16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, January 19, 1912: You walk through slush instead of snow for the present. I pulled Ruthie’s ears. I tell her she is getting to be an old maid but really don’t mean it.
I was rather mad this afternoon. We had some Algebra problems that I didn’t know how on earth to do them. But I guess I can do them now if I try hard enough.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
A hundred years ago today was Grandma’s sister Ruth’s 20th birthday. People used to pull the birthday person’s ear lobes one time for each year, so Grandma would have pulled Ruth’s ears 20 times.
In 1911, on Ruth’s birthday, Grandma woke Ruth by pulling her ears. She made have done the same thing in 1912.
*1913 photo of Ruth. Photo used with permission. Source: The History of the McEwensville Schools: 1800-1958 by Thomas Kramm.