Ramona, California - 1935
Alanson in Ramona, California - 1937
Dear Cabin Fireplace,-
Have you seen anything lately of a young lady we left in charge of the ranch? If so, what was she doing? Has she been running away from school? Has she forgotten that pony out there in the barn? I believe the pony's name is Gypsie, if my recollection serves me correctly. What have you been doing there all alone for hours at a time? How does it seem to sit there bolt upright with nothing to eat for such long periods? And indeed it is no small eater you are too. Your mouth is as big as a whale's, or even bigger; anyhow I kno you have swallowed many a valuable log without so much as a spell of hiccoughs. I have thought at times calling in a doctor to diagnose your case and then, if possible, to recommend a palliative. Then again I have always relented, for, indeed, you have fully paid for all you have eaten, many times over; for what or who could ever take your place? Oh the happy, happy times we have all had there in the evening as we have talked and laughed and played! When all the children have been at home – then is the best time. Once in a while, the last year or two, I am sad to say, there have been evenings when not one of the children have been sitting by you, with us, and when that happens why I just look into your deep heart of fire and you seem to understand for you make images of the children, one by one, --- there is Elizabeth as she used to be and as she is now with her own little ones – there is Bud bringing home jack-knives he used to find by the dozen – there is Mary coming home from town so full of good cheer and happiness – and Helen hitching up Mickey to the cart – Forrest jumping over a twelve foot pole and Alice ironing her clothes. Old fireplace, you kno all about what's going on and you adapt yourself to our moods, as, indeed, all good fireplace should do. I will confess that there have been times when you were not at all hungry but I have fed you just the same; plenty of evenings when the cabin would have been warm enough without your help but when I would look over at you, all cold, you seemed out of the picture and I am sure that, more then once, I distinctly heard you say, “Hey Boss, have a heart; throw me a stick or two, light me up so that I may have a share in what's going forward.” And what a feast is in store for you when we get home; because there must be an accumulation of papers without end. But I have a sneaking notion that on Sundays since we have been away you have not been entirely forgotten. Now look here old top, mind you take good care of the present ranch boss in my absence for if you let anything happen to her, I warn you,, I will blow you to bits.
With the deepest affection,
February 17 38
Posted by Shannon Hillinger Sunday, March 22, 2009