A Letter from Ollie L. Powers
According to the postmark on the envelope, this letter was mailed March
4, 1927. Although the stationery is for The Annex Hotel in St. Louis,
has crossed out St. Louis and written Gary, Ind. instead. This letter
written to Inez Pearl Shaw, his wife Jeanette's sister, in Detroit.
the letter is my understanding of the text.
Just a line to let you know that I arrived safe and
feeling much better. I got a telegram from Jeanette and they arrived
but she was not feeling very well. Well old dear I sure enjoyed my self
while at your house, and if you ever make up your mind to visit New
you know the doors are open to you and your friend. Tell Smithy I said
I still have some gin left. This would be a nice place for your and
Dady [sic] to live because there is lots of work here. There ain’t a
place to stop at. [??] It is just like spring down here. Well honey I
have to close as it is time for me to go on the stage. Now old kid drop
a fellow a line. I will play Hammiond [sic] Ind Mar 10 and 13th I will
be in Flint Mich at the Palace Theatre. be sweet and give Smithy my
and lots of love to you.
of Brooks & Powers Hammiond Ind
His distinctive spelling of Hammond, IN, with an “i” in it appears
twice, and there is no other obvious explanation for the dot that is
above the word both times. A strict reading would also note that by the
end of the second “M” in each of the occurrences, he wound up with one
stroke too few, making it “Hamniond.”
“Jeanette” was of course his wife (my grandmother), and “they
safe” most likely referred to Jeanette and her son Ollie M. (my dad)!
“Smithy” could conceivably be Harrison Smith, the manager, promoter,
and songwriter, who is quoted in his reminiscences
in the Bibliographical References.