Listen, my children, or face my wrath
Of the midday meal of Sylvia Plath,
On the Thirtieth of August, in Forty-five...
Plath's dentist was Howard C. Reith, a Winthrop, Massachusetts resident. According to the Boston city directory, his office was located at 370 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston (map), which is now the location of the Eliot Hotel at the corner of Commonwealth and Massachusetts Avenues.
The trip to Sudbury was made with Ralph Gaebler, his brother Max, and Max's wife Carolyn. Plath commented on Ralph's driving (fast). They at at the famous Wayside Inn (map). The inn began serving travelers in 1716. In 1862 the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow visited, later publishing a book of poems, Tales of a Wayside Inn, among those including "Paul Revere's Ride", spoofed above.
Plath gorged on crackers, sausages, pineapple, potatoes, squash, lettuce, carrots, rolls, and ice cream, among other things. After the meal, the group took a tour of the site. Plath comments on the old fashioned rooms and the name plates of the famous historical visitors. She also commented that she signed the register book.
Interested about this, I contacted the Wayside to see if they had in their archives the old guest books. I was both happy and surprised to receive back an email from their archivist Roberta with an attachment! It is with their permission that I reproduce the page featuring the signature of Plath, her brother Warren, and Ralph Gaebler below.
Plath and her brother gave their residence as "Wellesley 81, Mass.". The "81" is the old two digit zip code for their part of Wellesley (Wellesley Hills) which was implemented circa 1943.The zip was expanded to a five digit code, 02481, on 1 July 1963, just a few months after Plath's death.
All links accessed 21 December 2015 and 1 January 2016.