Tuesday, May 6, 2008

June 26, 1927 - Atlantic City


June 26, 1927

2 A.M.

This is the 2nd message, Early this
evening I wrote you a letter.1

You will be receiving letters from other boy
friends, and what worries me is that
mine should not be overlooked.2

Well its great to be here, at the present
moment I am at a reception & dance given
by the local comittee for the benefit of the
Young delegates, and the delegates of the
Intercollegiate Zionists, and the Junior Hadassah
which are having their annual conventions
simultaneously with that of the Zionist org-3

Well au revoir until
tomorrow when you will hear from me

Your Harry Scheuermann


1 - Indeed, this is the second piece of correspondence Papa sent to my grandmother from the 1927 Zionist Organization of America conference in Atlantic City. He wrote the first on stationery from the Ritz-Carlton hotel, where he was staying (or "stopping," as he put it, which I think means the same thing) and dashed this one off on a postcard featuring a photo of the Traymore Hotel.

The Traymore was famous enough to be an Atlantic City emblem (and for footage of its 1972 implosion to find emblematic and symbolic immortality in Louis Malle's film Atlantic City) so Papa could have found this postcard at any souvenir stand. Still, I assume he was actually at the Traymore for the party described above; he probably grabbed this card from the reception desk or some conveniently-placed stack when he felt the urge to write.

2 - In the letter he wrote earlier in the evening, Papa sadly admitted defeat in his pursuit of my grandmother's hand; her mere friendship, he said, would have to suffice. Obviously he had second thoughts about this concession while at the Traymore party, and sent this card to keep himself in the race with her "other boyfriends" (who, apparently, kept her inundated with more letters than Santa Claus in December). Papa was all the more anxious, I'm sure, because she was on vacation at a "borscht belt" resort teeming with eligible young men. (This year she was at the Roseland Hotel in Fallsburg, NY, near the town of Monticello. She had spent her previous summer fending off marriage proposals at the Lakeside Inn in Ferndale, NY.)

3 - I wonder if Papa mentioned his immediate proximity to Junior Hadassah members, who of course were young women, to make my grandmother a little jealous. I'm not sure if he did it intentionally, but it certainly would have gotten her attention if she felt at all possessive of him despite her professed indifference.

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