Is Linda’s Life in Australia Typical?

Miss L. Stephens Beverly Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay Sydney N.S.W. Australia
June 24, 1964
Dear Ilona,
I just received you letter today, so I thought I’d send you one straight away. Thank you very much for the birthday card, it was a wonderful surprise. The Beatles have just left our shores (last Sunday) but they’re returning on July 1. I didn’t see any of their concerts, but I believe they were terrific. Our half yearly exams started last Friday but they finish day after tomorrow (Thurs.) thank goodness So far we’ve had Scripture, (Fri) English (yesterday) Science and Geography (today) French (tomorrow) and History and Maths (on Thurs). What class are you in? I’m in 3rd year at high school, but that’s in a different system. We do 9 years (including kindergarten – 5 year olds) in Primary school and then start high school for 6 years. They’ve just changed the system out here, we used to do only 5 years in high school, but now there are 6. Worse luck!
Last Friday we got a little kitten – although we don’t know if he’s here for sure. Mummy, Michele, and I want it, but Daddy’s against it. “One’s enough’ to quote, however I think we might keep it. It’s blak and white and we call it Willie. He has a black tail with just one white spot on the very end. He’s absolutely adorable and loves every one you only have to sit down and he’s on your lap in no time. I shall buy some postcards of Sydney and send them to you this letter I hope. And at Christmas when I’m in Melbourne (Victoria) or Queensland or both, I’ll get some more and sent. If your out of your home state, could you do that too? Pictures you say – of me? Well, I’ll try to enclose one, but most times I have on taken, I break the camera! No, just lately (last March) I put a film inmy camera, and as I haven’t finished it yet, I will send one I hope of the Bridge & suburbs, one’s of Bondi Beach one’s of the Teronga Park Zoo & one’s of the Town Hall. Hope you like them.
I had a very good birthday, even if it was early last month. I got a new suit, a new coat, a pair of ice skates, money, perfume and the inevitable but welcome underwear (blush! Blush!) from my grand mother.
The last movie I saw was ‘The thrill of it All” with doris Day & James Garner. The Cardinal is out present, but I don’t know that I’d like it.
Tell me – do you have any boyfriends or is it a silly question? Looking through another letter, I see I’ve already asked you, well in that case, I shall answer the question you asked me – do I? Yes and no. Yes that I know quite a lot of boys and I’ve been out with most of them and no because I haven’t a steady one. You know, not a steady but one I go out with always. Ice skating has started here again, but it took me a while to get my feet back. Now I’m up to par. We go to a different ice rink now and its amazing the number of people we (sorry, a girlfriend & I) have got to know in the first week of skating. Its been on for a month & a bit now.
I’d better finish now, I’ve just about run out of paper. Write soon.
Love Linda
P.S. The photo enclosed is not a good one of my head, (I don’t think) but I’ll send a better one later. Linda x

Miss L. Stephens Beverly Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay Sydney N.S.W. Australia
August 10, 1964
Dear Ilona,
HaHa! Laugh you may about me at school while you lay on some beach, but I’ve just spent two weeks (again) at surfers’ Paradise. And, mind you, in three days time, I shall be on vacation – this time legally. Before, I took a couple of weeks off school. We – Mum Michele & me – had a mighty time – water skiing, aqua-planing, surfing, swimming bowling and squash-ing! Wonderful holiday. Hope you had a good time on the 4th. By the way, thank you for you letter and postcards. They were very appreciated.
I also saw ‘Advance to the Rear” – & I agree it was a riot. Another movie of late was “Honeymoon Hotel” with Robert Goule & Nancy Kwan. Really good. On Friday I’m seeing “A Hard Day’s Night” with the Fabulous 4.I’ve seen lots of preview of it – its going to be riotous. Zulu is here & so “The Fall of the roman Empire’ I’ve read the latter, but should be good.
Top here is A Hard Days Night – natch but I couldn’t tell you until later what are the following four. Later in the letter. I will if I can get a chart in time.
Cherry picking sound fun! And I do pity your mother when on our holiday, Mum didn’t do any work, but when she came home, she had to do more than ever. 21st September Since I last put pen to paper, lots have happened. To start with we’ve had out August-September holidays and have come back to school. During the holidays, I had a mighty time. With the skating Season in full swing, I went skating most days and towards the end of the holidays – when my girlfriend went away – I went by myself everyday,, and met a boy – but then my girlfriend came back! However, I still went skating with this boy – much to her annoyance, and when school went back. We went after school. At the moment, the ice skating season has finished, so no more skating for 8 or 9 months, unless I go to an indoor one.
I’ve been to a few movies lately, namely “What a Way to Go” and as I said before – “A Hard Days Night.” You’ve most likely seen the latter, but just in case, go see it. Isn’t it fantastic. The first one I saw twice, and could go back again. Shirley MacLaine is wonderful.
Michele’s boyfriend from the country came down last weekend and we had a good time. He told us all about his properties out north-west and Dad was particularly interested. He’s very nice.
On Saturday night, I went to see the Omsk Siberian Company of Musicians, Singers and Dancers. They were really wonderful, even if they did sing in Russian. Last Tuesday night, we went to see The Australian Ballet Company perform “The Display.” A ballet choreographed by Robert Helpman, an Australian. If it ever is played in Michigan, go and see it please. You’ll like it.
I got some new penpals, I think, one in Canada and one in the U.S. I answered a letter in the Monitor, and haven’t heard from them since I’m waiting.
Top here isn’t “A hard Day’s Night’ any more. The top 5 are:

  1. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER/IF I FELL – THE BEATLES
  2. DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY – MANFRED MANN
  3. A HARD DAYS NIGHT – THE BEATLES
  4. HOLD ME – P.J. PROBY
  5. SUCH A NIGHT – ELVIS PRESLEY

There’s not much more to say, so I think before any more time elapses, I think I’ll close and post this off, Write Soon
Love
Linda
P.S. Do you think that you could send your letter AIRMAIL. It takes so long by sea?

 

Quite a Chatty Beatle Fan in England

“Cross Gate” Shute Hill, Bishopsteignton, S. Devon ENGLAND.
Tuesday 28th April
Dear Ilona,
Thanks for your letter. We went up to Gloucester for our Easter hols. My brother & I stayed at Hazel’s (my sister) we took our puppy with us too.
I have got pictures of ‘Beatles’ on the back of my bedroom door. I have also got pictures of other various groups on my wall. It is at the wall behind my door, (it is behind the door when my door is open) so if dad arrives & comes in my bedroom he can’t see them!!!
Just lately I have been reading some very exciting books. The author of them is AGATHA CHRISTIE, (have you ever heard of her?) Her stories are about detectives & murders. The one I am reading at the moment is called “Death in the Clouds.” The story features Mousier Pierot who is one of AGATHA CHRISTIE’S fiction detectives. It is about these people in an aeroplane & suddenly one of them is murdered. The question is – WHO DID IT??!! But I haven’t found that out yet!
In our hit parade in England the Beatles’ have dropped down third. Here is a copy of who is at the top!

  1. World Without Love – Peter & Gordon
  2. I Believe – The Bachelors.
  3. Can’t Buy me Love – ‘The Beatles’
  4. ——–
  5. ———-The Applejacks

I don’t know what is No. 4 yet, & I have forgotten the title of the Applejack’s record, but its fab
What do you play at games at your school?? In the winter we play:-
Hocky, Netball & the Boys play Rugby, football & do cross country. In the summer we play:-
Rounders, tennis & go swimming & the boys play tennis, do long jump etc., go swimming & play archery.
The Records I have are:-
Twist & shout – The Beatles (E.P)
I want to lold your hand – the Beatles
She loves you – the Beatles.
How do you do it – Gerry & the Pacemakers
Summer Hop – Cliff Richards
Matador from Trinidad – Russ Conway
Top Hat – Fred Astaire (E.P.)
At school recently (last term) I made a lamp shade (out of Reaffis & a frame) We (the other girls & I) made them in the Art lesson. Mine is pale Bule (the real colour is called CE BLUE.) this Term (in Art) I am going to MOSAIC. With pieces of coloured paper.
My little sister Peggyanne is now growing up very fast. She is now 1yr. 3mths. Old & walks up & down the stiars & runs in & out of the rooms. She can now say, Mumma, dada, ra,ra, gone, doggy, wuff, wuff, miew, moo, baa & cluck!!! She loves our puppy (who if now about 7 mths. Old) and hugs him. How is your dog? How is your turtle?
I have just returned from the bathroom & have been watching Peggyanny having a bath. By the way I forgot to mention to you that she also says, ssh! & tickle, tickle.
On Sunday I took a super shot of Tammy (pup) & of Peggyanne on her rocking horse. (on my camera)
Do you have your G.C.E. in America? In a few years I will be taking it, so I’m swoting hard. I hope to take (in my G.C.E.) English, French, Domestic Science, History, Geography & perhaps Latin.
Must close now for I have got to get my Prep. Done.
Love,
Jenny
Xx
P.S. Hope you write soon.

“Cross Gate” Shute Hill, Bishopsteignton, S. Devon ENGLAND.
13/10/64
Dear Ilona,
Thanks for your letter. You lucky thing having the Beatles in Detroit. As you might know the Beatles live in Liverpool which is miles away from here & they have been through Newton Abbot (the town in which I got to school – 4 miles away from Bishop.) & that was when I was at school. I enjoyed the film when I went to see it. Who do you think was the best actor? I thought Ringo. How about Paul’s screen grandfather – played by Wilfred Brambell? He is in ‘Steptoe & Son’ – a comedy programme on T.V.
I must close now – mum has told me to get my bath.
S’cuse the scribble.
Love,
Jenny
Xxxx

“Cross Gate” Shute Hill, Bishopsteignton, S. Devon ENGLAND.
Dear Ilona,
I have forgotten who’s turn it is to write! Anyway hope you are well.
We have just been on holiday to N. Wales. Have you heard of it? Did I tell you I have a new pen-pal as well as you? She is from Norway & is very sweet.
Have you seen the BEATLES film – “IT’S A HARD DAYS NIGHT”? I have & its very funny – I think Ringo is the best actor & the funniest in it.
We are having a lovely vacation & the weather here is fab.
I am writing this letter in bed (I’m supposed to be asleep) – so bye for now.
Love,
Jenny
Xxxx
P.S. Please write soon.

February 1964 – Offended by a Pen Friend

Feb:

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.

Beatles
&
Elena

                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….
Love,
Joy
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…

 

Surfer Queen and the Beatles! Wow! Feb & Apr 1964

Linda Stephens, Beverley Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay, Sydney NSW  Australia
Sydney, February 2nd, 1964
Dear Elena,
Thank you for your letter. My pen-pals are in North Bay (Ontario) in Canada, Cheshire, England, Tokyo, Japan, Montana, U.S.A, you, and one that I don’t write to anymore in Bandung Indonesia, because she is too old for me (she’s 19). I’d love to trade pen-pals in order to build up my correspondence. I think I might put an advertisement (letter) in the Monitor.
To get to languages, I am learning to speak French at school and I too know a little, little bit of Spanish. An American girlfriend of mine lived in Argentina for a few years and she taught me some. We go back to school on Tuesday (4th February) and I am to take French, English, Maths, History, Geography, Art, Music, Scripture and Science (that includes Biology, Physics, chemistry & Science). We do have out choice when we reach the class I’m going into but some subjects are compulsory. Do you only take 6 classes? Gee, we have to take 9!
I don’t have a boyfriend but I know a few boys who have taken me out quite a few times.
Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! I’m sorry I didn’t send a Christmas card but I didn’t remember & nobody got one. I’ve enclosed a Birthday card, though. My birthday is May 11.
While you’re having snow storms, we’re having heat waves, & I’ve taken up surfin enthusiastically these past holidays. My aunt lives across the road from one of the most popular beaches, Bondi, & I’ve averaged 5 out of 7 days at the beach for the past 4 or 5 weeks. I’ll continue going on the weekends during school. My cousins both ride surfboards & they’ve been coaching me. It’s fun. Body-surfing’s safer & better, though.
I just read through your letter again * saw that you take civics & gym. I didn’t mention it but civics is included in History in Australia & gym is taken by everyone in the school in winter with swimming in summer.
Well, music. We have just about the same here as you do. The Beatles are top (of course) & I’ll send you a list of one of our Top 40 to let you see.
I have just one sister, Michele, who is, amazingly enough, 18 too. She works, having finished school & corresponds with people throughout the world. I wonder if Sabine would like to correspond with her?
I, too, will send some pictures of the movies being shown about town & you’ll find some are the same as you have up there. I think.
Tell me, are you a Christian Scientist or do you just read the Christian Science Monitor? Please send me a photo of yourself. I would but I just had my hair cut off last Thursday & the photos I have don’t look a bit like me now. I might take some today. You say you live across the street from a river. Well we live right on the waterfront. We have to walk down the stairs to our tiered garden & then to the grass mext to the swimming pool & then we have a whole lot of the Sydney Harbour in front of us. Just one difference, our water doesn’t freeze in winter like yours.
Well I’ve just about talked myself out. Hope to hear from you soon,
Yours Truly
Linda
P.S. I hope you can understand the writing. Sorry it is so bad.
Lyn

Miss Linda Stephens, Beverley Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay, Sydney NSW  Australia
April 5, 1964
Dear Elena,
Thank you for your letter. It was one of the 3 that I found waiting for me when I returned from my easter holiday. Also thak you for the photo, it’s a good one. Please excuse my ignorance, but what type of dog is it?
I am a Beatle fan, and have a Beatle album, namely Please Please Me. Its terrific with Love me do I saw her Standing there, Please Please Me, Boys and about 10 or 11 more. Its fantastic. However, my parents seem to be spending more & more time outside the home. I meant to ask them about that, mm. I have been thinkgin along the lines of purchasingtheir second album, With The Beatles but I am a bit worried as to what will happen to my parents.
Schools in Sydney, at least my school, starts at 9.30 and end at 3.10. My school is about a mile away and my father drives me to school in the morning and in the Winter my mother drives me home. However in summer, I walk home. I don’t know if I told you, but my classes are: History, Geography, English, French, Maths, Science (incl. Physics, Chemistry, biology etc), Art Scripture and in summer swimming & in winter gym. For sport, I take basketball.  Our lessons are 40 mins. Long and we have 7 lessons per day. How long & how many are yours?
By the way, the date is now 21 April. At the moment I’m snug in bed, suffering from a heavy cold. But just think, everyone is out in the rain, so who minds. Well, actually I am a Christian Scientist in that I attended a Sunday school for 3 years, but have not been since last year.
As you know, I have a sister and the usual parents, but up until yesterday morning (about 4 a.m.) we had two darling cats. However out little (just 2 years old) pure white Persian cat died of internal bleeding. I was most upset as he had such cute ways about him. But, I suppose its better where he is than here and hurting. I asked for another kitten, but I was flattened, so I’m hoping I get a little white ball of fluff for my birthday next May 11. Keep your fingers crossed.  But we still have a tabby cat. He’s beautiful.
I love to go to movies, too and recently I’ve seen charade, Move Over Darling, Take Her she’s Mine, Taras Bulla, West Side Story (well, a few months ago) and several others. I want to see the Beatles film when it comes out in June. However, the Beatles are coming here in June, so you never know. Gerry & the Pacemakers, Brian Poole & the Temelos, Dusty Springfield, Gene Pitney have just finished a tour of the eastern states of Australia. I believe they were good, but I didn’t see them.
I’ve had luck. Everybody I’ve written to, except one, in reply to little letters in the Pen Pal section has replied. But I’m thinking of putting my name in. I don’t know. So far I have 5 pen pas, and one I wrote to in Japan hasn’t replied, so Idon’t know. Thanks for the address of the penpals, I might write if I have a chance. Do you want a pen pal in the U.S. – a firl in Seattle Washington? Please tell me & I’ll give you her address if you do.
I I get a chance, I will enclose a photo of myself.f I haven’t had any taken lately but I try to dig one up from my photo box.
Well, seeing as how lunch is ready and I have four more letters to write, I had better close. Keep you fingers crossed (for my kitten) and write soon.
Love,
Linda

Girls and Dogs – Oh yes and the Beatles Dec 1963 & Mar 1964

“Cross Gate” Shute Hill, Bishopsteignton Nr. Teignmouth S. Devon ENGLAND.
Dec 8th 1963
Dear Ilona,
Thank you awfully for your card. I didn’t send them off in time which was very inconsiderable of me.
Anyway I hope you have a happy Christmas. What did you get?
Mummy has recently got a dog & we have called him “Tammy”. He is a West Highland Terrier. Have you ever heard of them. Tammy is about 4 mths old.
This morning David & I had to go to the Dentist! (ugh) But we didn’t have much done to our teeth (thank goodness)
Bobby (our budgie) is talking away in his cage. He can say quite a lot now. Must close now got to get tea ready. Happy New Year.
Love,
Jenny xx

Cross Gate, Bishopsteignton, Devon
March 5th, 1964
Dear Ilona,
Thanks for you letter. I have got 3 of the “Beaatles” records at home including, “I Want to Hold Your Hand. I’ve enclosed a picture of the Beatles (the best I’ve got.) We can get books on the Beatles in England can you in America? Which of the Beatles do you like best? I like Paul. Ringo plays the drums, George is lead guitat, & Paul & John both sing.
My birthday was on January 19th. When is yours? I wrote to my Swedish penpal & the letter was returned saying that none lived at that address so I didn’t write anymore. My other two penpals are American. Would you like to write to them?
On a television Programme lately we saw a but if Detroit from film cameras in America. It was about the traffic problem!!
Must close now,
Write soon, Jenny
P.S. Thanks so much for the lovely photograph. I’ll try & send you one of me. I think Teddy is lovely.

 

Beatles Discovered

“Cross Gate” Shute Hill, Bishopsteignton Nr. Teignmouth S. Devon ENGLAND.
Nov 1963
Dear Ilona,
I’m so sorry I haven’t written sooner. I would like to exchange postcard with you very much.
Have you heard of the “BEATLES”? I think their fabulous. At the moment they are in America. Have you seen them? I have got one of their records! I’m playing it at the moment and its absolutely fab. I would like to trade stamps with you but I’ll have to sort them out first.
On Tuesday I’m going babysitting with one of my girlfriends. There are 4 kids so I am wondering whether they will set her any booby traps!! She says they are very good (she hopes). I’m going to stay the night with her too.
Jersey is a little island off England. It is only 60 mls, round. I hope you will have a smashing time in the airplane.
Isn’t it awful about Mr. Kennedy? I really still can’t believe it, can you? Nobody else in England can believe is either!
We can pick our classes when we are older. Do you learn Latin? We do and I can’t stand it. We also learn French, too. Do you?
I can’t think of anything else to say.
Write soon, Jenny
P.S. Hope you see the “BEATLES”, their fabulous!!