I Lived It All

01 Feb
Photo of Aunt Lena, widow of Ruth's brother Joseph who died in 1919.

Photo of Aunt Lena, widow of Ruth’s brother Joseph who died in 1919.

South Hadley, MA
Nov 16, 1925

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

Dearest Mama,

It was a great game! The finest I’ve ever seen, I think, and certainly in the most
spectacular surroundings. The weather was perfect except for a terrific wind from which we
were sheltered, being in one of the lower rows of the bowl. We couldn’t have had better
seats — in the center of the field, about the seventh row, right next to the Princeton band
and cheering section. I lived it all — the colorful mass of seventy thousand persons, blue
predominating, the bands and cheer-leaders, and the wild enthusiasm on our side.

Princeton’s man, Slagle, was certainly marvelous (with the help of the whole team),
especially when he made his now famous 85 yard run for a touchdown. It was no easy job
as he by no means had a clear field ahead of him. He started by plunging right thru the
center of the Yale line, in which his supporters had cleared a gap like the diversion of the
Red Sea, and avoided desperate looking tacklers who fairly hurled themselves at him, by
taking a zig-zag course all the way.
Alice and I arrived at Aunt Lena’s without any difficulty in plenty of time for lunch.

Joe wasn’t there but the rest of the boys were. Aunt Lena and Herb went to the game too,
(sitting on Yale side of course) but couldn’t have been very good sports as they left in
disgust before the game was over, just because Princeton was winning. We didn’t discuss
the game much with them afterwards as they insisted it was a poor game and implied that
it was a mere accident, because Yale was demoralized, that Princeton won and even
accused them of discourteous actions which we knew weren’t so at all. However we had an
awfully nice visit with all the Barrells. Alice’s plans turned out rather different than
expected. The mother of the man who was to drive up was taken very seriously ill so that
he couldn’t come, and Alice’s mother and father came up on the train. Her mother’s coming
was a complete surprise to Alice. After the game we were treated to the special Yale –
Princeton table d’loite dinner at the Taft — seven courses and $3.50 per person according
to the menus we kept for souvenirs. Mr & Mrs Dunphy also engaged a room for the night. 

We went to the movies and saw a fine show including “Seven Keys to Baldparte” —
a lightly exciting and entertaining movie I’m sure you’d enjoy if you get the chance. After
having ice cream we went home, arriving about half-past eleven. Aunt Lena had given us a
key. She was at a bridge party (at which she won first prize). Joe was staying at the
college, and Herbert was out with a girl (we met him at the place where we had ice cream
— the girl seemed real nice), so we arrived at a silent house, with Billy & Richard asleep.

We slept in twin beds in Billy’s room. The house was in a general mess as it was being
papered from top to bottom. Alice went in to the Taft this morning to meet her family for
Church and dinner, while I stayed with the Barrell’s till it was time to go to the station (we
all took trains about two o’clock). It was lucky I’d brought money enough for return fares,
having expected to go by auto.

Nice article on the senior Joseph Barrell (Ruth's brother) at the time of his death.

Nice article on the senior Joseph Barrell (Ruth’s brother) at the time of his death.

Aunt Lena had quite sumptuous meals prepared for us (roast duck to-day).
Saturday noon she had a girl to wait on table.

Joe came in for a few minutes this morning. I like Joe and wish I’d had a chance to
talk longer with him. He seems to have something to say that’s worth the saying, in
pleasant contrast to Herb.

Here’s a question — Aunt Lena wants me to come there very much for Thanksgiving.
Of course it would be more fun than staying at college (altho I don’t mind staying) and I
would get there early Wednesday afternoon and leave late Friday afternoon. The fare to
New Haven is $2.53. How does the proposition strike you, Mama dear? — Here’s some
further Glee Club news. We’re adding another concert to our list. …..

Yes, Ethel sent me one of those dear pictures of Donnie. I’m looking at his roguish
smile right now! Isn’t he just bubbling over?

I’ve got to get to bed as I’ve a heavy week ahead of me. There are loads of details
I’d love to tell you but will have to stop with this sketchy outline and wait the rest until I see

No end of love and kisses,


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Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Family History


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