Paperback, 494 pages with Index, photos and other
- American History
- Family History
- Women's Studies
- Popular Culture
- Gender Studies
- American Craft
- Customs and Manners
- History of Private Life
Susan Lilly, who was a costume designer for
twenty-four years, is fascinated with the
minutia of daily life, and the social meaning
of material culture. Her grandparents left
behind a complete record of such things, in
their letters. Continuing from Dearest
Shortness, where we first met “Red Top” and
“Shorty,” Susan has lovingly transcribed and
commented on her grandparents’ engagement
letters in Mail Time, Dearest, with a third
book to follow. Susan lives in Portland,
Oregon with her husband, and teaches yoga at
Lewis and Clark College.
She’s into stuff and he’s worried about money.
Yes, work is plentiful now, but a young draftsman
takes his chances out in the world. She’s rounding
up all her girlfriends to help her finish hemming
all the sheets and embroidering all the lingerie,
and he reports at least weekly on the construction
of their unit in a new craftsman-style apartment
She is in a social whirl, what with organizing for
the move to Alliance, Ohio and church and teaching
and callers and evening entertainment and whatever
else. We hear in detail about her engagement
announcement party and all the congratulations
from her friends at home in York, Pennsylvania.
He tells her all about the new electric lights
which are everywhere in Alliance, and the new gas
stove, and makes it clear that he’s the boss. She
fusses back and all is well for now.
The honeymoon plans are extensive, with an early
morning wedding and a 10:30am train to Niagara
Falls. They plan the trip of a lifetime. And they
talk about the first night and how it will be.
They have waited for it for so long.
Ads from her magazines and catalogs as well as
family photos illustrate the story.