Wednesday, December 1, 1937 – 5 weeks
Mother stayed with Baby while I went shopping for Christmas presents – back at 2:30 – Baby such a little doll – Guess I could stand 2 or 3 like her – Had to call Dr. in evening for her – colic again
Thursday, December 2, 1937
Had Moms Hoover so cleaned house – Phil here for dinner – all cold as lights out – Baby cried again for 3 hrs – Frank out even. till 12:30
Friday, December 3, 1937
Taking it easy today – Frank brought home chop Suey – was it good – took Bath & put laundry away – Phoned Dr. Fisher – started menstrating – Br. Good
Saturday, December 4, 1937
Franky home for lunch – Dressed up Baby and took her to Dr. Kass – Weighs 8 lbs 4 ounces – Over to Ceals for supper and part of evening – sleepy Bed early
Sunday, December 5, 1937
Baby is a little angel today – had steaks for dinner – Mom & Dad & kids here for supper – Everybody fell asleep – I’m just too too tired all the time
Monday, December 6, 1937
Franky wanted to go to the show so had Lora Austin over to take care of Norma Jean – Ritz Brothers in Life at collegeat State – worried about Baby
[Life Begins In College is a comedy starring the Ritz Brothers, Joan Davis, Tony Martin and Gloria Stuart]
Tuesday, December 7, 1937
Had Lora over again – went down town to get hair fixed – ate at Edison – Baby must of cried – Frank out for evening – So tired of rushing
Wednesday, December 8, 1937 – 6 weeks
If it wouldn’t be for Mother I’d never take the Baby out - Went to Christmas party at Streetmatters – Supper out home – Even – Show Rivolla – Irene Dunne – The awful truth
[The Awful Truth is a screwball comedy starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant]
Thursday, December 9, 1937
Stayed home thank heavens – Had double everything to do – Elmer & Vivian over also Ann – brought some swell Gifts
Friday, December 10, 1937
Mother over to take care of Baby – down town buying Christmas presents – always short on time – Evening Harry Goodleman here.
[Don’t know much about Harry Goodleman, but he was born October 20, 1913 which makes him 24 at this time. He was involved in the “laundry, cleaning and garment services industry”]
Saturday, December 11, 1937
Orders a lot of groceries – afternoon Frank stayed home – I went to Dr. for 6 week exam. – Manny & Virginia here all night.
[While we’re doing background checks, Manuel H. Ganch was born December 1, 1907 which means he had just turned 30 at this time. His death certificate from 1993 states that he had 5+ years of college and was a retired lawyer. Virginia V. Ganch was born November 9, 1912 so she was 25 at this time. She died February 4, 2003.]
Sunday, December 12, 1937
Late Breakfast – Manny & Virg. had a pretty bad fight gone at 2:00. We went ice skating afternoon – I’m not so bad – home early awfully tired
Monday, December 13, 1937
Cleaned house – Had roast chicken & Manny for dinner – Franky bought me my Christmas Present – a mixmaster – tickeled with it
Tuesday, December 14, 1937 – first smiling
Baby is sneezing all the time and has cold in her eyes but she is so good – Soup & salad for supper & Franky went away all even.
Wednesday, December 15, 1937 – 7 weeks
141 [I think this refers to her weight] Baked oatmeal cookies – Mixer is so wonderful – Every thing covered with ice – sewed awhile – wish I didn’t have these headakes
Thursday, December 16, 1937
Made peanut Butter cookys & yellow cake today – so busy didn’t have supper even started when Franky got home – Sewed evening
Friday, December 17, 1937 [shorthand]
Such a miserable day – Baby has a cold – took her to see Dr. – Weight 8 lbs 13 oz – shes getting go big – Bed about 9
Saturday, December 18, 1937
Went down town this afternoon & finished most of Christmas shopping – Had piano toned – sounds beautiful – Put up christmas tree – I’m so happy
Sunday, December 19, 1937
Frank & Davy went skating – had roast ham
Monday, December 20, 1937
Frank brought home another Christmas present for me – a Bulva watch – beautiful – Ronson lighter for Dad – took to 10 O clock to do the dishes
Tuesday, December 21, 1937
Made pepermint cookies – Rosy over stayed with Baby – Met Frank down town – Bought skates for each other and more gifts – F tried out skates
Wednesday, December 22, 1937 – 8 weeks
So busy writing Thank you notes and addressing Christmas presents – Wrapped gifts – Folks over and brought over Radio – Christmas pr.
Thursday, December 23, 1937
In a big stew – so much to do and can’t get it done – Darwin & Bill [her brothers] here all night – and sent over some pretty things for Baby
Friday, December 24, 1937
Sick to stomach all day – didn’t do anything – Stayed at mothers all night – over to Shermans and Ceals delivered presents – Received a lot of beautiful Gifts – Baby too
Saturday, December 25, 1937 – Christmas
Out home all day – skating for while – Wonderful chicken dinner – home about 9 o’clock – Baby has a cold in eyes – We love her so much
Sunday, December 26, 1937
Took pictures of Baby – Went ice skating – Davy here for Dinner – Frank went to Quiz Bee – Mary Jane here for evening – Made hem on table cloth – old one
Monday, December 27, 1937
Cleaned house – ordered groceries for all week just about – F gone evening – He bosses me too much – I can’t stand it
Tuesday, December 28, 1937
Helen & Lou Wolk here for dinner – Had Rib roast – lobster salad – Baked potatoe & Peach pie – Butch Brossel – Mary Jane – Dot & Jim here also for evening – Served lunch
Wednesday, December 29, 1937 – 9 weeks
Letters from Luella – answered it & wrote Toots – Had remaining roast – Bed early – so tired – will be glad when New Years is over
[Luella is Helen’s aunt (her mother’s older sister). Aunt Luella is married to Bill Schurdack and she’s about 41 at this time.]
Thursday, December 30, 1937
Mother over took care of Baby – Went down town and exchanged Table Pads & teapot – Bought Beautiful house coat & night gown – Chow Mein for dinner
Friday, December 31, 1937
Had Lora Austin help me but sure did work hard – Dot & Jim & Mother & Dad here – Had a pretty nice lunch & lots of drinks – Bed 3:30
Frank made approximately 3500.00 this year and we only saved $800 – Baby 200.00 - Stove 132.50 – Refrediate – 155 – Christ. 150.00
[In 2005 dollars that’s: Income - $46,672; Saved - $10,668; Baby - $2,667; Stove - $1,766.87; Refrigerator - $2,067; Christmas - $2,000]
[The following is written on a blank page at the end of the book]
Weight 128 Height 5’2”
Hair Brown Eyes Grey
Dress size 16 18
Hosiery 8 ½ 9 ½
Hat 22 22
Gloves 6 ¼ 6 ¼
Shoes 5 ½ AA 6 AAA ½
Brassier 34 36
Slip 36 38
Feb 15 – 37
Sept. 29 – 37
[The following is typewritten on a sheet of paper tucked into the diary. The paper appears to be stationery from her father’s business]
2628 Tully Ave.
Furnace And Sheet Metal Work
Events of 1937
17, - Manny and Virginia married.
25, - Started new job at Harper Method.
6, - Quit work at Harpers. Knew I was pregnant
19, - Went to Dr. Fisher for examination.
Easter 28, - With Mother and Father at home.
1, - Frank’s birthday, age 29, New hat and cigarettes – Spent evening with the Hermans.
14, - Mothers birthday, age 39, gave her grey leather purse.
28, - Billys birthday, age 11, gave him fish pole and tackel.
9, - Mothers Day, sent corsage – All of us in Cleveland.
11, - New Refrediator arrived. Mary Jane and Walter separated.
30, - Memorial Day – Howard, Fritz, Toots and Delores, Also Manny and Virginia here.
7, - 17, Sam and Sahra here from Denver.
13, - Went to Exposition in Cleveland.
19, - Elmer and Vivian got married
2, - My Birthday, age 21, from Frank – Silex coffee maker, and waffel iron. From Mom & Dad Kitchen Chair and lace dollies – Red Waste paper can, from Kids red pot holders and rubber spoon.
12, - Bought all my Baby clothes
3, - Fathers Birthday, age 44, gave him cigars and cigarettes.
15, - Mother had shower for baby to be, Received lovely gifts from ladies of the Church guild
20, - New Tappan stove arrived
21, - Wedding Anniversary, Second year. Gave Frank shirt, pajamas ties and lavender soap. I received candy and stove. Ate at Chinese resturant and saw show.
26, - Went to hospital and early morning Norma Jean Born.
25, - Out home for Thanksgiving
28, Darwins Birthday – Age 14 – Have ring for him but giving it to him at Christmas time.
25, - Out home Christmas eve and day.
Frank received --- from folks, Carton cigarettes and Billfold. From Luella, Scarf, from me Silk pajamas, Skarf, garter set with suspenders, three shirts, 4 ties, 4 pair socks, shoes, Gloves, shaving brush, cigarettes and skates.
Norma Jean --- from Gramma Goeder, toy swan and knife, fork and spoon. From Gramma Overmyer toy dog and bathrobe set. From Aunty Luella, Pink silk dress and toy rattle.
Helen received --- From Frank – Sunbeam mixer, Bulova watch, white figure skates. From folks, Iron cord set, refrederater set, Taylor meat thermometer, 3 aprons, Foto set, table pads. Pie plate with server from Bill. Nut dish set from Darwin. Chinelle rug set from Luella, Handkerchiefs and towel from Gramma.
To Mother – Bedspread and scarf set, red cooky jar, table cloth and half interest in blue tea pot.
To Father – Ronson lighter and cigarettes.
To Darwin – Ring and tennis racket.
To Bill – Model Airplane set and tennis racket.
To Luella – Slip.
To Gramma – Nightgown.
To Granpa – Tobacco.
Ceal – Lamp
Rosy – Manicure set
Gilbert – Cigarettes
Davy – Scarf and belt
Ronald – tapping set.
Mother Sherman – House slippers, and dress Cookies Fruit cake –
Father Sherman – House slippers, and wiskey } $15.00
Harry - Cigarettes
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.