Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A 1938 Letter from Grandma Gerner

The grandmother of this letter is Elvira (Bartley) Gerner, my father's maternal grandmother, and the occasion for the letter is the wedding of my parents, Lee Doyle and Audrey Meinzen, on September 15, 1938.  The wedding was a small affair that took place in the Mineral Ridge Methodist Church, with a small reception at the bride's parents' home afterward.

Grandma Gerner wrote,

                Sep 12 = 1938

                       Well Lee i received your
  letter also Ray B were here to take
  me up.  But i had made plans to go
  to help Cassie peal peaches and it would
  disapoint them and they will come
  for me so you will excuse me
  and will wish you all the
  happiness this world can give and
  i will be up to B this fall and
  hope to see you.  then as ever

  Grandma Gerner

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Elvira's daughter, Beulah, was my father's mother who had died about a month after giving birth to him.  Ties with Beulah's family had not been severed because of this death but Dad and Grandma Gerner were not as close as they might have otherwise been had they lived in close proximity.

Grandma Elvira was 84 when she wrote this letter and had been diagnosed with senility nearly two years before.  If my parents were hurt at Grandma Gerner's decision not to attend the wedding, especially because peeling peaches seems like a less important thing than a grandson's wedding, they never said anything about it.

"Ray B" mentioned in the letter refers to Ray and Brendice Davis.  Brendice was one of Elvira's daughters and the next younger surviving sister to Beulah.  Ray and Brendice lived in the Canton, Ohio, area.  She and her husband had helped my father when he left home after his own father had died.  I have no idea who Cassie is.

Elvira's husband, Fred, died in 1926, and beginning in the 1930s, she began living with one of her daughters for several months at a time, then moving to live with another. 

The envelope was addressed to Mr. Lee Doyle, Warren Ave, Niles, Ohio.  (I wish I knew the street number!)   The return address was 168 Elm Street, Struthers, Ohio.  Elvira was likely living with either Bessie Leota (Gerner) Holland or Alma (Gerner) Kitch, since both were living in Struthers during the 1930s.

With this envelope my mother had placed a small, plain card on which was written, "With Best Wishes from Grandma."  Mom had written "blue spread" indicating that was the gift accompanying the card.  The handwriting is not the same as above so perhaps the blue spread came from another grandmother or perhaps from Elvira and someone wrote the card for her.  We'll never know.

I am so pleased when I come upon notes and letters my mom saved that came from my ancestors.


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