Box 19, Folder 19, Document 72

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wily 31, 1963
Mayor Ivan Allen
Atlanta, Gae
Dear Sir;
It is not my custome to comment personally to public officials,
But your appeakal before the Benate Commerce Committee in behalf and support
of the accommadations bill has deeply impressed my husband and me.

We came here six years ago from a small town in Wisconsin. We had
failed abusiness we had owned and operated for over thirty years. We were
ill, tired, old and hopeless. In six years we have regained our confidence
fallen in love with the South and tried to take our place as good citiz-
ens of Atlanta.

As we have always been eager and active participants in civic progress
and government in any area in which we lived we found it no different here,

We came here with the same fairy tale impression of the South that most
Northern people have, were relieved to find there was something much more
substantial in the picture.There was a spirit of rebirth in Atlanta that
thrilled us to death, We felt there was a great job to be done and a need
for much help to do it, even ours.

In our skid from riches to rags vs lost all the old reliable props.
Learning to live without them was at first a problem. We adopted a tongue
in cheek attitude because there was much for us to learn before we were
qualified to express an opinion, |

We were repipiants of the wonderful Southern hospitality, we still
are providing we are willing to agree or do not express an opinione
Eventually we discovered our tongues were not in our cheeks but between our
teeth. Thus we lost a privilege wetd enjoyed all our lives, freedom to speake

It didn't take us long to rebel against this situation. Because
we felt there was nothing to be gained by imposing our opinions on
people who were not interested in hearing them we decided to learn through

communication between ourselves

and Souterners in all walks of life. We listen and ask questions, we ex~
tend our hands in friendship to all we meét. without regard to race or
color. We feel it is not enough to "Love thy neighbor"--but one must

also be "Thy brothers keeper} Bigoted, predjudiced people leave us deep-
ly frustrated but the failure of bonified leaders to speak up is positiv-
ly frightening. Such men as, Ralph Mc Gill, the former Mayor Hartsfield,
Gove Sanders and yourself to mention only a few have been a constant source
of comfort to us and many others. Mr. Sandman and I as converted Souterners
want you to know how much we appreciate your outstanding leadership.

Mr. Sandman is employed as a salesman at Boomershine Pontiac. I
teach creative art crafts in Atlanta and all over the State of Georgia,

In my work I often do courses and workshops in the Recreation Centers.

I always ask to work with their colored directors. This I must do on a
segregated basis, However, I am very happy that I have found this means
of communication with the colored race, I have found many intelligent,
fine people amomg these people. I often go out and do a work shop in
their centers, Some times I work with as many as seventy five to a hundred
little colored children---other times I work with their senior citizens.

I also work with people in this area among the white race. There is no
difference as far as I can determine, they are all eager and greatful for
my services and I am thankful that I have something to give.

Many of my husbands customers are colored people. It is the custome
when a car is sold to extend your hand in congratulations. However, if
your customer is a negpo you plage your hand in your pocket. Mr. Sandman
has never done this, he aiseyy extents the same curtesy regardless of race
or color. If he were not respected for his record as a salesman he woulda
probably be called a "niger lover? He has met some mighty fine people

in this way. For these reasons we feel that lack of communication between

the races is the root of all trouble.

All our lives Mr. Sandman and I have seemed to have but one outstanding
talent. We are definitely prone to people who need help. We attract them
like fly-paper attracks flies. We seem to have a particular attraction
to the young. Iwelve little waifs grew to adulthood along with three of
our wwn, in Wisconsin. They still look on us as their parents.

Soon after we came to Atlanta(although my husband had carefully
explained that we must finially think only of ourselves) I ran across
a beautiful dilapidated old Southern mansion in the "Tara" qenteun i
felt that we just had to have it because "wonderful thing s would happen
hereg Though my husband thought I had lost my mind and we hadntt a cent
with which to buy this old monstrosity, two weeks later we had moved in.
I had promised Sandy that it would be a good income house, The house had
been vacant for several years and the owner who lived out of town was so
eager to sell that he agreed to let us move in with the stipulation that
within two months we would devise a way to start monthly payments which
were rediculously high. By rather unconventional but legal methods I
found the means to meet this obligation on schedule. Actually I feel that
practically everything that has happened here has been with God!s magie
alone, We don't only believe in iivawles we expect them.

Shortly after we set up the means to meet our big monthly payments
I involved us in a way that has changed our home from an income vepure
to an outego non profit "Old Ween in the Shoe" venture, Now my husband
is "poor Pop"(literally). Somehow we have acquired sixteen beautiful
southern teen age daughters. This came about through our association
with a local Child Care Association. These kids come at the rate of
two or three per year. They are placed in our home at the time they
graduate from high school or become eighteen. The Agency provides voc-~
tion&l training which usually takes one year. Thethave grown to adulth-

ood unadaptable, unloved, often abused. They are scarpdd by experiences

beyond comprehension, their deep rooted fears have caused them to

develope a protective shell so thick it is almost impossible to penetrate.

Unless you can find some way vo get through to them they will quite likely
wind up as a statistic in a prison or a detention or mental institutione
Besides our work with sixteen girls we have done considerable research
in this great and urgent area of need. I have a good many amazing and heart
preaking statistics regarding the average child care institution where these
children grow up. Also the large percentage of foster homes which are not
properly approved or supervised. This {fs due largely to lack of trained
personnal also the employment of indifferent house mothers and attendents
in an area where dedication is needed. If you had ever lived with the
products of societies belt line provision for these forgotten, homeless
children of the world you would understand why Pop and Mom Sandman feel
a compulsion to help do something constructive for theme
As you may have suspected I am addicted to writing. This started
in high schooland in college my instructors felt sure I had a real aptitude
for some form of writing. However, I became an art teacher isn Wisconsin
Schools, a profession I followed briefly before my marriage but returned
to several years pefore we moved to Atlanta. I continued to write but until
recenvéy it was the secret journal variety. Hiding your creations under the
rug, the mattress, the Sunday linen isn't much of an insentive yo improve.
Despite the fact that any ability 1 might have masix posessed at that time I
am aware that under the circumstances I have surely regressed, still for
the first time I feel compelled to make myself heard on this subject.

The sixteen girls who have come to us through the agency are now as
dear to us as our own family, in fact only by making them a member of our
family can we break through this terrible shell. The first few months are
truly difficult and only with God's help can we find the wisdom and courage
to stick by them until they accept our love, Though most of them are married
by now they continus to need exe parental rehationship to accept the resp-
onsibilities of independence and self support as well as to find happiness

in marriage.

For the time being we have had to discontinue our custome of adding two
or three per year to our family. Our responsibilities both emotional and
financial to these girls @Y staggering. Mr. Sandman and T have managed to
meet our obligations to date by working both night and day. Life here in
-our old mansion is terribly exciting, happy and no little bit fantastic.
True to my premonition "wonderful things have happened".

My work has grown very popular with the garden clubs, church women,
sororities, civic groupes----I have created a sort of rediculous image
for myself---people have accepted it, in fact my services are much in demand.
I am glad because with each fee I collect makes it./possib le to accomplish
that much more in our real area of interest,
I have been striving to open a showcase to display and sell, not
only my creations but also to use for an outlet for many forms of Arts
and crafts I've run across in my experience teaching. Through an impul-
sive little add I placed in last weeks paper I have found a groupe of
wonderful peoplehere in Atlanta who are anxious to band together to
participate in this venture to accomplish together what most of us have
tried to do for years. Although the Showcase will be Set up here in our
funny old house there is a wide area of interest which includes the ent-
ire city. Most of us are unknowns, some are handicapped and confined to
their homes, others are senior citizens----others are very well known
artists who although they have enjoyed considerable success are still
intwrested and anxious to help, This is much appreciated by people on
the Southwest side of Atlanta as there are very few galleries or
facilities of this sort in this area,
The last of the week Doris Lockerman of The Constitution is writing
an article about this undertaking. I guess I threw an arrow and it turned
out to be a boomerang. As I say most of us are undiscovered but who knows,
maybe through our efforts perhaps someone will find recognition don arabs x

levely contribution to the world of beauty? Anyway it is exciting and
worth while,
Ruth Kent who as you know has the "Today Show" on WSB is avery dear

friend of mine. I have appeared many times on her show, usually to do

an Art Craft demonstration. She is very interested in our work whth home-
less children and often does things to help me for that reason, I will soon
appear on that program with another guest to "plug" our Atlanta Showcase.
Everything in our showcase will be an Atlanta Creation and all the arts will
be represented---there will be a wide variety reaching from the most distinc-
tive fine arts to the more decorative, useful arts---there willbe be repr-
ductions of old crafts but no antiques--it must be the work of present day
creative people.

Actually our urgent need of means to continue our work with homeless
children mothered this invention of my imagination but out of it has grown
an opportunity to help in many other areas. I wish you could have seen the
dear little woman I called on yesterday. She had called me to find out what
the add was all about. She was seventy five, could not come to me but she
was so eager to show me her creations and to participate in this venture
that I told her I would come to see her. She doesn't need an outlet for
her work(paints beautiful china) bHEXXMAXHM for financial gain but being able
to take an active part in this venture has made her feel more @ a part of
this world, she had begun to withdraw and feel no longer needed as so many
older people. I will go and get her creations, take her supplies and help
her feel a part of the Showcase. I also have many handicapped people who will
make contributions in the same way,

We have found a whole new way of life through our work here in Atlanta,
It all began with love of God. Now we have learned the power of love we are
anxious to share it with others. It could make the world go around in peace,

Admittedly there are times the load is a little heavy. We begin to feel
our burdins instead of our joys. We feel sorry for ourselves and are slight-
ly rebeluous----<=—-- Then someone like you takes a gallant step foreward as

you did this last week and were up and at tem again--"Onward Christian Soldiers"

Most ‘Sincerely, Mey wa Mtl aAninathy

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