Going to a Dance!

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, January 9, 1914:  Nothing much doing here this afternoon. Started to read a book this afternoon. Ruth and I expect to go to a dance this evening.

In my imagination, I picture the dance being held at the McEwensville Community Hall. It's a very old building and existed a hundred years ago.
In my imagination, I picture the dance being held at the McEwensville Community Hall. It’s a very old building and existed a hundred years ago.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma—

Nothing??? It sounds like the most exciting day in weeks.

What do you plan to wear to the dance? Are you going to do anything special with your hair? Who are you hoping to dance with? Where is the dance?  . . . .

DSC04338
The inside of the Community Hall. Also, in my imagination, Grandma is gliding across the floor with the most handsome young man at the dance. (Well, maybe the second most handsome guy. Ruth probably got the most handsome one. Sisters!!)

37 thoughts on “Going to a Dance!

    1. I suppose Grandma’s brief diary entries seemed to her like they provided an adequate reminder of what was was happening on a given day, but she definitely wasn’t into providing a lot of detail

    1. Maybe. . . though she won’t get married for another 7 years. And, her future husband was 3 1/2 years younger. So when she wrote this diary entry she was 18 (almost 19) years old–and he’d just turned 15.

  1. I am with you! Grandma says it all so casually and I am sure we all remember going to parties at that age and preparations and anxieties would start already at least one day ahead!
    BTW sorry to have stayed away from your lovely blog for a while. I am going back to school and I was busy getting started and all. I read up again and I enjoyed it all aian!!! hugs from Ohio

    1. I also remember lots of planning and preparation when I went to a party when I was a teen.

      You’re doing some interesting things. School sounds like fun.

  2. It probably WAS held at the community hall.

    I just realized why I’m so often “off” a day. I was thinking all morning that today is Friday. The top of your post says, “Friday, January 9th–and my eyes blur over that 19 (because it’s so familiar to me). 1914 feels so much more real and present to me.

    2014 sounds like star-trek or space odyssey.

    1. I also have the sense that she generally wrote her diary entries at bedtime. I wonder if she wrote this entry earlier than usual since she knew that she’d be out late (and probably would be too tired to write in the diary).

  3. Leaves a lot to imagine, what kind of music, what did they wear, what dances were popular, I am sure they will have a good time.

  4. She sounds like one of those girls who doesn’t want to talk about her feelings, afraid she’ll say something and then be disappointed. I hope she’ll tell us more soon!

  5. Remember the song…I think it is called Sisters? The chorus goes.. Lord, help the the Mister who comes between me and my Sister and Lord, help the Sister who comes between me and my man? You reminded me of that! Funny! I can imagine they both had a grand time.

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