Right before I left for my vacation, I received an e-mail from the fabulous Jennifer Pooley, editor (Harper Collins) of Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart. She had stumbled upon my blog and she was delighted that I had listed Mrs. Hart's book as one of my "must reads" in my Do It/Did It Rolodex. She offered up ten brand spankin' new copies of this great book for me to give away right here on this site. I returned home from Disneyworld this morning and found the ten books waiting for me in my entryway:
If you missed my original entry, here's a brief description:
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more charming little book than octogenarian Marjorie Hart's memoir of the summer of 1945, when she and a friend from the University of Iowa boldly ventured to New York City to work for a few months. Writing some sixty years later, she describes how they found summer employment at Tiffany & Co. as the company's first female "pages," whose job it was to run merchandise between the sales floor and the less glamorous departments (repair, gift-wrapping). With so many young men in the service, Tiffany decided to give these two fresh-faced Midwesterner coeds a try. On salaries of $20 a week, the girls pinched every penny to pay the rent and see an occasional show. They ate at the Automat, dated servicemen on leave in New York, sipped cocktails at Sardi's, danced the occasional night away, and jubilantly crowded into Times Square on VJ Day. (It's not all sweetness and light: there were friends and family members lost in the war. Hart's description of walking into her aunt and uncle's home after the news came that they had lost their son, an Air Force pilot, will chill your heart.) Summer at Tiffany is a little gem worthy of the Tiffany name.
I actually scurried out to buy the book before I left for my vacation. I'm a bit of a bibliophile, and there is something about the exterior beauty of this book that let's you know that it will be a great read. Some books just have a good feel. I breezed through the book in a day, gasping at Marjorie's gaffes and choking back tears as she learned of her cousin's death. The book is so vibrantly written that you can actually step back in time to a day when women wore heels and gloves, men wore hats and the entire county rallied around the men & women serving overseas. It made me remember my grandmother's stories of ration stamps and painting stocking lines on her legs. Marjorie Hart's descriptions of NYC in the summer of 1945 are a literary time machine. Hop in!
So, here's how you get your copy. Leave a comment (scroll down to the bottom of this post) to this post, telling us all about your favorite New York City memory. Everyone has a favorite New York memory, even if you've never set foot in the city. Maybe you loved the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Maybe you have a passion for broadway plays. Just give us a memory! Each person who leaves a comment before Monday, October 1st, will be entered in the drawing for one of these wonderful books. I'll post the winners after 12 noon on October 1st.
To get you started, here's my greatest New York City memory: I travelled to New York City for the first time in the summer of 1994. My then-boyfriend's parents had a place in the city & a place in the Hamptons. Now that's the way to see New York!! We did all of the touristy things (Ellis Island will bring any Irish-immigrant's great granddaughter to tears...), but my hands-down favorite excursion was our trip to FAO Schwartz. Right there on 5th Avenue, I climbed the large stone steps, opened the door and, oh my! I burst into tears. It was the most heavenly place in the world. I was 23 years old and crying over a toy store! I can still clearly remember Kermit the Frog cycling over my head on a tightrope and stuffed animals bigger than me. Heaven! I look forward to the day when my 2 year-old daughter is old enough to catch the train up to NYC for the weekend with me & Auntie Suni. We're certainly going to hit FAO Schwartz (and an ice cream sundae at Serendipity's, of course!).
So... leave your memory in the comments section and keep your fingers crossed that I'll draw your name on October 1st!