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June 3, 1934 – Life in Chicago (Storm Clouds Brewing?)

June 3, 1934  – Life in Chicago (Storm Clouds Brewing?)

June 3rd, 1934

Dear ones,

It is already 4 days since I wrote you last. Time goes so very fast a sign that I am having a good time.

It is really very nice here.

I get along very well with both of them [Aunt Henny and Uncle Julius Seckbach] and can play mediator once in a while. Not often necessary.

Every evening the 3 of us take a walk along the lake in the park. For 2 days it was awfully hot and I was glad to stay in the apartment. Not much happened in the meantime.

Walking in the park

Trudel walking past the World's Fair.

Yesterday we went window shopping. One dress or hat shop next to the other. People put much more importance on clothing than in Germany.

The table cloths I brought along were very much liked and welcome, the candies and cookies are almost gone. Please send me the recipe for the cookies soon.

So far I have not contacted anyone here. They are broges* [upset] with Alfred Hamburger since Xmas because of some business affair. Last nite we went to a movie. Now, Sunday afternoon we are going to go for a walk. I do not know where.

The newest sport here is riding bicycles. That is something for me. Tomorrow Aunt Henny and I are planning to go swimming early. I take a shower every day. That is great.

Gas, electric, hot water and heat are included in the rent which is pretty high. This apt. 2 rooms, kitchen and bath cost weekly $25.00. On the other hand clothing and food is very reasonable. Especially fresh fruit which is eaten at any time of the day is very cheap. In Germany I did not used to eat as much fruit in a month as I do here in 1 day. I like especially pineapple.



Lake Front on a Summer Day, 1934

*Trudel wrote “proches,” a French word for “near” in her hand written corrections to a typescript of these letters. However, “broges,” which is is Yiddish for mad or “upset” fits the context. Proches makes no sense in this context.


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July 1935 – “Very, very hot summer . . . Nothing special otherwise”

July 1935 – “Very, very hot summer . . . Nothing special otherwise”

After having completed 250 handwritten 8 1/2 x 11 pages, on whatever paper she had, Trudel wrote on page 251,

“Now that I have translated the letters of my 1st year in Chicago will pick out only the highlights. You all know that I eat + sleep every day. It is really not important which restaurant when or where. So here goes “Diary Style” only different or interessant occurrences.”

Trudel's Comment

Trudel Explains

And, so, here Trudel’s regular detailed letters end. But her story does not end here. There are another 50 pages of notes covering another year and a half. Fortunately some of the gaps can be filled by photos from her albums and other sources.

Trudel and Flora Mae - July 4

Tridel amd Flora Mae-July 4, 1935

Trudel, Flora Mae and LJG

With Flora Mae and Leonard

Some of the summaries of her letters from this point on are cryptic. There are major omissions. Strangely she does not mention what she did on July 4th, my father’s birthday, the first she celebrated with him, even though in her previous letters she wrote about shopping for presents and wrapping them. Fortunately there are photographs taken that day, as well as throughout the month and the coming years.

Unfinished Symphony

Click image for YouTube

LJJ and others in the water

LJG and others

7/17/35 Previous week saw excellent movie, “Unfinished Symphony,” with Martha Eggerth, a part of the life of Schubert.

Very, very hot summer.

Working again at C&R. Nothing special otherwise.

7/27/25 On Sunday Senator Searcy picked us up by taxi. We went to Gray’s (very early) then 11 people in two cars to a beautiful private home several miles north of here, through forests, small towns, along the lake, etc. A beautiful day with lots of good food, swimming, boating, and playing croquet.

On the Beach

At the beach

Enjoying the Lake

Enjoying the Lake


C&R Ad

C&R Ad

Notes: Trudel doesn’t mention whether she saw the German or English version of “Unfinished Symphony.” An English version is supposed to have been released in 1935. However, I could only find posters and YouTubes from the German version. Clicking in the thumbnail of the poster will take you to one video. Clicking on he highlighted name of the film will take you to another. I have noticed that in some browsers you go directly to the video, in others a short ad may run first. My apologies for Google’s mercenary policies.

Earl B Searcy

Senator Searcy

Earle B. Searcy was a real estate broker; member of Illinois state house of representatives 45th District, 1921-23; member of Illinois state senate 45th District, 1923-45.
From The Political




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