8/6/1924 and I know you love me truly

8/6/1924

My very onliest, darlingest, sweetest, and most precious Cap’n Big Boy.

Want me to tell you a secret? Huh – well, here is it! Sh_______? —> I love you!

How’s the great big beautiful world this morning? Hot? I guess so. Tonite is the nite of your test. I’ll think of you, dear boy, and know you’re going to come out better than fine! I know it because you know my prophesies are usually true. But oh! I love you so!

I don’t know just why I love you so hugely today, but I just wish I could be with you a while. Why, you’d pass your test and make the highest on it if you were with me in this mood. I feel different than ever before. Aunt Anna and I talked from 9:30 til 12 last nite mostly about you, and, of course, I was careful of what I said, but oh, Fred, what a good feeling it is to have a real true-blue sweetheart whom you can trust. No wonder I love you so. No wonder I’m hurt when you are bad, but I always know that Freddy boy doesn’t mean it. He couldn’t for true love doesn’t do those things. And I know you love me truly.

San Marcos, Texas

Thursday morning

More than ever do I realize and believe the old saying “Anticipation is greater than realization.” Of course I’ve found out before but never quite like this. I’ve waited only 5 years to come visit Bernice. And during that time I’ve looked forward with more than joy at the idea. Isn’t it funny that I left home to seek joy, happiness and a good time, and when I’m away I find that after all, I’ve left happiness behind – far behind. I’m not happy here. I’m miserable. I’ve been here about 12 hours, and already I detest the place, the people, and Berniece’s house. I find that “all is not gold that glitters.” Perhaps this town is the height of fun and a good time. However, I can’t find it because these good times don’t appeal to me. Fred, I’ve got worse than the blues. I’m so sick, and the ache is down so deep in my heart, I can’t even cry. This is positively the life I loathe – the life I detest, and I don’t see how I can live it for a week without going insane. But what am I to do? I can’t leave Berniece. It would hurt her terribly. She’s never forgive me, but I can’t endure this. here’s the way it is. Remember, dear, you can trust me, for I love you, besides would I do anything I hate, really and trule detest?

Well, I had some wild rides yesterday – at lunch yesterday, Berniece came by Aunt Anna’s and wanted me to pack up and go with her. I did, and we left S.A. in a Ford Coupe and 2 o’clock and then stopped in New Braunfels a while, then on here. At 5 o’clock I was introduced to the family, Gosh!

Then at 6, I proceeded to get ready for a picnic at New Brainfels. Well, here’s the part I detest – all this freedom. I was to go with a boy from here, but he had to work, so I went with another incipid j. b. in an open Ford roadster. Of course, I could have kicked but I thought others was no use being a prude. We planned at first to all go in a Buick, but this other boy couldn’t go and neither could his Buick, so we parted. Of course, the boy was a total stranger, and I detested him. He didn’t touch me, that wasn’t why I hate him. But he was impossible. Anyway, we rode to New Braunfels and I just flew. I was sans hat. We had engine trouble and got there in time to undress, swim 10 minutes and then have to get out. Well, so much for that! We had lunch, then danced. I couldn’t even tell you about the dancing. But I hated it. I hated the men, the boys, the small town girls who think they’re attractive looking like white washed fences, touched up heavily with carmine lips! But I laughed and managed to have a fairly good time so Ber couldn’t see it. My life and hers are very different, I’ve found. Well, anyway at about 10:30, we started on the 20 mile ride, and we got home at 1. The dear old j. b. wanted to show me San M. by nite, and he succeeded. I asked him to take me home, but Berniece hadn’t gotten home yet so we just rode. Oh, nothing happened. But it was so abominable. A bumpy Ford roadster on terrible roads, and I wanted home.

But anyway, we rode and rode and finally pulled in a few minutes after 1. Then Berniece + her date, and me and mine (you know I claim such distinction at having a date with an incipid j. b. whom I hate) sat on the steps and I talked til 1:30 and then went to bed. So at 6 o’clock this morning after a sleepless nite. I got up and tried to figure out a solution to this dilemma. And then I started writing to you. Fred, dear, what can I do? I haven’t even been here a day but I couldn’t endure a week of it. I’d just die. I don’t want to hurt Berniece’s feelings, but I just can’t stay, so what am I to do? I guess I can hold out over the weekend and then leave, but I couldn’t stay a minute longer. Oh, well I’m strong and healthy, I guess. I won’t pass out. But I just will go insane.

I’m about to scream, so I guess I’d better stop. It seems like Fate has played me a dirty trick, and it seems a pity, but I’m getting real cynical about it.

There’s another dance at Lockhart, about 30 miles from here tonite. i don’t know whether I’ll have the nerve to go. I loathe this small town life. Berniece wants to give me a bridge party, pretty soon, but I think I’ll be gone.

Fred, I think my heart’s just slowly cracking. I’ve got an insane desire to just scream and cry.

Remember I love you, dear. I wish you could help me. I don’t know when I can write again. Of course, I’ll do my best.

A wasp stung me yesterday coming over from San A and this morning it’s as big as a house. It’s right on my shoulder blade.

I have to go. I love you – love you – love you – and I’ll see you soon.

Your own

Florence

Don’t address my mail here – send it to S. A. for I expect to leave here very soon. Send it to the same place.

 

 

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8/6/1924 The Menger – 300 rooms, 200 baths

Sat

Dear Old Timer.

Just a word for Mon. I don’t know whether I can write tomorrow. I never know what Sun will bring. But I want you to know I am thinking of you, love you, etc, and as long as it only takes 2 cents to tell you so,  I’m not too proud for that.

Yours,

Florence

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8/5/1924 such a hot day that I almost melted

Houston, Texas

Aug 5, 1924

My Dear little Queen,

Oh, I beg your pardon. I didn’t mean to call you my Queen. You said you did not like that, so I will have to call you my princess, all right. Well little Princess how does the world treat you in San Antonio. I’ll bet you are just overcrowded with joy. I got your card today and do say that is a very beautiful place. It looks like the places you read about. I would like to take a trip like that where I had plenty to time to do all of the things that I suddenly had a desire to do.

Do you find time to sleep, with so many things to do. There is one thing that I hope you do not forget. That is, don’t forget to write to your little Fritzy boy down here. I just look forward to getting your letters. They mean so much to me, when you are gone. You know how it is to be back here and be lonesome. You have had a taste of it and you know how glad you were to hear from me, when I was gone. My day seems a dead one, without reading a letter from my own Dear Girl. I am really disappointed when I do not get a letter when I expect it.

Florence, my Darling, Sat and Sun sound lost to me, without you. I knew I could not see you, but nevertheless I had a hankering desire to go call you and tel you that I would be out. It make be a little blue. I couldn’t help from being so lonesome. It’s hard to be without you Florence. You see, tho’ Florence, I must not tell you that I am lonesome for you or anything like that, because I do not want you to feel bad about it and get the Blues. I want you to have a good time and really enjoy yourself.

This was such a hot day that I almost melted. I thought 5 o’clock would never come. The day was so long and I was tired, too. You know I get tired occasionally. It’s natural for a person to do that. Especially you and I.

But who do you want me to go to the picture show with, while you are away. Shall I go or shall I wait for you to go with me. I expect I’ll wait for my own darling Florence. I am so sleepy that I can hardly keep my wits about me.

If I don’t get a letter from you tomorrow, I don’t know what I will have to do to you. Give a paddling I suppose. I do that so much you know, that it becomes natural for me to say that. C!

Don’t forget the one who loves you so dearly and please try to write often.

Your own Fred

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8/4/1924 a very unfortunate bit of news was told me today

Houston, Texas

August 4, 1924

My Dear Little Princess:

I have just returned from taking some of my lessons and it is a little past a working man’s bed-time but nevertheless I must write my little girl a note at least. After I got through tonite our conversation let to a friendly conversation of various things which some people may call “bull”, while others would term it, real conversation nothing out of the ordinary, but just everything in General.

No people killed or anything like that. So you see I am still sound in all parts as before a very unfortunate bit of news was told me today. They say that we have to work all day Sat and not get off at noon. This is terrible. How will I stand it. Maybe, you can solve the mystery. Just how will I survive, with your powerful aid, I can stand most anything. Do you see how I believe in you.

Now, make your bow to the world, little sponsor of the Rice Track Team. If some consider that I am the team, then in turn, I ought to be able to say who the Sponsor will be. I like to select my own true Guardian. So it shall be. Now will you make a deep bow to the world with a wide, wide grin and make it stretch from ear to ear and cover your face. How’s that. Not impossible is it?

You are not in S.A. [San Antonio] Just overflowing with joy, I am sure your youthful curiosity is probably sprouting out on you, as I can visualize it and you are looking in every bend of that Mexican town for new things of interest. Dos the Mexican River, run straight for 100 yards or is it just 25 yds. I have heard that the passes in front of every house in S.A. a snake would break its back if he attempted to navigate it. So much for the River. How’s the chili. I’ll bet you are living from one meal to the next to get some “cold” chili. Do you eat much. Look out, be careful, don’t hit me too hard. Be easy, first attempt should not be so bad. Pardon me, will you. Fine!

I must go now to meet you again in the Hay field. I must press[?] hay now as it is late.

Your’s till the Bull frog sprouts wings and stops __________________?

With lots & lots of love,

your own Fred

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8/4/1924 Everything’s blurred and backwards

9:15 pm Sunday

The Alamo City

Texas

My Dearest Big Boy,

Hero to the rescue! Please come help me. You never knew a more tired more utterly worn out and bruised girl in you life. Oh, I’m impossibly sore! and sick! In the first place. I’m so darned homesick I could cry with every breath-and I want you. And, second, today has been some excitement. At about 11 o’clock we started for New Braunfels, about 30 miles from here. Fred, honestly, it is wonderful. The clear, cold water, all the seaweed, the beautiful rustic spots where one could just live forever, and forget the world. the glorious swimming pool, etc. were marvelous! We had a glorious time. Two cars of us went. My aunt + uncle in one, their 2 kids + me, then my other aunt, her 2 adventurous boys + Sis in the other car – and off we set!

We took a little boat trip up the river after dinner, then we took a little walk, then we took a big swim. My dear, the water was like crushed ice! I nearly froze to death. We stayed in about 3 hours. It’s the clearest,  coldest water I was ever in. I guess I swam miles. But I went across the whole pond holding a show with one hand trying not to get it wet, and I was nearly gone. Sis had to drag me in, But now for the 5 thrills. so new and so maddeningly scary. Really, I’ve been scared before, but never so much so I could hardly move. Here’s the way it was.

There’s a big trolly up on a high stand. I shall draw you a little picture of it. (see letter for illustration)

Anyway. It’s up about as high as the second story of a house – or higher – It looks like it’s up in the sky. But you climb a ladder – a very crazy one, too. and then you climb another ladder. and you finally ascend near Heaven. Then you grab hold of the trolley, give a push, and down you go. Well, I got as far as grabbing the rope, but I was too scared to turn loose and go down. Oh, I was paralyzed. I knew I’d never live to get over it. I couldn’t be a piker so I grabbed for dear life, gritted my teeth, and prayed the good Lord for quick deliverance. I was too scared to scream. But, Fred, it’s fun. Why, it’s the biggest + best thrill I’ve had. Oh, it’s mortally thrilling and scary. I went down 3 times and each time I was as scared as before. Then they all went over to a sliding board as long as a house with one fierce dip in  it. Well, still I couldn’t be a piker, and I was so scared I couldn’t breathe but I closed my eyes + fears + slid and it was slow torture. When I hit the water it was worse then all the spankings you could ever give me. Heavens! But it was anther thrill. That makes 4. Then the fifth was – I saw Bernice there. I think I’m going up there Wed. Bernie was down there for a swim and you can imagine my surprise to see her of all people. We filled up on hamburgers then came home about 8:30 so tired we could hardly move. I’m so tired I hardly have energy enough to drag this pencil across the page. I’m going at snail’s pace even now.

Dear heart, I’m so lonesome for you. You know, I’ve been gone 1 whole day, but so much has happened in those 2 days, I’ve nearly lost all count. The trip was awfully long and terribly tiresome and horribly boring, and I was so dead + my eyes hurt so much, and oh! I was all in. I unpacked and then went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep. So I got up and watched a big search light up town, and cried a little, then I went back to bed + cried myself to sleep for Mother and Fred. I have never been homesick before, but I wanted to pass out. Trip or no trip, I wanted to be home. Today however, I’m a little more sensible and I’m not so impossible, but I’ll tell you, if I don’t get over this very soon, I’m going to wire you to meet me at a certain train, and I’ll be home.

I’m in the dearest home, and everything’s so nice, but – oh well, I’ll get over it.

Say, I’m so sleepy I can’t write anymore. Everything’s blurred and backwards, so I’ll have to say goodnite.

I’m going down to have  shampoo + water wave set in my hair + get some gunk to get my hair to grow, so I have to get up early.

‘Scuse this goofy letter.

I’m your own but sleepy.

xxxxx

Florence

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A little non-letter post

First, apologies for getting a little behind in posting letters. This is an “extracurricular” project and it has had to be put a bit on the back burner while work, life and whatnot has come to the front. I will attempt to remedy the situation soon and be more diligent.

 

I received some rather cool news today: The Letters of Fred and Florence are now included on alltop.com in their relationship section!! If you use Alltop, you can add The Letters to your feed. I am so excited that (hopefully) more people will stumble on the site and enjoy the development of Fred and Florence’s relationship.

 

The Letters is also on Facebook. You can see some additional images and find out when the latest letters have been posted.

 

As always, I welcome comments and emails about this project. I also invite you to share it with people you think may enjoy it.

 

Regards and updates soon,

 

Sheridan

 

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8/4/1924 I’m so dog gone proud of myself, I’m getting the swell head

Thursday

 

Dearest of all dears,

Wish I could instill some of my pep into you. It would be so easily done. But the only way to instil that pep is thru letter.

Man, first let me tell you. I went swimming yesterday and oh, such a delicious swim! It had been so hot all day and oh! that water was ice. I swam about an eighth of a mile, which isn’t very far, then stopped and got my wind, and rested, then swam another 8th up to the deep part, The pool is about 1/4 mile in length. I was all in, of course, and things for pretty black. Well, I swam about 30 minutes, and then we had to get out. But Sis + Maylee were at the dining board which was at the extreme end of the pool, so I went up there to get them. They decided to dine a little more, then come out. And I got real brave, plunged in and determined to go to the shallow end 1/4 mile away without stopping. Oh, man, it was the longest swim I ever, ever took! and I nearly choked + strangled half way thru. I did the crawl, swimming mostly under water, you know, all the way, and Fred, I swam all the way! I’m so dog gone proud of myself, I’m getting the swell head! Really?

I’ve only lately learned the crawl stroke, and man, to think I swam 1/4 mile. Dog gone it all, you know why it makes me feel so good? Well, simply because you excel so darned high in all other athletics, and you are worth while in most everything but swimming, and you’re going to be in that some day, but I’m sorta catching up in the other things but I sure out shine you in the water, and I’m so proud of it, I could shout. Man, you’re going to have the race of your life if you try to beat me in the water. Come on, old socks, and see where you land. Don’t watch me dust, but watch my splash. I’ll chase you to Jerico and back. Ha-Ha!!!

You better learn to swim. Don’t let a mere girl, even if she is your girl, out shine you in any athletics. And say, don’t hold your breath to swim. My dear, I’m such a fish I breath under water. Mercy, you can’t make 3 strokes without having to stop + take another breath. Oh boy, I’m dying to get home and show Fred Stancliff the champion weight man of the South something about athletics. Ha-Ha

Say, sweetheart, don’t get offended at all this. Truly, I didn’t mean to razz you so hard, but as I said I’m so dog gone proud of myself I could eat ice cream – woof woof!

But here’s another thing that peps me up. I’ve chased away every one of the blue devils except a big longing to see Freddie-Boy. But I feel a world better. Are you sorry? I’m not, for now I can enjoy my trip. Yes, sir, really enjoy it. And don’t worry, dear old pal, when I can conveniently and politely slip away from these folks, I shall come sailing back to you. Remember “The Love Ship”

“Sail back, little love ship

Sail back into port.

Sail back with your treasure of gold.”

Your love ship will sail home soon, dear. Only my conscience makes me stay, altho now I’m going to enjoy it a little more.

I want you dreadfully, Fred dear. Each minute and each day makes the longing stronger in my heart. And oh! dearest heart, I wish you were here.

Ira Boyd yesterday looked up at me, with real big eyes and said “Where’s Fred?” I said “Darling, Fred is at home in Houston.” He said “I love him. Why won’t he come over here?” I said “I love him, too, and he can’t come over here.” Ira Boyd wanted to know why. I said, “Cause he had to stay home and make money to buy him some eats and a place to stay, and then save some to go to school.” Then the bright child asked me if I got any of Fred’s money. I said “Well, hardly, it hasn’t come to the point of his sharing his money with me?” He wanted to know what you made it for, if not to give it to me.

Well, I gave up and admitted defeat in the 3rd round.

Maryanna asked my why Fred didn’t come over to see me, I told her because he lacked the spendulies. Isn’t that so?

Listen, may I ask you something? Why no letter today? Are you so blue that you haven’t even the energy or desire to write me? You know, I feel just a tiny bit hurt when you don’t write. It’s true that it seems unnecessary to write every day, but you know I’ve braved the ridicule and being made fun of by these folks who say I do absolutely nothing except write letters and most of those letters are to Fred. I don’t agree with them, of course, but, dear boy, they say that I shouldn’t write you every day because you don’t answer them. If you wrote every day, you would have the right to demand a letter every day, Big Boy, I’ve stood that nearly every day, but in spite of it, I continue to write you every day, almost religiously as I eat. Now, dear, I realize how hard it is to write when you don’t feel well, when you’ve come home tired and Emily cuts up her usual tricks, etc, and oh, I realize and understand, but the other folks don’t. But I have had 3 days to go by and not a word from Fred. I got a dear special Mon nite, no letter Mon, of course, and none – No, wait, that’s wrong. I didn’t get a letter Mon. a special Tuesday, no letter Wed, and here Thursday has nearly passed, and still no letter. Well, dear boy, I shan’t fuss, but I do wonder. When it’s twice as hard, inconvenient and difficult for me to take the time to write, why I’ve managed somehow to write nearly every day. I’ve missed only 2 days I think since I’ve been gone.

I started to send this other letter special, then put this one in another envelope, so you’d get one tonite and then one tomorrow. But it’s too late for the morning train, so I shan’t do it. You won’t get it any sooner so I shan’t.

I can’t or won’t promise you so many more letters. Perhaps I can write – perhaps not.

According to these folks, I never get thru writing letters, and, of course, I must write to Mother and others.

Well, I must go Sis + I are going to town for lunch.

So au revior for now.

I love you hugly.

Your own,

Florence

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7/31/1924 Have a wonderful time for us both

Hope you can read this? Take your time and read slowly and you probably can.

 

Houston Tex

July 31, 1924

Thursday Nite

 

My Darling Florence;

I am a blue boy tonite. Blue as the blue on my sweat shirt (track). I just can’t get over the fact that you are going away. It doesn’t seem right that you are going away. It doesn’t seem right that you are going off to leave me for such a long time. I have been thinking about you leaving for such a long time. I believe after you are gone, my heart will be broken. I cannot keep from crying when I think of it. Since I have been back, there has not been a day gone by that I have not talked with you. Over the phone or in your presence.

But I went away and left you, and you go over it. So I suppose I will have to brace up and do the best that I can. You will be back and how glad I will be to see you. I don’t know how I will pass the time. Just as soon as you have I will take my examination and if I am successful, I will not have much more work to do. The days will drag and be so long. i will will have to brace up and try to be gay while you are gone. You will not let the time grow lonesome, will you Darling. Just think, Florence, the best girl in the whole world is going off and leave the one who cares so much. But Darling you will write me many sweet letters. I am going to write you as often as I can. I don’t suppose that I can keep the time from dragging with you because I don’t suppose that it will have a chance to drag.

I did not get to go to do any of my work tonite and you didn’t say anything about seeing you, so I thought I would write you a letter to read while you were gone. You might be thinking of me and wish you could see me, but you can’t so I’m going to send my love along with you. But if you take my love along with you, you must promise me to do as you have always done. That is, be good to it. The tables are turned and it is my own Darling Florence that is going away and poor little Fritz has to stay at home and work and get old ruff hands.

But maybe some time in the future I will not have to stay at home alone—?

Maybe so, I can go somewhere too.

I hope you don’t do like I did while I was gone on my trip. Most all of the time I wished that you were along with me. I could just imagine both of us going along to see the wonderful sights of the East and how both of us were enjoying them together and having such a wonderful time and Florence when I would come to my right senses, you were not there, and I would have to stand the disappointment all by myself. You didn’t know or you would have helped me, wouldn’t you Dear. This day dreaming made my trip very pleasant at times, in fact I was just always thinking of how wonderful it would be, when we could make such a trip together.

Florence, I could just lean over on your shoulder and cry and cry. We were going to have so much fun this summer, but Darling since you are going away, Have a wonderful time for us both. Don’t feel sad while away. Just enjoy everything and remember Dear that I want you to have a wonderful Glorious time. Another thing before I close, Darling. Don’t forget there is a very dear Friend back here who trusts and loves you dearly. One that is missing you and looking for the mail at all times. A Friend who is Dearest to you and nearest to your heart, one who will always love you and stick by, regardless of what turns up. A Friend in whom you can with softly confide.

Lots of Love

Your own Fred

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6/28/1924 It just made my heart melt for you

El Campo, Texas

June 28, 1924

My Darling Florence:

What in the dickins is wrong with you? Are you sick? Are you hurt of what is the matter? I am ashamed of you. What have I done to hurt your feelings? I am sorry if I did. But why haven’t you written. Just a little bit anyway. I got a postcard and a letter enclosed in Mary’s letter last Wed but since then, not a word. Don’t you know that I am lonesome, and a letter would spur me up so much. I am so sorry you haven’t had time to write, but I am sure something must be the matter. Something must have happened. Maybe you are sick. If so why didn’t you let me know. Maybe your mail was lost. But anyway I will be back sometime and maybe you will tell me all about it. Will you?

 

Who stepped on your feelings, Darling? Did I? If I didn’t let me help you out, if you are in trouble and in deep need of assistance, I will help. Please let me. I have been looking for a letter on every mail, but no not yet. It has not arrived. Maybe I am too anxious. Do you think so? Anyway I cannot understand what they did to you.

I got my first last nite and I surely did like it. When I come back I will be a Mason. I haven’t but one degree, but yet I am a mason.

When I came home last night, I looked out the windows at the beautiful star-light skies. I just began thinking of my own Darling Florence. I wondered what she was doing and whether she was living there looking at the beautiful skies the same as I. It was a long time, before I went to sleep. I thought of you so much. I just layed there and dreamed with my eyes open. I just couldn’t help it. I was worried about you, too. I could not understand why I did not hear from you? I tried to scope[?] out many things, but none would work. THen I just knew that something came up that it was impossible for you to write. I just knew that Florence had not forgotten me. I just knew it. Then I layed there and thought of the good time that we have had together and how much nicer it was this summer that I would be in Houston, instead of Port Arthur. Then I can see you often. If not see you, I can talk to you over the phone. This place it so small to me now, and things are so quiet that is makes me real lonesome for you. I want to get back and see you. Mary read the letters to me yesterday that you wrote to her after I left for Boston. It just made my heart melt for you. I would like to have had you and you read it to me. Gee, Florence that was a masterpiece. You surely had a good supply of words and expressed your thoughts so good. If anything would make one person love another it was a letter like that. I don’t think that I shall ever forget it.

It had an everlasting touch. I expect to get a letter like that today from the dearest little girl on Earth. If I do not, well it will just be another big disappointment. Then I’ll have to wait till I get to Houston tomorrow and let her to tell it to me. Then oh, how glad I will be to see you.

Hope you will be in a wonderful mood when I get back. I just like to see you smile so much. Come on smile for me, won’t you Dear.

Florence my darling, I will have to close this if I want it to get off on this train. I cannot be there tonite and this is Sat nite so I will send you this special to take my place ’till tomorrow. But Darling I will think of you tonite just lots, also will I think of you continuously as I have been doing.

Be good ’till I return, Dear.

Lots and Lots of Love

Freddie

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Happy birthday to Florence

Today, my grandmother would have turned 105 years old were she still alive.

Florence passed away years ago, but I still think of her very often. I was very close to her and still often wish I could call her up and chat about all the interesting things that go on in life. She loved the adventures and the stories.

I remember when I was heading out on my first trip to New York and she was almost as excited as I was about going. She told me to take lots of pictures and look twice – once for me and once for her. Upon my return, I called her and we shared all my adventures in the Big Apple.

Often, as I read these letters, I see bits of myself in her. I am thankful I inherited some of her zest for life and tendency to sometimes tread off the beaten path.

Happy birthday, Mimi!

Florence holding a little baby burrito (me)

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