St. Petersburg, Fla.,
April 5th, 1926.
My dear Cousins and All:-
We are reminded that it is again time for our Cousin letter, and promptness should be our motto. As the years go by it is more of an effort for some of us to write letters, especially when they are to be broadcast from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Gulf to Canada, so please make allowance for the older Cousins.
I did not think when I wrote my Cousin letter two years ago from Florida, that I would be writing again from the beautiful city of St. Petersburg, but through the many kind invitations from Tommie and Frank I am spending another winter with them. As Mabel and Llewellyn are here I am if possible having a more delightful time than before. I wish we might have more of our Cousins Dinners with Tommie and Frank, not alone for the wonderful climate, but for their lovely home, where they could entertain, with a real house party, every Cousin and Cousin-in-law, without any inconvenience whatever, and every other descendant of the Joseph Campbell family could be entertained at their pleasant and home-like hotel, with the same cordial hospitality which we always received at their open home in Knoxville, Pa.
They are soon to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary, and to see them one would think it their twenty fifth instead. No wrinkles and very few gray hairs,- which Tommie says is all due to the use of water from the "Fountain of Youth". I am sure if you could have seen him, as I did, this spring working on his income tax, you would have thought every hair on his head would be white. I realize more than ever before, what the writer of the saying "Blessed be Nothing" might have had in mind.
Very few from our large number of Cousins have been permitted to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary; I can recall only five:- Mark Seely, Ed Congdon, Laura Mowrey, sister Kate Horton and Tommie. They surely have much for which to be thankful for as each year our Cousin Circle is broken, and there are many changes. This year we were saddened by the death of brother Will Ellison, who visited us the Sunday before he was taken, and the very sad going away of Cousin Phil Young. We shall all miss them here, - but as our circle is getting so large on the other side, that will only be saying "good bye" for a little while for those who go, and welcoming as many more over there.
We all attended Easter services yesterday, and with more than one hundred churches in the city, there was not even standing room in many of them for all who came. St. Petersburg is certainly a church going city, which has been very much disturbed recently over the question of Sunday observance. By the votes of the people last week it was carried three to one in favor of closed theaters, races and other amusements on the Sabbath day. It is not all money and real estate here, for the majority of the people are in favor of a clean christian.[sic] city.
Sister Kate and Lish are on their way home from the Pacific Coast where they have spent a very anxious1 but pleasant winter. We shall be glad to find them home when we get there, which will be soon after the snow and zero weather of the North is over.
We miss Helen an the rest at home and wish you might all migrate South winters where they always have flowers and birds. It is not unusual to hear the mocking birds singing at two or three o'clock in the morning.
Last fall I was in the Arnot-Ogden Hospital2 for some time, but with the divine strength given me and the wonderful skill of Cousin Dr. Ross Loop, I am quite myself again. The many gifts, flowers, letters, cards and calls from dear relatives and friends will never be forgotten. They are a wonderful tonic at such a time.
We shall anxiously wait for the next edition of letters from our one hundred Cousins, - many many thanks, Cousin Will, for your untiring efforts in making such a plan possible.
With best wishes and much love to all,
COUSIN MARY C. SHIPMAN
1. They had rushed to OR from PA because their daughter, Helen "Nellie" HORTON Kimball, was very ill.
2. In Elmira, NY.
Copyright © 2013, 2016 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.