Sunday, August 12, 2012

LEFT INSIDE: Greetings from Snow Hill!

Fittingly, this post card sent from some dreamy autumnal getaway called "Snow Hill" was found inside a copy of The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen. The message below is posted at full size. You can click on the address side to enlarge the second photo.


Here's the addressed side. You'll see that the card is postmarked Morristown, NJ. I've been there decades ago when I visited one of my college roommates. It's not exactly the kind of place I'd choose for a vacation. Poor Jean and her illness.  Hope she recovered to enjoy that 1952 autumn in New Jersey. Note also the original name typed as the addressee and then the cross-out with a completely different name handwritten.  I have no clue who Mary Taylor is or was, but as for Miss Ripley Mastin...


Believe it or not, she is a somewhat famous person! Better known to the literary cognoscenti as Florence Ripley Mastin, she was an award-winning poet.


Here's a brief biography I found at the Syracuse University Library website that even mentions her home, Four Gables. Though the blurb wrongly names the town as Pierpont when it should be Piermont.


Florence Ripley Mastin (1886-1968) was an award-winning American poet.

Mastin was born in Wayne, Pennsylvania but her family moved while she was still very young to "Four Gables," the Mastin family home in Pierpont, New York. Mastin graduated from Tappan Zee High School in 1903 (she wrote the class poem) and then from Barnard College

Her poetry career began at the age of 14 when the Nyack Star published her poem, "The Hudson River." Her first book, Green Leaves, was published in 1918. She taught poetry for 38 years at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, where her students included Bernard Malamud and others. Many of her former students have publicly expressed their appreciation for her teaching and her influence on their work.

Ms. Mastin was a member of the Poetry Society of America and winner of many poetry awards. Her work was published in the New York Times, the Saturday Review and other national periodicals. In 1959 the New York State Commission on Historic Observances selected her poem, "Freedom's Dream" as the official "Year of History" poem for the 350th Hudson-Champlain Celebration, and this poem also won the Freedom Foundation Medal that year.

1 comment:

  1. What a neat find, John! Thanks for sharing!

    It seems that I never have stuff like this pop up in my books-- although I *do* have a copy of THE PLAGUE COURT MURDERS that is interrupted by two full-colour ads for cigarettes midway through...

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