Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Letter to Remember

"Referenced below is a letter that Frank O. Lee, father of William L. Lee, wrote to Ruth Lyon when he was 14 from summer camp in upstate New York in 1905.  He later married Ruth in 1913 who became our grandmother, great grandmother and in the case of the youngest Lee's today, their great, great grandmother.  As Fate would have it, I discovered this letter in a box from Grandma Lee's effects on July 13, 2011 exactly 106 years after it was written!

I thought everyone would get a few chuckles from this letter that a 14 year old kid wrote to his (new?) girlfriend from summer camp.  And I hope you keep this letter and attached picture for your family heritage.

- Jon Lee (my dad)

YMCA Boy's Camp
Chazy Lake, NY
July 13, 1905

Dear Ruth,

I followed your instructions, in regard to the postal cards, but as you didn't give any directions as to letters, I will take the liberty of sending a few lines to you.  If your folks think entirely unnecessary that I should write to you, show them the enclosed slip of paper, which I received in a letter a short time ago so that they may place the blame on the right person.

Camp is nearly over now, and I think everybody has had a fine time.  When we arrived in Plattsburgh, Mr. Eckersley (the Pittsburgh secretary) had two special trolley cars ready which took us around the city.  When we got to Chazy Lake it was raining a little, so it made it pretty hard to get things arranged. Warner and I "bunked" together in Mr. Clark's tent.  The first night we went to bed at 11:30; went to sleep at 2:55, and was awake and dressed at 3:05.  After that we were not so anxious to get up so early.  We lay in bed now, just as long as we can.  The next night it rained "pitch forks," and flooded our corner of the tent, so Warner and I had to sleep in a mud puddle that night.  We were nearly drowned in the morning, and we made such a kick that they put us in an extra tent, which we occupied alone, until a fellow from Brooklyn came a few days afterward, when he slept with us.

Tuesday, we climbed Lyon Mountain, which is 3,809 ft. high, and I got several souvenirs from the top.

Yesterday was field day in camp.  The athletics were divided into two classes, the seniors, composed of boys 15 yrs of age, or over, and the juniors, composed of boys under 15 yrs.  I entered the junior class, and had the good fortune to win the first prize by one point.  I am to get a small silver shield with my name and number of points engraved upon it when I get to Pittsburgh.  There were eight events, and I got four firsts, one third, and one fourth.  Another fellow got the same number of points, so another event was called and I won by one point.  Warner entered, but did not complete the events, on account of a lame leg.

I received a postal card yesterday without any signature, and from the writing, I think you are the one who I have to thank.  I don't want to strain your reading capacities so will close now.

Your friend,
F.O. Lee

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