Will Hobby’s steamship travel from Panama to San Francisco was to be the focus of my publication, with the Cuba gathering and his few Canal letters as a preamble. BUT–I deciphered another batch of old letters. Will’s Uncle Charley and Aunt Ellen visited the family in Panama just before they left for San Francisco. They had traveled by steamship from Massachusetts, and BOTH of them mailed reports to their daughter Mabel, so I have his-and-hers account of that.
Thanks to computer ability to enlarge and increase contrast, I deciphered most of the content.
Consequently, “Panama and Beyond“was turning into “To and From Panama by Steamship“–1914.
WHOA! Not so fast! More letters: These are from Charles and Ellen Potter as they leave Panama on the same ship as Will Hobby and Family! They, too, will debark the S.S. San Juan in San Francisco, but travel separately to visit Ellen’s sister Mary Hobby near San Diego.
Now I know Linnie had help with “the babies” on the San Juan.
I also understand that Will Hobby didn’t mention his aunt and uncle being aboard for the same reason he said almost nothing about his wife and the children: he was writing for possible publication, writing a travel journal and not a family excursion report. If I’d been there, I’d have written in the family details and edited them out when copying for possible publication.
And I have spent hours deciphering these ship-board notes, and not finished yet–several pages of Uncle Charley’s letters remaining.