13 March 1947.
Dearest Little Mama,
This is just a short note, as I am in the middle of writing you a long one that isn’t finished yet. I just wanted to say that I am so sorry I kept you all in suspense to hear the broadcast, when I don’t suppose it was on at all. I have didn’t know until just before it took place when I met a lady from the BBC in New York that London doesn’t actually re-broadcast it straight away but records it & then if it’s any good they put it out later. If you’ve heard nothing about it when you get this letter Miss Lang (the NY lady) said for you to ring up the BBC in N/C & ask them, & if they don’t know about it, they will find out for you when it is going to be broadcast, & if it isn’t to be broadcast, they might be able to let you hear the recording she said. I sent all sorts of messages so you should hear them! The lady in charge of the broadcast at the BBC in London is a Miss Miranda Dulley.
The whole thing went off very well really. I left school at 10:45 with Jim Villwock, the DeV. boy on the programme, & Til took us down to another school where we met Mr. Lamb (the moderator & in charge of the whole thing) Mr. Roulet (the mayor) Mr. Bowsher (Education Officer) the broadcasting announcer, Miss Lamb, & Ed (the other boy in the broadcast). We were all given our scripts & then we went & all had lunch together & then went to the State Cinema, where the broadcast was taking place. The audience was about 2000, both school children & adults – they could all get tickets just by writing for them & the kids got out of school for it, so it was very popular! All my homeroom seem to have been there, but the audience was dark, so fortunately I couldn’t see them! I wore my new navy blue dress (with my white collar washed!) & sat up on the platform with all the rest of them. There was such a lot of fuss & confusion with microphones & wires & photographers all over the place & people rushing around, that you would wonder how it all came out right, but it did! They got London on time, & the Mayors spoke to one another, & then the Directors of Ed. & then the boys spoke- both English & American, & then it was question time- and London went off the air! Of course we were still being broadcast locally, so we had to go on, & kids from the audience came up and asked questions, & the boy speakers answered them & this went on for about 15 mins. with the engineer rushing around, & we in a fit, in case I wouldn’t get my chance to say my piece to England! However, at last London came on again, & Miss Stoll & I had our talk at the end & it all came out nicely. I was so scared when the time came & the microphone was too high for me & I stood on my toes & craned my neck & Mr. Lamb kept pushing my back to encourage me & my script I was holding shook so I could hardly read it! But I said it all & everyone who heard it here said that it was good & that I spoke very clearly – also that I sounded homesick! Miss Stoll came through quite well, & I could hear what she was saying, whereas, some parts of the other speeches (from England) you couldn’t, but the other teachers said it didn’t sound like her voice. I went down to the radio station afterwards & heard the recording, & I got quite a shock when I heard my voice, & it didn’t sound like me a bit! I am most interesting to know whether the reception in England was good, & whether they could hear us. I do hope that you’ll be able to hear it sometime, Mummy.
Tomorrow evening I am going to Tiffin, a town in Ohio, to speak at an Educational Conference at Heidelberg University – doesn’t that sound imposing?! I am using my Atlantic City speech with only a few alterations, but I’m beginning to think it must be more important than I thought because a reporter from the Toledo Times has just rang up to ask me about it! My my! After the conference I am going on to Pittsburgh to meet my friend, Roland!! – I just couldn’t get out of it any longer! I’ll let you know how I get on!
On Monday evening a terrible thing happened which has made everyone miserable all week. One of the teachers at DeV. – Mrs. Whaley was killed in a terrible car crash & her husband very seriously injured. I don’t know if you remember, about a month ago I went to dinner at her house on Sunday, & Pam Holbrow was there with Mrs. Whaley’s mother & sister from Fostonia, & we had the loveliest time. She was a really nice person, & everyone liked her, & she was just sweet to me – so you can imagine how sad everyone feels. Yesterday people were going to the Funeral Parlour & today to the Funeral, but I didn’t go – I wrote to Miss Eger in Fostonia.
I’m a stop now as it is bedtime, but I’ll soon be sending my next “saga” to you – it’s getting fatter every day!
I hope Mrs Johnny is keeping better – and that you’re taking care of yourself
With lots and lots of love