Carol Jean’s 1946 Diary

Gail’s younger sister, Carol McGhee kept this diary in the first few months of 1946. I was glad she shared it with us, as it sheds some light on Gail’s 1940s years which are the focus of the next family book.

CJ Garriott’s Introduction for the 1946 diary

I found the diary I wrote in briefly in 1946, Pretty faithful in January, but just a few days in February and March. Probably got it for Christmas. Wish I had stayed with it! I found it fairly interesting–day-to-day action on the Kansas plains when I would have been eleven. Was inspired to transcribe it today. I typed it exactly as I had written it, abbreviations and an occasional misspelling. We must have just moved to the farm from the Seeley Lease.

Transcription of her childhood diary–1946 (Age 11 in January)

January 1
Today is New Year’s Day. Gail came over and stayed all day and sewed baby clothes.
This afternoon Daddy, Mother, Gail and I went to the pasture where the pond is and covered the pipeline with leaves to keep it from freezing.
This evening I went out to help Daddy do the chores. I fed the cows, horses, and calves. When Daddy started to milk the cow, Cream, she ran out of the barn. Daddy and I took some time driving her back in. The cow just did not want to go back in the barn! But we got her in anyway.

christmas 1947

Carol Jean McGhee, December 1947

January 2
Today I went to school, a new girl came to school today. I like her very much.
I did not help my dad with the chores today. Wayne, Wanda, and Garry came over this evening. (Wanda is Gail and CJ’s cousin)
The little black cat of Garry’s strung some more string out of the sewing machine again. I ate dinner with Gail and Mother today over at Wanda’s house.
January 3
The new girl was really in the fifth grade so she went to the fifth-grade room today.
We had my school xxx (couldn’t read it) as party today. I got a handkerchief from Adam. We had ice cream bars for treats. Also, we had a box of candy apiece. I helped Daddy with the chores today. The little calf got out and we had to chase it down. It jumped over a chicken coop. Tippy our dog helped us. I got a letter from Connie Benson.
January 4
Today is the last day of school this week. Wanda’s cat disappeared today at noon.
I did not help Daddy with the chores this evening because of the rain. My, how it did rain, thunder, and lightening. It rained almost all day. This morning it was 55 degrees above zero.
January 5
I helped Mother clean up the house. I finished my book I checked out of the Madison library today.
It was sort of raining today. I helped Daddy with the chores this evening. Mother and I hung some pictures up. We washed our heads. I wrote a letter to Connie Benson. I spilled the ink too.
January 6
Today is Saturday. Mother, Daddy and I went over to Melba and Norman’s and made some little houses from shredded wheat cards.  (Melba is Gail and CJ’s older sister)
I helped Daddy with the chores this evening. I mashed my big toe too. I was getting in the car and pulled the front seat down on my foot. My! How it did hurt!
Daddy got the stove up in our bathroom today. We took a bath too. My, it felt good.

January 8
This morning I nearly missed getting my arithmetic done. It rained so hard and long today. The rain is freezing on everything, too. Mr. Brown nearly got stuck at our front gate. I did not help Daddy with the chores because of rain.
January 9
I did not help Daddy with the chores this evening because of the mud. At school, I helped the cheerleaders for the basketball games. My music teacher was not here today.
Mother cut her hand. My! how the ice glittered on everything in the sun today. My leg hurt today but Mother put Absorbine on it and made it feel better. I played with a tiny football this eve.
January 10
I had upside down pineapple cake for my dessert at noon today! Gail came over and stayed all day. Clyde came after her this eve and got the phonegraph. Gail made a new dress too.
January 11
Today was lyceum. I did not go because a man was going to talk about model airplanes. It snowed this morn but before night it was all melted again. I played with Virginia Goodsen this eve after school. We caught a mouse in our mouse trap.
January 12
Today is Sat. This afternoon Mother came back from the barn and said something had happened to the horses. I went after Mr. Brown. When we got back our horse, Tony, had Bill down in the mud in the barn. His front feet were sticking out the door while his hind feet were up by his head. We went to Emporia yesterday eve and got Mother and I some shoes. (I can only hope the horses were OK!)
January 13 (Sun)
Daddy went in to town and got Wanda, Garry and Wayne for dinner. Melba, Norman, Timmy and Bobby came out for dinner also.
January 14
Today is Monday. Wayne, Wanda and Garry were out. We had weine roast yesterday eve. I took my lunch to school for the first time in town school.
January 15 (Tues)
I did not go to school today because of my sore throat. Wanda and Garry stayed at our house all day. Wayne went with Daddy to work. The electricity man came out and dug holes and put up poles. We will soon have electricity.
January 16 (Wed)
We went to town and looked at some light fixtures but didn’t buy any. Gail and Clyde came over this eve and bought a lamp mantle from us.
January 17 (Thur)
Wanda was to have a permanent today so Mother came in and took care of Garry, while she was gone. Daddy, Mother and I hurried this morning and got in at Wanda’s house early. Wayne went with Daddy. Mother combed my hair after we got in at Wanda’s.
January 18
Today is Friday. I went to school. Went over to Wanda’s after school because Mother washed and was there. Gail washed so she was there too. Then when Gail went home I went with her. I slept on a feather bed at Gail’s, too.
January 19 (Sat)
I went with Gail and Clyde to get a horse from somebody. I don’t know their names. When we came back we had a trailer with the horse in it. The horses’ name was Polly. We got stuck three times. Clyde got a man to pull us out. When we got home it was pretty late. We started at 11:30. We eat at a cafe before we went on home. Gail taught me how to play rummy. We eat waffles for breakfast.

January 20 (Sun)
I colored some in Gail’s colorbook. We had waffles for dinner. Gail and Clyde brought me home this eve. Wanda, Wayne and Garry were out at our place when I got home. Gail and Clyde took them home.
January 31
Today is the last day of January. Daddy put up my blinds in the eve.
February 1
Today is Friday. I am awful sleepy tonight. My music teacher read us some fairy tales about music. Daddy has something in his eye. They went to Emporia and haven’t got back yet. It’s 5 min after 8 now. Guess I’ll go to bed.
February 5 (Tues)
Today is Tuesday. How I wish I did not have to go to school! Daddy hauled cow manure out of the barn this eve. There was a dust storm this morning. It lasted from 10:00 to 12:00.
March 3
Today is Josephine’s Brown’s birthday. I forgot to get her a present, which makes me mad!
March 4
Today is Tuesday. I helped Daddy with the chores this morning and this evening. I bought a little table downtown at noon for the red cross box at school. I took my lunch to school also. Gail came down and washed. She washed down in the basement.
March 5
Boy, is it ever snowing! Everything’s covered and it looks as if it will keep right on snowing all night. The Brown kids came over this evening and we had a movie with the jectascope. My committee in Blue Triangle had a party today/

…and that’s all she wrote!

Notes and Questions

Garry is Wanda and Wayne’s child, a toddler. Wanda is CJ and Gail’s cousin, 4 years older than Gail.
Melba is CJ and Gail’s older sister, married to Norman Harlan and they had two sons at that time, Tim and Bob.
The Brown family lived on the adjacent farm.
I couldn’t find a picture or description of a jectascope. Not sure how it worked.
We moved from the Seeley Lease to the farm in summer 1946. I think it was 3 miles to town. I rode the school bus. Probably it was laundry they did at Wanda’s, who lived across the street from the school. Sometimes I would have lunch over there on school days.
We had the mini dairy, maybe 5 cows? I helped milk. Daddy took the big metal containers of milk down to the road where they were picked up.

I wish I had added how the horse episode ended up. They must have been all right, I suppose, or I would have.

I have to wonder why I didn’t want to go to Lyceum because a man was going to talk about model airplanes! 
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s