Saturday, August 1, 2015

My first years… from Eileen's Diary - Highlights of August (first half only), 1940

My first years…  
from Eileen's Diary
Highlights of August (first half only), 1940

These are highlights from the diary of my mother, twenty-one year old Eileen KINNICK SMITH, 75 Years Ago. She kept a diary from 1932 as a freshman in high school until she left us, too early, in 1999.

[Rather than posting each mundane entry, I've chosen items of interest to me, as I knew my family (or didn't). Also, significant events Mom noted, as seen by me, looking back. Comments at the end.]

Month of August (first half only) highlights:

Mon. Aug 5 - Edith L. called & wanted me to go to Lakes. She & Julia & I left at 1:30. Got there at 6:00. Stopped & shopped at every big town on the way. Helen Bower, Helen Rafferty, Arlene Rafferty, Virginia Welch, Elizabeth Welch, Edith Thomas were there. Got there just as they were through eating so they fed us. Cleaned up  & went down on Midway. Played bingo, rode ghost train, ate hambrgs & went home. Julia & I slept together.
Tues. Aug 6 - [on top] [Erna & I danced & Edith T. & Arlene R. We were the only ones who stayed]
Didn’t get up until 9:30. Edith Thomas & Erna got breakfast. Everyone fixed their hair. Went down on the pier & played awhile.Erna, Edith L., Julia & I rode over on the other side to see the swell homes. Had 2 ice cream bars apiece. Home at supper at 5:00. All but Julia, Edith T. & I went on the boat ride. Got ready & went to Claude Hopkins negro dance. Really wonderful. (Bed fell down with Erna, Edith T. & me. Home at 2:00)
Wed. Aug 7 - Up at 8:30. Started for home at 11:30. Got off the road & went to Newell. Stopped in Carroll & had a sandwich. Home at 4:30. So glad to see Billy & Pete I cried. Folks stayed for supper & then we went in town awhile. Back early. Really seemed good to be home.
Fri. Aug 9 - [Birthday note: Pete & Betty[
Fixed a chicken, made an apple pie, ice cream. Don came to help Pete castrate hogs & Norma came for dinner too. Had watermelon in afternoon. Rainy. They left about 5:00. Chores & went in to show “Curtani (sic) Falls.” {She surely meant “Curtain Call” 1940} About poorest show I ever saw. Home early. {no stars in movie - crummy plot:}
Receipt in diary - Cash and Carry, T. W. Mozena, Prop., Fairwary logo, “Everything for the Table”
Handwritten for Pete Smith: H.B. Coffee - .26, Bd - .10, Weiners - .22, Lettuce - .05;
total - 63 + (assume tax) 1 = .64 That was the groceries they picked up. No date.
Sat. Aug 10 - [Birthday note - Edith Lund & Ray Kinnick]
Betty & Toots came & she got her hair fixed. They plan to go to Nebr. tomorrow.
Sun. Aug 11 - [Birthday note - Toots S. & Harold S.]
Rainy. Did dishes & sep. & went to LVene’s. Lester Cedar, Iva, Eileen, Joyce & Betty were there. Had a swell chicken dinner. Played kitten ball in the pasture. Max, Orrin, Don, Norma were there too. Home & chores & rode around awhile. Had a bottle of pop & came home. Irene, Betty & Toots at LVene’s too. And Aunt Lena.
Mon. Aug 12 - [Folks Anniver]
Went down and picked cucumbers. Made 3 qts. bread & butter pickles. 3 gals. sweet pickles & 4 qts. of beet pickles. Busy with pickles most of the day. Sewed on Billy’s sun suits a little bit & went to bed. Had French Toast for supper.
Tues. Aug 13 - Rainy. Don & Dan Weaver here to vaccinate the hogs… we went in to see Rabuck’s about renting their place. I finished 2 sun suits for Billy.
Thurs. Aug 15 - Took care of pickles. Canned 6 qts tom. after dinner & got tom preserves ready to can. Went to S.S. party at Gymer’s. Billy with Mom.

My comments:

Hated to leave anything out about her trip to “Lakes” - quite an adventure with the “girls” there.
Glad she enjoyed the music.
I believe Cedars were from Nebraska - Betty and Toots trip delayed, to see relatives, in Nebr.
I get really tired, just reading about all the pickles she made… and all the other stuff, as well!!
Oh, and 10 cents for a loaf of bread at “Cash and Carry” - how about that!! ;-)
Sun suits must have been very cute on Billy!! ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. Thanks for the very Special trip to Nebraska. Must have been quite the event with all the out-of-towners, especially with all the newly born children.

    1. It is easy to forget how close these Iowa and Nebraska folks were in 1940... ;-)

  2. yeah... that was a really good 2 weeks report... nice... :D

    1. Thank you, TK... nice to be able share the interesting stuff, for sure! ;-)