The Journal of Clifton (Jerry) Noble, Sr:
Strains, Pains, & Accidents
Edited by Jerry & Kara Noble
When I got to the post office on Saturday, February 1, 1964, Mrs. Peckham and Mildred Belding (the postmistress) were arguing with an old man about money. I drove Mrs. Peckham to her daughter Dorothy’s.
“There’s my Brian,” she said when she saw her grandson looking out window.
Her son-in-law, Paul, came out. Mrs. Peckham asked, “Were you coming down to get me?” He said, “I was leaving before you got here.”
Elizabeth took young Jerry to the drug store in Huntington, where she was told the law doesn’t permit the pharmacist to tell what is in prescriptions. I told her, “That must be a new law.” They didn’t have what they needed to fill Elizabeth’s prescription.
Uncle Ralph arrived soon after she got home. When he stopped for gas in Russell, Ralph learned that the Hagues bought out Ted Roskuska. He also told us Martha took her sister to New York to catch a flight to Europe. Martha tried two flights to get home, but the jets couldn’t land at Bradley Airport. Finally, she transferred to a propeller plane that could land there.
The electricity failed at 5:45 p.m. that night. We started the woodstove and dipped three pails of water for the bathroom. The power came back on at 6:55.
The baby was wakeful through night and got us up by six on Sunday. I read Gertrude Diamant’s The Days of Ophelia to Elizabeth during breakfast. In Westfield, young Jerry and Hester walked from the Sarah Gillett Home to Church Street, which is now two-way again.
After lunch, I took the baby for a walk down the mountain as far as the brook by the Carpenter place and back. He walked most of the way. While taking Hester home to Westfield, we saw a westbound passenger train opposite the Whippernon.
On Monday, Al Murphy and I worked on time sheets and on private party lists. It was Tom Field’s first day as supervisor. Tom said George was stuck up the road in the S231. We later learned that the car’s automatic choke didn’t work.
At noon, I went to lunch with George and introduced him to Lundgren’s carpenter/foreman, Norman Philbut from Wilbraham. Norman was one of most clean-cut, strong men I knew—a pillar in some local evangelical church. He had welts on his forehead because he’s allergic to wool and his new winter helmet is lined with it.
That afternoon I went to Steve Bryda’s to get the Chicopee books. The children were at school and Mary had the house as neat as a pin. Steve was scheduled to go into Providence Hospital for tests on his left foot, which was swollen 1½ times normal from a mystery ailment—maybe arthritis or gout.
I slid into snowbank turning into Carrington Road on the way home. I straightened out before the truck came to help.
Four sausages at Monday’s supper were too many for me. I had eight-Tum indigestion on Tuesday morning, but still made it to the laundry by 7:00 a.m.
Elizabeth and young Jerry went to Westfield to get her prescription filled there instead of in Huntington. Tommy Conniff at Dewey’s Drug Store told her that her prescription was for pep pills.
In the afternoon, Frank Hoey arrived with the mail. George got him to confirm the rumor that Associate Commissioner Warner would get the second floor room formerly occupied by the traffic group. Jim Thurston would get the office across the hall.
Around 2:00 p.m. I went out to mail our income tax returns and to phone Elizabeth. She said the car’s ignition system failed in front of the First Church in Westfield. She tried pushing the car herself to get it started. Finally, she walked to Frank’s and got Roger. He got it going. He claimed some cable was causing trouble. Elizabeth gave Roger $1.
After supper, I took the car back to Westfield. Frank couldn’t find anything wrong with the cables. He thinks the switch is giving trouble again. I gave Frank another $1, went to the Sarah Gillette Home to give oranges, Unity papers, and a card with Hester, then returned home.
While Jerry was having his bottle, Wesley Monat stopped to deliver town and regional school reports and a proposed new addition to the building code regarding sewage disposal. I thought we had enough rules already. He hoped to be re-elected as a Selectman in that Monday’s election. He said his wife was taking care of their grandson so their daughter, Fern, could teach school.
On Friday, I was up by 5:45 a.m. to clear two inches of heavy slush off the steps and driveway. Driving was bad. Going down the mountain into Westhampton, I caught up with a familiar black Ford convertible.
The young woman driver never went much over 40 mph, in bad weather much slower. To keep traffic from piling up behind us, I tried to pass her at the first opportunity. I was hindered in Westhampton center, so I waited. I saw a car that I thought was backing out of a driveway on our side of the road. Suddenly, I realized that car was skidding into a snowbank.
The convertible’s driver slammed on her brakes. She skidded about 125 feet and crashed into the other car. The five boys piled out of convertible, three in uniform. The young girl driving the other car was slumped at wheel and started to tumble out when they opened the door. One of the boys hollered to someone at a nearby house to call a doctor.
We were all worried, but then the girl started reviving. She soon seemed all right, so I continued to work.
Warmer weather will be welcome.