I borrowed a book from someone in the late 1970’s and I never returned it. She specifically told me she wanted it back and it has haunted me for years. I still have it, but she died in 1991 so I can’t return it now. I recently discovered a thank you card inside which references the war. A little bit of googling, and I’ve confirmed the writer is referring to WWII. The card was marked “benefit of the War Orphans for the Chinese Women’s Relief Association Inc., 5 East 57th Street New York City,” and that organization sold these cards in the 1940’s. The card reads:
Dear Mrs. Farr,
We are all so grateful for your kindness to Aunt Tillie and your wonderful helpfulness generally. I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing more of you after this war is over.
With every good wish,
Eleanor S. Kleinschmidt
I love the Aunt Tillie part. Who is ever named Tillie anymore, and what is that short for? Oh, Mathilda probably. Here is Bleecker, inspecting the evidence of my shame.