Saturday, March 16, 2013


Rosetta and her sister shared a wardrobe in the late 1920s

My sister Edna was an excellent secretary and when she left a job she always wound up with a better one. Edna and I worked just a couple of blocks away from each other in the downtown section of Chicago. The work week was five and a half days and when we were finished on Saturday afternoon, we met at a cafeteria across the street from Swartchild. We had some lunch and then went shopping in the department stores.


Rosetta is in the third row in the middle. If some of the women look "stoned" it is

 because in those days if anyone's eyes were closed, the photographer painted in the eyes--
not always with a great result!

With meager earnings, we couldn’t afford much of a wardrobe singularly, so we decided to buy our dresses together. Edna was five feet tall, and I am five foot-two. Edna was heavier than me, so what she took up in width I took up in height. 

She tried a dress on first and if it looked good on her, then I tried on the same dress. If it looked good on both of us, we split the cost. I earned all of eighteen dollars a week, and Edna earned more. I don't know how much more, but both of us contributed half of our pay to the household.

We couldn't go on wild shopping sprees, but little by little we managed to increase our wardrobe. We checked with each other in the evenings, figured out which dress each of us wanted to wear to work the next day, and that way there wasn’t any squabbling in the morning.

When Saturday evening came, we got together with our girlfriends and went dancing. We always went in a group. Since we all lived in the same area, it was safer that way. There were dances every weekend in the better hotels and the big bands sure played up a storm. We had lots of good times in those days. I guess we were pretty innocent, but we lived for those weekend dances. I became a champion Charleston dancer.

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