In the meantime, I've published the second volume in the series, called Lansing and Beyond: The Journals of Maurice L. Reed, 1932-1934. It is also available on Amazon.
Ever since I received my grandfather's journals after he died in 1972, I have loved reading and re-reading them for his stories of camping and fishing in Michigan, his work as a truant officer for the Lansing Public Schools, his notes on the books he read and the movies he went to, and most of all, his notes on his family and extended family. As an ongoing project this year, I have started to transcribe and publish these journals. The first one is entitled, At Home in Lansing: The Journals of Maurice L. Reed, 1927-1931, and is available on Amazon.
I was very pleased when the Library of Michigan emailed me at the end of July to let me know that At Home in Lansing is being considered for their 2016 list of Michigan Notable Books. I shipped 8 copies to their review committee, and should hear back in December.
In the meantime, I've published the second volume in the series, called Lansing and Beyond: The Journals of Maurice L. Reed, 1932-1934. It is also available on Amazon.
Monday, Dec. 1
Made 40 calls, helped get supper, sour crout and hash, dressed, taught evening school and afterward went to hear opera Tales of Hoffman by Opera [???] Co. Met Ruby in our seats. Very cold, near zero again.
Tuesday, Dec. 2
Heard same company sing "La Boheme".
Wed. Dec. 3
After evening school, worked for a time cutting up fruit for fruit cakes.
Thurs. Dec. 4
Went with Ruby to Lodge supper, and saw a Jackson team put on 3rd degree, second section.
Fri. Dec. 5
Went to a stage play, "The Chinese Bungalow" at the Gladmer. We bought $1 seats but moved up into $2 seats after first act.
Sat. Dec. 6
Intended to cut wood today but too rainy. Have been cutting fruit and getting ready to make up a 10# recipe of fruit cake. Shopped downtown till noon. At night went to Marklewitzes for dinner and bridge after. Mr. & Mrs. John (& Helen) Scheurer, Antoinette Kull and Marie Collister were there, first time we had met the last named. The supper was superb and bountiful, beautifully served, and the party afterward one of the jolliest and best I've attended in years. The best time I've had in years. We must have a bigger house & some nice things for it at once so we can give a party too, for this place is outgrown for good.
Sun. Dec. 7
Rose late, finished work on the fruit cake and baked it/them. It filled two pans, and when cut up made seven cakes, somewhat larger than those of pound size sold for $1 in the bakeries. Put it away, wrapped in wax paper, in a lard can to ripen. Filed my bucksaw and sharpened the light axe, ready to cut wood first favorable day. Used the last of our crout today.
Mon. Dec. 8
Very heavy day; 46 calls besides those at the schools. Received (late last night) some venison from Dad Chase. Cut it off the bones, and after trimming all waste, the lean meat was enough to fill 4 quart cans, leave two pounds or so to eat, a little for Callahans, and bones, etc. enough for a batch of soup. The meat is now in process in the pressure cooker. Later Ruby pronounced it a very easy way to can, despite her prejudice against the cooker. John cut his third tooth tonight.
Tues. Dec. 9
Fair & warm. I hurried home, changed my clothes, and got to work on the hole under the porch again. Bought some cabbages for another batch of crout, 1 1/2 bushels at 70c per, $1.05. In the evening, made crout, a 4-gal. jar full to the top. It took less than a bushel of the cabbages this time as they were firmer than before. It took a half bushel plus 3 cabbages, exactly. I used 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls of salt to a head averaging about 2 or 3 lb. each.
Weds. Dec. 10
Took John to Dr. for first injection of diphtheria toxin antitoxin treatment. He is always delighted to go for a ride in the car, and also likes to be out-of-doors, giving squeals of joy every time we step outside with him. He takes a nap outdoors every day.
Worked under the porch, starting to haul out the lower end of the "ramp" up which I have wheeled all the dirt out of the hole.
Thurs. Dec 11
Took Ruby down shopping & took John with me on my calls, sound asleep most of the time in back seat. He had been a little ill this P.M., probably from his serum treatment. Dug in the hole a couple of hours. Went to lodge regular meeting and election of officers.
Fri. Dec. 12
Did a little more work in the hole this evening but got a late start & had to stop because we're going to a surprise birthday party for Dick Mark's. Bought a jack-screw, 16 tons capacity today, and a new handle & lock for the garage door, and a countersinking tool.
Sat. Dec. 13
Ruby and Jane went downtown to shop & see a show, leaving John in my care from 10am until 4:00. He woke up at 12:00 and fretted or howled the whole rest of the time. I fed him & got my own dinner between 1:30 & 3:00 & he got my capri with his howling. Despite it I finished the excavation under the porch to the last shovelful, which I began on Oct. 30. It took most of my spare time for 45 days, but it is apparent there has been time for a good many other things when one glances back through the pages of this diary.
Started tearing out the fruit cellar.
Sun. Dec. 14
Finished removal of the old fruit cellar, pulled nails out of the boards, and cleaned up the mess, putting everything away neatly.
Worked on a sled I have had partly made since last spring, a big one for hauling wood, etc.
Mon., Dec. 15
Fixed up the Xmas tree, putting it in a bucket so it can have water. Jacked up the house so it stands 3/16 or 1/8" off the wall in center of the basement, north end, getting ready to remove the wall. Taught evening school.
Tues. Dec. 16
John received his second Diphtheria anti-toxin & accompanied me on all my round this P.M. A long list, took me till 5:00, but there were 2 or 3 personal calls. Rec'd & set up a rocking horse for John, but it was a diddling little no account thing, & we are sending it back.
Weds. Dec. 17
Taught evg. school and met Ruby at Halls for club party. Rather short Xmas party, no bridge at all. I got a 3 yr. calendar and a deck of cards for presents, and won a package of tree tinsel for a stunt.
Thurs. Dec. 18
Started repairing the garage small door lock, and put the new lock on the kitchen door, using old one on garage door. Went to lodge, installation of officers, Geo. Tibbits, retiring W.M., Chas. Sherman for 1931.
Fri. Dec. 19
Cleaned up outdoors to make the front yard look better, helped Ruby a while in the kitchen, put a new lock on the garage door, but it latches the wrong way.
Sat. Dec. 20
Got up late, went to bed early, and did very little during the time I was in circulation. Made my reports for yesterday's work, went shopping. The traffic is terrible, worst I ever saw. No parking places to be had north of Hillsdale on either Grand or Washington, but I was able to park, after I thought of it, on the Board of Education lot.
Posted 74 recipes on ordinary writing paper cards, 3x5, and filed them in my card box, after indexing each card.
Sun. Dec. 21
Sat around almost all day doing nothing, bored to agony. In the morning finished building my big freight sled, in evening Carroll & Laila came down & played 3 games. For once I had the high score.
Mon. Dec. 22
Stirred up a batch of lebkuchen, using the recipe Ethel Markowitz gave me yesterday by phone. Had to make a trip downtown first to get some needed materials and to mail some packages & letters which I helped Ruby prepare last night. At 2:00 got Ed Fiske and attended a hearing on Milton Griswold & Kenneth Carpenter in probate court. When I went back to the car the starter went wrong. I started motor with crank, but squeaks & screams from the crankcase told that a bolt was in the housing. I called AAA towing truck, who took me to Blandings. After starter was fixed the bolt had fallen into bottom of housing and no longer bothered, so left it there. At night took John to Dr. McCrum for 3rd shot, and took family to see Xmas trees on Reform School lawn & M.S.C. campus. Took a present to Dickinsons, made a call & came home to prepare more Xmas cards for mailing. Worked on more cookies after coming back. Now have lebkuchen stirred up, also German Christmas cookies, knapp kuchen, and pffefferneusse, no nearly ready to bake as can be done today. The first and last must stand overnight.
Tues. Dec 23
Helped Ruby mail Xmas cards till noon, helped get dinner, went down town with Jane to a show "Tom Sawyer" with Jackie Coogan in the title role, did some shopping, came home & baked cookies. I rolled them out & Ruby baked. We made all but the knapp kuchen. Gave them up as others made so many. We had 21 dozen besides all we ate. We frosted the pfefferneusse & put a nut on the lebkuchen, or on about half of them. John's fourth tooth appeared today.
Weds. Dec 24
Finished reading Merriam, John C. "The Living Past", stressing two rather remarkable discoveries, one a rock impression of a gingko leaf with the leaf still present in the impression. Another was the discovery of a 90 foot "well" in a cave where an ancient Indian legend had said it existed; and the skeleton of an Indian maiden which the legend told had fallen there. Bones of extinct animals were also present.
Helped around the house a bit, put away our lard can, four fifths full of cookies, walked down town to get a little exercise, did a bit of shopping and shipped a sled to Myrtle's youngsters for Dad Chase, who had stored it here. We opened a couple of our presents each, detailed list tomorrow.
Thurs. Dec. 25
Christmas, my 39th. In the morning we opened presents. I received handkerchiefs from Jane, Beems, Jan & Joyce, socks from Darons and Mother Van; from Ruby silk underwear, a book filled with snapshots of my trip last summer, a suit of pajamas is soon to come, a pocketbook, pin seal with billfold may properly be regarded as a Xmas present though she gave it on Thanksgiving, and as I was disappointed at not getting a pedometer, she ordered one for me during the day. She thus lavished a very elaborate Xmas on me, and I mustn't fail to give her some pretty things for herself, as everything I got for her except her slippers was for the house and my gifts were all personal ones.
After opening gifts, began tearing out wall in N. end of cellar. Tore out a big hole 10 ft wide at top coming down to 16 inches from the floor. About six P.M. cleaned up, and we had lunch & evening together. The wall was hard on hands. They are both tired and banged up tonight.
Fri. Dec. 26
Received 1 1/2 bbl of cement and a yard of gravel, put in the footings for the walls in new basement, fed John, washed dishes and spent the evening clipping and filing recipes.
Sat. Dec. 27
Spent the whole day helping Ruby, cleaning the main floor rooms ready for a party tonight, moving furniture, getting meals, washing dishes, taking bath, etc. In evening entertained Halls, Marklewitz's & Pancosts, the original bunch out of which grew our club, for Bohemian dinner and bridge. This is the nearest to being cleaned up this house has been for almost a year. The attic & basement are still very dirty and cluttered. To bed at 1:35 am.
Sun. Dec. 28
All in from the party. Read R.F. Griggs, "Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes" and acquired a strong desire to go there & see it some time soon. In PM took a walk to corner of Fairview and Grand River.
Mon. Dec. 29
Attended hearing on Ida Hartman case. Bought Ruby a pair of Kayser Silk Hose for a present; did some other shopping, clipped 140 recipes from old papers & put part on cards. Got some books on houses, building and furnishing.
Tues. Dec. 30
Finally got a line run and laid five cement blocks of new wall. Found I had placed footings too low and had to build up 2 or 3 in. with cement, but laid the first ones despite everything. A letter from Dad and Mother [Reed] states they are coming Friday for a few days. Ruby received and presented me a pedometer as an additional Xmas present.
Wed. Dec. 31
Went to New Year's Ball at Masonic Temple, no dinner, just dancing 9 to 1 AM. Came home tired and footsore but had a good time.
Nov. 1, Saturday
Drove to Faubles' in Pontiac for the weekend, arriving at noon. Fixed a tire punctured on the way. We played bridge in the evening. Sun. Mr. and Mrs. Fauble came, with 2 lads named Peacock from where they had been visiting. Chicken dinner and home again at 7:00.
Dug under the porch some more. Haven't eaten much today and it used me up so I was all in for evening school. Mr. Fauble gave me a swage set for a cross-cut saw.
Nov. 4, Tuesday
An extra heavy day. Herbert [his brother] had a vacation this PM, came down, and went the rounds with me. Voted mostly democratic. Had a wisdom tooth pulled and my mouth is sore & stiff tonight.
Digging under the porch spare time evenings.
Nov. 10, Mon.
John had a sun bath outdoors today, it was so warm, about 75. Still, working under the porch, in a great hurry to get it done, for fear a rain will get it all wet. Back nearly to the center beam, but far from half done.
Bought an electric clock, Sat. and have it running on my desk.
Tues., Nov. 11, 1930
Inserted an ad "Free dirt" in St. Journal. Completed an extension cord for use from auto battery, with a drop switch. Dug a couple of hours in basement. Am reading first volume of Hughes' life of Washington, 1732-1762. Also a book of fiction by the same author, "Cup of Fury" to see what he is like in that field.
Weds. Nov. 12
Digging proceeds apace. It allows me little time to read unless I get home early at noon. It is not as hard now as it was since I am getting somewhat accustomed to the hard work. The pickaxe swings under hand much like an ax but has an overhead movement that is different. I cannot use the latter much because of the porch floor overhead.
Thurs. Nov. 13
Attended regular and first degree. No more degree work for me when I can dodge it. Tedious to the last minute, and oh so long to get to the last. Inserted a "Free Dirt" ad and got rid of one good truckload.
Friday, Nov. 14
Bought a baby-jumper for John, one of the affairs with a seat hung with a spring so he can jounce it up and down, and hung it with a bit of steel strap which I obtained from George Kieppe. Am driving my excavation steadily back under the porch, about 6 feet from the rear end now.
Saturday, Nov. 15
Dug in my hole all the afternoon, but did not make much progress. I can work two or three hours fast and hard, but after that am too tired to accomplish much. I can therefore do almost as much at night after calls as I can in a whole day. Didn't feel very well, however.
We had the first crout [kraut] out of the batch I made Oct. 21 tonight. It was delicious. A week or so back we found it too salt and in desperation I dipped out some of the brine juice and put in water. It began to ferment better at once, and a second dipping out and dilution made it what it is. Put it out doors to keep cool.
Am reading Hughes Life of Washington 1762-1777.
Sunday repaired a tire and soldered a leak in the radiator. Was quite proud of the latter. Used an alcohol lamp and blow pipe and did not remove radiator from the car. Mon. was ill, stomach upset & could hardly make my calls. Of course it had to be the biggest day yet, 30 calls in AM, didn't get home till 12:30.
Thursday Nov. 20
Did some work on the car, greasing, soldering radiator, servicing battery and putting on a new windshield wiper. At lodge, attended De Molay initiation.
Friday, Nov. 21
Reached the rear end of my excavation and took part of the remaining material which has been left on the floor so far, bringing it down to the final level.
Saturday, Nov 22
Bought a good spirit level, square, chalk line and 2 foot rule for use in my building job. Took Ruby & Jane downtown to have a little spree.
Our sourcrout is delicious and we are eating it almost daily.
Worked in excavation and went to club party at Pancosts in the evening. One game of "crazy bridge" was played in addition to four hands of the usual auction. I won every game, all through the evening, and men's first, a nut cracker & pix and a little salt shaker, to make it a 25c present mostly, I suppose.
Sunday, Nov. 23
Worked all day. Took a 30 minute ride in evening, taking some letters from Uncle John out to Orville & Herbert, regarding the trip to Fremont for Thanksgiving.
Greased the car, put on a new windshield wiper blade and re-soldered the radiator.
Monday, Nov. 24
John cried twice in the night last night. We are all away back on sleep, & I spanked him, but he yelled for an hour or more. We looked him over carefully, but nothing the matter.
Tuesday, Nov. 25
Getting ready to close up the porch hole during my absence. Removed one of the big cement pillars, putting a post in its place. So heavy could hardly roll it over, let alone getting it out of the hole. Tried to break it, everything, no result.
Wednesday, Nov. 26
Removed the small middle cement pillar, did some digging, filled up outer part of ramp up which I have been running wheelbarrow loads of dirt to the surface, removed my tools from the hole, replaced the steps, and left everything lookinng as if nothing had happened, ready to leave city tomorrow. Taught evening school at night. A blizzard raged this afternoon while I closed up my job. Very small crowd at E.S.
Thanksgiving, Nov. 27
Rose about 6:00, ate a small breakfast, loaded into the car, John in the big clothes basket, and at ten to eight started on the annual trip to Fremont. The roads were slippery with the new snow, but it was cold, freezing hard, and not as skiddery as the night before. 3 1/2 hours later we were in Fremont, but did not find Dad & Mother there as they were snowed in, roads blocked by worst Thanksgiving storm in years. Millers & Uncle Bert were there for dinner and Andersons in the evening. Weather very cold. Percy couldn't start his car. To bed late, and John, sleeping in our room, kept us awake a good share of the night, fretting at every noise we made, and sometimes at no noise. Ruby fed him three times and finally had to take him in bed with us. There he awoke and cried every time we moved.
Friday, Nov. 28
Had dinner with Uncle Charley & Aunt Helen, Beem's too. In evening, went to hear Sen. Brookhart of Iowa, speaking at Hesperia Big Meeting. He attacked Wall St. and advocated a system of cooperative banks & stores. Our car wouldn't respond to the starter button, but we started it by towing with Uncle John's car, and drove our car to Hesperia. Started it with the crank after some trouble & came back. John slept quietly all night. We put him in a vacant room adjoining.
Saturday, Nov. 29
Good dinner at Beems; steak with a tomato preparation poured over it. About 2:00 we tried to start the car & found the battery dead. The ignition, horn & windshield wiper were all unresponsive. Found the battery frozen solid. The lights burned several hours on Thanksgiving day accidentally and ran it down. Had to have a new one installed and then car wouldn't start because moisture in distributor. Took three mechanics half an hour to start it. Had front wheels, bearing adjusted and packed, total $9.35. Left at four in rain, icy road, dangerous driving, several tight squeaks but no hits, arrived home at nine P.M., just as the curfew blew.
Ruby and I and Jane are all pretty bored over it all. We have had to sit for hours in stifling, overheated rooms, facing glaring lights, and listening to no end of gossip, unable to read or be comfortable days, and in misery one of the two nights. Nothing against the folks we visited. They did all they could to show us a good time. But hereafter we stay in town all winter unless it be for a long strip South some time. Other people are accustomed to keep their houses hotter than we enjoy, they do not have any common interests with us, have religious scruples against a game of bridge, and we are getting older probably, and do not as easily adjust ourselves to their ways. The annual trip, which we have made every year since 1924, I think, has almost become a custom, but it is too severe, and too hazardous, at the time of year, and we feel it had better be dropped. We see everybody there practically every summer, and at intervals irregularly, at other times. When it began it was a real visit, Beems lived on the farm. Whiting and Edith [Maurice's sister and her husband] locating in Hesperia helped to make a jolly custom. and Christmas festivities increased its charm. Now it has run its course. I doubt if we receive another invitation, for I think Aunt Grace is pretty tired of it too.
Sunday, Nov. 30
Rejoicing every hour to be home, we loafed about the house. I put a quart of oil in the crankcase, otherwise haven't been outdoors all day. Rainy & wet. Had one big meal about 2:00 and a lunch now and then as desired according to the peculiar custom of our family, that would drive an outsider frantic. Had the house cool and comfortable, slouched about in comfortable old clothes, and just enjoyed ourselves. The kitchen sink became clogged this afternoon, and I put on my overalls and cleaned it out through the cleanout hole in the end of the pipe, a filthy job, but a short one since I've learned to do it. Tonight have spent an hour writing up my diary since and inclusive of Nov. 25.
Wed. Oct. 1
Received a nursery chair, cod liver oil, elec. lamps, adhesive tape & hose for Jane from Sears Roebuck. John gets his first taste of coddled egg today and strained vegetables about tomorrow.
Wed. oct. 8
Have been doing enrollment work Mon. & Tues. nights at Evening School. Have joined the AAA effective Oct. 10. Uncle John & Aunt Grace [Beem] were here with Dorothy over the week end, and the 4th & 5th. It seemed to be a very successful visit. We are quite sure they had a good time. Went to a show "The Sap from Syracuse" on Sat. nite & Uncle John & I, Jane and Dorothy went to S.S. at the Christian Church, Sunday.
Mon. Oct. 13
Had a weenie roast in Potter Pk with other club members Sat. evg. Sun. all but Bishops had a picnic at Saubee Lake. Mon. night taught evening school, first evg., had a good bunch and all went well. John was vaccinated today.
Thurs. Oct 16
Taught Evening School Wed. and went to lodge tonight. Mel Hall asked me to drive him home after an operation on his tonsils this AM, but the cocaine did not react well and the operation had to be postponed until tomorrow. Bought a case of Golden Bantam corn 2.75; a case of peas 2.00
Fri. Oct. 17
Took Mel & Carrie home from dr's. office. Operation was successful this time. Bought case of spinach 3.50 and case of string beans 2.00.
Sat. Oct 18
Had two fillings put in my teeth this morning. Geneva came for an overnight stop this afternoon. Very suddenly cold last night & today in midst of fine, warm weather. Finished reading "Animals of the Past" by Frederick A. Lucas. Just before it, read a book on "The White River Badlands", a bulletin (No. 13) of the Dept. of Geology S.D. School of Mines, and chiefly descriptive of the fossil deposits found there, with speculations on climate conditions formerly prevailing.
Sun. Oct. 19
Geneva left at 8:00. Yesterday was very wintry, and today more so, part time a real blizzard. Ruby & I started for a walk, came back for warm clothes and went again.
This summer has seen the worst of a bad year of depression beginning with the stock market crash a year ago this month. Thousands of men in Lansing have been out of work all summer. Things are picking up very slowly now, but decidedly bad yet.
Mon. Oct. 20
Received Jane's watch last Sat. It loses over 1/2 hr a day, and am sending it back today.
Tues. Oct. 21
Am reading "George Washington 1776-1781" by Rupert Hughes. Spent the evening most luxuriously by the fireplace.
Thurs. Oct. 23
Made about 3 gallons of sour crout in early evening, and went to Lodge. 33 put on F.C. degree in long form, a charming ceremony, only slightly different from the usual form, but elaborated with costumes, stage equipment, and the notable addition of a sort of communion for the candidates only.
Sat. Oct. 25
Fixed a rocking chair and the broken hinges on the Victrola. Took down the screen doors, the porch swing and the back lawn swing and stored them on the front porch, moved the peonies to the border of the lawn, carried out the ashes, put oil in the crankcase, took down Jane's swing, raked the leaves up in both front and back yards and burned them, bathed, shaved and dressed, and went to Kieppe's club party in the evening. Courtneys were formally initiated tonight, though they had attended twice before.
Sun. Oct. 26
Pressed my blue suit, figured out a recipe for a syrup to be used in making chocolate milk, made a batch of French dressing, helped Ruby get dinner, despite her scolding, made a call on the father of an Eastern High School boy regarding his truancy. Then we brought Laila & Carrol down, making a stop at Mr. Pancost, Senior before coming home to arrange for a garden piece and some wood to cut. Played bridge with the girls in the evening.
Fri. Oct. 31
Attended M.E.A [Michigan Education Association] meetings Mon. & Tues. Tues. evening heard Princess DerLing, former lady-in-waiting to the Empress of China. Wed. taught evening school. Thur. began excavating under front porch. Have hauled 19 wheelbarrow loads of dirt to the back yard.
Sept. 3, Wed.
The first day of anything to do. About a dozen calls. We have played tennis frequently and attended several picnics. Ruby is not able to play tennis this week and I am missing it sorely. Probably will be too busy after tomorrow when the big lists come out.
Got the big list and made the calls in NE quarter of the city by 2:00 P.M. by not stopping for lunch.
Got secondary lists from each school, names not ready yet the first tie. Had to go over my quarter of the city again.
Shopped & cooked and puttered. A family row today. I butted in when Ruby was disciplining Jane, who had left streaks when she washed the front porch. I thought Ruby was being too severe, but I guess she wasn't. Anyhow, she blew up when I interfered and as I was too big to punish she turned on poor Jane.
Sept 13 - Sat.
"Fishing" trip to Saubee with Pancost, Cigard, Hall, Courtney, Chalwers. Started 7:30 Sat. AM, fished intensively all day without a strike. Arranged the eats so they were easy to prepare - fried eggs, bacon, canned beans, boiled & fried potatoes, cake & pie ready cooked, tomatoes, cookies, donuts, etc. Had entirely too much food, but planned it for eight and there were only six. Too much even so. No fish whatever were taken, nor seem likely to be unless we can bring ourselves to use worms and minnows.
Tues., Sept. 23
Have been playing tennis with R. nearly every evening lately. Getting a little better at it from time to time. Pulled the pipe out of the basement to install a faucet over Ruby's bench.
Wed. Sept. 24
Installed faucet over the bench, total cost $1.22. Tapped a pair of shoes for Jane & fixed a heal for Ruby. [Note: Maurice's father Percy Reed and grandfather James Lawrence Reed were shoemakers.] Made an extension cord to use with the car, camping. Cost .70, cheaper to buy it ready made of Sears, but theirs is only an 8 ft cord, mine 18.
Sat. Sept. 27
Went to Ann Arbor with MHP & Dwight Chalmers regarding attendance on Saturday classes, but none of us could get what we wanted, hence we aren't going.
Sun. Sept. 28
Went for a long drive in country. Bot a bushel of windfalls on the ground for 25c. They were beautiful apples. John's first tooth appeared today.
Mon. Sept. 29
John's aluminum mittens came today and we put them on. Ruby & I are talking house plans and furniture, spent the evening at it.
Tues. Sept. 30
Played tennis. Later talked camping. Ruby has decided to stay at home next summer, as she thinks another little one will be on the way or just arrived. I am planning to work on the house siding, rebuilding back porch, etc.
Drove to Baraga in Baraga County, across Keweenaw Bay from L'Anse visiting Miner's Falls, Miner's Castle (in Pictured Rocks) and Munising Falls on the way.
In Baraga were several of the old army field ranges which have big ovens. I determined to give one of these a tryout, and so set bread, and the next day stirred up a gingerbread cake and a devils food cake to go in with it. The oven worked perfectly, better than our oven at home, and my only trouble was to resist the temptation to fire too heavily. When the oven is hot and has a good fire going, it will bake a batch of bread with little or no more firing up at all. I certainly got it hot - so hot we could hardly stay within 15 feet of it. People set dishpans of water on top of the range and they boiled, which is far from usual on an outdoor stove. Thereafter we baked every other day - another batch of bread, 2 pies, 2 pans of escalloped potatoes, a pan each of baked beans & macaroni & cheese, 9 dozen cookies, and the 2 cakes already mentioned. I baked 22 loaves of bread on our trip, 6 of them at Mother Reed's.
Every other day was for siteseeing and on these days we visited the Porcupine Mtns, the Huron Mtns, Copper Harbor, Eagle Harbor, Gay, the falls of the Sturgeon and the Ford sawmill at Pequaming. L'Anse proved to be a more satisfactory trading point than Baraga. Trout fishing in upper reaches of the Sturgeon, in outlets of small streams near the State park (heavily fished with bait) and trolling for lake trout. I saw no boats on Baraga side of bay, but many commercial fishing places between L'Anse and Pequaming. Trolling might be better in the next bay to the east. Fewer people there. (Huron Bay)
Buckwheat cakes were a successful experiment in this camp. The skillet had to be sizzling, smoking hot and greased between every cake, and the iron skillet was better than the aluminum (they would stick to the aluminum).
Drove to St. Ignace.
Jane & I went to Mackinac Island and visited the Indian Village concession or sensation in St. Ignace. Ruby stayed in camp with John and spent most of the day chinning with the Norwegian caretaker's assistant.
Drove to Beulah, via Sturgeon Bay and Acme, where we visited Jack & Grace Curtis. Slept at the folks.
Drove to Lansing, with stops at Bear Lake to see Cosiers, at White Cloud to see Uncle John [Beem] and at Newaygo for lunch.
Tues. July 15
Went shopping, put in claim for insurance for damages to car in 2 minor accidents, took car to Dean & Harris garage for repairs.
Wed. July 16
Loafed around and rested, first time in days, sat in lawn swing. Did a few last minute things, helped Ruby a little but mostly loafed. Got the car back in the evening with radiator repaired, new windshield, brakes adjusted, and bumping jobs in door and a front fender. M.H. ran into a cow in the Upper Peninsula and a stone hit the windshield & smashed a corner up near Mackinaw City while I was driving. In N.D. I ran down a grade off the road about 4 ft high without damage while rounding a corner too fast. No other accidents occurred during the trip.
Thur. July 17
Drove to the state park at Tawas City and camped. It proved to be a good deal of an enterprise, touring en famille. Ruby had to leave out some of the things she wished to take and I some I had taken West, but we got away. Numerous steps and a late start also seemed necessary, the latter because of working till midnight getting ready. Our day's drive therefore totaled 164 miles. For the first time, Ruby helped with the driving doing 40 mile shifts while I took 60.
The camp at Tawas is large and has a good many people. We found the kind of place we like by driving through the occupied part to a point further down the beach, nearly to the dock of the Lake Huron Fish Co., where there was plenty of shade, more seclusion and room to spread out. The lake is a comfortable temperature for bathing, but full of bits of wood, mill waste, etc. Ruby & Jane are having a good time here. I am enjoying the rest, and John tolerates it because he must. He dislikes having his schedule of bath, nursing, sunbath and orange juice upset. He is brown as bronze from sun tan and has lived outdoors all day every day for weeks.
Drove to Rogers City where we camped in the deep woods at the rear of the park. Nobody disturbs us here, for the crowd is over nearer the lake. Near our camp is a spring for which I made a cover and shelf during our stay so as to use it for a cooler. One good soaking shower visited us at this camp, the only one during our entire 37 day trip, lasting about two hours but without causing us much discomfort. Our tent is unmistakably waterproof (the roof only as yet) but did not admit a drop. The bucksaw is an essential item of camp equipment for me hereafter. It makes a neat and businesslike woodpile and makes it rapidly. It would have saved me a tremendous amount of hard chopping in the West if I had had it along. I cut a dead balsam about a foot through near our camp, cut it into ten foot logs and split them lengthwise with wedges. These flat sided pieces would then be still to be sawed when laid across another log as in the sketch.
This avoids the need for a saw-buck. I used up the whole tree during our stay except half of one log. This is a good illustration of the way a camper will use wood if he has it to use. Meaning, of course, a real camper who isn't afraid to cook, wash and keep things up in a good substantial manner.
During our whole trip we ate as well and kept as clean as at home. At first it took a good deal of time, but we soon learned to work more rapidly, and could very comfortably spend every other day in sightseeing. It could as well have been used for fishing, hunting or what have you. Toward the last there was time to go swimming or take a walk or snooze or invite somebody in for the evening on the workday. Baked 6 loaves of bread, 3 doz. cookies, a loaf of cornbread and a lot of pancakes at this stop.
Drove to Brimley State Park. Huckleberries are very abundant near Rogers City and Brimley, but not in the other places we stopped. Spent one day seeing the Soo Locks and went fishing another day. A cold wind discouraged very much outdoor cooking here and we lived from hand to mouth. Not a stop that added much to the pleasure of our trip, though we were not actually uncomfortable. In fishing season one might troll for lake trout between Round Island and Cedar Point, and they cast for rainbows, etc. in the St. Mary's rapids. Use boots and get well out in the stream on one of the big rocks. The fish must be played in swift water. There is trout fishing in Pennell's Creek, and pike fishing in Pennell's Lake, but both must be from a foot. The stream is fished in the beaver ponds just below the lake. It is too small to fish below these ponds and is covered with dense brush. It is only about 3 feet wide too. It is reported to be fished to death, and is probably none too good, any time as the lake from which it flows is a marshy, shallow place, about a mile from Lake Superior and but little above it. The water cannot possibly be very well aerated, though it is cold, almost as cold as ice water.
Wed. July 9
Drove to Billings Montana, where we camped in the Mun. Tourist Park. The road went down, down, down, for miles after we left Mammoth, following the Yellowstone River, until it finally reached fairly level country, all at once, where no further fall was perceptible at all, and hotter than Dante. At Billings it was 108. The park there is a nice place for an overnight stop with laundry & showers & fair water. It thundered in the evening & blew like sixty but only a dozen drops fell. It hadn't rained there for four months but the park is irrigated and is green. The city water is of course Yellowstone River water, good flavor but only moderately cool.
Next morning we rose late as we had to get into a store for a tire. We found a Montgomery Ward Stor & bought one. Before we got home we had to buy 1 more and 3 tubes.
Thur. July 10
Drove till after dark, stopping in a little place of which we didn't even know the name near the western line of N. Dakota. Nothing much happened. A hot dusty drive, through country beginning to show signs of greenness, though still very dry, and always intensely hot.
We left the park Wed. AM at 11, having been held up an hour by a one way detour, and drove 250 miles. Next day, an earlier start and 275 miles.
Fri. July 11
Got a very early start, about 4:00 AM and drove to Detroit Lakes, Min. near western border. This is another nice stopping place, with good shade and bathing (lake).
Sat. July 11 [sic]
Rose and started without breakfast, and got so good a start we ate it in Duluth on the east side of the state. Crossed a small strip of Wisconsin and found ourselves once more in Michigan, though a long way from home yet. Drove quite late and made camp in a schoolhouse yard near Iron Mountain. We set up our bed in the woodhouse, so we didn't even have to use the tent. The mosquitos were a little troublesome, but we draped netting over the head on stakes. A young couple parked their coupe in the yard nearby quite late and I could hear them smacking away. This was our longest days run, over 500 miles.
Sun. July 12
Rose about 3 as usual and started without breakfast. We reached St. Ignace at 11 and drove on a ferry almost at once. At 12:30 we were over. The restaurants in Mackinaw City were so exorbitant that we refused to eat in them and walked out. We got a good dinner in Levering for 50 cents each, which was breakfast as well for us. We drove into Lansing about 6:00, pretty tired, and excessively dirty, having driven from Yellowstone in five days. As the first two days were short, we think it can be done in four another time. We spent considerable time in changing tires, probably making a dozen or so repairs. Our jack didn't work very well either, and often had to be coaxed 5 min. before it would put the car up. The route by which we went out is by far the best and quickest. The northern route is practically all gravel or earth and very rough & poor west of Minnesota! The route for speed and comfort is certainly via Chicago, Elgin, Algona, Black Hills, Kadoka, Sundance, Big Muddy Pass, Cody, but the place to stop after this trip is West Thumb, not Lake, or else one of the roadside camps along the Yellowstone Lake shore, or on the Y. river.
Mon. July 14
Somewhere I've crossed my dates for Sun. was the 13th. We reached home the 13th, we started from home Friday the 13th of June. Unpacked and unscrambled the goods and took MH's duffle over. He greased the car. Inventoried the groceries, settled with M.H., refilled the bags for another trip.
Tues. July 1
Moved on as we didn't like O.F. camp. M.H. flunked out on the trail hiking proposition completely, when it came time to actually start. After finding he couldn't actually drive clear to our objective on the Bechler River, he proposed hiking to Shoshone lake from a point on the highway only 3 mi. distant. So I agreed, but when we got there he wouldn't start without going down first, empty handed, to see whether there was a good place to camp! "We might find nothing but rocks," he said. Of course, that meant camping overnight at the road camp, and we had already hung up our grub, two big lard cans full, in trees.
I told him to never mind, I'd go alone, and in order not to keep him waiting, I left the pack outfit and taking only belt axe, compass, matchbox and emergency ration, I took the trail to West Thumb where he was going to camp that night.
It made a nice hike, 8 miles by airline but a good many more by trail, I found. I had a little trouble locating a point where my trail was to branch. I soon learned how these were marked, however, and had no further trouble. The trail crossed the road once, and there M.H. left me a note to cheer me up. I reached camp at 6:30, after starting at 1:30, pretty tired and footsore but otherwise OK.
Weds. July 2
Did a washing, bigger than any I've had yet. Rightly or wrongly I have got the feeling that M.H. isn't keeping up his end of the camp work, and I'm trying to fix it so he'll either do a little more or benefit a little less from what I do. I hardly have time to write home or do anything for myself. He pitches tent & sets up the bed, about 30 min. work. I spend about six hours a day working, and after camp is set, he seems to figure if he washes the dishes and lets me wipe them and put everything away, that he's done his share.
In the evening I went up to Duck Lake, where he had gone fishing unsuccessfully earlier in the day, and got 2 nice brown trout, 14 1/2 & 17 1/2 inches respectively.
Thurs. July 3
Went fishing in the channel from Shoshone to Lewis lake. M.H. went down from where we struck the channel and I up, as I wanted to see Shoshone Lake. As it developed, he got the part of the channel with the pools, and I the swift water. I hooked two big fish on my Dowagiac plug, and they both twisted off. I couldn't & can't understand it for they seemed completely hooked. M.H. got three of the same big fish, Mackinaw trout, 22 inches long. I helped him pack them four miles out to the road, and when we got to the car, took his picture holding them.
They were delicious meat, the best we've had as well as the biggest, I think. Had one for supper. While we were gone, the bears tore up the bobbinet mosquito net over the door, and a small hole in the further corner of the tent, pawed our dishes apart and over the ground, walked on our table oilcloth and just raised the devil generally though there wasn't a particle of food in the place. Our bacon and lard were outside in a tree 30 feet from the tent.
Fri. July 4
2 weeks in the park and 3 from home today. Took a bath in the AM and wrote a long letter home, took till 2 PM. Cooked some dried fruit, mixed peaches, apricots & prunes which turned out delicious. Set them aside for dinner.
Dinner was the biggest success yet. I invented out of sheer imagination a pot roast of Mackinaw trout and it was delicious, with bacon, vinegar, salt, pepper & sugar in it, and steamed. Another big feature was the successful initiation of my reflector baker. I baked a batch of biscuits and they were perfect, browned to a turn, done through & through in only 12 min. cooking. M.H. made shortcake of them with the fruit, and ate his full quota of the trout beside.
Later walked around the pools & geysers, which we agree are better here than anywhere else, though the geyser is smaller.
In evening a couple from Salt Lake City and another from San Fran. with their little son came and sat with us by our campfire till about ten. We chatted the evening along most pleasantly & learned considerable from the California man who is quite intelligent. The other man reminded me of Jack Jarman. Almost nothing to remind one it was the Fourth.
Sat. July 5
Fished in Shoshone channel again and came home with 3 big Mackinaw trout and two Lock Levens, bigger yet. M.H. caught 3 of the 5 fish. His yellow plug seems to make them crazy. I got one on my white plug after much work, but they strike his yellow one continually. I got my 2nd fish with it. We were the heroes of the camp & M.H. gave three of the fish away.
A couple from Los Angeles, one from Grand Rapids, Mich. and the same couple from San Fran. were with us at our fireside at night.
I learned that the wife of the man from Los Angeles is a German Swiss. I chatted with her a bit in German - really chatted, for I had no trouble at all to understand every word she said, the first person I ever have talked to what one might call successfully.
Sun. July 6
Spent most of the forenoon preparing wood for the last campfire in the camp. Made biscuits again, 3rd batch I've made, as we had no bread and the store was out. Entirely successful every time. Same crowd as last night at our fire.
Mon. July 7
Moved on to Tower Falls. In Lake bought some supplies and got 3 letters from Ruby & Jane. Another time there should be no reliance whatever on purchasing supplies in the Park. I got green tea in Tower after failing at Lake & Canyon. I left meat till Canyon & couldn't get it there or at Tower. The latter place doesn't sell flour of any kind. None of these stores carry salt pork and prices are of course very high, varying from place to place. 15 cents seems to be the standard price for a 1 lb. loaf of bread, milk 15 cents a qt., weenies 40 cents a lb., steak 45, (hardly any other fresh meat is to be had) corn meal is only sold, even in Cody, in 1 lb. pkgs. at 15 cents, buckwheat was not available except in pancake flour, graham in 9 lb. bags, sugar 12 1/2 cents a lb., etc. All bread sold in the Park comes from Livingston, Montana and is stale enough to toast when the stores get it. The stores have no ice & milk sours quickly. Diluted Carnation milk seems to taste about as good as fresh. We brought 3# of milk powder, and if we'd done most of our baking we'd have used 10# or more.
After reaching Tower, drove out on road to Cooke City, looking for place to camp & fish Lamar & Slough Creek, said to be good. But everything out there is sagebrush desert, no trees, flies terrible, so we came back to Tower. M.H. wants to start home next day. I suggested Madison or Thumb again but he wouldn't go to either place. I said, O.K., go home, but to be understood I hadn't tired of it & wanted to stay. Suggested a camp in one of the groves along Yellowstone river, but didn't suit him, but he wouldn't go home till I was ready.
A ranger lecture in evening, Another ranger says good campsites farther up Lamar & Slough. Neglected to say we drove over top of Mt. Washburn one way, worth the time, but so hazy not mucch to be seen. I hiked from Sunset to Lamar nine miles, making 42 miles I have hiked since entering the park, mostly over trails, some of them the natural forest by compass & sun. Saw herd of 5 deer.
Tues. July 8
Got so dirty walking yesterday I had a bath and did a wash afterward. As I had to be in camp anyhow I set a batch of bread sponge to try out my oven on.
In evening, as we sat alone by the campfire, before which the bread had been baked shortly before, I remarked to M.H. that since Ruby was now in mood to go camping I'd just as soon go back to Michigan. He said OK, so it's decided we start tomorrow AM. The bread (which I made all graham since we were nearly out of white flour and would get none at the absurd stores here) turned out very good indeed. It was moist and yet done through. We ate a whole loaf while it was hot yet, with honey & butter.
June 1 Sun.
Returned to Lansing by country roads to avoid the traffic. Stopt in Grand Rapids for dinner and to let "Grandpa" Chase see the boy. 11:30PM and not in bed yet!
June 2 Mon.
Sacked up all the dry materials now ready for the trails food pack. Put some beans to soak at noon, cooked them in pressure cooker tonight and dried them out enough to let them finish up air drying. Set about 5 lb. of rhubarb to dry.
Put up tea & coffee in backs, a pebble in each bag for a sinker except the bags which go in the trails outfit. Listed foods bought to date with cost.
Finished everything I could see to do on the tent and set it up in the back yard. A few details then became visible that needed revision. Packed the packing nut on the fan shaft of the car that has been leaking; painted the lawn swing, second coat; raked the corner of the back yard by the garage that has been neglected, pulled out onions, asparagus, hollyhocks, weeds, etc. which have grown up there, removed the posts & fence the grapes were tied up on and moved the bird bath to the back yard.
Spent noon hour getting dinner. In evening partly erected the beam from which the lawn swing is to be hung and made eight muslin food bags. Then R. and I went for a ride to Pine Lake.
Packed up groceries in two lard cans, partly in bags and partly in cans and packages.
June 7 Sat.
Completed hanging the lawn swing in the back yard. Hauled an express wagon load of dirt from a pile up the street and filled several small holes about the lot.
June 8 Sun.
Worked all day, packing clothing, equipment, food, etc. In the afternoon the family went to Okemos for eggs. I looked for mushrooms and found a small mess. Prepared a new dish this morning, Pork en casserole. It is quite successful, a little like a beef stew, but quite unique and not at all the same. Nutmeg & clove seasoning gave it distinction.
June 16 Mon. (possibly written while riding in the car; handwriting uneven)
Went thru Bad Lands. Saw prairie dogs, lava, picked up fossils, hunted for rattlesnakes & found only little cacti with pretty blossoms. Camped in a beautiful camp in the Black Hills, pines, rushing streams, big rocky hills, deer and a fairly equipped state park.
June 17th Tues.
Went thru Wind Cave, 5 mi. trip. Very hot outside, the blast of wind from the cave, strong enough to blow my hat off, felt icy cold, but disappeared 50 ft. from entrance. 390 ft. down, all cool & dry, becoming almost dusty at lower levels.
June 18 Wed.
My 39th birthday. Drove through Needles Hway and past Sylvan Lake. Nice camp there. MH thinks it's free. Water too cool for me but women might enjoy it. Saw a 2 lb. trout dead in a cranny of rock. Took a few pictures. Big pin trees along highway for miles. At four PM reached Devil's Tower, Wyoming. Climbed to bottom of the sheer fluted column, a stiff climb at the last. Walked around in about 20 minutes. A beautiful camp site at top of the [???] on which it stands, by pines, good spring and shelter house. We had it all to ourselves.
June 19 Thurs.
Drove to Big Horn Mountains, stopping for pictures and a run around at Big Muddy Pass. Elev. there 9660 or practically 10,000. Plenty of big snow drifts.
Made camp on Ten Sleep Creek, a roaring torrent which has cut a tremendous gash through the hills.
June 20 Fri.
Gave up stopping a day in Big Horns as we couldn't fish there without a $4 license. Got up at 4:00 AM & started final drive to Yellowstone. Ten Sleep Canyon is a tremendous thing, several miles in length and I drove this time. Stopped to catch and snap a small woodchuck-like animal which we guessed was a marmot. Numbers of them crossed the road ahead, always from left to right.
On desert again, stopped to chase a small snake which ran down a hole.
Caught some grasshoppers. Remember to catch hoppers in the desert when crossing again. None in Yellowstone yet. (No good for bait. Spinners better)
Later tried to run over a big snake stretched out across road but he snatched in his head. We went back and watched him crawl away into the sage. He was too big to argue with but had no rattles.
Bought supplies in Cody, best place to trade we have found in the West. A chain [claim?] store there is quite reasonable. Prices in Hot Springs, Wyoming were very high.
M.H. drove up Shoshone Canyon, a greater sight than Ten Sleep, but only 1 1/2 miles long, very steep road. I drove from park entrance to Lake Camp some 25 mi. $3 to enter car, closed after 6 PM. Many places to camp along road both in Shoshone Forest outside the park, and after entering the latter.
June 21 Sat.
Cooked a batch of food - beans, steamed brown bread, and tapioca-fruit pudding in the pressure cooker and at 4:00 went fishing up Pelican Creek. M.H. got 1 big cut-throat and 3 rainbows, and I got two cut-throats. My fish were 15 & 16 inches long, his 8, 10, 12 and 17. We were delighted with our luck, tho everybody has been bringing in fish. I steaked the cut-throats, and we ate the rainbows for supper.
June 22 Sun.
Last night a commotion about 2 AM. I got up with my long-range flashlight & went out. A grizzly bear as tall as a horse and several times as big was clawing and tearing at the grub box of a neighbor's tent. He looked up at the light 2 or 3 times, didn't seem to like it, and finally lumbered away until he got out of the spotlight. We were worried for our fish, but most of them are safe now as we ate all but 2 pieces for breakfast.
Drove to Tower Falls, stopping for 2 or 3 hours at the Canyon. Ate dinner near Tower and intended to camp there but a pouring rain came up while we were eating. M.H. stretched a canvas under which we finished our meal. Then drove on to Mammoth, intending to rent a cottage if the rain continued. It stopped, and we camped there.
June 24 Tues.
Walked around Terrace Trail, visiting various hot springs and the Devils Kitchen, an old crater some 20 ft deep & 40 long. Returned to camp and made a half broth stew, ate dinner and went for a walk down to the river. A pouring rain came up and we reached camp drenched.
June 25 Wed.
Climbed Mt. Evarts, opposite our camp, not by the horse trail, but by one of our own, scrambling up a gulch which broke back thru the sheer precipice at the top, and down thru another we found on either side. We came down a long way from camp & got here pretty tired. I picked up 3 antlers in a stream valley. At the top a pool of rainwater had collected in a hollow rock from which I drank and was greatly refreshed. M.H. declined it. Drank again from Lava Creek at bottom. Upon returning to camp warmed up stew & hominy & got supper, made a steamed pudding & steamed brown bread which are cooking as I write. Cleaned up and shaved, did some preliminary packing up, and M.H. did the dishes.
June 26 Thur.
Broke camp and moved on to Madison Jct. stopping at Norris to see the geyser field there. 2 geysers played during our stay, one quite a beauty. Saw the Obsidian Cliffs and drank apoblinaris (?) water.
Madison is a beautiful camping place. I am delighted with it.
June 27 Fri.
Worked about camp all day. A noisy bunch camped alongside us about midnight last night, yelling, tooting their horn to scare off bears, etc. This AM we woke them and called them to get up by their 1st names all round, Doc and Laura, Frank & Marie & even the dogs. We made them get up under threat of taking cores from their valve-stems. They were pretty good-natured about it, and aren't even quite sure who did it, I think.
Bathed, did a washing, wrote a long letter home & got bean soup for supper. Had to use pressure to cook the beans, then boiled them for hours to make the soup good. M.H. likes the beans, I the soup.
June 28 Sat.
A man from the noisy camp proved to be an old fisherman in Yellowstone & gave us some tips on getting to the little known places. With the aid of the info thus obtained we drove an abandoned road far up Nez Perce Creek & fished down getting 6 trout, none very large. I got 4 about 10-12 inc & M.H. 2 smaller. The hike up the raod, now a trail, above the ford, was beautiful and gave us both much pleasure. Upon returning to the highway, we went to Old Faithful (which went off just as we entered the village) got our mail, 3 letters apiece, and replaced spinners which we had lost during the days fishing.
Neglected to add that last night after dinner, I went for a hike to the foot of Purple Mountain, nearby. It only took five min. to get there, as I thought I'd climbed up a ways. Of course, I went to the top, and from there to the tops of two other peaks nearby which are really all peaks of the same hill. Got back about eight and just at nightfall.
June 29 Sun.
Spent most of the day cooking & working around camp. M.H. went fishing in the Gibbon but got nothing.
June 30 Mon.
Went to Old Faithful, siteseeing along the way. The camp is very unattractive there. I found it a most unpleasant place to stay. Prices are unendurably high. Bananas were 20c a pound, milk 20c a quart. Saw a geyser play four times, heard 2 good lectures, one the bear lecture, the other geology. Saw the grizzlies feed and fight.