The Journal of Clifton (Jerry) Noble, Sr.
Edited by Jerry & Kara Noble
New Year’s Day, 1964! Elizabeth lost her wedding ring. We looked everywhere to no avail. She is understandably upset, but I assured her it would turn up.
I headed back to work on January second. Two-and-a-half inches of snow fell overnight, mostly icy crust. Because of slippery conditions, I drove through Westfield instead of taking hilly Route 66 as usual. Most drivers were going slower than they needed to, especially one old fellow who almost stalled traffic in front of Smith College by creeping along at 15 mph.
When I telephoned Elizabeth from the office to say I had arrived safely, she told me young Jerry had been playing with his toy tow truck. He came to her and said, “The chain is gone.” She asked him where, and he replied, “Down my throat.” Turning him upside down got out a few pieces. All advice suggests that waiting couple of days will produce the rest.
Elizabeth also told me Jerry spoke to Mother Atwater on the phone and told her, “Daddy says Grandma’s too old to dance.” I realized he picked up that line on Sunday when he asked Hester to dance. She was reluctant because of a lame arm, so I laughed and said, “I guess Grandma’s too old to dance.”
On January third, an old Pontiac slid into Louis’s Carryall at the intersection of Homestead Avenue and Lower Westfield Road in Holyoke. The next day another accident happened at the same place, this time between a Ford Galaxy and a mail truck—lots of damage! City trucks finally sanded the intersection.
I delivered supplementary checks to Smiley, Bryda, and Penna, but couldn’t find Louis. Today the new Grade Five B’s got letters from Boston regarding their assignments after February second. Tom is to take George’s place in Survey, and Herb replaces Jack in Maintenance. Bushee changes jobs in construction. Al and George got their “Working out of grade” letters also. Chase’s whole survey party wants vacation next week. He plans to set up a cot in a dark corner of the basement and rest.
I gave Elizabeth a card and $20 for her birthday on January fourth. Later in the day, we ran into Lester’s wife Mabel Emerson in town. She asked if Elizabeth’s wedding ring was still lost. Unfortunately, it was.
Young Jerry and I picked up Hester at 9:45 on Saturday to go shopping. I saw Mother Atwater at the end of the aisle at First National. I sent Jerry to find her, but they passed in the crowd. She didn’t recognize him. After checking almost every aisle, I finally found him at the fruit counter with Hester.
At Sears, I spotted a record sale and picked up ten records for $1.00 each and one for $0.77.
After lunch Uncle Ralph and I rode up Worthington Road and walked into Gardner Park by the river. We saw new tables and a pavilion. Then we drove up to Springfield Ski Club. Back home, Uncle Ralph pointed out John Knox Road on the Blandford map and Norton Cemetery on the Otis map. Young Jerry and I played our new records after supper. Elizabeth and I danced. Later I spent time playing with Jerry. He loved imagining that I sprinkled pixie dust on his head and then he flew into his bath.
Sunday’s headlines blamed lung cancer on cigarette smoking.
At church, I rehearsed the choir, which consisted of Mrs. Webb and Marion Cushman. John Camp had teeth out last Monday and then caught a bad cold from his wife, so he couldn’t sing. Dr. Teale forgot the anthem anyway.
Hester walked across the street to the community building. On the way back, she slipped on the ice and fell on the church steps, twisting her right shoulder. She knocked on the door and window, but we couldn’t hear her. Finally, Myron Kelso came along and helped her up. Bruised and tired from her morning, Hester took a nap on the couch after dinner while I took Jerry for a walk.
The new week began with a temperature of 13 degrees and heavy snow; I reached the office just ahead of the storm. I left work at three, took an hour driving home, and shoveled until six o’clock. Freezing rain made it difficult to use the snowblower. As I pushed it uphill on the driveway to put it away, I slipped and fell, bruising my knee and almost pulling the snowblower on top of me.
Even with all the inconvenience the ice and snow bring, winter can be lots of fun!
We went to Mr. Barnes’s hill beyond the schoolhouse to watch Paul and Dotty and their children, Brian and Larry, along with the Platts and about 10 other adults and children sliding on toboggans, saucers, and skis. Later a Plymouth and a Ford came, loaded with the Carpenter family, who bought the Rivard place. Jerry enjoyed watching everyone sledding.
It snowed again the next night and the telephone jangled in time with blue light flashes out in the storm. I finally took it off the hook, but could still hear it buzz.
The next morning, we went grocery shopping in spite of slippery roads. While Elizabeth was at the A&P, I took Jerry to Fine’s clothing store and got four turtlenecks for $1.98. He stayed with a clerk while I tried on pants. He spelled out letters on signs for her. When I brought the pants to the counter she said “He’s smart as a whip. How old is he?”
He will be three in April 1964, and he has quite an imagination. He has invented a new imaginary friend named “Jocko P. Cocketts” to play with; he says Jocko is a bear who lives in the woods.
He has found a friend. Now if we can find that lost wedding ring….