Month: April 2015

‘The Hasty Heart’

In Muscatine on Sunday, April 30, 1950, Dale wrote, “Stan and Dalene went to Sunday school, Stan to church, too.  Took kids to a show in the afternoon.  I went to the Palace theatre and saw ‘Hasty Heart.’  We all went to bed early.  Cool and rainy.”

One Fine Day

In Muscatine on Sunday, April 29, 1951, Dale wrote, “Dalene, Ringer and I walked down to the river in the morning.  Levee broke on Illinois side.  Fine day.  Dalene and Smith kids to show in afternoon.  Chicken for dinner.  TV at night and to bed early.”  Ringer was our dog, and the Smith family lived a couple houses uphill from us.  Above: Dalene and Dale in 1951.

Life Insurance

In Muscatine on Friday, April 28, 1950, Dale wrote, “Worked 8 to 4:30.  Filled 300 drums today.  Rain and snow today.  Bought gloves.  Got new F.P.E.A. insurance policy for $5,000.  Stanley and I went to a show at night.”  I think the F.P.E.A. stood for Federal Price Economic Adjustment life insurance contract; that $5,000 would be $48,000 today.

Shopping At Batterson’s

In Muscatine on Friday, April 27, 1951, Dale wrote, “Worked 8 to 4:30.  Bought new brown summer suit at Batterson’s for $20.  Also new belt, 4 glass trays and cups.  Card from Mother.  Arth here at night for TV.”  Arth was a co-worker.  Above: Batterson’s department store.

Singin’ Up A Storm

On Tuesday, April 26, the Tri-Festival Chorus was held in the Washington High School auditorium, with Washington, Galesburg IL, and Muscatine high school vocal music groups participating.  The program included Muscatine’s chorus directed by Max Collins performing Almighty God of Our Fathers, Soon Ah Will Be Done, and Too Dum Day, plus the Muscatine Boys’ Quartet (left-to-right above: me, Larry Misel, John Evans, and Jerry Hufford, with our accompanist Judy Smith) singing Desert Caravans and Res’ My Shoes.  All three high school choruses combined to sing Brother James’ Air, Lord, to Thee Our Hearts Are Raised, Salvation Is Created, The Pines of Home, The Night Will Never Stay, Ain’a That Good News, Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair, My Heart’s Desire, Once In Love With Amy, and Battle Hymn of the Republic.

What’s On Tonight?

In Muscatine on Wednesday, April 25, 1951, Dale wrote, “Worked 8 to 4:30.  River higher, 20.5 feet.  Cavanaugh, Arth, Arms and I working.  Warm & cloudy.  Pay day.  Arth and Cavanaugh here in evening for television.”  Those were co-workers.  Above: television stations would show a ‘test pattern’ when not broadcasting programs – this was black and white TV.

Dalene Feels Poorly

In Muscatine on Thursday, April 24, 1952, Dale wrote “Worked 8 to 1:30.  River at 20.5 feet.  Clear & warmer.  Roswell here to say hello.  I took 3 hours annual leave in the afternoon & worked on right front wheel brake.  Dalene home, sick with tooth.  Stan & I went to a show at night.”  Roswell Gardner was Dale’s cousin.


In Minneapolis on Tuesday, April 23, 1957, Dale wrote, “Stan and Sue Timm went to the University to study, took me to work and brought me home.  Two Internal Revenue Service Inspectors at the plant today.”  Sue was visiting from Muscatine; and yes, she had red hair.

Return To Muscatine

Starting his new Post of Duty in Omaha on Wednesday, April 22, 1953, Dale wrote, “Got sick at 2:30 p.m. and Helen talked with Welch and Mast.  I’m to work at the Muscatine plant for awhile.  Supper at Chasteen’s.  17 years in Civil Service.”  Dale later thought he had a nervous breakdown, but eventually recovered.

It Must Be Spring

In Minneapolis on Sunday, April 21, 1957, Dale wrote, “Beautiful day, high 70°.  Helped Helen wash.  Put our new hammock up on the front porch.  Watered the new seeding on the parking strip.”

Old Man River Is Up

In Muscatine on Sunday, April 20, 1952, Dale wrote that he got passes from the flood committee to drive from our home to his office in South Muscatine (where flooding was most likely).  The river was up to 18.5 feet.  Above: a more recent flood at Muscatine.

Dale’s Springtime Cold

In Minneapolis on Saturday, April 19, 1958, Dale wrote, “High about 70°.  Took Dinny and Diana downtown.  I didn’t do anything today.  I have a head cold.  Helen washed.  Stan went on a picnic in the evening.  Dalene and Sharon went to a show at night.”  Diana and Sharon were friends of Dalene’s.

Bye-Bye Water Heater

In Minneapolis on Saturday, April 18, 1959, Dale wrote, “Helen, Dalene and I went downtown looking for a dress for Dinny.  Hi-Y boys took our old hot water heater away.  I got up on the house roof to nail some shingles down.  Cloudy and cool.”

The Yates-Gardner Connection

In Minneapolis on Tuesday, April 17, 1956, Dale wrote, “Wrote Uncle Pearl a letter, he is in the hospital in Des Moines.”  Pearl Yates was married to Dale’s aunt Lena Gardner; their children Louise, Wayne, and Gene were Dale’s cousins.

Watching TV At Night

In Minneapolis on Sunday, April 15, 1956, Dale wrote, “Raked yard.  Took family to Frank Arth’s to buy some clothes & to help Frank dig out his cesspool.  Windy & cool.  Snow flurries at night.  Staeblers came down & watched TV with us.  To bed at 10:15.”  Arth was a co-worker.  Shirley Staebler and her daughter Kay rented the upstairs apartment.

‘The Grapes Of Wrath’

On Friday, April 14, 1939, John Steinbeck’s novel ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ was first published by Viking Press.  The book won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for fiction.  It’s set during the Great Depression, about tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought in the Dust Bowl.  The 1940 movie, directed by John Ford, starred Henry Fonda, above.


In Minneapolis on Wednesday, April 13, 1966, Dale wrote, “High 55° and nice.  Helen and I went to see a new mobile home.  Watched a late movie on TV, ‘Marty.’  Very good.”

Death Of FDR

Vacationing in Warm Springs, Georgia, oThursday afternoon, April 12, 1945, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “I have a terrific pain in the back of my head.” He then slumped forward in his chair, unconscious, and was carried into his bedroom. The president’s attending cardiologist, Dr. Howard Bruenn, diagnosed a massive cerebral hemorrhage (stroke).  At 3:35 p.m. that day, Roosevelt died; he was succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman.  Above: FDR’s horse-drawn funeral procession.

Girls Night Out

In Minneapolis on Friday, April 11, 1958, Dale took the day off work and wrote, “Nice day, high 60°.  Painted the bathroom.  Went to the grocery store before supper.  Dalene went to a slumber party.  Stan went on a date.  Paint smell is sort of strong from blue enamel used on bathroom.”
Back To Top