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Trella Hemmerly – 1944-05-03

Wednesday, May 3, 1944
Down at 9:00 & breakfasted on Napoleons & doffee at “Hole in the Wall”.
Waited for Mary in the “Lobby” of our “Hotel” for 1 hr. I finally got worried & went to Fifth Ave. – Lord & Tablor’s & called Hazel. She said they slept late and Mary was on her way. She showed up 15 minutes later & we started down to Sixth Ave. Stopped at a Junk shop & got things that are hard to get. Pipe cleaners, rubber garters, a strainer, hair pins, pens, etc.
Then to Macy’s, but Mary couldn’t find a silk shirt like she wanted but I got a lilac linen dress. Such a system to get to try a dress on. You pick out your dresses, find a clerk who takes you to a fitting room where you receive a ticket with the number of dresses that you ahve on it.
She tells you her number and then you can try them on. But you can’t leave the fitting room!
Over to Gimbel’s finally & they were having a ration free shoe sale & were they being gobbled up. Wlly got a pair of black oxfords & I got a lilac hat. We had an ice cream & then started up the elevators. About 5th floor the William Randolf Hearst Collection is for sale – armor plate included. This staff really dates. Lot of 15th century stuff but I didn’t price it except for one pair of chairs at $785. Found a jug like the one I bought 75 jugs to get & paid 75 cents for and coincidence! this one cost $7.50. Long wooden seats like I’ve always wanted for the terrace ran $98.00
We ate at Riggs Restaurant & had finne haddice but don’t ever bother. And the mashed potatoes had lumps so I didn’t eat much until we came to the cream custard.
Took our things to the room & finished packing which was quite a job with this morning’s purchases. Took them over to Grand Central & left them in the parcel check – out 42nd St for a Broadway street car & it seemed awfully slow in the afternoon rush.
“Mexican Hayride” is at the Winter Garden. Broadway at 50th. Our box was the highest one & there were already 2 dames pretty well occupying them so our seats can be considered punk. Mine was the best so I hate to think what Mary & Walt could see.
I think the musical would have been very good if we could have seen it from the middle. Regardless, the costumes & settings were beautiful. The setting “At Caro’s” was aqua & a pinkish brown & the men’s suits were the same brown & the girls dresses – strut – were all variations of the theme. And red hats & bags.
The Carlotta Scene was beautiful – white & that brown & black. All the girls in period full skirted aprons. Bobby Clark played the lead tiwh June Havoc and such innuendoes!
The house was a sell out & Mary says this is a large theater. Not as big as the big movie but still plenty big.
The play was over at 5:10 so we finished our New York meals at the automat & then went through the concourse of the RCA building to the Plaza – stopped at a Mexican shop for some things.
Went into St. Patricks Cathedral across the street. People praying in pews & before statues set in niches all along the side. It is beautiful with 2 stories of stained glass windows all along – statuary, carvings etc.
Walked on down 5th Ave. to 42nd & to the station where we picked up our luggage & went to track 27 waiting for the gate to open. Mary left us about 6:55 to catch her 7:21 at Penn Station & we went down to our train at 7:10 & got seats in a nice coach.
Didn’t realize how much the vegetation grows in a week but the trees are a haze of green now instead of bare & on the hillside I could see occasional white flowers blooming. I expect our pear tree will be in full bloom when we get home.
It was completely dark by the time we pulled out of Harmon at 8:20 so I caught up on this diary & think I’ll go to sleep now & sleep til Cleveland.
[End of New York Trip diary]

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Trella Hemmerly – 1944-05-02

Tuesday, May 2, 1944
[New York City Trip]
My first night of not sleeping well – but we’re still in bed when Mary came in at 9 – She had left the field at 7:20 & said it was colder out this morning & no sun. We had breakfast in a hole in the wall near our room & then started in on the streets off Broadway to find a play we could get matinee seats for tomorrow. Finally got some at $2.40 for “Mexican Hayride”.
Walked to Bloomingdales Lexington at 59th seeing exclusive Antique shopes & as we progressed they got junkier & junkier until we finally8 stopped at one. Got a brass door knocker that is a beauty.
Bloomingdales wasn’t much compared to Macy’s but we shopped all floors & Mary got to see their antique furniture like we saw at Macy’s.
We took a bus and transferred so we ended upl on 48th St. near Broadway where Mary knew of an Italian Restaurant. It was closed but we had our choice of any nationality – Mexican, French, Italian – all along. We finally went in Lugini (?) & had spaghetti & meat balls. Wally cut his up but I followed Mary’s example & twirled mine against a table spoon & got along very well. The clientele again was mixed but about half were Ialian & the waiters spoke to them in Italian & might as well have to us for all we could understand.
Mary had wine with her dinner – all over her sleeve & overcoat. Two waiters collided at her elbow & she got showered. We had excellent service after that & they told her to send the dry cleaning bill.
Mary & I ordered cheesecake for dessert & it is just that. A thin layer of cake all around & cheese full of things in the middle.
The walls of this place were covered in photographs – Frank Sinatra & Jimmy Durante amoung those I remember.
Wally still wanted to go to the Statue of Liberty even after passing it 4 times on the ferry so we split up – he & Mary going down there & me to Rockefeller Center. But the garden of the nations were not open so I went back to Broadway & took a streetcar up to 78th & walked over to the Museum of Natural History.
I could write as much as I’ve written about this trip so far and not tell what I saw in the next 2 1/2 hr.
Although I had heard of the animal exhibits in natural habitat I was not prepared for the reality of the scenes. And the description accompany tell not only of the animal but all the vegetation represented.
Through the mounted bird section of those found around NY & then the window representing the Roosevelt Bird Sanctuary at Oyster Bay.
At first glance there seemed to be 8 or 10 birds – but as you looked among the flowering dogwood – the dead oak leaves on the ground, along the side of the oak more & more birds appeared as if by magic. Of course they had been there all the time – but camouflaged. There were probably at least 75 different kinds of birds in the exhibit. It was really marvelous – but some of the unappreciative people who came by gave me the willies – oh well I guess I don’t really appreciate Chopin.
I went into the book store – it is quite complete on just the kind of books I dote on – but limited my purchases to one on Indians for kids.
The South Sea underwater exhibits were fascinating. Such colors & shapes seem ubelievable in coral let alone in fish. The “Cave of the Octopus” was horrible in a beautiful way.
In the insect hall an exhibit of migrating Monarch’s – over 1,000 in the display. Haning in clusters on trees – some in flight – some on the ground. How long would it take to make an exhibit like that? The windows in this hall had displays of ladybugs by the millions. Japanese Beetles at their favorite occupation of devouring fruit & leaf on a tree & leaf-carrying ants.
While in this hall the guide came through say “Museum closing – 5:00” Didn’t seem possible. Oh yes, I had visited the prehistoric hall & just smiled at the guide & he told me to inspect a Peruvian miner – mummified in a cave in. His crude instruments ante-dated the Spaniards.
Here to was a B.C. headdress of feathers. Preserved perfectly by the dry Peruvian atmosphere.
Took an Eighth Ave. bus downtown passed Madison Square Gardens where the circus was just over. People streaming out in droves over several blocks. Then when I got off at 38th the workers from dress factories were coming out & the streets were jammed. Walking from Eighth to Seventh I overheard about 6 conversations & none were in English. In about 3 different languages from what I could tell.
Shopped at Woolworth’s store & came on home where the landlord told me Mary & Walt had just come in. They had called Bertha before going down to the Statue of Liberty & she was to come shortly.
Mary & Walt had climbed to the crown of the statue & then crossed the Brooklyn Bridge on a street car & then on up here.
Ate at an automat with Bertha & then she had to report at Manhattan Towers for a lecture. So we came back to the room & packed & took 2 bags & Bertha’s kit to Grand Central Terminal in a taxi & checked them through to Marion. Then on a street car down 42nd Street & up Broadway to the Astor Theater where we waited until 9:30 for Bertha. She had already seen “See Here Private Hargrove” bu would see it again with us. We had to sit in a front box at first but changed about at the end for a better seat. That’s the way they pack them in in New York. Then over to “The Mayflower” for coffee & donuts & then goodbye to Mary & Bertha at the subway & home for us. Both had good hot baths & so to bed to read the Times & Sun – turned out the light at about 2:00 A.M.

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Trella Hemmerly – 1944-05-01

Monday, May 1, 1944
[New York City Trip]
The hat makers were hard at work across the way when we awoke about 9:00. A pretty day again.
Down to 36th Street to eat at Childs where I finished yesterday’s diary. Then on down 34th to the shopping district. In Saks 34th St. but it was small so then over to Macys & it is big enough to suit even me. Shopped each floor & rode the escalator between floors. The top was the best – Victorian, Early American & in between furniture for sale & oh the prices!
$229 for a set of 6 dining chairs – Victorian style. $50 for a wash stand muchj like mine. $98 for cupboards. $225 for Pembroke table. And the accessories ran the same – and some of the things they used. In the crapery & bedspreads some of the beds were brass. The amount of merchandise in that store is unbelievable. Macy’s cafeteria was crowded so we wnt to a Woolworth’s where we had the lousiest mean of the trip.
On up to our room to leave packages – Wally climbed the 74 steps up, 74 steps down while I waited – down!
Shopped a little as we went up Fifth Ave. – walked to 50th St. & Rockefeller Center. Wished we had a camer to take a picture in the plaza. Hyacinths & tulips blooming along the edges of the fountains where they were skating last fall there are now trees growing – in boxes of dirt & they were pulling out boxes of ivy & setting up tables for the summer. At one side is an English Grill and on the other a French Restaurant. We wandered through the RCA building – quite modern & on out to 6th Ave & Radio City Music Hall.
The whole decoration of the theatre is modern. No traditional anywhere. We went down to the lounges just to see them. They seemed to go on and on & here the motif is diamonds – In the carpet, the shape of the mirrored pillars, the light reflectors everything except the furniture which was definitely soft.
Then on up to the auditorium. We sat about 1/3 of the way down a little on the side. The seats – rose velour & soft & plenty of foot room. During the symphony orchestra – playing “The Storms” with lightning effects in the background – we discovered the ceiling – also modern in a sort of tiers radiating from the stage to back. I counted 3 balconies.
The ballet was pretty with 30 girls & the ballerina but I’m spoiled from Thursday night when we saw Ballet at the Met.
Then some mimics were quite good – and then a Vienesse number with a soloist & then the Rockettes in “Carribean”. They really are precision!
The movie “Cover Girl” in technicolor was good. – Pretty girls galore!
Tried to encourage Wally in seeing about seeing a raddio program as we came out but he didn’t encourage so we went to an automat for dinner & very good. Then walked over to the Elevated 3rd at 42nd & took it downtown to the end of the line & the South Ferry for Staten Island & wrote this up to date as we waited. On the ferry we can see the lights of Manhattan fading. By the time we docked you couldn’t tell where they were.
Walked off Ferry, mailed card to Kathy & walked on to another ferry. And it was crowded with colored soldiers. When we docked they all tokk the subway uptown so we took a Broadway bus. All the modes of transportation converge here at the Battery. Off at 38th & Broadway & home we walked. Wally is getting the soreness in his legs that I’ve had & mine has disappeared completely. Should be in fine shape to garden when I get home.
And so to bed at 10:30.

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Trella Hemmerly – 1944-04-30

I’m sitting on a hill overlooking the Sailboat pond in Central Park.
It is 3:45 and we will soon be walking on across the Park to Hazel’s.
Everywhere there are people – on the benches along the walks, in groups on the grass, strolling with baby carriages, clustered at the edge of the pool watching the miniature sail boats. The temperature must be in the 80’s and we are definitely warm.
Soldiers & Sailors & their girls, nurses with children, children feeding doves. The trees are out enough to give the hills color, rusts, chartreuse, yellow, green & the moving masses of humanity supply reds and purples, blues & black & grey.
But to get back to awakening this morning. Did so about 9:30 and ate at Thompsons on 34th before getting 5th Ave. bus up Riverside Drive to the Riverside Church. In the door & into one of 4 elevators to the 4th floor where we were seated when the prayer was finished. And our group took the last seats in the auditorium. Ours were the last row in the second balcony.
The place seats 2,500. The architecture is Gothic and the stained glass is beautiful. There were 16 ushers taking the offering to the altar – I don’t know whether that was all or not. Even from our distance we could understand Dr. Fosdick very well because of the the amplifying system I learned later but it seemed his natural voice. However, he was so far away it was impossible to distinguish his features. His sermon was on “getting the best out of the worst” – He says some people crack up under situations that are a challenge & growth to others.
After the service we went to the assembly hall in the basement and saw the two paintings by Hoffman “Christ & the Rich Young Ruler” & “Christ Among the Scribe.” They are rather small (4×6′) but very beautiful in their natural colors.
We saw the kitchen with steam dish washer, potato peeler, huge mixer – the bowling alley with 3 lanes, gymnasium, etc. Thern up to the nave where the architecture was explained. The altar contains of very soft stone was carved in position & is in 7 groups showing 7 characteristics of Christ with his figure in each surrounded by men typifying that characteristic. There is too much in the building’s symbols for anyone to grasp. Each stained glass window tells a story & those on the upper levels are reproductions from France chose so light could come through more brightly than in the lower ones.
We sat on a level with these high windows during the service.
The Sunday School rooms are not open to the public so of course we didn’t see them. They are in the tower part.
When we came out of the church we crossed the street to Grant’s tombs where the vaults are placed on a lower level in a circular enclosure.
Then optimistically started for the Frick Collection with only the knowledge that it was on Fifth Avenue. Walked over to Amsterdam Ave. & decided we’d better take a bus. The driver told us we could get a Fifth Ave. bus at 110 so down we rode – right past Columbia University we realized later. St. John’s Cathedral is at 110 in an unfinished condition. Then got a bus & took the same ride along the north end of the Park and south of Fifth Ave as we took Friday. Off at 72nd St. & down to the Frick Collection at 70ths. Mary not there when we arrived but came in very soon. Only worked half a shift. As we hadn’t eaten we walked down Madison several blocks for a hamburger and then back to Frick. A lovely fountain & courtyard is one of the most pleasing features although I was quite impressed by the paintings – Gainesborough, Whistler, El Greco, Corot, Rembrandt a few I remember. The furniture – Louis something mostly was beautiful.
Out in the sunshine again and decided to walk up through the park to 81st St. It was while resting there that I wrote the description at the beginning.
Then on over to Hazel’s where we rested for about 45 minutes & then took the elevated down to Chatham Square. When we came down we were in another world – Chinese everywhere all the store signs in English & Chinese – various odors. Walked down a twisting narrow street & stopped at a mission Hazel knew of. Sight seeing tours were going through & we tagged along.
It use to be an opium den in the basement with secret doors for getaway & upstairs it was a theater. Now it’s a flop house for these disreputable men you see everyplace.
On out into Mott St. looking in the windows at queer vegetable – gourds, tubers of various kinds and chinese men of all ages everywhere – no girls or women.
Joe & Hazel had quite a time deciding which of the many restaurants to take us to but finally decided on one upstairs on Mott St. at the end of another street. We ordered as “family dinner for 5” and besides the soup were served 3 Chinese dishes – Egg Fu Yung, Cantonese Chop Suey & Cantonese Chow Mein. The egg rolls were crisp shells filled with mixed vegetables. I liked the Egg Fu Yung. It was an omelet with vegetables mixed through served with a gravy.
There was a Chinese family & their maid eating at the next table. They used china soup spoons & chop sticks for the main course – and their bowls of rice disappeared more quickly than ours. They ate from bowls, putting their rice in & then holding the bowl to their mouths & shoveling it in with the chop sticks. But they all had American ice cream for dessert just as we did.
The clientele was about half and half Chinese & American. They took bowls & bowls of rice on upstairs and later about 15 Chinese men came down – very well dressed & very intelligent looking. There were American Chinese soldiers & sailors and even 2 Chinese soldiers from the Chinese Army.
In here we saw several Chinese women & some of the girls were attractive – all in American clothes of course. One soldier was especially handsome. We all watched him.
Then down to the crowded street again & stopped in at some shops. Mary took our pictures in front of one but it was getting pretty late.
Then we started walking north – up town. The bums were out in force by now. We went down Huston Street through the Italian district – passed a “boarding stable” with attendant smells & then just walked & walked & walked & walked & walked while Hazel talked. It was very interesting – learning about the different kind of people that live in N.Y. – how they cook, etc. Finally go to “The Little Church Around the Corner” and could see its outlines in the dusk. The large church on 5th Ave. here is where Mary has been going. This is about 28th St. so we walked on up to 34th where Hazel took a cab & we walked with Mary to Penn Station. She got on here train right away & we walked on to our room & those 75 steps up nearly finished us. Wally figured on the big map of N.Y. that we walked about 6 miles today –
At Least!

[insert a page probably intended to be a letter home:]
Dear Daddy:
We’re sure enjoying this grand weather. Been beautiful ever since Thursday – it rained that day all day.
Am thinking about you planting & planting while we walk & walk.
Love
Trella

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Trella Hemmerly – 1944-04-29

Saturday, April 29, 1944
Awake about 8:30 & wasn’t sure until we got to the street that the sun was shining. Took the same route back to Penn Station as last night down to 6th thence to Herald Square & down into subway tunnel past Saks and Gimbels. Stopped in at Snack Bar at Gimbels for breakfast. Oh the intriguing looking things to buy on over in the store! Have shopping planned for Monday.
Then on to the station – all this underground & walked around until we could go still further underground to get train 19 at 10:03 AM for Hempstead. Where all these people are going on Long Island in the middle of the morning I’d like to know. The seats are straw like our old street car seats. And here we go & here comes the conductor for our tickets. We have to change at Jamaica. The train goes under the river & I had the impression I could tell when.
Passed Woodside & although the houses are mostly apartments you should see the lovely miniature gardens. And there is some places it is all cement except 6 foot squares & there will be tulips & iris & a little tree.
We couldn’t understand the conductor as he called station but Hempstead was the last stop on this line so we were safe. The farther out we got the more spacious the lawns & gardens and some of the towns are delightful. At each station there were cars parked in large numbers – left by their owners while they commuted to New York. The forsythia blooming everywhere makes unbelievable spots of color. And there are frequently blooming trees in a purplish pink with rather drooping branches that I can’t identify.
Had to wait across from the station for a Mitchell Field bus but finally came & by a devious route we arrived at the gate of the field. Mary was waiting in the pass house but had to go and get a S/Sgt to sign us in.
The field is very pretty with forsythia blooming everywhere & other bushes budding out in this bright spring sunshine.
Went to the mess hall for our dinner – among WAC’s – cafeteria style & a very complete menu. I chose Baked Ham (delicious) baked potato, corn, radishes, whipped gelatin & coffee – There was also cake, soup, creamed celery, onions that I remember. Mary had her mail with her from 3 days & had about 6 letters, uncluding one from Bernard from us, telling us what to see for him. After lunch we inspected the kitchen – with 2 sides of beef lying there. Saw the walk-in refrigerator & the menu for tonight. Then over to see the day room & then to Mary’s barracks – painted green. An outside stairway leads to the hall just outside her room. Everything so neat & clean. Saw the latrine with 3 grand looking tubs. Oh how I’d like a hot bath in a warm room in a clean tub with no shower apparatus interfering. That the set up in our bathroom.
Showed me laundry & then back to Wally waiting patiently on the steps. Around the post we went, stopping at enlisted men’s club where they were waxing floor. Marvelous radiophons. Pass the hospital & many officers saluted. Stopped at the PX & made several purchases of candy & such. Over toward the flying field where planes galore were lined up but not much activity. Along here is the building where Mary works. She showed us the window in the basement. The building looks like all the others. Also near here is the annex to the hangar where she went to school. In the parade ground across from the message center is the obstacle course. I’m sure it would take me 5 min. merely to run that distance but Mary says some of the boys have gone over & through & among it in 3 min. 6 sec. We passed a Colonel & General but I was so engrossed in the col. I missed the gn.
All over the field crews were repairing the sod & a tractor was discing to improve it at another. We were to meet Betty at the cafeteria but while were enjoying our Cokes waiting for her Mary was called to the phone for us to come to the hospital to see her.
She was up & dressed & if she can talk that much 4 days after a tonsilectomy what could she do normally – but seems to be a very nice girl.
We were about walked out – I feel as if there is no fluid left in my hip joint and after sitting a few minutes I limp when I get up- Outside of that I’m still going strong!
Picked up Sgt. Thomas at the supply room to sign us out – volunteers work in these guard houses to take care of getting visitors in & out & are also on duty to guide people about.
While waiting for the Hempstead bus we asked the MP to take our pictures at the entrance.
In Hempstead we shopped and I was delighted at the variety of merchandise offered. Got several things for Kathy.
Got a soda at the corner and Mary took the bus back to field to go on duty at 5:00 PM & we took the 4:20 back to N.Y.
People working in their patches of gardens all along but the ground certainly is on the sandy side.
In at Penn Station and up to our room to relax awhile. I finally braved the bathroom for a bath & it wasn’t half bad after I got the tub cleaned – rested me so much.
Met Bertha at her hotel & ate at Saberafts. Roast lamb, hashed potatoes, green beans, avacado & grapefruit cocktail, pear salad & chocolate pie. Good!
Then into the subway to 50th Street to the Roxy Theatre. Had no trouble getting rid of $2.80 for tickets but getting a seat was another matter. Waited about 45 minutes & then they were so high & not together. But the stage show made up for it. Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra – a chrous line with bells that jumped to play the pieces. 3 acrobats who were superb – then Victor Borge & then Joan Edwards & several other acts.
The picture “Buffalo Bill” was good but not exceptional. We were seated about 9:30 & came out at 12:30 & just a newsreel went with the feature.
Back to 34th Street on the subway. Goodbye to Bertha & home & bed. I’m writing this in my sleep.

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Trella Hemmerly – 1944-04-28

Friday, April 28, 1944
[in New York City]
The little patch I could see out the window was dark when I awoke & I was so disappointed. I had dressed and was almost ready to go out when Wally looked out & up – and the sun was shining & the sky blue.

Mary came in about 10:00 from Hazel’s & we breakfasted at Child’s at 36th St. Then on down to 34th to the Empire State Building. Bought tickets into an elevator to the 68th floor out & in another to the 86th floor 1,050 ft & the observation platform. A wind velocity from 30 to 35 mi an hour kept us inside. View was good but hazy at the edges. Staten Island just a dark lump in the bay. The river & harbor full of shops. No bridges, ships, tunnels or airfields were identified in interest of National Defense. But we could find most everything we wanted to see. Mary says after 3 trips she still sees new things. How that building was built I’ll never understand. Then on up to the 102 story 1,250 feet – 204 ft. higher than any other man-made structure.

At 11:30 decided we’d better hurry on so down we came & got a Broadway bus – Down through the textile district, past Jimmy Harris’, 14th Street, and finally off at 140 Broadway at Nassau to the Guaranty Trust Co.

Wally had an introduction to the Vice President but he was out of town so we were passed over to Mr. Passmore who passed us over to Mr. Jim Bennett who had worked for the company for 43 yrs. starting when they had 30 employees against their 3,600 now. The bank is really several banks & the main room contains only desks for officers & secretaries. The tellers are in a small room to the south, having about 25 cages. We took the elevator to the top floor & worked our way down through the Accounting Dept., mailing room, foreign, collections, clearing, trust custody, etc. The 8th floor was for personnel morale. Two cafeterias serving even midnight lunch, club rooms for men & women. “P4” as Mary called it. A complete medical dept. & even then they have employment problems. Then we went to the basement & through 2 locked doors with a corner between & a guard – into the vault department. The doors weigh 45 tons, are watertight & it would take 3 days to drill through it. Inside the vault through another locked door 2 men (they all work in pairs) showed us gov’t bonds in $1,000,000 denominations – 10 of them of Maunufacturers Trust & then another group staring with two $1,000,000 bonds & going on down through $10,000. On the million dollar ones the coupons amount to $20,000 a year. Later we saw girls clipping coupons – the ones for June already – they have so many to do. The head of this department showed us around & he was very interesting in describing the protection taken.
We bid goodbye to all these & got a snack on Broad St. We went into Trinity Church on Broadway at the end of Wall. Several people praying & the church was an oasis of quiet from the hubbub outside.
This is really the canyon section. The really tall buildings are grouped here & Guaranty Trust with 13 stories looks very squatty.
Off Wall on Broad is the New York Stock Exchange. We went in the elevator to the gallery. Such confusion below. The floor littered with torn paper. The men with badges are brokers who buy & sell according to instructions received by telephone on the floor. They are called by number on huge charts at the ends of the room. Girl messengers take their orders. In the center are the men representing the members whose stocks are for sale. Instead of ticker tape there are screens where the price fluctuations move continuously. From these center booths the information is sent out that control the prices. But from where we stood it looked as if everyone were aimlessly chatting at a family reunion.

Stopped in for a few minutes at the Chase National Bank coin collection. Wally didn’t get to see enough of this before we had to go to catch the ferry for “Statue of Liberty”. But found the 3:00 ferry full so went to the other side of Battery Park & took the ferry to Staten Island. The passenger capacity was 2,385 & of course we sat on the upper deck & had a very good view of “Liberty” and of hundreds of ships of all sizes.
Some were loaded with jeeps & seemed to be ready to sail. Barges carried whole freight trains and the crew of a submarine were sunning themselves as it lazied through the water. Gulls abounded – they certainly are powerful looking birds.
We were only on Staten Island for enough to say we had been there & came back on the same boat. Really headed into a stiff breeze this time. The whole trip took about an hour & that boat really traveled – and it cost us 10 cents each – Mary free. 5 cents each way.

Took the 3rd Ave. elevated right off the ferry & it really twisted and turned until it got up a few blocks. Changed to and express at Canal. Got another glimpse of Jennie’s 14th St – passed the antique shops in the 50’s & on & on to 125th St. Walked east to the Tri-borough Bridge passed people of all ages sunning themselves & then back through Harlem – Lennox Ave to 7th Ave. & got a double deck bus. The news stand on the corner featured colored newspapers, a colored “Look” & a colored “Digest”. The movies advertised “All Colored Newsreel” & 95% of the people were colored & some very snazzy.
The bus went over to Fifth Ave. at the north side of Central Park & this part of the Park was filled with colored people. Got glimpses of interesting gardens & trees in the Park & saw several museums I want to go in.
Off at 37th & up to our room to freshen up and call Bertha. Met her at 6th & 39th & started up Broadway to “Iceland Smorgasbord” our first experience with a real night club – floor show, dancing & 30% tax even though we ordered no drinks.
The Smorgasbord was merely a glorified potluck dinner with a variety of about 100 dishes. At least 10 kinds of fish – and tuna salad.
The 9 chorus girls were good especially with their acrobatic dancing & the dance team who first appeared as puppets – did some mighty fine whirling and we would have been much impressed had we not seen the ballet. Three skaters, two singers & a dance band completed the program.
Bertha went back for more smorgasbord but we finished off with an “Iceland Special Sundae” very good – and coffee.
The check nearly floored us, though. We had forgotten the 30% tax – $8.50 or about $2.10 apiece.

[Following from Google Books A Different Drummer by Herb Wasserman:]


Then out onto Broadway again into the multitude of people – past the block girl advertising “Mexican Hayride” – to Penn Station where Mary took the train for Hempstead. Has to be at work at 11:00. Hope she isn’t busy. She needs the sleep.
We then walked Bertha home & stopped in her hotel a minute & then on to our room & a recapitulation & finances. We have spent $90 including our railway fare & will probably spend $50 more according to plans. I have now been writing for an hour & think I’ll quit & go to sleep.

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Trella Hemmerly – 1944-04-27

Thursday, April 27, 1944
[Trip to New York City]
An hour and 15 minutes late out of Cleveland. I slept for about an hour between there & Buffalo. In Buffalo at 1:45 AM and on the advice of the M.P. Wally had talked to went back to the ritz coach where we couldn’t get 2 seats in Marion & got the first seat. Much more comfortable & our 25 cent rental pillows are almost superfluous.
Finally out of Buffalo at 2:35 AM.

Slept about an hour between each of the large stations all night. Lost more time at Rochester. While stopped at Syracuse (5:00 to 5:25) saw the first light high in the sky & after we passed Canastota it was really light. Sun tried to shine but was soon overcome.
After passing Schenectady decided to go to the diner for breakfast – thru 7 Pullmans, club cars, etc. & finally got there & had only table for 2 in the car. Wally got 3 ones & plenty of change ($1.15 worth) out of a $5 so he could leave a tip.

Although to me the train continued east as we left Albany the Hudson River running alongside to the right was proof we were going south. At first, the river was disappointing – its edges mere swamps & us not over 6 ft. above them but below Hudson it began widening & the buildings along the shore more impressive. Tried to pick out the President’s home along Hyde Park but our view to the left is very limited – the railroad is built at the base of the hills & sometimes it resorts to short tunnels.
Out of Duchess the dull day turned to rain so I wonder what our plans in N.Y. will be.

Into Grand Central at 10:30 & only a short walk up the ramp & there was Mary waiting & had been since 9:00. Rushed us over to the cab entrance so quick Wally didn’t really get to see the station. Took our bags to “Hughes House” 28 W. 37th St. & were there met by an aesthetic young man named Heckinger who informed us our rooms would be ready after 12.
So out we went in the rain to an auto-mat for lunch. Chicken noodles – good.
Came out at back of Public Library so stopped in there. Lovely marble arches & finally found Main Reading Room on 3rd floor. In the first room you look up your subject in a card index file. This room is about 4 times as large as our whole library at home. Then on into the book room where a guide helps you locate the book. None on spring wildflowers that I could find or the attendant.
The rooms where valuable manuscripts are kept are behind locked gates. Goodness knows how to get in there. Oh yes, to take a book off the shelf in the library you must fill out a slip. The circulating library has between 200,000 & 300,000 volumes & the library contains over 3,000,000 volumes altogether.
Out in the rain again and back to 37th St. Were shown rooms this time & took a back one at $14 a week. The bathroom looks terrible & we overlook wholesale millinery factories.
After getting settled decided to go to Planetarium & did via bus. En route saw our first glimpse of Broadway as we stopped at Metropolitan Opera House & got tickets for the Ballet tonight.

Planetarium, a dome shaped building on west side of Central Park, was surrounded by school boys but we made our way thru & viewed the meteor collections in the corridor before viewing “The Solar System” with 7 of the planets to scale in size & movement revolving around the sun. A short lecture here placed the Solar System in its proper relationship to the Universe.
Then upstairs to the inverted bowl of a room with a fantastic “Man from Mars” sort of contraption in the middle of the room. Silhouetted at the bottom edge of the upside down bowl are the buildings you would really see just outside. As the lecture starts the first of the stars (3 planets) appear & as it grows darker all the stars shine in their own place for this day at sundown, dark, etc. With a convenient arrow, constellations are pointed out & then the sky moves as if we were travelling 5,000 miles a minute & we view the Southern Sky as from Australia. From time to time views of certain parts of the sky as from telescopes are projected for our study.
It seemed impossible that we would walk out into daylight.

Since we were near Hazel’s, Mary suggested we might catch her in so took a bus across Central Park & were soon at E. 81st St. Her 3 rooms & hall are very compact & well furnished in taste that agrees with mine. Her husband’s flower paintings are beautiful. One large one of apple blossoms & one of 2 bleeding heart blossoms and one of a sort of hibiscus. She loaned us rubbers & umbrella & we started out again. For Wally’s pleasure we took a subway & tried to find 3 Crown Restaurant (Smorgasbord) but didn’t so had fried Smelt ($1.10 Mary) & calf’s liver (Wally) at Longchamps. Ate on balcony overlooking other diners & enjoyed the “mood music” tho I was hardly dressed for it still in my suit.

Walked down Park Ave. a way to see if & over to the Whitlow Reid Mansion (which surely is) where service women stay for 50 cents a night. It’s lovely but Mary will be staying with Hazel tonight.

[Following is excerpt from Hospital Ships of World War II found at Google Books:]

Then bus back to room to get ready for the Ballet. I wore my black dress & artificial orchids for a hat. Walked on up to 42nd St. & Broadway to get postcards & then back to the Metropolitan Opera House & up in elevator to the “Balcony”. Our seats were tops for balcony. Front row center with only a brass rail between us & the space to the stage.
A symphony orchestra in the pit was tuning up as we came in.
The opera house is done in red & gold and the “balcony” is really the 4th balcony the others are called loges – grand tier, dress circle & then balcony & then on above the family circle. 30 groups of 3 lights each encircle the five tiers of seats & it seats 2,000 and seemed well over half full. We didn’t realize how high we really were until we looked out from other levels when the ballet was over. The binoculars certainly came in handy for the solo parts of the dances. I was surprised at how well the plot of the dance could be followed. Two were Russian, one a new one by Agnes DeMille & then one to the Nutcracker Suite of straight ballet.
Who would realize the range of emotions that can be expressed through movement only. The settings & costumes were gorgeous, especially for the last production & the dancing in it was unbelievable. I was sorry when it was over although it lasted nearly 3 hours including intermission which only gave you time to study the next ballet.

[following on separate sheet:]
Have just seen my first ballet “Aleko” – Leonide Massine. Metropolitan Opera House – balcony first row center.
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonide_Massine]

To the accompaniment of a symphony orchestra the curtain arose on a gypsy camp. A love story – tragedy – triangle but the beauty of the dance forms and the costumes, the delight of the motion to perfect music thrilled me until sitting straight up to see over the rail was a pleasure.
[end of separate sheet]

Walked down to Bertha’s room then (11:30 PM) & called up – she said to come up in the hall. She hadn’t gone to sleep yet so we made plans to call her tomorrow after 6 & see if we can get together.

Then up to our room & Mary got her things and started out for Hazels.

Wally has been dead on his feet all day so he’s been asleep for 1/2 hr & I’m sure I shall be in the next 5 minutes.

Posted on

Trella Hemmerly – 1944-04-26

Wednesday, April 26, 1944
[train trip to New York City]
Oh what a mess we left our house in! Tore up the bedroom and cleaned the wallpaper & left it ready for Schenks to refinish floor & paint woodwork while we are gone.
Then to supper at mother’s and because once somebody said we’re “going away” instead of “Going to N.Y.” & Kathy realized what was going on. But she wasn’t too difficult just tired because no nap (moved her bed to mother’s this morning.)
Train listed 50 minutes late so we went to depot about 7:45. Mother, Daddy & Kathy drove down to Oak Street.
Got on train at 8:15 (1 hr. 15 min. late) Pretty crowded – but sat by a sailor till we passed & waved at the folks & then went up to the first car with the colored folks where there is plenty of room.
Marion is quite disgusting from the train. Where they were stopped at the depot the view was of a junk yard & it didn’t improve much until you got out of town but most towns are like that.
It was light until just passed Galion & then trees & hills & sky all looked alike. (about 8:50)