Dec 5 1927

                        Dec. 5, 1927

Dear Thelma,

For the last couple of weeks the “subs” and “Els” are unbearable.  Going to and from work is more tiring than the work itself.  To say that they “pack ’em” like sardines is putting the case mildly.  My clothes bunch, and body is twisted up so much after I get off a train that I barely think you’d recognize me.  The wonder is that I am able to sit down to-night and scribble off these few lines without some medical attention.  Maybe the new Ford Car will relieve the tension in the “subs”.  But most likely they will become a menace to the surface transportation.  The reason I am giving this matter a second thought is because I am a victim, therefore vitally concerned.  This condition, I find is the most displeasing feature of New York City.

I have known of the Rand School for the last fifteen years.  My brother Sam took a course on Socialism by correspondence from that very institution; that was before he joined the S.L.P.  The Rand School is an S.P. Outfit.  Reforms and palliatives are all it has to offer the working class, for true revolutionary principles it has a horror.  No doubt they have good lectures there occasionally.  Lillian Diamond must overcome her “complex” if she can expect to make any progress along intellectual lines.  Despondency acts only as a millstone around one’s neck.  You say you found out something about me that surprised you, and that it’s nothing to my discredit.  For my sake you should make your discovery known to me because it is easier to expose a wrong impression than to live up to a false reputation.

Yes, I am coming home for X-mas but it will be a very short visit; I am too “flat” to make it a little longer.  Most likely Esur will go home also.  Esur & I are “hitting it up” in grand style.  We go to concerts once in a while and play duets every week.  Poor kid is got a rotten job “lots of work and little pay”.  I am trying to hunt up a better job for him.  Leo didn’t miss much by not coming to the last rehearsal.  Hennebury didn’t show up and Mr. Beard conducted in his place.  The rehearsal was terrible and I was upset for the rest of the day.  It seems that I am becoming as sensitive as a Prima Donna since I came to New York.

What’s new in the old town anyway?  Any births, marriages or deaths?  What’s the current gossip?  How’s everybody in the Stein family?  What is Rebecca Rothstein doing?  How’s Bertha Harris?  Yesterday I was over to Ann’s house.  Her baby is by far the jolliest kid in the whole world.  A better natured “babe” is impossible to find.  Takes after his uncle I guess!!

Do you think you will be able to make the next excursion next Sunday?  If you can and will let me know beforehand.

How far are you in the Mysteries of the People?  If you answer but half of these questions embodied in this crazy paper I should have a good lengthy reply.  Well I think you are exhausted trying to decipher this trash so I cease hoping for an early reply.


P.S. How are the pupils coming along

1927Dec05_1 1927Dec05_2

Editor’s Notes: I think current New Yorkers will agree that the subway is the worst part of NYC, some things never change. model a Production on Ford’s Model T had ceased earlier in 1927 and the Model A hit the roads.  Izzy was not wrong that surface transportation would have its own set of problems.  Between 1920 and 1927 traffic fatalities doubled, it took almost another 40 years for those numbers to double again.

Izzy describes the Rand School pretty accurately as a place for Socialists to ponder and learn but Izzy would prefer mobilization and revolution.  Other individuals and groups, however, were very interested in the Rand School and performed several raids to gather documents to use in investigations against the School.  NYU’s Tamiment Library has a Rand School collection that I plan on visiting soon.


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