No More Fulton Street Cars for Me

27 Apr

May 1897 letter image

May 8, 1897

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

My Dear Ruth:

It is now close to nine o’clock and I am going to devote a little while before retiring
to a little talk with you. Indeed, my feelings compel me to write, so great is my
disappointment in coming home to find that no one was at the Post Office for the evening
mail. I do not know that you have written and would not be so much disappointed if you
had not and I only knew it; but to think of the possibility of a letter awaiting me, and being
unable to get it for another whole day, so tires my patience that there is no relief, except in
writing you, and as I know you will understand my position, you will also excuse so selfish
a motive I have in writing.

I have been thinking of you all day and wondering if you are better. I have been
trying to think that you are, from the fact of your seeming so, when I left you last night. If I
only knew that you are and that you had taken a good rest today, I should be very much
more at ease.  

This must have been a very nice day in the country until the shower came up. From
the appearance of the roads it seems to have rained more out here than in the city. It was
raining quite hard when I left the office and as usual unprepared for it. As the only
alternative I boarded a Fulton Street car or more correctly speaking, got one foot on it for it
was crowded, but I finally succeeded in getting entirely up on the platform, crushed tightly
against the rear guard. The brim of my hat extended out far enough to catch the drip from
the car top and at a moment of an extraordinary jounce my hat tipped forward and I
spilled a whole deluge upon the head of a small man who stood in front of me. He didn’t
like it, but of course couldn’t kick. The car proceeded so slowly as to almost not proceed at
all, and when Broadway was finally reached I concluded if I were to get the six o’clock train
it would certainly be necessary to go a little faster than I was going in the car, so I jumped
off and ran all the way to the ferry and just caught the boat. No more Fulton street cars for
me, unless I am equipped with an accident policy and a good sized lunch and no end of

Perhaps it will be better for me to wait until the middle of the week, say Thursday,
before seeing you again. I would like to be with you oftener and if I obeyed my every
impulse, I would be, but for the long walk and being up late, if repeated often during the
week makes me drowsy during the day, and you know Ruth, we must make some sacrifice
for the future. So I say Thursday because it kind of breaks the week, so that no interval of
separation from you Dear, will be so very long. How contrary to my real desires all this is,
yet there seems to be no changing it and once more we must look to the future to repay us
for all the disagreeable features of the present.

I am going to get the old wheel fixed, it needs a new tire on the front wheel and a
new saddle – then I shall see you more. With a bicycle at hand, I can run over on any clear
night after tea and see you. Not for long perhaps, but sufficient to break the lonesomeness
of the week.

I hope you are well, Dear, and entirely so when this reaches you, and that my hope
may become certainty when I get your letter tomorrow. Please do not work hard and enjoy
as much of the fine weather out doors as possible. I think I heard you say you did not think
it paid to worry to the point of physical prostration, so I ask nothing beyond your adhering
to your own convictions.

You are my own lovely noble Ruth, and I am



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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Family History


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