by Roger M. Goetz
THE MOVE TO AMES, IOWA
On Thursday, September 16, 1948, Mom sat down to recount in her diary process of moving from Glen Ellyn, Illinois, to Ames, Iowa:
Well, on Monday the 23rd [August] we started packing. Packed all week, and it was a tremendous job, but we saved about $100 doing it.
Irma [Mom’s oldest sister] came Sat. Eve (the 28th) and stayed until Sunday. 6 p.m. Walters [Dad’s brother and family] and Lena [widow of a cousin] came Sunday p.m. Aug 29 and bro’t a picnic supper which we ate at Sunset Park. The boys had their last swim in the pool. After the guests were gone we packed some more and didn’t get to bed until 2 a.m.
Got up Mon. Aug 30th at 6:00 – finished packing the suitcases, had breakfast on the remains and the van arrived at 8:30. A crew of 6 men loaded in about 2 hrs. and the driver said he’d be in Ames Tues. Aug. 31 by 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. We were told that they would unload Tues. p.m. maybe and Wed. for sure. So we had to make plans to be in Ames too, that early.
After the van left we cleaned up the house since it wasn’t sold (and isn’t yet) and it was 3 p.m. standard time [Aug. 30] when we pulled out of Glen Ellyn. It was a funny feeling but no regrets. In fact, I was glad to leave. Got to Grandpa Getz’s [in Mount Carroll, Illinois] by 5:30. Had supper, then went to Jake Glen’s place to borrow some money and it was 8 p.m. when we left there.
We drove and drove and I tho’t I couldn’t stand it, I was so tired and sleepy. The drive was a nightmare to me. Driving at night on a strange road – not too slow – lights from meeting cars blinding us every few minutes, but we got to Ames safely at 1:00 a.m. Got 2 rooms at the Memorial Union and to bed at 2:00.
Up at 7:00 and at 822 Ash by 8:00 or so. By 9:30 the van came, and the driver said he couldn’t find a crew to unload, so he and Chas. [my father] had to do it and it took until 3:00. The Friedrichs were just starting to move out when we came, so their men helped with the heavy pieces. It was a mess not having them out when we came, but it wasn’t their fault. The driver got here sooner than we were told when we made arrangements.
They [the Friedrichs] wanted to clean up the house, but didn’t have the time, so I did the sweeping. There are 8 closets, and it took me 2 weeks to clean them all and put things away. I still have the den, dining room and basement cupboards to clean. Most of the dishes are still packed. I hope we don’t have to move again.
The rest of that account continues with the social whirl into which my parents were drawn, the visit of Mom’s cousin, whose daughter was attending Iowa State, and the like.
In my mother’s diary, this excerpt from her diary, entry dated Nov. 3, 1948 – Wednesday relates to this social whirl in which she found herself:
I’ve heard the remark that Ames is "clubbed to death." If I went to everything I’ve been invited to, I’d be a nervous wreck.
There were many things ahead for her, including Colonial Dames (neighborhood club), Ladies Aid at church, and after Father was made head of the Chemistry Department, being in charge of Junior Chemistry Circle and Senior Chemistry Circle, plus having various groups of professors and their wives for dinner.
A new way of life had begun.