Cleages Detroit Grahams sepia saturday

Old County Building and Mary V. Elkins

Henry Cleage 1955

When I saw the prompt, I immediately thought of some photos of a building in Detroit that my uncle Henry Cleage took.  I found them in the first place I looked (amazingly). They aren’t labeled or dated but looking at a few old Detroit buildings I found they are of the old County Building. I would date them around 1950 from the people and cars.  These are only a few of the many.  Court was held in the building and Henry was a lawyer. Perhaps he had some cases there.

Old Detroit County Building
Old Detroit County Building

“The cornerstone was laid Oct. 20, 1897, in a ceremony that the Detroit Free Press called at the time “simple but impressive.” Under a headline in capital letters proclaiming, “It is laid!”, the Free Press wrote that it had rained all morning the day of the ceremony, but just at 2 p.m., as officials were gathering at Old City Hall, the sun broke and the clouds parted. A band led the procession down Cadillac Square to a platform decked out in American flags in front of the county building, where Judge Edgar O. Durfee had the honor of laying the cornerstone. Judge Robert E. Frazer gave what the Free Press called a “stirring address,” and Mayor William C. Maybury also participated.”   Go to Old Wayne County Building  – Historic Detroit to read a detailed history of the Old County Building.


“One of the building’s most prominent features is the pair of large sculptures flanking its center tower and portico. The copper sculptures are known as quadrigae, a Roman chariot drawn by four horses. The pieces were done by New York sculptor J. Massey Rhind, who intended the quadrigae to symbolize progress. They feature a woman standing in a chariot led by four horses with two smaller figures on either side.”  From Old Wayne County Building – Historic Detroit

Mary Vee 1940 - In front of Plymouth Congregational Church.
Mary Vee 1940 – In front of Plymouth Congregational Church.

My mother’s sister, Mary V. Elkins, got a job at the County Building in 1940.

“June 10, 1940 — Mary Virginia has just gotten (through Jim and May) a good job at the County Bldg — God is so good to us. M.V. won high honor in her business Institute for typing and short hand.”  Fannie Mae Turner Graham’s little diary.

Mary V. attended business school after she graduated from Eastern High School, then worked for awhile at her cousin’s Newspaper office until he helped her get a job in the old county building.  She held the job for many years and received  a proclamation from the City of Detroit for her service to the city during a Family Reunion when she was in her 80s.

seasons greetings
Wayne County Courthouse (2)
Wayne County Courthouse

Old Wayne County Building could soon be allowed to seek buyers.  “A Wayne County Commission committee approved a nonbinding agreement today that would settle a nearly 3-year-old lawsuit against the owners of the Old Wayne County Building and allow the owners to seek potential buyers.”  From an April, 2013 article in the Detroit Free Press.

Biography Detroit sepia saturday

Playing The Piano

I started taking piano lessons when I was about seven years old.  We lived on Chicago Blvd. in the parsonage.  Mrs. Fowler was our teacher.  I remember her as a stern older woman who, according to my cousin, sometimes smashed her fingers on the keys when she kept making mistakes.  I think of the room with the piano as the “Morning Room”. Maybe that’s what my mother called it. There was wall paper with fruit on it. My music book was “Teaching Little Fingers to Play” and I learned 3 note pieces with words like “Here we go, up a row, to a birthday party.”  When played in a different order it became the piece “Dolly dear, Sandman’s here.  Soon you will be sleeping.”  I must have practiced between lessons because I remember being used as a good example to my cousin Barbara one time.  The piano must have belonged to the church because when we moved, it stayed there.

The piano I took lessons on behind Henry and the cello.
The piano I took lessons on behind Henry playing the cello.

Several years later we were living in the upper flat on Calvert.  I told my mother I wanted to take piano lessons again.  She bought the used upright piano in the photo above. We all signed it on the inside of the flap you rest the music on and raise to get at the insides. Our new teacher was Mr. Manderville, the church choir director at that time.  He was my parents age and went in more for mean, sarcastic remarks as opposed to banging your fingers on the keyboard. I wanted to play “Comin’ Through The Rye” but he wouldn’t assign it and, for unknown reasons, I didn’t just learn it on my own time.

The only piece I remember by name was “The Wild Horseman”. I remember it as a complex piece that I played exceptionally well. Sort of like this.

Well, maybe I wasn’t quite that good, but in my memory, I am every bit as good. Eventually I told my mother I didn’t want to take piano lessons any more. She was not happy with that and mentioned buying the piano at my request so I could take lessons. She did let me stop. My mother played the piano much better than I ever did. She played it often after that.  Pieces of classical music she played on the record player and those she played on the piano have become confused in my mind now.  I will have to ask my sister what she remembers.

Another part of the prompt is pictures within the picture. You will notice three pictures on the wall and one of my sister and me on the piano, in my photo above.

African-American Genealogy & Slave Ancestry Research Detroit Great Migration Many Rivers To Cross

The Great Migration In Poetry- Winter In St. Antoine


James Edward McCall
James Edward McCall

by James McCall

In St. Antoine the snow and sleet
Whiten and glaze the drab old street
And make the snow-clad houses gleam
Like crystal castles in a dream.
There, many swarthy people dwell;
To some, ’tis heaven, to others,   hell!
To me the  street seems like a movie stage
Where Negros play and stars engage.
They laugh and love and dance and sing
While waiting the return of spring.
Some drown their heart-aches deep
In winter time on St. Antoine.

There, on the gutters frozen brink
A dope-fiend lies, with eyes that blinkwinter_in_st_antoine
And from a neighboring cabaret
come sounds of song and music gay.
At windows, tapping, here and there,
Sit dusky  maidens  young and fair,
With painted cheeks  and brazen eyes.
and silk clad legs crossed to the thigh
Upon the icy pavements wide,
Gay brown-faced children laugh and slide
While tawny men in shiny cars
Drive up and down the street like   czars.

Into a  church across the way
There goes a bridal party gay.
While down the street like a prairie-fire,
Dash a  bandit car and a cruising flyer.
Around the corner whirls a truck,
An old coal-peddler’s horse is struck;
The horse falls on the frozen ground,
The dark blood spouting from its wound.
A motley crowd runs to the scene;
A woman old, from shoulders lean,
Unwraps a quilt her hands have pieced
And spreads it o’er the shivering beast.

Among the swarthy folk who pass
Along the slippery street of glass,
Are some in furs and  some in rags;
Lovely women, wretched hags,
White-haired  migrants from the South;
Some wrapped in blankets, pipes in mouth;
Some smile while others seem to shiver,
As though they   long for Swanee River;
But though they dream with tear wet eyes
Of cotton-fields and sunny skies.
They  much prefer the heaven and hell
On St Antoine, where free men dwell.

Hastings Street, Detroit 1941
Hastings Street, Detroit 1941

James Edward McCall was my Grandmother Fannie Turner Graham’s first cousin. He was a poet and a publisher.  He lost his sight due to illness while a medical student at Howard University. He and his family migrated from Montgomery Alabama to Detroit Michigan about 1923.

You can read more about  James Edward McCall, Poet and Publisher 1880 – 1963 here.

Links to my previous posts in this series and to other African American Bloggers blogging about this series are at Many Rivers to Cross

Cleages Detroit Grahams Great Migration sepia saturday

The Steamer “Eastern States”

Mershell C. Graham

Both of my grandfathers worked on the Great Lakes steam ships. My maternal grandfather, Mershell Graham, worked as a steward for the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company when he first came to Detroit in 1917.  He had previously worked in the dining cars of passenger trains. After several years he got a job at Ford Motor Co. where he remained until his retirement 30 years later.

My paternal grandfather, Albert B. Cleage, Sr, worked for the same company in 1909. He was a medical student in Indiana and earned money during the summer by working on the Eastern States cruise ship as a waiter.  The excerpts in this post are from his letters.

Most of the photos and clippings about the Eastern States were found in the Great Lakes Maritime Database.


June 19 1909
I left Indianapolis last night at 7:25. Stayed all night in Hamilton Ohio. Am now in Toledo at 10 AM. Will leave for Detroit 2: 15.

June 20, 1909
Arrived in Detroit yesterday at 4:00 PM, and left for Buffalo via “Eastern States” Star. on which I am at work. Was lucky.  Am well,  found two old school friends on same boat!

June 20, 1909
I am sitting in an old ware-house door on the wharf at Buffalo, – tell me there isn’t an element of romance in my location to say the least. I will be in Detroit again tomorrow and will see many of the boys whom I know there. You can imagine how worn out I am – just stopped traveling this morning, and if the boat ever comes into dock again I shall go immediately to bed. I went uptown to get some things and it went up the Lake and left me, but it will return soon. 

Albert B. Cleage

June 24, 1909
Lawrence has come and we are working together.


June 27, 1909 (On board the Steamer “Eastern States” – Lake Erie)
This is Sabbath night about 10:00 o’clock and we are about six hours ride out of Detroit and about twelve miles from land in the shortest direction. Surroundings are such as to impress one with his insignificance and emphasize the fact that he is indeed kept by Jehovah’s care. I shall first endeavor to acquaint you with the boat on which I am working. It’s name is “The Eastern States” and runs from Detroit to Buffalo. We leave Detroit one day at 5 PM and arrive in Buffalo the next morning at 8 o’clock, staying in


Buffalo all day we leave again for Detroit in the Evening at 5 PM you see we spend one day in Detroit and one in Buffalo. Today we were in Detroit and would it interest you to know how I spent it? Well, if it will interest you; after breakfast was over about 9 am, I went down to our “quarters” (I suppose you have only a faint conception of what that word means – I describe it later.) and slept until 11:30 – served lunch, after which Aldridge and I walked up town for about 2 hours – smoked some cigars, came back to the boat and took a couple of hours more of sleep. So you see I am putting in plenty of time sleeping. This stuff I’m sure does not interest you and I will not bore you longer but as I promised to say something about our “quarters”

It is one large room about 35 x 40 ft. in which are 32 beds – just think of it!! Those beds or better bunks are arranged in tiers of three and I at the present time am sitting on my bed (the top one) and there are two other fellows below me. What ventilation we get comes through six small port holes the diameters of which are about 6 in.

The fellows are a cosmopolitan aggregation, men from everywhere and at any time you can hear arguments and discussions on all subjects – Sensible and nonsensible. There are several students on board – boys from Howard University, Wilberforce University, Oberlin University, Michigan, and Indiana and out of them there are some very fine fellows to know…  I could talk all night about the desirable and the non-desirable features of my Steamboat experience.

This isn't the dining room of the Eastern States but the City of Detroit was a sister ship so it was probably similar.
This isn’t the dining room of the Eastern States but the City of Detroit was a sister ship so it was probably similar.

July 3, 1909 (Enroute to Buffalo, Steamer Eastern States)
Yesterday while Lewis and I were walking up the street in Buffalo, whom did we see standing on the corner (as if lost) but Miss Berry of Indianapolis, her brother and his wife and a Miss Stuart an Indianapolis teacher. Well to be sure we were surprised and they too seemed agreeably so. We spent the day with them taking in the zoo and other points of interest. They visited our boat and we showed them through it. That was experience number one.

Secondly – our boat was in a storm last night I awoke last night amid great excitement in our quarters and found that it was only possible for me to lie in bed with quite a great deal of effort. The old boat was being mightily tossed and driven and the angry waves were rising a high as your house or higher. We were sometimes on top of them and again between them at all times with a feeling that we would every minute be swallowed up by them. Great excitement prevailed. Most of the waiters got up and put on life preservers thinking they would have need of them. I neither was afraid or sick. Nothing serious happened and we arrived in Detroit only a few hours late this morning.

We are tonight taking over to Buffal0 a 4th of July Excursion. A large crowd is aboard. A great number of extra waiters are aboard and an extra amount of noise is present and unfavorable to letter writing accept the effort…


After WW2, automobile travel replaced steamer travel and gradually the ships were retired, burned and scrapped. Here is a timeline for the Eastern States from the link above.

  •    Laid down as EMPIRE STATE.
  •     1902, Jan Launched Wyandotte, MI.
  •     1909 Owned Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Co, Detroit, MI.
  •     1930 Owned Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Co., Detroit.
  •     1950 Laid up, Detroit.
  •     1956, Jun 21 Owned Lake Shore Steel Co & Siegal Iron & Metal Co, Detroit.
  •     1956, Dec 12 Burned as spectacle, Lake St. Clair.
  •     1957, May 6 Scrapped.
Cleages Detroit sepia saturday

My Detroit Rebellion Journal – 1967

My father, Rev. Albert B. Cleage & me.

I wrote this after the Detroit riot in July of 1967.  I was 20. I had been in Idlewild, MI at my Uncle Louis’ cottage with my Aunt Gladys and some of my cousins when it started. I ended up at my Grandmother Cleage’s house where my father, several uncles and cousins were also gathered. Her house was on Atkinson, about three blocks from the 12th street corner where the riot started. Aside from a little editing for clarity, these are my memories from 1967.


 The fire siren that night in Idlewild went on and on and on. Gladys got a phone call that a riot had started. We left that morning. The sky was pink with smoke as we drove into the city.

During the riot, when it got dark, we turned off the lights, put on black clothes and waited. The shots that had been going all day got louder, closer, smashed together. We sat on the porch and watched the tanks go up and down the street full of white boys wearing glasses, aiming their guns at us.

One during the day went by in a yellow telephone repair truck. He rode in the elevated stand, pointing his rifle. We looked back at him.

Lights from helicopters whirred over us. Troops went down 12th, down 14th. The street shook. Afraid to sleep because somebody might shoot through the window, we stayed up until the sky got light. My cousins cleared out the furniture in front of the windows, so they could shoot.

Should they let them get in or shoot before they reach the porch? They lay there on quilts, looking out the window. Seeing soldiers and armored trucks in flowerpots and dump trucks. Dale asked how the gun worked. Ernie shows him by the hall light.

The guns sounded like they were in the alley. I sat on the landing. Thorough the window it was dark and unreal outside. Blair came up, scared, so we went in the basement and turned on a program about Vietnam, but then off to a horror movie nobody watched.

Daddy came down, with a drink, to use the phone and dictate demands to the papers. Ernie showed us how to bolt doors if someone tried to come in the window.

They tried to get Grandmother down to watch TV, but she wouldn’t. She stayed upstairs, watched TV and came out only at times to turn lights on and silhouette everybody hiding guns as the soldiers were pulled back.

On the police radio: Fifty policemen wounded in one hour. They were run out of the Clairmont Square again. A woman turns in her sniper husband.

Dale was left on the porch when they flashed light on the porch and summer-salted in. Bullets were so close I was afraid and went back inside.

Grandmother turning on lights with armed flower pots aiming at us.

Turning Vietnamese guns up loud to drown out theirs. Jan and I, sleeping on the hard scratchy rug. Ernie wanting just a ring to show he was there. Dale taping, taking pictures to show his children. Jesus painted Black.

All that Sunday cars full of white folks went down Linwood past the Church. Windows rolled up. Sightseeing. Long, slow lines, car after car, windows shut tight. Troop Jeeps going by pointing guns.

For other Sepia Saturday offerings click HERE.

Detroit Grahams Great Migration Letters

The Proposal – Migration Story Part 6

Fannie Mae Turner

Dear Fan,

I am feeling fine today and I hope that this will find you and all at home well.  I am off from my work today.  No, not sick just felt like taking a bit of rest and too it has been raining all day and it was such a fine day for sleep before taking my midday nap I had to talk a little to my sweetheart, I only wish I could here her voice and be made to feel happy.  Dear I don’t know anything of interest to write about just now.  Things are pretty quiet in Detroit, the factories are all getting ready for a big after war business and I think this city will get her share of it.  I am sorry that your mother has been sick, I hope she is O.K. and her self again.  

     Miss Snow formerly of Montgomery now Mrs. Kelly of Detroit lost her husband last week, I think she will bring the body home for burial. They have him now in storage until she is ready to leave for home with him.  Now dear  I wrote you sometime ago and told you that I had something to tell you when I saw you, but I just can’t keep it any longer, what I want to tell you dear is this, I feel as if I have tried a single life long enough and now I am going to ask you to become my wife.  Now dear, if you will commit to the above request let me know right away and I will write and ask the permission of your mother to marry you, and with her consent we will then fix the time of the wedding.  Now I hope you won’t let this shock you any, and please answer me as soon as possible, if we should get married I shall want you to come to this city to live after the wedding, so dear while you are considering the questions of marriage you may also consider the question of residing in Detroit, also.  

Mershell C. Graham

    Now dear please don’t keep me waiting too long for an answer to this letter, as I am over anxious to hear what your answer will be.  Remember me kindly to your mother and sisters, with lots of love and many thousand kisses I close, looking to receive an early and favorable reply

    I am as ever the same,


To read Fannie’s acceptance letter click here

Cleages Detroit

Henry Cleage’s Journal – 1936

Henry Cleage

Henry Cleage was my uncle and also my step-father. He was a great thinker and during his life did a variety of things. He kept this journal while he was a freshman at Wayne State University in 1936. He did eventually graduate and got a law degree. He was also a printer and a publisher, publishing the Illustrated News, a radical black newsletter during the early 1960’s with family and friends. During WW2 he and his brother Hugh were consciencious objectors and spent the war farming in Avoca, Michigan.

January 1
Had argument with Toddy about pay for gig last night. Led me to believe I would receive 1/3 of pay and then tried to pay me 5 dollars. He eventually paid. (Not like a gentleman) (7 dollars)- worked on English paper – decided to take Mama to show and see “Peter Ibbettson” tomorrow.

January 2
Did not go to show, rain, snow, and slush. Bought this diary today- got up about 4:00 o’clock today on account of having gone to bed so late last night – Toddy stays up late and I have to stay up too-not being able to sleep with light on and cigarette smoke. Mama and Daddy went to show tonight -I spent night writing on 16,000 word English paper – am worried. Have so much schoolwork to do. Will take Mama to show tomorrow.

January 3
Went to see Peter Ibbertson”- bought “Rodget’s Thesaurus” at “Demings Bookstore” – It was nice out today. Wind was strong, skies overcast – seemed kind of wild out. Sat up all night talking about Book to write with Louis, Toddy. About Negros flying through fogs and dropping bombs, revolt, tom toms woods! Swamps, conquerors! (bog water)

January 4
Rainy, slushy, dirty out, then at about 7:00 got cold and froze over-stayed home all day – tooth swelled up again – wrote a bit on speech. Worried about tooth, and schoolwork. Have Economics test Wednesday. – Luck!

January 5
Weather was chilly and windy. Awoke this morning with swollen tooth. Went to Y.M.C.A. to hear Tompkins (Negro) recorder of Deeds (WA) Such abysmal ignorance for one in a high place!!! Said Negros should not be ungrateful!!!! (imagine) it was funny. Have a cold too now and must go to school tomorrow. Worried about speech and physiography

January 6
Chilly in morning began to snow about 11:00 AM good packing snow. I watched it from my physiography class window. Furry and ? First day at school since vacation. Was returned. Not so bad. work not so close as I thought should get it. However will have to give 2-minute speech Wednesday. Slept after school till 7:39 – going to bed now at about 2:30 – started ‘Magnolia Street” Good if I have time to read.

January 7
Snow on ground – test tomorrow in Economics – must make speech tomorrow – Momma and Daddy went to show. Nothing much.

January 8
Snow melting slow – dirty and slushy again. Gave speech and wonder of wonders I received an enthusiastic applause. Spoke on The World is Flat. Took test in Economics. Pretty good I think. Now about 4:00 children coming home from Wingert. Fighting with snow! “Man and War” inseparable. I wonder if I ever acted as they. I know I did. Heaven forbid, though! Going to bed at about 1:00 o’clock.

January 9
After school I went to see “Captain Blood” Very good. With Brewer. After dinner wrote some on theme. Mama, Daddy, went to a show, returned at 1:35.

January 10
Went to school at 11:30 on account of I didn’t go to speech class – no speech to give. Have felt much better after giving 2 min speech on Wednesday. Still worried about Geology report. Went to show tonight saw “I live my life” Joan Crawford and Brian Ahern – “Special Agent” Came home – wrote on theme. I have thought of spring tonight.

January 11
Awoke to find that I had lost 2 dollars very depressed. Wrote on theme. Played tonight at Quinn’s Lone Pine with Duke Conte, played bass, terrible night. Fingers sore. Noticed how good-looking Lene is… Ought to throw a line – Police stopped us at about 1:00AM. No permit to play until two. I was glad. Very animal acting bunch in River Rouge. Most of them seem friendly though.

January 12
Played matinee dance at Elks rest with Heckes, Toddy and Bill – Dracee’s band came in and sat in awhile (no trouble) Kenneth was there. Too tired and sleepy to study history. Get up early tomorrow (no English) Toddy is going downtown to get some books is supposed to get me ‘American Tragedy” and ‘Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations”

Click to enlarge

January 13
Haliver Greene died this morning -spinal meningitis. Didn’t get up early to study History, however there was no class – lecture tomorrow so I won’t slide, tonight. Toddy bought back two books about lives of Educators (putrid!!) only 25 cents a piece though – awfully windy out today-not so cold thought – like March. I would like to have been in the country, wrapped up good, walking into the wind at the Meadows, down the road towards the sand pile or over the hill to the creek – zest, spice, life, health, clear eye, firm step and all that sort of thing.January 14
Cold out this morning although it became somewhat spring like after school. Went to show after school. Another big fight this morning, I think they think I skip classes because I am sleepy, nonsense. Bought ‘Bartlett’s Quotations” $1.53. Seems worthwhile. Read one of dictator books – Good – tonight as I was going to the store the weather brought memories of spring. Roller-skating in street, if not roller skating then walking. Everybody walking and friendly. The crowd at Krueger’s and the tent. Perhaps riding through Belle Isle – water, boats.

January 15
Awoke looked cold out but it wasn’t – nothing happened at school- after had hamburgers and coffee and then went to Public Library to get my Geology report. Will have to go back tomorrow. After dinner went to sleep about 3 hours. Then got up and studied until 3:00 – oh yes, I bought Emerson’s “Conduct of Living” 25 cents. (Hal Green’s Vagabonds) Haliver Green’s Funeral today.

January 16
Got to history late, about 10 minutes. (No English) don’t know whether was marked absent or not. Had hamburgers, coffee and then to the library to study Geology report – think I’ll trying to memorize some of it instead of writing it all out. Got haircut today. Mama just went over to Aunt Minnie’s. John is here now. Mama’s gone so now I’ll smoke!!

January 17
Went to school at 11:30. No speech to give, my report is Monday. Alas! After school – hamburger and coffee. Went to library to get Geology report will go back Sunday, I think. Makes me feel good to study hard – feel like I am going somewhere – hope it all comes out alright – A’s and B’s I mean. Joe Louis knocked out Retzlaff after 1 min and 25 seconds of fighting. Listened to Times Golden Belt tournament. Negro’s didn’t do so good. Won 2 or 3 or 4 fights though. However Mt. Olive (Negro) won tournament.

January 18
Awoke and found it had been snowing – cleaned snow off sidewalks and took out ashes _(my week) – wrote notes on English paper as far as I have written on it – went to hippodrome (Rodgers) saw “Fighting Youth”. Stayed over.

January 19
Awoke about 2:30 – still cold out. Snow on ground. Went to main library to finish geology report – came home with Andrew Prue – he was reading Bible (researching the scriptures). Find that my report which is to cover Canadian Rockies just covers small part of them, worried. However I must five it tomorrow. Took Mama to Aunt Minnie’s when got home. Margaret called me Claire S., Marion’s Smith – took them for 1/2 hour ride – thought much of show last night

Wayne State University – Old Main

January 20
Awoke at 7:30 to school at 8:30 no English Class, no history nor did I go to speech went to main library to add to my report morning reading and it was inadequate – gave report – we both finished in little more than a half of an hour – Pastrcer talked about 5 minutes imagine! Tooth swelling again. Will be terrible about time I have to give speech Friday. Toddy told me of some boy who told him of how nervous I am when I speak. Has made me nervous again. (Playing Elegy on radio. Beautiful) Contented hr. Singing contented – reminds me of day (long ago) when I played with the Vagabonds.

January 21
8:30AM cold, snow on ground- had to go to public library to read 25 magazine articles for English. After this came home and took a nap. Awoke about 8:30, ate and then started studying – went to bed about 3:30-

January 22
Awoke 9:30 – cold!!! – Tomorrow will be 10 below. After school came home and went to bed. Slept till about 9:00- up date – wrote on my theme- studied speech a – a little more confident that I shall do alright- thought of Meadows to day – horses, dogs, – live there and come into city about once a week – country gentleman and all that sort of thing – Gladys has been helping me with my copying English theme.

January 23
Cold!!! After school went to sleep- awoke about 8:00 could not eat right away because we had company after dinner. Wrote summaries of the 25 and 27 for economics – then finished preparing my speech – must give it tomorrow! Alas.

January 24
Cold out at 10:00- Gave speech, not as good as it might have been, not as bad either. Sprinkled applause! After school came home. Went to bed – woke about 6:30 – played to night at Quinn’s Lone Pine – River Rouge. I don’t think I’ll ever play there again. “Pap” Cootes seems more and more to be a good fellow.

January 25
Awoke about 3:00 – not quite so cold – got book at library for English paper. After dinner I thought I would go to the show, but didn’t. Louis was going too, but didn’t. Have written about 600 words on theme today – might go to main library tomorrow study for Geology final – not sure – Toddy has ruined ?my pen? He’ll pay for it.
|/  (Oh boy that’s good)

January 26
Awoke late today – didn’t go to library. Did nothing all day but write on English paper – finished it. 13000 words. Not finished copying it though. Think maybe I will go to show tomorrow. Don’t know – will however go to the library (at school) to study physiography for final.

January 27
went to library but couldn’t study – went to show with Daddy and Barbara and Pee Wee- came home and studied for Physiography a bit – Will have final tomorrow at 12:30 – will go to school at 8:30 and study till 12:30.

January 28
Had Physiography final terrible very doubtful whether I’ll get a C – home and work finished up my English theme and notes. Hand in tomorrow – final in English tomorrow. Haven’t studied – nothing to study. Luck!

January 29
Warmer, about 10 above. English test today – nothing to get excited over – English teacher informs me that he lost my first theme (6,000 words) adds thought that although he hasn‘t mark for it, he has read it. I had better get credit for it – !!!

Daddy and I received comic valentines today – don’t know who from – family thinks Louise sent them – somehow I don’t – test tomorrow in speech. Here’s luck!. Pee Wee’s birthday.

January 30
Cool – 6 below tomorrow test in speech – but it was not test. Told us our marks – C. I came home today – studied all day for finals in History and Economics finals tomorrow – didn’t study Econ much. must study tomorrow between tests. Here’s to luck!!!

Had history test and economics test. Last night had indigestion or something didn’t sleep but about two hours – don’t know how I did on test. Economics was pretty bad. History might be alright received my last paper in economics 100% – test are all over – just wait now – must have tooth pulled next week.

February 1
Not so cold out – awoke about 3:30. Have done nothing all day. cleaned out my drawers tonight I wrote of Spring in my journal. Am worried about marks. woe is me!!! tooth will come out next week. (Happy am I.)

February 2
Not cold out- supposed to get warmer. Have done nothing all day – restless – test over. Worried about economics mark. Average so far is a B (87+) But I’m afraid that my final will bring it down. About 2:15 now. Going to bed. Going to school tomorrow to see about Economics grade.

February 3
Went to school and tried to jive myself a B in Economic – 67 on final!!! 89 average. I thought it would be bad. Told Goodman to disregard final!!! said he would remember to remember that I was sick during final. Wouldn’t promise but would do what he could. After this went to show with Margaret and 7 or 8 Negroes. After show didn’t have money to get home -? Dillard’s girl got ticket from someone, boy in Frank Sedor – I used it. Dillard and Margaret went home with some girl who they would meet somewhere.

February 4
Awoke at about 2:00 – after Breakfast went to Dentist. didn’t know whether to have tooth pulled or not – taking speech. Said come back Saturday was cool and windy – snowy.

Tonight have worried over my program and requirements going to school tomorrow to see adviser and etc.

February 5
Cold and icy out. I did not go to school today, nor will I go until Monday. My tooth is swelling again. I have done nothing all day – seems that I having been driving to store etc. all day. I did go to show and saw “The return of Peter Grimm” and “I live for love” all-

February 6
Not so cold out. Awoke at about 3:00- nothing much happened – went to library.  Saw George and Paul there. Paul was getting more lessons, studies hard -smart. I have been looking at outdoor life magazines tonight – boats – guns- fish etc. Wish I had money enough to buy tackle and go fishing this spring.

February 7
Not so cold out – awoke at about 3:30. Nothing much happened all day. I went to library after dinner with Paul, George and Morocco. got “Jean Christophe” – Toddy wanted it. Tomorrow I shall go to dentist. I guess that’s all.

February 8
Fair out. Awoke too late to go to the dentist did nothing much all day. Just before dinner I helped Uncle Jake to fix his tire – gave me a quarter. Shouldn’t have taken it, but I was broke. So I went to show tonight – saw Bing Croby in something I forget and Jane Withers in ‘There’s the life” the last was probably not a good picture but it was good entertainment. Tonight it was real windy and snowy, mellow.

February 9
Cold out all day – I suppose (haven’t been out all day._ Have done nothing today but read some of “Jean Christoph” by Rolland -I must go to school tomorrow and register – finished Jean Christophe. I hope none of my classes are closed.

February 10
Awoke at 9:00 arrived at school at about 10:30 to register – registered not taking public speaking 2 – taking En. Hygiene instead. Also taking Geology II under Mosley instead of Mac Lachten – tonight I went to Oscar’s. Listened to him and Arther Thompson lie. Lied a bit myself. Tonight I have thought again of the “Outdoor Life” No school tomorrow. school starts Wednesday.

February 11
Awoke at about 3:30 – did nothing all day. Must start school tomorrow. If I get 3 B’s and 2 C’s this semester I will have an honor pt average of 1 (better than .6, which I had)
But I am not sure of 3 B’s and 2 C’s. woe! woe! woe! But I am hoping.

February 12
Well today after school to find my marks had arrived. 3 B’s and 2 C’s just what I had hoped for on the other page- H*A*P*P*Y happy am I – B in Econ, B in History, B in Eng. C in speech and C in Geology. Seems that this is the first time I have ever planned something that came out exactly as I planned. I saw little Harlem today (at school)

February 13
Snow storm today. Rode to school with Daddy. haven’t gotten my books yet. Have a class tomorrow from 7-9 Might go to show after school and wait there for class – Saw “Metropolitan” tonight very good. Lawrence Tibbett.

February 14
After school (3:30) I went to Madison and saw “Littlest Rebel” and “Mary Burns, Fugitive” – arrived after show back at school in time for 7 o’clock class in Diction and Usage -after class 3 crowded street cars passed by – finally had to catch a bus.

February 15
Awake late and did nothing all day. Went to show and stayed over – nothing.

February 16
Woke late – nothing. Took Mama to Aunt Minnie’s came back and took Margaret to club meeting at Nacirema. Margaret is a nice girl. We listened to radio, mystery – George Beagle.

February 17
Awoke too late for 10:30 history class – I told Mama she didn’t wake me – she’s been mad all day – slept downstairs on couch until 1:00. Nothing else.

February 18
Unable to attend accounting lab because I had no book. Came home and slept until about 12:00. got up and ate something and went back to sleep again.

Dinner table on Scotten.
Dinner table on Scotten. L>R Louis, Pearl (aka Mama), Albert jr (my father) Gladys, Anna (aka Pee Wee) Albert Sr (aka Daddy)

February 19

Late to history (haven’t a book as yet) and quiz Friday. Home. Tonight had argument with Mama, Hugh, Barbara, pee Wee, Gladys – are Negros inferior to Indians. I said they were superior. Obstacles etc. have worked and accumulated some degree of wealth – Indians, no obstacles, live on reservations and have no wealth etc. Toddy and Louis settled it – all races are equal – sociology.

February 20
Just two classes today – is my hygiene teacher ignorant!! seems nice though. No geology tomorrow. Go to show at 2:30. Stayed up late to get ready for history quiz (oral) tomorrow.

February 21
Flunked out on History quiz (oral). Lent Ed Carson 20 cents. Owe Hugh 20 cents. Went to show at 2:30. Saw “Magnificent Obsession.” (Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor) Good! “Collegiate” (Jack Oake, Joe Kenner, Betty Grable) English class 7-9.  Haven’t book yet.

February 22
spent all day driving Mama and trying to get Hawks for Toddy’s gig. Went to show – ‘Crusades – ???? (Ginger Rogers)

February 23
Sunday. Washed my hair. Hugh took all my Vaseline. After dinner I took car for a little ride. Got ice cream. Took Margaret, Marian, Elaine to store too in car.

February 24
Wore my gray suit today – the first time in quite awhile. Toddy’s racial inventory test is on display at school. Was warm, relatively – water, water, everywhere.

February 25
I skipped hygiene today. continued warm. I have forgotten to write.
Went to Oscars. Am sick, oh so sick, going to bed early. Woe! My head.

February 26
Awoke to find it had snowed – but not cold – after my 10:30 class it began to rain – hard. So fellow who used to be in my chem class said that one had to have 90 hours, no D’s to get in law school under combined curricula – woe is me. I thought it was 60 hours and a 1.3 average. Maybe he was talking about University of Michigan Law School (I’m speaking about Detroit City Law School) Rebellion in Tikoo(?) militarist tried to coup d’etat. Don’t know whether successful.

February 27
Only two classes at school today – stayed down in lobby and talked from 11:30 until 2:30. I had, by the hardest, managed to save a dime, to help go to the show with tomorrow – I lost it at Carne’s store across the street.

February 28
Wasn’t called on at history quiz today – borrowed a quarter from Ed Carson to go to the show – I ate today at Vinion Lunch Room. Nice. I bought sandwiches and ordered coffee. They serve sandwiches and pie etc. too. Saw “The Bride Came Home” and “Dangerous” at Madison. Went back to school for my 7-9 class at 5:45. (Mistook times at show)

February 29 (leap Yr) Sat – nothing happened.

March 1
Went to spinn meeting this evening in V8 had to leave before meeting was over to get the car home at 3:30. Pres etc. stated that some action is going to take action against those who don’t pay assessments (me). took car for rides.

The Madison

March 2
Snowed, went to school – I am not studying. nothing to study (I think) I’ll get a jolt when my first test comes. I must remember that I have got to get all A’s this semester – well, not all A’s, but good marks at least – accounting lab tomorrow.

March 3
Went to school to find that my hygiene field trip was scheduled for today – borrowed 10 cents from Brewer. I collected fares for my bus. Went to library with Margaret (she’s writing something about the social securities act) a big fuss at home. Tonight I went to the hockey game Wayne vs Michigan. Michigan 7-1. Not as bad as it sounds – after game a fight. Had Michigan players piled up like a pyramid – good night.

March 5
I didn’t write this time (mar. 5)

March 5
Been all day trying to do my accounting problems. I’ve done 4 of 6 and one doesn’t balance – I have history quiz tomorrow. I shall try to get up early tomorrow and study. Fire next door to Mary Jones house tonight.

March 6
Handed 4 of the 6 assigned problems in acct. Miss Armstrong copied 3 of mine and I balanced my first one by hers. I didn’t go to the show after 3:30. No money. found a dollar at Oscar’s. Nobody knew who’s it was – I think I’ll take it back tomorrow. It isn’t mine. Daddy met me waiting for street car at 9:00 – saw “Night at the Opera” 4 Marx brothers.

March 7
I gave Oscar the dollar back today – he said they were three dollars short. Took out the ashes. Nothing much to write.

March 8
I have worked all day on 1 accounting prob – however I don’t think the other two will be so hard – due Wed. Nothing else. I wish I had a car. I would like to ride out into the country now.

March 9
School – home – did an accounting problem this makes two due done- borrowed 25 cents from Hugh to go to a show. Toddy had gone but I didn’t know which one to go to, so I stayed home.

Other related posts are Follow Up to Henry’s Diary and Henry’s Diary Part 2