What Does “Made Quite a Break” Mean?

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

Thursday, February 5, 1914:  Got through with our affair at the church. Made quite a break, and guess that made me forget part of my recitation.

Were Grandma's friends sitting in the pews listening to her recitation? Did they giggle when she forgot her lines?  Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

I can picture Grandma’s friends in their long skirts sitting in the pews listening to the recitation. (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons)

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

Grandma—I’m sorry that your recitation didn’t go well. What a downer!


Previous diary entries said that the Christian Endeavor Union was holding a week of services in McEwensville—and that Grandma was learning a speech to give at the service on Thursday.  An entry also suggested that she may have been part of a skit or singing group at the service.

This entry doesn’t quite make sense to me. What does “ made quite a break mean?” . . . and why would it cause Grandma to forget part of her recitation?

13 Responses

  1. Mmmm. That Man, perhaps?

  2. What Margaret said… ;)
    How old was she when she married your Grandad?

    • She was 26 when she got married–and my grandfather was 3 1/2 years younger than her. I have a commencement program which shows that both of my grandparents graduated from McEwensville High School in 1913, so they obviously knew each other. But I think that my grandfather skipped several grades–and was the “little kid” in the graduating class.

  3. That’s interesting….I can’t imagine what that phrase would mean, used in that context…. I’m sure it was embarrassing to forget her lines. (We can all relate!)

  4. To me – making a break – meant to make a run for it. Other than that – I can’t tell you.

  5. I enjoy reading your posts with their tidbits of new information.

  6. Intriguing … and that’s always so embarrassing …to forget the lines :)

  7. I wish we could invite her back to explain her entries.

  8. Oh, Helena–leaving us hanging again!

  9. Love the old pews! She must have been daydreaming…

  10. Maybe she rushed her speaking and got tripped up and that made her forget her words?

  11. I think there was a special “affair” or happening at the church before service that Helena found was a break in the routine. And that diversion made her forget her lines. Just call me Sherlock!

  12. […] did a recitation the previous night at a Christian Endeavor service—and it didn’t go well since she forgot part of […]

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