Friday, March 17, 2017

Letters from Marilyn - Update 12

Hello world and happy St. Patrick's day! What better way to spend a rainy, cloudy day than reading and working on writing projects? Today's update on Letters from Marilyn spans January and February of 1953. I have to tell you - I have had so much fun reading these entries and have had such a hard time deciding what to share with you! 

So, what's so exciting about these months, you ask? M goes on choir tour! The Augsburg choir travels to Chicago, New York City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, and so many more places. Reading about M's travel adventures in the 1950s is an adventure in itself, and I think you will really enjoy today's excerpts. She often writes on postcards - I promise I will share some of these soon!

But because I'm busily typing away at a coffee shop today, I did not get a chance to include a postcard photo in today's post. Instead, this is the header on the Hotel Taft stationary Marilyn sent home while staying in New York City (plus, I think it gives my post here a nostalgic letter feel). This hotel sounded so swanky and cool to me (and having never been to New York myself - someday!) I had to do a bit of research. While the Hotel Taft had to close its doors in 1973, the building still exists as apartments. You can read about it here - it's really interesting to learn about its history and its impact on New York City.
January 28, 1953 from Kitchner, Ontario: We have a continual riot on the bus. The other nite on the way into Chicago I was sleeping and I was awakened by one of the "clowny" fellows. He had his arms around me and really gave me a smooch! Just as he did so they snapped a flash picture. Of course it was all a frame-up! I'd write a book if I were to tell all the crazy happenings! A and I have a great time, in fact I've never had so much fun on a tour!
February 1, 1953 from New York: Was it ever a thrill to sing there! [in Quincy] Last nite after the concert we walked around Times Square. We sing this morning and all day we go sight-seeing. 
February 3, 1953 from New York (a postcard to her brother): This is really quite the place. I hope you can see it someday. This picture [nightfall in lower Manhattan with the Brooklyn Bridge] is the scene we saw last nite. So far I've seen so much I'm nearly cross-eyed. The subway fascinates me!
February 3, 1953 from New York (her first "real" non-postcard letter while on tour): Some of the places we saw today were the Statue of Liberty, United Nations Building, Rockefeller center, RCA, Radio City, Wall Street, Chinatown, Harlem, and all the other places we always hear about. You can probably tell by the muddle this letter is in that I'm simply overwhelmed by it all! As for doing any shopping, it's nearly out of the question because we hardly have time. We've had many rides on the subway. I don't think I'd ever be able to find my way around! 
February 4, 1953 from Allentown, Pennsylvania: I don't believe I told you that the other nite coming from Hamilton to Boston that we stopped at Niagara Falls. We saw it at nite of course, but was it ever beautiful. It's everything you've ever imagined it to be.
February 8, 1953 from Pittsburgh: Guess there's a way for everything! We've stopped to eat here so while I'm gulping my meal I'll make use of time, pencil, and place mats! [yes, she literally wrote this letter on the back of a paper place mat from a diner] One of the guys is sitting here clowning off. He's telling us what he's writing to his girl!
What stands out to me most from these travel stories is M's sense of wonder and excitement in all that they do - from the bus travels, to the sights, to the navigating the cities. I can only hope to visit these places someday soon too! Until another weekend, dear readers. 
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