June 12, 1928
Don’t you dare carry out your plan of phoneing me upon your arrival here! To do that would be shocking and a shock to me at the present time, might prove fatal. Haveing been disappointed so many times I have become somewhat accustomed to it, but to be informed of a sudden, that you are here —- who could tell what would happen?! So just approximate the day and let me know a few days in advance. The normal procedure being more natural is therefore more sootheing.
I hope that by the time this reaches you, aye! even earlier, Leo will have broken that contract with La grippe who ever she is. Haveing to remain in bed with her forcefully must be something aweful. All fooling aside there must be something radically wrong with his routine, diet, or exercise. Otherwise he would never have been bothered by such trivial afflictions. He should take inventory of his daily routine for the last six months and correct his shortcomeings.
Physically I haven’t been hampered all the time since I left Troy. And that’s not by accident either. Every day I devote a little time to my health and by doing it systematically one is bound to get results. Everything down here is slowing up. The tempo reached musically speaking is Grave. If it keeps up I may be home on a vacation for a considerable time. Really it’s a shame to take my pay. Talk of a lay off is in the air and a storm may break out any moment. The same is true in every line down here.
You never mentioned in your last letter how you were getting along on the violin? Or how your new pupil was getting along on the piano? I’m planning on playing some fiddle duets with you.
Just now I am reading Thomas Paine’s pamphlet The Age of Reason. In it he shows up the imbicility of the bibal. Chronologically he proves the “good old book” a farce. Little wonder is it that this great personage, being far ahead of his time, was persecuted. It would do you good to read of a real American not the present day, horn-blowers and lip-servers.
Last Saturday I was over to the aquarium. Believe me I never had anything arouse my curiosity or stir my imagination any more than that place did.
Talking about Bach, there’s no question about his rank as a composer. But to my way of thinking his compositions lack romance. It’s too sobre and enlightened. His music appeals to the critical. Tchaikovsky works have more human appeal. Hot blood and salty tears! Sing any Bach number then sing one of Tchaikovsky and see which stirs you more. Bach teaches. Tchaikovsky appeals and sympathizes. Maybe I’m talking through my hat. Or mabbe it’s because I’m writing to you if so I’m prejudiced.
Haveing rambled more then usual I shall cease and dream of you.
P.S. Will you take those long walks when I come home and me with you? (I am inclosing a limited amount of regards)
Editor’s Notes: Izzy must be missing Thelma something awful. It seems she has had to cancel several planned trips to the City and Izzy is morose with disappointment. He would be shocked if he got a call saying she was at Grand Central and I’m sure he would quickly forgive her long absence.
Leo is suffering the grippe. It’s not flu season but the last few letters have mentioned others suffering the same. Izzy is aware of his own health and has taken care to not fall ill since he came to the City. The usual list of good diet, exercise, and a routine have kept him healthy and he suggests that Leo assess his own routine.
The tempo in NYC is Grave (musically: very slow) and certainly the word choice was no accident. Folks are worried about losing their jobs and for good reason. Luckily, Izzy has family to return to if things take a turn for the worse; not many possessions or money to lose either.
The fact that Izzy spells “Bible” wrong (and his radical beliefs) lead me to think he probably was not raised in a religious household. He lauds Thomas Paine for his frank dismissal of the seriousness attached to the Bible and believes him to be a true American, possibly due to his honest opinions.
The aquarium that is now located at Coney Island once stood in Battery Park and held only 150 specimens. The novelty of viewing these animals was still fresh and I imagine Izzy’s awe stemmed partially from just being able to experience life that normally happens many leagues under our own world.
To Read: Thomas Paine’s “The Age of Reason” (originally a pamphlet 1794-1807) tells you right there in the title that he is a man of reason; not a man of blind faith, not a man of unrealized promises, and certainly not a gullible man.