Monday, January 7, 2008

April 22, 1925 - Brooklyn

Matt's Notes

Papa wrote this, the first of his letters to my grandmother (or at least the earliest I have) while she was in Columbia, Connecticut for a spring getaway. It's addressed to "Miss Jeanie Pollack, c/o J. Kresewitz," so I suppose J. Kresewitz was either a relative, a family friend, or the proprietor of some kind of resort or camp.

This back of Papa's letter also has a note from my grandmother's sister, Sally, and the envelope also contained an enclosed note from her cousin. The text of each is below; I'll add comments along the way.


April 22, 1925

Dear Jeanie:

I am writing this first letter at your home.
It was indeed a source of pleasure and an
honor having had the privilege to escort you
to the station.

I was kind of worried because I did not
accompany you to your destination, and believe
me I could hardly get through my day's work
being overanxious to talk to you, and when
I finally heard your sweet voice on the phone
I was overjoyed, but I certainly had a
long wait till I got the connection.

Your dear mother and father and Sally
were overjoyed to hear of your safe arrival
and we all expect to hear from you in
detail as to how you were received
and how you are enjoying the new environment.

So far for tonight, I will write you again tomorrow.


Your Soul friend


Enclosed is a letter that arrived today for you.



[MU] Before we look at the note from Sally on the flip side of this page, let's remember that my grandmother does not appear at all in Papa's 1924 diary. He surely would have written about her if he'd met her that year (he always wrote about the women who intrigued him) so he couldn't have known her for much more than four months when he wrote this deeply affectionate letter in April of '25.

What could have happened between January and April to make him fall for her so completely, to call her his "soul friend," to take it upon himself to see her off at the train station, to anxiously wait for a long-distance connection to hear her voice, and even to take responsibility for forwarding her correspondence? How did he become so well known to her family in such a short time that he returned to their home instead of his own after he escorted her to the train?

Sally's note to my grandmother follows.


April 21, 1925

Dear Jean:

Just a few lines to let
you know how nice & quiet it is
since you went away believe me
kid, it's a pleasure. The Throop
Ave. Chaazin & his wife are over
the house now & we are all drinking
tea. I just can't wait to go to
bed as I will have the whole place
for myself. To-morrow your sister-
in-law & her mother will be
over the house to make arrange-
ments for his your brother's engage-

Take care of yourself &
get fat as it costs money.
I am not any to anxious to
write but being that Mr. Sheurman
asked me to write it don't look
nice to refuse. I will close now
fondest regards from all especially
mother. I am


[MU] Papa included the following letter with with his letter to my grandmother.

April 19, 1925

Dear Cousin Jean

- I am so glad that you
would like to have me for
a brother, but I think I'd
rather be a good cousin than a
poor brother. To-morrow I
expect to start school, al-
thought I still limp a little
I can't stay away from school.
anymore as I have lost enough
in these 7 weeks. I'll have to work
pretty hard to make up for lost
time, anyway I'm going to try
very hard and study a good deal.

Maybe some day you will be proud
of your cousin Irving. We were [glad] to
hear that you are all well and
had a pleasant holiday and
also glad that your house is
filled up and looks nice & hope
you will very happy in it. I
am very glad that you are working
it seems that your boss can't
do without you. You must be very

valuable to him. How about getting
married and giving us all a happy
surprise? Do you still go out with
Jack or have you another sheik
handy. How is Sadie (Pincher), is
she in love yet? When I wrote
that Sadie should give youa pinch
I meant she should youve you a hearty
one, like she used to do to me, but it's
all for love. Was Gertie, Rose and
their families at your house to the
Sadorem. It's about all I can
think of just now, Dad & Mother
send their love to all. I send my regards
to Uncle Sam and Aunt Brina.

I remain

Irving Bernstein


The weather here is punk.

1 comment:

  1. I like the way he end the letter with " your soul friend" its so touching.

    and "the weather is punk" I have never heard the word punk used in that way before. :*)