Kathryn Hodgkins Seavey

My mother. Born Sept 23, 1901 Died April 1962

Here it is, Pearl Harbor day again. I looked up Dec. 7 in my mother’s diary for 1941 and found this:

Sun. Dec 7th — WAR —

We turned on Kaltenborn on the radio at 3:15 and found that Honolulu and Pearl Harbor and the Philippines had been attacked by the Japanese. Right when Roosevelt was trying his best to bring about peace. It was an infamous and a dastardly attack, a blow in the dark. The whole nation will be behind the President now.


I was a mere lad of 12 at the time, going on 13, too young to go off to war. So, instead I started high school (Westford Academy) the next June.

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Hendrik Hertzberg has the best analysis of the McCain quip, Make it a hundred, in answer to a questioner complaining that Bush wants to stay in Iraq for fifty more years. Hendrik was there and he puts the whole exchange in context. The bottom line:

But what the context shows, I think, is that yanking that sound bite out of context isn’t really all that unfair. McCain wants to stay in Iraq until no more Americans are getting killed, no matter how long it takes and how many Americans get killed achieving that goal—that is, the goal of not getting any more Americans killed. And once that goal is achieved, we’ll stay.

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August 29, 1932
Sat out on the common with Frances and Frieda. Mardie played with the children.

August 30, 1932
The Cobbs came. Went to Boston. We all stayed all night with Mary. Tomorrow’s eclipse.

August 31, 1932
Marden had test for thyroid today. Saw the eclipse on the esplanade. Got quite dark and cold. Wonderful. Had good time in Boston. Letter from Don and Father.

September 1, 1932
Ruth, Dwight, and J. Kilborn called on us tonight. Made me want to get back to Cuba. Mardie had a leg ache. Letter from Berta.

September 2, 1932
Mr. Derby brought us a big basket of peaches.

September 3, 1932
Picked veg. this after as I do every day.

September 9, 1932 Friday
Went to Boston today. Mardie gained 9 lbs since he was in hospital.

September 10, 1932 Saturday
Father Seavey went to camp with Marjorie and Johnny today.

September 11, 1932 Sunday
Ruth and Dwight came out. Played croquet and ate.

September 12, 1932 Monday
Alone with Mardie and Marden.

September 13, 1932 Tuesday
F.S. came home tonight.

September 14, 1932 Wednesday
Went to see Vera today to plan food for camp.

September 16, 1932 Friday
Rained steady all day. Chester and Marden bought a chicken for camp.

September 17, 1932 Saturday
Went to camp with B’s [Burnham’s] today. It’s great up here. Our family slept on the porch. Had a big feed and played rummy.

September 18, 1932 Sunday
Rode in boat but it was rough. Had a walk and a nap. Met a girl named Ann Johnson. Went home by way of Ayer.

September 19, 1932 Monday
Washed today – Mardie had leg ache tonight and kept us awake.

September 20, 1932 Tuesday
Primaries today. Voted for Youngman and Brown on the Rep. ticket.

September 21, 1932 Wednesday
Youngman and Brown won. We three have terrible colds. Had to put a flannel on Mardie tonight.

September 22, 1932 Thursday
Canned tomatoes today and yesterday. R. Hildreth asked me to coach the Y.P.R.U. play but I said I couldn’t.

September 23, 1932 Friday
Went to Chelmsford Center. Mardie and Marden had hair cuts and then we had ice cream at Ox Bow. 10 gallon cider home.

September 24, 1932 Saturday
Went off daylight saving tonight. Gordon came in for a minute.

September 25, 1932 Sunday
Hope, Gladys, Lyle, Norman and girl here for cider this after. Had a good time talking to them.

September 26, 1932 Monday
Washed and mended.

September 27, 1932 Tuesday
Ironed and made apple sauce. Ate candy and drank cider tonight. Letter from Marjorie.

September 28, 1932 Wednesday
Canned tomatoes. Gordon stopped for supper and took F.S. to the show. Dreamed about mother tonight.

September 29, 1932 Thursday
Wedding anniversary 6 years. Went to Marjorie’s for supper. Mardie slept all the way to Mary’s. Marden stayed at Dispensary.

September 30, 1932 Friday
Went to Dis with Marden. Mardie stayed with Marjorie. Cold. We went to movies. Home by 7 o’clock.

September 31, 1932 (or October 1) Saturday
Awfully cold the past four days. 32° yesterday morn.

October 1 or 2, 1932 Sunday
Made apple sauce. Went with Mardie to school grounds. Yankees won World Series, 4 straight games. Mardie went to Sunday School for first time, Unitarian church.

October 3, 1932 Monday
Washed today. Cloudy at first but soon there was sunshine. Wrote to father.

October 4, 1932 Tuesday
Ironed. Not much to do. Letter from Aunt Viola. Wrote to Mary.

October 5, 1932 Wednesday
Big Lowell day Thurs., Fri., Sat. Music went by. We’re going to Boston instead. Wrote to Aunt V’a.

October 6, 1932 Thursday
Mary A. and Andy called on us tonight. Such a surprise! They live in Boston. Much fun to see them.

October 7, 1932 Friday
It’s cold as Greenland today. Put 3 quilts on us tonight. Reading Hindus “Humanity Uprooted”.

October 8, 1932 Saturday
Warmer today. Bought Mardie a truck and a store [can’t quite read it]. F.S. sick (?). Made a ginger bread upside down cake. Sick.

October 9, 1932 Sunday
Very warm today. Marden worked all day. Went to school grounds and took Mardie, Janice, and Barbara.

October 10, 1932 Monday
Went to Boston. Marden had X-ray. Went to Mary A’s for lunch. Andy took us to shop. Bot a new dress. Stayed all night at Mary R’s [or A’s].

October 11, 1932 Tuesday
Met Marden at [can’t make it out]. Came home. Man named Trapp put in oil burner, Good! Heard Coolidge over radio tonight.

October 12, 1932 Wednesday
Washed. Very cold!

October 13, 1932 Thursday
Ironed. Still cold. Went to library.

October 14, 1932 Friday
Did odd jobs. Sent two dresses to cleaners. Our oil burner is coming in handy. It’s so cold.

October 15, 1932 Saturday
Smoked one cig. Tomorrow [unreadable] won’t smoke any. Trying to get fat. Prs. Hoover spoke over radio tonight.

October 16, 1932 Sunday
No cigs today. Pretty good, no? Mardie went to S.S. He’s growing!

October 17,1932 Monday
Marden and I went to Boston tonight. We left Mardie at Marjorie’s and Marden left me at the Adult Ward of the Dispensary.

October 18, 1932 Tuesday
Dr. [Coperandefero] gave me a basic metabolism this morning but it was normal. He took my history and [improvided] me with about 12 docs. there.

October 19, 1932 Wednesday
Dr. C. took my blood test and gave me a [biambars] [puratore]. I was scared to death. Have lots of [furnass] with Mrs. Moore and Miss [Shwarz].

October 20, 1932 Thursday
Had to lie flat on my side till 4:30am. 12 drs came around and talked me over. I have encephalitus with Parkinsonian symptoms.

October 21, 1932 Friday
Met Dr. Berke in hall today and he didn’t know I was in ward. They put electric current through my arm. Dr. B. said it couldn’t hurt.

October 22, 1932 Saturday
Dr. B. came to see me. Mrs. Moore and Miss [Shwarz] left today. Mrs. [Askzinias] and Mrs. [Macebinias] came in. I have had a terrific headache since Thursday night.

October 23, 1932 Sunday
Felt [lonesome] today. Didn’t see many docs. Still have my terrible headache. I’m going tomorrow.

October 24, 1932 Monday
Dr. C. and Dr. B. came to say goodbye. Polly drove me to Mary’s about 5 o’clock. Had cocktails before dinner.

October 25, 1932 Tuesday
I spent all day just lying around, reading [its is a sounds more incletricks] begin dinner.

October 26, 1932 Wednesday
Went out to Marjorie’s on the subway. Got Mardie and Gordon took me up to Westford. Good to see Mardie, Marden, and F.S.

October 27, 1932 Thursday
Had letter from Mary A and Andy wrestles in Lowell tonight the champion of [Dresden]. Chester, Marden and I went. Pretty rough stuff. Andy got [unreadable] for [unreadable].

October 28, 1932 Friday
Heard Pres Hoover [speak radio] tonight. I’m hoping [pds] hopes he wins.

October 29, 1932 Saturday
Made an apple [gratious] choc. pudding for dinner tonight. F.S. went to Lexington.

October 30, 1932 Sunday
Had a [ride] this after. Mardie went to S.S. A little boy with a mask scared Mardie.

October 31, 1932 Monday
Bought a Halloween cake from the [gabor]. F.S. made Mardie a jack o lantern. I made him a mask. Rained tonight.

November 1, 1932 Tuesday
Went to Boston. Saw Dr. Berke and Dr. [Rockford]. Went to [Met]. Went to Mary A’s. Saw Andy wrestle tonight at Boston [Garden]. Exciting!!

November 2, 1932 Wednesday
Made apple sauce. Wrote to father. I have encephalitis with Parkinsonian symptoms.

November 3, 1932 Thursday
Radio announced a heavy frost tonight, so F.S. had the wood [unreadable] fire in furnace. It feels good.

November 4, 1932 Friday
Heard Pres. Hoover speak over the radio. A great campaign[er]!

November 5, 1932 Saturday
Marden went to Lowell with Chester tonight and I went to bed at 8 and slept till 6.

November 6, 1932 Sunday
F.S. gone all day. He took the car to [Lincoln] and tehn a [unreadable] to Morton’s. We couldn’t take a ride. Was warm and sunny.

November 7, 1932 Monday
Final windup of both [unreadable] [unreadable]. Hope Hoover wins. Rained all day. Marden stayed home a little while this a. m.

November 8, 1932 Tuesday
Roosevelt is elected but maybe good times will come anyway. Too bad for Walter Newton. Listened to radio.

November 9, 1932 Wednesday
Democrats won out everywhere yesterday. It rained all day today. Marden didn’t work.

November 10, 1932 Thursday
Rained all day today. Marden didn’t work. Had letter from Don. Big changes. Comrie and others let out. No overseers.

November 11, 1932 Friday
Armistus day but Marden worked. Nice day. Had letters from Polly and Mary A.

November 12, 1932 Saturday
Cloudy all day but warm. Colder tonight. Fire in furnace. Vera got long underwear for Mardie.

November 13, 1932 Sunday
Mary and Andy came out this after. Looked at [????]. Had tea and played bridge. Gordon, Marjorie and Marilyn came too.

November 14, 1932 Monday
Washed today and hung clothes on radiator. Wrote to dad and Mary A. Bought a [???] [???] a fruit cake.

November 15, 1932 Tuesday
Went to Boston. Saw Dr. Berke, Dr. Coperhofer, Dr. [???] Rowald. Took Mardie to the [???]. He liked it. Legaches.

November 16, 1932 Wednesday
Warm all day but below freezing everyplace else. Called on Vera but not home. She called on me yesterday. In Boston.

November 17, 1932 Thursday
Colder today. Freezing tonight.

November 18, 1932 Friday
Called on Vera today and had tea.

November 19, 1932 Saturday
F.S.’s birthday. Marjorie and Marilyn came and brought a birthday cake. Rained.

November 20, 1932 Sunday
Marden worked this morn. Went for a walk with Mardie, Janice, and Barbara. Cold today. Gordon stopped.

November 21, 1932 Monday
Cold!! R’cd a pair of lovely bedroom slippers for my birthday from dad.

November 22, 1932 Tuesday
Went to Tadmuck Club. Had a good time but didn’t think much of the program. Mrs. Derby is fine!

November 23, 1932 Wednesday
31 years old. Marden gave me a 20 ¢ candy bar tonight. I hate to be in the 30’s.

November 24, 1932 Thursday
Thanksgiving at Marjorie’s turkey and everything. Cousins, Morton, Bernice and Diane came. Diane and Marilyn awfully cute.

November 25, 1932 Friday
Warm all day today. Mardie and Tibby and I walked over to the automobile seat.

November 26, 1932 Saturday
Terribly cold tonight. Went down a degree every half hour. Had a letter from Don. Cyclone didn’t hit there.

November 27, 1932 Sunday
6 above this morning. Wind awfully strong. Marden up at 2 o’clock to keep fire up and thaw out water pipes.

November 28, 1932 Monday
12 above this morning. Wrote to father and Mary A. Vera and I going to get permanents.

November 29, 1932 Tuesday
Warmer today. Went to library this after.

November 30, 1932 Wednesday
Warmer today but strong wind. Walked with Mardie to the auto seat.

December 1, 1932 Thursday
Took a long walk with Mardie and Tibby today down through Derby’s land, across [???] and in a path through the woods.

December 2, 1932 Friday
Took our lovely walk this after.

December 3, 1932 Saturday
Marden and I and Vera and Chester went to Lowell tonight. Vera and I got a permanent. $ 3.80

December 4, 1932 Sunday
Went for a new walk in the woods. It was beautiful!

December 5, 1932 Monday
Washed. Marjorie and Marilyn came over this after. Marilyn is so pretty and sweet!

December 6, 1932 Tuesday
Went to library. Stayed up to hear Ed Wynn.

December 7, 1932 Wednesday
Took Mardie to the church tonight to a movie. Rin Tin Tin and Felix the Cat. Mardie took it all in.

December 8, 1932 Thursday
Went to the wrestling matches in Lowell. Saw some good wrestling but didn’t see Andy.

December 9, 1932 Friday
Went for a walk in the woods. Lovely. Cleaned upstairs. X

December 10, 1932 Saturday
First snow of the season fell tonight. Santa Claus can come with his sleigh.

December 11, 1932 Sunday
Mary and Polly came out today. We all took a long walk in the snow to the woods. Had some [???].

December 12, 1932 Monday
More snow and a lot. Roads slippery. Cold.

December 14, 1932 Wednesday
Went to Boston in snow today. Went to Drs. And did Xmas shopping. Came home in snow storm.

December 15, 1932 Thursday
F.S. went to a lecture and Marden and Chester went to Boston to Andy’s wrestling match so I was alone. Cold.

December 16, 1932 Friday
3 above this A.M. and 10 above at noon. Cold all day but Marden worked. Washed.

December 17, 1932 Saturday
6 below this morn. Coldest of the year and colder than all last winter.

December 18, 1932 Sunday
Marden, Mardie and I went out in the woods to get a Xmas tree. Found two good ones. Mardie likes Xmas.

December 19, 1932 Monday
Washed and mixed up Xmas cookies. Marden helped.

December 20, 1932 Tuesday
Made Xmas cookies and mixed up gingerbread men. Marden helped. Listened to Ed Wynn tonight.

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