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Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Desperate, Over-Solicitous Side of Sears

A Day in the Life: February 27th

(Aged 14)
Wea.  Clear                                  THUR. FEB. 27, 1896                    Ther. 30

Went to school  Pa tried to lick me but I ran out doors + he did not come because he was not dressed.  In the evening I got a ride down with Joel Harrington + went to a Washington Celebration of the school.

(Aged 16)
Wea.  Clear                                   SUN. FEB. 27, 1898                       Ther. 32

Stayed at home in A.M.  In P.M. Ma + Rollie went to S.S. up in the hollow and I rode Bay Bill over to grandma's + put him in the barn at that place.

(Aged 17)
Wea.                                             MON. FEB. 27, 1899                      Ther. 

Drove to school.  It is windy and snowy.  They killed the cow that was hurt by the roof blowing onto her.

(Aged 18)
Wea.                                               TUE. FEB. 27, 1900                     Ther.

Went to school.

(Aged 19)
Wea.                                             WED. FEB. 27, 1901                      Ther.

Went to Frewsburg after our stove and other things at the hardware store.  Took them over to “Elm Wood”.  I also drew a load of furniture over there in the P.M. and went up to Alice’s after some things.  I also drew a load of wood over there.  Gave my note for $205 to pa.

(Aged 20)
Wea.                                             THUR.  FEB.  27, 1902                 Ther.

Drew 4 loads of manure.  went up to Pages with Pa to appraise things.  Pa gave me .50  Hired Gail North for 8 months for $170.  Pay $10 every month in July pay all but $25 and bal Nov. 1.

(Aged 21)
Wea.                                              FRI.  FEB.  27, 1903                     Ther.



Editor's Note:  Whoa to the two-page, repetitive "Your Package has Shipped" notification!  How many different ways can Sears say "please give us a chance; we'll do anything you want us to"?  Basically, it is like they are admitting they aren't the prettiest "girl" at the dance but swearing they will be the best dancer.  It's embarrassing.  Do you think this is a standard letter sent out with every stove purchased?  I think Sears is terrified of needlessly paying the freight on any returns knowing if they could just get the customer to make the effort to get the stove home and set-up they'd be much less likely to dismantle it and return it.

I think it is fabulous we have this letter and I'm sure it was kept by the newlyweds as a precaution.  This was probably the biggest purchase they made since they were married because Nora and Frank bought them their bedroom set. Ah, wait perhaps the note to Pa is for the stove but for some reason I thought it was for rent because it seems Allen and Alice are moving out on their own from Valley Gate.  Since Diantha Cass is still in Lone Pine,  as near as I can figure, they aren't headed there yet but rather to "Elm Wood" which is a location I do not know.

Oh and I don't want to let the image of Frank trying to "lick" Allen go unmentioned.  If you recall, we already know from a January entry that Frank is losing his physical edge over Allen and Allen is surely every bit the cocky youth thinking he's somehow bested his elder.  In truth, I love that Frank, while angry enough about something, remains dignified enough to keep his underwear clad backside inside the house.  What in the world did Allen do?  I notice he doesn't try to defend himself with a whole account which suggests to me (who would've written down everyone's faults in the matter had it been my journal) whatever he provoked his Dad with was indefensible.

How sad the poor cow lingered this long.  I thought that story ended happily since they took the effort to hoist her up. 


  1. Back in the day you pretty much had one chance to make sure your customer was happy. The length of this letter from Sears matches all the other types of letters I have between the Cass Family and the businesses that supplied the farm with various farm machinery or husbandry supplies. Anyhow, the letter is in mint condition as are all the others for some unknown reason. Someone took them very seriously. Jen, don't you think it strange that Allen makes no mention of his injured leg? I hope they ate the cow. But she would be a dairy cow. Did they eat dairy cows in situations such as this. I am not trying to be funny. I am serious. This was a time when your used up everything and nothing went to waste. Am going to help a friend pull darkroom prints today. Haven't done that in 15 years. Hope it is like riding a bike. Hopefully I can channel my inner Uncle Rollie.

  2. The 1910 Census of Poland shows Diantha living with Mary and Gilbert in their house. I do not have the 1900 census. Patsy Eccles