Friday, December 18, 2009

Eileen's 91st Birthday Anniversary

My mother, Mary Eileen Kinnick Smith Olson, would have been 91 years old today, 18 Dec 2009. She was always mildly frustrated that her birthday was so close to Christmas. Her Mom and Dad never gave the kids many presents anyway, so she felt she always came up even shorter than her two brothers with birthdays at other times of the year.

This is a photo of her the year she graduated from high school, from her photo album. I can easily imagine she always felt she looked and felt about like this... this age.

She kept a daily diary from about age 12 until she died. As a tribute to her, a couple of years ago, I transcribed her 1936 diary, day by day, week by week, and posted it, along with photos and other relevant links to her movie, book, and other interests. This was the year she not only graduated from high school, but 'lost' her first boy friend, got her first job, and began dating the man she would first marry, my Dad. Take a peek. I'd love to hear your comments... on content, form, style, whatever:

She died, quite unexpectedly of a brain tumor, in 1999, in her 80th year. Her mother lived well into her 90s - we all really expected her to do the same. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!

Families are Forever! ;-)


  1. She sounds wonderful (I read some of her diary entries). Must be something about that birth date....

  2. That diary is "surely swell" as Eileen would say - it's the minutiae of daily life that makes things interesting. I also like what you've done explaining things and finding links to books, films, etc mentioned in the diary.

  3. Thank you, Greta... she left us far too soon!

    Alex, you picked up well on the "surely swell" - love it. It was a ball finding links and photos that related to the 1936 diary entries. I worked very intensely on that project. I'd like to do another year, but, I get REALLY tired, just thinking about it! ;-) I'm sure I will one day, if I don't "go away" before "my time."

  4. First of all, I was terribly impressed by the way you set up the diary blog and the mobility withthe links. I thought I would just read a few, and 20 minutes later, I was still clicking. What a wonderfully talented (obviously) and beautiful woman.

  5. Bill - what a legacy your mom left you with those diaries. My mom also kept a diary from the early '30s until she died in 1988. I have half of these diaries, my sister has the other half. She wants to burn her half. There was too much info in them that we didn't know and she doesn't want our descendants to read them. I'm pulled.

  6. @ Kathleen - Thanks! It was a labor of love. Only 60-some to go... ha! ;-)

    @ Mary - My brothers and I were "fortunate," I suppose, that anything sensitive she wrote in shorthand... none of us can read shorthand... ;-)