Tuesday June 4th – 6:45 P.M. 1935

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.

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Tuesday June 4th 9:15 A.M. 1935

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.

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Sunday June 2nd – 10:30 A.M. 1935

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.

Image 1 - Old Vtg 1935 New Jersey C30807 Black & Beige License Plate 15" x 6"
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Friday May 31st – 6:00 P.M. 1935

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.

And she transferred from Barnard in her Junior year
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Friday May 17th – 8:45 P.M. 1935

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.

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Tuesday April 2nd – 6:15 PM 1935

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.

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Friday March 29th 7:00 PM 1935

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.

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