1935

01.03.1935 (Thur)
Warm sunshine and cool wind. Vera’s cold is bad – but she is up trying to carry on. Gene seems better. Shane off fishing at nine – home at 11.30 – No fish. Gene rises very late – after lunch he plays croquet with Shane and then they take a walk. Gene gives him an aluminum fishing pole and reel. Boll calls after dinner. Bushee sends me a photograph of Carlotta Nielson and asks for one of me in return! I send it. Pack Shane’s bag – arrange a box of chocolate and fruit – with a $10.00 bill stuck in the corner. Also, order sandwiches to be ready for him tomorrow A.M.
Try to be gay for his last evening but both father and son seem to be unusually silent! I give up – and read – as they do!

 

01.06.1935
Rise slowly, feel beastly – I loathe being a “sickie”! Go over house mail – my yearly financial sheet from the Equitable trust – and I discover that principal once well over four hundred thousand – is, in value, at the moment below $200,000.00 !! So, that is what “Depression” means! They tell me that “things” will get better! How do they know?
Gene rises at 12.30 – has breakfast, reads papers and goes to work about 2 P.M.
We retire early.

From an investment of $20,000.00 I find $5.62 has been realized!
But thank God, I can still hold up my end!

 

01.07.1935
Gene receives word from the N.Y. Times that Pro. Geo. Baker is dead! And they want him to write a tribute. I phone Madden trying to find out where to send flowers – no one knows. Gene writes short by worthy and sincere obit.
Busy all day – Boll to dinner. After he goes – I go with Gene to his study and we try to figure out how (between us) we could have spent $70,000.00 this past year!? To spend so much and get so little! Go over figures until 1 A.M.
I don’t sleep a wink!
As Gene takes a sedative he can rest.

 

01.10.1935
Gene rises at 10 –works – lunches – reads mail – sits in sun – I type for him. We walk – a beautiful day. Gene in a ‘slough of a despond’ – income tax – the idea of growing older – the difficulty of real work these days – and absolute lack of interest in the theatre as it is! Of each of us spending so much of our money and getting no real or pleasurable benefits of it! He can’t even swim, the water is too cold – and his “cursed” nerves!
Yet, I have seem him seem so low – when he was making large amount of money – when success was being poured over him – (it meant nothing) when he was getting what he wanted in life! – or thought he wanted!!!??
Is the “creator” fashioned thus? Or is it part of the disease that is devouring him?

 

01.11.1935
Lovely day of sunshine.
Gene works – I work all morning in my office. We lunch. Gene in a ghastly state of nerves. (It makes me feel so hopeless and doubly nervous myself!) he reads the papers and sits in the sun on the patio. We take Blemie and walk after tea. Dine – read and retire early – he comes into my room and we talk for over an hour – he empties himself of heartache, - dreams, - memories, and then keeps repeating over and over that I must always know how much he loves me – no matter what he does, or does not do!!?
What can we do for this “thing” they call nerves? What is it? Where is it?

 

01.13.1935
Sunshine
Wake Gene at 10 – he works – Am up as usual – typing for Gene. Listen to Philharmonic after luncheon. Boll to dinner and we sing old songs from Song Book.
Gene seems less tense and tortured!

 

01.15.1935 Port Said (1929)
Gene wishes me “Many Happy Returns” when he comes down to breakfast.
Write Harriet Kreisler and Harrison Post – and house mail. Read of Natalie Morris’s death in the Times. – Write to pappa.
We lunch – read papers – walk on beach – tea – and talk of days past.
Bath, dress – and Boll to dinner – we play poker!
Gene and I both feel that his is our anniversary of anniversaries!
God is good!
01.19.1935
Grey skies – but 70°
Gene rises early and works. Busy in my office – and talk with Baum about garden. We lunch. I type a long letter to John Pell for Gene. Guaranty Trust has, as usual, made all sorts of mistakes in its yearly accounts. After tea we walk on the beach – grey but balmy. Gene writes to Mrs. Baker.
Discover that Blemie’s tooth is abcessed again – look in doctor book (Vet’s) and find exact symptoms – it must be extracted – what I feared. Wire to Dr. Blair for address of Vet in Brunswick or Jacksonville – Blemie in pain – put him to bed and give him 1/3 aspirin.

 

01.21.1935
Can’t stand this worry about Blemie any more. Phone to Mr. Winter in Jacksonville – about a Vet – he recommends a Dr. Grace – phone him and make an appointment to have Blemie there by noon to-morrow.
Gene has a long morning of work – he discusses “A Touch of the Poet” with me after luncheon – it is just Gene’s genre.
We walk before dinner.
Gene’s decision to come with me to Jacksonville to-morrow makes me very happy.

 

01.25.1935
Another chilly day – less piercing. Call Gene at 8 A.M. – he has a long morning of work. Tells me at luncheon, he thinks he can work “Bessie Bowen” into the last of his Cycle of “A Touch of the Poet” – (the 5th)
We read the papers after luncheon and then take a walk on the beach with Blemie.
I write letters and am busy with house hold affairs.

 

01.27.1935
Warm sun until about 4 P.M.
Gene works all morning.
After luncheon he reads paper and sits in patio. I write letters all morning. Phone Dr. Ellis about Blemie’s feet! Listen to Philharmonic – Toscanini conducting. He plays Wagner – Strauss’ “Salomè” – and Bach.
The new Scott is marvelous for music and for European programs.
Gene comes into my room and talk before dinner.
Boll to dinner.
He gossips much!!!
Retire early.
Wind noisey – palms swaying.

Hear poor Joe, the fish man, is dead. And he has so many small children.

 

01.29.1935
Less wind. Pleasant out of wind in sun. Gene has a good morning working. Dr. Ellis calls to see Blemie and finds that his teeth need cleaning – and another tooth to be pulled in six months or so!! Gene feels low – put him to be before 9.
H.W. sends wire asking Gene to say “NO” to Jack Benny doing a skit of “Emperor Jones” over radio. Gene wires “Yes” – he thinks Benny an “amusing guy”! – so that’s that!

 

01.30.1935
Piercing cold wind – Wash my hair. Blemie bathed. Gene working.
After luncheon type letter to Simonson for Gene.
H.W. stupidly shows Broadcasting Co., (“National”) Gene’s telegram and they want to use it for publicity. Gene sends long wire to H.W. putting his foot down on that. The indiscretion of some lawyers is unbelievable!
After dinner read – and take calomel.

Roosevelt’s 53rd birthday.

 

02.03.1935
Warmer. Gene working and tells me at luncheon that he intends to add another play to the Series – that will make six!
After luncheon trim shrubs in patio – and then to listen to Toscanini conduct “Wagner”. It is so satisfying to hear him. Tea – pay more bills – write more letters.
We dine and read. Enjoy Claude Houghton’s “This Was Ivor Trent” a fascinating tale.
Seven of the very large Japanese fantails are ill – no doubt too highly bred!
Benny gives satire of “The Emperor Jones” over the radio. More silly than amusing! At least to me!

 

02.05.1935
Warmer. Gene has a long morning’s work. Busy in my office – and then in garden. Discover “grease-trap” has to be redone – which means tearing up garden to get at pipes! This upsets me!
Walk with Gene on the beach.

We dine on “tripe à la mode de Caen” cooked in 1 qt. of wine. Vera did very well. Move palm in garden. Things from Sherry’s for Gene. Sometimes these surprises at table please him – a pleasant surprise!

 

02.06.1935
Vera is all excitement when she brings me my coffee at 7. The golf club was completely destroyed by fire last night – nothing left but the tabby walls! Great excitement!!
Gene working – has begun a scenario of the play and intends to make scenarios of each and all – before beginning dialogue.
Give him his luncheon in the patio. After tea we walk on the beach. Gene tired – and yearning for warmer weather so he can swim!
Receive all my income tax data from Ernst. Have less income and must pay more taxes!?
Write to Mme. Wallich in Paris that she may do “Interlude” in French!

 

02.08.1935
Gene working very hard. He has a letter from Dana also hears that “Days Without End” had a good Press in England!
Hear from Harriet Kreisler she has been ill ever since her return to Berlin.
Warmer day – we sit in patio after luncheon.

 

02.09.1935
Warmer day and sun. Gene has a long morning’s hard work. After luncheon sits in the sun in the patio – as it gets cooler goes indoors and amuses himself with his Scott radio – getting, on short waves, London – we hear a playlet – and, at the end, when they play “God Save the King” all my girlhood memories come back to me – with a pang! Gene also gets Venezuela and Havana. The music is delightful.
Seven years ago to-night I went with Effie Shannon and pappa to see Eugene O’Neill’s “Strange Interlude” – and, the day following began my Strange Interlude!!
Give Gene calomel!

 

02.10.1935
Delightful, warm day --
balmy and fresh
Gene does not rise until about 12 – He has coffee and works until 3. I give him soup and he sits in the sun in the patio. Later, we listen to the Philharmonic over the radio – walk through the garden – then Gene talks of his work – the characters in “A Touch of the Poet” and the first play of the series to be called – “The Hair of the Dog”! We discuss Emerson and Thoreau – into the twilight.
Dine – Read.
Seven years ago to-night we left on the Berengaria for Europe. Pappa saw us off. Time has proved that it was the right thing for us to have done, although the price was dear – it was worth it!

 

02.13.1935
Rain – clouds and breeze. Gene working well (which always makes him happier and he feels better!) He has written a very full scenario of two acts of “Hair of the Dog” – and nothing gives me greater happiness than to have him go over his work with me!
Boll calls and discusses our buying the lot across our side street – “to keep our privacy”!
We walk on beach.

After 10 P.M. jury brings in verdict of Guilty with Death Penalty for Bruno Hauptmann!

The American Public has treated this trial like a “side show” in a circus!
I can’t understand it!!

 

02.14.1935
Showers, grey and damp.
Gene working hard.
Letters from Mrs. Simonson – John Pell, Madden, and John O’Neal.
Typing all morning for Gene.
Luncheon.
3 more Japanese fantails die! We read – start a walk but the rain comes down.

 

02.14.1935
Boll to dinner – we play poker – then dress him in a Moroccan costume (we bought in N. Africa) to go to a Valentine Costume ball at the Cloister.
Read and to bed.
Give Blemie 1/3 aspirin – he is sniffy after his bath to-day.

 

02.19.1935
Pleasant sunny day. Gene has a long mornings work.
I am at my desk – as usual – Cowman here to put mirror in the door of Cabin II.
Luncheon – and we rest and then take Blemie and go for a walk. Sit in garden – and have tea there. Gene sits in sun while I prune shrubs.
Dine and read.
Beautiful fool moon.

 

02.22.1935
Warm sun – chilly in shade.

Gene doing a long morning’s hard work.
Am busy in my office, then seeing to the placing of palms – as to size and position.
Boll calls and is, again, after us to buy the lot across the street. Gene and I walk on the beach after tea – We dine – read – and retire early.

Roosevelt looses on his Relief Programme

 

02.24.1935
Sunshine and cool winds. Gene works as I work in my office. Luncheon and I listen to Philharmonic under Toscanini – plays much of Brahms.
We do not walk to-day as Gene feels relaxed and low. It is strange how Gene follows a cycle of vitality, enthusiasm, joy, depression and despair! Gene is (as always when he is working hard) having no appetite and losing his falsely gained weight!

 

02.26.1935
Very cold - 50° biting wind. Gene works all morning – now on second play!
Palm planting still going on! Hard job planting in tall crooked one by the entrance door. Only 1 more – and the job will be done! The entrance Court is quite attractive now – and Casa Genotta looks as if it has been here for many years!
After luncheon we watch men at work – read – dine and read.
Wire from Crouse saying he will arrive at 8.59 Friday.

 

03.06.1935
Sunshine – fog – warm – Gene works.
I work.
Have “papers” signed for Gene at Notary’s. We give cheque to Boll – to buy lot opposite us!
After luncheon I sew and then walk on beach with Gene. Large dead porpoise on the beach!

Boll to dinner – we play poker.
Spring in the air.
Letter from Elizabeth – all is not too happy for her – too bad – for she is a really nice girl – and pays ½ of their living expenses. Maybe she has been too generous – too kind – some men can’t stand that! Really. Too bad!

 

03.07.1935
Warm sun – occasional fog.
Gene works.
I am busy in my office. Letters to Crouse and Madden. Seine sends us his “O’Neill” in Japanese – dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Eugene O’Neill!
Gene swims and lies in the patio in the sun. Freeman goes in to meet H.W. (Weinberger) at 2.10 Brunswick – talk and stay up until 11.30 to hear Huey Long speak over the radio.

A clever politician!

 

03.08.1935
Fog and sun – colder – Gene works.
Am at my desk all A.M. composing and typing letters for Gene.
H.W. walks on the beach.
After luncheon Gene and H.W. go on the beach and talk. – We have tea – chat – look over books – dine – gossip – and listen to Joe Cook (!) over radio.

We discuss the theatre of to-day! (I don’t think H.W. knows much of the real theatre! – its history – or its original use! – He discusses what Gene calls “Broadway Show-Shop” entertainment!) – We also discuss the “Theatre Guild” – surely their ears must have burned!!
Doctor poor Blemie’s feet. To bed at midnight!

 

03.10.1935
Temperature higher – grey.
Gene works.
I type for him.
After luncheon I rest and read in my room. Gene comes to get me for tea (an unheard of gesture!) and, on going downstairs I find in my office some camellias that Gene has cut and put in water for me!! I am so deeply touched I almost weep! We dine and read!

The sea pounding. Real march weather.
Gene tells me of the “second play” What a grand character the old Mother is.
God! What parts to play!

 

03.13.1935
The storm is over – warm sunshine. Gene working. I am busy in my office. Letters from Geo. Jean – Fania – Simonson – and Sisk and household business. We sit in patio after luncheon and take Blemie and go for a walk on the beach. Bracing – and sun is warm. Find some beautiful shells! Home, walk through the gardens, - tea and read. I dress in full regalia – and Gene not noticing this at once – when I go into the living room, insists upon going upstairs for my book (“Francis 1st”) as a punishment! He has great charm this man of mine!

I go in his room and read for an hour before going to sleep.

 

03.14.1935
A lovely day – warm sun. Gene at work. Amusing letter from Cyn. Mother is visiting her and amazed that Cyn can run her own house!
Working in my office all A.M. Spring cleaning going on in full blast! Hear from Mr. Wurzburg as to the youthful pictures of Gene that appeared in Vanity Fair in 1924. At luncheon Gene tells me of the woman who took this picture – a neighbour next door in New London – and of other who later came to that house. We walk after tea – with Blemie on the Beach.
Dine and read – Gene steadily working on the 2nd play “Oh, Sour Apple Tree” (tentative title) and feels better physically today. Read with him an hour and then go to bed.

 

03.15.1935
Lovely day. Gene works all A.M.
A large box of grapefruit and oranges from H.W. from Florida.
Nice of him.
After luncheon Gene and I go to garden – and look over all plantings – then Gene goes up to his look-out and suns himself. We have tea and take a walk on beach – find more lovely shells. Dine and read. Gene eats well – glory be!

Spring in the air!
Mr. Wurzburg sends me Vanity Fair (July 1924) with childhood photograph of Gene in it. He hasn’t changed much in mood! Will have some photographs made.

Type a letter to Sisk for Gene.

 

03.16.1935
Lovely spring day. Gene working. I am busy in my office typing for Gene.
After luncheon we take Blemie for a walk on the beach. Then sit in the patio and have tea. Gene talks to me about his work.
Then we go to the beach to watch the sun set!
After dinner we hear, over the radio, that Hitler has, so to speak, thumbed his nose at the world and says how many men he intends to have under arms! Of course, England and France retaliate with Army and Navy orders!?

We retire early.

 

03.19.1935
A grey day which turns into heavy fog. The palms drip! Gene works all morning. I wash all the beautiful old china in the dining-room as Vera is afraid of breaking it! Gene hears from Cyn and she is so very thin (from her snapshots). We rest after luncheon and then go for a walk – get soaked from the fog.
We listen to all European news. Hitler had an exhibition of Army planes over Berlin to-night. France saying England’s “note” to Berlin wasn’t strong enough! Russia exiling hundreds to Siberia! What an era to live in!
Gene enjoying Krutch’s book.
“Wilderness” (with Cohan) to close the 30th in Albany.

 

03.21.1935
First day of Spring! Warm.
Gene works – swims – a sun bath – lunches – writes to Sisk and Madden (which I type after dinner) – tea – walk in Garden – bath – dress and dine – (a very good dinner!)

France in a fever. Italy ready to fight? Germany ignores their “notes”. England more calm and diplomatic – and Germany more courteous in return. U.S.A. (so far) minding its own business!
Dust storms in middle West destroying everything. People dying from inhaling dust! They say drought will be worse than last year!! Food prices soaring.

 

03.23.1935
Another warm day. Rise very early. Freeman gone to Nahunta to meet L. Simonson on 8.59 train. Gene rises also, so we can meet L.S. on arrival. We talk the blessed day. I become completely exhausted – and poor Gene is as pale as death!
Fania sends me some lovely wine glasses!
Man arrives to put the post for the birds’ houses in concrete. The night is cooler and less clear!
We are finally able to retire. I help Gene to get to bed – he is so dreadfully tired!

 

03.25.1935
Warm day – but brisk breeze. Painters at work. Gene rises early and works. I am busy all morning. Gene and L.S. swim before luncheon. They talk all day and past mid-night! (Gene can’t stand much more of this!)
Vera gives us an extra special dinner.
I have a “run-in” with L.S. re Bobby Jones. Bobby is very clever and Gene and I are very fond of him! I couldn’t sit in my own home and calmly listen to anyone (not even a “guest” who knew we were fond of Bobby) ridicule him! Of course they are “rivals” at the same job! But – all ended happily – so to speak! Wind very strong all night! Gene scolds me for having “spoken up” for Bobby – says I should have ignored what Simonson said! But I am a friend or a foe – not a middle-of-the-roader! In short – I am loyal!

 

03.28.1935
Watch a beautiful sunrise! Half an hour later grey clouds cover the sun – leading up to a shower at 6.30 A.M.
Gene works and swim – lunches and reads.
Shane wires for money. More “business associates” are arriving! Poor Gene! Two more from the Guild! The Langners! They wire they will arrive at Nahunta, Saturday, at 9.20 A.M.

Gene tells me he has renamed his second play “More Stately Mansions”! I like that.
Gene and I dine on delicious pompano and Chablis!

Write pappa, Crouse, H.W.

 

03.29.1935
...
Boll calls to tell us Tilt has purchased the entire block South of us to build on – good news!

 

03.31.1935
Awake at dawn! Lovely day. Work in my office. Langners have coffee at 10 – and then join Gene for a swim – before luncheon.
We chat afterwards – discuss the Guild and its future plans, etc. We have high tea at 5.30 – they leave at 6.30 for Nahunta to take the train for New York.
Gene and I pick off dead leaves in the garden – and wearily crawl upstairs to bed.

Letter from Taylor from Paris – he says poor Paris is sad and empty! (Everyone is so poor now!)

 

04.01.1935 (Mon)
Warm day.
Gene rises early and works and swims before luncheon. After luncheon Gene reads in his study as the painters are working indoors. I am busy going over house books and bills.
Vera and Edna go crabbing and we have “jambalaya” for dinner. Wire from Madden saying the final week of “Wilderness” was $16,000.00!!!
Warm night.

A Scottie down the beach has revived Blemie’s interest in the weaker sex.

 

04.03.1935
Warm, sultry, showers. Gene rises at 6 and works. I am at house books and send off “papers” for Gene. After luncheon Gene reads and sleeps on my balcony. I work and then rest. We walk on beach before dinner. Thunder around us. Dine and read. Gene nervous and fearful!

Blemie has become so deeply enamoured of the Scottie down the beach that he howls most of the night until Gene takes him into his bed to soothe him in his anguish!

 

04.05.1935
Lovely summer day. Gene rises early and works until about 12.30 when he swims. We have luncheon about 1.30 – then goes up on my balcony and reads and sleeps until I take him his tea at 4.30.
Working in my office for hours. Type letter to Hamilton for Gene.
Cowman puts in wee bridge over drainage canal en route to beach. Saves jumping over it!
Gene and I discuss “outlook” being made into a sun porch! (But why put more money into this place if he yearns to go elsewhere?)

Gene weighs 148 lbs. – nude –

04.06.1935
Gene rises early and works. Freeman over to Nahunta to meet Fania. They get home about 10. Fania and I go to beach with Gene while he swims. We have luncheon. I put Gene on my balcony where he reads and sleeps. Fania reads and naps while I work in my office. Vera makes us a delicious pecan cake for tea. We walk in garden after heavy thunder shower. Bath and dress for dinner. We 3 read and retire at 10.

Somehow Blemie gets out and sits for 3 hours, outside the Scottie’s house! Freeman finds him and brings him home. I bring him into my room to sleep.

I feel he is being silly!

 

04.11.1935
Wake at 5.30 A.M. to pouring rain. Go in Gene’s room at 6.30 to close his windows. Rainy and grey all morning. Gene works until luncheon. After luncheon siesta.

Gene swims again before dinner. He, Fania, and I have tea (good Darjeeling tea) and walk in the garden. We dine and read. Before we retire we go out to look at the night – full moon, stars, fireflies and the ocean pounding.

Gene seems in good spirits – work going well. He is very cheery. Fania looks better.

 

04.13.1935
Rise early. Freeman meets Cerf at Thalmann 8.59 A.M. Unpleasantly cool -- can’t swim or sit outside comfortably.
Gene and Cerf talk before and after luncheon. I read manuscript Cerf gives me. We have tea – read and dine and read.
Giver Cerf and Fania Rock & Rye when they go to bed – as Cerf has a cold. Vera has a cold.
Scribner’s is selling the “Wilderness” set at $100.00 which I think is marvellous in these hard times – when bookshops are going bankrupt!

 

04.15.1935
Pleasant day. Gene works and swims before luncheon. Sherwood Anderson wires from Jacksonville may he stop here to-morrow for an hour or so – nothing to do but ask them to luncheon. I have never met Mr. Anderson and Gene says he was once introduced to him!
Fania on beach nearly all day she is a dark brown from sunburn!
Luncheon and siesta.

We have tea --- walk through the gardens – dine – read – and I write (and type) letters for Gene.

Strong S.W wind.

 

04.17.1935
Gene and I rise early. Gene working hard! Two palms planted. After luncheon water pressure so low have to get McDonald, Sea Island Co., engineer. Our furnace room floods. (We are 19 inches altitude here!!!!) Have to get Daniels.
Gene works very hard and is tired. I am weary from so much running about and trying to keep household mishaps from Gene. Amusing letter from Cyn. Fania on beach and in garden takes photographs.

Gene weighs 146 lbs. – nude –

 

04.19.1935
Good Friday
Lovely day. Gene rises early and works. I am busy in my office. Fania on beach all morning. We lunch. Fania packs. Gene writes letters – tea – Am extra busy with Gene’s secretarial work. We hear touchingly simple Oratorio of the Crucifixion by coloured singers.

Before retiring sit out on my balcony – alone – and think and wonder? A full moon – the silver path on the sea – the twinkling stars.
What “Power” rules all this?

Individually, we are nothing?

 

04.21.1935 Easter
Up very early, exercise. And shampoo my hair. Gene rises early and works. Write letters. Boll calls. Gene swims. I go to beach with him. Luncheon – siesta – tea. Gene arranging books and tells me of “The Dark Gardens of the Queen of Thebes”! An amazing play. What an imagination this man of mine has and what an insight into the souls of us poor humans!

A warm dry wind. Wire from Fania. Cards from Mother and Polly.

 

04.23.1935
Gene and I both up very early. Painting finished in kitchen everything put in order again. Working all morning in my office. Gene swims. I go to beach with him. He gives me this line from the play he is now working on – “Life trickles in bloody tears from the burned out eyes of love”!!!

After luncheon we go upstairs and Gene rests on my balcony. I go through the Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue and send for things for Gene.

We have tea – read – dress – dine – read.
Feel tired – Spring!

 

04.24.1935
We both rise early and go to work. Letters from Fania and Carl. Write and type letter (for Gene) to Sherwood Anderson. (I do this so much for Gene – then all he has to do is to sign his name!)
Feel “chilly” Gene swims – luncheon. Gene rests on my balcony. Before dinner we have a lightening, thunder and rain storm. Am nervous and depressed over the servant problem. I know Vera is planning to leave – as her James wants her to – and work with him as a “couple”. And I have given so much time, patience and trouble to maker her a cook. She was not one when I took her on! Cyn, Gus and Burpie leave California to-day to motor all those miles to us here.

 

04.26.1935
Gene rises early and does a long mornings work. I rise at 6.30 – exercise, bath, have my coffee and go to work in my office. I go to beach with Gene when he swims – he tells me of “epilogues” we have a good luncheon – siesta.
Madden writes to ask price of film rights of “Marco Million” for Universal – I type letter in reply, for Gene, asking $40,000.00 – Type letter to B. Clark saying “ No: to revival idea. Boll to dinner.

 

05.17.1935
An overcast coolish day. Gene rises and works – he does some beautiful little drawings for the stage “sets” (on the clipper ships) for “The Calms of Capricorn”! I rise early and am busy all morning with typing for Gene.
The big myrtle has died in Gene’s Grove.
After luncheon siesta – tea – walk in garden – we discuss what a mess life is – how “some” must slave and “others” take and take, and by every trick try to get more!

From 12-2A.M. we are kept awake by people in the green house – back of us!

 

05.18.1935
A little warmer.
Gene and I rise early and are both upset by the drunken orgy that kept us awake last night. Gene writes a long letter to Jones which I type – and he then swims before luncheon. After lunch a siesta.

After tea we read. Boll to dinner.
Gene still upset!

 

05.24.1935
Gene rises early and is working too hard. I go to the beach with him when he swims – after luncheon a siesta. “Jonesy” (a nice old dear!) comes to cut Gene’s hair. Then we make a tour of the gardens. Marcia(!) is growing at leaps and bounds – getting real rooster’s feet and the beginning of a comb and tail. We dine and drive to Brunswick and back. (Freeman is becoming quite a decent chauffer – for this part of the world!)

This noise of the frogs and toads is terrific – seriously. I would like to know is it a “love” call? The beach is full of fireflies! The oleander smells so sweet! And – how the sand flies bite!!

Gene seems not quite so depressed and restless!
I am reading Montaigne. A wise and kindly man!

 

05.27.1935
Lovely day.
Gene up early and works swims before luncheon. I go to beach with him. After luncheon we read – tea – read – we read after diner – take calomel (both of us).
Edna and I go over Gene’s coats and dressing gowns, brushing and sunning them.

We hear over radio that the Supreme Court has said “N.R.A.” is against constitutions of U.S.A. Also clauses in “Farmers’ Loan” Bill the New Deal has had terrific blow!

 

05.30.1935
Very warm in the sun. 80° on my balcony – in the shade. Gene rises early and works – swims before luncheon. I work all morning at accounts, “papers,” etc. and go to beach with Gene. We lunch read, siesta. Gene has another swim before dinner. Listen to French news. France has a new Party in!? Will the franc be de-valued or what? Much work in Washington trying to make a new N.R.A.

Gene bumps into a huge black snake on the beach! That is what is eating our frogs and pollywogs!

 

06.01.1935
Gene rises early and works. I rise early and put finishing touches to guest rooms. Freeman leaves for Savannah at 7.30 A.M. returns here at 11.45 A.M. with Eugene Jr. and Elizabeth from the boat. I have been very busy in my office. We have luncheon, chat, siesta, tea and Gene, Jr. and Elizabeth go for a swim.
Bath – dress – dinner – and more chat.
Terrible tornado and rain in in Middle West – Kansas, etc., heaps killed and destroyed.
Very warm evening – thunder storm in distance. Have a wretched night – toads keep me awake! Gene got so nervous he forgot to kiss me goodnight!

About 1.30 Gene remembered he hadn’t kissed me good night. He came in to do so – and stayed.

 

06.04.1935
An oppressive humid day that stays 80° in the shade! Gene rises early and works – and swims before luncheon with Juniors. After luncheon – siesta – tea – and they have a swim before dinner.
Gene comes in my room as I am dressing for dinner and discusses Jr. – we both feel he has gained in politics and is more adult than he was when last he visited us. He is self conscious and on the defensive (!) but as he has experience in life he will out grow that. As Gene never saw him until he was more than 12 years old, he feels not very fatherly toward him – although he has all responsibility! But with time, I feel that, too, will change.
And, so life goes.

 

06.10.1935
Very warm day and warmer night! Gene rises an hour later expecting to go fishing. Vera has sandwiches made when Boll phones saying N.E. wind has come up and the sea is too rough to go safely out to the Bar. So, Boll comes to luncheon and we eat picnic lunch! Siesta.

Tea – dress – dine. Elizabeth is suffering from sunburn. No matter how much one warns Northerners, they will not take care under this sub-tropical sun!

I write to Crouse and Cerf for Gene.
Taxes going up and up!

 

06.11.1935
Edna brings my coffee up 15 minutes late! And tells me that Vera told her she didn’t feel well and was going to Brunswick!! And went!!! Not one word to me and 2 guests on my hands – and no cook!!!! It doesn’t surprise me (because that’s the way the human animal is!) but her rudeness angers me more than I can say. Poor Edna has to cook and teach the other new girl how to be a house-maid! It is fiendishly hot – and all this upsets me, no end! We have early luncheon – and Gene, Boll and Jr. go fishing. Elizabeth remains at home. Tea – dine – and to bed. Am really disgusted and disheartened!

 

06.12.1935
Gene rises early and works. I go downstairs at 7 A.M. to see if I have any servants(!) find Edna on the job – so feed the gold fish and return to my room. Go to beach with Gene before lunch – sun boiling. Luncheon – siesta – tea – family swims – I soak in a soda bath! Dress – dine – have coffee in patio! Servants seem to be making the grade – if not too smoothly – with a decent effort. We’re not suffering!
My anniversary present for Gene arrived to-day! I’ll hide it!

 

06.14.1935
Very warm day. 90° on my balcony in the shade.
Gene rises an hour later and works – I go to Cloister and talk with Mrs. Riger about Vera.
Write letters – arrange menus – Siesta after luncheon – tea – Gene has barber and goes swimming. After dinner play gramophone for the youngsters. Brisk sea breeze. 70° on my balcony.

 

06.20.1935
Another warm day. Busy with food problem – send boxes to Webb and Cyn. Walk to beach with Gene and Geo. Jean for about 5 min. Luncheon and siesta.

Tea – gossip – Gene swims again – dine – radio and talk.

Much conversation as to the future with taxes steadily mounting – Where could one go? What do?

There seems no way out with the responsibilities Gene and I have!

 

07.07.1935
Cool morning turns to heat and thunder. Gene rises early and works. I do the same. Letter from George Jean – he finds he cannot send imported Pilsner beer to Gene – the law says, “No”! Letter from Pace re ships “models” an “oily goose” that one!
Boll and Gene carry toads and frogs outside our patio wall! There love song is too triumphant to-night we must get some sleep!

Gene seems fit and cheery again!
(I hope no “Pilsner,” nor anything else with alcohol in it can be sent to Gene. Because, though beginning with simple beer, until, climbing step by step, it will reach Bourbon and, then, God help Gene and me!)

 

07.08.1935
At 5.30 beautifully cool – at 10 A.M. hot!
Gene rises early and works and swims before luncheon. I rise early write letters and cheques.
Gene asks me to go to Hotel and to see “Peterson” about getting imported “beer” and “ale” for him! (My heart turns cold – but he swears he wants only that! I want to believe this. I also see Smittie, the chef, about or meat orders.
After luncheon, Gene and I talk about the Trust, gift tas and what not!
I send a night letter to H.W. to come down here to see about breaking the Trust!!!!
After he adds and subtracts figures! I read the “History of Egypt 3000 B.C.” a brisk S.W. wind – dampish.

 

07.11.1935
Warm morning rumbling distant thunder around moon – Gene rises early – and works. I likewise! Luncheon, siesta

Rain, rain, thunder, until nearly dinner – (A none too good dinner, as Edna is out!) We read and retire early. A beautiful moonlight – with the frog symphony – in full blast.

Gene talks to me for about an hour of the Cycle – and how things go – what he is doing and what he hopes to be able to do! But, he says, “it goes well”!

Mrs. Alfred Jones has her fourth baby!

 

07.21.1935
A lovely day and warm with cool breeze.
Gene works and swims before luncheon. After luncheon he takes a siesta on my balcony where I take him his tea at 4.30. I write to Mme. Lenormand and house letters. Swim with Gene before dinner. Edna gives us a well cooked prime rib roast beef – and as desert ice cream with brandied peaches.
Gene enjoys his imported Wurzburger beer!
A lovely night millions of stars in a black velvet sky!

 

07.22.1935
Lovely day, blue sky and cool breeze. Gene rises early and works swims before luncheon. After luncheon siesta.

Cool out on balcony with N.E. breeze tea. Gene and I swim before dinner. Boll to dinner (our anniversary) give Gene 2 (so-called) “cocktail” suits – made in Paris (to his measurements) of beautiful silk – also a water proof watch (he wanted). He gives me a cheque! (Which I turn into our house-keeping account)

Gene suddenly seems “low” – and says he is “stale” in his work?!?

Pappa’s birthday – cable him “greetings” to Karlsbad.

 

07.28.1935
Grey, strange day. Gene rises late and works until lunch – and after luncheon until tea time. I rise and work in my office all morning. Typing for Gene and going over household books. After luncheon read. Gene has finished scenario of Play V “Nothing is Lost Save Honor” – He seems to feel better after his calomel.
The afternoon and night are strange with very dangerous looking black skies and thunder in the distance. But, nothing happens, thank god.

Feel a deep sense of unreality to-night – perhaps I am over-tired!

 

08.05.1935
Very hot day. Rise at 5.45 A.M. go in and wake Gene and we go for a swim! It is divine with the sun coming up over the sea. Boll breakfasts with Gene and at 7.30 they go fishing – the return at 1 P.M. dead from sun and fatigue. Gene very tired the rest of the day. I am very busy in the garden all morning. Sun very hot. We retire early. Not a breath of air – impossible to sleep or rest. Blemie and I wander about all night.

 

08.12.1935
Another hot day.
Gene up at 7.30 and works – swims before luncheon, again at 3.30 – and at 6 with me.
Ice box not functioning properly (in this heat!) men working on it!
The night sultry indoors but pleasant out on my balcony! We go there and it is so beautiful! I, for some strange reason, start to recite Baudelaire’s “The Balcony” – Gene comes over to me and sits at my feet, puts his head in my lap, and, trying to put his arms around my waist, weeps as if his heart were breaking! I am so moved, so understanding, can hardly bear it!
I soothe him, hold him to me – he becomes quiet and remains with his head in my lap.

 

08.15.1935
Sun very hot but brisk breeze. Edna returns from her holiday and is very welcome! Smitty phones that he has pompano and lobster – so we have a treat.
Wake Gene at 8 A.M. he works until 1.30 luncheon. His Pilsner, Wurzburger and Danish beer arrive! (My heart sinks, but of course, I can say nothing!?!)
We swim before dinner. Gene hears from L.S. and Phil S.

 

08.16.1935
Very warm morning. Gene up at 8 and works until luncheon (1.30). Boll phones to tell us that Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed flying in Alaska!
Gene receives a letter from Liddell hart from London telling him that T.E. (Laurence) was a great admirer of his (Gene’s) work. We were both very pleased because we admired Laurence and his work!
Type letters for Gene. After luncheon we read and fuss in the garden – tea – news – and we swim before dinner. Boll dines with us. We hear on radio a nation wide hook-up memorium service Will Rogers and Wiley post. It is very moving. I feel sorry for the lonely women left!

What is death?

 

08.17.1935
Hot in the sun. Gene up at 8 – and works until 1.30 luncheon. After luncheon siesta.

Start to reread Laurence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”

Tea – swim with Gene before dinner. Very brisk, damp wind. Rogers’ and Post’s bodies are being brought, by plane, back to their families.

 

08.21.1935
One of the most disagreeable days this summer – hot and humid. Gene rises at 8 – and works until luncheon. “Mattie” arrives to be the new housemaid. Go to Mrs. Houston for references – they are good. Go to Cloister (Hotel) and get lobster. Thunder and rain. Luncheon – try to rest – steaming – tea – news – we swim before dinner – ocean very rough – deep swells. Hurricanes in the West Indies – I hope we don’t get any!!

 

08.23.1935
Very stuffy morning. Gene sleeps late. Comes into my office re H.W.’s letter, and says I must make a reciprocal Will so he will feel secure – so that I will not be able to go out and make another will leaving things to some one else!!!! (He sounds either crazy or drunk) – as over a year ago I made a Will leaving him everything (& Cyn nothing!) I feel this is disgusting and uncalled for and showing little thanks or appreciation or even knowledge of of what I have done, and am doing for him. I have always supported myself – clothes or anything I have, doctor bills, etc. I pay a flat ½ of all our living expenses, have purchased all linen, silver, glass – and God knows what for our our home – always buying things for him – and, 1 year ago made a Will leaving him all and anything I have or would have. I did this of my own accord. What is the matter with him! If I were starving I wouldn’t accept anything from him! I support myself and, also, help to support him. I am also nurse and secretary and everything else to him. Little Mr. Weinberger must be up to some trick. What, in the name of God, is the matter with the man? No other woman even gave him a neck tie!

 

08.31.1935
Very warm in the sun. But damp N.E. wind that becomes more brisk as the day wears on. Gene rises at 8 and works intensely until 1.30 luncheon. I am very busy in my office. Rest after luncheon and then go for a swim. When I am standing in the water Gene comes over to me, puts his arms around me and says, “ For God’s sake forgive me, I must have been crazy – but Weinberger keeps hammering away at me”! We swam – and returned to the house. Tea – News – read and dine.

 

09.05.1935
At 1 A.M. the storm gets us all up. Blemie is crying! At 3 A.M. the pounding of the wind and the waves and the noise of the switching of the palms makes me dreadfully nervous! Gene and I sit downstairs and watch the barometer falling! Electricity off no lights – stove or ice box! No coffee. At 6 A.M. Boll goes to Cloister (hotel) and brings us back coffee in a thermos. My! What a joy! Gene goes to bed and sleeps until 11.30 A.M. Servants up all night. About noon the wind begins to drop. Electricity comes back on the noise subsides – poor tired palms, trees and shrubs – and us humans! By evening, the stars are out – frogs singing, gently flapping waves on the beach – we smile at each other, Blemie asleep!
C’est la vie!

 

09.10.1935
Cloudy but very warm in sun. Gene rises at 8 works and we swim before luncheon – and thunder storm and rain which lasts for house. I work all morning mostly typing. After luncheon, work in garden – trying to clean up after storm.

After dinner we red and pray for cool bracing weather.

For some reason, I feel very depressed. This home that I worked so hard upon – is a failure! (I might as well face it!) I will make another – and another and another (as I did in Europe and when we returned to the U.S.A. in 1931! None will bring peace of mind or health – we’ll just go on – and on.

 

10.29.1935
Wake early – work hard in my office. Gene up at 11 for breakfast – he writes cheques, suns himself and swims. He has withdrawn into himself – and is discontented! Mentions he is so far away from his “friends” (When I made him a beautiful home in N.Y. so he could be with his friends – after 3 or 4 months he hated it! Came down here and insisted I create a home for him here, he has a beautiful home and hates it!)
The trunks arrive. Unpack them – all afternoon putting his things aways. We send cheques to Shane for his birthday. Freeman leaves on holiday.

 

11.11.1935
A most lovely day. Rise early and call Gene at 8. He rises and breakfasts – and works (not steadily), swims and suns himself – we lunch, siesta -
Work in the garden until tea. Read – listen to the radio – dine. About 9 P.M. Gene asks me to go for a walk with him in the moonlight. He says little but hangs on to me so tight he hurts my arm! When we return he begins to talk. Tells me of his lack of interest in writing for the theatre now – when production means working with the Theatre Guild who are nothing but “Show Shop” and know nothing of “imaginative theatre” - no “pioneer spirit,” no “enthusiasm” – no desire to do a “beautiful thing”! He has slaved to break every tradition in the American theatre to settle down into a stupid entertainment which is a Broadway racket!! He has no interest in working for such an uninteresting, stupid outfit, etc. – etc. – etc. – etc!

 

11.13.1935
A lovely day. Rise early – call Gene at 8 and he works, swims and asks me to walk on the beach with him – before luncheon. After luncheons read and siesta – tea and we work in the garden until dark. Dine, read, walk on the beach with Gene – lovely moonlight night – nervous. Gene’s not smoking seems to give him quieter nerves, little or no tremor these past few days, and his appetite is better. Maybe he was suffering from a form of nicotine poisoning!

 

11.14.1935
Another lovely day. Rise early. Call Gene at 8. He breakfasts, works, swims and suns himself. I work in my office, lunch early. Gene lunches at 2 P.M. We read the papers, have tea, and work in the garden. Bath, dress and Boll to dinner. He and Gene have some of the new lot of imported beer. We play “Rummy” – Gene leans over to me and says, “If I felt any better I couldn’t stand it”!!!! The first time in 8 years I have ever heard him say such a thing or be so gay! Is it true? Is it the new beer? It sounds too good to be true!

 

11.17.1935
Cool but sunshine. Rise early and call Gene. He breakfasts and goes to his study. Then in about an hour comes downstairs and reads the papers and the mail. He can’t work! He has no vitality! He is depressed and low! I work until luncheon – I read. Gene has a siesta. Tea – we walk on the beach. Bath, dress – Boll to dinner. Good dinner and we try new Medoc (1931) – excellent – we play “Rummy” – Boll wins!

 

11.27.1935
Cool day with sunshine 60°. Rise early – call Gene at 8. Write to Draper for Gene. Letter from Shane wanting $. Gene and I take a walk before luncheon – After luncheon Gene reads the papers and works in the garden until dark. I sit in the sun and we have tea outside.
Boll to dinner and we play Rummy.
Discussion of would it be a good idea to have a place in Virginia or Maryland!!!!?? Mercy!

 

11.28.1935 Thanksgiving
Cloudy day but warmer 68°. Rise early, call Gene at 8. Busy in my office. Gene punches the bag and works in the garden before luncheon. After luncheon reads and then works in the garden until tea. Bath and dress – Gene comes in my dressing-room and says, “this is a good way to celebrate Thanksgiving, I have on my wedding tie”!

Boll to dinner – Edna out does herself! And we have Chateau Mouton-Rothschild – Delicious!

Play Rummy.

 

12.01.1935
Bad night – awake at 4.30 with violent nausea. Rise as usual and call Gene at 8. We leave at 10 with Boll in Lincoln and go to Old St. Mary’s, a really charming old village, with an amazingly peaceful old grave yard. We eat our sandwiches and coffee there and then go on to Fernandina, - with a beach not too bad in itself but the usual shacks and rubbish that do not make fore beauty!
Come home weary and well pleased in my job of home-making here!
Freeman, Edna and Hazel have colds!
Receive wire from Willie Maugham (from South Carolina) asking if he and Haxton could come for a day or two next Saturday. Wire “delighted”.

Take castor oil – ill all night!

 

12.04.1935
Another chilly day. Gene rises at 7. He works – and walks before luncheon. I am busy all morning going over yearly accounts etc. Gene works in garden after luncheon. I read – Wire from Willia saying he and Haxton will be at Hotel de Soto, Savannah, at 1 o’clock Saturday. Reply the car will pick them up there and bring them to us!
Boll to dinner with maps and descriptions of Plantations in South Carolina!
Oh, Mother of God – must I go all through moving and building again!

 

12.08.1935
Rise as usual. Gene rises at 8 A.M. and works until luncheon. I am busy in my office. Willie and Gerald rise late and walk before luncheon. After we chat and siesta – then go for a drive around the island. Tea – bath – dress – dine and much interesting conversation.

 

12.12.1935
Grey dull day. Constant rain. Gene works, exercises – and walks (in rain!) – luncheon. We read papers and mail. Recut and rewound records (Rosie’s) are returned. Gene and Freeman work all afternoon trying her out. I read Queenel’s book on Byron – What a stupid woman lady Byron was!

Am shocked over our gardening bills. We are always planting more palms, trees, shrubs, flowers for the next owner!?!?

 

12.13.1935
Coolish day. Gene works – exercises – walks – lunches reads mail – siesta – and works in garden until dark – with an interval for tea. I work in my office all morning. Nice letter from Gerald.

Ex-mayor Walker and new wife have turned up here, at the Cloister, for the Winter!

 

12.14.1935 (Sunday)
Grey and overcast – not cold, Gene oversleeps – then remains in his study all morning – then he exercises, punches the bag and we go for a walk before luncheon. (This is getting to be his new routine)
I am busy all morning wrapping up Christmas packages for all the children of the Orphanage. After luncheon Gene goes into the garden and works until dark. I fuss around with him. Receive a nice letter from Geo. Jean. He can’t come down to us for Christmas but is sending Gene a keg of Edelbrau for our fête. Gene tells me he has lost $10,000.00 on the St. Louis and South Western Railroad! What a mess it all is!
Furnace stops working again and the night is chilly!!

 

12.18.1935
Pleasant, snappy day. I work in my office all A.M. Gene has given me letters galore to type. Gene in his study all morning, exercises, punches the bag. Then he, Boll, Freeman and I open the beer barrel!
What a job! Boll stays to luncheon – then takes us to see the “Jungle” at the upper end of the island. It reminds me of Sumatra! Beautiful palms and trees – and rattle-snakes – no place for a home! And, but 2 miles from where we are! Same climate! We return home, the men go back to the beer barrel!
Gene works in the garden for a bit – bath and dress and dine. Boll stays and they have lots more beer – play Rosie and become very gay. I retire early and leave them to their fun!

 

12.24.1935 Christmas Eve!
Busy all day with the final distribution of presents. Receive telegrams and packages. Boll to dinner. After dinner give servants their presents then open ours! We have a bottle of Champagne to drink to Christmas! Boll and Gene are very gay, play Rosie, sing and dance! I notice Gene keeps going up stairs – finally I go up to see if he is ill – I find him drinking out of a bottle of whiskey!! I nearly wept. This is what I had suspected for weeks! He should never have had any beer or wine – it only leads to whiskey and whiskey leads to the usual excess – sickness and God knows what! When he sees me he laughs and goes downstairs with the bottle. He and Boll finish the night drinking.

 

12.25.1935
Doctoring Gene all day as he is feeling very sorry for himself – but we both know he should never touch alcohol in any form. His stomach, liver and nerves cannot stand it. We manage to get a short walk on the beach about noon. I write notes of thanks and am glad the fête is over!

Gene very nervous by evening – am afraid he keeps his supply in his study! Try to keep him with me, give him a warm bath, some warm milk and a sedative – stop in his rook all nights. He sleeps.

 

12.28.1935
My birthday. Another cold day. Birthday wire from pappa! Gene very nervous and depressed – it is maddening to see him like this day after day and not be able to do anything about it! The barber comes after luncheon and then we walk on the beach. Gene gives me the “working rehearsal script” of “Electra” – with a beautiful inscription in it for my birthday! Prepare for Shane’s arrival even to a late supper! but he doesn’t turn up!?

Feeling rather low!

 

12.31.1935
Cold day. N.E. wind. Gene sleeps late – rises – reads papers – walks before luncheon. We drive to Brunswick – home – tea. Gene plays the phonograph – his mood has turned to elation (which always frightens me!)

We bath – dress –Boll to dinner. Gene asks for wine with dinner – afterwards he asks for beer and is very gay. When I came to bed the music was going full blast. Am dead with fatigue – am so far behind in sleep, looking after Gene – since the Christmas Eve fracas.
Cold – rain – wind

Whither are we going darling? Which way? Try to remember you deeply I love you – and always will – no matter what!

 

MEMORANDA

(Working rehearsal copy of Trilogy) “Electra”

To Carlotta –

On this, her eight birthday since our elopement – with again, as ever, my amazed wonder at her forbearance with my blunders and weaknesses, my wondering amazement at her patience with my lost preoccupations and forgetfulnesses – and last and warmest, my heart’s and soul’s gratitude for her love, whish is this Stranger’s only home on this earth!

Your

Gene

Dec. 28, 1935