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

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This is James' last letter before the September 7 marriage. Details of the wedding dominate, as well a practical worries about the future. At the beginning of the summer, James was a poet and philosopher, composing outlines about his career choices. Today, he will be happy with any job that allows his to complete the "castle" and begin his life with Orpha.

Postmarked Thursday 9.2.26, from James in Lynbrook NY

One thing perhaps birth certificates must be displayed at the license bureau. Ill bring mine along, and youd better either look yours up or call up the bureau and find out that theyre not required. If you find them unnecessary, you might drop me a line; well get the mail on Monday before we leave.

Another thing if you happen to have any spare moments, you might see if theres any way Ed Dooley can get to Rutland [Vermont] and thence to White River Junction on Tuesday night after the affair. If not, I fear it will devolve upon you and me to take him there, for he has to get there some time Tuesday night. There probably is no transportation connection that time of night, so well doubtless find ourselves Dartmouth-bent at 9 P.M. Tuesday, for that is the only way Ed will be able to attend the ceremony and perform his function.

Ill arrive in time Tuesday to attend to such things as the flowers I really did realize that I had them to attend to if you think there is some uncertainty about being able to get them at the last minute perhaps you will place an order for the appropriate thing for your and Frans costume.

A couple of presents have been sent to me on the theory, I suppose, that a large glass bowl with a silver edge would be more safely sent here from N.Y. than to G.F., and transported thence back to here. Also some of my relatives around here have said theyd wait until you came here, also to avoid the trouble of packing, repacking, sending, etc. So keep up courage and hope of having a few things come in from my list, sooner or later.

As far as I know, the only people at the wedding from my list will be Mom, Pop, Eleanor, Ed, and I. We will stay in Albany Monday night; my folks would like to get back to Albany Tuesday night, but I fear it will be pretty late for them to do so. If they cant get to Albany, it will be best for them to stay at the Plaza. The reason for going to Albany Tues night is to take the day boat Wednesday A.M. However, theyll manage all right any way; our main problem is to keep the best man happy, or rather, keep Jess Hawley, Dartmouth football mentor, from getting gray hair over the non-appearance of his star quarterback.

Gone is my indifferent suggestion of the pigment job Im now anxious to get it.

I delayed this letter in hopes of having news about the job Im hoping to get. Gone is my indifferent suggestion of the pigment job Im now anxious to get it. Since I mentioned it to you, I had another interview with the president of it. Hes about as nice a man as Ive ever met; the work would be very pleasant, and the future prospects attractive. He has had twenty applicants; he cut them down to five; he said that of the five another fellow and I were the only ones that made a definite impression on him. He said he is choosing between us, and will let me know in a day or two. I fear I wont get it, but I hope I do, although I guess I wont. Ill tell you more about it if I get it, if not Ill preserve a glum silence.

My working day, these days, extends from 8 A.M. to 11 P.M. about 10 hours on the house, a couple on the car, and about three miscellaneous. Today we were disappointed by rain we were to start shingling the roof. Ive been polishing the nickel, fixing tires, fixing the running board and fenders, after our most recent accident. A flivver came charging into us about a couple of weeks ago dented us pretty badly and smashed heck out of his front. He was scared to death, but Pop laughed it off, advised him to look in front of him now and again, and drove off, much to the poor guys relief.

I almost fell off the roof yesterday by which I mean it would have been a heck of a note if I had. Tomorrow and Saturday Im going to be especially careful -- Ive been pretty lucky this summer. At present I feel as well as I ever have in my life.

I dare not write anything of the wanting which is tearing me like rack I can only watch with blazing eyes the creeping parade of hours which stands between us between us and the time when with perfect control born of our mastery, we release the thongs of tension release them in a screaming flame of nameless music. Orpha





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