A Long Story About Little Or Nothing

16 May

Summit, NJ
Oct 22, 1897

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

My Dearest Ruth:

It is now just 10:30 P.M. and I have only been home long enough to read your very
nice letter which awaited me. You will wonder why I am so late in getting home and even
more when I tell you I have been on my way since 6:30. Well, I left the office shortly after
5:30 and knowing my hair was crying out for a barber’s attention, concluded to visit one,
and take the 6:30 home. The barber did not work as fast as I calculated, or else I
underestimated the size of the contract; at any rate, I missed the 6:30, so as the next best
thing went and had supper. There is a train which leaves NY at 7:30 but which doesn’t stop
at NP and not caring very much to walk from Summit, concluded to wait for the 8:30 which
arrives here about the same time as I would, had I taken the earlier train and walked from

The time between I filled in by visiting an old shoemaker of ours who has a store on
Washington St, Hoboken. Caught the 8:30 all right, got to Summit on time, was ready to
hop off at NP when, lo and behold, the train didn’t slack up a bit on nearing that station
and noticing this, rushed back to the conductor, who was in the baggage room and without
my saying a word he jumped up and pulled the cord, saying at the same time, “Why didn’t
you remind me that you wanted to get off at N. P.” This I had done and he had the nerve to
say he didn’t hear me. Not caring to waste any words, I asked him where we were, and he
told me “Just this side of the bridge.” That being the case I did not care so much, for the
distance back was not very far so I started back stumbling along between the rails as best
I could in the dark. 

Instead of being just this side of the bridge, it was several minutes before I reached
it, and I tell you my opinion of that conductor, Mr. Morgan, was not very exalted by the time
I reached tera-firma, (a wagon road).

This is a long story about little or nothing, but it is only by way of introduction.
I want to thank you for your letter and all its pretty sentiment and try and say what
train I will be home on.

It is very kind and thoughtful of you to suggest meeting me and I’m sure I shall be
most happy to have you do so. I had better make the train for coming home the 3:20 from
NY, which is due in Summit about 4:20, I believe. The mail train you know. Huffs on Hogs
as George Myrick called the conductor.

When I get to the point of telling you of having to walk back from Chatham almost I
grew so excited as to break the point off my pencil. The lead broke way up in the wood, so
I struck it back and continued, but you can see from my scrawl that it is becoming

Will see you then, My Own Dear Ruth, tomorrow if all goes well.

Many kisses and goodnight from



Forgot to tell you I scared off a chill today.


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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Family History


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