Letters to Esther

Letters to Esther is a collection of letters written to Esther Munro of Geneva, Indiana. The letters span from 1900 to the 1960s, with the bulk of them coming from the 1920s.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

February 22, 1919, From Luella

Indiana University
Twenty-Second of February.

Dear Esther:

I have received your last letter a long time ago, but I certainly appreciate it even though I did not get to answer it until now.

We are being put through with work. College life is no snap. But the upper classmen say, after a person learns how to study it is not hard. I believe that, but I wish I could learn how to study. Ha! Upper class classmen can get their lessons in less time, if I had so many lessons and such hard lessons like they have, I could never find time to get them. But they do not seem to study much.

I suppose, you were out late again last night and I never thought about the class meeting at home last night. Oh, yes! You had something Thursday evening also. Your folks still call you in the mornings. Mine do not. Ha! Oh, I hate to be called, but no one calls me now, not even the alarm clock. Down here if the students have no alarm clocks they wear brac[e]let watches to bed and they do not have to get up to see what time it is, especially the boys for they all have them. Grand idea. If you get sleepy in school you must go to sleep like the rest do.

I suppose, you know all about Gladys G. by this time. I do not think I ever said much if anything about her. She has been at home several times but not when you were over. She was to church and Hartford late last summer, if I am not mistaken. But she left early and you would have not seen her if you were there. She came down in our neighborhood quite often last summer with Clair and his girl. Does Clair still go to Portland to see his girl?

You folks must certainly have a rather good basket-ball team.

You must not complain of even your lowest grades for as long as you stay in the 90's you are all right. There are many who get below 90 here. There are many make ups. Every one seems to get good grades at Hartford Central.

Did you get any spanking on your birthday? You believe in spankings, do you not? Ha! Then you ought to have had one. Ha! The students get spankings (with paddles) when they have a smoke up (when a student makes failures); that is I some of the fraternities and sororities--twenty-five licks. The sororities go to borrow paddles for that purpose. Do you remember our discussions on spanking? Well, Dr. Hale says, any one who paddles is fifty years behind (the) time--etc. Dr. Hale had a discussion on paddling in our class one morning. Wish you could have been there; it was to [sic] funny for any thing. Tell Clark, for I believe, he had the same impression of it as you did.

We had our Freshmen election last week and such a squabble as we had. People do not vote for the man at all. Which ever side has the most on beats, this time it was between the organized and unorganized students. Many upper classmen went and voted and some of them were caught at it. Then they had a quarrel over upper classmen voting, but both sides did it.

One P.M. I have done quite a bit since I was writing this last; ironed some, read the letters I received to-day, received company, as down stairs for a dance etc. and had my dinner.

I have so much work I do not know here to begin. When a person has so much to do, they do not wish to do any thing. The girls have been calling me to dance, so I went down for one dance. They will be calling again after while for me. I positively have to write some letters home. The youngsters always expect letters or else they are disappointed but they do not realize how much I have to do still. Talk about being crazy for letters, they are worse than college students.

I have nice music to write to for they are playing the violin and piano down stairs.

It has been rainy out all day to-day. If it is that way at home, Alva will say, we spend it home.

Next Tuesday the (free) Y.M.C.A. shows begin at the Student Building, which are given twice a week. Mary Pickford is on for Tuesday. The movies are always good up there, but I just hate the shows given up town; they are not interesting. I have been going often but we have not had many places to go except there. I have not been enjoying them.

I was down to the M.E. Social last night. Had a fine time. Did not get to bed until after eleven. But most of the "dates" remained here and made fudge. Every one here had quite a time last night. Oh! Yes, we sang Home Sweet Home last night. Imagine you singing it far from home. It changes the expression on the student's faces.

There's an olden Trail, There's a Golden Trail,
Where the birds sing sweet and low;
It will take you back to mother and the long ago;
There's a rain bow too, shining just for you,
It will guide you as you roam;
With the stars above, Watching down with love,
On the Trail that leads to Home Sweet Home.

Have you been watching the styles lately? We students have not time to watch them much, though they are getting them in down here. Spring coats run about $25.00 and hats up to $18.00, and dresses and waists are out of sight. I believe, the long dresses (skirts) are going to be the rage here. Tight skirts and split (so I heard). Honestly everything is so high. All the girls are worrying here as every thing is so high and they haven't the money to pay such prices.

I heard Dr. Taylor speak Tuesday evening. He is simply great. The church was packed and many were turned away and the M.E. church is enormous in size. He is the pastor who has been in France as a Y.M.C.A. worker. He does not act like a minister and is liked by every body. He can stir his audience into sorrow or joy. He certainly has a great gift or something--his audience sits so quiet, a person could hear a pin drop. You know, his wife died of the "flu" while he was in France. But he can just joke and is as jolly as ever. I wish you could hear him once.

I must stop for I have heaps of work awaiting me. Suppose you are having a good time with some work.

Do not know whether we will have any vacation or not. The dean of women, Miss Wells, said we would not. She ought to know. That is terrible. But time will tell.

Write when you can.

February 19, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

Bloomington, Indiana
February 19, 1919

Dear Esther:

This has been a beautiful day; and as far as the weather is concerned, it could not have been much more perfect for a day in February. Never before has there been such a winter; a combination of spring and fall, or might it be summer and winter. I think that when I learn enough I shall find if possible by the method of analysis, just what kind of a chemical compound it is. Ha. On the pretty rolling hillsides of the campus one can hear among the trees, the songbirds singing their sweet songs of love. Campus life is just one pleasant diversion after another, and anyone who does not enjoy it is not getting the fullness of living out of it.

I received your excellent photography and note yesterday, and your letter today. Dare I give you any compliments on the picture? I received several, and one was given by a friend here as follows: "Gee, she is good enough looking to be a Republican". Do you think that that is a nice compliment? Of course I should not permit any remarks to be made except nice ones. Really I may decide to regard he picture as a valentine; although you said you did not send any. Perhaps though, I had better write my most intimate thoughts in French. Then they will puzzle you more. Chere amie, only means, dear friend; and nothing terrible at all, unless you wish to consider it so. I am not serious, however, about my French.

It is certainly fine to hear what a little sport you are becoming to be. Going everywhere and having an enjoyable time. I heartily encourage you, and hope your parties on Thursday and Friday nights are a howling success. I also wish you a good time next Sunday evening.

Speaking of church, I was very intellectually entertained at the M.E. Holy Roller church a few nights ago. They had a religious revival I guess. Have been to the Christian Science church and noticed several pretty girls. Ha.

I hope Mr. Macy does not die. Don't you also? I do not believe I am going to get to come home. Anyway I have received no more instructions. Ha. And there is a report that there will be no vacation between terms. In due time you shall receive my picture. My agents will see to that. Wishing you lots of happiness, I remain,

Yours Truly,
Richard Glendening

[A rough draft of Esther's reply was enclosed in the envelope.]

Geneva Ind
Feb 23, 1919.

Dear Richard:

Well I have had a pretty good time this past week. One diversion, not a party, was a debate or rather a discussion we had in Civics class on woman's suffrage. The boys argued against the girls with Clark on the girls side. Only two of the boys had anything to say because the others believed as the girls did and couldn't agree in a way they didn't believe. It wasn't very spirited in the class but you should have heard us at recess. Clyde Roman's argument when summed up amounted to this: If women were allowed to vote they would also want to hold office then all women would be running for office and would no longer care for their homes therefore there would be no more homes and so he wouldn't have any. That's about all there was to his argument. Of course there's lots of sense to it!

I may have been going a good deal but nothing to equal Clark. Last week he was at basket-ball practice Tue. evening, a game at Bluffton Wed. evening, the party at the school-house Tur eve. and class meeting Fri. A pretty well filled week. I was only at the party & class-meeting. The party about wore me out. I must have made twenty round trips up & down the steps at school that evening helping arrange things for it. I could hardly walk the next day. The evening was spent in dancing, playing games, pulling taffy and eating candy. I didn't have as good a time as I sometimes do at the class-meeting. Perhaps I was too tired from the evening before. We needed some one to liven us up. There were no older people there. Laurel and Velma tried to come. That is, they started but had trouble with the car and at ten o'clock got to Forest Shoemaker's. They hated to ask for a horse & buggy to take them on so stopped there and didn't get to attend after all. Velma was terribly disappointed. I wish they could have come. I suppose now there will be a long time when nothing will happen at least I know of nothing now.

As to my picture you may regard it as a valentine if you wish to for I had hoped to get them in time to send them as such. Was that person who made that remark about me a Democrat or Republican. What am I supposed to be a Democrat.

I am feeling a little bit gloomy or blue so if my letter sounds that way you will know why. You should be here to cheer me up. We were talking of going some where this evening to break the monotony of the day but Clark is sleepy and the rods are so very terrible I guess we won't. In many places in the road holes go clear through the rock. The rainy weather we had this past week has been very hard on them. Pretty soon we won't be able to go over the road at all between Perryville and Geneva.

And so you will have no vacation between terms. I was hoping that you would get to come home thin. I suppose now you won't get to until the end of school.

Do you remember my telling you about the Civics class talking about going to Indianapolis to see the legislature while in session. We are talking about it some more again but I am afraid we can't go for time is very short until the legislature will be out.

February 12, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

Indiana University
February 12, 1919

Chere Amie Esther:

Your letter arrived Tuesday morning at 8:30 o'clock, to be exact. It certainly contained many good suggestions which made me "hungry". Ha. And would you believe it? I had some popcorn Sunday. Mr. House went home last week-end; and his folks, not knowing it, sent him a big box of popcorn cakes and apples. Of course we boys decided that it would surely spoil, so you may guess what happened to most of it. However, he is a fine fellow and we are still alive.

I could not write to you yesterday, on Tuesday, because that is my hardest day. From 2:00 o'clock on, on Wednesday I am free from classes, so I usually write letters then. If my letters do not get there until Friday, then I have been to [sic] late in mailing them in the afternoon. They should get to Geneva the next morning, by my calculation.

So all the young men are going to leave the community are they. It is surely a sad happening. Alas! What will all the girls do? I do not know whether I ever spoke of Gladys or not. She lives at Portland; that is, their home is there. I think you can get a very nice and appropriate program for Washington's birthday. Some of the most interesting and useful games or rather tests are to be found in psychology. That is, the observation powers and the memory being brought into use. That sort of thing is educating also. A person trained to use his or her eyes is an exception, almost. I hope you have a good time at the next party also. I might possibly be at home by that time. Ha! You see I got a notice from the president the other day, asking why I had not been "shot" by the University Physician. I did not, you know. It is a court-martial offence to disobey orders down here. Which means, to be expelled from I.U.

I surely would like to have one of your pictures. I did not know that you had any. I shall give instructions for one of my sisters to give you one of mine, as I have only a very few down here. I do not recommend Sullivan's at all, and I have sworn (?) never to go back there.

I just got back from the mens Gymnasium, before starting this letter, where I was in swimming. They have a very fine pool. We do not have Military Maneuvers on Wed. We had Convocation today for the first this year, a program in honor of Lincoln was given today. Oh, yes, we have to guard our green caps very carefully or the upper-classmen steal them, for relics. I have heard of some possessing as many as six. This college life is the life.

Yours Truly,

[A rough draft of Esther's reply was enclosed in the envelope.]

Geneva Ind.
Feb. 16, 1919.

Dear Richard:--

I've been doing so much chasing around that I am in a whirl. Do you know that since you left for Bloomington I haven't been to a thing until the last week or so? Everything comes at once it seems. Last Friday we went to a basket-ball game at Geneva (a double-header) between Hartford and Berne, and Geneva and Huntington. Hartford and Geneva were the winners both teams winning by a score over two to one. In the Geneva game Carl Striker jumped & ran his foot through the floor up to his knee. I heard a splintering sound, saw that his leg was in a strange position and thought at first that he had broken it. I guess almost every one thought so too. At the same time a truss rod that holds up the floor broke. The floor was four or five inches lower in the middle than at the sides. Since there was a very large crowd there was quite a bit of danger the floor might give way. I was certainly relieved when I got down on solid ground. It was quite large when we got home.

Saturday night Marguerite Bears gave a little party for a cousin of hers, Elmer North, who has just come home from the service. It was about twenty minutes of two when we got home and were ready to go upstairs. And I hadn't studied my S.S. lesson. If I am not used to it, staying up nights goes hard on my constitution. I surely felt "bummy". I slept about half of the afternoon. And then the rest of the afternoon I spent at Reefe's helping make out the program for the next class meeting. It is to be at their place next Friday. Gladys, Alva, Bessie, Willie, Clark, and I made it out and we if have everything we have planned it ought to be good.

I don't like to be slow in writing to you because it makes it inconvenient for you to answer since as you said, your spare time comes on Wednesday afternoon. This should reach you before then. If I had known I would have some open time at school to-day I would have brought some paper with me and written to you here. As it is I am scribbling on tablet paper and will copy this at home. Miss Byerly announced this morning that Ishmael Hank was sick and would not be here to-day so I won't have Physics which gives me two periods free. I just now noticed that it is snowing quite hard. I wonder if this snow will stay any length of time. We haven't had any real winter at all so far.

Is there really any great likelihood of your coming home or was it merely a possibility? It is afternoon now the girls of the Junior and Senior classes are going to give a party for the boys Thur. evening at the school house. We spent the noon writing the invitations. We didn't want the boys to know it until we gave out the invitations but we have had an awful hard time keeping it from them for they know we are up to something and keep peeking thru key-holes and cracks and listening at the doors, trying to find out. That is one thing for me to go to this week and then on Friday is the class meeting, so I think I shall have enough to go to. Then in the evening I was at church at Liberty. Omil, Gladys,and Alva were going and Alva took mercy on my loneliness and took me along to make an even number.

One big piece of news I must not omit is that Miss Byerly was at S.S. I had been intending to ask her but as yet hadn't done it so I was quite surprised to see her, but Tressie wasn't there.

Had you heard that Harry has gone? He went Wednesday morning. At least he told me Tuesday evening that he was going then. I saw him at the Farmer's Institute. That's another place I went last week which I forgot to mention. Oh, yes, I heard that Ishmael made quite a complimentary remark about my English (on exam.) at Teacher's Institute Sat. It came to me by a long route but it finally got here so I suppose from now on I'll have to be extra careful.

Say, what kind of terrible names have you been calling me anyway? "Chere amie" for instance. (Ha).

We made some candy and popped corn again Sunday. Luella sent me a very pretty valentine.

Friday, January 28, 2005

February 11, 1919, From Mrs. Ina Hullinger

Hartford City Ind.,
Feb., 11, 1919.

Dear Friend

As Velma is writing to Esther ai will try to answer your welcome letter. I was glad to hear from you and know we were remembered. You said they missed us. I dare say they did not miss us more than we did them. We have been to three different churches they have treated us fine but they do not seem like Hartford people, especially the young people.

Wonder if you people had the "flu" we heard since your letter came so many around there were having it. Had a letter from Mrs. Shoemaker she said they were having it. We have had quite a time with colds, but did not have the "flu". Neal has an awful cold now but says he does not have time to lay off. It nearly keeps him busy since Laurel is in school.

I think we will like it fine here when we get things arranged more convenient. We have fine neighbors.

How is our class getting along, has it grown any since I left? Do hope we can get back there some Sun. before long, so you be sure to come every Sun. I want to see you.

I guess I cannot think of any thing more to say this time. Will be glad to hear from you again. tell me all the news of acquaintances back there. Best wishes to all.

Mrs. Ina Hullinger.

[ed. I assume this letter was written to Esther's entire family. It was included in the same envelope as Velma Hullinger's letter. I also assume that Ina is Velma's mother.]

February 11, 1919, From Velma Hullinger

I am always glad to hear from you any time you can write.

Hartford City, Ind.,
February 11, 1919.

Dear Esther:

I was very glad to get your letter even if I have neglected to answer it. Having so many to write to I don't' always get letters answered as soon as I should but am always glad to hear from them.

How is everybody around Hartford by this time? Hope all well and enjoying life. It seems like ages since I have seen any one from there thought sure we would be back there for Sunday School before this time but it hasn't been so we could.

How are you getting along with the W.W. class? Will be glad when the class all get back home even if I can't be with them each Sunday will be glad to know the others are all together. What was the attendance and collection of the class last Sunday? Hope you got both banners.

We have been going to Sunday School and church but it doesn't seem anything like going to Hartford although people have been very nice to us. We have gone to three different churches but haven't decided yet which one we will attend. They all seem to want us but of course we can't go all of the places regular.

How are you getting along at school now? Laurel likes his school fine and is getting along fine in everything only Latin is having quite a time with that but think he will come out alright with it. It doesn't seem like he is home very much now having so far to go he starts early and doesn't get home until late.

I had planned on starting to school at Upland the first of January or the time Mazie started but was disappointed in it. I am expecting now to start in March if nothing prevents. Not getting moved until so late I couldn't get ready to go in January.

When and where is the class meeting this month? Are Martin's going to have it Valentine night or has been changed. My, now we do miss those good times. Would certainly love to attend a meeting again and hope we can before long.

I certainly thank you for the pictures you sent.

Esther why can't you and Clark come up and stay over Sunday with us? If we haven't very much room will try and have a good time any way and we would all love to have you just any time you can come it will be alright with us just let us know and come on Saturday and stay over Sunday. Will close hoping to see you real soon.

Ever your friend

Velma Frances Hullinger.

Excuse all mistakes

February 5, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

Bloomington, Indiana
February 5, 1919

Chere Esther:

I had the pleasure of receiving your nice letter late yesterday afternoon. My mail usually comes in the forenoon, so I was surprised to be so fortunate after all. Speaking of mixed letters, I think mine are a very good example. But you must consider that I have a House here in the room with me who talks. And since he is a Democrat, (the only one in the house) we are apt to stop work at any time and engage in a political discussion. Or talk about fraternities, and dates, and things like that you know. Imagine young, Freshmen, college guys, if you please, who are compelled by the etiquette of the campus to wear small green caps with a bright red button on the top of each beautiful, decorative cap. The chief purpose is to decorate the campus.

Since you now have a better question mark than before, I do not like to question you too much; but did you go to the class meeting? I realize of course, that like everyone else, that there is an unknown something present. I was to the Presbyterian services all forenoon Sunday, and enjoyed it all very much. Next Sunday I am going to the Christian Science Church. I may have not understood thoroughly what you said about joining church, so what I do say should be judged lightly. Can you tell whether I am serious or just in a playful mood? Many times I imply several meanings. Just to season a letter properly. But as you say, honesty is the best and only policy to follow.

I had a letter from Alva a few days ago, and he is apparently the same as usual. He said, Clair and Harry did go to Ft. Wayne to work, but came back again. I do not know how soon I shall return.

And being a N.C.O. in this R.O.T.C. is not much to be proud of according to my estimation. Instead of getting a commission. I shall more likely become a private soon. You would not recognize me now, I have become so much lighter. Perhaps my rising is not early enough . Ha.

The ban is removed now. But we are advised to be cautious. Shall I?

I received one of the latest editions of myself yesterday. That I had taken at Portland two months ago. would you care to have one? They were delayed because of poor work. That is why I shall not give you one unless you wish it. It might be an imposition. Ha. I am doubtful.

We are all O.K. down here. I wish you success and happiness.

Yours Sincerely,
Richard Glendening

[A rough draft of Esther's reply was inclosed in the envelope.]

Geneva Ind.
Feb. 9, 1919,

Dear Richard:

Every one is sitting around eating pop corn balls. Don't you wish you had one? But perhaps you are having some thing just as good or better. (Luella wrote sometime ago about the girls making candy and the boys begging it of them. All who asked got some. You may have been among the number so if they treat the boys so well you may be eating some thing now.) I suppose you are beginning to really enjoy your self now that the ban is off.

So my last letter arrived on Tuesday. That was not mailed at the regular time. I have often wondered how long it took a letter to get to you. Tell me at what time this comes. Your letter almost always comes Friday.

You must certainly have interesting discussions & conversations with Mr. House. I'd like to hear one of your political discussions. I wonder if they are any thing like the ones Luella and I used to have. I didn't talk politics with you so much.

Harry told me this morning that he really was going to leave for Ill. & that Clair was going some where. Everyone seems so restless, they want to be doing some thing different, they don't know what but some thing.

I am sorry to hear you are getting thin. I hoped you would stay as you were when you left. (You know you are better looking when fleshy than when thin.) College life must not agree with you. I wish I could see you with that wonderful cap on. You must certainly look like a "college sport" in all those colors. "College sport" is what all the pupils call Ishmael. Do your ears get cole? What form of humiliation is forced upon freshmen girls to correspond to that if the boys?

I, too, have had trouble with pictures and at Portland. I had my picture taken over a month ago and haven't received them yet. I didn't like the looks of the proof so I don't expect to like the finished picture. I really would like to have one if it looks anything at all like you. Would you like one of mine (if they ever get here)? I went to Sullivans. Is that where you went?

I have my grades from the exam. I passed but if Tressie hadn't been extremely lenient I believe I would have failed in Latin as it was I got 93. Physics was very easy and I got 100. So did Murry Holloway. The lowest grade in the class was 95.

(Things passed very quietly last week so far as Ishmael was concerned until Friday night. Friday night the basket-ball team went to Decatur to play Kirkland. Ishmael refereed the last half tho the team didn't want him to and favored the other team so much that he caused Hartford to lose the game. So the members of the team dislike him more than ever. I didn't see the game but Clark was there as sub.)

Yes, I was at the class-meeting. And tried to take the place Mr. Hollinger used to We needed you to go ahead with the games. There was no one there to do it so things were a little bit slow. the class is getting smaller so fast and I hate to see it so. Glady Glendenning was there that evening. Have you ever told me about her? it seems to me I have heard some one mention her name. You have so many relatives scattered here and there I get them all mixed up. Next meeting at Reefe's on eve. before G.[eorge] W.[ashington's] birthday. Want to have W. program but don't know what to have.

It is getting late so I shall bid you good-night and wish you happy dreams.

Sincerely yours
Esther Munro

January 31, 1919, From Richard (Birthday Poem for Esther)

Bloomington, Indiana
January 31, 1919

Dear Esther:

You may be surprised to get another letter from me this week. At least I hope you are surprised to learn that I have not forgotten about February two. How nice it is to have a birthday on Sunday. Is it symbolic? It is with much pleasure that I send a little greeting; and since I can not meet you personally, you shall have to draw upon your imagination when you read the following:

"Reach your hand to me,
my friend,
With heartiest caress.
Sometime there will come an
To its present faithfulness.
Sometime I may call in vain
For the touch of it again,
When between us "land
and sea"
Holds it ever back from me."

I hope, very sincerely, that you do not have the "flu' yet. The ban is set here for a period until Friday noon, February twenty-one. Ha.

"They say, that the good die young", so therefore I wish you a long and happy life".

Yours Truly,

January 29, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

Indiana University
January 29, 1919

Dear Esther:

Amid a series of astounding intellectual blows yesterday, I received your very welcome and interesting letter. College life is just one thing after another, like that Professor Ishmeal said about his Geometry class. Ha. There is enough work always on hand to spoil the pleasure of even writing letters. Today was a very busy day and the pit-falls were numerous, but I have succeeded in saving my life so far. It is now three o'clock. You see I have an hour of English (7a) Composition at nine, which comes however after English 20 (literature) at eight. and of course this comes after I hesitatingly "get up" late and hurry a feeling of blue oppression away. Now going back to the starting point (?), I have French at ten and dinner at twelve. Following this comes Chemistry at one, and Military Science at three on Mon., Tue., Thur., and Friday. We have had two assemblies already. I am a non-commissioned officer ranking as Sergeant Glendenning of Company B. The appointment was due to previous army work. Ha. There are six companies here and the Government will furnish us with new, complete cadet outfits.

I suppose you are still enjoying the rude, unrefined, etc., behavior of those high school teachers. I shall have to ask my sister to explain more about the matter to me. I do not know Mr. Ishmael, but Miss Byerly's appearance is not at all attractive to me. Please pardon me for talking about anyone, (which is not my custom) but I also wonder if she is not a Catholic. Of course you may trust me confidentially; even tho I have no religion.

I did not get to attend any church services last Sunday, because of physical disability. Ha. Do the Presbyterians believe in a pre-destined doctrine? Is we might disagree there, however much I love formality. So you are thinking of joining the Methodist Church at Hartford. Really, I was at first surprised, and then my surprise gave way to mirth to think of you partaking of the Lamb, and the Bread of Life and so on in that particular fashion. I would think no less of you, however; but I might internally injure myself laughing if you should "get it". I have a strong imagination, which might get playfully beyond my control. Would you be joining against your conviction? Or for the sake of the Class and your own? If you "can do it", please do not care what anyone thinks about it. Gee, that is interesting anyway. However what I have said does not mean that I do not reverence religious institutions in my own way.

Do not let those Class Meetings worry you much. You had better have the president put someone else in my place and then I can help you. At present I do not think of anything new, and that ticket business can be worked out by selling two tickets on a certain route to a boy and girl each. Then afterwards, the train is "called off" by the train crier to that certain place. It can be made amusing almost any way.

Yes, I have remembered and thought of poinsettias since "then". I remember how nice an odor they had. They remind me of stones or rocks. Are they connected in any way.? Pardo.

Yours Truly,
Richard Glendenning

P.S. I have forgotten which picture of the cave I sent to you but I think the one next to the opening is Mr. Henry House. The fellow, away a little farther, is Foote, from Auburn. I have some more films in the incubator, so I may be able to send Mr. House to you.


P.S. I have heard that a letter is incomplete with out a postscript or prescript. You said that if I was there you would be watching for a pair of lights. That sounds tragidical. Who is the other guy? So you run them (dates) on the installment plan now. Ha, ha. Have I misunderstood you again? And I shall not write any more French if my letters are made public in order to be read. Ha.


[A rough draft of Esther's reply was enclosed in the envelope.]

Feb. 2, 1919.

Dear Richard:

If I say some things that sound somewhat mixed up it is because I am trying to write and listen to a conversation at the same time. Mr. & Mrs. Whitsel are here now.

It is unusual to receive two letters to my one but my last letter was long enough for two so I didn't receive more than my share after all.

So you are an officer already. How long before you will be a commissioned officer? You surely can't be continuing your army habit of early rising. Do you still weigh as much s you did when you left?

Yes, I am still having to stand the terrible actions of that particular school teacher. His last name I have finally found out is Macy or Macey but all the pupils all call him Ishmael Hank. His popularity continues to decrease. The "kids" are planning on having one grand jubilee the day he leaves. Of course this is a secret. Just about every so often he lays down a new rule. It has got to be now so that the only things we can do in the school house is to play cards and gossip.

We had the semester exams Thur. & Fri. I am surely glad they are over with, but I really am afraid to look at my grades. The only thing that was easy for me was physics. I was surprised to find that exam so easy. I guess all the rest of the class thought about the same. One thing that disgusts me is the cheating that goes on. Examination time is the time to learn the true caliber of a person. So many cheat that I would never have suspected of such a thing: every time they get a chance and then are just as proud of their grade if it is a good one as though they had really earned it. I try to be honest at least.

Last Wed. evening I went to a basket-ball game, the first I have been this school year. It was between our school and Berne, with 1st & second teams. Clark is captain of the second team. Berne's second team & Hartford's 1st team won. Elizabeth, Josephine and I went together.

The candy arrived safely yesterday but I didn't open it until to-day. It certainly tastes good. Not having had any for some time makes me appreciate this more. The folks got me the "dot" for my question marks. It makes it look lots better. I think this birthday was about the liveliest one I have ever had, since the folks went to Lawrence's this afternoon. I invited Sprungers and Josi, Lucile, & Lewis Martin here. Almost enough for a party. We tore around in-doors and out until it's a wonder there is any house or yard left.

Mr. Whitsel stopped early this morning to tell me to be sure and stay indoors out of the sunshine. but I am afraid I didn't carry out his command very well for I saw my shadow several times.

I had twelve in my class this morning. Two girls besides myself,--Josephine & Bertha. The class meeting will be Tuesday evening at Forest Shoemaker's. I don't know whether there has been any program arranged or not. I told Alva last Sun. to do what he could about it, that I would be very busy at school this week. I wanted to see him about it after S.S. but he left at once. In fact he appeared to be in such a hurry that I believe he knew I wanted to see him & didn't want to give me the chance. The following one will I think be on Feb. 14.

Mrs. (Fern) Shoemaker told me that Clair was intending leaving this neighborhood and going someplace else to work. Army life spoiled him for farm work. And also that Harry might go too.

Now as to religious matters. I think the Presbyterians do are supposed to believe in predestination. So you don't agree with them in that? I didn't say I was intending to join the Hartford Church. I said they would be wanting me to. But do you know that it is possible (according to my opinion & that of many others) to become just as true a Christian with out any noise or carrying on as with ever so much of it. It is just according to the persons way. You have not up to the present at least met with any other belief than this at Hartford. There are many others who do greatly differ and yet who are just as sincere. (Have they not just as much right to the Kingdom of Heaven). Mr. Snider said something about the same in his sermon last Sun. I never heard him speak quite the same before tho it was no recently acquired idea with me. Perhaps this is enough of a sermon for one letter but maybe it won't do you any harm to read it & may be some good.

You had better read over that part of my letter about the auto lights. How many cars does it take to possess a pair of lights?

January 26, 1919, Postcard from Richard

Hello: Just to show how romantic is the appearance of the I.U. Campus. The "War" starts here tomorrow.
Best wishes & regards.

[ed. The front of the postcard depicts the Rose Well House at Indiana University. ]

January 25, 1919, From Luella

Indiana University
Twenty-fifth of January, Nineteen Nineteen,
Saturday, A.M.

Dear Esther:

Do you not get tired receiving letters from me probably I am a pessimistic, but I can not write nice letters. Ha! I feel like a pessimist to-day. College students all have their trials of pessimism.

I suppose, you like your new Supt. He must be a college sport, the typical type of college student. N'est pas? did he not belong to the S.A.T.C.? He is more modern than Walker, is he not? I hope, the "flu" gets better there. I do suppose, it seems much like school with so many missing. Did you folks not have exams. yet? When will you have them?

The "flu" must be terrible around there. There are "flu" signs on both side houses, that is on both houses on each side of us. The ban is off here at I.U. There are only a few students in the hospital, and two of the faculty.

You said, all women ought to be trained in some special thing, so they can earn a living. I agree. But do not let me lead you to woman suffrage. For that is what my life has been prophesied to be. Even some people went so far as to say, that I would reform a democrat (?) into other politics. I would do something great, for mother says, "never try to reform a man; it is impossible, you can not make them over." Ha!

We had a basket-ball game with Iowa. You would know the consequences if you would see the sad faces. The B.H.S. went to play a game with, I believe, Evansville. B.H.S. has a fine team, but two of them had the "flu" so I do not know how that game will come out.

Last Friday evening we girls made candy, danced, popped corn, and some of the girls played cards. You know, the ban was on tight last Friday evening. Pres. Bryan said, it would be enforced that night if it never was before. Ha! We partly obeyed. The boys found that we were going to make candy and every one wanted some. They all got some that asked for any. We will make them buy the sugar though next time.

Last Sunday evening we gave toasts after supper. Had much fun, but some had nothing good prepared.

The docter [sic] has been coming up to see a girl here. He does not pronounce it as the "flu" unless it is in a very light form; but still he does not know what it is. If it would be the "flu" we would be quaranteened [soc]. She probably has been smoking to [sic] much. Ha!

Kath wants me to go up town with her so I will stop for awhile. I will make her go up with me this P.M. She will have to return the good work.

I am going to iron some to-day, do some pressing also. So, as you know, I will be rather busy. Did a little washing yesterday P.M.

I am going to try to finish this at last.

It is certainly lovely out this morning, although the sun is not shining. It naturally could not shine here at Indiana to-day.

Did you go to try the teachers exam. to-day? Several of the students went this morning. I ought to have gone for fun and tried my luck.

There is going to be a dancing class held this P.M. I am afraid I will not get to go for I have so much to do. It costs a quarter each time a person goes.

I want [to] go to the Library and study part of the after-noon, I have to go up town, and I do not suppose I will press any until after dinner. It is almost noon now. One thing I did get done, and that was to make the bed. Time always goes fast when I do not want it to do so.

I will have to mail this so it will be sure to go, although you will not receive it before Monday.

With best Wishes,
Luella Glendenning.

January 22, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

403 East Sixth Street
Bloomington, Indiana
January 22, 1919

Dear Esther:

I hope you are better by this time, and that you have not got the "Flu". For then you could not enjoy my letter to the fullest extent. I am pleased well enough with your letters, and since I know that I am one of your correspondents "of quality", therefore I realize my importance. But, are you sure all of your few intimate friends are good enough to very closely associate with? A person is likely to cause the decline of his or her reputation and good standing by such a mistake. Although no matter what sort of a personality is present there are usually a few admirable qualities in anyone. (A bunch of the guys have started a rough house in here so I will change the subject.) I suppose that I am not unquestionable.

It is quite bad that the W.W. class is getting to such a place as you stated. Hardly any numbers, and even the "Flu" preventing a swell time at a class-meeting. If it were not for you what would your classes amount to in interest and sociability? Even my sister does not attend. But you know she can be excused. I wish you the best of success however, in teaching them.

That teacher (man) certainly has individuality, from what I can contrive. Do you still like his methods so well? If you are not careful you will become prejudiced against college and college students. Ha! The professor is a man who has little religion, if any at all, I suppose. About that formality stuff you know, he out [sic] to be a Presbyterian like myself. I guess I shall go to that church this Sunday. I went to the Baptist the last time. they are not nearly so formal as the Methodist's are.

I am enjoying College life as usual. Those English classes are just named that way. I shall explain later perhaps. They are rushing my intellect a little just now.

Really I thought you wished to be reimbursed for due postage. No, I didn't, Mademoiselle; pardo. I was not sure. Anyway you deserve the postage, or I mean the five cents. Did you sell the stamps? With best wishes and all I remain,

Yours Truly,
Richard Glendenning

[A rough draft of Esther's reply was enclosed in the envelope.]

Geneva Ind.
Jan. 25, 1919.

Dear Richard:

That wasn't the "flu" that was bothering me I guess. Just hoarseness. A number at school seemed to be effected [sic] the same way. Though the "flu"is better at school it is worse in our immediate neighborhood. It seems that everyone is destined to have it one time or another. I suppose our turn will come one of these days. Is the "flu" situation improving at I.U.? When does the ban lift?

Did I tell you that the new teacher's name was Ishmael Mason. When I learned what his first name was I couldn't help but think "Poor fellow". How could any parents have the hard-heartedness to impose such a name as that on any defenseless child. It's about as bad as the name House. He has committed no outrageous act this last week. However he did call us down for breaking chairs while playing Wink. (We broke three but they were cheap folding chairs) In speaking about it he told us we didn't play it right and later told the boys that the proper way was to kiss the girls. Someone then proposed they invite him down to show them how. But this was not carried out. Miss Byerly is the one who should come in for the greatest condemnation this week. Apparently she wants to run the whole school. I don't see how Tressie can stand it. I have heard of several things she (Miss Byerly) has done.

Rolland has just been over to see if we can go to their place to-morrow but I don't know for sure whether we will go or if we can prevale [sic] upon them to come here. He came on horse-back with his cap on backwards like a jockey. He certainly is a cut-up. I hope the sun shines tomorrow for then we could try to take his pictures again. I would like some time to get a good one. I think Clark promised to send Kathryn one if ever he got a good one.

While you are making the rounds of the churches you ought to visit the Catholic church if you have never done so. But do not join it. I suppose that's a very necessary admonition. I have never been in a Catholic church but once and that was to attend a funeral a long time ago. So I don't know much about how they carry on their services but I've heard a plenty. Let me know how you like the Presbyterian church or if you can see much difference between it and the others. I wonder if they do like they did in the church in Piper; for you know churches of the same denomination differ quite a bit in different localities.

I can tell you what became of those stamps at last. When I was going to put a stamp on that last letter I couldn't find any in the house so I used one of those you sent me. So you have on in your possession already and may have the other one some day.

Who are the two boys in the picture of the cave? Are either of them Mr. House?

Do you remember the poinsettias? I may have a chance to see some real ones some of these days. Mamma got a little from Aunt Mabel (in California) saying that they grew out there and were very beautiful but had no odor and that she wanted to send us some. I don't know whether she meant cut ones or plants. So I may see some and wish you could too.

Ruth is feeling a little bummy and we accuse her of having the "flu". (As soon as we say that she declares she hasn't any fever and isn't feeling so very bad. Papa is going to get some astor oil anyway. You see we believe in preparedness.

You spoke of the boys starting a rough-house while you were writing. I wonder if they can equal Lloyd and Warren, especially when helped by Ruth and Clark.

Since I didn't get to send this letter when I expected to I think I shall add some more to it. It will then be "2 in 1". (two in one). It is Sunday evening and if you were here instead of there I would now be looking down the road watching each pair of auto lights to see if they slowed up when near our lane. But since you are not here & I can not see you I shall have to content myself with writing to you.

I wish you were here and I could consult you about the class. there are certainly a lot of responsibilities attendent [sic] upon the position of teacher. I am also upon the social committee you know, you and Alva being the other two members. If there at Bloomington you hear of any new game to play, or piece some one could speak, or new way of choosing partners or anything we could do for entertainment please tell me. It would be a great help. when you were here you told me something about a new way of choosing partners by having the boys buy tickets to certain towns but I didn't understand it very well at the time and so have forgotten. There were eleven in the class this morning which is a good deal better than it has been. (Bertha and Raymond are home to stay.) What would you think if I were to write to you some of these times and tell you I had joined the Hartford church? Revival services are to begin pretty soon and they will be wanting me you know. Especially since I am a teacher.

After all we spent the afternoon at Sprungles. We took two pictures. I hope one at least is good.

January 16, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

403 East Sixth Street
Bloomington, Indiana
January 16, 1919

Dear Esther,

If I could proceed to write to you immediately after reading your letter, or when I have a finer inspiration, then I might be able to write a better and more interesting letter. I suppose that you know about the psychological effect of certain things upon the mind. I do not exactly hate to write letters and in fact look forward to receiving some in order that I may write. Of course that greater pleasure may be derived from the reading. I find quite a bit of enjoyment in hearing from you, and in case I desire a message and one does not arrive, then I just read your last letter. A very simple and expedient way to relieve the suspense. Ha, ha. You know that there is a reason for a fellow desiring the friendship or correspondence of a girl in preference to that of a boy or young man. It is according to laws of youthful life perhaps. If she were not you it would be somebody else.

Yet I do not believe that it is at all a wise thing to confine one's self exclusively to friendship of only one other person. This may apply to both men and women, that is young people. To get the most out of life, the circle of friends must not be too small and narrow. experience and a broad view are valuable assests [sic] and the earlier gained the earlier they can be used to a useful advantage. Youth can not be too serious.

I do not know how long a letter I shall have written if I go on at that rate. Ha. You do not have time enough to read perhaps, with all your studying to do; and teaching. And that reminds me, you ought not get lonesome with so many boys all to yourself at Sunday School; and then that new, good-looking teacher of science at the High School. Interrupting the point I began to write upon; I suppose this new college guy? proffessor [sic] has bumped his head on "something" and "passed away" already. The other one soon "fell by the wayside" you know. Really I am surprised at Tressie. Do you really think it awful for a girl to run right into a fellows arms? By accident, you understand. Now I shall go to Sunday School once more. As our religious views are slightly inconsistent I shall not say much, only that I wonder how they (the boys) all can get their mind entirely upon their lessons long enough to recite.

I have gone to church twice since coming here to this college town. Both Sundays, you must realize. I intend to try a new type of religion next Sunday by going to the Presbyterian, or Christian, or Baptist, or--, there are all kinds of churches here tho, so it is no use to name them all. I went to te M.E. previously.

there is not much doing down here now because of a very strict "Flu" ban on the University. We are not allowed to go to the movies, pool-rooms, ice-cream parlors, have any gatherings or meetings outside of regular classes, go home without the consent of the deans, and worst of all have no "dates" for a period of ten days and perhaps longer. The situation is improving somewhat tho; due, you know, to all these stringent rules. everybody who has not already been shot are to be shot by sunrise to-morrow morning. It is a sad and grewsome [sic] business to attend college.

So you think that a person going to college is in danger of procuring a big-head. Really they do pound all they dare into a persons head. Taking myself for instance, at 8 o'clock they take the mallet (a fabulous mallet having many sides and upon one side Chemistry and another French and so on) and give me a terrific (English 20) blow upon the head. After a ten-minute period they turn the mallet over a little and I get an English 7a blow; and so it goes everyday until 2 o'clock and soon may be 4 o'clock. Is it any wonder if a swelled-head is common in College? Perhaps, since the pressure is lowered, that your new professor will decline. I am inclined, that to some people education (that is a very little) may react in that manner, as you stated.

I, too, can appreciate the "unknown" when it comes to finding it out. Ha. how imperceptible far the affairs of even humans. But I am a cave man. Alas! A mere man.

And I can prove my statement by telling you of my visit to a cave last Saturday afternoon. First of all, I have a (Mr.) House for a room-mate. And I live in a house owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Mayfield. (Aged people; he a Civil war veteran and a good Republican) So, House and I and three other boys from this house went to visit the famous Mayfield Cave. (4 mi. out) It was quite a walk and adventure. With lighted candles we spent two hours in the cave, and after crawling and squeezing our way through openings and mud and water for that length of time you may imagine our appearance upon coming back to town. Of course, it was dark but we came up the back streets just the same. I made my uniform look swell, I may say. Results: A live bat for the zoological department, lot of stalactites and stones, and an expense bill of a nice little sum for cleaning and repairing clothes. Of course the experience was free. I shall write more next time unless I am requested to.

Yours truly,

P.S. Please find enclosed two stamps for postage.


P.S. My formality has suffered quite a bit, has it not? Hence such a letter. It surely does look bad. I try to prevent apologies, but I shall be more careful next time. (Ha?)


[A rough draft of Esther's reply was enclosed in the envelope.]

Geneva, Ind.
Jan 19, 1919.

Dear Richard:

I was certainly surprised when,

"I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines. I am well and hope you are the same." Only that last statement is not entirely true for I have a cold right where my voice is made (whatever that is called) and I sound more like a frog than any other thing else. Clark is barking like a dog. So you can see we have quite a menagerie. Otherwise we are ll right.

I hope your other correspondents are a little better at writing letters than I. If they are not I do certainly feel sorry for you. After I write a letter I never want to look it in the face again. I am certainly glad I don't have to correspond with myself. That would be torture unbearable. I, too, sometimes have moments of inspiration but never when I am ready to write. Inspiration flies as soon as I take a pencil in my hand.

You are surely getting to be religious, to think of having gone both sundays. Ha. You have a fine chance of studying all styles of religion. But I imagine you would like the Presbyterian best since it I think it the most formal and you are quite formal. I am afraid there won't be any W.W. class left when you get back for there were only four beside myself in our class this morning--Clark, Menno, Willie, and Harry. There were only twenty-one altogether. Not only at S.S. do I have boys all to myself but at school for two weeks I have been the only girl in the Senior class. So you see I have had my fill of boys' company. As to that wonderful professor, I will have to tell you some things he said. Once he defined Geom. as "One darned thing after another". In Physics class something didn't go right and he said "What the deuce is the matter?" What do you [think] of that for a professor? I suppose he learned that in college. I had worked out the problem part of an experiment and was asked to put it on the board. the answer result didn't suit him but neither he nor any of the others in the class saw the mistake. Later in the day he found it. The next morning he greeted with "Personally, I don't think very much of your figuring." Of course such sayings as these would make him loved by all the pupils. He may not be quite so intolerable after we get used to him. Miss Byerly seems to have suddenly become of great importance since this young man came. One would think she was the superintendent. It makes me "mad" to see her put on airs. Of course part of this may be imagined but I don't think so.

I believe I told you that the next class meeting was to have been at Forest S. Tuesday, but they have the "flu" now so we have postponed it indefinitely. I was over at your place a few minutes this afternoon to see Tressie about what we should do. It seems strange to be at your place and not see Kathryn, Luella, or you. I hope it will not be necessary to keep that ban on much longer with those terrible restrictions.

I was quite surprised when I opened the letter and out fell those stamps. For a little bit I couldn't imagine why you sent them. Those stamps fell off after the letters had started so they came on the rest of the way all right. I never thought of your misunderstanding me. What a time we do have understanding each other! So I am five cents ahead--five cents that I don't know what to do with!

You may write much more as you wish for I can surely find time to read all that you have time to write.

Probably having a large circle of friends will broaden one's mind. However since I am not very adept at making friends my circle is rather small. And my correspondents can almost be numbered on the thumbs of one hand.

I wish I could go ahead and write about nothing (like you do) then I would never need to send any empty space.

January 13, 1919, From Justine

Bluffton Ind.,
Jan. 13, ‘19

Dear Esther:

I don't know when you can expect me back. My tonsilitis developed into Scarlet Fever so Lorin can thank his lucky star that I didn't go back with him because he would have had his hand full, I was surely sick. I think it was real luck that I took sick when I did. Geraldine also has the fever but none of the rest have taken it. We are quarantined now, when Dorothy had it they didn't quarantine us. I don't know how long they'll keep us penned in. It's bad enough to be sick but is worse yet when you can't have any company.

Papa wrote to my instructors, telling them why I'm out of school. Dr. Stout, Mr. Telfer and Mr. Fulton answered and said I should not worry about my work, they would help me make it up. I'‘m not going back till I feel real strong because it will take a pretty good effort to climb to Geology every morning.

You mentioned moving, go ahead, it will be alright with me. I like their room about as well as ours and it is much warmer.

I'm hoping William doesn't get sick, he hasn't showed any signs yet. His class play is in about two weeks, he can take his part alright if he doesn't get sick, of course he enjoys the quarantine.

We have quite a bit of snow here. I'm crazy for a sleigh ride and intend to have one before I see I.U. again. Please excuse this pencil, my fountain pen has gone bad. I'm also out of envelopes and have no way of getting any.

Give my regards to all the girls and to Mrs. Carter and family. I hope Drusalia is better. Hoping to see [you] soon I am

Your room mate

Thursday, January 27, 2005

January 10, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

403 East Sixth StreetBloomington, Indiana
January 10, 1919

Dear Esther:

It is hard to say just exactly how many more days it would have taken to turn my hair as white as snow. But since I am occasionally lucky, such a mournful catastrophe was presented, for I received your welcome letter this forenoon.

I fear, that that dynamic, scholastic, attractive young warrior with the red, white and blue chevron upon the sleeve of his army uniform, and having such as long nose, white pompadour, and wonderful power of bestowing good physics' grades, upon being deeply impressed by a pupil's first recitation is class, has caused wonder and inconsistent ideas to spread ever so far as Bloomington. No doubt your school will be on the map from now until Doom's day.

Are you thinking seriously of resigning your present office? Of course you are not for you would not do such an awful thing for my sake. Ha. I shall then try to overcome my fallacy and write decent letters within a few weeks at least.

And won't you, the mysterious, please tell me how I am to form a right conception of "what I don't know"? Am deeply interested, I assure you.

Do I like college? I do not answer. Education? I do not know. "There is about the same number of old men that believe in hair tonics and the same number of young men that believe in women's promises as ever." Mon Chemistry est dans le livre. I also study English 20 and English 7. The Military science and tatics [sic] is compulsory. Ha. I am down here only for the fun. Alas! Such a sad irony. That young man rooms right across the street from me and eats at the same club, where Kathryn and Luella eat also. I could write volumes yet, but you like back views, so I hate to spoil the back side of the paper and another sheet will not go into the envelope.

Sincerely yours

P.S. Present and prevailing conditions cause me to unceremoniously write here. I intend that this reach Geneva soon enough to present a delay here. Nothing important however. I shall write more next time.


[The envelope contains a rough draft of Esther's reply.]

I received your letter in record time. I would not have got it so soon if it had not been that papa was in town Sat. afternoon and called for the mail. Otherwise I would have had to wait until to-day.

You must have a special stand-in with the mail authorities between here and Bloomington for the last letter had no stamp when papa got it from the post office and the other only had a one cent stamp left on it. I wonder if I could send letters with out stamps? It is a good thing my letter arrived as soon as it did for it would be terrible for your hair to have turned grey this early in your life. It would seem if you are ever to write long letters to me you either will have to get thinner paper or larger envelopes or else write on the back side of the paper.

All my description of that sub teacher was wasted for, as you have probably heard, he is not going to teach after all. He couldn't teach Physics so couldn't take the job. One man who is to have the position took charge to-day. He is a young man probably a year or two older than you, & very tall. His dress is made in the very latest style. He too wears his hair pompadour. He has a much better complexion than any girl in H.S. I don't think he could have ever been in the army or he would have more tan on his face than he has. The whole school is mad at him because of the way he started in. O, you should have heard all the things said about him. That is the girls. I didn't get a chance to hear as much of what the boys had to say. I believe they vied with one another to see who could say the meanest things. Though they were so mad at him they did have to admit he was good looking. His name is Mason or Macey, I'm not sure which. Tressie ran right into his arms in the door of the assembly this afternoon. Did you ever think she would do so terrible a thing? He walks so fast it is a wonder she wasn't hurt, however I believe there were no serious results.

I had to make a great big mistake in a very simple problem in my first Physics recitation. I believe in giving lots of tests so I see some hard work ahead of me.

I have had none but boys in the S.S. class since you folks left. Eight last Sunday and seven a week ago.

I heard that Marie, Raymond and Mr. Felber had the "flu". And that Nomen S. had it too.

I notice that the greater part of this letter is about that new teacher but his coming is the only thing at all out of the ordinary that has happened for ever so long. He gives one the impression of being somewhat big-headed. I suppose that is because he is from college. For pity's sake don't you let college effect you so.

Don't you think you can "form a right conception of what you don't know" about me. Well as I can "appreciate the unknown because I am somewhat a mystery myself"? You see it appears I am not the only mysterious one. In what I said the antecedent of "what" is "mystery" and mystery refers to me. That's what you said I was.

January 2, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

403 East Sixth St.Bloomington, Ind.
Bloomington, Indiana, Jan. 2, 1919.

Dear Esther:

If I never receive an answer to this letter then I shall know that you disapprove of me and such intimate terms that I dare use when far away. Perhaps you know the reason for that. It is natural for young men to be sort of optimistic in their companionship with those who are the attraction of the human race. Of course you understand what I mean and at the same time not taking too serious a judgement of anything. I hardly know how to talk or express my thoughts to a Sunday School Teacher. Really I look upon you with awe and amazement in that respect and may perhaps do likewise in other ways also. And all "affairs" with me are personal because of the respect and courtesy due you. I am writing under different circumstances than I ever wrote to you before. Ha! And I hope you are appreciating the unknown for you are somewhat a mystery yourself. Hoping to hear from you soon.

Richard Glendening.

[The envelope includes the rough draft of Esther's reply.]

I am afraid you will be thinking by now that you are not going to get any letter from me. I really meant to answer your letter last night but didn't so now I am writing at school. It is in the afternoon, fifteen minutes before recess. If my being a S.S. teacher is going to make it so that you won't know how to talk to me perhaps I had better resign. (Ha) I ought to have had you teach one time before you left then we would be on the same plane so far as that is concerned. I would have asked you to if you hadn't left so soon. You were here such a short time. I was hoping I would have your help, advice and criticism to help me along in any new office but you see I was disappointed.

As to being a mystery perhaps I am and maybe you are also.

Recess has come and passed yet we are not having Latin because the new superintendent has just arrived. He came just before recess was over. Everyone acted simply crazy when the news was carried upstairs that he was here and in the lower hall. The curiosity of all (the girls at least) was keyed up to the highest pitch. It seems that no one here had ever seen him. There were all sorts of conjectures as to what he would be like. I heard some time ago his name was Jayburg. As soon as they heard that they of course changed it to Jaybird. I caught just the faintest glimpse of him from above as he came in the door. All I know is that he was dressed in a uniform which had some sort of symbol on the sleeve in red, white, and blue, and that he had light hair combed pompadour. Some one said that some-one else said that his nose was about so long and then measured a distance of eight or ten inches. He was the cause of my not writing to you last night for I expected him to be here this morning and wanted to be as good as possible. Under ordinary circumstances I would have let the lesson go and would have written.

Yesterday was Mr. Walker's last day. Just before dismissal he made a speech telling us about the legislature and gave us an invitation to visit it while in session. Since the senior class studies Civics this semester I thought it would be nice if some time they could go there in a body. I mentioned it to Lloyd Keller--he is the only senior here except myself--and he thought it would be nice so it may be possible that we will do such a thing. I do hope we can. Since we know Mr. Walker we might get some special privileges.

Miss Byerly taught most of Mr. Walker's subjects but she didn't want to try Physic's so he told her to tell me to teach that.

You said it seemed as tho you might as well take up military science for a life work since it is thrust upon you at every turn just so it seems that I might as well take up teaching.

Well I am home again and have some more things to say about that man. Everybody was heaping maledictions upon his head because he left about three minutes before school was dismissed with out ever having put in [an] appearance. I haven't heard one single favorable thing about him. I am anxious to find out what he really is like.
Yesterday there were only about half of the H.S. students present. All the rest have the "flu". There were two or three back again to-day. I hope they will all be back soon so things will get to running right.

Another thing I wish to tell you is that there were only seven (all boys) in the S.S. class Sunday besides my self. Clair is home. He got home early Sunday morning & was at S.S. when I saw him.

And now some questions. Do you like college? What studies do you take? How far aare you from the girls? Have you seen that boy you knew? Are you any way near him?

A large part of this letter seems to be about the new teacher but if you had been there and seen all the excitement his arrival caused you would understand.


[I knew I had a large stack of letters from 1919 stashed somewhere, but I couldn't find them when I started this transcription project. I finally remembered where they were last night and transcribed a couple of them. The problem is how to inter-file them. I could insert them in chronological order, but that will put them toward the end of the blog, so they might be missed. I think what I will do is place them at the top of the blog for now. When I get caught up chronology-wise, I'll shift them to the bottom where they belong. So, we shall now take a temporary trip even further back in time. To set the stage, Esther is in her senior year of high school and Richard is in his freshman year at Indiana University.

Also: My apologies to those who are dying to find out what happens with Esther and Richard. Since I haven't read those particular letters yet, either, I know no more than you do. Hopefully it won't take me long to caught back up, so we can see how things turn out.


May 31, 1920, from Mamma

Geneva, Ind. May, 31--‘20

Dear Esther--

This is my last letter to you now, I hope. Thought I’d let you know that Millie Reffe told Clark he could go. So make room for him if you can.

I went over to Glendenings a few min. yesterday P.M. to see if either Tressie or Mrs. G. wanted to go along. Did not get to see Tressie but Mrs. thought it was too early to suit her (Tressie) & as for herself she thought she could not stand such a long ride. If the weather does not turn bad I think you will see me. Now don’t expect too much of me while there for you know I can’t do much of that "going" and walking fast & etc. either.

Justine & Geraldine are both going to school down there next Fall, so Clark says. I do not know what time of the day you will see us but we have planned on Wed. A.M. but will drive slow, but if it should storm badly then we would not go till Thur. Will try to bring some "eats" with me.


March 5, 1920, From Richard

La Fayette, Ind.
March 5, 1920

Dear Esther,

I'm sorry to disappoint you so much for not using a new salutation this time, but I have been too slow in learning that new language. How do you wish me to salute you? Perhaps it would be easier not to learn a new language of words when kissing should be used for the universal language of love. You know it is everywhere the same, understood by all and practiced by selected individuals. Ha! New York university girls have decided that kissing is "safe and sane". How do you agree with this; "Nonsense! A kiss that is safe and sane isn't a Kiss--it's just a duty!" But alas, I'm too far away to be of any use and it seems so cold here too.--Now, what is it that you want to scold me about? Is there ever any possible chance of me seeing you angry? Would I ever "live" to see you the second time? Are you in a fanatical mood because you think I may be going with too many girls? Really, I have not quite severely abused my opportunity, although I must admit that it's too lonely up here without a "light" to inspire and entertain me.--I promised to tell you about the show "A Minister's Wife's New Bonnet" didn't I? Well I had a very pleasant bit of entertainment that evening. My old friend Judson (I.U. again.) played the minister, Roomie's girl played the part of the ladies sewing circle's disturbing element. The trouble arose over who should furnish the hat for the preacher's wife to wear to the convention. Each member had a different idea. The play was a musical comedy and contained some clever song hits and various sketches.

Last evening I went to the Home Concert of the Purdue Glee Club and there was to be found a fine two and one-half hours musical assortment of the most popular songs, music and "jazz" band pieces. Tonight now, I am going to remain outside the high flying social activities of Purdue University.--Surely sometimes I long for a time spent at Purdue ere I came from I.U. With hopes that any thing new in this letter will please you, I am,

Yours as ever,

February 29, 1920, From Mamma & Ruth

Home. Feb. 29--‘20
Sunday--7 P.M.

Dear Esther--

I wonder what you are doing tonight. I have been thinking about the house (to be) so much I am sick of it. How I wish I might talk on P.M. with you. You know papa will never "talk over" anything with me. So I get at Clark (when he is at home and not asleep) occasionally. I might write to you even about some things; but the plan is with the carpenter & no one knows the width or length of anything with out it. And we heard yesterday that his wife (the carpenter's) had Scarlet fever, and they are quarantined. I think it is true for there seems to be a good deal of scarlet fever in & around Berne. Papa got a letter from Ben Pearson yesterday & he said they had scarlet fever measles, flu, & small-pox in & near Van Wert & some pneumonia cases, not the kind that follows the "flu".

Clark has quite a cold. I greased him good last night with Vix [sic] salve & he appears better this eve. They went to Decatur after all & were beaten 15-19. Clark said he never saw a more unfair game. Decatur beat Geneva bad also Monroe, and they were all sore at the referee, even Geneva was hot at the way they treated our boys. So you can imagine about how our boys felt about it. The District meet will be at Bluffton next Fri. & Sat. Clark hopes he will be over his cold by that time.

Papa took Mr. & Mrs. Whitsel over to Bluffton to see Justice. His wife's sister was married again last evening at Justice's. She has been divorced and is only 25 yrs. old now.

No, we have not sent away for garden-seed. I don't know why Clark don't send for it. I do not know when they will begin on the house, as the carpenter is quarantined & papa can't send for lumber until he gets the bill from him. But we are not caring so very much, until Papa makes a trip to Paulding to settle with Mohr & Goodwin about Cecil property. He will go over next Wed. when that is all settled we will "do" something, if we can get any one to do.

Papa went to Ft. Wayne yesterday and while there got Lloyd a pair of suspenders and My! if he wasn't tickled. He sewed bottons on one pair of pants yesterday & one this A.M. I did not know anything so common could make a kid so happy. I suppose just 4 weeks & two or three days from now you will be home. Will you? Now be sure & tell me if you have left the club or not. I ought to write several letters tonight but ‘spose I'll not. Some of these times when it is warm enough in dining-room I'll get my ink and pen out and write you a decent looking letter on white paper. As it is, I just sit and write wherever it is warm and light enough.

Ruth said she would write some to you so I'll "close" and give her a chance to use her "English".

I heard through Ruth today & she heard at S.S. that Lehman's had some sickness there. She did not know what. I am anxious to know for they went to Berne so much it is hard to tell what it may be,

Bye bye--Mamma

[From Ruth.]

Hello Esther. Clark was telling me how easy we could take the district meet. Mamma and Clark were looking at French windows and doors so if you see some why just kindly picture your house having those doors and windows. I have been He! he! ing and ha! ha! ing about all evening. I know one time or the last time we had a birthday dinner there was some scalloped potatoes. So us D.S. girls only I suggested it to put salt and pepper in the potatoes. I said this because they were talking about putting poison in them. I will simply have to write to you when I do not have to go to bed so soon. Good -nite.

Your sister

February 26, 1920, From Mamma

Home, Feb. 26--20 (Thurs. Eve.)

Dear Esther--

I had intended to send a letter to you today, when I sent your clothes off in time & write, too. Your package did not come until Tues. M. then I washed Wed. but it turned off so cold and storm that I had to dry every thing in the house, and I had a big washing too. You see with no stove in dining-r. Now, it is harder to dry the clothes in the house than it was. So I have hustled your union suits so that I scorched one of them some. I sent the ragged one back to you just because you did not tell me not to, not because I thought it any good for anything. Surely not all of your hkfs [handkerchiefs] are marked, for I counted them when taking them from bag & there were 14. But when I ironed them I saw only 10 marked so I just sent you some that were not marked. I didn't have time to patch the apron, so pinned a piece of gingham where it should be sewed. You see I hustled your clothes back to you as soon as I could for I was afraid you would need a union-suit. It has been quite cold today and yesterday.

Clark has gone tonight to the Co. meet at Decatur. I told you before about Decatur recalling the meet. Well, then told you about Mr Willis writing to them. Decatur sent word today to the boys that they would have it tomorrow & Sat. I don't think Clark wanted to go very bad. His throat was sore and it has been so cold. I am very anxious for them to win, especially because I do not think D–. has acted fair about it. It doesn't seem to me that Dec--. has a right to "boss" the whole thing--to have it or not to have it at their bidding. Well, I hope Clark does not come home sick, any how. No school tomorrow.

I do not know how Berne was quarantined. I saw it mentioned in Geneva H. just as I told you. I do not know how a town can be quarantined.

Ruth, Warren, Clark & I have been drinking sassafras. Got a nice lot of bark of Long's. Lloyd will not drink it.

Say Esther, has Luella & Katherin had the "flu" recently? Clara told Mrs. Willis that they had. Flora & young Willis have been quite sick down there. I just wondered if the girls had it & you never knew it. Ruth heard Clara tell Mrs. W. I do not know of any sickness around here now but Uncle James Glendening. Well, I have misplaced your last letter I think. I went in the room & brought out a big bunch of your letters; but the last one is not among them. I wanted to ans. your questions. Will have to depend on my memory. So far as I know now, Drusela may come home with you, Ruth said she would love to have her some, but that is planning quite a ways a head. I think when we build that this house will have to be moved from this foundation (probably west) and the new one built on this site. We just got a book of plans from Gordon Van Tine of Chicago today. I have not had time to look at it yet. I do not think you need to worry about dress goods a great deal. I think it would be a relief to me if you would "make over" some of the dresses we have on hand.

I am getting some sewing done. Have made Ruth three white middys & a red worsted skirt & plaid gingham skirt to go with them, me a dark every day dress, & have cut out a waist for Lloyd--altogether I have made him 3 waists.
Have you left the club? I had room enough in your clothes bag to have put in some eats. Shall I send you "food" from time to time or shall I not. You must tell me. I forgot to tell you that I made those doughnuts on Mon & hustled like fury to cool & pack them. Then papa took them out to mail box & no one came then he took them to town & post office was not open. So they had to wait till Tues. A.M.

Well, good-night, with much love from--

February 25, 1920, from Richard

At the Gates of Dreamland

Dearer Esther,

How can I explain those secrets to you when they are the keys to the mysteries of life. True enough it is often difficult to define the exact meaning of a letter for they are a very poor way to the achievements of facts or satisfaction. I do not wish to cause you any worry, to displease you, or to produce any sadness even of the least bit; but as for causing anger I care less. I never yet saw you in that dangerous mood and the threat of it consequently does not worry me. No. I do not believe it is "predestined" that you should "lose your head", especially over nothing much. I don't like to admit that I am worthless; but I surely am not capable enough to meet your requirements. Anyway it might do me good to see you oftener and thus keep in an apparently good alignment. Has it not been said that "absence makes the heart fonder"? If that is true then I am all right after all; but there are likely to be variations to any rule.

You spoke of the vacation next summer as if in doubt about a good time, so let me advise you to continue your optimism as you have previously done. Concerning myself, I'll have to work next summer and a good time will be placed second in importance. Nevertheless I'll no doubt gratify all of my pleasure loving desires and enjoy myself some where. In relation to expecting bright things I might relate this little incident. about a week or so ago I went into a barber shop and had waited for my turn nearly three quarters of an hour when just at my goal I recalled the fact that I had not enough money for the bill. At least I thought so. Not to be bluffed out tho I went through the "ceremony" and fixed up all sorts of schemes to avoid embarrassment. When finished I calmly walked over to the cashier, laid down my check, reached into my pocket to see what happened, when my hand came out. What a happy surprise when among the collection I discovered the required amount! Things are not half so bad usually as one imagines.

Esther, how about this, I saw Purdue wallop I.U. tonight and finish a score of 31-20. A great game. Friday night I'm going to a "show" "The Minister's Wife's New Bonnet" given by the Queen Esther circle at the H.S. Aud. Shall tell you about it afterwards.


February 24, 1920, From Mamma

Home. Wed. Eve.

Dear Esther--

I am sending you those samples. I could get no Khaki, Duck, gaberdine or Ratine, or batiste at Filer's. The Palu-beach may be wool. I do not know & the Kindergarten is called "Kiddy Cloth" in the catalogue but I think it is a sort of kindergarten material. I have names on all but the kindergarten & that is the striped black & white. I so far have found no batiste in the house either nor at Filer's.

Mr. Spaar has not forgotten you. We have a package of religious literature here we will send you for I know you want it.

Thur. A.M.

Martin's are butchering Papa is down there & I may go yet for dinner, but know I should be busy here.

When do you need to pass in those samples? I may have time yet to get more at Carter's or some where else.

Well, I must get busy.

Nothing has happened since you were here, so consequently nothing to tell.

Bye bye, from

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

February 22, 1920, From Anna Ralston

Piper City, Ill. Feb. 22, 1920.

Dear friend: Such a long time since I rec'd your card that I am almost ashamed to write now but just remember that "Miss Anna" is a busy woman.

I am glad to hear of your school life. I am still here at the "old stand" and still teaching young ideas "how to school". My school is large this year. Keeps me busy but very pleasant, and with home duties, scout work and church my time is all taken up with an occasional relaxation of "nonsense" I am quite contented. A good deal of sickness here & some deaths. I lost two days last week from a "flu" cold but rallied with no longer time lost. How are you all? You must come back to Piper some time and visit. We will have some pavign this summer on our street, north & south, for part. Pretty expensive now but–well [...] as the head. Write again. Regards to all.

Anna Ralston

February 22, 1920, From Ruth

Geneva, Indiana
Feb. 22, 1920.

Dear Sister:

Lloyd is trying to write with his printing set. He said he was having more fun out of writing the letter than you would have reading it. I poped [sic] a lot of corn to-day and stayed home from Sunday school to help mamma. Clark has gone to Rose Moyers and has not come back yet. Now I will write about school.

The D. Science girls are going to serve gelatine and cake to the H. School. The class wants to get class rings. The boys are going to get suits alike and the girls are going to get white middys and shirts with I think blue. Last Friday Lloyds room was supposed to give a program after the last recess in honor of Washington's birthday. But as there was not to be any school then on account of the tournament they had not prepared any program. So they called on the H.S. to give the program. In the program there was a quartet that sant. Consisting of Dale Neusbaum, Daniel Hoffman, Loyal Liddy, and Clark Munro. They sang "Rock of Ages" and with applauded back and sang "Three Blind Mice" but not in a round. When they first came in the boys were painted with black paint and sung that song like crazy. They did not know they were to be called on at all. Daniel looked so funny. He had the back part of his shirt tail sticking out and acted a dunce. Clark had on a red stockingette stuffed so as to make it stand up straight. He also had a yard stick and in flourishing the yard stick around knocked the song book out of his hands. Loyal did not sing at all but just laughed. The rest were laughing half of the time from there [sic] own actions. The second song was not near so funny although they tried to. Josephine was the pianoist [sic].

Well I guess I will have to tell you about the County T. After we said that we would play Decatur the first game they got cold feet and told a lie. You know when all of us went to Decatur to see H. play D. it looked like we were taking it easy so as not to get too many scores ahead of them just so we would beat them. They said it looked as if we did not half try and that scared Decatur plum out and are afraid to play us. Mr. Wills wrote them a letter and said we would play them if they had not cold feet. He read the copy of the letter to the school because they had printed in the paper we would not sign a paper because we wouldn't play them the first game. The reason was they did not have the majority of the schools represented. Which they did not. Mr. Wills also told them that we would be glad to play them which we would.

I will have to go to bed. You will have a bad time reading this letter but I am or was in haste. Will have to finish this letter some other time.

Your sister,

[Post script from Mamma.]

I do not believe you can half understand Ruth's letter; but I haven't time to correct it. Have just made a double batch of doughnuts. Have packed 32 for you. Am so afraid Clark will forget to mail "Tale of two Cities" since he has "girl" on the brain.

February 22, 1920, From Mamma

Geneva, Ind. Feb. 22–‘20
Washington's Birthday

Dear Esther--

Have just finished drinking a hot cup of cocoa, was sitting on oven door. Don't you wish you could have had one with me? You see I am using a pencil because I can not find a pen that is really fit to use, so I get out of patience and hunt up the pencil.

Have been kind of lonesome today. Wish you could have been here for me to talk a while to. I thought some of going over to Lawrence's; but was afraid they might have the scarlet fever or something else, so gave that up. It seems the scarlet fever hangs around pretty close. Arbutus shoemaker is sick and they are afraid she may have it. But now remember I don't say she has it. Papa heard at S.S. through Frank Pontius that they don't seem to know what is the matter & naturally are afraid that might be it; but as she has been sick since last Tues. it seems to me the Dr. ought to know by now what is the matter.

Well, that Basket Ball game at Decatur that I wrote you about, was called off. Clark said Decatur got cold feet, and I believe it for Clark said Mr. Willis wrote to Decatur and gave them a great calling down for it.

Clark has gone to see Rose tonight. I somehow wish he would not. I don't know why but wish he would not.

Have you quit the "club" yet? And has Justine gone down there yet? Do you hear from her? I was down to Mrs. Whitzsels a while ago & she has a cold in her head again.

Wilma said to thank you for the Valentine. Say, Wilma is cute. I believe she would make a bright, refined woman some day if rightly trained. Justice's wife & step-son had the "Flu". At what time in April will you have your vacation? Now, answer my questions. I have not been off of the place for so long or seen any one ot talk to that I have no "news" to write.

I looked for Ben's over yesterday, but they did not come. I wanted so bad to sew Sat. but prepared for them. Expect to wash tomorrow. Your washing has not come yet.

Victor Eicher has "Tale of two Cities" but Clark will get it tomorrow & send it to you there at school. Your word did not reach us till Sat. P.M. & Clark said he could not get it any sooner than Mon. anyhow.

Guess Ruth is writing to you too.--Mamma

February 19, 1920, From Mamma

Home. Feb. 19--‘20 (Thurs. M.)

Dear Esther--

Papa has gone to Amos Staffer's sale. I thought he might get home by noon, but he has not. Have your plaid & brown waists finished and ready to send to you; but as papa always does the packing & tying up process, I'll just wait till he is here, then send them to you. He may buy a horse at the sale. He sold dick for $50 (the one he bought of Felber. He was so high headed string-halted in hind legs) & Prince for $5. He will probably go for fertilizer.

Clark goes to Decatur this eve. To play Decatur. It is the county meet I believe. The boys are quite nervous over it. Clark says they've just got to beat. They played Monroe at Monroe Wed. night & beat them 22-24. The first team I mean, in favor of Hartford. The second team's score was 11-23 in favor of H. My but Clark was proud. Usually when he comes home I am awake & ask him how the game turned out, but this time he called me & wanted to know if I wanted to know how it went. He said they had the happiest time coming home. Said they sand every thing they could think of.

We now have the pipe in front room running up through your room--it burns O.K. Took the dining room stove down & out, as we could not have a fire in it any how.

Berne is quarantined on account of Scarlet fever. Our carpenter was to have been out to tell papa how much timber he could get out of our own to saw up for the house. But he is not here yet & we suppose that is the reason.

Hope your throat is well by this time. The weather is so much warmer now that I suppose you can keep warm. Clark & Willis get along O.K. now, they seem to get along better among the boys with that Fielder gone. He is a Catholic & I believe did all the harm he could, but the girls take sides & guess they are having some trouble among themselves. Of course Elizabeth A. & her friends take Fielder's part. NO, papa has not put up any ice. The house plans will not be completed in detail until you come home, but in general they are. The carpenter will work by the day not by contract. Guess the "flu" must be getting better around here. NO that book of house plans didn't do any good. It is on too elaborate a scale for us.

I must close or mail man will be gone.--If you are very anxious to eat at cafeteria go ahead and I'll send "stuff" to you as I can.


February 18, 1920, From Richard [Includes Esther's Reply]

In Close ViewFalling Snow, Flakes

Dear Esther,

Just to show you that I can appreciate a response from an uncertain, distrustful girl who shows such a good unselfish attitude towards her friends. How can I find language powerful to express my thoughts to you and yet be perfectly safe and non-committal. From what you say, or what you do not say, I suppose that I'm not taken very seriously in anything I say. I don't exactly mean to bring about such disconcerting problems of relationships when no doubt but that everything would come out according to its predestiny anyway. Esther I do not believe either you or I are deeply enough entwined to overcome all obstacles in our "pathway". So you would prefer speech to written words! In that case perhaps I had better check my pen and also leave the words unspoken; words that might be meaningless and useless or unwisely spoken. For you know I have my failings and weaknesses. I have no desire to make anyone's life harder or more miserable, and would it be possible also to unconsciously refrain from causing joy. What is that that says, "one must live one life ere he learns to live". Speaking more lightly but nevertheless with significance do you recall that, "A man should not marry his first love. It is not wise; he has to be "seasoned" for matrimony. Like eating nine olives, loving nine women cultivates your taste and teaches you to appreciate one of them". But finally every man tires of being an eagle with his so called comfortable freedom.

Speaking of school, I will be busier in the future than in the past if I expect to make my course of any value. Purdue disapproves of C's and any person famed for having three or is advised to leave the university. Only about one hundred seventy-five had the "pleasure" at the end of the 1st semester. It's the "survival of the fittest". Another interesting statistic is that of about $40,000 spent last semester for all the dances and social functions of the students. "A college town for me". Hoping that all is well of IU.

Very sincerely,

[This rough draft of Esther's reply was enclosed in the envelope with Richard's letter. ]

I wish I knew just how many of the remarks you make have a touch of sarcasm. Then I would know whether to feel complimented or angry at some of the things you have said from time to time.

Do you believe that all things are predestined? It is quite a comforting belief because if things go wrong you can think that they will turn out all right. Then if a person is to blame for things going wrong they can believe that they were supposed to turn out that way any way. That is what could be thought. But this I know. Several times in my life things have happened that worried me. They may not have been such really very big things but all the time they loomed up so big I could neither see or think of anything else. However they always turned out much better than I expected and they say all's well that ends well. So if I am to judge from past experience I ought to keep optimistic even on the darkest days.

I went to S.S. this morning. I have missed for three Sundays. It's about time I started being good again don't you think? On the way back I met some sorority girls each of whom wore a bunch of sweet peas. They (the sweet peas) surely looked pretty for they were the biggest, frilliest blossoms. They reminded me of summer. I wish that we could row sweet peas pretty as those. I wonder what will be going on next summer, how many of the class will be home and whether we will have the good times we have had in past summers. Luella and I were talking it over some time ago and decided that the summer didn't have such a very bright out look. Perhaps I have been thinking so much about next summer because nothing has been going on here to occupy my mind. Something must happen soon or I fear my mind will become entirely dormant.