Letter, Charles and Anna Mantinband to friends; December 1962
THE MANTINBAND MEGILLAH
The year is drawing to a close. How eventful it has been! We list a few items, not necessarily in the order of their importance, but as they occur to us.
The new twin grandchildren, both to Edith and Bill in San Antonio, on December 1st. Brother and sister have been named Joel and Golda – adding great excitement to the three older brothers. Yes, these are the same parents who escaped a near-fatal motor accident several years ago. Our prolific progeny now include a total of nine grandchildren.
We recall the 35-day Cruise aboard the Argentina, (built in Mississippi). We toured the Scandinavian countries during July and August. The story of our adventures appeared in eight installments in the Hattiesburg American. We shall never forget the Land of the Midnight Sun and our excursions through Norway, Sweden and Finland, to say nothing of the extraordinary experience behind the Iron Curtain. En route we managed some good theatre and ballet, in Stockholm, London, Leningrad and New York.
After much heart-searching, now comes the decision to pack our "seiben sachen" and move to Texas, as of March 1st. Mississippi has become increasingly difficult to work in. The oil fields of Longview and Kilgore beckon. There is a growing Jewish community and a new congregation eager for spiritual leadership. A major consideration is the proximity to our children. Imagine being only sixty-five miles from Shreveport and Carol's growing family, and a hundred from Dallas, where Frank and Toni live.
Withal, our work in Hattiesburg has proved most satisfying. We round out eleven years here. Many friends try to hold on to us, and this separation will not be without its difficulties. One expression of confidence by a congregant is a discretionary fund of $1000, to be disbursed outside the temple. Another, Rabbi's election as president of the Ministerial Association – the sole Jewish member of the group.
We continue to serve the two local colleges, and participate in ever so many community ventures. Rabbi broke into print in half a dozen periodicals, and is in demand as a speaker. Everybody wants to hear The Mississippi Story. Professional business has taken him to Atlanta (Southern Regional Council), Philadelphia (Quaker group), and other areas of the country. A few honors, too, have come his way: Rabbi received the first Brussel Award of the Free Synagogue of New York, "for exceptional devotion to the causes of individual freedom and social justice in the spirit of the Hebrew Prophets". Lincoln University conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Human Letters.
Glad to report that our health is good, our vitality tops, our energy abundant. Our lives are enriched by old associations. We welcome new friendships. 1963 looms full of promise.
We shall try to avoid the braggadocio of the Lone Star State, but make no guarantees.
Season's greetings, you-all.
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