If I Were Only an Artist

16 Jun
1910 photo of Will's sister Hessie with 2 daughters

1910 photo of Will’s sister Hessie with 2 daughters

Summit, N. J.
Feb 24, 1898

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

My Dearest Ruth:

I have just gotten home and as supper is not just ready, and anxious to be near you,
dear, I will commence this letter now.

Seems as this week went very quickly. Here we are on the verge of Friday and with
that day over, the happy time of our holiday will once more be at hand.

Well Ruthy, Dearest, this is a world of surprises. I came home last evening to be
met with the startling request to prepare to be present at the marriage of my sister at this
house next Wednesday afternoon. The surprise comes in the suddenness of it! They had
been talking of setting the day some time this year, but I didn’t dream that it would be
before June. Its just like Hessie any how. In view of Gardie’s recent death, she wants it to
be as quiet and private an affair as possible. There has been no invitation issued and side
from the family, only a few of her most intimate friends will be present. So the matter
stands, Ruthy, and here we have but a few days to straighten out the dilapidated interior of
this old shanty and arrange a thousand and one details necessary for such an occasion. It
seems impossible to have things as they ought to be in so short a time, but we must do the
best we can and let it go at that. Hessie says all she wants is a well spread table and our
well wishes. Mr Wright is coming out to tie the knot. This is about all I know about it so far
as Hessie is still at Queens and will be there until Saturday. 

When it comes our turn Ruth, I think we’ll give the folks more ample warning, for I
should like that time enough be given to have everything as ready as possible for a fine
occasion that occurs but once in a life time. Perhaps too, the sudden quiet way has its

In my own personal sphere, things have been going on in the way they usually do,
away from you: quite busy and pretty well.

I hope, dearest, you have gotten the sleep you need and are feeling in your usual
health and spirits once more.

Somehow, Ruthy, your appearance Tuesday evening made a deep and lasting
impression upon me. Ever since leaving you, I have been accompanied by a vision of my
pretty Ruth, quaint costume, roses and all, making a picture of such harmoniously blended
colors and beauty that it gives me very much pleasure to think of the dear combination. If I
were only an artist, I’d have you fix up and pose for me while I put the picture on canvas.

Well Ruth, I want to go to bed early and as I am in a mood only to talk “love talk” to
you, Dearest, perhaps you’d rather I would retire than continue.

Your picture I have taken from my pocket and I have given you two sweet kisses
and more if you want them.

It wouldn’t be safe to arrange to have you meet me at any particular train Saturday. I
shall try to get the 3:50 to Murray Hill, but am so uncertain as to succeeding that to ask
you to be there would be risking your possible disappointment.

Will be with you, Dear, just as early as business will let me off. With a good night
kiss and much love, Ruthy, I am your own


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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Family History


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