Back to first page of My Memory Book

Dorothy Mae Birmingham
Memory Book 1927-1932
  INDEX:     Pages 1-11   Pages 11-17     Pages 18-27     Pages 28-37 below     Pages 38-54    Pages 55-60 

Mother was in Chicago from at least 11 June to 20 June 1930. She spent some of the time with her sister Mildred, who was 21 at the time. Mother was 20.

Page 28: Mother in a plaid print dress with flared sleeves holding a baby. A picture from a city; a brick building (apartment) next door; behind mother, a white stair railing and a short flight of stairs leading up to a porch. Mother is standing in front of a fence that probably marks a property line. See page 32 for the same location, perhaps?
A closer look:

Page 29: In Chicago. Commencement exercises from St. Philip’s High school and Our Lady of Sorrows Church. “Only 4 blocks from 2833,” mother wrote. “Beautiful church,” but the music was “horrible,” with “terrorizing pipe organ music.” 11 June 1930. This would appear to be the church of this name still standing at 3121 W. Jackson, Chicago; St. Philip’s High School is next to it and is now a charter school. There is a list of graduates but mother’s note says that she went there “accidentally,” so there’s no point in trying to link her to any of these names, it seems. 2833 could be any street south of Jackson if a N / S address—looks like more than 4 blocks, however. But if it is an E / W address (in this case west), then it could be Lexington to the south or Monroe to the north. This is probably where the picture on p. 28 was taken (2833 might be the number on the door). One of the souvenirs from this trip to Chicago mentions Mildred. Another mentions that on a trip downtown the met “Bill Moore!” There is a postcard from Charles W. Hawthorne, an instructor at the Cap Cod School of Art, to the Chicago Public Library, which mother apparently took off the bulletin board. I think her writing on the face of the post card says “Chicago Public Library. Up and down: asked is she looking,” so this suggests that mother waited for a chance to snatch the card off the bulletin board and take it home. See p. 32 below.
The program cover:

Page 30: Buckingham Fountain, a colored post card. Written on it: “out with Joe--who in front [or: who in fount[ain]?]--oh yeah!” The mysteries of youth!

Page 31: The stub of her train ticket or luggage check, lower right-hand corner. A leaflet for “Camille,” Jopseph M. Schenck’s film with Normal Talmadge and Fred Niblo. Below: a poem on a folded paper and the program for the movie.

Page 32: Mother in the same dress with perhaps the same baby, identified as “the nicest little feller,” 19 June 1930. A small child cut off just below his/her nose to the right. 2088 W. Hastings. This is some way from 2833 W. Hastings. Did Mildred live there?

Between Page 32 and Page 33: A menu from the Electric Park soda fountain, Aug. 7, 1930. Mother went with JG, but so far I don’t know who this is. Was it James E. Gilligan, who was a year behind her at ICA? He signed the book in 1928 and his name card is on p. 24.

Abpve; note that Wednesday night was "Free boxing" night. Below, on the inside . . . .

Also here: Immaculate Conception Academy Commencement program, June 4, 1926, and pasted to the cover,
the program for "An Old Fashioned Mother," a play that featured two of mother's sisters, Audrey and Harriet.
The program above is pasted over the one below:

Below is the inside of the program. It seems to offer another play, a "farce" called "Officer 666"? Sounds superstitious to me (666?). How did this figure into a graduation ceremony?

This was the year Mildred and Violet (Sister Martin) graduated. They are mentioned on the back of the program.

Page 33: a letter, white ink on black paper, from Helen Walsh, Churchville, Iowa, Feb. 1, 1929, a good-bye letter to “Dear Dot.” There is a reference to “Sea foam,” mother’s name for divinity, the white candy she used to make.

Page 34: Theater programs, including one for “The Taming of The Shew” (also 1929?).

Page 35: Mother’s high school graduation announcement, May 1928. Also an announcement for Visitation High School, Dubuque, 1928.

Page 36. A wedding announcement Wed., June 18, 1930, for Marry Ellen Dougherty and Louis L. Granda (Macomb, IL). A place card with mother’s name on it, and one of her favoriate sayings on a postcard, from her close friend Irene Shanley. Mother seems to have been editing it. She inserted "does it not" after wisdom, and "true or false" after the last word. The only version of this quote I can find gives the text just as it is on the postcard.

Page 37: Some obscure souvenirs from a trip to Minnesota? Some comments from "Jewel" about how Minnesota is always more interesting than Iowa “when it comes to the final test.” Mother's note shows that she was unimpressed. "Don't be silly," she writes; "leave it to Iowa." Good for her.

Click here for Pages 38-48.