Bland County Historical Society

Backward Glance

Gertrude and Stella Munsey



It’s time, once again, to visit with Aunt Gertrude Updyke Munsey, and her daughter, Stella Munsey Johnston, as they go about their daily routine and visit with friends and neighbors in Mechanicsburg, Bland County, Virginia, in 1954.


May 5, “We had frost last night, cool this morning. Stella has gone to help Flora Gillespie iron. Carrie was here a while. Lorine stopped in this evening. Slim Tolbert brought me some medicine from Pearisburg Drug Store. Stella has gone to prayer meeting tonight. It frosted last night and hurt things in garden, may frost again tonight.” May 6, “Frost this morning, cool and windy. Stella has gone to help Flora pick some chickens, will give us one for Sunday. A. F. Updyke stopped in this morning. Stella is mowing yard this evening. Hash Burton brought me a load of wood this evening.” May 7, “It rained some last night and cloudy this morning. Stella is plowing in the garden. Carrie and Jennie Lou Songer were here this morning. It rained hard this evening. Mrs. Whalen and Nellie Preston was here this evening. Jo Hetherington brought our pictures from Dublin this evening. Sister Effie sent me one large size.” May 8, “It is cloudy and cool this morning. I took a bath and slept very nice last night. Hattie Woods came in. Mrs. Whalen brought me a piece of pie for dinner. Billy Newberry came after the two yellow kittens this evening. We had hail this evening.” May 9, “It is cool this morning. Stella has gone to Sunday School. Flora Gillespie was here a while tonight.” May 10, “It was cold last night and this morning. Stella is doing the washing. It has been cool all day. Stella ironed late this evening.” May 11, “It was cold last night and this morning. I did not sleep good last night, my legs hurt. Betty Blankenship stopped in. Macie Songer was here. Stella has gone out to mow the plot in the cemetery this evening. Ess Mustard and wife came by for Stella to go to church at Mt. Zion to hear Rev. Anderson from Radford.”


May 12, “It was cool early this morning. Carrie Songer came in and Ann Blankenship stopped in. It is warmer this evening. Stella has gone down to prayer meeting tonight.” May 13, “It is cool this morning. I did not sleep so good last night. Carrie came over this evening. Stella worked some in garden. Emory Wanger was here this evening.” May 14, “It rained last night and is raining this morning and cool. Clara Mustard stopped in. It is still raining this evening and cool. This is Jack Songer’s birthday, 28.” May 15, “It rained last night and cloudy and cool this morning. Pearl Franklin stopped in. Mrs. Whalen brought my dinner today. Shular Johnston and Mr. Allen Eaton ate dinner here. Ruby Lee stopped in late this evening.” May 16, “It is cool this morning. Stella is gone to Sunday School. Zelda and Billy Newberry came by this evening for Stella to go with them to Pulaski to Leslie’s singing. Lorine and Brenda Wagner and Carrie Songer were here this evening.” May 17, “This is a very pretty morning, sun shining. Stella did the washing and has gone in garden to plow while ground is soft. Mr. Gusler brought us some sweet potato plants today. Stella will set them out this evening. She is working the potatoes, the frost hurt the tops of them. Stella ironed this evening.” May 18, “It rained last night and is raining this morning. A. F. Updyke stopped in. It is raining this evening. Stella has gone down to Flora’s a while.”