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Letter to her mother describing a dance with Dick and the outfit she wore; and asking for information about her aunt Mildred and her mother's childhood for a school assignment. Date later added to the head of the letter appears to be incorrect.
[29 September, 1934] [stationary heading] News from Wellesley College WELLESLEY COLLEGE PRESS BOARD Wellesley, Massachusetts Release Sat A.M. Very dearest, mother mine, Oh, very dearest indeed! Yes, it arrived late yesterday afternoon in all its glory, was unpacked with much anticipation, and worn the same evening with a great deal of pride and enjoyment. Said appreciation enhanced by the fact that it was of your selection and discrimination, and meets with the fond approval of your gadding daughter. It was grand of you to get it and send it to me, and I wish you could have seen the ensemble, complete as it was, when I left last night. I was expecting to wear my fur coat, brown, rather than accept Lee’s offer of the loan of hers, when mine, my very own, arrived. The outfit, in brief, was the pink dress as aforementioned, with the black collar, but caught up with 2 black and white clips and a spray of pique gardenias falling from one shoulder, black shoes, a twisted white pique cap of braids with an eyebrow veil, white with black dots around the edge, white gloves with a black and white bracelet, pink drop earrings (most of which, with the exception of the shoes & earrings being Lee’s contributions), and my black wrap with the white gardenias showing thru at the throat. Dick was quite overwhelmed and kept telling me so all evening. He was very nice---wore his uniform, as did most of the others there, so the affair, being a Military Ball, was quite impressive, and very colorful. At precisely 12, the old members of Scabbard and Blade, the society giving the shindig, marched into martial music, did some drill stepping, then the new members arrove, went thru part of the same procedure, and standing perfectly still, with everybody else at attention, got decorated as full fledged members of the association. Most extensive use of military precision, good bearing, aliveness, dignity---withal, it was very unique, at a dance, and quite worth the good time itself. Sure, I saw lots of the boys I'd known with Stocky, but it only made the occasion more interesting. He himself wasn't there, nor was Otto, but the news will in all probability get back to him, if it hasn't already. However, it doesn't worry me in the least...I'm seeing him Sunday, and he’ll have to learn that priority is one of the chief virtues in this struggle for supremacy! Is this little Ginny Veeder talking? I wish I were going to this dance, wonder if anyone will ask me! But I'm glorying in doing the things I might have done earlier if I'd been old enough to do them, and somehow, I think I'm getting a greater enjoyment out of it, partly because it hasn't always been the case. You know? Well, this little piece of autobiography being finished, how are you? Oh, befor [mis-spelling: before] I forget it, while we’re on the subject of auto and just plain biography, I’ve practically decided to take Mildred as my subject. Would it be asking too much of you to gather some of her old letters and send those that you've saved to me? Of course I can't make it terribly intimate [Page 2] intimate, close analysis, but she is an interesting person, and a picture of her personality with a few biographical details interspersed to give it weight, will suffice for my purpose. However, I don't know a great deal about her chronological life history. Would you have any time to pass on any information, however slight, of conversations you rmeember [mis-spelling: remember] (the germ or purport I mean, not the actual lengthy words), of your relationship with her when you were children--the outstanding impression, that is, and of a few details you remember that I wouldn't have any way of knowing. You see, I have a rather general impression of her personality now, coupled with some vague recollections of a few things you’ve said you and she used to do. And while I want to recreate her personality, still I want to substantiate it with interesting sidelights which might explain her---that is her environment, a bit about the family, her early interests, all leading up to the way in which she has developed herself, and is still striding ahead in her own individual way to keep on living very vitally, sizing up situations, and always showing interest and understanding. You get the general outline? But I can't write to her for that, and I think it would make a grand story, if I only had a few isolated details upon which to build the whole narrative. More especially I want to bring in your relationship with her. I wish I had time to do your own, all by itself, but it's so much bigger, and so much more to think about before I could even attempt to get it down, that right now, I don't think I'm qualified to try it and do it justice...even if I had months, while I only have a little over a week. But, I want to give people a picture of you at the same time I'm concentrating on her. And I could only do that by knowing what you two thought about when you were playing on the farm, what you did--aside from the episode about Aunt Gert and her carefully watched beau--sort of her general attitude, especially when her leg came up for consideration. Or did it? It never made a great deal of difference, did it? I remember you said she used to jump stone walls and never think of it. Didn't she ever mention it? Do you like my idea? And is it asking too much of you to take some time from your very busy work to enumerate details? I don't mean an extensive list. I can round it out, and it doesn't have to be historically accurate. What I mean is, I can use my imagination in describing anecdotes, but I've got to have something rather expressive about “growing UP”, to base my ideas of her later. Just merest trifles, but a bit significant, that I can have to work on. I'm itching to get at it, and I think I’ll love doing it. I wish I had more time, though. Then I'd write to her and see if she were interested in supplying material, but I suppose it's too late now…..unless you wrote her a note telling her what I want to do, and that I’ve appealed to you for help, and would she help you out by refreshing your memory. But maybe she wouldn't be interested, and you'd rather not do it. I just happened to think of it. But anyway, would you be a very darling and send me some letters, recent or about China, etc. which might help me? You see, I just found out about it a little while ago, and the letters occurred to me only this morning as perhaps containing some valuable material relevant to her personality and capabilities... hence, the Special, to arrive on Sunday, hoping it catches you with a minute or two at your disposal. (Huh, says mother, when do I ever have time to myself!) But it's just a hope, and if you don't have time, don't worry about it--but if you do, --bless you. [handwritten] Very much love and thanks for you - Daughter thine. [handwritten in left margin of Page 2] April 26 - And time in between being very important! [handwritten in right margin of Page 2] - sample of V.V.’s tact.
Wellesley, Massachusetts; Schenectady, New York
Academics; Home and Family; Student Life; Dress
Dance parties; Men; Clothing and dress
Westervelt, Virginia Veeder and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Virginia Veeder Westervelt, Wellesley, Massachusetts, to Mrs. Millicent Veeder, Schenectady, New York, 1934 April 14" (1934). Virginia Veeder Westervelt letters (6C/1935). 171.