Saturday, August 31, 2019

Helen Korngold Diary: August 25-31, 1919

This year I am sharing the 1919 diary of Helen Korngold of St. Louis, MO.
Helen is enjoying a summer break after graduation from Washington University before taking up teaching.

Apparently, in October Helen tried to fill in some blank days in the diary. 

Monday 25
Worked around. Wrote letters in evening.

Tuesday 26
I think I spent most of this day in Granite City.

Wednesday 27
It is late in October now & I don’t remember much of what happened this day.

Thursday 28
Suppose I cleaned & ironed

Friday 29

Saturday 30
Fooled around

Sunday 31
Had a good time.

Aug 26

Granite City in Madison County, IL is part of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. In 1906-7 a flood of 10,000 East and Central European immigrants settled there. In was the birthplace of Granitewear, granite coated tin cooking utensils that became a major U.S. industry.,_Illinois

A new source on is The Jewish Voice, published in St. Louis from 1888 to 1933, with papers available from 1888-1920.

In the social news, I learned that Helen's summer 1919 trip to Colorado Springs was to visit her uncle Joseph Frey! I have no record of his living outside of St. Louis, so he must have invited her to travel with him on vacation.

On his WWII draft card, Joseph (1884-1962) worked for the Levi Memorial Hospital as a traveling field sec. Joseph was 5'10", 185 pounds, with gray hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion. His WWI draft card showed he was a pharmacist and had black hair and eyes. He edited A Modern View, a Jewish newspaper. I do not find that he was married.

I quickly discovered articles written by Helen for the Junior Auxiliary Council of Jewish Women, articles about her father's involvement in United Hebrew Temple, her Aunt Beryl Frey's musical presentations, and poetry and articles published by her mother Eva Frey Korngold.

Our Home
Eva Korngold, St. Louis
(Sung to the air of America.)
The Jewish Voice, Nov. 11, 1915

Our temple let it be,
A home to you and me. All through, our lives.
Here let us learn to love,
And worship Him above.
Let praises fill the air Of God our King.

When sorrow fills our soul
And friends with us condole,
Oh, give us strength.
Turn not away Thy face,
But with Thy endless grace,
Help us to bear our woes,
Throughout our days.

When joy spreads far its light,
Throughout the world so bright,
Glory be Thine.
Loud let us then proclaim,
And glorify Thy name,
Let voices ring with cheer,
From far and near.

Let then our temple hold,
And gather in its fold, Those of our faith.
 And then from out our ranks,
We'll offer up our thanks,
For strength or joy that's ours,
To Him above.

You and I
By Eva Korngold
The Jewish Voice, July 21, 1916

If you would always say
Kind words the livelong day,
And I would always smile and bow
A world of friends we'd have by now. I

f you would always do
What you think good and true,
And 1 would follow close behind
A paradise on earth we'd find.

If you would thankful be
For gifts that God gave thee,
And in practice would put mine
The sun for us would always shine.

Our Moses
Eva Korngold
(Poem for Children.)
07 Apr 1916

The Pessach week is close at hand,
Which we celebrate throughout the land,
With feasts and prayers and hope and song
In the land of Zion to be ere long.

We think of Moses, the wonderful boy
Who filled our nation with so much joy;
We picture him into the water thrown,
Thank God, he was not left alone.

Sis' Miriam, with heart so good and true,
Walked back and forth the long day through,
'Till Pharaoh's offspring With maids so gay.
Came dancing along that very same way.

The golden-haired Moses in the basket they spied,
'Twas the voice of God, that through him cried,
That touched their hearts so big and fine,
To save from death this child divine.

Then Miriam with joy stepped forth to say,
That she a nurse could fetch that day.
And off she flew to bring his mother.
Who nursed the child as could no other.

To the palace in haste, the child was brought.
Where a home for him the princess sought.
The king, to please his daughter so fair
Allowed the child to stay right there.

Now he received much love and care,
Mid all that helped him well to fare,
He grew to be a man so great,
That none like him e'er lived to date.

In the ways of God he lived and walked,
Of Him so much he wrote and talked.
The fetters of the Jews he broke asunder
Great things he did to make them wonder.

When plague after plague was of no avail
It seemed as if his scheme would fail,
To lead the Jews from out the land
Where they were slaves at the king's demand.

But soon through the sea the Jews were led,
And into the desert with them he fled.
They had no time their bread to bake,
Unleavened food were glad to make.

For oven they used the sun so hot.
And all were pleased to bear their lot,
For now they felt that they were free,
As all the people on earth should be.

For years and years they lived in peace,
Until their worship of God did cease,
And now in memory of Moses' great feat,
The matzos in freedom and peace we eat.

 By Eva Korngold
The Jewish Voice, June 2, 1916

Like angels that are pure and heavenly
The messengers and servants of our God;
Like sun and moon and stars and all that's bright,
The wonder works that give our world delight;
Like budding trees and flowers of early Spring
That bid fair promise to blossom and to bloom
Just so pure, so radiant and full of hope.
This day with joy that words can never paint.
We see upon the altar of God and man
Our little children ready to embrace
The faith that stands for love, for truth, for hope;
They pledge the Ten Commandments to obey,
The laws that rule and govern all the world
Which on this day the Lord our God gave us.
The duties of the Jew toward God and man
Has been religiously on them impressed,
And when the holy blessings are pronounced
On heads that low before our Father, bow,
May the voice of Him be heard to say Amen.

June 9, 1916

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah

"This is how we carried out of Africa the poor broken body of Bwana Duadi, the Doctor, David Livingstone, so that he could be borne across the sear and buried in his own land."~ from Out of Darkness, Shining Light (Being a Faithful Account of the Final Years and Earthly Days of Doctor David Livingstone and His Last Journey form the interior to the Coast of Africa, as Narrated by His African Companions, in Three Volumes) by Petina Gappah
Truth is often stranger than fiction, for who would imagine that the body of Doctor David Livingstone would be carried 1000 miles across Africa, under threat of dangers including kidnapping into slavery, so he could be shipped back to England and rest in his native land? It seems the stuff of legend. But it happened in 1873. Petina Gappah spent ten years researching this journey, then imagining the forgotten people whose dedication to the Doctor spurred their journey.

I had hoped for a great adventure story and found a journey that vividly recreates late 19th c Africa with its clash of cultures, religions, and power. It is filled with unforgettable characters, culminates in an explosive late revelation, and brings to light the impact of colonization.

The Doctor's missionary zeal abated while his anti-slavery zeal and respect for the Africans grew. He became obsessed with discovering the source of the Nile, believing its discovery would bring him the status and power to advance his ideals. When Stanley found the missing Livingstone he was already ill but would not return to civilization. The mixed group he had gathered, Africans, Muslims, manumitted slaves, and mission-trained Christian blacks, were left with the responsibility for his remains. They buried his heart and organs, dried his body, and proceeded to walk 279 days to Zanzibar.

Gappah tells the story in two voices. The appealing Halima was documented as Livingstone's cook, bought from slavery and freed by him. Halina's mother was a concubine in the house of a servant of the Sultan. Halima was a bondswoman passed from man to man. She dreams of the house Livingstone promised her. Then there is Jacob Wainwright, bought from slavery and sent to the mission school, a devote Christian who quotes The Pilgrim's Progress. Jacob's tale is stilted in language and filled with religious concerns, he is dislikeable and arrogant. He struggles with his passions and questions of faith. And yet, this faithful, educated, ambitious man's hopes are dashed because of his color and ethnicity.

The journey is rife with conflict and even death as the men vie for power and control and importance--and women. They face enemies and famine. They see hopeless villages devoid of their youth by the slavers. And everywhere, dry bones tied to trees, kidnapped Africans left by the slavers to die. Instead of welcome and assistance, the Europeans confiscate essentials.

"...this was no longer just the last journey of the Doctor, but our journey too. I was no longer just about the Doctor, about the wrongs and rights of bearing him home, or burying him here or buying him there, but about all that we had endured. It was about our fallen comrades." ~from Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah
How did this one man, this Doctor Livingstone, manage to inspire such loyalty? He was beloved because of his acceptance and respect for those he met, his understanding of human nature, his commitment to ending slavery--liberal Christian values out-of-sync with his time.
"But out of that great and troubling darkness came shining light. Our sacrifice burnished the glory of his life." ~from Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah
I was given access to a free egalley by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Out of Darkness, Shining Light
by Petina Gappah
Publication: September 10, 2019
$27 hardcover
ISBN13: 9781982110338

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Beyond Charm Quilts Show and Tell

My weekly quilt group is filled with talent and their work is inspirational. A new member is Tammy L. Porath who we discovered published a book, Beyond Charm Quilts, along with Catherine L. McIntee. I found a copy for sale online.

Tammy explained that she and Catherine decided to make quilts using every fabric in a 100 count 5" charm pack from Jinny Beyer's fabric line. They had so much fun they continued to use the same 5" charm pack to make more quilts. As the project grew and the leftover charm fabrics became smaller. Every scrap was used!

The result was 36 quilts and a book contract from That Patchwork Place!

Tammy with her quilt Cut Your Losses, 10 1/2 x 26 inches. 
Tammy brought in her quilts to share with our group. The quilts varied in size and pattern, many drafted by Tammy to accommodate her 100 scraps. Each is immaculate in construction and design.

The first quilt Tammy made she gave to Catherine, who then made this spools quilt to give to Tammy.

The quilt measures at 20 1/2 x 24 inches and uses a folded technique to create the spool top and bottom, a technique explained in their book.

Tammy's second quilt in the series was Fanatic, 22 1/2 x 38 inches.
Tammy's Grandmother's Choice is a traditional quilt pattern.
Tammy with her Grandmother's Choice, 23 1/2 x 27 inches. 
Tammy stenciled the tree for her quilt The Tree of 100 Blossoms, below. She turned rectangle scraps into yo-yos and appliqued and beaded them to this 27 x 26 1/2 inch quilt.
Tammy's quilt Snapdragons, 27 x 37 1/2", used the charms in the flowers and in the border with it's folded buds.
Starlet, below, is a 14 1/2 " diameter round quilt, drafted by Tammy to accommodate all the 100 charms.
To the right of Starlet is Fusion, 10 x 11 1/2 inches. The fused charm pieces were stabilized with an organza overlay, lending a misty look.

Tammy's personal favorite is Facets, 13 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches. She used the 100 leftover half-square triangle pieces left from making another quilt. The border is remarkable--eight hand-dyed gradated gray fabrics meticulously pieced!
Southpaw, below left, 15 x 17 1/2 inches, has fifty blocks with two charm pieces each. Time for Everything, below right, 12 3/4 x 14 inches, sets the charms in hand-dyed pastels and has a fabulous madras plaid border.
 The Chinese Coins, 10 1/4 x 15 1/2 inches, was made with the tiniest scraps!
 Diamonds are Forever, 23 x 44 inches, includes tiny fused scarps.
The snake below uses tiny scraps but as it was not a quilt (three layers sewn together) it is included in the 'mistakes' page of the book.
Everyone loves Tammy's Cuckoo Clock, 26 1/2 x 34 inches, with its paper pieced birds. Tammy printed out the clock face and used Pigma pens to trace the design onto her fabric. The carved detail on the clock was created by fussy cutting a fabric.

The quilts will be given to her family members. Tammy says its time they came out from under the bed!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Cold Warriors: Writers Who Waged the Literary Cold Wary by Duncan White

Duncan White's Cold Warriors is an engrossing history of the writers who wielded their pen for political ends and how their governments promoted or silenced them during the Cold War. 

The war was a conflict of ideas and books were used as weapons to attack political ideologies by writers on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Some authors were spies while others unknowingly worked for CIA-funded publications. Writers resistant to government policy and programs were silenced, punished, imprisoned or killed. 

Dense with information, the book has the impetus of a thriller filled with shocking twists and multilayered characters. The story begins with the Spanish Civil War and the disenchantment of George Orwell, spurring him to write his greatest novels. White follows the Cold Was to the end of the Berlin Wall, Glasnost, and the Prague Spring with stories like that of the Czech playwright Vaclav Havel who was found guilty of subversion and imprisoned yet became president.

I grew up seeing these writer's names on the bookshelves at the stores where I spent my allowance on paperbacks. I had no idea of their political stance or that some were spies!
  • George Orwell, whose Animal Farm I bought and read as a teen 
  • Arthur Koestler, whose Darkness at Noon I had erringly thought was a science fiction book 
  • Boris Pasternak, whose Dr. Zhivago I read after seeing the movie
  •  Alexander Solzhenitsyn's books were published when I was a young adult and at one time I owned all his books in hardcover 
  • Graham Greene I thought was a Catholic Writer.
  • Mary McCarthy's The Group was a best seller
  •  Stephen Spender, who signed my copy of his book of selected poems at a poetry reading
  • John le Carre, pen name of David Cornwall, an M16 spy whose fictionalized spy-talk became adopted in real life
  • Andrei Sinyavsky
  • Richard Wright
  • Ernest Hemingway 
  • Gioconda Belli
  • Vaclav Havel,
  • Joan Didion
  • Isaac Babel
  • Howard Fast
  • Lillian Hellman 
  • Mikhail Sholokhov
Duncan concludes that the battle between Communism and Capitalism has morphed into a war between forms of democracy and authoritarianism and populist nationalism. 

Today's writers still resist and condemn and create bring visions of the kind of country and world we must become to flourish and, very possibly, to survive. One lesson I learned from this book is that regardless of how I personally feel about a writer's ideas, the rights of freedom of speech and a free press is precious and integral to the preservation of a free society.
quilt by Nancy A. Bekofske

I was given access to a free egalley by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Cold Warriors
by Duncan White
Custom House
On Sale: 08/27/2019
List Price: 32.50 USD
ISBN: 9780062449818
ISBN 10: 0062449818

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Educated by Tara Westover

My library book club's August read was Tara Westover's best-selling, critically acclaimed memoir Educated.

Westover's life makes for page-turning reading, but the abuses she suffered in the hands of her family actually gave me nightmares. Her mentally ill father's paranoid beliefs ruled the family. As Mormons, her mother submitted to her husband's authority. The parents would not send their children to public school and were inept at homeschooling, so the kids educated themselves. It was lucky they even survived as the father also feared the medical establishment and even the most horrendous of accidents were self-treated.

Westover can write and she gave her life story a narrative arc, but I was not glad to have read this book. I was upset by what most of us would consider the mistreatment of the children. I wondered if Westover's story would be held as an example of how anyone can pull themselves up from ignorance and poverty to become a best-selling novelist with a Ph.D.,  justifying blame on those who are mired in poverty and dead-end lives. As a mother who homeschooled our son from seventh grade through high school graduation, with a rigorous and thoughtful education plan, I didn't care for the Westover's dad using his daughter's success as a vindication of his non-schooling homeschooling.

What I did admire was Westover's honest portrayal of her struggle to grow and find her own life without losing her family and how the family dynamics kept her tethered to her past. It is hard enough to leave one's faith community and family in our self-actualization journey. Westover's constricted, narrow, world and her father's radical Mormonism was all she knew and it was hard to assimilate into mainstream Mormonism. Friends, boyfriends, professors, and finally mental health counseling supported Westover on her journey. Her success was rooted in her native intelligence and desire to learn, but she was helped by many along the way.

Our book club had a terrific discussion that could have gone on past our designated hour. The book engaged us on an emotional level, some repulsed, some found it reflected experiences in their own lives, and some thought Westover's story was one of hope and success.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Helen Korngold Diary, August 18-24, 1919

Helen Korngold, Dec. 1919, New York City
This year I am sharing the 1919 dairy of Helen Korngold of St. Louis. Helen is relaxing in her last weeks before beginning her teaching career.

Monday 18

Tuesday 19
Worked. Picture show with family.

Wednesday 20
Worked. Fashion show with Spiro’s Sam Pasternak & Karol & Lorine

Thursday 21
Cleaned. Highlands Swimming Party.

Friday 22
Cleaned up. Temple. Florence’s birthday

Saturday 23
Downtown. Riding with Al Fitterman – he’s quite nice.

Sunday 24
Dinner for Irl & Rebecca


Aug 19
Which movie did Helen see?

Aug 20

Sam Pasternak born Sept 21, 1898, to Ida (1876 – 1961) and Henry Pasternak (1873 to 1946). He died in 1998. Sam and his family are buried at B’nai Amoona in University City, St. Louis, MO. A Henry Pasternak appears in the St. Louis City Directory as a traveling salesman in 1916 and 1917.

Lorine Korngold, Helen’s sister

Aug 22

Birthday of Florence Korngold

Aug 23

Several possible people appear in the census. Al Fitterman appears in the 1920 St. Louis City Directory working as a press feeder. Another Albert Fitterman shows up on the 1917 St. Louis City Directory as “Pres. 1917 O’Fallon.” An O’Fallon estate shows as the place of work for Clarence O’Fallon, president of O’Fallon Estate. An O’Fallon Real Estate exists today.

Aug 24

Helen’s cousin Irl Rosenblum was the son of Jennie Frey, daughter of David and Sophia Frey. Irl was a music teacher. He married Rebecca Hochman and they had a daughter Rita and son Irl (1895-1956) who became an attorney. Irl Jr.’s WWI Draft Registration shows he was born March 25, 1895, and was tall with a medium build, and had brown eyes and light brown hair.

In the news:
August 17, 1919, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 19, 1919 ad St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Mini-reviews: By the Book and The Man Who Planted Trees

For my birthday my brother gifted me two wonderful Charlie Harper coloring books and The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono and illustrated with wood engravings by Michael McCurdy.

The Man Who Planted Trees is a short story about a man walking through a parched and barren land who finds refuge with a shepherd. Every day the shepherd took a hundred acorns and planted them during the day.
The valley without trees was barren
Over the years, the wanderer returned to this valley and observed the changes.

Giono's fable of how one man changed the face of the countryside is especially relevant today when articles tell us that by planting trees we can help alleviate the consequences of climate change.
The thriving valley reforested
I read By the Book by Julia Sonneborn just for fun. My husband read it through Bookish First and I read his copy.
Sonneborn's novel is a pastiche of Jane Austen themes and scenes and it was fun recognizing the sources. The main character Anne is a college professor struggling to get her book published in time to retain her job. Her college flame Adam Martinez shows up as the new college president. Is there any heat left? Meantime, renowned writer Rick becomes Anne's boyfriend, but he has a past she is unaware of. When he disses Austen as writing "old-fashioned chick lit" you know he is a loser!

By the Book is a romantic comedy that is a fast and fun read. There is a nod to contemporary issues with Adam's mother being an undocumented immigrant. A crisis revolves around plagiarism. Anne's best friend Larry falls for Jack, an actor suddenly propelled into fame from his role in a blockbuster film, Jane Vampire, based on Jane Eyre. Jack is in a sham marriage for appearances; will he break Larry's heart?

It's a great summer read for 19th c fiction fans.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Late Summer in Michigan, Quilts, and Books

My 1857 Album quilt is finally complete! In 2016 Gay Bomers of Sentimental Stitches shared her patterns based on a historical quilt. I finished the top in 2017. A few months ago I took the top to a local machine quilter, Maggie Smith. She did a wonderful job!
I bought the green, red, and orange fabrics online. I found they frayed too easily for applique. That will teach me to buy online! Applique requires a tight weave.
The one things I would recommend is to wait until the top is done before adding the corner petal units. Mine came out wonky. I should have removed them and restitched them. But I didn't. Because I am complacent and lazy, lol.
 I substituted some of the original patterns and made up my own, like adding the printed portraits of 1957 presidents.

I made a Halloween table runner. I created the applique in the center based on the print. 

After a long stretch of 90+ degree heat it cooled down a bit and two weeks ago we went to the Stage Nature Center in Troy, MI for our walk. 

The Rouge River flows through the park.
The meadow flowers were blooming.

 The last time we visited we saw close to 20 deer, but this day we only saw one.

Our Rutgers tomatoes and apple trees are coming into peak season!

After my brother returned from backpack hiking into the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan he invited us to his place for a corn roast and for my birthday presents--Charlie Harper coloring books and The Man Who Planted Trees with woodcut illustrations.

Two weeks ago on my Sunday walk I came across a neighbor's garage sale and picked up a book by Pat Cox.
 I am quite charmed by Millie's Quilt.
 What a great scrap quilt this would be!
 Also pictured is this Single Wedding Ring quilt circa 1915.

I caught my interest because I have an heirloom quilt from my husband's great-great-grandmother that is a Turkey red and white Single Wedding Ring and I had thought it dated about 1915.

Harriet is pictured below on the left with her mother Margaret Scovil Nelson and holding her daughter Grace.
We went on a trip to Port Huron, Michigan. We donated Harriet's New Testament to the Port Huron Historical Museum for a long-term loan. The book is said to have belonged to John Riley, an Objibway chief, and son of an early Michigan trader. Riley was a translator for The Treaty of Saginaw. He and his brothers James and Philip are mentioned in history books with Louis Cass, fighting for the Americans.

I just hung this handkerchief quilt wall hanging which I made some years back. The Japanese contemporary handkerchief is beautiful! I added three borders extending the motifs.

I was recently contacted by a man who saw my review of Simply Austen. He noted I had studied with Prof. Toby Olshin at Temple and was excited to find someone else who remembered and revered her.
As if I didn't have enough books to read...I jumped on the bandwagon to join The Goldfinch readathon sponsored by Little, Brown on social media. It was on my TBR shelf and it was a good excuse to pick it up. I am so glad, too--it's wonderful!
The Goldfinch 
Our local library is having a book sale. I picked up some vintage books.
 The Sunbonnet Babies are adorable.
 I can't resist this pattern with the baby reading a book.

 A cat lover has joined our family. Perhaps these patterns will be of interest to her.

I love Rumor Godden's fiction and memoirs about living in India. She also wrote books for children, like The Mousewife.

What have you been doing this summer?