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My Every Thought is Made Beautiful by Your Participation in It

03 Apr

Letter Image Obedient Will

Summit, NJ
Oct 4, 1896

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell, % Mr A R Holbert, Lawton, Orange Co, NY

My Dear Ruth:

This lonesome, unusual Sunday is about spent and it has been so unreal that I
won’t be sorry when the mind occupying rush of the new week begins. Having retired late
on Saturday, I didn’t have the energy this morning to get up and go to church. I managed
to be at Sunday School on time, and that was the only religious service I’ve attended
today.

This is about C E meeting time, but I’m going to shirk duty in that direction tonight to
follow what I consider a higher and pleasanter duty, that of writing you.

Sunday School was rather interesting today, you know we had the new Quarterlies
to start in on, and the attendance wasn’t so bad either. If I remember right, I think there
were fourth-nine regulars and one visitor — Mr Runyon. I noticed Miss Morehouse had a
class full. The summer attractions have ceased, it has become too cold for swimming and
in sheer desperation for something to do, the boys have returned to Sunday School. Sam
Hunter loomed up most conspicuously in that class, he having in his button-hole a huge
white chrysanthemum and you can imagine the harmonious contrast of the color of his
face. 

It seems unusual not to see you at S S but very much so to notice that your family
wasn’t represented at all. I expected to have seen either Dolly or Ethel, but neither was
there, so that I haven’t seen any of your people today.

I remained in New York on Friday night and as usual drifted into the Central
Metropolitan Temple. I think I am attracted there more by the singing than anything else.
They use a book which is very complete and seems to contain nearly all of the hymns we
know, so that on that account I enjoy going in there, and where there is such a crowd, do
not hesitate to let my voice out. That night was one on which the Pastor, Mr Cadman,
undertakes to answer any question that any of the audience wishes to submit, and slips of
paper are distributed, on which to write them. Every single question that was brought
before him was political, bearing directly on the important questions of this campaign.

S. Parkes Cadman

S. Parkes Cadman

There was so much of it that I was quite tired of it when Mr Cadman thought he had had
enough. Mr C is a very strong McKinley man and the audience contained a very strong
Bryan element, and one of the apparent features in the meeting was how earnest, almost
to insanity, some men are over this question of the free coinage of silver. One man there of
respectable appearance, and who looked as though he ought to have known better, could
not tolerate Cadman’s denunciations of Bryanism, and had to be called upon several times
to keep quiet.

I am very sorry that the weather is not so pleasant as it might be, for your trip, and
hope that instead of lingering in this condition of doubt, it will take a decided turn for the
better. For once in my life I am unselfish, for it has ceased to be a matter of concern to me,
whether the sun shines or not, but for your sake and that of a good many others, I hope
that it might, and that quickly, too.

I don’t know what Bloomingdale is like, but I have with very satisfying effect,
pictured you in all your actions today. I have followed you to church, listened with you
during the quiet exposition of the text, followed you back to where you are stopping and
even watched you as you sat at a table writing me? I suppose when I get your letter
tomorrow I will learn how very inaccurate my dreaming was but however so I will not regret
having entered into it.

I am using the only bottle of ink we possess, and Hessie wishes to use it, so I will
have to hasten this letter to its close, as I have also about exhausted my ability to proceed.

Ruth, as I have said before, my every thought is made beautiful by your
participation in it, and I shall retire tonight and dream of you and tomorrow’s work will be
made brighter by the sweet anticipation of your letter which will await my home coming
tomorrow night.

Will's sister Hessie, 1896

Will’s sister Hessie, 1896

As I wish you good night, I will in addition wish you a most enjoyable time, and that
weather and everything else will contribute to make it so, and above all Ruth, as I love you
and as others love you, I wish you a safe return. So once more Ruth, good night.

Forever and obediently
Yours

Will

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Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Family History

 

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