Letter from Eleanor Blair, Wellesley, Massachusetts, to Mrs. D.C. Blair, Montour Falls, New York, 1914 April 15
Letter home describing Easter celebration, including morning Easter carols and vespers; class elections; sending a classmate's photograph of the College Hall Fire taken that morning; and her Legenda yearbook. —Keywords: Easter; Singing; College student government; Yearbooks; College Hall Fire, 1914; Vespers; Tree Day; Eliot House; Fiske House; College Hall; Norumbega Cottage —Tags: Arts, Theater and Music; Buildings and Grounds; Faculty, Staff and Administrators; Religion and Spirituality; Student Life; Tradition and Ritual
13 pages + 1 envelope
April 15, 1914. 4:45 P.M. Dear Blair family & Aunt Mi, I have just come home from Botany & have an hour before dinner so will at least start a letter. I found a note here on the table from Shumway, our class president, saying she wanted to see me & would be back later so I may not get much done now. When did I write last? And [page 2] where did I leave off with the news? I'll begin by thanking you for that sweet package which I found awaiting me Mon. P.M. Nothing but the box is now left to tell the tale. Um! but 22 Cottage has enjoyed that. I have the young man's post card on my bureau. Say, Buster! I wouldn't mind seeing you. Wouldn't I take you on some nice, long walks if I could once get you out here! My room at present looks like a small-sized dry goods [page 3] store. I have called in the T.D. costumes and started to put them in my steamer trunk. They kept coming and coming until I have a pile way up to the top of the cover when it is open and a pile of things on the floor besides. And there are still more to come in! Guess I shall have to move out, and sleep in the hall. Blanche is back, thank goodness! She came back Mon. A.M. She was down at Eliot to lunch Mon. with Pauline and we three had a circus together - guess the whole dining room thought we were crazy. Now about Easter! I was afraid I would get a little homesick, but the whole day was so wonderful I just didn't have a chance. Taking things all around, I think it as one of the happiest Easters I ever spent. A new custom was started this year - that of waking up the college with Easter carols. We got up about six A.M. and much to our delight the sun was out and the day perfect. I met Soph Meyers & Betty Hill on the corner & we set out for the chapel. Quite a lot of girls were out looking for [page 4] birds, so things weren't as quiet and deserted as would be expected on at Sunday A.M. at 6:45. Farther up on the campus we met Glad Gorman, and on reaching the chapel, found some of the girls already waiting down in the robeing room. Mr. Mc Dougal had on his cap & gown & we girls donned our[deletion: s] gowns. Miss Wheeler, one of the vocal teachers was also there. Out in the main part of the basement was an oil stove with a big coffee pot steaming away on it, and a table with huge platters of nice, thin [page 5] bread-and-butter sandwiches. Three ladies were officiating and a man to pour the coffee. Everyone was in such good spirits and so happy that we just had the best time ever. There are so many grand girls in the choir that when we get together a good time is inevitable. It was a little cool out so of course we had to leave our coats on. Some of the girls did look too funny with their robes over heavy winter coats. They looked as if they had eaten far too many sandwiches & had expanded accordingly. [page 6] After eating all we wanted (and more than we needed) we got in a line of four abreast. I forgot to say we had a four-piece band from Boston. They played a short Easter selection from Beethoven & then we sang "Jesus Christ is Ris'n Today - Allelulia" etc. After trying it over once, we started for Miss Pendleton's. She came out on the porch & we all waved as we started for Stone. Oh, the music was just wonderful! One of the girls said it made her want to cry it was so beautiful. After Stone, we went to the Hill Houses & the Quad. It seemed kind of funny to pass right by College Hall. I hope the pictures, which some of the girls took, will turn out well. After the serenade, we came home, dressed for church & returned for rehearsal at 9:30 A.M. And then for the first time we saw the flowers. The whole front of the platform was one great mass of color - great brushes of azaleas 4 or 5 feet high, carnations, huge palms, Easter lilies, maiden hair ferns, calas [mis-spelling: callas], orchids, the passion flower, etc. The arrangement was wonderful - the whole thing just fairly took our breath away as we looked. [page 7] My, but I did wish you home-folks were there to enjoy it. We practiced until 10:45, then there was service until 12:15 and then another short rehearsal. In the P.M. I went up to Fiske to a tea to meet Milly Williams' mother. She is awfully dear, but of course can't come within gun-shot of mine. Just wait till I get mine out here! The most wonderful music of the day came in the evening at musical vespers. I'll send you a program to let you know something about it. [page 8] Shummy has been here, I've been to dinner and just got home from C.A., Becky Meeker led tonight, and gave the finest on "Worry, a hindrance to service." All our C.A. meetings are so helpful. The girls just give good, practical talks from their own experiences, and talks of the that kind always do more good, I think, than some high-kaflooting sermon. They affect me that way anyway! Becky is Sophomore Pres. now, you know, since Mary Harris flunked at midyears. The Sophomore officers have invited all us Freshmen officers to a supper [page 9] party in Becky's room next Sunday evening before vespers. Isn't that great? To proceed with the Easter music! I can tell you I never knew a choir to so entirely forget themselves and put their whole selves into the music as our choir did Sunday night. We had had no more than an hour and a half of practice for all our Easter music, but Mr. Mc Dougal had interpreted the pieces for us so we just felt them and then sang as we felt. When we sat down after the second number, I felt absolutely collapssed [mis-spelling: collapsed], I felt as though there wasn't an atom of me left. My! but we were a happy bunch when we were singing the last Amen after marching out. "Well," Ida said, "there can't anyone say our choir can't sing!" Louise Crawford, who is a five year music student and now a Senior, said she never knew the choir to put itself so completely into the music as we did Sunday night. Everyone said the music was the best they had ever heard at Wellesley vespers. Now I have bragged enough I guess so will tell you a word about elections etc. and ring [page 10] off. Stu. G., C.A. and all the important elections are in full swing. The finals for Stu. G. president will be announced tomorrow at 5 P.M. and then will come one of the biggest hullabaloos during the college year. Rachel Davis is sure to get it. She had 169 votes on the first ballot and the next highest was 57. She is a Phi Beta Kappa girl, was president of her class in their Sophomore year & is just the one for the place. The dear old Hinder bell which was [page 11] always rung at Stu. G. elections is no more. We are wondering what kind of a ceremony will take the place of ringing that bell. Monday morning the "Freemen Fowls gave an egg roll & egg hunt at Cock Crow (8:00 A.M.) for the benefit of the fire fund. Also there was a salutation of the new Hen House. Much to my disgust I didn't get there in time to see the latter event. A lot of the girls were powdered and drapped [mis-spelling: draped] up in sheets to represent the various statues which were in C.H. There was Harriet, Orana, Minerva, Niobe and her daughter, a faun, [page 12] the reading girl, Elaine, etc. They were walking around on their way to classes when I arrived and looked rather peculiar with the numerous sheets trailing out behind. Roosters, of course, were numerous all around the campus - their feather-duster tails were so fetching. I am sending you a picture of C.H. which one of the girls took from Norumbega at 5:30 that morning. She has been selling them for 25¢ a piece and has made over $60. Isn't that great. The Freshmen class has over $4000 so far. It is 8:30 now and I have a long Latin lesson and two days math to do tonight. Oh, say! Mrs. Wheeler has been great to me lately. Dr. Ferguson, head of the Botany department, and another professor were down to dinner tonight & she (Liz) asked me up to have coffee afterwards. Wasn't that nice of her? I won't know about Silver Bay for a while yet. I want to go awfully, but it depends a good deal on whether we can get Brownie to go. As to getting in Fiske, don't ask me? I'm living on hopes - nothing more substantial [page 13] than that so far. I am so anxious for you to see my "Legenda." Say, I can tell you what I would rather have for a present than anything you could give me - $2.25 every year for a Legenda. Just remember that next Christmas & you won't have to rack your brains as to what to give me. See! Say, the thoughts of that Latin give me the wooseys. I must get at it. Goodbye & lots of love to all, Eleanor.