August 8 1939

Moo and crew, Silver Sands, Noyack L.I.

Tuesday 8th August

Up & after a while Aunt Trix, Peg, Mum & I to Jamaica to shop. Rainy – hot & steamy. Got presents – Mum a hat & shoes- me a muslin evening dress – white with red spots! Such a job getting everything. Home eventually covered with parcels.

Then had tea- washed hair & wrote post cards. The others all back. Had dinner- champagne and toasts! Afterwords gave presents & got presents. To Margs & Monie, pyjamas- Aunt Moo, bathing suit, Pegs playsuit- I got stockings, pants, perfume & so on.

Packed & nearly died with the heat. Bed at last.

August 7 1939

Monday 7th August

Up latish, messed about & after lunch got ready to go to town. All of us set out – Monie, Aunt Trix, Bibi, Peg, Aunt Moo, Aunt Ettie, Mum & I.

Downtown miles in awful stuffy subway, verified our tickets & got sailing permits.

Left Aunt Trix, Mona, Bibi & Peg to mess about & the rest of us went up town. Aunt Ettie got us lost a bit, but we at last got to the shops. I bought presents – Aunt Moo gave me some cute pyjama shorts & I got myself an amusing hat – magenta velvet!

On & met the others with Margs, at the Taft Hotel, had dinner & went on to Radio City to the Show. The biggest theatre in the world- very effective like the inside of a zepplin. Saw Carole Lombard, Cary Grant & Kay Francis in ‘In Name Only’- quite good. I cried! Then a sort of ballet & music hall show- very good. Saw the lights of Broadway, had a drink & home. Terrible hot.

August 6 1939

Sunday 6th August

Mum up early & to Church with the sisters. Me up, & Peg & Bibi & Margs & had breakfast. Afterwards all got set & started off for the beach – Reeves Park. Got there & found most of the beach covered with black people. Never saw so many in all my life. Found a decent part after a while- camped & then bathed. Not so rough as yesterday, but great fun. Dressed, then Bill, Margs, Mum, Aunt Ettie & A. Moo & I set out for home, the others staying.

Just as we were starting A. Ettie discovered she had the key of the other car. Such a performance poor Bill had to find them & give the key- waiting around in the broiling sun. Set out eventually, but stopped for hot dogs and orangeade- two each – lovely! Then home & started getting ready to go to the fair. The others then came back & we said goodbye to Marie & Sam, Milly & Ford & Hugh. Hugh refused to kiss me & yelled! Bill, Margs, Mum, Peg & I off to the Fair – Bibi too at the last moment. 

Spent the afternoon looking at exhibits. First into the Perisphere- the world of the future- lovely effect of night with stars – then to the city of Light – New York thro’ day and night – the Moto man – making glass – also the city of the past, all cobbles & dim light – the city of the future-lights & plate glass.

We were by then nearly dead, Bibi & Peg with shoes hurting- so we went to dinner. Had cocktails first, me a Pink Lady, then ate spaghetti- what difficulties I had! After dinner to see “Railroads on Parade”- model trains etc. & then in a queue for General Motors – waited a while then got into the building & sat in little double seats supposed to be in an aeroplane looking down on the countryside of the future. Simply marvellously done – cute little trees & motor cars – at the end you are shown the big city of the future – then a close-up of it & finally you get out & you are in it! Very exciting.

Next we took a bus to the Amusement Area. Peg & Bibi wanted to go on the Scenic Railway, so off we tripped- looked most terrifying! Peg & Bibi, Mum & Bill went on first, Margs & I had to wait. Got on at last – and oh Lord! What a time- I was petrified – terrible feeling & I kept nearly getting shot out of my seat! Yelled my head off & finished up as white as a sheet, trembling all over & with my skirts round my waist! Once in a lifetime.

Went to the Savoy to see the Jitterbugs but it was shut, so Mum, Peg, Bibi & I went to ‘The Dream of Beauty’ a naked women show, while Bill & Margs trekked round. Quite amusing with lots of lovely girls minus clothing – Peg very shocked! Came out before the end & met Bill and Margs. They said Errol Flynn had just gone in one of the shows, so we waited & saw him come out. Quite nice – wearing dark glasses.

Thought we needed a drink next so went to a place where they danced. Very tough place, where one picks up! Saw jitterbugs tho’ much to my joy – terribly funny. Also some midgets dancing. A sailor picked up Bibi so we left & went home. All quite dead!

August 5 1939

Saturday 5th Aug 1939

Up eventually- Bibi & Peg into New York with Uncle Artie. I wrote cards – washed clothes & so on. Millie & Ford & Hugh arrived- also Bill. Got set at last & down to Jones Beach – terribly & awfully hot – the sand burning. Into the sea- very rough with a terrific undertow. I kept getting pulled away, but Margs got me to the sandbar & Bill anchored me & saved me from the big waves. In & lay about a bit, then went & had hamburgers & orangeade. After we sat about a while longer, we packed up & set out for home. I was sore & sunburned.

Found Marie & Sam had arrived. Got all spruced up & ready for the party – a buffet supper at card tables- cocktail first with angostura bitters- no like! Lovely supper – made a pig of myself. Washed up afterwards – some out shopping – us left. Older people played bridge – Ford took Peg, me, Mill, Mum & Ena over to see the fireworks. Very lovely.

Home feeling wildly excited & full of the idea of going to Chinatown, to find the others going to bed. Most damping – we retired to bed too. Bill took the men to his house – 14 women & Hugh here!

August 3 1939

Thursday, 3rd August.

Up earlyish much to my disgust! Packed & across the road to a place Tracey’s for breakfast. No one else there except the chef – a lovely man who laughed & laughed – he was a Norwegian. Hauled out the coloured woman for us to see, then waved us goodbye. Got stung by a bee!

Drove on- very hot at first, but got cooler & darker & we drove through a terrific thunderstorm- great fun. Had lunch, then went on & arrived at Highland Mills at about 3. Mill & Hugh there & Ford came after.

Tea on Mil’s LawnSu

Had tea then washed up & talked. After a while started to get supper ready outside with Hugh cooking on the open fire, but a storm came & we had to have it inside – hot dogs & corn on the cob!

Cleared away after supper, then all packed into the car & away home. Arrived about 12- terribly hot in New York. Found them all just going to bed– Ena there having arrived from the W.I. that day. “Chewed the fat” to quote Monie & to bed.

August 2 1939

Peggy and Cyn at Niagara Falls

Wednesday 2nd August

Up fairly early – bathed, dressed, packed & away for breakfast. Afterwards found out that we couldn’t fly. All disappointed but decided to go straight on. Went by way of the Peace Bridge & Buffalo – imagine me being in Buffalo! – not a very nice town either – then on by another route. Terribly hot. Drove on & then had lunch.

Afterwards drove again & to Watkins Glen. Out of the car & walked up it- as hot as hell & climbing steps & so on. Very lovely, but rather a washout as there was hardly any water in it & the waterfalls weren’t functioning.

Trailed back & drank then drove on- left dinner till late & couldn’t get served at a place the Iron Kettle but got it eventually at Sally’s Pantry. Drove on & at last got cabins. Crawled into bed & slept- Peg & me together.

August 1 1939

Tuesday 1st August

Woken up quite early & off to get a bath at the house. Great adventures with no water & what not, but managed eventually. Set out around 9-ish & got breakfast at a roadside café.

On again afterwards. The country changing – flat now, not so lovely – getting busier & more populated as we near Buffalo. Didn’t actually go into Buffalo, but drove around & to the city of Niagara Falls. Rather an ugly, industrial place. Asked a State Trooper if I could take his photo – a lovely man!

Down to the river & parked then went & saw the Falls from the New York side. Perfectly wonderful to see the masses of glorious green water rushing down- we went down to the bottom next & saw them pouring over the edge & the spray dashing up & wetting everything.

Next drove across the bridge into Canada. Imagine! I am in Canada! Asked the man to stamp our passports just to prove it!

Went along the river banks- even lovelier from this side – the Canadian Falls much bigger & a marvellous horseshoe shape.

Went to the General Brock Hotel for lunch – a very splosh place where we had a most luscious lunch – very nice. Had lunch in the same place & room that the King & Queen had dinner when they were here.

The heat most terrible- nearly killing us. Drove along to the Falls through the Queen Victoria Park. Went into the Rock House & down the tunnel & got all dressed up in marvellous rubber boots & macintoshes and & hoods – we looked gorgeous. Then down the elevator 180 ft. right into the rock itself. First of all went onto two platforms on the outside of the falls & watched the water & then to two platforms right behind the water itself. A most heavenly sensation to see the constant wall of white frothy water rushing past you & the spray drenching you all the time. We could have stayed & watched it all day – it was so wonderful. We got lovely & wet & the water trickled down my front- all great fun & we looked so absolutely absurd!

Up again & had ice cream sodas, then went & got rooms in a tourist house & then just lay. So hot we nearly died! Baths & dressed & out for dinner. Just had sandwiches & wrote postcards, then went & saw the falls illuminated. Stood & watched for ages, they looked so lovely – the colours changing all the time. The spray was terrific, wetting everything for miles around. Toured around the town a bit, but home & to bed as we were all dead tired.

I posted this on April 3 which was Cynthia’s birthday, in Canada, where she would spend 50 years of her life! The world was lucky to have her for 87 years.

July 31 1939

Cynthia never gets included in the newspapers!

Monday 31st July.

Off to Niagara. Finally got away at about 20 past 9 after dashing round. Aunt Moo tipped Angeline five dollars by mistake – Angeline told me – thrilled to death. I told Aunt Moo- she nearly had a kitten!

Drove along for miles & miles –stopped for lunch – just tea and sandwiches – lovely ones tho’- hamburgers! On & on after lunch- glorious country- hills simply covered with trees – little rivers & lakes. Stopped after a while & had ice cream & bought fruit- gorgeous cherries & pears.

On once more & going up a hill the car suddenly passed away- out of gas! A man tried to push us, but too heavy to get up the hill, so we pushed the car round & coasted 1 1/2 miles back to the Gas Station! Great fun.

Drove on without any further mishaps & had a very nice dinner at a little place by the road. After dinner tried to get cabins and after trying 2 or 3 we got some- Two cabins- Mum, Peg & I in one – Margs & A. Moo in the other. Cute little places – but a lot of flies: undressed & so to bed having travelled about 360 miles since morning.

July 30 1939

Hazells at the Reunion

Sunday 30th July.

Up earlyish – had a bath & to breakfast- all very amusing. Marie & Sam there too. After breakfast one of the boys – Jack – arrived & took us over to Mill & Ford’s. Arranged things & home again. 

Ford came over with Margs & Hugh & Mum & Peg & I got in & we went a ride – very lovely. The country & mountains are glorious. So many trees everywhere & lakes too – the trees amaze me– they’re all over the place. To West Point Military Academy first- a marvellous institution – everything beautifully arranged & set out – then up to Bear Mountain Inn. 

A lovely place – all logs. Sat down for a drink & in arrived Aunt Phine & the rest. I had Planter’s Punch- very strong, made me feel quite pleased. 

Took snaps – one of the policeman. Ate doughnuts-quite different to our – all icing on! Home through Tuxedo Park – where the millionaires live! Very lovely. 

Margs, Mum, Ford & I dashed off for a bathe at the pool – lovely & warm. Rushed home & changed. Had drinks & then supper- ate a lot! All sang & played games – everyone very merry.

They went eventually & Margs, Bibi, Lois, Peg, Mona & I off to Community Pool to Bathe in the nude. Much giggling & we got in- lovely feeling- suddenly the light went on. We nearly had a fit! Pegs threw our bathing suits in, but before we had time to do anything 2 men arrived – said it was time to lock up. A great scramble to dress & so home. Awfully funny!

Peggy, Bebe, Marie Dorman, Cynthia, Sam Dorman, Millie, Ford & Hugh, Mona, Cora Pembleton
Auntie Muriel, Aunt Trixie, Aunt Phine, Uncle Arthur, Aunt Ettie, Carol Ewing, Marguerite
Taken at Uncle Artie’s place, Central Valley, NY

July 29 1939

Saturday 29th July.

Hugh woke me up – the sweetest little boy. Up gradually & to breakfast one at a time. Played with Hugh, then Ford took me to Central Valley in the car to Uncle Artie’s. Saw Peg again – she quite happy, & Aunt Phine & Bibi & her friend Lois. Back to Highland Mills & Uncle Artie arrived.

The whole lot of us went out to lunch to the White Cat – a nice restaurant & had lunch on the veranda. Drank mint julep!

Those present.

Home afterwards & then some of us drove into Newburg to the pictures to see Robert Donat in “Goodbye Mr. Chips”. A marvellous film – acting – setting – atmosphere & all. I cried like anything & so did the rest – even Bill!

Home & everyone to supper at Mill’s – a buffet supper & you eat a bit of everything – great fun! Afterward 3 boys came in- young- about Peg’s age- very young & dumb. Most unsophisticated & home town compared to a boy like Bobby. They went out after a while- had great talks with Ford. Over to Aunt Phine’s to sleep eventually. 

Carol standing, Cyn on swing.