Sunday, February 18th, 1923.
Dearest Boy, Carroll:
Your letter was gladly received last night on
the Northwestern. This will go down on its return trip in another week.
My last letter was mailed on the 12th. As usual, the boats come in all
together and go out the same way, with these long lapses at this season of year.
Also had nice letters from Marguerite, Scott,
Elsie, Roger and Gladys Selvin. Daddie wired to Scott to see a good
newspaper friend of His and Scott acted on the suggestion, hoping something
would come of it. I have written him of our good friends, the Lewises.
He is with the Pacific Steamship. While they did not treat him any too
well after war demotions, he might suggest something to Scott, as they are most
devoted to us. I think all the time there were an opening in Seattle, as
the children would be so glad to have him there and he would enjoy being in
Robert's and Elsie's home, when he felt inclined for his family.
The terrible Taku was starting when I sent my
last. While it reached the record -65- of last year, it did not do the
same damage. It lasted five days. Ruth says the people are lovely
and she never went so much, but she denounces the climate in unmeasured terms.
People say "Why, aren't you glad you experienced such a unique and awful thing?"
She doesn't see it that way. However, Daddie and John tell her the weather
is awful in Seattle and all over the country at this time of the year.
University and public schools have been closed in Seattle and things must be in
the condition they were in 1914 to a great extent.
The ice made it so bad to get about. With
creepers, iron prongs, with straps, it is easy enough, but people don't like to
bother putting them on and they hurt under the straps, for the ladies.
Today, there is another gorgeous snow storm.
We went to the tiny Episcopal Church to hear Bishop Rowe. We met him in
1913. There was a confirmation and it was Communion. The music was
excellent. Four young Mothers, Mrs. Naud, Mrs. Paul, Mrs. Jenne and
Mildred Stewart were in the choir. Three had Babies nearly the same age.
And Mrs. Stewart in the congregation. There is usually a very small
attendance. It must be terribly discouraging to Dr. Rice. A man
singing in this choir used to be with Joseph Shehan. They asked Marguerite
to sing here before the Pres. did and she and Mildred felt they needed them
most, as usually there is a very slim choir. The audience matches the
Meth. one. The Pres. always has a good attendance. We are always
sorry not to hear Dr. Bruce, he is so pleasing. Not brilliant but one just
loves to hear him talk.
We had a novelty in the way of a ride in a bob
sled - a regular old fashioned one hoss shay. [sic] Karl and Mary had
invited 12 of us out to dinner. The snow and wind made a very bad day of
it by the time we started. Mr. Hobart took Mr. Smith, Mrs. Bodeker, Ruth
and me in the sled. We soon picked up Mr. Smith and Mr. Nowell, who were
very thankful. Then he went back and picked up Mildred, Helen, Daddie,
Capt. Bodeker & John. The hikers got pretty wet. After, they all
changed they enjoyed Theile's lovely home and Mary had such a good dinner served
on three small tables. Julius, a culled gemman [sic] baout [sic] town,
waited and Ruth nearly fell over to see such elegance in Alaska. They have
everything perfect in furniture, linens, silver and such pretty pictures.
The wind, a sou'easter, this time, blew with great force, until just before we
started home. Ruth sang some and Mr. Nowell told her she had a remarkable
voice and thought it very bad she was not studying. He was much surprised,
I think, the way he talked to me, about her voice. Said she had a music
temperament, too. It has been so cold with the Taku, which affects our
Ball Room, that I have asked her to sing very little, so few folks have heard
her. Then she has not been well and singing makes an effort for a nervous
person. We have her stay in bed in the morning, but she sleeps very badly
and very little at night. I wish she would stay longer, but she vows she
will start back on the Northwestern, which will make it just a moth's absence
from home. Roger, her Mother and Phyllis send her lots of letters all
about the Baby. Sat. Night, there was such a good entertainment at the
School, under the P.T.A. Mildred was on the Committee. First a clever
Playlet, music by School orchestra, old time songs with old time costumes and
folk dancing by tiny tots. The prettiest feature was the Pictures from
Riley's Old Sweetheart of Mine. I suggested it to Mildred and she had it
carried out. Mr. Harding, Daddie's Secretary, was the reader. Lovely
16 year old Alice Case was the Sweetheart. She appeared at intervals
between curtains against a dark background. Then two very cunning and very
clever children acted out the verses, as the childish sweethearts. I
wondered if the audience realized how artistic and cunning they were. Mrs.
Rice, a sweet and beautiful woman, was the Mother and held a baby. Ruth
did not feel equal to going. I would like for her to have seen
Marguerite's school and how clever people are up here. Several very pretty
parties have been given for Ruth and she and Mildred have been invited to other
parties, also I have been included in Luncheons. Mrs. Beaumont, Helen
Smith and others, have been hostesses. We are glad to have the Bodekers
back. She is a Californian and so merry and happy always. He is
quiet and a very fine man. Capt. Jones, in temporary command of the
Unalga, the Executive office, has joined Mrs. Jones in California. The
Bodekers have not found a house or apartment yet and that is why they went below
Judge and Mrs. Rustgard took u7s to see the
Three Musketeers the other eve. It was snowing hard and deep and they
called for us in a car. We enjoyed it very much, especially Ruth, as
Douglas Fairbanks is her favorite actor.
We have all been sitting out here in the Little
Room and Daddie wanted me to read something aloud. Shirley Ann was also
wheeled out in her pink nest and was propped up watched me intently and smiling
in a knowing way. She thought it was a game she and I are playing.
Mildred almost weeps when she springs something new on us which indicates
advancing age. She wants her to stay her little, little Baby, helpless and
dependent. She is a wonderful Mother, just as careful and precise and
deliberate and as nervously anxious to do right as she was in her business
course and in war work and later in sewing, embroidering, study and church work.
It took her sometime to find herself, but now she has her real vocation.
The Boyles had us to dinner. Ruth had had
a couple of falls and bounded up the stairs too vigorously and had to go to bed
for two days. She missed the dinner and Helen Smith sweetly put off her
Valentine Luncheon for her.
Thursday was Daddie's Birthday. Billy and
Gertrude and Dick and Zella sent telegrams. Baby, a splendid book, Behind
the Mirrors, the office force, flowers. We had not told any one.
But, after the usual Thursday callers, including the Bodekers, who had just
returned, we had a little surprise. Had the Smiths, the Boyles and Willis
Nowell to dinner. Played two tables of 500. Sister went to a picture
and John to the Legion. You know he is Post Commander.
Shirley Anne is most dear. Sleeps either
all night or until quite late. Sister fixes her up just after dinner.
Hilma is crazy to keep her, but says it is no fun when she sleeps. We
suspect she tries to keep her awake when she occasionally gets to be nursed.
She is very good and happy. While she is
behind the other young ladies and young gentlemen of her age, she may catch up,
as some of them are not so well now. She is up to 13 and a half now.
I am on the Red Cross Executive Com. Attended a
meeting Thursday morning. I have not been down town but once since my
return because of the ice. And for several days the wind made it terrible
walking. I wanted to go then to get Daddie a little present. A
laundry bag and two ties. Had not given him a tie for several years, from
Judge and Mrs. Rustgard got a car one snow
evening and took us to the Three Musketeers. Said it was Ruth's party.
She had seen it, but was so pleased t go again, as Douglas Fairbanks is her
favorite actor. The lights went out four times and finally Mr. Spickett,
an old time vaudeville singer, the Manager, said for everybody to sing.
Ruth added her lovely voice rather lowly. Then, Mr. Spickett sand one
verse of "Way Down in Old Virginney" and everybody was sorry when the lights
Wednesday early. My letters are in diary
form to Marguerite and also to you and Scott again this time. The Watson
brought a short letter from here, one from Aunt Nellie, Mrs. Cole and a very
long one from Edna, her Xmas letter. Claude had been there and she had
heard through Mrs. Young Mrs. Vandergrift had been killed in an automobile
accident and Mr. V. seriously injured. Scott did not speak of it and I
have not had a letter from Aunt None since long before Xmas. She has lost
a devoted friend, next to Mrs. Bayley, if this is true.
Monday eve, we had Capt. and Mrs. Bodeker to
dinner and Mr. Steele. Daddie and I played 500 with Mrs. Bodeker and Mr.
Steele. You will think it funny for me to play 500 again, But Daddie likes
it and we cannot have the musical evenings we used to so much enjoy when
Marguerite was home. Perhaps I don't take the same interest in people ad
things as I used to and it passes away an evening quickly and in a jolly way.
Mildred and John hate it but love to play Bridge.
Tuesday, Mrs. Harding gave a lovely Luncheon
Bridge For Ruth. She is not only a fine musician, but since coming up here
has learned to be a wonderful cook and does all sorts of artistic things in the
way of sewing and home decoration. She is a big jolly kind hearted girl.
You may remember her living at the Chelsea, Ethel Forbes, and Mrs. Setz was her
dressmaker. She had a table of 500 for Mrs. Bodeker and me and two other
ladies. I won the prize, a handsome darning ball, most acceptable.
In the eve, the girls went to Mrs. McNaughton's for Bridge, husbands invited
later. Yesterday, Mildred gave a large afternoon party for Ruth, 9 tables.
Last night, the Legion Play, "A Night Off", not as well done as they usually do
things up here.
Sweetheart, you spoke of me being "mad" because
you joined the Baptist Church. Of course, I am not "mad." We were
surprised, Daddie and I, knowing your great fondness for the Christian Church.
But wherever you are best satisfied and can do the best work, it is all right.
Grandma Mershon was a Baptist. Grandpa Mershon, an Episcopalian.
Mother and several of the family were partial to the Christian Church.
They went to the Pres. when they were small. I went mostly to the Meth.
when I was small. Daddie and I were married by a Pres. Minister, as Aunt
Sis and Uncle Will were Pres. We like the Pres. Minister best as a
preacher up here. We like the Pres. and Episc. Ministers and the Cath.
Priest equally, as men. Your exceptions to the Episc. agree with my
impressions as to a large extent, that is till I came up here. Here, they
are perfectly lovely and sociable people, and we like being with them just as we
do with folks of the other congregations. When there is a dinner or bazar,
[sic] all congregations turn out, as they should to help one another. Are
you not mistaken about the Episcopal C. allowing divorce? I understand the
Catholic and Episcopal Churches do not permit divorced couples to remarry.
You new church and Preacher seem to have many fine features, which our family
believes in. Especially free pews. When I have a little more time, I
will read "The Dance of Death." I fear I never could belong to a church
that was too strict. That is why I have always loved our church. It
does not drive away people who like to dance. I hate bitterly dancing
conducted in an unbecoming or indecent way, but it was as natural for me to
dance as to sing. Because of timidity, I did not dance till I was 19.
And because of Daddie's objections, I stopped when I was 21. It makes me
squirm and furious to see much modern dancing, but there are beautiful and
enjoyable dances, conducted in a respectable manner. It is natural for
most children and most young folks to long to dance, as it expresses happiness.
Always remember, "To the pure, all things are pure." I will look over the
"Dance of Death" more closely when there is not quite such a rush. Of late
years, Daddie has regretted we did not dance, but I do not mind now. For
many years I wished to dance very much, then lost courage and interest for
Aunt Nellie's letter says Uncle Morse's brother
was elected a member of the Maine Legislature. Says he is a bachelor and
wealthy. Cousin Edna's Letter is long and very interesting. Claude
had been there on business connected with his railroad. He was going to
resign and run a fruit farm. Lib Young told her the Vandergrifts were in
an Automobile accident and Mrs. V. killed and Mr. Seriously injured. I
hope there is a mistake, for they were among Aunt None's last devoted friends.
I will ask Scott if he heard it.
Darling, we are glad you like Shirley Anne
Starr's name. I never heard of any name creating such a furor as hers.
Here and universally in letters. Marguerite said one of the girls said she
could not help but be an actress with that name. She is such a round,
dreamy, sensitive looking, perfectly good little baby, Mildred just prays she
will be exactly like Marguerite. The ladies all got to see her yesterday
and were amazed at her size as compared with at first. Sister is honoring
you with a complete set of her pictures.
Friday Morning. Last night we went down
to the ship, Unalga, for dinner. As I told you, Capt. and Mrs. Bodeker are
as pleasant and lovable as any folks you ever met. He is a Bostonese, like
Mr. Nowell, and precise and neat and very tall, and very kindly with a dry wit.
She is short, rather stout, with hair redder than Mildred's, rather pretty and
just bubbles over with glee and enjoyment of everything that comes along.
Mr. Nowell, Mrs. Bodeker, Daddie and I played our favorite game. I won a
lovely box of California glace candy. She brought up little fancy place
cards, tally cards and small prizes, hard to get here. Ruth won the prize
at Bridge Table, a beautiful picture of our favorite view, Auk Lake and
Mendenhall Glacier. She was so pleased. We are all so sorry it is
impossible for her to have a ride there. The walking is awful and it was
raining, too. This morning a slight fall of snow on the deep slush and
Marguerite told of a celebrated Senior asking
her to a Formal, which is such a thrill for a Freshman. He is Maz Miller,
the Editor of the U. paper. He is an S. A. E. like Will France, and Capt.
Bodeker is one from Cornell.
Saturday Morning. I must hurry and get
this off, as boat is promised tonight. Last night, we gave Ruth a goodbye
party. Invited in a number of musical people. Mr. Nowell played
exquisitely and Ruth, Mrs. Jenne and others sang. When in Seattle, I heard
Mischa Elman play Schubert Ave Maria. I thought Mr. Nowell played it just
as well. I told you of his hearing Elman for the first time. Some
one last night said, "He certainly is a misfit up here." He wanted very
much to accompany Ruth, but she had nothing with a violin obligato [sic] with
him. Mrs. Henderson accompanied him. Mr. Nowell thinks Ruth should
surely be studying that she has a wonderful voice and it has increased in
volume. The evening ended in fun, popular songs and an old fashioned
Virginia Reel, in which the Governor radiantly took part. He said the
first time in 40 years. Did I tell you Ruth saved the delicious candy you
sent till we called? A novelty appeals to that family more than any thing
else. We are glad you like Shirley Ann Starr's name. As I told you I
have never heard of any baby's name that seemed to please so many people.
Some almost write poetry about it and like you, predict all sorts of glowing
futures for the wee maid.
Well Honey Boy, goodbye for this time. I
trust the boats will not be eleven days apart next time. Are you quite
Envelope: from - Governor's House, Juneau,
Alaska; postmark - Juneau, Alaska Feb 24, 4 PM; to - Mr. Carroll A. Bone,
Traffic Dept., C. M. & St. P. Ry., 42 Broadway, New York City.