Jan. 24, 1928
What the hell do you mean by calling me Irving? Are you trying to “high-hat” me? It’s a good thing we’re “pretty close friends” otherwise you would have committed an unpardonable sin. Ha! Ha! I fooled you! You can’t get me sore, but, just the same, I wish you were near me —- I’d whisper in your ear!
Talking about attending concerts, last night Esur, Dave Harris, Katie, Henry, Rosner the artist and yours truly went to hear Joseph Szigeti the great Hungarian violinist. He played to wonderful that the vast audience applauded unceasingly for an hour after the program was completed. Some of the world’s celebrities attended, besides us. After the concert we all went back-stage to see the performers. By the way Dave Harris turned pages for Ignace Strasfogel, Szigeti’s accompanist. In the dressing room we saw Max Rosen, Sammy Kramer, Benno Rabinoff, Felix Salmon and many others. After that we adjourned to a restaurant and discussed the concert, raised a “little” hell and got home early in the morning. It’s a good thing that we do this once in a blue moon otherwise I would do my sleeping at work, which is a very poor showing for the boss. Friday evening Dave, Margie, and I (maybe I can sneak Esur along) are going to hear Guy Maisa, Lee Patterson and Earnest Hutcheson knock out a six hand affair — whatchamacallit on the piano.
Who is your guiding angel that tells you about such wonderful books? Soon you will be so informed, that both of us will be capable to make soap-box speeches for the purpose of imparting some of our (get the idea of incorporate) information to the working people. At present all I manage to read is the N.Y. Times daily The Weekly People and Nation during the week and Heavenly Discourse on Sunday. That reminds me of something I owe you, so I am tieing a string on my finger, not to forget. Tomorrow I am going down and buy it. Wait and see. Oh yes talking about down town, that reminds me of a concert we attended at the Educational Alliance on East Broadway. Alexander Block and wife gave a Sonata Recital. The only thing I can is “wonderful”! Such classic music at ten cents admission. It’s a great thing for us poor people. After the recital Esur, Dave Harris, Dave Bickwheat and I went to a Jewish restaurant and filled up on potato latkes and tea; I only wished you were with us. You’d burst your corset laffing. Work and I are becoming like two sore fingers tied together. After Saturday I will have a little more time to practice. My class of pupils is growing I have two now.
Darling don’t forget the next excursion. I’ll be counting the seconds. Remember when you come that just you & I are going to anyplace you say. That’s fair enough isn’t it?
The usual regards and write me a good l o n g letter. How do you like my [unclear]?
Editor’s Notes: Irving!? Thelma must be getting back at him for calling her “Tillie” in the last letter. That gal’s got a sense of humor.
A star-studded event for us may be Jason Derulo coming out on stage at a Taylor Swift concert but Izzy’s vision is full of classical musicians. Joseph Szigeti, Ignace Strasfogel, Max Rosen, Sammy Kramer, Benno Rabinof, and Felix Salmond being some of the performers he saw that month. Sammy Kramer was found and heralded as a violin prodigy at the age of 6 but for some reason I have only found a few mentions of him – help me out Classical Music lovers! Here is an example of a six-hand whatchamacallit that 3 other musicians performed before Izzy and his friends had some late night latkes.
He also attends an event at the Educational Alliance, originally a settlement for East European Jews which eventually held classes and creative programs.
The usual talk of which Socialist papers/books each of them are reading has a new addition with Heavenly Discourse. This is a collection of satirical essays by Charles Erskine Scott Wood with views considered as radical as Izzy’s. You can borrow it by signing up for a free Internet Archive “library card”.
“high-hat” is to treat with condescension or in a supercilious manner.
Tying a string on one’s finger as a reminder of a task may have come from the Bible and the Torah in which people would tie fabric around their clothes to remind themselves of their God. Still not entirely sure how that helps but there you have it.
Soap-box speeches came from people who would stand on street corners and profess their beliefs and actually stood upon wooden crates discarded by shops.
Side note: I imagine it was very difficult to bust a corset, “laffing” would probably just be painful. Can any corset-wearers confirm this?