July 1 and August 1, 1947
Pub. in the kitchen:
Crestfallen Manor Circulation: 46
339 Frost Ave. Editor: Genevieve
Rochester 8, N.Y. Publisher: Charles
Having committed all the sins of publishing now, including no issue for July, here we are again. Events unfolded in our faces much in the manner of bad firecrackers during June and will be detailed later. The Bulletin was forgotten in the general uproar until it was too late.
ACCIDENT: Howdie broke his leg the night of June 10th and was in a cast to his hip until July 11th. That added considerably to the confusion. We had to bring his bed downstairs for a week and watching him at play the rest of the month took up quite some of my time. However, the cast is off, the crutches stand unused in the pantry and except for a limp he is back in good shape. The limp will wear away and we will, too, because now the bills are all in. Sweet peace!
DEATH: During the night of June 10th my Grandmother Chloe Howard Hockery passed on to her eternal reward, peacefully in her sleep. She always said, “I pray the Lord I’ll just not wake up some morning.” And she didn’t, the dear little old lady, but it took 90-odd years for her prayer to be granted. Let that be the lesson today - patience.
VISITOR: We were all very pleased over the visit of my Mother which we enjoyed during July. She came up from Florida to revisit Howdie and to meet his little sisters whom she had never seen. A good time was had by all, believe me. She read until she is an authority on children’s books now. She dressed dolls, played in the sandbox, went walking and was just generally taken over by the small fry. They would love a full-time grown companion like that. Especially one with her own pocketbook who was always willing to dip into it when passing candy stores, etc.
THE MANOR: We’ll have to have a contest to decide a new name for the house. Daddy painted between showers on his vacation and since the place hadn’t seen paint in 20 years, nobody knows it now! The first coat of white is one and we look grand. That has to weather for a couple of months, all the nail holes where Charles completely renailed it have to be puttied and the second coat and the green trim before snow flies - we hope.
ART: Another improvement has been made indoors. We how have a piano. As one friend of ours says, “You now have just about all the ingredients of a home. A mother and father, children, a yard with trees and flowers, a dog and cat, and a piano. The only other thing you need to make it perfect is a fireplace for the rest to sit before while someone plays.” Quite a nice thought. True, too.
The piano was quite a bargain. One of those “one guy’s misfortune is another guy’s gain” deals. A woman near us had to go to Arizona for arthritis and since nobody has room for such things anymore, we got the piano, a Haines, for $15.00. We’ve had it tuned but it needs new felts which we’ll give ourselves for Christmas. Nice going.
WEATHER: All during Mother’s visit it rained, poured, rained and then just for a change it turned bone dry and has stayed that way, getting hotter by the minute. One day we were top village in the state - with a temp. of 93F - a distinction which even this vain town would have been willing to have missed. Talk about California native sons! This is without a doubt the proudest-of-itself town I’ve ever been in. This vanity even extends to its name which, unknown to most of us who are from “outside”, is not pronounced as Jack Benny’s butler pronounces his, i.e. Ro-chester. Up here it’s Roch-ester, if you don’t mind.
VISITOR #2: The day after school closed Little Jimmy came to the house for the week’s visit from the orphanage to which he is entitled under the law. Between our three, The O’Brien and Jimmy, this was quite a place. Broken leg and all we took the whole gang to -
THEATER: see the dress rehearsal of “January Thaw”, the first play at Pittsford Summer Theater, in which I had the part of the tempestuous housekeeper. Everybody there was busy getting a big kick out of the four, pardon me, five of them lined up and paying strict attention and they had their eyes glued on the stage. But, when somebody remarked that I was “crazy, poor thing” Chrisie started to cry and wanted to go right home. They stuck it out, however.
We came home to a cocoa party and, right in the middle of the mixing, O’Brien said, “Well, look who’s here!” We all turned toward the kitchen door and there was standing a tall, thin, sandyhaired man, swaying ever so gently back and forth, side to side, then forth and back. I found my voice first. “What do you want?” I asked, cocoa pan firmly in hand. “Oh, nothing, he answered amiably. I heard the children and I just came to see them. Just love children.” Charles managed to lead him firmly out of the dining room door into the street again. After which he had brains enough to latch the screen door. But imagine that guy, plastered to the gills, walking right into the very room where we all were without even waking the dog!
The balance of the [???] at Summer Theater has been “Double Door” a thriller from the 90’s; “Peg o’ My Heart” which is known to all; “Her Husband’s Wife: which many of you will remember we did in St. Petersburg Little Theater long, long ago, and the closer will be “The Milky Way.”
This is only the second summer for this group but this year they made the Legitimate Theater Map. Way up high in New York State you’ll see the flag, “Pittsford Summer Theater.” We were very pleased.
HORTICULTURE: Thanks to many gifts and a few purchases, we now have an astonishing collection of flowers in the back yard. The list would amaze but perhaps bore you. Suffice it to say that from the first crocus in the spring to the last mum in the fall, we have nearly everything that grows in this temperature. The latest additions have been: aster-daisies and shasta, Ozark sunshine for some yellow, hardly phlox in rose and white, hardy for-get-me-nots, coral bells and, in case I didn’t tell you, ten nice tea roses.
Beside me as I type this is a lovely bunch of sweetpeas, the annual kind. We have enjoyed the hardy peas for several weeks but this is the first big bunch of the sweet annuals. There are about 60 of them ranging in color from pale peach, lavender and pink through rose, purple and fire-engine red. Some people don’t seem to like to cut their flowers but I can’t resist them. All
day long, while I can be in the yard or work at my kitchen window which overlooks the yard, I’m satisfied. But at sundown I’m out with the scissors to bring some of them inside with me. We had one bunch of delphinia, daisies and red roses that was a knock-out. The only prettier bunch of flowers I every saw in my life came to me when Howdie was born from a certain thoughtful family in Westchester County. That was delphinia from baby to navy blue mixed with mums from pale gold to bronze. It was so lovely that it made the rounds of the hospital for hours before it was finally brought up to me.
PERSONALS: Paulie has a couple new teeth, which have made her life, and incidentally ours, quite miserable in spots lately. But she came to me one day and very matter-of-factly said, “Youse bettah yook in my mouse, Mummy. They’s somesing in dere dat don’t belong dere, I knows dat.” It was a molar.
Chrisie’s hair will braid now and meet on the top of her head, in spite of all the cutting I’ve given it. Pigtails are becoming to her but it is too funny - she wants curls and Paulie, with a glorious profusion of them, wants pigtails! They explain it this way: Chrisie left heaven in the middle of the night when none of the angels were up to give her a permanent, little knowing how important it would be. Paulie left in the middle of the afternoon, having had a superb job done on her tresses first!
SECRETS: We now have new shelves for our preserved goods and are some of them lush! Big fat strawberries suspended motionless in garnet jam; the grandest purple raspberries in thick jam and in eating pints for shortcake in January; amber Queen Ann cherries from our own tree done in jam, too. We have grapes to come and pears traded for grapes from the lady next door. They will be done with vinegar and spices for use with meat when the snow is piled high. There will be peaches added to those left from last year, perhaps some more green beans and several varieties of pickles, and, the dear Lord willing big fat tomatoes canned whole. Oh, our fruit cellar is one of our most precious possessions.
BEAUTY: I have new glasses. They are pink plastic, very modern without being harlequin and quite large. But they are killing my right ear. We have adjusted them to the optician’s heart’s content, but my ear still hurts. Today I put on my old rimless ones for relief and Howdie took one look at me and said’ “You have your old glasses on! You look much more serious in them. In your new ones you look quite gay!” That, at seven last week. When he’s ten he’ll probably supervise my diet and see that I lose the twenty pounds I never should have picked up somewhere or other.
CHARLES: Requests for information about “our father which are not in heaven” (that’s one of the kids’ jokes) have come in. So: since V-J day when “all of our dear, sweet, loyal employees who have made our navy(??) possible” were summarily canned by dear old Eastman Kodak Co., Charles has been back at his first love - chemistry. He’s manufacturing synthetic detergents for a small local company here and is quite happy about the whole thing. Some of our friends who have visited the plant insist that he is operating a still. I’ve never been there so I don’t know. However, I can vouch for his activities off the job. He spends his spare time prepping up and fixing up this house and while it is hard on his muscles, it is wonderful for the place. We’re quite well satisfied with the man and have no desire to return, exchange or otherwise dispose of him at present. “Q.E.D.” the man says from his usual prone davenport position at this hour.