Well, the Chinese New Year starts this week. February 14th is the end of the old year. Believe me, these people sure believe in celebrating. Every night for one week before the New Year starts they fire fire crackers, get out in the streets and pound on gongs and symbols to chase away the old year. They have what they call a kitchen God that ascends to Heaven with the old year and tells the supreme God all the things they do throughout the year. So the Chinese people set out lots of food, so the God will eat a lot, and wine to make him drunk, and sticky candy so the God can't open his mouth, opium to make him sleepy, anything that will keep the kitchen God from telling the bad things they have done the past year. They also must pay up all their debts for the past year or they lose faith, and it is a terrible thing to these people if they can't meet their debts. Lots of them commit suicide because they can't pay their debts at new year time.
Got to stand by today so there isn't a better time to answer your letter. Tomorrow a bunch of the boys go aboard the U.S.S. Henderson, sailing for the good old U.S.A. Most of them have put in 30 months over here and they can't hardly wait to get aboard, hoist anchor and bid the Orient a last farewell. I sure will be glad when I can do the same. Today was pay day for most of the boys, but I only get paid once a month because of my allotment. My pay does not go very far anymore, because of the exchange over here. When I first came to China it was $5 in Chinese money for one American dollar and I drew around $55 to $60 every two weeks. Now I am lucky to get $30 a month. Things are sure high here: cigarettes cost $2.40; soap, 20 cents; razor blades, $1.25; tooth paste, 80 cents; shaving cream, $1.00; laundry, $3.00; company fund, $1.00; room boy, $1.50. So you see, when I get everything paid I don't have much money for the month. If working conditions haven't picked up when I am paid off, I expect I will ship over again, but I think it will be the coast guards this time. There is more money and better advancement and I won't have to leave the U.S.A. I'll give civilian life a three months try for work before I ship over though. Give all my friends my best regards.
Your loving son,
Friends and relatives are invited to help the couple celebrate this golden wedding anniversary.
The gathering, attended by 125 guests, was held at the Lowell Church of Christ.
The ‘golden couple,’ who have five grandchildren, were married Aug. 31, 1935, in Crown Point.
They owned and operated Steward’s Motel and Restaurant at State Road 2 and U.S. 41 for 26 years before retiring about 20 years ago. Now residing in Ellenton, Fla., the couple enjoyed visiting with Indiana friends and neighbors as well as their family, at the open house celebration.
The couple are the past matron and patron of the Order of Eastern Star #360 in Lowell.
He is survived by wife Alice, two sons, Jerry W. Steward and Dr. Paul Steward, both of Lowell; five grandchildren.
Services May 6 at the Sheets Love Funeral Home were conducted by the Rev. Edgar A. Smith. Burial was at Lowell Memorial Cemetery.
Mr. Steward, a retired service station owner, was a member of Colfax Masonic Lodge 379, Lowell; a past patron of the Lowell Eastern Star 360, and a member of the Lowell Church of Christ to which memorials may be made.
Return to Lowell Biographies.