An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-Three

postcard from hanover
an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Thirty-Two

Emma Dumpke, August 1912

August 13, 1912

Dear Hedda,

Hanover is bustling. The city is easily three times the size of San Antonio, with much of the growth recent. But I cannot enjoy the city.

I should have refused to come on this journey with the Koehlers. While Mr. K appears the kindest, most generous gentleman to you, the gentleman part rapidly dissipates with drink. And, with no business demands to distract him during the crossing, drink he did. He was outrageously inebriated by the end of dinner each night. So much so that, when I would come to their table to check, Mrs. K was eager to be wheeled away to her cabin. Of course, she never once spoke of it.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-Three”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty-Nine

suffragettes parade new york city

Above, 1912 Suffragette Parade in New York City, National Archives

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Twenty-Eight

Hedda Burgemeister, July 1912

Hedda hops off the street car. Elated.

Emmy was right. She loves San Antonio. The temperature might be 98 degrees, even this late in the day, but the heat rising off the streets in New York City is more oppressive. And the people there always press in closer and closer, no matter how hot.

She longs to break into a joyous skip as she turns onto Hunstock Street. Her street.

Herr Cordt tips his hat to her as he hurries the opposite way. Her street. Her neighbor. Her neighbor who has lived here for 20 years, yet still speaks only German.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty-Nine”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty-Seven

harry houdini

Above, Harry Houdini, George Granham Bain Collection, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Twenty-Six

Hedda Burgemeister, July 1912

July 5, 1912

My dearest Emmy,

The fireworks were unbelievably spectacular last night, but the throngs of spectators pushing and shoving against me in the heat were unbearable. While the Statue of Liberty is welcoming, New York City is more a holding pen for the “huddled masses” than a place one can actually “breathe free.”

Forty-eight stars now fly on the American flag; yet I have only experienced one state, more accurately only one city. Your invitation to join you will change that tomorrow. The government’s announcement that the goddess of liberty, who has long reigned over the nickel coin, is to be replaced by a buffalo and an Indian head seems symbolic of my impending journey.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty-Seven”