Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday: Melvin Van Every on Life and Love

Wisdom Wednesday – Create a post in which you share words of wisdom about any number of things including weddings, marriage, children, work, and so on. A post could include such things as favorite sayings of grannies, superstitions, that sort of thing. Words of wisdom should have their origins in the past and have been passed on from generation to generation.
I've transcribed and posted as part of my Amanuensis Monday project several letters from my great grandfather, Melvin Van Every, to his daughter and my grandmother, Myrtle.  I've also transcribed several letters that haven't been posted, and aren't likely to be for varying reasons, at least not in their entirety.  However, my great grandfather would often share some 'words of wisdom' with my grandmother that are illustrative of the man he was, and the times.

From a letter dated January 10, 1925
"I may not know women. But I know men and I know when a woman makes a fool over a man and chases after him he thinks less of her."
Note: The woman referenced wasn't my grandmother.

My great grandfather closed the letter with:
"Am sorry to hear of the death of your friend’s mother. When one looses their mother they loose their best friend."
Notes: In one letter my great grandfather indicates he had to drop out of school after the third grade to help with the farming. While I cringe when I see the misspellings in his letters, he has an excuse, which today's high school and college graduates don't have.

What I also find a bit interesting about the closing is what he doesn't say.  His wife, and the mother of my grandmother, died two years earlier, in 1923, and he makes no reference.  Though I don't have the letter my grandmother wrote to him, and to which he is responding.  My grandmother may well have mentioned her natural empathy for her friend, and he had no reason to bring it up again.

I also know that if my great grandfather is speaking from experience, he isn't thinking of his biological mother, Abigail Stuart Van Every, as she died when he was 3.  He's thinking of his step mother, Margaret Watkins Van Every.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I sure wish that I had some letters so that I could get some insight into my ancestors thoughts and feelings. What a great treasure!