Thursday, March 24, 2011

Letter to Lillian, July 11, 1922

Sampson Mine
Llanada Calif.
July 11, 1922

Dear Lillian--I failed to recieve [sic] a letter from you in the last mail. Don't let that occur too often or I will think that you do not care to correspond with yours truly. "We'll excuse you this time but don't let it happen again," to use the words of Blackie.

     The kilns have stopped operations. They shut down Sunday morning as I remember, or maybe it was earlier. Sunday I did my last analysis. Yesterday I took stock in the store and this morning calculated the inventory to July 1. This afternoon I visited the Quarry and later planted flowers and washed clothes. I don't expect the flowers to grow as the seeds are three or four years old.

     I took my wireless aerial down this afternoon. I intend to put it on a nearby hill to get the tuning and then I may try it in the canyon again. I took my camera to the Quarry today but I did not take any pictures.

     Last Monday I did not go for the mail. The boss had to do some telephoning so he went in place of me. He went to Hollister this morning, taking Mrs. Blackie and the kids home. He expects to get some men, which is the main lack in the camp at present.

     I have been figuring about coming down next week. Only ten days. I will leave here Friday noon on the truck hauling magnesite, that is if truck is running by then. The truck is here now, the truck driver staying with me tonight, so he wants to see the boss when he returns. I will get to Mendota about 4:30, taking a stage to Tracy about 6. I will get to Oakland about midnight or later. My schedule is not checked yet and may not work. I have to get more information about that stage. The regular stage to Tres Pinos goes up on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

     I do not think that I had better leave as early as Thursday morning, and Saturday morning would not get me in until about 6 Saturday night. But if the kilns are not running, I may come Thursday. I would like to have the extra time in the city, particularly Friday Evening with you. I get quite lonesome for you lately--

     I recieved a letter from home yesterday, telling me that my kid brother had left for San Francisco. I want to see him when I am down.

Next night same week, same place.

     Well I took another flivver trip and am safely back. My gas held out all right today but I went off the road twice. Today I went further than usual going to another ranch for eggs. Coming back, one of the cylinders was missing and the old hack would not pull good anyway. I came to a little gully in the road and took a run down into it so as to get up the other side. The dust was about six or eight inches deep in the bottom and when I hit it, the hind end of the flivver went off the road. It went back on again but nearly turned over in so doing. A great cloud of dust went up and came down on me. I piled out and cranked up. I could not get up the hill so I had to back up and try it again. When I came to Tom Ashurst's place I cleaned a spark plug, which caused the engine to hit on all four. I think that the mixture is too rich as the engine would not pull well even then. I started up the road and about a third of the way up I met a four horse team. I got off the road, having considerable difficultly in so doing. The road is entirely single track from the mine to the main road five miles down.

      While I was coming back from the ranch where I went for eggs, a woman approached me and asked my aid in loading a freezerful of ice cream into her automobile, the reward being a dish of it. I readily consented to help. I eat ice cream up here when I can get it, which has been twice to date.

     Yesterday the boss went to Hollister. I had him bring me back a watermelon and we intend to eat it after a bit.

      I recieved two letters from you today. Fine work, keep it up. That was quite a good joke on Violet [Lillian's sister] in my opinion. I was surprized to hear of Ellsworth Wiley jumping off.

      I was sorry to hear of Mr. Wittner dying. I have news in the same class. One of my uncles, whome you had not met, died recently, and I just heard of it in the last mail. The strange part of it was that I had a feeling that all was not well for a couple of days before I heard.

     Carmen, the cook's daughter, is leaving tomorrow morning for San Francisco. The oldest girl in camp will then be about 6 years. Well, there will be less to remind me of you, so I won't get so lonesome.

     Carmen just came around to get some cookies to eat on her trip so I had to quit for a while.

     I have spoken to the boss about coming down and it seems that I can come down Thursday all right. I will see you Thursday evening if I do, as I expect to get in about 6 PM. I will leave here about 5:30 AM, afoot for five miles and then more or less rapid conveyances the rest of the way.

      Well if I don't close pretty quick you will not read this letter through. So, so long for 8 days, or by the time you get this letter about 5 days.

                Your Jim.

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