Month: May 2012

Helen And Dale See Battleship Oklahoma

In Washington, DC, on Sunday, May 31, 1936, Helen and Dale went to Annapolis and visited the U.S. battleship Oklahoma, shown below.  Five years later, it was sunk by Japanese bombs and torpedoes in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Helen And Dale Go To Arlington Cemetery

In Washington, DC, on Saturday, May 30, 1936, it was Memorial Day.  (Originally known as Decoration Day, it was designated Memorial Day at the turn of the century.  The National Holiday Act of 1971 declared the holiday to be the last Monday in May to ensure a three-day weekend for Federal holidays.)  Helen and Dale went to Arlington Cemetery, below, and saw the gravesites of President Teddy Roosevelt and General Pershing.

Stan’s First Car

In Muscatine on Sunday, May 29, 1955, I was about to graduate from high school and Dad bought me my first car, a 1946 Chevrolet Club Coupe, for $95 ($815 in today’s dollars).  It had no back seat, just storage space for a traveling salesman, with vacuum-assisted shift on the steering column that would drop out of gear at random times, and I loved that car.  It looked like this one:

Dancing Stan

In Muscatine on Friday, May 28, 1954, I was a high school junior in a musical comedy, The Merry Widow, and did a heel-clicking high jump then fell to the stage on my side.  It was a big hit each performance.  That’s me below, with senior Mary Ann Richards watching from the wings:

Helen And Dale Move Again

In Washington, DC, on Wednesday, May 27, 1936, Helen and Dale rented their second apartment of the year at 2114 N Street N.W., in the same building as new friends Bill and Louise.  They moved there a week later.

Picnic Between Muscatine And Osceola

After work on Friday, May 26, 1950, Dale and family drove their 1939 Mercury from Muscatine to Osceola, stopping in Washington, Iowa, for a picnic supper.  They got to Williams and Jettie Gardner’s farm four miles east of Osceola at 9 p.m.  Below: the 1939 Mercury in front of the farmhouse.

Buying A Model A

On Tuesday, May 25, 1937, in Washington, DC, Dale and Helen bought a 1930 Ford Model A with a down payment of $5.00 and full price of $125.00 – the equivalent of $2,000 today.  On May 29, he wrote, “Took a ride to Alexandria at night.  Runs good.”  Below: a restored 1930 Model A.

We Go To The Casey Farm

On Saturday, May 24, 1941, in Iowa on vacation from St. Paul, Dale, Helen, and Stanley left Gene and Lela’s home in Albia, drove back to Osceola, and spent the next three nights at George and Wilma Casey’s farm two miles north of town.  Wilma was the oldest of Helen’s sisters, followed by Lela, and Helen was the youngest.  Below: Wilma and George at the ol’ swimming hole.

One And A Half Cousins

On Friday, May 23, 1941, in Iowa on vacation from St. Paul, Dale, Helen, and Stanley drove from Osceola to Albia, about 50 miles east of Osceola, and stayed the night at the home of Gene and Lela Yates.  Gene was Dale’s first cousin and Lela was Helen’s sister.  Gene and Lela’s son, Bob Yates, and I used to refer to ourselves as “one and a half” cousins; closer than first cousins but not quite double cousins.

Stan Works At General Mills Research

On Thursday, May 22, 1958, in Minneapolis, Dale wrote, “Cool and windy, high about 65°.  Stan decided to work two more years at General Mills Research and continue going to college part time.  He went to school tonight.”  I had to keep working to make payments on my 1957 Chevy!  The General Mills Central Research Laboratories were at 2010 East Hennepin Avenue.  Below: some employees sit on the front steps.

Dale And Helen Visit Mount Vernon

On Thursday, May 21, 1936, after work in Washington, DC, Helen and Dale and some neighbor friends went for a ride to Mount Vernon (see below).  They stopped to see the National Airport on their way home.

Dale Sets A Record

On Wednesday, May 20, 1936, in his file clerk job in Washington, DC, Dale broke the one-day filing record by filing 1,737 documents.  Below: Dale in the front yard at 1229 Massachusetts Avenue, where he and Helen first lived in Washington, April to June 1936.  It looks like a three-piece suit was the way you dressed to get ahead.

Stanley Rides His Grandpa’s Tractor

On Monday, May 19, 1941, Dale, Helen, and Stanley left St. Paul for two weeks vacation in Iowa.  They arrived at the farm of Williams and Jettie Gardner near Thayer, about 15 miles west of Osceola, in late afternoon.  Below: Stanley gets a ride on the first tractor Williams owned after his team of horses.  Notice the iron wheels; no tires.

Dale Goes To The Country Club

On Thursday, May 17, 1951, Dale went to a dinner at the Muscatine Country Club for several co-workers.  They went to the country home of the owner of Kent Feeds afterward, which Dale described as a $100,000 home ($885,000 today).  Below: Geneva Golf and Country Club in Muscatine.

Moving To St. Paul

In Washington, DC, on Monday, May 16, 1938, Dale took an hour off work to interview for an opening in the government’s St. Paul office.  The following month, he moved his family to 265 Dayton Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota.  He spent the balance of 1938 working as a supply clerk in the St. Paul office of the Alcohol Tax Unit.  I don’t know which building the ATU was in, but it may have been the Old Custom House, St. Paul, below.  See the overhead streetcar wires?

Introducing Nylon Stockings

On Wednesday, May 15, 1940, nylon stockings first became available for public sale, replacing the more fragile silk stockings.  No consumer item before had caused such a nationwide pandemonium.  By the end of the year, 64 million pairs of nylon stockings were sold.  After the United States got involved with WWII, all nylon production went to the war effort. Silk was also unavailable so rayon stockings were produced.  Women also would use makeup to simulate stockings and a Nylon Black Market formed.  When the war ended, nylon went back into stocking production.  The demand for stockings was so great that fights would break out at stores.  These fights became known as Nylon Riots.  It took a year for production to start catching up with demand.  Below: a 1940 Sears & Roebuck ad.

Dale And Dalene Go To Osceola

On Saturday, May 14, 1955, Dale and Dalene drove from Muscatine to Osceola.  They stopped north of Osceola at Wilma (Helen’s sister) and George Casey’s farm and drove the tractor.  They visited Dale’s sister, Marie Kimmel, and spent the night at Jettie’s house.  Below: cousins Nancy Gardner (a daughter of Dale’s brother Lloyd) and Dalene Gardner at Osceola’s East Lake Park.

Looking At Bedroom Furniture

In Minneapolis on Monday, May 13, 1957, Dale wrote, “We went downtown after work to look at a bedroom suite for $139.  No good.  Stopped at a drive-in on the way home for sandwiches.”  That bedroom suite would be $1,135 today and might look like this:

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