Lulu Bell Sinton diary, October 29, 1922 - September 26, 1947. Ms 0077, Box 2, Item 6.
Transcribed by Emma Mitchell, 2009.
Clipping of Man reading newspaper and child at his feet doing the same. The Morning’s News. Engraved on wood from a painting by Molly Sale Covey. Handwritten caption reads: as I have seen Billy with Granfa’r –
Clipping: “The Log Fire” by Daniel Henderson accompanying illustration by Forrest C. Crooks
Clipping: Illustration of old woman fixing husband’s bowtie
Oct 29th 1922 – Stratton Park
A somewhat stormy day with a little snow after as pleasant fall as I ever knew. Mr. Leonard preached his last sermon at the Unitarian Church two weeks ago today. Left for the last next day. Mr. Gilmour of the Denver Unitarian Church preached today. Addition to cottage at 916 Cheyenne Blvd finished about a week ago. Cost without painting 423.00 + some cts.
Sold Hudson car last June or July for 900.00. Gave Sam Trotter 20.00 for his efforts in selling. Some time in Feby [February] last Wm [William] gave me 50.00 toward expenses of keeping Billy who lived with us last winter and went to Cheyenne school.
Dr. Flora very ill in Pueblo at Harriet’s.
I gave him this book as he had expressed the wish to keep a diary this the only entry he ever made. L.B.S.
Clipping: a poem by David Starr Jordan with photograph of the author
September 5th 1924 – Ten o’clock p.m.
Today is the thirty-ninth anniversary of our marriage. I planned to spend it alone with him, but there was work for him to be done, and though he was quite constantly with me, there was only an hour between half-past four and half-past five in the afternoon that was outwardly given to the observance of the day.
One month ago yesterday we saw “the light behind his eyes go out.” Because we could not be assured of anything but a broken future for him, we gave him up more willingly than seems possible even to ourselves. Melvin said “He has lived seventy years a useful life – he has lived. Why should we try to hold him, when his life must be hard for him?”
The expressions of his patients, of men who have know him in many aspects, which have come to me by the written word and by word of mouth make me know that the [valuation?] of his own family is not too high. Everyone who knew him appeared to want to give voice to their feeling that he word is richer because he has lived and poorer now that he is gone. HE always claimed as his religion the desire to leave the world a littler better because he had lived – so, if the opinion of those who lived with him in the business world – in the political and religious and social world tells us anything, he has a large measure of the desire of his heart and life today.
I think of him constantly as resting. While it is my privilege to try to carry on in some of the things he was trying to do. It will not be anything startlingly wonderful that I can accomplish , but it is very worth while to try – “Life is worth just the effort we put into it”
Clipping: “If This Were All” by R.G.E.S.
Left page clippings: “Epitaph” by Arthur Wallace Peach (The Churchman, New York) and “Codicil to A Will” by Franklin P. Adams (Harper’s Magazine)
Sunday March 1st 1925 – More to be desired “seems the vast unknown since they have entered there” – The world in which I have lived for fifty-eight years appears the surreal […] now as I approach the fifty ninth (two months away. –tomorrow is Annie’s birthday, which has probably set me thinking of the years) The every day world about me seems very surreal. I go about my tasks mechanically – habit makes them possible. I pull myself together when something must be done or decided which belongs to life outside the [faire?] daily round –but if all sinks back into nothingness immediately if is attended to.
I am sitting beside the last earthly resting place of my mother and father. I have been trying to know everything. Momma said that last hour of her life, when only one word at a time could be articulated, “It is all right! I know it is all right! I can see it is all right!” Must I wait for that last moment to see, to know? I believe – I have faith was that what she meant? I think not. I believe she really knew something which as yet I do not.
“O mortal fare hopefully on in thy quest.” [From “Afterwhiles” by James Whitcomb Riley]
March 1st 1925 – Beside the one who was with me for nearly thirty nine years – I find my mind commenced with the thought of the possibility of passing something worthwhile to the coming generations. It seems so [observantly?] impossible for me to do anything – and yet his spirit urges me. I will try to see the time and place and may even though I feel so sure I am worthless and want to go out of life when I have completed the year which I must live to be true to my obligations.
Left page: 4 clippings, poems. Handwritten by L.B.S.: Alice Freeman Palmer?
and The Rock Garden by Violet Alleyn Storey
In the cemetery: Friday September 4, 1925 – Tomorrow is the fortieth anniversary of our marriage – forty years! Tremendous things in the history of mankind on this earth have taken place in those years – How much have we influenced the trend? We have tried to help toward better things – is it all a dream that the common man can be of use in the world? He always believed that he little we could do was worth the doing. Any way we are here as a result of Law – to play the game out is the thing to do.
I am more deeply thoughtfully thankful all the time that he did not have to live out a readjustment to life. I would have been fearfully tragic for him. I am so glad to do the things which would have caused him such humiliating and futile struggle. I seem to have no pride to be hurt – only a desire to do the very best possible for his memory, and as nearly justly as I can to others who should be considered. No one must be injured in any way – if I can prevent.
Mind = I have gave given all there was in me to Will, and to your children and his. Apparently it was not enough. If twas to do over I should probably do better – but that is impossible.
Since ignorance is – I believe – the source of all evil and wrong, I have to confess to mine colossal, and at the same time declare my desire from my earliest memory for intelligence and understanding so that I might be useful to those entrusted to my care.
This life is near its close and I must abide its results. I have little hopes of being the useful person that I probably should be. I appear to be most truly “a broken reed” – I am dazed – maybe I have always been dazed and that has been the real trouble with me. But I have struggled! Oh how I have struggled to do the best – for the very best. It is in the hands of Life – of God – and that is all I can do now. Jan, Nina, may see more – if so you are just to me and that is all I can ask. If there was only some way that I could help your children to be of more use – you must know how gladly I would do it. Now I shall try to be just – I shall try to the end of my life.
(Evergreen Cemetery – Sep. 4 – 1925)
Left page clipping: “Interludes” by Hugh Robert Orr
I struggle for fear of sentimentality but I am sure my dearest one has been with me, and is here with me today. He is glad I am here – not because his body is here, but because I have kept a [tryst?] with him in memory of our marriage, beside his last earthly resting place. There are many things we can go over together in retrospect which may help me to make better use of the time I am to spend here. Then we shall have a more perfect union (understanding) I feel sure. Life is eternal. Life is God – I can not get further than that – I shall know more.
Left page clipping: “I Bring You Silence, My Beloved” by Nellie Burget Miller (Lyric West, January)
In the cemetery at the Sinton Lot
July 29, 1926 – Today memory has been insistent – every phase of our life together has passed in review. And those last weeks – if it were possible to do it over could I do it better? So futile to suggest it – even to myself. The only thing is to try to live the rest of my days in memory of the finest and best things in our life together. If I can in any measure help your and my children, and children’s children to live lives of usefulness and joy and to be an improvement upon us it will be a worth memorial to you whose often expressed wish was to “help made the world a little better.” I am trying, and succeeding after a fashion, but not enough. I, this moment, here beside your last earthly resting place, re –dedicate myself – and I shall do so every day so long as my heart and brain function. In one week more (Today is Thursday) nest Wednesday it will be two years since you laid down the fleshly burden. Those two years have been full years for me. Much of the time I was just dazed and numb– Then when affairs demanded I would come out and forget everything but the matter before me – some times day and nights of struggle to do the best possible – only to sink back into a mental torpor – doing the work of full days only from the force of habit.
How I long meet your spirit. I have resisted some intimations but not because I did not want you, only because I must have the real big you which I know so well – is some how, somewhere – you cannot die – You will come to me naturally and plainly I am sure.
In Your Little House
By Richard Kirk
In your little house with the green thatched roof
With the green thatch roof and narrow door
The Narrow door of your little house,
And never a footprint on the floor,
Do you hear the rain and the wind in the trees
As you lie there at your lovely ease?
In the little house with its green thatched roof
With the green thatched roof and its walls dew damp
With its dew damp walls, and never a shadow
From flickering firelight or lamp,
Do you hear the rain and listen again,
And say “It is only the rain I hear, only the rain”
In your little house with the green thatched roof
With the green thatched roof and its deep content
With its deep content (please God it be so
That peace went with you when it went!)
Do you know that I stand here without your door,
Craving a bed on your sanded floor?
And we shall hear his voice no more,
Who was so brave and clean and true.
We shall not hear upon the door
The friendly tap or sinew
It seems such a little while
His presence made our joy complete.
Now we shall miss his gentle smile
when next we meet.
So happy was his parting word,
“I am all right now” he bravely said,
But in the night Gods voice we heard
And have his spirit fled.
The pain is gone. He sleeps today
Beneath love’s feeble gift of flowers.
“He’s all right” we strive to say
But, oh, what loss is ours!
Good Night. Good Night! Sleep well! We say to those we love,
And watch dear faces glimmer on the stair,
And hear faint footfalls in the rooms above
Sound on the quiet air,
Yet feel no fear, thought lovely they must go
The road of slumber’s strange oblivion;
Dark always wears to dawn.
Sleep is so gentle, and so well we know
Where they have gone.
They will be safe till morning light.
Good night! Good night!
Good Night! Sleep well beloved, when the last
Slow dusk has fallen k, and your steps no more
Make music on the empty upper floor,
And day is fully past.
We who sit so lightly and let you go above,
Evening by evening, from our trustful sight
Into the mystery of sleep’s unknown –
We need not fear, tonight,
Death is so gentler – dark will break to dawn.
Love will be safe until the morning light.
Sleep well, good night.
Nancy Byrd Turner
Go lightly wind.
Go lightly, here, for in your going
Oh Wind! You tread on holy ground.
So swiftly like clean water flowing
And make no sound where is no sound.
Beyond your reach and beyond the thunder,
Where never again mine eyes may see,
Lies in the earth, and deep, deep under,
All that is dear and fair to me!
Lips that have known my lips caressing,
And fingers that once my fingers thrilled,
Eyes that have given me loves blessing,
Lie here – lie here forever stilled.
Never her laughter, never her singing
Shall [beat?] its way to my heart again.
April shall come, but April bringing
Never her whisper in the rain –
April shall come, and sunlight streaming
Over a field of daffodils,
But here is an end of all my dreaming –
And here is the sun behind the hills
Here I stand, and the twilight stealing –
And who shall say how long I have stood?
Save this lone [gashart?] dipping and wheeling
Over that clump of cotton-wood .
-- George Carroll
From Patience Worth
Page 270 – published 1916.
Shall I rise and know thee, brother, when like a bubble I am flown into Eternity from this pipe of clay? Or shall I burst and float my atoms in a joyous spray at the first beholding of this home prepared for thee and me, and shall we together mingle our joys in one supreme joy in Him? It matters not, beloved, so comfort thee. For should the flowing be the end, what there? Hath not thy pack been full, and mine? We are […]weary with the work of living , and sinking to oblivion would be rest. Yet sure as sun shall rise, my dust shall be unloosed, and flow into new […] of new days. I see full fields yet to be harvested, and I am weary. I see fresh business of living, work yet to be done, and I am weary. So let me fold these tire hands and sleep. I trust, and expect my trust, for ne’er yet did He fail.
Left page clipping: “Life-Death” by Grace Noll Crowell
Who art thou
Who tracketh ‘pon the path o’ me –
O’ each turn, aye, track?
Thou! And thou astand!
And o’er thy face a cloud,
Aye, a dark and somber cloud!
Who are thou,
Though tracker ‘mid the days bright,
A mid the nights deep;
E’en when I be astopped o’track?
Who are thou,
That toucheth o’ the flesh o’me,
And soundeth chill to the heart o’me?
Aye, and who art thou,
Who putteth forth thy hand
And setteth at alow the hopes o’me?
Aye, who art thou,
Who bideth ever ‘mid a dream?
Aye, and that the sould o’me
Doth shrink at know?
Who art thou? Who are thou,
Who steppeth ever to my day,
And blotteth o’ the sun away?
Who are thou,
Who steppeth to Earth at birth o’me
And e’en mid trial o’weak,
Aye at the birth o’wail
Did set a chill ‘pon infant flesh;
And at the track o’m an ‘pon Earth
Doth follow ever, and at height a follow,
And doth touch,
And all doth crumble to anaught.
Thou! Thou! Who art thou?
Ever do I ask, and ever wish
To see the face of thee,
And ne’er, ne’er do I to know thee –
Thou, the Traveler ‘pon the path o’me.
And , Brother, thou dost give
That which world doth hold
From see o’me
Stand thou! Stand thou!
And draw thy cloak from o’er thy
Ever hath the dread o’thee clutched at the hear o’me.
Aye, and end o’ journey,
I beseech thee,
Cast thy cloak and show thee me!
Aye, show thee me!
Ah! Thou art the gift of Him!
The Key to There! The Love o’ Earth!
Aye; and Hate hath made man
Lo know thee not
Thou! Thou! O Death!
-- Patience Worth page 279 – 1916
“Borne on the silent waves of ether,
Come the messages divine,
Rent by kindred souls far distant,
Softly whispered into mine.
I can almost hear the voices
Just across the deathless shore.
I can almost see the faces
Lighted by the love they bore.
Though the earth feels fast and certain
In my mind there is a light
That transcends all matter’s fastness
As the stars transcend the night.”
(written in pencil) Brand
Prospice by Robert Browning
Fear death? to feel the fog in my throat
The mist in my face,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm
The post of the foe;
Where he stands the Arch Fear in a visible form,
Yet the strong man must go:
For the journey is done and the summit
And the barrier’s fall
Though a battle’s to fight e’re the guerdon be gained --
The reward of it all.
I was ever a fighter, so – one fight more,
The best and the last!
I would hate that death, bandaged my
Eyes and forbore,
And bade me creep past.
No, let me taste the whole of it, fare
Like my peers
The heroes of old
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay
Life’s glad arrears
Of pain darkness and cold.
For sudden the worst turns the best
To the brave,
The black minutes at end,
And the elements rage, the fierce
Voices that rave,
Shall dwindle, shall blend;
Shall change, shall become first
A peace out of pain,
Then a light, then thy breast,
O thou soul of my soul! I shall
Clasp thee again,
And with God be at rest!
March 14 1932 – Since I last wrote here teeming emotions have been held in check by hard physical effort – not too wisely, but it was the thing which presented. Now the physical has laid its heavy hand upon me – I mean of course, that a heavy hand has been put upon physical ability to exhaust emotional tendencies – and now what?
It has been long since I have visited the cemetery – I can see it from my window, though far away. And today is my dear man’s natal day – March 14 1854 – 1932 – I must not be too long in following. There are things I should like to heave done – such little things, but perhaps only little things are within my power – that greater power has had little result for greater things.
This was written as a letter to my sister but further thought decided was to not send it.
Very often I feel a strong [crossed out: desire] impulse toward attempting to establish understanding between the inner life of those whom I feel belong to me, and my own invisible self. This morning the urge is strong and I have come to my desk hoping to put into words this feeling.
I remember you wrote once “I believe that death will be overcome”. Of course I cannot be sure of your meaning – for the fear of further mis-understanding prevented an effort to learn – But I have overcome Death – Is it not unfortunate that we should have been separated in our thinking by the suggestion, in the thinking processes of each of us, that we mush defend our own positions rather than to try to understand that of the other?
Can we not be guided by the better reasoning that God – Divine Mind – or any other name by which we choose, to express meaning – is working through other manifestations than those nearest ourselves yesterday – the first Sunday after Easter Sunday – I listened in upon the services at Grace Church, as I almost always do now-a-days. While not a communicant, or even a contributor there, I am always helped in my thinking by the very simple and direct sermons of the rector. The church is familiar to me – the organ and organist – as well as some members of the choir are known, and I can visualize it all. It is all beautiful, dignified and suggestive.
Of course I have to ignore much. Do we not have to do so in our everyday life?
But the thing I am trying to give utterance eludes me.
Let me begin again – I feel that I have overcome death. To be sure I had no great struggle in this accomplishment – if such it is.
Death has never presented the horrid face to me which others have given the impression of seeing. The apparent shrinking and distrust – even hate – for the word and its implications, upon the part of many has “given me to think” but to agree. Always there was speculation in my mind as to whether my attitude was the wrong one.
But now there appears to me to be a certainty that mine is the correct attitude for me.
And here comes in the service at the church yesterday. It was the service of “receiving the Blessed Sacrement [sic]” Especially was it intended for the younger members of the “Church family”.
The service forms of the Episcopal Church – I mean the words – is in great part, repellant, and barbaric to me. Therefore my effort has become a very easy sliding over objectionable words and phrases, with a ready catching of the higher intent connecting them. Yesterday the words “blood”, “flesh” and so forth, gave me very conscious effort. Knowing many of the people and their children whom I felt sure were partaking in the service, my thoughts were active in attempting to guess the result could they see my inner responses. There was certainty in the vision of the response which they would give me. Then I was sure that they were helped, by this service, toward their best development.
Because I felt my outside (I was almost betrayed into writing above) the need for the sort of help they received, should not make me lack understanding – and such recognition should make me thankful that they could be so “ministered unto”.
Am I angling to get such recognition – understanding from you? And there is, if there a sincere attempt to recognition of the needs of those whose attitudes cannot be our own. Lately I have gone under, in the physical sense. And I am to a certain extent, reconciled to all the implications.
Physically, I cannot remember when I was not pushing –laboring –agonizing – and to what purpose? None of the results aimed at […] realized. Even the most altruistic and exhalted [sic] visions animating those labor have fallen cold – lifeless – and oftener than not unseen by my fellow travelers.
Am I mourning? I am not. It is just recognition of the aspects of Life which have presented them selves for my consideration. As I look about me I am convinced that my early release from the contemplation of the physical, must be no disadvantage to my dear ones and must be an advantage to my own development, and probably to that of others who must be thrown with me here. Could the feeling that I would be real help to others here – I’d not look so eagerly for my own release.
However the change is inevitable and desirable.
Could I believe that the taking out of Life the change which we call death would be possible, if must at the same time appear that the change called birth should also be taken […] it is unthinkable!
“Into thy hands do I commend my Spirit” – only I would substitute the word self for the last one – and “Thy hands” would mean Life. Why stress over own pet words? Because we must defend ourselves from those who in their kindness feel that they must save us from ourselves!
“In the struggle of souls to the heights above” why must we assail the same sort of efforts in others, if they appear to us less desirable than our own?
I suppose that it is a part of our own struggle – to compare and in the comparison is bred the desire to lift others along with ourselves. When we select the better part so it appears to us. We want to share and we thrust our own interpretations out by way of help. If the effort could only be satisfied to go no further, and to allow –even to sympathize, with the efforts of others – even when they appear not so desirable as our own, would we not be advancing upon The Way? I believe so.
Could I retrace my life I believe that I should make understanding the chief aim, and be much less […] upon being understood. I would determinedly observe rather than attempt to direct others in the Way of Life. I am convinced that each attitude could be quite as helpful as the more generally accepted view that we are our brother’s keeper, in the sense that we must herd those brothers – instead of the view which appears to me, now, as the true one, of preventing any interference with the brothers own Way of Life.
Life is so varied – so various – in expression. Why must we say this is the Way. Surely we can really understand that the helpful thing that one can accomplish for another is to secure to him the chance to be himself.
Through all human thinking of which I am cognizant appears to run the idea of the individuals responsibility to direct others. Should not the responsibility be rather to secure opportunity for that others self development?
I am thus arguing against the whole trend and efforts of my life. I do not find it so sad as it sounds. I could “weep my spirit from my eyes” if I had any notion that such weeping could blot out any of my transgressions against my fellow beings. Being convinced that the contrary is true – I am ready to “go on” and risk being more truly useful because of the lessons that I believe I have learned here. Perhaps because my muscles have rebelled -- and my nerves have, as a result, become incorrigible (or is the other way around the true condition) I feel that “I would there upon take rest, Ere I begone again Upon my adventure strange and new” and that I shall be “Fearless and unperplexed When I wage battle next What weapon to select, what armor to endue.”
Oh I only wanted to tell you that I have overcome death by the love and longing […] rest which I identify with that word.
And may the further development of Life, in me, come joyously (I have not been a joyous influence as I could wish to be) It matters not how others may differ from me – if only I can maintain a joyous ability toward understanding those, with whom I may differ in “interpretation”.
Oct 25. – My dear,
There are times, often, when I feel the pressure of your hand upon mine – when enjoying some particular kinds of music – when watching the grandchildren in their development, Then I can see the understanding in your eyes and the amused smile upon your lips. I am thankful for these times. So often driving this campaign I have wanted you to know the way the winds are blowing – though much would give you pain – there are so many things you are spared – For those I am thankful. Yes the struggles, the deprivations, the changing standards would be hard for you to experience. Then my helplessness would have been a sore disappointment to you. I am glad that you are resting. As soon as I can be less comfort then care – I hope so much that I can “[forge?] the innumerable carivan [sic]” and pass to whatever awaits. That is just and natural I am convinced.
Sunday December 11- 1932 – New York Times magazine – in the French View of the World by J.P. Phillips ----- there still lurks in many minds a suspicion that too much education is not good for the proletariat. (apropos above: there cannot be too much knowledge, understanding in any person or class – but when the influence of education is on the one hand, is to inflate the less fortunate with a sense of their own importance or to antagonize the more fortunate because they lose some part of their advantage over labor as it becomes more knowing -- then begins the conflict that would appear to support the thesis that the worker is best without “education”.)
I am such a little part of life. It is the main thing for me to accept my littleness – a happy gift to those nearest. After all the responsibility of large things is God’s and He does not shirk. If I can realize that “underneath are the Everlasting Arms” and, cease to struggle and just rest, He will care for His own in His own way.
Does this appear too [suffice] I do not believe it.
“In time – His good time – I shall arrive.” “The Lord Almighty reigneth. Hallelujah”
May 4th 1933 – The clouds lifted and the light brightened before sunset, then as twilight approached the Far Corral Bluffs and the Divide, showed their height above us here. The snow still I can see the [crossed out: highest point] the snowy height when the darkness is too great for me to read here in my windowy Loft. Tomorrow should be sunny in the morning – morning.
Cloudy at sunrise but sun soon reached us – slowly dissipating fleeces over Cheyenne Mountain – at eleven o clock few clouds in our sky – we cannot see how the Peak or main range looks, out here
May – not the 4th but because of the 4th – Sixty eight years old! And life so full of things to do and know! My doing is very limited. The knowing thrills – and slips away because not carried into doing. Can I find some way of doing that does not call for use of legs and hands of high efficiency. Well, well there are little things to finish up and dispose of – I must speed up a little on these things – and then (and in the mean time) I must think up way and develop opportunities. They must be along heretofore unexplored ways, evidently, as the most of the old paths are blocked to me.
From September 5, 1855 to September 5 1935 -- Fifty years ago today was quite unlike today – that is true in more ways than the one I had in mind when I begun to write the words. That day one could no know there was a sun in the heavens. Part of the time mist was so thick that vision across the street was shut off – part , we could see as much as three or four blocks, as far s “Lawtons corner” at the top of the Kiowa street hill to our west. And so it was all day – no sun at any time. It was Saturday, the following day was to be a family gathering at Your house. At half-past seven o’clock you came for me in a horse drawn closed carriage. My father and mother were left together at their door, and we drove to Your father’s house where Melvin came out to join us (and with him came Margaretta and Frank, who had arrived from Denver late in the afternoon – which was unlooked for by me. Then we drove to the Bumstead’s where Melvin went in and returned accompanied by Hattie, according to plan. Then we drove to Mr. Gregg’s house, on the corner of [crossed out: St. Vrain] Dale and Cascade. The house remains today on a part of the original quarter block where it was set diagonally near the center; it now faces [crossed out: St. Vrain] Dale street near the street 00 while three houses have been built facing Cascade Avenue and [crossed out: two] one more facing [crossed out: St. Vrain] Dale beside the original house.
Mr. Gregg met us at the door and we were ushered into the double parlor on the right while he apologised for the unlighted rooms. (In those days there were no electric lights in Colorado Springs –There was gas but it had not yet been brought so far north.)
Left page: Western Union Telegram from Cambridge, Massachusetts
Mrs. W K SINTON 1618 CHEYENNE BLVD COLORADO SPRINGS COLO
CONGRATULATIONS ON AN ANNIVERSARY OF A FULL AND USEFUL LIFE MAY TIME TREAT YOU GENTLY LOVE FROM WILLIAM AND EDITH.
Mr. Gregg opened a door into the lighted dining room from which we could hear the wails of a baby – and disappeared, to reappear in a few minutes carrying a large lighted Kerosene lamp which he place on the big round table in the center of the back parlor while saying a few words or regret that Mrs. Gregg could not come in to be present at our ceremony because the baby had developed a sudden illness and she was above, since the children were usually all [in] bed and sleeping soundly at this hour. (This baby was evidently Richard, the fifth child – since Elinor the sixth was the same age as our Bell) and then our license was produced – and we stood before him, while the other four sat and looked on while our responses were made. It was the simplest ceremony used. You had told Mr. Gregg when you made our appointment that we both desired the fewest words – and he did not mention the word obey.
I seem to see it all again—You wore your best, black, diagonal weave, “cutaway” with a lovely pearl gray new tie; wore a gray mohair [Winemed?] with gray velvet collar and cuffs, a small gray bonnet of the dress material trimmed with a gray velvet bow, a [spray?] steel ornament and two small ostrich tips – gray kid gloves (the only thing bought for the event) completed the costume which “the brides fair fingers had made complete” some time before. I do not remember my shoes – they did not then belong to the mentionable parts of womens dress to the extent they do today. Around my shoulders I wore the old cream colored shawl printed with modestly gay little “shawl flowers” and bordered by the same colors in a heavier pattern and finished with a fringe it was a present to my mother from my father about the time I was born, and mice had found it once – but it was now folded to conceal the evidence.
I seem to see again the whole thing as if painted on my brain – the expressions on every face, the words that each spoke. It seems queer for one hardly expects such things to remain in the memory of a bride.
This was my first meeting with Margaretta and Frank. I then expected that Melvin and Hattie would be married before long.
Now Dr. Gregg, Frank, Hattie, and You are gone from physical sight. Margaretta is very frail and announcement of her going on would not be a surprise any day. Melvin, the invalid for whose sake You first came [went?] has just passed his seventy – third birth anniversary, and though frail and having had two serious auto accidents in the last year, is much the same today as ever – as well and as interested.
You went out of physical life eleven years ago this summer. I have been increasingly glad that You have not had to meet the conditions of life in the world of today. It has given me courage to do what I could, to know that You were resting (and I know how you needed rest) You have been always with me – knowing my thoughts both good and not so good. We have been truly one – perhaps not more happily so than when you were physically beside me – but surely more understandingly, since our minds have operated to influence each others.
Just here the phone rang and Western Union delivered a message of remembrance from William and Edith – was it not kind and thoughtful of them?
You remember William was really my first baby – he has always been that to me – though Bell has always had her unique place as the first child of my body. As far as that is concerned each child has its own place with parents—none can take another’s place.
Oh the years between then and now! How they teem with memories! As I look back over them al I am not so heart broken as I have often been in viewing a shorter span of time. I can really see where the dark and light shade into each other. While there is still a great longing to, to somehow make up for my [cowardice] and mistakes – at least in so far as they have made unhappy impressions on the minds and perhaps the lives of the children. I know they must all stand forever. I wonder if I have been of sufficient use to my own and those among whom I have moved to justify having answered the call of humanity into this life. But then, who can feel assured that any life is worth living?
We come – we cannot know whence, and we can but do the best that our powers of mind and body permit. We know nothing surely. We can only try to sort out the opportunities before us – and in our ignorance the best may appear least desirable. There can be no blame, if we try to do the best we can to make them as worthwhile as possible.
“Who walks without stumbling?”
This is a glorious day – sunshine from dawn with soft white clouds floating in the car bright blue sky – a little breeze stirring the tree tops and [glowy?] life to all, and though Bill went to work when not really fit and Jon showed himself a true Shakespearean “school boy” (just not peppy!) I cannot feel that I can help them by failing to notice the enjoyable sights and atmosphere. If only there as something in me that would lift heir burdens I believe that I would do it at any cost to myself. Same way I don’t appear to matter. However, here I am on m back – having to lie down so much to control the irritation which has held me so close for more than three months. In one more year I will be as old as You were when You went away to rest. Can I be useful enough to others to stay longer – I wonder.
While occupying so much of the time this summer in studying the families with their ideas and development – from which You are derived – and thinking of those from whom I have come – I appear to have got a perspective on many aspects of life ----
I have just seen Mary-Jo and Tom off from a call which they paid me – and the day is almost gone. I thought to put in a long day with you and now it seems to have been very short.
I am sure that You love Tom – though he came so long after You went to rest. He is really a dear child – he makes the ninth – and you loved everyone of the light who remember you. How often Joe Willett has said, “If Grandfather were here…” something would be more to his mind. And all the rest of them have loving memories of You.
They may not feel so loving toward me – probably I have exerted myself too much for them and they resent the too apparent effort. At least I love them, and though it has so often bee “a hoarse love – a weary love” it was – and is – genuine. I could not help loving them and wanting to be more help in character building for them than was possible. Maybe some of apparent failures have been of service.
The world changes so rapidly that one poor mortal can scarcely keep pace. You understand, I am sure. I am trusting in the Life that is behind “All that is at all” and feel that same how the Everlasting Arms are able to receive and direct me so that I shall not be too great a stumbling block – How the longing does spring up, surging in me to make plainer, and remove obstacles from the way of our dear ones, who are struggling so faithfully, and so uncomplainingly to play their part in this baffling drama. And I
“But catch at the skirts of the
Thing I would be
And fall back on the lap
Of a false destiny”
I did intend this to be a joyful acknowledgement of all the good that has come to me in the fifty years since we took the pledges which made over life one – and here I am moaning, again, because I have made so little of my opportunities.
The day draws toward the hour when a half century ago, we exchanged our promises for the future.
The shadows begin to creep a cross the plains, so the day makes a definite forecast for a beautiful night – and I extend my hands and heart of me and give you my word to do all in my power in the day left me to make amends for past incompecies [sic], unfaithfulnessess, and insufficient love.
You are here now – and always will be. The earth may change its form and the works of man be quite obliterated and anew face of all things appear but our souls and the Soul behind them “stand sure”.
Good night Dear Love.
[Folded into the diary is the Marriage Certificate of William K. Sinton and Miss Lulu Bell dated September 5, 1985 along with piece of paper with an untitled poem, transcribed here]:
We have walked upon the mountain top and viewed the shining universe
After our planet had turned its face from the dazzling brilliance of its Day Star.
In debt to devoted lives that have scrutinized and followed the motions
Of this stupendous wonder through the ages, we try to follow and to understand;
But, as yet, we do not know enough, and only faith is ours.
We sink upon the lap of Mother Earth and feel secure in our identity with her
And all the shining universe of which she is a part.
We have walked upon the mountain top and looked abroad the earth;
Toward the east, where sunlit plains curved up and seemed to touch the sky;
Then westward, where shadow filled canons without number
And rank on rank of rocky peaks, snow-crested, break the line of the far horizon;
And as we walk so far aloft we are aware of humanity.
Luminous minds which shine throughout recorded history
Show trends and possibilities of mankind –
And as we know that “even the least of these” have capacities
To attain to heights unreached, we fret to be of those that make new,
And improve earlier, paths by which we all may go on,
In happily related groups, fulfilling Beneficent Life’s intent.
We have stood upon the mountaintop and gazed toward the outer universe
Of large and ever larger concepts – reaching where? –
Then sent our vision down, to where we know, although they are too small to see,
Those of our kinds are wandering, wondering, searching, longing –
Ever smaller and more minute are Life’s manifestations traced
Until they can be known only through their reactions
Where they are revealed, and surely used.
From illimitably great to infinitly [sic] small
From minute to great,
The universe unfolds, and we are a part of ALL.
September 6, 1935
P.S. to what I wrote yesterday – Bell had written reminding William of our anniversary and telling him that she planned to ask the immediate family in for an hour if I as well enough. She did not say anything to me and I took it or granted that no one but myself was remembering. When Mary-Jo and Tom were leaving I told her to tell her father that it was the fiftieth anniversary of our marriage – and that was the reason for their visit!, because Tom must be abed in the […] and Margot is in bed with an acute influenza and M.J. must stay with them while her parents came to see me.
Well about eight o’clock Margie and Melvin appeared carrying an enormous bunch of gladiolas and other flowers from Mrs. Whitehead’s garden. Marion is kept at home with a broken leg received in an accident in Ute Pass several weeks ago, but she wrote a pretty card of remembrances and Melvin delivered it. And that takes me back again = You, of course, knew Marion’s parents before you came west – yes she told me not long since that you put in the first filling in her teeth when she was about twelve years old, when you stayed at their house the time you took your Grandmother Brien’s body to be buried in the Friend’s Burying Ground near them. But I did not know of her existence until she came for a visit to Uncle John (her mother’s brother) and Aunt Mary Bartlett (who was Melvin and your mother’s sister) – Then two years later she and Melvin were married at the Bartlett house on North Nevada Avenue. His health did not appear to permit him to go east so she left her parents and cam to her uncle’s house for the ceremony. Which we all attended – that was August 29, 1891, so they will have a fiftieth anniversary in another six years. I hop they may both be here fro it – and I believe they will. He said, on leaving, last evening, “I wish Will were here” and when I said, “He is” he replied, “Yes, but I want to talk to him. I am lonely for those who are gone.”
When he came in I asked “We where were we fifty years ago?” and he looked a bit puzzled and asked was it “Was it in the Garden of the Gods?” and brought to mind one of the occurrences during your and my five months acquaintance before we were married. (Of course you know all that I am writing – before it is written, but I am yielding to the wish Melvin expressed when said he wanted to talk to you!) Hattie had been extraordinarily cordial and friendly to you before I appeared – and her family ditto, Well, you remember, one time she proposed to take their horse and light wagon and spend a Sunday in the Garden of the Gods, and suggested that you invite Melvin to come along and bring a girl, you accepted and asked him to bring me! And so we all went and spent a beautiful day together. I devoted myself to Melvin, and you to Hattie until late in the day You and I took a stroll around the Kissing Camels Rock leaving Melvin to entertain Hattie. Nowadays one can drive, on a fine road all around the Rock in five or ten minutes at most – but on foot with no trail it took us too long for politeness. But all went pleasantly when we returned – and from then on, Hattie, and her family devoted their attention to Melvin – and so that was what he meant when he asked if we had been in the Garden fifty years ago! And Melvin married a girl from the east, and Hattie married Seeley Hoag, because a widow with three fine sons and was Christian Scientist for years – and died last year after a lingering and painful illness. Her second son came on from California to take charge of her affairs, as they were all living far from here. One day he called me on phone to say that in going over his mother’s papers he had found a pretty baby picture marked “Bell Sinton, 2 years old” and he would be glad to send it to me if I cared for it – and he did. We had a little talk and he seemed a nice person. So much for that particular memory.
Frederic brought Lillian Walberg out to see me last evening. They want to be married! And he has no job! They are fine young folks. [Lasten?] they may have the experience of living their dreams. They have waited as many years as we did months. It is all so different now. Frances and Spencer married on three months acquaintance – having has no more than two weeks in the presence of each other in that time – but he had his job – his life work was fairly well assured. To be sure his pay was too small for two – but it was something assured. They believed that in less than three years his automatic rank and pay would be increased to the point when they could live easily. Alas, the cuts came and all automatic increases in pay were stopped – Though the rank was advanced and then came the baby! But they appear to be weathering the blast, with even a second baby – but the pay has been restored!
But Fredric and Niel are being tried in the hardest way a young man can be – I understand, Niel’s girl has apparently slipped from him because there was no prospect for the completion of their happiness ahead – and her family thought it unfair to her – and they are both more impatient tan are these other two even now there are indications of friction on the part of Lillian’s family. And I can do nothing I cannot change the world or the people in it.
Then came Jo and Mary bringing a box of rosebuds, to me and you always brought me rosebuds on anniversaries – usually one fine one.
Oh, the sad memories that always come whenever Jo comes and smiles at me! All too rare are these times, even though some memories are sad, because I was not sufficiently omniscient to do and say the right things – the things a mother should be endowed with instinctively when tragedies threaten her children. He has made a tremendous [bottle?] since you went away. I believe that he has been true to all the best that you and I had to give him. He was not naturally given to expansive confidences and his hard experiences have made him almost suspicious and less communicative – so I do not know a lot. I long to ask him the questions a Mother longs to have answer to – but I dare not ask our baby of intimate things – or for that matter anything. His children are fine and he is a good father – I especially appreciate him as a father of daughters – They cannot but have desirable memories of their companionship with him all their lives. Mary-Jo goes, in a few days, away to college – not too far – and knows what she is trying to do. Margot must go two years more to high school. And Tom – I am hoping that Jo will be able to do a large measure of what I am sure he wants to do to help his son to the place where he can go alone, strongly into his world. Jo will be nearly as old as I am now by that time. And so the generations go toward – what? You would love Tom as you did Billy the first of these nine grandchildren. I must have faith in Everlasting Righteousness – one must “curse God, and die” otherwise!
Joe Sinton Willet wrote in the gravel of the drive in tall letters, last evening “Dr. and Mrs. Sinton, 50 years” and appeared to enjoy helping his mother to serve ice and wafers to those few of Your people, as we talked of You and other absent ones. He is growing to be a fine fellow – very original, but able to concentrate on things which appear to be worth it to him. He will surely make good – in what kind of a world?
This morning as I lie here abed Bell brought me our marriage certificate – all printed in purple ink and signed by James B. Gregg, Pastor of the Congregational Church, and by G. Frank Otis and M.M. Sinton as witnesses. The old Quaker way where at Mayollou, Elinor Sinton, Anne Sinton, Elizabeth Sinton, Joseph Sinton, Benjamin Sinton and David Sinton signed in that order as witnesses to the marriage of Jacob Sinton and Sarah Mackie, on June 8, 1730 – “ladies first” was admirable.
But theirs was a different world which, too, held the desirable as well as the undesirable – ours is ours – and the children will have another.
I wonder how John and his hastily wed Imogene are making out. He is dear – so like you in appearance. Bill is flying – if not high, at least in the service of our country as it is. How you loved him, and he You – and neither You or I have seen his Judy and their Sally Ann. Her lovely picture sat beside yours – and I could see the smile grow in your eyes as I watched the two of you – until I gave that one of you to Dr. Wester who came out here and asked for it this summer. I have more like it --
[Stuck in between the last two pages is a business card with “Mrs. W.K.Sinton 1220 North Tejon Street” on one side and a poem by Ellen Glasgow on the other. Transcribed here: A Prayer
Grant me but courage, Lord!
I ask not that Thou smooth the appointed path
I ask not any joys the years afford,
I ask not even Thy averted […]
Let me but learn to smile –
Let me face lightly any blow that falls;
Bear bravely with my bondage all the while.
And hug my freedom within prison walls
Thus when the end draws near
With lifted head let me the potion quaff,
And so – as one who never learned to fear –
Pass on to meet Thy judgment with a laugh. ]
And Sallly [Arvis?] has gone to be with others in the “Archives” box. I can remember without them – If I want to be reminded in any way they are near at hand.
Three great-grandchildren! Sally Ann Sinton, Martha Bell Hewins, and dear, dear little Frances Jay Hewins – I have seen and lived for months with the last two.
I know that little children, grandchildren – and great grandchildren send you their love. Thus ended our half century together – and what awaits in the future?—
August 31st 1936 10:30 p.m.
“As the end draws near” may I yield to my fear of living out the days I must here – I am sure there will be no fear for what comes after – the prayer above was said by me so many, many times through the past years and now I must make it be answered. “Let me learn to smile” even so late – and all the rest will follow. I f I can only add “speak softly and less often.”
I have looked out this old prayer tonight and set it here as a reminder and help to this poor sinner.
September 5, 1938 – 53 years!
I appear to forget so much! – Have just been looking over the entry when Bell had a few of the family all she could reach out to speak of our fiftieth anniversary. And much has happened in those three years:
Margie still teaches – she and Bell went to their first day of this year school. Frederic and his Lillian were married last year – when he got a foot hold in the High School – she is secretary for the Dean of Women at Colorado College and they expect to begin building a little house on our “lower lot” in a few weeks.
William still at Veteran’s Hospital in Bedford Massachusetts – where he hopes to remain another two years – until John finishes his school work and can be fairly on his own feet. William has been the real father to John, insisting that he finish, even though a wife and baby (William Albert) are added – however John has worked and studied by turns, and all reports are to the effect that Imogene has shared all the hardness in a most exemplary way. So there is one more great-grandchild. Billy is now in San Diego – had quite a “tour of duty” bringing a flying boat out this summer. When last I wrote he was still in Pensacola acting as instructor in flying for the Navy but he transferred to Lindberg Field last fall. Before that he was in a crash caused by a student flyer “freezing” at controls – and was hurt so that his transfer was delayed a month while he recovered. But eh saved his students life by diving with a crushed leg and dragging the unconscious man from the submerged cock-pit. For which he afterward received high commendation from superior authorities. Well, Bill and Judy are expecting another baby this month—what will it be, boy or girl? Since they have a girl twould be nice to have a boy.
And Bill’s grand-children are now three – Charlotte Elizabeth having arrived only thirteen months after Frances Joy – so that makes three more great grandchildren when Judy and Bill announce the one almost here!
Niel is hoping to finish college by next June – when he should have credentials to enable him to stand on his own feet there after – and Joe has gone away – away to take advantage of the chance Spencer made for him to continue school. It had appeared as if he must work at least another year before he could get to college when Frances and Spencer asked him to come to them and enter San Francisco Junior College. His letter to me a few days ago says he “hates the school and all connected there with but recognizes the chance to go toward the things he considers worth while. He is pure gold. He and Frances are congenial, and the plunge into the world away from all he has held dearest up to now is surely not so bad as it might otherwise be.
And so the years roll by –
I am much more comfortable in body this year – have become habituated to doing only a fraction of the things I see to be done about me. I hope others are happier because I am less tense – at least I am able to do the most essential things, and do not have to be cared for as much as three years ago.
Only Bell and me at home now – she is better than her health threatened a half year ago.
[Magazine clipping: “Tired Fingers” author unknown]
September 25, 1939 – I have just finished reading Grandma calls it Carnal, and got out of bed to rest my legs and back, though I have promised to staying [in] bed and upstairs because I have been harboring a “Belief” in “common cold” germs for two or three days. The belief became as like a reality yesterday that the clinical thermometer shop up to – I don’t know how high as Bell would not (as least did not) tell me. She telephoned Leo but he was not to be reached, so she got Dr. J.J. one phone and he prescribed large and free --- [quint?} doses of asperin [sic] and an enema. So in a few hours the thermometer told another story. This morning it said “below normal” which being interpreted means normal. After inhaling creosote I ceased coughing – so now hope to soon be released from observation – until then.
Today is the birth date of your eldest grandson’s only son – from one year ago today. His name is William Jack – born in San Diego. I supposed the Jack is for Jack (John M.) Shouler – the William?
Well the William Sintons in the past have been too numerous to try to mention but :
William Azel Kelley Sinton was named for two grandfathers – William O’ Brien and Agel Kelley – his son.
William Walter Eugene Sinton was named by his mother for his father and her sister’s husband Eugen Motlon But W.A.K. had asked his cousin Jennie Candee to name the baby, and she sent the name Walter! – his eldest son was named William Ernest Sinton for his father and grandfather and for the mother’s father Ernest Sholer. W.W. Eis second son was named for the mother’s brother John M. Shouler and for the father’s brother James Joseph Sinton. Now John Josepth Sinton’s son as born August 13, 1935 and named William Albert Sinton fort this grandfather and for the mother’s father about Moore – now comes William Jack Sinton named (I suppose) for his great – grandfather, his grandfather, his father etc. etc.!
Sunday May 4, 1941 –
Seventy five years ago I was born. Joe Willett had a few lovely red rose buds in a vase on the table set for dinner, when I came in from church, and on a card among them was written in red ink “May 4th—1941 dear Granny, just a little remembrance on this anniversary—your first three score and fifteen years – Joe”. And from Bell a two dollar check for a book for which I had expressed a wish, with a note saying “incidentally – I really love you even if I can’t seem to show it 75 years worth” B.S.W.
A beautiful nosegay of orchid sweet peas, yellow rosebuds and other flower cam from the Pikes Peak Floral Co. containing a card from “William and Edith” (they are in Bedford, Mass.) Then Margie came this afternoon bringing two rosebuds and her usual check, on May 4th to pay my dues in the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution – She had paid all expenses of that membership fort here years, including the Magazine.
So it has been a nice quiet anniversary.
Lately I have been too much affected by the state of the world. Such a sense suspense – of the futility of anything I can --- or could do. The radio affects me as senseless chatter – and so much in the news papers appears to be there only to rush us on into this madness that is abroad in the world.
There appears little reason to set down my own reactions probably I cannot make them clear – and then who will ever take the trouble to try to understand them.
First – I am decidedly not pro-British I cannot see that, should America be drawn into this war (further than we are at present- America would be upholding American democracy. What is called British democracy is not the same, and I cannot see but that we are being asked to sustain the British Empire and the balance of power of that Empire in the world.
On the other hand – that the power of the dictators should spread – should obliterate the British Isles and their people is most repellant to me. My sympathies are with the people of those islands – they are being made to suffer this awful experience by the ruthless power of the ruling classes of Britain – the bigotry, the effrontery, the selfishness of a class that will sacrifice its own people, in an effort to maintain its own dominance. Of course they feel that they are superior. If I could believe that they could be convinced that consideration for all hu-[man?] even to the “last waif” I could find it in my heart to wish our own (scarcely blameless) people should help to curb The Axis. We have made such serious mistakes—are so blind to our own need for a better and fuller democracy -- and we must awaken, and devote our energies toward the ideal democracy, which we often talk as if it were ours now. I feel that we shall set that all back again if we become entangled with the age old enmities, prejudices, and hatreds. Seventy-five years! – and what is held by the next “three score and fifteen years”?
There are two sons – two daughters, six-grandsons – three granddaughters, three great grandsons—four great grand daughters. – Would I wish to know about them in the years ahead?
This I now feel assured of: (if I could rally understand the implications --)
The only Reality is Life. Life comprises all that is at all. To try to understand this and cooperate with this Mystery is the privilege and responsibility of Life’s manifestation in each of us.
Whether our descendants can ever know any more, or not, should be no discouragement toward learning to (love) their fellows, and live a more and more [crossed out: successful] satisfactory span upon this plane of Life – satisfactory, that is, to all who are here manifestations of that in Life which we all “live and move and have our being.”
I wonder if this can mean anything to anyone but myself. I have wanted, not only to think this, but to feel it – and I believe I now will have that comfort to the end – be really conscious of my oneness with Life – all life. Could I have earlier have learned would I have been more useful?
September 5, 1945 –
Sixty years! That day sixty years ago was quite unlike this as to weather – then the sun did not show his face all day – fog so thick we could not see across the street a good part of the time. Today there is not a cloud to be seen – where I sit in my loft. A great blue bowl inverted above our world. I have just re-read the last few pages before this ---
Well, this is not the world it appeared to be even ten years ago today.
Our own family is so scattered that I fail to keep close touch with all members.
Our eldest, Margie is beautifully housed in a small efficiently planned cottage. Her husband’s health threatens – but he still holds his place as chief accountant at Sinton Dairy, while she continues to teach. There are three years more before she expects to be retired – Two and a half years to the sixty fifth birthday. They have a first grandchild, Jan Louise Handke, born in Santa Monica, California, where her father is in charge of the personnel for the Weather Reg. as t/sergt. Lillian, the mother, writes that Jan Louise expects to be living across the street from us by her second birthday! It has been possible to be this definite, since the Japanese surrender. I believe Frederic is thinking of getting his Masters degree when released from the service – probably at Stanford.
Then William’s Family: He is still at Bedford Mass. head (I understand) of the Dental Clinic at the U.S. Veterans Hospital. He has lately written me telling of having had an increase of pay, and so promising me a check each month from now on. This is a resumption of payments promised more than twenty years ago. He tells me that Edith, his wife, who was out here to consult her old friend and physician, Dr. Fowler of Denver, in April. Since her return to Mass. she had to be in a diagnostic hospital a week – was “in bed most of the time since – and if she wants to live she must take care of herself and live according to a strict regime”. Eh says that he is doing pretty well himself. Their older son, Bill is in charge of the Coast Guard Air Headquarters in Washington D.C. He has not been “happy” that he did not get into fighting service during the wars. Probably his service has been quite as useful to the government. He and Judy with Sally Ann and Jack came through here on their way for him to talk over the Coast Guard base at Port Angeles […] Oct. 1943. They came back through here on their way to Washington D.C. to take on the latest assignment this twice they were accompanied a new addition to their family, Christopher Avery Sinton – not quite six weeks old! Even at that age I felt that he was an individual. His photograph when about nine months old shows a rather more than usual baby, perhaps his quantity of dark hair, and dark eyes, were responsible for my impressions. Of course Bill’s life work will be in the Coast Guard, where he has made something of a reputation. His brother, John, and wife are expecting a third child, also – of course it is to be a girl because there are two boys already – I breathlessly await news each day. And this will be the sixteenth great grandchildren. You would be proud of each of them. Grandfather – your father used to speak of the thought of being followed into the future world by many descendents and he urged that we see to it that they should be “good citizens”.
Bill continues to teach – though, without saying so much, I often have wondered if she could continue her allotment – she is this year fifty-nine years old.
Her daughter, Frances, has been here, since August 1944, with her four children, three girls and a boy, the latter entered, yesterday , the first grade in Cheyenne school – though he will not be six years old till the day after Christmas. The father, Spencer, has been much occupied, since Pearl Harbor, with training Marines for hazardous landings (his first trainees were in the van at Guadalcanal) and since last August has been Executive Officer (second in command)on the S.S. Cambrid – in Leyte, twice at Lynayan [sic] Gulf and on the initial attack on Okanawa [sic]. He had a leave (to have been two months while the ship was having overhaul at San Pedro – while was prolonged another two months) and came to see his family, before returning to the ship. He expected to be in on the final invasion of Japan. Just as they were about to sail came the atomic bomb- evidently all orders were changed. On the 22nd (of August 1945) he was still in San Pedro – a letter expected hourly but – Of course his life will be with the Coast Guard, but how and where? A letter from him – but Frances away – so I cannot know –
Niel taught in Fountain two years, after the same time in Wyoming- Now, has gone to Wray Colo. for a second year. He was urged to take a position in the Colorado Springs schools (by the superintendent) but, because his ineligibility for tenure (he would not accept) His tragedy has been to be diabetic. Apparently he is making good as so many nice things are said of his work. He and Ruth have a lovely two year old daughter, Elizabeth (Betty) Bell Willett.
Joe Sinton Willett (2nd Lieutenant of artillery with liaison flying Training) was on the Pacific, a day or two when Japan surrendered. WE suppose that he will become a part of the occupation force – for how long? In the meantime, Eileen, his wife and one year old son, Lynn Brunson Willett are with her parents. Because their house is tiny, and her young brother, who is on a nine sweeper near the China coast (at last accounts) will probably come home before long, she is watching for a cottage, in this neighborhood, where she can make her home until Joe returns. They will be so happy when, and if, they can go as foresters into the limitless mountains – he feels sure of his chance since he was graduated from Colorado School of Forestry before entering training at Fort Gill. So now I have brought them to you – they are yours and I see your smile as you view them.
As I sit alone here I am filled with wonder – about those years – and more wonder, “those hopes and fears of all the years” as to the years ahead. Of course I shall see very little of it all. Have the people of our country been really aroused to the possibilities ahead? Will the will to do be sufficient to help make the world a stepping stone to the “kingdom come” for which so many pray with words every day?
I have been occupied lately with collecting, and toying to make intelligible, many fragments. That I have enough command of my brain and muscles to even make the attempt, is almost a miracle as I look over the last few years. Now, it is a blur – but I have enough memory to compel me to submit to treatments, which appear to have worked the afore said miracle. I shall have enough to occupy my attention for some time. An historical sketch of All Souls Church, which I was asked to do by the pastor and Board of Trustees (I being the only member now alive who was of the small group who organized in 1891) has been got together – in a forum which can be used by others, but not at all what I should have liked to make it.
Now – today – I am beginning to get the records of the Willett-Hillis-Hester-Ewing families into a loose leaf book, which I began several years ago. Having had many additions through the kindness of Mrs. Myrtle Roe of Sterling Colo. – who is also a descendant of the Hillis-Ewings- I have much to rewrite. Then I have unearthed at least one generation of this Willet family – in spite of the reluctance and lack of interest in the remaining members (elders) of said families.
Then my dear cousins, The Beatties, who have done so much research on my mother’s family – Lynns of Kentucky – have been most generous, and I have much to sift and add to my amateur efforts.
And the Sinton-O’Brien-Kelley-Daggett books must be gone over (Godwilling) and simplified if they are to be of use to those who will remain.
So I must behave and work.
And all the time I am not finding many things that I can do to add a little to the world impulse toward development and advance.
It has been a wonderful sixty years – had I looked forward to the days ahead (hidden behind a veil) I should – would – have expected much more to have been accomplished. I was so ignorant! So naïve!
Will others 00 in another sixty years view their efforts – thoughts – in any such light?
My hand becomes very tire – here endeth the present writing. September 5th 1945 – 1:35 p.m. In the loft.
September 6, 1946 – yesterday was filled full – Miriam Smith (you remember Kate Wright Smith!) dropped in on a trip to Kansas City, from Klamath Falls, and Bell had her out to lunch with just her and me, and then drove us to Bruin Inn and over the High drive. It was half past four when we got back to Sinnyloft and Bell took her to her friend’s house – our near Margie’s. We shall probably drive with her another time while she is here – till the middle of next week. It has been pleasant to once again make contact with thoughts and memories of my childhood – of course it was Miriam’s mother and her sisters who belonged to my childhood days. They are gone – Sixty one years since we were married! How little a time really – Even the radical writers of those days are “going- going- gone” H.G.Wells is the last. He said at the last that his efforts have been wasted – of course they are not, but as I view the apparently little accomplished for the world of what we believed could be done – I also can see “a little here, a little there” that is pointing – yes, heading – to better things. And our descendants will be among those who go forward. The day is beautiful – as was our anniversary. I did think of you in the midst of some confusion! Till – next year?
August 16, 1947 – For three days I appear to be really going – I wonder- if only I could feel that I had been worth enough –I yearn for all the children who are following us – of course I cannot physically, have them, but I can be glad and proud that they all promise to be worthy “citizens” as your father always admonished us to rear. There is much inside me I’d like to express but since that is impossible I’d as well not try.
On the afternoon of September 5th -- our 62 wedding anniversary Bell, our daughter and first child brought me this rose bud “because father always brought a red rosebud on this anniversary.”
[The rest of the diary contains a few more handwritten entries but mostly newspaper and magazine clippings some transcribed here:]
Postcard: “Congratulations and sincere best wishes from Melvin & Marion. To Lulu Sept 5th, 1935”
Slip of Paper: “September 5, 1946
Could I pay in a lump I should prefer it,
But there’s no mine to blow up and get done with;
So I must stay to the end of the chapter.”
“Wild Grief” by Graham-Linscott
“Remembering You” by Minnie Leona Upton
“Somewhere” by Margaret Sangster in the Christian Herald
“Interlude” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“If He Should Tire of Me” by Elaine V. Emans
“Man in His Image” by Claire McClure
“Concentric” by Josephine Wetzler
“A Tryst” by Winston Churchill [written in pencil: American]
“Sounds” by Cristel Hastings
“In Another Lifetime” by Jan Isbelle Fortune
“Echoes” by Helen Welshimer
“Overnight” by Charlotte Hunderford perry
Excerpt from “The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft” by George Gessing titled “One Day
“Late Spring” by Theodore Maynard
“Who Has Known Heights” by Mary Brent Whiteside, in Harper’s Magazine
“Funeral” by Jay G. Sigmund
Quotes from John 15:11 and Charles Gordon Ames
“Dirge Without Music” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
“The Call of Death” by Mary P. Sears
“Solitude” by John Hanlon
“Portrait of A Lady” by Fanny Heaslip Lea
Handwritten: “The Shade” by Dorothy [Don?]
“They whispered that you were dead
And their voices were hushed and low;
As the hours flicker and go
I laugh at the things they said –
You dead? When I see your face
In the moon and the clouds at night –
When your fingers cool and white,
Seem to beckon me every place –
Oh – no – like the mind – the sea –
All deathless beautiful things –
You have gone on ecstatic wings
To well with eternity”
Colorado State Dental Association “In Memoriam” for Dr. W.K. Sinton
Cornell Alumni News Obituary W.K. Sinton
A photograph of Dr. W.K.Sinton
Friday September 26, 1947 – 11:20 a.m. Almost has my physical nerve control been unable to keep me up to dressing, breakfasting. I have taken Dr. Barnes drops an just eaten banana and milk.
While trying to get my thinking a way from my sensations – sitting an hour in the sun outside and making an effort (several of them) to read, the question, so often in my thinking, came Why am I held here? I appear to be learning (from various reading) a good deal – But why? So soon to quit it all? – Then quite quietly [lent?] suddenly, came this suggestion: This individual personality is in the latest struggle to be born in into another experience. THIS will all be of use later. Well I do feel that it would be most acceptable to “lie down, for an eon or two till the Master of all good work men shall set us to work anew. – Then perhaps “ all ----- So passed in making up the main account; All instincts immature, All purposes unsure, That weighed not in his work, yet swelled the man’s amount: Thoughts hardly to packed into a narrow act, Fancies that broke through language and escaped; All I could never be This […]worth to God. ---
Poems by Elizabeth Warren Jones
Newspaper clipping: “DR. W.K. SINTON, CITY PIONEER, PASSES AWAY”
“In My Father’s House” by Robert E. Freeman D.D. [in pencil: Mrs. Culver sent it [to] me – L.B.S.]
Poem by Edgar A. Guest Copyright, 1927
Picture of Eddie Pelkey playing pool. handwritten caption reads: As I saw you surprise Grannies, et al, at Glen Eyrie one evening – on a regulation table.
“A Breviary for the Dark Hours” by Joseph Auslander
“To Eleanor” by Wilfred J. Funk
“Adios to a Friend (for R.M.)” by Dorothy Callaway
Back cover: “The Native Angler” by I. Newton Greene
This made me remember the story you told me of Jerry (the rest of the name escapes me) an Irish ranchman with whom you and Dr. McKay lodged on the [Louechi?] whose directions for fishing were “don’t give them time to consider, Doc’s; when they strike take ‘em out.”
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