Not Amanuensis Monday: Betty Peters 1942 -1944 Journal, Final Day

This is a continued effort to transcribe my mother’s 1942 Journal when she was 15 years old.


Jan 2, 1944
     So much has happened between last May and today that I can only touch on a very few of the outstanding events.
      Alvaretta came back to New York last fall.  She has been to see us several times.  Her lovely sister is living in the city with her four children.  Alvaretta is now living in Brooklyn with a married couple.

He’s a negro artist and she’s white.  Alvaretta claims to be living in a very cultured atmosphere and is very happy (now).
     Marian Anderson and Razz Fisher are married.  They tied the knot last summer.  It was in all the papers.  We sent them a card of congratulation and called them up.  They sent us a Christmas card.
     June and Palmer have been married for seven months.  The wedding was lovely.  Everything went off as planned, only better.  Moving pictures were taken which I haven’t seen as yet.  Aunt Vi Thompson sent us a photo-…

…graph though.  June went to Florida (where Palmer was shipped) and stayed for a month until he was shipped to North Carolina.  She’s home now.  She and Sis LaVant are both working at Sack’s 34th St. now.  June and I went out to lunch together and she ran out and left me to pay the bill.  How’d you like that?!!
     Richard Timpson and I had a fleeting romance that lasted from June 1943 to about the middle of September.  He ditched me because I was too virginal.  After fooling around with Barbara Franklin (who is one of them things) he was shipped away to Texas because of bad behavior at the New York Army Hall.  He became sick and had…. spend some time in the hospital out there but he’s out now.  He used to go around with Arlene Alvaranga and then Agnes Wethers.
    The summer was very warm and pleasant.  I acquired a sunburn whist I still haven’t entirely lost.  Late in August I spent a few days with Hilda (Bonnie) Proctor!  She knocks me out with her “dear lamb” Sonny banks from Boston and Lester.
     She visited me for the Christmas holidays.  Let me say right now that they are the most glorious holidays I have ever spent.  I can really see myself growing up now.  I’m doing so many…

…things now that I couldn’t ever do before.  (I was 17 years old on the 17th of November 1943). 
     We had a big tree for $4.08. Blonnie came X’mas Eve.
     Here are my activities.  (Christmas was on Saturday)
     Friday Night: Cocktails at Aunt Burnette’s house. (Blonnie and I had Pepsi Cola).  Bed about 4:00.
Saturday: 1. Loads of X’mas presents.
2. Dinner with the Family, Aunt Burnette and Uncle Albert, Blonnie, Joyce, Lester.  Ernest Craig, “septical” a hippy jerk from way back came back.
Sat nite: Lester & Hilda smooch while Joyce and I play records.

St. Martin Episcopal Church
230 Lenox Avenue (Malcolm X Blvd)

Sunday: St. martin’s Church. Rain! Rain! Rain!  We meet Rev. Johnnie Johnson’s…

…son, David and plan party for Tuesday night.  Later we go to movies (Hamilton). Picture: “Sweet Rosie O’Grady”  Betty Grable, Robt. Young
Monday: We went Ice skating at Iceland (50th St.  I fell down twice.  Mon. Nite: Movies: “The Cross of Lorraine” with Pierre Aumont, Gene Kelly, Richard Whorf *** (in my estimation).
Tuesday: We fool around all day.  Go to David Johnsons party that night with Max and Charlie Yergan.  Nice party, just nice.  Jackie Canton is there.
Wednesday Night: THE COMUS CLUB

My first formal dance.  At the SAVOY.  Maxi Yergan escorted me.  (Is he handsome).  I hope he comes to see me.  I had a ball.  Other’s there were Blonnie, Lester, Barbara, Bobby, Frankie, Dixon (he’s a doll, I just love him), Pat Rainey, Betty Pogue, the fellow with the white streak in his hair, Pat Cuffee and scads of othhers.  What fun!
     A formal dance. Ha!  I’m growing up.  Thursday Blonnie went home.  My house was packed from morn till night with kids.  Friday was New Years.  We kids about 100 of us went first to Barbara’s then Bobby’s.  We carried on!  Had a ball!  Bobby was on furlough from the Navy, Frankie, from…

…the army.  God Bless them and all the others.  I didn’t go to Earl, Stanley, Wallace, Sonny’s party Monday because they didn’t want Blonnie and she was my guest Saturday Night.  Aunt Burnette and Uncle Albert drove Mom, Unk, me up to the Bronx to the Paschall’s new home.  Very nice time had.  When we came home, we went to Grace Thompson’s and ate candy, fruitcake, spareribs, blackeyed peas, drank rockin rye and milk. OW!  This is Sunday and I’m doing trig homework.
    Tommie Owens came over for a piece of cake, (his first time in my house) but it was all gone.  He a darling.  I…

…understand him now.  I love him too.  His friend, “Al”, the other fireman is going away to the Army on January 4 (Tuesday).

Boo! Hoo!  Ruthie and Liela are getting chummy again.

Oh Gee!  I love everybody.  Frankie Touie, Maxie.  What a mixup.  Dear Me!



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Not Amanuensis Monday: Betty Peters 1942 & 1943 Journal, Day #14

This is a continued effort to transcribe my mother’s 1942 Journal when she was 15 years old.

Betty Mae Peters
High School Photo
Page 68-bottom

May 26, 1943 Wednesday

Take note, goat, my handwriting has changed again. It simply gets monotonous writing the same way all the time.  So here I am with my new scribe.

Baby, are things buzzing around here.  June Thompson for one thing is going to be married to Palmer Hamilton on Saturday the 29th.  Aunt Vi (She’s Aunt now) just left.  She told us about how much trouble she is having with her mother who…

Page 69

…seems to be very contrary about the whole thing.  Three Saturdays ago, Aunt Vi, spent the whole day shopping downtown tying to find a pretty grey dress for her mother to wear to the wedding.  She simply couldn’t find a nice grey dress so went home with a perfectly lovely black one.  Her mother was so angry at not having a grey dress that she would’t even try it on and had Aunt Vi send it right back.  To Aunt Vi’s horror and unhappiness, her mother is going to wear an old grey wool dress that she (Aunt Vi) made last winter for her to wear around the house.  It’s so thick and winterish looking that Aunt Vi knows people at the wedding will speak of her neglecting her mother by not even getting her a decent dress to wear.  Aunt Vi is…..

Page 70

…so very upset that she doesn’t know what to do.

Two Sunday’s ago, Menta Turner, Dorothy Fuoner, and Olyve Johnson gave a shower for June, and it was really a grand thing.  The cream of the crop was there, and mother and I were duly fussed over. (I guess we’re in the “Blue Book” now.).  We went up on the Subway with Toni and got there 5 minutes before it was over.  I met Mrs. Jones, Gloria’s (one of the bridesmaids) mother-Ha! (That’s all I can say) Just Ha!  She’s making Gloria’s dress and we are all hoping just hoping.  The other bridesmaids are Betty Turner (a sweet lovely girl of whom I am very fond and I hope the feeling is mutual), Dolores Duncan (Ditto!) and Roberta (cis) LaVar (also Ditto and the maid of honor).

Page 71

We bridesmaids gave Junie a shower on Saturday last, (May 22). It was to be a surprise, and as far as the other girls know, it was.  Only Junie, Mommie, Aunt Vi (perhaps ? Thompson) and I know about that!)  That is our secret!  Dolores spilled it unknowingly on Friday afternoon.  Friday night I went to spend the night with June and we both pretended terrifically (each knowing the other knew about the pretense).  Palmer surprised us (Gee he’s cute!) by being there.  Saturday morning June confessed her knowledge.  Anyway we had lots of fun and the other girls think it was a surprise.  They would have been so unhappy had they thought it otherwise.  So that was my good deed.  It was at the Hotel Theresa.  Mr. Scott let…

Page 72

…us have the room for receptions.  I met so many lovely girls (including Marie Frazier) and we all had a ball.  Gladys Scott certainly does look and act grown.  By the way she has ?lra now but Barbara doesn’t think anyone knows it (not even me).  She’s putting on a big show and making a fool of herself.  It was dirty of Scottie but Barbara deserves it.  Look how dirty she’s been.  Think of how she treated “Desie”.  Then look at how she has taken poor stupid Preston away from June.  Not that June cares.  She is well able to take care of herself and I, her she is doing just that.

I’m a drift again and I think Earl is “putrid.”  I’ll be glad when someone comes along, however.  This “Love ? business is awfully monotonous.

Uncle Ray was in town for two days…

Page 73

…without Joan!  He’s headed for Jersey in the same fashion.  So there!

Ruthie and Arnie are all heartthrobs.  Joyce met Danny Deece. (remember him?) in Corona L. I. where he lives.  He is gorgeous and likes her, but she gave him the go-by for Everett Mills. (That is what I call pitiful).

Muriell and Leslie have gone the limit.  Ditto Thelma and Richard Summer (now “and Mingo”).

Mr. Knickerbocker asked me to work in his office next term.  Nice!

Alveretta’s Uncle Buddy came up for her and she signed herself out of the hospital to early.  She upset mother and made her cry, when we told her about Uncle Buddy crying she maliciously said “crocodile tears”

Page 74

She left for Georgia about 3 weeks ago and her dear sweet cousin Myrtice Davis came and took most of her things.  Now her temp is 105 and her arm, hands, and legs are paralyzed.  Her pain is so sever that she has to be doped.  Oh goodness!  Sadness, Happiness, Sadness, Happiness! (That’s life).

The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

What am I? Roles People Play (Betty Peters)

     My mother Betty Peters, was an elementary school teacher.  I found this paper she wrote very interesting.  I was more impressed that she mentioned the possibility of adopting children.  My mother had had the conversation with my grandmother about adopting children on her death bed. My mom was not able to have any children, and I did not meet my grandmother because she passed three years before I was born.  But, my grandmother gave my mother blessings to adopt, so I feel that the thought of me was on her mind, and therefore I feel connected to her.  The paper below was written about 1966.

Page #1

     I do not know Sidney Poitier.  I am not a member of the movie colony.  I am not even an avid moviegoer.  However, there is something in the wind which disturbs me sufficiently to make me want to share my thoughts with as many people as I can reach.  For over a year now, I have run into the same conversation now and then, in a variety of groups, to the effect that some of the young, or perhaps many young Negro people in New York are “downing” (speaking with great disfavor of) Sidney Poitier for playing “non-Negro” movie roles.  These persons are saying he (and, of course, other Negro actors and actresses) should play roles solely which indicate the Negroes’ struggle in America, and that they should, I suppose, refuse to accept roles that show a person who is physically Negro in appearance, but in just about every other way, “White.”  That is, sharing a common culture with white Americans, living similarly in many aspects of living, and – most important – having to solve everyday problems of a fairly non-racial nature.

I disagree with these people.

     Serious theatre, like all other art, flourishes only in an atmosphere of freedom.  The individual artist communicates his reactions in his own art form…in this situation, in drama.  Art dies, and the public suffers accordingly, when art is confined, censored, restricted.  The dramatist relates what he  has experienced in his situations.  The actor, another individualist, with his own individual set of experiences, hopefully, can empathize with the dramatist, and together they unfold the communication, as they see it and feel it, to the public.

     Now there may be some people who see themselves only in one light.  Such a person, if an actor, would have to be “type” casted forever, and there might be some questions as to whether to consider such
a person an artist.  However, in this complex, multi-faceted world it is difficult to conceive of any thinking person’s seeing himself, or herself in only one light.  As an example, I offer myself as a study.

 Page #2

Let’s see what other groups I fall into:

—I am a Television viewer

I am a music lover.     I am a “reader.”     I am an avocational writer.

I am a suburbanite.     I am overweight.     I am 40 years old.

I am a gourmet, of sorts.     I am a dog owner.     I am a taker of baths…I hate showers!

I am a user of cosmetics.     I wear tailored clothes.

I belong to a credit union.     I buy and drive foreign cars.  I am a martini drinker.

I am not anti-sports but a-sports…not caring one way or another.

I hate heat waves.     I like shutters.     I dislike spiders.     I love cologne.

I refused to join a social sorority in college but I do belong to an honorary fraternity.

I am a Liberal.     I am a consumer.     I am a “taxpayer.”     I am a New Yorker, by

birth and upbringing, a Californian by residence, and more pinpointedly, a Los Angeleno.

I am a “propery-owner.”     Sometimes I am a restaurant patron.

Sometimes I am an airplane passenger.     I am an “only child.”     I am an offspring of…

of a “broken home.”     I am now motherless.     I am an American.

I am middle-class.

Page #3

     To my third grade class, I am their teacher.  Inside that classroom I share common problems, and have similar training, with and as teachers all over America.  I grapple with problem children,, try to find time to enrich gifted ones, try to find time to do all that my job requires in the time allotted and in much overtime.  I try to decide which teacher’s organization to belong to, if any.  I react to supervision from the administrative branch.  I try to maintain rapport with the community in which I teach, though, sometimes difficult, parent contacts.  I try to have good relationships with other staff members, keeping in mind the concept of professionalism.  I grapple with the idea of trying for advancement, and if so what?  I could go on and on.

     To my husband I am a wife.  I am the one who has seen him “through” “thick and thin” for many years now.  I am the person he must consider in both his big decisions and his most minute daily activities, such as weather to hang up his clothes.  I will be the mother of his children, even if we find we have to adopt them.  I’m the person he presents to his business associates, organization co-members, old Army buddies.  I’m the hostess at his parties, his lover, his best friend.  In short, I am to him what most wives are their husbands all over America and elsewhere in the world.

     To various organizations in which I have worked, I am a reliable worker.  Once I entered a room of a newly-formed civic group, uninvited, meaning to volunteer my services for the afternoon.  A voice greeted my ear.  I heard the words, “Here comes ‘Old Faithful’!”  I turned to see the smiling face of a friend with whom I had worked in other organizations in the past.  Later when the group disbanded, the project completed, I had added dozens more people to the fairly long list of those who see me mainly in this light. Old Faithful!
     To many teachers at various points in my education I have been considered a truly gifted student, but one Chemistry Lab instructor at New York University indicated my lack of ability in this area of instruction was downright depressing.

Page #4

     During the last Christmas holidays the doorbell rang one Sunday morning.  There stood one of our neighbors from around the corner.  He and his wife are a retired couple.  We have chatted with them on occasion.  We have never visited their home nor have they visited ours.  Much to our surprise the gentleman handed us a beautifully wrapped Christmas gift, which later turned-out to be a box of delicious chocolates.  The man simply said, “Merry Christmas!  You’re nice neighbors!”  I’m a neighbor.

     I quit one organization I was in, because I always seemed to be opposing the entire Board of Directors, of which I was a member.  They made it quite clear what they though I was, a pain in the neck!  Now if I see one of them in the supermarket they duck their head and go the other way!

     To my doctor I am someone whose health he is guarding.  Since I have had a variety of health problems, one which involved surgery, he keeps close “tabs” on me.  To my dentist I fall into the group of people who pretend not to be terrified each time I sit in the dentist’s chair!

     I am a woman!  (We can vote now!)  Recently I accompanied my husband to an affair which was being given for young boys.  There were two or three hundred people in the room…all males!  We hadn’t realized it would be so.  I couldn’t go home.  We lived too far away, and my husband was on “the show”, which was about to begin.  Self consciously I tried to hide myself in a corner by a post.  A few minutes later another woman appeared at the door with a tall man and a boy.  I could feel her despair as she stared wide-eyed and open-mouthed into the room.  Then she saw me!  Her shoulders relaxed.  The man and boy went one way.  She smilingly picked her way through the crowd and cam and sat right beside me!  She was not even my race!

     To many people, I am an old and trusted friend.  They have others.

     To my political party I am a voter.  This puts me in quite a large group.

     To my minister I am a member of the flock.

     To some relatives I am one of their beloved relations.  To some others I am

     the reason they are glad they can choose their friends.

Scrapbook Sunday: Betty Peters Communicants Class Part #3

This is a continuance of my mother’s scrapbook.

My mother Betty Peters (1926-2004) had a really nice red scrapbook that she put together in her Communicants Class;  that included church programs, little booklets of various gospel books of the Bible, news article clippings and things that interested her or were her favorite things.

Every Sunday I will post pages from my mother’s scrapbook & as the pages are falling apart and disintegrating.  The red scrapbook is over 70 years old and she put it together when she was attending St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem.  It was 1940 and my mother was 14 years old.
Many of the lessons my mother learned in her Communicants class at 14 years
Lessons in the Bible my mother’s class studied
Pictures of some of the stories in the Bible
The Calling of Matthew
The arrival to Bethlehem
The Angels announcement to the Shepherds
Communicant Class Letter signed by Wm. Lloyd Imes
There were some other pages of this scrapbook, and once located, I will post.
The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Amanuensis Monday: Betty Peters 1942 Journal, Day #13

This is a continued effort to transcribe my mother’s 1942 Journal when she was 15 years old.  To see other postings Click on following links: Day #1Day #2Day #3Day #4Day #5Day #6 & #7Day #8Day #9Day #10 Day #11 Day #12

Betty Peters

Page 62-Bottom

Monday March 22, 1943

Well doggone!
Things certainly can happen: Maude Turner told Alveretta that she ought to improve herself culturally.  Now Alveretta hides every time she comes.  Maude has washed her hand of the whole affair, and who can blame her.  She was really trying to be a sincere helpful friend and Alveretta took offense.

“Mastermind” has laryngitis (almost).

Page 63

March 22, 1943 Cont’d

I was in bed all last friday with a cold &  was absent from school.
     Speaking of school, I am really working hard this term for two objects. 1. Arista 2. General Principles.  Mother has at last realized that writing is the only thing for me & now she is all for it.  I have an outline for a story. “A.L.F.H.”  I can hardly wait for some extra time in which I can develop it.
     Colored girls are going to be hired as clerks at Bloomingdales next Summer & I am going to go down and see if they will hire me.  I hope they will.
     Well Ray & Joan (Jake & Jenny) have come & gone again.

Page 64

March 22, 1945 Cont’d

For one roaring week they stayed.  They came last Monday & they just left at about 5:00 P.M.  It is now 5:20 P.M. (in other words 20 minutes ago).  At last they in style. Jake is working in a band, Jenny in a restaurant.  They are both in Albany.  She keeps watch over him like a “vigil in the night,” the poor sap can’t move without having Jenny tailing behind like a body-guard.  She is terribly jealous & swears all women are out to get her “Daddy.”  Just a few evenings ago, Aunt Leronia was here, Uncle Ray talked to her at the table, Jenny got so mad she almost smoked a pack of cigarettes.  She ordered him to eat his dinner & be quiet (if you please).  Later, he was playing the piano for Aunt “L” & Joan couldn’t stand their being…

March 22, 1943 Cont’d

Page 65

…alone in the living room.  So, in went Jenny & she sat & she sat & she sat.

This afternoon, (the day of their dreaded departure), I cam home from school & immediately knew something was wrong.  I inquired only to find out that (as usual) Ray had skipped and left Joan; he had even taken the key to their room with him.  Joan had some money, her ticket back home, the new coffee pot she had just bought. (aluminum & red to be exact), and herself, but her clothes were in the room & “sweet papa” had the key.  No papa, no clothes, sorry?   Are you asking me if she was mad?


Page 66

March 22, 1943  Cont’d.

Besides the flames that literally leaping out of Joan’s ears, there was Mother (worried), (Unkie I’m told was worried too) & I was hungry.  Well, I ate, and at 4:30 (after Joan had left to go across the street and see if she could get into the room “pans” a key) who should appear but Jake.  He had been to a business meeting.  It seems he had to go to a fraternity house. (where “femmes” are not admitted).  Joan is such a clinging vine that the only way he could go was by back alley & underhand methods.  This : Chop Suey.  (In other words everything was mixed up).  But definitely!  Now the two lambs (drippy & droopy) have left our humble domain & are going back to Albany (Pity Albany!)  Well, at least they are different, and Earl says “Variety is the spice of life.”

Page 67

March 22, 1943 Cont’d

     Speaking of Earl, he is definitely “in there” (again) with me.  My dear friend (?) R.S. (and that doesn’t stand for Rain Storm) is definitely out.  Reason for the first:  How can a gal help herself? Reason for the second: The party of this first part is Jealous of the party of the second part, and is trying to take action.  Tut Tut!  Pitiful aren’t we?
     Hilda Proctor is a darling and a good friend of mine.  Lester likes her.  She talks of her soldier boy “Bucky” but I think Mr. H. has 1/3 of M(?) Proctor anyway.  I am going to invite her down for Easter.  I hope she can come.
     There is something pee-kue-lee-ar going on between Barbara & Iva, and I, your reporter means to…

Page 68 Top

March 22, 1943 Cont’d

..find out just what the “something” is.  Meanwhile don’t forget to by more stamps & the next time you go shopping don’t forget that package of “Cuddely Duddely Safety pins.”
Take it Easy!!! Grrreasy!

P.S. Irving is reported to be a droole. Gwennie is grooving herself with Henry Hines from Brooklyn.

The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011