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  • Flea Market Love Letters

October 26, 1919.




Dear Alice and Harry:

At last the sun has come out. We have been having cold, snowy and cloudy weather ever since we wrote to you last. Mercury is down to zero now and I have not yet got the storm windows on. I though the first of November would be soon enough so I did not hurry about it and now I am caught! Well, I have a good supply of coal in the cellar for the present. I do not know how I shall fare a little later when the pinch comes. We are warned of a coal shortage but I shall not worry until the time for worrying comes.


I have a mind to put in a teaspoon full of sugar for you if you New Yorkers have to get along with half a pound of sugar at a time. We never buy less than two pounds at a time. We never buy less than two pounds at a time. Besides we have honey and other sweets in abundance so we could spare a spoonful just as well as not.


I do not know what to write you about Mama. She seems to suffer no pain but she is so weak she cannot do anything and if she tries to move her arm in any other way than in the regular groove she has a twinge of pain that must be excruciating. Her physical weakness troubles me now very much. Of course in that physical condition she is very sensitive to the cold. I do not think she could take a long R.R. journey now or I should think of taking her to Florida or California.


Mrs. Taggart is doing the work all right and we get along very well as far as that is concerned.

I am to give my lecture on Central America next Thursday evening. Mr. Henry who was to speak then has not been able to get his apparatus ready so they have to fall back on me. No matter I am always ready you know. You will probably read about it in the morning papers if you take the Fargo papers in New York.


The Scandanavian-American Bank is truly having a checkered career! The farmers came together in large numbers last Tuesday and declared it solvent and all right so the Governor, who seems to be an ardent non-partizan, sait it was closed for political purposes and the N.D. Supreme Court, a simon pure non-partizan aggregation, allowed them to open in and its doors were thrown open yesterday morning. What do you know about that! North Dakota is showing the world how to do some things. But I do not take any more mortgages here in N.D. at present.


Oh, yes. We played a game of foot ball yesterday! Played.


The snow was four inches deep all over the campu! We were scheduled to play the University so of course we must do our part, but what we our part? We did not dare to put horses on the field to scrape the snow off the day before. We did not want to wait until the day of the game arrived before doing something, so we all, boys and faculty, went out and shoveled and scarped all the time we could spare from class work Friday, but that made but a small showing. If we put the horses on and it should roughen up the ground, as it was freezing every night it would be positively dangerous to play upon, so we scraped and scraped. Saturday came, cold and blustering. We then decided to “trust in the strength of a horse” altho we have good authority for believing that “a horse is a vain thing for safety”, but we followed them around with baskets and bags to pick up what the horses threw off from their hoofs and then sprinkled saw dust all over the grounds so we played them. (What would those same boys have done for a recitation that day!) It is no matter that we were beaten up by one point, 7 to 6 in favor of the university. Shall I explain? Nay, explanations are odious. We were beaten all day after all that! I dd not go out to sit in the cold to see it done. I went out just before it was thru. Saw the final scrimmage. Saw the sad ending! Oh, the transitoriness of earthly fame! I suppose we are forever disgraced.


Notwithstanding the university has far more to select a team from than Fargo College.

Later: I have just got home from Church. Dr. Bear is at Grand Rapids Michigan at the meeting of the Cong’l Council so we had Dr. Walker of our Faculty to preach for us this morning. He is quite a talker indeed I think he would be called an eloquent speaker but I do not think he is anything of a teacher. He has assurance enough for a teacher and preacher with two or three other professions besides. Well, he gave us quite a metaphysical sermon. A great many inquired for Mama and I hardly know how to answer them. When they call she goes to the door to meet them when they expect to find her in bed. When they are gone she goes and lies down. They do not see that part of it and think I exaggerate weakness. Well, I think it is better for her to get around some. She is better some days than others.


Now I am called down to dinner. I have not much more to write at this time so good bye. With much love for you all.

From Your Father,

F.E.Stratton

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