Sunday, October 6, 2013

Oct. 6, 1936

1075 12 St
Boulder, Colo
Oct. 6, 1936

Dear Fay--

Time flies as the old saying goes.  It seems to be flying at times, but just now it seems to be crawling for a change.  Since I left home I have noticed a slowing of pace on the part of Father Time.  I hope that you are not old and grey as yet, however.  But if you don't hurry and send me a letter you may forget how to write one.

I hope that you have got all settled down and are progressing happily by now.   How is school and what do you take in the way of studies?  And how does the observing go in the french class at high school?  Have any of the boys got fresh with you yet?  I'll bet that your severe pedagogical air does not intimidate them a great deal.

I am left wondering somewhat as to the reason for the prevalent dearth of correspondence on your part.  Did you receive the letter I sent you, or did you not?  If you did, why not answer?  If any of jolly levitations and well-meant advice were offensive I would like to know about it.  Perhaps you did not get it to the sorority house.  In any case, I am sorry.  My joyful expectation before the mailman arrives and pathetic crestfallen air when he leaves no letter from you is making everyone here feel sorry for me.

Presuming that you did not get the first (and second, since there were really two letters in one envelope) letter I will tell you all that has happened in short, terse style.  I came, I saw, I was conquered.

I stopped off in Laramie for a day and got my overcoat and saw Dr. Bruce.  He offered me a job as laboratory assistant which I hated to turn down.  I told him about Frandson and both he and Dr. Muenzinger here are in favor of inviting him to the meeting here on Thanksgiving.  We have a meeting for a scientific society at that time.  I saw Mr. Morris, my old philosophy prof there, too, and he asked me to read a book that he got into print last year and to give him the benefit of my lay criticism.   He got the impression in one quarter of Logic that I was smart, and I may have been at that time, but that was in the past.

I got here and found registration proceeding merrily along.  Rooms were as plentiful as the proverbial masticating mechanism of that class of warm-blooded vertebrates having the body more or less covered with feathers (more commonly known as the class aves, or still more vulgarly as birds).  I mean that rooms were scarce as the teeth of the domesticated species of fowl known as the chicken.  Or do you get what I mean, anyhow?  Regardless of all such difficulties I got a room and registered for several classes.  The room is fair enough, the best part about it being its proximity to campus.  The classes were a series of mistakes for the most part.  I have been to every one of them at least once and I don't think that the profs really appreciate my worth.

The classes are in advanced general psych, advanced comparative psych, psych journal club, statistics, and zoology.  Two of them, stat and advanced comparative, are advanced pains in the neck or what-have-you.  I like advanced psych and journal club, but as luck would have it I am only sitting in on those courses.  In zoology my attitude must be all wrong.  I refuse to be inspired by the prospect of dissecting a defunct hare commonly known as the rabbit.  I know all about the stomach and intestine and can hardly wait to learn about the liver and thyroid and kidney!

The rats are still too juvenile to run and I have little to do.  The prof wants me to start a new problem and I guess that I will.  Today I started one of the other grads to learning how to handle rats and the apparatus but that entails little work for me.  The prof has some other schemes up his sleeve and I am going to ask him to let me get them in some shape for some one to work on.  That will keep me out of mischief.  I am in charge of the lab and have to keep everything working.  Today I found that part of it is not working just now and I have that to fix if possible.

Did  our lawn ever come up?  I have been wondering about that.  And how is the Barrett's house coming along?  And how did the pictures come out?  You had better send me a good one (preferably several) of you.

You were bad medicine for me, I guess, since I can not seem to get settled down for the evenings anymore.  I surely do miss you about this time of day in particular.  And speaking bad medicine, and feeling that you might possibly consider me in that light, I have just the fellow found for you.  I am sure that he would neither compromise you nor even try to.  In fact, the girls in the psych department tell me that he is the perfect gentleman.  I guess they don't like gentlemen because they pal around with me.  I was perturbed to find that they did not consider me as the perfect gentleman.  It seems that my not being one allows them to speak to me of many things--of shoes, and ships, and sealing-wax, and whether pigs have wings.  I am almost embarrassed at times.  But that is aside from the point.  This fellow agrees with everything that you tried to tell me.  The only difference is that I have argued him out of it now and he is normal enough, I find, underneath it all.  He remains firm in his convictions even though he agrees with me as to the psychology of the thing.  We also have discussed religion to its fullest and arrived at some agreement.  We all make fun of him, but we respect him, nevertheless.  I vetoed a suggestion that we sick some fast sorority girl on him and see what happens--from a purely psychological point of view.  I would have liked to know, too, but.....

I hope, however, that you are not hunting around to take the place of the unspeakable Richards.  Of course, I am a long ways away and could not help myself if you are, but I can at least hope from this distance.  If you had received my other letter you might be able to figure out that I really care enough about you to be concerned about your welfare.  I still am and I hope that you let me know how you are getting along.  You can confide in me like a brother.  I'll charge no fee for any psychological advice, either.  Lots of people have found that out, but, I am sorry to say, they have also found out that I tell them my honest opinion and they don't always come back for more.  They find it to be like listening at a key-hole--they don't always here good of themselves.  But I would only tell you your good points, although they say that we always find the most fault with those we love best and with the things that we found most desireable as they are.  Any time that you want to know your best points just send a stamped self-addressed envelope.

So far I have done everything but study and I am afraid that I'll have to try that pretty soon.  I am as restless as a dog with flees.  I have been on a hike, been fishing, drove away up into the mountains, been to a dance, and spent the rest of the time either looking for someone to talk to or talking to them after I found them.  The weather here is swell just now and I would rather be out of doors than inside studying.

You know that you lost a bet when the Aggies only tied their game last Saturday.  They are going to get beat outright this weekend, I think.  I'll bet your wristwatch against your sorority pin to that effect.  I wish that you could be up here to see it happen.  I'd show you a bit of the country, too.

Well, I hope that you still love me.  Sometimes I wonder that even my mother does.  Still, all the dogs, cats, and rats do, even if you don't.  Sometimes I think that the sad love affair of Dante and Beatrice has nothing on mine.  The analogy stops short when I remember that Beatrice was an angel and that Dante got to heaven eventually.  I hope that you are not an angel as yet, and I have great doubts, not only as to the existence of heaven, but as to any chance I would have to getting there if it does exist.  I am reading up on Buddhism now and will be able to tell you all about perfect self-realization pretty soon.  That is not far from my belief, after all.  The best that we can do is lead a complete life.  So far mine is not complete, but you are going to fix that sooner or later, are you not?  Or do you remember when the moon got in my eyes?  Or was it just the moon?

You may not know it, but this is a lot better letter than the last one, anyhow.  It verged on being sentimental.  I hate to get that way, at least from such a distance as this.  You told me a couple of times that you did not care for some of my letters.  If this does not suit you just give me an idea of the style you prefer.  I am master of many forms of expression.  Just don't request any poetry.  I am no Robert Browning.

All kidding aside, last summer and you meant a lot to me and I hope that it does not have to stop with that.  Of course that depends on you.  If it was a transitory affair, let me know.  If not merely a summer gap-filler it will still lose its savor merely thru the action of time.  Everything, as Schopenhauer said, lingers for but a moment, and hastens on to death.  We can make the moment long or short as you will--the fire grows or goes out according as it is tended.  Like everything else that is worth-while it requires not only consideration but action.  All that comes to him who waits is a long grey beard.  Action takes many forms and I hope that yours materializes in a letter.

con todo mi amor


March 4, 1936

Laramie, Wyo.
March 4, 1936

Dear Fay--

I am dropping you these few lines to wish you a quick and easy recovery from your operation.  I hope that I am already too late in saying this and that you are well again by now.  I thought that you were looking fine when I saw you, anyhow.  Leaving town a little ahead of the time I had figured on, I didn't get the chance to see you again.

Ogden surely looked swell to me while I was there.  I'm even thinking of moving back there again this summer.  The only thing wrong up here is the weather--and it is always wrong.  And unless the University gives me that job I'm trying to land there will be few ties between Laramie and me after this quarter, for at last I am about to graduate.  Graduation is supposed to be the high spot in a person's life, but I do not see that it means so much to me.  Maybe I am leaving a year too soon--the U. has a new building that I would like to use, and the Mormons have built a new building here with the best dance floor in town as a feature.

Aside from all of this we eat, sleep, study, work, and drink beer.  Are you doing any better than that?  I suppose that you drink orange juice.

Well, having received my little message of joy and good wishes in the first paragraph, you need not worry much about the rest of this epistle.  It's all ad lib, anyhow.  I would have spared you all of this reading except that it concerns me deeply to find any of my old pals sick, dying, or married.  Probably the latter is the worst ailment.  Let me know when you catch someone--I beg your pardon, I meant, when you catch that serious ailment.

All joking aside, I hope you recover without any trouble.

You may buy orchids, candy, or whatever you wish with the enclosed check.

Well, be good

Love & kisses

L. R.

P.S.--I couldn't find my checkbook.  Sorry--

Feb. 12, 1937

Feb. 12, 1936 (7)

Dear Fay--

These are just a few lines to ask if you will be my valentine this year.  Please do not take the enclosed bit of psycho-analysis too seriously.

I hope that you are getting along alright in school, polishing apples and so on, and that you are perfectly happy (aside from the fact that you are pining to see me, of course).  How's the weather?  We have spring here just now--if I catch the spring fever again it will make about the fourth time since September.  Just now, however, I am perfectly happy just studying.  There are so many things going on around here now that I don't dare let up or all will be lost.

Well, keep your nose--powdered.  In case you are in doubt, I am just as usualy--not improved, but no worse than ordinary.

auf wiedersehen meine Schatz


Sept. 29, 1935

Sept. 29, 1935
Laramie, Wyoming

Dear Fay:

I hope that you don't tear this up before you read farther, because I have something I want to say to you--possibly, it is something you would care to hear.

A while back I promised myself that I would never bother you again. But that sort of a promise is, and should be, easy to break.  It is probably needless to tell you that my feelings or pride or something was hurt because you had not answered my last couple of letters.  For that reason, I resolved that you would have to do the peace making.

It wasn't until yesterday that I began to see that my attitude was rather silly and childlike.  I don't know what attitude you are going to assume toward the matter, though I can guess.  Suffice it to say that the other day as I was looking at your picture on my desk I suddenly realized that I had lost your friendship thru nobody's fault but my own.  So in order to square myself, not only with you but with my own conscience, I am writing this to tell you that I am sorry for my past performance and to ask--at the cost of what may be only false pride but is certainly an acute one---that you forgive them.  I have done very few things of which I have been more ashamed than of the way I have acted toward you.  A famous Greek philosopher once said that qualms of conscience were a sign of virtue, I hope you see the matter so.

I have never before written such a letter as this, nor, for that matter, have I ever spoken such sentiments.  But I am somewhat changed lately.  Circumstances of late have shown me that I am not as perfect as I had been thinking.  I have begun to examine my own actions and attitudes and I find that I have a good many scores against me.  And, although I am still not a sissy, I have for the last three months stopped drinking, carousing around, etc., and I am now a churchman.  And I am having more fun than ever.  I will likely get to heaven yet!

I don't care what you do with this; print it, show it to your friends, or frame it and hang it on the wall, suit yourself.  I will be glad anyhow that I sent it.  You have always meant, and still mean more to me than any other girl I have ever known, so this is the least I can do.

As ever--
Lee R.
>---> 611 Custer Ave., Laramie

Sunday, September 15, 2013

July 3, 1935

171 No. 6 St.
Laramie, Wyo.
July 3, 1935
Dear Fay --
Far be it from me to begin a letter with an apology, but I hope we are not mad at each other.  If we are, write and tell me at once.  If we aren't ---- ?
Well, I hope that you are beautiful as ever and twice as popular -- even as I am.  I was hoping to see you again this summer, but I don't know if the gods have so ordained it.  I saw a girl playing tennis here today who looked very much like you.  Would you have believed it possible?  Still, beauty is universal.  Are you still with me?  That's  you I am talking about.  I was all ready to compare you to an orchid a second ago, but I forgot how I was going to lead up to it.  It just goes to show that my great-grandfather Murphy kissed the Blarney Stone, anyhow.
I am not sure when our correspondence first entered this slump, so I'll just have to tell you how good I am now, and leave out the cute things I have said and done in between now and then.  I could rave on further about your own maddening charms, but I know my own better and I am counting on you to toot your own horn.  In simpler language, write and tell me about yourself, your likes, your boy friends (or husbands), your family --tell me all !?!
To get on with the tale of my own promising (!) career: -- I finished the school year in a whirl of smoke.  My average for last quarter was 2.3, and for the year, 2.28.  That wasn't bad for me. Last quarter I cut about 2/3 of my classes and was still a long way above average.  What a smart boy!  The Dean of the Law School wants me to take law.  I don't know how he found out that I could keep my grades up and still cut classes to drink beer.  That is a requisite for a law student.  But I have decided not to become a lawyer -- couldn't use the extra income a lawyer receives.
Since school let out I have become a working-man.  I worked for a week on the ranch of a Prof here.  The ranch was in the Snowy Range at the altitude of 8500 feet.  We didn't dare cough up there for fear we wouldn't be able to catch another breath of air in time to keep from choking to death.  My pall and I and a cowboy set fence for a week there.  We worked so industriously that the boss gave us a bonus when we quit.  Ranch wages, however, are only $1 a day and board and room.  We needed the bonus!  The ranch was truly a beautiful place and the week was almost like an outing.
Since I returned from there I have been working on a new building going up on the campus.  I have a pretty good job on it which pays me quite well, and I am living well now for my little income and intend to save some, buy new clothes, and come home and buy you an ice cream cone (or the season may then require chili) with the rest.  The job itself will put me thru about half the next year at school, I believe.
You couldn't imagine a duller place to spend the fourth of July.  However, I am going to spend it here.  I am afflicted with no monia just now, and can't do otherwise.  I wanted to come, but I couldn't because I have to work Fri. and Sat. and can't afford to lose either the job or the hours of work.  We are batching at the address I gave you above.  Three of us are renting the whole five-room house (a good place in which to throw parties).  It is a very nice placer -- almost like home.
Hoping you deem this little attempt worthy of an answer---
I remain -- one among many -- your urgent (or do I mean ardent?) suitor
Lee R

February 12, 1935

Laramie, Wyoming
Feb. 12
Dear Fay:
The long-awaited (?) epistle has arrived!  Prompted by custom, I am also calling it a Valentine.  I hope that you see the point.  [Heart with arrow drawn]  I guess it would be better if I wrote some poetry for the occasion, so--
          Roses are ___________. (fill in your own color)
          Violets are blue, violet, purple.  (underline correct form)
          Sugar is Sweet
          And so are You !
That was so easy (and original) that I am tempted to try some more.  But I'll put it off to another day.  It reminds one of Goethe, Wordsworth, Milton, Shakespeare and some of the others tho, doesn't it?  The sentiment is good, too.
Well, I trust that you are in the best of health and so on.  Do you have the spring fever yet?  We all have it up here.  -- I am very sorry that you couldn't stay longer when I came to call, but you will forgive that, I am sure.  I have about a five day vacation at the end of the quarter.  I'll call you up as soon as I get in town (usually shortly after mid-night and make an appointment.  You know, -- for old times sake.
Say, in case you have read this far, I'd like you to do me a favor.  --It's this way, I am too lazy to write home (except for money), but I have some mid-quarter grades that they would like to hear about.  I figure it would save my time, money, and energy for you to waste enough time to call them up on the phone and tell them that for mid-quarter I received a 3 in German and a 1 in Ethics (philosophy).  That's a sweet girls!
I don't know the rest of my grades yet, but they have dropped from what they were last quarter because of my swimming and band work taking up so much time.  The 1 in Ethics came as a big surprise.
Everything up here is just as usual (including me and the weather).  You would probably recognize me if you met me on the street -- a bit thinner, perhaps, from worrying over studies and my Ogden loves.
How is Bill's love-affair coming along?  I hope they don't wear out the telephone before summer.
Well, when you are not sure of something, write me.  (That should be soon enough!)
Love and Kisses

November 10, 1934

Dear Fay:

I was glad to hear from you. It was very much the same as receiving a letter from the dead.  As a matter of fact, I was about to write and see if I could find anything about your disappearance.  I read thru all of the daily papers to find whether you had been kidnapped.  --And then, as an anticlimax, came your letter.  I was so relieved to find that you were safe and sound that I forgot to write the letter.  --Sad (!?), isn't it.

If you will forgive the beginning, I will begin again.  "I guess I mean, try again).  In other words, how are you, is your dad making money, is the weather OK., are you going to enough dances to suit you, and are you enjoying your college education in spite of the studies?  I, too, am quite well, thank you.  I passed all of my mid-term exams, and passed up four or five good chances to get drunk.  I am living the life of a hermit except when I go to dances or to the library to see the girls walk down the aisles.

This batching is alright except that I have to make the bed and wipe the dishes and do a few other small jobs.  We eat pretty fair except when we are not eating out.  We don't eat out at all.  So you see that if you felt like sending us a box of candy or something, --that would be humanitarianism.  If you don't recognize the big word (or some of the others) send the candy anyhow.

I guess it's time for me to start bragging.  I made an I (same as an A) for my mid-term grade in Logic (a Philosophy course).  It was the only I given in the class, too.  Am I good, or am I good!?  I had better than a II average for all my grades at mid-quarter.  I am thinking of taking a philosophy minor.  I already have two minors.

If you were here tonight, we would go to the university dance.  But, as it is, I guess neither f us will go.  I am too lazy to go, and you are not here.  I'll sit at home with my feet in the oven and dream.  "All I do is dream of you the whole day through"  Get the idea?  I'm anxious to know.  Write soon and tell me.

Well, hoping that you are either good or careful.  I am.

Yours till infinity

Lee Richards