Friday, January 16, 2015

January 16, 1907 Wednesday This morning I got up and ate my breakfast and went to school early. After school was over I came home and climbed the tree then we Page 15 went down and climbed the bannana tree. We stayed there most of the afternoon and I slid down a branch. I was so scared when a branch split that I nearly fell off the branch. I got down without falling then I was so cold that I went into the house. B and I tried to get the puzzle but couldn’t. We made pictures till it was time for her to go home. Then we had supper then Mama & Mildred went to the automobile show. Margaret and Beatrice came over & played. They went home & then I went to bed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Page 13

Jan 14, 1907 Monday

This morning I got up and ate breakfast. Then I went to school. It is raining. We had one session. After lunch Margaret came over and Beatrice. We played post office. Beatrice was post master and she stamped the letter. Margaret and I wrote letters. After we had played a while we played “Acting Charades.” Then we wrote on the blackboard. I went down to Dale & Canes with Beatrice & when I got home I played solitaire till suppertime. After supper I played solitaire. Then I wrote my diary. It was time for me to go to bed so I went.

Marcy’s fur cap

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jan. 12 Sat.

This morning I got up and went downstairs to get dressed. After I had made my bed Beatrice came over and we went together down to fourth Ave. It was very rainy & we followed Freddy all the way down. After we got home we read till it was time to have dinner. After dinner over we read until we went down to the library. We came home and Beatrice went home and I went home and played cards till supper time After supper was over I wrote my diary and read till I went to bed.

[insert photo of pencil sketches of three small puzzles or riddles]

Page 12

Jan 13, 1907 Sunday p> This morning I got up and went down stairs and ate my breakfast. After breakfast was over I got ready for Sunday School. After I was home I read till dinnertime. When dinner was over I read a little while. Then I went out for a walk with cousin Aneta and Cousin Florence and the two boys. Then Honey and I came home. On the way home Honey screamed Rubber at a lady. Ha. Ha. I came home and read till suppertime. After supper I came up and wrote my diary. Then I read till I went to bed.

[insert photo of ink drawing of open book]

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Two small entries for Grandma's diary. I had meant to put one up each day, but yesterday got away from me.

Oh dear, Dorothy forgot her gloves! John was her younger brother, aged 9, and I wonder what he thought about having to deliver those gloves. Was she allowed to participate or did she have to sit on the sidelines till they arrived and she could dance properly. A lady didn't dance without her gloves!

Jan. 10, 1907 Thursday

This morning I got up and ate my breakfast and went to school. When school was over I came home and got ready for dancing school. After I had been there for about fifteen minutes, John brought my gloves. When it was over I went home and read till suppertime. After supper was over I practiced. Then I came up. I wrote my diary. Then I read till I went to bed.

Dorothy and Beatrice and Margaret, a trio of girls on their (or there, of you prefer Dorothy's spelling) bicycles, riding through the streets of Mt. Vernon, NY. January must have been chilly, but these girls went to the library and to livines. They had pocket money for candy and ice cream and weren't afraid to spend it. I wonder if they had appetites at supper or whether all that cycling burned up the sugar.

And why was she sleeping on the third floor? Had company come to visit, so that she ceded her room to others and moved upstairs? Dorothy, I wish you'd given us a bit more detail!

Page 10

Jan. 11, 1907 Friday

This morning I got up and ate my breakfast and practiced till it was time to go to school. After school was over I came home and asked Charlie to take my bicycle out & Beatrice and Margaret got there wheels and we rode our wheels down to the library. After we came back we went to livines and bought some candy, and got a sunday. Then we rode a little while longer and saw Freddy. After we went home I read till suppertime. Then I read again till I wrote my diary. Then I read till I went to bed. I had to sleep in the third floor.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Simple Day for Dorothy

Not much going on in Grandma's diary today. I wish I knew what she's practicing, piano probably. There was always a baby grand in their big living room on Ash Street, and my Mother had lessons and played beautifully. I have still some of her lesson books. I wish I knew who her friends were, Beatrice, Margaret, Emery. Were they all 11, were they in the same class? I wish I knew more, and had thought to ask more when I could.

I love the imagery of the two little girls on their bicycles, being blown right along by the wind, and later watching the cars go. All sorts of motion, active and passive.

Jan. 9, 1907 Wednesday

I got up early in the morning and did my practicing. I ate my breakfast and went to school. After school was over Beatrice & I rode down to forth Ave. It was very windy and the wind blew us right along. When we got home, Margaret was there. We went down to the library and read a while. When we

Page 9

got home we had supper. We came upstairs and papa brought out some cars for the boys. Emery came over & we watched the cars go. Then I went to bed.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


First I must thank my Canadian friend Dale Lee for telling me about Clock, a complicated solitaire game with a small chance of success. International friendships are wonderful!

I made a mistake on the first day, mistyping the date, so that I thought I was beginning on the sixth with Grandma's entry for that day, but really it was her entry for the seventh, so I've been a day ahead. Today I will skip posting her entry and tomorrow I will be back on track.

Instead, today I posted a photo of her father, Elmer Grant Willyoung, known in the diary as Papa. I didn't know a lot about him, except that he was smart, had a business in NYC, and died early in an auto accident. His death put an end to my Grandma's education at Wellesley, where she was a member of the class of 1920. Family legend has it that there wasn't money sufficient for her tuition, and so she left school.

I found a piece of a photo, a casual group shot from the University of Michigan class of 1888, torn from a larger print. Ernest, wearing a bowler hat, full mustache and stern expression, is centered in the fragment. I called the UofM Alumni Association to see what I could learn about his degree, and was told that, although they didn't keep records that far back, I might find help at the Bentley Historical Library. A voice message later, my call was returned and I was told that Elmer Grant Willyoung received a BS in 1888 from the College of Literature, Science and Art. At that time there were four fields of study, and if I sent a written request I might get further information. When I asked if it needed to be a hard copy request, she said, "Oh no, just send me an email," which I promptly did. I should know more within the week.

The internet is a wonderful repository! I have found so many links to his name, learned so much about his life and business. By the time Dorothy began this diary, her father had sold a successful business in Philadelphia, moved his family to New York, opened another business, secured at least five patents, presented scientific papers that are now included in The Tesla Collection, and fathered five children. At some point he went to law school and became a counselor and patent attorney.

Years ago I was in communication with my second cousin John, who is the grandson of John C Willyoung, Dorothy's younger brother, number four in the lineup. I called him and was pleased when he returned my call. He's got all sorts of information about Papa, but was on his way to a meeting, so we couldn't talk long.

It must have been a nice, quiet life at 5 N. Fulton Ave, orderly, with meals at set times, music lessons, dancing class, Sunday School, rides with friends on bicycles, trips to the library.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dorothy plays Clock

Today's diary entry is short but still contains a small mystery. What was the game Clock? An indoor game, probably a calm one, if played after supper and before bedtime. Googling presents no information, alas. Must research this further.

I wish Grandma Dot had included more information. What did she eat each day? How far was school from her house? I love that she came home to eat each day, no brown-bagging for her! They ate the breakfast-dinner-supper pattern, not today's breakfast-lunch-dinner, and I can imagine that she sat at a table with her siblings for this midday meal. There has been no mention of Mildred, who was newly 16 when this diary began and in high school. Papa, Ernest Grant Willyoung, Sr, was a teacher or professor, I believe, teaching Engineering. He was a member of the graduating class of 1888 from the University of Michigan.

Page 8
Jan. 8, 1907 Tuesday

I got up early this morning & did most of my practicing. After breakfast I finished my practicing. When I was through I went to school. Came home & ate my dinner. Went to school again & when I came home it was raining. Beatrice came down and read till five o’clock. Beatrice went home. I read till papa came home. Then we had supper. I came up to write my diary, then played clock and read a while. Then I went to bed.