early February 1901
February 3rd—SundayPraise service at Emmanuel tonight. Learned authenticafly from Woodman (though not officially) that there would be a change this spring. Trustees had agreed on that. That will leave me in a hole unless, as I hope, something else turns up. Many friends were at the church tonight. I delayed a little with Woodman, and sent word to my friends not to wait for me. As soon as they had left, I met Anna on Washington Ave. by appointment and saw her home, Enjoyed the sport.
Feb. 7th—ThursdayMamma’s and Papa’s wedding day. Oscar and Josie in Philadelphia. As I came from my church, I met Anna. at the Bridge St. station on her way home front school. I have had this same pleasure a few times before, We sat in the car together and had good company to 36th St.
My birthday. Have now reached the mark of 23. Am no longer a boy, though I feel like one. In the afternoon I gave the regular weekly lessons at Lees’. In company with Anna, I went home and after staying a little while, I saw her home again. I hoped she would return with her mother in the evening when some more friends were expected. Besides congratulations and 23 “____ ", Anna presented me with a beautiful inkwell. Her mother congratulated me also, when I was at their house, and gave me a very pretty card, which now decorates one wall in our parlor.
As the Male Chorus at this time needs a few extra rehearsals, I invited them to have one tonight at my house. The fact of it being my birthday leaked out, however, from some of the members who had been in on former surprises for me. When the Male Chorus came tonight, they presented me with a beautiful opal ring. The chairman, Christian, made a very nice speech for me, at the conclusion of which the ring was presented and placed on my finger. I responded and thanked them most heartily. Indeed I think it was very nice of them. After spending a pleasant evening, our friends left at a late hour.
Called on Anna. After taking a walk, and after a pleasant stay, we went together to choir rehearsal. Partook with Anna, this afternoon, of a most delicious cream cake trimmed with orange pieces. Mrs. Lee had made it expressly for me and was to have come up with it last night, but didn’t do so.
Both choirs had rehearsal in church this afternoon preparing for the concert which is now near at hand. Male Chorus met first, then the mixed choir. After rehearsal Anna and I (unobserved - met her at 39th st,) walked all the way to her house on 78th St. Walked up 39th St. to Ft. Hamilton Ave. and along there to 79th St, and then down to 4th Ave. The day was very cold, and the fingertips of my little friend, though protected by gloves, suffered somewhat. We stopped in for a moment at the new little waiting room at Bay Ridge Avenue. Here, to our amusement, a button became loose from my trousers and dropped on the floor.
Earth is decked most becomingly in white. Snow which fell last week is as yet undisturbed by any sudden rise in temperature, On coming to Anna’s house, I was most warmly received by the folks. After partaking of a tasty supper, which included a piece or two of “my” cake, and having a pleasant little chat, we all, Mr. and Mrs. Lee, Anna and I went to church together. It was a most happy little party. Mr. Lee took care of his wife and left the daughter in my charge.
To prayer meeting as usual this evening. Dr. Humpstone requested that I wait as he wished to speak to me, He was very friendly this evening and assured me of his support in any endeaver made for a position. He told me I could refer anyone to him, and he should give me a worthy testimonial, setting forth my strong points, He would also be glad to help me in any practical way, and assured me that he would be glad to do anything for me that might serve the desired end.
He regretted that circumstances were such that I must leave, He said they would have been glad to give me the position, but they felt that I lacked “executive ability”. He spoke most highly of my organ work, and said I had made “great strides”. He mentioned especially my hymn playing, saying he considered me as equal with Woodman, “which”, he added, “is saying a great deal, for I consider him a master in this”. The doctor said he understood perfectly my position, and the difficulties that I faced. Being a subordinate, naturally I could not inspire the confidence and exert the influence over the choir which I could in another position, he said with all sincerity that he could see that I had the qualities of a great organist, and even said that some day I might even rank with the greatest of my profession..
The above is a great deal, coming as it does front a dignified and conservative Doctor of Divinity, who is not given much to compliments, I thanked him most heartily, feeling greatly encouraged and cheered. Though I do not usually “air” the nice compliments that from time to time come my way, yet I put this down here that my own eyes may run over them in times of discouragement. As Prof. Huxley says, he uses all nice sayings and compliments “as an antidote for the blue devils”. Met my dear friend on Bridge St. station, where she had gone to meet me, and had the pleasure of a good time with her as we journeyed home.
Rehearsal in church today again. After rehearsal, Anna and I played a most amusing trick on our friends. We walked out in a group, in which were John, Alfred, both Andersens, Miss Anna Gunsten and Miss Anna Jacobsen, to 36th St. station, where we parted, Anna as if taking the elevated train home, and I walking back with the Andersens for a few blocks. Suddenly, pulling out my watch, I discovered I would not have time to stop in to anyone for supper, so I left them to take the train. Everything worked most splendidly, and in coming to the station, I met Anna as had been arranged. We went down town and took supper at the Bristol Hotel Restaurant. We enjoyed fully the laugh we had on our friends, and the meal tasted good. My dear friend looked most beautiful as she sat across the table from me. Taking a Fulton St. trolley, we went uptown and attended service in the New York Ave. M.E. Church. Met and spoke with Mr. Tyler, the organist.
Final rehearsal of Mixed Chorus tonight. Miss Elsie Ray Eddy, the soprano who is our soloist for the concert, was present with us. Toliefsen quartet was to have been present but two of the members were unable to come. After months of work, I finally see that I cannot get the Mixed Chorus to where I want them. It is discouraging.
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