In Between Letters II

May 11, 1941,

Nat was angry because Stretch didn’t come home.  However, he’s sick in the hospital and can’t help that.  Ed K. came up and gave me a driving lesson and we picked up Nat at her home and the three of us went to Hartford to see the stage show “Crazy with the Heat.”  We paid our own way but it was fun.  Mom says Nat’s brother was up.  I always thought he went golfing on Sunday.

Poor Stretch, right? Sometimes you do not know what you don’t know…

May 12, 1941,

Wrote a long letter to Jakey and sent him a kiss from his mother.  She asked me to.  Then went to choir rehearsal.  Spike and John Chimel took us home (the long way.)  We went to some little place in Spfld. and ate ice cream and danced while the boys fed the nickelodeon.  

“Fed the Nickelodeon” should be the name of the book that comes out of all of this.

May 13, 1941,

Had to rush home, eat a little, and play over a few pieces.  Our Nee-Wah club had a dinner party at the hotel Essex in Holyoke.  It was “A La Treasury.”  Most of the money came from profits of the winter formal.  Ernie and I had lobster.  We sang and danced and I didn’t like to see her drive home alone so I went to sleep with her.

I did a bit of research on the Hotel Essex.

Here is a quote from This is a site I’ve referenced before. It’s a downright treasure trove and I thank whoever put it together!

A quote from this page:

The most prominent building in the first photo is the eight-story LaFrance Hotel, which occupies much of the right side of the scene. It was built in the first decade of the 20th century, and was originally owned by Louis A. LaFrance, a French-Canadian immigrant who became a prominent figure in Holyoke’s real estate and construction business. The LaFrance Hotel was among his most notable properties, and was designed by local architect William B. Reid. It was also among the tallest buildings in the city, towering above the other commercial blocks on High Street, which generally ranged from two to six stories.

The LaFrance Hotel, which later became the Essex House, stood here for many years. However, by the early 2000s it was vacant and in poor condition, with bricks regularly falling onto neighboring buildings. It was slated for demolition in 2014, but the process was expedited by a partial collapse that occurred the day before demolition work was scheduled to begin. The rest of the building was subsequently taken down, and the site is now a vacant lot.

I bet all the fun they had that night didn’t help the foundation!

May 14, 1941,

Last night we didn’t get to bed til one and then I didn’t fall asleep for the longest time.  Choir rehearsal again tonight and I had to accompany on the piano.  Had a letter and some pictures from Johnny Lech.

I don’t believe I have found any of these letters from other people other than the one Jake send from that feisty Gene! Its unfortunate, certainly. Of course, you’re sick of hearing about what I feel is “unfortunate” while I am sitting on such a goldmine, aren’t you?


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