Thursday, June 30, 2016

Quite a chat

Sat., May 6, 1933 - I didn't do much today, I was too tired.  Washed and ironed some of my clothes.  I went down town to the library this evening.  I met Alma and we had quite a chat.
Sun., May 7, 1933 - To S.S. and church.  It was rainy all day.  Mom and I went to the school house this p.m., Patron's Day, fair exhibits, etc. to be seen in all rooms.  I went to Norfolk to the show with Howard tonite.  We saw the three Barrymores in "Rasputin and the Empress".  The story took place in Russia just before the World War.  It was good.
Mon., May 8, 1933 - Still working hard on fair material.  It would surely be too bad if we had company one of these days.  I finger-waved my hair after school.  For some reason or other I was sleepy and so thought best to go to bed early!  Seems funny but it's true!

Hmmm, quite a chat, eh?  That is just too cute, whether it was about Grandpa or not.  I can't see Grandpa willingly sitting through a movie about Russian nobility and revolution and etc., but he had good reason to on this occasion since he was a-courting.  As a reminder that this diary was written some time ago -- Grandma refers to the "World War" and not WWI since there had been only the one as of 1933.  I am not sure what Patron's Day is exactly.  Here is what wikipedia has to say about the movie our young couple went to see:

     Rasputin and the Empress is a 1932 film about Imperial Russia starring the Barrymore siblings (John, as "Prince Chegodieff"; Ethel, as Czarina Alexandra; and Lionel Barrymore, as Grigori Rasputin). It is the only film in which all three siblings appear together.

     The film's inaccurate portrayal of Prince Felix Yusupov and his wife Princess Irina (renamed "Prince Chegodieff" and "Princess Natasha") caused a historically significant lawsuit against MGM and gave rise to the "all persons fictitious disclaimer", which has since become standard in Hollywood works of fiction.

     The highly fictionalized story takes place in the Russian Empire during the last years of the reign of Czar Nicholas II (Ralph Morgan) and the Czarina Alexandra (Ethel Barrymore). Reform-minded Prince Paul (John Barrymore) has long been concerned about the plight of the common people and knows a revolution is brewing. Prince Alexei, heir to the throne, is loved by the people but has hemophilia, and a slight fall turns out to be life-threatening. When royal physician Dr. Remezov (Edward Arnold) is powerless to stop the boy's bleeding, Princess Natasha (Diana Wynyard), Alexandra's lady-in-waiting and Paul's fiancee, recommends Rasputin (Lionel Barrymore) as a healer. He convinces the frantic Empress that he has been sent by God to cure the child. Left alone with Alexei, he hypnotizes the boy and relieves his agony but also gradually makes Alexei a slave to his will.

     With the influence he now wields over the relieved parents, Rasputin begins replacing those loyal to them with his own men. He is greatly aided when the head of the secret police (Henry Kolker), fearful of losing his job over his failure to prevent the assassination of a nobleman close to the Czar, turns to him for help. With police dossiers at his disposal, Rasputin is able to use blackmail to increase his power even further.

     Prince Paul fears that Rasputin's actions will bring about the downfall of the empire. However, even Natasha believes in Rasputin. She warns him that Paul is going to try to kill him. Paul shoots him, but Rasputin is unharmed: he has taken the precaution of wearing a hidden metal breastplate. Nicholas forces Paul to resign his position when he admits he tried to assassinate the man.

     When Germany issues an ultimatum demanding that Russia cease mobilizing its army over the crisis between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, Nicholas and his advisers are divided. Rasputin convinces him to reject the ultimatum, leading to World War I.

     Finally, Rasputin begins to make subtle advances on Grand Duchess Maria (Jean Parker), Alexandra's daughter. When Natasha finds out, she becomes furious and shouts that she will go to the Empress. Rasputin overpowers her and puts her in a deep trance. The Empress fortuitously enters the room at that moment, enabling Natasha to recover her wits and tell what she saw. When he is unable to shake Alexandra's faith in Natasha, Rasputin boasts of how he is now effectively Czar. In despair, the Empress sends for Paul. He assures her that he knows what to do.

     At a big party where Rasputin is guest of honor, he recognizes the servant who has been bringing him his favorite traditional Tobolsk cakes all night; he used to work for Paul. Immediately suspicious, Rasputin has the house searched. They find Paul and Dr. Remezov. Rasputin is eager to dispatch his most implacable enemy himself; he takes Paul into the cellar at gunpoint. Once they are alone, Paul taunts Rasputin, telling him the cakes were filled with poison. He then leaps at Rasputin and beats him into unconsciousness. However, Rasputin refuses to die. Covered with blood, he rises and walks toward Paul, shouting that if he dies, Russia will die. Paul finally drags him out into the snow and throws him into the river to drown.

     Immediately, Alexei is freed from his hypnotic trance and hugs his mother. Nicholas is forced to exile Paul, as Rasputin's minions are still in power. However, the old charlatan's last prophecy comes true, as the Czar is overthrown and shot with his entire family by the Bolsheviks.

I am glad Grandma like the movie.  I would have to see it for myself to decide.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

And on a 2016 note . . .

. . . Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

The "cracker box"?

Wed., May 3, 1933 - I'm not so tired this morning as I thought I'd be.  Delmar wasn't at school this a.m.  Dismissed school at 11:40.  Went to the funeral at 1:30.  Home at 3:00.  There were quite a few people at Nurnbergs.  I slept from 3:30 until 6:00.  We all went to bed early tonite.
Thurs., May 4, 1933 - Still cloudy and cold.  We worked on fair work all day.  Laurence finished his reviewing.  I packed this evening.  I won't have much to take home next week.
Fri., May 5, 1933 - Nurnbergs to school again.  Laurence took examinations today.  We worked on fair material.  Mom came after me right after school.  Chris and Verna Nelsen gave a dance in the "cracker box" tonite.  I went down with Alma.  Howard brought me home.  I crawled into bed rather early Saturday morning.  Had a good time at the dance.

Any clues on where/what the "cracker box" was?  This is a new one on me, both from Grandma's diaries and endless conversations with people in the know my whole life.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sad news

Sun., April 30, 1933 - To S.S. and church this morning.  Bernice, Clarence, Ruth, Lydia and Arnold were out this p.m. to practice songs for Mother's Day Program.  To League and church this evening.  The Lutheran Church was moved north off its foundation about six feet by the storm yesterday.  It's still standing but that's all you can say for it.
Mon., May 1, 1933 - Nurnbergs not in school today.  The little baby died this morning at 4:30.  It's been sick for about 3 weeks.  The League surprised Clarence tonite for his birthday.  We played games in the basement at the parsonage.  Mailed a letter to Ray today. 
Tues., May 2, 1933 - Cloudy and cool.  Laurence reviewed and the others worked on maps, etc.  Laurence said it was all right with his dad if we dismissed school tomorrow p.m. for the funeral.  We went to League at Ruth Jochens this evening.  Mrs. Walker ordered flowers for me today for Nurnberg's.

I looked for a Nurnberg with a death date in 1933 on findagrave but did not find any listed.

While the death of this little baby was surely very tragic, the decrease in infant mortality from the 1930's to now is amazing.  In 1935, the rate was 52 per 1,000 for white children, while for 2005 it was 5 per 1,000.  No comfort to those affected, but a testament to modern medicine and all that goes into keeping little ones around.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Well, well, well

Thurs., April 27, 1933 - Mom, Annie and kids got to school about 2:00.  The pupils had a good laugh when Leeroy pulled some of his stunts.  We had lunch at Annie's.  I went to Carroll with Howard Iversen this evening.  The Rebekahs and Odd Fellows put on an anniversary celebration.  Got to bed at 2:00 and oh! so tired!
Fri., April 28, 1933 - Lovely spring day, but my how tired I was.  Rev. Savage was here for supper.  Clarence road [sic] out from town on his bicycle.  I went to bed as soon as the dishes were finished.
Sat., April 29, 1933 - Delmar, George and Harry weren't in school today.  Started to rain about noon.  Dismissed school at 2:30.  We all got wet going home.  Soon after I was home it just poured down, a strong wind, too.  Mr. Walker went up to [the] other place this evening.  He said school toilets were blown over.  Charlotte & Helen here this evening.

Grandma was so tired on Friday after the big shin-dig that she, of all people, used "road" instead of "rode".  I am speechless.  (Just kidding!)

This is the last time I can see that Grandpa was referred to by his first and last name.  From here on out, I believe he is simply Howard.  And look at that face . . . who could blame her?

Does anyone know why they are having school on a Saturday?  Making up for snow days, perhaps?

Friday, June 17, 2016

May Day comin' up

Mon., April 24, 1933 - Got up at 6:00 and started for Walkers.  The car stopped east of Raymond's.  I walked over there and he came and fixed it.  Mom waited at Walkers and took me to school.  Rev. Schmitt and family and Rev. Savage were here for supper this evening.  Mom was to have mailed my letter to Ray today.
Tues., April 25, 1933 - Got a ride to school with Bud this morning.  I made 4 May baskets this evening.  Each one is made differently and they each have different colors.  It's rather fun making them again.
Wed., April 26, 1933 - Got a ride to school in the Ford this morning.  Had a ride on the wagon with the boys this evening on the way home from school.  The folks went to church.  I washed and finger-waved my hair.

I remember making and delivering May Day baskets quite fondly.  My kids and I did it for a bit when they were young as well.  One of my favorite books as a kid (the title of which, of course, totally escapes me now -- maybe "The Giraffe That Went To School" but that seems to easy) was about a giraffe.  The girls at a school danced a maypole dance around the giraffe using its neck as the pole.  I've wanted to be part of a maypole dance ever since.  I guess I should put it on my bucket list.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

No Wild Ginger around here**

Tues., April 18, 1933 - Sent a birthday card to Mom today.  I sorted my patterns tonite and now have each month's material in a separate envelope. That was a real job.  Stayed at the schoolhouse until 5:30.
Wed., April 19, 1933 - Felt sick in school this p.m.  Went home about 4:30.  Tried to sleep awhile.  Bernice Schmidt called up.  She wants to wear my jacket in the play tomorrow nite.  Mayme called.  I'm going to go to Hall's Friday after school, go to show in Norfolk in evening and to dance at Hoskins, back to Winside Saturday morning.
Thurs., April 20, 1933 - School same as usual.  We went to the play at Hoskins this evening.  "Wild Ginger" was its name and it was excellent.  Dorothy Jochens went along.  Mr. and Mrs. Walker took my car and went to Scheurich this evening.

Try as I might, I could not find any information on a play titled "Wild Ginger".  There are several restaurants in the country with that name, and it is a real plant, but none of that insight helped me any.  And yes, that's a photo of wild ginger above.

**Oops, thought I posted this, but it was sitting here patiently as a draft.  So, it is out of order as I already posted 4/21 to 4/23 just a bit ago.**

Out late/early again??

Fri., April 21, 1933 - The grades came today.  Laurence's grades ranged from 80 to 92.  I went to Hall's after school.  Lloyd, Kennard, Mayme, Bernice M. and I went to Norfolk.  The boys went to a prize fight.  We girls saw Sally Eillers in "Sailor's Luck."  After the show we stopped in at Hoskins at Doris Zeimer's charivari dance.
Sat., April 22, 1933 - I got home about 10:45 this morning.  This afternoon Mom, Grandad and I went down town and had the note fixed for the money I loaned Grandad.  I got a book at the library and read it this evening.  We were out to Ola's a few minutes this evening.  Finished a letter to Ray today.
Sun., April 23, 1933 - To S.S. and church this morning.  We worked jig-saw puzzles this afternoon.  The car wouldn't start this evening.  We had Alfred Koplin come up.  The battery was dead.  I guess the switch wasn't turned off last nite.  It was dark when he got it fixed, so we're going to wait until morning to go to Hoskins.

Got home at 10:45 in the morning from the night before?!  If Grandma was out running errands or what-have-you, she doesn't mention it.  Just put that 10:45 right out there like it was nothing.  Hmmpf!

Now that I've recovered from that possible shock, here's a little bit about Sailor's Luck from imdb:

U.S. sailor Jimmy Harrigan, on shore leave in San Pedro, meets and falls for Sally Brent. She promises to wait for him when he ships out to San Francisco, but Jimmy becomes jealous and tells her off when he learns Sally has entered a marathon dance contest sponsored by a lecherous snake named Baron Portola. Along with several of his Navy pals, Jimmy goes to the ballroom the night of the dance marathon, to try to change Sally's mind and win her back.

That's it.  We don't know if Jimmy succeeded or not.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The things you learn

Sat., April 15, 1933 - Mom and I washed the car this a.m.  Took Grussmother to Norfolk with us this p.m.  We went to Jochens and Strate first.  I withdrew $150 from my Postal Savings for Grussmother and Grussfather.  We went to bed early tonite.
Sun., April 16, 1933 - Easter.  To S.S. and church.  A large crowd was there for the Easter services.  We worked jig-saws this p.m.  Uncle Hans and Aunt Lena came about 4:30.  I took the car with me again today.  I went to church with the folks.  The league gave a program this evening.  It was very good.
Mon., April 17, 1933 - A real spring day.  Alfred was sick this p.m.  Mrs. Schermer came after him.  I got a ride to school with Earl Miller.

I had never heard of Postal Savings until reading this diary entry.  I almost glossed right over it, thinking there was "nothing to see here".  But, I gave it a go and found the following on wikipedia:

     The United States Postal Savings System was a postal savings system signed into law by President William Howard Taft and was operated by the United States Post Office Department, predecessor of the United States Postal Service, from January 1, 1911 until July 1, 1967. The system paid depositors 2 percent annual interest. Depositors in the system were initially limited to hold a balance of $500, but this was raised to $1,000 in 1916 and to $2,500 in 1918. At its peak in 1947, the system held almost $3.4 billion in deposits. The system originally had a natural advantage over deposit-taking private banks because the deposits were always backed by "the full faith and credit of the United States Government." However, because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation gave the same guarantee to depositors in private banks, the Postal Savings System lost its natural advantage in trust.

     From 1921, depositors were fingerprinted. This was initially 'not to be associated with criminology' but in some instances the Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar radio show in the early 1950s suggests Postal Savings account fingerprints were used for positive identification in criminal cases.

Note the date on the photo above -- fairly close to April 1933.  How lucky is that?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Two Iversen sightings, or rather a sighting of two Iversens

Wed., April 12, 1933 - A man stopped at school this a.m. to ask where Alvin Marshal and Venus Gnirk lived.  The kids caught a mouse this noon and led it by a string around its neck.  The wind blew me home this evening.  Read until 9:00 and then went to bed.
Thurs., April 13, 1933 - Windy all day.  I made out report cards after school.  We listened to the radio until 9:00 and then went to bed.  Evelyn made some cupcakes with Easter eggs on top for me to give to my pupils tomorrow.
Fri., April 14, 1933 - We had a treasure hunt today to find the Easter treat.  I drove over to Behmers for my check.  Got home just fine.  I went to lodge with Alma tonite.  Three new members, Helen & Raymond Iversen and Mrs. Art Von Seggern were initiated this evening. Home at 1:15.

Of course, this photo was taken no where near 1933, but it is a smashing picture of (left to right):  Raymond I., Elmer Nielsen, Irene I., Helen Jones (formerly Iversen) and Howard I.  How could I have forgotten how short Aunt Irene was?  She is considerably shorter than Aunt Helen, and Aunt Helen was no giant in the height department.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Definitely related

Sun., April 9, 1933 - To S.S. and church this a.m.  I went out to Ola's with the car and brought them in to dinner.  Took them home again about 6:00.  I took the car to Walkers and will keep it here this week.  Went to church with the folks this evening.
Mon., April 10, 1933 - Snowed a little early this morning.  Laurence didn't think the exams so hard.  After looking over the questions, I decided he should have gotten fairly good grades.  Listened to the radio this eve.  Martin Schermers were over awhile.  I stayed up until 12:00 to finish "In His Steps."  It was so interesting I couldn't find a place to stop.
Tues., April 11, 1933 - I took the fair cards to school this morning.  They've been up in the closet since last fall.  The ladies started house cleaning, the boys' and my bedroom were first.  The girls rearranged the furniture in my room.  I surely like it now. Washed and finger waved my hair tonite.

Not that I had any doubts, but Grandma and I are certainly related.  I have stayed up late reading a book I didn't want to put down.  And I certainly have been guilty (on multiple occasions) of having something sit in the house for multiple months that didn't have to.

I had not heard of the book "In His Steps" nor the movie made in 1964 from the book.  Here I thought WWJD was a new phenomenon.  Guess not.  Here is information from wikipedia:

     In His Steps is a best-selling religious fiction novel written by Charles Monroe Sheldon. First published in 1896, the book has sold more than 30,000,000 copies, and ranks as one of the best-selling books of all time. The full title of the book is In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?.

     Though variations of the subtitle "What would Jesus do" have been used by Christians for centuries as a form of imitatio dei, the imitation of God, it gained much greater currency following publication of the book.

     Chicago Advance, the original publisher, failed to register the copyright in the proper form. Other publishers took advantage of this, publishing the book without paying the author royalties. Thus lower prices and multiple publishers led to larger sales.

     In 1896, for his Sunday night services, Sheldon thought he would write a story, which would continue one chapter a week, about various persons who applied "What would Jesus do?" to their lives. Sheldon was soon preaching to a packed crowd. When the story was over, it was published in the Advance, one chapter per week, and finally the Advance printed a ten-cent paperback edition which sold 100,000 copies in a few weeks.

     In His Steps takes place in the railroad town of Raymond, probably located in the eastern U.S.A. (Chicago, IL and the coast of Maine are mentioned as being accessible by train), and Chicago Illinois. The main character is the Rev. Henry Maxwell, pastor of the First Church of Raymond, who challenges his congregation to not do anything for a whole year without first asking: “What Would Jesus Do?” Other characters include Ed Norman, senior editor of the Raymond Daily Newspaper, Rachel Winslow, a talented singer, and Virginia Page, an heiress, to name a few.

     The novel begins on a Friday morning when a man out of work (later identified as Jack Manning) appears at the front door of Henry Maxwell while the latter is preparing for that Sunday’s upcoming sermon. Maxwell listens to the man’s helpless plea briefly before brushing him away and closing the door. The same man appears in church at the end of the Sunday sermon, walks up to “the open space in front of the pulpit,” and faces the people. No one stops him. He quietly but frankly confronts the congregation—“I’m not complaining; just stating facts.”—about their compassion, or apathetic lack thereof, for the jobless like him in Raymond. Upon finishing his address to the congregation, he collapses, and dies a few days later.

     That next Sunday, Henry Maxwell, deeply moved by the events of the past week, presents a challenge to his congregation: “Do not do anything without first asking, ‘What would Jesus do?’” This challenge is the theme of the novel and is the driving force of the plot. From this point on, the rest of the novel consists of certain episodes that focus on individual characters as their lives are transformed by the challenge.

     Norman decides not to print a prize fight, and to discontinue the Sunday edition, leaving a drop in subscriptions. Alexander Powers starts a small meeting for the railroad men, but also discovers the railroad's fraud against the ICC. He resigns his post, and goes to work as a telegraph clerk. Rollin Page proposes to Rachel Winslow, who rejects him, because he has no direction. Later Rachel and Virginia help Mr. and Mrs. Gray with meetings in the Rectangle (an area surrounded by saloons), and Rollin experiences conversion. Later, Virginia takes Laureen, a drunken lady who was earlier converted, to her house, to the dismay of her grandmother who leaves for high society. Jasper Chase, against the "What Would Jesus Do" vow, decides to print his novel anyways. Virginia later uses her inheritance to buy the Rectangle property and also to help Norman's newspaper. Rollin, having a purpose for his life helping people, declares love for Rachel.

     Chapters 16–24 shift the action to Chicago, with Dr. Calvin Bruce from Chicago visiting Raymond, and writing what he saw. He then decides to try similarly. Dr. Bruce does a similar pledge. His bishop, Bishop Edward Hampton visits him also. Rachel's cousins, Felicia and Rose are orphaned when their father commits suicide and their mother dies of shock. They go to live in Raymond for a little bit. Dr. Bruce and the Bishop start a work in the Settlement (similar to the Rectangle), with help from Felicia. The Bishop is held up, but the robber realizes the Bishop was the same person who helped him, and he reforms. Some of the characters from the earlier chapters, such as Henry Maxwell, Rachel Winslow, appear to see the work in the Settlement. The last chapter has a vision Henry Maxwell sees, telling some of the future of many of the characters in the book.

I can't say this summary does much for me; I would have to read the book to figure out the attraction.