A Century And More Ago

Medora’s Locket

Every once in a while, it seems important to go back in time for a little reality check.  My “go-back-to” place is often family correspondence.  It’s sort of my own, personal “On This Date In History” experience.  So, I wondered this morning what was happening on the last day of June in my Aunt Medora’s life?  She was my mother’s oldest sister — born January 3, 1899 and died unexpectedly in her sleep of a Cerebral Hemorrhage on January 16, 1916 — just two weeks after her seventeenth birthday.

DIARY            WEDNESDAY,  JUNE 30, 1915            DIARY
 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…

The Espy Children in 1913 – Dale, 2; Willard, 3; Edwin, 5; Mona 9; Sue, 10; Medora, 14.

Monday morning we arrived.  Grandpa, Eva, Ruth, Buelah, 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…

What a difference a century makes!  I wonder if any fifteen-year-old girl anyplace in the world could write of their day today with such quiet innocence and pleasure.  I also wonder if someone looking back one hundred and five years from now would feel that ours is a time of calm in comparison to what might be going on then.  A horrible thought, indeed!

 

 

 

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