EDITORíS NOTE:This is the fourth of five articles from the diary of Fanny Destin, a member of the Leonard Destin family, which is regarded as the founding fishing family and namesake of Destin. Fanny was 11 at the time of this diary.
6/13/1881 - Sun out, Wind from the north. Father fishing. We are now having very warm weather. I do not like weather so warm. Turtle for dinner. I helped Priss. We have two old cats and each of them has kittens that are very pretty.
6/14/1881 - This morning very nice. Wind from the north. Father fishing. Mother and Hattie are out in the shed picking peanuts. Plums will soon be gone. Sorry, for I like plums. Oh how very warm it is ó too warm. I am afraid our garden will die. Iíll be glad when peaches are ripe. When we had dinner ready we all ate. Father caught a few fish.
6/15/1881 - Very nice day. Andrew and I hoed motherís garden before breakfast. Oh, how warm it is. I hope it will get cooler for I do not like it warm. Iím still learning grammar. I am going through it again. Be glad when peaches are ripe. We have dried peaches to eat every winter. Wind from the west.
6/16/1881 - Very nice day. Wind from the north, blowing softly. Father fishing. Can do a great many things such as set the table, bring water, gather eggs and sweep the floor. Hope it will rain soon for needing rain. Such warm weather! Figs soon will be ripe. The hogs like to eat the figs. I like the figs very much. Wind from the south. No fish.
6/17/1881 - Very nice, wind north. Father came in sick. Willie brought him to the wharf in the boat. But rest of men still fishing. But got none. I do not like warm weather. Wind is from the west.
6/18/1881 - Very nice. Wind from the north. George and rest of men went fishing. Father did not feel well. Getting along very well and so are my brothers. Mulberries nearly gone as are the plums. Sorry for the plums but glad mulberries gone, tired of berries. Got tired of figs. Wish they were gone too. Hattie has some flowers in bloom. I think they are pretty. George and rest of men in from fishing. Caught a few. Wind from the west. This afternoon two men came over to see my father. One of them Peter.
6/19/1881 - Helped Priss with breakfast. Warm. Read story about the stars. I read that there are ways in which (they) cannot be seen even with a telescope. I know they must be very small. Mother picked peanuts. She is making a dough out of berries. The little kittens play. Mother made candy before dinner. We ate some. The dough that mother made was very nice. Came in and read another story.
6/20/1881 - Sun is bright. Father went fishing. Aunt Ellen said I am learning fast. It is very warm. Iím afraid our vegetables will die unless we have rain soon. Father caught a few fish and a large turtle.
6/21/1881 - Very nice morning. I helped Priss this morning. Sam and Melby went to their home over the bay. Wind is from the west. Priss cooked the turtle which father and his men caught. The meat was nearly as nice as chicken. Father caught no fish. George went to the post office. The wind is from the west.
6/22/1881 -Nice morning. I helped Priss. Auth Ellen said Iím doing very nice in my stitches. All getting along well. Today I ate some figs. I cannot tell you how glad I will be when the figs get ripe. Priss cooked figs. Very nice food. Wind from the west.
6/23/1881 - Wind from the northeast. Iím eating a great many figs that are beginning to get ripe. After lessons Mother gave us a watermelon, and we ate it. Today we have green corn for dinner. How nice it was! This afternoon it rained. Glad to see it.
6/24/1881 - Very nice morning. Wind from the west. Sun shining. Helped Priss get breakfast. Iím to write a composition on some object. This morning I wrote a very nice one. I am studying grammar yet. I have been through it once now again. Helped with dinner for which we had green corn. There are many ripe figs on the trees. I wish it would rain and then we would have plenty of figs. Father not fishing. After dinner read my lesson to Aunt Ellen. It has been raining a little.
6/25/1881 - Very nice morning but cloudy. After breakfast I read my lesson to Aunt Ellen. I really did well. I then ate some figs. It has been raining a little. Wish it would rain hard. We need much rain. Then men folks are working. Wind is from the west, and it is cloudy. Mother is up in the field hoeing peas. Hattie is sewing and Priss getting dinner. I ate my watermelon. I like them very much. After dinner came in and read my lesson to Aunt Ellen. It looks like rain. Wind is from the west, blowing quite softly.
6/26/1881 - Very nice morning. Wind blowing from the west. Read to myself. Sun shining very brightly. Very warm weather. We had corn soup for dinner. Very nice. Today at 10 a.m. a man came to our house. His name was Joe Davis. He came in a small schooner after dinner. Read another story to myself. Today before dinner another man came to our house. Name Mr. Walters. Very nice man. Took dinner with us. Wind is from the west.
6/27/1881 - Very nice morning. Read lesson to Aunt Ellen. Father fishing. Came back soon with plenty of redfish. Very good. Hattie helped Priss get dinner while Mother and the men folks were splitting the fish. Very fine day. Wind from the west. We had fried corn for dinner. After dinner recited my lesson to Aunt Ellen. Getting along very well in studies and brothers too. Mother gives us a watermelon every day. Having great many figs. Wind is from the west, blowing quite strong.
6/28/1881 - Very nice morning. Read lesson to Aunt Ellen. Father not fishing. Helped Priss. Have plenty of figs to cook and eat. Like them very much. I can hear the birds singing. Men are at work in the carpenter shed. Priss getting dinner. Hattie is sewing and mother is hoeing. Very warm. Wish it would rain. Need very much. Beginning to get cloudy. I am glad. Read to Aunt Ellen. Hope we have rain.
6/29/1881 - Very nice morning. Father fishing. Got my lessons. Sun is shining but no wind at all. I set the table for Priss. Hattie is sewing, and Mother is hoeing. Yesterday it rained a little. Hope father gets fish, but no fish. Read to Aunt Ellen. George went to the post office. Oh dear, I wish it would rain more.
6/30/1881 - Very nice day. Read lesson to Aunt Ellen. She is anxious for me to learn. Father fishing. George came from post office. He got some mail. Last night we saw a comet. I was much delighted with it. It if does not rain soon Iím afraid that our vegetables will die. I hope it will. We had corn for dinner. Very nice indeed. After dinner I came in and read my lesson to Uncle Elias. Caught 200 pompano. George went to Pensacola. Wind is blowing from the west. A little cloudy. ,
Next week: Final article in the diary.
Marlene Womack is a local historian and author living in Panama City. She writes a weekly column for the Panama City News Herald about the history of the Florida Panhandle.