The featured photo is from a Trip Diary that belonged to my paternal grandmother, Sylvia.
In it, she chronicles her first trip to Chicago, IL, to visit my grandfather’s family & friends. She and my father set out by train in the summer of 1945 from Texas for the Windy City.
This tiny book is filled with funny, mundane and sometimes poingnant details of a life I only heard bits and pieces about as I was growing up. It causes me to realize just how fallible (and human) my ancestors were…they dealt with the same messy issues people have today.
Fears, worry, family problems, wonder, joy, marriage (and marriage woes) are captured in this little treasure from the past. This particular entry is from June 27, 1945 and reads:
“Our room is one of the pretty in the Hotel, a beautiful view. We can see Alberton Hotel, we can see Wrigley Bldg., Planterum (??), The soldier’s field, We can see the south side of Chicago. We see U.S.S. Milwaukie every morning at the navy Pier. We see the stream line Santa Fe Train & the New York Central. Call Daddy (my grandfather, her husband) no answer got telegram very busy (I guess punctuation wasn’t a priority) Took everything out of Drawer But no rings (the rules for capital and lowercase letters also don’t apply 🙂 ) Went to town and gave iron (???) Paid hair and got curtain stretch (?????) Then hotel. Met Gus and he gave me 50.00.”
Gus may have been a cousin or family friend. It was nice of him to help her out. Money seemed to be an issue on this trip at different times. They were gone for 3-4 months. On top of that, she lost some rings, which she mentions several times in the diary. They were eventually found. However, she and my grandfather were not able to work things out…
I only knew them as seperate people when I was young, never as a couple. Their divorce happened long before I was born. In fact, shortly after this trip when my father was a young boy, is when they split for good.
This diary helps me understand them, and my father, a little better.
We are only human, after all.