July 1926

Ruth 7/12/26

Saturday afternoon Mother and I went visiting in the car.  When I left a friend’s house the old car wouldn’t start.  I wasn’t feeling first rate anyway and it made me so mad I was so provoked with everything when we finally did get started I would have run over a calf in the road if Mama hadn’t made me stop.  I thought I had my temper under control but I guess I haven’t.  It comes out at the most unexpected times and makes me thoroughly miserable.

I got another graduation gift.  A lovely community plate silver teaspoon with my name engraved on the handle.  Some day I’m going to have a whole set of silverware like it.  Won’t that be lovely?  I think so. (Rachel’s note: This is the first of many predicitions Mom & Dad make that comes true.  I was with them when they went to Macy’s in New York and bought a complete sterling silverware set with the “F” initial on all the pieces.  Dad bought it for Mom on their 25th wedding anniversery in 1955.  I now have this set.)

Ruth 7/18/26

I’m ready to be a nice person again.  I suppose you are right and I think of myself too much.  Saturday morning when I was supposed to be out walking for my health (mother insists I take a walk before breakfast).  I was down at the old  bridge.  As I stood there by the creek I dropped each petty, trivial little idea that ever possessed me and dropped them into the creek and watched them float away in a bubble.  That old bridge holds a secret attraction for me.  I can’t explain it but it is a delightful place to go to early in the morning or late in the evening.  Ralph was supposed to go to Central to see Marie but she backed out.  She wasn’t well after a car accident so he was disappointed again.  Yesterday he washed my face with a floor mop and gave me a ‘slickin’ with a stick besides threatening to do all sorts of things and calling me all kinds of names (all in fun).

Merl said  the college came very near burning down.  Wouldn’t that have been tragic?  I’m conflicted because I don’t feel like going back to school this fall.  So many friends aren’t returning.    NCC will always be home to me but it doesn’t offer the advantage of a normal school.  I don’t imagine the folks would ever hear of anything but NCC though.  Mother quite emphatically gave her opinion of the school saying, “it was a love sick bunch of kids that didn’t realize their opportunity and didn’t know how to have a good time when they had a chance”.  Can you beat it?

Ruth 7/25/26

We had to feed the thrashers for dinner one day.  I’ve learned some apparently new table etiquette that I would just as soon you not learn.  I do so admire good table etiquette. (Rachel’s note: anyone who ever ate at our house knew this!) We review them after they leave but they are our neighbors so you see it can’t be anything terrible.  Our oats made about 10 bushels/acre.  Some in the community made even less.  It is a pity to see the corn as it is drying and withering up.  I is so dry here people aren’t even shedding tears.  Last week it was so hot that we would have sizzled like hot stoves if it had rained on us.  Then it suddenly turned cool and we had to keep the doors shut to keep from freezing to death but  it still couldn’t rain, just a tiny sprinkle one afternoon but in Sioux City the streets were flooded.  People’s wells are even going dry.  Such is life in this part of the country.

According to the family history Ralph did in 1980, "In 1920 Dad bought a 22" sll steel J.I. Case thresher that he used for 10 years.

According to the family history Ralph did in 1980, “In 1920 Dad bought a 22” sll steel J.I. Case thresher that he used for 10 years.

I got the uke club letter yesterday.   I find that none of the girls are doing anything more interesting than I am.  Although you did think we were rather a foolish bunch, we’re mighty good friends and I wouldn’t have traded the club for anything.  I only wish all those girls would be back next year.

Ruth is in the middle of the front row

Ruth is in the middle of the front row

Ruth 7/28/26

I wish I was Jonah or Rebecca (pet fish) and could stay in the water all the time.  I try to keep their water cool and fresh all the time.  I wouldn’t mind if I was as pretty as they are  too.  Mother and I are having  a good time today running around visiting and seeing the country.  Dad is away threshing so we can have a good time.

John 7/14/26

I don’t think that such a trivial matter as you losing your temper could have very much destructiveness to my love for you.  It would take a great deal more than that.  I went to Alda on the train and had a long talk with Mr Kelly the clerk of the Alda meeting.  I told him of the plan Merl and I have been considering and he thought it is a good one.  The plan is that Merl and I arrange for some young men to hold meetings on Sunday.  There are four or five of the men about Central that are anxious to do such work.

I’m making some headway with the men on my crew.  They’ve been having lots of discussions while working and they are asking lots of questions. One man borrowed  a psychology book and another has asked me to go to the library some evening with him which I am happy to do.  I’m still discouraged with conditions at home and worried about the environment my little brothers and sister are being raised in.  I hesitate to mention conditions here at home to you for fear you may question my ability to make a home with conditions any better.  It is hard for you to imagine, I suppose, to think of a home where swearing is very persistent yet it is so.  It is hard for you to conceive of a home where there is little or no cooperation by the father and mother yet it is so.  Love is present in a very narrow sense of the word.

John 7/19/26

The week went by so fast and was more pleasant that any in my life.  I’ve  never worked so hard.  Due to some rush work, preparation for railroad inspection and a shortage of men I had to literally do two mens’ work.  It was that of running two markers the length of the sections.  It necessitated me walking fifteen miles pulling them along the track.  I can enjoy working more, the men and I have such jolly and interesting times together but oh boy was I tired.  After I got cleaned up and finished reading my book, “Christianity and the Race Problem”, I took Mother up town then came home and ate the ice cream we bought.

John 7/21/26

I must go to the library yet tonight and work on my sermon for Sunday.  Here I was wishing that I could spend my summer in doing some kind of reform work or in doing some kind of social service when in reality that is what I am doing.  Don’t you think we too often fail to realize the opportunities we have and wish for something further off which is none better than what we have?

John 7/25/26

Oh dear you can’t guess what I have done – I’ve gone and sold my Ford.  Now what will I have to tinker with? I am happy that I sold it because it was just an added expense. One planning on going to college need not have any more of those added expenses.  First I sold it to my brother and then he fixed the rear end and sold it to another fellow.

Mother and my sister sought my advice on a matter and I frankly told them.  Mother stated that she never wanted another child of hers to go to Central College if they were to get such ideas as I have.  They think I am foolish to have the outlook on life that I have.  Dad said I was wasting my time at the church and there were no good people in Alda.  But the first question he asked me was how much I was getting paid.

It thrills me to think of the coming school year.  I can hardly wait.  I hope it will be the greatest year of NCC ever yet.  Your mother’s definition of the kids at school may be partially true but I don’t think it is wholly true.  I agree that there may be some lovesick students, I’m afraid I’m one of them, but I do think we know how to have a good time.  Don’t you?  I went swimming last week and thought of us swimming and rowing and roller skating.  I hope our happiness is not complete until the end of life…eternal life.

John 7/28/26

My dad has a habit of driving to the river each night and finding a place to cool off after the days work.  Once in a while I go with him.  If I continue to do so I may learn to swim before the summer passes.   An exhausting two days; the shovel and pick have been my reality.  I am certainly happy that I have seen another side of life besides toil and physical exertion.

Poor Ralph.  I certainly hope he gets to see Marie this week end.  It seems a pity that he should be disappointed so often.  Tell him that I am looking forward to the jolly times he and I may have again together this year.  Tell him I still love him even if no one else does.

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