Life in this Eden takes on a Very Serious Aspect: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 31

April 1 – Eilene came over to Berkeley and I cut her black silk dress.

2 – Wed Morning Choral practice. Called on Mrs Fryer at St Marks Eilene went home.

3 – Washed and cleaned house. Spent afternoon sewing on Eilenes dress.

4 Fri – Eilene came again to work on sewing. We shortened her gray cape and worked on black silk. Jessie is busy shopping and working.

5 Sat – Getting on fine with sewing Eilene and Leo went home.

6 – A cheery peaceful Sun. Jessie and I went to Greek theater to hear a concert given by the Pasmores of S. F. I enjoyed it very much.

Greek Theatre Berkeley

7 – Blue Monday beautiful day Jessie and I first got our big wash out when Irene Fryer came with children for a fitting. I am doing a lot of sewing for them.

8 – I went to Ingleside in S. F. to help E. train for her class of girl scouts in their Easter song. Made some progress helped her get the boys Allie and Dewey dinner. Came back to Berkeley late.

9 – Went to Choral. Had a fine sing. Eilene came to finish dress. Jessie busy with house work.

10 – Josephines 10th birthday. I sent card.

11 – Fryers all come out and I do some fitting J & I go to town with them in their fine new auto. I exchange my ? glasses for a pair of Ulter which are ground from a solid piece of glass and are much better and cleaner.

Apr 12 – Busy Sat. nothing important got a letter from Wed Morn Choral saying my voice tho good needed more training when I could again make application. I read between the lines that I have no social standing. I will not apply for reinstatement but continue work with the Berkeley Oratorio Society, which is nearer home and under the same leader Mr Paul Steindorf.

13 Sun. – Lolita and Charley come over J & Syl go to church in city. Hunt house in Oakland lunch downtown meet Joe R and Irene F. ask them out to dinner.

14 – Again washday. Busy as ever J & I plan my white Poiret twirl

15 – Tue even rehersal of Stabat Mater at Unity Hall. sewing fast

16 – Sewing all day

17 Thu – aft rehersal with orchestra rainy. Gloomy.

18 – Good Friday Finished dress in forenoon. Wore it to Greek theater in afternoon when I sang in the big chorus that rendered the Stabat Mater. The Quartet was wonderful to listen to, everything went off fine. Big crowd perfect weather. J & Vestina were there but I didn’t see them.

Oakland Tribune 30 March 1919 pg 68

19 – Big parade welcoming soldiers return to S. F. I didn’t go. (Sat)

20 Easter Sun. – J & S went to Sunrise meeting I staid home and finished making over blue silk for Lolita and trimmed her hat over to match. She wore it in evening when Charlie came and looked very sweet and fine she kissed me for ? ? but I was very tired I’m glad to see her so pleased and happy.

April 21 Mon. – I started to make my blue voile and got quite a start

22 Tue – made the skirt and was about to add finishing baubles when Irene F. brought the kiddies out for a fitting. I laid my work aside and spent a hard aft fitting and cutting cutting & fitting. After they left I ate dinner and went to rehersal at Unity hall heard Garrison. [Mabel Garrison Soprano see above]

“ 23 – working like a beaver on kiddies dresses. They are pretty ginghams. Postpone dinner party

“ 24 – House work in forenoon sew in aft

“ 25 –Big parade in Oakland for soldiers return. I didn’t go down.

“ 26—J & Syl went to city and then on hike. Mother Miller came over and I worked a little on her dress she is making over.

“ 27 – I was alone all day resting up when Eilene came and surprised me by bringing Frank Hoffman along. He came and surprised her the night before on the 26. I was so glad to see him home again. I got up a nice dinner and then J & S came. They were very glad and surprised also to see him sitting there so fine and splendid at the dinner table. It was a happy reunion. Leo was 3 years old.

“ 28 – Worked all day on Betties print Gingham. Very pretty. Wrote to Milo and Goldie in ans to letters recd recently.

“ 29 Tue – I went to Unity Hall to the 1st rehers of Elijah. It is extremely difficult. Joined the Oratorio society and paid my dues 50 cents. I walked home with Mrs Manning???

“ 30 – Last day of April. Sewing all day

May 1 – Rather a chilly and cloudy day for gayities planned for today J & I dinner at home at work

May 2 – Jessie & I decided to go to the city today so we accordingly got busy put the house in order got dressed and started. Fine beautiful day. Cashed Milo’s check from War Dept probably last one on our transfer pocketed my $15.00 and went to the Fabiola Hospital to see Rose.

Fabiola Hospital Oakland

She is looking fine. I didn’t see the baby. Left address with lady in same ward. J & I went on down town. I took Mrs Fryer her pink silky kimono. She is in bed not very well but not sick. Paul was in room 622. Nearly sick with stomach trouble fine boy, had a good chat with him. Met Joe a moment and then said good bye to them all and went to hunt Jessie. I also went to have my glasses readjusted which was done cheerfully. I later found J and we went on over to the city. No one was home but Eil Frank, Leo and Dewey. Eilene had gone to drill her girl scouts. We cleaned up the house got dinner and J went home to Syl while I stayed did up the dinner dishes and still Eilene did not come so Lolita accompanied me home. J & S were still up when we arrived at 11 oclock. I didn’t sleep well the ants crawled up into the bed. First time in my life to have ants get in the bed. They are a pest east of the bay. Heard a piece of good news they were saying the Army artillery Park had sailed for home and had actually arrived in New York and would be demobilized in Camp Dodge Iowa. How I wonder if he will come home or not. Irene Fryer was 41 on the 27 of April.

May 3 – Lolita went to work early. I sew and rest up. Day windy and somehow indescribably lovely. Jessie and Syl plan to go to the city this evening.

4 Sun. — J. S. & I went to see Rose and her new baby at their new home in Melrose. The day was raw and windy. Came home hungry and got dinner. Was sick all night vomiting and diarrhea.

5 Mon — Home at work all day. Mrs Fryer didn’t come as per appointment.

6 Tue – Busy sewing and preparing for company for dinner. Mrs Brown Syls aunt Mary and his father. I went to rehersal before they came. I came back before they left. Dewey was here and had gone again. He had got a telegram from Milo who was in New York and wanted 10 dollars. Im so glad he’s back in the States.

7 – Went to S. F. orphanage to see about a position

8 Thurs. – Dewey came over with the 10 he borrowed to send Milo. he stayed to dinner I was happy to have him.

9 – At home in Berkeley. Beautiful weather

10. Sat – Finished my blue voile with white organdie ruffles. Quite pretty Vestina called last night J. S. and I walked away down to the piano repair shop to see piano they have bought. It is an old rosewood square which has a lovely tone Can have it in 10 days.

May 11Mothers day. Just 1 yr since my Milo gave me a fine bunch of carnations in lovely Ca. [Castrol Valley] Valley. I have some of them waxed still It was a sunny breezy day warm and pleasant with the odors of many flowers. A contented happy day peaceful and serene. I wore my new blue and made boquets for the house. Lilys and calendula. We just read and rested. Nobody came and we went nowhere. Milo should be home soon.

May 13 –I was sewing industriously when some one rang the bell and when I answered I was surprised to find Joe standing there. He had come to get me to help Mrs Fryer who had moved out to a beautiful park like place in Broadmoor, San Leandro, and who had taken seriously ill. I packed two suitcases and went along had a delightful ride and was met by Paul Fryer, who was home convalesing. Mrs Fryer was glad to see me and I took hold and got dinner. House is big roomy beautiful and very inconvenient a kitchen. Got along fine however.

May 14 – Many steps up and down and weary planning of meals getting accustomed to new work.

“ 15 – Mrs. Fryer went to see Dr Kleeman and he advised an operation. Went to the Hospital. So here am I as cook and housekeeper over a big establishment. Two girls in Catholic school in Oakland. Arise at six a.m. thru at 8 very tired and happy.

“ 16 – Busy with housework of all kinds in daytime. Josephine and Betty are sweet and entertaining little girls. Joe appreciates every thing I do and likes my cooking. Paul takes me about in Joes little car occasionally. Life is very pleasant and too good to last. We gather great boxes of flowers and send them to the hospital. Mrs Fryer is cheerful and ready for the operation.

May 17 – Life here has settled into a routine already. I am doing the work methodically and in order every day. Saw in the paper that Milos regiment was on their way home Sat. Joe said I could get off to go and meet him Sunday morning.

May 18 – Got thru with mornings work early and Paul & I took train for S. F. Met J. and S. at Imole? and all went over. We went out to Presidio and found them in line then. Followed them, the soldiers, all around the Presidio for an hour and a half when he was released for the day. He [Milo] is bronzed, bigger than when he left nervous and happy to be home. Likes S. F. better than New York or any other place. We went to the Old Oregon Bldg for a red cross lunch and then parted he going over to Oak St place and J. S. and I to Berkeley. I was tired upon arriving and soon left for San Leandro. Found Joe and kiddies had had their dinners and I soon found something to eat. Seemed good to be back again in fairy land amongst birds and bees and flowering trees and orange blossom scented breeze. Green velvet lawn, verbena borders, doorways and windows shaded with a riot of Jasmine, wisteria, ivy, geranium and honeysuckle. Cherries and apricots, pears and sweet peas, behind Canna and Shasta daisy to one side, and roses roses to the other fine? birds, surely this must be their old home place and this occasion their usual reunion they sing so long and joyously and Milo is home and I am glad.

Followed days of hard work and anxiety about Irene who underwent a serious operation and came out of it splendidly. Dr said she was very bad off. Joe is distracted. Life in this Eden takes on a very serious aspect.

May 20 – I go out to Berkeley to reherse Elijah, Left hand bag

“ 21 – Call up Jessie who promises to go to church and get it.

“ 23 – Get my handbag. Paul drove me out and back by the Skyline Blvd which is a wonderful drive along the side of the high hills along which lie Berkeley, Piedmont and Oakland. Every Thur. Louise comes to help clean house and we sweep & dust and clean up everything on Sats I go all over it again On Sundays we have a big dinner which takes me nearly all day I get me a new belt some stockings and underwear. I finish my striped skirt and do some work on the kiddies dresses which were not finished. Busy is the word. Mrs Fryer called up for me to make her kimono which I did and on Sunday 25 we all drove out to the Lake Merritt Hospital to see her. She was sitting up and looking sweet in the new yellow blue laced kimono I had made. Had several sets of company when Irene came home. Real work commenced. Breakfasts in bed and many trips up and down orders to give and take, this is the life tired in body and soul. O but if I had a home like this of mine own and some one to help with all the hard work It would be paradise.

The family is very good to me and take me along when they can. We gather around the piano at night and play and sing. It is a joy such as I have seldom known sitting by the fire place of blazing logs exchanging confidences news and opinions. Paul is gaining fast and leaves Tues for to join wife and baby in Los Angeles. Hate to see him go. School is out at last and kiddies romp all day long in their overalls. I cook and they eat ummmm and O daddy isn’t she a dear? yes! But I know this cant last long. Cherry pies and Gooseberry pie and raspberry and loganberry and blackberry and black loganberry such a list pies and the best gingerbread I ever ate in my life and Lamm curry and rice and stuffed breast of veal and noodles and dumplings and johnny cake. Did kings fare better when the fare was good? I doubt it.

Kelly Wheaton © 2022 All Rights Reserved

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