Oct. 19th, 1950
Each evening this week I have meant to write to you, but we have had three days of real Indian summer with temperatures in the 80s, and so by evening I have been in a coma! Summer clothes put away long ago of course, so everyone is sweltering as well as amazed and feeling very lazy! I am having a busy time at work this week too, as we are having a conference of the travelling supervisors. They are the people (8 women & 2 men) who travel all round the States & engage the interviewers and train them and supervise their work, & they come back to Ann Arbor two or three times a year for meetings, discussions etc. They are having this conference in another building, so I haven’t even seen them yet, but all my bosses- Charlie ( Dr. Charles Cannell Head of Field Office)- Shirley, (Assistant Head)- Edie (Secretary) – have all been there – so I have been holding the office together – or feel as if I am!
Sylvia – the girl who shares the room with me- has been away most of the week with a kind of tummy flu that is hitting everyone, so I have been All Alone! I feel very important answering the telephone and making momentous decisions on my own- Big Business Woman! I might add that there are hundreds of people milling around in the rest of the Institute, so don’t think my responsibilities were too enormous!!
Cec is in the midst of one of his horrid sessions of hard work, and toils from morning till early morning again – as I leave him still working when I go to bed each night. He has got most of his equipment by now, & besides building that, is working on some stuff for Dr. S. so has more than enough to do.
We got a letter from Len Bovey written on board ship, today, & poor things – he & Connie had both had a hard time the first few days. Len said he was feeling better (3rd day out) but apparently Connie has had “nervous debility” for the last month or so, so wasn’t too good anyway. Len has had unofficial word that his PhD is O.K. so we are very pleased about that and hope they like it in Ottawa. Did I tell you about your friend Charlie being married? I think I did in my last letter – we heard from George Lindsay, who is also in Ottawa now.
Because Cec has been working so, we haven’t done much, but last weekend I had quite a busy time. On Sat. morning Mr. & Mrs. Kaufman took me to the Farmer’s Market, & when I got home I cleaned the flat. Then in the afternoon I walked up to the Sutherland’s and helped her get ready for her dinner party for the Bishop. I peeled potatoes, made carrot sticks & celery curls, made cocktail snakes & canapés, & helped fix the table- also gave moral support! I met the Bishop – he seemed nice, but very Bishop-y! Gunborg was having 10 people, & she had a coloured girl, Viola, in the kitchen, & Anne & Kirstin were to wait on table! I rang up this week to hear how it all went, & Gunborg said it was fine- the food was good- everyone seem to enjoy themselves & the children waited very nicely & were a great asset!
On the Sat. evening, Cec & I went to the Student’s Cinema League, to see “Great Expectations”. I was so delighted to get a chance to see it after all this time, & we both enjoyed it, except the fact that either the film was old & broke, or else the fellow running it didn’t know how! Anyway, in all the exciting parts it faded out & you can imagine the indignation from the students!
On Sunday I had some of the girls from the office to tea. They were all tickled to bits at an English tea, so I asked Edie, (she brought a friend of hers, Arloa, too), Milly & her husband, Jerry, and Dawn & her husband, Bert. Eight was quite a squash in our little room but we all got in! Edie, Milly & Dawn are the girls I go out to coffee with, morning & afternoon, mostly. Edie is my immediate boss & is a very sweet, quiet, nice (single) girl – sweet-looking & wears glasses – she is by far the most popular girl in the whole place I think, because she is so nice & friendly & always the same & always has time to speak to everyone. Milly is a Canadian girl- small & is one of the secretaries. She is quite nice, but Cec &I didn’t like her husband much- (he is a student) he is very dark & Italian-looking & wears a bow tie! He has a funny accent- either broken English or Brooklyn! Dawn is a funny girl & I like her immensely- she is thin & looks slightly Katherine Hepburn-ish, & has Dottie’s downright way of talking & is very amusing too- we both liked her husband too- he is nice & easy-going & friendly & is studying law.
I had egg sandwiches, (with chopped chives) liver pate & cucumber sandwiches, orange cake, fruit cake, cream puffs & shortbread & they all had a wonderful time & we forgot our diets & ate & ate! I made the fruit cake, orange cake & shortbread one evening, & on the Sunday I filled & iced the orange cake, made the cream puffs & sandwiches & shined the silver, so as to do my best for an English tea! All the girls wanted to know who the photo of the “beautiful lady” was in the bedroom so I hope your ears burned!
It is getting late, so I will retire to my squeaky bed! We were going to Til & Lois’ this weekend to see their new house, but have postponed it till next weekend (27th) as Til has a concert on Sunday.
My love to Auntie Moo & to Auntie Ettie if she has come too- also to the cousins.
With lots & lots for my little Mama