Monday, March 28, 2011

Letter 84: Chester is the fine feller, now.

Margaret and Marion, likely in 1912 as Marion is very thin from the stress of living with domineering Mrs. Ellis, and the letters reveal she lost a lot of weight that year.


3 Tower Ave

May 9 1912

Dear Mother.

Here is a scratch at last from Mary. Suppose Edith has told you most of the news. Flo was in for the last week end and we had a fine time. Went to the theatre in the afternoon and in the evening we all went up to Dr. Cleveland's. Flora is looking well but not quite so fat as she was. We got her a hat which I think was very becoming; then we also got her a pair of tan boots. She has been wanting a pair for so long. …

Friday... I started this in school and am only now finding time to finish it. Last Sunday May (cousin May Watters, a new teacher in the city) and I went down to Taylor Church and saw the new minister. He is quite nice but, as the old lady said, no nicer than he thinks he is. He made us promise to go down to a reception the church people were having for him last night so we went and he introduced us to his wife and one of his daughters, the only one here yet and we are again to be entertained by him on Monday. So you see we are in good hands. I have seen Mrs. Skinner quite often since she has been in.

Tonight I am going up to Dr. C's to stay with Mrs. C until the Dr gets home from Boston. It is quite funny to hear him, he says that neither Edith nor I should promise ourselves to anyone until we have seen Chester. Of course, we are both in such great demand that we have to be spoken for ahead. I asked him if Chester had nothing to say about it himself. Chester is the fine feller now.

Mrs. E (Mrs. Ellis, rooming house matron) is down on me again and for what I don't know so you may be sure I will be glad to leave; indeed June can not get here too soon. Romeo (beau Hugh Blair) is still to the front and takes me out of number 3 or I should look for another boarding house.

My very bad school children have gone home early and I am glad you may be sure. I had a letter from Father yesterday telling me he had been moved West and they were giving him his old salary and perhaps more. I am so glad for he will feel more contented. How are grandmother and Florence?

I hear Christina is also ill and that you were going out there. Don't you go doing too much or you will be ill yourself.

Now I think I will end this and go home and pack my satchel for 7 Lorne Avenue. I don't think you need expect me home the 24th. But you will have Edith, so will not need this black sheep.
Lovingly Marion

Chester was Chester Coy, "a great Yankee" and son of Marion and Nathan Coy of Framingham Massachusetts. Marion is somehow related to Dr. Cleveland. Marion and Edith are soon to visit the Boston area, where some of the Watters clan lives. They will stay at the home of first cousin Henry Watters, Norman's nephew. Mrs. Coy frets in a 1910 letter than Chester doesn't want to marry. And as she has no daughter, herself, only one who died young, she could use some help around the house. She envies Margaret and her three grown daughters.

Like Chester, Henry Watters is unmarried. His sister keeps house for him and he never marries, either, despite being very successful.

Well, neither Edith nor Marion is interested Chester and that appears a good thing to0. He goes mad in 1920. His illness is mentioned in many letters, and in a 1923 letter Nathan writes Margaret to advise her of Mrs. Coy's death and he remarks that all he has left is an insane son (and he underlines 'insane') who does not even understand what he has lost. I suspect Chester lost his sanity at the Front in WWI, although I have no proof.

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