February 22nd 1950-1954 at Foxcroft, from Bess' diary:
Walter gone 31 years today. Helen hemmed skirts and I crocheted on bedspread – basted hems in her cream tablecloth + cut her 9 napkins. Betty here in PM to bring coffee bread + Mrs. K brought cookies. “Winned” the canasta games by beating Helen – Walked to grocery store for carrots, oranges and (unreadable) 99¢
Made a cherry pie with whipped cream + hatchet crust top which took all a.m. Wrote cards to Blanche + John Dornnan. Dottie looked over so here 3 – 5:30 We had tea + pie – she took 2 pieces home – Bob dashed over to borrow some whiskey for an unexpected guest. Bed 6:30
Baked cherry pie – Started to take a couple pieces to Rays when they drove in around 6 but Bob said “I’d rather eat them in your house.” So they did. Worked in basement again in a.m. got several seed orders into the flats - Telephone visit with Mrs. Whipple who called to see if I was OK. Slept a while mid afternoon Bed at 7
Cold wind – Watered plants – Put cherry pie together took 2 pieces to Dottie and 3 to Wilsons when I went down to dinner at noon. Saw lovely pictures of Rickey’s baby + (unreadable) Home at 1:30 – Wrote Jean - Blanche – Wil + Book of Month - grate fire - Grace phoned - Bed at 6.
Washed – Helen + Mickey hung up clothes Micky took teacher stuff to Bigelows. He + Helen dyed his army shirts. I finished the knit baby blankets (unreadable) at last. Went to council meeting in evening and found out about paving assessments. Same as Mr. Knowher had given me. Heard last half of Iowa 83 Ill. 65 or thereabouts a big upset. Mrs. Baxter gave me a ride home
Walter was Bess' husband, he died in Serbia in 1919 while still under his enlistment during WWI. He was a doctor and was sent to help deal with a typhus epidemic, he contracted pneumonia and died. He was 37 years old, Bess was 36 at the time. She never re-married.
1951 & 52
The pie with the hatchet crust must have been very similar to the one pictured, which I photographed from my copyright 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook (first edition) I'm certain Bess got the idea from this cookbook. It remains one of my favorite cookbooks too. Bob and Dottie were dear neighbors who moved next door in 1950. As a young faculty member I'm guessing Bob needed to do a fair bit of last minute entertaining!
Wilson's were other neighbors down the street. Blanche was Bess' sister who lived in northern California. Wil was former neighbor
Bigelows were yet another neighor. They built their house behind Foxcroft's fishpond in 1949. The old couple were still living there when we moved in, summer of 2005. As always Bess loved her sports, especially the Hawkeyes and Chicago Cubs.