March 28th, 1926.
Having been thrice reminded that another year has departed and that "Uncle Sam" is waiting, - with an hourglass in one hand and a yawning mail bag in the other, - to receive the "offerings" now due or overdue,1 and having failed to persuade a certain relative of mine that the undersigned might well be excused this time,- this small contribution is sent.
No wonderful experiences have I to relate, no trips by land or sea to
any unknown quarters of the globe, but only usual and everyday
happenings to tell of. Last November, we felt we were living through a
very unusual experience when one day, Doris'
possessions left our home and we were confronted with a room very empty;
and soon after when on a memorable day, she
went away to another home, - this feeling grew. And yet, we were living
through events that come to hundreds of homes, and while we have started
and are traveling often - "A long, long trail a-winding" between the
land of Morristown and Maplewood, we are only doing what many of you
have already done when your children have gone away from the old home.
The other day, a very interesting and alluring invitation came to us from Florida asking us to come and help celebrate a very important event soon to take place there2. We wish that we might write "Yes, we're coming" and start tomorrow; but well have to wait a little longer before we can visit the palms and orange groves of the "sunny Southland". And from Washington, a certain lady3 writes that she has authentic information that the Japanese cherry trees will burst into bloom the middle of April; and we'd like to go there. And sometimes, the Pacific coast calls "Westward Ho!" But Maplewood will probably be our biding place until the first of June when our caravan will travel a little further up the road4 and rest there for the summer season.
We did however, feel glad that "we three Selphs" could steal away to Pennsylvania for a few days in October to attend the "Cousins' Dinner". The occasion was a most enjoyable one, long to be remembered; and we wished that all the Cousins might have gathered that day in Cousin Minnie's hospitable home. We greatly missed those who could not be there.
1. Income taxes were due March 15.
4. Will & Edith's summer home in Mt. Tabor, NJ.
The suggestion from Boston5 started a train of thought in my mind on the ever interesting topic of "Radio"; and I'm wondering what would happen should some of the Campbell ancestors appear one morning and be greeted by a voice from the air jovially inquiring: "Good Morning! Have you had your glass of water?" Well we are all in a state of wonderment and question as to the voices, and one can even now quite believe that Joan of Arc heard them long ago. From the "Morning Watch" with the old hymns falling on our ears to a little later in the morning, when lectures on various subjects may be listened to, on the noontime when the organ peals forth from New York Church, - we may be continually entertained and instructed, William comes home and opens the door at six o'clock to the strains of the Waldorf Dinner Music6 and after dinner may listen to the Marine Band or a Philharmonic Recital or hear Marion Talley's young voice clearly singing "Home, Sweet Home!" On Sunday, Dr. Cadman's sermons are broadcasted together with the Gloria Trumpeters' music. Surely a wonderful variety t please the most fastidious! We have not time to listen to all we would wish, for we are, like everyone else these days - busy.
We are just now interested in the daily progress of the big machines across the street. which is digging for the foundation of our new Church Parish House,- for we have outgrown our present accommodations. A walk along the streets will soon show similar excavations for other Churches, Woman's Club House, Bank and Post Office buildings, all of which spell "Growth".
And now that I have "written of many things", I have also been thinking of "Letters:, a big subject. "Round Robins" have been carried on among large families and certain groups of people; but as yet, I doubt if there is another family that is exchanging a collection of letters similar to this Correspondence idea. How many reminiscent conversations start:- "Do you know what John or Jane or Julia is doing now or where they are living?" "Is William still in California?" Or, "Did you [know/hear] that James' son stands at the head of his profession?" Letters may answer all questions if the writers so wish and thus distance only separates families and keeps them "out of touch" one with the other. It occurs to me that it was a letter sent by Cousin Herbert Hughey in response to a photo sent to him, - a very interesting letter received but a short time before his death - that started this Correspondence, these "letters from home" as one Cousin wrote.
5. Probably a letter from CCC President Roswell Young.
6. Presumably broadcast from the a dining room at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC.
Some of us can still claim among our possessions, - an attic. In mine, among other ancient heirlooms, are some of my grandmother's beautifully quilted coverlets, a Paisley shawl, a blue and white woven coverlet and some trinkets more than a century old, - a lace bib that the writer once wore and among some ancient Valentine missives carefully preserved are some childish scrawls and cards and letters painstakingly printed "from Doris".
Now one day in the future, someone perhaps will take out of a little trunk, from among "scraps of brocade and taffeta, yellowed lingerie, a quaint old wedding gown, and daguerreotypes in ornate cases", a book of letters not "tied with faded ribbon" but well preserved in their strong covers; and someone will say: "Here is a letter from grandmother or uncle or aunt, - let us read what they did years ago", and these letters will be the ones now being written by the present "Campbell Cousins" that will be read years hence.
"Far away in the 'peace which passeth all understanding' the writers of the letters sleep; but on the attic floor a re heard footsteps that have long been silent; and voices whisper from the other end of the room."
Perhaps these very letters we are writing today will be treasured in the days to come, who can tell?7
Trusting that these "wanderings" of mine have not wearied you, I am,
COUSIN EDITH L. SELPH
7. Yes, Edith, they are cherished. And perhaps, thanks to digitizing and putting them on the web, they electronic versions will continue to be cherished long after the original's mimeograph ink has faded and the paper crumbled.
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