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Nostalgia & History > Cloudy and about one inch of snow on the flats.

Date: 03/18/23 12:21
Cloudy and about one inch of snow on the flats.
Author: flynn

Page 419 Wednesday, December 8th, 1920
7 am.  O.K.. Weather fine.  Joe A. wonders why all the smiles on Miss Ruth's face.  Explained at breakfast table.  At berg 8:15 am.  Mail still on the top shelf.  Miss Grace appears.  GM.  The news of Mrs. Farmer's arrival and we are all "fussed".  Ha.  The club interferes with dinner hour.  To the rooms and on with the "tuxedo" for lunch.  Lunch -  meeting of Mrs. Farmer - pursued by "glances" and aroused by "conversation". 
Page 420
"Mr. Jack" preferred.  Hum. Subject:  "Her Trip", "The Weather" then a smile.  Back to the job but still "shivering" from noon hour effects.  "Chucked" full of business.  Mail starting to increase - packages also.  On time for dinner.  Joe A. and I all dolled up to make a neat appearance to see who would win.  Both turned down.  Ha.  Subject at table:  "Cooking" and "What Ruth did in her youth".  Amen.  Joe and I put our heads together.  Night.  How was picture show and it was fine.  9:40 pm.  Pool hall until 10:30.  Retired.  z z z z z z
Page 421 Thursday, December 9th, 1920
7:15 am and I feel very well thank you.  Just a wee rush to the firm.  The same old stunt.  Ahead on the breakfast time.  Mrs. Farmer present.  Subject: "Ruth's long nose", "Jack's complexion" and the "Weather in East".  A "Good-Bye" to Mrs. Farmer.  Present at 8:20 am.  Parcel post - Mrs. White's mysterious package.  Nearer heaven on a step ladder pulling down junk from off the top shelf.  Auto-strap razor display put together.  Mr. Gus Patsantaras has a hard time transacting business.  The local slips by without the "Weinies".  11 am.  A walk to the room.  Shaved plus some practice on telegraph
Lunch 11:45 am.  Very quiet.  Subject: "Christian Science", "Miss Mabel Fox"(1) and "Chicken Pie".   12:15 noon.  Kidding the school children.  A trip to the depot with a package for Kent.  Bennie Willard speaks a word or two of the "Vamp".  A visit to Sullivan's.  Stocking the shelves until 3:30 pm.  Sweeping out.  The school mob arrives.  Mail bumping.  Very heavy.  Special delivery and a loaf of bread.  A visit to Mrs. Johnson's for laundry.  Just what I saw and how I felt.?.  Room.  Dinner 5:45 pm.  Mr. Joe A. absent.  Subject: "The Chicken Pie", "Cooking" and "Christmas".  Back 6:15 pm.  Dolls to unpack.  No. 16's mail brings returns from J.P.O..  A chat with Miss Ruth.  B.B..  9 pm to see Joe Rano.  Reading 11 pm. 
Page 423 Friday, December 10th, 1920
7 am.  Cloudy and about one inch of snow on the flats.  Dusted the furniture before leaving room.  Met Bill Kleckner on way to store.  Wanted mail.  7:50 am.  Build fire.  Plenty of mail.  Breakfast 8 am.  Miss Ruth on time.  Subject: "No Trumps In Five Hundred" and "Miss Agnes Heisler".  On deck 8:25 am.  Distributing the parcel post.  Mrs. Stewart has a few packages to wrap.  Miss Ruth goes to Glenwood.  Dolling up shelves and unpacking drugs for an hour or so.  10 am.  Burying a Christmas package for Mrs. R.T.D..  Miss Grace tries a hand at decorating the windows.  Mrs. Montgomery buys a few Christmas cards.  Ha.  11:04 am and on the way to DeFoor's.  A package to deliver.  To the room.  A tune on the harmonica. 
Page 424
Lunch 11:50.  Usual boarders.  Subject:  "A Story About The Mormons", "Ruth", "Candy Raffle".  Late 12:25 pm.  Miss Vernie Hess returns from Leadville.  Miss Grace sick so Mr. Jack tries to decorate.  Dolls, dolls and dolls.  Miss Grace returns 2:30 pm.  Mrs. Warren plus the subnitrate bis.  A hair trim at 3 pm.  Trying to buy a doughnut at the "Beanery".  Syphoning turpentine for a change.  4:20 pm.  Mail time.  Just a neat job and through at 5:03 pm.  Mr. Joe A. takes one punch and wins candy.  A visit to Heyers's for some "togs".  Glenn gets the buy.  To dinner on time - 5:30 pm.  Subject:  "When we get married?", "Miss Ruth", "The Weather".  Back 6 pm.  Snowing easy.  Sweeping etc.  Joe and I buy a present.  Writing until 11 pm.  GN. 
Page 425 Saturday, December 11th, 1920
7 am.  Awakened by the alarm.  Weather cloudy indicating snow.  A short snooze.  7:30 am.  Awake the second time and rolled out.  Late.  To the joint for a start.  Mr. Mock jars the door for permission to enter.  So and we went to breakfast.  8:05 am.  The trio on time.  Subject: "Christmas Shopping" and "Prize Fighter from Delta".  On the job 8:25 am.  Plenty of Christmas packages.  Miss Ruth makes her usual call for mail.  Ha.  9:15 am.  More decorating.  Window display.  And the bottom fell out of the darn glass jar.  Ha Ha.  Miss Grace gets tickled -  "Robert" is none the wiser.  "Robert" inquisitive concerning Miss Grace's date for the baseball game and dance at 
Page 426
Gypsum.  One continual round of laughter until 5 pm.  Quick work.  A shave at "Jacks".  Tardy at dinner.  Subject:  "Rainbows" and "Glenwood".  No. 16's mail out 6:15 pm.  Orders from the old dear concerning "my shoes".  Quite busy.  Mail put up in a hurry.  As hesitation at the barber shop - as at room.  7:15 pm.  One quick dress.  Met Tony Dice at garage.  To Dickerson's for Ruth.  All off for Gypsum.  Just in time for the game.  Staley wishes a job on Jack.  Katie disappears.  Ruth joins the Glenwood crowd.  The finis - 11 to 31 Boys - 7 to 18 Girls.  A dance.  Gertrude Schuler fails in plans.  Ruth and I depart.  11:50 pm.   
Mr. William Thom  Transit of Venus
“The recent eclipse of the sun occasioned much interest in the City of New York.  With film and smoked glass uncounted thousands of men, women and children sought superior points from which to gaze at the phenomenon.  The tower of the Empire state Building, the tallest structure in the world, teemed with tyro astronomers eager to view the distant performance from a front seat.  It is said that the peons and Indians of Sonora cannot see the pinks and purples in the mountain shadows at sunset.  They are astonished at your question, for they see nothing but mountains.  In the presence of the eclipse some of the spectators in this modern Babylon nearly stopped smoking their cigarettes, yet, to a certainty hordes of them saw nothing but the disappearance of the sun behind the moon.  My own observation of the spectacle was perfectly satisfactory; but as in my time I have seen a number of eclipses the chief pleasure which it brought me came in the suggestion of a sight enjoyed in auld lang syne.  Let me refer to the transit of Venus, on December 6, 1882, the most impressive scene upon which I have ever looked or shall ever behold in this world. 
The transit of Venus signifies its passing across the disk of the sun; in other words it means the movement of the planet between the sun and the earth.  The first to predict and observe a transit of Venus was Jeremiah Horrox, a twenty-year-old clergyman, who was curate of Hoole, near Preston, England.  He had calculated that the event would take place on December 4, 1639.  To an acquaintance he wrote: ‘I hope to be excused for not informing other of my friends of the expected phenomenon; but most of them care little for trifles of this kind, preferring rather their hawks and hounds, to say no worse.’
The date set happened to be a Sunday, and Horrox missed seeing the beginning of the transit through having to hold a service in church that afternoon; but on returning home he found to his great delight the black body of the planet clearly projected on the sun’s disk.  He afterward wrote that he ‘beheld a most agreeable spectacle, the object of my sanguine wishes, a spot of unusual magnitude and of a perfectly circular shape, which had already entered upon the sun’s disk, so that the limbs of the Sun and Venus precisely coincided, forming an angle of contact.  Not doubting that this was really the shadow of the planet, I immediately applied myself to observe it.’  Hoarrox died in his twenty-first year, in 1649. 
On the day of the transit of Venus, December 6, 1882, I was living in the town of Red Cliff, Colorado, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains; and, as the next transit of the planet was not to take place until the blooming of the flowers of June 8, 2004, one hundred and twenty-two years later, I had carefully smoked my glass in preparation for the interesting event.  Many if not all the denizens of the village shared my curiosity, and, appearing on the streets with their simple equipment, watchfully awaited the transcendent moment. 
Our situation was remarkable and impressive in itself.  Nearly nine thousand feet above the level of the sea, the town of Red Cliff is one of the most picturesque of all the tiny cities on the globe.  From Eagle Street rise the towering heights of Battle and Horn Silver Mountains, whose summits often beckoned me, but which, in eight long years, I never scaled.  Looking down upon us stood the Mountain of the Holy Cross, more than fourteen thousand feet in height.  On the breast of that stupendous elevation appears the sacred symbol of Christianity, a gigantic cross, formed by the snow in two transverse canyons, the upright part being fifteen hundred feet in length, and the arms seven hundred and fifty.  It has been called the eighth wonder of the world.  All around were mountains, grand, silent, and serene, watching with changeless gaze the fretful hurry of man’s brief time on earth.  The day was clear and bright.  In the higher reaches of the Great West the rarefied atmosphere releases much pressure on the eyes, so that long-distance looking is vastly improved.  The circumstances seemed to be a happy and fitting preparation for viewing the extraordinary evolution in the skies, which not a human being of that time should ever look upon again. 
When the path of the planet lies near the center of the sun’s disk, the transit requires several hours.  On this occasion the route was less central, yet the crossing offered plenty of time for late comers to the sight.  At Philadelphia, Venus touched the circumference of the great luminary about nine in the morning.  Some time after noon, having trained my glass on the flaming orb of the skies, I saw, as if resting in, ‘the fire that severs day from night,’ a speck, black and round, an iota, a mere vanishing point, so small that perhaps it may be compared with the punctuation mark called the period of the print in which these word are shown.  Yet it was a world, nearly as large as the earth, hanging twenty-six millions of miles away in the heavens. 
Gautier has expressed the opinion that he whom the most complex thought or the most apocalyptic vision surprises without words for its realization is no writer.  I can merely stammer and mumble about the scene which lay before me a half century ago.  Some genius has written of the dawn, when ‘the falling garment of Night was holding on by one button – a single brilliant star in the east’; and often at twilight I had seen Venus sparkling in its unrivalled splendor as the evening star.  Now, though its farther half still blazed with the glittering rays of the sun, I saw its nearer side mantled in the gloom of night.  At times the most splendid object in the nocturnal sky of Venus will be the earth, when it will appear with a magnitude and splendor five or six times greater than either Jupiter or Venus appears to us at the time of their greatest brilliancy.  As I riveted my eye on the black atom beyond, I wondered whether astronomers on Venus and the other people of that realm, if such there be, were delighted with the sight of Earth, which to them was shining as a star.  
Speculation on my part as to any round of life in that far away world proved to be only transitory.  For on this never to be forgotten day I caught a glimpse of the magnificence and immensity of creation.  So long as life shall endure, I cannot cease to wonder at the panorama.  Never before had I so sensed the reality of the worlds in the remote regions of the universe.  Distant twenty six million miles from  earth, and sixty-seven million from the sun, hung the planet, with no anchor, no pilot, but the attraction of the heavenly body from which it fell unnumbered ages ago.  At night we see the stars as if they were celestial candles, whose flames, if touched, might burn our fingers.  They scarcely seem to be composed of rock, clay, loam, and oceans.  Yet here came Venus, nearly eight thousand miles in diameter, on its endless journey, no longer sparkling like a diamond in the concave of the firmament, but shorn of its veil of sunbeams, and drab, as if featured with mountains, valleys, plains, and human beings.  Thus, in fancy I saw all the other planets, from Mercury to distant Neptune, replete with the natural characteristics of the earth, their solid lands flowering with orchards, gardens, cornfields, and regions of yellow grain; their seas white with sails, and foaming with the oars of boatmen; their winding rivers laden with barges, paddled canoes and other craft; their leafy forests, motionless, or bending under the gale; their clouds, where lightning sleeps and flashes, and where thunder peals and slumbers; and the stars that gild their skies in the night-time.” 
The above column was written by William B. Thom and was published in the New London Tips, Vol. 2, No. 28, Thurs., Sept. 29, 1932.  This column along with 156 other columns of William B. Thom were compiled into the book “The Columns of William Byron Thom: New London, Huron County, Ohio, Ruggles, Ashland County, Ohio and the Bee Line Railroad” by Thomas Stephen Neel. 
Picture 1, Call Number: Z-11015.  Credit: Denver Public Library.  Title: Rocky Mt. R.R. Club circle trip special approaches eagle River highway bridge at Redcliff.  Creator: Trout, George A.  Date: 1952 July 20.  Donor: George A. Trout.  Summary: A Denver and Rio Grande Western a special Rocky Mountain Railroad Club passenger train travels along the Eagle River near Red Cliff (Eagle County), Colorado. A highway bridge is in the distance. 
Picture 2, Call Number: GB-5208.  Credit: Denver Public Library.  Title: Road on cliff w. auto & family near Redcliff, Colo.  Creator: Beam, George L. (George Lytle), 1868-1935.  Date: [1920-1930?].  Summary: View of a shelf road near Redcliff, Eagle County, Colorado; shows people, a car, and a cliff.  Format of Original Material: 1 photonegative : nitrate ; 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 in.).  Original Material Found in Collection James Ozment collection of George Beam photographs.  Digital Version Created From            Photo loaned to Denver Public Library for digitization. 
Picture 3, Picture 2 enlarged. 

Date: 03/18/23 23:53
Re: Cloudy and about one inch of snow on the flats.
Author: Odyssey

Thank you flynn ... the commentary on the transit of Venus was a totally unexpected bonus to the diary of life in Colorado in the 1920's that you have/and hopefully will continue to share here on TO ,,, The comments on and references to daily life provide a genuine perspective to "the way it was" back then ...
Much appreciated!

Evergreen, CO

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