March 16-22, 1933
Weekly excerpts from Mary Theler’s diary from 1933
By Clydene Hostetler
This week’s diary Mary speaks several times about the banking problems going on during 1933. A lot was going on politically in this country. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had just taken office and he immediately took action by closing banks to try and kick start the economy. There are a lot of similarities between now and 1933. Enjoy! ch
Thursday March 16, 1933
Another fine day. The sun was so bright and warm we all had spring fever. In the morning I washed all the front windows in the store. Also cleaned up post office. Received a letter from Louie. He is working now 5 hours a day at a dollar an hour. I hope it’s steady at last. No one was hurt by the earthquake for which I’m very grateful. After lunch Elizabeth and I hiked up on the hill and sat on a log in the sun. My, but it was fine out. Came home and painted signs and cut out special prices for the week end sale. Vernie was in tonight on his way home to see Sam. He is putting on weight. Sam got home at 5.30 and brought a big load of feed. Yesterday he got in at 1.30 and came into my bedroom and upon seeing Elizabeth and I sleeping there said, “Oh, there’s two of you there already!” He must have forgotten I had company. He bought himself a new cap and a dandy blue sweater. Also got his hat cleaned and bought a fine vegetable scale for the store which we needed badly. Saves us a lot of steps. John told us that Don and Oscar wanted to go in and pull Elizabeth and I out of bed the other night. My, that would have been terrible. I’m glad John told them the door was locked. Those other two nuts are going to get into trouble some day if they pull the wrong person out of bed. Fixed up everything for sale O.K. Picked some red organ grape leaves up on the hill today. My but they are red. Dixie sure gets lots of fun out of going with us walking. She dashes all over the country. Elizabeth finished another Jig-saw puzzle today. I wrote a short letter to Doug and she put it in her letter today. Pope’s are enlarging their store now. Lots of work going on around the corner.
Friday March 17, 1933
My, but I sure got a lot done today. It was mild out and about eight o’clock this P.M. started to rain. Alice Giles came over tonight and said she was going to Victor Sat. night and Elmer Beard’s wife had her hair all waved up pretty to go to the dance too. This morning we cleaned up the house and I cleaned off all the rugs with cleaning solvent. Mrs. Walton came down and put a finger wave in our hair. My, but she does nice work. She stayed to lunch and all the afternoon and she and Elizabeth had a nice visit. I baked a three layer and small two layer red devils food cake and Elizabeth frosted them. My, but they look good! Then I made four pies, one of each-apple and loganberry, blackcap and wild blackberry. At dinner we had whipped cream on the apple pie and it sure was rich. Sam went to Bremerton and Seattle and arrived home at 6.00. couldn’t get anything more on his examination for a couple of weeks on account of a telegram the bureau received from Washington D.C. I suppose they must look into all the cases now on account of that new law passed. Started an account at the Citizens Bank as the Bremerton Trust may not open for 90 days and we’ve got to bank some where. My, the store looks nice today. The shelves are all up and the vegetable rack is all full. My diamond ring broke in two just now as I wash washing the dirt out of it. My, I’d never noticed it had worn so thin. Am going to take a pan of beans and a chocolate cake up to my Dad’s tonight as Sam has to go up anyway. He sure will be glad to get it I know. My, it must be hard to batch like he does. Housens were up at Dad’s playing pinochle. They all ate a piece of cake. We didn’t stay long as it was so late. To bed at 11.10. My, but I’m tired.
Saturday March 18, 1933
My, but it was nice today! The air was warm and mild. Mrs. Walton came down before Elizabeth was out of bed so went out to wake her. They went to Bremerton and came back about 2.20 P.M. Bought 2 of the cutest dance sets I ever saw. Also bought me five good magazines to read I sent for. Now that we carry no magazines to sell I have to buy them. I cleaned up the house real good also the bedrooms and they sure do look nice. Even polished the stove. The folks from Holly are suppose to come over tonight and go to the dance at victor with us. Mrs. And Mrs. Rice and Grandma Rice were in this afternoon and talked awhile. Mrs. Rice returned the books I loaned her so now I’ve loaned Mrs. Walton the same bunch so now she has lots to read up there in the hills. Sam took Mr. Ryan down to see our two rooms on the garage and he thought they were real nice. “Looks like home” he said. The folks were here from Holly on their way to Potlatch to see Fred and Polly. The women want to go to the Port Orchard to the dance. Uncle Albert called up about an hour after he left and said they wouldn’t be here tonight. I guess the girls persuaded Albert to go to Port Orchard at last. So now I’ve everything prepared for them to stay and they won’t be here. Isn’t that always the way? Sam bought nearly 700 gal. of gas from the oil man so made good on it as gas prices went up five cents today. Bought the gas last night in barrels. Sam went to Tacoma today on the early boat and returned at 12.20 P.M. My, but he had a big load and Gordon spent the most of the afternoon cutting meat as Sam bought half a beef. The Shell oil man was here to supper as he had to wait for another truck to come with gas. Mama, Fred and Flora came over at 20 minutes to eight. Mama brought my centerpiece with the edge she put on it. My, it looks nice. Had some cottage cheese for dinner Grandma brought over. It was certainly good, too. John is now going into his “private room” as he calls the bath room so I suppose he’s going to the dance. Anyway I pressed his pants so he will look clean. We’ve kidded him so much about staying home on account of his wife not being here. I guess he has decided to go. Well the Holly folks came back from Potlatch and decided to go to Victor to the dance with us. There were certainly quite a few from Belfair at the dance and we had a fine time. Elizabeth wore her new blue dress with that black transparent velvet jacket I gave her. My, but she looked nice. She asked me later if she behaved all right and I laughed and said “Well if Doug saw how nice you looked and what a lot of fun you were having he would certainly want to dance with you.” Danced once with Grandpa. My, how he enjoys to dance but it’s not really dancing. He’s only keeping step to the music. Anyway, he has a wonderful time and Grandma how she enjoys herself. At the dance from Belfair were Oscar Mickelsons, Don Giles, Sam, Elizabeth, Elmer and Robert Beards, Johnnie Beard, Mrs. Baldwin, Mella, Mary and Herschel Brown, Joe Gulan, Erma, Wanda and Gordon Orr and myself. Also Uncle Albert, Flora and Freda Febla, Grandma and Grandpa and Mama and Fred and Flora Robins. So there sure was a crowd of us! To bed at 2.30. Sam received a telephone call from Henry about 7.30. Henry’s car broke down over by Purdy so before Sam could go up to dance he drove over and towed Henry back to victor. So Sam, Henry and Laurice didn’t get there until eleven. My, I sure was tired too.
Sunday March 19, 1933
John opened up the store but Sam and I got up soon after. A fellow came and pounded on the door at 7.00 so John got up. My, none of us got much sleep after that. Anyway we slept in our own beds as the folks from Holly wouldn’t stay. Albert had to open up the store Sunday too. You always seem to sleep better in your own bed some how. Before we had breakfast, Mama and Fred came over from Art robins. They stayed until one o’clock and bought some groceries. Mama gave me a new shrub and Mrs. Walton gave me some double Canterbury bells so I was just planting them when I heard Maybelle Hamilton’s voice out in front of the store. I talked to her awhile and she promised faithfully to come out Thursday night. She, Earl and Lyle had been down to Shoe Fly Point. Wanda came down after they left. Elizabeth’s uncle came for her so she left for Olympia at twelve thirty. Mama and Fred left soon afterwards so Wanda and I decided to go on a hike down to Laurice’s. So I went over to Orr’s and Erma and Wanda and I walked down to Gladwin’s. We saw Gladwin’s dog that says “Hello.” We visited at Laurice’s until about four fifteen when Sam came down after us. Laurice showed us all her “shower” presents and we played on the phonograph. Frank Veitenhaus was with Sam. He and a friend and two girls wanted to dig clams. So Sam took them to Stimson’s Point. We all went out on the beach where Rod Goodwin and about twenty more people were digging. We dug about a pail of clams and it rained so hard we had to quit. Frank broke his shovel the first thing. Also managed to get stuck in the mud and had to get pulled out by a friend. How we laughed! Drove back to Gladwin’s and told Laurice we would come for her and Henry for dinner at 6.30. Then home and found John quite busy. Our feet were wet so I changed my shoes. Wanda and Irma were going to walk home so I loaned them my umbrella when suddenly Gordon came in so they came back with the umbrella. Then Ruby, Earl and the two children came in. They had been over to Aunt Mary’s at Shelton. About ten minutes later Vina, Henry, Vera, Cole, Carl and Cecil and his girl came in. So, I had them stay to dinner and Gordon cut me about eight pounds of steak. There were fifteen of us and we certainly had a great time. Sent Cecil down to get Henry and Laurice and he drove so fast he “skairt” the kids most to death. Also he lost our clams off the side of the car so we are out of luck as far as clams are concerned. Henry says he drives “crazier” then Louie used to and that’s going some. For dinner we had steak, whole kernel corn, potatoes, shredded cabbage, olives, coffee, cheese, bread and butter, cake and pie. And did they enjoy it! They certainly did! After we finished the dishes the gang all went home as they had a long way to go. So we took John to the boat and we went to the show. Saw Kate Smith in “Hello Everybody.” Saw it once before but oh it is good to see twice! We enjoyed it. Sam slept through most of it as usual. Took Laurice and Henry home and to bed at 12.15 and oh I was sleepy. So much company and excitement I could hardly go to sleep. Seems funny not to have company. John is through now as we will have Don work on Friday, Saturday and Sunday instead. Guess John would like to stay on. We had lots of fun razzing John at the dinner table. We had him so embarrassed he couldn’t laugh any more. Ha! Ha! Raining out again.
Monday March 20, 1933
Sam and I were both sleepy today so it was quite a job to get up early. Made breakfast but never got my dishes done until 3.20 this afternoon. I cleaned out in the store, fixed the vegetables and cleaned house good and oh it was dirty after so much company. Cleaned up all post office work so the work is pretty well done. This evening we stocked the shelves and changed the prices. Sam paid all his bills. Thank Heavens that’s done. Made a trip to Port Orchard Bank to open a checking account there. Were quite busy today. Took in more than $75.oo cash. Mrs. Baldwin wanted to know if I knew who Ed Julian was. I told her she better ask some one from Overton’s as he worked there. Mella came home from the dance with him Saturday night and I guess he was quite drunk. Maybe Mrs. Baldwin is worried about him keeping company with Mella. Anyway Sam says he is married. Henry said last night he came over to get Herschel to go to work and saw Mella asleep in all her clothes. A sleep on one side of the stove and Herschel on the other. Mary was getting breakfast in her bare feet and Harry Curl was wandering around with a gallon of moon shine. Such an outfit. Harry Curl seems always trying to get himself into some mess. He has as much sense as a mosquito anyway. He’d better not get smart around Herschell. He will most likely get a pop in the nose! Gave Dixie a good run today and how she ran. Sam shot a big rat out in the deer pen. Shot 7 in one as it was a mama rat. I’ll be glad when we get another kitten that can catch rats. Forwarded three letters to Elizabeth from Doug today. All last week she looked for mail and it all came today. Just finished listening to the Richfield Reporter so I’m going to bed. My, but I’m sleepy.
Tuesday March 21, 1933
This morning a heavy frost lay on the ground and it certainly was cold! But the sun came out early and shone all day. My daffodils are about to come in bloom. This morning Sam, Henry and Don went to Bremerton. Came back about twelve o’clock. Gordon and I put up brown and powered sugar and it was some job. In the afternoon I put up lima beans, jelly beans and walnuts and white sugar. My, what a lot we accomplished! Very quiet in the store today. Seems always quiet after the specials are off. Gordon cleaned ouyt the basement and Sam did some work on the truck also cleaned up some old book work. Got a lot done around here today. There certainly is always lots of odd jobs to do when customers are not in the store. My head aches tonight. I guess I’ll need new glasses. These are beginning to hurt my eyes when I wear them all day. Heard that Seattle Dexter Horton Bank will take over and open the Bremerton Trust and Savings Bank on Wednesday. 100 cents on the dollar if you want it.
Wednesday March 22, 1933
Sam went to Seattle and came back about 4.30. I got all the special sheets out with Sam’s help. My, it’s some job. Gordon cleaned on the warehouse and it looks pretty good. Rudy was up and wanted us to go to Chapter Thursday night so we promised to go. Drover over to Hamilton’s and visited until late. They were full of talk as usual. She loaned me some magazines to read. Home real late and oh so tired! Sam went to sleep on the couch. What a poor visitor he was. Henry’s truck broke down so he is going to hire his trucking done from now on. He will be better off too. Mrs. Irving gave me a lovely bouquet of daffodils. My, how golden they are. Everyone admires them.
I can totally relate to the rat problem. Did I tell you about me having a rat in my bedroom wall this past fall? Had to volunteer my friend Jeanette into coming and helping me open the wall and then plug where they were entering. I have never had rats or mice before. But I always had a cat and my cat had been gone for over a year. Edith my cat was the victim of the neighborhood coyotes. The rats are gone and I have a new cat and that is a total other story to tell. Thank you for reading this week’s diary. ch
Clydene Hostetler is a professor at Olympic College, longtime Belfair resident, local historian, media archivist and documentary film maker of “Hidden in Plain Sight.” She has been researching Mary Theler’s life for the past 7 years. She may be emailed through the site www.marysmemoirs.com. She encourages you to participate in the web site’s blog sharing your comments and stories.