Tag Archives: jewelry

June 12th, 1934 – “Do you notice in what good humor I am in today?”

June 12th, 1934 – “Do you notice in what good humor I am in today?”

June 12th, 34
1460 E. 57th St.

Oh my beloved dear ones!

I have written today already 5 letters and 2 postal cards. Now I can wait before writing once more. As I expected, Martin Seckbach did not appear on Saturday, although we stayed home all day waiting for him.

Between 10-11 p.m. Auntie and I sat in the park nearby to get just a little fresh air. On Sunday as planned we went to the picnic of the German choirs.

After traveling 1½ hrs on the L and ½ hour marching we finally landed at a beautiful big park at the German Altenheim. There were long tables with benches and we picked a nice shady place to sit and eat our lunch we had brought along.

Beer Garden

German Beer Garden at the Bismark Hotel

I was really in a gay mood and drank more than I have in a long time – 7 small glasses of beer and 2 hard liquor. I was dancing all the time when not eating.

There was only 1 more Jewish person there. The president of one of those choirs. We spent quite a lot of time walking together Auntie, he and I. He is a very nice guy, 62 yrs old which he does not look, spends a lot of money. The only fault I could find is the fact that he does not dance, but there were plenty others who liked to dance like I do.

Since I was a newcomer I was very popular but people sure have a lot of nerve here, and you cannot be insulted by what they say. I even went on a merry go round. About 10:00 p.m., the wife and 29 yr old son of this Mr. Max Hirsch came to pick him up. The son does not like to dance but did it just for me. He insisted on talking English with me and claimed he understood everything I said.

We made a date for next Saturday. It is a dance from his father’s club and although he does not care about those clubs he will go because I said I was going. Do you notice in what good humor I am today? But that has another reason.

Yesterday morning I spent one hour with Gus Bing, Uncle’s nephew and partner in the very elegant ladies hat factory, Budwig, Inc. The result was that

  1. I will start working there at the beginning of July, 5 days a week for $14.
  2. He gave me a very nice wooden hat block for nothing and a very pretty navy blue taffeta hat.
  3. He will be a delightful boss with loads of money, divorced with 2 children and 40 yrs old.

Trudel working with hat on block (1936?)

I sure hope it all works out o.k., that I know enough and work quick enough.

He was extremely nice. His father was on the Frankfurt opera. He is a real Frankfurter boy.*

From there we went shopping. I got myself a nice suit for $5 not the linen suit I saw last week. I am sorry I did not bring more jewelry, china etc along. You can get very much money for those things here.

My things I have not unpacked yet. Auntie wants to look at it with me to see what I should sell.

We were yesterday in the Italian neighborhood in a store where they buy all those things for good money. I was amazed how much they pay for things. Of course they sell it for double.

Have you ever heard of “Maxwell St.?” We were there too yesterday. It is the Jewish part of Chicago. There is one little shop next to the other, displays and table on the sidewalk and in the middle of the street. Like a big market. Very crowded. One can buy everything there. Shoe laces, fruit, stoves, meat, sausage. You name it, you can buy it there reasonably if you can argue about the price. It is a real mad house. We finally took the streetcar home.

Chicago Street Car

Chicago Street Car (from Chuckman's Collection)

We past by the neighborhood where there was a big fire recently and it was a heartbreaking sight. The homes are built so poorly like cardboard. No wonder they burnt so fast.

Well I am getting a cramp in my hand from writing so much today. It is now 4:00 p.m. and I have been writing since 11:00 a.m. My stomach too is telling me it’s time to stop soon.

Maxwell Street

Actually this is the first day I have stayed home. It is so hot and I did not feel like running around. Tonight we are going to the only brother of Uncle with whom he is still on talking terms. I hope to go to the synagogue before long. Last night we could not go and this morning we did not know where there would be a minyan here in the neighborhood.

I also wrote a long letter to Rabbi Salzberger today. Do you, Pappa talk to him sometimes? Tomorrow night we will go to friends. What is new with you? I will not write again until I get some mail from you Lazy Bones. Have you found an apt? Let me hear some news.

Love and Kisses.


*”A Frankfurter boy” means he is from Frankfurt.
Some photos on this page from other sources including CHUCKMAN’S COLLECTION



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May 25, 1935 – I think my letters are even more detailed than a diary.

May 25, 1935 – I think my letters are even more detailed than a diary.

May 25, 1935

Sherman House Stationery

My Sweet Sweets:

I am real fancy tonight. I am sitting at a nice desk in the Hotel Sherman while Leonard went to the barber shop to make him look his best. We are going to Gray’s later and we want to look real nice. Actually he always does.

I never thought I would keep a diary here but I think my letters are even more detailed than a diary.

Well, last Saturday we spent most of the night in the office. We even ate breakfast downtown before going home. Sunday I slept all day and we did not meet until 8:00 p.m. for supper.

Monday dinner at Mrs. Saunders. I finished the pullover from the ripped sweater and started a hat for myself.


H. Horwitz Co,

On Tuesday we met downtown for breakfast. I took a beautiful silver vase Leonard bought for Mrs. Gray to have it engraved at Horwitz’s, the company Aunt Henny worked for at the fair. Dinner at Mrs. Saunders. Finished my hat, made 2 flowers and 1 bud similar to what I made at my test in the trade school. Wednesday I had to wait for 1 hour until the engraving was finished.

Wednesday: Dinner at Mrs. Saunders again. Change clothes: brown shoes, beige hose, beige new skirt, new crocheted sweater with hat to match, brown pocketbook, long beige kid gloves and navy blue coat. At 9:00 pm we went to Gray’s. I think I really looked very nice and never knew brown and beige would look that good on me.

We had some real nice warm days, but naturally that Wednesday when the birthday party was planned to be on the roof garden it was colder and raining. The party was anyhow very nice. I followed Papa’s good advice and had only 1 beer, 1 cocktail and a cup of black coffee.

I saw Len only when he brought me a plate with bread and cold cuts. He was sitting as far from me as possible with a few ladies and I far away with a few nice men, all kinds of professions including a newspaper reporter. It was very interesting and nice. We took 2 ladies home on our way. Leonard was trying to apologize for not being with me all evening but I assured him that for us 2 to be together we do not have to go to such a party. We went there to meet other people.


Double Decker

Please excuse my bad writing and making everything as short as possible. I am anxious to have this finished by the time Leonard comes back.

Enclosed I am sending you a petal of a rose I swiped and pinned on my bosom. It smells so wonderful, I want you to have a little part of it.

More explanation about Gray’s penthouse will follow with my next letter. It is too hard to do now. One of the nice things at Gray’s party is the fact we did not go home so very late. We left there already shortly after midnight. As a result I was not any more tired on Thursday than I am usually.

(Leonard has no car. He mostly takes taxis. He drove some years ago but had an accident and will not drive any more. I do not know what really happened, since I noticed he does not want to talk about it.)



Thursday: Ate again with Mrs. Saunders. We did want to go to a movie but the 4 films showing in our neighborhood we did not want to see – either one of us had seen it already or it did not sound good. So we saved our money and went to bed at 10:30 pm after doing some very neglected

Yesterday, Shabbos, I was again at Samuels and did not get home until 1:00 am. I often have that trouble going home from there.

Going I had a beautiful ride on the upper deck of a double decker bus, along the parks and the lake. The “Palmengarten” is very beautiful but no comparison with these parks for miles and miles. The Chicagoans do not really appreciate that beauty.

Sherman House

Sherman Hotel

Today I slept late, visited with Mrs. Saunders for 2 hours, then sitting in the sun on my bed I altered a dress and a hat, took off cape collar from my coat (it is too warm now), went downtown and picked up Leonard. Now after a good dinner I am sitting here in the lobby of the Sherman House, as I mentioned before. In the meantime only a toothache joined me.

I am glad Leonard left his fountain pen with me, otherwise I would have had to stop writing a long time ago. But that is it now. I am getting writer’s cramp, because I am trying to write real fast.

So now more next week.

A million greetings and kisses

Your Nudelsupp
[Noodle soup – A nickname for Trudel.]

At the end of this page of her translations, Trudel wrote:
Comment: Now that I have translated the letters of my first year in Chicago I will pick out only the highlights. You all know that I eat and sleep every day. It is really not important when or where. From here on it goes “diary style,” only different or interesting occurrences.

In the 1960s, many years later, Trudel would herself work at H. Horwitz Co. at 36 S. State Street in Chicago’s Loop.


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