It’s a mixed up world in Lisi’s diary. She knew her trip to America would be the a journey of a lifetime, and she wanted to keep track of as much as possible. She wandered freely about her little black book, entering what she could — often intermixing train schedules, recipes, addresses, and expenses. Nevertheless, with dates and details, the flow of her trip emerges.
As seen in the last post, she dropped off her luggage at the Grosspold train station on August 22, 1911, probably to be shipped ahead to Bremen. She had made a list on that first page, of what she had packed in perhaps that one suitcase–mostly linens, photos, and maps. But that’s not all she brought. She includes the following on other pages, maybe just as it came to her mind:
Bed linens (a gift from her former employer, Berta Jickeli)
2 woolen smocks
1 cotton smock
Rustic clothing, probably meaning traditional costumes
Recipe ingredients were included:
For a cake:
sugar to taste
2 “coffee” spoons vanilla
2 beaten eggwhites
A tomato sauce😕
sugar (to taste, she notes)
Addresses crop up throughout the book:
Mrs.Jickeli’s (her former employer) summer address in Bad Salzburg. (Here “Bad” means “baths” and Salz means “salt”– a place near Sibiu/Hermannstadt, where one could enjoy mineral baths.)
(See Mrs. Jickeli’s employment recommendation for Lisi at the post: The Highest Recommendation).
Among her hometown contacts I recognize the names of friends who later wrote her letters, which I have in my collection.
Chicago addresses are thrown in throughout—with phonetic spellings of street names and phone numbers. The latter were back in the day when an operator asked “Number, plee-uhs,” to connect a call. The caller gave her an “exchange” along with only four digits! Like “Kedzie 2500.” Lisi writes it “Ketzi,” as it sounds to her German language ear.
Phonetically she notes “Sirogs Robak” — perhaps for work in Chicago–or where another immigrant works? My guess is–it’s “Sears Roebuck.”
Of course, Josef Gartz’s address is listed on Orchard Street in Chicago, where she had written to him that she was coming. (See: Are We Going There to Stay? Again the placement of street, state, address in America is totally strange to her.
The train takes her on a journey like she’s never experienced. On the next post, I’ll share with you Lisi’s route, as she recorded it — and some of the ways she spent her money.
I welcome your comments.