LIBERTY & BUTTERFLY WINGS: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 13

Sun eve Jan 17 1915 The two weeks previous have been very busy ones for me.

$20 Gold Piece

When Albert handed me a perfectly good 20 gold piece and I realised its power in this money mad age of ours. I just let my imagination play about its worth and power until I evolved a bold scheme for me. Now Allies board money has always paid the rent and that being 16 was a good long ways off from the New Year. Also there was the 10 dollar gold piece Mr. Dolan gave Frank for Christmas and the 13 Dewey made working vacation so we had a family confab and decided we should risk it send is all to Jessie [eldest Daughter] for her transportation from Schulyer, Neb to little old San Francisco. So now we have heard from her she recd it and will be coming soon and I am worried to my wits end to make up the rent. We have asked him to wait until the 25 and he readily consented. So that is why I am sewing day and night and buying nothing. My partner in joys and sorrows continues to neglect me. And I am gaining a little in assertiveness in a quiet way.

I am not wholly cast down. I vaguely feel that the future holds great things for me and I shall be right there to receive it with an open mind and as healthy a body as I can keep with no professional aid. Lo then with the real faith and hope that is always in me I cannot be cast down for long although sometimes I have to admit things look hopelessly discouraging at times.

I remained at home all this blessed New Year so far and have looked out upon busy Fell St. like an inmate on some penal institution might look out upon his lost freedom. But then it can’t last forever. What comfort. Tomorrow I may wash and then I must make Mabels black suit next week so now I’ll retire for the night trusting in God and the blessed Jesus and his power to save.

July 28 1915 What a lapse of time since I last wrote in my neglected Diary. Even now I have scant time to record the many incidents which have touched my life since New Years. I shall endeavor to record briefly what I can recall of them.

Jessie arrived in due time on the [blank] F.S. and met her on the Oakland pier happy that she has escaped a wreck on the R.R. that preceded her. She entering at once in to the B [Baptist] Church becoming the life of the different departments of the work. She has made many friends and has been the cause of Lolita becoming baptised and myself sending for my church letter. I am very glad things turned out this way. My mind was becoming morbid through introspection and brooding over past miseries. All this time I have been sewing.

  • I did some alterations for a Rich lady which brought me $12.00
  • I made Mabels Black suit for 5.00
  • Also her sister Almas Putty color suit 5.00
  • A little black tafeta Jacket for Edith 2.00
  • For Mrs. Fryer I made 2 suits 18.00
  • black suit skirt 3.00
  • remodeled green suit 3.00
  • 2 house dresses 6.00
  • 3 silk blouses 4.50
  • For Lois 1 green dress 4.00
  • 1 fancy Black & white dress 5.00
  • 2 silk waists and blue corduroy dress 5.00
  • 2 was school dresses 4.00
  • 1 white silk party dress 4.00
  • For Josephine and Belly 1.50
  • 2 school dresses 1.50
  • 2 Sunday Dresses 4.50
  • 4 white Flannel skirts 3.50
  • Mending abbut 1.00
  • For Mrs Dolan 3 house dresses 9.00
  • Remodeled red 1 piece dress for Mrs Fryer 1.50
  • Altered 3 skirts 1.00
  • Remodeled fancy blue silk in exchange for a black & white coat
  • Made a white dress for Lois for one for Lolita
  • Made over Lois’s black & white stripe for some dresses for Lolita
  • Besides all this I have made over my Brown silk and cream
  • Albatros dresses.
  • Lolitas blue voile, Eilene gave her for her birthday

Jessies Black & white check suit trimmed with nearly 3 doz round white buttons and bound button holes a very fine suit and all the sewing required by the family of 6 or 7.

My mother made me a present of $10.00 which I put with some of my money getting myself a pair of $25.00 bifocal glasses which are wonderful help to my eyes. Eilene wrote to say she will help get Milo ready to graduate but I had already bought his things with $15.00 of my dressmaking money.

Uncles has come and gone again on several jobs.The last time he only came to Franks working place and borrowed $3.00 to get another job on promising to write which so far he has failed to do. I am quite concerned about the fine old man. I hope nothing Horrible has befallen him.

Leo is still in Minneapolis. Eilene was there on a visit and has returned to S. Dak.

Milo graduated from the Crocker Intermediate at the close of the Spring term in June. Mrs Fryer took us all up in her auto to see the ceremonies. When we returned Albert snapped her and I by the auto. He started that same evening for Minneapolis to join Leo and start up business for himself. I near succumbed to grief at his departure. Although I bade him good Bye cheerfully enough. The evening was gray and cheerless with a heavy cold fog which blew in from the Ocean. He got all ready to go . Said goodbye and handed me his little box of zinc ointment which he had been using on a little sore on his chin and kissed me and said good be. My heart aches yet at the thought of it for I realised that in all probability he never would make his home with me again.

My little Allie boy and my big Allie boy you will always be the same loving son to me no matter what you make of unmake of yourself. He wrote many interesting letters in Route and arrived at Mlps in safety where he is at present living with Leo in a suite at [blank] which their office is 10th floor Kasota Bldg.

School started on the 26 of July and Milo entered the Polytechnical High school while Lolita continues on at the Crocker. Dewey had quit to work and help he is a noble good boy. He and Jessie are going to enter a night school possibly the Humboldt evening High. This is certainly a city for schools a body would be hard to indeed that couldent be satisfied with one or the other of them. Music, Art, Drama, trades, academics sciences professions to dance and be glad or sympathetic and sad, how to live and how to die, in all the different keys. I am very very fond of you San Francisco. Milo was surprised indeed and delighted to meet Don Shaw at the Polytec today their class went to the Fair and had Donald to lunch. He has grown very handsome.

Last Sunday Eve (July 25) Jessie went autoing with Milo and one of her church friends and we entertained him to dinner. Seems good to have someone around once in awhile. They took me to the V.F. Tab. to hear Billy Sunday Preach (Aug 1). [Billy Sunday aka William Ashley Sunday an American baseball player who became an influential Evangelical preacher.]

Edith Ross and I have started to take Mme. Coates dressmaking classes at the Emporium. We find it very instructive and interesting.

Mme Coates Dressmaking classes (ad from 1918)
The Emporium c. 1910-1915

We received a letter from Grandma Mosier saying that Ella Barrett had been struck by lightning but would probably recover. It seems such a strange fateful affliction in one with flood and fire, tornadoes and Earthquakes. Is it always true than when we are sick we have violated the laws of nature? It is absurd. I pray for her recovery.

July 29 I began this pleasant day by washing and spent a couple of hours this afternoon bringing this account up to date. I am writing this with Lolitas fountain pen. A boy gave it to Milo and he sold it to Lolita for two bits. She uses it in school. She is growing into such a fine big girl. She has just roller skated across Fell St and the pan handle to get my sewing notebook and pencil.

July 28 Wed. Edith and I went to our sewing school this beautiful sunny day. Had a funny and embarrassing experience in the Emp. [The Emporium] We were buying some cretonne [heavy fabric] for cushions and looking at some braid and fringe and when I started to go I absentmindedly tucked a roll of braid under my arm and was called by the clerk. I was dumbfounded to see what I had done. It passed off pleasantly but left me with a queer scatter brained feeling.

July 31 Sat. Began the day with a senseless quarrel about Milo filling the woodbox. F.S. told him to fill it at night and he said he did. F.S. said he didn’t whereupon I said he, Milo had filled the box and that I had burned it up after dinner on the night before (fri) when I mopped up the floor baked apple turnovers for his and Deweys lunch and washed and upped the dishes, as Lolita had gone to spend the week wend with the Freyers. Frank flew into a rage and said I lied and talked like a fool and he was tired of my butting in and for me to keep my mouth shut when he was correcting the children. He is or wants to be absolute monarch. I told him I should talk whenever I felt like it and he answered by saying Id talk once to often some day. I wonder.

Sun July Aug 9 I went to hear Billy Sunday preach.

Billy Sunday
former Baseball player & then Evangelist Preacher

What seems like a caterpillar has found her wings and emerged into the sunshine a creature to be trod upon no more but born to the light and freedom which I believe God intended for all his children. There were about 15000 people in the Yab. and although I had to stand I enjoyed it very much. he has a strong personality and throws the soul into his message which he delivers with dinamic fury of words and actions.? Tried to get Frank to go with me in the evening in vain. I went to bed.

Mon Aug 2. I am obliged to go down town today to settle up a lot of bills. It is now nearly 11 o’clock and I will prepare Milos lunch and wash the dishes. Closed the gas bill matter paying in full.

Tue Aug 3 Puttered about doing housework all fore noon baking bread etc. In the afternoon accompanied Edith to our sewing class in the Emporium, Got home 5:45 and helped Lolita prepare for dinner. Chrocheted a little sofa pillow fringe and went to bed.

Wed Aug 3 Started to wash and Mrs Fryer came by to see if I could make a dress by Fri. night. Of course I said “yes” and I shant miss my sewing lesson tomorrow afternoon either. I am expected to go tho the church this eve but am afraid I will not get through with Lo’s in time. It is now after lunch and my wash is all out. Will chrochet and rest and read. Received a copy of the “The East Shore Pioneer” from Allie. seemed good to get it.

Sept 24 The sewing school Edith Ross and I attended closed on time and a permanent sewing class organized . I am on the committee to draft a constitution and By Laws. I have been a regular whirl of sewing. I have made

  • Lois’s Brown Silk Dress 4.00
  • Lined and Bound Mrs Halls suit 1.50
  • Lined Mrs Fryers Coat 1.50
  • Made Edith’s black suit jacket 2.00
  • ” Mrs Brown’s suit 6.50
  • ” Mrs Fryers blue silk suit 10.00
  • Finished Mrs Clarks Jacket 2.50
  • Making Lois a fancy waist
  • Finished Jessies big coat
  • Helped her with Challis dressmaking
  • Made myself a princess slip.
  • Helped Edith with brown skirt .50

Oct 10 This is election day and I shall go and vote. [On October 10, 1911, California became the 6th state where women could vote equally with men, nine years before the 19th Amendment enfranchised women nationally.]

Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2021. All RIghts Reserved.

2 Comments on “LIBERTY & BUTTERFLY WINGS: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 13”

  1. I’m speechless, it’s a beautiful chapter. But I’d say mostly, proud of our girl. If she’d have gonged him with a skillet that may have hushed F. S. up for longer periods. We all have at least one of these Moser men amongst us. I would say also it’s much easier to be blood kin to one than married to him.

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