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  • Tags: Margaret Landon's Childhood 1903-1921

Margaret was on the committee to write the school's new song. They used Northwestern's battle song as the melody. After they had all sung the song she remarked that she didn't think highly of it.

Margaret shares thoughts about the 1918 flu epidemic which killed 23,000,000 people around the world and 550.000 in the US. She recalls her whole family (except her father) getting the flu, and the steady procession of funerals in her town. 

Like many women during World War I, Margaret learned to knit socks, and learned to do it fast. She then learn to knit dresses, coats, and sweater coats. She quickly became an expert in knitting.

Margaret recalls attending an eight week summer camp for girls. She tells about life at the camp and the things they were doing there. It was one of the best memorable experience she ever had growing up

Margaret tells about a little essay she wrote in French in High School in Evanston. She had excellent French instructors there but lost her French when she went to Wheaton.

Margaret was very good at English. In her junior year her English teacher, Miss Effie Wambaugh, told her that she had the gift of words and that she should do something with it. This compliment stayed with Margaret for the rest of her life. 

Margaret recalls her time in high school. She was taking the train to and from school. She talks about life at school, lunch time, and describes some of her teachers.

Margaret tells about her eighth grade graduation and her receiving of a medal from dad and mom. She describes other stuff she received from other people. She tells about her time after the graduation ceremony.

Margaret reads a few other entries from her journal.

Margaret recalls wanting to be an actress. She reads from a diary: "I think I should like to be an actress. This is my latest idea." 

Margaret tells about a male neighbor that was held up by a man with a pistol in Evanston. The man struck him on the head and he was bleeding. This shows that crime was in their neighborhood.

Margaret and her sisters decided to put on Cinderella for their father's birthday. The kids made their costumes. Family members were invited so that they could have an audience.

Margaret tells about her turn to put on a program for the children. It took a lot of preparation, but the children in those days had a great deal of initiative. They were always putting on programs of entertainment.

Margaret wasn't allowed to go to plays, movies, and dances. All the kids at her school went to dance lessons, but she wasn't allowed to, although she was the best dancer of her class. Her father was so strict

By the time she was fourteen Margaret was endlessly busy. She was in the church choir, practiced two musical instruments, went to school, played sports, participated in a club, spent time with special friends, and participated in various family…

Margaret recalls being addicted to reading, going frequently to the library to hunt for books. At home she would go into the living room where there was a library table and perch on the chair arm to read. An hour later she would still be perched…

Margaret continues reading from her diary about the club of twelve boys and twelve girls, skating, getting angry at a tall boy who threw ice cream to Evangeline, and other things that happened at school.

Margaret reads from her diary about her decision to take a bath every day, hot summer days when she played softball, her practice of violin, and her mom's return from the hospital. 

Margaret and her sisters grew up in a musical family, and they all had music lessons. Evangeline and Betty were talented musically, Margaret had no gift. Betty had a very brilliant teacher at Northwestern University, but lost it all when she came to…

Adelle's health began to be a matter of concern. In 1917 she had an operation at the Mayo Clinic, which left her with other heart related problems. She later was admitted again to the Evanston Hospital for a long bout. She would spend many long hours…

A.D. preached to Margaret an awful lot, though she was very religious from an early age. She eventually avoided him when she could. He was very cold, although he didn't want to be. He would give up his lunch to do something for the girls, and he…

In the summer of 1914 Adelle took the girls to Michigan to stay at a cottage near Green Lake. A.D. joined them later and they had a nice time. Margaret recalls hunting for Petoskey stones and, still that summer, eating so many blueberry muffins that…

Evangeline had a gift for style and art. Her parents sent her to an art institute and she began taking lessons when she was young. She began sewing when she was four, and at age eleven she sewed herself a dress so nice that a woman stopped her in the…

Adelle had a sense of style when she was young, but the dresses she sewed for her daughters didn't seem very nice to Margaret. Adelle also did the girls' hair, and their father, A.D., wanted them to keep their hair long--it was a biblical thing.

On Lincoln Street lived a woman named Lucy Fitch Perkins, whose son Larry was about Evangeline's age. She was a very popular writer of children's books. She would call the neighborhood kids to read them her stories, trying out her new books.
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