[...the continuing 1941 diary of Sicily Island, Louisiana native, Bea Bryan Denham. References to WWII are in red.]
August 1, Friday
I’ve been crocheting. Went to Mamma’s twice. Earl decided we’d go to Baton Rouge Sunday, asked Pop and Julia if they wanted to go. He’s been awfully busy all week. I think he will go to Minden Monday. Mamma had a letter from Minnie Lea, Lorraine is going to stay with Bruce and Mary while she is in the hospital. I do hope she will be all right after it’s over, and not have to have any operation. Ted and Hazel are having another baby, too. Miss Mollie came home from the hospital today.
August 2, Saturday
Hot but cloudy
We got things lined up to go to Baton Rouge, Julia cooked two chickens, and I got cheese & pimento, cakes and tomatoes. Rowland called Earl, told him the man he wanted to see would be in Minden Monday, so Earl is going up there. We also told Rowland we were coming down tomorrow. I had just sent a wire when he called. We washed the car and fixed up everything to leave. Oh, how I hope Earl gets the job! It seems like a dream for us to be hunting a job, and to get on that may lead to somewhere seems even more fanciful.
August 3, Sunday
Rain all morning, sunny afternoon.
We left here at 5:15, got to Rowland’s at 8:05. Had the very nicest day imaginable, because Velma decided she’d call Nelson and ask them out in the afternoon, and they came, also Quitman and Essie, and Jewel and her kids. But to have the feud end between the R.C.’s [Rowland] and the N.O.’s [Nelson] was more than worth the trip. Rowland was so glad, and I’m sure they all were, I do hope nothing will come up again to keep them from being at least on speaking terms, it’s such a terrible way to live like they’ve been doing. We got home around ten, Jo Anne and I both have taken bad colds.
August 4, Monday
Earl and Carter left for Minden at five, took Joe as far as Ruston to see Mrs. Kiper. I went to Mamma’s to canvas the living room, but felt so badly, and it was so uncertain about how long we’d be here we decided not to do it. Edward came after Mamma and she went home with him. Earl came about 9:30, saw the man, but couldn’t get any satisfaction out of him, he told him, he was too early yet. Earl is afraid the job won’t pay very much. He was awfully tired, and discouraged, too, I guess. Said he left a message for the man to call him at Sicily Island, he couldn’t get any satisfaction out of him, and didn’t think it worthwhile to stay in Minden. I hope he will go back Wednesday, when Drexler is there.
August 5, Tuesday
We slept late, Earl worked at the shop and late in the afternoon he put creosote and black oil on the blocks of the house, hoping to get rid of these termites. We went down to Kidd’s and stayed til about ten o’clock.
August 6, Wednesday
I mailed the check to Commercial Security for $175 on the car, which only leaves that same amount left to be paid. I wrote to Minnie Lea and Velma, and didn’t nothing much the rest of the day except crochet a little. Earl had to go to Peck’s, so Jo Anne and I went with him. Mrs. Peck loaned Jo Anne seven more books, so she won’t be a problem any longer. We read “Let the Gun Talk” by Lucian Cary. Kidd and Edward were here for a little while, she looks terribly badly.
August 7, Thursday
Undoubtedly this must be our age of Distemper, (foot line). Mamma is sick today, stomach upset. Earl is worried and unhappy over this job business. I do wish he’d go to Minden tomorrow, but he won’t. Jo Anne and I went to Mrs Peniston’s, we hunted a negro for Kidd, but failed to find one. I had a letter from Velma today that Earl said was a since as any Bippie ever wrote. I made two crochet medallions. I’m so anxious to get settled on what we’re to do, this suspense is nerve racking to Earl as well as to me.
August 8, Friday
Hot. 90 degrees at dark
It’s so hot I haven’t done a thing today except what I just had to. Earl worked at the shop, Jo Anne played with Patsy, and we went to Mamma’s after coffee. Wrote to Aunt Leona, and crocheted three more medallions. Mamma feels better.
Mussolini’s oldest son was killed in a plane crash yesterday. But his son is no dearer to him than all these others father’s sons, whom he has helped to bring to death. We took Mamma to Kidd’s for a while, she looks better.
August 9, Saturday
Jo Anne and I cleaned up the house for Sunday, I ironed all we had that needed it. Had just got my bath and clothes on when Mrs. Kiper, Bob, and Theodore came. I made coffee, but they didn’t stay very long. Read Edgar Allen Poe and crocheted awhile. Mamma was ironing when I went over there, so I helped her, and crocheted afterwards. Earl is getting things together to go to Minden.
August 10, Sunday
Hottest day yet
Earl has spent nearly all day at the shop. Velma wrote that they are going to be at Decimal until Wednesday. We read awhile in the afternoon, went after Mamma and Joe and went to Kid’s awhile. They came back to Mamma’s and we all ate supper there.
August 11, Monday
Hot, cool shower in the afternoon,
I woke up at 1:45 and never could go back to sleep, so I got up at 4:00, and Earl left at 5:00 for Minden. He took clothes, bed, etc., said he was going to stay until he got something worth having. Poor pig! He hated to go without us and believe me, we hated it, too. I wrote Velma and Florelle while Jo Anne went back to sleep. Mamma, Joe and I almost canvassed the living room at Mamma’s today, Kidd and Edward brought dinner, but they didn’t stay, both were sick, they said. Thank goodness Eula May and Carter left today, supposedly for good.
August 12, Tuesday
A little cooler.
Letter from Earl today. He had good luck in finding his men Monday, but he’s to see another one and he was out of town. My! How I hope he lands something soon. And how I do miss him!
We went to Mamma’s about nine, and worked like pups all day long, but we finished the room. Mamma and Joe were tired, too. The parlor looks really nice though. Jo Anne and I came back by Pop’s to tell him that we heard from Earl. I read the Post awhile, but I’m so tired bed is the only place for me.
August 13, Wednesday
No letter today. Oh, I do hope Earl was too busy to write, had too much to do getting lined up. This job business is serious. Jo Anne and I went to Mamma’s, we cleaned up the living room and it looks awfully nice, there’s not a wrinkle. Kidd and Edward came by, were astonished that we were through. After dinner we went back home and rested, then to Mamma’s again and clean up her room, figured on papering it, but we haven’t decided definitely. Kidd is going to buy Mamma a linoleum rug to put in the parlor.
August 14, Thursday
I began mopping the house this morning when Annie didn’t show up, swept down all the walls and gave everything a pretty thorough cleaning, but Kidd and Edward came after I had begun mopping, brought paint and wanted me to come on to Mamma’s so we did, painted all the woodwork in the parlor and Mamma’s room. Mamma is going to order canvas and paper for her room and if we can, we will do it. Jo Anne and I had gone to bed, I with “Time,” and she with a book, when someone knocked and Earl was at the door. And were we glad to see him! Seems like about half of myself is dead when he’s away. [I love this about them!]
August 15, Friday
Today has been a real scorcher. Earl went to work, and when Jo Anne and I finished cleaning up we went by the shop, picked up Earl and Pop, and took them to Mamma’s to show them our work. It really does look nice. Had a letter from Bessie, and also wrote her, I thought it might be possible for Anna Bess to get a place here. Read “Time.” Buck and Mildred came by, we went to the camp, they are expecting Mr. Tucker and the rest of the gang for a fish fry tomorrow and asked us to go. We went to the show, “Wagons Roll By Night.”