I have a little photo of my father as a young man standing in his Great Northern Railway work clothes and hat at the depot in Havre, Montana. On the back is penciled, “Agent Flynn Ha! Ha!” My father, Leo L. Flynn, Sr., did become an agent and worked for his entire career for the Great Northern until he retired at age 65.
Here is another letter from the stack of letters my mother saved. The letters are written sometimes in pencil, sometimes with a fountain pen, with beautiful penmanship and heartfelt words. The letter below is dated before my first post on the blog about his letters. The first post was a letter at Thanksgiving when he told my mother for the first time that he loved her. Go to the first letter post for more information about the circumstances. – Alice Flynn, Bozeman, Montana
November 12, 1939
Received your letter this morning and have been trying all day to answer it. Just seems as though I can’t get a letter finished ever at work. There was nothing much doing today but there is always some one coming around asking foolish questions or just to visit and I just can’t write a letter when there is some one hanging around. Should have written in answer to your letter I received Friday Morning But as I said before a person had to go to bed to keep warm and you can’t do a very good job of writing while in bed.
We had the funniest thing happen to us over at the rooming house. I suppose you have heard of borders walking out on the landlord, but did you ever hear of the landlord walking out on the borders. Well that’s what happened. When I went to the room last night they had gone. No one showed up today so I moved to the hotel. You can at least keep warm here in fact it is too warm at the present time. Have a nice room, and a desk to write on. So I can be a little more prompt in answering your letters.
I’m glad that the money got there for Mary Jane’s birthday. I was worried for I was afraid she would feel bad if she didn’t get anything from me. I just hate to disappoint them.
You did not mention before about the correspondence course. Glad to hear you received an A in your very first lesson and feel rather proud of you. But then we don’t expect anything but A’s from Our Vivian.
I can’t very well write about Xmas in the letter to Pete, Mollie & the Children. So if I’m not imposing on you too much, Will tell you what I would like to do and also ask your help in doing it. You see My dear I probably will be moving around and it will be almost impossible for me to cart presents around With Me. So if I send you the money and tell you what I want will you get them for me. I wouldn’t know what size of anything to buy. Tomorrow should be payday and if it is I will send a money order. You can use what it takes for the dolls from that. You and Mollie would know best what dolls to get. Please don’t forget Pattie’s. Next payday I will send money for other things. I’ll get the toaster for Mollie and Pajamas for Pete. The children can get bedroom sippers for Mollie and will have to think of some things for them to get for Pete. Gosh I wish I could talk this over with you. It would be so much easier. I’m afraid this month will fly by and I won’t get anything done.
I’m feeling quite a bit better now, my shoulder hasn’t hurt so much the last couple of days. Have a better place to stay which makes it a little More Pleasant. Wish I had come here in the first place. Still have that lonesome feeling but I guess I won’t get over that until I get down to see you.
I had intended to write to the rest of the folks tonight but it is getting late and I’m afraid I won’t get around to do it. Will Write to them tomorrow night.
I’m afraid you won’t be able to read this writing. Isn’t it terrible. I’m almost ashamed to send this to you. But what can I do. When I Can’t write any better.
Well Vivian will close and if I can think of anything to write about will write again tomorrow night. Tell the children that Daddy sends love and kisses to them and that I will Answer their letter tomorrow night. I received their letter this morning also. Tell them I said they were good girls and that I love them. And that goes for you too. Please answer right away as I will be looking for your letter.
Lots of Love
As you can see in the photo above, Daddy’s handwriting was beautiful, and he really should not have been so self-conscious about it being “terrible”. – Alice
November 13, 1939
Well another day has passed and I’m hoping it is another day closer to the time when I can be down there With you all. I’m going to try and write a few lines don’t know if they will be very interesting or not. Will just ramble along and put on paper what ever comes into mind.
I’ve said this many times in the last few letters and will repeat it again. I just wish I could be down there to help make plans for Xmas. I hope its a happy one for all of us. I’m just so sure that you and Mollie can do so much better than I could. I will do my best to get some money to you so you can get the things the children want. I know you will have more of an idea what they want. I know they do a lot of talking and I suppose they have the toy catalogue wore out by now.
I’m wondering if you are at home tonight or at work in Roundup. I had a funny dream last night, thought I was down there with you. It seemed like we were in the kitchen you and Barbara were standing close together and I was talking to you. Margaret, Mary Jane, Mollie and Pete were sitting in the living room. It all seemed so real that when I woke up I just couldn’t believe that it wasn’t true. I can’t remember what we were talking about, I suppose it was about Xmas, or maybe it was about you.
I’ve had you all on my mind so much lately. I think of you a thousand times a day. I suppose that is the reason for the dream.
Had another Wonderful Warm day, Old Man Winter hasn’t been so bad so far this Winter and hope he doesn’t get a cold until after the holidays.
There is so much confusion about what day will be thanksgiving this year. I stole a march on most people and had my thanksgiving dinner tonight. I had a big turkey dinner it was real good too.
I suppose the people around here think I’m a funny person. I never mix with the rest of them and spend most of my time in the room when I’m not working. There is a bunch down in the lobby now playing the radio and talking loud. There is a lot more noise around here than there was down in the other rooming house. It goes to extremes one way or the other.
Well my dear can’t think of anything else to write so will close, and hope to have a letter from you real soon.
Lots of Love,