Today I wrap things up with three incredible cards from Bess Houdini herself. This is appropriate as today is Harry and Bess's anniversary (I didn't even plan it that way). There is so very little written by Bess during Houdini's lifetime that anything in her hand is gold, and these cards have some great content. So let's get at 'em.
The first card is from Kansas City on Sept. 8, 1915. It's addressed to Gladys at 315 West 98th St. in New York, where she and Leopold now resided. The card was written while Houdini was on a coast to coast vaudeville tour that year.
Kansas City - MO
Lots of love to you both. I wish I was in Flatbush where I belong
Ever your sister
Bess seems to have found peace a month later in Seattle, Washington, where she sent this card on October 20, 1915.
I've got a lovely little flat here and am some busy.
Lots of love to all
It's interesting that she says I've got a lovely little flat, not we. This card was sent while Houdini was playing the Orpheum Theater at 3rd & Madison in Seattle.
In Bill's collection there is a third card from Bess, this one sent to Leopold from Denver, Colorado, on December 30, 1915.
Merry Xmas and a very Happy New Year.
Harry is doing his outside stunt to-morrow (Thurs.) and Friday this state goes dry, two historical events. Say isn't it too bad Bro. Bill doesn't live here now.
Lots of love
Bess seems to have recovered from any nervousness about Houdini's suspended straitjackets escapes, at least enough to be able to quip that his upcoming escape (from the Denver Post building on Dec. 30) was a "historical event." Of course, she turned out to be right about this!
Her mention of the state going "dry" refers to a prohibition on alcohol that Colorado and six other states (Iowa, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arkansas, and South Carolina) instituted on December 31, 1915. Bess mentioning brother Bill in this context is likely a joke as Bill was said to be quite a drinker (his nickname was "Lobster Bill").
Please join me in thanking Bill Bremer for sharing with us his incredible find. Below are links to all the posts.