Nellie [surname unknown]
Louie W. Strentzel
I am also gathering the last leaves to skeleton and bleach for Phantom Bouquets. Have you ever tried to make them? It is very tedious work but when finished, nothing can be more exquisitely beautiful. Nellie, I should like very much to have you come down and make me visit this winter. Could not you and "No. " who is I believe Miss Blanche come by sometime with your father on his way from Sacramento or from San Francisco, which is perhaps the most convenient route? And Let us know a day or two before so that we can meet you at the wharf in [Martinez] and we will all endeavor to make it as pleasant for you as possible And now if you will only be good and forg[illegible], and answer this very soon, so that I may be fairly started in the way of correspondence before the Old Year is gone- I am superstitious about that - I shall be most thankful and will try also to smooth out the cramped lines which my pen has of late been wont to make. Father and mother join me in kindest regards to you all Truly Your friend Louie W. Strentzel
Alhambra, Nov. 28, 1871.
The long-hoped for clouds and rain and storm have at last come down upon us, bringing, for me at least, the rest and quiet which here is not to be known all the summer long. The past summer especially has been a busy time for me. We have had company almost continually, and the hur- ried work of the fruit season, together with mother's ill health, has given more care and work to my head and hands than I have been able to go through with and not be tired out. But now, with leisure to remember my neglected duties, there comes again before me a long list of letters unwritten which have for a long time persisted in haunt- ing me most uncomfortably. And indeed, Nellie, it is so long since I have written any but the shortest notes, that I find myself almost as bereft of idea in be- ginning this letter as I was when first ordered to write a school composition. So I can only hope that you will be a little less wroth over the unanswered letter  06382
of last spring, when I say that it is a year and more since I wrote a line to my aunt and cousins in Texas. My Uncle Erwin who came out with his family last June, is living down opposite Vallejo, but his youngest child Janie has been staying here with us the past three months. They are all still very much dissatisfied with California and want to return to their Texas home. Mother has been away since Thursday, having taken Janie and gone up the Stockton river to visit Mr. Kimbell's family who live near Wells' Landing. They are old Texas friends whom your mother used to know very well. Wouldn't it be splendid if for once the old home acquaintances could all be collected together, say at a quilting or Christmas festival of the old fashion! Just fancy the wonderful recital of experiences, recollections, and perhaps thrilling ad- ventures that we younger folks might come to hear at such a time. How should you like to go back to our native State, Nellie, and see everything for yourself? By and by, when an iron steed goes flying across the plains and 
on to Honey Grove, I shall want to be there for a little while; but know I could never be satis- fied to consider any other but California as my true home. And it is here in our own Golden State that I want most to travel, to see its wonders and grand scenery, and its people as well. As it is I have seen so very little; go very seldom even to San Francisco, an then for a day or two only: but for some months, we have been hoping and planning over the promised coming of the Railroad through our town, when it will be less trying and tedious a journey to go beyond the encircling hills of Alhambra Valley. Our valley has seemed very beautiful though, the last month with its trees and vines tinted with hues of autumn. Some of the foreign grape vines especially have shown in masses of yellow and crimson and flame, but the wonder was short lived, for the beating rain came and left only bare branches. I have been dry- ing a quantity of the leaves, and there is such variety of marking and color, that after being varnished, they will make beautiful wreaths. 
1871 Nov 28
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.
Strentzel, Louie W., "Letter from Louie W. Strentzel to Nellie [surname unknown] , 1871 Nov 28." (1871). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1407.
Reel 02, Image 0593
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