July 22, 1931
After you had gone on board the Berkshire, Mack turned to me and asked (in his quaint way) “Were the tears in my eyes due to your departure”? I told him that while I didn’t feel any too good about your going away the tears were due to the raw onion supper he was breathing in my face. One more “whiff” of a breath like that would drive me back to meat-eating.
Sunday evening I retired early. Monday I spent around the house, cleaning & cooking. In the evening I read, drew & practiced the violin. Tuesday Sam & I went to the American to see Young Donovan’s Kid. The picture as a story is terribly trite, commonplace, and tiring. The only good thing about it was Jackie Cooper’s acting. But even that didn’t overcome the stupid plot. Yesterday my plate came back from the school with a mark of (B) on it, which I consider pretty good for such a poor rendering. I am going to practice a whole lot more on this particular portion of the course because it is vitally important.
There isn’t going to be a meeting in Schenectady to-nite, because the matter relating to permits has not been settled. However I expect to talk Friday evening in Troy.
As to Bill’s idea of your going to N.Y.C. to make a living, it seems to me like another case of bringing coal to Newcastle. Isn’t there more musicians than pupils in N.Y.C.?
There is really nothing of big moment. In Troy, and I am anxious for Sunday evening to come when I will smother you with kisses. Lonesomeness is a mild term for my condition. I wish it was possible for me to go down to Brighton. ———————-
I expect to go out Grafton Saturday and Sunday, but I’ll be at the station to meet you Sunday evening.
I am going up to see a party this afternoon regarding a job, it’s not so “hot” but anything to tie me over the summer months. Then maybe the Hudson Clothes will do for the coming season.
Your letter certainly was vivid. I could actually see those jewish pigs herded all around, and if I was there the thunder storm would have been a blessing to erase such a picture.
Say don’t get too thin or I’ll look like a rolly-polely aside of you. Beside remember what I said about the reserve that we all need. Yes the “camel” idea, so reach for a lucky it’s kind to your —-.
This letter is degenerating to an attempt at so-called humor so I’ll close before it gets beyond repair.
I am hugging you
Editor’s Notes: Another good-bye said at a train station. Izzy and Thelma strike me as the type of couple who would be very good at communicating. A week-long absence necessitates letter-writing and I think that’s adorable. This time the scene is not at Grand Central; Thelma is boarding a train on the Berkshire Line Pittsfield, MA to Danbury, CT though I’m not sure why Thelma was headed that way. Izzy’s friend teases him about missing his girl and Izzy teases Mack right back about his breath. It’s a funny line but it also indicates that Izzy was not a meat-eater, a vegetarian perhaps. One could imagine that his ideals for better human working conditions extended to the treatment of animals.
Thelma is wondering if it’s her turn to go play music in NYC. We’re still at the start of the Great Depression and she saw how well Izzy fared in the city… Thelma was a very talented pianist and I have a few recordings of her work that I will eventually digitize. But, the economic and political situation of the US in 1931 was not such that artistry could flourish.
It’s Summer again so that means Izzy heads to Grafton and Thelma is at the surf, aka Brighton, NY near Rochester.
I don’t think I’ll even attempt to figure out the paragraph about the “jewish pigs”. While it sounds incredibly offensive I don’t think it could be an instance of anti-Semitism given their own Jewish heritage.
“Izzy” is signing his letters this year as “Issie” because nicknames are fluid, I suppose.
To Watch: “Young Donovan’s Kid” about a mobster raising a child and falling in love, based on a short story “Big Brother” by Rex Beach. Izzy’s review of the flick is the common opinion so I won’t waste your time with a link. The most interesting thing about the movie is that it probably cost 25 cents to see. Here is the American Theater in Troy.
Fun with Idioms!: Izzy tells Thelma that teaching music in NYC is like “bringing coal to Newcastle”. This is a UK idiom meaning to do something superfluous or redundant because in the 1500s Newcastle was a major coal mining center.