Through Any Given Door

1.42 Larry’s Diary, Jan-Jul 1948

Note: my brother did not keep a diary for much of 1948. Many entries were the typical posts about Boy Scouts, band, and building bookcases, some days were missed, and some weeks and months were completely blank.

1948 • Larry’s diary (age 13 and 14)
Jan 1  USC lost in Rose Bowl. Took inventory at back room of store
Jan 2  Worked in store cleaning up. Now have 159 books. I am changing stamps from the U.S. stamps albums
Jan 3 – 13  (misc. entries in diary)
Jan 14  Got a plaid shirt and a wester belt for my birthday. Today I am 14 on the 14th. Oh, Viola at school
Jan 15 – 16  (misc. entries)

Aunt Elizabeth and Dad

Jan 17  Aunt Elizabeth came from out east in Minnesota to look at the store and visit and she may stay.
Jan 18  Went over to Columbia to the parade and golden centennial discovery day celebration. Bought a spider.
Jan 19 – 20  (misc. entries)
Jan 21  Got sick with the flu today and came home after lunch and went to bed. I missed all of the celebration of the 49’rs
Jan 22  Missed the boy scout meeting and stayed home in bed with the flu. Elizabeth went to the Sonora Inn because she is ill.
Jan 23  Another Centennial Celebration today and I did not do much this time because I am still sick.
Jan 24  Had chow mein and noodles for a change from soup. Am feeling a little better, Elizabeth came back from the hotel.
Jan 25  Sunday: Got out of bed today. How Soon is top song on the Hit Parade with Ballerina second.
Jan 26  Elizabeth, Carleen and I played rummy. I won.
Jan 27 – 30  (misc. entries)
Jan 31  Overslept today and was late to washing windows over at Sprouse Reitz and Adrian’s Beauty Shop

Feb 1  Sunday: Nothing much happened today but we went to church in Columbia with Aunt Elizabeth
Feb 2 – 4  (misc. entries)
Feb 5  No Court of Honor tonight because of the thick snow which has been falling for the last three days
Feb 6  Lights keep going out lately because of the snow and because of the month long drought
Feb 7 – 12  (misc. entries on the weather, woodworking, and band)
Feb 13  Lucky Friday the 13th. I found a five dollar bill in the Palace Meat Market
Feb 14  Humm, no Valentines, but today is Saturday and I did not get a chance to give any of mine away
Feb 15 – 17  (misc. entries about the new bookcase he his making)
Feb 18  When playing football today I chipped my tooth and got my undershirt torn halfway in half
Feb 19 – 28  (misc. entries about ball games, his bookcase building, and boy scouts)
Feb 29  Sunday: This page will stay blank for a long time. Leap year celebrations are many but I stayed home

Mar 1 – 14  (misc. entries)
Mar 15   I may have found my coat which I lost two weeks ago. Richard Young may be wearing it now.
Mar 16  Got my coat back after Young was called into office and Mr. Dawson and Mom clarified it.
Mar 17 – 20  (misc. entries)
Mar 21 – 29  (no entries)
Mar 30  Allan Curnow came to my room and I gave him some stamps. Rained all day and also hailed
Mar 31  $16.00 stamps from Jamestown

Apr 2  Had a sham fight at school today with a new kid playing the hero. A bunch of big guys were knocked out
Apr  3 – 4  (no entries)
Apr 5   An explosion blew up the city barbershop. A butane tank blew glass across the street and wrecked everything
Apr 6  A big fire burned a house completely down. Carleen was playing with the electric blanket, burned the mattresses
Apr 7 – Apr 30  (no entries)

May  (no entries in diary)

Jun  (no entries in diary)

Jul   (no entries in diary)

Sonora High yearbook, Freshman Class1948. Larry is top row, second in from right

Freshman Basketball “D” team from 1948 Sonora High School yearbook. Larry is #66


On April 6th, a house near the Purity Market burned to the ground. The woman who lived there was a hoarder and had newspapers and magazines stacked to the ceiling. You could see the flames for blocks, and the town turned out to watch the spectacle. In the meantime, Carleen was making our parents’ bed and had tucked the electric blanket between the mattresses. She and her friend Joanne Wivel heard the fire alarms; they could see the flames from the second story of our house and took off to watch the blaze. When they returned home, smoke was creeping down the hall from Dad’s and Mom’s front bedroom as the bed was smoldering. My sister didn’t realize you can’t tuck in an electric blanket at the bottom, and the cord had shorted out. She shrieked and hollered for Larry, who ran in and threw a bucket of water on the blackening bed. She was surprised she didn’t receive a beating, but that was only because she hadn’t burned our house to the ground that day.

to be continued…

© 2017. Catherine Sevenau.
All rights reserved.

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  1. I’m certainly enjoying this window into your family’s lives, vicariously!

  2. I think life was actually more interesting when things were simpler.

  3. Jim Chatfield says:

    For a young man he kept quite a journal, most young men I knew never bothered to record their youth, but later in life wish they had.

    • I think by the time I’m done publishing this book he’ll be wishing he hadn’t.

      • Oh no. You must tell Larry we love living vicariously through his journal. Such simpler times. I’m in my 40’s and I worked almost as much as him. I don’t know if video games changed the way my children grew up but I grew up like your family. I miss Gold Springs.

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