Tuesday, December 31, 2013



September 10, 1931 - Today's hot and windy again. Harry went to sleep this afternoon, and I let him sleep.  I wrote letters to Bernice O., Walter, Ervin and Mildred Andersen.  I got a letter from Mildred today.
September 11, 1931 - Annie, Ola, Annabelle, Ray and Mom all came after me tonite.  Everything was messed up when they came but Annie said it looked just like school always did.  We all had watermelon up home when we got there.  Mother, Ray and I played pinochle this evening.
September 12, 1931 - I got my permanent this morning.  Mother and Ray washed this morning and I ironed my dresses this afternoon.  Ray and I went to the dance at Hoskins tonite and we both had a real good time.  Helen Hanson told me something she'd heard about R.K. and I, which makes me gladder than ever that we broke up.

Well No. 1:  It sure didn't take Harry long to become teacher's pet.  One comment about liking her and now he gets to sleep during school.  What a player.

Well No. 2:  Rumors!!  Not nice.

Well No. 3:  I think that it's " . . . told me something she'd heard about R.K. and me . . ." but I'll give Grandma a pass.

Nice watermelon photo, don't you think, Mom?

Monday, December 30, 2013

How sweet

September 7, 1931 - I got a surprise in school today.  I was teaching Harry the word "like" and having him tell me things he liked.  He was naming them off and then he looked at me and said, "I like you."  I think I blushed it surprised me so much.
September 8, 1931 - School was like a nightmare today, it was so hot, windy and dusty.  I went home with Ronald Dedlow tonite.
September 9, 1931 - So hot and windy today that we hurried through our classes and dismissed at 3:30.  I wrote letters to Loretta, Mrs. Smith, Jane, and Aunt Mildred tonite.

It sure didn't take Grandma long to make a fan of one of her students. 

I have nothing else at the moment.  I took a week off from work and today was my first day back and my brain isn't yet totally engaged.

And speaking of sweet, just look at the photo I picked.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mission Festival?


September 4, 1931 - Drawing period this afternoon was terrible.  Mother and Ray came after me tonite.  I went to choir practice tonite.  Florence was there and we had a lot of fun.  Donald Podoll and Roger Bartlett are singing in the choir now!
September 5, 1931 - I washed and ironed my clothes this morning.  I washed my hair, too and it looks terrible.  Florence, Edwin, Ray and I went to a barn dance at Widdlemon's tonite.  We had a pretty good time.  Florence and I were lost in directions.  Edwin said his folks were going to Rochester this next week.
September 6, 1931 - Mission Festival today.  I went to church this morning and afternoon.  It was awfully warm, especially this afternoon.  Mother and Ray brought me back tonite.  I got here just in time to go to church with the kids.  We had ice cream when we got back.  Mildred came home from the hospital last nite and is walking around as spry as a chicken.

Can anyone enlighten me on what a Mission Festival was/is?  Seems it was an all-day affair.  The first thing that leapt to my mind was a revival, but I don't think we Lutherans do much revivalizing.

Was Grandma kinda sweet on either Donald or Roger, or did two new choir members warrant and exclamation point?  From my days in the choir at church, extra voices would have gotten my vote.

I hope Dale doesn't see this since he is not keen on the architectural style of the addition to the church.  I did not have a photo at the ready of the church before the addition, though.

Friday, December 27, 2013



September 1, 1931 - I can't seem to get the names very straight yet.  I went to league tonite with Evelyn, Mike and Bud.  It was at the home of Raymond Jochens.  I had a real good time.  We played games outside and also in the house.  Mayme called up today and asked how I was getting along.  There's a dance in Hoskins tomorrow nite.  I could go with her if I wanted to.
September 2, 1931 - Well I finally got my reports finished.  I had to make a list of all the books in the library.  Evelyn and Mike went to Norfolk tonite to see Mildred and also to take in the show.  They asked me to go along, but these reports kept me at home.
September 3, 1931 - It isn't half bad to walk to school.  It's been real nice this week.  Ronald Dedlow asked me to go home with him tonite but I said I couldn't.  I had to get the drawing work ready for tomorrow.

Hmmm.  How many books could there have been and how long do these reports take?  Perhaps Grandma was still in a bit of a funk about Ralph.  (Listen to me, a psychologist....)

The walk to school was a few miles, I am guessing.  In nice weather, I bet it wasn't bad to walk.  Somewhat like walking around a section, something I hear people liked to do on occasion.

Grandma only had eight names to keep straight, but I am right there with her since I have trouble with such things, too.

I have no particular reason to use this photo of the clematis, other than that I like it very much.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fatal . . . tee hee

August 29, 1931 - I finished getting my clothes fixed up today.  Tonite I went over to the church to attend the farewell party for Marvin.  We played games and had a real good time.  There were about 24 there.  It was about 12 o'clock when I got home.
August 30, 1931 - We went to church this morning.  This afternoon Annie and Ola came and we came here.  We stopped at the schoolhouse first and Annie helped me get out my books.  Nobody was here tonite.  I lit the lamp and read a magazine until they came home.  They had been to Norfolk to see Mildred.  She was operated on for appendicitis last nite.
August 31, 1931 - The first fatal day of school!  It wasn't so bad.  And I didn't cry either after all the pupils had gone like they said I would.  We had school all day.  I have 8 pupils, 2 girls and 6 boys.

I am guessing Marvin is Marvin Trautwein, the naughty boy who used notes for his speech at high school graduation, even though he was not supposed to.  I wonder where he was going that warranted a farewell party.

I think it is interesting that Grandma was told she would cry after the pupils left on the first day.  I wonder if that was experienced teachers talking or someone at the college.  Regardless, I can't imagine it is a widely-held belief nowadays.  Unless, the crying was tears of joy.  (I am kidding.)

Sorry for my lack of posting in the last week or so.  One wouldn't think that Thanksgiving being just slightly later than other years would throw off my Christmas preparations so much.  Especially since I start my shopping in the summer.  And now, I have a head cold which makes my brain fuzzier than usual, but I shall soldier on.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Making up new words

August 26, 1931 - Ray was home today so we washed.  We worked on my dresses this afternoon.  I went down town tonite with Florence.  We saw Loretta, Helen and Esther.  I had a real good time with Loretta.
August 27, 1931 - I ironed this morning while Mother sewed.  We drove out to Dora's new home this afternoon.  From there we went to Ola's.  We stayed there for supper and Mother drove back into town.
August 28, 1931 - Mother and I took the Ford and went to see Mayme.  The mile east of Hall's was just freshly graded and we had a terrible time.  We went over to my school and Mayme helped me with my lesson plans.  I went to choir practice tonite.  After that Ray, Hansi, Willie and I went out to Loretta's for her birthay.  We kids played games outside and I had a gorgerifous time.

Gorgerifous -- I like it.  Need to remember to use it some time.

I am afraid I have too much on my plate to have brain power left to think of something to add.  So, instead I will just find a photo and post this and move on.  Somehow I have boxed myself in to making too many Christmas gifts, some of which are for others to give so there's no wiggle room there.  But it's fun and it's all good.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Getting ready for school


August 23, 1931 - I went out to Annie's this afternoon and we went through her school work and I picked out what I wanted.  This evening I went up to Oman's to see Mother.
August 24, 1931 - Mother came home this noon about 10:30 and it seemed wonderful.  I felt like doing something then.  I started getting some of my school clothes ready today.  We went up to Hazel Prince's awhile this evening.
August 25, 1931 - Mother and I worked on my dresses today.

I looked in the Winside history book for an Oman, but did not find one.  I did find mention of Anna Boyd's husband Jean who, interestingly, was a barber.

Seems like Grandma Anna coming back home was the tonic Grandma needed to get over her break-up with Ralph.  She seems a bit giddy there compared to recent entries.  Moms have a way of doing good without really doing anything in particular.  The photo was taken well before 1931, but they sure look like the Three Musketeers there; all for one and one for all. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

And there it is . . .

August 20, 1931 - Ironed and straightened up the house this morning.  Mother left about 11 o'clock to work at Roxie's today.  F.S., Esther M., Lilly and Sophia came up after me about 2 o'clock.  We had a good time this afternoon.  Had supper at about 5:30.  The free act was pretty good.  The dance was punk.  The music couldn't be heard half the time.  R.K. and I had a quarrel about his being drunk and now the tan Ford won't be honking at my door anymore.  Ervin, Claus and Edna R. were here for the dance.  Ervin took me home.  3 o'clock when I got to bed.
August 21, 1931 - Mother went over to take care of Grandma Oman.  She'll be there three days. I slept all morning.  Willie B. stayed with Ray last nite and Ray took him home this morning.  Ola and Annie came about 1:30 and we went to Norfolk.  Grussmother went along.  On our way home we stopped and looked at my school.  I think I'll like it very much.
August 22, 1931 - I am still tired so I didn't do much work today.  I slept most of the afternoon.  After I'd gone to bed this evening Florence and Edwin came.  I dressed and went with them.  We went to the barn dance at Drager's east of Norfolk.  I had a punk time.  It doesn't set well with me to have to be a third party.

We had been wondering how Grandpa figured in to things with Grandma seemingly pretty tight with Ralph.  Now we know.  And look at that face . . . seriously, what woman could resist that?

Anyone know who Grandma Oman is?

Mom commented that her first school was also District 86.  Whereabouts was that school?

Too bad that Florence and Edwin made a point to come after Grandma to take her to have some fun and it didn't work very well.  Nice of them to try.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Done visiting

August 17, 1931 - Right after breakfast we went to Annie and Jimmie's.  We had dinner there and right after dinner went back to Alvina's.  Francis Nielsen came home with us.  We left Andrew's at 1:20 and got home a little before six o'clock.  Ralph came up this evening and Ray went to Hoskins with him and watched them play Indian baseball.  I didn't go 'cause Mom said I should stay home.  We talked about the happenings over the weekend when they came back from Hoskins.
August 18, 1931 - We are all pretty tired today.  Grussmother baked white bread and Momma baked coffee cake.  I went down town this afternoon and mailed the three films I took while we were visiting.  I visited with Florence about an hour and then got a reset from Anna Boyd.  To bed early tonite.
August 19, 1931 - I baked 2 apple pies, a cake and made a batch of doughnuts this morning. Mother washed out dresses, etc.  I didn't go down town tonite because I didn't feel peppy enough.

I don't remember Grandma ever making doughnuts.  I bet they were good.

I need to contact the distant Andersen relative to figure out some of these people again.  My brain turns to mush after too much family relationship information since I don't keep up on it enough.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Off visiting


August 14, 1931 - Mother finished her dress today.  We cleaned up the house and got our clothes lined up.  Mother and I each got a marcel tonite at Anna Boyd's.
August 15, 1931 - We got up at 5 o'clock and left Winside at 7 o'clock.  We were in Fremont at 11:00 a.m. and saw Uncle Hans' on their way home.  We got to Mildred's at 12 o'clock and had dinner.  We went to Kennard this afternoon and saw Aunt Sophia.  Tonite to the Silver Wedding dance at Washington.  I went with Mildred and Henry Krueger.  Had a real good time.  Francis Neilsen has been down here a week and is going home with us Monday.  We're staying at Andrew's tonite.
August 16, 1931 - We had dinner at Carrie and Pete Olson's.  Walter came over and we went to Blair to see the swimming pool and bridge.  I drove and Ray, Raymond, Mildred and Edna Olson went along, too.  We had lunch and supper at Alvina's.  Tonite Ray and I went with Howard and Walter to a dance at the German Hall.  We had a real good time.  Ervin Ruschman was there.  He cracked 3 ribs today when he was playing ball.  We're staying at Alvina's and Adolph's tonite.  We visited with Aunt Carrie and Uncle Nels before supper.

I am guessing the photo is of the Alvina Grandma is talking about.  She would be Maren Pedersen Andreasen's niece or first cousin to William Andersen.  Cute little doggie she has there.

My quick internet search revealed that a Marcel hairstyle looks a lot like fingerwaving, but maybe there is a nuance I am missing.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

More produce


August 11, 9131 - Mother worked on Mrs. McIntyre's things today while I ironed.  We also made apple butter this afternoon.
August 12, 1931 - Uncle Max was here this noon.  He said we could have some field corn to can if we wanted it.  We went up there this afternoon.  Got some apples from Uncle Hans' first.  Our little Ford was packed with corn coming home.  We were down town a few minutes this evening.
August 13, 1931 - We canned corn today.  Ray was going to help us but Ola wanted him so we did it by ourselves.  We canned 24 quarts and 15 pints. Ralph came up tonite and we went up to Uncle Hans'.  We stopped at the farm and took Flossie along.  The boys had been batching up there today so we did their dishes for them.

I'm sure it wasn't that full, but I have a mental picture of an old car with corn piled up clear to the ceiling in the back seat with some ears poking out the almost-closed windows. 

I consider myself a nice person, but doing two guys' dishes just because -- I don't think so.

Here I am in Grandma's kitchen making sure no harm comes to the frozen goods.  The home-canned goods were mainly down in the semi-scary, cobweb-filled, dark basement so I was willing to let all that go unprotected.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Painting R.K.?


August 8, 1931 - I worked as usual this morning.  Tonite Ray, Pete, Clara, Edwin, Florence, Ralph and I went to a barn dance east of Norfolk.  We had a real good time.
August 9, 1931 - Mother stayed up until 11:00 last nite cutting quilt blocks from scraps of outing flannel.  She pieced the entire quilt on the machine today.  Edwin, Florence and Ralph came up tonite and we went out to Raymond and Alice's.  We had lots of fun looking at the catalogues and painting R.K.
August 10, 1931 - Mother started making herself a new dress today but Mrs. McIntyre came up with some sewing, so she had to quit working on it.  To bed early tonite.  We washed clothes this morning.

Was Mrs. McIntyre likely the wife of the doctor in Winside?  It seems I remember hearing about a Dr. McIntyre.

That is some mad quilting . . . staying up until 11:00 cutting and then piecing an entire quilt in one day.  Of course, maybe it wasn't a particularly intricate quilt pattern, but still.

I read it twice, she says "painting R.K."  I wonder what on earth that was all about.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Peaches and sweet corn

August 5, 1931 - Ray, Mother and I went to Norfolk this morning.  We got a bushel of peaches, a sack of sugar and other odds and ends.  Mother worked on her quilt this afternoon and I worked on mine.  Aunt Mary and Uncle Charlie were here for supper.  Ralph came up and we went down town.  Loretta, Helen, Esther and I had the most fun, the best we've had for a long time.
August 6, 1931 - We worked on our quilts again today.  We've been eating peaches today and they taste awfully good.
August 7, 1931 - We canned peaches all day today.  Tonite Ralph, Pete and Clara came up and we went out to Ola's for awhile.  They were just eating supper and I had a roasting ear with them.

I know I've used the photo before, but I really like it especially Uncle Raymond's little toes all curled up.  That's rather what I do when I have a good ear of sweet corn.

I remember "helping" Grandmas can peaches.  She poured boiling water over them and then the peels came right off.  I was usually impatient and tried to get the peels off before they had sat long enough.  That was pretty silly because the longer they sat, the easier they were to peel.  Patience is a virtue, but difficult when you are a kid chomping at the bit to have fun.  Even if fun is removing the peel from a peach in one piece.  And as good as fresh peaches are, Grandma's home canned peaches were even better.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Quilt work and more quilt work


August 2, 1931 - We went to church this morning.  Ray went up to Uncle Hans' with Ralph and Edwin.  Uncle Hans and Aunt Lena left for Missouri this noon.  Dora and George were up this afternoon.  Mom and I canned 15 pints of beet pickles this afternoon.  We boiled them yesterday.  Went out to Ehler's with the boys and washed the separator.  Ehler's are gone for the weekend.  R.K., Ray, Willy, Edwin, Florence and I went to King's to the dance tonite.  The hall surely is pretty now.
August 3, 131 - The middle of this afternoon Mom got the quilt piecing craze.  She hunted up all her old scraps and got started.  She made two blocks this afternoon.
August 4, 1931 - We cleaned 4 old hens and pickled them this morning.  This afternoon Mother made 12 more quilt blocks.  I worked on my quilt, too.

I wonder if Grandma's definition of a "quilt piecing craze" changed over the years, because she could certainly crank out some quilt blocks.

Pickled chicken?  I do not believe I have ever heard of that.  Canned stock or canned chicken, but not pickled.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bumps in the road

July 30, 1931 - I went to Wayne this morning with Mr. and Ed Schellenberg, went to Miss Sewell's and had my certificate registered.  This afternoon Ray took Mom and I to Walkers and I got my contract.  Janson wasn't home so I'll have to get him some other time.  Ralph, Ray and I went to the pavement dance at Stanton.  Irvin M. and Helen C. were there.  We had a real good time.  Ray took Esther M. home.
July 31, 1931 - This morning Ray and I cracked and picked out a cupful of black walnut meats besides all we ate.  We got some ice tonite and went out to Ola's and had black walnut ice cream.  Mother and I canned 11 quarts of beet pickles this afternoon.
August 1, 1931 - Florence called up this forenoon and said Janson was home.  Mother and I took Ray out to Ola's and then took the Ford and went to Schellenberg's.  Florence took their car then. Janson wouldn't sign but Strate did, so I've got my school.  We had a terrible time.  Florence and I were tired and crabby tonite and the boys surely found it out. Edwin stayed with Ralph tonite.

I wonder what Janson's problem was, but it sounds like all was well in the end.

I guess the girls were cranky enough that Edwin and Ralph had to have an all-night recovery together to commiserate about them.  Ha!

Black walnut ice cream . . . if that doesn't sound dreamy, I don't know what does.  Well, maybe beet pickles.  I like those, too!

I don't know that I've used this photo before, but thought I would for two reasons.  Uncle Ray is in it (Grandma, too, of course) and Grandma will soon be teaching kids and these are kids.  I am sooooo clever sometimes.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Oh, Happy (and hot) Day!


July 27, 1931 - We got up early and were out to Ola's by 6:00 o'clock this morning. Ray helped John Gotch today.  We used Ola's car and went to Wayne this morning to see Miss Sewell about District 86.  Didn't get home until about 4 P.M.  We went to see Aunt Mildred and Aunt Mary.  We were at Annie's awhile this evening.  I called up Mr. Schellenberg and asked him if he'd go with me to see the board members of District 86.
July 28, 1931 - It was awfully hot last nite.  I slept outside until 12:30 and spent the rest of the nite on the lounge.  We washed this morning.  This afternoon I went with Mr. Schellenberg and he took me to see Mr. Walker.  He isn't sure if he'll take the directorship or not.  Strate and Janson weren't home.  We had supper out to the farm.  Back in town at 7:00.
July 29, 1931 - Ray and I slept outside last nite until 5 o'clock this morning.  Grussfather stayed out until 5:30.  I worked on my quilt this afternoon.  I got a card from Mr. Walker this afternoon saying I could have the school if I would teach for $70 a month.  I'm so glad!!!  Schellenberg's took us out there this evening and then I didn't get my contract because I forgot to bring my certificate along.

I think three exclamation points are appropriate for a first teaching job!  Way to go, Grandma!!  And for $70 a month to boot!

Sleeping outside to escape the heat -- I have no idea how fortunate I am to have grown up mostly with central air conditioning.  There was a photo a while back in the Lincoln paper about a heat wave sometime in the city's history; it might well have been during the 30's, if I recall.  The photo was of loads and loads of people sleeping on the grass all around the State Capitol Building. 

I took a chance that I could find the photo.  I do not know if this is the one since it doesn't show as many people as I am remembering.  It is, however, a photo from the hottest day ever recorded in Lincoln; 115 degrees during the day and a low of 91 degrees that night in 1936.  Crazy.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lead on a job


July 24, 1931 - I did my big ironing this morning.  And it was a big ironing.  I worked on my quilt this afternoon and finished Mom's buffet scarf.  Florence came up after me and we went to choir practice together.  Ralph was here awhile after choir practice.
July 25, 1931 - We cleaned up the house today.  I worked on my quilt this afternoon.  Ralph, Edwin and Florence came up tonite.  We went down town and found Claus and Ervin and Earl Frost.  They had just got to Winside.  "Pat" and Ervin went to Carroll with us to the dance.  We had a pretty good time.  Florence stayed all nite with me.  Mrs. Schellenberg told me that District 86 didn't have a teacher yet.
July 26, 1931 - We got up at 8:30 this morning and went to church.  Ray didn't go, Glen Frink was here just then and they were arguing about a baseball glove of Ray's.  After dinner all the folks went up to Uncle Max.  Ralph, Ervin, Pat and Edwin came up about 3:00.  Florence and Edwin left about 4:00 with Hans.  The boys didn't go until about 5 o'clock.  We went to the show here.  It was Norma Shearer in "Strangers May Kiss".  We were all too sleepy to enjoy it.

Missing church because of a discussion about a baseball glove?  I don't imagine too many kids think to try that one. 

Below is the plot from the movie.

Lisbeth (Norma Shearer) is a modern woman who thinks that marriage is old fashioned. She has two men in her life; Steve (Robert Montgomery), who wants to marry her and Alan (Neil Hamilton), who wants her to travel with him. Despite all the warnings by her friends and family, Lisbeth goes to Mexico with Alan where she is happy until she finds out that he has a wife in Paris and that he is leaving for his next job without her. Devastated, she spends a few years in Europe being the life of the party. While her reputation is well known, her life of gaiety has not made her happy.

I looked up Neil Hamilton and learned that he was Commissioner Gordon on the old Batman series.  And of course, Robert Montgomery was Samantha Stevens' (well, okay Elizabeth Montgomery's) father.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The blues and bluing


July 21, 1931 - I went to Wayne on the morning train to see if I could find a place to work for my room and board.  I was at Aunt Mildred's for dinner and down to Aunt Mary's a little while after dinner.  I walked 40 blocks or more this afternoon trying to find a place and didn't have any luck.  I stayed at Aunt Mary's tonite.  And do I feel blue!
July 22, 1931 - I didn't have any luck this morning.  I saw Aunt Mildred down town this morning.  I went home on the noon train.  Ray went to Wayne today and got a Sedan body for his Ford.  I finished one of Annabelle's dresses this afternoon and Mom and Ray took it out to her this evening.  Ray made some root beer yesterday.
July 23, 1931 - I finished Annabelle's other dress today.  I did a big washing by hand this morning.  A bunch of my dresses, some of Ray's shirts, 2 of Grussmother's aprons, 2 of Mom's dresses and some silk underwear.  Mother went down town this afternoon and I got the pictures that we took the Sunday Mildred Andersen was here.

I am pretty sure I would be blue after all that effort, too.  I wonder if the exertion of what it used to take to do laundry helped get any frustrations out.  I still remember the big tubs on the back porch, the wringer washer and especially the bluing!  I thought it was magic.  I seem to remember a bottle with a cork in it, not like the photo.  That made it more magical.  I was somewhat afraid of the washer; thought those rollers would take my arm off if I got too close.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Not a baseball bat


July 18, 1931 - I cleaned up the house today.  Irvin and Chris Ruschman were supposed to come tonite but they didn't.  We went up to Carroll but there wasn't any dance.  We didn't stay.  When Mom came home she saw a bat on the sidewalk.  We caught it and it's the funniest looking thing I ever saw.
July 19, 1931 - Uncle Hans' birthday.  We went to church this morning.  The folks went up to Uncle Hans' today.  After dinner Ralph came and Ralph, Edwin and I went up to Carroll.  Flossie was at her uncle's.  We were up there until after lunch.  I went up to see Mrs. Smith a few minutes.  We went to Uncle Hans' and at about 9:00 all of us kids went over to Uncle Max's and had ice cream.  Aunt Emma gave me a new dress.
July 20, 1931 - I was awfully tired today.  We went out to Pryor's this evening.  We had a taste of spring chicken and was it good!  Florence and I had a good talk.  She gave me some pieces for my quilt.  I worked on Annabelle's dresses that I'm making for her.

Wow.  I can't imagine Grandma in her later years finding a bat to be funny-looking rather than maybe, hideous.  I wonder what they did with it afterwards.

Didn't I post a while back about no mention of going to church?  I guess I'm psychic or something because now here Grandma is writing about it.

Grandma seems to have been very fond of Mrs. Smith.  I do not remember her talking about her myself.

Seems to me the folks in 1931 ate a lot of ice cream.  Here it shows up again and I know there is more of it coming in future posts.  I rather miss homemade ice cream.  You can buy it (made right in the store in old-fashioned ice cream makers) in Lincoln, but I don't think it is the same as what we used to make with the crank machine that seemed to a little kid so take forever.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lots of doin's


July 15, 1931 - We did half of the ironing today.  Uncle Hans, Aunt Lena, and Lyle came back from Excelsior Springs today.  They were here this afternoon and for supper.  Aunt Lena's face is getting better.  Uncle Hans was just about eaten up by the "jiggers" while they were down there.
July 16, 1931 - I finished the ironing this morning.  Cut out some blocks for my quilt this afternoon.  We were going out to Pryor's this evening but they weren't going to be home.  So we went out to Ola's.  We came in to the band concert.  Ray is going to help Ola tomorrow so he stayed out there tonite.  We got some material for some dresses for Annabelle that I'm going to make.
July 17, 1931 - It rained last nite.  I went down town this afternoon and saw Marvin T. and some other kids that had been at the Ladies Aid Picnic.  I went out with them.  We played Indian Base Ball.  I won a prize for dropping the most clothes pins in a quart fruit jar.  I went to choir practice from 8 to 9.  Ralph was here and we went to Uncle Hans' for Edwin's birthday.  We had ice cream and cake.  Mom was at Hoyt's today.

Okay, does anyone know what problems Aunt Lena had with her face that required an out-of-state trip?  Gosh, the things I learn, or semi-learn, from these diaries.

Indian Baseball?  I am pretty sure that name would not hold up nowadays, but I wonder what that was. 

Here is a quilt for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, December 2, 2013



July 12, 1931 - We slept until 11:30 this morning.  Ray, Mildred, R.K. and I went out to Schellenberg's this afternoon.  Edwin and Hans were there.  We took pictures.  Tonite we took Mildred back to Wayne.
July 13, 1931 - We washed today.  Mother went to Laura Christensen's funeral this afternoon.  I fixed a stocking for Mrs. Schellenberg.  Tonite Grussfather, Ray, Mother and I went out to Ola's.  Today is Ray's last day with Thorvald Jacobsen.
July 14, 1931 - Ray and Grussfather chopped down one of the cottonwoods over home.  I took my first lesson in baking bread and coffee cake.  I had real good luck.  R.K. came up this evening and we went out to Ralph and Clara's.  We talked about "old" times.

I did not figure out who Laura Christensen was from the William Andersen relatives.  Maybe someone reading knows who she was. 

What??  Grandma wasn't born knowing how to bake fabulous breads and coffee cakes?  I wouldn't have guessed.  I suppose, at my age I should make good on my threat to have Mom teach me to bake bread.  I can do quick breads, but for some reason yeast breads scare me.  Maybe because I have tried and failed on my own.  I think I know what I did wrong, but why waste time and resources when my dear mother can teach me?

Does anyone know where the cottonwoods would have been?  I do not recall seeing any at Grandma and Grandpa's place.

Nice that Grandma knows that at her age in 1931, she needed quotes for the word old when speaking of times.

Here's an older, but not old enough photo.  Is that an apricot tree or was the one closest to the house more to the east than the one here?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

More chickens

July 9, 1931 - I cleaned the upstairs this morning.  Early to bed tonite.
July 10, 1931 - Cleaned downstairs this morning.  I went to Wayne on the train this afternoon.  I went up to the Normal and got Mildred Andersen.  We came home on the train.  Talked this evening and went to bed rather early.
July 11, 1931 - We looked at snapshots, etc.  Went down town this afternoon.  Ray, Mildred, Ralph and I went to Carroll to the dance tonite.  We didn't have such a very good time, nobody there we knew.  Ray brought home three little chickens tonite.

So is Mildred Andersen someone other than Aunt Mildred?  Grandma always calls her Aunt Mildred, but then she changes what she calls Grandma Anna in her journals, so . . .

I haven't done a Sunday recipe in ages and today isn't Sunday, but for lack of anything better to put in here, here goes.  I do not recall Grandma making this recipe, but it is in her handwriting and it sounds good.  I like to experiment on my co-workers, maybe I will give it a try some time soon.

Coconut Pound Cake

1 1/2 c. Crisco
5 eggs
1/2 t. salt
1 c. milk
2 1/2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 c. coconut

Cream Crisco and sugar 10 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating 5 minutes after each addition.  Sift flour, salt and baking powder together -- add alternately with milk to creamed mixture.  Blend in coconut.  Turn into a well-greased and flour tube pan (Bundt or angel food). Place in cold oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.

It sounds dandy.

Speaking of baking, one of the blogs I follow asked people to submit photos or stories of their favorite "hand me down" baking or cooking item.  I immediately thought of the flour sifter of Grandma Anna's that I am lucky enough to have.  I am pretty sure I have not used any other sifter unless I was baking at someone else's house.  Not only is it a fine sifter, I think of both Grandma Anna and Grandma whenever I use it.  Grandma Anna isn't baking in the photo, but she is holding a baked good.  She looks rather pleased to have it, too.  With her in the photo is Tanta Emma and someone I cannot name.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lucky Lindy


July 6, 1931 - I felt pretty tired today.  Took a nap this afternoon and went to bed early.
July 7, 1931 - We picked and canned cherries today.  Tonite to Ralph Ruschman's birthday party with R.K.  Loretta was there.  It is the first time I have seen her or talked to her since school was out.
July 8, 1931 - We picked and canned more cherries today.  R.K. came up tonite and we went to Marie and Clifford's for their wedding anniversary.  We played "pig" and "Lindy".

I looked for, but did not find, any information on a game called "Lindy".  I did, however, discover there is an unincorporated village in Nebraska within the Santee Sioux Reservation with that name.  The current population is 13.  It has a restaurant and bar, a church, and a fire hall.  As you might expect, the town was named after Charles Lindbergh. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Something else I didn't know


July 3, 1931 - Momma went out to help at Hoyt's today.  Ray, Willie, E.B., F.S., R.K. and I went to Wayne tonite.  Wayne is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  We rode on the elephant and had a good time.
July 4, 1931 - It rained all day until about 4 o'clock.  Willie, Edwin, Florence and Ralph were here.  Tonite to Norfolk to the show, "Bad Sister" and out to King's a few minutes.
July 5, 1931 - Willie stayed last night.  We went to church this morning.  This afternoon we went to a ball game at Ted Foote's.  Ralph made two home runs, even though he was half asleep.  We went to Wayne tonite for the last day of the Golden Jubilee.  Yesterday was so bad that they extended the celebration for another day.

I definitely do not recall Grandma talking about riding on an elephant.  I can't believe I would have forgotten that.

Here is the plot summary of "Bad Sister": 

     Marianne (Sidney Fox) falls in love with con man Valentine (Humphrey Bogart) who uses their relation to get her father's endorsement on a money-raising scheme. He runs off with the money and Marianne, later dumping her. Her sister Laura (Bette Davis) loves Dr. Lindley (Conrad Nagel) although she knows he loves Marianne. Marianne returns and marries a wealthy young man, and Lindley turns his love toward Laura.

Good for Ralph on the home runs.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Something I didn't know


June 30, 1931 - We washed today.  I scrubbed all the rooms and did some ironing today.
July 1, 1931 - Baked bread and ironed today.  It rained this afternoon.  R.K., F.S., E.B. and Bill Frink and Hans came up tonite.  I came home tonite.  We were down town awhile.  Florence and I had a ride in Wallace Newman's new car.
July 2, 1931 - Mr. Baker brought me my money at 9:00.  We went out to Ola's and got their car.  I drove Ray's car out there, had to drive around the block and let Mom jump in as I couldn't stop the car without killing the engine.  Grussmother went along to Norfolk.  I got two new dresses, hose and a pair of white slippers.

Grandma Anna hopping into a moving car?!?  Neat!!  I wonder how Grandma knew she couldn't stop without killing the engine.  Did she have to shout at Grandma Anna as she went by to tell her to jump in?  Did it take a couple of tries for Grandma Anna to do it?  How agile was she exactly in 1931?  I am full of questions here that cannot be answered on this earthly plane.  I am guessing she and Grandma Anna could not start the car by themselves, or she would have just killed the engine, let Grandma Anna in, and then started it up.  I bet that is because it was a crank starter, but I do not know that for certain.

The photo is from 1924 and Grandma Anna is second from the left.  She looks perfectly capable of jumping into a moving car (and seriously, how fast must it have been moving?) at this time and seven years later.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I don't think this is a Chevy, but . . .


June 27, 1931 - I feel awful today.  The whole family went to Norfolk this afternoon.  R.K. was late coming tonite.  He was supposed to bring F.S. along and get E.B.  Edwin and Wendell came over about 9 o'clock and we went to meet them.  We met them at Slim Swergard's.  We all went to Winside in R.K.'s car.
June 28, 1931 - We all went to church this morning.  After dinner we went up to Uncle Hans' and cleaned R.K.'s car.  We took pictures and had a real good time.  This evening E.B., F.S., R.K. and I went to Randolph to the swimming pool in the Chevy.  Meta, Lyle, Hans, Ray and Willie were in Ralph's car.
June 29, 1931 - Awfully hot today.  I took a nap this afternoon.  To bed early tonite.

I never heard of a swimming pool in a Chevy before.

I wonder why Ralph's car needed cleaning out the day after a night running around with a bunch of friends.....

Monday, November 25, 2013

More than the eventual four


June 24, 1931 - I sewed doll dresses for Viola today.  Verne was here awhile and he took me up to Uncle Hans' for about an hour.  Mr. and Mrs. Baker and Viola went to Wayne this afternoon.  Linn's were here this evening and we had ice cream.
June 25, 1931 - Meta stopped here awhile this morning.  She was on her way to Carroll and her car wouldn't work.  Mrs. Baker's sister and family were over this evening.
June 26, 1931 - Oh!  It was hot today!  Mr. and Mrs. Baker and Mr. and Mrs. Dave Thomas went to Norfolk tonite.  I took care of six kids.  Ray and Ralph were up a little while.

I wonder if the six kids scared young Messrs. Andersen and Kahler away.

Also, I did not know that we were friends with the Wendy's guy and his family.  (Tee hee)  The main things I remember about Dave Thomas (the famous one) were that he seemed like a genuinely nice guy and that, being adopted, he was a big supporter of adoption.  Since our family was so wonderfully impacted by two adoptions, I would have to say I agree with him.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A life saver!

June 21, 1391 - It rained this morning but cleared up about 9:30.  Ed, Al, Lennis, Dallas and Mr. and Mrs. Schellenberg went to Wausau.  R.K., E.B. and H.B. were here for dinner.  We took pictures and played ball this afternoon.  I was at home a few minutes while R.K. did chores.  I was home in bed by 10 o'clock, before Baker's came home.
June 22, 1931 - I washed out some of my clothes this morning.  Sewed a doll's romper for Viola.  Over to Linn's tonite a few minutes with the family.
June 23, 1931 - Linn kids over awhile today.  I saved three lives today (chickens, they fell in the slop pail).

HA!  I love the chicken life-saving episode, mentioned so calmly like Grandma hadn't done a very great thing, says the Great Bird Fanatic (me).

If you will recall, I mentioned the opening of the Empire State Building a little while back.  I recently stumbled across this mind-numbing (for me anyway) photograph from that day.  Only look if you are not faint of heart.  Yikes!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Uncle Who?


June 18, 1931 - My hip didn't bother me so much today.  Mopped the whole house today.  Early to bed this evening.
June 19, 1931 - Washed clothes today.  I went to Uncle Harry's birthday tonite with Hans and Edwin.  Stopped and got F.S. and R.K.  Clara, Alice, Bernie, Darlene, F.S. and I played "Jacks".  It looked as if it would rain tonite but it didn't.
June 20, 1931 - Cleaned up the house and ironed.  It rained this afternoon but cleared up at supper time.  R.K., F.S., E. and H.B. and I to Carroll tonite.  Florence and I visited Mrs. Smith and Ed Schraeder's.  I stayed at the farm with Florence tonite.

Does anyone know who Uncle Harry would be? 

I've tried twice now to come up with more to write, but I'm stymied.  A photo was difficult enough.  I am sure I've used the photo before, but I do not remember if I knew it was from 1930; probably a high school graduation photo?  I love the dress and wonder what color it was.

Friday, November 22, 2013

How many?


June 15, 1931 - The first day didn't go so bad.  Mrs. Baker is working in the field and they needed a cook.  There are three children, Delmar and Viola.  I wrote some letters this afternoon and went to bed early tonite.  My hip has bothered me today.  I think it's from that ride in the trunk yesterday.
June 16, 1931 - Mr. Linn and Harold Linn were here for supper.  I went with Mrs. Baker and the kids to Linn's to have corn ground for chickens.
June 17, 1931 - Mr. Linn was here for supper.  R.K. came tonite.  Went to Hoskins to Oliver Stamm's chivari dance.  Aunt Mildred, Uncle Chris and Mr. and Mrs. Dennis were there.  Aunt Mildred has been in Albion since Saturday.  Took Matt Holt and Ester Schultz home after the dance.  I didn't dance much because my hip hurt me too much.

The options here are that Grandma wrote three instead of two, she forgot to list one of the kids' names, she didn't know one of the kids' names, or they didn't name the third kid yet.

See, I said the trunk was not a typo. 

Here's a photo of 1931 fashion, since I skipped it previously for the dress clip photo.  Note the finger-waved hair in the middle.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hurry up, go


June 12, 1931 - I ironed this morning.  R.K. and I went to Art Shelpepper's chivari dance in Hoskins.  Florence S., Ray and Esther Miller were along.  None of us had a very good time because we were too tired.  Mayme told me their school didn't have a teacher.  One of Ray's little chickens disappeared this evening.
June 13, 1931 - Mom and I took Ray's car out to Annie's to get their car.  We had Mayme go with us.  They hired Lucille Shannon last nite at 9:00.  Am I mad!  I stayed at Annie's this afternoon and helped them.  Nick Kahler's were there for dinner.  Ralph and Ray came out after supper and teased us like the dickens.  Mom followed them in Ray's Ford.  We went down town a few minutes and saw F.S. and E.B.
June 14, 1931 - Raymond, Alice, Ralph and I went to Osmond to Grandpa Kahler's birthday.  We came back to Ola and Annie's about 4:30.  Ate ice cream and then up to Uncle Hans' in the trunk to do chores.  When we got back we found out that Othel Baker's had come and wanted me to work for them.  I went home, packed my suitcase and went up there.

I wasn't able to find anything about Othel Baker in the Winside history book.  I went for a long shot and looked up Othel Baker on the internet.  I did not find him, but I did discover there is a Winside Drive in Baker, Louisiana.  I wonder how that ever came about.

And that is not a typo; Grandma rode in the trunk.

I can't express enough my distress at one of Uncle Ray's chickens being missing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Who and who knew?


June 9, 1931 - I finished washing down the walls and woodwork in the kitchen.  I washed and ironed my blue polka dot and black georgette dresses.  Florence and Lennis were up here a few minutes this evening.
June 10, 1931 - We went out to Annie's tonite right after supper.  Ralph came out and I went back to town with him.  We saw Florence and Edwin and talked to them awhile.
June 11, 1931 - We washed today.  Nick Kahler's were here this afternoon and for supper.  We went to the party dance at Hoskins.  Ray and Florence Frink went along.  We all had a real good time.

Does anyone know of a person named Lennis?  I looked and looked at Grandma's handwriting and that is what it looks like.  I also have not heard mention of Nick Kahler.  Not that I remember anyway.

And it is just me, or does Uncle Ray seem to have a lot of dates, but no one steady girl? 

I was looking for a dress from the 30's to use for a photo and I ran across this photo of a dress clip (from the 30's).  I have one or more in my possession and I never knew what they were.  It looks like they were used as decoration at the bottom of a V-neck or in pairs, one on each side of a neckline.  Who knew?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Two movies in three days

June 6, 1931 - We cleaned up the house and I monkeyed around until 6 o'clock when Ray came after me and took me out to Annie and Ola's.  I went to the show with Lewis and Florence.  We saw George O'Brien in "The Sea Beneath."  I stayed at Ola's with Florence tonite.
June 7, 1931 - R.K. came out here at about 11:30.  We all went down to Minnie and Earl's for dinner.  The men played horseshoes and boxed.  Florence and I tried to take a nap.  Florence, Lewis, Ralph and I went to see Buster Keaton in "Parlor, Bedroom, and Bath."  It was awfully silly.
June 8, 1931 - I was tired today and didn't get much work accomplished.  I wrote letters to Jane and Mrs. Smith tonite.

I hate to correct Grandma here, but the one movie was Seas Beneath.  But no matter.  And no movie poster to use.

The other movie is a different story.  I have a synopsis and a poster, which interestingly, is Swedish.

Reginald Denny plays the role of Jeffrey Haywood, who wants to get married to Virginia Embrey (Sally Eilers). However, Virginia refused to marry unless her older sister, the hard-to-please Angelica (Dorothy Christy) gets married first. Angelica, in turn, finds every man she knows too dull and predictable, and for this reason prefers to stay single. Jeff then tries to make Angelica interested in the mild-mannered and timid Reggie Irving (played by Keaton) passing him off as a notorious playboy to intrigue her. He asks his friend Polly to teach Reggie "how to treat a woman right", but he turns out to be a disastrous learner.

The information I found also says the movie was filmed in Buster Keaton's house and that it is now in the public domain and can be downloaded for free.  I may have to take a look just for giggles.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Churning and the rain


June 3, 1931 - I got a letter from Aunt Nan, Mayme, and the invitation to the Alumni Banquet.  Mother cleaned half of the back porch and cellar today.  I churned down the cellar today because it was so warm.  It started raining about 7:00 so didn't get to go to the chivari dance at Hoskins.  Mom, Ray and I played Pinochle.  I wrote to Florence S., Martha and Mayme.
June 4, 1931 - I ironed this morning and Mother finished cleaning the cellar and porch. Dora, George and Ralph came up here this evening.  Ralph, Ray and I went down town and got Florence Schellenberg and then went out to Annie and Ola's.  Florence Frink is coming in tomorrow nite to go to the Alumni Banquet.
June 5, 1931 - I finished the ironing this morning.  It started raining this morning and kept it up all day.  Florence F. didn't come in for the banquet.  F.S. went with us and after the banquet we played pinochle rummy up here.  There was supposed to have been a chivari dance in Hoskins tonite.  We were going with R.K. but the rain spoiled our plans.

I wonder how good I would have been at churning.  I think boredom would overtake me, but perhaps it is possible to read and churn at the same time.  Of course, I would probably alter my pace depending on how exciting the book was. 

I wish I could go back in time and spend just one day in 1931.  How odd to think that the roads were such that rain would spoil plans.  That is certainly nothing I have had to worry about in my lifetime.  I've had to pull over when the rain was too crazy, but normal rains long or short do not interfere with our lives today.  I guess I should say that living out here where there is little gravel on the roads, that some of my drives into Lincoln have been a little exciting right after a good rain.

I think it is neat that Grandma was going to the Alumni Banquet as soon as the year after she graduated.  I wonder if she ever missed one -- I know she went in 2005 and that if she missed any in all those intervening years, it was not her choice.  The photo is from that 2005 banquet.  That dress is the one she wore at my wedding earlier that year.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I have no idea what happened

May 31, 1931 - The folks went to Osmond today.  We came into town this afternoon with Ed's.  Florence had their car, we picked up Bill F., Edwin and Ralph.  We drove around, took pictures, and watched the ball game awhile.  I had supper at Florence's.  After supper we walked up home.  The boys came up here and we went up to Uncle Hans' for the pictures Martha had finished for us.
June 1, 1931 - The whole family is tired.  We cleaned the cupboard in the dining room, took the base burner down and cleaned Grussmother's closet.  I got the pictures today that Mother took of Ray in cap and gown, those we took at Emerson and those Barbara, Jane and I took.  I wrote to Jane and Aunt Mildred.  Tonite Florence and I took a long walk east to where Art's used to live, south, west past Brune's into town.
June 2, 1931 - We washed today and I got my arms sunburned real good.  Tillie Eckert brought up a stocking for me to fix.  Ray and I went out to Annie's.  Florence Frink is there and we made plans for this Saturday and Sunday.

Some how I got May 28 - 30 out of order and only discovered it as I was typing the same stuff over again just now.  Boy it sounded familiar, but I wasn't sure if it was because I read ahead sometimes.  Then I got to the Abraham Lincoln movie and knew I goofed up.  I surely entertain myself sometimes.  Back on track for now.

Grandma sure took a lot of pictures, some of which have gone by the by.  I do not recall seeing any of Uncle Ray in cap and gown.  Given how many times photos of friends were taken, I know for sure some of those are definitely gone.  It would be fun, though, to know if photos I do have were taken at the times and places Grandma mentions.

Something just occurred to me.  Grandma Anna, Grandma and Uncle Ray did not seem to go to church during this time.  I would think Grandma would mention it occasionally if they did.  I guess I assumed Grandma always went to church, whether at this point it was her idea or not.

I know I've used it before, but I still love this photo.  It was taken in 1938, so it's in the same decade, at least, of where we are right now.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spizz, really?


May 25, 1931 - Today is our last day for classes.  I got my "Spizz" this noon and had quite a few of the girls write in it.  I went up to Aunt Mildred's for supper.  We ate with Dennis'.  Tonite is the last time I'll get to eat supper with Aunt Mildred and Uncle Chris for some time I suppose.
May 26, 1931 - I checked in my books and got my $5 refund.  That felt good.  Had more girls write in my "Spizz".  Barbara took me home.  Annie and Mother came after me.  We went up to Carroll to see Mrs. Smith and also to Mrs. Geo. Linn to see about work.  She can't afford a girl just now because her husband has to have extra help.  Ray is working with Thorvald Jacobsen.
May 27, 1931 - I finished my box today and also lazied around.  It feels awfully good to be home.  Ray, Grussmother, Mother and I went out to Annie and Ola's after supper.  I drove out there but Ray wouldn't let me drive coming home.  After we were in bed, at about 11 o'clock, Edwin, Florence, Martha and Wendel came up here.  Martha's going out to Emelia and Art's tomorrow morning.  She came to say "Goodbye".

Grandma is writing the name of the school yearbook; I am not sure she is writing S-P-I-Z-Z but looking at both entries, that is certainly what it looks like.  Perhaps someone reading is familiar with the WSC yearbook.

I found this photo of Thorvald Jacobsen in the Winside history book.  He is listed with the other WWI veterans.  Good looking chap.

Friday, November 15, 2013

It's genetic


May 22, 1931 - I got up at 5 o'clock this morning and finished my nature Study notebook.  The Nature Study and Management tests weren't so bad.  I came home with Tillie Eckert.  This evening Ralph, Ray, Florence and I went up to Uncle Hans'.
May 23, 1931 - Ray's birthday.  I washed out a few of my clothes today and cleaned up the house.  Marie and Clifford, Annie and Ola, Uncle Max and family, Dora and George, Hans, Edwin, Martha, Willie, Lilly, Louise, Ralph, Florence and Bill Frink were here tonite for Ray's birthday.  We played cards.  Willy stayed all night with Ray.
May 24, 1931 - I cleaned up the house this morning.  Florence, Ralph and Edwin came about 11 o'clock and we went to Emerson.  We stopped in Wakefield to get a film and I saw "the Owl."  We had a picnic dinner, went down to the springs, took pictures, Ralph got "stuck in the mud", played baseball.  In other words a good time.  On way home saw the rest of the plane in which Guy Strickland and "Red" Putnam were burned to death.  We went to the movies and saw "Skippy".

It is comforting to know that both Dale and I came by our procrastination, especially when it comes to schoolwork, honestly.

I had never heard of a plane crash in our neck of the woods.  I found this in the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune for May 25, 1931:

     "Guy Strickland of Wayne and Wayne Putnam of Naper, Neb., were killed yesterday when a plane Strickland was piloting struck a down current of air and went into a tailspin, at Wayne, Neb."

     Here is some information about "Skippy":  Skippy is a film that was released in 1931. It was one of the first films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The screenplay was based on the comic strip Skippy by Percy Crosby. For his performance, Jackie Cooper, at the age of nine, became the youngest person to earn an Academy Award nomination for  Best Actor in a Leading Role.  The film also did well enough to inspire a sequel called Sooky.  The story involved Skippy's efforts to help his new friend Sooky. Sooky is played by Jackie Coogan's brother Robert. In the story Sooky lives in a shantytown, and both he and Skippy try desperately to save a dog. In one scene, director Norman Taurog needed to get his nephew, Jackie Cooper, to cry, so he told young Jackie that he was going to kill his dog. Jackie did the scene and proceeded to find out his dog would be unharmed. From this point on, Jackie Cooper had mixed feelings toward his uncle, almost to the point of hatred, and rarely spoke to him again. 

I would have to agree with young Mr. Cooper here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It makes sense


May 19, 1931 - I fell awfully punk today.  Barbara took me home.  I'm sure glad my girl friends have cars.  It's save me many a long walk.
May 20, 1931 - Well, today is the last time for chapel this school year.  Our Algebra test wasn't so bad.  Francis brought me home this afternoon.  Aunt Mary, Uncle Charlie, Pearl and Wallace went to Norfolk this afternoon.
May 21, 1931 - I worked late at the Library this afternoon.  Opal Wingett and I walked down town together.  I got a green water pitcher set at Ahern's for Martha.  Stayed up until 11:30 tonite working on my Nature Study notebook.

So many secrets . . . I didn't know Grandma worked at the library, but how appropriate that is.

The photo makes me smile, even though -- obviously, I have no idea what was going on.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

More trouble than they are worth?


May 16, 1931 - I worked like the dickens cleaning up the house today.  Washed and ironed my school clothes.  Ralph and I went to Hoskins to the dance tonite.  Some girls from Grand Island played and how they played!  There wasn't as big a crowd as I thought there would be, but I had a good time anyway.
May 17, 1931 - Momma and I walked down town this morning to get my slippers.  Ralph came up about 11:00 and we went out to Aunt Mary's with him.  Alice and I had a nice long walk, we picked violets and saw lots of new birds.  It rained a little bit around supper time.  Ralph took me back to Wayne tonite.
May 18, 1931 - It was trying to rain this morning but quit the middle of the forenoon.  Helen Hanson took me home this afternoon.  At supper tonite Uncle Chris said that after Ralph left last nite, a wheel came off of his car.  It happened about 2 blocks from Uncle Chris!  Ralph went up there and got him to help put it back on. The car wasn't hurt any.

I have had a few adventures with cars in my day, but I must admit I never had a wheel fall off.  Nice for Ralph that it happened not too far from someone who would help.

Has anyone ever wondered about the term "the dickens"?  I hadn't until just now.  This is what I found:

     This phrase has nothing to do with Charles Dickens. Dickens is a euphemism, specifically a minced-oath, for the word devil, possibly via devilkins. Shakespeare used it in 'the Merry Wives of Windsor, 1600:  I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of.
I am glad the explanation is clear, because the Shakespeare quote leaves me scratching my head a bit.
I had to look up "minced oath", although after doing so, the actual definition seems a bit obvious.  Here for your reading pleasure is a long list of minced oaths so that you know what you are actually meaning when you say some of these phrases.  You are welcome.
    The English, being a restrained lot, have a long list of euphemistic phrases, many of which became part of the language before it spread to other parts of the world. The root cause of these is a wish to communicate without being explicit. This is something the English are particularly fond of, hence their long tradition of double-entendre comedy.
     Minced oaths are a sub-group of euphemisms used to avoid swearing when expressing surprise or annoyance. If you hit your thumb with a hammer when great aunt Edith is in the room what do you say? It's probably going to be a minced oath. Shakespeare might have resorted to 'gadzooks' (God's hooks - referring to the nails in the cross), we might try 'shoot' or 'freaking heck'.
     They are usually, although not exclusively, religious in nature and date from the days when it wasn't acceptable to use the name of God, Jesus or other religious notables in everyday speech. To mince your words, or mince matters, means to choose words so as not to offend anyone. Some example are 'Jiminy Cricket' (Jesus Christ), 'dagnamit' (God damn it'), 'for Pete's sake' (for St. Peter's sake).
     It's interesting that, while we continue to generate new euphemisms, new minced oaths are few and far between. Perhaps that's because, while there are still taboos about discussing death, disability, homosexuality etc, the restrictions on swearing out loud when surprised or annoyed have slackened somewhat.
There are many examples:
Begorrah --> By God
Bejabbers --> By Jesus
Bleeding heck --> Bloody Hell
Blimey --> Blind me
Blinking heck --> Bloody Hell
By George --> By God
By golly --> By God's body
By gosh --> By God
By gum --> By God

By Jove --> By God
Cheese and Rice --> Jesus Christ  (I haven't heard this one before)
Chrissakes --> For Christ's sake
Christmas --> Christ
Cor blimey --> God blind me
Crikey --> Christ
Criminy --> Christ
Cripes --> Christ
Crivvens --> Christ defend us
Dad gum --> God damn
Dagnabbit --> God damn it
Dagnammit --> God damn it
Dang --> Damn
Dangnabbit --> God damn it
Dangnation --> Damnation
Darn --> Damn
Darnation --> Damnation
Doggone --> God damn
Drat --> God rot it
Egad --> A God
For crying out loud --> For Christ's sake
For Pete's sake --> For St. Peter's sake
For the love of Mike --> For St. Michael's sake
Gadzooks --> God's hooks
Gat Dangit --> God damn it
Gee --> Jesus
Gee whizz --> Jesus
Gee willikers --> Jesus

Godfrey Daniel --> God
Golly Gee willikers --> Jesus
Good garden party --> Good God
Good grief --> Good God
Goodness gracious --> Good God
Gorblimey --> God blind me
Gosh --> God
Gosh darned --> God damned
Heck --> Hell
Holy spit --> Holy sh*t
Jason Crisp --> Jesus Christ
Jebus --> Jesus
Jeepers Creepers --> Jesus Christ (I wouldn't have guessed this one)
Jeez --> Jesus
Jeezy Creezy --> Jesus Christ
Jehosaphat --> Jesus
Jiminy Christmas --> Jesus Christ
Jiminy Cricket --> Jesus Christ
Judas Priest --> Jesus Christ
Land sakes --> For the Lord's sake
Lawks a mercy --> Lord have mercy
My goodness --> My God
My gosh --> My God
Odds-bodkins --> God's sweet body
Sacré bleu --> Sang de Dieu (God's blood)
Sam Hill --> Hell
Shoot --> sh*t
Shucks --> sh*t
Strewth --> God's Truth
Suffering succotash --> Suffering Saviour
Sugar --> sh*t
Tarnation --> Damnation
What in Sam Hill? --> What in damn Hell?
Wish to goodness --> Wish to God
Zounds --> God's wounds

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Abe Lincoln

May 28, 1931 - I went down to Florence's this morning and she finger-waved my hair.  Also cleaned out the storeroom above the kitchen.  I churned this afternoon.  It was rainy early this morning, but Martha got started anyway.
May 29, 1931 - Mother and I papered the pantry and the ceiling of the kitchen today.  And we were tired tonite!  The kitchen is in an awful mess.  We took the shelves down in the pantry and can't put them up until tomorrow.
May 30, 1931 - Memorial Day.  Ray didn't work today.  We went out to the cemetery early this morning.  Ray helped us put the shelves back up.  Uncle Max's were here this afternoon.  Dora, George, Meta, Lyle, Aunt Lena, Uncle Hans and Louis were here for supper.  Hilda stayed here all nite.  We four kids went to Wayne tonite and saw "Abraham Lincoln."  I stayed out to the farm with Florence.

Here's a somewhat embarrassing question.  In 1931, did Grandma and Grandma Anna and Uncle Ray live in the house I am most familiar with?  I ask because I am not sure what Grandma would call the pantry.  That cubbyhole on the back porch is the best I can come up with and I don't know that it would be called a pantry.

I copied below some information about the movie "Abraham Lincoln".  There are some tidbits in here that I will have to research a bit, just to satisfy my own curiosity.

     Abraham Lincoln, also released under the title D. W. Griffith's 'Abraham Lincoln', is a (1930) biographical film about American president Abraham Lincoln directed by D. W. Griffith. It stars Walter Huston as Lincoln and Una Merkel, in her second speaking role, as Ann Rutledge.

     The script was co-written by Stephen Vincent Benet, author of the Civil War prose poem "John Brown's Body". This was the first of only two sound films made by Griffith. The film was not a hit at the time, but in recent years it has come to be regarded as one of the definitive films on Lincoln.

     The first act of the film covers Lincoln's early life as a storekeeper and rail-splitter in New Salem and his early romance with Ann Rutledge, and his early years as a lawyer and his courtship and marriage to Mary Todd in Springfield. The majority of the film deals with Lincoln's presidency during the Civil War and culminates with Lee's surrender and Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theater.

     The film covers some little known aspects of Lincoln's early life, such as his romance with Ann Rutledge, his depression and feared suicidal tendencies after her death, and his unexplained breaking off of his engagement with Mary Todd (although the film surmises that this was due to unresolved feelings over Ann Rutledge and adds a dramatic scene where Lincoln stands Mary up on their scheduled wedding day, which never happened).

     While the early scenes of Lincoln's life are remarkably accurate, much of the later scenes contain historical inaccuracies. The famous Lincoln-Douglas debates, in addition to the historically accurate topic of the extension of slavery, have been turned into an argument about secession. Lincoln was famously an underdog for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1860; in the film it is suggested he is the sole nominee as a result of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The outbreak of the War seems to be the North firing on Charleston from Fort Sumter, rather than the other way around. Also, early in hostilities, General Winfield Scott is depicted as being overconfident of a quick victory (and something of a buffoon), when in reality he was one of the voices in the minority claiming the war would be long, costly, and bloody. He would also have been taller than Lincoln at 6'5". Finally, in the climax of the film, Lincoln delivers a conflation of famous words from the Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865 - just moments before being assassinated. This was Griffith's second portrayal of Lincoln's assassination, the first being in  "The Birth of a Nation."

Monday, November 11, 2013


May 13, 1931 - I went down town from school today and got Ray a belt and buckle set for his graduation present.  Aunt Mary, Pearl, Wallace and I went to Winside before supper tonite.  Ray got his wristwatch from Aunt Nan today.  We all went to the Commencement exercises.  Ralph took me back to Wayne.  We stopped in at Schellenberg's awhile.
May 14, 1931 - Uncle Charlie came home last nite.  I walked down to the Court House with Tillie after school this afternoon.  I surely enjoy the noon hour in Tillie and Wilma's room.  They have a lot of fun with the other girls.
May 15, 1931 - Ray and Momma came after me this afternoon.  Tillie went home with us.  Harold Jensen walked down the street with us and carried Tillie's suitcase.  That helped a lot because the suitcase was heavy and it was so warm.

I remember some of my high school commencement.  Mostly going from playing in the band to singing in the chorus to sitting on the stage and waiting to be officially graduated.  Our speaker was our janitor, Walt Hamm.  I think he may have been retiring that year.  Quite a number of teachers left or retired that same time, also.  We weren't sure if they just couldn't stand the thought of being there without us or if we wore them out so much they couldn't help but leave.

I haven't done a bit of history in a while, but I just checked and in May of 1931, the construction of The Empire State Building was finished.  My favorite building in Manhattan is still The Flatiron Building however.  It was completed in 1902 and at the time was one of the tallest buildings in NYC.  Here's a photo.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The promised silliness


May 10, 1931 - Rainy all day.  Florence and Ralph came up about 11 o'clock, we played pinochle and then had dinner.  It took about 2 hours to do the dishes, but during those 2 hours much happened including being locked in the pantry, crawling in and out the windows, taking handles from cars, tooting horns, running away, and making soft taffy.  We went to the baccalaureate services tonite.  After that Ray, Ralph and I started for Wayne in Ray's Ford.  The lights burnt out so we're going tomorrow morning at 5 bells.
May 11, 1931 - We got up at 4 o'clock this morning and left for Wayne at 4:30.  We got to Wayne at 6 o'clock.  Oh what a ride and what roads!!  We had a blowout 1 1/4 miles from Winside and went the rest of the way on the rim.  Uncle Charlie went to Grand Island to some kind of convention.  Aunt Mary and I looked through her old samples and started piecing a quilt tonite.
May 12, 1931 - Pearl and Wallace came to Wayne tonite.  Wallace lost his job, they told him they'd be through with him the end of this week and he quit right away.  We made candy this evening.  It tasted good but didn't get hard.

Goodness -- no wonder it took two hours to do the dishes with all those shenanigans going on!  I am trying, somewhat successfully I might add, to imagine Grandma 19 years old and climbing out of windows and running around laughing and carrying on.  Fun stuff.

In case anyone is wondering, the reason to get up so early to go to Wayne was because that day was Monday and Grandma had to get to her classes.  That's my best guess, anyway.

Help, please.  Who is/are Pearl and Wallace?

I do not know who is in the photo with Grandma, but I thought it fit somewhat the time period of Grandma's journal.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A normal few days

May 7, 1931 - The weather has improved, a lot warmer today.  Francis took me home this afternoon and then downtown.  I got some new slippers in at Ahern's.  I'm not sure if I'm going to like them or not.  We had 5 o'clock supper at Aunt Mildred's tonite.  Mrs. Trumbar was there, too.  Momma called up after supper.  She said Ray wouldn't be after me tomorrow.  The kids went on their Sneak Day today.
May 8, 1931 - I left my books in Lila's locker until Monday, because I didn't want to carry them home in the rain.  Barbara took me home.  Jane wasn't in school this afternoon.  She's got a bad cold.  I went to Winside with Mrs. Lewis, Tillie and Wilma this afternoon.  The roads weren't very slippery.  Momma and I went to bed at 7:30 this evening.
May 9, 1931 - We're having a slow drizzily rain all day.  I started covering my box today.  This afternoon I baked a cake and made some doughnuts.  Ray and Annie went to Wayne this afternoon.  Mr. and Mrs. Schellenberg, Dora and George came up this evening.  Florence, Ralph and I went up to Brogren's.  They were surprised to see us.  We played "Pig" and "I Doubt It".  Lots of fun.  I got to bed about 1:30.  Roads were pretty bad but we got there and back.

 I can't seem to think of commentary to add here, so I won't add any. 

I am not sure of anyone other than Grandma in the photos but I am guessing they are from her college days.  Regardless, I thought I would post them.  I really like the collar and cuffs on Grandma's coat.  Very stylish!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Happy days

May 4, 1931 - I came home for dinner today.  This afternoon I took my spring coat to the cleaners.  It started raining this afternoon and I had to walk halfway home in the rain.  Gildersleeves gave me a lift the rest of the way.  Aunt Mary, Uncle Charlie and I played 500 Rummy tonite.
May 5, 1931 - I walked downtown after school tonite with Francis, Illa, and Evelyn Larson.  Evelyn has absolutely no use for boys and the girls have a lot of fun teasing her.  I went home on the train tonite and went to see "Tea Topper Tavern", the Senior Class Play.  It was real good.  The kids knew their parts real well.
May 6, 1931 - I came back on the train this morning.  I wore my winter coat so it would warm up.  Jane took me home this afternoon.  Barbara, Lila and Florence were along.  We went down to Jones' and saw the line of dresses they have.

I attempted to find out something about Tea Topper Tavern and its plot.  I located some archived newspaper articles saying this or that high school was putting on that particular play, but nothing past 1935.  So, as much as Grandma enjoyed it, it must not have possessed the agelessness to allow it to be popular very long.  But, so long as she had fun.

I have not retained the date in my mind since I have much happier days to remember, but yesterday was eight years since Grandma died.  Here is a photo from her last birthday party.  She very much looks like she had fun that day as well.  I like to think that for some of us, she does possess an agelessness.  As most of us know, Grandma was not big on smiling broadly for posed photos, so this little smile warms my heart a lot.