Dear Diary, by Virginia Schulze
January 3, 1912 - Charles announced we’re moving from Dallas out West of the city to be closer to the lumber mill. It’s such a happy time in our lives and we are quite the social couple. How am I going to adjust? I’m not even sure why Julius and Agnes decided to go back to Iowa and leave my Charles in charge. Some say Agnes couldn’t stand the heat. I think it was just too far from civilization way out there.
February 26, 1912 - They call it Irving. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not totally void of people. There are little communities already, but none like my home here in Dallas. Now as Momma says, a wife’s place is in the home next to her husband. I guess it’s time I stop writing in my diary and get busy with the wheel.
March 6, 1912 - This is more than I hoped for. Today we packed a picnic and traveled to Irving to look at our new house. It’s almost finished. It's beautiful and the rooms are large. There’s a great deal of trees in the area, with plenty of shade for the summer. I can’t wait to start my orchard and garden. The advertisement for Irving said it’s in the center of the "best fruit and vegetable land on the earth."
June 23, 1912 - I’ve never seen more perfect Elberta peaches that grow out here in Irving. We’ve only been in this house for two months but already the trees and my garden are almost ready for picking. There are now four churches here, including our brand new Catholic church. And no saloons! It’s so much closer to the lumber yard, and I don’t have to worry about Charles making the long and treacherous trip every day. I know the chickens are happy out here because the eggs they lay are plentiful. I think this is a great place to raise a family.
November 14, 1912 - The doctor confirmed it. We are expecting our first child soon. I hope it’s a boy. If it is, I’m going to name him Charles, after his father. As generous as the sun is in the summer, the winters here have strong winds and rain. It’s not as cold as back up in Iowa City where we visited Charles’ mother. But just yesterday I got caught out in the wind without my parasol and bonnet. It was right cold. The lumber business is growing and Charles spends most of his time at the mill. He says he’ll spend more time with me at Christmas though.
December 24, 1912 – It’s Christmas Eve and I can barely fit on the stool at the spinning wheel. This baby has grown so big. But Charles will be surprised tomorrow when I present his scarf. I just need a little more wool spun on the wheel and I’ll have enough yarn to finish. The house is so very quiet today, except for our warm, crackling fireplace. The Lively’s from down the street gave us welcome with a grand fruit cake. It even snowed last night.
January 2, 1913 – It’s a boy! We named him Charles, just as I wanted. He is a healthy eater and has healthy lungs. He will grow up here in Irving and help his dad with the lumber business. He will be active with the Catholic Church just like his dad. He may even become mayor of this town. Do you know there are already 500 people who live here? I couldn’t begin to meet them all. They’re building a fine school made from red brick near us. It should be finished by the end of this year. Little Charles will go to school there when he’s old enough. I’ve already met Mr. Haley, the President of the Board of Trustees. He is a nice man and his wife makes the best peach pies.
May 14, 1957 – I found this old diary in the back of the closet. It’s fun reading how our little town began. A town of 500 sounds so small since we've now grown over 5,000. Alas, sadness overwhelms my heart because I know that my beloved husband, Charles, is not long on this earth. We have lived here in this house for the past 45 years and raised our beautiful children. It’s quiet in the house today, just like I remember on Christmas Eve the year we moved in. What a lot of changes we’ve seen in this area since then. My greatest hope is that people of Irving will know the history of this wonderful place and the loving people who helped build it. I hope they won’t forget the hardships we endured, and will rejoice in the tremendous growth of our community. I know somehow I can tell everyone our story, I’m just not sure how.
This Sunday, October 2, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., you can visit the Virginia and Charles P. Schulze house, more commonly called The Heritage House. In fact, artist Ameda Holmes will be on hand to demonstrate the use of a small cottage spinning wheel, which is from the same time period as the house. Admission to the Heritage House and Mary’s Playhouse (the happy chicken coup turned child’s playhouse) is free. For more information, call 972-252-3838. (The above diary entries are fiction, based on live historical events. Photo of Virginia Schulze above [middle rider] is part of the Charles and Catherine Schulze Collection, courtesy of The Irving Public Library)
For more events in Irving and around the area, check the events calendar or choose from one of these:
Friday, September 30
- 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. It’s Finally Friday! at Cool River Café, 1045 Hidden Ridge Dr. 75038. Sit back and enjoy the start of your weekend with a $5 Skinny Martini or Vodka-of-the-Month Martini. No Cover.
- 5:00 p.m. Islamic Center of Irving is hosting their 3rd Annual Conference "Changing Narratives: Transforming American's Perception of Muslims" Friday, Saturday & Sunday (Insha Allah). The goal of this conference is to bring awareness to American Muslim community on the need to engage with a larger American community by working together on common causes such as social justice, social service, political participation, media engagement, and Govt/NGO participation. $30
- 6:30 p.m. Visit Supreme Coffee, 4070 N. Belt Line Road 75038, for Gypsy Friday Open Mic and sip on a pumpkin spice latte while enjoying the sounds of local musicians. No Cover.
- 8:00 p.m. Greg Luce LIVE at The Ranch, 857 W. John Carpenter Fwy. 75039. Greg Luce has been performing and entertaining crowds big and small for over a decade and a half. Hailing from Fort Worth, Greg has garnered high praise from restaurants, wine bars, country clubs, and many house parties and private events. With a combination of guitar, singing, looping pedal, and several music apps.
- 9:30 p.m. Ray Johnston LIVE at Cool River Café, 1045 Hidden Ridge 75038. The Ray Johnston Band has built a solid foundation over the years based on melodies and lyrics that always seem to lean on the positive side of life. His previous album “No Bad Days” not only put Ray Johnston on a much larger map as a genuine songwriter and artist, but also stands as a shining example of how much music fans gravitate to his special brand of “happy.” Now, after a year and a half of keeping up with the demands of a successful album, Ray imparts more of those buoyant vibes with the release of his new EP “#GoesGoodWith."
Saturday, October 1
- 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Ruth Paine House Museum at 801 W. Irving Blvd. 75061 will be conducting tours every two hours. Following the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, a small suburban home in Irving where Lee Harvey Oswald spent the hours before that fateful day has been restored to its 1963 look and is open to the public. $12 or free for ages 11 and younger.
- 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Purple Paw Project 2016 will host a variety of pet-friendly activities at the Lively Pointe Youth Center, 909 N. O’Connor Road 75060. Free.
- 1:00 p.m. SRV Classic Car Ride-Show Concert & Benefit will be at the Texas Musicians Museum, 222 E. Irving Blvd. 75060, featuring The Cliffhanger Project – The Silvertones, Marc Benno, Leo Hull & The Texas Blues Machine, Alchemy music school showcase. Car Show 1-5 pm, Concert 5-11 pm.
- 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Family Movie Matinee at the Irving Public Library – Valley Ranch, 401 Cimarron Trail 75063. A G or PG-rated movie is shown each Saturday. All ages are welcome. Free.
- 4:00 p.m. IARS Talk/Performance: Bahman Panahi will be speaking at the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd 75062, about ground-breaking calligraphy and music research titled Musicality of Calligraphy. Free.
- 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Classic Car Cruise In at Big State Fountain and Grill, 100 East Irving Blvd. Held on the first Saturday of every month – Come on out, grab a milkshake at Big State Fountain Grill and admire the beautiful iron!
- 7:30 p.m. 3 Redneck Tenors at the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd 75062. The 3 Redneck Tenors are a new breed in the “tenor genre” – their musical comedy featuring classically trained veteran artists is like Duck Dynasty goes to Carnegie Hall – down home laughs with big city music! Written by opera veteran Matthew Lord with music arranged by award-winning composer Craig Bohmler, the 3 Redneck Tenors have been thrilling audiences since 2006. These boys have seen it all, sung it all, and have made us laugh till we double over, reminding us that in life, it is not just the destination, it’s the journey. Get ready for one side-splitting ride as we go on an excursion only the 3 Redneck Tenors could have had… delighting audiences with their vocal prowess and a smorgasbord of songs and music ranging from Gospel to Country to Broadway, Pop and Classical.
- 8:00 p.m. Faron is back with more of your favorite songs for just one night this weekend. Come dine at The Ranch and listen to some great music with southern style food. A great combination.
Sunday, October 2
- 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Youth 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament is being held at the Cimarron Park Recreation Center, 201 Red River Trail 75063. Children ages 7-14 can sign up to compete. Registration is $20 for a team of three.
- 3:00 p.m. Sounds of Fall: Irving Symphonic Band is a festive afternoon full of lush sounds evoking the essence of autumn. Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. 75062. $6 - $12
- 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Heritage House presents Spinning Wheel Demonstrations by Ameda Holmes. Free.