Tuesday, January 10, 2012

August 23rd, 1897

From: Helen A. Reardon, South Natick, Mass.
To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, Ireland

My dear Frank,

I do not wonder that we think we have forgotten you. The summer is usually supposed to be the time when we have plenty of leisure, but the truth is that we have been more occupied than usual this year. We spent nearly two weeks under "The Queen": They eighth of July, Mrs. Hinckley and Miss Bailey and I went to Montreal and Quebec. We had a most delightful time, especially in the latter place. It has a real old world appearance with its walls and forts. We arrived there on the day that the delegation of soliders returned from the queen's jubilee. We received your stamps and are very thankful for them. We have been waiting to hunt up some for you. I found three unused Columbias which are valuable. I wish I could send another 4 cent for your friend, but haven't one. You can give him one of the one cent ones which will be worth considerable after years. Be sure to keep your stamps every one and do not be tempted to sell them. We will divide with you when we can. I suppose you know how to clean the paper from the back of the used ones. You take a cup of warm water and float the stamp on it right side up for a few minutes and the old paper will peel off. Don't let them become soiled for anything. The stamped envelopes should be cut square as I have cut them. Don't cut them round. Whenever we get any new ones, we will try to send you two as often as possible. Have you any Cuba stamps? If not, I will send some.

John Griffin left here in May and about the first of July he went into the real estate business in Boston. There has been a good many changes in help lately, especially in the stable. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey started today for Baltimore on a trip by steamer all the way. They will be gone a week. Mr. Waite is still in N. Hampshire but I think he will board here this winter. You do not say anything about Annie. Of course she is well. I wish she would write just a little letter in yours. I should be so delighted to hear from her. I know you will be too sensible to ever touch beer or liquors of any kind. You have a chance to see in Ireland as well as hear just what ruin it works. The only safe plan is never to touch the first drop. There is no half way course with that stuff. Sam Doyle has spent the last year in the Concord prison. They found him several times dead drunk across the R.R. track and the wonder was that he was not run over.

We sent the papers you spoke of but Miss Smith directed the rappers. I will send you a little magazine called Stamps which I find interesting. It is a new thing and I like it very much. Keep your stamps as nice as you can and when you come back here you can get a large new album and we will help you to place them. I am at South Natick for a few days. Shall go back to Westboro for a week or so and then come back for school. I wish you were all here to start in with us. Isn't there some plan by which you or Annie could live at your grandfather's and go to school? I suppose there they do not think so much of education as we do in America. I wish you could have stayed here. They say business is coming up here. There is a great excitement about the mines at Klondike in Alaska. Many people have gone there but I don't know how they will survive the cold when winter comes. There is no doubt that there is an immense quantity of gold there. All the Irish people here are going to take a trip home next year. The fares will be very low I think.

You must keep up good courage and improve the opportunities you do have and the time will fly after all.

Miss Nye has been in Maryland all summer but is home now. Mrs. Burr has been away too. They are quite busy there. George has been all over the world and about a month ago came home with a wife which did not please them over much. He is out of work so they are still here. Hoping to hear from you all soon.

I remain with love from Miss Bailey and myself,

Helen A. Reardon

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