LETTERS and DIARIES of Dorothy Dix

 

 

Dorothy Dix (Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer)

 

Correspondence – Letters Written By Dorothy Dix.

 

Transcribed and Edited by Elinor Howell Thurman, 2002.

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mrs. G. M. Patch.  Addressed: Hotel Worth, Chicago, Ill[.]  Letterhead: Meriwether & Co., Clarksville, Tenn.]

                                                                                            

                                                                                       Thursday, June 16, 1892

 

Dearest Marie,

 

     I received your sweet letter yesterday & as I have an unwelcome holiday thro’ not having any orders I take advantage of it to answer it.  We are sorry the dress is too short, but you can very easily remedy that by ripping out the hem & facing it with a little domestic.  You know the trimming is not on the bottom so you might just put the facing so as to make a wider hem – I mean so as to make the trimming a little further up without moving it, but it wont be any trouble to take off the trimming as it is sewed on with a long stitch.  Why dont you get Mrs McKee to show you how to fix it if you cant understand my directions[.] 

 

     It is just fearfully hot here[,] if it is anything like as warm with you you must need all the coolness you can get – by the way it has occurred to me (as Mr Cunningham would say) that the pique skirt is intended to fasten low on the waist & perhaps your various suspender rigs elevate it too much.  Speaking of Mr C. you are likely to see him in a few days as I have a letter from him stating he is on his way to the convention & will see you.  I send you in this for your scrap book a few choice extracts from the Battle of Franklin which I know you will like to preserve.  Also a schoolgirls composition on the Jeff Davis Monument (which I wrote) by the earnest request of S.A.C. for a little goose in Birmingham who was going to graduate and didn’t “no” (she is responsible for the spelling) how to write one for herself.  Having used it that way he how insists on publishing it as mine which I frantically object to on all accounts.  I expect you will enjoy Susie & Virginia – they are both very knowing, but for Heavens sake put a guard on your tongue & say nothing you would not like given to the world in a lurid light as the Andersons are such liars – tho they say Virginia is the nicest of the family yet that is damning her with faint praise.  I didn’t tell Mr Cunningham Geo was in Chicago & think you had better not unless it is unavoidable as he would be sure to have to hunt him up & explain to everyone in the shop who he was, & I was, & you were, & the Lord knows what all, & then when he got back to Nashville he’d have to hunt up everybody we ever knew & tell them[.]  I think all Clarksville is going – yesterday I met May Jordan who was perfectly amazed to find I wasn’t going because she is – reminded me of Mark Twains “I’ll just hand the change to you in Paris”[.]  She, Laura Smith & Sadie Dunlop leave tonight.  If you’ll go and sit at Fields for the next few days you’ll see everyone you know.  Was over at Aunt Mollies yesterday.  Nan wants to know why you have forgotten her - & her letter.  Johns foot seems to be getting on well & not very serious.  Wasn’t it lucky his boss did it instead of its being his own car[e]lessness.  It happened the usual way.  Jno was writing at his desk, Mr Langley fooling with a pistol across the room, the pistol went off & hit him on the knot on the ankle joint.  He gives a very funny account of Wests infatuation.  Says when he first went to see her he said 15 minutes was just as long as anyone could make themselves interesting, pretty soon he would stay 1 hr ½ , & said when you got well acquainted he thought that wasn’t too long, a little later on he tried to meet the 11 ½ train & now if he makes it in by 12 ½ he thinks he is doing well.  Furthermore as showing how he has lapsed from his ideals it is Johns solemn opinion she laces, & West, the apostle of the dress reform movement, grows eloquent over her pretty figure!  Mama wrote you I suppose about Davids visit – he looks himself again & seems very fond of Lizzie & dependent on her.  Shes very nice & the most in love person I ever say, but oh she’s not the wife for him & will never make out of him what might be.  Bettie has not come[.]  I don’t think they know when she will, & I think theres some talk of Ellies going to Monteagle.  We hear cos [cousin] Mildred is much worse.  Ed is up again hard at work this hot weather but he’s so restless I really believe he’s just as well off.  With much love

                              Yr loving   A

 

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mamie (Mrs. Robert) Gill.  Letterhead: New York Journal.  Typewritten.  Photocopy of original letter.]

                                                                                                     257 West 86  Oct 23 08

 

Dearest Mamie,

 

     I send you a letter I had the other day from an old lady who lives at the cradle of our race, and that I think you will be interes[te]d in.

 

     I have often thought of the beautiful day I had at your house last summer, and how sweet and dear you are and what a lovely family you have.  When I see women with fine children like yours about them, and all the love and sweetness it means, it makes me feel like a pauper.  But I steal a little of the joy of Eds children, or rather did, until I had to come back here to live.

 

     I am pleasantly situated and have to work so hard I don’t ha[v]e time to grieve, but I hate very much b[e]ing so far from those I love.  I hope however to be able to get back to Tenn n[e]xt summer, and if I do I shall give myself the pleasure of another visit to you.  With much love for yourself and all your household[.]  your[s] affly

                                                                                                

                                                                                                    E. M. Gilmer

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mamie Gill.  Addressed: Mrs Robert Gill, Allensville Ky.  Letterhead: New York Journal.  Return address on envelope (partly torn away) Berlin Street, New Orleans.  Photocopy of handwritten letter and envelope.]

 

                                                                                                     Clarksville Tennessee

                                                                                                           July 17, 09

Dearest Mamie,

 

     On Thursday – the 22 there is to be a big basket picnic & barbecue at Dunbars Cave to celebrate the 100 anniversary of the settling in this country of the Meriwether & Barker families.  All of their connections are invited & we are most anxious that you & your family should come.  All of our family – Ed & his children, & Mary & hers, & Guthrie Coke & his will be there so these will be all that is left of the Winstons too, so do come as we may not have such another opportunity to meet each other.  Pa, Ed, Daisy & their two little boys, and I are going up to Guthrie Coke’s on the 24 & stay until the following Wednesday.  Would you like to have us stop off on Wednesday & spend the day with you as I did last year?  I have remembered that with joy all the year -  But come to the picnic & we’ll talk it over[.]

                                                                                       With love

                                                                                            Elizabeth M. Gilmer                                 

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to G. M. Patch.  Addressed: Postal Telegraph Bldg., Chicago, Ill.  Written on personal stationery headed: Dorothy Dix.  Postmark: New York, N.Y.  Letter and envelope typewritten.]

 

                                                                                                            Nov. 29, 1910.

Dearest George:

 

     I am just writing you this line to thank you for all of your kindness to me while I was at hour house, and for always having been so good and sweet, a real brother, to me

 

     I know that the proper thing is to wait until after people are dead to say how much you love and admire them, but I am going on record right new and here, to say that I think that you are just about the best and finest ever.

                                                                                                 

     With much love,

                                          Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mamie Gill.  Addressed: Mrs Robert Gill, Allensville, Kentucky.  Letterhead: New York Journal. Typewritten.  Photocopy of original letter and envelope.]

 

                                                                                                          November 23, 1914

Dear Mamie,

 

     It is getting cold weather now and my thoughts are turning fondly towards sausage.  When you kill hogs, will you please be kind enough to send me by express a bucket of it—anywhere from fifteen to twenty pounds, and just drop me a note saying what price, and I will send you a check.  Please put a heavy hand on the pepper, and put in some sage for mine.  I would also like to engage twenty pounds of your smoked sausage, the kind you send Ed every winter, and just send that on whenever it is ripe.

 

     I love the home things and think there’s no cooking comparable to the good things that we have down in Kentucky.

 

     I often think of you with great affection, and wish that circumstances were so that I could see more of you and your family, but we all have to go where our fortune calls us, and make the best of it.  I hope I can come down to Ed’s farm next summer, and if I do and he has the car, we will surely come to see you.  Summer before last when I was there we had no way of getting about.

 

     I have just come from Chicago where I had a little visit with father and Mary.  Father is better than he was, though not strong, and his heart trouble, which of course is incurable at his age, keeps us all uneasy, but he gets about wonderfully spry for a man of his age.  Mary’s health is not good, though she is better than she was in the spring, but she’s the most nervous person I ever saw.  She has a nice family of nearly grown children now, the youngest an inch taller than I am.  I brought Elizabeth home with me, and am enjoying her very much.

 

     If for any reason you can’t send me the sausage, will you be kind enough to let me know.

 

     With love to you and yours.

                                                                          Affectionately yours

                                                                                Elizabeth M. Gilmer

 

Express to

 

440 Riverside Drive

   New York City

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mamie Gill.  Addressed: Mrs Robt Gill, Allensville Ky.  Postmarked: July 30, 1917.  Photocopy of handwritten letter and envelope.]

 

Dearest Mamie –

 

     Its so good of you to let me have those hams, and I shall eagerly look for them.  If you will just sew them up in a sack they will come all right so make one of the girls hustle them off to me.  I hope your boys escape the draft.  Poor Mary has been crazy about Huntington[.]  Dad is at Diamond Spr [Springs] near Russelville [sic].  Make him stop off & tell you all about my trip.  He loves you as I do.  Dont forget the address [-] 440 Riverside[.]

 

                                                                                       Lovingly

                                                                                            Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to W. D. Meriwether. Typewritten.  Stamped at top of page 1: A. H. Patch, 218 Perry-Payne Bldg., Cleveland, O.]

 

                                                                                          TAJ MAHAL PALACE HOTEL

                                                                                                 BOMBAY, March 20, 1920

Dearest Dad:

 

     I was greatly disappointed not to get letters from you and Ed here, but happily got one from Mary in which she said all were well so my mind was set at rest, for which I was thankful, as I was uneasy about you after hearing you had had the Flu.

 

     Well, I am now on my last lap of the long journey.  A week from today we will be in Colombo, and I will be looking with longing eyes for the steamer that will bear me homeward.  Heaven knows when that will be as all boats are so delayed, but the Agent thinks we will get off about the 24th of April – then its [words crossed out: will be] a tedious sail of 40 days or more – with only one or two stops and they only for a few hours.

 

     Tomorrow we go to Madras and cross India again – a two nights and a day trip, then to three other cities, and across to Ceylon.  Seeing India has been the most interesting and thrilling thing I have ever done in my life and the most exhausting.  Every day and hour has been like a chapter out of the Arabian Nights – sights so beautiful, or so wierd [sic] land strange you could hardly believe your eyes, but the weather is intensely hot, and you never saw such dust in your life.  It does not rain a single drop here from October to June, and the dry earth is tramped by the millions of feet into a dust that blows in clouds into you and over you.  You eat it, breathe it, it gets into the pores of your skin, and your hair is caked with it, and your clothes so saturated with it you can’t get them clean, and you get to the pass that the only thing on earth you want is just to be clean once more.  You can’t imagine anything as dreary as an Indian landscape where you go for hours seeing the hot baked earth, the withered trees, and the little mud walled villages without a single green sprig about them, and over them all the ceaseless, choking dust clouds blowing.

 

      For the past two weeks we have beein [sic] in Rajputana which is still a native state, and ruled over by a Maharajah who is as rich as Croesus, but who lives just as his fathers did 300 years ago, and who will not let his land be irrigated nor his mines worked because none of his ancestors had to do with such ideas.  We went to his castle, a great marble palace built on a bluff overlooking a lake.  As we entered the court yard there were 20 elephants tugging at their chains, and a groom leading about an Arabian horse, and women with water jars on their heads drawing water from the well, and it was just as if you had stepped back 300 years.  Later we saw the Maharajah out riding with four men funning at his bridal [sic] rein and twenty troopers with swords following him.  They told us the Maharahansa son had fitted up his part of the palace in modern style – and I almost had convulsions when we saw it.  There were six Singer sewing machines on the lovely marble porch – and inside there were chairs of cut glass – and a beveled mirror top! And a dozen chandeliers with cut glass pendants.  It looked like a Jewish brides dream of Heaven – I asked if the Maharajah ate on this table and the palace official said No, he sat on the floor when he ate and that he didn’t stay in these rooms except in the daytime – he “slept his head” in the old part of the palace.  I din’t [sic] blame him – I certainly should have gone some where to sleep where cut glass hadn’t been invented.

 

     Before I gorget [forget] it I must tell you something so funny one of the clerks of this hotel said to me last night.  There was a big wedding here, and many Parsee ladies in gorgeous robes were coming in, so I asked him what kind of wedding it was.  He said “It’s a Jew wedding.” I said “Did you say it was a Jain (a sect here) wedding?”  “No, no” he said, [“]it’s a Jew wedding – the people who killed God, you know[.]”  The clerk was a Hindu and I guess all Jews and gentiles look alike to him.

 

     This is a beautiful city with magnificent buildings, and wide paved streets and ocean swept on all sides, which is like a breath of heaven after the hot stifling plains.  The place is crowded with people trying to get back to England – some of them have been trying to get places in ships for over a year and they certainly are furious – and I don’t blame them – with us Americans for coming over and taking the berths they need and ought to have.  You never saw such washed out pale, puny looking children, or such white faced women as the ones who have been ehre [here] during the war.

 

     But it’s awfully late and I must say good night.  Dearest love

 

                                                                                                         E

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mamie Gill.  Photocopy of typewritten original.]

 

                                                                                            Pass Christian, Miss.,

                                                                                                    July 7, 1923.

Dearest Mamie:

 

     We have just heard of the death of Cousin Robert [Gill] and Ed and Daisy and I unite in sending you our heart-felt sympathy in your great bereavement.  Words always seem such a poor thing at such a time, so inadequate to comfort, but all that we can do is to stretch our hands to you across the grave where I know your faith sees not the end, but the beginning of life.

 

     It was not my happiness to know Cousin Robert well, but I think he was one of the handsomest men I ever saw and he always impressed me with his great strength of mind and body, and his fine big way of looking at things.  It must have been a great thing to have the love of such a man for so long a time as you had, and I often think that the women who have been blessed with having had good husbands have a consolation that nothing can take away in their memories.  They never really lose their husbands because they are theirs still in death.  It is the women who have been married to rotters, and who have not one kindly memory of their whole wifehood who lose their husbands even while they are still alive.

 

     Father will no doubt write you from Diamond [Springs, Ky.] as he was particularly fond of Cousin Robert.  He has been gone about two weeks, and is so wonderfully well.  He was eighty-six in January, but he had the doctor overhaul him just before he left and the doctor said that he was good for twenty-five years more.  His only trouble is that he is so very deaf it is hard to make him understand anything.

 

     Daisy and Billy and I are out at our summer place on the Gulf where Ed and Edward come for the Weekends.  Ed is very busy rebuilding the turpentine plant which burned down about a month ago.  I will be here until about the first of August when I am going to Chicago to see Mary for a week, and the new baby and the new daughter-in-law, and then on to New York.

 

     With dearest love for you and all your family, and with renewed assurance of our sympathy

                                                                                Yours affectionately,

                                                                                    Elizabeth M. Gilmer

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Helen          [?].  Photocopy of original typewritten on personal stationery headed: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                   6/18/27

Dear Cousin Helen:

 

     You see I claim you as a cousin even if you don’t claim me.

 

      I have read your little articles with great interest.  They are excellent, snappy and full of pep, and I’m sure would be of interest to the average reader, who is the individual that we newspaper folk have to kowtow before.

 

     But getting into a syndicate is about as hard as getting into the Kingdom of Heaven, because snydicates [sic] are run on names and you have to make your reputation before they will even consider you.  Last year I was trying to get the syndicate I worked for to consider some work that had been done by a very good writer, but an unknown one.  The editor refused to even read it.  “No good”, he said, “I can’t sell it no matter how fine it is.  I go to a newspaper and say: “Here’s a splendid article by Mary Jones.” “Never heard of her,” says the newspaper editor.”  “But she is going to make a mark one of these days”, I say.  “Fine”, says the editor, “when she does come back and I will buy her work.”

 

     And that’s the attitude of the syndicate, so my advice to you is to turn your batteries on some newspaper, the Nashville Banner, or the Louisville Courier Journal, any paper that you can get it in, and get it to use your stuff until you make a hit with it, and then the syndicates will grab you.

 

     Don’t let what I have said discourage you.  It isn’t intended that way, for your stuff has genuine merit.  But you will simply have to walk the long, hard road that is papered with rejection ships that we have all trodden.

 

     Wishing you success and with much love for yourself and John and the boys,

 

                                                                                                    Yours sincerely,

                                                                                                          Dorothy Dix

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Letterhead: Canadian Pacific Railway Company, British Columbia Coast Steamship Service.]

                                                                                                 Aug 8 1929

Tiddy dear:

 

     I havent written to you often but it has been because I haven’t had the chance.  We have been on the go so continually & when we were on the boats there were so many of the endless boys & girls writing to their sweeties there was no getting in a mile of a desk.  I’ve been waiting now for hours for this opportunity & if the flapper who has monopolized it for hours isn’t stricken with pen paralysis it isn’t my fault – I’ve wished it on her long enough.

 

     The trip has been a great success – I never had a more interesting experience than this wild country that is just a look back on pioneer days -  The scenery is about the most beautiful on earth -  Great ranges of snow capped mountains, blue green sheets of water, white birch forrests [sic], and all sorts of queer primitive people, mining for gold, raising foxes, coming down to the river with fresh killed moose & furs to sell – lonely little cabins where a few wood choppers & trappers live – and they talk about it being 50 & 70 & sometimes 78 degrees below zero as if it was nothing, & being shut in for 7 or 8 months a year with mail once a month – if that – brought in by dog sleds.  What a life!

 

     I got an awful kick out of Dawson.  We staid in a hotel that once was a famous dance hall & slept in a room in which many a hotsy-totsy girl must have robbed miners of their hard won gold – but I’ll tell you all about it when I see you –

 

     We are due to arrive back in Vancouver at 7.a m tomorrow & I plan to take the 8.30 train out to San Diego to see Miss Reed if my letters show all is well with the family.  I havent had a word since July 15 so feel very anxious.  I dont even know if you have gone to Diamond [Springs] so am sending this to Oak Park -  Write me as soon as you get this to Littleton Colo, care of J. C. Shaffers -  I am feeling fine -  Rested & ready to tackle the love lorn single handed again -  Mrs Nolte will stay awhile in Vancouver & Mrs Jones go on to see her sister -  Dearest love to all

                                                                       E

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                   11/1/29

 

My darling sister;

 

     We have been looking all the week for a letter from you, but suppose you and Mrs. Pierce have been too busy talking to find time to write, but don’t forget we are always anxious to hear from you.

 

     There is no particular news with us except that little Betty is quite sick.  Has a bad case of bronchitis so that the doctor was afraid of pneumonia yesterday, and risings in both of her ears which has given her great pain, but I believe they think she is a little better this morning, though I haven’t heard since the doctor came.  Billy has also had a slight attack of flu – or rather a very heavy cold I think – and has been in bed for a couple of days, but he expected to get up this morning and had no fever when I went to see him yesterday.  Pa is fine.  Has a grand appetite and is feeling great.

 

     You remember that I told you that the insurance company had advised me to have the American Appraisal Company make an estimate of my furniture so they could have something to go on in case of a fire.  There has been the nicest young chap about Huntington’s age down here doing it, and in talking to him one day I asked him where he came from and he said a suburb of Milwaukee. I said I had a favorite nephew who lived in one too and found out that he lived in the little town between Whitefish Bay and Milwaukee.  He knows just exactly where Huntington lives and is going to hunt Hunt up when he goes back.  I think they would be very congenial as he is very cultivated.  By the way the prices he put on my things staggered me.  He valued that piece of Japanese embroidery over the piano at $2800.  Said it was the most beautiful one that he had ever seen and he had never seen anything like it.  He valued the rug in the living room at $2200 and the green rug in my bedroom at $2000 and my bedroom furniture at $5000, and that little bronze Buddha on the Korean cabinet at $200.  I paid $2.00 for it in a Japanese temple.  I don’t think there is anything left for me but to set a match to the things and collect the insurance.

 

     We saw in the Tobacco Leaf that Marg Smith, Mrs. Rufus Roads, was dead.  Carrie wrote that poor Cousin Bab had to have her stomach washed out every four hours for the last year.  Wasn’t that an awful way to die?  I don’t see why her son let her suffer so long.

 

                                                                        With much love,                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                    Your devoted,

                                                                                                                            Sister.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery headed: Dorothy Dix.]

 

                                                                                                      11/20/28

Dearest Hunt:

 

     Thank you so much for your cunning letter, which I enjoyed so much.  I wish Margaret had your talent for writing.  She would stand a lot better chance of succeeding than I fear she does, but for goodness sake don’t tell her or your mother I cast any doubt upon it for she hasn’t the remotest suspicion but what she is a second Kipling.

 

     I am awfully interested in your new business and I am sure you are going to succeed in it.  Anybody who is willing to get up at the hour you do and go to work will make a go of anything.  I myself would much rather have been a business man than a writer because business is the real romance in the big game, and I would [have] loved to have sat in on it.

 

     I shall look forward with the keenest delight to having some of your pickles and sauces as a Christmas present.

 

     By the way have you all the recipes you want?  I have a friend here who is a great cook and she makes a horseradish sauce that is a combination of horse radish, cream and eggs that is the most wonderful thing you ever tasted to eat with cold meat and soup meat.  Couldn’t you use that in connection with your canned soup – say buy two pounds of brisket, a can of condensed vegetable soup and a bottle of horse radish sauce and have the most wonderful meal you ever ate.  Boil the brisket for two hours.  Take out.  Put the can of soup in the water.  Boil up and serve, and you have a dinner fit for a king, if you eat the horse radish sauce with the boiled meat.  That isn’t very plain but you see what I mean.

 

     All join in love.  Uncle Ed always says that next to his own boys he loves you, and I don’t say next to anybody.

 

                                                  Dearest love for Bee and yourself,

                                                                                            Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten.]

                                                                                             Nov 19 [1930?]

Dearest Hunt ---

 

     Perhaps your mother has told you that I am giving each of you children $1000 out of what I got from Pa – I have given each of the others $500 to spend as they like & the balance is to go in some permanent rainy day fund.  Heres your $500, but as your business is struggling along it occurs to me you may possibly need #1000 to pay up old bills, get your & Bee a new frock & have a little to go on for next year --  If you do write me frankly & I will send it to you.  The other $1000 I cant give any of you until the estate is settled, but I don’t want you to put it into the business, but to pay that amount on your house[.]  Please see the man who has the mortgage & see if he will let you pay that amount, or the $1500 if you dont need that for current expenses -- & write me what he says –

                                                     Dearest love to you both

                                                                            Liggie

 

                                                                    

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery headed: Dorothy Dix.]

 

                                                                                              12/6/30

Dearest Hunt:

 

     I got your dear letter and appreciate it more than I can say.  Believe me it is a great pleasure to me to be able to help you right now when you need a little boost, for I am sure that you are going to succeed and that the advertising will pull through alright if you keep pegging on at it.  Make you arrangements to pay $1000 down on the mortgage just before Christmas as I will send it to you in time for that, and take part of the$500 to get you some good clothes and step out a little.

 

     The worst policy in the world is for a man to let himself get shabby.  Good clothes not only bolster up your own spirits, but they make other people look up to you.  When I was having my hard struggle at the beginning I used to eat at Childs, in which in those days you could get a dinner for 30c, in order to have a smart new hat.  And it paid.  Many a time at trials I have had policemen escort me up to a seat by the side of the judge just because I had on a coat that showed it cost real money, while they would jam other newspaper women in shabby raincoats down by the door.  So get you a new suit of clothes and a good overcoat and a new hat and you will find people will give you the contracts that they have been haggling over because they will think you look like you don’t need them.  Now listen to your old Auntie about this.

 

     Did you ever hear of anything so silly as Katherine taking that 3 week’s old baby?  I am glad you and Beatrice have more sense than that.

 

     There is no news with us.  Everybody fairly well, and everybody would unite in sending love to you and Beatrice if they knew I was writing.

 

                                                                                                  Your devoted,

                                                                                                               Auntie.

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery headed: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                            12/26/31

Dearest Hunt and Bee:

 

     Thank you so much for that gorgeous sausage and the lovely handkerchief.  I cooked some of the sausage for my Christmas night’s supper for Daisy, Ed and myself and we all enjoyed it so much.  We get nothing like that here, and I [am] saving my handky to sport at a New Year’s party where I will doubtless have need of it.

 

     I know you had a pleasant time with the folks at home and wish I could have been with you.  I think next Christmas I am going to fly up to Oak Park.  I am anxious to know how you found your father.  As Mary hasn’t mentioned just how he is I think he must be better.  I hope so for he is very dear to me.

 

     With much love for you both and many, many thanks,

 

                                                                                            Yours affectionately, L

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Elizabeth and Harvey               .  Typewritten.]

                                                                                             12/26/31

Dearest Elizabeth and Harvey:

 

     I just don’t know how to thank you for that grand fur scarf.  It is the most beautiful one that I have ever seen, and, of course, that it should be one of your own foxes and that you should have thought enough of me to give it to me just hangs it with pearls and diamonds and rubies and things—or something that I value far, far more than jewels—your love.

 

     So I am not only speechless when I look at it but teary-eyed besides.  And I want to tell Harvey in especial how much I appreciated his letter.  I have about half a dozen precious ones put away and I am going to put his with them.  You children can never know what you mean to me, and I am sure that you know that your own mothers don’t love you any more than I do.

 

     We had a very pleasant Christmas, the balmiest spring day you ever saw, too warm for even a grate fire, and the town looking like Scarlet Sister Mary with every yard a laze [sic] of poinsettias[.]  We had great fun in seeing Edward’s kids with their toys, but of course you went through the same experience with yours, and I certainly would loved [sic] to have seen Betsy and Bill.  Betty told Daisy that Santa Claus had brought her everything but the kitchen stove, and then she remembered that her great Uncle Warren had sent her an electric range on which she could really cook, so I don’t think there was a wish of her heart left ungratified.

 

     This afternoon Ed, Daisy and I are starting out to the Pass for our Christmas which will consist of gardening.  We are going to plant out a row of the watermellon [sic] colored and pink and lavendar [sic] crepe myrtle just in front of where the Cherokee roses are, and put out some more rhododendrons under the big trees.  One of my friends sent us six more fig trees as a Christmas present, so now we have quite a fig orchard, or will have when the new ones bear, but even so we have about nine bearing trees.  The narcissus are all in bloom and the spring flowers up, but we fear this bodes us no good as there will surely be some cold weather and they will all be killed.  The new well is a great success, so we are getting things in nice shape over there, and I do hope that some day before long we will have the pleasure of having you with us.

 

     With much love and more thanks than I can ever express,

 

                                                                                                   Your devoted,

                                                                                                                           Liggie.

 

Tell Betsy that her little story was lovely, and that it was so beautifully printed.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                     10/14/32

My darling Sister:

 

     Just got your good letter and your description of the party made my mouth water.  How proud you must have been of you children and how happy it must have made you to see them all so well fixed and so healthy and strong, and doing their parts so well in the world.  I don’t think that any father and mother in the world ever had finer children, and when you realize that not one of them has ever given you a minute’s anxiety or sorrow you must feel like going down on your knees and thanking God for being so good to you, for I can think of nothing would tear anybody’s heart like having wilfull [sic] children, not to say dissipated ones.  And it pleases me to death to look at the little folks, and reflect that the old stock hasn’t run out, and that they are just as smart and sturdy and upright as any of their forbears.

 

     The mustache cup and pepper sauce and the pickle got through without a scratch.  Thank you a million times for them.  I haven’t tried them yet, but they look fine, and I know I shall enjoy them.  I was wondering what I was going to do without Cousin Mollie to send me a bottle of pepper sauce every year, so you see you inherited her job. 

 

     We see in the Tobacco Leaf that Gustav Henry is dead.  I expect it is a mercy as we heard when we were in C. [Clarksville] that his mind seemed to be affected.  He had lapses when he didn’t know things.  That crazy McClure blood is a poison that goes on from generation to generation.  I have always been so glad that Pat Cross didn’t have any children.

 

     The other night I went to the most interesting thing—the negroes are giving a kind of play they call “Heaven Bound” that is on the order of “Green Pastures.”  Only it is perfectly original with them as none of them have ever seen that, and I imagine that it is an old thing that they have done from time immemorial.  The idea of it is, of course, people finding their way to Heaven.  It was given in a negro church and across the aisle right in [f]ront of the pulpit was a latticed gateway made of lathes.  At the beginning of the performance about 60 or 70 angels, male and female, dressed in white, and with large wings on their shoulders, made of tissue paper, came singing down the aisle and passed through the gates.  All had golden crowns on.  Then came St. Peter with long flowing white locks and a long flowing robe and a golden key about four feet long.  He took his place just behind the gate and on either side of him two other angels with flaming swords.  At one side of the pulpit was a door through which you could see red lights.  This was hell.  Down the aisle first one pilgrim to Heaven and then another came, most of them singing spirituals.  One woman with a heavy sack over her shoulder singing “I’m gwine to lay my burden down at Jesus’ feet”.  Another old woman with a big white sunbonnet on hobbling on a cane singing “Old time religion is good enough for me.”  Old black Joe was another, and so on.  As each pilgrim came along a frisky devil in red with a long tail and horns would dash up the aisle and tempt them, the ladies with beads and vanity cases and silk stockings and the men with cards and liquor and cigars.  One sinner, a lady, was tempted with a long slim razor.  If they resisted, they passed on singing into Heaven and the angels took up the refrain.  If they yielded, the Golden Gates were clapped to in their faces.  When the prodigal son came along and he had resisted money and cards and a bottle of whiskey just as he was about to pass through the Golden Gates the devil thrust a live chicken under his nose, but he was proof even against that.  The singing was marvelous.  And all the acting as as solemn and serious and as naive as children.

 

      No news with us.  Everybody well and Ed an[d] Daisy and I are going over to the Pass this afternoon.

 

                                                                                 With much love to all,

                                                                                                    Your devoted, Sister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

 

                                                                                                     12/28/32

Dearest Hunt and Bee:

 

     Thank you so much for that beautiful crest [probably the Meriwether coat of arms] which will be among my treasures.  I am going to hang it right under Pa’s picture because that seems the appropriate place for it to be and I know he would love it so.  It was darling of you to take so much trouble for me.

 

     I know you had a grand reunion at your father and mother’s and if I had been feeling a little stronger I think I should have been tempted to have joined the party, but I realize I wasn’t equal to it and it wouldn’t have been wise for me to have tackled the cold in my present state, though I am getting better every day and am back at work.  My syndicate was terribly upset when they thought that perhaps I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with my strenuous output, but I think that I will soon be going strong again.

 

      As soon as I can I am going to send you, Hunt, a little book I bought the other day called “Life begins at Forty”, out of which I think you will get a lot of comfort.  It asserts, which is true, that very few people ever really achieve much before that age.  I don’t feel that I have made any howling success, but I worked along to that age, getting at the highest $20 a week.  You seem to be getting nowhere and you get discouraged, but all the time you are learning your trade, you are getting knowledge of life and human nature, and then suddenly you begin to reap.  I am sure that is going to be your experience and you must remember that you have been held back first by the war and then by this depression, but you mustn’t lose heart.  Keep on fighting and you will get there.

 

     With much love to you both and all good wishes,

 

                                                                                     Your devoted, Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Addressed: Mr Huntington Patch, 1108E Sylvan Ave, Whitefish Bay, Milwaukee, Wisc.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Return address: New Orleans (remainder of return address torn away.]

 

                                                                                                      2/16/33

Dearest Hunt:

 

     Your mother has written me about some wonderful medicine that you have that has put pounds of fat on you and in behalf of Billy, who is another human snake, I want to ask you to either send me a bottle of it, or write me the name of the people who put it up so I can get some for him.  If your druggist will send me a bottle, I will remit for it at once.

 

     I suppose you have heard about Billy being a father.  He has the cutest little girl.  Of course he was terribly dissapointed [sic] that it wasn’t a boy, but it seems we have to take them as they come, and this is a fine example of the female species, so we will have to let it go at that, and hope for better luck next time.

 

     In the past ten days we have had our first touch of winter.  It had been very warm and the overly optimistic trees and flowers had all come out, and now they are paying for their folly by being killed.  All the early spring flowers and the azaleas and japonicas were in full bloom and you could weep now over the sad and blackened ruins they are.

 

     Hope things have begun to pick up with you and that your long and patient struggle is going to be rewarded, which it deserves to be, and as I am sure it will be in the end.

 

                                               With much love for Bee and for yourself,

                                                                       Your devoted,

                                                                                                Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten.  Feb. 25, 1933.]

 

Dearest Hunt:

 

     Thank you so much for sending me the dope.  Enclosed find a check for another bottle.  If that works on Bill – and by the time he takes both he ought to know – I’ll get my druggist here to order it for me.  The poor child looks like a snake he is so thin, and he is so worn with all he has been through lately that you would think he had the baby instead of Lucy Mae.  But he has had an anxious time of it as she has been very sick.  However, she is better now and we hope out of danger.

 

     Have you ever thought that the people who make the Arm and Hammer brand of soda are overlooking a big bet in not advertizing [sic] it as a medicine?  You know it a specific for acidity of the stomach.  It will do more than any other one thing to stop a cold.  It is a marvelous gargle for a sore throat.  It is fine for burns.  It is a b[e]tter tooth  cleaner than Pepsodent as it kills the germs in the mouth, sweetens the breath and heals the gums.  Think that up and see if you can’t sell them on an advertizing [sic] campaign.

 

     You know that it is not vulgar curiousity [sic] that makes me want to pry into your affairs.  It is just love and because you are like a son to me, so I would like to know how your little agency has held on through all these bitter times.  It is wonderful that you have been able to keep it alive at all, and if you have you may be sure you will make a go it it.

 

                                                                     With much love for you and Bee,

                                                                                        Yours affectionately,

                                                                                                 [Unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                            1/3/33

Dearest Hunt:

 

     Your letter was so sweet and dear it made me cry.  You can never know how I appreciated it.  I would rather have had it than a diamond tiara.  I showed it to Ed and we both agreed that you were the dearest boy in the world, and he said that next to his own sons he loved you better than anybody.

 

      Yesterday was Pa’s birthday.  He would have been 96, and we celebrated it in the way he liked, with a big family dinner.  It was the day of the year to him and he always got such a kick out of all the letters and telegrams.  I thought this year that I wouldn’t have any dinner as I wasn’t feeling very well and Daisy was sick, but the children were all so upset about it, said they would rather miss anything else during the whole year, that I braced up and had it, for I want them to feel that way about Pa and keep alive all the traditions.

 

     With much love for you and Bee and hoping this year will bring you great good fortune,

 

                                                                                              Yours devotedly,

                                                                                                                 Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]                                                                                         

                                                                                                10/24/33

 

My darling sister:

 

     I got your good letter yesterday and was so glad to hear from you and to know that Carrie was pleased with the dress.  She is such a dear that it is a pleasure to do anything for her.

 

     I have just come back from a two day’s trip down to Lake Charles.  Henry Gray, the brother of my friend Matilda, died on Wednesday, and I went home with her, as did Mrs. Arthur.  Henry’s death leaves Matilda alone in the world and in that big palace of hers, as the only ones left now are her brother Bill, who is just a wreck of a person, and his little daughter, a child of 10 who is the sole heir to the Gray fortune.

 

     You know among their many other possessions are large ranches and these Henry ran.  He was a typical cowboy and cared for nothing else and his men worshipped him.  His funeral was almost feudal.  All day and night he lay in the great big drawing room, and these men from the ranches, lanky, weather-beaten men in wide cowboy hats, came straggling in.  They would put their arms around Matilda and their heads down on her shoulder and weep like little children, and then they ranged themselves around the coffin and just sat there hour after hour keeping guard over him.  It made you think of the many camp fires they must have sat around with him, and when they buried him they bore his coffin on their shoulders to the grave.  He was the kindest and most generous person I ever heard of almost.  For years he has kept 10 boys and 10 girls in college.  He took care of half the widows and orphans in Southern Louisiana who were in need, and for two winters he has given every day two fat beeves for meat for the poor.

 

     I have been trying to remember to tell you about a woman who came to see me in Buenos Aires who did so much for me.  Her name was Mrs. Barrett and she was president of the American Women’s Society there.  One day she asked me where I came from originally and I said: “Clarksville, Tenn.”  Whereupon she exclaimed: “Why, I’ve been to Clarksville.  The pleasantest recollection of my life centers around it.”  Then she went on to say that her father’s second wife was Miss Lily Kerr, Mrs. Mike Clark’s sister, and that when she was 16 her stepmother took her to the Clarks’ to pay a visit and she had her first love affair with Alex Payne.

 

     I have also been trying to remember to tell you that while Ed was in Nashville he went to see Katie Satterwhite who told him that Will Cannady died about six months ago.  I guess the depression was more than he could stand.

 

     I didn’t go to the Pass this week-end, but the boys did and had a grand fish, caught many trout, but as they got up and went out each morning at four o’clock and Ed went with them he came back looking a little fagged.  The children are fine and everybody well.

 

                                                                              With much love to you all,

                                                                                                       Your devoted,

                                                                                                                    Sister.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

 

                                                                                             1/19/33

My darling sister:

 

     I got your good letter a few days ago and was so glad to hear from you, but sorry Margaret has had such a bad spell.  The pain in her back must have been on the same order as the pain that Billy had in his legs.  The aching of some part of the body seems to be characteristic of the flu this year and the doctors here call it a sort of breakbone fever.  Start Margaret on the strychnine, one thirtieth of a grain twice a day.  It is so simple and such a good tonic.

 

     Ed and Daisy went out to the Pass Monday and stayed until yesterday and said it was just Heavenly over there, though we have had so much rain that nothing much was in bloom.  Even the narcissus are just starting.  They went to the woods and got fifteen mountain laurels which they planted out and next week we expect to get the dogwood.  We certainly will have a beauty spot if all the stuff we planted in the woods lives.

 

     Warren and Nora start tomorrow night on their trip and are very excited over it.  I don’t know how Nora is going to stand it, but, as Henry used to say, “she has been a-gitting back,” from so many trips that I thought she would never return from that I guess she will make it.  When they get to Shanghai from where they go inland to where Francis is stationed, it only costs $25 more to come back through the Mediterranean than it does to return the same way.  They are getting the most unbelievable rate, so it is the time for them to go if they are ever going.

 

     I had a letter from Kate saying she was starting back to Louisville in a few days.  She said her cousin begged her to stay but she was homesick and that she was going home by way of Clarksville, but this morning I had a letter from Dorothy Meriwether saying that she had written them that she was coming but that they had gotten a wire saying that she had changed her plans.  They didn’t know why, and she hadn’t written them.  I had to laugh as Kate enclosed in the letter one that she had written me over a month ago and hadn’t mailed.  She said she was always putting letters in books and forgetting them.

 

     There is no news with us.  Edward expects to start on his new house about the 1st of February.  They have a lovely plan.  I mean the man has drawn a picture of it that looks lovely.  Mimi expects to do most of the work with her tool chest, which of course would be a saving.  Poor little Lucy Mae looks so white and tired and drawn that it makes us feel quite uneasy about her.  She says: “It seems to me this thing has been going on a hundred years.”  And the doctor thinks it has still got to go on until about the middle of February.  She only weighs 124 with all the impedimenta, so there must just be nothing left of her.  Ed has great sport in teasing her about the twins.

 

     I like my new chauffeur very much.  He is not as good a driver, but far more industrious than Jake and he has me so shined up you wouldn’t know me.  I am feeling better all the time, but I am still mighty sore and get played out quickly.  Haven’t got my old pep back, but I don’t suppose that was to be hoped for a while.

 

     I enclose Mrs. Nolte’s recipe for eggplant.  Put it away among your treasures as it is one of the best dishes you ever tasted.

 

     When you write to Hunt tell him that Mr. Gregg has just had his first baby.  He must be all of 70.  You know his wife died and he married again, but he has been married for several years so this is a belated effort.

 

                                                                                With dear love,

                                                                                                          Your devoted,

                                                                                                                              

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                           3/27/33

My darling sister:

 

     You know how good Mr. Shaffer has been to me for so many years.  Lately he has given me a wonderful diamond and pearl necklace that belonged to Mrs. Shaffer because he said she liked me better than almost anybody else in the world, and he is giving her jewelry to her old friends and his family, of course.  The poor old soul didn’t have many friends, but he was crazy about her and has the most sentimental feeling about everything belonging to her.  Lately three of his intimate friends have died and he wrote that he was so depressed that he wanted Helen Shertz and me to come up and pay him a little visit.  Of course it doesn’t suit me at all to do it as I am so busy, but I have refused so often and as this is the only return I can possibly make for his kindness to me, I feel that I must go.  So Helen and I are coming up about the 6th. And will be at his house about a week.  Then I will come and spend a couple of days with you and bring you and George home with me.  Of course I will let you know as soon as I get there.  Make all your arrangements to come about the 15th.  The weather will be much better, and everything pleasanter than it is now.

 

 

     We went out to the Pass this week-end and did a lot of gardening.  The season is a month late so there were no flowers except the wild azaleas in the back yard, but the mountain laurel is in bud and will be fine in a couple of weeks.

 

     Yesterday we had the christening of the baby and she was as good as gold.  Never whimpered even when the priest poured so much water over her I thought he would drown her.  You should have seen Mimi.  She was so fascinated by the performance that she almost climbed into the priest’s lap.

 

                                                                    There is no news.

                                                                     Dearest love to all,

                                                                                        Your devoted,

                                                                                                       Sister.

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Typewritten.  Carbon copy of original.]

 

                                                                                                  June 3, 1933

Dearest Lig:

 

     Many thanks for the check which you sent in Mom’s last letter from N.O.  I wish I could really express the gratitude I feel for this wonderful help in such trying times as these.  Your gifts make it possible for us to keep our heads up and hopeful for a future that will be more kind in its treatment of us.  It has been so long since any income has been coming in, and I have had to use up everything just in order to keep going, that with a regular sum coming in monthly I feel new encouragement and hope.  I don’t know what we would do without you and I wish I could tell you how perfectly wonderful it is that you are not only able but willing to lend a helping hand to so many of us who would be simply “out of luck” without your aid.

 

     You asked me to let you know what the situation was in reference to the house.  I have been down to see the attorneys, Friedrich & Hackbarth, who have handled the mortgage for us since we first built, six years ago.  They represent various clients who have money to invest, and they put up the first mortgage money when we built.  I understand this is some money a widow has and she has been very well satisfied with the investment.  They advanced $7,000 as first mortgage and charged 6% interest, with 1% fee for the 3-year term.  This first term was up just three years ago and they were glad to renew it for another similar term.  The interest, which amounts to $210 every June and December, has always been paid to them promptly, and the taxes have always been paid on the date required.  The second term of renewal expires this month, on the 22nd, and the interest has been paid up to last December, which means that I must pay them #210 and if they renew the mortgage for another three years, a 1% renewal fee amounting to $70.  Also the current taxes of $222 must be paid.  Mr. Friedrich says that they have been well satisfied with the way that the mortgage has been handled, and they will be glad to renew it for another three years on the above terms, namely, 1%  renewal and at 6% interest.  They also place the insurance in amount $7,000 at a premium of $62.80 for the three years.

 

     I explained my situation to him, that I had lost out in my business and hadn’t had any income for months and that I hadn’t been able to meet my current taxes yet.  I told him I didn’t want to sell the house if I could help it, because the present market for real estate is so low.  The house is assessed at $6,000 and the lot at $2,600, or a total assessment of $8,600 for tax purposes.  As the usual assessment valuation should represent about 60% of the market value, our house should be worth about $14,500, which I would consider about right, though of course not at the present time.  I doubt if we could sell it for $10,000 – possibly even $9,000 would be high right now.  Mr. Friedrich realizes this too, and advised me to hold on to it if at all possible as he knows the location, how limited good lots are near the lake and in highly desirable and restricted locations such as ours is, right off Lake Drive, etc.  And when I told him that I had expected that the renewal rate would be cut he said he had requests for the money at 6%, and even 6 ½% , with 2% fee, so that he would be glad to have the money to place elsewhere, but as long as I had been such a satisfactory customer and the security was still plenty sound, he would renew, but with no concessions.  Also said that if I had a chance to get the money elsewhere at a saving of the fee or at a lower rate of interest he was glad for me to make this saving, etc.

 

     My accounts show that I have paid in for the lot, and paid off on the principal todate, $4,250.00 – insurance, legal expenses and taxes have amounted to $1,438.90 – interest on mortgage todate, $2,512.89, and improvements, $829.05.  This represents a total of $9,030.84 paid out to the end of 1932, with the balance of $7,000 still owing on the first mortgage, or a total of $16,030.84 which represents the total investment in the house, form which we would have to deduct six years living expenses, sat at $75 a month or $900 a year, which would make the investment amount to $10,630.00, or the price I would have to get to come out even.

 

     I don’t know just what you will want to do about this, but I am giving you all these figures so you can see what a situation I am in.

 

     If I renew it through present channels it will mean paying up $210 for interest, $70 for renewal, $62.80 for insurance, and $222.74 for taxes – a total of $565.54 – or if you feel you want to take over the mortgage that will mean putting in $7,000 and having the mortgage assigned to yourself.

 

     I don’t know how I can continue to meet the interest payments unless I am able to get lined up with some business to have a steady income, but I know that it is a poor time to sell, and to rent is a risky business.  And even then I would have to pay out at least a good portion of what it is costing me now to live anywhere else.  Of course, this place is too good for us and too expensive without an income, but like a lot of other things it looked possible at the time, and unforseen [sic] circumstances have made it a burden.

 

     Again our thanks for being so good to us and with a world of love to you Lig dear –

 

                                                                                              Your devoted,

                                                                                                    [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                               6/8/33

Dearest Hunt:

 

     I am sorry I cannot take over your mortgage, but I have had such heavy losses that I haven’t the money and, in fact am hard pressed myself.  But I don’t want you to be forced to sell your house now when it would be sacrificed, so I am sending you a check for $565.54, which, as I figure out your letter, will enable you to pay the interest and renewal and insurance and taxes.  Consider $336.00 0of the money your January, February, March and April allowance.  That leaves you owing me $229.00 on the amount of the check.  I shall deduct $18 a month from your allowance for this until it is paid up, so the balance of the year I will only send you $66 each month.  I hope you can live on this until you can get something to do and only wish I could afford to send you more.

 

     If I were you, I would try to get a job with some firm instead of striking out for myself for I think the day of little business is over.  They simply can’t compete with the big concerns, and if you will get with a big company and stay with them you can work up in it.  If you had asked my advice in the first place, I would have urged you to stay with the Journal and thus saved you, had you taken my advice, these heart-breaking years that you have been through.

 

     You know you are as dear as a son could be to me and I have the greatest faith in your talent and ability.  You are the most brilliant one in the whole family, and you will succeed yet, so don’t lose heart.  Keep up your courage.

 

                                                                  With much love for yourself and B.

                                                                       

                                                                                           Affectionately, Lig

 

                                                                                                                                                                                   

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original.]

 

                                                                                             June 12, 1933

Dearest Lig:

 

     Your good letter and check just received and I can’t thank you enough for the way you have come to my rescue.  If lifts that dreadful worry of how it was going to be possible to keep the house through this trying time.  You are so good to us and so generous and so ever-ready to come to the aid of all of us that it’ll never be possible to let you know what it does mean to us, all.   And all we can do is love and admire you – we’re so proud of your achievements we are always waiting the chance to do a little bragging about what a wonderful person “D.D” really is!

 

     I have just seen Friedrich and Hackbarth and they were glad to extend the mortgage for another three years.  And then Saturday the Assessor called and after I had told him my present plight he cut my next year’s assessment down to $7750 so my taxes will be less in 1934, for which I am duly thankful.

 

     Surely I’ll be able to get lined up somewhere before long and be able to manage.  And I still have hopes of someday doing something worth while – to merit the unbounded faith you have in my ability.  So far it seems all the breaks have been against me – but your never-ending encouragement and help have meant more than I can ever tell.

 

      We haven’t seen any of the family since the folks got back from N.O., but this coming Saturday Mom, Kay, Eliz, Betsy and the two Sarahs are driving up here for the day.  We had hoped that Dr. Goodpasture and Aunt Fanny were going to get up to Chicago too but neither of them came, just the two Sarahs this time, and they are enjoying a few weeks at Lake Bluff, going to take in the Fair, etc.

 

     Dearest love to you Lig dear and thanks again from Bee and

 

                                                                                                       Your devoted

                                                                                                        [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix. Undated.]

                                                                                           [June 1933?]

Dearest Hunt –

 

     Thanks for your dear letter.  Believe me, son, it is far more pleasure to me to hold out a feeble helping hand to you just now when you need it than it is to you to take it --  In regard to your getting the Gov loan this is the way to work it: get the man who has the mortgage to write you a letter saying you must pay him in June.  Take that to your agt -- & get the Gov to take over the mortgage --  Thats the way I did with the woman who owed me -- & she had no trouble --  You mustn’t let your house get away from you for that is a good investment, and I’ll never let that happen if I can help it, but it will be a good thing to [word crossed out: get] have to pay smaller interest & have a long time to pay off in.  Am looking for your father & mother any day now.  Dear love to Bee & all my sympathy – its an awful ordeal for her to have to go thro with –

 

                                                                                            With love

                                                                                                   Lig

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

 

Dearest Hunt –

 

     Hope things are beginning to break for you a little.  Its pretty hard to do, but keep up your courage --  Things cant go on this way forever & you’ll win out yet –

 

     With much love for you & Bee[.]

                                                                            Lig

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                         11/4/33

My darling sister:

 

     I got your good letter yesterday and know how to sympathize with you about your cold as I have been sick with one myself for the past week.  I think they are a mild form of grip, and they have been epidemic here.  So far Ed and Daisy have escaped and I hope they will continue to do so as when Daisy gets one she finds it so hard to get over it.  They went out to the Pass yesterday, but I had promised to attend a luncheon given by a chapter of the Delphian society that they have named after me.  I am always promising to do things three or four weeks ahead of time and then finding them horribly inconvenient to do when the time comes along.  It is so much easier to promise than to perform, isn’t it?

 

     Helen was much amused at your dream about Virginia.  She is a good little thing and I’ve never heard her squawk, but Helen is such a grand manager and her children are so well trained that I suppose they wouldn’t think of doing such a thing.  But you ought to hear little Daisy howl.  She raises the welkin and has a voice like a fog horn.  However, Lou and Bill are doing their best to discipline her, and she is as cute a youngster as you ever saw.  The second was Betty’s birthday.  She is 8, and she is so big.  Looks half grown, and she has improved very much in looks.  Getting to look very much like the miniature of Ma’s.  Wouldn’t it be grand if she developed into being as beautiful?

 

     You will be glad to hear that I have renewed my contract for another five years on the same terms.  That is an achievement in these days when nearly everybody’s salary is being cut to ribbons, but I had two other offers from people who were willing to pay the price, so we all eat for another five years I guess, and that’s a comfort in these uncertain times.  The Ledger Syndicate wrote me that when this five years contract was out they hoped to renew it for another generation or two, which amused me very much.

 

                                                                                      With much love to you all,

                                                                                                  Your devoted, Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

 

Dearest Hunt:

 

     Here is a little check for your Christmas present.  With it get something you want and need for yourself and Bee, and believe it comes with all the love in the world.

 

     I was so pleased with your sweet letter and should have answered it sooner, but have been feeling so rotten that I wasn’t equal to it.  I was so interested in what you said about your being like Pa.  I have always said that you were more like him than any of his grandchildren, and I want to say right here that you are just as fine in every way as he was, and that is saying that there could be no nobler character.

 

     I have much admired the brave fight you have made and I believe that you are going to win out as now we have passed the turning point and things are going to be better.  It is wonderful to me that you have been able to keep going at all, but even if your little company should go under, which I don’t believe will happen, you have gained experience that will be invaluable to you.  The only thing I want to urge on you is never to give up advertizing [sic] to go into anything else.  It is your predestined career and sticking to a thing is nine parts of success.

                                                               With much love to you both,

                                                                                        Your devoted,

                                                                                                     Lig.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                     12/27/33

My darling sister:

 

     Just a line to thank you for your lovely Christmas present.  It fills a longfelt want as we are sadly in need of table coverings over at the Pass and I am going to take it over there to keep for our Sunday best, and hope before many months have passed you and George will be eating your gumbo off of it.

 

     Santa Claus was very good to me and among other things I got (from Mr. Adler, the jeweler,) for whom a did a service some time ago, a wonderful bust—a plaster cast, but an original signed one, by a French artist.  It is called “the king’s confessor” and represents an old priest, thin, ascetic, a man who had mortified the flesh until he was almost skin and bone, listening to the king’s confession with his eyes downcast so that the king could not see what he was thinking and with an expression on his thin face and his thin lips the most humorous, the most sardonic and cynical you ever saw.  You know that he has heard everything there is to hear in the world of human folly and weakness and that he is thinking that no matter how much I absolve you, as a priest is bound to do a king, that you are going to catch hell when you pass on.  It is the cleverest and wittiest thing I ever saw and I am crazy over it.

 

     There is no news.  Daisy is up again, but makes a slow comeback.  Helen is also up, but she wasn’t able to come over last night to dinner.  She has had a nasty spell of tonsillitis.  Edward is certainly the most wonderful young man I ever saw.  Before they got a nurse he changed the baby and gave her her bath just like an old woman, and he fixed the Christmas tree and put up all the decorations and hung the stockings and kept the children amused, all of this in addition to not missing an hour at the factory.  He didn’t even have to be told a thing about where to get the Christmas decorations or anything.  When I think of how helpless most of the men I have ever lived with were I marvel at him.  George wouldn’t have wrapped a bundle or put up a piece of mistletoe to have saved my life, and Pa wouldn’t have know how.

 

     Gaston’s baby has been very sick for about a month so Guthr[i]e Coke writes.  Had a cold that settled in his glands and gave them an infection.  He said the baby was better but still very sick.

 

     With much love and many thanks for my Christmas gift.

 

                                                                                                 Your devoted,

                                                                                                                          Sister.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                   Jan 1, 1934

Dearest Bee –

 

     Thank you & Hunt - & you especially as it was your cunning hand that made that marvelous cake -  We all agreed it was the very best one we ever tasted & attributed it to some famous German chef, so imagine our pride to find it was family talent.

 

     And now, Bee dear, I am going to ask a real favor & sacrifice of you – I want you to pack up your husband & send him down to me for at least six weeks – I can tell from his letters that the long strain & anxiety has got him to the breaking point & unless he has complete change & rest – just forgets for the time being that there is a depression – he will have a collapse -  I want him to come where it is warm & just play – bring along his golf clubs, & let me feed him up & cosset him & get him well -  Then he & Ed & I will go into conference & find out what he wants to do most & see if we cant get him started at it.  Maybe we cant – but if he is well again he will go at any job with renewed vim -  I will send him money for his trip, & give him his allowance so he will be able to keep up his home expenses[.]

 

     Now my dear it is up to you to send him if you think well of the plan for he will never come if you object.  Please dont think I’m trying to interfere in your family affairs – I am not – I am only so very anxious to help you & him.

 

     Dont be hurt or offended that I am not asking you with Hunt.  I hope someday to have you come & pay me a visit, but just now I am so situated it would be impossible for me to have a woman staying with me – I wont have to entertain Hunt – he can spend his time at the plant & with the boys.

 

     With much love for you both and renewed thanks for that grand cake[.]

 

                                                                                               Affly               

                                                                                                         Lig

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                  June 25 [1934?]

Dearest Hunt –

 

     Thank you for your sweet letter.  You are just as dear to me as any son could be, and it gives me a great happiness to be able to help you over this hard place in your life.  I am sure you are going to succeed.  Never let yourself doubt that for we cant put any punch in our work if we doubt out own ability --  But you have so much courage I needn’t counsel you not to give up.  You’ll fight to the last – But my earnest advice to you is to try to get with some good firm & build up with it.  They will have the money & organization to carry out your original ideas that you would not have yourself –

 

     We had a nice ten days in the mts of N. Cal. Where the whole landscape was just glorious with the mountain laurel – just billows of pink & white bloom shot thro’ with flame colored azaleas that reached up to the misty blue of the mountain tops --  No lovelier country.  It was cool & bracing & we all came home much refreshed – Dearest love to you & Bee

                                                                                      Liggie

 

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]               

                                                                                                  October 3rd. 1934

Dearest Hunt:

 

     I can’t tell you how glad I was to see you and Bee and how I enjoyed being with you, and only wish I could have stayed longer, but I had to get back to my work.  That is the worst of a job, you have to be on it.

 

     I had a pleasant trip down and found all well at home, but was saddened by the death of my dear old friend, Mrs. Dinkins.  She was 91 but still young in heart.  Just what you would like to be if you lived to be that age.  I am helping today with the funeral arrangements, so have to make this note brief.

                                                                            With much love to you both,

 

                                                                                         Affectionately,

                                                                                                       Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

 

                                                                                           Nov. 22nd. 1934

My darling sister:

 

     I am so distressed to hear about your hand.  Please get Carrie to write for me, for you shouldn’t use your hand at all, and tell me how it happened and whether you had it x-rayed or not.  If you haven’t had it x-rayed, for Heaven’s sake do so at once, because otherwise you may be crippling yourself for life.  There may be some little bone out of place that needs to be set and that no doctor can tell by feeling.

 

     Thank you so much for the grand bottle of pepper sauce.  I consider that a present fit for the gods and shall lap up every drop of it myself.  I think it is the most delicious condiment in the world.  And thank Carrie for me for my hand lotion.  That also is a most appreciated present and it is so much better than anything you can buy in the stores.  I divided with Daisy and she was so pleased to get it.  Said she thought it was the best that could be made.

 

     You will be sorry to hear that I have been sick.  Without rhyme or reason, for I had done nothing to bring it on that I know of, I developed a terrible cold that clogged up my lungs and bronchial tubes so that the doctor was afraid I would have pneumonia so put me to bed.  I am up again now, but feel pretty weak and shaky.

 

     You know if Mrs. Dinkins had lived to the 15th. of November they would have been married 68 years and they had planned a big celebration.  As she passed on before the Captain asked the four of us who had been so intimate with them to come to lunch and afterwards go out and spend part of the afternoon at her grave visiting her, which we did.  It was one of the most beautiful and pathetic experiences of my life  On the card on the flowers that I sent to her funeral I had written: “To Beautiful Lady whose loveliness is now immortal” and he had that carved on the tombstone.  You never saw anybody such a pitiful wreck as he is.  He isn’t interested in anything, doesn’t talk about anything but her, not bitterly or rebelliously, just how sweet and lovely she was and how he loved her and how happy they were together and how he is praying to go to her, which I think and hope is a prayer that will soon be answered.  Ella wrote some verses for the day that I enclose.  I think them very lovely and know you like what she writes.

 

     We are all well, even the children.  We have been having the house painted, or rather it is a sort of wash they put over it, a deep cream that is very attractive and a big improvement.  Daisy is having her sitting room and back bedroom papered.  I believe they are done, but I haven’t been able to go down stairs to see.

 

                                                                                              With much love to all,

                                                                                                            Your devoted,     

                                                                                                                           Sister.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

                                                                                                 [January 1, 1935]

Darling Sister –

 

     Just a line to wish you and dear George & the whole dear P. family a happy New Year & to say how much I wish you were both going to be here tonight to help celebrate Pas birthday[.]  Celina is still hobbling around with her strained ankle & isn’t really able to get the dinner, but she simply went up in the air when I suggested going to a restaurant --  We are going to have onion soup (Celina’s masterpiece)[,] a grand turkey (donated by Guthrie)[,] a heavenly white fruitcake whose like you never saw (contributed by Mrs. Dibert)[,] wines etc (from Warren & various boy friends) so you see the dinner will mostly be out of the Christmas basket sent to the worthy Widow Gilmer by generous friends -- 

 

     I send you Margarets letter, it is so sweet & dear.  A grand Christmas, but Virginia got too much of it – generally she is the most amiable & sweet tempered little thing, but the other day she was trying to put the boxes together in one of those things where they fit in one another & it wouldnt work.  Suddenly she arose & without a word began jumping on all her toys, smashing them to bits.  The ones she couldnt jump on she kicked.  I never saw any one so swearing mad in my life & it was so funny we rocked with laughter --

 

                                                                                        Dear love

                                                                                               E

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

                                                                                        [January 1, 1935]

Darling Hunt –

 

     Happy New Year to you & Bee, and all good luck --  Thank you so much for that lovely wooden tray – its so odd & smart & individual.  I shall get great comfort & pleasure out of using it, & it will always bring up happy memories of you & Bee.

 

     I am so sorry for the poor girl to have to go thro this terrible strain.  Its simply heart breaking & nerve wrecking --  Of course I dont know all circumstances, but why dont you put the mother in an ambulance & take her to Milwaukee --  Of course the Drs will oppose it, but thats their business & even if it is dangerous its worth the risk[.]  I knew of a woman – the mother of some friends of mine – who lived 7 years in that state, not knowing a thing or being able to speak –

 

     This is Pa’s birthday --  Wish you & Bee could be with us to celebrate.

 

     With a heart full of love for you both

                                                                             Lig

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                 Jan. 30th. 1935

Dearest Hunt:

 

     I am always so glad to get your good letters and enjoy them so much.  Am glad to know that you have gotten your affairs in better shape so that your mind can be at rest, and I hope this year will bring to you many good things.  We have to make a business of hoping now and sometimes it is pretty hard to do when everything is in such a turmoil and muss and nobody knows where we are headed.

 

     Do Tell [sic] Beatrice how my heart goes out to her in her great trial.  I never knew a more tragic situation and I hope the poor old lady isn’t at herself enough to realize it.  She has always been so fond of Beatrice that it will break her heart to realize what a care she is.  But B. certainly is doing her duty nobly and repaying all of her mother’s affection.

 

     There is no news with us.  Everybody working along the same old way and trying to make the best of things.  I think my knee is better under the new treatment, but having it massaged two hours a day and having to listen to the masseuse who has a perpetual motion tongue are about to run me crazy.

 

                                                                                         With dearest love,

                                                                                                         Liggie.   

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                           Apr 1 [1935]

Dearest Hunt –

 

     I’ve just returned from the Pass where I spend [sic] ten days recuperating for I’ve been knocked out in every way by my accident.  I was much improved & can walk now, or hobble rather by the aid of a cane across the room with out much pain.  I am filled with sympathy for poor Bee in her terrible trouble about her mother --   When you think that I escaped death by an inch or two & that frail little body lingers on & on with apparently nothing to live on, it certainly does make you think theres something in the Presbyterian doctrine of preordination & that nothing kills us until our time has come --  Do give my love to her & tell her my heart is with her.

 

     I’ve been intending to ask you for some time if you dont think it would be a good thing to get your house transferred to the Home Owners Association – or whatever they call it.  That gives you a low rate of interest & 15 years to pay off as you know – I had mortgages on 2 houses whose owners got the money from the Gov & paid me off.  Better look into it[.]  If you can hold on to your attractive house you will have a good investment if times ever improve –

 

     With dearest love to you both

                                                                Lig

 

Hoping to have your father & mother down before long.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Handwritten on hotel stationery with letterhead: The Emerson, Baltimore.]

                                                                                           May 31 [1935]

Tiddy dear –

 

     Your good letter to Ed came this a m & we were so glad to hear that you & Geo enjoyed your trip so much.  Now don’t fail to take the Boston end of it & you & especially G will have something to think of that is pleasant for years to some.  Nothing like travel[.]

 

     Eds temperature is subnormal this a.m. and we are hoping he will hold it --  Heretofore it has gone up in the late aft.  The Drs say that the disease has to wear itself out, & it generally lasts about 10 days, so by the end of the week he should be much better if there are no more chills.  Dr Young does not think now he will have to operate.  Thinks a little more of the same treatment he gave before will entirely relieve him.  Daisy is perfectly exhausted & I’m afraid by the time he is up she will be down --  I think it was a very good thing I came as Eds mind is at rest about her & she looks to me to be on the verge of collapse – I’ve seen her that way so often before, but dont write anything about this to her, or any way it will get back to her.  I am feeling much better.  The rest & change have done me good even with all the anxiety --  All well in N.O. – Lawrence, (the chauf[feur]) wrote that “so far every thing is on a balance” --  The Kearneys (including Helen) are all excited over the wedding, which takes place on the 6th --  On that day Guthrie & family pass thro N.O on their way to Mexico – where Guthrie is to [be] invested in royal powers as a Rotarian – I bet the trip nearly kills Carrie –

 

     I’ve millions of notes to write, so will you send Hunt his check for me.  I forget his new address[.]

                                                                           Dear love to all

                                                                                            E

 

 

 

[E.M.B. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

 

Dearest Hunt

 

     Writing in a great hurry just to send you & Bee my love[.]  All well except Uncle Ed who does not seem to improve much.  He had been without fever for 10 days & we were all pepped up -- & this morning he wakes up with a temperature again – not so high tho, I’m glad to say –

                                                                                 Love

                                                                                       Liggie

                                                                          

 

 

 

 

E.M.B. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on hotel stationery, letterhead: The Emerson, Baltimore, Maryland.  Addressed: Mr Huntington Patch, 2569 N Lake Drive, Milwaukee, Wisc.  Return address: 6334 Prytania, New Orleans.  Postmarked June 6, 1935.]

 

                                                                                                             June 6

Dearest Hunt

 

     Aunt Daisy spends every hour of the day hovering over Eds bed so she has asked me to write to you & thank you for your nice letter and tell you how much she & Uncle Ed appreciated it.  It was so dear and sweet of you to write so sympathetically, and so like you, dearest of boys.

 

     Ed has been terribly sick & we’ve been scared blue about him but we hope the worst is over, and now that he’s on the road to getting well – but he looks so white & drawn & is as weak as a cat.  Yesterday for the first time Dr Young was able to examine him – he’s been too sick heretofore – and he gave us the good news that he didn’t think he would have to operate -  It seems he must just have been poisoned for years with all the pus that was accumulating in his system –

 

     Nothing is so wearing – except being sick yourself, that is so wearing & nerve wracking as sitting around a hospital and it makes me wonder how poor Bee has stood all she has gone thro’.  She’s certainly been a heroine –

 

     We dont know just when we can go home, but probably early next week.  At least thats our hope, tho I must say Ed doesn’t look like it now – but the Dr holds out the prospect to us –

 

     Glad your mother & father are having such a nice trip & do hope they will go by Boston –

 

     Dearest love to you both from us all

                                                                         Lig

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                 June 26th. 1935

Dearest Hunt:

 

     Just a line to tell you that Uncle Ed is some better, able to sit up an hour at a time now.  After we got him back home he had a relapse and has been in bed for nearly two weeks—a flare-up of the inflammation with a chill and high fever.  We are hoping very much to be able to get off in a few days for Asheville as it is so hot here it is enervating and hard to come back.  We will be at the Grove Park Inn as usual.  I am going to drive through with Joe, my chauffeur, and Ed and Daisy are going on the train as he is not strong enough to stand the long hard trip.

 

     We have just had a telephone from Guthrie Coke who, with his harem, is passing through on his way from Mexico where he has been to the big rotary convention.  He was made a grand potentate, or whatever it is that the high muckamucks are in those circles and seems to have had a grand time.  Carrie survived the trip, although she has been an invalid with diabetes and a bad heart and the Mexican food must have been poison to her and the altitude slaying.  I have come to the conclusion that the way to keep alive is to have seven deadly diseases.

 

                                                                                       With dearest love,

                                                                                                    Your devoted, Lig

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

 

Dearest Hunt –

 

      Thanks for your good letter.  When I see A. H. P – on an envelope I get the kick of my life out of it.  But I told you so – I always said you’d hit your stride and win out the very first time you got half a break --  Next to Aladin’s [sic] lamp, I never heard of such a miracle worker as the capes & I can only hope & pray the weather may never be less wet –

 

     We’ve been having our usual run of sickness – Daisy has been laid up with flu that she doesnt seem to rally as she should – Bill has a bad attack of sinus trouble – I’m starting on the 14789634th treatment for my knee, little Bill & Daisy have the sniffles etc but Ed, thank God seems a little better.  Guess he thinks we’ve outclassed him.

 

     Give my love to Bee --  Get her as much interested as you can in your business.  The only panacea for grief is to keep so busy you have not time to think of your sorrow & to work so hard you sleep at night thro’ sheer exhaustion – I know, for I travelled the dark road for 35 years & I should have gone crazy if I’d had time enough to do so.  Dear love for you both                                                                

                                                                                            E

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                          Dec. 7th. 1935

My darling sister:

 

     So glad to get your letter and know that you got home safely.  We miss you dreadfully and feel that your visit was all too short, but I shall be looking forward to the Spring when you can come for a real stay.  The Dixie, by the way, comes in this week on its maiden voyage since it was fixed up.

 

     Ed continues to improve, but poor little Daisy is still in bed, just too weak to move.  She has been way down sub-normal but the doctor is giving her strychnine and all sorts of things to fix her up.  I think this is just the collapse from the long strain and it is what I’ve been looking for for a long time.  All the balance are well, but I see nothing of the children, or Lucy Mae either for that matter, as they are afraid to come where Daisy is.

 

     Yesterday I went up to Baton Rouge again for the day.  I took Ella’s brother and sister-in-law, who did so much for me when I was in Rio, up there.  The new capitol and the new university have all be built since they went to South America and they were very much interested in it as it is their old stamping ground.  Both were born and reared near Baton Rouge and Donnaud graduated from the old university.  They were perfectly flabbergasted at the changes and the grandeur of the new capitol.  When I came home I went to dinner at Antoines with Warren and Nora who were entertaining Francis’ superior officer who was here for the day.  We had a grand dinner and he was a most charming man, so it was very nice.  Today I am going to a lunch that Genevieve Thompson is giving for Governor Nellie Ross who is superintendent of the mint or the treasury or something in Washington, and Mrs. Flournoy is having a cocktail party to which you are invited.  So you see I am keeping busy as usual and finding it hard to get in time for my rubs.

 

                                                                                   With much love to all,

                                                                                                 Your devoted,

                                                                                                                    Sister.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

                                                                                            [Dec. 1935?]

Darling Tiddy –

 

     I had hoped to get leisure to write you a long letter today, but I’ve just been rushed off of my feet -- & they are not so swift now a days – but I am most hopeful about my operation – believe its going to be a great success & already I am so much better that I’d feel amply repaid for all I went thro even if I got no better & Dr Miller thinks I will – He’s certainly a wizzard [sic].  So a few nerves & getting tired easily doesnt matter – they’ll pass.  I am so glad you & M are better --  If you’d only live where I could give you a calomel when you need it, you’d live to be as old as Pa.  Whenever you have a mysterious symptom it’s a sure sign you need the good old live forever –

 

     Zelia is being married this morn & Daisy has to break in a new cook --  We’ve been highly diverted by the romance for the groom is a country darky & has had a great struggle over love & the cotton patch & a good job & a bath tub --  Selina gave her words of wisdom representing how easy the work is here, how good the pay & so on & how hard she would have to work for nothing if she married --  To which Zelia replied: “I know it, & I’d feel just like you do about it if I was an old woman like you” --  And thats life & love in two nutshells as Andy would say.

 

     I’m thinking of your birthday which is always the day I celebrate because it gave me you as a priceless gift --  Your birthday gift is the double one I always make you & myself – your & Geo’s trip down here – I’ll send the money whenever you are ready to come but I think you will enjoy it more if you come in the Spring when you can be out of doors all the time --  We went over to the Pass Friday & Sat went out to the woods & got 13 dogwoods & 8 yupons – you know the tree with the red berries & planted out 100 more iris a man gave me, but it was cold & raw & damp – not pleasant --  Lu is expecting any minute & Bill is so nervous she says she wishes the plant would send him out of town until it is all over & she could have her baby in peace.  Shes so frail I cant help being uneasy over it.  Her cousin had one the other day & nearly died --  Helen is threatened with a mishap & is in bed – I think she’s got an elegant sufficiency as it is, so why bother –

                                                                                          Dearest love

                                                                                                     E

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

                                                                                           [Jan. 1, 1936]

Dearest Bee & Hunt

 

     Thank you a million times for that grand fruit cake.  I never tasted finer, and we all agreed it took an artists hand to compound it.  Please believe I appreciated it with all my heart.  Tonight is Pa’s birthday & I am giving my usual family dinner just as I did as long as he was alive --  Wish you could be here to celebrate with us – he would be 99 if he was alive –

 

     Ed continues to improve so you may know we had a happy time –

 

     With love & all good wishes for a happy New Year

                                                                                                  Affly

                                                                                                       Lig

                                                                                       

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                   Jan. 21st. 1936

My darling sister:

 

     I am so shocked and grieved to hear about Mr. Miller’s death I think he was one of the finest men I ever met and certainly the kindest and most thoughtful, and I know his passing will mean a great loss to you and George.  He was almost the last of your old friends, and at our age we don’t get to care much for new ones.  They are only pleasant acquaintances at best.  It is the ones that we have old experiences and memories in common with that mean much to us.  I am writing to Mrs. Miller by this mail.  I know she must be broken hearted.  Do hope he left her enough insurance to make her comfortable.  It is hard when you are past middle life to go back to work, but she is fortunate in having two professions.

 

     There is no particular news with us.  Lu and the baby went home Sunday.  She was so well she only stayed in the hospital eight days, including the one she went, which was quite a record.  You never saw anybody so ecstatically happy.  I asked her one day if there was anything I could bring her and if there was anything she wanted and she replied: “I’ve got my son and there is nothing else on earth I want.”  Fine, isn’t it, to feel that way about it.  You never saw a nicer baby.  He is a great big strapping fellow, finely formed, and so strong he can lift his head up from the pillow.  He has a beautifully shaped head just covered with hair as black as ink, and nice features and promises to be very good looking.  I can testify to his voice which I am sure strikes high C and holds it.  All of Edward’s children have the whooping cough, though in a mild form due to the various serums they have been taking I suppose, and we suspect Helen has it too, though she says not, that she has laryngitis.  The children are out of school, of course.

 

     You never saw such confusion as we are in.  The furniture piled up sky high in the dining room and living room which are the only two that are not going to have the floors taken up, and dust is an inch thick over everything, and such a pounding as you never heard.  But it is all going to be lovely when it is done.

 

     Saturday Ed and Daisy and I went over to the Pass for the weekend and we struck such a heavy rain as I never saw.  It came down in buckets all day and all night until the back yard was like a lake.  It was very cold and disagreeable, but the japonicas are beginning to bloom and they are lovely.  I never saw anything have so many buds, but we have had such a cold winter that the narcissus haven’t bloomed at all.  They look fine though and we will certainly have a grand crop when they do come.

 

     When you write tell me where Catherine and Johnny went in Florida, and if they went by Hendersonville.

 

                                                                                      With much love,

                                                                                                        Your devoted,

                                                                                                                        Sister.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                         Jan 27th. 1936

My darling sister:

 

     I am beginning this letter with a question, which please answer at once.  How did George come out with the coffee that Daisy sent him?  We have never heard.  Did he like it?  Was he able to make it so it was good?  If he enjoyed it, I want to send him enough to last until he comes down this spring, but that coffee is no good boiled and there is no use in sending it unless it was successful.

 

     I wrote to Elizabeth the other day that I would be ready to go to Guatemala at any time after Carnival and for her to talk it over with you and see when you wanted to go.  I thought maybe she particularly wanted to come for Carnival, but I didn’t know how that would suit you as that would make it too early for George to come down here.  March is a cold month here and we have no way of making our house warm like yours.  Also, I think that would make you go to Margaret’s too early.  You went exactly the right time last year.  But you know I want you at any time I can get you, so settle the matter between yourselves, but let me know what you decide.

 

     I certainly am grieved about poor Mr. Miller.  It does not look like a man like him should die and you will find him a great loss, too.  One of the tragedies of age is losing the people we are fond of.  I remember hearing Pa say not long before he died that there wasn’t a single person living who was young when he was.

 

     We are certainly having a messy time about the house, but it is going to pay in the end in comfort.  It is the most complicated thing you ever saw.  They take up the floor and put all sorts of braces and wires and things in and then pack it with this rock wool, then put on it a floor that is suspended on little pieces of wood that are in what they call cradles lined with felt, then two floors and the rubber floor goes above that.  My backroom is virtually done and we can tell that it is going to deaden the sound almost entirely, which will pay for all the trouble and expense.

 

     Daisy has been having a terrible time.  She had several teeth that had to come out and they had those queer long roots that were embedded in the jawbone so that they had to be chiseled out, and she suffered terribly, had to have antiphlogistine poultices on her face and can’t eat anything solid, and the worst of it is she has to have three more taken out of the same kind.  All the balance are well and the baby grand.  Lou is up but she looks very weak and white.  I was over there yesterday, the nurse had gone and he had to be changed four times in ten minutes, so she has plenty to do.

 

                                                                                    With much love,

                                                                                                 Your devoted,

                                                                                                                Sister.

 

[Handwritten note added, probably by Mary Patch, who seems to have sent this letter on to someone, probably Huntington Patch.

 

     Poor Lou was taken with Flu & has had 104 temperatures, but is better, now – Lig writes -  She is not very strong, & I expect they let her nurse go too soon -  One is so weak at such a time, and needs lots of care -  Lig has asked me to go on the Guatemala trip -  Isn’t that fine? –

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten.  Undated.]

 

Dearest Hunt

 

     Just to send you my love & say as I am trying to get off for N. Ca on the 9 & want to settle all my business before I leave will you please cash this check at once --  I am so interested in your prospects & hope they will come thro’, but sooner or later all your good work will tell & you will cash in --  Do hope things are going better for dear Bee – poor girl, she has been thro’ the fires --  Nobody knows better than I how heartbreaking & wearing weary waiting for a tragedy can be –

 

     You will be sorry to hear our sweet Lu is very sick --  She’s in the hospital where she has been for 2 months, off & on, with piletis (if that’s the way to spell it)  Today she is worse & they are giving her Saline injections in her arms that are very painful --  Helen (Edwards wife) has come to the rescue like the sport she is & has the little baby & his nurse at her house much to our relief as Daisy is in bed with summer flu & I know no more about baby tending than I do lion taming.  Page Job!  His present address is 6334 Prytania –

 

     We’ve got out air cooled room at last & its great --  Dear love for you both

 

                                                                                                             E

 

 

[E.M.G. to Elizabeth            .  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                        July 6th. 1936

Dearest Elizabeth:

 

     Have just gotten your letter and was so delighted to hear from you.  I am so glad that Betsy got off to the camp.  She is just at the age that it will do her a lot of good in every way.  I think the summer camps are the answer to prayer of what to do with adolescent children.  We all thought Betsy’s picture so pretty.  She has something better than beauty.  She has style and personality, and why wouldn’t she have everything it takes, being her mother’s daughter?

 

     I have been very much worried, of course, about you Mother’s attack, but I have no idea it is anything serious.  I feel perfectly sure it is just her teeth.  When she was down here before when she had her front tooth pulled, and I have always been convinced that saved her from having a brain tumor, her breath was so bad that I thought she must be getting halitosis, but just as soon as she had that tooth pulled it was sweet and odorless again.  I noticed this time that her breath was bad again and I attributed it to the same cause, a dead tooth, and considered saying something to her about it, but I am always telling people something they ought to have done to them, or something they ought to take, like calomel, that I forbore to do it, but if I had and she had had the teeth jerked out I think she would have been saved this spell.  So when she gets home won’t you take up the white woman’s burden and nag her until she goes to some GOOD dentist.  Just ordinary dentists don’t understand x-ray enough to be really able to tell.  Everybody thought when she was here that she looked better than she has for years, so she couldn’t really have developed any serious trouble.

 

     You remember what lovely teeth Lou had.  The doctors discovered that this terrible pyletis that she has been suffering from came from her teeth and they have taken out two that had abscesses at the roots, and think they are going to have to take out one of her front ones.  Isn’t that terrible?  But it’s her teeth or her life.  She has been in bed most of the time now for two months.  Awful chills followed by raging fevers and the most painful treatment, having to have her kidneys and bladder washed out.  She is still in the hospital, but hopes to get out in a day of two.  Her Mother has Daisy over at the Pass and Helen, like the good scout she is, went over and got the baby and his nurse and has them at her house.  The other day she took the baby down to see Lou for the first time and he looked perfectly bewildered.  He would look first to Lou, then to Helen with the funniest expressin [sic] on his face.  He didn’t know which one he belonged to.  He is the handsomest child you nearly ever saw.  Has the biggest black eyes with eyelashes that are so thick and long they look like they were matted in mascara, and he is very big and strong, sits up like a major general.

 

     I am getting off on Wednesday (day after tomorrow) in the car for Grove Park Inn.  Mrs. Nolte and Mrs. Arthur will drive up with me.  Mrs. Arthur gets off at Hendersonville where she will visit and Mrs. Nolte goes on to Montreat, which is just beyond Asheville.  It has been terribly hot here, so I am very anxious to get off.  Ed and Daisy won’t come until next Monday as he has some business to attend to.  I don’t know when Helen and her brood are going over to the Pass.  Margie said the 21st., but Edward shut her up and said the time hadn’t been set, so I don’t know when they are going.  They should go on now as Virginia looks badly and is as cross as a sore-headed bear.

 

                                                                                        With much love from us all,

                                                                                                          Your devoted,

                                                                                                                    Liggie.

 

     Don’t work like you did last summer.  There is no excuse for your doing your washing when you have a car and can take it to a laundress.  I can’t bear to think of you doing so

much and it isn’t good for you either.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on hotel stationery with letterhead: Grove Park Inn, Asheville, N. C.  Envelope addressed: Mr Huntington Patch, 2569 N. Lake Drive, Milwaukee Wisc.  Postmarked July 30, 1936.]

                                                                                           July 31 [1936]

Dearest Hunt –

 

     Hope things are going well with you and dear Bee and that that [sic] she is finding – as I know she is – somehow the strength to bear the burden she has borne so long so bravely --  Valliant [sic] is the word for her, as well as for Carrie – have you read that delightful story?  Well, we got here by the hardest – first one member of the family would get sick, and then in what seemed a pure spirit of emulation another would take to the bed, & when at last we did leave poor little Lu was still in the hospital, but both Ed & D were so poorly & so hot we came anyway[.]  At last reports they had all gotten to the Pass so hope we are on the up & up.  We find it as delightful here as ever – the mountains just as lovely, the food as good, & lots of our old cronies rocking in the same old rocking chairs.  And of course now we are in the heart of a big murder mystery – which is made stranger still by the sheriff refusing to arrest the you who (I said from the first) undoubtedly killed the girl – a plain case of dementia praecox --  The boys father is the manager of the hotel & when the girl was found slain father never notified the police for nearly 2 hours, & had the room thoro’ly cleaned & all finger prints wiped off of everything.  Its a thrilling & gruesome story & everybody feels like an amateur sleuth –

 

     I am much surprised & distressed to hear from your mother that she is feeling so weak, & the Dr thinks she has aenemia.  I cant understand it because when she was in N.O we all thought she looked better than for years & was so peppy -- & she certainly had a fine appetite & seemed to enjoy her food.  How she could have run down so much in such a short time I cant imagine – When you see her please write me what your impressions are & do beg her to get Cornelia for this winter so she can have the kind of cooking that tempts her appetite.  Good food is the only thing that builds any one up –

 

                                 With dearest love for you both –

                                                                        Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on hotel stationery with letterhead: Grove Park Inn, Asheville, N. C.]

                                                                                        Aug 20 [1936]

Dearest Hunt –

 

     Sorry I bothered you about the check – but I forgot to put my room no on those I sent out on 1st & I feared they might be lost & you would be too polite to tell me --  Dont – if that should happen –

 

     The Cokes are here & we are busy as a dog with fleas trying to keep Carrie amused – an impossible task as the only thing on earth she really gets a kick out of is pricing things in stores.  (She never buys)  Her idea of Heaven is something like Marshall Fields where she can wander thro’ all eternity fingering merchandise and asking how much & saying well, this is not just exactly what I wanted[.]

 

     What was it Mr Kipling said about thanking God who gave him two sides to his brain?

 

     Its lovely & cool here on the side of the mountain & I think we have a improved tho Daisy hasn’t gotten rid of her headache or gotten to feel much stronger[.]  I think its because she is so worried over her mother who has had an awful operation for the doloreaux (if thats the way you spell it) & is making a slow recovery – if any – Bee will know how to sympathize with her in that –

 

                                          Dearest love for you both –

                                                                    Lig

 

Forgot to send you this enclosure – you know I was one of the few women friends O Henry had[.]    [Enclosure missing]

     

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                            April 1st. 1937

My darling Sister:

 

     I have about 7 million things to do so my letter must be brief.  We went over to the Pass the end of last week, as I wrote you, and had a nice visit with Guthrie, Carrie and Amanda, though the weather couldn’t have been worse.  We didn’t think Guthrie looked well.  It seems he is running Kentucky politics and is wearing himself out trying to get honest elections, which is a hopeless task.  Bob and Jennie came down for 2 or 3 days, but we missed them.  Bob came to lie on the sand in the sun and it rained continually and was as cold as the north pole.  However, to our surprise he was much pleased with the coast.

 

     Daisy is still on the blink, just doesn’t seem able to get her strength back, but they say that is the way of the flu this year.  Billy has been suffering very much with a sinus attack.  The doctor had to pierce his nose and got out the greatest amount of pus.  Still does after every treatment.  He looks badly, but Mercer told him that he thought that this might improve his hay fever.  They are going to start to work making some repairs on his new house tomorrow and hope to get in in about a month.

 

     Ed has been better but rather wornout [sic] for the last few days.

 

     When you see Elizabeth tell her that Frank Barker’s wife and children have been down here and came to see me.  She is fat and frowzy and looks as little like a dress designer as anybody you ever saw.  She had two little girls with her.  Her son, 18, is at old Sawny Webb’s where Frank went to school.  She had just been to see Virginia Barker and said she was no better.  Is in bad shape.

 

     Did you get the box I sent you?  And can you use any of the things?  We are anxiously awaiting your visit, but come when it suits you.

 

                                                                                    With dearest love,

                                                                                               Affectionately,

                                                                                                           Sister.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Addressed: Mr Huntington Patch,. 306 W Jackson Boul, Chicago Ills.  Return address: 6334 Prytania Street, New Orleans, La.  Postmarked Oct 13, 1937.]

 

                                                                                                  Oct 13

Darling Hunt –

 

     Your letter & check rec’d, and I would a million times rather have had the letter than the check.  I am taking the check because I felt you owed that to yourself – you needed to pay that back to prove to yourself you could stand on your own feet & fight you own weight in wild cats & that you were under no obligation to anyone - & I cant tell you how proud I am of you or how I rejoice in your success -  You see I was right when I told you that life begins for a lot of us at 40 -  It did for me as well as you – my theory is that it takes that long for us to grow up & come to our strength & find out what it is all about -  You & Bee have had a hard time - & she, poor girl – has been thro’ a wrecking anxiety that was enough to kill anyone, but I hope & believe that your dark days are past now, and at any rate they can never be so hopeless as they were because you have tried & found yourselves.

 

    Now as for the check I have been sending you – I will send your Nov- & Dec ones & then we will go back on the yearly basis as I give to Lib & Kay – I give this $1000 a year  to each of you for two reasons – one is that I want you to have a little money that will represent the margin between skimping & a little ease - & then it’s the only way I can give it to you without your having to pay most of it to the gov in an inheritance tax.  Edward & Billy use theirs to pay on the mortgages on their houses, but of course I want you to use it as you see fit –

 

     No news with us -  Last night I had dinner at Bills -  Little Daisy was in a sentimental mood & she said: “I love everybody -  Even Billy” – he’s always socking her in the head & throwing her dolls in the bath tub.  Sweet sisterly affection, isnt it –

 

                                                                                     Dear love for you both,

                                                                                                           Lig

 

 

 

[E.M.B. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                      Dec. 26th. 1937

Dearest Hunt and Bee.

 

     Thank you so much for that grand cake and the food bags, both of which fill a long felt want and just hit the spot, which is something of a triumph in a Christmas present.

 

     I have just peeked at the cake and it looks heavenly as I have no doubt it is, for I well remember one that Bee sent me once before that I thought was the very best one I ever ate.  Am keeping this for Pa’s birthday dinner on the 1st., when we will all eat it with thanksgiving and tender thoughts of you.  Send a thought our way on that evening.

 

     We had a hectic Christmas with five children, three of them little enough to believe in Santa Claus.  On both sides they have many relatives and by the time the various grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins got through showering them with gifts they were snowed under.  Poor little Daisy succumbed and took to her bed as well she might after suddenly becoming the mother of eight babies.

 

     I am leaving on the 6th. for California.  A fool thing to do as far as climate is concerned, for New Orleans is much pleasanter in winter than Santa Barbara, but out there I get surcease from parties and being pulled and hauled to pieces between people wanting me to do things and I am away from the telephone’s eternal jangle, so it is great rest.

 

     With much love and many thanks to you both.

 

                                                                                        Your devoted,

                                                                                                    Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

 

Dearest Hunt –

 

     I know business must have been very bad with you as it is with everybody, so I’m wondering if this check wont help you pay up your bills --  Yr father & mother arrived safely & we are enjoying them very much.  We all went over to the Pass Friday & your father had a spell – neuralgic pain from taking a little cold the Dr said.  The Dr also said his heart was very much better – quite good – which was fine news – I think he looks great but he seems to have little strength.  I think his cold was due to his taking off the 99 layers of sweaters he wears[.]  Never saw so many clothes –

 

     Dear love to you & Bee

                                                   Lig

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                             June 1st. 1938

Dearest Hunt:

 

     I cannot tell you how pleased and surprised I was at getting your picture the other day.  I almost cried with delight when I opened the package and saw your beloved face looking up at me as if it were about to say some of the dear whimsical things that always make me think that you are a sort of younger brother to Barrie.  Thank you so much for it and know that it will be among my treasures.

 

     But I am about to see you and tell you in person how much I love it, for I am coming up in a few days to help Mr. Shaffer celebrate his eighty-fifth birthday and one of the main reasons that I accepted the invitation was that it would give me the chance to see you children.  As soon as I get there, maybe Monday or Tuesday evening, I will phone you and perhaps you can run over to 1704 Judson Avenue to see me, if you aren’t too tired.  Will you tell Elizabeth I am coming because I have been in such a rush getting ready to get off that I haven’t had time to write to her?

 

     Your mother and father got off in high feather and both looked fine.  Your mother didn’t have an ache or a pain, real or imaginary, all the time she was here and looked so pretty that everybody commented on it.  Now if she will just keep clear of somebody who won’t scare her to death she will be fine.  It is funny how people have the children who really belong to somebody else, isn’t it?  Now Mary ought to have Billy’s little girl instead of the three huskie [sic] femmes she had, for little Daisy is exactly like her.  She is five years old, yet she dramatizes everything that happens and goes into panics over it.  For example: Yesterday Lu (her mother) locked herself out of her front door which she couldn’t get open and she came over to get Ed to open it for her.  While they were fumbling with the lock [word crossed out: she] Daisy stood by wringing her hands and saying in the most heartrending voice: “OH, my dear little home.  My sweet little home.  I’ll never be in my dear little home any more.”  Don’t that make you think of some of the times when your mother mourned you as dead when you were simply playing in the back yard?

 

     As I said before, I am looking forward with great pleasure to seeing you and Bee and so I’ll put off all the balance I have to say until then.

 

     With dearest love and thanks for the picture,

 

                                                                                            Your devoted,

                                                                                                                Auntie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten.]

 

                                                                                              July 5th. 1938

Dearest Hunt and Bee:

 

     Have been wanting to write to you ever since I got home to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing you and how happy it made me to see you making good in such a fine way.  You can never know how dear you are to me, nor how anxious I always am about you, and how much I appreciate the affection and care and kindness you always show me.  I think if you were my own children you could not be any dearer or nearer to me.

 

     But we have all been so saddened by Francis’ tragic death and so torn with sympathy for his poor Mother and Father that we have been able to think of nothing else.  One of the news dispatches said that Francis killed himself, but Warren has had no such notification from the naval department and we find it hard to credit it as he was such a gay and optimistic person and had so much to live for.  But however it was, it does not make it easier for those who loved him to lose him, and poor Warren is simply heartbroken, though he bears it all with a stoic fortitude that simply wrings your heart with pity for one who refuses to pity himself.

 

     We went over to the Pass for the week-end, but it was as hot as Hades and the mosquitoes were like ravening wolves, so we were glad to get back to our air-cooled rooms and reflect upon how much better we do these things than Nature does.  As long as we stay in the house we can be as cool as cucumbers and if I had to spend a summer here I think I would go into permanent retirement.

 

     We haven’t decided just yet where we are going.  We are all very anxious to take the Western trip to the parks that we had planned, but don’t know whether it is too much for Ed or not.  He is going to see the doctor today, however and will let him decide the matter.  And next Tuesday we will light out either for Colorado Springs or Grove Park.

 

   As you, Hunt, are the only one of the family who takes any interest in my poor and simple annals, am sending you the copy that Miss Baily [Lucy C. Bailey (Clarke)] sent me of my first literary effort, the prize story which won $100.  Nothing came of that except the money which I badly needed in those days, and my next venture which really gave me my start was the little story “How Chloe Saved the Silver” which Mrs. Nicholson bought for $3.  After that I wrote many stories, some of which were printed in Leslies’ Weekly, which in those days corresponded to what Colliers is now, and I only gave up writing stories when I went to New York and got so busy with newspaper work I had no time for it.  I often wonder if I could have made a success as a fiction writer if I had stuck to it.

 

     One of the things about these stories that I like to remember is that I furnished my first home with them.  Every time I’d write a story I would paste it on the back of the piece of furniture I had bought with it.  I would seat my heroine in the sort of a chair I inten[d]ed to buy, and begin by saying: “Lulabelle nestled her golden head against the dark green cushions, etc., etc.”  Last winter a man said to me: “The queerest thing has happened to us.  My wife bought a carved chair at an auction and on the bottom of it was pasted a little story by you.  How in the world do you suppose it got there?”

 

      Don’t forget we have a date for sometime this Fall.

 

                                                                                         With much love for you both,

                                                                                                               Your devoted,

                                                                                                                          Auntie

 

 

 

[E.M.B. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten.  Undated.]

 

                                                                                          Thursday –

Dearest Hunt:

 

     I got your good letter yesterday and I wept over it.  I am so sorry that you are having such a terrible struggle and so afraid that you will get discouraged.  God knows nobody could blame you if you did, but as my old Millie used to say, “you must hearten your heart” and keep up your courage for better days ARE coming, no matter how long it takes for them to get here.  We just have to remember that there have been these crises before when everybody thought the world was going to the devil, but it didn’t.  Somehow it righted itself and things went on a prospered again.  Try to keep your mind fixed on that thought, and remember that as long as I have anything I am not going to let you suffer.  You’ve got me to fall back on for the present, at least, and unless we all go to pot together.  I am putting a little check in this, and I’ll increase your allowance a little until things get better with you.

 

     In regard to your house.  If you are going to stay in Milwaukee, I think you would be foolish to rent it.  As you say you would have to spend a lot on repairing it, and renters have to have so many things done for them that they are a constant source of expense.  Also they wreck a house more in one year than you would in five, and by the time you rented yourself even a couple of rooms you would not have saved a cent on being out of your own house.  Furthermore, I know that you and Bee love your little home and it is a moral brace to you to be in it.  Of course if you should go to Chicago to live, that would be different, but as long as you stay in Milwaukee I think you had better stay in your own house, and so does your Uncle Ed who has the best judgment of anybody I know.

 

     Harvey once thought that he could get you into something in Chicago.  Did that fall through?  Why don’t you prod him up about it, and if you do go, don’t feel that you have to go and live at 317.  You could get you a small apartment near where your job was.  And if I were you, I’d try to get something with a salary if I could.  It is mighty comfortable to have the old pay envelope come in every month and for somebody else to take the risk.  Of course I know that jobs may be as hard to get in Chicago as they are in Milwaukee, but there you would have at least Harvey to help you get started.

 

     I imagine that Bee doesn’t want to live with Mary and that may be one reason you haven’t tackled Chicago.  That’s alright.  I don’t think that would be best myself.  No two families should try to live together.  Margaret and Johnny going back home wasn’t a success and I am doing my best to keep them in NewYork for the sake of all concerned, but you wouldn’t have to live together, so don’t let that hold you if you and Harvey can get together about anything. 

 

     Please understand, my dear, that I am not trying to boss you in any way.  Just merely to make a few suggestions, and to tell you I love you and believe in you and want to buck you up all I can.

                                                                            With dearest love to you and B.

 

                                                                                                  Devotedly,

                                                                                                          Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

                            

Dearest Hunt –

 

     Thanks for your good letter which I enjoyed very much --  Don’t think I’m urging Chicago on you.  I’m not --  I think you are perfectly right to stay on in Milwaukee unless something definite offers --  Theres no better city than that &I’ve no doubt you have just as good a chance there as anywhere --  And stay in your house just as long as you can & I hope that will be always --  I’m a great believer in happiness as a tower mentally & spiritually & you can do better work when you are in your own home.  Keep up a brave heart – we’ll pull thro yet –

                                                                    Love to you & Bee

                                                                                   Lig

                                               

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten.  Undated.]

 

                                                                                           Monday

Dearest Hunt –

 

     I am adding 10 to your check this time in the hope that you & Bee will come down & spend the week end at Oak Park as it will give me my only chance to see you.

 

     Now, heres a project I wish to present to you & have you & Bee mull over so you can give a decision on it when you come & talk it over with us.  As you know you are very dear to me & I have been very anxious to see you settled in something that had more future than your present work, so Harvey & I have gotten together & devised this plan --  His firm has a 5 yr contract for that new rubber cloth that the Goodrich people have invented & they are having a big sale on the rubber capes etc – Harvey & Co have them made up --  If I will finance it, they will start you in a small manufacturing unit, arrange everything for you, take all your output, but you will be in entire charge --  It will be your business & be whatever you build it up to Harvey, who is as anxious to lend you a helping hand as I am, says he thinks you should start with a good forewoman & about 30 girls all of whom he can supply & that you should be able to clear about 4 or 5 thousand dollars the first year --  It will be hard work at first, but I know you wont mind that, and it looks like an awfully good opening to me.  He has talked the matter over with his partners & they approve the plan – so all is set & you can get at it immediately if you want to --  My only stipulation is that you get you a little apartment somewhere & dont go to 317 to live --  I’ve got a phobia on the subject of two famillies [sic] trying to live together & getting on each others nerves -- & your Mothers are in no condition now to bear any strain.  I feel sure she is going to get well now but she’s in the midst of a nervous breakdown & we’ll have to handle her with gloves – I’m going over to 317 on Thursday to stay 10 days, so drop me a line to say if & when you can come Sat --  Dearest love to both of you

                                                                         Lig

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated (Dec. 1938?)]

 

Dearest Hunt –

 

     Just a Christmas trifle for you and Bee, and to tell you how much I love you & how happy I am that you have got into a congenial occupation and one with a future --  You have been so brave and patient & made such a gallant fight you deserve the best life can give – and I am sure you will get the good things that are coming to you. 

 

     Your mother leaves tomorrow marvelously improved, I think – Buck her off [up] & get her off as soon as possible to Florida --  If she stays a month in Chicago she will be right back where she was – she doesn’t need medicine, she needs to be amused & have her mind taken off of herself --  I am working against time to get my stuff up for a month[,] the house settled & 7 million other things done so as to get off for Cal on Thursday, so excuse this scrawl – love to both & a happy Christmas in the new home[.]

 

                                                                                        Lig

 

Ed thought your statement grand – so did I[.]

 

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                                 Jan. 9th. 1939

Dearest Beatrice:

 

     I wrote you at the time thanking you for the lovely cake you sent me, but I want to do it over again and tell you how much we enjoyed it.  It is certainly the very perfection of a sweet and far and away the best fruit cake I ever tasted, and everybody else who had a bite of it said the same thing.  I saved most of it for Pa’s birthday dinner and it went grand with the eggnog ice cream.

 

     Am so proud and delighted to hear of how the plant is going.  Hunt and you are making a wonderful success of it—sounds like a fairy tale—but you must tell him that I think the new name “Silhouette” for the firm is very alluring but naughty.  Not through vulgar curiosity, but because I am so interested in it all, I would like to know about the new business arrangement.  Is Hunt a fourth partner in all the Richards-Boggs firm, or did they make another company in which he is a partner?

 

     We have been having the greatest hospital you ever heard of, but are more or less on the upgrade now.  Daisy is able to be up, but is still so weak she has to lie down nearly all the time.  She doesn’t seem able to get her strength back.  And for the last two or three weeks I have just been having hell, there is no milder way to express it, with my knee.  The doctors do not seem able to do a thing for it in spite of all the thousands of dollars paid for treatments and quarts of medicine I have taken.

 

     In spite of it all, I am starting tomorrow night for California in the hopes that the rest will do me good.  If it doesn’t, I am coming back to Arizona and see what that will do for me.

 

                               With much love to you both and all good wishes,

 

                                                                                        Your devoted,

                                                                                                 Liggie

 

My address will be #1200 Hot Spring Road, Santa Barbara, Calif.

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Letterhead: John C. Shaffer, 1200 Hot Springs Road, Santa Barbara, California.  Handwritten.]

                                                                                                    2/1/39

Dearest Hunt –

 

     I think you sending me that pliofilm (is that the way you spell our manna from Heaven?) was just the sweetest, dearest thing that ever happened to me, & I dont know how to tell you how much I appreciated it – but you know – and I’ve got my bandages on this minute and hoping for the best -  Its re-enforcing hoss liniment & it certainly is bringing out a lot of pep that hadnt been there before -  One of my fellow guests here is a horse man & he was so moved by my sufferings that he went out & bought me a bottle of the kind of liniment they use on their spavined animals & it certainly has done me a lot of good in suppling up the ligaments in my knees -  Ed writes me he has a new remedy in bee stings – he knows a man who was on crutches who had 5 bees in an irratible [irritable] frame of mind applied to the spot & when the swelling went down lo & behold he could dance the rumba – and my Dr is waiting for me with the mulgra oil – the newly discovered cure for leprousy [sic] – as soon as I get back - & I’ll try them all & anything else that I hear of rather than be such a wreck.

 

     I have had a lovely visit here but am starting back home Monday[.]  Santa Barbara is a dream town – all Spanish buildings & palms & flowers, & Mr Shaffers place is the kind of a house you’d like to own & live in – a Spanish villa built in the side of the mt, & over looking the ocean - & smothered in orange trees & at present Spring flowers.  Every morning the gardiner [sic] brings in an arm full of sweetpeas, & stock and so on -  Thanks again, dear boy, for you remedy & your thought of your old Auntie – and with a heart full of love for you and Bee –

                                                                                      Devotedly

                                                                                              Liggie

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten.]

 

                                                                                            March 10th. 1939

Dearest Bee and Hunt:

 

      I have been so long in answering your most appreciated letters that my head is bowed with shame, and I assure you it has not been for want of thought, but just for want of time.  Ever since I got home I have been rushed to death with work—lots of special things popping up in additional to the regular routine—and besides that we have had carnival and the spring fiesta and they have brought crowds of people that I have had to see and do things for, and as usual we have had sickness in the house, so what with a million interruptions I haven’t found a minute in which to do the things I wanted to do.

 

     I must begin by thanking Bee for her letter which told me all the interesting things about the business that I wanted to know, for I am just as keenly interested in your success as you are, and I think you have just done wonders.  No matter if things do sag a bit—it doesn’t seem possible for such a fairy tale to go on without some interruption—you’ve passed the crisis in your lives.  You have found yourself and you will know that you can always go on.  I rather fancy myself as a prophet and I want to remind Huntington right now that I told him when things were the blackest not to be discouraged, and that we truly do begin to live at forty and that hardly anybody ever achieves anything worthwhile before that time.

 

     And I want to thank Hunt for his solicitation about my knee and for his sending me the pliofim.  His thought of me was so sweet that it almost assuaged the pain, but though I have tried it faithfully I can’t see that it has done me any more good than any of the other remedies I have tried.  That famous doctor Campbell that I went to told me that the trouble was that the knee joint had dried out and there was no way of lubricating it, and I guess he is right, although I keep on trying new things and hoping against hope that something will hit the spot.  Nothing does, but it keeps my mind off my trouble.  But don’t think from this that I am any worse or laid up.  In fact, just now I am going rather strong and am fairly comfortable.  There is life in the old gray mare yet, but not much speed.

 

     I am planning to go to Florida on the 29th.  Drive through for a few day’s stay with Margaret and bring your Mother and Father home with me.  They have had such a grand time down there that I fear New Orleans will fall flat, but I shall be so glad to see them.

 

                                                                             With much love for you both,

                                                                                               Your devoted,

                                                                                                        Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                Dec. 29th. 1939

Dearest Bee:

 

     Thank you so much for that beautiful cake.  It looks perfectly grand, but I am saving it for Pa’s birthday dinner on the 1st., and you and Hunt may picture us at about eight o’clock as gorging ourselves on it and calling down blessings on your head.  I think “eats” are just about the nicest presents in the world and they are the one sure-fire gift that always hit the right spot.

 

     We had a very quiet Christmas as Ed was sick and Lucy Mae’s father is desperately ill, so none of us grownups felt very gay, but the children were in fine fettle.  Betty, who is just beginning to step out, had a party for every night, and Margie had one or two, and as I had given both of them party dresses they were in a great state of ecstasy.  It was fun to watch the little folks who still believe in Santa Claus.  Little Daisy and Bill insisted on going to bed at six o’clock, although ordinarily they have to scourged to it at nine, because they said that Santa wouldn’t come while they were up.

 

     You made a great impression down here upon all who met you.  They are still talking about how handsome you are and what lovely clothes you had, and how agreeable, so you must take Hunt by the hand and drag him down with you some time before long.  He has never been in my house since he was a baby, and that is a shame.

 

                                                                    Again with thanks and love to you both,

                                                                                             Devotedly,

                                                                                                       Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

 

Dearest Hunt –

 

     Thank you so much for sending me the first garment you made.  You don’t know how much I appreciate it nor how delighted I am to hear of your getting off to such a success --  But I knew you would do it --  Its true that life for most of us does begin at 40 --  We blunder along, making mistakes, falling down and hurting ourselves, like children learning to walk until we get along in our early forties & then, if theres anything in us, we get our stride & go on --  I know that was my own case.  I’d worked along on a starvation wage until then, & all at once I began to reap -- & I know dozens of others of my friends who have had the same experience –  I think your mother is better & more cheerful tho she still has the choking spells & drops into the depths of depression – but I am making her eat & keeping her stimulated on plenty of good whisky -- & hope to send her home much improved --  Whats the matter with her is a nervous breakdown – shes just a bundle of nerves and cant drag herself out of her depression so we have to do it for her.  So use all your influence to get her off to Fla as soon as possible – the change of new scenes & new people, and having to get a brace on herself among strangers is absolutely necessary.

 

     Ed is better, but still so far from well – can only go to the plant for an hour every day, so you see we are not having a very cheerful time.

 

     Hope you are settled and that Bee is beginning to take roots in Evanston, and I hope that things are better for her with her poor mother --  That endless waiting for a sad end is something to try the courage of the bravest --  Love to you both

                                                                                                         Lig

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

 

Dearest Hunt –

 

     Thank Bee for her nice letter --  So glad she could use the dress -- & so sorry she is still having the anxiety about her poor mother –

 

     No news with us.  Ed still is on the invalid list, tho he goes to the office for a couple of hours every day --  They say his trouble is the hardest in the world to cure, but it can be done with patience.

                                                                                        Dearest love

                                                                                                    E

 

 

 

 

[Carrie Chapman Catt to E.M.G.  Typewritten with letterhead: Carrie Chapman Catt, 120 Paine Avenue, New Rochelle, New York.]

                                                                                              May 4, 1940.

Mrs. Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer,

Dorothy Dix,

Prytania Street,

New Orleans, La.

 

Dear Dorothy Dix:

 

     From “Life” I have caught your address and here comes a letter to you to tell you that I have never, for a single moment, lessened my affection and admiration for you.  I see your name and your picture constantly.  I read that you are sixty-nine, but I do not believe it.

 

     You have done a lot of good in the world, always cheering sad and troubled souls and never was there more need of a character like yours than just now.  I say it is a pity that we old folks, who still maintain some optimism, have to go so soon, but I could not bear to go without one more word with you and here it is.

 

     My dear Dorothy Dix, how well I remember those days in the long ago when you, young, pretty, witty, and charming, stood before our audiences and won them over to the old cause.  I can see you standing up, with those witticisms pouring forth, as though it was but yesterday, and this nice picture of smiles and wrinkles I have cut out and pasted on a piece of paper for keeps.

 

     Well, I am eighty-one and still hard at work, but I think it will not be for long.  If the world does not improve its behavior, I shall not mind.

 

     All the old suffragists of Louisiana, including the Gordons, and even the granddaughter of our onetime leader, brave soul that she was, are all gone, but you are there to pass on the benedictions of the days gone by.

 

     Blessings on you and may you live as long as you want.  Your friends are counted by the millions and among them please count the undersigned.

 

                                                                                           Very cordially,

                                                                                       Carrie Chapman Catt

CCC:HW.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                            Oct. 10th. 1940

Dearest Hunt:

 

     Thank you so much for having the knives fixed up for me, but I didn’t want you to do that.  It was sweet and dear of Beatrice to think about it and I hope that when you have your vacation that you and she will come down here and cut a steak with them.  Christmas would be a lovely time to come because the weather is nice then, (if you can be rash enough to guarantee the weather) and I think you would be interested in seeing the five children get their Christmas gifts.  It is quite a sight.  Besides, the railroads make very fine rates then, which is something not to be ignored.

 

     I am glad you liked the check and that you and Bee are going to spend it on some foolishness, though I don’t consider clothes in that light.  I think they are an investment that give you prestige in other peoples’ eyes and buck up your own morale.

 

     I appreciate your offer to get me some more of the vitamins and I will probably call on you to do so as I am on the last bottle, but before I do so I want to consult my doctor.  I think they have done me good and I think you are making a mistake in not taking them regularly and more of them.  To get the benefit of any kind of a tonic you have to take them every day and regularly for a long time, so try taking four a day for a couple of months and see what you get out of it.

 

                                                                            With much love to both of you,

                                                                                              Affectionately,

                                                                                                        [unsigned]

 

Evidently Betsy is cutting a swathe at school.  I have had two letters from boys there, giving the names of their fraternities, and asking if she was really my niece.  Isn’t that funny—and young?

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                Feb. 10th. 1941

Dear Hunt and Bee:

 

     Thank you very much indeed for both of your nice letters, which I greatly enjoyed and appreciated.  I assure you it was a great pleasure to me to have you and to really get acquainted with Hunt over again, for I had not had an intimate conversation with him since he was 3 years old, and it was fine to discover that he had grown up to be all that his babyhood promised, which doesn’t always happen, you know.

 

     I had a delightful stay in California, barring the weather and my knee.  It rained almost every day until the last week, which was bright and sunny, but I have long ago learned not to let the weather interfere with my pleasure, so we went along going places and doing things anyhow, though one is bound to admit that scenery is not at its best when you are slopping around in the mud.

 

     However, the flowers were in bloom and I got a good rest and came home feeling much refreshed.  Mr. Shaffer wasn’t at all well.  He is about the only really patriotic person I have ever known.  He always has the country on his mind and is greatly troubled over the war, but he hopes, as we all do, that England will win out, and is standing squarely behind the president.  Says it is no time to think of parties now.

 

     Found everybody up and about at home except little Virginia who is convalescent, but the whole bunch have had the flu.  All of Edward’s kids not satisfied with one try repeated it.  Margie had it so bad that it affected her throat and she had to have the specialist come sometimes twice a night and mop it out, which was fine for the specialist but hard on poor Eddie.

 

     I wish you could see New Orleans now.  The azaleas are simply gorgeous.  Blooming their fool heads off to everyone’s disgust, as we wanted them to show off when the carnival visitors came.

 

     I suppose your Mother and Father will be getting off pretty soon now.  It is lucky that they didn’t go sooner as I hear it has been quite cold in Miami. We are having our first cold spell, but it is not severe.

 

                                                                               With much love to you both,

                                                                                            Yours affectionately,

                                                                                                        Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Handwritten.  Undated.  Early spring 1941?]

 

                                                                                             Sunday night

Darling sister –

 

     I’ve just had a bright thought --  Why dont you leave Geo with Margaret whom he enjoys so much – and the sunshine that does him so much good – and run over here for 2 or 3 weeks.  You can go back & go to Chicago with him when he is ready to go – or meet him there --  You dont mind riding on the train & I am sure it will do you a lot of good to have the change[.]

 

     It will be much easier to get off from Miami where you have no house keeping responsibilities than it will from Oak Park where you will feel you should be getting ready for the summer --  The weather is fine here now, & we will be so glad to have you.  Think it over – grab your bag & come –

 

     Margaret wrote something about your having trouble with your knee – for goodness sake dont develop rheumatism – I have been half crazy with mine for a month, but today it is better.  Anyway we can sit up & groan together & exchange symptoms –

 

     Today is Margies birthday – 14 – dont the years fly by --  She’s quite a yound lady & getting so pretty.  I think Daisy is begging better, but her improvement is slow – lots of headache[s] & so weak – no appetite, but the wound healed wonderfully well --  All the balance of the family up & about --  We have letters from Asheville saying that the diplomats (250) moved into Grove Park, bag & baggage[,] the ladies dripping with furs & orchids & that the very first day they were there they cleaned out the whole supply of their hand woven goods – not a yard left -- & sent them back to their families in Europe.  They could frank them so they went without charge.  But I believe I wrote you this before –

 

     Anyway this is just to beg you to come at once.  I am sure you need the change.  I am interested in Geo eating the carrotts [sic] --  You remember I wrote you how the fad was raging in Santa Barbara when I was there –

                                                                           Dear love

                                                                                             E

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated (early spring 1941?)]

                                                                                             Friday

Dearest Sister –

 

     I’ve been intending to write to you all the week, but have been in a dead rush what with one thing and another.  Glad you are having such a nice visit & that you are going to stop by to see Mrs Tucker.  I think the Indian river country is the prettiest part of Fla, & that Mrs Tucker is one of the most interesting people I have ever met.  But dont be too long on you way for I crave to see you --  Ed & D. are both better, but he cant get on his shoes yet which shows the poison is still there --  D is up or down according as he is --  There company is still here, tho I believe Madelene is expected to go next week --  She is so pittiful [sic] homeless, penniless, just staying round on people like a stray dog.  Her husband just seems to have dumped her, & she is crazy about him --  He’s one of the big shots who is always going to make a million & cant make a dollar.  Gilmer Meriwethers daughter & her husband have been in N.O, & had dinner with us the other night.  They are a very attractive couple --  She says Gilmer was looking over some mortgage papers (you know he is in that business) & he saw where Douglas had mortgaged every acre of Meriville even the family graveyard.  He wrote & tried to beg the grave yard but the mortgage people wouldn’t let him have it, unless Douglas would let them have a few acres he had on the Tenn line[.]  Isnt it awful to think about any one being so trifling as to let that inheritance slip thro their fingers.  Gilmers wife died not long ago.  The Drs advised her to go to Cal for the climate --  They bought a house & shipped their furniture but before they got there she was dead.  Mr Rainold has been at the point of death for several days – had slight stroke, but is better today.  Poor Lu is so distressed[.]

 

     Tomorrow (Sat) Nellie, Ella Arthur, Myriam & Cecil Robinson & I are going up to Canton to spend the night & Sunday morning consecrate a cross Myriam has given to the little church in which her father & mother married over 70 years ago.  We come back Sunday aft.  This takes the place of the christening I broke up by my nosebleed. 

 

     Somebody asked little Bill yesterday what he was going to be when he got grown.  He said “I am going to be an old fashioned father” – we tee-hee’d at that & Jo said [“]Billy is sho’ fixing not to work none” --  I said well if he’s like any of the old fashioned fathers I know he’ll have to get up & hustle –

                                                                                      Dearest love –

                                                                                                E

 

                                                                        

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                              4/6/41

Dearest Hunt & Bee—

 

     I have been a long time thanking you for your nice letter but its been confusion worse confounded (and whatever damn word you can think of) what with the Mardi gras [sic] & the fiesta & the hordes they brought, all of whom seemed bent on shaking hands with me, and with the entire family having every known variety of sickness, so if you knew all, you could forgive all, as the French say.  And if we knew why [word crossed out: they] a brave fighting people turned yellow dog all of a sudden, we’d have to know a lot, wouldnt we?

 

     But to return to our family [word illegible], they are all up at this writing except Ed who is still laid low with the gout (nearly 3 weeks now) so I had to call his birthday dinner for tomorrow off.  I told him that for anybody to go to bed with the gout immediately after having paid their income tax looked as if they had hidden wealth.  He denied this between groans, and still wishing to be comforting I said, well, anyway it was better to have your feet swollen than the swell head to which he responded that the one was the pleasantest sensation in the world while the other was plain hell -  Its hard to please people, isn’t it?  I’m still enjoying the memory of your lovely visit & wishing you were here.  After misbehaving scandalously the weather is perfect & the city one vast flower garden.  We are still laughing over one of little Bills bon mots.  He went to a party & ate so much he made himself sick.  The Dr asked him how much cake he ate – just one piece – how much ice cream – one dish – how much candy – “That is one thing I have forgotten,” says Mr Bill – he’s as slick at an allebi [alibi] as Pres Rosevelt [sic] just now –

 

     Heard from your mother who says she is better & having good time[.] Margaret has gotten rid of the old lady much to my surprise – I thought she was there for keeps –

 

     By the way will you, please, send me right away the Mudlavia address:  I am trying to get Ed to go with me up there as they say gout is a form of arthritis.

 

     With dearest love for you both

                                                                   Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                   Apr 14, 1941

Dearest sister –

 

     Your good letter just re’c’d [sic] & enjoyed.  It was wonderful the kids getting those fish the first day.  People go there for months without such luck[.]   Dont put off your trip here on account of Mudlavia – if we go at all it will not before the middle of June & I would be heart broken not to see you.  Eds foot is better but still much swollen.  He goes out to the plant for a few hours each day.  Said he couldnt stand the house any longer & also hated to put all the work on Edward.  Yesterday we had a visit from Paoli Meriwether & Edwar[d] Goodlet[t](Margaret Ross’ son) both very nice, bright & with charming manners & neither with a coat on altho’ the weather is not at all warm -  I often think our family needs civilizing – makes me respect little Bill who refused to go to a party the other day because he didn’t have a shirt that had long sleeves & buttoned at the wrist -  Mrs Whitfield is still with us[,] got her ticket extended (!)  I dont think she & Madeline are in any hurry to move on.  Poor Madeline loathes her daughter in law & dreads going there but she has no where else to stay as Wilbur doesnt make enough to support her independently.  She’s crazy about….

 

[remainder of letter missing]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead Dorothy Dix.  Undated (probably Spring 1941).]

 

Dearest Hunt –

 

     I am ashamed [for] not sooner thanking you for the Mudlavia booklet but it was a long time coming and I have been so busy – you know how that is yourself that I just havent got to it --  Seems to me that there isn’t as much time as there used to be.  Anyway I dont know where the pesky days go they fly by so quickly.  I thought maybe I could get [Ed] to go with me to Mudlavia, -- he needs it as badly as I do, but he thinks he cant get away, tho’ his feet are still so swollen he has to wear Pullman slippers – cant get on his shoes, which I think rather hurts his vanity as he was rather proud of his underpinning.  He gets out to the plant now – he & Daisy have both been on the blink – She’s just down & out without being sick.  I think from the strain of having company & trying to keep them entertained – they were not like my perfect guests who amused themselves & kept ME entertained.  Come again!  Madeline (D’[s] sister) is one of the women who make you want to go out & howl against fate –  She’s so lovely & brave & sweet & the child of misfortune. Two bad husband[s] & now at middle age a tiny, sick, homeless, penniless tiny little creature, literally smiling over a breaking heart – I think seeing her & being so sorry for her was what knocked Daisy to pieces – Big D – hasnt the spunk of little Daisy who is much exercised over the war.  The other day she told me that if the Germans came here she was going to hide behind a tree & shoot them off one by one.  She said: “It may take a heck of a time, but I’ll get every one before I am done” --  Atta girl!

 

     To return to Mudlavia I’m going to go but I dont know  just when.  Your folks come Tuesday night.  Spending today (Sunday) with Mrs Tucher.

 

                                       Dearest love for you both

 

                                                               -- Liggie 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

 

     Edward and Billy are going every night to their different classes, but as they are both beyond the age and both engaged in essential industries I don’t suppose they will be called.

                                                                                            March 12th. 1942

Darling Sister:

 

     Have just gotten you letter and thank you so much for your promptness in answering mine.  Fortunately, I sent the package by express, so I will go down this afternoon and ask them what to do about it.  I was unlucky to hit the wrong time of sending it, wasn’t I, but of course I had no idea that Elizabeth was going away.  However, I suppose I will be able to get hold of it again some way.

 

     I am so happy to think that you are in Florida, for I know the sunshine is just what you and George both need, and it will do you both a world of good to get where there are other people.  What George needs, now that he can no longer read, is to live among other people so he can have somebody to talk to besides just one.  Two people get talked out.  I don’t think anything is harder on peoples’ nerves than to live too much to themselves, and especially when they get old and can’t get about much they have so few interests.

 

     You ask about Lou.  She had a miscarriage.  Three months.  She is safely over it, but she looks awfully wan and washed out and weak, but she came home yesterday.  It seems that she has been crazy for another baby for two or three years, but Billy thought that Daisy and Bill were about all anybody could cope with, as they are such strenuous youngsters.  She is very much disappointed over losing it, though why anybody wants to bring a poor, innocent child into the world in these times gets me.  This is the third miscarriage she has had, so it has gone pretty hard with her.  Poor little soul, she has had a bad time of it with her Father’s death and her Mother being in such precarious health, and not being well herself, but she never complains.  She is as fine a character as I have ever known.

 

     In the last day or two Daisy has seemed a little better, but we are much worried over her.  The doctors can’t find out what’s the matter with her and she is so weak that just getting on her clothes exhausts her, and much of the time she doesn’t feel able to even walk to the dining room, which, you know, is just across the hall.  We don’t know what to do about her.  She has had all sorts of X-rays and blood tests made under her doctor’s supervision, but maybe if she went into the hospital for a check up they might find what’s the matter.  What they tell her now is that it is nerves and that her muscles have gone flabby.  Of course, she is in no immediate danger because her heart is alright, but it is pitiful to see her just lying there, day after day, on the couch so spent.  If you write to her, don’t tell her anything that I have said, or let her know that you think she is seriously sick.  She shouldn’t be depressed.

 

     Ed had a letter from Carrie yesterday in which she said that Louise, Max Meriwether’s widow, you know, had died.  She had been a bedridden invalid for years and was no good when she was well, so I guess it is a great relief for all concerned.  The one member of that family who amounted to anything was the daughter who has had a fine place in one of the big stores in Louisville for a great many years, and she has not only supported her mother, but I think the balance of the family.  It has been Kate’s dream that she could live with this girl and maybe she will be able to manage it now, but it does look as if this girl should have a little rest after all she has been through.

 

     John Arthur is leaving today for active service somewhere in the Pacific.  Of Course, Ella, feels that it is right for him to go and isn’t trying to keep him, but it breaks her all up.  Carey Weissiger’s son, Carter, is expecting to go daily, so is Mercer Lynch and the sons of almost every friend I have, and it brings the horrors of the war very close to us.  Isn’t it terrible to think that one man could bring so much sorrow on the whole world?

 

                                                                                                  Devotedly,

                                                                                                         Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                   April 15th. 1942

My darling Sister:

 

     I got your letter and it is good news to hear that you are thinking of turning your face this way.  Come whenever it suits you.  Any time will be O.K. with me and you and George will always be as welcome as the flowers in Spring.  But I do think it would be a good plan for you to stop off with Mrs. Tucker for a few days.  It will break your trip and you both enjoyed your visit to her so much last year.

 

     It is still chilly with us, but any day the warm weather is due to arrive now.  We spent last week-end at the Pass and we nearly froze to death.  The house was cold and the beds felt like slabs of ice.  One night I shivered and shook until after 2 o’clock and then got up and took a hot bath and wrapped myself up in a blanket before I could get warm enough to go to sleep.  Everything was very pretty over there, the Cherokee roses perfectly gorgeous, but we were disappointed as we had hoped that Daisy would be able to sit out in the sun, whereas she had to crouch over the fire all the time.

 

     Lou came over and spent Saturday with us, bringing her two kids and Virginia, and they had a grand time racing around and riding each other in the big wheelbarrow they pick up the leave[s] in.  It has high wheels, and Ed kept saying to them: “now don’t stand on the back because if you do it will tilt and throw you out”, to which they promptly responded: “Oh, we did stand on it and got an awful spill!”  After lunch he said to them. [sic] “Now sit down on the front porch and rest”, and they said: “Oh, we are going to sit in the tree and rest.”  Which they did.  After that he gave up trying to take care of them.  It is a wonder to me that any child ever lives to be grownup.

 

     Daisy’s arm is healing up wonderfully, but she doesn’t seem to pick up much.  Seems so nervous and has no appetite at all.  Madeline is staying with her now.  I don’t believe there is any news.

 

                                                                                             With much love to all,

                                                                                                          Your devoted,

                                                                                                                        Sister.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Handwritten. Undated.]

 

My darling sister

 

     I enjoyed your good letter so much and it makes me so happy to know you are in such good physical condition.  You are like Pa and will live to a green old age.

 

     You mustn’t be uneasy about us so far as the war is concerned.  We are a long way from the mouth of the river and I don’t think anyone is going to risk coming up to bomb us.  The Nazis have got use for all their planes at home these times.  Anyway you are about as safe one place as another – and the older I get the more inclined I am to believe we dont die until our time comes.  Isnt it shocking to think of Meriville being turned into a concentration camp?  Is it to be sold, or leased ?  If its done I hope all those fighting olf ghosts will arise from their graves and haunt those who do it.

 

     No news with us.  Little Daisy after so long a time developed the mumps on one side of her face & as that was about well the other side swelled up – so taking the 2 cases & the quarantine poor Lu has been shut up about a month[.]  Mrs Rainold isn’t so well & has come to town to stay awhile – has an apartment on Broadway – the Dr’s trying [to] build her up enough to go away to a sanitarium.  I guess the arrested cases havent much to build on.  Little Bill went with us over to the Pass for the week end[.]  He had a grand time but it was a little wearing on us oldsters.  I’ve just glanced out of the window and seen him riding on his velocipede with a basket in front on his way to the grocery to do the marketing. All alone.  Pretty smart for his age.

 

     Mrs Robinson has been very sick – developed an ulcer as an aftermath of her busted appendix and had to be taken back to the hospital.  However they think she’s out of danger now –

 

     I was glad to hear poor Edith was out of her misery at last.  I can think of nothing more forlorn than the life she and Lizzie have led for years, but I guess as long as Lizzie had a stomach full & a bed to flop on she had all she wanted – a human vegetable – squash – if there ever was one.

 

     We are having our first hot spell – its rained & rained until you thought the flood had come again, but that has kept it cool for this time of year.  We have no further advice from Grove Park, so dont know whether the Japs & Natzis [sic] are going to be there all summer or not –

                                                                      Dearest love all all

                                                                                       E

                                                                         

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten.  Undated. ]

 

                                                                            Sunday  [November 1942]

Dearest Bee

 

     Thank you so much for your note and for the lovely handky you sent me.  I shall keep it for my Sunday best and only use it when I want to show off.

 

     I had a nice birthday in spite of feeling like the wonderful one horse chaise just before its final collapse.  You remember the Frenchman who said that if God had consulted him before He created the world he could have saved Him from making some mortifying mistakes.  Well, if I’d been permitted to chip in my 2 cents worth of suggestions I’d have arranged it so people wouldnt have to die by inches – fall to pieces – leaving a tooth here, and their sight somewhere else, and their hearing in another places [sic], and their joints scattered all along the way.  I’d have fixed it so while they were still in possession of their limbs and their faculties they would just have said “good night” and passed on.

 

     However its too late to do anything about it now, so to return to my birthday (81 years, count ‘em) Lu invited a dozen of my old cronies to tea, and Daisy & Bill were as excited over the party as if they both had been getting married.  And Ed & Edward & Billy gave a lovely family dinner at the club for me which I enjoyed very much.

 

     Speaking of the kids, yesterday Daisy appeared and asked if we wanted her & Billy to sweep off the pavement for 10c --  We said “yes” & when she went out we heard Billy say, “did you get any business” – she said she did & they toiled away at the job like good ones.  The neighbor across the street also employed them, and later we heard of them making the rounds of the block.  They are buying war stamps.  When I was a kid we were always urged to make money for the starving Japanese --  What a mistake not to let them starve!

 

     Dear Bee, I am so anxious to know just how you are and if the Dr has found out what is the matter with you – and especially I want to know if you have gotten rid of that pain --  I am a poor one to advise you as I’ve spent five years and much money [“]doctoring” as they say in New England without results, but dont you give up – Keep trying things and maybe you will somebody at last, or some remedy that will relieve you --  I think one of the most interesting things in all the war news is the account of the wonderful work the doctors are doing.  Especially the miracles – the almost dead brought back to life by the use of plasma on the battlefields.  It makes me want to go and give the last drop of my blood, only it wouldnt do any good unless they were making mummys –

 

     Id like very much if, when you have time, you would write me just what you think of Marys condition – is it a nervous breakdown – like the other one – or as I have always thought aenemia [sic]?  And how does Geo get alone?  He always seems so helpless, and certainly without a good maid it was a desperate situation.  I would have gone to them at once except that with my rheumatism, I would have been an added burden (I am MUCH worse than when I was at Oak Park last)  Of course Mrs Hensen is a tower of strength & while she is there all is well – do hope she will stay --  If she doesnt I think the children will just have to screw their courage up to telling their father & mother that they have GOT to act like rational human beings & not spoiled children & go and live in a hotel of boarding house where they will have paid people to look after them, so that all the balance of us wont lie awake at night wondering if they are sick & theres nobody even to call the Dr[.]  I get so provoked at them I want to knock their two hard heads together[.]

 

     With dearest love for you and Hunt

                                                                       Affly

                                                                              Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Handwritten.  Undated.]

                                                                                              Sunday

Dearest Sister

 

     I got your good letter and was so glad that you were being happy “under creditable circumstances” as Mr Macawber used to say in Dickens story[.]  Its about all that is left us when we get old, and achy, but we can make everything in life better or worse by the way we take it.  I have always held to that thought & it has been a life preserver --  When I was literally going thro’ hell with Geo I used to say to myself – well plenty of other women have got devils for husbands & nothing good on the other side & I’ve got a fine job, a good home, my beloved family, & know lots of interesting people, so I’ll just forget the misery & concentrate on my blessings & its wonderful how it works out –

 

     When you come to think of it here you & I are two very old women yet we have never lost any one whose death was a heart break to us for Ma died when we were too young to take any one seriously & beside she had been sick ever since we could remember so she had really had no part in our lives – even to me she has always seemed like a shadow, and dearly as we loved Pa he was so old that we knew life had nothing more for him, and that death came to him as a friend and not as enemy.  And you have bee so especially saved from the sorrows that tear so many mothers hearts – anxiety about your children.  They have not only been all that any mother could ask in being fine characters and intelligent,

 But they’ve been the most loving, thoughtful and considerate youngsters I’ve every seen. --  But my! you’ll think Ive gone into the lecture business from all this harangue –

 

     I havent heard heard from Carrie either, but I guess she is feebler than we realize – and that it is a burden for her to write.  I truly grieve over Frances going with her mother & taking the baby, but I never doubted for a minute her mother would make her do it.  I’ve heard over & over again that she is a despot who rules the whole family with a rod of iron.  The baby would have done more to comfort Nan & the Dr than anything else on earth.

 

     I never hear a word from Kate and I would like very much to know her exact physical condition.  She’s very discontented where she is but everybody says it’s a nice place where she has trained nurses to wait on her & that she is really very comfortable --  How Kate thinks she could go back to her cottage to live when she would have to have a cook, 2 nurses & a laundress, I dont know --  Even if she could get the cook & laundress, which she couldn’t get here[.]

 

     I wish you could see N. O now – it is just one big bouquet, a riot of azaleas and cammellias [sic] & spring flowers & all the trees coming into leaf – its warm as summer – too warm for this time of year & everybody is prophesying a freeze that will kill everything.

 

     I am going back to the Xray treatment for my arthritis tomorrow – they give it 3 days in succession (a 3 minute treatment on each leg) then lay off for a couple of weeks.  I dont really know if it does any good, but I keep trying.  I am much worse off than a year ago.  Its very painful to walk, but my legs dont seem so lumpy --  Dearest love to all –

 

                                                                                         Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Undated.  Probably written May 1943.]

 

Dearest Bee –

 

     So glad to get your letter saying you were coming to see me.  It wont be as pleasant for you as when Hunt (who is the best company in the world in addition to his many other charms) was with you, but I think you will be benefitted [sic] by the change & your presence will give me great happiness --  The 27- will suit me perfectly.  Excuse this hasty scrawl as I’m doing some extra work[.]

 

                                                                           Love to you both,

                                                                                        Liggie

 

 

 

[Robert McDougal to E.M.G.  Addressed: Miss Dorothy Dix (Mrs. Gilmer), New Orleans, Louisiana.  Return address: Robert McDougal, 1731 Board of Trade Building, Chicago, Illinois.  Typewritten on stationery with letterhead: Robert McDougal, 1731 Board of Trade Building, Chicago.]

                                                                                                 May 25, 1943

Dear Miss Dix:

 

     The enclosed from you [sic] pen is apt and fine.

 

     I congratulate you upon your powers.

 

     The last half dozen words, just to please myself, I changed a little.

 

     The whole article I could not equal.  Being a business man, without training as a writer, I can at least admire the genius of others.

 

     Mr. Shaffer is failing – unconsciously to himself by providential provision (90 today I think.)

 

     John A. Scott is strong, well and active at seventy-five. 

 

     With congratulations anew upon your continuing success in putting courage, resolution, hope and common sense in the human heart in many walks of life, to people of all ages,

 

                                                                         Respectfully and very truly,

                                                                                        Robert McDougal

Miss Dorothy Dix (Mrs. Gilmer)

New Orleans, Louisiana

                              

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                         June 4th. 1943

Dear Beatrice:

 

     That grand cheese arrived safely and when I opened it and saw that it was McLaren’s Canadian I felt as if I had had the Kohinoor bestowed upon me.  Thank you a million times for it and believe that I shall eat every morsel of it with prayers of gratitude on my lips, and calling down blessings from Heaven upon your head.  Knowing that you would want Aunt Daisy and Uncle Ed to participate in the feast, I divided it with them, although it took a struggle between my appetite and my conscience for which I deserve a medal.

 

     I have been so anxious about you and so sorry to hear that you have been sick since you got home.  I do trust that the stain of your trip coming down here with Mary and your care of her while here did not precipitate the attack.  But even if it did, I believe you will think it was worth while, because I am confident you saved her life.  If something had not been done to pull her out of the slough of despond into which she had descended, she would have gotten beyond all help before Fall.  As it is, the change, and especially the knowledge that something was being done for her, has revived her as much as putting water on a dying plant.

 

     Of course, doctors never tell you what they are doing, but I surmise that Dr. Hardin is trying to burn that film on her eyes with the drops that she is putting in them every day.  Anyway, she admits that she sees clearer, and yesterday she was able to read that little card, even the fine print, with which they test your eyes.  Something she couldn’t do two weeks ago.  She is also eating well and sleeping well and beginning to take an interest in things, so I think we have every reason to be encouraged.  She walks in the park by herself a little every day, so she is getting back to normal and I hope by the end of the month will be quite herself.  All of which she owes to you, because you are the only one who realized the state she was in and had the nerve to yank her out of it.

 

     Yesterday Betty graduated in a love of a white dress and all the ollogies and isms.  She looked very sweet and young and appealing.  She is going to take the summer course at Newcomb, which, if she goes to Newcomb, will cut off a year of her course.  We are very anxious for her to go to Newcomb because it is not only a very fine school, but it will keep her in her own set here, which is one of the best, but if she goes away she loses all of her New Orleans contacts, and as she is very shy she would never fight herself back again into that crowd of female Commandos who will never surrender a boy to another girl if they can help it.

 

      By the way, speaking of lady warriors, you friend Daisy announced to me the other day that she was leaving the WAACS and joining the WAVES because she thought with the WAVES you got more action.

 

     We are having summer heat, but we’ve got the cold air turned on and so as long as we stay in the house we are comfortable.  I have started my glass boot treatment, which I find I can take at the Touro.  I go every afternoon for an hour’s treatment and hope it will do me some good.  It sounds sensible at any rate. 

 

     We are still remembering your visit with pleasure and hope that you and Hunt will be able to come down next winter and find us all in a better fix.  Now, as Ed says, we are all so bunged up that the whole bunch of us is not worth a damn.

 

                                                                               With much love to you both,

                                                                                              Your devoted,      

                                                                                                             Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on hotel stationery with letterhead: Grove Park Inn, Asheville, N. C.  Undated (July or August 1943?)]

 

Dear Bee and Hunt –

 

     Just to send you my love and thanks for your sweetness to me, and especially to tell you that the bottle of oh-be-Joyful saved my life.  The food on the train gave out before even the soldiers were fed so we poor civillians [sic] got not even a crust for dinner[.]  Children howled for food.  Irate mothers blamed the poor porter.  Fat ladies fumed and said they’d never travel that R.R again, but I took little nips from my bottle and said, what the hell and let it go at that.

 

     Ed & Daisy arrived a few hours after I did, and we are all settled now for a month or so unless something unforseen [sic] happens.  The Inn has been all painted up, new furniture, and the table makes you rub your eyes, not to say your tummy, and say can this be what I see or do my eyes deceive me.  For dinner last night I had a wonderful soup – chicken breast and mushrooms under glass, home grown vegetables and could have had my choice of half a dozen deserts [sic] if it hadnt been for my diabetes – damn it! And the air is like wine, and the views unsurpassed, as usual[.]

 

     If you dont take the Saturday Evening Post be sure to get the July 17th issue and see the cartoon of me.  Its a scream and clever as all get out.

 

     Again with love and thanks your ever devoted

                                                                                           Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on hotel stationery with letterhead: Grove Park Inn, Asheville, N. C.  Undated (July or August 1943?)]

                                                                                                   Sunday

Dearest Bee,

 

    I have just had a letter from Mary telling me that you are having another one of your bad spells, and I am so grieved to know that you are suffering.  I am so fond of you that I can not bear to think of you in pain, and I had hoped that the doctors had found out what your mysterious trouble was, and how to cope with it.  But with all their wisdom nature still keeps her secrets hidden from them in many cases – such [as] arthritis to name my own particular love – and all we can do is just to bear it with what courage and philosophy we can summon.  You have both, and I know you are putting up a gallant fight against old man trouble, and I’m betting on your winning out[.]

 

     We are leaving for N. O in the morning as Ed feels that he is needed to inject pep into the men who supply our wood for the turpentine plant, and Daisy & I feel that if we cant make things cooler for him we can at least perspire with him – you know they say misery loves company but I never could see why – personally I like to do my groaning in privacy.  We’ve had an unusually nice summer here --  Never a hot day up on our mountain no matter how warm it was in the village – plenty of good food and pleasant company, and no bother about points and rations.  Lu got so beaten down by the wrestling with feeding a family on rations that she took her 2 kids and went for a vacation at a place near Mobile, but the children got infections in trusting in water they think was polluted, & caught colds & bad sore throats so she had to come home.  Daisy had a high fever & was in bed for a week or more but all must be well again as Virginias last bulletin says she & Daisy made 20 C [word illegible] ice cream.  You heard, I dare say, that after all of her protestations of undying love for me Edna played me false.  She told me she had to quit work because the Dr said she had a tumor in her side, varicose veins, & was in the most nervous state he had ever seen – but these ailiments [sic] were mysteriously cured & she went to work the day after I left for one of my friends.

 

     The negros [sic] up here have organized what they call a “disappointment league,” which functions by servants hiring to you, & then when you expect them to come to work, their calling you up by phone and giving you a merry ha! ha[.]  Hope the colored queen Mamie thinks she has gotten me, isnt a charter member of the organization.

 

     Dearest love for you, my sweet child --  May you soon be well, and your old peppy self.

 

     Love to Hunt & tell him to just send me a note telling how you are[.]

 

                                                                                           Affly

                                                                                                     Liggie

 

                                                                                   

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Addressed: Mr and Mrs A. H. Patch, 2445 Lavondale Ave, Evanston Ills.  Return address: 6334 Prytania Street, New Orleans 15, La.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix. Postmark: Nov 17, 1943.]

                   

Dearest Hunt and Bee,

 

     When you sent me that lovely minature [sic] of my mother I dont suppose you expected me to burst into tears, but thats exactly what I did, tho I am no cry baby.  But they were happy tears because I was so touched by your love for me – nobody else in the world would have gone to so much trouble for me or thought of doing anything so tender and understanding as you two.  And it brought back to me so vividly your [sic] mother in her youth and beauty, and so many dear memories of her.  I cant thank you enough, and I wont even try to express what I feel, but you know.  I look at it, and the other minature [sic] you gave me a hundred times a day, and always with my heart going out in gratitude to you.

 

     I am so grieved about your not being well, and do hope the Mayos may be able to find out what is the matter with Bee, and do something for her.  And what are you doing, Hunt, for your ulcers?  I read in the papers the medical profession has found some new medicine that is a quick cure for that, and I only hope it is true.  Several years ago, Warren Gilmer had stomach ulcers but he’s entirely cured of them now, so you dont have to be anxious about them, but the treatment seems to be a horrible diet of milk and messy, gooey things that are even worse than the diabetic starvation rations.  It seems that if you dont want to be an angel, you must not eat angel food.

 

     Big Bill has been in bed again with another attack of the flu – but is up again.  Shows he is run down, but he is adamant to my suggestion that he take a rest – says he’d go crazy[.]  I think the low down is that it is the duck season, and that he cant bear to give up hunting[.]  I never saw any one so fanatic as he and Edward are on the hunting & fishing proposition.  Guess its their Winston blood calling.  No siren every had for any one of that breed the appeal that a hound dog had.  When I was a child & lived in the country Grandpa kept us in game & after David got to be a doctor and had little time to hunt he would sit up of an evening and fondle his gun as a lover might caress his mistress[‘] hair.

 

     Today is my birthday – 84 – and I dont care who knows it, which is the supreme heigth [sic] in philosophy that a woman can attain.  When Elizabeth was a 3 yr older her mother left her for a few days & when she returned she asked E if she had been a good little girl, to which she replied “some good & some bad” – I can say the same of life, and I dare say its the sum up of every life.  I have worked hard, had my time of hell, but I have had the courage to fight thro it all without losing my sense of humor, or worrying too much over the things I couldnt help, and so I can look the future in the eye & say: go on – do your damdest – it wont be for long, anyway, now” -  Again, and again thanks for my lovely birthday gift, & most of all for your love –

                                                                                       Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Undated.]

                                                                                        [Dec. 1943?]

Dearest Hunt,

 

     I am so anxious to hear what the Drs found out about dear Bees illness.  I am so fond of her and so anxious about her, so just drop me a postal (if you can write one like Kays which is an inherited talent from grandma Winston).  Thought you might be interested in adv sheet –  All well, so no news is good news especially when there are children who never miss a chance to have a cold or tummy ache –

                                                                                       Dear love

                                                                                               Liggie

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                        12/13/43

Dear Hunt and Bee,

 

     Heres a little Christmas gift for you both, that comes with all the love of my heart.  You are my precious children, and you little know how dear to me you are, and what a stay and comfort.

 

     Between the flu, and the arthritis, and the price of good liquor I haven’t been able to work up any Christmas spirit – or spirits as the case may be, and I fancy Bee feels pretty much the same way, so lets hope that Santy Claus will bring us a few vitamins or whatever we lack to put us more on our feet and less on our backs.

 

     I think from Marys letters she must be feeling much better, and that she isn’t worrying so much about her eyes now that Dr Gradle seems so hopeful about the cataracts being operative.  Thats fine – any little hope help[s] these days – Dr Hardin has me in his clutches at present writing – nothing serious, just changing glasses -  He told me he talked with Bee while in Evan[s]ton & enjoyed it very much –

 

       Dear love and as Tiny Tim says “God bless us every one[.”]

                                                                                                               Affly

                                                                                                                      Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead Dorothy Dix.  Undated.  December 1943?]

 

Dear Hunt and Bee,

 

      Clothes time!  Get you a few glad rags, and wear them with my love –

 

     Both Bill & I have been in bed for the past week with some sort of flu, but I see he has crawled out to sit in the sun and I am going to join him when I get thro’ this.

 

     Thanks Bee for you thoughtfulness in writing me the details of Mr Shaffers death.  I appreciated it very much – Helene has told me the balance, I guess.  It seems he wrote a letter designating certain of his personal belongings that were to be given to different friends – among them the Moran picture he gave me 3 or 4 yrs ago but which I was not to have until after he passed on, but because the letter was not witnessed properly it was void, and everything went into the pot & I’ll never get it.

 

                                                   Dearest love to you both

                                                                                            Liggie

    

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Addressed: Mr & Mrs A. H. Patch, 2445 Lawndale Ave, Evanston, Ills.  Postmarked: New Orleans, La., Jan. 1, 1944.]

 

Dearest Hunt and Bee

 

     Thank you so much for your dear letter which warmed the cockles of my heart and for the lovely hanky which is the most artistic one I’ve ever seen.  Nothing but the state of my knees prevents me from going out and trying to flag down a gob or a doughboy with it but as you may surmise nothing keeps one walking the straight and narrow path like the rheumatism.

 

     We had a pleasant but quiet [word crossed out: present] Christmas only enlivened by the kids excitement over their presents which were many but plastic and I thought cynically appropriate for the times for none of them looked as if they would last a day if subjected to any handling that would test them out.  Truly a Rosevelt [sic] Christmas.  May it be our last one!

 

     I am wondering if you will go to the Shaffer auction.  Helene and Judge Brewer, between them, are going to try to bid in for me 2 of the tapestry chairs if they dont go too high.  Of course nobody knows how things will sell – I’ve see them sold for higher than any store would ask, and I’ve gotten things practically given to me.  I hear that the Indianapolis art gallery refused his gift of his picture, thought too many of them were reproductions instead of originals – Glad he didn’t know he had been gyped [sic] so much but I dont believe he would have cared for I’ve often [word crossed out: said] heard him say that he bought a picture because he liked to look at it, he didnt care who painted it --  I am sorry I missed the Moran he gave me for he bought that off of the easel in Morans studio, and I loved the picture, but I guess I break even for I was always afraid he would give me one of his portraits of Voltaire, or Luther or some other hideous old man and I would have to spend the balance of my life looking at it because it was a Van Dyke or a Lawrence.      

 

     I am enclosing in this a little thing that requires explanation[.]  At Morris Mich[igan] lives an old man named William Meriwether Lewis, whose ancestress was Meriwether Lewis[’] mother, hence our blood kin.  Several years ago he wrote me that when Meriwether started out to find out what Jefferson had bought when he made the Louisiana purchase that his mother made a number of small fruitcakes that she gave Clark (his aide) to present to Meriwether on festive occasions and that he (the said William) had Aunt Betsys recipe which had been handed down in her branch of the family for these cakes.  And he sent me one of these cakes which was pretty awful, that he had made[.]  So much for the background.

 

      Now this Cousin Wm had retired from business intending to loaf and invite his soul the balance of his life but he soon found he was bored to death with idleness and in casting about for some occupation he decided on making fruitcake, supplementing Aunt Betsys recipe with modern goodies.  The result has been that without intending it he has built up a big business – this Xmas he sold over 1300 lbs and could have sold more only he wore himself out.  He is about my age, I think.  His cake [presumably the modern version] is the best I ever tasted except Bee’s – that’s top – not that I got a mouthful of this one, tho’ I seriously contemplated eating my fill and saying to hell with diabetes—

 

     Well anyway, & here ends the story, last year he asked me to write him how my grandmother used to make her fruitcakes, and I sent him this screed which seems to have made a hit with his clients.

 

     So glad Bee feels better.  Wish I could say the same, but I suppose doctors must live –

 

                                                                  Dearest love to both,

                                                                              Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                    Jan 26 [1944]

Dearest Bee,

 

     I received Hunts letter telling me you were safely at home again, and I am so thankful the Mayo Clinic found no organic trouble, and nothing to operate on, and I do hope that now you will be on the up-grade and soon be your old peppy self.  You have been such a brave soldier through it all, that I know you will do your darndest to put up a good fight, and thats more than half the cure for anything physical or mental that afflicts us.

 

     Just now one of our near neighbors is practically committing Suicide by sitting up bathed in tears, beating on her breast, and refusing to go out of the house because her husband died.  And what makes it a queer performance was that she never bothered to be even polite to him when he was alive.  Fought with him over every trifle – she didnt even let him die in peace --  Makes one wonder if her conscience is bothering her.  But I dont believe people often feel remorse – they always justify themselves.

 

     No news with us.  The duck season is about over for which we are thankful as we feared Edward& Billy wouldn’t survive it but they had a grand time, and their kill helped the meat bill, but I’m fed up on teal & mallards and yearn to set a tooth in a good pork chop[.]

 

     Being a doting great-grand-ma I cant keep from talking about the kids who keep me amused by their vagaries.  The other day little Bill heard his mother and father talking about a wedding present for some one that they had bought.  Apparently it was something beyond Bills cosmos for he inquired “do people get presents when they marry” – be assured such was the custom he sighed and said “well that helps out some, anyway” – which was the most cynical comment I ever heard on the holy estate.

 

     Little Daisy will be 13, come Feb 13, and she step[s] out a bit.  The other night she went to visit one of her little cronies, and as it got later and later and she didn’t come home Lu became uneasy and began trying to locate her.  After much telephoning without results, and when the family were about to call in the police her little voice came over the wire – “I’m all OK mother.”  [“] Where are you[“] inquired Lu.  “I don’t know” replied Daisy – and further investigation located her on a boat in the Miss- river where she had been taken by the mother of the kid she was visiting who had gone to call on some friends of hers who had fixed up one of the ships the government is retiring into a perfectly dandy apartment.  Lu & Bill are certainly bringing up their children to be self reliant.  Either one of them could take a trip around the world alone now & get home safely.  When I think of how your mother walked the floor after you grew a beard if you were 10 minutes over due, I have to laugh.  Dearest love to you both, my precious children –

                                                                          Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten.]

                                                                          Feb 6 [1944]

Dearest Bee,

 

     Got your card and am so grieved to hear you are not feeling gay and frisky, but I dare say that will come when your treatment has time to sink in.  We always feel that big Dr’s like the Mayo clinic should work miracles, but after all they are mortals and theres a limit to their skill – think of rheumatism that the best minds have been grappling with since the beginning of any science whatever, and that they still dont know a dam thing about.  Only yesterday my Dr said to me that he had been treating it for 44 years and that if anything he had ever done for anybody had ever cured them he didn’t know it.  So he said keep on with your basic vitamins, and I said ---- well things no real lady would have said.

 

     No news with us – its hot as summer today and our azaleas are bursting into bloom, but the cold snap got our bougainvillia [sic], tho’ it will come up from the roots.  The Carnival is in full blast – balls galore, and the poor little debutantes being stuffed like fat geese, and running from one party to another.  Mrs Gray (my oil friend) is bringing out her niece, and she gave her the other night the most beautiful party I ever saw.  Mrs G--- as perhaps you know bought one of the hughe [sic] old french [sic] mansions several years ago, and spent scads of money restoring it exactly as it was before the civil war, even to having old faded Aubuisson [sic] carpets on the floors.  The house is built around a big court that she had canvassed in, and the walls smothered in palms, and with camellias floating in the water of the fountains.  It looked like something out of fairy land.  Just to tease her I said, [“] ‘tis awfully pretty, Matilda, but how are you going to get your guests to go out in the back yard” – [“]Ah,” she responded “thats easy.  I’ve set up a bar out there and the hard liquor is going to be served there[,] champaign [sic] in the parlor but the real stuff in the open.”  And I need not tell you it worked.

 

     I am sending Hunt under another cover a picture of my grandmother and his great grandmother Barker.  Meriwether Baxter (in [word crossed out: your] his Hunts generation) is much interested in family records, and was very anxious for a picture of the old lady, so he wrote me of his desire.  It happened I had an old photo – the only one extant, I expect.  I sent it to him & he had some lovely copies made & sent me 2 -- & I am dividing with him as he is the only one in the family who takes any interest in family history.  Tell him if he doesnt know much about grandma I’ll write him some data[.]  But I musnt weary you.  As Mr Trumans mother always says to him when they part ‘Now be good’, and get well quick for us who love you so –

                                                                                           Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.B. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                            Mch 20 [1944?]

Dearest Bea [sic]—

 

     Ages ago when you were living in Milwakee [sic] I had a most delightful visit & lunch with you and one dish has always lingered on my palate.  It was a salad made of gellatin [sic], shreded [sic] cabbage & grated carrot --  If you remember how you made it will you be good enough to send me the recipe as what with diabetic diets, food rationing & meat shortages I am getting down to starvation fare & I know I could eat that.

 

     I have been so worried over your illness and so sorry for you, and I do hope the Drs have found out your trouble and will proceed to bring you back to your own bouyant [sic] self. 

 

     No doubt you have heard that Helens mother passed on.  Poor Helen was almost as sick as her mother as she had gone thro the ordeal you know so well of watching her mother fading away day by day & torn by the heart attacks that were torture.

 

     We are all as well as a set of creaking doors could expect –

 

                                                                        Dear love to you both

                                                                                        Liggie

  

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                         May 12th. 1944

Dearest Bee:

 

     I was so pleased to get your letter the other day, but sorry you are having a setback in your treatment.  Maybe you will have to go to Oklahoma to be cured, or you may feel, as I do about my rheumatism, I am sure that Arizona would bee good for me, but I would rather suffer the pangs of rheumatism than Arizona.

 

     Once I had as a shipmate on a trip to Europe a very interesting English woman who had been Mrs. Humphrey Ward’s bridesmaid and was a neice [sic] of Matthew Arnold, who told me that as long as she stayed in Phoenix she was fine, but she would get so homesick for England that she couldn’t stand it any longer and she would go back, but that it [word crossed out: often] always brought her arthritis back on her so bad that she would have to leave in ten days.  The fog and the dampness just seemed to kill her.

 

     Of course, my main thing of interest just now is Mary, and I am going to beg you, when you have time, to write me frankly just what you and Hunt think about her condition.  It seems to me from what I can gather that she has just drifted back into her old state of melancholy and that it is her mind that is sick rather than her body, and I would like to have your real idea on it because you are such a close observer and I know you will tell me the truth.

 

     Why does she think she has to sit in a dark room all the time, which would give anybody the jitters?  I can imagine nothing more terrible than to sit in a blackout and brood.  She is always complaining about the pain in her eyes, yet two or three doctors with whom I have talked [word crossed out: to] about it say they have never heard of people having pain with cataracts, nor having to stay in a dark room.  They were too polite to say so, but I could see that they thought it was just imagination, what they call psychic pains, but they say people can suffer from them as much as they can from real pain.  Of course, the only thing that would do Mary any real good would be to live in a more cheerful atmosphere and be with people who would take her mind off of herself, but there is no use in discussing that as neither she nor George will agree to it.

 

     There is no family news.  It is real summer with us and we are beginning to think of Grove Park, but, of course, there is always the danger of not being able to get transportation.  If I can, I want to come by Chicago for a couple of weeks and see how Mary is, if you think she would like to have me, but don’t say anything about this until nearer the time as something might happen to prevent it, and there is no use in getting her all stirred up about it.  Anyway, I won’t get off before the 1st of July as Mrs. Arthur’s son, John, is coming for his furlough and she wants to take her vacation [word crossed out: then] now so as to be with him all the time, which means that I will have to do her work.  I have gotten behind with my own as she has been sick and I had to substitute for her for about a couple of weeks this past month.  She is in a state of ecstatic excitement now as John has been made a captain.  He has been on the personnel staff of some officer and has done such good work among the men that he has been highly commended, and one of the ranking officers who is going to be sent to India or China, (we don’t know which), has had John put on his staff.  John is at present in Virginia taking some special course, but will be here on the 19th.  His mother hasn’t seen him for two years, and she was so disappointed that he didn’t get to stop by on his way to Virginia that she had sort of a nervous collapse.  I hope and pray that she won’t get hysterical again as my own job is about all I can stand up under.

 

     Warren and Nora left Sunday for his vacation trip to Los Angeles to see his sisters.  Warren said Nora was taking along so much food and so many different varieties of medicines and bandages and even an alcohol stove, so that she [could] cook on the train, that they looked exactly like the Swiss Family Robinson preparing to be shipwrecked.

 

     The kids’ schools are nearly over.  A night or two ago little Bill performed in some sort of a play.  I was sorry I didn’t know about it in time to go, but they said he was very poised and got through all right.  Betty is finishing off her first year at Newcomb.  She was given a silver cup for the highest scholarship in her class and also voted second in a contest of the best all around girl in her class, which looks as if she is coming out from her clam-like shell.  Margie is still devoting herself [word crossed out: with] to thoughts of love and romance.  It seems to somewhat interfer [sic] with her education, so she will have to be tutored this summer.  We are hoping and praying that the object of her affections will get sent off in the 17-year-old draft, but I guess there will always be another.

 

     Daisy’s mother is visiting her.  Last Tuesday she was 87 years old and she certainly is a world’s wonder.  She doesn’t look a day over 60 and she is young and spry and active and full of pep as a girl.  Makes me feel quite envious hobbling around like a spavined old horse.

                                                                                    With much love to you all,

                                                                                      Your devoted,

                                                                                                   Liggie.

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Typewritten.  Carbon copy of original.

                                                                                               

                                                                                                May 15, 1944

Dear Lig and Uncle Ed;

 

     I have been wanting to write to you and Uncle Ed for a long time, but have felt from day to day that I would have more definite news to give about Mom, but I’ll try in this to outline the conditions that exist here, now, and to give our slant on it at least, to the best of my ability.

 

     All of us are so concerned over Mom’s condition that there is little else we think of or talk about.  Naturally each of us reacts differently, and where we comment about certain happenings we will try to give the source.  It is hard to know just where to begin, but we know you both want to hear as much as we can tell, so here goes.

 

     First of all, Mom has been definitely slipping for quite some time.  She is definitely “old” and all of us have come to that realization, that she is no longer like her old self, much as we want to think of her as being just that.  These last two years she has been just a different person.  Bee and I have seen her at least for a day at a time – usually on a Sunday – for quite some time now, and have spent the time talking with her and trying to help cheer her up when she was feeling down, and blue, and neither of us feel that she is failing particularly, mentally, for her memory is remarkable, her awareness of comings and goings and general events is adequate, and only in the rarest of instances does she give any evidence of not grasping what everything is about.  And naturally with her hearing having failed so much, it makes her miss hearing perfectly what is said at all times, and her Sonotone still seems to make her nervous so that she keeps it on only a short time, although with it she hears perfectly.  She is helpless about doing anything for herself, by her own admission, and the mystery of turning on a simple switch is just too much for her.  However, this isn’t anything new – she never has learned to light the gas stove!  But other than that we can’t see that she isn’t normal.  Now her eyes bother her continually, and this is something that baffled us all.  She insists that too much light hurts her eyes.  She is always complaining about suffering this way.  And she seems to be longing for the day when Dr. Gradle will operate.  Now he has never told her when he would operate, in fact he merely checks her condition and tells her to come back in a month or two, that her eyes haven’t reached the stage for operating yet.  But each time she thinks that the next call will be the time that he will want to start.  She’s convinced that he can restore her eyesight, everyone she knows or has ever heard of has been cured, etc., age being no barrier.  So she wears a green eye-shade most of the time; has the house dark and gloomy, and even then complains about her eyes all the time.  Now she can still see to read, which she does a little, she writes a good hand still, she can even see to tell the time from her wristwatch, she knows everybody who comes to the house, and when I have taken her for short rides about the village she comments about so-and-so’s house which she recognizes as we drive past, remembers all about the present or former occupants, comments on the trees, buildings, etc., so we honestly can’t tell how much she does or does not see, but feel she is better than she admits.  Her eyes definitely bother her, she calls it a haze, which it probably is, but we think she sees quite a bit, and sympathize with her because it must be an awfully annoying feeling, but somehow we feel she exagerates [sic] this considerably.

 

     Now bad eyes and ears would make anybody nervous, and irritable.  But her worst condition is her constipation.  That is something that has bothered her for years it seems, and she has resorted to strong laxatives until her whole system has been undermined, and (I think) her blood so contaminated with toxic poisons that it has almost wrecked her completely.  She has complained about pains almost everywhere, abdomen, lower bowel, stomach, etc., and has gotten so that she complains of never having a good night’s sleep.  When her doctor (Dr. Carey) would come, and she would call him whenever she would have one of these “spells” he did nothing much except check her heart, which is evidently pretty good, then give her some sleeping medicine.  She got so that she felt she had to have that every night.  In fact, he told her to take one, if that didn’t work, take another.  (Not many weeks ago when we were there she decided it was bedtime, that she was going up to bed, and asked G.M. to be sure to wake her when he came up so that he could give her  a sleeping pill!  That’s how dependent she got on them!)

 

     Well, we finally all felt that we weren’t finding out the CAUSE of all of her trouble, and that maybe a thorough check-up in the hospital would reveal this.  Or at least it would do her a little good to have good hospital treatment, proper food, care, etc., and so we got her to go out of Lake Forest Hospital, where she has now spent about two weeks (but has never relaxed a moment, I don’t think!)   They have made numerous tests, and today took X-Rays which I understand fail to show up anything like ulcers, cancer, or any obstruction.  I talked to Mom tonight and she said that she was tired from having gone through having these X-Rays made; that the doctor said there was nothing in the pictures to indicate any stoppage, etc., and then I talked with the nurse who told me the same.  She said it was a case of Colitis and that the Dr was prescribing a bland diet, but as yet we don’t know just what he wants her to eat or leave out of her usual dietary.  As you know, she has never been a harty [sic] eater, and really has not had enough bulk to keep her movements natural.  We hope – and it is the only chance left for her – that she will abide by his ruling and eat what she should and not what she likes, until Nature is given a chance to help restore a degree of health, at least.  If she is made to follow this routine then there is a chance for her to stage a comeback, otherwise she will probably slip into a stage in invalidism, which may or may not last for an indeterminite [sic] period of time.  They have been giving her high-enemas every other day and this is something that will have to be continued for quite a while after she goes home.  It means that she will have to have someone with her, a practical nurse possibly, to take care of her.  In fact she is so weak right now that she couldn’t possibly get along without a nurse of some sort with her almost constantly.

 

     I spent most of last Sunday (week ago) with Mom and came away with these reactions: she seemed quite listless, quite helpless and weak, but perfectly rational in conversation, just a tired sick person without a spark of spunk.  I tried to tell her that she couldn’t give up for the sake of all of us – that she certainly didn’t want all of us to be in a constant state of worry, that she must help herself all she can, to which she agreed.  Lib has been a devoted visitor part of every day, she being the only one able and near enough to do this, but I think both Lib and Harvey are extremists and Harvey particularly but neither of them have been sick themselves or been around sickness quite to the extent that Bee and I have, and while we may be kidding ourselves, we think we understand, and sympathize, more than most.  Bee said tonight that she thinks Mom’s condition right now is just about as it was those first ten days when she and Mom were with you last – perhaps a trifle weaker – a condition of low mental spirits and depression, extreme weakness, and well, you know yourself what Mom was like then.  She DID snap out of it for awhile, we think, but has definitely gotten back into her former condition.  We don’t think it’s all mental by a long way – true she has always been the worrying kind and continues to stew and fret about everything, little and big, and has enough pains that are REAL to make her feel just rotten, of course, and does tend to exagerate [sic] some but she doesn’t imagine all of her sickness – she’s sick, and the pains are pains – no fooling!  As of tonight, she still expect[s] to stay at the hospital a few more days, and when she goes home we’ll have to get someone to stay with her, we hope we can find someone of cheerful disposition more as a companion, which she needs.  We are hopeful that she will respond, and she may.  Hers is a baffling case, to all concerned.  Nothing definite has shown up in any tests, except the possible Colitis.  Her heart seems fair, her blood pressure is better now.

 

     I hope I have covered everything, but if there are any questions that come to you mind please let us know.

 

     This is a rambling sort of a report, perhaps, but my whole thinking these days is befuddled what with the pre-invasion jitters that seems to have us all in that state of mind.  I’m working six solid days with all the usual problems and labor bickerings which are enough to drive anybody cucko! [sic]  And on the seventh I’ve got still more to do.  You may be interested to know that we’ve made 50 thousand army rain coats and have clicked 99 44/00 %[sic] perfect and are starting into our sixth contract now, although Harvey still thinks that we’ll surely get caught with an inventory when the war ends suddenly – an event he pictures as happening never more than 48 hours hence!

 

     Well, enough for now.  We hope that this finds you all in better health.  Our love to you, Liggie, and to Uncle Ed., and Aunt Daisy, and the others as well, from Bee and

 

                                                                                                Your devoted

                                                                                                     [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                 May 19th. 1944

Dearest Hunt:

 

     Thank you so much for your good letter, which told me just exactly what I wanted to know about Mary.  She must be, as Bee says, exactly in the same frame of mind as she was when she first came down here a few years ago, and whether we can snap her out of it or not, I don’t know.  When one gives up fighting, there is not much anybody can do from the outside to help.

 

     She needs some shock one way or the other, but I think with her it would have to be something pleasant.  I don’t think she can stand bad luck or trouble.  I had a friend who spent years and years lying in bed all dolled up in pink and blue ribbons and lace and having the doctor come to see her almost every day and a nurse in attendance, who was cured by her husband losing his money and dying.  She hopped out of bed and took in boarders and lived for 10 or 15 years in perfect health.  I don’t think Mary could ever do a thing like that.  She would just wring her hands and quit.  But I do think that if her eyes are cleared up by the operation that it may bring her back to normal.

 

     I have a letter from Margaret today.  She says that she is leaving for Washington on the 20th of this month.  Johnny is coming down for 2 days to get her off.  She and Jock are going to drive up with a friend and they are going to put Jock in a camp at Hendersonville for the summer, which will certainly be a grand idea.  Margaret has been in very bad health and I think the change of climate and scene and all will set her up. 

 

     Maybe you don’t know that Johnny is with the Disney outfit.  Something about making maps and pictures, and he was especially chosen for the job by the head of the Disney bunch, so he must be making good in a nice way, and I imagine that after the war is over he may go on with them to Hollywood.  I have always predicted that that is what he would do after seeing his work at the studio at Miami.  He was practically running that.

 

     I was awfully interested in what you tell me about your work.  You remember I was in Chicago the day the man came to see about making the contract, and I have always been so interested, but never knew just how it came out.  I don’t think Harvey need be worried about the chance of having a lot of overcoats left on hand, because every man in the world will need one in civilian life as much as he does in the army.

 

     I am planning now to leave here the latter part of June and come by Chicago for a couple of weeks, if you think Mary would like to have me.  Get Bee to sort of feel her out without saying anything, because when I surprised her before I could see that I was a burden and that she would rather have been left alone.  I think people often feel that way when they are sick.  They don’t want to talk or be talked to.

 

                                                                                 With much love to you and Bee,

                                                                                                     Your devoted,

                                                                                                               Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten.  Undated.]

                                                                                            Sunday [June 1944]

Dearest Bee,

 

     Thank you a million times for your good letter, telling me just what I wanted to know about Mary.  What a grand newspaper reporter you would have made if you’d turned your attention to it for you are not only a keen observer, but have the faculty of telling what you see with photographic exactness – and that is a gift of the gods.  Half the time after you wade thro’ a column of description you still dont know what it is all about, or what happened.

 

     I’m sorry I bothered Hunt prematurely about my ticket to Asheville for I find the new ruling only permits you to buy transportatioin 30 days before you wish to go anywhere – so the best he can do is to get my ticket around the 5 of June, but I am sure he had already found that out.  I am so sorry to add one more care to his many worries now – but the R.R. told me here they could not sell a ticket to Asheville that would include the Chicago end.  I already have my ticket to Chicago for June 21 –

 

     I’m afraid I may be more of a bother to Mary than a pleasure, but I am so anxious to see her that I am taking the chance.  The other day I had a long talk with Dr Hardin about her & he agrees with the Lake Forest Dr that it may be a long time, possibly several years, before her cataracts can be operated on.  Also he thinks she should be told so that she can accept the situation and adjust herself to it, instead of living on a false hope that always fails and leaves her discouraged.  He thinks that living in a dark room does her eyes harm instead of good, and is what is breaking down her morale.  But we will talk over all these things when I come.  Aint life just one damned thing after another!

 

     No news with us except Lu is in the hospital for a minor operation she has been trying to get done for several years, but couldnt switch it in between the kids always catching something.  I’m looking forward to getting off on my alleged vacation as I’ve had a strenuous year what with having to do extra work for one reason or another[.]  Mrs Arthur has been off because of spells that kept her from doing her work but not from going to parties & gardening, then her father died & she took a couple of weeks off to rest from the shock & now her son is here for a 2 weeks furlough & she’s having a happy time with him while I wrestle with the young fools who are either getting a marriage lisence [sic] or a divorce --  I’m enclosing in this an order from a gob for a poem he wishes me to write his girl for him.  Get a laugh out of it –

 

     Dear love to you & Hunt, my precious children

                                                                                       Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten.  Undated.  (June 1944)]

 

                                                                                         Wed

Dearest Bee –

 

     You certainly are a darling to write me such a sympathetic yet informative letter, and I cant tell you how I appreciate it.  Thanks a million for it and to dear Hunt for his trouble in getting me my reservation for N. Ca.  I hated to trouble him but there seemed no other way for the R.R. people here professed themselves unable to do anything about it.  Guess the poor devils are worked and worried to death.

 

     Of course I am grieved to the heart over Marys condition, and very apprehensive for all Dr’s unite in saying that when a sick person wont fight for their lives there is little any one can do to help them.  Katharine had written me, but not of deffinitely [sic] as you, about how weak her mother was, and I sent the letter to Nan Allen in the hope her husband, who you know is a famous physician would throw some light on the case.  He did, indirectly, by telling of a case exactly like M’s – of a patient of his who had no disease whatever, nothing in the world to trouble her mentally, yet who had fallen into just such a state as Mary has.  He finally put her into the hands of a famous nerve specialist, but after weeks of treatment in a fine hospital under specialist[s] she was no better than when she went.  Now no one knows what to do for her – every one is completely baffled by what he calls “the nothingness” of the case.  And I guess we are there, too – helpless before the mysteries of the human body and mind, just as you were with your dear little mother.

 

     I’ve been working my head off trying to get ready to leave, and am beginning to see daylight, but I’ve had a very exhausting winter what with war conditions, my rheumatism, and Daisy not being well – but I guess nobody has escaped.

 

     I leave here on the Panama on next
Wed (21 June) at 3.15 p.m. and am supposed to arrive in Chicago at 9.15 next morning.  It’s a nice trip if all goes well and I escape the convention crowd.  However I have a roomette in which I shall barricade myself, and let the mothers with babes howl without.  With much love and looking forward to seeing you soon[.]

 

                                                                                     Your devoted

                                                                                                      Liggie

 

Tell Hunt I’ll settle with him for tickets when I arrive[.]

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch.  Addressed: Mrs G. M. Patch, c/o Mrs Ben Patch, West Avenue, Clarksville Tennessee.  Return address: 6334 Prytania Street, New Orleans 15, La.  Postmarked Oct. 11, 1944.]

                                                                                                      Tuesday night

My darling sister,

 

     I have just gotten your note and I was so glad to hear from you for you are the core of my heart and I am always so anxious about you, and so eager to know how you are.  It was good news to hear you stood the trip so well, but dont be tempted to overdo which is always a temptation when you are in an automobile – you think you will go a few miles further and before you know it you are worn out.  Think of your strength now as if it was your whole supply of money, and dont spent it too freely. 

 

     I hadn’t written because I didn’t know where you were and whether to address you at 317 or Clarksville.  I didnt even know where to send your check so sent it to Hunt, and will send future ones to him until you get a permanent address, so dont worry  about them.  I’ll not forget.

    

     When you write you must tell me how Clarksville looks.  I havent been there in years – and I hear it is sadly changed --  Theres nobody there now that I have any ties with except dear Mamie Green, and of course she is so much younger than I am, I cant even say “dont you remember” to her.  I am beginning to feel like a man I met on the train the last time I went to California.  He said that he was a New Englander but that when he was a boy he went to Cal to seek his fortune, and he had never been back to the little town he came from until now – He was always planning to go, but never got off until he decided on this trip.  He told his family when he left he was going to stay a long time – hunt up all his old friends and visit with them.  But when he got to the old town nobody knew him, all his old friends were dead or had moved away, & so he went and sat an hour in the cemmetery [sic] amidst the grave[s] of his old pals for an hour and then took the next train back to California.

 

     Mrs Arthur is still on the sick list – she really looks awfully bad – and I’ve had to do her work which has kept me on the jump as added to my own its some job.  Also I have been trying to get ready for a woman the Readers Digest is sending down to write a story about me – God knows why for its been done so often theres nothing new to say about me.  She was to have come this week but today I got a wire saying she was sick and would have to come next week, or the week after – more upset – for I was due to have the deep Xray treatment on my knees this week & I wanted to get through with that unpleasantness.

 

     No family news – Billys kids have been having colds and sore throats, as usual, but nothing dangerous.  They are all busy at school and it seems to me they are engaged in as many activities as Mrs Roosevelt[.]  The other day Betty was talking about her plans for her future --  Said she wanted to finish college – work for a year or two, and eventually to marry – but Margie said “well you’ll have to hurry up if you want us to have a double wedding” –

 

     I know Mamie is being dear & sweet to you, and you must thank her for me, and tell her how I appreciate it.  Also my love to the Quarles family[.]

 

     Take care of yourself my precious one[.]

 

                                                                             Your devoted                                                        

                                                                                       [signature illegible: Amy?]

 

P.S.  If you have gotten homesick turn around and go back – you have got nobody to please now except yourself.  Do just what you want to do[.]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten.  Undated.  Fall 1944.]

 

                                                                                                     Thursday

Dear Beatrice:

 

     I feel like a heel asking you to do another thing when you are so busy and not tops yourself, but your letters are always so good and so informative about Mary and I am so anxious to know how she stood the trip home that I have to throw myself on your mercy and beg you to write me a line or two and tell me just how she is, and what you think of the whole situation, and what you are planning to do about the future for her, if you know.

 

     I have not heard one word since I got Hunt’s dear letter saying that he was leaving for Clarksville and, of course, I am very anxious.

 

     I think I have a pretty good idea of how she is mentally, but I would like to know how she seems to you physically.  Is she as strong as she was when I was in Oak Park in the summer?  I thought then that she was in better health than any of us, as far as her body goes, and that all of the balance was hysteria.

 

     Is Brownie going to leave?  I judged from her letter that she was pretty well fed up with the job, but she would probably be willing to stay if they had a cook.  Please tell Hunt that Ed and I both think that it is not necessary for him, nor advisable, to give an account to his Mother for every cent he spends, and that he should hire a cook, no matter what it costs, and simply not tell her.  She is in no condition to decide what should be done, and you children have to save yourselves as much as you can.  God knows it is going to be hard enough, anyway.

 

     Excuse this brief note, but I have been in bed for nearly a week with a terrific sore throat and cold, and this is the first time I have been up.

 

                                     With much love, Your devoted,

                                                                              Liggie.

    

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten.  Undated.  Fall, 1944.]

 

Dearest Hunt

 

     Heres the check for your mother.  Thank you for your nice letter, but dont burden yourself by writing more than a few lines --  She seems to be failing very fast mentally if she does not really know you children  for you were her stake in life.  I am so broken by her condition I can think of nothing else, & what it means to you thrown in actual contact with it, I can not even picture –

 

     The boys were invited by my friend Matilda Gray for duck hunting for the week end.  They had a grand time – each killed their quota for 3 days, & then they took her 30 Teal ducks as a token of appreciation – imagine having 30 Teal ducks at once!  Sounds like Lucullus, or something.  Dear love

                                                            Liggie  

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Mary M. Patch’s children.  Handwritten.  Undated.]

                                                                                                        Sunday

My dear children –

 

     Ed has broken to me the sad news of your mothers passing, and words can not convey my sorrow.  Its a heart break to me for we had been so close to each other for so many years that we had become part of each others lives, and I am desolate at the thought that I will have to go on without her.

 

     But if she could not be well, and enjoy life, I thank God that he took her, and that she did not have to endure the torture that she has been going through for the last few months.  There never lived a sweeter woman, one more loving, more warm hearted and generous, or who had higher principles.  Truly as the old poem says “none knew her but to love her, none named her but to praise.”  Hundreds of times when I have thought dull, common, people not worth bothering with, I have been amazed at the trouble she took to be friendly and helpful to them.  And when I think of all the people she and your father took into their home, and fed and sheltered, so that they could go to school, or learn a trade, or have operations, I think they came nearer to being real Christians than anyone else I have known.  Truly of such are the kingdom of heaven.

 

     And we should not grieve for her, but be grateful that her sufferings are over, and that she was spared at the last of saying farewell to the children who were the very heart of her heart.

 

     And your comfort must be that not one of you ever caused her a pang of anxiety except when you were sick, or caused her to shed a tear.  You have always been devotion, and thoughtfulness, and consideration to her.  And so have the ones you married who were truly sons and another daughter to her.

 

     I think that after Geo died Mary had no will to live.  Perhaps she had a premonition that their parting would be short, and that is why she took his loss so calmly – certainly it seems strange that two people who seemed to have years of life before them should pass away so close together, and a house whose doors had not been shut in more than half a century, should be closed forever.  In life they were together and in death they were not divided, as the beautiful Biblical phrase goes.

 

     No one can take a mothers place to a child, but I want you to feel that I am as near a mother to you as any outsider can be, and to come to me with your joys and sorrows as if I were your mother.  I would be doubly bereaved if I lost you, as well as her.

 

     Ed thinks I should not go to the funeral at Clarksville, as I am not well, and he tells me that Hunt urged me not to come, but I long to be with you in your sorrow, and if it is possible I will come.  If I dont[,] know that I am keeping my lonely vigil, and eating my bread soaked with my tears.

 

     God bless you, darlings,

                                                       Liggie

 

     This letter is for you all --

 

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Addressed: Mr. Huntington Patch, 2445 Lawndale Ave., Evanston, Ill.  Return address: 6334 Prytania Street, New Orleans 15, La.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                           Dec. 11th. 1944

Dearest Hunt and Bee:

 

     It was so wonderful of you to call us up over the phone and let us hear your dear voice, for we knew how tired and worn with anxiety and the sad trip you were, and we appreciated it very much.  I do hope you are getting a little rested and that you will be able to take things easier for a while.  But, as little Bill commented when somebody told Daisy the other day to relax, “that’s hard to do these days.”

 

     In spite of the sadness it was a great pleasure to see you in Clarksville, and I think it made it easier for us all that we could grieve together over our common sorrow.  It is a great loss to us all, but none of us could wish her back to longer endure the hell of mental suffering she was in.

 

     On the enclosed slip of paper I have written a few facts that I do not think you know, and I wish, if the opportunity presents itself, that you would discuss them with the doctor and see if they do not have some bearing on her always being so nervous and that led to this final catastrophe of a nervous breakdown.  You know that it is possible for the seeds of a disease like tuberculosis or cancer to lie latent in a person’s system for years, then suddenly flare up into a consuming conflagration.  Perhaps it is the same way with nerves, for certainly she seemed to have no strain in her latter life that would account for her suddenly changing from a cheerful, normal person into a neurotic.

 

     We had a safe trip home and found everybody well, except the Commando, who was having one of his usual colds, but he was putting in the time by running a tattoo shop where for two pins you could get yourself stamped all over in red ink with birds and serpents and so on.

 

     Do hope that Bee didn’t find the trip too much for her.

 

                                                                         With much love to you both,

                                                                                              Liggie.

 

 [The following sheet is enclosed with the above letter.]

 

                                                                                               Dec. 11th. 1944

 

     Mary was born at the end of the Civil War when everybody’s nerves were shot to fiddle strings, for our part of the country was not only a battleground for both armies—one of the big battles [Fort Donelson] was fought so close to Woodstock that they could hear the firing—but was overrun with guerrillas who were nothing but bands of thieves belonging to neither side, who would ride up to a house in the middle of the night and demand horses or money or liquor, and, if they were not provided, would shoot down the man of the house, so everybody lived in terror.

 

     I know doctors do not believe in prenatal influence now, but our father always believed that Mary’s timidity and nervousness and emotionalism and lack of self-control always stemmed back to the nervous state our mother was in before Mary was born.

 

     When she was about 7 years old she had a very bad attack of spinal meningitis, and I have often heard my father tell how her back was bowed by it.  She was wildly delirious and they thought for days that she would die, but through the skill of a very fine doctor, who was many years ahead of his time, she pulled through,  The doctor, by the way, was the father of Chief Justic[e] McReynolds.

 

     Apparently she recovered entirely from the meningitis, for I cant remember her never [sic] being sick with anything more than a bad cold or chills, which we all had in that malarial country, during her entire life until this last illness came upon her

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                  2/27/45

Dearest Hunt,

 

     Thank you so much for your nice letter, and for sending the report of your business year.  Ed & I both think it very fine indeed, and congratulate you upon your good work.  I’m awfully proud of you not only for that but for being such a grand person.  You and Bee are a great comfort to me.

 

     Hope by this time you are having some decent weather.  We are having a premature spring for which we will doubtless pay by having a freeze that will kill everything, but just now New Orleans is just a mass of pink azaleas & red and white Japonicas and looks like a dream city. 

 

     No news with us.  Lord & Lady Halifax are in N.O – and I am invited by the British consul to a dinner he is giving for them, so I shall spend the evening (this) boning up on the elder Lord Halifax book on ghosts – seems he believed in them and collected ghost stories that he says are authentic.  The present Lord Halifax wrote the introduction to the book, but he didnt vouch for fathers stories.  You are too young to have ever known Miss Fannie King who was old Uncle Wills housekeeper at Meriville --  Well, anyway, Miss Fannie who was a dear old soul was a medium who used to go in trances that scared the pants off of us children but fascinated us too.  One of the fortunes she foretold when you mother & father were about 12-13 yrs old was that they would marry when they grew up.  Her control was Napoleon Bonaparte, who use to advise Uncle Will about when to sell tobacco – and always wrong.  Speaking of Meriville, they say that Douglas has lost almost all of that great estate, just bad management, but luckily Paoli bought it which keeps it in the name and succession[.]

                                                                                        With dearest love –

                                                                                                       Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                  May 15th. 1945

Dearest Hunt and Bee:

 

     I was deeply touched by your beautiful flowers and lovely letter on Mother’s Day, though I felt that I was a poor substitute for the one you lost.  Much as she loved her other children you, Hunt, were her heartstrings, and it was always to me a source of great pleasure and admiration to see how beautifully you played up to her and how you teased her and jollied her and gave her what I know was the greatest pleasure in her life.  I cannot tell you how much I miss her and what a comfort it is to me that you children let me sort of sub for her in a way.

 

     It made us all very happy to know that you are planning to come to Asheville this summer for a little vacation.  Don’t let anything make you alter your plans, for you both need the vacation and the change, and I am sure that you will love it.  If we know two or three weeks before you come, I am sure we can get you in The Manor, which isn’t as nice as Grove Park but it will do very well in a pinch. It always pleases me so much that Bee likes North Carolina, which we regard as a sort of understudy of Heaven.

 

     There is no news with us.  The kids are finishing up their schools in a week or so, which I think their parents look forward to with mingled pleasure and dread, but Virginia and Daisy are going to a camp in Texas, where they expect to spend their time riding horseback, a dream which I doubt they realize to the extent they expect.  Betty is going to do some small job in the library, but as it is only a few hours a week it will not keep her much occupied.  Margie’s beau has gone to the war, but she has to make up some of the studies that she lost out on from having her mind too much concentrated on boys.  And little Bill will continue to be a Commando I suppose.  He loathes school, and it reminded Mrs. Nolte to tell me a funny story the other day.

 

     Her husband was a doctor, and she said a little chap about like Bill came to him one day and said: “Doctor, can’t you give me some pills or something so I won’t feel so bad about having to go to school?”  I guess if any doctor knew that remedy, it would make him more money than Groves’ tasty chill cure did old Dr. Grove to whose fortune I contributed many a dollar.

 

     With much love to you both and many thanks,

 

                                                                                  Your devoted,

                                                                                            Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                   June 15th. 1945

Dearest Bee:

 

     I have waited to answer your nice letter until I could have some definite word to tell you about our plans.  What has bawled the situation up is that I had some faint hope that I could get enough gas to drive to Asheville in my own car, so all of us have been pulling all sorts of wires, but without avail.  For while the Ration Board has had no hesitation in asking me to do all sorts of work for them in the way of propaganda, and much of it that they couldn’t have gotten any other way, it does not feel it has to make any return to me, and they have turned me down flat.  Not a gallon of gas is coming my way, but only recently a police captain was given the gas to send his car and chauffeur to Hot Springs, Arkansas, to carry the baggage of himself and his friends, who went on the train.  Why the baggage couldn’t also have gone on the train, I don’t know.  But, anyway, that is what has happened.

 

     So the other day Ed succeeded in getting us tickets on the train to Asheville, but the best he could do was for July 10th., and I am so afraid that is going to make us miss so much of your visit.  Probably you have had the same difficulty, or Hunt has had trouble in getting away from his work, and you can’t change your date.  But if you can, please do, as we are helpless. Evidently have no pull where we are known.  It certainly is degrading to one’s ego when you know that other people are getting gas and tickets whenever they like.  Whoever it was who said that a prophet has no honor in his own country, certainly said a mouthful.

 

     We are having very hot weather and all of us are wornout.  Billy is sick in bed with a spell of flu.  He has had just one spell after another, none of them very serious, but we know that he needs a rest and a change, yet when we try to talk him into going somewhere, he won’t do it.  Says he would be bored to death just sitting around, and if he was where he couldn’t fish or hunt, neither one of which he is able to do at the present moment, he would be miserable.  The other day, about a week ago, he was cleaning a gun, just to handle the beloved instrument, and in some way it backfired and a lot of powder went into one of his eyes, so he has had to go to the doctor every day and have treatment and have pads put on every two hours, but the doctor doesn’t think there is any danger of his losing his sight.  What with the kids having their school exercises and Billy being sick and their having a cook who is one of the temperamental colored ladies who is here today and resting tomorrow, poor Lou is worn to a frazzle.

 

     I have also been having my troubles as Ella Arthur is taking her vacation and I have to do her work as well as my own, and it is some job and one that convinces me that most of the women in the world are damn fools.  It is hard to believe, but it is the truth, that a large proportion of them write to ask which of two men I think they are in love with, and another large proportion are 16 and 17 year old girls who are going to have illegitimate babies and want to know how can they find out the name of the soldier or sailor whom they thing is the father, but who has disappeared, leaving no address behind him, not even his name.

 

     This letter sounds like I have also joined the rest of the whiners and imbeciles, so I had better bring it to a close in order to not further depress you, for you have troubles of your own, so I’ll sign off.

 

     With much love and looking forward to seeing you on the 11th of July.

 

                                                                                             Your ever devoted,

                                                                                                                        Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                              June 30 [1945]

Dearest Bee,

 

     I am so sorry we are going to miss a minute of your and Hunts stay at the Manor, but it was just one of the things that couldnt be helped.  Anyway it will be a joy to be with you, and unless something un forseen [sic] happens we will join you on the 11th – and possibly (tho’ that seems too good to happen) we will be in our own chaise.  We’ve worn ourselves to a frazzle trying to get enough gas for the trip, and there seems a scant prospect of doing so.  However I put no faith in the government ever doing any thing human for any one who hasnt a political pull.

 

     Its as hot as hell here – the hottest June ever – but you never saw anything so lovely as the crepe myrtle trees – every shade of red and pink, and mauve and white, and the figs are ripe so we wipe away the sweat and gorge ourselves and try to forget the weather.

 

     With love – and we’ll be seeing you[.]

                                                                                        Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                              Oct. 25th. 1945

Dearest Huntington:

 

     I have just gotten your letter and am so distressed that you and Bee feel so badly, and I do hope and pray that you will soon be better.  I wish it were possible that you could both go at once to Mayo’s.  It is terrible to think of the hospitals being so over-crowded that people have to wait to get in, but it is the same way here and, I suppose, everywhere. Do write me as soon as you have had that extra x-ray just what the result was, for I shall be so anxious to know.  You poor children have certainly had more than your share of sickness and trouble and anxiety, and I hope that it will soon be over and that you will be restored to health.

 

     Billy is up again, but by bringing the pressure of the whole family to bear on him he has been made to take things a little easier.  He has just had one spell after another all summer of different forms of flu.  Hasn’t been dangerously sick at any time, but it has worn him down so that he only weighs 122 lbs. and looks like a living skeleton.  We are all looking forward with great anxiety to the duck season, which starts very soon, and we don’t know how we can possibly keep him away from the blinds when the shooting starts.  He isn’t able in any way to take part in it, but he is so crazy about it that I doubt he can be held off.

 

     The balance of us are as well as usual and all the children busy at school and with their various diversions.  It appears now that the youngsters have as many engagements as the grown people.

 

     I am sending you this little clipping from last week’s Collier for your Dorothy Dix Book, as you are the only one who is interested in my career.  I am still enjoying my picture and you can never know how I appreciate your and Bee’s thought of me and your generosity in getting it for me.

 

                                                                 With dearest love to you both,

                                                                                    Your devoted

                                                                                              Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                               Dec. 12th. 1945

Dearest Hunt and Bee:

 

     I am sending you your Christmas a little ahead of time as there may be something that you want to buy for Santa Claus while you can still get it in the stores.  But is there is as little on the shelves in Chicago as there is in New Orleans, it is hardly worth the effort.

 

     Excuse this brief note, but I am wrestling with a bout of rheumatism in my right hand, so that I can’t write myself, and my poor Clare has already written about a million answers to the lovelorn, as I am having to sub for Ella who is taking the week off to celebrate the return of her son from the army.

 

                                                                            All of us are well, and no news.

                                                                            With much love,

                                                                                                  Liggie.

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                              June 12. 1946

Dear Bee:

 

     Huntington’s letter telling of your wonderful improvement came yesterday and we had a real jubilation party over it.  It made us so happy to know that the doctors have found out what is the matter with you at last and that you are on the way to recovery.  My nails have been acting up too for the last year, getting soft as rubber and breaking, and it has made me wonder if I don’t need calcium also, and as soon as I get to Asheville and have time to consider myself a little I am going to that wonderful diagnostician there, Dr. Smit, and have him give me a thorough test for all my ailments.

 

     I know I have told you, because I am so fond of her, about my friend, Matilda Gray, the oil queen of Louisiana, who lives in Lake Charles.  Well, last Friday I drove down there to attend the marriage of her niece and it was some wedding, believe me.  The festivities began with the girl’s mother giving a big dinner (40 covers) to the wedding party.  There was a long table, beautifully decorated, and all down the middle of it were ever so many white cages with blue love birds in them that cooed and kissed and otherwise conducted themselves as bridal couples are supposed to do.  The place cards were the cleverest things that some Lake Charles girl makes for such occasions.  The basis of them was just a common wooden clothespin.  On the round part of it she had pasted a snapshot of the bride, the picture about as big as your thumbnail.  Over the head was draped the wedding veil and the very full skirt that made it stand out was made of a fancy, lace paper mat.  If you ever want to give a bride a luncheon, you would have no trouble in duplicating this.  I have never seen it done before.

 

     The next day some men, who have hunting camps on the river, had invited the wedding party and quite a number of the other guests to a swimming party and barbecue.  When the guests reached the gate, they found them locked and defended by pirates (you know along here was where LaFitte and his gang had their headquarters.)  The pirates were dressed in full costume and bristled with swords and battleaxes and so on, and they refused to let anyone through the gates until they joined the pirate gang.  [The remainder of this letter is handwritten.]  And being pirates who were gentlemen at heart they had brought along elaborate pirate costumes for all the guests.  The bride & groom are two as handsome youngsters as you ever saw, & she had on the loveliest lace dress with a yoke & sleeves of seed pearls & an alencon lace veil that was lent her & that was insured for $35,000 in New York.  After the ceremony there was a big reception at Aunt Matildas at which champagne flowed like water.

 

     All of our family are on the move.  Edward & Billy are leaving today for Florida for deep sea fishing – their first vacation in 5 years.  The 2 small girls go to a camp near Hendersonville N.Ca on Monday.  Betty to a society meeting in Mich.  Nobody left at Edwards but Margie & Helen.  Margies comment to her mother was that she’d better get herself a boy friend, for she (Margie) wont go if to stay at home & hold her hand.  Margie graduated the night & hour Bill Richards did.  They are 2 charming kids, but not book worms.  We (Ed & Daisy & I) hope to leave for Grove Park on the 8th[.]

 

     Dearest love, Bee, and keep up the good work –

                                                                                           Affly

                                                                                                     Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead Dorothy Dix.  Undated (probably early fall 1946.]

 

Dearest Bee,

 

     Thank you and Hunt for your good letters, but I was shocked and terribly grieved to hear you had another anxiety to bear.  Having the same trouble myself I know how to sympathize with you, for anything concerning the eyes just seems the final blow – but in reality cataracts are not so serious for the Drs do so many wonderful things now in the way of eye surgery – and after all, at your age, it is a waiting game, a couple of years, or even less, and they can be removed leaving your sight good as ever.  With me of course, there is no such hope, but Dr Hardin says that with old people they grow so slowly that I will probably never entirely lose my sight.  I still can read a good deal, and find my deafness a far greater misfortune than my loss of vision.  Speaking of operations on the eyes, my friend Yorke Nicholson has twice had to have the iris of his eyes pasted back[.]  He has a terrible trouble with his throat and coughs so hard he dislodges them.  The treatment requires him to lie flat on his back for 6 weeks, with relays of nurses, day and night, holding his head so he can not move it.

 

     It seems that Joan is to take part in a school play, so Kay does not know whether she can come, or not, or how it changes their plans – but any time will suit me as I’ve given up having my apartment re-painted until workmen are not so hard to get.  I wish you & Hunt would plan to come down for the Christmas holidays.  Think it over & see if you cant manage it. 

 

     No news with us --  Kids all in school --  Margie in first (and she says the last year) at Newcomb – her mind is on boys instead of books.  Last night we were over at Edwards to dinners, and she changed her dress twice during the evening to entertain 2 different dates – one in the back yard.  I think he was the steady & that she was stepping out with no 2 – but you never find out anything from her – the Sphinx was a chatter box compared with her.  Betty continues to practically run Newcomb – head of everything – I send you a cut that was in the paper this morning.  She’s the tall girl in the back row –

 

     As I am trying to get Jo to do some cleaning up, and he is allergic to a mop it is like moving mountains to get him to even touch one, I must say adieu and get on my job.

 

     With all my love & sympathy to you and Hunt (for I know its harder for him to see you suffer than it would be to have the pains himself –

 

                                                                               Your ever devoted

                                                                                                                 Liggie

  

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                Oct 11 – ‘46

Dearest Hunt & Bee,

 

     You know I have a great faith in the healing power of new clothes, especially does it work miracles on the feminine system, so heres a little check for you to get you a few glad rags. 

 

     It was so good to hear Bee was improving, and I only wish she was well enough to come along with Lib & Kay when they come to see me in Nov—maybe she is – if so we’ll tuck her in and she can think she’s a school girl again, and I’ll slay the fatted oyster for her—The food situation here is awful but I guess it is everywhere else, and if we starve it will be in good company –

                                                                Dear love to you both –

                                                                           Yr devoted

                                                                                   Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                  Jan. 2. 1947

Dearest Hunt:

 

     I have been so anxious to hear from you so do drop me a line to tell me how Bee is.  I hate to ask you to do it when I know how busy you are and how many calls are being made upon you, but I am so fond of her and so eager to hear how she is getting along.

 

     We had a very pleasant Christmas, with weather like the 4th of July and the flowers all in bloom, but before the horde of people coming to the games arrived, and they say there were 73,000 of them, the weather turned into a cold, bleak, dismal drizzle, which kept up practically all the time and is still going strong.  Maybe it is the war and people have gone without going on a spree just as long as they can stand it, but they certainly let themselves go.  For months every seat to the football game had been sold, every room in hotels and boarding houses had been taken and everybody has been piling in on everybody else and I suppose enough hard liquor has been drunk to float a steamboat.  None of our family except Bill and Lou and their kids and Margie and her beau and Clare and Cy had the courage to buck the crowd, but they all went and reported a good time in spite of the downpour, though I believe it did hold up during the actual playing of the game.

 

     It makes me realize how old I have gotten when I shudder at their daring.  The two little ones came over and slept here as their parents went to New Year’s Eve parties.  It is the first time they had ever been allowed to be up so late, so they brought their alarm clock with them and set it for 12 o’clock so they wouldn’t miss the noise and turmoil, but, alas, it was too much for them.  They were so sound asleep that they didn’t hear a sound when the alarm went off.  They slept peacefully through it all.

 

     With much love and all hopes and prayers that all will be well with you through the New Year.

 

                                                                                            Your devoted,

                                                                                                         Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                             Jan 23—‘47

Dearest Hunt,

 

     have [sic] just received your letter saying that our precious Bee got thro’ her operation well, and I can not tell you how happy it has made us all, for we are so fond of her, and admire her so much for the courage and philosophy with which she has gone thro’ the long waiting ordeal.  I hope and pray that from now on she will steadily improve, and soon be her old peppy self.  When she is able you must bring her down to stay with me, for you will both need a change and rest.  It is very lovely down here in middle March and April –

 

     No news with us.  The duck season (which was very poor because of the unseasonably hot weather) is over and Edward and Billy feel bereft, but we are much relieved as it rained, and rained, and rained, and they were never dry, and we feared they would get pneumonia.

 

     It is nice of Johnny to have put you up at the Club, for it is very lonely to go into an empty house when you are tired, and anxious.  I have very pleasant memories of the Union League as I’ve been there many times with Mr Shaffer – Ed & Daisy join me in love to you & Bee, and thanksgiving over her being better[.]

                                                                                                    Liggy [sic]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Robbie --?--.  Photocopy of letter handwritten on personal stationery with monogram EMG.]

                                                                                               Feb. 10, ‘47

Dear Robbie,

 

     Nothing that has happened to me in years has pleased me so much as getting your letter with the enclosures that were so precious to me, and hearing about the family.  It has always been a great regret to me that I have been so separated from my Winston kin – so that I dont even know who they are married to, nor what are the babies names.

 

     When your mother was a school girl at Mr Fuquas she staid at our farm, and I still remember that she used to let me ride behind her, and how I adored her she was so pretty, and gay.  And I especially remember having had an infantile crush on you father—he was so big and handsome and strong.

 

     You ask about our family.  Of course you know that my husband lost his mind, and eventually became so violent that he had to be put into an asylum.  I went through more than 30 years of torture, but God gave me the strength to stand it and fortunately I had to work so hard to support him and myself so I had no time to waste in self pity.

 

     And I was lucky enough to get into the kind of work I liked doing.  On last May 6th I celebrated the 50th year I had written the Dorothy Dix column without the break of a single deadline.

 

     My sister, Mary, died two years ago.  There never lived a finer character.  She left 3 daughters and one son, all splendid people, all well, prosperous, happily married.  In case you have forgotten their names they are Elizabeth (Mrs Harvey Richards)[,] Huntington, Katharine (Mrs John Hafner)[,] Margaret (Mrs John Burks).  Elizabeth had 2 children, Betsy who is married to George Beemer and lives at Ft Meyer Florida, and Billy Richards, a famous college athlete who is now at North Western University in Evanston Ill.

 

     Katharine had no kids so they adopted a boy & girl, both are nearly grown and are fine children[.]

 

     Hunt & his wife have no children – She is one of the most charming people you ever knew, and if he ever gets time to come to Tenn contact him.  He is worth while.  His wife is a fine woman, but practically an invalid.

 

     Margaret, the youngest child[,] is married to John Burks who was born & reared at Horse Cave Ky, but he & Margaret met & fell in love on a steamer coming from Europe.  He is very talented, & altho he graduated as an engineer at college he has practically always been in the moving pictures (technical end) and within the last few months they have moved to Hollywood where he is with a firm that does animated cartoons.  During the war the Gov’t kept him in Washington, doing movies for the camp, and when he was released they decided to go in a trailer across the continent.  It was a hard journey, but luckily for them they had the trailer as they had to live in it -- & still are, as so far they have not been able to either buy or rent a place in which to live[.]  They have one child – a little red headed, freckled faced youngster who is as smart as they come.

 

      Ed & Daisy have 2 boys – who alas are no longer little boys.  Edward has 3 girls, Betty, Margery, and Virginia.  Betty graduates this year at Newcomb College at the head of her class.  She is very pretty[,] tall & slim with the Winston beautiful eyes & nose.  Last week she was the Queens Maid of Honor in one of the swanky Carnival balls, and she looked a picture in a beautiful dress of cream satin with ruffles of gold lace, made very full over a stiff petticoat.  She is 21 – very popular with the boys but so far as I know, no special lad.  Margie is going to be married on June 9 to a very nice boy, but we wish she’d had sense enough to wait until she was older before she took the fatal step.  Virginia is nearly 14 – small, but very bright – I think she is the cleverest of all the children[.]  Edward is as handsome as ever.  He has a fine wife, & they have been very happy.  He is vice president of the American Turf & Tar Co, of which Ed is president & he is a fine business boy.  Billy is vice president of the Marine Paint Co, of which Ed is also president, and Billy is a good business man, too[,] as he would have to be trained under his fathers eye.  Billy has a darling wife – and 2 children[,] Daisy (jr) who will be 14, this coming Wed, and who is very pretty – teeth like pearls, brown eyes with flecks of gold in them, the loveliest, sweetest deep [word illegible], and little Bill who is 11, very handsome, and smart, and with the manners of Lord Chesterfield himself – or my father.  We live in a little bunch, Ed & Daisy & myself in a duplex we built, in which we each have our own apartment & servants, and way of life, but can get together in 5 minutes – and with the boys & their families one on one side of us & the other on the other side.  I accuse Ed of playing a trick on the boys because by giving each one a house he located them as next door neighbors[.]

 

     I am 85 past, greatly afflicted with rheumatism, and diabetes, getting very deaf so I have to wear a hearing aid which is practically no help, and with eyes getting dimmer, but I somehow keep going.  I am always threatening to resign my job but when the time comes to do it I havent the courage to let go for fear I will be bored to death with nothing to do.  I dont know how to play – and so far my syndicate keeps growing – 250 papers now – so I cant show up that I am senile yet –

 

     If this letter bores, throw it away unread, but I imagined you wanted a picture of your cousins as are.

 

     I return my fathers picture and his letter.  Thank you for letting me see them.  It the best picture of him I’ve ever seen, and I dont wonder you treasure it.

 

     Please write to me when you feel like it, and give my love to all your family[.]

 

                                                                                                Affly

                                                                                                            Cousin Liggie   

 

                                                                                                     

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                       March 29th. 1947

Dearest Bee:

 

     I was so glad to get your good letter and to know that you are on rising ground, even if you are not very high up on the mountain top.  I know just what it is to be handicapped by being kept from so many things that you want to do and can’t do, and it is especially hard on those of us who have been physically fit.  Of course, we should be philosophical enough to be able to say: “What the hell!  I’ve had my share of good things to eat and drink, and gadding about the world, so now I’ll just sit down and think about the past,” but it doesn’t work out that way.  We still want to have our cake and eat it, too, and I could weep over my diabetes and deafness and poor sight and my knees that won’t behave themselves.  However, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, and we have the consolation of our memories; so we have to grin and bear it.

 

     I am so glad to hear that you and Hunt are going on a little trip to Florida because I am sure it will do you so much good.  I am very sure from my own experience that there is no medicine equal to a change.  When you are seeing new sights and meeting new people, it at least takes your mind off of your symptoms.  But you mustn’t let this little fling keep you from coming to New Orleans to see us.  Just come whenever it suits you, for of course I can’t tell when it will be most convenient for you.

 

     As I write this I have just gotten Kay’s wire saying that she will be down tomorrow to see about Joan’s schooling.  But Joan is so pretty and attractive it is a waste of money for her to spend much of it on the higher education.  She will marry by the time she is as old as Margie, I expect, and what she will need to know is not about the differential calculus, but how to put on didies.  Margie, who was induced by the combined efforts of her family to enter Newcomb, has dropped out and is now taking a course in cooking and sewing at a trade school.

 

     I don’t think they have made any very definite plans about the wedding, but I believe it is to take place about the 9th. of June, and she is to be married at home, as the young man is a Catholic, which makes no difference to Margie, who isn’t strong on religion, anyway.  The bridegroom-to-be is a very nice boy indeed, but he also is very young, but he seems quite mature and to have a very strong and good influence over Margie.  This last year he has made her study and recite her lessons to him before she went to school, a feat nobody else has ever succeeded in pulling off.  Margie is really an awfully nice girl and she is a wonderful musician.  Her teachers go so far as to call her a genius, and she certainly does just seem to make a piano talk.

 

     We are going to Asheville as usual this summer, but are not going to Grove Park as they put the price so high that it knocked us out of the running.  For the three rooms that we have always had for so many years they put the price up $1400 above what we had been in the habit of paying.  Ed said he didn’t mind paying the money so much, but he refused to be held up.  We are going to the Battery Park Hotel, where we have stayed before and which is very comfortable and much, much cheaper than Grove Park was before it got to putting on Florida prices.  Maybe you and Hunt could join us there, as it is such a lovely place to be.

                                                                             With much love to you both,

                                                                                                   Your devoted,

                                                                                                             Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                    May 19—[1947]

Dearest Hunt & Bee,

 

     Thank you so much for the pretty Mothers card which I appreciated so much tho I feel that I have gotten it on false pretences.  However I am sure no real mother could ever love her children better that [sic] I do you, or be prouder of them.

 

     I know how busy you must be getting settled again after your Florida trip, for how houses seem to go to pieces if you leave them to their own devices is a mystery, but thats the way it is, but I shall be eager to hear how Bee is, and if you both got rested.  But dont consider this was your vacation for I hope you will come over and stay a bit at Asheville with us.  You know we are not going to Grove Park this year as they put our prices up so high -- $1400 MORE than we’ve ever paid before, so we are going to Battery Park Hotel (where we have staid before and which is very comfortable and reasonable in prices – much less than Grove Park was before the rise --  Ed & Daisy dont think they will get off before 10 of July, but I am striking for a cooler clime as soon as Margie gets married.  May come by Chicago for a week, but not longer but I have no settled plan as yet.

 

     Of course we are quite concerned with Margie getting married, and wish she would have waited longer, but it was no go --  She had her 19 birthday last week & the boy is 20 – babes in the woods, and it begins to look as if they would have to live in a tree as they have scoured the town for any kind of a house, of flat, without getting anywhere[.]  His name is Fernand Milhaus – French descent, very nice chap – no objections except youth which he will get over.

 

     Edward & Billy are on their fishing binge in Florida – the only treat they permit themselves during the year – Little Bill[,] Daisy, Virginia & Lu have gone today to the annual pirogue race at Barataria Bay which is the highlight of the year to the Cajuns --  There will be thousands of them there and you won’t hear a word of English.  Some friends who have a plantation down there invited our children, but little Bill didn’t want to go because he said he didn’t know how to ride a horse or milk a cow – completely out of Cajun society, I suppose.  However his fisherman father spends hours teaching him to cast a line, so he may not be altogether without the limits.  The Cajuns always call a woman “he” (he is having a baby,” and a man she “she is a good diver, him?” – so it’s a good thing Little Daisy is along to do the talking.

 

                                                        Dear love to you both –

                                                                                         Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Typewritten.]

                                                                                                              June 2nd. 1947

Dearest Bee and Hunt:

 

     I haven’t heard from you in so long that I am beginning to get worried about you.  It is the old hens with one chicken, you know, and how fussy they are, and I am so devoted to you and always so anxious about you.  But I do want to know how you are and how you are getting along.

 

     We hadn’t heard, until Ed got a letter the other day from Kay casually mentioning that Bill had broken his leg, that he had had an accident.  Suppose it was too much football and that Elizabeth was too anxious to bother with letter writing, but I have written to her stirring her up, so doubtless I will hear from her in a few days.

 

     There is no news with us.  Three weeks from today Margie gets married, so everybody is in a great dither about it, except us.  We are taking it calmly and hope she isn’t making a great mistake in marrying so young.  The boy is a mere infant, as she is.  He is 20 and she just 19, so they have a long time to regret it if they are making a mistake.  We tried to dissuade her and Fernand’s family tried to hold him back, but they wouldn’t listen to the voice of reason.  She stopped college to learn how to cook and he stopped college to learn how to make a living.  He is in business with his father, so at least they will start on a more or less practical basis.  But so far they haven’t been able to find a place to live, although they have combed the city for either a house to buy or a flat to rent.

 

     Betty graduates cum laude next week, with the Phi Beta Kappa key and various others.  She has been a fine student and has made a fine record all the way through school.

 

     I have to cut this letter short as [I] am going to a luncheon that Lou is giving and I have only a few minutes to jump into my clothes.

 

     With much love to you both, and let me hear from you.

 

                                                                                         Yours affectionately,

                                                                                                            Liggie.

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                          June 13 – ‘47

Dearest Bea [sic],

 

     Thank you so much for your good letter.  I am so fond of you, and have been so anxious to know how you were getting along.  I certainly know how to sympathize with you for my eyes are getting cataracts too, and my sight grows dimmer, and dimmer, tho the Dr tells me that at my age I will never lose my sight entirely.  I have had as you know, rather a lonely life, but my compensation has been reading, and it strikes terror to my soul to think of possibly being cut off more or less from that resource.  We are in a state of ferment that borders on delirium what with Margies wedding, and Betty’s graduation and announcement of her engagement, and the many parties involved.  Margie is marrying into a big French-Creole family that think nothing of having a dozen children, and they have been giving a series of parties to introduce us into their family circle.  So Ed[,] Daisy & I have had to be simply swallowed up by scores of De Bens’ and Milhases, and Naltys, and Delormes, and Farrars, and others whose names I never caught.  However their cooking and their liquor was a compensation for having to put on our best bibs and tuckers….   [remainder of letter missing]

 

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Beatrice Patch.  Addressed: Mrs Huntington Patch, 2445 Lawndale Ave, Evanston Ills.  Return address: 6334 Prytania Street, New Orleans 15, La.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.  Postmarked: June 14, 1947.]

 

Darling Bea [sic] –

 

     Between the getting married and the getting engaged to marry I’ve been so obfusticated, as my cook says, that I omitted the most important part of my missive which was to thank you for your dear invitation to come by to visit you on my way to Asheville.  It was so sweet of you to do it and I appreciated it very much, but I will have to put it off until I am in more of a travelling condition than I am now.  I am so bunged up with rheumatism that I get about like a spavined old mare, and I am better off when I do my groaning and moaning in private--  But my thanks and love—

 

                                                                                                  Liggie

 

P.S.  Ed has the gout, and is sitting down stairs nursing a foot that looks like a pink cushion it is so inflamed & swelled up, and I am upstairs cursing my knees, so you see we are in no condition to visit.  I thought I would cheer Ed up with a mild joke.  I said I saw in the paper that coca-cola made a big jump—maybe its true that gout is a rich mans disease, and what is ailing you is that your profits went to your foot instead of your

 head – but he only groaned[.]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on hotel stationery with

letterhead: Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, N. C]

July 20 – 47

Dearest Hunt and Bee,

 

     As you doubtless know we are settled for the next 2 months in this pleasant hotel, which isnt Grove Park but neither is it so high in its prices.  We are quite comfortable, and enjoying the cool which seems like Heaven after the cauldron from which we escaped.  Which was boiling us alive.

 

     Margie was married by a priest – a very handsome, swanky young man with a sense of humor for after the ceremony he said to me as he mopped his dripping brow, “If I had entered matrimony instead of the Church, I certainly would have put off getting married until December.”

 

     But they didn’t, and wouldn’t, and it was a beautiful wedding in spite of the heat[,] but little Virginia who is about as big as two pinches of snuff – ran away with the show --  She and Betty were the bridesmaid[s] Betty so tall, & Va so tiny, and they made a picture as they stood together, dressed exactly alike with long dresses that touched the floor and were off the shoulder and great bunches of red roses in their arms --  At the reception (300 & something guests mostly members of Helens, & the grooms voluminous families) Virginia, looking so sophisticated (as she thought) with a glass of champaign [sic] in her hand and her little finger crooked in a fashionable manner that was so funny every one was saying: have you seen Ginger? instead of the bride.  Afterwards Va confided in me that she didn’t taste the champaign [sic].  She said a nice gentleman drank it for her.  “Darling” I said, “when you have a glass of champaign [sic] in your hand, there will always be a nice gentleman around handy to drink it for you” --  The happy couple got home a few days ago and are busy trying to find some where to stow some of their bridal presents until they can rent some permanent place to live.

 

     Billy & Lee, and little Bill went home yesterday after a weeks stay here.  They drove up to the camp where little Bill has been & got him, and believe me, he’s the nicest little boy since Huntington was a kid.  Indeed they are so much alike in manners, and quick intelligence they might be twins.  Little Bill had a grand time – fell out of his double decker bed 3 or 4 times, nearly stepped on a copperhead snake, improved his swimming so he was permitted to paddle his own canoe, and on the nights they went camping in the mountains the bears came down a stole their supplies, and made so much noise they couldnt sleep.  Could a small boy ask more?  Cant you see him the hero of his gang – except that he is very modest.

 

     We hear that Carrie Humphreys is nearing the end, nothing the matter except that like Pa the clock has just run down.  Shes in the 90’ties [sic,] I dont know just how old, but I think shes about the age Pa, and Aunt Molly and Aunt Cal all passed on.  A sweeter soul never lived, nor one who got less out of life unless sheer goodness and unselfishness is its own reward.  I couldn’t say, never having qualified in the martyr class.

 

     I must close, as I hear Ed coming to help me indict a letter to Jo about seeing about his eyes while I am gone that I trust will put the fear of God in him.  Time & time again I have tried to get him to go to Drs – he would promise to go, & lie to me about doing it -- & never go near one.

 

     With dear love for you both, and hoping Bee is feeling better[.]

 

                                                                                                Your devoted

                                                                                                            Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on hotel stationery with letterhead: Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, N. C.]

                                                                                                8/27/47

                                                                                                    Wednesday.

Dearest Hunt,

 

     Your dear letter came yesterday and I was so glad to hear from you, but grieved to know that your precious Bee is still having so much trouble with her eyes.  I can but hope and pray that she may soon be able to have the operation that will restore her sight.

 

     I, too, have cataracts forming on my eyes which makes my sight very dim but the Dr thinks that at my age they grow so slowly that I probably will not ever be entirely blind, but even so the prospect is none too cheerful[.]

 

     You have certainly had a hell of a summer what with the heat and your anxiety over Bee and the labor troubles, but if misery loves company, as the old problem [sic] says, you have not lacked consolers for the whole world seems just a boiling cauldron of trouble and how it is all to end only the devil knows.  I try not to think about it, and I know you do too, for there never were two people who had more courage than you and Bee.

 

     I was much interested in hearing of some one buying Castle Hill who will restore it, and keep it for future generations to admire.  What with the servant problem being what it is there wont be many show places built in the future, I guess – too many rooms to sweep, too much ornamentation to dust, too many yards to mow – sweet simplicity is going to be the word.

 

     You have heard of course of dear Carrie Humphreys passing.  Curiously enough she had such a grip on life that she couldn’t break it altho for years her prayer has been to die.  Dr Allen said that in all his practice he had never seen such a heart.  Every now & then it would stop beating (so far as he could tell), and then there would be a little flutter, and it would go back to work.  He called it the almost unbreakable old Meriwether pumping station that lasted for more than 90 odd years.

 

     The only family news is that Betty (Edwards daughter) is going to be married in November --  Two weddings in one summer is pretty hard on Papa, and confirms me in my belief that all daughters should be brought up to elope.  I bet many a bride groom wishes he had the money his sweetie spent on her trousseau to pay the grocery bill.  Little Daisy, who was much impressed by Margerys wedding presents, announced to her mother that when SHE got married she was going to sell all the gifts, and buy her a horse, which may or may not, be a good idea.  The groom cuts such a small figure at his own wedding that I neglected to mention that Bettys fiance is named Ordman, (I believe) and that he is a very nice chap – 28 years old (thank Heaven he is not an infant husband) very good looking, and popular.  Served 5 yrs in the army, and came out an officer.  I dont know  what grade.  Has a good job, but no fortune.  Betty has scrapped her numerous medals & degrees, and is attending cooking school at present.  I hope matrimony is not contagious and that Virginia who is 14 will stay single until I get home.

 

     We have had a very pleasant summer here, not as nice as it would have been at Grove Park, except that the Jews have taken possession of that.  (A Jew syndicate has got a 10 year contract on that) and the Gentiles have fled before them.  Also Battery Park is much cheaper which is not to be ignored in these uncertain times.

 

     We leave here on the 5 of Sept, and go back to literally and figuratively sweating it out.  Daisy has been much improved by the cool mountain air, but Ed and I still have our rheumatism that keeps us hobbling around like spavined old horses.

 

     Dont bother to write to me when you are so overworked, unless you confine yourself to a postal card, which I think is one of Gods most merciful gifts to busy people.

 

     With much love from us all, to you and Bee[.]

 

                                                                                                Your devoted

                                                                                                            Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on hotel stationery with letterhead: Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, N. C.]

                                                                                                 Sept 6—48

Dearest Hunt,

 

     Thank you so much for your good letter which I enjoyed so much.  So glad to hear that Bee is improving and hope that soon she will be her old robust self, but being sick is a long hard road to climb back, and it takes a lot of courage to negotiate it.

 

     We are starting back to New Orleans Wednesday morning, and we wish we could have another month now that the weather is turning crisp and cool, and the leaves beginning to turn red.  It must be gorgeous beyond description here in the fall, and someday I’m going to stay to see it.  Anyway, I couldnt stay now as I have no clothes with me thicker than a musquito [sic] bar, and they would be a little airy for the climate[.]  I’m a trifle elderly to play September Morn, as in the picture, if you remember that.

 

     We’ve been here so many summers, and know so many people that we have been on a bender instead of a rest cure, and in effort to square our accounts a little we gave 2 big dinner parties at Mrs Williamsons on last Thursday and Friday – couldnt get them in except in relays.  They were marvels of cooking and I only wished you were there to enjoy them.  I had only a minute to talk to Mrs Wilkinsons [sic] about the possibility of you coming to Asheville, and so many people were cutting into our talk I got nothing co-herent, but I gathered that she would write to you when she got time, and that she would like very much to have you come to stay with her, but that she would have no room (she thought) available in her house.  But in an annex that she thought much nicer than the house she would have 2 beautiful rooms, with bath.  She didnt name any price, but said she would write to you soon –

 

     So there you are.  I think you idea of taking a years rest is a fine one, and that you will be smart not to tie yourself down for long at any place.  While you are resting take in Asheville, and California[.]  I know from my own experience that change, and new interests are the best tonic in the world.

 

     No news with us.  The kids got home without catching polio, but they are much distressed over the illness of their beautiful dog.  I think the climate is too hot for a Labrador Retriever.  Any way he has been ailing and little Daisy didn’t help him by giving him a dose of Big Bills Hay Fever remedy instead of the medicine the Doctor prescribed.

 

     Ed is still having trouble with his feet, and I with my knees (thank God I am not a centipede) but Daisy is fine, and queen of the bridge table.  You never saw a place where there were so many widows, and all nice ones and apparently with plenty of money.  What an opportunity for the elderly gents who want somebody to support them[.]  I cant imagine why the whole masculine pack, of a certain age, aren’t on the wife hunt. 

 

     Dear love to you both

                                                                            Liggie

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original.]

                                                     

                                                                                             Saturday, Oct. 11, 1947

Dearest Lig:

 

     We were glad to get word from Uncle Ed that the storm hadn’t done too much of any damage to any of you, altho it must  have been a terrific day in your lives.  Lib was down in Fort Myers with Betsy at the time, and Betsy wrote us a wonderfully descriptive report of their activities which fortunately didn’t do too much damage to them except for the loss of seedbed plants at the farm.  One of our good friends here has a farm about 8 miles inland just north of Pass Christian and it was days before he could get any report at all, and finally learned that his tung trees had taken an awful beating but that his loss wasn’t as great as he had feared.

 

     Bee has been waiting anxiously for a call from the hospital to say that there is a room available for her, as our Dr. Allen has examined her other eye and thinks that it is ready for the operation.  He feels that after this second operation both eyes should be in better balance and with glasses she will experience much less confusion and fear of getting around by herself.  These past few months have been just Hell, and she has gotten so run down and thin and nervous that it’s going to be a battle to get her back to health again.  The anticipation of the operation is almost worse than the ordeal itself, but we are hoping it won’t be many days now until it is done.  I’ll let you know when she is going as soon as we know.

 

     I had hoped all summer that I might have been able to take a few days off and get down to Asheville while you all were there for a little visit with you, but it just wasn’t in the cards.  I know you had a much needed rest there and hope it did you lots of good, and that you are feeling really good by now.  Our dearest love to you, Liggie dear, and to the others as well, from Bee and

                                                                                       Your devoted

                                                                                        [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                         Nov 2 – 47

Dearest Hunt and Bee,

 

     The time has come for us to grow a few new feathers and heres my contribution to the good cause.  You remember that a wit said there was more moral support in knowing you coat fit in the back than there was in all the precepts of religion.  Manys the time when I was so low down in my spirits I wanted just to throw up my hands and quit a world that seemed to have nothing in it but trial and tribulations, but instead I went out and bought me a new hat and that put me off of the suicide plan – I just couldn’t kill myself until I had worn that confection[.]

 

     This diversion from my letter does not mean that I think you are unduly depressed, but I know with all the courage in the world, and surely you & Bee have shown that you possess those qualities, it is hard to wait to go through an operation, so I just want to tell you how much I love you, and admire you, and how I hope with all my heart that your anxieties will soon be over.

 

     No news with us.  All well, if you’ll except Ed’s and my feet which are acting up scandalously[.]  The rest of our bodies are behaving very well[.]

 

                                                        Dear love to you both

                                                                            Liggie

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of original typewritten on personal stationery with letterhead: A. H. Patch, 2445 Lawndale Ave., Evanston, Illinois.]

                                                                                           November 8th, 1947

Dearest Lig:

 

     Thank you sincerely and more than the words can convey for your most generous check and the words of encouragement that accompanied it – for your letters are all treasures of love and understanding.  And we DO need this right now.  This has been – and still is – such a time of despair.  For with waiting on a day-to-day basis for the hospital to say that there is space available is about as nerve-wracking an experience as both of us can take.  Bee tries to be brave about it, and I try to keep her so.  But she is so anxious to have the second operation over with – knowing how much improved she is going to be.  And the doctor has been ready to do the work whenever the hospital can take her in.  They did tell us weeks ago that it would be about the 2nd of November, but at that time an emergency operation took her name off the waiting list and placed it back at the bottom of the list again, with no assurance even as of today that she will be called for days or even weeks!  So we have had anything but a happy time of it sitting by, expectantly.  Bee says to tell you that she has the greatest yen to go on a “hat and dress buying spree” once she’s able to see again, and that she will truly have that “new look” and her thanks to you for making it possible!  She hasn’t been in the stores for so long that yesterday when I did a little shopping for her and brought home a few new face cloths she said that that constituted the only department store purchases so far this year!  At least we haven’t lost our sense of humor through it all – which is something!

 

     I was just reading Collier’s and thinking how we’d like to be sitting along side of you at Antoine’s!  It has been so long since we have seen you.  We do hope you are feeling spry as ever.  We love you so, [and send] you worlds of love, Liggie dear, and again our t[hanks for] being so wonderful to us both.

 

                                                                                          Your devoted

                                                                                          [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.B. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                           Nov 25 – ‘47

Dearest Hunt & Bee,

 

     Thank you so much for your birthday wire.  It warmed the cockles of my heart to know you were thinking of me, but you always do, bless you both.  I hope by now that Bee has been able to get her Dr and that the operation will set her all up.  She certainly has been a brave soldier all through her ordeal.  Do let me have a line from you telling how she is.  I am so fond of her and of course you know that if you were [2 words illegible] my son you wouldn’t be nearer or dearer to me.

 

     Today is a dark dreary Sunday but the brief duck season is on, and Edward and the two Bills are in the seventh heaven (of cold clammy marsh) with their feet in the water waiting for the poor little quack-quacks to meet their doom.  This year they are only permitted to kill 4 a day, and as they are crack shots they got their quotas yesterday in 4 minutes.  Not being a huntsman I dont see why they thought it worth getting up at 4 a.m, driving 40 miles to a duck blind, and rushing home to change clothes and go to work.  This morning Big Bill took little Bill with him, his first trip, and I dont know which was more excited over it.  They say little Bill is already a good shot – and after all it is a fine thing for a father to make a chum of his boy. It brings a lump in my throat whenever I see little Bill just sitting adoring his father as if he was worshipping at a shrine.

 

     Much excitement at Edwards over Bettys wedding which comes off at 7 – on Friday.  Little Virginia has gotten so excited over being a bridesmaid, and having been invited to several bridal showers, that I think she feels she is a debutante.  And she takes it all so seriously – not a smile, or a careless word.  Edward, who feels that 2 swanky weddings in 4 months, is going pretty strong said to Helen as they were addressing the invitations “put a card in every envelope on which you have written: “You are also invited to Virginias marriage.”

 

     However you cant argue with loves young dream, and both of the girls seem to have been pretty good pickers.  Both of the husbands are as clean cut youths as you would find, belong to good families and have no bad habits.  The have had a terrible time finding a place to live, but finally got tiny apartments where the girls are experimenting on how to wreck a husbands stomach.  Isnt it providential that breaking in a bride to a cook stove takes place in the honeymoon – otherwise there would be universal divorce.

 

                                                                                    Dearest love to you both

                                                                                                     Liggie

 

 

 

[Leonard K. Nicholson to E.M.G.  Typewritten on business stationery with letterhead: The Times-Picayune Publishing Company, Lafayette Square, New Orleans 4.  Office of L. K. Nicholson, President.]

                                                                                     March 15, 1948

 

Mrs. E. M. Gilmer

6334 Prytania St.

New Orleans, La.

 

Dear Sis Gilmer:

 

     Thank you for your dear note.  You know as well as I do that it was Yorke’s will power and sense of humor that kept him alive and joking until the last.  No matter how bad he felt, he always had a joke to express his condition.  A day or two before Mardi Gras he told me he thought he could hold out through Mardi Gras, but if he did not he wanted me to have him stuffed and set him up in a chair with a glass in his hand and he would look natural and no one would know the difference.

 

     While he was not able to go to the ball or the queen’s supper, he did have the pleasure of seeing Elizabeth and her maids having lunch and also seeing her on the Boston Club gallery.

 

     Right after Mardi Gras he told me that the doctors could not cure him and he did not care to just keep on suffering, and that if there was nothing more the doctors could do to relieve his condition, he was tired of fighting and would just as soon be dead.  That was the first and only time he ever expressed his discouragement to me.

 

     His loss was a great blow to me and to Dovie and the girls.  I will do everything in my power to see that they are not taken advantage of in any of the many decisions that they will have to make while I am alive.

 

      Again thanking you, I am always as ever,

                                                                          Lovingly yours,

                                                                                 Leonard.

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original.]

 

                                                                                                  August 4, 1948

Dearest Lig:

 

     It is so good to know that you are feeling better day by day, and we are so glad that you can have this time away from the stress of your daily work and the severe heat of New Orleans.  And there couldn’t be a lovlier [sic] spot in which to recupe – that air just does something to you.  And even if it is hot in the daytime the cool nights are simply glorious.  I still believe North Carolina is the garden spot of the country.  And I hope that we can land there for keeps in the not too distant future.

 

     Bee has been showing some progress, but is still awfully weak and lifeless, and runs into these “fading out” spells too often; they leave her listless and without an appetite, and the sum total of it is that she is just dragging along, always hoping that she’ll soon be feeling up to par again.  Last night we drove out away and had a wonderful dinner at the Tally-Ho in Park Ridge.  It was the best meal since that marvelous spread that you treated us to at Mrs. Morrison’s.  I had told Bee about that meal – which ranks tops in my recollections – and dreamed that perhaps we could possibly “board” at Mrs. Morrison’s some time later on, for if ever a jaded appetite could be tempted, there would be the place!

 

     Lib got home safe and sound after her thrilling experience, and we are going to have supper out in Lake Bluff tonight, and hear all about it.  I’ll write you more later on – now that I have more time on my hands I certainly can’t offer my excuses for not being a better correspondent!

 

      It was so good to have those few days with you – it did me lots of good.  Wish it could have been for longer.  And more often!

 

     Bee joins in sending fondest love to you, Liggie dear, and to the others as well.

 

                                                                                           Devotedly,

                                                                                                [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original.]

 

                                                                                           Weds. July 21, 1948

Dearest Liggie:

 

     First of all I want to tell you how happy it made me to find you looking so good, for you have been through an awful lot, but in spite of it, don’t show any bad effects.  And I know that the summer in Asheville will do a lot for you, and I hope you will get really rested before you try to tackle any hard schedule this Fall.  Asheville is just a wonderful place for you to [sic], and every time I’m in that locality it does something for me – braces me up and makes me feel like I’m really living again!  I only wish I could have stayed longer, and that Bee could have been there with me, for she reacts to the climate there as I do.

 

     It was a really wonderful week for me, being with you and Uncle Ed and Aunt Daisy, for you are all very near and dear to me, and I appreciate every minute I can spend in your good company.

 

     Bee has been feeling better the past couple of days and we have Asahel here with us visiting for a few days.  Kay and Johnnie came over Monday night, and last night we took Ben & Florence & Benjy out to a lovely eating place in the country, and tonight we are all going over to Glen Ellyn for dinner.  Kay & Johnnie are looking forward to seeing you quite soon.  Once again I want to tell you how much it meant to me to have such a memorable week there with you.  Dearest love to you, Liggie, from us both.

 

                                                                                    Devotedly,

                                                                                            [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on hotel stationery with letterhead: Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, N. C.]

                                                                                              Aug 13 – ‘48

Dearest Hunt,

 

     Thanks for your good letter which we all enjoyed so much – we were so happy to see you again, and only regretted that dear Bee didn’t feel well enough to come --  Do hope by fall that she will be able to scale the mountains, and draw in strength with each breath of this tonic air.

 

     By the way, I think your suggestion that you might spend the winter boarding instead of trying to keep house, is a fine one. What both of you need is change, and being with other people for awhile, and being fed up on different food for awhile.  You can get that, I have no doubt, cheaper than you can setting up housekeeping – for a limited length of time --  If the idea interests you I will contact Mrs. Williamson – (you’ve got the name wrong, its not Morison) before I go home, and see what she can do for you.  My idea is that after a person has been ill as long as Bee has, that she needs to be diverted, entertained[,] have her mind taken off of her troubles ---

 

     I know my trip around the world saved my life.  Between hard work, and the hell of being with George for years, I was all in.  I could neither eat nor sleep, and I didnt care what became of me --  Then one day, just by chance, I saw a Raymond & Whitcome advertisement of the first trip around the world after the 1st War.  I grabbed my hat, went down to the Travel Bureau[,] bought a ticket before I could consider the risks of it – or anyone argue me out of it – and the result was a perfect cure[.]  I was so interested in all the strange things I saw & did that I forgot my troubles.  I am sure that a R. R. ticket would cure more sick people than all the doctors prescriptions[.]

 

     No news with us.  Everything goes on the same at home --  Little Bill has returned from his camp; Betty & her husband are fair crazy, as the English would say[,] over the pretty house they have bought with some assistance from the family; the 2 little girls are still in camp, but will leave for home on the 25, and no one has had the polio for which we humbly thank God.  The weather here is straight from heaven, and we hate to think we will have to go back into the fiery furnace after labor day.  The only fly in our ointment is that Ed has had such a bad time with his foot – still cant wear his shoe but he hobbles around in a slipper, and it really is better, I think.  You know he is one of those uncomplaining dopes that never whines, so you have to guess at how he feels, which makes me want to bang his head up against the wall – which would relieve my feelings if it didn’t help his –

 

      Give my dear love to Bee and keep a pack for yourself[.]

 

                                                                                           Your devoted

                                                                                                         Liggie

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original.]

 

                                                                                            August 23, 1948

Dearest Lig:

 

     Your good letter was most welcome, and I’m going to ask you to find out if it would be possible for Mrs. Williamson to take in a couple of boarders this Fall, for a couple of months at least, and for how much, etc.  It would seem to be the most desirable plan for us to follow, if it could be so arranged, for as you say, Bee needs to be where there are some people to visit with, and where she can “rest, relax and recupe” in pleasant and interesting surroundings.

 

     I just finished a letter to Uncle Ed telling about the doctor’s findings in Bee’s case, so won’t repeat all that.

 

     It’s hard to set any definite date for our contemplated Carolina trip, but it would help in our planning if we knew whether or not such a place as Mrs. Williamson’s is a possibility and within our budget, etc.  So any information you can get will be greatly appreciated.

 

     Time goes by in such a hurry we hate to think that you’ll be leaving the good Asheville climate so soon, but we do hope that the change and the rest and the mountain air has built you up and that you are really feeling lots better by now.  Bee joins in sending fondest love to you, Liggie dear, and to the others as well.

 

                                                                                        Devotedly,

                                                                                              [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                          Nov 6 – ‘48

Dearest Hunt & Bee,

 

     I have been anxiously awaiting news of of [sic] where a letter would reach you so I could send you your check for your winter feathers, for I think nothing peps us up so much as a few glad rags, but you seemed to have vanished into thin air.  However this mornings mail located you as Eliz wrote that you were back in your own house again, and that Bee seemed so much better.  That is good news indeed and I hope and pray that she will continue to improve.

 

     If you are still footloose and wandering and have never been to California why dont you give it a whirl, just for the heck of it?  Or what would be still better go to Honolulu which is as near an earthly heaven as I ever expect to be.  But [word crossed out: dont] if you go to Cal go to the Southern part, as the North is cold, and they apparently never heard of anyone having a fire except for cooking – and thats always gas.

 

     No news with us now that the baby has arrived.  He’s a husky looking lad and I suspect he is training for an athlete as he spends all his time kicking his legs and waving his arms, developing his muscles[.]

 

     Speaking of health we are just about the same wrecks we were when you saw us at Asheville but as we belong to the never-say-die breed we keep going, no matter how much our feet ache and our bones threaten to collapse on us.  Manys the time when I feel like imitating the example of the man who said he took a day off now and then to howl.  When Billy (big) is sick he always asks visitors to please go out of the room and shut the door so he could moan in comfort.  The Dr is giving me a new treatment – some sort of purple tablets that he thinks may help my memory that seems to have gone back on me (probably a judgment on me for remembering the things I should have forgotten – such as how old they are – and prehistoric jokes – and when they lived on Poverty Flats and their mothers took in washing etc, etc, etc --)  Many a one will attend my funeral to see I’m properly burried [sic] –

 

                                                                                           Dear love to you both

                                                                                                       Your devoted Liggie

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original.]

 

                                                                                             November 9, 1948

Dearest Lig:

 

     More than ever our thanks for your goodness!  You welcome letter and the handsome check were received yesterday and Bee and I both want you to know how appreciative we are of your never-ending generosity.

 

     I know you’ll be glad to learn that the trip south did us both so much good that we came back feeling better than we have for years, I’m sure.  Bee put on about 5 lbs., the first gain of any kind for a long, long time, and with an appetite.  In fact the last two weeks could scarcely get enough to eat, and I am sure thought I was rationing her on purpose; this in spite of the fact that we enjoyed two of Mrs. Williamson’s marvelous dinners, and also made two trips to Burnsville where we ravenously helped unburden their laden board!  If there is any better eating anywhere let Duncan Hines be my guide!

 

     We explored the entire countryside of western No. Carolina, and covered a multitude of magnificent miles of scenery out of this world.  But we didn’t find just the dream-spot that we felt we couldn’t live without, and came to the conclusion that there aren’t any “bargains” down there any more than there are up here.  It was fun looking, and we’re glad we went; we enjoyed it all, but are glad we didn’t make any hasty decision.

 

     The trip home was the long way round, going over through Winston-Salem and up to Charlottesville, Virginia, which is one of our favorite spots, and had a couple of days to spare all around Albemarle County.  Had a very nice visit with Cary & Louise Weisiger – also Cousin Margaret Douglas Randolph at Clover Field.  All sent best to you and Uncle Ed.  Then we drove up through Winchester (which is one of the lovliest [sic] little towns I’ve ever seen, and on up to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and across Ohio going out of our way to circle around “Pleasant Valley” and see “Malabar Farm” where Louis Bromfield has really one of the prettiest spots imaginable; then on to Pokagon (Indiana State Park) and home again.  All told we covered 3500 miles and never made more than 200 in a day so weren’t tired out at all, but enjoyed it all, at the lovliest [sic] time of year.

 

     I do hope that you’ve been able to cut down some at least on your work so that you can get a little more rest than you’ve had in the past, for I know you are weary and certainly need to take it a bit easier.  You didn’t say what your decision has been regarding your continuing six columns a week.  Hope you have planned an easier schedule somehow.  I know your summer at Asheville did you good, but the good effects will be lost if you have to overwork again this winter.  And we do hope that your knees aren’t giving you so much pain, and that you are really feeling better generally.

 

     Our dearest love to you, Liggie dear, and again our thanks for doing so much for us.

 

                                                                                     Your devoted

                                                                                        [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten.  Undated (Nov. 1948?)]

 

Dearest Hunt –

 

     Thought you might be interested in having this little sketch I wrote of the Pass place[.]  As you see it is an advertisement of our paint that I did for Billy who is interested in getting out the little house paper --  Ed has been feeling very badly – fever again – but is better – able to be up again --  The new baby is to be christened today[.]  He’s a grand youth –

                                                                                     Lots of love to you & Bee –

                                                                                                      Lig

 

               

 

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                        Nov 23 – 48

Dearest Hunt and Bee,

 

     A thousand thanks for that grand birthday present you sent me, and for your loving remembrance.  They both went to just the right spot, and reconciled me to having another birthday although I have had what our old colored cook used to call “an elegant sufficiency[.]”  It was this same colored philosopher who used to comment “sho’ly de Lawd has forgot her” when any of her friends lived to be a ripe old age.  And I am beginning to feel that I belong in that class.

 

     We have just had such a nice, but all too short visit, from Katharine.  She seems to have dipped into the fountain of youth for she looked prettier and younger than she has for years.  Everybody commented on her charm.  She went from here to San Antonio where your namesake is taking his training, where she expected to stay only the week end, then back home, where she doubtless is at present.  My cooks brother died the day Kay got here, and as no Negro can forego the excitement of a funeral Eva left us flat while she went to mourn the departed --  It took six days to do it up properly, and I was in despair about how we were to eat, as my knees were on the rampage, but Kay saved the day by getting up & getting breakfast, & Helen & Lu asked us to dinner every day, & other kind friends gave us hand outs when we began to get a pinched and hungry look.

 

     We are still mirating over Bettys baby who really (aunties being realistic) is about as good looking a youngster as ever happened.  He got christened last Sunday Marshall Ordermann [Ordemann], but happily they call him Skipper.  He howled bloody murder at the top of his lungs as long as his doting female relatives were trying to consecrate him, but the minute the preacher got hold of him, he smiled seraphically and let him douse him with water without even a protest. 

 

     We were all terribly upset over the election, and if it wasnt so tragical  it would be funny, to hear everybody trying to explain how it happened.  Its the worlds greatest illustration of how much better a hindset [sic] is than a foreset [sic] --  The only cheering political news with us is that Governor Long is reported seriously ill – but probably that isnt true either –

 

     Do write to us when you feel equal to it – we are so anxious to know what your plans are, and how Bee is, etc, etc.  With much love to you both

 

                                                                                               Affly

                                                                                                       Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                Dec 15 – ‘48

Dearest Hunt & Bee

 

     Herein enclosed is your little Christmas gift which comes with all the love and good wishes in the world.  You two have been through such an orgy of suffering and anxiety that you deserve never to have anything but good luck, and sunshine and roses the balance of your lives.  Talk about heroes!  I’ve never known anybody who met life so gallantly as you have, and who bore sickness and pain (that makes whiners of most of us) with their heads “bloody but unbowed” as the poet says, but you and Bee[.]  I’m proud to be kin to you.

 

     I’ve just gotten up from a two weeks bout with bronchitis.  I coughed, and wheezed, and breathed so you could hear me all over the place, and as Mr Mantelini used to say in Dickens story, I was a dummed unpleasant body to have around, but I didn’t have any fatal malady, so I pulled thro by the aid of penicillin, tho I still look and feel like something the cat brought in.

 

     No family news except that Daisys mother is here, and she looks as if she had not only bathed in the Fountain of Youth but had wallowed in it.  Shes 92 & she doesn’t look it by about 40 years.  Her daughter Lil, who has a home at Sarasota Fla, is driving over to spend Christmas here, then take her mother with her to Florida.

 

     At the present writing Edward & Billy are shooting wild turkey and other fauna in Mexico.  For months they have simply lived for this, and you never saw anybody so excited as they were when the time came to go.  They drove to Brownsville which you know is the tail end of Texas, and were met by a man who runs these safaris, and who is to take them (& 4 of their buddies) to some place where the hunting is supposed to be good.  I’ll bet Billy will come home with a turkey wild, or domestic (picked) so none of us will know the difference.

 

     Do drop me a line and tell me what you are planning for the winter?  I hope you will go to some warm climate – Cuba is fine, and different, and the cooking grand.  Do something that will be new & novel to you – and interesting.  I feel sure that three [word illegible] of all of our ill health is boredom.  I know it is with me. My trip around the world saved my life.  I was spent, dead on my feet, and when my contract run [sic] out I refused to renew it.  So I gave up & prepared for the undertaker.  But I thought I might as well see something of the world before I left it for the tomb, so I took that long trip, & when I got back I was a made new woman.  I got me a job & put in more than 30 years of hard work on it – and I’m still doing it.  Try it.  Believe me change is the greatest miracle worker in the world –

                                                                                     Love

                                                                                          Liggie

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original.]

 

                                                                                                     December 20, 1948.

Dearest Lig:

 

     Your inspiring letter and the wonderful check that came with it make us wish, deeply, that we could tell you how much it means to us and how grateful being so good to us, so generous, so devoted.  There never was anyone to compare!  The only thing that could make our Christmas season even better would be our all being together.  We do hope that you are feeling better, for you are so uncomplaining about those wracking knee pains, you are an inspiration to all of us.

 

      We are going to have a quiet “home” day here, and have asked our friend Roy Moffitt to be with us, as his family are now settled in their new home at Pass Christian and he won’t be able to join them until some time after the first of the year.  Kay and John asked us to come out to Glen Ellyn but we will put off our visit with them until New Years day when they are having a crowd in for the young folks’ celebration.  We took Lib and Bill and Harvey to the airport last Friday to see them off for Fort Myers where they’ll all settle down on Betsy and George for a few weeks, Harvey and Bill expecting to put in their time clearing the “back forty” in preparation for a tree-planting session, which is Harvey’s lastest [sic] passion.  If he can do it on 40 why not re-forest a thousand acres is his idea – he’s got to think in wholesale!  He gloats over having George put in 18 hours a day and that he’s strong enough to almost work around the clock, including Sundays.  And of course it is something when they can ship five to ten trailer truck loads of cucumbers a week up to the Chicago market.  There’s never a dull moment.  But with our low blood pressures and sluggish thyroids we just don’t seem to react to his dynamic way of life.  (Neither does Bill, much to Harvey’s sorrow, but Betsy is a chip off the old block!)

 

     We hope you’ll enjoy the air-circulator which the Hafners and ourselves send you with a world of love and Christmas greetings.  The thing intrigued us so when we say [saw] the way it worked on the Hafner’s [sic] porch last summer that we decided then that it might be a welcome addition to your comfort, come the first hot days and before you can get back to the invigorating atmosphere of Asheville.  It is something quite new on the market, and I think it does a wonderful job of fanning without the usual blow and draft and other disadvantages of an ordinary electric fan.

 

     We don’t know yet what we are going to do in the months just ahead.  Your suggestion of a trip to Cuba is something that we have been considering and it must be a wonderful trip to take.  Unfortunately, Bee is not quite up to such a venture as yet, although we both keep hoping that her condition will improve and that she’ll soon have some revived pep.  I’ve gained a few pounds and am eating and sleeping and enjoying a respite from the worries of the factory.  That place is at a low ebb just now, with only a handful of people at work as of yesterday when I paid them a visit, and I realized more than ever how lucky I was, and how glad I am, to be out of it all, now.

 

     We will be thinking of you, more than ever, on Christmas day, and wishing you the best of everything, so again we say Thank You, Liggie dare [sic], for being so good to us, and our dearest love to you, from Bee and

                                                                     Your devoted

                                                                      [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                           Dec 21 – ‘48

Dearest Hunt & Bee,

 

     The beautiful gift you and Bee sent me, arrived safely and I can not tell you how overcome I was with delight over it.  I never saw such a beautiful gadget for cooling the air – it glistened with crystal like a hughe [sic] diamond, and it will certainly save me from many a hot and withering day when our long summers get under way.  Thank you both a million times, and I know that I will be eternally grateful, and believe I shall value it the more because it came from all four of you –

 

     There isn’t any family news except that Edward & Billy are due home on Thursday from their excursion in Mexico.  We havent had much connection with them but somebody reported that they had killed 7 wild turkeys beside other fauna.  Before they got off on the trip they were so excited that they were jittery, so I hope everything came up to expectation.  We are having real summer weather here, and by the irony of fate we have had 3 turkeys (dressed) sent as Christmas gifts that have to be eaten pronto as we have just an ordinary ice box, no deep freeze, and we have to eat ‘em or lose ‘em – one of the turkeys is a smoked one, than which I like nothing less.  How I wish you were here to ply a tooth with us.  However Mrs Whitfield & Lil are still here, but I believe they plan to go to Sarasota as soon as the christmas [sic]  festivities are at an end.

 

     Do write me and tell me how you fair – how dear Bee is, and what are your plans – all the details.

 

     Again with gratitude and love, your devoted

                                                                                Liggie

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original.]

 

                                                                                                   January 17, 1949

Dearest Lig:

 

     Your nephew has just been awarded a 30-volume DeLuxe Set of the Encyclopaedia Americana (val : $249.50) – and as we await momentarily its receipt we are wondering where the Hell we’re going to put it!

 

     In case you don’t listen to too much on the radio, there’s a program on Friday night called “Meet the Press” wherein three or four “name” writers interview various officials in Washington, and have a good half-hour of give and take extemporarily.  Listeners are asked to write their impressions – and the books above are the reward for each week’s best letter.  So, on December 3rd, Rep. Ewing was being queried on his forthcoming bill re Socialized Medicine, and my letter of hearty DISapproval clicked with the judges, praises be!

 

     Actually, I’d almost forgotten I’d written it until on a later program I heard my name announced.  And now I’ve been officially advised by both the MBC and the publishers and will shortly be avalanched with reading matter!

 

     Aside from this, no news of much importance with us.  Am glad to say that Bee seems to be responding to some new medicine, and we’re hopeful that the germ or virus has been conquered.

 

     Expect Lib is there with you by this time.  Know she will enjoy her visit, and only wish we were there, too.  Our dearest love to you, Liggie dear, and to all, from us both.

 

                                                                                   Your devoted

                                                                                    [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                     Apr 19—‘49

Dearest Hunt & Bee –

 

     So glad to get your postal and know you were feeling so well --  Especially is it good news about Bee being on the upgrade.  Now if you will only spend the summer drinking in the salubrious mountain air, and loafing and inviting your souls, I’m sure you will be good for the next forty years or so.  For once in my life, I am TAKING ADVICE instead of GIVING it, for all of a sudden I realized that I had gotten to the end of my tether and that I was so tired I couldnt think, or walk, or even talk coherently, so I threw myself on the mercy of my syndicate, and they agreed to let me be a lady of leisure, and just write a little when I felt like it and use some stuff I’d already laid up for a rainy day.  For more than 54 years I have written that column without a single break and without my realizing it, it has worn me out body and soul.  I hope you will have enough gumption to stop before it is too late as it is with me --  Certainly you seem to have made a wise decision that I hope you will add to by spending the summer with us in Ashville.  I dont believe theres any place that equals it for a rest.

 

     I’m glad to be able to tell you that Ed has been feeling better this last week or two.  No doctors seem to agree as to whats the matter the matter [sic] with his feet – sometimes they hurt like hell, other times he’s quite comfortable but he is one of the few people in the world who seem able to take whatever happens without making any fuss about it.  Which seems a waste of opportunity to me, for when things go blooey with us we should, at least, have the privilige [sic] of howling and swearing over them[.]

 

     We are all very much interested as you may surmise over Bettys baby who spend one day of every week visiting the family and generally holding court.  Betty is rearing him by the book, which seems to have been compilled [sic] by the Early Puritans who took no nonsense from callow infants.  Anyway you never saw such a well behaved infant – he just lies in his crib, and talks to himself and laughs and coos, and behaves in a perfectly unnatural way.  Just now he is engaged in discovering himself, and he is so delighted at finding that he has a tongue that he displays it to everyone who comes along.  Lets hope that this free use of the tongue, wont become a habit.

 

     But this is a dull letter – so forgive it and write me how you are and what you are doing and when you a going to Asheville – dearest love

                                                                                              Liggie

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original. This letter has so many typographical errors that I feel justified in transcribing a corrected version.  He must have dictated all the other letters to his secretary!]

 

                                                                                               6/21/49

Dear Lig

 

     I’m humble with apology for the long long time that has elapsed since my last letter, and there is no excuse for this failure to write.  But forgive.  Uncle Ed has razzed me for being such a poor correspondent, and I had thought that with free time I’d always be able to sit down at the Underwood and dash off something.  But I get around to it and then something happens and the letter gets side tracked, and thats the way it goes.

 

    Actually for the past three weeks Bee and I have had a hectic life – much too unusual for our speed and not to be repeated we hope.  We had a house guest invited for a couple of days with the result that she stayed 2 weeks, and was in and out for the 3rd week, until Sunday night we ended the affair exhausted.  The Cantys are friends of ours who used to live here, but have been living in NY for the past two years, and their son was getting married to an Evanston girl, so the mother came here, the father stayed at the son’s apt with the daughter and between the 3 of them we looked like Grand Central Station.  The girl, whose family are rich and circusy invited 1500 to the wedding and the reception at the country club with the champagne flowing and all the trimmings in keeping.  Bee said she was going if I had to take her on a stretcher, but she stood up like a soldier and looked radiant in a new pastel green dress, this being our first formal appearance in so long I’ve forgotten when the last time was!  But after so many days of hearing all about the comings and goings of the Canty family we were both ready to take a day’s rest after taking them to the airport at midnight Sunday.  But Monday morning Bee was up and doing the laundry when Kay came over for lunch (to see the doctor in Evanston really).  She’s having treatments for a bad arm (bursitis) but while its still in a sling she and Joan and Johnnie were able to make a sightseeing trip to NY and Wash and points east last 2 weeks, just back Friday for a big wedding out in Glen Ellyn, where Joan was in the party.  Lib comes in quite often, as does Bill, who is going to summer school at Northwestern, chiefly because his girl is around still, and not because he loves school.  But he’s a real treat to have around and has done Bee a lot of good by his cheerful and personable company.  I’m sure Uncle Ed returned with good reports of “Willie” – and its too bad that you havent had the pleasure of knowing how nice he really is.  We’re looking forward to seeing you in Asheville, we have reservations for Aug 3rd and are driving down, so we’ll have some trips to look forward to, and we hope you are rested up a bit now and feeling fit as a fiddle – that climate gives you a life and you need it and deserve it.

 

     Bee joins in sending worlds of love to you Liggie dear.

                                                                                                 [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                July 1 – ‘49

Dearest Hunt & Bee,

 

     Thank you so much for your delightful letter which was so good I passed it on to Margaret.  I certainly could have mingled my tears with yours over the company who staid on and on, and on.  All of my youth was made miserable by having to sleep on an old hair sofa that was as slick as ice and as hard as rock, while Cousin Carrie Doug and her progeny occupied my bed.  Many is the curse I’ve called down upon her, tho’ I dont know if they got me anywhere –

 

Yesterday our two debutantes – Daisy and Virginia who have been visiting in Los Angeles for the past two weeks, returned with thrilling stories of their adventures.  A cat on wheels must have been a static ornament compared with the places they went to, and the things they did, and ate, and saw --  They took the whole process of making movies in their stride without turning a hair – saw all the exotic dances, ate the weweird [sic] food[,] visited Margaret in her marvelous home that she built practically with her own hands and a dog and so on and so forth.  And I think the things they enjoyed most were riding on the cars, to and fro, without any old fogies to tell them what to do.  They are really two awfully nice girls – and at the prime of life – 16 ½ for Daisy, and Virginia just a smidgin younger.

 

     We’ve been having the most hellish summer known to the oldest inhabitant and I’ve only endured it by sitting on the top of the elaborate cooler that you and Kay and Bee gave me for Christmas. Otherwise I am sure I would be in the cold, cold grave and glad to be there.  But our troubles are nearing their end (we hope) as we leave here on the 7th for Asheville, and have our rooms waiting for us, and you cant think how happy it makes us to know we are going to have you with us.  Do hurry up, for you know how time flits, and we never get enough of you.  No family news except that we are a little puffed up over little Bills target shooting --  A Saturday or so ago, a gentleman invited the youngster to [word crossed out: come] go out [word crossed out: to] with him to the shooting grounds – all men, and most of them fine shots – but little Bill, who is the quietest, most dignified 13 year older [sic] you ever saw, didn’t do a thing but hit the bulls eye 38 times out of 40, or I believe the score was 48 times out of 50 –

 

     The two most important members of the family now are little Bill and Bettys baby who is the handsomest child I ever saw.  He’s 7 months old and walking.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dancing the rhumba any day.  The other day he happened in just as my masseuse came to give me my treatment.  She’s so homely she looks like what an old woman I once knew called a “carry kature”[.]  The baby would look at her with his eyes getting bigger and bigger, and them he would emit a terrified squawk, but in another minute he would be so fascinated he would resume the hypnotic gazing[.]

 

     But I’m boring you to tears with this drivel --  Just forget it hand hurry on, for we are all dying to see you – and quick ----

                                                                                    Love – Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                                Sep 9 – 49

Darlings –

 

     It was so good to hear from you and know that you survived two weddings, which certainly is a strain on anybodys nerves.  Especially when you leave a cool climate for a hellish one.  Why we do it, while still having our lucid moments, I dont know, but for 22 years I have religiously packed my trunk and walked straight into the pit without the slightest reason for doing so.  Fortunately, however, the weather, in this instance changed, and we have been comparatively comfortable, and at any rate so busy we havent had time to count our miseries – I got the welcome news that the elevator wouldnt work – that the refrigerator had gone to pieces & wouldnt freeze in spite of many years experience; that not an electric bulb would perform; and that there was not a crumb of food in the house --  But, see how the Lord protects his own --  The miracle workers (Ed & Billy) got busy, and before I could ask the price, they had thrown the old refrigerator into the discard (cost $350) for the new one that has so many gadgets I’ll never know  where I am at --  Another man came in the night and worked for hours over the elevator until he persuaded it to run when he was so hot I felt sure he would melt before my eyes; and glory be! It turned out that the reason the electric lights wouldnt bulb was because nobody had the wit to turn them on – also, as if by magic, a chauffer [sic] (who looks nice anyway) appeared, and I hope & pray will still continue to ask what to do next instead of running from a broom as if it was a rattle snake ---

 

 

     Jesting aside, one of the main reasons I left cool Asheville for hot here, is because I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my eyes that I didnt mention, & I wanted to get back to my doctor.  Yesterday I spent hours having them examined -- & the result was nothing to cheer over – but not immediately critical, I gathered.  And if any body, gets any information out of a doctor they certainly must be a child who was born in a caul, and is the 7th son of a 7th son --  Dont let this worry you.  You know I never borrow trouble – it always has to come and knock me down before I even suspect that this isn’t the jolliest of all jolly old world[s] --  I think you & I, Hunt, come off of the same branch of the tree.  We’ll be terribly surprised some day when we find we have died of a lingering disease, and wonder how it happened.  It took Grandma Winston to do a really expert chore of worrying.  I’ll never forget what she said to me one day when I had just about every misery anybody could invent, and yet I was as chirpy as a grass hopper --  She looked at me with pity and scorn, and said: “I dont believe you know when you are badly off – you havent got that much sense” ----

 

  Oh, well, but do the worriers fare any better than we happy-go-lucky fools do?  Answer me that[.]

                                                                        Dearest love to you both

                                                                                    [unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten on personal stationery with letterhead: Dorothy Dix.]

                                                                                    Nov 1 – ‘49

Dearest Hunt,

 

     Thanks so much for your good letter which made me feel almost as if I had seen you and Bee, and had had the good talk which is like wine when two of us get together.

 

     As the slang phrase goes: “it wasnt my funeral” but I have been so depressed by the tragic death of Ben Patch altho’ I scarcely knew him at all.  But it was such a blow to his frail mother who is just barely recovering from a dangerous operation, and for another thing it is so terrible [a] thing to see a man who has youth, and strength, and good looks and brains throw them all in the discard, and make nothing of his life.  I am very fond of Mamie, and when I have seen her eyes fill up with tears when the letter she looked for never came, I could have wept myself with pity for the mothers who have selfish, neglectful children.

 

     That is a sin you will never have to repent, for if there ever was a loyal, devoted son you are it.  But you are a blessing to every one who knows you, and my only fear is that Bens widow (I dont know her name) hung herself around you neck, and [will] worry you into the grave by her importunities.  Dont forget Mr Pickwicks wise advice: “Samivel, Samivel, my son[,] beware of widders” ---

 

     In you letter you make a vague suggestion about coming down to make a visit to me --  Nothing will give me as much pleasure, but I will have to ask you to ut it off for 2 or 3 weeks as a friend has made arrangements to come sometime in the early part of November, and I dont know how to side track her – I’ve just 1 bed room, but with 2 beds in it.

 

     My suggestion is that you and Bee come for a nice long visit as soon as Mrs Griffin goes – or how does the plan of coming to me for Christmas strike you?  The weather is nearly always good then, and every thing is very gay, and you can hang up your stocking along with the baby’s – likely there’ll be 2 by then – God help us –

 

     With much love to both – the 2 finest

                                                                        Lig

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original.]

 

                                                                                                November 24, 1949

Dearest Lig:

 

     Thank you more than words can tell for the most welcome check which you sent us for YOUR birthday.  No one but you celebrates with such generous gestures!  And it makes us everlastingly grateful and full of thanksgiving – for we are truly blessed in having your love and continued devotion.

 

     We have just come back from a nice Thanksgiving Day dinner at Lib’s – Bill and two of his fraternity pledges, Howard Donner (Harvey’s batchelor cousin), and ourselves made up the party, as Kay and Johnnie went out to be with Joan at Stephens.  We haven’t seen or heard from Kay since she got back but know she enjoyed having a few days with you, and we’ll probably hear all the particulars when she gets back home.  We did hear about the twins – and I expect the will be the center of all attractions for a long time to come!-  They are the first twins on record for the family and its connections for several generations I think.  That’s raising a sizable family in a hurry for Betty, surely.

 

     Winter arrived about on schedule this year with a covering snow on the ground this morning, and from now on we’ll be in for lots of disagreeable weather.  It’s the time of year when we long to be away from this climate for good.  I wish we could make some definite plans, but feel it is best to wait until Bee is feeling stronger and more sure of herself.  She is definitely getting better right along, but does have to get the calcium shots to keep her circulation going.  We’d love to come down for a visit with you later on, and will give you plenty of warning so as not to upset any plans you have.

 

     We do hope that you are feeling good.  You are so uncomplaining!  Our dearest love to you, Liggie dear, and again our thanks for being so wonderful to us both.

 

                                                                                    Your devoted

                                                                                    [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[Huntington Patch to E.M.G.  Carbon copy of typewritten original.]

                                   

                                                                                    December 22, 1949

Dearest Lig:

 

     Our thanks to you again and again for making this Christmas – as you have for many and many a past Christmas – a time of happiness and rejoicing that we are so blessed in having you whose generosity is so unending.  No one was ever so good – to so many!

 

     The only thing that would make it an even better Christmas would be to be with you in person for the celebration – but our thoughts are with you at any rate, and our love and devotion.  And we hope that you are feeling fine.  We do want to come down for a short visit before too long and I just hope that we can accept your welcome invitation.  For it does us a world of good to be in your inspiring presence. 

 

     As it is, we are sort of hibernating here, with winter weather having set in and the roads none too good for driving.  Kay and Johnnie want us to come out to Glen Ellyn on Monday for their Christmas celebration, which we will do providing the roads aren’t too slippery, otherwise we will have to sit in front of our comfortable fireplace and just watch the world go by!  With our Judy for company!  You’ll pardon our raving about a mere pooch!  She is sufficiently a “person” however to rate an attractively wrapped package of grahams from our next-door neighbors!  And of course Bee has affixed an attractive ribbon and bow to dress her up for the holidays!  As from one dog-lover to another I know you’ll understand our feelings and not feel too ill-ly of our seeming departure from sanity!

 

     We will be thinking about you and all of the other members of the family while you are all there celebrating together – and we send our love to each and all – with our dearest love and devotion and best wishes and thanks to you, Liggie dear, the most wonderful person in the world.

 

                                                                                                Your devoted

                                                                                                 [carbon copy unsigned]

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington and Beatrice Patch.  Handwritten.]

                                                                                                Jan 13 – ‘50

Dearest Hunt and Bee

 

     I enjoyed your letter so much, the only drawback being that I can not see you face to face, but I hope that will be remedied in the Spring when the flowers are in bloom, and its a joy to drive through the country.  But any time will be a good time to us when you come to pay us that long promised visit.

 

     So far we have had such a mild winter that we are a little apprehensive that it is too good to last and that we are likely to have to pay for it with sleet and cold, and you know we in the South are never really fixed for  freezing weather[.]  The ideal way to spend the winter is to drive down to Florida and spend a couple of months basking in the sunshine, and then amble along the Gulf Coast, and and [sic] then come by New Orleans.

 

     Theres no family news of interest except the babies.  And so far they have nothing to say --  The little boy who is called Skipper, is the handsomest kid I ever saw – too good looking for his own good – jolly, & full of fun and good nature, but he is only about a year & a half old, and doesnt talk yet, just beams, and shows his teeth which he seems to think is a treat for anybody to witness –

 

     Then come the TWINSES who are too cute for anything.  You know Betty (mother) is the great silent woman, so she just sits up and smiles like Mona-Lisa, the while she isn’t rushing bottles, and changing didies – I am filled with pity for her, but she seems perfectly happy.  My grandmother Winston, who was a trouble borrower, once said to me that she didn’t think I had enough sense to know when I was badly off – I feel the same way about Betty, but I guess if she enjoys walking the colie [sic], she’s entitled to do so –

 

     Dearest love to you both and all good wishes for my very dears

                                                                                                            Liggie

 

 

 

[E.M.G. to Huntington Patch.  Handwritten.  Undated.  Late winter 1950?]

 

Dearest Hunt –

 

     The prospect of having even a brief visit (to which I strenuously object) seems too good to be true --  But you know I am an optimist (which I inherited from Pa) so I always believe the best is going to happen whether it does or not, and am terribly surprised when it doesn’t --  But I am so thrilled I can hardly wait until Bill graduates & you come down by all of our old stamping grounds.  Only wish Bee could come along but I realize she isnt up to the struggle any more than I am –

 

     Just now for the first time in a year, we are having cold weather --  Since last Sept which is generally a horrid month with us – hot as the hinges of hades – we have had the most entrancing weather I have known anywhere.  Just right – but 3 days ago the axe fell – it turned cold, & as we have neither the right clothes, or enough cold [coal] we’ve been shivering over the grate, and wondering if we are going to have a cool summer, and no clothes.

 

     Misguided by the temperature Ed, Daisy, & Lou (Billys wife) started last Thursday for a joy ride to a place in Florida where several of the Whitfield girls, [words crossed out: and several of] their sisters and their mother have settled.  They’ve build lovely bungalows, and are much pleased with the climate, fishing etc, etc.  Ed has been so interested in it all (tho’ you know wild horses couldnt drag him away from the boys and the Tar Company) but anyway he persuaded Daisy & Lucy to go with them, and they are presumably in Florida, but expect to be back here in another week.

 

     I feel a little anxious myself about their getting home as if the river keeps on rising, and rising they may have to come back by way of Oklahoma, or some other desert port.

 

     We’ve been having an interesting time with our babies --  The original teen-ager who is about 2 years old now, but who is in every possible mess he can crawl or climb in, fell on a brick pavement and knocked out his pet front tooth, which disfigures his looks very much, and which the Drs say must be repaired.  The twinses are worth a trip down here --  They look like beautiful dolls, and so far (I never bet on babies) are just the cutest things you ever saw – If Betty is going to run a baby crech it’s a good thing they are so pretty.

 

     The young members of the family had a grand time at the Mardi Gras --  Edward if reported to have appeared in a costume that would scare a murderer into fits, Billy’s was no better, but the girls looked like something that had walked out of bunch of hourii.  The Duke and Duchess of Winndsor [sic] were enchanted with the gay scene, and kept saying “we never saw anything like this” – and they hadn’t.  Lou and Daisy, after the big show were going on to a party when they found Miss Matilda Gray (my chum) couldnt locate her chauffer – Edward & Bill rescued her & took her home & she was so grateful she said she’d never go anywhere without wiring him if she could go.  Paper out – so good night, love

                                                                                         Lig & Bee

 

 


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