The Packing of Their Trunk is the Only Work They Have Done

10 Oct

New Orleans, LA
April 13, 1909

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My dearest Girlie, Ruthy:

No letter this morning. Perhaps you thought I would not receive any mail after
Friday last, and that there had been a P.O. delay. In any event you have been more than
good in writing so often. This is the last I can send you, as we leave tomorrow at 10 A. M.

As I was writing you last night, a fierce thunderstorm was raging and the weather
today is much cooler. Almost cool enough for a light coat but I didn’t wear any. We went
through the old mint this morning and saw the process of making money. They were
working on five dollar gold pieces. The mint is a dilapidated old structure, the oldest in the
US I believe, and rather a disgraceful old place for Uncle Sam to be making money in. We
then took a ferry on the Mississippi to Algiers and after looking that “fine” town over
journeyed back to N. O. for dinner. After lunch we took trolley to West end, the Coney
Island of N. O. It is located on Lake Ponchartrain. We have just returned and are waiting
for 7 o’clock to roll around our dinner hour. The natives say that the right time to visit this
town is during Mardi Gras which starts the 7th of January and continues until Lent.

I thought you might have written me Saturday & Sunday, which letters I would have
received this morning and to-morrow morning. Perhaps I have surmised correctly and
to-morrow may bring me 2 letters from my sweetheart.

As this is my last to you I want it to be a nice love letter so that it will answer for a
love message for every day until I will return on Monday the 19th. If I figure correctly you
will receive this Friday morning April 16th. If our good ship has moved according to
schedule, we will be off “Carysfort Reef Light, Fla” on Friday morning at 9:20 A. M., 796
miles on our way. The entire trip is 1968, so we will have gone over one third of the
distance home.

Not having any special business on hand today I have been thinking much of you
Dearest, of the children and home. Of the joys of the past and the sweet prospects the
future holds out. I keenly feel the responsibility of guiding our little ship safely, but with so
able a mate, and such a good crew, what is there to fear? I am very happy with my sweet,
pure, girlie wife. The girlie who had such fine ideals, and who isn’t afraid to face bravely
the responsibilities of true womanhood. Ruthy, dearest, my whole soul and hearts love
goes out to you as the evening descends. My arms are longing to gather you in close to
my heart. Your last letter will have to keep me company again to night. I went to sleep last
night with it close to my heart, conscious that it was Ruthy speaking to me, and my sleep
was a sound and dreamless one. 

Ruthy, am I a poor love sick youth to write you this way? It seems odd after all these
years that we can feel and write all these nice messages to each other. This talk is all for
you, Dearie, you know me and you understand.

I want you to have a wireless love message from me each morning and evening
until I return to you so I will give you below the movement of the ship so you will get an
idea where they come from. The messages will consist of every endearing thought I have
written you plus every sweet and pretty sentiment that lover could express for the purest
and best of all girlies, angel mother and devoted wife.

From N. O.
Friday 4/16 9:20 A.M. Carysfort Reef Light, Fla 796 miles
4:00 P.M. Jupiter Light 921 “
Saturday 4/17 8 A. M. Brunswick, GA 1226 “
4:00 P.M. Charleston, SC 1381 “
Sunday 4/18 12:00 noon Norfolk, VA 1570 “
Song time and bedtime. 8:40 P.M. Cape May, NJ 1837 “
I’ll think much of you then. 11:30 P.M. Absecon Light, NJ 1867 “
Monday 4/19 7:00 A.M. Pier 34 — North River 1968 “

It is 7 P. M. time for our last dinner at the St Charles so I must go down to the dining
room. The boys want theatre again tonight and as it is the last on shore I will humor them
and so will finish and mail this when I return about 11 P.M.

It is 10:55 P.M. We have returned from the “show.” The boys are packing their
trunk. This is another “show.” They brought enough stuff to almost fit out a man for his
wedding. Well they pack & pack & pack & repack, then put the lid down and it doesn’t
come within a half foot of closing; then they have to rearrange their shoes & shuffle things
around, then try the lid down again. Perhaps it is a couple of inches closer this time. They
now stand on it and their combined weight not being sufficient to bring it home, they call on
me, so that with 500 or more pounds stacked on top they are just able to work on the
catches. The packing of their trunk is the only work they have done during the trip.

The play tonight was Dainty Cecil Spooner in “The Girl Raffles.” It was a blood and
thunder performance, but Cecil is quite a clever little girl and it was altogether a creditable

I suppose I shall have to straighten out my things some tonight as there will not be
much time in the morning. I had my collars, socks, & handkerchiefs laundered today. They
do it in one day at these hotels. Give it out before 9 A.M. and it is back in your room all
finished at 7 P.M. Some of my socks should be up for repairs, otherwise everything else in
all right.

Now Dearie, I want you to come very close to me while we embrace and we
exchange one of those sweet sweet kisses. As I lie down to sleep I will have only the
sweetest thoughts of my Dearie. I couldn’t love you more and I couldn’t want you more,
even if next Monday evening were our marriage day, and O how happy we shall be when
we come face to face once more. Remember my love message coming to you each day by
wireless and until Monday Good night Dearest Good Bye. Kiss all the little pets for me, and
with best wished that all are well, yourself included, I am

As always your

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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Family History


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