Prelude: The letters to Miss Frances Fairfield continue… Here is another letter from Bern of Wellsville, NY. It was written on July 7, 1935. This letter is from the first batch of letters I purchased from a lovely antique store in Belfast, NY called 41 Main Antiques & Collectibles. I recently re-visited the store and found another batch of letters addressed to Miss Frances Fairfield. This second batch includes six more letters from Bern to Frances, as well as several more letters from Bob to Frances. I purchased the first batch of letters not knowing what order or how many there were. Knowing this now and having purchased more letters I’m asking that you think of these out of order letters to Frances as if they were a movie or a soap opera where Frances is having flash-backs of her past and the men that were courting her, before her life got complicated.
I hope that this letter I am about to write will not bust up our friendship as you promised, but here it goes. Watt Gardner and Wynne Healy have busted up and Wynne and I happen to be hitting it off pretty good. I’ve tried to hang on and be a sport and not bust up our friendship, but to be square, I’ve decided to tell you.
I hope you haven’t liked me too much Fran, as I know how I would feel if the reverse had happened to me.
Fran, I know you like Bud quite a bit and he you, I think. Give him a chance to prove he is a swell fellow and I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Can we still be friends and correspond with each other? I’d like to and I know Wynn won’t care.
Fran would it make any difference if I ask for my pin? I’d like to have it as I promised Wynne she might wear it. I noticed you never did so, I hope it won’t make a difference.
I want to tell you Fran, that I’ve enjoyed every moment I have spent with you and I think you a swell kid. Someday I hope to pay you back for all the swell times you’ve shown me.
If at any time you ever want any thing, let me know and I’ll be glad to help you out. Hope I may see you often. Wish you all kinds of luck and best wishes.
I’d rather you wouldn’t say anything to your family, as they may not understand the ways of us “Modern Children.” Well Fran, I guess I better sign off and I hope you’ll answer and correspond frequently with me.
For my sake, “Stay as sweet as you are.” Again, best wishes and happiness with Bud, I hope.
COMMENTARY: As I mentioned above I have 6 more letters from Bern to Fran. Five of them are before this letter was written and one is written after this letter. Bern tries to let Fran down easy, but I think he kind of blew it when he asked for his pin back. I think that pretty much crosses a bridge. I also think it’s interesting that he wants to continue to correspond with Fran, and that Wynne won’t mind. He must feel some sense of guilt because he does not want her to tell her parents. I wonder what Fran is really feeling and if she even cared that much about Bern. Then there’s Bud… We heard of him, in a letter I posted a while ago from Walt Shine to Fran. I have seen no letters from Bud to Fran, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.
Viewing these letters gives us bits and pieces of Fran’s life, but because we don’t know what she wrote to them, we are left to imagine her feelings and reactions. Fran was living in the world of the middle 1930’s and though the times dictated much, it seems that she was a women doing her best to live and survive.