Helen's Diary

This is a transcription of some diaries I bought at an antique store near Toledo, Ohio. When the diary starts in January 1937, Helen is a young wife and soon to become a new mother. If you wish to read it, it's best to start with the first post - January 1937 (my oldest post) - and then follow along with her everyday life.

January 18, 2008

August 1937

Sunday, August 1, 1937

Breakfast Edison – Drove to Bell Aisle – Dinner at tea garden – Swell Meal – Michigan show – Fred McMurray – “Exclusive” Home by 10:30. Swell day

[Belle Isle is an island park in the river just outside of Detroit. Exclusive stars Fred MacMurray and Frances Farmer]

Monday, August 2, 1937

Rested Up all day – Stayed home evening – Peanuts & Buttermilk for light lunch – sewed

Tuesday, August 3, 1937

Washed a lot of clothes – to store got things for 2 days – its hard planning meals – Show – Jean Harlow in Saratoga with Gable

[Saratoga was Jean Harlow’s last film. She died on June 7, 1937 at age 26]

Wednesday, August, 4, 1937

Mother here for day with brothers – watched digging – late supper – Show Panathon – The Toast of New York & Sillie Billies

[The Toast of New York stars Edward Arnold, Cary Grant and Frances Farmer. Silly Billies starred the comedy team of Wheeler & Woolsey.]

Thursday, August 5, 1937

So noisy and hot – went down town – Gear shift out on car – Ate Edison – Palace – Saw Parnell & The 13th chair

[Parnell is a political biography starring Clark Gable and Myrna Loy. The Thirteenth Chair is a drama starring Dame May Whitty, Madge Evans and Lewis Stone]

Friday, August 6, 1937

Waffels for breakfast – Read Book – Nurse called on me – Supper late & stayed home evening – Hot dogs lunch 10:00

Saturday, August 7, 1937

Slept late. Met Frank down town – lunch after delivering hits – Rained – went to store for groceries – stayed home evening.

Sunday, August 8, 1937

Made sandwiches – out to folks with them on picnic to Marble head – Nice & cool – Supper

Monday, August 9, 1937

Days go by so fast I can’t keep track of them – Its very hot weather and have no ambition whatso ever.

Tuesday, August 10, 1937

Letter from Ike & Sara – Really should answer letters – feeling good except for heat – wish I had a stove but whats the use

[I think Ike & Sara are Frank’s sister and brother-in-law. Frank has a sister named Sara who was about 40 at this time.]

Wednesday, August 11, 1937

Since I can’t have an electric stove I’d just as soon wait for ever – getting discusted with being a cook.

Thursday, August 12, 1937

Went down town with Mother and got our baby some clothes - $29.20 to be exact [$389.38 today] – Supper at Moms

Friday, August 13, 1937

Made Tomatoe juice – soup & Pot roast – Baby clothes came – out to Moms – Frank washed car – went to dog races – custard – card from June

Saturday, August 14, 1937

Met Frank down town paid bills – Rode all over lots of hits – ate at Edison – Weiner roast with folks – to dog races – Home 12 – saw Leora aumend

Sunday, August 15, 1937

Frank in bed all day resting – his side has been bothering him – Steak at Edison & Show Rivolli – Henry Almetto – Drove up to Maumee & saw Dot & Jim

[Henry Armetta - When people refer to the stereotyped movie Italian of years past, they're usually referring to the endearing Armetta, a short, stocky, moon-faced fellow who spoke in a comic broken English and listed to one side as he walked.]

Monday, August 16, 1937

Ironed & cleaned – Hot day – Baked noodles for supper – went to Dr. He guessed that we have a girl – Show Valentine – They gave him a gun

[They Gave Him a Gun is a crime drama starring Spencer Tracy and Franchot Tone]

Tuesday, August 17, 1937

Hoter today that its ever been this summer – ironed pressed pants – storm – Up to Dot and Jims – Dog races – custard – home always like Dot

Wednesday, August 18, 1937

Went out home early in morning – sewed all day also did some painting on baby bed – Walked over to Park for W.P.A. Play of Kids

Thursday, August 19, 1937

Hot but went with Franky anyhow – Went to library & got bran muffins – sure with I had a stove – ate Williams & Granada – Waikiki Wedding

[Waikiki Wedding is a comedy starring Bing Crosby, Bob Burns and Martha Raye]

Friday, August 20, 1937

Out to Mothers afternoon – Gladys & Gertrude with kids there – Supper at Williams – Over to Mannys – took his folks for ride & then Virg.

Saturday, August 21, 1937

Sleep until 10:00 then rushed down town & had hair set – Rained all afternoon – Home for lunch and even. Manny & Virg here played cards – lunch

Sunday, August 22, 1937

Bacon & eggs Manny & Virg here – Double header ball game – Good Toledo won – Rather enjoyed them – Dinner at Bud & Lukes – Evening with M. & V.

Monday, August 23, 1937

About 79 more days before baby comes – Its getting too close – Billie here [her brother] – Walked over to Hickey’s Phoned Dot – Frank went to ball game – Home alone

Tuesday, August 24, 1937

Weight 144 – Went with Frank around Run – Stone, his best stop, quit - Hot dogs & show Valen. Emperor’s Candelsticks” Barbeque & Home.

[The Emperor’s Candlesticks is a historical drama starring William Powell, Luise Rainer, Robert Young and Maureen O’Sullivan]

Wednesday, August 25, 1937

After work done called Mom & went down town – very tired – Supper home – Veal steak – Frank gone to Ball game again – stayed over to Ceals’

Thursday, August, 26, 1937

Washed dress’s – answered 2 letters from Sam & Sara – [Sam is Frank’s brother] SaurKraut for supper made me sick – Ride even. – Custard – Franky home this even for change

Friday, August 27, 1937

Ironed dresses – very hot – Swiss steak for supper – very good – Ride – Stopped at Ganche’s [Manny & Virginia] Franky played dominoes – Ride with Virg & Manny

Saturday, August 28, 1937

Got up early & ironed the whole day long – Frank home for lunch 3 hours late worried – over to Ceal’s – Salamie Sandwiches at folks

Sunday, August 29, 1937

Up at 10:30 – had car washed – waffels at Edison – Show Riviolli – Don Redman on stage – Out to Moms – dinner at Galls with Dot & Jim – Seal test kitchen ware – took Mary Jane for Ride

[Don Redman, the “Little Giant of Jazz” was a big band leader]

Monday, August 30, 1937

Walked to store – too hot for me – had supper early – cooking utensil man here – Bought 3 pans 24.80 [$330 in today's dollars] & Frank wants to cancel order now – listened to fight Louis & Farr

Tuesday, August 31, 1937

Frank ran over Bills bicycle last night but its fixed up – stuffed Pork chops for dinner – Ride down town – library – Manny with us – Driggs Dairy – stayed night


Very hot month – weigh 148 – putting on weight fast – wish everything was over

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