Jessie kept her journal for at least 29 years. She was 57 years old at the time of these entries; her husband Harry (who she refers to as Daddy) was 60. Jessie works at Kilpatrick’s Department store in Omaha and Harry is a boilermaker’s helper at the Union Pacific Railroad shops, also in Omaha. Other people mentioned this week include Harry and Jessie’s daughter, Agnes Grosvenor (37), who lives across the street with her husband, Jack Gosvenor (40) and their three children – Judy (17), Linda (16) and Jackie (3). Judy has a young son, Jeff Soderstrom (7 months old). Another daughter Phyllis (35) lives in Pasadena California, with her husband, Don Lidikay (42). Also mentioned are Harry’s brother Ray (58) and Boh and Josie, co-workers of Jessie’s at Kilpatrick’s.
March 25, 1959 (Wednesday)
“Just had my breakfast, dishes done. I went over to see if I could be of any use to Agnes. She had to go to her foot doctor.”
March 26, 1959 (Thursday)
“I got up 15 minutes of 8, been draggy all a.m.. Tried to change bed clothes, wore myself out putting on a contour sheet, finally gave up, got another one. I took a wet mop over kitchen floor. I am shaking.”
March 27, 1959 (Friday)
“I had a pleasant surprise. I got a beautiful Easter lily from family circle at Kilpatrick’s. 2 blooms, 3 buds yet to open. Just had my lunch, want to work but old back cure growls. A card from Phyllis & Don. 10 p.m. We just came home. We stopped to see Agnes, Daddy took Ray home.”
March 28, 1959 (Saturday)
“ We went uptown to the bank, to Beno’s, Clark Drugs. We looked at a few cars, all too high for us. Got our groceries, came home. I was shaking so laid down. Just got up. Laid there 2 hours, dozed some. I got supper while Daddy sowed some grass seed in parking & west side of front yard. Linda has a date so I offered to stay with the babies [Jackie and Jeff]. Daddy and I went over. Jeffrey slept all the while they were gone.”
March 29, 1959 (Sunday)
“A cloudy, chilly Easter Sunday. Neither of us slept good. Don’t know what is the matter. I don’t get enough exercise for one thing, lay in bed too long in the mornings. We went to Church. Agnes, Linda & the babies went with us. I sure feel rotten. Feel like I will crumple if I stand up.”
March 30, 1959 (Monday)
“Sent a card to Kilpatrick’s family circle thanking them for the Easter lily. Also one to our pastor & wife, they have a new baby girl. I took a card & some money over to Agnes for her birthday. She is 37 years old today. We had beef noodle soup for supper so didn’t have much to do. After supper we just sat. I was so nervous. Boh called me, a big change in marking room – 1 person can do the work of 4, a new method. Josie went to see her doctor so she was not there today. Going to bed 9:45, forgot my [liver] shot.”
March 31, 1959 (Tuesday)
“A hectic night for me. I couldn’t sleep. As hard as our mattress is, still rolls to the middle. I was so tired of laying on back & right side. When I laid on my left side, rolled to the middle, pulled on my back. It hurt all nite, still does.”
Larry Lehmer is a professional personal historian and senior legacy planner at When Words matter where he connects generations through their stories. To learn more, visit his web site, send him an e-mail or follow him on Twitter.