A Letter From the Past

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Letter from Eugene May to Warren May


Dear papa, your letter came to me last night, and I was glad to hear from you again.


As for coming home I think I can arrange to get off at noon. Leaving here Wednesday at 12:39. I won't miss but five classes as the first part of the week is the hardest. I've got money enough to come home on. 10 dollars. I won't need any more so you can look for me Wednesday night, March 12.


I appreciate very much what you said about letting me bring your ford up here. I didn't know you had a car since you got rid of the Hudson. Jerome Spann, the oldest one of the Spann boys here is coming down with me and is going to come back with me in the Ford. I got a place to keep it at.It is a good garage with a modern floor and a good door. So I can keep it out of the weather. This is mighty good of you. I'm sure you didn't know just how I feel about it. In any event I deeply appreciate this of you. I appreciate it.


Has been raining all day. I haven't been out but once. I've been to town to get some breakfast there. Didn't get up in time for breakfast. It's getting colder all along. Boy I wouldn't be surprised it freezes tonight.


Hope this finds you all getting along alright since I’m not feeling so well but guess it's because I slept so late this morning. Well I’ll be down Wednesday night. I've got to be back here Monday morning. Give my love to Mom and Wilber,


I am most respectively your son,





Charlotte Davis, Mobile, loves antiques. She’s found items at estate sales and antique stores for as long as she can remember.

In 2005 she found an old vanity. After years of wear and tear from her grand kids, she decided to refinish it this year.

“I had dusted it many times before, but while I had it outside I used the leaf blower to blow all the dust out from behind the drawers,” said Davis. “I heard it, but I couldn't see it. I pulled it out, and this (letter) is what we found. I was hoping I had found money.”

It was a letter postmarked March 9, 1924. Eugene May wrote it while he was a student at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, better known now as Auburn University.

It starts off, “Dear papa your letter came to me last night, and I was glad to hear from you again.”

He sent the letter to his dad, warren, in Dothan. Eugene planned to visit next week.

"I’ve got money enough to come home on. I've got ten dollars," said Eugene in the letter.

After reading the 89 year old letter Charlotte asked her daughter-in-law, Johnnie Davis, for help to track down the family.

“We got onto ancestory.com and really hit a dead end. We didn't find anything,” said Johnnie.

So they turned to WTVY, and we reached out to our thousands of Facebook friends. Finally we got a hit.

“I'm excited. I think it will be treasure to them. It would be to me,” said Charlotte.

Marc May directed us to his Aunt Bobbie. She is Warren's niece and Eugene's first cousin.

We hit the road to Marianna to return this piece of family history.

For year's Barbara Brackin has been tracing her family's genealogy. She had a trunk full of information waiting on us.

“I'm glad the post mark is still good,” said Brackin.

A post mark from before she was born, but the letter took her right down memory lane.

"I appreciate very much what you said about letting me bring your ford up here. I didn't know you had a car," said Brackin as she read the letter.

She went on to say, “Uncle Warren did have a car. I can tell you something else about that. We got somewhere in Geneva County and got a flat tire. Uncle Warren never quit telling people I changed the flat tire.”

She said, “Eugene was quiet. He was very laid back and a nice person.”

Brackin didn't have any pictures of her uncle or cousin. Although those are worth a thousand words...

"I’m glad I have a clear mind and can remember all of this..."

She's realizing that a simple letter can be priceless.

"It feels like touching back."

We're not really sure where the dresser came from.

Charlotte said she bought it from her niece.

However, when we showed the picture to Mrs. Bobbie she said could picture it sitting in Eugene’s mother’s room on Edgewood Drive in Dothan.

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