me tryin’ to get my life together
Nothing as ever been more accurate
June 16, 1927
My dearest Michele,
How unbearably long it has been since you were last in my arms, since I last heard your sweet voice and kissed those perfect lips. Since you left, each day seemed to run meaninglessly into the next. That is how it’s been for fifteen long years. I left home as planned, but the emptiness followed me to London, even while I played piano for the London Symphony Orchestra. And then, two weeks ago, it all changed. I was at a dinner party held in honor of songwriters George and Ira Gershwin, who are at work here on a new show, when George sat at the piano, as he always does when there’s a party. But the surprise was that he wasn’t playing his own music—- he was playing ours. Our very own “Bring the Colors Back”! You can imagine my shock and amazement, and the joy I felt at knowing that you had returned! You had to be back. I found out everything from the Gershwins, that your relation Lily Windsor had made the song a hit with the Follies, and I immediately gave notice to the London Symphony and booked passage to New York. I’m writing you now from the ship. Is it possible that you might have reconsidered your stance, after all these years? I can’t help hoping, though I am afraid to. A part of me knows that is you had, you would have come to me instead of Lily. But regardless of whether I see you again, I hold as a treasure your return and what you have done for our song. It is the sign I’ve been aching for, the sign that you still love me and I never stopped loving you. I must confess that I did not pursue my composing in London the way we would have expected. You always believed in me, and now it is time that I believe in me in the same way. The public’s reaction to “Bring the Colors Back” has given me the desire to return to New York for good and try to make it as a composer. Thank you—-thank you for returning to me the strong sense of purpose I once felt, when you were in my life. Michele, I promise to find you again—-no matter what. And enclosed in this package is a symbol of that promise: my family ring. I’ve enclosed the address of the hotel where I am living now, the Waldorf-Astoria, in the hopes you might be able to reach me.
I love you.
“I’ll do what you ask Michele, I will move on, for you. But no matter what, I will fin a way back to you. I promise.” - Philip James Walker/Phoenix Warren/PW