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June 9, 1934 “I have already one order for a hat.”

09 Jun
June 9, 1934 “I have already one order for a hat.”

June 9, 1934

My dear Goldkinder,

Many thanks for Erna’s postal card from Strassburg. I hope you all are o.k. but wish you would write at least to Aunt Henny once.

Wednesday morning I went with her to choir practice and met some very nice people there incl. the director who is from FFM. He is in charge of all the Gesang Vereins German singing societies) here. While they sang I wrote a few letters. Then we did a little shopping and had dinner in a Chinese restaurant.

Did any of you ever eat chop suey? It is a real Chinese dish and I liked it very much. Vegetables I had never heard of. Shrimps and a very tasty gravy. The waiter a Chinese student kept coming to our table to talk to us.

Afterwards we went to Weils. What a pleasure. We had so very much to tell each other. Aunt Jenny? told a lot of ancient stories. It was a lot of fun. Nothing about her sister here. They have not talked together since her husband died 2 yrs ago. What is the sister’s name? I’ll try to find out something.

Jenny claims she wrote 2 long letters to Doddo after they were in Europe a few years ago but you never answered. Is that correct? I doubt it. We talked until 11:30 p.m. I will visit them again next week. The 2 daughters are very nice.

Alice, the younger, works for the post office and Jenny plays piano in concerts and as accompanist for singers etc.

I have never seen such an apt. It is a big hotel, you have to take an elevator up. Then you walk into 1 large room, with a sleeping couch. That is Aunt Jenny’s bed. Otherwise there is a sofa and 2 big easy chairs.

Next to it is a kitchen as practical as can possibly be. In the middle is a gas range with a pilot light burning constantly. To get one of the burners lighted you only have to press a button and the pilot light will turn it on. All you have to do is turn the handle of the burner you want, push the button and the stove is on. Without a match or anything else. The other half of the kitchen is the dining room like in most homes. A table and chairs.

Now back to the living room. There is a big double door and when you open it there is a double bed standing up against the wall. It comes out very easily and it is ready for sleeping. It is called an inador bed. That is where both girls sleep. Like in every apt there is a beautiful bathroom. The closet where the inadoor bed stands has room on both sides for a wardrobe.

Every morning a girl comes to clean the place. All together this costs $60 a week. Can you picture it? It is certainly very practical but would be too small for my taste.

On Thursday the weather was bad. We stayed in bed until noon, and all day at home. Uncle had taken some work home the day before and we just went for a little walk around the neighborhood. We tried to visit a friend of Auntie’s but only her very nice 20 yr old daughter was at home. We had a very pleasant visit although she understood very little German and I notice more and more how little English I really know.

Trudel with uncle

Trudel walking with her uncle on a chilly summer day


She picked me up Friday morning and took me along to the University nearby where she is studying. It was very interesting. We went to 2 lectures but I understood only about 1/3. But I learned a few things anyhow. We ate lunch there and I met 2 more girls one of whom knows Aunt H.

At 3 o’clock my 1st friend here named Edith Grossberg, put me on a bus to meet Auntie downtown. We went again to Marshall Fields which is more like a museum than a store and then to the busiest corner in the world right in the middle of the city corner State and Madison Streets. Here the city is divided in 4 parts. Everyone starts with #1 going east, west, north and south.

There at the Boston Store I bought a very simple white linen suit. Actually a skirt with 3/4 coat for $10. I really needed it because of the terrible heat which I do not like. And then in between there are very cool days. No matter how hot it is one cannot go out without a coat or sweater. The weather can change so fast.

White Linen Suite

Trudel in her new white linen suit

Auntie bought a very nice black wool coat. Also for $10. I will pick up my suit next week since I had no money with me. But they will hold it for me. You can go into the stores and try on all kinds of clothes and leave without buying.

From there we went to pick up Uncle and to eat. Auntie and I went to a movie and Uncle Julius went to a stamp auction. We walked a little to see everything in bright lights. Really beautiful–especially along State St. with all the lighted up shop windows. Looks almost white.

On our trip home at night we always pass the World’s Fair. You cannot imagine all those lights in different colors changing all the time.

Worlds fair at night

Postcard of the World's Fair at Night

This morning we moved furniture around our apt. We all like changes. We re-arranged the furniture in our bedroom and like it better for the time being.

Right now I hear on the radio a song I heard constantly on the boat and saw the movie. Every night when we danced they played it at least once. I liked the melody very much and kept humming it to myself. But now I am getting tired of it. The nice thing about it is the fact that it reminds me of that wonderful time on board. I am not trying to say that it is not nice now. I only worry that I may get too lazy here.

World's Fair at night

A reflecting pool at the World's Fair


On the ship there was constantly something going. Uncle leaves the house at 7:30 a.m. Auntie fixes his breakfast and goes back to bed. We both do not get up until 10 or 11 o’clock. I could find a lot of things to do but don’t feel like it.

Especially I have to learn more English. Unfortunately we only talk German at home. Uncle won’t do it otherwise. He is still more German than American. I too still like my homeland but I cannot understand that after 30 yrs in this country he has not adopted any manners or customs from here. Only what is from Germany is any good. He hates everything from anywhere else even the U.S.A.

On the other hand he does not want to go back. His work is beautiful. It is amazing to watch him and see how diplomas etc. come out so fast and perfect. He is very proud of his talent. A typical artist. He is already 62 yrs old.

Auntie told me a lot about her 19 yrs in U.S.A. this week. It sure had its ups and downs. Whenever she thought things were going well, something happened. Either sickness or a marriage. Now she is trying to do everything to make things nice and pleasant for me. In the beginning she went through a lot of trouble. But in between she also had lots of good times.

Today it is awfully hot again. I am sweating. Yesterday it was so cold that I was freezing in a suit. I have already one order for a hat, but I have to buy myself a wooden hat block first. I am keeping myself very busy, sewing and fixing for Auntie and myself.

Next week I intend to go to Weils 1 day to do some work on their sewing machine. We do not have one. (Actually, we have no furniture except 3 beds. Uncle has a closet in his room and we have a very little one in our room and actually live out of our trunks and suitcases.)

Martin, Uncle’s son, is supposed to come here this evening. So far we have always missed each other. Tomorrow we are going to a picnic of the German choirs. I wonder how that is going to be. At least I will have a chance to dance again. I have missed that.

I am here 6 weeks already and I am sure a lot of things have happened to you which would be very much of interest to me. You really do not have to write as detailed as I but a little more.

Today I received a big package of things that I had left behind in N.Y. It got to be 4:00 p.m. now and I do want to write to a few more people and do some sewing. By the way both Auntie and Uncle asked me to send you their regards when ever I write.

Love,

Your Noodlesoup.

p.s. Uncle just came home and told me that I should come for an interview to his nephew’s wholesale millinery business on Monday.


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About Leonard Grossman

Writing about the online world since 1992: The ModemJunkie's Portal Taught school in the inner-city from 1967-78, Government lawyer from 1979-2010. Married to the incredible Cindy Barnard. Proud father of Sarah and grandfather of Gavin.

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2 Responses to June 9, 1934 “I have already one order for a hat.”

  1. Pat Kaneda

    July 6, 2012 at 8:48 am

    This is lovely as usual and so detailed! She paints wonderful pictures of her days. What a treasure trove you have in her letters and your memories of her.

     

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