8 June 1958

8 June 1958

Pursue your version of the Cinderella story, as you first told it to Nancy when she was a little girl.


So, since when was Cinderella so badly off. She learned how to cook, and sew, and clean. The animals loved her. And . . . who finally got the prince – the nasty no good stepsisters with their wretched stepmother? No!! Cinderella got him.

True, Cinderella was treated unfairly and unkindly – but who was the better person – the kinder person in the end?

And what did the stepsisters gain? No knowledge of anything Cinderella learned. All they were spurred to do by the stepmother was to be nasty and disrespectful of another human being.

[Here a clipping of a Dear Abby column from the Cleveland Plain Dealer is pinned to the top of a page in the notebook. “Owed” is writing for advice about a brother-in-law who borrowed $500 six years ago and has not re-paid the writer who wants to know if he should give his brother-in-law a “strong ‘hint’” about the money owed. Abby tells him that a ‘hint’ won’t do it and that Owed should “tell him in plain words that you’d like him to start paying you off”.]

The attached Dear Abby bit makes me think of several incidents. Han – and his borrowing $1300 from Eva and taking ten years to pay it back. She had to insist he pay, although she let it go because she hated to ask him.

It reminds me of Hans [Kurt’s younger brother] very freely demanding money for the down payment on his house – and how Dada got sore when I said, “We won’t loan him money.” And how I talked to Eva about Hans’ money loans from her – for his car, for his Quonset hut up in Branford, Connecticut. And how Dada, after Hans pulled the “You said you would help me and now no one wants to give me money” act, [how Hans] got Dada to borrow $1000 on Pop’s life insurance paid up policy. And how Dada kept saying how “wonderful” and “smart” and how successful Hans was – and then how we had to wait eight years to get the money from Hans – who repaid nothing with interest . . .  And how money devalued during those years.

It also reminds me of Dada saying Sweetie likes everything just so, and how [Kurt’s cousin] Ed Roser Jr. made $3000 extra on his off days as a fireman for Shaker [Heights, Ohio] . . . And how Dada said Margaret [Ed’s sister] contributes nothing to Aunt Roser because of her desire for expensive clothes and dates while her mother works hard at housework because Aunt Roser needs the money . . . And how Aunt Roser told me how Sweetie and Ed borrowed $3000 from her to buy their present home . . . And how they’ve had the home for over five years and have never offered to pay on Roser back one penny of the $3000. Oh values, values and the queer moral sense of people – even your own children . . .  And I remind myself . . . LEARN!! From this . . . Don’t ruin your children with smother love, with undue simpatico . . . And how important it is for children to learn to stand on their own 2 feet!! When they are able to do so.

True, a parent owes children a responsibility to help them grow into adulthood, owes them the debt of raising them – but also owes them the guidance needed to direct them towards self-reliance.


And I think of Eddie Bowers, Mrs. Hartig, and that messy situation. Eddie Bowers may end up in jail yet if some intelligent, unemotional reasoning doesn’t take over in that crazy mixed up family of Jerry’s.