Sign of a Kind Heart: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 26

Monday Aug 5 – Up early. Jessie and Sylvester get started about 8 oclock to Hayward for him to Entrain for Fort McDowell where Uncle Sam will make a soldier boy out of him. Eilene and Leo Hoffman came about 2:30. I will cut and fit her gray dress. I dislike the job exceedingly. I am quite tired of sewing and long for a rest. Syl went to Fremont direct They ran into my bro. Horace who came to see me and we had moved. So he was thinking of going back to Madera when they found him. Syl went on and Jessie came home to our new place at 1534 Berkeley with him in his new Ford. I was surprised and glad to see him.

Camp Fremont

Tuesday Aug 6 – We do a lot of setting up and settling down. Bro. [Horace]is a wonderful help now since Syl is gone.

Wed. Aug 7 – Brother Horace took us to Hayward and out to the ranch to get the goats manger. I take a long look for the my pearl sunburst pin that Milo gave me and fail to find it. I am sorry so sorry dear Milo. I cant understand how I lost it.

Thurs Aug 8 – At work washing and putting up goats manger. Nancy is easier to milk now. Ironed the wash and canned some apricots. Go to bed too tired to sleep. We took the S. P. route to the city of San Francisco.

Friday the 9 – Dewey took us all joy riding round the twin peaks and G. G. Park. Had a fine dinner and then Uncle Wm Petty returned to Berkeley with Jessie Horace and I and then took uncle to his new job as cook for the ????? dairy near San Leandro. It was quite late when we finally got home but we had a fine ride.

Sat – Horace started home to Madera. J & I accompany him as far as Hayward in his Lizzie and then he went on alone while J & I return to our lovely house via st. car. On our way we stopped in Oakland and did some marketing for Sunday. Jessie went on over to S. F. to transact some business and I am left alone. Later they that is Lolita

Charley C and Jessie came in and woke me up. They just came to learn the way and went right back again. I was cheered at sight of them.

Sun Aug 11 – Jessie went to the city to get the folks to take her to the Camp to see Syl. Eilene J. D. L. & C. with baby Leo all went. They found Syl with difficulty and he had found Frank. So wonderful that the girls husbands who had never met should meet in a training camp. It will be company for them. Eilene was joyfully surprised

Frank and son Leo became acquainted. I was lonely here so I put every thing in order and went over to the Fairlawn to see Mrs. Fryer. I found her and all the rest in and had a lovely day. J. took me out for a look at some houses they thot of buying or renting. Then dinner and a friendly chat in the parlor with hotel guests and then Mrs. Fryer brought me home in her new closed car. Later on that eve. Jessie returned with her news of C. [Camp] Fremont.

Mon Aug 12 – Quiet day at home. In evening Jessie went to Melrose and I went to the Pantages. The little usher girl showed me to a seat and it was next to Mrs Fryers box. Quit a happy coincidence. The play was bad enough but enjoyed the awarding of the prize. Came home alone got here first.

Aug 13 – Went down to meet my lawyer and missed him. Came home found Eilene and Mrs. Miller here.

Aug 14, 1918 – I went down to the County Court house met my lawyer Mr. Perry and Judge Brown, who had to have a later affidavit as to Mr Mosier not being in the military service. I fixed that up and then was sworn in took the witness stand and testified before Judge Brown as to Franks treatment of me during our married life. He then granted my interlocutory decree of divorce on the grounds of cruelty. At last it is over. I felt no high elation, just a calm satisfaction that I was through with a very disagreeable task, and a longing for a more settled future. The world at war has claimed my boys I must face my own destiny and shape it to my will. I will not falter, but strive to make the very best of the time on earth I have left me and crave strength of mind and purpose to accomplish great things.

Aug 15My first day of freedom feels much the same as any other. I know tho. That it isn’t. I am a wife no longer. I was married by one Judge and freed by another and the law holds good. I am blue as indigo today. It is so dull without the children about. But never again. Milo Dean is in France, Dewey will soon be a soldier, Lolita my little baby girl is a young woman and thinking of getting married and I that always am surrounded with children find myself with none and feel like one bereft. Guess Ill go out and get a paper and see how things are going over there.

16—Usual Housework transferred to our Berkeley Bungalo.

17 – Eilene came over. Finished gray dress. J went home with her.

Sun Aug 18 – Jessie and Eilene went from San Fran to Camp Fremont to see the soldier husbands. I spend a quiet forenoon alone here at 1534 Bonita Ave Berkeley which I might call the sheltering palm as it is quite the biggest thing on the place. I had just laid down to rest when Lolita baby Leo Mother Miller Dewey and Leona Pfeifer came some bunch had a pleasant day Dewey gave me $5.00 He is a dear son. We talked of his coming of age on July 24 and his registration on Aug 24. He will be a soldier soon no doubt. He left for S. F. first because he had to work that night. Then Mrs. Miller went; and last of all Lolita toots and Leo. So I am alone awhile till Jessie returns from Camp Fremont tired and sleepy. She has found Syl and Frank H.

Mon Aug 19 – Furbished up blue silk. Went to Pantages to the drawing Mon night. Enjoyed it very much.

Tue Aug 20 – Big wash. Esther and Herbert came over in evening and E. stayed all night. Herbert went back to the barracks.

Aug 21 –Went to Oakland and got trimming pattern etc for my voile dress. Jessie went to see her Hayward dentist. I shopped around a bit and came home. Later returned worn out with her long walk and her tooth ache which the dentist dident relieve.

Aug 22 – Cut out green voile and went to work on it.

Aug 23 – Still sewing on dress.

Aug 24 Sat. – Dress nearly done, house cleaning in forenoon. Went with Jessie to S. F. and Mrs. Martins on Sutter street had lunch with Mrs Miller there Mrs M was out.Went on up to the house on Oak to see the children. Lolita was in Eilene out. Jessie went out and found her and they did their shopping and marketing for their Sunday dinners. I didn’t enjoy the visit at all and was glad when we started for home. We passed the house on Haight where my erstwhile husband newest enamorata lives. I wish him joy but I had hoped vain hope that he would be a man and behave himself for the children’s sake but it seems it isn’t in him. He chose the downward path when he was a boy and he had never turned aside from it. When J and I got back to the sheltering palm Syl was home.

Sunday – Puttering about seemed fine to have Syl home. He looks fine in his khaki. While we were at dinner Eilene and Frank came in. It was the first time I had seen him since he bid us good bye at Ipswich over a year ago. He looks just the same but his curly mop of hair is cut short and he is wearing Uncle Sams issue clothing. We had a fine visit and then they all went away. The girls accompanied them as far as San Mateo and then came home.

Mon 26 – I finished my green voile and wore it to the Pantages. J went along. We never are the lucky ones to hold the winning number but it is quite entertaining to watch them.

Tuesday – Jessie is quite industrious today putting every thing to rights while I post up my diary. We were amazed that we should have forgotten Leo’s birthday on the 25.

Aug 27 – Send Milo P. O. money order for $3.00 for his birthday, which comes on the 30. Nothing much doing the rest of the mo.

Sep 1 – Syl came up for a visit Frank & Eilene came in afternoon

Sep 2 – Labor day parades etc. didn’t go any where. Spent the rest of the week knitting Syl a pair of wristlets and embroidering an apron.

Sep 8 – Dewey Lolita baby Leo Leona Pfifer and Mrs Miller all came to see me Jessie had gone to Camp F to see Syl Had a good visit.

9 – Went down to see big parade of native sons and daughters in honor of admission. Went to Pantages in evening Mrs Fryer took me to get some ice cream Pleasant time.

Tue 10Went down to offer services for registration day. (The 18 to 45 years). They had pleanty help I called on Mrs Fryer in her new apartment had lunch enjoyed it very much and came home. Lolita was here and had prepared lunch. She came to have some sewing done. I put in the rest of the week sewing for her. I made over Lois green plaid and a voile waist She went back to S. F. Sat.

Registration Day 5 Sep 1918 Oakland Tribune

Sunday Sep 15 – Mrs Miller came over. Jessie was gone here Esther came.

Sun Sep 15 — Mrs Miller came over. I was alone. I tried on her suit and got it fitted.

Sep 16 – Pantages good show but didnt win a prize at the drawing. (There are smiles that make us happy).

Sep 17 – Ironed and went to the bank.

Sep 18Went to the Wednesday Morning Choral Club and applied for membership.

Thurs. – Sep 19 – Wondering what I’ll sing before the committee next Wed. No music No piano No one to recommend poor me.

Fri 20Decide on Allahs Holliday [Sheet music for women’s voices] as it is all I have here and I do not want to buy any music now. Mrs. Miller and Esther came over to dinner. I finished the suit and helped them to the Virginia Station with some heavy bags.

Sat 21 – Some time during the past week Jessie went to work in a Rubber Mfg. Co for 2.00 per where the Doran girls are working.

Su Sep 22 – Mrs. Miller came over to meet Syl. Dewey came in aft. I was so glad to see my Dew. I wrote some letters to Mother the W. R. Ins. Bureau and Lydia Pinkhan for a knitting protector. Went to the Oakland theater late in evening with Dewey and saw Dug. F. in Bound in Morroco. Enjoyed it very much.

Sep 23 and 24 – Practicing hard Ironed my waists up fine and getting ready for my trip to the club. Some trepedition.

Sep 25Was the first one at the Ebbel Club house. Sang my song to the ladies that soon assembled. Some what short of breath. Was requested to sing 2nd soprano by the director Mr. Paul Steindorf which I promised rather reluctantly to do. Paid my dues (.50) for Oct. and am a member in good standing of the most exclusive singing society in the bay region. I am just a little bewildered but feel honored and shall try hard to make good. Went directly over to S. F. and saw Eilene had a good lunch and a fine ride with dear Dewey at the wheel, out Cliff house way down the great highway to Ocean Ave. thence to Ingleside to look at the cottage on Granada Eilene wants to rent; back to 1415 Oak St. Hurried Eilene off to meet Jessie at 5 & Market. All three of us went down to Camp Fremont to see our dear soldier boys Syl and Frank. Had a fine visit and supper in the Hostess house. Good Bye and home to Berkeley again. Some splendid day. [The Ebell Society, founded in 1876 as the International Academy for the Advancement of Women. The Oakland chapter was the first to rename itself for its founder, Adrian John Ebell, after his death. As Lulu notes this was quite an honor to be asked to join the chorus.]

Ebell Club, Oakland early 1900’s courtesy Oakland Public Library Calisphere

Sep 26 – Canned 5 qut. of pears

Fri 27 – finished the wash Jessie started last night. Am alone all day long these days. J comes home to dinner at 5 or 6. Tonight she is going to S. F. to get Syls fountain pen fixed.

Sat Sep 28Big liberty loan drive. The morning was ushered in clamorous din of all the factory whistles horns and bells in the bay cities cyren wailed cannon roared all to remind the rich and poor alike that they were to be asked impartially to subscribe to the new Liberty loan. Parades and speeches are the order of the day but it being sat. and I alone I calmly go about my house work of cleaning and ironing and by time J is home I have her dinner ready. Syl soon comes. We eat and go to the American theater in Oakland to see the life of Gen John Pershing on the screen. Quite an instructive evening all around. We come home late and tired and slept soundly.

Liberty Loans and War News Oakland Tribune 29 Sep 1918

Sun Sept 29 – Beautiful sunny morning I get up rather late and get breakfast wash up and sweep, then get ready to go over to Esther Kauffrungs to dinner with Syl and Jessie. While they get ready rather slowly I bring my diary up to date.

Sep 30 – In evening went to the 20th Century Club to practice for a pageant to be given by Mrs Lula Stuart author and director for benefit of Baby Hospital. Very agreeable and pleasant. A white cat came and made friends with me which a sweet young girl present said was a sign of a kind heart.

Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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