Books of the Week #7

Love Letters to Spike: A Telegrapher's Lament with a Brief, Eclectic History of Communications in the Seacoast by Bill Holly (Portsmouth, NH: Placenames Press, 2004)

 "Herbert D. Waldron plied his craft as a telegrapher at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for three months in the spring of 1914. Over thirty of Herb's letters come down to us today, written to his sweetheart Grace, his beloved 'Spike,' back home in Hartford, Connecticut. Faithfully reproduced with all their inaccuracies intact, Waldron's letters--and author Bill Holly's research and commentary--provide a unique snapshot of 1914 Portsmouth and environs, from the perspective of a young, lower middle class working man. Swinging from exuberance to pathos, they detail the minutiae of Herb's days. Practically nightly, we find our young friend at the movies, dances, minstrel shows and sporting events--all the while complaining how broke he is. At the same time, Herb's travels about the area serve as a convenient framework for the exploration of the Seacoast's rich communications history. The story is well-illustrated with many rare period photographs and engravings from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries." (publisher's blurb)

Bill Holly, K1BH, has been an amateur radio operator since 1964 and is also the author of The Vibroplex Co., Inc., 1890 to 1990.

During February 2013 author Mary Robinette Kowal has issued a challenge to anyone willing to take it up: The Month of Letters Challenge. In honor of this challenge, all the books-of-the-week during February will be collections of correspondence. If you enjoy these types of books you may also want to check out the Postal Reading Challenge being hosted by The Indextrious Reader.

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