But of all Roosevelt's successes of the autumn of 1878, none compared with falling in love for the first time. Roosevelt's new friends included Richard Saltonstall, the son of Mrs. and Mrs. Leverett Saltonstall of Boston. Dick Saltonstall habitually brought friends to the family home on Chestnut Hill. One attraction was the Saltonstall hospitality; another was the Saltonstall girls and their various female friends and relations. On a visit in October, Roosevelt met Dick Saltonstall's cousin and next-door neighbor, Alice Lee.
Seventeen years old in the autumn of 1878, Alice Lee was a girl to break a boy's heart. She was tall and athletic, with wide, pale blue- gray eyes, long golden curls, a pert, slightly upturned nose, a dainty mouth, and a bright, ready smile (friends and relatives called her "Sunshine"). By now Roosevelt had been introduced to a sizable segment of the eligible young ladies of Boston and New York; more than a few had intrigued him with face, form, or spirit. But none captivated him so quickly, and certainly not so completely, as Alice Lee. He had only just gotten to know Dick Saltonstall well; now he insisted on being a regular guest at Chestnut Hill. "This afternoon, immediately after dinner," he informed Corinne in early November, "Minot and I are going to drive over to Dick Saltonstall's, where we shall go out walking with Miss Rose Saltonstall and Miss Alice Lee and drive home by moonlight after tea." His enchantment with Alice--"a very sweet pretty girl," in his diary--was sufficient to make him reorder his priorities; even certain habits adhered to religiously now had to be altered. "I am going to cut Sunday School today, for the second time