Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The 1919 Diary of Ypsilanti High School Teacher Carrie Hardy

Part of a year-long weekly serialization of Ypsilanti high school math teacher Carrie Hardy's diary.

Kind readers may recall that Carrie was staying at home, sick, for all of last week. She did not teach her summer-school classes at the high school, and had a house call from Dr. Breakey.

Aug. 10 Sun. Sick.

Aug. 11 Mon. Sick. Heart and nerves troubling [handwriting wobbly & unraveled].

Aug 12 Tues. Dr. Hull & Mrs. Niblack.

Aug 13 Wed. Rob & family came.

Aug. 14 Thurs. Just sick.

Aug 15 Fri. Still sick.

Aug 16 Sat. Sick.

Aug 17 Sun. Rob came alone + was with me until 4:30 car

Comment: Carrie was single and in her 40s in 1919, sixteen years before Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935 which also created unemployment insurance. One wonders about her state of mind as she continued to languish from her mysterious sickness. She had no husband to fall back upon. Although she owned a Maxwell car, an indication of a measure of income, she lived in an apartment at 233 River instead of owning a home, which may mean that said income was modest. She had a wholly self-reliant life--did she lay awake worrying what a protracted sickness might do to her freedom?

Thanks for reading; tune in next Tuesday for the next series!

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