Tag Archives: family

Thanksgiving 1936 – Last night we decided to get married on the 5th.

Thanksgiving 1936  –  Last night we decided to get married on the 5th.

This letter was written a couple of days after Thanksgiving, 1936, which was earlier that year. But because it mentions Thanksgiving and has exciting news, I am taking the liberty of posting it today. Trudel did give her family a few days more warning than it seems.

Devonshire hotel

Devonshire Hotel

11/23/1936 Good news: Last night we decided to get married on Saturday the 5th. No big fuss, just by a judge, a civil wedding. As long as I have no family here I thought it was ridiculous to have a big reception and Leonard agreed with me.

To start I will move into the Devonshire Hotel with Leonard. I will keep my business for the time being.

Four for dinner.

Trudel, Leonard, Henny and her sister.

Thursday we had an excellent Thanksgiving dinner at Weils.

Thanksgiving 1936

Thanksgiving, 1936

The following story appeared in a Chicago paper the next week.

Woos and Wins

Headline News

For the story behind the headline see Trudel’s letter dated August 31, 1935 .


Posted by on November 28, 1936 in Chicago, family, immigrant experience, Memoir


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December 17, 1936 A love letter from Trudel’s husband to her family.

December 17, 1936  A love letter from Trudel’s husband to her family.

Letter typewritten on Leonard’s letterhead

Dec. 17th, 1936

Lieber Papa, Doddo and Erna:

Wir haben es gethan! Wir sind Verheiratet, but it is so much more natural for me to love and cherish my Adored Trudel and tell you what I think of the Adler* under the American Eagle, in English. I am a lucky fellow, and all my friends join in approving of my precious Trudel.


My Dear Father . . . .

What is so rare as a perfect Love? Not a gilded lily or a crimson rose with thorns, but a Violet, modest forget-me-not of the Garden of Life, with blushing sweetness and poise, eyes dancing with a new light as we were pronounced man and wife, this is a word picture of OUR Trudel for she belongs to me now, tho before Dec. 5 she was yours not mine.

Radiant, gorgeous, lovely Trudel, on our wedding day told me her thoughts were with you, as mine were, and both our thoughts were with our Angel Mothers, May God rest their souls in peace. I know my own Mother would love Trudel for her fine wholesome qualities.

Mother’s sister writes to my own sister beautifully about Trudel after a visit with her, and my darling baby sister, years older than Trudel, is already in love with Trudel tho they have never met, but we are invited to make the trip, down to Sumter South Carolina when and if we can get away, to visit my sister and her lovely family.

For a long time we have looked forward to the day. We could not until conditions got better, take the step, we thought. How foolish. Everything is better from the moment we got married. The world loves a lover, and we are loved by some good friends, and they all think I am to be congratulated on my beautiful and wonderful bride. So may I thank you, dear Papa, who gave her to me, and you dear sisters, for the newest happiness in my life, and my greatest love – Trudel.


With Love to you all, Leonard

“Adler” means “eagle” in English.


Posted by on December 17, 1936 in Chicago, family, immigrant experience, Letters


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March 23, 1937 – I Arrived in Sumter a week ago and don’t know where to start writing.

March 23, 1937 – I Arrived in Sumter a week ago and don’t know where to start writing.

3/23 Sumter
Arrived here one week ago and do not know where to start writing.

Trudel and Madge

Trudel and Madge

Leonard’s sister looks very much like him. She is four years younger. We get along just great. Her husband, Raymon, is also a lawyer. The daughter, Edith, 15 ½ years old is a darling and their 12 year old son (Ramon) is very nice and well behaved.

After my arrival we had a fabulous dinner and then I unpacked and retired early, and slept late the next day.

Edith Schwartz

Edith Schwartz

Madge and I talked all day together, whatever she was doing or wherever we were. In the evening, Friday night, Mrs. Schwartz, Ray’s mother, and a cousin came to welcome me.

Ray’s ancestors were with the first Jews who settled here in the South and he is very proud of it although they all are Christian Scientists now. But he still goes with his mother to a synagogue on the holidays.

Raymon Schwartz

Raymon Schwartz

Besides having some visitors on Saturday, we went in the afternoon to a bridge-tea at their country club. In the evening in evening dress to a formal dinner party. Sunday we dove to another small town to pick up Aunt Dora Sonn (at the train) from Miami, Florida. The first wife of her husband was a sister of Leonard’s mother. Monday Aunt Dora and I went for a walk in the morning and in the afternoon we went shopping.

Right now it is very warm. I am glad I brought some real lightweight summer dresses. Monday afternoon the three Welch’s arrived. They drove here and brought along Aunt Flora, who is the most loved member of the family, also a sister of Leonard’s mother who actually lives in Indianapolis. We had a nice, leisurely family evening.

Ramon Schwartz

Ramon Schwartz

Next day we all piled into 2 cars and drove to Charleston SC, one of the oldest and very European towns in the south. First stop: Cypress Gardens. An enormous park with ancient cypress trees, a little creek running between gorgeous all color flowers. Much too beautiful to describe.

Next stop: Magnolia Gardens. While the other place was very quiet and relaxing, this place is so bright and colorful and exciting. Giant azaleas, magnolias, Japanese trees, etc. Took a lot of pictures and Ray filmed.
In the evening we had 50 young boys and girls ages 15-16 here in the house for my niece Edith and her cousin Louis Welch, both are about the same age.

Cypress Gardens

Cypress Gardens

Yesterday, we were visiting another beautiful garden, originated by a sculptor, with many of his and his wife’s figures all through the place, with beautiful flowers and bushes and trees all around. Afterward, the 10 of us drove to a beach at the Atlantic Ocean.
Unfortunately we did not have enough time to go into the water.

In the afternoon we visited the studio of a lady who does beautiful drawings and engravings. After showing us some of her best work, a very famous poetess read some of her poetry for us. It was very interesting and nice.

Supper we had at Ray’s mother and two more cousins came. Afterwards Ray showed us several homemade movies. To end the day I dressed up Ramon as a girl and myself with slacks and a man’s hat, while Edith and Louis sang a song, partly English partly French, we two kind of acted it out. Of course since it was unrehearsed it was very funny.

Magnolia Gardens

Magnolia Gardens

Welches left this morning and now I find a little time to write. Hopefully Ray will co-sign some of my papers. So far we did not have time to even talk about you girls’ visas to come here.

Your Trudelchen

In the last sentence of the letter, Trudel mentions their intention to ask the Schwartzes about helping to get visas for her sisters. In a poignant letter written to her family on March 16, 1937, LJG discusses the problems.I have attached the orignal letter as a PDF file. Click on the link below.

LJG letter-3-16-1937

Note: Raymon was my father’s brother-in-law and my uncle. Twelve year old, Ramon is my cousin but because of the age differences, I always called him “Uncle Ray.” My brother Raymon is named for both of them. [Leonard Grossman, One of Trudel’s sons.]

New Film from Trudel’s Sumter Trip.

Since posting this letter, my cousin, Al Schwartzenberg, found film of Trudel visiting Cypress Gardens, Magnolia Gardens, and the Camden Polo Grounds, which Trudel doesn’t mention in the letter. I have had the film transferred to DVD and uploaded it to Youtube. Special thanks to Barbara Burchstead for identifying the locations in this film and some of the people in it.


Posted by on March 23, 1937 in immigrant experience, Letters


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July 30, 1937 – I arranged for a little party

July  30, 1937 – I arranged for a little party

July 30, 1937

Dear ones,
As you know we finally moved to a 2½ room apartment on the 19th floor of the LaSalle Towers.

La Salle Towers

La Salle Towers

On Leonard’s birthday, July 4th, I arranged for a little party, the first time in my life alone and in my own home. Leonard, who always told me he won’t have anything to do in the kitchen, has been a very big help since we moved here.

Although the apartment is cleaned by the building – maid service is included in the rent – he uses the carpet sweeper frequently and most of the time washes the dishes. He also went shopping for his party, going out 3 times and coming home with help since he could not carry everything, including a stepstool, carpet sweeper, can opener, etc. Besides enough food for a regiment instead of just a buffet dinner, well, we had enough to eat for a week. He is really very neat and clean except for his cigar ashes.

First Party

Trudel’s First Party

Doddo’s recipes and cookbook arrived just in time since I am preparing a big dinner every night and as you know I never cooked at all. Last week I had 10 people for dinner which consisted of the following:
Appetizer: tomatoes stuffed with egg salad, topped with anchovy and a little parsley, followed by real homemade chicken soup, then wiener schnitzel with white asparagus, Cucumber salad made with sour cream which is very hard to get here.

Franks on the beach

Best Tasting Frankfurters

73rd St Beach

Flora, Madge and the Welches at 73rd St. Beach

For dessert I tried to make my favorite chocolate cake. Since I did not do my shopping in advance, I used a cigar box instead of a cake pan, lined with plenty of wax paper. Also I forgot to get plain wafers and had to use salt crackers, besides without a kitchen scale I had no idea of the difference between a German or an American pound. Well, by that time I was so tired and angry at myself that I just made a Jello, too. And the cake did come out so well that Madge asked for the recipe. I made It again when the Weils had dinner with us. I never thought I would enjoy cooking so much.

73rd St. Beach

73rd Street Beach

Madge gave me the recipe for Leonard’s favorite while driving, but I remembered enough to look it up in my new (old) cookbook. I made it that evening and Leonard emptied the whole platter of bread Krimselchen without leaving even a little crumb for me. I never taste my food while cooking.

The next evening we were at the Welches on their beach. Enclosed sending you 18 photos, most of them on the beach at Welch’s building. One day we went to the South Shore Country Club, one of the biggest, most elegant country clubs in the U.S. We had lunch there as guests of Aunt Flora.

South Shore Country Club

South Shore Country Club

SouthShore from above

South Shore Country Club from Friend’s Apartment

Luncheon at SoSClub.

Luncheon at South Shore Country Club

One evening we had dinner at an old beautiful farm house a few miles outside Chicago.

I do not play any cards and have no intention to learn it. I rather sew and find many other more interesting things to do. After Leonard’s family left I spent an evening at Samuels again. They know of so many people who have come here lately.

Fortunately I am on a 3 week unpaid vacation. Otherwise I could not do all that.

In 6 weeks I will be a citizen!!

Please send me a silver toothpick for Leonard, but no electrical appliances – they are better and cheaper here.


Beach Party at the Welshes

73rd street and the lake

Parties at the Edgewater Beach Hotel and the South Shore Country Club

Movies from Trudel’s Sumter trip

In March, 1937, Trudel wrote a letter about her trip to Sumter, where she first met members of LJG’s extended family, many of whom came to Chicago and are included in the photos and video above. My cousin, Al, recently found the film I included in this post and a film of some of the events Trudel wrote about in March. I have added that video to the March letter.

Trudel originally began this letter by asking,” How do you like my new stationery?” Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the original stationary.


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