Enroute to New York
March 5, 1908
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
My dearest Wife, Ruthy:
Homeward bound! It is now 8:45 P. M. and we are well out to sea pointed toward
good old New York. If there will be one happy woman in Forest Hill when I return, there will
also be one very happy man.
I wrote you last night after a day of very hard work — resuming where I left off then,
spent a very good night in sound slumber. Waking up at 6:30. The morning was beautiful,
temperature about 70 and sky bright and clear. After breakfast, at seven we went to the
ship, left our grips, and started out to see Jacksonville. We hired a team driven by a coon,
and spent an hour or more driving about the city seeing what there was to see. Took
several pictures of points of interest which I hope will turn out all right. (Have taken 30 in
all.) Jacksonville is much like our northern cities, except for the preponderance of coons
which brands the southern city. The reason for it’s modernness is because of a fire
devastating the place about 4 years ago. This presents the opportunity to rebuild with
up-to-date structures. The ship was scheduled to leave at 10 A. M. but did not get off until
after 12. Tomorrow we stop at Charleston and then for New York. The weather as I write is
very balmy. I sit close to a wide open door and the whole situation is as a summer’s night
Am getting sleepy now so will close, and go to my little berth. I will then try to bring
you all very close to me and go to sleep with sweet thoughts of home. Wife, babies and all
the pleasant associations.
Have seen many people since leaving you. Tourists, residents, young, middle aged
and old and I have seen none like my wife and no babies that can hold a candle to ours in
looks or anything else. Ran across Albert Koenig of Newark at the Windsor this morning.
His wife and baby were with him. The kid looked the usual specimens of the “only child”
habit and his wife (about 100 lbs ad v.) that sort of woman. I didn’t envy that man.
Well Ruthy dearest, I hope you are well and happy tonight and that the babies are
likewise. I have a feeling that all is well and I shall take it to bed with me. This will be my
last letter to you on this trip, and all the kisses and all the love referred to in this letter will
be delivered in person in a few short days.
I won’t write it but you can imagine this entire page full of love and kisses and
running over for your own sweet self and the babies —
Good night my love,