Monday, March 29, 2010

'We want to die together, and love will do that for us.'


(Photo: My great-grandfather Ernest Detmers)

Five years later, Ernest must spend time away from his wife. I'm not sure why she's back in Southern California, while he stays in Exeter. Maybe she's just visiting her relatives for a short time.

Ernest misses Mamie as much as when she was still with Clarence. It also appears she's having trouble conceiving. At this point, they have already had at least one child.

The line that strikes me most: "When we do die, we want to die together and love will do that for us."

This comment is meaningful when you know how the two sweethearts met with their respective deaths much too early. I will explain soon.



Exeter, Calif.
June 28, 1925

Dearest Lil Sugar Plum –

Thought I’d better write or you might think I was sick. But I’m not sick. Wish I could do something while you’re away and surprise you, but honey it sure takes the money and time. If it wasn’t for coming down again, I might have about 50 cents extra to spend for paint to paint the house inside and out, and the garage and chicken coop. Was up town with the intent of buying a pair of light pants, whip cords or something, but saw the oil on the rear wheels, so I guess I’ll have a new rear axle put in Lizzie instead. Was going to write to you the other night, honey bunch. My thoughts were rather dormant though from fatigue in the shoppe. Didn’t wish to worry your delicate organism with a carload of mush without no sugar on it. Believe me you.

I went to the dam yesterday. Sunday and Earl, Mary and the Hustons were there. Went in for awhile. Sure refreshing. Wish you could have been there. Mary sure did have fun with some of the other tots with a tied boat.

I’d like to come down the 4th, but I doubt I will have the money, and it’s still pretty hot here. Guess I’ll write back not to come, as one has to come through several spots that are about a million times hotter to get here.

Well, sweetie, I have to go to town and (?) that piece that has the set screw on the plunger rod fixed. The threads in it are stripped. So bye, and I’ll continue this letter in the next... Hope you had a good time in the hills. Yes, the folks sure have a time in their place. If Pa could just get well, they ought to get rid of the home place and just keep the (?) and the corner place and put it to bulbs and walnut nursery or something.

Bye dearest and dearie. XXXXX
As ever, your darn fool hubby,
Ernest

(Envelope addressed to Mamie A. Detmers, care of H.J. Harvey, RI Ontario, Calif.)

Exeter, Calif.
June 30, ‘25

Dearest Sweetie of mine –

So you are having lots of company. Shouldn’t think you’d be lonesome. Yes you ought to send for Mattie. Tell him about it. That would give you a good excuse to have me come down for you so they wouldn’t be so crowded. I could leave here Sun. eve. I don’t want to come as though I wasn’t sent for. Might make them feel bad. But if you think you’d better stay and help with the cats, let me know. But use diplomacy, see kiddie, don’t have a fuss.

Sr. Mabel gave the 5 back well she had a visit with you, and she also knows we aren’t stingy. I wrote Fred to phone Hank not to come. It isn’t worth the trip just for a day.

Well I don’t know much of news. Wish you were here tonight. I’d sure love to chew your ears, you darn lil piece of mutt you. XXXX

Don’t worry about your condition, kiddie. There will be other families, but not as pretty before the game is over. And if we take our medicine gamely and lovingly enough, we will escape the ravages of age that many a childless couple suffer. Let’s just surprise them all honey. You do your part and I’ll do mine. We’ll surely have enuf family for a dishwasher then. Get it on time, ha ha. I saw a couple, Frazer Milligan and his wife, in the restaurant tonight. I used to think she sure was pretty a few years ago, but now she is gray as a bat, wears glasses and they say is crabby as the dickens. They have no kids.

I guess I’ll send for some pep tablets and give Earl a few for Mary. And I’ll bet she slips it over on him for another one or so. Honey, if you can just cultivate that secret of love life, we can fool them all and I know it. Please honey! When we do die, we want to die together and love will do that for us.

Well dearie, it’s time to go to bed, so quit your reading and come on. Too bad about the quake, huh?

Wish I could write a carload like you can. Tonight xxxx wifey of mine. As ever your dear friend Ernest A. Detmers.

125 S. 1st st, Exeter, Calif.

Have been trying to find the Sears Roebuck catalogue. Wanted to send for some perfume, but couldn’t find it.

Thanks for my shirt honey.

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