[...the continuing 1941 diary of Sicily Island, Louisiana native, Bea Bryan Denham. References to WWII in red.]
February 1, Saturday
Damp, dreary, ugly
I took Minnie Lea and Mary to Wisner, and came home to doctor Jo Anne. She has an awful cold and cough, and neither mine nor Mamma’s is greatly improved. I’ve been to see about Joe several times today, he’s doing nicely. Letters from Florelle and Velma. Mrs. Willy Woodward sent Joe a chicken today and wrote a note, said her aunt died today. Mrs. Peck and Mr. Woodward are going over there in the morning, but Miss Thilly is sick.
February 2, Sunday
Misty, dark and cold.
Joe is still improving. I went to Wisner for Minnie Lea, but she decided not to come. I had a letter from Inez today, first in a long time. We went to Mamma’s, Carter is there sick. We took Minnie Lea letters and a package from Bruce. He sent me a 1941 World Almanac which I was awfully glad to get. Margaret and Cecil were here awhile, she is going to Leesville but is coming back Tuesday and wants us all to come for supper Thursday night. Melvin and May Usher were here awhile. We went to see “Escape,” which we had read in the Post. [References are made throughout this diary to the Saturday Evening Post which was the most popular magazine in America during the war years of WWII. Click to see a sample of front covers during the war years painted by Norman Rockwell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4G-yo1cKBE] Jo Anne’s cold is little if any better. The ground hog didn‘t see his shadow here today.
February 3, Monday
Dreary and cheerless
Jo Anne’s cold is awfully bad. She went to school this morning, but I kept her at home this afternoon. Earl is so busy. I stayed down there this morning, but I had to stay with Jo Anne this afternoon.
February 4, Tuesday
Cold and sunny
We collected a good bit today, if only we didn’t have two insurance premiums and a roofing payment to make. Oh, well, somehow we always manage. I kept Jo Anne at home but I worked at the shop, there were so many salesmen and bills to pay. Jo Anne is some better, but she coughs all night long.
February 5, Wednesday
Sunny and warm
Minnie Lea and Mary came back yesterday, we went to Mrs. Peck’s awhile this morning. Mary broke out with the chicken pox this afternoon. Mamma got Curtis’ bill $8.20 altogether. And Gordon’s is $14.00 – quite a cheap siege of pneumonia. I want to help her pay it. Margaret cam home, and we took her and Minnie Lea to see “Lil Abner,” – which was quite punk. Mamma kept Mary.
February 6, Thursday
Slow cold rain
Bobbie Conn died last night. Some man from Monroe hit that pavement where those dirt trucks have dropped dirt, skidded, turned over, hurt his wife, did a lot of damage to his car. That’s three or four cars that have skidded there, he ought to sue either the company or the highway, maybe they’d put up some signs. Daddy sat up a good while yesterday.
—— [February 7 & 8 missing]
February 9, Sunday
I tried to get Mamma to come over for dinner but she wouldn’t leave Joe. Kidd, Edward, Minnie Lea and Mary were here for both dinner and supper. Earl and Edward went hunting. We spent all the afternoon at Mamma’s. Al and Al, Jr. came for a while, Lil and Clara Frances had gone to New Orleans. We went to Mrs. Bourderuant’s for a little while just before dark.
February 10, Monday
Minnie Lea, Earl and I went to Monroe today, got the door and cowl straightened on Kidd’s and Edward’s car. We went to see “Kitty Foyle” which was good [Ginger Rogers won an Academy Award for her performance in this film. Click this link for the movie trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuGEMpK1rHQ] then spent the afternoon and had supper with Edith and Alton. I got a pair of satin pajamas for Jo Anne. It was a pretty day, and we enjoyed it, we window shopped a little.
February 11, Tuesday
Edward hunted Spot and Bip this afternoon, didn’t kill anything. Minne Lea cut Mrs. Peck’s coat while I patched and cleaned out drawers, tables, etc. Daddy got out in the sunshine today. Miss Willy came to see Minnie Lea and Hazel, Helen and Mrs. Rabb also came. We got the strawberries set out.
February 12, Wednesday
Minnie Lea and I went to Kidd’s and brought back her machine so Minnie Lea could make Mrs. Peck’s coat. She sewed on it all afternoon. Sophia Lea came to see her awhile. I had a letter from Velma, Mrs. Anderson has been pretty sick but is better. They came to Natchez Sunday but had such a short time they decided not to come on over.
February 13, Thursday
Cold, but sunny
Jo Anne assorted her Valentine’s. I read “Time.” Mrs. Peck was here this morning a good while, and Minnie Lea finished the coat before she left to go back to Mamma’s tonight. It’s real pretty. Kidd and Edward were here for supper. Daddy has taken cold and doesn’t feel so well.
February 14, Friday
Jo Anne gave us Valentine’s today, they were pretty, and sweet. She got a good many. Minnie Lea and Mary went to Houston with Hazel, Helen and Doris Chambers. We took Edward’s car to them tonight, all finished up and went to see a gang play basketball at the school house in H’burg. Daddy sat up about half the day.