In Washington, DC, on Sunday, May 31, 1936, Helen and Dale went to Annapolis and visited the U.S. battleship Oklahoma, shown below. Five years later, it was sunk by Japanese bombs and torpedoes in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In Washington, DC, on Saturday, May 30, 1936, it was Memorial Day. (Originally known as Decoration Day, it was designated Memorial Day at the turn of the century. The National Holiday Act of 1971 declared the holiday to be the last Monday in May to ensure a three-day weekend for Federal holidays.) Helen and Dale went to Arlington Cemetery, below, and saw the gravesites of President Teddy Roosevelt and General Pershing.
In Muscatine on Sunday, May 29, 1955, I was about to graduate from high school and Dad bought me my first car, a 1946 Chevrolet Club Coupe, for $95 ($815 in today’s dollars). It had no back seat, just storage space for a traveling salesman, with vacuum-assisted shift on the steering column that would drop out of gear at random times, and I loved that car. It looked like this one:
In Muscatine on Friday, May 28, 1954, I was a high school junior in a musical comedy, The Merry Widow, and did a heel-clicking high jump then fell to the stage on my side. It was a big hit each performance. That’s me below, with senior Mary Ann Richards watching from the wings:
In Washington, DC, on Wednesday, May 27, 1936, Helen and Dale rented their second apartment of the year at 2114 N Street N.W., in the same building as new friends Bill and Louise. They moved there a week later.
After work on Friday, May 26, 1950, Dale and family drove their 1939 Mercury from Muscatine to Osceola, stopping in Washington, Iowa, for a picnic supper. They got to Williams and Jettie Gardner’s farm four miles east of Osceola at 9 p.m. Below: the 1939 Mercury in front of the farmhouse.
On Tuesday, May 25, 1937, in Washington, DC, Dale and Helen bought a 1930 Ford Model A with a down payment of $5.00 and full price of $125.00 – the equivalent of $2,000 today. On May 29, he wrote, “Took a ride to Alexandria at night. Runs good.” Below: a restored 1930 Model A.
On Saturday, May 24, 1941, in Iowa on vacation from St. Paul, Dale, Helen, and Stanley left Gene and Lela’s home in Albia, drove back to Osceola, and spent the next three nights at George and Wilma Casey’s farm two miles north of town. Wilma was the oldest of Helen's sisters, followed by Lela, and Helen was the youngest. Below: Wilma and George at the ol' swimming hole.
On Friday, May 23, 1941, in Iowa on vacation from St. Paul, Dale, Helen, and Stanley drove from Osceola to Albia, about 50 miles east of Osceola, and stayed the night at the home of Gene and Lela Yates. Gene was Dale’s first cousin and Lela was Helen’s sister. Gene and Lela’s son, Bob Yates, and I used to refer to ourselves as “one and a half” cousins; closer than first cousins but not quite double cousins.
On Thursday, May 22, 1958, in Minneapolis, Dale wrote, “Cool and windy, high about 65°. Stan decided to work two more years at General Mills Research and continue going to college part time. He went to school tonight.” I had to keep working to make payments on my 1957 Chevy! The General Mills Central Research Laboratories were at 2010 East Hennepin Avenue. Below: some employees sit on the front steps.