Wellesley 1933--1937

Part 1

I had stopped writing with the death of my father in June of 1933 because I had told my sons as much as I knew about their ancestry, and had given them some Idea of l1fe in the "olden days" of my childhood. After thinking about it for some months I realized that the great depression has also become "olden days" and that my boys know very little about it.

What I am writing is only part of the story. It has been stylish for the past fifty years to dwell on the more sordid aspects of a life, to set down every blow to one's ego, and to dwell on the physical aspects of living until one sounds like dreary old Portnoy, who spent his youth crouched in his mother's bathroom.

I know that there have becn other less cheerful aspects of my life, but what one remembers is more a matter of temperment than of fact. My only year at Roosevelt High School in Yornkers was a dismal one, but if I had been in a more comfortable situation I might never have been driven to find the Bronxville Girl Scout Troop, would never have met Helen Brown, would never have ridden a, horse, nor ever gone to Wellesley, never have worked for the Council of State Governments, and never have met Charles Bentley. The pig would never have gotten over the stile, and I would not have led the life I am living. So I consider that year not a bad time, but a prelude to some very good times.

The Depression

On March 4, 1933, just before Herbert Hoover went out of office, banks collapsed all over the United States and the money shortage hit most people far harder than the stock market crash had hit them. During the early 1930s there was 25% unemployment and wages dropped by 60%. Not only were some 40 million people livinig in poverty because of the depression, but the great drought and severe floods brought more misery.

"Everyhere there was hunger. We saw a crowd of some 50 men fighting over a barrel of garbage which had been set outside the back door of a restaurant," said an observer in Chicago. "American citizens fighting for scraps of food like animals"

As though they had not troubles enough, millions of workless, hungry and beaten people lacked even the constitutional right to vote. In September, 1932, the city officials of TeWiStol-I, 10airIC, voted to bar all welfare recipients from the polls; at least 10 states, from Massachusetts to Oregon, had poll tax and property requirements beyond the reach of depression victims, and a million or more nomads wandering about the country lacked the residency requirements for voting.1

( 1 This Fabulous Century - 1930-1914.0 -- Ti.tiie, LiVe, P. 23)

"In cities all over the country there were Hoovervilles, squalid villages that sprang up in the vacant lots where the homeless sheltered themselves in sheds made of packing boxes and scrap metal while they foraged around the city for food, New York had at least two Hoovervilles, one below Riverside Drive, and the other In Central Park.

"The biggest Hooverville of all sprang up in Washingtong D. C. -- Veterans of World War I had for some time been pleading for advance payment of a war bonus they were due to receive In 1945. All through the month of June, war veterans and their families streamed into Washington by freight car, by truck and on foot until they numbered 20,000. There they lived in vacant government buildings and shacks and tents until forcibly evacuated by the army, without having their requests met." 2

2This Fabulous Century --- 1930-1940 -- Time-Lifeg P. 23

With the collapse of the banks in towns like Des Plaines, city and school monies were tied up. The city and school districts could not pay their employees in cash, but issued script --- promissory notes. Teachers, even if they had enough savings to have carried them through, had those savings tied up in the same banks, and in order to eat had to sell their script to whoever could afford to buy. Of course this script was sold at a loss, and a teacher making $1,227.00 a year could hardly afford this further loss.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been inaugurated in March, 1933, incurring the instantaneous hatred of the Republicans by his actions to set up welfare payments, and the host of agencies established to try to relieve the intense unemployment. Buildings were still standing half - finished since 1929, and no new building was started until WPA began to provide funds for public buildings and funds for artists to decorate them. It was not that unemployment suddenly fell that brought hope to many, but just that something was being done. The CCC got thousands of young men off the streets and out Into the country making improvements to the national and state parks. There was a CCC camp just north of Dam No. 2 in Wheeling, which later became a camp for German war prisoners, and even later a nature trail and camp. The parking area on route 5 just south of Lake Willoughby, and the road up to the top of Mt. Horah were CCC built. By 1934 22% of the work force was still unemployed, and when 1 graduated in 1935 it was still 20%. It took the war to end real unemployment.

Those of us who escaped the real horrors of the depression were deeply affected by what was happening all around us. It was astonishing to me that when Joseph McCarthy was holding his witch hunt In the 50s so many people had forgotten that students In college during the depression were looking everywhere for some way to assure that such a thing should not happen again. One direction they looked was at Communism. Very few actually became Communists -- and It was some of the most Idealistic if misguided, who did ---- but we all certainly looked into the matter. This made his tactics particularly horrifying because he managed to tar with a vicious brush people who had only used their minds and hearts during a terrible time.

After a funeral service in New York, my mother, Lois, Dick and Ruth and I went to Des Plaines for a second funeral service and my father's interment in Ridgewood Cemetary. We made several trips between Des Plaines and new York that summer, because my mother had decided at the urging of Dick to move back into her house in Des Plaines. There were tenants in the house who had to be asked to move, and my mother had plans for remodelling the house.

I remember very little of that summer. The World's Fair in Chicago was occupying everyone's thoughts and I know that in spite of funerals and remodelling we went to it.

In September my sister Lois stayed In Des Plaines with the Tuckers while my mother and I went back to close up the apartment in Bronxville, and to started my Junior year at Wellesley. It must have been a great relief to Lois to be back in Des Plaines. I do not know of a single friend she made in New York, but she had a great many friends who were to be with her at Maine.

I had to return to Wellesley a few days early to take the three examinations which I had missed in June, and since I had done literally nothing about studying for them during the summer, the results were unfortunate. I did not flunk anything but got mediocre marks which were enough to keep me from becoming a Durant Scholar at Graduation time.

In the fall of 1933 Prohibition had been repealed, Roosevelt's anti-poverty programs were beginning to be felt. The common man was re- garding him as a saviour, the liberals were cheerful at his coming, but the conservatives never did resign themselves to "That Man." My mother was against Roosevelt in a completely emotional way, and my Uncle Charlie wrote me dozens of letters carefully explaining his reasons for disapproving of Roosevelt.

I was enjoying my classes, and decided that I was interested in majoring in Political Science, under Louise Overacker, who had worked with Charles Merriam at the University of Chicago. At a meeting of the Political Science club that year, T. V. Smith, Senator from Illinois and a Professor at the University of Chicago, spoke to us and told us that there were plans to set up a series of internships in Washington, D. C. under which students from various universities would be brought in to work in departments in Washington to learn about government firsthand. It was a very exciting idea, and we were all set to apply for such an internship. as soon as it became a reality., Alas, the idea never came to fruition in the 30s, and it was not until some time in the 60s that such a program went into effect.

I was living on the top floor of Stone Hall, where I was surrounded by a group of girls from my own class who were very active on campus. I was attending concerts and the theatre in Boston, going to Harvard and MIT on dates, and life seemed very adventurous. I became involved in activities which arose from my growing interest in Political Science. I volunteered to spend an afternoon a week working with small children at a settlement house in Boston. I enjoyed these weekly trips into Boston where I combined settlement house work with trips to the various museums. I remember only one incident from this work.

One afternoon when we were playing a game, one small girl said something which knocked me back on my heels. She said, "My Daddy came to this settlement house, and so did my Grandma." This was an idea which had never entered my head. That there was not just one generation of children who attended a settlement house, after which they were up and away on the ladder of the American dream, but that for generation after generation they stayed in these same neighborhoods, attended the same schools and the same settlement houses. My mother's family had been poor and had used settlement houses, but by the time they were 16 years old they had outgrown their south side neighborhoods, had studied on their own, had attended lectures at the University of Chicago, had purged their speech of their German accents and were beginning to hold jobs which would admit them to the middle class.

I attended a number of Peace Rallies at Harvard. They were exciting, and a lot of fun since there were boys from Harvard and MIT as well as girls from Wellesley and Radcliffe. There were impassioned speeches about the fact that his new generation was not going to be sucked into being cannon fodder for another war. There were petitions which we were to take back to our schools to have signed, pledging that we would never permit ourselves to be drafted into any sort of army. Somehow I was kept from signing any of these petitions, or from taking the fascinating meetings very seriously. Even as I sat in a hall at Harvard listening and enjoying the proceedings, I felt a trifle removed from it all. "Ah, yes," I said to myself,"it all sounds very noble, but these fellows are enjoying themselves to the hilt. What they really like is the excitement of it all. What they have is glands, and what they want is something to cheer and march about. Do you know what I think? I think that if there ever is a real war they will be the first fellows to go." And most of them were.

Another thing which kept me from signing the petitions was the fact that Fraulein Gertrude Gunther, Professor in the German Department was so scornful of such pledges. She was a native of Danzig, and she kept saying, "It is a silly promise. You do not have any idea of how you will feel if they ever walk down your streets and tear down your flags and break your windows. You cannot promise you will not fight --- you will be anxious to fight -- to fight with anything."

Sometime during this year a group of Wellesley girls was taken to Lowell, Massachusetts, to take a look at the strike in the shoe factories there. We were delivered into the hands of a nice, mild little member of the unemployed, who did his best for us by taking us to see his own home. It was clean and tidy, although obviously poor. His wife was in the hospital, neighbors were taking care of his children, and his major worries were his wife's hospital bills, and the fact that his electricity had been turned off for nonpayment of bills. He also told us he had just lost his Job, and when asked why, said that new machines had been installed which went so fast that he could not keep up with them. We were all properly sympathetic, but at the time I wondered what was going to become of all the nice, willing, slow people in this world as the machines came in to supplant them.

Just at this interesting moment the regular organizers of the trip found us and took us on a tour of housing which had been prepared for us. This had quite the wrong effect on me. We went into an apartment which was filthy, the bathtub had obviously been used to store coal, and there was cold, dirty wash water standing in galvanized tubs on kitchen chairs in a filthy kitchen. My reaction was to feel that this was not poverty, but either deliberate stage setting, or inexcusable slovenliness.

This feeling of stage setting continued to haunt me as we went to a meeting of workers. There were a batch of hand-picked workers on the stage and a large batch of bully-boys sitting in the back and on the window sills. We heard harrowing tales from speakers about abuses in the factories, and every time some innocent, real worker in the audience got up to ask what I thought was a sensible question, the chairman refused to recognize him and the bully boys drummed their heels and otherwise created a disturbance.

I am not sure that I realized that we were seeing a demonstration of Communistic tactics, but I was not only unimpressed, but disgusted. When some time later a group from the factory came to speak nt Wellesley and we heard the same stories of factory abuses told by different people and with build-up of horror, I left the room, saying to anyone who would listen, "They are lying -- lying, that isn't the way it was at all."

1933 was a busy year for my mother. Not only did she move from New York to Des Plaines, but Charlie Grimm was very ill and she had to go to Akron to nurse him. Lois stayed in Des Plaines with the Tuckers, and Anne took over the weekly reception and sending of my laundry cases.

In that day before automatic washers and dryers there were no laundry facilities in the dormitories. Towels and sheets were done by the college, but the only way to get personal laundry done was to send it home, which is what everyone did. To all of those who are too young to remember the day when the postal service was quick and efficient, I will tell you that letters often arrived in Wellesley the day after being mailed in Chicago, and we had not only two regular mail deliveries a day, but mail might arrive three or four times a day at the dormitories. Every student had fibreboard mailing cases which could be purchased at any stationary store. Two cases were usually in use, one going from college to the home address, the other returning to college with clean clothes and food, lovely food. It usually took two days for a case to go from Des Plaines to Wellesley.

After my father's death I felt that because of the fact that I would now have a very small allowance I might have to give up some of my riding, but Mr. NcGee allowed me to exercise horses, and I even taught some beginning classes. In addition I helped exercise Texas Sharpe's horses so that I did plenty of riding, although I was not eligible for the riding team since little of my riding was done as a Wellesley student rider.

I have a few letters from my Junior year. The first few are written to my mother while she was staying in Akron with Charlie.

October 29, 1933

Dear Nother,

OOH! I feel just as if my head would fall off if I shook it.

As I told Uncle Charley, went out with Justy1> last night. We went to his

1Just Lunning was a Danish boy whom I met at a spring dance and whom I had seen several times before my father died. His father owned the George Jensen Silver Shop in New York, and had the Georg Jensen exhibit at the World's Fair. Just spent most of the summer of 1933 in Chicago and gave me an exhibitor's pass to the fair, which had a certain snob appeal. I continued to see him in the fall, as I gather from this letter, though I had forgotten it. I rather think that I could not keep up with -- or did not want to keep up with, the international set he ran around with.

[??????] have ever insulted my stomachs with.

It was a weird company. Bobby looks just like one of those statues of a faun, and Just claims he is a little cracked. There was an English girl there named Beetle who was another queer egg. They were reading a letter from a friend of theirs named Albert, who I gathered is quite an urban soul, but who is teaching in a small provincial school somewhere in France. The whole bunch of them, including Just and his sister Lis, are what you might call intelligentsia. I think they are terribly amusing, but not for the reason that they think they are amusing. That makes it just about even, because they are always being devastated by the common herd.

At seven o'clock we all went down to dinner in the Kirkland House dining hall, and after supper we all went to the movies to see "Baron Munchausen". Afterwards we went to a Greek Restaurant. It was 0. K. while it lasted, but this morning the rot-gut I drank is not sitting so very well. See how honest I am with you! I conceal nothing.

Nothing else very exciting has happened. Aunty Anne sent my lauundry case, and said she was sending cookies. If Uncle Charley has to convalesce, take him to our house and let him use my room until I come home for Christmas. You had better show this letter to Charlie and read his. That way I will write to each of you every other day.


During this illness of my Uncle's and his long recuperation he and I began to exchange many, many letters. Sometimes I would get two and three a day from him -- some of them continuing on in mid-sentence from the one he had mailed earlier in the day. Once I got a post-card on which he had written a whole, scathing letter in tiny tiny print in a tight spiral.

November 15, 1933

Dear Mum,

Got your letter this afternoon and was glad to see that you seem to be having a good time at the Sanatorium.

I had the most wonderful weekend. We got to Stamford at about 5:10 as we always used to last years and Iris Brown met us. My dear, they have another new Cadillac. We had dinner at the Browns, after which we went to see the Houks and then went over to the High School to see the Senior Play and to meet Babs and Ginny.

Saturday morning we all went riding. I rode Forward who was nice and excitable. Saturday afternoon we went to the Horse Show at Madison Square Garden, and what do you think? We sat In a box! Mr. Todd, Mr. Brown's partner, is a director of the show, and he was not using his box on Saturday afternoon, so we had it. I was interested in several classes, and the whole show was pretty good.

Saturday evening I met Jim Van-Vickle right after the show and we went out to their apartment for a turkey dinner. The Gruets and Mr. Byron were also there. The Gruets drove me back to Bronxville where I spent the night at Uncle Dick's. They wanted me to stay for Sunday dinner, but I was due at Brown's. Sunday morning we went to see the Nepper baby, who now has four teeth and can crawl, and Sunday afternoon we went riding again. Sunday evening, Mr. Brown took us to the Barclay for supper, and then went to the horse show with us. Sunday evening was a Gala night, and I have never seen a better horse spectacle. The exhibition of police horses was particularly good. We left New York on the 11:45 train.

Saturday when I was in New York I went to the office to settle things about that paper concerning Daddy's estate. You didn't tell me the right thing to do with it at all. It had to be witnessed by a notary public. Mr. Page also wanted to know your address and where Lois is. You had better have Aunty Anne take Lois to a notary public to have her paper signed.

Must do some work.


November 27, 1933

Dear Mummy,

Life is very strange. This morning I got a letter from Nargot telling me that her father had died Wednesday morning of a heart attack. I wrote her immediately, but before I mailed it I called her house here at school, and discovered that she is back, so I went to see her.

Wednesday morning, about 11:00 her brother Buddy and her little sister came to get her and told her that their father was very sick, and that she was to come home with them. When they got home her Mother was in the doorway to meet her, and as soon as she saw her she knew her father was dead. Mr. and Mrs. Clark had been talking after breakfast when suddenly he said he felt a little sick. They went on talking until suddenly he gave a little gasp and died. Mrs. Clark looked at him for a few minutes, and then she thought of the younger kids who were eating their breakfast. She shut the door and went out to tell them that he was sick and that they must go and get Margot.

Oh, mother, it is really quite dreadful. I guess he didn't leave a thing. There wasn't even any insurance. Mrs. Clark went down to the Boston Post, where he had worked, and they said that if she thought she could do it she could keep on with his work -- a special series he was doing. She is going to do that. Margot will keep on at college, she is here on a scholarship anyway, and Buddy and Joy will keep on going to school. They both go to Shady Hill School, but they both go on scholarships.

Oh, you know something, we are awfully lucky. At least you don't have to go out and work.

It must have been perfectly dreadful for Mrs. Clark to have him die while he was talking to her and not be able to cry out or show any sign until she got the youneer kids out of the house.

This is all very incoherent.

Write to me. I am glad to hear that you are planning to send me something for Thanksgiving. I will probably have it by the time you get this.


November 30, 1933,

Dear Nother,

My laundry case and the box came yesterday afternoon. I thought you said it was only a little box -- what do you call a big one? It is all perfectly scrumptious. We ate a lot of it last night. Tell Aunty Anne the doughnuts are delicious.

I have two papers to write today, and all of my work for tomorrow and the next day to do. When I get home Christmas I am going to bring back several books. Since September I have re-read David Copperfield, The Vicar of Wakefield, Magnolia Street, and the Forsythe Saga. I have to debate in Economics on Saturday on, Resolved that a controlled inflation would be desirable for the nation. I have to argue in the affirmative, and I, personally, am very much in the negative. So I have gone around in a great daze reading things in support of the affirmative. Personally, I don't think I have had much success at getting water-tight arguments.

Having nothing better to tell you, I have decided to let ycu have a'minute by minute account of a day in my life.

(At the time I really did feel that Mrs Clarke was unfortunate and my mother fortunate in not having to work. But as the years went on I realized that for my mother, a young woman of only 48, to have just enough money to be comfortable without a struggle was unfortunate especially for a person of her temperament. She never gave up her old dreams of grandeur, but she did nothing to find herself a niche in the world. She began to live almost entirely in her daughters -- and since they- were so different from Herself nothing they did was right, and she became a most unhappy person.

Had lunch at 12 with Sayre and O'Connor. Had a speech Class at l2:4O, and then saw a girl about riding drill for this evenirg. Came home and was going to studyt but got to reading a book of short stories, and read them until it was time to dress for my gym class. Met Texas Sharp on her horse right outside of Stone Hall and walked down to Claflin with her. Told her I wasn't going to the drill class in the evening. West to see Lodge and gave her a list of people who were going to the drill. Went to gym. Came home from gym and found laundry case and box. As I was coming up the hall met Sayre and we went down to my room and opened it up. Clarke came in and we ate a goodly number of grapes and several doughnuts. Soon Doyle and Sharp came looking for me. Sharp had told Mr. McGee that I wasn't coming riding and he said she was to bring me. Had a great argument, but on hearing that Miss Gunther was going, decided to go. Sharp was teasing Doyle about the fact that she was going to give her her Christmas present tonight. We all tried to guess what it was. No success.

Dressed for dinner, ate dinner, and dressed in riding clothes. Went riding ---- and what do you think Sharp gave Doyle for Christmas? A horse! Doyle is fat and doesn't like to ride many of Mr. McGee's horses, but she loves to go over there with us, and she loves to fool with the horses. So Sharp bought Honey from Mr. McGee and gave her to Betty. Honey is really a lovely looking horse, and she single foots all the time, so that she is one of the easiest riding horses I have ever seen. Doyle is crazy about her, of course, the only trouble with having someone give you a horse Is that then you have to board it, but I guess Doyle will be able to swing it.

Came home at 10:00 and took a shower and waited for Judith and Sayre to get back from Boston. There were only the four of us on the hall last night. Tonight there won't be that many.

This morning slept until 9:00 when Sayre came in to get some fruit for breakfast. Judy was going up town, so had her get me some films and some envelopes. Am now writing this letter, and in about 45 minutes will go to dinner. This afternoon we are going to take pictures from the tower, and then I really have to write my three papers. So long.


Apropos Tex giving Doyle the horse --- I discovered that it was almost impossible for girls who had always had money to understand the facts of economic life for those who had not. The salaries of the workers in Lowell had seemed incredibly small to Sayre, but I knew of men in Des Plaines who had successfully raised families on less. If I tried to tell Helen Brown that I could not afford to do something she wanted me to do, she would become very angry and say that she knew I had such and such an amount in my bank account. It did little or no good to try to convince her that that money was to last until December -- or June. She could not even imagine a non-refillable bank account, nor could she sit down and try to figure out how far a fixed amount could go. Tex, who came from Dallas and had her own income, had three horses with her at college. I am sure she never gave the problem of boarding Honey a thought.

That is the last letter I have for 1933, and I cannot remember anything eventful happening to me during the late fall of that year. Prohibition was over, and those who really wanted to could now go out and buy a drink in almost any restaurant. Japan was advancing in Manchuria, trouble was brewing in Spain, and Mussolini was threatening Ethopia.

At Christmas time I made my first trip home to Des Plaines. I found it an exciting trip. There were several Pullman cars of Wellesley girls going to Chicago and points westp, as well as cars of Harvard and MIT boys. It is hard to describe what it was like to travel in sleeping cars on a train complete with diners, Club cars and parlor cars. It was a small hotel on wheels, warm, enclosed and jolly.

I found many changes in Des Plaines. Very few of my friends were able to afford college, but most of them were fortunate enough to have found jobs. Because nobody could afford to go into Chicago for entertainment, more was happening in Des Plaines, and a Junior League had been founded, which was sponsoring a Christmas dance to which I went, but I cannot remember with whom I went.

It was during this Christmas vacation that I suddenly decided that I was in love with Bud Brown. I had been a follower of his ever since the days when he had a big back yard in which we could dig and swing and play tennis, and a real live pony. He regarded me as good old Phillee, who was always there, and useful in a way, but certainly not a romantic object. Up until this vacation I had never had dreams of romance in respect to him either. I cannot say that these romantic dreams either lighted or blighted my vacation, or that I went back to Wellesley wasting away with unrequited love.

My mother was not happy with the move to Des Plaines, but her brother Dick, who handled her finances, felt she could more easily afford to live there than anywhere else. He undertook to invest the insurance money left by my father and promised her than any profit he made would be passed on to her, but that he would absorb any losses. This worked out very well for her and he continued to do this until he gradually wound down his business activities in the mid 1950s. By that time she was a wealthier woman than she had been when she became a widow.

Back at school I was soon immersed in examinations, horse-back riding and school life, I cannot remember anything thaat happened during January and February, although I must have laid some cagey plans to bring Bud Brown to Wellesley for Junior Prom. Sometime during that spring I attended the Model League of Nations as a delegate from Wellesley. Every four years such a Model League was held -- in 1934 at Mt. Holyoke -- and students from all of the Eastern Colleges attended as delegates, representing countries which were members of the Leagues. We went to the host college, spent three or four days there, and held meetings both of the League Assembly and of its various committees and sub-committees. It was interesting and stimulating. I no longer remember what country I was a delegate of, but it was something like Turkey or Iraq, and I learned a great deal of the real work of the League, which was not the speeches made at the assembly, but the behind the scenes work of the committees which dealt with drugs, crime, etc. I am sure that today that is true of the United Nations -- that a great deal of useful work goes on out of view of the news media.

When March rolled around with spring vacation I have a letter which my mother saved.

March 23, 1934

Dear Mother,

I have decided to write to you on the installment plan about our spring vacation. It is now ll:45 P.M. and I am tired, so you won't get much tonight.

Mrs. Brown met us in Stamford, and we got home just in time for supper. After supper we went to see Babs and Ginny, and when we got home Mr. Brown showed us the movies of their cruise this winter. They went through the West Indies and the Canal Zone. They were very good pictures.

I really love this house. I am in a marvelous bed at present, about to pillow my weary head. I have the most gorgeous pink satin puff you ever saw. Ybu should see Brown's room. I think these people sit up nights trying to think of ways to please her. I am going to call Mrs. Van in the morning,

March 24 --- Well! And what do you think I did? I came in to New York to go to the Vans -- got into the subway station and looked for a nickel to call, and found that in changing from brown to black pocket books I hadn't brought one cent with me. I leaned on the wall and let the old brain revolve, went down and asked one of the maids in the ladies room for a nickel and called Mrs. Van, who is now on her way down after me.

This morning I called Uncle Dick, who had not received your letter. I am having lunch with him on Monday. This afternoon we went to see the Nepper baby. He is undoubtedly the cutest thing I have ever seen. He is not quite so darkly tanned any more, but is beige and peach color. He laughs all of the time. Never saw such a good-natured baby.

This ladies' room is getting boring --- here comes Mrs. Van, who says "Hello."

March 25. We had supper at the Van's last night. A girl in Jim's office was being married, and we went to the wedding, which was an orthodox Jewish one. The Vans are all in a stew about this cab strike. (Jim worked for Checker Cab.)

March 26. Went to see 'The Cat and the Fiddle" with the Vans yesterday and then had chop-suey. Today I went to the doctors at 10:00, and I have to go back on Wednesday, so be prepared. (I was still going to the Drs., who had operated on my antra and were still flushing them out periodically.)

Had lunch with Uncle Dick today at the Biltmore. He is going to take Brown and me to a show some night. He says I can use his car while I am in Bronxville. I went shopping this afternoon and saw the cutest dress at Lord and Taylor's where you no longer have an account, I left it to be held until Wednesday, when I'll take down the money. Got a blouse for my suit and paid for it.

Must hurry for supper. Your package came today ---- thanks loads, darling, and thank Aunty Anne. (My birthday was March 27) Grann's money just came. Thank her loads. Love,

April 3t 1934

Dear Mother,

It seems funny to be back here at school. I had an awfully nice time in New York.

Uncle Dick and Harry Dunning took Helen and me to the Follies Friday night, and we went to the Cafe de Paree for supper before the show. We had a wonderful time. We saw a man named Zero Mostel at the Cafe de P. and Uncle Dick and Harry Dunning thought he was so fumy we were almost late for the Follies ---- Fanny Brice, Bert Lahr, and Clifton Webb among others.

I drove Uncle Dick's car two or three times while I was in Bronxville. On Saturday Brown had a party. We played bridge and there was a prize for everyone. They were all wrapped, and after the first four hands everyone chose one --- highest scores choosing first. The next time we all chose again. At the end we opened the boxes we had. I got a nice desk box with a picture of a hunter on It.

Sunday we went to church. Mrs. Brown sent us each a corsage of gardenias. Sunday afternoon we tried to see all the people we knew and went riding. Monday I went to the Doctor's again, and Monday afternoon we went to see Dolly Houck after having lunch at the Neppers. Monday evening we went to see "Mary of Scotland' before getting on the train. It was simply splendid. Helen Hayes was marvelous. You know she is going to have a baby in about a month, but you couldn't tell with the costumes of the period. I don't see how she can play night after night, though. In one scene she is supposed to be having a baby, and she wears a plain long satin dress with a red robe open down the front, and it is most realistic since you can see her own condition quite plainly. We sat in the fourth row, and Lawrence Tibbett and his wife were just two seats away on my left. Very exciting.


The Spring of 1934 was mildly eventful. When Junior Prom time rolled around I had Bud Brown as an escort. My mother had been most anxious to drive back east and visit in New York, and she snatched at the opportunity to have company and a fellow driver. I doubt that Bud could have afforded the trip without this,help since his father had lost everything in the depression and Bud was trying to rebuild the store. They drove to Wellesley, where Bud spent the two or three days of Prom time. I have no recollection of where we put up our escorts, but it certainly was not in the girls' dorms. We golfed, saw the sights around Wellesley, and naturally attended Prom. Although I was no longer madly in love, I still thought Bud was the best dancer I had ever encountered.

I think that my mother went on down to New York while Bud was at Wellesley, and that he went down to Join her for a few days after Prom to see the sights of New York. They then drove on down to Washington and did a little sight seeing, stopping off in Akron for a visit with Charlie on the way home.

At some during the spring Katharine Toll had a visitor -- her uncles Henry Wolcott Toll ---- and wanting to provide him with entertainment at dinner, invited half a dozen classmates to meet him. I had no idea of what he did, but I was full of what we were doing in Political Science, and gave my opinions on politics in general. The upshot that dinner was that he told me that if I were interested in a job University of Chicago Campus with the Council of State Governments whin I graduated to get in touch with him. I do not remember taking this very seriously until almost a year later.

I continued to get many letters from my Uncle Charlie. He was a bachelor who was beginning to feel a few twinges of loneliness, and I needed a father-figure in my life, so we expanded our letter writing.

On my way home from Wellesley that summer I stopped off in Akron and spent a week with Charlie. I enjoyed staying at the Edwin Shaw Sanatorium. In the first place, as Mr. Grimm's niece I got royal treatment. I I had the room set aside for visiting dignitaries, I had my Uncle to talk to whenever he was free, and we sat and argued until late at night. I ate in the staff dining room, and I had the run of the grounds. Dr. Hyde, Chief of Staff, had a son, Cleveland, and a daughter, Betty, who were almost my age and who were home from school to keep me company if bored, but I was not bored. There were a number of young externs Sanatorium, and best of all there was one of the staff whom I found very romantic. I was interested in the changes in the treatment of tuberculosis which were taking place. In earlier years it was considered desirable to have children with T.B. up and around, out of doors and engaged in strenuous physical activity and out in the sunshine as much as possible. In later years rest and quiet was prescribed. By 1934 the number of child patients had dropped drastically, due it was said to the legal requirement of pasturisation of milk.

Within the next few years, the childrens' cottage would be closed entirely. Adult treatment was not so drastically changed. Lungs were still being deflated, fluid being withdrawn from the pleural Cavity and air pumped in in an attempt to heal the damaged lung with rest. The great break-through of chemical cure was stil far in the future, and the adult buildings were still full of wan, dying patients.

From Akron I went home to Des Plaines. Since there were fourof us living in my mother's little house I cleaned up the old wine-cellar in the basement and turned It into a room for myself. The summer of 1934 was very hot and very dry. The dust bowl had the mid-west in its grip. Jobs were not much more plentiful than they had been for the past two or three years. It was possible to hire a full-grown man to work in your garden for $.50 or $1.00 a day. Teachers were still being paid in script upon occasion. Everyone was pinching every penny, and every church and civic organization was putting up food baskets for the most needy. I heard about food baskets from my Aunty Anne, who worked on them at the church. The church women would prepare the baskets and ladies like Anne who had cars went to deliver them. She would come home simply seething because some of the recipients, rather than accepting this largess with proper gratitude, looked the things over and rejected such plebian items as oatmeal, cabbage, and some of the root vegetables. "Do you know what I do with them?" Anne would ask in rage. "I take them home and feed them to my own family."

Before leaving New York, I had spent a few days at the Henry Street Settlement House on the lower east side of the city, where Margot Clark was working. I found the work interesting, so when I was settled in Des Plaines, I went into Chicago to the Grand Avenue Settlement house and offered my volunteer services. They were glad to have an extra pair of hands in the nursery and dining room, as well as on the playground. Grand Avenue serviced an Italian neighborhood, and the children shocked me by boasting of their older brothers and sisters who were already doing time in jail. Occasionally, I accompanied one of the social workers on her rounds into neighborhoods where it was well to go in pairs rather than alone.

When it was discovered that I drove in every day, I was asked to use my car to take little groups of mothers and children to Lincoln Park several times a week, and soon I was squeezing in an ancient grandmother or so as well. I drove the group to Lincoln Park, which was actually within walking distance for anyone but a very tiny child, yet few of the people had ever been there before. These women knew nothing outside of one or two blocks of their own neighborhoods. The grandmothers I took would run their hands over the grass and exclaim over the beauty of it. "Just like in the old country," they would say, "grass, lovely." But I would wonder why they hadn't seen this grass, which was really not far from where they lived. My aunts and uncles and grandmother had lived in just such a slum, even farther removed from the parks, but they had used the parks regularly all of their lives. I decided that unless my attitude changed, I would not make a very good social worker.

The Chicago World's Fair was in its second year, and was bigger and better than ever. Several new exhibits had been added - the Old Globe Theatre, which presented Shakespearean plays in an atomspheere supposed to be very like the original Theater. A Belgian Village, authentic down to the last cobblestone and the mannikin pis was very popular.

It was at the fair that summer that I had one of my greatest frights. On a dollar day some time in July, an immense crowd turned out on a beautiful day and was being admitted at the main gate at about 12th street, and also farther south at 35th street. Those coming in from the north headed south, and those admitted at the south usually headed north. Where the road narrowed, just in front of the Cavalcade of America, the two crowds met. At first it was funny as the road clogged with a mass of humanity struggling to go in opposite directions. But as more and more people poured in from the two ends --- unable to see what was happening in the center -- it became less funny and more frightening. I was lucky enough to be standing just beside a small platform built around a light posts, and a kind-hearted man already on the platform reached down and gave me a hand to hold me up out of the mass and onto the platform. I stood there, finally able to breath freely, watching a frightening sight. Women and children were beginning to cry and to faint, Men were doing their best to get little children up on their shoulders, and people were beginning to yell to try to get the attention of the. police, and of those still coming in. Finally the police forced their way into the mob and made everyone on one side of the road go toward the north, and those on the other side go south, often quite against their wishes, until some of the pressure had let up in the middle. It was all over within an hour, but it was a frightening example of how a perfectly good-natured crowd could do damage to itself.

September. 1934 -

The depression showed few signs of letting up In spite of FDR's many projects. The PWA built dozens of dams and public buildings -- the city hall in Des Plaines was one. The WPA put many artisans artists and authors to work. Apple sellers still stood on the streets, but now many of them were older men since thousands of younger men were building roads in National Parks and State Forests with the CCC.

Anne Tucker, who had moved to Kansas, wrote letters giving graphic reports of the problems raised by the dust storms in the middle west. She said that, in spite of stuffing every window and door crack with wet newspapers and rags, her house was covered with drifts of dust every day. Finally, the entire layer of top-soil seemed to be lifted up in the air, and was seen as a heavy black cloud as far away-as the east coast. The newspapers and radio kept us informed of its progress, and I can remember going out on the steps at Wellesley and watching the black mass approach from the west, finally making everything as dark as thunder clouds would have made it, but without the pleasant dampness which accompanies thunder clouds.