Tuesday, April 23, 2013

September - December 1939.

   September 10th. Packed and left for nursing school in Red Wing. Schedule  will be 1/2 work, and 1/2 classroom. Much of the month of September is spent learning to take temperatures, make beds, give baths, and general patient care. For a break we walked down town Red Wing, where we would pick up nursing uniforms and go to a movie at the Chief for 12 cents per show. Met Bob on the 23rd at the movie. Went home on the 24th for the weekend and attended church with the family.
   October. A busy month where we settled into the routine of classes and work. Most of our time off was spent studying. Went to a movie at the Chief " The Rains Came", it was "very nice". My room mate is Leila Bremer, I went to school in every grade with her and we were confirmed together.
   November. The dumbwaiter broke and we had to carry patients trays for several days--very busy.    Nov. 7, I worked all day and received a blouse and socks from Jean and Leila, Two dimes from Aunt Ethel.  "I grumbled all day, and studied in the p.m." Nov. 11-17 Bob stopped by the dorm, and we walked to Red Wing. Nov. 20 I have been moved to the third floor. "a terrible place." "Cleaned out a mouse nest in a patient room." "Mr. Jones smells terrible." "I think I will quit!" . Nov 22. Mr Jones died, Nancy and I laid him out. Nov. 24. Mr Woodward brought in, we had to place him in restraints to keep him in bed. Nov. 28. A date with Bob.
   December. I was warned not to sleep through breakfast any more. Very busy: studied for tests, glee club Bible class, dates with Bob. Dec. 20 Christmas party. Some students left for vacation as they had long distance to travel. Eleanor stayed until the 25th. "Worked in the morning and Margaret picked me up in the afternoon." Dec.28 Dance in Goodhue, returned to Red Wing the following day.  Dec. 31. New Years Eve movie double header at the Chief:" Daytime Wife, and Eternally Yours" , stayed out until 2 a.m..
   I guess in today's world of 24/7 news, it is surprising to me that Eleanor made no mention of World war II beginning on September 1, 1939. I was surprised by her reaction to the Third Floor. I suppose everyone has a "third floor experience", where one is tested and tempted to quit. Eleanor mastered the challenge and wound up working quite a bit for others on the Third Floor. She doesn't have much of an opportunity to get back to Goodhue, I found only 4 entries where she went home in the last 4 months of the year.
Budget for December: 3 Movies @ 12 cents each. Ice cream 8 cents. Stamps 2@ 6 cents. Church 5 cents. Flowers 5 cents. Blouse 50 cents. Birthday card 5 cents, and candy 5 cents.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1939: January to September.

 I traveled to South Dakota and spent a week with Eleanor while Barb and Keith were on vacation in Colorado. We had a nice time visiting and worked on her Journal for 1939.

   . Eleanor is in her final semester of High school . She lived in Goodhue with Margaret while she attended school and went home on weekends . Most of the rural students lived in town while attending school, as the roads aren't good, and farm work keeps the family busy on the farm. It was quite an investment to send a child to school. Eleanor enjoyed going to basketball games, parties, and dates. She mentions Orrie, Norman, and Bob as dates during 1939, they went to Luther League, parties,debate team contests, 4 H meetings, and Prom. Eleanor was on the debate team and acted in "Miss Adventure", she earned a letter in basketball her senior year.
   In May, college days were held in Red Wing, and Eleanor attended two information meetings about Nursing School. The senior class trip went to Stillwater to tour the prison and the food factory; they went to Saint Paul for dinner, before returning home. State exams were May 29 through the 31st, and  commencement was on June 2. On June 3, Eleanor picked up her report cards."High school is over for good. I'm sorry because I had so much fun." June 10th. " Grandpas Nelson and Olson both died."

   My Uncle Howard was born in 1934, and Uncle Bob in 1936. Eleanor would have spent the school year in Goodhue and returned to the farm some weekends. My Uncle Bob has commented that he really didn't know Eleanor, and it is easy to understand, as she wasn't around much of the year. Eleanor's mom and dad were Republicans and didn't care much for Democrats and Roosevelt. We discussed radio programs and she remembers getting radio stations all the way from Texas. Her parents favorite station was in Yankton, South Dakota where a local station had a program featuring a young musician, Lawrence Welk. She went to her first Movie in Goodhue with her parent's hired hand. He offered to take her and they said no, but then decided she could go. The movie was shown on the side of a building downtown.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

September thru December

September  5. Got  a dog and named him Prince. 8 Music lessons i first year book. 17 School starts. Hooray! Howard Albers is born. Many visitors the next several days. 26 Mama up. 30 Parents gone visiting with Howard, Lorraine, and Florence. I am home alone--nice.
October 9 Finished potatoes.  21 Home alone.--lovely. 22 Howard baptized. 31 Halloween party at school
November. 1  . Mama and Papa married 15 years 3 Music lesson. 5. Broke a lamp while cleaning. 6. Broke a cup.7. The honorable Eleanor Albers Esquire is 14 years old. Apron bracelet, and 50 cents for gifts.  Thanksgiving party at school.
December 5 Florence is sick.  7 Lorraine is sick. 9 Goose for dinner. 24 Program at church, no presents as packages didn't arrive. Big storm. 20 below. 27 Packages arrived--dress, girdle, PJs, hanky, pencil box

Thursday, December 27, 2012

1934 continued.

   1. Easter, went to German Communion , The roads were muddy, dyed Easter eggs for Florence in afternoon. 5. School was cancelled all week as Miss Hangen was sick. 7. Mother's birthday. Had a music lesson. 8. Outside all day, beautiful weather. 14. Music lesson. 15. Went to Grandma Nelson's house. 17. Got new shoes--very nice.18. Broke heel of new shoe in race at school. 23. Dust storm. 25. Race and track day at school. 28. Music lesson. 30. Dust storm.
   10. Terrible dust storm. 22-23. Hauled wood. 25. Put away books at school. School is out. 26 Music lesson. 29. English and science exams. 31. History exam.
   1. Picnic. 3. Dust storm. Mission fest at church. 5. Plant Garden. 7. Music lesson. Had glasses fixed. 14. Dentist in Zumbrota. 15. Rhubarb at Reese's. Florence stayed overnight at Margaret's house.17. Harlan Albers Birthday party. 21. Glory, Glory Hallelujah! I passed my exams. Got letter in the mail. 23. Music lesson and dust storm. 29. I graduated from Eighth Grade. 225 students attended ceremony in Red Wing.
   3. Cut Rye. 4. Picnic at our place--Ice Cream. 6. Hoed thistles. 7. Hauled Hay. 8. Hauled Hay. 19. Florence's Birthday--2 years old. 22. So hot we slept outside. 108 degrees. 23. Slept outside. 106 degrees. 28. Music lesson. Cut grain in P.M..
   3-7. Threshers are here. 15-16. Canned corn, plum jelly and peaches. 21. Canned corn, green beans, peas, and apple butter. 22. New Sear's Catalog arrived. 27 Canned green beans. 28 Started to fill silo, made Jam.
   The dust storms continue. I remember that once we drove by an area where there was a clay pit for the Red Wing pottery, and she remembered people working there who lived in tents and cars. Didn't realize that passing you final exams meant that you could go to High School. If you didn't pass, your education was over. Seems that there was plenty of work on the farm in the summer, that probably explains the fewer entries in the diary. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

1934 Diary

On December 22, 1933, Eleanor received a diary from her Sunday School teacher. 1934 was the first diary that I have found since she began the habit of keeping a diary. There are many gaps in the years, maybe I will be lucky and find more. I have decided to add the material in these diaries to this blog in hopes that children, grand children, and great grand children will gain some appreciation of Eleanor.
1934: January.
   Early January entries are mostly one word per day and describe the weather: nice, sleet storm, cloudy, snow, foggy, and the occasional beautiful day. 15 School begins with a new science book and a book to read "Uncle Tom's Cabin".16 Edna has the measles. Little did Eleanor know how much of an impact this event would have over the next several weeks. 17 Ben Franklin's birthday. 18 Daniel Webster's birthday. 19 Florence is 11/2 years old, Robert E. Lee and Edgar Allen Poe's birthdays. 20 Sledding in the pasture. 22 Finished "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and began David Copperfield. 28 Windy with a dust storm. I missed school due to bad weather. 29 Father went to Zumbrota. 31 Mother went to Red Wing to get a driver's license.
   6 I am sick with the measles. 9 All broke out, itching worse, nearly dead. Temperature 103. 10 Feeling better, I have missed five days of school. 12 Measles are awful, Lorraine came down with them. 14 Received Valentines Day cards in the mail. Lorraine is itchy and cranky. Ready to go back to school, but school is closed due to measles.20 Cold and windy, dust storms.
   1 Spring like day. 5 Dust storm. 7 Went to Red Wing to pick up Confirmation dress, slip, and shoes with Margaret. 14 Lenten services, Margaret brought me home afterward. 15 Dust Storms. 17,18,21 Confirmation classes 24. Last Confirmation Class, took cloths to Margaret's house.. 25 I am Confirmed. It went well. I got a book and a scarf. 28 First Communion, received a hymnal as a gift. 30 Blizzard. I missed first group Communion at Church, and was the only one who was not there.
   I have often asked Eleanor about the Great Depression, and she has always claimed that she  had no memories of it. I was surprised by all the references to dust storms even after rain in Minnesota.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A great visit.

   Joanne and I went to South Dakota to visit Eleanor at Barb and Keith's home. We had a wonderful time which included a fall foliage tour , and a short tour of Volin, South Dakota.Eleanor is doing well and we had a wonderful visit. She was happy and alert, and didn't seem as tired as she did when she lived in Seward. Kudos to Barb and Keith for the great job they are doing, and to everyone who has stepped up the letter and postcard writing. She loves to get her mail and hear from everyone.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


       About a month ago, my sister Barbara asked Eleanor to move to South Dakota and live with Barb and her husband Keith. Eleanor agreed, and I have been busy getting Eleanor ready to make the trip to South Dakota. Doctors visits, trips to the optometrist, and Miracle Ear, have kept us busy this month. I have made arrangements for a U Haul to pack her furniture for the move, and we have begun the process of packing her belongings for the trip. She is nervous about her decision, but remembers how much she enjoyed having her Aunt Margaret live in Mississippi with her. Change is difficult and sometimes it seems like it is easier to stay with the same routine rather that try something new. Mary Ann is coming to visit on August 24th, and will help with the packing. We plan to move on August 31. Wish us luck!