Thursday, June 30, 2011

Upon Which Lennie Tries On His New Band Uniform

The weather is pleasant in Wakefield, Nebraska, this fine week in June 1898. Our protagonist, Lennie Davis, age 17, continues to write in his pocket diary. He's sparse with his words but his few short sentences give us a picture of his daily activities. Lennie's words are in bold black.

Sunday, June 26, 1898
Nice Day.
Made ice cream.
Ellis P (Ellis Paulson) and I went to Emerson.
(Emerson is a small town about 10 miles east of Wakefield.)

Monday, June 27,
Went to the country with Charlie.
Band plaid.
(I hope Lennie "plaid" better than he spelled!)

Tuesday, June 28, 1898
Did not do much.
Dull times since soldiers gone.

Wednesday, June 29, 1898
A hot day.
Ran foot races in street.

Thursday, June 30, 1898
Nice Day.
Staid at livery stabel in evening.
Guy and me ran races.

Friday, July 1, 1898
Social at P. Church. (Presbyterian)
Band practice.

Saturday, July 2, 1898
Shined Carlsons and Kyles and my own horn.
(band) suits came. (You can click the photo for a larger view of Lennie in his band uniform. He played in the Wakefield Cornet Band.)

On page 3 of the Omaha Bee of July 1 we read the following: Dateline June 30, Tecumseh, Nebraska.
Harvest is on in earnest in Johnson County and there never was a time when men were so scarce. There is a great demand for harvesters and any man who can shock wheat and desires work is in the field. The wages paid generally is $1.50 per day and board. The harvesting together with the building in the city and the railroad grading work on the Burlington south of here has been a boom to the laborers of Tecumseh (Nebraska) this summer."

Lennie lives in Dixon County which is well north of Johnson County. Oat and wheat harvest will not begin yet for another couple weeks. When it does, Lennie will be shocking oats and hay. He's an industrious fellow and will undoubtedly earn a man's wages. And he will not complain of the heat.

But Lennie does complain of dull times since the soldiers left Wakefield last week. Those men are on their way to fight in the Spanish-American war. This week page 1 of the Omaha Bee tells us that fighting will begin soon near Santiago, Cuba.


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