14 Jan – Martha Marie Wright Tennant – Five Year Diary

Diary Jan 14

1942 – Went to San Fernando Couldnt find anything came To Filmore Nehewal & got a cabin for a week $6.00 Dad is sleeping goes to work at 12.00
1943 – THURSDAY Slept late Dad & Bud went To work afternoon tour Marie is coming tonight I am making her a pumpkin pie
1944 – Dad slept late went To Town Marie didn’t come by had a dinner Date. No mail
1945 – Sunday. Marie Didnt come out Dad went in To town & stayed & Just got home in time to go to town. Sure is lonesome
1946 – No entry

The town Grama & family settled in in 1942 was Newhall, CA. They stayed there until April 21st. Newhall is the southernmost and oldest district of Santa Clarita, CA.It was the first Anglo settlement in the valley. It was an independent and unincorporated town in 1942. It wasn’t until 1987 when it was incorporated into Santa Clarita, CA. It was just 10 miles north of San Fernando, so it was a logical area to look for a place to stay when they couldn’t find anything in San Fernando, CA.

The 1945 entry is sad, but loneliness seems to be a theme throughout this diary. “The boys” are working long hours and they are often in a new town. I imagine plenty of other oil workers and their families have made the move to the new fields but who knows where they have found to live. Grama doesn’t drive so she can’t get around the area to visit friends. I imagine that’s a common situation with the other wives. If her daughter, Marie, doesn’t come by Grama is often lonely.

That is another thing. Do you notice that wherever they live; Pismo Beach, Santa Maria, Newhall, etc. Marie is either close enough to “come by” every day or so or she lives with them. She is working so what’s the deal? Does she get a new job in every town? Unlikely. The fact that she “comes by” tells me she is living elsewhere. But Pismo Beach to Newhall, for example, is 159 miles. Even if you draw a circle enclosing all those towns and assume Marie lives at the exact center, she would be 80 miles away from them at times. With no car how does she get there so often? Why oh why didn’t I ask these questions when my mother was alive to answer? I’ll have to dig a little deeper to see what I can find out on my own.

This is the only picture I found of Newhall, California. It was taken in 1919.

This is the only picture I have found of Newhall, California. It was taken in 1919. Hopefully, it looked better than this in 1942.

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