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My Harlem Summer. S Harvey. Need To Know All About Rent Parties? What About Cotton Club? Ma Rainey? Cost Of Food? What To Do On Night Out?

2949 words - 12 pages

Mon. July 14 1929 3:33 pm

Wow! My very own journal. I found it for cheap at the thrift store when I was looking for some new boots. I really don't have the money for it, considering my major lack of funds. I can't seem to find a good gig anywhere. I find myself wondering if maybe I should have kept my old job. The Tree of Hope is so crowded it's a wonder anyone is able to get hired. (Levine 237 ) No, it was degrading to work for those high and mighty lily-white cretins. They only know the world of glitz and glamour; they don't know that the real fun is at a rent party. Speaking of which, My friends keep suggesting that I throw one, but I've never done it before. Don't get me wrong, I love a good rent party, but they seem like so much trouble. I suppose if I could get another person we could have a killer cutting contest. (Barbone) I've been practicing because of all the spare time on my hands, and I think I could hold my own against Willie Smith. (Placksin) Oh that's' a laugh. I may be good, but he's the king I'm telling you. The only one who's better than him, in my opinion, is Fats Waller.( SIMONETTI) What I wouldn't do to see those two going at it. I bet you could hear the music from floors and floors down (Matthews) I can't wait to take Jamie, that's my little sis, to a show. Poor girl hasn't had any fun since our auntie got her hands on her. You see, my mother passed away about six months ago, and I couldn't afford to keep her, and my auntie doesn't think mo old enough anyway, even though I'm 19. As for my father, we hardly remember him. And as for my brothers, I shouldn't even waste the paper on them. They're nogoodnicks, as that crazy old gonif Solly says. (Levine 65, 204) Inviting him is a must, that old meshuggeneh with his ratty old parrot and their fortune telling. (Levine 77) Oh geeze, I have to go, my stomach is rumbling, and I think my mothers famous green bean casserole is done. Don't worry, I'll write again soon!

Oh, I almost forgot! My full name Mystique Irma Lee, but everyone calls me Misty,

Sat. July 19 1929. @ 5:17 pm

Well, it's decided. I'm throwing a party. I managed to get a gig at a man named Murphy's party last night. After I played, stiff competition I'm telling you, I talked to him until the sun came up on all the particulars. He said to first talk with the neighbors, see if you can keep some of your furniture at their place for the night for an invitation. Then hire a pianist or two, and a trumpet player. About payment he said that if I do it right, the money from admission should be enough for me, and the big money will come from the food, that goes to them (Matthews) For food he recommended some kind of chicken, some fried fish if I could manage it, lots of cornbread, pigs feet, potato salad, beans and rice, and bread (Olson; Matthews; Levine 70, ) he also says I should charge 20 cents for admission.( Matthews) He says that's pretty cheap, but not too cheap, if you know what I mean. For...

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