Grandma D was the one who kept different groups of distant cousins in touch. We sort of rode on her letter writing, which was prodigious. In going through the boxes that Mom left behind, I found an old address book that looks like it's Grandma D's. It's got an address sticker with my Grandfather's name and address pasted to the cover, but he wasn't the one who wrote letters or collected addresses. So it's Grandma's book.
It's mostly in pencil and therefor smudged and hard to read. It was completely filled. Addresses ran over into the front panes and the backs of the covers. Some were written on scraps of paper and one edge glued to the top of the front cover, so that they can be flipped through.
A note inside says that Grandpa began working in Buttonwillow (CA) July 24, 1967. It doesn't say what he was doing, just what his temporary address was. He was a carpenter and a welder, so he was doing some sort of construction, but I've never heard what.
There are also interleaved pages glued in, and interleaved address stickers, too. It makes the small book very flippy.
I recognize some of the last names as family names. Some of the first names are ones I'm unfamiliar with. There are friends, too, lots of friends and co-workers and friends of her children. Some of the addresses are current, for relatives who don't move around. So this was her last address book,
Let's calculate. She died at midnight, December 31, 1999. (It was five years before we had recovered enough to comment that she wasn't Y2K compatible.) It might have been started 1967. But she had Parkinson's and was unable to write for the last 5 to 10 years of her life. Assuming 10 years, that's 2000 - 1967, or 33 years worth of addresses.
It's going to take me awhile to go through it and fit names and addresses into the family tree. Yes, I'm doing one of those.