The Dark Side: In Honor of Norma Harry

I write a lot about contrasts in this blog.  That is life.  The good and evil. Sometimes just the kinda good and kinda bad.  As a writer, I look for structure.  I look for patterns and the way this life story is told.  It’s eerie that those patterns happen, in non intentional nonfiction.  She isn’t trying to be clever, she never thought anyone would read these.  Even still, things strike me like way July was “book ended.”  Both the first day and last day of the month involved a banquet and Benny.  But both experiences were very different.  It created such an interesting literary frame.  It’s good writing.  It’s real life.

July, 1937

I have been finding these contrasts since the beginning of this process:

Stark Contrasts

There is also the contrast and a parallel with Babu and Norma Harry.

On July 4th:

july 4.jpeg

Sunday, July 4th, 1937
Ernie and I rode out to the C.C.C. Camp on Patched and Dan.  I get along better now with Patches.  I don’t hit him with my self all the time.  We covered about six miles.  Went over to Willard’s for fireworks and then came back late and fooled around with more fireworks.  Then Willard and I put on a show eating.

Fooling around with fireworks?  Doesn’t sound exactly safe.  She gets back home from Vermont to find this out:


Tuesday, July 6th, 1937
Haven’t had much sleep but felt alright.  Norma Harry will probably loose the sight of one eye.  Yesterday, a fire cracker blew back in her face.  We hope it’s not too serious.  Got a card from Benny today from NY (That’s where he was over the holiday.)  Practiced and wrote a specimen of the shorthand O.G.A. for a contest.


That could have been Babu, but as usual, tragedy misses her.  It does not, however, miss Norma:

july 6.jpeg

Wednesday, July 7th, 1937
Norma is in the Bost Gen. Hospital.  Her eye will not be removed but we don’t know the outcome.  Tomorrow we have our official typing test.  We can only have a maximum of 5 errors and 70 words or better a minute.  We supposed to be thinking up ideas for the Senior Stunt.  I’m on the committee.



Tuesday, July 13th, 1937
Got my 80 typing pin today.  I thought my blackboard shorthand was the best today but Mr. Munford thought not because I got the lowest mark today.  Read a letter Mr. Manfred got from Mrs. Harry and it was a beautiful one.  Norma sent a message, “I’ll be back soon you betcha.”  Such spirit!  Such bravery!

july 22.jpeg

Friday, July 23rd, 1937
First of all, Norma had her eye removed yesterday.  That made me feel low.  Then, Travis Root asked me to go to the banquet.  That didn’t make me fee low only he said he heard from Frank that Benny had other plans.  Benny and I are at the parting of ways.  He says he can’t keep track of me.  Zosh and a girl from “Philly” came tonight.  His name is Lillian Pienowski. Also met Johnny Krol and then Drobey walked us home.


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