[...the continuing 1941 diary of Sicily Island, Louisiana native, Bea Bryan Denham. References to WWII in red.]
March 1, Saturday
Cold, sunny and windy
Jo Anne and I went to Harrisonburg, I saw Shelwick, and he said it would be six weeks before they filled the place. I’m packing up our clothes and Jo Anne’s as if we were certain to go, but we don’t know a thing. This indecision is terribly painful. Kidd paid us what they owed, I got Marr’s check and all Edward’s clothes he didn’t need. Earl put rings in Cecil’s car, and ours needs them badly. Later Cecil told Earl he was almost sure he could get on, so he decided to go. It’s 11:30, but I have things to where we can be ready tomorrow afternoon.
March 2, Sunday
Sunny and warm
We packed. I moved Jo Anne to Mamma’s and fixed up her room. We straightened and marked everything at the shop. As Earl said when we were leaving town, it’s a turning point in our lives – whether for good or evil remains to be seen. We left Bep and Jack at Pop’s – took Bob to Mr. Coles – Jo Anne took Tuffy to Mamma’s – Jo Ann was so brave and sweet, she was determined not to cry, and she didn’t, only she couldn’t squeeze back the few tears at the last. We followed Cecil to Leesville, John Crawford rode with us. We got here about 7, and are going to sleep in the trailer with Cecile and Margaret.
—- [March 3 - March 12 pages are missing] —
March 13, Thursday
Dreary and cold
I’ve been wishing Earl and Cecil would come in, it’s so bad. Earl is so near sick already. I’ve read Readers’ Digest, the Post, and tried to entertain myself in every way I know, but the days are endless. I also made cigarettes for Earl.
March 14, Friday
Sunny, but turned ugly before noon
Mrs. Boyett brought me a letter from Jo Anne, and one from Velma this morning, and drank coffee with me. I’ve read “Reader’s Digests” from Sept. to February. There is practically nothing to do here. I wrote one story, but it isn’t long enough. I wish Fortuny [literary agent] could sell what I’ve got, and we could get enough ahead to come out of the hole.
March 15, Saturday
Rainy, cold, and cheerless
Letter from Jo Anne. I spent the morning cleaning up, bathing, and going to see Mrs. Boyett. We got a late start this evening and it was 11:30 when we got home. The road was wet and slick saw about six wrecks on the road, one was terrible. Cecil got off the road in Alexandria, and we lost about 45 minutes there. I was worn out when we finally got in. Jo Anne had gone to sleep, but Mamma waked her up. Earl’s check was $41.46 [Adjusting for inflation his check would be $607.08 today]. I wish we didn’t have to spend it.
March 16, Sunday
Cold, raw, sleeting
Mrs. Boyett came and sat awhile with me this morning. I read Time. We got supper, and are ready for bed, Earl’s face is cooked from the raw wind, and he has an awful cold that just won’t break up. He thinks he has fever. Oh, I hope he doesn’t get sick.
March 17, Monday
We had breakfast, talked to Mamma and Joe awhile, and went to the shop. I posted, we went to Julia’s and I bathed Jo Anne and washed her head. Kidd and Edward came, we ate dinner at Mamma’s and Cecil and Margaret came. We went to our house and packed up. I tried to think of everything, but forgot honey and coffee. Mamma had made pies and angel food cake. Kidd and Edward gave us a shoulder, already baked, and we stole a qt. of milk. Left at 4:30, Leesville 8:15, but it was 10 before we could get to bed. Letter from Faye.