Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alice Davey Higgins' Diaries


Wondering what I should write about today. Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon transcribing my mother-in-law’s diary or, I should say, picking up the transcribing again. Back in 2002, I worked on this project and completed a portion of 1929 and from January 1, 1932 through February 25, 1934.

In 1932, Alice would have been eighteen years old and just beginning to look at life through the eyes of an adult. Her diary entries are not full of feelings but read more like a log of events, what she did each day. When she attends a movie she always mentions the theater and the name of the show which I find very interesting. She was really into sports, especially basketball, and besides playing some herself she attended many games of her brother, who played for General Electric his employer, and her boyfriend, always referred to a Happy or Hap. (She eventually married Happy.)

Yesterday, I managed to get through February 26, 1934 to July 31, 1934. The major family event during that time was the wedding of her brother, Cliff, to Catherine Hossman on Saturday, June 30, 1934. “My brother & Catherine were married at 4 o’clock. I was a bridesmaid and Happy usher. Had a swell time in the even. I wore an orchid dress.” When Alice married in 1936 she had a “rainbow” wedding with the bridesmaids all wearing a different color dress. I don’t know if Catherine’s was like that or if all the girls wore the same color
.
The Century of Progress World’s Fair had opened in May of 1933 didn’t close until Halloween of 1934. During that time Alice attended the Fair several times, sometimes with her parents, sometimes with her friends and sometimes with Hap. In fact, her diary beginning in 1934 is written in a souvenir notepad, compliments of the Chicago & North Western Railway.
Alice even inquired about a job at the Fair on April 19, 1934, “Stayed home at night and typed a contest. Went to see about World’s Fair job.” To my knowledge, she never worked at the Fair but I’m sure it sounded like fun.

I think I’ll spend a bit more time on this little project this afternoon but I don’t want to get totally tied-down to it because I actually have her diaries/calenders up through the 1990’s. I will continue to transcribe some and I know I’ll be using the information from many of them when I write Alice’s biography, but I doubt I’ll transcribe them all.

It amazes me how consistent she was about making these entries. I’ve started writing journals/dairies many times during my life but have never been able to stay with it to any degree. If I had been half a dedicated to keeping track of my days, I wouldn’t have forgotten nearly as much as seems to have left my memory. I’ve never been good at remember dates, sometimes even years, when things occurred in my life but I know exactly when even mundane events, or as she often puts it, when she “Stayed home & did nothing.”

Oh, well, such is life.

~Becky

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