Monday, April 5, 2010

A short, newsy note from Frances

Today we look at yet another letter from Frances, as we try to catch up to Maj. Gillham, whose next letter is dated January 20.  In this letter, as with most of Frances' letters, there are references to people I have never heard of, which is one of the problems of this 65-year time difference.  I will definitely let you know if I recognize any new names, and I am counting on Monty, Martha and Emily to comment with anything they might know, as well.  In the meantime, it's fun to read about local gossip, even though we don't know the characters, and realize that there is nothing new under the sun.

Jan. 16, 1946

Dearest, My Own Sweet Darling,

Last night Bryant and I went to the Fox to see "The Lost Weekend."  It was the story of an alcoholic that was cured.  Once a week we have been going to the show.  Last week we saw "Blithe Spirit" by Noel Coward.  We pick up and go about eight-thirty after we get our progeny in the bed.  We don't have to worry about sitters.  I wish you were here to enjoy this unprecedented freedom.

Mother went to Macon the other day to a U.D.C. luncheon.  She is the state editor of the U.D.C. and just has a big time, because she can get out and "sociate" like Cora does!

I called up Dorothy Coster.  She has three children now, the youngest is 5 mos.  She invited me and my three out visit her and her brood Friday afternoon.  She also has asked me to come down to the Atlanta Athletic Club to watch the badminton tournament in February.  She and her husband will play in the mixed doubles.

Also, I called up Mrs. Cragon this morning.  She is just as nice as ever.  Jimmie had to work the toll lines while the strike was on.  Two or three supervisors were there to take care of the difficult ones, but the men pitched in and helped on the boards for several days.

She has been Girl Scout Commissioner for Atlanta for several years.  Her daughter, Mildred, is at Ogelthorpe -- a sophomore.

Blanche wrote today that she is coming Friday to visit Tom and Betty Lemly.

You know, it is very nice to be back in Atlanta and pick up threads of friendships we have known before.  I didn't realize how pleasant it would be to come to a city where I already had friends and relatives.

Mrs. Wright wrote that a windstorm the other day blew the roof off of the old house -- that is, blew the new roofing loose from the old -- and that it is leaking terribly.  Alf Mason has been out and said he would send an adjuster out.  I wish we could afford a new roof.

Also, Anthony finally wrote and said he would rent only for one one 500 lb. bale of cotton.  I guess I will learn how to manage someday, because I feel that I have had much experience with him.  I sent him the leases for one 500 lb. bale.

The First National Bank of Atlanta sent me a letter today in recognition of my new account!

This is just a short note, but I just wanted you to know I was thinking about you and loving you more all the time.


P.S.  The Oct., Nov. and Dec. bonds have not arrived.  The telephone dividends did come today.  I will deposit ours at Charlottesville.  The Sept. one arrived in December.


The Fox Theater is an Egyptian-Moorish style theater at the corner of Peachtree and Ponce de Leon Avenues in what is now called Midtown Atlanta.  It was built in 1929 by the Shriners and the movie mogul William Fox (of Twentieth Century fame), and was the host of the second premiere of Gone With The Wind in 1940, when David O. Selznick re-released the film with lower ticket prices.  It hosted the world premiere of Disney's Song of the South in 1946.  In the 1970's after Southern Bell Telephone threatened to tear down the Fox Theater to build its new corporate headquarters on the property, there was such a groundswell of public outrage and a raft of "Save the Fox" rallies that a compromise was reached and Southern Bell built its headquarters on an adjacent property instead. 

The Lost Weekend is one of the bona-fide greats of Hollywood's Golden Era, winning 1945's Best Picture Oscar and featuring an Oscar-winning performance by Ray Milland as the alcoholic trying to reform.  His wife is played by the former Mrs. Ronald Reagan.  Blithe Spirit is a 1945 film based on the Noel Coward play and features Rex Harrison, Constance Cumming and, most famously, Margaret Rutherford as the irrepressible Madame Arcati.

The U.D.C. refers to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which is a women's heritage society "dedicated to honoring the memory of those who served and died in service to the Confederate States of America."  It was founded in 1895 as a union of several local and regional Confederate women's groups that had sprung up after the Civil War.  The current society is based in Richmond, Virginia.  The male counterpart organization is known as the Sons of Confederate Veterans, based in Elm Springs, TN.  Interestingly, the UDC incorporates the original seven-star First National Flag of the Confederacy in its emblem, while the SCV uses the much better known and controversial Second National, or "Battle," Flag of the Confederacy.  Also, you may remember that Maj. Gillham received a medal from the UDC for his services in WWII.

The emblem of the United Daughters of the Confederacy

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