Saturday, September 28, 2013

"She will do this herself."

J. S. Hogg tried to keep in touch with his younger sons. He sent a short letter to Tom: Write to me the news if you have time. Tell about the country, the people, the pleasures you have, the lessons you take, the reading you do, and how Ima and Mike pass the time. Give me an old-time gossipy letter. And tell me (in confidence if you please) if you have a sweetheart now and how you are getting along with her. And how about Mike’s? Is he in love with the widow yet? And do not tell about Ima’s. She will do this herself.         
         As for Ima’s romantic attachments in the summer of 1904 (and how much she told her father about them), there were at least two young men who wrote ardent letters to her: Harry Taylor, whom she had probably met at the Holyoke house party mentioned earlier, wrote to her after the party, but evidently she did not write to him. He ended a letter with, the lady doesn’t seem to overmuch care
         to write to her
Sincere friend, Harry K. Taylor

         At the end of the summer he wrote again: If you go back to Austin & I never see you again . . . it will be horrid. Do you care?

Apparently she did not.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Poor Will!

Ima did not write much to Will that summer. In late June he wrote to his father that he had had “one postal card from sister and not a line from the boys.” Poor Will: while Ima and his brothers amused themselves at a New England resort and his father played at being a farmer at Varner, Will was in Austin, living in a rented room above the First National Bank and laboring dutifully at the law firm of Hogg, Robertson & Hogg, two blocks away.
         He worried about his father's health in the summer heat at Varner: "Aside from drinking the artesian water, if you will not let the mosquitoes bite you, and if you will not eat quite so much as customary, I am sure you are as safe there as anywhere. But you must watch out for the mosquitoes; there is but one opinion concerning them as vehicles of malarial infection."
         Will tried to look after his sister, too. He wrote to his father, “I expect sister wants a little more of a stir socially, so I wrote her to inquire for rates where Miss Day [her New York friend] is going and if the charge is not above her limit for board and lodging, she might take the boys up there later in the season. You received the only letter I have had from her. She had a nice time at the Holyoke house party . . . . Writing her yesterday I enclosed some question blanks for her and the boys to fill out for your and my information and I asked her to send some kodak views of the boys so that I might take them with me to you.”
(Alas, the questions and the answers, along with the “kodak views” have not been discovered.)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

"A red hot iron . . . ."

A few days after Ima arrived in South Egremont, her knee pained her so much that, without telling her father, she traveled to New York for treatment. Independent as always, she went alone. Tom wrote to their father that “Mike asked her to let him go with her and she said no.” 
         Ima finally wrote to her father from New York on July 5 about her recurrence of knee trouble. “I have used myself too hard of late,” she said matter-of-factly, making light of what must have been a painful episode. She was undergoing treatments by a Dr. Gibney, which consisted of applying a “red hot iron—on my knee and spinal column . . . . I may have a light brace.” She was staying with her New York friend, Lydia Day, at 18 East 40th Street. The doctor ordered Ima to walk as much as she could.
On July 9, the day before her twenty-second birthday, Ima wrote ruefully to her father that she had spent her last birthday “in bed” on account of her knee and a year later was “having the same old knee treated.” But she consoled herself by asking for a birthday present: on one of her walks she had seen a “magnificent necklace” of gold and opals for eighty dollars in an antique shop. Her father promptly sent her a check for eighty dollars (that would be over $2000.00 today).
On July 10, her birthday, she sent him a telegram: “All right walked two miles yesterday love to all.”
     Presumably she bought the necklace.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

"My knee hurt me--"

Ima arrived in South Egremont on June 24, 1904, and reported to her father:

Dearest Papa:
Only one letter from you, and none from brother. We are almost penniless, too. Mike and Tom have been here nearly two weeks, so their board ought to be paid right off.
South Egremont is beautiful—but since the truth must be told—unexpectedly inconvenient. For instance my knee hurt me—there was but one way of getting to Barrington to find out about X-ray—except in a stable buggy. We are four miles you see. Mike and Tom are very much pleased, notably Thomas, who has an automobile friend, and all the luxuries of life. I am writing you all this in case you may see what I am driving at: Napoleon. What do you think of sending him up?—providing the expense isn’t too great. He can be put in the stable on the place. Tom says he & Mike will take care of him. . . .
The kids and all of us send love with many kisses which I hope may blow you a gentle cooling breeze for I know you must be melting—Why not come up? Oh! Please do! And write soon to
Your loving daughter
But J. S. Hogg did not “come up,” and neither did Napoleon.