Rummaging through a bin at a Pasadena postcard show in
1996, I found an envelope postmarked in Hartford, Conn. in 1917. Inside were
Envelope postmarked March 17, 1917 in Hartford, Conn. Addressed to: Mr. Calvin W. Gamble, 43 Yale Station, New Haven Conn. The letter reads:
Hartford, Conn. Mar. 14
My dear Mr. Gamble:
A very dear girl friend of mine was over last evening to see me. I was showing her the things in my "Hope Chest" and she thought they were beautiful. She said she would like to be in my place - that is, engaged to be married.
Now, then - this girl is 19 years old and is a sweet little thing. She said she would like to marry a man about your age (23 I believe n'est ce pas?) She is about 5 feet 2 inches tall but just adores tall men. She thinks 5 feet 10 inches is the ideal height of a man. You two would look very well together. She weighs about 105 lbs and is small you see. The man she marries must weigh between 170 and 180 pounds - heavy enough to lean against if she feels faint - so she says. I regret that I cannot enlighten you with her name in this letter, but if you would care to correspond with her I will introduce you by mail as soon as I hear from you.
Maintenant she knows nothing of this, but was merely confiding in me -the
way girls do you know. I thought of you first - you would be my choice for
her. She loves horses and boating, also swimming, and can converse on telegraphy,
wireless, etc. Please write soon - she is lovely and adores "Yale Boys."
The second letter in the envelope bore an embossed blue shield with the words "LUX ET VERITAS" above and below a book with Hebrew letters (a version of the Yale coat of arms). The letter reads:
My dear Miss Silvan
most interesting letter of March 14 was received this evening.
Do you know, I believe there must be something in mental telepathy for it was only last Sunday evening that I was discussing with a friend of mine what my ideal of a wife is, and from what you write of your girl friend she is exactly what I believe to be the most wonderful creature in the world - the woman I have dreamt about for the past few years.
Little did I believe or even imagine that my heart's desires would be realized so soon. Of course, there is the possibility that your friend and I are not meant for each other, but from what you say of her, provided if she is musical, I am sure that she is the girl I want as a wife: then too, she might object very strenuously to me but I do think that she ought to have the kindness to allow me to endeavor to win her heart.
Looking forward to a very early reply from you, I am
Your most thankful servant,
Calvin W. Gamble
93 Yale Str.
New Haven Ct.
Mar. 17, 1917.
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