Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Letter 8, from Joan aka "Dusty"

[4 of 5. Written March 19, 1949]

Saturday Morning
Hello honey bunny,

How you all? Got yr letter (as you can see) and thought I'd write this morning before I do my shopping.

My Mom is sitting here racking her brain trying to do a puzzle. She says it's the craziest thing. Scuse me while I look up a word in the Webster.

Okay, here I am again. There was a dance last night at the High School sponsored by the Commercial Club. It was pretty good. We had loads of fun. Joyce was there too. Next time I see Woody I'll say

“hi” to him for you.
Now about those rubbers, honestly sugar foot I can't find neither hide nor hair of em. You won't be needing them anyhoo now that Spring has sprung, the grass has riz I wonder where the flowers is. (I had to put that in. corny huh)

If yr havin troubles with yr face, Woodbury won't help. In fact it will make it worst. I can't use anythin but Ivory on my face. Those Woodbury Cocktails taste like anicette. It makes you sick. Bea gave me some once. I'll never drink it again. Oh! Horrors. Anyhow,

Sal don't worry too much about the pimples. They'll go away in due time. The only thing you can do (here's some nursely advice) is to drink lots of milk and water, cut down on sweets, and get plenty of fresh air and especially sunshine. The sun dries them up. (I'll send you a bill for services.) Try it though, I'm sure it will work. (I think)

It's really beautiful out today. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and everything looks grand. It's really nice and warm. These are the kind of days I could just walk and walk and walk especially in the country.

Know what bamby, I think me is getting spring fever. Nothin to worry about though. I gets it every year.

Now Sal, don't go saying things like that after all you hardly know me. How can you all be interestin in me?

The girl I had in mind as a “certain girl to the prom” was Joyce of course. I thought you were going to take her if you got home. I don't know if she's been asked yet or if she's accepted.

Bye for now honey-bunny. I could read the shorthand perfectly. Youse is pretty good at it ya know.

As Ever

Attempts to discover what the "Commercial Club" was have failed, so if anyone reading this knows what they were or what it was about, please comment! I also tried to find any sort of image from a Waltham school dance in 1949, to no avail!

Woodbury was a brand of soap, founded in 1870. Their wikipedia entry states that, "In 1936, Woodbury soap was the first product to use a picture of a nude woman in its advertisements." They had a product called Woodbury facial soap that was very popular, and though I couldn't find anything online about a tonic or medicine that one might drink, they were indeed "brought to court for practicing medicine without a license" so maybe that's the anisette-tasting cocktail she refers to.

But all that is not to be confused with Woody. Woody's given name was George, and he hung around with Sal's "gang" (as he called it).

Again with the rubbers talk! I think he may have actually forgotten his boots. But still, I suppose it could be an inside joke. What do you think?

As I suspected, it appears that Sal might have been a little more sweet on Joan (aka Dusty) than she was on him. And notice that she doesn't ask him if he would like to take her to the prom! But yet, she is sure laying on the affectionate terms. But she broke her promise not to mention Joyce again.

One thing I learned is that (at least at one time) Sal could read and write shorthand!


  1. I think "Commercial Club" is another term for "Chamber of Commerce."

  2. It seems so weird to me that he would mention his pimples in a letter to a girl he seems to like!

  3. Rubbers back in those days up to the 60's were called galoshes (gah-losh-shas). They were not boots perse but shoe shaped to go over your shoes. I remember them from the mid to late 60's. This could be what they are referring to.