Monday, May 31, 2010

Friday, May 31st, 1935

Operation! Staying in bed

Mary had her toe operated on, going under by the use of ether. She suffers for several days. Family come by to see how she is doing.

Four-year-old Dorothy, or DJ, goes to her first party on Sunday at Mary Lou's. But who is that?

With some money that had come in, it appears that a treat came to the house. A quart of ice cream! Ice cream was one of those things grandma would always bring by our house when visiting when I was a little boy. Thanks, grandma!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tuesday, May 27th, 1935

Decorating Day

Everything I ever learned about Decorating Day, also known as Memorial Day, I learned from my grandma. Here, on the 30th, she notes that she couldn't go to the family graves or take any flowers.

Because I knew she always did this, especially decorating her own mother's grave after she left this world in 1952, I did the same while living in the Morrow County area in the 1990's. The cemetery was located at East Liberty near where her mother Lenora and Mrs. Chambers lived in Porter Township, Delaware County. This cemetery is the first cemetery I remember wandering about in as a child.

The circus is in town. She watched the animals from Gilbert's porch, which strongly suggest that Gilbert's lived on Fairground Street. Homes there face the Marion County fairgrounds across the street. The kids were up early due to the excitement of the big top. They didn't go, but she notes that Harry's do go to the big show on Thursday.

Mary records here blood pressure and reveals that her toe nail and roots must come out according to the doctor. Lloyd's brother Albert drove her over to the doc.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friday, May 23rd, 1935

Home improvements

Mary reports on the home improvements going on in the home. It would appear that I am my grandfather's grandson. She writes that my grandpa Lloyd had a "mad spell" and tore up some wallpaper. Hmmm. Sounds sooo familiar. I now just stay clear of wallpapering.

To visit Willard, they took a taxi. Included here is a picture I found on the internet of a taxi at the bus station in Marion in 1938 taken by a photograher named Shahn.

They listened to a radio (not their own, they don't have one) and watched an airplane. Remember, flight is a new thing still.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 19th, 1935

Chain Letters

Maybe the check metioned in the previous pages of Mary's diary came from chain letters. Is that possible? We read here that chain letters were typed up. Guess that means they had a typewriter. No car. No radio. But there's a typewriter.

And what's mother doing running around at 3 a.m.? Strange. Sounds like one of the reasons for visiting at mother's was to help put in a garden. It may have also been their garden and food source. Their lot in Marion was not all that large.

Oh. She caught a fish. She likes to fish.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thursday, May 15th, 1935

Check came

Where did the check come from? Was there public support in the 30's? And don't you think Mary did an awful lot of ironing? She metions it often. Count your perment press blessings.

She sure was tickled to get her hair done.

Mary got a ride home to mother's again where she spent some time fishing. Who is Matt?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Saturday, May 11, 1935

More birthdays

The birthdays keep on coming. This time it is Mary's mother, Leonora, on the 13th. She is 50 years old. She gets a little something for her.

The circus comes to town, and Mary laments that her kids won't be able to actually go. If the circus is setting up at the fairgrounds, this is only a short walk from their home.

Mother's Day comes and goes. Nothing special noted about that day.

Anyone know where Forest Glen is? Was this an area around the Scioto River in the Powell area?

New wall paper was put up in the front room. It sure looks nice.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Happy Mother's Day

This was a favorite verse of Mary's. It's by George Cooper (1838-1927) called Only One Mother. Some people use just the second verses.

Only One Mother
Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,
Hundreds of shells on the shore together,
Hundreds of birds that go singing by,
Hundreds of lambs in the sunny weather.

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.

There's no way to know what day today's featured photo was taken, but wouldn't it be nice to think of it as Mother's Day? From the age of the children, it would appear to have been taken around 1939 or 1940.

Standing in the back, from left to right, are Mary and her two sons, Leo and Paul. Centered and seated in the front is Mary's mother, Leonora (Wright) Hemminger. She is flanked by Mary's two youngest children, David and Dorothea Jean, or D. J.

If you have a copy of this picture, I'd like to get a better digital image of it. If you have other pictures you would like to share, email them to

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tuesday, May 7th, 1935


Mary writes, "Today is my birthday. I ironed and Lloyd got 38 mushrooms and planted a maple tree for me..." She noted that she was now 30 years old. Included today with her diary entry is a picture of her, looking somewhere around the age 30. Does anyone actually know when this picture was taken?

These pages note many good things. Birthday gifts, mushrooms and greens found off the land; a new tree, a new dress to sew; numerous visitors and spring plantings. She even got to listen to the radio over at Harry's place. she wishes she had a radio, but alas, not now, not for her birthday.

She also talks about pie plant for pies. What is pie plant? And romance is in the air. Mr. Levin is showing an interest in Mae.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Friday, May 3rd, 1935

Birthdays coming!

Mary's birthday is May 7th. She will be 30 years old. She notes that she got a little birthday $ from her mother on the 3rd. But her birthday is not the story on these pages. It's little DJ's birthday!

Dorthea Jean is four years old on Monday the 6th. She weighs 37 pounds. Her mother makes her an "awful pretty" dress and her brother Paul gives her candy. She also gets "a licking," which is to say everyone give her four little lighthearted spanks. This tradition was carried on in my own house as a little fellow. Turn 8, get eight wacks. From everyone. Turn nine, get nine. The tradition has faded some with my own kids. My youngest just turned 18 last week. He didn't get 18 wacks or any other kind of "licking."

Rain continues as often does in Ohio this time of year. It's a good time to have family over and play cards. Mary played "for a wonder," which must mean she was, as we now say in our generation and house, "the party star."