Monday, September 30, 2013
March 17, 1931 - Aunt Mildred is still gone. Sewed her curtains this afternoon. Mrs. Smith had them out and basted. Jane was down here a while. Aunt Mildred was home a few minutes. She brought some cream. After supper I churned. Mrs. Smith and I played Cribbage and 66. Wrote to Mayme, Florence F., Florence S., Martha and Aunt Nan. Went to bed about 2 o'clock. This evening all the dance programs were of an Irish nature. Mom went to S.C. with Uncle Max and Aunt Emma. She bought me a smock. It's black trimmed with red and white.
March 18, 1931 - Miriam Bracken played the piano in chapel this morning. Walked home with Helen Hanson. She took the car. We drove down through town and she also showed me where some of the teachers live. Wrote a crazy letter to Loretta tonite. Aunt Mildred washed the woodwork in the bathroom and breakfast nook.
March 19, 1931 - Why is it that Thursday seems to be such a dull day at school? I guess it's because the next day's Friday and that means going home!
Wow. Grandma stayed up until 2 a.m. during the school week and she wasn't even studying! What a concept. I am glad to know she wasn't always a grown-up, but a carefree girl for a time.
And here's a photo of her (on the left) when she was truly a carefree girl. I love, love, love the look on her little face. Uncle Ray is on the left and even though Mom has told me who is in the middle, I forget.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
March 14, 1931 - We washed this morning. Just as I was ready to wash my hair this afternoon Walter and Howard came. I was real surprised to see them. Played cards all afternoon. Bernice bought a box of stationary up for me. It's lavender and is real pretty. A birthday present from Loretta. I drove Walter's car to Wayne and back tonite. We went up to Uncle Chris's and played 500. Walter and Aunt Mildred won from Uncle Chris and I. Howard went to see Margaret. We got home at 10:00, but Howard didn't come home until 2:00.
March 15, 1931 - Went over to see Grandma Petersen and Uncle Soren this morning. The whole family went up to Uncle Hans' today. Martha gave me driving lessons with their Model A and Ray's Model T. We went over to Uncle Max's but they weren't home. Ralph brought me to Wayne tonite. It was early when we got here, so I suggested he let me drive. I drove to Laurel and nearly all the way back!
March 16, 1931 - Aunt Mildred went up to help Arlowynne. Uncle Chris and I have one point in common, we're neither one w.a.c. Washed tops of two boudoir pillows this noon. Took a bath after supper and went to bed early. Uncle Nels, Walter and Howard stopped here this afternoon before they left for Washington. I went up to Wilma and Tillie's and Wilma fingerwaved my hair for me.
I know a somewhat salty (for Grandma anyway) phrase to go with w.a.c., but am open to suggestions as to what unsalty phrase Grandma may have meant.
I do not know who the children in the photo are, or at least, I do not think I do. I like how open and treeless the background of the picture is. The adults are all the more noticeable that way, like they are the scenery. I wonder what the occasion was.
On a previous post, Grandma mentioned a person by name, or so I assumed it was a name. I did the best I could with her handwriting. My interpretation was something like "Casterisan" as I recall without looking back. Yesterday, while trying to create some order in my sewing room, also known as the room where boxes that do not have a clear home go, I found a box of things from Grandma's. Included was a Wayne County history book from 1938. In it were names and photos of the Wayne State Teachers College faculty. And who did I find, but a George W. Costerisan. I am guessing that is who I referenced before. There is fun around every corner with this old diary!
Saturday, September 28, 2013
March 11, 1931 - Nothing much happened today. Chapel was just as dull as usual. Mr. Parke spoke for about half an hour. Aunt Mildred had a good time at the dance. Norman took Jane home. Mrs. Smith and I got into trouble tonite with Aunt Mildred because we call Norman "The Owl."
March 12, 1931 - School was just as dull as usual today. Walked home and down town with H.H. tonite after "Grammar". Studied tonite after supper. Uncle Chris worked tonite. There was a Freshman party and a Lutheran Club supper tonite but I didn't go to either.
March 13, 1931 - Went up to Wilma's room during the 9 o'clock period. I gave her a cowboy sucker for her birthday. Ray came after me after school. Ralph, Ray, Florence and I went to see Raymond & Alice tonite. Schellenberg's were up home. Mrs. S. and Momma said we had to be home at 11:00 for lunch. We were and they were real surprised.
So, someone named Norman is "the owl" and Mrs. Smith thought so, too. Poor guy. I hope he never heard about it.
Grandma had two dull days in a row -- been there, I have. She must still have been a bit out of sorts to have a party and a supper doin's to go to and opted for neither.
I finally have the photocopied photo scanned of Chris Brogren. I recalled he was young, I didn't recall he was quite that young. A shame to be sure. The photo sure shows a lot of personality.
Friday, September 27, 2013
March 9, 1931 - Got through the day somehow. I can't get yesterday out of my mind. Snow is about all gone today and it's just about like spring. Why couldn't it have been this way yesterday? Had a headache and went to bed about 8 o'clock. Mrs. Smith did the supper dishes for me.
March 10, 1931 - Got a letter from Mayme and Walter Nelson today. Aunt Mildred went to the dance tonite with Glen and Arlowynne. Uncle Chris didn't feel very good so he stayed home and went to bed. I stayed up studying until Aunt Mildred came home. I was just getting ready to crawl in when she came.
That Mrs. Smith was all right in my book; to do the dishes since Grandma was still a bit upset about Chris.
I invite my dear readers to go back a few posts to see the comments left regarding Tot Chapin. A bit hard to believe, but maybe not. The things you learn . . .
On a happier and less weird note, here is Grandma Anna, maybe having a birthday, and with her in the photo is . . . (I am not sure). I located the photocopied photo of Chris and will post it in the next post.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
March 5, 1931 - Went down to Riese's tonite to get my gloves that I left there Sunday. Had early lunch there. They went to the basketball tournament and I walked up the hill with them. Got home in time for supper. Emmett House came after supper. Aunt M. and U. Chris went to Wisner tonite. About 9 o'clock Momma called up and said Chris Brogren had died of pneumonia at 7 o'clock this evening. It don't seem possible. I didn't even know he had much more than a bad cold. Emmett took me home tonite. Momma had gone up to Uncle Hans' so I stayed home.
March 6, 1931 - Cleaned up the house. Ralph is helping Ray do Ola's chores, so he was here for breakfast. Uncle Hans, Aunt Lena, Marie, Clifford, Willie and Mom came in this noon and I got dinner for them. Mom went back to Uncle Hans'. Ola is sick in bed up at Uncle Hans'. He's got a bad cold and the doctor told him he'd better take good care of himself.
March 7, 1931 - Ralph was here for breakfast. Grussmother, Grussfather, Ray and I went up to Uncle Hans' right after dinner. We came home about 4 o'clock. I went out to Annie's with the boys and washed the separator. We had our supper out there.
If I had read ahead, I would have been ready with a sort-of photo of Chris Brogren -- there is a copy of one in the family history book. Hopefully I will remember to scan and post another day.
That Ralph was okay, helping with chores and all.
Since Dorothea and Ola are being mentioned every now and then, I'm using a photo of them with someone else who, obviously, was having his 81st birthday.
As for 2013, I discovered 14 baby guinea fowl that at least two mamas hatched out very recently. With help I was able to wrangle them and the mamas in to the safety of the coop for the night. I hope they are all still hale and hardy in the morning.
Monday, September 23, 2013
March 2, 1931 - Uncle Chris and Aunt Mildred came home last nite after I'd gone to bed, got their everyday clothes and stayed at Arlowyne's. Aunt Mildred helped her put away 2 hogs that they butchered. Uncle Chris was up there for dinner and supper. So Mrs. Smith and I batched. They came home about 10:30. It was snowing a little bit. Got a letter from Norman Lee. He wants a date for tomorrow nite, he is going to call up tomorrow nite to see if it's OK with me!!
March 3, 1931 - Snow had all disappeared by noon. I had a good time at the dance. Norman asked if I was ever going to give him a date. I told him I couldn't say for sure! He took Jane to the dance. Rather apologized to me because of it. S.E. wanted a date but I said I couldn't and wouldn't give him one. So there!
March 3, 1931 - Aunt Mildred went up to Arlowyne's again today. Aunt Mildred had a sort of party tonite. She didn't have prizes and we didn't keep track of our scores. Clarence and Pauline Kilbourne, Glen and Arlowyne, Clarence Allen and ourselves. Glen and I set Pauline and Uncle Chris about 4 or 5 times. We felt real spry!
I don't know that I ever heard Grandma say, "so there!". Too funny.
I just love the house without the added-on porch that Grandma loved to much. I know it was a good deal for storage and other things, but I will always prefer the house this way. I am not sure when this was taken, but Grandma is the one on the right holding the dog so it was well before 1931. There's Dorothea and Ola and Grandma Anna, and Uncle Ray, but I do not know who the other adults are. Nor the other three kids.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
February 27, 1931 - Ray and Momma came to Wayne after me this afternoon. After I got home I talked to Loretta. Went down to Florence's. She's had a bad cold and missed school today. Went to a Box Social at District 55 tonite with Ralph and Ray. The program was fairly good. There are about 25 pupils in the school. Mayme and her cousin Margaret somebody, and Louise were there. Others too that I knew. Boys were awfully slow in bidding and boxes sold rather cheap.
February 28, 1931 - Annie and family were in this morning. Ole helped Ray over at the house. Momma, Annie and I played a few hands of Pinochle. They stayed for dinner (bean soup). Ray and I went out to Alice's after dinner. She finger-waved my hair. I looked at her quilt patterns. She must have around 600 different patterns. We had supper and after supper Ray and Alice played against Raymond and I. We played Pinochle, Rummy and Raymond and I won. Got home about 9:15. R.K. had called up, but alas! I wasn't home. Wonder where he wanted to go?
March 1, 1931 - Washed out some of my clothes today. Mom, Ray and I played Pinochle and 500 this afternoon. R.K. called up. He had to work tonite but we're going to the dance Tuesday nite. Ray and Momma took me back to Wayne. We had supper at Charlie Riese's. Aunt Mildred and Uncle Chris's went up to Glen & Arlowyne Wingett's today.
I asked Mom who Arlowyne Wingett was since it was such an unusual name and someone I assumed I was not related to, having not heard that name before. Turns out I had heard it, but didn't remember. She was a horsewoman and rode in the Old Settlers' parade in Winside probably every year. We are pretty sure she rode in parades all over the state as well. She always looked very grand on her horse -- she wore some snazzy outfits and always a hat, as I recall -- and appeared to have a great time. I found in a quick internet search that she died in 1994 at age 87. I wouldn't be surprised if she was still riding a horse up to the end. The photo isn't of Arlowyne, but I thought a horsewoman and horse picture was in order.
So Grandma was thinking quilts before she was 20. I wonder if she ended up with over 600 patterns. I am betting Mom is way past that already. Twenty books of 30 patterns each would do it.
Friday, September 20, 2013
February 24, 1931 - Ralph called up about 8 o'clock and wanted to know if I wanted to go to the dance. I said "yes!" About 15 minutes later "the Owl" called up. I kidded him along and said if he'd called up about 15 minutes earlier, it would have been all right. It wouldn't have been, but why tell him. The music was marvelous. Even better it seems to me than Geo. Lee's. Ralph is working in the filling station now that Chris is sick and can't work.
February 25, 1931 - Dr. Haney spoke in chapel about her experiences as a student in the American Academy at Rome. She said she saw men stomping out the juice from grapes for wine with their feet, and that it was better than any Temperance lecture! Her talk was interesting. This evening Rev. Luendin spoke about China before the Lutheran and International Relations Clubs. His talk opened up a new side to this question about China and its fighting. Florence S. stopped a few minutes at suppertime. She came to Wayne with her dad.
February 26, 1931 - Got a letter from Loretta today. She's had the chickenpox, no wonder she didn't feel good when I talked to her Sunday. Went down town with Barbara and Jane after school. They brought me back up the hill. I had a narrow escape right out here in front of the house. It taught me to "look out for the cars"! Jane got her class pin and Barbara her ring today. They're both real pretty. Studied until 10 o'clock tonite. Mrs. Smith, Aunt Mildred and I played 500 before supper.
Well, where to start? Who is The Owl, I wonder? And such a sassy thing for Grandma to tease him that way. Oh, and speaking of which -- Mom and Nancy and Anna and I had a bit of a discussion about whether Grandma knew she left behind this diaries from her youth and whether she would approve of us giggling and marvelling at her exploits. There wasn't too much that got past Grandma and she was pretty organized. Organized enough to save the little slips of paper upon which her bridal shower guests wrote advice to the new bride. And that is just one example. So, I am willing to bet (and hoping to be right) that Grandma knew the diaries were in the trunk and knew they would likely be read. And since this blog is not a world-wide phenomenon, I think I/we are okay continuing on.
Am I interpreting Dr. Haney's speech to mean the sight of men stomping grapes into wine was enough to turn her off of ever drinking? If so, I find that rather funny. I wonder how awful the scene was -- ugly men, dirty men, juice flying everywhere, flies flying everywhere? Maybe baring bare feet in public was frowned upon in 1931.
Do you suppose Grandma was counting how many times she had thought of this or that young gentleman when she almost got hit by a car?
I can look it up, but does anyone know the card game 500? I am pretty sure I have never heard of it. Unless it is some game I know played to a winning score of 500.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
February 21, 1931 - Got up at 6:30, went out to Ola's and were on our way to Norfolk at 8 o'clock. Momma got wallpaper for her room and I got a new dress. Back to Ola's at 12:00. Momma went back to Norfolk with George this afternoon. They left out two rolls of paper. Jane J. and Barbara C. came to Winside this afternoon. Barbara wanted to apply for vacancy in H.S. Took her to some members of the board, we took pictures, and Jane let me show them through the schoolhouse. They left about 3:00. I slept rest of afternoon and went to bed at 7 o'clock.
February 22, 1931 - Momma, Ray and I went to church this morning. After that up to see Grandma Petersen. She didn't care who was there, just wanted to be left alone. Saw Uncle Pete, I don't think he knew who I was right at first. Got Alma's Nature Study notebook. Didn't do much this afternoon. Went to Hoskins tonite with Ralph. Ray went along. It was Ralph R.'s chivari dance. Clara had on her wedding dress, she looked real nice. Ray only danced the first few dances and then went out in Ola's car. He didn't feel very good, neither did R.K. I wore my new dress.
February 23, 1931 - Helen is here! Hattie called up and asked Helen to come down, she wanted to talk to her, also asked Aunt Mildred to come down. Uncle Chris and Aunt Mildred took Helen home tonite. Mrs. Smith and I played cards until about 11 o'clock.
This all seems pretty normal and humdrum, but in a good way. Have I asked before who this Helen is?
The photo is of Ola and Dorothea and some kids; I do not recognize them, but will not be surprised if they are people I know.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
February 18, 1931 - New places in chapel this morning. Glen Wingett was here for dinner today. Aunt Mildred and I went home with him and cleaned up the house, so it would be clean when Arlowyne came home. She came while we were there. Stayed and had supper and came home about 8 o'clock. We played Pitch and Hearts. There was a telephone call for me early this evening. Mrs. Smith asked them two or three times who it was, but they wouldn't tell her. Wonder who it was. I know it wasn't R.K. so I should worry!
February 19, 1931 - Called up Momma today and told her I was coming home with Francis tomorrow afternoon. Ray was up for the basketball tournament. Winside lost their game this afternoon. Ray stopped in here and said, "Hello." He was in a hurry and didn't stay long, as usual!
February 20, 1931 - Call this noon for me. Asked if I was going home and why I wasn't going to the dance tonite at Wayne!!!!! Francis came after me about 4:45. Went to her home with her and to the dance at Hoskins tonite. We got there about 9:00. The American Legion had a benefit dance. I had a real good time. Herman and Arnold Eckert were there! Danced twice with Herman. R.K. wasn't there. I couldn't find out if he had gone to Grand Island or not. Martha had on her new flowered dress. Went home with Ray. Told him all about last Saturday nite.
Glen? Arlowyne? Does anyone know who these people are? Gotta like a name like Arlowyne, if I am reading Grandma's handwriting correctly. If not, I invented a new name that I like.
The suspense is still in the air; Grandma knew who called on the 18th and called again on the 20th but she doesn't say who she went to the dance with. We know it wasn't Ralph, but that's the only clue I am finding. Maybe time will tell.
I think the photo is pre-1931 but it is of Grandma (middle) when she was young, so it works here.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
February 15, 1931 - Got up at 12 o'clock. Had to saw up some kindling to start a fire in the furnace. Had breakfast and dinner in one meal. Jane came up this afternoon. We made candy, took pictures and played cards. Jane had lunch with us. Ralph came about 7:30. Chris and H.R. were along. We drove around. Were up to Laurel during our wanderings. Home at 11 o'clock. Read until 12:00 and then went to bed. The folks left at about 5:30 this morning. Chris is going home Thursday. Ralph might go to Grand Island Wednesday.
February 16, 1931 - Aunt Mildred and Uncle Chris got back from Albion at 1:15 this morning. Went down town this afternoon and mailed the film that Jane and I took yesterday. Read "The Dusty Highway" tonite. Was at the library studying from 7:00 to 7:45. Talked with Marjorie M. Was up to Wilma and Tillie's room this morning during the 9:00 period. Wilma was mad at James because he didn't take her to Pilger Saturday nite after he'd promised to take her.
February 17, 1931 - Got a letter from Momma today. Grandma Petersen is in such terrible pain that they have to keep her doped practically all the time. Uncle Pete is here. He's so crippled with rheumatism that he has to use a crutch and cane. I walked down town with Jane tonite. There was a fire someplace but it didn't last long. Aunt Mildred and Uncle Chris went to a party tonite.
I must say I have nothing much to add here. I read Mom's comment on a different post about all the dances -- who knew that Uncle Chris used to drive all over the state just to go to dance? I had no idea. It seems there were more than enough dances in the area, but maybe he and Aunt Mildred were following a particular band or bands. Or else they were just having fun!
The photo is of Kiersten and Hans Petersen -- Kiersten and Maren were sisters. Soren and Pete are the little guys on the left side, front and middle row. Kiersten is buried at Winside. I grabbed the photo from Cousin David's ancestry.com family tree.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
February 12, 1931 - Had a test in Algebra and Rural Sociology today. R.K. called up tonite and I'm going to get to go to the party dance at Norfolk tomorrow nite. Hip! Hip! Hooray! Talked to Chris, too! Told him I was going to a dinner party tonite. He asked me to think about him. I did at three different times. We had a real good time. Guests were Opal and Dorothy Beckendaur, Lila and Florence Jeffrey, Barbara Careive, Mrs. Doris Jones, Aunt Midge and I. For dinner shoestring potatoes, gravy, steak, peas, celery, olives, hot rolls, jam, tomatoes with rice, coffee, angel-food cake, ground peanut brittle in whipped cream. Played Hearts. Doris Jones booby, Barbara 1st prize. D. Beckendaur played piano, rest sang.
February 13, 1931 - Momma and Ray came after me tonite, we had lunch here. Uncle Soren has been here to see Grandma, but he left for Des Moines this afternoon. I'd like to have seen him. The folks had a surprise for me. Ray's and my room is papered. Annie helped them. My room looks cozy now. Went to the party dance at Norfolk with Ralph. I had a real good time. Martha came back from Omaha today. Chris R. asked me for a date for tomorrow nite. Ralph said that he didn't care so I'm going to go.
February 14, 1931 - Washed up my clothes. Got a finger wave this afternoon at Louise Volck's. Went to Pilger tonite. Ralph, Chris and I. There was a terrible crowd there. You couldn't dance, you just stepped on other people's feet. A fellow from Norfolk got the Chevrolet. Went back to Wayne after the dance. That ride home seems like a nightmare or a bad dream to me. I don't believe I'll ever forget it. I'll never break a date or step out on Ralph as long as we are going together!
Uncle Soren is someone I know from the new ancestry/genealogy information from Cousin David in Washington State. Soren is the son of Kiersten, and Kiersten is the sister of Maren and Maren is the mother of Bill/Papa. And just to do it before I forget, there will be a future reference to Uncle Pete, and I am guessing that is Soren's brother since he did have a brother by that name and I don't know of any other Pete that would fit the bill.
I must chuckle at Grandma counting the times she thought of Chris. She doesn't mention how many times she thought of Ralph. But maybe that is because he didn't ask her to do that. So, there! I see it turned out to be a disaster to go out with Chris, especially since Ralph was along, too. Kinda nutty. But she seems to have learned her lesson.
The photo is of Grandma Anna, Uncle Ray and Grandma. I am not sure when it was taken.
Friday, September 13, 2013
February 9, 1931 - The folks didn't get back until 4:30 this morning. They had been to Lincoln to a dance. Aunt Mildred drove part of the way coming and going. They said they had a real good time. I talked to Francis Johnson and she advised me to ditch my date with Shorty. She said he had a hard time getting dates. I'm going to follow her advice. And after thinking it over, R.K. might get mad and I don't want anything like that to happen.
February 10, 1931 - Uncle Chris said today Aunt Mildred couldn't go to Albion. So I guess I'll get to go home this weekend. Uncle Chris worked tonite but he took Jane, Aunt Midge and me down to the dance. Jop Allen's played. I don't think they're so wonderful. Carl B. took Jane home and Norman yours truly. I thought R.K. and C.R. would be there. When I realized they weren't coming, it just spoiled the rest of the evening. I'd lots rather had those kids there and gone home with Aunt Mildred and Uncle Chris than the way it did turn out.
February 11, 1931 - Nothing much at chapel. I was kind of sleepy today. Aunt Mildred isn't going to Albion today. I wrote letters to Carrie Hansen, Florence Schellenberg, Loretta H., Sylvia Eckert, Walter Nelsen, and Mayme Hall tonight. Grandma Petersen has a cancer in her throat. It's only a matter of time until it will get the best of her. She faces it like a true soldier. Poor grandma, for all her faults, she has a heart of gold!
Grandma had a few not-so-good days there, from cancelling a date to the right boys not showing up at a dance and then a cancer diagnosis in the family.
What is the deal with Aunt Mildred and Albion, does anyone know? Also, do we know who Shorty is/was?
The photo is of Ola and Dorothea, aka Grussfather and Grussmother, with Grandma Anna standing on the left, and one of her sisters on the right. I am afraid I am not sure which sister, so someone in the know will have to help me out here. I will have to try to scan the larger photo of Grussmother when she has a hint of a smile; it gives her a much softer look.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
February 6, 1931 - Martha called up. She wanted to know if I wanted to go home with them, but of course I couldn't. Played 500 and Double Solitaire with Mrs. Smith this evening. Uncle Chris went to Emerson to get Aunt Mildred. I was in bed and sound asleep when R.K. came and wanted me to go down here to the dance. Albin played. I got up, dressed and went. Didn't have a very good time 'cause there was no one there I knew. Say I am mad at C.R. tonite, and don't you think I ain't!
February 7, 1931 - Aunt Mildred is home. She brought me this diary from Sioux City. She got herself a new dress. Helped clean up the house this morning and went downtown this afternoon. Wanted to get a new dress, but I couldn't find any I liked. Wrote in my diary this evening and am having a terrible time to recall the eventful happenings since New Year's Eve in Norfolk.
February 8, 1931 - Slept late this morning. Had a terrible time with the stove. Kept pumping the stove at the last to get the gravy done. Aunt Midge and Uncle Chris left this morning at 5:00 for Seward. Ralph came about 4:30, went to Norfolk and saw "Half-Shot at Sunrise", also vaudeville. Saw Helen H. and Matt Holt with some more kids in Norfolk. They were going to have a "wiener roast." Stopped in at Hoskins for the free dance. And did I have a good time!!!! C.R. was just about "done for." Shorty E. asked me for a date for 2 weeks from last Friday. I said I'd go with him.
I wonder if Grandma used the word "ain't" to especially make a point, or if she wasn't born the grammatically-correct person I always knew her to be. The rest of her grammar in her diary is pretty good (as far as my expertise takes me), so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and say it was for effect.
I am a bit surprised that she says she is having trouble remembering events since New Year's Eve. I don't know what all went on that she may have missed, but she certainly has included quite a bit. I have trouble remembering what I did two days ago, let alone a whole month back. But, my brain is 50+ years full, and Grandma's wasn't yet. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
She doesn't mention them by name, but our favorite comedy duo was back for the movie, as you can see from the poster above. I will have to go to youtube and see if there are any clips of these two available. This poster is a bit less scary than the other.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
February 3, 1931 - I'm 19 years old today! Gosh I'm getting to be real old! Mrs. Smith gave me a pretty dance hankie and I got a card from Loretta H. and Aunt Mildred. Mom called me up at noon and the whole family congratulated me. R.K. came and we went to the dance at the pavilion. Philip Baxter's played. I was surprised when I saw who was with Ralph. It was Chris Rushman. He came back with Chris B. Sunday. Martha was along, too. Norman L. was there. He asked me if I had come with anybody in particular. I said yes. Then he said he wouldn't say anymore. Ha! Ha!
February 4, 1931 - Sleepy today. Aunt Mildred went to Winnebago. I went home with Martha. A farewell dance for Art and Emelia tonite at Uncle Hans'. I had a keen time. C.R. wanted to take me home. I wish I could have gone home with him, but I'd already promised Ralph. The Welsh kids were there in full force and acted real nice. Got home at 10 minutes to 4. I was surprised when I saw how late it was. But it was worth it.
February 5, 1931 - Had to get up earlier this morning to get Mrs. Smith some breakfast. And am I sleepy!! Built a rip, roaring good fire this afternoon. The house was warm enough. I took a bath after supper and went to bed about 9:30.
Yes, yes . . . 19 years is real old, future Grandma!! I do remember feeling a bit odd when I turned 20; like something was expected of me since the first number in my age wasn't a '1' anymore. So, I can empathize somewhat with Grandma's sentiment here.
I will leave Grandma happily contemplating her age and which young man she really wants to go out with and turn back to recent genealogy happenings. Below is a summary of what our newly-found Swedish cousin, George E., knows about the family tree, plus some comments of my own. Some things we knew, some we didn't:
Ola was born on Dec.11, 1852 in Lunnom, Östra Broby parrish, Skåne, Sweden to Maja Olasdotter - no father is listed and the notation "öakta" (out of wedlock) appears on the birth record. In 1859 Maja and Ola moved to Westraby in Emmislöv parrish, next to Östra Broby.
Maja was born Dec.31, 1827 in Björstorp, Örkened parrish, Skåne, Sweden. Her parents were Ola Johansson (born Feb. 15,1775) and Christina Andersdotter (born 1788).
George notes that illegitimate births were quite common in 19th century Sweden, but that they did carry some social stigma. He believes the stigma was more in the towns and cities than the rural setting that most on our ancestors came from. He has another great grandfather who was born "öakta" but his parents were married within a year of his birth. George thinks the frequency of this situation says as much about the dire poverty and harsh class structure in old Sweden as it does about the "moral character" of the men and women involved.
After moving to Westraby in 1859 Maja and Ola were on their own until 1864 when Maja married Ola Olafsson Brogren (born May 11, 1805) and moved into his house with her son, young Ola. Brogren's former wife and daughter (ages 61 and 26 respectively) had both died the same year. Maja was age 36 and little Ola was 12. Four years later the Parrish Pastor recorded the "the boy Ola Svensson" received permission to leave Westraby for Schlesvig-Holstein in Prussia. Perhaps Ola took the name Svensson (maybe his mother told him that was his biological father's name) but later would also use Brogren, the last name of his stepfather. We have heard the story about Ola claiming to be Brogren when that name was called to be sure he got a spot on the boat to come to America. I don’t know how that got started, but I wonder if it may have been started by Ola himself if he felt there was a stigma to not having parents that were married to one another.
George has mad research skills but he is still trying to uncover our most recent common ancestor who connects us. I forwarded to him the translations of the three letters we have from Maja’s friend to Ola in the 1890's. There are names of people and places in there and hopefully George can seize on those and find some clues. He can read (and speak!) Swedish, so the old records that are out there are not a problem for him.
Here is some information from George about where Ola was from: Ola's birthplace was in the far south of Sweden in the province of Skåne (pronounced Sko-nuh). Until 1676, Skåne was a province of Denmark and to this day is the richest agricultural land in all of Sweden. Even modern Swedes say that people from Skåne have their own language that can't be understood by other Swedes or Danes. Ola was born in the northwest corner of rural Skåne about 45 miles away from the big city of Malmö and its suburb of Lund where George’s great grandfather was born. Times were hard all over in Sweden, but the collapse of rye prices hit Skåne especially hard. It was a wise move for Ola to leave when he did, as job prospects in Prussia were much better. The town of Fehmarn is on an island of the same name just south of the Danish island of Falster. The area would have seemed familiar to Ola as it too is rich farm land. In fact, Fehmarn, along with the whole province of Schlesvig-Holstein had been part of Denmark until 1864 when Otto von Bismark and his Prussians stole it from the Danes after a short war.
Oh, and there's a Swedish festival in Kansas every two years that some of us should go to, I think. We should be embracing our Swedish side, too.
That's Ola on the left in the photo; I've forgotten who is on the right or if we even know who that is.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
January 31, 1931 - Francis went home about 9:30. Washed my hair and F.S. finger-waved it for me. Annie and Ola took me to apply for schools. Went to districts 36, 41, 74, 79, 83. 36 and 41 sound most favorable. Mom, Ray, Willie and I went down to Schellenberg's tonite. F.S. and I went down town about 8:30, saw R.K. and I.R., asked us to go to dance at Carroll, we said yes, took our mother's 1/2 hour to say it. Wasn't any dance so we went out to [???] and Marie's. Played cards and had lunch. Irwin is going home tomorrow. Chris B. is going to take him back.
February 1, 1931 - Momma's 20th wedding anniversary. Fixed my clothes for school. Ralph came about 6 o'clock and we went to the first show at Norfolk. The show was "Charlie's Aunt." I never laughed so hard in all my life. Got a box of Johnson's Chocolates tonite!
February 2, 1931 - Groundhog's Day and also Pete Petersen's birthday. Prof. Chinn lectured for quite a while upon the groundhog and the falsity of the superstition about its shadow, etc.! Got my package form Aunt Nan. A ready-made print dress with beads to match. It fits (the dress) me just fine. Wrote some letters tonite and went to bed about 11 o'clock. Went to hear the "Welsh Imperial Singers". It was marvelous, that's all I can say.
I find it interesting that Grandma calls it her mom's wedding anniversary, but not her mom and dad's, or parents, etc.
I looked up "Charlie's Aunt" and the synopsis was too lengthy for posting here, and I didn't even read it. (It is late, the power was out due to the rain, and my wakefulness is quickly fading; maybe another day I'll study up on Charlie's Aunt -- I think a character named Lord Fancourt Babberley is worth more investigation.)
Here is another old photo, older than 1931 but it's pretty cute.
That is all I have on this. Perhaps if I were more awake . . .
Monday, September 9, 2013
January 28, 1931 - Still having a heck of a time with the Arithmetic and Grammar classes. Went to the pavilion to the dance with the family. R.K., Irvin Rushman, and Chris B. with some more boys from Winside were there. I had a keen time. Hunt's Serenaders played. They were real good.
January 29, 1931 - Aunt Mildred and I went to Social Dancing. C. Bark was coming to see Helen, so of course she didn't go. They went to the show. Aunt Mildred and I didn't feel like staying at home so we walked down and saw it, too. It was "Only Saps Work" and was it funny! We walked back up the hill and played 500 till about 12:15. I didn't hear Helen come to bed.
January 30, 1931 - Helen went home today (amid a rainstorm!). Francis J. went home with me. Annie and Ola took us home. Went to the dance with R.K. His folks went to South Dakota this morning and took his car. So he had the Chevrolet. And does it rattle! Irvin took Lucille, and Eleanor and Francis were with us. I had a real good time. It was crowded, dusty and smoky -- but nobody went home on account of that. (Mr. Hall gave me a real good recommendation.)
Okay, I will admit I find it a bit humorous that Grandma had trouble in her Grammar class. Obviously, things clicked for her somewhere along the line.
I couldn't find a poster for "Only Saps Work", but I did find a synopsis on IMDB.com: "Con-man Leon Errol is an expert at getting away with robbery, pick-pocketing and identity theft, and here he does it with style, involving college kid Richard Arlen in his schemes while Arlen is on his way to work as a pantry boy in a high society fat farm. There, he meets pretty Mary Brian, the daughter of wealthy Charley Grapewin. Unaware that he was driving the getaway car for Errol's bank heist, Arlen goes about his business until the less than smart detectives show up. Errol is hysterically funny as the crook, especially in a sequence where he makes the scariest batch of waffles you've ever seen, utilizing practically every ingredient at hand. Errol utilizes his rubber-legged dancing skills as if he was still on Broadway. A couple of rhyme patterned conversations come into play in the screenplay giving the film a musical feel to it." Sounds plenty funny to me; the waffle part sounds interesting.
I think the photo is from confirmation -- I will be going through my black and white photo inventory for a while here.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
January 25, 1931 - Ray came in about 11 o'clock. Went to Ola's in Ray's car and from there up to Uncle Hans' in a lumber wagon with Edwin, Hans and Verne. Stopped and got F.S. at the farm. She was surprised. We were a pretty looking sight and surely surprised Martha. I kept still up there for 20 minutes. R.K. came in during that time, acted rather guilty. Then "cute little nosie". That broke the ice. He took me to Wayne and we saw Ruth Chatterton in "The Right to Love." Didn't like it. Found out why M.B. didn't come Friday nite. R.K. told her he'd see to it that I got there, but he sure didn't come. Wonder why! I'll never ask him!!!
January 26, 1931- Beginning of new semester. Oodles too many in Nature Study class. A bunch have to be weeded out, I hope I'm not one of them. Arithmetic class too large. Costerisan took half of the class and I'm in that half of the class. Alas! Alack! Just my luck. Aunt Mildred and Helen went to the show and were wild about it. I knew they would be. They said it was "so true to life."
January 27, 1931 - Grammar class too large. Having a heck of a time. Went to the lodge dance with the family. Carl Bark and a friend of his, Norman Lee, came over from Wakefield. We sure had a good time. I danced the "Rye Waltz" and a square dance with Uncle Chris. Carl took Helen home, and I came with Norman. He seems like a real nice fellow.
I wonder if the ride in the lumber wagon was the fun that Grandma was looking for. She doesn't seem to have minded. It is fun reading about her and Ralph. Not sure of the spelling of Costerisan; I think maybe it is a professor's name. And I am not at all sure with some of Grandma's handwriting when she refers to someone by their initials -- lots of peering and squinting and removal of bifocals going on to try to get them right.
The photo is of Ruth Chatterton, purportedly from the movie Grandma saw. She seems to have a led a multi-faceted life. Paraphrased from wikipedia: After she retired from acting in her mid-40's, she began a successful writing career, producing several novels. She was also one of the few aviatrices at the time, and was good friends with Amelia Earhart. Chatterton crisscrossed the U.S. several times solo. She served as sponsor of the Sportsman Pilot Mixed Air Derby and the annual Ruth Chatterton Air Derby during the 1930s; she also opened the National Air Races in Los Angeles in 1936. She taught British film and stage actor Brian Aherne to fly, an experience he described at length in his autobiography. Her second husband was George Brent.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
January 22, 1931 - Went to Social Dancing tonite. Studied until after twelve tonite.
January 23, 1931 - Got the last of my work handed in today. Martha was coming to get me tonite and take me to the party dance tonite. Wendel Warnemunde was giving one at the Town Hall. She didn't show up and I'm wondering why?
January 24, 1931 - Registered for the new semester this morning and helped Miss Elefson correct Children's Literature paper. Cleaned my room this afternoon and went home on the evening train. Momma and I went downtown tonite. We saw Ray. He's going to come in tomorrow morning and take me someplace. I'm not going to stay home tomorrow, that's one sure cinch. I've worked too hard this last week and I need some fun!
I would agree with Grandma there. I don't know how much work she had to turn in, but she was left high and dry for the party dance and with no smart phone around, she couldn't even tweet about it. And then there was the registering and the correcting and the cleaning. My goodness!
The photo is her high school graduation picture in 1930, so it isn't too far removed from January 1931. If you look close, you can see the sassy there.
Friday, September 6, 2013
January 19, 1931 - Emmett went back to Tilden today. Studied late tonite.
January 20, 1931 - To Social dancing with Aunt Mildred and Helen. Studied until late this evening.
January 21, 1931 - Grussmother is 78 years old today. Studied late again tonite.
Eek. Not much to work with here, but since Grandma mentions Grussmother, I have an excuse to use this photo that I like very much. I am not exactly sure why I am so fond of it, but here are my first impressions. It is nice to see Grandma Anna looking so young and relaxed. Not that she wasn't normally relaxed, but it is a nice pose and posture she has there. Her hands look rather pretty as does her hair for what appears to be a candid shot. And look at Ola's (Grussfather's) hands. Those are the hands of a working man, to be sure. I think he looks grand. And there's Dorothea (Grussmother) almost smiling. As some of you know, most photos have her looking serious and borderline grim. She looks here to have a sly (or shy) smile just starting to come out. The photo was taken in 1938 as per the notation on the back; it is the closest I have to 1931 where I know the year without having to guess.
And, speaking of Grussfather . . . Mom and I got an email just today from the other cousin from the DNA website, the one who listed only Swedish names. He believes he knows how we are related, not generation-by-generation or with great detail, but given where his ancestor was from and what he found (and we knew) about where Ola came from, he believes the relationship is through this cousin's great-great grandmother. In looking at Swedish archives, he said Ola was born out of wedlock, which was not uncommon during that time. He said he believed it was a reflection more of the dire poverty and harsh social structure in Sweden at the time, as opposed to the moral character of the people involved. I thought that was a very nice thing to add. He had the names of Ola's mother, and her parents, her parents being born in Sweden in the late 1700's. More interesting information on a branch of the family we knew little about, genealogy-wise.
I guess it is okay that Grandma didn't give me much to work with -- I managed to make a pretty good go with what I had.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
January 16, 1931 - I went to the Freshman party with Frances Johnson and Illa Carlson. Had a pretty fair time.
January 17, 1931 - Went home to Uncle Hans' with Martha this afternoon. They had a surprise party there for Ralph tonite. Everybody had a good time. Ralph took me home. Ervin R. took Ester Miller home tonite. R.K. and I were so busy giving a certain person the rag because they said I was crazy, that we went right past Miller's. We had to turn around at the next corner. It snowed tonite. Mom and Ray stayed at Uncle Hans'. 5:15 when I got to bed tonite!
January 18, 1931 - Bad snowstorm today. I came back to Wayne on the train this afternoon.
Did Grandma's children know that she got to stay out so late while her mother was away? I bet that would have been handy information for them back in the day. Just as I would liked to have known that whilst I got scolded for not taking care of my clothes properly, Mom and Nancy draped their clothes over a rocking chair in their room and only put them away when the chair fell backwards from the weight. Hmmm. Not that Grandma probably didn't scold them if and when she caught that going on.
I understand the phrase "giving a certain person the rag" given the context, but I am fairly certain I haven't heard that one before. Not put that way, anyway.
No date, but here is the fearsome threesome looking a bit sassy, especially Grandma Anna.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
January 13, 1931 - Emmett House came today. Helen, Aunt Mildred, Emmett and I went to the dance at Kay's tonite. I didn't have a very good time.
January 14, 1931 - Emmett and Aunt Mildred went to chapel this morning. Emmett, Charles Hepflinger and Neal Grubb were down here tonite and played cards. They tore Helen and my room up something terrible, hunting Emmett's wraps!
January 15, 1931 - I didn't go to Social Dancing tonite. Emmett, Helen and Aunt Mildred went.
I learned from this and other entries that chapel was on Wednesdays since Grandma made notes as to the days of the week. Helen must have been her college roommate. Shame on those boys for tearing up the room! Was Aunt Mildred also in college or was chapel not a college activity? Since it is in the morning during the week, it somewhat lends itself to a college thing, but I know little of 1931.
I wonder if the photo is of the oft-mentioned Ralph. I still would like to know why they are standing on a concrete block and a pile of dirt.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
January 4, 1931 - Emelia called up and wanted Martha to come out and help her. Ray took me back to Wayne tonite. Martha went along. We had a flat tire about three miles from Wayne.
January 7, 1931 - I went to the dance Emmett Anderson and Helen Iorman gave at the City Hall tonight with Ralph. I had a real good time. I wore Helen's black chiffon dress.
January 11, 1931 - Edwin, Florence, Wendell, Martha, Hans, Ralph and I went to Wayne and saw "Hook, Line and Sinker." Wheeler and Woolsey were leading characters. It was funny. Ralph "looked at the pavement." We had fun before and after the show.
Okay, what does it mean that Ralph "looked at the pavement". Was he shy? Did he lose his lunch? I have no clue what that means. I even looked it up and got nowhere.
The poster is from the movie, obviously, and I am glad to read it was a comedy. The poster gives the feeling of a psychedelic horror flick to me. I had not heard of Wheeler and Woolsey but read up a little bit.
I am guessing most of the people Grandma mentions here and in future posts are friends of hers as opposed to people I should know. If anyone reading thinks there is a significant I am missing in any of Grandma's entries, please let me know.
Welcome to Cousin David in Washington State, if he is still reading. And to Bernie, his wife, too, if she has an interest. David and I have been emailing furiously regarding family history and connections and pretty much as soon as I hit "send", I think of something else to ask or discuss. Thankfully work and stuff at home interrupts me so I do not make myself too much of a nuisance.
Monday, September 2, 2013
January 1, 1931 - Was to a New Year's Eve dance at Norfolk last night. Ray, Martha, Hans, Edwin, Florence, Ralph and I. Had a real good time. School was dull today. Aunt Mildred had a New Year's Party tonite. The guests were: Ana and Craig Curley, Emil Hanson, Lucille Pritchard, Murray Johnson, Carl Bask, Helen Kitmer and myself.
January 2, 1931 - Went home today.
January 3, 1931 - Annie's birthday. Today is Emelia and Art's sale. Momma helped out there all day. Alice Kahler and Mrs. Frink had dinner with Grandma and I. I washed my hair and Alice fingerwaved it. We walked out to Emelia's. Had supper there. Martha came home with me and stayed all night.
As promised, we have left 2002 behind for the time being. I don't think Grandma would argue that it was a bit predictable after awhile. And that's fine. I wouldn't expect her at 90 years old to be going out to dances and having sleep-overs.
I will undoubtedly get some names/spellings wrong as I go along here, but that's the way it goes with reading someone else's handwriting. Just bear with me.
I didn't know Grandma ever called Grandma Anna anything other than "Mom". But, she was not quite 19 years old here. The grandma she had dinner with was Dorothea, who would have been in her late 70's here. Grandma Anna was 45 on this date. Ola was alive; I wonder what he was up to. Someone has to help me here -- who was Aunt Mildred? I guess the more important question is why did Grandma have to go to school on New Year's Day??
I am guessing Grandma's hair in the photo has been fingerwaved. There's no date on the photo, but I bet it's close to 1931. I am thinking maybe it was her senior photo, but I am not sure.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
August 7, 2002: Am trying to reorganize some of the cupboards. Finished the bottom layer in the "pantry", the cupboard in the hallway. Attended Book Club in evening.
August 8, 2002: Myrtle called this morning. Her voice sounds real good. Tom came this evening. He did the laundry, I showered, we ate and then played Rummikub.
August 9, 2002: Went to Dolores' this p.m. and played Cribbage. Mary, Mitch and Anna came after supper and we played Rummikub, SevenUp and then visited. A most enjoyable evening.
I am glad, and wholeheartedly agree, that Grandma had a most enjoyable evening on August 9, 2002 -- we always had a grand time over at her place. But, I cannot be overly distracted by that bit of past good news in this post -- there is just a bit too much going on here in 2013. Stuff that Grandma would most certainly be delighted with.
As previously mentioned, Mom submitted her DNA sample to Family Tree DNA. She got her results yesterday. I am proud to say the two of us muddled through the online report over the phone together without toooo much trouble. Of course, we were excited enough that we pretty much disregarded the guided tour they offered and just plowed right in. Somewhat disappointingly, the report did not break down how much Danish she is compared to German or gypsy or anything else. It was a big shock to both of us to learn she is 100% European! -- just kidding. The map they highlighted to show this European-ness missed all of Scandinavia, but I read further and that particular part of the site is still being tested and developed. We know our people came from Scandinavia, so it wasn't a big deal, just a bit of a puzzlement.
We got over that rather quickly when we came to the part where Mom was matched with people sharing a decent part of her DNA. There was one lady that did not provide her family tree, so we are not sure how we (I say we -- even though it was Mom's DNA -- to mean all of our family, Grandma included) are related, but the information she did give indicated a strong Swedish background. I emailed her asking if Ola Svenson Brogren was our common ancestor and gave her the basic details we know of him. I only emailed her yesterday afternoon, so it is not surprising that I haven't gotten a reply yet.
However, the bigger news is that we are related to a 95-year-old lady in Montana and her son in Washington State. From the family tree they had posted, I can see we are related through Grandma's father's (William Andersen) grandmother. I really did not think through the import of that association when I emailed these two cousins. I got a response from the son very quickly. I do not have a lot of details yet (we are going to email and work through the questions/puzzles I run in to) but he said we are surrounded by family in this part of Nebraska and he has a photo of William Andersen's grandmother from when she was still living in Denmark. He also has, or at least had, contact with a cousin still in Denmark, related even further back on the family tree. Needless to say, this is very exciting. Since we knew so little about "Bill" -- Mom and her siblings have trouble calling him Grandpa since they never knew him as such; he died when Grandma was 8 -- to have any kind of information or contact with that part of the family is something really neat. I have to believe that Grandma would agree. I wasn't there to hear it, but I was told she wondered in her last days if she would get to see her dad after she died -- a 93-year-old woman still had that little girl inside her that always missed her "Papa".
Back to this distant cousin -- I recalled after a bit that I had some old letters Grandma had received from a different cousin in Blair. I found them (quickly, I might add with some surprise) and in the first one I read, the writer mentioned these newly-found Montana and Washington cousins! It is fun when things pull together so quickly, even though I have to work hard to keep the names and relationships straight.
More excitement -- when Mom was looking for another old letter (more on that in a future post -- this one is getting rather long!) she found diaries of Grandma's from before she was married. I am ready to suspend 2002 and dive in to those for a change of pace. She also found the little papers Grandma had saved from her bridal shower. The guests wrote down pieces of advice for the new bride. Grandma showed them to me when she was still in Winside. I mentioned them awhile back, wondering where they had ended up. Since Mom found them, I can use them in future posts as well! This is too much, I better go sit back in the recliner and absorb it all. I will say in closing, that the evening of August 31, 2013, like the one in August 9, 2002, was most enjoyable.
There's William Andersen in the middle. His brother, Chris, is on the left.