Jan 17, 1926
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray, 249 Boulevard, Summit, NJ
My dearest Ruthy:
Sunday has gone but I don’t want to let it entirely pass without writing you a line.
I wrote Edward yesterday afternoon, practically supplementing my letter to you of
the same day. So that brings me up to this morning. One piece of news before it escapes
me. I got on a scale to night, returning from supper and weighed 158 lbs, a gain of nearly 8
lbs since leaving home. What do you think of that?
The thermometer said 58 degrees upon leaving home this morning about 8:30, and
it has been another fine day, much too warm for an overcoat when automobiling.
A Mr Home of New York and Brooklyn, whom I met in the steamer coming down and
traveled with to Jacksonville, came into town last evening, and after breakfast I ran into
him on the street. I had an appointment to meet Mr Massey at eleven o’clock and in the
meantime, Home and I walked up to my rooming house and between us, consumed the
juice of three oranges and one grape fruit mixed together. Yesterday, I bought a stainless
steel kitchen knife and a squeezer, so I am all fixed to have juice early and often. We then
walked back to town and found Mr Massey.
We dismissed Home to meet him again at 2:30 P M, and M took me home to dinner,
which consisted principally of doves, which Mr M shot yesterday. It was the first time I ever
ate this game, and it certainly was good. Mrs M was very nice and hospitable. Altho she
was sick last year with Brights Disease and has not fully recovered. I told her you were
thinking of coming down and she said she would write to urge your doing it. After dinner,
we went down town (Massey & I), and picked up Mr Home, and then drove to Lake Weir.
This is a beautiful piece of water beach all white sand and orange groves all around. Near
the lake Mr M has a summer cottage on a 7 acre tract, mostly under oranges and
grapefruit. We sat on his front porch and ate our fill of both varieties, and then drove all
around the lake which is 7 miles long and 4 miles wide, and back to Ocala, arriving about
6:30 P M. Mr M again suggested your coming down and using his lake cottage and it
would certainly be a unique experience for you and Joe, if we can work it. The house has
everything in it necessary except bedding, etc, and no doubt they could fix us up with this.
There are thousands of ripe oranges and grape fruit now on the trees and that part of our
diet would be taken care of. There is also a lemon tree full of fruit right at the house. Also
in the yard are guave trees and a camphor tree.
Stopped at the P O this evening and got your letters of the 14th and 15th, also
Saturdays Herald. Am glad Joe is through with the messy operation and no doubt will be in
better health than ever shortly. You mentioned Edward being all right again. Was he sick?
Thanks for sending pipes and tobacco — also cookies. They haven’t arrived yet, but no
doubt will come in good time. I am commencing to like this town. There are and will be for
some time to come many opportunities for a livelihood here which I will write about in
subsequent letters. Mr Home wants me to drive out to Silver Springs with him and it is such
a fine evening. I have accepted his invitation.
Much love to all my sweethearts at 249 and remember me lovingly to Katherine and
Alan and other members of the family as they come and go.
Continue to address me % Mr Massey. I get mail more promptly than I
could by using any other address. There is no house-to-house
W A G
I saw John Badgley’s death notice in Fridays Tribune. Too bad these old laced
marks have to pass. He followed soon after Mer.