Elmira, N. Y.
April 14, 1924
Dear Campbell Cousins:
The event since my last letter at 437 Maple Avenue is a Radiola. We have had it just two weeks today. Last night we attended the Pittsburg [sic] church service from beginning to end, starting with the organ voluntary and a couple of old hymns and selections by the choir. There were also two solos, one "The Psalms," and the other Granier's "Hosanna." I have sung these numbers at least once a year for twenty years while I was in the choir, and it surely was a treat for me. The sermon by Rev. Percival H. Parker. and the text "The Kingdom of God is Within You," was a masterly effort. This lasted forty-five (45) minutes which is just twice too long. I feel like writing Parker that he should have better terminal facilities.
Clifford is preaching at Rockville Centre, Long Island and Edward is teaching music in New York City and plays an organ at a church in Yonkers. I could not help thinking that perhaps sometime they may be together and furnish their Dad with church services which he can listen to through the Radio.
Saturday night we had the Roes1 down for dinner and to stay all night so that Jay could get all the Radio he needed. We turned on the dinner concert at 6:15 o'clock and had a continuous performance until twelve o'clock and could have had more. The dinner concerts are always very good, but last only forty-five (45) minutes. The outstanding feature Saturday night was the Mozart Quartet of Holyoke, Mass. They sang in Springfield Saturday night and it was one of the most charming quartets I have ever heard outside of Grand Opera. All of this performance was just as plain, and some a little louder than if we had been in the Church in Pittsburg, or in the room where the performance was given, We have located twenty-five or thirty stations and by looking at the New York Paper each day we pick out the performance want to hear, either in Boston, Chicago, Pittsburg or Springfield. We set the machine on this station, take an easy chair and listen. I do not know why we did not have one before2.
1. Daughter Ethel, son-in-law John ("Jay") & granddaughter Helen.
2. AM radio has certainly changed a lot since then. Obviously the programming has changed dramatically. (BTW, in the early days of FM radio, that programming was mostly classical music too.) Note also the distance of the stations he was listening too. In the early days of "commercial" radio (it wasn't very commercial back then), there were only a few stations, many built and owned by Westinghouse or GE, and because interference with local stations was not a problem then, they broadcast much stronger signals than is allowed these days. Daytime reception of far away stations was poor, but at night, if there were no thunderstorms or sun spots, reception from Chicago or Boston was great. It's noteworthy that the New York Times (or perhaps the Herald Tribune) carried listings for all those stations' programming. I don't know which Springfield he was referring to, MA, IL, MO or other, but I could find no record of a radio station in any Springfield before this letter..
The last six months have been rather uneventful. Ida and I had a beautiful trip to Miami, Florida, leaving the month of February to our friends in the North. It certainly was grand to get up in the morning at about daylight and listen to the birds sing, then take out the old golf bag and go down for breakfast looking at the flowers blooming along the way, -- then out to the golf course between eight and nine o'clock. I got back in town between twelve and one o'clock for lunch, or else had lunch at the Country Club, then hiked to the beach for a swim and came back for dinner and spent the evening sitting in the park under the coconut palms listening to Pryor's band, -- turned in about nine o'clock good and tired but feeling fine.
It rained just one night while we were there, but it rained. The streets looked like rivers, so that night we went to the theater and saw "Irene". I went deep sea fishing one day in a small motor boat and saw many varieties of wonderful fish. The water was so very clear we could see down about fifty feet. I caught one fish, a grouper, weighing seven pounds. I would much rather fish in Lake Keuka with my wife in one end of the boat and a pail of minnows between us.
In closing I can only say that things are well with us, last year being my largest business year3, and I played a good deal at that.
3. He had an insurance agency.
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