This is a joint effort: the anecdotes are Peg’s, the compilation is mine. When my mother can’t recall an exact date for something, I get in on the act and, about three years later, after scouring the net and plowing through files and letters and scrapbooks and albums and assorted memorabilia including dinner menus from every transatlantic crossing she’s ever taken — I discover the anecdote could not possibly have occurred in, say, 1952, since the person around whom it is based had been dead for four years. At which point Peg says “Did I say ’52? I meant ’42” and generally acts like one should forgive memory lapses in ninety-seven year olds. I mean, please. So. Read and enjoy. Dip into what interests you, skip what doesn’t. And allow me a bit of leeway, if you would, with the dates.

  • Born Lincoln, Nebraska, 6lb 10oz

  • 1st word(s): motor cultivator

    Peg's dad, Hugh, works for the Moline Plow Company.

    Discovers her hand — February 11

    Fortunately for us, as it will prove indispensible years later in the creation of Ethel and Albert (among other things).

    Doctor drops dead on her stomach

    At eighteen months, Peg goes into the hospital to have her tonsils removed. The doctor smiles and says "How are you, Margaret?" then keels over onto her, after which there is much commotion, the corpse is removed and another doctor performs the surgery. The hospital, not surprisingly, wants to keep the incident quiet; Peg's parents don't believe her when she babbles "Doctor die!" and months pass before they learn the truth.

  • 1st train ride

    Peg moves to Kasson, Minnesota after her father dies of the Spanish Flu.

  • 1st satisfactory use of scissors

    While cutting out paper dolls, Peg is warned by her mother not to cut the folds in the living room curtain. This has never occurred to Peg, but having had it brought to her attention, it sounds rather interesting, so, as soon as her mother leaves the room, she snips one of the folds. The sound of scissors on cotton makes a pleasing sound but Peg restrains herself; it is not for some forty years before she will admit to her mother that it had not, in fact, been the dog who had transgressed.

  • 1st music prize

    Peg, with friend Betty Patterson, wins first prize for playing a duet at a piano recital. The prize is a WearEver saucepan. (To the author's knowledge, the prize was not shared, as the pan still resides in Peg's kitchen cupboard).

  • 1st false teeth to land in lap

    Circuit Chautauqua, as it was known, were traveling "events" held in circus-type tents that criss-crossed the country "providing informational and inspirational stimulation" to rural and small-town America in the form of speakers, music, plays and other entertainment. When the Chautauqua arrives in Kasson featuring a play starring Charles Winninger (who went on to make his name as Cap'n Andy in Showboat) Peg toddles over to peek under the flaps, tripping over a tent peg in the process and slicing open her leg. Her howls stop the play, Winninger swoops Peg into his arms, sees to it her wound is bandaged, and lets her sit in the wings for the rest of the act. He also gives her a front row ticket for the following night, a performance she attends. Soon after the curtain goes up, one of the actors is consumed by a coughing fit, during which his false teeth fly out of his mouth and land in Peg's lap. Peg, who is not aware of the existence of false teeth, is suitably horrified. Her howls again stop the show. Years later, in New York in the 1940s Peg spots Winninger at The Player's Club. "Kasson, Minnesota," she says. "I'll bet you don't remember me....I've grown since then." Winninger smiles and says he would never forget her and takes her to lunch.

    1st pet. Jerry, a terrier

    2nd pet. Martha Ruth Ann, a rooster

  • Learns Santa Claus is only the druggist Walter Anderson in a Santa suit

    Peg, thanks to the heating register in the floor, overhears the grownups downstairs discussing this year's Santa choice for the post office front steps, and can see her Christmas present, a dollhouse, being constructed, by aunts, not elves.

    1st solo travel

    Peg becomes convinced that she is adopted. After incessant pestering, Frances, Peg's mother, busy ironing, says yes yes yes, I found you in an old buggy in an empty lot, now go outside and play! Peg instead packs a suitcase and takes a train to Dodge Center, six miles away, where, after weeding the station master's garden while waiting for her connection, she takes a train to St. Paul, ninety miles away, where she takes a streetcar, changing twice, to her Aunt Helen's apartment. Helen is flabbergasted when she opens the door. Peg explains she has left home because she is adopted, the inference being she is not wanted. Helen telephones Frances, also flabbergasted, as she imagines Peg to be in the backyard playing, suggests Peg might like to stay in St. Paul visiting awhile, perhaps shop for a new dress for Spring, and to call when she's ready to come home and Frances would come after her. Peg is ready to go home by the weekend and the word "adoption" is never mentioned again.

  • Shakes Calvin Coolidge's pinky

    While cleaning out a desk, Frances discovers an old letter, unopened, addressed to a next door neighbor, Henry Brewer, which had been delivered by mistake and obviously been forgotten. The return address is "White House". Frances assumes it to be just some circular from the White House Coffee company but closer inspection reveals a postmark from Washington D.C., and that it says "The White House", whereupon she pulls off her apron and goes racing next door with it. It seems young Henry Brewer, a distant cousin of Calvin Coolidge's, had written to Coolidge inviting him to his high school graduation. Coolidge's reply is that, though honored, he is unable to make it. However, his train, as it happens, will be passing through Kasson the following month, and if Henry could be at the railway station, Coolidge will ask the engineer to slow down. On the appointed day, not just Henry but the entire town is crowded down at the station to watch Henry shake the President's hand. The train steams into view, slows, Coolidge on the back platform. Henry, who has lifted Peg up to give her a better view, steps forward. Peg automatically makes a grab for Coolidge's outstretched hand, they briefly lock fingers, and before Henry can get his hand free, the presidential train has continued on it's way.

  • Has dress washed by Mrs Mars who's husband Frank founded the Mars Candy company

    Ethel Mars, next door neighbor and possible inspiration for Peg's future character name of "Ethel", offers Peg a piece of chocolate which promptly finds its way down the front of Peg's new dress. Ethel comforts an hysterical Peg, removes her dress, washes and irons it, and send Peg home, her mother none the wiser.

  • 1st reassuring words from her Aunt Helen

    "It doesn't matter that you're not pretty, you have a nice personality."

  • Smokes 1st cigarette; throws up

    1st written work published

    The Rochester Post Bulletin holds a competition: "What Thanksgiving Means to Me". Peg wins. There are no other entries. Peg loves seeing her name in the paper and being congratulated; if anyone has by some remote chance missed seeing it, she informs them of it.

  • Meets 1st Mafia boss

    Peg and her mother visit relatives in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. third cousin, nicknamed "Little Pine", needs to visit some "clients", he says, and Peg tags along. After an hour's drive they arrive at an estate surrounded by high walls and lookout towers. They are ushered inside to join what appears to be a conference attended by men in business suits. Peg sits with a book until her cousin is ready to leave, at which point one of the businessmen, a "very nice man" asks her what she wants to be when she grows up. "A writer!" Peg says. "And I'm going to live in Chicago!" "Well, young lady," says the man, "when you come to Chicago you give me a call and I will take you to dinner!" [SEE 1938]

    Grandfather dies; bank repossesses family home; Peg and Frances move to Rochester, Minnesota.

    Peg's grandfather Frank, a blacksmith, couldn't afford the mortgage payments because he refused to send a bill or collect debts from poor struggling farmers with families to feed.

    Notices Martha Ruth Ann missing from chicken coop [SEE BIO]

  • 1st kidnapping fright

    It has been arranged that Peg, who has been invited to a summer house on Lake Mille Lac by neighborhood playmates, will be given a lift by a childless couple who are driving up, and this necessitates an overnight stay in Rochester. The couple could not be kinder or more generous, even buying Peg a new bathing suit but Peg — influenced by a kidnapping case that has been making headlines, that of Marion Parker (also aged 12), the daughter of a Los Angeles banker who was killed by a William Hickman — is convinced the couple is going to murder her and dump her body by the side of the road; throws up all over new car's leather upholstery.

    The Mille Lac Incident and Knock On Effect

    Upon arrival at Lake Mille Lac (wholly un-kidnapped: SEE ABOVE), Peg, in her new swimsuit, is wandering down to the lake where her friend MaryLou is already splashing, when she overhears Virginia, another friend of MaryLou's say to Marylou's mother: "Is that Margaret Lynch? My, she's a homely little thing." Whereupon Peg, already shaky [SEE ABOVE], bursts into tears and is inconsolable for the rest of the visit, prompting a row between MaryLou's mother and Virginia's mother, who packs and leaves, and culminating with the two families never speaking to one another again. Years later, Peg runs into Virginia at an Alpha Phi House luncheon. They recognize one another. Virginia asks for a word in private on the sun porch. She apologizes to Peg, reveals that not only did her parents almost divorce over the issue, but tells Peg she "got her own back": Virginia was at the Intercollegiate Ball with a new date she was trying to impress and not succeeding, when his head was turned by a girl standing at the top of the steps in a brown velvet gown with lace down the front. "Now that," he says, "is the best dressed gal in the place, the only one here with any taste!" (Peg still has that brown velvet dress in the attic)

    Sets fire to hope chest

    Peg, in school, sees fire engines go by. Walks home for lunch to find fire engines in drive, the bushes on the front lawn draped with linens, and her mother, oddly home from work, shaking out a nightgown which appears to have an "iron-shaped" hole through it, as indeed do all the linens dotted around the yard. This is the result of Peg ironing a blouse before school, forgetting to turn off the iron, and leaving the iron face down on the make-shift ironing board, a towel, which had been set atop the venerable family hope chest full of hand-embroidered linens from generations of Lynches and Rennings.

  • Sets fire to livingroom

    Peg is playing with a new sealing wax kit; the curtain blows into the lighted candle being used to melt the wax. Fire department is called.

  • 1st radio job

    Hired as unpaid copywriter at fledgling KROC, Rochester. [SEE BIO]

    1st room service with Knute Rockne

    Rockne, famous Notre Dame football coach, is in town visiting the Mayo Clinic. Peg, having decided to interview him as part of an English assignment, knocks on his hotel room door at 8:00 o'clock on a Sunday morning. A sleepy-looking Rockne in pajamas answers, surprised to find a little girl standing there with notebook and pencil poised. "What have we here?" he says, before inviting her in, waking his wife, picking up the phone to Room Service, and the three of them chat over waffles and bacon with maple syrup.

    Sets fire to kitchen

    Melts parafin wax on stove in order to string beads, puts nose in book, forgets wax, douses flames with glass of water, wax explodes, mother comes home, Peg hides in bath, she and mother wait until landlady is asleep then spend night scraping wax off floors, walls, ceiling, appliances and counters.

    Tries smoking again

    Trades a glass milk bottle at the store for 15¢ and buys a pack of Three Kings cigarettes, which she and three friends proceed to smoke. Does not throw up. Races home to clean teeth and wash face with pumice stone before her mother gets home from the Clinic. Frances appalled by Peg's face, bright red and bleeding and is up half the night tending to it.

  • 1st kiss. Fred Hargeshimer; under the piano

    Buys 1st pair of high heels to wear to a dance

    Refuses to dance because her date is now shorter than she is.

    1st typewriter, an L.C. Smith, $10.00 per month rental

    1st published; My Romantic Story magazine

    Entitled "My Most Unforgettable Moment", the piece details the author's experiences while stationed with her husband in Shanghai, the unforgettable moment being when a toothache requires a visit to a dentist who turns out to be from the author's same graduating class back home and who is then instrumental in aiding the author and her husband's escape from China. The piece is a complete fabrication start to finish. Peg's mother is horrified that Peg would "lie" and refuses to sign the magazine's "Declaration of Truth", nor will she countenance Peg's asking anyone in Rochester to vouch for her, in particular a clergyman. Peg receives a $10 check for the story nevertheless, signs it over to her friend Elsa Bach, to whom she owes $10, Elsa refuses to cash it and instead frames it, convinced that one day Peg will be famous, and it isn't until ten years later in Cumberland, Maryland that Peg, while browsing at a newstand, picks up My Romantic Story and sees her piece in it.

  • 1st radio script sold, to WCCO in Minneapolis

    Plays "Puck #2" in A Midsummer Night's Dream

    High School Drama performance. Each role has been double-cast to give more students a chance. They alternate nights. Only one costume has been provided per part: Puck's is too small for Puck #1 and too big for Peg, Puck #2. As she waits in the wings ready to make her entrance at the top of the play, yanking at her tights which have ruched around her ankles like leg warmers, her Drama teacher, the aptly-named Miss Hirt, approaches, hands on hips. "You are just terrible in this part! Just awful. Now go out there and act!" she says before propelling Peg onstage. Peg bursts into tears.

    Runs for senior class president

    Predicted the surefire winner — but loses. Peg is later informed by Ruth Betcher, a friend who works in the main office, that Miss Snodgrass, the principal, threw most of Peg's votes in the incinerator so that Collin MacCarty, the son of a prestigious doctor at the Mayo Clinic, would win. And not just a nurse's daughter.

    Graduates from Rochester High School; enters Junior College

  • Asks The Andrews Sisters to stop the show

    While having a "near" beer with friends one night in Minneapolis at Coffee Dan's, a music and dance club, Peg notices she's lost an earring and is so clearly distraught that the dancers stop dancing, the band stops playing, and the Andrew Sisters stop singing, finally coming down off the stage to help look for it. Patty Andrews eventually finds it under a table. The earrings belong to Peg's Aunt Helen and Peg, who has a tendency to lose or tear or spill on anything she ever borrows after having promised to be extra careful and guard with her life, is ecstatic. Twenty years later, Peg runs into Patty in a Ladies Room at the RCA building in New York, introduces herself, and is surprised to learn that Patty remembers her.

  • Meets Eleanor Roosevelt three times

    1) Peg is taking out the garbage as Eleanor Roosevelt is passing. They nod politely and comment on the weather. Mrs. Roosevelt mentions she is on her way to visit her son in the hospital. Peg says she hopes he feels better soon; 2) Sees Mrs. Roosevelt passing again two days later. Calls out from the window, "Good Morning, Mrs. Roosevelt!" Mrs. Roosevelt looks up and waves; 3) Peg is assisting her friend Elsa Bach at a tea party for Mrs. Roosevelt at the Girls' Club House. Elsa's mother tells Peg that she'd love to get a hold of Mrs. Roosevelt's napkin, she wants to frame it. Peg climbs over folding chairs to sidle up to Mrs. Roosevelt and whisper "I need your napkin. That woman over there wants to frame it." Mrs. Roosevelt laughs, surreptitiously passes Peg the napkin and says "I know you, don't I?"

  • Initiated into Gamma Phi Beta sorority

    Loses fingernail in August Piccard's soup

    Peg, doing her first "remote" interview for KROC, and using a portable tape recorder, interviews August Piccard, the famous scientist and balloonist who has just floated 55,000 feet into the stratosphere, and afterwards sits next to him at the gala reception given by the Gamma Phi sorority house. Midway through the first course, Peg notices that one of her fake fingernails is missing. To her horror, she spies it floating, like garni, in August's cream of asparagus soup.

    Holds hands with Rachmaninoff

    Peg tags along to a Rachmaninoff concert in Minneapolis with the music critic for the Tribune. Afterwards, they go backstage to Rachmaninoff's dressing room. Peg, who plays the piano a bit, asks the maestro, somewhat naively, if, with a lot of practice, he thought she'd ever be able to play like him. Rachmaninoff taks her hands, feels the bones in her fingers and says "No", her hands are not strong enough.

  • Elected to National Collegiate Players

    Graduates from the University of Minnesota

    Works as receptionist at Mayo Clinic

    Taken to dinner by Mafia boss

    While in Chicago looking for radio work, Peg rings the "nice man" in the business suit she'd met as a twelve-year-old who'd said he'd take her to dinner if she ever came to Chicago [SEE 1928]. The man is not in Chicago at the moment but will be there the following week. A date is arranged. At the appointed time a chauffeured limousine arrives to collect Peg and she and the businessman have a "perfectly lovely dinner" at an expensive hotel restaurant, after which he tells Peg he has some business out in Cicero and asks if she'd like to ride along. Peg says sure! She waits in the limousine while the businessman goes into a "casino". After ten minutes or so he returns to the car, abject with apology, saying his business will take longer than he'd thought, would she mind if his driver took her home. Years later Peg is idly browsing though a book, "Rattling the Book of Chicago Crime" and is horrified to see her kindly avuncular dinner companion mentioned as one of the main underbosses of gangland crime, an enforcer for "the family" who has at least forty-seven murders attached to his name.

  • 1938 Writes radio play for WIND in Gary, Indiana

    But never paid the promised $100, despite play being aired.

    Takes job in department store in Gary, Indiana

    Not known for her math skills, Peg either short-changes or over pays customers and is fired after one week.

    Hired by radio station KATE Albert Lea, Minnesota

    Ethel and Albert born

    Peg creates a husband and wife dialogue at KATE as a three minute filler between the news and a woman's program, little dreaming that we would still be here talking about it seventy-five years later. George Russell, an announcer, debuts as "Albert".

  • Hired by WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia

    Rescues WCHV

    Peg turns on her radio at 9:00 PM for WCHV's Classical Music Hour and instead hears giggling, a dirty joke, more giggling, the squeak of wicker furniture and enough heavy breathing to realize that this is not Beethoven's Unfinished and that something is clearly amiss. Shortly thereafter she receives a panicked call to see if she has a key to the station, the door is triple-locked and bolted (as per the owner's instructions for night time broadcasts), the owner can't be found and Charlie the announcer isn't answering. Peg grabs the key and runs the four blocks to the station. Charlie, feet up, relaxed, hands behind his head, is surprised when a crowd of people including Peg and the police burst into the control room, and bangs his head on the desk in his haste to stand up. He is as mortified as everyone else to realize that he has hit the wrong switch, and instead of providing classical music for WCHV's listeners he has been beaming the sexual antics of a friend of his and his girlfriend, who Charlie has let into the big studio as a favor, and indeed been listening to the couple himself.

  • Asks Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. to spell his name

    A man calls WCHV, distraught because he's lost his dog on the golf course and wants to put a "lost alarm" on the radio. Peg says he'll have to pay for it and asks for his name, which he then has to repeat three times because she doesn't quite catch it. "Spell it," Peg says. "R.O.O.S.E.V.E.L.T." he says. "Like the President." Embarrassed, Peg writes the ad copy herself and adds the music track "Oh where oh where has my little dog gone?" Within half an hour, the dog is found. The next day, FDR Jr., along with his dog, pokes his head in the station to say thanks.

    1st signs on with Unemployment: $10 pw for 16 wks

    Eavesdrops on Noel Coward

    Peg enters a restaurant at the World's Fair out in Flushing Meadows, spies Coward (her hero) and four cronies dining, sits at the next table, her back to them, and is entertained by bons mots for the next two hours. It is the highlight of her stay in New York (and possibly entire life).

    Hired by WTBO, Cumberland, Maryland

    Starting salary: $35.00 per month

  • Regrets never having learned to sew

    While giving a lecture to a woman's club in Cumberland, Peg notices a woman in the front row trying to catch her eye, quietly tapping at her chest. Only after the lecture is over does Peg see that two seams down the front of her brown velvet dress have split wide open, revealing her rather generous bust, the result of yanking off two long strips of lace earlier in the day, unaware of the finer points of seam construction.

    Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor vs Ethel and Albert

    Peg concerned that if Willis Conover [SEE BIO], the station announcer and co-star on her "Vanity Fair" show, is called up, who will she get to play "Albert"?? The world is on tenterhooks.

    Eats her first lobster. Boston, Massachusetts

    Plays Louisa May Alcott's piano

    Peg arrives at the museum in Concord just as it's closing. She begs them to let her in. The curators oblige. Not only do they let her in, they let her go up to the attic, normally closed to the public, and allow her to sit on the window seat where Jo in Little Women curled up to write, they also encourage Peg to play the Alcott's piano. Rachmaninoff eat your heart out. [SEE 1936]

  • Donates pots and pans for war effort, Cumberland, MD

    Years after war is over, the mountain of metal pots and pans lies untouched in the pens where patriotic citizens threw them. Cumberland housewives furious.

    Is asked to keep out of WTBO's control room

    Peg inadvertantly jars the turntable as she goes past, the needle skips, the result being that what goes out over the air, in the middle of a recorded sermon, is the following: "And our dear Lord...IS FILLED WITH ICE CUBES!"

  • Moves north to New York City

    Richard Widmark and Peg Lynch in 1944

    Ethel and Albert debuts on The Blue Network (ABC) with Richard Widmark as "Albert".

    Peg Lynch's Gramercy Park Brownstone

    Moves into brownstone overlooking Gramercy Park

    Richard Widmark quits

    Having played "Albert" for six months, Widmark decides to do a Broadway play instead [SEE BIO]. No one has any idea whatever became of him.

    Alan Bunce becomes Ethel and Albert's "Albert"

    Many actors audition for the role, among them Staats Cotsworth, who confides smugly to a studio sound man that the role is "his", all he has to do is ask Peg out to dinner, "then take her home and f*** her". The sound man reports the conversation to Peg, who accepts with pleasure Cotsworth's dinner invitation, suggesting they go to somewhere "a little more special", say, than the corner diner, and intimates that she has something important to tell him. They go to "21". Peg orders an expensive first course followed by a lobster. When Cotsworth informs the waiter that they don't want any dessert, Peg says oh but she does, and orders the crepes suzettes. Afterwards, she leans in and says "Oh, by the way. You might be interested to know that we've chosen our new ‘Albert'. It's Alan Bunce. Thank you for dinner," Peg says, gets up and leaves.

    1st airplane ride

    Peg, suffering from overwork, panic attacks and gastrointestinal issues, schedules a fast trip to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for tests. While waiting to board the flight, she sees a familiar face from high school, now wearing a uniform. "Say, aren't you one of the Hoffman twins?" she asks, dimly remembering two guys who, as her mother would say "hadn't enough sense between them to come in out of the rain". "Sure am!", the guy says, "Nice to see you, Peg!" Peg tells him she's going home to Rochester for the weekend, what's he up to? Hoffman, donning his captain's hat, beams and says "I'm flying you there!"

    Plays the organ at Radio City Music Hall

    Peg, not that she knows how to play an organ, is invited by the organist at Radio City, a fan, to come over and give The Mighty Wurlitzer a try some Saturday morning. Installed in 1932, it is the largest pipe organ ever built for a movie theatre, with 4,410 pipes and 4 keyboards. Peg plays the first six bars of Beethoven's Pathetique before getting her high heel stuck in the foot pedals, after which the exercise is abandoned.

  • Meets Eleanor Roosevelt a 4th time

    In front of the bookstore in the RCA building, Peg senses a woman standing beside her. She comments on a book, the woman agrees and suggests another book, Peg looks up and sees it's Mrs. Roosevelt. Peg reminds her of their last three meetings, Mrs. Roosevelt adds "And I gave you my napkin!" They laugh.

    ABC (Blue Network) tries to shift Ethel and Albert's time slot

    But over a hundred letters of complaint per day pour in from listeners complaining that if it's moved from 6:15 PM to an earlier slot at 2:25, they won't be home in time to hear their favorite show. War workers sign petitions en masse, women write in saying their children are threatening to stay home from school in the afternoon to hear the show, people ask if they all are now expected to quit work so they can hear the show. The network caves to public pressure and Ethel and Albert stays at 6:15 PM.

    1st television performance of Ethel and Albert

    Ethel and Albert are to be guinea pigs for General Electric's foray into television. Three one act sketches are performed in a new "air-conditioned" television studio up at WGRB in Schenectedy, N.Y. on three Sundays in a row and broadcast locally, a sort of trial run for this "new thing" called television. In between writing and recording her daily radio shows, Peg and Alan must rehearse and block and memorize lines for the TV ones. They take the train early Sunday morning up to Schenectedy where, after four hours of rehearsal, the show is performed that evening for cameras in front of a live audience. The next morning Peg and Alan are back on a train to Grand Central and arrive at the studio with no time to run through that day's radio script before airtime.

    1st encounter with James Thurber

    Peg and Alan Bunce, after dinner at the Algonquin, attend the opening of a new (and shortlived) Elliot Nugent play A Place Of Our Own and afterwards go backstage to J.C. Nugent's (Elliot's father, who often acted in his plays) dressing room to say how marvelous everyone is. Peg suddenly finds herself sifted towards the back wall and the place deserted except for a man in thick glasses sitting in the corner. "Hello ‘Ethel'," he says. "I recognize you by your voice. How wonderful to meet you. You got yourself one hell of a swell radio program. God damn good!" He introduces himself. Thurber and Peg discuss how bad the play is, talk about scripts, laugh, and from then on, whenever she passes through Newtown, Connecticut on her way up to the Berkshires, Peg stops to see Thurber. He says she cheers him up and makes him laugh.

    Her mother throws out Jesse James' hat

    On September 7, 1876, the James Brothers and Younger Brothers set out to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. En route, lost, they stop to ask directions by a field where Peg's Grandma, Emily Lynch, aged sixteen, is working with her brothers. Seeing the gang is armed and figuring something's afoot, the Lynches down tools and race off to Northfield, arriving just as the gang is racing out of the bank. Jesse crashes into Emily and takes a tumble. Hauling him up by his lapels, Emily says "Next time you come to Northfield, bring your manners!" after which Jesse, accompanied by his brother, shouting "Come ON, Jesse!", jumps on a horse and gallops off, minus his hat, now on the ground next to Emily, which she retrieves. The hat stays in the Lynch family until Frances, cleaning closets, pitches it, unbeknownst to Peg. "Who would want that dirty old thing?" says Frances.

    Frances, Peg's mother moves in with her

    Her mother moves in with her

    And becomes chief cook and bottlewasher and, eventually, babysitter--and will live with Peg, efficiently running the house, until her death.

    Misses Peabody Award

    The George Foster Peabody Award, established in 1940, one of the most prestigious awards for radio (it now encompasses all electronic media). Peg receives a phone call from Fannie Hurst, well known novelist and fan of Ethel and Albert: "My dear, I feel like such a pig, I should have called you before. I love your show, I think you're very talented and predict a great future. I just wanted to let you know that it's been a unanimous decision by the Board to award you this year's Peabody Award." Peg has never heard of it but is nevertheless pleased. Within the month Hurst calls back to say, apologetically, that the Board has been asked by Peg's network (ABC) not to give it to Peg for Ethel and Albert, that it was too new a show, they want the award to go to one that has a better pedigree.

  • Meets Odd Knut Ronning

    Odd Knut, Peg's third cousin, arrives in New York from Norway en route to Syracuse University to get his masters in Forestry and rings Cousin Peg, as he has been instructed to do. "Ronning, here!" he says in his thick Norwegian accent. "What? Who?" says Peg, busy writing. Odd Knut announces himself a few more times, after which he hears Peg's voice — muffled but still audible — calling out: "Mother? It's some cousin from Norway! Do we have enough lamb chops to ask him to dinner?"

  • Labeled "One Woman Tornado of the Air" by American Magazine

    Gets As Time Goes By from Herman Hupfeld

    Songwriter Hupfeld, famous for As Time Goes By, and who incidentally got paid the princely sum of $25.00 for writing it (Peg asked him), writes Peg to inform her that his mother, a devoted fan of Ethel and Albert with whom Peg has corresponded for years has, sadly, died. Peg invites him into the city (he lives in New Jersey) for lunch the next day. Hupfeld presents Peg with something which had belonged to his mother, but which he knows his mother would like Peg to have. It is a music box which plays As Time Goes By and had been a present to Hupfeld from Humphrey Bogart during the filming of Casablanca. Ten years after this lunch, during a cocktail party at her home in Connecticut, Peg sees, from across the room, a guest, an announcer whose name I am not allowed to mention but would love to, slip the music box into his pocket. Before Peg can reach him he is out the door and into his car and gone. (Can't resist: the guy's name was Sy Harris)

  • Marries Odd Knut Ronning

    Aug 12th at 5:00 PM, at the Little Church Around the Corner, New York City, NY

    1st trip to Europe

    Peg Lynch "I Slept Through My Honeymoon" Ronning sails with her new husband on the Queen Mary to Southampton. Exhausted from writing scripts which need to be ready the second she gets back, Peg raises her head once or twice in England, gives a passing nod to Paris, glances briefly at Brussels, and opens her mouth for salmon and boiled potatoes and cakes and more cakes then cookies and waffles appearing approximately every ten seconds in Norway.

  • Ethel and Albert expanded to a half hour radio program

    Finds Tallulah Bankhead in the basement

    Peg and Alan return from their lunch break to the grim dark basement area that ABC Radio has decided to call "rehearsal rooms", to find, sitting by herself in the corridor on a broken, paint-spattered metal bench, Tallulah Bankhead. At seeing Peg, the film star jumps up, says "I've been waiting here half an hour to tell you I love your show!"

    1st drivers license

    New York City, N.Y. Passes test first time.

    Summer in Norway

    Peg has her first real vacation in years, spending two months in Skien, Norway, with new husband who is fulfilling a year's obligation to the papermill which sponsored his masters degree at Syracuse.

  • Ethel and Albert moves to television

    A weekly ten-minute segment on The Kate Smith Hour

    Buys 1st television

    Peg goes up to an electronics store at 49th and Madison to buy a TV, the man tells her there's a six month wait. "But I need one by September," she says, "I'm going to be ON it!" The man finds a TV.

    1st (and last) camping trip

    To Maine. Unsuccessul. Retires to car.


    Peg excitedly tells her mother that she's pregnant and Frances says "Oh, what a shame." She only means that it might interfere with Peg's TV career. Never for one second imagining what a bouncing barrel of fun I would turn out to be.

  • Ethel and Albert debuts on The Kate Smith Evening Hour

    Holds Charles Laughton's head

    Peg, going over last minute cuts in her dressing room on The Kate Smith Evening Hour looks up to see an ashen-faced Laughton, due to perform an excerpt from Shakespeare, clinging to the door frame. Peg, who has never met Laughton, asks if he's all right. "I don't feel very good," says Laughton. Peg says he looks terrible. Laughton says he thinks he's going to throw up. "Well, you'd better come in," Peg says, helps him into her small bathroom, directs him away from the sink and all her make-up and over to the toilet where she lifts the lid and tells him to kneel down, which he does. "I think my mother held my head," he tells her, so Peg does, and puts her arm around him, propping him up as best she can. Laughton throws up and throws up. Peg is due on the air in ten minutes and desperately trying to remember the new cuts but all she can think about is how surreal the situation here is in which she appears to be holding Captain Bligh's head. Laughton, a bundle of nerves and terrified, says he is never never never never going to do live television again. Peg pats his back, says there there, assures him he's going to be fine, tidies him up with a wet washcloth, and asks if he has a change of shirt. He doesn't know. His eyes fill. He asks if Peg will be there, will she watch him from the wings. She promises, and propels him off down the corridor.

    The world changes for the better

    Elise Astrid Ronning, that would be me, born June 18, at Women's Hospital, New York City. By caesarian. 6 lbs, 9 ounces. Baby delivered by doctors Elise Renning, Peg's aunt, and Joshua Davies, Peg's uncle, with Frances Renning, Peg's mother and former nurse, in attendance. The name "Elise Astrid" is chosen in haste while Peg is still full of anaesthetic, as her mother is anxious to get down to Altman's to get the birth announcements printed, which partially explains why I am not called Brooke or Michael, my mother's first choice.

    Buys "Witchstone"

    122 Cedar Heights Road, Stamford, Connecticut. A four bedroom 1723 center chimney colonial

    Buys Witchstone

    Aunt Helen moves in

    Peg's maiden aunt Helen (Honey) gives up her job at the East Side Motors in Minneapolis to become Peg and Odd's secretary, bookkeeper and accountant.

  • Turns down JFK

    Pat Kennedy, JFK's younger sister, is working as a go-fer for NBC's The Kate Smith Evening Hour. Peg remembers her primarily as someone you send out for a Coke or more Lifesavers. Senator Kennedy stops by the studio to visit his sister, is introduced to Peg, who says something amusing (hard to believe), he laughs and says "You're having dinner with me tonight!" Peg says sorry, she has a script to write. Kennedy stays to watch Ethel and Albert, again insists Peg go out to dinner with him, Peg again tells him she has a script to write. Thus history is changed forever.

    Ethel and Albert given its own half hour slot

    NBC TV; sponsored by Sunbeam; airs Saturdays 7:30 PM

    18 month-old daughter astounds shoppers in Stamford, CT

    Elise Astrid, accompanied by her grandmother, is outside a hardware store which has a large sign in the window advertising Sunbeam products, a sign familiar to little Elise Astrid from commercials on Peg's TV show "Sunbeam! The Best Electrical Appliances Made!" she cries, echoing the slogan on the sign. Two nearby women nearly drop dead. Grandmother offers no explanation, just beams.

    Meets producer and director Walter Hart

    Not counting a dispute I don't quite understand involving a shared Studebaker and which results in them not speaking for a few years in the late 1960s, Peg and Walter remain close friends and devoted collaborators until his death of heart complications in 1973.

  • Ethel and Albert voted Best Sitcom

    John Cheever submits an Ethel and Albert script

    Sadly, it is rejected.

    1st mother—daughter trip

    To Rochester, Minnesota for publicity purposes and a class reunion. Daughter spends flight seated on mother's lap, the result being a large wet stain on Peg's light blue silk suit as she exits down the plane steps to waiting photographers.

  • Hires Margaret Hamilton to play Albert's Aunt Eva

    Overcome by Guilt of The Long Distance Mother

    Peg, in New York, is bereft after hearing daughter's tearful voice over the phone. Walter Hart cancels rehearsals, rents a car and drives Peg home to Stamford, Connecticut where, now happily engrossed with neighborhood playmates, daughter barely acknowledges her and informs Walter that his car is parked on her hopscotch game.

    2nd mother—daughter trip

    To Oslo, to show off Elise Astrid to Norwegian grandparents. Daughter distinguishes herself by not smiling once, refusing to sleep in the tiny bed her grandfather has lovingly built or to eat anything except lingonberries. The Norwegian press mistakenly reports that the television star Peg Lynch is making twenty-five million dollars a year, instead of saying that twenty five million people watch her show.

    Ethel and Albert cancelled by NBC in December

    The wife of the head of the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson, which sponsors the show, decides Peg Lynch reminds her too much of her husband's first wife and she doesn't "want to look at that face every week".

  • Ethel and Albert moves to CBS TV

    Sponsor: Maxwell House Coffee; airs Mondays 7:30 PM

    As a 13 week summer replacement for Spring Byington's December Bride. When Ethel and Albert proves far more popular than the show it's replacing, the sponsor gets upset. Peg is called into the law offices of Henry Jaffe and Morty Becker and asked to fire both Alan Bunce and Walter Hart, the theory being that without them on board her show will suffer. Peg refuses. CUT TO: three or four years later on a train into New York. Peg is seated next to a man she vaguely recognizes, who turns out to be the former account executive from the ad agency that handled Maxwell House. He tells Peg that when the ratings for Ethel and Albert came in higher than for December Bride, word went out "from above" to sabotage Peg's show. As well as trying to get cast and crew fired, they sent people into the control room during broadcast to be distracting and cause trouble, people to trip over camera cords and jar the cameramen's elbows, they even sent people onto the actual set and through a scene (Peg, quick-thinker that she is, covered). The man goes on to say that he had been so disgusted by the way things had been handled, he'd he had a nervous breakdown and left the advertising business.

    Becomes a redhead

    At Walter Hart's insistence, because lighter hair photographs better, especially for black and white. Up until now, Peg has had to be careful on camera not to stand too long against any dark backgrounds or her hair tended to "disappear" and she looked bald.

    Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce voted "Favorite Comedy Team" — TV Radio Mirror

    Makes the New York Times crossword

    52 Down: "Peg Lynch's role"

    Has two sheep named after her

    "Ethel" and "Albert" feature at Kentucky Blue Grass Festival

    Has two parakeets named after her

    In San Diego. "Ethel" is bright green, "Albert" brilliant blue. They produce eight eggs.

  • Enter Basil Rathbone

    Rathbone shares a lawyer, Jack London of Becker & London, with Peg. Jack asks Peg if she can "work Rathbone into a script" somehow, as he could use the money. Peg cannot at first envision how Sherlock Holmes or The Sheriff of Nottingham, all tights and swashbuckling and leaping off castle turrets, might be "worked in" to Ethel and Albert's rather more mundane life in Sandy Harbor, but agrees to meet him. It turns out to be one of the most delightful afternoons of her career. Rathbone is charming, he and Peg form an instant rapport, Peg goes on to create not one but two half hour episodes in which Rathbone plays himself and the two of them keep in close touch until his death in 1967. "Knowing I'm on my way to see you," Rathbone writes to her, "is like that lift one gets when one finds a four-leaf clover."

    Buys "Twin Lanes Farm"

    2228 North St, Fairfield, Connecticut. A neo-classical nine bedroom house with swimming pool and thirteen outbuildings.

    Arnold Bread — radio commercials

    Husband Odd Knut Ronning voted "New York's Handsomest Husband" — TV Radio Mirror

    Plays Twenty Questions With Admiral Byrd

    Peg is invited by Dean and Betty Arnold, the founders and owners of the Arnold Bread Company, to be guest of honor at some bread factory function in Porchester, N.Y. Admiral Byrd, presumably familiar with the subject of frozen bread from his polar expeditions, has given Dean some tips, and he too is on the dais, next to Peg. They introduce themselves. Betty, who has a cold, does not attend, nor does Dean, who is allergic to flour. Just before the speeches begin Peg notices that Byrd doesn't look very well. He says he feels terrible and thinks he may pass out. With apologies to the bakery people, Peg tells Dean's chauffeur to take Byrd back to his hotel but when Byrd can't remember what hotel he's at, the chauffeur, with Peg, takes him back to Dean and Betty's. When they arrive, Betty is sitting stark naked in the grand entrance hall balancing a martini on her head and Dean--who is under police orders not to drive because he keeps getting lost and ending up in neighboring states and they keep having to go fetch him--has taken the Rolls and is nowhere to be found. Peg throws a coat over Betty, calls the police, leads Byrd into a guest room to lie down, gets Betty upstairs and into her nightgown and into bed, then, with the chauffeur, concocts a hot toddy for Byrd, which Peg takes in to him, after which he says he feels slightly better. Peg sits with him while they wait for the doctor. Byrd asks Peg if she'd like to play a game. "Such as?" Peg asks. "Let's play Twenty Questions," Byrd says. "I'll go first. I'm thinking of something beginning with "B". "Bread?" Peg says. "Yes!" says Byrd.

    Ethel and Albert moves to ABC-TV

    Sponsor: Ralston Purina Company; airs Fridays 10:00 PM

    1st published by Samuel French, Inc.

    "A One Act Comedy Play" from the Ethel and Albert television series, adapted for the stage. 11 more will follow.

    George S. Kaufman becomes a fan

    Kaufman, to actor at Player's Club in New York: "I saw something funny on television last night, truly genuinely funny, I don't know who wrote it but..." and he goes on to describe an Ethel and Albert episode in which Albert gets a pumpkin stuck on his head. The actor says, "Would you like to meet her?" and leads Kaufman over to Peg, on the other side of the room.

  • Meets Eleanor Roosevelt a 5th time

    Peg and Walter Hart are at author Fannie Hurst's memorial dinner for her late husband. Peg is initially too shy to approach Hurst, surrounded by friends and admirers, but with Walter's urging, makes her way across the room to thank her for the invitation. Hurst turns, sees Peg, brightens, says to a woman whose back is to Peg, "Oh! This is the girl we were just listening to this afternoon!" and Mrs. Roosevelt turns, sees Peg, and says "Oh, it's you!"

    1st (needle-nosed pea-brain) collie purchased

    Name: Lassie

    General Motors 50th Anniversary Show

    A two hour live broadcast "extravaganza" about "The Pursuit of Happiness". Produced by Jess Oppenheimer and narrated by Kirk Douglas. A cast of over one hundred, some nicer to Peg than others. Peg performs an Ethel and Albert type sketch with Don Ameche, who is cool and aloof, won't stay on his marks and upstages her. Peg is snubbed by Carol Burnett, Claudette Colbert and Dinah Shore. Cyril Ritchard delightful, ditto Ernest Borgnine, Dan Dailey, June Allyson, Howard Keel and Helen Hayes. Peg discusses the merits of using a diaper service with Pat Boone and Kirk Douglas not only admires her legs, but encourages her to stand up for herself when Ameche starts scene-stealing.

    The Couple Next Door debuts, December 30th

    The first of 758 fifteen-minute radio shows for CBS, who insist on a name change. "Ethel and Albert Arbuckle" become "Mr. and Mrs. Piper" and have no first names, primarily because they would always be "Ethel" and "Albert" to Peg and nothing else would ever sound right. Alan Bunce continues as "Albert" and Madeleine Pierce, a woman of sixty, and good friend of Peg's, plays "Betsy", the Piper's six-year-old. Pierce is replaced by episode #20, at the network's insistence, who want a real six-year-old. The young Fran ("Francie") Myers is cast. Pierce, who makes her living playing children and babies on the radio, eventually returns to the show at Peg's request to play the new baby, "Bobby", but afterwards never speaks to Peg again. Margaret Hamilton later joins the cast, still as Albert's aunt, but is called Effie instead of Eva.

  • The Prudential — TV commercials

    Tries on false eyelashes with Golda Meir

    Peg has just finished recording The Couple Next Door when Golda Meir, then Israeli Foreign Minister, and due to be on an important panel discussion in the same studio later than evening, comes in asking if anyone knows where to find some soft water, she needs to wash her hair before the show and the hotel water is hopeless and the beauty parlour's closed. Peg says her water's great, come on down to her Gramercy Park apartment and use the shower, which Golda does. Peg helps set her hair and they end up playing with the contents of the make-up case that Peg's make-up girl, who is also Eva Gabor's make-up girl, has left behind. With much giggling, both try on Eva Gabor's false eyelashes but decide in the end that they don't really suit either of them. Peg and Golda become friends and Golda often stays on Peg's livingroom daybed whenever she's in New York, much to the delight of her sister (or cousin) who is a devoted Ethel and Albert fan.

    Close friend, actor Tyrone Power dies

    Attends high school class reunion

    Attends high school class reunion

    Voted Favorite Radio Team

    Voted Favorite Radio Team — TV Radio Mirror

    Marlene Dietrich

    Interrupts Marlene Dietrich scrubbing her floor

    After recording at CBS, about to go home, Peg is asked by a studio executive if she could drop off a script at Marlene Dietrich's apartment, which she'll be passing. It is on 3rd Avenue over a dry cleaning place, a two flight walk-up (many celebs chose to have secret hide-away apartments where they could escape the media and go unrecognized). Peg knocks. The door is eventually opened and there is Dietrich in a shapeless housedress, no make-up, hair all over the place, scrub brush in hand. "Yes, it's me!" she laughs, takes the script and invites Peg in. There is more to this story but it's too long for here, plus better to let Peg tell it.

  • Becomes a foster mother

    Peg begins sending money every month to a little girl in Greece, Maria Dimitriou by name, and does so every year until Maria turns 21.

    Ethel and Albert debut on Swedish Broadcasting

    Turns down Maureen Stapleton and Jules Munshin

    With Walter Hart, at the Barbary Room, New York. Stapleton and Munshin want Peg to write them a TV sitcom. Peg declines; she's too busy.

    3rd mother-daughter trip

    To England, France and Italy via the SS Statendam to Southampton. Duration: three weeks

  • Shows John Huston around the barn

    Huston, a friend of director-producer Walter Hart's, comes to the house, a former "gentleman's" dairy farm, with a view to turning the outbuildings into a theatre. He and Walter decide against the idea, Peg gives him a sandwich, and he goes home.

    Milles Bournes — radio commercials

    Margaret Hamilton: Wizard of Oz

    Margaret Hamilton exhibits wicked witch behavior

    Peg gets a call from Maggie late on the Saturday asking if she, Maggie, is in any of the ten Couple Next Door episodes due to be recorded at CBS on the following Monday morning. Why yes, Peg says, you're in eight of them, why? Oh, says Maggie, oh dear, because I've just got a commercial and they want me in L.A. all next week and I'd really like to do it because it's $1000 so darling, can't you just write me out of them? And so Peg does, writing eight brand new fifteen minute comedy scripts in twenty-four hours. But never feels quite the same towards Maggie again.

  • Mr Digit and the Battle of Bubbling Brook — film

    An industrial film combining animation and the real live Ethel and Albert produced for the Bell Telephone System to help the American public understand why two-letter telephone exchanges were being dispensed with in favor of area codes. Filming is in L.A and Peg's ten year old daughter, that would be me, gets to accompany her mother to California and go to Disneyland where she experiences an embarrassing half hour watching Peg swirling round and round on the The Teacups ride all by herself, refusing to get off.

  • WISK — TV commercials

    To New Orleans to film at Court of the Two Sisters

    2nd (needle-nosed pea-brain) collie purchased

    Name: Laurie

    The Telstar Revue — Playhouse Club Fair

    Written by Peg Lynch, directed by Walter Hart. Peg forms a summer club called the Playhouse Club for daughter's friends, the idea being they get dropped off at 9:00 AM with a packed lunch and collected at 4:00 PM and in between they swim, play games, and have French and ceramic lessons while being looked after by teenaged supervisors. It costs nothing to belong but you bring 10¢ for sodas or ice creams. At the end of the summer the ten little girls put on a summer fair (25¢ entry) and Peg creates The Telstar Revue for them, in which the girls perform comedy skits, songs, dances and parody TV commercials from around the world, all based on the new Telstar satellite which has just been launched. It costs 50¢ to see the show, which is later performed at daughter's school for the PTA. With the proceeds from their fair, Peg takes the girls to Rye Playland, an amusement park, then on to Arnold Bread founder Dean Arnold's mansion in Mamaroneck for a barbecue, and the next day into New York to the Metropolitan Museum, then to see My Fair Lady and finally to Luchow's for dinner (Clara Ford says afterwards that the roast beef is not as good as her mother's).

    Natural Gas — commercials

  • Mother, Frances Lynch, dies

    Ethel and Albert scripts sold to Netherlands TV

    4th mother-daughter trip

    To Oslo via the M/S Oslofjord, then Switzerland. Plus husband for half of it. Duration: five weeks

    NBC Radio Monitor shows

    With Alan Bunce as "Albert"; 233 five-minute episodes.

  • 5th mother-daughter trip

    To Naples via the S.S. Cristoforo Columbo, through Italy, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Yugoslavia, Greece. Plus Peg's Aunt Helen, and Walter and Julie Hart. Duration: two months.

    Checks out Dead Sea Scrolls with Abba Eban

    Peg and Eban, close friends from Eban's days in New York as Vice President of The United Nations General Assembly, meet up in Jerusalem and have a day out at Masada and at a nearby cave where more Dead Sea Scrolls have recently been unearthed. Daughter Elise Astrid, 12, chooses to stay and swim in the hotel pool.

    Chemical Bank — TV commercials

    Makes the New York Herald Tribune Sunday Crossword

    Has portrait painted by Nelson Davies of Portraits Inc.

  • Has deep conversation with Charles Lindburgh

    On the train into New York, just before its arrival at Grand Central, Peg puts away her book to see that Charles Lindburgh, aviator extraordinaire, has been sitting opposite her. They both nod politely. The train, before reaching the platform, grinds to a sudden halt in the tunnel. While waiting for it to start moving again, Lindburgh and Peg exchange another polite nod. "How was the flight?" Peg asks, after a beat. "Long," Lindburgh says. "What did you eat?" she asks. "Peanut butter," he says.

    Turns down offer to write new TV series That Girl!

    Peg flies to London to see Marlo Thomas in Barefoot in the Park and afterwards dines with her at Scott's, the idea being to see if she and Marlo click. They don't. Peg is bored by Marlo taking too long to take her stage make-up off and her dinner make-up on, but primarily turns down the job because Marlo wants to be in every single scene.

    Peg's "Albert", the sublime Alan Bunce dies

    Portrait by Nelson Davies

  • Leonard Bernstein plays her Steinway

    Bernstein, who lives nearby, comes to collect his wife, the actress Felicia Montealegre, who is at the house sitting for her portrait, being painted by artist-in-residence, Nelson Davies. Peg's 1906 reconditioned grand has just been delivered and Bernstein plays a few scales and chords and pronounces the piano "bright and lively". The piano will stay in Peg's possession, deteriorating, until 2013, when daughter sells it, daughter who sadly knew nothing about this Bernstein connection until this morning or, you can be sure, would have tried to flog it for more.

    The Financial Filberts — radio commercials

    For the American Bankers Association. Daughter stars. (Also in cast: Peg Lynch, Alan Bunce and Eddie Bracken)

  • Close friend, actor Basil Rathbone dies

    3rd and 4th (needle-nosed pea-brain) collies purchased

    Names: Alex and Sasha.

  • 6th mother-daughter trip

    To Berlin, East Berlin, Moscow, Leningrad, Copenhagen, Oslo. Plus father for half of it — pictured here with Major General Bjorn Egge of the Norwegian Defense Force. Duration: one month

  • Buys "Ledgewood"

    Becket, Massachusetts. An eight bedroom field stone Arts and Crafts style Berkshire "Cottage" on 30 acres of pine forest (and would have a great view if they'd part with some of these oh-so-precious trees)

  • Daughter disappoints, big time

    Daughter leaves Vassar after two years because she hates it and instead goes to work as a prop girl at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven even though Peg is beside herself because she would have given her eye teeth to go to Vassar and there's a big scene in fact a few of them and I don't really want to get into this now.

    Eats funeral food with Tolstoy's daughter

    Peg attends the funeral of actress friend Dortha Duckworth's husband, a former Russian ballet star and refugee, at a Russian Orthodox church connected to the Tolstoy Foundation in Rockland County, New York. Alexandra, the youngest daughter of Leo, who acted as his secretary and co-worker, after his death created The Tolstoy Foundation which helped thousands of Russian refugees (notably Vladimir Nabokov and Sergei Rachmaninoff) to escape and arrange their resettlement in America. However, she and Peg talk mainly about their teeth.

  • Earplay — National Public Radio

    Peg Lynch and Karl Schmidt as "Albert"; 20 fifteen-minute shows, recorded in Madison, Wisconsin.

    Accompanies husband on business trip to South America

  • Peg's producer-director, the wonderful Walter Hart dies

  • Norman Rockwell

    1st pot roast dinner with Norman Rockwell

    Rockwell, who lives in neighboring Stockbridge, asks a mutual friend, Ciddy someone, also local, if he can meet Peg, and Peg, thrilled, asks them both over for a meal. Rockwell tells Peg he's a big fan, and used listen to her show while he painted. They meet a few more times for dinner, often at the Red Lion Inn. Rockwell presents Peg with a large coffee table book of his illustrations (but sadly no original drawings, guess he didn't like her show that much). Years later, after his death, Peg gets into the Rockwell Museum for free, having accidentally entered via the door to the snack area.

    Friend, actor Frank Sutton dies

  • Loses 92-year-old Norwegian father-in-law in woods

    Becket, Massachusetts. Winter. Eirik Ronning, at Peg's request, goes outside to look for a suitable scotch pine for a Christmas tree. He eventually finds one not far from the house and fells it. By this time it's growing dark. He gets turned around. He misses the house and ends up three miles away on the porch of a deserted summer cabin, where the Becket fire department finds him, six hours later, wet and cold but otherwise no worse for wear (you know Vikings), and — still clutching his saw and the scotch pine, which has fewer needles than when first spotted but is nevertheless erected and decorated for Christmas.

    The Little Things In Life — Radio Playhouse

    Peg Lynch and Bob Dryden (as "Mr. and Mrs. Baxter"); 140 fifteen-minute radio shows; sponsored by Bristol Myers

  • Actor and friend Rex O'Malley dies

    Mother of the Bride

    Daughter marries actor Frank Converse on stage at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT. 350 wedding guests. 37 wedding presents are stolen from Peg's car or from her Howard Johnson's motel room. Daughter annoyed.

  • 7th mother-daughter trip

    To England via Norway and Algeria; plus husband. Duration: 3 weeks

  • Daughter moves to London

    You can’t get too far away from your mother, I always say. (Or collies.)

  • Chintz — Granada TV, Manchester, England

    7 episodes of (badly) "Anglicized" Ethel and Albert TV scripts performed by a British cast.

  • To Norway

  • 5th and 6th (needle-nosed pea-brain) collies purchased

    Names: Erik and Kari

    Mother of the bride again

    Daughter, who also caters the wedding, marries English composer Denis King under the pine and spruce in Becket, Massachusetts. 50 wedding guests.

  • Friend, actress Margaret Hamilton dies

  • Husband Odd Knut Ronning retires

  • Fred Foy

    Performs at Radio Historical Association — Denver, CO

    With Fred Foy as "Albert"

    Nancy Moore

    Close friend, writer Nancy Moore dies

    Alexander Ronning King

    Grandson born

    Alexander Ronning King; Portland Hospital, London

  • Performs at 1st Friends of Kate Smith Convention — Syracuse, NY

    With Charlie Stumpf as "Albert"

    Aunt Helen dies

    Actress, Evie Juster

    Friend, actress Evie Juster dies

    Friend and Ethel and Albert announcer Lee Goodman dies

  • Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With Fred Foy as "Albert"

    Quits smoking

    Peg Lynch Scholarship created at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Massachusetts

    Performs at Friends of Kate Smith Convention — Lake Placid, NY

    With Eddie Bracken as "Albert"

  • Close friend, actress Nancy Kulp dies

    7th and 8th (needle-nosed pea-brain) collies purchased

    Names: Annie and Laurie (II)

    Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With Bob Dryden as "Albert"

    Performs at Friends of Old Time Radio Convention — Newark, N.J.

    With Bob Dryden as "Albert"

    Interview — RCA

    With Ezra Stone and Bob Dryden

  • Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With Bob Dryden as "Albert"

    Performs at The Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety and Comedy (SPERDVAC) Convention — Los Angeles, CA

    With Parley Baer as "Albert"

    Performs at F.O.T.R. Convention — Newark, NJ

    With Bob Dryden as "Albert"

    Honored by Radio Classics Live

  • Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With Bob Dryden as "Albert"

  • Has quadruple heart bypass

    But is sitting up in a chair in Intensive Care telling amusing anecdotes within an hour of leaving Brigham Women's recovery room. The nurse on duty tells Peg's daughter she's never seen anything like it in all her years in the hospital.

    Close friend, Phyllis Brown Holbert dies

  • Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With Bob Hastings as "Albert"

    Performs at F.O.T.R. Convention — Newark, NJ

    With Bob Dryden as "Albert"

  • Friend, actress Dortha Duckworth dies

    Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With Bob Dryden as "Albert"

    Performs SPERDVAC Convention — Los Angeles, CA

    With Parley Baer as "Albert"

    Interview — WVXU

    With Fred Foy and Parley Baer

    Performs at Cincinnati Radio Convention

    With Parley Baer as "Albert"

    Celebrates 80th birthday

    Venue: Weston, Connecticut, at the home of David Wiltse and Anne Keefe. Forty guests. Husband makes touching speech. Grandson, age 9, sings Peg O' My Heart. Daughter and Anne Keefe rather brilliantly organize the entire event.

    Colleague and former fiancé, Willis Conover ("Albert") dies

  • California Artists Radio Theatre broadcast — Los Angeles

    With Parley Baer as "Albert"

    Performs at Cincinnati Radio Convention

    With Parley Baer as "Albert"

    Performs at Denver Radio Convention

    With Parley Baer as "Albert"

    Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With Parley Baer as "Albert"

    Performs at Seattle Radio Convention

    With Parley Baer as "Albert"

  • Celebrates Golden Wedding Anniversary

    Celebrated by fifty guests at Peg and Odd's home in Becket, Massachusetts and afterwards at The Dreamaway Lodge, also in Becket. Daughter rather brilliantly organizes the entire event.

    Odd Knut toasts his Bride

    "May I have your attention please. Attention, s'il vous plait, Atencion, por favor….

    Eighteen thousand, two hundred and fifty days ago, on Thursday, August 12th, a young girl, dressed in white and weighing in at 115 lbs, walked down the aisle of The Little Church Around The Corner in New York City. Waiting on the other end of the aisle, also in white, a Norwegian of 155 lbs who had been in the USA for two years and who, when the minister asked "Repeat after me", said "the Holy Goat" (and still has trouble with it).

    By the way, I am modeling the same jacket he wore — guess this is what’s called a "snug" fit, it is supposed to be double-breasted.

    The honeymoon was delayed for one day, since the Queen Mary did not want to sail on Friday the 13th. The bridal couple, who had boarded the ship the night before, had the alarm set for four in the morning so that they could get a "front seat" at the railing and be sure they did not miss the cast-off and sailing. They were the only ones on deck, except probably the captain.

    The Bride had a special connection with the Cunard White Star, which, among other First Class privileges, resulted in an exclusive printed dinner menu for Mr. and Mrs. Ronning, mostly some kind of fancy chicken every night, while the delicious roast beef cart was being rolled by.

    Thus started fifty fun years and never a dull moment, fifty years and fifty cheers, with only a few tears. The Groom, which some of the more intelligent of you have guessed by now — was me. I was a very lucky man. I married an extremely talented writer and actress, a wonderful wife — and cook, which accounts for the combined 65 lbs added over these eighteen thousand days, mainly on me.

    Peg brightens the life of everybody, including all the shoppers and staff at Harry’s Supermarket and Price Chopper, and she is the best friend of most of the telephone operators around the country. We are both very lucky to have Lise — Elise Astrid — our gifted and caring daughter — and marvelous cook — and Denis and Alexander. We love you all very much.

    Peg — Peg of my heart — this is to you. And thanks for the memories of Fifty Golden Years. Skoal!"

    [IMPORTANT EDITOR'S NOTE: the words "gifted" and "caring" are circled, for emphasis, on the original document. Just so you know.]

    Performs at Cincinnati Radio Convention

    With Parley Baer as "Albert"

    Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With William Shallert as "Albert"

    Performs at F.O.T.R. Convention — Newark, N.J.

  • Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With Jess Cain as "Albert"

    Cartoonist, Whitney Darrow Jr.

    Friend, cartoonist Whitney Darrow Jr. dies

  • Bob Hastings

    Performs at Cincinnati Radio Convention

    With Bob Hastings as "Albert"

    Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With Jess Cain as "Albert"

    8th mother-daughter trip

    To Norway via London. Duration: one month

    90-year-old Aunt Elise comes to live

    Interview — WVXU — Theatre of the Mind

  • Elise Renning

    Aunt Elise Renning dies

    Anna Skarning, only sister-in-law dies

    Performs at Radio Classics Convention — Brockton, MA

    With Jess Cain as "Albert"

  • Close Friend, Israeil diplomat and politician Abba Eban dies

    Parley Baer ("Albert") dies

  • Bob Dryden ("Albert") dies

    8th (needle-nosed pea-brain) collie purchased

    Name: Teddy Bear

    Sets fire to kitchen

    Heats oil to fry oysters, gets distracted

    9th mother-daughter trip

    Plus husband and grandson, to Alaska, because Peg "before she dies" wants to visit her old Gamma Phi sorority sister from the University of Minnesota, Carrie Huhndorf, nee Cashman. Carrie moved to Alaska in the 1940s, married an Inuit fisherman and trapper named Stanley, and raised five kids in a Quonset hut thirty miles from the nearest road. It has been on Peg's list to visit her friend for over fifty years but always told Carrie she wasn't coming until Carrie got a flush toilet.

  • The Woman Who Invented Sitcom — BBC Radio 4

    Written and presented by the inimitable Dick Vosburgh, produced and directed by Pete Atkin for Above The Title Productions, coupled with of course the usual invaluable two cents from daughter.

    9th (needle-nosed pea-brain) collie purchased

    Name: Bonnie

    Suffolk, England, North Sea

    10th mother–daughter trip

    To London, then up to Suffolk so Peg can see daughter's family's new home by the North Sea.

  • Close friend, Carrie Hundorf dies

    Close friend, Elsa Hutchinson dies

  • Celebrates 90th birthday

    (Daughter doesn't remember organizing anything, rather brilliantly or otherwise, so whatever occurred, if it occurred, can't have been too interesting)

  • Close friend, Bjorn Egge, Major General of the Norwegian Defense Force dies

    Performs at Friends of Old Time Radio Convention — Newark, NJ

    With Arthur Anderson as "Albert"

  • Friend, actress Augusta Dabney dies

    Jess Cain ("Albert") dies

    Richard Widmark

    Richard Widmark ("Albert") dies

  • Performs at Cincinnati Radio Convention

    With Bob Hastings as "Albert"

    Ethel and Albert Assistant Director Paul Bogart dies

    10th (needle-nosed pea-brain) collie purchased

    Name: Spurn-Me-Not is official breeder's name, which Peg doesn't care for so changes to Piper, then Angel, and now calls HoneyBear (and wonders why the dog never comes when called).

    The Couple Next Door used as teaching aid in Japan

    Kyle Brink, an adult education teacher in Hiroshima, uses episodes from Peg's series to teach English. Peg receives twenty-seven thank-you notes from Kyle's class. Peg sends back scripts and a signed photo. Kyle sends recordings of his students acting them out, which we treasure.

  • Celebrates 97th birthday

    Daughter rather brilliantly orchestrates and caters a proper English Tea Party. Thirty guests in Becket, Massachusetts, with full provision made for invited vegetarians, gluten or dairy-free types, and anyone in AA who can't have sherry in their trifle.

    Has "Oral History" done

    Nothing to do with Peg's implants or missing uppers the peabrain collie took into the dog pen: a crew of five archivists from the University of Oregon library, home of The Peg Lynch Papers, travel to Becket for four days, interviewing Peg on camera. Amazing daughter on hand to do amazing mother's hair and make-up, provide props, hearty meals, clean sheets, and a soupcon of festive pre-Christmas décor.

    Receives letter from grade school "boyfriend"

    Now retired and living in Washington, DC, the man requests a copy of a Couple Next Door script that he remembers fondly and reminds Peg that the name "Margaret" means "pearl" and that he has never forgotten sitting next to her in class.

    Poking a Dead Frog by Mike Sacks

    Interviewed by Mike Sacks for his book Poking a Dead Frog — Conversations With Today's Top Comedy Writers

    James Lileks of Minneapolis Star-Tribune joins fan club

    Lileks happens upon a Couple Next Door episode, searches for more, becomes hooked, googles Peg, rings her up, is thrilled to find her still alive, after which Peg rings daughter in England to say she's just spoken to a darling man from Minnesota for two hours and has invited him to come stay at the house. Daughter asks for more details, such as name and number and what is it this bozo who we don't know from Adam does, exactly. Peg doesn't write anything down, or has, but can't find, but recalls man's name was "a flower". Daughter suggests "Rose". No, wasn't "Rose". Peg thinks. Daughter, long distance, suggests "Daisy", "Petunia", "Holly", "Lavender", "Forsythia", "Crocus", "Iris", "Clematis" and about twelve hundred other flowers before hitting on "Lilac". Daughter googles Lilekses in Minnesota, finds one, Tweets him, gets a reply, Lileks makes the trek to Massachusetts, meets Peg—with daughter standing by protectively with fry pan—passes muster, and leaves not only with nice photos and an interview, but a new name: "Jamie", is what Peg wants to call him. And much easier to remember than say, "Rhododendron".

  • Bob Hastings

    Bob Hastings ("Albert") dies

    Odd Knut Ronning

    Odd Knut Ronning, gentleman, Viking, devoted husband (and father) dies.

    From The Berkshire Eagle

    “Odd Knut Ronning, former Export Manager in charge of Foreign Sales at the Beloit Corporation in Dalton, died at his home in Becket last Wednesday. He was 96. Many knew him as the dashing husband of radio and television comedy writer and actress Peg Lynch (he was once voted “New York’s Handsomest Husband” by Radio and TV Magazine)--the welcoming, generous host, the ever-so-slightly formal but always jovial man who, to everyone’s delight, played the piano and sang old time American standards in Norwegian, who would never let you sit there with an empty glass, the man who listened when you spoke, who stood up when you entered the room, who held doors open for ladies, the man who was at ease in any situation, a well-dressed, polite and perfectly groomed true gentleman, one you’d be grateful and proud to have on your arm, anywhere. I remember all these things about him, but I will also remember him as just plain Daddy. A devoted son, husband, father and grandfather, uncle and even fourth cousin by marriage, “family” was everything to Odd Knut. We could do no wrong in his eyes. Ever.

    Odd completed his degree after the war and in 1946 traveled to New York aboard the liner the S.S. Stavangerfjord. Before heading up to Syracuse University, he found a phone booth, found a dime, and politely called his third cousin Peg to say “hello” at her Gramercy Park apartment, as per his parents’ instructions.

    Odd Knut RonningMy parents were married on August 12, 1948. I doubt that a day went by since that moment at the Little Church Around the Corner in Manhattan, that my father still couldn’t quite believe his good fortune in snaring his “Peggy”.

    A masters degree in 1949 at the College of Forestry, Pulp and Paper Department, from Syracuse University was followed by a year in Norway working for the Union Paper Company in Skien, after which in 1950, Odd joined E.D. Jones and Sons in Dalton, MA (later becoming the Beloit Corporation, Dalton Division). By now an American Citizen, he and Peg settled first in Bronxville, New York, then Stamford, then Fairfield, Connecticut before moving to Becket, Massachusetts in 1970.

    Odd Knut offically retired in 1986. When he was not studying Consumer Reports or reading Norwegian newspapers or tending his beloved 28 acres--planting, weeding, sweeping pine needles off the drive--he devoted his days to traveling back to Norway, accompanying my mother when she performed at radio and television conventions around the States (the last one as recently as 2012), and visiting me and my family at our home in England. A firm believer in the theory that “Vikings don’t get sick”, it was only in the last six or seven years that my father began to wind down and “indoors in front of CNN with the sound turned off” began to have more appeal than tramping up and down pruning the euonymous hedge.

    He is survived by his “marvelous Peggy”, one daughter, me, Astrid King, one son-in law, the composer Denis King, and one grandson, Alexander King. All of whom will miss him every day. And who wish his Viking longship safe passage.”

    www.peglynch.com is launched

    Courtesy of devoted daughter and Toffoli Design

  • Peg doing Comic Relief

    Comic Relief

    March. Peg puts on a red nose to raise money for Comic Relief, both in the UK and USA by sharing her 1950s TV classic comedy sketch Two Times Nothing.

    You Tube Video

    Peg Lynch

    Margaret Frances Lynch dies

    July 24th. 5pm. The extraordinary Margaret Frances “Peg” Lynch leaves this world. Radio and television pioneer, comedy legend, collie-lover, wife and mother. She taught her daughter many things, during her long life, but most importantly, how to laugh. How life can be pretty grim sometimes, but if you can find the funny side of things, you’ll be okay. Or at least have half a chance. The daughter agrees. Wholeheartedly. And can only hope that wherever her mother is now, they know what they’re in for, because she’s sure going to shake things up a bit.

    In 2014, the previous year, her daughter happened to mention to some close friends that she wasn‘t looking forward to having to do her mother‘s obituary when the time came, that she would most likely be too emotional and not up to the task, and asked if they knew how one went about getting, say, the New York Times interested in writing it themselves.

    “They‘d never do Peg,” both of them said, somewhat patronizingly, “no, you have to be really famous or well known to ever get the Times interested.”

    Is that so? Well. Turns out these friends maybe need their heads examined. And PS they are no longer close friends.

    Click here for New York Times

    Click here for Los Angeles Times