[This is the earliest dated letter between Dorothy Smith and Ellsworth Clark. They first met while attending the Capitol Hill Ward in Salt Lake City in early 1932. While they dated steadily in the Spring, it appears that Dorothy was not ready to settle down. You will note in this series there are many more letters from Ellsworth than there are from Dorothy. We presume she discarded many she did not want to be seen. We will continue to publish them chronologically. -CG]

At Home
9:55 P.M.

Dear Dorothy,

When one is lonesome what shall he do? Writing a note is one way out of the situation. Then you get this I suppose you will be busy doing something at home, but if I fail to write every thing that is in my mind at the present time, it would take quite a time as well as a lot of paper. I guess that is the reason for the pencil. If I were writing a formal note it would, of course, be a pen.

There are many things I would like to talk to you about. I sense that things multiple, good things as well as the other kind.

When my friend Earl was up this evening, he said that he would be up to my place Thursday afternoon. It might be noon even, and wondered if I would get someone and go to the show with him. Do you feel as if you would like to go? I would rather take you than anyone I know of. Of course I’m so fickle that I’m apt to change my mind over night. I suppose if this stationary could grin, it would do it now. However, you have made me do enough thinking lately to conclude that nothing ever is until it has happened.

I guess I really have something of a “eye opening” coming, because I am just a little selfish. I guess I must think that when I think a certain way that other parties should think in the same way. Isn’t it funny how a person thinks a thing over in his own mind until it seems as though the very thing should happen.

I’m wondering if the letter will bore you with its length? You see I have to write when I can’t see you and talk things around and about.

It’s just my luck not to see you tonight so that I could talk things over. I didn’t know that you expected to leave Mutual or I would have told you something before Mutual.

Dorothy, I wish you would really be frank and tell me if you wish that we could turn things backwards about a week and forget a few things that have happened. Then be frank and criticize my actions of late. I have made a dreadful mistake somewhere it seems. Tell me truly what is wrong with me and why I feel as I do. What’s the matter when I feel superbly happy at one time, and then in such a short time will be gloomy and full of wondering. It is some sort of compensation, or can it be helped.

I want above all to be fair to you. I realize I have taken up a lot of your time and very probably boxed you slightly. I see now, a little, why you feel as you do.

Here I am one fellow among others that you have been sweet enough to make happy, and then I go and spoil things by falling for you. Now am I right? I, of course, had hoped that you cared just a little extra for me. In fact I still believe that you do or you couldn’t have been so wonderful to me the (two) fullest months I have ever spent in my life.

If someone were to ask me what did you get out of your winter in Salt Lake and if I really told the truth I would answer, “Incidently I stored in a few facts of knowledge. I met new people, studied, worked a bit.” Then I would continue, “But the best thing of my whole year has been the companionship of a girl in whom I have seen those qualities of beauty without sophistication, goodness without a sense of good goodiness, pep and fun without the usual rowdiness and sometimes baseness. I am better because of knowing her. She has made me see the shallowness of a girl who looks upon life as a plaything and made me see a girl who has the ideals of a healthy Normal person. In her appreciation of Art she is tempered in her actions and yet is not afraid to show her individualism. To be afraid of life does not daunt her. She will go forward and, I hope stand firm in the way she has chosen. If she is slightly afraid she can overcome it by only not thinking of being afraid. When love comes her way she should not be afraid of it but she should surely know before giving her love to a person.” There are many other things I would say as long as the person I was talking to was imagining.

A sense of Balance is desirable in all things. The old Greeks were right in their Philosophy “All things in Temperance, None in Excess.” The person who can integrate his life so as to have work, Beauty & live in the right proportions is indeed a happy individual. Science has made great advances in the last few years. But with the growth of this has come a feeling of independence of actions. The person who throws all of his vitality into a scheme for temporal things is now likely to find that Science is an imposter and is setting down on him. The latest in Science is that there is a force which motivates things to do one thing equally well as another. Much of Science is exact and dogmatic it makes its slaves nicely tuned machines, but what of the personal thing in our [b?].

Dorothy, you have made me see a few things even if you have not spoken a word concerning them. I didn’t start this letter with the idea of writing much of this, but it has just slipped out. I hope you will not take me wrong and think that I am merely trying to flatter you or make you feel good. I have just let you see a little of my view points and something of my ideals, especially of a girl. I could have gone on with my description of a girl who (I believe) is my ideal.

She does not have to be a stunning Beauty. What I hope for in a girl is personality. Not the shining society dame but rather a girl who can laugh at little things, as a sense of humor when troubles are about and can understand that the real life is on our contort with our neighbor & friend and not in putting on the “High Hat”. This girl, if she has intelligence and personality will be beautiful without the prize from Atlantic City for having the most beautiful face.

I could go on forever I guess, but you will wonder if I’m all ideas or am full of sermons and such. Golly no! I will write in german if I do. But I won’t! There is something else I would rather say in German. and that is — dass Ich wünschte dan I wund met das I werd met ihnen nacht. Seiner Küssen sind sehr gut! Sie sind so schön und liebische [sic] dass Ich denke, du hast die bessen “Dorty” der welt. suens tränen zu dich. [written above German in Dorothy’s handwriting] that I […]_ that I were with you tonight […] You are so sweet and lovely that I think you are the grandest […] in the world. — I will probably do the same thing. However, I hope it is because of me and not another one. That would spoil things for me.

Gute Nacht! Du müss nichts vergessen Ich leibe dich.

Ellsworth “Muss things up” Clark

I think will roll my myself into this envelope and slip in and see you unawares. Then let you talk to someone about me. Wonder what kind of a thing I would hear. Probably a very common word would be “Nutty” or “funny”.

Well you could say worse things than that.


It’s now 20 minutes to twelve

gute nacht!

I’m as bad in my letters as in my good nights at other times.

E. Again.


%d bloggers like this: