain, too! So that complicates things! If that doesn’t answer your question this might. When I was in grade 4 (yep, I can still remember)! There was “puppy love” between Ronnie and me. I mean he liked me first and our families liked each other and stuff. Well to make a long story short it wore off about 2 yrs ago. He’s really shy and quite boring now. Being in the clumsy awkward stage of 15.
I’m not interested in spaghetti labels and the offer for pennants is only for U.S.A. and Puerto Rico or something, so I’m sending it back to you.
Sorry about this paper, and for writing so late.
Write an interesting letter soon or….
P.S. I can’t find the spaghetti label, but if I do I’ll send it to you. Do you want it back? JH
P.P.S – Hope you like these stamps. Write soon!

 And so ended that pen pal friendship…


It was a Simpler Time for Girls Feb & Mar 1964

Rt 2 Box 160
Milbank, S.D.
Feb. 17, 1964
Dear Elena,
Do you baby-sit? I do. I baby-sit with my cousin who is 3 ½ months old, who lives 1/10 of a mile south of us. My cousin’s name is Joey. I also baby-sit with LeAnne Aden who is a year & 3 months, old.
Do you have a TV? We do. I’m watching it right now. Andy Griffith is on.
I’m making a “Keep South Dakota Green” Do you have to make posters or anything. We have to enter them March 1.
We have a spelling contest Feb. 28. Do you have a spelling contest? We have racing, broad jump & ball throw in the spring. Last year I won in broad jump by jumping 12’1”. The first jump I made this year was 10’4” 12’1” was my last jump last year.
Do you know anyone who would write to my sister Loretta? She would like to write to a penpal. She is 10 years old & is a very nice girl. She likes school just like I do. She is in fifth grade.
I hope you like the birthday card I’m enclosing. I’m sorry I didn’t get it sent on your birthday because I was waiting for you letter. My birthday is July 1st. I will be 13. How old are you now.
If you think my writing is awful it’s because I’ve got lotion on my hands and they are slippery.
Try and write sooner because I want to know a lot about you.
Love Nancy
P.S. I am going to send you another picture of me pretty soon, because my brother just took it today.

Rt 2 Box 160
Milbank, S.D.
March 16, 1964                                                   (typed letter with some little problems)
Dear Elena,
I,m sorry I,din’t write sooner but I’ve been so busy I justforgot about it.
Today wewere over to Herb Johnsons, some of or best friends Their eighth grade girl Audrey was confirmed today. My Grandma Grandpa Skaarer were there and also Audreys grandpa. Audrey has 2 sisters and a brother.
Have you found out ifKathy McGlue will write to my sister? Could you please disscribe Kathy in you next letter? How old is Kathy?
The way is sounds you must like the Beatles! I like their music, but every time we listen to it my mom says something bad about them. I saw a Beatles magazine. A friend of mine had one. My cousin on California hathe record”He Loves You”. They are coming here this summer so we can listen to it. My mom doesn’t want me to ask though.
Do you have a birth stone ring? I do . I just got one yesterday. It cost me $2.35.
To you like to bake and sew? I do . I’m making my Easter out-fit. It is a black and white dress with a black jacket. The dress has a figured top and a plain bottom.My mother is going to line the jacket. I have also made3 skirts, 2 nightgowns 2 blouses,2 aprons,and 1 jumper. Last night I made 2 loaves of banana bread.
How much allowance do you get for a week? I get 50¢ a week. My brother ,who the way it sounds is the same age as you gets 75¢ a week.
Mom. Morning-
I couldn’t get your letter finished last night so I will finish it now.
Some of my favorite things are food, sewing , sports reading, and playing the piano.Don’t forget to name some of your favorite.I have to go to school so I will finish this after school.
Well I think I can finish this.I just got home school about 1 ½ hours ago. I just got done doing the dishes.
Do you have a camera? I have a brownie starflex. I got it for my birthday 1962. I just love to take pictures .I think it is very interesting.
Please explain what you mean by T.V. guides of our cities.
Your friend,