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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Indian Summer Weather

South Hadley, MA
Nov 8, 1925

From: Ruthy Gray, Mount Holyoke College
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray, 249 Boulevard, Summit, NJ

Dearest Mama,

I just finished writing to Aunt Lena, to ask her if it would be all right for Alice and I to
visit her a little while on Saturday morning. Do you realize that it is ten years since I’ve
seen her or the two youngest boys? Our plans are still rather indefinite for the Yale –
Princeton game, but its something to look forward to anyway — and only a few days off. …

Your letter and check came Friday. I mailed the laundry case Saturday. I hate to
burden you with this extra nuisance but the laundry here is expensive. You certainly must
have your hands full with the added role of chauffeur. I hope next year you’ll get a much
deserved rest.
….
Were Papa and Edward driving today? I might make a pun and say the wind and
the rain were driving also. It certainly is stormy up here — but very warm. We’ve been
having Indian summer weather.

I suppose Kay is very busy setting up housekeeping but I do wish she’d take
enough time from the business of being in love to write once in a while to her poor
lonesome maid of honor. Have you heard from Edith since she was married?  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Family History

 

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Dreamed of the Wedding Friday Night

Katherine and Allan

Katherine and Allan

College Station. TX
October 22, 1925

From: Ethel (Gray) Irving, College Station, TX
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray, 249 Boulevard, Summit, NJ

My Dearest Mama:

I’m not going to let another day go by without a word to you and I know you must be
wondering, not that you have a little breathing spell, what’s the matter with everyone in
College Station. We are all pretty well now but I have been pretty busy with my two
Donnies. Shortly after Donald recovered from his sick spell Donnie came down with quite a
bad cold and Sunday he had a temperature of 102.6 degrees, which had us quite worried.

The old standby — Castor oil fixed him up pretty well though, for by Monday morning the
fever was gone and since then a very runny nose and a little cough is all that disturbs him.
He had been very cross and demands most of my time. I’ve been trying to keep him
outdoors practically all day long, which Dr Black says is the best treatment for babie’s
colds — so I’ve been getting little else done. Donald and I both have little touches of the
cold but dosed up well with some of the pills Papa left us and we found them very effective.
Two or three nights Donnie slept in little cat naps of ten to fifteen minutes so we were up
practically all night with him.

We have had lots of rain and a “Northern” since I wrote last, and it has been
comfortably cool, about like it was last February, ever since. I wish you could have seen it
rain as it did here last week. It literally came down in buckets full. It rained about eight
inches in two days and filled our lake to overflowing so we look quite respectable again.
The tree and foliage are greener than it has been all year. It seems good to be able to look
out and see everything a pretty fresh green for a change.

I haven’t quite gotten over the shock of Katherines & Alan’s wonderful wedding
present — $10,000 is a powerful lot of money to have in your hand at once. Its lucky no
fond Uncle stepped forth with anything like that for me. The shock would have been too
much. I never would have lived to enjoy it. How I wished I could have been with you all
Saturday. I thought enough about you and even dreamed of the wedding Friday night. I
can hardly wait to hear all about it.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Family History

 

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Only An Unusually Inspiring Sermon

South Hadley, MA
March 8, 1925

From: Ruthy Gray, Mount Holyoke College
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray, 249 Boulevard, Summit, NJ

Dearest Mama,

I thought of you and Papa a lot on last Friday which was such a beautiful day. I
imagine that with such an additional welcome you thought that New Jersey wasn’t a very
bad place after all.

I did mean to write to both you and Papa while you were in Texas but I let work put
it off till I thought it was too late to reach you. It really wasn’t as I learned later from Kay
that you were postponing your homecoming. I hope Papa is feeling more like his old self
now and that you are all well. There has been quite a bit of measles around here but I trust
I won’t get them before vacation (or after, for that matter). I have been combating bilious
spells for a week or so but have been able to keep working. Some people think it is due to
eyestrain, but I don’t think it is anything serious.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Family History

 

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Papa Is in a Very Delicate Condition

College Station, TX
Feb 20, 1925

From: Ruth (Barrell) Gray, % Donald Irving, College Station, TX
To: Katherine Gray, 249 Boulevard, Summit, NJ

Dearest Katherine:

I am hoping to have a letter from home when Donald comes in this evening. A week
from now we shall be on our way home at least as far as Houston. I believe our boat
leaves Galveston Saturday the 28th at 5 o’clock. That will be 4 o’clock with you, so you
can think of us at that time. It will be good to be going home for it is a long time to be away
from you all, especially from my little boy Joe. That surely was a nice present he sent to
little Donald and I am sure in a little while he will be shaking it and looking at those funny
faces. Little Donald has been having quite a bit of colic and that has kept his Ma and I
busy, but he has been pretty good nights, all but once when his Pa didn’t get much sleep.
He has two cute little hot water bottles and they help chase the colic away when we put
one against his tummy and the other near his feet. He likes to drink water too and that
helps.

Your pretty Valentine came, mine on Saturday and Papas on Monday. I was sorry I
hadn’t thought to send the boys some until it was too late. The days are so much alike
here it is hard to keep track of the time. We couldn’t get state room D but have E which is
the same, only on the opposite side of the boat.

You will have to hold out money enough from that last February check to do you
until I get home. You will have to let even the light bill wait unless you can plan a way to
pay them with out cramping the cash needs for daily expenses.

Yesterday Papa went to the hospital in Bryan for an x-ray picture of his heart. Dr
Black brought them down today. Papa is in a very delicate condition and has got to be very
careful of himself, but if he is very careful he may live quite a long time yet. The Dr thought
it would not hurt for him to go to Dallas early next week if he takes it very easy. So he will
probably go on Monday and stay two nights and all day Tuesday to see his friends there
and the business he wants to attend to. It is a six hour or more trip. He will leave here
about 12 o’clock noon and arrive at Dallas about 6:35 P M and will leave Dallas for
College Station coming back about 9 A M, arriving about 3 P M Wednesday.
Ethel is playing cribbage with her Papa now.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Family History

 

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Captain of the Ship

1925 College Station Letter

College Station, TX
Feb 15, 1925

From: William A Gray, % Donald Irving, College Station, TX
To: Katherine Gray, 249 Boulevard, Summit, NJ

Dear Katherine:

I have been in bed most of the time since arrival here so there isn’t much to tell you
in the line of adventure, etc. Am not feeling very fit and shall be glad to be back
with you all at 249.

Your letters telling how fine you are all getting along is very encouraging and as
Mama has probably told you we are going to delay our leaving time a week until the
28th, arriving in New York March 6th.

Tell Joe I appreciate all his good work in dressing and undressing and in fighting off
a couple of big muts, and in helping his big sister in many ways. So I am going to see if I
can’t find a small watch to bring him.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Family History

 

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Papa is Getting Stronger Each Day

College Station, TX
Feb 15, 1925

From: Ruth (Barrell) Gray, % Donald Irving, College Station, TX
To: Katherine Gray, 249 Boulevard, Summit, NJ

Dearest Katherine:

It must be about nine o’clock now and all the Irving family are still asleep and
Grandpa Gray also. So I took advantage of the quiet and washed my hair and while it dries
I will write you a short letter.

The Dr was in yesterday and he thinks every one is doing well. Ethel and baby are
gaining in strength every day. Papa is getting stronger each day too but I think the extra
week here, if you can manage all right at home without me, will put him in much better
shape for the journey. He wants to take a day or two to go up to Dallas, probably the end
of this week so the Dr will look in about the middle of the week and look him over and
decide on his fitness for the trip. I think he will be all right if he takes it easy. Every day is
so much alike here, there is nothing to tell about. I told in Joe’s letter of our ride on Friday
afternoon. Last night we played some five hundred “North against South,” as Pa put it.
North was ahead when we stopped.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Family History

 

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My First Little Great Grandson

Ruth, Ethel, Mer (Ruth's mother), and the first grandson.

Ruth, Ethel, Mer (Ruth’s mother), and the first grandson.

Glen Ridge, NJ
Feb 14, 1925

From: Elizabeth (Wisner) “Mer” Barrell, % Dorothy (Barrell) Hunt, 36 Hawthorne Ave
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray, % Donald Irving, College Station, TX

Dear Ruthy,

Your letter was received, and I was very glad to hear from you. I have been waiting
before writing again, to hear from the Holberts, and yesterday I received a letter from
Grace, and I will copy what she says about Frank’s business.

“I have been going to write you for same time, to tell you of Frank’s troubles, for I
knew you would be interested, and also sorry, to hear he had to give up, after all his hard
years of work. He said there was no use of trying to keep the business any longer for it
hadn’t paid since the war, and he just kept putting money back in it, until he was sick and
tired of it, so it had to go. He could have sold the business, but the owner of the building
wanted to raise the rent 50 %, and no one would touch it. We are trying to sell our house,
and then will probably live on the Pelton farm, although no definite plans have been made.
Frank feels lost, and undone, but thinks he can be happy, and contented, on the Pelton
farm.”  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2014 in Family History

 

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