January 15, 1928
|Siegelau 15 January 1928
We received your letter of October 1927 and enjoyed it very much. On behalf of Father I have been commissioned to transmit this letter to you since he is no longer able to do so because of his eyes. To be sure it has taken awhile for us and you will probably have been waiting for it quite some time. The year 1927 is over. 1928 has started now and we wish you and your family a Happy New Year. All of us are still well which will be the main thing for you too. We have experienced a pretty good year here, but it could have been better. The spring and summer were very wet but we had a particularly beautiful fall. We have not yet experienced much winter. We have not had any snow yet, but I am sure it will come.
I am 20 years old now and have been working the whole year as a craftsman (carpenter). From a local citizen who emigrated to South America last year, I learned that this craft is in flower there too. Recently quite a few from this vicinity have emigrated to America, even a teacher from Simonswald, who returned to his old home a year later.
The letter from your daughter we have had translated by a "Miss" teacher who is employed at our local grade school. It did take a while until some one could be found to transpose this writing in English into German. We would be most happy if she could write us again and could come to Germany some time later in order to take a look at her father's home country.
My father's eye affliction is not much better yet. He will probably have to undergo another operation. Let us hope for the best.
For today I would like to conclude now. We belatedly wish all of you a healthy and richly blessed new year.
Again, many thanks for the two letters.
Franz Anton Fahrlander
Note: Mr. Schweder, the translator, found the letter a little confusing in some respects. It addresses Dad as "Dear Brother," but in second sentence explains that "...on behalf of Father I have been commissioned to transmit this letter to you since he is no longer able to do so because of his eyes." Sometimes he is writing in the words of his father, and sometimes in first person, as when he states, "I am 20 years old now and have been working the whole year as a craftsman (carpenter)." A letter from Dad's brother in 1925 states that this fifth son, that is, living, is a carpenter apprentice. This would be Fritz, born October 27, 1907, whom we saw at Siegelau at the Hirsch Inn in 1974. His resemblance to Arnold in the picture I took is positively uncanny.
Another point was that Fritz in this letter sometimes used the intimate or familiar form of "you," and sometimes the formal. Perhaps when he was more or less quoting his father, the familiar form was used, but possibly because he had never known his U.S. uncle, he used the formal "you" when speaking for himself.
I might add here that the use of the exclamation mark following the salutation in these letters occurs most of the time.