Lady Driver

Here in the 1920s, more and more women are learning how to drive. I clipped the photo above from am ad for "Ford closed cars" and placed it on my dresser, so that it will inspire me when my brother Charlie teaches me how to drive. Frankly, I'm a little nervous about the prospect. But it would be nice to travel between Kerryville and Chicago without always having to wait for a train.

 The ad copy reads, "To the woman at the wheel of a Ford car, every road seems straight and smooth; hills melt away and rough places are easy. This is because of care-free confidence in its responsive, sure performance. When a woman hesitates to manage a heavy car; when she needs an extra one for personal or family use, or when her means forbid the drain of high upkeep cost, she should have the easily handled, easily parked, reliable service of a Ford. She finds, also, that comfort and perfection of motor have not run away with cost and she can make unlimited use of her car without anxiety or care or upkeep."

I'm all for easy driving, easy parking, and easy upkeep...but I must admit, the repetition of "easy" in the ad seems just a tad condescending.

What do you think about lady drivers--marvelous or menace? 



You're the Cream in My Coffee FREE today on Amazon!

Just learned from Jennifer that the electrical version of You're the Cream in My Coffee is FREE today (1/5/2017) on Amazon. I still don't understand why anyone would want to electrify a book. What happens if you want to read in the bath?

Or maybe it's the electronic version, whatever that means. I can never keep those terms straight.

(And while I'm being curmudgeonly about 21st-century retail practices, whatever happened to genteel bookstores like our Kroch's--later called Kroch's and Brentano's? I suppose by now they've tossed that one away, too. Here in 1927 Mr. Adolph Kroch has just opened a brand-new location at 206 N. Michigan. I go there sometimes on my lunch hour to see a larger selection of books even than Marshall Field's--but shhh, don't tell Marcella Hahner* I sent you.


At any rate, if you haven't read our book, or you know someone else who'd enjoy it (which is, let's be honest, everybody), then today's your chance to get it for zero clams.


Photo and caption from Leslie Goddard's excellent book, Remembering Marshall Field's

What will happen to the old Marshall Field's?

Holy cats! Is my dear old workplace, Chicago's great Marshall Field's store, going to become unrecognizable soon? Or worse (gasp), perhaps disappear forever?

I realize you 21st-century moderns turned Marshall Field's into that other word that starts with M, Macy's, even though it will always be Field's to those of us who love it. But now it appears even Macy's is closing a jillion stores. What gives, people? Do I have to come up there to your century and straighten things out?

I'm heading up to stare at the Tiffany dome for a while and collect my wits. You coming? 


Yoga Talk

Jennifer posted about your 21st-century craze of women wearing yoga pants in public. I just want her to know that we in the 1920s also have yoga pants. So once again, we're way ahead of you. Wearing them to the grocery store, however, would likely get one arrested for indecent exposure. Which perhaps, as Jennifer notes, is as it should be.

The young and attractive Swami Vivekanada made quite an impression when he came to the Parliament of Religions here in Chicago back in 1893. That's apparently when the practice of yoga arrived on U.S. shores. He was followed by the tremendously popular Paramahansa Yogananda in 1920. Many people are wild for "orientalism" here in the early 20th century, so they're ready to twist themselves into knots. 

I'm not one of them. I think I'll stick with ballet, or maybe the briefest sojourn into Isadora Duncan territory. Nothing too outrageous, though. I'll leave that crazy stuff to my best friend and roommate, Dot. 


Catching our breath!

What a whirlwind the last couple months have been! 

As you know, our book launched in mid-September. We had a lovely 1920s-themed launch party at a local coffee shop. Lots of Jennifer's friends came out to help us celebrate, and of course now they're my friends, too. There was plenty of danceable music from my era playing from a box that was something like a Victrola, but smaller and with
I selected Jennifer's outfit for the party. What do you think?
shiny silver disks. It played catchy tunes like "Charleston" and "Ain't She Sweet" and "Black Bottom," and but, as usual for the 21st century, nobody danced. What is wrong with people these days? I couldn't keep my feet still!

Right before the book launch, we took an automobile trip across the United States from Florida to Idaho with Jennifer's friend Tracy. In the 1920s "Tracy" is usually a gentleman's name, but in the 21st century I find it's frequently applied to girls. I like Tracy very much and she seems to like me, too. My favorite part of the trip was
spending a few days at Pensacola, where we sat on the beach and watched the moon rise. Jennifer and Tracy kept remarking on the heat and saying they wished the cooling mechanism in the car hadn't broken, but I didn't quite understand what they were talking about. I mean, who would ever expect to push a button and cause cool air to pour forth in a hot car in the middle of a Florida September? Frankly, that sounds like something out of Jules Verne. I think the heat must have gone to their heads and made them temporarily delusional. I, on the other hand, was supremely comfortable, having selected an appropriately cool cotton traveling frock and shaded sun hat. Discomfort can be avoided with just a little foresight and planning.

Here in the 1920s, Florida is enjoying a great land boom (some are calling it a "bubble"). The railroads are promoting the state as a vacation paradise, the "American Riviera." There's lots of new construction going on, and brand-new highways from major northern cities like New York and Chicago are making it easier for people to drive down there to escape the winter. Towns like Miami and Boca Raton are booming. Of course, some people have lost their shirts on land deals gone bad, and a few doom-and-gloomers are predicting that the boom won't last. I guess time will tell.

Thank you for stopping by!

That swoony fellow in Menswear...

So...his name is Peter, he works in The Store for Men at Marshall Field's. Here's what I've been able to ferret out so far. He's new at the company, and he came from New York and worked at Macy's or Gimbel's or one of those places. And I see him too often talking to that slinky redhead from Fine Jewelry. I may sneak over to Menswear on my lunch break and see what he's up to.

The thing is, he looks exactly like somebody I used to know. Trouble is, that somebody is supposed to be dead--struck down on a battlefield in France, not selling neckties and cufflinks at Marshall Field's. So it can't be the same person. Can it?

Read the story and find out.

Now available for pre-order: You're the Cream in My Coffee!

He-e-e-ere we go! Our novel is now available for pre-order on Amazon! (A flattering image of me on the cover, n'est-ce pas? Too bad I have absolutely no memory of when it was taken...) Hop on over and order yours. Then it will automatically be delivered to you on September 15, without your having to think about it again.

A lovely author friend named Susie Finkbeiner (author of A Cup of Dust) wrote:

Every single inch of this novel is delightful. From the start Marjorie Corrigan felt like a friend, one I was glad to see each time I returned to her story. With charming characters and a plot that keeps moving, this is a novel you don't want to miss. Jennifer Lamont Leo is a fresh voice in Christian fiction. I can't wait to read more of her work.

And another lovely author friend named Sarah Sundin (author of Anchor in the Storm) wrote:

The cat¹s pajamas! Rich in jazzy details of 1920s Chicago, You¹re the Cream in My Coffee is a sparkling debut novel. With an adventurous heroine, intriguing side characters, and a thought-provoking message, this story will keep you riveted. Jennifer Lamont Leo is a name to watch in historical fiction!

Be sure to check out Susie's and Sarah's books as well! They write inspirational historical fiction, just like Jennifer does.