Bonnie’s keepsakes

In the course of cleaning out Bonnie’s house, of course I threw
out all kinds of stuff that would have been necessary if someone
wanted to write a biography of her.

Of course, if someone did want to do that they should have come
and taken all the stuff off my hands, and they didn’t.

I did take a small cedar box with some things she must have
wanted to save, mostly from college or before. I scanned three
letters from that box, so I’m posting them here mostly for her
friends. As far as I know, they’re from before any of her friends
that I ever met knew her.

I apologize for the orientations in the PDF,
and also for its size. Transcribing them was interesting for the
number of errors even highly literate people put up with in a
handwritten note.

Summer job

The last letter was from a woman who had hired her to cook for
her family for the summer of 1963. I think Bonnie did recall this
job fondly; I remember her mentioning the rowboat. She was 20
that year.

Bayberry Bluff
South Orleans, Mass.

July 20, 1963

Dear Mrs. Rogers,

Forgive me for not writing to you long before this to give
you word about Bonny. She is doing a most satisfactory job for
us, unfazed by the size of the family, a refrigerator too small
for the present situation and a gas oven whose regulator is
ailing and irreplacable [sic]. I gave her ample warning on all
these points, but she has handled the situation with composure
and always with a smile, which is a joy to me. And her meals
are so good always!

I hope she is enjoying her summer. We take her in the
sailboat which she seems to enjoy particularly and she takes
many shorter expeditions in the row boat and has one or more
daily swims. We are very glad that she wanted to come to

With kind regards to you and your husband. I am yours

Susan M. Brooks

Microbiology research

The other two are from Mary
, who was President of Radcliffe College when
Bonnie was there, but from these letters must also have been
teaching a microbiology course. I had no idea Bonnie was at
all interested in microbiology.

Both letters are postmarked 1962, so Bonnie would have been 18
in the Spring, and turned 19 in June.

PS. — I guess I’ll send you the actual data too.

Radcliffe College
Cambridge 38, Mass

Office of the President

Sunday 4/1

Dear Bonnie:

Your plates were beautiful! The VI series ran approx [table
omitted from transcription]
but there were no variants that I would wish to differentiate on any
plate. There weren’t even any that I would question — ie some
like the ones you showed me before. I gues [sic] they are
pretty rare except in old stock or other aging cultures.

There were some odd differences in size — ie — plates VI
9-12 had small colonies whereas VI 13 — 16 had very large

Now What?

Have a good vacation! M.I.B.

Radcliffe College
Cambridge 38, Mass

Office of the President


Dear Bonni:

Thanks for the excellent report!

You’ve developed a great deal of scientific insight in one
year. It would mean a lot of study but you could do this stuff
if you wanted. In any event I think you have an appreciation of
the demands of investigation which will stand you in good

Its been nice to have you in class.

Mary I. Bunting

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