ALL OFFICES AND STORES.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE. 4-19-16.
“St, Louis, Mo. April 17, 1916,
When you receive this letter no doubt we will be in the glorious climate of California. The reason for our trip is as follows:
The doctor advised me to spend from 3 to 8 weeks in Tate Springs, Tenn. as he thought it would do me more good than any other place in the United States as I have been troubled with insomnia long time.
Mr.and Mrs. Albright, Miss Salter, and myself, left New York Thursday afternoon, on my birthday, April 13th. Arrived in Tate Springs about 3 o’ clock the next day. We went as far as Morristown, Tenn. by train and drove in an auto twelve miles to Tate Springs over a very rough road. There is a little one-horse train that runs up from Morristown to Tate Springs only once a day and we had our trunks follow us on that little railroad. On our ride up to Tate Springs the driver told us that there were only about eighteen guests at the Springs, which we thought very strange at this time. The scenery was beautiful, beyond description, and the climate was delightful. Long before I left New York, I imagined that the Tate Springs Hotel could not be a very beautiful place, and imagined it was a very bad hotel in which to stop, but the Springs they said were so wonderful that we decided to try it.
It is a very large hotel and with only eighteen guests, you can imagine the barn-like appearance it presented to us. But that was not all, before we even reached the hotel, everything looked neglected, as if everyone had gone to sea, but we did find a few old men perched up on the “stoop” wishing they were not there. We were led to the hotel register, and although it was the middle of the day it was so dark we could hardly see the register and they had to have an oil lamp to follow our pens over the register, the register itself had gone to sea and about as dirty a book as I have ever put my hand on.
We were then induced to go up to see our palatial rooms. The elevators not running on account of the electricity being turned off (in the middle of the day), we had to climb two flights of very narrow dirty stairs with a carpet all worn off and the edge in shreds. We finally reached the best suite of rooms there was in the house with southwestern exposure, and the smell indicated to us that the rooms had not been occupied for months, as they had that old-fashioned musty smell that you get in country house parlors. We found out afterwards that they had spent a good deal of time and money in making these rooms attractive and comfortable for us. The expression on our faces when we reached these rooms was indescribable; no one said a word, each waiting for the old man to break out.
We went, downstairs and had luncheon, and Mr. Albright said it was a very poor lunch. I agreed with him. While at the luncheon table we decided it was no place for us and went to the clerk to try to stop our trunks from coming to the hotel, also to secure accommodations on the railroad so we could get away. But unfortunately the trunks arrived in the evening, which, on the other hand was luck for us as it gave us an opportunity to take out a few much needed clothing for our anticipated long trip, as in the meantime we had decided to go to California, and the trunks went back to the station and we checked back to Morristown.
ALL OFFICES AND STORES. 4-19-16. 2.
The following day we took an auto to Morristown and was mighty glad we did not have to stay in Tate Springs any longer. We took a little stroll over the golf links to see if they were up to date, nothing doing. It looked as if there had been no repairs around that place for at least ten years, but must admit the climate was delightful and they say the Springs are very beneficial and that was the only attraction that kept these old men around the hotel. When we arrived in Morristown, we had just twenty minutes to buy our tickets and to check our trunks and figured out that it would cost us no more as far as railroad fares ware concerned, between Morristown, Tenn. and St.Louis Mo., and between Los Angeles and San Francisco, so decided to go that way.
We arrived in Knoxville, Tenn. about 1-30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15th and we had 8 hours to spend in Knoxville before our train left for St. Louis, and of course visited our store in Knoxville. We found the windows trimmed up very fine and the store in very excellent condition, also a very congenial and accommodating manager, Mr. F L. Kinney. There is no question but what that store will be successful under his management. We also visited our competitor’s store and found this store was in not near as fine condition as our store. In the afternoon we took a long auto trip around the suburbs of Knoxville and were very much surprised at the beautiful scenery and magnificent homes and estates, also the good roads. In the evening we took our dinner at the Atkin Hotel, which is a very fine hotel. We had an excellent meal there. The balance of the evening we spent on the “Midway” which is composed of a lot of so-called side shows, similar to the shows that they have in circuses, and there was a tremendous crowd but they got none of our money. We left on the 9-40 p.m. train and arrived in St. Louis rather tired at 7-36 last night, and stopped at the Hotel Jefferson, which is a very fine hotel. We took a walk around the streets of St. Louis and saw our stores from the outside and got a general idea of the city. This morning we surprised the men in our offices in St. Louis, and they are giving us the time of our lives. We found the offices very comfortable, nicely fitted up. This is my first visit to the St. Louis Office.
We have secured pullman car accommodations through to Los Angeles, which was very easy on account of most of the travelers going east instead of coming west and we expect to leave here to-night at 9 o’clock, stopping off at the Grand Canyon and arriving in Los Angeles next Friday afternoon. This will be my first experience on the western coast of the United States.
We are all well and feeling fine. It seems the change is doing me a great deal of good. Have only had one bad day since I left New York. Have much better appetite and sleeping better. That is the reason I am taking this trip, as believe it will do me more good than staying in one place all the time. We shall not remain in California very long as this is just a flying trip, rather unexpected, and we have had to buy quite a few things on the road to keep in decent condition until we arrive in Los Angeles. You will probably hear from us later.