In 1936, Charles Waln Schoenfeld was 13 years old.
Charles was born in New York City but by the age of 13, he was living in Grampian with his mother (referred to as Dear in the diary), Emma Waln Schoenfeld and sister, Barbara. Charles began a diary on Jan. 1 of this year.
The inscription on the inside cover reads, “Charles Schoenfeld – From Grandpaw 1936.”
On Wednesday, Jan. 1, the diary opens with this description of the day: “I had a very happy new year. I went sled riding. We had the day off from school.”
On Saturday, Jan. 11, it read “I went out coasting. Stayed out all day except for lunch. Good crust, not very cold.”
On Wednesday, Jan. 22, Charles wrote: “Weather getting colder. Went to school. Rudolph Schrot is our teacher.”
On Thursday, Jan. 23, he describes how it’s “blizzardy,” 15 degrees below zero. “We did not go to school – too cold.”
On Saturday, Jan. 25, he writes: “warmer, but still below zero. Shoveled our car out as far as Rolly Farewell’s. Bud Smith helped.”
On Monday, Jan. 27, Charles “went to school. I am in seventh grade and like rural school and our teacher. Dear is reading to us – 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.”
Then, on Wednesday, Jam. 29, “it wasn’t very cold. We went to Curwensville to see the fire. It was mostly ice.” (Refer to published Throwback Thursday on GANT for Jan. 26, 2023 for fire details)
On Saturday, Feb. 8, Charles “played around all morning. Went to Clearfield in the afternoon. Went to the show and saw ‘Tale of Two Cities.’”
On Tuesday, Feb. 11, he “went to school. Very cold. Dear is reading Four in One Western, Don Quick Shot of the Rio Grande.”
On Tuesday, Feb. 18, he wrote: “It was colder. Stopped at John Zipf’s for groceries.”
On Thursday, Feb. 20, Charles “went to school. It was still pretty cold. Played basketball. Mr. Schrot finished ‘The Greene Murder Mystery.’”
Tuesday, March 3, he “went to school. Today is my birthday. I got a pen and pencil in white tone color, a sweater, a watch, a radio game.”
Tuesday, March 17, Charles “didn’t go to school. It poured all day. Floods rising. Clearfield 4 ft. under water.”
On Wednesday, March 18, he “went to school. Great floods. Johnstown 15 to 16 ft under water. Pittsburgh 18 feet under. The greatest floods in history.”
On Thursday, March 19, he “went to school. Still flooded. Little old cat had kittens.”
On Saturday, March 21, Charles wrote that “It rained all day. Played with my erector set.”
On Sunday, March 29, he wrote “Grandpaw and I took a walk up the nob. I carved my initials in the tower. Stopped at Clair Wriglesworth’s for a drink of water.”
On Friday, April 24, Charles “went to school. Didn’t have any lessons. We had our picnic and have our vacation until September.”
On Saturday, April 25, he wrote “went to Clearfield. We saw ‘The County Doctor’ at the movies.”
On Tuesday, May 5, he wrote “we made gardens most all day. Went to Spencer’s. Planted corn and beans.”
On Friday, May 8, Charles “played at Spencer’s. Dear went to Grange. I went to the show and saw ‘Trooper’s Three’ at Grampian.”
The last entry in the diary for 1936 was made on May 11. He must have gone on that summer to continue to live the life of a country boy in Grampian, playing with his friends and helping his sister, Barbara and his mother.
Charles graduated in 1941 from Clearfield High School. He married and settled in Connecticut.
An interesting fact about Charles is that Nora Waln, the famous writer from Grampian was his aunt. Emma Waln Schoenfeld, Charles’ mother, was Nora’s sister.
Charles died in 2003 in Connecticut.