New Orleans States, October 9, 1932
By J. Adolph Meise
Just about everyone around these parts have heard the Boswell voice…most have seen the Boswell looks…many know the Boswell history and traditions…but here is an angle that has been well concealed…it comes from New York in a personal letter to this columnist…it is a look into the Boswell heart…we have suspected that a look into the Boswell heart would prove interesting…as a matter of fact it’s immense…the letter revealing the Boswell heart comes from Charles Probstein, 11-19 Seaman Avenue, New York City…and here’s the letter reprinted as received by this columnist.
Dear Mr. Meise:
Having read your articles on October 1 and 2 about the Boswell Sister’s return home after many years, we think that they are the best write-ups they have had in a long time. Now, don’t get me wrong, but some of the newspaper writers in New York won’t give the girls a break. We congratulate you on your wonderful stories about the Boswells. You wrote a lot of things about them – but there is one story they didn’t tell you.
I’m going to tell you my life’s history and I hope that it won’t bore you. I am a man 32 years of age. When I was an infant I was dropped by a nurse and to this day I am lame. That did not prevent me when I grew up to make a good living. For the past fifteen years I have been a coffee salesman selling door-to-door. I was one of the highest paid men in the profession. Then the depression came upon us and the firm I worked for for 13 years went out of business. Through a coffee man I met my wife. She gave birth to a little girl and at 16 months my baby was one of the victims of Infantile Paralysis, last summer. I took her to hundreds of doctors and they took every nickel I had, but the baby did not show any improvement.
One day, about ten months ago, I read in Jack Fosters’ column in the New York World about Connie Boswell having one of the biggest doctors in New York taking care of her. I wrote Mr. Foster and asked him if he could get me that doctor for my baby. He wrote back and told me that he sympathized with me greatly but didn’t know the doctor’s name. However, he turned the letter over to Harry Leedy and asked him to pay particular attention to my case. Mr. Leedy in turn gave the letter to Connie Boswell and she sent it to the doctor. A few days later I received a letter from the doctor telling me to bring the baby over to his office and that he would examine it free of charge. The baby was wholly paralysed when I brought her to his offices. He told me that he could cure her.
I asked what the treatment would be and he told me to bring the baby back a few days later and he would tell me what the fee would be. The following day it was raining very heavily and I could not go to work because my work is mostly on the outside. So my wife suggested that we go down to thank Miss Boswell for getting us the doctor. After the show we went backstage to meet her. At the time she was playing the Chez New Club Paramount. As God is my witness we did not ask for charity but simply thanked her for recommending us to the doctor.
After the doctor got through with the first treatment I got out some dollars to pay him. He refused to accept it and told me that Miss Boswell had left word that she would pay for the treatments until the baby was cured. And Mr. Meise, it’s nine months gone by and my wife takes the baby to the doctor four times a week. And, thank God, the baby is running around.
Whom do we owe all this is the best ever “Little Angel” and if God spares me, we will pay back every cent she has spent on our baby. That is the story you forgot to print. Connie Boswell doesn’t tell anyone stories like that, she doesn’t look for publicity. We pray every night to see our “Little Angel” walk some day. We do not want any of Connie’s money. We adore the ground she stands on. We may be from New York but we have a little southern hospitality in us.
Mr. Meise, I would ask of you a personal favor. Would you please write a story about Connie Boswell and tell the folks in New Orleans that the South should be proud of a daughter like her? Thanking you for paying attention to this letter. I remain very truly yours. Charles Probstein.