In September 1933, Everett Turling began writing a weekly letter to his mother and father from Oakdale Sanatorium, where he stayed while suffereing from tuberculosis. These letters, plus a few others and some recipes, presumably included by his mother, make up this collection.
In these letters he talks of his condition, the state of the sanatoroium, the weather (there are quite a few dust storms), the treatment he receives, some fellow residents, the staff, and old acquaintances. He infrequently addressed political issues, though one exception is a letter of July 9 in which he said, "See if you can scrape me up some sort of a Bible and mail it to me. I promised Rev. Voss I would study up on some things we were discussing and it is quite impossible to study wihout a book. I have read about everything else so I guess it willl do no harm to see what the Bible has to say. It should be right down my alley, for Christ was certainly the greatest Socialist ever." Mostly upbeat, these letters try for lightness and they often succeed, though at times one feels as if he is making light of his situation so as not to worry his parents.
He submitted articles to the Stethoscope and eventually carried the title of Assistant Editor.
At the end of July, he switched to writing post cards, probably because writing letters was too taxing. On August 10 he wrote his last post card, and his mother Ellen took over, writing letters to her husband, Charles, updating him on Everett's condition and making requests on Everett's behalf.
Everett died at Oakdale on August 24, 1934, at the age of 27.