May 14, 1899

May 14, 1899

Dear Mamma,
Have just come from church where Rev. Henry Van Dyke preached a grand sermon. The chapel was filled – not only girls but loads of strangers were there to hear the famous man.
Our chapel dedication is to take place June 1st and ’99 will be the first class to use it for Commencement. I think each Senior will be allowed 4 tickets so you must be deciding who you & Elsie would like to have as seatmates. I thought Mrs. Lovett & Anna would appreciate it more than anybody else, what do you think? Then I would invite Anna and a man – i.e. send her two tickets & let her bring whoever she wants to – to float. Then have Amy & her mother or Amy & a friend, either to Garden Party & Senior Play or to Glee Club & Concert & Class Day, i.e. have Amy come both times – bring her mother once & a friend another time. I shall expect to hear today from you who I must invite.
I have a room for you & Elsie at Mrs. Nyes you know and she wants to know whether you are coming the 19th or 20th. I think you ought to come the 19th as I am afraid you would be too tired for Float Tuesday the 20th if you didn’t come until that day. Then she can get a room in the next house for Carl for Float night & perhaps the night after if he should want to stay 2 days as I suppose he would. Then if Fannie or anybody else should come at any time, she could sleep on the floor in your room etc. If Phil should turn up he would have to stay in town.
There will be lots of nice people staying at Miss Nye’s I am glad to say. The mothers etc. of Martha Griswold, Ella Green, Helen Davis (of New Haven), Grace Phemister, Helen Bogart, Mary Bliss & Gertrude Prowe will all be there. Miss Nye moves the first of June to a larger house on the Main St. Have Elsie bring her bicycle suit*. Then she can keep my wheel* with her in the village to use coming back & forth to College. I am sorry you will have to be so far away so you will probably have to ride back & forth at least half of the time. Elsie must bring her pink dimity*, white skirt and everything she has. Staying over a week she will have opportunities to wear everything. All guests have to have tickets to everything & each ticket costs from 15 – 50 cents a piece to say nothing of invitations & programs so you must come prepared. And I need some money right away to get the things I mentioned in my last – as well as other expenses which have to be paid. The more you send now the less you will have to send some other time. Remember I warned you that the expenses of Senior year would be at least $50 more than any other year. Oh dear – I wish it wasn’t my Senior year – for more than one reason. Guess I had better join another agency before long. There are so many things going on this week. Field Day tomorrow from 8:30 – 12:30, first affair of the kind. Tennis tournament, basket ball, golf, three legged runs, potato runs, obstacle race, etc. The bicycle runs are going to be fun – one is a slow race. Another carrying an egg (hard boiled, in a spoon) – another dropping potatoes in flower pots & another winding in & out of lots of ninepins without tipping them over. Then there are to be walking & running affairs – each winner counts so much for her class & the class which has the most points is to be presented with champion cup. I expect twill be great fun. I have not entered any of them but may even now enter some of the bicycle ones. I had rather watch & take pictures. Then in afternoon comes a big reception which the President & faculty give to Miss Hazard – President Elect. They say from 1000 to 1500 invitations have been issued – only Senior & Junior classes are invited and we were invited as a body not individually. The reception is to be held in the Art Building and is really to be a very swell affair. Guess I shall wear green under my new dress as I haven’t appeared in the green yet. I had to get a pair of white gloves for it. Oh, by the way you & Else must have white gloves, etc. Then tomorrow evening there is to be a grand concert. Wed. comes grand written lesson in Economics, oh dear! Thursday Miss Wooley – our honorary member – gives a reception to Seniors. Saturday Julia Ward Howe lectures and Saturday evening comes another dance given by Tau Zeta Epsilon this time. Had a fine time at the Alpha Kappa Chi dance last Monday – danced with Dr. Roberts, sat out a dance with Miss Wooley. She spoke about you all. Wants to see you. Is especially anxious to see Carl & has invited him to go out on the lake with her some time. I told her how delighted he would be to do so. The Barn Swallows were very good last night. Series of Gibson pictures giving the “Education of Mrs. Pipp”. Was sorry I couldn’t go but we had Agora meeting.
Had a grand party at our table Friday night. Twas Lucy Briggs birthday. She is the “opposite” so of course we had to have a grand affair. Had strawberries, ice cream, candy & cake. The cake was a birthday affair which I decorated for the occasion. Twas a large angel cake and I put on it in little red candies “Lucie” & May 12”. Trimmed with tiny ferns, etc. and it really was quite fine. Everyone admired it. Then we played a game – words ending in Age – Age of an infant “Cribbage”, adhesive age, Muscilage” etc. I got 14 out of 19 & won the prize – bunch of lovely narcissus. It was really quite right that I should as narcissus is ’99 class flower you know and I was the only ’99 girl at table except Lucie – and she had her birthday flowers – lovely red roses – and so didn’t need any more. Then we went up to Miss Locke’s room & had coffee – on whole had quite a grand time.
Ordered my pictures today. Don’t know but what I shall have to have more than 50. But I will order them later if necessary. Must close now as I have loads of other letters to write. Received letter from Dead Letter Office the other day. I had directed a letter to Etta Fuller to Somers Mass instead of Conn. Miss Learyod will probably be here Commencement time.

Much love,
Mabel

*bicycle suit –an unskirted garment with baggy trousers/pants. It was designed so that women could ride a bike without getting their skirt caught in the bicycle spokes.
*dimity – a fabric that is lightweight but strong and is woven into stripes and squares with a raised pattern. Originally dimity was made of wool or silk, but since the 18th century it is made almost exclusively of cotton.
*wheel – bicycle

This copy is made from a copy in the collection of Janet Read Carville, Avon, CT, March 2001.
Transcribed and footnote added by Heddy Panik.