Mothers Diary
I think it was in the latter part of August sometime, that I had a phone call from someone – or I called her for news – I don't exactly remember which – and she (whoever it was) told me that Vera Williams had won a columnist award.
So I made a note of it and stuck it on my hook, waiting for more specific details. I thought of writing to Vera for the details, but I write to Vera just like she writes to me. We think of each other and plan letters, and have every intention of doing it someday. But you know what is paved with good intentions!
When communication is perfected by tuning in on another's thought waves, Vera and I will be in business.

Anyway, very shortly after this phone call, I took to my bed for my vacation and I found out nothing more about Vera's award until she breezed into the office last Tuesday afternoon to say hello.
So that's the first thing I asked her. She did get the 1st place in the National Convention of Press Women at Denver last June. She had previously won 1st in the state of Iowa for her columns written for the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.
"Strictly an honor," she explained. "Some people ask me how much money I got – and Press Women don't give money."

Vera hasn't changed since the days when she had her bookstore in Manson, and then worked as reporter for the Journal. She retired from her work on the Dubuque paper, but couldn't stand inactivity, so she accepted the position as Director of News at the University of Dubuque and went to work August 1. It's only part time but she says it's fascinating work.
Her daughter, Terry, was in to see us, too, and told us that she was no longer working for McClurgs, but had changed to writing copy for a catalogue firm in Chicago. With Terry, was Mrs. Mabel Hansman, who also used to live here, and is all wrapped up in her work in the mental division of the Catholic Hospital in Dubuque. I never heard anyone talk so enthusiastically about a job. She said her Christmas shopping was all done because her time would all be taken up now with holiday activities at the hospital. She does lots of special things with decorations, with the help of some of the patients.

Well, Halloween is over with a record of about ninety youngsters or so knocking on our door, over a period of two whole evenings. I simply cannot wholly approve of Tricks or Treats, on one night, let alone two, and I do think something should be done to confine the knocking on doors for handouts on just one designated evening. Or better yet, the churches or civic clubs should organize the youngsters for UNICEF giving.

Of course, we prepared treats, and this year we got ourselves into a real mess. We decided on caramel apples of all things, and spent one whole evening getting caramel all over ourselves, the tables, the floor, the stove, 2 pans, 7 knives, 9 spoons, and eventually on 36 apples. It took two shelves of the refrigerator to store them overnight, all the children's will power to keep them there, and about an hour and a half to hand them out Tuesday evening. I have not yet dared figured up just how much money was involved.
We were reduced to doughnuts the next evening, and then turned away I don't know how many, without anything for their bulging sacks. Poor underprivileged children!
I know just how "underprivileged" they were because my youngest was also out knocking on doors, and I know how much she needed all the candy and gum.

(back to top)