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.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

April 6, 1919, From Luella

Indiana University

Dear Esther:

This is certainly a lovely day. Lovely for walks and hikes. I just got in from a walk [a] while ago. I feel so tired that I do not care much about going to supper, although I am hungry.

I have been slow about answering your letter but I can not keep my letters caught up. If it isn't any other place, it is home.

If you seniors give a play yet, you will certainly be busy. I suppose, you girls have decided upon your dresses for commencement and your plans are all made. It will not be very long until commencement and it will not be long until our term of school ends.

This coming week is going to really be a well occupied week. I am wondering if we will have to study as usual. I am going to see the "Hearts of the World" to-morrow (Monday). Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday our class periods will be cut short on account of convocation, as a good speaker will be here. Thursday a tank from Europe will be here and a big parade will take place. Those are the most important things to take place.

I did not get lonesome between terms because I was to [sic] busy or my time was really occupied. You know, Friday night we slept three in a bed. The girls were so worked up over exams that about mid-night I got up and went in another bed. some of the girls were blank minded after they got through with exams. One example, one of the girls asked me a question four different times, the 4th time I told her how many times I answered it for her. The girls, especially one, talked and rolled and tumbled all night. I could understand almost every thing she said.

I suppose you saw all kinds of styles when you were in Ft. Wayne. I surely see them down here, more than I wish to see too. Every one is having their skirts so awfully long here. They, I do not suppose, will not have them long at home so I do not think I will lengthen mine so long. Oh! the tight skirts are all the rage. See lots of split skirts also. The boys down here do not like for girls to wear such tight skirts. I can not blame them. I wish you could see some girls walk for they certainly walk in agony or something . I bet--the conductors get provoked.

Every time I write a letter I am interrupted by some one and I forget every thing I have to say.

The wind or breeze is blowing through here so I can hardly write. I had my hair washed Saturday and I just cannot keep my hair up. Had to pay fifty cents but I am so glad I did not do it my self. They understand how to wash hair. My hair is so curly and I have so much short hair that I just dread to comb it.

Esther, you had better send your extra cats down here. They are gathering cats up for in Zoology. Just think they had two barrels full and wanted about twenty-five more. The land lady has put Pansy (our cat) in the basement every night so no one steals her. Some boys were here the other night trying to find her--we know now that is what they were after.

Have you been flower hunting yet? I wish I were home to go with you one day. The wild flowers are in bloom here, I suppose they would be at home too.

I will expect to see you before many months and I would much rather talk than write. I will have time then too. I intended to answer your letter between terms but did not get to do so. You can see how slow I am.

Lovingly Yours,

April 6, 1919, From Richard

I.U., Bloomington, Ind.
April 6, 1919

Dear Esther:

You will no doubt be still more curious when I tell you that I never sent you a letter with out a message of some sort. If ever I did feel like sending a "blank" it is this afternoon, so even tho this is Sunday I cannot write much. You see the reason must be, that I went to Sunday School this forenoon and lost my inspirations and interest in worldly things. Ha? They have nearly completed a large Christian Church here, and I think I shall go there next time. It is built like a barn, is very large, and it has taken several years to complete it. Therefore it ought to be interesting. Pres. Bryan talked to the Young People's class at the M.E. Church today; and we had ice-cream for dinner. Why all this should affect so much is to me an enigma. So I shall write to you some other time.

So you have matrimonial troubles and love affairs already. I wish you success; although I can not but regret that I shall not be present to view the whole affair. And you are not going to be present as a school teacher in some school-room next fall? That is another interesting feature of your life program, for most girls who desire to become old maids choose to teach school. Although teachers are somewhat indispensable in the production of philosophical culture; I do not believe in the production of lives lived in solitary bliss and peacefulness.

This college life is great sport. I have blisters on my hands now from the effects of my labors yesterday. (Mowing and raking Mayfields lawn) I also went swimming yesterday afternoon and nearly missed my supper. Then I went to a dance last evening which was unexpected. Between now and 10:30 o'clock it is hard to tell what might happen.

The R.O.T.C. begins drill Wednesday. I have a complete new outfit (big shoes too) which needs only to be worn at drill. We have lots of ammunition for gun fire. I hope it is interesting this term.

I was very well enjoyed with your last letter.

Yours as Truly,

P.S. Mr. Connelly has a cousin visiting him who is a showman connected with Gentry Bros. Circus. He has a cane and plug hat and is real interesting. The "Hearts of the World" will be here Mon. and Tues. I had the pleasure of seeing it once before at La Porte. Please pardon me for inserting such an out of place postscript.


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

Geneva Ind.
April 11

Dear Richard:

I will try to write a letter this morning. We have been practicing our play every night and don't get home till about eleven o'clock. Last night it was half-past eleven. Clyde Romay is back in school this week and will take his part so Clark will not be in it. Our car is being over-hauled as I believe I told you and we don't have it yet. We have been driving a horse to preaching and to town, where I have had to go several times this week, which take[s] up so much time. I didn't know there were so many things to see to in connection with graduation. The Senior class has been spending all recesses and noons lately talking over business. And then the play takes so much of my time and thoughts. It will be just a week from tonight. We are going to have Dr. Rigden for speaker Commencement night. I don't know if we will be given a Junior Reception or not. It looks like some what like "or not" now. The Juniors are having so much trouble among themselves. (All on account of two girls I guess. They belong to those three.) But I have heard that an Alumni Banquet will be given. And then our clothes are still worrying we two girls. The boys have their ordered. They were excused from school one whole day to get their suits. They declared they were busy all the time. they couldn't all get shirts and ties alike so half (that is two) got one kind and half another. All I have written is about plays and graduation but that is all I can think about.

Tonight there is a farewell party and shower on Mr. Snyder. He leaves and is to be married. The party will be at Roth's. Our class has bought a chair for him. I suppose you have heard all about it before this. That makes another place for me to go and be up late. I am only at home long enough to do part of my sleeping and part of my eating for I often go without my breakfast. Do you know I am writing this before breakfast. I had mamma call me early on purpose.

We had a calf die this week with what papa at first thought might be black leg. Another calf is sick and may die. Dr. Campbell said it was hemoragic [sic] septicemia. We have had all the cattle vaccinated for it.

I can hear a whole tub full of chickens chirping for the incubators have just finished hatching.

When you went to the dance did you behave as well as I? I sat and watched the others though I did have two invitations. I sometimes wish I did know how.

Has that Christian Church been dedicated yet? If not when will it be? Papa wants to know.

Well if I am to get to school on time I shall have to close.

March 30, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

Indiana University
March 30, 1919

Dear Esther:

Instead of being terribly shocked I was very well pleased to get your letter Saturday morning; but what will you do now today? Have you ever noticed that I rarely wrote on Sunday, however this is about 2:30 o'clock. This is a very fine day. "It--it begins to feel like spring". One should be "going over the hills" just now instead of remaining quietly and peacefully in "captivity".

Do you ever believe anything that I say? Seeing is believing, "ne'st-ce pas"? I cannot say though that I have ever lied to you; although I may have expressed ambiguity. Anyway something causes you to register doubt as to the veracity of many of my statements.--My work has not given me a fair trial yet, but I hope to be able to rise in power as it rises in its vindictive efforts to cast poor struggling students by the wayside. (I just happened to glance out the window onto Grant Street and saw a perambulator pass by. I almost wish I was the occupant; although I have some misgivings when I think of a sad, painful affair that was just staged in the backyard of the next-door neighbor's house. I am now safely beyond that stage of frightfulness, although it might do me some good, ha! The scene was enacted by a little "buddy" (about the size of Warren) and buddy's mother who used her hand as the weapon of torture to inflict bodily pain upon buddy's--young life.) Such episodes are a diversion but the pleasure is not universal, I fear.

Sorry to have interrupted you so, and I shall now return to my exposition. I have a three-hour course in qualitative chemistry, a two-hour course in advanced general inorganic chemistry, a five hour course in Romance Language, a three-hour course in English Literature, a two-hour course in English ‘Literature' and Composition, a two-hour course in Hygiene, a four-hour "chorus" in Military Science (and they have the uniforms now too, it is compulsory to wear them), and the hour (?) a day supposed to be spent on violin practice. I should like to use the rest of my time swimming, reading novels, making calls, going to the shows, taking trips, reading letters and writing them (?), and being idle.

So, as you no doubt meant, when will you ever get any letters from such a busy person? Do not worry, this might be the last one. Therefore I wish to assure you that I did not mean any statements in previous letters to be otherwise than nice, respectful and reserved compliments. But individuality has its eccentricities, as well as anything else.

Speaking of that ‘story', just what are those characteristic paragraphs? I think I can pick a few, but if they strike me or rather did strike me several years ago, I do not regret having enjoyed my younger days. Ha!. Mrs. Mayfield happened to have that paper so I got to read the story. I just love to read those that are so interesting, and it is a pleasant relaxation after studying about the action of Na3 C0 (NO2) 6 + a solution of 2NH4 Cl. I do not remember, did the story say what they did with the box of candy? I wonder if the sick uncle realized the tenseness of such a critical situation.

I hope your class party on April 1 proves interesting and is a success. Luella said that she could find some "Fool's" entertainment at home in a bunch of the Ladies Home Journal magazines. But you see we are not at home to help. If you really wanted something it would be possible to find it there, perhaps. I am sorry now that I helped to elect you to be teacher of a Sunday School class. (Why?) _____ _____

Did you take the teachers' examination yesterday? I am sure that I never expect to do such a thing. I guess I shall be a farmer some day when my college career ends. I believe that Tressie was going to take the ‘exam', or do something yesterday, also.

I am going to send you a "Kodak" of Mr. Stahl, and also one of the center of population of the U.S. which was taken here in town out at Showers furniture factory. The little boy was glad to be in our picture. The place is on the "west side" of Bloomington. Unless you wish to keep the center of population please return my friend safely. Begging your pardon for writing such a long letter I am,

Yours Truly,

P.S. The time was turned ahead this morning. Some were confused. However I got to breakfast with 1 min. and 20 sec. to spare.


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

April 3, 1919

Dear Richard:

I received both your letters. The second caused quite a bit of speculation. All thought it an April Fool letter and were making guesses as to just what was in it. So to satisfy their curiosity (of course I didn't have any myself) I finally opened it. You see, having received a letter just the day before made me a little suspicious. First I peeked in the corners trying to see if there was any thing there at all. It tickled Lloyd & Warren especially Warren. If writing on Sunday is going to make you write such nice long letters I think I shall have to keep on writing so that you can answer then. But that isn't why I am so slow. It's just because I was too sleepy last night. I went to sleep sitting in my chair and so mamma made me go to bed. For I just can't go without sleep. But it seems you can. That reminds me, the sleeping sickness or at least sleepiness seems to be quite prevalent at school. Yesterday there were five asleep at once. I wasn't among the number though I wished at the time I was.

Quite a few interesting things happening at school every day. This morning Miss Byerly came to school with quite a bit of powder on. So this noon four boys, including Clark, went through the girls' coats and put on all the powder they could find. Tressie is in the room in the afternoon and said that if there was anything she hated to see it was too much powder. Of course the boys looked as innocent as angels. Lloyd Heller turned around and explained to me that it was a burlesque of Miss Byerly. He sits in front of me now for we had to rearrange when the stage was put in. He whispers so much I am afraid my deportment will go down. He used to whisper to Gladys but she is farther away now. You? I told you Gladys was "mad at me". Well she most surely was but she had her say (& I had mine) and is over it now.

I told you that the Seniors were going to give a play? But I didn't tell you any thing about it did I? The title is "A Poor Married Man" and is supposed to take place in a college town. Murray Holloway is the negro servant, the comic character, and does his part fine. Gladys is my mother and Lloyd H. is my husband, Prof. John B. Wise. I live with him only a part of one day. A case of two [sic] much mother-in-law. One of the senior boys is sick and Clark is taking his place. He is to be a college boy, in love with me. Those are the principal characters. But Murray "takes the cake". How I wish you could be here when we give it though I don't suppose it would be possible. We want to give it on the eighteenth of this month. We surely do have lots of fun practicing but it takes up so much of the time after school. We only get home a little while before supper.


Yes, I took the teacher's exam. Saturday. I went with Tressie. She had seven in the car, both going and coming. The examination wasn't so hard if you only knew the answers. I hadn't opened a book to review so it wasn't so dreadfully easy for me. I don't think I passed in literature nor grammar, but I think I did in the others. It does not make much difference whether I pass or not since I don't expect to teach but just the same I am anxious to learn my grades. Three others in my class took the same examination.

It is somewhat of a jump from exams. to class meetings but I want to tell you about it before I close. I think it could be called a success. There were more there than expected. Mr. & Mrs. Hollinger and Laural were there. Velma is going to school at Upton, and couldn't come. She has just started. The lunch Alva had served was quite cute. The menu written was as follows. California eggs in bloom. Sweet Bread a la camouflage. (part of that is French I think and I don't know what it means.) The egg proved to be half a peach surrounded by whipped cream and the sweet bread was cake cut in slices with a sweet filling and looked like sandwiches.

You wrote on a nice day. Well this day is about as far removed from nice as it could be. Rain and fog all day.

I thank you for the picture I have kept.

March 26, 1919, From Richard

Bloomington, Indiana
March 26, 1919

Dear Esther:

The day is dark, rainy and very gloomy; and I have a notion that I should like to know what the name of the story was that you asked if I had read. The one in the Womans Home Companion, I think. Clark also asked me if I had read it; if I am not mistaken.

I am also wondering if we caused Clark any embarrassment the other evening. I presume that I sometimes cause your folks quite a bit of that which may be called embarrassing. But that is the way of youth.

I think your mother is just fine, however.

Pardon me, if I have taken too much of your time for reading such a "long" letter.

Yours Truly

March 24, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

Bloomington, Indiana
Monday Noon, March 24.

Dear Esther:

I must say that I certainly enjoyed your company very much while I was there. And while I usually mix up my affairs a great deal, I hope that you will think no less of me. After each visit I somehow become differently impressed, and as you perhaps noticed, there follows soon afterwards a "nice" letter.

Would you consider it a compliment when I say that you are very individual? Or otherwise? Perhaps you can derive the meaning that I mean. You know that I never can speak right out.

Did you go to sleep at school today? I have not slept a wink since Saturday night, and it is now almost five o'clock. Left Geneva at 1:30 A.M. and arrived in Bloomington at 10:15 A.M. and read about four pages of David Copperfield while in Richmond (1 hour and 50 min). I think the town drives one insane. Ha, ha! At least I still have insomnia.

I have just finished registering and enrolling, and I have six subjects already, not including my beloved M.S., and violin lessons.

If I ever survive this course you may come to the conclusion that Indiana University does not "kill" in a very efficient manner.

I have said goodby to you and here I am writing to you yet. Can you explain the case? Ha.

Before I write much "more", I must close with good wishes to you and yours.

Yours Truly,

[A rough draft of Esther's reply was enclosed in the envelope, written on the back of an essay about the parcel post system and mail fraud.]

Would you be terribly shocked if you received a letter from me written on some other day than Sunday? That seems to be the day I almost always write. Perhaps I can write a better letter while the memory of your visit is still fresh in my mind.

Did I go to sleep Monday? No, but I had to exert all my will power to keep from doing so. In Latin class I simply could not keep my eyes wide open they just insisted on going part way shut at least. If you didn't sleep any Monday, you surely must have been sleepy Tuesday morning at the time to get up. That's usually the time I am sleepiest.

If four subjects kept you busy before how do you expect to manage six plus the two extras? What are the subjects you are taking now? I suppose four of them are a continuation of what you had before. Are you really taking violin lessons? You spoke about doing so once while we were at your place but I thought you didn't mean it. You won't have any spare time now at all. I think I am about as busy as a person can be but I think you must be busier.

There is a certain little piece of sewing I have been wanting to do but haven't been able to find the time for it so far this week. Monday evening I went to Portland with Tressie to get the curtain good s for the stage at the school house. We didn't get home till bed time. Tuesday evening I went to town to pick out some wall paper for the back ground and to-night we stayed at the school house until almost dark working on the things. We have to have everything ready to-morrow night for the freshmen & Sophomores give their play then. I suppose you heard all about it while you were home. I think the stage is going to look very nice when completed.

So you think me individual. Well, I guess I will have to plead guilty to the charge. If you mean it as a compliment I shall accept it with thanks as such but you see I have been told a good many times that I was odd or queer when it was not meant for a compliment and I think individual means about the same.

Here it is Friday morning and this letter isn't sent yet. I wanted it to reach you before Sat. but I don't know if it will now or not. Every time I expect to finish a letter the [...] morning and get it sent before going to school I never get it done. and then it can't go till the next morning.

I got your other letter last night. The name of the story is "She was Sixteen and He was Her First Caller". The last three words are the real title. there are in it a few very characteristic paragraphs. I won't guarantee that you will like it but mamma laughed till she cried. I don't think we bothered Clark very much, he enjoyed it. I passed your compliment on to mamma and she says thank you.

Last night we went to see that play. It was good. And the stage setting didn't look so bad. I had charge of making the curtains and covering the back ground. Now Glady is mad at me. I guess it is because she couldn't have entire control of it herself. I saw Alva there. Tonight we are going to make out the program for the class party. I didn't know it before but it comes on April 1. We want to have a suitable program. I have about run out of ideas for entertainment.

If I am go get to school on time this morning I will have to close now.

Yours truly

March 19, 1919, From Richard

Bloomington, Indiana
March 19, 1919

Dear Esther:

I suppose I had just as well call you that as any other name. I suppose you are still adventuring and doing all sorts of things these days. They are fine, and if I were a Wordsworth or a Keats I should write a poem about the thought, love, and beauty in nature. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever".--Keats

May I have a date this week-end? It has been quite a long time since I saw you last or had a date with you. Do you approve of dates and their accomplishments? Or are they too abstract?

My mind continues to whirl thoughts flowing to my pen, but my professors also whirl final examinations at my mind. So the results of the conflict are a compromise.

Yours Truly,
Richard Glendening

March 13, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

Bloomington, Indiana
March 13, 1919

Dear Friend:

If you can write a letter in so short a time, I can do eve better. I do not have much time to write just now, so I may write later whenever I choose. Next week we have final examinations.

I received both of your letters, but they were welcome. After all those escapades at Ft. Wayne, I should lend the advice that the Reverend Mr. Snyder might be enjoying your entrance into the church. Have you been to any of the revival meetings? Or, have they closed down because of the influenza. It is very bad news to hear that that dreaded plague has returned again. There are an increasing number of signs upon the houses down here, I noticed. But returning to memories of Ft. Wayne, did you see Miss Liechty or Miss Koldeway up there? I have also been to the Palace.

By this time I suppose you are all happy over the return of Mr. Walker; and the exit of Prof. Macy. N'est-ce pas? Do you think that the Legislature accomplished very much this session? I have the impression that they did several good acts. I wish I could write the kind of letters that I desire; but it seems that it is not very often possible.

I am enjoying life very well (?) at present. Yesterday at Convocation we were priviledged [sic] to hear Mr. [Charles Crawford] Gorst, a great naturalist, painter and lecturer on birds. He wished for better protection for the birds, "Kill all cats". The most wonderful thing was the way in which he imitated the birds by whistling their different songs. It was simply clever.

Six more days in this term. Best wishes and regards.

Yours Truly,

I do not know about those signs. Was he Frank Hall, a big fellow? I saw and talked to a man yesterday who had all kind of decorations on him, for bravery. He had been gassed by mustard gas.


[A rough draft of Esther's reply was enclosed in the envelope, written on the back of her Latin homework.]

Geneva, Ind.
March __, 1919.

Dear Richard,

I have spent another Sunday in a very heathenish manner, for I didn't go to S.S. to-day either. I am not even sure that there was any. We decided to stay home any way on account of the "flu" around here, sore throats that part of us have and the rainy weather. It was raining straight down most all forenoon to-day, all day yesterday, and was nasty the day before.

This afternoon Lloyd, Warren, Ruth and I went out on an exploring expedition. I had on papa's boots! They wanted to come partly off every step I took. Ruth had on boots too but they fit her better. You ought to have seen us. We found a number of signs of spring. The wheat is a bright green and the grass soon will be. Some hycinths [sic] in our yard are coming up. Clark said he saw some buds on some plants in the timber. I like to get out and explore (poke around) in spring. Every day there is something new. I can not realize that winter is about over. I don't suppose I ought to be too sure that it really is past for there may be snow a foot deep within a week. One can't tell what is going to happen in March.

That's enough on that subject I think. But nothing has happened this week to talk about so this letter will have to be made up of "little nothings". All I have done this whole week is go to school, come home, eat, sleep, study, read, sew, and watch it rain. Oh yes, another thing,--one nice evening we walked home from school for we did have a few nice days last week. You say you wish you could write the kind of letter you would like to. I, too, wish the same very much for myself. I have never yet been able to write a letter that suited me. I do the best I can and let it go at that. "Practice makes perfect" they say. I once in a while flatter myself that I can see some improvement.

That lecture about birds must have been very interesting. I wish one would hear such things around here. Birds are getting to be quite numerous again. Did Luella hear that lecture? What did she think of his saying "kill all cats".

While I was [at] Ft. Wayne I didn't see a single person I know except Georgia and Lawrence Aschleman. I had been told that Minnie was working in the office of the General Electric Co. But they have so many buildings and offices I didn't know where to look.

Do you like to fly kites or have you out grown that pastime? Clark and Lloyd made one yesterday and flew it this evening. It not only flew but flew very nicely in fact so nicely that it broke the string and flew away, however they got it again. Clark used to make kite after kite every Spring but was lucky if even one flew.

Well, I truly believe if I keep on writing letters to you until the last of May I will really enjoy it.

I just finished reading a dandy story in the "Womans Home Companion" on page 11 of the April issue.

Monday, January 31, 2005

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

Indiana University
March 5, 1919

Ma Amie:

Those words do not mean anything alarming, so do not worry about them. Yesterday was a beautiful day; and I received your letter. However today is similar to a winter day. We felt the change in temperature during the night, having left the windows wide open. Ha. House and I went to bed last; and in order to have our necessary fun, we slipped over into the other fellows' room and turned their alarm clock ahead two and one-half hours. The ruse was successful. Tricks are frequent occurrence here, especially when a fellow makes a mistake of sleeping when one is yet awake.

What will poor Mr. Macy do when he loses his position at the high school? Do you mean that all will be glad when Mr. walker gets back? He once went to college at I.U., for I read about a banquet, in Indianapolis, for former I.U. students who were now in Legislature. His honorable personage was there. I wonder if he voted for the Sunday movie bill. Do you know whether it passed? If he did not, then--.It certainly would have been fine to visit the state legislature, but then politicians are not good company anyway.

It would have been nice also to see the beautiful town of Bloomington lying here, down among the hills and on the banks of the leisurely flowing Jorden [sic]. The deans, and such things as that, are not going to allow any between-term vacation. Therefore I may not get to go home for centuries yet. The idea is, I suppose, to keep us from bringing back any unwholesome diseases. Have you got any around there in the vicinity? This term ends as I said, about March 21.

Rifles and uniforms are on the way now, and the R.O.T.C. soldiers will soon be equipped. Ha. There is quite a lot of strike sentiment among the fellows. They don't like to take the training. At Northwestern U. a strike has occurred, but it is being settled again I guess.

Went to a movie, "Wild Youth", at the student building last evening. Every Tuesday and Thursday night the Y.M.C.A. supplies this ingredient to our social life. Did you ever see Mr. Stahl's picture? It was him; and I got a reply saying, "You win". Ha, ha!

Yours Truly,
Richard Glendenning

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

I will tell you at the beginning where I am so you can understand me properly. Again I am writing at school for by studying very hard and by going over my lesson as fast as I could I have made a little time. It is twenty five minutes until recess. That's all the time I will have.

I have heard it said definitely that today is the last day Mr. Macy will be here. Mr. Walker will be here to-morrow morning. We have accomplished in Physics just what I hoped we would. I wanted to finish electricity before Mr. Walker came back because I heard him say that he didn't understand it very well and Ishmael does. I think Mr. Walker will be all right for anything else.

There is a soldier boy visiting school this afternoon. I haven't heard who he is. His sleeve is decorated differently from any I have sen before (I have seen so many you know (Ha)). It's like this [drawing of insignia] stars white back ground blue figures red. [ed. The insignia is for the 12th Division]

A day like to-day makes me sleepy. It is sun shiny and quiet, though not so very warm out doors. Yesterday was rainy and horrid.

You asked in your last letter if there were any diseases going around here. I found out to day that the flu was starting all over again in our neighborhood. Roth's, Alva's folks, Beitlers (I think I spelled that right), Long's and Lehman's have the "flu". So you see it is pretty thick.

I would like to tell you about my trip to Fort Wayne but there is so much I could say I don't know where to begin. You see it was quite an unusual happening for me. Do you know that this was the first time I have been on a train since we moved to Indiana?

I walked and walked so much that I am hardly all over it yet. Sat. afternoon we went shopping and finished up by going to the movies.

February 27, 1919, From Richard (Includes Esther's Reply)

Indiana University
February 27, 1919

Dear Esther:

Your letter was dated February 23; but it just arrived this forenoon. I thought that perhaps you had decided to stop writing, so I was greatly relieved and surprised when the postman came to leave the mail. You said that if your letter was representative of your blue feeling, then I should know the reason. there was only one thing mentioned that might have been the reason. Did you mean what might be inferred from the statement? I should enjoy being there very much. It has been my intention to go home anyway at the end of this term, even tho there is no vacation of more than a week-end. I do not know what my sisters will do.

I suppose you got my last letter in which I mentioned my state of environments. Although nothing serious has resulted yet, I should be little surprised. A sailor, that rooms here, and I took Kathryn and Luella to an Epworth League social last Friday night. I (or we) see quite a few movies once in awhile. There are dancing classes and Holy Roller revival meetings to attend. Then there are the churches and Pool Rooms. There is a free movie tonight at the Y.M.C.A. featuring Constance Talmadge in "Pair of Silk Stockings". I may have told you that I saw this cute show at "Valpo". This brings back memories of the mess-hall and straw bunks; and "squad right's", and fatigue work. Ah, I must stop this. But we still have some of that military life here. I just got back from attending a class in military map making. We are studying the science of war.

So far no one has obtained my nice green cap; which I wore today for a change. They did duck one fellow in to the Jorden [sic] for refusing to wear one. Ha. "The Jorden's [sic] Cold now." (a gentle hint)

I haven't much time to think about woman sufferage [sic]. I have so much of my own. Do you prefer it? The reason that Republican, Foote, made that remark, was because they wondered what your politics were. House, the Democrat, does not like the name Monroe because this county (Monroe County) is Republican. Ha, Ha! I do not know what you are supposed to be.

From, Richard Glendening

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

Geneva Ind
Mar. 2, 1919

I was rather surprised to receive two letters from you, so close together. It is a wonder my letter ever got to you I had such a time getting it sent. I didn't have it quite finished Sunday evening nor did I find tiem in the commotion Monday morning but thought I would send it to town by some one in the evening but no one went. Tuesday morning the last thing I said before going to school was "be sure and mail that letter". Imagine my surprise when I opened my book at school and there it lay. The folks searched all over the house for it I guess.

That surely was a joke about your writing that letter when you should not have done so. You asked if I could guess to whom it was sent. I would say Bland Stahl. Only I thought he had been in U.S. for some time.

I received your picture last Friday. We all think it good. However I don't believe you usually look quite that sober. I don't think that any of Sullivan's pictures flatter people.

Something unusual happened to-day. We (the whole family) were invited out to dinner by a neighbor, Martins. We had a very good time. Lawrence was there too. I think he has only been home from Fort Wayne about twice since he started working there. He asked about you. I was in his home. He was going to go on there and get some things so Clark just took him and all the rest of us "kids" for the ride.

Mr. Walker is expected back about next week. Every one is anxiously awaiting him coming. I wanted so much to go to Indianapolis before the legislature adjourned. But I know I can't. I have become quite interested in such since I have been studying Civics. Bloomington isn't so very far from Indianapolis you know. I thought if I could get as far as Indianapolis I might go on to see the college buildings. Of course that's all (?) I would want to see. When does this half term end.

Clark was gone Friday afternoon and all Saturday to the county basket-ball tournament. The first game Hartford had was with Berne and H. was badly defeated. No one expected that to happen.

While there Clark heard about a joke played on Ishmael & some of his friends. His basket-ball team had rented a car off a friend & had gone to Fort Wayne to play a last game Thurs. While coming home about twelve o'clock they were held up by three masked men at the bridge just north of Decatur & forced to give up all their valuables & also the car & had to walk in. They at once reported this to the police. The next day they found that this was done by three of their friends as a joke, one of the men being the owner of the car. The things were all returned to them. The joke may be on the other fellows tho for since they just reported it to the police the case has come up before the grand jury and none of them can stop it. I wonder how it will turn out.

February 26, 1919, From Richard

Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana
February 26, 1919

Dear Esther:

Having just arrived at the conclusion that I ought to write to you, there is nothing to prevent me from doing so. So far as I know at least, I have just passed thru a very difficult day of work, and I need the pleasure and enthusiasm derived from writing a letter. Self-expression is the beginning of power; and although I am not very eloquent myself as yet, I hope you may enjoy reading my compositions.

I wrote a little the other day which perhaps I should not have written. Could you guess what that was and to whom it was erroneously sent? This is the way it happened--A young fellow just from France, and still in Fort Hamilton, New York, wrote a letter to my sister. Now since it was sent to Geneva, Mamma, sent it to Kathryn in a letter which she wrote. Kathryn thought the letter was for me, since there were no names on it, and I was a very good friend of the young artilleryman. Mamma did not think it necessary to say whose letter it was, so it was given to me; and I thought it was a queer letter to me. Now imagine the excitement when we later learn the mistake. It is a fine joke anyway. Ha.

Could it be that I sent my last letter to girls to the wrong one? Really, a college student is liable to do anything. They are so full of ideas, and exquisite means for doing something. I am usually so indulgent that I hardly have time to go to an occasional movie. However, last evening I did go to a free show at the Y.M.C.A. in the Student Building. As for church-going, unless the pagan professors down here are more merciful towards us, we shall not even continue our pursuit of religious ideas. They are an unsympathetic class of pedagogues, or something equally as good.

We are not going to have any vacation between terms; and the Spring Term is ended June 7. There is a long, long, trail a winding thru the fabled castle of Achievement. With best wishes and regards,

Sincerely Yours,