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« Rustless E-Z-MEND-RS Improved Mending Patches Postcard #2 | Main | (Part 16) 1935 Trip to New York Scrapbook »

(FINAL CHAPTER) 1935 Trip to New York Scrapbook

Hold on to your pants today.  We are going to push through the rest of the scrapbook and put it to rest on a shelf for preservation.  Grab some coffee or hot chocolate and settle in for the last adventures of our Mrs. O'Brien....

"After lunch, Nita and I took a taxi back to the Astor Hotel.  I shampooed my hair and George O'Brien telephoned he had just received my card.  I had posted it at about 10 or 11 o'clock that very morning.  He lives in Long Island City.  They (continued to next page) came out to see me about 5:30p.m.  George is rather gray - but very distinguished looking.  Lottie is young and pretty and Edward, adorable.  He has a very sweet facial expression.  I dressed in my blue knit dress for the banquet, which was held in the Hotel Astor, Grand Ball Room."


You'll notice the scribbled notes at the bottom left of organ recital program.  It's too hard to read to decipher but what I can make of it might be some insight on how Mrs. O'Brien makes notes that she later journals about in this scrapbook. 

Below is an inside look at the program from the banquet she mentioned above.

"During the banquet Mr. Biggs and an English girl were at one table and the lazy drollish speech of the English girl certainly fascinated me.  She had on a stylish while crepe dress cut evening - gold and silver sandals her hair was cut boyish and no makeup but very attractive.  By Jove most of the ladies were in evening clothes - a few men wore tuxedoes.  The Downtowner's quartet was the first number on the program.  Then the Mayor of New York - The Honorable Fiorello H. La Guardia made a speech.  He said at 5 p.m. it was a rather busy time at his office.  He was getting ready to call it a day and if there was a shoemaker's convention in the city - his secretary would look under the letter S. and pull out a speech already prepared on shoes.  But there was quite a bit of excitement in the Bldg. this afternoon.  As there was no speech listed under the letter O (organ) nor M (music) nor even A (art) so he was in a pickle (By Jove).  But nevertheless he made a good speech and left immediately.

He was rather heavy set - dark and when he talks his mouth tends to pull over to one side.  Very Italian.  During the banquet Mr. La Berge swiped my wine - much to my satisfaction...But was his face red!"


How about that -- the well-known Mayor La Guardia!  Our Mrs. O'Brien is very observant.  She's kept pretty good notes on the features and speaking styles of several people so far.

"Saturday Morning.

Ate breakfast at Child's.  Then went to the Radio City Theatre.  It is the largest theatre I have ever seen.  All done in gold.  The lights shine thru the top like leaks in a roof.  Very subdued.  The seats are very comfortable and restful.  The feature was Grace Moore in "Love Me Forever" started at 10 a.m. price was 40 cents.  Then a short in color "Who Killed Cock Robin" featuring Mae West - was excellent.  Then came five acts of vaudeville or floor show.  70 girls dressed in costume of green, blue, orange, pink, etc. with fluffy white petticoats danced and it was gorgeous.  A good drunken comedian climbed a lamp post and did some tricks with a turkish towel.  Fashion Magazines with live models as July numbers were good.  A yatching crew - a village in Paris were all excellent.  The acoustics were perfect.  As we were coming out they were taking motion pictures of the crowd.  Came home - ate lunch at Woolworth then went shopping at Macy's, Woolworths.  At Macy's I bought myself a dinner ring, some red violets, some handkerchiefs - etc.  Rode an open street car back to the hotel.

Saturday Evening.

At 7 p.m. Nita & I went to Coney Island.  It takes about 50 minutes via the B.M.I.  As soon as we got there we bought a hot dog and went in a place to have our pictures made.  We didn't ask the price as they were postcard pictures.  Well we got in a wagon (continued to next page) with an old (con?) hitched to it.  Nita put on a straw hat and I an old white hat.  We were very hilarious and when we got ready to pay for them - I gave the woman a $1 bill and Nita 50 cents.  But he woman demanded $3.00 for 6 pictures.  We told her we only wanted one each and argued with her.  At last she said she would give us one each as the negative cost $1.25.  So - my picture cost $1.00.  We learned one lesson so when we got some orange juice we noticed 3 cents on a poster.  I asked the man if that meant 3 cents a drop.  He said ' No - a glass.'  We rode the chutes, roller coaster, Dragon Ghost.  Wonder Wheel large Ferris Wheel which took you up in the clouds - rode the merry-go-round and a man missed my weight by 10 lbs. and I got a calico pup.  He guessed my weight to be 138#.  I weight 148#.  We caught the local subway back to the Big City - about 11:30 p.m. and the streets were crowded.  We could hardly push thru them to our hotel but we were so tired and sleepy."

I found a couple of stills from the "Who Killed Cock Robin"....

Apparently, Mae West was only parodied in this little short by a talented lady's voice.

Here's a poster of the Grace Moore show:

"Sunday morning.

Went to church with George & Lottie O'Brien.  Went to St. Patrick's Cathedral - lovely church.  The choir was in the back of the church and a negro man was singing in the choir.  Ate lunch at the Automat and our nickels got stuck in the slot and they were returned and a man jabbered at us from behind the counter.  There we had pictures made and took some pictures of the park at Radio City with my Kodak.  Came home and met Nita and Lucile Brooks Huff and we all went to Loew's Theatre and saw Sophie Tucker in person.  She sang 'Some of These Days.'"

Here's a YouTube video of Sophie Tucker singing the song:

Here's a closeup of the St. Patrick's Cathedral Postcard and a "doctored up" closeup of the picture she had made with George & Lottie..

Here's a closeup of the top of the Cathedral Bulletin.  I just liked the artwork....


"Saw George Raft in 'The Glass Key.'  Ate supper at a cafeteria - caught the bus at the Lincoln Hotel at 10:20 p.m.  Nita stayed with me until I left.  The bus boarded a ferry somewhere and we sailed across to Jersey City.

Went to bed at once and awoke in Washington at 8:10 a.m.  Got off the car 113 St. (Angle?) and went thru the waiting room at the station.  Bought some oranges and there were all kinds of souvenirs - but I didn't have long to tarry.  Leaving Washington everything is so green & clean looking.  Trees seem to spring right up out of rocks.  Ate lunch on the diner.  Had fried chicken and the best blackberry pie $1.00 15 cent tip.  Only two in my pullman.  Another lady - Yankee looking.

Tuesday Morn.

Arrived in St. Louis at 7:25 a.m.  Forgot to turn my watch back so got up an hour too soon 5:30 instead of 6:30.  When arriving in St. Louis I caught a Park Street Car and rode down thru the main part of town - Then I walked about 12 blocks."

"Saw Kress and Woolworth's and some department stores.  Kress was air conditioned and it felt grand, especially since I had my blue knit suit on.

Ate breakfast in the Harvey House - Toast & coffee before I started out.

Went to Loew's Theatre saw 'Sanders of the River.'  Then got a sandwich - (buttermilk & ice cream) at Kress for lunch.

Caught the 'Bluebonnet' at 1:30 p.m., after I boarded the train - I learned that I should have waited for the 6:30 p.m. "Texas Special" as I will have to lay over in Denison about 5 hours - getting up at 4:15 a.m.  Umph.  I hate that.  Sat in the 'Observation Car' for a little while until I began to get train sick.  Had to go inside and after resting awhile - I felt better and ate a big vegetable dinner and was alright again.  I was the only soul in the entire pullman coach until we got to Springfield, Missouri.  There, an elderly gentleman boarded the train.  The porter, brakeman and conductor have bent themselves being nice to me.  Free with advice, service it's Bed 8 p.m.  Porter awakened me at 4:15 a.m.  Dressed and porter carried my bag to Station.  Have to stay there until 9:40 when the Raty for Gainesville arrives.  Ate hat cakes in Harvy House for breakfast. 


Well, that's literally "All She Wrote" folks.  What can I say?  If we could only thank Mrs. O'Brien for such a fine depiction of her trip to the big city.  I have to say that she pretty much fit all she could into her schedule and made the most of her time.  I'm sure she had many stories to tell Mr. O'Brien.   I

I hope you enjoyed this "long" look through her scrapbook.  I'll be hard pressed to find another one out there as fine as this one.

Have a great day.  I hope you set your clocks back!

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Reader Comments (4)

At the time, her observations about what she ate and what she and other people were wearing might have seemed boring to us, but reading it now gives us a much more complete picture. I like how she even documented washing her hair. Didn't miss a thing.

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

She definitely didn't miss a thing. I bet she had a personal journal along with other scrapbooks. She's the kind of lady that goes to the park just to people watch.

November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterBrian Carlisle

Oh my gosh, where to start? First, how lovely is the name Lottie? Lovely! And how "unsatisfied" would I be if Mr.La Berge swiped my glass of wine? Very! And you've proved to be a very good researcher, however, I'd like you to now find illustrated instructions on how to do tricks with a Turkish towel while drunk.

Btw, what IS a Turkish towel?

November 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersusanna

You got me on that one! I'm not sure I can come up with any turkish towel trick information. That entertainer definitely had some skills, I guess. Maybe he REALLY was drunk.

November 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterBrian Carlisle

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