Monday, August 18, 2008

1944-02-18 - Janet Neville Letter

This letter has no return address on the envelope. However we can see that Miss Neville is living in "Hawthorne" in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While this could be Hawthorne Lane just east of town, the UFO Team firmly believes "Hawthorne" refers to the name of the building Ms. Neville is living in or the school she is attending (just look at the address on this letter from last year).

The Madeira School, which "Doll" (the write of this letter) attended, has a most interesting history. No other information could be found about the letter writer or the two Bills. The Mask & Wig Club appears to be some sort of satirical theater troupe based in Pennsylvania.



The Madeira School
Greenway, Fairfax County

Dearest Nev-

Oh: what a wreck I am. We have had exams all this week. My hard ones are all over though. Mon. I had English Tues. French yesterday Latin and I still have Geom. To go but that is a snap. If it weren’t for exams this week would be devine [sic]. The food has been super and we have had tea every day. [begin page 2] I am now sitting in the dining room writing (undoubtly) [sic] all of us who don’t have exams have to. Most of them are reading mushy magazines.

Did I tell you that Billy asked me up to the Mask & Wig. I really think it is funny. You know he didn’t write me all the 1st term. Well some time [sic] in the last of January I got this letter from him. I really don’t know what’s comming [sic] off. Of course I couldn’t go because it [begin page 3] was last week end & I had exams to study for. I wrote him back and told him and he said he would send all the things about it, programs so forth. I have heard only once from Larry. I answered it and haven’t heard since. And we just don’t talk about the two Bills. I haven’t heard from Foulke for three weeks and Rich hasn’t written yet. Has he written Diane?

This week end is going to be marvelous we don’t [begin page 4] have any work and this Saturday four of us are going into Washington to celebrate.

That is really all there is for now, write soon and be good.

Lots of love

PS. What Bob are you talking about I don’t know any Bob.


- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Gest of Robin Hood

Since the UFO Team is a bit preoccupied with other commitments, we'll be sharing this little tidbit from Scotland. While our favorite is the Robin Hood (or Robyn Hode) story, the rest are still worth a look.

National Library of Scotland. Retrieved on August 11, 2008 from Brian Ruckley's blog via Gabriele Campbell's blog.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

1944-01-20 - Janet Neville Letter

Ms. Neville received another letter from H. [Henry] Lawrence "Lawry" Smith. This one on some nice letterhead. Most notable in this letter was the amount of words, lines, and sections Lawry crossed out. He either was not sure what he wanted to write or changed his mind after reading it.

Mr. Smith wrote from the Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut. We were unable to determine what the "H.Y.P.Y.E.Y.D." stands for.


January 20, 1944
Dear “Miss Janet Meville” [sic]

I have received your letter and I am what one might call a bit surprised. Some of it was very amusing but other parts of it made my poor little face turn red as a tomato. One thing I want to get straight in that small head, [“such” is crossed out] that is the letter “S.W.A.K”. I was forsed [sic] to write those letters by my roommate. He did not tell me what they ment [sic] till after I had mailed the letter. I felt like killing him but he is to [sic] swell a guy. It doesn’t mean what you said it does. Cut out by sensore [sic] [this is circled with a connecting line to “wasn’t my bad”]. I know you know what it means and so I am very sorry and I hope you will take it as a joke. [“At the moment I” is crossed out] (wasn’t my bad) [this is the part connected to “Cut out by sensore” [sic]]. About keeping my New Years resolution. I know for a fact that I will use no profanity because the other night I had a long talk with the headmaster and he gave me three swats to remember our talk. When [could be “where”] he hit me it still hurts. As for the drinking so far, I have done none. Drinking is an awful thing and if I ever come back to W. C. [presumably West Chester] I will not touch even a drop.

[I guess Dolly was right maybe it was you, never trust a woman or girl [“Listen here, I don’t want some” is crossed out]. What scarf you are going to send me better not be what I think it’s going to be. I think when you were eight years old you made the scarf I think that is not quite fair, as I am the one who has to shell out the one dollar. I didn’t think [“you were” is crossed out and labeled with “forget about this” and “you can’t resist”] I was as dumb [end of page 1] as I look because I not. I think you will have to nit [sic] another one and also send me the two of them, the new one and the one you made six years back.” - This whole section is marked out and labeled with “Forget about this” on the first page “and this” on the second page]

I can’t believe you were on skies you of all people, skiing my land [could be “lord”] I don’t know what you will do next. The hill you went down four times, how long and how steep. I betya [sic] that it wasn’t very long or steep.

You said in the letter you wrote me that it would probably lower your exam marks. List on the last letter I wrote cause [sic] me to fail two exams both for the year and the term. The mark [sic] were bad – and I mean bad [image of a small circle with dots inside] mark. I did pass two of the ones I have taken, English 60% Science 70% I took one of the hardest exams I have ever taken. Biology I spent three hour [sic] writing a whole lot of -----, begins with a “B.”

[“I would love to see you” is crossed out] I would love to see you trying to do some of the things which they do in the ice follies I doubt very much if you could learn them this year. But if you really try to think you might be able to learn some of them, one

I went to Hartford yesterday after noon Jan 19, and saw the doctor. He look [sic] at my knee for a few minutes then said “come back in ten days. You probably will be on crutches another five or six weeks.” I hope you don’t think it is funny because I think it awful or Hell. [end of page 2]

Gee it was fun in Hartford had a good meal of six hamburgs [sic] and a 5 cent coc [sic]. I had a cig-arette and boy was it [“good” is crossed out] swell. I saw a girl in a five and dime store which I could of sworn was you but one or two things were different.

In your letter you have “congrat-ulate your brother for me the next time you see home.” Which brother and what is there [“it has” is crossed out] he has done to be congratulated for. [“I well well” is crossed out].

[“The family talk [sic] to one of my brothers I” is crossed out] wrong person

Tanks [sic] for da [sic] address of Dolly’s it soon will come in handy – HaHaHa.

Say hello to Diane for me when you call her. Ask her if she would not like three pairs of Brine athletic socks and would you like some too. I might be able to get six pairs so I might give you both some.

By the looks out I would say we would have some snow by nightfall that would be swell.

I hope you don’t fail any of your exams I doubt if you will.

So long.

Mr. Henry Lawrence Smith

P.S. What dose [sic] or where is “Hawthorne?”?
[signed] Lawry Smith

I can’t believe you made a boy go home crying. Either he was plenty small or you were to [sic] close. I would of thought your little brother would of beaten you tell him I am ashamed.


- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

Friday, August 1, 2008

1944-01-06 - Janet Neville Postcard

We step forward into the year 1944 with a postcard from Lawry Smith of the Westminster School, Simsbury, Connecticut.

Could we be starting the new year with love?

No information could be found on Lawry Smith in Connecticut or Pennsylvania.

Dear Janet
Guess what; I got back to school safely but I started to go to study hall and I slipped and gave my kneee [sic] an awful hit and I am now hobling [sic] around on crutchs [sic] I wick remember little girl that the 1/25/44 I must have that scarpf [sic] or $1.00
Ask Dolly to write me course I to find something about a girl I am in l--- with
So Long
Lawry Smith


- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.