Thursday, January 17, 2008

November 1, 1931

The ladies of Hewitt Hall sponsored an All Hallow's Eve party. There was punch and we wore masquerade masks decorated to look ghoulish. A girl from Syracuse suggested bobbing for apples, which was a favorite fall activity in Saratoga when I was a child. It was most fun. The most enjoyable thing was to watch Dottie and Sarah's reaction to putting their heads down into a bucket full of water. I believe at that moment they bonded as two girls from the city amongst many who weren't. They talked for near an hour, laughing and joking with one another.

When we went upstairs Dottie said, "I was pretty sure that Sarah girl was a wet sock, but she ain't really."

"I'm sure she'll be happy to know it," I told her. When we walked into the room, I expected Dottie to go right out and ready herself for a night at the Bakery. "Not going out tonight?"

Dottie smiled deviously. "Nah. Tonight is a night in. She pulled out a clear bottle of amber liquid. The hooch came to us."

I was immediately panicked. "DOTTIE, if they catch you you'll be expelled. They'll expel me for letting you do it."

She started laughing, "Who's gonna catch us? The head mistress has gone to a Halloween party over at Columbia. Besides, we're having a guest." Almost on cue there was a knock on the door. "Speakin' of the devil." She went over to open the door. When she did, Sarah was standing on the other side.

"SARAH!" I yelled out. "You should be home."

"Listen, mother, Ira knows I'm here. I told him I was spending the night uptown with my highly responsible friend, Velma." She shut the door and pulled three glasses out of her bag. "His response was, as he was handing me these three glasses, 'loosen that goyishe girl up.' So if anyone asks, this was an Ira-sponsored event."

"With a little help from Howie," Dottie said as she poured, what I assumed, was whiskey into the glasses. Dottie passed around the glasses. She raised hers up. "To the real spirits."

Sarah said, "To breaking Velma out of her school marm costume."

I started laughing as we clinked the glasses. And we drank. All night.

I'm neglecting to report how awful I feel at this moment for it's not the memory I want to keep.

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