February 23, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“Went to office + straightened up. Met Nora downtown. Went shopping.
Took 3rd Degree. Got beautiful emblem ring from Ma & Pa. Nora + I had a little scrap. She cried.”
Again, just an amazing quantity of content in a short 31-word entry. So much going on here, especially when you keep in mind what was happening to Robert and Nora at the time.
Robert is leaving for the Army in three days. He has been married for nine days. On his last Saturday at home, he went to work and “straightened up,” and had to be thinking about whether he would ever be going back to that office.
He became a 3rd Degree Mason, which has to have been an enormous accomplishment for him and his parents. I’m guessing it was really important to him to get this done before leaving for the war.
I don’t think we still have his 3rd Degree (Master) ring, and there are so many variations of these that I won’t even attempt to show a representative picture. You can get a sense for what this might have looked like here.
And then the heart-breaking coda: a “little scrap” between the newlyweds. Poor Nora – newly married to a man she may not have known very long, pregnant, sick, and three days from being left to deal with all of this on her own. Not too surprising that she cried, all things considered.