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September 1, 1953

Only half a day of school again today. I can hardly stand it. I’m secretary-treasurer, our sponsor is Miss Gilliland, room mother Mrs. Medlin. Dale didn’t come tonite, cause I said to come on Fri. nite.

She usually loves school. And they’re only going half days right now, and she hates it. What torture will it be when they have to start going full days? It must be terrible being a Senior.

August 31, 1953

Started to school today. I hate it. Boy its hot. Today (we got out of school at 11:30) & Opal took a picture of me & Leroy & then Jim R. took one of me with Jackie & Opal with Bill. Went to Hoppers for a coke. Esther is here.

Wow! Only the first day, and she hates it already! She’s a senior this year. She does seem to enjoy the running-around-with-her-classmates part, however.

 

August 30, 1953

Sun. – Shirley & I talked till 3:00 this morn. Got up, fixed a picnic meal & went to the lake for dinner. Dale & Damon were over there in the new truck & we rode for about 2 miles. Mom, Dad, & Esther came back tonite – now we’re home.

I wonder if Hazel had to bend Shirley’s ear all about Nondo, and what she should do? Apparently, it was something serious, if it took till 3:00 in the morning to discuss it!

A picnic at the lake sounds fun. And getting to cruise in the new truck!

Grandpa must be doing some better, if Mildred and Esther both came back from the city. Or maybe Ruby is taking a shift of watching him, so Mildred can have a break. Hazel still doesn’t really comment on his condition, but so far he’s hanging in there.

August 29, 1953

Mom is still in K.C. Daddy, Ruby & Roy & Vern are going up tomorrow. I made Ruby a blouse this aft. Tonite Daddy took us to Macon to get school things & I met Dale so he went with me. I’m so unhappy. Afterwards us kids went home from town with Ruth & Ralph.

I guess Dale isn’t too awful angry, if he went school shopping with her. But his competition has left town, so maybe that helps some. Meanwhile, Hazel is still torn and unhappy, poor thing!

Grandpa is still in the hospital in Kansas City, and family is still sitting bedside with him. No real update on his condition, however. That left Vern the task of taking the kids school shopping. It was evidently tiring, because he sent the kids home with his sister-in-law!

How sweet of Hazel to sew a blouse for her Aunt Ruby!

August 28, 1953

Judy stayed with me today. Dale came up tonite & we went to the drive-in. I didn’t know how to tell him how I felt about Nondo so I let him read my diary. I could just die. Nondo leaves in the morn. I think Dale is probably mad & I know how awful he thinks I am. I don’t know what to do.

You let your boyfriend read in your diary what you wrote about another boy? The girl’s gone mad!

Of course Dale is probably mad — he introduces his girlfriend to his visiting cousin, and she falls in love with the cousin instantly — did she expect Dale to be happy? I’ll bet Dale’s glad that Nondo is leaving in the morning. Who knows what would happen if he stays longer? Nondo’s liable to steal his girl . . .

Surely Hazel will come to her senses soon. Will she be able to undo the damage she’s done to her relationship with Dale? Will she want to? Stay tuned . . .

August 27, 1953

I’m miserable today. All I can think about is Nondo. I don’t know why. He’s not cute, but there’s something about him. He talks with an accent. He wears glasses, has nice complexion, has dark curly hair, is real tall & has wide shoulders, is 18. He has a blue 48 Plymouth. He’s a carpenter & gets 3.50 an hour in Chicago. He drinks & smokes, I’m crazy about him.

Oh. My. Goodness! Seriously?! The girl is boy-crazy! She sees Nondo one time, and is now ga-ga over him. And what about Dale?

Of course she likes Nondo — he’s the quintessential “bad boy”.

Nondo is the son of Emma, Dale’s aunt. They lived in Highland Park, IL, and it was rumored that Nondo was in the Mafia (not at the time of this visit, but later on when he was a little older). It was said that he tried leaving the mob, and was consequently shot in the knee, and therefore, had to wear a brace on his leg the rest of his life. My cousin, Deno, says: “The only way you could leave the Mafia was by wearin’ a lead Speedo. If you got a fish in your mailbox, you knew your time was up!”

Deno says Nondo was a bookmaker. We were always told that Nondo was a furniture maker! (Which makes sense, really, if he’s a carpenter by trade.) Deno says if that was the case, then it was his “front”, and was probably mob-backed. Deno also gave me a brief history lesson during one of our discussions: “No one would hire the Italians, so they started the Mafia, and that’s where insurance came from.” He never fails to make me laugh!

August 26, 1953

Grandpa is better. Judy called yesterday & we talked 45 min. Dale & his cousin came up tonite in Nondo’s car & we got Shirley & went to the drive-in. Stopped by Bungalow & got horsemeat hamb’s. couldn’t eat mine.

Poor Shirley! She’s the victim of choice every time Hazel and Dale have a random guy they need a date for!

And horsemeat hamburgers??? Was that a thing in the early 1950s?

It’s very good news that Grandpa is doing better.

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