Monday, August 17, 2015

Albert writes to Paul in 1912

I had to have this!

Reading gay relationships into the past is always a perilous business but so long as one does it with a level of respect and a light touch that doesn't impose modern categories on people who wouldn't have understood them, I have no problem with it. And certainly there is more than a whiff of same-sex romance about this postcard from 1912.

For a start, it was clearly intended as a card to be sent by a boy to his gal, and our Albert here has crossed out "Louise" and inserted the name of his 'beau' (maybe) Paul. Presumably the quote is a reference to the song lyrics from 1902, pasted below, which could only be said to be intended as romantic. 

It seems that our Albert moved away from his native La Grange, Indiana to teach in Turtle Lake. There are a number of possible candidates for Turtle Lake but the most likely would appear to be the small village in Wisconsin by that name.

Albert isn't impressed with the place: "I am going to a dance tomorrow night because I am so lonesome. This is the end of God's Country, he don't live up here, he would drown in whiskey."

(Charles K. Harris,   1902)

I wonder where you are tonight, my love, 
As all alone I sit and dream. 
I wonder if your heart's with me tonight, 
And if the same stars for you gleam. 
I sometimes fear there is another love, 
Some fairer face has won your heart; 
But Ah, I hope the day will never come, 
The day that we two must live apart.

The bees are droning in the wild wood, love, 
The flowers their tiny heads bow low. 
The birds are singing soft and plaintively,
They miss your dear kind face I know. 
From o'er the meadow comes a faint perfume, 
It whispers gently, "Love you're true;"
But Oh, my darling, if you only knew, 
I'm wearing my heart away for you.

I'm wearing my heart away for you, 
It cries aloud, "My love be true," 
I dream of you by night, I long for you by day, 
I'm wearing my heart away for you.

1 comment:

eArnie Painter said...

I remember when writing letters was considered normal. I miss that.

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