Diary of George I. Burrow
[NOTE: This diary was kept during World War II by George Irving Burrow, father of Margaret (Burrow) Sullivan, John Burrow, Paul Burrow, Stephen Burrow, and David Burrow; son of Leo Arthur Burrow. It was transcribed onto computer by his son, Paul, in November of 1990. George starts the diary while he was attending college at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and he continues it after he enlists in the Army. It ends when he was shipped overseas for active duty. Comments appearing in brackets [ ] are added for clarification. Words appearing in parentheses ( ) are unclear and appear as the best guess that could be made out of my father's "wonderful" handwriting. Days that are accompanied by stars are Sundays.]
[The diary was entered online by David Burrow in July, 1999. The comments are copied directly from Paul's original transcription.]
March 11, 1942
Stan [Stan & Glenadene Martin ran the Wesley Foundation--the Methodist Student Center--where George spent a lot of time and where Betty lived during her freshman year (1941-1942) at college. Betty's family lived on the Fishell farm outside of Alburnet. Betty's sister, Alaire, however, lived with a family in Iowa City while finishing her senior year in high school.] gave me this diary today. Saw two shows today. Seargant York this P.M. and I took Betty [Miller, George's future wife] to "Lost Horizon" & "It Happened One Night." My first date with her and I had a swell time.
March 12, 1942
Wrote a long letter to the folks and a short one to Bud [Hemingson, husband of George's sister, Maxine]. Hope I passed my Spanish test today. It's been a swell day. Sunshine and all.
March 13, 1942
Am writing this on Sat. morning. I was locked out last night after attending a party at the church, so I slept on the couch at the center.
March 14, 1942
Washed windows at the Center this afternoon and cut 6 stencils for Vespers tomorrow night. Ms. Bright invited me to a Church supper tomorrow.
**March 15, 1942**
I went to church this morning and decided to go to (war) and reap the (kupiene) which the result of our (sowing) of winds. Went to the church supper and enjoyed it a lot.
March 16, 1942
Printed Bud's stationery this afternoon and studied Spanish tonight. It rained cats and dogs this morning and a while this afternoon.
March 17, 1942
The Wesley Foundation got new rugs for the dining room today and I helped sew the pads. I wrote a card to Bud tonight. Wonder what my draft no. is.
March 18, 1942
Went to a pre-ministerial meeting tonight. The Rev. Dierks of the Baptist church led the discussion. I wrote a leter home and card to
L[awrence] Johnson [who is this?].
March 19, 1942
I asked Betty to go to a show with me tomorrow night. She didn't say that she would, but I think she will (I hope). Got a letter from L. Johnson. Tried to find out the requirements of a chaplin.
March 20, 1942
Took Betty to a double feature show tonight. We saw "Chocolate Soldier" and "The Feminine Touch". I had a #swell# time, and I surely laughed.
March 21, 1942
Mrs. Romp [his landlady???] had a birthday party tonight. Her birthday is tomorrow. I tried washing windows at the Center but it was too windy. Radio is on the blink.
**March 22, 1942**
Went to church and taught S.[unday] S.[chool] this morning. Today was Mrs. Romp's birthday. I hope I can get her some flowers tomorrow. Finished reading "The Man Nobody Knows".
March 23, 1942
Didn't get anything for Mrs. Romp, but decided to do qite a bit by her for Easter. Finished washing windows at the Center. Wrote home tonight.
March 24, 1942
Nothing exciting happened today. It was a peach of a day. I painted the porch screens this P.M. Found out tonight that I go to
Col.[umbus] Jct. Sun.
March 25, 1942
Worked on a sermon a little. Rode a bicycle the [sic] [that] Betty had borrowed and, well, I'm rather sore between the legs. Hope I get better.
March 26, 1942
I took Stan out to Tiffin tonight to a father-son banquet in the
Meth.[odist] Church. The food and all was good and I enjoyed myself.
March 27, 1942
Asked Betty to go to a show with me tomorrow night, but she refused. Hope she'll go in the P.M. I wrote my sermon for Sunday. Stayed up till 1:00.
March 28, 1942
Not much happened today. Decided to change my sermon. Will be busy tomorrow writing it. It snowed most of the day today.
**March 29, 1942**
Delivered my sermon to two ladies and a boy. Did quite well. Was asked to preach again next Sunday. Got a copy of the Meth.[odist] Discipline yesterday.
March 30, 1942
Found out that I don't have to preach Sunday. Betty promised to go to a show tomorrow night (hot dog). Started work on Easter cards. Drew the picture on the print.
March 31, 1942
Took Betty to a show tonight. "No Hands on the Clock" and "The Shadow of the Thin Man". Had a swell time, as usual. Stayed up till 12:30 studying Physics.
April 1, 1942
This was a beautiful day. I cleaned up the yard a little this evening. Mrs. Hammer came back tonight. (Cut) my Easter card tonight.
April 2, 1942
Set up my Easter card and printed a few this afternoon and tonight. Took communion tonight. Met a charming young fellow tonight, Gordon (Yomer).
April 3, 1942
Came home today. Got rather poor rides, but made it after a while. Found Macky [his sister, Maxine, Bud's wife] in town. Bud's car had stalled for her.
April 4, 1942
Worked on the (seeder) and threshing machine today. Went down and saw Jin & Arn [his older sister, Virginia, and her husband, Arnold Bock] tonight. Had a swell visit with them.
**April 5, 1942**
Came back to I.[owa] C.[ity] tonight. Bought a box of candy and gave it to Betty for an Easter gift. (Hope she likes it.) Wrote to Bud tonight. Sent some Easter cards.
April 6, 1942
Received my grades tonight. Didn't do as well as I might. Asked Betty to go to the show tomorrow night and she said she would. Yippeee!
April 7, 1942
Took Betty to "One Foor in Heaven" tonight. We used Stan & Glenna's passes of course, I had a swell time. Cleaned up around the garden and porch today.
April 8, 1942
Started working on my sermon tonight. Spaded some of the garden this P.M. asked Betty to go to a show tomorrow night. She accepted.
April 9, 1942
Betty begged me off from going to the show tonight. She wanted to study and work on a dress she's making. Got a letter from Bud today.
April 10, 1942
Tinkered up radio tonight. I'm feeling lonesome tonight. Betty went to Cedar Falls for the Methodist Student Conference. I'm about dead tired. Hope I sleep good tonight. (I hope)
April 11, 1942
Worked all night on my sermon and still haven't completed it. Marcus [Bock?] asked me to go to preach in another church tomorrow morning. Don't know whether I want to or not.
**April 12, 1942**
Preached in 2 churches today. At Parker's Grove this morning and
Col.[umbus] Jct. tonight. Preached on "Thy Kingdom Come, but not now". Used Mrs. Romp's car this morning.
April 13, 1942
Bob Briggs & Mrs. Falk [who are they?] were up this evening. Bob and I came up to my room and studied a little. I asked Betty for a date but she didn't promise.
April 14, 1942
Raked lawn this morning. Took Mrs. Romp and Mrs. Hammer out to Mrs. Romp's farm this afternoon. Enjoyed helping pull stumps and posts.
April 15, 1942
Printed some posters for Sunday evening vespers. Betty partially promised to go to a show with me Friday night. Wrote to Bud and the folks tonight. A swell day.
April 16, 1942
Last night in fun Glenna and Betty asked me to write to their respective mothers. I wrote some crazy letters for them. Got a letter from Bud.
April 17, 1942
Took Betty to a show tonight. "The Prisoner of Zenda" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". Dodn't enjoy the former, but the latter was good. Felt tough all day.
April 18, 1942
Still feel tough. Learned yesterday that I am to preach at Shellsburg Sun. Prepared a sermon tonight. Hope I feel better by tomorrow.
**April 19, 1942**
Preached at Shellsburg this morning. Tonight several of the
W.[esley] F.[oundation] took a negro to a couple of restaurants to see the response. One objected, but fed him.
April 20, 1942
Wrote home to the folks this evening. Got my questionaire today. [What questionaire is he referring to? For Conscientious Objector? For Chaplin?] Think I'll go home and talk things over with the folks.
April 21, 1942
Asked Betty for a date for tomorrow night but she refused. I hope that it is the truth that she is busy, but she has acted queer lately.
April 22, 1942
Played tennis with Betty, Stan, & Glennadene this afternoon. Fell down and skined [sic] and arm and tore my pants, but still I enjoyed myself.
April 24, 1942
Went home tonight. Had to wait to have my pants mended. They look quite good. Left everyone O.K. & found everyone O.K. at home.
April 25, 1942
Saw Lyle Ormston today about my draft number. It is 139 and will be up in July. Guess I'll enlist before it catches me. I hope.
**April 26, 1942**
Got back to Ia. City tonight. Gave a plug for Wesley Foundation in church this morning. Enjoyed my stay at home. Got back at 8:00 P.M.
April 27, 1942
Got a letter from Bud. He's planning to be home May 3. Hope I can be there. Wrote a leter to him tonight, & studied Spanish till 11:00.
April 28, 1942
Printed some publicity for Sunday evening vespers. Asked Betty for a date for tomorrow night. She regused but half promised for Friday.
April 29, 1942
Well, Betty refused to go to a show Friday. She's going to some kind of a party. She did promise to go though if Bill and Hazel [Bill is George's older brother, Hazel is Bill's wife] come after me next week.
April 30, 1942
Took a Spanish exam today. It wasn't so bad. Wrote a theme over the Bible for English. Ran around this P.M. without my glasses and am paying for it now.
May 1, 1942
Not much of significance happened today. A tree blew over down on Church St. It was windy. Promised tonight to print some stationery for Betty.
May 2, 1942
Printed some stationery for Betty's mother [Edna May Pratt Miller Fishell. Betty's father had died in 1935 and she had married Lyman Fishell in 1941 and they had moved to his farm outside of Alburnett--which is why Alaire was finishing school in Iowa City.] today. Went home this afternoon. Almost got wet waiting for a ride south of Vinton.
**May 3, 1942**
Went to Waterloo for Bud this morning at 1:00. He arrived at 2:00 A.M. Returned to Ia. City this afternoon, & preached a[t]
Col.[umbus] Jct. tonight. Had a swell day.
May 4, 1942
Printed some stationery for Betty & promised to print some for Alaire [Betty's younger sister--Edith Alaire Miller]. Betty promised to go to a show iwth me Thurs. night.
May 5, 1942
Printed some envelopes for the Center today. Warren Paige came up tonight & looked over my room. He plans to take it next fall. I'm glad.
May 6, 1942
Took Irene Chan [friend from college--more Betty's friend, though. Irene was the oldest daughter of an Oriental couple from the Panama Canal Zone (ankon). She and her siblings--Doris and Harry--all of whom were extremely artistic, went to the University of Iowa. Doris and Betty worked together in Rockford, Illinois one summer and in New York City later in the war] and Virginia Braun [who is this?] to Tiffin tonight for a mother-daughter banquet. Printed some stationery for Dad & Bill & also for Alaire.
May 7, 1942
Well Betty broke a date again. She stayed up last night & studied. Think she was foolish, but it's her business. Hope I pass my tests tomorrow.
May 8, 1942
Went to a show with Carl Lu [another Oriental student from the Wesley Foundation], but didn't enjoy myself. The show was O.K., but not the company. I wanted it to be Betty.
May 9, 1942
Bill, Hazel, Gin & Betty June [Betty June Bock, Gin and Arnold's oldest daughter] came down today to take me home. Bill, Hazel, & I went to a show "King's Row". A good show. Betty went home today.
**May 10, 1942**
Went through the museum today & came home through Independence where we stopped to see some of mother's folks. Seems rather nice to be home.
May 11, 1942
Went to the creamery this morning. Fixed Gin's radio after I got back. Sent a card to Mrs. Romp. Read a few pages of Spanish tonight.
May 12, 1942
Worked on the threshing machine for a while today. Did a little plowing for Arnold this evening. Read a few moe pages of Spanish tonight.
May 13, 1942
Worked some more on the threshing machine. Rolled up some fence this afternoon & plowed for Arnold. Dad came in the house with a chick in his pants.
May 14, 1942
Worked up corn ground almost all day today. Started reading a story in Spanish to Mother & Macky tonight. Hope to go to Sumner tomorrow.
May 15, 1942
Plowed for Arnold this morning and got stuck. Went to Sumner this afternoon. Wrote a letter to Betty tonight.
May 16, 1942
Worked up corn for Arnold all day today. Finished reading a story in Spanish to Mother and Macky. Hope I can see Betty soon.
**May 17, 1942**
Wrote to Betty this evening. Heard a very disinteresting sermon this morning. Started cleaning my room this afternoon. Went to baccalaureate in Sumner tonight. Dr. Welch of Fayette was the speaker. He was good.
May 18, 1942
Worked on the Cushman & mother's washing machine engine this morning. Tried making the car radio work tonight, but didn't. Wonder if Betty got my letter today.
May 19, 1942
Worked up corn ground for Arnold this morning & part of the afternoon. Plowed at home the rest of the afternoon. Went to the Commencement exercises at Frederika tonight.
May 20, 1942
Worked up corn ground for Arnold this forenoon & plowed at home this afternoon. Mother got some new linoleum for the dining room today.
May 21, 1942
Birthday! Mrs. Romp sent me 3 pr. of socks & a nice card. The folks gave me a nice Bible. Went to Sumner today. Saw Ormston about my draft no.
May 22, 1942
Worked on Bud's car all day today. Cleaned plugs, tightened joints in steering gear & washed it. Wrote to Mrs. Romp & sent a small gift to Betty.
May 23, 1942
Went to Ia. City today. Stopped in Cedar Rapids & enlisted in the Army. I go to Des Moines 2 weeks from Mon. (25) Printed some stationery for Macky.
**May 24, 1942**
Heard a splendid sermon this morning. Took Mrs. Romp out to CLyde Cox's [who is this?] this P.M. & this evening wandered around the campus until 6:30.
May 25, 1942
Came home today. Ford stopped on the way. Gas line plugged. Got my police record & release from draft board. Had a very pleasant visit with Betty for about 15 mins.
May 26, 1942
Worked on the threshing machine all day and am tired tonight. Wrote a long letter to Betty. Hope I can see her before I go to the Army.
May 27, 1942
Worked on the threshing machine about all day again today. Uncle Bill [as in Uncle Bill and Aunt Adie, Ada (also known as Adie) is the daughter of Orson and Sue Cox. Sue is the daughter of Philander and Margaret Rathbone. Margaret was married first Rueben or Ruben Burrow. Ruben was George's Great Grandfather.] asked me to speak at the Rotary Club next Tuesday evening. Wheew!
May 28, 1942
Got a letter from Betty today. Worked another day on the threshing machine. Got the blower (paper?/proper) on. Have some other parts to put on yet. Wrote a letter to Betty tonight.
May 29, 1942
Worked a while this morning on the threshing machine. Went to Sumner & decorated the graves. Went to Waterloo to meet Bud this evening.
May 30, 1942
Worked all day on the threshing machine. Saw a little of Bud this morning. Hope I get another letter from Betty soon.
**May 31, 1942**
Saw Bud tonight for what may be the last time at least for some time. Took him to the train at 1:00 A.M. Monday morning.
June 1, 1942
Went to New Hampton & got some parts for the threshing machine. Worked on the machine this evening until 9:00.
June 2, 1942
Went to Sumner this evening and talked to the Rotary club on the functions of the University. Stayed with Aunt Ada a while.
June 3, 1942
Aunt Ada's birthday. Betty June's birthday. Worked on threshing machine this morning and fixed the steering gear on Bud's car this afternoon. Worked until 10:45 P.M.
June 4, 1942
Arnold's birthday. Went to Waverly to have a blood test taken for the Army. Had to wait quite a while so went to Waterloo and saw Warren Paige for about an hour.
June 5, 1942
The Epworth League had a dinner this evening & a party afterwards in my honor. They gave me a very nice memory book.
June 6, 1942
Tightened rods, brakes, & steering gear on Dad's Chevie today. Pasted some pictures in the memory book that the League gave me.
**June 7, 1942**
Came to Ia. City today. Went to Cedar Rapids tonight looking for Betty & later learned that she is in Rockford, Ill. [Betty was there with Doris Chan working at the Bishop's Restaurant for the summer.] Saw some pictures on China tonight.
June 8, 1942
Arrived in Rockford, Ill. at 10:00 P.M. Left Ia. City at 1:00 P.M. couldn't call Betty as the "Y" closes at 10:00 P.M.
June 9, 1942
Had a swell time today with Betty. Didn't do anything but walk around but I enjoyed it. Arrived in Chicago at 8:00 P.M. Bud wasn't in his room.
June 10, 1942
Bud called at 11:30 last night. We saw Lake Michigan today & a real ship. Even saw one go through the drawbridges in the middle of town.
June 11, 1942
Slept with Bud last night. Saw a man get his pockets picked this morning. Started home at 1:00 P.M. Had a fine time with Betty for about 2 hrs.
June 12, 1942
Got home about noon today. Rode right through the night in a Semi. I got quite good rides all the way. A fine trip.
June 13, 1942
Slept from 3:00 P.M. yesterday until 6:30 A.M. today. worked a little on the threshing machine & went to Sumner & saw Uncle Bill & Aunt Ada.
**June 14, 1942**
Jim & Arn. came p this afternoon to bid me goodbye. They gave me a dollar for a pen. Took Macky to a show tonight, "King's Row". It was fine.
June 15, 1942
Went down and bid Jin, Arn, & Betty June goodbye this afternoon. Went to Cedar Rapids to go the Army, but the seargant overslept, so I didn't go.
June 16, 1942
Stayed in Iowa City today with Stan & Glennadene. They had me stay for supper. Went to Cedar Rapids & started for Ft. Des Moines tonight.