4/5/1923 Yours Till the Piano Loses Its Scales

To Rice

Dearest big adorable track ☆(I told you I couldn’t make a star)

The school is ringing with your praises. I’ve been stopped by so many and congratulated for you. It simply thrills me to death. It’s almost like my own success because I hear so many wonderful things. Oh! even the boys talk of it. One boy says he had seen you throw the discus + he certainly thought you were good. He likes you an awful lot and he was tickled to death over your success. Why, even the boys in the bleachers spoke of what a wonderful sport you were and how all the boys out there respected you – Gosh! I wish I were a boy and we had met – and I could be your real pal – but alas!

Fredibus, you were so magnificent on the field Sat. As long as I exist in this world, I’ll never forget one scene. That’s when I watched you put the shot and throw the discus. Why, I thought my heart would jump right over there and follow the course of the discus. Perhaps you could throw it further, who knows? But you were so cool and deliberate – as usual.

And I’ll never forget that queer feeling of fear that crept over me when I saw you go over the pole – especially the 10’6″. That’s awful high and I hardly expected you to get up whole but you did – of course. You’re not going to get hurt for you’re much too valuable to your school and to me to get hurt. But one can never be sure of the Fate’s decisions.

It seems everywhere I go someone tells me about your glorious success. Met Paul Qualthrough at the dance + he and I talked lots about you. I said I tried to get you to come to the dance but you were in training. Somehow he got started on placing temptation in your way. He warned me that you were much too valuable to Rice to fail when they needed you most. I can hear him now when he pointed to the jelly beans there. “It’s only boys like these who can go to dances and waste to many hours – but it’s boys like Stancliff who can do things and make the world respect them.” He was right. I’m just fearfully glad that you have the courage to say no. I think lots more of you for it. I shan’t put temptation in your way. I’ll ask you but it’s because I want you to know that out of all the boys, I’d rather have you. You’re really the one I prefer and I’ll wish for you and try to imagine the boy I’m dancing with is you instead of a worthless cake-eater!!

Things worthwhile are more valuable then those things soon forgotten – like dances. perhaps 10 years from now, this costume dance will be forgotten, but I’ll always remember the glorious athlete whose medal I wore, and whose praises I heard as he threw the discus and put the shot. I’ll never forget it – never. Memories may fade but – I hope I’ll know you then. I hope we’ll always be friends.

Tho racks and rills divide us

And my face you  may never see.

Remember, we’re the same old pals + friends

That we were in ’23.

Ain’t that cute? But seriously, Fred, let’s remember that and really be worthy of a true friendship.

But I’m wandering – you know, I’m glad you like athletics for the sports are so wholesome and clean (when they’re played right) while dances, parties are all more or less flattery, etc. No, I don’t forget that it was at a party where I met you, and I’m awful glad. We took each other on a gamble that has proven to be the best bet of my life, for somehow, now that I know you, life would seem awful empty without you. Your phone calls ) altho they’re few and far between now) and your coming out here. Now, even tho we’re apart – (for I feel that after graduation things will change) I’ll always have the thought of your coolness – your courage and gentleness. But enough sentimentality! Are you laughing at that outburst? If you are, may Neptune draw you into his close embrace, for I speak the truth!

I noticed something. Want me to tell you? Hold your breath! Ready? Well, it’s just this. In Dec I started (somehow) the foolish past time of writing you letters. You said they inspired you. I took you at your word and kept on. You passed and you were not so worried about your grades. During mid-terms, I didn’t write and you were worried to death – about your tests, not my writing – Queer, but you flunked physics and were dubious about the rest. I wrote you a letter before the track meet and look how gloriously wonderful you were. Am I imagining things, but do my letters by any chance have that effect on you? Please be frank (and not Fred for a few minutes) and tell me the truth. Just tell me whether or not these letters help you. If they do, they serve their purpose. If they don’t – please don’t let me waste my time. I love to write to you – I really enjoy it – but if these letters bore you, please tell me, won’t you? You won’t hurt my feelings in the least. Personally, I feel that when I know someone I care for is behind me and boosting me, I can do lots better. Of course, you don’t need to be told that. I’m boosting you to the limit of my endurance. If there’s anything I haven’t done, tell me and I’ll rush madly to the task. Isn’t that proof enough?

Owing to everything, I can’t go Sat. to see you but I’ll be holding my breath til the game is over. until I find out the best. I don’t know how I’ll manage to live thru Sat nite til I see the papers Sunday. And they’re always so unsatisfactory anyway. But I’ll be on my eyebrow till I find out that you did. The rest of it doesn’t matter so much – the running and hurdles, etc. but it’s the weights – I want to go so bad – so terribly bad – but I can’t. That’s why I say – if I were a boy – I could be your pal – then you couldn’t leave me behind! Now! But I’m _____ not.

Thursday 8:30 am

Well, stranger, am I to be left pining away for the sound of your adorable voice? Am I completely forgotten in all your glory? You don’t know how I miss all your phone calls and Sat. nite dates. Only 2 times since we met has a Sat passed that you haven’t come out and each time — well, I shan’t go into detail for it would be embarrassing to me, C?

How’s the strong man this fine morning? The sun came up for your special benefit, didn’t it? I was out there driving yesterday and started to call you but I had a terrible headache so I thought I wouldn’t bore you – besides, my time was limited.

Thank you a million times for telling Tackey to take care of me Mon nite. I appreciate your thought. You have always taken care of me – such good care – and I’m glad you asked Tackey to do it. You are really a marvelous guardian and I wouldn’t take the world for your wonderful care at Sylvan, especially coming home. Why have you been so sweet to me lately? Why have you shown me such attention? Or perhaps I have just realized how marvelous you are. And Sat nite, you were simply precious! I’m not exactly a hero worshiper (?) but you were never so marvelous as you were Sat. especially the “Let’s have it.” Remember? Are you laughing again?

Tackey was so sweet to me Mon, but I wanted you instead of him. I wanted you to be the one to pull me in out of the cold when I didn’t have enough sense enough to come in – Oh! Fredibus! I think oodles and gobs of you. I’ve got to quit ’cause the bell’s rung.

Just 20 minutes more on this period. Thanks to your parry I rode thru my Latin 25 lines in about 30 minutes!

Sat. Lula Frances is giving a Majestic Party for the gang (all girls, of course) I warned her before, tho, that I should be an awful bore for my mind and pleasure and heart would be in Austin. I’d give worlds if I could see that game but Fredibus, you see it for me and tell me all, won’t you?

But you’re so adorably modest that you’d never tell me the truth about yourself. Fred, I believe with me that is your main charm for if you liked yourself as others like you – well, but you don’t – but I’m so glad you’re as sweet and precious as you are and I wouldn’t trade you off for every boy at Rice Institute! There never was – and never will be – another Fred like you. Especially one whom I could think as much of as you.

I wonder why I’ve written such a perfectly mushy, gurgly letter to you. Of course, I understand the thought behind it, but do you? I hope so.

Seven more minutes for this. It’ll take me that long to quit.

However, I’m going to make it brief – and soft.

For the honor of Rice, and the honors to be yours, and the sake and love of a grey-eyed girl who thinks the world and all of you, stay in there!

Remember (way back in your mind) that there’s someone in Houston who knows you can do wonders and knows that you will do them. I’m going to give you a picture of me, Big Boy real soon and perhaps then you will know how really behind you I am. You’re going to succeed – and I’m going to try to help. You asked if I didn’t think I had anything to do with your success – Did I really? Then let me keep on – you deserve the very best I can give you. and remember, I’ll be at the meet – in mind every minute. I’m betting on you, Big Boy. Three cheers for the best track man in Rice and in the south!!!

Rah – Rah – Rah


Yours till the piano loses its scales,


Am going up town now to have my picture taken now. So I’ll mail this. Does that listen good to you?

C. B. phoned me and asked me to be a maid. I’m so glad. If Rice had a sponsor and I were going out there, I’d be a maid by fair or foul means. Wouldn’t that be glorious if I were – but – I’m not.

Good luck to you, big boy. Remember, I’m counting on you. If you don’t win (and I’m sure you will) I’ll love you just the same.

1 Comment

One Response

  1. steph says:

    That was a long one! My favorite line is, “You’re really the one I prefer and I’ll wish for you and try to imagine the boy I’m dancing with is you instead of a worthless cake-eater!!” I’m gonna steal that line.

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