Lucia Hazen Webster letter to her late husband, Part 3

Here is another of the wonderful letters from Lucia Webster to her husband Dan, written after his death in 1943.

Dear Dan, Here in this south room where I sit evenings by the open fire, Dora and Irving were married at two o’clock this afternoon and now they are gone and all the guests have left. We had a happy day with only family here besides Marion, Emiline and the minister, Mr. Paige whom you liked when he called here last spring. All of us except Jack went to the first part of the church service to see Mary Margaret baptized so it really was Sunday to us, and the day was lovelier for that. The bride and groom went off together in Irving’s car after the boys had played some pranks on them and, according to what they told us, they did not know where they were bound or how long they would be away.

It was thirty seven years ago last May we started from my home and we knew just where we were going and even what train we would take back to Hartland. But we had not decided what we would do while we were in Boston. It seemed as tho we would better go to some entertainment Monday and we looked for a list of concerts, operas and shows. I did want to attend an opera but there was not any you cared for and Creator’s Band was to give a concert that afternoon. It looked interesting to us both and we found it as fine as we had expected.

Band music was one of your pleasures. How you would have enjoyed hearing the Grammar School Band here in Hartland play on the evening of Old Home Sunday and again when the town gave a surprise reception to James Miller and his wife on their Golden Wedding day.

Do you remember how in 1912 we went to Windsor and saw Sousa conduct his band an a whole afternoon’s concert at Kennedy’s arena. It was a treat that would never have come to as small a place as Windsor if John Philip Sousa and Mr. Kennedy had not been good friends. The band was going thru to an engagement that evening to some larger place, Hanover I think, and Mr. Kennedy persuaded his friend to stop over. They played to a large and very enthusiastic audience. When we bought our phonograph the first records we got were marches, one of them Sousa’s.

But you liked music of many sorts and came naturally by the liking, for Father Webster used to play the bass viol in the choir. There is a horn and a violin that either he or some other person in the house used. We have all three in a closet under the eaves. Among your play things I found an accordion and a harmonica and you used to tell of playing a Jews harp when you were a boy.

It is because you sang bass in the church choir that I first knew you. Mrs. Stuart found I could sing so she insisted on my joining the choir which Mr. Ed Jenkins led. There were half a dozen others always at practice. Julia Chase and Jennie Paige among them. Do you remember the day Jennie didn’t come to rehearsal and Mr. Perkins spoke his mind about the young man he had met in the store with her that afternoon?” He didn’t look very intelligent. He had a cigarette in his mouth.” Well, practice was all right - the choir could meet at the house where I was staying but church attendance was another matter and again Mrs. Stuart stepped in and asked you to see that I was transported. Although the walk was very short it was more than I could accomplish with a lame knee so you used to drive up to the door on your way and take me with you.”

Reprinted from the Vermont Standard, February 2, 2012, “Historically Speaking” by Carol Mowry.

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