January 18, 1927: “its what you don’t do that counts”

Tuesday the 18th
A beautiful day, warm as a spring day. The ice + snow are melting fast. Audrea kept after school. Miss Braley certainly has plenty of time at her disposal. Nothing happened. dull as water. Edith did not go in to see Mrs. Johnson last week nor has she been in so far this week, which makes her former calls worse than thrown away. It does not make any difference what you do its what you don’t do that counts, especially with Mrs. J.


Notes + Explanations:

So I have this theory that perhaps, just perhaps, my grandmother (Audrey) may have been a bit spoiled and scrutinized growing up as THE child in the eyes of Annie and the rest of the family. Crazy idea, I know! I love Annie’s dismissal of whatever action warranted Miss Braley’s punishment of Audrey by keeping her after school. No mention whatsoever of what Audrey did to get detention, but ok.

This brings to mind another question I had. Where did Audrey go to school? I am fairly certain she graduated (early, age 16, I think) from Arlington High School. So I would imagine she also attended a public elementary and middle school in the neighborhood.

“Dull as water”… That must be like “dull as ditchwater” but even more dull. And, yes, it’s “ditchwater” not “dishwater” apparently, which supposedly dates back to the 1700s in England. I have no idea how common “dull as water” was, but perhaps she made a mistake?

Mrs. Johnson, if you’ll remember, was the one who had “overdone it at Christmas” and was resting on doctor’s orders. Annie is upset with her daughter’s lack of decorum in not going to visit and see how she is doing. Apparently Annie thinks this will be noted by Mrs. Johnson. After checking some historic maps sent to me by a reader (thanks, Al!), it look like there’s a possibility that the Johnsons were the landlords. This might further explain Annie’s frustration at Edith committing a faux-pas with her. But I need to investigate it a bit more.


Historic Context:

On this day – January 18th, 1927…

The Food, Drug, and Insecticide Administration was established as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

(source: Wiki)


Original Diary Page:

1927.01.18-19 - Annie F Morris diary


© Mariana Pickering and Gnarly Roots, 2015.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including photos) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariana Pickering and Gnarly Roots with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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3 thoughts on “January 18, 1927: “its what you don’t do that counts”

  1. Al says:

    Annie is nana not mom. I think Edith is working and Annie is watching out for Audrey but there’s no doubt Audrey is spoiled!! Annie catered to Edith as well. That’s my thinking. They seem to be living pretty well, they eat well, alcohol was expensive during prohibition they have a horseless carriage what do you think, are they spending every dime?

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    • dearmariana says:

      You mean a car? 🙂 Yeah, I guess they probably are just living outside their means or something. I’m not sure. I know Audrey was never great with keeping track of money and lived a very bohemian lifestyle, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that was learned from her mother. It’s the gap between Annie and Edith that’s so curious. How so much could have changed in one generation. But, historically, it would have been fairly normal I think, right?

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  2. Al says:

    It’s the same generation gap we saw in the 50’s and 60’s. Mom is someone in the kitchen wearing an apron and here comes Elvis, the Beatles, beatniks, free love and all that. There was Woodstock and pot and all that!!! Mini skirts and piling 20 people into a bug. Not much different really.

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