St. Petersburg, Fla.,
April 2, 1924
Dear Cousins and All:
Greetings from the Sunshine City. Yes, it is truly the Sunshine City of the world, where birds are singing, flowers are blooming and fruit is on the trees the whole year. One has to see to believe and I wish you might all spend one winter, as I have,- in St. Petersburg.
When I came to Florida, I thought I would do lots of writing to the Cousins and friends, but I have failed; and I feel more grateful than ever to Cousin Will Selph who conceived the idea of a "Campbell Cousins Correspondence" where one can write an individual letter to at least forty at one time.
Tommie, Frank and I left Mansfield January 21st. We spent two days in Washington, D. C., with Cousin Jennie Bosard and family1. Cousin Jennie and Mary were with us both days of sight-seeing which we much enjoyed. We also had another good friend, a nephew of Brother Lish Horton,-- Capt. H. M. Horton, who added much to our pleasure while there. He and his new bride called and gave us the use of their fine seven passenger car and chauffeur as long as we were in the city; -- they spent part of the time with us, visiting the Capitol, White House, Army and Navy Building, Congressional Library, etc. The next day we drove to Arlington Heights and Mount Vernon, where are the home and tomb of our President and wife, George and Martha Washington. It is a beautiful place and our people, in all these years, do not forget the love and respect due the Father of our Country. The caskets are never without fresh flowers, and one might think to look at them (the caskets) that they were placed there only yesterday instead of many, many years ago.
We2 left Washington in the sleet and rain and in two days reached the city of Continual Sunshine. I have not room enough to tell of its beauties. The streets are mostly one hundred feet wide, -- some of them ought to be much wider for they are so full of cars it is almost impossible to get through, and as you all know, there is nothing slow about Tommie, -- I often wonder where or how we will ever come out.
1. Jennie and 2 of her daughters -- Florence and Mary plus Mary's husband and step-son.
2. Presumably by train. Cars and roads were still fairly primitive, so.travel from the North East to Florida was usually by train or boat.
Tommie is certainly a busy man; is at his office early and late looking
after his real estate; -- but his is never too tired to remember the
pleasures of others, both he and Frank have given me the time of my
life; they have left nothing undone which could add to my pleasure and
it has been a wonderful winter -- for me.
They both keep young and say it is due to the "Fountain of Youth," the water of which is their daily beverage; I still find the same grey hairs and occasionally wear my glasses.
The Church attendance here is remarkable; all Churches seat from twelve hundred to twenty-five hundred and every seat is taken an hour before services. There were twelve hundred at the regular prayer meeting last Wednesday night, one hundred and forty-seven being from Pennsylvania. They have some wonderful speakers from all parts of the United States, such as Carrie Chapman Catt, Mrs. Newberry, Mrs. Hay, Mrs. Wm. J. Bryan, etc.; the one last Sunday was Dr. G. Campbell Morgan from London, England.
They also have beautiful Parks and water-front on Tampa Bay and the Gulf, where the water is warm enough for swimming the year round. One hundred thousand tourists visited the City this winter; they also have an abundance of tropical fruit and nuts. We drove out to a large orchard of several thousand trees. The ground was yellow with grapefruit and oranges. I picked a bushel basket full of the grapefruit from one tree in less than five minutes. Think of a bushel of delicious grapefruit for twenty cents, the price we paid for it.
After all these wonderful privileges which I have enjoyed, I often find myself thinking of the dear old Cowanesque Valley with our sturdy Scotch and English ancestors of which we are all so proud, and where we have all passed so many happy days together as one large family. Nothing gave me more pleasure than spending the night with Cousin Emma Buck, unless it was when she and I made our annual visit of a week among the different Cousins, which are milestones past, but never forgotten.
Our little church which was never crowded as I have seen them here is dear to us all and still stands3 as a memorial to its founders and builders -- Our ancestors --
That old Church bell which rang for joy,And also rang for painIts message rang across the townLike cooling summer rain.In its clear voice there was no doubt,Its song brushed care aside.It whispered to the listening ones"His love is deep and wide."
I hear from the children at home often, as they are well and I believe are to have a letter for the Cousins so I will not make mine longer.
Shall anxiously wait for the feast of good things which is store for us when we receive our second volume of the "Campbell Cousins Correspondence."
With much love to each member,
Copyright © 2001, 2013, 2020 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.