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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of the year

On Saturday, December 31, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Light Rain-Windy, P.M.  Pay Day. Arose at 6:15. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Baby Jane got breakfast. I left home at 8:00 a.m.. Lot of office work. Got check cashed. Home 2:15. Cut wood. Baby Jane helped. We put ashes on garden walk. Mary is walking about upstairs. Dr. Luck called to see Norman. His eyes are still nearly swollen shut. Paid Musser $40.00 on grocery bill.

End of month note:  New Ford car put on exhibition and sale on 2nd. Everybody talking about it. Katherine Wentworth and Murray Foster were married on November 29th. Gene Austin, very popular singer reported as having cancer of the throat. "Lucky" Lindy flew the "Spirit of St. Louis" to Mexico City, on Dec. 13th. Big Reception.

And so that ends, 1927 with the Elmores.  Roger was born and Mary is up and about but unfortunately since I don't have the 1928 diary we will not get to follow the rest of these story lines like Norman's poison oak.  Next year, starting tomorrow, for this blog we will be going even further back in time to 1915.  This is the year of Norman's birth and I acquired his copy of Bonnie's diary from Norman's wife Lucille.  Thanks to Lucille and to Uncle Roger for letting me use these diaries.  I expect in 1915, if it is anything like 1916, that we will see Bonnie going to the movies more and out with the fellas.  We will see you then!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Poison Oak Again

On Wednesday, December 28, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Warm-Pleasant. Arose at 6:15. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Annah Lee got breakfast. At noon, I went to Bank; also Bandy and St. Clair's office regarding sidewalk assessment. Got home at 6:00 p.m. Capt. Anderson called me on phone at 10 o'clock p.m. about Billy Millers funeral We got to bed about 12:00.

On Thursday, December 29, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Rain-Warm. "Billy" Millers funeral. Arose at 6:15, made a fire. Dumped ashes. Stoked furnace. Shaved. Left home 8:15. Arthur Stowe, Bill Sellew, Geo. Hughes and I went in E.A. White's car to Billy Millers home. We're flower bearers. Went to Nazareth Church (1st Time). Came back with C.S. Johnson. Got $75.00 on note from bank at noon. Home 6:00 p.m. Norman has bad case of poison oak.

On Friday, December 30, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Mild-Warmer. Arose at 6:15. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Annah Lee prepared breakfast. Norman's face terribly swollen. Mrs. Burnett called Dr. Luck over phone at 8:00 p.m. He gave prescription. Baby Jane and I went to Blue Ridge Pharmacy and got medicine $1.30. Mary was up at 2 a.m. attending Norman.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back to Work

On Tuesday, December 27, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Fair-Warmer. Back to Work. Mrs. Burnett began attending Mary today. I got up at 6:15. Made a fire. Stoked furnace. Dumped ashes. Baby Jane got up at 7:00 and got breakfast and packed my lunch. I talked to Callie LaBrea in the bank. Interviewed man about Loam. Very busy all day. Read after supper. Went to bed about 11:00. Very sleepy.

Yes, it was indeed back to work day.  Also a very busy day here in 2011.  Mom's surgery went well.

Monday, December 26, 2011


On Monday, December 26, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Clear. Holiday. Mr. Stevens last day. Arose at 8:00. Made fires. Dumped ashes. Shaved. Read papers. Loam and Austin came down at 1:30. Stayed for supper. Harry didn't show up. Mrs. Harmon and her daughter came to see the baby. Also Maude Hughes. Baby Jane, Annah Lee and I went to car with Loam 10:15.

Here in 2011, been in a nice day just staying around the house, reading, watching soccer and playing with gadgets.  Rachel has gone to work.  Actually going a little stir crazy right now.  Beth goes back to work tomorrow and I do too.  Also, Mom has knee replacement tomorrow, so tomorrow will be a busy day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

First Dinner with Mary

On Saturday, December 24, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Chilly-Sunny. Christmas Eve. Arose at 6:20. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. The children got breakfast. Mr. Turner gave me 2 lbs. of candy. The children and I put up Christmas tree.  Baby Jane, almost alone decorated it. I cut wood and shaved. Mrs. Drewry got supper etc. The children worked hard. Mrs. Burnett fixed Mary.

On Sunday, December 25, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Chilly-Fair. Lawrence Sullivan died. Christmas Day. Got up at 8:00. Made fire. Stoked furnace. Had oysters for breakfast. Mrs. Stevens came and bathed Mary and the baby. Mrs. Burnett and Howard came over. Also, Bessie and Minor Edwards. We had a good dinner. Mrs. Drewry and James ate with us. This is the first Christmas we have eaten dinner with Mary.  

Merry Christmas from the Clingenpeels in 2011 and the Elmores from 1927! Really pretty good day here so far.  We got up at 6 a.m. and opened gifts and had a light breakfast before going to church where we had no Sunday School and a casual Birthday party for Jesus during worship service.  We had a good crowd though and a nice spirit about the place.  Always big day when the Elmores have oysters for breakfast!  They also had lots of company.  I thought the comment about the first Christmas where they got to eat with Mary, a bit curious.  My mother is here with us today and tells me that she has memories of going to Bonnie and Mary's house for dinner on Christmas night and that Mary would always stay in the kitchen.  She would serve the others and then fix her plate and eat in the kitchen.  I am guessing this went on before 1927 as well.  Mom describes Mary as one "who had a real servant heart."  Also quite a difference in Christmas tree customs between  1927 and 2011.  Again, Mom shares that her family, the Meyerhoeffers, also put up heir tree on Christmas Eve and did not leave it up long, maybe only a few days.  The custom now, at least in our house is to put up the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving and leave it up until some time after New Year's. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dr. Burks, Where Are You?

On Wednesday, December 21, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Warmer-Fair. Arose at 6:00. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. The girls got breakfast. Loam came down at 12:50. Mrs. Drewry went to Catawba. I got alcohol. Cashed check for $5.00. Exchanged bedroom slippers. Went to A.C. Hopwood's office at 5:25 and signed resolution on sale of lot (church). Got home 6:00. The children got supper.

On Thursday, December 22, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Cold-Sunny. Arose at 6:20. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Set the table. The children prepared our breakfast. I returned 2 books to the Library at noon. Loam came down. Left at 5:45. Mailed cards. Mary and the baby are doing well. Dr. Burks has not come back to see Mary yet. To bed at 12:00.

 On Friday, December 23, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Sunny-Chilly. Arose at 6:30. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home at 7:55. Mary and the baby are doing well. Dr. Burks has not come back yet. The boys and girls at the office are interested in the baby. The children went to Christmas entertainment at church, 7:30 p.m. We got to bed at 12:00.

Several interesting things today caught my attention.  Like, I wonder what kind of alcohol Bonnie got? The children are indeed having to work harder now that the baby has come.  I wonder if by Catawba, Bonnie was referring to the place or the mental hospital that is there. Something was obviously wrong with the slippers purchased the other day. Where in the world is Dr. Burks?  Did Bonnie think that other people were NOT going to be interested in the baby? People are always interested in a baby, especially at Christmas time.  Also, interesting that Bonnie called it Christmas entertainment at church.  I was reading earlier today about a debate between entertainment and worship at church and having Church services on Christmas Sunday or not.  Beth went to orthopedic doctor today and got a new hard cast.  Rachel is feeling some better after having passed out at home the other day.  Caleb is hanging in there after having broken his ankle and I found out the other day that I have a leaky heart valve and may have to have heart surgery in the next year or so. Man, I am ready for all of this to end.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Pair of Bedroom Slippers

On Tuesday, December 20, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Clear. Back to work. Arose at 6:00. Made a fire in stove and furnace. The children got breakfast. Very cold. Baby Jane, Emily Alice and I went down on car, 8:15. Got Annah Lee and Baby Jane a pair of bedroom slippers. Harry came down at night. Fixed extension cord. Mary is resting well. I had to get up twice tonight.

Sounds as though in 1927 things were already somewhat getting back to normal.  Tonight in 2011 we went to a concert at Bonsack Baptist to hear the Annie Moses Band.  It was amazing.  Tomorrow a doctor's appointment for me and some tests for Mom. Back to 1927, Do you think Baby Jane and Annah Lee had to share a pair of bedroom slippers? 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Roger is Born!

On Monday, December 19, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Sunny. Roger Sherwood Baby born 2:10 a.m. I was up all night last night. Mary suffered from 10 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Dr. Burks came about 1:00, Mrs. Stevens at 1:30. Mrs. Burnett was here and helped a lot. Dr. and nurse left at 4:30. I fired furnace and ate a little. The children looked at the baby at 2:30. I slept to 7:00. Phoned Mr. Noel, Harry and Jane. Didn't go to work, "all in"

The moment we have all been waiting for!  Happy Birthday Uncle Roger! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lindbergh and Labor

On Monday, December 12, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cloudy-Sultry. Arose at 6:20. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Shaved. Left home at 7:45. Not so busy today. Went to McLelland's and Kress and looked at wash basin. Got curtain springs. Walked home at 5:35. Wrote for Mr. Moseley. Mary got two blue rugs from Larkin. Read after supper. Went to bed at 10:30.

On Tuesday, December 13, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot. Hazy. "Lindy" flew to Mexico. Arose at 6:25. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Lindbergh "hopped off" from Washington D.C. to Mexico City. Big crowds all over the city looked for him, but in vain. Mr. Drewry came over at night. Brought rabbit for Mary. I shaved after supper. Mary sewed. I read until 10:15. Got to bed 11:20.

On Wednesday, December 14, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Warm-Sunny. Rain at night. Arose at 6:50. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home at 7:50. Took a walk at noon. Mary feels tired and anxious. Went home on car at 6:00 p.m. Jim Drewry came over after supper and he and Annah Lee sang and played. I shaved. Jane is still very sick. Loam came down with letter from John Lawlor about Mama. We retired 11:00.

On Thursday, December 15, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Rain-Warm. Arose at 6:30. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home 8:55. Got my check cashed at noon. Paid 57th note on house. Sent Grace Gee $2.00 Lindbergh was received in Mexico with great enthusiasm. Mr. Drewry came over at night. I shaved. Baby Jane and I went to the store. I got up at 12:30 a.m. to look at the furnace.

On Friday, December 16, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Damp-Cloudy. Arose at 7:00. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home 7:55. Mary had a vomiting spell. I deposited $19.80 (P.T.A.) for Mary. Got shirt and 3 pair hose from Oak Hall = $3.50. Got home at 6:30. Paid Musser the grocery bill = $35.90. Mary feels better. My head aches. Read awhile after supper. To bed at 11:00.

On Saturday, December 17, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Cold-Clear. Arose at 6:30. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home 7:55. Awfully rushed all morning. Cut wood from 3:33 to 5:00 p.m. Very Chilly. Swept basement. Took a bath at 6 o'clock. Mary feeling very bad. Norman went to YMCA at 7:00 p.m. My eyes hurt very much. Baby Jane and Annah Lee went shopping. Retired at 11:00.

On Sunday, December 18, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Chilly-Sunny. Mary's Labor began. Arose at 9:00. Mary got up at 7:30 and made a fire. The children went to Sunday School. I went to the office at 10:30. Caught up my mail at 1:00 p.m. Mary feeling pretty bad. I phoned Dr. Charles about specimen urine. Children went to church at 3:00 p.m. Mrs. Felty and Dorothy came in. Mary sick tonight.

In 1927, kind of an eventful week with all of the Lindbergh stuff going on and Mary's labor began!  I also thought it was neat that apparently people in Roanoke went outside and looked to the sky to try and see Lindbergh.  In 2011, an eventful week here too.  Beth had surgery on her hand.  Caleb has possibly broken his ankle and we are having the church over to our house tonight. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ivory Enamel

On Saturday, December 10, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Chilly-Cloudy. Arose at 6:30. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home 7:55. Not so busy. Got haircut at 1:30. Deposited $10.00 Christmas Check. Cut wood from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Put second coat Ivory enamel on crib. Baby Jane and Annah Lee helped. Took a bath at 10:30 and went to bed 11:30.

On Sunday, December 11, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Warm-Fair. Arose at 10:00. Went to church at 11:30. Mary got up at 7:30 and made fire. The children attended Sunday School. I read in afternoon. Talked to Harry over phone. Baby Jane went to church with Mrs. Drewry at night.  Cook boy backed into Jim Drewry's car about 5:30 p.m. We got to bed by 10:30.

Here in 2011: Good day at church today as children did their program and there was a big crowd.  After church, while the choir is practicing, Caleb is kicking a soccer ball, and steps in a hole.  He comes in the church and motions for us.  We go look at it and decide he needs to go to ER.  They think he might have broken his ankle though it is hard to tell.  We go to see an orthopedic doctor this week.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sidewalk Issues

On Friday, December 9, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Zero-Weather. Arose at 6:50. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Baby Jane went on car to school. Wore my overcoat first time this winter. Ears awfully cold. Got X-mas check = $10.00. At 8 p.m. Baby Jane and I called on the neighbors about sidewalk. Saw most of them. Got to bed by 10:30.

Wow, so when Bonnie said "zero-weather" he meant REALLY cold and not the absence of weather.  I knew that's what he meant, was just funny to think about.  Not that cold here in 2011.  I wonder what the issue was with the sidewalk that necessitated the meeting with the neighbors?

Thursday, December 8, 2011


On Thursday, December 8, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Cold-Clear. Arose at 6:40. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home at 7:55. Didn't leave the office at noon. Weather turned very cold by 5:00 p.m. Norman went to YMCA. I shaved. Mary sewed until 10 o'clock. Eunice Linkenhoker was at our house from 7 to 9. I stoked the furnace fire. To bed at 11:00.

Day 2 of Caleb and I both being home sick together.  The one interesting thing in Bonnie's entry is the name Linkenhoker.  It is a name that I am also familiar with as Pastor at Springwood Baptist in Buchanan.  There are Linkenhokers there too.  I wonder if there is a connection? Other than that a fairly boring entry by Bonnie and Caleb and I are also rather bored here today too.  Ready for this "bug" to go away.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Crowley's Rolls

On Tuesday, December 6, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Fair-Mild.  Arose at 6:20.  Made a fire.  Dumped ashes. Awfully busy all day. Took a walk at noon.  Walked to Mrs. Crowley's and got rolls, 6:00. Called Bro. Scott at 6:30.  Walked to store with the children.  Caught 7:15 car; Went to Board meeting at 7:30. 12 present.  Bro. Scott and Bent brought me to Jefferson St. in car.

On Wednesday, December 7, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Mild-Sunny. Arose at 6:30. Made a fire and dumped ashes. Left home 7:55. Awfully busy all day. Took a walk at 1:40 p.m. Left the office at 6 p.m. Wrote letter to Aunt Annah. Raining at night, high wind but reasonably warm. We went to bed about 10:30.

Caleb and I both stayed home sick today.  He is asleep now and I still feel rotten.  Mrs. Crowley must have decided to keep the Elmores in rolls until the baby comes.  I missed business meeting tonight at church, Bonnie went to his board meeting.  Lots of rain and high winds here in 2011 too, but not mild, turning sharply colder.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Detective strikes Preacher

On Monday, November 28, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Warm-Mild. Arose at 6:45. Made a fire and dumped ashes. Left home at 7:45. Had lot of work today. Mary is not feeling well. I came home at 5:45. (walked). Read after supper. Mary had rolls from Mrs. Crowley. Quite warm. Helped Mary move furniture. Talked to Loam.

On Tuesday, November 29, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Fair-Cloudy. Arose at 6:45. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home 7:55. Worked hard all day. Stayed in at noon. Walked home in evening. Got rolls at Mrs. Crowley's Norman attended scout meeting. I read until 10 o'clock. Got to bed about 11:00. Tired and sleepy.

On Wednesday, November 30, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Warm-"Summery". Arose at 6:20. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Shaved. Left home at 7:55. Busy all day. Got my check cashed and paid bills. Mary feels very bad. I didn't attend supper at church. Richard Gee and Mr. Parsons came down home after supper. Brought bed pan. Baby Jane went to Wood's in car with Burch's pm. Warm tonight.

End of month note for November 1927:  Premier of Rumania (Britanis) died on 23rd. Mama is till very sick. Can't hear from Christine. We took supper with Loam on the 3rd. She had no fire in furnace, and it was awfully cold. We drank some wine. Got home about  10:50. Hurried to bed. Paid J.T. Bristow $23.10 to tear furnace down and make repairs. Norman has a severe case  of poison oak on his face, hands, arms, breast and behind his ears. Mr. Lucian H. Cocke, General Attorney for the N&W died on Monday night 14th instant. Mary is quite heavy and has difficulty in getting around. She has suffered a great deal.

On Thursday, December 1, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Cold-Sunny. Arose at 6:30. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home 7:55. Sent order to Sears-Roebuck for baby blanket, etc. Sent Fleck a check for $5.00. Came home on car at 6 p.m. Read after supper. Put paper and wood in furnace. Real cold tonight. Mary took bath and shivered. She put up curtains. I shaved. Got to bed 11:00.

On Friday, December 2, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Rain-Cloudy-Chilly. Arose at 6:45. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home at 7:55. Mary had a hard vomiting spell. I paid insurance at 1:45 p.m. Not so busy. My eyes hurt today. Raw, rainy, cold, "sloppy" night. Norman went to scout inspection at Auditorium at night. I went to Jackson Junior play with Annah Lee and Baby Jane. Home at 9:30.

On Saturday, December 3, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Snow-Rainy. Arose at 6:20. Made a fire. Dumped ashes. Left home 7:45. Mr. Noel came in at 8:35. He felt bad; didn't dictate one letter. He went home at 12 noon. I got home at 1:45. Cut wood from 3:45 to 5 p.m. Wet and cloudy. Baby Jane carried wood into the basement. I took a bath at 5:15 p.m. Shaved 7:45.

On Sunday, December 4, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Sleet-Cold. (Snow). Arose at 8:30. Mary got up at 7:30 and made a fire. Baby Jane and Norman went to Sunday School. Annah Lee and I went to church. Good sermon. Fairly good attendance. Mr. Scott told about detective striking one of our preachers. Harry ate supper with us. I read in afternoon. The children rode sleds all afternoon. We got to bed 10:00.

On Monday, December 5, 1927 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Fair-Warmer. Arose at 6:25. Made a fire in stove and furnace. Shaved. I went to work on 8:15 car. Baby Jane also rode with me. She paid carder $3.69. I deposited $37.95 for Mary's P.T. Assn. Left the office at 5:40 p.m. Home on car. Read after supper. We went to bed about 10:30 p.m.

I know this has been a long single post because I had gotten behind last week as I did a bit of short traveling, but there is lots of good stuff to write about. Also, I have some extra time to write today as I am off from work to go and have my annual Chest/heart tests.  I brought Beth to work this morning and we traveled through SE Roanoke which also kind of inspired me to write some more today as I went right through the areas that Bonnie writes about and it my thoughts go back to what life must have been like in 1927 and what Roanoke looked like.  I thought that Bonnie's Nov. 28 entry was funny when he talked about Mary not feeling well and yet he helped her move furniture.  Mary is obviously great with child as they are ordering baby blankets and Bonnie speaks of her being heavy and having trouble getting around.  I am not sure though that he ever mentioned that she was expecting back earlier in the year.  Maybe that wasn't something to talk about?  Or maybe it got lost among making fires and dumping ashes? Mary is also "nesting" as we call it today, moving furniture, hanging curtains etc.  She is getting ready for that baby to come. It also struck me that life in 1927 was not all that different than 2011 with the pull and tug schedule of the children.  One has a scout meeting, two have a program at school, Mary doesn't feel well, etc.  Sounds a little like us with soccer games, church, work, and school. The weather was also interesting.  Bonnie had been writing about it being mild and summery and then all of a sudden it snowed, sleeted, and the children rode sleds.  It has been mild here in 2011 too so maybe there is still some hope for some winter weather soon. Bring it on!

Oh! I almost forgot.  What is up with detectives striking preachers?  I sure would like to know more about that story from December 4.  What did the preacher do?  Was it mistaken identity?  City detective or Railroad detective? That was a great Sunday post though.  I loved it. Snowy Sunday, good sermon, good attendance, great story, and family over for a meal! Ahhhhhh.........