January 5 – 11, 1933
Weekly excerpts from Mary Theler’s diary from 1933
By Clydene Hostetler
One can tell Mary has more time on her hands then if she were at home in Belfair tending to the store and being the Postmistress. Ex-President Calvin Coolidge died 78 years ago. My favorite lines were where she talks about the woman’s hairy legs and that “some people haven’t the brains of a chipmunk.” Enjoy! ch
Thursday January 5, 1933
We’ll I’ve finished writing all my letters and received another one from Grace Coady. However I won’t answer any more until Sunday or Monday. Cleaned up my room and then went up to Phillips and practiced for 3 hours. I’m glad to practice once in awhile. I’m progressing a little each day. Went over to Hicks where Elizabeth was visiting and sat and talked for nearly an hour. We had a nice time. Walked to the Drug Store for stamps but they were out so I’ll have to mail my letters tomorrow when I go down town. Ex-President Calvin Coolidge dropped dead today from heart failure. He was not yet sixty years of age. A fine father and an excellent president. Well now the sun is down and it is turning cold as usual. Before I forget I must put down about the time one of the fellows of the Neches brought a monkey aboard and it would steal a watch from some one’s pocket and if it ticked loud would run up and drop it down from the foremast. One day one of the fellows got sore so he greased the monkey’s tail so next time he ran up the foremast to hang by his tail and drop a watch he would fall flat on the deck. So, next time he grabbed a watch he ran off and then stopped, scratched his head and ran over to where a bit was wound with rope and he wrapped his tail around it to see if it would hold. Then away he was again. Smart monkey! Also there is the story about the fellow who was in California for the first time and told a friend he had been out to Lajolla and the fellow said he pronounced it La Hoya. Then he said he was going to San Jose and the friend told him they pronounced it “Santa La Za.” So the friend then asked the man how long he was going to stay and he said “Until Hune or Huly.” Which was correct according to the Spanish pronunciation of these towns. Elizabeth is working a cross word puzzle like she does every night so I guess I’ll read the news. We have a long evening ahead of us. Doug was gone to San Pedro so won’t be home for two days. So we are widows again. We made fudge and played rummy until 9.30. My the fudge was good. We ate a lot of it. Went to bed and talked until one o’clock. We talked about everything imaginable, I guess. I often wonder why girls talks so much when they sleep together. Anyway we had one big talk.
Friday January 6, 1933
We got up at 9.30 and ate breakfast. Then got ready and rode down town on the street car. My it was a nice day and awfully warm. I wish I hadn’t worn my coat. I had two letters before we left. One from Sam and one from Mrs. Heideman. She is driving home to Washington Monday. From what she says they didn’t do very well on the Christmas trees. Sam writes everything is going fine and he expects to be down around the 20th. I’m sure glad then he’ll have a vacation too. He enclosed a big letter from Gladwin. So Elizabeth and I felt pretty happy as we went down town. Elizabeth is going back with us. Cashed my money order and mailed all my letters. Then bought a cover for my notebook, a diary for Elizabeth, a blue tam for myself and then we ate lunch.
Went to the Fox Theater and saw “No Man of Her Own” with Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Dorothy Mackaill. Very good and quite funny. We enjoyed it very much. Home on the car and to the store for groceries. Then cooked and ate supper. Will write letters tonight. The sun shines most of the time but when it rains the outburst often washes out roads and it is so terrible. No one wants rain here.
Saturday January 7, 1933
Well this morning I woke up early so I went up to Phillips and practiced on the piano for an hour and half then came home. After lunch I went over there and practiced for an hour and 15 minutes more and called it off. Mrs. Phillips was going up to a new market so I got my coat and went along. Oh, it was a busy place. Could hardly get waited on. Got some meat for supper and sandwich meat for Sunday. Their prices are quite low. Came home before 4 o’clock just as Elizabeth was leaving for the store. Had a letter from Mama today. She liked my picture very much and I’m glad to know she got it all right. They had a nice Christmas. Received a letter from Louie and he hasn’t found work yet. However he’s going to stay until he’s called. My letter passed his in the mails. He’ll have a fit when he reads I want that $30.00 to go home on if he hasn’t got his insurance money yet. I hope he gets it pretty soon as he surely needs it. Then he won’t have to worry too much or ask Leonard to help him. It’s been a fine warm day-really hot. I’m going to go for a walk before supper as it’s lovely outside now. It’s just starting to cool off.
Sunday January 8, 1933
Well here it is Sunday and it doesn’t seem possible. The time surely goes fast. Woke up at 10 o’clock so got up and dressed and started breakfast. We were all hungry so ate a hearty breakfast. After doing dishes we packed our lunch and drove to the beach out on the Silver Strand. I took two pictures of Elizabeth out by the poinsettia bush. I hope it turns out good. We had a nice time out on the beach. It was warm and the ocean beautiful. Doug was going to drive on the beach but couldn’t get down to it with the car so came back. We ate lunch of ham sandwiches, shrimp salad, liverwurst, cheese, bread and butter pickles and chocolate cake. How we did eat! We felt starved. Drove home and went down that steep B Street Hill and pretty caused Elizabeth to wet her pants. My but she was disgusted! We were all cold when we got home although it was only five o’clock. We were glad to get in where it was warm. Rutledge’s were suppose to go with us but Mrs. Rutledge scalded her foot with hot water so could hardly walk. It is very painful to get scalded with water. Elizabeth and Doug are playing “Salvo” again. Last night she and I played “Rummy” and she won 10 games to my 2. My but I was unlucky. We went for a walk before our big steak supper and it was fine out. The sun was just going down and the far away hills looked purple and the sky above were blue and then pink cast running into white. Very beautiful. We stood on the edge of the city of San Diego and looked toward Los Angeles and saw farms and fields down in the valley. Huge palm trees bordered the streets and when we touched the branches they rattled like a dry wrapping paper. My what a lovely fan they would make. The homes out on that edge of the city were very lovely. All magnificently kept. Lovely lawns and huge front windows through which we could see the loveliest of furnishings. Yet I doubt if any of the occupants were any happier than Elizabeth and I as we walked along talking. It is a fine thing to be able to see all these wonderful things without envying then their possessions. Opposite on the other page shows where we were today. The sand there has gold specks in it and is fine and soft and white when dry. Oh it was a lovely place. Over toward Point Loma the hills looked purple and toward Coronado Islands there seemed to be a slight fog all the time. When we stood up on the road where the car stood we could look to our right and see the city of San Diego. It really is a fine place to spend a few hours.
Monday January 9, 1933
This turned out to be a very hot day so Elizabeth washed clothes and I washed out a few. She had her lines and the neighbor lady’s all full of clothes. Received four letters one from each of the following. Flora, Annie Stuyts, Mrs. McCarthy and Mrs. Sundstrom. So I sat down and answered them all while I wasn’t busy. Now I’ve used up all my stationary. Had lots of news in the letters and two more San Diego addresses to call at. When Sam comes down I’ll go there and see them. Flora writes a funny letter all in one paragraph and all in a jumble. It takes a magician to figure it out. Elizabeth and I sure got a big laugh out of that letter. Anyway I answered all her questions and she asked a plenty. In the afternoon Elizabeth borrowed some books from Mrs. Sawtell and I read four of them before I went to bed that night. The stories I read were “The Ragged Edge” by Harold MacGrath and three for E.P. Roe “He Fell in Love with his Wife,” Opening a Chestnut Burr” and A Young Girl’s Wooing.” They were all awfully good and I sure enjoyed them. Tomorrow I’m going up to the library to get some books on Mrs. Sawtell’s library card. In the late afternoon Mrs. Hicks and Mrs. O’Neil were over for a few minutes. My if I had hairy legs like Betty’s I’d never go without stockings. She is an awful looking sight and that other woman is an awful sloppy looking thing. Read until late in the night and took a bath and went to bed.
Tuesday January 10, 1933
Made breakfast and ironed some clothes. Then I had a letter from Sam’s mother-just a short one but full of news. She is going down as far as Oakland if Sam comes down. I’m glad as the trip won’t be so lonesome. Wrote her a letter by air mail and will send it this afternoon on our way to the library. It’s a good day to go walking and we both need the exercise. We walked down to the library and found it didn’t open until 2 so we sat down on the steps and waited. We found 3 good books and came home and ate lunch at three o’clock. Then we read awhile and Mrs. Hicks came over and got her radio. Doug came home just as she was going. Doug had to take his suitcase down town so I rode down with Elizabeth and him as far as the dress makers. She said she could fix up my brown skirt for a dollar. So I said “go ahead.” I’m glad it’s going to be fixed so I can wear it. Bought a Cosmopolitan, a box of dusting powder and a book of songs. Doug and Elizabeth came by in a few minutes and we went home. Got supper and read some more. Feel like I ate too much, as usual. Everything always tastes so good. Mrs. Hicks thought Elizabeth was leaving Doug because she was going north. Some people haven’t the brains of a chipmunk.
Wednesday January 11, 1933
Well the old clock rang at eight but I didn’t get up until nearly nine. Went over to Phillips and practiced two hours and then came home to lunch. Ate the rest of that good pea soup for lunch. Read a book called “They Lived Happily Ever After” by Nickelson but I didn’t care for it. Went back to Phillips and practiced two more hours when Doug came over after me so I went home to supper of spaghetti. Very good too. Ran off in such a hurry I left my watch behind. Last night the wind blew so hard all the windows rattled and none of us slept very good. I was expecting it to rain but it never did. Didn’t receive any letter today-the first time since I’ve been here. That mailman sure must think I do a lot of writing to get so many letters. I guess I’ve written my share since I arrived. Elizabeth and I went to the Broadway show and saw “Divorce in the Family” with Jackie Cooper, Louis Wilson, Conrad Nogel and Lewis Stone also “Almost Married” with Ralph Bellamy, Violet Hemming and Alexander Kirkland. They were both very good shows and we certainly laughed at Jackie Cooper. He certainly is good. We walked around and had a malted milk and then walked down towards the dock but met Doug about two blocks above it. Home at ten thirty and talked awhile and went to bed. Said good-bye to Doug as he leaves early tomorrow for San Pedro. From there they are going to Honolulu to be gone about six weeks. He is a nice fellow and I hated to see him go as Elizabeth will sure miss him. However when Sam gets down here we’ll be jogging around plenty so she won’t have time to be lonesome. Awful cold out tonight and the moon is so bright.
While Mary is in California she writes up a storm. If you haven’t notice my input has been minimal since Mary is hogging up all the writing space. You have to admit this week’s diary was very entertaining and amusing. I felt like I was there 78 years ago hanging with ole Mar and Liz. 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.