Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Remember THE Wednesday"

As soon as Ron handed me Dad & Mom's autograph books, I saw that Mom's matched her diary which I already had. It was given to her for Christmas, 1935, so I assume she received the autograph book at the same time.
"Remember the Wednesday" "Wednesday, May 27, 1936" was penned by "Your Friend, Marvis Bell". "Aha!" I thought as soon as I read that, "I can look in her diary to see what it was Marvis wanted Mom to remember." Big disappointment. All Mom wrote that day was "Done up the work. Washed. I hung out the clothes. Thelma Miller & Marvis Bell were here this afternoon." Unfortunately, whatever devilment they got up to that afternoon was not recorded for posterity.
I don't remember Mom talking about Thelma or Marvis as I was growing up, so I had to do some research. I found reference to more than one Thelma Miller from that time, but I'm sure the one who was Mom's friend was the sister of Irvin Miller, who she did talk about and knew their whole lives. Thelma married a Slump from the New Market area and lived in Pueblo, Colorado.

Marvis also left the area - Marvis Maurine Bell married a Raymond Whitney in Richmond, CA in 1945. Mom talked more about Marvis' brothers, Don and Paul. This is a picture of Paul and his future wife which I found in Mom's old photo album.

Eileen was one of the 'Illinois' cousins. Dated Aug 22, 1936, she penned: "Dear Ruth, Leaves may weather, flowers may die, friends may forget you, but never will I. Your Cousin, Eileen Anderson." And she didn't forget. She and Mom exchanged letters and visits most of their lives.
Mom's diary reveals that the Anderson's were visiting in Iowa at the time. Eileen's dad, Frank also wrote in the autograph book: "Quincy is where my time is spent. Tomorrow noon I am Quincy bent. Frank Anderson."

Osil was another life-long friend and neighbor - both in the neighborhoods of their youth and later in the Jasper Twp/Iveyville neighborhoods. Osil's autograph read: Tis' a great old world we're livin' in, Tis' mighty hard to beat. There's a thorn with every rose you pick, but aren't the roses sweet. Your Pal, Osil Steadman"

There are many more autographs from friends and family in Mom's book. There are also quite a number of pages torn out. Mom always admonished me that if I didn't want something known to others to never write it down. That makes me wonder if she tore out pages because of something shared that she didn't want known. For instance, on the remaining corner of one torn out page are the words "Remember Sept. 2(?) down to your pla(ce)."

The only possibility I can find in her diary is from September 27 when she wrote, "Lois Hess (pictured above) was down for dinner. Sure had a nice time. Had a date with Clare Anderson." The handwriting looks more male than female. Did Clare write something Mom didn't want anyone else to see? Or did some other little hands cause mischief?

It was either Betty or me who used Mom's book to practice her ABC's on one page and scribble on others. There are also four pages together rather inexpertly cut out at the same time. Did one of us randomly tear out other pages? There something resembling a capital R and some other scribbling inside the back cover. Mea Culpa?

As I said in yesterday's post, I love having these glimpses into my parents' young lives and having Mom's matching diary to go along with her autograph book makes it extra special. As do her old photo albums.

One last picture of Mom and another Illinois cousin, Gladys Mae Gray (on the right). There's no autograph from Gladys, maybe it was one of the ones torn out, but there is one from her younger brother, Donald. I'm guessing this picture was taken in Illinois. Notice the watering can behind Mom and isn't that a black cat in the window?

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