Prelude: Dear Friday’s Letter readers… I was going to wait until after the New Year to post this but I decided it was too important to make you wait…The following letter is one of the very last letters I have from Bob to Miss Frances Fairfield. (As I mentioned before I have two more letters from when Bob was in college in Brooklyn.) This letter is a deeply personal letter that sheds some light on what happened between the two of them. I do not know the exact date that Bob wrote this letter, only that it was in December. I am guessing that it was written in 1938 along with all the other letters I have from that time period. I had no envelope, and it was just folded up among the other letters. After the letter, please see the Commentary and the link in History. It may answer some of the questions you have about these two amazing and interesting people whose letters we have been reading.
I got both your letters and heartily agree with you – that this is a “fine mess.” One would think we were practically strangers to hear us try to avoid the ultimate which is – marriage- if not now certainly later… I thought that would be what Dr. H. would say after all he’d be risking quite a lot- as would you. If you want me to go to Dr. C. and talk with him, I’d just as soon, that is if you’ve chosen that way out. I don’t know what to advise- If we did that, no one would ever know but it is very hazardous- but if we’re married Saturday, we’ll get by a month at the most, then neither of us will feel at ease in the others home or even our own home for that matter- and another way and slightly less valiant, but none more comfortable, would be to convert everything possible to cash and scram- which wouldn’t do either, as were both too family bound by home ties to ever forget. So, I guess that’s out. But whatever we do, we do together. Boy, it sure is a mess. I wish it was me, I’m sure I’d find a way out, but it’s slightly different with your well-being at stake. However, if we do choose that way out- I promise to marry you Fran, anytime or place- that is if you still want me to.
Well, how’s everything (excluding that of course)? I miss you a lot darling and wish I could be with you more during these days. I’d like very much to see you any time even if Al comes- Thanks very much for the stamps. Well, there’s not much more to say so, I’ll close for now and will write again tomorrow night.
I love you.
This heartfelt letter is heart-breaking but I’m so glad we know that they decided to have little Bobby. If you skip back to the archives on my Friday’s letter site, you will find a letter I posted on September 1st titled “Dearest Fran (2).” In this letter Bob writes that “I would like to have you and Bobby here.” This letter is also addressed to Mrs. Bob Flannery. I apologize for having printed the letters so out of order, but I did not acquire all the letters at the same time and they were all jumbled together. It wasn’t until I purchased the second batch of letters that I realized some of them were written before the ones that had already been posted. Anyway, these letters became so interesting to me, that I started to do some Internet research on both Bob and Fran. I am happy (and sad at the same time) to say that I found some information on them.
I found an Obituary for Fran, who believe it or not was still alive when I started posting these letters. Fran died just recently on September 27th 2017. I don’t know why her letters were sold to an antique store when she was still alive, but I am continuing my research to try and find out. In my research, I was not able to find an Obituary for Bob, but according to Fran’s Obituary he pre-deceased her. I’ve included a link to Fran’s Obituary below.
Also, I found something else in my research, that I think you will like… I found pictures of them. Below are their high school year book pictures. Bob graduated in 1934 and Fran Graduated in 1936. Both were found in the Hornell Maple Leaf Year book archives. I’ve also included the writing that was beside each of their pictures. As you will see Fran’s has a hand written note on it that says “Flannery, Ithaca, NY.”
On more thing… I know this is a lot to take in and their story can seem a little confusing because of the details we just don’t know… Please leave me your comments and questions, as my research is on-going and I hope to someday soon turn their story into a book or even a movie…
Here is a link to Miss Frances Fairfield’s Obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/theithacajournal/obituary.aspx?pid=186796584
Here are the pictures I found of Bob and Fran: