Sunday, February 23, 2014

And that was that!

I don’t have a ton of memories of my grandmother, Mildred Loraine Gunzendorfer Levy, but I do remember her using the expression “and that was that” many times.  And as I turn to the last page of her scrapbook, I can’t get that expression out of my head. 

Of course, the last page is filled with dance cards.  Grandma must have saved them and put them in the scrapbook together but after pages and pages of them, all I can think about is how much she must have loved to dance.  And from the look of her dance cards, many suitable young men must have loved dancing with her!

First was the Junior Guild Dance held at the Del Monte Hotel.  I wish I knew the date as there is no sign of Earle Norton on this dance card.

Junior Guild Cover
Junior Guild Inside 1 Junior Guild Inside 2
Looks like George (AKA Geo) might have been a special friend – he got two dances!

Grandma must have been busy with all of the dancing at the Alumni Dance on 
January 1, 1915!

Alumni Dance 1915

I love what she wrote at the bottom - “my card speaks for itself in this instance”.  Why yes it does, Grandma!  And just who do we see as her partner for dance 3, 7, and 8?  None other than Norton, who I assume is Earle Norton.  I love on dance #8 where someone else’s name was crossed out and Norton was written in.  Did he have to fight “Tom” for her?  Now I can tell that #8 Norton is different handwriting than #3 & #7 and just could be Grandma’s handwriting.  What’s the story behind that?  And our friend Mr. Lacy is back as her partner for dance #12 and #15, although I can tell that the writing for dance #15 was Grandma’s.  Her feet must have been tired that night!

And then came the dance given by the Brotherhood of American Yeomen.  Another full night of dancing!

Old Capitol

No sign of Earle Norton :-(

And on May 14, 1915, just weeks before she graduated from high school, Loraine attended a dance given by the Monterey Ladies Civic Club.

Civic Club

Civic Club Inside

Oh look at that – Earle Norton is back and danced the Three Step with her!  I will say, though, that much of this handwriting is Grandma’s, including Earle Norton’s name.  Does that mean she just hoped to dance with him?  Or did she not dance at all and just filled in names?  Or, was she so busy dancing that she forgot to have her card signed?

And last but not least was the dance given by the Monterey High School Alumni in 1916 at the Masonic Temple.

Alumni Dance 1916

No dance card, no evidence of how much she danced or hoped to dance.  Just an invitation.  Did she attend?  I laugh that a ‘couple’ was 50 cents and an ‘extra lady’ was 25 cents.  Did that mean a man could bring two ladies with him and pay 75 cents?

So I’ve come to the end of the scrapbook.  Thank you, Grandma, for sharing your young adult life with me 100 years later.  I would have loved to have had the opportunity to sit with you and have you describe it all to me.  I swear I would have listened, taken good notes, and even recorded your voice.  I know there is so much left to know about the story but I feel so fortunate to have had this glimpse into your life.  I’ve gotten to know you in a way that most granddaughters never know their grandmothers – I’m so glad you were a packrat and shared this information with me.  It truly is a gift and will be loved by your descendants for generations to come.

And that was that!


  1. These cards remind me of how different times were a hundred years ago -- more formal, perhaps more romantic, with dance cards and the hope and expectation of the young men claiming dances. Look at the different dances the young people had to know how to do! Two-step, waltz, rye waltz, schottische, and three-step. Imagining them makes me just a little tired. You've given us a wonderful journey through your grandmother's youth. Thank you for sharing her scrapbook with us, Debi.

  2. In this age of so many bemoaning all the "stuff" they have to clean out after their parents or other relatives have passed on, Debi, how refreshing to hear you express thankfulness for the fact that your grandmother was a packrat! Thank you for this wonderful tour through your grandmother's keepsakes.

  3. I looked at the Schottische on YouTube -- seems very modern. I wonder if it was the same for your grandmother. It evidently wasn't a favorite dance of hers because that one was left out several times. Maybe she was drinking punch with Earle.

    I'm starting to miss your grandmother already.

    1. Wendy, I miss her more and more every day. But I have a lot more tricks up my sleeve. ;-)