Jeanne Barber, Birthday Party, 1933


Lois Steele
Lois Steele, Homer High School Sophomore,  5 years later

Lois Steel gathers together fourteen of her girlfriends for a 10th birthday party at her home on 48 Clinton Street in Homer. The table is decorated with pink and white crepe paper for the occasion. For three hours that evening, they eat dinner and birthday cake and listen to music and play games. Stormy Weather is so popular it makes it into the top ten during 1933 with two versions by separate artists.


48 Clinton StLois’ step-father is a farmer and yet the house is close to the Ireland’s home. It is still rural, but a short walk for Jeanne.

The most popular songs

  1. Ethel Waters, Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin’ All the Time)
  2. Duke Ellington, Sophisticated Lady
  3. Bing Crosby, Shadow Waltz
  4. Dick Powell, Gold Digger’s Song (We’re in The Money)
  5. Bing Crosby, You’re Getting to Be a Habit
  6. Leo Reisman, Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin’ All the Time)
  7. Paul Whiteman, Lover
  8. Guy Lombardo, The Last Round-Up
  9. Eddy Duchin, Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?
  10. Ray Noble, Love Is The Sweetest Thing

Others present at the birthday party:

  • Johann Creal (Lois’ sister)
  • Ruth Jennison
  • Mary Stoker
  • Joan Bean
  • Vivian Morse
  • Georgie Bell
  • Felicia Bell
  • Betty Jean Barber
  • Dorothy Jane Andrews
  • Helen Kingsbury
  • Beverly Lucas
  • Olive Burns
  • Winona Griggs

Ione Lottridge is invited but stays home due to illness.


  1. Are Jeanne and Lois best friends? They live close to each other.
  2. Did they have a record player or listen to music on the radio?


  1. Google Maps, 2017
  2. Cortland Standard; Cortland, N.Y.; Monday Evening, December 11, 1933.
  3. Tsort
  4. You Tube, assorted songs

(The stand out memory I have of Jeanne as an adult is the tone of her speaking voice. It is by far the most distinctive and beautiful I have ever heard. I imagine she sings lovely at the time written about here, too.)