Return to Home 
Research Center Directory 




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 before.

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 request.

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 went on.

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 myself.

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 colder. 

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 well again?



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.



ęCopyright 2015 Alaska Trails to the Past All Rights Reserved
For more information contact the Webmistress