Monday, March 24, 2014

May 8, 1939: Charlotte Takes a Guess

Letter from Charlotte Salmon to Helen-Mary Forbush at Oberlin


Dear Helen-Mary Forbush:

Since I received your last letter asking for Thomas Doeppner's academic records, I asked him to send them to you along with some recommendations. I hope he will tend to that right away so that you will be receiving them very soon. I will fill out the application blank as well as I can from the information that I have about him. I am sending the white blank to Mrs. Anne Martin, who knows him personally. She is now at the Friends refugee hostel in Iowa.

I don't know just how much money he has, but I should think that he might be able to use the two hundred dollar scholarship if that were available. I'll try to find out more about this. I'm mighty glad that you are considering his application, and if I get any further information about him I'll send it to you right away.

Sincerely yours,
Charlotte S. Salmon

The very same day Charlotte writes her nerve-wracking (in my opinion) note to Opa about the need for his papers and the time-crunch… she calmly writes Helen-Mary Forbush a response. She lets Helen-Mary know that she has alerted Opa to the need to send his transcript, and that she will fill out the application as well as she can. Charlotte also sent a recommendation blank to Anne Martin, who knows Opa and is living in the US (at Scattergood). This is the Martin family that Opa wrote to when he first was looking into opportunities to study in the USA, I talk about them here.

Charlotte then makes a judgment call on the scholarship question that Helen-Mary asked in her last letter. She asked if Opa would be able to come with just a $200 scholarship if he didn’t qualify for the full tuition scholarship of $400. Charlotte takes a guess and says she thinks that Opa could use the lesser scholarship if offered. I’m proud of Charlotte for gambling on this- because if it opens one more door for Opa- it seems like a worthwhile gamble.

She says she’s “mighty glad” that Oberlin is considering Opa and that she’ll get the information to them ASAP. The phrase “mighty glad” dates this a bit- and I love it. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone under 80 years old use that phrase.

So Oberlin is definitely in the running for Opa… will he get the paperwork in time?!

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