You Know Mama and I Have Always Been Very Much in Love

26 Dec
Katherine and Joe

Katherine and Joe

Crystal River, FL
Feb 23, 1920

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray, New Providence, NJ

My Dearest:

My first day’s fishing was not a great success from a fishing standpoint. The day
was cloudy and it rained part of the time. I enjoyed the outing but did not land any fish.
This is not strange however, because I fished for Tarpon only, the tackle and bait being
too heavy for any of the smaller varieties. Imagine for a bait, a piece of a fish called mullet,
large enough for a portion for any human being if broiled or fried. Tarpon run anywhere
from 75 to 200 lbs in weight. There is a picture of one on the envelope. Tomorrow we will
try for Tarpon again, and if no luck, will try for some of the smaller fish with which the river

I received your letter of 19th and one from Katherine of the same date this evening
at dinner time. Katherine enclosed some pictures which I was glad to get.
Mr Massey has retired, worn out from the day’s exertions, and I expect to follow him

This is a typical fishing joint without much of the romantic about it unless a fellow
has his wife with him and was on a honeymoon, first, second or third. There are several
old sports here, some having their wives along. The latter are now busy playing “bridge” in
an adjoining room. A Mr Norton who is here with his wife, sits opposite me at a small table
(kitchen size) writing a letter. He resides at South Orange when at home. I showed him the
family pictures and after saying what a fine family it was, allowed he had one son, married
and 3 grand children. I guess this is the reason he can be here.

Tell Katherine I am grateful for her letter and will try to write her, but the conditions
here for writing are not conducive to easy flowing thought. 

Am glad all are well and for Charlies benefit I will besides sending lots of love,
append a few kisses. Multiply these by one million and then some.

Always your

1920 Crystal River Env

Crystal River, FL
Feb 23, 1920

From: William A Gray
To: Katherine Gray, New Providence, NJ

My Dear little Kittens:

This is a “scrubby” piece of paper to write you the first letter I ever wrote to you, in
acknowledgment of the first letter you ever wrote me.

Am very glad you can find time at school to write me for then I can expect to hear
from you often.

Thanks ever so much for the pictures. I can look at them and not forget what you all
look like.

The weather down here is quite different from what you must be having in New
Providence. Today was not very pleasant. Something like late April in New Jersey. Warm
enough, but showers! This Inn is located on Crystal River about 7 miles up from the Gulf of
Mexico. In our fishing today, we went all the way to the Gulf, stopping at “Shell Island” for
lunch, a deserted fishing island, with two or three shacks on it, all apparently deserted. In
one of these shacks we found a small cook stove and made coffee and fried fish. This
island is right at the mouth of the Gulf and probably gets its name from the fact that the
beach seems to be composed entirely of shells, mostly oyster.

I miss you all very much, particularly Mama. I haven’t any picture of her either. I
wonder if you could slip the little picture out of the frame on my cheffonier and send it to
me. You know Mama and I have always been very much in love with each other, and I like
to look at that picture, because it carries me back to the happiest period of my life. Not that
the present is any less happy, but the years since have brought many responsibilities and
we don’t have the opportunity to be with each other very much.

I started off to say this was a scrubby piece of paper to write you a letter on, but I
didn’t tell you why I am using it. Because it is all that seems left around here and I didn’t
want to go looking up the proprietor to ask for more. Besides, I think he has retired, which I
ought to do. In any event, it isn’t fine paper that makes the letter, is it?

I had some time on Sunday so I wrote your aunt Lilly. This was the first letter I have
written her since she married and went West. I suggested that her husband get a farm in
Florida and raise oranges, peaches, and hogs. I wonder how she will take the suggestions.
I certainly won’t know Joe if he keeps on growing at the present rate. He certainly is
getting wise if he recognizes postals from his Papa.

I simply must stop now as they want to shut up shop here.

Two big hugs and two big kisses to my dear little Katherine from

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Posted by on December 26, 2013 in Family History


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