Through Any Given Door

1.98 Larry’s Diary, Dec 1952

1952 • Larry’s diary (age 18)
Dec 1 – 4  (misc. entries)
Dec 5  Played tuba and bass drum for Fresno basketball game. We won again. After the game Marian McLellan and I took Cathy to Alum Rock Park and Santa Clara
Dec 6  Took Lois Parkinson to semi-formal dance, gave Rosie corsage and she had pink formal on. Low. Drove around and out toward Alviso, home after lock-out but O.K. About 2:45 A.M., 2:30 lock. Had punch etc., went to confession. Bought set of four shocks $20.00 all told. Slept late. Said hello to woman next door about lawn mowing
Dec 7  About 75 students went to communion en masse. I was usher. Cooked bacon for breakfast for all 75 or so. Free breakfast but worked for it. Took Lois P. and later drove out to Jo Jacks, her treat. Had root beer float

Marian McClellan

Dec 8  Took Marian McLellan to Ruggiero Ricci violin concert and reception (their first date). Talked to accompanist for a while and then stayed up to 2 AM typing book reports
Dec 9  Wore tux and played tuba in Winter San Jose State Symphony Orchestra concert. Russian girl played solo accompaniment for me
Dec 10  Went to Newman, danced a little, different gals. Peg sore because I didn’t talk to her right away. Turned tickets back in for “Antony and Cleopatra” didn’t go. New T shirt in gym, fancy SJSC (San Jose State College)
Dec 11  Sang duet “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with Toni Triest. Pretty good. Working at sorority as waiter. Got free bid to their big dance
Dec 12  Dress rehearsal for chorale then Short Party. Played on Pep band for San Jose State Olympic Club basketball, then Art and I took off for San Francisco.
Dec 13  Took Marian McLellan to AOP (Alpha Omega Pi) dance in Santa Cruz at Casa Del Rey Hotel, nice time and place. Walked to beach and watched waves and ocean. Dressy dress and suit. Wonderful. Home by 3 AM. Worked last day for Peterson Engineering Co. Will do it next year again. Gave me automatic pencils, automatic calendar, books, gold pan, etc. Took 1,000 books to post office, got pay check, said goodbye.
Dec 14  Took Lois Parkinson to church, St. Lukes, new church, very modern, put $1.00 in collection.

Watercolor and pen of Larry done by Jon Peterson Dec 1952

Note: This watercolor and pen was done in December 1952 by Jon Peterson, a junior and fellow student at San Jose State. Jon was an art major and football player who lived downstairs in the same house at 420 So. Seventh Avenue where my brother sat for this rendering in their back yard. Larry lived in the attic as it was the cheapest place he could find; his rent was $15.00 a month. Got rather hot in the summer though, but he liked it as it was a private room.

Dec 15  Took Harmony final, did poor. Up at midnight and studied all morn. Coffee with Jim Day.
Dec 16  Girls at AOP gave me a blue tie, cook a necklace. Final in voice and psych. Asked Vergil if he wanted to hash for me.
Dec 17  Took Lois Parkinson to Newman Xmas party. Lois wanted to go out only because of boyfriend trouble. O.K. Sat in car, talked, rubbed her neck. Sang Happy Birthday. Back at dance to Peg Marsh.
Dec 18  Drove Doris Rich to her home in Oakland. Had dinner there, short ribs and sauerkraut, good. Almost went to San Francisco Symphony. Played records. Met her brother, left late in eve for home
Dec 19  Went to Sonora High basketball games. Sonora won both. Held at Sonora County Fairgrounds building, big and new. Car broke down on way home from Oakland in Escalon. Got 2 mechanics out and fixed it, cost $20.00, took 3 or 4 hours to replace regulator. Home by 6:00 A.M. took 15 hours from leaving San Jose
Dec 20  To Sonora for Xmas vacation. Went to Sonora Elementary School program. Betty was announcer and Claudia in chorus and played flute in orchestra. Gloria Denton led music. Good show, rained, worked in store all day
Dec 21  To church. Talked to Hagemeyer about East-West Game. Playing Mario Lanza records. Buying cheapest foods at market. Made call to San Francisco for store to San Francisco news.
Dec 22  (no entry)
Dec 23  Mom came home from Ogden, Utah by train to Stockton where Carleen picked her up. Took in over a $1,000 almost every day for a week or so at the store
Dec 24  Whole family together to open presents. Carleen didn’t even thank mom for expensive watch, hurt mom’s feelings. Dad gave me good watch, also got radio, car mirror, suitcase, books, ties, shirts, lots of hankies
Dec 25  We went to midnight mass real early and got a seat, long. Mom cried and I didn’t know what to do.
Dec 26  Drove mom to San Jose and left her at hotel, had car tuned up at Escalon free of charge, took hour or more. Slept in San Jose and left for San Francisco 4 A.M. and just drove and walked around in morn.
Dec 27  Marched with the band for the East-West football game at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. Heavy rain, Carleen left early. Spent night at Canterbury Hotel $2.00.
Dec 28  Arrived in Vallejo and went to St. Vincents Church on hill, then to Betty C. and family. Had dinner and watched T.V. Very dull week-end, sat in kitchen and talked with Betty. Mary Ann cried and acted spoiled, dad yelled not to tease her. They are buying ranch in Southern California. Bonnie now married and in Coalinga.
Dec 29  Breakfast at Crookshanks. Trip to Vallejo just waste of time and money, 80 miles. Talked with Lois then left for Yosemite. Picked Mom up at hotel and drove her to So. Palo Alto to apply for government job. She found an apartment on Third Street for $15 week. Hashed again. Went to registration dance at SJSC and took Marian home by 1:30, NEW apartment, nice. Parked awhile, spent evening with her
Dec 30  Registered, ROUGH TIME getting classes, 13 units. Cashed check and bought La Torre
Dec 31  1st day of winter quarter. English 10 assig. Also piano, brass, harmony, band, sq dance, physics lect and lab, and voice. Took Marian out for New Years drove out San Carlos all the way. Midnight in downtown had SIX girls around to help celebrate — kept Mexs off and gals kept calling for me. Drove through campus stuck in mud. Looked into jail. Crashed dance at St. Claire Hotel. Got Marian home before roommate (4:30 AM). Had dinner at AOP.

Note: This is the last entry in my brother’s diary (it was full), other than a handful of days in 1953 and a penned notation at the top on Valentine’s Day 1955.

to be continued…

© 2017. Catherine Sevenau.
All rights reserved.

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  1. Larry Clemens says:

    I was pretty social in my youth. I also went to church but I think only to meet girls. I no longer attend except when forced. I’ve changed; after all, I wrote my diary over 66 years ago. Because you’ve posted all this my grandchildren are learning about my past! It’s fun to see a record of my first date with Marian McLellan, my wife since 1956.

  2. Jim Chatfield says:

    This young man never let grass grow under his feet, he is always on the go. Can’t believe anyone could have that much energy. He should go far in life.

  3. Dean Crumley says:

    When I was a sophomore in high school in 1953, the Medford high school band also marched at the East West game during halftime.

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