Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner

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OUR HEARTS WERE YOUNG AND GAY by CORNELIA OTIS SKINNER and EMILY KIMBROUGH. CHAPTER 1: WE had been planning the trip for over a year. Pinching, scraping and going without sodas, we had salvaged from our allowances and the small time jobs we each had found the preceding vacation the sum of 80.00, which was the cost of a minimum passage on a Canadian Pacific liner of the cabin class. Our respec tive families had augmented our finances by letters of credit generous enough to permit us to live for three months abroad if not in the lap of luxury, at least on the knees of comfort. For months we had been exchanging letters brimming over with rapturous plans and lyric an ticipation and now June had really rolled around and the happy expectancy of the brides-to-be of that year had noth ing on us. It was settled we could meet in Montreal at whatever hotel it is that isnt the Ritz. I, clutching and occasionally kissing our steamship passage, was arriving from New York, Emily from Buffalo. That is, I hoped Emily was arriving. Emilys notions concerning geography, like some of her other notions, were enthusiastic but lacking in ac curacy. Some weeks previous she had sent me a rhapsodic letter which ended with the alarming words, I live for the moment when our boat pushes out from that dock in Win nipeg. I had written back in a panic and block letters stating, somewhat crushingly I thought, that the CJP. O. seldom sent its ships overland, that we were sailing from Montreal, Province of Quebec, that the name of our ves sel was the Montcalm and the date June loth, the year of our Lord I shant say which, because Emily and I have now reached the time in life when not only do we lie about our ages, we forget what weve said they are. Emily wrote back not to worry, darling, she had it all straight now. Moreover she was being motored up from Buffalo by friends who had been abroad often and who wouldnt dream of driving her to the wrong place. They would arrive sometime the afternoon of the pth. No such traveled and plutocratic friends offered to motor me to Canada, so I purchased an upper on the Mon treal sleeper ... a bit of misguided economy because once aboard the train I had to pay for another upper in order to accommodate my collection of luggage. The Skinners have ever, I believe, been respectable, God-fear ing folk, but in those days my family made up for the lack of a skeleton in the closet by having extremely dis reputable-looking luggage. Mother, the most exquisite of women, was fastidious to a degree when it came to the care of her clothes and mine, but she didnt care what she packed them in as long as the receptacle was clean. Conse quently on this, the occasion of my first long trip on my own, she had, with loving care and acres of tissue-paper, stowed my effects in an assortment of containers that ranged from a canvas trunk Father had used when he played at Dalys, to a patent leather thing for hats that looked like a cover for a bass drum. There was a strap bound straw affair known for some reason as a telescope, and various other oddments. I was made to carry my good coat the one in which I traveled was my every day on a stout hanger in a voluminous green dress-bag which had a hole at the top and through that emerged the hook for hanging It up. It was a formidable looking contrivance and I used to glance nervously at that hook, half anticipat ing the sight of a human eye impaled upon it...

About Cornelia Otis Skinner

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Cornelia Otis Skinner was born in Chicago on May 30, 1901. Skinner wrote and staged productions of The Lovers of Charles II, The Empress Eugene, The Mansions on the Hudson, and The Wives of Henry VIII. She was also critically acclaimed for her play, Lady Windermere's Fan and Theater. She also wrote the books, Madam Sarah, The Pleasure of His Company, and Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, which became a bestseller. Cornelia Otis Skinner died in New York City on July 9, 1979.
Published January 1, 2013 by ISHA Books. 259 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Humor & Entertainment, Gay & Lesbian, Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books, Travel. Non-fiction

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