April 6, 1909
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
My dear Sweetheart Ruthy:
We’ve been to the theatre tonight — that is George and I. Clay went to a vaudeville
performance. We stayed out with no other intention than to take a walk, but I saw the sign “The Man
on the Box,” which George recognized as a good show, and as the price was only 50 cents each,
we took it in and have just gotten back to the hotel, 11:30 P. M.
Well, dearie, late as it is, I just can’t retire without getting very close to you, which is best
accomplished by writing down the things one feels. I’ve written you some love letters in the years
I’ve known your dear sweet self, but never got more comfort, more real satisfaction, than from
those I’ve written you lately. Alike too have your sweet letters been to me. They are really more
necessary to my existence than the food I eat, when away from you.
Your letter sent to Austin was received today, enclosing account of Mr Vanderbeek’s
resignation. What consummate presumption and what a pack of lies. Church in flourishing
condition, general regret on his part and on part of all the congregation, etc., etc. The truth is the
man’s too blame lazy to work and, and now that he’s got a little money he’s going to lay off until its
spent. Well, maybe his resignation won’t be accepted, altho he plainly states that it is not
susceptible to reconsideration. Perhaps if some of the ladies fall weeping at his feet and implore
him to stay he will reconsider. Perhaps I’m doing him an injustice, so don’t take this seriously. I’m
too happy with you and the kids and the way the world has used me not to be amiably disposed
toward all mankind, and while I consider it best for the community that Mr V be replaced, I wish
him luck in whatever he turns his hand to in future.
The little play I saw tonight was a romance with a very pretty moral finale. The heroine was
a true woman and reminded me of you dearie. The play had a pretty ending and I walked back to
the hotel thinking of you. Your love, your constancy, your never ceasing faith in me, and I can tell
you it makes a fellow feel good and helps him a whole lot when far away from home and friends to
know that a dear one is thinking of him and longing for him and loving him.
This is our second day here. Had hoped to leave for N. O. tomorrow morning, but we have
not gotten through here by any means. The people we meet are very very nice, and seem to
prefer to tell all their family history, and everything about the great and glorious state of Texas,
rather than talk envelope business.
We spend nearly all day with one big printing concern here talking envelopes and other
matters. One of the firm, the president, introduced us to his wife and her friend, giving the reason
that he wanted us whom he considered typical Yankees to meet his wife and friend who were
“typical Southerners.” Of course we had to do the honors and chat the best we know how until
they decided to depart.
There is good prospect of business in all these Texas towns, and I consider the trip already
having paid from a business standpoint. We are thinking of going to Fort Worth tomorrow and then
to New Orleans, arriving in latter place Friday morning. Your letters will from now on of course
have to go to N. O.
We met at this hotel today a man who was at our table when Chester & I took the
Jacksonville trip. He is still going around looking for relief from rheumatism.
Now Ruthy, Wifey, Sweetheart and Lover, I am going to bed and I am going to hug you
and kiss you and stroke your sweet face in the way you do well know. I know tonight, even before
I have written these lines that you have been thinking of these things and are very happy. Kiss
and hug all the dear ones, and with all my love, believe me to be, lovingly and fully your