Letters to Charlie

Letters to Charlie #11: July 13, 1909

Happy Friday the 13th! Hope you didn’t break any mirrors or walk under any ladders today. I’d say I hope no black cats crossed your path, but I like black cats. We considered every Friday the 13th our black cat Alvarado’s birthday. RIP, Big Al.

Along with superstitions, this July 13th brings something else: Another letter from Helen.

The Recap

We’ve been following the letters between twenty-five-year-old Dora and seventeen-year-old Charlie since August 1907–both telephone operators working for Dr. Eastman—but then on June 30th, 1909, something else happened: A letter from nineteen-year-old teacher Helen.

Turns out Helen wasn’t new to the game, though. In Dora’s first letter she mentions another girl’s letter and photo that Charlie had sent to her. That girl? Helen. Evidentially they had been writing to each other as well, but for some reason, stopped… until now. In fact, Helen answers the question of why they stopped writing in this letter in a pretty snide way. Gave me a good laugh.

She also answers the question of seeing each other to satisfy her curiosity in a pretty hilarious way. Helen is sharp. Witty. A very different tone than Dora.

Letters to Charlie #11

Maybe it’s just me, but I love how Helen is clearly in control of whatever is happening between them. See what you think…

[su_box title=”July 13, 1909″ style=”soft” box_color=”#c46e54″ radius=”10 “]Tuesday Evening

July 13, 1909

Dear Charlie,

You must think me rather fresh, answering so quickly. I was really rude tonight, and I want to beg your pardon. I had just gotten up from supper and thought I would speak with you. My aunt, who is with Shirley and me for a few days, and Shirley were right with me and I couldn’t hear a word. Really I don’t know what you think–

Anyhow they did the talking. I really meant nothing, please forgive me.

No I think Charlie you are an especially good writer for a boy.

You say you have my picture, please destroy it. I have changed very much in the past two years (for the better ha! ha!)

I take it then you would like to see me just to satisfy my curiosity. Don’t bother.

I really don’t know how I did happen to stop corresponding with you, just forgot you I guess.

Does it pay to advertise? Yes by all means, I take it you are thinking of it.

No I didn’t notice any mistakes in your letter. I don’t understand you. Love is blind you say, I don’t know I’m sure. How knowest thou? Seems to me you talk from experience.

Come up and play tennis someday. Sorry you can’t come to our musical Wednesday.

It was very kind, also thoughtful of you to ask for my mother. She is gaining slowly, thank you. She sat up a very few minutes this afternoon.




Her signing off with a question mark cracked me up.

And telling him not to bother about satisfying her curiosity. And calling him out on the “love is blind” b.s.! Ha!

I’ve gotta say… I really like Helen. Clearly Charlie is intrigued with her too.

I wonder, though, if Helen is losing patience with him. And what about Dora? Has she just fallen off the planet? We’ll have to wait until the next letter on July 18th to find out.

Until then…

Later gators!

P.S. Many thanks to those who responded in the Facebook post. Hopefully the new thread and fixing the subscriber list will better get the word out on new posts. If you’re not subscribed and want to get email notifications on posts, look for the subscription widget in either the sidebar or in the footer below.


If you’re new to the Letters to Charlie series, here are links to the preceding letters to catch up:

Thoughts? Commment below!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: