Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May 27, 1947 The Busy Week, Everyone Looked Pretty, The Kitchen Picnic, Gertrude's Letters and The Flan of Mushrooms

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"This has been a busy week for us.  Thursday night was the concert at the college and it was such a nice one.  The chorus is huge--must be 200 or 250--and they sing beautifully.  The Conn. Symphony Orchestra accompanied them.  There were some quartets and other small groups sang too.  The girls had long dresses and the men wore tuxedos so they looked pretty too.

B dismissed his last class on Friday and we got to New Haven just about 4:00.  The lecture was interesting but pretty long.  Afterwards we went to the reception where we saw a lot of our old friends--some we hadn't seen since the first year we were at Yale.  There are twelve people who are trying to get their Ph.D.s this year but they are all a bit worried for they are remembering that B was the only one last year.  We know just how they feel.  After the reception we went down town and had a Chinese supper where we used to go.  Then we went to the library and looked at an exhibit of Gertrude Stein's letters.  She left all her letters and manuscripts to Yale when she died.  We got back to New Britain just in time for the play.  It was very good but we really had a big day.

On Wednesday night we had Mr. Swann here for supper.  His wife is still in Vermont and they were so nice to B when I was gone we thought we'd better feed him once.

The weather is getting spring-like now.  It has warmed up lots in spite of rain which comes about every other day.  We had planned to go on a picnic yesterday but it rained so we had our picnic around the kitchen table.  Bill Rollins was here and we had a good time.  His family is coming next month and he can hardly wait.

Tonight is the faculty dinner.  I'll have to tell you about that next week.  We don't even know how to get to the country club where they are having it but B is finding out today.

I'm sorry Grandma is sick and I hope she's lots better by now.  Surely you can find someone to help Aunt Beatrice without you going.  You can't do that kind of work and you will be sick if you try.

Is Charlotte all right now and what was wrong?

Yes, I still have Aggie's machine but haven't sewed any since I finished Charlotte's dresses.

Hope to hear from you Thursday.  Your letters have been coming then."

             Lots of love,

                   B & Bonnie
NOTE from Ann:  Bonnie read Gertrude Stein and had the Alice B. Toklas Cookbook.  In it there is an anecdote about Stein having a good nose for finding mushrooms.  Having once found plenty during a walk in the woods,  she proceeded to take them into the hotel kitchen where they were staying, and gave them to the chef for inspection, and ultimately for use in the dish being prepared.  Bonnie loved mushrooms as an ingredient, but the rest of the family wasn't as enthusiastic.  She claimed we also had good noses for them, causing us to sometimes judge a dish before we had even tasted it.  To the best of my knowledge, we all learned to love mushrooms when we finally agreed to try everything she offered to us.  Here is one such recipe from the cookbook.

For an explanation of Yale's acquisition of the Stein letters and papers, use this link:  http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/stein.html

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