47 Glencairn Ave
Toronto Canada
New Year's Day 1955

Darling:

A happy New Year to you.

We had our New Year's dinner last night with your Uncle Cal, Peggy and Floss as our guests. Mother and I went out to select our Sirloin Roast Friday. Uncle Cal said he liked the 'black outside' best so I gave him that. You should have seen me glaring at the roast when I started to carve in mid-Victorian style with my serviette (napkin to you) tucked down my collar and vest. I went at it as if I were knocking down a penguin, half in sorrow and in anger. We devoured everything. Then we went in and listened to Carmen on the long-playing record and some of Mozart & Handel.

Your mother will go down soon and I will go a little later for I must read Elsie Dinsmore to you – just to get the darned female off my mind. I used to read it when you were sick in Toronto and I have the nostalgia to start it again. I am going to read by the hour in your room – so look out!!!

We shall be phoning you again tonight probably after we return from Baile[?]'s tea. We may go to church or we may not. I have to prepare a speech for the graduation dinner in Hart House and that's on my mind and requires some preparation. I don't like to think that I am recounting stories I told in Vic two or three years ago, so I have to think up some new ones, actual or apochryphal.

I was so glad to get an account of Dr Cobb's letter to you. He must be a wonderful fellow, all that Sallie & McDonald said about him, as the best surgeon on the continent – McDonald said 'in the world in his field.'

Bless your sweet face and everything about you.

Your loving father
Ned

By the way the Collected Edition is in constant demand. Isn't that swell?



Actually, 2 January 1954 as Pratt recounts the New Year's dinner and the tea the next day.

Elsie Dinsmore
The Elsie Dinsmore books: lengthy series written for young girls by Martha Finley in the late nineteenth century. Moralistic tales, they were favourite Sunday School library fare.