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Jan. 7, 1917
Jan. 13, 1917
Jan. 21, 1917
Jan. 28, 1917
It has seemed natural to get back into harness again, in fact, it hardly seems now as though there had been any break at all; and what's more I find there are to be no more breaks to amount to anything between now and June. We have Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays off, also Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Memorial Day, and that is all, so that it doesn't look much as though I'd be home at all Easter. It seems like a pretty long stretch, but I imagine we can survive; as a matter of fact, I understand that it is quite the usual thing not to have any Easter vacation beyond what we are getting this year, down here.
I found good skating on coming back here, and enjoyed a fine skating party Tuesday afternoon and evening at Bargaintown Mill Pond about a mile below where we skated at the time we went before Christmas. I went down about half past four with Miss Hodgson and Miss Davis; we carried lunch for five, and met Miss Tolbert and Eva Lutz, who had gone ahead of us, down there. Individually and collectively we enjoyed ourselves to the full until ten o'clock in the evening.
The rest of the week has been spent largely in some much needed work, except for two basketball games yesterday afternoon, and a little party at the house here last evening--card and fudge party. The basketball games were with the Egg Harbor High School boys and girls; in the girls' game we won decisively, but our boys were as badly beaten as their girls were. Our boys and girls go up to Egg Harbor next Saturday to play them a return game.
Miss Tolbert has had an old high school boy of hers from Salem, now a Senior at Penn here today, and they and Eva Lutz and myself have been on an outing this afternoon. We took the trolley down to Somers Point, about seven miles down the shore, and rambled about down there until sundown and after, coming home just in time for supper. I saw holly berries on the trees for the first time; wish I had been down there before I went home Christmas--the woods there are filled with holly trees. One of the interesting things we came across was an old private cemetery in the woods--everyone buried there is a Somers, the original family of Somers Point.
This week there are a number of things on the bill--the high school building is to be dedicated Tuesday evening, and I am to usher at the dedication exercises, also accompany Miss Hodgson on the piano for a song she is going to render. Thursday, Friday, & Saturday there is to be something here called a Lyceum Festival, the proceeds from which are to go to the school library--it's kind of a chautauqua program, as near as I can make out. It all occurs in the High School assembly hall, afternoon & evenings. The bag reached here O.K. Must close now.
With much love to all,
How I happened to forget to mention the picture of Robert last week is more than I know. He certainly has grown much older-looking, and I don't suppose would have known him at all if the picture had been shown me out of nowhere. He seems to have a strong face & very good looking. Do you want me to send it back to you now?
This last Tuesday evening the High School building was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. A program of speeches and musical numbers occupied most of the evening, and a short reception in the gymnasium followed. Speeches were made by the President of the Board of Education, the State Commissioner of Education, the local assemblyman, and the county superintendent. Pretty long-winded and tedious affairs, for the most part. The High School orchestra played, the Girls' Glee Club sang, Miss Haskell, the music teacher, sang a solo, as did also Miss Hodgson, whom I accompanied at the piano.
The last three days of the week there has been here what is called a Lyceum Festival, a kind of chautauqua series, the proceeds over a fixed amount going to the public library which is only just being formed. Each afternoon and each evening there would be both a lecture and a musical program--three different companies furnished the music, one on each day. The first day, the Berkeley Sextette, six girls with different musical instruments, among them being also a soloist & a reader; the second day, the A-B-G company, composed of three women, one a flutist, one a soloist, one a reader; on the third day, the Alpine Yodlers. I heard the Berkeley Sextette's program in part, and they were pretty good, as the yodlers were also, I understand, but the A-B-G aggregation needed some apologizing for. The lectures I didn't hear, and I don't believe I missed much, from what other folks tell me, and from what little I did hear when I went by the doors of the assembly hall from time to time, while around the school, as I was a good deal of the time the affairs were going on.
Yesterday we had some more skating down at Bargaintown Mill pond, a party composed of the three teachers at the house, Eva Lutz, Miss Valentine (another grammar school teacher), Carey and myself went down in the later morning and enjoyed it until the middle of the afternoon. It was melting quite rapidly yesterday, the top of the ice being quite wet before we left; a driving rain storm last night, I imagine put an end to what ice was left.
Last night the boys' and girls' basketball teams journeyed up to Egg Harbor, accompanied by about twenty-five students and teachers, in two big busses, and played the High School teams there. The girls were beaten by a narrow margin, 14-10, in a rough and tumble game, but the boys were badly beaten, 55-13. Two of the women teachers at the High School went up, Miss Ryder and Miss McClellan, and I also brought Miss Davis, from the house here, up with me.
This afternoon I have been out on another walk with Miss Tolbert and Eva Lutz, up in a northwesterly direction from here. Did you ever know of arbutus having buds as early as this in the winter time? I saw quite a few this afternoon and it certainly did seem strange; I don't know how long it would be before they would come out--perhaps they would stay in the bud now til spring. We also got a great quantity of wintergreen berries, which they call teaberries down here.
I didn't stay up to see the eclipse last week, in fact, don't believe I knew about it until the following morning. It seems strange that Lucinthia had never seen one before.
I am glad you had the chance to hear that Barrere concert in Middletown; I saw the advertisements of it when I was home during vacation. There were no charges levied at this end on the laundry package that came a week ago.
Our old friend Harry K. Thain seems to be in trouble again; I hope he gets where he belongs and stays there this time--it would have been distinctly better for society, I'm inclined to believe, if his suicide attempt had succeeded.
I had a letter from Robert last week, who says he likes his dentistry work first rate--how any man can like the profession is more than I can comprehend. The letter you forwarded to me was from Jack, who says he's on the road now for the Barber Asphalt Co., with New England as his territory; will be in Middletown every five weeks on the average, I believe. I was interested in the letter from George Warner, evidently the high prices of the day are as much the rule there as here.
I guess I've had my say, so will bid you good night.
With much love to all,
It surely seemed good to hear that Binky has gotten into real law work. I knew during Christmas vacation that he had this same thing in tow, and had been anxiously awaiting news as to the outcome of the negotiations he was carrying on with Senator Broder.
This week I have been skating most of my spare time; it has been good since Wednesday, and I have taken it in Thursday afternoon, Friday afternoon and evening, and part of yesterday afternoon. It was pretty mild yesterday so that the skating wasn't as good as it had been, the top of the ice being damp or slushy, so that we didn't stay very long. Miss Davis and Miss Valentine, who were with me, and I decided to walk home from the mill pond, a distance of no more than 3 or possibly 4 miles by the regular road. We, however, got on a wood road which led us such a long distance toward the northwest that we finally walked about eight miles before we got home; as they are both pretty stout it was quite a trudge for them; and it tired me all out to have to keep down to their pace. We enjoyed it, however; the walk was for many miles thru a nice woods road; and it was something to tell about.
Today has been gray and stormy, with a mixture of snow, hail, and sleet, and I have been indoors practically all day.
This week we give some mid-year examinations, which I don't believe I look forward to any more than most of the students. I don't mind making out the tests, or even the act of correcting the papers so much, but I don't look forward to finding out how little some of the people may know; perhaps I'll be happily disappointed.
The bag strap broke just as I was doing it up to send home week before last, which is the reason it didn't appear. I was in a hurry and didn't have time to fix it, or put it inside.
I didn't hear the munitions plant explosions down here, nor have I heard of anyone who did. I suppose the place where they occurred was nearer home than here.
Lucinthia's letter was very entertaining, also the sketch. It must have been a merry party. Thank you very much for the candy & apples enclosed with the laundry last week. The receipt arrived promptly, so that the others may be destroyed now.
I almost forgot to mention, or acknowledge, the article from the Courant about the Middletown schools; thank you for sending it.
With much love to you & all,
This last week I have been very busy with preparations of review recitations and examinations, and it has made me stick pretty close to the wheel. As for results, I have thus far only looked over the algebra papers of one division, and they haven't made as good a showing as I might wish for, but from what all the other teachers say, I don't believe the papers I have gotten are disproportionately bad.
We have the most variable weather imaginable here thru the winter, cold, warm, and wet spells in quick succession. Yesterday there was fine skating down at the mill pond, and the day was real cold; and to- day by contrast has been enough to give one spring fever, just as balmy as can be. I took in the skating yesterday afternoon as usual; this must be the sixth or seventh time this winter - more than I've skated up in our colder climes for many years back. This afternoon I have been walking with the Misses Tolbert and Lutz down around the western part of Bargaintown beyond the skating pond. We spent some time reading epitaphs in a church yard cemetery, many of which were quite amusing, or at least seemed rather ridiculous; there was hardly a stone that didn't have its bit of doggerel verse on it, either something chosen from a stereotyped collection of epitaphs, probably retailed by monument cutters, or something original with the family, which of course furnished more of the amusing ones. I had worked up quite a sympathy with one poor woman who
"had left this land of woe;
Physicians were in vain",
and who was depicted as having gone thru considerable suffering, until I saw the same words exactly on another stone the other side of the cemetery - which showed the verse to be a copy from a book of epitaphs, and couldn't but throw a little doubt as to the complete accuracy of the details of the story in each case; however, I suppose the family in both cases thought that fitted the deceased one's experience, and so chose it. The quotation, "charity covereth a multitude of sins," on one good woman's tombstone, made one wonder what the sins were the lady had had to cover - perhaps it was merely designed to depict a woman with a large heart, and the implication of the rest wasn't realized, or perhaps it meant her charity enabled her to overlook other people's shortcomings. A man and his wife buried side by side had inscriptions which fitted strangely, and of course unconsciously together - the man's inscription read that he died on such-and-such a date "leaving a wife with four small children" - the wife's inscription included the Scriptural text "God loveth a cheerful giver." This must sound quite frivolous, and a cemetery no doubt seems a strange place to go for amusement.
I had a call on the telephone from Sam Sewall this morning, and probably shall see him for a short time Thursday, when he expects to be here, just for the latter part of the afternoon, with a fellow by the name of Perratt (he of the coin collection) in the latter's car. Sam has gone back on the Washington's Birthday Washington trip and I am rather disappointed about it; if I can get any other congenial company for the trip, I think I'll make it still, but I don't know whom I could find - I suppose if I went alone I could go about more just as I chose, but am not overfond of my own company exclusively for protracted periods.
I am quite in sympathy with President Wilson's proposal in his speech to the Senate, in so far as they deal with plans for maintaining the future peace of the world and the position of the United States in the hoped for League to Enforce Peace, and believe that it will be looked back at in History as an epoch-making address, provided success crowns the efforts of those who are striving for permanent world peace. The opinion of prominent men in both parties in this country seems to commend very strongly the President's words. I am rather afraid that the expression "peace without victory" may prove unfortunate, and be misunderstood by the Entente countries - and when they feel, as I do, that no peace is possible without complete reparation and restitution by Germany, that the crimes of Germany should not stand unpunished in the records of civilization, there is danger of President Wilson's efforts failing of accomplishment because such a phrase as "peace without victory" might indicate an indifference to the moral issues involved, and consequently disincline them towards acting with him. But I feel that a "peace without victory" in the President's mind means a peace which is not dictated by a foe who has completely crushed his opponent - and in this sense, I agree, and don't see how anyone could help but agree, that it is better that there should be no such overwhelming victory on either side - a victory which would leave rancor and desire for revenge in the defeated peoples until it cropped out again in a renewal of warfare. I am sure most all citizens are with the President and hope for the success of his peace efforts, for if a peace which included reparation and restitution by the aggressor, and guarantees for probable permanent peace, could be secured now, without the loss of thousands, even millions perhaps, more men, which would be entailed by military operations continued until the same identical object were attained, it goes without saying that it is worth trying.
I remember reading a review of the John Hay Biography in the New York Times Book Review a couple of years ago, and thinking at the time that it would probably be quite interesting; for I always enjoy biography anyway - the real achievements of real men interest me more than the imaginary activities of imaginary heroes and heroines.
I was surprised to learn that Church and Eva are going to get married so soon; am sorry I won't be able to see the event take place. It seems hard to think of a table in the Butler household without cream though I am of course quite used to that condition of things in other places.
With much love to you all.
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