[...the continuing 1941 diary of Sicily Island, Louisiana native, Bea Bryan Denham. References to WWII are in red.]
June 1, Sunday
After we cleaned up, we went down in the swamp to see Bep, found her terribly poor, but she was glad to see us. Kidd and Edward came for dinner, Mamma had twelve or fifteen altogether. We sat around and talked until time to come back to Leesville. On the way over here Earl and Jo Anne were both sick at the stomach, Earl especially so. I gave them magnesia as soon as we got here. I had a letter from Fortuny wanting $15 to revise my stories. I wish they’d send them back to me, I’m about disgusted. I’ll never write anything at all.
June 2, Monday
I had a lot of pressing to do. I’ve been busy all day with poor results, except that I got it all done. It’s to be done again every day, though so I can’t see that it’s much accomplished.
Earl felt terribly badly today, weak, but he’s over the sickness. I tried to get him not to go to work, but he went anyway. Jo Anne is all right, though, she never was as sick as Earl.
June 3, Tuesday
We went to town today, put Earl’s money in the bank, and mailed a letter to Minne, Minne Lea, Velma, that canning company and then went out to Talbot’s trailer camp and spent the day. Mrs. Nesom, Lora, Margaret and we all ate dinner at Mrs. Boyetts. I crocheted some, but we enjoyed the day. I bought groceries, paid the rent, etc. altogether nearly spent $10. It surely does slip away from me. Had a letter from Minnie Lea. She isn’t doing so well, it doesn’t seem to me, she still can’t go about any. I’m awfully worried about her. Margaret seems to be doing very nicely.
June 4, Wednesday
Had a card from Inez, telling us to be sure and come Sunday and Earl said we could so I guess that’s what we will do. I sent Minne Lea’s letter to Mamma, and wrote Inez and Montgomery Ward. Washed and pressed all we had dirty and since I’ve had this stomach upset I haven’t eaten, so I have been pretty weak. I stayed on the cot under the [ ] nearly all day and read. We went to see “Angels With Dirty Faces” with Davises. Margaret said they might go to Inez’s with us. But I don’t know whether they will or not. The Kaiser died today. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_II,_German_Emperor)
June 5, Thursday
Sunny and hot
Letter from Florelle. Jo Anne and I crocheted and read, washed and ironed, finally got supper. The shop foreman, Whitten, and Sonny Smith moved up here, and Maragaret and Cecil came out for awhile. Life is surely a round of doing the simple things. We neither go any where, nor see anyone, and are almost without anything to read.
June 6, Friday
Cloudy and cool
Letter from Mamma. She got sick, too, last Sunday. Al and Lil came down after we left. Mary heard that weddings galore were to take place in Sicily Island, – W.M. Crawford and Calahan’s nurse, Victor and an Italian from Natchez, Mildred Seal and Prescott, Charles Seal and Mary Lucille Matthews, Calahan and Shirley Wren.
June 7, Saturday
Rain all morning, clear in the afternoon
We had to stay in the tent until after noon so I wrote to Florelle, and cleaned up pretty well. Then the sun came out, so we read awhile, and were ready to go to town when Earl came and we finished supper. Doc Singleton came to the camp, and Earl took us over and introduced us. We got groceries, and went to a show, “Gentry” – story of a blind horse. It was late before we were ready for bed. A storm at DeQuincy was dangerously near us, killed three people.
June 8, Sunday
We left here around 7:30, drove through Deridder, Kinder, Eunice and Crowley, but it was 10:45 before we got to Scott, where Inez was to meet us. She had given us out, and gone on home, but left instructions at the drug store as to how to find them, so we got out there with no trouble. I was awfully glad to see her, and we met all her people, they were as nice to us as could be. We enjoyed the day very much, went to see her Grandmother, who wove and spun cloth, saw all the instruments, and several pieces of nice furniture. Inez seems to have achieved peace of a sort, but certainly she isn’t happy at all. Marilyn is the same self-sufficient child, and looks just as she always did, except that she’s 2 ½ years bigger.
June 9, Monday
We washed all we had dirty, and went to town with Mary. I got a letter mailed to Mamma, and went to the Bank, where I deposited $70 of Earl’s check. This makes $520 we have. It’s unbelievable. We slept a little after we got home, Cecil is to move out here tonight, and I want to have supper done when Earl gets home if I can, he will want to help Cecil get located. Margaret didn’t come back, is due Thursday. The British have at last taken the initiative and moved into Syria, which is late, even at that. It does look like they could accomplish more than they are.(http://ww2today.com/8th-june-1941-britain-invades-french-occupied-syria)
June 10, Tuesday
I washed, mopped, and thoroughly cleaned the tent, so its shining and nice. We read and slept. I crocheted a little then fixed supper. Cecil ate with us both last night and tonight. It really poured down tonight. Earl, Jo Anne and I went to see “Philadelphia Story,” which was disappointing.
June 11, Wednesday
Cloudy, sun in the afternoon
These days are so much the same, — rise at 5 and get Earl’s lunch and breakfast. He leaves at 6:15. I wash the things we got dirty the day before, and clean up the tent. Jo Anne and I get a shower and the mail, and we sleep. I get up and press the things I’ve washed in the morning, and fix supper. Earl eats with us, we wander about outside, talking to the neighbors, or playing Casino, and got to bed at 9. One day is just like the others except with it rains we are all short-tempered from too close confinement.
June 12, Thursday
Cloudy, Rain in the afternoon
Today Jo Anne and I rushed through our work, got our bath and after the mail man came, went to Mrs. Boyett’s until noon. We ate dinner at Dodge’s and met Margaret. It simply poured in Leesville, but hadn’t rained here at all when we got home. Letter from Kidd, — she has met Mr. Bradsher, which must have been embarrassing on her part, she not know just what he might say to her. He told her she had a striking mind, and that she wrote answers like wording a telegram. We played dominoes out under the trees til too dark to see, and went to bed early.
June 13, Friday
Sunny, cool breeze
Today I had a letter from Velma saying they were coming to Sicily Island Sunday so I’m sure we will go home. We went to town and got groceries, and slept. We went to see Bette Davis and George Brent in “The Great Lie” – It was fair. Earl didn’t feel well, and was so sleepy he was miserable. We will just have to quit trying to go to shows, he never feels well enough to enjoy it.
June 14, Saturday
Sunny, hot, but a fair breeze
I made jelly today, just about half of it. Oh it was hot! I filled the box with jars, and decided to wait til next week to finish. Letter from Mamma, she didn’t say much. Carter was over yesterday hunting a place to move. I hate to say it, but I hope he doesn’t move over here, I surely don’t want to live anywhere near Eula May.
We left for Sicily Island about 6:30, with a new route, — through Claiborne. John was with us. Got in about 11, stopped at Pop’s til 12, to see Rowland and Velma. Didn’t even wake Mamma and Joe up when we got in.
June 15, Sunday
We spent the day at Pop’s [Cecil’s], had a right nice visit with Roland [Earl’s brother] and Velma. Went to Miss Minnie’s for a short time, and to Mamma’s after they left. Had a very good day, I posted, too. The trip back was rough, the roads full of soldiers on maneuvers. We got in about 8:30. Rowland asked Earl if there was much chance of his getting on. Earl said he seemed serious about it, Elaine is nearly through business school. Velma has something wrong with her hip, can hardly walk.