Tuesday, August 5, 2008

princeton

I woke up as the car drove up a majestic driveway. We drove around the large house and stopped near the back door.The huge house was for the family consisting of Mr. and Mrs.D, two preteen children and their German Governess. It was a magnificent house. A large twostoried ell belonged to the servants. Livingroom downstairs and many small bedrooms upstairs. Urban volunteered to carry my suitcase upstairs to my room. It was a forgetable room with one small window, a tiny closet. The colors were drab. The bathroom was down the hall. I was told by Urban to get a washup and then come down to the Kitchen to meet Ulla.

She was not what one expected a cook to look like. She was young and thin and modern looking. She was welcoming and I was hppy that she was going to be my boss. She said I had to wait 'til supper to meet most of the other servants for most of them were not yet back from their naps or their trips into town. She said it was about time to get the supper on the table. 'Would I please set the dining room table.' 'Please show me where the diningroom is.' And what kind of meal supper is. Is it meat and potatoes or soup and a sandich? She showed me that the diningroom was in the lower level of the sevant wing. 'Urban is of course setting the table for the family in the big dining room.

The work in the kitchen consisted of preparing many meals. Breakfast for the servants. Breakfast for Mr D before his train ride to New York. Breakfast for the the two children and their Governess served to them in the play room. Breakfast for Mrs D served to her in bed. After this was over I had the responsibility of fixing the food for all the parrots. This was picked up by the head gardener, Angelo.

I will try to introduce you to all the servants. Urban was the big boss of us lesser humans. Didn't get to know him at all. He was too high on our scale and very private. Ulla was the next on the ladder and liked by all. Elsa ws the Parlormaid working directly under Urban, doing the cleaning and dusting in the livingquarters downstairs. She also filled in for Urban on his days off and she had to help serve during parties. She wore a black dress with white collar and cuffs and a little white apron. Inga was the chaimber maid and ruled upstairs, making beds and cleaning bedrooms. The Ladies Maid Took care of Mrs D, washed her undies, carried the tray with her breakfast. We had an Irish chauffeur who took care of the many cars. Mr. D had a car which he left at the station, sometimes he was driven there by Tom. Mrs D was always driven in a Buick by Tom. And then there was the La Salle which drove us to the movies downtown every Thursday or into the city once a month to a Broadway play or Rodeo at Madison Square Garden. We never had to pay for any tickets to these happenings.

There was very little chance of spending any money. So I seriously saved all my pennies. I had plans and I knew I would need it then.

27 comments:

dailycoyote said...

THIS IS SO GREAT!!!! xo Shreve

Jodie said...

I found your blog by reading about it on Shreve's blog. Congratulations on becoming a blogger. It sounds like you have many many stories to share. I look forward to reading them. And thanks to Shreve for sharing her grandmother with us!

MoJo Alumni said...

I am in love with this blog! It's more entertaining than a movie. I love history, and keeping it alive for the next generation is so important. Kudos to grandma. I'm awaiting the next installment with delicious anticipation.

Allie said...

Hello, Shreve's Grandma!!

Your blog is absolutely wonderful! I've added it to my reading list, and I look forward to hearing more about your life.

Welcome to the blogosphere! :)

FibroLady said...

Hi, I came here from Shreve's blog as well. This is great. Totally entertaining and informative. Keep up the great work, I can't wait to read your entire story.

Eileen said...

shreve's grandma!!! like everyone else i found you through shreve. you rock lady! love the blog. keep writing - and we'd better see you at blogher next year!

Pam said...

More! More! Thank you Shreve for the link...thank you Shreve's Grandma.And then what happened?

kelly said...

This is my new favourite blog! (sorry Daily Coyote!) I can't wait to read the next instalment. And this has really inspired me to push some of my older family members to blog as well. Thank yo for that:)

midge53 said...

I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying your stories. My Grandma immigrated to the US from Italy and used to tell me stories when I was little, unfortunately she passed away when I was 12 and I never got to here all of her stories. I feel a link to her through your words.
Thank you so much for doing this, you have made my heart happy.

Denise

p.s. Shreve is pretty special too!

hello haha narf said...

i love that although you were working for the family, they still took you to the theater and movies!

your writing skills are wonderful and i am eagerly anticipating the telling of your plans...

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

Can hardly wait for your next post!
Just came over today from Shreve's blog .. (Thank you, Shreve!!)

onewandering said...

Greetings Grandma Svensto! I'm so glad that you found the desire to start this blog -- it's so interesting to read about your experiences! Welcome to blogging -- we can't wait to read more!

PS - Thanks for the referral to Svensto's blog, Shreve!

Karen Hargett said...

Grandma Svensto I'm loving your blog! I found you through Shreve's blog. I'm anxiously awaiting your next post - wondering who the "Ds" are and hope you'll post some of your art soon.

Keep up the good work!

Martha Alderson said...

Grandma Svensto!! You must love it!!

Marlene said...

I love biographies....you writing is really good , I immediately wanted to find out more...I always loved listening to my grandmas stories of when she came to this country and what she did..the new world we live in is so diff now..I will definately keep reading your blog to hear more of your life here! I live in a small beach town in Central Coast California, and found you thru Shreve! Marlene from Cambria.

Symone said...

Came thru Shreve's blog. Very nice blog. Cheers from Ireland from an Austrian

Anne said...

Dear Grandma Svensto, I love reading about your early days in the US. Could you please sneak a picture of your artwork in? I feel so greedy - I want to have the entire story all at once - I want to know about your life before you came here, what you are doing now, your art - everything. Your story is so interesting and better than any novel I've read in a long long time. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

Beverly said...

Don't stop! I need more...

Evelyn said...

Dear Grandma Svensto,

Like many others here, I followed the trail from your grandaughter's coyote blog.

I've been reading you every day since and have added your blog to my "daily peeks".

I'm enjoying your stories and look forward to many more

Evelyn said...

Marlene,

I think we should call them "blographies" *s*

BumbleVee said...

ahhhhhh... plans.... my mind is whirling..... love a good story and I always seem to add a bit more intrigue all on my own...

figgie1 said...

I was raised by my great grandparents and their stories always fascinated me. People seemed to live more back then, and by that I mean they had more fun, experienced more things, and seemed to treasure things more. It seems my generation has become too fast paced for the little things.

Brynne said...

Thank you for sharing the story of your life with us. If this was a book, I wouldn't be able to put it down.

kiki said...

Genius!
Grandma Svensto, as well as everyone else I'm dying to read more of your stories!
I cannot believe you met the swedish sphinx!

i have some swedish blood myself, my great grandparents were both swedes who immigrated to brazil a loooooooooong time ago. unfortunately they passed away many years before i was born.

keep it up!

greetings all the way from brazil!

svensto said...

I loved your remark about the sphinx' never heard greta garbo called that.

~Mad said...

I can just see you at the computer writing/typing all of this - I can picture my great-grandparents while I read. They came from Germany so very long ago.
Anxious to read the next,
~Mad(elyn) in Alabama
www.xanga.com/madewyn

Georgia said...

What a fascinating story. I can't wait to hear more. I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog!