August, 1940: The Trip

This epic vacation Babu and Jakey take deserves first billing when it comes to telling you the stories from August, 1940.  It was a romantic vacation for two, and it was not initially meant to be that, exactly.

Tuesday, July 30th, 1940

The heat wave is still holing us in it’s grip.  Cookie and I played tennis tonight.  Then we tried to get in touch with Eddie Zimba and Emily Pasternack about our vacation.  It was their idea to go together but we certainly got snubbed by them tonight when we met in the Ferry Lane district.  My faith in human nature has taken a dive.   Honey and I are left holding the bag.

Lost her faith in human nature, huh?  I am trying to imagine why she left so let down.  Were they going to be splitting cost and now Jakey and she will have to pay more?  Or is it now that their trip is in jeopardy because it seems a little inappropriate to be just them two?  I’ll tell you it just may have worked out for the better!

So now, despite this let down, they go about doing all the things one must do before a vacation.


Wednesday, July 31st, 1940

Thank heavens it was cooler today and much easier to work.  Jakey came up about nine and we rode out and got some maps to study for our vacation trip.  We sort of decided on going down throughout Long Island and into New york and The World’s Fair.  Evidently Jakey has made up his mind that he alone is financing the trip.  That’s what he thinks.I want to contribute, too.  Today, I think, is exactly two years since we first went out.

“That’s what he thinks.”  I love it.  This is the one period of her life that Babu worked and she can take care of herself!

Getting things done:

Thursday, August 1st, 1940

Peaches says he is going to have endless things to do, so Ernie came home to supper with me and we both went to the show.  Saw “Susan and God” and “The Lucky Cisco Kid.”  When we got home, I heard Honey parking the car so I went out.  We sat on the stoop and he told me the things he did and had crossed off his list (before going away.)

Being both busy and needing to keep yourself busy because of the anticipation!

Saturday, August 3rd, 1940

Drove the girls to distraction at the office about 11:30 saying how light and carefree I felt.  Of course, they don’t wish it were their vacation-not much!  Shopped in the afternoon with Aunt Nellie, Mary and Veronica Syper (who by the way is getting married Labor Day).  Saturday night and I stayed home and didn’t see Jake.  Unprecedented!  Both of us were too busy getting ready!

And, of course, packing.

Sunday, August 4th, 1940

After supper at Jake’s house, Edmund came up and we helped Jake pack for our vacation.  We start tomorrow, minus the radio Fila was to let us take – the snake.

Man, oh man, Babu has nothing nice to say about people who mess with her trip!

And they’re off!

Monday, August 5th, 1940

About ten o’clock this morning Jakey and I started out all packed for our trip.  We drove to New London and from there we took a ferry (car and all – $6.00) to Orient Point, Long Island.  We started at 2 and didn’t get off the boat until 7.  The tide was out and we couldn’t dock.  Rode quite a number of miles down beautiful roads in Long Island and ate and now are staying at a tourist home.  I have a nice big room but honey has a couch and we didn’t even have a good-night kiss.

Oh no, is this a bit of a disappointing start?

Now, you know I got the photos!  <3!!!

long island 2long island 2 blong island 3long island 3 b

Well, despite her diary entry, the look on her face in that photograph says this was not a disappointing start to her trip.  Look how happy she is!  They are a mighty fine looking couple.

Tuesday, August 6th, 1940

We covered the shore line of Long Island well today even though it started to rain.  Got to Jones’ Beach around one and spent all afternoon there.  Got a burn.  Then drove off again.  Stopped for supper and entertainment at Rockaway Beach.  It started raining so we drove off again and drove right into New York (Park Ave.) but also drove back and now are both going to sleep in the same room in a tourist home, with the Wall of Jericho between.  It’s a grand, clean place.  But where?  Elmhurst, N.Y.

When I read this passage I burst with laughter!  The “Wall of Jericho?”  Really, Babu?  What’s more, is this is one of those rare moments where I have heard this story before.  I never heard the Wall of Jericho part, however.  Babu used to tell me this story, and she told it vaguely since she didn’t remember all the details.  The story she told me was one where she and Jake went some where before they were married and had to share a room so they put up a sheet as a divider.  What she doesn’t say here, but she remembered oh so many years later, is that Jake as a joke kept lying on the floor and looking under the crack to her side.  Some wall, huh?  It’s mind blowing to me to be able to take the pieces of a story I’ve heard her tell at least a dozen times and put it with these pieces.  Who gets this kind of view into the past, into the history of someone they love long before they met them or long before they were even born?

Well, anyway, we need to get back to day two of the trip.  But first, here is a random duck pond photo.

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And here is Jones’ Beach:

long island 4long island 4 blong island 5

I am quite relieved Jakey learned his lesson about dark colored speedos.

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I’m unsure what this tower is but they seemed to think it was important enough to take a picture by it.

Wednesday, August 7th, 1940

Had breakfast here in Elmhurst and took a trolley to the fair.  We spent the day at the fair and every building we went into I hadn’t seen last time I was here.  By evening, my feet were so tired I was limping.  Didn’t get lost coming back to our sleep palace and stopped for a frolic at a diner.  Where we sleep I guess is down almost in the cellar but the room is large.

Large enough for a “Wall of Jericho.”  😉

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There is something so romantic and exciting about The World’s Fair.  I’ve written about it before here:

The World’s Fair 1939

But I am still so fascinated.

Thursday, August 8th, 1940

We didn’t get up till 10 today.  Had breakfast at 12 and saw La Guardia Field.  Then we went on where we left off at the fair.  Finally witnessed the “Aquacade.”  Enjoyed the fair just as much as yesterday and still haven’t seen it all.  Sat in on a radio show which had Jack Dempsey as a guest.  Left to see the fireworks over the water.  Our housekeeper talked a blue streak again.

This all sounds so amazing I wish I had more details.  I love how with all of this going on, the vacation of a lifetime, so far, really, and she has to waste a sentence complaining about how much the housekeeper chats them up!

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So why did they have lunch at La Guardia airfield?  I just imagine Jake could simply not get enough of planes and his dreams.  Look at his scrutinizing what he is seeing below him.  He is studying.

Here is the “Aquacade”!

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Buster Crabbe?  I mean really.  That cannot be his real name, haha.  And these girls holding the stars are cool and all but I wish I could make out more of what is happening in the background.  What a spectacle!  There looks to be sea people with tridents?  Maybe?  The set is pretty spectacular, too!  Oh, I am going to have to do more research.  I want to know more!

Here is some footage I found on Youtube:

The Aquacade

And here is the next exciting leg of their journey:

august 9 40

Friday and Saturday, August 9th and 10th, 1940

Didn’t get up till noon.  Paid for our lodging and left for N.Y. City.  Had a good dinner and drove around.  Ended up at the Battery.  Saw the Statue of Liberty from a distance.  Took a subway to Times Square and at the Paramount saw “Boys from Syracuse” and in person, Alan Jones, Irene Hervey, Ray Bolger and Xavier Cregat and his orchestra.  Back on the subway to the car.  We drove around the city some more and walked down part of Riverside Drive, turned around and drove to Tarrytown where we had a glass of beer and decided to drive all night and get to Amsterdamn to see Paul and Ann.  We drove and drove till about three when we could go no further so Jake got in the back seat and I in the front.  We were just parked on the side of the road and slept all through traffic.  It must have been nine or so when we awoke and stopped for breakfast.  Continued driving till 12 when we reached Paul and Ann’s.  They gave us dinner and took us swimming.  Back for supper and we went to Schenectady to a line and dance place where they had a floor show and I slept with Ann.

Did anyone else get the sensation while reading that of not knowing where one day ended and another began?

It is easy to be jealous of this trip.  I love that “try to drive all night, pushing your limits” kind of trip.  I’m not a glamor girl when it come to travel, or anything, and I like when there’s an adventure and wild stories to tell.  Adam often tells me this story of when he and his friend took a trip to New York by the train, spent all day and all night there, and traveled back in the morning.  I always wanted to do that exact trip, too.  Now we are simply too old for that…

I am not sure who Paul and Ann are but Babu and Jake seemed to have a lovely time as their guests.  They stay for about three more days playing tennis and having a much slower time then they did the days of the fair.

Babu’s final words on the evening she arrives back home to Chicopee?

It was good to be home.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. A 1940’s road trip…what fun! Reading these posts brings me back to New England and reminds me so much of Mom and Dad. She went to the WF 1940 also and I have a few pics. One note though–I believe it’s Xavier Cugat and his orchestra.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I’ll fix it. Sometimes I cannot read her handwriting. With regular words I can figure it out through context but I know I often get names wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember the name from my Mom and Dad so I caught it. Lots of people probably wouldn’t know the difference.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good to be accurate though, thank you.


  2. OK…this takes me home. We lived in Elmhurst when we were newly married. And Jones Beach? That structure is a water tower. You can spot it from miles away. Iconic to a Long Islander. Nice trip! Great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew someone would know! Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember watching on tv a ‘wall of Jericho’ in an old movie maaaany years ago. So, after watching the Aquacade clip, I searched and found it in Youtube! It’s a scene from ‘It happened one night’ and you can rent the complete movie there. Enjoy


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