From: Helen A. Reardon, South Natick, MA
To: Frank Gleasure, The Square, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland
My Dear Frank,
I think I must owe you a letter, for I am so busy all the time, I generally owe everyone I write to one.
First, we wish you all a Merry and Happy Christmas, and you will have it I trust if you are all well.
How is the stamp collecting progressing? Did you get the little magazine I subscribed for to be sent to you? I have sent for a new catalogue and hope they will send me a few stamps for a premium. I should think you might get hold of some old ones at your grandfather's. No matter what they are. Save them all and duplicates are good to exchange. Everything is about the same as when I last wrote. The Burr boys are getting to be six footers and the other boys are keeping up. John Foster is a beauty. He wears short pants still and is nearly six feet. He is in the eighth grade and they can scarcely tolerate him. We have a new principal, a Mr. Blanchard, who is very nice, much more social than Mr. Emerson and very strict. The scholars like him though. John's life is miserable through, being obliged to mind.
Mr. Alfred Hartwell has built a nice new house near Miss Hartwell's. He is on here now, on account of the annexation of the Sandwich Islands. He is very much in favor of annexation.
You would like the work in drawing now. We use water colors and ink drawings and the scholars do beautiful work.
We have had two light snowstorms, but the ground is bare now and not frozen. Schools closes the 17th of Dec. for two weeks.
I will send a photograph of your old home. It makes us all sad to pass by there. Mr. Daniels and the neighbors are all the same. The cement mill has changed hands and young George Foster was dropped from the workman. We expect nothing but old George will have to go too. Little Ned Daniels is very bright in school. He can read quite difficult reading right off.
I wish it was possible to fill all your pockets with American oranges and candies at Christmas. How is Annie, and how does she spend her time. We shall think of you all and will be glad to know how you are prospering. The papers are prophesying better times here. There are many people idle now. There are five thousand working-people (men) idle in Boston alone. And many people are idle here too, but we hope for better times.
Ella sends her love to you all as I do also. Write very soon.
Your sincere friend,
Helen A. Reardon