Notes: Friendship Album, 1933: Episode 8

As I write this post, I’m getting ready to drive down to Atlanta from North Carolina to talk to the East Cobb Quilters’ Guild about quilt stories–my own and the ones I make up, and the stories I wish all quilters would take time to record. If you’re not familiar with the Quilt Alliance, I hope you’ll take a moment to check it out. It has as its mission to document, preserve and share the stories of quilts and quiltmakers, and I’ve been a member for several years now. Every quilt has a story, and if you don’t tell your quilts’ stories, who will?

Anyway, I know I should be writing interesting things about this week’s episode, but whenever I get ready to hit the road, it’s hard to concentrate on anything, including plot synopses! I get anxious about traveling and being away from home, although I almost always end up having a great time. This trip should be especially fun, since I’ll be hanging out with some wonderful quilting friends as well as spending time with my brother and his family. Still, it will be a relief when I pull up back into my driveway Saturday afternoon, pat my dog on the head and give all my peeps a big hug.

When I speak to the guild on Thursday and Friday, I’ll certainly talk about Friendship Album, 1933, my craziest writing project ever. With every chapter I finish, I wonder where in the world is this going. And then I remember: The World’s Fair! Our girls have a May 15th deadline to get their quilts finished and turned in. This week I finished writing Chapter 26 and realized we only have a month until the deadline. There’s a lot that needs to happen between now and then.

In this week’s episode, there’s not a whole lot of quilting going on. Bess heads over to St. Luke’s to help prepare a luncheon for the new rector. Father Mayfield is a widow, and Bess expects to meet an older man in the last years of his career. When Joe Mayfield turns out to be not much older than Bess and what Anne of Green Gables would call a kindred spirit, Bess is thrown. She has no interest in romance … and still. Between you and me, I have no idea what’s going to happen with these two, but I’m interested in watching the situation develop.

Florence is knee-deep in business plans and having the time of her life. She’s long longed for a meaningful life, and she feels like she’s on the verge of finally doing something worthwhile. Her problem is that she’s a single woman and has two older brothers who feel it’s their duty to oversee her financial decisions. I think sometimes we forget how little financial independence women had throughout much of our history. Single women couldn’t get a credit line or a credit card until 1974 in the U.S. 1974.

So we’ll see how independent Florence is allowed to be — and we’ll feel her frustration if her brothers decide to tighten the reins!

I didn’t do a Tuesday post this week, but plan to next week. Maybe I’ll write about travel in the 1930s. The highway I’ll be driving down tomorrow (I-85) wasn’t built until 1958. So in 1933 it would have taken me a whole lot longer to get to Atlanta, but that the road would have been so much more interesting. Ah, the price we pay for speed!