LETTERS FROM ADA WOODWARD TO HER PARENTS, 1912

Six letters transcribed directly and given also in edited
versions by the oldest child, Frank Forman, of Ada
Blanche Woodward Roberts■ oldest child, Dorothy Jean
Roberts Forman. Done in 1996, eighty-four years later.
These are the surviving letters from her trip in 1912 to
undertake piano studies and also, as it transpired to meet
her future husband, who came from Kansas to Vienna to
study medicine. Ada herself lived near the Kansas border,
in Alva, Oklahoma. This town had a population of 1499
in 1900, 6416 in 1980, and 5495 in 1990. Some of her
letters very definitely refer to things that transpired
during her trip and could not have been known in
advance, which strongly suggests that there are missing
letters. I have stuggled mightily to figure out several
passages and give my speculations in the second column.
I am also relying on a seveteen-page typewritten account
of her trip, sometime (probably soon) after she came
back in February the next year, sooner than she had
hoped, but her father had become quite ill.  Slashes [/]
indicate line breaks in the originals.

TRANSCRIPTION OF RIGINALS

FIRST LETTER
[circled] 1
Sunday Morning - 11- oclock
Vienna Austria
Sept 22. ■12

             My dear Mother:
[image of flower]
             This is hand
painted paper and I
have been given one sheet
 so I shall write small in
order to say as much as I wish.
At Milan we saw Leonardo Da Vinci■s ■The Last Supper■/
The old original painted on stucco and not as we/
imagine as it is old and in part faded - but the/
conception is wonderful and the different attitudes/ of
the disciples.In The wonderful specimen of Gothic/
architecture, the Milan Cathedral we saw the largest/
stained glass window in the world. Most as large as/ one
side of your church. Made of different panels/ each
showing a scene in Chirst■s life. The glass was/ of richest
dark colors, so deep and beautiful were/ the reds and
blues. We descended into the solid/ silver vault where the
saint is buried. The sides/ are in beautiful panels of art
reliefs in silver/ showing miracle scenes of the saint (one
of their/ old much worshiped Popes or rather Arch
Bishops/ These panels have figures & trees carved out
so/ massively they are raised 6 inches from the. back
ground. From the ceiling hangs wonder-/ful chandeliers
and candels. Under foot/ is solid mosaic. At the front
stands the/ most wonderful casket which contains the/
Body of the Saint. The monk slipped on his sacred/ garb
before touching the wheel which he turned/ and which
lowered the the silver panels/ (also around the casket) to
the base and left the/  casket for us to see. I can merely
attempt a/ description. The gorgeous thing, about the/
size of a davenport was the same solid/ silver art relief
with cupid angel figures in the/ art reliefs out standing all
over it. The glass/ stabs inserted in side and the ends
were of/ real rock crystal - next to the diamond in/
hardness. We saw plainly into the interior/ where lay the
body of the Saint 300 yrs old./ Preserved! And his face
exposed! It looked like

[circled] 2
a piece of petrified grey rubber - contour/ perfect - only
the nose - and the end of that, gone!/ (on to purgatory I
guess). The body was wrapped/ in real hand woven gold
- all gold thread tapestry/ and glistened as such. All
available space was/ taken with jewels. The robe had
sleeves and/ the hands were encased in golden gauntlets/
and one held silver swords entirely encrusted/ with
emeralds and rubies. A cross 4 incheslong of big
diamonds and emeralds was hung/ in center. The head
was wrapped also (as a/ nuns) so the beautiful crown
was suspended/ by a golden cord over the head. It was/
a wonderful filagree affair with beautiful/ gems and over
it was dangling/ bunches of pearls here and there. This/
is one example/ of the detail of gorgeous-/ness we have
seen in these Cathedrals,/ and at each one, beggars
haunted us/ as we went inside - with their woe/ and
sorrow and the pitiful beseeching./ and the looks of
want. - I think they/ mostly could not see the splendor
with/  their sore and running eyes.

Betty and I ascended to the tiny tip top/ of the tower.
This cathedral has 98 turrets/ and 2000 statues on the
exterior. All - the/ whole thing of solid marble and --/
carved. Take an ordinary screw - pull/ it out five feet long
and then set a/ chigger at the bottom point to travel/
round & round the grooves to the top -/ that■s Ada going
up to the tallest spire -dont mention it - yes a pleasant
journey!!

and besides the injury  - insult! One
has to pay a sum to allow himself
this exersise.

Oh! Yes. Our guide in ViennaVenice: you see/ we had a
courier who has been with us/ from Napels. But in each
place he secures/ a guide to show us round. In
ViennaVenice The/ guide was a friend of the courier. He/
had a pull - and we had a privelege

[on the left margin]: 
I only cried once in your letter & that was/ about Ruths
tonsils. Im glad they are out.

[circled] 3
not for tourists. A Prince, away at his/ summer home has
a palace in Venice/ and we were taken through it. I shall/
tell you of the Palace of the Prince when/ I have speech
directly. Suffice it to say -/  32 rooms, each 1 for
example with satin/ & velvet brocaded tapestry on the
walls/ the chairs and divans to match and/ of gold. Real
gold chairs (they are/ made of fine rare wood veneered/ 
deeply with 18 carat gold) single/ articles worth 50,000
dollars to/ be seen. Enough!
    I left the party at Lucerne. My/ excess baggage was
$3 - Then I/ paid from Lucerne to Vienna/ my own
baggage - just what the whole/trunks weighed - $4!!! It
cost me/ 28$, all told from Lucerne to Vienna./ However
per advice of courier I/ went sleeper 1st class, but the
conductor/ who spoke Eng. Told me the other ź of the/
car was second - and it would have/ cost me my whole
ticket had I
taken 2nd class $7 less. And I could/ see no difference,
except I had/ a private dressing room in my/ compart
ment. Toward the last of/ the journey I heard a woman
(& boy/ & girl of 7 & 5 yrs) speaking English/ We became
acquainted. She is from/ Arizona. Husband studying a
year/ here. Took her address & find she lives/ 1 block
from the Hadwigers. I felt/ most lonely on the trip at
Zurich where/ I changed cars, and waited 1 hr for/ next
train. I nearly got left for I/ couldnt find the waiting room
so/ sat on a baggage bench at end of a/ railroad which
said zu Wien (to Vienna) but/ there were 2 different ones.
About 3 min.

[on the left margin]: your letter came yesterday after
noon & Cys [?]/ I got here in morn.

[circled] 4
before the train pulled out I decided to walk/ down a few
tracks more & see as trains/ came & went all time. We
were under a/ 
roofs as at Union Depots. Found my train. Did/ n■t know
my money which I changed there before/ going into Aus.
I only had a few $ from Swiss/ to Aus. Money. I tipped
the guide & he wouldnt give/ up my suit case. I yelled
out to officials around/ (those stations are regular brass
button factories)/  ■Sprechen sie English!!! Sprechen sie/
English!!! and/  a uniform came to my assistance. I said
■How much/ money have I given the Porter■. ■1 Penny!!!
Ha!/ Ha!■ So I gave 50 centimes or (10 Ťents. In / my
money). He was the cond. On the rail road. They/ are all
supposed to be able to speak Eng.
    Mr. Hadwiger met me. At first he was afraid/ to try to
speak Eng. which he only knows in/ a few single words -
not in sen. And we got/ on fairly - only at the customs.
He nor guide at/ the custom office could make me under
stand/ about the trunks & I tried to tell him I had/ one -
got out my Dic. Then he made me go/ off without it. I
must room some where not/ here. We got here to the
house and then/ could understand my grammar quite well
but/ I couldn■t make them see where & what room/ or
sort of Board I wished.. They took me to an/ Eng. Lady -
wife of a lawyer & she interpreted./ I then went back
with Mie [?] Mr. Had wiger to hunt/ Madam Prentner. I
take my 1st lesson/ Monday at 5 oclock. $6 per lesson.
Ach! But/ when I play for her she will come down I
know./ We then hunted room at some address/ she gave
- none too good. Cold bare rooms/ heart sick -$30 a
month. We hunt again/ tomorrow. She - Prentner is far
from/ Hadwiger. It took from 9 oclock Friday/ morn till 6.
Am. Sat. To get from Lucerne/ here. I went to bed last
night very weary/ and with cramps!! The English woman/
had a nice flat & she invited me back/ for 4 oclock Tea. I
went - nice visit.

I met - Oh Yes! A great concert pianist-/ heard him play
in Big Hotel drawing room/ summer resort at Switz. He
had me play -/ says I have talent - wants me to come to
Florence/ to study with him.gave me his card. Levy/ is
the name. See Mus. Courier.  With Love - Ada

[in the left margin]: Everything-s-seems so s-strange!!/
But this family is good to me./ I got Pres. Grunbines
letter./ Tell him to send that $100 he/ promised. But I
shall write.
***************************
SECOND LETTER
Sept 25 Tues

My dear Father:
          This time I have for/ you, very much astonishing
news./ The Hadwigers kept me Sat. And/ Sunday and
Monday. On Monday
the wife of the owner came to/ Hadwigers House. I mean
wife/ of the man who owns the whole/sale Tea and
Coffee house for which/ Mr. H. is manager. She said ■I/
have a daughter the same age as/ the American Lady and
my daughter/ speaks a little English and I
should like to have her come and/ live with us so my
daughter/ can learn to be more English/ and to speak.
And the American girl plays so, as an artist, my/
daughter will learn when she
listens to her■.

And here I am in an elegant/ appartment, as well to do
city /people live.  They have two/ maids, beautiful
furniture/ seven rooms. A grand piano,/ Persian rugs &
mahogany -/ and what is rare in Europe,

[in the left margin]: Hugs and Kisses for all of you

2
bath and a shower bath. I/ am ■company■ -- and now/
the wonder of wonders!!! not/ one cent am I to pay --
even/ the maid my laundry will/ do. -- I feel like a dream./
I thought I might be considered/ a companion -- but ach!
no--/ the relatives have been in to/ see me, and I cant
even find/ my brown shoes the maid/ tans. Them so--and
they wait/ on me. Regina, the daughter/ gave her bed to
me, and sleeps/ on a couch affair - so you see/ I am
company. We went to the/ theatre last night An older/
Brother is a newspaper man/ and critic 29 yrs old & a
play/ wright also. He lives near here/ is single. And two
boys at/ home. Fritz 25, and a merchant/ with his father,
and owns also/ a short tri mmed mustache, &/ beautiful
eyes & is large./ A student brother in the Middle/ Schoole
16 yrs old. A dear jolly

3
father looking like Mr. Carnice [?]/ when he was younger.
This man/ is not so old. A mother not/ quite so large as
Mrs Wiggins/ 
something like her. Regina/ is a sweet girl and bright./
She talks Eng. So queer but/ as Mr Hadwiger said
Reginas/ mother said ■She will ask/ Regina in German &
Regina/ answer in Eng. so each/ will learn the language --
and we/ pay her nothing (fancy!!!)/ And she us,
nothing■!!

Wish you could see this/ Library with delft blue walls--/ a
whole set of beautiful bark
inlaid wood. The book case/ a huge affair along one wall
massive and deep. The glass/ lined with blue satin
hanging/ and blue velvet at the windows for inner
hanging & canopy
of the same./ Eat so funny. Coffee & lard
biscuits when we arise with/ butter at about 8. At
eleven/ the maid interrupts my

4
practice with fruit. At 10 or 11/  dinner. The meal of the/
day. Would you like fried/ potatoes in creamed tomato/
soup. Me? Never!!! But we/ had meat loaf today. Then/
about 5 or 6 milk or tea/ or coffee again with more/
bread. Then no supper/ but each eats at the/ notion cold
meat & bread/ & butter & a drink again./ I have not even
seen beer/ here. At Hadwigers neither/ only the night I
returned/ they had company beer - and/ wine and of
course think/ nothing of it. But they do/ not seem to
drink at meals.

Well: I went to see/ Prentner. She charges $6 a/ lesson.
And she said I/ cannot take of her & Lesc./ Both. She had
so many/ she with drew from Lesc./ For he is old - she
did the

5
work & he got the credit for/ their technique while he of/
course does more in interpeta-/tion. So I said I shall take
of/ you - bt later when I / am in good shape I shall/ go to
Lesc. or a few lessons/ so they will not say I could/ not.
He is dangerously ill/ now how ever. I played for Prentner
& she said for me to write to Mrs./ Carlson that she is
proud of/ the work she has done with me. I have great
tech. But/ much more strength and/ through that .. a
beautiful/ tone I shall have to become/ an artist - and this
week/ I do only tech - such as/ I tried to make Ruth do./
Much as Mrs Carlson told/ me only some new points/
such as developing a firm/ finger from middle finger/
joints - as firm as a book/ for instance - and mine as

[in the left margin]: a Happy Birthday Ann. For Mother.

6
weak in comparison with Prentners./ This secures a
strength and/  a surer and softer touch/ because of
complete control/ 
ect ect--ect - ect.
   This next week Regina goes with Fadder (they all say/
& so do Hadwigers not Father/ but this, ■Pop-ah■.) To
Munich/ for pleasure./ I hope my own dear Father is/ well
and contented. And Ruth/ dear be good and practice
dear,/ I wish you to make good and / be able to some
day see what/ I have seen. Maybe sometime/ I can bring
you. If they/ teach German in Model [?], you/ take it -
then I will teach you/ at home. I get along fine/ now. I
can talk 3 minutes/ with out stopping -- and/ occasion aly
now when I
am finished they really/ have a look of comprehension/ on
their face. Regina/ says - ■I haf not the/ com pre hent
wat you haif

[7]
say - You haif (have) go tzo fast■./ Ach! Louie [?] for a
Waldorf salad and a fist full of/ chocolates and a
strawberry milk shake./ But I am quite contented/ and
such an opportunity./ I can hardly stay away/ from the
piano. I/ love to do the tech. Two/ lessons from now I/
begin slowly on a concert/ number. So she must/
consider me in pretty/ good condition. I like/ Prentner fine
- every/ body is so good to me. The first day Had.
brought me to an English lady to/ interpret for us & she
asked me back to Tea./ Wife of a Lawyer./ Then Sunday
with the Had. I met two lovely scoters [?]/ & pretty my
own age - They

8
are also friends of Regina./ They introduced their uncle/
and he has a cousin - who is a concert violinist - sick
now./ She returns in Oct. Last of the month. She knows
wh Lesc./  The uncle speaks Eng. And/ from what I
gather her parents/ live next door to Lesc. She knows/
him and he will have her present
me to Lesc. In one or two months.

     Sept. 26--
           Next evening.
   Last night a married sister/ & husband of Reginas & a/
friend came. We had really/ a hot supper about 9 oclock.
And for dessert - guess what/ Roasting ears!! Brand new
ones. I taught them to eat/ butter on them. As I use
much/ butter, if they copy me - up goes/ the butter bill
Ha!!!
   The beds here are queer. You sleep/ on a sheet & thin
padding and/ the ■feather bed■ over you. Single/ beds
always. The feather bed isnarrow and very light a thin
ticking over - and then a case

9
of linnen - with embroidered/ monogram. The feather
affair/ is a foot thick say - but it is not packed - loosely -
and/ falls around the body in a/ cozy way Warm for
winter.
   I have worn my tam hat / until now and it has been/
very servicable. People are/ still wearing summer hats/
here - but it is late. Today/ I got a plain black wooly/ hat
& put it on the side The/ feather from my summer tam./
They are wearing mink (for/ the streets) hats like the/ one
I bought for mother last/  winter. No fires here yet/ and
not for a month. I nearly freeze But am becoming/ used
to it. I unpacked my trunks, today/ with the whole family
looking/ on - andfrom a months/ journey you can imagine
/ the sight. I nearly had/ o fight to send my old/ brown &
black striped dress/ & blue serge to clearners - for

10
here they seem to think any/ old dress good enough ■fur/
die Kaiser■.

   Really I see I shall not/ have a minute of my own/ to
write a letter even./ If so - well they have - each/ had a
look at this and guessed/ how many oo words it might/
contain. And I am very/ firm about the amount of/
practice - I would move before/ I neglect it. But I shall/
have time. Fritz lies in/ bed until 9. When I do 5/ hrs a
day I must begin early./ So if necessaryI shall rent/ a little
dumb-/ klavier &/ do tech - in the morning./ I have put in
the full
amount today. Tonight I/ am on exhibition at the/ married
brothers. The wifes/ brother is a musician --/ a crowd of
friends will be/ there.
   Tommorow night - ahem!

11
in full evening togo - we/ the family sit in a box at/ the
Opera House - no I mean/ Theatre to the the opening/
night performance of a /Play written by our Brother/ the
Play writght!!!!
    As I am busier from /now on I do now expect /to find
time for so long /a letter. Now Regina ca /me to see how
she has /sewed the feather on /my hat - but what do/ I
care what it is like/ when I wear it - I can-/ can not wear
it & go to/ see my dear home folks /and -- -- last night/
before we went to Bed/ Regina threw/ open the shutters
and / said ■The moon had/ new shine bright - what?

12
and have it so in America /your mother do look it,/ what?
Be that sayed right/ in some English - I could/ have wept
for I remembered/ lying in my room in the/ window of a
beautiful moon/ light night trying to hold/ it in mind - for I
saw it
for the last time at Rome./ And here from the window/ it
looked so like the/ same & is the same --/ that -- oh well -
- I can/ not let myself dwell on/ that. I dare not.
   
   Goodbye - rest easy/ ■dont worry■ I am in/ a beautiful
chance of/ a life time I am being/ good & I remember.
       Kisses & hugs
              Ada.
Vienna Aus.
% Regina Geyerhahn - III Gensäusgässe 7

[in the left margin]: Carefully save my letters. They will
help me remember [missing] return.
*************************
THIRD LETTER

[October 8, 1912 Tuesday]

[top of page missing from copy]
...before I return home? No!! you/ know I wont because I
have seen / so much and such grand learned / and
beautiful people. I feel like an/  ugly old zero with the rim
knocked / off.
I wrote a long letter to Grunbine/ which would be nice for
Renfrew/ to copy. I just can't find time to/ write so
much. Harry Mead/ at Wichita would make arrangements
for me/ to write for Henry Allens paper - even/ gave me
an addressed envelope but/ I cant find time.

I began with 2 hrs a day. Then 3/ and this is the 2nd
week of lessons/ and I'm only to practice 3 a day/ and
after my lesson this afternoon 4/ hrs. Then 5, the limit.
But/ yesterday I did 4 ź hrs. I cant keep/ away from the
piano -- and today 2/ arms feel numb so I'm not/ doing
much. Regina goes to cook/ing school 9 - till 12. In after
noon/ to sewing school that Mrs. Hadw

[2]
has from 2 till 5. She returns/ and we promendade until
6.30 or/ even. Then at 7 or 87:30 eat/ supper. Unless
we go to grand/ opera -- then we leave at 7. We/ see the
wonderful Wagnerian opera/ Lohengrin Thurs. night. So/
you see in the day all is quiet/ & I have much time to
practice.
My handkerchiefs & night gown/ one of the maids
washes with  -- the/ family laundry. Costs me not./ but
shirt waists I send out./ Grand, wonderful, isn't it. I■m/
afraid sometimes I dream./ Am happy as a lark every
minute/ I love Vienna. I think I shall/ be able to stay till
Easter -- I/ shall be home just in time 
for Easter.

Shall write Mrs./ Bogue and Grunbine/ He sent Aug.
Sept. Oct. warrants/ for me to sign. I had to go to/
notary for the 1st two Aug & Sept
[3]
and it cost me $1.50. Next month I dont know what!!
More red tape -- took a whole day. I shall enclose my/
signature authorizing you to/ sign for me. Then you
phone/ Grunbine and ask him if/ you can. Then after
Nov./ when I hire Mrs. Bogue you/ can sign -- pay her out
of/ it and apply what is left on/ note. There are 2 weeks
most/ in Dec. she shall not teach so/ I will skip--after the
full Nov. sal/ she gets -- skip to Jan 1st --/ or I mean skip
the holiday --/ (pay in Dec. for each week)

[in the margin, what looks like ■$ 50 all Dec■]

Then in Jan -- Feb -- & so on per/ month (if I can satisfy
her so).
Mother dearie, please send specific/ reciepies for your
yellow mayonaise/ dressing, as you use on tomatoes./
Mrs. Smith's bean salad ----- My
[4]
[top of page missing from copy]
grape nut pudding and the white sauce with it. Pie crust
recipe and caramel filling and baking powder biscuits. I
wish them for Regina.

Write once a week Mother darling and waste 6Ť worth of
stamps on your 24 year old. By the way, they gave me
birthday festivities. The young men I met sent their cards
- Regina -- wastebasket. The married brother bon-bons.
Fritz (the 25 year old brother) a chocolate candy pie and
Emmy the sister in law a cake man. At an "evening
informal" the other day two young men fell to adoring me
and got pouty at each other and then showered me, one
with a silver pencil and the other out-rivaled him with his
pocket kerchief. I'll bring them home as trophies!

Have Papa keep well. Tell him to leave the cherry and
green peach tree alone and get in out of the snow. Love
to all of you, your loving.

Ada
(Oct.8.12)
**********************
FOURTH LETTER

                                             Oct.18.12

Dear Mother:
      I believe it has/ been at most to weeks, or/ 1ź
since I wrote you./ But am so busy. I shall/ send cards
when I am/ so busy. But no! it hasn't/ been so long for I
have/ only been here 3 weeks//and one or 2 days over.
   Am glad you have/ so many nice roomers -/ and are so
busy! That/ is I'm glad yu can have/ to do. I think so
much/ about our future and/ dream at nights how I/ wish
to "arrive" in my art/ and what the returns/ could do for
us. And

                           2
sometimes when I am so weary with my practice I think
of it/ all-and what I should like to do for little Ruth - and
I/ go on on on. I am forbidden./over 5 hrs a day. So I
usually/ get in only 5 hrs. It  is/ enough.
   Am working on/ Grieg & Beethoven Sonatas/ a
McDowell number - 4/ Czerny Etudes!! - and the/ whole
tech books at once -/ review a little each day of/ the
different kinds of technique.
 
 They are all yet so/ grand and good to me. The/ English
speaking married/ brother is so careful.to see/ that they
humor my/ American ways of eating/ ect. But I find
everything/ so fine as I can wish though/ cooking is
different it is fine./ The Hadwigers had not/ seen me for a
week or so
3
and raved about how well/ and how fat I am
   Last lesson Prentner took/ both hands & kissed me -/
saying - "If you can only/ stay one year I can send you/
back a concert pianist to/ America with a manager/
neccessary." Will you not -/ I shall write Carlsons to/
interest some American/ wealthy family in you -/ you
would make good/ in a year."
   But I must return in/ early spring to Alva --/ and make
me ready to/ return to Europe in a year/ meanwhile
deliver the/ goods to N.S.N.S. then/ cut loose. Oh! I
have/ so many dreams I/ must bring to pass. The/
Geyerhans have asked
me to return to them/ I am up a stump about leaving/
Prentner for Lesc. but/ things will shape up soon./ I learn
so powerful/ much she makes me/ & she brings out of
me as/ no other teacher even ever/ has.
   Why doest not dear/ old Dad or Ruth write / me - I
have written them & they not.
   Send Cy's address please/ and reciepie for fudge./ and
I wish I had/ a proof of the picture of Cy/ in uniform like
my/ own. Can you possibly/ get one of Ross for me -/ off
of the car & enclose/ at Side view. Much love./ I long so
much to see you.

[on the left-hand margin]
& am always wondering what
the folks do tonight. Love. Ada.
************************
FIFTH LETTER

Dear Mother:
      Has been so long this/ time since I heard from/ you.
Nearly 2 weeks - but/ in morning surely.
      Have better news this/ time. Kenyon is becoming/
quite interested. Sent for/ me yesterday & for 3 solid /
hrs. I observed 3 lessons/ of advanced pupils and/ he
spent so much time explaining in Eng. to one/ as to them
- got the/ interpretation of 3 master/ works so. I never
moved/ from the stool for 3 hrs./ Practiced till 9 oclock
my-/self, so got in 5 hrs. That/ made 5. I heard Kenyon/
tell a woman in german

[circled] 2
that Miss Woodward has performed a miracle by/
acquiring the characteristics/ of Godowsky School of/
Tech in 2 weeks - but/ she is very backward/ in musical
Literature having/ studied only mediocre/ works  I wish
her to/ absorb every minute/ she can. It is as good/ as a
lesson. Counting/ my lesson 1 hr with/ Prentner during
which/ time I worked only on/ a Grieg Sonata for she has
let me off of Tech./ I spent 8 hrs - in - the/ studio this
week. That/ is 16-ź hrs - and the same/ as 16 lessons,
pupils in Alva

[circled] 3
have - I mean the same/ time with the teacher/ in one
week.
   My playing is beginning/ to have more the sound/ now
of the people/ who really play. I/ 
can remember Hubbard/ saying - "why will you/ never
play a slow/ movement as it should/ be played" Guess
he/ was right.
   Rosenthal was a wizard/ at the piano. He is/ a marvel
in piano/ tech. His critics say/ he is not musical/ enough
however --/ it lacks fire - but

[circled] 4
to me it was a revelation./ I give myself a "horse laugh"/
every time I think of/ how I really thought maybe/ I could
give a concert/ before I returned. I can/ even smell the
eggs/ which would have been/ my certain due.
    But I feel so much/ more optimistic - because/ I am
not having to un-/do all my tech - only/ the 2 weeks & if I
made/ such marvelous progress/ as my teacher said, I/
can do much. I take/ last lesson of Prentner/ Wed. - Lesc.
comes/ Thursday and I am/ working a number to

[circled] 5
play for him with her,/ though she does not know/ she
thinks I return/ home. I'm sorry but/ I must let her labor/
under the delusion/ It took much manouvering/ of speech
to make her/ think it with out stating a false hood to that
effect./ About as much as a/ Methodist preacher at/
Conference tries in/ the way of strictly/ righteous
diplomacy/ to get what he wants./ Ha!

      
By the way I spent/ the whole Sunday/ morning trying to/
find the Church

[circled] 6
didn■t find it -- but/ have it located for/ next Sunday.
    Was in a German Protestant/ church and for a few/
minutes thought it Catholic/ because of Shrines &/
crosses & candles &/ the preacher's black/ robe. But in a
few/ moments he delivered/ sacrament & the/ people
gathered as/ at home - and I/ knew the service.
Mr. Baker should have/ heard that pipe organ/ It some
way drew out/ the tones longer and

[circled] 7
strange to say didn't/ sound the same like/ a piano
    Oh! my English - I'm/ afraid I learn it/ queerly from
Regina./ She says "Those fur/ is not so good - she/ loose
her hair ver'/ queeck."
   



I am so glad./ I can not say how/ much!  that all/ goes so
well at/ home, that papa/ is not sick - or/ worse, and
that/ the rooms are full

[circled] 8
etc.
    I must stay as long/ as possible - Every/ day counts so
much/ I should become quite/ homesick but time flies/
so. I am so busy and/ I know that only too soon/ I must
return and I/ shall not have improved/ has much as you
all/ expects but shall brings/ back oceans of love/ and
kisses
       Yours ever
           Ada.
    Nov - 10 - 12.
*********************
SIXTH LETTER

[Thursday, Nov. 21, 1912]
My dear Father-
       and
   My dear Mother.
          and
      little Ruth.

   This time I have waited to/ have some thing to write
which/ is what I wish.
   I have played for the/ great Leschetizsky by himself/
and he says I have much/ talent.
   Thusly: I went to the house/ at 12:00 by appointment
I/ had received by a friend. I waited in a room where also
a young American boy 

[circled] 2
waited. He told me to keep as calm as I could--which of
course I tried to do.

Finally the Master came in/ and I tried in German to say/
what I wished. He could not/ understand me. He called
his/ last and fourth wife--a very/ beautiful young woman
and/ she spoke English for him/ After he understood I
wished/ him to hear me play he told/ me to return a 4
oclock.

At four o'clock I found my/self waiting for him in a room/
where hung the likenesses/ of Liszt Brahms and other/
old masters with words of/ love & esteem written in/
their own hands. The wall

[circled] 3
was covered with trophies/ of musical beings, and/ the
atmosphere was such/ as to make me feel any/thing but
self confident./ But before coming in I had/ walked for an
hour up/  down and around so as/ to be full of good
oxygen/ if not bravery. There I/ was 
conducted through/ to another room where/ the master
sat -- and when/ I entered he had me to/ sit at the piano
& preceed/ abruptly to play.
I played the Prelude. He/ sat still right at my/ side he
entire thing. I

[circled] 4
was holding my breath long/ before the last chord.
But when at last I had heard/ him say--in German --/ (but
I could understand)/ this much -- "Ya -- ya -- you/ have it
-- the talent - I hear it -- yes, you must/ work now! -- you
want/ finish -- still more/ technic. But what/ do you wish
-- what/ is your intention?"
I told him, "to study/ with him." Then he/ got up all
excited.
   "Yes to study with me,/ and you could./ I would

[circled] 5
take you, but you cannot/ speak. I can not teach/ you in
Eng -- you could/ nt learn in my German./ I cant
understand you./ What can we do?"

I had told him I wished to/ study with him, not an asst./
But then he said --
   "I cannot understand/ what you want I wil/l give you
the address/ of a wonderful American/ woman and you
go at/ once to her & make her/ understand what you/
want."
    Then however his

[circled] 6
wife came home & she/ explained what he said, to/ me,
but she seemed to like/ me and she said "The Prof/ says
you have much talent/ you must study & begin/ at once -
- but he is much/ put out that you come to/ Europe &
cannot speak German/ better. So you go to the American
teacher Miss/ Florence Trumble  she is a great favorite of
the/ Masters - & prepare a lesson/ & she will come back
with/ you.
Then I went to Miss/ Trumble & she was

[circled] 7
much astonished when I/ brought a card from Lesc./ on
which he himself/ had written concerning/ me -- on it, he
said, "she/ had great talent but/ I can not make out/ what
we can do or what/ she wishes, please speak/ with her"
etc. & signed/ his name. He hunted/ through his desk for
a post/ card with his picture/ on until he was so/ nervous
he shook. &/ he was so nervous/ his hand shook ways
as/ he wrote. Miss Trumble

[circled] 8
said ■The minute she saw/ the card she knew he/ was
interested, that it/ is very unusual for him/ to write etc &
I must prize/ it -- all my life./ I played for her she said/
"talent" also. ■More than/ any pupil she had heard/ pass
along in a long/ while. Power strength/ & a beautiful
tone"
   They do not know I/ have studied with/ any one in
Vienna/ I dared not say.

[circled] 9
     Sat. morning

I had to cut my letter short/ to go for my lesson with
Miss Trumble/ yesterday. She uses Prentners/ book &
started me in on the/ hand positions. Of course she/
didn't know I had it with/ Prentner -- only a pupil of
Prentner/ in America. Again she/ was astonished and also
at/ my lack of stiffness in the/ wrist --  because Prentner/
is not so careful about/ the wrist. It was too good, and in
so much as Trumble was so sorry I had wasted my/ time
since in Vienna waiting/ for Lesc. I had "to up and/ tell"
her my experience. Prentner & Kenyon (Godowsky's
asst.)/ also. Then she laughed

[circled] 10
and laughed. She said the/ hand position is almost/
perfect but that I lack a hard/ finger tip. Now it is true/ I
have a callous on my/ finger tip next the nail/ and no I set
of calllous/ back up on my finger as/ one would have
when not/ using the finger curved./ We called in fun the
1st/ a Lesc. callous & the other/ Godowsky.
She says I play with a/ beautiful tone but in 3 days time/
now I must work in 12/ or 15 hrs. in doing just the/
positions, too gain an/ equality of tone for to/ such an
acute ear as one/ develops here one can/

[circled] 11
detect a spasmodic shade/ or hint in the quality./ I dont
expect one in a hundred/ could hear it to save their/ lives.
She says when I/ have my a etude from Chopin/ & two
pieces she will/ take me to Lesc. for another/ lesson.
Playing for him/ is counted a lesson to/ the tune of $6 (ź
price)/ but he didnt charge/ me (yet!!) and he makes/ my
lesson for $12 per --/ they say say he charges --  near/
$20 & $30 now. I told/ him I brought myself/ to Vienna--
dependant/ upon myself.

[circled] 11
Trumble also said ■she expects/ me to be ready for my
2nd/ lesson soon -- & she says/ she expects to see me
play/ in the master class in/ Lesc's studio, which is a/
great honor. Last of/ Dec. or 1st of Jan it begins. So/ I
must stay until/ last of Jan. anyway.

 Again Miss Trumble/ was considered the most/
promising pupil of Godowsky/ 11 years ago in America/
when he was there for/ 2 years. He began to/ concertize
& she wished/ more to study so he/ told her to go to
Vienna 

[circled] 13
to Leschetizky!! She has/ always remained--going/ back
to America occasionally etc.
   Yesterday when I arrived/ at her studio there sat /a
little 10 year old girl/ playing the C minor/ Concerto of
Beethoven/ by memory with Trumble/ I knew in an
instant/ she was a wonder. The/ touch of a grown artist./
She has a brother of 15/ and both are sent here/ with the
family & kept/ by the Russian count/ to develop the
talent of the/ two. Trumble told/ me that when the young
man

[circled] 14
who played & won the Rubenstein/ prize, which
European pianists/ contest for 1in five years -- played for
Lesc. he jumped/ all over him & said he/ played like a
coal hod.
   I made good because of/  hand position and/ quality of
tone, they/ said there is something/ in my tone which
beseeches/ & fires -- But my/ rhythm is bad -- not/ my
time--but rhythm/ another thing a matter/ of accent.
Every teacher/ has said that first/ thing. Trumble said

[circled] 15
that when Paderewski/ came to Lesc. he had/ terrible
rhythm and he overcame it. Lesc./ had never had a
harder case/ of lack of rhythm/ to fight.

   Now of course I quit/ the Godowsky system men/ but
I'm glad I went./ Prenter made me precise/ particular
accurate/ & correct but prim/ & a bit stiff -- and/ a firm
solid tone The Kenyon took me/ by the hair & dangled/
me relaxed until

[circled] 16
I got easy relaxed --/ more graceful and/ mellow tones.
Providence/ has surely guided me/ for when the time/
came I was ripe to begin.
   I shall write again in/ 2 or 3 days if I can/ find time.
Saw grand/ opera last night -- & tonight/ an artist pupil of
Lesc plays.

Moma: Do not neglect. Mail/ at once my pattern or same/
size & exactly for my/ flannel bouses to Regina/
Geyerhahn. They have tried/ 3 dress makers to make like/
mine & Gina weeps and wails--/at once please.
Lovingly/ whole heaps of love. 

[In the margin on the left hand side:
Oh! Thanksgiving!!   Nov. 21-12

EDITED FOR GREATER READABILITY

FIRST LETTER
Sunday Morning, 11 o■clock
Vienna, Austria
Sept 22, 1912

My dear Mother:

[image of flower]

This is hand painted paper and I have been given one sheet, so I
shall write small in order to say as much as I wish.

At Milan we [Betty and I] saw Leonardo Da Vinci■s ■The Last
Supper.■ The old original, painted on stucco and not as we imagine
as it, is old and in parts faded, but the conception is wonderful, and
so are the different attitudes of the disciples. In the wonderful
specimen of Gothic architecture, the Milan Cathedral, we saw the
largest stained glass windows in the world. Most were as large as
one side of our church, and each window showed a scene in Chirst■s
life. The glass was of the richest dark colors, so deep and beautiful
were the reds and blues. We descended into the solid silver vault
where the Saint of the cathedral is buried. The sides of the vault are
beautiful panels of art relief [the projection of a figure from a flat
background] in silver showing miracle scenes of the Saint, who was
one of their old, much worshiped Popes or Archbishops. These
panels have figures and trees carved out so massively that they are
raised six inches from the background. From the ceiling hangs
wonderful chandeliers and candels. Underfoot is solid mosaic. At the
front stands the most wonderful casket, which contains the body of
the Saint. The monk slipped on his sacred garb before touching a
wheel which he turned and which lowered the the silver panels
surrounding the casket to the base and left the casket for us to see.
I can merely attempt a description. The gorgeous thing, about the
size of a davenport was the same solid silver art relief with cupid
angel figures in the art reliefs out standing all over it. The glass
stabs inserted in side and the ends were of real rock crystal, which
is next to the diamond in hardness. We saw plainly into the interior
where lay the body of the Saint, who was three hundred years  old.
Preserved! And his face exposed! It looked like a piece of petrified
grey rubber. The contour was perfect, only the end of the nose was
gone! (on to purgatory I guess). The body was wrapped in real
handwoven gold, all gold thread tapestry and glistened as such. All
available space was taken with jewels. The robe had sleeves and the
hands were encased in golden gauntlets, and one held silver swords
entirely encrusted with emeralds and rubies. A cross four inches long
of big diamonds and emeralds was hung in the center. The head was
wrapped also (as a nun■s), so the beautiful crown was suspended by
a golden cord over the head. It was a wonderful filigree [delicate and
intricate ornamental work made from gold, silver, or other fine
twisted wire] affair with beautiful gems. Over it were dangling
bunches of pearls here and there. This is one example of the detail
of gorgeousness we have seen in these Cathedrals, and at each one,
beggars haunted us as we went inside, with their woe and sorrow
and the pitiful beseeching and the looks of want. I think they mostly
could not see the splendor with their sore and running eyes.

Betty [one of the Americans who set sail from New York with Ada]
and I ascended to the tiny tip top of the tower. This cathedral has
98 turrets and 2000 statues on the exterior. The whole thing was
made of solid marble and carved. Take an ordinary screw, pull it out
five feet long, and then set a chigger [a small insect] at the bottom
point to travel round and round the grooves to the top: that■s Ada
going up to the tallest spire. Don■t mention it; yes, it was a pleasant
journey!! But  besides the injury and insult, one has to pay a sum to
allow himself this exercise.

[Ada had travelled by ship across the Atlantic with other Americans
and went through the Straits of Gibraltar, tacking the northern shore
and landing in Napels. The party went through Rome, Venice, and
and Milan in Italy and Lucerne in Switzerland. Ada left the group at
Milan and went on to Vienna on her own, by way of Zurich. Ada had
been discussing her visit in Milan, Switzerland. Now she backtracks
and dwells on Vienna, Austria. Your transciber deduced all this from
the latters and an seventeen-page typewritten account of her
experiences written sometime after she had returned, probably fairly
soon afterwards, since it contains a great deal of detail that most
likely would have faded from her memory had she waited for any
period of time.]

Oh! Yes. Our guide in Venice: you see, we had a courier who has
been with us from Napels. But in each place he secures a guide to
show us round. In Venice the guide was a friend of the courier. He
had pull, and we had a privilege not meant for tourists. A Prince,
away at his summer home, has a palace in Venice and we were
taken through it. I shall tell you about the Prince■s palace when I get
back. Suffice it to say, the palace has thirty-two rooms, each with
satin and velvet brocaded tapestry on the walls, with real gold chairs
and divans to match. The gold chairs are made of fine rare wood,
veneered deeply with 18 carat gold, single articles worth $50,000
dollars. Enough!

[Now Ada desicribes her trip from Lucerne to Vienna.]   

I left the party at Lucerne. [This consisted of her friend, Betty, and
other Americans.] My excess baggage charge was $3, all the way
from Naples to Lucerne. But from Lucerne to Vienna, a much shorter
distance, it was $4! It cost me $28, all told, from Lucerne to
Vienna. However, per advice of courier, I went sleeper first class,
but the conductor who spoke English told me that the other half of
the car was second class and it would have cost me $7 less had I
taken second class instead. I could see no difference, except that I
had a private dressing room in my compartment. Toward the end of
the journey I heard a woman, with a seven year-old boy and a five
year-old girl, speaking English. We became acquainted. She is from
Arizona, and her husband is going to be studying for a year here. I
got her address and found out that she is now living one block from
the Hadwigers [with whom Ada will initially going  be staying]. 

I felt the most lonely on the trip at Zurich, where I changed cars and
waited an hour for the next train. I nearly got lost, for I couldn■t find
the waiting room. So I sat on a baggage bench at end of tracks
which said ■zu Wien■ (to Vienna), but there were two different
trains. About three minutes before my train was to pull out, I
decided to walk down a few tracks more and see other trains as
they came and went. We were under roofs as at Union Depot at
home. I found my train. Earlier I had exchanged a few dollars of
Swiss currenty for Austrian, but I didn■t understand the
denominations on Austrian coins. I tipped the guide and he wouldn■t
give up my suitcase. I yelled out to officials (those stations are
regular brass button factories), ■Sprechen sie English? Sprechen sie
English?■ and a man in uniform came to my assistance. I said ■How
much money have I given the porter?■ ■One penny! Ha! Ha!■ So I
gave him 50 centimes or (10 cents in my money). He was the
conductor of the railroad. They are all supposed to be able to speak
English.

[From Ada■s later account: ■Just two days before I left for New
York, my mother, by chance, called on an invalid friend, whom she
had not seen in weeks. She remarked about my leaving for Europe
and my plans for study. This lady said, ■Oh! I will have my brother
meet her at the station in Vienna and Miss Ada can stay with his
family until she is settled.■]

Mr. Hadwiger met me. At first he was afraid to try to speak English,
of which he knows only a few single words, not whole sentences,
but we got on fairly well. But when we got to customs, neither he
nor the guide at the customs office could be made to understand
that I had a trunk. I tried to tell him I had one and got out my
dictionary. I had to go off without it. I wanted to tell them I must
room somewhere, but not at their house. We got to the house, and
then they could understand my grammar quite well, but I couldn■t
make them understand where I wanted to live or what sort of room
and board I wished. They took me to an English lady, the wife of a
lawyer, and she interpreted. I then went back with Mr. Hadwiger to
hunt for Madam Prentner. I was to take my first lesson with her on
Monday at 5 o■clock. They cost $6 per lesson. Ach! But when I play
for her, she will come down, I know. We then hunted for a room at
some address the English lady gave, but it was none too good. Cold
bare rooms. My heart sank. $30 a month. We will hunt again
tomorrow. Prentner is far from the Hadwigers. 

It took from 9 o■clock Friday morning till 6 a.m. Saturday to get from
Lucerne to here. I went to bed last night very weary and with
cramps! The English woman had a nice flat and she invited me back
for 4 o■clock tea. I went. Nice visit.

I met - Oh Yes! - a great concert pianist. I had heard him play in a
big hotel drawing room at a summer resort in Switzerland. He had
me play and said I have talent and wants me to come to Florence to
study with him. He gave me his card. Levy is the name. It is in the
Musical Courier.

With Love - Ada

P.S. Your letter came yesterday afternoon and I got here in the
morning. I only cried once in your letter and that was about Ruth■s
tonsils. I■m glad they are out.

Everything-s-seems so s-strange!! But this family is good to me. I got
Pres. Grumbine■s letter. Tell him to send that $100 he promised. But
I shall write. [It seems that Grunbine is the president of a bank who
made a loan to Ada to help finance her trip. See the fifth letter.]
***************************
SECOND LETTER
Tuesday, September 25, 1912
[actually it was Wednesday]
My dear Father:

This time I have much astonishing news for you. The Hadwigers
kept me Saturday and Sunday and Monday. On Monday, the wife of
the owner [Mr. Geyerhahn] of a wholesale tea and coffee house Mr.
Hadwiger manages came to the Hadwigers■ house. She said, ■I have
a daughter the same age as the American lady and my daughter
speaks a little English and I should like to have her come and live
with us so my daughter can learn more English and speak it better.
And the American girl plays so well, like an artist, that my daughter
will learn when she listens to her■. 

And here I am in an elegant apartment of the sort that well-to-do
city people live in.  They have two maids, beautiful furniture, and
seven rooms along with a grand piano, Persian rugs, mahogany, and-
-what is what is rare in Europe--a bath and a shower bath. I am
■company■ -- and now the wonder of wonders!!!--not one cent am I
to pay. Even the maid will do my laundry. I feel like a dream. I
thought I might be considered a companion --but oh, no!--the
relatives have been in to see me, and I can■t even find my brown
shoes that the maid tans. So they wait on me. Regina, their
daughter, gave her bed to me, and sleeps on a couch affair -- so you
see I am ■company.■ We went to the theatre last night. An older
brother [Fritz] of Regina■s is twenty-nine years old [twenty-five, from
Ada■s later account] and is a newspaper man, a critic, and also a
playwright. He lives near here and is single. Another two boys live at
home. Fritz, twenty-five, is a merchant working with his father and
also owns a short trimmed mustache, has beautiful eyes, and is
large. [This should be Nobert, age twenty-eight, who havd spent
four years in London in at the branch office of his father■s firm. Also,
it seems that he does not at his parent■s home but is married to
Emma and lives somewhere in Vienna.] The other brother in a
student in the Middle School and is sixteen years old. Plus a dear
jolly father who looks something like Mr. Carnice [probably someone
in Alva] when he was younger. This man is not so old. And a mother
not quite so large as Mrs. Wiggins [ditto], but something like her.
Regina is a sweet girl and bright. She speaks English so queerly but
Mr. Hadwiger told me that Regina■s mother said, ■She [Ada] will ask 
Regina in German and Regina will answer in English. So each will
learn the language -- and we pay her nothing (fancy!!!) and she us,
nothing■!!

I wish you could see their library with its delft-blue [a color seen in
glazed earthenware originally made in Delft, Netherlands] walls and a
whole set of beautiful bark inlaid wood. The book case is a huge
affair along one wall, both massive and deep. The glass lined with
blue satin hanging and blue velvet at the windows for inner hanging
and canopy of the same. [I don■t understand this.]

The way they eat is so funny. Coffee and lard biscuits with butter
when we arise at about 8 o■clock. At eleven the maid interrupts my
piano practice with fruit. At 10:00 or 11:00, we eat dinner, the
main meal of the day. Would you like fried potatoes in creamed
tomato soup? Me? Never!!! But we had meat loaf today. Then about
5 or 6 p.m., we have milk or tea or coffee again with more bread.
There is no supper but everyone eats again as he sees fit, cold meat,
bread and butter, and a drink [of wine]. I have not even seen beer
here. At Hadwiger■s, there was neither, though the night I returned,
they had company beer and wine also and of course thought nothing
of it. But they do not seem to drink at meals.

Well: I went to see Prentner. She charges $6 a lesson. And she said
I could not take lessons from both her and Leschetizky.She had so
many students she withdrew from Leschetizky, for he is old: she did
the work and he got the credit for their studnets■ technique, though
he of course does more when he works with his students on
interpetation. [Later, as she worte in her account after she had come
home, Ada was to realize that Prentner and another woman named
Bree, two understudies (piano teachers who prepare their students
before the master teacher gets to hear them) of the great piano
pedagogue Theoror Leschetizky (1830-1915), had both prepared
books about his methods. When he endorsed both books, Prentner
got angry and withdrew from him and his circle and took on
students independently.]

So I said, ■I shall take lessons from you. But later when I am in good
shape, I shall go to Leschetizky for a few lessons so they will not
say I could not.■ He is dangerously ill now, however. I then played
for Prentner and she told to write to Mrs. Carlson [one of Ada■s
piano teachers when she studied at the University of Denver, who
had studied under Leschetizky herself and who gave Ada a letter of
introduction to Prentner.] that she is proud of the work she has done
with me. She told me I have great technique but much more
strength and beause of that a beautiful tone. I shall have to become
an artist, but this week I will do only technique, such as I tried to
make Ruth [Ada■s sister] do. Much as Mrs. Carlson did, Prentner told
me only some new points, such as developing a finger as firm as a
book in the middle finger joints. My strength is weak in comparison
with Prentner■s. She told me this secures a strength and a surer and
softer touch because of complete control, etc., etc., etc.

This next week Regina goes with ■Fadder■ (as the Geyerhahns all
say, while the Hadwigers say ■Pop-ah■) to Munich for pleasure. 

I hope my own dear Father is well and contented. And Ruth, dear,
be good and practice, dear. I wish you to make good and  be able to
some day see what I have seen. Maybe sometime I can bring you. If
they teach German in Model [?], you take it. Then I will teach you
more at home.

I get along fine now. I can talk three minutes in German without
stopping, and occasionaly when I am finished they really have a look
of comprehension on  their faces. Regina says,- ■I haf not the
comprehent wat you haif say - You haif (have) go tzo fast■. Ach! I
long for a Waldorf salad and a fist full of chocolates and a
strawberry milk shake. 

But I am quite contented and have such an opportunity. I can hardly
stay away from the piano. I love to practice technique. Two lessons
from now I will begin slowly on a concert number. So she must
consider me in pretty good condition. I like Prentner fine; everybody
is so good to me. The first day Hadwiger brought me to an English
lady to interpret for us, and  she asked me back to tea. She is the
wife of a lawyer. Then I spent Sunday with the Hadwigers. I met
two lovely scoters & pretty my own age [I can■t figure this sentence
out. A scoter is a kind of duck.] They are also friends of Regina.
They introduced their uncle, who has a cousin who is a concert
violinist, She is sick now, but will return at the end of October. The
uncle speaks English, and from what I gather, lives next door to
Leschitizky. She knows him and her says he will have her present
me to Leschitizky in one or two months.

September 26--Next evening.

Last night a married sister and husband [Emma and Nobert] of
Regina■s and a friend came. We had a hot supper about 9 o■clock.
And for dessert -- guess what!--roasting ears!! Brand new ones. I
taught them to eat butter on them. As I use a lot of butter, so if
they copy me, up goes the butter bill. Ha!!! 

The beds here are queer. You sleep on a sheet and thin padding with
the ■feather bed■ over you. Single beds always. The feather bed is
narrow and very light, a thin ticking [a strong, tightly woven fabric
of cotton or linen used esp. to make pillow and mattress coverings]
over - and then a case of linen with embroidered monogram. The
feather affair is a foot thick say - but it is not packed - loosely - and
falls around the body in a cozy way. Warm for winter.

I have worn my tam hat [tam-o■-shanter: a tight fitting cap or
brainded bonnet, sometimes having a pompon, tassel, or feather in
the center] until now and it has been very servicable. People are still
wearing summer hats here, but it is late. Today I got a plain black
wooly hat and put it its side the feather from my summer tam. For
the streets, they are wearing mink hats like the one I bought for
mother last winter. No fires here yet and not for a month. I am
nearly freezing, but I am becoming used to it. 

I unpacked my trunks today with the whole family looking on, and
from a months journey you can imagine the sight. I nearly had to
fight to send my old brown and black striped dress and my blue
serge to clearners, for here they seem to think any old dress good is
enough ■für die Kaiser.■

Really, I see that I shall not have a minute of my own to write a
letter even. Well, I did have a minute, and everyone had a look at
this letter and guessed how many ■oo■ words it might contain. But I
am very firm about the amount of practice: I would move before I
neglect it. But I shall have time. Fritz lies in bed until 9 a.m.. When I
do five hours a day, I must begin early. So if necessary I shall rent a
little dumb-klavier [a silent piano] and do techique in the morning.

I have put in the full amount of practice today. Tonight I am on
exhibition at the married brother■ s house [Nobert]. The wife■s
brother is a musician. A crowd of friends will be there.

Tommorow night---ahem!--in full evening toga, the family will sit in a
box at the Opera House--no I mean Theatre--to the the opening night
performance of a play written by our brother [Fritz] the
playwritght!!!!

As I will be busier from now on, I do now expect to find time for so
long a letter. Just now Regina came to see how she has sewed the
feather on my hat, but what do I care what it is like when I wear it -
I can- can not wear it & go to see my dear home folks and -- --
[obscure to me] Last night before we went to bed Regina threw
open the shutters and said, ■The moon had new shine bright...■
What? ■and have it so in America your mother do look it.■ What?
■Be that sayed right in some English?■

I could have wept for I remembered lying in my room in the window
of a beautiful moonlit night trying to hold its image in mind, for I last
saw the moon being so beautiful was in Rome. And here from the
window, the moon  looked so much the same. It really is the same --
that -- oh well -- I can not let myself dwell on that. I dare not. 

Goodbye. Rest easy. Don■t worry. I am having a beautiful chance of
a lifetime. I am being good and I remember.

        Kisses & hugs

              Ada.

% Regina Geyerhahn
III Gensäusgässe 7
Vienna, Austria

P.S. A happy birthday anniversary for Mother. Hugs and Kisses for
all of you. Carefully save my letters. They will help me remember
when I return.
*****************************
THIRD LETTER

October 8, 1912 Tuesday

[top of page missing from copy]
...before I return home? No!! you know I won't because I have seen
so much and got to know such grand learned and beautiful people. I
feel like an ugly old zero with the rim knocked off.

I wrote a long letter to Grunbine, which would be nice for Renfrew
to copy. I just can't find time to write so much. Harry Mead at
Wichita would make arrangements for me to write for Henry Allen's
paper. He even gave me an addressed envelope, but I can't find
time. [These people are not identified elsewhere.]

I began my practicing with two hours a day. Since this is my second
week of lessons,  I'm only to practice three hours a day and, after
my lesson this afternoon, four hours. Then five, the limit. But
yesterday I did 4 ź hours. I can't keep away from the piano, and
today my arms feel numb, so I'm not doing much. Regina goes to
cooking school, from 9 o■clock till noon. In the afternoon, she goes 
to a sewing school that Mrs. Hadwinger has from 2:00 till 5:00. She
returns and we promendade until 6:30 or 7:00. Then at 7:00 or
7:30, we eat supper, unless we go to the grand opera, and then we
leave at 7:00. We saw the wonderful Wagnerian opera, Lohengrin,
on Thursday night. So you see, in the day all is quiet and I have
much time to practice.

One of the maids washes my handkerchiefs and nightgown with the
family laundry. Costs me nothing, but I do send out my shirt waists.
Grand, wonderful, isn't it? I am afraid that sometimes I am
dreaming. I am happy as a lark every minute. I love Vienna. I think I
shall be able to stay till Easter. I shall be home just in time for
Easter. 

[I cannot definitively interpret the next paragraph, but it seems that
Ada had been giving piano lessons herself before she left for her trip
and that she had made arrangements with two others to replace her
while she was gone. Mrs. Bogue was to take over from the other
teacher in November and continue till Ada got back. Now Grunbine
(referred to as Pres. Grunbine in the first letter) seems to have been
a banker who had made Ada a loan (called a ■note■ back then) to
help finance her trip. She probably used some of the money to pay
for transportation, took some with her, and left some of it with
Grunbine to pay to her substitute teachers. He had been sending  her
what are called warrants to sign, notarize, and return. (In this
context, a warrant is an authorization to pay certain sums of money
to certain people.) Ada got irritated at the expense and red tape
involved in signing these warrants an ocean away from home and
sent her mother a note authorizing her to take care of the matter.
Ada is asking her to clear this with Grunbine and have him pay Mrs.
Brogue each month until she returns but for only half of December.
The sentence that is especially hard to interpret is, ■Then after Nov -
- when I hire Mrs. Bogue you cn sign -- pay her out of it and apply
what is left on note.■ Perhaps some of the payments that Ada■s
pupils for the lessons of the substiutes were being made to Ada■s
mother (not to the teachers themselves), who will hand them over to
Grumbine to pay off part of Ada■s loan.]

I shall write Mrs. Bogue and Grunbine, who sent warrants for
August, September, and October for me to sign. I had to go to a
notary for the first two and it cost me $1.50. Next month I don't
know what!! More red tape. It took a me whole day. I shall enclose
my signature authorizing you to sign for me. Then you phone
Grunbine and ask him if you can. Then after November, when I hire
Mrs. Bogue, you can sign. Pay her out of it and apply what is left on
note. There are two weeks at most in December. She will not be
teaching so I will skip payment. So she gets the full November
salary. I shall by in December for each week ($50 for all of
December) and resume full monthly payments in January, if that is
satisfactory to her.

Mother dearie, please send specific recipies for your yellow
mayonaise dressing, as you use on tomatoes and Mrs. Smith's bean
salad. My

[top of page missing from copy]
grape nut pudding and the white sauce with it. Also send the pie
crust recipe and caramel filling and baking powder biscuits. I wish to
give them to Regina.

Write once a week, Mother darling, and waste 6Ť worth of stamps
on your 24 year old. By the way, they gave me birthday festivities.
The young men I met sent their cards.  Regina pitches the cards she
got into the wastebasket. The married brother [Nobert] gave me
bon-bons. Fritz, the 25 year old brother, gave me a chocolate candy
pie and Emmy (the sister-in-law) a cake man. At an "evening
informal" the other day two young men fell to adoring me and got
pouty at each other and then showered me, one with a silver pencil
and the other out-rivaled him with his pocket kerchief. I'll bring them
home as trophies!

Have Papa keep well. Tell him to leave the cherry and green peach
tree alone and get in out of the snow. Love to all of you, your
loving.

Ada
(Oct.8.12)
***************************
FOURTH LETTER
                                             Oct.18.12

Dear Mother:

I believe it has been at most two weeks, or 1ź since I wrote you.
But am so busy. I shall send cards when I am so busy. But no! it
hasn't been so long for I have only been here three weeks and one
or two days over.

I am glad you have so many nice roomers -and are so busy! That is
I'm glad you can have to do. I think so much about our future and
dream at nights how I wish to "arrive" in my art and what the
returns could do for us. And sometimes when I am so weary with
my practice I think of it all-and what I should like to do for little Ruth
- and I go on on on. I am forbidden over five hours a day. So I
usually get in only five hours. It  is enough.

I am working on Grieg & Beethoven Sonatas, a McDowell number ,
four Czerny Etudes (!!), and whole tech books at once. Ireview a
little each day of the different kinds of technique.
     
They are all yet so grand and good to me. The English-speaking
marriedbrother is so careful to see that they humor my American
ways of eating, etc. But I find everything so fine as I can wish.
Though cooking is different, it is fine. The Hadwigers had not seen
me for a week or so and raved about how well and how fat I am.
     
During the last lesson Prentner took both hands amd kissed me,
saying, "If you can only stay one year I can send you back a concert
pianist to America with the necesssary manager. If yo will not, I
shall write Carlsons to interest some American wealthy family in
you. You would make good in a year."

But I must return in early spring to Alva and make myself ready to
return to Europe in a year, meanwhile delivering thegoods to
N.S.N.S. and  then cutting loose. Oh! I have so many dreams. I must
bring to pass. The Geyerhans have asked me to return to them. I am
up a stump about leavingPrentner for Leschetizky, butthings will
shape up soon. I learn so powerfully from her. She makes me amd
she brings things out of me asno other teacher even everhas.
     
Why doest not dear old Dad or Ruth write me.- I have written them
& they not.
     
Send Cy's address please and reciepie for fudge. And I wish I had a
proof of the picture of Cy in uniform like my own. Can you possibly
get one of Ross for me off of the car and enclose at Side view.
Much love.I long so much to see you.

[on the left-hand margin] & am always wondering what the folks do
tonight. Love, Ada.
************************
FIFTH LETTER

[Tuesday, November 10, 1912]
[There is apparently a missing letter, since this one refers to Kenyon,
who was an understudy of the great pianist (known for many 78
r.p.m. recordings) and pegagogue, Leopold Godowsky (1870-1930),
who also gave lessons in Vienna. It is unlikely that that Ada or her
parents would have known Kenyon■s name back in America.
Leschetitzky only made a few piano rolls, never a cylinder or disc
recording.]

Dear Mother:
     
It has been so long this time since I heard from you. Nearly 2 weeks,
but I will in the morning surely.
     
Have better news this time. Kenyon is becoming quite interested. He
sent for me yesterday, and for three solid hours I observed three
lessons for advanced pupils, and he spent as much time explaining in
English to me as to them. So I got to hear interpretations of three
masterworks. I never moved from the stool for three hours.
Afterwards, I practiced  till 9:00 by myself, which took five hours.
That made eight hours in all. I heard Kenyon tell a woman in
German,  ■Miss Woodward has performed a miracle by acquiring the
characteristics of Godowsky School of Technique in two weeks, but
she is very backward in musical literature, having studied only
mediocre works. I wish that she absorb every minute while she is
here as she can. It is as good as a lesson." Counting my one hour
lesson with Prentner (during which time I worked only on a Grieg
Sonata, for she let me stop practicing technique), I spent 8ź hours
in the studio this week. That is 16ź hours, which amounts to
sixteen lessons with the same teacher each week, which is what
pupils in Alva have.
      
My playing is beginning to have more of the sound now of people
who can really play; I can remember Hubbard saying, "Why will you
never play a slow movement as it should be played?" Guess he was
right.
     
Rosenthal was a wizard at the piano. He is a marvel in piano
technique. His critics, howver, say his playing is not musical enough,
that it lacks fire, but to me it was a revelation. I give myself a "horse
laugh" every time I think about how I really imagined that maybe I
could give a concert before I returned. I can even smell the eggs
which would have been my certain due.

But I feel so much more optimistic, because I am not having to undo
all my technique, only the last two weeks of it. [Ada is apparently
refering to lessons from Kenyon using Godowsy■s method, which
were quite different from Leschetizky■s and would not have appealed
to the latter.] If I made such marvelous progress as my teacher said,
I can do much. I will take my last lesson with Prentner on
Wednesday. Leschetizky comes Thursday and I am working a
number to play for him with her, though she doesn■t know it. She
thinks I am returning home. I'm sorrythat I must let her labor under
the delusion. It took much manouvering of speech to make her think
so without stating a falsehood to that effect. About as much as a
Methodist preacher at Conference tries in the way of strictly
righteous diplomacy to get what he wants. Ha!
     
By the way I spent all Sunday morning trying to find the church you
wanted me to find. I didn't find it but hope to have it located by
next Sunday.
     
I was in a German Protestant church and, for a minute, thought it
was Catholic, because of the shrines and crosses and candles and
the preacher's black robe. But in a few moments he delivered
sacrament and the people gathered as at home. I knew the service.
Mr. Baker [probably the minister at the church she attended in Alva]
should have heard that pipe organ. It in some way drew out the
tones longer and, strange to say, didn't sound like an organ.
      
Oh! my English! I'm afraid I learned it queerly from Regina. She says
"those fur is not so good - she loose her hair ver' queeck."

[Recall that Ada is helping her learn to speak English. It seems that
Ada is unconscously imitating her at times.]

I am so glad. I can not say how much I hope that all goes so well at
home, that papa is not sick or worse, and that the rooms are full,
etc.

I must stay as long as possible. Every day counts so much. I should
be becoming quite homesick, but time flies so. I am so busy and I
know that only too soon I must return and I shall not have improved
as much as you all expect but shall brings back oceans of love and
kisses.

        Yours ever,
       Ada
Nov - 10 - 12
**********************
SIXTH LETTER

[Thursday, Nov. 21, 1912]

My dear Father and my dear Mother and little Ruth,

This time I have waited to have something to which, which is what I
wish.
     
I have played for the great Leschetizsky by himself and he says I
have much talent.
     
Thusly: I went to the house at 12:00 by appointment. I was
received by a friend. [In her later account I waited in a room where
also a young American boy waited. He told me to keep as calm as I
could--which of course I tried to do.

[In the account of her trip written when she got back Ada said, ■The
morning I went to Leschetizky, I walked alone five or sic times
around the block before his villa. Finally, my courage came; I
stopped and rang the bell. Inadvertently I said the right thing to the
maid who appeared. ■I have come for a lesson.■ Supposing I had an
engagement for a lesson she admitted me. She ushered me up to the
library whoere I sat with a student from New York awaiting the
appearance of the Master.■]

Finally the Master came in and I tried in German to say what I
wished. He could not understand me. He called his last and fourth
wife, a very beautiful young woman, and she translated my English
for him. After he understood that I wished him to hear me play, he
told me to return at 4 o'clock.

[From the later account: ■Finally the Master apeared and spoke to
the young man. Turning suddenly to me, he asked my missino. I
tried in very bad German to tell him, saying that it had been my
ambition for years to study with him. I had come to Europe hoping
he could find in me enough talent and schooling to accept me as a
pupil, and make of me an artist. He had some difficulty in
understanding my poor German, for he called his wife, a young
Polish woman. I have never heard so fascinating a voice or more
delightful English. She is truly beautiful, of perfect features and
queenly bearing. One seldom sees her about the studio. (Trumble
told me afterward that she was unusually gracious to me.) When she
told him again what I said, Leschitizky asked, ■Who was your
teacher in America?■ He knew of my Chicago teacher and nodded
enthusiastically at mention of my Denver teacher, his former pupil.
Then he turned quickly with, ■What is your name?■ ■Ada B.
Woodward,■ I said, feeling much as though I had announced a
certain species of worm (not a glow-worm, either). He looked
puzzled, scratched his head and said, ■I have never heard the name
before■. Then I laughed outright. Perhaps that wond the day for he
made an appointment with me to play for him that same afternoon.

At four o'clock I found myself waiting for him in a room where hung
the likenesses of Liszt, Brahms, and other old masters with words of
love and esteem written in their own hands. The wall was covered
with trophies of musical beings, and the atmosphere was such as to
make me feel anything but self-confident. But before coming in I had
walked for an hour up, down, and around so as to be full of good
oxygen if not bravery. There I was conducted through to another
room where the master sat, and when I entered he had me sit at the
piano and proceed abruptly to play.

I played [■... first a part of a Beethoven Sonata. He seated himself at
the end of the piano. Then he asked for...■] the C# Minor Prelude,
Op. 3, No. 3, of Rachmaninoff. He sat still right at my side for the
entire thing. I was holding my breath long before the last chord.
     
But when at last I had heard him say, in German but this much I
could understand, "Ya, ya, you have it, the talent. I hear it. Yes, you
must work now! You want to go on studying still more technic. But
what do you wish? What is your intention?"
     
I told him, "to study with him." Then he got up all excited. "Yes to
study with me, and you could. I would take you, but you cannot
speak German. I cannot teach you in English. You couldn't learn in
my German. I can't understand you. What can we do?"

I told him I wished to study with him, not an assistant. But then he
said, "I cannot understand what you want. I will give you the
address of a wonderful American woman [Miss Florence Trumble]
and you go at once to her and make her understand what you
want."
Then, however, his wife came home and explained what he said to
me, but she seemed to like me and she said, "The Professor says
you have much talent. You must study and begin at once, but he is
much put out that you came to Europe and cannot speak German
better. So you go to the American teacher, Miss Florence Trumble---.
She is a great favorite of the Master■s-- and prepare a lesson, and
she will come back here with you.

Then I went to Miss Trumble, and she was much astonished when I
brought a card from Leschitizky, on which he himself had written
concerning me. On it he said, "She has talent, but I cannot make out
what we can do or what she wishes. Please speak with her," etc.,
and signed his name. (He hunted through his desk for a post card
with his picture on it until he was so nervous he shook as he
wrote.Miss Trumble said the minute she saw the card she knew he
was interested, that it is very unusual for him to write, etc., and that
I must prize the card all my life. I played for her, and she said
"talent" also, "more than any pupil she had heard pass along in a
long while. Power, strength, and a beautiful tone."
     
They do not know I had studied with anyone in Vienna. I dared not
say.

Saturday morning

I had to cut my letter short to go for my lesson with Miss Trumble
yesterday. She uses Prentner's book and started me in on the hand
positions. Of course she didn't know I had studied them with
Prentner, or actually only a pupil of Prentner in America. Again she
was astonished by how it held my hands and also at my lack of
stiffness in the wrist, because Prentner is not so careful about the
wrist. It was too good, and inasmuch as Trumble was so sorry I had
wasted my time since coming to Vienna waiting for Leschitizky, I
had "to up and tell" her about my experiences with Prentner and
Kenyon (Godowsky's assistant) also. Then she laughed and laughed.
She said my hand position is almost perfect but that I lack a hard
finger tip. Now it is true I have a callous on my finger tip next to the
nail and not a set of calllouses back up on my finger as one would
have when not using the finger curved. We called in fun the first
kind of callous a Leschitizky callous and the other a Godowsky.
     
She says I play with a beautiful tone but in three days time now I
must work in twelve or fifteen hour in doing just the positions, to
gain an equality of tone, for to such an acute ear as one develops
here one can detect even a hint of a spasmodic shade in its quality. I
don't expect that one in a hundred could hear it to save their lives.
She says when I have a Chopin etude and two other pieces well
prepared she will take me to Leschitizky for another lesson. Playing
for him is counted a lesson to the tune of $6 (ź price), but he
hasn't charged me (yet!!), and he charges me only $12 per lesson.
They say say he charges others nearly $20 & $30 now. I told him I
brought myself to Vienna, that I depended upon myself alone.
     
Trumble also said she expects me to be ready for my second lesson
soon, and she says she expects to see me play in the master class in
Leschitizky's studio, which is a great honor. The master class will
begin around the end of December or the first of January. So I must
stay until last of January anyway. [I can■t figure out why Ada
speaks of the end of January.]
     
Miss Trumble was considered the most promising pupil of Godowsky
eleven years ago in America when he was there for two years. He
began to concertize and she wished more to study, so he told her to
go to Vienna to Leschetizky!! She has always remained here, going
back to America only occasionally.
     
Yesterday when I arrived at her studio, there sat a little ten year old
girl playing the C minor Concerto of Beethoven by memory with
Trumble. I knew in an instant she was a wonder. The touch of a
grown artist. She has a brother of fifteen, and both are sent here
with their family and kept by the Russian count to develop the talent
of the two. Trumble told me that when the young man who played
and won the Rubenstein prize, which European pianists contest for
once in five years, played for Leschitizky he jumped all over him &
said he played like a coal hod [a trough carried over the shoulder for
transporting loads].
     
I made good because of my hand position and quality of tone. They
said there is something in my tone which beseeches and fires but
that my rhythm is bad, not my time but my rhythm, another thing
that is a matter of accent. Every teacher has said that first thing.
Trumble said that when Paderewski came to Leschitizky he had
terrible rhythm but that he overcame it. Leschitizky never had a
harder case of lack of rhythm to fight. [Ignace Jan Paderewski
(1860-1941) was a famous pianist, who made many 78 r.p.m.
recording as was later Premier of Poland.]
     
Now of course I quit the Godowsky men, but I'm glad I went.
Prenter made me precise, particular, accurate, and correct but prim
and a bit stiff, but still with a firm solid tone. Once Kenyon took me
by the hair and dangled me until I got relaxed and produced more
graceful and mellow tones. [I don■t understand.] Providence has
surely guided me, for when the time came I was ripe to begin.
     
I shall write again in two or three days, if I can find time. I saw a
grand opera last night, and tonight I will see an artist pupil of
Leschitizky playing.

Moma: Do not neglect. Mail at once my pattern on the same size &
exactly for my flannel bouses to Regina Geyerhahn. They have tried
3 dress makers to make [one] like mine & Gina weeps and wails--at
once please.

Lovingly, whole heaps of love.

Ada
Nov-21-12
P.S.: Oh! Thanksgiving! [which it would be in five days]