|Stuart Thomson, Ripon, California, to "My Dear Old Dad".
|Irish Emigration Database
|Ripon, California, USA
|Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
|T.2278/33: Copied by Permission of Miss Jean Totten, Ballymaclose, Ballinderry, County Antrim.
|The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
|Document added by LT, 07:12:95.
|To: "My Dear Old Dad" [Thomson, Carrick?]
February 22nd, Ninteen [Nineteen?] Twenty
Agents for United
My Dear old Dad:-
I am just about to inflict upon you, another of those yearly epistles, which have nothing to them after completion, but this beautiful Sunday afternoon, my thoughts are drifting homeward so I think that I will let what little energy I have left after a busy Saturday, follow along the lines of the least resistance, and that seems to be to sit, and as long as I am in that sitting attitude I says to meself [myself?] see I, why not drop a line to "Dad", so here I am.
Ralph very kindly mailed me your most wonderful letter, some weeks ago, and I just about wore it out showing it to my friends, especially to a bunch of "Rebekahs" and "Oddfellows" belonging to the Installing team here, of which I acted as District Deputy Grand Secretary, in this jurisdiction. We were all up at a place away up in the mountains called La Grange, installing the two lodges jointly, by an entirely different system, to the one heretofore used, and as we waited at the little hotel to be served with supper and the time grew weary on our hands, with nothing to do but wait, I handed around the letter in question not forgetting to mention that it was written by a 80 year old oddfellow, who was a dear old friend of mine. They couldn’t and wouldnt believe me if they didnt know me to be a fairly responsible person. I only wist [wished?] I had that letter now so I could comment on it. One thing I do remember though, and that was that you mentioned that you intended to drop me a line some time in the near future, have you done it???????, I am anxiously waiting it, and will pester the life out of you until [until?] tou [you?] keep your word. We received the little card from Sarah, and were delighted to get even that much news from home, with the picture of the "Battery Wall" which brought back memories of olden days again.
Do you know I could feel myself running around on top of that wall, and jumping across the openings every so often, just as if it were only yesterday that I had really had a run. This picture is a splendid one and I prize it highly, and surely, Sarah, you struck it right when you thought to send it, for Edna delights to show it to anyone who comes along, just the same as if she had really and truly come from there, and of course her grandfather and grandmother having come from Ireland, she has a right to claim that she is "Irish", too if she wants to.
Terrence is standing watching me, for I am writing this at home, having brought my typewriter home to do some work, while I rest, which is my usual way of resting in these days of business, when everybody seems to be in such a hurry, that, there seems to be a general stampede in business circles. I wish you could see, said "Terrence" he is one of the huskiest young ones I ever looked upon, and of course considering the famous stock from whic [which?] he comes this is not to be wondered at a little bit????, but I can fancy I see you puff up when you read this, but how do you know but that I mean on "Ednas" side of the family, for believe me she is some husky herself, and I have seen the time when she tipped the scale at 170 pounds which is more than I ever dared to weigh. Terrence sticks to me like a Limput [Limpet?] when I am anywhere around him, which is natural I presume with a boy. I can remember very well how big I would feel, Dad, when you would let me walk out somewhere with you, when I was a little tot.
The day may not be very far off when I will give you a chance to take me for onother [another?] walk, and from what Ralph told me you are just as much for a walk as ever, for he says you walked him nearly to death one evening, when he was home. It seems like a dream to us all when we think that Ralph actually has seen you all again, and I am so glad he had the opportunity, that I just cant express my joy. He certainly must have had a good time when with you and I can just see Sarah's face when he walked in
on her, and you too, was'nt it just great? I certainly was glad to receive the little snapshot of you and auntie, and I could'nt for a long time make myself believe it was her, she looks so young, as does also yourself. I guess I am a chip off the old block, for people tell me I look to be about 25, instead of 42, and I want to say right now that I dont feel a bit older than when I was 20, and Id like to see the 20 year old I couldn’t catch, maybe not in 100 yds, but Id sure get home before a mile passed, how about it Percy? Well Dad, teh [the?] liquor has been wiped out of the U S A, thank God, and I am praying that the United Kingdom, will follow suit, and that right quickly, clean it out without any concession or compensation, just clean up clean is my opinion, and after the dirty liquor interests have compensated the poor wives and children for the misery and degradation they have caused by their ungodly traffic, then talk about compensation. I am proud that I have ever taken a firm stand against the liquor traffic in this country, and have openly fought them every chance I have had, and have been even threatened with boycott if I persisted, but the dirty skunks were afraid to mention such a thing, and through it all, my business has grown steadily and surely, and I will allow no man ever to bridle my tongue as long as I am fighting for the right against the might.
Well I dont know of very much to say in addition to what has been jumbled already, and I will have to get ready for the Christian Endeavour, of which I am the superintendant, and I enjoy the work so much, leading these young people to the Master, and I thank God for the privilege and for using me to lead others to Himself, which to me is the most joyful work in the whole world, and to which my life is given without reserve.
Shall we meet beyond the River? * God grant that there may not be one of us missing up yonder, and that we shall all meet with our dear Mother who has gone before, and we can if we will. Good bye Dad, and God Bless and keep you and Sarah and Campbell, in your wee home in Carrick that I would live so much to see.
Ever your loving and devoted son