Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lonesome Christmas

This letter is one of the best. But it's interesting that in a letter dated December 23, he doesn't say anything about Christmas except to acknowledge the gifts. Maybe it wasn't as big a deal back then.

Elma, Wash, Dec. 23, 1931

Dear little Fannie,

I would [have] answered sooner. This is the third letter I
commenced to write you. My eyes filled with tears till I could
not write, to think they all don't write me. If they all knew
everything like I do, they would not scorn me so. [I sure wish he had seen fit to explain himself. I can only guess that he was unjustly accused of something and had to take it on the lam.] I received
your presents. I cried over them till I was sick. I lay and
cry for you at night. I am sending you one of my pictures; it
is no good. I went to Aberdeen today and had some more made. I
hope they will be better. I will send you some more.

I got a piece of kippered salmon to send you so you can see
what they are like. It is already cooked, ready to eat. I
will ship it Monday. Fannie, you don't know how much I love
you because you don't hate me. It breaks my heart when I think
the way the rest feel towards me. I hope they get over it. [They did not.]

Well, Fannie, I [am] going to [work] Monday. They are going to
[start] logging again. If times get good here, I want you and
Frank and baby to come. I will help you after you get here.
Everything is on a credit system here and my credit is good
here; if it was not we would get hungry. I wore the tie you
sent me today but I am going to keep it good and have it put on
me when I take my long sleep...

It is a poor idea for anyone to think where they live is the
only place. [Amen to that.] When you start [going to] any place, ask if there
is anyone there. If yes, you can live there too. If I work
steady till spring I will have money enough that you and Frank
can [come] to this country. This is the most healthful country
I ever saw and I know if you would be here one summer you would
never leave. Fish are coming up the river now that weigh 30 to
40 pounds. Tell Nitie [Fannie's girl Nita, four years old at the time] I would like to take her to the sea and
let her see the big pond and big ships.

O, if I could see you and tell all [about] my life you would
wonder [why] I am living and have sense enough to go around
alone. [I wish he would have told more.] I have a picture here that was taken when I was a
[young] man. They will send [it to] you after I am gone. Well,
God bless you and all. I love them all. I wish they would all
write me. Well, I guess that [is] all I think now. I hope we
will meet next spring. Write all the [?] and often as I love
you so much.

Your old dad, J.R. Edwards (XXX)

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