This blog is mainly taken from my Great Grandfather's diary. In 2012 we are in the year 1915, after completing 1916 in 2010 and 1927 in 2011. 1915 is the year that my Great Uncle Norman was born. 1927 is the year that my Great Uncle Roger, was born. 1916 was the year that my grandmother, Annah Lee was born.

My Great-Grandfather's name was Bonnie Elmore and he worked as a clerk or secretary for the old Norfolk & Western Railroad, based in Roanoke, VA. Mary is his wife. Norman is their first born son. The Raines are Mary's parents. Skin is Bonnie's brother along with Jake.

Bonnie's work associates and friends are also mentioned quite a bit. Bonnie does a great job of blending everyday life in 1915 with the mention of some world and USA history as well. I do know from a quick glance ahead that 1915 is going to be quite different as Bonnie did not write quite as much.

After Bonnie's diary entry, I will occasionally make comments, maybe tell a little about life in 2012, possibly some current events, and some musing about the Christian faith.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Very Hot

On Wednesday, June 28, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Hot. Arose at 7:25. Wrote estimate on Brown's Creek. Carranza released 17 negro soldiers from Corrigal fight. Lt. D. Lightner and 5 men left for Richmond, VA. Rain in evening. Elsie Brown was married tonight. I shaved. Met Skin. Sent food over home. Mrs. Raines down at 9 p.m. Norman very ill and vomiting frequently. On Thursday, June 29, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Hot. Arose at 7:30. Got to work 8:30. Norman ill. Harry and Mrs. Raines dined at lunch with us today. Very hot day. Completed work for Mr. Wiltsee. Talked to Howard Fisher at noon. Paris Leslie called me up on phone and ate supper with us. Stayed until 9:30 and left for Mays Leslie's. Mrs. Raines down. Lightning freely.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fire Insurance

On Sunday, June 25, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Raining slowly. Arose 8:30 a.m. Paris Leslie called me up by phone. I went to First Christian Church. Talked to Frank Fisher about war. In afternoon we went up to Mrs. Raines'. Loam came by. Also Paris Leslie and Fred Hurst. Read "Washington Post" and ate supper at Mrs. Raines'. Mrs. Raines went down home with Mary and Aunt Annah. Retired at 10:30. On Monday, June 26, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Sunny. Arose at 7:30. Got work 8:30. Wrote "Instructions to Engineers". Paris Leslie phoned Mary he was going to Eggleston. I shaved at Mrs. Raines' at night. She came down. Bob McLellan came down home and we talked over fire insurance. I read until 11:30 and retired 12:00. On Tuesday, June 27, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Hot. Negro troopers from Fort Myer came through. Arose at 6:30. Mary and I left home at 7:30 and went to station to see soldiers off. Told Frank Fisher and Capt. Figgott good-bye. Howard Fisher and I met. Also Aunt Dora, Net, Edith and Papa. Large crowd. Mayor Brown and Sergeant Richardson spoke. Cut grass after supper and Mary rolled Norman up to her Mother's Retired at 10:30. Glad Grand-daddy is thinking over fire insurance.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mexican trouble

On Thursday, June 22, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Warm-Sunny. Arose at 7:30. Got to work 8:30. Got plug tobacco at Joe Milan's. Indexed and filed correspondence. Mary & Aunt Annah went to Mrs. Raines at 11 a.m. We all ate lunch and supper there. Very hot today. Roanoke militia getting ready to entrain for Richmond, Va. I sat up at home and read until 11 o'clock. Retired at 11:15 p.m. On Friday, June 23, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool & Sunny. Arose at 7:30. Talked to Thomas Poindexter and got to office at 8:45. Mary rolled Norman to Mrs. R's at 5 p.m. I came by there and shaved. Talked to Paris Leslie. Took hoe home & dug up grass from around edge of brick walk. Everybody excited over Mexican trouble. I saw skin and gave him 10 cents worth of 1 cent stamps. Retired at 11 p.m. On Saturday, June 24, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Warm-sultry. Arose at 7:30. Got to work at 8:40. Mr. Crawford came in to have me help Mr. Wiltsee out. Heavy electrical storm in afternoon. I cut weeds off walks. Mr. Raines came down and brought eggs, rolls, etc. I went to creamery at 8 p.m., and took bath at Mrs. Raines' and shaved. Mrs. Raines came down from 8 to 10. I read paper until 11 o'clock. It's been rally hot here in 2010 too. Mid 90's. We are heading to beach on Saturday. Oil continues to flow in the gulf. Obama accepts resignation of US army General McChrystal who was commander in Afghanistan. Replaces him with Gen. Petraeus. USA soccer team won game in World Cup tournament in exciting fashion to advance to the next round. Right now, everybody in the country seems to be soccer fans. That is pretty cool, but probably won't last long after the tournament is over. I have been reading in 2 Kings recently. I read the other day about Naaman who was cured by Elisha from leprosy, but he seemed a little upset that Elisha did not meet him face to face and did not tell him to do more than just wash in the Jordan river. Which, he did and he was healed. Sometimes we do that too. We think if God is going to act on our behalf then it should be something big and spectacular instead of just a simple act of obedience on our part. Simply obey.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Patrolman Shot

On Wednesday, June 21, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Warm-Sunny. Arose at 7 o'clock. Shaved before breakfast. Papa came to house. Paris walked to railroad with me. Mr. Schick in office. Patrolman Leverett shot to death by a negro last night in N.E. city. I went over to Mamma's from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Completed Honaker Lmbr. Co. deeds. Wrote index cards. Carranza men and Americans fight. Mrs. Laura LaBrea down. I don't have a lot of time this evening to make many comments but want to do some checking on the Line of Duty Death for the Roanoke City Police officer and the mention of Americans fighting.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

On the border

On Sunday, June 18, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Sunny-warm. Arose at 8 a.m. Papa and Denny Lawlor came to our house. Papa and I went with Denny to station. Came by Mrs. Raines and shaved and took a cold bath. We went up to Mrs. R in p.m. & I met Paris Leslie on Memphis Special 5:40 also Leslie kids. All ate supper at Mrs. Raines. I took nap on lounge. Home at 9 p.m. On Monday, June 19, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Fair-Warm. Arose at 7:15 a.m. Extra paper out regarding Pres't. Wilson sending entire National militia to Mexican border for war. Mr. Schick came to office at 9:15 ill. Roanoke militia mobilizing. Papa came down home and picked cherries and primed porch on front. Ate lunch with us. Met Paris Leslie and Howard Fisher at 6 p.m. Retired 11:15 p.m. On Tuesday, June 20, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Cloudy-warm. Paris Leslie spent night with us. Arose at 7:20. Got to work at 8:40. Mrs. Schick phoned me Mr. Schick ill and would be at office after dinner. Met Paris Leslie at 5:30. Got a haircut and we came home on car. Went to the "Roanoke" Theater at 8:30. Fine pictures. Papa ate lunch at home and painted porch. Paris and I stopped by Mrs. Raines at night on way to town. Came back at 11:00 p.m. More world history by Bonnie. This is interesting for the fact that on May 25, 2010 President Obama ordered 1200 National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border. In 2010, it is to help with illegal border crossings by immigrants. In 1916 The US was close to war with Mexico because of raids by Pancho Villa. Also, in 2010 there is a lot of drug violence in Mexico that threatens to spill into the USA. Father's Day was today. Good day at church. We had an emotional presentation of Father of the year to Don Barger. His family was on the phone. His grand-daughter is in Atlanta recovering from a serious car accident from several months ago.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Out Late

On Saturday, June 17, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Fair-cool. Arose 7 a.m. Pretty good day in the office. Strung pictures, and carried bucket of cherries to Momma. Ate supper over home. Met Howard Fisher at N&W fountain at 10 o'clock p.m. and he walked to the railroad xng. with me. Also met and talked to Capt. Rowan at Methodist Church. I am not sure what stringing pictures means, but we still have cherries. Seems like Bonnie was out late and not sure why they went to the railroad exchange so late at night. Read today from 1 Kings 18 about Elijah's showdown with the prophets of Baal. What a neat and powerful story. Again rather counter-intuitive as Elijah poured water over the altar 3 times. Also from Acts 11 neat to see how Christianity spread among the Gentiles.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cherry Harvest!

On Thursday, June 15, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Raining. Sent Norman's pictures to Leslies and Loam. Arose at 7:20. Helped Mr. Woodson fix Davenfold and pain him quarter. Mr. Raines came down at night and fixed pantry door and put up center table. He gave Norman 10 cents for his bank. Rained all day. We have been having cherry pies for two days. Filed and indexed mail and copied descriptions. Retired at 10:30. On Friday, June 16, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Damp-Cloudy. Arose at 7:15. Mr. Schick came back from Phila. feeling ill. Walked to work with Cromer Kinsey. Picked cherries. Put strips on screen door to back porch. Mrs. Raines came down after supper and stayed until 9 o"clock. Very dark night. Retired at 10:15. Mary feeling badly. Bonnie has still been busy with home repair chores, or at least getting someone else to do them, which is how I operate too. Wow, I would really like to have some fresh cherry pie. I bet Mary and Mrs. Raines made some good cherry pie and sounds like maybe they could have used some help getting rid of the cherries. Yesterday, June 15, was our 19th wedding anniversary. We went out to eat at Abuelo's and then just enjoyed the kids being at Grandma's. Gulf oil spill still going on. President Obama met with BP officials today and addressed the nation last night. World Cup soccer still going on Spain and South Africa lost today. USA plays again on Friday. I plan to take the day off and watch the game and do yard work. Read today from 1 Kings 17 about Elijah and the widow. Again another example of how following God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit is often counter-intuitive. We have to learn to lean not on our own understanding but to follow in obedience the voice of God through the Holy Spirit. I think a davenfold is like a couch. When I did a Google search for davenfold, I actually came up witht his blog, as I have mentioned it before in here. That's cool I guess.

Monday, June 14, 2010


On Wednesday, June 14, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Warm-Sunny. Arose at 7 a.m. Raked front yard. Men papered pantry room. Colored small pictures for Harry Raines. Went to bank and took tax list to Court house. Mr. Raitt absent in afternoon. I raked back yard and side street. Mary and I rolled Norman up to Mrs. Raines and I took a bath. Came home 9:35.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Joys of Home Ownership

On Tuesday, June 13, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Sunshine. Arose at 7:15. Mr. Smallwood fixing porch. V.P.I. Special (2) went to Blacksburg. Wrote descriptions. Men came and paper kitchen and dining room. Went by Mrs. R and shaved 6 p.m. Talked Sam Thompson. C.D.T. in. Re-copied reqsn. for typewriter desk. Mrs. Raines bled. Mary went along. Cut grass and raked yard after supper. There is so much about this entry that I just do not understand today without actually being inside Grand-daddy's head. His sentences today...well, his phrases today are so short and choppy and some just don't seem to go together. Some time I need to put a picture of the actual diary on here so readers can see it. The space is small and I get that, but today everything is very choppy and the pencil writing gets very light as it is written. I will try to intrepret maybe a little a bit, but I will probably raise as many questions as you already have. Something has been wrong with the porch though I don't know what. We have been reading about materials being delivered for that and so today, Mr. Smallwood (funny name for a carpenter) got started on that repair. The V.P.I. special is a train that runs to what is today called Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. This was a special run train that is apparently usually the #2 train. I don't know what the occassion was for today. Graduation at Tech maybe? While Mr. Smallwood fixes the porch there are also men wall papering the kitchen and dining room. Oh, the joys of home ownership. I am a little stumped as to why Bonnie seems to shave and bathe at other places so much, especially Mrs. Raines, his mother-in-law. Sam Thompson is a close friend of Bonnie's and C.D.T. is some sort of work colleague who was in the office today. I remember Bonnie writing a requisition for that typewriter desk before. Reckon somebody lost it? Or did it get denied at the time and so Bonnie is trying again. This last sentence is the one, I just don't get. I don't know why Mrs. R bled, and I don't know where she went that Mary went along. But, while they were gone, Bonnie mowed and raked the yard.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Uncrated furniture

On Monday, June 12, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cloudy-warm. Arose 7:20. Got to work at 8:45. Staples in the office. Wrote deeds. Lumber came to repair porch. Ate supper at Mrs. Raines. Cut weeds and grass and Mr. Raines uncrated Aunt Annah's furniture. Rain hard in evening. I sat up and read paper paper until 11:15 p.m. Carried crates to stable. In 2010, USA tied England 1-1 in World Cup soccer. That would be considered almost a win for USA. The family went to see the new Karate Kid movie tonight and it was great, maybe better than the first. Busy day at church tomorrow with a youth activity and deacon training. Sermon is about not missing opportunities that God puts before us. Rachel got a part in a locally produced movie. She is reading script for first time now. I think she has a funny part.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mashed finger

On Sunday June 11, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cloudy-Warm. Arose at 8:00. Mary mashed Norman's finger. Shaved at home. Took bath at Mrs. Raines. Aunt Annah stayed home all day. We ate supper at Mrs. Raines and came home at9 p.m. Mr. Schick left for Philadelphia, Pa. to attend Lafayette Banquet and finals. Didn't go over home all day. In 2010, I had a day off from the fire dept. today. Made some church visits, got a haircut, bought some new running shoes, ran with Caleb, went to the grocery store.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shenandoah club

On Thursday, June 8, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Raining. Arose at 7:20. Got to work at 8:30. Copied descriptions an deeds. Went by to see Tom Putt also to post office. Mailed cap to Hattie from Mary. Man inspected lights and metre at Mrs. Raines. Thunder and rain in afternoon. Rolled Norman down home. Walked him on sidewalk. Rain at night. Retired at 10:15. On Friday, June 9, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Cloudy-Damp. Arose at 4:45. Norman 1 year-4mo.old today. Feeling sick. Shaved and ate breakfast at 6 o'clock a.m. Came by market and bought 20 cent gal. of snap beans. Got to work at 8:22. Went by Jal's at 1:00 for beans. Mr. Schick took A.P. Perley Jr. to Shenandoah club for lunch and returned to office at 5 o'clock p.m. Rained at night. Retired 10:30 p.m. On Saturday, June 10, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Warm-Sultry. Annah Lee is 5 mo. old today. Arose at 6:30 a.m. Walked to work at 8:15 with Prof. Gray. Mailed Mr. Schick's photograph to C.N. Andrews, Easton, Pa. Went to bank and drew $50 on check for Mr. Schick. Went to depot to meet Mrs. R and Aunt Annah #4 one hour late. Ate dinner at Mrs Raines. Raining. Took cradle home in Hurts's auto. Retired at 10:30 Went to Hughes. I guess some things in Roanoke are just older than I realized. The Shenandoah club is still around. I had lunch there when I received an award for the Sons of the American Revolution. Nice place. Roanoke County had another fire fatality this past Tuesday and again it was a senior over the age of 62. This further impresses upon me the need to keep up with trying to reach seniors in our community about the importance of fire safety. The World Cup soccer tournament starts tomorrow. I am rather excited about that. Hope the USA does well. They play their first game on Saturday. Oil well still leaking in the gulf. Found out that a cousin who is 19 has leukemia. Keeping Drew in our prayers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cuttin' Grass? Pack a bag.

On Wednesday, June 7, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Arose at 7:20 a.m. Went to Thornton's and Doris' for photos. Got to work 8:30. Copied deed on Lewis Creek branch and 2 descriptions! Carter Thompson came down awhile. Harry and Mr. Raines put up screen doors. I went down home at 7 p.m. and cut grass. Took suit case and clothes and camera. Cut grass until 9 o'clock. Odd day today in 2010. Schedule all thrown off because of a physical to be able to buy more life insurance. Rachel has a friend over to spend the night. Read from Acts 5 today. It has been interesting to read about the early church. I like that when the leaders were trying to decide what to do with Peter and the other apostles, a Pharisee named Gamaliel told them that if this was of human origin it would fail, but if it was from God they would not be able to fight against it. Wow. That is some wisdom right there. I have seen that played out in church life too. When in doubt about whether some thing is from God, maybe waiting it out and seeing how or if it persists would be wise. I also found it amazing that Peter and the others were GLAD that they had been found WORTHY to be persecuted for the sake of Christ. If only there were more Christians with that kind of commitment today. Me included.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Dark and Rainy night

On Monday, June 5, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Sunny. Arose 7:20 a.m. Got work 8:35. Made copies of letters. Mailed Mr. Schick's glasses to Phila. Got letter and $15 from Blaine. Talked to Skin on phone p.m. Heavy work today. Went down to house with Norman. First concert of 1916-Elmwood Park. Stayed at home at night and read the paper. Retired at 11 p.m. Dark night. On Tuesday June 6, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Rain-Cool. Arose at 7:20. Got to work at 8:30 a.m. Rained in a.m. Heavy work all day. Rained steadily from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Mr. Raines and I shaved after supper. We all read until 10 p.m. Mary wrote her mother a letter. I filed and indexed mail. Something bit Norman. Emperor of China and Lord Kitchener died. Lord Kitchener was a British military man who was involved in the early part of World War 1. He died when the warship that was taking him to negotiate with the Russians was sunk by a German mine. I found it interesting that concerts in Elmwood park have been going on for LONG time and are still very popular even today in 2010. I wonder what bit Norman and I wonder what Mary could have written in a letter to her mother considering that they see her daily. Did she recently go on a trip, I can't remember. Good day at church today. Crowd was a little better. Some rain this afternoon. Had some friends over tonight for homemade ice cream.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fried Chicken for breakfast

On Sunday, June 4, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Beautiful Day. Birds singing. Arose 8 a.m. Fried chicken for breakfast-Mrs. R's. Took bath and a picture of garden and Mrs. Raines. Norman feeling slightly ill. Wrote Mrs. Raines and sent Norman's picture to her. Went over home and ate supper and read "The Washington Post". Came thru city with Jake and Raymond McDermott. Retired at 10:30 p.m. We are headed to the Salem Red Sox baseball game tonight and sitting in a hospitality suite. Incidentally, I had a fried chicken biscuit for breakfast this morning too.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Straw hat in the rain

On Saturday, June 3, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Raining. Arose 7:30 today. Wore straw hat in rain. Went by store and left order. Heavy work all a.m. H.L. Daw came in and dictated letter. Went down home at 4 p.m. and cut weeds from walks. Got an ice cream cone- came home and shaved. Mr. Raines went to town and got oranges. We read until 11 o'clock and retired. Pretty night.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Uncle Downs died

On Thursday, June 1, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool day. Arose at 7:20. Went by Hurst's. Got to work 8:35. Went down street and paid bills at 10 a.m. Staples in the office. Wrote a report for him. Work heavy. Carter Thompson in to see me. Got haircut. Ate supper at Mrs. Raines. Mrs. Annie Raines there. Rolled Norman out. Mrs. R and Annie R. came home with us. On Friday, June 2, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Nice. Got to work at 8:45. Arose at 7:20. Uncle Ben Downs died at Cleveland, O. Democratic Convention here today. Mary phoned me. Capt. gave me a cigar. Mrs. Raines left on #3 for Cleveland. We spend the night at Mrs. R and keep house until she returns. I wired Aunt Annah. Got a box of cigars. Wrote Lena and sent Norman's picture. Took Norman down home and paid rent. Read. I am still kind of enjoying the end of May post. I so like the way that Bonnie inter mingles routine, daily, family, Roanoke doings with some US and world history. I think that is what intrigues me so much about his diary. So, I realized I may need to do a little more of that here on this blog. No events today at work, just administrative stuff. Beth came home sick from work and is still sick. The kids and I went to church and then went and got ice cream, took trash out. The big U.S. news item these days is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It has been leaking for over a month now and continues to do so. Millions of gallons of oil. Huge environmental disaster affecting many jobs and tourism and seafood. President Obama being criticized for the government's response. By the way, I know current day readers already know most all of the current news. The hope is that somewhere in the future that maybe my great-grand kids find this somehow in the magic of the Internet and are able to read it, learn, and see the context of some things from 1916 to 2010.