Chapter One
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Chapter Two
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Chapter Three
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Chapter Four
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Own Your Own Home
Chapter Two: Welcome to Our City


[Part Five of Twelve]


Im thirsty and I guess its & good thing we got
a couple cases of beer in the house because they aint
no water and I and Grace can drink the beer
when wear thirsty & the kids can drink milk so we
wont starve to deth because of some thing to drink
only we cant take no bath in beer or milk.

Back Next


Sport & Play
Symptoms of Being 35
Own Your Own Home
In the Wake of the News
Short Stories


Allison, Ill., Aug. 31.

     Dear Charley.   Well Charley they aint nothing much come off since the last time I wrote you a letter and they aint nothing much to write a bout & I wouldent be writeing only I was figureing on takeing a bath to-night and I cant take no bath so Im writeing you a letter insted and why I cant take no bath is because the waters shut off all over town & the water co. says may be it wont be turned on for 2 or 3 days.
     Of corse I can wash my hands down town to head quarters but Grace or the kids cant wash theres unlest they go over to the Carrys where they got a sistern & that makes it pretty tough on Grace but little Ed & the baby wont make no holler and they would be tickled to deth if they dident never half to be washed.
     Any way they all ways holler like they was being murdered when you touch them with soap and water. The Hamiltons has a sistern to & I ast Grace why dident she use theres on acct. it being next door to us & handy but Grace is kind of sore on Mrs. Hamilton for not comeing over to see us.  She will come over all right when she gets up her nerve & I wouldent worry a bout it if I was Grace but you know how wommen feels & probly Marys the same way.
     Grace has called on a bout 15 or 20 famlys now & left the kids over to the Carrys wile she was makeing the calls & her and Mrs. Carry is pretty good frends & Mr. & Mrs. Carry comes over offen in the evning for a game of cards.
     Im thirsty and I guess its & good thing we got a couple cases of beer in the house because they aint no water and I and Grace can drink the beer when wear thirsty & the kids can drink milk so we wont starve to deth because of some thing to drink only we cant take no bath in beer or milk.
     The man from the water co. says this dont happen offen I mean the pump brakeing down & he says I want to remember that Im saveing money on water bills all the wile they aint no water.
     Regards to Mary.

Fred A. Gross.



Allison, Ill., Sep. 14.

     Brother Charley.   Well Charley Im planing a big surprise for Grace and the reason Im doing it is because shes been feeling so bad over them peopl not comeing to see her.  Im going to have the Hamiltons & the Carpenters over here to dinner Sun. & Grace knows theys going to be Co. but she thinks Ive ast the Walters to come out from town.  I had to tell her some body was comeing so as she would be sure and have enough to eat so I told her the Walters was comeing & she will be supprised & tickeled to deth when she sees it aint the Walters but the Hamiltons & Carpenters.
     The idear come to me when I was down town yest. & the way it come to me I was trying to figure out some way to cheer Grace up.  So I thot of this idear & then I set down & tride to write a letter to them peopl asking them to come & it took me so long to write the 1st. 1 that I seen I wouldent never have time for nothing else if I wrote 2 of them so I ast the tipewriter in the chiefs office would she write a couple of letters for me.  I & her frammed them up together.  In the letters I says my wife would like to have them come over to dinner Sun. noon & it wasent going to be no big party so they could ware what ever they had & not feel a shamed & we wouldent dress up much our self so they wouldent need to.  The tipewriter dident only half to write the letter onct because she put a peace of this here copy paper in bet. the regular paper & wrote both the letters at onct only changed the names at the top.
     I cant hardly wait untill Sun. and see how supprised & tickeled Grace will be.
     Rgds. to Mary.

Fred A. Gross.



Allison, Ill., Sep. 18.

     Brother Charley.   Well Charley Im the 1 that got the supprise and not Grace.  And besides a supprise I got a bad scare to because Grace carryed on so that I thot she was going to be took down sick.  What do you think of them bums Charley I mean the Hamiltons & Carpenters.  When they dident pay no tension or send me no anser to the letter I wrote them I thot sure they must be comeing because if they wasent comeing they would say so.  Thats what I thot.  But a long come Sun. noon & no sine of them & Grace got fichety & says what do you supose is the matter with the Walters that they dont come & I stalled her off and says may be they would come on the train that gets here at 1 a clock & she says my dinner will all be spoiled & finely after the 1 a clock train come & no body showed up I had to tell her the truth.  Grace scolded me like Id stole some

money or some thing & when I says I would run over to there house & see what was the matter she says if I moved a step out side the house she would take the 2 childern & run a way & then she had histeriks & all the rest of it & she says even if them peopl had of came she would of slamed the door in there face & I dont know yet what she was sore a bout tho of corse I was a little sore myself on acct. of them peopl not leting me know or nothing.  But Grace wasent sore at them but she was sore at me and if you can tell what license she had your a wonder.
     I thot for a minut they may be might not of got my letters & then I remembered that I dident male the letters but stuck them under there doors when I come home night before last so they couldent help from getting them.
     Finely I couldent stand it no longer & beat it out of the house & took a long walk.  She was better when I come back & says she was sorry shed carryed on so & she supposed I thot I was trying to do the right thing but Id made a awful mes out of it & I says could I help it if them peopl dident have no manners & she says no it wasent my falt but after this she wisht I would leave her to do the inviteing to the house.  She dident half to wish that Charley because Ive had more then enough for my share.
     The Carrys is comeing over to-night to play cinch & may be we can get rid of some of our big Sun. dinner thats still left yet because they dident nether 1 of us have the heart to eat it.
     Regards to Mary.

F. A. Gross.



Allison, Ill., Oct. 3.

     Dear Charley.   Well Charley it looks like we wasent dead ones after all.  A little boy come to the house after supper to-night & give me a letter only it wasent no letter but a invatation to a dance here in Allison the 17 of this mo. & the dance is being gave for the benifit of the Bellgiums that got killed in the war.  This here invatation was addressed to the Hamiltons but if we get theres they got ourn so whats the diffrunts & besides you can bet I aint going over to there house to say any thing a bout it & if they dont want ourn they can come over here and get there own.
     The dance is going to be down to the opra house where they give there shows when they have them. Well I guess you know how I all ways been a bout danceing Charley & never cared nothing a bout it & I was going to tell Grace of corse we wouldent go but when I give her the invatation & seen how good she felt about it I dident have the heart to say nothing a bout not going.  I throwed the out side cover a way before I give Grace the invatation and she says are you sure its for us & I says dident the boy bring it to us & besides wont our money do them Bellgiums as much good as any body elses.  Tho where the Bellgiums needs help any more than I need it I cant figure out.  I dident tell Grace nothing a bout the invatation being addressed to the Hamiltons for fear shed want I should go over & change with them.
     Well I says do you want me to go and she says certunly but you cant dance & I says well I can go there and set around & talk wile you dance and she says o no she wouldent do that way & if I wouldent dance she wouldent go so I says all right I will brush up & practice a little & may be I can get a way with it & she says you cant do nothing of the kind because the dances there dancing now isent nothing like what you use to dance the walts & the 2 step and them things. They aint danceing them things no more because now there all danceing the 1 step walk & the foxs trot and we will half to take some lessons the both of us.
     I says I suppose we got a hole lot of money to throw a way on takeing danceing lessons & then she beggin to cry so I says all right you fix it up with some teacher & we will take a few lessons just enough so as to get a way with it.   So you see what Im up against now Charley & I got to take danceing lessons & then go up there & mix a round with them swell dames & get stepped on but Grace will have the time of her life & I aint got the heart to say no.  The dance ticket that come along with the invatation costs $2.00 dollars & probly the lessons will cost that much more or may be more than that so Im lucky if I get a way with less than a 5 spot.
     I supose youve lerned the new dances all ready Charley & I wisht you was here to take my place.
     Regards to Mary.

F. A. Gross.



Allison, Ill., Oct. 8.

     Brother Charley.   Dident I say some thing a bout a 5 spot that this here dance busness was going to cost me last time I wrote you a letter.  Well Charley its going to make a 5 spot look like 30 cents before its over & I wisht Id says no in the 1st. place & left Grace bellow if she wanted to.  Weve tooken 1 danceing lesson all ready & it costed $2.00 dollars & we got to take an other at the same price because we aint lerned enough yet & I got to buy some pattent leather shoes & a shirt & so 4th. because Grace says they wont be no body go up there with out being drest up in a dress sute of evning close & she laughed at me when I says I was going to ware the uneform I use to ware before I was put in plane close but I bet if I wore that uneform I wouldent be the worst looking 1 in the hall if I do say it but Grace says nothing but a evning dress sute will do so I got to rent 1 of them besides buying the junk that gos with it & the rent of the sute a lone will cost me $3.00.
     Well Grace was wondring what would she do a bout the childern wile we was to the dance & I says she should ask Mrs. Carry to take care of them & she says the Carrys is probly going to so shes going to ask Mrs. Carry is she going & if she is that will mean we will half to higher a girl some wheres to come & stay with the childern wile we go to the dance.
     Regards to Mary.



Back Next



Home • Up • Reader Guides • Study Guide • Works • Life • Features • Family • Store