Death of a Blythe Spirit


The Letter

First Sib Meeting

Dreams of Love

Family Origins

The Making of a Batterer

I Care for Him!


Keeping Company

What Price Love?

Wedded Bliss?

The Honeymoon


The Honeymoon's Over

The Babies Come

Home Sweet Home

Moving Again


Other Mat'ls

Thoughts on Mother's Poetry

Mother's Essays

Penny's Vampire Chronicles

Gina's story fragment


Site PDFs

Death of a Blythe Spirit
(web contents)

Cars Hate Me!
(letters '46-'57)

New York Diaries
(life in the 1930's)


Camille's Diary

Vampie Chronicles

Keeping Company

By the end of February, 1939, Mom and Dad were an established “couple.” The attraction was seductive, and within four months Father was planning their future together. He was living at home in Mount Vernon, NY, and Mother with her Aunt Rose in Long Island, NY.


February 25, 1934

Dearest little "villain",

Your "refined form of punishment" found me in bed at eleven o'clock this morning (yesterday), and after great effort I managed to translate a duckling's tale of pampered existence. I missed you, too, especially at night. But I kept so busy that little time remained for pleasurable self-torture; what with Latin, book reports, preparation for a history test, a few compositions, mathematics, and physics every moment was occupied. But when light was extinguished and books put away the mind and spirit was free to work its will. When irritations piled up to the breaking point I missed your soothing spirit so. To be free from all this, with our own home and our own life, to go on to new things, free of all retroactive restraints, that is the goal.

Your interpretation of "Brutus" seems a clever one. Reincarnation is such a pleasant philosophy. Barrie may have had some such idea in mind, although I felt he meant to say that it was futile to excuse our errors and shortcomings by holding fate responsible, because our innate constructions governed our choice of the paths. Who was Lot? I felt he was the spirit of the woods, the Greek and Roman conception of nature.

Sunlight is beautiful and protective. How delightful it would be could we two lie so in the quiet of a sunlit morning. Then could we face life with zest [and] pleasure, and solve our problems together as they arose.

You guessed it, Wednesday we played cards. I did want you so, but it would have been anti-climactical after Tuesday's leave taking.

Frieda dear, your idea of cooperation is a splendid one; you could be of immense help, as an editor, a critic, a proof reader of notes. It would be a tough job, probably boring, but it might have its interesting aspects, too. Competition, exchange of ideas, comparative interpretation, all contribute to a heightening of interest and of the bonds of association.,

Little villain, I ought not to confess this, but at times the physical longing for you becomes almost overpowering, a positive ache. Do you feel the same sort of thing? It's dangerous. Do let me know how you feel about it and whether you feel the same sort of emotion.

All afternoon I was making notes on the 135 pages of history text, while the Metropolitan was giving Taunhouser. It formed a beautiful background.

Last night the Portland Symphony Orchestral Concert was broadcast. They played Beethoven's Eighth Symphony and Swetova's Tone-poem "Moldaw." The 8th Symphony seems to be the thoughts of a man first railing against man's futility, then taking refuge and pleasure in some simple things, finally the expression of the ideas of progress by progressive small steps over long periods of time. Probably Beethoven had no clear idea of this, but certainly he had some sort of musical picture analogous to it.

Friday night I went to the Chess Club and met a fellow who plays on the Mt. Vernon N.S. team; because I beat him a few times, he wants me to join the team.

How do you like the stationary? It came by way of mother from Albert, and so on ad infinitum. [the stationary is that of a French business, THE H. B. CLAFLIN COMPANY with offices in New York, Nottingham, and Paris; this paper says 46 Rue des Petites-Ecuries, Paris. Albert, Dad's younger brother, should have been a teenager at this time. Maybe he worked there?]

Keep your chin up and your nose clean. Life in a small town has it all over the "Big City."

With love, Nemesis

Hope springs eternal in the human breast, so "carry on".


February 26
He wrote: At times the physical longing for you becomes almost overpowering, a positive ache. When [irritations] piled up to the breaking point I missed your soothing spirit so.

February 27
And I answered: I miss you so much, miss the touch of your hands, the feel of your eyes under mine. I miss you-its like a powerful rhythm that creeps from my heart to my [voice]. I ought not to confess it but I love you so very much, I long for your nearness, to feel the dearness of you, to taste the dynamic sweetness of your embrace. I want you so. It's only natural that after baring my soul to you [giving you every thought] the moment it is [thought], after taking you in my heart that I should make the supreme and final sacrifice.

March 1
I just had to go and see him. I had to. Longing and loneliness got the best of me. And it was heavenly. Oh my darling.

[Early in the year Mother went to stay with her Aunt Rose in Long Island, and so the young love birds communicated by letter. The following letter gives a hint of the family disapproval engendered by their "keeping company."]


March 5, 1934

Dear little girl,

If I gave you cause for anger, I'm sorry; it was unintentional. You were here Thursday, and I expected to go down there Sunday, so I didn't write. It seemed so much better to say it.

Everyone is angry at everyone else. Such a state of affairs! And of course you're the goal. Sis says you intend to stay down there; it seems to be a good idea. A permanent change of environment with some one to give you a little affection is just what you need. It is a darned shame that you should be the object of everyone's ill humor.

Sis is up in arms against [you]; she'll probably tell you all about it herself. All in all, it's a mess; you're the only bright spot in the whole mess. And for the love of heaven, if you get a job stay. We'll be able to meet somehow, and you'll be happy. At home there'll only be hell and more of it, because your mother will be bound to find out sooner or later, with what consequences you can imagine. So far as I can see, no one thinks of ought else but himself. You'd be an ass to walk right back into it.

Wasn't it great today/ A touch of spring, giving promise of better days to come. Perhaps better days all round. I'll bet its beautiful down there, where you can see trees and fields and get away from the noise and bustle of city life. The sun does make the world bright, for it brings warmth and cheer, the promise of future good.

This is a deuced of a letter, but I feel stupid and helpless. Now it's your turn to struggle with cryptograms.

Let me know the final outcome of the tangle. It is so very evidently the result of selfishness all around that you should not consider anyone except yourself and your own interests.

If I were to say I felt sorry for you, you'd be angry, so I'll say you deserve better-in fact, the best. It is things like these that drive me to distraction-not for an instant would I tolerate any of it, but unfortunately I have nothing to do or say in the matter. This much, however, is appropriate; such things shall never form any part of our lives-they are destructive in themselves and lead only to baseness. How people can live with so little regard for the affairs and feelings of others is beyond my understanding.

So we drift along on life's slow tide, going we know not whither, and unable to change either direction or speed. But when the day comes wherein is given us control over our own destinies, then shall we be the more able to intelligently direct our ship, in that we saw so many wrecks and were for so long free to think instead of merely acting.

Don't do as I do, do as I say; keep the chin up, the eyes dry, (also the nose) and courage to all. So 'till next time.

With love



Don't be angry with me, you know I wouldn't add to your troubles. Soon the tide will turn, and then alone we can face it all and know we are free and dependent upon one.

Little "villain"


March 7
I went home again today. Why did we agree anyway? Why was he so angry? Because his own thoughts were so unsettled or what? I don't know. I didn't mean to get so angry but his aggravations got the best of me. I couldn't see him peeved though, and made up. That was dynamite!! Absolutely a danger signal. We must be more careful. We can't go on forever like that. I can't understand myself. But he means so much to me, I get a kick out of his caresses. I do care, really more than I ever did for anybody. I love him.

And after every meeting I realize our relationship more, we become more intimate all the time, we know we're part of each other and need each other. There's always a new phase [coming up another individual] trend of thought. After every meeting we know each other better.


The next few entries in Mother's diary make it clear that even during their courtship Father was, if not downright abusive, at least terribly selfish, rude, unkind, and spoiled. As a matter of fact, Mother had told us that he beat up his own mother!! And that she had told Kate. (Poor Kate! What mother wouldn't have an absolute FIT if her daughter was desperately in love with someone who battered his own mother?) Mother, of course, was making the time-honored mistake women have been making forever: it would be different with her, she would change him with her love. And if I had been Kate, I wouldn't have been content to send her to Long Island. Probably Timbuktu would have been too close. After all, wise Kate, cognizant of Father's maternal abuse, would no doubt have accurately concluded that spousal abuse would be just around the corner. In the next entry Mother shows a remarkable perception of her lover's character and also reveals her own blithe spirit.


March 10, rough draft of a letter.
I suppose you'll be very much surprised to get this letter from me, but it so happens I can express my thoughts better on paper, and what I have to say is as well to be down in black and white. It has as you may imagine to do with our conversation last night.

You've lost patience and interest in me because I don't as yet measure up to the ideal you've set up in your mind. What happened to your affection for me is the same as with any other interest in your life. You throw yourself with all the abandonment of which you're capable [as a hobby] and burn the fires of your enthusiasm too high, the natural conclusion it burns out in a short time and leaves you nothing. Look back and try to prove me wrong, everything you ever tackled you were fire and [flame] for and then lost interest because it became stale to your [intimate] taste. You strive for an ideal land try to mold things to your utopian state of perfection. But you forget that I as other, am a mere mortal with ideas and ideals of my own, and with all the shortcomings and fumbling efforts of a mortal. You want me to put Beauty into everyday life. [Siamted] so do I. I want to be a lady by action manor and speech, but poise and culture must be acquired and I am still [untamed]. All my life I [tasted] freedom and the restraints of civilization are still a burden to me. You can't take a colt off the meadow and expect it, by putting a saddle on it to trot as majestically as a parade horse. I have tried and always will try [that promise] was made to me long ago, and you lack the patience and I of love to see that. You won't credit me for what I did do only [disgusting] with what I should have done. You've gathered your moldy philosophy from books, but I want to take my lesson from life. [St. Thomas] may be all right, but since the last book was written, time has marched on. We live to better our condition, we live that the next generation may be a step upward. If that is so, why should I be compelled to adjust myself to the standard set my men of a decade or so ago. Time doesn't wait for the laggard or the bookworm or the dreamer. Life is but for a moment.

March 12
What right has he got to expect me to live up to his ideals, to remodel my whole self, to deny myself that I may be as he sees fit? What did he ever put into our relationship to justify his expectations. It was always I who coaxed and pleaded and petted, I who pampered and spoiled and indulged. It was even my intention that he should fall in love with me. I have done everything within my power to get him out of his [depression] and what effort did he put into it? He made not even the slightest move to shake off his moods. He let himself [fall] deeper and deeper into his despondency, he gloried in his tantrums, and enjoyed his misery. He has given me nothing, nothing except the satisfaction of helping him. I knew his limitations and faults and was willing to take them for better for worse. I knew his shortcomings and was quite willing to cope with them the rest of my life if necessary. Why can't he do the same for me, why can't he take me as I am and love me as I am? Why does he strive for perfection, for an ideal. There can't be that many virtues combined in any one person. If I go, he'll never find anyone to give what I gave, to put up with as I have. All his life he'll be a solitary lonesome soul. He'll never know the joys of a home, the thrill of a family, the knowledge there lies in love, real love,--in the fact that someone is waiting when he comes home from his work. Someone to soothe him, someone to confide in. He'll never know the perfect companionship that goes with a successful marriage.

To say I was cut to the core, though what he said was putting it mildly. But I'll give him time and myself time to think it over. I'll settle it once and for all. He'll have the choice of his ideals or myself-as is. I'm willing to listen to entreaties if it's justified, but he has no right to hurt my feelings as he did. My appearance, indeed!


Before I learned about battered women, I assumed there was some deficiency in Mother, some psychological wound, some neurosis that caused her to exhibit such apparent lack of self-respect. I would read her professions of love and get incredibly angry. What's WRONG with this woman, how could she have been so STUPID to have put herself into that position?

My daughter Gina taught me that whether or not there was something wrong with my mother, there was definitely something wrong with me. After reading one particularly galling paragraph wherein Mother more or less begged God to let her serve Father, I--incensed!--looked to my daughter to provide some reassurance that the next generation (post-women's lib) wasn't so gullible and stupid. Deliberately not sharing my feelings about the paragraph, I asked Gina to read it and tell me what she thought of it. So what did my daughter think of my Mother's mush? Regina-this innocent 13 year old flower of femininity, this A student, this class president, this credit card holding pride of the libbers--said she thought it was "very sweet, very loving; they're obviously very much in love."

The literature on adult children of alcoholics (ACA) constantly notes that growing up in such a dysfunctional home a child learns to "don't talk, don't feel, don't trust". I suddenly knew why I could never remember the third symptom of ACAs. Clearly, to totally give one's self to another requires a willingness to make one's self vulnerable, to TRUST that the lover will not take advantage. Clearly, I was unable to trust, I was so jaded that I saw my Mother's love as stupid and masochistic.

On the other hand, surely it wasn’t healthy of my mother to be attracted to someone who wanted to make her over into his image of perfection? As a matter of fact, as I ponder these letters and diaries that I have so often read, I am struck with the fact that she never says anything about what Father loved about her. I recall in the 50s he touted her cooking, but otherwise all he ever did, and all she ever noted, was his criticisms. My gut feeling is that there was something neurotic in her attachment, something neurotic in her slavish devotion. As you read this, decide if you agree with me: Mother’s father ignored her, didn’t take care of her, didn’t treasure her; and I think her grown-up “script” required the same from her lover, possibly so she could, with superhuman effort, change the ending.


March 15
Don't you see how it is? I couldn't let him down now. Anyone else would have said to hell with it, but I'm not that kind. I can't let a fellowman go down without at least trying to help. It is a hopeless case, but I will be determined. At the very least I shall try. When I stand before my judge and jury, they can't say I failed in my chosen duty. To all appearances it may look a failure, but as long as I can say I have done my very best that is what counts in the long run. I'm not looking for anything for myself. I want no award, no appreciation. I see only too clearly the folly of such expectations but I shall and will always be there to help, to soothe, to love and [caress].

March 17
I wonder if I'm not heading for a big fall! And a tremendous hurt. I'm not sure of him and seems like I never can be. When I'm with him it doesn't matter-I give and give, my attention, my time, my love, but away from him doubts assail me. Am I doing the right thing, or am I letting myself down. There's always a disappointment and so very few red letter days. I hate like the very devil to go so full of high hopes and spirits, looking and feeling my best, and he's not there. I admit there's something in the argument, but…the hurt remains. I feel slighted, unwanted, and merely tolerated, when it's all for him.

March 18
See, again all my doubts are dispelled after seeing him again. And that was a most enjoyable evening. I hope we'll be able to go to that show tomorrow. [I sort] of dreaded broaching the subject, but after all it [oughtn't] to make any difference between us.

March 19
Well we did go, even if I had some time coaxing him. And I still think it was worth it. I intend to repeat it at the earliest opportunity. He still is my darling! And my pride.

I can't account for that thrill of pride. My intuition tells me that I shall be proud of him some day. That will be my reward and the justification of my faith in him.

March 20
Am I happy! Oh, am I happy! He was so sweet, and he does care, he does. My heavenly days, it's getting deeper all the time. But so sweet, so very sweet. I wouldn't miss it for worlds. If only he were like that more often, in fact always! I love him like that. I want him to want me and say so, too.

March 22
Darling, darling! It was divine, just heavenly, I love being loved by him. I love his caresses, his kisses, his tenderness.

But I simply must keep my head. I mustn't forget we're skating on very thin ice. But I'm so much in love. I take his attentions more or less as part of it. I oughtn't to permit it, but I ache for his caresses. I love him, love him. For the first time I really love.

Are we closer to each other than we were a month ago? I dare say we couldn't be much closer, I don't doubt his love anymore, I know he's mine, body and soul. And I also know that I'm his, alas!, for the asking!

March 23
Well!!! That's that, and now what! What's she going to do about it? I'm rather curious and in one way glad it came about although I had hoped not so soon! As I said before-now what. I shant worry, or even dwell on the subject. There's nothing I can do in thinking. And I really don't know what I'm going to do. Am I strange or is she!! This ought to prove my mettle.

March 25
Well now, in a way I'm glad she [brought] things to a point. Now I know, I'm sure! My choice is made regardless of consequences. What ever happens I'm his. And he is too deeply entrenched in my heart now to try to tear him from my life. It would be impossible.

March 29
Went over to say good-bye. I probably shant see him for a long Time. My sweetheart. He is a dear.

March 31
Why couldn't I have been more careful. After all the precautions I took. But who would have thought she'd go through my suitcase. And I did want that picture so, but I'll get it yet, you mark my words I'll get it!

I was furious and there was a battle royal. It all came out after all. So now she knows, now what?

Alas for those who having tasted once
Of that forbidden vintage of the lips
That, pressed and pressing, from each other draw
The draught that so intoxicates them both,
That, while upon the wings of Day and Night
Time rustles on, and Moons do wax and wane,
As from the [very--she left out this word--and all the punctuation and capitalization]] Well of Life they drink,
And, drinking, fancy they shall never drain.
But rolling Heaven from his ambush [whispers],
So in my license is it not set down:
Ah, for the sweet societies I make
At morning, and before the Nightfall break;
Ah, for the bliss that coming Night fills up,
And Morn looks in to find an empty Cup!

April 6
Oh my darling, I miss you so very much. All the longing that I can't communicate to you is bottled up in my heart. I miss you so. Oh why did I ever consent to such an [presumptuous] promise. How much longer. Oh how much longer. My dear, I'd give everything, anything in the world to be with you again, to be in your arms, be able to touch your dear face. Those exquisite moments that we enjoyed by ourselves, will they ever be repeated!

April l7
I, too, have know love, its bitterness as well as its sweetness, its heartaches and bliss. Now I can combat Life's monotony with my memories.

One week passed, what a relief. Wished the other three passed as quickly.

April 8
I'm beginning to believe in mental telepathy between us! Just when my longing reached its peak he phoned and insisted on seeing me.

It was sweet, we had coffee in the kitchen by ourselves and I could almost imagine our own home. Oh when is that to be, I wonder.

"When my lover calls, I go
Dame Disdain was never wedded…"

Shame it were to treat him coldly!

April 9
Now here we are, right back against the same stone wall. But I shant give up, no not I. I'll hold on until heaven and earth rise up and meet! He does love me and that is all that counts. That knowledge is mine now, and it will help when everything else fails. I must get him out of his indifference even if I have to excite him to the limit. That's my only chance and my only weapon. Oh God, give me strength and endurance.

April 10
Well now that he warned me personally I really ought to take heed if I don't want to come to grief. I had no idea what a storm of emotion I stirred up when I did my level best to stir him up. He was honest anyway, and I give him credit, he's right, too right. So that's out. The situation really is a little beyond me now, and while my head may remain cool, I really can't guarantee it to be so when he makes up his mind to be his charming, [loving] best. So I stand him on his ear, do I!! That's just fine, that shows he's still alive and where there's life there's hope. He'll rally round yet. I won't let his moods worry me so much any more now.

April 15
Oh dear God! The sweetness and the anguish of him. Must I fight for him every step of the way? Isn't there ever any change, ever! It's always like that-and eruption that wrings my heart and then the complete surrender that taxes my strength above everything. And yet, it makes me feel glad, so very glad. I can still stir him up emotionally. I can still offer him something novel and new. If there were only a way out. You, that inexorable fate, the power that is! Find me a chance, a little light. Oh, show me the way.

April 18

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an Eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me,
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whole distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Thieir mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And tonight I long for rest.

Read form some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away


April 19
NO, no, not that. It can't go on like that. I know I can't- He torments me, tortures me to the breaking point, and I cannot give in, I wont! Not like that. His passion amazes :me, and his arguments have the flavor of the "male [command]" . I imagine they all reason like that.

I'm not sorry though, and not ashamed. I'm frank enough to admit that I'm thrilled to the core at his touch, but too much is too much.

I'm pretty cynical now, but I was quite unstrung then, talk about standing him on his ear--he stood me on my head. And yet; I could had I wanted to, let the whole stream of passion and emotions race over me, without so much as rippling my composure. But I hesitated, and lost.

April 22
I felt exhilarated last night, just bubbling over with a strange mischievousness. I swear I don't know what got into me but it was the most [amiable} time I've had in a long while, a gem, in a string of common days. These few hours are treasures, dear to my heart, and so rare they fill me with joy and wonder when they do happen again. I knew I was irresistible to him, enchanting and bewitching, but for the life of me I cant tell just what imp possessed me.

April 23
He must miss me, I dare say, calling home! And today here. Ah, but you know "where my lover calls I go....." that is a remarkably good idea, if only it worked and brought him something, preferably a job.

I say I'd adore going into the wilds with him. That dream hasn't left me all day! that would be just the thing.

I'd be contrary though!

April 28
Oh God , so this is what I gambled for, heartbreak ! I knew it from the beginning that was in the bargain, but I kept a brave front. Now I find the burden almost too much for me. Always the[test]! always with never a change only an occasional respite. And on top of all that, he doesn't see my beauty doesn't appreciate my physical attraction at all. That to me a daughter of [Eve], is almost the last straw.

No matter what I wear [or do], it's the same--no recognition. A compliment as rare as silver dollars in Alaska and-- oh what's the use; I'm weary tonight, weary onto death.

[page ripped out!!]

May 1
[two lines with writing inked over so you can't read it]

That was close, damn close, but I can't feel different about it, I just can't. It goes against my grain, against my intuition. I must blame myself though. I shouldn't have lead him on, that I know, is wrong, and in that and that alone I'm guilty. I could think of no greater joy than to belong to him. I know my heart and my soul go out to him, every fiber in my aches for him, and I'm so troubled about it. There is so much to learn, so much to know.

May 5
Oaf, did we get it. And believe me she was right, he had no cause whatever to make a scene about it. And he was positively rude all evening. I agreed with her and still do, I can't have (originality] and free [inhibitions] about a vital thing like that.

May 7
It was dear of him to come. I'm glad he did. Now I can be at ease again. He got something to work on and I've got something to dream about. Oh, how I wish it were so, even a tiny home. Oh well, it will all work out all right, in the end. It always has for me.

May 9
A red letter day again! That always more than compensates for the mental struggle I have with him in between. There's always the promise of another or more such times.

It is worth fighting for. My heart is so full, so full of love and something else that I can't possibly name, a feeling that I never can put into words, it reaches up and [chokes] me, such an immense sense of happiness. I can only put my hand [around] his face and look and look, while my heart whispers, "Dear to me, so dear to me. If

May 11 .
Did we have fun though? That was a lark. I'm so glad I thought of it, otherwise the evening would have been spoiled as so often before.

That's a tip now, the next time I'll know what to do, here's hoping I'll have the mean[s] all the time.

He was dear, just dear; and I'm SO contented.. He is all I want, no more, no less, I want to be his happiness and his ideal, his alpha and omega. I want him to always be so passionately in love with me, to stir him emotionally! be able to keep the fires high and bright. Anything' else is immaterial! Only the love between us counts, if I [can keep] that, keep his love and mine intact, why, I'll ask no more of life. I can bear anything then. Anything!

May 14
We had the [longest] walk and a really practical talk. I love to talk about our future home and get him to give me an idea. So it's a house, is it! Oh well, if that will :make him happy, I guess I can get used to that.

May 25
My goal has been attained, the supreme moment has been reached--this has meant more than if I had given myself to him. It was me and only love of me that was in his heart and mind. The magic of it eclipsed all else, all misery and hope and worldliness, only I remained, I ruled Supreme for that moment. Now come what may, I am strong in that memory. I held him to my breast and felt, oh a [emt] of motherhood, a tender deep comprehension. I feel it, feel it but cannot express it. What I have vaguely felt all along has come into his consciousness too . We belong to one another, we are as one, not he and I, but we! We are mates. Ah, but that this love should come to us. I feel rewarded in spite of me. All my labor has not been in vain. And that it should be on his birthday is a lucky portend for our future together.

May 28
That's just about the worst scrape he could possibly have gotten himself into. It looks about as promising as...oh well. He did it, there's no taking it back and it must have been some mix-up--I don't have to strain my fertile imagination to gather details. What makes it SO bad is Mrs. C's attitude towards me. And yet--yet who am I to blame her? There is no doubt in the world as to my standing in the matter and she knows it. I thought there was something wrong when he called Sunday night, he actually sounded afraid and desperate. And while my plan may not be so acceptable, it filled the [lurch] at the moment, gave him a support .


Ah, the best laid plans! It’s easy to say you’ll wait a year—until the blood runs hot! If I had been Adelaide, I wouldn’t have been content when Freide Raab went to Long Island; I would have hocked everything I owned and bought her a one-way ticket to Timbuktu! Imagine! Even today it practically takes a public fundraiser to ensure that a brilliant but poor young man can get a college education; in 1934 a ghetto family probably had to make a lot of sacrifices to get the best and brightest to the physics lab.


May 29
Essentially it is [smcl, he should get out but...the burden might be too heavy for me. Oh there's a lot of argument pro and con.

And on top of all that his father in the hospital with the prospect of losing his job .

Poor poor dear Mrs. C it's a wonder she has kept going as she did. Now it seems she has reached the limit of endurance and patience, if I could only help.

Oh merciful heaven, what a muddle, the more I think about it, the more my much made of optimism falters.

Your troubles are my troubles, your enemies my enemies, your God my God, till death us do part.

May 31 [in German]

June 2
Oh heavens, now that, can't it ever be nice for a week without something nasty coming between. Why did mother have to pick this particular Saturday to come here and why did he have to be so early! I was afraid there'd be combustion!

June 6
will my crucifixion never end...with all the world against me and my heart's desire. Oh God, I'm so weary, so weary my courage leaves me drop by drop. My hope withers and my love, why God, my love droops. No, no, not that, oh not that. Mustn't even think it, my faith must always shine brightly.

I love him so, oh he is so very dear to me if I could only help, but everything I try is not exactly right for long.

June 13
Oh dear God I don't know what to say.

Ashamed, glad. I don't know.

Shall I be [envy],

We had such a glorious filled day, a kaleidoscope of good times, must it needs culminate in that. No, on second thought I thought nothing unusual of it, it's only natural and I know it. I would not avoid it if I could, but I will not overstep my limit. I will and cannot cross that line. Under certain circumstances I would, of that I am sure, but not like that no, not like that.

And I do have limits, that love is greater than if it's beyond me. I can no more control my love for him than I can the tides.

June 15
I was frightened to death. Why I never dreamed it was like that. A wild [possibly immeasurable] fear just rose up in me and I fought like--oh.

June 18
God, now I am scared. The next time I'm afraid it won't stop there any more, it will have to go all the way. I can't help it though; it gives me a feeling of utter contentment.

June 21
Well, now that's that! And what makes me think I can kiss the sky without paying the price? But I don't care, not anymore. I can and will face anything now. And besides, it needn't come to that. I have confidence in him.


[letter from J to F inserted in diary]

Tuesday. June 26. 1934. 4:45 P.M.

Dear little "Fuzzy Muzzy", I love you---. My own darling "villain", these feelings simply well up. Until I feel I must speak to you or burst. Nothing to say except that you're the world and all that's in it, the raison d'etre. When we're apart I feel so incomplete, as if the best part of me were gone. The whole of life sums up in the dearest word, Elfrieda. Swirling eddies and undercurrents of emotional stimuli sweep about and thru my mind constantly, little understood but oh, so intense, sweeping all before them, leaving but the single comprehension the overwhelming desire for you, darling monkey.


June 29
Oh, my dearest, dearest, you may be gone but your presence still lingers. I close my eyes and I'm once again in your arms, and my heart thrills to every phase of your love. Heart of my heart I count the minutes, won't it be heavenly to be your wife. Oh I love you, love you so completely and absolutely the rhythm of it keeps pounding through me and shining out of my eyes. I'm so immeasurably happy.


[letter from J to F inserted in diary]

Saturday, June :*1, 5:45 P .1.

Light of love, the thrill your presence, your nearness of which you wrote---it's always there, often as now I feel as if you were next to me, and I turn, you're not, but I close my eyes and see you smiling at me with that roguish face. I love you--words aren't adequate to express such thoughts, to convey the violence and depth of feeling that simply wells up and flows out to you . I love, dearest, the world is yours, say but the word and you can whatever your heart desires. It may take some time, but my life is for your service.

9:00--Gosh, how I long just to see you, another necessity.

11 PM. How are you love? Darling. You've. inspired as nothing ever began to: you're a dream come true, a living ideal. Take all thoughts recorded in the music of Wagner, Beethoven, Schubert, and Tchaikovsky, and all the popular songs, then you may have some idea of all that I'm trying to convey.


[letter from F to J inserted in diary]



I went to bed but do you think I can close my eyes! I'm all aquiver with happiness and contentment, you may be gone but the thrill of your presence is still with me. I love, you, love you, I can see the day coming up from my window and in the tree outside that birds are still chirping a mile a minute. I stretch out my arms, dearest, and I still feel your nearness. What price 1ove!!!! I'm. so immeasurably happy, so gloriously alive, thanks to you, for it is true what you said, you opened the door to my heart, and now with the barrier down, the wealth of my love and tenderness is just rushing forth. All for you, heart of my heart, my thoughts are with you and for you forever and ever.

Darling, I'm counting the minutes, I wish I could call out to you "Come to me, I'm waiting."

Do I love you too much?


[series of notes from J to F stuck in diary]


Dear "old" fuzzy-wuzzy, the radio is squawking out popular tunes, and I'm actually listening--something about an angel, and love, etc.

As they play "The [rumping thumping] beat of my heart," mine crashes out its message of love with such intensity that it becomes almost anguish. But such a delicious ache!

Thoughts ramble thru my mind--the house, figurines, furniture, problems, life--in fact, everything that remotely concerns us both.

You're a strange creature, a human kaleidoscope.

10:55 Chant of the jungle-out in the wilds, alone with nature, having ourselves alone to deal with, nothing to part us.

10:40 P.M.

Light of love, my thoughts are yours and of you always; my life and all my work is yours.

For the past few hours I've been singing the popular songs, to you, my love, my life.

Dear little "fuzzy-wuzzy" it's hot as the devil and everyone looks uncomfortable.

Any kind of work would be easy when it was done for you. One may feel tired, hot, sleepy, dead; suddenly your picture enters, and lo, all is bright and fresh.


Light of love, tomorrow comes, and for us "der tog." Foolish? Of course we are, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Obstacles shall be but rungs in our ladder of progress.

9:45 Sick or well, hot or cold, heartbreaking or easy, I'll get you what you should, old "Fuzzy-Wuzzy."

Lil' Hottentot, I've just been thinking how pleasant it is to plan your life for you. They say man proposes and woman disposes but such idle whims form no part of your nature (if so, you keep them well hidden).

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