GRANDMA'S DIARIES • March 1954–Lucky Free Parking

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March 1954 begins with my brother Jim's ninth birthday, which means Grandma must bake another angel food cake. Some readers may remember when Main Street in Hillsboro was lined with parking meters. Most folks felt fortunate if they found a meter which still had time remaining on it from the previous occupant of the parking space. Grandma thinks she is indeed lucky when she gets some free parking because of a stuck penny. Questions for readers: Anyone know where Silver Grove is in the county? I'm not sure if it was a village or just a neighborhood. I also have two sewing questions. Grandma is making a jacket for herself, and she mentions two words that puzzle me. "Couras" and "Haur." I'm not sure I have interpreted her writing correctly or if the words are misspelled.  Grandpa is preparing for his upcoming cataract surgery in April. You will be amazed at how that procedure has changed in the last 67 years. 

Monday, March 1, 1954–Clear. I washed. Craig drove a 1953 Ford, automatic shift to our house. It has about 4,000 miles on it. We both drove it. He wanted $1000 difference. Carl says it is too much, so he didn't trade. We have 48,000 miles on ours, but we feel we know most of its tricks. I don't like the emergency brake and the habit of occasionally locking when I shift gears on ours. We went to Mrs. Charlie Burris' funeral at 3:30. She was past 77 years old. Carl shipped the Jersey's calf.

Tuesday, March 2, 1954–Cloudy, not cold. We went to Taylorville. I went to Montgomery Wards to buy drapes for my living room, but Ethel Fraley, clerk, was out for lunch and I didn't buy. We went to George Best's for dinner. At three it was raining, so we started home. Turned into a snow from the S.W. when we were half way home. Windshield wipers didn't work good. Hard to see where to drive. I baked a cake. Thought some of the kids might come.

Wednesday, March 3, 1954–20 degrees above zero. Enough snow to cover the ground. Sunshine. Snow blowing some from the north. I am binding my flower garden quilt. Mrs. Keith came while John went to ATA. Their chili supper cleared $265, enough to pay off the indebtedness on the Community House. A veteran, Miller, called. We subscribed for Red Book, two years for $5. Some think we are stung. Have to wait and see if we get it.

Friday, March 5, 1954–16 degrees. I took Emma and Hazel, and we went quilting. I baked Jimmy an angel food cake, and we went to Merle's for supper. August, Violet Root and daughter (Jeannie) were there. Later we all went to the father and son basketball game at the Butler gym. Lots of fun. Carl gave $5 to the Red Cross.

Saturday, March 6, 1954–Nice day. We went to Hillsboro after noon. Got a place on Main Street to park. Meter stuck on the first penny, so we beat the city about nine cents, ha, ha!

Sunday, March 7, 1954–Warm and clear. Geraldine said they would come here from Sunday School and would take us somewhere for dinner. We went to the White Cottage at Raymond. Lovely dinner for $1 each. We went past Silver Grove. Wayne was born across the road from it, and then we went to Gus Mudhenk's. Inseminator came for the Jersey cow.

Monday, March 8, 1954–Cloudy, 32 degrees. I didn't wash. Mrs. Streight came at night while Ray Rains went to a bus meeting. They have to make different plans since the (school) territory has been consolidated.

Wednesday, March 10, 1954–Chilly. I took 30 dozen eggs to Litchfield, Grade A,  40 cents. Took a bucket of cream, 63 cents for 4.28 ounces. I trimmed the grapevines after dinner and pulled stakes in the garden. William Welge buried at Wares Grove.

Thursday, March 11, 1954–38 degrees, .1 inch of rain last night. I spaded up under the peach trees in the garden and put my onion plants out to keep them from drying out. Planted radish and lettuce seed also cabbage seed. The wind was so high I was almost afraid to burn trash in the garden. I got about half of it cleaned off. 

Saturday, March 13, 1954–24 degrees. Cloudy or maybe it is dust in the air. Turned colder at noon. George and Fern (Best) came at 12:10. We were done eating dinner, all but apple pie. I had baked cookies. Fern enjoyed dunking them.

Sunday, March 14, 1954–Cold and clear, bit of snow last night. Not enough to cover the ground. I didn't go to Sunday School, so invited Merle’s out for dinner. They had to leave at two as the town (Butler) board was having a meeting. They want to paint the town hall. We went to Harry Wallace's to see the new baby. Linda played in the Morrisonville Accordion Band on Decatur TV station. It was from 5-5:30 p.m.

Monday, March 15, 1954–Clear, windy, 21 degrees. Carl says it has dried so much. I washed my washing, also Margaret's colored clothes. She had five rugs. Eleven o'clock when I got done. Campbell was here at work. Carl needs him for several days, but he must go help Dan Issacs for a time. I got so cold I'd shiver every time I went outside. Carl paid Elsworth Henry $120, which paid for 700 pound ammonia at $63 and for applying same on 14 acres at $3 per acre–$54. Carl paid Campbell $14 for labor. I paid Cappers Insurance for Carl, Maud Mundhenk and me for one year, $12 each for $36. Vet came for Jersey insemination. 

Tuesday, March 16, 1954–25 degrees. We wonder what this cold weather will do to the oats that have been sowed. Carl paid Shum Smith $5 for sharpening and putting points on two plow shares.

Wednesday, March 17, 1954–I took eggs, 30 dozen at .38 to Litchfield, also cream 8.1 at .61–$4.94. The cream was from one week's milking. Wayne and Jake (Mutchler) vaccinated part of his bunch of approximately 500 pigs. 

Thursday, March 18, 1954–I scattered the litter out of the brooder house on the garden. It wasn't heavy, but there were a good many loads of it. I took two checks to Raymond. Wayne’s came at night for eggs. Began raining before they left. Tom Dammann paid Carl $77.35 for 68 bales of hay, $35.00 a ton.

Friday, March 19, 1954–Almost .5 inches of rain. I fixed dinner for Carl and Campbell. Then fixed cottage cheese and chili for the Helping Hand dinner at Florence Robinson's. Mrs. Jenkins was able to be there, and Mary Nimmons came after dinner. Blanche Rogers and I took Effie and Leland Cover's dinner to them. Charles Campbell here.

Saturday, March 20, 1954–Chilly, cloudy, wind from the northwest. I went after meat and groceries to Hillsboro before noon. Carl went at one to see the tractor demonstration of plowing at Tom Dammann's. He didn't stay very long for he got cold. There was a diesel tractor pulling a five bottom plow. Cost of both about $5,700. Wayne and Larry brought the Ferguson tractor and plow and plowed our garden. Mr. Campbell came. He thought he cracked a rib making fence out here yesterday. I butchered a hen for tomorrow. She was fat, but no eggs.

Sunday, March 21, 1954–Wind for the southeast. First day of spring. I went to Sunday School and church. Rev. Reagen, the district superintendent preached. Five Presbyterians present. Looks like our people are losing out. Mary and Bob Nimmons came for dinner. We had Spanish chicken, lima beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, apple salad and cottage cheese. Mary ate a good dinner. She has been ailing for two months from an attack of the flu.

Tuesday, March 23, 1954–Today is the birthday of Tommy Lee Anderson, three years old. Connie helped Timmy celebrate. Carole went back to the doctor. I cut out the jacket part of my gray dress. I'll take my time, read all I can about how to do it and sure hope I have good luck. I bought thread, couras? Zipper, .87 for the jacket.

Wednesday, March 24, 1954–.3 inches of rain near morning. Almost a mist all day. Moorman salesman came. We complained about the drop in egg production. He said put in more Mintrate. Gave us a formula of 100 pounds Mintrate, 200 pounds corn, 150 pounds oats 50 pounds of wheat. All ground together. We have half of this measured and ready to grind. I bound two ends of Mary Nimmons' last quilt she hired quilted. Paid $2 to Illinois Association for Crippled Children.

Thursday, March 25, 1954–60 degrees. High wind. Rained .4 inches rain again last night. Taylorville had a wind storm. Lot of damage at the fairground. We had feed ground. Didn't have to wait. I took 30 dozen eggs to Litchfield, .41 for Grade A. Got lining for my jacket. Inseminator here for the red cow.

Friday, March 26, 1954–34 degrees. Wow, the wind is chilly. Merle brought a 100-pound sack of potatoes, $3, and we helped him plant them on a former hedge row. He kept out a bucket full of large ones. He had four rows quite long.

Saturday, March 27, 1954–I took cream to Litchfield after cleaning up the house, 2.6 pounds, 41 test, 8.2 butterfat, .57–$4.67. Carl wanted to see the accident insurance man as to hired help. He didn't buy. Take more time to think it over. Pearlie Mondhenk died this morning.

Sunday, March 28, 1954–Clear, cool. We left home about 11 a.m. Drove to Nokomis and ate dinner then on to Lloyd Wallace's. We got there in time for dinner. Too full to eat much. Raymond, Loretta, and baby were there. Just 12 days difference in Harry's baby and Raymond's, both girls. Wayne’s were here when we got home. We had lunch. Geraldine said Moray was going to get married soon. Della Henry is the lady. She is 67.

Monday, March 29, 1954–Mist of rain continues most of the day, but only .1 inches of rain fell. I worked some more on my jacket. I am afraid I have begun to stall on the job. I'll be glad when I can finish it. I made a tailor's haur(?) to use to press curved seams.

Tuesday, March 30, 1954–26 degrees, ice. I washed. Merles took us to Springfield about 1:30. Dr. Duncan will not be home until April 5, but the office girl said Carl could come to St. Johns Hospital April 12 to be ready for the operation April 13. She will write us a letter for details when the doctor returns.

Wednesday, March 31, 1954–Clear, but such a cold wind. If the mist had not stopped, we would have had ice. I worked on my jacket. Quite a puzzle to get the collar on right. Cleve Robinson helped Carl get some posts set on the north end of the pasture, $5 for the day's work. Cleve says Route 127 through Butler was built in 1932.

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