Click here for the original Farmer's Wife Magazine, the letter written by Mrs. M. V. H. in Montana can be found on page 10.
February 1936 brought the world together to witness the 1936 Winter Olympics hosted in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany. 28 countries competed in 11 different sports, and interestingly enough 1936 was the last year that both winter and summer Olympics were held in the same host country.
Hitler used both Olympics as an international PR campaign to demonstrate German superiority. He built the largest facilities, introduced extravagant opening and closing ceremonies, and even went so far as to "clean the streets" of the cities the Olympics where hosted in, meaning the homeless and prostitutes were forcefully removed. The Olympics were also meant to be a demonstration of the physical superiority of Aryan Germans, but this failed. Germany earned the third highest number of medals, Norway won the greatest number of medals: 7 gold, 5 silver, and 3 bronze.
Never the less, the Olympics were a huge success for Hitler. The world was impressed with the organizations, precision, and fanfare of the Games themselves, as well as the aspects of the host cities in architecture, art, and culture. British King Edward VIII attended the Olympics before his coronation and was not shy to give glowing reviews of German society. For many people, the Nazi government was seen as a force that had elevated Germany out of a post-war depression and a stagnant Wiemar government and created a vibrant, robust economic society. Because of this, the shady emergence of the Nazi party might be forgiven.
I like Mrs. M. V. H.'s praise she gives to those young flappers that she once ridiculed, for maturing and proficiently stepping into the role of mother. "All of our worries have vanished into thin air," she writes in regards to panic over a sure moral collapse flapper culture would bring. She mentions that they will soon panic over the youthful transgressions their daughters will make, and so every generation will continue to look back fondly on their own past while admonishing the current youth.
But I have to wonder just how prevalent the outrageous scenes of every generation are. The hippy love children of the 1960's were not a majority of their age group, Goths of the 1990's were not a majority of their generation, and purple haired Third Wave Feminists are not a majority of the current youth. I wonder if much of their infamy is simply to do because of their outlandishness while, as Mrs. M. V. H. points out that most are "holding onto the fundamentals of decent, happy home life."
But even then I'm not sure if Mrs. M. V. H.'s assessment is an accurate of modern America and an idea of decent, happy homes. In 1936 the divorce rate in America was 18%, today it's around 50% and you're even more likely to divorce if you've divorced previously. Millennial (those born in the 1980's and 90's) are less likely to marry at all. I can't help wonder if that's because so many came from broken home's they either don't see the point of marriage or they don't know how to successfully hold onto the fundamentals of a decent, happy home life. Maybe I'm being pessimistic, maybe I'm like Mrs. M. V. H. was in the 1920's and fretting unnecessarily over the future of the nation. Let me know what you think.
A word of caution with the Carolina block, there are lots of Y-seams so have those strait pins at the ready! The Y-seams aren't terribly difficult, just remember to mind your seam allowances and keeping seams flat and you should be just peachy. If you're a little nervous about the odd shapes, I would suggest you cut your fabrics slightly larger than the templates and trim down to size after the seams have been pieced and pressed.
A (4) 1 1/2 x 2"
B (1) 2 x 2"
C (2) 2 1/2 x 2 1/2"
D (4) 2 x 2" or template
E (4) 1 3/4 x 2" or template
F (4) 1 3/4 x 2" or template
G (4) x 2" or template
H (8) 2 x 2" or template