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, January 11, 2011


On Monday, January 10, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Snow-Cold. Annah Lee 11 yrs. old. (Snow at 5:00 a.m.) Arose at 5:50. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Cleaned the children's overshoes. Beautiful snow! I looked over the "funny" papers. Left home at 7:45. Went down town at noon. The children had a fine time sleigh riding. Mr. Rowland and Mr. Argenbright joined the crowd. We read until 10:10. Went to bed at 10:00. On Tuesday, January 11, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Sunny. Skin has been dead 8 years. Got up at 5:50. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Shaved. Left home at 8:00. Very cold. Sun came out and melted the snow. Jane is in a critical condition. Dr. tested Jake's blood to have transfusion. I phoned Mary. Warren Smith brought me home in his car at 5:50 p.m. Read until 10:00. To bed 11:00. I did not make an entry last night because I had to teach at the Volunteer Firefighter Academy and did not get home until about 10 p.m. So we are doing a little catching up tonight. I have several things that I want to comment on from these diary entries AND I obtained some very helpful information from Uncle Roger that I will include in this post as well. So indeed yesterday was my grandmother's birthday and in 1927 she was 11 and so she would have been 95 in 2011. I miss her a lot and think of her often. Kids today would not know what overshoes were. I know what they are but can't say as though I have ever worn any. We too have had little fits and spits of snow recently but not enough to really go sleigh riding. I am jealous of the crowd in 1927, I want to go sleigh riding. I know the times at the end of Monday's diary entry don't make a lot of sense, but I checked what was written several times and that is exactly what Bonnie had down. Maybe he read for 10 minutes after getting in bed. I was so sad to read that Skin had passed away 8 years prior. In the 1916 diary, Skin was a frequent "character" if you will. It sounds like Jane is really not doing well. Uncle Roger's information explains who Jane is. Here is what Roger sent to me the other day: "Banking" the furnace, as best I can tell you was done to control or reduce the amount of fire during the night. I know that the furnace had a built in opening under the fire chamber that was closed during the night so that there was less draft and thereby controlled the fire. I suppose ashes could be placed over the fire to also reduce the fire. This procedure prevented the fire from burning out during the night, but still prevented the need to start a new fire in the morning, which was a time consuming operation, not to mention that the house would be very cold without some heat during the night. "Coaling" was simply adding coal to build up the fire as needed. I barely remember the "range" in the kitchen used for cooking. The range was fueled by coal, although the fire was started with wood "kindling". The kindling was ordered from the lumber yard and delivered over the back fence by the lumber truck. It was one of my chores to haul the kindling into the basement by wheelbarrow for storage. Coal was also stored in the basement. We also had what we called a "laundry" stove for the primary purpose of heating our water used for laundry, bathing, and of course supplementary heating. The stove had a system of water pipe that circulated around the "belly" of the stove and the heated water was piped into a storage tank behind the stove and was piped from the tank throughout the hot water system throughout the house. This system was especially nice in the winter time, but not so great during the summer months. As for the "cheviot" suit, I have just learned that cheviot is a breed of sheep and the fabric was a coarse, twill weave used chiefly for suits and overcoats. The wool is produced in Scotland and England in the Cheviot mountain range. Effie Lawler was Bonnie's sister who lived in Clifton Forge and was much loved by all who knew her. Jane was Jake's wife (Jake's real name was Leslie). Jake was Bonnie's brother. Christine, Bonnie's youngest sister, lived with Jake and their three children: James, Catherine, and June. Christine stayed with them during Jane's illness and stayed until after their graduation from high school. as Jake never re-married. The Felty's were close neighbors on 8th street. We lived at 1506 and they lived at 1500. Uncle Roger you are the best. That was great information and Really helped fill in the gaps!!!

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