To: Fred Datig Subject: Illness in Cast -- MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS From: Dave Friedman Date: 1/31/44
At 5:30 p.m. on Saturday 29 January, acting under Al Jennings' instructions, called the O'Brien home and gave Margaret O'Brien's call for Monday, 31 January. The conversation which was carried on with Miss Marissa O'Brien (Margaret's aunt) included description of scenes and scene numbers both for the St. Louis Street exterior set and the interior of the children's bedroom, cover set. At this time the call was accepted by Miss O'Brien for Monday's work and there was no mention made of Margaret being ill.
At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday 30 January, Al Jennings called me at home to advise me that Marissa O'Brien had in turn called him at 4:05 p.m. to advise him that Margaret had been suffering with a combination illness of hay fever and influenza, and was also having nervous spells. He further told me that Marissa said at this time that the doctor in charge had advised that they take Margaret away for two weeks to recuperate from her illness, that Margaret would not be able to appear for work on Monday, 31 January, and that they were going to follow the physician's advice regarding the two weeks' rest.
I got in touch with Mr Datig and asked him the check this information, and at 5:45 p.m. (Sunday) he advised me that he had called the O'Brien home and had been told by a woman who answered the phone that the O'Brien's [sic] had called her to tell her that they were at the railroad station and were leaving immediately for Arizona, and that they would advise her by wire to send necessary clothes, etc.
I in turn transmitted this information to Mr Butcher and Mr Freed.
Due to the inclemency of the weather on Sunday and inasmuch as it had been raining, and Margaret O'Brien's departure had left us without a cover set, it was decided to cancel Monday's call for the exterior, which in turn left us without any work at all that we could do.
On Sunday night it rained again and more rain fell Monday morning, which in itself justified the cancellation of the exterior set.
Margaret O'Brien last work with the Company on the morning of Friday, 21 January, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., at which time her work for the day was concluded and she was dismissed. On this morning she had a slight hoarseness, which Mrs O'Brien attributed to hay-fever allergy to dirt.