4229 Berwick Ave.
Toledo 12 Ohio
2nd Dec. 1946.
Dearest little Momma,
This is to answer all your letters and to give you the low down on my latest doings! I think if I begin with my doings & then end up with your letters, you’ll be able to separate the part which would only interest you, & tell the other part to people who would be interested.
I think my last long letter to you finished around the 16th or 17th. The 17th was a Sunday – the day I was guest of honour at a YWCA tea that I hadn’t been invited to, you remember! Did I tell you that I wore my new coat, and my fur hat to it, and everyone was very complementary & they do look nice together. On the Monday evening I was guest speaker at the Quota Club dinner, & Miss Sanger took me. The Quota Club is a collection of business women – one of each sort, like the Rotarians, & they had a lovely dinner at the Women’s Building – a very nice house in Toledo that is shared by various women’s clubs. I was wearing the black dress I got in N.Y. & they gave me the prettiest corsage I’ve had yet- tiny pink rosebuds & tiny pink chrysanthemums tied with pink ribbon, & we had weenie little beef olives to eat! They were good! We went into another room for my talk & I told them about rationing etc. as Miss Sanger had said the same talk would do again. They all asked questions & seemed very interested & I got a $5 cheque!
Next night was Til’s Friends of Music Concert, so Lois & I went of course. Til had a viola solo to play in one of the pieces, & she played beautifully & afterwards the conductor Mr. Lange from Chicago Symphony orchestra, kissed her hand! When we got home, we sat around drinking cocoa, & talking about it & full of giggles, & the phone rang for me, & it was a lady making arrangements for a P.T.A. meeting I was to speak at on Thursday. Well, I began quite sensibly talking, but then I said something very English according to Til & Lois about Berwick Ave. being the first turn “after the cinema” (apparently they say movies not cinema!) & Til & Lois started to laugh at me, & I began to laugh too & I thought the poor woman would think I was crazy!
Next morning when we were washing the breakfast dishes, the news came that Elsie Godshel had died. It was best for her, poor girl, as the tumour had gone to her brain, but of course Lois & Til were dreadfully upset, & the next few days they were sad & tired all the time, & rushing over to help Mr. & Mrs. G. as much as possible. That evening Til couldn’t go over though, because there was a P.T.A. meeting at one of the school she teaches music at, & her band there was to play & I was to give a talk. She was due there at 7 o’clock, so we left at about 6.45, with 4 little boys of about 12-13 from another school, that Til was taking to play in the orchestra too. Of course, they were wildly exciting & full of noise & wisecracks & just tickled me to death, because I’d never heard anything like it before! We got there, & Til’s little band (all little kids under 13) playing all instruments began at 7 o’clock & they were just sweet. They played for about 15 minutes or so, then all the parents went around the school & the Principal took me around- she was a horrid woman I thought- big & fat & overbearing- she & all the other teachers were sporting great corsages, but they didn’t give me one, & it is one of the wealthiest P.T.A.s in Toledo as it’s a good district, but they didn’t offer me a penny! Also when they wrote to me, they didn’t ask if I’d come, but said I’d been chosen to speak! Pooh! If Til’s band hadn’t been going, I have turned it down. But another thing about the nasty old principal – it was the school where my Tyneside pal Mr. Atkinson is, & he was there & in the hall as I went past with the old dame. So of course I stopped to talk, but she soon wooshed me on & when I said something about how kind he’d been to me she said oh yes, he & his wife are very nice, but of course not very well educated! Wasn’t that a mean thing to say – even if it is true, she needn’t have been so catty – I feel much more kindly dispose to poor “little old” Mr. Atkinson now!
Anyway we trailed around the school & finally at 8:20 they begin the business meeting & at 8:50 I began to talk, having been there since 7! You can imagine I made it short and snappy- I told them a bit about English schools & things I thought were funny in the States, & things people thought were funny about me, & then sat down. They all laughed a lot anyway, and seemed to enjoy it, but the old meanie principal told Til she thought I should have spoken longer, so Til just told her I had engagements every evening & was just about worn out! Old pig woman!
While I’d been speaking Til’s four little boys sat in the front row as good as gold, & then we all careered out to the car & it was thick fog, which they thought was wonderful of course! Til took us all to a soda fountain & bought them sundaes etc. & I sat & laughed & laughed! You know what Mickey Rooney was like as Andy Hardy? Well, they were all just as bouncy & crazy as him, & they were all very intrigued with me & one little blonde boy told Til that I “sent him”! We finally got them delivered to their homes amidst a riot of noise!
Next evening I was to speak at another P.T.A. & they said they would collect me, so at 6 o’clock up arrived a great big tall young man – a bit like Denis but brown-haired, & he wore very thick-lensed glasses. He was the son of one of the teachers who had invited me to dinner, & it turned out to be a rural school miles out in the country, which I hadn’t realized. His mother was the lady I had giggled at over the phone, so as soon as I saw her, I apologized, & she was big & jolly & said that she’d told her son I must have some fun in me! There was the Principal (she had a wooden leg!) & another teacher & another female there, & as I told you the dinner was wonderful – the table just groaned! They have a system here of passing everything around & you help yourself- chicken, potatoes, gravy, squash, sweet potatoes, carrot sticks, celery, pickles etc. etc. – it seem to go on forever! And we had tomato juice, cranberry salad, pumpkin pie & coffee as well – was I bloated! Then we drove to the school, the young man still taking me in his car (I’ve forgotten his name!) & we went into the gym which had a stage at one side, & a stand with seats at the other. The Mothers had a “washboard” band first, & played a few funny tunes & then the kids came on & sang “America” & saluted the flag etc. – me standing like a dummy! – & then some of them put on a sort of Quiz Programme like the radio & asked certain members of the audience questions which was quite amusing. It was a most motley audience, fathers & mothers & children of all ages down to babies in arms- a great difference to the city P.T.A. meetings- much poorer looking people, but kindly & nice. I wondered how on earth I was going to talk against all the chatter, & babies crying etc. but I didn’t attempt to make it an intellectual talk, but told about how the exchange was done & why, & described my school in Cambridge & told them funny things that had happened to me over here, & they were all wonderfully quiet & seemed to like it. Afterwards some came up & spoke to me, but a lot were shy, but there was coffee & cold drinks served & I had a “coke” & spoke to quite a few of them then. Then the young man & I set out home & the Principal thanked me & gave me a check for $12.50- the biggest I’ve ever had- from that little country school! I felt nearly ashamed to take it, because they gave me dinner & were so sweet to me, & the young man drove me all that way. Coming home, it was pouring rain, & it was about 3/4 -1 hours drive, & he had to go all the way back again.
Next day was the day I was to meet Pam & go to Detroit. It was perishing cold, so I wore my tweed suit & fur coat & black hat, & set out for the station to catch the 5.40 train. I was to meet Pam on it (she got on at Fostonia) but when I got on I couldn’t see her anywhere, so I sat down & chatted to a little man! Eventually after we started, along she came walking along the gangway – I couldn’t miss her- she’s a great big lumpy untidy girl, & she was wearing one of those really plain English Tweed suits, square & boxy & a skirt a bit too long- you know the type! We went to try & get dinner, but there was a queue, so we came back to my place & she brought her case along & sat near me. My little man bought me a carton of hot coffee from a man who came through the train & it was nice. We got to Detroit about 9 I think, & got a bus into the town, & then hopped off & walked along until we saw a nice place to eat. It was called a “Barbecue” & had a great fire in the window, & dozens of chickens & things on great long skewers frizzling over it! We didn’t have that though – too expensive! – but we had a nice dinner. Then we asked where the Y.W. was & ambled around & finally found it, & we had a nice room on a corner of the building, & twin beds. The centre of Detroit is a round park called the Circus, & all the main streets radiate off this, & we could see it from our bedroom window.
On Sat. we got up so late we missed breakfast, & had it in a drug store. Then we set out to shop & first of all went to the Bank where I got some money. The bank building was a great sky-scrapery building & most palatial inside, more like a palace that a bank! Also in the building was the British Consulate, so we went up & asked about crossing into Canada & told them who we were, but no one took much notice of us! We went along the main shopping street & the whole place was decorated for Christmas already & looked lovely, but it was icy cold & Pam would gaze in shop windows! We finally went into Hudson’s (the second largest store in the world- Macy’s in N.Y. is the biggest!), but gosh, it was so big that you just couldn’t find anything or buy anything! By lunchtime we were exhausted & the restaurant had a queue, so we went out to a little place around a side street & had a nice lunch there. I forgot to tell you, we spent about 1 hour in Hudson’s, buying Pam 1 pair of shoes! After lunch I went to another shop & bought 1 white blouse, 1 black wrap-around skirt, & 1 pr. black shoes in about 1/2 hour! The blouse is cute – it’s cotton- round neck & fastened down the back & a castellated edge at the bottom! The skirt is a wool + some thing & wraps round & ties – makes me feel pregnant particularly as it has gathers over the tummy! Then we went to Windsor in Canada, by a bus through a tunnel, but it was awfully disappointing – just like a suburb of Detroit & only one rather crummy main street. We didn’t buy anything, but looked around & came back. I looked at china as I had a vague idea I might get some English china little something for Til’s Christmas but although there were lots of tea sets etc. the prices were awful.
The evening we meant to go to a nice place for dinner & then to the pictures, but when we passed the picture house there were crowds collecting so we went in then to see Fred Astaire & Bing in “Blue Skies”- nice, but just because they were in it. Afterwards we looked around for someplace to eat & ended up in the dingiest dive! We had something to eat at the counter & I talked to the man sitting next to me (he seemed quite respectable – maybe a little drunk!) & when he heard we were English etc. offered to show us the town, but Pam said she was tired, so we went home like good girls!
On Sunday Pam really got on my nerves! We had breakfast in another drug store & then walked around & took the great tram ride along the river I told you about. And she sat in the tram & bit her nails & even on an icy cold Sunday morning gazed in shop windows & trailed along so slowly & wouldn’t walk quickly! Near to the Y.W. there’s a big hotel called the “Wolverine” which amused us, as it sounded “wolf-ish” & we went to their Coffee Shop for lunch & it was very nice. Then we went to see “Margie “& then got the train – I think I did I told you about going to the wrong station etc.! – and then home! I was so glad to see Til & Lois again! And they were very amused to hear that Pam bored me!
On Monday at school, I don’t know if I told you about the Faculty (staff!) giving a goodbye tea to one of the teachers, Miss Rose Bloom who is going to a Zionist Conference in Switzerland. She is a little, dumpy, very Jewish looking woman & was going to represent some Zionist women’s organization at the Conference. I have been put on the Faculty Entertainment Committee (why I don’t know!) and so I said that me & my Foods class would make the cakes for tea, & do the centrepiece- feeling rash! So we talked it over in class & decided to have a centrepiece of Switzerland & I left it to 2 girls to make & they did a cute thing – mountains covered with (cotton wool) snow & tiny Xmas trees & little chalets at the bottom & a (mirror) lake with a little skater on it (made of pipe cleaner) & the skater had skated “Good Luck” on the Ice! For cakes we made lots of Genoese pastry & cut out little circles & covered each with different coloured icing- white- mauve- pink- yellow- blue- green- peach- chocolate, & put nuts, cherries, silver balls etc. on each. They looked just sweet set out variegated on the plates & I took some of them in different colours & set them on a d’oyley covered square like this:-
The writing I did with pink icing in a forcer, & we put it in front of the snow scene on the table & it really did look lovely & everyone was most enthusiastic & complimentary & thought I was clever! That was the day I heard from the Daily Mail about £75, & in the evening I had another surprise. I spent it at home as Til & Lois were at the airport, & I was writing letters up in my little room & the phone seem to ring about 10 times & each time I would clatter downstairs & it would be for Til or Lois, but one time it was Long Distance for me! I was so excited especially when it turned out to be a young man I’d never heard of called Norman Walker! What it was, was that Joan Camp, one of the English teachers had been going to Chicago for Thanksgiving weekend, then she had an invitation somewhere else, so she wrote & said that she was sorry not to meet me, but would I like a hearty ex-G.I. friend of hers to show me around, so of course, I wrote back and said yes, & I got a letter from a man called Arthur Robertson saying he’d be very pleased to take me out if I’d tell him where I was staying. This other man who phoned was a pal of his, who worked in a town called Napoleon, not far from here & he was driving home to Chicago for Thanksgiving & offered to give me a lift. Wasn’t that nice of him? But he was driving on Wednesday evening & of course I wasn’t going until Friday night so I couldn’t accept the offer, but he seemed very nice & chatty, & had driven over to see me on the Sunday, but found no one in. So wasn’t that an exciting phone call! I was quite intrigued!
I don’t seem to have done anything on Tuesday, but on Wed. we finished school for Thanksgiving weekend. In the afternoon Lois drove over & took Mrs. Godschel some messages in the car. Elsie loaned Lois her car before she went to the hospital, as Lois has ordered a new Buick which hasn’t come yet, & when Elsie died Lois wanted to return it, but Mr. and Mrs. G. wouldn’t have it, as they don’t drive. Anyway Lois persuaded both Mr. & Mrs. G. to go out to dinner, so Til & I met them in town, & we had quite a nice little dinner party, with a drink that made us all quite loquacious. Then Mrs. G. took some flowers to a friend in hospital, & then we took them home & we went on to see Bette Davis in “Deception”, but it wasn’t really terribly good.
When we got home that evening Til’s son Bill was home, & he has been back ever since. He chucked his job in Columbus – apparently he is the type who is always hopping from job to job & never holds one for long, & now his idea is to go down south in the new year.
Next day was Thanksgiving & we spent the morning doing various odd jobs & then went to Ruth’s with Lois at about 2 o’clock to help get things ready. The dinner was about 5 o’clock & all Lois & Ruth’s aunts etc. that I told you about. The dinner was wonderful but afterwards when we got the washing up done, I was just so stuffed & sleepy that I could hardly be polite! Bill left to go & visit some friends – I forgot to tell you that Lois gets just mad at him at times & thinks nothing of him as he is so undependable over his jobs, & doesn’t care, & borrows money from Til when he’s spent his own. They don’t have rows or anything, but she just thinks he imposes on Til. He is very gay & full of fun & I get on with him all right & think he’s quite nice, but I agree with Lois a bit. He teases me like anything, so we all have quite a good time, but his being here, seems to add a bit of strain to the household that wasn’t there before. Til still has hopes that he & his wife will be reconciled, but from what Bill says about her, I can’t see that they will.
The day after Thanksgiving I was up early & packed my bag, & Til & Bill drove me down to the station. My train left at 10:30 & I was in Chicago at about 2.30 & had a nice comfy journey reading my book. There was no dining car on the train, so I had a cup of coffee from a man who came along the train. When I got to Chicago, I went & got a taxi, & shared it with a pretty elderly lady I’d seen on the train. She had white hair & pink cheeks & a pale blue hat – you know the type – a bit like Auntie Mac or Mrs. Annison, but not quite like either. Her name was Miss Alice Barler, she told me & she was very interested in me, & we talked quite a lot. She lived in Chicago & was coming back suddenly because of the death of a friend’s mother, but she said that if she had time, she would ring me up during the weekend. The Y.W. was another huge & palatial place & I was most tickled because it had an awning & an imposing door man just like a Park Lane Hotel! I had a nice little bedroom with a little private bathroom & so when I settled in, I went out for a walk to find something to eat. I found that I wasn’t far from the Lake, so I walked towards it, & on the way I found a nice little coffee shop, that sold cakes & I went in & had coffee & chose cakes for myself from the counter. Then I went on walking & came to the Lakeshore Drive which was beautiful – I walked along it for a bit past great expensive apartment houses & then I turned off & came to one of the main streets & walked along that. Then I came to a shop “Saks 5th Avenue” that I’d been in in New York – a very expensive place – so I went in & found it crowded with women who looked each one like a millionairess, so I looked around & came out! I finally walked back to the Y.W. through all sorts of odd streets that looked as if they could have gangsters all over the place, but of course I didn’t see anyone a bit intriguing looking! When I got back there was a message for me saying Arthur R. had telephoned & would call for me at 7:30, & I just got in my room when Norman W. telephoned & said that he and “Art” (!) & Art’s girl Bella would all come at 7:30, so I felt quite excited. I had a bath & got ready & I had on my blue corduroy suit & new coat & fur hat, & looked quite nice. I debated with myself about having dinner, as Norman had said something about Arthur & Betty coming straight from work, so I decided not to have it, in case we were going to eat, & anyway if we didn’t I still felt stuffed with Thanksgiving dinner & so it wouldn’t do me any harm. Of course I was fooled – the others had eaten first, but I didn’t really mind- I must get it in my head that a 7.30 invitation means “Eat First”! However I waited in the lounge, & asked a strange young man gooping around if he was Norman Walker & of course he wasn’t! They did arrive eventually – Art a small dark fellow with glasses, Betty young & very dumb & quite pretty, & “Norm” (can you imagine!) about 30-ish, & ordinary looking with sandy hair & glasses. As you will gather, they didn’t come up to my expectations! Betty & Art were at the “young love” stage & I kept wondering all evening why Joan Camp had said he was “hearty” because he seemed so quiet & shy to me, & then when I got back to Toledo there was a card from her saying that she’d sent my name to another ex G.I. – not the hearty one! They were very nice to me, but somehow the evening was a disappointment to me – we just didn’t all get going somehow – as I said Art & Betty were both shy & a bit dumb- they both worked in “Quaker Oats” firm & Norm had worked there before, so the only thing they had really in common was something I knew nothing about. Then when I talked to Art about England & the Army- Norm was in the Pacific – she was left out- it was awkward somehow. They were very kind & took me a lovely drive for miles along the Lakeshore Drive & we saw the lights, & it was lovely. Then we went to a nightclub place “The Ivanhoe” where you went downstairs & had drinks in bars in caves etc. with imitation stalactites & water falls & so on, & then we went to another nightclub where there was dancing & a little floor show. It should have been a lovely evening, but somehow it just wasn’t & although I thanked them profusely, I don’t think they were any more enthralled with it than I was! Norm apologized that he couldn’t take me out the next night as he was going to a dinner with his father, & said that he’d like to take me out in Toledo sometime, but I don’t know whether he will & I don’t really care. Probably the whole trouble was that I hadn’t been out with any young people for so long, I was expecting too much, & that was why I was disappointed.
Next morning I got up for breakfast & had it in the Y.W. cafeteria. There were lots of girls- black, white & medium, & a few Chinese etc. & as I walked out of the room, I saw one Japanesey looking girl at a table, & thought nothing more of it until she smiled & waved, & it was the Hawaiian girl, Frances Kaya, from Toledo. She has been in Chicago for Thanksgiving as she has a cousin there, & the cousin & his wife had gone to a big football game out of town that day, so she had planned to go back to Toledo on the 11.30 train that morning. However, we chatted- it was even more of a coincidence our meeting than I thought, because though she comes quite often to Chicago, this is the first time she’d stayed at the Y.W.- then she decided she’d stay till the 2.30 train & have lunch with me. So I left her packing & set off to town, & went to the British Consulate & had quite a chat to one of the Consuls. Then I went to one of the stores & met Frances there & we looked around & then went & had a very nice lunch in the lunchroom of one of the biggest shops. Over lunch we talked more & found we were quite congenial spirits, & Frances decided to stay till the 6.15 train! So we wandered around all the shops & went to a nice Chinese restaurant she knew of, and had a very nice dinner there. We left in time for her to get a taxi to the station – but could we get a taxi! They were packed & finally she decided she’d missed the train & she might as well spend the night! But of course she had no place to stay- the Y.W. was full, so she called & left a message at her cousin’s (they weren’t home yet) & said she’d sleep on their sofa! So then we went to the pictures, & saw Ginger Rogers in “The Magnificent Doll” – historical which surprised me! And then we went back to the Y.W. & finally Frances’s cousin came & collected her. I found a telephone message waiting for me from Miss Barler, so I called up & she’d meant to take me out to dinner, but I explained that I’d met a friend. She asked when I was leaving & I said 2.30 Sunday, so she said was I Episcopalian & when I said yes, she said would I like to go to Church with her & her cousin & cousin’s daughter & then to lunch, so of course I said yes. I got all packed in the morning & checked out of my room & Miss B. came for me with her car (a beauty) at about 10.30 & took me & bags & all. We went to a very fashionable church & there was a communion service & it was very nice. But we had to kneel right of the stone floors- my knees nearly broke so I don’t know how the old ladies managed! Then out we rushed & the other two, both very nice – the girl about my age – pretty & smart & married & divorced. Then we dashed back to Miss B’s apartment which was lovely, & while the cousin set the table, the rest of us went to a marvellous shop nearby, where we chose from all kinds of meat, veg etc., all cooked & hot, exactly what we wanted, & they were dished on plates & tied up & we carried them back with us! I had chicken (roast) & potatoes & gravy & beans! Then we had peaches for dessert & coffee & then we all rushed out to the car again & they drove me down to the station, & even came & saw me on the train. Wasn’t that sweet of them? Miss B. (I remember now- it’s Lady Watson she reminds me of- but a bustling Lady Watson!) gave me the address of friends in Toledo (I’ve called them twice and got no answer) & insisted that I must come back to Chicago and stay with her. Now that party did go with a swing, & quite wiped out the disappointment of the other one!
The train home was just packed! I thought I’d never get on for one thing, & when I did, I was just a crammed in the aisle with about 1 million others! After while I sat on my case & next to me was a little Chinese girl called Elsie Ho, & it turned out that she came from Hawaii too, so I told her about Frances & we had quite a chat. I arrived in Toledo at about 7 o’clock in a freezing snowstorm & it was icy, but I got a taxi home, & Til & Lois were in to welcome me & had even debated about coming down to the station to meet each train, as I hadn’t told them which one I was coming on. It is always nice to get back to them.
Monday I didn’t do anything, & on Tuesday Til had a concert at 5:30, so I went to that with her but wasn’t very thrilled. On Wednesday I went to see Olivia de Havilland in “To Each His Own” at the local cinema, & it was a bit dramatic, but the part I liked best was a little bit in England where Roland Culver was in, & he was nice and funny too. On Thursday was the Boston Symphony Orchestra Concert, & I told you how much I loved that. The concert hall & the music & everything were lovely, & made me feel quite emotional & weepy! However, afterwards we waited for the 1st violin who is a pal of Til’s called Mr. Kripps, & we went & had coffee & Til & he talked music, & I thought it was fun & Lois was bored! But I thought he was a nice little man & I enjoyed it!
Next day I went straight from school to a tea – the one where we had little plum puddings!- & I gave a talk- it was the Consumers Group of the Association of University Women, & Marie S. used to be a leading light, so I have to “fill” her place!
Next day was Saturday & I went into town & shopped a bit – I wanted a new dress – sort of dressy dress in turquoise or dark red I thought, but I couldn’t get anything in either colour. I ended up with a pale blue 1/2 wool 1/2 rayon – pretty, but rather little girlish! It is on princess lines & buttons all the way down the front with silver buttons, has scallops around the short sleeves & cut out bits at the neck. Everyone thinks it’s pretty, but it wasn’t what I meant to have! I came home for lunch & then went to another tea where I spoke about Christmas in England, & Frances was there too. On Sunday I went to dinner with the Atkinson’s but I think I told you about that.
This week on Monday I didn’t do anything, and on Tuesday I went and had my hair done in the famous up-do I was telling you about! Then I went straight on to speak at the Young Business Men’s Club at the Y.M.C.A. & I had a lovely time. I wore my new dress! It was a birthday dinner as the club was 27 years old & they had the cake that was in the picture. We ate first, me and about 40 men mostly middle-aged! – then we had a sing song & they even sang God Save the King for me – all of us solemnly sitting down! After that we had an Anglo-American Quiz game which was quite good, & then one of the founders of the Club spoke & then me. And goodness- they were the grandest bunch to talk to- anything I said that was the least bit funny they just roared! I told them some of the funny things that happened to me here, then told about how the exchange was done, & then told them of some of our “special” days that they don’t have like Pancake Tuesday & Whitsuntide & Guy Fawkes & ended up by describing Christmas. They all clapped so hard I was embarrassed & said the nicest things to me, & I really had fun!
Next day at work what with my hairdo & my picture in the paper with two men, I got properly teased by students & teachers alike! In the afternoon I took one Iof my classes to see round the Libbey Glass Works, one of the big factories here, & we had a most interesting time – but gosh, was I worn out! We walked for miles around that factory & it was lovely watching the men blowing & all the different things, but my dogs just killed me. In the evening Til & Lois & I went to see Olivia de Havilland in “The Dark Mirror” which was quite thrilling, but I was fair wore out!
On Friday I went to another tea straight after school, & this time I wasn’t supposed to talk, but of course they asked me “to say a few words”! I should think they’d all be sick of hearing my voice by now! Til says that the next one who rings up to ask me to speak she’s going to say that I’ve lost my English accent & that I’m no fun to listen to anymore!
Yesterday I spent the entire day shopping. I went downtown in the morning, met Til for lunch, shopped again, & went home. Then Bill was going to Connecticut to see his Aunt, so we took him to the station, & then the stores were still open until 9, so we went with Lois to do her Christmas shopping & I was so tired I just crawled! Today I slept until 10 o’clock & at 10:20, the lady & gentleman next-door called to take me to Church – and I was ready, & I had breakfast too! The rest of the day I have been wrapping parcels & writing letters. How I’m going to take any clothes to N.Y. I don’t know as I have a case & a half full of parcels only!!
Now at last to answer your letters – I don’t know if I ever thanked you & Irene for selling my old clothes – I think it is wonderful & I am pleased that I shall have a little money still in the bank when I come home. I was also pleased to hear that Daddy has been getting some new clothes too & that they were nice & that he was bucked with himself. I am so glad that he is a bit better now – I do hope that he gets some fun out of the magazine I’m sending him – actually I can just hear him saying “I can’t think why Cynthia wants to waste her money sending this thing each month”!! But I thought it would be something coming for him regularly & it would be something for him to look at & the pictures are lovely.
You were talking about Nan’s new red evening dress – it sounds nice & she told me about it in her letter too. Dottie hasn’t mentioned it, but she hasn’t liked some of Nan’s more recent new clothes, so I’ll be keen to hear. The Nan-Dick mystery still goes on! And of course, Nan doesn’t say a word! Dottie was describing their all being at Dick’s house one day & Nan being social & helping Dick’s mother with the tea etc. which made me giggle! But I still can’t really grasp it’s serious & won’t till they’re engaged, because I remember Nan being just the same way with George & that other man! But still! I wonder if Mrs. Allan really likes him? I certainly won’t feel 1/2 as happy over Nan marrying Dick as I do over Irene marrying Bill – that I think is fine. Dottie says Irene is being very level- headed!
Isn’t Amy a hoot? I had her letter & card yesterday & she made me chuckle- I must send it to you to read I think. She is certainly peculiar over Evelyn’s husband etc. isn’t she – mystery & all!
I loved hearing all about the U.S.A. Bee & the good time you had with the girls. Also the nice things my dear Dr. Paul Smith said about me! Also that you liked the American girls, & you certainly seemed to make a big hit with them! I was interested to hear about Miss Schmidt. I had a letter from Mary N. the other day, but she didn’t tell me much that you hadn’t told me. She seems to think that Marie S. & Miss Schmidt would be better off in each other’s places, as Marie would enjoy the Wallsend Teas etc. & Miss S. the Cambridge “on-goings”!
I was glad that Winnie & Denis got my letter & liked it- also that the others got the P.C.s. I sent them all Christmas cards & I sent Amy a P.C. previously too. I sent Uncle Joe a Christmas card to Winnie’s, so that will intrigue her!
You were asking whether I had ever been to a Beauty Parlour in Toledo, but I haven’t. As you say, I am scared of the price! & anyway I don’t really know where I’d go. And I certainly don’t varnish my nails! As usual, if I have them clean, it’s about all I can manage!!
I was tickled at all your wild dreams about me- wanting to slap me one time & getting me engaged to a Pole another! Perhaps the Pole was Ludwik, if it wasn’t Jan! Poor Ludwik I must write to him – I haven’t written for ages, but I sent him a Christmas card. Lois’ brother-in-law is a lawyer, & he is talking to some Polish lawyers he knows about Tadek, but so far I haven’t heard any more.
By the way at one time in your letters you seem to be getting Mr. Nauts & Mr. Brown muddled up. Mr. Nauts is the Principal & Mr. Brown the Dean. Mr. N. is the one who met me at the station at first, but Mr. B is the one with the babies. I haven’t baby-minded for Mr. and Mrs. B. yet as they said they were going to have me to dinner, sometime, so I thought I’d wait until they did, & then offer to baby mind in repayment sometime afterwards.
I don’t know if I told you that our holidays are from 20th Dec. to 6th Jan.- an exceptionally long time over here – they usually get just 10 days, so of course I am pleased! You wrote about Pat Hazel wanting to go back to St. V.- Really those girls give me a pain in the neck! If you ask me they’re all spoiled brats- I don’t wonder A. Trix thought I might be wailing with misery over here, if she thinks I’m like them! They can’t go anywhere or do anything without getting dramatic & emotional about it! I can hear you giggling at me, but really! Now that Pat has a job I hope it’s better & she’ll soon get a boyfriend & be ready to die if she is parted from him! Meaow! I was surprised to hear of Nan’s cousin Greta getting married- she looked dull to me, but still! Maud was probably mad that she’d beaten Nan! Catty tonight, ain’t I?!!
I am glad that you have fun reading my letters with Irene. She is a nice little lass, & I am sorry that when she gets married she won’t be so near & you won’t see her as much because she is really nice & sweet about coming to see you & knows that you miss me. I had a letter & calendar from her yesterday – I thought it was a good idea sending me a calendar – especially as they don’t seem to have them here much. Thank you so much for making & sending my cami-knickers – I am looking forward so much to seeing them. The washing machine is wonderful but somehow it doesn’t seem to treat my undies as tenderly as I would myself! But I am in such a rush, I only manage to wash stockings by hand.
I was glad that you & Mrs. Scott had a nice meal at the Criterion even if you didn’t see Snow White! I should think the meal would be a vast improvement on such an entertainment!!
I have just gone on reading your letters & find that you ask for Ludwik’s address to send him a card. I’m afraid it’s a bit late, but it’s:- Lieutenant Ludwik Gołębiowski, c/o Miss Dick, 43 High St., Dalkeith, Scotland.
In your last letter you made me laugh a lot, telling me of Daddy shivering at A. Ettie’s Christmas card & then being worried because the little girl on the McCall mag. squinted! He is funny! Also about his talking of “Mr. and Mrs. Simpson”!! I was amazed at that blue nightdress case thing getting 15/-! Aren’t some people amazing? I only hope the person who gets it for Christmas doesn’t have my tastes!!
I was sorry to hear that Maud hadn’t been well. I think they are silly not to have a Dr. because it might be something else which could be more serious than just an upset tummy. To skip to something else- Amy’s remarks about nylon must be sewn with silk is hoo-ha! That is because the ones you made me are fine & you didn’t sew them with silk. Some of my camis of silk have reeved with the washing machine but the nylons haven’t & I’ve worn them a lot. I’d love another pair for my birthday- the more the better I says! I don’t want to spend my money on undies here, especially as they’re rayon & not very well finished.
I have never written to Marcelle yet, but I sent her a Christmas card, & when the one from her that you forwarded arrives, I’ll really write. I’m glad that she’s really marrying her dear Albert – they’ll make a nice dopey couple! Poor old fat curate & his wife – but now that’s over, they’ll probably have a large fat baby!
I must stop now Mummy as it’s really late & I must go to work tomorrow. It’s 15th Dec. today & I’ve been writing this letter for weeks! Now it is your Christmas letter & I hope that it gets to you in good time honey with all my love & good wishes. You know that I miss you & I’ll be thinking about you & I’ll be listening to the King’s broadcast on Christmas Day. We haven’t always had very gay Christmases, but you & I usually managed to have some fun, didn’t we? And although I’ll enjoy being with all the others at Christmas, we’ll all be wishing you were there too, & it won’t really feel like Christmas to me, not being at home.
Take care of yourself now-
With lots of love & kisses