1932

03.10.1932
Receive letter and plans for landscaping at Sea Island – must go over these, make changes and suggestions. I want the plants only green and white! Green grass, shrubs, and trees. All flowers white – gardenias, star jasmine, and camellias! It will be lovely against the white walls of the house and in the moonlight – and the fragrance intoxicating.

 

04.25.1932
Grey, damp, miserable day. Gene has hair cut and in doors all day. I am busy going about on the Georgia house trying to make it a perfect house – as it is to be our home until the end. O’Neill should have a home that is simple in every way – but perfect – the perfection hidden beneath the simplicity! An artist’s home!
Letters from Abreu and Baumgardener – re house and landscaping. Keep designs (my own) re those things, not so simple to build a home (as I want!) by post!

 

05.01.1932
(Sun) We call for Abreu and go to see our home! It is charming, but so small by Plessie!
It will be a delightful home. Abreu doing an excellent job! We discuss the necessity of a garden wall! With my European training, I must have privacy!
Can’t sleep – I have so much to think about.

 

05.07.1932
Up early - as usual – and go to “house with Abreu. Got under house on my tummy to see what they had done that should be done! Precious little! They (the workmen) were a bit shocked and embarrassed! But, after that, there was no more nonsense! I had made too many homes in too many countries to believe anyone or anything but my own ever! And they followed their contract from then on!

They couldn’t understand a woman who always wore white gloves crawling under a house!

I didn’t like it! Because outside of the dirt, the island is full of rattle snakes!

 

06.03.1932
Clears enough for me to walk Blemie up the beach to “house”. Looking for leaks and find them! Trying to work out Spanish tile “lavabo” and Spanish fire place in dining room. Also, attractive “hot plate”! with old Spanish tile. My bathroom is huge and needs a lot of doing to keep it very simple but luxurious!

Gene comes to “house” to see how I am and then off to Brunswick with Boll. We are both weary and retire early.

 

06.22.1932
Move from the cottage to “Casa Genotta”.
Busy getting things “put”. Work hard all day.

My - we are tired!
Gene spends the first night with me!
He says that’s the way it should be!
I agree!

 

06.27.1932 (Mon)
Gene tells me Eugene Jr. and wife – and Shane are arriving Friday! (And we are not running smoothly yet!)
We work all day – endless loose ends to see to!

Boll to tea.
Gene takes Colonel.

We name “house”
“Casa Genotta”
Gen (Gene)
otta (Carlotta)

 

06.30.1032
As Gene’s 2 sons and daughter-in-law arrive to-morrow I am trying to have things as charming as possible and to run on oiled wheels so-to-speak. Musgrove is a bad cook and stupid person – but we’ll do the best we can.
Gene is always very nervous when his children come to visit him!
I try to keep “back stage” and see that all goes well!

 

08.02.1932
Gene fussed about not having room for his fishing paraphernalia – so arrange box-room (with the carpenter) to have special racks, shelves, etc. made for his precious possessions – with a lock and key!
Gene swims – then goes to Brunswick (after luncheon) with Boll to have a hair cut.

We dine with Mr. and Mrs. Jones and Mr. Coffin.

Hot night!

 

08.07.1932
Busy all day.
Gene working.
Storm all P.M. rain, wind and thunder –
Gene swims before tea – and asks me to make him some candy!
Boll to tea and dinner –
Gene gives us a concert of popular things – and Beethoven’s 7th Symphony!

He plays “Blue River” – we both feel this closely wrapped about our wooing and the seven seas!

 

08.28.1932
Finish typing Gene’s “Mask Notes” – Working on my “office” – it will be a very convenient little room when in order.
Gene works and swims – lunches and writes to Cyn.
Boll to tea and supper which Lisa gets for us.

I tell Boll we want no small town social publicity here. Let us live in peace and our guests come and go likewise – please!

 

09.01.1932
Terribly hot – pressure low.
Gene working.
Letter from Geo. Jean –
Painting iron work and going over house-books.

Gene asks me to go over “Ah, Wilderness” with him. It is charming! (Gene’s dream of how he would have liked his childhood to have been!) Poetic, humourous and a wee bit pathetic! The man (Gene) I met in 1922 – 1926 – 1928 could not have written this!

Send “Mask Notes” to George Jean Nathan.

 

09.27.1932
|Gene finishes first draft of “Ah, Wilderness”
Amazingly quick work.

Airing all Gene’s things again – to get out dampness.
Write to New York to see if it is possible to get a “slot” player piano for Gene – the kind that were used here and there in his teenage days!
Seeing about grading on the beach to fill up the holes in front of our house.
Have a bad night.

 

10.16.1932
Gene’s 44th birthday.
He sleeps late – after his coffee writes letters – and plays the gramophone.
Boll and Baumgardner to dinner. Vera outdoes herself. We love fresh oyster stuffed (fresh) turkey – and all that goes with it – ice cream and 2 birthday cakes!

Give Gene heaps of records (he wanted) and a beautiful “Native” heavy black silk-kimono – the kind he likes.
He receives innumerable telegrams.
Seems more cheery.

 

11.14.1932
Gene works until noon – punches bag, swims – (it’s terribly cold!) showers, lunches, and returns to work.

The two fixtures I ordered from Kantach are at last here – with our initials, dates and “Casa Genotta,” on them. A job well done and charming – if this is to be our home!

I can’t find my “first” “interlude”!?
Am reading “Josephus”
Gene deep in “Shakespeare” again.
Heater not working.

 

12.03.1932
Gene works and luncheon in the patio.
Do hope Elsa and Terrence won’t loose their shop in this beastly depression.
Have to have three dying palms replaced.

Amusing letter from mother. Depression or no depression, she refuses to worry! And she will build her summer house at Tahoe! Well – she has her special gods to look after her – or so it has always seemed!

 

12.15.1932
Grey day.
Gene works and we walk late. I read Act IV of “Ending of Days” – it upsets me!
England, Italy, Czecho, Slovakia, and Latvia pay War Debt or part of it.
France, Belgium, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland default.

 

12.24.1932
Gene gives me 1st pencil draft of “Ah, Wilderness” with a beautiful dedication.

Boll goes to another party.

We go to bed – talk for a long time and then Gene recites his favourite “Dream-Tryst” to me – (Francis Thompson) “nor can her eyes go out” – and there he tells me how he loves me!

 

12.28.1932
My 44th birthday!
Wires from mother, pappa and CYN.
Gene (bless him!) forgets it is my birthday – which amuses me! It is stupid, and badly arranged to have a birthday 3 days after Christmas!
Busy at secretarial work.

After dinner, I ask Gene to read his favourite poems to me – which he does! This I love!

 

12.31.1932
Last day of the year – We’ve built our home – have many new worries but are close together as human beings!
Feel much older – don’t mind! Responsibility and worry doesn’t help to make one young!
We listen (over the radio) to dear old Big Ben in London, boom out the old year and bring in the new! And what will this new one bring to us, I wonder?

I love you, darling.
God keep you!