Monday, December 12, 2016

Surely not a fight

Tues., October 31, 1933 - We had our Halloween party this afternoon after recess.  At recess George, Delmar, and I darkened the room by putting paper over the windows.  As the kids came in they put on their masks.  We played games, races, etc.  They seemed to have a good time.
Wed., November 1, 1933 - We were busy reviewing for examinations today.  The schoolroom isn't quite back to usual order after the party.  Tonite I copied examination questions.  Turned cold this afternoon.  Mrs. Behmer came after us but we had gone.  The catch on the door broke off today.  The door has to be locked to keep it shut. 
Thurs., November 2, 1933 - We had part of our examinations today.  I got up at 6:00 this morning and had a fire started by 7:00.  This p.m. George started acting smart and sassy. I became so angry I "had a fight with him" as Charlotte told her mother.  Mrs. Behmer came after us tonite on her way home from Ladies Aid.

I had to chuckle about the fight comment.  I wonder how old Charlotte was here.  I also wonder how angry Grandma really got with her pupil.  Surely nothing too horrible, of course.

Monday, November 14, 2016

There she goes again

Sun., October 22, 1933 - To S.S. and church this morning.  Talked to Verna Nelsen and Carrie Hansen about the entertainment at lodge this Friday nite.  Slept and read and acted foolish with Mom.  Howard and I went up to Uncle Hans' a little while this evening.  I
Sun., October 29, 1933 - I was lazy this morning and didn't go to either S.S. or church.
Mon., October 30, 1933 - The Nurnbergs brought 4 large pumpkins to school this morning.  They made jack-o-lanterns out of them today.  The kids have been making masks to wear during the Halloween party tomorrow.

Now, not only is Grandma missing some days in her journal, she is stopping mid-sentence.  I wonder what or who has her so distracted.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Grussfather in the news

Thurs., October 19, 1933 - Windy this morning.  Bruce said today, "I can't know that word."  I laughed to myself, I did.  This evening I changed from sheets to a blanket on my bed.  It is going to feel pretty good.  Mrs. Behmer and I talked about recipes tonite.
Fri., October 20, 1933 - Windy again today.  Ola and Annie came after me this evening.  We stopped at Wittlers and I told Lydia I couldn't spend this next weekend with her because of lodge.  We were at Meta and Lyle's until about 10:30.  After 11:00 before Mom and I finally went to sleep.
Sat., October 21, 1933 - On my way from getting the milk this a.m. I stopped in to see Alma.  They were busy getting moved in.  Washed my clothes and cleaned up today.  This evening Mom, Alma, and I went down town.  We were home at about 10:30.

With nothing particular to say about Grandma's goings on, but wanting to get a post, well posted, I will share an article about Grussfather.  I should do it in December closer to his birthday, but I know myself well enough to fear losing it before then.  So, here it is from The Winside Tribune via the December 26, 1943 edition of The Nebraska State Journal out of Lincoln, Nebraska.  I think it was part of a section with articles from around the state:

     Observed 91st Birthday

     Ola Brogren was 91 years old Dec. 11.  Is "old" the correct word? -- Not with Mr. Brogren.  He lives in the north part of town on four lots of farm and garden plots.  He raises small garden truck but his main crops are corn and potatoes, which he tends entirely with a hoe.  At harvest time, he digs his potatoes and always sells some as he raises more than he and his daughter, Mrs. Anna Andersen, can use.  He picks the corn and shells it on a hand corn sheller.  A week ago he began cutting down a fairly large tree.  In three and a half days the tree was cut down, sawed into stove lengths, split and in the wood house.  That night he complained of a stiffness in his arms and shoulders, "On account of change in the weather" so he explained to Mrs. Andersen.

     For relaxation from his heavy work, he does jig saw puzzles.  The reporter found him, seated at a small table with the pieces all sorted as to colors.  "There will be a couple of bears in this picture when I get it done" he said, and from the looks of things, he is as interested in jig saws, as he is in corn and potatoes.  We would like to say "Hats off" to this grand old neighbor, who has been in and around Winside for 52 years, and who recently celebrated his ninety-first birthday.

Even though Grussfather was Grandpa's grandfather-in-law, I would say from this article that they had much in common.  I still somewhat marvel over his hands in this picture -- it is clear he did more hard work than jig saw puzzles.  But it is nice that he took time for both.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mrs. Behmer

Mon., October 16, 1933 - I pressed my dress this morning.  Mayme came at 5 minutes before 12.  I told her about the assignments.  Ola came about 12:40.  The church was full when we got there.  There were many flowers.  I went out to the cemetery with Leo and Gerald.  Ola brought me to Behmers before supper.  I went to bed early.
Tues., October 17, 1933 - Acted rather rainy this a.m.  I guess the kids got along all right with Mayme yesterday.  They had some wild tales to tell, but as Mayme said in the note she left, "Forget 'em."  We're walking home again from school this week.
Wed., October 18, 1933 - Windy all day.  Received a card form Lydia W. asking me to spend the weekend of Oct. 27 with her.  I don't think I can because of lodge.  The kids dug out a swing apparatus from the attic today and put it together.  I darned some hose this evening.

Since Grandma says "we" are walking home, does this mean she is staying at Behmers' and one of their kids is a pupil?  No disrespect to Grandma, but I'm not so sure I would want to be at school all day with a teacher and then spend home time with her, too.  Unless I was in the lower grades and then that would be fabulous!

We had a substitute teacher, Mrs. Behmer.  Same person that Grandma was staying with?  It was Ann, I think.  I also think substitute teachers of students of any age are growing angel wings quicker than most folks.  Even in Winside in the 70's when I was going to school, kids tried to always get one over on the subs.  Did not listen worth a hoot most of the time.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Another funeral

Thurs., September 7, 1933 - The Nurnbergs told us this morning about what they had seen at the circus.  Ronald was absent all day.  I finished making out the order for books and supplies.  Either Mr. or Mrs. Behmer will come after us after school and will keep on for some time.
Sat., October 14, 1933 - Mother and I washed clothes and cleaned the house.  I ironed my clothes this afternoon.  Went down town at noon and ordered flowers for Mr. Lautenbaugh.
Sun., October 15, 1933 - Mother and I went to church this morning.  I went up to Lautenbaughs' this afternoon and was there until 5:30.  Alma doesn't have to teach this next week.  Wednesday they're going to Sioux City to pack furniture and move to Winside.  Howard brought me to Behmers tonite.  We stopped at Ola's a few minutes.

In peeking ahead, I can see that the flowers are for a funeral, probably Mr. Lautenbaugh's as Grandma would more likely be getting flowers for the funeral as opposed to ordering some for a surviving spouse.  An online search did not help me to make sure.

Grandma took a break from her diary for a little over a month, much like I took a month's break from posting.  Hopefully, both of us can get back on track now after our hiatus.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A funeral and then back to school

Mon., September 4, 1933 - Bright sunshiny day.  Mother came in about 8:30.  We fixed a bouquet of our garden flowers, then out to Ola's about 10:30.  The funeral was at the house at 1:30.  The yard was full of cars and the house full of people.  So many pretty flowers were sent.  The church was full of people and more outside.  I took some pictures of the flowers at the cemetery.  Howard brought me to Behmers this evening.
Tues., September 5, 1933 - Mr. Behmer took us to school this morning, getting there at 8:00 with the Nurnbergs ahead of us.  Hot and windy today.  Bruce Stahl and Charlotte Faye Behmer are my beginners.  I started to make out an order for new books.  Mrs. Behmer came after us tonite.
Wed., September 6, 1933 - Warm today but not so windy.  Today Bruce said he was tired of working.  He and Charlotte Faye have quite a time remembering to keep quiet.  Mr. Behmer went to town this evening.  He bought a broom and floor oil for school.  The Nurnbergs were absent this p.m. to go to the circus at Norfolk.  Ronald was sick this p.m. 

I had to giggle that the brand-new student was tired of working so early in the school year, I am guessing he was new because he just turned old enough to start school, not that he was a seasoned pro from another district.

I had trouble keeping quiet pretty much up until 12th grade.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

So sad

Fri., September 1, 1933 - Mother ironed and canned vegetables at Kochs' today.  She got home about 2:30.  I slept late this morning.
Sat., September 2, 1933 - I went to Wayne on the train this morning and up to Aunt Mildred's.  Met Alma at the noon train.  After dinner we went to the teachers' meeting at the courthouse.  We stayed for supper (by Uncle Chris' invitation) and John took us to Winside about 8:30.  Mom met me with the news that little Leeroy had been drowned in the tank this evening about 6:00.
Sun., September 3, 1933 - Ola, Annie, Uncle Hans and Aunt Lena were in this a.m.  Mom made a little white blouse for Leeroy.  Mr. Behmer was here early this p.m. to tell me they would be gone this evening.  I asked him if I could have tomorrow off for the funeral.  He came back this evening and said I could.  Reuben Meierhenry was up here a few minutes. Howard took Mom and I out to Ola's tonite.  Mom stayed all nite.

Such an awfully tragic thing to happen to a little boy and his family.  But how special that just days before Grandma took some pictures of him and he asked her for that kiss.  Special memories for all of them, I'm sure.

The article is from the September 4 printing of The Lincoln Star.

Friday, September 23, 2016

India Ink

Tues., August 29, 1933 - Mother worked at Kochs' this a.m.  I finished the ironing.  Mounted most of my fair work.  Went down town after India Ink this p.m. but couldn't get any.  I went down to Miss Mettlen this evening to find some India Ink.  She said I could go to Wayne with her tomorrow morning, so I hastened home and finished mounting the fair work.  Got a letter from Ray today.
Wed., August 30, 1933 - I went to Wayne with Miss Mettlen this morning and took my fair work to Miss Sewell's office.  Home at 10:30, Ola there and Mom and I went with him out to the place.  I took pictures of Annie, Ola, and the kids.  We had dinner at the Carroll schoolhouse.  There weren't as many at the Carroll Free Day this year as other years.  Saw the free movies and was at the dance a few minutes.  Home at 10:30.
Thur., August 31, 1933 - Mother at Simans' all day.  I sorted and arranged my school material this morning.  Annie, Ola, kids, Mr. and Mrs. Frink and Donnie came this p.m. and we went to my school.  Greens were cleaning it.  From there we went to Norfolk.  Howard came up this evening and we went to the dance in the "piggy-house" at Lambrechts.  Had a good time, got to bed late.

Anyone know what the piggy-house is?  I may have asked before, but do not recall a reply.

Otherwise, everything seems fairly comment-less this time.  So, for your reading pleasure, a list (from wikipedia) of non-art uses for India Ink:

Hanetsuki (羽根突き, 羽子突き) is a Japanese traditional game, similar to badminton, played by girls at the New Year with a rectangular wooden paddle called a hagoita and a brightly colored shuttlecock. The shuttlecock must be kept in the air as long as possible. Girls who fail to hit the shuttlecock get marked on the face with India ink.

Amateur tattoo artists will sometimes use India ink for tattooing the skin. Non-medical grade India ink should not be used for homemade tattoos because it contains chemicals which could cause poisoning.

In pathology laboratories, India ink is applied to surgically removed tissue specimens to maintain orientation and indicate tumor resection margins. The painted tissue is sprayed with acetic acid, which acts as a mordant, "fixing" the ink so it doesn't track. This ink is used because it survives tissue processing, during which tissue samples are bathed in alcohol and xylene and then embedded in paraffin wax. When viewed under the microscope, the ink at the tissue edge informs the pathologist of the surgical resection margin or other point of interest.

Microbiologists use India ink to stain a slide containing micro-organisms. The background is stained while the organisms remain clear. This is called a negative stain. India ink, along with other stains, can be used to determine if a cell has a gelatinous capsule. A common application of this procedure in the clinical microbiology laboratory is to confirm the morphology of the encapsulated yeast Cryptococcus spp. which cause cryptococcal meningitis.

Medical researchers use India ink to visualize blood vessels when viewed under a microscope.

Scientists performing Western blotting may use India ink to visualized proteins separated by electrophoresis and transferred to a nitrocellulose or PVDF membrane.

Model railroaders use a mixture of India ink and isopropyl alcohol as a wood stain, graying wood to appear aged and to bring out detail.

India ink is used diluted as an ultra-fine polishing medium for making precise optical surfaces on metals.

In ophthalmology, it was and still is used to some extent in corneal tattooing.

Once dry, its conductive properties make it useful for electrical connections to difficult substrates, such as glass. Although relatively low in conductivity, surfaces can be made suitable for electroplating, low-frequency shielding, or for creating large conductive geometries for high voltage apparatuses. A piece of paper impregnated with India ink serves as a grid leak resistor in some tube radio circuits.

Zoological museum specimens were often tagged in India ink, either directly or on a piece of tracing paper stored along the specimen, because of its durability even when submerged in preservative fluids.

Who knew, right?

Monday, September 19, 2016


Sat., August 26, 1933 - Cleaned up the house.  Started to sort my school material but didn't finish the job.  Mother went down town, but I went to bed early this evening.
Sun., August 27, 1933 - Uncle Max came in this forenoon and Grandad, Mom, and I went home with him.  Sophia and some other kids had gone to Norfolk for watermelons.  When they came back we had all we wanted to eat.  Uncle Max and Aunt Emma brought us home.  Went to the Granada with Howard,  Saw Chas. Ruggles in "Papa Loves Mama" and Ann Harding and Wm. Powell in a picture, I didn't see the name of it.
Mon., August 28, 1933 - I slept late this a.m.  We ironed most of the clothes.  Annie and the kids were in this afternoon while Mom finished Annie's dress.  This evening when they were in the car ready to leave I kissed Annabelle goodbye but not Leeroy.  When I stepped away from the car, Leeroy called, "Kiss me!"  Quite unusual for he doesn't care much for the loving act.  Mom and I wrote to Ray tonite.

How does one go to a movie and not see the name of it?  Distracted by a dashing companion, maybe?  Here's the plot to the only movie I found with William Powell and Ann Harding in 1933, Double Harness (from wikipedia):

     When spoiled younger sister Valerie Colby (Lucile Browne) becomes engaged to be married to Dennis Moore (George Meeker), a more level-headed Joan (Ann Harding) decides to do the same, not because she is in love, but in order to make something of herself. She chooses unambitious, wealthy playboy John Fletcher (William Powell), who owns a troubled shipping line.

     She eventually spends the night in his apartment. To Joan's annoyance, over the following months, she finds herself falling in love. When John shows no interest in marrying her, Joan forces the issue. She arranges for her father, Colonel Sam Colby (Henry Stephenson), to find them in a compromising position. John graciously agrees to do the honorable thing and marry Joan. However, on their honeymoon cruise, he lets her know that he expects her to grant him a divorce after a decent interval. They settle on six months.

     Joan prods her husband into taking an interest in his family business. To his surprise, he finds that he enjoys it. As the new Postmaster General (Wallis Clark) is a good friend of her father's, Joan invites him to dinner, hoping to land a government contract.

     Meanwhile, Valerie goes into debt due to her extravagant spending habits and borrows from her big sister over and over again. Joan gives Valerie all she can afford without touching John's money. Finally, she pawns a ring for half the latest sum Valerie needs, but tells her that it is the last time.

     That same day, John finally realizes that he loves his wife. However, when he goes home, Valerie goes to John behind Joan's back and cons him into give her a check. Joan finds out and tears up the check. In her anger, Valerie blurts out how Joan trapped John into marriage.

     Disillusioned, he turns to his former paramour, Mrs. Monica Page (Lilian Bond). Joan follows them to Monica's apartment and confesses all, including the fact that she has fallen in love with him, to no avail. She then tries to salvage her dinner party. To her delight, John shows up and makes it clear that he believes and forgives her.

And this is even better.  I could not find Papa Loves Mama, so I searched for Charles Ruggles' movies and found one he made in 1933 titled "Mama Loves Papa".  Grandma was perhaps more distracted than I originally thought.  Or else she was just tired.  Or genetically prone to imperfection like the rest of us.  I like to think she was more interested in Grandpa than details such as movie titles.  Here's a short plot of "Mama Loves Papa", courtesy of wikipedia:

     While Wilbur Todd (Charles Ruggles) is content with his middle class life, his wife Jessie (Mary Boland) aspires to a higher social standing. She insists he wear fine clothes because she believes that clothes make the man. When his strange new clothes bring derision rather than admiration, and tired of his wife's constant nagging, Wilbur goes off on a drunken spree and innocently becomes involved with the village vamp, Mrs. McIntosh (Lilyan Tashman).

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Uncle John

Wed., August 23, 1933 - Cloudy this a.m. but cleared up in the afternoon.  Ola and family came in this morning to spend the day.  Ola was helping unload gravel down town.  I went home with them this evening and took our washing along.  Annie and I are going to wash together tomorrow.  Mom has to work at Kochs' tomorrow and at H. E. Simans' Friday.
Thurs., August 24, 1933 - Today wasn't such a nice wash day; no wind to blow out the wrinkles in the clothes.  Edwin came down to help Ola.  When Mom was coming after me this evening something broke in the car and now it won't run.  Edwin, Florence, Louis and I went to the dance Bob Fenske was giving at Hoskins tonite.  The boys and I stayed at Meta's place all nite.
Fri., August 25, 1933 - Came home at 7:00 just as Mom left to go to Simans'.  I slept some more this morning.  Howard came after me to go to lodge tonite and took me home afterwards.  We had some good watermelon for lunch tonite.

I guess I never hung enough wet clothes on the clothesline.  I remembered too much wind wasn't good as it could damage clothes.  I never thought about just enough wind to help with wrinkles.

I just realized I had not commented on here yet about Uncle John passing away.  As much as his family likely wished he could go back to how he was and to stay with them longer, I am sure he and Aunt Helen are sharing drinks and hearty laughs in the hereafter now.

It's not the greatest photo, but I think they'd get a chuckle out of it.  Everyone is so serious here, even Bill while in the midst of a silly gesture.  Grandpa looks downright gloomy.  Or disgusted.  Gotta love this family!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A few questions

Sun., August 20, 1933 - Cloudy and rainy.  Alma came up this explain her absence last nite. She had been to Rabe's and they thought it too muddy to come to town.  Howard came about 11:00 causing me to rush to get ready to go on the Rebekah picnic.  We went to Norfolk to the park south on 13th Street.  Started raining just as we finished dinner.  We went to the Walkathon Marathon this afternoon.  It's disgusting to me.  All they did was walk 45 minutes and rest 15 minutes and so on.  At different times the contestants would sing or talk a few minutes.  I got home about 7:30 this evening.
Mon., August 21, 1933 - Still cloudy and rainy.  I found my flower garden quilt and started working on it again.  Aunt Emma, Uncle Max, Sophia, Hilda, Ola, and Louis were here this afternoon.  Aunt Emma brought some cucumbers and we gave her come tomatoes.  I got a letter from Mildred Andersen today inviting us to a wedding dance they're giving for Walter Nelsen this Friday evening.
Tues., August 22, 1933 - We had quite a bit of rain today.  Mom went to Koch's to do some canning this morning.  I worked on my quilt.  Mom and I read this evening before going to bed.

I have some questions here:

1.  Grandma apparently misplaced a quilt she was working on?  That seems a bit hard to believe.  I thought at such a tender age, that she would be quite organized and totally incapable of losing a quilt-in-progress.  She would have to be my age, at least, before she started misplacing things.

2.  I wonder who Walter Nelsen was marrying since the dance was apparently only for him.  (I'm being silly on this one.)

3.  Wait.  What?  Grandpa was early, or Grandma was late getting ready for something?  Sorry, but neither of those situations makes any sense to me whatsoever.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer school

Thurs., August 17, 1933 - We had a Theory test today and a "follow directions" test in English.
Fri., August 18, 1933 - The last day of summer school!  I checked in my books this morning and got my refund from the office, $2.50 on books, and 40 cents on the locker key. I met Alma at the Court House.  We talked to Miss Sewell awhile.  When we got to Aunt Mildred's a photographer was there taking pictures of the baby.  Alma, Mom and I stopped down town for a malted milk before we came home.  Early to bed this evening.
Sat., August 19,1933 - I spent the day in playing lazy.  I slept late this a.m., had a nap this a.m. and this afternoon.  I went down town to find Alma to go to the show with her.  Before I found her Howard found me.  We went to the show at Wayne, Richard Barthelmess in "Heroes for Sale."

I think I would like this movie.  From wikipedia:

     A veteran of the Great War, Thomas Holmes (Richard Barthelmess), struggles to make his way in civilian life in almost every way imaginable. In the opening scene of the movie, Tom and his friend are on a mission to gather intelligence by capturing a German soldier. Tom's friend, the banker's son Roger Winston (Gordon Westcott), in terror, refuses to leave the shell hole so Tom volunteers to go alone.

     He captures a German but is apparently killed; in fact, he has only been wounded, and the Germans take him to their hospital to recover. His friend Roger Winston returns to the safety of American lines with the captured German soldier and is rewarded with a medal for it; his feeble efforts to refuse credit are dismissed as modesty, and he comes home a decorated hero. During Tom's captivity, German doctors treat his pain with morphine and he becomes addicted to the drug. After Tom returns from the war, Roger offers him a job at his father's bank out of shame.

     But Tom's addiction costs him his job. Exposed as an addict, confined and cured in an asylum, he comes out in 1922, unemployed and alone; his mother has died, apparently of shame and grief, while he was away. Heading to Chicago, he happens upon an apartment over a diner, run by kindhearted Pop Dennis (Charlie Grapewin) and his daughter Mary (Aline MacMahon). Tom finds a job in a laundry, and a romance with Ruth Loring (Loretta Young). Always the go-getter, Tom makes good, better than the other drivers on his route, and earns a promotion. A fierce radical inventor (Robert Barrat) devises a machine that will make washing and drying clothes easier, and Tom induces his fellow employees to raise the money to pay for patenting it. The laundry company adopts the machinery, but only on Tom's stipulation that none of the workers at the plant lose their jobs because of it. Success and marriage are his. Then the president of the firm, the kindhearted Mr. Gibson (Grant Mitchell) dies. The new ownership decides to break the deal and automate the laundry, throwing most of its employees out of work, Tom included.

     Furious and resentful, the fired employees march on the plant to destroy the machines, as Tom does his best to stop them. In the riot with police that follows, Ruth is killed trying to find him, and he is arrested as a ringleader of the mob. Tom is put away for five years in prison; in the meantime, the invention he helped finance continues to sell nationwide, throwing countless other people out of work. When Tom gets out, it is 1932, the heart of the Depression. Unimaginably rich, he refuses to take the proceeds, which by now amount to over fifty thousand dollars. Instead, it goes to feed the endless line of hungry and jobless that come seeking a handout at the diner that Pop Dennis and Mary run. When "Red Riots" break out, the local city "Red Squad" arrests Tom and drives him out of town.

     Without work, at the mercy of a society in which unemployed men are turned into hobos and every community orders them to keep moving on, Tom finds himself in one hobo shantytown, next to Roger, his old army comrade. Roger Winston, too, has been ruined; his father stole from the bank and when exposure came, killed himself. Roger served time in prison. Now neither of them has any prospect, any future. The difference is that Tom, in a stirring speech, asserts his faith that America can and will restore itself, that he can lick the Depression. Still driven on by authorities, with no prospect in sight, he marches ahead, determined that this is not the end. And back at the diner, the line of needy continues to stretch down the street, all of them being fed by the funds he provided, and on the wall a plaque honors him for his gift. The movie closes with his son looking at it and declaring to Mary that when he grows up, he means to be just like his Dad. The message is clear: a hero in war, Tom is a hero still.

I note the running time of the movie was 76 minutes (some of the original has been lost).  That's a lot of stuff to have happen in that amount of time.  Wikipedia describes the movie as "haunting and powerful."

Glad for Grandma that summer school is over.  I didn't go to summer school my first two years of college and ended up kicking myself for not doing so once I did start going.  I liked having fewer classes to concern myself with and really liked the compressed time from start to finish.  We got down to business and got things done.  I particularly enjoyed my accounting class.  Had I taken it sooner in my college career, I might well be an accountant right now.  But, c'est la vie.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Goodness sakes!

Wed., August 9, 1933 - Rained a few minutes this morning about 5:00.  I took my sign-out sheet to Mrs. Coyle.  I'm glad there is only one more to take to her.  I worked at the library until 3:00.  Got a letter from Alma.  This evening Gerald and I worked jig-saw puzzles again.
Thurs., August 10, 1933 - We had a Theory test today.  I worked late at the library tonite.  This evening Gerald and I played Pinochle.  We had some ice cream that Uncle Chris brought from town.
Fri., August 11, 1933 - Quite warm today.  I came home from school early.  John took me to the train this evening.  The Walkers weren't at the

There Grandma goes again, stopping without completing a sentence.  Also, we have no diary entries again until August 17th, which is only a five-day hiatus.  Incidentally, there are five more hiatuses in 1933.  Spoiler alert -- we don't know what Grandpa gave Grandma for a Christmas present.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A different NRA

Sun., August 6, 1933 - Got up just in time to go to church with Mom.  Slept most of the afternoon.  Howard came before I was ready this evening so I had to hurry.  I drove to Wayne.
Mon., August 7, 1933 - Uncle Chris doesn't go to work now until 10:00 because of the N.R.A.  I bought some school material from a Harter representative at school.  We had to wait until about 12:30 at the Campus Inn this noon before there was room for us.  I got a letter from Mote asking me to spend this next weekend with her.  Gerald and I worked jig-saw puzzles tonite.
Tues., August 8, 1933 - My walk to school this a.m. rather tired me.  I worked in the library until 5:00 this afternoon.  Wrote to Mom, Howard, and Mildred W. this morning.  I finished my jig-saw puzzle soon after supper.  Went to bed at 9:00.

Being rather confident that the National Rifle Association had nothing to do with when Uncle Chris went to work, I looked up other NRAs and found (via wikipedia) the National Recovery Administration, to wit:

     The National Recovery Administration was a prime New Deal agency established by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) in 1933. The goal was to eliminate "cut-throat competition" by bringing industry, labor, and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and set prices. The NRA was created by the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and allowed industries to get together and write "codes of fair competition." The codes were intended to reduce "destructive competition" and to help workers by setting minimum wages and maximum weekly hours, as well as minimum prices at which products could be sold. The NRA also had a two-year renewal charter and was set to expire in June 1935 if not renewed.

     In 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared that the NRA law was unconstitutional, ruling that it infringed the separation of powers under the United States Constitution. The NRA quickly stopped operations, but many of its labor provisions reappeared in the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act), passed later the same year. The long-term result was a surge in the growth and power of unions, which became a core of the New Deal Coalition that dominated national politics for the next three decades.

     The NRA, symbolized by the Blue Eagle, was popular with workers. Businesses that supported the NRA put the symbol in their shop windows and on their packages, though they did not always go along with the regulations entailed. Though membership to the NRA was voluntary, businesses that did not display the eagle were very often boycotted, making it seem mandatory for survival to many.

The things you learn snooping in your grandmother's diary.  Also, I would love to lay hands on any letters Grandma wrote to Grandpa during this period.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Back at it, sort of

Thurs., August 3, 1933 - Cleared up a little today. I
Fri., August 4, 1933 - Still cool enough so I had to wear my jacket to school today.  This evening Uncle Chris, Aunt Mildred, Gerald and I played Bridge.  Uncle Chris and I won 2 games and the others won 2.  I made some fudge, after that Gerald and I stayed up until 1:00 putting a jig-saw puzzle together.
Sat., August 5, 1933 - Really hot today.  I worked in the library until 5:00.  Mom met me at the train.  Howard came up this evening.  We went out to Ola's for a few minutes then started to a dance south of town.  It started to rain hard when we were a mile south of town; we turned around and when meeting a car just about slid into the ditch.  Howard had to put chains on before we could go on.

Grandma apparently was so unused to writing in her diary after her short hiatus that she quick before finishing her second sentence.

I looked up Bridge to see if I could find anything interesting to share, and I did not.  Lots of information, to be sure, but none particularly fun.  To me, anyway.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Here we go again

Mon., July 24, 1933 - We had a test in History, it didn't seem so bad but I suppose I won't get such a good grade.  I was up at Mary's room at noon and at 3:00.  I took Florence and her slippers down to the Shoe Shop when I went down town after school.  Gerald, Uncle Chris and I played Pinochle.  Got a letter from Alma.
Tues., July 25, 1933 - Florence didn't go to dinner today, she was ill.  I bought a meal ticket at the Campus Inn.  I studied at the library until 5:00.  John, Gerald and I acted foolish this evening as usual.

I have only two days here because Grandma took another hiatus from her diary in 1933.  Staying out late with Grandpa, I suppose.  With all this going on, I decided to look for an article about dating/courtship in the 1930's.  Michelle Cox, writing for "Daily Urbanista" did not disappoint:

     Dating and romance in the 1930’s, while all about “having fun,” was decidedly a more formal affair than it is today. However, the 1930’s saw a departure from the stiff Victorian and Edwardian systems in which a young man “called upon” a woman to whom he was attracted. This involved him going to the girl’s house, sometimes by appointment, to sit with her in the presence of her parents or a designated chaperone in order to get to know her better.

     Obviously, no physical contact of any kind was allowed unless stolen in the rose garden when the chaperone was perhaps distracted. The lower classes, however, often times did not have the actual space to entertain potential suitors and therefore often met outside the home, popularizing the concept of “going on a date.”

     However, the devastation of WWI paired with other economic and social upheavals such as Prohibition, the women’s rights movement and the Great Depression brought a change in some of the more strict rules surrounding many societal norms, dating and courtship included. The concept of “calling upon” a girl by the upper classes began to give way to the “dating” practices of the middle and lower classes, which involved getting to know each other at a movie or a dance. The increasing popularity of the automobile also made it possible for young couples to get away from the confines of home and the pesky prying eyes of the chaperone. Dating became a more relaxed activity and the concept of “having fun” entering the equation, though the ultimate purpose in these endeavors was still to find a marriage partner. Going on dates to dances, soda shops, theaters, and restaurants – depending on what one could afford – became the norm.

     That being said, what was acceptable and expected was still very different from today’s standards, especially for (who would have guessed?) the woman.

     Men in the 1930’s were still supposed to be as chivalrous as they had been in previous decades. However, it was their responsibility to plan, execute and pay for the evening out. All of the usual niceties and behaviors were still expected as well, of course, such as offering the lady his handkerchief or his jacket if she shivered or even mentioned the weather in any way, getting the door for her, holding out his arm for her as they walked (lest she fall), and even by insisting on walking on the side nearest the street, clearly the more dangerous position. Men’s fashion at the time furthered the image of the man as the responsible protector. Suits were cut to suggest a large, upper body, with coat collars coming down to form an attractive “V-neck” and shoulder pads added to emphasize a masculine, square appearance.

     Women’s fashion, correspondingly, suggested a more lady-like appearance than the decade previous; the short boxy, androgynous dresses of the flappers giving way to a more curvy style that accentuated the female form. Softer fabrics and styles which hugged the figure, such as the bias cut, became the rage, as did the disk-like hats tilted to one side instead of the cloche hats that hid the forehead. Hairstyles became softer and more feminine as well.

     A woman’s rules on a date were much more explicit than a man’s, as illustrated by this article originally published in in Click Parade magazine. Whilst on a date, the magazine suggested that the woman should follow these handy guidelines:

1. Don’t keep your date waiting. Finish all of your dressing in your boudoir, not in the hallway or front room while he is waiting.

2. Don’t tug at your girdle; if you need a brassiere, wear one! And don’t wear wrinkled stockings.

3. Don’t use the car mirror to check your hair or make-up.

4. Don’t sit awkwardly or appear bored.

5. Don’t display vulgar habits, such as chewing gum.

6. Don’t smudge his handkerchief with lipstick.

7. Don’t talk while dancing; it is distracting and annoying.

8. Don’t discuss your gown or clothing at all. Conversation should flatter him; only talk about things that interest him – not fashion!

9. Don’t caress or touch your date in any way! No hand-holding in public, and do not allow his arm to be around your shoulders during a film.

10. Don’t cry or be sentimental or attempt to get him to talk about his feelings; this is distressing to him.

11. Don’t be “familiar” with the waiter or any other man besides your date; give him your undivided attention.

12. Don’t drink too much alcohol or be silly; this will humiliate him.

     I don’t know about you, but we’re certainly glad we don’t have to abide by these 1930s dating tips for women.

     The 1930’s were definitely an interesting time in history. Caught between the World Wars, they had their own sense of time and place. Gone were some of the more hierarchical rules surrounding courtship and romance, and, though certain societal expectations remained, a new sense of gaiety and fun was evolving. To modern eyes, however, the thirties still look charmingly old-fashioned, and, well, maybe even a bit quaint.

Friday, July 29, 2016


Fri., July 21, 1933 - The Dinette is gloomier every day.  I was up to Marjorie's room again this noon.  I studied late at the library.  Tonite John, Gerald, Uncle Chris, and I played Pinochle on the front porch.  The bugs and mosquitoes just about ate us.
Sat., July 22, 1933 - Today doesn't seem like Sat.  I went to dinner with Marjorie at the Campus Inn. Virgine went to Freshman English with me.  Aunt Mildred wasn't feeling well so I stayed and got supper for her.  After supper Uncle Chris started to take me home but it rained so hard we had to turn back.  We played Pinochle until about 11:00.
Sun., July 23, 1933 - Was up by 10:00 this a.m.  Aunt Mildred and Uncle Chris washed clothes this a.m.  I washed the frigidaire.  Howard was here about 3:00 to see why I didn't come home last nite.  We had milk and dumplings this evening.  Howard was here again in the evening.  I got to bed late!

Perhaps I am just a big ol' softie, but Grandpa coming to check on Grandma and then coming back again in the evening is sweet enough.  But Grandma following the remark that he came in the evening with one saying she stayed up late (with an underscore AND an exclamation point) conjures up the vision of a long, youthful, your-whole-life-before-you conversation between the two of them.  For all we know they talked about totally mundane things, but I'm holding to my sappy interpretation.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A handcar and cowpies

Tues., July 18, 1933 - Managed to finish my book just in time.  I went to the Dinette this noon.  There were only about 6 there.  Marjorie and her roommate Florence Nellis invited me to come up to their room at noon and I went.  I tried to study this evening but was too tired. Oh!  How I do miss Alma!
Wed., July 19, 1933 - I went to chapel with Hazel McDonald.  A missionary form China spoke to us concerning the conditions there.  I worked on my autobiography.  Wrote a long letter to Alma tonite.  Gerald wrote a postscript in the margin.
Thurs., July 20, 1933 - I worked on my autobiography until 12:30 tonite.  After supper I was so nervous that I had to take a short nap.  Was at Marjorie's room again this noon.  She said Virgine was coming this p.m. and visit her until Saturday.

I was perusing "History of Wayne Country" and found the following little tidbits re Winside.  No specific time frames are given, but it seems to be from the very early days of the town

     Pioneer young folks had to have their good times.  On one occasion a group decided to go to Wayne for a dance, leaving only Mr. and Mrs. McDerby to look after the town.  There seemed to be no other way to make the trip than by team and wagon.  John Morin proposed going on a handcar so two planks were arranged for seats and the party set forth.  Mr. and Mrs. Morin, Mr. and Mrs. Cherry, Mr. and Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Carter's sister and Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Clark started for the dance with two section men running the man-power car.  At the dance the two section men went the limit of saloon days and were unable to run the car for the return trip.  Mr. Carter, Mr. Cherry, Mr. Clark and Mr. Morin were not used to operating a handcar but they had to do so and the remainder of the night was spent on the return trip.

     When Winside was being built, all the stores were placed on the north side of the street, leaving on the south side vacant lots which belonged half to Bressler & Patterson and half to the town site company.  It was proposed to place some corncribs on the vacant property and the business men objected to having the cribs between their stores and the depot.  They took grievance to Bressler & Patterson who agreed that if the town site company would do the same, they would contribute their share of the land for a park.  Both agreed and the land was given for a park with the understanding that if it were ever used for another purpose it would revert to the original owners.  Trees were planted and the park has been a beauty spot in the town ever since.

     In the early days there were no sidewalks and considerable amount of grass grew in front and around the stores.  Early settlers tell that wires were stretched from the lawn in front of a store to the well at the rear and an iron ring fastened to this permitted "bossy" to "mow the lawn" and then go for a drink unmolested.

Two things come to mind here.  What would happen if the park ceased to be a park now?  Would the town have to locate Bressler & Patterson heirs?  Also, long grass is a problem in front of a store, but so it manure, right?  Fun times back in the day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A book I've never heard of

Sat., July 15, 1933 - Most of today I spent in sleeping.  Mom washed all of my clothes for me.  Mom and I were down town this evening.  The Luther League had an Ice Cream Social in the park.  We had some although it was pretty chilly for that.  Edwin and Aunt Lena brought us up the hill.
Sun., July 16, 1933 - Mom went with Ola's up to Uncle Hans' for dinner.  I went to S.S. and church.  I ironed some of my dresses this afternoon.  Howard came up this evening.  We drove around in the hail struck area.  Some of the fields are just about bare.  I drove part of the way to Wayne.
Mon., July 17, 1933 - As usual I'm tired today.  It was raining at noon so I went to the Cafeteria for dinner.  Marjorie lent me her raincoat to wear home this p.m.  I was very wet when I got here.  I read myself to sleep tonite. with "Babbitt", a book to report in English tomorrow.

The plot summary on wikipedia was much too long (and possibly boring, I don't know -- I didn't finish it), so I'll go with the super-short intro:

Babbitt, first published in 1922, is a novel by Sinclair Lewis. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure toward conformity. An immediate and controversial bestseller, Babbitt was influential in the decision to award Lewis the Nobel Prize in literature in 1930.  The word "Babbitt" entered the English language as a "person and especially a business or professional man who conforms unthinkingly to prevailing middle-class standards".

I guess the Nobel people liked it, but I likely would have fallen asleep like Grandma did.

Here's a bit more from wikipedia:  Babbitt has been converted into films twice, a feat Turner Classic Movies describes as "impressive for a novel that barely has a plot."  The first adaptation was a silent film released in 1924 and starring Willard Louis as George F. Babbitt. Better known is the 1934 talkie starring Guy Kibbee. That version, while remaining somewhat true to Lewis's novel, takes liberties with the plot, exaggerating Babbitt's affair and a sour real estate deal.  Both films were Warner Bros. productions.


In the popular culture section of the article:  English author J.R.R. Tolkien published "The Hobbit"; the title and the originally somewhat complacent and bourgeois character of Bilbo and hobbits in general were influenced by Babbitt.

Isn't it just like Grandpa to want to go look at hail damage?  I would, too, but it's still very Grandpa-ish.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Wed., July 12, 1933 - Helen went home today. This evening John, Uncle Chris, Gerald, Alma and I went to Carroll to take Beth home.  Last nite Gus Hoffman's and around there south into Stanton Co. were completely hailed out.  A bad wind struck Winside.  It tore the little shed north of the barn off at Granddad's.  Florence told us about it.
Thurs., July 13, 1933 - Alma had her examinations today and I'm preparing for mine for tomorrow.  I think I about drove Alma crazy today reating [?] my secret work and lodge work to her.  Florence said today that Ola's were in the hail district, but it didn't do much damage.
Fri., July 14, 1933 - Alma checked in her books today.  We saw Mrs. Burt Lewis and she gave us a ride home, 100% better than going on the train.  Went to Rebekah lodge.  We had joint installation with the Odd Fellows.  I wasn't examined during lodge because it was getting late.  Howard brought me home.

Not sure who these people are, but they seem kinda tickled about big hail.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Comedy and drama

Sun., July 9, 1933 - Alma and I went to church this a.m.  Ruth Marshal was here this p.m.  She took some pictures.  Alma, Ruth and I drove down town and got some ice cream.  Some of the folks played Bridge, others Pinochle.  Tonite Gerald, Helen and I went to see Laurel & Hardy in "The Devil's Brother."  Alma and John went before we did.
Mon., July 10, 1933 - School was a pretty sleepy affair today.  I worked late on my history map at school.  This evening coming home from school Miss Sewell gave us a ride.  Howard came here after supper.  He brought some Rebekahs to Wayne for installation work.  We drove around.  While I was gone Fritz got into an argument with Uncle Chris and he packed his trunk and left.
Tues., July 11, 1933 - Mayme was visiting at school today.  She had dinner with us kids.  We worked at the library until 5:00.  Miss Bracken walked part of the way home with us.  Rained while we were eating supper.  Uncle Chris, Helen, Gerald and I went wading in the mud.  Gerald, John, Alma and I cracked walnuts and I made some fudge.  The rest played Bridge.  Gerald gave me one of his pictures.

Here is the plot of our movie for today, from wikipedia:

In the early 18th century, the bandit Fra Diavolo returns to his camp in Northern Italy to tell his gang members about his encounter with Lord Rocburg and Lady Pamela. Disguised as the Marquis de San Marco, he rides with them in their carriage and charms Lady Pamela into telling him where she hides her jewels. He orders his thieves to ride to Rocburg's castle and steal his belongings and Pamela's jewels. Meanwhile, Stanlio and Ollio have also been robbed, whereupon Stanlio suggests to Ollio that they should become robbers themselves. After an unsuccessful attempt to rob a woodchopper, the duo encounters Fra Diavolo, who orders Stanlio to hang Ollio for impersonating him. Diavolo is then informed that his men have stolen Lady Pamela's jewels but have not brought the 500,000 francs hidden by Rocburg.

Diavolo, again disguised as the marquis, takes Stanlio and Ollio with him as his servants to an inn, where he plans to steal Rocburg's 500,000 francs, and where, as Diavolo, he again romances Lady Pamela. Stanlio and Ollio mistakenly capture Lord Rocburg, who has disguised himself as the marquis in an attempt to win back his wife. Diavolo's attempt to find the francs is, however, foiled after Stanlio drinks a sleeping potion meant for Rocburg. Diavolo's theft of Pamela's medallion is blamed on young Captain Lorenzo, the sweetheart of Zerlina, whose father, Matteo the innkeeper, has decreed that she is to marry a merchant named Francesco the next day. Lorenzo swears he will prove his innocence before Zerlina is forced to marry Francesco.

Meanwhile, Diavolo romances Pamela once again and finds out that Rocburg's fortune is hidden in her petticoat. Just as Diavolo steals the petticoat, Lorenzo finds out his true identity from Stanlio, who is "spiffed" after a visit to Matteo's wine cellar. Lorenzo's soldiers surround the inn and he then duels with Diavolo, whom he bests with a little inadvertent help from Stanlio. The good-natured Diavolo returns the jewels, and when Rocburg will not pay the reward for them to Lorenzo, Diavolo gives Lorenzo the money that he stole from Pamela's petticoat. While the jealous husband rushes upstairs to confront his wife, Lorenzo gives the money to Matteo, thereby saving him from having to sell the inn. Diavolo, Stanlio, and Ollio are then taken away to be shot by a firing squad. When Stanlio takes out his red handkerchief in order to blow his nose, a bull becomes enraged and charges the group, allowing Diavolo to escape on his horse and Stanlio and Ollio to escape on the bull.

Side note:  Kneesy-Earsy-Nosey was the game of coordination and dexterity played by Stanlio in the picture, to Ollio's great frustration. The game, which became a fad shortly after the film's release, consists of clapping the knees, then grabbing one ear with the opposite hand while grabbing the nose with the other hand, again clapping the knees, and then grabbing the other ear with the opposite hand while grabbing the nose with the other hand. Participants attempt to do it with increasing speed. Proficiency seems intuitively easy to acquire but requires time and training, as it involves constant shifting of coordination of the left and right control areas of the brain. Once coordination has been achieved, one can become extremely fast, and proficiency can be regained even after years of hiatus.

Both "Kneesy-Earsy-Nosey" and "Finger Wiggle"—another game Stan plays in Fra Diavolo—make a brief appearance in Babes in Toyland when Oliver Hardy's character (Ollie Dee) tells Stanley's character (Stannie Dum), in relation to hitting a PeeWee, "If you can do it, I can do it." Stannie then performs both games to disprove Ollie's maxim.

So, there's our comedy.  And our drama is from Fritz (who is that?) having a kerfuffle with Uncle Chris and leaving.  Perhaps some Kneesy-Earsy-Nosey would have lightened the mood?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Now, who's Birdie?

Thur., July 6, 1933 - Mom brought us back this a.m. by 6:30.  Beth Herter, Mrs. Smith's sister, came here today.  Tonite Alma, Gerald and I went with Uncle Chris when he took Birdie to Wakefield.  Gerald and I entertained Alma with songs about the cat and worms!! She tried to choke us but failed in the attempt.
Fri., July 7, 1933 - We had a test in Theory today.  We've been trying to persuade Alma to attend school the second semester but so far we haven't succeeded.  She thinks her folks will want her home the rest of the summer.
Sat., July 8, 1933 - Several in different classes were absent today, but I surely wouldn't miss on a make-up day.  Helen Kilmer came tonite to visit.  Alma and I went down town tonite.  We met John and he took us to the show "Gabriel Over the White House".  Alma and I slept on the front room floor tonite for fun.

Summer school can be difficult enough to go to on a good day, but to have to go on a Saturday to make up for the 4th . . . ouch.  But I can easily believe that Grandma would go.  I didn't know the 21-year-old Grandma but the one I did know would definitely take such a thing seriously.

" . . the cat and worms!!"  I really don't know what to say to that.

And seriously, who is Birdie, if anyone knows?

I don't think I will go out of my way to see this movie; it seems a bit nuts.  From wikipedia:

     Gabriel Over the White House is a 1933 American Pre-Code film starring Walter Huston that has been variously described as a "bizarre political fantasy" or a "comedy drama" that "is surprisingly socialist in tone (albeit veering toward National Socialism)" and which "posits a favorable view of fascism."

     The movie was directed by Gregory La Cava, produced by Walter Wanger and written by Carey Wilson based upon the novel Rinehard by Thomas Frederic Tweed, who did not receive screen credit, and received the financial backing and creative input of William Randolph Hearst.

     When the film opens, U.S. President Judson C. 'Judd' Hammond (Huston) (possibly a reference to Judson Harmon) is variously described as "a Hoover-like partisan hack" or "basically a do-nothing crook, based on, to some extent, Warren G. Harding." Then he suffers a near-fatal automobile accident and goes into a coma. Through what Portland State University instructor Dennis Grunes calls "possible divine intervention," Hammond (an "FDR lookalike") miraculously recovers, emerging "a changed man, an activist politician, a Roosevelt."

     President Hammond makes "a political U-turn," purging his entire cabinet of "big-business lackeys." When Congress impeaches him, he responds by dissolving the legislative branch, assuming the “temporary” power to make laws as he "transforms himself into an all-powerful dictator."  He orders the formation of a new “Army of Construction” answerable only to him, spends billions on one New Deal–like program after another, and nationalizes the manufacture and sale of alcohol.

     The reborn Hammond's policies include "suspension of civil rights and the imposition of martial law by presidential fiat." He "tramples on civil liberties," "revokes the Constitution, becomes a reigning dictator," and employs "brown-shirted storm troopers" led by the President's top aide, Hartley 'Beek' Beekman (Tone). When he meets with resistance (admittedly, from the organized crime syndicate of ruthless Al Capone analog Nick Diamond), the President "suspends the law to arrest and execute 'enemies of the people' as he sees fit to define them," with Beekman handing "down death sentences in his military star chamber" in a "show trial that resembles those designed to please a Stalin, a Hitler or a Chairman Mao," after which the accused are immediately lined up against a wall behind the courthouse and "executed by firing squad." By threatening world war with America’s newest and most deadly secret weapon, Hammond then blackmails the world into disarmament, ushering in global peace.

     The film is unique in that, by revoking the Constitution, etc., President Hammond does not become a villain, but a hero who "solves all of the nation's problems," "bringing peace to the country and the world," and is universally acclaimed “one of the greatest presidents who ever lived.” The Library of Congress comments:  “The good news: he reduces unemployment, lifts the country out of the Depression, battles gangsters and Congress, and brings about world peace. The bad news: he's Mussolini.”

     Controversial since the time of its release, Gabriel Over the White House is widely acknowledged to be an example of totalitarian propaganda. Tweed, the author of the original novel, was a "liberal champion of government activism" and trusted adviser to David Lloyd George, the Liberal Prime Minister who brought Bismarck's welfare state to the United Kingdom. The decision to buy the story was made by producer Walter Wanger, variously described as "a liberal Democrat" or a "liberal Hollywood mogul." After two weeks of script preparation, Wanger secured the financial backing of media magnate William Randolph Hearst, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's staunchest supporters, who had helped him get the Democratic presidential nomination and who enlisted his entire media empire to campaign for him. Hearst intended the film to be a tribute to FDR and an attack on previous Republican administrations.

     Although an internal MGM synopsis had labeled the script "wildly reactionary and radical to the nth degree," studio boss Louis B. Mayer "learned only when he attended the Glendale, California preview that Hammond gradually turns America into a dictatorship," writes film historian Leonard J. Leff. "Mayer was furious, telling his lieutenant, 'Put that picture back in its can, take it back to the studio, and lock it up!'"

See what I mean?  Nuts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Taxi dancers and Sholes

Mon., July 3, 1933 - Mother washed clothes today.  I picked peas and shelled them.  Mom canned 7 pints of peas.  Otto Graef was here this p.m. to fix the well pump.  It broke last nite just when Mom was going to get a drink.  I went to bed at 9:00.
Tues., July 4, 1933 - Ironed some dresses this a.m.  I took Mom out to Ola's at 9:00.  She surely looked spiffy in her white hat, white slippers and blue and white voile dress.  They went to a community picnic at Hiller's.  Annie stayed at Frink's because Leeroy has the whooping cough.  Howard came about 12:30.  We took my suitcases to Wayne first.  From Wayne I drove to Laurel, Belden, Sholes, near Randolph, and then to Pierce.  Howard drove from Pierce to Norfolk.  We went to the Granada, Nancy Carroll in "Child of Manhattan."  After the show we had supper at Trano's.  Then out to King's Park for the fireworks.  We waited until 11:00 for them & then they only lasted about 15 minutes.  On the way back to Wayne we stopped at home a few minutes.  I had to tell Mom that League was tomorrow night instead of Thursday nite.
Wed., July 5, 1933 - Everybody at school today looked sleepy.  Alma and I went home to Winside on the train.  I & Alma went to League at Maas' with myself driving the "bug."  We got there and home again without any trouble.  Got home about 1:00 & will have to get up early so Mom can take us to school in the morning.

First, here's our movie plot, courtesy of wikipedia:

     Taxi dancer Madeleine McGonegle (Nancy Carroll) attracts the attention of millionaire Paul Vanderkill (John Boles), and when she becomes pregnant, they get married to avoid a scandal. When the baby dies at birth, Madeleine runs away to Mexico, to give Paul the divorce she thinks he wants. There, she meets "Panama Canal" Kelly (cowboy star Buck Jones), an old friend who proposed to her before he went west. Undeterred by her recent past, he asks her again to get married, and she eventually agrees. When Paul discovers where she is, he shows up just as the couple is about to be wed. When Panama overhears Madeleine confess her love to Paul, he bows out of the picture.

I had to look up what a taxi driver was.  Wikipedia was happy to oblige, even though it was a bit redundant in its explanation:  A taxi dancer is a paid dance partner in a partner dance. Taxi dancers are hired to dance with their customers on a dance-by-dance basis. When taxi dancing first appeared in taxi-dance halls during early 20th-century America, male patrons would buy dance tickets for ten cents each. When a patron presented a ticket to a chosen taxi dancer, she would dance with him for the length of a single song. The taxi dancers would earn a commission on every dance ticket earned. Though taxi dancing has for the most part disappeared in the United States, it is still practiced in some other countries.  The term "taxi dancer" comes from the fact that, as with a taxi-cab driver, the dancer's pay is proportional to the time he or she spends dancing with the customer. Patrons in a taxi-dance hall typically purchased dance tickets for ten cents each, which gave rise to the term "dime-a-dance girl". Other names for a taxi dancer are "dance hostess", "taxi" (in Argentina), and "nickel hopper" because out of that dime they typically earned five cents.

Back to Grandma's post -- isn't it lovely that she made a point of writing about Grandma Anna's outfit and how nice she looked?  What a sweet daughter.

Speaking of Sholes, I remember when I was in high school, a bunch of us kids were driving around on a weekend night with nothing in particular to do.  How Sholes came up in the conversation, I have no idea whatsoever.  But, as some of us had never been there, we made a point to drive to Sholes, take the two-minute, 1:00 a.m. driving tour and then leave.  All so we could say we'd been there.  Fun times.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Decadence! Three movies in one day!

Fri., June 30, 1933 - My Theory test grade was between 89 & 95, I've raised my grade.  Mom came after me after school, but I'm going home with Alma tomorrow so I didn't go home with her.  We went down town and each of us purchased a white hat.  Tried to rain tonite.  After the shower Alma and I went to the Park, then down town for a soda and Karmel Korn on the way home.
Sat., July 1, 1933 - Gerald carried our suitcases down town for us.  We went to Lautenbaugh's first, down town again about 2:00.  Alma bought 2 new dresses and I got 1 for myself.  We picked out funny cards for each of the folks at 420 Sherman.  Before supper we saw Eddie Cantor in "What!  No Beer?" and Robert Montgomery in "Faithless."  We had supper at the Paramount.  We had a most delicious bacon and tomato sandwich. We met Mr. & Mrs. Lautenbaugh at 7:30 and went to the Rialto to see Heinie & Carl in person.  We also saw Ronald Coleman in "Cynara".
Sun., July 2, 1933 - Alma and I had a good tussle in bed this morning.  We went to a church on Jackson & 12th St.  They use the same service book we use at home.  The church is very large & beautiful.  There were about 30 members in the choir.  They kept in step so well that it looked like one body as it swayed from side to side.  After church we stopped at Marshal's, Alma's aunt & uncle.  Alma went to the train with me.  The ride home was tiresome, dirty, and everything!  I tried to read "Brown America" but it got too dry several times.  Howard came up this evening.

These entries are a bit longer than most; Grandma's notes directed me to the, well, Notes section at the back of her diary since she needed more space than what was allotted for a couple of days.  In the notes section there is an entry by Alma, referring back to May 15.  (I didn't have an indication on that page to go to the Note section -- a sneaky one, that Alma.)

     May 15 - Marian had a grand time with me while dining at Trano's.  Marian proceeded to throw her chicken bone into the corner of the seat.  I, while eating pie, was surprised to find an empty fork in my mouth.  Upon investigation I found that the pie which I thought was on my fork had lit on the table and reposed there in peace.  O hum, another day.

Such fun, but I am having real problems imagining Grandma throwing a chicken bone in a restaurant.

Apparently my post from yesterday was incorrect; Alma must have been just spending the night or weekend with Grandma.

420 Sherman Street is an address is Wayne, but I don't know who lived there in 1933.  I am not finding a Jackson Street, much less a church at 12th & Jackson, but I see a large part of the current Wayne State campus involves 12th Street.  Perhaps the church was relocated or some such when the campus was expanding.

I don't know that I need to post three movie plots.  I will say that Grandma, and who can blame her, got a bit mixed up.  It was Jimmy Durante and Buster Keaton in What! No Beer?, not Eddie Cantor.  I do not know who or what Heinie & Carl are and cannot find a reference to a book entitled "Brown America".

Monday, July 18, 2016

What baby?

Tues., June 27, 1933 - We had a history test this morning.  I had a headache this afternoon and didn't wait for Alma.  When I got home I took a nap until supper time.  Alma and I studied and talked on the back porch this evening.  A lot of folks were here tonite to see the baby.  Alma and I went to bed at 9:30.
Wed., June 28, 1933 - Warm!  Hot!  Hotter!  Hottest!  Alma and I went down town after school.  I had steel taps put on my white slippers.  We went to bed at 10:00.  Gerald came home from Carroll last nite after we girls had gone to bed.
Thurs., June 29, 1933 - Looked like rain this a.m. but that was all.  I had a shampoo and finger wave at Mrs. Gifford's.  We had a Theory test, true & false.  Mr. Griffin yawned several times while giving it.  Alma, Gerald, and I played Pinochle tonite.  Alma and Aunt Mildred sang, too.

I am guessing Alma and Grandma are staying at Uncle Chris and Aunt Mildred's, but I am not certain at all.  Does the mention of a baby help anyone out that is in the know?  Also, Gerald.  Did Uncle Chris have a son Gerald, or did Aunt Mildred have one before Uncle Chris entered the picture?  Inquiring minds are inquiring.

I like that Mr. Griffin yawned through giving a test; perhaps he found theory not all that exciting?

The photo is from the Wayne County History book, and as advertised, is the Wayne State Teachers College in 1937.  Just look at all the wide open spaces around it.

Friday, July 15, 2016

What do you suppose is going on?

Sat., May 27, 1933 - I ordered new curtains for my room and got them today.  They surely look cool and nice.  Mom and I went to the cemetery about 5:30 and cleaned up and trimmed the bridal wreath.  I went down town this evening.  Went to the show with Irene Iversen.  We saw "Doctor X".  Oh!  It was spooky.  Howard brought me home in his "rattling good Ford."
Sun., May 28, 1933 - To S.S. and church this morning.  Rained early this morning and this afternoon.  Mrs. Davenport was over here this evening and said the lightning burnt out some of the wires.  There were only two or three big flashes this p.m.  I slept most of the afternoon.

This is certainly one of the longer wikipedia movie plots, and I think I will have to see the movie to sort this all out:

     Doctor X is a graphic mystery-horror film with some tongue-in-cheek comedic elements. It is considered by some to be of the "old dark house" genre of horror films, and takes place in 1932 New York City and Long Island.

     Reporter Lee Taylor (Lee Tracy) is investigating a series of pathological murders that have taken place over a series of months in New York City. The murders always take place at night, under the light of a full moon (the newspapers dubbing them the "Moon Killer Murders"). Furthermore, each body has been cannibalized after the murder has taken place. Witnesses to the events describe a horribly disfigured "monster" as the killer.

     Doctor Xavier (Lionel Atwill) is called in for his medical opinion, but it is learned through meeting with the police that the ulterior motive behind this is to begin an investigation of Xavier's medical academy, as the scalpel used to cannibalize the bodies of the victims was exclusive to that institution. Aside from Xavier, the other suspects are: Wells (Preston Foster), an amputee who has made a study of cannibalism; Haines (John Wray), who displays a sexual perversion with voyeurism; Duke (Harry Beresford), a grouchy loudmouth cripple; and Rowitz (Arthur Edmund Carewe), who is conducting studies of the psychological effects of the moon (Rowitz also displays a notable scar on one side of his face). It is learned that Haines and Rowitz were stranded in a boat with another man, and that while they claimed he had died and they had thrown him overboard, it was suspected that they had, in fact, cannibalized him.

     The police give Xavier 48 hours to apprehend the killer in his own way. During this time, Taylor investigates the doctor's intentions and in the process, meets Joan Xavier (Fay Wray), the doctor's daughter. Joan is exceedingly cold to Taylor, particularly after finding out that it was his story that pointed a finger at her father and ruined his first attempt at locating the killer. Taylor, however, manages to find a romantic interest in Joan before being escorted out. He is then walking out of the house as the maid dumps ice water on him.

     The setting switches to Xavier's beach-side estate on Long Island. There, all of the suspects are brought in for an unorthodox examination of their guilt: each member (excluding Wells, because it is known that the killer has two hands and he has but one) is connected to an electrical system that records their heart rate. When a re-enactment of the murder of a cleaning woman appears before them, the detector will expose the guilty man who will have no choice but to confess. Dr. Xavier's butler and maid, Otto (George Rosener) and Mamie (Leila Bennett), carry out the reenactment.

     Things go awry, however, when a number of events inhibit the experiment. First, Taylor breaks into the home and hides in a storage closet, but is rendered unconscious by gas that the killer puts in the room. During the experiment, a blackout occurs. Wells, in another room controlling the equipment, appears to fall through a glass door. When power is regained, it is discovered that Rowitz, whose monitor supposedly revealed him as the guilty party just before the blackout, has been murdered, a victim of a scalpel to the base of the brain.

     Taylor is discovered by the staff and Xavier has no choice but to keep him there until the investigation is over, lest he report back to his paper. Joan decides to be friendly to Taylor, as she sees that he is the only one with enough intuition to solve the crime. Later that night, it is discovered that during these hours, Rowitz's body has been cannibalized.

     The following evening, the police allow Xavier an extension till midnight to apprehend the killer. Xavier again asks Otto and Mamie to re-enact another of the murders. Mamie is too frightened and ill to play her part, so Joan takes Mamie's place. All of the men, save for Wells, are this time handcuffed to their seats. It is during this that we find out that it is, in fact, Wells who is the killer. Through a "synthetic flesh" composition that he himself has created, Wells has been creating artificial limbs and a horrific mask to carry out his crimes in order to collect living samples of human flesh for his experiments. It turns out at first for years he had been searching for a secret manufactured flesh and eventually finds it; so, he went to Africa one time, not to study cannibalism, but to get samples of the human flesh the natives eat. In order to collect his final victim, Wells sneaks up on Otto and strangles him. Then, he proceeds to reveal himself and his intentions for collecting Joan as his specimen in front of everyone.

     Just as Wells is about to strangle Joan, Taylor — posing as one of a series of wax figures representing the killer's victims — jumps Wells and the two men get into a scuffle. As Wells lunges towards Taylor, Taylor grabs a kerosene lamp and hurls it at Wells. Set on fire, Wells stumbles and crashes out a window and falls down a cliff into the ocean. Reporting his story into the paper, Taylor tells his editor to make space in the marriage section for Joan and himself.

More importantly than any movie plot, an astute reader might notice that I have posted only two days of Grandma's diary instead of the usual three.  This is because, for some reason, Grandma abandoned her diary for a full month during the summer of 1933.  One can only imagine the reason.  I have eliminated the idea that she misplaced it, because she has been so very diligent in writing that she must have had a set place for her diary so she could access it every night or very often, at least.  I want to believe she and Grandpa were having such a grand summer that she collapsed into bed each night, too tired to write anything.  We will never know.  The next post will start with June 27 and Grandma just jumps right in with her escapades while being enrolled in summer school.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Snake oil salesman

Wed., May 24, 1933 - Mom got the car from Koplin's this morning.  I left about 8:00 for my school.  Ran out of gas at Bojens.  Had Neiman's come out with some.  I worked at school finishing my reports, etc. until 3:30.  Went to Walkers for things I had forgotten and then to Behmers.  I was going up to Mayme's but it was too late.  Mom and I went quilting to [the] church basement this evening.
Thurs., May 25, 1933 - Mom helped Lilly Von Seggern paper this morning.  This noon a "snake" man was here selling snake oil.  And I was getting so hungry!  Mom and Grussmother went to Uncle Hans' and Aunt Emma's this p.m.  This evening Mom and I went out to Ola's for a little chat.
Fri., May 26, 1933 - Mom worked on my striped dress today.  I mended runners and holes in my silk hose. I went to Rebekah lodge tonite.  We had election of officers.  Minnie Andersen was elected Noble Grand and I Vice Grand.  Howard brought me home.  There was a dance in the "cracker box" but neither of us cared about going so we didn't.

I never considered that snake oil salesman showed up in Winside, but why wouldn't they?

Here is a bit of information from my favorite go-to, wikipedia:

     Snake oil is an expression that originally referred to fraudulent health products or unproven medicine but has come to refer to any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit. By extension, a snake oil salesman is someone who knowingly sells fraudulent goods or who is themselves a fraud, quack, or charlatan.

     The use of snake oil long predates the 19th century, and it was never confined to the Americas. In Europe, viper oil had been commonly recommended for many afflictions, including the ones for which rattlesnake oil was subsequently favored (e.g., rheumatism and skin diseases).

     Chinese laborers on railroad gangs involved in building the First Transcontinental Railroad first gave snake oil, a traditional folk remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat joint pain such as arthritis and bursitis to their fellow workers.  When rubbed on the skin at the painful site, snake oil was claimed to bring relief. This claim was ridiculed by rival medicine salesmen, and in time, snake oil became a generic name for many compounds marketed as panaceas or miraculous remedies whose ingredients were usually secret, unidentified, or mischaracterized and mostly inert or ineffective.

     Patent medicines originated in England, where a patent was granted to Richard Stoughton's Elixir in 1712. Since there was no federal regulation in the United States concerning safety and effectiveness of drugs until the 1906 Food and Drugs Act and various medicine salesmen or manufacturers seldom had enough skills in analytical chemistry to analyze the contents of snake oil, it became the archetype of hoax.

     The snake oil peddler became a stock character in Western movies: a traveling "doctor" with dubious credentials, selling fake medicines with boisterous marketing hype, often supported by pseudo-scientific evidence. To increase sales, an accomplice in the crowd (a shill) would often attest to the value of the product in an effort to provoke buying enthusiasm. The "doctor" would leave town before his customers realized they had been cheated.  This practice is also called grifting and its practitioners are called grifters.

     Stanley's snake oil — produced by Clark Stanley, the "Rattlesnake King" — was tested by the United States government in 1917. It was found to contain:

     mineral oil
     1% fatty oil (presumed to be beef fat)
     red pepper

     This is similar in composition to modern-day capsaicin-based liniments or chest rubs. None of the oil content was found to have been extracted from any actual snakes.

     The government sued the manufacturer for misbranding and misrepresenting its product, winning the judgment of $20 against Clark Stanley. Soon after the decision, "snake oil" became synonymous with false cures and "snake-oil salesmen" became a tag for charlatans.

And there you have it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Happy 20th, Uncle Ray

Sun., May 21, 1933- Lydia went home with W. H. A. Wittlers this morning.  I went to Sunday School and church.  Slept most of the afternoon.  I went to Wayne with Howard tonite to see "State Fair" with Will Rogers and Janet Gaynor.
Mon., May 22, 1933 - Ola, Annabelle, and Edwin came in this noon with the car.  I took them home and then took the car to Koplin's to have the battery charged.  This evening Mom and I put a quilt in the frame.  We put it up in the west bedroom upstairs.
Tues., May 23, 1933 - Ray is 20 years old today.  I went down town this a.m.  I got my green figured silk dress from Sears.  It surely fits fine.  They wind was blowing hard all day.  I made a quilting pattern for Mom's quilt.  Washed and finger-waved my hair.  Finger-waved Mom's too.

I would have liked to have seen a 22-year-old Marian Andersen in a green figured silk dress.  Looks like Grandma is borrowing a car again.  I think.

Our movie plot for today, from wikipedia:

     State Fair (1933) is an American Pre-Code comedy-drama film directed by Henry King and starring Janet Gaynor, Will Rogers, and Lew Ayres. The picture tells the story of a farm family's visit to the Iowa State Fair, where the parents seek to win prizes in agricultural and cooking competitions, and their teenage daughter and son each find unexpected romance. Based on a bestselling novel by Phil Stong, this was the first of three film versions of the novel released to theaters, the others being the movie musicals State Fair (1945) starring Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews, and State Fair (1962) starring Ann-Margret and Pat Boone.

     The 1933 version was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. This pre-Code film has some scenes that would be censored a few years later due to the Production Code that took effect in 1934. Although the screenwriters cut the novel's depiction of a sexual affair between the daughter and a reporter, they kept the son's seduction by a trapeze artist. Moralists were particularly outraged by a scene in which Norman Foster and Sally Eilers' dialogue is heard off-screen while the camera reveals a rumpled bed and a negligee on the floor.

     Rogers was accorded top billing on some posters, but Gaynor was billed above Rogers in the film itself.

     A very young Victor Jory also appears as the hoop toss barker at the carnival, at the beginning of a screen career spanning 57 years.

     In 2014, State Fair was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

And for good measure, here's some Will Rogers quotes:

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”

“Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people that they don't like.”

“There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

“Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.”

“There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.”

“I never met a man that I didn't like.”

“All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance.”

“Rumor travels faster, but it don't stay put as long as truth. ”

“Common sense ain't common.”

“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”

“Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.”

“Do the best you can, and don't take life too serious.”

“Don't let yesterday take up too much of today”

“When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.”

“Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.”

“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.”

“We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.”

“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people. ”