[...the continuing 1941 diary of Sicily Island, Louisiana native, Bea Bryan Denham. References to WWII are in red.]
July 1, Tuesday
Sunny and hot.
Jo Anne went to Vacation Bible School, and as soon as I finished cleaning up I went to Mamma’s. Earl had already gone. He and Carter worked all day, got the cold water lines run, but no hot ones yet. Oh, I’m so glad it’s being done, I’ve surely wanted them to have water in their house long enough. I wish we could fix the commode, but I guess we will have to be satisfied with this awhile.
July 2, Wednesday
Earl worked all day on the water system at Mamma’s, and I tagged about after him. They got the hot water almost finished, but it will take a little while in the morning to finish it up.
July 3, Thursday
Rowland called Earl this morning about a car, so Earl and Carter finished the water system about 11, and we began getting ready to go to Thibodaux. Dave Clark and his family came by, but we got off at 2 after eating dinner with Mamma. Visited May Usher a few minutes, and also Nelson and Faye. The car was considerably more than we wanted to spend, but Earl said it was a good buy, and if we can sell ours it won’t be so bad. It was $650, we paid $300 down, and want to pay the rest before 60 days to eliminate the carrying charges. It was after 12 when we got here, in Thibodaux. We are going to Grand Isle tomorrow. Saw Kidd on the road.
July 4, Friday
We left about nine and drove down to Grand Isle, got two rooms in a private home, and went sight seeing. It was too hot to swim, so we went to the docks and hired a boat which took us out beyond Grand Terre, where we looked at the old Fort Livingston, built during the war of 1812, and now partly in the sea. We saw porpoises swimming about, and surely did enjoy the ride. Later we went swimming, but Jo Anne enjoyed it most of all. She really learned to take the waves as they came. It’s a nice place to stay awhile, we met the Easterly’s down on the beach.
July 5, Saturday
We swam early, stayed in a long time since there was no sun. Jo Anne and I were sick in the night, but seem to be all right today. We also went back in this afternoon, with the Easterly’s and got a pretty bad scare when we found ourselves too deep. It’s lots of fun swimming where the waves break. We have had a real nice time all the trip, I’m so glad we came. I think both Jo Anne and Earl enjoyed it immensely, and I always love to see them do things they enjoy. We will swim early, and leave early in the morning. The sunset was beautiful today.
Sunday, July 6
They all went swimming this morning but Velma and I stayed and packed up, got ready to leave. Easterlys left, too, Earl and Rowland helped them get the trailer out and going. We left Grand Isle around eleven, got to Thibodeaux about two, but ate dinner in Golden Meadow, wasted a lot of time. Brought Elaine and Lily Belle up to Baton Rouge, came on out to Quitman’s, where we’re going to spend the night. The car seems to be all right, we will conclude the bargain tomorrow. We hated to leave Grand Isle, we all enjoyed it, but Jo Anne especially did.
Monday, July 7
Sunny and hot.
We came into town and fixed up the papers on the car, notes of $175 for Aug. 7 and Sept. 7, and left it to be gone over. We visited Aunt Leona a good while in the afternoon, Anna, Anna Bess, Anna May, Dollie, and Tom came in while we were there. We also went to Jewel’s, and found them living in a negro cabin, just about so bad as they’ve ever been. Came back by Quitman’s and decided to spend the night with C.L. When we got out there, Kidd had been calling us, so we went to the University, she had letters from Margaret and Florelle for us. I am going to be glad to get in bed, I’m tired tonight.
Tuesday, July 8
Sunny and quite hot.
I thought we were going home early this morning, but Earl got to fooling with C.L’s garden tractor, so Marcia and I decided to go see a table Beverly [Kate’s husband] had made Kate [Marcia’s sister], and on to town for a pair of shoes for me. We got the play board for the bridge table, and went to see Sis. Fooled around at C.L.’s the rest of the day, left them at 6:00. Had to drive both cars, Earl said Jo Anne should have been twins, so we’d each have a daughter to ride with. Jo Anne said it was my fault she wasn’t, that I could have borned two as easy as one. We stopped at May Usher’s, got home at 10:45. Ate supper in Natchez. Trip cost $25.00.
July 9, Wednesday
Sunny and hot.
I’ve cleaned and put away all day, and the house still looks like a wreck. Went to Mamma’s and Julia’s, and fixed dinner, washed underclothes, took clothes to Liza, and have been busy the whole day with no results. Well, I guess that’s a cross section of life. Wrote Minnie Lea, Velma, Florelle, Marcia, and asked Fortuny for the ninety eleventh time to send my manuscripts back to me. We went to see Edward awhile tonight, took Mamma and Daddy. Burk is getting better but is still in the hospital. The pipe for Mamma was $16.26.
July 10, Thursday
Margaret came this afternoon and asked me to go to Monroe tomorrow. I guess I’ll go, I want to get Sprague a wedding present. We spent a good while at Mamma’s, I wrote Easie and Aunt Leona. Seems as if I’ll never get all the letters written.
The Battle of Britain is rather quiet, but the Battle of Russia is raging. Russia is bound to lose, but at least they’re putting up a fight. England is bombing German and French cities pretty briskly, seems as if she is just beginning to take the offensive.
July 11, Friday
Went to Monroe, got a beautiful pair of pillow cases for Sprague. Mr. Dewitt got a suit to wear to the wedding. We stayed till about 1, but I didn’t buy anything except a belt for Earl and some ribbons for Jo Anne. We were in a terrible rain coming back. I left my dress and Earl’s suit in Wisner, guess I’ll have to go after them tomorrow.
July 12, Saturday
Cloudy, no rain
We cleaned up good for Sunday, I got everything ready for our early departure tomorrow. Kidd and Edward came in this afternoon, we went to Mamma’s and stayed most of the time. Kidd and Mamma went to Wisner with me after the clothes. Daddy spent the day, and is to stay the night, in Winnsboro, visiting friends and Aunt Florelle, who has been sick. We tried to get Mamma to go to Harrisonburg but she wouldn’t, decided we’d take Pop and Julia. We stayed til about ten, at Kidd’s, came back by the Holy Roller church and watched them awhile. Today was Aunt Minnie’s birthday.
July 13, Sunday
We got up early; Cecil, Margaret and Mr. Dewitt went with us to see Sprague and Hazel married. It was a beautiful home wedding, Hazel looked awfully pretty. Cecil said all the bosses were terminated Saturday, and it undoubtedly won’t be long until the other job will begin. Nelson and family came this afternoon, we went to Wisner to see “Ziegfield Girl” – fair. Edward took our old car, said he’d try to sell it if he could. We need to get rid of it as soon as possible. Everything is going up, especially groceries.
July 14, Monday
Earl went to Leesville after the tent lumber today, got in at 12:30 tonight. Said they had a nice trip. Nelson went with him and Carter. He said it seemed the job will open this coming Monday. I washed and ironed, and spent a while at Mamma’s. I wrote Florelle, and must try to do the posting at the shop tomorrow. Faye was here a little while. Mr. Dewitt was out here with no way to get home, so Jo Anne and I took him out there.
July 15, Tuesday
I’m afraid the cotton will ruin, it’s raining so much during the blooming season. I posted at the shop, got everything straight so far as I know. Jo Anne, Patsy and I went to Harrisonburg to get tires for a trailer, Earl has been working on one all day long, so far it’s cost us $12. I do hope we get orders to go to work Monday, it’s awful waiting and nothing coming in, but all you’ve saved going out. Wish we could sell our old car, that would make us certainty of the payments on this new one. Went to Mamma’s, but didn’t stay very long.