Eight score and ten years ago - today - our forefathers brought forth ... a new nation, conceived in liberty. How dearly some of our forefathers paid for that liberty! How dearly some of our boys - thousands of them - and their grieving loved ones - have paid to hold fast that liberty! Are we keeping faith with them? If this column means anything to you, won't you pause here, and ask yourself, "How can I help correct the post-war evils - the injustices to our veterans, who gave up so much, and are requited with a dirty deal?" Ask yourself, then act upon it. Remember what I wrote you last time? Act upon every noble impulse. You will be amazed at the new sense of power within you.
... Now it is eight days later. In the interim I received a card from Mr. Walker, explaining that something went wrong with the typesetter, and my column had to be shelved for a week. I was really grateful for a week's vacation. I will tell you why. I have a job! Perhaps this particular job is my reason for being so enthusiastic about acting upon an impulse. It took all the courage I possess to make the first move. And it takes quite a bit right now to tell you about it - for fear you won't approve of my "position." It all started with our old car. We had to buy four new tires for the thing. The first two re-caps blew up in three weeks' time. So Virgil bought two brand-new tires - and had to cash a $50 war bond to do it. That set off my "impulse." I looked through the want ads. I had a particular reason for looking through the section that I did - which I will tell you later. 'WANTED - A COOK in a private home - $25 a week." Fairly gulping with nervousness I called, and made an appointment. I carried no references. How could I? On the way I thought of a few good friends who might testify to my cloverleaf rolls. But all I carried with me was my nerve - riding on brand-new tires. We - my nerve and I - arrived at this lovely home by the shores of Lake Erie, and were met by a tiny woman, who wears a size 9 dress. We were frank with each other. She had had a sort of breakdown - not nerves, thank goodness - but physical collapse. She has a splendid woman, who comes twice a week, to do the laundry and cleaning. Mrs. E., with the help of her two youngest sons, takes care of the second floor. My job is the cooking, plus dish-washing and keeping the downstairs tidy.
At the interview I told Mrs. E. that I must consult my husband before making a decision. Right away she said he might live here, too. I am certainly grateful that my husband lets me do the things I want to do - and defies public opinion. We have a lovely airy little suite on the third floor (two rooms and bath), radio, electric fan, typewriter, etc. We could search the city over, and not find a family any nicer than the E's. They have four lovely boys - all at home now: Bob, an ex-captain in the infantry, handsome, charmingly boyish, with a physique and the swimming ability of Johnny Weismuller; Eugene (better known as Gene), 18, slight of build, quiet, studious, brilliant, devoted to his little mother, just as nice in his way as the debonair Bob. Bill is 16, brown and lithe as an Indian. He is the carpenter, the fixer-upper of the family. He built a wonderful racer for the annual soap-box derby, and then John, the 14-year-old (better known as Skippy) ran into it with the family car about two days before the derby. Bill is a stoic, but his mother knew his heart was broken. Skippy is in a class by himself. He is such a lovable little rascal that he eases himself out of every scrape. Extremely sociable and witty, he has a host of friends - of both sexes. In fact, I feel like a private secretary, taking his phone calls. A sweet piping voice "Tell Skippy it's someone who thinks a lot of him." "Please tell Skippy to call Maureen when he gets home." And where is Skippy these hot days? Out on the golf course, caddying. The first day he dragged a flapping sole over 17 holes, he said. The next day he wore his father's old shoes. Both days he came home with his tongue fairly hanging out. But he has what it takes. He pulls his short, aching body out of bed at 6:30 a.m., eats breakfast, has me pack him seven sandwiches - and he is off. Home at sundown, he is almost too weary to eat. But soon he is on the library divan, shoeless feet propped high, regaling his family with the exploits and the catastrophes of the day.
As an example of his persiflage, he guessed the identity of a special (and immaculate) chum who sneaked up behind him with the age-old blindfold, "Well, it smells like Bill." This lovely home is only 200 yards away from a private beach, where a few lucky families have their own club-house, caretaker, baseball field, swings and slides for the kiddies, outdoor grills, shade for fine picnic tables - and a perfect beach. The E. family have lived here for over ten years, and the boys have grown up in the water. All are expert swimmers. On hot days we cook our supper down at the beach - with Mr. E. as first cook. He is a royal host. On Sunday mornings he is the cook, with all the boys as fire-builders and general helpers. That breakfast or dinner down at the beach is my idea of earthly paradise. Sometimes I feel guilty to accept that money for having so much fun. Then I do penance by cleaning ash trays. The boys go for home-baked things and I love to bake - especially with a fine electric mixer. They treat Virgil, Charlie and me exactly as members of the family. Bob and our Tommy took a shine to each other. So Tommy and Estelle have a standing invitation to come to this beach. Do you wonder that I love it here? I get to drive the brand-new station wagon to the market, with Bill or Skippy to carry the groceries - and I pretend that the beautiful station wagon is mine. Since Mr. E. is part owner in two Ford agencies, he has the finest and best in Ford cars - three of them. But is still a wholesome country boy at heart - and Virgil and I hold him and his dear little wife in high esteem.
The column is running away with me this week-end. Reluctantly I must close.
A hot but contented cook,
Florence B. Taylor.
20100 Edgecliff Blvd.,
P.S. It's Sunday now and 92 in the shade.
Next - 8/8/46 - Mr. E's Special Car
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