Between my dad and his older brother Newton there was a gap of six years. Dad wrote this letter in 1937 when he was twenty-three and needed some advice from someone older and wiser, with more life experience.
Dec. 5, 1937
Dear Newton –
I was informed that you wished I’d write once in a while. I know for myself that I should but as usual am not prompt at anything.
I was informed also some time ago that Carl Gingrich is figuring on buying lot 8 and I’m keeping clear of it.
While cutting wood we came upon a nice little patch of birch. What would you charge a cord for it. It isn’t a very big strip, maybe twenty cords. There has been several asking me if you would sell poplar by the acre and of course I didn’t know.
I suppose you heard my old flame Alaine got the knot tied. It makes me feel old all these kids getting married.
I am sort of contemplating the subject but it sort of frightens me. What if I get the wrong woman or something? Of course there have been several applicants but the job has not yet been let. I’d like to get the advice of someone who has tried it. There has been a lot of people heard I was getting married. In fact one man wanted to make a deal with me to take over his farm in the spring.
It’s great weather for cutting wood now if it only lasts another couple of weeks we will have a nice little pile put up.
I suppose you have lots of snow up there. Do you ever go over to visit Santa Claus? I’ll bet he’s busy right now. How’s Marie? or I mean Mrs. McArthur because I shouldn’t get so familiar with one I haven’t even met. Anyway, give her a kiss for me, unless it keeps you busy doing yourself justice.
Well I don’t know what else to say so I guess I’d better get ready and go to McConkey’s. Write soon with information.
The letter was sent to Northern Ontario where Newton was newly married and teaching school. McConkey’s refers to his oldest sister May and her husband for whom my dad was working at the time.
Perhaps on one of their family visits during the summer to our farm Aunt Marie or Uncle Newton brought this letter back to my dad. It was mom who kept it in amongst her precious papers all those years. I wonder what advice Newton gave my dad so long ago? It was five years after writing it that he finally decided he was making the right choice and married my mother.
All his life my dad respected and admired and loved his siblings. They were spread out all over the province, but it never stopped them from being close.
These little snippets of history, showing us who they were, help to keep the memories alive.