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.

July 23, 2008

November 1938

Tuesday, November 1, 1938

Washed and ironed all day but it left me pretty tired – Mrs. Brown [neighbor] took Norma for walk – played games and sewed

Wednesday, November 2, 1938

Cleaned house and scrubed – Sorted out Music and practiced a bit – left Baby over to Mother Shermans while we at at Hub CafĂ© – quiet evening home

Thursday, November 3, 1938

Left Baby with Mother and spent whole day with Frank and what a day!! Forgot a spot and pinched – Supper at Bud & Lukes – Visited Popa in hosp.

Friday, November 4, 1938

No school so Frank took Bill along – last visit to Dr – Baby weighs 20 ¼ pounds – stood up alone today & taking steps – Went to show – King of Alcatraz & My Bill – Hot chocolate

[King of Alcatraz is a prison drama starring Gail Patrick and Lloyd Nolan. My Bill is a family drama starring Kay Francis, Bonita Granville, and Anita Louise]

Saturday, November 5, 1938

Made custard pie and Honey cake – got groceries in afternoon – Bill & Frank gone to show – figured up Budget and sewing most of evening – Bill a big help

Sunday, November 6, 1938

A Wonderful Ham for dinner – took Billy home and then went over to Walbridge Zoo & Walked Baby around – quiet Evening home

Monday, November 7, 1938

Washed but Rained and had to hang in basement – Made blocks evening – Pretty tired every night – that’s why I’m so fat

Tuesday, November 8, 1938

It turned bitterly cold – Mrs. Brown stayed with Baby so I had my hair fixed – Frank gone early to play bridge

Wednesday, November 9, 1938

Finished ironing and made blocks rest of day – Norma is taking steps alone – She is so adorable

Thursday, November 10, 1938

Took walk afternoon with Regine – Met a friend of Regine - Dave here for supper – We went to Granada – 3 Blind Mice & the Crowd Roars

[Three Blind Mice is a comedy starring Loretta Young, Joel McCrea and David Niven. The Crowd Roars is a boxing drama starring Robert Taylor and Maureen O’Sullivan]

Friday, November 11, 1938

Had remaining 5 teeth filed – horrible experience – Bought kitchen table and had treatment and Manicure – Supper at Mothers

Saturday, November 12, 1938

Had nice day – made apple cake & Pumpkin pie – and took walk – had nice supper – Frank and Dave went to Ann Arbor football game – Went to Dutch Village – Rivioli Show – Ella Fitzgerald

[Twenty year old Ella Fitzgerald had just had her first hit with A-Tisket A-Tasket at this time]

Sunday, November 13, 1938

Late breakfast – Dave here – got Frank to hang up hooks in basement – Over to Shermans – dinner at Edison – Made Blocks and sewed first Red to Tan

Monday, November 14, 1938

Up early washed and hung clothes in basement – Made 18 blocks together and sewed them together – Frank gone out for evening – Ironed some

Tuesday, November 15, 1938

Ironed and fixed furnace all day couldn’t get warm – Made up some ad’s for girls – darned socks and wrote up diary

Wednesday, November 16, 1938

Down town all day – got Frank Suit and Top coat – Myself a gorcious dress size 16 – Book Story of Philosophy – Supper at Mothers – Early to Bed [wedged in the margin near the line about the dress she wrote: “fore cream also”]

Thursday, November 17, 1938

Cleaned house and Walked to lanes – Saw Mae Ryman – got oranges had light Supper and was pretty tired so after reading awhile – went to bed

Friday, November 18, 1938

Left Baby at Cealias and went with Frank – He had to have his suit fitted – ate at Webster Inn – feed Baby at Cealias and home – Made 25 Blocks

Saturday, November 19, 1938

Made chocolate cake Pumkin pie and nut Bread – Had Betty Findsey over and we went to New Loop theater – Manny & Virg got tired of waiting and we had to go home after them

Sunday, November 20, 1938

Had to cook big Ham dinner but it was a success – took some pictures afternoon & took a ride after taking Ganches home – Went to Bed at 7:30 couldn’t stay up

Monday, November 21, 1938

Frank had to go early and get glasses fixed so I made blocks all day – night I was pretty tired so bed early – can’t stay up late over one night in a week – getting old.

Tuesday, November 22, 1938

Washed and did some of the ironing – Baby walking across room – made more blocks – evening Frank went out to play bridge

Wednesday, November 23, 1938

Disagreement with Frank – finished ironing and made salad for tomorrow – Phil Pappord in town – Bed early to satisfie Frank – He certainly is insistent

Thursday, November 24, 1938 – Thanksgiving

Really feel Thankful this year – Wonderful turkey dinner – Howard & Neva - Toots & Howard came up for afternoon & Supper – We stayed all night at Mothers

Friday, November 25, 1938

Took all day to get the house warm – wrote letters to Sara & Sam and figured up budget – Felt lousy but by evening was feeling better – Norma’s tooth coming

Saturday, November 26, 1938

Rode around with Frank afternoon – left Baby with Cealia and ate out – Spent quite evening at home

Sunday, November 27, 1938

Had steak dinner – Ride afternoon – Very cold – listened to Coughlens speech against Jews – Supper home and sewed.

[Born in Hamilton, Ontario, to Irish parents, Charles Coughlin was ordained in Toronto in 1916 and taught at Assumption College in Windsor, Ontario, before moving to Detroit in 1923. He began his radio broadcasts in 1926, broadcasting weekly sermons on a regular program. After 1936 Coughlin increasingly expressed sympathy for the fascist policies of Hitler and Mussolini as an antidote to Bolshevism. His radio broadcasts also became overtly anti-Semitic. He blamed the Depression on an "international conspiracy of Jewish bankers", and also claimed that Jewish bankers were behind the Russian Revolution. On 27 November 1938, he said "There can be no doubt that the Russian Revolution ... was launched and fomented by distinctively Jewish influence." On Nov. 20, 1938, two weeks after Kristallnacht, when Jews across Germany were attacked and killed, and Jewish businesses and homes burned, Coughlin blamed the Jewish victims, saying that "Jewish persecution only followed after Christians first were persecuted."]

Monday, November 28, 1938

Did wash after Baby took nap – took walk and had a nice dinner ready

Tuesday, November 29, 1938

Ironed and finished early – took a walk – Frank gone evening but I went to bed early anyway

Wednesday, November 30, 1938

Made oatmeal cookies and Bran muffins to take to girls – took a long walk – called Mother and talked for a while


First tooth through but it seems to be crooked – 21 ¼ lbs – 149 lbs me

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