Breakfast With Trotsky

January 24th, 1937, Saint Mark’s Place, Manhattan, Maggie’s diary continues:

Trotsky at his finest:

Read Bitter Victory, war novel translated from the French and fair enough, for a while after breakfast, then out to walk down Second Avenue and across Houston Street and up through Washington Square in fine but persistent mizzle.  Home drenched and listened to Igor Stravinsky conducting own Sacred du Printemps and Firebird on radio, read some more, had fire in fireplace and popped corn.  Katherine called yesterday saying off for Coast for three weeks.  Letter from Margaret Cole Jolly saying they’re building a house.

After dinner Talleys in for bridge. Alma sepulchrally asking if I wasn’t scared to death at prospect of giving birth.  All avid for news of great flood on Ohio which is inundating Louisville and Cincinatti and the fire in Cincinatti where gas drums exploded, setting the river and about four miles of business section ablaze.  M. pleased it’s so bad as he’d urged Wilcox to send reporter out to which had been done.  Belly felt very heavy but otherwise fine.  Much intrigued by story in paper about key Soviet men on trial in Moscow who confessed to a plot to sabotage government on orders from Trotsky who they said they were in league with. Trotsky in Mexico at Diego Rivera’s and denies all.  I had just said at breakfast, I would rather meet Trotsky than anyone else now alive.

And her granddaughter in Brattleboro, Vermont, 2010?

I love the word “mizzle” although I am almost 100% positive it’s not a word.  Sepulchrally not an adverb, either. But now I know it should be. What was Alma thinking: Of course you never ever ask a pregnant woman if she is scared to death to give birth.  The answer is always always yes and no one wants to say it out loud. Shame on Alma, for Christ’s sakes.  Other than that, what a cozy entry!!

Those were the days you listened to the radio and popped corn in the fireplace when it mizzled out.  Those were the days when the landlord let you build a fire in your fireplace on Saint Mark’s place.  And those were the days of Trotsky.  The dog!  Staying at Diego Rivera’s house and having an affair with Diego’s wife, Frida.  I don’t blame her of course, who wouldn’t have an affair with him?

A little crosseyed in this picture but otherwise quite delightful.  Though this picture is from his school days.  Right now, in Grandma Maggie time, Trotsky is 47, and in just three short years, a member of Stalin’s secret police will drive an ice pick into his skull in Mexico.

Besides her breakfast with Trotsky, my grandma is also thinking about her belly being very heavy. Her due date is fast approaching. Whether she will be early or late, who knows???  But I am now collecting guest bloggers to tell us about their grandmas because Maggie will soon (bets are welcome) be leaving us to go the hospital to bring forth a little one. Back then you could smoke in hospitals and take little nips of whiskey if you liked and they kept you in there for weeks and weeks, resting luxuriously and getting used to the child, who was taken to the nursery when he screamed bloody murder.  Aaah, those were the days…  Until tmw everybody!

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One Response to “Breakfast With Trotsky”

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