19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, July 21, 1914: Went to a party about three miles from here. Went with Carrie and her beau. There were lots there I didn’t know. Didn’t stay so very late.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
It’s too bad that you didn’t know very many people . . . were you happy for Carrie that she had a beau? . . . or a little jealous?
Carrie Stout is the friend of Grandma’s who’s mentioned the most frequently in the diary—so I assume that she was Grandma’s best friend. She lived on a nearby farm.
Since Carrie’s not a relative I’ve never put much effort into tracing her story, but here’s the little I know.
Carrie was a little younger than Grandma. She married a farmer named John Pressler who was about 10 years older than she was. (I wonder if the beau in this diary entry was John.) Carrie and John lived for many years on a rural Milton farm. The farm was on Muddy Run Road, and was 3 miles or so from the farm where Carrie grew up.
I’ve never come across a photo of Carrie, so I don’t know what she looked like.
Somehow my description of Carrie feels inadequate—I guess that her life is a puzzle that still has lots of missing pieces.