New Series: The Diary of Mrs. X
I feel very blessed to have come across the 1945 diary of a woman in an antique shop in Boulder City, NV. My initial flip-through was exciting and revealed mentions about the war, tidbits about her children Bev, Cheryl, and Jack, her husband Connie*, places in the Los Angeles area, and just little and big every day things. I was entranced immediately. What a wealth of information about an American woman living on the homefront during the last year of war! This wealth couldn’t go unshared, so I wanted to start this series of transcribing her diary so others could learn from this original source.
I’ll be sharing an entry once a week, but if the entries are particularly small, I’ll share more than one. Starting a new habit can be difficult, as we all know, so she didn’t write every day. There will be some large gaps in the dates, but I think that’s part of the allure of her diary. It reveals just how human and relatable she is.
I’m calling her Mrs. X because I don’t know her name. She mentions everyone around her, but doesn’t sign her entries or mention herself by name. Besides, it lends a bit of mystery which I think this diary definitely has in spades! To protect the privacy of the people mentioned, I’ll only be putting their first name and the first letter of their last name.
I’ll do my best transcribing the entries just as she wrote them, and while her handwriting is mostly legible, there are some spots that are difficult. If I’m not sure, I’ll put a question mark in brackets so you know. If there are any interesting history tidbits, I'll put my research down in the Notes.
Thanks for following along and I hope you enjoy learning from the perspective of an American woman in wartime as much as I will!
Monday, January 1, 1945
Hi – 1945! We expect great things from you.
Everyone slept late this morning – I latest of all. We had a New Year’s Eve party here last night – with the younger generation! Our first time to attempt it and it worked ok. There were only 6 adults and five children and we all enjoyed ourselves. Joan W. stayed all nite with Beverly – the Ws all went home – as did Lou W & his girl. Bess W. came for Joan while we were at a late breakfast. She took J & B to a matinee in Van Nuys – Cheryl went to ditto with Jeanette G. Connie* rode his bike out to Van Nuys to Lilika’s for oranges and shotgun shells. He went without telling me while Bess was still here. (Impatient for me to go with him.) So when he returned I asked him to wait here for the girls & I went off alone! Fernangeles Park & almost to Roscoe! Nobody mad.
1. From what I’ve been able to find, Connie has been used as a nickname for male names like Cornelius or Conrad.