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Letter to her mother describing breakfast and a walk with Miss Smaill, a choir concert at M.I.T., lunch at Don's house, and discussion with Bob about the possibility of war; and discussing her relationship with Ralph and her Thanksgiving plans. Includes a label guide for The Children's Bookshelf.
[Nov. 26, 1934] [stationary heading] News from Wellesley College WELLESLEY COLLEGE PRESS BOARD Wellesley, Massachusetts Release Mon. Dearest, The weekend is over, quite satisfactorily, and again in the midst of swarms of work. Hey, that's a swell way to start a letter, isn't it? But we get so many reminders of that situation. Haven't time to give you an account, itemized, but it includes papers galore. But to resume, the weekend, Spent all Saturday afternoon and evening trying to digest Spinoza and his theory of philosophy and write a paper on it. Lee was studying too, so we celebrated by having coffee etc. when we had finished. The report is tomorrow...but then all my work as far as research is over for Ethics, we are working in groups. Then Sunday... A brisk morning walk to Miss Smaill’s, and breakfast with another girl and the white haired lady herself. The menu? Grapefruit with cherry, stewed tomatoes and bacon. toasted English muffins with butter, and coffee. She let us help her with the dishes, in a blue kitchenette, then we went in and admired her paintings and foreign things from her travels. Charming little apartment, big living room, fireplace, old Turkish settee in front of it, interesting candlesticks (Dr. Baxter would find a different word for it, perhaps fantastic, but that isn't too good either. How about delicately jagged?) Anyway I liked her house. Then she took us in her car beyond Wellesley to a hill, we parked and walked to the top, where we could get a view of the college, in the distance, the tower rising from behind the trees. Miss Smaill really is a remarkable person, must be over 50, about 59 I should roughly guess, but loves to paddle a canoe, walk and do those sort of things. (Transpose that letter into the singular for correct english, will you, and capitalize English.) We talked about California, she having been there and in love with the place, and I'm seeing the practical advantages of travel, it gives something very definitely interesting to talk about. She's a rather stiff person, but in a very charming way. In other words, very calm, very definite, very alive, very interested, but although she told us about her life in England and in Tennessee where she taught, her trip last year, etc., we didn't feel that we knew her awfully well and yet the whole thing was perfectly delightful. So that was that…..then after dinner, we left on the bus for M.I.T. I initiated my new brown dress, and for once was perfectly conscious that I was perfectly dressed for the occasion. We wore gowns to sing, but afterwards there was tea, when we were ourselves, and it was not only amusing, it was enjoyable. For one thing, we did sing excellently, even singin [mis-spelling: singing], I could tell, and Lunk said it sent little shivers down his spine in some of the selections. Oh yes, Don and Lunk, at Lee’s and my invitation, came to the concert. We met them afterwards, and had tea. Every once in a while I would see someone I knew and speak to him most casually. Enclosed please find program.. and notice the soloist. He was walking around afterwards, and somehow managed to be near where we were standing, so I spoke to him and he [Page 2] came over very nicely, was introduced to Lunk, was congratulated on the rendition of his selections, commented himself on the excellence of our choir, a few pleasnatries [mis-spelling: pleasantries], I was very nice to him, he was most attentive as to looks, said he was very happy to have seen me again, and the situation went off beautifully. I enjoyed every minute of it, parrying words, and what amused me most of all was Lunk’s proprietary air as he got me another cup of tea and sandwiches. It was perfectly delicious, and I wouldn't have missed the chance for the world. Then we went on back the Don's house for supper, taking Lunk back to a law meeting later in the evening. (Oh, an amusing thing, the business manager of the choir, who is really awfully nice, had a date with Otto after the concert! Lee and I continue to be amused.) A friend of Don's whom I had met several times, Bob Smith, the fairly short one, but very square shooting, came over, and we played ping pong, talked about the possibilities of the next war and decided there couldn't be one for two reasons, one...everybody wouldn't want to spend the money, and two...we couldn't lineup countries on two sides. We wondered about a triangular war, or perhaps a square one, and there didn't seem to be a remedy. So we settled that beautifully. Then Bob brought me back about 11.30, and I clambered into bed. I was more than glad to hear your approval of Ralph’s letter. I'm not trying to settle it all now, but I'm just [deletion: just] simply telling him the reason for the change in my letters, which he must inevitably feel, and because I think it is so much more satisfactory to have cards on the table face up, not printed in big letters and blatant, but lying there, waiting to be picked up and recognized. I quite agree with you, I don't think it is Ted either, and Grandpa's prophecy may come true, heaven forbid, says I quite frankly, but I'm not going to continue on a frothy basis that has no firm foundation. I get your point...too ,uch [mis-spelling: much] worrying needlessly, but I'm not really worrying, I'm just getting things straight in my own mind, and acting accordingly. Of course it would be much easier just to let things slide, if I wanted to slide along with them, but I don't want to be that ineffective sort of person who doesn't think straight about things. It's not only much more satisfying, but I'm hoping it will work out better for everybody, if nobody is thinking one way acting another, eh? It isn't a question of giving Ralph one more chance...I'm not putting him out of my life at all. In fact, I wrote him this morning a very friendly and even intimately friendly letter, telling him about Miss Smaill, but not about M.I.T., being reminded of walks we used to take etc. It won't stop things, I hope. I haven't any idea what Christmas will be like, Christmas will tell! Just got a telegram from New Haven wanting their story Wednesday this week on account of Thanksgiving. Was wondering a bit what I would be telegraphed for! No, no Thanksgiving invitation. Don't believe the Curtis’ have even thought about it. However, we'll have turkey here, and it will give me a chance to catch up a bit on work, so I won't mind at all, as long as I couldn't get home anyway. Have a good time at Mum Mum’s though...and remember that Christmas is only a few scant weeks away! During which I've got to be looking around for contacts for jobs! Away to my shorthand…. The best love to you.. Ginger
Wellesley, Massachusetts; Schenectady, New York
Faculty, Staff, Administrators; Arts, Theater, and Music; Personal Relationships
Wellesley College Choir; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Men; World War, 1939-1945; Food
Westervelt, Virginia Veeder and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Virginia Veeder Westervelt, Wellesley, Massachusetts, to Mrs. Millicent Veeder, Schenectady, New York, 1934 November 26" (1934). Virginia Veeder Westervelt letters (6C/1935). 65.