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March 1, 1935 “My forelady just told me that I can’t sit still for 5 minutes without writing or doing something.”

01 Mar
March 1, 1935  “My forelady just told me that I can’t sit still for 5 minutes without writing or doing something.”

March 1, 1935

My Golden Goldkind:

Actually the weather is much too nice to be sitting here writing to you. But what does one not do for love. After having a big snowstorm and very cold weather this week, we now have beautiful spring weather.

If you receive a letter with the stamps upside down, Leonard must have mailed it. Here nobody pays much attention to that.

First of all I like to answer Dear Papa’s letter of Feb. 13.

I have not talked to or seen Grossbergs for ages. The Mother has gone on my nerves for a long time since she is so slow and boring. And the daughter is too intelligent for me to keep up with her. We have really very little to talk about. And that club does not really interest me anymore.*

Dear Papa asked me what Aunt Henny is living on. That is really something I am wondering about too. I visited with her Monday night and I am always trying to find out what she does during the day. But to no avail. She does not tell me. After I went with her looking for a room in my neighborhood she called me that she just moved around the corner from her old place. So she won’t need my suitcase that I was going to loan her for moving, also it goes almost daily to court filled with books and papers. On Tuesday she helped at the election for the Democratic party. We are Republicans.

GraceGray

Grace Gray

Did you forget to keep your fingers crossed for us? As we had feared, Grace Gray was not elected. After all she was the first woman ever to run for Mayor of Chicago and that makes history. While the other candidates spent loads of money, she did not spend a penny, but she made a lot of new friends.**

Of course we spent the evening at her house and I am sure that it was not any nicer, relaxing, enjoyable and merry at the house of Mr. Kelly the newly elected mayor. We were about 25 people. Her [Grace Gray’s] mother, daughter, son-in-law and grandchild and best friends. Mr. Gray has a special cocktail called: “Bosom Caresser” of which I drank 4 glasses and a glass of beer. Besides they served wonderful cold cuts and all kinds of pickles, mustard etc.

Bosom Caresser Recipe

Bosom Caresser Recipe

Except for 1 man who came rather late we all were a little more or less very cheerful, a little tipsy.

I really talk and understand English quite well now and feel very much at ease in American company. Just as we were ready to leave I was introduced to a couple who just came. Her parents came from Stuttgart and she has a cousin, “Heidecker” in Ffm. Unfortunately we had very little time to talk.

Bosom caresser

Grace's Drink

This week I have felt like usually during Mardi Gras. Saturday morning I was about 3 hrs downtown with Mrs. Saunders. Then I met Claire Samuels and we went to see her sister-in-law, also a German girl, with an adorable 2 yr old boy who knows exactly with whom to talk German or English.

For the 1st time here I had a real afternoon coffee and I took home a hat to be altered.

Dear Papa: you really have no idea about prices here. Gwen bought recently 3 beautiful hats at $2 each. And I should charge $3 for alteration? Actually I had saved a little money but had to use it all during the quiet season. I do not skimp on anything but try to make surprises for others. Starting next week I hope to be able to save a little again.

Saturday after dinner at Samuels I went to the North Side to meet Leonard at a meshuggenah club. They are all atheist, a very funny bunch who had asked to Len to speak.

Walnut-Room

A great spot for afernoon coffee

Actually I am glad now that I do not understand everything in English. Otherwise I would have a red face all the time. That were the kind of jokes they were telling. I met a few very nice rich people who read the announcement of the meeting in the paper and came only to hear Leonard. It was really a nice entertaining evening and did not break up until 2:00 a.m. Of course on Sunday I slept ½ of the day as usual.

Then Leonard and I went downtown to different newspaper offices to take care of some things for Grace Gray. We then went to her house. She is not allowed to go out since her recent car accident. She is OK again, and we had a very good supper there and stayed until 1:00 a.m.

Monday at work at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., home from Aunt Henny and still shampoo. Tuesday 9:00 a.m. at work. Evening at Grays’. Home 1:00 a.m., Wednesday 9:00 a.m. at work. Evening at Gwen’s. Already 11:30p.m. to bed.

Yesterday again 9:00 a.m. work and as a result of so little sleep, I fell asleep while waiting for work until the boss woke me and asked if I was OK. I told him that I still had a little hangover from the beginning of the week. Last night, I fixed the two hats for the Samuel girls and was in bed at 10:30 pm.

It felt good to sleep from 10:00 p.m. to 8 a.m. for a change. We have hardly any thing to do at work. I have not earned 20 cents so far today. My boss just asked me if I am writing a book because he sees me writing so much.

I hope you have received the Chicago map by now. From the family Klee I can find only 1 son left. If he could still remember you? Guess this is all for today. More next week.

Best regards to all from all.

Loads of love and kisses from your
Trudel.

PS My forelady just told me that I can’t sit still for 5 minutes without writing or doing something. Mrs. Saunders said the same last week. I am not all nervous.

PPS Julius Seckbach, who now lives with Mr. Kasterlitz (better known by me as Opa) came to Leonard’s office asking for my address. He did not get it. Leonard does not want me to have any contact with him. Thanks G’d.


*Trudel mentioned going to a “Chai-Club” with the Grossbergs in an earlier letter. Apparently to help her with her English.
**The election Trudel is talking about was the Republican primary. Edward J. Kelly won the Democratic primary which was held the same day and was eventually elected mayor.

 

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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4 Responses to March 1, 1935 “My forelady just told me that I can’t sit still for 5 minutes without writing or doing something.”

  1. Barrie Ward

    March 1, 2012 at 1:13 am

    These letters of your beloved mothers are a highlight of my reading experiences of late Leonard … I loved the line about going to a ‘meshuggenah club’ …. and also the opening “My forelady just told me that I can’t sit still for 5 minutes without writing or doing something.” — Perhaps …. No definitely this has rubbed off on a certain child …. Chortle!

     
  2. Leonard Grossman

    March 1, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Yes, Barrie, That is why I like to nap. Thanks

     
  3. Linda Gartz

    March 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Something about that generation – or perhaps it’s just those I knew — and Trudel — the energy and need to be doing something seemed born in them.

    Her English is improving and she’s extolling a woman running for mayor in Chicago — didn’t know about that! It seems that women who wrote had a greater sense of what women’s possibilities were.

     
  4. Frederique from Holland

    March 2, 2015 at 5:52 am

    Dear Leonard,
    In reading :”The Mother has gone on my nerves for a long time since she is so slow and boring. And the daughter is too intelligent for me to keep up with her. We have really very little to talk about. And that club does not really interest me anymore.” I realise that there is nothing new under the sun.
    I cannot always read the letters, but do enjoy reading those that I have the time for to read. Thanks for this project, it is very interesting.

     

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