Tuesday – October 10th
Got up early. Decided to go back to San Pedro. Got job with L.A. Shipbuilding and Drydocks Co. McDonald and I go to work at 12:40 p.m. washing pipes with gasoline. No one had stayed on it more than two hours. We stuck it out all the afternoon but our hands burned like fire. Ben and Mitch rented a one room house during the evening near the yard and had a place to call home when we got off from work at 4:40p.m. Had supper- wrote some and retired.
Los Angeles Shipbuilding was established as an emergency shipyard in 1917 but stayed in business after the war primarily as a ship repair yard. Todd Pacific Shipyards took over the location at a later date, and they were taken over by Vigor Shipyards. The shipyards closed in 1989. The property is now part of the Port of Los Angeles and has been completely converted into Berth 100 / West Basin Container Terminal. The company was located on Smith Island on the section of land just north of Hwy 47 on the west side of the bridge. Smith Island used to be an island but is now part of the mainland. It was an island when Lloyd was there as I found a reference in a 1925 picture “before land filling connected it to the mainland”.
Wednesday – October 11th
Got up at 6:30 a.m. Had breakfast and went to work at 8 o’clock. Mitch and Ben go to work this morning but in different department. McDonald and I go back on same job washing pipes. Goes against grain but we can’t be too choice about our jobs at this time. Nothing unusual happens during day. Get off at 4:40p.m. and go to P.O. but get no mail. Had supper, played some cards, wrote some and retired.
Thursday October 12th
Had good nights rest. The foreman put us on a new job, seeing our hands were blistered. Helped Ned make an air tank. Read blue prints and had it considerably easier than washing pipes. After work McDonald and I walked uptown and got some groceries. After supper read and wrote some. Went to the hay pretty early for I’m a working man now.
Friday October 13th
Went back on same job. Used air drill punching machine and a few more that I had never heard tell of. Luck had it that I got along all o.k. tho. Foreman “Spaniel” hasn’t had anything to say to me yet. Just called McDonald’s hand about breaking a drill. Go up town after work. McDonald sends night letter to Mother to know why he hasn’t got money that he wrote for. Go to slumber land early.
A night letter is a telegram sent at night at a reduced rate for delivery the next morning. A night letter was charged a certain amount for every 10 words and could contain up to 50 words. The word Stop was used in a telegram to signify a period (end of sentence). Since words were counted and often left out, sentences could become ambiguous.
Saturday October 14th
Work all day alone riveting oil tank heads. Got along all o.k. Didn’t have to work so very hard. Didn’t get any pay. Hold back a week on pay. Ned calls me “Carolina Sunshine.” He comes around every few hours for a chew of “Beech Nut.” McDonald gets a night letter from mother saying she had sent $25.00 to Los Angeles. Have supper, play some rummy and retire.
I’m not sure if a chew of “Beech Nut” was a stick of gum or the chewing tobacco both were popular during the 1920s. In April of 1927 Beech-Nut packing (owners of the gum and other items) sued the P. Lorillard Co (tobacco owner) over the trademark infringement but they lost the case.
Sunday October 15th
Got up and have breakfast about 8:30 a.m. Read paper and listened to Will’s Victrola till noon. Went to Long Beach. Very pretty place. Lots of people in surf, also fishing. Went to picture show and saw Rudolph Valentino in “Blood and Sand.” Got home about 6:30 p.m. Had supper and hit the hay early.
The Victrola company produced a phonograph that used a purely mechanical, non-electronic “acoustical” method to reproduce the sound. No microphone was involved and there was no means of amplification. A phonograph used no electricity. A spring driven (wind-up) motor powered the turntable that had a constant speed of 78 PRM. Sound was picked up and amplified mechanically through a speaker horn.
The groves in the record were converted to sound by a reproducer. When the needle vibrated, a thin diaphragm in the reproducer generated the sound which traveled through the hollow tone arm and into the sound box.
Monday – October 16th
Feeling very good for Monday morning and having to work too. Had dinner at Irene’s place. McDonald got off at 3:30 p.m. to go to L.A. to see about his money. Got off at 4:40 p.m. Came home, wrote some letters before supper. McDonald came just after we had finished our chow. Played some cards and “went in.”
Tuesday -October 17th
Work was about as usual today. After supper Mr. Post came over and asked us to go to the show with him so McDonald and I went. Saw Charlie Chaplin in “Pay Day” and another fairly good show “The Lying Truth.” Had drink after show and returned home. Was about 9:30 o’clock so it was after our regular bed time so of course we rushed to the hay.
Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed, and starred in the film Pay Day. It was a short film and all of the films were silent films. It cost about $.25 to see a movie in the 1920s. Popcorn was not a staple at theaters in the 1920’s as it was noisy and messy; although at some theaters you could buy popcorn outside of the theater and bring it in. There were two types of movie theaters or “palaces”, the first run houses and the second run, neighborhood theaters. The second run theaters received their movies after the receipts dwindled at the first run theaters. The first run theaters were more elaborate. I would assume Pay Day was at a second run theater since it was released on April 2nd. The same is probably true for The Lying Truth as it was released on March 26th. Blood and Sand, the film he saw on the 15th, might have been shown at a first run theater as it was released on August 5th.
Wednesday – October 18th
Nothing unusual happens today. McDonald and his buddy Murdock work on the ship “Cowitch.” Get home after work and Tuttle was sick so I prepared supper. Real “old fashioned” southern cooking. Doctored Tuttle up a bit and went to bed.
Thursday – October 19th
Tuttle isn’t feeling much better so he doesn’t go to work. Go thru about the usual routine of work at the shop. Am getting more use to the work so it doesn’t go near as hard. Tuttle is walking around some when we get in from work. Got supper and read and write some and retire.
Friday – October 20th
Got breakfast- Went to work and Seiners and I were sent over to put a ventilating system on the ship “Principio.” A German boat. All of the crew are Germans so therefore don’t carry on much conversation with them. Get along all “Jake.” Get off work and go up town to P.O. but get no mail.
Saturday – October 21st
Not feeling so good but go on to work the same. Bad cold and headache. Work on the ship all day. Line up at 4:40 p.m. and get paid off. Came home had supper and went to picture show with Mr. Post and McDonald.
Sunday – October 22nd
After a hard weeks work the family remains in bed till about 9 o’clock. Had breakfast and put on our “cits.” The other boys and Mr. Post go to Long Beach but I stay at home since the boil in my nose is causing me some pain. Have lunch and write some on diary. The boys return about 5:30 p.m. and we all have supper over at Bill’s place and go to picture show – also Mr. Post
Monday – October 23rd
Tuttle being tired of working goes on job and gets paid off. Work with old fellow all day in welding shop. Didn’t do anything hardly. Got home for lunch and found Mitch dressed up. Said he got fired for smoking on the job. So McDonald and myself are the only workers in our family now. Go over to café and play some solitary “3 hand game”
Tuesday – October 24th
Work some in welding shop and also on the ship. Have it rather easy all day. Mitch does some work on Ford while Tuttle puts out washing in order that we may leave in cleanliness. Have chili con carne for supper. Write some letters and go to bed.
Wednesday – October 25th
Got up, had breakfast and McDonald and I went out to the yard and got our pay. Walked up town went to P.O. got a letter from Papa. Got a haircut. Came back and Mitch and myself worked on Ford all evening. Got it done about 5:30 p.m. Rode up to P.O. and got letter from “Lib E.” and also “Lib N.” Can’t express how good I feel after getting all the letters. Have hot biscuits for supper. Make preparations to leave tomorrow.