Tag Archives: poverty

October 26, 1934 “Did you ever try to write a letter while riding a streetcar?”

October 26, 1934 “Did you ever try to write a letter while riding a streetcar?”

October 26, 1934

Dear Goldkinder,

Did you ever try to write a letter while riding a streetcar? Well, that’s what I am doing now. Since Monday I am traveling every day 2½ hrs on the streetcar and I do not like to waste so much time.

Again I have been very lucky. Last Thursday we were told no work tomorrow and call on Monday if there is something. I had already noticed that things were getting very slow.

Chicago Streetcar 1934

Chicago Streetcar

On Friday when I got a haircut I told the operator that I feared I was out of work. I left my phone number there and sure enough one of the girls called and gave me the address of a good friend where I should apply for a new job. Of course I went there the next day and started working on Monday morning at 9:00 a.m.

It is the biggest hat factory here, the work is similar as in the other place but much cheaper work and material and of course pay. The owners and employees are mostly Polish and several of them Jewish.

Hats and Hair Styles 1933 -1934

Hats and Hairstyles

And the other place declared bankruptcy on Saturday and Gus got married.

My salary from last week I will probably only get through the court settlement. Wasn’t I lucky! To have already another job?

Sorry my writing is so bad but the streetcar here is the shakiest most unsympathetic transportation here.

Maybe you can find on the Chicago map 700 North and 900 West on Milwaukee Ave. That’s where I am working now.

Aunt Henny and I are planning to move Nov. 1. First of all we want to give up the apartment and I would like to move closer to work, and where I can walk downtown, so I do not need so much money for transportation. And besides I will be closer to Leonard.

This stationery is 3 yrs old when his Republican party was still in power in Chicago. He was until then very much involved in politics here. Since 3 yrs the Democrats are in power and he and his friends are out. That’s why he lost so much money and his supposedly very nice wife and darling little girl.

Last Sunday he visited me with his adorable 5 yr old girl. On Saturday night we went all dressed up to the Opera Carmen. A gigantic Opera House. All seats taken and everybody dressed up. Excellent performance.

Leonard and Flora Mae

Leonard and Flora Mae

On Sunday evening I spent 3 hrs with him at his office and helped him pack because he moved to another place on Monday.

It was nice to see Max here although we got together only one evening. He was the only person I did not bid farewell to in Germany and the first one to visit me here.

Now we are having lunchtime. If I had taken more stationery with me I could write some more on my long trip to Rose’s tonite.

Now I am sitting in a restaurant near the factory to eat supper. Just saw something unusual — a man driving his car on only 3 wheels–he had just lost one–for several blocks to a garage.

It is already 7:30 p.m. and I am very hungry. Usually we eat here between 6-6:30–Last night I was at Samuels again. They have nice German Jewish friends and they welcome every newcomer.

Actually I am not very much interested in a lot of people anymore unless I can make hats for them.

Nightview of Fair

World's Fair at Night

It is very complicated for me to remember to write to everybody’s birthday on time. I talked again to Rose Tauber, Aunt Fanny’s daughter. Will call them again tomorrow.

Now I will take the streetcar downtown 15 min and the I.C. south to Rose’s ½ hr. It would take an additional 1½ to 2 hrs in the streetcar. It is really great how much you can ride on the streetcar for 7¢ or on a bus for 10¢. Farther than from Ffm to Mainz.

Max also liked Chicago much better than N.Y.

I really enjoy watching all the different types of people on the public transportation. You can hear all different languages and see all different types of clothing. I have to get especially used to seeing so many black people. Some of them very clean and good looking and whites in rags and miserable.

Only 6 more days until the Fair closes. I think I will go once more on Sunday if the weather is still so very nice. Our train is just passing the fairground and I enjoy over and over the beautiful sight of lights and colors.

Trudel and Leonard

Photoshop 1934*

Do you still have the book on fancy knitting? This is very popular here now and I could do some of that too.

That is it for today.


*Note: This picture, in which Trudel has pasted cut-outs of her head and of that of my father, appears on the page of her photo album devoted to her Greyhound Bus trip from New York to Chicago several months before she met him.


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