Nov. 8, 1927
You can hardly realize the thrill I got when I heard your voice on the phone!!! When Fanny awoke me from my sleep and told me that Troy was calling instantly I saw you. I am still enjoying the effects.
Say, I’ll tell you what I do! If you can manage to come down for Thanksgiving I promise to give you an excellent time. We’ll go to a show and a ball or any place you desire. What do you say?
I heard three violinists lately. Boris Lass, Albert Spalding, and Samuel Gardner, and it didn’t cost me a red penny! A gang of us pupils meet in the lobby of the concert hall and get some of the free passes that happen to float around. If there isn’t any I take Dave and Sam Artak and go up the side entrance and bribe the door attendant. It works most of the time. Boris Lass toured Soviet Russia with Chalipian. He is a pupil of Auer. I like Spalding the best of the three. He certainly surprised me. His instrument is the highest priced in the world. The Strad cost $100,000. Harris tells me the fiddle will play by itself, but I am not that credulous enuf to believe it regardless of its price.
My job brings me in contact with the wealthiest in the country. I delivered two famous etchings to the Woolworths. The splendor and luxury the plutocrats of this country live in exceeds all the lavishness of the royalty of this age or any other. I could relate some strange experiences and droll stories of which I was a spectator but I will reserve them until we see each other. Sufficient enough it is to say that with this wealth that they enjoy comes an inevitable degeneracy that would make Sue’s description of corresponding conditions of the earlier ages, seem nieve in comparison.
I am expecting Esur up tonight. He is looking for a job and a new room. I have two excellent places for him. One place is with a mother and daughter in a very nice neighborhood. The other is with a family, the mother promises to take him in as one of her own for a monetary consideration. He certainly is undergoing a change for the good, he is getting real congenial and sociable. Maybe the next time you see him I will be cut out all together. Who knows? One can never tell!!!
It is getting cold here. Maybe we’ll have real winter weather if it keeps on snowing. There was quite a few flurries flying as I was walking from the sub station to the house tonight. I am enclosing a clipping from The Evening World that struck me while riding on the “El”. Write me what you think about it. Please remember me to Rebecca, tell her I said to read The Weekly People for sound information. Give Gert a hot passionate kiss for me & tell her not to break so many young men’s hearts. A crazy mood is passing over me so I stop before I do something rash.
Regards to the whole family and all mutual acquaintances and friends. To hell with the rest.
P.S.S. Send me a snap shot of yourself. Will you?
Editor’s Notes: The first phone call comes through! A rare and exciting moment. Izzy has seen 3 impressive violinists in a short period of time – recordings from the men can be found here here and here – one with a $100,000 instrument. that would translate to 1.5 million in 2015 dollars and today you could pay tens of millions for a Stradivarius.
The Woolworths, whom Izzy claims to have delivered sketchings too, are a famously wealthy family of NY, owners of a popular “five-and-dime” chain, who probably had many walls to fill with art. Izzy’s opinions on economy informed his thoughts of the immediate world surrounding him, including his impressions of the NY elite and their wealth. The “sub station” is of course the subway station and he was reading while riding the “El” or the Elevated train, probably on 3rd Avenue.
I have not been able to locate the clipping that Izzy included from the Evening World, which is a daily paper that has gone by many names over the years, but the Library of Congress has digitized issues up to 1922.
Thanks for reading and keep checking back, I will have pictures of the couple up soon!