Card, August 25, 1975

{ Translation of message inside card. }

Wishing that the salute
For this, dear brother
Might be a ray of human love
That lights up your heart
And that this venturesome day
That marks another year
In your life is remembered
As full of peace & joy.

Hi ya Tom,

As you can see from the translation I made, birthday cards are pretty formal here, but all I really wanted to say was Happy Birthday and stop growing so fast (nobody will be left to be my “little brother” in another year or so). I sure get a lot of mileage out of your name down here. In a town called Sonsonate they have a secondary school called the Thomas Jefferson Institute, so a lot of people know Thomas Jefferson was a president, etc. When they find out my last name many people ask if I am related to him, so I say sure he’s my brother! That usually slows them down a minute so I can think of something to say. Some Spanish speakers really rattle along {talk fast}, not even pausing between words. Because of the rhythmic nature of the language you can do that and be understood, but the faster ones still leave me a few words behind sometimes. It helps to be able to throw in a remark which makes them stop & think, ‘cause it gives me a breather!

Are you going out for football or cross country or anything this fall? Boy you’ll be busy now that Bruce is going away, lots of luck! If Bruce forgets, let me know how things came out at the fair, with the cattle & all.

I’m sending along a card with new emergency numbers for Mom & Dad to call in Washington if they think I’ve left the face of the earth or caught a boat for Australia or something! Just recently a volunteer got badly burned in the face working with chemicals & another nearly cut his hand off (both were flown to Washington for treatment), so emergencies can happen. Also, the political situation here is very tense right now since government police killed somewhere between 9 & 40 students in a student demonstration. A security guard has been murdered in San Salvador and the government has had a shoot-out with suspected guerillas in which 2 people were killed and (according to government claims) a bunch of terrorist weapons were confiscated. The military government is worried about a coup or other action aimed at ousting President Colonel Molina whose popularity has nose-dived after the incident with the students. So far all is calm, but it could be the calm before ______.

Anyway, hope you’re doin’ well. I’m keepin’ busy & not complainin’.

‘til later,


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