Diary of Norma Alice Carr Leonard Collins, 1912-2005


Diary of Norma Alice Carr Leonard Collins, 1912-2005


Unadilla, New York
women's history


Diary of Norma Alice Carr Leonard Collins, 1912-2005. 24 years old. Copied by her daughter, Alicia Ione Leonard McNutt Pagano

Notes from Alicia Pagano (for full commentary see attached documents):

These are partial diaries as mother didn't write throughout the year. They are all in a small beige leather "5 Year Diary" with a lock and leather strip that was removed. It was given to her by Jean Bostwick as a Christmas gift. Jean Bostwick and another young woman, Juanita, were friends of my Dad's that became friends of my mother's as well. The 1936 diary begins when we lived on Martin Brook Street over a machine shop by the railroad and documents our February 15, 1936 move to Bridge Street, one house away from the river. I remember many of the events of these years, but had not remembered the exact dates. In 1936 I was in second grade. In April 1937, Grampa Carr's son Fred by a previous marriage died in California and his body was shipped back to be buried here.

My mother was 17 and my father 20 in 1929 when I was born. Our small family moved to Unadilla in 1933 when I was four and my sister was two. We lived in two places on Martin Brook Street. First, upstairs in a lovely big house near the bridge over Martin Brook Creek. I had mastoid that winter and Dr. Heimer was our physician after I returned from the hospital in Oneonta. Fifteen years later, his wife would provide the temporary home for my mother when she first separated from my father. These links between people in our community are part of the social structure of the period.

We soon moved to an upstairs apartment over a machine shop on Martin Brook Street next to the railroad and I remember my mother, in her later years, recalling that tramps would get off the nearby train and come to ask for coffee or food. I began first grade at the Community House as the Unadilla Central School Building was in the process of construction.

When I began to retire from teaching at the University and returned home in 2004, I went to the library to get my card. I will never forget that day. It was snowing and when I got out of the car the fragrance of the fresh, cold snowy air immediately told me I was "home." I jumped back in years to the many winters my mother walked Main Street with my sister and I during the snow storms. An affirmation that, "you can never be lost when you know place by smell." I walked in to the library and again I was taken back in time. I stood in the library on the very spot where my little chair was placed during first grade. I could see Mrs. Cameron in front of me and my friends beside me. Some of these friends and I graduated together in 1946 having spent our whole childhood together.

In January 1934 my mother was sent to the Sanitorium in Mt Vision as she was very ill. I was sent to my father's brother's home in Hartwick and I finished first grade there. But that is a whole story in itself. My mother regained her health and returned home and we continued to live on Martin Brook Street until we moved down to Nubby's house on Bridge Street. This 1936 diary begins just before we made that move. My memories of our life on Bridge Street for the next four years are a highlight of my childhood. Playing with Anna Adams, Effie York, Phyllis Vought, George Silvernail, Helen Clum, Hannah Earl, Ted Fuller, Billy Chamberlin, Walter Bacon, Barbara Murphy and others in our neighborhood and beyond. My parents' garden, my father's work at York Modern as he demonstrated, helped build, and repaired the York road machines. And then later in 1948 when I finished Ridley Business School, I worked as a secretary for Mr York until I went away to College.

I remember mother baking bread to sell. She would put it in the kitchen window to cool and when it was cool enough she would cut slices for my sister and I, butter them and we would enjoy this treat while playing out doors. I remember mother digging dandelion greens and selling them. I did this too, in 1937, and earned my first money. Bought pansies for mother for Mother's Day. (Comments continued in attached document)


Copy of Norma's 1936 diary.

In front of Diary: With love to Norma from Jean 1935
1 Jan Wed. Martinbrook, Unadilla, NY. beautiful, warm, sunny. Children coughing from colds. Stayed at home. Neil had cold. N. worked at Young's milk plant this evening.
2 Jan Thur. Neil worked at Youngs. Cooler-stormed, sleet. Slippery. Mr. Carmichael killed 2 pigs. Baked bread. Cleaned oil stoves. It rained tonight most all night. A. to eat school.
3 Jan Fri. Neil worked at Youngs. A went to school-warm. Water and ice everywhere. Rec'd letter from Nora. I ironed. Listened to President R. speak to Congress. Write letters A went to party.
4 Jan Sat Neil worked at Youngs. Warm, rained in P.M. Neil went over to his folks. Jean stayed all night with me. Listened to radio till 2 a.m. Jean washed, waved my hair. Mr. Lyon came up. (Minister)
5 Jan Sun. Cooler. A went to SS. Neil came home bout 5 P.M. N. worked at Youngs. It is colder tonight. Kiddies played outside. Jean came up. Gave kids bath.
6 Jan Mon.Warm. Snowed a little. I washed, made bread. Wrote Mary E a letter. Recd one from home. Washed Rita's hair. A lovely evening.
7 Jan Tue Warm-lovely. Went down to Mildred Wright's- Drew Rita on sled. Clothes dried good. Cleaned out boxes of old clothes. May move soon.
8 Jan Wed. Warm- Cooler in evening. Baked cookies. Jean played with Rita. Rec'd pkg from Hartwick. A got report card. She had average 90.6. Nothing much going on.
9 Jan Thu. Wrote Aunt Laura. Neil worked at Young's in evening. Warm-rain-snowy-sleeting. I ironed. baked. Rec'd letters from Myrtle V (Vroman) & Frieda & wrote to Frieda and Trude. Myrtle's baby born Dec 26. Nancy Joane.
10 Jan Fri Colder- Cleaned--Effie came up this eve. I wrote home. Jennie K. came up this morn. Colder this evening.
11 Jan Sat. Warm. snowed some by spells. Neil packed cans and canned stuff. I baked bread, made head cheese, bathed kids.
12 Jan Sun. Warm. Went to SS & church. Played outside with kids. Drew them down street on sled. Melting fast. Jean came down & drew Ganscop kids. Read.
13 Jan Mon. Got new asbestos rings. Cold-very windy. Washed. Helen, R & Mary came over for P.M. Clothes wound all around line. Got letter from home. N. worked at Youngs.
14 Jan Tue. Sunny-not too cold. Baked pie, cake, bread. Fell & hurt my knee. Sprinkled clothes. Rita burned her shoulder. Neil worked at Youngs.
15 Jan Wed. Not cold- Baked cookies. rained-rec'd letters from Jeanette. Didn't feel too good- went to bed early. N. worked at Youngs.
16 Jan Thu. Colder- icy-snowy- baked a cake. Went to choir practice down to Marjorie Lambert's. 5 there. Rec'd letter from Mary E. N worked at Youngs.
17 Jan Fri. Wrote home. Cold but lovely-sunny. Ironed all A.M. Went to Mrs. Lyon's (wasn't home) and then to Mrs. Adam's. N. cleaned oil (heater) stove. Worked at Youngs.
18 Jan Sat. Cold- snowed by spells- Baked pies- cake. Didn't feel good- go to bed in A.M. Felt better in eve. Went to choir practice at church. N worked at Youngs.
19 Sun. Snowed. Very cold. Snow deep. went to S.S. at church- 23 kids in S.S.- split up Beginner's class. Didn't feel too good. Read. N worked at Y.
20 Jan Mon. I took homemaking. Very cold- Snow at least 1 ft deep. Didn't wash. Went to night school at school house with Neil. Jean stayed with kids. N. takes typing. 3 below in eve.
21 Jan Tue. Wrote to Mrs. Wright. Sunny but cold. Water pipe frozen- washed- Neil came home with hurt eye - 1 stitch - Rec'd letters from home, Ethel, Trude & Aunt Laura.
22 Jan Wed. Very cold- Baked cakes, apple pie- Jean stayed to dinner. N. put sizing on kiddies room. Wind started blowing in eve.
23 Jan Thu. Very cold- strong wind. J. helped make bread. N. went to Bing. with Paul N. No choir practice. Papered half bedroom - Still windy.
24 Jan Fri. Wrote home. Cold- calmer- baked cake- went to Seaman's store - papered rest of bedroom. Keith, Jeanette & son came awhile in eve. Ken (..?..) shot himself.
25 Jan Sat. Cold- Baked bread - no school yesterday- so cold & windy. Murescoed half ceiling in kids room. N. went out & I went to choir practice.
26 Jan Sun. Lovely- cold-sunny. Went to S.S. & church N. slept most all day. I pulled kids on sled in P.M. Went to sleep at about 7:30.
27 Jan Mon. N. worked at Y. Very cold- a little windy. Washed- had Jeanette over a while. Went to night school. Learned a little about mile-a minute. Learned about salads.
(The book skipped January 28 and 29 and went to Jan 30 so Mother did too).
30 Jan Thu. N. worked at Y. Very cold- I baked pies. Orrin was here to dinner. Went to choir practice. No one but Mrs. Murphy there so didn't practice. Crocheted.
31 Jan Fri. N. worked at Y. Cold but sunny. Didn't feel at all well--ears bad. Cough too. Kids ate dinner at Carmichael's. Ironed in eve. Crocheted. Wrote home.

1 Feb Sat. Cold- Baked pies. Didn't feel good. N. went to Scranton Penn with Ivan Morgan. Didn't go to choir practice. Ears bad.
2 Feb Sun. Very cold- Didn't go to church - made candy. A. didn't feel well. N. got home about 1:30 pm. Tired out- ate, slept till morning.
3 Feb Mon. Very cold. 10 below. Washed. Sun came out and warmed things up. Went to N. school. Had Italian spaghetti. Jean stayed with kids and all night.
4 Feb Tue. Warm - 30 above. Rainy. Took down clothes- sprinkled them. N. went to plant and typed. I finished pieces for chair arm. finished pillow cover of horse head.
5 Feb Wed. Got letter from home. N. got hair cut. Colder- 16 above. Baked bread. Neil's folks came over. Brought sheets (belated wedding anniversary present). bacon, etc. I ironed, crocheted.
6 Feb Thu. A's average for lst semester 91. Cold but sunny. Didn't feel good- Ironed - cleaned a little & slept some. A got her report card -Average 91.3
7 Feb Fri. Cold- clear- Don't feel good. Cleaned kitchen. A. went to Mary Newton's birthday party. Got letter from N's home. Sent letter to Nora K.
8 Feb Sat. Very cold- 10 below- Baked bread- made pie -moved some things down to Bridge Street. Mrs. Carmichael is sick. Bathed kids & myself.
9 Feb Sun. Warmer -snowing hard in morning. About zero in eve. Kiddies went to S.S. I lay down most all day. Neil got Paul's typewriter to practice on.
10 Feb Mon. Jean stayed all night. Very cold - 14 below this morning. I washed- baked- went to school - they made pies - I learned a new edge - not feeling too good.
11 Feb Tue. Cold - not feeling too good. Didn't do anything but lay down. Jean stayed tonight to work for me a week.
12 Feb Wed. Cold. No school - Rec'd letter from home. J. baked, ironed. Helen, Frances and H's kids came over this P.M. I crocheted & rested.
13 Feb Thu. Not very cold- Went to Drs. Gave me medicine for ears & stomach. Feel much better.
14 Feb Fri. Warm- sunny. Took care of Jeanette this A.M. Packed clothes. Expect to move tomorrow. Wrote home. Sent Eunice's baby a dress. Jean went to V. B. game.
15 Feb Sat. Warm. moved. Joe, Clarke & Chan helped. Jean helped pack in forenoon. Went home after we got down here. (This was the move from Martin Brook Street to Bridge St. in Unadilla).
16 Feb Sun. Warm in P.M. Cold in morning. Warm upstairs. Worked at straightening things out. Neil worked at Y. Made rolls.
17 Feb Mon. Warm- springlike-Washed. Hung on porch & pulley line--Went to N. school- Neil too tired to go. Baked choc cake at school. Jean stayed all night.
18 Feb Tue. Very cold- windy--took in clothes--made doughnuts- bread.
19 Feb Wed.Very cold - 20 below across the road--Alicia taking her lunch-cleaned floors - Rita went to Lyon's.
20 Feb Thu. Very cold 15 below. Cleaned. went up to Boynton's & bought me some sneakers- Warmer in P.M Sunny. Ironed.
21 Feb Fri. Cold- warmed up during the day. made doughnuts & marble cake. Made mayonnaise. Warmer
22 Feb Sat. From Sat Feb 22 to Mar 13 too busy settling - got too tired to write......

-------- 22 Feb to 13 Mar---

13 Mar Fri. Cold. Snowy--Ice has broke away in river. A has infected knee, out of school. Went to see Miss Philley.
14 Mar Sat. Cleaned some. Neil bought kitchen wall paper. Mr. Wright got plaster. Neil plastered till late.
15 Mar Sun. Warm. Made ice cream. Papered. Rita went to S.S. Read & rested some.
16 Mar Mon. Warm. Rainy. Washed. Hung clothes in porch. Neil's folks were here to dinner. Papered in evening.
17 Mar Tue. Warm. Rainy. River rising. Helped Mildred make cake for St Valentines C.E. Party. Mended in evening.
18 Mar Wed. Warm. Still raining. Ironed. Baked gingerbread, cookies.
19 Mar Thu. Still raining. Floods everywhere. Neil started for Long Island Got as far as Saugerties.
20 Mar Fri. Neil got back at about 3 p.m. Cleaned. Took up rug in N's room.& stair carpet. N finished plastering.
21 Mar Sat. Finished papering. Worked till 3 a.m. Sun morning cleaning up.
22 Mar Sun. Rita went to S.S. Alicia didn't feel very good. Stomach and knee is still sore.
23 Mar Mon. Washed. Lovely day. Sewed in P.M. And started Alicia a new dress.
24 Mar Tue. Nice day. Neil took machine to Johnstown. Baked bread, cookies. Mildred & I went up to P.O.
25 Mar Wed. Lovely & warm. Kids wore knee-socks. Ironed and went for walk up to cemetery. A got new roller skates.
26 Mar Thu. Went for walk in P.M. Up the hill to Ontio. Rained in evening real hard.
27 Mar Fri. Sort of rainy. Went to Oneonta with Hazel. Went to P.O in evening.Neil went out servicing machine.
28 Mar Sat. Lovely day. Sort of cold. Went to Melick's for horse radish. Came back and found lovely combination range--surprise. Very happy day.

(Two notes written in back of diary One for 1935 and one for today 1936. AP)
One 1935: Bought kitchen linoleum, living room suite of Davenport, 2 chairs, & end table, bridge lamp and hassock. It was present for me from Neil. Brought up Sat Dec 21, 1935 Finished paying for oil burner, Dec 21, '35. Still paying for washing machine.
Two 1936: Neil gave me combination range for my birthday. Brought up March 28 for surprise.

29 Mar Sun. A lovely day. Went to S.S. Had broiled steak for dinner. Went for walk in cemetery in p.m. Went to show.
30 Mar Mon. Lovely. Warm. My birthday. Washed. Neil went to Mexico, NY. Didn't come back at night. Helen & family & Aunt Laura & Uncle George came down in evening.
31 Mar Tue. Rained some. No school because of furnace is on the blink. Rec'd a p'kg from my mother yesterday. Neil came back this eve.

1 Apr Wed. Neil went to Jefferson. Came back in P.m. Sewed on Alicia's dress.Ironed in a.m.
2 Apr Thu. Rained most all day. Baked a pie in new stove. Nuisance had 4 kits- 2 tiger (yellow), 1 gray & 1 buff.

Didn't write in diary the rest of 1936 so will use space for 37. (Norma wrote this note.AP)

20 Feb Sat. Neil went to Oneonta to get truck.
21 Feb Sun. Kids went to S.S. Mother & Dad Leonard came over in the after noon.
22 Feb Mon. Washed. Snowed in the night. Every thing out side very pretty. Went for walk with Jean.
23 Feb Tue. Kids went to rehearse for play "Sky High." Rita took some money up to put in jar for votes for doll.
24 Feb Wed. Neil went to Franklin NJ to take machine. "Sky High" went off fine. Rita sang "Animal Cracker in My Soup." Alicia sang Shirley Temple version of "Polly Wolly Doodle." Rita won the Shirley Temple doll with 1000 votes. Jean stayed with me.
(Alicia in 3rd grade)
25 Feb Thu. Jeanie stayed to night but Neil came home about 10. Kids played with the dolly & had a fine time. Neil has been to N.Y.C. To day and is very tired to-night. Didn't write in diary the rest of 1936 so will use space for 1937.
26 Feb Fri. Alicia was sick this morning and didn't go to school in the forenoon. Neil bought new tank for oil burner.
27 Feb Sat. Cold. Neil bought himself a new brown felt hat, bought my red velvet table runner. Now I have one on the radio and one on end table. Bathed kids, bake pie & bread and cleaned. Got letter from Mildred & from home. Got 1st tank gas this yr.
28 Feb Sun. Rita went to S.S. Wrote letters--

1 Mar Mon. Washed--took A to Dr. He said her system was sluggish and perhaps appendix bad. Neil went to Seneca Falls to take machine & Penn Yan with rake. Stayed all night.
2 Mar Tue. Neil got back at about 1 P.M. Alicia was sick in evening. I made bread & rolls. A didn't go to school yesterday but went to day.
3 Mar Wed. A lovely sunny day. Alicia did not go to school. I called on the Lyon's. Talked of baptizing the children.
4 Mar Thu. Stormy--I ironed- Took Alicia to Dr. Danforth. he said she had no appendix trouble. Neil hurt his finger. Baked beans- mended stockings.
5 Mar Fri. Unsettled. Ironed, cleaned, rec'd letter from Mildred & home. Alicia didn't go to school. Is much better.
6 Mar Sat. Cold but clear. Kids played out side most the day. Had Jeanie down for supper. It was her 16th birthday. She was also here for dinner. Baked - cleaned. Neil worked all day.
7 Mar Sun. Cold- clear. Kids went to S.S. Jeanie & I went for walk & rode down hill. Mr. Wright went up to Mt Visions San (sanitarium) to see Mildred. Jeanie was here to supper. Wrote home - read - rested.
8 Mar Mon. Rainy-washed- Went up street & mailed letter. Baked cookies & cake - Mr Clum sick. Mr. Adams was hurt in chest with piece of steel. A to supper at Adam's. Neil finished work on tractor.
9 Mar Tue. Cold. Changed beds all around- made pie - Jeanie came down --snowed by spells- took down clothes. Put bed in backroom and our room. Put Alicia's bed in her room & single bed in Rita's room.
10 Mar Wed. Cold- Got 1/2 ton coal from Morgan. Baked, darned socks & stocking. Rec'd letter from Fred & Lena-- Went to P.T.A meeting based on art. 150 famous paintings were in library for observation- Very beautiful.
11 Mar Thu. Cold - Neil went to Cazanovia with snow plow. Stayed all night. Anna came over here for supper. Jeanie came down & stayed all night. I ironed, baked bread-- Jean washed her hair & some clothes.
12 Mar Fri. Ironed - Jean went to basket ball game at New Berlin - Rec'd letters from home, Neil's folks, Mrs Wright. Finished Alicia's bureau scarf in the evening.
13 Mar Sat. Cleaned- baked bread & rolls --sold a loaf to Jean. Neil came home about noon. Took care of Kinch hedge. Bathed my kids.
14 Mar Sun. Lovely day- Helen, Richmond & family came over to dinner. Told of Hager boys drowned Fri. Very sad. Went to Lineweavers. Wrote 3 letters.
15 Mar Mon. Washed. It snowed--I went out in evening & drew kids on sled. Baked bread.
16 Mar Tue. Snowed- Neil's mother came over to stay a few days. Brought in clothes. Neil plowed road on hill with York M snow plow. Made ice cream.
17 Mar Wed. Snowed hard all day. Snow deepest this winter--Mother L & I ironed. Jeanie & Juanita came down in evening.
18 Mar Thu Clear & warm - Neil worked on truck. Mother L went home in p.m. Made bread, cake & pie. Mended - went up street..
19 Mar Fri. Snowy. Took A lunch up to school to her. Went to see "phantom broadcast" movie put on by Junior High School.
20 Mar Sat. Rained - warm--cleaned all thru house, made ice cream & cake for Sun. Neil bought A new shoes & rubber Batted Kids.
21 Mar Sun. Warm - melting- Went to S.S with kids. Jeanie came down. Wrote to Mildred, read, rested. Neil brought me box candy.
22 Mar Mon. Windy. Not very cold. Washed. Neil started at about 9 for Rosendale, Stone Ridge & Ellenville to service machines- stayed all night.
23 Mar Tue. Warm. P'kg came with dress, gloves & slip for me. Rita a dress, Neil's breeches & socks. A's didn't come. Aunt Laura & Uncle G came down this evening.Neil got back about 6 to night
24 Mar Wed. Rather warm- Neil left at about 9 for Horseheads. Got back at about 7:30. Was sick. Kids & I walked after school.
25 Mar Thu. Cold. Thunder shower last night. Neil sick all night. Had Dr in P.m. Gave him medicine. A stayed over to Anna's to night.
26 Mar Fri. Cold. Slippery. Ironed. Neil up and dressed. Am doing Katie's washing (dresses). Wilfred came home for week end. Got letter from home. No school today til April 5
27 Mar Sat. Cold. Neil better. Didn't work. Dyed kids old organdies- prepared their clothes for Easter to morrow. Snowing to night.
28 Mar Sun. Kids went to S.S. Neil's shoulder ached. Juanita & Jean were down. Katie was here. J & I went walking. Very cold.
29 Mar Mon. Cold. Washed. Juanita helped me- Went up street in p.m. Brought in clothes- Ivan Morgan brought coal.
30 Mar Tue. Lovely morning-sunny- robins singing- didn't feel very good. Rested all P.M. Went to P.O in evening. Card from Neil's mother.
31 Mar Wed. Lovely day - sunny- warm. Cleaned all thru house. Barbara Rolfe came down a while. Went to bed early. Jean brought me a slip for my birthday.

1 Apr Thu. Cloudy morning. Lovely. Warm P.M. Ironed fore noon- made ice cream in P.m. Barbara helped me make it. Rec'd two lovely braided rugs from home.
2 Apr Fri. Rained in morning- Cleaned - finished ironing - Jeanie came down - Ear ached - Neil didn't feel very good - Kids skated.
3 Apr Sat. Cool but clear- Jeanie came down. I went up street with her. Not a very happy day. Almost wish I were never a mother. Kiddies such dreadful responsibility- very discouraged.
4 Apr Sun. Warm- a very nice day. Kids went to S.S. Played at the P.M. In back yard. Katie came up a few minutes. Left dresses. To be washed. In evening we wrote letters. I wrote Lena, Mildred & home. Neil wrote home. Read to kids.
5 Apr Mon. Rather dark, rainy but warm--washed- sheets blew off- windy- Ironed 2 dresses for Katie & Sent them out on evening mail. Rec'd letter from Neil's folks. Fire alarm sounded this morning about 6 - chimney.
6 Apr Tue. Warm - some rainy- Got letter from Mildred - Neil started to Bellesville at about 6. Nuisance had 4 kits - 1 buff, 2 dark and white & one 3 colored. Juanita came down in P.M. Jean & Bob were here in evening. Neil got home about 8.
7 Apr Wed. I cleaned. Baked. Ironed. Neil came home last night but didn't feel very good yet. Ironed till about 10. Mended Katie's dresses.
8 Apr Thu. Cleaned all A.M. Aunt Laura came in unexpected at about noon. Staid to dinner. We had nice visit. Amasa came down with word of brother Fred's death in Cal. I phoned home in evening.
9 Apr Fri. Cleaned up house - snowed all morning. Got ready to come home. Got home about 5:30. Drove all the way up but got stuck in drive way. Neil came with young Woodard driving his car.
10 Apr Sat. Some snowy weather. Warm. No word from Lena who is supposed to be on her way from Calif with Fred's body. Had call from Helen. Mail came.
11 April Sun. Snowy. Helen called wanting me to meet her at O (Orrin) Leonard's. Had steak for dinner. Helen came over and we met her at O Leonard's. Fed kiddies and bathed Helen's and put them all to bed. Retired early.
12 Apr Mon. Beautiful day. A went to school with Sonny & Betty. Helen & I washed. Washed Mary's hair. Put curls in hers & Rita's - Rested in P.M. Got in clothes - watched sap boil. Played monopoly.
13 Apr Tue. Lovely day- A went to school again. Ironed a little in P.M. Went over to France's in P.M. With Mary & Rita - Alicia, Sonny & Betty walked home from school. Went to bed rather early.
14 Apr Wed. Rather dark but warm. Rainy in P.M. Image an, Alice & kids came over to Helen's. She brought me as far as Tillson's and we walked on up home. Rained some. Have not heard from Cal.
15 Apr Thu. Rained some. In P.M. I walked down to Tillson's & rode over to Unadilla with Freer's. Mended a little but went to bed early.
16 Apr Fri. Lovely day - washed- Baked - A went to school. Glad to be home--Ironed in evening - Neil worked out side.
17 Apr Sat. A nice day - Finished ironing in morning- Cleaned the house - Baked pie. Got telegram telling Fred's funeral is to be Sun at 2 at Bresee's Funeral parlor in Norwich. Bathed kids.
18 Apr Sun. Rained by spells. Went to funeral - Quite a few friends there. Pretty flowers -lovely harp music. Jeanie stayed with children. We went over home after funeral. Neil helped milk - Got home at about 9:30.
19 Apr Mon. Lovely sunny morning. Washed - Brought clothes in in P.M. Went up to store. Baked pie & cookies. Neil worked out side in yard. Raked & burned leaves & rubbish - Rained a little in P.M. Freeda was here a while.
20 Apr Tue. Didn't feel very good so didn't do much. Had ironing ready but ally down & rested most the after noon. Neil worked out side in evening.
21 Apr Wed. Rained most all day. Mr. Wright prepared living room to be plastered. I cleaned back room. Baked pie, bread & Graham Br. Catherine (Bostwick, Jean's Mom.AP) & Jeanie were here. Neil helped put wall board in in living room. I ironed.
22 Apr Thu. Rained. Mr. Wright finished putting wall board on in living room - Alicia didn't go to school. I went up to hardware & picked out living room & bed room paper. Neil went to Durhamville to service a machine.
23 Apr Fri. Mr. Cook papered bedroom & living room. Look very nice. We put bed back up. I mopped floor- will have hall papered to morrow - I finished ironing & made pie.
24 Apr Sat. Warm, sunny- kids went barefooted a little- Mr. Cook finished papering hall. I mopped living room & hall. Jean washed Windows- Baked pie & cake. Did Sat cleaning- Neal worked till 10 p.m. Mrs. Brooks was down a min. Heard from home.
25 Apr Sun. Ironed Neil's pants & shirt for him to leave in P.M. For Horseheads with Joe. N stayed there to demonstrate. Jeanie came down. We walked around Crookerville. I went up to her house. She stayed all night with me.
26 Apr Mon. I washed- baked- went up to the bank & P.P. Went up to Ganskop's in evening. Joan exposed Rita to the chicken pox. Miss Phillips was here a minute & brought letters from Mildred. I stayed alone.
27 Apr Tue. Rain this morning- baked- had house work - Jean came down to stay with me all night - Bob came a while in the evening
28 Apr Wed. Rainy in A.M. I washed & ironed bathroom & hall curtains & washed those windows. Mrs. Harry Utter dropped in a minute this P.M.. Katie came for her dresses- Neil came home about 6:30 or 7. Got letter from Helen.
29 Apr Thu. Nice day. Washed my living room curtains & Katie's dresses. Rita went to school with A to see a marionette show. I ironed my curtains in evening & got them up. Jeanie was down a minute. Washed paint.
30 Apr Fri. Neil went to Pitcher with machine. Had chicken dinner. He got back in afternoon. I ironed all the fore noon.

1 May Sat. Cleaned up the house. Washed windows up stairs. Neil went to Oneonta to have the. ? Opened. Bathed kids in evening. They received & have many May baskets.
2May Sun. Warm. Kiddies went to S.S. Rested - made candy -read. About 1 p.m. Mr York came down and told Neil he would leave at 7 morning for Monterey to demonstrate a machine. We packed his suitcase.
3 May Mon. Got up at 5:30. Got Neil off at 6:45. Lovely warm, sunny day. Clothes dried very good. Fire burned back of Ash's house. Dan's ploughed our garden. Jeanie stayed with me to night.
4 May Tue. Cleaned clothes press- lovely warm day. Cleaned some and left in sun to air. Neil came home at about 8:30. Jeanie & Bob came here a few minutes.
5 May Wed. Warm. Washed some clothes. Made pie. Neil left for N.Y.C right after noon. Jeanie stayed with me to night. I ironed. We took a walk.
6 May Thu. Rained last evening. Finished ironing. Cleaned up the house. Jean got supper at Irelands but came down here for supper. I went to show "Iron Duke" up at school with Mrs. Ireland. Jean stayed with kids & all night. Mildred came home for weekend.
7 May Fri. Lovely day- made Mildred a dress, suntan back. Kiddies dug greens after school & sold them - 3 batches and rec'd 45c. Divided with Helen Clum. Neil got home about 8 from Long Island & other places down there. Rec'd letter from home.
8 May Sat. Neil went to his folks at noon. I went for a walk with Mildred & picked wild flowers. Cleaned house for Sun. I got slips of plants from home for Mrs. Utter & went over there. She was sick in bed. I was late home so put kids to bed without baths.
9 May Sun. It is Mother's Day and I went to church with the children. Sang a Mother's Day song. Neil came for me after church. Rolland's folks were there. We had a fine time. Neil's mother is not very well.
10 May Mon. Rather cloudy. I washed. Neil left about 10 for Bennington, Vt with a machine. Jean, the kids & I went over to Utters & spent the evening. Mr Utter & Bob played violin and guitar for us. We had an enjoyable evening.
11 May Tue.. I sewed all the morning. Sprinkled clothes - ironed in evening. Neil came home about 7 P.M. Jeanie stayed all night. We thought Rita was coming down with the chicken pox but found out it was no doubt heat rash.
12 May Wed. Parents' Day at school- I finished ironing- Katie came for her dresses - didn't feel very good in P.M. Went up to school for Parents Day program. Alicia went with me, Rita helped Neil plant garden- first planted.
13 May Thu. Did up wash then went up to play grounds with Mrs. Adams, Edna and Rita. It rained in the evening. Neil worked rather late helping Paul draw away junk from his back yard.
14 May Fri. Rained all day. Alicia was in the play "Gypsy Fever," a 3 act musical comedy put on by the school children. Rita was vaccinated in the morning. We went to play in evening. Jean stayed with us all night.
15 May Sat. Cleaned the house up. Vern Johnson here to dinner. Neil's dad came for him & he went home to help him. Jean stayed with me all night. I had my hair cut and thinned. Bathes the kids.
16 May Sun. Kids went to S.S. We went over to Neil's folks. Neil came after us. Trudie, Doris & Jerry were there.
17 May Mon. I felt rotten all day. Was in bed most of the day- I didn't wash. Write home. Neil went to Sidney Center.
18 May Tue. Washed- Neil went to (crossed off. AP) Got back in evening.
19 May Wed. Ironed some. Got Neil's clothes ready to go on a trip up to Vermont. He is to start early to morrow morning. Went to Durhamville with service truck.
20 May Thu. Got up at 5. Neil started for Vt at 6. Alicia didn't go to school. Helped Mrs. Earl get white trilling & dogwood for reception for Newtons. Went to reception. Jean stayed with kids & all night. (I remember Mary Ellen Newton was my age.AP)
21 May Fri. Planted all flowers & some vegetables. Ironed in P.M. - was very tired and Jean did not stay with me. Made candy for Mildred - A planted her garden down street.
22 May Sat. did cleaning- Neil came home in evening- went up and got groceries- bathed kids.
23 May Sun. Kids went to S.S. We had a quiet day. Read and visited.
24 May Mon. Washed- cleaned kitchen up- Sent letter home.
25 May Tue. Ironed some for Neil. Baked cake, cookies, & pie. We cleaned up the back yard. Jean was down. Kids practiced their Children's Day pieces.
26 May Wed. Cleaned up the house. Jean & Katie came down for Katie's dresses- finished ironing. Neil started kids teeter board. Went up and graded baseball diamond. Adam's kids came over and played.
27 May Thu. Baked pie, cake. Jeanie came down. Bathed kids. Neil finished their teeter board - set out a few tomato plants- Fixed their organdie Children's Day dresses. Had a card saying Helen & family are coming over Fri evening.
28 May Fri. Cleaned up the house and got ready for company. Made 24 cup cakes. We all played cards & ate sandwiches & cake . Had a lovely evening.
29 May Sat. Neil went home and helped his dad. Stayed all night over there.
30 May Sun. Kiddies went to S.S. Neil came over after us. We had dinner at Leonards and then Neil took us up to spend Memorial Day up home. Saw Helen & family.
31 May Mon. Helped clean eggs. Imogene & baby came over early. Helen, Rich, Dill, Bill, Leonard & Louise, Imogene and all our kids went on a picnic on the rocks. Very hot. Went home in p.m.

1 Jun Tue. Washed. Alicia & Rita practiced for children's day and had a party for Mrs. Newton & Mary Ellen.
2,3,4 -
5 Jun Sat. Have worked in garden quite a bit this week. Washed some & ironed & cleaned and cooked roast pork, made jello - started ice cream and cleaned back room. May have company.
6 Jun Sun. Kids went to S.S. Mother & Dad, Rolland & Trudy & kids came over. Had chicken,, pork, 2 freezers ice cream, 2 birthday cakes, jello, pickles, etc. Neil's dad gave him lovely gold watch chain for birthday.
7 Jun Mon. Lovely day. Washed- wrote a letter home. Worked in garden in evening. Got in rest of spinach and beans- turnip & salsify. Neil's folks were over a minute in evening.
8 Jun Tue. Baked pie & cookies- cleaned the store room upstairs. Worked in garden in even. Rich & Helen came over in even and I went to see "Shall We Dance" with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.
9 Jun Wed. Cleaned Alicia & Rita's bedrooms. Mrs. Utter was here in p.m. Worked in garden. Transplanted head lettuce an sprinkled clothes Rita ate supper over to Utter's.
10, 11, 12-
13 Jun Sun. Children's Day. The children were baptized. Neil went to church.
27 Jun Sun. All Neil's folks came over for Alicia's birthday. They brought chicken. Ice cream- birthday cake. Had a fine time and Doris stayed. (I was 8. Just finished 3rd grade. AP).
28 Jun Mon. Neil went to N.J to demonstrate.
29 Jun Tue. Alicia had a birthday party on the hill. Had a hot dog roast with 14 little girls in all. Alicia went to Oneonta with Aunt Laura to stay til Sunday nite. (I remember these visits each year on my birthday for several years. They were a highlight that remains until today. My first cantaloupe, the miniature Japanese tree on a shelf in the dining room. Bath before lunch and dress with shoes for afternoon. Walks downtown for shopping & ice cream. Uncle George's 4th of July fireworks for me. Edna's books. A life very different from home that opened a new world for me. AP)

1 Jul Thur. Went over to Leonards when they came for Doris.
2 Jul Fri. Picked strawberries and went to a show over at Morris, "The Black Legion" with Rolland & family.
3 Jul Sat. Neil came back from N.J. I came back from Leonard's having picked berries. I canned 4 pts. Made a batch of jam.
4 Jul Sun. I went to S.S. Taught Alicia's class for the first time & hope to keep it.
5 Jul Mon. Neil went back to N.J to demonstrate. We went to Adam's to have our fire works.
10 Jul Sat. Neil came back from N.J.
11 Jul Sun. Went to S.S and church. it was communion Sunday and I joined the church by letter. Taught Alicia's class.
12 Jul Mon. I washed. Went up to Ganscop's & other places in the neighborhood. Neil went to Binghamton to demonstrate.
13 Jul Tue. Neil went to Binghamton to demonstrate. I went up to the Chestnut Hill Cemetery and picked some huckleberries. Neil went fishing after he came home.

(In 1938 Mother did not write in this diary. AP)

1 Jan Sun. Lovely day. Trudie & family came to dinner. Neil & Dad went to see mother in Hospt at Syracuse. (Maybe this is when she had the operation on her eyes.AP). Rita was sick all night.
2 Jan Mon. Warm. Didn't do much but fuss with Rita. She is feeling much better.
3 Jan Tue. Colder but pleasant. School began again but Rita didn't go. She is feeling O.K. Now.
19 Feb. Fri. Neil went to Pittsfield, Mass with machine. 10 hrs was up when he got to Oneonta. Came home w Phil Y.

(This is all she wrote in this diary in 1939. AP )


Norma Alice Carr.jpg
Norma Alice Carr and Leonard Collins.jpg
1 Norma Carr Leonard (Collins) Diary 1936,7,9.pdf


“Diary of Norma Alice Carr Leonard Collins, 1912-2005,” CGP Community Stories, accessed January 26, 2021, http://cgpcommunitystories.org/items/show/287.