Friday, March 31, 2006
Dale laid around with hot water bottle most of the day. I washed and ironed the rough pieces. We all have pretty bad colds in our heads. Gilbert seems to feel bad, too. He is not like himself anymore. He hasn’t decided whether I am pregnant or not. No signs of anything yet, but what else could be the trouble with me?
(Fair weather and a fair day for all. Spring-time colds, toothaches. What else could be the trouble? As we all know, she is pregnant at this time.)
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Ned and I had awful colds when we got up this AM. It was cold and cloudy so put my washing off. Dale had the toothache so I took him and had that tooth pulled. This week is their spring vacation. It isn’t starting out very enjoyable. However it cleared up this PM so hope it will be better tomorrow. Poor Dale’s face hurts him so.
(From a previous diary entry, we know that Grandma did send her children to the dentist by themselves, but this time she went along. Novocain, by the way, was introduced in 1905, so it is quite likely that Dale was given an injection of Novocain before the tooth was pulled.)
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Got a pretty good start and all went to Sunday school and out to Mama’s for dinner. Dick and I stayed for church. Had a good dinner and the boys were quiet, working puzzles, so we had a nice day after all. Guys came a little while to bring Ella and Don. Strange Mama is so willing to keep him 2 days every week and she seems imposed on if she had to ever peek on mine.
(Ella is Guy's 1st wife, and Don is their youngest son. They also had another son, Bob, and two daughters, Onarga and Mildred and lived in Brownsburg. Guy had at least 2, perhaps 3 wives, according to Mom. Guy and Ella were divorced and Guy married a woman named Vengi, who may have been his secretary. (gasp) According to Mom, after the divorce Ella stayed in Brownsburg and ran a small dime store. Guy moved away to Circleville, Ohio.
Don grew up to be a journalist who had a nationally syndicated column about real estate that was in the Sunday edition of the Indianapolis Star, amongst other newspapers, for many years until his death. All of Grandma's brothers (Harry, Bur, and Guy) were in the printing business, including newspapers, so I guess it was in Don's blood to be a journalist. Bob was a teacher. Onarga never liked her name (which was an Indian name) so she went by Nan. She may have worked as a typesetter and had her first and only child late in life (in her 40's!). Mildred was a housewife and that's about all Mom knows, since these cousins were all much older than she was. (Mom says she knows about the wives of her uncles that she remembers personally, but doesn't know about wives that might have come and gone before she was born.)
What about Grandma's comments about the boys being quiet, so "they had a nice day after all"? Perhaps the four boys could be a handful and noisy all together? Maybe that is why her Mama wasn't too keen on watching them for her?)
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Was too tired and sleepy today to do much. Had some buttonholes to make this afternoon and almost went to sleep doing it. The boys fared pretty well though and were not sleepy or cross today. Gilbert took them to see Tom Mix this evening but Ned and I stayed home and went to bed early.
(Too tired because they stayed up until midnight the night before! Tom Mix was a "hollywood cowboy and serial star". A quick Internet search showed that he had about 6 movies made in 1925, so they must have made movies quickly back then. The movies for 1925 included:
The Best Bad Man (1925) .... Hugh Nichols
The Everlasting Whisper (1925) .... Mark King
The Lucky Horseshoe (1925) .... Tom Foster
The Rainbow Trail (1925) .... John Shefford
Riders of the Purple Sage (1925) .... Jim Carson/Jim Lassiter
Dick Turpin (1925) .... Dick Turpin)
Monday, March 27, 2006
Mama came over today and in the evening we went to Mac’s house. Ned walked clear to Michigan St. and back. It was about midnight when we got home. We were going to come earlier but then Margaret served fruit salad, cake and coffee and of course we had to stay and eat. Enjoyed it so much.
(According to Mom, Mac and Margaret are the McMillans. They were good friends. In fact, when Marjorie got married, Mac is the one who gave her away. They had one son.)
(Maureen - if you are reading this, call your Mom and ask her for more details on the McMillans and how they became good friends and send a comment!)
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Sewed this morning and made a date to have a morsel at 5:00 left the babies asleep. While I was out a storm came up and I had to hurry home in a pouring down rain. It didn’t rain long so we went to the church for supper and prayer meeting. They had no one to look after children so didn’t get much out of the prayer meeting.
(Who was her "date to have a morsel" with? We will never know. It doesn't sound like it was for a full dinner, which you might expect at that hour, since they went to church later for supper. Mom says that on Thursdays the church always had a supper you could buy for 25 cents and that Grandma often took advantage of this to get a night off from cooking. Once again, the little ones were left alone. Seems to be not too uncommon back in those days to do something like that.)
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Put in a big day sewing after I got the sox darned. I need to put in several big days. The boys wear clothes out faster than I can make new. It was a grand day to be out and of course the boys were out as long as possible. Guy is awfully sick. We are uneasy about him. A bad result from having his gall removed, I’m afraid.
(Grandma seems to have made most of the clothes that the boys were. Darning socks? Another by-gone chore that you don't see too many people doing today. I don't darn socks. FYI, Guy is one of her brothers.)
Friday, March 24, 2006
It was almost summer today. Ned was so anxious to be outdoors he didn’t want to eat his meals. I got my ironing and mending done but the boys were out playing. Dale at the park playing ball and Dick with Marvin, so I had to leave the little ones and go to the store myself. I was tired, too.
(It sure wasn't summer today in 2006. Raw and cold and snow and some sleet to throw in on the drive home from work. Rainy and wet in the evening. Below average temperatures. Brrrr!
The boys played a lot outside. Do kids do that much today? We worry today that kids today don't spend enough time outdoors and someone has even come up with a condition called nature deficit disorder. They say that "kids are so plugged into television and video games that they've lost their connection to the natural world". If you don't believe me, do a Google search on nature deficit disorder and check it out.
And what's this that she left the littles at home while she went to the store? Doing the math again, because it is difficult to believe, but the little ones would be Albert age 5 and Ned age 2. I assume the store was just up the street a few blocks on 10th St.)
Thursday, March 23, 2006
It seems that spring is has come. It is a little cool yet but pleasant out with light wraps. Ned won’t stay in a minute. He is Dale over again. Dale is on a ball team of his room at school. Dick got a prize at school for having the most stars in his room. This was his birthday, but we celebrated yesterday when the folks were here
(Just a nice, normal spring day!)
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Gilbert and Dick and Dale went to Sunday school. I got dinner and cleaned up the house. Mama, Papa, Mable, and Winifred came out for dinner. We took pictures in the back yard. Then after dishes were washed we played bridge till 6 o’clock. That was awful late for Mama to stay so I know they enjoyed themselves although Mama was about sick and so chilly we had the house too hot to please her.
(Mable is Grandma's sister-in-law, married to her brother Harry. Winifred is their daughter. I'm not quite sure how someone gets chilly in a house that is too hot, but that's what she writes in her diary.)
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
I was done up today but had to get the boys off to Janet’s birthday party. They went to Mama’s and John got them and took them from there in the machine. They had a glorious time, Dale and Dick. Gilbert came home early and cleaned the yard and I went out to get the boys. Met Fern Hoffmeister and had a visit with her on the car. Her baby is a cripple but she thinks they can bring him out ok.
I've noticed that it seems that Gilbert worked a lot of Saturdays as an accountant for Citizens Gas.
Remember, Grandma calls automobiles "machines". I suppose the boys took a bus or street car to their grandmother's house, which was on North College Avenue. And Grandma took a street car to go get them afterwards.
We sure could not have cleaned any yards today, buried under all the snow we got.
Another sign of how things have changed. We would not call someone a 'cripple'. We would say they were handicapped or something like that.)
Monday, March 20, 2006
Mama called up that Papa had gotten goods for Dick a pair of pants for his birthday and as I expected to be up town today I thought I would go in the morning while Albert was in kindergarten and have the afternoon to make the pants. However the trip did me up and I was too tired to make pants or do anything else. It wore Ned out, too. He walked all over town.
(Oh, did I mention they had a telephone? Yes, they must have. Grandma doesn't say what she needed to go up town for, but it seems it was a tiring trip. She just didn't jump in her car and drive to wherever. I called Mom and got more information. She would have had to walk to the street car (2 blocks to 10th St.) or take a bus (picked her up in front of their house on Rural St.), ride to a downtown drop off place and then walk to wherever she wanted to go downtown. Her father was Dr. Rolla Campbell, who was a "woman's doctor". Mom thinks he might have had an office in the Hume Mansur building on Ohio St. between Pennsylvania and Meridian. So, she probably walked to his office and her other up town destinations, and thus wore herself out. That's also a lot of walking for a two-year old.)
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Clear and cool
Expected to get a big day at sewing. This was the day for the class meeting I knew but it was way up north and I just didn’t feel like going on the car with the babies. However, Mrs. Murphy called up and offered to take me and I couldn’t resist. Didn’t sew a stitch. A Russian girl told her experiences as a Red Cross nurse during the war and the revolution. It was interesting. I was glad I went.
(Grandma is referring, I think, to her Sunday School class meeting. She lives on the east side of downtown (a few blocks north of 10th St. and a few blocks south of Brookside park. When she refers to the "car", it is the street car. She was always happy to accept rides with others who had automobiles, which she generally referred to as "machines". The Collins family across the street had a machine and often offered them rides. I have no idea who Mrs. Murphy was. The babies would be Ned and Albert, though Albert is about 5 at this time.
After days of cleaning, cooking, ironing, and sewing, which is how she spent most of her time, Grandma deserved a "day off" to broaden her horizons, so to speak!)
Saturday, March 18, 2006
I cut out some waists for Albert and pants for Ned and expected to get sewing done but Mama came over. It rained most of the day. In the afternoon there was the worst tornado for 50 years in the southern part of the state and Illinois, KY and Missouri. Thousands killed and injured. Towns completely wiped off the map.
(Regarding the tornado, it is still the worst in Indiana history. According to the Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security: "Tri -State Tornado of March 18, 1925 - Began in Missouri, tracked across southern Illinois and ended in southwest Indiana. This tornado lasted more than 3 hours and at times measured one and one-half mile wide. This tornado traveled at 70 mph and was on the ground for a record 220 miles. Seventy people were killed in Indiana, with a total of 689 deaths in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana."
Grandma was just a little off in her geography. I wonder how they go their news?. I think the tornado ended around 5:00 PM, so I assume they had a radio they listened to, as this seems too late in the day to make it into the evening paper.
The other thing you'll start to pick up on was when her Mama came over, Grandma Ruth didn't get a lot done. I'm not sure why but she referenced that Mama talked a lot and it was a strain to listen to her and do work at the same time. (Remember, Grandma couldn't hear very well out of her right ear, anyway.))
Friday, March 17, 2006
Got all my ironing done before noon and did most of my mending and put away the clothes. I like to get that done so early in the week. Maybe I can get some sewing done. I need to. All the boys need so many things but I still am so tired. I go to bed early, sleep all night and get up as tired as I went to bed. I don’t understand.
(Appears she had a productive day, though still not sure why she is so tired. (We know!) I also like to get up and get the work done early. Who else is like that? No mention of St. Patrick's Day, so I don't know if that is a day they acknowledged by wearing green, or if the celebration of St. Patrick's Day at that time was much beyond what Catholic's did?)
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Clear and warm
I got at my washing late but got it all out and ironed some and felt that I had done a pretty good days work if I did feel draggy. I never get started at anything till after I get Albert off to kindergarten. He enjoys going so much. He is in the pink of condition now. I don’t know what he weighs but he is as fat as can be and rosy. He is such a pretty, sweet little boy.
(For those who are reading who might not be completely familiar with the family, Albert grew up and attended Harvard University, converted to Catholicism and became a Jesuit priest. He spent most of his career teaching philosophy at the Univ. of San Francisco. He might have been in the pink of condition at 5 but I don't think he enjoyed the most robust health as an adult. One of his classmates at Harvard was Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. You can read more about Cardinal Dulles at this web site: http://www.fordham.edu/dulles/bio.shtml
Albert must have been very good in school, as I believe he had a full scholarship to Harvard.)
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
We all went to Sunday school but I was all done up I felt like it was foolish to make such an effort for so short a time. As we were late anyway and I didn’t have things done at home and I couldn’t stay for church with out working all afternoon and I felt like I needed rest. After I got everything done I lay down and stayed all the evening just too tired to care about anything. Why?
(I guess at this point, Grandma still doesn't realize that she is expecting (I don't think they would say "pregnant" in 1925) or has accepted it. Not too good of a day overall. Just not a good day.)
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
This was Phillip Johnson’s birthday and he had a party. Dick and Albert were invited and had a fine time. Dale was very much out of it, but got an invitation to Janet’s next Saturday, so then he felt better. Didn’t do anything special, felt too tired to do more than clean up for Sunday. Maybe some people would call that a day’s work anyway.
(Isn't it nice to know that sibling jealousy has been around for such a long time? Ever been jealous because your sister or brother got invited to a party, and you didn't? Then you got to do something they didn't get to do, so that made it better? Sounds like what happened in 1925! I wonder what was involved in 'cleaning up for Sunday'. I'm sure they all had baths, and I suppose she did some general straightening up of the house. Some weekends, I know I don't get much done but straightening up the house, the rest of the time I am running around on errands, watching TV, taking breaks from doing nothing, etc. And, of course I bathe and more than just on Saturdays :-) ).
A day that has even less to show for it than yesterday. We had planned to go to the show this evening to see Douglas Fairbanks in “When the Clouds Roll By”. We hadn’t counted on rain and didn’t know it was raining hard till we were out. It just poured all evening. Gilbert was about sick with a cold and went to bed at 7:30 and forgot to shut off the furnace. It was 105 when we got home and I had to stay up.
(No TV in 1925 to check the Weather Channel to find out what weather is approaching. You might go out and all is fine and then suddenly the weather changes and you are out in the rain. Happens all the time in Indiana. Also, a snippet more info about the furnace... manually controlled? Sounds like it! No thermostat to control it!)
Sunday, March 12, 2006
I finished my ironing and most of my mending. Mama came over for a little while. Nothing of special interest happened. It was one of those days when you work all the time and can’t tell what you have done and at the end pile in bed tired as a dog. Gilbert went to the fathers’ meeting after supper.
(If you are feeling a little tired after reading the diaries so far because of how tired Ruth is, hang in there, some things are going to happen as spring comes along.)
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Pt. cloudy and snow
I ironed in the morning and Mrs. Collins came over. Then I made a crock of salad to take to the food sale at the school and went to the meeting. Dick’s room sang some songs and Wm. Hershell gave us a reading of some of his poems. I enjoyed it so much. After supper Collins came over to play bridge but I was too sleepy to enjoy it and Gilbert felt funk with a cold.
(Mrs. Collins is the neighbor across the street. Sounds like quite a full day!)
Friday, March 10, 2006
I got my washing out doors today. It was warm and sunny and windy till 4 o’clock. Then it got dark, rained, hailed, lightened and we had quite a storm until after 6. Dale had gone out on the paper route with Marvin and I hardly knew what he would do. They were not scared though and stopped on a porch during the worst of the hail. Dick went out in it to get meat for supper.
(Remember, according to what I can figure out Dale is about 7 or at most 8 years old and yet has a paper route. I guess he had enough sense at that age to get out of the rain (and hail!) Dick is 6 or at most 7 years old and Ruth has sent him to the store to get some meat for supper, in the rain!
A common concern today is that kids grow up fast these days. What about in 1925? I don't know many 6 or 7 or 8 year olds today who have paper routes (or help with one if maybe the route belongs to Marvin) or are capable of going to the store to buy meat for supper, but I guess that was common in 1925.)
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Took Albert to kindergarten today. He was crazy about it. There was a whole room full of kiddies. Surely this neighborhood will not be without one again. I was too tired to wash so sat down and made Albert a waist. He needs more since he goes out every day, so I have to get busy. Dale got the best seat at school, having an average of 99 in arithmetic for the month
(I'm not quite sure why someone would start school in what seems to be the middle of the school year, but that seems to be the case for Albert. And apparently they sat kids in order by their grades, at least in Dale's class. We would not do something like that today.
I remember visiting Grandma and don't recall any kids in the neighborhood, so perhaps the neighborhood did "grow up".
And isn't amazing that even though Ruth was too tired to wash (clothes, I assume), she still worked on her sewing. (Remember that "waists" are shirts.)
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Didn’t get the dishes washed last night so didn’t try to go to Sunday school. Dale and Dick went and represented the family. Gilbert cleaned up the house and I spent the morning in the kitchen. After dinner Dale and Dick went after some medicine for my cold which is miserable. A Mr. Wier from Gilbert’s Sunday school class called. Also Anna and Ray and Betty Jane. Then Bess and Fred were out for supper. We were sure glad of the rugs.
(I'm assuming that when she says someone called, they actually called on the phone. I confirmed that they did have a phone in the house in 1925. Anna and Ray were friends of Ruth and Gilbert's and Mary Jane was their daughter. Bess was Gilbert's sister. Fred was probably Bess's boyfriend. (Bess did get married, but I don't know if it was to Fred. Her marriage was annulled when they found out that her husband was already married to another woman in New Jersey. Bess never married again.)
So, a typical Sunday... catching up with chores that weren't finished on Saturday, hearing from a few friends, having family over for supper. This confirms that this wasn't the "old days" when people had to sit and do nothing on Sundays. It is also nice to read that Gilbert helped around the house, as well!
Sounds like the rugs have made a difference in how the place looks!)
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The warmest day for this time of year since the weather bureau was established. Cleaned upstairs and did myself up. Was so all in I laid down on my job at supper time. Was taking an awful cold too and was afraid I was in for a sick spell. However I felt if I could only rest I would be all right but that seems an impossibility on this earth.
(Grandma is sure not feeling well during this timeframe, but she keeps plugging along trying to keep the house clean, food on the table, etc. I checked on the Internet to see if I could find out the high temperature on March 7, 1925, but no luck. I did find out that the record high for this date in Indianapolis was actually set in 2000, when we reached 78 degrees. I actually remember that day (in 2000), because I took off to do some work in the garden and it was quite warm!)
Monday, March 06, 2006
Finished my ironing but did not get much else done. Was so tired and rather sick. I’ve got to do better than this as I have so much sewing to do. I mended some but ought to be making new garments. Spring is coming now and of course I am not ready. It is an awful task to keep six people all neat and clean and patched!
(So much work to do, and not feeling like she will ever get it all done. Still a problem for most people some 81 years later.)
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Mama was over today. She told all about the banquet of O.E.S. she attended last night. Had a wonderful time. I ironed most of the day then went with her to the hat shop at the corner. They have the prettiest hats I ever saw. Wish I could afford one, but my last summer's one is in good condition and the style is still good.
(O.E.S. refers to Order of the Eastern Star. According to their website: "Eastern Star is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values but it is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty of the refreshing and character-building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between its members. It is the wholesome relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives which makes us near and dear to each other."
On the subject of hats, a general theme is that Gilbert (Ruth's husband) makes enough as an accountant to support his family but there is not a lot leftover for extras, like a new spring hat. (Plus, don't forget, they just bought two new rugs). Women almost always wore hats when they left the house to go to church or shopping or whatever. I don't know if Ruth's mother bought a new hat or not. Ruth's father (Dr. Rolla Campbell) was a physician specializing in gynecology/obstetrics, so one might assume he made a good living, but in 1925 he was probably well past his prime. Ruth also spoke about him making medicines when she was a little girl, and brewing up concoctions on the stove for long periods of time. The formation of the FDA in 1906 pretty much shut down those enterprises, as drugs became regulated for the 1st time.)
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Saturday, March 04, 2006
Finished cleaning down stairs today – scrubbed the kitchen, etc. Felt awfully tired and couldn’t work fast. The boys were very careful to clean their feet and not bring mud in on the new carpets. They would start in, notice the rugs and back up and wipe feet. Hope it lasts. Have been putting Ned to bed alone and not staying with him these nights and letting him cry it out. Poor baby!
(There is nothing like something new to get you going on cleaning up everything else, so the new thing feels at home. The boys (Dale, Dick, and Albert) seem to play outside a lot, regardless of the weather.)
Friday, March 03, 2006
Stretched curtains and cleaned walls and ceilings and got an awful headache. I read a little and was all done up. After supper we put down the new rugs. My what a change it made. We feel like white folks again. The boys seem real glad we got them and I hope will try to be careful of them. Were all anxious to help get them down.
(I'm sure Ruth's comment about how she felt after putting down the new rugs and "spring cleaning" the rooms would more than raise a few eyebrows today. I assume she was no more or less prejudiced than anyone else in 1925.
I wonder if it was the physical labor of the cleaning or what she used to clean with that caused her to get an "awful headache". Regardless, she seems quite prone to getting headaches.)
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Our coil in the furnace had to be renewed. We could hear water boiling but could get no hot water. Bradbury was here most of the morning so I took down my curtains and mended them and cleaned the windows. Didn’t get to washing till afternoon and washed till 5:30. It was a hard day. Had to let the fire go nearly out for him to get the coil out and we got real cold.
(What a day's work! Did she do all the windows, or just the downstairs? She's getting ready for the delivery of the new rugs.)
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006
We all went to Sunday school but I got too sleepy to stay for church. Went out to Mama’s for dinner and to see Mable and Winifred. Harry had left Memphis for the Mardi Gras and Florida. Thinks he will get into something else besides printing. We’ll see. He never did anything else but newspaper work. We played bridge and learned more from Mable than from Collins all winter They came over after we got home and played till 11.
(Harry is one of Ruth's brothers. She is the youngest in the family. Mable is Harry's wife and Winifred is their daughter (I think). All of Ruth's brothers were printers. Collins are the neighbors across the street.
Sitting around playing cards, talking and learning stuff (gossip?), some things never change. Seems like bridge and catching up on news and events go hand in hand. I know my mom learns a lot about what's going on in her neighborhood and amongst her friends when she plays bridge once a month with her bridge club!)