Letters to Charlie

Letters to Charlie #17: January 25, 1910

On January 25th, instead of posting the next letter from 1910 as promised, I was in Denver shooting a documentary for a legal case, completely oblivious to the date. While sitting on my flight back to Burbank yesterday, Charlie and Dora and January 25th popped into my head. I checked my calendar thinking I still had a few days for the post and… Oops! At least I had captive time on the flight to catch up.

Welcome to 1910!

A new year for Dora and Charlie. In 1910:

  • William Howard Taft is President
  • The Boy Scouts of America is founded
  • Halley’s Comet makes an appearance
  • The first unofficial Father’s Day is observed
  • The Tango becomes all the rage
  • Henry Ford sells 10,000 cars
1910 Ford

Plus, 1910 means that more than two and a half years have gone by since this whole letter writing thing began between the two. Charlie is now seventeen and Dora is twenty-five.

The Recap

Back in August, Dora was pretty perturbed with Charlie. He kept promising to visit her in Benton where she was convalescing from whooping cough but never did. Dora’s frustration came through in her letter. When he didn’t respond, Dora wrote again hurt by his silence. Three months passed with no communication between them until at last Dora got a letter from him asking for her forgiveness. She of course did. She even went so far as to apologize for making him feel bad in past letters. In addition to her usual fawning, Dora also talked about having her portrait made and about how his letters helped her be less lonely.

January 25 1910 letter to Charlie

The Set Up

Dora opens this letter with a self-deprecating apology for her delayed response… ten whole days. She has finally gone back to work after her lengthy illness, although not yet back to Woodsville. The Epworth League mentioned is a young adult Methodist group, and of course Mrs. Eastman is her employer at the telephone exchange. There is again talk of Charlie’s interest in sports, this time basketball instead of baseball. As always, the photos are representations, not actual.

Here we go…

Letters to Charlie #17

January 25, 1910
Lisbon, N.H.

Jan 25, 1910

My dear Charlie:-

Now haven’t I been a good while in answering your letter. I have no excuse to make either. I’m lazy, not busy as you are. I think you have more business than a man on the town.

I was sorry to learn that you were trying to make the basketball team. Altho I don’t know much about the game it seems awfully rough to me. The boys here have played three games and won one.

A 1910 Basketball team

My sister and baby are still here. We’ve a dear baby. Being the first one of course she is just a little bit better than any other. Most of the folks say she looks like Christie. When my sister goes home to Claremont I think I’ll go too. Wonder if you will go to Piermont.

Don’t you think I’m getting real smart. Last week I worked at Central five afternoons and one evening until ten-thirty. It seems quite natural to work again. I’ve the date set when I’m going to work. If you are still working I guess you will hate to loose Maude at Woodsville.

Did Maude tell you that Mrs. Eastman was up to see me about two weeks ago? Well she was and she spoke of how faithful Maude was and she had never had any trouble with her about visiting with the other operators. I knew she was throwing stones at me, but none hit. I guess she don’t happen to know all Maude does.

I’m up to lead the Epworth League Meeting next Sunday eve. You had better be present and help out a little.

a 1910 Epworth League Meeting

Marjorie Renfrow told me yesterday that Mr. Arthur was coming home in May. I don’t want to see him. I would rather see you. Do you ever hear from him?

When are you going to write? Don’t wait as long as you did before.

Lovingly,

Dora

Thoughts

How great was this phrase?

I think you have more business than a man on the town.

I need to add this to my vernacular.

Sounds like Dora is a bit jealous of her replacement at Woodsville–Maude–not only in Mrs. Eastman’s regard but also in Charlie’s. Will Charlie miss Maude when Dora regains her post? Oh, the insecurity of it all. I have to agree with Mrs. Eastman, though. Maude seems to conduct herself in a much more professional manner.

And what do you think about Mr. Arthur coming back? Remember him? He was a suitor (and a friend of Charlie’s) whom Dora dismissed. We first heard about him in Letter #2, asking if Charlie was getting to know all he wanted from Mr. Arthur. We heard about him again in Letter #5 when Dora used him to try and make Charlie jealous. And lastly in Letter #8, when she asked Charlie if it was good news that Mr. Arthur was contemplating moving west. Perhaps that is where he is visiting from. I wonder if he will try and contact Dora and what Charlie will think of that.

Lovingly, Dora... Letters to Charlie

Up Next

Well folks, we’re in for another gap. The next letter doesn’t arrive until March 9th… and this time, I’ll try to get it “postmarked” on time.

Until then…

Later gators!

UP TO SPEED WITH THE LETTERS

New to the Letters to Charlie series? Here are links to the preceding letters to catch up:

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