1941 (Aug 16 – Aug 31)

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

August 16, Saturday


Today is Jo Anne’s birthday, and the picnic just suits her.  Tucker and Julia, Lillian and Sidney, Annie and Edward, a Mr. & Mrs. Vance White, Mr. and Mrs. Major, Mr. and Mrs. Orrey, Mildred and Buck, Sonny and Mickey, Cora and Ibo, Alice and Pluto, and the rest of their families were all here. We went to Ibo’s, had a nice day altogether.  Letter from Florelle, and Velma, and Velma sent Jo Anne a birthday card and a dollar.  She had a nice birthday and a good many presents.  We ate supper at Momma’s, and came home to read “Let the Gun Talk.”

August 17, Sunday


I cleaned up, even put wax on the floors, because I couldn’t seem to get to them before, and Earl had to work anyway.  Lil and family came in the afternoon, so did Kidd and Edward, and we all went to the Lake and swimming, then had supper on the bank. We had a nice time, Mamma and Joe also went with us.  Poor Earl, it was two o’clock tonight when he got through with that tractor. The papers are full of discussions on the meeting last week of Roosevelt and Churchill.  This war situation continues to look worse and worse, as Russia gives ground.  Poor people!

August 18, Monday 


Kidd and Edward came this morning as I was dressing after having cleaned up.  We went uptown and Kidd got Mamma a pretty blue rug for the parlor, after we ate dinner here we went over there and put it down.  I helped Joe paint some on the ceiling, and we straightened up the parlor.  Mamma made out the order for the canvass and paper for her room Earl, Jo Anne and I went swimming just before sundown, and read “Attack Alarm” in the Post just after we had supper.  It’s a scorching night.  I wish we’d hear from Minnie Lea, I’m worried about her.

August 19, Tuesday

Cloudy and hot

Jo Anne got Patsy to spend the day with her, and we went to Mamma’s early.  I finished painting the ceiling at noon.  We read the new Post issue of “Let the Gun Talk,” at noon, and I felt so bum I stayed in bed until five o’clock.  When Earl came we decided to go on down to Kidd’s, pick them up, and go to D.T.  The people out there seem to be a better class than we have had for tenants yet.  They have a right good crop.  We came back to Kidd’s, ate supper, and Edward and Earl went fox hunting, got home at two.

August 20, Wednesday


I’m awfully worried about Jack [their dog].  He seems to have something wrong with his back and won’t eat, can hardly get up.  He’s so pretty. I do hope he’s not going to die.  The new Montgomery Ward Catalog came today, so Jo Anne and I have been looking at it all day, everything is advancing in price. Oh how I wish one of those jobs would open up!  We are going to have so much piled up we will never get out form under if it doesn’t break soon.  Mr. Chambless came down and talked awhile tonight, he’s interesting.  We read “Attack Alarm.”  Kidd and Edward didn’t come today.

August 21, Thursday

We took Jack to the Vetinary, he didn’t know what was the matter unless Jack had had a lick.  He wouldn’t give him anything.  “Time” came, and I was reading it this afternoon when Ruth came.  Rowland and Velma were at Pop’s.  We went over there and later all went swimming except Velma and I, we fixed a supper to take to them after a swim.  We went down to Kidd’s a little while, and by Mamma’s too.  The paper and canvass for her room has come.  Guess we will get to it Monday.

August 22, Friday

Getting warmer

We all slept late this morning, fixed dinner, etc.,  — I’m so blooming awkward about cooking.  We just sat around mostly and talked all day.  Rode around awhile after it got cool, took Julia, went to Catherine’s, and after supper Kidd and Edward came.  The men went fox hunting, and the women all went to see “Here Comes the Navy” – Then we came by where they were hunting, and all got in about twelve.  Letter, long awaited from Minnie Lea, — she said she was feeling pretty useless, especially since they aren’t through with the house.

August 23, Saturday

Hot again

Julia asked us all to dinner so we spent most of the day there, I crocheted a little bit.  Margaret came on the bus, and we took her home, then went to H’burg, visited Laura McLaughlin and found Edith there.  Came home, went to DeLita’s and Mrs. Coan’s, then after supper to Miss Mamie’s and to Holy Roller Church, then rode about Wisner.  Rowland and Velma hadn’t been there in a long time and enjoyed seeing the changes that had taken place.  We also went by Kidd’s a few minutes.

August 24, Sunday


Velma and I fixed dinner, asked Pop and Julia.  We picked a bucket, the first, of scuppernongs [muscadines] for Mrs. Anderson.  Delita came and asked us all for coffee so before Rowland and Velma left we all went up there, had a right nice visit.  After they left we went to Mamma’s, Emma had been there.  We went to John’s, but he wasn’t at home When Kidd and Edward came they brought Mamma and Daddy, May Usher and Meloin came by, too.  Mamma and all ate supper here.  We want to go to bed early so Earl can get off early in the morning.  Shut Bep up.

August 25, Monday

Hot.  Light shower

Earl got off at five, I went back to bed when I should have been cleaning up, and finished last weeks Time.  Then when I did get up it was so late I dint’ get to half clean up, so I hurried over to Mamma’s and we worked like Turks getting room papered, but it does look awfully pretty.  Kidd came late in the afternoon and helped us finish, then Jo Anne and I went home with her, to spend the night, I’m going to help Edward with an abstract he’s making for D.T.  My how I miss Earl!

August 26, Tuesday

Mostly hot, light shower in afternoon

I went to the office with Edward, stayed an hour, then took Kidd to Ferriday to the doctor.  Mrs. Peck came in while I was there.  We got back a little before twelve, and I looked through records all afternoon with no luck.  We had just got home when Earl came, he had no luck either.  Man told him it would be two weeks more.  We stayed til after supper and came back to Mamma’s so Earl could see the room.  It looks awfully nice, Mamma had cleaned it up and Daddy is going to put baseboards around it tomorrow.

August 27, Wednesday


Alvin and Lil Guice Walvoord

Alvin and Lil Guice Walvoord

C.L. and Marcia Guice

C.L. and Marcia Guice

Jo Anne and I spent the whole morning cleaning up, got our bath and dinner, and had just lain down when C.L. And Marcia [my grandfather and grandmother] came by on their way to Lil’s [C.L.’s sister].  I heard yesterday that Oswald Henry died Sunday, and was certainly sorry.  Oswald had one of the most pleasing personalities I’ve ever known, Goodness knows why he went berserk these last two years and ruined himself with drink.  Nelson and Faye came with C.L. and Marcia so they went with us to Kidd’s, and we had supper there, Earl, Jo Anne and I read Attack Alarm when we got home.

August 28, Thursday


Faye was here this morning.  I helped her pick scuppernongs [muscadines].  C.L. came and ate dinner with us.  [C.L. died  only three weeks from this diary post at the age of 36.  It is the last time that Bea Denham would see him.] We went to Mamma’s too.  I read Time, and Kidd and Edward came, Edward to go fox hunting, so when Cader and Mrs. Aplin got here, we let the men go to the fox chase and we all went to see “Power Drive,” a very good light show.  Earl thinks maybe William Peck will buy our car, the old one.  I do hope so, I’m so anxious to get rid of that last note.  Then I guess we can manage the rest somehow til Earl gets work.

August 29, Friday

Plenty hot.

Jo Anne and I went to Harrisonburg about ten o’clock, which was a s soon as I could make it, with cleaning up to be done first.  We worked on the abstract for D.T., and finished it up, but still could not find about 25 years between 1819 and 1846.  I wish I could work in the Clerk’s office, it’s very interesting work and I could find out so much I’d like to know.  Letter from Velma.  Jo Anne and I went to Margaret’s and she surely looks as if she is going to have twins, she’s huge, with three months yet to go.

August 30, Saturday

Cooler morning and evening, Hot midday

Worked at the shop all morning making bills and posting, in fact it was 4:45 when I finished and came home to wax the floors.  Card from Lillian inviting us to another picnic with Mr. Tucker and crowd.  Letter from Florelle.  She’d been to Leesville and didn’t come on to see us.  Kidd and Edward were here for dinner, she’s better.  We went swimming close to dark. Card from Lil asking us to supper Sunday night, but I wrote her we couldn’t make it, I don’t’ feel like it.  Went to Mamma’s too.

August 31, Sunday

Cooler, Cloudy

Jo Anne and I cleaned up and hung the curtains this morning. Cecil and Margaret came and stayed awhile.  Earl worked nearly all day.  Roy Strickland came with Carter, bought our old Ford, or bargained to, with $25 down.  That certainly does relieve us, because it clears our car completely, and we’ve nothing left to pay except $45 on this roof and life insurance.  Oh, I wish Earl could go to work right away.  If he were working, we could go on and pay these bills, but as long as he’s only making expenses, we are afraid to spend all we have.  Saw “A Woman’s Face” to night.


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