Marcy S., age 17, Tennessee

Dear Diary — Beautiful mild day. Like fall instead of winter. My hair is so soft and clean-feeling. Usual morning work except no practicing and then worked on gifts. At 10:30 Mother and Daddy (who had been at the office) went to special service at the Episcopal Church for Mr. Killifer, who is celebrating his 50th anniversary of being “installed” as a minister. They then went to the hotel at 12:00 for a luncheon. I had my fill of creamed asparagus — really didn’t fancy it as much as I did last night, but since there was so much I rather felt it my duty to eat two helpings.

About 1:00 I went up to Helen’s and borrowed her bicycle — didn’t get overheated, though. We took turns riding and then sat on her lower steps and warmed ourselves in the sun. George and company were due at 1:45 but didn’t arrive till about 2:30, just before Mom and Dad returned. We heard the boys coming — from afar — they were laden with suitcases, etc. and the friend has a head of blond hair that — goes up! Helen heard George greet his mother, “This is Dickie, — (so Helen understood) what is left of him.”

Presently I got my knitting and Helen amused herself by throwing the ball around and bothering me considerably. When Mother came I had to go get a pillow to sit on — no objections! While Mac was putting the bike away the little Jones children and some of their playmates forsook their acrobatics on the red clay bank for sitting at my feet and watching me knit — a mysterious and difficult thing to them. Presently the promise of apples waiting at their back door lured them away.

About 3:15 Helen and I went to town, leaving Daddy plowing up the front yard. Stopped by Pan’s who had a cold, and Rufus was at work! So instead of staying there as planned, while Helen went to town, I accompanied her as far as ten-cent store and then went on the see Mary. She is going to be busy tomorrow and couldn’t be bothered with us! — I told her I had something very good (or rather interesting) to tell her. Helen came to say “Hello,” then we left.

Got home and I went right to work on a scarf, also listening to the radio. Heard a carol program from Chicago and then Louisville. There is something about carols! Helen came down to return my popular music and I suggested her coming down to tonight to help decorate the tree. George and friend were outside whooping it up and Helen made some remark to them about hearing George was home. Daddy came and consented to putting up the tree, so after supper I called and invited George and company over to — decapitate? the poor tree.

Daddy had just struggled in with it and was standing it right side up when the boys arrived. We were introduced to Dixon Witherbe from Massachusetts, and his hair was still standing up, but he was nice looking and very polite. Next thing he and George were helping Daddy wire the tree down, and then Helen appeared on the scene. More introductions and soon Dixon was quite at home, “complimenting” us in our pet fashion (flowery insults), and being lots of fun. Daddy finally left it all to us — the boys put the lights on while Helen and I bossed the job from our perch on the table. Then we all dove into the tinsel, balls and icicles, the latter becoming festooned in the hair of whoever happened to be on the stool wrestling with the star on top of the tree.

At last it was decorated from stem to stern and all around (including floor) to our satisfaction and we then adjourned to the living room to sing carols. I played until I couldn’t do that and sing tenor, too. So Mother took over and I was invited to leave the immediate vicinity of the piano (where all were gathered) in order that they could hear themselves and the music — I had to sing loud so that I could carry the tenor. We sang all the old carols and some other songs besides. Then the inevitable (at least it has come to be) — George requested that I play “Under the Double Eagle” and “Repasz Band,” etc. About 10:00 the “party” broke up — regrets. Well, vacation has really started. Dixon is very nice — a gentleman, too. Fun today.