Woke late – Newcomb already off to have lunch with Elizabeth. The house for the most part pretty cleaned up. Spoke with a few people over the phone. Newcomb back about three. Looked at the tail end of a Dodger Giant game. He went drag footing out to see Mary about four or so. Millie had called earlier. Paul had his film and I got to see some of it. Newcomb called from Mary’s and I drove out. Mary in so-so shape. We went to a dreary little restaurant called Picolos but the time passed bearably at least. Newcomb + I left at 7:15 – all pleading great fatigue. We drove back here + then got in his car + went to Olvera St. Bought presents for Anne and the two little girls and a newspaper for Larry with the headlines “Larry Cleveland Marries. 74 girls commit suicide.” We had two drinks at La Golondrina + chatted + watched the floor show. Got back around 10:30. Newcomb suggested a night cap and we ended up talking until 4:30 or 5:00 am. We talked of Mother + Daddy and all of us. I showed Newcomb the various letters regarding the divorce. His reaction was the same as mine. I learned that Colby had told Newcomb Mother had written a letter to Jim saying “I hate you, I hate you.” + that it was found in her (Mother’s desk.) As I was there + had seen the letter I was able to tell Newcomb that it said no such thing at all – that it was just a very motherish suggestion that he spend a little more time with his family. But it’s spooky that Colby could so distort something. I really think she’s getting loonier than everyone else put together. [crossed out letters] Newcomb talked of his admiration for Jimmy + early attempts to emulate him + what a disillusion he’d been to him. I realized as we talked how little I expect from any of the siblings + how fortunate my early separation from them was for me. Newcomb is the only one I ever was at all involved with really. And now Newcomb is the one I love best and feel closest to although [crossed out letters] our lives are so different. We talked of so many things – left 3 wake up calls.
Well – awakened by call from Bess at 8 o’clock – Poor dear. Told her I’d gone to bed at 3:30 + we decided to postpone the steam til next week. Had breakfast with Rita + called Mrs. Wallich to say I’d come by at 12:30. Went to rehearsal at 10:00. Extremely good one from my point of view but I felt sorry for Benito when Joe said to him “you have a problem many actors have. You work moment by moment without a feeling of the total flow of the scene + the character. As that’s how we’ve been being directed for the last 3 weeks – it’s hardly surprising!! I went to Mrs. Wallichs and got my clothes – then to the Safeway to get cleaning things + some odds + ends + cash a check. Was back a little after one. Mary called – she’d gotten a 15 page letter from Colby which was strange in the extreme. I’ve now come to the conclusion that of all of us Colby has been the most adversely affected psychologically + emotionally by Mother’s death. I miss Mother physically but emotionally I don’t feel she’s gone at all. She remains a comfort and support. Colby talked about how she [crossed out word] had been held responsible for the behavior of her four youngest brothers + sisters – what crap. And repeated again that she couldn’t bear any more out pourings of woe etc. [crossed out letters] Well she’s not getting them. Also talked about her writing for a living!!! Last summer she told me she hadn’t written a poem in 3 years. Poor mixed-up old Colby. It must be menopause. I refuse to let her get to me anymore. I spent the afternoon cleaning Rita’s apartment thoroughly- vacuuming, washing dusting etc. Rita had a very poor day. We called Doug + left a message as he was in San Diego seeing Greg. He called around six. Oh God bless Doug. We have an appointment with him at 10 o’clock. We had (I had) a scare with a lizard that Rainbow brought in. Rita vomited in the early evening. Paul pretty unbearable. Mary Parker who told me a little wistfully that she was daily made to seem like an insensitive [crossed out word] lump. I had dinner with Mary + Paul + quite a few drinks + went to bed at 11 o’clock. Had decided to stay up rather than take a nap as I knew it would throw me off completely.
Slept late – about eleven – Rita not well at all today – her right side giving her alot of pain and she stayed in the house – mostly in bed. It was the first day she’d felt so bad and she was scared. We called Doug and got a Rx for Darvon. I went to the [crossed out word] Safeway + cashed a check – then to Organicville and to the Thrifty Drug. We had beets + mushrooms + raw carrots. Had planned to meet Nathalie Boardman at the SRF restaurant but Rita didn’t feel up to it although she did want to see her + did want to get out. We called her + then drove up to her place on N. Ivar, taking Humbug. Nice woman + we had a pleasant visit. Hummy nearly peed on her upholstered footstool but the calamity was averted. Stopped at the store and got some lean meat + cottage cheese. Came home + fixed dinner. Made up my mind to go to Tijuana with Rita – she said she’d feel alot better about it if I did. She went to bed about eleven and I went + had a couple of beers with Mary + Paul who said they’d take care of Humbug. He, I think has a girl friend as he kept whining to get out. I stubbed my toe in the dark getting up to let him out + think I’ve broken it. I finally slipped him a tranquillizer + he drifted off to sleep.
Read a two-scene one-act by Rita – “Prince Hilaire’s Vacation. Interesting from every point of view but especially the personal one of her attitudes – God I’m grateful to Bob Iverson – he’s been such a help + Rita’s helped me to see it too. She’s said over + over – “If only [crossed out word] I’d had someone to talk to it would have been so much better.” I have so much to be grateful for.
Another letter from Colby – Special Delivery saying how if I could have “postponed this til April” She could have flown out (if invited) How incredible!!! Also that “we’re all dreading Daddy’s reaction.” Dear Daddy’s alot more able to understand things than old Coco.
Went to Contour – Came home + slept. The lethargy is on me. Waking is too depressing. Bought ham + cauliflower – Went shopping with Paul – fixed really nice dinner. Read Jimmy Durante’s own book “Night clubs” – Daddy called while I was out + I called back. Thought he might have gotten my letter already but he hadn’t. He [crossed out letter] + Co were on two phones. He kept repeating about my not writing and sending the Mss. notes etc. Was a little crocked + I got more + more depressed. I kept saying that I’d written an explanation which he’d get tomorrow. Colby caught on + I guess she’ll prepare him although [crossed out letter] what she’ll say I don’t know. I was in tears (as always these days) when the call was over. Dinner was good + Peter was pleasant + the whole damn thing seems so unreal + so unnecessary. Went upstairs afterward to read Paul’s play while he strung beads. Mary was off in Venice batiquing. I came down for cigarettes at one point in the evening + Peter had gone to bed + I had the strangest wave of love for him I would have given anything in the world not to go back upstairs but I did. I drank wine while Paul smoked pot – bizarre evening. Mary home about 1 o’clock – the play Paul’s in is not too good I’m afraid + yet it does have its points.
Was up early – Wrote Mike Ritchie. Peter off at 8:30 today. His back not bothering him almost at all. I took my shrimp colored knit sweater to the re-weavers. I just cant bear to let that suit go. Went + bought some stain for my bookcase. Stained it + the color was all wrong. Sad mail. Letter from Annie. Rita has 4-5 years at the outside. Has an advanced lymphosarcoma. They gave her at the beginning 1-2 years but with radiation treatments they think they’ve been able to prolong it. Annie suggested we invite her for a visit. Letter from Colby. Rex hasn’t come back + they’re sure he’s dead. Anth was given credit for his English but got a D in it. Co thinks he won’t last in Riverdale [crossed out word] after this year. I felt extremely depressed this afternoon. It seems to me that the death rate among my close friends + contemporaries is unnaturally high. I went + bought another kind of stain + groceries. Fixed eggplant casserole and cod fillets baked with onions + peppers + sour cream. Peter home at 7:00. I asked him to get some white wine + he did. We had 2 glasses a piece with dinner. I must say I thought it a good thing. A little wine with a good dinner is civilized + doesn’t constitute “Booze” – Jim Parker came by with a really beautiful 1949 station wagon that he bought for $75.00. I re-stained the bookcase. Bob Ivorson called this afternoon (I’d called him at one) + I’m going to see him Friday at 4 out at the Palisades. I went to bed early – about 10 o’clock.
Day of quite awful hangover – helped by another heavenly day – sharp, clear beautiful. In the morning went over to see the Condicts- not there. Saw Eleanor Cochran + went to Hilary’s. Daddy took Hil + me t o the Edgewood for lunch. Then Hilary + I went over + watered the little pine tree on Mother’s grave + visited “Uncle George” – brief and pretty grotesque. Mrs. Colby his housekeeper props him up like a dummy. His mind is clear as ever but it’s all a little macabre. Back to the house. Hilary wired flowers to Mary from all of us for her birthday + for her party. Lincoln came over in the afternoon and we looked over some of Jimmy’s coins. Some very valuable ones actually. Fun. I gave Linc the two coin books. Daddy + I went over to putt with Mr. Best + his sister Mrs Bryant they won $1.40 from us. Then to Barn View for a drink. Got back to the homestead to find Mary had called. Ethel said (to me) that she was crying because Mother wasn’t here to telephone her. I don’t blame her + feel the same way but Daddy wanted me to listen in when he called her back + I got rather annoyed at her weeping + telling Daddy how it hit her that she wasn’t going to get a call from Mother. She’d be able to bear the grief a little better if she thought of Daddy. She sounded all keyed up + kept calling Daddy “lover” + “sweetheart” etc. Oh Ugh. After dinner we called Co + Russell + Colby said she’d had a “great” telephone call from Mary + she thinks Mary is going to be just fine. So there one is. Cotton + Hil came over very briefly around 9 o’clock. Went over the safe with Hil. Everything has to be left til the appraisers look it all over. Bed at ten o’clock. Exhausted. But read a really good mystery until I finished it at one o’clock. “Blind girls Bluff” –
Busy day – up fairly early. Gave notepaper to John Moore for Lillian + to Mrs. Merrill. Had left stack for Ethel in kitchen. Called Louis Auchenchloss + made changes in my will. Left Peter 50,000 instead of 25,000. Called Bill Bauhan in Peterborough + he just might be interested in doing something about my book. I mailed it to him instantly. Hilary over + we went through the rest of Mother’s office. I took some playing cards down to Mrs. London + to Vinita Gay. Got my bill from Pinecraft – whole thing only $80.50. Paid it. Got boxes from College Sportshop. Came home + had lunch. Then packed boxes for me, Marilou + Anne Cleveland. Called Anne. Nice chat. Took small box of things over to Colby. Saw Jay + Anne Rhodebeck. Goodbye. Came back + finally really started on Daddy’s book. Read about 20 pages. Anthony over late. Five o’clock. Worked for an hour. Then Hilary came for a drink. Later Colby. We ate about 7 o’clock. After dinner I typed up a report on Call of the Wild for Anthony. Also typed Bell for Adano + the character lists we’d done yesterday + today. Think they should cover his test. Feel fairly sure he knows those two books at least. Took them to Alaria + told him if he got B’s + C’s this year I’d treat him to a trip to L.A. Came back + went to see Ed + Judy. Took a six pack of beer + drank it all. Bought 5 shares of Biotronics which I meant to do since last time I was there. Got quite drunk + came back at 3 a.m. Bed.
Up pretty early – Ethel not in. Called Walt Chadwick found there are no cemetary rules and called Colby who was going to put a little pine from Alaria by Mother’s grave. Tried Aunt Dorrie again without luck. Phone still out of order. So I sat down + wrote her + then wrote Miss Rath to thank her. Suddenly occurred to me that of course I should write Aunt Hope too. I wrote a rather dumb letter to Bill Loeb + sent him a sampling of Harold’s columns. I made a list of questions for Anthony on “A Bell for Adano” and then finally started in on Daddy’s book. Only read about 10 pages in all, taking notes when Anthony arrived. Ethel back about 2 pm. Had a good time + is now on a diet. Worked with Anthony for a good hour + a half we wrote an outline of “Adano”. What the author intended, etc. + what the book means. Then we made a list of characters etc with each one’s most salient trait. I think it should about cover it. Went at 5:45 over to Alaria. Jay + Anne Rhodebeck put on a circus for us. Jay has taken a great shine to me and I am flattered beyond words. Had a beer with Colby + went over Anthony’s work. Took Call of the Wild so I can do the same thing with it. Back for dinner with Ethel. Hilary over with the boys until about 11:30. They watched TV while Hilary + I went over Mother’s office – piece by piece. Went through the desk with a vengeance this time + made piles of notepaper etc. to give to Ethel, Mrs. Merrill + Lillian. Found an old journal of Mother’s – only 2 days written – I read it after Hilary left and am going to take it. I only think it would make Daddy unhappy. Went to bed about 12:30 or one.
Up pretty early, another cold day. Rainy too at the outset. I tried to call Aunt Dorrie in Washington D.C. + though I found out her phone number – there was trouble on the line. Went to church + sat with Colby. A guest minister – a Mr. Crooks who was a little over long. Communion. Raced back to the house. Lorna + Jay + Anne already here + Hilary + the boys. We fixed up some punch + cookies + Colby set out the sherry. Jack Austin over with Marian + John then Penny stopped by + left Elizabeth + Ted’s little girl Vicky. She, Bill, Ted + the boys all went on down to pick up the paper + then she + Bill stopped on the way back. Frank Langley had brought out Sardi the last time this summer. I fixed Sunday dinner for Co + Anthony while they went over to get beer for Hilary’s party + picked up some things at Alaria. Anthony finally left me Bell for Adano which I read after dinner- Co took a nap. We both went over to barn view at 5. The Barn fairly cold. Hilary had all sorts of food out. She, Colby + I all three thought it a pretty dreary party. But then I think all of the dreariness came from me. I felt old + cornball (Penny’s word when I later described it). Only people I talked with were Norman, Dede, Bob + Gina Morea, Don Jacobs + maybe a few others. Charlie + Alta had to leave early. I helped clean up after + then went over to the Anthony’s where I had a very gay evening with Penny, Bill + to my surprise, Connie + Ted who turned out to be quite a lot of fun. Came home a shade after one am. Went to bed + finished Bell for Adano.
Spoke with Jim Ewing today – they’re not decided about the column but he suggested I call Bill Bauhan in Peterborough about my book.
Up at 9:30 – Ethel had left for her doctors appt + the weekend. House seemed very empty and weather oh so cold. Mrs. Merril feeling a little underpar so I fixed her a prairie oyster which she dutifully swallowed down. Eleanor Cochran called to invite us to dinner a week from Wednesday. I couldn’t seem to settle down to anything. Co + Jessie came over + took a coat apiece. We got down the box of clothes for Russell to put in his car. I lit the fire. Anthony over. I told him to finish his book before I could work with him. Hilary + Cotton over + we went through the chest upstairs in Mothers sitting room. Also the bags in the attic. Cotton is taking a pretty green 3/4 length coat which is just the right length now + Hilary a yellow car coat and a very pretty plaid winter coat. I’m to have the lovely red winter coat but I think I’ll leave it here. Peter called + we talked a long time. Mary had called before to wish Daddy Happy Birthday. Had forgotten he was away. Spoke with Millie too. Mary’s boyfriend Les Schulty is in critical condition + has to undergo a 3rd operation today. I do hope he gets well. Also that when he’s well he gets away from Mary. She says she’s pregnant again – 5 weeks + that is possible. Most of my talk with Peter was about Mary. It’s hot out there + he was on the beach. At the end of the call I said I missed him + he said you do? I said yes + he said I’m not much to miss + that was about it. I hung up in utter desolation. Went shopping then over with Hilary + the children to Alaria for a drink. Russell brought me back + on the way said that the summer had been very rough on me + I was showing it. That’s not news. Went to Barn View for supper with Hilary + Lincoln. Lincoln still in the play. Tomorrow the last night. I took a few of Jimmy’s coins home to look over. Bed about 12:30.
Let Winnie sleep til 11 o’clock when she woke up by herself. Wrote long letter to Mather + Marilou about Farmington. Also suggested Winnie and they come out to visit in California. Wrote Betty Lamm. Called Mather to say Winnie was coming home on the 3:15 bus. He + Marilou spoke to Daddy. Jess + Winnie here for lunch. Daddy took Winnie to the bus on his way North to meet Jimmy. Will be gone til next Saturday. I called Ken Zwicker without luck. Anthony over + we read to page 115. Peter called + evidently Mary has gone around the bend completely. James had called Peter because Mary had called him + said that Daddy had died + she had to come back here. Peter called Mary + [crossed out letter] she told him that there had been an assassination attempt on Jim + that she’d been robbed. [croosed out words] He called Thomsen who said that Mary had an appt. this afternoon + he was going to try to put her in the hospital Peter said he’d call me tomorrow. He’d called in the first place because he didn’t know if there was any truth in it or not. Took Anth over to Barn View and had a drink with Hilary. Came back + had dinner in the kitchen with Ethel. Daddy wants me to tell her he likes to be alone + I’m trying to find tactful ways to do it. Don’t know if I succeeded tonight or not. Co + Russell + the Rhodebecks came over I took Mother’s car [crossed out letters] to Alaria. Drove with Colby who went on a sudden crying jag. Thought she’d given Mother so much trouble. I told her she was Mother’s favorite + dearest which is true. We watched old movies that John + Russell were splicing. I caught up with four beers. Came home + stopped at the cemetary. Dark, Dark, Dark but I found the stone. Mary had sent flowers with a card saying I love you. More than we’ve done.
[crossed out word] Our Anniversary- no letter – just a nice note from Aunt Hope about the bag. Went to the bank, cashed a check for $250.00 got the car checked. Bought a few greeting cards. After lunch went to Georges’ Mills to get some beer. Came home. Peter called at about 3:30. Said “Happy Anniversary.” Thanks to a Miltown I’d been getting through the day just fine but when he called me I went to pieces. The distance the utter lack of communication was too much and I told him it was the unhappiest anniversary I could imagine. Not very supportive but I’m in need of a little support myself. Well – there it is. I worked hard + long with Anthony after I’d washed my face + popped another Miltown down my mouth. We read to page 84. Almost a third of Bell for Adano. Denny Adam’s came over + had drinks with us as did Co + Russell + Hilary. Winnie for dinner. Daddy + I each gave [crossed out word] Winnie a card with a little money in it as we’d missed her birthday on July 24th. Ethel gave me an Anniversary card as she’d heard me mention it. [crossed out word] Mather called today + sounded incredibly better. Daddy so pleased. Daddy watched tennis on TV tonight + Winnie + I went over to Alaria. She played Spite and Malice with Jess + I joined Co at the Rhodebecks. Their Anniversary too although a different sort. Co + I talked later + she said I ought to give up the idea of children. Also we discussed Alaria + my selling it to them. I want it so much but Peter hates the place + has said so. Oh lord – I don’t know what to do about anything at all. Took Winnie home at 11:30 + we played a game of Spite before bed.
Overslept, but made it down a little after 9. Got breakfast out of the way- bathed + dressed + off to church. New minister-candidate- Rev. Thurston. Young + quite zippy. Back to the house for the donkey. Olga Skow + Cissie Booth, Judy + Ed Condict, Penny, Lorna + John + all of us. Gay party + good time had by all except poor little Eddie Condict who was hit on the head by a swing. Daddy + I had pork chops + turnip greens in front of the TV set. Red Sox + Angels playing a double header. They were winning 12-0 when we went down to the Parish House to a reception for Rev. + Mrs. Thurston. Saw Fred + Alex Denny whom Daddy invited to lunch with us tomorrow. We left + got back in time for the 8th + 9th innings – final score 12-2 (I think). I went upstairs to take a nap. Marilou called + wanted to know when I planned to take Winifred to Farmington. I told her I’d call the school tomorrow + then call her. After nap came down + the Red Sox were losing the 2nd game 8-0. I sat down to listen and the Sox got a run then six more + then tied it up. They got the winning run in the 8th + the Angels cost another 9-8. “The Cardiac Kids” was one sports caster’s description of the Red Sox + it’s very apt. Anth had supper here + then went to “Funny Girl” – Daddy + I had scrambled eggs + the rest of the turnip greens. I went over to Alaria about 9 o’clock – drank + told stories then later just talked with Co + Russell. Peter had said so many things to them – such as that he never wanted children but just told me he did as he wanted to get married. In a way that’s touching but why can’t he talk to me.
Up early. Miltown. Called Arthur re donkey tomorrow. Talked with Mrs. Merrill about Ethel’s coming. We’ll keep Mrs. Merrill about 3 days a week to clean I guess. Made a list for Daddy of all the childrens’ + grandchildrens’ birthdays. Went shopping for dinner at Cricenti’s. Wrote 5 letters of acknowledgement for contributions. The new list has come in + the total is almost $3100.00 which is heartwarming. Went to the College Sport Shop + paid my bill + went to see Mary Haddad about the Gold Bond stamp center. We’ve picked out a good looking transistor radio. Co + Russell + [crossed out word] played the Pogues for the tournament + they won 6-0-6-1. Daddy watched. We had open sandwiches + salad in front of the TV set as the Red Sox – Angels were playing. Went back to Cricenti’s as Co + Russell could come for dinner. Made stuffed ham slices – Rushing in + out between innings. Anthony came to work at 4:30 – and we had a rather desultory session until 5:45. The game was won by the Red Sox 12-11 or something like it + 12 pitchers were used by the two teams. Newcomb called up as he’d been watching it too. Daddy kept saying he was exhausted by it + I think he was. We had dinner about 7:15 or so. Very good – all cleaned up in no time. Daddy went out to sit under the elm. Russell went with him with coffee. Co + I played Spite and Malice. Russell put some more name plates on pictures. I provided the evenings excitement by locking myself in the bathroom. The door sticks + daddy had to give it a mighty kick. Hil + Jim came over. Daddy went to bed. Co stayed on when the others left + we talked + played cards + I lost $1.25. Bed late.
Up at 8:15. A little heavy-headed. Came down + turned off all sorts of lights. Druscella down next. Then Daddy + Dick. Mrs. Merrill here – I was so glad. Morning mail brought note from Liza and letter from a Mrs. Ruth Colby to Mother. I answered it + informed her of Mother’s death. Went over to Barn View with Drue + Dick to show them the Barn. They then took off about 11 o’clock. I took Colby’s hair appt. + got quite a good cut from Betty. Bought a dress at Solomons and came home. Called Ethel + got her daughter who said Ethel [crossed out word] was away but they expected her back momentarily. I asked her to have her mother call. I took Daddy to the Edgewood for lunch as a treat because I didn’t want to fix anything. Came home and I lay out in the sun which disappeared almost instantly but came back fitfully and I got some [crossed out letters] color. Went upstairs to nap + read + Jack Jensen came to call. Daddy came back just as he was leaving and he stayed for about 20 minutes. Gee – he’s a nice guy. Ed Condict came over + worked in the attic a little. He thinks an outside antenna is the only answer for a really clear reception. I bathed + dressed + Daddy + I went to Hideaway Lodge. Pretty place – we were about 40 minutes early due to a slight mix up. I so like the Roberts. Denny Adams joined us which was an unexpected surprise. Lovely dinner. Beer after – nice talk with Mrs. Roberts who’s Smith ’19 + knew Mary Augusta Jordan. We were home about 10:30 + after setting up breakfast I went to bed. Read “Call of the Wild” – difficult vocabulary for Anthony + I can see what the problem is there.