mad in pursuit: letters from james & orpha, summer of '26

LETTERS from James & Orpha: contents

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She starts off with events and winds up with an impassioned speech. You can just hear Bette Davis in Orpha's run on monologue at the end. If only the world were a different place...!

Postmarked Thursday 7.1.26, from Orpha in Glens Falls NY

It is twelve o'clock I have your letters, have read and reread them.

Mom has been on a case for a week, coming home at 7:30 P.M., sleeping here and starting out again at dawn. She is tired and nervous when she comes home. She likes me to talk and play cards and sing. I have little time to myself, for during the day I try to help Dad by taking over most of the responsibility of housekeeping.

This morning Randy and I played tennis for two hours, as a result of which I was nearly exhausted and felt a slight, oh ever so slight, pain. The racket does nobly, but alas! I do sadly. Randy won two sets today!

This is only an entr'acte an interlude. It cannot even be called a mood, for I am vacuous tonight, so tired and ill at ease and restless. There is much, much to say I shall write you a satisfactory reply to all you have presented, tomorrow.

...business and prestiges and financial successes are all hateful to me

When I told you I would write each day, I was not playing on words, mon Jacques, I sincerely meant it but think! I'd never have dared shower you with six even before you'd sent me one little note!

Thank you ever so for "Chimes" it seems promising and for the Alumni News, incidentally. Dare I take hope from your chance phrase "Keep it until I see you"?

Oh! so many days, so many bursting hours of thinking, screaming, calling to you wanting you to know all that I am thinking, seeing so clearly now and having to force back to perhaps permanent oblivion even little sentences I read, or tiny flaky clouds, or a tiny pond and a tree near it swaying to gaze on itself in the quiet mirror below I cannot live. But, I must not say you admire restraint , do you not? and yet, you love abandon, whole-hearted, uncertain, youthful-like abandon, and if that were all, and if the world were like a world you and I can create in dreams, and if there weren't a lot of the Forsyte in us all, and if we weren't all compromising a tiny bit our individualism by the very act of living in this world then you would know, for I have told you in my message last, that business and prestiges and financial successes are all hateful to me and you would know without once asking which of the alternatives I should choose.

Orpha

 

 

 

NOTES

Orpha's mother was a private duty nurse and supported the family. Her father was disabled, possibly with a tubercular bone disease.

 

 

 

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