GRANDMA'S DIARIES • June 1954: New Kitchen Linoleum

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The hens are recovering, albeit slowly, during June 1954. Egg production is increasing. Grandpa shares a bit of unexpected cash with Grandma, but not without a bit of complaining about her choosing to redecorate the house at the time  field work is getting busier. Grandma is undeterred in her desire to spiffy up the house in anticipation of Alberta and her family's visiting from California. 

Tuesday, June 1, 1954–Misty rain early; .6 inches rain last night. I went after Mrs. Frances Brown at 7 a.m. She got the bedroom papered by noon. Mrs. Keith came. We stopped for Mary Nimmons, and then we took Mrs. Brown home. I paid her 60  cents a roll for nine rolls. We–Mary and I–had a Stanley party at Margaret's. Mary got a set of steak knives and forks, and I got a carving set and cream ladle as our hosting gifts.  Guests: Mrs. Busby, Mrs. Parmenter, Mrs. Streight, Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Keith, Mrs. Turner, Mrs. Sammons, Mrs. Robinson, Mrs. Skinner.

Wednesday, June 2, 1954–Stopped at the bank in Raymond where Carl deposited his $500 check which Howy Ward gave him for payment in advance of corn he will haul in about two weeks. Wayne’s came for supper. Wayne looked at the corn, but armyworms haven't damaged it yet. Larry stayed all night. 

Thursday, June 3, 1954–Rained a good inch since yesterday afternoon. Larry mowed the yard, helped Carl fix fence and clean out the gutters. I baked a pie. The rain in the afternoon came in such a way it looked like a blizzard.

Friday, June 4, 1954–46 degrees, no rain. Still working on the bedroom. I washed woodwork, waxed the linoleum, painted the cupboard and put up the curtains, changed the hangers in the other bedroom, but they are too low down to suit me. Now to get rid of a lot of boxes under the bed. 

Saturday, June 5, 1954–53 degrees. Showered before midnight. I finally got the extra boxes, etc. put away that were under the bed. What a puzzle to find anywhere to put things since I have no closet. Carl tried to use the rotary hoe, but he just can't see the corn.

Sunday, June 6, 1954–Very nice day. We left home about 10 a.m. Went through Fillmore. Stopped at Bingham and inquired where Gene Mundhenk had bought an 80 acre farm. I guess we found it southeast of town. Went to Ramsey and ate dinner at the “Wagon Wheel.” A good dinner for $1.75, both of us. On to Vandalia. Road under construction–making it wider. Drove around over town. We ate popcorn there. Stopped at the Dairy Queen in Hillsboro. Had ice cream with fruit on it. I am full!

Tuesday, June 8, 1954–Cloudy, sprinkle, heavy dew. Too damp for Larry to hoe beans. They did some work on the hitch about 11, and he went to the field after dinner. He got done at four. I took Hazel Sundburg and Mrs. Hayes to Mrs. Keith's to the Home Bureau meeting. We took Larry home for he was having a 4-H meeting at his home. Car locked after we made the stop south of Raymond. Had the Herman business mechanic come and right it. Carl paid Larry $4 for his two day's work.

Wednesday, June 9, 1954–Sprinkle. Took the car to Herman’s, Raymond. Cost $1.75. Went to Seymour Lewey's to look at 30 pigs. Then I took the cream to Litchfield. Bad clouds, but no rain. I got 50 sweet potato plants.

Thursday, June 10, 1954–Wayne’s came at eventide with Ray Mutchler, and they put the necessary addition on our TV aerial so we can get Decatur, Springfield, etc. Carl paid Ray $16.95 for parts and labor. Used Watkins Roost Paint for lice in the hen house.

Sunday, June 13, 1954–7 inches rain. Sprinkle at noon. I baked two pies and a batch of cowboy cookies. We went to the Community House to the ATA chicken fry. Came a rain, and we got wet–Mary Nimmons included. Came home and changed clothes. Howy Ward’s, Virginia and Buddy Ward came, and we all watched television from Decatur. Linda and three others played accordions.

Monday, June 14, 1954–Sprinkle. A letter from Alberta says they will leave for Illinois the 19th or 29th. I painted the two little cupboards in the kitchen and the bathroom shelves. Took 190 pound of beans back to Barnstables, $11.12. Carl gave the $11 to me. 

Wednesday, June 16, 1954–Had 1.2 inches rain. I took cream $4.39 to Litchfield, also 23 and a half dozen eggs. Grade A are 36 cents. Went on to Hillsboro to Latham’s and bought linoleum for the kitchen, $20.02. Carl is sore about buying it now. I should have gotten my house cleaning done in April but had to spend time looking after him. He sure is cranky.

Thursday, June 17, 1954–I washed and got done by 7:30 a.m. Worked on the kitchen getting everything out so Latham’s can put down the new linoleum tomorrow. Carl plowed corn. Goodson baled the hay north of the Wright place. Carl gave it to him to get it off the ground.

Friday, June 18, 1954–Latham’s two men came and laid the kitchen linoleum. Took them 35 minutes. Wayne came with Howy's tractor and helped plow corn and beans. McCaslin brought 17 shoats which Carl bought for $340. Merle sprayed the potatoes with arsenate of lead to kill little grasshoppers. I moved my house plants, washed my hair and ironed. 

Monday, June 21, 1954–Cool breeze at night. Got the house in order. Alberta got to Merle’s about dark. They all came here later.  Billy has grown a lot. Carl sent our calf to the locker,  650 pounds. Wayne got half, and Merle and us divided the other half. The locker charged $4 for butchering, $4.12 for processing 103 pounds, and we got $2.52 for the hide: $2.52 for a calf hide and $12-$14 for one pair of shoes.

Tuesday, June 22, 1954–Cool at night. Just visiting with some cooking done on the side.

Friday, June 25, 1954–Hot. Born today, Donna Marie Mundhenk. Carl and I went to Harvel, and he settled for his wheat, 912.30 at $1.74=$1587.75. He kept at least 65 bushels;  23 acres of wheat in all.

Sunday, June 27, 1954–Hot. Three fans going. We all went to Wayne's for dinner. Children all had an enjoyable time. Some of them from one to six on Rascal.

Monday, June 28, 1964–Cooler. We had a big washing. Grasshoppers are so bad that Amos Goodson cut and baled our second crop of alfalfa all in one day. Carl got 87 bales.

Carole (Best) Brown of Golconda provides Journal-News readers with this glimpse of the past from her grandmother, Mary Edith (Newport) Best, Butler farm wife. Carole may be reached at rosebudbooks@gmail.com.

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