Tuesday, September 16, 2008

1944-02-20 - Janet Neville Letter

This envelope and letter have been abused by time. The envelope shows signs of the normal wear and tear of age but also some rough handling by the recipient, Miss Neville. The sender, Mr. Smith again, was writing from Westminster School.

Again, we know little about Miss Neville and Mr. Smith beyond what we've already learned. Items of interest in the letter include Mr. Smith's knee healing (but still sore); Scarlet Fever hits Westminster School (resulting in quarantines); and Mr. Smith's eldest brother getting married a month before.


H. Lawrence Smith
Westminster School
Simsbury, Connecticut
Febuary [sic] 20, 1944

Dear Janet

I received your letter the other day and to tell you the truth I was a bit surprised. It was a very nice one too and I liked it a great deal. I also like the smell of it because it brings back memorys [sic] of the fun I once had.

You said something about Dinie “pining over Bill Rich” are you sure that doesn’t mean panting. I gather from the first of the letter she is [in] love with him. Bill is a very good mate for her, just her type a little bit co-co [sic] or nuts in the head.

My knee is almost healed and it feels swell. I can do a great deal more than I have done during the past month. I need no cane to get around with any more and I sure am glad. The only thing I miss is going to Hartford and having a cigarette [the word “butt” is crossed out here] and a good meal. You say you hurt yourself going down that little mole hill in front of your house, my gosh if you can’t stand up on such a simple hill as that I would try and do something which I could do more easily. But if you insist oppone [sic] skiing, a wonderful sport, remember to keep one ski a bit in front of the other and flex (bend) you [sic] knees up and down and you [sic] find better results.

Dinie isn’t much of a two timer, who is this Courtney, he sounds like a jerk. Have I ever seen him before, dose [sic] he know brother Sam, if so I guess he will pass. But just in case you would like to know there is nothing [begin page two] between Dinie and me and never was thank god [sic] but I am going to write her and find out if I can find any time in which to write another letter after this.

Won’t you please tell me [unknown word] [unknown word] wrote that letter for crying-out-loud. I really am curious I know I isn’t Dinie’s handwriting and it looks a little like your handwriting but I am not sure I think you would give credit to someone elce [sic] but that’s besides the point.

For your information the picture you had printed for me was me last winter. The person who took it was a very handsome boy 16 and is a very good photograph. It was too bad he didn’t get my head in, I had an awful expression on my face.

If you would really like to know how I can write such a long letter I will tell you. It is much easier to write a long letter at a boarding school because you can write it in stages as I do. I started this letter Thursday night in evening hall and will most likely finish it on Saturday night or sooner. It all depends how I feel when I write somebody. When I write a girl I must get in the right mood, but once I get started I usually can keep on going for a long time as you have experienced. If I think of something I just write it down. I can remember when I had to write over two hundred words in a letter when I wrote the family, gee that was hard, it is just second nature to me now. I invaribly [sic]will write five or six hundred words I never have written over an eight page letter to anybody latly [sic] but I am soon going to try and beat it.

I suppose you saw that valentine [sic] [begin page three] that Dinie sent me. It sure was a funny one especially what she wrote on it. Ha! Ha! I can’t see where she gets such foolish ideas. The only thing is some day she may be right. I hope. At the end of your letter you said not [to] believe a word she wrote, well [to] tell you the truth may-be your [sic] right, on the other hand you may not be.

How do you like the new point of my pin [sic]. I always have wanted a small point, the only thing about this point is that it scratches. It’s an old pen I took from my brother’s desk. (I didn’t like it).

We have one case of scarlet fever here at school. Everybody is on quarintine [sic], except for the ones who have had it, or are immune to the disease. The infirmy [sic] is trying to get some surong [sic] so we can take the Dick Test and find who is imuned [sic] and who isn’t. I have had it so I [am] not worried. If we get one more case we will have to call of [sic] the play and the dance week-end, that would be bad. I hope it won’t stop us from having our spring vacation, I am pretty sure it won’t.

Well I have run out of word [sic] and it [sic] about time I wrote my oldest brother and congratulate him on his marriage. He’s been married a month and I haven’t written him yet, oh dear.

Say help to Dinie when you see her and tell her not to do anything I [begin page four] wouldn’t do.

Please! Write! Me! [image of several exclamation points of various sizes]


P.S. How much do I owe you count in that picture.

$1.00 scarf [sic]
.65 money I aqumulated [sic] from you

I will send you the money in my next letter, that is if you will write me back sooner than you just did.

I hope you will write me soon.


[image of various shapes and lines]


- 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.

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