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. ”

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Big Timer

Thur., May 18, 1933 - Washed today.  We got through quite early considering the big washing we had.  I slept most of the afternoon and went to bed quite early tonite.  My muscles aren't used to such hard labor and had to be rubbed with alcohol.
Fri., May 19, 1933 - Mom and I ironed this forenoon and cleaned up the house this afternoon.  This evening we went to the Commencement Exercises at the school house.  Lydia came up with Arnold and Clarence Schmitt.  We drove around a little after the Exercises were over.
Sat., May 20, 1933 - Lydia and I went down town this morning.  I baked a cake right after dinner.  It would have been better if the oven hadn't been too hot.  We went down town with Alma this evening.  She took us to the show, Ben Lyons in "The Big Timer."  After the show we had a soda at the drug store.

Wikipedia let me down as far as a summary of the plot of this movie, but saved the day.  It sounds like a decent enough flick:

     Ben Lyon plays an aspiring boxer in this pre-code drama. Cookie Bradford (Ben Lyon) toils at a diner and works out at the gym while waiting for his big break. His one supporter is the gym owner's daughter, Honey (Constance Cummings). When her father dies suddenly, she decides to take over his business. The fighters, however, have no faith in a woman, and they all walk out on her -- except for Bradford. She begins coaching him and he starts winning fights. But when they marry and head for the big city, male prejudice towards Honey works against them until she manages to place Bradford in a charity fight held by a socialite (Thelma Todd). Bradford then fights his way up to Madison Square Garden, but it all goes to his head. He ignores Honey in favor of the socialite, and dumps her as a manager in favor of Dan Wilson, a man with a big name and big promises. But Bradford's luck runs out and he loses his way to the bottom of the bill. It takes Honey's ingenuity to make him into a contender once again.

Monday, July 11, 2016

What about the dance?

Mon., May 15, 1933 - Ordered a new radiator.  Alma and I went to Norfolk on the noon train.  We had dinner at Trano's.  Went to the matinee, Clark Gable in "The White Sister".  A sad picture, our eyes were red and our noses running by the time it was over.  Came home on the bus.  Howard was here a few minutes this evening.  He brought me a ticket for the baseball dance tomorrow nite.
Tues., May 16, 1933 - Mom cleaned the west room yesterday and today we cleaned the southeast bedroom.  We set out tomato plants this evening.  Annie, Ola, and the kids were here this evening.
Wed., May 17, 1933 - We cleaned the hall bedroom today.  This morning Mom and I planted sweet corn, cabbage, and muskmelon.  This evening we went to the Eighth Grade Promotion Exercises at the school house.  The play was very good.

You go, Helen Hayes -- top billing above Clark Gable.  Here's the plot from wikipedia:

     Italian aristocrat Angela Chiaromonte (Helen Hayes) spurns the potential husband chosen by her father (Lewis Stone) in favor of Giovanni Severi (Clark Gable), a handsome army lieutenant. When her lover is reported killed in World War I, Hayes renounces the world to become a nun. After she takes her vows, the lieutenant shows up very much alive. He implores her to give up the order, but she refuses. The lieutenant is later injured in a bombing raid; he dies, with Angela lovingly at his side.

It does surely should like a tear-jerker.

Grandma does mention if she went to the dance, but instead talked of gardening and visitors.  I wonder what was up with that.  Feeling sorry for Grandpa here, but since I know it all turned out okay, I won't get too worked up.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Picnic and post-picnic

Fri., May 12, 1933 - Heavy fog this morning, it lifted by 10:00.  Only 38 at the picnic.  I guess the muddy roads kept the rest away.  We played ball this p.m.  I went to Rebekah lodge tonite.  They had a shower for Louise Lautenbaugh Ramsey.  Alma sent a letter to the lodge asking to be dropped from the membership.  Howard took me home.
Sat., May 13, 1933 - We started for Norfolk but the car wasn't working very well so we came home as soon as I had my check.  We stopped out to Ola's awhile.  We were down town a few minutes this evening.  Today was warm and sunshiny, the opposite of yesterday.
Sun., May 14, 1933 - To S.S. and church this morning.  Ola came in this morning and took the car home with him.  I slept most of the afternoon.  This evening Mom and I went to the Baccalaureate Services at the school house.

Ola taking the car must answer Nancy's question in a comment to a previous post about Grandma having a car or not having a car at this time in her life.  I am guessing she borrowed it for a time, for whatever reason.

Too bad the nice weather missed the picnic by a day.  I don't know how many she might have been expecting, but 38 sounds like a decent crowd.

I best do a bit of Winside history, since I haven't for a while.  Here is 1909.

     February 11, Walter Gaebler and Wm. Gabler encountered a severe snow storm when the former was called out by a death in a family north and west of here.  The storm continued so badly that it was necessary to stay there two nights.
     March 11, Mrs. Wm. Witte was taken to Omaha for an operation from which she never recovered.
     April 15, Janitor Dave Leary has torn up the old board side walks on the south side of the school house in preparation for a new concrete walk.
     October 7, C. E. Benshoof purchased the large Carter car of Wylie McClusky and can run it to "beat the band."
     December 23, Prof. J. A. Dimmick, formerly principal here in 1907, committed suicide.

I found an Alvena Witte buried at Winside that died in 1909.  Born in 1872, so she was young.

I also found from the Valentine Democrat of Valentine Nebraska, the following:

Superintendent of Public Schools at Sterling Commits Suicide

Prof. J. A. Dimmick, superintendent of the public schools at Sterling, committed suicide Thursday evening by shooting himself through the temple with a rifle.  He died instantly.  The cause has not been ascertained.  He was 32 years old and leaves a widow and a son 5 years old.  He carried a life certificate and was popular as an educator and a citizen.

Prof. Dimmick had been despondent since his name had been mentioned in connection with the case of Miss Lora Neff, who had accused her father of misconduct.  The case was to be heard next week in court.  Miss Neff had, however, made affidavit exonerating Prof. Dimmick, and the school board had given him a vote of confidence.

Strange stuff . . .

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Rain, rain go away

Tues., May 9, 1933 - We reviewed for quarterly exams today and continued working on fair things.  Mom came to Walker's about 6:00.  We went to the Mother-Daughter Banquet at the church.   We surely enjoyed it.  They had a nice program.  Mom went back to Winside after the banquet.  She had planned staying here and going home tomorrow morning, but was afraid it might rain.
Wed., May 10, 1933 - Raining this morning.  I bet Mom's glad she went home last nite.  We had examinations today.  I went home with Nurnberg's tonite.  We surely had a delicious supper.  After supper we worked a jig-saw puzzle.
Thur., May 11, 1933 - Finished exams and fair work today.  This p.m. we prepared for the picnic tomorrow.  I went home with Delmar Stamm this evening.  We had another good meal.  Worked a jig-saw puzzle tonite.  The weather is still rainy and cloudy.

It is so easy to take for granted things that we don't even realize we are taking for granted.  Like not having to worry all that much if it might rain and how that would affect our travel.

That's it because I want to get this posted -- crazy days lately with guests from out of state at the house.  :-)