Authors note: The name Frank Rishor is often mentioned in the letters between Roy and Mae. I am not sure who he is but it’s probable he was the brother of Cynthia Rishor who married Mae’s uncle Herbert Philips.
Because Roy mentions him in 1913, before he was ever visited Wyoming, it suggests that they had probably met earlier in Washington. Perhaps when Frank’s family were out visiting other Phillip’s family. IF this is the correct Frank Rishor, he as born in 1877 and thus older than both Roy and Mae.
December 1, 1913
I can hardly wait for Roy to get here. I just have to keep busy as I can’t hardly sit still with the anticipation. We still aren’t sure what day we’ll make our final move to Donald. Papa has been moving our winter provisions each time he makes a mail trip. I know it is best for him to be in Donald but if I can’t be in Puyallup then Mona is the place I want to be. Mama and I will do the best we can to make our Donald place seem homey but the things I really love will stay here.
Vera just arrived so I shall end. She and I are going to meet with the other young people to work on our parts for the winter program.
(This saved letter from Roy it seems incomplete, date unknown but it is from Dec, 1913)
Little friend will make a good one though, I will bet. You will have to give another production of it xmas, so I can see it.
Lida came in just now said she had been over to see Lillian and that she and Justin were coming over here to spend the evening so I guess I won’t need to go over there.
I spoke to Lida bout answering your letter and she said had answered it but I guess she was pretty slow about it. I suppose you have it before now though. I was down to Tacoma last evening. They have the stores all trimed up for xmas already and they were look nice. Wish you could see them.
I didn’t have much of a time Thanksgiving. Couldn’t tell it from any other day except that we had just a bit better dinner than usual. I Couldn’t help but think of last year and it made me feel pretty lonesome.
Well I think this is enough for now so will say good night and stop.
Give my best wishes to all the folks. Tell Mr. Phillips I wish he was here to help me with the berries again he is better at it than I am. pleasant dreams
As ever W.R.C.
December 5, 1913
I am making progress on the scarf for Roy. The mittens and hat are done thanks to Sadie and Grandma ‘s help. I need to get it done before he arrives. My stomach is rumbling. Earlier mama put on a pot of fragrant stew to simmer on the stove. Papa has been doing the butchering so we will have meat for the winter.
I sure hope Roy makes it before for the Christmas program for it will be on the 19th. I guess he is still logging. I thought they would have snow by now in those tall mountains. Papa says we’ll move to Donald the day after the program.
Roy mentioned in his last letter how he went to Tacoma and the stores were all decked out for the holidays. I so remember seeing them before we moved here and the good time we had together that day. There are no sign of decorations here, I can tell you, what with the getting things ready to move to Donald.
December 11, 1913
I am getting anxious. I so wanted Roy to be here by now but I still haven’t heard from him about when he’ll be leaving. Unless he is leaving in the next day or two there is no way he’ll be here in time for the program. I will sure be some disappointed if he doesn’t make it in time for Christmas.
I am happy to report though that I have finished his scarf now. I have to say after laying them in the tissue Mama gave me to wrap them in they look rather nice. I was going to tuck them into my hope chest for safe keeping but then Hazel reminded me we were going to Donald soon. So instead I have entrusted them to Papa to leave at our place at Donald.
Well how goes it in Wyo. Today? Fine tho I hope. I got your letter yesterday and was glad of course. It came to Puyallup but my aunt got it up here to me. Am glad you are feeling well and hope you will always feel that way. I am feeling fine as usual with the exception of a bad cold. The first I have had for a long time. We are having nice weather here now. Clear and bright but pretty cold. Hope it stays that way while we have to work for I have worked through enough bad weather for one year. The camp is going to close down the 16th so we haven’t very much longer to work. I Am going to leave for Wyoming next Friday evening. So will get to Belle fourche Monday evening I suppose. I would like very much to get there in time to go with you to the xmas exercises you spoke of but don’t know whether I can.
I don’t know if your Aunt Ann is still of the notion of going with me or not. I sent her a card yesterday telling her when I was going to start. Hope she don’t decide not to go for it would be so much nicer to have company on the trip than to be alone.
I Am glad Frank Risher is going to be home for Christmas for I want to settle with him for not writing to me. Tell him that if he values his life he had better hide out before I get there.
Am sorry your folks didn’t move to Bell Fouche as they had planned. It would have made it so much handier for me. It takes almost as long to go from there out to Mona as it does from here to B.F. Well think this is about all for now. Will tell you the rest and then some when I see you.
Don’t suppose I can get to Aladdin in time to get the Mona stage when the train comes in Tuesday. Is there anyone you could get to meet me in Aladdin when the train comes in on Tuesday. That would save me staying all night there. I don’t want anyone to put themselves very much out to do it tho as I can come out on the Donald stage Wed.
December 19, 1913
Papa just came in with a letter from Roy. I was nervous I could barely make my shaking hands open it so sure I was that would say he wouldn’t be coming after all. Instead it was welcome news. He should have left for here this morning. At least I hope nothing stopped him. Just think another 4 or 5 days and he should be here. And just in time for Xmas. To see his handsome face again shall be the best present ever. The Christmas program is tonight. I am disappointed Roy won’t be here to see my performance but my heart is filled with joy just the same. I just hope I don’t forget my lines with all my excited anticipation.
December 22, 1913
I am so nervous today. I know Roy should be arriving in Belle Fouche today and tomorrow he will be in Aladdin. I am still hoping someone will be able to pick him up and bring him here to Donald. I don’t think I can stand waiting another day.
The Christmas program was lovely. Our young people’s group set up trees and spent the day stringing popcorn and cranberries to decorate them along with red and green paper chains and candles. The evening festivities started with the singing of carols and then came our program. I am happy to say I didn’t forget a word. All the ladies brought refreshments for afterwards and of course Santa arrived with goodies for all the little ones.
We moved here to Donald the next day and Mama and I have been busy ever since. Hazel, Daniel and I have our feather beds all settled with blankets, quilts and pillows. Now I am just going crazy with waiting.
December 26, 1913
I am just going to take a few minutes to write quick in here for Roy has arrived. Just when I had given up seeing him on the 23rd Sadie and Bert’s wagon rounded the corner and along with them was Roy and boxes of Xmas goodies. They acted like they just decided at the spur of the moment to come spend the night in Donald but I know it was planned. No wonder everyone said they were too busy to pick him up. The men unloaded the wagon and then we all sat down round the crowded table to eat supper and catch on the news from Puyallup. Before I knew it Bert and Roy were headed out to the barn to bed down for the night. Sadie stayed indoors with us.
The morning of the 24th Mama and I made flapjacks and ham for everyone for breakfast. I didn’t even get a chance to see Roy until then. He had insisted on helping Papa and Daniel with the morning chores. After breakfast Bert and Sadie set off to spend Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa Smith. The rest of the day was a blur of making pies, bread and cakes for tomorrow evenings supper dance. Midafternoon Mama put on a kettle of oyster stew and Papa and Roy came in with a small pine tree for us to decorate. We spent the rest of the day stringing popcorn and cranberries to wrap around it and singing carols. Hazel and Daniel were so busy talking I barely got a chance to talk to Roy. The Donald’s came by after supper to meet and welcome Roy to Wyoming and by the time they left it was time to hang the stockings and go to bed and I still hadn’t had the slightest moment to be alone with Roy.
Christmas morning arrived with wet white flakes falling. Our first snowfall in some time.
Mama and I made flapjacks again along with ham, eggs and cinnamon rolls. And then we all got into our stockings. There was candy, nuts and oranges for all. Daniel got a toy automobile; Hazel hair ribbons and I got a pin cushion. Then we tore into the gifts under the tree. Roy’s blue eyes shone with joy when he opened his gift from me. He immediately wound the scarf around his neck and said he’d keep it on all day. He gave Hazel and Daniel each a book and a box of writing paper but oh how can I begin to describe the stole, hat and muff I opened. Even though we weren’t alone our eyes met and said what I know we were both thinking. How much in love we are. Then we had to hurry and get the rest of the day’s chores done and dress, for in the afternoon we bundled ourselves up and left for the Donald’s barn. One good thing about living here is we don’t have far to go. And just like Thanksgiving the makeshift tables groaned with all sorts of good things to ear.
Everyone admired my new stole and muff, while I introduced Roy around. He was particularly glad to see his old friend Frank Rishor there. But once the music started playing he was all mine. Well mostly mine, I did have to share him a time or two. I must go now. Daniel and Hazel want to go for a walk in the new fallen snow and want Roy and I to tag along.