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UCLA Magazine Fall 2002
The Little Marias
Coming Home
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Fall 2002
Coming Home
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The Grove, Balthis continues, was the place to be. "Every well-known band of the day was playing at the hotel. You felt very special when you were there, mingling with the stars." The ladies carried dance cards hung from their wrists with a tassel — Balthis still has hers saved in a scrapbook. It was Prohibition, and while women drank punch, the men secretly sipped liquor from silver flasks. Dinner following dancing was not de rigueur back then. Instead, Balthis says, a couple, usually on a double-date, would go have a "goopy sundae" at the Pig 'N Whistle or C.C. Brown's on Hollywood Boulevard.

Sherman Grancell '30

THOSE LONG-AGO TIMES may sound romantic, but they were anything but easy.

"We were all poor back then," Grancell says. "But nobody knew any different." It was the Great Depression. To get by, students would take any job they could find. Grancell worked as a drugstore soda jerk, earning 50 cents an hour during the summer, and he worked a 10-hour shift one night per week during the school year.

Goldman '33 took a couple years off from school to work as a bookkeeper in a potato chip factory and selling magazines door to door. "Anything for a dollar," Goldman says. "But a dollar bought a heck of a lot. A person making $20 a week was able to support himself very modestly."

Hy Goldman '33

Twenty dollars also would cover all fees - including admission to sports events - for a semester at the college, Grancell says. Since there were no residence halls, many students took the red trolley to campus. Zide lived in Boyle Heights and took three streetcars to get to the end of the line at the Vermont campus. Some women were able to find places to live through the Helen Matthewson Club, named for the first dean of women students, Helen Matthewson Laughlin, who helped find housing for working women so they could continue their studies.

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