My grandmother, Lina Dreher, was sixteen when she kept this diary. Her father, my great grandfather, was a talented German baker who rescued bakeries in NYC and NJ, and then sold them for a profit. …
My grandmother, Lina Dreher, was sixteen when she kept this diary. Her father, my great grandfather, was a talented German baker who rescued bakeries in NYC and NJ, and then sold them for a profit. Lina and siblings, Joe, Tillie, Hattie, Mary, Helen and Fred, attended school and worked in the bakeries. In May, the family sold their bakery in Newark and opened a new one in Orange. Business in Orange was slow and people still rode horseback to get from place to place.
Tillie and Joe are working for Mr. Friedman in our old store, and Papa and I are here. Joe expects to leave Friedman, but I don’t think Tillie does because he is going to pay her $8 weekly for a start and raise her gradually. So, as long as one of us has to work out, why not leave the one who has a job keep it?
Tra…la…la…just think, no more windows to clean. The window cleaners come every Friday and clean them inside and out and charge $1 per month.
Today, after I washed the cake trays and a few other articles, I didn’t know what to do, so I took to looking out of the window. Everthing is so dreary. Why here on Saturday, I have half, and quarters and even whole hours to myself, and in Newark I didn’t have even five minutes to myself on weekdays. And on Saturdays, Hattie and Tillie used to wait on customers besides me. Saw about fifteen girls and young ladies on horseback a little while ago.
Cleaned the cases in our new place. They’re awful hard to clean.
We have furniture polish and metal polish here in the store, and Tillie wanted to try if the meal polish would clean her gold tooth, and she took the wrong bottle. After rubbing a while on the tooth, she asked me how it looked and I said, “Oh, fine.” After a while, I don’t know how it came about, anyway we found she had used the furniture polish instead of the metal polish.
Em seems to be getting weaker [she has tuberculosis]. Oh, dear, some nights I can’t sleep from worrying until I cry a couple of hours and this I must do quiet because I sleep with Hattie, and she might wake up. Then the next day, I can hardly keep my eyes open; they hurt so and are swollen.
The first few days that we had this place, I went to bed about eleven and got up about four or half past. Now you can imagine how wore out I must be. Mama had very little sleep, too.
We expect to have candy, soda and ice cream in by the end of the week. Joe went to Newark and ordered sundae cups, soda glasses, soda spoons and ice cream plates. The man took the measurements for the ice box and we wrote for a man to come and arrange about the fountain. That’s starting in good, isn’t it?
The glasses, spoons and so forth came today. So did the candy. We started with $7.31 worth.
When I went to school, I took a fancy to a boy. He was sixteen at the time and I was just fourteen. Everything he did pleased me. And he often fooled with other girls and although I tried to convince myself that I didn’t care for him, I felt myself grow jealous…
To be continued…
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