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During their summers in New London the OíNeills frequently took meals in a small private dining room at the Packard, a boardinghouse on Pequot Avenue run by James Rippinís family. It was conveniently located near the Monte Cristo Cottage and the OíNeill family walked to the Packard every day, with James and his wife leading the way and their sons following behind.
OíNeill on the beach, January 1, 1914. Sent to Dr. Lyman as proof that he was following Lymanís advice to recuperate from TB

According to the Gelbs, though Jamie and Eugene were grown men, the Rippin sisters referred to them as "the boys" because they were supported by their parents. Helen Maude Rippin served as cook and her unmarried daughters waited tables. OíNeill lived with the Rippins during the winter of 1913-14, while his parents were traveling with the play Joseph and His Brethren, and he was regaining his strength after recuperating from tuberculosis at the Gaylord Farm Sanatorium. Mrs. Rippin and her daughter Jessica became OíNeillís lifelong friends. In a letter dated February 4, 1919, the young playwright joyfully responds to a note from Jessica, assuring his friend that "good old times at the Villa Rippin" had not been forgotten though they had not heard from him. "You see you let yourself in for it," he says, begging for news, "and now you will have to write me an honest-to-Gawd long letter giving me all the dope...So itís now up to you. Go to it! And remember also that I havenít had a bit of current New London gossip in ages...But let me hear all the Ďdirtí as I havenít talked with anyone from New London in a century, it seems" (Bogard and Bryer, SL, 85).

 

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