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.

May 30, 2008

May 1938

Sunday, May 1, 1938

French toast for Breakfast – took Manny & Virginia home – stopped at Cealias then over to Shermans – Ride & brought them back with us – custard pie & tea – Have sore jaw

Monday, May 2, 1938

Washed lamp shade & Babies clothes – cleaned house & got cleaned up myself – head hurt all day – Frank going to get new car – Reginia & Charly over evening

Tuesday, May 3, 1938

Washed windows and got ready to wash – New washer arrived also – New Chevrolet car – Terrece green – took ride out to Mothers & back

Wednesday, May 4, 1938

Sore mouth can hardly eat – Washed clothes and curtains – Dave here for supper – F & D put up some screens – Ride down town & custard

Thursday, May 5, 1938

Ironed cleaned house – Frank took us along – Dorothy & Jim Baron here evening – gift for Baby – cute little dress – played cards & had lunch

Friday, May 6, 1938

Ironed and ironed – made a cake – Billy here for supper – Joe Healy & girl friend here – Beer – so tired couldn’t keep eyes open

Saturday, May 7, 1938

Went down town – got high chair pad for Norma – she is such a little doll – I idolize her – Show with Frank – Joan Blondell in Theres always a woman

[There’s Always a Woman is a comedy/mystery starring Joan Blondell, Melvyn Douglas and Mary Astor]

Sunday, May 8, 1938

Mother’s day – gave mother 3.41 worth towels [$43.89 today] – Made cake for Mother Sherman & gave Pocket book – Supper at Mothers – Howard & Neva & folks out for evening

Monday, May 9, 1938

Finally finished ironed – Norma an angel all day – rolled over by herself today – So darling – She makes me glad – Frank playing bridge – I’m all tired

Tuesday, May 10, 1938

Beautiful day – took Baby over to Regines for 2 P.M. feeding & then walked to point – Bought Blue water pitcher & linoleum – Max & Clara over evening – painted bath

Wednesday, May 11, 1938

Had womans Guild here – Wonderful all made a fuss over Baby – Mrs. Schudel gift (dress) for N. – 11 people here – I felt fine and mighty pleased with day – Show with R.S.

Thursday, May 12, 1938

Didn’t have to make Br so didn’t get up then wasted day Reading Sing Sing nights – Cream Tuna & Potato Pancakes for supper Frank gone – I cut grass & wrote letters

[Sing Sing Nights by Harry Stephen Keeler was published by E.P. Dutton & Co. in 1928]

Friday, May 13, 1938

Burned milk already – washed clothes – turned nice – Dave D here for supper had – meat loaf & mashed potatoes – Show – Avalon – with Franky – First 100 years & The last gent

[The Avalon Theatre opened in 1935. It was located on Monroe Street and Smead Avenue. The theatre closed in 1955 and has since been demolished.]

[The First Hundred Years is a comedy starring Robert Montgomery and Virginia Bruce. The Last Gentleman, from 1934, is a comedy starring George Arliss and Edna May Oliver]

Saturday, May 14, 1938

Rainy day – made an apple pie – got groc fixed Franky home early had lunch – argued about money again – always we fight over money

Sunday, May 15, 1938

Somewhat peaceful today but F. gone for evening with Charly Swartz – took Swartz ride afternoon in Pouring Rain all here for supper evening – I’m sprinkling clothes & rugs

Monday, May 16, 1938

Dorothy Bennra phoned – tried to get ironing done – Frank played gulf – had supper at 9 O’clock – discusted doing dishes at 10 O’clock

Tuesday, May 17, 1938

Finished ironing – walked to library with Regine got a gang of books – Dave here evening got Swatz’s & Ganch’s and to show – State – Joy of living Irene Dunne – Rained hamburgs

[Joy of Living is a comedy starring Irene Dunne and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.]

[The magnificent Toledo State Theatre! 2000 seats on one level and housed a Marr & Colton organ of which many recordings survive. Farewell concert on the organ in 1971, theatre subsequently boarded up/abandoned. The years that followed were not kind: gang activity, vandalism, scene of a tragic murder, and finally in 1995, despite local efforts to find a developer to restore, was torn down.]

Wednesday, May 18, 1938

Wasted day Reading – phoned Mother and grandpop’s coming tomorrow so guess I’ll go out home for day – got so many things to do – moved Bedroom furniture

Thursday, May 19, 1938

Made milk and did br. dishes before we left – out home all day & supper – dad brought me & grandpop home – Frank played ball – Beer & all to Bed – grandpa tired

Friday, May 20, 1938

Baby to Dr. – 2nd diphtheria shot – two trips to Beverly – brought Bud & Bill back – Ride evening – Norma is too lovely – weight today 16 11 – me 145

Saturday, May 21, 1938 – day of engagement

[shorthand] felt miserable – got up late – made cake – lunch and went to bed afternoon – evening – State – Girl of Golden West and Mr. Motto – had to make milk again

[The Girl of the Golden West is a musical starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. Mr. Moto is a “Charlie Chan” type of film series starring Peter Lorre. The installment she most likely saw was Mr. Moto’s Gamble]

Sunday, May 22, 1938

Moved rugs around – Kids a pain – Bill [her brother] Jealous of Bud – Frank a dear feeds Baby most of time – I’m so thankful he helps – Saw Louise & stopped at Dot & Jims

Monday, May 23, 1938

Cleaned basement and washed all of Baby’s things – Rained all day so had to hang in Basement – Roast for dinner – Baby crying won’t go to sleep

Tuesday, May 24, 1938

Washed regular wash & got most of it ironed and put away – had left overs for supper – Frank had to get folks he played ball – Norma too sweet

Wednesday, May 25, 1938

Didn’t iron but went along with Frank at 3 when he finished ate at Toffet took Baby along- Have cut out Normas 10 o clock feeding

Thursday, May 26, 1938

Run on numbers – 513 lucky – went along with F – didn’t get home until 8 oclock – Baby cried but OK at last – of course F had to leave for evening – every night

Friday, May 27, 1938

Cleaned house – fixed wiring on sweaper would love to have a new one but can’t – F making 65 a week [$836 today] and we have to pay it all on Bills

Saturday, May 28, 1938

Made a cake & apple pie – Frank took me to store – got Baby car hammock & new porch chairs – Rained so rushed home – Frank out for evening

Sunday, May 29, 1938

Late Br. franky played ball – after noon Regine C & Lenard here – Ride over to Sara Selhomer to see Dave & Bee – Mother & father & brothers here for supper – Bed at 9 – so tired

Monday, May 30, 1938

Waffels for breakfast – Reginia here to eat with us – Dave & Bee – little gary here – afternoon Regine & I saw Birth of a Baby at Rivolli – Made me want more Babies

[Birth of a Baby is a drama starring Eleanore King and Dick Gordon]
[The 2455 seat Rivoli Theatre, located next to the Palace Theatre on St. Claire Street opened during the ‘20s. It closed in 1968 and, along with the Palace, was razed in 1969.]

Tuesday, May 31, 1938
Gave Norma Sun Bath and went to library – home & took some sun myself – Norma sick about 7 after feeding & through up all over


May 21 – [shorthand]
Norma weighs 17 pounds
Me 147
Frank 165

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