New York, N.Y.
May 20th 1914.
My dear Marie:-
It seems like an age since I was out to see you last. I suppose I am to be criticised for not writing before this during the interval, but trust you will believe me when I tell you that the automobile has been largely the cause of it. A number of accessories, such as tire racks, electric lights, oil gauges, etc., etc., had to be added to the equipment of the car, and I have had a messy time of it diving down into the machinery to refill grease cups, etc., but its lots of fun after all.
I drove my brother Bill, mother, an Aunt and a little girl out to Lake Mahopac, N.Y. on Sunday (about 90 miles round trip) and we saw some beautiful scenic spots en route, going past Croton Lake, Croton Falls, Brewsters, Katonah, Mt. Kisco, etc., etc., and gathered some rare specimens of dust, too, before we got back, but the most of the road were well oiled.
You must have been “cramming” pretty well for your exams at Barnard, meanwhile, n’est ce pas? What success have you had?
I suppose Clem has long since returned home after her brief vacation.
If you are going to be disengaged Saturday afternoon, I shall run over in the car and give you a spin through to more remote sections of Long Island.
I had some of those recent snapshots made up on glossy post-cards and they show up very much better. Will bring them with me on Saturday.
Are wild onions still flourishing in L.I.? And what about birds’ nests?
Having no further nonsense to communicate, I believe I shall conclude.
Awaiting your reply, I am
Your very sincere friend
T. J. Styles
(Comments: Well, we’ve had a long time gap between letters here, and Thomas partly explains why – a young man’s fancy not only turns to young ladies, but also to automobiles! And apparently Thomas has been very busy keeping up with his [refilling grease cups? Pass.]. Also, this is the first I’ve heard of oiling roads, which apparently was done in the early auto days to minimize dust [environmentally questionable, I’d think!]. Related, one of my favorite early photos of him is below, from 1914, changing a tire on his Model-T [probably a bit harder back in those days]! Was this taken on that upcoming trip to “remote” Long Island? Also “n’est ce pas” translates loosely into “isn’t that so?”. And at least some of the glossy post-cards he refers to did survive; the photos of Marie and Thomas from the last post were in fact on postcards [and they do look good!] – TC)