What Has My Grandma, Maggie, Been Doing these Last Few Days????
January 29th, 1937
This mythical date which we have bandied about for so long came and went and nothing happened. Took a walk, bought case of 88cent wine, enjoyed the sunshine and mild crispness of 39-degree day, home and read In Sweden: the Middle Way about consumers cooperatives. Just as M. came home, Fritz and Kate turned up with sweet little bassinet like a large silk-lined market basket, a pair of baby scales and a bottle sterilizer which Florence Reback is lending us. M. told them Jimmy watched little John being born, and they reacted with horror, told him he wouldn’t want to—couldn’t make out whether he secretly thought would or wouldn’t. Thanked Florence, had clam chowder, gave M. shot in arm. He said Joe Barnes now convinced Soviet Trial on up and up because Duranty is, also a Col. Hugh Cooper who has been in Russia as an engineer and said there had been evidences of sabotage which he had seen, but he had not considered possibility of its being due to conspiracy etc… Recommended article in new tabloid-sized American Mercury on Russian ideas of justice which different from ours. Dorothy Ducas called up, apparently had a hunch we would be at hospital and disappointed to find us both here. Resignedly to bed.
January 30, 1937
John Sloan, Artist Whose Work My Grandma Saw At Whitney:
Overslept and woke to drink fine coffee M. had made though he gone. Dale called. Also Binnie. During walk when to the Whitney Museum on 8th street. Looked at a couple of nice N.Y. street scenes by John Sloan the El at Sixth and 3d and a backyard, snowy with laundry and two fierce cats. Also a lovely desert scene called Western Railway imagine must have been during sand storm, and think M. would like. Also exceedingly peculiar piece called American Farm by Joe Jones of St. Louis—house and barn and windmill on top of small high cone of land and far below it bare brown corrugated rolls of earth; could only suppose this brutal picture of eroded land. Lovely water color called Snow, and one piece of sculpture I like of a very proud looking girl half lying, supported on her hands. Not keeping up with art criticisms have no idea whether these things supposed to admire or not; suspect taste probably pretty juvenile. In evening Griemes over for bridge.
And her granddaughter, Suzanne Kingsbury, in Brattleboro, Vermont, 2010?
Well due date came and went and baby decided to stay all cozy in the belly. Having baby sort of defies all this hoopla about “don’t have expectations.” Zen tells us we suffer from expectations but then we get a due date and like it or not, the day blooms like a big fat flower in the background of our minds. So no wonder Grandma and Grandpa were so restless last night (see yesterday’s post).
The little one can’t stay in there forever, though. They always come out eventually, come hell or high water or C-section. Though I don’t know how many C-sections they did back then. Unlike now when every other lady gets her belly cut lengthwise. I don’t even think they had many good drugs in 1937. So, you pretty much had to have it au natural, which his very au courant right now.
Funny how they talk about Little John’s daddy watching him being born and Fritz and Kate were all horrified by that. The daddy didn’t usually watch back then. My grandpa was a quiet man, much like my Peter, and maybe he bandied it back and forth in his mind that night, half intrigued, half nervous he’d step on something, like the doctor’s toe or say the wrong thing or faint, seeing his wife in all that pain. Today the daddies step right up to the plate. One daddy I know caught the little sweetheart in his arms. They say baby comes out looking like daddy so daddy won’t run away. It’s, you know, an animalistic thing, not that God thinks badly of men or anything.
Anyway, in lieu of no baby, Grandma did the very best thing a girl can do when things aren’t going as planned: She went and looked at art. At another person’s creation. Thank God she hadn’t read the critics. They ruin everything…
Well, until tmw everybody!!! It’s anybody’s guess when little baby will emerge out of such interesting, plucky woman’s belly!!!