Thursday, March 31, 2011

They're Hanging Danny Deever


Thursday, March 30, 1950

46 West 83rd Street, Apt. 7B
New York City, NY

Dear Art,

My last letter.  Isn’t that wonderful?

Shirl turned the alarm clock off in her sleep this morning so I didn’t get to school today. When we finally woke up, we went shopping instead.

I worked on Historic Research tonight for the first time this term.  The teacher has been asking to see the stylized heads I was supposed to be working on.  Well, I started tonight.  In about an hour and a half, I caught up with the class which has been working on them for about two months now.  Didn’t know I was so fast, did you?

I expect this vacation will do me wonders – I get too easily upset these days.  Here’s my plan for my vacation days:  Wake up at 11 in the morning, eat at 12, perhaps dabble in some homework from 2 to 4, and at 4 start getting ready to go out with you at 8.  Shirl says I’m allowing an awful lot of time for getting ready.  It’s nothing.  I’m going to make up like Cleopatra and vamp my man.  You are going to take me out aren’t you?  We’re supposed to have a date every night, remember?  Did you forget your art lessons when you said that, though?  They will take two nights away
All pencil sketches by
June Anderson.
from me.  And right in a row, too.

They just finished playing “They’re Hanging Danny Deever in the Morning” on the radio.  Nice.  I like poetry and know the poem, but had never heard it put to music.  I thought it worked well with the loud, more or less marching music.

I feel like packing.  I might even start tonight.  Well, darling, I’ll see you Friday night – the usual time, I hope.

All my love,

June

(For tomorrow – the Stylish Blogger Award ceremony.)

 © 2011 Lee Price

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bursting With Love


Partida assignment, abstract shapes
pencil sketch by Art Price.
Wednesday, March 29, 1950

20 Cooper Street
Southampton, NY

Dear June,

Don’t worry, darling.  I’ll be bursting out with love for you Friday night.  Won’t it ever come?

I didn’t get my half-day off today.  We took inventory instead.  I hope maybe I can get a full day next week.  Sketch class was canceled tonight.  Mr. Secunda phoned and said he was having trouble getting a model so he called it off.  I paint tomorrow night, I guess.

My grandfather went to the hospital yesterday with pneumonia but is already coming home tomorrow.  He’s better and didn’t want to stay so the doctor is sending him home.  After all, he’s only 88.  Maybe if he was an old man, they’d make him stay.

Darling, I love you so much.  Only two more days!  I guess this will be my last letter.  See you Friday!

Lots of love,

Art

(Tomorrow – vacation plans.)

© 2011 Lee Price

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Intrigue and Backstabbing


Deer, oil painting by Art Price.

Tuesday, March 28, 1950

20 Cooper Street
Southampton, NY

Dear June,

I don’t know what to say except I love you.  I’ve been painting tonight.  Now I think I’ll go to bed early again.  I have to get all rested up, you know.

Your phone call certainly surprised me.  I wondered what could be wrong.  I had a few bad seconds till I heard your voice. 

I’m still waiting to hear about what happened to Jane.  I knew there was a lot of intrigue and backstabbing going on Saturday night, but I found out today I didn’t hear the half of it (although, of course, Bruno does love to exaggerate everything).  Bruno thinks they probably decided to stay through Monday since Helen doesn’t work Mondays.  They weren’t very considerate of you, though, if that was what happened.  He thinks Jane will be here for Easter so you can bawl her out then.

I’ve spoken of my grandfather who’s 88.  He’s in the hospital with a mild case of pneumonia (at 88, I guess nothing is mild).  He seems to be alright so far.

Well, darling, not many more days left, just three more till I’m in paradise.  I do love you very much.  I think this has been the longest two weeks of my life.

Lots of love,

Art

(Tomorrow – bursting with love.)

© 2011 Lee Price

Monday, March 28, 2011

Stood Up!


Monday, March 27, 1950

46 West 83rd Street, Apt. 7B
New York City, NY

Dear Art,

Pencil sketch by June Anderson.
I’m mad at you and everyone else tonight.  Shirl says I’m being foolish and childish and I guess I am.  In the letter I received today you said that you were up to midnight on Friday night and weren’t used to those hours without me.  Then you stay out till 4 in the morning on Saturday night.  You never stay out that late with me!

But I’m mainly upset because I’ve been stood up and I hate that.  We waited for Jane in that drugstore from 5 till 6:30.  What’s more, no one answered at the BKLYN number – which probably means that the girls stayed in Southampton.  And I swear, Art, if you were fooling around with them or going out again tonight like Saturday I’ll pull every hair out of your head one by one and laugh like a fiend doing it.

So what were you doing Sunday, by the way?  On Friday night, I expect some quick talking.

- - - - -

Darling, it’s about 9:30 now and I just talked to you.  I’m sorry I bothered you by calling.  I know it was silly, but I was depressed and it was the only thing I could think of to cheer me up, and it did.  Of course, your mother must think me an awful fool calling up like that.  I hope she makes allowances for emotional immaturity and instability.

We called up Jane after I talked to you and she was home.  Both she and Helen came in on the 6:00 train tonight.  Apparently, Mary called us last night to tell us that Jane wouldn’t be here.  Someone took the message for us but it never got through.

- - - - -

It’s now 5 after 1 in the morning, darling.  Now I’m feeling remorse for bawling you out.  You’re so sweet.  I should remember never to get mad at you except in person when… oh, well, you’ll see.

Shirl and I have been working on the cape tonight.  Do you realize that we’re halfway done?  It makes me feel good.  I will like it even if no one else does.

Jane said you went to a donkey basketball game.  I would have loved to have seen it.  I’ve only seen one once and I sure did enjoy it.

I’ll be so glad to see you again, my darling.  It’s only four more days, but right now it seems like years away.

All my love,

June

(Tomorrow – intrigue and backstabbing.)

© 2011 Lee Price

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Strain of Jealousy


Fashion illustration by June Anderson.

Sunday, March 26, 1950

46 West 83rd Street, Apt. 7B
New York City, NY

Dear Art,

Just because I’m writing to you before midnight doesn’t mean I’m going to bed early.  As a matter of fact, I have to sew some more on my cape, wash some things, iron a blouse, set my hair, and take a shower.  Then I’ll go to bed.  Normally, I wouldn’t bother about all that, but I want to look halfway decent when I see Janie tomorrow.

Well, Art, I can’t ask you much about your Saturday night in a letter and I know it would be hard for you to write about it to me.  But just wait till Friday night!!!  Here I was missing you, and you were out having such a good time!  It’s a good thing Shirl didn’t go out Saturday night.  Then I would have been really lonely and when I heard about your good time I might have felt bad or even mad.  I’m sorry, darling – I know I should be glad when you get to go out and have a good time instead of moping around the house.

You must have been in fine condition for church!

I’ll be coming home soon now.  Think you’ll be glad to see me?  Sounds like I’ll be awfully quiet and dull to have around after what you got used to over the weekend.

Don’t worry, darling, I think I still love you in spite of everything.  It’s just that I need attention and love.  And you had better come Friday prepared with plenty of both.  Have you noted, dear, a strain of jealousy through this letter?

Take good care of yourself, darling.  I’m looking forward to my vacation with you so much.

All my love,

June

(Tomorrow – stood up.)

© 2011 Lee Price

Fallout from Saturday Night


Sunday, March 26, 1950

20 Cooper Street
Southampton, NY

Dear June,

It was wonderful to talk to you today, darling.  I’m so glad I’m forgiven.  Don’t you be jealous about my Saturday night.  You know there’s no reason to be.  I love you very much, darling.  It really was a weird evening.

I saw Mary and Helen for a minute this afternoon in Irene’s.  Bruno came in and they wouldn’t even look at him.  Jane had a date with Singer this afternoon.  Joe never got a chance to say anything to Jane about the dance so I don’t know how that will turn out.

I rode around a little this afternoon all by myself and felt lonesome for you, sweetheart.  Then I went to the first show tonight, Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright.  It was quite good.  Hitchcock usually is.

As you can probably guess, I’m feeling kind of sleepy right now so I’d better go to bed.  I have to rest up this week,
sweetheart.  You had better rest up, too.  You have a date with me every night next week.  Now who’s possessive?

Enjoy yourself tomorrow, dear, but don’t you ride back from Brooklyn alone.  Make them come back with you.  I worry about you and miss you so much, my precious sweetheart.  Only five more days, darling.  Till then,

All my love,

Art

(Later today – you must have been in fine condition for church!)

© 2011 Lee Price

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Late Nights in the City


Saturday, March 25, 1950

46 West 83rd Street, Apt. 7B
New York City, NY

Dear Art,

Pencil sketch by June Anderson.
It’s late at night again, 1:20 a.m.  I’m sitting cross-legged on my bed in my pajamas – all ready to crawl in.  Shirl’s setting her hair now.  Gee, I’m sleepy!

We went to a late show – that’s why we’re up so late.  Last night, I was up even later, until about 3:00.  I waited up for Shirl while she was out with Ted.  Art, darling, it was terribly lonesome.  I missed you so.

Well, dear, this is going to be short.  Just to tell you I love you.  I’ll be waiting for your telephone call tomorrow.

All my love,

June

P.S.  Darling, it’s 1:20 Sunday afternoon now.  I’m going down to mail this right away.  Shirl just found a note saying that Ted will be here at 2:00 instead of 3.  That means we have to hurry.  I hope she decides to come in early instead of staying out late again.  I doubt it though.

Art, I don’t mind your being with the boys, but it sounded from our phone call like there were too many girls for comfort this time.  I can practically guarantee that you’ll get the third degree from me on Friday night.

Love,

June

(Tomorrow – relationship problems back in Southampton.)

© 2011 Lee Price

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Should Bawl You Out


Friday, March 24, 1950

20 Cooper Street
Southampton, NY

Dear June,

Art, circa 1950.
Before I say anything you know I love you very much.  Now I should bawl you out.  Why did you tell Jane about the dance and Joe Cerullo???!!  Didn’t you know I was kind of hoping he wouldn’t be going?  You know I’d have more time with you if we’re not chauffering Joe and Jane.  Anyway, I saw Joe tonight and he says he’s planning to write Jane a letter asking her.  Oh well, I guess we’ll all have a good time.  I hope everything works out.

You and Shirl had quite a subway ride, didn’t you?  I sat there reading your letter and laughing.  My mother wondered what was the matter with me.

Well, darling, I haven’t much to tell you.  I went to a double feature tonight of Mrs. Mike and Jungle Jim.  Afterwards, I went and had a talk with Joe, then came home and read a little and now here it is almost midnight.  That’s late for me when I’m not with you.  I promise to take it easy tomorrow night.  I love you very, very much.  Only seven more days to go.

Lots of love,

Art

(Tomorrow – too many girls!)

© 2011 Lee Price

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Permission to Buy Shoes



Thursday, March 23, 1950

46 West 83rd Street, Apt. 7B
New York City, NY

Dear Art,

I just realized that I haven’t written you a letter before midnight since I got here.  That’s pretty bad, isn’t it?

Well, I called up Daddy today and told him the bad news – that I bought some expensive cloth for my cape.  He was very sweet about it – didn’t yell my head off.  While he was in such a good humor, I decided to ask him for a little pair of shoes, too.  And he said yes!  That’s all – nothing about how broke we are, etc.  Just yes.  So I’ll probably look for shoes on Saturday.  I wonder if he was feeling alright?

Both Shirl and I have been working on the cape tonight.  We’re tired now.  Shirl was so tired this morning she couldn’t get up.  So that’s another half day of school that she’s missed.

Shirl just said I get the silliest grin on my face when I write to you.  She’s mentioned it before.  I can’t help it – it’s the work of Love.

It’s a wonder you didn’t get sick Tuesday night!  Wine and beer!  Uggh – what a horrible combination!

As soon as I finish this I’ll join Shirl for some dill pickles and potato chips.

Darling, it’s late now, so I’ll just say that I love you.  Have a nice time this weekend – but not too good a time.  Good night, my darling, and

All my love,

June


All shoe sketches by
June Anderson.

(Tomorrow – maybe June does talk too much.)

© 2011 Lee Price

A Dent in the Fender


Thursday, March 23, 1950

20 Cooper Street
Southampton, NY

Dear June,

I got your Tuesday letter today.  I’m very glad Shirl is back to keep you company.  I hope her cold is better by now.  Don’t you go catching it.  You’re supposed to catch your colds from me.

I didn’t go anywhere tonight, but maybe I should have.  My father’s car was stuck in the new section of our garage and we were trying to get it out tonight.  I had my car in the driveway with the lights on so we could see.  Anyway, he got out by going forward and then back – but then he forgot my car was in the driveway and backed into it.  There’s just a small dent in the fender.  Not the first one either.  Oh well.

I painted a little tonight.  Now I’ve been reading a new book, “The Wall” by John Hersey.  It’s very good.

Just a week from tomorrow night until we’re together again, darling.  I hope the time flies by, but I know it won’t.  You know how much I love you.  More than I can ever say.  I’ll call you Sunday at the usual time (at the 09 number).

Keep writing, won’t you?  I love your letters.  Good night – for now, sweetheart,

Lots of love,

Art

(Later today – dill pickles and potato chips.)

© 2011 Lee Price

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Checkerboard Horse Blanket Pattern



Wednesday, March 22, 1950

46 West 83rd Street, Apt. 7B
New York City, NY

Dear Art,

Darling, a lot seemed to happen today.   But before I launch into my composition, I’ll tell you I love you and I count the days everyday until I see you again.  In fact, I count the days several times a day.  (It’s now 9 days, you know.)

After school, Shirl and I went down to Hester Street today to buy material.  She bought material for some dresses.  I bought the fabric for my cape.  People will turn to look when I come along in my big checks.  Have you ever seen a checkerboard horse blanket?  Well, that’s what I have – in blue and white!  I don’t care what people think – I like it.  We already cut out the pattern tonight.  It was loads of fun.

We had some difficulty getting back.  First we got on a train without looking to see if it was going up or downtown.  Next thing we knew we were in Brooklyn.  So we got off and hopped on an uptown train.  It was fine until we woke up some time later to find ourselves on Fifth Avenue, well on our way to Queens.  So we got off and backtracked again.  It was 7:15 when we left the store, and 8:15 when we stepped off the subway  at 81st Street.

When we got back here there was a notice for me to call an Ingersoll number.  I did, and found I was talking to Bruno’s old girlfriend Mary.  She’s still going out with that guy in Brooklyn.  Shirl and I are planning to meet Jane on Monday afternoon and probably go and see her apartment, too.  If you see Singer, tell him I apologize.  He was right:  Jane really is working as an assistant secretary on Wall Street.

I asked Jane Hastings if she would be interested in the dance at St. George.  I told her that Joe Cerullo was thinking about going and he might ask her if he ever got around to it.  She said she’d love to go and told me to try to get you to prod Joe a little.  I’m sorry, darling.  Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it.  Do I talk too much?  Sometimes I don’t think before I talk.  Well, I hope I didn’t do anything drastically wrong.  This is the end of the page and the end my night, too, dear.  Keep writing.  I love you very much, and when someone tempts you for a date Saturday night, don’t you dare go!!!

All my love,

June

(Tomorrow – a dent in the fender.)

© 2011 Lee Price

A Short Note to Say I Love You


Wednesday, March 22, 1950

20 Cooper Street
Southampton, NY

Dear June,

This will be quite short.  Just a note to say how much I love you.

If tomorrow’s letter is anything like Monday’s, I’m going to call you up and make sure you’re all right.  I’ve been worrying about you all day, my darling.  I hope you haven’t been alone all this time.  Shirl must be back there by now.  I just had a happy thought.  If Shirl’s not feeling well maybe you’ll have to come home this weekend.  I told you I was selfish but I can’t help it.  I love you so much.

I haven’t much to tell you.  I had the morning off, as you know, and went to my painting class tonight.  We had a different model again.  We haven’t had the same one twice yet!  I got home about 10:30.  Since then, I’ve been reading a continued story in the Saturday Evening Post.

I miss you very much, darling.  You know that I do.  You will be careful of yourself, and not so depressed and lonely, won’t you?  I love you very much, my sweetheart.

Lots of love,

Art

(Later today – the checkerboard horse blanket pattern.)

© 2011 Lee Price

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shirl Returns!

Fashion illustration by June Anderson.

Tuesday, March 21, 1950

46 West 83rd Street, Apt. 7B
New York City, NY

Dear Art,

Well, Shirl is back, and I feel much, much better.  She strolled in about half past 4 and I nearly fell over her.  I was so glad to see her!  She really does have a bad cold.  Or at least, it was – it’s getting better now, or so she says.

Art, dear, before I forget – if you call up Sunday will you call on the 09 number instead of 08?  Mrs. Kanter is leaving Thursday for Florida and they are having a telephone answering service for 08.  I’ll answer myself for 09.

Darling, guess what?  It’s now six hours later, 5 after 1, a late night.  I put up the letter because Shirl and I went out to get a coke.  We’ve been talking ever since.  Sweetheart, I miss you.  I can’t even seem to talk about myself anymore – just you.  That’s definitely a bad sign.

I still haven’t done any schoolwork.  I can’t seem to settle down to it.  And I probably won’t do any tomorrow either.  After school, Shirl and I are going to look for some cloth for my cape.  If we find it, we’ll probably cut it out that night.

Oh, I was late for school this morning.  Shirl wasn’t here last night so I had to set the alarm myself.  But when I pulled the thing on top to set it, it started ringing.  I don’t understand it.  I kept trying again and again (setting the time and the alarm) and a half hour passed and still when I pulled the thing on top the alarm would go off.  So I finally gave up and woke up late for school this morning.

By the way, Shirl is going out Friday night with Ted.  I don’t know about Sunday.  She’s not going Saturday night – he works then.

Darling – there’s so much I would like to say.  But it all adds up to I love you – so much.  And more.  But it doesn’t come out right on paper.  I’m still waking in a dream when I think of the wonderful weekend we had together.

All my love,

June

(Tomorrow – revolving models.)

© 2011 Lee Price

The Bohemian Southampton Art Scene


Pencil sketch of a wine bottle
by Art Price.


Tuesday, March 21, 1950

20 Cooper Street
Southampton, NY

Dear June,

I went to my sketch class as usual tonight.  Mr. Mayer brought a quart of wine with him so I guess we looked very bohemian there.  We had a new model.  The class lasted till 10:30 than I dropped in to see Joe Cerullo and had a couple of beers on top of the wine.  Phooey – it’s a wonder I didn’t get sick!

Anyway, it’s midnight and I’m home now.  Tomorrow’s my half day off so I can sleep late.  I’m not used to these late hours weekday nights, you know.  I’ll have to get used to them, darling.  I expect to see you every night you’re home in two weeks.

There’s nothing much more to tell you.  I think I’ll leave this open and maybe write some more tomorrow.  Good night now, darling.  I love you.

Wednesday, 10 A.M.

Good morning, sweetheart.  I just got up and your letter from Monday’s already here.  I’m awfully sorry that Shirl didn’t show up Monday.  I certainly hope she’s there by now.  I’m very worried about you, darling.  Please don’t feel too bad there, will you?  Please don’t go out alone at night either, will you, darling?  If she doesn’t come back soon and you have to come home, you’ll be sure and tell me, won’t you?  I’m terribly selfish, darling.  I almost hope you do have to come home.  Your letter was sealed with a kiss, I think, so I’ll do the same.

Lots of love,

Art

(Later today – cloth for the cape.)

© 2011 Lee Price

Monday, March 21, 2011

36 Minutes to Spring


Bird in flight, pencil sketch by Art Price.

Monday, March 20, 1950

20 Cooper Street
Southampton, NY

Dear June,

Well there is one day gone, just eleven more to go till you’re home in my arms again.  It was a wonderful weekend, darling.  I love you.

Nothing much happened today.  It was a busy Monday as usual.  I didn’t do anything tonight.  Just sat around and read a little.  I really meant to go to bed earlier than this but I guess at 10:45 it’s still fairly early.  I hope you had a good trip back even though it seemed awfully early.  I hope you’re not too tired tonight.

I can’t think of anything more to tell you than I love you, I love you, my darling.  I hope you love me, too.  Be good and take care of yourself.  They just said on the radio that it’s 11:24 and spring starts in just 36 minutes.  We’ll have warm weather for you soon, sweetheart.  Remember me to Shirl.  Good night for now, darling.  I love you.

Lots of more love,

Art

(Tomorrow – Southampton's bohemian art scene.)

© 2011 Lee Price

Down in the Dumps


Monday, March 20, 1950

46 West 83rd Street, Apt. 7B
New York City, NY

Dear Art,

Darling – I’m sorry, but I’m down in the dumps again.  I’m so terribly, terribly lonesome – I hate the horrible green walls of this room.  I feel caged in.  I called up Mother about half an hour ago.  I guess I shouldn’t have – I feel a little better but Mother’s probably worried now.

June Anderson, circa 1950.
My trouble is that Shirl didn’t come back.  I’m here all alone.  Her sister Evie her sister called up this afternoon to say that Shirl has a very bad cold and couldn’t come back to the city today.  Evie also said that if Shirl were better she might come in tomorrow.  Oh, Art, what if she doesn’t?  What if she’s out for several days?  I don’t know what I’ll do.  I don’t think I could stand it here.

And, oh Art, I was going to tell her what a wonderful time I had this weekend!  I have so much to talk about it’s hard to contain – I like to relive the hours as closely as possible.  Of course, I only tell Shirl the outline of things we did and said – not the times that belong to us alone.  Talking helps bring you near to me while you’re away, almost as much as writing to you does.  You don’t mind, do you, darling?

I’m sorry, darling.  I’m not one of those women who can write an interesting, gay, and cheerful letter no matter how they feel.  I can only write what I feel.  Maybe I’ll walk in tomorrow after school and Shirl will be here and I’ll feel happy again and realize that two days have already gone by and only ten are left till vacation time and you.  I hope so – then you’ll be able to smile as you read my letter.

Art, dear, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my weekend home with you.  Words just can’t express it.  I miss you, darling, love you and miss you very much.

All my love (I wish I could send a kiss too),

June

(Later today – countdown to spring.)

© 2011 Lee Price

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"My Mother's Discussing Communism..."


“I’m having difficulty paying attention to my writing right now.  My mother’s standing here discussing communism.  We were talking about it at Partida’s, too.”
                                                             Arthur Price
                                                             Letter to June Anderson, March 16, 1950

Art’s family was solidly Republican; Art’s mother even sent birthday cards to Herbert Hoover for many years after his term as president.  The family was politically skeptical of the New Deal.  If Art’s mother was discussing communism, it would have been as a staunch anti-communist.

Although the United States was an ally of the communist Soviet Union through World War II, relations between east and west deteriorated quickly in the immediate post-war period.  The war ended in August 1945 and Churchill made his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in March 1946.

Mao-Tse Tung on the cover of
TIME magazine, Feb. 7, 1949.
By 1949, numerous factors were increasing world tension.  With the ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in March 1949, the lines of the Cold War were drawn.

As June and Art were concluding their first summer together in late August 1949, the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb, shocking the world into a recognition of the possibility of nuclear war.  Then in October, as June settled into her second year at Traphagen School of Fashion, China fell to the communists with the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

The early months of 1950 were packed with news relating to communism, both at home and abroad.  The Alger Hiss trial made national news in January as he was convicted of perjury in charges that asserted Hiss was spying for the Soviets during his high-ranking State Department work for the Truman administration.  In February 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy publicly stated that the State Department was “infested with communists” and that he had their names.  This announcement caused a political furor and was widely covered in the press.  Immediately following this, the Soviet Union and China announced a mutual defense treaty and even France looked like it might swing communist as pro-communist riots erupted in mid-February.

News of communism was in all the newspapers, it was the subject of discussion at Art’s classes at Partida’s School of Art, and even his mother was talking about communism as Art wrote his letter to June on the evening of March 16, 1950.  It was an unavoidable topic.

(For Monday – back at school and down in the dumps.)
 
© 2011 Lee Price