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It Is Sad To Think He Will Never Be Better

Overlook Hospital
Summit, NJ
Oct 10, 1941

From: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
To: Robin Barrell

Dear Robin,

Here I am, awaiting my fix-up tomorrow, and then it will be on the road to normal
again. I am in good shape and spirits to go through with it.

I did mean to answer your letter of Sept 18th sooner, but about that time I had a
slight setback for a few days and had to be in bed for awhile.

I think you did the right thing in taking your father to the Warren Institution. There
they should be able to care for him much better than in a general hospital. It is sad to think
he will never be better. I am so glad he had a happy summer with us all here and was able
to enjoy seeing little Ruthie for a brief time before he was taken away from home. I only
hope and pray that he will be spared from suffering and may go easily when his time
comes to meet again his sweet young wife and all his other dear ones who have gone
before.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 17, 2014 in Family History

 

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More Updates from Ruth

New Providence, NJ
Sept 16, 1941

From: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
To: Robin Barrell

Dear Robin,

I am still with Ethel and will be here for a few weeks more. I am postponing returning
to the hospital, for I am expecting to see Edward and Charlie before the end of the month.
Charley called up from Aberdeen on Sunday where he was spending the day. His ship is in
Norfolk and he is hoping to get some leave next week, but is not sure. Edward is off to the
Louisiana Maneuvers, viewing the tanks, etc., I expect. He too expects a few days leave
upon his return and will be up to see us.

How is your father? I do hope he is better so he may know his family, but at least it is
some comfort to know he does not suffer. I hope he may always be spared that and go
home quickly when his time comes.

I am so glad to remember the happy days we had in the spring together.

Joe has him A.M. rating now and gets $70 per month instead of $28. But the
responsibility has increased also. He has to be completely responsible for five engines,
with about 25 students to be taught the disassembly and assembly, so he was a bit
nervous, for some of the students are dumb and irresponsible, to put it in his words.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2014 in Family History

 

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I Always Love to Hear the Latest News

147 Diamond Hill Rd
R.D. 1 Scotch Plains, NJ
Sep 2, 1941

From: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
To: Robin Barrell

Dear Robin,

I was glad to get your letter of Aug 17th and to hear your father was quite
comfortable after his long ride home.

I hope by this time he is home again from the hospital and recovered from his last
attack of that bladder trouble. He seemed to be feeling so well when I saw him last about
two weeks, I believe it was, before you took him home.

I have been spending a long weekend here with Ruthy and we have enjoyed our
renewed home life together very much. I will be going back to Ethel’s tomorrow and will
probably be there most of the time until my next session at the hospital which should be in
the next week or so. My surgeon has been off on a month’s or more vacation. I am not just
sure when he is expected back in Summit. It was very warm here on Sunday and yesterday
but is much cooler today.

Joe had a nice ten day furlough from Aug 8th to 16th at home, the rest of the time
on the trip. He looked very well. He spent quite a bit of time with me, and also had a trip to
the shore with Ruthy and Ethel’s family. I stayed with Katherine that day. Other trips to
Lake Hopatcong, Wallenpaupack and Staten Island made the days pass quickly for him.

Charley phoned from Provincetown Mass on Aug 11th. He was in Norfolk, Va for a
few hours on the 23rd of August while his ship was taking on supplies. We haven’t heard
from him since. He doesn’t seem to get the mail we send him. Ruthy had one letter she
wrote July 2nd and returned to her. The P.O. authorities seem to have no knowledge of the
good U.S.S. Long Island, though she has been in commission since early June.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2014 in Family History

 

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Such A Pleasant Surprise

147 Diamond Hill Rd
R.D. No. -1, Scotch Plains, NJ
Aug 7, 1941

From: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
To: Ruth Barrell

Dear Ruth,

That was such a pleasant surprise, when Robin stopped in to see us two weeks
ago. I hope he will have the opportunity to visit us again when he is east. It must be hard
for you to have him away so much. This is where your little Ruthie does her bit to keep
Mother company. You must be a proud mother, Ruth, she is such a pretty little girl as all of
her cousins, once-and twice removed or second and third or whatever to call them, agree.
Her Great Aunt Ruthy wishes so much she could hold her close and love her too before
her babyhood is past.

Yesterday I went downstairs for the first time and sat out in the sunshine in the
backyard for awhile. It was fine. I will go out for awhile this afternoon again. We are
expecting Joe home tomorrow for a two day furlough. We haven’t seen him since
Christmas time so you can imagine how happy we all are.

Robin’s father and Aunt Dolly came up with Fred a week ago today to see us. They
were all fine. They had been up to Elk Lake, where Dorothy McCormack and her boys are
vacationing, for the previous weekend and evidently had an enjoyable time.

The weather has been perfect for some time now and we are enjoying each day. I
have a very nice view out of the windows in my room here at Ethels, and can see a
neighbor’s flower garden now gay with philox and golden glow.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Family History

 

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The Years Fly Away

Ruth with granddaughter Thelma, 1941 (Thelma is my mother in law).

Ruth with granddaughter Thelma, 1941 (Thelma is my mother in law).

Blue Mountain Farms
147 Diamond Hill Rd
R.D. 1, Scotch Plains, NJ
June 9, 1941

From: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
To: Robin Barrell

Dear Robin,

I did not mean to let so much time elapse before answering the letter your father
brought in his suitcase or acknowledging the check enclosed. But time flies – with us all
and now I can only say, forgive the neglect, please.

Perhaps you have heard from your father that I am facing some sort of operation for
treatment of an ulcer in the rectum. It will probably be quite soon but date isn’t set yet. I
have had two examinations. I still am living normally but try to avoid fatigue. Your father
will go to Aunt Dolly’s later this week, after Bob’s graduation, and will be making his visit
there while I am laid up.

I think your father seems in better general health than he has been in a number of
years past. His mind seems clear on all subjects and he is interested in all that goes on. I
think there is no doubt of his having a slight stroke at some time, which accounts for his
bent posture and the weakness in his hands, were noticeable when he is sleepy or tired.

His hearing is keen and he is a true artist when it comes to recognizing all the variations of
the bird songs. He has taught all my family much along that line since he has been here.
He does a bit of trimming and even likes to run the lawn mower at times. He is very slow of
course but the exercise seems good for him and he enjoys being helpful. We have all
enjoyed his visit with us and I hope to be able to enjoy more time with him later in the
summer.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Family History

 

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How Proud and Happy Your Mother Would Have Been

147 Diamond Hill Rd
R.D. No. -1, Scotch Plains, NJ
April 28, 1941

From: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
To: Robin Barrell

Dear Robin,

I was certainly surprised and very sorry to hear of all you have been through with
the mastoidal operation to end the list. Very glad to note you are recovering and no doubt
are in the bosom of your family now. And I do hope none of you will have to visit the
hospital for a long time. Of course visit, like Ruthes to come home with a little Ruthie or
sister or brother for her in some future time is not so bad. But no more mastoids and such!

I’d love to see Ruthie, bet she’s cute right now, am sure she is if she looks like her
daddy, for I have the pictures to prove he was a cute baby. Grandpa’s don’t know much
about babies, especially one as you say who has never been very close to a wee baby, for
when you were little after your dear Mother became too ill to care for you, your Aunt Bessie
took over very efficiently and of course your father was away all day. So I am glad to have
you and Ruth tell me all the news about your little girl. How proud and happy your Mother
would have been and somehow I feel brought closer to her again through all these dear
human ties of love.

I had a letter from Charley last week. He will be in charge of the division of
communications on the U.S.S. Long Island, the new name of the ex-Mosmactide being
made over into an airplane carrier. Charley and another ensign Gerald Rahill from
Caldwell, N.J. are now at the Naval Air Station at Norfolk, Va on temporary orders,
studying the general scheme of things, enciphering and deciphering confidential and
restricted dispatches from and to the various airplane squadrons which come in and out.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Family History

 

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Gray Boys

Billy

Billy

Ed

Ed

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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Family History

 

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