Monday May 20th – 10:30 P.M. 1935

January 29, 2022 § Leave a comment

Elvin is back at his desk the next night at 10:30 to write his Vivien once again. A shorter letter, let’s see what’s inside.

The first paragraph pops out! I guess Vivien has a family dog named Chang what must have bitten a neighborhood kid, or Junior. Junior who? Pick any Junior from 1935 W.O. I don’t think you would see this play out today the way this did. Junior’s Mom said Junior must have provoked old Chang, and therefore deserved whatever consequence was meted out by Chang, and so Chang got to live another day, and perhaps a full life.

“Dutch”. So, the story behind this is an obvious one when you know that Elvin was born Elvin Hollander. Yes, I am Eric Hallander, and the story goes that Elvin E Hollander changed his name to Elvin E Hallander, so that his office mail wouldn’t be confused with his father’s mail Emile E Hollander, or E E Hollander. Anyway, Someone started calling him “Dutch” and I guess it stuck.

Dearest Vivien,

I just returned from 68 Gaston St.1 in good old W.O. Chang is still alive and from what your Mother and Father say he is likely to remain alive as far as they are concerned. Chang certainly must have given Junior quite a bit of mastication as I was told. Junior’s Mother came over and asked your folks not to kill the dog because she felt that Junior must have teased the dog at sometime or other.

I asked your Mother tonight if she hadn’t suspected we were “that way” about each other before we told of our engagement. She said she really was surprised because up until that time she hadn’t realized you were as grown up as you are.

I told them about the herring ruin I saw at Boston and they were very interested. That’s something I want you to see sometime2.

I wish I could have seen you in your cap and gown. I’ll bet you were a sight for sore eyes3. Congratulate Kitty for me on her being tapped for Kalon. I’m glad she got it. I’ll bet Bob felt like $1,000,000.

So you like to move furniture around darling? I’ll have to see to it then that you get plenty to enjoy moving around. As far as I’m concerned, darling, I’ll be perfectly content to move around with the furniture. It seems to me that about the only moving around of furniture you could do in your room at school there, was to switch the bed end for end. Otherwise I can’t remember any other chances for rearrangement.

No I didn’t forget last Thursday and I wont forget next Tuesday, the 28th of May either. Possibly we should have engraved the date of 8/28/34 in the ring instead of 6/10/35. Anyway the 10th of June will be a memorable date too as far as the future Hollanders are concerned. If dates for celebration and remembrance keep increasing, pretty soon we’ll have an anniversary for every day in the month. It’s nice though to remember the thrills one gets.

Darling, only 18 days and I’ll be seeing my little furnace4 again. Is that a thrill to an icebox. In fact it starts an unpresedented heat wave in that ice box’s history. Darling I’m going down to my fraternity’sSpring Formal on Friday night but I’m going stag. Burrill Gottry5 is going to be there and he issued orders that I go too. I wish you were here to go with me but next year we’ll take it in.

Goodnight darling I’m off to bed.

I Love you,


1 Harry and Edna Kent lived at 68 Gaston St in West Orange. Look it up on the map and you will be right in the middle of Route 280 today. Had been told a story that it was the farm that was consumed by 280, but while that could be true, it was probably only the house in W.O. that suffered that fate. The farm was also in W.O. and I am still looking for a map that shows Harry L. Kent Model Dairy. My Dad told me it was off Prospect, but I am not sure about that.

2 Another “Really Elvin?” See the Herring run?

3 I am not convinced this is the right expression to use here, but hey, Elvin is an Engineer. Sure he has sore eyes from not seeing Vivien for awhile, but the sight of her in her cap and gown should have been a beautiful and proud moment. Maybe I nitpik

4 Hmmm. Just what is Elvin implying here? I imagine he was cold to the touch, but I think you all know what I mean. I am sure non of that Hanky Panky went on with these two.

5 Burrill and Bill Gottry were my grandparents best friends as far as I can tell. Burrill worked with Elvin developing the Dry Cleaning machinery side of Star Electric, and both he and Elvin developed cancer in their 50’s. Not sure it was related, but though they themselves were not chemists, there must have been exposure to early solvents used that affected both of them.

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