Don’t Shoot the Organist

25 Mar


New Providence, NJ
Oct 10, 1894

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell, State Normal School, Trenton, NJ

Dear Ruth:

Your letter arrived on time and I take the first opportunity to reciprocate to the best
of my poor ability.

I am very glad to hear you are enjoying good health and hope you didn’t take
seriously my joking about your loss of weight being due to your not getting enough to eat; I
don’t think any body ever loses weight on that account but the old chestnut tells us “A little
nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest,” so I, having a minimum amount of
wisdom, am licensed to indulge in a great deal of nonsense.

That your birthday was an enjoyable one goes without saying. It must have been
pleasant, to have been treated so generously by everybody at home. I think I saw that
combination letter you speak of just previous to its being mailed. It certainly was a
whopper, and worth its weight in gold. 

You have probably explored “Ye Day Book,” from beginning to end and I trust you
will excuse my crude attempts in sketching. It is an art which is strictly out of my line, but in
judging me you can let that motto which hangs over the organ, in a church out West, be
your guide.


Bessie told me afterward how she filled in my part in the congratulation and Best
Wishes page. I almost wish she had left it out now. It was in so crude a form and then it
was almost too abrupt a step from the ridiculous to the sublime. Don’t you think so?

Yes, Lou Chase has returned, apparently the same Lou Chase too, a smile for
everyone and just as full of good nature as ever. I am afraid you will be denied the
pleasure of her companionship at Trenton because I think it is a settled fact that she is to
go to Fort Edward, in a few weeks. It seems too bad to, it would mean so much for you and
herself too to go to Trenton.

12.6 A M
I note the time as this point so you see it is time to close and I am an early riser
now, that Walter has thrown off the old man, also the boots, and has to study now, rather
than tend cows, chickens, etc. I had a visit from Bessie this or yesterday afternoon. There
was so many in the store however that we couldn’t talk anything but biz.

Just before writing, we played Whist, Gardie and I versus Chet Jones & Walter. I
wasn’t inth as usual. You can think of me Friday evening — playing cribbage probably, at
your house. I’m going to take the advantage of your absence and be prepared to meet you
half way in that game the next time we meet.

Good night
Very sincerely

Kindly excuse paper as writing paper is all I could find and pen is worn out.


Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Family History


Tags: , , , ,

5 responses to “Don’t Shoot the Organist

  1. Genealogy Lady

    March 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I just awarded your blog the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:

  2. Jenny

    March 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Thank you! And thank you for pointing me toward some other great blogs, too 🙂

  3. currentdescendent

    March 25, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    What a great blog, Jenny!

    • Jenny

      March 25, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Thanks- I live in Kalamazoo, by the way 🙂

      • currentdescendent

        March 25, 2013 at 11:36 pm

        What! That is a ridiculous coincidence!!


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