In my vast collection of reel to reel tapes, there are dozens, perhaps even a few hundred, audio letters. I've shared several of them here over the years, and today, here's an admittedly mundane one as another example of the sort of "day in the life" quality that these tapes present.
The one thing I do find sort of fascinating about this particular tape is the woman's accent. It sounds close in certain ways to Jack Nicholson's drawl, without being quite the same, and she also has a way of adding a pause in the middle of a word after certain vowel sounds, especially "O", essentially adding another syllable as a result.
This is just life as she knew it in the mid 1960's - wondering about the effectiveness of those new Teflon pans, theater shows she and her husband had gone to at the local theater, sharing her life and asking about that of the person receiving the tape.
The woman making the tape mentions her difficulty in using reel to reel tape recorders a few times, and, in fact, I've had to boost the sound quite a bit in some sections of the recording, as she left the volume far too low for nearly half of the recording. This accounts for the changes in sound quality that take place. After using the entire length of side one of the tape, she turned it over and recorded for a few more minutes on the flip side.
This tape is from 1965.. She mentions that it is June 20th (coincidentally, my birthday!), and that it was Father's Day. The mention of the increasing numbers of soldiers being sent to Vietnam makes this the only likely year in which Father's Day was on June 20th. In addition, she mentions going to see Buddy Ebsen in "Paint Your Wagon" at the Valley Theater, which I've been able to confirm took place at a theater by that name in Woodland Hills, CA, the same week this tape was recorded. This also places the speaker somewhere in the San Fernando Valley.