January 16, 2013

A Not-So Secret Admirer?

 Among Dorothy Doty's papers was this poem, dedicated to her by Edward K. Chase.

When Dorothy received this poem in 1914, she was about 15 years old, and so my first thought was that this was from a young man, smitten with the teenage girl.

Here's the poem, exactly as it was written:

"Lines to Dorthy Doty, by her freind E. K. Chase.

There came thro the mail not long ago
The picture of a girl I used to know
She was standing her back against the tree
I easily reconized the face of Dorothy D.

And just to show one how the time had flown
I had only to look at you, Dorothy, to see how you had grown.
Since I had lived down on the Rodgers place
And you used to call out "Hello, Fat Chase"

Since then the years have gone swiftly by
As I cast a glance backward sometimes, I heave a sigh
As I think of the days when I wrote poetry for the boys
For the little Dotys who made so much noise.

And who wrote on my fence and played tick-tack
with me every time I turned my back
And they running as hard as they could down the road
As I chased them with stick and goad.

Since then I never had as much fun
As when I chased them down the road on the run
And (in imagination) I can hear their laugh still 
As I ride along over, many a street and hill.

And now, Dorothy, I hope as the summer has come
That you will visit us in our Ypsilanti home
Come out Dorothy and we will treat you right
With candy and go to the movies every night

And that we may have a lot of fun, a good time each day
I hope you will bring along little Dorothy K. (her cousin, D Kemmerer)
You and she can go with me and drive old Jim
He is a steady colt, I know you will like him.

And we will drive all around the old town
Ride around all the time, go up hill and down
See all the streets and colleges by the hour
See all the parks, the cannon and the big water tower. 

Watch the big Michigan Central engine purr
Take rides on the trolley on the D. U. R.
Watch the big Autos kick up the dust
We will go all the time don't think we will rust.

See the old Huron river, the Indian's treacherers stream
That has been the ending of many a life's dream
That river has caused many sorrows and joys
And has been the death scene of many girls and boys.

To the north of the river and high above its bed,
You can see the city of our dead
In the distance the head stones glisten among trees
But we won't stop long among things like these.

You can see the soldiers monument from afar
The gift of a lady, in honor of the soldiers of the war
On the top of the base stands a soldier all alone
And underneath (on the base) his deeds are engraved in everlasting stone.

But we won't linger too long with the dead
We will take to the parks and the streets instead
And we will enjoy every minute of the time
If you will come up in response to this rhyme

Give my regards to your Mother, Ada, and the boys
Tell them the 4th of July promises much noise
For there is a celebration here to beat the band
That will give Ypsilanti a name in the land.

To be no longer the butt of Ann Arbor jokes
We will prove to them this will be no hoax
And we want every girl and boy
To come out and with us the day enjoy

Come out, Dorothy, come when you can any day
And don't forget to bring Dorothy K.
Until then adieu but do not laugh
When you see this scribbled autograph."

So, apparently the Chase family was a neighbor to the Doty family in Monroe County, and at some point, the Chase family moved to Ypsilanti.  Edward K. (Kelsy) Chase was actually about 58 years old when he wrote this, was married and the father to three daughters.  Obviously, he had always had a liking for the Doty kids and the families had remained close because they sent Edward a photo of the young Dorothy.  

So ...secret admirer, no...just a former neighbor offering Dorothy a good time if she will visit in Ypsilanti.  Dorothy must have thought a lot of Mr. Chase as she kept this poem among her things.

I wonder if she ever visited.  Mr. Chase died in 1918.


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