By Clifton (Jerry) Noble
Tuesday October 1, I did our laundry in Russell from 5-6:30 am. The next day started at a chilly 39 degrees with fog. I got to Greenfield by 7:20. Later I got potatoes at Ed’s Foodland in Easthampton.Chatted with cousin Lester Emerson in his Southampton yard for a few minutes.He is taking half-hour flying lessons from Richard Howland for $11 each.It costs $18/hour to rent a plane at Barnes Airport. The Atwaters came up in the evening.
On Thursday, Joe Lupinski gave me the names of District employees who passed the VA exam. Al Murphy, Bob Fay, Frank Weiss, and Bill Clark passed. Jack O’Keefe did not.
On Sunday I awoke at 3:15 with indigestion. I breathed moisture through a wet washcloth to clear my head. The stars were clear as I walked up the road past Barnes’s, and I spotted the Big Dipper low in the northeast sky. Went back to bed to get warm. Back up at 6:30, and the baby and I went to Russell to get newspaper and gas. The church service was long, with communion and reception of new members, including Mary Buteau from the Episcopal Church.
I found Bob Fay at the Oxbow doing soundings with Bill Pharmer on Monday. Pharmer had brought his cabin cruiser to help. Passed the Atwaters on Rte. 20. Elizabeth said her mother brought her a new coat, along with leggings and a cap for the baby. After supper I walked up Shanty Hill with the baby and saw survey stakes for road relocation.
Over the next few days, I took Hester to ride through Southwick and Little River, played train and Tinker Toys with the baby, looked over exam papers with Bob Fay at Northampton City Hall, and took Hester and the baby to Forest Park in Springfield. After we got home I napped from 12:30-3.
On Sunday we went to church. I took Hester to Westfield over Russell Mountain. Mr. Atwater thinks calcium helped stop sweats. His son Shipley is bothered with back aches, though x-rays show nothing wrong. Shipley says the drought is bad where they live in Missouri.
Monday October 14 I went to Greenfield by 7:58. I drove home through Whately and arrived by 6:08. The baby tore the Tinker Toy directions and broke Elizabeth’s clock today, so I made him wait before I played with him. The next day I was awake from 1-3 a.m. with angina and indigestion.
On Wednesday I misplaced my watch, but found it under the couch. I made it to Greenfield by 7:27. Harry Norris was in by 9:40. I got home at 1:15 and ran the brook pump three times. After a nap I took the baby to walk up ledges on the power line clearing. He was thrilled to look down the valley and see the river, the mill, and a car on the bridge. My cold was so bad that I took my bedding to the schoolhouse and started the wood stove.
On Friday, October 18 I reached Greenfield by 7:56. I saw Joe Yablonski about repairing the state cars. We still have not prepared for moving the district office next Thursday. We discussed contract parties with Bill Clark. He is conscientious, but has a poor sense of getting along with others. I looked for Bob Fay but missed him. I took the car to Sarat’s at 12:30. Richard, the new foreman, found the frame bent and suggested I take the car to DePalma. A more experienced mechanic showed him how to shim the wheel into position properly.
On Saturday, October 18, the baby awoke with a sore throat and fever. Elizabeth phoned Dr. Arenstam, who came at 4:30. He said we should have brought the baby to the office. I wasn’t quick enough to remind him that we didn’t know about the cold till after 3 p.m.
On Sunday, the baby slept from 1 – 5:30. I got up at 6, shaved and burned rubbish. Burning is safe only in the early morning, because of dew and no wind. The baby made a giraffe, cat, traffic light, and a railroad crossing sign with Tinker Toys. With planks I made a more sturdy cover for the crawl way under the back of the schoolhouse. I wrote a checks for Jean Watson, and for an order of a shirt and pants from Fred Mueller in Denver.
Monday I helped Al Murphy pack for the district office move. I went to Northampton at 12:30 to help Bob Fay replace batteries in his walkie-talkie. Back at the office, George Berry heard criticism that one of Moore’s parties can’t figure. Skrypek is the most likely candidate. This brought up Bill Clark’s inability to manage men while being conscientious in his own work. I told George about my 1950’s argument with Bill’s father Larry about how to apply corrections to datum planes other than sea level – how Larry clung to his incorrect theory saying he had made such corrections many times and how Bill criticized me for bucking his father’s experience until proved that I was right.
After supper Elizabeth suggested that the baby should go to West Point or Annapolis. I disagreed. I want him to have a happy boyhood until he can grow up withstanding today’s immorality.
On Tuesday our incinerator collapsed while burning rubbish. After sunset, working by floodlight, I cut off the top of a leaky oil drum with an 8-pound sledge and chold chisel. We have a new incinerator.
Atwaters brought Lincoln Logs for the baby and cake for Elizabeth. The dog ate the cake before they brought it in. The next day they brought another cake.
On Thursday, I couldn’t find Bob Fay. I asked God if I should look in the city park lot. The answer was yes. I didn’t find Bob, but found Milonas whom I would also have had to hunt for as he was getting stakes. Rode with George to take a load to the new office, and saw Bob Fay on Rte. 91 in Hatfield. George stopped so I could pick up the time sheets.
On Friday, we made our last trip to Greenfield by 7:53 a.m. We took a load of plans in the Rambler. A big outside lift worked fine moving furniture out the window.
Saturday, Uncle Ralph arrived. We walked in Chesterfield Gorge. Ralph told how when he was young he accompanied Joe Kivitsky to a doctor who used hypnotism. The doctor hypnotized Ralph three times to believe that he couldn’t close his hand, but the minute he thought “Emerson, you fool!” his hand closed.
On Monday, October 28, I reached the new office by 7:44. Several others were waiting till Lemeicz unlocked after 8 a.m. Visited parties till 2:22 p.m. Pete Newell is letting his hair grow for a part in a play, “The lady is not for burning.” George suggested the Bake Shop in Mittineague for coffee. Waitress Ernestine Bober asked if my name was Jerry. Her husband Tony retired at age 62 so she works part time. At the office, all the furniture had been rearranged and the typewriter was gone. Widdison said he and Hawkins did it under direction from Lemiecz and Hoey.
On Halloween, the town common in Russell had the biggest mess ever! I had had to inflate my right rear tire the previous day, and I took it to King St. Service where they found a nail in the tire. I walked to the second hand book shop and got books for $2.75.