Frank Walker's Diary (1931)
Submitted by: Willie L. Barton
SATURDAY AUGUST 8, 1931 Cullman, Al.
Stacked oak lumber for Hugo. Rained us out. Put in 4 hours.
Bill and Reece came down late p.m. Seemed awful jolly. Told them I was leaving pretty soon. They didn't want me to go.
SUNDAY AUGUST 9, 1931
Willie and me went to see Hugo. Told him I wanted to brether. Suits him for me to give the Kizer the slip. I went back, got my suit and caught the morning train out. Left it at Cullman. Didn't even pay my fair. Hit the dirt for D.S. (Double Springs)
The Trip! (not dated but numbered page 2)
Leaving the train at Cullman I made a bee line out west, pushing west every hour. Never stopping for anything except a drink. A few cars passed but didn't offer to let me ride. Caught a Model T for about a mile. Then later a Chevrolet for a short distance. About sundown I began looking for a place to park for the night. Just at dark I stopped at a place and told the man I was aiming to stay with him.
Storm clouds were rising in the west and lightning was flashing freely. Mr. Cooper fixed me a place to sleep and I tumbled down.
MONDAY AUGUST 10, 1931
I was up at daylight and while they were preparing breakfast I was "Marching over the road". Earl and Zonie Bell had just eaten when I arrived. They fixed me some breakfast. Will came up then and we came on down to his house. He had plenty of watermelons and mushmelons so we made out fine.
Bessie and the kids were at Uncle Johns. So Will and me just took up quarters and made ourselves at home. Bessie and Bessie (Uncle John's wife "Ma Bessie") came in Tuesday I think. Uncle Ben Jones didn't come back. Aurtis Armstrong was supposed to come after them in one week. He was slow about coming as usual.
In about a week Uncle John and Frances came in but no Autis. Two or three days later then Autis came and Uncle John and Bessie went home. Leaving Francis. Later then Frances and Mamie went to Grandma Pruetts and stayed a few days. Meanwhile we were getting wood and water and eating watermelons. Willie wrote me on Thu. 8-13-31. We rec'd 8-15-. Said Uncle Ben was with them, came in Tue. Next letter on Aug. 21 also said Uncle Ben was with them "arrived this a.m."
Sept. 2nd letter was read Sept. 4th. expected one Sat. Sept. 5th but didnt get it. Went to the river to-day. Will and Frances, Myrtle and me. Sure did have a lot of fun - Myrtle is just settled enough to be real sensible. Miss Myrtle Overton
July 9th, 1914
Will and Francis and Mamie went to Fairview night meeting.
SUNDAY SEPT 6TH, 1931
Frances and Mamie gone to baptizing over on Sipsy. Mickee and me fixed up a platform to dive from. Frances and Mamie come home and wanted to go to the river so we went back and finished the day swimming.
MON. SEPT 7TH 1931 Cut came next to the house. Uncle Ben came in and spent the night. We all went to the river. Went home with 7914 (what he meant by that isn't known. Could have been a code number for someone) Frances hasn't told us her wish yet. It's about me tho. Holiday today. no RTD. Reckon when me and Frances will get marred (married).
TUE. SEPT. 8TH 31
Uncle Ben and I cut tops behind the pasture. The girls wash- ed. Got letter and pictures from Willie. Traded for Uncle Ben's hat and suitcase. Will got his shirt. He left P.M. for Lee's. Frances, Mamie, Mickel and me cut tops til the cloud come up. Carried cane to shed. Went to the river just at dark. Will filled wagon wheel for that feller.
Myrtle took up collection yesterday to get films with to take pictures Sun.
WED. SEPT. 9TH 1931
Have our pictures made tomorrow. Tied up tops today. Mickel and me went to D.S. Got a lot of groceries. Uncle Ben and them are having a grand time out there singing. Didn't go to the river today.
Writing Willie a letter asking lots of questions. Fixing up a fake letter for Uncle Ben. Fixing to have a lot of fun or a lot of trouble one.
THU. SEPT 10TH (1931)
Me and Uncle Ben cut top on east side. About two hours. Will and the girls hauled in the other gop in so. field. Mickel and Ellie picked pease (sic). Will and I went after lumber to build bridge. Built it. Broke wagon coupling pole. Made another one. Put sleeper in Mickel and my room. Took a shave. Had our pictures made. Went to the river. Got to throw some tops in the barn and well be done. Uncle Ben left, carried letters to mail box for Mammie and me.
FRI SEPT 11TH (1931)
Tied up tops in East field hauled them in, total 944 bundles - Hauled cane to little barn. Mules ran away. Left rear wheel went over Mickel. Scattered cane up the road. Caught them about 2 mile from here, Jack came down first, then Richard. Then Grandma and Granpa Chambers. Frances about learned the organ. Cloudy, no mail.
SAT. SEPT 12 '31
Started cutting tops in the so. field. Frances keeps saying her dad is coming after her. He came about 9 a.m. We didn't get to go to the river. We hitched up and took them to the highway. Saw Uncle Bud. Borrowed gal. syrup from Cooper. Myrtle came at 1 and stayed till 2
SUN SEPT 13
Me and Uncle Ben went to Uncle Johns. Henry and Iler were there. They started home but the creek was up and they came back stayed all night. Certainly did enjoy ourselves.
Saw Grandma's place. Rain good and proper.
MON. SEPT. 14TH
Went up to the grave yard where grandma is buried. Me, Frances, Nancy, Henry and his children. 8 a.m. Hitched up and brought Bessie and the two least kids home, Uncle Ben went back the other way. Didn't see Johnie. He's in Haleyville. Myrtle helped Mammie wash. Me and Mic went and helped them.
TUE. SEPT 15TH
Mickel's birthday. 11 years old. Got letter from Willie and picture of Sybie.
Went after corn in bottoms. Hauled syrup cane wood. Mamie and Will playing the organ.
WED. SEPT. 16TH
Johnie came in last night from Haleysville, stayed all night.
He's bought him a farm up there. We tied up those tops this a.m. Will and Earl hauled rock. Went to the river and syrup mill p.m. Stella shue is an interesting kid. She'll kill her self working (Steller Alexander (5/12/18) Met her several times when Obediah was here.
Wrote Will a letter to-night that I'd be home soon. Going to town tomorrow.
THU. SEPT. 17TH
Will and me went to D.S. Fixed wagon wheel. Traded corn for groceries. Got cans to put syrup in. Uncle John stripped cane. We striped til night and then went in the river.
FRI. SEPT. 18TH
Took up tops. Went to cane field. Myrtle came but we were gone. Said the pictures she made were no good, just got them from their waist down.
Burnt out yellow jackets last night between here and the bottoms. Like 31 cane rows. Going to beef old Buck to-morrow. (the yearling, not the dog) Strip cane this p.m.
SAT. SEPT. 19TH
Striped cane. Killed calf this morning. Had plenty of beef for dinner. Myrtle helped us strip and cut cane this even(ing). cut 15 rows. Guess we leave to-morrow. Hate to leave these girls though. Tempeture about 100 and some degrees. Played diving in the river about an hour at dinner.
SUN. SEPT. 20TH
Went to the river first Uncle John went over to Mr. Blakes. He came back with him. We left 2:20 for Uncle Johns. Follered trails all the way. Got here just after dark.
MON. SEPT. 21ST
Got up about 5 a.m. Woke Frances and helped her get breakfast Eat breakfast then with Johnie and Nacy left about 7:30 or 8:00 o'clock. Met Wylie Stevenson at Nesmith. Walked to Johnes (Jones) Chapel. Rode with Dr. Tucker to Cullman. Got me a sandwich at the hut. Got with two country boys and a negro. The negro he(a)ded for Garden City and the two boys for Gadsden. Train stopped several times coming down. At Hanceville the lst time then went thru gotten stock like a ball eagle. stopped at Carbon the first time. There we lost our Negro. We went on to Big Town. Went to a cafe, got me a loaf of bread and a can of sardines. Met another hobo. Mr. Frank Payne, Douglas Hill Huntsville, Ala. W.W. veteran. The R.R. Bull put us out of the yard, then the state police run us out of town. We slipped back in the weed patch in the yard. I went to sleep. At 10:30 Mr. Payne hollered "There she comes". I was nearly to the train when I woke up. I got it with my left hand.
Got on a car of coke. Cinders were flying and falling like hail as the wheels beat a tatoo on the rails. Passed thru Garden City at 11:30. Stopped at the Cullman water tank. Walked to the depot. Those
other boys decided not to go to Gadsden so they were along. Bid Mr. Payne goodbye as the train pulled out. At the depot we washed our face and hands. Cop told us to beat it. We went to the he(a)ding mill and went to sleep, got up at 4:30. Took a shower and put on some clothes. Stopped out looking for a bus. (next train for Garden City 4:19 p.m.) Missed the 5:10 a.m. bus but caught a ride with Gus Ryans truck to the city. Resse got on at Hanceville and rode to Garden City.
Pap (could be Pop) met me at Uncle Ed's garage. Sure was glad to see each other. I was eating breakfast when mama come in.
Went to see Papa's crop. Sure is fine. Like the way he's fixing the car too. Young Lady paid us a visit and me with my shirt off. Mama kills a chicken. All the boys came around. Went to church p.m.
WED SEPT 23RD
Intended to work on Papa's car but Hugo sent for me. Stacked lumber with Willie B. and Mr. Banks. Dry Kilm completed today. Mama and Willie gone to church.
Wrote back to Frances and Bessie. Write the rest of them in a few days. My adventures at home are carried on the in "Franks Home Diary no. 2"