Ethel M. Laliots 1938 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF A YOUNG EMOTIONALLY EXPRESSIVE 'PARTY GIRL' BRIDGEPORT CT
Bridgeport, Connecticut 1938 Hard Cover Good+ Manuscript
On offer is an interesting and entertaining diary handwritten in 1938 by a young lady, named Ethel M. Laliots who lived with her parents at 133 Whitney Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Ethel began writing in her diary on January 14th. Her last entry was made December 11th. Approximately 80% of the diary contains entries. One can't be certain of Ethel's age at the time of her writing, but judging from her activities she was undoubtedly in her late teens or very early twenties in 1938. She mentioned going to school and also working at various part-time jobs as filing clerk and stenographer. Ethel seems to have been a vibrant, personable, intelligent, and introspective young lady. Her diary is filled with her thoughts and feelings about the circumstances of her life and the people she knew. But, more generally about the multitude of young men she dated. However, some of her more private thoughts and experiences were written in shorthand, which I'm not able to read. Ethel also seems to have lead a very active social life, as well as having been a bit of a 'party girl.' She wrote consistently about going to theatres, restaurants, and nightclubs with her friends. She seems to have particularly enjoyed dancing and going to New Haven and New York City to dance to the music performed by the Big Bands of her era. She wrote about seeing celebrities such as Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, Bunny Berigan, Bea Wain, Kay Kyser, Grace Moore, and many, many, others. She also enjoyed going to movie theatres and wrote about each movie she saw and which movie stars starred in them. But, more generally Ethel's diary reflects her romantic thoughts and feelings toward the men she knew. She seems to have fancied several young men, but was particularly enamored with one, 'hard to get,' fellow, named 'Johnny.' It's anyone's guess whether she ended up with Johnny, Bill, Jack, or Andy (curiously she wrote each of their names on the cover of her diary). Ethel's diary doesn't provide much historical or political information. But, its a wonderful glimpse into the personal life and times of a romantic, young, women living in America during the Great Depression. This diary is truly a pleasure to read. The following are some partial entries: "Rona wanted me to go to the theatre but I feel that Jack will call so refused and Sho nuff Jack called me around 7. Asked me to go out with him tomorrow and I accepted with alacrity. So I can't wait until tomorrow. Having Jean come for one of his friends" ....."Can't wait until tonight. Bought a new hat (stunning) and also a bolero set. Started to rain and get cold. Couldn't wear my new hat. He was late but he finally came and looked handsome and smelled nice. Went to Three Doors (Oh! I forgot Jean's escort rather nice) met a swell crowd down there. Jack certainly knows some nice boys. Grand time. Large crowd. Sleeting on way home and he didn't kiss me goodnight. Darn. Darn".... "My prayers were answered Johnny called me at 7. Came over at 8. Raining out. Went to a show. Saw 'Merrily We Live.' Didn't care for it but I enjoyed it as long as I was with him. Went down to the park for a dog. Stayed awhile then went home. We acted just as if I would see him soon again. No personal remarks except that I would miss him a little. I wonder exactly what my feelings are in this case - who knows. Maybe time will tell - but just now I knwo I'm going to miss him terribly. Bill sent me a bunny a box of chocolates and a telegram. Swell of him to remember" ....."Val, Jean, Stell and I went to the Ritz. Had marvelous time. Everyone there accept______. Danced with Tony, Jack. Jess (imagine his asking me to dance and did we shag!) Dick, Andy, Howard Jr., and Frank (also imagine his asking). Very nice time. Polly there and Val went home with him. She certainly made an impression on Jack. He wants to take her out and Jess asked me to go home with him and then changed his mind and took Jean - Gosh what's wrong with me???" ......"Beach again today. Met two other boys we had been accurately described. Joe and Ed. Played cards. Wanted us to go out with them. Not yet - maybe later on. Stayed until about 7 and home for the evening. Begin to wonder about Johnny. Wonder why he stopped writing. I wonder when and if he's coming back. Beginning to miss him rather badly. Wonder what Bill is doing with himself"....."Andy called. Seeing him tonight - Stayed home all afternoon. He came early. Went to show. Very good. Went down to park late on and had a dog. I guess things are different. At one time I know it would have been ecstasy to be with him - now - well"..."Oh Diary did I get the surprise of my life. Riding up Main Street whom should I bump into but Johnny. Sitting in front of Liggets and we greeted each other so casually. Stopped and talked - coming over tonight. Johnny came around 9:00 Told me about his travels. Gosh was I glad to see him."...."Got a glimpse of him today and spoke for a second. Played tennis with Val this afternoon. Weather beautiful but cool. Went to Globe to see Rudolph Valentino. Boy he was certainly some actor. Had parked the car in front of Caesar Mich's and when I returned he was parked in his across the street. Came over and we sat and talked then went for a ride and then enjoyed the beauties of nature at Beardsley."....."Bumped into Bill Edwards again down the park. Asked me to go out with him - okay says I and bring along Jean for Frank says he - so I arranged likewise. Just before leaving our bell rang and on glancing out I saw AR-176 across the street. He had come to say goodbye. Leaving tomorrow. I think he wanted to see me tonight. Had gone home. Got back today. Looked very handsome. It broke my heart to send him away after just coming but I was late already. However, I may see him within a few wks. May come on week-ends. Jean and I had a grand time anyway. Fellows lots of fun after seeing the fireworks. We went up to the Pine Room then down for a hot dog. He wants to see me again - I don't know."....."Jean came to work this morning and upset my equilibrium or something. Told me she had gone out with Johnny last night. Of course, there's no reason whatsoever why each shouldn't go out with whomever they wish but I seemed to resent the idea. You know, Dairy, I wish I could have a wee bit of luck. Why can't I meet someone wherein the interest would be mutual. Jean and I went to show tonight. Saw Johnny for a moment."... "Valare, Wee, and I went to the Altrua Mask. Had the most perfect time. Danny O'Connell was there with Adrian Germean and Art Mario. Andy and Anne and Joe and Anne there. Bill Sadler came. Ran around and enjoyed myself immensely. Went to Bpt. Club (shame on me!) Danced with all the boys. Charlie took me home in a swell Packard. Had the grandest time altogether. R. G. very nice looking but not too friendly.".... "Johnny was in town today. Saw him with his O.F. Well, more power to her. It was grand while it lasted. Hope some day I don't get the dirty end of it. That'll be the day!"...."Had my hair done. Went to Stonewall with Bill for a cocktail. Got a glimpse of Johnny. Gosh he looks grand. Looks like he has a new car. A Roadster and it's rather slick. Looks like he's become prosperous."..."Got a glimpse of Johnny. Gosh he's certainly blossoming out in finery."..."Bumped into Johnny. Offered me a lift home and I accepted. Also accepted an invitation to go to the show. Took me to the Globe. Out at 11 and went straight home. Didn't stay downstairs very long and after an unfamiliar leave taking went upstairs. I think I was quite bored."..."went downtown. Saw J. for a second. Walked around all afternoon but didn't buy anything. Home about 7. Mother said Stanley and Vinnie S. had called. A few minutes later Charlie P. called and I accepted a date. Vinnie called again to ask me to go to a party and I had to refuse. Hal finally called me tonight. Of all the luck - when I have a date I get all the calls. Charlie and I went to Arrowhead Inn. Nice Time." Most of the men Ethel wrote about were mentioned by first name only. But, the following is a partial list of other names mentioned: Mrs. Molocko, Joe Savoy, Dr. Janis, Jack Toth, Altrua Howard, Edith Massimino, Sis Griffin, Mr. & Mrs. Leake, Joe and Anne Siskovic, Mr. Bayliss, Miss McGee, Eleanor Keye, Mr. Westinghouse, Mr. Hobby, Eddie Abrams, Peggy Clark, Miss Rich, Bill Edwards, Blossom Eck, Dr. Brown, Mrs. Gardner, Mr. Gillies, Helen Burke, Danny O'Connell, Adrian Germean, Art Mario, Bill Sadler, Mrs. Lucas, Joe & Polly Farrell, Eleanor Monroe, Bill Parks, Mr. Jones, and many, many, others. Some of the stores, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, and other places mentioned in the diary are: The Putnam Inn, Arrowhead Inn, Altrua Mask, Bensingers, Plymouth Playhouse, Barons, Warner Theatre, Star Grill, Hollywood Restaurant, Hotel Roger Smith, Stonewalls, Rudy's, Rocozzi Hall, The Ritz, Childs, Three Doors, Star, Lyrics Theatre, Pink Elephant, Howard Johnsons, Caesar Mich's, Liggetts, Cameo Theatre, Schuberts Theatre, Marcall's, Globe Theatre, Miss Penques Shop, The Stratfield, Majectic Theatre, Penguin Club, Randall's Island, Steubins, The Den, The Buglight, Coconut Grove, Pine Room, Fairfield Beach, Pleasure Beach, Savon Rock, and many, many others. The diary is approximately 5" x 7" and was compiled and arranged for The D. M. Read Company in Bridgeport, CT. Ethel entries were written in pen and her handwriting is quite legible and easy to read.