history, Uncategorized

The mystery of Cliff and John

This particular card caught my eye because of this adorable illustration on the front.  When I turned it over and read what was written, I was hooked and had to know more.

It is addressed to a Mr. Clifford *So and So (I am withholding his last name for reasons you will soon find out) who was vacationing at the Arcadia House in Port Carling,  Ontario.  It was August of 1925.

It says:

“Dear Skeezix,

This is to let you know that I have not forgotten you.  I have had no time to write to you but I will not forget you.   I am like the picture.   Have some good snaps to show you.   I may go to Niagara Falls on Labor Day.  Hope you would like to abscond away with me as I am going to take my camera along!  Think it over.  -John”

A man writing to another man in 1925, telling him he is always dreaming of him.  I needed to know what happened between these guys!  I hoped they had their Happily Ever After but knew it wasn’t likely given the era they lived in.  I dove right into the records to see what I could find.

Our Clifford was born in June of 1905, putting him at barely 20 years old when this was written.

The name he was addressed with had me confused.  I had never heard of Skeezix before.  A Google search of Skeezix and 1925 shed a little light.  There was a comic strip called Gasoline Alley that featured a character named Skeezix.   In 1925, a spinoff comic called “Walt and Skeezix” was published.   The Skeezix character is a baby who Walt finds and keeps.  Could this be hidden code for the endearment “Baby”??

Clifford’s family was very well off according to census records.   His dad was a farmer, but his income indicates he was an extremely successful one.  This explains Cliff summering at the popular Canadian resort.  I found a photograph of the resort area Cliff was at taken the very same time he was there.  I wonder if he is in this picture?

The postal stamp cancellation is from the New Market post office, the suburb of Toronto where Cliff lived.  John must have lived there too.

While we know nothing about John, we know that Cliff was from an upper class family, who I suspect may have been pretty conservative.   Both of his siblings became Preachers.  Clifford took another route and became a salesman.

He didn’t get to live happily ever after with John,  though he did marry a woman in the 1930’s and had one daughter.  He lived out his short life with them at this house before passing away in 1951 at the young age of barely 46 years old.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to look up his cause of death, it makes me too sad.

Although we will never know the true nature of the relationship between John and Clifford,  I like to think that they did have a secret romance and that for at least the summer of 1925, they were happy. I just know that John’s film from Niagara on Labor Day 1925 is out there somewhere and will back my theory up!

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