Davy Carr writes a letter to Bob Fletcher, a friend in Harlem.
Washington, D.C., October 9, 1922
I am glad you found my last letter entertaining. It surely was long, and I feared
it might be tedious. Life has many charms hereabouts, socially speaking. I miss
the theater, of course, and envy you your opportunities on the little old island of
Manhattan. When I look over the Sunday edition of the New York Times, and note the
theatrical page, I could weep. The downtown theaters here segregate colored people,
and some of them will not sell them seats anywhere but in the gallery. Naturally, that
lets me out. You will say, of course, that since I can "get by", such a rule should not
bother me. But for some reason difficult to explain, it does. Needless to relate, scores
of folks here go to the theater whenever they want to, and sit where they please, and
no one notices them. Who, indeed, can blame them?
And that brings me to a question which has interested me very much, the existence
of color lines within the color line. It is a very fascinating subject, and one on which I
am going to write someday, for nothing that I have seen in print thus far seems to do
the theme anything like justice. Then, too, the whole face of the matter is undergoing
ceaseless transformations, as might be expected. The complexity of our social life is
amazing. It makes one think of the kaleidoscopes we used to have when I was a very
small boy. As you looked through them, the colors and forms changed moment by
moment. To my mind, and I speak, as you well know, from a varied experience, this
town presents a better opportunity for the study of this question of color lines within
the race group than any city in America, so I am keeping eyes and ears open.
But to return to the party itself. The Wallaces, so Reese said, would come for me
shortly after three Saturday. So about three-thirty they arrived, bringing with them
the Hales. The ride out was delightful in the bracing October chill. And our party was
a merry one. Mrs. Hale was strikingly handsome, with her rosy cheeks and dark hair,
Mrs Wallace was as jolly as could be, and Wallace is always the best of company. [...]
The bungalow, as they called it, was after all not a bungalow at all, for it was a tiny
two-story affair, with a wide veranda covering the front of both floors. Downstairs
there was a tiny kitchen and a pantry, and a small front room with an open grate;
and upstairs one bedroom and a big sleeping porch. We sat on the lower porch and
waited a few minutes for our host, who brought Miss Barton with him in his very
trim roadster, and he was followed immediately by the Morrows, who brought with
them someone of whom we have heard more than once from Marcia. I refer to the
friend Donald Verney. He is an interesting-looking fellow, surely. He may be a trifle
older than Wallace, but he was such a youthful manner that it is hard to guess his age.
He is a little above the medium height, fair, yet with a kind of ruddy brownness, good
features, and keen eyes. He seems to be a general favorite, is a lively talker when the
mood takes him, and a very good storyteller. Altogether, it was about as lively a crowd
of reasonable mature people as I have ever seen.