Times Change… or do they?

DIARY            WEDNESDAY,  JUNE 30, 1915            DIARY

Rose City Steamship

 3125 Claremont Ave. Berkeley, Calif.

Do you realize Diary that I am in California, the land of our dreams?  Those two weeks at home intervening between the eleventh and the twenty-sixth were very busy days.  We packed, cleaned house, and did general overhauling…We left Saturday morning on the early train…arrived in Astoria about eleven; then followed a weary wait till three when the Rose City left.  We had two large staterooms opening on deck.  Only Sue was sick crossing the bar.  Sunday morning was delightful, so calm and sunny.  Just before lunch I got acquainted with…Clarence Hickock from Portland. We sat up on deck all afternoon and talked…

1912 – The Espy Children (Dale, Willard, Edwin, Mona, Suzita, Medora)

Monday morning we arrived.  Grandpa, Eva, Ruth, Beulah, Uncle Sid and Uncle Bert met us.  Clarence asked to call.  Ha ha!  San Francisco is the thriving bustling metropolis of old; the bay, the fog and wind are all the same.  But as we rode through Oakland I could see the difference.  Out here in Berkeley are many beautiful homes. Aunt Maud’s is very attractive, every little detail is so perfect, and the whole house is very artistic.

That 1915 summer vacation in California, long planned by the Espy family, was a coming-of-age trip for young Medora, my mother’s oldest sister.  It was also to be her final visit to  California.  Little did she (or anyone) know that she would live only six months more, dying in her sleep of a cerebral hemorrhage on January 18, 1916, just two weeks after her seventeenth birthday.  On June 30th 1915, though, and for the next two months, she and her five brothers and sisters would have the most memorable time of their young lives.

Pan American Esposition, San Francisco 1915 (“The Fair”)

According to Medora’s diary, the most notable aspects of the trip for her were… boys!    Although, the family was ostensibly there to visit relatives and Mama’s girlhood friends and to take in “The Fair,” Medora had her first experience of being sought-after by the opposite sex.  And she developed her first serious crush! (July 21, 1915 – I simply couldn’t be so silly about a man eleven years older than myself but the members of the opposite sex when attractive surely do stir up strange feelings in me.)

Although Medora had been born in the Bay Area, the family had moved to Oysterville when she was three and she had been back only once five years later, in 1908.  I find it interesting that despite all and, even with her limited experience, she noticed the changes that had taken place since her last visit – as did I only a few days ago.  I wonder what she would make of dear old San Francisco now…

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