Approx. 200 handwritten pages. Black cloth three-ring binder with paper cover label.
The scope of this diary covers 43 years in the life of family matriarch Anna Newton, (Anna Elizabeth Sharpe Cusick Newton. Married 2 times.) Handwritten entries address the history of California and real estate, especially in the Los Angeles, San Francisco and surrounding areas.
Anna has two adult children, Carol and Leigh and they play huge parts in Anna's life. Her son Leigh is an alcoholic and is problematic for Anna throughout the diary. Her granddaughter Geri runs away at the age of 15; steals a car; robs a store or two, and she and her boyfriend (Ronnie Crater) wind up in prison; him in San Quentin and her in the county jail as she was just 15 at the time.
Anna records every business transaction; the addresses of every property she bought and sold; she also often recorded what she paid for it and how much she sold it for.
Anna was born in Michigan where she married Charles Francis Cusick, her first husband. They moved to Oregon where she divorced him; she then moved to California where she married her second husband; last name Newton, who was a real estate broker and Anna learned how to flip houses. She divorced Newton; and having a college degree in hand she spent her career as a social worker in civil service for the county of Los Angeles, retiring in 4/4/1944.
The drama that comes into her life from her son Leigh, who is an alcoholic; her grandson Winston who is a fashion designer; and her granddaughter Geraldine or Geri (the daughter of Leigh and his wife Viola), is incredible and never seems to end. Anna, a career woman and realtor, who got in on the ground floor of real estate in early California, and who is very savvy, appears to be undaunted and rolls with the punches, however one can see by the handwritten entries in t his 43 year journal of her life, that all the stress brought onto her is starting to take its toll. She has her first heart attack in the late 50's and subsequent ones in the 60's. She is extremely close to her only daughter Carol and Carol dies on Oct. 17, 1967. Mother Anna and daughter Carol die a month apart and are buried together; Carol at 66; Anna at 92. Anna's last entry in this diary as her handwriting begins to get shaky, is on June 19, 1967. She died shortly after.
Anna's son Leigh enters the Army and comes out with tuberculosis; has to have pieces of his ribs taken out; hemorrhages; and finds himself for the most part, living in and out of the San Francisco Veterans Hospital over a period of years. Anna's grandson Winston (his mother is Carol, Anna's only daughter), becomes a fashion designer who is restless and discontent, leaving one good costume design job after another. Always winding up at Anna's house. He was almost a partner in the Lipson School of Fashion Design, but that fell through due to actions on Winston's part. Anna's grandchildren didn't help to normalize this family in any way. Her granddaughter Geraldine was a wild child. She ran away at the age of 15, with an 18 year old boy, after stealing her mother's car. They went to Las Vegas to get married but her mother called in the FBI. However Geri (Geraldine) had time to rob a store with yet another man, Ronnie Crater. She wound up going to the county detention center and Ronnie Crater (who she would eventually marry) wound up in San Quentin. Anna's diary reveals the heartache and suffering her family brings upon her. In 1966 her handwriting is still crisp and clear but getting a bit shaky, and shakier yet in 1967, the year that she dies; also the year her beloved and only daughter Carol dies.