Wednesday, December 31, 2008

March 20, 1930 - New York City


March 20. 1930.


I'm writing this at home, I was rather
busy at the store this evening with no chance to write

But the time you will receive this my Beloved
it will be the final day of spring, the hard cold winter
has passed and this is the dawn of a world reborn.

To You my Dear this passed winter was one
of deep tragedy and suffering, may the beginning of this
new season mark a new era of joy and happiness in
your life.

You know well my Dear that since I've had the
extreme happiness to learn to know you, your happiness
and joy was mine and your sorrows were mine too,
my fervent prayer goes fort to the Lord that we may
share our happiness together forever after. 1

Tomorrow (Friday) I shall call you (I hope you
will forgive me for taking the liberty) at 1:05 P.M. and
again at 5:30 or a little later.

It will be a pleasure Sweetheart if you could
arrange to have your mother and brother to go with me
to the Royal for a little diversion Sat. night. 2

I intend to take off Sunday, that I may
spend the day with you, that is with your kind
consent of course.

In conclusion may I not ask you to offer my
kind regard to Mr. Richman? 3

Your own Harry


1 - Those of us who have been following Papa’s diary and letters for the past couple of years will recognize a few of his essential qualities in these first few paragraphs: His taste for romantic language, as reflected in his turns of phrase; his optimism, as reflected in his belief that Spring will soothe the pain of my grandmother’s difficult winter (in which her father died and her family’s financial security dissolved); his empathy, as reflected in the way he accepts my grandmother’s sorrows as his own; his faith, as reflected in his prayer for a happy future.

2 - “The Royal” most likely refers to the popular Cafe Royal, a lynchpin of the lower Second Avenue strip known as the “Yiddish Rialto” for its prominence in New York’s early Twentieth Century Jewish cultural life. Papa spent many a youthful night there debating the intricacies of the Zionist movement and socializing with friends, but he certainly didn’t invite my grandmother’s mother and brother there for a casual night out. He was, at the time, quite worried that my grandmother might break off her engagement to him, and the Royale excursion was probably part of an ongoing campaign to line up the endorsements of her family and friends.

3 - Mr. Richman was the attorney for whom my grandmother worked as a legal secretary. As we learned in Papa’s last letter, Richman supported my grandmother’s engagement to Papa and therefore made Papa’s list of her “better friends” who had her “bests interests at heart.”

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