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 »
January 28, 2022 § Leave a comment
Whether there were, and I am sure there were, more letters between the last one written up, and this one I don’t have them. It’s implied in this letter that Elvin wrote every Friday night for a Saturday post, and potentially a Sunday read? I guess the United States Postal Service had weekend delivery in 1935. I, of course could be wrong, and maybe it takes a whole week to get to Northern NY, and Vivien gets these posts a week later. Until I come across a letter from Vivien to Elvin with some kind of acknowledgement, we won’t know.« Read the rest of this entry »
January 28, 2022 § 2 Comments
A shorter letter that contained some “snapshots” from a visit that Elvin and Ray made to St Lawrence College to see Vivien. Now, is that one of Vivien’s classmates on Ray’s arm or did they travel up together? I do not know. The golfing shot is also an “I don’t know” Did he throw that in to be cute? It seems warm for that part of NY in March, and why would he travel with golf clubs? I think he is just hamming it for the camera.« Read the rest of this entry »
January 27, 2022 § 1 Comment
What follows, and what will follow as I transcribe them are a series of love letters my grandfather, Elvin wrote to my grandmother, Vivien while she was in her last semester of college at St, Lawrence College (now St. Lawrence University) in 1935. They had just gotten engaged, and as you will read, Elvin Emile considered himself very lucky to have wooed one Vivien Elizabeth Kent of West Orange. The wedding date was set for September 14, that year, and Elvin was 26 at the time and working in the family business: Star Electric Motor Company in Newark. The business was a joint partnership between the Hollanders and the Petersons, both Swedish immigrants who worked together winding motors in factories they gained employment in upon immigration.
The letter goes into some details that include what kind of budget they will operate under, and just how “nice” the family (and Elvin) find Vivien, and how excited everyone is with the engagement.
I believe Vivien had also just gained initiation into Pi Beta Phi (Pi Phi’s) Sorority, and was now living there on campus, so her address was: Miss Vivien Kent, Pi-Beta-Phi House, Canton, NY. and there was no zip code. In case you are wondering, yes Canton NY is way the heck up there in the cold barrens along the St Lawrence River North East of Lake Ontario.« Read the rest of this entry »
January 27, 2022 § Leave a comment
My Dad’s family up and moved halfway across the country to La Crosse, Wisconsin from Cedar Grove. I am sure that was a big deal for my Nana, and it probably kept her busy for many months, and being the good correspondent that she was, she needed to let many people know what was going on. I found this in her thing that she put together and sent out dated July 21st, 1950. Now, you will notice in the text that they arrived in February, so 5 months have passed, and I am sure she was itching to get the news out. As you read you will notice the reference to the current events of the world, as Korea was just making the news that summer.
Note that I left everything pretty much as she wrote it. I tend to capitalize the seasons and such, but she did not. She also likes the hyphen to continue a thought but introduce a break. I haven’t seen that much, but you editors out there can enlighten me.« Read the rest of this entry »