GRANDMA'S DIARIES • Party For Jim, Appendicitis For Carole


My brother, Jim, celebrates his eighth birthday with a party that causes Mom to curse the second amendment. Grandma and I visit the library. We shared a great love for the library in Hillsboro. It never ceased to amaze me that I could leave with an armload of books to take home. Grandma even took home a plant start from Mr. Rush, the librarian. She always checked her almanac for the signs that were favorable not only for growing,  but also for cutting brush, etc. March ends with my spending time in the hospital.

Sunday, March 1, 1953–Snowed. We went to Sunday School and then to Wayne's for anniversary dinner. Just spit tiny snow when we left Sunday School. Kept getting worse. We left a little after three. Wind was blowing so hard, it blowed most of the snow off the road. There were bad accidents. Merle’s went to Grover Toberman’s for his (Grover Toberman’s) birthday dinner. Cars got stalled on Cress Hill. A.P. Berry was taken to a hospital in St. Louis.

Tuesday, March 3, 1953–Foggy. Thawed all night. Rained from 10 a.m. on. Got our income tax ready to go to the income tax man. I think I have enough blocks for Connie's quilt. I have one each for the other children finished. John Keith, Clarence and Fred Duncheon went to the stock yards.

Wednesday, March 4, 1953–25 degrees. Snowing. Cleared up before noon. We went to Hillsboro in p.m. I got a new check book as I had lost mine. I paid our Blue Cross insurance, $23.80. I made a meat loaf. Looked for George and Fern (Best). They didn't come, so I froze it. Wayne paid $14 for a bridle for Larry's horse.

Thursday, March 5, 1953–I washed. I sent Cappers Insurance $36 to pay accident insurance, $12 each on Carl and I and sister Maud. George, Fern and Francis Cleveland came for dinner. We had the meatloaf I had frozen for dinner yesterday. Filed our income tax. No income tax to pay as we get $1,200 each exemption for our age of over 65.

Friday, March 6, 1953–Mary (Nimmons) and I went quilting. Jim Busby as fire builder had such heat we had to open the windows and door. We sure burn up more than all the profit when so few go to quilt. I baked Jimmy (Best) an angel food cake for his birthday.

Saturday, March 7, 1953–Jimmy had eleven little boys in for his party. He had told all of them to bring their guns and holsters. Margie stood the din awhile then took them all and stacked them away until they went home.

Sunday, March 8, 1953–Had moving pictures at Sunday School so had very little time for any Sunday School lesson. David Osborn operated the machine. It was also church, also a man from the Gideon Bible society spoke and took a $7 collection.

Monday, March 9, 1953–Nice day. Carl and I went to Litchfield. He took his treatment from Dr. Krause. Margaret and Connie went along. Connie said, “I wanna Coke.” She got one. Margie and I did some shopping. She got denim patches for Jim's jacket. After dinner I made Connie two print dresses after borrowing one of her dresses for a pattern. Larry got his horse, Rascal, from Bob Link of Fairbury.

Tuesday, March 10, 1953–Sprinkled. Wayne and Geraldine came in the truck. Took our car and went to Hillsboro to get theirs at the garage. Geraldine came back here in their car. Wayne hauled hay from here for Tom Damman, but they both ate dinner here. I called Margie, and she and Connie came for dinner also. Carl was ill. He didn't eat. He seems to be allergic to any alfalfa.

Wednesday, March 11, 1953–Carl feels better. Elmer Culp sowed the clover seed. I made Connie another dress. Sign is wrong for planting.

Friday, March 13, 1953–Mary and I went quilting. Took Connie two more new print dresses, Margie some eggs and Jim his birthday presents: bow tie, three pair of socks and a dollar bill. Carl had a down spout made for our cistern.

Saturday, March 14, 1953–Raining when we got up. Carole stayed last night with us. Went to Hillsboro after dinner. Carole and I went to the library. Bob Rush, librarian, gave me three gloxinia leaves to try to start new plants. He says it takes forever to do it. 

Thursday, March 19, 1953–We left about 8 a.m. Went to look and buy seven shoats from Roy Kessinger east of Witt, then to Lige Whitten's and a Wright to see saddles. Larry needs one. Carl paid $154 for shoats, 680 pounds. A notice on our phone says our number has been changed from 355 to 256X. We are now back on our original line.

Friday, March 20, 1953–Spring begins. Chilly. Raining when we got up. Wind in southeast and south later. In p.m. we had lightening, thunder, and a shower. All day meeting at the church. Margaret and Connie came for dinner. Still quilting on Mary Nimmons'quilt. President Streight reported we cleared $131.04 at Taylor's sale. Carl bought 13 shoats from Howy Ward.

Saturday, March 21, 1953–High winds. Afraid they had tornadoes. Merle brought the 13 shoats Carl bought from Howy Ward. He went at evening and paid for them, $200. We went to Litchfield; Carl for a treatment. Took 30 dozen eggs. Grade A are 45 cents.

Sunday, March 22, 1953–Rained before midnight. Cleared. We went to church and Sunday School, ate dinner and went to see Harley’s. Called at Wayne’s also. Went to Keiths at night They have blocks hauled for their new house.

Monday, March 23, 1953–Nice day. I didn't wash for I didn't have enough to bother with. I got plants at green house. Charles Campbell came to work and moved the brooder house east of the fence, Little chickens didn't do too well where it was at. I went after sugar as I didn't have enough to bake pies for tomorrow. Went to Butler to PTA. Scott Hayes showed pictures of his big game hunt in India. He killed a tiger.

Tuesday, March 24, 1953–About 38 degrees at 6:30 a.m. Cloudy and a chilly wind from the south. I baked two lemon pies, and we went to Kenneth Johnson's sale. I bought a fruit press and four-cup measuring pitcher. The PTA served the lunch. Saw two robins this morning We can look for the “robin snow” now. Larry got saddle, gun holster, saddle bags from Johnny Myers, Fillmore, $35. Wayne says, “a bargain."

Saturday, March 28, 1953–Carl took a treatment, and Mrs. Keith and I went to Linda Westcott's funeral, two-month-old daughter of Dorothy Marsh-Micenhimer, Westcott. She has six others, all Micenhimers.

Sunday, March 29, 1953–New car registered 36,800 miles. After Merle and Wayne had come to inspect the new car, we drove to Besse Christopher's to Eunice's birthday dinner. About 25 there, The car drives and rides so nice, a bit over 100 miles round trip, Wayne’s and Merle’s came in evening Wayne wired the brooder house Larry was so hungry. He ate three poached eggs and four slices of toast.

Monday, March 30, 1953–Rained most of the day. Wayne and Geraldine came to lay wood linoleum around the living and dining room rugs. Margaret took Carole to the doctor She has pains in her stomach. Carl went to Herman Motor Co., Raymond and paid $500 on the new car. Withheld balance for further inspection.

Tuesday, March 31, 1953–Rained. Wayne and Geraldine came back to finish laying the wood linoleum in the dining room. I took Carole and Margie to the doctor. Got more wood linoleum and came home. Luella went after them. Carole got worse, doubled up with pain. Doctor ordered her to the hospital, and she was operated on for appendicitis. In surgery from 1:45-3. We were over there at the time. Wayne’s went home after dinner.

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


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