New York, N. Y.
April 2, 1924
My dear Cousins:
Recently I received a letter from our Cousin Will Selph, extending to me the pleasure of writing a letter that would be sent to my Campbell Cousins through the medium of a very fine system of correspondence, the originator of which1 I should like to congratulate. Considering the number of my Campbell Cousins and how few of them I happen to know, -- for me to write a letter to them is like a small boy writing to Santa Claus, whom he has never seen, but of whom he has heard a very good report of and who he is convinced is quite alright. I might add also that, like the small boy writing to St. Nick, I hope this letter will be favorably received.
Probably like the rest of my Cousins, in reply to my Cousin's letter, I immediately asked what I should write about, and was told to write about myself. That isn't much to write about, but here goes:
At present, I am living in that big city which has the reputation of being very wicked; that city in which our Cousin "W. E. S."2 only deigns to carry on business.
As an occupation, I am trying to give to the world a little more music and to prepare myself to do it better than I have as yet been able to do. That isn't very definite, is it? Well. to be a little more exact, I have been doing almost everything from playing on a leaky organ in church,(that makes a sound as though the big bass in the choir was taking a much needed nap while the minister raves about what a quiet and peaceful place Heaven is) to teaching young ladies how to hold their fingers at the piano and teaching young lads that a piano is a musical instrument and not an instrument of torture. I am at present enjoying immensely the direction of a choir just outside of New York. I hope my brother Clifford doesn't see what I said about that minister back there).
Talking with different people back in Elmira [NY] I find that most of
them have a rather hazy but none the less positive idea as to what a
musician is really like. Since the subject rather interests me, permit
me to say a few words about what I have observed of him. In the first
place, he seldom has long hair anymore;(there are those who wouldn't
think of him as a musician if he could afford a haircut.) In the second
place, he often manages to eat three meals a day in modern times.
Thirdly, many of them have respect for the law of the land and have
heard that there is such a book ad the Bible. We are also proud to say
that these musicians born in this country have known the benefits of
compulsory education. No doubt you often see exceptions to the foregoing
but these exceptions, being found in a profession where they feel the
economic need of advertising, -- advertise the only thing they can, --
I recall having spent a few very delightful days attending a reunion at Tommie Campbell's at Knoxville. I so enjoyed those days that I still have a very vivid recollection of it all, -- especially the chicken dinner. I hope very much to have the opportunity of seeing those people soon again. Unlike my sister Ethel or brother Roswell I am still unattached, so that if I had the chance to dance with some of the young ladies and those not so young at such an affair, I would have to invent my excuses. After engaging in professional work here in New York and meeting with all kinds of people it surely is nice to go back and see some of the gold Scotch Irish stock that isn't afraid to say what it thinks and usually does. Here's wishing them all health and happiness.
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