“Excellent For The Times”

Radcliffe College Alumnae Questionnaire; filled out by my grandmother on November 9, 1939

Yesterday, spurred on my my oldest daughter’s curiosity about my beloved “Grandma,” I spent a couple of hours in the Schlesinger Library perusing Florence Moulton Mirick Wild’s alum folder. (Some people go to spas for self-care; I go to the Schlesinger!) A “Special Student” at Radcliffe College from 1897 until 1899, Florence never graduated but, apparently, felt warmly enough about her college experience to at least continue filling out alumnae forms.

[Before taking a brief look at two ah-hahs from yesterday, a warm, hearty Shout-Out to the Schlesinger! Thank you, insightful and wealthy people, for realizing that the lives of women are important. And that women’s letters and ephemera and papers et al. should be preserved. Yes.]

Number of servants.” Not sure what surprised me more; that Radcliffe College wanted to know—or that my grandmother reported in 1931, at a time of great financial struggle for millions of people, that the Wild family employed one servant. I am guessing that servant was female, young, Irish, “right off the boat,” as her son, my father, would say. And I wonder: where is this nameless “One”‘s story preserved? (Sadly, I think I know the answer.)

Excellent for the times“: In my grandmother’s breezy response to a question about how much she earned as “Supervisor for Public School Music” (for the Webster and then the Worcester, MA school systems, 1907 -1912) I detect both her WASPy squeamishness to talk about money and her justifiable pride. How horrified my grandmother would be that in 2018—her first grandchild now a Grandma, too—when it comes to women’s incomes, there still is no parity.

(What would Grandma make of today’s #MeToo movement?)



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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hi, there, Patricia, and greetings and salutations to you and to you AND FOR VERY ESPECIALLY FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, my awesomely precious and dearly special soul sistahfriend Christian Quaker woman who you’re FOR ALWAYS so, so very much!!!!!! 🙂 <3 WOW, Patricia, WOW here!!!! What a very interesting, fascinating, riveting, and endearing blog post article here by absolutely AWESOME YOU, sistah!!!!!! WOW!!!!!! I loved learning and reading about your so, so very dearest and darling grandmother here!!!! WOW, she sounds like such an interesting person full of such radiance, strength, and brilliance, sistahfriend!!!!!! WOW, sistahfriend of mine, Patricia, I'm just so, so very blessed and honored that you shared this about your awesome grandmother with all of us here!!!!!! She sounds like she was a strong, resourceful, and brilliant woman, sister! I so enjoyed reading about this great woman and your very own grandmother, my dear, dearest, precious Patricia!!!!! 🙂 <3 WOW, she had such a very fine mind and intellect with her very immense intelligence to have attended Radcliffe College. And what a creative genius she was to have been a very inspiring Supervisor for Public School Music! What a stupendous and impressive, talented and gifted person she was for sure, sisterfriend!!!!!! I, too, give the Schlesinger a very resounding and hearty, Shout-Out! YOU ARE so, so very right on, my friend, it IS very much indeed vitally urgent, important, and necessary that the very lives of women are deemed important and that women's letters, ephemera, and papers et al. are preserved as such blessed and valued HERstory, my sister!!!!! WOW!!!!! What a beautiful, pretty, and dignified name which she had here, Florence Moulton Mirick Wild. I just so love the very fitting and applicable title to this very engaging blog post article with the very timeless quote from her school record which is such a delight to see in the picture written in her very own hand!!!! WOW, I just so love this and this all just speaks out to me and her very school form and her very own written words just leapt out to me!!!!! WOW, Patricia, this is just wonderful here!!!!! What a picture-perfect picture this is here!!!!!! WOW!!!!! I think that is just absolutely awesome that her records are saved , recorded, and preserved at the Schlesinger. I'm just so, so very glad, thrilled, overjoyed, and happy that your oldest daughter spurred on your own curiosity along her great curiosity about dearest Florence, sistahfriend!!!!!! What a sheer joyous blessing and such great fun, too, to read about Florence and to bear witness to the very dignity of her life, sisterfriend!!!!!! Sistahfriend, it was truly very keen to read about your WASP connections for yourself and your family, and like with dearest Florence. WOW, it is interesting about having the one servant. Thank Spirit that even though it was the Great Depressions that as Florence very much said with such clarity and sagacity that here regarding her earnings, "But it was excellent for the times!" I'm just so, so very happy that Florence and family made it through that difficult time sound, safe, and whole, Patricia!!!!!! I think that your Grandma Florence would be just so horrified and disappointed that with all women's incomes there is still no parity in 2018. She would not like that at all, sistah!!!!! Sisterfriend, she would be so proud of us as mostly women and girls and even other people, too, proudly proclaiming their very survival from sexual and physical abuse with the #MeToo movement!!!!! I just bet that there had been more openness back in her time for very especially all women and girls to proclaim ourselves as strong survivors of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual terrorism, abuse in all of its vile and ugly aspects, physical abuse, and domestic violence and to have had the resources and access back then to seek the help to overcome this evil maltreatment(even though we still have a ways to go in 2018 to get the full recourse we all need for all of this). Sister, I just so, so very much love and cherish how you've once again as usual as always very graciously and generously featured and included such very informative chock full of such outstanding information links here with this beautiful and endearing blog post article!!!! WOW!!!!! I'm just having such a grand time reading through all of this very vast information here, sistah!!!!! WOW!!!!!

    Sistahfriend, I thank-YOU and Spirit continually FOR YOU and FOR YOUR VERY PRESENCE IN MY VERY LIFE, Patricia!!!!!!! 🙂 <3 WOW!!!!! YAY for YOU, Patricia!!!!! YAY for our very sisterhood and friendship, Patricia!!!!! WOW!!!!! YAY!!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!!! Patricia, YOU ARE my, and our very life and eternal joys and blessings for ME and in fact for all of us with all you do in such a very fine and excellent fashion in such a diligently conscientious manner doing your absolutely very best with all of you stupendous blog post articles and other spectacular writings and books, an dj just with all you do and being the absolutely FANTASTIC YOU who YOU ARE FOR ALWAYS SO, SO VERY MUCH!!!!!!! AWWWWW, Patricia, SPIRIT SO, SO VERY MUCH LOVES AND CHERISHES YOU AND SO DO I A WHOLE LOT AND A WHOLE BUNCH, TOO, , MY SO, SO VERY DEAREST AND DARLING FRIEND!!!!!!! 🙂 <3

    Very Warmly and Sincerely FOR ALWAYS, my awesomely special and dearly precious soul sistahfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you're FOR ALWAYS SO, SO VERY MUCH, PATRICIA, sisterfriend of mine, with My and Spirit's VERY PEACE AND LOVE FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, sister of mine, and with SUCH BLESSINGS AND SUCH VERY EVEN MORE BLESSINGS FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, friend of mine, 🙂 <3

    YOURS FOR ALWAYS soul sistahfriend Christian black woman AND FOR ALWAYS IN THE VERY GREAT SPIRIT OF UNITY AND SOLIDARITY, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa 🙂 <3

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