In Washington, DC, on Wednesday, June 30, 1937, Dale took Helen, Stanley, and Jettie (visiting from Osceola) to a Boy Scout Jamboree on the Washington Monument grounds at night. This was the very first national jamboree, covered extensively by national media and attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In Minneapolis on Sunday, June 29, 1958, Dale wrote, “High 95°. Took Dalene and Diana swimming at Twin Lakes. Stan came home at 6:45 p.m. from a week-end at a lake.” Diana was a neighbor friend. I think ‘Twin Lakes’ meant Moore Lake Park in Fridley, about 3¼ miles north of home. The park had a beach with a swimming area roped off, seen below.
In Muscatine on Sunday, June 28, 1953, Dale wrote, “Up late and took it easy today. Roast beef dinner. Not too hot today. Stan, Mike, and Dalene went to swim but too crowded. Stan went on a date at night with Esther Frost.” Mike was my high school buddy, Mike Collier. Esther was a classmate I dated frequently (Mike dated her too).
After work in Washington, DC, on Saturday, June 27, 1936, Helen and Dale saw a Democrat rally parade go by the Veterans Administration Building. Later, they went to the Fox Theatre and saw tenor Don Novis perform in person. You can hear Donald Novis sing here:
On Saturday, June 26, 1937, returning to Washington from vacation in Osceola, Dale wrote, “Left Cambridge, Ohio, at 9 a.m. and got home at midnight. Glad to be home. Cool here in Washington D.C.” That day would have been about 350 miles with Helen, Stanley, and Jettie in the 1930 Ford Model A (see yesterday’s blog). No air conditioning, folks.
On Friday, June 25, 1937, returning to Washington, DC, from vacation in Osceola, Dale wrote, “Got up early and drove 518 miles from Peoria to Cambridge, Ohio, and stayed at a cabin camp. Had the car checked over. Wrist-pins loose.” With him were Helen and Stanley and Dale’s mother, Jettie. That car was their 1930 Ford Model A, like the one below.
On Friday, June 24, 1949, the first television western, Hopalong Cassidy, aired on NBC. The lead character was played by silver-haired actor William Boyd. Come back to the early days with us now and watch vignettes of Hopalong, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers in this tribute performed by Roy Rogers:
Vacationing with his family in Osceola from Muscatine on Thursday, June 23, 1955, Dale wrote, “Stan and I helped Lloyd put the corn planter and cultivator away in the morning. We took a long ride in the afternoon to Weldon and Woodburn and Ottawa. Mother had a party at night, 33 relatives were at the party.” Lloyd was Dale’s brother, ‘Mother’ was Jettie. Below: a map showing Weldon, Woodburn, and Ottawa (marker) in relation to Osceola.
On Saturday, June 22, 1940, the first Dairy Queen store (below) opened in Joliet, Illinois. The soft serve formula was first developed in 1938 by Paul Conversano and his son Alex McCullough. They convinced friend and customer Herb Noble to offer the product in his ice cream store in Kankakee. On the first day of sales, Noble dished out more than 1,600 servings of the new dessert within two hours. That success led Noble and the McCullough’s to open this store and begin the DQ franchise system, which is now owned by Warren Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway.
On vacation in Osceola from Washington, DC, on Sunday, June 20, 1937, Dale wrote, “Family dinner at Ruth and Louie’s. Big crowd. Went home to Lela and Gene’s at Red Oak at night. Had a good time playing horseshoe.” Louie Schaffer was one of Helen’s brothers, and Lela Yates was one of Helen’s sisters.
After work in Washington, DC, on Friday, June 19, 1936, Helen and Dale listened on the radio as Max Schmeling knocked out Joe Louis at night in the 12th round. Dale wrote, “What a fight!” Here is a video of that last round:
In Osceola with Dalene on Sunday, June 18, 1950, Dale wrote, “At folks and rain, rain, rain. Went to Uncle Charlie’s for family dinner. Dalene and I drove to Muscatine after dinner, in the rain.” Uncle Charlie was a brother of Williams Gardner, Dale’s father. Below: Dale’s usual route for this trip (Interstate highways did not exist yet):
On Saturday, June 17, 1950, Dale, Stanley, and Dalene drove from Muscatine to Alexis, Illinois, to pick up Dale’s Aunt Elsie Matheny, her daughter Dorotha, and granddaughter Sandra. After lunch back in Muscatine, he and Dalene drove them to Osceola. He wrote, “I milked the cow after supper. Dalene and I stayed all night at the folks.” That was the farm home of Jettie and Williams Gardner, four miles east of Osceola on U.S. Highway 34, below:
Taking vacation in Muscatine on Tuesday, June 16, 1953, Dale wrote, “Dalene and I started to Osceola but the car heated up so we came back home. Stan and Dalene went swimming before supper. We watched boxing on TV at night.” Dad liked to watch most sports on TV. He laughed a lot at professional wrestling, especially at one wrestler named Gorgeous George, who shows up about one minute into this video:
In Muscatine on Sunday, June 14, 1953, Dale wrote, “Humidity down. Stan and Dalene went swimming in the afternoon. Helen, Dalene and I went for a ride in the evening. Cool in the evening.” I probably drove Dalene and myself to the Weed Park swimming pool. Before I got my driver’s license, we would walk from home to the park – about 1¾ miles. Below: a map of the route.
After work in Washington, DC, on Saturday, June 13, 1936, Helen and Dale went to the Earle Theatre and saw Ted Lewis and his orchestra in person. You can hear him below:
Vacationing in Osceola from Washington on Saturday, June 12, 1937, Dale and Helen went to visit George and Wilma Casey (Helen’s sister) in the morning, went to town in the afternoon, and to Gerald (Helen’s brother) and Ressia Schaffer’s for supper. As usual for a Saturday evening, they went “Up town at night.” They spent that night at the Casey’s farm. Below: people sitting in Osceola’s town square near the band shell.
In Minneapolis on Monday, June 11, 1956, Dale wrote, “95° outside, another all time record. Kay Staebler rode to work with me. Stan brought her home. Shirley came down and sat on the front porch at night.” Shirley Staebler and her daughter Kay rented the upstairs apartment. Below: Helen and Jettie on the back porch a year later, showing the stairs to the apartment.