Monday, November 07, 2011

Last Letter Discovered

Robbie June Moye with her mother Eva Moye

The last letter that Winecoff fire victim Robbie June Moye wrote to her mother has been discovered by a family member.

The letter was written on Thursday night, December 5, 1946, two days before Moye, a Youth Assembly delegate from Donalsonville, Ga., perished in the Winecoff Hotel fire.

Handwritten on Winecoff Hotel stationery, Robbie June tells of her bus trip to Atlanta, an unexpected travel delay, a fun night on the town and her plans for a safe trip home.
(Click To Enlarge)

Judging by the date on the letter and the postmark on the envelope (Dec. 6), the letter could not have reached Donalsonville before the news of the fire did on Saturday morning Dec. 7.

Imagine the emotions and thoughts Eva Moye may have experienced upon receiving the letter, including possibly the brief hope that her daughter was somehow still alive.

Imagine assimilating the cruel irony of the “Hotel Winecoff” letterhead, with its printed, unfounded boast “Absolutely Fireproof” and the drawing of the building where her daughter died.

What a bitter piece of mail it may have seemed like in those first few moments. Then, after re-reading it, she may have come to see it as a final gift from her child, arriving in her all-too-familiar handwriting with its “all is well” tone.

This much we know: Eva Moye kept the letter safe for the rest of her life. It was recently discovered by her Great-Granddaughter, Winecoff Fire reader Kristy Moye Griffin.

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