Monday, March 31, 2014

Well, that didn't last very long

January 20, 1932 - The fire was started this morning when I got to school!  Finished giving examinations today.  This evening I corrected papers and wrote letters.  My arms are so sore today.
January 21, 1932 - The fire was started again this morning!  My arms are still sore.  I made out report cards this evening.
January 22, 1932 - I started my own fire this morning.  We (M.H., L.V., A.B.) went rollerskating at Norfolk tonite.  I had to stop at Bernice's and change my dress.  We stopped in at the Club Dance at Hoskins.  Ervin R. is up here.  Alex is going to Scribner Sunday to his Uncle's funeral.  He's going to stay there a couple of weeks and work for his brother.

Two "free" fires and then W.M. forgot, apparently.  He isn't trying very hard to score any points.

For no real reason at all, here's a photo of the house taken in 1925.  Looking good . . .

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oh, dear

January 17, 1932 - Mildred and I made ice cream this morning.  This afternoon all of us went to Mrs. Walker's mother's in the sled.  This evening we went up to Maas'.  Mr. and Mrs. Walker didn't go.  We played cards and had a good time.
January 18, 1932 - I felt so tired today and it seemed as if the kids were so dumb.  They asked the largest number of foolish questions that I've ever heard.  I washed my hair this evening and Evelyn finger-waved it for me. I copied examination questions also.
January 19, 1932 - It was quite warm today.  The examinations turned out pretty good.  Went sleigh-riding this evening on the north side of the schoolhouse hill.  We had lots of fun.  There were Raymond, Gilbert and Hazel J., Bob and Charlotte N., Willard M., Harry H., the Walkers and myself.  I told W.M. to start the fire for me in the morning.  I wonder if he will.

I think Grandma must still have been tired.  I don't ever recall her talking about students this way.  But then, she was young and just starting out, learning, too.  Having been around bunches of kids, however, I can certainly commiserate with her!

I am guessing W.M. is Willard Maas.

I haven't posted this snow photo in a while.  It is still one of my favorites of Michele and me.  Probably because of my wild hair.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cold and shoveling and skating

January 14, 1932 - It has snowed all day.  The wind hasn't blown but if it does I won't be going any place tomorrow nite.  I got a ride home from school with Bob N.  Walkers butchered yesterday and made "wurst" tonite.
January 15, 1932 - Ronald missed school today.  I don't know why.  Mike came home from school today.  This morning it was 18 degrees below zero.  Lloyd, Mayme, Alex and I went roller skating at King's Park tonite.  We had a good time.  Lloyd, Alex and Mayme fell down.
January 16, 1932 - Snowed all day today.  I washed my clothes.  We decided this afternoon that Ray had better take me back to Walker's today.  It might drift before tomorrow.  Ray had to shovel up two hills from Hoskins to Walkers.  It took over an hour to get from Hoskins to Walkers.  I went to bed at 9:00.

Shoot!  We had some cold days this winter, but I don't recall 18 below zero.  Also, I have never had to shovel on the road to get from Point A to Point B.  Wow!  The things we take for granted!

I had to chuckle . . . Grandma didn't say she was the only one that didn't fall down rollerskating, but instead she just listed the ones that did.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Another Mols story

January 11, 1932 - The schoolhouse wasn't as cold this morning as I thought it would be.  I got the questions from Miss Sewell today for the semester examinations.  Looked at questions, wrote letters and talked this evening.
January 12, 1932 - The weather report for today said colder, but it thawed today.  We went to League tonite at Meierhenry's.  We went with Maas's.  I mailed the money for the seals we sold and those left to Miss Sewell today.
January 13, 1932 - Today is colder.  We're supposed to have a blizzard today but we didn't.  School wasn't so good today.  I guess I was rather tired.

Nice that Grandma felt the reason for a punk day at school was her weariness as opposed to uncooperative children.

Another story from the Mols:

Molboes are not good at arithmetic and it was once put to a hard test.  It was a matter of how many of them there were in a party.  They knew there had been seven when they started off for a day's fishing, but not one of them could see more than six people to count though they all tried.  They tried over and over again for a long time, but always there was one missing whoever did the counting, so they asked a passer-by -- who was not a Molbo -- to help.  The stranger found a large and soft dropping of cow dirt and told them to lie down in a circle round it.  He then told them to put their noses in it and count the holes they made. This they cheerfully did and they were greatly relieved to count seven clear dents which proved that no one was missing.

This reminds me of a joke of Victor Borge's.  He said that he could prove that a one-eyed man could see more than a two-eyed man.  His proof was that when the one-eyed man looked at the two-eyed man he saw two eyes, but when the two-eyed man looked at the one-eyed man, he saw only one eye.  Perhaps the old kind of humor from the Mols' stories has kept its place in Denmark's people.  I just had to add a photo of someone really enjoying and laugh and I couldn't pass up Aunt Irene when I came to this one.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Knee zippers?

January 8, 1932 - It seemed colder today at school than any day this week.  Mr. Walker got a portable phonograph in Norfolk today.  Lloyd, Mayme, Alex and I went to the Granada tonite.  We saw "Sooky".  It was real good.  We stopped in at Hoskins at the Club Dance, but there weren't many there and we didn't stay long.
January 9, 1932 - We went to Norfolk today.  I stopped at Hoskins and got my check.  I got some new knee zippers at Herman Fleer's.  Florence came up tonite.  We walked down town and then went up to her place.  Ralph and Edwin came up and we played cards until 15 minutes to 2 o'clock.
January 10, 1932 - Mother and I went up to Hazel Prince's this afternoon.  Arlington was home and we played cards.  Lloyd, Mayme, Alex and I went to the Lyric and saw Clive Brook in "Husband's Holiday".  "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was at the Granada but Lloyd didn't want to see a spooky show, so we didn't go.

I almost couldn't find out anything about Sooky or Husband's Holiday.  But then persistence paid off and here is a still of Jackie Cooper from Sooky.  I couldn't find a synopsis, but if Grandma says it was a good movie, then I concur wholeheartedly.

Another story about the Mols in Denmark:

Three Molboes watching a sunset were suddenly aware that the sun always goes down in the west.  Discussing this great discovery they recalled with equal astonishment that it rises in the east.  Said one, "That's because it goes underneath us during the night,"  "No, said the second, "it goes north - on and on so that we don't see it."  "You're a couple of fine fools, said the third, "It most certainly goes back the same way as it came during the day, but because it's dark we don't see it."

Tee hee.

By the way, what are 'knee zippers'?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lots of snow

January 5, 1932 - We're having a sort of blizzard today.  I got to school at 10 minutes to 8 this morning.  Raymond, Ronald and Alfred were the only ones at school.  Willard stopped at the schoolhouse a few minutes.  I wrote a letter to Mayme today.  We played Rook this evening.
January 6, 1932 - Everybody was back to school today.  The snow is drifted pretty deep in some places.  The mailman couldn't go today.  I wrote to Aunt Mildred this evening.  We played Rook this evening and I won a game!  Very unusual.
January 7, 1932 - The roads are opened today.  I got a card from Marjorie Misfeldt.  She's having her box social tomorrow nite and asked me to come.  Mother called up tonite asking if I were coming home tomorrow nite.  I've got to get a new pair of overshoes as mine are wearing out.

I have no particular comments to add about Grandma's goings-on here.  I do, however, have a silly contribution to this post.  Thanks to ebay, I am now the proud owner of a book of old Danish stories.  The book itself was printed in 1967, but according to the back cover, the stories are from about 1780 through 1871.  I haven't yet read all of them, but there is a common thread in the sense of humor shown, I think.  First, a bit about the Mols (from the back cover):

"Every country has its stories about simple folk like the traditional yokel, bumpkin and gawby of England or the hayseeds and hicks of America.  Sometimes the stories are generalised and told about simple people in any part of the country; but they often come to be identified with some small town or country district.  In Denmark the people of Mols were singled out for this dubious honour some two centuries ago, and they have had the good sense, which goes with a humor-loving people to be proud of the old stories and they are nowhere more popular than in Mols itself."

With that said, here is the first story in the book, The Stork in the Corn:

One summer when the corn stood high and heavy in the field, a Mols village was visited by a stork which had the sad habit of parading up and down the fields in search of frogs.  The Mols folk didn't like it a bit, fearing that the bird would trample down all their fine corn.  They discussed the matter a good deal and at last they decided that the village herdsman should go into the cornfield and drive the stork out.  But when he was on point of walking into the corn they discovered that he had very big, broad feet so that he was likely to trample down the corn even more than the stork.  Here was a pretty kettle of fish!  They couldn't let him walk in the corn and yet he had been appointed to drive out the stork.  At last one of them had a good idea.  They should carry him and then all should be well.  That seemed to be very reasonable as his feet would not then touch the ground.  So they took a field gate off its hinges, sat the herdsman on it, and eight men triumphantly carried him into the corn in pursuit of the stork -- and he did not trample down a single plant.

This sounds like something Grandpa would chuckle about.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Back to work

January 2, 1932 - We are taking advantage of vacation and sleeping late.  We cleaned up the house and Mother started fixing a dress of mine.  Florence came up and we went down town this evening.  We went up to her place and played Rummy.  Ray and Edwin went out to Ola's today.
January 3, 1932 - We went to church this morning.  This afternoon out to Annie's for ice cream.  This evening to League.  We're studying the books of the Bible.  Ray, Florence and Edwin took me back to Walker's this evening.
January 4, 1932 - The schoolhouse looked so nice this morning.  The girls cleaned it Saturday.  Harry didn't come to school today.  He isn't coming until March. The girls showed me their Christmas presents this evening.

I am guessing the girls that cleaned the schoolhouse were the Walker girls.  And I agree, that was very nice of them.

I bet Grandma jumped right in to studying the books of the Bible, especially if that meant she too the opportunity to memorize the names of the books.  As we know, she loved memorizing lists of things and repeating them to herself when she was trying to go to sleep.  I don't recall her mentioning the Bible necessarily, but most often all the Presidents of the United States, alphabetically and in the order they served -- and the same for the Vice Presidents.  I am pretty sure she had the counties in Nebraska down, too.

The phrase Grandma told me to help me remember the first letter of the last names of the presidents in the order they served would go this far in 1932:  When a joke made me a joker, Van held the poker, the fiery poker because Long John Grant had gone and chased his crazy mooses 'round the Western Hemisphere 'cause Hughie . . . .

I remember adding to the phrase as far as Nixon (. . . . Riley trapped eleven kangaroos jumping northward), so it must have been during his administration when she told me about it.  And I take, or at least took for a time, after Grandma regarding the presidents.  In school when we had a snow day and couldn't go out for recess, I wrote the names of the presidents in order served (through Nixon, that is) on the chalkboard more than once.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Here comes 1932

December 30, 1931 - It's been rainy all day.  Edwin came in with Ray today.  He's going with us to Kennard tomorrow but I doubt if we go, the weather's terrible.  Mother went to Country Club at Pryor's this afternoon.  Edwin, Florence, Ray and I went to Chester Witte's to Leona's party tonite, but we were the only ones there.  We played cards, had lunch and then came home.
December 31, 1931 - It started snowing this morning and has snowed all day.  Florence and Mrs. Schellenberg came up this afternoon.  This evening we were down there.  We played cards and danced.  Willard called up and said they were postponing their Watch Party.  This snow put an end to our plans on going to Washington and Kennard.
....[extra note at the back of the diary:  Chris Brogren was at the party dance at Norfolk Feb. 13.  He didn't feel very good.  He didn't go back to work Feb. 16.  Stayed home in bed.  Got up Thurs. or Fri., went to Norfolk Sat., to see Bernice Sunday, Feb. 22.  Had a relapse, and back to bed.  Doctor gave up all hope Wednesday Mar. 4.  Meta came Thursday morning at about 10 o'clock.  He died at about 7 o'clock the evening of March 5 from pneumonia.  Emelie couldn't come for the funeral......]
January 1, 1932 - All of us slept late this morning.  We had a chicken for dinner.  Florence, Edwin, Ray and I went to the show, Buster Keaton in "Sidewalks of New York."  It was rather silly.  On the way down to Florence's I fell down and tore the knee of my stocking and skinned my knee.  It quit snowing this morning.

I found the plot of the movie and it does sound a bit silly in the reading.  The article said it was Buster Keaton's most successful commercial film, so some people must have liked it.  Here it is:

     Harmon (Keaton) is a wealthy landlord. When he goes to visit one of his tenements, he gets caught in the middle of a brawl between groups of kids, one of whom, Clipper Kelly starts to attack Harmon. When Harmon defends himself, he is seen by Clipper's sister, Margie. Harmon falls in love at first sight and begins to woo her following his trial for attacking Clipper. In order to demonstrate that he is okay, Harmon opens a gymnasium for the street boys, but Clipper, who has fallen in with a small-time gangster, Butch, wants nothing to do with Harmon and turns the other boys against him.  Harmon tries to win them over by staging a wrestling match with his friend Poggle and a rigged boxing match with Mulvaney. In the meantime, Butch has gotten Clipper involved in a series of robberies with Clipper dressed as a woman. When Butch and Clipper believe Harmon has learned of their activities, Butch orders Clipper to kill Harmon during a stage play that is being performed at the gymnasium, but Clipper gets cold feet. Butch grabs Harmon, who is dressed in Clipper's drag costume, and heads up to Harmon's mansion to rob it. Butch's gang joins them and Clipper and the other boys come to Harmon's rescue.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Big Ford or cramped kids

December 27, 1931 - We didn't go to church today.  We were all too sleepy.  I went upstairs about 5:30 this afternoon and planned on taking a short nap before the kids came.  But they came just as I got upstairs.  I saw Mayme's presents.  We went to Norfolk and saw Ralph Graves in "Dangerous Affairs".  We stopped in at the dance at Hoskins but didn't say very long.
December 28, 1931 - We washed today and what a day.  Foggy most of the time.  I went to the Rebekah Lodge meeting tonite.  They've asked me to join.  After the meeting the "Dane" bunch went to Laurel to the Xmas tree.  Myself, Helen Iversen, Howard Iversen, Neville Troutman, Alma and Louise Lautenbaugh, and another young man went in John B. Jensen's new Ford.  I got home at 3:30, but had a real good time.
December 29, 1931 - We were busy drying clothes and ironing them today.  I went to bed at 7:30 this evening.  I had my hair finger-waved at Anna Boyd's this afternoon.

Assuming the owner of the Ford, John Jensen, went along to drive, that's 8 kids in one car.  Sounds like crazy fun that should last until 3:30 to me!

Well, Grandma surely must have been pretty tired on the 27th.  I looked and I cannot find that Ralph Graves made a movie called Dangerous-anything.  Also, no movie called Dangerous Affairs was released in 1931.  So, no movie poster as a photo for this post.  I picked a picture of a 1931 Ford instead.

Monday, March 10, 2014

There he is

December 24, 1931 - The kids were terribly excited today.  We exchanged presents this afternoon.  Ray came after me and we took down the decorations.  After we got home and had supper we went to the program at the church.  There was a large crowd and the program was good.  We opened our presents after the program.  I must have been a good girl this year because I surely got some lovely presents.
December 25, 1931 - We all went to church this morning.  After dinner we played pinochle and ate candy and nuts.  Mayme brought me her picture this evening.  We all went to the show at Norfolk.  They had good vaudeville acts.  There was a dance at Hoskins but we didn't stop.
December 26, 1931 - Mother dyed two dresses for me today.  This evening we went to the Dane Christmas Tree at Carroll.  Edwin went along.  We had a real good time.  Howard Iversen asked me why I didn't join the Rebbekah Lodge and Irene I. asked me to come to their meeting Monday nite.

There's Grandpa popping up, finally!  I think it is neat that this mention of him comes from the Dane Christmas.  I surely wish I had been around for those.

As exciting as it is that Grandpa has entered the picture, albeit briefly for now, I must comment on the Christmas Eve opening of gifts.  I asked Mom once upon a time why our family opened gifts on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning.  She said, kindly I should add, that it was probably because anxious kids were being pests about it and the adults just finally gave in.  While this might be true, I feel it is safe to say that it wasn't my generation nor Mom's that set that precedent.  Boy, did I just lose some childhood guilt.

Here's a fantabulous photo of Grandpa.  Such a looker!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Normal, again

December 21, 1931 - School again today and was I tired.  I went to bed at 7:30 this evening.
December 22, 1931 - School was somewhat better today.  The girls and Mrs. Walker went to church tonite to practice their Christmas program.
December 23, 1931 - Ronald brought a Xmas present to me today.  He won't be here tomorrow.  Tonite I went with the Walker kids to church to see the play the League is giving tomorrow nite.  Mike came home today. I got a letter from Mayme and Loretta today.

Perhaps I am not awake enough yet to be doing this, but I am coming up empty as far as commentary.  So, to liven things up a bit, I am re-using the butts photos.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Normal goings on

December 18, 1931 - We cleaned up the school house today.  I gave the kids their report cards and sent them home at 1:30.  Bud and I went with Ray to Mayme's box social.  Bud went home with the Maas boys.  Willard got my box.  After the box social I went with Alex, Lloyd, Mayme and Bernice to the club dance at Hoskins.  We had a good time.
December 19, 1931 - As usual I had to wash my clothes today.  Mother and I went down town today and mailed some Christmas packages.  We got a package from Aunt Mildred.  I bought the Xmas candy for school and filled the boxes this evening.  Ola and Annie went to Wayne tonite and we went along.  The stores look so pretty all dressed up for Christmas.
December 20, 1931 - We went to church this morning.  This afternoon to Wayne to Aunt Mary's.  We listened to our choir sing numbers from their cantata over W.J.A.G.  Meta, Lyle and Dora were at our place for supper this evening.  Mayme, Lloyd, Alex and I didn't get to go to the show.  Lloyd burned out a connecting rod on his car and they didn't get here until 8:00.  We went to the free dance at Hoskins.  We left at intermission.  I had a pretty good time.

These are three rather nice days, I would say.  Quite a bit going on and all fun.  Well, except for the connecting rod.

I found a couple of photos of these little candy boxes from the 1930's.  I wonder if that was what Grandma had for her students.  Pretty cute idea.

Monday, March 3, 2014


December 15, 1931 - Worked on programs some more today.  Tonite we started to put up decorations.  We didn't have enough icicles.  Annie, Ola, Annabelle, LeRoy, Dora, George, Hans and Ray came tonite and watched us practice.
December 16, 1931 - Evelyn came up today and practiced with the pupils on their songs.  Walkers went to Norfolk today and got more icicles for me.  Tonite is our last practice.  Mildred and I rode home in the trunk.  From Jochens to Walkers Willard hung on as best he could.  And did he look funny!
December 17, 1931 - Today we finished decorating the schoolhouse.  We put in extra seats and benches.  There was a big crowd at my program.  We had 10 boxes which brought $11.45.  Mine brought $3.50.  Gustov Koll got it.  Mayme's sold for $2.80.  Walter Herman from Norfolk got the turkey. We took in over $20.00 all together and charged $15.30.  Bud left us at the schoolhouse and Arnold and Lydia Wittler took us girls home.

I am going to declare Grandma's program as a new teacher a grand success.  Shoot, eight people came just to the practice.  And the Walkers went and got the needed icicles to make sure things looked nice.  Let's see, ten boxes for a total of $11.45, yet Grandma's box went for more than 25% of the take.  Impressive!

Riding in the trunk?  This can't be a car trunk like I am familiar with; I just can't see that happening.

(I don't think Grandma wore such a dress as the girl in the photo to decorate her tree, but I found a photo of some decent icicle placement and figured I should use it.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A hat

December 12, 1931 - Mother and Ray got here about 10 o'clock.  We went to Norfolk.  I got a new dress and hat.  We also did our Christmas shopping today.  And it was a real job.
December 13, 1931 - Ray took me out to Alice's this afternoon and she fingerwaved my hair for me.  We stayed there for supper.  I brought my box with me.  I got home before Walker's did.
December 14, 1931 - We practiced tonite.  We put up the curtains.  The Walker girls brought up some fudge.  We worked on our programs at school.

Grandma didn't like hats much after a time.  I do remember her saying (and I've mentioned it here before) that she said she didn't like looking at herself in the mirror long enough to pick one out.  So, I really enjoy photos of Grandma in a hat.

So, why this photo?  Well, in my mind's eye Grandma was wearing a hat in it.  Which she obviously isn't.  In the interests of full disclosure, I had tagged this as possibly an Easter photo.  Now that I look at my dress, it is more likely Norris's wedding day.  Or maybe I wore that dress more than once.  I dunno.  So, no hat and no idea when the photo was really taken.  Egads.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


December 9, 1931 - We started making our programs today.  This evening we just sat and talked.
December 10, 1931 - Foggy all day today.  I got a ride to school with Bob Nurnberg and home with Mr. Walker.  Mr. Jonson was at school a few minutes this afternoon.  We practiced again this evening.  How those kids delight in teasing me and about the craziest things.
December 11, 1931 - Today is my Grussfoddy's birthday.  We had a walk to practice tonite.  Willard took us home and all the faster he went was 10 miles per hour.  And did we have fun.

Others older than me remember hearing Grandma refer to her Grandfather Ola as Grussfoddy.  I do not.  I recall Grussfather, but not Grussfoddy but I love it.  I also love that Grandma's students liked to tease her.  Giggles all around, I imagine.

I have noticed that Grussfather and Grussmother do not come up much in Grandma's diaries.  I would think she visited them more than she mentions.  Maybe it was commonplace enough that she didn't include those visits much.  Somewhat like me not always putting down weekly lunches at Mom's.  Which, by the way I must say, was an excellent idea.  So nice that Mom enjoys feeding several of us every week and also that several of us are available to go.  Fun times, good food, laughs . . . you name it.