Thursday, October 19, 2017

Not much to work with

Tues., September 24, 1935 - I put the curtains up this morning.  The children thought they were pretty.
Wed., September 25, 1935 - Robert absent today.  We got a load of coal at school tonite about 5:00.  The basement floor and everything else is black down there.
Thurs., September 26, 1935 - Robert still gone.  Rather cold today.  Corrected papers, averaged grades, and made out report cards tonite.

Grandma sure isn't giving me much to work with lately.  But, on we go.

I do note that it seems teachers spending their own money (I am guessing that is what Grandma did here) for classroom improvements and supplies is not a recent phenomenon. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Over here, over there?

Sat., September 21, 1935 - Slept late.  Washed clothes and started making the school curtains.  Mom and I went down town tonite.
Sun., September 22, 1935 - Ray cut down a cottonwood tree over home this morning and brought it over here.  He left for Wayne about 1:30.  At about 2:00 Art Kahler, his wife and their baby came here.  We were surely surprised.  Art is working in Plainview.  He has a lovely wife.  Mom and I finished the school curtains this evening.  Howard brought me to Goodlings.
Mon., September 23, 1935 - I pressed the new curtains tonite after school.  Went to bed early.

I wonder what the distinction is between "over home" and "over here".  I assume "over here" is the house in Winside.  Did Grussfather and Grussmother own two properties in 1935?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The flag and a tea

Wed., September 18, 1935 - We said the flag salute outside this morning.  They finished grading past the school house today.  Irene and Helen came up after school.  We finished our orders.  Went to town with Goodlings for about an hour tonite.  Mom wasn't at home.  She was at the free movies.
Thurs., September 19, 1935 - We put the flag up and had the flag salute outside again this morning.  Hot today.  We played ball again.  Washed and waved my hair tonite.
Fri., September 20, 1935 - Partly cloudy this a.m.  Played Indian baseball with the girls.  Tonite Mom and I went to Hoskins to see the "Womanless Tea" with Howard and the girls.

The school flag, like the one above, would have had 48 stars.  And here's a little trivia about that from

     On July 4,1912, the U.S. flag grew to 48 stars with the addition of New Mexico (January 6th, 1912) and Arizona (February 14, 1912).  An Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 - established the proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward. This flag was official for 47 years, longer than any other flag, through two World Wars and the emergence of the United States of America as the leading nation of the world. Eight Presidents served under this flag; William H. Taft (1909-1913), Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), Warren Harding (1921-1923), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929), Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945), Harry S.Truman (1945-1953), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961).

The flag aside, I see there was another Womanless Tea.  Must have been quite the deal at the time.

Monday, October 9, 2017


Sun., September 15, 1935 - Ray was home this afternoon.  Tonite Howard took me to Charlie Jochens.  They told us yesterday we could have some grapes if we came after them, so we did.
Mon., September 16, 1935 - My glasses didn't come today.  Irene came up after school.  We got our order partly made out.
Tues., September 17, 1935 - I got my glasses today.  They feel fine.  We all played ball together this noon.

Grandma didn't give me much to work with, so here's some information on grapes from, of course, wikipedia:

     The cultivation of the domesticated grape began 6,000–8,000 years ago in the Near East.  Yeast, one of the earliest domesticated microorganisms, occurs naturally on the skins of grapes, leading to the discovery of alcoholic drinks such as wine. The earliest archeological evidence for a dominant position of wine-making in human culture dates from 8,000 years ago in Georgia. The oldest known winery was found in Armenia, dating to around 4000 BC. By the 9th century AD the city of Shiraz was known to produce some of the finest wines in the Middle East. Thus it has been proposed that Syrah red wine is named after Shiraz, a city in Persia where the grape was used to make Shirazi wine. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics record the cultivation of purple grapes, and history attests to the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans growing purple grapes for both eating and wine production. The growing of grapes would later spread to other regions in Europe, as well as North Africa, and eventually in North America.

     In North America, native grapes belonging to various species of the Vitis genus proliferate in the wild across the continent, and were a part of the diet of many Native Americans, but were considered by European colonists to be unsuitable for wine. Vitis vinifera cultivars were imported for that purpose.

I am guessing The Jochens grapes were the native versus, not the high-society cultivars import from Europe.  But . . . I might be wrong.  Adding to the mystery, if one wants to call it that, is the following from wikipedia.  Those varieties that might grow in the Midwest are notably absent from this list:

     Most grapes come from cultivars of Vitis vinifera, the European grapevine native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. Minor amounts of fruit and wine come from American and Asian species such as:
     Vitis amurensis is the most important Asian species.
     Vitis labrusca, the North American table and grape juice grapevines (including the Concord cultivar), sometimes used for wine, are native to the Eastern United States and Canada.
     Vitis mustangensis, (the mustang grape) found in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma.
     Vitis riparia, a wild vine of North America, is sometimes used for winemaking and for jam. It is native to the entire Eastern U.S. and north to Quebec.
     Vitis rotundifolia (the muscadines) used for jams and wine, are native to the Southeastern United States from Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico.

Given all that, as long as there is wine on the shelf at the store when I'm thirsty for it, I'm good.

P.S.  I snagged the photo from wikipedia, too.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The answer to a question I hadn't thought of

Thurs., September 12, 1935 - Face better today.  Howard took me into town tonite.
Fri., September 13, 1935 - Had today off for the Fair.  I went to Norfolk with Howard and had my eyes tested for glasses.  Went to Lodge tonite.
Sat., September 14, 1935 - Mom and I went to Wayne this morning on the train.  Went up to Meta's until after dinner and went to the Fair with Ray.  Came home with Ola and Annie.  Jochens brought us some grapes.

I realize now that I never knew when Grandma started wearing glasses -- from peeking ahead, I can confirm she did get some after this particular appointment.  I do not recall seeing photos of her wearing any in her younger days.  So, either she did not have them prior to 1935 or always took them off for photos.  I can't see her being vain about that, so if she did maybe it was to prevent glare from the flash. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

More than you wanted to know

Mon., September 9, 1935 - Clear and sunshiny.  My left jaw is swelling up.  The wisdom tooth is acting up again.
Tues., September 10, 1935 - Put in a bad nite with my jaw.  My face is swollen pretty big today.  Howard stopped at the school house tonite while he was dragging the road.  We have all day Friday off for the Fair.
Wed., September 11, 1935 - Jaw just as big and sore as yesterday.  I can't enjoy eating anything.  By night my face was a little better.  Mr. Goodling got some aspirins tonite for me.

Well, here's some things you may not have known about aspirin.  From wikipedia:

    Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), is a medication used to treat pain, fever, or inflammation.  It, in the form of leaves from the willow tree, has been used for its health effects for at least 2,400 years.  In 1853, chemist Charles Frédéric Gerhardt treated sodium salicylate with acetyl chloride to produce acetylsalicylic acid for the first time.  In the second half of the nineteenth century, other chemists established the chemical structure and came up with more efficient methods to make it.  In 1897, scientists at Bayer began studying acetylsalicylic acid as a less-irritating replacement for common salicylate medicines.  By 1899, Bayer had named the drug Aspirin and was selling it around the world.  The word Aspirin was Bayer's brand name; however, their rights to the trademark were lost or sold in many countries.  Aspirin's popularity grew over the first half of the twentieth century leading to competition between many brands and formulations.

     Aspirin is one of the most widely used medications globally with an estimated 40,000 tonnes (50 to 120 billion pills) being consumed each year.  It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.  Aspirin is available as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing world as of 2014 is $0.002 to $0.025 per dose.  As of 2015 the cost for a typical month of medication in the United States is less than $25.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A fun time had by all x 2

Fri., September 6, 1935 - Howard came early tonite.  We went to "The Womanless Tea" at Hoskins given by the American Legion.  It was a scream.  During the play the rain just came down in sheets.
Sat., September 7, 1935 - To Wayne on the train this morning.  Aunt Mildred was going to Wayne.  Miss Sewell told me that she's left Uncle Chris!  Rainy all day.
Sun., September 8, 1935 - Ray came home last nite.  Ray, Mom, Alma and I went to the Rebekah picnic at Pete Christensen's.  Everybody ate too much, I believe.  Howard brought me to Goodling's tonite.

The best I can find out, "A Womanless Tea" is a production involving men dressed up as women.  Whether there's an actual story, or more of a fashion show of sorts, I can't tell.  It puts me in mind of the Winside centennial when guys, most of whom were also in the "best beard" competition, dressed up as ladies and paraded around the bandstand.  Anyone who was there likely remembers it as well.

Here's how a newspaper in Texas described it:

A "Womanless Tea" was given by the P-TA in the grammar school auditorium on the evening of March 13, 1931.

Thirty-eight business and professional men in Rising Star made up the cast, each dressed in "ladies garb".  There were flappers, demure maidens, dignified matrons, and famous characters.

F. W. Roberds represented Mrs. Al Smith; Martin Joyce was "Ma" Ferguson; the late Sam Johnson and Hubert Jones were bathing beauties; Hugh Childress was a hula dancer; the late Wm. Koonce and Cecil Joyce acted as maids; Babe Wood was the hostess, a charming and gracious one, assisted by her "daughter", Dallas Dill, who did much to help her mother in entertaining guests.  School Supt. Dawson, Ray Agnew and Clark Crownover were among the most charming flappers.  Among the cast were F. V. Tunnell, R. O. Jacobs, Ray Agnew, W. E. Tyler, Cecil Shults and Fred Eberhart.

The "tea" was well attended and afforded much merriment as well as a substantial financial boost for the P-TA."

The references to deceased members must strike you, dear reader, as a bit odd.  The article I found was in a newspaper printed in 1966 from a column that is a sort of "this day in local history" kind of thing.  So, the late Sam Johnson and the late Wm. Koonce must have passed between 1931 and 1966, not between the time of the event and the short period until it was reported first in the newspaper.  I hope so, anyway.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Rain, rain go away

Tues., September 3, 1935 - School went just fine. Another rain this afternoon.  Typed tonite and then listened to the radio.
Wed., September 4, 1935 - Jean and Marjorie brought muskmelons to school.  They tasted fine.  It seems today that finally after about 3 weeks of cold and rainy weather it's going to warm up.  I hope so.
Thurs., September 5, 1935 - School as usual.  I should have studied tonite but didn't feel like it.

Grandma's not all that talkative at the moment.  The fourth day of school and it's already "as usual".  I hope things pick up a bit.  I'm ready to talk about canning again.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

No more canning; school has started

Sat., August 31, 1935 - Mom washed clothes this morning.  I helped some.  I went to Wayne to the teacher's meeting with Alma, Irene, and Helen.  Tonite Raymond, Helen, Irene, Howard and I went to Wayne.  We saw "Going Highbrow" and Shirley Temple in "Curly Top".  Ray went to Wayne this a.m. to see if he could get work with Joe Baker.
Sun., September 1, 1935 - Rained about all day.  Ray came home at noon from Uncle Hans', to Wayne with Willie, home again at 4:30.  He starts working for Joe Baker tomorrow.  He's going to board and room with Meta.  Howard took me and my junk to Goodlings tonite.
Mon., September 2, 1935 - Just had school this morning.  Cloudy all day.  Jean, Marjorie, and Verdelle Mae were here at school all afternoon, so I didn't get much work done.  Typed tonite.

Here's what wikipedia has to say about "Going Highbrow".  I think it sounds rather fun:

     Going Highbrow is a 1935 American comedy-musical film directed by Robert Florey. Guy Kibbee and Zasu Pitts play a newly rich couple, so eager to buy their way into society they hire a waitress to pose as their daughter.

"Curly Top" I have heard of, but have not seen.  I did not realize the song "Animal Crackers in my Soup" is from this movie.  From wikipedia:

     Young Elizabeth Blair (Shirley Temple) lives at the Lakeside Orphanage, a dreary, regimented place supervised by two decent but dour women. Her older sister Mary (Rochelle Hudson) works in the kitchen, laundry, and dormitory. Elizabeth is a sweet child but her high spirits often lead her into trouble with the superintendent.

     When the trustees descend on the orphanage for a tour of inspection, Elizabeth is caught playfully mimicking the head trustee and is threatened with being sent to a public institution. Young, rich, handsome trustee Edward Morgan (John Boles) intervenes. He takes a liking to Elizabeth and, in a private interview with the child, learns that most of her life has been spent obsequiously expressing her gratitude for every mouthful that has fallen her way. He adopts her but, not wanting to curb Elizabeth's spirit by making her feel slavishly obligated to him for every kindness, he tells her a fictitious "Hiram Jones" is her benefactor and he is simply acting on Jones's behalf as his lawyer. He nicknames her "Curly Top." Meanwhile, he has met and fallen in love with Elizabeth's sister Mary but will not admit it.

     Elizabeth and Mary leave the orphanage and take up residence in Morgan's luxurious Southampton beach house. His kindly aunt, Genevieve Graham (Esther Dale), and his very proper butler Reynolds (Arthur Treacher) are charmed by the two. Elizabeth has everything a child could want including a pony cart and silk pajamas.

     Mary secretly loves Morgan but, believing he has no romantic interest in her, she accepts an offer of marriage from young navy pilot Jimmie Rogers (Maurice Murphy). Morgan is taken aback but offers his congratulations. Hours later, Mary ends the engagement when she realizes she doesn't truly love Jimmie. Morgan then declares his love, reveals he is the fictitious "Hiram Jones", and plans marriage and a long honeymoon in Europe with Mary.

A happy ending for the movie, and now I have a song caught in my head . . .

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Old Settlers

Wed., August 28, 1935 - Put the apples away and cleaned up the house.  Met Mom at the train tonite.  Ray and Willie came back tonite at 12:00 from Dalton.  Ray took Willie up to his home.
Thurs., August 29, 1935 - Old Settler's Picnic.  Dora and George from Blair, Meta, Lyle, Annie, Ola and kids here for dinner.  I was down town from 4:30 to 6:30.  Had a dandy talk with Carrie Hansen.  Howard was here this evening.
Fri., August 30, 1935 - We all got up late this morning.  Mom, Ray and I went to Norfolk this p.m.  Dora was visiting Grandmother all afternoon.

I wonder what Old Settlers was like in 1935.  I am guessing Winside didn't rate a fancy schmancy ride like The Whip shown above, but isn't it neat?  Look at the painting on the side of the cars.  Wow.  Photo from

Monday, September 18, 2017

Tired of canning

Sun., August 25, 1935 - To S. S. and church.  Ola brought some apples just as I left for S. S.  After church Alma and I rode out to Troutman's with Mr. Freese.  We took some fruit from the Rebekahs to Neville who had her tonsils taken out last week.  Howard came in tonight and we went up to Aunt Emma's.  We brought home over a half bushel of cucumbers.  She's going to bring more Thurs.
Mon., August 26, 1935 - Canned 2 quarts of tomatoes and salted down the pickles.  Mrs. Jordan and Mary Claire here this evening to see Mom about sewing.  Gilbert and Hazel brought us a half sack of Whitney crabs and a small dishpan of grapes!  Aren't they nice!
Tues., August 27, 1935 - Baked bread and cinnamon rolls.  Canned 14-1/2 quarts of pickled apples.  Ola and Annabelle were here this afternoon.

I don't know if Grandma was tired of canning, but I'm certainly getting there.

Friday, September 15, 2017

She's an Energizer Bunny -- more canning

Thurs., August 22, 1935 - Canned 2 quarts and 2 pints of tomatoes.  Boiled some apples for apple butter.  Meta and Melvin, Alma, and Mrs. Loebsack were here this afternoon.
Fri., August 23, 1935 - Felt punk today.  Boiled apples for jell.  Uncle Hans here in p.m.  He, Grandma R., Lillie and Hans are going to Dalton this weekend.  Alma and I went to lodge and came home from lodge together.  Rebekah picnic at Pete Christensen's September 8.
Sat., August 24, 1935 - Canned 4 quarts and 2 pints of tomatoes, 3 quarts of apple juice and 4 quarts of apple pulp.  Ola here a few minutes at noon.  Rained tonight but Howard came up anyway.  Got a card from Aunt Emma saying we could have pickles if we wanted them.

I think it's time for some Winside history, this installment is for 1911:

     January 5, the Halstead stock of dry goods and groceries has been purchased by George Gabler.
     January 19, Fred Bright bought the Lloyd Prince interest in the Winside Dray and will take possession February 1.
     February 2, T. A. Strong has taken over route No. 2 succeeding Dick Waddell.
     February 9, Mesdames Grace Cavanaugh, Lydia Needham and Lute Miller of the Woman's Club, went before the town board to present the Free Public Library idea to them.  The board will act on this next month.
     February 11, Helen Hoffman's school, the Rew District, made $58.00 clear on their box supper.
     February 16, the band played a few selections in the band stand this afternoon.  The day was warm and just like summer.
    February 23, W. D. Whitaker is the new agent of the railroad.
     March 2, H. O. Sipp and family have moved to Gordon, Nebraska; Godfrey Shabrum and family to Sheridan county; Art Larken and wife to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; W. J. Templeton and family to Wessington, South Dakota.
     March 2, Fire destroyed the Wm. Thies pool hall.
     March 16, Mrs. R. B. Crawford was granted a divorce claiming non-support.  Her husband owned the business section of Winside from 1884 to 1886.
     March 23, Library benefit play, "Grand Opera at Persimmon Ridge," was given to a packed house.
     April 13, J. R. Mundy moved to Aurora, Illinois.
     April 14, Sam Reichert drove home his new International automobile.
     May 4, George Gabler is the first merchant to deliver his groceries by auto.
     May 25, most of our autoists can get up enough speed to go up a hill on "high" except when they are accompanied by a young lady.  Then for some reason they are obliged to use the "low."  This is said to be no fault of the machines.
     June 8, Walter Gaebler has a new Mitchell auto.
     June 23, those taking the 8th grade examinations today are:  Gladys Mettlen, Naomi McDaniels, John Mettlen, Clarence Henderson, Minnie Stamm, Mary Von Seggern, Katie Dimmel, Caroline Dysart, Leo Farran and Alta Prince.
     August 10, the horrible looking telephone wires on main street will be placed in a cable this month.
     September 14, depot platform has been taken up and is being replaced by brick.
     October 12, rummage auction sale was held to benefit the library.
     November 2, Champ Clark spoke three minutes from the rear of the train to an unusually large crowd.
     November 2, Prof. Bicknell arranged a debate in the opera house on the question, "Which has done more to determine the destiny of a nation, Lincoln or Jefferson."  A .W. Stockham and M. H. Boyle supported Lincoln and Walter Gaebler and Dr. B. M. McIntyre, Jefferson.  Mrs. I. O. Brown sang two selections and Tot Chapin rendered a piano solo.  Jefferson debaters won.

A few findings --  I found a very short summary of the play: "Wax figures" with vacant stare and jerky movement sing killing songs. Uproariously funny.  I guess we'll take them at their word.  Also, from wikipedia:  James Beauchamp "Champ" Clark was a prominent American politician in the Democratic Party from the 1890's until his death.  He represented Missouri in the United States House of Representatives and served as Speaker of the House from 1911 to 1919.   I read elsewhere in the Winside history book a piece about Dr. McIntrye.  It portrayed him as quite the good person.  I'll get around to adding some of those biographies once I've finished with the year-by-year information.

I've used the photo before, but here's a nice one of the Pete Christensen family.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Told ya

Mon., August 19, 1935 - Annie came about 8:00 this a.m.  We stopped for Marian Jordan.  Today we canned 23 pints plus 16 quarts of corn and 4 quarts of apple sauce for us and 29 quarts of corn for Annie.  We had a dandy rain tonite, started about 7:00.  Stayed all night.
Tues., August 20, 1935 - Edwin brought me and the canned goods home this morning.  I canned up 3 quarts of apple pulp.  Typed again this afternoon and evening.
Wed., August 21, 1935 - Washed and waved my hair, baked bread, and canned 3 1/2 quarts of ripe cucumber pickles.  Went down town with Alma.  Howard was here when I came home.

See?  Lots of canning.  I know the basement was somewhat roomy, but it seems like they would be buried in canning jars by now.

For no particular reason, here is one of my favorite photos from a long-ago family reunion, or maybe 4th of July picnic.

Monday, September 11, 2017

More canning

Fri., August 16, 1935 - Canned 5 pints of tomatoes.  Went to Hans Ehlers' funeral this afternoon with Ola's.  Tonite Hazel and Gilbert Jochens brought us some apples.
Sat., August 17, 1935 - Cleaned the house and canned a quart of tomatoes.  Howard was here tonite and took me down town to do my shopping.  The Iversen and Rew girls are leaving Tuesday on a trip to the Black Hills.
Sun., August 18, 1935 - Slept late this morning.  Washed the jars for the corn and peeled apples for sauce.  Went up to Alma's this evening.  Had some ice cream there.

Spoiler alert -- there is even more canning coming up.  Basically, lots and lots of canning.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A productive three days

Tues., August 13, 1935 - Alma brought our roaster back this morning. I peeled and cleaned the cucumbers.  Typed school stuff this afternoon and evening.
Wed., August 14, 1935 - Canned 4 1/2 quarts of ripe cucumber pickles and 3 pints of tomatoes.  Went down town with Alma to the free movie.  Saw the Iversens afterward and they brought us home.
Thurs., August 15, 1935 - Washed today and canned 3 quarts of apple pulp and 1 pint of apple butter.  Got letters from Ray and Mom today.

Based on this and previous diary entries, it seems those Iversen siblings hung out with one another quite a bit.  And why not?  I always thought they were lots of fun!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Little bit of canning

Sat., August 10, 1935 - Alma came up this p.m. with the news that Hank Lautenbaughs have a baby boy and Mom should go there tomorrow morning.  Howard and I went to Wayne tonite.
Sun., August 11, 1935 - Mom left on morning train.  Howard came at 9:30 with roasting ears and Irene's typewriter.  I typed school stuff this p.m.  Howard here again rather late this evening.
Mon., August 12, 1935 - Baked bread and canned 6 qts. of pickled beets and 1 pint of tomatoes.  Annie and Ola here tonite - brought us some apples, ripe cucumbers and a head of cabbage.

A few clicks and I see that the Lautenbaugh baby was named Dean and he lives or once lived in Bellevue.  The Lautenbaugh family moved to Iowa at some point, but that's as far as I can get.

I did not think anyone ever canned just one pint of anything.  Canning, in my memory, was always a big quantity endeavor.  The things you learn . . .  The photo is of Laplander learning there is a guinea behind her.  Do know that nothing awful happened in the moments and minutes after I snapped the picture; everyone went peaceably on their way.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A quilting machine!

Wed., August 7, 1935 - Mom and I mowed more lawn this morning.  Grandad walked out to Ola's this morning for threshing.  He was home again for dinner.  We baked bread and a meat loaf for Alma for the Luther League Convention that is meeting here today and tomorrow.  Mom went down town tonite and went to the convention vesper service at the church.  Came home with Alma.
Thurs., August 8, 1935 - Finished the top of my star quilt this morning!  Hurrah!  Mom and I went to church tonite to the League Convention.  Walked home with Alma.
Fri., August 9, 1935 - Worked on a quilting design this p.m.  Cleaned up house in a.m.  Went to lodge tonite, just 5 there including Verna Ditman.  There was no lunch committee so Alma took us to Bohe's and treated us.

Grandma got her star quilt pattern on May 25 and here she had it all pieced by August 8.  Never mind that she was also busy picking cherries and canning this and that, going to a dance out of town and losing some silverware, mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, and running around with Grandpa on occasion.  Oh, and she finished a quilt she had already started before diving in to the star quilt.  I knew she was an amazing go-getter, but wow!

And here's an undated photo of Grandma looking fabulous.  And wearing a hat, which she normally did not do.  Hurrah!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Sun., August 4, 1935 - To Sunday School and church again for a change.  Slept and read most of the afternoon.  We had a nice rain tonite.
Mon., August 5, 1935 - Worked on quilts today.  Annie and the kids were in this afternoon for our big coffee pot.  They're having threshers tomorrow.
Tues., August 6, 1935 - Mom and I worked on our quilts.  Chris Hansen came after Grandad's oats to take out to Ola's to be threshed.  Grandad went along and came back this evening.  Mom and I mowed part of the lawn tonite.

Where would Ola be growing and storing oats?  I sure wish Grandma or Grandpa or Grandma Anna were around to ask these questions to.

The photo is a random one -- I have no idea who those people are.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Darn weather

Thurs., August 1, 1935 - The kids left at 6:30.  Worked on my quilt again.  Mrs. Loebsack was here and asked if Mom would work for Freda at Sioux City.  Mom will go Monday morning.
Fri., August 2, 1935 - I washed clothes and Mom sewed this a.m.  Annie and Ola were here a few minutes.  They went to Wayne and Grandad went with them, business of some kind.  Mrs. Schellenberg and Florence were here this evening.
Sat., August 3, 1935 - Mom sewed at Florence Reinbrecht's this a.m.  I ironed and baked bread, good bread, too.  This is the first time I've done it alone.  Barbara L. came tonite and said Mom didn't have to go to Sioux City until a week from Monday.  Howard here this evening.  Chris and Clara were hailed out yesterday.

The photo is from hail damage to a farm just south of North Bend, Nebraska, date unknown.  I don't know what crops Uncle Chris and Aunt Clara planted, but devastation is devastation.  Currently we have the awful hurricane wind damage and flooding in Texas.  So very sad and impossible to wrap one's mind around.

I have no doubt that Grandma's solo bread making was a success.  Other than the loaf she regretfully sawed into pieces in Nancy's and my presence, I do not recall hearing of any bread-ly failures.

Friday, August 25, 2017


Mon., July 29, 1935 - Peggy here all day while Mom worked on her dresses that Roxie brought yesterday.  I went up to Alma's tonite.  She was going to the show with Gerald so I talked to Mrs. L.
Tues., July 30, 1935 - Worked on my star quilt.  It was hot today and not a breeze blowing.  Alma came down tonite.  We lay on the bedspring until 11:30 and talked.
Wed., July 31, 1935 - Ardath and Peggy here this a.m. trying on dresses.  We had a good rain tonite.  Willie, Lillie, Louise and Marjorie Hamm were in town for a kittenball game.  They got caught in the rain and are staying all nite.

I, for one, have never heard of kittenball.  But not being one to let that stand in my way, this is what I found at

     The earliest known “softball/kittenball” game was played in Chicago on Thanksgiving Day 1887 between Yale and Harvard alumni who had gathered at the Farragut Boat Club to hear the score of their annual football game. When the score was announced and bets were settled, a Yale alumnus threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter. The other person grabbed a stick and swung at it. A man named George Hancock called out “Play ball!” and the game began, with the boxing glove tightened into a ball, and a broom handle serving as a bat. This first contest ended with a score of 44-40.  The ball, being soft, was fielded barehanded.

     George Hancock is credited as the game’s inventor for his development of a softball and an undersized bat in the next week. The Farragut Club soon set rules for the game, which spread quickly to outsiders. Envisioned as a way for baseball players to maintain their skills during the winter, the sport was called “Indoor Baseball." Under the name of “Indoor-Outdoor," the game moved outside in the next year, and the first rules were published in 1889.

     In 1895, Lewis Rober, Sr. of Minneapolis organized outdoor games as exercise for firefighters; this game was known as kittenball (after the first team to play it), lemon ball, or diamond ball. Rober’s version of the game used a ball 12 inches (305 mm) in circumference, rather than the 16-inch (406 mm) ball used by the Farragut club, and eventually the Minneapolis ball prevailed, although the dimensions of the Minneapolis diamond were passed over in favor of the dimensions of the Chicago one.

     Sixteen-inch softball, also sometimes referred to as “mush ball” or “super-slow pitch," is a direct descendant of Hancock’s original game. Defensive players are not allowed to wear fielding gloves. Sixteen-inch softball is played extensively in Chicago, where devotees such as the late Mike Royko consider it the “real” game, and New Orleans. In New Orleans, sixteen-inch softball is called “Cabbage Ball” and is a popular team sport in area elementary and high schools.

The things you learn . . .  The date on the photo of kittenball players is quite fortuitous, but I do not know who those young ladies are or where they are from.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bridal shower

Fri., July 26, 1935 - Waved Mom's hair this a.m.  Felt punk today and didn't do much of anything.  Tonite we went to the shower for Margaret Christensen Kallstrom.  They were married last Saturday.  She got a lot of nice gifts.
Sat., July 27, 1935 - Hot again today.  Mom went down town tonite.  Howard came up and we went for a ride.
Sun., July 28, 1935 - Roxie, Peggy, and Ardath came up this morning before we were up, that is about 9:15 and left at 11:00.  So we didn't go to church.  Today seemed like the hottest day this year.

Several new names here -- new to me anyway.  I do not know who Roxie and Peggy and Ardath are.  I did find out the Margaret Christensen Kallstrom has some great names connected to her.  Through the magic of the internet, I discovered her full name was Kiersten Margaretha Christensen and she was the daughter of Thorvald and Elsie Alvina Pedersen Christensen.  Her groom was Gilbert Waldo "Gabe" Kallstrom.  Interestingly, she died in 2005, just like Grandma.  And sure enough, the information I found says they were married on July 20, 1935 in Wayne.

For no particular reason at all, here's a photograph of a young and smiling Grandpa.  If I'm not mistaken, that same grinding stone ended up at Grandma and Grandpa's place in town.  Or maybe one very much like it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Happy birthday little guy

Tues., July 23, 1935 - Ironed clothes.  Lena Nieman from Omaha and Midge Witte were here this afternoon to see Mom. 
Wed., July 24, 1935 - Embroidered on the sampler.  Lillie, Martha and baby, and Uncle Hans were here this p.m.  Today is Martha's baby's first birthday.  Mom and I went down town tonite.  Was to have been a free movie but the guy forgot part of the machine.
Thurs., July 25, 1935 - Mom went quilting this p.m. and I worked on my star quilt.  Tonite Bess, Irene, Dorathea, Helen, and I took the present to Verna at Stanton.

My limited, but sometimes successful, investigative skills have revealed the baby in question is Ronald Maas.  Grandma doesn't mention his name, but it is my understanding that back in the day, children were sometimes not named at birth but later instead.  But who knows what the case was here.

I hope the movie guy that forgot the part wasn't booed too loudly.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back home

Sat., July 20, 1935 - This morning I traced patterns.  I drove Gilbert's car to Norfolk this p.m.  Hazel, Mrs. J. and Bud Maas, a kid from Pierce who is visiting here, went along, too.  Tonite Hazel and I went to Hoskins with Gilbert.  We stayed in the car.
Sun., July 21, 1935 - To S.S. and church this a.m.  After dinner we slept.  Mr. Behmer and Charlotte Faye came over about school business.  C.F. woke us up and talked to us.  Tonite Hazel and I went to League and church.  Gilbert brought us in.  After church they brought me to Winside.
Mon., July 22, 1935 - Rained good early this morning.  I spent most of the day embroidering the sampler I got in Norfolk Saturday.  Hot as blazes this afternoon.

I peeked ahead and it appears Grandma is done picking and canning for a while and can enjoy her needlework.

Just look at the cute kitty in the window of the sampler picture I found.  :-)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mini-vacation for Grandma

Wed., July 17, 1935 - Canned 20 qts. of cherries and made some cherry jam.  I washed and waved my hair.  Helen, Irene, and Bess came for me to go to Norfolk to pick out the wedding present for Verna N. Ditman.  Too busy to go.  Went to Hoskins on train.  Talked to Mrs. Behmer and others until Hazel came.  Saw the free movies.
Thurs., July 18, 1935 - Talked most of the morning.  In the afternoon we took a nap and then looked at quilts and fancy work.
Fri., July 19, 1935 - I embroidered on my cutwork today.  This afternoon we looked through Hazel's patterns.

I don't know who Hazel is and do not know where she lived, so I am not sure how much of a getaway the vacation was, but Grandma looks to be enjoying a well-deserved break from picking and canning cherries.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Eclipse, then and now

Sun., July 14, 1935 - Mom and I went to church.  This p.m. I straightened my cedar chest and the covered box.  Howard here this evening.  We went for a ride.
Mon., July 15, 1935 - We got up at 5:00 this morning to pick cherries.  We picked a little over a bushel.  This p.m. canned 12 pints of peas, beans and carrots.  Saw a total eclipse of the moon tonite.
Tues., July 16, 1935 - Up early again to pick cherries.  We sold 3 bushels of cherries this summer and have a bushel or more for our own use.  Got a card from Hazel J. asking me to come tomorrow and spend several days there.

Well, well.  Here we are in 2017 gearing up for a total solar eclipse and there was a total lunar eclipse back in 1935 for folks to enjoy.  Not that I thought Grandma was fabricating, I did look up lunar eclipses in 1935 and found this:

(Just copy and paste if it isn't clickable.)  Isn't technology wonderful sometimes?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Where was the cherry tree?

Thurs., July 11, 1935 - We canned 5 quarts of pickled beets and 19 quarts of rhubarb.  By nite we were ready for bed.
Fri., July 12, 1935 - We picked a bushel of cherries this morning.  Mom and I washed our hair.  Baked a cake.  Went to installation tonite.  Mom along, too.
Sat., July 13, 1935 - Cleaned up the house.  Aired the bedding and cleaned the hall bedroom.  Howard was up here an hour this evening.

They sure picked a lot of cherries.  I do not remember a cherry tree at Grandma's house.  I will ask (in person) those people in the know for my own edification.  I do fondly remember the apricot tree right by the back door.  I remember being fairly sad when it had to come down.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Noisy moviegoers

Mon., July 8, 1935 - Hot! Hotter! Hottest! today.  Ray left here about 4:00.  He's going up to Stahl's and leave from there tomorrow morning sometime.  Rained some about 6:00 p.m.
Tues., July 9, 1935 - Up at 5:30 and picked cherries. Mom sewed this afternoon and I worked on my star quilt.
Wed., July 10. 1935 - We canned 7 pints of peas.  Mom went to Ladies Aid.  When we were upstairs this evening we heard a lot of noise down town.  We went down town and discovered they were having a free movie in the park.  Saw Howard and he brought us home.

Goodness, just how noisy was it at the movie in the park to catch the attention of those up the hill?

The photo is of Mitch, Anna and me yesterday while we were walking around East Campus.  I thought it was worth sharing.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fun times . . . not!

Fri., July 5, 1935 - We slept late and played lazy all day.  Ray came home in the p.m.  He and Willie Stahl are leaving for the harvest fields Monday.  Picked peas this evening.
Sat., July 6, 1935 - I got up at 5:00 this a.m.  Washed clothes.  Ray, Grandad, and Mom went to Wayne over noon.  Canned 5 pints of peas.  Edwin came up this p.m. and told us about the Kahler family reunion tomorrow at Willie Kahlers.
Sun., July 7, 1935 - Mom, Ray, Uncle Hans, Aunt Emma, Sophia, Walter K. and I went to Dakota City today.  We left here at 11:50 and didn't get there until 3:00!  We didn't start sooner because Ray went up to Uncle Hans' last nite.  It rained there this morning and they needed chains on to get here.  On the way there we had 2 flat tires and car trouble, the engine didn't get gas the way it should.  Walter went along with us because his folks left half an hour before he got here from Norfolk.  He went home with his folks.  We left there at 8:00, got to Aunt Emma's at 10:00.  We had a lunch there before we took Uncle Hans home and then came to Winside.

What a heck of a time getting to a reunion they only heard about the day before.  I did not know any of the Kahlers lived near Dakota City, but I am not really versed on that branch of the family tree.  I guess Grussmother was not feeling well?

From Dakota City's website:

     One of Nebraska's oldest communities, the site of Dakota City, was first visited by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which reached the mouth of Omaha Creek on August 16, 1804. A town was not advanced until the location was designated as county seat shortly after Dakota County was established in 1855. A town site was platted the following year. J. D. M.Crockwell, an agent for the Dakota City Land Company formed by Augustus Kountze, chose the name in honor of the Dacotah (Sioux) Indians.

     The original plat called for a town two-miles wide from east to west, with its eastern end abutting the Missouri River. Broadway was to be 150 feet wide with plans for the construction of a "center canal" which could bring barges directly into the town. Showing remarkable growth, Dakota City was incorporated on April 5, 1858.

     Today our town contains 21 miles of streets, of which nine miles are hard-surfaced. Dakota City is adjacent to the four-lane highways of 77 & 20, making it only minutes away from Sioux City, and Iowa's newest and largest shopping center, Southern Hills Mall.

     Recreation focuses on the river, which is readily accessible in Cotton Wood Cove Park. There are 16 acres of land per 1,000 population devoted to parks, playgrounds, athletic fields and courts.

     Schools, with a long tradition of growth, reflected the need for reorganization in the 1960s. At that time a K-4 elementary unit was retained in Dakota City, with all other grades attending classes in South Sioux City.

     Dakota City has the first Lutheran church building built in Nebraska, the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, a Greek Revival style structure built in 1860. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

     The first pastor was the Reverend Henry W. Kuhns, who was a missionary sent by the Allegheny Synod to Nebraska Territory. Rev. Kuhns first preached in the front room of Bates House, a hotel, in November of 1850. The church was formally organized July 22, 1859.

     Plans were started for the building of the church, but their idea of moving an abandoned store from the abandoned town of Pacific City came to an end when a prairie fire destroyed the building as it was being moved to Dakota City. The present church was designed and built by Augustus T. Haase, a local carpenter and a member of the Emmanuel Lutheran congregation, at a total cost of $2,000. The building also served periodically as a Territorial courthouse, and religious services were still held on Sunday as usual. The church stands today as a proud monument to the tenacity and strength of purpose of the early Dakota County settlers.

     The church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

The photo is of the church, grabbed from wikipeda.  There was a nice train photograph on the Dakota City website, and I wanted to use it for Wayne's sake, but I was not able to copy the image.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Scandalous movie poster?

Tues., July 2, 1935 - Up at 5:30 and picked cherries.  Went down town this morning, met Helen, and she brought me up the hill.  Howard took Mom and me to see Mayme tonite.  She's getting better.
Wed., July 3, 1935 - Worked like the dickens.  Baked 5 pies, bread and a cake.  Cleaned the house.  Mom finished some sewing in the morning and I pitted cherries.  Mom and I entertained R.N.A. tonite.
Thur., July 4, 1935 - Down to parade in a.m.  Home for dinner.  Down town again in p.m.  Wandered around in park.  Saw H.I. in p.m., in evening we went to the show, Joe Brown in "Son of a Sailor".

I found there is an actor named Joe Brown and another named Joe E. Brown.  I believe Joe E. is better known.  The plot of the movie from IMDB is this:

     A smooth-talking sailor looking for a quick date meets the granddaughter of an admiral and finds himself in a house full of top Navy officers, along with a couple of spies interested in plans for a new robot-controlled flight system.

Another poster claimed the movie was "a rollicking rib-tickling comedy".  I remember Joe E. Brown from "Some Like It Hot" and I am prepared to believe Son of a Sailor is probably pretty funny.

On another note, it appears those ladies in the poster above are undressed.  Good heavens!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Free beer

Sat., June 29, 1935 - At last my flower garden quilt is finished.  Mom sewed the last half of the last side for me.  Mom and I went to the Dane dance at Pete C.'s. barn.  Free beer there!  H.I. didn't know anything for awhile.  Got home at 4:00 a.m.
Sun., June 30, 1935 - Slept late of course.  Howard came in about 3:00 and we went for a ride.  Drove around south, east, and west of town.
Mon., July 1, 1935 - Hot as the dickens today.  I worked awhile on my star quilt.  One of the colors doesn't suit me so I'm going to try to get some material that will look better.

My goodness.  I don't think Grandma has mentioned beer before.  How scandalous.  Also, did Grandma Anna stay out until 4:00 a.m., too?  Crazy times.

I am only guessing that the Pete C. mentioned is Pete Christensen.  And with that in mind, here's a photograph of Uncle Pete and Aunt Margaret (far left and far right) with Uncle Nels and Aunt Mary Iversen, taken at Vona, Colorado.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A little monkey

Wed., June 26, 1935 - Finished the ironing today.  Mom went down town early to the free show.  I went down later.  Met Howard at Henry Fleer's store.
Thur., June 27, 1935 - Mom and I went to Norfolk on the train.  It rained practically all the time we were there.  Mom got some things to fix her new eyelet dress and a new white hat.
Fri., June 28, 1935 - Finished basting the border on my quilt and then started on the last part of stitching.  To Rebekah meeting tonite.  Howard and Irene served homemade ice cream and cake.

Yummmm, homemade ice cream!

Because we talked of the Brogren cousins today at lunch, I am including a copy of a photo and little article featuring Terry Brogren from the Lincoln Star on October 29, 1955.  I don't remember if I've used it before, but oh well.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I don't think I know these people

Sun., June 23, 1935 - Slept late this morning.  Didn't do much beside sleep the rest of the day.  Marie and Orville were here for dinner.  Clifford was doing business with Gurney Benshoof.  Marie took us to the cemetery.
Mon., June 24, 1935 - Washed this morning.  Rained when we were ready to hang out the clothes.  Cleared up in the afternoon
Tues., June 25, 1935 - Did part of the ironing today.  Spent the afternoon working on my quilt.

I do not believe I know any of the people mentioned here.  Will have to call in some back-up.

For no particular reason, here's a cute photo of Annabelle and Leeroy that I do not think I've used before.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Happy Birthday to Nancy!

Thurs., June 20, 1935 - Rained during the nite. I came into town with Edwin in the morning.  Went down town to Mrs. Wolfe's with Mom about 5:00.
Fri., June 21, 1935 - Edwin brought Annabelle and Haroldean into our place this morning.  Mom went to Carl. W.'s funeral this afternoon.  Edwin took the kids and me out to Ola's tonite.
Sat., June 22, 1935 - I washed my hair and baked a cake for tonite.  When I got into town I made the sandwiches.  Howard took me to the dance.  I got to bed about 4:00 p.m.

I believe Grandma meant she got to bed about 4:00 a.m.  Maybe she was too tired to think straight.

Happy birthday in 2017 to the cutie in the picture.  I am loving that blouse and necklace -- seriously, very pretty.  And great curls, too.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Some 1935 history

Mon., June 17, 1935 - We all slept until noon today.  Annie Miller came up this p.m. and Mom made a wash dress for her.  It rained just about all day.
Tues., June 18, 1935 - Partly cloudy today.  I had my second lesson in bread baking today.  The bread was good, only I forgot to salt it!  Carl Wolf died today.
Wed., June 19, 1935 - Edwin came after me before I was out of bed.  I went out to Ola's and took care of the house and kids while Annie helped cultivate.  Came to town tonite.

I skipped ahead in the Winside history book to 1935 to see what was going on behind-the-scenes of Grandma's diary, so to speak.  A few items drew my attention:

     May 9, the much talked of fad "The Get Rich Chain Letter" made its appearance the past week.  Postal receipts the first five days in May have totaled $88.  Very little money was received by parties here but a plenty was sent out of town.
     May 29, Winside will have for the first time in its history, free movies.
     June 21, C. J. Wolff, a harness maker here for 35 years, passed away.

So, there we have some of Grandma's recent writings confirmed by an outside source.  The dates for Mr. Wolff's death do not match but the one in the history book is very likely the date the newspaper reported the event.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A mystery solved

Fri., June 14, 1935 - I had my first lesson in bread baking today and I had good bread, too!  To lodge tonite.  Howard brought me home.
Sat., June 15, 1935 - Cleaned the house and the basement this morning.  I washed and waved my hair this p.m.  Went down town tonite, met Howard, and he brought me home.
Sun., June 16, 1935 - Up at 5:00 and left at 7:00 for Elkhorn.  Mom, Grussfather, Ray and I went.  Grussmother thought the trip would be too hard on her.  The folks hadn't been back to Elkhorn since they moved away 44 years ago.  Stopped at Andrew's on our way home for my knives.  Got home at 8:00.  Mom, Ray and I went out to Ola's tonite.  Florence and Edwin got up a surprise for them for their ninth wedding anniversary.  We played cards and danced.  Howard brought Mom and I home.  Lloyd Voss was buried today.  He committed suicide by gassing himself in his car about 6 miles southwest of Hoskins Wednesday or Thursday.  The body was found yesterday.  Mayme is in the hospital at Norfolk and is quite sick.  F. S. said they hadn't told her about Lloyd. 

I have no trouble believing Grandma had success on her first day of baking bread.

Now that the knives have come up again, I know who Trena is, mentioned earlier when Grandma sent her a letter about her missing silverware.  Trena was married to Andrew Andersen (the keeper of the knives in this post), whose father was a brother to Ole Andreasen, William Andersen's father.  Shorter version -- Andrew was William Andersen's first cousin.  I am glad to have this information since I had not yet ventured out on this particular branch of the family tree and therefore, Trena was unknown to me until just today.  Further digging reveals her full name was quite lovely -- Rasmine Petrine Rasmussen Andersen.  And since we were talking about him, I'm using a photo of Mr. Ole Andreasen today.

I know the last name Voss, but will need help from someone to know who Lloyd and Mayme were.  Very sad story.  There was nothing in the Winside history book about Lloyd's death.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Down a different path

Tues., June 11, 1935 - The losing side of the card club met at Walker's tonite.  We're going to give the others a dance in Pete's barn June 22.  Each person is supposed to invite 2 guests.
Wed., June 12, 1935 - Waved Mom's hair this morning.  Mom went to Ladies Aid this p.m.  Tonite we went down town to the free movies.  It was a western picture with Buck Jones.
Thurs., June 13, 1935 - I went to Wayne on the train this a.m.  Took my fair work to Miss Sewell's office and then went to Aunt Mildred's.  Spent the rest of the day there and came home on the evening train.

As is my habit with these posts, I went in search of a western starring Buck Jones made in or around 1935 so I could have a movie poster for my photo.  I found several to pick from and did not want to guess which one Grandma saw.  So, I decided to learn about Buck Jones himself which led me to a wikipedia article about the nightclub fire in which he died at age 50 years.  The article is much too long to post in its entirety, but I selected some rather interesting portions.  The following may not be coherent as a whole since I am picking and choosing bits and pieces.

     "The Cocoanut Grove was a premier nightclub during the post-Prohibition 1930's and 1940's in Boston, Massachusetts. On November 28, 1942, it was the scene of the deadliest nightclub fire in history, killing 492 people (which was 32 more than the building's authorized capacity) and injuring hundreds more. The scale of the tragedy shocked the nation and briefly replaced the events of World War II in newspaper headlines. It led to a reform of safety standards and codes across the US, and to major changes in the treatment and rehabilitation of burn victims internationally.

     The club had opened in 1927 as a partnership between two orchestra leaders, Mickey Alpert and Jacques Renard. (Although neither held an interest in the club by 1942, Alpert was leading the house band the night of the fire.)  Alpert and Renard's mob-connected financiers gained control and opened a speakeasy in the complex, and it gained a reputation for being a gangland hangout. Gangland boss and bootlegger Charles "King" Solomon, also known as "Boston Charlie," owned the club from 1931 to 1933, when he was gunned down in the men's room of Roxbury's Cotton Club nightclub in 1933.  Ownership passed to Solomon's lawyer Barnet "Barney" Welansky, who sought a more mainstream image for the club while he privately boasted of his ties to the Mafia and to Boston Mayor Maurice J. Tobin.  He was known to be a tough boss who ran a tight ship: hiring teenagers to work as busboys for low wages, and street thugs who doubled as waiters and bouncers. He locked exits, concealed others with draperies, and even bricked up one emergency exit to prevent customers from leaving without paying.  Coincidentally, on the night of the fire, he was still recovering from a heart attack in a private room at Massachusetts General Hospital, where some of the victims would be sent.

     Originally a garage and warehouse complex, the brick and concrete buildings had been converted to a one-and-a-half-story meandering complex of dining rooms, bars, and lounges. The club offered its patrons dining and dancing in a South Seas-like "tropical paradise" and a roof that could be rolled back in summer for dancing under the stars.  The decor consisted of leatherette, rattan and bamboo coverings on the walls, heavy draperies, and "swanky" dark blue satin canopies and covering on ceilings. Support columns in the main dining area were made to look like palm trees, with light fixtures made to look like coconuts. That theme was carried over into the basement Melody Lounge, with what little light there was provided by palm tree light fixtures.

     Wall coverings and decorative materials had been approved on the basis of tests for ordinary ignition, which showed resistance to combustion from sources such as matches and cigarettes. Decorative cloth was purportedly treated with ammonium sulfate as a fire retardant upon installation, but there was no documentation that the fire retardant treatment was maintained at the required intervals. Since the US entry into the war, air conditioning systems had been serviced and the freon refrigerant was replaced by methyl chloride, a flammable gas, due to the wartime shortage of freon.

     It is estimated that on that Saturday night more than 1,000 Thanksgiving weekend revelers, wartime servicemen and their sweethearts, football fans, and others were crammed into a space rated for a maximum of 460 people.

     Official reports state that the fire started at about 10:15 pm in the dark, intimate Melody Lounge downstairs.  The lounge was lit by low-powered light bulbs in coconut-styled sconces beneath the fronds. A young man, possibly a soldier, had unscrewed a light bulb in order to give himself privacy while kissing his date.  Stanley Tomaszewski—a 16-year-old busboy—was instructed to put the light back on by tightening the bulb. He stepped up onto a chair to reach the light in the darkened corner. Unable to see the bulb, he lit a match to illuminate the area, tightened the bulb, and extinguished the match. Witnesses first saw flames in the fronds, which were just below the ceiling, immediately afterward. Though the lit match had been close to the same fronds where the fire was seen to have begun, the official report determined that Tomaszewski's actions could not be found to be the source of the fire, which "will be entered into the records of this department as being of unknown origin".

     Despite waiters' efforts to douse the fire with water, it spread along the fronds of the palm tree. In a final desperate attempt to separate the burning fronds from the fabric-covered false ceiling the decoration was pulled away from the corner, taking with it a triangular plywood panel at the ceiling level and opening the enclosed space above the false ceiling. Coincidentally or not, that was the point at which the fire spread to the false ceiling which burned rapidly, showering patrons with sparks and burning shreds of fabric. Flames raced up the stairway to the main level, burning the hair of patrons fleeing up the stairs. A fireball burst through the front entryway and spread through the remaining club areas: through the adjacent Caricature Bar, down a corridor to the Broadway Lounge, and across the central restaurant and dance floor as the orchestra was beginning its evening show. Flames raced faster than patrons could move, followed by thick clouds of smoke. Within five minutes, flames and smoke had spread to the entire nightclub. Some patrons were instantly overcome by smoke as they sat in their seats. Others crawled through the smoky darkness trying to find exits, all but one of which were either non-functioning or hidden in non-public areas.

     Many patrons attempted to exit through the main entrance, the same way they had entered. The building's main entrance was a single revolving door, which was rendered useless as the crowd stampeded in panic. Bodies piled up behind both sides of the revolving door, jamming it until it broke. But then the oxygen-hungry fire leaped through the breach, incinerating whoever was left alive in the pile. Firemen had to douse the flames to approach the door. Later, after fire laws had tightened, it would become illegal to have only one revolving door as a main entrance without being flanked by outward opening doors with panic bar openers attached, or have the revolving doors set up so that the doors could fold against themselves in emergency situations.

     Other avenues of escape were similarly useless; side doors had been bolted shut to prevent people from leaving without paying. A plate glass window, which could have been smashed for escape, was boarded up and unusable as an emergency exit. Other unlocked doors, like the ones in the Broadway Lounge, opened inwards, rendering them useless against the crush of people trying to escape. Fire officials would later testify that had the doors swung outwards, at least 300 lives could have been spared.

     From nearby bars, soldiers and sailors raced to assist. On the street, firefighters lugged out bodies and were treated for burned hands. As night deepened, the temperature dropped. Water on cobblestone pavements froze. Hoses froze to the ground. Newspaper trucks were appropriated as ambulances. Smoldering bodies, living and dead, were hosed in icy water. Some victims had breathed fumes so hot that when they inhaled cold air, as one firefighter put it, they dropped like stones.

     Later, during the cleanup of the building, firefighters found several dead guests sitting in their seats with drinks in their hands. They had been overcome so quickly by fire and toxic smoke that they had not had time to move.

     Coast Guardsman Clifford Johnson went back in no fewer than four times in search of his date who, unbeknownst to him, had safely escaped. Johnson suffered extensive third-degree burns over 55% of his body but survived the disaster, becoming the most severely burned person ever to survive his injuries at the time. After 21 months in a hospital and several hundred operations, he married his nurse and returned to his home state of Missouri. Fourteen years later he burned to death in a fiery automobile crash.

     Barney Welansky, whose connections had allowed the nightclub to operate while in violation of the loose standards of the day, was convicted on 19 counts of manslaughter (19 victims were randomly selected to represent the dead). Welansky was sentenced to 12–15 years in prison in 1943. He served nearly four years before being quietly pardoned by Massachusetts Governor Maurice J. Tobin, who had been mayor of Boston at the time of the fire. In December 1946, ravaged with cancer, Welansky was released from Norfolk Prison, telling reporters, "I wish I'd died with the others in the fire." Nine weeks later, he was dead.

     In the year that followed the fire, Massachusetts and other states enacted laws for public establishments banning flammable decorations, inward-swinging exit doors, and requiring exit signs to be visible at all times (meaning that the exit signs had to have independent sources of electricity, and be easily readable in even the thickest smoke). The new laws also required that revolving doors used for egress must either be flanked by at least one normal, outward-swinging door, or retrofitted to permit the individual door leaves to fold flat to permit free-flowing traffic in a panic situation, and further required that no emergency exits be chained or bolted shut in such a way as to bar escape through the doors during a panic or emergency situation.[citation needed] Municipal licensing authorities ruled that no Boston establishment could use "The Cocoanut Grove" as a name thereafter.

     Commissions were established by several states that would levy heavy fines or even shut down establishments for infractions of any of these laws. These later became the basis for several federal fire laws and code restrictions placed on nightclubs, theaters, banks, public buildings, and restaurants across the nation. It also led to the formation of several national organizations dedicated to fire safety.

     Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Boston City Hospital (BCH) took dozens of burn and smoke inhalation victims, and the event led to new ways of caring for both. Surgeons Francis Daniels Moore and Oliver Cope at Massachusetts General Hospital pioneered fluid resuscitation techniques for the burn victims, whose wounds were treated with soft gauze covered with petroleum jelly instead of tannic acid.  Although BCH was able to achieve a survival rate of only 30% one month after the fire, all patients treated for burns at MGH survived.  The event was also the first major use of the hospital's new blood bank, one of the area's first.

     The survivors of the fire were also among the first humans to be treated with the new antibiotic, penicillin. In early December Merck and Company rushed a 32 L supply of the drug, in the form of culture liquid in which the Penicillium mold had been grown, from New Jersey to Boston. The drug was crucial in combating staphylococcus bacteria, which typically infect skin grafts. As a result of the success of penicillin in preventing infections, the US government decided to support the production and the distribution of penicillin to the armed forces.

     Erich Lindemann, a Boston psychiatrist, studied the families and relatives of the dead and published what has become a classic paper, "Symptomatology and Management of Acute Grief", read at the Centenary Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in May 1944, and published in September of the same year. At the same time Lindemann was laying the foundation for the study of grief and dysfunctional grieving, Alexandra Adler was working with more than 500 survivors of the fire and conducting some of the earliest research on post-traumatic stress disorder."

So, while the event was a horrible tragedy, there were good things that came afterwards with ripple effects surviving well into the future.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A fine how-do-you-do

Sat., June 8, 1935 - Played lazy again today.  Howard came up tonite after I was in bed.  I got up and we went out to Walkers to see the government survey tower.
Sun., June 9, 1935 - Went to Piller's Lake southwest of Stanton for a picnic dinner.  I didn't know about it until this a.m. when Howard came here.  Frances Nielsen and Hank Koch got it up.  I guess the Iversens and I weren't supposed to be invited but Kenneth Wagner asked us anyway.  Wagners, Davis', Fannie [?], Hank, Iversens and I went.  We girls wandered around picking flowers in the p.m. while the boys played cards.  I had supper at Iversens.  After supper Howard brought me home in the Model T [I think - MJS].
Mon., June 10, 1935 - We washed today.  I worked on my quilt this afternoon.

Well!  It is unlike Grandma to get even slightly snarky in her posts, but she doesn't tip-toe around the picnic invitation.  Yay for Kenneth Wagner for inviting the fun people to the event.  I remember him as a member of The Good Guy Team.

And is Piller's Lake possibly Pillar Lake?  I could find the latter when I searched, but not the former.  But then again, it may have been a lake on private property.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Missing silverware

Wed., June 5, 1935 - Howard came up tonite to see if Ray could take us tomorrow.  Ray's going to take us and Howard is going along, too.
Thurs., June 6, 1935 - Ray came about 2:00 p.m.  We left here at 4:00 and didn't get to Trena's until 7:30.  The dance was at Washington. We left the dance at 1:00, stopped at Trena's for my silverware and got home at 4:40.  Had a good time.
Fri., June 7, 1935 - I slept until 11:00 this morning.  When I got up I looked over my silverware.  Half a dozen knives were gone.  I wrote to Trena right away.  Howard stopped to take me to the Dane dance at Carroll but I was too tired to go.

Well, as late as it was when they went to get it, it is no wonder Grandma didn't notice her missing knives.

Turning down a chance to go to a Dane dance . . . she must have been really tired.

Here's the rest of 1910 from the Winside history book:

     July 14, F. S. Tracy sold his hardware store to parties in Stanton.
     August 4, Estimate of city's expense for the ensuing year was $3,237.86.
    September 5, Winside teachers commenced their school terms today in the following districts:  Ida Heyer, No. 16; Olga Johnson, No. 24; Alice Brown, No. 28N; Minnie Hansen, No. 28S; Clara Heyer, No. 41; Ethel Prince, No. 62; Hazel Davis, No. 65; Edith Prince, No. 70; Gertrude Bayes and Josephine Carter in No. 39.
     September 6, Tinky Smith has completed the sidewalks around the school.
     September 15, the Woman's Club wants everyone to save all of your old papers.  Receptacles are placed at E. W. Cullen, Brune and Co., and the post office business places.  The proceeds from a carload will be used to buy library books.
    October 1, Post Office moved from the Frank Tracy hardware store to the east part of the A. H. Carter building.  (Same location in 1941.)  John and Fred Miller have rented the store building just vacated and will open a restaurant.
     October 27, A. T. Chapin gave the fire boys an oyster supper at the restaurant, in appreciation of their quick response to the fire at his place.  Mr. Chapin managed to get the flames out before they arrived but he appreciated their quick response.
     November 3, George Farran, I. O. Brown, Henry Trautwein and Lloyd Holcomb returned today from a hunting trip, bring back 200 ducks.  Omaha boosters arrived today.  The crowd waited nearly two hours out in the cold for them but were well repaid.
     November 12, Charles Unger had a cement roof placed on his new house but proving unsatisfactory it was removed and is being replaced with an ordinary shingle roof.
     November 17, Dick Waddell now makes his rural route trips in two wheel covered cart, which is easier on the team as well as the driver.     December 1, Hans Gottsch bought the John Jaszkowiak residence property opposite the new Lutheran church.
     December 14, the board of education plans to have the 12th grade added, if enough are interested to justify it.

The Omaha boosters came to wait for the ducks to arrive?  I wonder if the oyster supper was held in the restaurant mentioned one item previous.  Maybe Winside had only one restaurant in 1910.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Interesting history

Sun., June 2, 1935 - To S.S. and church.  Worked on quilts this p.m.  Ray and Willie here this evening.  I went to Hoskins to a dance with Rews and Iversens.  An old-time German orchestra played.
Mon., June 3, 1935 - Got a letter from Mildred Andersen saying she was going to be married Wednesday and they are giving them a dance Thursday.  She asked us to come to the dance.  Mom and I went down town to call up Ray.  We met Howard and he brought us up the hill.  He said he'd take us to the dance if Ray couldn't.
Tues., June 4, 1935 - I went to Alma's party tonite.  We played Michigan Poker.  Lydia Kant won high prize.  The other guests were Tillie and Elsie Eckert, Gladys Mettlen, Lena Nieman and Edna Podoll.  Ray was here while I was gone.

I wonder what Mildred Andersen's new last name was.  I do not think I have very much information on her via to know how the rest of her life turned out.

Here's 1910, where I last left off with Winside history.  It must have been a busy year and I will break this up into two posts:

     January 13, Brune and Co., have secured the agency for the Brush Auto, Gabler Bros. will continue to sell the Cartercar, Bolander and Woodward the ABC and now that Laase has the Ford, competition out to be fierce.
     January 27, A. Woodward sold out today to Aspengren and Strand.
     February 3, A. C. Lantz bought the F. F. Ware drug store.
     February 7, Eddie Weible won the new buggy given at the Brune and Co. grand opening of their new building.
     March 3, Ed. Krause is moving to town into the residence he bought of Dr. A. B. Cherry.
     March 16, "Union Depot for a Day" was given by the Woman's Club to help raise money for the library.
     March 17, W. G. Archer received word today his pension had been raised to $15.00 per month.
     March 24, David Koch was the first man in Winside to receive $10.00 per hundred for his hogs.
     April 7, $1435.00 was paid Winside merchants for eggs the past month.
     April 17, Frost killed the fruit this year, all of the leaves and blossoms are black.
    April 28, Dr. Cherry went to Sioux City after his auto today, which had been taken there for repairs.
     May 5, Woman's club received a $25.00 order of books.
     May 12, Nebraska is the first state in the Union to declare, through Governor's proclamation, observance of "Mother's Day.'
     May 19, the Alumni banquet will be held at the Cavanaugh home.
     June 16, Charles Unger has started to build a brick house on his residence in the east part of town.
     June 30, the fire bell was taken down from its location at the rear of the Merchants State Bank and placed on top of the town hall.

A couple of things:  I never heard of a Cartercar before and had to look it up, hooray for Nebraska on the Mother's Day proclamation, and just how many eggs did Winsiders eat in March 2010??  That's the equivalent of $34,000 in 2015.  Perhaps the Winside history book contains a typo?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Well, no wonder

Thurs., May 30, 1935 - Decoration Day.  Went to the cemetery with Irene and Mrs. Iversen.  Ola and family here for dinner.  This p.m. Mayme, Uncle Hans, Meta, and Lilly were here.
Fri., May 31, 1935 - Rained hard this morning.  Cloudy all p.m.  Grussmother in bed all day.  During the past week she remodeled the hen house and cut weeds in front of the house.  Now she has a backache!
Sat., June 1, 1935 - Cleaned up the house today.  Howard came up tonite while I was cutting quilt blocks.  Looked as if it might rain but it didn't.

I looked and found out it wasn't until 1971 that Decoration Day (Memorial Day) was changed from May 30 to the last Monday in May.

By my calculations, Grussmother was 82 at the time she was remodeling the hen house -- I wonder what that entailed -- and pulling weeds.  I'd have a backache at my age, let alone if I was over 80.

I was looking for photos of Grussmother that I maybe had not used yet and came upon these two.  Obviously taken the same day, with Grandma Anna and another relative likely trading places to be the photographer.  The kids change positions but I think it's the same bunch in both photos.  Help in identifying everyone welcome.