Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sunday, October 31, 1926

No diary entry for today, but we know they did dress up for Halloween each year. I've posted a picture on the companion photo blog of Dale and others in Halloween costumes.

Happy Halloween. Don't let the goblins git cha!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Saturday, October 30, 1926

Saturday, October 30, 1926
Colder and rainy

Went down to the bank for Gilbert and ran into Mama. We got awfully cold waiting for the bus and thought of Dale without his “heavies” today. He outgrew his good ones he got last spring so we went to Ayres and got him 3 suits and shirt on Mama’s charge account. Came home and found he had been out collecting all morning and was wet and cold so had him bathe and crawl into his new clothes but afraid he has taken a heavy cold anyway.

(It's curious to me how Grandma ran into her mother at the bank, which I assume was downtown, since that's where the Ayres store was. Indianapolis was surely a big enough city even in the 1920's that it would be unusual to run into someone like that.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Friday, October 29, 1926

Friday, October 29, 1926

Well I guess I won’t have to wean Marjorie after all so gave her some more dinner today. She got real sick. Wouldn’t eat, bowels tied up and she has not cracked a smile since Tuesday. On consulting my calendar I see it is just exactly the wrong time in the moon. Almost believe there is something in it as I believe she would just pine away if I held out any longer.

(The wrong time of the moon for weaning a baby? I've heard of planting by the moon, but not this.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thursday, October 28, 1926

Report cards out today.

Dale Dick Albert
Reading A A- B
Composition B A
Grammar C A
Spelling A+ A B
Writing S S S
Arithmetic A B+
Geography A A
Art S S S
Music S S S
Phys Education S S S
Woodworking B+
Obedience S S S
Industry S S S
Respect for property S S S
Physical Record
Height in inches 54 50½ 46½
Normal weight 71 60 49½
Actual weight 66½ 55½ 49
The “S” means satisfactory. I’m proud of my boys. The other kids of the neighborhood get such miserable marks.

(Sorry I couldn't get those grades to spread out and be in columns under each name. Suffice it to say, the marks are all pretty good. It's not surprising that all were successful as adults, and Dick and Albert went on to get PhD's in philosophy (Dick) and theology (Albert)).

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wednesday, October 27, 1926

Wednesday, October 27, 1926

Having an awful time with Marjorie. She refuses to eat at the table. Nurse her once in the middle of the night to get a little rest myself.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tuesday, October 26, 1926

Tuesday, October 26, 1926

Marjorie seemed to sicken on the breast milk this AM so decided to cut it out pronto. Consequently, I spent the bigger part of the day with a crying baby. Was going to go to the Missionary society, taking Mama as this is guest day but Marjorie was so cross I decided it would be better not to go. It really is not much pleasure going a place like that and taking two babies. No one can keep them but Mama but if there is anyone going she always wants to go too! So I stay at home.

(It seems that most of the time, Grandma stayed home with kids, and didn't go very many places, with them or without them.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Monday, October 25, 1926

Monday, October 25, 1926

I washed and the clothes stuck and froze on the line. Went and got my hair cut. Then went with Collins to a party at Pegg’s for this section of the church. Had a very nice time.

(Finally, Grandma started writing in her diary again. I wonder what happened all those other days that she didn't write in her diary?

We always wonder every year when we'll have a killing frost. It would seem that it was on this day or before in 1926).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sunday, October 24, 1926

No diary entry today. Aunt Marjorie wrote,

"The summer before Albert's senior year (at Harvard) he didn't have money to come home so he got a job in a camp in the mountains as a curator or something. He slept in a cabin where the snakes were in cages. One snake escaped and a couple of weeks later Albert found it in the rafters where it had shed its skin."

Eleanor comment about the same thing a few days ago.

I would not have slept very well that summer!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Saturday, October 23, 1926

No diary entry today. We continue with Aunt Marjorie's memories.

"Albert was trying to decide whether to marry his girlfriend, Marjorie, or become a priest. He asked Marjorie, and she apparently turned him down, so he became a priest. Later she wrote to Albert that if he would ask her again she would say "yes". They must have stayed in touch because I remember hearing later that she eventually married someone else."

Albert obviously never asked her again.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Friday, October 22, 1926

No diary entry today. We continue with Aunt Marjorie's memories of Albert.

"I don't remember Mother talking about the actual graduation ceremony (when Albert graduated from Harvard) but I remember she said she met Albert's girlfriend and her parents in Cambridge. Her name was Marjorie Sears. Her parents took Mother and Albert to their vacation cottage on the ocean. Mother talked at length about how soothing it was to walk barefoot in the sand."

Apparently Albert's girlfriend was not as poor as he was.

Grandma often wrote complaining how her feet hurt all the time, caused by a combination of bad feet and poor fitting shoes, we think. It would feel nice to walk through the sand on a beach if you were always used to walking around in ill-fitting shoes.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thursday, October 21, 1926

No diary entry today.

Aunt Marjorie provides more memories...

"For his graduation from Harvard, Albert wore a suit. Where did he get it? When he came home one Christmas one year he was wearing a loud striped pair of trousers. He said they were his only pants and he had purchased them in a dime store. Grandmother Campbell gave Albert new trousers for Christmas."

We can only imagine how poor Albert was, at a school generally attended by fairly affluent students.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wednesday, October 20, 1926

Still no diary entry.

But Aunt Marjorie has written some more memories about her brother Albert.

"I wish I had asked more questions when I was young. When Albert graduated from Harvard University, Mother went to Cambridge for the graduation. My father was dead and we were very poor. I wonder where she got the money to go? Probably Dale , and maybe Dick, got the money together for her. Or maybe Grandmother Campbell? I guess we'll never know!!"

Aunt Marjorie commented once before that Grandma never shared information about her financial situation with Marjorie or Eleanor.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tuesday, October 19, 1926

No diary entry today.

Aunt Marjorie wrote, "When Dale was young, he was an Eagle Scout. Dick and Albert apparently weren't interested in such a structured program. Ned enjoyed scouting but wasn't as serious as Dale was. I remember the aroma Ned always had - his clothes and blankets - when he got home after a week at camp. The scent of the campfire smoke was very pleasant and not like any other scent I have ever smelled since."

In our current family, my nephew Ty is an Eagle scout. He is the only one in the extended family that I know of. As my sister said, anyone can be an Boy Scout, but very few make it all the way to Eagle Scout.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Monday, October 18, 1926

No diary entry for today.

Continuing Aunt Marjorie's memories of Grandma working...

"Mother worked there (Tech High School) in the attendance office for 20 plus years, starting, if I remember correctly, at $15.00 a week, until she was 72 years old. For some years, only teachers were qualified to have pensions, and finally rules were changed so other workers connected with schools could, I suppose, buy into the pension program. Mother had to stay long enough to qualify for a pension, thus she was 72 years old, when she retired."

I didn't know that Grandma worked for that long!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sunday, October 17, 1926

No diary entry today. We continue with Aunt Marjorie's memories from the 1930's.

Regarding Grandma's job as an assistant to the head of the state P.T.A. ...

"Eventually the job required a college degree, so Mother started job hunting. She decided her greatest interest was education, so she went to the Superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools, DeWitt Morgan. His daughter had graduated in Dale's class at Lake Forest in 1937, where Dale was top in their class. Mr. Morgan and his wife had invited Mother to accompany them to Chicago for the graduation. Having gotten acquainted before, Mr. Morgan hired Mother to work at Tech High School where Mr. Morgan had originally been the principal."

So it appears Grandma started to work at Tech in 1937, two years after Gilbert died from Parkinson's disease.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Saturday, October 16, 1926

No diary entry today. We'll continue with Aunt Marjorie's memories from the 1930's...

"One lady whose house Mother went to didn't buy the book but started questioning Mother and realized she was fairly well educated and spoke well and immediately hired her to work in her office as her assistant. Mrs. Davee ran the state P.T.A. office in downtown Indianapolis. Mother earned $10.00 per week and worked there several years."

Using this web site, a wage of $10.00/week in 1935 would be the equivalent of about $396/week today. But don't quote me on that!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Friday, October 15, 1926

No diary entry today, so we'll continue with Aunt Marjorie's memories of the 1930's.

Regarding Grandma selling irons... "they (the irons) were so heavy, she switched to selling a book called "Volume Library" door to door. That made her feet hurt so badly!"

I assume Grandma sold the irons door to door, too. Times have sure changed. Does anyone try to sell anything (other than religion) door to door?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Thursday, October 14, 1926

No diary entry today.

I'll continue with some of Aunt Marjorie's memories of the 1930's, when Grandma had to get a job because her husband Gilbert could not work due to Parkinson's disease.

"The first job Mother got was selling irons (to iron clothes)".

I did not know that! I always assumed she went right to work in the office at Tech High School. However, Grandma did seem to spend quite a bit of time ironing her own family's clothes, so maybe she thought it was a product that she knew a lot about and thus it would be easy to sell them.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wednesday, October 13, 1926

No diary entry today.

Aunt Marjorie wrote some more notes about what happens a bit later, in the 1930's...

"When it became apparent that Daddy (Gilbert) couldn't work much longer, Mother went to Tech night school and learned shorthand and typing. I hated the nights Mother wasn't home!"

Gilbert had Parkinson's disease, which eventually forced him to have to leave his job. In the 1930's, there was no long-term disability, social security, or other financial safety nets so Grandma had to face getting a job. I wonder why Grandma didn't consider going back into the hat making business, since she worked as a milliner before she got married?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tuesday, October 12, 1926

No diary entry today. More memories from Aunt Marjorie...

Aunt Marjorie wrote, "When Albert was teaching, he was friendly with some of his students. He wrote to Mother about a married couple of students who were worried about their child who hadn't started to talk. Mother wrote back and asked if they talked to their baby. He wrote back later saying that when he suggested to them that they should chat with the baby, then the child quickly started talking."

(Albert was a college professor and taught theology.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Monday, October 11, 1926

No diary entry today, but some more memories from Aunt Marjorie...

"Mother wasn't a chatterbox, but she always chatted with us kids, especially at dinnertime. The family always sat down together in the dining room at dinnertime, which I guess not every family does these days. She had a lot of funny things to tell us about work during the day (she worked at Tech High School for 20 years), or about the sermon at church, or letters our older brothers sent while they were away in college."

More later about why Grandma ended up working in the school office at Tech High School for 20 years....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sunday, October 10, 1926

No diary entry today.

Aunt Marjorie send a note with some more memories of growing up. She wrote, "I remember getting up very early one morning when Mother was eating breakfast and reading the paper. She sent me back to bed saying, "It's the only time all day I have time for myself!"

Morning... the calm before the storm in a house with four young boys and a baby girl.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Saturday, October 9, 1926

No diary entry today. I do have some more information on Anna Mock and Helen Lewis Mockford, compliments of a "random act of geneaology". Thanks, Annie!

Anna and Helen are the two friends that Grandma wrote about on Thursday, October 7.

"...Anna Mock's birthdate is probably Oct 13, 1889... Anna would have been just a couple of years older than Ruth, and Helen Lewis Mockford's marriage record says she was born March 19, 1893, a few months younger than Ruth. "

It is fun to speculate how they met. Anna had been married for 12 years by this time, so perhaps the last time they were together was around the time Anna got married to her husband, Ray.

According to the 1920 census records, Helen was a "single piano teacher", so perhaps she and Grandma had music and piano playing in common. Helen married her husband in 1920. In addition to her son, James, who was around Marjorie's age, she also had another son, Robert, born around 1928, making him a year or so older than Grandma's daugher Eleanor.

So how did these three become friends, who after not seeing one another for twelve years, got together to spend an afternoon catching up?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Friday, October 8, 1926

No diary entry from today. Grandma must have been quite busy, or something was going on, because after consistently writing in her "book of remembrance" on a near daily basis for over a year, she started to miss a a few days.

Thursday, October 7, 1926

Thursday, October 7, 1926

Went out to Anna Mocks and spent the day, leaving the boys’ lunch on the table and arranging for them to meet Gilbert at the church for supper. Anna had invited Helen Lewis Mockford out too and we had such a very pleasant time. It has been twelve years since we three had been together before. Helen has a baby boy three days older than Marjorie. They are about the same in development except he has seven teeth. He is taller than Marjorie but weighs a little less. Helen weighs 96.

(Aunt Marjorie wrote that she had never heard of Helen Lewis Mockford, so perhaps she was someone Grandma went to high school with? Grandma graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis in 1910.

According to Eleanor, there was a supper every Thursday at the church and you could eat there for 25 cents or something like that, so they often did that. There was one woman who cooked all the food.)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Wednesday, October 6, 1926

No diary entry today. After being so faithful in updating her diary on a near daily basis for over a year and a half, for awhile here in October, Grandma wrote in it less frequently. Was there a reason? Will she reveal that reason in later diary entry? I guess we'll find out later.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Tuesday, October 5, 1926

Happy Birthday to Aunt Marjorie, born 82 years ago today.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Monday, October 4, 1926

Being the mother of five young children must have been catching up with Grandma, as she went through a time here when she was not as faithful about writing in her diary every day.

Mondays, as usual, would be wash day. Grandma would be down in the basement/cellar, washing all their clothes. In general, they had far fewer clothes than we have today, and none were wrinkle free, so a day of washing meant a day of ironing the next day.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sunday, October 3, 1926

Sunday, October 3, 1926
Fair and warm

Took the baby’s pictures on her Taylor Tot this PM as I probably won’t get a chance on her birthday. Took her to Sunday school in the morning and had the birthday candles. Also heard that Georgia’s girl arrived last evening. Everything ok. Was so glad to hear it. Georgia deserves something good to happen to her, she has had it so unpleasant all her married life on account of her “pilly” mother-in-law and her own bad health.

(Not quite sure who Georgia was, but it sounds like she didn't have an easy life.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Saturday, October 2, 1926

Here are links to tell you more about Dale, Dick and Albert, the three older boys. Grandma did not write in her diary on this date.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Friday, October 1, 1926

No diary entry on this day. I'll just imagine that it was a pretty fall day, the kind we have in Indiana, not too hot, not too cool and Grandma took the younger ones on a walk. Or maybe her mother came to 'help' with sewing.