Tag Archives: Chicago weather

June 26, 1934 “This is the life but I am very much looking forward to start working next week.”

June 26, 1934 “This is the life but I am very much looking forward to start working next week.”

Cont’d Tuesday 6/26 12:30 a.m.

Congratulations on passing your driver’s test Doddo.

This morning after listening to some garbage on the radio I turned the dial and heard List’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2. I certainly enjoyed that and made the beds twice as fast as usual.

On Saturday night we were all together at the Fair. First at the Ford Symphony Gardens. Then Hans K. and I got lost in the big crowd. Henny worked until 9:00 p.m. She sells costume jewelry.

We two lost ones went again to the Canadian Club Cafe and while we were dancing a horrible storm broke out. Everybody ran for shelter.

Canadian Club Cafe

Canadian Club Cafe

I ran to the table where I had left my purse and gloves and my hat blew off my head and disappeared. It was a nice white cap which I got in N.Y. and fixed just right for me. Now it is gone.

I really never experienced weather like that. Everything that was not tied down blew over and away. And of course a real big thunderstorm with constant lightening and pouring rain. All day the weather had been beautiful but within 1 min it changed so drastically.

Everybody of course tried to get into the building and in spite of those very many people we were lucky enough to get a little table right next to the dance floor and we were also very honored to have Jewish Gov. Horner, the head of the State of Ill. at the table right next to us. He and his company of 6 men and 1 lady sounded very happy. One of his companions went on the stage with the dancing girls and just danced with them. It was a scream.

Henry Horner

Governor Henry Horner

After it stopped raining finally we took a walk in the beautiful fresh washed air and got home about 1:00 a.m. Saturday Aunty worked, like every day now at the fair and Uncle and I took care of the house.

Now I have to make a comment. Really they had expected me to be their housekeeper. But as you know I am not good at that. I do not know how to cook, I do not like to clean, wash and cannot iron. That made it very difficult.

Now back to the letter [that I started yesterday.] Sunday afternoon I went to Grossbergs to help prepare things for the party in the evening.

We found a new club similar to the one I belonged to at home. Mr. Grossberg and another man made very interesting speeches. I had asked in advance that they should not call on me to talk. I just answered the questions I was asked as short as possible. I met a few very nice people there.

Yesterday afternoon I was at Hamburgers. They live in a 2 room apt. That means kitchen and 1 room. Nebbich. Their daughter is married since 2 yrs to a non Jewish Communist. They live in the same building. The son, a nice, tall, good looking fellow lives with a non Jewish young man just a few doors away. He too is a big Communist.

Alfred has not changed very much but looks very come down and not very well. We both were happy to see each other. He is just as nice and friendly as ever and wanted to know all about you and sends his very best regards.

Apparently he earns good money but does not know how to handle it. Of course he has to have a car. It won’t do otherwise. Mrs. Hamburger and the children belong to a theater club. They write their own plays and then perform them. It is a mixed group of whites and blacks and they meet three times a week and she does not get home until after midnight. I cannot figure out what he [Alfred Hamburger?] does during that time.

I went with them to their meeting that night, but it was very strenuous for me to understand.

When I came to their place they first served me ice cream and then we went to a restaurant for dinner. Everybody was very nice to me. Alfred’s business is selling walking canes at the Fair. They are very popular since there is so much walking. There is also man with scales. For 5¢ you are weight after the man takes a guess of your weight. If he guesses wrong you get one of those walking sticks.

I like being home alone here. This morning, Opa kept me company while I did some ironing (Liss, Where are you?) and fixed a Panama hat for myself. He took me for lunch in my slacks. Later I will pick up Edith Grossberg. We are planning to throw ourselves into Lake Michigan for a nice swim.


Illinois Central downtown. Were they electrified in 1933?

Last night I had a big surprise. Aunt Henny had an accident in the I.C. train but fortunately not bad. As she was trying to get onto the train there was so much space between the entrance and the platform very hard to see and she slipped into that opening with her right leg. Fortunately people near her helped her right away, but she feels and looks awful. Luckily the train was standing real still at the time.

Uncle Julius treated her heal well last night and this morning and she went anyhow this morning to work at the Fair. We hope she will have no more accidents.

Julius is planning to buy me a bicycle. But I think it is too dangerous to ride to work downtown with all that traffic. And on weekends and evenings I hope to have something else and better to do than go bicycle riding with that old man. I rather look for somebody with a car.

It does not have to be a multi-millionaire as Ernale suggested. I’ll be satisfied with a little less. Did you get a chance to have my photos done?

Now I will get into my bathing suit, slacks and a pair of shoes, take a comb and house keys in my hand and pick up Edith. This is the life but I am very much looking forward to start working next week.

Jackson Park Beach

Jackson Park Beach

Love and kisses.


Shortlink to this page


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April 12, 1935 ” I am just thinking how much we laughed…”

April 12, 1935 ” I am just thinking how much we laughed…”


My very dear Bubele:*

Everything good and best wishes etc, etc, to you. I hope that both my letters to you with some underwear arrived OK. One I sent to your job and the other home. Hopefully they fit you and you like them and that you will wear them in good health and happiness. I am just thinking how much we laughed when one year ago today we tried to arrange the gift for Alex in our dining room.

Trudel profile with hats


I am again writing in my lunch time. It is very nasty outside. Rain and strong wind. It is hard to walk. My black rain coat is sure welcome now. Tuesday night when I was again at Aunt Henny, I took the fur off my gray coat. I like it almost better that way.

Monday I finally had a haircut again. I like it that way – real short.

While waiting for Leonard in his office on Wednesday I wrote a few letters again, called a few people, including Fanny Ratzenstein, whom I could not reach. I also for the first time took some business calls for Leonard. I am a little cautious about that. I always think people will not understand me on the phone. But I had no difficulties.

Trudel's Warm Gray Coat

Trudel's Warm Gray Coat (with fur)

Last night I was in bed at 8:30 p.m. but did some sewing until 10:00 p.m. I wrote you that I had to make my brown skirt tighter. That is not finished yet. I should make all my clothes tighter on the bottom, which indicates that I am getting a more adjusted figure.

Tonight I will go to Samuels again. They had their 2nd grandchild on Sunday and will have the bris next Sunday.

Aunt Jenny met Julius S two weeks ago but only talked with him very shortly. When I go to them for dinner tomorrow she will tell me what they talked about.

My ink has run out again so I have to continue with pencil. Actually there is not much I have to tell you today. No wonder – this is letter #13 for this year.

Yes, I think this is all my dumb brains can get together today.

For all of you, heartiest greetings and kisses. A special birthday kiss for you, dear Bubele.

Your loving


“Bubele” was Trudel’s sister Erna, whose birthday was in late April. Alex eventually became Erna’s husband. The next day LJG wrote a handwritten Birthday greeting to Erna.
LJG Birthday Greetings

Letter to Erna

Click on the thumbnail to see the letter at a legible size. A typescript of the letter is set forth below.

April 13, 1935

Dear Erna:

Happy birthday to you. Many jolly returns of the day! The day you were born was and is an important event in dear Trudel’s life – even tho’ it first occurred three years before she was even a bright idea in her Father’s mind. How much you mean to her — How much happiness your thoughtful love has always meant to my sweetheart you can never know, and makes you very precious to me. Instead of writing you congratulations, I wish I could embrace my precious sister with a birthday kiss. But I can only wish you all the happiness you may wish for yourself, and look forward to the day when I can tell you what a wonderful girl I think you must be because are not you and Trudel made of the same material? With a heart full of love to you, Lotta and Father – who must be congratulated on your birthday, for without him, would such a joy as Erna ever bring my darling’s adoration?




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April 18, 1935 – “We did not laugh as much as last night in a long time.”

April 18, 1935  –  “We did not laugh as much as last night in a long time.”


My Sweet Goldchildren,

After a delicious yonteff* dinner we just landed in Leonard’s office with big filled stomachs. We feel too heavy to go home right away. And how do the matzos taste to you this year?

Trudel’s First Passover in America

Last evening, first seder, we ate at the same kosher restaurant as tonight. The difference was the fact that we participated in a seder last night and today only dinner. We did not laugh as much as last night in a long time. They had one large table and several small ones. Of course we sat at a small one. Since the service took so long and we were very hungry, we emptied our goblets with very good red wine every time. You can imagine the result! The seder was very good, but not many melodies like at home, only a very few.

County Chairman

The County Chairman

The dinner was excellent both evenings. Of course the matzo ball soup was not so [good] that Lu could claim he could not eat anything else after 2 bowls full. They did not serve sour/sweet carp either. But very delicious almond torte and macaroons.

Tonight, Thursday night, it went very fast and was finished including dinner at 9:30 pm. We both were in such a good mood with our tummies full that we did not feel like going home. So we went to a movie. Very funny, just right for the mood we were in: “The County Chairman.”

On Tuesday night we were in a movie too. Very serious and good: “David Copperfield.”

David Copperfield

David Copperfield

And before I forget, I want to tell you the funniest thing that happened to me this week. Sunday as usual Flora Mae had dinner with us and Leonard took her home. We did not feel like going on that long bus trip home so we went to see an excellent film, “Clive of India” right there in Hyde Park. They have a new game there and I won a free pass. Unfortunately it is only good on weekdays. I gave it to Aunt Henny when I was there on Monday night and I expect we will use it frequently.


Clive of India

Saturday I ate at Weil’s and Leonard joined us later. It was nice as usual. I had brought along my photo album and they enjoyed looking at old friends and relatives. Friday night I was again at Samuels. Clem’s fiancé is now one or two days in New York. Did he ever visit you? Neither he or you wrote anything about that.

I do not know what is wrong with me tonight, that I tell everything backwards.

Sears Spring Ad 1935

Spring Fashions

And now something very new. Especially for myself: a navy blue spring coat for $16, navy blue shoes $3.69, purse and 6 pair of hose, also a light blue blouse for my blue suit. One never knows how the weather may be Easter Sunday. If it is like last Sunday I need only my blue suit. But if it is like last Monday I need also the coat over the suit, besides galoshes, raincoat, umbrella and maybe warm underwear. In any case I will be prepared.


Sports Coats on Sale

When I turn around in my chair now, I see what you can see on the enclosed snapshot. That photo was taken after a week in the new office. Now there are so many books and papers on the desk that you cannot see the desktop. In a few minutes he will have it cleared and we shall go home. I do not feel like going alone.

This week we were not very busy at work so I even worked short hours. That of course is the result of that crazy weather. Hopefully it will be nice on Sunday. Then we will get busy again.

LJG at (temporarily cleared) Desk

I suppose that finishes my report for today. I hope the matzos agreed well with you. I bought a box for myself. For breakfast during Passover, I have been eating 2 matzos, 2 hard boiled eggs and 1 cup of coffee. The ham or bacon, what usually comes with the breakfast, I cut out this week.

I am writing you tonight since I want to make a hat for myself in my lunchtime tomorrow.

I am your loving


  • “Yonteff” is a Yiddish variant of Yom Tov — Hebrew for holiday. Literally “Good Day.”
  • “Leonard,” sometimes referred to as “Len” or LJG would become my father.
  • Flora Mae was LGJ’s 6 year old daughter by a previous marriage. My half-sister.


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May 2, 1935 “I hope my brains are waterproof.”

May 2, 1935 “I hope my brains are waterproof.”

May 2, 1935

My Sweets:

Since I do not have anything better to do in lunchtime today I will start this letter to you.

So, what happened this week. Friday evening for Shabbat I was at Samuels and met Mr. Eggener. His trunks have not arrived here yet [from Germany] and I am looking forward to the cookies. He tasted them and said they are very good. Well, the later I receive them the longer will I enjoy them. Rudy Gerson, from Dresden, was there again too.

Cole Bros Circus

We walked for one hour towards home and then wanted to take the I.C. [Illinois Central electric train]. After waiting for ½ hour for a train, we left to take the streetcar. Just as we left a train came. It was warm but raining and I did not get home until 2:00 a.m. Nuts!

Saturday I went to the dentist and then a little shopping. At 2:00 p.m. I met Flora Mae and “kinder-Fraulein” [governess, nanny] in the office and the 4 of us went to the circus. This was the 1st time Flora Mae went to a circus. We all 4 enjoyed It very much. It was really a nice change.

We listened to the president on the radio

Leonard and I took a nice walk afterwards, ate a good supper and went to the office. While I wrote an English letter to Ilse Niederman, Leonard slept in his chair. At 10:00 p.m. Alfred and Luise Hamburger came and we talked until 2:00 a.m. It was very relaxing.


FDR Fireside Chat - Click on image for YouTube

Sunday, April 28, the weather was bad and I slept all day. I read the papers for about 3 hours and it was 9:00 p.m. before we went to eat. At 10:00 we listened to the president on the radio.

Monday evening I went again to the dentist. Since he is on the same floor as Leonard’s office, I waited and we went to eat together. Then he went back to the office and I walked home, visited with Mrs. Saunders for about 1 hour and then to bed.

Sunbathing without spectators

I like this room so much better than the other one. The sun shines in so very nice that I can lay on my bed and get fresh air and light and sunbathe without having to be afraid that I might have spectators.

Tuesday night I was at Aunt Henny’s again. She had a very bad cold, so I got her some aspirin and made her go to bed.

How Henny earns her money

I finally found out how she earns her money. She gets people to sign contracts for home remodeling, painting, etc., and she gets a commission for each agreement she gets. She also works for another outfit selling land along the lake for summer and weekend homes. She gets a little money daily and of course commission on every sale.

[Continued 5/3 at lunchtime]

Trudel answers her father’s questions

First I am going to answer dear Dad’s nice letter dated 4/7. I hope the cigar you were smoking while writing it agreed well with you.

Aunt Henny was delighted with your beautiful birthday card.

There were more votes for Grace Gray than we had expected, but it was not published. Leonard has had too much experience with his own election campaigns so he will not take money for his speeches but does it only for his own convictions.

Yogi Fned

Yogi Fined

Yesterday he received the newspaper you sent [about a German yogi]. Our Yogi is really not such a magician. Yogi Roy [LJG’s client] uses only herbs for healing. He himself is a vegetarian. He only got a fine of $100 while some papers thought he would go to jail for several years. The judge in that case got many insults in the newspapers.

It was really Leonard’s work that made him set such a light sentence. When you compare [Frankfurt attorney] Bruno Fürst with Leonard you are not wrong. I too have made that comparison. But please only in their professions, not in private life, thank G’d.

About my finances I think I have given you explanations. Everything is reciprocal.

At that Atheist Club we went only once for fun and my drinking is not nearly as bad as it sounds. Since that Sunday with the Bishops I have been very sober.

The going to bed so late is in my opinion a family sickness. You really read my letter thoroughly even between the lines!

Ripley's Believe it or not

By Ripley

I wrote before that Marie Bing was trying to find me a job. My old boss, Gus Bing, her husband, is also working.

You asked what means “by Ripley” on the newspaper clipping. Mr. Ripley finds out very unusual things and has them in the newspaper daily.

Frankfurters are of course frankfurter sausages, a very much enjoyed food here. Now I think I have answered all your questions. My lunchtime is almost over.

Yesterday I had a postcard from Baden-Baden on Easter Sunday. Did you have nice weather? Here it was beautiful.

They do not keep Good Friday or Easter Monday here. Only Sunday was a holiday.

At Samuels’ last week I saw a business card from “Allgemeine” presented by Lotte Adler. I hope that means a raise in salary.

Now continue my weekly report. I was Tuesday night at Aunt Henny’s. Sure hope she is O.K. again and am glad I did not catch anything from her.

Now I am sitting again in a streetcar on my way to Samuels. After it was so hot and dry last week that I feared my brains would dry out, today it is miserably raining, snowing and cold. I hope my brains are waterproof.

Click on Image for YouTube

Last Wednesday I was again at the dentist. Although he is nice and careful, I keep thinking of Dr. Samuel in Frankfurt, comparing his nice big office with this little room and equipment. As usual after I had my 2 fillings done I waited for Leonard and we went to eat together.

Afterwards we saw a very good movie at the Chicago Theater, “Go Into Your Dance” with Al Jolson. Although he appeared as a Negro in part of the film I like him best of all the movie actors.

Chicagp Theater

Chicago Theater

The rest of the program was excellent too with a fantastic violinist etc. It is really a special treat to go to the Chicago Theater. It costs a little more than other movies but it is really worth the difference. As you notice neither one of us has money to spare, but we both manage to get along with what we earn.

I am just now passing the fairground from last year. Too bad it is all over.

Did Max Wolfe ever write to Alfred Hamburger?

By the way, Julius Seckbach and Isi Koesterlitz are now living in the same boarding house.

Yesterday, Thursday, we worked only until 3:00 p.m. Since the weather was miserable, I went straight home, did some laundry, sewed a little. I went out to eat and right home again, lengthened my raincoat with the help of electric tape, gave myself a shampoo, manicure, pedicure and went to sleep at 11:30 p.m.

I think I have sleeping sickness (G’d forbid). No matter when I get to sleep and get up I am always tired. Maybe it’s spring fever. I am yawning again, by the way. Doris K. wrote me some time ago that my sisters had promised to call her!! Now I am going to sleep a little. I hope I will wake up before I have to get off [the street car]. That has happened to me already.

Weils, Samuels, Aunt Henny all send their best regards. Please remember me to the whole meshpoche and friends.

Your ever loving daughter and sister,

PS Special regards to Liss.
It would be nice to get a letter from my sisters again sometime.

PPS What kind of postage stamp was on the envelope with the newspaper? Was it something special? Somebody had taken it off before Leonard received it.

On April 28, 1935 President Roosevelt gave a radio broadcast on the WPA and Social Security. The link above is edited. The complete broadcast can be found in two parts as follows:
President Roosevelt’s April 28, 1935 Fireside Chat on the economy: Part 1
President Roosevelt’s April 28, 1935 Fireside Chat on the economy: Part 2


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May 11, 1935 – “All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed.”

May 11, 1935 – “All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed.”

May 11, 1935

My beloved Love Ones!

Often I wish time would not go so fast so I would not have to write you so often.

The cookies, which I received Friday night, were gone by Monday. They were delicious, of course not enough. One half of them we ate already by Friday night at Samuels. I almost thought there would not be any left for me to take home.

What ever happened to mother’s jet dress? I wrote you a couple of times that we could use it very well here.

Slot Machine

I ate so many cookies on Saturday morning that I could not eat any breakfast. At 3:00 pm I finally had some hot chocolate and a little toast. After that I lay on my bed in beautiful sunshine. Later I picked up Leonard for supper.

On the way home we found a different slot machine that we had not seen before. I decided to try my luck for a change and won 55 cents. Of course about 1/3 of it went back into the machine.

Sunday after sleeping late I went to the “south side” for the bris of the newest Samuel baby. The father, Fritz, is the youngest of the 4 Samuel children. Leonard came later with Flora Mae. We ate as usual in the Madison Park Hotel and afterwards saw a movie, “Life begins at 40.”

Life Begins at 40

Click Image for YouTube

On Monday we worked only until 3:00 pm. It was miserable rainy weather so I had nothing better to do than to go to a movie again: “The Night is Young” after a novel by Vicky Baum and playing in Vienna. The main actor was Ramon Navarro and a small part played by Hermann Bing, brother of Gus.

Then I picked up Leonard and we met Louise and Alfred Hamburger. She is giving lectures to new German refugees on American literature. It was really very interesting.

Afterwards we went to the room of a lady in the same hotel and had very interesting conversation. In 10 years Leonard has not heard as much German as that evening.

The Night is Young

Click image to see trailer

Tuesday night I was at Aunt Henny’s. She moved into a nice, quiet hotel for the same amount of money. Wednesday I stayed home, ate dinner with Mrs. Saunders and went to sleep at 9:00 pm.

Do you remember the red sweater I started to make for Ellen? I ripped it all and made it very pretty, all new.

Thursday I ate at Fritz and Bertl Samuel. I am altering a hat for the new mother. Fritz worked in FFM at the “Flôrsheimer Stiftung” [Florsheim Foundation] Addie Eggner worked several years at Sigmund Strauss Jr. and the 3 of us talked about a lot of Frankfurters.

Both young men know Alex from the “Stift” although Fritzis much younger. He and Addie used to go often to Wehrheim to sell goods. Addie sends his best regards to Doddo [Trudel’s sister] and thanks her for the letter. He thinks you really should find time to write to me and described you as a “light blond goyishe girl.” What about that “light blond?”

By the way do you still have so much trouble with your stomach? I found a very cheap easy cure. From all that not so good restaurant food my stomach was in pretty bad shape. Now I drink a cup of very warm water with just a little sugar first thing every morning. At first I did not like it, but now I got used to It and my stomach is fine. After that I eat 3 or 4 cooked prunes with milk or cream.

Frozen Cream on Top

By cream I mean what is on top of the milk in the bottle. One can get milk here only in bottles, homogenized and does not need to be cooked. Just try my prescription for a little while and you will have no need for other medicine. Good Luck! Maybe you will feel so much better that you will write me more often.

Now back to my itinerary. Friday night again I went to the senior Samuels. Tomorrow, Mother’s Day, they will be married 40 years. I gave them a very pretty salad serving set and salt and pepper shakers. When they scolded me for spending my hard earned money I declared that I wanted to give to a mother who deserved something for Mother’s Day. After all she is the “mother” of a bunch of young people. As always, the meal was very, very good. Too bad we live so far away from each other. Maybe it is just as well. If I would eat there too often I would gain a lot of weight.

Mr. Eggener has not found a job yet also. All of us are trying to help him. It is always very hard to find work until one speaks better English.

Today I went downtown early to pay Leonard’s phone bill, then I spent $4 for a collar, cuffs, belt and some flowers to make the blue dress and coat look new.



Since [For] 3 days we were having gorgeous summer weather, but now it is starting to rain.

I am writing this in the office after dinner. Leonard is sound asleep in his chair again. The poor guy did not get home until 4:00 am every night this week and had to be in court at 10:00 am every morning. I do not know how he could do that if he did not sleep here 1 or 2 hours in between sometimes.

I really have to try to get more sleep too. I got a good start on Wednesday. All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed and sewed, washed and ironed a little.

Shirley Temple Paper Dolls

Shirley Temple Paper Dolls

We are invited for Mrs. Gray’s birthday on the 22nd. At the same time they are opening their “roof garden” for the summer season. That is when I want to look very nice. I have no idea what I should wear. Hopefully I will have that pullover sweater ready by then. It would look nice with my white linen suit.

Shirly Temple Paper Clothes

When will I receive a photo of Ernst? Did you receive the underwear? Do not forget Erna Grünebaum’s birthday on the 25th. I will send her a Shirley Temple “paper doll” with paper clothes. I hope it arrives safely.

When do I get answers to my letters? I asked weeks ago what was wrong with Steffie O? I am giving up hope that my sisters will answer. At least my dear Papa writes to me now and then. What else is new?

I do not know any more to write.

Love and kisses
Trudel and Leonard

I am trying to learn more about the “Flôrsheimer Stiftung” or “Stift.” Flôrsheim is a city in the mountains near Frankfort. There also appears to have been a Flôrsheim street in Frankfurt. In my research, I discovered Dr. Max Scholl was a chemist who built a business specialzing in the chemical treatment of leather in Flôrsheim. Since Trudel’s sister and her boyfriend were in the leather business, there may have been a connection. Dr. Scholl’s tragic story is told in a series of letters in a 1997 NYTimes article Dear Cousin Julius, We Trust on Our God and on You…’

There does not appear to be any connection to Dr. Scholl’s shoes or to the Florsheim shoe company which was founded in Chicago in 1892.


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