Friday, July 28, 2017

Happy Birthday to Nancy!



Thurs., June 20, 1935 - Rained during the nite. I came into town with Edwin in the morning.  Went down town to Mrs. Wolfe's with Mom about 5:00.
Fri., June 21, 1935 - Edwin brought Annabelle and Haroldean into our place this morning.  Mom went to Carl. W.'s funeral this afternoon.  Edwin took the kids and me out to Ola's tonite.
Sat., June 22, 1935 - I washed my hair and baked a cake for tonite.  When I got into town I made the sandwiches.  Howard took me to the dance.  I got to bed about 4:00 p.m.

I believe Grandma meant she got to bed about 4:00 a.m.  Maybe she was too tired to think straight.

Happy birthday in 2017 to the cutie in the picture.  I am loving that blouse and necklace -- seriously, very pretty.  And great curls, too.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Some 1935 history


Mon., June 17, 1935 - We all slept until noon today.  Annie Miller came up this p.m. and Mom made a wash dress for her.  It rained just about all day.
Tues., June 18, 1935 - Partly cloudy today.  I had my second lesson in bread baking today.  The bread was good, only I forgot to salt it!  Carl Wolf died today.
Wed., June 19, 1935 - Edwin came after me before I was out of bed.  I went out to Ola's and took care of the house and kids while Annie helped cultivate.  Came to town tonite.

I skipped ahead in the Winside history book to 1935 to see what was going on behind-the-scenes of Grandma's diary, so to speak.  A few items drew my attention:

     May 9, the much talked of fad "The Get Rich Chain Letter" made its appearance the past week.  Postal receipts the first five days in May have totaled $88.  Very little money was received by parties here but a plenty was sent out of town.
     May 29, Winside will have for the first time in its history, free movies.
     June 21, C. J. Wolff, a harness maker here for 35 years, passed away.

So, there we have some of Grandma's recent writings confirmed by an outside source.  The dates for Mr. Wolff's death do not match but the one in the history book is very likely the date the newspaper reported the event.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A mystery solved


Fri., June 14, 1935 - I had my first lesson in bread baking today and I had good bread, too!  To lodge tonite.  Howard brought me home.
Sat., June 15, 1935 - Cleaned the house and the basement this morning.  I washed and waved my hair this p.m.  Went down town tonite, met Howard, and he brought me home.
Sun., June 16, 1935 - Up at 5:00 and left at 7:00 for Elkhorn.  Mom, Grussfather, Ray and I went.  Grussmother thought the trip would be too hard on her.  The folks hadn't been back to Elkhorn since they moved away 44 years ago.  Stopped at Andrew's on our way home for my knives.  Got home at 8:00.  Mom, Ray and I went out to Ola's tonite.  Florence and Edwin got up a surprise for them for their ninth wedding anniversary.  We played cards and danced.  Howard brought Mom and I home.  Lloyd Voss was buried today.  He committed suicide by gassing himself in his car about 6 miles southwest of Hoskins Wednesday or Thursday.  The body was found yesterday.  Mayme is in the hospital at Norfolk and is quite sick.  F. S. said they hadn't told her about Lloyd. 

I have no trouble believing Grandma had success on her first day of baking bread.

Now that the knives have come up again, I know who Trena is, mentioned earlier when Grandma sent her a letter about her missing silverware.  Trena was married to Andrew Andersen (the keeper of the knives in this post), whose father was a brother to Ole Andreasen, William Andersen's father.  Shorter version -- Andrew was William Andersen's first cousin.  I am glad to have this information since I had not yet ventured out on this particular branch of the family tree and therefore, Trena was unknown to me until just today.  Further digging reveals her full name was quite lovely -- Rasmine Petrine Rasmussen Andersen.  And since we were talking about him, I'm using a photo of Mr. Ole Andreasen today.

I know the last name Voss, but will need help from someone to know who Lloyd and Mayme were.  Very sad story.  There was nothing in the Winside history book about Lloyd's death.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Down a different path


Tues., June 11, 1935 - The losing side of the card club met at Walker's tonite.  We're going to give the others a dance in Pete's barn June 22.  Each person is supposed to invite 2 guests.
Wed., June 12, 1935 - Waved Mom's hair this morning.  Mom went to Ladies Aid this p.m.  Tonite we went down town to the free movies.  It was a western picture with Buck Jones.
Thurs., June 13, 1935 - I went to Wayne on the train this a.m.  Took my fair work to Miss Sewell's office and then went to Aunt Mildred's.  Spent the rest of the day there and came home on the evening train.

As is my habit with these posts, I went in search of a western starring Buck Jones made in or around 1935 so I could have a movie poster for my photo.  I found several to pick from and did not want to guess which one Grandma saw.  So, I decided to learn about Buck Jones himself which led me to a wikipedia article about the nightclub fire in which he died at age 50 years.  The article is much too long to post in its entirety, but I selected some rather interesting portions.  The following may not be coherent as a whole since I am picking and choosing bits and pieces.

     "The Cocoanut Grove was a premier nightclub during the post-Prohibition 1930's and 1940's in Boston, Massachusetts. On November 28, 1942, it was the scene of the deadliest nightclub fire in history, killing 492 people (which was 32 more than the building's authorized capacity) and injuring hundreds more. The scale of the tragedy shocked the nation and briefly replaced the events of World War II in newspaper headlines. It led to a reform of safety standards and codes across the US, and to major changes in the treatment and rehabilitation of burn victims internationally.

     The club had opened in 1927 as a partnership between two orchestra leaders, Mickey Alpert and Jacques Renard. (Although neither held an interest in the club by 1942, Alpert was leading the house band the night of the fire.)  Alpert and Renard's mob-connected financiers gained control and opened a speakeasy in the complex, and it gained a reputation for being a gangland hangout. Gangland boss and bootlegger Charles "King" Solomon, also known as "Boston Charlie," owned the club from 1931 to 1933, when he was gunned down in the men's room of Roxbury's Cotton Club nightclub in 1933.  Ownership passed to Solomon's lawyer Barnet "Barney" Welansky, who sought a more mainstream image for the club while he privately boasted of his ties to the Mafia and to Boston Mayor Maurice J. Tobin.  He was known to be a tough boss who ran a tight ship: hiring teenagers to work as busboys for low wages, and street thugs who doubled as waiters and bouncers. He locked exits, concealed others with draperies, and even bricked up one emergency exit to prevent customers from leaving without paying.  Coincidentally, on the night of the fire, he was still recovering from a heart attack in a private room at Massachusetts General Hospital, where some of the victims would be sent.

     Originally a garage and warehouse complex, the brick and concrete buildings had been converted to a one-and-a-half-story meandering complex of dining rooms, bars, and lounges. The club offered its patrons dining and dancing in a South Seas-like "tropical paradise" and a roof that could be rolled back in summer for dancing under the stars.  The decor consisted of leatherette, rattan and bamboo coverings on the walls, heavy draperies, and "swanky" dark blue satin canopies and covering on ceilings. Support columns in the main dining area were made to look like palm trees, with light fixtures made to look like coconuts. That theme was carried over into the basement Melody Lounge, with what little light there was provided by palm tree light fixtures.

     Wall coverings and decorative materials had been approved on the basis of tests for ordinary ignition, which showed resistance to combustion from sources such as matches and cigarettes. Decorative cloth was purportedly treated with ammonium sulfate as a fire retardant upon installation, but there was no documentation that the fire retardant treatment was maintained at the required intervals. Since the US entry into the war, air conditioning systems had been serviced and the freon refrigerant was replaced by methyl chloride, a flammable gas, due to the wartime shortage of freon.

     It is estimated that on that Saturday night more than 1,000 Thanksgiving weekend revelers, wartime servicemen and their sweethearts, football fans, and others were crammed into a space rated for a maximum of 460 people.

     Official reports state that the fire started at about 10:15 pm in the dark, intimate Melody Lounge downstairs.  The lounge was lit by low-powered light bulbs in coconut-styled sconces beneath the fronds. A young man, possibly a soldier, had unscrewed a light bulb in order to give himself privacy while kissing his date.  Stanley Tomaszewski—a 16-year-old busboy—was instructed to put the light back on by tightening the bulb. He stepped up onto a chair to reach the light in the darkened corner. Unable to see the bulb, he lit a match to illuminate the area, tightened the bulb, and extinguished the match. Witnesses first saw flames in the fronds, which were just below the ceiling, immediately afterward. Though the lit match had been close to the same fronds where the fire was seen to have begun, the official report determined that Tomaszewski's actions could not be found to be the source of the fire, which "will be entered into the records of this department as being of unknown origin".

     Despite waiters' efforts to douse the fire with water, it spread along the fronds of the palm tree. In a final desperate attempt to separate the burning fronds from the fabric-covered false ceiling the decoration was pulled away from the corner, taking with it a triangular plywood panel at the ceiling level and opening the enclosed space above the false ceiling. Coincidentally or not, that was the point at which the fire spread to the false ceiling which burned rapidly, showering patrons with sparks and burning shreds of fabric. Flames raced up the stairway to the main level, burning the hair of patrons fleeing up the stairs. A fireball burst through the front entryway and spread through the remaining club areas: through the adjacent Caricature Bar, down a corridor to the Broadway Lounge, and across the central restaurant and dance floor as the orchestra was beginning its evening show. Flames raced faster than patrons could move, followed by thick clouds of smoke. Within five minutes, flames and smoke had spread to the entire nightclub. Some patrons were instantly overcome by smoke as they sat in their seats. Others crawled through the smoky darkness trying to find exits, all but one of which were either non-functioning or hidden in non-public areas.

     Many patrons attempted to exit through the main entrance, the same way they had entered. The building's main entrance was a single revolving door, which was rendered useless as the crowd stampeded in panic. Bodies piled up behind both sides of the revolving door, jamming it until it broke. But then the oxygen-hungry fire leaped through the breach, incinerating whoever was left alive in the pile. Firemen had to douse the flames to approach the door. Later, after fire laws had tightened, it would become illegal to have only one revolving door as a main entrance without being flanked by outward opening doors with panic bar openers attached, or have the revolving doors set up so that the doors could fold against themselves in emergency situations.

     Other avenues of escape were similarly useless; side doors had been bolted shut to prevent people from leaving without paying. A plate glass window, which could have been smashed for escape, was boarded up and unusable as an emergency exit. Other unlocked doors, like the ones in the Broadway Lounge, opened inwards, rendering them useless against the crush of people trying to escape. Fire officials would later testify that had the doors swung outwards, at least 300 lives could have been spared.

     From nearby bars, soldiers and sailors raced to assist. On the street, firefighters lugged out bodies and were treated for burned hands. As night deepened, the temperature dropped. Water on cobblestone pavements froze. Hoses froze to the ground. Newspaper trucks were appropriated as ambulances. Smoldering bodies, living and dead, were hosed in icy water. Some victims had breathed fumes so hot that when they inhaled cold air, as one firefighter put it, they dropped like stones.

     Later, during the cleanup of the building, firefighters found several dead guests sitting in their seats with drinks in their hands. They had been overcome so quickly by fire and toxic smoke that they had not had time to move.

     Coast Guardsman Clifford Johnson went back in no fewer than four times in search of his date who, unbeknownst to him, had safely escaped. Johnson suffered extensive third-degree burns over 55% of his body but survived the disaster, becoming the most severely burned person ever to survive his injuries at the time. After 21 months in a hospital and several hundred operations, he married his nurse and returned to his home state of Missouri. Fourteen years later he burned to death in a fiery automobile crash.

     Barney Welansky, whose connections had allowed the nightclub to operate while in violation of the loose standards of the day, was convicted on 19 counts of manslaughter (19 victims were randomly selected to represent the dead). Welansky was sentenced to 12–15 years in prison in 1943. He served nearly four years before being quietly pardoned by Massachusetts Governor Maurice J. Tobin, who had been mayor of Boston at the time of the fire. In December 1946, ravaged with cancer, Welansky was released from Norfolk Prison, telling reporters, "I wish I'd died with the others in the fire." Nine weeks later, he was dead.

     In the year that followed the fire, Massachusetts and other states enacted laws for public establishments banning flammable decorations, inward-swinging exit doors, and requiring exit signs to be visible at all times (meaning that the exit signs had to have independent sources of electricity, and be easily readable in even the thickest smoke). The new laws also required that revolving doors used for egress must either be flanked by at least one normal, outward-swinging door, or retrofitted to permit the individual door leaves to fold flat to permit free-flowing traffic in a panic situation, and further required that no emergency exits be chained or bolted shut in such a way as to bar escape through the doors during a panic or emergency situation.[citation needed] Municipal licensing authorities ruled that no Boston establishment could use "The Cocoanut Grove" as a name thereafter.

     Commissions were established by several states that would levy heavy fines or even shut down establishments for infractions of any of these laws. These later became the basis for several federal fire laws and code restrictions placed on nightclubs, theaters, banks, public buildings, and restaurants across the nation. It also led to the formation of several national organizations dedicated to fire safety.

     Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Boston City Hospital (BCH) took dozens of burn and smoke inhalation victims, and the event led to new ways of caring for both. Surgeons Francis Daniels Moore and Oliver Cope at Massachusetts General Hospital pioneered fluid resuscitation techniques for the burn victims, whose wounds were treated with soft gauze covered with petroleum jelly instead of tannic acid.  Although BCH was able to achieve a survival rate of only 30% one month after the fire, all patients treated for burns at MGH survived.  The event was also the first major use of the hospital's new blood bank, one of the area's first.

     The survivors of the fire were also among the first humans to be treated with the new antibiotic, penicillin. In early December Merck and Company rushed a 32 L supply of the drug, in the form of culture liquid in which the Penicillium mold had been grown, from New Jersey to Boston. The drug was crucial in combating staphylococcus bacteria, which typically infect skin grafts. As a result of the success of penicillin in preventing infections, the US government decided to support the production and the distribution of penicillin to the armed forces.

     Erich Lindemann, a Boston psychiatrist, studied the families and relatives of the dead and published what has become a classic paper, "Symptomatology and Management of Acute Grief", read at the Centenary Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in May 1944, and published in September of the same year. At the same time Lindemann was laying the foundation for the study of grief and dysfunctional grieving, Alexandra Adler was working with more than 500 survivors of the fire and conducting some of the earliest research on post-traumatic stress disorder."

So, while the event was a horrible tragedy, there were good things that came afterwards with ripple effects surviving well into the future.


Monday, July 24, 2017

A fine how-do-you-do


Sat., June 8, 1935 - Played lazy again today.  Howard came up tonite after I was in bed.  I got up and we went out to Walkers to see the government survey tower.
Sun., June 9, 1935 - Went to Piller's Lake southwest of Stanton for a picnic dinner.  I didn't know about it until this a.m. when Howard came here.  Frances Nielsen and Hank Koch got it up.  I guess the Iversens and I weren't supposed to be invited but Kenneth Wagner asked us anyway.  Wagners, Davis', Fannie [?], Hank, Iversens and I went.  We girls wandered around picking flowers in the p.m. while the boys played cards.  I had supper at Iversens.  After supper Howard brought me home in the Model T [I think - MJS].
Mon., June 10, 1935 - We washed today.  I worked on my quilt this afternoon.

Well!  It is unlike Grandma to get even slightly snarky in her posts, but she doesn't tip-toe around the picnic invitation.  Yay for Kenneth Wagner for inviting the fun people to the event.  I remember him as a member of The Good Guy Team.

And is Piller's Lake possibly Pillar Lake?  I could find the latter when I searched, but not the former.  But then again, it may have been a lake on private property.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Missing silverware


Wed., June 5, 1935 - Howard came up tonite to see if Ray could take us tomorrow.  Ray's going to take us and Howard is going along, too.
Thurs., June 6, 1935 - Ray came about 2:00 p.m.  We left here at 4:00 and didn't get to Trena's until 7:30.  The dance was at Washington. We left the dance at 1:00, stopped at Trena's for my silverware and got home at 4:40.  Had a good time.
Fri., June 7, 1935 - I slept until 11:00 this morning.  When I got up I looked over my silverware.  Half a dozen knives were gone.  I wrote to Trena right away.  Howard stopped to take me to the Dane dance at Carroll but I was too tired to go.

Well, as late as it was when they went to get it, it is no wonder Grandma didn't notice her missing knives.

Turning down a chance to go to a Dane dance . . . she must have been really tired.

Here's the rest of 1910 from the Winside history book:

     July 14, F. S. Tracy sold his hardware store to parties in Stanton.
     August 4, Estimate of city's expense for the ensuing year was $3,237.86.
    September 5, Winside teachers commenced their school terms today in the following districts:  Ida Heyer, No. 16; Olga Johnson, No. 24; Alice Brown, No. 28N; Minnie Hansen, No. 28S; Clara Heyer, No. 41; Ethel Prince, No. 62; Hazel Davis, No. 65; Edith Prince, No. 70; Gertrude Bayes and Josephine Carter in No. 39.
     September 6, Tinky Smith has completed the sidewalks around the school.
     September 15, the Woman's Club wants everyone to save all of your old papers.  Receptacles are placed at E. W. Cullen, Brune and Co., and the post office business places.  The proceeds from a carload will be used to buy library books.
    October 1, Post Office moved from the Frank Tracy hardware store to the east part of the A. H. Carter building.  (Same location in 1941.)  John and Fred Miller have rented the store building just vacated and will open a restaurant.
     October 27, A. T. Chapin gave the fire boys an oyster supper at the restaurant, in appreciation of their quick response to the fire at his place.  Mr. Chapin managed to get the flames out before they arrived but he appreciated their quick response.
     November 3, George Farran, I. O. Brown, Henry Trautwein and Lloyd Holcomb returned today from a hunting trip, bring back 200 ducks.  Omaha boosters arrived today.  The crowd waited nearly two hours out in the cold for them but were well repaid.
     November 12, Charles Unger had a cement roof placed on his new house but proving unsatisfactory it was removed and is being replaced with an ordinary shingle roof.
     November 17, Dick Waddell now makes his rural route trips in two wheel covered cart, which is easier on the team as well as the driver.     December 1, Hans Gottsch bought the John Jaszkowiak residence property opposite the new Lutheran church.
     December 14, the board of education plans to have the 12th grade added, if enough are interested to justify it.

The Omaha boosters came to wait for the ducks to arrive?  I wonder if the oyster supper was held in the restaurant mentioned one item previous.  Maybe Winside had only one restaurant in 1910.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Interesting history


Sun., June 2, 1935 - To S.S. and church.  Worked on quilts this p.m.  Ray and Willie here this evening.  I went to Hoskins to a dance with Rews and Iversens.  An old-time German orchestra played.
Mon., June 3, 1935 - Got a letter from Mildred Andersen saying she was going to be married Wednesday and they are giving them a dance Thursday.  She asked us to come to the dance.  Mom and I went down town to call up Ray.  We met Howard and he brought us up the hill.  He said he'd take us to the dance if Ray couldn't.
Tues., June 4, 1935 - I went to Alma's party tonite.  We played Michigan Poker.  Lydia Kant won high prize.  The other guests were Tillie and Elsie Eckert, Gladys Mettlen, Lena Nieman and Edna Podoll.  Ray was here while I was gone.

I wonder what Mildred Andersen's new last name was.  I do not think I have very much information on her via Ancestry.com to know how the rest of her life turned out.

Here's 1910, where I last left off with Winside history.  It must have been a busy year and I will break this up into two posts:

     January 13, Brune and Co., have secured the agency for the Brush Auto, Gabler Bros. will continue to sell the Cartercar, Bolander and Woodward the ABC and now that Laase has the Ford, competition out to be fierce.
     January 27, A. Woodward sold out today to Aspengren and Strand.
     February 3, A. C. Lantz bought the F. F. Ware drug store.
     February 7, Eddie Weible won the new buggy given at the Brune and Co. grand opening of their new building.
     March 3, Ed. Krause is moving to town into the residence he bought of Dr. A. B. Cherry.
     March 16, "Union Depot for a Day" was given by the Woman's Club to help raise money for the library.
     March 17, W. G. Archer received word today his pension had been raised to $15.00 per month.
     March 24, David Koch was the first man in Winside to receive $10.00 per hundred for his hogs.
     April 7, $1435.00 was paid Winside merchants for eggs the past month.
     April 17, Frost killed the fruit this year, all of the leaves and blossoms are black.
    April 28, Dr. Cherry went to Sioux City after his auto today, which had been taken there for repairs.
     May 5, Woman's club received a $25.00 order of books.
     May 12, Nebraska is the first state in the Union to declare, through Governor's proclamation, observance of "Mother's Day.'
     May 19, the Alumni banquet will be held at the Cavanaugh home.
     June 16, Charles Unger has started to build a brick house on his residence in the east part of town.
     June 30, the fire bell was taken down from its location at the rear of the Merchants State Bank and placed on top of the town hall.

A couple of things:  I never heard of a Cartercar before and had to look it up, hooray for Nebraska on the Mother's Day proclamation, and just how many eggs did Winsiders eat in March 2010??  That's the equivalent of $34,000 in 2015.  Perhaps the Winside history book contains a typo?