Saturday, October 8, 2016

Letters from Marilyn - Update 6

Happy October, reader friends! Autumn is most certainly my favorite season of the year and reading the start of Marilyn's sophomore year letters has reminded me of this. The outdoor football games, the colors of the trees, the warm coats, the coffee (obviously!), and so much more. Marilyn often writes about the nice Indian summer they are having in Minneapolis during Sept-Oct. 1951.

I wanted to share some dormitory pictures, but innocently believed I would be able to find some circa 1951 online. Wrong. After some digging, I have come to the assumption that this building no longer exists (more research to come soon). I did however find this photo circa 1888 in the Augsburg online collection. Interestingly, while researching Morton Hall, I also found out that a current dormitory at Augsburg is none other than Mortensen Hall, which was named after Gerda Mortensen (who M has mentioned in her letters).

Since I don't have other college specific photos, I have included another photo of Marilyn today. My grandmother recently sent me this photo of Marilyn (center) with her friends Joan (left) and Marie (right). This was taken her freshman year during initiation week for freshmen when they had to wear their Augsburg beanies for a week!

After last week's post, I have a few things to clarify: Joan had transferred to the University of Minnesota to pursue a different course of study that they didn't have at Augsburg. Marilyn had mentioned in a letter home that they considered getting an apartment together off-campus, but it is clear in her September 1951 letters that she chose to remain in on-campus housing (this year, Morton Hall). I had hoped to contact Joan while reading these letters, but sadly learned that she died about a year and a half ago. It is evident in M's letters that they were very close and inseparable friends.

Moving forward, here are this week's entries from Marilyn's letters:
September 20, 1951 regarding their new living arrangements: Yesterday they painted our room. They're going to finish the wood work today so we can move in this p.m. We have all our clothes in the hall and really, we don't quite know where anything is. Our rooms are 2 shades of yellow. We got dark green drapes and we made dark green lamp shades. We think it will be lovely when they're through! 
September 25, 1951: My books, tuition, and all came to approximately $387. Isn't that terrible? They're charging 80 cents for suppers where last year they were 65 cents. [I find the entries about university costs fascinating.]
September 26, 1951: Well, I made the choir! Was I ever relieved as I couldn't quite imagine going to school without singing in the choir. Our first rehearsal is this afternoon. [continued in the postscript:] At present I am skipping a class. Keep it under your hat though!
September 29, 1951 regarding buying a new Maytag automatic washer: I can hardly wait to wash my clothes in the new machine. Marion says she can just hear it get the clothes clean! [At least someone gets excited about doing laundry, because I know I don't.]
October 3, 1951 regarding a tea social: The tea was quite stylish. A model spoke to us then we had a little lunch which consisted of tiny sandwiches, cookies, and pineapple punch with lemon ice cream in it. I could have eaten a whole table-full of stuff but of course I had to act like a lady. [I included this for obvious reasons. It wouldn't be a Marilyn post (or even an Olivia post) if I didn't include something about food and our shared love of it. Excuse me while I go snack on anything pineapple flavored.]
October 8, 1951: On Friday evening I washed all my clothes so on Saturday I got up and ironed everything before I went downtown. I met Joan Nelson and we had dinner together and really had fun. Then last night we went and froze at the football game. Afterwards all of us girls were invited to Joan's (Munson) [the Joan in this post's photo] apartment and we had "apple betty" and coffee. More fun!
October 31, 1951: I told you last year about this girl that went to Norway this last summer, didn't I? Well she's been telling us kids all about it and Hilde and I have sort of gotten the bug to go. They study at Oslo for 6 weeks then they traveled all over Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and England. It cost her a little over $900 and she said she spent freely. They hitchhiked (she and another girl) and she said the people were wonderful. I'd sure like to do that and take some music courses. She also said that she visited all her relatives etc. along the way.
October 31, 1951 regarding the Sadie Hawkins dance (as I hope I don't have to explain, but when the women ask the men out on a date): Shock of shocks - I got real brave and asked someone to the Sadie Hawkins party. I really can't imagine where I got all the nerve. I asked a senior that I hardly know. In fact I didn't really know his last name. I must have been slightly weak in the peak when I did it. [Marilyn wrote in a previous letter that she was afraid to ask anyone and actually considered going out of town that weekend to avoid being on-campus for it!]
In addition to these entries, I found several other anecdotes interesting: her and her friends going to see Show Boat in downtown Minneapolis, a new ice cream store that opened nearby (M had a banana and hot fudge sundae, go figure), her further appreciation of Augsburg college and its religious focus, and so much more. But today's post is already long, and besides, I have so much more to do this weekend. Until next week, my friends.

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