Played Joke on Sister at Box Social

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

Friday, February 13, 1914:  Went to town this afternoon to get some things for a box social. Besse gave me two doggies to slip in Ruth’s box when she wasn’t looking. Almost froze my right hand or rather it got pretty cold coming home.

Well, while Ruthie was eating her supper, I slipped upstairs with her box, undid the wrapping, lifted the lid, and in went the doggies, and brought the box back without arousing suspicions.

The box social and entertainment which we attended was out at her school. There wasn’t much of a crowd there, as it was snowing.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Good grief, Grandma. . .  How could you????

Who got Ruth’s box? And, whose face turned redder when they opened it?. . . Ruth’s or the guy’s?

Box socials always make me think of the musical Oklahoma. The girls prepared beautiful box lunches with enough food for two that were then auctioned off to raise funds for the school or some charity.

Grandma’s sister Ruth was a teacher at a one-room school house near McEwensville. Grandma’s older sister Besse was married to a butcher, and Besse must have given her two hot dogs. (Did they have hot dogs a hundred years ago?)

15 Responses

  1. Yes, they did have hot dogs. They were selling sausages in buns as early as 1870 on Coney Island. The Hot-Dog came by the name in the early 1890’s. They were popular at Baseball games.

  2. They must have had fun with that. I think my grandmother and grandfather met at a box social.

  3. Hahahaha! I wish she had told the end of the story–I love this!

  4. Hmmm… I thought Grandma meant REAL doggies: puppies! Grandma had a mischievious streak, didn’t she??

  5. Clearly Helena was enjoying the recounting of this bit of mischief! I never knew what a box social was until now…I see signs for Penny Socials here in town but have never been to one. Maybe now I will check it out!

  6. My parents talked about these box socials too.

  7. I hadn’t heard of box socials until this post!
    Diana

  8. Exactly what I was thinking – I see they were around! Goodness, wasn’t Grandma wordy today? LOL Love it when she is!

  9. At first I thought it was puppies … real dogs :)

  10. She had a lot to say! Box socials are so charming.

  11. i remember talk of box socials. Blessings, Natalie :)

  12. I’m glad I wasn;t the only one confused by the “doggies”.

  13. We used to have box lunches in grade school to raise money for little projects – it was always fun to see who got whose lunch. Everyone always knew which one was mine because I always had tasty kakes in my lunches!!! ;) So unlike a “romantic” date of Helena’s social it was still fun. You don’t want to know what I thought “doggies” were!! lol Glad to hear it was only hot dogs.

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