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Friday, July 21, 2017

(3) BETTY KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT THE FACTS OF LIFE.

Note to visitors:  It happens that I am posting these diary entries on August 17, 2015, my 94th birthday.  Received e-mails and phone calls from loved ones and friends, played Duplicate Bridge at Linden Ponds where I've lived since November of 2013.  Partner Sy Gellerman and I came in 4th, winning a dollar apiece, thus breaking even, since you cough up a dollar to compete.
August 17, 1935
     Fourteen years old!  But that’s not so old -- 15 is what Im looking forward to, and 16.
     I played tennis with Betty Cronin this morning.  We had lunch at the Cronins, and then mother and Aunt Emmy took us to the movies.  We saw “Alice Adams” with Katherine Hepburn and Fred MacMurray.  It was marvelous.
Sunday, August 18, 1935
     Have I got a lot to tell you!  Betty and I were going to play golf, but we decided it was too hot.  I was telling her about a book I’d been reading.  Betty is a year older than I am but knows absolutely nothing about the facts of life.  I told her she’d learn plenty from a steamy scene in Anthony Adverse.  She said the Carrols (the Cronin’s neighbors and dearest friends) had a copy and they were away for the summer.  Let’s go over and see if we can get in, she said.
     It seemed like an exciting plan to me, so I agreed.  We got a hammer, a saw, and a screw-driver out of the Cronin’s garage.  First we tried to get into the house by the cellar.  It was the kind with a couple of slanting doors that open to each side.  We went down the steps and found the door below didn’t have a lock or anything we could pry open.  We pushed and hammered for a while, but it didn’t do any good.  Then we found a side door.  We undid a lot of screws, but the door wouldn’t open.  We put the screws back and went around front to try the front door.  We unscrewed the screws and took off the door-knob.  Nothing happened.  We were about to put the door-knob back on when Betty said, Look!  There’s a car stopping out front.  Run!
     We rushed around in back of her house and into Toby’s pen.  We turned on the hose and started cooling him off and trying to look innocent when Mrs. Cronin called, Betty and Barbara, you’re in trouble!  Betty ran and looked and gasped, There’s a policeman with her!
     She was all jittery and scared, but I wasn’t very much.  The policeman took us over to Carroll’s and asked us if we’d taken the doorknob off.  We said we had.  He said house-breaking was a criminal offense and we could go to jail for it.  He told Mrs. Cronin that he almost shot us when we started to run, but then he saw we were just young girls.
      They found our tools and asked Mrs. Cronin if she had seen two girls.  She said it was probably us.
     The police-man said he’d have to take us to the station to see the chief.  On the way he said the chief had a reputation for being strict.  Mrs. Cronin came along because she wanted to fix it so it wouldn’t be in the papers.
     We were brought before the chief, who kept saying he couldn’t understand it and wanted to know why we were trying to get into the house.  We couldn’t very well tell him about Anthony Adverse, so we said we’d done it just in fun and didn’t realize it was so serious.  You just can’t explain things like that.  Only a young person would understand.  He sent us out and Mrs. Cronin stayed and talked with him.  She told him about our families, our characters, and our former behavior.  She talked us out of it so we don’t have a police record.  We didn’t even stay over night in a cell.  I was rather dissapointed about that.  Aunt Emmy was awfully upset.  It didn’t bother me much because we knew we weren’t doing anything intentionally wrong.  We were just looking for information.

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