The Days Are Passing Swiftly by and I Am One Day Nearer Home: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 32

June 13I have been here [at Mrs. Fryer’s] a mo[nth] and Joe gives me 45 dollars for my month’s work which I have earned every cent. A week later The Elijah comes off

June 21 – I do a tremendous forenoons work, eat lunch that Mrs Fryer Irene cooked, and dress up in my white suit for to go out and help sing Elijah at the Greek theater. I arrive in pleanty time Madame Schumann-Heink sings several solos in her wonderful style which holds the vast audience grilling there in that pitiless sun, breathles. Then our Choruses goes off without scarce a hitch and then home alone lonesome but still glad to be back in our little Berkeley Bungalo again to rest up and recuperate.

Oakland Tribune 22 June 1919

June 22Joe and Eilene drive out with my suitcases and pay me my last weeks wages and that chapter in my life ends which never will be quite the same as before I went but, if joy or sorrow most is mine I know not, they are so closely comingled.

June 23 – Enjoying a good rest at Jessies. Finished Josephines plaid waist and left it with Mrs. Bursick at Capwells store on 25. The rest of the month was spent quietly at Jessies in Berkeley.

Capwell’s Oakland

July 1 to 3Preparing to go Camping.

4 Jessie & Syl started on the 3 and went over to Ferry to meet Ester and Herbert to go to Lagunitas I started on morning of July 4 to meet the boys and Lolita at the Ferry. I had my new Gray Blanket and a box of cooked food and camping necessities. They were there with the car and we waited our turn to be taken on the Ferry to Sausalito. The boat was crowded with 100 cars and there was barely room to pass between them. We had a most enjoyable trip.

Sausalito, Marin, California

The scenery from Sausalito to Tomales is very beautiful and diversified comprising dry and marsh land mountains and open sea. We had a puncture and blow-out the latter necesitating the purchase of a new tire at San Anselmo. The foggy drive did not tempt us to tarry at Tomales so we came back to a friendly field near to Calonia and made camp. We parked the car in a stubble field near Paper Mill creek and after building a bridge across the lively little stream by throwing in rocks topped by a rotten log, we crossed dry sleeved? with our camping outfits to the opposite bank which was covered with trees with a nice level gravelly place near the water to build our cozy fires on.

Paper Mill Creek

The day had passed and night had fallen on the rim of the world when at last we made our first meal, and our camp beds under the sheltering bay trees. Lolita, Little Leo Hoffman and I slept together. Dutch and Milo found a soft bed of leaves further up stream and Albert & Dewey slept near the machine. In the night I felt cold and got up and made a big fire of the abundance of brush wood all about and Allie came over to enjoy it. Later I layed down and slept til morning.

July 6 – We passed Jessies and Syls camping place which was already deserted. We had a most enjoyable auto ride skirting the hills homeward bound. A long wait in line at Sausalito and then packed in the ferry boat to cross the S. F. Bay at the Ferry building. I said good Bys and go home to Jessies again where they have already arrived. We swap “yarns” and retire for a good rest in a real bed. Glad to be home again

July 7 — a very hot day. I take a slight cold

July 8 & 9 – washing and ironing

10 – Dewey went to San anselmo to redeem my watch which we left at the garage when we bought the tire on our camping trip. I got a letter from Jennie Palmer saying she would come to see us. We start planning

11 – Decide to get a bedroom set and clean house

12 – Went to several places and at last found what we were after in Oakland. A beautiful Russian walnut dresser and bed for $135 and mattress and spring for $20 to be delivered Tuesday 15. Upon arriving home we found Lolita had come and gone.

July 13 Sun. – I went over to see the children and Dewey came over here I waited there for him and he waited here for me. We each stayed all night at the others place.

Mo. July 14 — In the morning I got up saying he wins and hurried over, finding him still in bed. Had a pleasant chat with him. He had got my watch for me. I was glad to have it back. The bedroom set came. It is very beautiful to look at and restful to sleep on. I wrote to Jennie and she did not come. Jessie and J. Ralsomme? the kitchen and clean the whole house.

16 – Mrs Miller came over as we were finishing. She wants her dress

17 & 18 – Finishing Mrs Millers dress.

19 Lolita and Leona Pfeiffer came and broke the news to me that she was to be married Mon. I am astonished incredulous dismayed disappointed dissatisfied desolated grieved. I expostulate exhort argue complain. I wonder and regret and repeal and learn nothing. Lolita departs in tears promising to come on the morrow and tell me all about it. They come

July 20 Sunday – I give Charley a collar bag I have made for him and Lolita a collar that was Lois’s and a pretty hanky I bought for her. I clean her cape and hang it up to air over night. Charley very meekly and sweetly asks me if I care and I tell him I was sorry I didn’t know of it in time to make her trousseau. He said she had enough and was glad that I didnt object to him personally.

Monday July 21Lolita Mosier and Charlie Camerons Wedding day – Lolita comes over with Toots and gets ready for the ceremony. J, T. L. and I start on time and arrive at the courthouse in S. F. at 2 oclock. The rest consisting of Dewey Allie Milo and Eilene also Charley and his mother have just arrived. After introductions all around we go to the county clerks office and procure the license. Then up we all go to Judge Trouts office and listen to the service that unites my little “bito dale” to Mrs. Camerons pride and hope both 18 yrs. old in the holy bonds of matrimony and hear him say with this ring I thee wed. Hear their clear proud responses to love and cherish each other and hear the Judge pronounce them man and wife and hear her addressed as Mrs. Cameron. Dewey took Mrs. Cameron the mother Leona, and the bride and groom out to Ingelside to get their suitcases while Jessie & I went to the jewelers to get Lolitas watch. I also bought her a pretty pin. We met them at the Ferry (the worlds meeting place) and gave them to her and said good bye taking the boat for home while they went on the Sausalito ferry to take the train for Sonoma Grove where they will spend their honey moon.

Tue July 22 – aftermath. Jennie didn’t come rather sorry and lonesome

Wed. 23 – Making a shirt case for Deweys birthday.

Thu “ 24 – Deweys 22 birthday I went over and gave it to him and had dinner there. Eilene was cleaning house. We plan a shower on Lolita and Charley when they return. Lolita wrote of a happy honey moon. Jessie writes and receives a letter from Agnes. I meet Joe at the Ferry and tell him the news. He says let them be happy while they are young, they’ll be old soon enough. Said Irene was doing fine but nervous. Explained his booth in Ferry building for advertising by slides and mooving pictures and we crossed the bay together the first time.

Fri 25 – Jessie is ironing and making Lolitas middie out of a serge dress Mrs Fryer gave her a long time ago. She is talking of going down town to do some shopping later in the day I accompanied her to Oakland and as she took her treatment at the Dr’s shopped around and wound up by leaving my magazine and patterns at Osgoods drug store and when I went back for them they had been picked up by a woman who saw a chance to get something for nothing. It will profit her nothing. I was very disgusted with myself and wonder why I am getting so rattle brained.

Sat. July 26 I worked on a quilt for Lolita some of the blocks of which I pieced in Minneapolis so long ago. Sat. with its usual house cleaning. In the evening we went to see the Little Shepherd of the hills in the mooving pictures at the Oakland Orpheum. It was very good and touching. Jessie cried but I guess most of my tears have been shed, Or maybe they drip inside. When Lolita and Charley came home from their honey moon they found the house empty but by accident the song book was turned to Home Again and and standing on the music rack of the piano. They both thought it very strange, and spoke of it when we returned from the show. Lolita cried because she thought I didn’t love her any more but I guess she knows better now! I was glad to have them “Home Again”.

27 Sun – J & S. L. & C and I went to the little corner Presbyterian church and listened to a good sermon by a visiting minister. Then they all went away but me returning later in the evening.

Mon. July 28 – I accompany Lolita to the city to look for appartments. She finds one after a weary search and engages it. Then we went to Eilene’s to get some lunch and Lolita returns to Jessies to get Charlie to help her carry their suit cases to their new home. C went to work in earnest today. He said he made $10.00 today some wages but then the cost of living is very high. Their appartment is 37.50 for 3 rooms (bath and kitchen 2 wall beds 2 closets. It is much the lightest cleanest and best furnished we found for the money.

Tue JulyWell my last little girl is off to her new home. May she find a refuge from the world and haven of happiness. Im glad she has a home of her own. It puts her on an equal footing with the other two girls.

July 30 – Jessie and I go to Sabins Jewelry store on Filmore in the city to look at some silverware. I decide on 3 articles of 6 each –knives forks and teaspoons $6.00 best grade community silver.

31 – Last day of memorable old July. Working on a quilt for bride.

Aug 1 – Still at Quilt & Eilenes dress

2 – Finish making over “ Golden poplin dress 3rd time. Looks fine pack suit case with changes wedding cake and go to Eilenes Find her busy hanging pictures and nearly ready for party. I clean kitchen and laundry and dishes etc. Then we all dress and the party is on. Last to arrive is the Bride and Groom . They put new life into the party. The time was spent singing and dancing and then Lolita was led in blindfolded to a seat on the davenport which was piled with bundles. When the blindfold was removed she looked at the presents rather sheepishly and then began unwrapping and holding them up for admiration thanking each giver sweetly. The presents were all appropriate useful and in good taste comprising china silverware glassware table linen and crackers and bowl vase picture and electric Iron. She and Charlie are both very proud of their presents. Jessie Sylvester & I accompanied them home and remained over night. N & J went early to church next morn.

Sun Aug 3 – Later in the day L. & C went to the civic Auditorium to hear Lemare play. I stayed in and read “20 Years After” by Dumas.

Aug 4I went down to see about a position as solicitor for a real estate co. They took my name and address. Then I went back to the St. Regas appts. And read while waiting for Milo to bring my shoes which I left at Eilenes the night of the party. Soon he and Dutch came and I went to Oakland to get another pattern like I lost and met Josephine at Kahns soon Mrs Fryer came and we talked of her health which is still poorly. She talked of mooving. I offered to help, if she’d call up.

Aug 5 – I went down to Hinks store for some lead weights to put in the coat I’m fixing for Lolita. I went into a book store and got a box of writing paper to send to Betty my dear whose birthday is on…

Aug 6 – Betty Richardson is 9 years old today and I hope she gets the present I sent and likes it well. I did not mention that Mrs Miller came over yesterday and I fixed the dress I made some time ago. She paid me 6.00 for it. I finished Lolitas coat and cut and basted my new silk waist washed up the dishes and am now going to bed at 10:15 oclock. I wrote a long letter to Leo today in ans to one I got recently. It closely covered 3 sheets of note paper.

Thu Aug 7 – Did a big wash and sewed some in afternoon.

Fri 8 – Still sewing on my champain crepe de chine

Sat 9 – Cleaned 2 suits for myself and long check coat J and I did a big ironing and washed up the odds and ends of the week. I made a red striped clothes pin sack for L.

Sun 10I rather looked for a phone message from Mrs Fryer but none came. There 3rd month at the Vill at Lovely Broadmoor is up today Jessie and Syl went down to Melrose to see Rosie who came back with them. After she went away J. S and I called on the Smiths across the corner. We had a pleasant time playing records on the victrola and came home to find Eilene and Mrs Shiman here. We had a lively time chatting for an hour and when they left I accompanied them to the Vine St Station. I am now about to retire it is nearly midnight beautiful and cool and moonlit. They say its very hot in the east

Mon Aug 11Finished reading 20 Yrs After by Alexander Dumas. A very exciting story full of warlike characters who play their part to the last page where all ends happily. I sewed a little and washed dishes. Am not very well. Jessie went to the Dr for a treatment.

Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas

Tue Aug 12 – Spent the day sewing on my pongee dress and Little Leo’s coat. Milo came and got Lolita’s coat that I fixed for her and some other things. I was glad to see him. Mr. Jeune called in the evening to talk with Syl and Jessie about church and mission work.

Wed Aug 13Just 3 mo since I went to Beautiful Broadmoor and it seems so long ago. All time is not measured by length of days. O heart of mine what happiness it would be to dwell amid those sylvan scenes surrounded by those we love, forever; Today I busied myself finishing Leo Hoffmans coat. This evening I practiced some on the piano and took a short walk, getting a pink & white geranium on my way.

Thu Aug 14 – Jessie washed cloths I cleaned up the house and stamped my waist for embroidering. I got a good long letter from my sister Goldie. She asks for advise I hope I can give it to her right. It is a hard task. Mrs Miller came in time for dinner and then we all went down to Rays to get some rabbits. Ray and Rose have exchanged their place in Melrose for a small ranch in Castro valley and will moove to Napa while R. works in the ship yards at Mare Island. Mother Miller lent me an old book that was her mothers, to read. Wormwood by Marie Corelli, about the effect of Absynthe on the minds and morals of Paris. An awful tale. I turned off the light at 3 oclock.

Fri Aug 15 –I got up late had a light breakfast and finished my story in bed. And now in the light of truth that has dawned on the world since right triumphed over wrong and France did so nobly and bravely fight and conquer (with our aid and Englands’) over old foe, Germany. We can see that Wormwood was wrong. Absynth did not ruin France and cause her downfall. They must have seen its danger and averted it, and I am glad my faith in the ultimate triumph of good over evil of right over wrong of love over hate is justified. It is noon my work calls and bids me back to sanity and peace in its accomplishment. Spent rest of the day in sewing and housework.

Sat Aug 16 – “The days are passing swiftly by and I am “one day nearer home.” Help me O Lord to live each day as if it were to be my last. Help me to keep a sweet faith and childlike trust. Help me to enjoy the life Thou hast given and to give of that joy to others. Help me to make friends and to keep them to help and comfort them in their hours of affliction and to rejoice with them in their hours of gladness. Drive out of my heart envy and suspicion malice and hate that there may be more room for love for Thee and thy creations Help me in my weakness Keep me in health and let me live long in thy service. Give out of thy abundance O father my hearts desires in Jesus name Amen.

Today I finished my silk waist and went down to Oak. Got some buttons for Leos coat a pair of gloves and a magazine. Saw Mrs Fryer but didn’t speak to her. I think she is still at 13 Broadmoor

Sun Aug 17 – Jessie & Syl went to Alameda to visit Dorens I stayed home alone all day. Dewey came over at 7.30. I cooked dinner and as we were eating J. & S. came back. They are talking shop (machinist) now. I am tired and will soon retire. Dewey is working at Mare Island now. I gave him Leo’s coat to take home. I hope it fits him all right.

Mon Aug 18 – Jessie went to S. F. and got a bundle of rompers from the Factory to make up. Saw the whole family upon her return. Baby was very proud of his coat. They are all well. I am blue and lonesome to the nth degree. I worked on my pongee dress today.

Tue 19 – Jessie worked awhile on her rompers and then went to city. I did up work and sewed on pongee. J came home and got dinner. Syl is figuring on a goat pen and rabbit hutches. It is 10 oclock and bed time. Every thing is tranquil.

Wed 20 – Sewing and housework all day

Thu 21 – Jessie and Syl burned the grass in back yard some fire. I came in with a headache. Very blue and despondent.

Fri Aug 22 – J cleaning house and washing I worked on rompers all day. Milo came to dinner. ???? all night. Vestina came to call a few minutes. Tired am I.

Sat Aug 23 – Sewed on rompers awhile and cleaned up sewing room Jessie worked hard at cleaning house and baking Dewey came in evening. I went over to Lolitas after a light dinner with Dewey J & S having dined earlier. I left before their guests arrived. Met Milo, Dutch David and John Armstrong arriving at C & L Cameron’s.

Sun 24 – Next morning I arose and cleaned up after last nights festivities rested and read the papers came home to Jessies at 7 oclock found them enjoying the Sunday paper on my new Circassian bed. Dewey had gone before I arrived. Went to bed and slept fine.

Mon Aug 25This is Leo Mosiers birthday. I wrote him a long letter. J and S went to O Tech H. to enroll couldn’t get in. Went to Berk. Tech High with same results. Will try again. Emense enrollment all schools this term 10% gain over last.

Tue Aug 26 – Jessie and I finished the 3 ½ doz. rompers and took them back to the factory. She received 1.25 per doz plus car fare 22 cents. We decided there was nothing in it for us and did not take any more. We called on Eilene and then came back to Berkeley in time for dinner. Lolita came over but left early.

Wed 27 – I finished embroidering corset cover. We all called on Vestina and Mrs. Smith. Syl favored us with selections on the phonograph. It is quite warm today. The West is in the midst of a R. R. strike. To bad Allie was going to send for A.

Railroad Strike Oakland Tribune 26 Aug 1919

Thu Aug 28 – Spent the day mending In evening attended a rehersal of the Berkeley Community Chorus to practice for entertainment of Sailor boys of Fleet Sept 3 [Fleet Week].

Fri Aug 28 Went down to Oak High School to see about vocational training to teach dressmaking in the Public school.

Kelly Wheaton © 2022 All Rights Reserved

1 Comments on “The Days Are Passing Swiftly by and I Am One Day Nearer Home: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 32”

  1. I love the everydayness of the diary. You really can “see” them as they went about all the chores and pleasures and sadnesses of their lives, in a way no one seems to do anymore.

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