Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dolly Faced Girls

Picture of Macdonald Girl signed Helen Buzzell

Well, I have a clearer picture of this little pastel of some young woman. Indeed, I have the little pastel right in front of me in Flora's Macdonald Portfolio.

At first I thought this was a pic of Marion, but my husband's Aunt said it wasn't her Mom.

Then I somehow figured out it is a Mac Girl.

Well, it's all in the letters, the 1911 letters, and as I write Flo in the City I am seeing new things.

Helen Buzzell was a classmate of Flora's who roomed with her one day when Mabel, her usual roomate, was away.

Flora is feuding with Mabel, who goes on a picnic with Helen and another girl called Gladys Lefevre, leaving her out. (I am using this as a plot device.)

In a letter, Flora says Gladys is one of those 'dolly faced girls.' Pretty! This woman is probably her. Somehow a picture of her got caught up in the Nicholson papers in the trunk.

I'm really having trouble writing this Flo in the City. I've got all the elements, the plot and the letters (and I certainly know my stuff) but maybe I know too much.

Today, I added a scene in front of Ecole Methodiste, which I just lately figured out was just below Ste Catherine on Greene.

That's where the Ville Marie starts, but in 1910 that was where the poorer area started... Not quite the City Below the HIll, but I will make it such.

Flora will stand in that place and think, "It is much easier to slide downhill than to climb uphill, but she'd much rather visit Westmount than St. Henri...It will be my way of showing what it is to be MIDDLE CLASS. And Edith in her Missionary School will symbolize this.. for no one aspired to higher things (ideas and finery) than did Edith. She lived her life in genteel poverty, but she hobnobbed with important people, at McGill especially.