1933

01.02.1933
Going over bills, letters and cards. Fighting a cold – wretched weather.

Gene writes to Nathan re stupidity of his (Gene’s) being one of the editors of the “Spectator.” – He listens to football game (over radio) – in Southern California – Boll to dinner – He is a nice person his only fault he gossips too much!

Gene going to put “Ending of Days” away – and start something else.

Tells Madden to send “Electra” back to Berlin – and try to find out who did second translation that Matthias calls her own!

 

01.10.1933
Sunshine with cool breezes – Gene works, lunches 1/30 – and lies in sun.
Attend to mail –
See to the planting of palms.

Strange letter arrives from a man who writes his life story as a suggestion to Gene for a play!!!! He shows himself to be a cad, a blackmailer and I am afraid a liar! It is strange how many people yearn to be the central figure of a play or novel. Had Gene’s lawyer return his idea to him!

Take photographs of Gene and Blemie in patio and Right garden.
Reading another work on Life of the “Medici”

 

01.11.1933
Gene works, lunches and we go for a walk – then he swims, tea – read – and dine.
I am busy at my desk and writing Madden re “talkie” possibility for “Jones” and bad business to let “Electra” be done in Germany now! – After dinner we talk of “Life of Bessie Bowen” “new version” much better than old one! – Going over Italian 16th century.
See in Times where Bobbie has resigned as Art Director in Radio City.
Send “soil” to Washington for examination!

 

01.23.1933
A grey day – it rains. Gene works – lunches and reads.
Letters from Mother, Cyn, Ernst and Madden.
Gene becoming more and more interested in American History!

Gene changing more and more each day. He is becoming less hard, more understanding and, at times, even gay with me! At times, he is amazingly kind and gentle. Always more charming when we are alone. People make him self conscious!
His interest in our garden is delightful and in our intimate living set apart from the world!

 

01.29.1933
Cold with sun.
Gene and I both feel beastly. He tries to work and I write innumerable letters. Fighting cold and depression.

Just “to live” is becoming so difficult – to be a “creator” an “artist” with the responsibilities of living is a mighty job!

 

01.30.1933
We both feel full of cold.
Keep Gene in Bed.
He gets up for dinner.
Mrs. J sends us some doves they killed on their “shoot.” How can anyone kill “doves” for pleasure? Hitler made Chancellor of the Reich under Hindenburg’s wing and Von Papen over Prussia – now what?

 

02.01.1933
Day of grey skies, hot sun – wind, thunder and pouring rain. Help Gene get his income tax deductions together.
Start rereading Balzac. Calla lilies, daffodils, violets, camellias, and sweet jasmine are all in bloom.
Going to bed the water pressure makes a terrible noise. Gene calls to me and I go out in the rain in his dressing gown and slippers with an electric torch through the patio to the furnace room – to search for trouble?
Laugh when I return, (like a wet cat) to think how Gene always call for “Mother” when anything is wrong! Thank God I can be that “Mother” to him – he never knew a Mother’s care and love when he was young!

 

02.02.1933
A strange damp, grey day. Lisa’s mother dies in Germany. Poor Child.
“Ah, Wilderness” typed – read it again. It is charming, gay, and says deep things in its writing.
Gene and I walk after dinner.

Making out cheques for monthly bills.
Letter from du Vivier.
“ “ Dr. Dunbar – she has married “Ted”!

Myrtle trees are being eaten up by worms – all dying!

 

02.05.1933
Sunshine and cold wind. Gene rises late and swims. I write innumerable letters.
Two houses burn in St. Simon’s Island – (has no Fire Dept.) - so they burned quickly being wood.

Gene deep in American History and all excited about what we started out with in ideals and leaders! Alas, where are our leaders now – into what mediocrity and vulgarity we have sunk!

 

02.07.1933
Wind and cold.
Freeman ill with bad cold. Gene works and reads. We talk of “E.O.D.” and “Wilderness” – and last scene of “E.O.D.”

Wash my hair and bath Blemie.

Germany stirring.
Japan weakening.
All is chaotic.
Gene is effected by all this – finding work difficult.

 

02.08.1933
Gene returns to work on “E.O.D.” and likes it better than he thought he did! Decline an invitation to Mrs. J’s tomorrow (to meet people!). Gene claims to have a cold!
Gene works after tea and after dinner. Turns very cold during the nights. A severe blizzard crossing the U.S.A. – much talk in England for and against paying us any part or how much of the debt.

 

02.18.1933
Wake in the morning to find a burglar had cut through screen and window in the living room! Had searched through all the writing desk drawers, boxes, writing-cases, etc. took a desk clock from my office and Gene’s old French beret!
The Inspector came out and went through the gesture of finger-prints – of course it turned into a farce! But I do not like the “feel” of strangers walking about my home in the dead of night!

 

02.22.1933
Sunshine but coolish wind. Gene rises late – works late – we take a wee walk after his luncheon – then he works some more. The last scenes of “E.O.D.” holding him up again.
More bamboo and “climbing fig” planted. Oleander frozen worse than we thought.
Letters from Fania, Madden, pappa, and Bobbie Jones who has been very ill with pneumonia.

We listen to charming Spanish songs from Mexico City. (radio).

 

02.25.1933
A warm day of sunshine -
Gene rises when I call him – works, swims, lunches in the patio – and suns himself. Writes letters – tea, dinner, we read and listen to Boston Symphony.
Papers filled with methods of “honest” business dealings done by our leading bankers.
Banks in Maryland have a “3” day holiday!

$13,000,000.00 withdrawn in past week.
Bill rushed through Congress to give Pres. Roosevelt absolute power over federal banks for one year.

 

03.01.1933
Gene sleeps late – then works – now play is “Without End of Days”
In my office paying bills and typing for Gene. Fania writes that she and Rose want to come down together now – as their husbands cannot come down until much later. I tell them to come by all means.
Gene and I walk on the beach after tea.

Federal Court examining officers of National City Bank. Mitchell has resigned!

We retire early.

 

03.03.1933
Gene works until 2 P.M. after luncheon he reads and then we go for a long walk before tea. He tells me he must completely rewrite “Without End of Days.” The idea of two actors (good and rebel!) taking the part of the lead – “John” – “Loving”!
Phones put in our bedrooms – I can phone to Gene and Gene to Feeman – in case of burglars! Finish “Talleyrand” – well done. Banks all over the country closing for moratorium. Great excitement in Washington for the inauguration!

Write to New York for $1000.00 cash.

 

03.04.1933
Sunshine – but wind is sharp. Gene works until 2 P.M. I am busy in the garden – the first wall flower and sweet William is out!
At 1 P.M. I hear Roosevelt’s inaugural address. He sounds serious, determined and eager to put chaos into order!?

Gene and I walk on beach after tea. Georgia banks now closed – only 5% of one’s cash to be had. Stocks and Bonds almost worthless – Life has turned into a nightmare!

Gene amazingly calm!

 

03.05.1933
Sunshine – but very cold wind. Gene rises late – works late – we take a walk before dinner.
Hitler wins by wide margins in German elections!
Banks all over the U.S.A. holding “holiday” until further notice.
Gene starts a complete rewrite of “W.E. of D.” He is depressed and tired. (I felt certain when he started this play, it would be a torture to him!) I don’t see how he can work at all he has so many worries!

 

03.06.1933
Gene works – later we go to a Notary to stamp his income tax returns and send them off – all U.S. banks are closed!
Sea Island Co. talks of getting out “script”!
Gene and I walk before dinner.

All traveling Americans in an incomfortable position.
Cermak dies from bullet intended for Roosevelt.
At night high wind, high seas and rain.

 

03.07.1933
Gene doesn’t rise until 11 A.M. – he then works. I make him hot milk, toast – etc.
He is better by evening.

The Sea Island Co. gives me $50.00 in real money! An event, these days!
We are still slaving to get all Gene’s clothes and shoes dry. To-night, again, rain and wind and high rough seas.
Gene very tired and worried about his work, his health, and finances. He comes to me to feel “secure and loved”!

 

03.16.1933
Temperature drops to 64?!

Gene works – lunches – works – we take a walk – tea – and he works – before and after dinner!

Edna doing well in her job. Stand by while Freeman properly cleans garage and box room.

Gene enjoying rewriting, for the fifth time, “W.E.O.D.” – Enjoying the double personality thing! How that man slaves!

War in the air in Europe.

Beer bill passed.

We hear publishing business is not good!

 

03.23.1933
Gene “digging” in again.

Hitler now supreme dictator in Germany and laying down the law! Jews in U.S.A. are trying to demand protection for jews in Germany?! Oh, why can’t we put our own house in order first?

 

03.29.1933
Another day of cold N.E. wind and sunshine.
Gene works – lunches 2.40 P.M. – and works again – after tea.
Painters here. Grease trap cleaned. Abreu calls and, again, begs permission to have the house photographed. I say, yes, when trees and shrubs, etc are in bloom.”
Boll to dinner.

The Jews are doing all they can to stir up trouble between us and Germany!

 

04.10.1933
Gene rises late – works – swims – lunches at 3 P.M.
Mr. Coffin calls about 5.15 – tells us of the collapse of the Detroit financial world and how depressing New York is, etc.

Send things to Miss Seymour for the Museum. Mrs. de Rham writes and asks me to go on the committee for the Museum. I declined saying I am so seldom in New York – that I would be of no use to them. That I can help in the “theatre” dept. from here.
Gene less tense.

A perfect moonlight night.

 

04.12.1933
Lovely day – Gene works – swims – lunches at 3 reads – works in garden! (Have taught Gene to prune all manner of things and how to cut certain shrubs into certain shapes! And he is taking great interest in it!)
Gene sends cheque for portrait of Professor Baker at Yale – Vera out and Edna cooks dinner.
Letter from Cyn.
Dine and we read.
The living-room, with its white walls, looks so beautiful with so many of our flowers about. And they are so fragrant.

 

04.18.1933
A lovely day – sunshine and cool breeze. Gene rises late! Swims – I sit on the beach with him - and then get him his lunch. Hear Liveright is going through bankruptcy.
Write H.W. for Gene.
Barber comes for Gene – he (Gene) asks me to superintend the hair cut!
Gene works in garden.
Dinner and read.

About 9 – Gene said, “Darling, let us go upstairs. I am tired of make believe – let us not forget “us” and that we love each other”!

 

04.22.1933
A strange coolish day. Gene works, lunches, reads, innumerable paper – sits in the sun – works in garden – reads – dines – reads seems to be worried! Says it’s Spring fever!
Madden writes Radio City wants to do “Jones” for a week.
Wire from Harrison Smith re publishing.
Am worried and nervous.

The people next door have parked their aeroplane on our beach!

 

04.23.1933
Gene sleeps late. Letter from L. Untermeyer suggesting Gene go with Harcourt-Brace publishers.

Aeroplane on our beach burns!?
Kuprin books arrive.
Weather depressing.
Gene writes letters – reads – works in garden – and eats a very good dinner.

 

04.28.1933
Gene works, swims and rides his bycycle.

So glad guest are coming for Gene – particularly Saxe who knew him “when”! It will be interesting to watch Gene unconsciously, slide back into the mannerisms of that other life – the manner of speech, the subjects discussed – his whole make-up will change. I will be looked upon as the hostess – and Gene will be a guest with his “business associates” as he calls the Langners – and Saxe and Fania! Or is it acting? If so, what is real – what is the act?

 

04.29.1933
As Gene and I were getting ready to meet Saxe he phones that he is in Brunswick! (Had motored there) so we send car for him. He looks well and we hear all about Liveright and publishing.
Lunch – much gossip.
Gene and he swim – tea – drive – and play “Sorry”
Am very tired.
Find, when ordering bracelet from Cartier, that prices have gone up!

 

04.30.1933
Lovely day. Gene gives “E.O.D.” to Saxe to read – He, Saxe, says he likes the technique and quality immensely! (I think Gene has forgotten that Saxe is very Jewish and very radical and a play about the Christian faith being important for the happiness of a man – would seem to him both childish and a bore!)
Luncheon – read – Gene swims and rides his bycycle – we sit on the beach. After dinner play “Sorry” and discuss who should be Gene’s publisher.

 

05.02.1933
Gene and Saxe go to beach early and swim before luncheon. After luncheon – I rest. Gene goes to meet Fania and the Langners at Thalmann – train 40 minutes late! They arrive and pass upon Casa Genotta – favorably!
Fania brings me 2 charming vases and is her usual honest, sincere, fine self!

We go through the usual routine – with much conversation of people and things from the big city. Blemie comes and lies at my feet – and snores so continuously and loudly that the conversation began to lag – and bedtime was mentioned! Later, when all were in bed, I went to Blemie’s bedroom and gave him an extra dog biscuit! He looked up at me and wagged his tale!

 

05.03.1933
Gene and guests swim before luncheon – Heavy rain – after luncheon – clear and lovely – Fania, barefooted on the beach like a child, hunting shells.
Vera up – and doing well with her food – thank God.
More gossip after dinner. We appear to be sleepy – so dribble off to bed! After a bit, Gene comes into my bed and crawls over to me – and says, “Carlotta, for God’s sake hold me tight and lets get out of that cheap, lousy, Broadway Showshop atmosphere! – And that’s what produces my plays that I slave at”!
Finally he sleeps!

 

05.04.1933
Lovely day – guests bathe morning and afternoon. Fania has a happy time going through things I bought in Paris – I tell her to look well – for there never will be anymore for Gene or for me!
Fania takes photographs. Madden wires to ask if Krimsky, De Boise and Haywood may fly down to talk with Gene re “Jones”? Gene replies, “Not until nest week”!
Liveright petition for bankruptcy taken out!
Pay interest on mortgage and lawyers bill.

 

05.05.1933
A terrible day of mist and humidity. Gene bathes before luncheon with his guests and, after luncheon, drives with them to church yard and Frederica.
Tea – rest.
Dine well. Again, more gossip! My how the reputations of high and low are torn to shreds!
The more I see of the people who live “in the world” the happier I am to live apart – as we do – with my Genie!

Wires continue to arrive from New York re publishers.
Krimsky, Cochrane, and Haywood are flying down Sunday!

 

05.07.1933 (Sun)
Cochrane turns up in the morning! Not expected until night! And chats – swims with Gene – and lunches. Gene and I chat.
Saxe and Fania on beach!
After 10, Gene swims.
I walk with Fania.
I write (for Gene) to Madden re publishers – etc.
Gene disgusted with Knopf’s letter – he’s out!
Lovely night and breeze.
Dudley Murphy phones upon his arrival by plane.

 

05.08.1933
Gene and Saxe swim – Fania and I remain in the house. After luncheon, Fania and I motor to St. Simon’s.
Cochrane, Krimsky, DuBoise, Haywood and Dudley Murphy have conference until 6 P.M. re “Jones”!
I give them tea at 4.30. Gene pleased with their ideas and Haywood’s work!
Gene and Fania swim – (I take a bath!) Dine and read!
We walk out in the moonlight before retiring.

I show Haywood the second floor. He was interested!

 

05.10.1933
Warm day. Doing secretarial work all morning.
After luncheon, Fania and I go for a ride with Vera!
Saxe and Gene swim before lunch and dinner. Fania still collecting sea shells.
Gene goes over what he desires in new contract with new publisher – Saxe (!) to arrange all this in New York!
Fania reading “Ah, Wilderness”
Write Ilka asking about a summer place!

 

05.11.1933 (Thurs)
Fania and Saxe on beach rest of the day – Gene swims before luncheon. We sit in the garden before dinner. After dinner Fania reads and packs. We play “Sorry” until 9.45 then we go up on Gene’s lookout and watch the moon rise over the ocean – a round, red moon!

 

05.12.1933
Fania and Saxe leave at 11.
Freeman motors them to Savannah to take a boat to New York.
I call Gene at 9.
After luncheon, we spend the afternoon in Gene’s study! It interests and amuses me to watch the change take place. The casual attitude is now changing to one of excitable interests, as if I were new – and he must woo me all over again! Is it the actor in him? Is he ashamed of loving me before others? He didn’t do this before others? He didn’t do this before my friends! I wish I knew what caused this peculiar (to me!) behavior!
After dinner, Gene and I sit out on my balcony, calmly and happily alone! And he tells me how much he loves me – what I mean to him!!

 

05.19.1933
Gene troubled with his ears again – find his throat is sore – He feels very low! Letters from Mother and Geo. Jean.

Am still on the hunt for mildew – one doesn’t have to look very hard.

Our gardenias are so beautiful - but blooming so quickly – they won’t last long – and so fragrant in early morning and after sundown.
` Gene’s favorite flowers “sweet jasmine” is also running all over the place – we like its fragrance best, it is more delicate!

 

05.22.1933
(Mon) Warm in the sun. Garden being cleared. Snake killed – and Estes sees a rabbit! Gene’s wee sail boat arrives with beer glasses!?
55 gardenias to-day!
Write to Ilka again about a summer cottage. Mr. Coffin phones to call. We are out. Letter from Thos. Coward, he is to arrive by air Wednesday to discuss new contract with Gene.

Dinner – we sit out on my balcony – Gene in his most charming mood – and I am charmed.

 

05.23.1933
Gene swims – sun baths – lunches – sun baths – and swims. Wire from Coward saying he’ll arrive tomorrow at 6 P.M. by air! Wire from Madden and Cerf suggesting Cerf fly down to discuss new publisher’s contract.
We wire back “NO”.

Read Romaine’s “The Body’s Rapture”
Beautifully done.

We are worried sick about all our German Stocks and Bonds going to Hell!

 

05.24.1933
Warm day. Gene sleeps late. I awake at 5 birds singing! The very early morning is so lovely.
Receive beautiful old (18th century) writing table from Harrison. Gene swims and suns himself. We take a siesta after lunch. Coward arrives from New York by plane. Gene meets him on flying field. We talk, dine and talk some more. Then I leave them for business. Motor down to hotel to see about train tomorrow for Coward.
We send wire to Cerf to say he can fly down next week if he wishes.

 

05.25.1933
Warm day. Call Gene at 9/30. I send wire to H.W. (for Gene) to say he won’t give up title to “Jones” until they pay him what they owe him. Gene and M.C. swim and chat. We lunch – go over house – siesta – tea – go through gardens – dress and dine – and Coward leaves for New York via Nahunta.
Boll calls.
As the model of the “Flying Cloud” arrives – (that I ordered for Gene) for his anniversary – I give it to him – and he gives me the bracelet he got for me! We are both very pleased. Letter from Fania.
Still dozens of Gardenias.

 

05.26.1933
Warm day. Gene doesn’t feel well – a sort of nervous reaction – after so much excitement – and worry!
Receive typed script of “W.E.O.D.” – read it after dinner and think it terribly moving. Wonderful scenes! But where are the actors?

 

05.29.1933
At 2 A.M. terribly ill with nausea. Feel shakey all day – rest after luncheon.

Cerf arrives by plane about 5.45 P.M. – we dine and chat. He brings us books. Feel Gene would be safe in his hands regarding the publishing end of it.

I don’t think it was quite playing the game with Cerf for Gene insisting a job for Saxe went with it – (the contract) – I don’t think it good for the author or the publisher – and not very complimentary to Saxe!

But that is just my opinion!

 

05.30.1933
Gene sleeps late. I am up as usual and find Cerf out in the sun in the garden. We chat. I find him keen as to business! With the exterior of a naïve boy! (But he is not naïve!) Full of enthusiasm and he wants to publish Gene’s books – and is armed with all data and figures. He and Gene swim and have luncheon – then we take him over the house – and go over ideas of collective volumes in new printing, etc. – tea, walk in the gardens and dine and talk late. Gene and I feel he is as safe as New York offers!

We talk late after going to bed.

 

06.01.1933
Wire from Coward thanking us.
Gene and I remaining up until midnight going over stocks and bonds and making lists of what to buy and sell.

Oh, my – oh, my – oh, my!?

But we still have us!

 

06.03.1933
Warm day after coolish night. Gene sleeps until noon – then swims and suns himself. Now he tells me that “E.O.D.” is to be called “Days Without End”! Like that better – and also the last changes he has made in the play.
Letter from Wurburg telling us of his cottage at Big Wolf Lake.
Letters from Cerf and H.W.

Now Germany talks of a moratorium on all debts!

Frankfort Bonds sold to-day had gone to nothing!

 

06.06.1933
Call Vera at 5.30 A.M. – Gene at 6 – so he can be off on his deep sea fishing – Baumgardner and Boll have their coffee here – Pancoast and Compton join them at boat. Terribly hot day. Bath Blemie. Vera and Freeman off to town early to search for fruit – and vegetables.
Geo. Jean asks if he may come to us the 23rd or 24th. Answer “yes”. Ask Terence and Elsa to come before then.
Long letter from Sisk.
Gene returns about 6 – with large mackerel and amber jacks. They also caught a lot of sharks – good sport!
Gene tired and burned.

Hot!

 

06.08.1933
All last night lay awake listening to the mocking birds bursting their throats with songs of happiness and love to a golden June moon! It is so beautiful one wants to weep!
Feel shakey all morning – go down to see Compton about beach privileges in front of our house!
Gene going over “Ah, Wilderness” again and thinks it just an Owen Davis play ! - ! - !

Gene looks worried. Has tea and a tummy ache.
Swims before dinner.
Boll to dinner and they listen to Schmelling – Baer fight over radio.

 

06.10.1933
Heavy rain for half an hour – about 8 A.M. – clears the atmosphere a bit. Letters from Cerf, H.W. and Ernst - re my insurance – books from Coward’s list. Fania sends frock and writes. I reply to all.
Get Gene his luncheon – arrange books – tea – feel all in, so he’s in my bath for an hour – Gene swims.
Boll to dinner.
Brisk, hot, moist wind.
Hear from Mr. Wurzburg – he will keep camp for us for Aug. 1st.

Liveright bankruptcy declared.

Gene and I sit on my balcony and then to bed.

 

06.11.1933
A very warm morning. Letters from Elsa, Terence, Saxe, and house mail. Work at my desk all morning. Gene working on “Ah, Wilderness”. Like the changes he’s making. I go down to beach while he swims – we walk down the beach together following a school of porpoises close in to shore – and I end up by going in the sea in my dress! Water amazingly warm. Have cold shower with Gene when I return to “swimmer’s shower” in the garden!
Get Gene his luncheon – read, tea, change, dine – read – and to bed.

 

06.13.1933
Wake to a warm morning. Gene rises at 9 A.M. Attend to mail and garden – early luncheon and then dark skies – and a spell of wind, rain and thunder and lightning until about 10 P.M. Gene feels low in the afternoon but – after dinner feels better and works on “Ah, Wilderness” – much cutting out of sentimentality!

A trying exhausting day – after the rain, the thousands of frogs from the hotel ponds and all the private gardens sing in a full chorus – their singing causes a vibration, which, is nerve-racking to say the least!

To-night the air is fresh and sweet smelling.

 

06.16.1933
Lovely day of sunshine and breeze. Letter from pappa thanking us for sending the vacuum coffee containers.
Cerf wires asking permission of Gene to give announcement to the Press that Random House is to be his publisher – “Yes”!
Wire from Guaranty that they have bought “Lorillaid and Baking” for Trust – but at much higher price!
Gene works and swims – I gave him his lunch in the patio – he works – dines – and works! Am arranging potted plants for the house – inside.

A starry perfumed night.

 

06.22.1933
A grey oppressive day. We came officially to live here in our then just finished home, one year ago to-day! Gene works – swims – lunches – and works. Boll to dinner and then we play “Sorry” – Gene, as always, is the winner!

After dinner, when Boll leaves, we go upstairs and sit on my balcony – the lazy waves flap on the beach, the frogs singing their love songs, a sleepy bird speaks drowsing to its mate – the stars are so like jewels tonight – and Gene recites poetry to me – and tells me he loves me!

God is good!

 

06.24.1933
The morning terribly hot. After luncheon a heavy shower which cools the air outside – house is still warm.
Gene works – swims – lunches – works – dines and works until midnight. Stop up with him. He has finished going over last act! Will read it to me to-morrow.
Cerf sends me “Tobacco Road” – which I read. It is of Georgia’s poor White Trash! Horrible – but true!
Feel the heat more than last year – or so I imagine – Vera has been upset but is better now.

Gene very tired.

 

06.28.1933
Very warm day – Geo. Jean and Gene swim – and we keep on talking. I rest after luncheon. Geo. Jean and I walk in the gardens before dinner.
Vera makes delicious pilaf.

Gene telling Geo. Jean of “Days Without End” and “The Life of Bessie Bowen.”

(Geo. Jean won’t like “D.W.E.” because he can’t tolerate any play with religion playing an important part!)

Gene creeps into my bed very late – he is exhausted and sad! I just hold him close – he gradually relaxes and goes to sleep!

 

07.02.1933
Warm with stiff cool breeze. Gene and Geo Jean swim before luncheon – We talk – talk – talk -- about plays, old and new – writers, old and new – good food – Europe – war – politics – of course Geo. Jean teases me about my “soul” and “loving Gene” - says I’ll “spoil him” (how can “love” spoil anyone!) - We walk in the garden in the moonlight – and then we go indoors and Gene signs his contract with Random House!
And then to bed!

Beginning to dread to pack and go North. Gene must make up his mind whether he will permit production this Fall! And then the “torture” – production – Press – and leeches!

 

07.05.1933
N.E. wind still blowing sea rough. Gene finishes going over “Days Without End”. I wrap it and send it to New York for more copies to be made so Madden and the Guild may read it. Gene, also, reads Winther’s critical study and likes it too – but doesn’t agree with much of it!!
Freeman starts off on his holiday.

Full moon shining on high waves – and swaying palms.

London Conference ending in nothing – or worse!

 

07.09.1933
A warm, heavy day – Gene swims – goes over papers – he writes in the little prayer book, that Mother Mary Rose gave him as a prize in May, 1900! – “To Carlotta –
“Blessed are they that weep for they shall laugh -
“My first (undeserved) prize to my last prize – you! – of which I am also unworthy! (but thank God for being blind to that!)”
Gene
How marvelous to be able to “say” it!
Letters from Geo. Jean and Random house – saying script has arrived. Blemie and police dog fight on beach – am busy with first aid!
A hot thundery night!

 

08.08.1933
The day is damp – grey. Gene absolutely in the depths! He talks with me of the advisability of not producing either or both of the plays – he says he has lost all sense as to their values – and also discretion in production!
I have almost lost hold of myself and am gradually sinking into his gloom! In the afternoon he swims, rows and canoes – Freddy comes over and Gene practices “casting”. After dinner Gene and Napoleon go out fishing – catch only one small bass!
Letters from Geo. Jean, H.W. and Madden.
Coolish night – Gene, like a lonely child, creeps in beside me!

 

08.14.1933
Cooler but clear sky – a brisk wind. Letter from Sisk (who has had trouble with his foot) – and Vera (who suggest coming up to cook for us!) and others.
Write – inviting Sisk up.
Gene rows and swims after luncheon.
I order sapphire (dark) blue chenille carpet 24’x12’ for the living-room from Sloane’s – for Casa Genotta.
We row to beyond “our spot” and walk through woods to Spectacle Lake – then row over to the Wurzburg’s and gossip with them, from our boat, then home to tea. After tea Gene goes fishing with Napoleon.

Wintry sunset – fresh breeze.

 

08.21.1933
A lovely day. I row in the morning and afternoon. Gene swims and canoes. After lunch he fishes with Mr. Wurzburg. After dinner I row him about and he “casts” – no bites! Helburn phones to ask permission to let Geo. Cohan read “Wilderness” for part of “father,” think it a bad suggestion – he is too Broadway and “ham” – not enough simplicity! But from the producer’s point of view (re box office) his name might be a draw!?

 

08.24.1933
Arrive New York at 6.20 A.M.! go to Madison – bath and breakfast – drive to Guild and drop Gene – go to Carcion’s, Sloane’s and Elsa’s – Abercrombie’s for Gene – then to Guild.
Lunch with Terry, Gene and Crouse and retire to Guild while “casting” continues – Cohan as father – MacCullum as Richard – Vonnegut as mother. Talk with Bobbie about sets and himself!
Dead tired – back to Madison for tea and bath – Talk with Sisk and Geo. Jean.
Dine – and take 9.30 P.M. for Tupper Lake – a vile night no sleep.

 

09.02.1933
before rehearsal gene photographed with Cohan. Have to let the second “Syd” go! Home to tea.
Geo. Jean to dinner.

Gene makes up his mind to cut out “kid” episode at end of 1st scene in last act – also to cut out the word “corns” – (glory be!)

 

09.08.1933
Colitti and Carcion and Revillon – cape is finished – bits left from coat. We go to rehearsal at 11. Cohan disturbed because he finds learning his lines difficult, he is very charming and gracious about it!! Play shaping nicely. Home to tea.
Richard Watts comes to interview Gene.
We dine.
I write innumerable letters for us!

Gene recites poetry to me after dinner.

 

09.09.1933
Colitti – Rehearsal 11. Go through play. “Walk” third act, goes very well. Madden stops in at theatre. Home to 5 o’clock tea.
Find Geo. Draper has called. Phone and ask him for dinner tomorrow. Card from Carl. Letter from Boll.
Watts Jr.’s interview in Herald Tribune – not bad!

Thunder and rain which clears the humidity away and makes it more pleasant.
Dine and read.

 

09.14.1933
Thurn’s at 9.30. Rehearsal. It pours all day and night! Have to let Mr. Wood go. Liquor! Poor dear.
Cast doesn’t know lines?! Disconcerting! Worrisome! Home – flowers from pappa. Send box of things to Elizabeth. – Meta phones. See Bobby and Munsell re “sets” for “Days Without End”. Dine with Carl (Fania in sanitarium!) – excellent dinner – and he gives us 47 photographs of ourselves! Some are very good!

 

09.18.1933
Rehearsal at 11. Things are at a trying stage! We discover that A. has sold a first edition of Gene’s “Beyond the Horizon” that he had inscribed to his father and mother! They are asking $200.00 for it – we get it. Meet “Clarkie” ouside the theatre as Gene and I are going home. A quaint soul! We are dead with fatigue! De Polo writes Gene asking may he sell “Hairy Ape” scenario that Gene had given him!?!

Gene’s nerves give way – look after him all night! Too much confusion – too many people – strain of production is always bad – he cannot stand this strain long!

 

09.20.1933
(Wed) Rehearsal – For some strange reason they can’t seem to get the “lines”!? Then much talk of how to get the curtain up and down for opening night critics!!??! (so the more drunken ones will have time enough to gather their scattered wits to catch the morning’s Press!) And, so is the Art of the Theatre held in respect in this great city of ours -! The play – the labour, the effort of author, actors and producer – amounts to little or nothing – all must meet the mood of the critic!
It is discouraging and unfair to the serious author and actor.
One needn’t mention that the number one critics are always courteous and sincere!

 

09.24.1933
Daylight Savings Time ends! We have coffee at 9.30.
Gene nervous – We write out telegrams to send to “Ah, Wilderness” Co. – Cohan and Moeller – Lunch and read.
Siesta!

Gene has tea – reads and dines. I have vile indigestion (have had it for days) so only take milk.

Send cheques to Georgia.

Horace Liveright dies !

 

09.25.1933
“Ah Wilderness” opens in Pittsburgh!

 

09.27.1933
(House $1,856)

We go to theatre (Nixon) to see the performance. Gene and I nearly go mad. Cohan dragging and pausing and uncertain of his lines. Cook good as the boy – but “Muriel’s” voice and accent bad! Newspaper man gets hold of Gene. Bryan there – flew from New York to see play for pictures!
Lots more cuts to be made – one intermission to be cut trying to cut 20 to 15 minutes out.

Football game going on at night across the street – the lights are as bad as the noise!

We seem to be taking more punishment than we deserve!

 

10.02.1933 (Mon)
“Ah, Wilderness” opens in New York

Rise very early – go out to order flowers for women of the company – and a “Mickey Mouse” for Tommy!
Gene and I go to rehearsal for a few cuts and lights on boat scene. Home at 3 P.M. and have late luncheon. The usual wires of good wishes arrive – and roses from Schuster – Orchids from Klopper!
Gene and I nervous as 2 cats!
In a state of torture until it is over!
Receive phone calls from all the Guild – Fania, Madden, Sisk, Bobby, pappa, etc. etc. and all seem to have enjoyed it – and feel certain it will be a success!!?

Another child of ours is handed over to the public!

Dear Genie!

 

10.03.1933
Am up at 6 A.M. waiting for the papers – we get marvelous notices! I dance round the room like a fool. Gene wakes and thinks I have gone mad! I leap on him in his bed and hug him until he has to fight to protect himself and that’s that!
Many phone calls. It really seems that the first night audience felt the tenderness, the gentleness and the humour of the Miller family. It is gratifying – after all the work and worry!
We dine with Geo. Jean at the Colony – have a good dinner! Gene receives a charming note from pappa!
Brooks Atkinson to luncheon to interview Gene.

Oh, I am so happy fro my darling Genie – and so proud of him!

 

10.04.1933
Up early. Madden phones at 10 – re selling “Wilderness” for movies – some one wants options for $80,000.00 sale price.
Klopper to luncheon.

Gene autographing books for cast – and “loose sheets” for Ltd., edition.
Phone about electric piano for Gene’s birthday.

Hear from Mrs. Wurzburg, Schuster and Miss Bean.

Flowers from pappa.

Thank God, we can relax for a bit!

 

10.07.1933
Gene and I go down to Wurlitzer’s and I buy an electric piano for his birthday (16th). The sort of piano that, years past, was in saloons and “other place”! This particular one of the “other places” in New Orleans – and had been painted over in roses (looking all the world like red Brussels sprouts!) on a sickly green background! Marvelous! Gene is pleased – that is all I care about! (We call her “Rosie” – and I have ordered a new motor for Rosie’s inside!) After luncheon we take autographed copies of “Ah, Wilderness” down to the Guild for all members of the company. It makes me happy to see their feeling toward Gene – and their success.

Geo. Jean to tea.

 

10.12.1933
Long, hot, tiresome day. Arrive Nahunta at 7.30 P.M. Freeman there to meet us and bands of poor youngsters to carry luggage!
Casa Genotta looks so good to us – and everything in such perfect order – Bless them! The servants and Blemie so happy to see us! I now understand the charm strangers find in our home!
Boll to dinner.
The quiet – the fresh air with the fragrance from the garden – the sound of the sea on the beach – our home – us!

I sleep like a dead woman!

 

10.16.1933
Gene’s 45th birthday! And “Rosie” is late arriving for him – I am so disappointed.
He receives wires from Madden, Crouse, Schuster, pappa, Geo. Jean, H.W., Fania, Cyn, and many others.
We walk before tea.
Boll to dinner (a good dinner – birthday cake and all!) and we play “Sorry”.

During the night thunder and heavy rain.
Arrange Gene’s and my clothes.
Metro offers $75,000.00 for “Ah, Wilderness”!

Chairs arrive from Sloane’s.

 

11.03.1933
Two heavy downpours during the night. Day hot. Mosquitoes bad, county board of health representative comes to explain to me their process of trying to exterminate them – lack of money, as usual! Charming letter from Sophus Winther – a nice person – and lovers Gene.
Gene sleeps very late, works, lunches and works.
52 myrtles planted
5 oleanders
3 bananas (palms)
1 large honeysuckle
After dinner, Gene and I seriously discuss the play, Catholicism, and religion.
Take Blemie for a walk on the beach in the moonlight before we go to bed.
Divine night.

 

11.08.1933
Gene sleeps late, works, swims, lunches and, again, works. Wire from Guild saying Langner, Moeller, and Simonson are to be Committee for “D.W.E.”. Simonson also wires. Plant 4 palms near wall on left of garden side.
Boxes from Charles.
Claire Boothe Brokaw to dinner. She is pretty, well dressed, very New York, ambitious, never looses a chance to get further on (?) – obvious!
We hear all the N.Y. gossip – as we know no café society – we have a dull evening.

When we are alone again we suddenly become very gay and have a wonderful time!

 

11.14.1933
Quite chilly. Gene sleeps very late – having read until nearly 4 A.M.! “Rosie” (the electric piano) has at last arrived. Gene plays upon her – then when changing the rolls something goes wrong with the mechanism! (Oh, dear!) Gene and Freeman work all day and can do nothing about it! We are all so upset – my office is a sight with “Rosie” there – but there is no other place for her!
Finish sending off signed “Specials” of “Wilderness”.

Receive baskets from Sapaloe – made by the “natives”. Gene sends $100.00 for the “Old Couples Fund”.

 

11.17.1933
(Fri) Cold in the morning – warmer towards evening. Hahne and his brother come from Savannah and work all afternoon on the electric piano – now it plays again!?
Take photographs of Gene. Get all house mail out. Get woolen things out of trunks for Gene. Gene sleeps late, goes through his mail – and arranges his filing cabinet. Is very nervous. We have a good dinner. He plays the electric piano, it plays old dance tunes – he dances me gaily up and down the long hall with a “bunny-hug” and enjoys himself, no end! After this exercise he is hungry – so I go to the kitchen and cook bacon and eggs – it is midnight! he seems happier for a bit.

 

11.20.1933
Rise early – trunks go off – finish packing hand luggage – give final instructions for house and gardens.
Baum. And Boll call.
Dinner at 6.
Leave Nahunta on 9.04 P.M. train for New York.
Gene seems livelier than usual – another form of nerves – he is so sick with worry about “D.W.E.” The Guild should not be pushing on this play! Gene knows that only too well!

 

11.27.1933
Rise early – go for fittings – among other things order a nutria sport coat at Revillon’s. Gene goes to Doctors Hospital for a metabolism test.
Crouse and Heidt to luncheon – Gene resting. I arrange for photographers for publicity. And go to Metropolitan Museum for photograph of ancient Egyptian bracelet Gene wants for Christmas. Will have it copied for him! Ptolemaic period! (heavy gold!)
Klopper and Cerf to dinner – and we go to “six day bike race”.
Sisk phones.
Ilka sends flowers on signing her contract – a charming gesture!

 

11.29.1933
(Wed) Rise early. Saxe calls re publishing.
Gene and I go to rehearsal – first reading! Cast looks as if it might work! Gene, as usual, (under these conditions) depressed – and thinks play sounds awful!
I was pleased with Ilka’s reading.

Home after 6 – we dine early – and Gene works on play – culling it.

 

11.30.1933
We go to rehearsal – they are upstairs reading. Gene and I leave after first reading – return to hotel for luncheon. Gene goes over play and makes cuts. Got to numerous Catholic Churches, and find in St. Paul’s (59th St. and 9th Ave.) a small chapel of Christ Crucified – just as Gene had described in his play.
Home and feel ill!?
Returning the Langner’s dinner and, also, ask Carl and Fania – then go to “six day bike race”! Exciting to watch.

 

12.05.1933
(Tues) Grey day. Gene signs contract for sale of “Wilderness” to movies. Pay my last income payment. Rehearsal – after rehearsal conference with Moeller, Langner and Simonson.
We dine with Dana Skinner, his wife and 3 daughters and Father Ford – a charming and instructive evening.

The 18th amendment is repealed – no drunkenness but people seem happy about it – a real gaiety prevails.

 

12.09.1933
Snowing.
Rehearsal 11 – to 4.
We visit “Ah, Wilderness”
Geo. Jean to tea.
Typing for Gene.

Gene changes first part of telling of “novel plot” to Act I to “Father Baird.”

 

12.15.1933
Grey damp day. Snow – ice and slush. Gene sleeps until noon – I go to attend errands for him and me and Casa Genotta. Metro sends cheque for “Ah, Wilderness” – too bad it has to be divided with the Guild!
Cyn writes Gene an amusing letter in thanks for his wire of congratulations re her engagements.
Letter from Lily – she has to move again! Paul’s first production a flop!
Letter from Boll.

 

12.22.1933 (Fri)
Gene sleeps late. I have shampoo – and deliver 3 or 4 Christmas packages.
Gene sunk within himself. I am sick with worry both about him and about the play! We go to theatre after luncheon to see Simonson paint “Loving’s” mask to match “John’s” make-up.
Simonson so rude I leave! Gene says I am a fool to notice what he says as he doesn’t know any better! Nonsense! It’s just plain bad manners! And the “out-shouting” each other is more than I can stand. Go back to hotel – when Gene reaches home I help him undress and get him into bed as quick as possible – when he has rested a bit give him some good hot soup. Then I go to bed.

 

12.25.1933 Christmas
Very cold – wire from pappa, Lillian and Cohan. Go to theatre at 2 P.M. – light reheasal – dinner in Ilka’s room at the Ritz – Dress rehearsal – lines nowhere! Sets dignified and interesting. Back to our hotel at 1.30 A.M.Dead! Ilka gives Gene eau de Cologne and me powder. Moeller send me flowers with wee Botticelli he had promised me!

 

12.27.1933
“Days Without End” opens Boston
Wake to inches of snow – high wind – and sunshine 10°. Pack – to theatre. Leave Boston 5 P.M. for New York – after rearranging last scene. Reach New York 10.30 P.M go to Madison – have supper – phone Ilka’s Mother – keep busy to try not to think of the play. Crouse phones from Boston and says they had 15 curtain calls!!

What a battle this has been! My poor darling is so exhausted.

 

12.28.1933
My Birthday!
Wire from Mother and Cyn.
Wire from pappa.
Gene working on “proofs” and sends me shopping for him. Gene gets phone in A.M. from Boston – the Committee (S., M. and L.) are ridiculous.
Parker’s notice excellent. Lorraine doesn’t know a line!
Phone Ilka at night.
“Company cheered”!!!
Gene changes Elsa’s scene where she goes out in the rain because actress playing it has not the depth to carry it as is!
Dana Skinner to tea.

 

12.31.1933
We rise about 11 – have an excellent breakfast. Moeller calls and we discuss new end to Sc. II Act II. Edna Woolman and Ilka call. Ilka drives to theatre with us – we find the company “exalted”! Cheery and happy. Make new changes – walk back to Ritz through Common – snow everywhere – have tea – attend to mail –etc. Edna, “Uncle Dick” and Ilka dine with us.
Another year is gone. Thank God for my Genie and his love!