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Living in 1938

March 10th, 2017 at 09:58 am

I found my mother's diaries! With it were some family documents and pictures, plus I found another box of pictures. I have lots to do!

So far I have transcribed her entries from Jan-April 1938. All entries are short and very focused on activities, not thoughts or feelings. Still, it is quite amazing to get a feel for her life at that time. She was 25, dating someone who is not my father, living at home and working full-time in some kind of office (maybe insurance?) She went to a movie almost every day, most of the time with friends. She ate out a lot, but mostly on her dates. She doesn't mention anything about costs, which I would find interesting. She does go on a bit about "bank night" at the theater every Wednesday, hoping to win a big jackpot over $100! She was very impressed when her boyfriend drove up in a new maroon Chrysler convertible.

She talks about her clothes, too, and I love the old-fashioned descriptions. "Sheer wool dress" - "sport oxfords" - "collars" that were apparently independent of the suit or dress she wore them with. "Hose" instead of stockings. "Printed rayon dress." "Green linen blouse."

She belonged to a service sorority called Tri Kappa, which was a big deal to her. One of the entertainments at a Tri Kappa party was a "mock wedding." She seems like a happy, but wistful young woman, biding her time until she gets married and starts her real life.

I can hardly wait to hear about how this boyfriend goes out of the picture and my father comes in. I can't remember what year they married, but I feel this diary is just before she met him.

Well, back to my life. After going to the gym this morning I stopped at the grocery and bought cat food. I only spent $3 because I had a coupon for $2.50. Then I went to Walgreen's to pick up my prescription. They were waiting for a backorder so they gave me only seven-days' worth -- a whopping thirty cents!

I forgot to mention yesterday that I got my car inspected for emission levels. My car passed. Now I have to renew my registration, but that will wait until after payday. They were so apologetic that I couldn't do it on the spot, due to computer problems. I had no intention of doing it then! I can't remember the cost, but it is somewhere upwards of $100.

I made tentative plans this morning to meet a friend at the museum next Saturday -- I will spend the day as a visitor, not as a worker. And we also made tentative plans to take the Frank Lloyd Wright home tour in May. I've always wanted to do that.

BTW, my nephew's wife responded that they will all come to the St. Pat's dinner, so I will have quite a crowd. I will try to get as much as possible at Gordon's, where not only can I buy in bulk, but I can get a discount because I work at a non-profit. Since I still have the badge, and I haven't been let go, I think that's legit!

15 Responses to “Living in 1938”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    The diaries sound wonderful! Good luck with your party planning!

  2. Thrifty Ray Says:

    What an amazing treat! Enjoy 'journeying along' with your mom in her younger years!

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Sounds very interesting!

  4. VS_ozgirl Says:

    That's so lovely to have that insight into your mother's life when she was so young! Also, there's no reason not to get the discount at Gordon's especially while you haven't been paid from your non-profit!

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    That would be so much fun to read. I don't think my mother ever kept diaries. I have debated on whether or not I will destroy mine when I am old. There are some things I would prefer they not ever know about another family member and I wrote extensively of it through high school and college.

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Wow, that is really priceless, fascinating, and precious.

    How did you come across the diary only now?

    I, too, have a bunch of old black and white photos of my mother when she was still in her teens and dating various men who were not my father. I suppose I should have thrown some of them out and just kept the one with my father, but she looks so sweet and the pair looks so happy that I have held onto them. There was one particular boy who seemed to be her steady beau becus there are a lot of photos, many of various dances they went to together. In fact, it makes me a little wistful wondering why they didn't end up getting married, which is a weird feeling to have given that my father won her hand.

    I have an inscribed matchbook I also found among the photos, the kind you get at weddings, and it had his first name, the date and a woman's name, so apparently, even though my mother and he didn't end up together, they still remained on good terms and my mother attended the wedding.

    I even made a brief effort to track down what happened to the guy via ancestry, but could find nothing as I had such limited info (full name, which was not unusual, and where he grew up)

  7. PatientSaver Says:

    Wow, that is really priceless, fascinating, and precious.

    How did you come across the diary only now?

    I have a bunch of old black and white photos of my mother when she was still in her teens and dating various men who were not my father. I suppose I should have thrown some of them out and just kept the one with my father, but she looks so sweet and the pair looks so happy that I have held onto them. There was one particular boy who seemed to be her steady beau becus there are a lot of photos, many of various dances they went to together. In fact, it makes me a little wistful wondering why they didn't end up getting married, which is a weird feeling to have given that my father won her hand.

    I have an inscribed matchbook I also found among the photos, the kind you get at weddings, and it had his first name, the date and a woman's name, so apparently, even though my mother and he didn't end up together, they still remained on good terms and my mother attended the wedding.

    I even made a brief effort to track down what happened to the guy via ancestry, but could find nothing as I had such limited info (full name, which was not unusual, and where he grew up)

  8. CB in the City Says:

    Believe it or not, PS, I have had the diaries since my mother died in 1999. I have just never been able to dig into them, emotionally. Plus, they were packed away and I wasn't sure where; I had to do a hunt for them.

  9. Kashi Says:

    I love that you have found her diaries! So cool!!

  10. PatientSaver Says:

    Perfectly understandable..sounds like a good plot line for a book. Smile

  11. rob62521 Says:

    Your mom's diaries sound like excellent story telling!

    We love Frank Lloyd Wright homes! Oak Park is filled with them besides his home and studio. There's a great book called "Loving Frank." Long, but I found it fascinating.

  12. CB in the City Says:

    I have read "Loving Frank," which is what really got me interested in seeing the homes. It will be the Oak Park tour that I'll be taking.

  13. Laura Says:

    One day I plan to whisk myself away to WI to see Taliesin. My youngest is presently reading The Wright Three by Blue Balliet and we'll be taking a ride to the Robie House in Hyde Park!

  14. CB in the City Says:

    The Robie House is another one I want to see! When I am working, it is very nearby.

  15. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I love hearing about the diary.

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