July 3, 2022 § 2 Comments
I think the way I am going to present this will be day by day. Each day is an adventure in itself with it’s own challenges, accomplishments, interactions, conditions, weather and laughs. It means I have more to write, but then on the other hand it cements each day in my mind, and that is an investment in future me.
I was up at 5am, not having slept all that well, but I already discussed what sleep and rest are to me in my previous post, so it was no surprise. The sky was clear, and the morning light was fantastic. The food truck, that we had observed yesterday getting provisioned, was getting itself going. I felt like with 110 miles ahead of me, I wanted to have something solid in my stomach to set off with, and not just a breakfast bar to be supplemented at the aid stations, so as soon as I noticed people walking away with food, I went over and secured a breakfast burrito without meat, making an exception in my Vegan diet for the egg and there was probably cheese as well. I would be making a lot of exceptions on this trip. I could have prepared better for my situation, but I already elected to make exceptions on this journey.« Read the rest of this entry »
July 1, 2022 § 2 Comments
I rode my first Ride the Rockies in 2021 (read all about it here), after years of listening to my friends’ stories about the organization, the food, and the camaraderie of the ride. Though 2021 was in many ways a shit show, the reality is that the riding steals the show, and everything else is just nice to have, so it wasn’t any surprise that when January 25th rolled around, I brought up the registration and signed up for 2022. What was a surprise, to me at least, was that my friend Ken, who also rode his first RTR last year, reached out to me on the 23rd to inform me that he was thinking of registering again. Why was that a surprise to me? Last year, at the end when I asked him if he “Would ride RTR again?” his reply referenced ice cream in a way that said, “When you have had too much ice cream, you find don’t want any more of it.” and if that is cryptic, he was talking about the mountains and the climbs. So, when he told me what he was thinking I asked him if his taste for ice cream had returned, which went way over his head, because Ken doesn’t trouble himself to remember little quips like his ice cream quip.« Read the rest of this entry »
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.« Read the rest of this entry »
March 24, 2022 § Leave a comment
Jump ahead a few years, Elvin is travelling and he appears to be in Kansas City, Mo. Let’s see what he has to say.
Warning. Elvin uses two Ethnic slurs later in this letter. I didn’t write them out, but I think it is clear what he wrote, and though I could chalk it up to “Well, that is just how they talked in 1938”, it wasn’t right then, and it isn’t right now and I don’t want to provide any legitimacy to either of them. Prejudice is a learned behavior, and both Elvin and Vivian learned their prejudices from their parents and their peers.« Read the rest of this entry »
March 18, 2022 § Leave a comment
The last letter in this series Elvin holds true to his word and mails this letter before driving the 350 miles to Canton N.Y. (Think where the sun don’t shine) to be with his sweetheart. If you have been taking the time to read these, then perhaps you too are smitten a wee bit by Elvin’s charm and his turns of phrase. I would call this stuff poetry, but it does strike a chord.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.« Read the rest of this entry »
February 1, 2022 § Leave a comment
This letter was written by Vivien the morning of Tuesday the 4th, and Elvin’s last letter is written that night. It seems like everyone had a nickname, or I can’t really read some of Vivian’s writing. Hullie, Heelie, I don’t know. It could be Helen, but she dots an i in each instance, so Helen I think not. However, because of the pictures, and because I found her yearbook online, I was able to ascertain Betty’s identity as Elizabeth Fenn who did come to the reunion in 1985, and hopefully Vivian and her did some catching up. However I couldn’t find Duke, Marcia, Hullie, Kitty etc as there are no nickname references in the yearbook.« Read the rest of this entry »
February 1, 2022 § Leave a comment
I am looking at the pile and there is only one more letter left to transcribe. Okay, there are more letters, but this group is coming to an end, and fortunately there is one from Vivian which will be transcribed shortly.
So, a little peak into their world. Or maybe Elvin’s perception of the world. Marriages are “nighttime” marriages. What happens during the day? Elvin seems to believe they will have a daytime marriage as well which seems to imply there will be contact during the day. It won’t be a “Leave it to Beaver” sitcom where Elvin departs in the morning leaving poor Vivien to handle the home and the kids until he returns in the evening looking for his dinner, his pipe, and his paper. We shall have to see how the rest of what I have plays out.
The envelope of this letter has some “extras”. “5-2-7th-350-2-go” Which means 5 days to the 7th, then 350 miles to drive (go). On the back is “Watch for N.J.-H-38781-’35” which I believe is the license plate for Elvin’s vehicle. For example.« Read the rest of this entry »
February 1, 2022 § Leave a comment
Last day of the month, and Elvin knocks out four pages to his darling in Canton. A joking reference to let “Duke” know that Elvin is serious about Vivien, and apparently Elvin received a two part tome of writing from Vivien who is also studying for exams. I wonder what her major was.« Read the rest of this entry »
January 30, 2022 § Leave a comment
Two more days pass and Elvin is at his writing table again. This time just before dinner, or maybe just after? Who knows what kind of dinner schedule existed in the Hollander household in Arlington, NJ.
Greetings dearest. Tis the day after our ninth month anniversary of August 28th last. We have nine days more of this waiting business before we again get together. Summer has arrived in these parts and all one does now is walk around in shirt sleeves and perspire. Believe it or not, it’s been so hot my face is tanned without having gone out in the sun. My right arm is responding rapidly to energetic exercise and is yearning to swing into action. I hope it doesn’t go stale from over-exercise by June 7th. I have every hope though that it will be in the pink of condition for the test.
I can scarcely wait to get into those little discussions-to-come:- what color bathroom; what color the rest of the house; where are we going to live; twin beds or a double bed; white, blue or pink (I hope not!) sheets; maple or walnut furniture; four five or six rooms; and I don’t know how many more topics. I know, darling that we won’t back ammunition for discussion for quite a few years to come let alone enough for this summer. There’s something about planning to get married that gets into your blood. One develops a sort of a kindly feeling for all people that are in the same position and for those that have gone through it. Most of the poor people lose that human outlook after a period of time but darling give me a good kick in the ribs if you see me losing it because I want to keep it.
It rained like the very dickens at five o’clock this afternoon and before I could get to the car to close the windows, the inside of the car was soaked. It’ll dry out soon I hope.
Darling, I have $280 saved up and by the time I leave for Canton I’ll have about $350. Not bad eh, for a young fellow1. Eight days from tonight I’ll be picking up the RING and all the luggage I can gather up at your house. By the way if you need any spare luggage to carry home your belongings, let me know and I’ll bring it along.
When you get this you will probably be studying for your last exam. Good luck darling and if it helps remember I love you and am always
1 This is 1935, just less than seven years into the Great Depression, but Elvin seems to be in really good shape. He is the son of a successful business man whose business might have taken a hit, but had survived, and maybe even thrived. For reference, Gary Cooper earned 330,000 in the mid 30’s. Share croppers were lucky to earn $500 a year. We know from a previous post that Elvin asked for and received a raise to $55 a week, and he lives at home.
January 29, 2022 § Leave a comment
We see in this letter the first mistakes that I have seen in the letters so far. That is to say mistakes that were missed by Elvin. There were corrections, and I didn’t note them, but these were uncaught, and I think deserve mention.
Also, we see in this letter a definite dialog in answers to questions that Vivien must have posed in a letter to Elvin. Too bad I don’t have those letters!
Another note here is that when Elvin finishes these letters, sometimes it seems like he walks right over to a mailbox, or the Post Office, and deposits the letter. The postmarks are sometimes very close to the time these letters are written. This one in particular. He starts the letter at 4pm, and it’s postmarked 6:30pm the same day!« Read the rest of this entry »