Prelude: Here is another letter to Frances Fairfield of Hornell, NY. This letter is from the early years when Frances was High School. It was written on May 6th1935 and is from a man named Bern who lives in Wellsville, NY.
I just received your letter and was awfully glad to hear from you. I just couldn’t wait until I got home at noon to see if your letter was there.
I imagine you are very angry with me because I didn’t come yesterday after I’d promised. (You probably didn’t want to see me anyway), But gee sweets, it rained all day and I really tried to have Louie get his car, but he couldn’t. So, there you are. As I told you.
I’m really afraid to see you to much for you’ll lose all interest in me. (What little interest there is)
I’m telling you the truth, sweet, when I say that I’ve never liked a girl in my whole life as much as I like you. I’ve been around, know a lot of girls, but I still have to meet one, I’ll like better than I do you. Expect me any time because I might be there by the time this letter is. I never know when I’m going to get the chance of seeing you. I hope it’s soon.
My brother left school and he was “President of the Junior Class.” So, just now they moved up the Vice President to President and elected me the Vice President. I really didn’t want it, but I wouldn’t refuse after they elected me. So, here I am.
That means I get a couple of points towards my 20-point letter. I got 17 now. It’s the highest award in school.
Dearest, did you get home ok? I hope you’re not angry and I want to apologize for the things I said in front of you up at Claytons. That’s the trouble with me, always saying something at the wrong time.
I hope you can read this. I am really very sorry and I promise. I’ll make it up to you some way, sometime soon. Anyway, no matter what happens, “I love you.”
I just took 3 pictures (negatives) up to Dean’s Drug store to have developed. One is of myself in my track suit and the others in everyday clothes. I’ll give you the 2 best. (If you would care to have them).
Time to sign off. The bell will ring in a minute and off to school periods again.
Hoping to see you soon. (Not soon enough). I shall remember how lovely you are in the meantime.
Oceans of love and a kiss on
“a X and many of them”
Well! Bern seems to be enamored with Miss Frances. This letter drips with adolescent emotions and insecurities. Of course, Bern doesn’t fail to mention his “Vice President” status. This letter is before the start of World War II and there seems to be a hint of social class snobbery in the way Bern writes to Fran. I also detect a little bit of an ego as he tells her how’s he’s never liked a girl in his whole life as much as her….and then he has some pictures of himself to give her. It made me laugh. Anyway, it’s interesting to see what people wrote in 1935. What do you think?