1933 Diary of Young George Adams

1933 Diary of Young George Adams

A slice of an East Providence boyhood

Cover, George Adams diary, 1933

The entries in this diary appear to have been written by George's mother, as a remembrance of his life circa first grade. The diary was purchased at an estate sale near the area of Quarry Street and Burgess Avenue, East Providence. The 1933 Ready Reference Diary was purchased from the Outlet Company in Providence. We've done our best to transcribe the diary accurately, including idiosyncratic spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.

See the bottom of the page for additional information about George and his family.

Pages 2 and 3, George Adams diary, 1933

January 31
Nice day. quite cold up early. R[etired]- 7.00.

Walked up city with my Marm. We had banana splits for treat. shopped around then home at noon. Right after my dinner was out playing on my tricycle. Later on in the day rode to the market.

February 1
up 6-30. cloudy day. R- 6-30.

Out playing all day long, with Shirley, and Charlie Keefe. Both Bobby Burgess's, chased us around had lots of fun but came in all tired out. Had my supper and Mama read to me then went to bed, asleep, in no time.

Pages 20 and 21, George Adams diary, 1933

February 2
Very nice day. warm & sunny. up 6-15. R- 8.00.

Up city, looked at toys in ten cent stores. (again). took Mama around over & over again. Then we went to Pawt., Dad home with sprained back. we took him chocolate, Aunt Pollie out there. Went up Hope Club with Doris to clean. home at seven. After wash up Daddie came in sat on his knee, then bed.

February 3
nice day. up 7-30. R- 6-45.

Down square, called up Doris made date to go to city at 2.00 A.M. I played out with Shirley Evelyn & Donald till noon then dinner and city. Got impatient waiting for Doris to buy shoes. I said, "It'll be night time when we get home. I can't ride my bike."

February 4
cloudy & snow. up 6-15. R- 11-45.

Out playing all day till four, then up city and to Pawt, stayed with Nana while Marm and Daddie went to show, snowed all evening. I didn't sleep at all, thought they were gone a pretty long time, Mama bought me crayons. Got home at 11-15- awful late hour for me.

February 5
Very cold day. up 8.00. R- 7.00.

To Sunday school, Norma & Enid called for me. Daddie didn't work this morn. After dinner we three went out with sled. Along Warren Av. up So. Broadway. I ran and belly flopped with other kids But going back along blvd. was very cold. My hands cold so Daddy rubbed snow on them. I didn't like it.

February 6
up at 6-30. very cold. R. 6-45.

Over to Marmies for lunch, had waffles, and shrimp salad I enjoyed it very much, and told her so! Went in to see Joyce Marylyn Crabtree, 1 month old, then to Library with Marm, Grace & Helen Marmie. with sleds, not much snow left.

February 7
Very nice day. much warmer. up - 7.15. R. 6-45.

Daddie had treat this morning (three musketeers). Out playing all morn, to Market on tricycle with Marm. then after lunch up to Graces. Ate another dinner with Helen then rolled down hill and came home sick. (just in time). Told Marm I wanted her so much to make me better.

February 12
7-45. cold day. 7.00.

To Sunday school. Made valentine. Enid fogot [sic] to call for Earl & Glenn. After dinner we three took long walk and took pictures. I was worried most of the time because it would be late when I got home and couldn't ride my bike. Stopped in to see farringtons

February 13
6-30. nice day. 7.00.

Out with Shirley in the morn. Over to Marmies at noon (coffee). Afternoon we went sliding (Helen and I and the Marm's). we had fun. belly flops. snow men. took rest of pictures a nice afternoon.

February 14
6-30. fair day. 7.00

Valentine Day:
I received valentines from Shirley, Helen, Enid and sent them each one too. Put them in doors and ran. Up to Grace's in the morn, the folks had coffee. Helen came back and had dinner with me and stayed for the afternoon

February 15
6-30. nice day. 7.00

Out playing with Shirley and kiddies. After dinner Grace and Helen called for us and we went to bank, library, market and parish house after doughnuts. I played the organ. bath after supper and Mama read library book to me.

February 16
6-45. nice day. 7.00

Up city with Marm. shopped around then went to Pawt. just in time for dinner Went over to Hope with Doris. to help her (ask Doris). Dad did jig saw puzzle, I was itching to help but he wouldn't let me (a borrowed puzzle. had to be carefull [sic]

February 17
6-45. nice day. 7.00

Had bath after breakfast, then after my hair dryed [sic] I went out playing with Shirley & Ev. To market with Mama, epinuts [peanuts?] treat. just left before Grace & Helen called for us. They stopped on way back. Helen had new truck. She wouldn't let me try it untill [sic] I smiled. With Geo. Charlie and Joe after, throwing snow balls. supper at five.

Page 29, George Adams diary, 1933

March 6
Up city then to Pawt. had dinner and Nana Mama Doris and I all to city and dentist (Maymon). He said "my teeth were perfect and didn't even need cleaning. And he asked me not to suck my thumb. Nana had six teeth pulled.

March 7
Out playing and to market, rainy day but it didn't keep me in. Over to see Marmie and I said Come on Marm, lets go home, I'm hungry hinting for something good

March 8
Rainy day. Helen was here all afternoon, had dinner too, We raised cane made lots and lots of noise. and enjoyed it too. Grace called for her at 4-30 then we two went to the store.

March 9
Went out with the kiddies Ev. Shirley Bob. we all had bag kites. Went over to the market with Mama, after lunch. At night I whispered to daddie while he was on the phone. "Will you please fix my kite, its right there." Daddie thought it cute.

March 10
Very cold and windy. I didn't stay out at very long intervals. Helped Mama clean windows. Very nice boy all day. Mail man brought Irma book. I told Mama "the mail man has ear pants on," (ear muffs)

March 11
Played out here with Shirley and gang. To market late in the afternoon.

March 12
Mama forgot it was Roscoes birthday

To Sunday School. Helped daddie clean up yard. Had both Bob Burgess'es here playing on swing. I had great time. After dinner we three walked up city and say in N.E. terminal for while, nice time. I played traffic cop going home.

March 13
Played indoors, rainy) Then after dinner to Marmies Helen and I played in Earls yard. Later we all took walk to library. Mrs. Willsey too, but I was a little wild animal, got too wild Mama had to bring me home, for being unmanageable!

March 14
Rainy day. So, we made a date to meet Doris in Prov. to see fashion show at Cherry Webbs. Aunt Robe [?] met us too, about 4 o'clock we went to Gibsons for a cup of tea, Mama asked me what I'd like, I said, "Let me see, oh, I'll, have mashed potatoes gravy meat and thats as far as I got, but I finally yielded to a dish of ice cream", wise kid sonny. Saw Guy [?] Blease

Gibson's menu, 1936
Gibson's was a drug store and soda fountain that evolved into a chain of restaurants. One Providence location was at 1 Exchange Place. This Luncheon Menu is dated July 9, 1936. (Courtesy of David Stone).

March 30
Helen has scarlet fever so won't be able to play with her for a long time. Mama is worried cause I was with her Wed. We were out to Pawt for the day.

March 31
Had to be kept by myself, will be for five days. went for a walk with my Marm. We had nice time. Helen was pretty sick all day. onferrell [?] started making my punching bag outfit

Page 50, George Adams diary, 1933

April 1
exposed to scarlet fever

Rainy day. for the first day of April. Mama had to ask Mrs. Vaughn to keep Shirley away from me till Wed. We hollered April fool back and forth all day. Told Daddie, "oh Daddie whats that on your pants," April fool

April 2
Didn't go to Sunday School. After dinner, we went to Horseneck with Jim and Betty. A beautiful day. We took pictures and had a nice walk along the beach. Got pussy willows, Jim & Betty came over at night

April 4
Up city with Mama to U.S. district court. then around the stores Mama bought me new toy (jumping rabbit). Rained hard and Mama bought a new umbrella, I liked it a lot.

April 5
Another nice day. Mama let me play with the other children to-day and I sure was happy. We took walk (I on my bike) to Helen's, saw her in window [?] then around blvd. to market and home again.

April 6
Beautiful day! I got up at 5-15 A.M. After breakfast Marm and I walked as far as six corners with Daddie. We got back at 7-30-A.M. Daddie took bus to F.R. [probably Fall River, Massachusetts] I played out then to Pawt. Wore new blouse Mama made me.

April 17
Helen five years old to-day.

April 20
To Pawt. I wore my suit and I guess I looked pretty pippy, saw lots looking at me. We bought new overalls and I wore them outdoors at Nana's and played with "Edna". Mama to Pawt with Nana (dentist). Nana bought me shovel rake and hoe.

April 21
A beautiful day. Mama and I worked out in the yard I didn't have to wear a coat, was very warm. Later on in the day we took a walk.

April 22
Dad had his teeth out and Nana got hers in to-day.

Mama and I out to market and for a walk. I was a real good boy cause I'm going to Boston tomorrow. if its a nice day.

April 23
Nana and Dad here and Mama went to church.

Up early and dressed up in my new brown outfit Dadie and I went to Boston, a trip I've been looking forward to very much. fed squirrells and saw North Church, Samuel Adams grave and many other things bought bird that whistles and chocolate for Mama

April 24
Helen can play with me now. We had lunch at Marmies. When Mama scolded me for something to day. I said. "Mama -- don't forget this, I want you to write it in my diary so I don't forget. When I get big I'm not going to buy you a treat

April 25
Fair day, until late in the afternoon. I was a good boy, helped Mama clean upstairs, then out playing in yard with Shirley and Charlie (was you there Charlie). To market in the afternoon on tricycle. Mama read to me before bedtime.

September 11
First Day of School.

Mama took me down and I was very happy about it. Came home all smiles.

"I miss my Sonny" a lot

September 12
Doing fine at School, Don't mind going at all, very prompt about being there on time.

September 13
Had to put my head on desk cause I snapped my finger on the bible and said "ouch." teacher asked "who said that. Leo Finnegan said George. Eddie Noonan giggled and had to put his head down too.

September 14
Mama went up city this morn and brought me two pair socks and cracker jack for treat. Good boy in school. Drew a house on the black board.

September 15
Had a nice time playing store with Shirley after school.

September 16
Rainy day. Had to stay in and play. But had a good time playing lunch cart with wagon and truck. Afternoon we met daddie, up city and bought me raincoat, hat and rain shoes, then to Loews State, Nicklemat.

Page 50, George Adams diary, 1933
Loew's State (now the Providence Performing Arts Center), was at 226 Weybosset Street in Providence. The Nickel-Mat Restaurant was located close by at 358 Westminster Street. (Providence Journal, June 16, 1930).

September 17
Rainy, Rainy day again. Daddie rigged up my punching bag. Lots of fun, Looking for big muscles allready [sic]. After noon late, to Taylors. had supper there and then all for a ride in our machine.

September 18
Had to go to school to day had nice day, and told Mama I had new friend named James

September 19
Still learning my letters.

Doris here to-day, all day.

September 20
Learned to write MAt - SAt. also drew a lovely picture black b dolls walking up a hill.

good boy in school

September 21
Helen walked to corner with me. Not well this morn, upset stomach, (ate too much). Couldn't go to school in the morning but Mama gave me physic and all set to go in the afternoon, Mama met me after school and to barbers. rained awfull but Mama had my raincoat and hat.

[Diary ends.]

George Merrill Adams was born August 19, 1927.

The 1930 Census lists a George M. Adams in East Providence, age 2, living with his parents, Samuel C. and Ellen M., both aged 26.

The 1940 Census lists the same three, now ten years older, residing at 171 Quarry Street, East Providence. Samuel is listed as a truck driver. Ellen's place of birth is shown as England.

The 1950 Census shows George, now a single 22-year-old, living in an apartment at 193 Armory Street, East Providence. Profession: bank clerk.

An ad for Rhode Island Hospital Trust in the March 13, 1969 issue of the Newport Daily News lists a George M. Adams as an Assistant Computer Services Officer.

The 2021 obituary of Margaret Florence (Ingram) Adams notes that she and George met while working at Hospital Trust National Bank and married in 1954 (George would have been around 27); that he was an amateur jazz musician (a passion they shared); that they resided in Riverside; and that they had two sons, Douglas and Geoffrey.

A very brief death notice in the October 12, 2002 Providence Journal lists the death of George M. Adams of East Providence on October 11, at the age of 75.

George is buried in Moshassuck Cemetery in Central Falls, along with his parents, his aunt Doris (who is mentioned several times in the diary), and his maternal grandparents.

While it doesn't directly relate to George, it's interesting to note that there are at least two Youtube videos of his wife singing:

Florence sings "Sugar" (composed by Maceo Pinkard) with Jeff Hughes and Friends at Caffe Roscoe, 762 1/2 Hope Street, Providence, December 1988:

A montage of pictures of Florence and musicians she worked with over the years:

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