In regard to the "letter from 1938" post:
The remark about turpentine must have indeed hinted at abortion. I did a bit of googling and found this article, from which I quote: "Women often tried to induce abortion or cause a miscarriage by throwing themselves down stairs or inflicting violence on themselves. They ingested, douched with or inserted into themselves a chilling variety of chemicals and toxins--from bleach to potassium permanganate to turpentine to gunpowder and whiskey."
Don't ask me what they did with the turpentine. Probably douched with it, because I can't imagine anyone drinking it and surviving. Although I read this on the wikipedia entry for turpentine: "Drinking turpentine is extremely dangerous and can be life threatening. In addition, drinking turpentine is not an effective way to induce an abortion.”
So perhaps they did indeed drink it.
My brother, who is mentioned in that letter from Aunt Gladys, is in the picture I included in that entry, wearing overalls.
By the way, Aunt Gladys is still alive, sense of humor intact, living in a nursing home a hundred miles north of here. She's blind, and has lately become hard of hearing.
That's her at a family reunion last August.
I have another old letter I intend to share before too long.