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April 1, 1935 “That is not an April Fools joke”

01 Apr
April 1, 1935   “That is not an April Fools joke”

April 1, 1935

My Dear Ones:

Today I am again using my lunchtime to write to you, otherwise I will be too busy. That is not an April Fools joke.

First of all I want to answer your nice letter, since Papa always claims I do not do that.

You ask if I can save any money. Yes, I do. Last week I put $10 in my savings account. It was high time; I had very, very little left there. During the quiet time, between seasons, I used up almost all my savings. Now I am earning $12 to $14 every week besides my private customers. My room is $3.50 a week. For a meal I spend about $4 – If I am not invited often. Transportation about $1 – and then of course postage stamps, soap, laundry, shoe repairs, hosiery, etc.* I do some errands for Leonard.

Besides, breakfast and dinners Saturdays and Sundays and once in a while during the week are paid by him.

So please, each of you can write what just comes to your mind. Do not worry that one of the others might have written it already. So far I have never gotten any news twice. Just the opposite, I have to guess sometimes what you are trying to tell me.

Is Papa going to Dr. Billigheimer? If so, please give him my best regards, next time you see him. I gave all your messages to diverse people. I have not talked to Weils lately but will call them next week.

What gives you the impression that Julius S has a lot of money? I am not so sure. The 2 of them [Trudel’s Uncle Julius and Aunt Henny] got together somehow last week and made up again. Henrietta [Henny] will tell me more when I go to see her tonight. The Saunders [a family with whom Trudel often eats supper] are not Jewish, but very nice people.

Erna 1935

Erna**

Now to Ernales’ letter, you great poet. Yes, it was really high time I received a nice photo of you. Yesterday I wrote Alex a long birthday letter. I hope it was not too stupid since I was very tired when I wrote.

Back of Photo

Back of Erna's Photo**

Shrove Tuesday is not popular here, but Ash Wednesday is important. How is Hedwig? By the time you receive this letter I hope she and her kids will have forgotten that they were ill.

I wrote a long letter to Hamburgers and also one to Mrs. Brown. No answers yet. Last week, I wrote a detailed letter to Justus. Never heard again from Victor. Do not know what to write to Pohl, since you say he got married.

I can understand well why Papa does not want to kiss me with my lipstick lips. I can understand very well. But do not worry, I do use very little lipstick.
To take off the makeup I use a “cold cream” or “cleansing cream.” Cover the face lightly, leave it on for a few minutes. Then wipe it off with cotton or Kleenex. That’s all. Now I believe I have answered all your questions.

[Later]
Now comes my weekly report on the streetcar on the way home from Aunt Henny:

Chicago Street Car

Streetcar

Last week Henny and Julius were for the last time in court and settled for $150. That is the amount which would be due her if they got a divorce in one year after living separately that long. He claimed that he borrowed that money from his brother or nephew.

Aunt Henny is working in politics and real estate. She seems to earn enough to get along. For her birthday I made her a beautiful brown straw hat. She liked it very much and bought a bottle of wine of which I had one cup full. She has no glasses in her room.

I wrote you before that I had a letter from a new company last Saturday. I started to work there Monday at 8:30 am and like it very much. The place is only 10 minutes from my room. From the window on the 18th floor I can see the Devonshire Hotel and with binoculars I could probably see right into Leonard’s room.
Enclosed photos taken from Leonard’s room just miss the building where I am now working. It would be the next one to the right.

From the 18th Floor

From the 18th Floor


My working hours here are great. 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, 1 hour lunchtime, and 4:30 closing. And then I am right downtown to spend my money. Last Monday I was in bed at 7:00 pm already, 1 hr manicure, 1 hour crocheting and 9 pm lights out to go to sleep.

Tuesday night I surprised Leonard in his office and we went to eat together. Since he had an appointment, I went home and was in bed by 10:30 pm. Wednesday I was as usual at Gwen’s.

View from the Room

View from the Devonshire?

Thursday I went right from work to Leonard’s office to help him pack. He is moving his office again for a change. We worked until 1:30 am. Friday evening at Samuels, where I feel very much at home. And Saturday office moving. At 5:00 pm the furniture movers left. I was already wearing a house dress and put a smock over it. Leonard wore an old suit and shirtsleeves. After a very good supper we left the new office at 5:30 Sunday morning, after everything was in order and looked good.

at Night

Night View

12 hours later we were there again. AT 7:00 pm we decided to put all of his about 1000 books in order. That was a real job. And I have to admit we did a very good job. When we left at 2:00 am it all looked really good and ready for a lot of clients. What results will come I hope to be able to tell you soon. That should do it for today.

Loads of love, greetings, and kisses.

Trudel


*A short list of some elements of the cost of living for 1935 can be found at thepeoplehistory.com
**I found this photo in what I believe was Erna’s photo album. The back of the photo, which was trimmed for the album, is addressed to Trudel and is dated April 25, 1935, twenty days after Trudel wrote this letter. So it may be a copy of the same photo or another.

Photos on this page are from family albums with the exception of the streetcar which is from Chuckman’s Collection.

 

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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3 Responses to April 1, 1935 “That is not an April Fools joke”

  1. Linda Gartz

    April 1, 2012 at 8:08 am

    She had a great attitude. The photos are evocative of that era.

     
  2. Barrie Ward

    April 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    “I can understand well why Papa does not want to kiss me with my lipstick lips.” … This has been repeated for many families between fathers and daughters … Chuckle!

     
    • Leonard Grossman

      April 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Indeed. One of my cousin’s teenaged granddaughters told us the name of a perfume this afternoon. TMI.

       

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