An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Forty

shopping lower east side

Above, “‘Imported Americans’ shopping from push-carts on the Lower East Side, New York City,” Underwood & Underwood, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Thirty-Nine

Emma Dumpke Daschel, December 1912

December 31, 1912

My dearest Hedda,

Having you make the trip to St. Louis for our wedding meant so much to both of us, but particularly to me. To suddenly be thrust in the midst of Heinrich’s huge family was overwhelming; although his relatives could not have embraced me more warmly.

You comprise my whole “American family,” and I know I would have been unable to cope without your repeated assurances that this marriage is right for me. Thank goodness! I could not possibly be happier.

I feared you risked triggering the beer baron’s ire by attending my wedding. I am shocked that, instead, Otto suggested you no longer hide our shared deed in the public records under the name of that bartender indebted to him.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Forty”

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”