August 11-16, 1913

Claire writes on the 16th after a week of events have taken place.

Well I just barely caught the train and Hurrah! the 4 of us were off for the Western Michigan Tennis tournament at Grand Rapids Boat and Canoe Club and its so exciting I scarcely know what to write first. We arrived and were met by Mrs. Williams and pilot to the club there we dressed for tennis and May and I went out on the courts to practice. At noon I played my first match which was against Mrs Williams and won 6-0, 6-1   I of course was relieved and excited then we went to “The Bungelow”[sic] for brunch and it was lots of fun in the afternoon  Ma & Tommy and David all won so tonight we are all happy. She is certainly exciting there are about 64 entered in the tournament and the people are all lovely to me. This evening we went to Mrs Williams, had dinner and soon went to bed.

Now I’m going to begin to tell about things  I am writing this after I returned home as I did not have time to write while in Grand Rapids so I may not always put things in their right order. 1st Mrs. Williams is the queerest woman I ever met she is such a mixture of good and bad that I don’t know what to think of her, she is very rich but still I think poor in some ways. Her husband is away six months of the year but I think that he is the nicest in the family  her son Harold is about my age and he delights in football and the “tango” though he really is a nice boy and acted tickeld[sic] to death every time I won and came to watch me etc. etc. I almost believe that he was slightly disappointed because I refused to go dance with him. Mrs Williams was dramatic critic for the “Herald” for a while and I think it was 350 shows & musicals that she attended in one year. She’s one of the kind that puts perfume in the beds at night and eats off of different kinds of dishes each meal. Her breakfast set is really beautiful though, it’s a blue bird design on Hungarian China  she had very fine meals all the while we were there and when we insisted on just drinking water for our meals she thought we were almost Barberian[sic] she said water was allright[sic] to bathe in but she didn’t like a steady diet of it. For some mysterious reason Herald[sic] never ate with us, but once he favored us with a concert while we were eating. Tuesday night May went over to study with Lou Arthur, who discovered we were in town and immediately wanted us to chang[sic] our headquarters to her house, and Mrs. Williams insisted that I should go out to Reed’s Lake with her and Harold so I did and I went round & round on the horses on the merry-go-round it’s the finest “ “ “ [merry-go-round] I have ever been on then we went to the theatre and I saw a man work himself out of a straight jacket and get off handcuffs etc. it was wonderful. They call him the handcuff King. Oh I can’t write this by the day I must do it by the batch.

I made lots of friends. I think Mrs. Parrigot and Mrs. Webster are two of the nicest women I have ever met. May & I had to play against them in doubles and they were so jolly and fair and took it so goodnaturedly[sic] when they were beaten that it was fine. All through the week they and Mrs. Warner and several other ladies have cheered for us and fed us and comforted us and entertained us oh they have treated us royally. Oh I fell in love too! Isn’t that exciting. My he’s rich too, and got a yacht, and auto and a great big grey mansion with a circular porch with big pillars and a beautiful lawn and he’s 50 years old and acts like thirty, and he’s ever inch a gentleman and he’s a graduate of Yale and belonged to the Yale glee club and he’s a lawyer and 18 yrs. ago he held the State Championship in tennis and even now he’s one of the finest players I’ve ever seen and he can beat David Polasky I’m almost certain and after the matches sometimes he would take me for a long spin in his auto till I got over feeling all excited and nervous. He’s got a nephew that’s going to Yale now but I don’t like the nephew because when I was talking with him I felt as if he was saying “Ha! I’m so superior don’t you know.” He wears those horn rimed[sic] glasses just because its all the rage at Yale and if it hadn’t been for his Uncle I might have shocked the community by punching him in the face. His uncle Mr. Boltwood asked me to go to the theatre with him two different nights and it was awfully hard to refuse, then once he asked me to attend a swell dance that was given there at the club sort of for the tennis players also. as David was sitting near he turned to him and said “That is unless this young gentlemen has previously gained the opportunity.” David was so fused[sic] I had all I could do to keep from laughing he just stuttered out “Oh no, no!” David is so bashfull[sic] but I like him just the same. Of course I didn’t go.

The Club House and grounds is a beautiful place with porches and flower beds and hundreds of canoes and shells. The great long lounging room is fine and substantial looking you know it’s a mens[sic] club primarily there are about 450 members. There above the fireplace and in cases they have beautiful cups and trophies won in different regattas. Long upper porches overlook the tar courts and make perfect galleries.

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