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 … [Read more...]

1.43 1948 Small Town Gossip

1948 • Larry’s diary (age 14) Aug 1 - 15  no entries in diary Aug 16  Got a new sister at 12:10 a.m. Her name will probly be Kathern. Babe Ruth died. Aug 17  no entry in diary Aug 18  Went down to San Francisco, started out at 4:30 a.m. and got back at 8:30 p.m. Store packed … [Read more...]

1.44 Plucked From the Womb

August 1948 • Sonora ~ I was welcomed into the family two years after Mom’s first breakdown, though not by her. She didn’t want another child, she wanted out. As far as she was concerned, I was a fifth burden tacking on another eighteen years to her prison sentence. Another eighteen years of not … [Read more...]

1.45 Death of Gordon Chatfield

Just two months after my arrival, my mother—along with losing her mind—lost her brother. Gordon Gregory Chatfield, at the age of 42, died in Letterman's Veteran's Hospital in San Francisco from his WWII injuries. Gordon lived in Chico the three years he was married to Hylda Hughes, then joined … [Read more...]

1.46 Larry’s Diary, March 1949

March 1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15) Mar 1 - 8  no entries in diary Mar 9  Joe Drabkin won Lion's club speaking contest. Mar 10  no entry in diary Mar 11  Second night of East Lynn, I went tonight and sat about in the middle of the auditorium with some boys. Mar 12  no … [Read more...]

1.47 Larry’s Diary, April 1949

April 1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15) Apr 1  Freshmen's return was given, but it was so bad I left it to watch the baseball game with Livingston. We won 3 -1. Apr 2  Had tooth taken out, very large molar. He sawed it up and had to take it out piece by piece. Got pills to kill pain, just in … [Read more...]

1.48 Larry’s Diary, May 1949

May 1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15) May 1  Days went back to Redwood City. Took bath. Dad owes about $10,000 in bills has to pay bank $1000 tomorrow, only has $800 May 2  Grammer Schools of county came to the High School for play day. Saw show Three Godfathers. Took bath again. May 3 … [Read more...]

1.49 Dad, God, and the Holy Ghost

1949 • Sonora ~ Our parents never argued about how to raise their children. They argued about my mother’s smoking and drinking and about her housekeeping, but not about the kids. Mom gave the older ones a swift kick or a snapping backhand when they didn’t move fast enough or do as they were … [Read more...]

1.50 Benedict Arnold and Eleanor Roosevelt

“Bettyyyy. Claudiaaa.” Mother’s nightly yell for supper bounced across the yard until it floated down to the soft shadows of the creek where the girls fooled away their afternoons with tadpoles, skimmers, and leaf-hoppers. Betty paid no attention to Mom whatsoever. Claudia, emptying her large Mason … [Read more...]

1.51 Larry’s Diary, June 1949

1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15) Jun 1  Cut Spanish because I was 20 minutes late. Watched some practice for pageant. Got impressions for new tooth. Windy. Jun 2  Had last big meal at R&B. 3 weddings, 3 engagements, 1 pinning. I announced Mary Alice engag. with borrowed cat. Chased cat all … [Read more...]

1.52 Larry’s Diary, July 1949

1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15) Jul 1  Raked the leaves up on the ground for garbage man, took walk around town and up to Grammar School with Peckham Jul 2  Sold all sparklers but had about 2 gross of them. Took some out for kids. Got $10 for cleaning off roof. Got 8 pack of BB Jul … [Read more...]

1.53 Holy Cards, Hell, and High Water

Summer 1949 • Sonora, California ~ Sonora was a backwater with no Catholic school, so every summer a fleet of young Franciscan nuns in black habits and white wimples were imported to bring the local schoolchildren a proper Catholic education, as much as they could cram into their small heads in … [Read more...]

1.54 Larry’s Diary, Aug 1949

1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15) Aug 1  Sold boy U.S. album and kit. Band practice consisted of talk. Band has $320 in bank. Owes Pennies $328.70. Paid them $200. Aug 2  Had dinner at Bob and Doris' house. Had false alarm. Whole town on street. Polishing up horn completely. Aug 3  Had … [Read more...]

1.55 Buck Fever, Sep 1949

1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15) Sep 1  Went to State Fair in Sacramento. Got pennant, glassware, and chameleon. Saw exhibits, spent $5. Had false alarm. Eve went also. Sep 2 Washed Carters windows for first time got $15 for inside and out. Got sheet, plate, block, and single issue of the new … [Read more...]

1.56 Larry’s Diary, Oct 1949

1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15) Oct 1 I was guest radio announcer at KROG radio for 45 minutes on Teen Time. KROG often broadcasts from store for advertising for store. T.C.B. (Tuolumne County Band) marched for Elks, had to use tin base. Oct 2  Printed 600 Wildcat and folded them. Moved … [Read more...]

1.57 Larry’s Diary, Nov 1949

1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15) Nov 1  Saw show Every Girl Should be Married. Washed Mode O' Day windows for $1.50 worked from 7 to 9:15 in evening. Washed Schultz Nov 2  Washed Dr. Parker's windows, appointment made long time ago. Side of tennis shoe comletely gave out Nov 3  Had … [Read more...]

1.58 Larry’s Diary, Dec 1949

1949 • Larry’s diary (age 15) Dec 1  Had first pep band rehearsal, missed Junior play Mountain Justice to do homework. Missed T.C.O. and went to finals on Opportunity Time with Grace. Dec 2  Both the A's and B's won their first home basketball game with Calaveras. Got all ads in. Went … [Read more...]

1.59 The Sight of Blood

Jan 1950 • Larry’s diary (age 15) Jan 4  Started carbon work in typing. Carlson led band, Hagemeyer sick. Had mock trial in Business Law. Called up Curnow and checked homework Jan 7  Started reading book How to Win friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Washed windows for C. … [Read more...]

1.60 Larry’s Diary, Apr 1950, Don’t Go

1950 • Larry’s diary (age 16) Apr 9  Easter Sunday, Band (H.S.) marched in uniform for the Masons to the Red Church. Went to 8 o'clock mass. Carleen got sick. Apr 12  Had lunch at Lions Club meeting of Senior Boy Scouts. Dad got drafted to council in election Apr 21  Carleen got a … [Read more...]

1.61 Larry’s Diary, May 1950

Carleen, at fourteen, stepped into our mother's shoes during the periods when Mom was gone. It was expected and she didn’t think much about it, she simply did it. When she went anywhere she took me with her. On her way to school she dropped me off at Mrs. Evans, then picked me up on her way home. … [Read more...]

1.62 Larry’s Diary, June 1950

Jun 1950 • Larry’s diary (age 16) Jun 1  A trial is getting underway in Business Law against shady characters. I am a witness. Bought Business Law book. Senior tea today Jun 2  Went to Phoenix Lake for Junior picnic, went swimming and rollerskating, 1st time in long time. Senior Ditch … [Read more...]

1.63 Larry’s Diary, July 1950

1950 • Larry’s diary (age 16) Jul 1  Cleaned up room. U.S. troops rushed to Korea. Dug in back yard some. Mom went up to Dardenelle for fishing Jul 2  Tuolumne County Band marched for Tuolumne Jubilee, also gave concert. Took Bonnie to show Three Came Home. Got her home by 10:30, … [Read more...]

1.64 Summer 1950, Bounty Hunter

Summer 1950 • Sonora ~ The family met Jay Bruce and his wife in the summer of 1950 when their car broke down and was being repaired across the way at Kelley’s. Betty was amazed; they were the oldest people Betty had ever seen driving (they were almost seventy). Mom was concerned about this elderly … [Read more...]

1.65 Larry’s Diary, Aug 1950

1950 • Larry’s diary (age 16) Aug 1  Went to Redwood City with mom, stayed overnight at Day’s. Mom drove mostly. Aug 2  Ordered pin at Sherman Clay and got solo in Oakland. Met my aunt Nella May in Sears. Got Ukes and trumpet records. Got fruit. Aug 3  Forgot picking up Decca … [Read more...]

1.66 Larry’s Diary, Sep 1950

1950 • Larry’s diary (age 16) Sep 1  Worked on stamps and coins. Treated Joe Drabkin to lemonade. City suing his father for wall crumbling. C.O.P. football players arrived for practice. Sep 2  Put nickels in collection. Saw Mr. Hagemeyer first time since school let out. Hung up pennants. … [Read more...]