17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, November 29, 1912: Came out a licked dog in the debate. Did feel so mad at first. Felt crosser than the dickens this evening.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
GRANDMA, WHY DIDN’T YOU WRITE MORE?!?! Your frustration and anger are so clear, and you’ve been preparing for a week, yet you never told us what the debate was about.
Okay, that’s unfair. I know that you were writing for yourself and couldn’t have possibly known that we’d read this a hundred years later. . . And, I know that I can’t talk to a dead person. . . .
But, one thing that I do know is that your future husband, Raymond Swartz, was one of the other students in your small senior class. Did you debate against him?
I’m going to imagine that the debate was about women’s suffrage—and that the debate was the guys against the gals. Did the guys make “obvious” points during that debate that would horrify us today, but that you were unable to rebut to the satisfaction of the teacher and other students?
I sympathize—Sometimes I also can’t adequately explain things that are really important to me in ways that others understand.
Notes to my readers—
1. For more about Raymond and Helana’s marriage, see a previous post about their 40th wedding anniversary.
2. I don’t usually “talk” directly to my Grandmother in these posts, but I had so many questions and it seemed like the best way to write what I was thinking. Does it work when I talk to her? . . .or are my usual more straight-forward descriptions better?