Introduction

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 Three: The Last Laugh

[Part Seven of Twelve]

 


. . . & they talk about Chicago being a live place well
Charley its like a grave yd. come pared with this place
& some thing doing evry minut when your a good dresser
& the peopl likes you.


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Allison, Ill., Jan. 2.


rother Charley.  Well Charley I supose you been haveing rotten weather down east just the same like we been haveing out here and here it is only Jan. and me all ready sick & tired of winter and wisht spring was here all ready but of corse they aint no chanct of real good weather for 4 mos. & a mans waisting time when you wish for some thing they cant have any good to wish I would be.  If it done chief of police all ready and geting the big money.
     Well Charley when you move out in a subburb they aint no chanct for a man to spend a quite evning at home onct in a wile because theys some thing doing evry minut out here ether Co. comes to our house to set a round & play cards & lap up our beer or else we go some wheres else to some bodys house & play cards but you couldent drowned your self in the beer they give us when wear at there house but when there at our house its diffrunt.  But Grace is haveing the time of her life & says she dident never know what a good time was when she lived in the city & says she use to think she wouldent care nothing a bout society but its grate stuff when you get in to it so is long is she feels that way I wont try & spoil her fun tho it keeps me broke buying clean collars & geting my best close prest.
     Theys a little irish girl that lives down the st. a bout 17 yrs. old & Grace highers her to come & set in the house wile wear out nights & shes got a fellow stuck on her & he comes & sets with her & Grace pays the girl $.50 a night & I guess thats pretty soft for the girl eh Charley because she gets $.50 for spending a evning in a house thats a hole lot better then her own house & pretty soft for her bow to because it dont cost him nothing for a place to spark his girl a way from her old man & old lady & when I was corting Grace it use to cost me real money to take her out some wheres so her old man couldent keep popping in on us evry time I got ready to hold her hand.  By rights the girls bow should ought to pay the $.50 insted of Grace because if hes any kind of a sport it would cost him more then $.50 to take her to Hofmanns garden or some wheres else a way from her perants.  But Grace says we cant leave the babys in the house a lone because they might start crying but there both to sleepy to cry in the evning & besides supose they did start crying the little irish girl & her bows probably to busy smacking each other to hear them & even if they herd them what would they do a bout it because I never found nothing yet that would make them kids stop crying when they wanted to cry unlest it was a shot gun or some thing.   Well Grace says she thot it would be nice to show the little irish girl & her bow where we kept our beer so they could help them self if they got dry but I says nothing doing & if they want to drink our beer the girls bow

can pay $.15 a pt. for it like hed half to pay in a garden only when he was helping him self to our beer he wouldent half to tip no rotten waiters.  I guess Grace thinks wear runing the county hospitle or some thing.
     Well Charley I hope you & the Mrs. is getting a long O. K. & standing the bad weather O. K. & I guess they must get more for postige stamps in N.Y. city then they do here & is that the reason you dont write onct in a wile.

     Kindest to Mary.

Fred A. Gross.


Allison, Ill. Jan. 11.

Dear Charley.  Well Charley we was to a party the night before last & wear going to an other party next wk. & it takes most of my time geting my shoes shined & they talk about Chicago being a live place well Charley its like a grave yd. come pared with this place & some thing doing evry minut when your a good dresser & the peopl likes you.
    
The party last night was over to Curtis house the wood and coal man & no wonder his wife ast us to the party because there geting a bout $20.00 dollars per mo. out of us for 2 & ton of coal & it wouldent hurt them none to .give us a party onct a mo. & have champane wine but they dident give us no wine only beer & not hardley enough of that to wet your tungue & of corse Id rather have a glass of beer then all the wine in the world but when Im dry 1 or 2 bottles dont even clear my throte & they might is well give me a spoon full of butter milk & expect me to have a good time & if I was in the wood & coal busness I bet I would give my frends enough to eat and drink when they come to see me espeshaly when the peopl that comes to see you if the peopl that you might say buys your groserys for you.  & all they give us to eat was ice cream & cake & coffee & Grace hadent gave me much supper on acct. she thot we would get a reglar meal to the party.  I bet the next time I go to a party a round here I will stick a couple crackers in my pocket & a little cheese to go with the beer but I guess if I want enough beer I will half to take a long some of my own to.
     Well they told us it was going to be a card party so I and Grace thot of corse they would play cinch or rummy or may be whist but when we got over there they sprung this here game they call auction bridge whist. Mrs. Curtis says if I played whist I wouldent have no trubble lerning this here game but in this game you bid back & 4th. like pitch only you half to say what you are biding on & they got a lot of funny sines that means some thing & a mans got to go threw collige to lern all them sines so I just set there & played when it was my turn & onct I had a hole fist full of spades & bid 3 spades but my pardner took it a way from me with 1 heart & that counts more then 3 spades & I left her have it & they wasent a heart in my hand & when I layed it down she balled me out like it was some crime Id pulled off & we got set & she balled me out some more & of corse I couldent say nothing back because she was a woman & I dident even know her name & all I says to her was If you had left me have it with 3 spades they wouldent have been nothing to it & she says you couldent of even made 3 spades because you couldent make nothing only a mess of things so I says yes & you couldent make nothing only a monkey out of your self so the peopl we was playing with give her the laugh & she seen she was geting the worst of it so she shut up her mouth.
     Well Charley I & Grace dident win no prize but the woman that give me the balling out dident win nothing nether so she wasent as smart is she thot she was but any way the gents prize was a box to put your collars in & if I had of win I would of throwed it a way as soon is we got out side the house because I aint got so many collars that they aint room for all of them in the drawer & of corse I dont never have them in the house all at onct nether because theys 3 or 4 of them gos to the landery evry wk.  The wornans prize was a pare of silk stockings & even if Grace had of win them she would half to take them down town & change them off because they was plane black & she aint in morning for no body. So the peopl that win the prizes was well come to them eh Charley.
     Well the Carrys is giveing a party next wk. & we come home with them from the Curtis party & Mr. Carry ast me how did I in joy my self & I says O. K. only I could of got a way with a couple more bottles of beer with out standing on the pianno & singing a song & wouldent have no trubble keeping a wake if they played rummy or cinch or some game with a little life to it so I guess after what I said the Carrys will know enough to play some kind of cards at there party where you don't have to wave no diffrunt colered flags to tell your pardner what to bid & give us enough to drink & not serve there beer in no medisine dropper like they was afrade to give us a over dose & poisen & man.
     Well Charley the rotten weather keeps up & I supose the merchunts is glad the cold weather keeps up because they all ways say they dont do no busness when it aint cold a round after xmas time so some bodys satusfide with the weather I mean the merchunts & I guess may be they get there coal at price or may be there wifes is warm blood it & not kicking all the wile a bout how cold the house is.

     Rgds. to Mary.

Fred A. Gross.


Allison, Ill. Jan. 16.

     Brother Charley.   Well Charley we dident have no more fun to Carrys party last night then over to Curtis the night they give there party & we played this here auction bridge at Carrys to & I set there & pretty near went to sleep & Carry dident give us no beer but instead of beer they give us some thing they called punch & they was suposed to be a punch in it but I could of swum in it with out no danger of geting a red nose & the stuff they give us to eat would of been a bout enough for 1 man all to gether but when it was splitted up for 16 peopl a canery would of starved to death trying to make a meal off of it & the Carrys runs a grosery store at that so they should ought to be able to get stuff to eat without paying no hold up price for it but may be they thot if they give us some thing to eat we wouldent buy no groserys off of them for a day or 2.
     Grace come in a little wile a go looking mad so I says whats the matter & she says nothing & I says you cant fool me so she told me about passing by Mrs. Carpenter & Mrs. Hamilton & she spoke to them & they dident nether 1 of them speak to her. I guess I all ready told you who they was Charley.  Mrs. Hamilton lives right next door to us & Mrs. Carpenter next to Hamiltons & there the peopl Grace called on last summer right after we moved out here & they dident never call on her back & Mr. Hamilton was 1 of the guys that wouldent leave us come in & dance that time we got the invatation by miss take & went down to the dance.   So I says to Grace what did you speak to them for & she says she wanted to show she dident bare them no gruge because they was probly sore on them self for not calling on her & I says well you will know better next time & I pertend it like it was a joke but I would like to get a good chanct to get back at them peopl Charley & I guess you know Im the 1 that can do it when I get the chanct.

     Kindest to Mary.

Fred A. Gross.

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