Spanish Flu which is Epidemic: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 27

Tue Oct 1 – Thinking over music of pageant. Home at Jessies. Usual Housework at Jessies in Sleepy old Berkeley.

Berkeley Station early 1900’s

Wed 2Usual Wed morning meeting of the Wed Morning club. I enjoy these immensely. We are working on some lovely music.

Thu – Fri – Sat – Just the same old round. No letters from anybody but the usual daily love letter from Syl to J.

Sunday Oct 6, 1918Mrs Miller and I went down to see the great army training camp at Menlo Park near Palo Alto called Camp Fremont. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed it immensely. Syl came up to see J. After we returned to Essies I went over to see Eilene and the rest and as I stood in the Pan Handle behind a great Eucalyptus tree an auto drove up and out got Eilene and Frank H. I crossed over Oak St. and greeted them. They were greatly surprised. We went in the house. Later J and Syl came over and we all went down to the So. Pacific to see them off for Camp Fremont. This is the last time before he started for France.

Mon 7 – Practiced or rather rehearsed our Angel Chorus at Unity hall am learning it all rapidly. Enjoy it hugely.

Oakland Tribune 13 Oct 1918

Oct 8 – Usual round of h. h. h. duties.

9 – Went down to the Wed Morn Choral meeting, practicing some popular music for Parade.

10 Thu 11 Fri washing & ironing up etc.

Satmorning went down to club house to practice. Few turned out. Pres. Mrs. Koser quarantined for Spanish Influenza which is epidemic.

Sat evening Oct 12 – went to the parade dressed all in white. Took part in Womans land army singing patriotic songs on street as we marched along.

Women’s Liberty Loan Parade Oakland Tribune 11 Oct 1918

Arriving at the auditorium I was fortunate to get a seat in front and listened to some inspiring music and stirring addresses by prominent Bay people, notably Miss Reinhardt of Mills College for girls which was a splendid patriotic appeal for the city to rally to its duty in buying liberty bonds for carrying the war on to a glorious victory. A returned Chateau Thierry soldier a public entertainer in khaki returned from the front and an author and war correspondent Mr DeBeaufort were instruments in making the meeting a success. I returned late but inspired to our little shingled bungalow under the great Sheltering Palm at 1534 Bonita Ave which perhaps will be my home as long as any of the other habitations wherein I have dwelt.

Sunday Oct 13 – Jessie and I dressed up and started to go to Lake Side Park to see and take part in the big movie that the Tribune people of Oakland were taking for to show the boys “Over There” When we went to transfer at 14 and Broad an auto passed some one called I looked up and saw the whole Mosier family Pater and all. We spoke pleasantly and they took us over to the lake where we arrived in pleanty of time for the “moovie” It was so very hot but we braved out and got on the picture. Then listened to Paul Steindorf’s band discourse lovely music and Beatrice Michelena sing the Star Spangled banner and the Marseillaise and then we wandered home.

Monday Oct 14 – Rehearsed the Angel Chorus at Unity Hall. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred on

Tue 15. Attended Choral

Wed 16 Few present at Club house on acc. of Spain “Flu” which is getting rapidly worse. All Cities report a rapid increase in cases and deaths. Syl left for France.

17 – 18– 19—20All public meetings called off. No theaters churches or societies may meet until further notice from authorities but people can go and come if they wear a gauze mask over their faces.

Sun Oct 20 – Jessie and I went over to S. F. acc. by Mrs Miller who had come over earlier in the day to get a jacket. We discussed the Great forest fire that had recently devastated Northern Minn and Wisconsin with its appalling loss of life and property, and Sylvesters probable departure for The front which was all a great secret. I took Milos letter which I had just received which told of his going north in a motor truck and picking wild black berries along the way to “the front” Spoke of all the letters which I never got etc. Mother Padens birthday

Oct 21All is calm but the “Flu”

22 – F. S. took the girls out for a ride and brought them over here about 4:30 I didn’t want to go riding so told them I wait for Jessie. She was amazed. We bluffed it out. They stayed to dinner at our request. It wasn’t very pleasant reviving old thoughts.

Wed 23 – They came back and left Leo with me while they went with their Father to Rodeo to try and get work in the munitions factory. He brought them back in time for supper. They didn’t get work on account of it being a fake add. (Funny) I didn’t see him. I was nervous and overwrought on account of meeting him the day before and was glad. I don’t like the way he looks at me, so haunted and sad. I wish to God he had been a man and been a good husband and father Instead of throwing away his life like he did and ruining the happiness of both of us. Eilene said Frank Hoffman entrained for N. Y. on Mon 21 Oct.

Oct 24 Thu – Feeling blue and dejected got a nice letter from Carrie and Leo who had been called out to do home guard duty at Moose Lake Minn. Helped bury 100 bodies in one grave. Said it was awful. Carrie sent babies picture. She is sweet.

Oct 25 – Washed and cleaned house.

26 – Ironed and went marketing. Made yellow tomato preserves.

Sun Oct 27 – Beautiful quiet and sunny. J and I are about to go to San Francisco. Later came home late in evening tired and glad to be home again after a nice visit with the children. [We do not know if Lulu went to church in San Francisco on this day. This is here old congregation at an open air service on October 27, 1918 View west on Waller between Octavia and Laguna. 1st Baptist Church during the Spanish influenza epidemic. Congregants assembled on folding chairs on the sidewalk.]

First Baptist Church, SF 18 Oct 1918 courtesy of OpenSF History wnp27.7691

Monday Oct 28 – Jessie was to tired and sick to go to work so rested awhile and helped me trim 33 great fronds off our palm tree which was quite a task, but results repaid our efforts.

Tue Oct 29 – Regular round of h. h. duties.

Wed “ 30No Wed. Choral today on account of Influenza epidemic. Mailed a letter to Milo in France. Dewey came in afternoon and stayed for dinner. We had a nice little visit.

Thu 31 – Did the weeks wash and cleaned house. J & I ironed in evening.

November 1 1918 Friday – I was embroidering on a set of tea napkins when the childrens Father Mr. Mosier drove up in his car and talked awhile thru the screen door. He wants to moove the 1415 Oak st establishment consisting of my old furniture and Eilene and Lolita in with Jesssie & I, which will necessitate taking a larger house. We talked quite informally of the different phases of the rather odd situation. Sylvester & Frank off to the war. Dewey wanting to go Milo already there and Himself working in Rodeo in a powder factory which leave the women folks of this family temporarily manless. I agreed to take them in and he agreed to furnish money for their share of the expenses. Not a word was spoken of our own personal affair; which was well and as it should be. We have settled all that in court.

Nov 2 – Cleaned house and went down town with Jessie marketing in evening. People present the most grotesque appearance with their various makes of (gass) Influenza gauze masks on. We got a jack rabbit.

Nov 3 Sun – At 1 p m correct time Leo came and no paper yet. This is getting to be a habit with our carrier. We just naturally want to know the news these trying times. A brisk wind is blowing and it rained some this morning. We finished trimming the jessamine [Yellow flowered vine] and the climbing roses.

Nov 4 Mon – Got a letter from Wash. [Washington] about allotment. J got one from Syl who is in Base Hospital Camp Mills in N. Y.

Tue Nov 5 – Still no letter from Milo. I await his address slip anxious as I cannot mail him his Christmas box without it. I wrote to Allie & Leo and will mail them when I go down to order some coal. Weather grows chillier. Dewey came over to see us.

Wed “ 6 – Same old story Nothing doing.

Thu “ 7 – Did a big wash including Allies old overcoat than which no garment ever did so much good. Cleaned house very tired. Leo Hoff. Is a lively child. Rumor that Germany agree to truce terms and to sign armistice.

Oakland tribune 7 Oct 1918

Friday November 8 – Two letters came to brighten up the day. One from Milo and one from Allie. But Milo didn’t send his slip for his Christmas box. I am very sorry I am afraid when it comes it will be too late as they have to be sent by Nov 20. Last night the country went wild celebrating our supposed victory. Hope its true. Milo wrote from the front and says he has a fine bunch of souvenirs for me. He writes very entertainingly of army life at the front. It is now time to start Jessies evening repast. My head has been aching for 3 days

Nov 9 – Usual Sat work. (anniversary)

10 – Looking for Dewey to come over in auto and take us to Bonny Doon Ranch to get apples. Came after I had gone to bed. Auto in Rodeo out of commission. Dewey stayed all night.

Mon 11 – Jessie went to work and came back saying they had a holiday so we all went to S. F. with Dewey. Eilene and Lolita also had a holiday so after dinner we all went down to Market st. to see the celebration of signing of the armistice by Germany. The United States went quite mad with joy and S. F. Oakland etc upheld their reputation of “knowing how”. The chief element was noise of every description a bedlam of primitive racket, hilarious boisterous but not vicious no order no music just noise. Every one wore flu masks. We got back to Berkeley about midnight nearly deafened.

Nov 12 – the day after. Rather dull. Got a telegram from Allie saying he would be at the 16 station at 6. I got dinner and when Jessie came I was all ready to go and meet him. We found him in the Station hardly recognizable in a big 6 ply gauge mask. Helped him home to Berkeley with part of his heavy tools. After dinner he went to see Dewey in S. F. to see Dewey and remained.

Nov 13 – Look for Allie over but didn’t come

Nov 14 Thu – Allie and Dewey came over to see us. Said they would inquire about going to war. But thought there would not be much show now of going to France since the armistice had been signed. Leo is still with me and keeps me busy.

Nov 15 Usual pastime waiting for the letter that never comes. No money from the Gove’t which has had ample time to pay up the money it owes my two daughters Jessie and Eilene and I. We are certainly patient but it grows monotonous.

Nov 16 – My 52 Birthday. J & I went marketing and shopping in the evening and got some things for Milos Christmas box.

Nov 17 Sunday Jessie gave a birthday dinner to me. The children were all here but Leo and Milo. They brought a big box of lime candy. Had fried squab. Dewey & I went to T & D also Lolita and Allie.

Nov 18 – Rained hard all day.

Nov 19 – Washed with rain water. Jessie & I went down to see Tribune moovie of people who have boys in army over there and enjoyed it very much. Got letter from Carrie Leo and Sylvester.

Nov 20 – Leos picture taken in a goat cart. The day for sending the Christmas boxes over seas has been extended to Nov. 30. We can get a box if the label comes or not.

Thu 21 – Ironed and washed some more. Got letter from Jessie and Allie from Seattle bank and from Mother Paden. Jessie worked on lawn dress late in evening.

Nov 22 Fri – Cloudy and threatening rain cool and quiet.

Sat 23 – Dewey came over late in eve. brought me $5.00 for keeping Leo the week. [Dewey] Is quite sick with a cold and fever. The Drs would diagnose it Spanish Influenza. I gave him hot tea, lighted the oil stove and got him warmed up and advised home and bed. Sorry to see him go back.

Sun 24 – Very dull stupid Sunday Read most all day.

Mon 25 – washed a few pieces, sewed some, met Jessie in Oakland, got Milos service flag to hand in window. Did some marketing had dinner at the V. & J. Jessie took Leo went back home. I went to Pantages and later to rehearsal at the Oakland Hotel. Saw the Chinese dance under direction of Mrs. Lila Stuart. Very pretty. Little Chinese girl played Paterewski’s minuet by memory. Came home alone.

Tue Nov 26 – Jessie got 2 letters and a bunch of pictures from Sylvester. They were fine. I ordered 14 pictures of Leo Hoffman taken in a goat cart and they were delivered today. They are also good. Lolita came over in evening and stayed all night.

Wed Nov 27 – Lolita and Jessie were up early and Jessie got breakfast while Lolita got ready to go to S. F. to work. Nothing transpired during the day worthy of note. As usual, no visitors or mail came. Spent the day mending and “minding” Leo. Some job. In evening J. went marketing for Thanksgiving. I killed 3 pigeons and we picked them and went to bed.

Nov. 28 Thu Thanksgiving day. Jessie Leo and I had a good little dinner all alone by ourselves. We had pigeon Fricasee, pumpkin pie, combination salad beet pickles, carrots, potatoes and coffee. Jessie is spending the raining day making a coop for the only remaining pair of pigeons.

Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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