Monday, January 19, 2009

The Diary: January 19, 1905

My Cosey Corner Girl sheet musicCynthia was spending the Christmas holidays in her family home in Harwich.  Cynthia's father, a sea captain, had been quite ill; the previous week, on January 12, Cynthia had written in her diary that he had been sick "all night and day"; she'd had to get up and go out in a snowstorm before breakfast to fetch the doctor.

January 19 appears to have been a significant day in the Cynthia-Ben relationship:  she's noted "Remember" with asterisks at the top of the entry and she writes that she told Ben something, but the handwriting is illegible.  The rest of the entry reads:

Letter from Cora and Celia.  Papa is better now.  Annie came over.  Drove Maud to Chatham and came back to dance at Harwich Port.  Had a time putting up the horse.

Illustration Credits and References

This image of a 1903 John Bratton song, My Cosey Corner Girl, is courtesy of the Heftone website. On January 4, Cynthia's friend Maud had arrived at the house with papers and this piece of sheet music--presumably for them to practice and learn.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cole Porter in Worcester

Cole Porter at Worcester AcademyContrary to popular opinion, Cole Porter didn't actually spring fully-formed from his Yale education, but spent the four years before that getting ready at Worcester Academy, a Massachusetts prep school.  He arrived on campus in the fall of 1905 from Indiana as a fourteen-year-old freshman, moving into the dorm room that his mother had thoughtfully arranged to have furnished with an upright piano and oriental rugs!

While he was small, and not athletically inclined, he was, by all accounts, a popular student, attracting friends at the Academy with his winning personality and his often comic and risque piano compositions and performances.  According to the Worcester Academy website, he graduated in 1909 second in his class, and was valedictorian, class historian, and author of the Class of 1909 Song, which, unfortunately has not survived.

Illustration Credits and References

Photograph courtesy of the Worcester Academy website.