Monday, November 30, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXXV

Well, we have come to the final day of NABLOPOMO, and to the final entry in Lola's diary. This last entry may be a bit longer than normal but I thought it was only fitting to end the diary at the end of a month-long posting frenzy. Let's get started:

September 30, 1953

Rainee and Lisa have just left after a two week visit here. We had such a good time and did enjoy that blessed baby. She was so cute, sweet, and smart. Charlie was home four days while they were here - bought a new 1953 Chevrolet and is very proud of it. He drew $100 at the fair - lucky ticket - and went back very pleased with himself.

June 21, 1955

Mama fell and broke her hip May 11, 1954 and was in Flow Hospital until Thanksgiving. Took her home and she is still in a wheelchair - have a woman, Mrs. E. H. Christopher, who comes every day.

Charles - a 1st Lt. now - is stationed in Lincoln, Nebraska, and will get out of the USAF in December 1955. Little Wally, my third grandchild was born 6-26-54 and he is a darling. I flew to DC to see them in September 1954. Then Wallace came down here to see Mama in October. They are expecting a fourth child in September 1955. They are building a new home and expect to get in it next month.

Things are pretty rough here - Mama cries a lot. None of my relatives come to see her very often - Robbie has not been here in seven weeks - it just breaks her heart. (Mine too.) Charles was home in May and stayed two weeks - surely did enjoy him.

November 9, 1955

Went to Wallace's for seven weeks this summer - was there when their fourth child was born - Amil Charles - born September 1955. Little Wally was the cutest, sweetest thing I ever saw - I know the new one will be too.

Charles left for England 11-7-55 and will only be there a short time. He will be discharged 12/15/55 and we are going to Wallace's for Christmas, first time we have been together for the holidays in fourteen years.

September 3, 1957

Ida died suddenly August 22, 1957, in her sleep. Mrs. Buckingham and Jim will live on at the place. Feel so sorry for them.

Charles left USAF service 12/55 and is back with Westinghouse. He is in Dallas and comes home every weekend. So wonderful.

Martha married in June 1957 to John Rex Witcher, a Navy man. They are living in Milton, FL and seem very happy.

Wallace and little Wally are coming home for a visit next week. Charles will take the week off and I hope we have some joyous time.

Mama is pretty well. Complains a lot but is as well as could be expected. I think she looks fine.

Fred Harper died of a heart attack in December 1956.


OK, that is the last formal entry, on the last page of the book, but there are a few more lines she wrote down to record events and I will transcribe those as well:

Mama died December 24, 1962

Charles married Sue in May 1966 - Charles Jr. born 10-21-68


That's me!

Bill studied at University of Rochele, France, in Summer 1967

This is Lola's first grandhild, my cousin Bill. He eventually became a professor of French, I forget what university he teaches at.

Wallace and Rainee went to Europe in fall of 1967.

Lisa entered Goucher in September 1967.

Bill married 10-68 to Mary Lou in France.


Lola lived until 1986. She was 91 when she passed away, and if you've been reading these entries, I think you'll agree she had a very interesting life. She was a great grandmother.

Lola was doing quite well and living on her own (although she had sold her house and moved into a retirement apartment in 1982 or so) until the summer of 1986, when she had to go to the hospital, I forget what for exactly. However, while she was in the hospital, she broke her hip, and I think at that point she kind of decided she'd been around long enough. Dad and Wallace did get to go visit her in the hospital before she passed away. She is buried next to her husband in Denton.

I don't have any pictures handy of Lola from the time when she started writing this diary, but I do have one of her that was taken when she was in her 70's, I believe. Her appearance actually changed little over the years...Dad said that she'd been white-haired for as long as he can remember. Anyhow, here is what Lola looked like.



I apologize for the weird picture shape, but it was taken out of an oval picture frame to be scanned. She wrote Mom once when she and Dad were dating and said, "Well, Sue, I'm OLD and I'm FAT and I'm UGLY." I think she was being rather hard on herself...Lola had a quiet self-assurance about her that comes through in her pictures. When Lola first heard my father was getting married to my mother, a divorcee with two kids of her own, she was rather wary. But she and Mom got along great, as it turned out. I'm proud that she was my grandmother, and I hope you enjoyed reading her diary entries!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXXIV

This next entry is not a diary, but rather a news clipping Lola had saved from May, 1953:

The fellow who robbed Wallace Mann, Ben Chastain, and Eli P. Cox was a smooth operator. He took Chastain's billfold out of his pocket in his trousers, hanging in two feet of where he slept.

Wallace Mann and Charles were sleeping in the room when he took Wallace's billfold, driver's license, credit cards, ,his union card and about $160 in cash. After removing the cash, the robber threw the billfold under Charles' car parked nearby. So Wallace did not have to drive back to Washington without a driver's license after all. "He was nice not to disturb our slumber," said Wallace.

Wallace and his son, Bill, 6, left Tuesday morning after visiting Wallace's mother, Mrs. Lola Mann, 1111 Bolivar, for two weeks. He is a rather famous musician. He is flutist with the National Symphony, in Washington, D. C.

Mrs. Wallace Mann, and the little girl, 3, are with her parents in Clarksburg, W. Va. Her father had a heart attack recently.

Eli Cox's diamond-studded medal, presented to him by Southwestern life, when he completed his first million dollars of life insurance sold, was found in Fort Worth and returned to him. It has considerable intrinsic value, but the sentimental value is even greater.


I didn't change anything in that article, but I am surprised at how many grammar errors it contains for something that was written by a reporter and published in a newspaper.

I had a similar event happen to me once...when I was moving in 1996, a thief broke into my hotel room while I was asleep and took my cash. I was kind of freaked out about it, but I guess it's good my cash was all they took. Anyhow, let's get to the diary entry here:

August 4, 1953

Charles received his wings at Enid, Oklahoma, in December 1952 (also got a medal for making highest academic grades.) I went up for the ceremony. Visited with Nora and Bill Stagg in Oklahoma City on the way to Enid. Had such a nice visit. Am very proud of Chaarles - he is is a good boy.

He was home for a nice visit Christmas, then was stationed for two months at Sheppard Field, Wichita Fallas, and while there was able to come home often. He was next stationed in San Antonio for approximately five months and came home often from there - so we are really spoiled. He is now in Topeka, Kansas at Forbes AFB.

Wallace and bill came home for a two week visit in May 1953. Enjoyed them so much.


The next diary page the top half is missing for some reason...I don't know if it was torn out by Lola later, or if it was just damaged. It's the only missing part of the whole diary though. I'll pick up with the rest of the entry now:

Ida is in the hospital - Geneva and Jess have been in California for approximately 18 months and they are here on a visit. Mammy is living with Ida and they fuss and feud all the time. Haggard and Etta are supposed to come for a visit this week - Sue is now a mother - married, divorced and a baby in the space of 6-7 months. Have not seen the baby.

Jemmie Neel Wright is working now - part time - and is good help. A smart little girl.

I am no longer teaching. Am working on my yard too hard. Am feeling pretty good - better than in the past. My eyes are far from well - but are much better now.

I am now active in two service clubs - the Soroptomist Club and Business and Professional Womens Club. Am president of the latter club this year.

Our beloved Dr. Roger D. Hebard resigned and left our church in August 1952. We were without a pastor from that time until July 11, 1953 when Dr. L.B. Reams came to us. He and family seem fine in every way and I do hope the church responds to his leadership in fine fashion.


OK, that's all for today. See you tomorrow for another diary entry, and the last day of NABLOPOMO for 2009!


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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXXIII

May 5, 1950

A whole year has passed and many changes. Mrs. Waefsohn died in August 1949 very suddenly and very mysteriously while visiting in California. She left everything to Jo except $3000 to the church and a few gifts to relatives. Our class is lost without her. I am trying to teach.

Wallace and Rainee have a darling little girl named Lisa. She was born March 31, 1950. I went up there on April 10 and have been home one week. They seem very happy - two darling children. The baby looks more like our family than Bill does.

Charles is graduating at Texas tech on 5-22-50, and on the 13th of June will go to Pittsburgh, PA to work for Westinghouse. I cannot realize my baby is grown.


My cousin Lisa had kind of a wild youth (life in the sixties, I guess) but she eventually settled down, got married, and had two kids of her own. However, she was tragically killed in a car accident in 1981...was in a coma for a week or so and never recovered.

My father got a degree in electrical engineering, and ended up working for Westinghouse until he retired, except for his period of service in the Air Force. He said only a couple of people in his graduating class had job offers...there were a lot of veterans getting their degrees in 1950 and the job market was very competitive.

Cora bought Mrs. Buckingham's old home, fixed it up and moved there. It looks nice and she is very proud of it. I had my house fixed up - spent $4000 and it looks very nice. Mama and I are very comfortable there. She is not well and I worry about her.

February 16, 1951

Charles graduated Texas Tech in May 1950 and has been with Westinghouse since that time, but he has enlisted in the Air Force and I am grieved to death.


Dad enlisted in the Air Force because he didn't want to be drafted with the promise that he could go to an officer training program and become a pilot as soon as a spot opened up. He did indeed attend that program later on and did get his wings, but being enlisted back then sure didn't sound like much fun from the way he described it. He was worried that if he got drafted it might be into a different branch of the service which is why he went ahead and enlisted.

Our little Lisa is bad sick, Wallace phoned last night. I am very worried.

April 9, 1951

The children are both coming home this month. Charles for a visit before joining the Air Force and Wallace and Rainee and children to be here too. I can hardly wait.

July 24, 1951

The children were all at home for two weeks in May and I did enjoy them so much. Lisa is a most adorable child and Bill is sweet as ever. Charles and Wallace played golf daily and it took Mama, Rainee, and I the full time to cook, watch the children and wash, etc. Such a busy, happy, full two weeks.

Charles went to the Air Force on May 29, was sent to San Antonio, Lackland Field, and has been there since. He is being sent to Lubbock to Reese AFB this week - he is glad to get back to Lubbock.

Mama had a bad sick spell the first of June and was in the hospital for three days. She is not at all well and I am uneasy about her. Robbie came up and stayed with me and helped out. I am having a lot of trouble with my eyes - worried about it too.


See you again tomorrow with more tales from the 1950s!


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Friday, November 27, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXXII

May 22, 1948

Wallace and Rainee and the precious baby William are due to arrive for a visit today. Mama and I sat on the front porch last night until 10:00 looking for them. Maybe they will get here this morning - they were supposed to start from West Virginia Wednesday and we have had no words. They may have had car trouble.

They have an unfurnished apartment now, $60 per month, and have bought some furniture. I am so glad for now the baby has a yard.

December 8, 1948

Well things are still moving along. Charles is back at Texas Tech again this year. Staying in Doak Hall, works for room and board and is perfectly delighted with the school. He registered with the draft board on September 10 - has not had any word. We hare hoping he can finish his school work before being called for his period of service in the Army.


I have never really understood why the draft continued so long after the end of WWII. I mean, I know it was needed during Korea, and Vietnam...but some form of draft continued nonstop from when it began at the start of WWII until the early 1970's. Oh well. Anyhow, back to the entry:

Wallace and family had a nice visit here this summer but we want to see them again. He will not be here again this year. I hope to go up in the spring. William is talking now. Want to see him so bad.

Mama is fine - bless her heart. I do not know what on earth I'd do without her. Cora has had a sick spell - surely did miss her. She is invaluable to me.

Wilbur has quit Bennett Printing Company after 26 years and is training with Maverick-Clark Company. Seems to be delighted with work.

Martha graduated TSCW this summer with honors. She is working in Dallas for an insurance company. I am delighted.

Elsie is in Arizona for the winter - trying to recover from TB. She is much better.

January 28, 1949

I have celebrated my 54th birthday very quietly. It is extremely cold. Supposed to be three degrees below zero - snow and ice everywhere.

I went to see Wallace and family January 9th and stayed two weeks. The baby had scarlet fever but recovered very quickly. While in DC I attended two concerts and at one Wallace played a solo. Enjoyed it more than I can tell. We attended the inauguration of President Truman. Rainee is such a gracious hostess and made me so welcome. They are having to move - in process of buying a home.

Charles made good grades at Texas Tech. He is such a wonderful son. Mama is fine - what would I do without her.


See you tomorrow as we finish the 1940's and move into 1950!


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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXXI

October 2, 1947

Dear Aunt Carrie died September 22, 1947. She was a sweet, dear thing - loved young people, life, and the church. Was active to the last week of her life. Had just returned from a trip to see King at Albuquerque, New Mexico, and to see Hattie in Amarillo.

Zelma has improved and has been sent home from the hospital. I am so glad for she was needed so badly at home. She was so critically ill for one month.

December 17, 1947

Charles has not been home since he left September 15 for Lubbock and we are eagerly anticipating his arrival home next Sunday for the Christmas holidays. Wallace cannot make it. Has not been home for Christmas since December 1941.

Aunt Sallie Witt died last week after a long illness. Blessed relief. Uncle Everett is coming to see us soon. Carolyn's baby, Barbara Jo, is darling. Laura Bea whose baby Roger is seventeen months old, and baby Ann is four months old, had an emergency appendectomy November 26 and is doing fine.

I'm feeling good - working hard.

April 17, 1948

Well spring is here again and already I am dreading the hot weather. Charles came home for the Easter holiday (last Sunday in March.) He likes Texas Tech very much and I am glad. He is a precious child and I do not see how I could live without him.

Wallace, Rainee, and the baby are planning to come next month and I can hardly wait to see them. Wallace has bought a secondhand car and I am sure was "trimmed" since he paid above price quoted here and has had to put in new rings already. I am afraid there is something wrong with the job setup there too but can't get any direct information. Wish I could help him more but I must help Charles until he is through school.

Mama is well except a bothersome rash on her hands. She is trying to garden some. Uncle Everett came last week and he looks very bad. He is living with Douglas and not too happy in Lubbock. Wish he could go back to Amarillo.

Martha will graduate in August. She is a precious girl and I love her to death. Robbie and Wilbur were up Sunday. Wilbur is unhappy with Benett P. Co. Wish he had a business of his own. Wish Wilbur did not worry so and wish to high heaven Robbie would relax and just take things easy and enjoy herself. I love her so - my only sister - but she will not listen. Guess she thinks I'm off the beam and maybe I am.


My Uncle Wallace, while he struggled for a few years, did end up making a good living as a flutist. However, he always had a bit of trouble living within his means. He was a good provider for his family though.

I never really knew my great-Aunt Robbie (she died when I was seven) but I do remember Wilbur pretty well. I have heard that Robbie was a bit high-strung and VERY particular about her house...like, she would dust her whole house every day. I am sure she was a nice lady though. Dad said he learned a lot from Wilbur about being a successful salesman when he was starting with Westinghouse, and I think he looked up to Wilbur some as a surrogate father figure after his Dad passed away. I still have an old Cross pen/pencil set that belonged to Wilbur that Martha, his daughter, gave me when I graduated high school.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and see you again tomorrow!


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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXX

September 10, 1947

Well this has been a very hot and uncomfortable summer. It has been 100 degrees or more the first eight days in September. During August the temp ran to 108. Has turned cooler at last.

Wallace has been in Pineville, West Virginia for six weeks working for Mr. Rose. Rainee and the baby have been with Mrs. Rose in Clarksburg. The baby had pictures on his first birthday, just received and precious. They are all well.

Charles and I made a short trip to Lubbock on August 27 and he transferred all credits there from Teachers College to Texas Tech and will leave next Sunday for that place. he will stay with Elsie and eat at a cafeteria. We will miss him oh so much.

This past week he has painted four rooms, painted all linoleums, and washed windows and cleaned house for us. He is a good worker. He now weighs 205 - lost 55 pounds.

Zelma has been very ill and I am very uneasy about her. Poor darling; she has had such a hard time. Anita writes that she is better now.

Charles has lost so much that I had to make all his clothing over. His waist, formerly 46 inches, is now 37 inches. it has been a job. Mama and I are both pretty well - no sickness this summer.

Carolyn is expecting a baby in October. She is a sweet child. Iva Ruth's husband (the one she married this spring) had a nervous breakdown and is in Wichita. She and Dorothy Jean are at Hank's. Iva Ruth is planning to take a job October 1. I feel very sorry for the whole family.



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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXIX

December 20, 1946

Moved office from J.C. Penney Building to McClurkan Building December 7. Office much nicer. New office furniture very nice and thrilled over change.

Mama has been sick three weeks. Just can't seem to get well.

William has a tooth, before 4 months old. Bless his baby heart. They will not get to come for Christmas.

February 13, 1946

Well William is six months old today and I'd give a lot to see him. Wallace says he laughs all the time. Wallace is on a southern tour through North Carolina and South Carolina this week.

Yesterday was Charles's 18th birthday, he is a junior in Teachers College and I am very proud of him. Made 2 A's and 1 B last semester. He will register this week but think perhaps will not have to have military training.

He had a big birthday. I gave him a leather notebook, Mama a Kodak, Wallace a check for $3 and Robbie a cake and $2, Ida a lovely white muffler and Cora a nice tie pin. We had a nice dinner and a good time. Cora and Jimmy ate with us.

July 15th, 1947

On June 4, 1947, Charles and I left Denton for a three weeks trip East. We went through Sulphur Springs to Tesxarkana on to Little Rock, Arkansas, then to Memphis, Tennessee. We stopped the first night in Humboldt, Tennessee. The next day we went through the western part of Tenessee up through Kentucky - stopping at Boling Green, Mammoth Cave, etc., then into Ohio, staying the second night there. The third day we went on to Clakrsburg, West Virginia, stopping with Mrs. Rose for a day and night - then on to Washington, D.C. for a two weeks visit with Rainee and Wallace and that precious baby.

We had a perfect visit - saw so many interesting things besides enjoying every minute with the children. Went sighseeing every day. Also got to attend two concerts and hear Wallace play. Saw all the interesting government buildings - Mt. Vernon, etc. Came home via Skyline drive, Natural Bridge, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Jackson & Vicksburg, Mississippi; Shreveport, Louisiana; Dallas etc.

The most wonderful trip I ever took and every minute was fine. Charles had the time of his life. Mama stayed with Robbie and found her well on our return.

Cora did fine with the office. The Retail Credit Co. has a full time reporter now and I no longer have that source of income and miss it sorely, but I have a much easier time. Mrs. Knight now has a collection department in the office that will pay something eventually, and I will make out fine.

Charles is dieting. He got to where he weighed 260 pounds and went on a diet about two months ago and has lost 35 pounds. He has painted porches, chairs, etc. since we came home; starts back to school next Friday. I have dieted with Charles and now weigh 155 - having lost 12 pounds. I am feeling pretty good.

Martha is in school this summer and is the same sweet old girl. Carolyn is pregnant. She and her husband are living with Manny and seem perfectly contented. Homer and Mildred have moved back to Denton from Dallas. He now runs the little store for Jim - he is a partner there.


Dad didn't get really skinny until he went in the Air Force; after that he stayed pretty trim by dieting intermittently throughout the years until he was in his late sixties. Towards the end of his life eating was about his only pleasure so he stopped worrying about his weight too much. I wish he'd been able to quit smoking as well...had he managed that when the doctors told him to quit, he might still be around today...but that is another story for another post.

More tales from the 1940's tomorrow!


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Monday, November 23, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXVIII

June 19, 1946

Well it has come hot weather. Have had such a cool spring - no warm weather until June 15.

Had a place burned off my hand three weeks ago and have had the dickens with it. Still sore and going to the doctor. Mama has had an infected eye - we are a mess.

Cora and I both got our hair cut short and a permanent this week - I do mean short. It is wonderfully comfortable.

Wallace has had flu and is recovered.

July 27, 1946

Well I got my new car July 5, 1946. Paid $735 and my 1938 car for it - $1239 full price. Was offered $2000 cash for it but guess I'll not sell it for Charles would be so unhappy.


I think that immediately after WWII, cars were in very short supply because none had been produced during the war, and everyone wanted a new one. Sounds like Lola got a pretty good deal on hers. Of course, $1239 was a lot more money back then than it is now.

We are having a meeting. C. E. Matthews doing the preaching. He is a grand preacher but we are not having the response we wanted. Attendance is very poor.

August 14, 1946

Well yesterday was the big event in our lives since my first grandchild was born. Wallace called and the baby, a little boy, was born 8-13-1946 at 2 AM and weighed 8 lbs 2 oz. He was born on Rainee's birthday. She was 23. Wallace will be 24 Saturday. They said they would name the baby William Edward - same initials as Earl and son, however the name Edward is Rainee's father's name. Of course I can hardly wait to see him and they plan to come when he is one month old.

Today is fairly hot but not the excessive heat we have had. Has been 107 degrees several days - extremely uncomfortable.

Aunt Leta, Nathan, and Olivia were here yesterday. She looks grand.


I can't imagine living through a humid 107 degree day in Texas with no air conditioning, but of course people did just that for a long, long time.

More tomorrow!


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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXVII

May 18, 1946

Last Sunday was Mother's Day and Mama and I sat by the fire all day. Wallace and Rainee called long distance Saturday night. They sounded as if they were in Denton. They are well and oh so happy. Charles sent me one dozen beautiful roses. They are the sweetest, grandest boys in the world and I am certainly proud of them both. Rainee is a darling and so sweet to write to me.

Mr. Patterson has resigned here and is going to be International Harvester dealer at Whiteston. He has also bought interest in a private school at Lancaster, Texas. They have not moved.

I am working hard these days but am making a good salary and very happy for that. Cora is doing fine - like her very much.

Wallace is working for the Veteran's Administration now between symphony seasons. Only makes $160 per month but that helps. I am going to send them the money to come home this fall. I am crazy to see them and then there will be the baby.

June 3, 1946

Georgia had a major operation May 18 and is now at home and doing fine. Ida is walking on crutches; broke a bone in her foot about six weeks ago. She has had a time. I went to Dr. Hinkle for a check and he advises an operation but I am going to postpone it as long as possible. I am not well at all and know I should go on but can't see my way clear to go right now.


I have no idea what type of operation Lola is referring to here, but considering she lived another forty years after this entry was written I presume it wasn't anything too serious.

Carolyn made three A's and two B's this semester in college. I am very proud of her. Homer and family are here for his vacation. His wife is cute as she can be. Homer looks fine.

OK, that's all for today...more tomorrow!


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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXVI

March 12, 1946

Well the winter is gone and spring is really upon us. Wallace has finished his first season with the National Symphony and has gotten a small raise for next year but he has a hard time there for living expenses are so high. Rainee is getting along fine and I am so very glad.

Martha was one of the Red Bud Primroses and we were very proud of her. She was also selected president of her class for next year.

Zelma and Matt came up last Sunday and neither are well. Matt has an infected eye and it looks so bad. Zelma isn't well at all.

I let my car go in to try and get a new one and am walking these days. Sure wish I hadn't been so silly for heaven only knows when I'll get one. Cora is nice to take me home but I sure miss it.

We have a new mayor - J.L. Yarburgh. Mr. Breston had served for eight years but was badly defeated. It looks like Mr. Patterson is going to loose his job too. New school board has not met - nothing known definitely but it is generally nosied around. I would hate very much for him to loose out because I was so very fond of him.


Denton was still a fairly small city back then, and Lola lived close to downtown, where she worked...which is how she was able to get by with no car. She also knew most of the local politicians; I think this had to do with her office being located near the courthouse as well as doing credit bureau business with most all of the local businessmen. Of course, in a small town, it's a lot easier to know who everyone is...I'm afraid that living in a big city, that's not something I'll ever be able to claim.

Back tomorrow with more tales from the 1940s!


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Friday, November 20, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXV

December 15, 1945

Mrs. Parmer is leaving today to take a position at the 1st Methodist Church as secretary. She has worked up here for 25 years and I hate to see her go. She is getting a better salary though and cannot blame her.

Cora Wilkinson is starting in and will be up here with me. She is trying hard and I know will be fine later on.

No word from Wallace for two weeks. He has been on tour - hope to get a letter soon. Sent his Christmas box last Monday. Mama sent check today.

February 23, 1946

Well time rolls on. Here it is up in 1946 and how the days fly by. Cora is doing fine and we do have a good time. She certainly does try to please and we get along fine.

The stupendous news is that I am to be a grandmother in August. The children are so happy and so am I. Wallace is on a southern tour and Rainee is in New York now. Will not likely see them before the baby arrives.


Due to Wallace getting married and having kids at a young age, and Dad getting married in his late thirties (as well as being about seven years younger than Wallace) my oldest cousin on Wallace's side of the family has children that are about my age, which I always thought was kind of funny. On both sides of my family, I'm the youngest of my generation...which could be annoying at times growing up, but doesn't bother me now.

Jess has returned from overseas and so has Ritchey. They both look grand.

I resigned my teaching position with the Eugelian class last month and am back in the T&L class now. Hated to give up the class as I had taught it for over five years but felt I did not have the time to devote to it. They gave me two beautiful wool blankets and I am very proud of them. They had intended getting me a watch and I bought one with the check Mama gave me for Christmas. They were very chagrined, bless their hearts.


I am not sure if I spelled "Eugelian" correctly since it was kind of hard to read, but I'm pretty sure that Lola is referring to Sunday school classes she participated in. She was very knowledgeable about the bible and was active in her church for many, many years.

On the first of the year I got a $50 raise that certainly helped out. I am getting along fine now. Can live nicely and comfortably on my income.

Martha and Charles are doing fine. Charles made average grades...Martha, super. She made seven "A"s. Very proud of her.


Well, that's all for today...hope everyone has a nice weekend and is looking forward to Thanksgiving!


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Forgot to post an entry today!

Sorry. It was a long day; meeting before work, then work, then I got home and totally spaced transcribing an entry. However, to keep my NABLOPOMO pledge, I thought I'd post an explanation as to the lack of a diary entry by Lola. Back tomorrow with more historical stuff.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXIV

Due to a lack of time to transcribe this morning, today's entry will be a bit shorter than usual...only transcribing about a little more than one handwritten page. But don't worry...I should have the whole diary finished by month's end.

November 15, 1945

Well it has been four years since Earl died and I came to the office to work. Much has happened and it seems a long, long time. Time changes things so. I had a little boy four years ago; now he is 6 feet tall and weighs 235, and is in college.


Dad was overweight growing up, but he got in good shape when he went in the military and stayed reasonably trim until his late sixties. But he was also a fairly large man so it wasn't all fat at this point either. Dad said that Wallace was very concerned about his weight when he was growing up, which considering how Wallace ended up being way overweight for most of his adult life is kind of ironic. Anyhow, back to the entry:

Wallace, who was 19 then, is married, lives in Washington, D.C. and is thoroughly absorbed in his work as flutist for the symphony there. I am more alone than ever in my life and suppose it will grow worse. Mama is a great comfort to me. I don't know what I would do without her.

Mattibeth Wright is to be married November 22 to a Fort Worth fellow. They had a tea for her last Sunday announcing the approaching marriage.

Phil Wright and his wife have a baby. He is still in the army and they will be unable to attend the wedding.


More tomorrow!


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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXIII

September 4, 1945

September 2, 1945 was official V.J. Day. Charles, Mama, and I listened to the broadcast as the representative of Japan and of the United states joined in signing the papers. It was thrilling to know peace had come at last and that the United Nations had been victorious. God grant that there never be another war.


Japan officially surrendered on August 15, 1945. The announcement was made on August 14 in the United states due to time zone differences. The formal surrender did take place on September 2, however, on board the battleship U.S.S. Missouri. According to Wikipedia the VJ Day term has been applied to both August 15 and September 2. Of course, Lola's wish was not granted and wars have continued off and on since then...but there never has been a war on the scale of WWII again, so maybe her wish came partly true, at least.

My father told me an interesting tale from August 15, 1945: right after Japan announced they were surrendering, he was still working at the fire department. He was in a fire truck with the sirens going en route to a fire...but all of the cars on the road thought they were celebrating the end of the war, and didn't realize they actually were going to put out a fire, so nobody pulled over to let them drive by. They made it to the fire eventually, of course, but it took longer than it should have.

It's interesting for me to realize there has been no similarly huge, worldwide celebration of this scale in my lifetime...I was alive for the lunar landings, but I don't remember them. I guess the biggest historical event I have lived through was 9/11, but of course that was not a happy day at all. Lets get back to the diary entry:

Wallace and Rainee are in Biloxi, Miss. and are enjoying it immensely. Do not know yet just when he will be released. Mama, Charles and I went to Proper Sunday and enjoyed being with Leonard and Robert and all so much.

October 6, 1945

Wallace got his discharge from the Army September 28th up at Sheppard Field. He rushed home and he and Rainee left on the 4:30 PM train for Washington, D.C. where he will be 1st flutist in the National Symphony Orchestara this year. They will live in Washington. He is thrilled to death. The season starts October 2. He and Rainee are now in West Va. for a visit with her parents.


Wallace held that same position of 1st flutist in the National Symphony for many years. He was eventually forced to retire in the early 1980's due to a personality conflict with a new conductor. As I have mentioned a few times during my transcribing, Wallace gained a lot of weight after he quit smoking in the 1950's weighed around 300 lbs after that. Although Wallace's weight gain never affected his flute playing, this new conductor didn't like the fact that he was so overweight...there may have been other motivations as well; I'm not sure. Wallace probably would have retired within a few years anyhow since he was over 60 when that happened, but it's all water under the bridge now.

Aunt Carrie has been very ill. She went out to Albuquerque to visit kin. She became very ill on the train and they brought her home two weeks ago and she has been very ill since that time.

I have been very busy in the office. Courtesy cards have come back and oil companies are getting a large volume of reports about October 1.

Bob Allman has his discharge and he and Zova Nell are here. They will live with Mrs. Parmer.


I have mentioned that I have to guess sometimes on name spellings due to this being a handwritten diary...that last couple sentences is one of the times I guessed. Zova was what the name looked like to me but it could be something else entirely.

Back tomorrow as we journey into peacetime!


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Monday, November 16, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXII

August 8, 1945

Well things move along - many sad things have happened this month. Dad (J.S.) Hammond died. He was a good man and dearly loved by his family. Earl thought him a good honest man - I am sorry about his death. Bill Wright - another good friend - died Friday 3rd of August - I thought so much of Bill. Cooter Hastings was killed in action in the Pacific - his mother is such a good friend and I grieve with her. Jack Fry, Bill Smith's son, was burned with his plane in Galveston. Leaves a wife and baby - so sad.

My boy is still in Sioux Falls. Rainee was with us three weeks but went up there July 28th. I am glad they can be together.

The greatest scientific discovery of late years - the atomic bomb - has been perfected and used for the first time in this warfare. One small bomb has wiped out a large Japanese city. I shudder to think of the possibilities of such a weapon. I only hope it is used to prevent wars.


Another cool observation of history as it happened that makes reading this diary so enjoyable to me. Let's continue with one more diary entry:

August 10, 1945

Russia joined England, China , and the U.S and declared war on Japan Wednesday, August 8. Early this morning Japan radioed surrender, agreeing to terms of Potsdam conference except that they retain the Emporor. If the leaders of the four nations agree to this - it means the end of this terrible war - God grant it.

Leonard came by to see me and he looks wonderful. Much better than when he was so fat. He only weighs 167 pounds. Just about the size of Wallace.


Leonard was not a skinny man when I knew him, but neither was he hugely fat...I would guess he probably weighed around 200 or so. Wallace, on the other hand, ended up weighing over 300 for many years after a big weight gain in the 1950's...quitting smoking was a real challenge for him, evidently. Funny how things change over time. More tales from the 1940's return tomorrow!


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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XXI

June 23, 1945

Well today Wallace called and they have been at the Adolphus hotel all week. Bless his heart he is simply walking on air. He asked me to meet him at his Datee's tomorrow - which happens to be Robbie and Wilbur's silver anniversary. I bought her a silver server today. Hope she doesn't have one. Wallace and Rainee will come home with us.


Robbie and Wilbur were my great-aunt and great-uncle. Dad was rather close to Uncle Wilbur, and said he learned a lot from them. I still have a pen set Wilbur owned that I got for graduation from high school. Datee was a nickname Robbie used; sorry if that is confusing.

The Adolphus hotel is still in business and is a very swanky place from what I hear. Queen Elizabeth stayed there once when she visited America, for example. It was featured briefly in the movie Borat for those of you who have seen it (I haven't) and I first heard about it when reading some commentary about the movie. (The clip featuring the hotel can be seen here if you're interested.) I have been wanting to check the hotel out; knowing that my uncle stayed there over 60 years ago now makes me want to even more. Should be good material for a future blog post.

July 9, 1945

Wallace and Lorraine were here one week and he left for Sioux Falls, S.D. Rainee went to Dallas to visit last Tuesday. Do not know when she is coming back. No word from Wallace and do not know where he will be stationed.

Charles took a job at the north side Fire Station and has moved up bag and baggage. I doubt if it is the right thing to do. He is very young and is getting to feel pretty important since he is going to Teacher's College.


It may seem odd that my father could get hired as a firefighter at the age of 16, but you also have to consider that this still being wartime, the majority of men who would fill those jobs and were able-bodied were all in the military. (Back then, it was a male only profession.) Also, Denton was a fairly small city at the time. I don't know how much formal training Dad received...I think it was mostly a "learn as you go" deal from the experienced firemen...but I do know he worked as a firefighter for several months there.

The Teacher's College that Lola is referring to is now known as the University of North Texas. It is a good school and Dad fulfilled a lot of his undergrad requirements there but he wanted to go into engineering, which they do not offer, so he eventually transferred to Texas Tech in Lubbock. That is discussed later in the diary, though, so I won't go into details right now.

Back tomorrow with more tales from the 1940's!


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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XX

June 4, 1945

Charles entered Teacher's College Monday and is taking English and Algebra. He thinks he will like it fine. He really needs to work for I am having tough sledding making both ends meet. My old car has gone to the shop and costs me so much.

Zelma, Anita, and Jerry came up yesterday and are paying us a little visit. Zelma looks perfectly wretched, and is certainly far from well. Her side drain s all the time. Jerry is sweet as can be but runs his mother ragged. Anita seems a grown young lady.

June 16, 1945

A telegram came from Wallace June 14, saying he and Rainee would be married Sunday June 17, in Oberlin. I could not go for the wedding and know no details. They will probably come home next week sometime. I am so anxious for them to come on for the thirty days is rapidly passing.


I believe that Wallace got thirty days of leave when he got back to the US from Europe and that is what Lola is referring to here.

She is a cute, sweet little girl and I will love her dearly but I hate for Wallace to get married until after the war, but he is of age and I cannot do a thing about it. I do hope he does not have to go to the Pacific and that they do not have too much trouble in their lives. Bless their hearts - I know that life will not all be a bed of roses.

As it turns out, Wallace did not have to go to the Pacific, and while Lola was correct in her observation that life was not always a bed of roses, he and Rainee were married for over fifty years.


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Friday, November 13, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XIX

May 21, 1945

The war in Europe ended Monday May 7. The forces there will be moved to the Pacific as rapidly as possible. I had a letter from Wallace written April 27 in which he stated that he was leaving Italy and could not tell where he was being sent but stated that it was good news. Of course good news could be but one thing and that would be his return to America. I do hope that we are not disappointed.


The official VE Day is May 8, 1945, but Germany surrendered on May 7...the day the surrender formally was accepted is May 8. Hitler committed suicide on April 30. This historical aside is brought to you by Wikipedia.

This is truly a spring of graduations in our family. Charles and Martha are in their last week at Denton High and Highland Park High. Lorraine is to graduate at Oberlin. I sent her a blouse today. Will give Martha $10 and have bought Charles a nice suit. Mama and Wallace gave him a watch.

June 7, 1945

Wallace landed at Newport News, Virginia May 24, 1945 after a nine day boat trip from Naples, Italy. He got home Wednesday May 30 and was here for Charlie's graduation. He left Monday June 4 to go to Oberlin Ohio for a visit with Rainee. They are to go to Clarksburg, West Virginia to visit her parents tomorrow. He looks marvelous and seems perfectly well.


Sorry about the short entry today, but I do want to pace things so that I have enough entries to last me through most of November. I am over halfway through the transcription already so things should be finished up within a couple of weeks.

It was nice that my uncle could be home for my father's graduation from high school...and, of course, VERY nice that he made it home from Europe safely. A lot of soldiers weren't so lucky. See you once again tomorrow!


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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XVIII

May 4, 1945

We moved our office back across the hall today into the office we had before we moved in with Mr. Barton. We were glad to get home.

The war news all points to an early victory in Germany. Fighting has ceased in Italy - Berlin has fallen to the Russians and the German soldiers are giving up by the hundreds of thousands. No word from my precious solder in a week. I feel sure he is being or has been moved from Italy.

I finally got that old note of Earl's paid off and certainly feel relieved. Fred Harper has certainly proved himself a friend to me. He helped me get it settled and saved me $350 or more on the deal. Old W.C. Orr is a crooked so and so.


I presume Lola is talking about paying off the mortgage on her house there, but I'm not positive. I do know that last term she used sounds mild by today's standards, but Lola had to be furious with someone to call them a crooked so and so.

Fred Harper was Lola's cousin and a very nice guy. Very sharp, also, and a chess expert...he stayed active with that game well into his 80's. He had lost both his hands as a boy in a farm accident but never let it slow him down a bit. Anyhow, back to the entry:

Charles has helped me all day today and now has gone to help Mama get her yard in good condition. It has been such a mess - and she has been very unhappy about the deal.

Poor little old Zelma has been dreadfully sick. She went to the hospital six weeks ago, and was there over three weeks. She had surgery and was dreadfully ill. Her gall bladder ruptured four years ago and stones had formed and packed into her intestines. She is still sick and I am uneasy about her.

Anita had been working but is staying at home with her mother now. Jerry stayed two aor three weeks with his granddaddy and grandmother but is back home now.


Dad quite enjoyed yardwork, and I find that is something I inherited to an extent...not that I miss having to mow the yard every week, but it is satisfying when you have a nice, green, well-manicured yard to relax in and know that your hard work helped get it into shape. Still, I'm happy enough with apartment life for now.

Back tomorrow with more tales from the 1940's!


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XVII

March 31, 1945

Tomorrow is Easter. Robbie, Wilbur, and Martha are coming up for dinner. Ida gave us a couple of fryers. They are so nice. I bought some strawberries and we will have shortcake, also new potatoes, new English peas, hot rolls, etc.

Do wish my boy was home from the terrible war and could be with us. He has gone on his second mission bombing Amstettin, Germany. The war news is very encouraging in the West. Do not see how Germany can last much longer. They are giving up by the thousands. Morning paper states Eisenhower took 60,000 prisoners in two days fighting.

April 23, 1945

Much has happened in the past month. Wallace has completed 10 missions and was safe one week ago for we had a letter today written last Monday. The Russians have entered Berlin and there is fierce fighting in the heart of the city. It is a huge enigma to the Allies that the German people will go on fighting, blindly following the orders laid down to them by the Nazi warlords who have fled and left them to their fate. The great conference will meet this week in San Francisco.

Last Thursday, April 12, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died suddenly. The whole nation went into mourning. I do not know what affect his sudden death will have on the world but the new President Truman seems to have taken hold of affairs in a most gratifying manner. I do hope that the people will stand behind him and uphold him. Earl, the boys and I were great admirers of President Roosevelt and the boys and I feel a personal loss in his going.

Charles is broken out with poison ivy and is a sight. It seems to me there is always something wrong with him.


These last couple of entries, discussing history as it was happening, are some of the most entertaining parts of Lola's diary to read, I think. I do like reading about what she thought of how things were going as well.

Dad was actually didn't get sick too much when I was growing up, so I think he may have just been having a bad run of luck in 1944-45...also, I'm sure that recovering from that bad infection he had did a number on his immune system for a while.


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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XVI

March 2, 1945

A letter from Wallace and he is in Italy and had a wonderfully interesting trip over. He was in Africa and other interesting places. He seems happy and that makes me feel much better about him.

Charles has had scarlet fever and has missed two weeks from school. He has not been extremely ill but we certainly hated for him to miss school.

A letter from Rainee this week. She is a sweet child and I think Wallace really loves her. If he loves her I do to and will be happy if they marry.

Mama and I are well.

March 23, 1945

Today is precious little Earl's birthday. He would have been 25 years old had he lived. Have been without him for 14 years.


For those of you who haven't read these from the beginning, Lola is referring to her eldest son, William Earl...you can see that earlier entry here.

Leonard is 40 years old today. He is a captain in the transportation division in the Air Forces in India.

A letter from Wallace dated March 17, 1945, and he has gone on his first mission - bombing Verona, Italy. It is a very uncomfortable feeling to know your child is in constant danger.

Zelma has had a very serious operation. Her gall bladder burst and she has been in a very critical condition. Has a tube in her side.

Robbie brought Martha and came up last week and bought her some lovely clothes. She has a very chic figure and wears her clothes beautifully.


This is interesting for me to read, since when I knew Martha, she was always quite overweight (along with my Uncle Wallace.) She was an awesome lady, though, and very fond of me when I was a kid.

Uncle Everet paid Mama a surprise visit Tuesday March 21. We were so happy to see him. He is a sweet old thing and I love him.

See you all tomorrow with more from 1945!


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Monday, November 09, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XV

February 10, 1945

No word from Wallace since he wrote and gave his A.P.O. numbers. We are, of course, very anxious to hear.

Yesterday your Sunday school class had a nice banquet at the T.S.C.W. Tea Room and everything was lovely. The tables were beautiful and the meal was good. I made a speech. Oh my. May Boyd was toastmistress and she was a honey.


I have heard that Lola was actually a very good speaker at events like that, but I'm sure it would make anyone nervous. She was quite a sharp lady.

Charles went to McKinney last night with George Hubbard to a ball game and they had a fine time. Didn't come in until 1:30 AM. Oh he is getting big and that is the truth.

February 20, 1945

We had a censored letter from Wallace Saturday February 17, and it was written February 9 at some island. Had another letter written February 12 from somewhere in Africa. Expecting to leave there for his destination soon. He is well and seeing lots of sights.

Charles is ill today, broken out all over. It appears to be measles but cannot tell. Have in a call for Dr. Hindle. A letter from Robbie and Wilbur is sick. Mama and I have rheumatism today. It is cold and has been raining four days. Bad on aching bones.


Sorry I haven't been adding more commentary to these recently, but I hope everyone is still enjoying them. Reading about everyone's various illnesses does make me realize just how far medicine has come since then in some ways...back then, everyone was just expected to get those childhood illnesses at some point, since there were no vaccines. Anyhow, see you all tomorrow, as my NABLOPOMO posting frenzy continues.


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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XIV

January 30, 1945

Wallace finished his training at Tuscon, Arizona on January 12, 1945 and had eight days to get to Topeka, Kansas. Charles and I met him in Dallas Saturday morning January 13. We went out to Robbie's and had breakfast with her, and Martha Lou came home with us. Wilbur and Robbie came up Sunday and we had a nice family reunion. Made some good Kodak pictures. Burt and Danie came over that afternoon and we were so happy to have them.

We had a nice visit with Wallace and found him the same sweet Wallace. He is stouter than I have ever seen him and looks grand. He had some good pictures made over at Doherty's while he was at home. He gave me a perfectly beautiful pin for my birthday. He paid $30 for it.

He was here until Friday January 19, when Charles and I took him to Ft. Worth where he had reservations on the 11:30 Santa Fe for Topeka. He returned all of his excess baggage the following week and on Saturday January 27, his letter came stating that his APO number was out of New York. I have no idea where he went. He sent his crew picture and a picture of the new plane they were given to fly over. Now we will sit and wait.

Yesterday was my 50th birthday. Wallace had given me my beautiful pin, Mama gave me a pretty table, the class a pretty birthday cake. Robbie gave me a flashy pair of house shoes and Charles gave me a pair of stockings. Mrs. Neali sent me a dressed hen, a dozen eggs, and a can of hominy. Mrs. Yeary had a little birthday party for Mrs. Harpool and I Saturday night and it was very nice. Everyone is so sweet to me - I do not deserve it.

Charles has finished the first semester of his senior year in high school. He made three A's and two B's. He is sweet, but feisty at times.


The class Lola was referring to was her Sunday school bible class, I believe...that class studied together for literally DECADES, and didn't disband until the early 1980's when there were only a few of them left that were able to attend.

My Dad was probably a very well-behaved teen, actually, but all teenagers go through a bit of pushing back to find their limits...and as I may have mentioned, a streak of stubbornness runs in the family, which Lola, my father, and I all had/have in ample measure.


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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XIII

November 25, 1944

Iva Ruth Hendrix's hustband Gale Kimball was killed in a car wreck (died from burns - ignited in wreck) Sunday November 19, 1944. Charles and I went to Mesquite to the funeral. Mrs. Hendrix and Clayton were there. I feel so sorry for Iva Ruth, it seems only yesterday that she was a little 14 year old high school girl living next door to us.

Last Thursday November 23rd was celebrated in a great many places as Thanksgiving, however we will have no holiday until November 30th. President Roosevelt has tried to change the dates on Thanksgiving but the old date of the last Thursday in November is still holding on in many cases. We will do what celebrating we do tomorrow. Robbie and Wilbur are coming up at that time.

The war seems stepped up in fury but the end is certainly not in sight. How I wish and pray it may be over soon. Charles McClary is reported missing and so many others.

Had a nice surprise today when Mark Waldrip sent a lovely basket of flowers to the office. I appreciated it so much.


Using that great if not 100% reliable research site, Wikipedia, I find that Thanksgiving was fixed as the fourth Thursday in September by federal law starting in 1941. It sounds like the old tradition of it being the last Thursday in November held on for a few years longer, based on this diary entry. I sampled some of Lola's food growing up, and I can tell you she definitely had the old style Southern cooking recipes down, so I'm sure that they had tasty food on the 30th that year.


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Friday, November 06, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XII

November 11, 1944

Worked all day today. Mrs. Parnier came late and left early. I only took 20 minutes for dinner and am already tired.

The election is over and FDR beat Dewey in every way. Electoral votes 3 to 1 and polled 3,000,000 more popular votes. I do hope that settles that for a while and people shut up their criticism.

The business houses did not close today. There was a program on the Court Square honoring those who gave their lives in this war but nothing else. They banked flowers honoring them on the sidewalk.

Charles took the car and went to Dallas to see Denton and Highland Park play ball last night. They got beaten 28-7 but seemed to put up a good fight. Charles took a crowd of boys with him.

Wallace is delighted with the climate at Tuscon. He is working hard. Will not get to come home Christmas.

Earl was buried three years ago today. It seems forever.

Jess did not get in the Navy, as he desired, but is a buck private and stationed in San Antonio. I hate it.


I presume that Lola was not happy with Jess being in the Army instead of the Navy because there was a higher chance of being in combat in the Army. However, I'm not sure of that...it's just my best guess.

It may seem odd for my grandmother to have let my father drive 30 miles to see a football game with a bunch of fellow students in the car, but Dad had quite a bit of experience driving at this point...he'd learned to drive when he was 12 or 13 after his father Earl died, and he did a lot of driving helping out with Lola's business. By the time he made that trip, he'd been driving for for a few years. I know it seems odd today, but back then there were few formal requirements for a driver's license (and of course, a lot fewer cars on the roads as well.)

Oh, and for anyone wondering how that is possible if he was a senior in high school at this point...Dad graduated high school when he was 16 for some reason. There was something to do with a switch to a different academic calendar, and his birthday, and he was also a pretty good student so he may have skipped a year at some point for that reason. Due to my birthday being in October, I was only 17 when I graduated high school myself.


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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part XI

September 9, 1944

Mrs. Buckingham is out at Ida's and is slowly recuperating from the spider bite. Ida is not at all well and is really not able to take care of her but there seems no other way out.

Mary Frances Neal married last week and it was a beautiful wedding. Mrs. Neal had a lovely reception for her and it was nice as could be.

Elizabeth Provence is at home and I had a little party for her last Monday night. She is the same old sweet Lisbeth.

The twin babies who have cried all summer and nearly driven Mama crazy have moved to Ruthie's and we cannot hear them cry nearly so plain. Also it has turned cool and they do not cry like they did. Mama, who had feet terrible all summer, is now feeling some better.


Part of the reason the South has exploded in population in recent decades is because of air conditioning. I know that for a long time people managed without it, but the thought of living here all summer with no cooling other than fans is a scary one...but I guess people managed.

Wallace, who has been in Waco since August 22, has been transferred to Lincoln, Nebraska. He must be there by the 14th. He came by home and spent two days and went to Oberlin, Ohio to see Rainee. He has been training on B-24's.

Charles has been working out at T.C. for two weeks. He is painting. Makes 35 cents per hour but he does not have a Social Security card yet. He will quit Tuesday night and will start to school on Wednesday. He is a senior in high school this year. I can hardly realize that my baby is a baby no longer.

October 4, 1944

Ida is leaving this afternoon for Dallas to go to a clinic. She has been sick for over two months and does not know what is wrong that she cramps so. I've had a series of headaches that have given me a fit. Feel very punk today.

Mrs. Buckingham is at home nnow and is getting along very nicely. She is up all the time now.

Mr. Eli Cox, our neighbor, has been sick for two months but is recovering. He has been in Dallas in a sanatarium. Mr. Wright has also been sick and in a sanitarium.

Jack Williams, Ellen's youngest boy, who entered the Air Corps three years ago, was killed Sunday, September 17, 1944. He was a 1st Lieutenant and had served overseas for one year, returned to the US and had been flying big transports across. He started out with one for England and crashed at Bangor, Maine, only 200 feet off the ground. It is a tragic thing and grieves us all.

Wallace is still in Lincoln but is expecting to leave any time.


I didn't know the Williams family, but that would be a terrible thing, to have your child make it through what you thought was the most dangerous part of the war (combat in Europe) and then be back doing a relatively safe job in the U.S., only to be killed in a plane crash. Of course, aviation back in those days was not as safe as it is today, but crashes were still a rare occurrence.

See you all tomorrow with more tales from the 1940s!


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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part X

Welcome back to my monthlong posting frenzy. Also, I wanted to clarify something for those of you who have been following my recent entries (specifically my last one): penicillin wasn't rare in 1944 because it was for military use only...it was rare because it was a brand new drug. (I know that it was discovered in 1929, but widespread use did not occur until the 1940's.) I'm glad that my father had a good doctor who knew about it and knew it could be of help, of course, and that he received it in time. Anyhow, let's get back to today's entry (actually, since the first entry is pretty short, I'm transcribing two diary entries today.)

July 12, 1944

I brought Charles home from the hospital June 27th, 1944. He has been fine and has gradually returned to normal life. I took him back to Dr. Jones Jun 9th for a final check and he said Charles was just fine. We had supper with Robbie and drove home that night.

Martha is doing volunteer nursing this summer at St. Paul's in Dallas. Charles has three very small scars, barely noticeable. His sight does not seem affected in the least. He has had a remarkable recovery.

A letter from Wallace says he hopes to get his wings August 4th.

August 21, 1944

Wallace got his wings at Pampa, Texas, on August 4th, 1944 and is now Lt. Wallace Mann and is 22 years old as of August 17. Charles, Carolyn, and I went to Pampa to see Wallace get his wings. We visited Howard Buckingham and had a nice time. We left there Friday August 4th at 10:30 P.M. and drove all night, getting in here at 2:30 A.M. on Saturday August 5th.

Wallace was with us 17 days and did we feed him up. He gained 15 pounds and his new lieutenant uniform was tight as the hide when he left. Lorraine Rose, Wallace's girl, came home from Clarksburg, West Virginia and stayed with us from Sunday August 6th until Wednesday August 9th. She is sweet and cute and we liked her.


Wallace did end up marrying Lorraine, or "Rainee" as she is known to all of her relatives and friends. They had four children together. However, I don't think my father ever completely trusted her since he always considered her a yankee.

Martha came from Dallas on Wednesday, August 16th and stayed until Sunday, August 20th. Wallace left this morning so Mama, Charles, and I feel rather lonesome. Wallace went to Waco, Texas, and I do hope he will be stationed there for a while.

Mrs. Buckingham was bitten by a spider last week and has been in a very serious condition, but seems somewhat better today. Mrs. Neal had an Announcement Tea for Mary Frances yesterday. She is to marry September 2nd to a Bill Arthur and will live in New Braunfels, Texas.


That's all for today. See you tomorrow!


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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part IX

NaBloPoMo day three, and more tales from 1944. This one is pretty powerful to me for reasons that will become obvious. Here we go:

Saturday, June 24, 1944

Well we have been through a lot of anxiety and suffering since I wrote May 29. On Monday June 6th Charles woke me in the night groaning with his head. We doctored him for headache and biliousness all day Tuesday and Tuesday night the pain centered in his left eye. I had Dr. Woodward and he pronounced it acute frontal sinus infection and said it was serious. He doctored him until Monday, June 12 when he sent him to Dallas to Dr. Guy Jones. Dr. Jones made x-rays and announced that he would operate Tuesday morning, June 13.

He made an incision, bored through the skull, and inserted a rubber tube for drainage. Charles came out fine and did well until Thursday, June 15, when his temperature shot up. On Friday, June 16, Dr. Jones said he was in a very critical condition. He made two more incisions, inserted two more tubes, and told me that Charles had osteomyelitis in that bone over his left eye.

At this time penicillin had just been released for civilian use and Dr. Jones made application to Baylor hospital for it to use on Charles. He sent a smear of the infection to Baylor. They made a culture of it and allowed the amount of penicillin needed. They began the injections, given hyperdermically every three hours, Friday at 3:00 P.M. They have been giving them ever since.

By Sunday Charles was much improved and he has been clear of fever since Tuesday. I feel so grateful, so thankful for his recovery. He has two places in his forehead, but the doctor says they will grow back, he thinks. His left eye has been swollen shut since he got sick but we have hopes that it will be all right too. He has two grand nurses, Miss Threit and Miss Ponder. Everyone there treats him grand. I came home Wednesday June 21, and left him there at Jones & Jones Clinic.

Robbie and Wilbur and Martha were grand to me and to him all the time I was in Dallas. Robbie sent all my meals and did our washing and is still doing his. Martha sits with him during the daytime now.

Fred took me down and did everything he could for us. He and Bob came back twice. Mrs. Provence came and stayed with us from Saturday until Tuesday night and helped. Homer sat up all one night. Ida and Geneva and Pauline did what they could. Everyone was lovely and considerate. People prayed and his life was spared.

Mama and I are going to Dallas tomorrow. It is beastly hot today; has been unusually hot since Charles has been there - his fan has run day and night. We sent Wallace a box of cookies today. He has been so worried about Charlie, bless his heart.

Word comes that Toby Roberts is a prisoner. I am so thankful that he was not killed.


As it turns out, my father did fully recover from his illness, and his eye that had been swollen shut for weeks was fine once the infection went away. The places in his head where the surgeons had drilled into his skull did heal, and while he had a small scar near his left eye, it wasn't very noticeable at all.

Before I read this diary, I knew that Dad had a serious infection when he was growing up and had received penicillin for it, but I hadn't realized just HOW serious it was. Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone...that's how advanced things had gotten.

Dad did tell me that all the doctors couldn't believe how fast he got better once he started taking penicillin...and I can well understand after reading this how antibiotics were considered a "miracle drug" when they first were introduced. I'm very thankful it was made available for my father's use back then...since I'm pretty convinced that if he hadn't received it, he would have died from his infection, and I would never have come to exist.


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Monday, November 02, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part VIII


OK, today's post will be a brief one, since the following entry is a lot longer (and kind of intense) and I don't have time to type it all out right now. However, as a bonus, I'm including a picture I found recently...not from 1944, but of me from 1989.

That skinny dark-haired guy on the left is me in Steamboat Springs, CO, about 20 years ago. I was in tech school for the Air Force and stationed in Denver (Lowry AFB, which has since closed) and some relatives of mine owned the inn in the picture, so I drove up there one weekend with a friend and fellow tech school attendee. We had a pretty good time and both managed to get served alcohol in some local establishments even though we weren't quite 21 yet.

Let's get back to today's diary entry:

Monday, May 29, 1944

A letter from Wallace tells us he has been sent to Pampa Army Air Base. Went there Wednesday, May 24. If nothing happens to prevent he will get his wings the first week in August. He hopes to be home on his birthday but I do not know about that.

Carolyn is graduating from high school this year. I took Mrs. Buckingham and went to the Baccalaureate Services that night. I believe it was the first time I ever went to services of that kind in my life that the church was not filled. Ida had a beautiful new dress and hat and looked nice.


Like I said, short post today. I would imagine that the graduation ceremony was not crowded because so many men were away from home, serving in the military.

See you tomorrow with a more from 1944.


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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Lola's Diary, Part VII

Today is the first day of November, which also means it's the first day of NaBloPoMo, which was created by a blogger to encourage people to post more regularly. It's a takeoff of the NaNoWriMo, for those of us who want to write more, but don't want to try writing an entire novel. This is my second year of participating in NaBloPoMo, so I imagine I'll probably finish transcribing Lola's diary by the end of the month...or be very close to it, at any rate. Incidentally, I do have a friend who has participated in NaNoWriMo for the past few years and has created an interesting series, the first novel of which is now available on Amazon.

Getting back to this post, let's take another trip back in time to 1944, as experienced by my grandmother:

May 24, 1944

Charles and I went to San Angelo Saturday, May 13, 1944 to see Wallace. We had a nice visit with him Saturday night and Sunday. We took picnic supper and Charles, Wallace and I ate in the backyard of the woman's home where we stayed. We enjoyed it so much.

Sunday we went to church and in the afternoon went out to Goodfellow Field and spent four hours. Inspected the planes, went to the PX and to the picture show. That evening went to see Mrs. Roberts and had dinner at Jim's steak house - a swanky and expensive place to eat.

Mrs. Roberts said she had not herd from Toby, who is in England, in three weeks. On Tuesday after we returned to Denton he was reported missing in action. His plane had been shot down on April 27th. He was a bombardier. I feel so sorry for Mrs. Roberts. Eunice was with her mother, her husband is just entering the service. I've had a letter from Wallace but he did not mention it.

Wallace is leaving San Angelo this week for advanced training somewhere. We had so hoped he would be sent to Lubbock. He made good averages in everything.

Carolyn is graduating from high school this week. She had gone to summer school several summers. Wallace sent five dollars and told me to get her an orchid. I have some pajamas for her.

We have a garden that is just coming in. We had peas and beans today for dinner and I ate entirely too much. We also had ice tea and some ice cream made from some whipped cream that Vel brought us yesterday. She also brought some country ham, some country butter, and home canned corn. She left the baby, Gerald Wallace, with Mama, and went to Dallas to see the doctor. The baby is so sweet.

We canned pineapple yesterday. Canned twelve and paid $4.25 for them. That is entirely too high; I only got 17 quarts which is twenty-five cents a quart. My fingers are so sore today I can hardly type, the acid hurts one's hands so.

Charles is finishing up his year's work at high school. He is in the 11th grade this year and has done good work but has the spring fever pretty bad and I will be glad when he gets out. He is getting to feel pretty big.

I am now reporting for Retail Credit Co. and have been since April 20. At first the reports came in fast and furious but they have dwindled down to where it is not much. We are having steady work at the office but no rush at all. I took a terrible cold when I went to San Angelo and have felt worse than Ned since I came back.


I am not sure who my grandmother is referring to there, or if it's just a phrase (like "land of Nod") that I'm not familiar with. As the diary is handwritten I'm having to make my best guesses when it comes to people's names at times. For the most part it isn't hard to read but it was a personal journal so she wasn't concentrating on penmanship either. Anyhow, back to the entry:

Uncle Clyde and Aunt Laura were here last Wednesday to have her feet worked on. Leonard is in India and is having a pretty tough time of it. He is seeing plenty of action. He is a Captain now.

Leonard was Lola's cousin and a pretty successful businessman. I knew he served in WWII but not many of the details. He and his wife loved kids but were unable to have any of their own and so they always got along very well with me and my siblings. Leonard gave me a knife that he'd gotten when he served in India and I've included a picture of it here below.



It's not in pristine shape but considering its age, it's held up pretty well.

Perry Cardwell (Lt. Col.) was here Sunday. He has served his period of time overseas and is back in the States. He says the situation in Italy is terrible. In the paper today, the reporters say the next 36 hours will tell the tale there. We are paying a terrible price for what small gains we have made there.

Sometimes when I read so much politics I get so disgusted I could die. Is it possible that this terrible war is a political move? Some people claim that it is. I will not - I can not - believe anything so base of our country.


Well, that's all for today. My grandmother didn't include many political observations in her writing but I do like reading how she viewed things as they happened back then...definitely gives you a different perspective, and an idea on the human cost of this war, which I think sometimes gets overlooked as time passes on. See you tomorrow!


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