A Visitor

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

Tuesday, March 28, 1911: W.J. Dentler was up at our school awhile this morning. We hustled at our lessons but fortunately he left before we had any classes. He also came down to see Ruth and bid her good-bye I suppose.

I got an invitation to the commencement today, and now I’ll be in for getting another present. Alas my pocketbook.

Recent photo of abandoned building that once housed McEwensville High School.

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

Entries like this one are very frustrating. They raise many questions—none of which I’ve found any answers to.

W.J. Dentler is mentioned nowhere else in the diary and I have no idea who he is. Since W.J visited McEwensville High School, my first thought was that he was  a school official (country superintendent, school board member), but then Grandma discusses him coming to the Muffly farm to say good-bye to her sister Ruth.

Was W.J. a former or potential beau of Ruth’s? Where was he going?  Maybe he was someone who graduated from the high school a year or two prior to the diary entry—and came back as an alumni to visit.

Two days previously Grandma’s diary entry mentioned Ruth “chasing”  another guy—James Oakes. It seems like there may have been some sort of mismatch between the guys that Ruth thought were cute and the guys who thought she was cute. (Ah—I’m glad that I’m past all of intrigues of the teen-aged years.)

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