1941 (Jan 8 – Jan 21)

[…the continuing 1941 diary of Sicily Island, Louisiana native, Bea Bryan Denham. References to WWII in red.]

January 8, Wednesday
Beautiful, sunny, and warm.

I’m afraid Daddy is taking the flu, he is surely taking a bad cold. I’ve studied all day except for awhile I went to Mamma’s. We got two cords of wood for the fireplace today. Cecil was here a few minutes this morning.

January 9, Thursday

I went to Willie’s and got the TB Seal sale money [tuberculosis stamps/Christmas Seals], intended going to Mrs. Peck’s [neighbor] but she came by before I left, so I gave it to her and put off making the report for a day or so, because she’s trying to get Barbara Jane off to Newcomb. She told me about a girl in the Welfare Office and suggested that she and I go see Nomack about it. I went to H’burg [Harrisonburg], but old man Conn is real sick and Jimmy wasn’t in the office. Daddy has the flu, an awful cold, and Mamma and I both have as much cold and cough as ever. Kidd and Edward came and we went to see “Down Argentine Way”, filmed in Argentina, and in technicolor.

January 10, Friday


Earl never seems to have any time anymore, he’s constantly busy. Couldn’t go with us to see the show last night; because he had to work. Jo Anne ate dinner with Patsy today. Letter from Faye [Earl’s sister]. I’m still studying but progress is awfully slow. Joe [Bea’s father] took a big dose of oil [castor oil] last night, he wanted to go to the Tournament today, and did. Mamma says he’s lots better, and the day has been sunny and warm. He couldn’t bear to miss seeing the games if he could possibly get there.

January 11, Saturday

Beautiful, sunny and warm.

I hope three beautiful days will stretch all over January. Jo Anne didn’t go to the tournament today. I studied. I’m writing 60 words per minute, which is a long way from 80, but better than 30. Daddy went to the tournament again today. I took Mamma to the camp to get her pillows. Mary sent a check for the Sheriff’s office bill, but we will have to buy gasoline with it. I wish it could go for life insurance. I paid Mamma her $10.00. Letter from Minnie Lea.

January 12, Sunday

Sunny and warm

It’s not too warm, just right for lying in the sun. I had no hose, so Jo Anne and I didn’t go to Sunday School, but to Mamma’s, and brought them to dinner. Joe’s cold is worse, he’s in bed again, so we took him some dinner. Earl, Jo Anne and I went to Doniphan’s, he went hunting but his dogs wouldn’t mind him, and he didn’t enjoy the hunt that much. Jo Anne went with him, but she didn’t stay out very long. We went with Kidd and Edward to see “The Howards of Virginia” which was pretty good.

 January 13, Monday

Daddy is better, Pattison said the Welfare office had filled the vacancy, but he thought there was to be another. I’m taking all Earl’s spare time trying to improve my speed. Letter from Bessie.

 January 14, Tuesday


Mrs. Peck came by this morning and said Pattison had sent us a list of people to see about jobs at Camp Claiborne http://www.campclaiborne.com/ ]. I went down there this afternoon and we made out the t. b. report and the checks for the Parish Association. Daddy had fever today. Love [Bea’s housekeeper] didn’t come, but I got through very well. Wrote Florelle, Minnie Lea, Marcia, and Aunt Leona. I posted. Earl has been awfully busy.

January 15, Wednesday


Mr. John Conn was buried today. Mamma is uneasy about Daddy, and I went after Dr. Gordon for him. He said Daddy has that slow type of pneumonia, and we must be very careful with him. Margaret was here this afternoon, and Earl brought Walling, Edward and Max, for coffee. I’m slaving all the time I have, and all Earl has to spare, with this short hand.

January 16, Thursday


Kidd and Edward and our family were at Mamma’s til 9:30 last night, Joe seemed to be doing very well. We moved his bed so there could be no draft, and made the table small to give plenty of room in the dining room. That’s where they moved to when cold weather came, and since Joe is sick, I’m glad of it, it’s nice and warm and close to the kitchen.

January 17, Friday

Cold, but fair.

Daddy isn’t doing well. Dr. Gordon started giving sulphur pyridine this afternoon. Earl brought Jo Anne’s heater over and put it up tonight, so they could have better heat, through the night. I’m awfully uneasy about him.

Earl sold the old Saltzberry car today for $45.00, paid Welsh $12.50 to get a title. He’s been so busy without any decent help. I feel sorry for him. We had a hard wind tonight, but the stars are beautiful.

January 18, Saturday

Raw and cold; wind and no sun

Joe was awfully sick this morning, Dr. Gordon examined his heart and decided he’d better give digitalis.  But this afternoon he got better and smoked a little.  I’ve been there all day.  Willie came and stayed a good while.  I’ve been writing Minnie Lea cards every day.

January 19, Sunday


Joe is better, and feeling better.  Kidd and Edward came this morning, said Boatner Swayze’s wife burned to death last night.  She was so young and pretty, it’s such a shame.  Mrs. Peck came after Sunday School and stayed awhile and Mrs. Whitlock came this afternoon.  We have been staying at Mamma’s constantly except for meals and sleeping.

January 20, Monday


Inauguration Day.  I didn’t get to hear Roosevelt.  C.L. and Marcia [my grandfather and grandmother] heard Joe was so sick, so they came up to see how he was.  I went with them to Lil’s [C.L.’s sister and both cousins of Bea] for about two hours.  They went back this afternoon.  Redfield [cousin to Bea, C.L. and Lil] and Uncle Ernest [Joe’s brother] came to see Daddy while we were at Lil’s.  I didn’t get to Missionary Society.

January 21, Tuesday


Joe’s fever was below normal this morning and he seemed to be doing nicely.  Red, Uncle Ernest and Aunt Florence all came to see him.  This afternoon his fever went up again, and Dr. Gordon gave him more sulphur pyridine.  It surely has us all worried.  I write Minnie Lea every day.  Kidd and Edward were here tonight.  John Dosher died today, so they were going out there to sit up tonight [thus the term “wake” derived from the tradition of someone staying with the body each day and night before the burial].


One thought on “1941 (Jan 8 – Jan 21)

  1. Thanks so much for posting these, babe. I appreciate all the links, side art, etc. Interesting and painless history! 🙂

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