Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Granny writes........February, 1926

The first time I typed up the February, 1926 portion of Granny's diaries, I have no idea what I did, but I somehow deleted it.  That has been at least 7 to 10 days ago.  I, just today, had the heart to do it again. 

February, 1926, finds Granny still in Green City with her family, still fretting about a "position".  During the month, she cooks her first meal, she writes (and answers) numerous letters each and every day, she begins to get "specials" ... or "special deliveries" from Clint, whom she misses so much it hurts.  However, she meets a guy named Forrest and goes to a party with him (which I'm sure was TOTALLY innocent)...then she frets about Grandpa (Clint) finding out.  She was so very relieved when he "forgave" her ... its so funny, because in today's times, that is grounds for breaking up/calling off a wedding/getting a divorce!!  Her writings make me laugh.  For those who knew her, they would have to agree that she didn't change much at all between the time she was a teenager until the time she passed away.  She finally gets a call from Stark Bro's Nurseries & Orchards Company in Louisiana, MO, and leaves Green City to accept the position.  Apparently, the company was big enough that it had an entire Steno Department (in those days, the bosses dictated letters, which were "taken" in shorthand ... then the stenographer would take the shorthand notes to her desk and type them up).  Girls who worked for them were "put up" in dormitory type lodging, or in Granny's case, The Hillcrest. 

                  Picture of the Steno Department of Stark Bro's Nurseries & Orchards Company.
                  Granny is on the front row, from left to right, the 5th person.  Isn't she pretty!!

     And in true Granny fashion, naturally she has the names of everyone
     written on the back of the picture.  Its also dated, but when I scanned it,
     the date was cut off.

Monday, February 1, 1926
Dear Diary,
This is the first day of February and I haven't a position yet.  Wonder if I ever will.
Pauline and I have been playing and singing and I have enjoyed it so much.  I am glad I can play a little for it gives me so much pleasure.  I only wish I could play well.
I got my letter but it was short.  I wouldn't blame him for not writing at all because I didn't.  You don't have any idea how I love him or how badly I want to see him.  Oh boy!
Tomorrow is Mother's birthday and I am going to cook supper.  My first attempt.

Tuesday, February 2, 1926
Dear Diary,
They said my supper was a decided success.  It was rather good.  Nola Mae was here.  I had beef loaf, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, pickles, beets, lettuce, salmon salad, coffee, fruit salad with whipped cream, and cake.
I got the darlingest letter from the dear boy.  I didn't have a chance to answer it till late tonight because Rev. Young called just after supper and stayed late.  Nola Mae and I just came home from the Depot.  We went to mail my letter.
Daddy got Mother a rug and Nola Mae gave her a handkerchief with tatting on it.  She hasn't received her other presents yet.

Wednesday, February 3, 1926
Dear Diary,
This is Mother and Dad's twenty second wedding anniversary.  I wonder how we will feel when we have been married that long?  I got my letter and answered it this afternoon.  Went to town with Nola Mae and mailed it.  We stopped at Watson's.
I just came home from Prayer Meeting at Longs.  Pauline is practicing.
Mother has been joining my first quilt.  She has worked all day on it and isn't finished yet.  She got some more birthday gifts this morning - three dresses, a pair of hose, a can opener, and a lot of sausage and butter.
Clinton is on my mind, as usual.

Thursday, February 4, 1926
Dear Diary,
10:10 p.m.  I just came home from Nola Mae's.  We have been talking and I also worked on some quilt blocks.  I am not getting along very well with it.
Pauline, Paul, and Helen all went to the show - "Little Annie Rooney".  I saw it once and oh!  If I could be with that person now, I would be happy.  If I could only see him for a while, I would be satisfied.  I got my usual letter.

Friday, February 5, 1926
Dear Diary,
Nola Mae, Dorothy and I just came home from Ramah Kents.  We have been playing pitch and the piano.  Had a very good time.  Also told fortunes.  Mine said that I was going to get my next letter and a valentine from Clinton and that I was going to marry Wayne but I know the latter part is a big mistake.
I got my letter today.  It was rather short again.  When he writes short letters, unless they are unusually good, he seems so far away from me.  Of course he is far when considering miles, but I don't mean that way.

Saturday, February 6, 1926
Dear Diary,
We just came home from Lois's.  Had a lovely time.  Nola Mae, Miss Blair, Pauline, Reta Payne, Wineva, and Ina Hayes were all there.  Of course we danced to both radio and Victrola music.
I got a perfectly good letter today and was satisfied with it.  I answered it right away, then read my other diary book from the day I left home for Quincy up to the last of December.  It sounded rather silly, just as you will sound in a short time.
Daddy went to Milan today.  Helen has a swelling in her throat and Mother thinks she may have the mumps, but I don't believe it is that.
I have to lead League tomorrow night.

Sunday, February 7, 1926
Dear Diary,
I have put in a rather full day.  Went to Sunday School and had a good time with my class.  They are so bright and responsive.
After dinner I got my letter and started to answer it when Dorothea and her cousin, Leila Davis, came by and wanted me to go walking with them.  We picked up Wilma and later Nola Mae.
I came home about four o'clock and finished my letter, then went back over to Pfeiffer's where we ate supper.  I lead League, rather I tried to.
After church we went over to Dot's Uncle Eds and listened to the radio.  I just came home.

Monday, February 8, 1926
Dear Diary,
I am very happy and optimistic tonight.  Sometimes I don't feel so happy.  I got a good letter and that always makes me happy.  I have become a milliner, fixed my black hat over tonight and like it much better.  Mother has been working on my tweed suit and I am planning to wear it again.
I wrote a letter to my dear Lennice today.  I am thoroughly ashamed of myself for not having written sooner.
We washed this morning and did part of the ironing this evening.  Daddy left for Brookfield.
Nola Mae and Dot went to Kirksville today to hear Sousa's Band.  They are planning to come back on the night train.

Tuesday, February 9, 1926
Dear Diary,
It is now seven o'clock.  I feel so miserable I don't know what to do.  I promised Forrest Cason this afternoon that I would go to a party with him tonight at the Legion Hall.  I would give almost anything now if I hadn't promised.  I feel guilty and I dread to tell my Clinton.  I know how he would feel or I know how I would feel if he did something like that.  But its too late now to back out.
We ironed this morning and I cut quilt blocks after I had answered my letter.  It was a swell one today, too.  Oh, I feel awful.  I wish it was over.
11:15 p.m. Just home.  Had a lovely time. Played rook and party games.  Gail Hayes asked me for a date.

Wednesday, February 10, 1926
Dear Diary,
I went to Prayer Meeting tonight with Nola Mae.  It was at Prayer (gee-oh, I'm crazy).  I mean it was at Taylor's.
I finished cutting my quilt blocks today.   Glory be!  I wonder if I will ever get it done.
I didn't get my letter today.  It just seems that Clinton knew about the party and was trying to spite me but he wouldn't do that, I am sure.  I told him all about it in my letter today.  I hope he will forgive me.  Mother is at Clara's, helping her quilt.
No word from Louisiana yet and no work.  I don't believe I'll ever get any.  I am so discouraged about it.

Thursday, February 11, 1926
Dear Diary,
I just came home from the Sophomore Program.  It was good, better than their last year's program.  Pauline sang and was in a play, "Bachelors Forever".
Reva Jane, Dot, Nola and I went together.  Lois had planned to go but couldn't.
I got two wonderful letters today.  I wonder what he is thinking about the party Tuesday night.  I hope he isn't angry.
Have been piecing quilt blocks today.  Only did four though.  Will I ever get through?

Friday, February 12, 1926
Dear Diary,
Do you know, Clinton Croft is the dearest boy that ever lived!  I'd give most anything to see him now.  I have been so homesick for him today.  I don't see how I can wait to see him.
I got a Valentine gift from him, a heart shaped box of candy.  It is the nicest thing.  And I got a keen letter, too.  Isn't he a dear?
We have been over at Pfeiffer's.  Had a good time.  Paul went to a party at Mary Frances Young's.  Helen only got twenty-five valentines today and about half of them from boys.  She's a sight, lots worse than I used to be.  What will she be when she gets to be my age?  I'm bad enough.

Saturday, February 13, 1926
Dear Diary,
I have the blues more or less.  Mother had a spell this evening because I didn't stay and make speed and because I didn't take the Canton position and everything in general.  Did I cry?  Well, I guess.  The storm has blown over now.
Pauline and I just came home from Lois's.  We danced some but couldn't get any radio music.  There was too much static.
Daddy came home this afternoon.  He had me to write to a produce company at Brookfield.  I wonder if I shall ever get a position?
Wilma came up after me just as I had finished writing a letter to my dearly beloved.  We went to town and stayed nearly all the rest of the afternoon.

Sunday, February 14, 1926
Dear Diary,
I have had a lovely time today.  I went home with Dorothy after S.S. and we cooked dinner together.  She did the biggest part of it though.
I went after the mail and got my letter and a picture of the dear boy.  I don't think it flatters him in the least but I was glad to get it anyway.  We came over home and I answered his letter.  It isn't mailed yet.  Went back over to Pfeiffer's and had supper.  Guy Davis and family from Reger came in while we were eating.
We went to League and Church.  I tried to take notes on the sermon.  Didn't have a great deal of luck though.  Nola Mae stopped in after church and just left.  I am so sleepy and blue, too.

Monday, February 15, 1926
Dear Diary,
Mother and Clara are quilting my crossword puzzle as dear Clint would say.  I'm simply no good when it comes to that.  I don't like to do it.  I have been working on the pink and while one.
I didn't get my letter today until the afternoon train.  It was a good one but it seems that he is so far away.  I just take it by spells.  Some days I feel as if I knew him, oh, so well, and other days I don't know him at all.  This is one when I don't.
I went to town after school.  We visited the ice cream parlor.
Today is Dot's birthday and my Clint's will be soon.  I wonder what I shall give him?

Tuesday, February 16, 1926
Dear Diary,
This is the last time I will write to you in Green City for quite a while.  I got a long distance call this morning from Louisiana.  I am planning to leave in the morning and want to stay in Quincy for part of the day.  I have been busy all afternoon getting my things ready.  I called Mrs. Henry, Wilma, Reva Jane, went over to Pfeiffer's and tonight Dot, Nola Mae and Pauline and I are going to see Lois.  Mother and Clara are quilting.  I have the queerest feeling, I can't describe it, but I certainly hate to leave home, and I dread that trip.
Here's hoping I will like it.  I got my letter today and wrote one.  Let's say good-bye to Green City.

Wednesday, February 17, 1926
Dear Diary,
I am in Louisiana at Hillcrest.  There are about twelve girls here.  I like it fine here.  There are four girls in this room.  Have a piano and Victrola downstairs and we are allowed to dance.
It commenced to rain when I left home and rained most of the day.  Got to Quincy about 10:30. Went up to the store, saw May and Lennice, then went out to 925 and 1030 Jersey, then to the doctor's office, then ate dinner at the Monarch and then we to the college.  Saw Chet and met Ivan Merrill.  Took the two thirty train for here.
Since supper, I have written to my Clint, the folks, Nola Mae, and Lennice.  I wish I had my other letters written.  I am so tired and sleepy now.

Thursday, February 18, 1926
Dear Diary,
I have worked so hard today.  I don't think I shall ever be a good steno.  I have been typing but am no good at all.  I like my roommates so well, better than any of the other girls, possibly because I know them better.
I went to town after supper with Irene, cashed a check for $10, bought some Listerine and soap but it was too late to get the mail.  I wish I could have had it.
I have been talking to the girls all evening and getting acquainted.  Have had quite a good time.

Friday, February 19, 1926
Dear Diary,
It is almost 10:30 and I just came home from work.  I am so tired.  I should be shot for working at night after working all day.
Irene went with me to the Post Office this morning and I had three letters from my dear Abie.  They made me feel fine, too.  Now I must answer them before I go to bed.  Isn't that awful?  But I wouldn't sleep well if I didn't.  I got a letter from Nola Mae this evening.  I was glad of that, too.

Saturday, February 20, 1926
Dear Diary,
Work, work, work.  Maybe I didn't today.  We leave at 7:15 for work and come home at five.  Eat lunch out there and have only one half hour to eat.
I got the best old letter from Clint.  He is the dearest thing.  He said he was going to try to get off and come up here about the first of March.  I certainly hope he does.
Irene, Lois, another girl and I went to town tonight.  I took my watch down to get a crystal put in it, selected Clint's birthday gift, got my neck clipped and now I must take a bath.  It is late, too, and I am tired and sleepy.

Sunday, February 21, 1926
Dear Diary,
Just as I was getting ready for S.S. this morning I got a "special" from the only one for me.  It made me happy and it made me sad.  I could hardly keep from crying.  I went to S.S. with Hope and Bessie Lester and Kathryn Kohea.  When I came back I answered Clint's letter.  Then ate dinner.  After dinner, I wrote to Reva Jane and Imogene, then Rose, Irene and I went to town.
We had just set down to the supper table when the doorbell rang and what do you know, I got another "special".  Could I eat any supper?  I'll say I couldn't.  It made me feel sad and lonesome, too.
Since supper I have written to Clint again and to Dot and Aunt Nora.  The bunch has been in here cutting up.

Monday, February 22, 1926
Dear Diary,
I have just come home from work and must write to my Abie.  I know the girls all wish I would go to bed, but I have to write my letter.  I am not so tired now or sleepy, either, but I have been all day.  I didn't get my letter because this is Washington's Birthday.  Wait till tomorrow.  Got a new roommate though.  Her name is Mae Crane.  I don't know her very well yet.
Irene thinks she is taking the mumps.  I hope she isn't.  I have been getting acquainted with Alta Stark today, tonight rather.

Tuesday, February 23, 1926
Dear Diary,
I didn't work tonight.  I was too tired.  Mae is leaving at eleven.  She said she wouldn't work here for love or money.
I got a letter from home and Clint and Nola Mae and a card from Alfred Meals.  I have been writing letters all evening.

Wednesday, February 24, 1926
Dear Diary,
I didn't work tonight either.  I have been writing letters again.  I wrote to Lennice, Wilma, Clinton, and Mr. V. G.  I got letters today from the first three.
Lennice was so afraid I would get the mumps and wanted me to come up there if I felt as if I were taking them.
Forrest just called a while ago.  That is the first time I have talked to him.
Irene has been in bed all day.  She thinks she has the mumps or she did think she had them.  Her throat isn't swollen now and I certainly hope she doesn't have them.
Rose has a date tonight.  I wish I could have one with my man.

Thursday, February 25, 1926
Dear Diary,
I just came home from work and I am so tired.  Irene is sick and has been in bed all day.  She hasn't the mumps yet, but I feel so sorry for her.
I got a dear letter from Clint today and one from Reva Jane.  I have been so homesick for him all day.  I wrote a letter to him at work again.  It made me feel guilty.  Rose and I went up town after work and I got Clint's present.

Friday, February 26, 1926
Dear Diary,
Irene and Rose and I have been talking about diaries and Clinton and everything.  Irene is much better.
I didn't work tonight.  Have been to town twice this evening and didn't buy anything either.  Fooled around with my clothes all evening.
I got three letters this morning and they made me so happy.  One from Clint, one from home, and one from Aunt Nora.  Mother said for me to tell Clint he couldn't have me for the next five or ten year if I was going to be as far away from home as I am now.  I answered Clint's letter at the office.  I am so homesick for him.

Saturday, February 27, 1926
Dear Diary,
I just came home from town and buying some new clothes.  Bought a blouse, tie, gloves, and hat.  I'm all dolled up!  I have the headache so badly.  Rose has a date and Alta's date came tonight.  I would give anything if mine would come.
I have been so homesick for him today.  We have a new roommate - Lucile Martin.  I am so glad.  I knew her at Quincy and thought she was the sweetest thing ever.
I mailed Clint's present this evening.  I got the bestest letter from him this morning.

Sunday, February 28, 1926
Dear Diary,
I have been so lonesome for my Clint today.  I got a special delivery this morning and boy, it was great.  I answered it and wrote a letter home.
I didn't go to Sunday School but Rose, Hope, Joy, Lucile, and I went to church at the Baptist church.  We bought a lot of ice cream but it wasn't very good.
Irene went home this evening.  She is going to stay there until she feels better.  I hope that is soon.
I read to Nina today, two love stories.  I have been talking about Clint and boy, but I cried this evening.  I was just too homesick for words.  I don't believe I can ever wait three years for him.   Ever, ever, ever...


  1. Great pictures of the kids, Jo Lynn.

  2. Grandmother's group picture: Funny how back in those days, so few people smiled in pictures.

  3. I know! And it was also common to actually turn your head to the a couple are doing in the picture!

  4. Your Granny reminds me of you, Jo Lynn, when you were in school. No doubt, she had the guys after her...I know I'd have been one of them.

  5. Wow, they're not only turning their heads in that group picture, they're looking away. What's up with that? lol

  6. Thank you, Steve! You know flattery will get you everywhere!