Monday, October 22, 2012

Helen Rex's May 1937 trip to Los Angeles, California.

On April 4, 1937 Helen Rex wrote in a letter to Harold:  "Well it has been five months since I saw Glenn last. He should be on a mission. He is fine, working most of the time. Sometimes his letters are so cheerful and other times he gets down in the mouth, but such is life. A fellow from Mississippi is living with him, and he doesn’t even have any kind of work, so Glenn does feel pretty good about his luck."

On May 29, 1937 in a letter to her brother Harold, Helen Rex wrote the following account of her trip to Los Angeles, California to see Glenn Frazier.

A week ago at this time I was in California. Now it is all memories. I was going to write from down there, but didn’t get it done. Anyway now I can tell you all about it. We surely had a grand time. I mean Glenn and I. He had to work some of the time, but got a couple of days off. I got down there the night of the 15th. Went on the bus and it was twenty minutes late. Glenn said he had nearly worn the corner off the street.

The first day I was there we went to the Forest Lawn Memorial Park. It is a beautiful burial grounds. There is some of the most beautiful sculpture work in there I have ever seen. There are two little churches there too, that are beautiful. Will Rodger’s funeral was held in one of them. Lots of the society of Los Angeles get married there.  Jannette McDonald is going to be married there in June. We took a lot of good pictures there.

The next day Helen went down town herself. I got me a hotel apartment to live in. It was surely nice and just as reasonable in price as a hotel in the center of town. I was only about three blocks from where Glenn lived. The center of Los Angeles is Broadway. On the corner of Broadway andSeventh Street is supposed to be the busiest corner in the world. The people are so thick there, that you can’t walk without rubbing shoulders, and the street is so narrow. Just barely enough room for two car tracks and two lanes for automobiles, beside the side walk. On one corner is one of Los Angeles largest theatres, Bullock’s store on another, the Bank of America on the third, and on the fourth the Hamilton Jewelry store. The Bullock department store is just immense. It takes in just one-half of the block on Broadway and one-half of the block on Seventh.
Then on Tuesday, Glenn’s cousin Ella and his Aunt Maude Eastman, (re-member her) took me to Hollywood and out to see the movie star’s homes. I got pictures of Mary Pickford’s home, Ronald Coleman’s Fred Astaire’s, Charley Chaplain’s and the estate of Gene Stratton Porter. I had some of the others pointed out to me, but couldn’t take their picture, because they were so far away. We went way up on the mountain and looked down on the city, it is a beautiful sight.

Wednesday we went to Long Beach. There I got my first sight of the ocean. I was surely thrilled. Water, water and more water, but I guess you know what that is. However, I’m not as good a sailor as you my dear. I was on the water about 5 hours and got sea sick. Maybe it wasn’t seas sick, but I was so dizzy I couldn’t stand up. We went out to a big ship had dinner and danced. It was anchored about 9-1/2 miles out. They had a big room where they gambled. Oh, I never saw so much money in all my life. You know those big wheels they whirl and every game you could think of. There were just piles and piles of silver dollars. Glenn & I kept our money in our pocket. Daddy called me tight, but I am a poor looser.

Thursday I went down town again. Glenn laughed at me, because I said I stayed on Broadway between Fifth Street and Ninth streets. My directions weren’t so good and I didn’t want to get too far from where I caught my car. Anyway I think I was pretty brave. There were enough stores between those streets for a person to go window shopping all day. There is a big furniture store called the Eastern. Glenn’s cousin Roy Eastman works there and June Tingey’s uncle. It is in a building 14 stories high. Every floor is filled with furniture. The window decorations were just beautiful. The Bus depot is on main street, Right next to it is one of the largest hotels in L.A., the Rosslyn, but other than that Main street is an awful place. Lots of foreigners down there.

Helen's account of her trip to Los Angeles to be continued.

A picture of Maud Eastman is at the bottom on this post.


  1. I wonder how Grandpa and Grandma let your mom go so far away by herself. Maybe it was because there were enough other people from Rich County around. Her writing is very descriptive.

  2. Thank you Flora Lee for your observations--you're always right on.

    This was 1937. Glenn and Helen met in about 1929—it was time to make some firm plans.

    Mother’s, “anyway I think I was pretty brave” is an understatement.

    “I got me a hotel apartment to live in.” She always did have gumption!