Dec 21, 1897
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell
My Dearest Ruth:
Since supper we have been singing some songs old and new and having just sung
“Juanita” I thought it a good place to stop and have a nice little talk with you, my love. I’m
afraid I won’t be able to write you a very thoughtful letter, for David is singing and yelling
like a crazy man and the noise is not conducive to pretty sentiment.
I wasn’t disappointed in my expectations tonight, Ruth and found your very nice
letter awaiting me, for which I thank you ever so much. I hope, Ruth, taking time to write
me doesn’t make it necessary for you to hurry in your work. In that case, I should try to do
without your letters however dear they are to me.
I’m sorry your Mother has taken cold and that Bessie is no better for they are
disagreeable things, at the least. I hope you will keep up your good record and not have
any this winter, as well as all winters to come. As for mine, it still worries my head, and
tonight I have a slight headache from it.
The medicine I have been taking Walter says is as good as anything for fresh colds
but the exact prescription he cannot furnish, it being on the books at Yonkers. There is a
lot of it here and I will fix up a bottle which will be ready for you if you can call or send for
I went down on the 6:20 this morning and am now rather sleepy. The darkness this
morning was relieved somewhat by the glassy whiteness of the ground. In going to the
train, I had to run to keep from falling.
The condition is somewhat changed tonight, the vanilla icing changed to chocolate.
Knowing your need for rubbers in this kind of weather, I sent your rubbers by mail
today, and hope you have not been inconvenienced for not having them.
Well Dearest, two days nearer our next holiday than when I wrote you last, but still
three long days intervening before the joy of your company once more. I have much to
accomplish in order to have my work in a satisfactory condition by Friday and time will go
fast though, I guess.
I hadn’t thought of the difficulty old Santa Claus might have in bringing a piano and
bicycle down our chimney. It certainly is not impossible, if he can down himself. Perhaps
he has me on his list as a member of your family for this occasion and will use your
chimney which must be the kind he delights in. Let him come anyway he pleases and with
any old thing and I’ll be satisfied. Won’t you?
Will be neither sick or tired Saturday, Ruthy and will be ready for anything. Skating,
sleighing, boating, bathing, fusball, football, hunting, fishing, or anything you might
If you would throw corn on Bill farmer, perhaps Saturday will afford farmer Bill to
throw snow balls at Ruth farmeress.
Maybe we can build a snow man with Mammas stove shovel and put big black coals
in him for eyes and a pipe in his mouth. This I could construct with a corncob, these being
quite numerous around your place.
What a lot of nonsense!
Well Dearest of all, I must go to bed now. Will go down on the 7:10 but must get up
in time to shave.
Do not know about being able to see you Friday evening or not. I’m afraid I will not
be able to let you know in advance, but will write you again if things shape up so that I can
get away. Perhaps I will see you Thursday. Ruth, it us going to be impossible to get away
early Friday. As I feel now the rest of the week is too long to bridge over without being
near you, so if the weather Thursday permits, will run over from West Summit.
Away from the mixture on the other pages, I send you Dearest Noblest girl, a sweet
goodnight and the duplicates of the kisses I impress upon the sweet face of the photo I
keep nearest my heart.
Hoping to see you very soon Ruth and with truest wishes for your health and
I am your