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It’s a Wagner week and B.B. Beckett is back. He’s a favorite Wagner character of mine, a really good writer and often funny and playful. Here he is writing to George at the very beginning of summer when the whole crew of friends has scattered and are traveling to various towns for summer activities. He describes train travel and a boat party, both of which sound pretty fun. I imagine I’d tire quickly of 1909 train travel once the novelty wore off, but I’d love to go to a boat party in 1909! I can’t tell if there was an actual actress on the boat of if he’s calling Watt an actress but either way it sounds like a good time.
There’s also a reference to “The Wizard of Oz” in this letter! The book had only been published a few years before.
Monday, June 15, 1909
West Point Miss
I hope you have entirely recovered from the effects of getting left in Birmingham and Euguene and its Corinne. Naturally the sight the sun from the point of view of Water Valley and the operation of extending the glad hand to your friends there would be an effective cure for that.
Have you seen “Watt” yet and did you tell him all about it? I wish he had been along on the way home to help enjoy it. But perhaps that wish is rash. Anymore wit with “Watt’s” laugh to liven it might have set the boat on fire and then the actress could have done stunts in tragedy and we might all have tried on our life preservers. As it was I never enjoyed anything more.
I saw the native town of our next governor (a al “Dixie Press”) at the unearthly hour of sunrise yesterday morning and heard all the birds sing walking up from the station. I mean I was walking, not the birds. I would have written you yesterday but I had that sleep-walking, stuffy feeling, about a cross between the tinman and the scarecrow, which results from all night in the day coach; for you know I had gotten tired of sleeping cars, having used them so often for the last six months.
I am now recovered after having shaken hands with evertbody and am just at the stage of wondering what to do next. “Farmer” Crotz and Walter are going back to Oxford to summer school, where you may see them soon if you happen to be up there. Capel is going to Philadelphis, after the ceremony to take vocal lessons, as he says, or learn to talk, as I say, as we will probably go up together. I told Mabel that you had given me a few points in regards to managing J.C. and she wanted to know them at once.
I must stop now. Remember me to “Gene” and Miss Corinne and to everybody I know in Water Valley. I know you will be good too yourself, but be good enough to write to yours truly,