Friday, November 5, 2010

Cars and Trains

Filling in with some background information during a letter-writing hiatus from October 6 to November 9, 1949, as June recuperates at the hospital from a ruptured appendix…

At the start of his correspondence with June in early October, Art’s car is in the garage for repairs.  This was probably due to hitting a deer on the way home from visiting June in Riverhead.  We know that this incident occurred sometime during 1949-51 and it seems to match up with the references in the letters.  The car was pretty banged up but survived.  The deer didn’t.

Art's Nash.
Art had purchased his Nash shortly after returning to Southampton from his service in the Navy.  When his parents’ car was in for repair, Art’s car would become the family car.  When his own car was in for repair, he had to improvise other ways of getting around.  Fortunately, his job at Roulston’s was within easy walking distance – about a mile stroll from Cooper Street to Main Street.

Trains are the other mode of transportation that figures prominently in June and Art’s relationship.  While her parents would drive June to the city at the beginning of the semester, June’s weekend visits were done via train.  The Long Island Rail Road had a station just four blocks from the house in Riverhead.  The train ride into the city was approximately two hours.  It could be very cold in winter, but otherwise was an efficient way of bridging June’s two worlds.

(On Sunday, the world of 1949…)

Countdown:  Correspondence resumes in 4 days.

© 2010 Lee Price

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