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THE STERNERS


Chapter 9 - THE DIARY


1902 - 1906


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                     THE DIARY

     The year 1902 finds me in the Eighth Grade of the
Belmar Grammar School under Lucy Corson who had been my
teacher continuously since the Fourth Grade.  There will
still be a few more letters and these I shall insert in
their proper chronological spots as we come to them.
     The first entry in the Diary is brief and to the
point.

Saturday, Jan. 11th, 1902.
     Donald was hit by my sled while we were coasting
down by Mount's and had a piece of flesh knocked out
over his eye.

                        * * *

                                         2nd February 1902
Dear Aunt Lou:

               Thank you for those stamps you have been
sending us.  I have lots of Canadian stamps.  I would
like all the stamps I could get.  Any kind of stamp that
is surcharged "official", or has the value crossed out
and a different one put on is really better than nothing.
     How is Don Carlos getting on up there and how about
the cook, wasn't that too bad?  We had some fine tows
the other day on our sleds behind some wagons.  My sled
is a beauty, I tell you.  I haven't anything else to say
that I know of so good-bye.

                          Love and kisses to all.

                                                Jay.

                        * * *

Saturday, February 8th.
     Received this diary.  Found uncancelled U.S. 3 (cents) 1861
stamp in an old letter of Grandma's.  Finished the book
"At the North Pole" by Jules Verne.

Monday, Feb. 10th.
     Received an approval sheet with some fine stamps on
it and sold 17 (cents) worth of them.

                          64
Tuesday, Feb. 11th. Spoke piece called "Sheridan's Ride". Also blacked up with burnt cork and sang two Negro songs at Lincoln's Birthday exercises. Miss Pyott gave me quite a few sheets of drawing paper also. Thursday. Was assigned "Psalm of Life" by Longfellow to speak at the next Society meeting. We began "Flatiron for a Farthing" yesterday. * * * 16th February, 1902. Dear Aunt Lou: I wish you and Don Carlos would come down; I mean all of you to come down. I have over 390 stamps now and I am going to buy a nice $1.50 one. There is a prize offered in the Tribune of $10.00 in gold for any- body who writes the best story of Washington, not to ex- ceed 200 words. I would like Uncle George to ask in the P.O. if they have a stamp anything like this in my let- ter here (the Providence Post Master issue?!) and if they have please ask how much it is. There are a 5 (cents) and a 10 (cents) - both of either would be all right. I think the Valentines were lovely - just like pho- tographs - especially Donald's. The five cents I spent for a set of Grecian stamps. How is Don Carlos and all of you. We are all right. Love and kisses to all Jay. * * * Monday, Feb. 17th. Quite a blizzard today. Expected packet of stamps but it did not come. Frisky has quite a cough. Tuesday. Bought a 1 (cents) South Australian stamp from Clarence 65
1902 Cooper. No packet. Frisky's cough not much better. Cut a lot of cakes of snow to make fences of. Friday, Feb. 19th. It hailed this morning but towards noon it changed to rain. We had one seccion today and I had nothing to do but sit around and read. Saturday. Finished the book "Cornet of Horse". Began "With Clive in India". Finished it and began "By Right of Conquest". It began to snow today at about 3 o'clock and snowed till about 10 o'clock. Monday, Feb. 24th. Charlie and Freddie Reichy were here this afternoon with their stamps. Saturday I had a very pretty piece for my violin lesson with Beumont (Glass). Nothing in- teresting has happened today except that the 14th ex- ample in our arithmetic is almost impossible to get. Friday, Feb. 28th. There was an awful storm while we were having our Society meeting. I got a set of Russian stamps and also a Swiss and a Canada Register. Saturday, March 1st. Got a 30 centime French stamp. Also finished "By Right of Conquest" and read "Life on the Mississippi" and "Treasure Divers". Tuesday, March 4th. Brought in coal for Mrs. Pyott. Ed brought down his album. We had a funeral pyre over Mrs. Caw's grave. Wednesday. There has been quite a snow storm mixed with hail today but it changed to rain, of course. I expected a letter containing approval sheets today but they didn't come. Perhaps they will come tomorrow or the next day, or the day after that! 66
1902 Thursday, March 6th. Went without my coat today for the first time and the approval sheets did come. M-M-M-Ah! - such beauties. Monday, March 10th. Been burying treasures underground a good deal this afternoon. Miss Pyott gave me three packages of drawing paper. Ed, Snadge Cooper, and I had some fun drawing on the paper. Thursday. Played ball this afternoon and got hit on the hand by the bat. I rec'd 5 (cents) from Mrs. Pyott which will pay me till Wednesday afternoon. I lost my 5 (cents). Friday. Carted manure all the afternoon but haven't finish- ed it yet. I found my 5 (cents) this morning, or rather Ed did for me. Saturday. Finished the manure carting but it isn't raked off good enough yet. Ed and I are to get 25 (cents) apiece for do- ing the work. Tuesday, March 18th. Played pussy-in-the-corner this afternoon between raking manure. Got coal for Mrs. Pyott. Mr. Jackson was elected D.C. today so I suppose Mr. Love will come back. Finally finished raking the manure. (This manure project came about because every Fall Papa had the lawn covered with it to nourish the grass). Saturday, March 22nd. I went over to the Park with Clarence and Ed and got 5 (cents) worth of peg-tops. I took four and Clarence took one. I sold one to Donald. Monday. Ed and I made an island down near the Inlet and a pier. The pier was to get far enough out for some clay 67
1902 but the tide came in and drove us away. Wednesday, March 26th. Expected my new Album I had ordered from the Toledo Stamp Company, A Scott International, but it hasn't come yet. I got a postal this morning saying that it was on its way by Express. Thursday. No Album! Mrs. Pyott gave me my 5 (cents) which will pay till Saturday. We had some fun out in the yard carrying the little kids on our backs and banging into each other. Friday. My album came and also approval sheets but I have most of the stamps. I have spent most of the afternoon putting in my stamps. They gave me a 5 (cents) Liberia free!! Saturday. I've been pasting in stamps all day and I have them almost done. Clarence and Ed have been helping me. Monday, March 31st. We got a lot of clay from down in the river near our fort and pier and made bricks and clay jugs and plates and ancient pottery. Thursday, April 3rd. Mrs. Pyott paid me 10 (cents) today which will pay till next Thursday. Read "The Man with the Broken Ear". Friday. Played ball this afternoon and had a fine time. We got the two Donalds chasing us with fishing poles. Saturday. Clarence, Ed, and I wanted to go to Lewis's Farm and we drew lots so Clarence and I went. We got some killies to put in with the turtles. Tuesday, April 8th. One seccion. I was down to the beach and then went to Gass's. 68
1902 Thursday, April 10th. I made a little park in a large box full of earth and planted moss on top of a hill I made at one end. I have some large red blotches on my right arm - erysyp- elas, we think. I also planted a little cherry tree. Saturday. We went all over the yard putting little glass hou- ses over certain ant-hills and also affixing flags along- side, having them for colonies. Tuesday, April 8th. I was to a party at Inex Allen's house this evening and had a fine time. We played Shoo-li-loo", "Winks", "Forfeits", and one or two others. I went over around the river and got 3 May Pinks. Wednesday. I got the "Youth's Companion" today. At school I wrote an abstract from "Tom Sawyer" entitled "How to Whitewash A Fence." Sunday Ed, Donald and I went to Lewis's Farm and discovered a little brook. Friday. Had some fun down at the new Methodist Church that is being built at the corner of 7th Ave. & D Street. Perce, Ed, and I were besieged by Don, Leon Harris, and Clifford Morris. They threw stones but since they were smaller, we could not. We had our last Society meeting today and I read my abstract from "Tom Sawyer". Saturday. We went to Lewis's Farm today and put some killies in the little brook. We found out afterwards that there were lots of fresh water fish in it. We followed it up to a pond called Osborne's Pond. On the way back we killed a large black snake with some spears we had made. It was 2 feet long. 69
1902 Tuesday, April 22nd. The corner stone of the new M.E. Church was laid yesterday. I forgot to bring my library book to school today but I got another just the same. It has been aw- fully hot here and the boys are leaving off their coats. Perce, Jack McCormick, and Bill Morris went in swimming today and said the water was fine. Wednesday. I got my "Youth's Companion" today. It is still very hot. The skeleton of the new church is up all but the roof. I got a three centavos Cuban stamp at Pointer's store. Thursday. Papa set the little blue hen this evening. My watch stopped yesterday morning at 4 A.M. My grass is coming up all over my park in the big box. I cut it today. Friday. This is Arbor Day and I had a piece to speak called "A Morning Song". I planted two more cherry trees in my little park and Ed and I got a lot of soldier crabs down near the Herring Hole Box. Oliver Cromwell stole Don- ald's 2 (cents) Canada Map stamp. Saturday Donald made a camp today over in the field back of Mount's. Ed Glass and I got a lot more soldier crabs and put them in with the others. They have already made themselves at home. Monday, April 28th. I found two maple trees and planted them in the park. Ed lent me some magazines yesterday and Mrs. Glass gave me two bantam eggs which I immediately set under her (the little blue hen I hope!) That was about 2 o' clock. I traded Don a Mexican stamp for a 15 (cents) American also. My little park begins to look like a minature 70
1902 landscape now. Tuesday, April 29th. I planted another tree this morning and it has been raining all day. Nothing much to do but sit around and read. Ray Crowther and Ed were here looking at my album. The little blue hen hasn't deserted her nest yet. Wednesday. I planted some beans in my park today. We went over to the church and Perce Cooper and I stood the crowd up on the floor above the middle window. The boards are up now, forming a nice breast-work and Perce and I won and captured them all. Thursday, May 1st. Ed and I got 5 (cents) worth of ginger snaps and ate them all up ourselves like pigs. We had some more fun down at the church. They have the skeleton of the roof and the two towers up now. Friday. We had a terrible fight in the lower tower of the church, or the block-house as we call it. We were be- sieged by Percy and couldn't get down. I sneaked down once and got some stones up to the floor of the church. They are going to cover the church with bricks. Saturday. It has been raining all day and I dug up some of the treasure we had buried long ago. I planted some corn in my park. I also got some white violets and a little maple tree and explored a little ditch on 8th Ave. near the lake. Monday, May 5th. Yesterday we got some eels and a killy. One eel and the killy died. I got another little tree and put it where it is reflected in the little lake at the foot 71
1902 of the hill in my park. Pete Cooper won all my marbles. Grandma will be down from Providence tomorrow. Tuesday, May 6th. Grandma came today. I bought fifty 3 spots for 5 (cents). We had lots of fun and I won 12. None of the eels are dead yet. Wednesday. I got my Youth's Companion today. I have about 32 3-spots left. I had lots of fun playing and didn't lose hardly any. I forgot where my arithmetic lesson was. Thursday. The Pyotts moved away today from the cottage and I lost a lot of marbles (as well as a paying customer). The men took my park and were going to put it in the wagon with the rest of the Pyott's things when Mamma stopped them. I had to stay after school to do my ar- ithmetic. Friday. We had a review today in arithmetic. Some were easy and some were hard and I dont know what I got. Ed and I played marbles for fun and some went into a hole in my pocket and he said I stole them. Saturday, May 10th. We went up to Lewis's Farm after watercress in the little brook. We didn't get much. Ever since Saturday May 3rd, Mount Pelee on Martinique has been in eruption and has totally destroyed the city of St. Pierre, and 40000 lives were lost. Monday. Pelee is still in eruption. Mt. Soufrie on St. Vin- cent has turned a lake in its crater to steam and the inhabitants are terror stricken. My frogs eggs hatched today also. 72
1902 Tuesday, May 13th. Perce is laid up with a sore foot. Donald shoved Frank Pullen and that made him kick Perce. We set out the tomato plants tonight. People got into St. Pierre today. Wednesday. Several of the eggs under the blue hen are picked but no chicks are out yet. Nothing much happened today. We had some fun down at the church. Thursday. Nine little chicks came out today. Don Cooper broke his leg this morning and Perce is still laid up with his sore ankle. We went down to the church. The main roof is on and our block-house has a roof - I wish it had been there a few days ago. Friday. Mamma went away today. I got some pond snails in the 8th Ave. ditch. Donald and I had the little chicks out and they seemed to think it's great. Mamma came back this evening. There was an entertainment over at St. Rose's Hall and it was real good. Saturday. I got some more snails today and some large tad- poles. All my other tadpoles but one died. I read the "Sign of the Four" today and it's great. When Mamma came back from Brooklyn and New York she bought me home some Indian stamps. Monday. A little banty was hatched today. Papa set two other bantam eggs this evening and I hope they will hatch out. My little banty is from the egg that Mrs. Glass gave me and is black with white tips to his wings and is quite lively. He was caught fast in the shell but we helped him out. 73
1902 Tuesday, May 20th. We had an examination in arithmetic today and I proved all the examples. We got some big eels down at the lake box today. We put back all the little ones. Corty Heyniger was there and he helped us catch the eels. The large ones are three or four inches long. Donald has a new game called "Fox and Hounds". Wednesday. We had an examination in Geography and in Grammar. I got out at 11:00 and at 2:45. There is a new game of marbles called "Span". My little banty has been out all day in a little enclosure. Saturday. I had my first lesson from Beaumont today. Banty and.....? * * * 25th May, 1902. Dear Aunt Lou: I think that those souvenir postals were very nice but where is the County Court House? I have quite a collection of souvenir postals now. A little bantam chicken that I call Banty was hatched Monday morning about six o'clock. He was stuck fast in his shell and couldn't get out because the skin had dried on it. Grandma helped him out and he's all right now. If you leave him he generally begins to peep until you come back. Please come down as soon as you can. Beaumont got back last Saturday and gave me a lesson yesterday. Wasn't that disaster at St. Pierre dreadful? That was a fine story about that ship. Could you send the other parts of it and about that Irish nurse's stories up-to-date do you think? School lets out the 27th of May so that there are only two more days of it. We have had all our examina- 74
1902 tions except in reading and spelling. I have just fin- ished the "Count of Monte Cristo" and I think it is pretty good, only overdrawn. How is Uncle George and Don Carlos? Our little Banty is black with white edges to his wings and a white breast. He has a little white spot back of his eye. I cant think of anything more to write so Good bye. Jay. * * * Tuesday, May 27th. School ended today. It was a beastly rainy day and we had only one session. We let out at 12:00 and didn't have to go back. We went over to the Deep Hole in Avon and found some ripe wild strawberries. We all passed our examinations and so did Perce. Wednesday. We went after more berries today. They put in the chimes at the M.E. Church. We went exploring in the woods all around Sixteenth Avenue. My little Banty was accidentally killed by Mrs. Reichy. A cat got his body. Thursday. Mamma and I went over to the Park this morning to see the exhibit at the Asbury Park High School. It was fine and I may go there next year. I made a sham grave for Banty and put up a stone near the rose-bush where he was killed. Tuesday, June 10th. I have another little bantam hatched today. I call it Banty also. It is yellow and white and I think it is a hen. Tuesday, June 17th. Little Banty cut his toe off today but I dont know how how. We are moving over to the cottage today and by the time we move back it will be time for school again. 75
1902 Wednesday, June 16th. Ed Glass and I went out in a boat in the lake and sailed my Columbia sail-boat. We caught Willie Whittles (Whitfield) and Janney Rudrow stealing Mrs. Rodger's rudder. We caught two turtles also. Tuesday, July 1st. I lost my cannon today and do not know where it is. Friday, July 4th. Donald shot off all his firecrackers by accident this morning before we were up. I heard this terrible racket below and blue smoke came drifting up past my window in the front of the cottage. I had a fine time but used my crackers up early and went down to the beach in the afternoon. Went in swimming down there and found a giant cracker. Donald hurt himself with the powder. Saturday. Went to Providence today. * * * Here ensues a blank, or rather a succession of blanks that are interrupted only occasionally during the rest of the year. The next six weeks or so were spent with Aunt Lou and Uncle George still at 11 Plenty Street. Here I renewed my friendship with Hermann Wegrin, Connie Fairweather and, above all, with little Don Carlos whose correct English and meticulous pronunciation are, even today, a delightful memory. It was then that I met Lillian Walters, a niece of Aunt Lou's friend Mrs. Bassett and when we returned to Belmar we brought her along as well as Frisky's brother Sancho. Lillian was a tom-boy - but a very good looking one, rode a man's bicycle and wore bloomers while doing so, much to the scandalization of our next-door neighbors. Later she was a chorus girl in Herbert's "Babes in Toyland" and came to some mysteriously bad end. 76
1902 Thursday, August 14th. Got home from Providence today and we went to an enter- tainment at Ocean Grove. Lillian and Sancho came down with us also. Friday. Little Banty died today and we buried her under the grape arbor. * * * 4th September, 1902. Dear Aunt Lou: I am awfully sorry I didn't say good-bye to you. I didn't know you were leaving so soon and when I found Ed gone I hurried off to catch him. We had a fine time over at Sea Girt and I got a box and a half of empty shells, 20 in a box, and gave Donald the half box. We were wandering around over there and there was a gun machine just like the ordinary rifle only it has a needle attachment that punches a card just where you would have hit a real target. This miniature target was 20 yards away but it was only one tenth the regular size. Did you have a pleasant trip? Willie Whitefield in- formed me that he thought Lillian was a pretty good girl and he liked her, so tell her that. What did Don Carlos say when he saw you? and how is the track I made him? I hope Uncle George is well and be sure to come down Christmas. Please say good-bye to Lillian for us. I can think of nothing more to say so Good-bye. Your sorrowful Nevvy Jay * * * Friday, September 15th. School began today at the Asbury Park Grammar 77
1902 School - 8th Grade - Miss Lamont of Canada - 36 pupils. Oh Woe is me! * * * This calls for a little explanation. Asbury Park High School considered me too young for High School and would not accept Belmar's 8th Grade certificate as suf- ficient preparation for entrance; so I had to repeat the year's work, thus losing a year. It was just as well - it's a pity I hadn't consumed another year before I en- tered Harvard. * * * Thursday, October 23rd. My 13th birthday. Got a Henty book `For the Temple' from Grandma. Ice cream and a macintosh promised. Gram- mar School pin promised and another present promised. Monday, 27th. Made darts at Clarence's but nothing much do- ing. We had some fun with the foot-ball but got tired and quit. Friday, December 5th. Quite a snow storm today, the first of the season. Ed has a new sassafras bow. Tuesday, 16th. Last day of school till after New Years. Oh Joy! Vacation till the 5th of January of the year 1903. Wednesday. Fixed a wigwam out of cedar bean poles. It's just scrumptious. Dont leak and a fire burns swell in it. Saturday. Aunt Lou came down today and visited us in the wig- wam. She gave Ed and me each a piece of pie and sat in the wigwam with us while we ate it and gave us all the latest from Roger Williams Park. 78
1903 Saturday, January 3rd. Today is Donald's birthday. He had a cake and some ice cream but the salt got in and spoiled it. While down to the lake after ice for the freezer, Beaumont came and I was late for my violin lesson. I gave Donald a 5 (cents) pear full of candies and he got several other presents. Saturday, 10th. Today I gave the cellar an extra thorough cleaning out with the assistance of Aunt Lou and Mamma. Beumont gave me my lesson - I am in the third book. After my 1 lesson Ed and I had some fun letting the gold fish go in the sink and they seemed to enjoy it very much. There was a good skating on the lake but it was too windy to enjoy it, so that I haven't done any skating this 1903. We have been making armor all week and now we have each got a shield, a helmet (peach basket), shin guards, swords galore and daggers and poinards ditto. Tuesday, 13th. I got up very early today as Aunt Lou is going home. It has been very windy for several days so that I haven't yet set skate on ice this winter of 1903. I have a cold today, started riding against the wind up Cookman Ave. I noticed today, while coming home in the trolley, that the river had frozen over and that when the tide went out it left flats covered with ice. Aunt Lou is going to spend today and tomorrow in the city visiting Marie Perkins and will take the boat tomorrow night. Wednesday the 14th. I went skating today for the first time. There was no wind and it was fine. Mamma came down and watched me. Ed and I were together and Frank Tatu took Ed's strap 79
1903 and hid it so that Ed and I couldn't find it again. We have manual training every Wednesday for two periods, going down to the school basement where we have carpenter benches, one for each boy, and make such things as pot stands, clothes-racks, etc. I am in the 4th year which is the last. Mamma and Donald are playing Parcheesi in the dining room and I have done all my home-work except to copy my ex- amples. Friday, January 16th. I rode to school again today on my bicycle and I feel all right. It has started in to thaw and the road was very muddy when I rode home. We all had to come back to school this afternoon for music at three o'clock - that is, the boys did. I didn't get home till about 4:30 and didn't get done practicing my violin till it was too late to go skating. The liner St. Louis is now 11 days out of Brest and hasn't been heard of since. The St. Paul and Philadel- phia, her sister ships, both have wireless telegraphy but she has not. Saturday, the 17th. I swept the cellar this morning and took out my ashes. I then made a little fort out in the garden that overlooked the old one. Ed and I bought eight cent's worth of powder, about half a whiskey bottle full, and we expect to have quite a bombardment Monday. Mr. Hulick has some sample bottles of `Honey and Tar'. I got two bottles but Don didn't get any. How- ever I gave him most of mine as I didn't like it very much. The St. Louis has been sighted from the Nantucket Light ship and is safe. I met Papa at the office at 4:05 and we then went 80
1903 together to Thompson and Rhome's Dentist Parlors and had that crooked tooth pulled out of my lower jaw so that now I have only three incisors there instead of four. He froze the gum so that it didn't hurt so very much. Sunday, January 18th. I went skating this afternoon but my skates were so sharp that I didn't have much fun. After I got tired of ska- ting Clarence and I took off our skates and went over to Ed's. When we got there we found he was down with a cold. He had been making three-gun batteries all day. The guns are made by filling a touch-hole at the base of a 30-30 shell and Beaumont fired off one i the house and made a considerable noise. Tomorrow we are going to have our examinations in arithmetic and grammar and I am rather uncertain as to the outcome. We expect to have a fine time tomorrow bombarding the fort I have made out in the garden. We have three batteries of three guns each. Ed commands the center, Clarence the right, and I the left. Tuesday the 20th. We had arithmetic and grammar today and I dont think I got on so well in the former. We had a lot of fun with the cannon out in the back yard. We have battered the fort all to smithereens. At the very first shot, Ed put three balls into the W.C. door but we got the range better after that. Wednesday the 22nd. Yesterday we had history and literature. Today came civil government and I dont think I got on very well as I didn't understand all the questions. I got only an M in my arithmetic exam! After I had finished my practicing I went out and found Pete working at the rectory carting shingles for 81
1903 for a penny. We got Donald mad so that he chased us a- round the cottage and in and out of the wigwam. I also had a slight fire in the wigwam but it didn't amount to much. Donald is having arithmetic drilled into his head. Mrs. Morris next door at the dairy has a new baby named Harriet. She was born last Thursday but I didn't know till Tuesday. * * * The winter drifts by uneventfully apparently with only occasional references to stamp collecting and such minor interests. But, with more open weather, we note signs of stirring life. * * * Thursday, March 12th. Busted Ed Glass out of marbles today and I am trying to save up for a real (a true agate). I fixed up my wind- mill. We dug up Mr. Caw and got his bones. Friday. Today I made a catamaran. Painted it black. Monday. Took my catamaran down to the lake and tried her out; she sails fine. Thursday the 19th. I bought a real today 10 (cents). It was pretty good but didn't stick very well. I haven't been able to write much in this diary for there is so much school work. Murphy's Casino is growing apace. It is going to have a slag roof. They have lots of tar-paper on the roof and about thirty barrels of tar. There are lots of loose pieces of tar lying around and maybe the men will let us have some - come in handy on a boat or any- thing. We are thinking of going to Lewis's Farm in a couple 82
1903 of weeks. Am winners from Ed. Saturday, March 21st. Made a park today in the same big box as we used last year. We planted the little cherry tree on top of the hill overlooking the lake exactly as before. Monday, March 23rd. Planted some violets. Very rainy. Planted the maple tree and the peach sprout dug from Mr. Caw's grave. * * * And so descends another silence over my little do- ings that is utter and complete for many months. I know that during that summer I worked for Frank Morris, the milkman next door. Then, doubtless as a reward for wor- king so long and faithfully, I went on a trip to Penn- sylvania, as the next few entries record. * * * Monday, August 24th. Mamma. Papa, and I started for Pennsylvania today. We went by way of Elizabethport and from there straight on to Mauch Chunk. We left our baggage there and went on to Glen Onoko and Packer's Point. We then returned to Mauch Chunk and slept at the American Hotel. Our room was #59 and it was furnished all right. After supper we went up to Flagstaff and saw the view. Tuesday the 25th. We went to Lansford today and visited Shaft # 6 of the L.V.C. and N. Company. We went all through the breaker and then into the mine. It was a horizontal shaft and we rode on a little train sitting on some boxes that turned out to be full of dynamite. We got back to the hotel at two o'clock. This afternoon we went up the Switchback. The view was magnificent. 83
1903 Wednesday, August 26th. Went up to the Flagstaff again this morning just before we left for Rockport. At our feet we could see the town of Mauch Chunk through which the Lehigh runs, and over across the valley we got glimpses of the big trestle of the Switchback. To the north-east is the Lehigh Gap. On the other side you can see the town of Lehighton and on all sides are nothing but mountains with which Mauch Chunk seems hammed in, and the check- erboard of the farm fields on the lower slopes. When we got back we took the train and arrived at Rock- port at about ten in the morning. This afternoon we walked several miles back into the country almost to the Poor House with Alan Fritz for a guide. (And all that time my grandfather Paul was right next door but was never mentioned and I never knew.) Thursday, August 27th. Today we left Rockport in the morning and drove five miles to Weatherly where we took a train to Lumber Yard; then changed cars and went to Freeland where Her- bert Fritz lives, arriving about ten. We no sooner sat down to dinner than we had to hop and run to catch the trolley to Hazelton. We arrived there about noon but after we had waited about fifteen minutes, a train came in headed the opposite direction from Nescopek and we didn't learn that it was ours till it had backed out again and gone. However, Papa took a two o'clock train to Catawissa, the next train for Nescopek not leaving till 7:45, we found a carriage which took us direct to John Kirkendal and the farm where Papa worked as a boy. The weather which has been pleasant so far, changed today and it is drizzling. * * * 84
1903 Obviously I must have got home from this trip in some manner and by some route, but the diary has nought to say thereon. Nor on any other matters until we come to the day I start on my career at the Asbury Park High School. * * * Monday, September 14th. Today school began. The Board (of Education) has decided to send all of us over free and there are thir- teen of us in all. I have taken the Classical Course but I expect to change to the Latin Scientific next year. My studies are Latin, Music, Drawing, Ancient History, Algebra and I expect that in a few days. I am reading `The Three Musketeers' and `Twenty Years After' both by Dumas. Wednesday the 16th. This morning I took the trolley to the Park instead of riding my wheel and it was a good thing I did so. I had hardly got on the car before it began to rain and la- ter, after I got to school, the wind freshened into a near hurricane. After school, when I went out,, I found it had stopped raining but the wind was blowing furiously. When we got to Main and Cookman, we found the car gone so we started to walk home. Opposite Lewis's I al- most ran into a wire that was hanging down and sputter- ing at one end. We caught the car at Bradley Beach and got home all right. The fence between Dudley's house and ours is blown down and two large poplars crashed in front of Kisner's. I think this is the same storm that so damaged Tampa. * * * Thereafter ensues another blank silence for the bal- 85
1904 ance of the year. My entry into High School, one would think, should have inspired more. Sometime during this interval my cousin Willard Fritz came down to live with us. Dad had got him a job at the Lewis Yard in Spring Lake and there he stayed the rest of his life, becoming manager a year or two after he started. * * * Friday, January 1st. There was a fairly good skating today. I went down in the morning but my skates were so dull that I went over to the Park and took a note to Papa and then went on to Stewart's and saw some fine gold-fish. Ed spoke of starting an aquarium. Saturday. A great snow storm today and every prospect of a blizzard, but about noon it changed to hail and then to rain. In the afternoon we went down to the station and went towing behind a stage but it was too wet so we final- ly quit and came home. Beaumont gave me my lesson. Sunday, Jan. 3rd. Clear day. Gave Donald a spanking this morning as it is his birthday. Been putting stamps in Donald's album. Beaumont came to test my new violin last night and says it's not so very. I finished `Houseboat on the Styx' and read some in `Both Sides of the Border' by Henty. My watch is keeping very good time. Monday the 4th. Miss Cook said to come back this afternoon and re- hearse `Silas Marner' (a play written, produced, and act- ed by our Freshman Class), and I waited at the Lumber Yard till two and then went. On my way I stopped at Stew- art's and bought two more fish with long, forked tails. When I reached the school I found, after I had waited ab- 86
1904 out an hour, that Miss Cook was at a teacher's conference and so I made tracks for home, picking up the fish on my way. Tuesday the 5th. This morning we got our algebra papers back and I got 98 - why not 2 points more and give me 100? Ed and I went down to the river and found that there was good coasting on Mount's hill. We fooled around there for a while and then went up to Ed's. On our way we found tracks in the snow and, upon further investigation, they turned out to be rabbit tracks. Then we went on to Ed's and he showed me his new hockey skates. Afterwards we went down to the lake. It is covered with snow but it has a crust strong enough to hold us. On our way home we had a snow fight.. The temperature this morning was seven below zero and the ocean and river were so covered with steam that you could not see across. Wednesday the 6th. It was warmer today but none of the snow has melted. There is lovely sleighing all the way over to the Park. I expected to go towing but had to go over to the school to rehearse. The play is getting along finely and we expect to be able to play it sometime around the first of February. Yesterday Miss Cook appointed me censor of the class. Every time I hear someone else use bad English, I am to put it down in a notebook and read it on Fridays. Woe, oh Woe is me! I got my report card today and it is the best I have had in quite a while. I did not get home from the rehearsal till almost six o'clock and then ate my dinner so that I was cheated out of my supper. 87
1904 I got a nutty little library book called `Strange Tales from History.' Thursday, January 7th. The snow has begun to thaw and it will be well on its way by tomorrow, I suppose. At the rehearsal this afternoon we used clay pipes in the `Rainbow Inn' scene. Milford Farley put a little tobacco in his and lighted it but the squeals of the girls and the cloud of smoke that arose at the very first puff must have scared him for he made haste to put it out. When I alighted from the cat at Murphy's I saw a lot of kids over on Mount's hill and so, when I had got the key from Mrs. Morris and eaten my dinner, I hied me away to the hill with my sled. After I had got my feet thoroughly soaked and a lot of snow down my back, I came home and dried my wet, cold feet by sticking them, stock- ings and all, in the warm oven. Mamma, Aunt Lou, and Grandma were away calling at Eatontown and so Papa and the rest of us had to get our own supper. Friday the 8th. We had no rehearsal today but Miss Nichols gave us a Latin lesson equal to two rehearsals. It has been thawing slightly all day and this af- ternoon it started in to snow, which lasted till about five o'clock. Ed and I went towing and all together had about nine. The first was from the bridge to King's in West Belmar. Ed made a sled last night and it is a peach. Perce and Ed and I and lot of others got on Atkinson's grocery wagon and he took us back and forth across the trolley tracks on F Street where the snow plow had piled it high till there was none left but we three. The coasting on Mount's hill is fine but towing is better. 88
1904 Saturday, January 9th. I hurried and did my cellar, ashes and chicken house this morning and then went over and had my pictures taken with Donald. In the afternoon we went towing again and had a dandy time. Clarence, Ed, and I went over to the Park and back behind two fast drivers and then got another that took us clear up to Heroy's. They made us get off there and then we walked across the river on the ice and coasted down Rattlesnake Hill for w while and then came home. This evening Papa brought home three violins and I played on each so much like a bean. This afternoon when we were fixing our sleds a dog came up to us and when we spoke to him he was so pleased that he would `rair' up on his hind legs. We named him `Bean.' Monday the 11th. It is still thawing but later this afternoon it got very raw and cold. This afternoon Ed and I went down to the river `Her'n Hole Box' and caught 7897 killies [...has to be a typo -Todd] and 21 baby black bass but we put them all back and they swam away with tears of thankfulness in their eyes. When I was coming home, I stepped on my nose and fell down on my elbow and haven't been able to move it since. [...Excuse me? He must have been very tired when he wrote this one particular entry. -Todd] I got a letter from Willie Whitfield today in which he stated that there had been a big fire in Chicago and that he was going to put on long pants in the Spring. Tuesday the 12th. My arm is much better today but it is still pretty stiff. I got up so late this morning that I missed the car and had to leg it up to the station and catch the 8:10 89
1904 train and got there the same time as the Belmar trolley. The fare was only 7 (cents). I went up to Ed's again today and he has his rifle safely hidden in a closet and we took it all apart. The gas is still frozen up and gives a very dim light. I had my composition on Christmas put in the Jour- nal by Miss Cook. We have a rehearsal tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 but I am not sure as to my coming back. The snow is going fast and it looks like rain to- night and that will surely finish the towing - on F Street at least. The kids are still marching in the streets, drag- ging their sleds and towing, but I would rather wait till next summer when there will be just about as much snow and the weather will be much pleasanter. Monday, January 14th. The snow is about gone and the lake is frozen over again. It never really did thaw but the snow melted and covered the ice with water and that is now all frozen over smooth as glass except near the shore where it is only about 1/4 inch thick; underneath that is water and then about six inches of good ice. It was very windy so I took my sled down and, knee- ling on it spread out my coat like a sail. That worked all right but I could not steer it and the sled would gradually work around sideways so that when I struck a bump! Charley Miller came over this evening and played a few and asked me to join the Ocean Grove Orchestra. I slipped and fell again and landed on my other elbow. Saturday, February 6th. We had Silas Marner last night and it came off with- out a hitch. We took in over one hundred twelve dollars. 90
1904 Thursday, February 18th. Did nothing all day but in the afternoon made a war game - like checkers with a map of Siberia and Japan on it. I hope I am not going to let this diary die like all its predecessors. Friday the 19th. I wrote a composition yclept `What befell the Sheriff of Nottingham' and handed it in this morning. We had exercises today commemorating Washington's birth and I had to recite something I wrote on his mil- itary career. There was no school Monday. Oh Joy! I tried the war game with Donald but he got mad and wouldn't play. It has been snowing steadily all day, just the right kind of snow because it packs down well. * * * Thereafter stark silence. In fact the rest of my Freshman year draws to its close with no entry worthy of note until at the very end...... Thursday, June 2nd. They began to rebuild the board-walk today but only drove six pilings when the crane broke and the seventh fell on the back of a negro. He died six o'clock this evening at West Park. Friday, June 3rd. Donald Cooper, Don's playmate, died today. He went swimming Monday and was taken sick Wednesday with spinal menengitis. Saturday the 4th. Ed, Bud Coster, and I went out rowing on the river this afternoon and we took off our shoes and stockings and dug eighteen clams. Pete Cooper and Halice Parker were wading around in tights, shivering with the cold, so we splashed water all over them with our oars. 91
1904 Friday, June 10th. The Seniors had a play last night and I went. Aft- erwards refreshments were served and then dancing. Goldie Snow, Harry Cooper, Merie King and I came home on the Owl after waiting about an hour at the station with Lathrop Ingraham. The Beacon came out today. Sunday the 12th. I went over to the Park yesterday and got measured for a pair of long pants. Saturday the 18th. Long pants came today. Sunday. Wore my long pants over to the sermon at the Pres- byterian Church in Asbury Park. Tuesday the 21st. I learned my averages today - Algebra 94, English 97, History 92 and Latin 82. The Grammar School had its Graduation Exercises this afternoon and I had to fiddle. Monday the 7th. Yesterday I went in swimming at the Inlet for the first time and today I began work for Mr. Morris again. * * * This job was the same that I had held the preceding summer. It wasn't too hard but the hours were long and I dont imagine it payed more than two or three dollars a week. From three to seven A.M. I helped Frank make his milk deliveries which covered the whole town. After breakfast I spent the balance of the morning washing end- less bottles at a foot-operated machine with a whirling brush. Mrs. Morris was a big woman, handsome in a bold brassy way, with a terrific temper. Occasionally, when Frank had to be elsewhere, she would take Frank's place 92
1904 on the delivery and it was to this circumstance that I owe the one outstanding picture of that summer. On this particular morning it was just getting light and I was loading my wire basket to make my deliveries on 15th Ave., a little short street that ran only from F to the Railroad. Suddenly the horse bolted so unexpect- edly that I was spun around, bottles and all. When I re- gained my feet, the horse was careering across F Street and through the flimsy fence into the vacant fields beyond. Most of the wagon, the broken milk bottles, and a badly shaken Mrs. Morris, remained at the fence. She really wasn't hurt - only a few bruises - and between us we rounded up the horse who, now that the damage was done, was perfectly calm and peaceful. I forget how we got home. Mrs. Morris was trembling with rage. Later in the morning when I was washing my bottles in the milk-house I heard her screaming at Frank and I looked out of the window. Frank had brought the horse out of the stable and stood there in the yard holding it while she lashed it with a whip. Again and again the whip fell as she swished it through the air with all her strength, screaming epithets at the poor horse with every stroke. The horse stood quietly, trembling, the black sweat staining its brown coat, while Frank, white as a sheet, stared at the ground, flinching at every whist- ling cut of the whip. * * * Monday, July 4th. I had nine boxes of blanks for my Fourth and shot them in Papa's revolver (Nero, seven shooter, single ac- tion) but it kept getting clogged up all the time. I worked for Mr. Morris all the morning the same as ever. In the evening we all went down to the club to see the fireworks but they weren't much good. Afterwards I 93
1904 went in with the rest and we all had ice cream and Papa upset his glass of water all over the green baize cloth. Tuesday, July 12th. I went in swimming today in the Ocean and Pool both. The Ocean was 70 (degrees) and the Pool was 73 (degrees) but they both felt the same to me. A horse and wagon were hit by the trolley on Mon- mouth Ave. A boy who was in the wagon was killed and the man who was with him is thought to be dying. Thursday the 14th. Started `Hypatia' yesterday but didn't go swimming. Today I went swimming in the ocean and pool both but got a headache and soon came home. Finished `Hypatia'. Fine! Friday the 15th. I went swimming this afternoon in the ocean but not in the pool. There was only one other fellow in. Coming home I met Willie Whitfield. Saturday the 16th. I sent for some stamps today and I guess they will get here Tuesday. The ocean was 64 and the pool 74 but I only went in the ocean. It's the coldest water I have ever been in that I can remember. I bought a bottle of vanilla extract today and got some sugar to make milk-shakes over in the milk house. Mr. Morris didn't pay me today. Sunday the 17th. When I came home from Sunday School Papa had gone down swimming so I put on my bathing suit and went down too. When I arrived I found the Ocean was 66 (degrees) and Papa hadn't gone in yet. It was rather cold but after I got in it didn't seem too bad. I didn't stay in long though and when I came out I went straight home - no pool. 94
1904 Mamma and Papa and Grandma went over to hear Pryor's Band play `Parsifall'. I don't work Sundays and today Mr. Morris had Walter Gifford helping him. Monday, July 18th. This afternoon I went swimming at 2:30 and stay- ed in till five. First I went in the Ocean and swam around a little and then went into the Pool which was 73 while the Ocean was 70. Will Morris and Corty Heyniger came in and we did stunts for about an hour till we got tired and quit. I went down to 8th Ave. where I thought I saw Ed in a canoe and sure enough it was he. He let me go out in it and it was great fun going over the big swells and ev- en when they broke under the canoe it would ride right over them. When you ran ashore on the crest of the wave, you would go about a mile a minute. Coming back by Gordon's I saw Bean and managed to get ahold of him and duck him. I had two milk shakes this morning and they were swell. Tuesday the 18th. This has been about the hottest day this year. This afternoon I went down swimming as usual but it wasn't much fun as the water was too dirty. My stamps came at noon and Donald brought them home when he came back from Spring Lake. He and Leonard have been planning a bicycle trip and this morning they got lunches fixed and....... Clarence just came in and brought me some hinges as I was out of them, and I put in the rest of my stamps. He and Halice Parker sneaked into the Pool this after- noon by climbing over the fence. We discovered another way to get in by way of the engine room. 95
1904 I expect to start making a canoe soon although I suppose it will never be finished. Mr. Morris paid me today. It has been awfully hot all morning in the milk house and I never had so much to do. * * * And so passed the summer. Perhaps as a reward for sticking so faithfully to the job, there came a trip to Providence in September. * * * Friday, September 2nd. Mamma and Papa and Donald and I went to Coney Is- land today, and then stayed overnight at Smith and Mc Nell's. Saturday, Sept. 3rd. Aunt Lou came up and met us this morning and we went to the Aquarium down in the Battery. In the afternoon we went to Central Park but came back at four when Donald and Papa went home alone while Aunt Lou, Mamma and I went to Pier 18 and went to our stateroom on the Plymough. I met Captain Rowland. The Plymough pulled away from the slip at 6:00 and I sat on the deck watching the city slip by till, at nine o'clock when we were off New Rochelle, Capt. Rowland ask- ed me to come up into the pilot-house. I didn't stay there too long and, after he said he would call me at four the next morning, I went to bed in the Captain's own room since there was room in their stateroom for only Mamma and Aunt Lou. Sunday, Sept. 4th. This morning at 3:45 Capt. Rowland sent s steward to waken me and at four I climbed up to the pilot house. The Captain's room is right back of the pilot house and the stairs lead right down to it. 96
1904 There was no light up there and it was pitch dark outside. The only sound was the air coming in through the open windows and the occaasional creaking of the wheels as they were shifted a point or two. There are three big wheels whose tops are about four feet above the floor for use in rough weather although one man can easily handle it in fine weather as we were having now. They gave me a cup of coffee and a piece of mince pie and then I stood looking out of the windows. As it grew lighter I could see the shore and I soon recognized Rocky Point. Not long after that we entered the Provi- dence River and at 5:43 we landed at Fox Point. * * * Thereafter further silence till it was time to come home again. Then we have - Wednesday, September 14th. We left for home today, in the Pilgrim. She left Fox Point at eight with a strong wind blowing up and by the time we reached Point Judith we began to feel the Ocean. Captain Rowland had said we were in for a rough night. I was sitting in the stern when we first sighted the Point Judith Light and I knew that here was where the excitement should start. I walked through the sa- loon toward the bow but before I got there the Pilgrim was beginning to roll, and when I opened the door leading out onto the deck the suction of the wind was such that I could hardly push it open and, once outside, the gale struck me full force. I walked up to the fore-peak and was watching the stem cut through the waves when suddenly, without any warning, a large wave struck our bow sending the water up over twenty feet and drenching me, till I could duck over to the lee of the cabin. The water kept pouring up across the bows like a cataract but where I was standing 97
1905 it was comparatively sheltered. The roaring of the wind and the water was deafening, while the dull, heavy thuds as the waves hit the windward side made it often diffi- cult to keep my feet. About a mile ahead was the Fall River Line steamer Priscilla. Watching her roll till the lights on her paddle-boxes seemed almost over each other, made me realize just how rough it was. I watched her till nearly midnight; later, when I got home, I learned that Milford Farley had been on her. All night it kept up although shortly after eleven, when we entered the quieter waters of the Sound, the cio- lent motioneased off noticeably. Captain Rowland said it was the worst storm in twenty two years. * * * The rest of the year is completely blank. * * * Tuesday, January 3rd. Gave Donald a fine spanking with his new slippers. In the evening I invited Ed up and we played Sherlock Holmes and Pit till about eleven. Thursday, January 5th. I went to Miss Nesbit's dancing class this evening. It was better than the other although I dont like the me- thod. Sunday the 8th. I was elected assistant Secretary of the Sunday School. Harry Cooper is Secretary so I shouldn't have too much to do. Monday the 9th. I went on the train today but came home on the trolley. This makes two tickets I must get rid of. Seven of us have been transferred from the A Divi- sion in Algebra to some other, taught by a Miss Thompson. We recited today in the Sixth Grade room and were all 98
1905 cramped up by the little seats. Our group is going on to take Geometry next half but the rest are sticking to Algebra. A year ago today Bean put on his appearance. I think he has adopted Harry Cooper - at least Harry feeds him and I think he sleeps there now. Sunday, January 15th. I went to church this morning with Willard Fritz and we took a walk around by the beach afterward. The Ocean was very calm. The lake is frozen very smooth al- though there is some snow on it but I guess it will be all right tomorrow for it is bitter cold. At Sunday School I had to help Harry and when there was a shortage of 1 (cents) between the class books and the total collection he made it up out of his own pocket, informing me that I should do the same in a similar ease! * * * I am now Exchange Editor of the Beacon for we next read... Friday, April 14th. The BEacon came out today and I, in addition to be- ing the Exchange Editor, had to peddle them to the hoi poloi. I collected $4.40 but shall have to spend some of that for wrappers to send off my exchanges. Today we played Rider, Moore and Stewart, a business college from Trenton. It was the first game of the seas- on and they beat us 25 to 0 - sounds more like football than baseball. Monday the 17th. Today begins the Easter Vacation. I dont know what to do with myself. I pottered around down in the cellar with a new invention. First I took a board and put two sash pulleys on it in its center so it could run on a rope or wire, and then two sash weights to balance it. 99
1905 Maybe we can have some fun with it some other day when we dont know what else to do. This afternoon Ed came up and we cooked some soup in an old lard pail over a fire. Tuesday, April 18th. This morning Aunt Lou and I cleaned and raked out the chicken yard. I went down to Ed's this afternoon and found him in Mrs. Shinn's next door after hunting and whistling for a long while. He finally appeared and we went over to the other house the Glasses own across the street and he showed me some old sabers and we had a duel. He also had an old, rusty rifle which he said had been at the Alamo - but I doubt it. He lent me a book from the Philadelphia Library, `In The Sargasso Sea'. It is fine and by the same author who wrote `The Aztec Treasure House.' It snowed early this afternoon quite hard. The wea- ther is raw and chilly. Wednesday the 19th. Did nothing but play solitaire all morning till Miss Adams left at 11:30 when I went to the station with her. Coming back someone called me and when I turned I saw Horace Byram in a little office which he keeps for his brother. He used to be in Miss Lamont's room with me but didn't go on to High School. This afternoon Ed and I made some more soup in the fire-place I built in the chicken yard. It was pretty good but rather weak. Aunt Lou went home today on the 7:10 A.M. and Mamma went to the city with her. When she came back she brought me a book by a Judge Shute entitled `The Real Diary of a Real Boy' and it really seems to be that judging from the little I have read so far. 100
1905 Thursday, April 20th. This morning after I had put in my hour's practice, Mamma read some in the Real Diary till Donald had to go to school. Then Ed came up and we went down around the river. We walked down River Ave. till we came to the `Herr'n Hole' box at B Street and then walked out over the little plank. Just as we reached the other side, Ed saw a snake asleep so we carefully retreated and got a couple of sticks. Then we slatted him up on the sedge about 50 feet and then kept poking at him to make him strike. Finally he curled himself around my stick and from there worked him into an old demijohn we found ly- ing there. When we got to Ed's we built him a cage. But this afternoon when I went back to Ed's after dinner, I found he had escaped and we found his body on 4th Ave. Friday the 21st. Still bright and sunny. This morning I went down to Ed's but when I got there I found that Ralph Shinn had come down and Ed was off with him somewhere. So I went down to the beach and carved a monkey's head out of some blue clay I found there and after that I went on down to Gordon's. As I was starting home I saw Ed and Ralph and went on home with them. We saddled Dewey and took turns riding him around the block. This afternoon we went down to the river after the mate of the snake someone killed yesterday. Sure enough it was there, and asleep, but it saw us as soon as we saw it and went into the water like a flash where it hid und- er a big clump of mud and grass. Well, we poked around for a while and it didn't come out so I used a big plank that was lying there and pried up the lump. There he was and we quickly pulled him out and popped him into the demijohn. It is about 3-1/2 feet long and we have it in the same cage. 101
1905 After that we had a lot of fun up in the third story of the 4th Ave. house. Saturday, April 22nd. Worked like a bean this morning sifting ashes, cleaning the chicken house and sweeping out the cellar. This afternoon I went up to Ed's and found that snake #2 had also made good his escape. For a while we rode Dewey around the block again but soon tired of that. Then we fenced a while and had a catch and then played cricket. We didn't know what to do with ourselves. I have been mailing off Beacons to my exchanges just now but I shall have to get some more wrappers. Sunday, April 23rd. The weather is brite and fare today and so, after church, Willard and I took a walk around the beach. This afternoon, after Ed and I had taken up the collection, I sat by the open window af the Christian Endeavor room waiting for Harry to come in with the Class Books, when I saw Bean come sneaking along toward the front door; So I whistled to him very softly. He looked up, saw me, and darted up the steps into the church - whence he emerged almost at once with some unseen assis- tance from behind and flitted out of sight around the corner. In a minute or two another big brown dog I had never seen before poked his nose from out behind the church where he must have been paddling in the mortar- bed they are using at the Manse judging by the mortar all over his paws. I called him too and he too disap- peared up the steps - but only for the briefest moment. He too came dashing out, closely pursued by Mr. Housel, and went loping up 9th Ave. `That's the second dog I've chased out so far. I wonder how many more there'll be?' says he. To which I vouchsafed no reply. So endeth a busy day. 102
1905 Monday, April 24th. Yesterday Ed left Sunday School before it was over so that I couldn't go down to the beach with him and so I didn't go up to his house today. I didn't have any- thing to amuse myself with so I practiced an hour and a half on the violin and cut up a lot of wood. I got a magnifying glass and tried watching the ants but they were so scary they wouldn't come out while I was looking. This afternoon I hitched my kite to the `invention' I made last Monday but it is too heavy for that and it wouldn't work. I also sent off some more Beacons but ran out of wrappers again. Maybe I'd better write to Aunt Lou. * * * Belmar, N.J. Dear Aunt Lou: April 24, 1905. We have all read `The Real Diary of a Real Boy' except Grandma, and Willard almost went into fits over it. Donald went over to Morris's and they let him get all the back numbers of its `Sequil' but one and he has pasted them into a blank book. I dont know what to do with myself and have been sawing wood all the morning but school begins tomorrow and I guess I'll know what to do then. You ought to see the chicken yard. It looks fine as a bean. You would never dream we had just cleaned it. Donald left the rake on the pile of rubbish when he lit the fire and it almost burned in two when the flames reached it. Mr. Morris is cleaning up his yard and they have just torn up that horrible old trough that the waste from the pump runs through. Tomorrow we are going to have a board fence seven or eight feet high built to cut us off from the view of the yard. It will run from the top of their chicken house to their back porch and will cut off 103
1905 everything but the top of the milk house and their kitch- en window. I dont know what Mamma and Grandma will have to talk about when it is done. Please write soon Your nevvy, Jay. * * * Tuesday, April 25th. Scholl began today and I rode my bicycle for the weather was fine. I am going to the Schubart Glee Club Minstrels in a few minutes and I bet we miss the car; we always do. I got two U.S. stamps, the eight cent and the ten, uncancelled, and I am trying to get the whole set. * * * School draws an impenetrable curtain over the ensu- ing weeks till two brief entries on Sunday, June 11th. Willard and I went over to the Baccalaureate Sermon at the Asbury Park Presbyterian Church. There weren't many there. Afterwards we strolled on the board-walk. There was an odd cloud formation in the west which Will- ard suddenly noticed. He grabbed my arm in great excite- ment - `What fer mountain is that?' Vacation in six days. Monday the 12th. The final examinations began today. We had German first half, Geometry the second. The German was easy but the Geometry `nicht so sehr'. Our renters are coming into the house Wednesday, the first time we have rented recently, and we are busy moving over to the cottage. This afternoon after school Gillespie and I went down to the Press and got the Beacon. We watched them binding and trimming them while we waited for the rain, 104
1905 which was coming down in torrents, to stop. But it didn't and I had to take my exchanges and run for it. The new envelopes are a little too small or else the Beacon is too big. Tomorrow we have English. * * * The summer which now passes without comment in the diary was the one in which I worked at Pennypackers, a printing establishment which published the Asbury Park Journal which is now long defunct but which at that time rivalled the Press. My pay was $3.00 a week, the hours were long, and my duties many and varied. Years later I was still making disparaging remarks about Mr. Pennypack- er to whom we always referred in private as Mr. Pennypin- cher. As an example - we worked till the wee sma' hours the night before the Fourth and were served ice-cream as we stood or sat around the presses; but my next pay enve- lope showed a deduction of 10 (cents) for same. However, I stuck it out manfully through July but then resigned to become assistant desk clerk at the Curlew in Loch Arbor which I held through the month of August. With the savings from these two jobs I invested in a Folding Brownie camera #3A for $9.00 together with a de- veloping set and printing frames. In addition to the cam- era I also bought a Savage 22 repeating rifle. Both of these purchases figure largely in the Saga of the River which follows this volume. One of the first pictures I took was a time exposure in the living room of the cot- tage. I dont think I have ever since taken a better one. It gives a perfect idea of the summer furniture of the period and is what was then known as a `speaking likeness' of the man who figures throughout these pages as `Papa'. Sometime in September I went to Providence again for a short visit. While there, Aunt Lou, Mother and I 105
1905 went overland by trolley to Boston and Cambridge. I dont recall that there was at this time any thought of my go- ing to Harvard nor do I now recall what my impressions were if any; in fact I have little memory of any part of this visit to Providence. There were numerous pictures taken with the new camera, only one of which I shall here insert as it gives an idea of how I looked and dressed at the time. The diary's silence persists through the opening of my Junior year in High School and nearly through Octo- ber when, apropos nothing at all, we get a few more entries. * * * Saturday, October 28th. Well, I'll start in again as though nothing had hap- pened - which there hasn't - and see how long I can keep this diary. Probably, within a week, this book will have half an inch of dust in it - but maybe not. I filled in the time this morning by practicing for an hour on the violin (Beaumont didn't come), bringing books down from the store-room in the attic and piling them in a heap in the bay window and, lastly but not leastly, cleaning up the cellar, sifting the ashes, and hoing out the chicken house etc. In the afternoon I went up to Ed's and read. He has the stamp craze again and eight 25 (cents) packets have just arrived. Sunday the 29th. Nothing doing today except to go to Sunday School. This evening I was voted into the Christian Endeavor as an associate member since I have persistently refused to join the church. Monday, October 30th. Miss Briggs wasn't to school today so we had first 106
* * * period vacant so we shall have four study periods this week. Dr. Shepard had us all write a letter telling our age, the courses we are taking, and any suggestions we might have that would be mutually helpful!! We were assigned dates for our rhetoricals. My first must be selected and announced by Dec. 1st and reci- ted on December 15th. Miss Cook wants me to write a serial story for the Beacon and I outlined a bear story, but I dont know whe- ther that's the kind she means. Wonder when we get our reports? I'm afraid of Latin. Friday, November 3rd. Here we are again up to my old tricks. Tuesday my pen ran dry and Wednesday and Thursday I haven't been work- ing up in my room where this book is hidden for we have had these days off on account of Teacher's Institute. But today I have had to hurry up on the back home-work or it would never get done. This morning Mamma wanted me to go to the Institute with her and I went. It is in the Neptune High School and there I met Misses Briggs, Cook, Godfroy, Minturn, Coffin, Emory, and Dr. Shepard. Saw Miss Nichols in the dim distance. I bet it will be in the Beacon sure. Am writing an essay on the Reign of George III. Saturday the 4th. Here it is Saturday and what have I done this vaca- tion? Nothing at all except write that measly essay on George III. Went up to Ed's but he had to go up into the coun- try with his mother to get Ellen Terry's calf, or some- thing. Beaumont came this afternoon. He goes to Drexel now and is taking a Mechanical Drawing course and so can get down here only every other Saturday. He stayed two 107
1905 hours!!! Went over to the Park this evening. The car was full of boozy folks who waxed very loquatious over the coming election. The whole trolley smelled somthing rank. School resumes Monday. Monday, November 6th. Still another day skipped. Miss Cook has changed her mind about the theatre partyOn the 17th of November we are to go to New YOrk to see the Ben Greet players in Macbeth on the five some- thing train and come home on the Owl. Now we are leaving at noon. Harold Hutchinson and I can leave school at 11 to get home in time to take the train at Belmar. I took a picture of Sancho and Frisky Saturday and Sancho has been missing ever since. Yesterday he reappe- ared all bunged up around his head, a great big lump un- der his chin. Wrote another outline for a story about the Philli- pines in addition to the bear story. Dont know which to take. Tomorrow we get our reports and the Beacon comes out. Didn't see the proofs of my column. Saturday, November 11th. Here we go again - another blank. However, everyone is well and nothing serious has happened since last I sat me down to this pleasant task. Had lots of fun election night over at the Park. Drunken party in the car produced a razor and smacked his lips when the conductor asked for his fare, but he was promptly suppressed. One of the seats at Gordon's Pavillion came at me at a furious pace Tuesday afternoon and ran right into the front wheel of my bicycle and sent me flying over the handle bars. I landed on my feet and the bench wasn't 108
1905 hurt at all, but my front wheel was buckled and I had to take it home on it's hind wheel - repairs 75 (cents). Got a new overcoat this afternoon at Strickland's. Wednesday, November 22nd. No use apologizing for this gap for there's nothing to say except that I shall try to turn over a new leaf and write this up more regularly. Ed didn't come to school Monday so I went up that afternoon and found that he was in bed with appendicitis; but he seemed all right and he and Ralph Shinn and I were looking over some old dime novels. Last night I called again with his Geometry and found him still in bed but he didn't seem much worse. Dr. Treat thought he was all right and hadn't called since Monday. Today, when I got home around 2:00, I found that he had been taken to the Long Branch Hospital this morn- ing and had been operated on at 1:00. Papa saw Dr. Thomp- son and he said peitonitis was well developedd and that Ed hasn't one chance in four for life. Virginia and Aunt Sadie have rushed back from Washington. Friday the 24th. I handed in a theme today on James Whitcomb Riley which I am supposed to speak December 15th. Also I have worked up that Phillipine thing pretty well and shall call it `Green's Strategem'. While waiting for the Phi Delta Psi meeting this afternoon, Boney, Barnard, Mitchell Ross and I stole some crullers down at the cooking class and stuffed ourselves full. After the meeting we went up in the tower and while we were there the boys locked the door. They finally let us down. Ed is no better. Mrs. Glass has for the first time learned that he has peritonitis. They only answer that the Hospital will give is - `he is as well as can be expected' 109
1906 which may mean anything. Virginia was allowed to see him today but for only a few minutes. It scarcely seems pos- sible that Ed may be dying when he appeared so well Tues- day night, sitting up in bed and doing his Geometry. * * * And so, on this note of worry and doubt, ends this year's record. Ed did get well. I vaguely remember vis- iting him at the hospital a little later simultaneously with Willy Love a former playmate and son of our one-time principal at Belmar. As soon as Ed could be moved, his family took him down to Washington at thieir Riggs Place house where I visited him the following April as per this letter. * * * Sunday, April 15th 1906. Dear Mamma: When I met Ed at the Union Station at 6:15 Wednesday, we started right out for 1721 Riggs Place. We got off the car at Dupont Circle and the house is about six blocks from there. I didn't have time to mail the postals before I got there but it made no difference for, just as I got there, the mail wagon drove up to the box. The next day, Thursday the 12th, Ed and I started out early and went forst to the Washington Monument but there was an awful mob standing in line waiting to go up in the elevator so we went on first to the Smithsonian Institute and then to the National Museum. In the former we found nothing of real interest but the latter is great. There I saw George Washington's pants. Also I saw the boiler of the first locomotive in the U.S. and all of the second; likewise some dinosaurs etc. and hundreds of dif- ferent guns, big and little, captured from Phillipinos, Chinese, Spanish and British. By this time it was noon so we had lunch at a little 110
1906 grub shop and then started for the Capitol. There we vis- ited first the Senate; they do spit on the floor and rub their feet in it; and Tillman does roar like a bull at anyone who says anything he doesn't like. Then we saw the Supreme Court. The Judges all sat in a row like a flock of crows on a fence and some nodded forward and some nodded backward as they all seemed to be sleeping peacefully while two lawyers took turns trying to convince them that their respective sides of the case were correct. One of the lawyers was so nervous the pa- per from which he was reading fluttered so you could hear it all over the room and he had to put it down on the table and lean his whole weight on it to keep it still. The House was next honored by our presence. We had to stand in line for over half an hour before we could get in. Cannon wasn't in the chair and Sherman of New York had it. He paid no attention whatever to the speak- ers and would be laughing and joking with some one else while two other members were hurling remarks at each other so fast you couldn't tell which was speaking. Then Burke Cockran got up and everyone stopped and listened to him. He gave everyone a fine blowing up, just what they needed, and with it led up to the Rate Bill and the attacks made against us by the `unconstitutional lawyers'. Obviously he doesn't think very much of `constitutional lawyers', whatever they are, and I thought it a fine speech. Afterwards we visited the Library of Congress, a beautiful building and it is lovely inside; but they wont let you take any books home so Ed drew out one for each of us and we read till seven o'clock, when we went home. Friday morning Beaumont, Ed, Imogen, Aunt Sadie and I started for Mount Vernon. When we reached the dock of 111
1906 the Mount Vernon boat at twelve we found that it would not leave till 1:30 so we chased after a trolley but missed it and had to wait half an hour for another. At last it came and, in our ignorance, we thought we were really on our way. But no. At Alexandria we found that we must wait three quarters of an hour more for another trolley. I did see the beautiful old church Washington attended and we walked through the town a while. That consumed only half an hour so there was a further wait which I used to buy the post-cards and mailed them right there. I forgot the address of your hospital so I could only approximate it; I hope you got it all right. After a great while the trolley did arrive and we eventually reached Mount Vernon at 2:30 and, since the steamer didn't leave till 4:00, there was still lots of time and I think we saw everything from the hole in the door cut for Martha's cats to their tomb. (Martha and George's, not the cats - although Ed and I did find some tiny graves under a tree which may have been the cats'.) I was just about to take a picture of the mantle-piece presented to Washington by (of all people) a Mr. Bean, when an aged and bewhiskered attendant stretched out his hand in a most dignified way and said, `Excuse me, Sir; Excuse me' in a most urgent manner - so I did excuse him and closed my camera without the picture. The boat trip back on the Potomac was fine - too bad we couldn't have come that way. Saturday morning Ed and I started for Fort Myer and Arlington. When we alighted from the car we had to climb a long flight of steps to the Fort and walked thro it but I saw nothing of especial interest. Then we strol- led out into Arlington Cemetery which opens right into the Fort. We turned off the road and down a little gulley, where every now and then you come across a bone where it 112
1906 has been washed from some grave but we found no skulls. A skull would have been a really worth while souvenir. But we did find an old shell, a 12' ball half buried in the bed of Rock Creek, but it weighed about 30 pounds so we had to let it lie. Further down the brook we found some craw-fish and caught several. I have my five now on my bureau in a wash-basin and they are having a great time trying to get out. After visiting the Lee-Custis mansion, we came home. * * * Here I must pause for a moment to elaborate a bit. To take the picture opposite, I had to back some distance down the slope to a point which, from the pictures I have seen, must have been quite close to what is today the Kennedy plot. Behind Lee's mansion we found a well with a wheel, a `green, mossy bucket' from which we brought up cool, sweet water that tasted very good after all that tramping through the Virginia heat in the quiet cemetery. We set our jars of craw-fish on the stone curbing and, somehow, Ed's was pushed off and fell down into the cool, deep darkness whence presently rose the faintest of echoing splashes. Perhaps Ed's specimens have since become the progenitors of a race of blind craw-fish which will cause some future ichthyologist to scratch his head and wonder. But to resume the letter. * * * Sunday Ed and I went to Sunday School and church. In the afternoon Beaumont, Mrs. Glass and I went to the Zoo. It's a fine little place but not as good as Roger Williams Park. Today, (which, by the way, is Monday the 16th al- though I started this letter Sunday) Ed and I visited 113
1906 the Capitol and the Congressional Library again and took five pictures. * * * Note that I say nought as to the nature of these five pictures and for a very good reason. Ed and I had, by now, learned that the less said about our more unusu- al and interesting exploits, the better. Such revelati- ons brought only uneasiness to and censure from our pa- rents and general unpleasantness. But before being more specific about these pictures, let me digress a bit furth- er to show what brought back to me so forcibly the memory of that far-off day and exploit, which, somehow, never got into my letter home. On November 24th 1963 I sat before my T/V and watch- ed the silent crowds shuffling past President Kennedy's coffin there in the rotunda beneath the Capitol's dome. And, as I sat there, long forgotten memories of the last time I had been in that rotunda fifty seven years earlier came surging back to life. Things were so much simpler in 1906 - no guards, no security precautions - the Capitol belonged to us people and who would think of harming it? We were two sixteen year old boys who had casually strolled in, quite unescor- ted, to visit our nation's Capitol. Both houses were in session and we had watched them again in action from the visitors' gallery and on our way out we passed, naturally, through the rotunda. Painters had been working there in the ceiling but had gone to lunch perhaps; at any rate the place was quite deserted, no one in sight. There was a scaffold under the ceiling and a ladder reaching up to the base of the dome, Another minute and we had scaled the ladder and were thro' a little hatchway into the eerie gloom of the great dome. Then up a long spiral iron staircase till we stepped thro' 114
1906 another door into the blinding sunlight and found oursel- ves on a narrow circular walk with a marble ballustrade surrounding the base of the statue which surmounts the very peak of the dome. I do not now remember what that statue was (an Indian girl, I think, not Columbia as I had expected. [T'was the statue of `Freedom'. -Todd] The view was magnificent and it was from here that I took the pictures, in case you have wondered. [Photo 1 - south to Library of Congress Bldg., Photo 2 - Looking west up PA Ave.] We were so exhiliarated by the view and the height that we mounted the ballustrade and walked all around it - it was more than a foot wide. Imagine two teen-agers achiev- ing such a thing undetected today. That is one probable reason for today's `Juvenile delinquent'; he is so hedged in with restrictions, so cribbed, cabined and confined, that he is forced into extra-legal outlets. On the day we returned to the Washington Monument and I took the picture opposite which, to the uninstruct- ed may look like a stone walk going nowhere but was actu- ally obtained by pointing my camera straight up from the base. The elevator wasn't working so we walked up. At about the half-way mark was a bronze tablet stating that at that particular point construction had been halted, at what date I do not remember, through lack of funds until at some later date additional funds became available (from the pennies of school children - or was that the Bartholdi statue?) It is all so long ago that these things now es- cape me. Anyway at dinner that night I thoughtlessly mentioned this plaque and what it said - whereat there fell a most dreadful stillness. Apparently the Glasses knew of this plaque and that it could not possibly be read from the elevator and that, therefor, we must have walked up (and down) all those hundreds of steps with Ed's appendix scar only a few months old. And now to resume the letter. * * * 115
1906 After this last visit to the Capitol we met Beaumont and went to Chase's which is like Keith's and is vaude- ville. It has been awfully hot here all week except Sunday and I wilted my collar completely tramping through Arling- ton. Flowers are out everywhere and the trees are green. Beaumont has just left for Philadelphia and I must go to dinner, so good-bye. Jay. * * * When I left for home I dont remember. I have a dis- tinct recollection of riding in a trolley with Ed, Aunt Sadie and Virginia when we saw the headlines telling of the San Francisco earthquake which was, I think, April 18th. I am almost certain that was the day we visited the Rock Creek Cemetery. I remember how I sat long look- ing at the beautiful Adams Memorial by St. Gaudens; it has such a sad, brooding quality that I have never for- gotten and I'm glad I took a picture of it - at Virginia's insistance, if I remember correctly. And there was the day when Ed and I went out to the Falls of the Potomac. I can still picture the woods and the rushing river and the blue Virginia sky with the buz- zards wheeling, wheeling tirelessly in great lazy circles. Then, at the last minute, there was a hurried shop- ping trip to get souvenirs for the folks at home. Aunt Sadie insisted on this; it would never have occured to me. The day I left Washington was beautifully warm and summarish. Coming up through Maryland the pach trees were all in bloom. My craw-fish in a pint Mason jar rode beside me on the window sill of the car for Mrs. Glass had insisted that I take them with me. At Philadelphia all was hustle and confusion as I 116
1906 tried to find what trolley I should take to reach the Philadelphia Women's Hospital where Mother was recover0 ing from an operation. Eventually I got on the wrong car and had to walk several blocks. The heat was intense and the long rows of dingy houses in North Philadelphia wwere depressing. At each step my suitcase and raincoat grew heavier, my jar of craw-fish an intolerable burden. As I passed an open window with an empty high chair just visible inside, I reached up, set the jar on the window sill, and kept straight on without looking back. What else happened before the Diary resumes on 6th June has vanished into the dark shadows of the forgotten. Somewhere in the interval Willard Fritz married Lillian and the bride and groom moved into the cottage. But, starting in the next volume which I have call- `The River', the diary embarks on a career that contin- ues with only minor breaks until the signing of the Armis- tice on November 11th, 1918.

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Todd L. Sherman (afn09444@afn.org)
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