Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The 1890 Diary of Abba Owen

Newest chapter in an ongoing serialization of the 1888 diary of Abba Owen, daughter of Ypsilanti mineral water baron Tubal Cain Owen and Anna (Stowe Foote) Owen. The Owens lived in a now-vanished house near the current day Roosevelt School building on EMU, where Tubal also had his magical and very profitable well.

Friday Jan. 17th: This has been a very pleasant day. Mama and I went over to the Normal hall at 1 o'clock to try over my piece in the hall but as there was someone taking a lesson on the organ we could not then we went over again about five but they were all there rehearsing for the evening, so Mama and I were coming home in disgust when we met the janitor Mr. Vroman and he said if we would [come] over at six they would all be gone and they would have some matches on the piano so we could light the gas so we came home and Rick went over with us at six and we succeeded in practicing three times and out.

I played "The Daughter of the Regiment by C. de [Beriot?] received an encore and then played "Way down upon the Swanee River." And I also played an obbligato solo for Mrs. Pease. Mr. Pease complimented me and also mama on playing my accomplishment. The rest of the Public went off very nicely.

Saturday Jan. 18th: Mama, grandma and I went down town this P.M. It is getting colder.

Sunday Jan. 19th: This is Grandpa's birthday. Papa's was the 15th but as they come so near together we always celebrate them the same day and as grandpa is the oldest we had it on his. We had a splendid turkey dinner mixed nuts, pudding and birthday cake with candies in the frosting and flag standing in the center. Eber has been home all this week on account of sickness and this afternoon Lew, Mr. Moore and Mr. Savage drove from A.A. to see how he was and make us all a visit. Mr. Moore and Lew have shaved their mustaches off and it makes them look strange. We cut the cake and had cider and ginger ale. They started for home about 4 o'clock. Towards evening it grew cloudy and rained hard.

Monday Jan. 20: Early this morning the wind blew very hard. A great many of the students are out of school with la Grip also Miss King (the Preceptress). This evening Mama, Grandma and I went down to the reception of Bishop Walker of Dakota and our new Bishop Divies which was at the Rectory. There were about 2 hundred present during the evening and we all had a lovely time. Margaret, Gilbert, Alice + Nan Babbitt, Susie Barnwell and I waited on the refreshments.

Bishop Walker is a splendid man, six feet 6 inch tall and very nice looking and very pleasant everyone likes him so much. Bishop Davies is very nice but I do not like him as well as Walker. Margaret and I went down to the greenhouse and got some roses for Mrs. Woodruff and she was delighted with them.

Tuesday Jan. 21st: It is quite a good deal colder to-day.

Wensday Jan. 22nd: This afternoon Genie [Minickle?] came over here and we studied grammar idioms together all the afternoon. mama went this P.M. to the Literary Society at Mrs. Watlings and went to see how Mr. Henderson is. He is very sick and not expected to live.

Thursday Jan. 23rd: The ice is frozen about four inch on the river and all the [men?] went over this morning to sweep off the snow as it snowed last night. I was taken sick this morning with chill and malarial fever had Dr. [Balwill?] this afternoon. Prof. Suderer's came this evening but I could not take a lesson.

Friday Jan. 24th: I am in bed yet. Rick is also very sick. Eber came home from A.A. at 5:30 but says he must drive up in the morning as there is to be an examination in Blackstone in the morning. The men have been getting machinery together for cutting ice although it is so thin but think we may not have any thicker.

Saturday Jan. 25th: This has been a beautiful day and above freezing and the ice is melting; no hope of cutting ice. Eber rode to A.A. this morning started at half past seven, took his ex. and arrived home about 1 p.m. I am feeling better but yet in bed. Grandma was up all day.

Thanks for reading; next Tuesday is the next chapter.

And with this successful concert we'll leave Abba till next Tuesday. Thanks for reading!

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