Saturday March 5 – 8:30 P.M. 1938

May 1, 2022 § Leave a comment

I am confused. This next letter is headed 8:30 P.M. and you will note the Postage Stamping on the envelope as being March 5th so that implies that Elvin typed this out rather quickly that evening, and somehow got it into the postage stream that night when it was processed! The back of the envelope bears witness to it getting stamped in Albuquerque the next day, and Newark the day after. 1938. Amazing.

Elvin is traveling, by train I would assume, and perhaps the contents of the letter will bear this information.

Background Information. SEC is Star Electric Company, a subsidiary of Star Electric Motor Company, a business started by my Great Grandfather Emil Hollander. With Wharton in his education, Elvin convinced Emil to diversify and they branched of Star Electric Company to manufacture dry cleaning equipment. Apparently they have customers all the way in New Mexico, and Elvin was looking in on some of these installations.

Dearest Darling,

Arrived in Carlsbad last night about 10:30 Mountain Time. I was pretty tired and hungry and I slept like a log and woke to see a beautiful sunrise at 6:00 this morning.

After breakfast here at the Crawford Hotel where I am staying, I walked across the street to the SEC installation here in town and found as usual a satisfied, happy SEC booster of the first water. I took some pictures and compared notes. Went back to the hotel, gathered up two suits, my topcoat and four ties, took them over to be cleaned and pressed and here I am tonight all spic and span with everything in fresh condition.

About ten this morning I rented a car from the local cab company and drove to Roswell eighty miles away where I visited the Bailey’s Cleaning Works, another SEC user. There they made me at home, I treated Mr. and Mrs. Bailey to lunch at the local hotel and we spent the rest of the afternoon until half-past four telling each other how good the SEC machine is!!! The Baileys though are some of the swellest people I have met and also some of the most interesting. Mrs. Bailey was raised on a homestead out here somewhere and she learned to shoot as soon as she could walk. She goes out hunting with her husband and he is quick to admit that she is much better shot than he is and he isn’t supposed to be bad. They’ve invited me up next week to get a fish dinner with them. If I can make it, I’ll get there.

Driving back from Roswell I saw one of the most gorgeous sunsets I have ever seen. As the sun sank below the horizon, the Eastern horizon turned from pink to red to a deep purplish blue. The coloring was marvelous. I’ve never seen color tones like them before. After sunset it gets dark here so quickly it is astounding. I’m sorry you weren’t here to see it.

The country here is amazingly different from anything I’ve seen. It is half desert and half grass prairie. It is almost entirely treeless. The air, though, is so startlingly clear that you just are amazed constantly at the tremendous distances you can see. For instance, on the way to Reswell I saw what appeared to be a respectable sized mountain at a distance of what I thought was ten to fifteen miles on my left. At Roswell, Mr. Bailey told me that the mountain, El Capitan, was more than 65 miles away! And behind El Capitan I could see snow covered mountains which I found to be 100 miles away!! And seeing this distance here is commonplace occurrence.

Between here and Roswell I went over about ten or twelve streams of which number only one had water, all the rest were dry! The day was beautifully clear. The air here is marvelous. Although New Mexico is desolate to look at, I can see why people stay here and love it. It makes up for its shortcomings in other ways.

In Roswell guess what! I ordered a pair of real honest to goodness handmade cowboy boots for Kent with his name tooled right into the leather1. They will be wonderful. I ordered them large enough so that he will grow into them about when he is six or seven years old. Until then I thought they would be nice decorations for his room. I’m also going to get him a real cowboy lariat while I’m here and a sombrero, too, if I can locate one reasonably enough. I also ordered some hand tooled belts for Ray, Fred, and Burrill. They should like them. Tell them after they get the belts that if they don’t fit to return the ones that don’t fit to C.C. McGuffin through the Bailey’s Cleaning Works in Roswell. I think they’ll fit though.

I haven’t gotten any other presents for anyone yet because I want to wait it out and see what I can get. I’ve seen a lot of that Vernon pottery around here and there but I want to price it in Los Angeles because I think it might be most inexpensive there.

Tomorrow I’m going through the Carlsbad Caverns and I’m anxious to get there as weveryone has been telling me about how wonderful they are. By the way, I bought a new dark brown Stetson and I sent the old one home. Please get it cleaned when it arrives2.

I haven’t heard from Mr. Gazin yet so I think I’ll try to get hold of him tonight or tomorrow. I heard from Burrill.

Last night I met a postal inspector on the train and talked to him. He was on his way here to see what he could get out of some depot and post office bandits and burglars they had caught here. I also met another one here through him. His name is Johnson and the one I met here is named Robinson. They are interesting.

I told Burrill in my last letter to deposit $125 to my account. Will you see that he does please?3

When I see these new things Honey, I wish you were with me to see them too. I certainly missed you tiday and will certainly plan to take you through the Southwest and to the West Coast some day to give you a chance to see the same things. I’m going to be awfully glad to get home to you too.

I want to write you tomorrow telling you about my trip through the caverns4. Until then I want you to remember that I’m thinking of you and wish like the very dickens that you could be going through the caverns with me.

Give my love to Kent and say ‘hello’ to Hazel for me. Goodnight Honey.

Your Honey,


1 There is a picture somewhere of Kent in these boots.

2 I see this in many letter from my Grandmother to my Dad. Instructions. Do this, Do that.

3 more instruction

4 There is a reference to another letter after Elvin visits Carlsbad Caverns. Rest assured that we have that letter and it will follow one of these days.

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