Sept. 7th—Sunday

This is my last two-service Sunday at Emmanuel, Like the work; choir has done well. In the afternoon, I called down 78th St. to Lees’ where I spent an enjoyable afternoon. In preparing to leave, Mr. Lee made,what was to me a very agreeable proposition. He suggested that I stay for supper, and he would then go with me to the evening service in my church. I accepted with thanks, as it was just what I wished that he with his daughter should come alomg with me. Miss Lee was, for some reason or other reluctant about going, but finally did. The service was a good one and Mr. Lee was very much impressed. So the evening became very enjoyable to all of us.

We conversed in the (trolley) car about Anna’s Christening day. She gave me the date today, July 27, and as near as I can come to it, I believe it to be the very day on which I first attended church in this country. The church in question is The Norwegian Seamen's Church on William Street in Brooklyn. How wonderful that at my first church attendance in this country, that Soul, which I have grown to esteem highly, should be brought into church for the first time, and Christened in my presence.

With Anna Lee, I have had many rides this summer. It has been a summner of the greatest pleasure for me. We have had many a ride along Shore Road in Bay Ridge to Ft. Hamilton, and along Ft. Hamilton Avenue to Prospect Park, along the Boulevard, out in Bath Beach, etc., and I sincerely regret that no diary was kept so the dates could have been preserved and the events recorded. However if dates are somewhat forgotten, events are not, and I earnestly believe that memories of the happy incidents of this summer, of which I now am writing, will ever remain fresh in my mind. It will ever be a source of joy to revert to them.

I have called on Lees once weekly for their piano lessons, except last month. All of these calls were most pleasant. I was always treated with refreshments of coffee and cake, and almost invariably took a ride with Anna before going home. Aside from these, there were other calls, and several times we accidentally met awheel, all of which added sport and charm to the summer frolic.

One of the most charming of chance meetings I cannot pass in this connection, though the date is unfortunately lost. ‘Twas early one evening. I had been down Shore Road watching the sunset—which, by the way, was a favorite pastime with both of us, as we often chanced to meet at that hour and place. I was returning by the usual way of 79th St., in a mood of disappointment, when to my intense joy, I spied a girl on a wheel turning into 79th St. from 3rd Ave. A second look and I was convinced. It was her. That second look I only got as she hurriedly rode past me, riding on the sidewalk, and so preoccupied that she did not observe me who rode in the street. It was dusk, and being assured that she had not seen me, I turned my wheel to follow her. I gave her a good head start and kept well in the rear, taking no chances on being observed. Then after, in the twilight, losing sight of her, especially when she rounded the corner at Shore Road, I had to get on some speed. I rode hard and fast before I could make out her figure again. On we rode, she never suspecting that I was in her wake. As she reached the crest of one hill, I was on the summit of another. She would be coasting down one side of a hill while I would be climbing the other.

Gee! What a rider you are, Anna, I never thought you could make such a showing! How those little feet can peddle up those hills! I felt keenly the spirit of romance, as I was thus heatedly pursuing the lady of my love; straining my eyes rather strongly at times in the ever increasing darkness, in my efforts to distinguish the flying subject of my chase. Finally Ft. Hamilton is reached and my friend turns into the avenue, and in doing so, she unconsciously fooled me. Having admired her skill in riding, I no less admired her bravery in riding alone in the dark. Therefore I thought that perhaps she would not hesitate to ride home by way of Ft. Hamilton Ave. even though it was more lonely than Shore Road. I therefore hurried along so as not to lose sight of her, and as I came near the curve, I was surprised to see her round it on her return stretch. She had evidently only turned into the avenue to turn her wheel. She then bore right down on me, and as a great deviation from my course might have looked suspicious, with my cap down over my eyes, and my head somewhat lowered. But to no avail. She had seen me, and uttered my name as I passed, which however I appeared not to hear. But my little game of “incognito” was spoiled. I rode straight along and on Ft. Hamilton Ave. rode slowly, until I felt a tap on my hind wheel—and turning saw the form and even features of the girl who has so mysteriously laid hold on my affections.

And so, though there would have been lots of fun in my little game of ”seeing but not being seen”, it was no less of a delight to meet her, see her at close range, and speak to her. We both heartily laughed and enjoyed the joke of my miscarried plans. It is needless to state that we took a further ride together, to our mutual enjoyment. Before we were aware of it, the moon, full and silvery, had made its appearance in the sky, sending down its soft and lovable rays of blessing and Godspeed, which appeared to me indeed as a token of divine approbation.

Sept. 20th—Thursday

Mrs. Lee's birthday. Male Chorus came out late in the evening and “serenaded” her. The surprise was complete, Mrs. Lee never knowing until all the men started up a loud and bright song from the parlor. On her coming down, a few words were said, and a beautiful palm plant presented. Mrs. Lee thanked them warmly. A good time was then had amid which refreshments were served. Was after twelve before all left.

Previous page: late August 1900   Next page: October 1900