Now, how do you suppose I'm going to write a column, with Martha Robinson and my husband having a lively discussion of politics? They are sitting at the now-depleted dinner table (Sat. eve..). Estelle's radio up in her room is bleating forth the mysteries of Ellery Queen - while Charlie is trying out a fairly new baritone voice in the bath-tub. So where is there any peace and quiet? But what a delight to have my childhood friend here once again! In spite of Martha's immaculate house-wifery, she is as comfortable to have around as a well-worn shoe. We have talked over the dish pan, the lunch table, the remnants of the garden, the making of ketchup out of the last ripe tomatoes; and Martha has ironed my kitchen curtains - all in one bright Saturday. Martha is being introduced - pell-mell - into Plainfield Road community life; the pre-hallowe'en pranks of our 16-year-olds, the running in of nice neighbors, one with her choicest recipe for green tomato relish, the response of our Block to a Red Cross plea, and now - tonight - a party directly across the street. The Red Cross call has come in the wake of the worst disaster that ever came to Cleveland.

Yesterday afternoon a huge gas tank belonging to the East Ohio Gas Co., sprang a leak, and somehow caught fire. A terrific explosion - and then Dante's inferno. Two other tanks caught fire from the first one; the wind spread the flames, and homes and small factories were consumed like match-boxes. In four hours 10,000 people lost their homes; there are 71 known dead, 79 missing, and about 400 injured. They say that the flames from these gas tanks shot 1,000 feet into the air. Ten city blocks were completely wiped out. The response of our great city has been magnificent. The Block system showed its true worth in this disaster. Blankets, comforts, all kinds of bedding were gathered on our street within one hour.

Now I must stop - unfinished. But more of this next week.

Hastily - Cordially yours,
Florence B. Taylor

Next - 11/2/44 - Miss Bell Greve

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