Monday, December 11, 2006

May 16, 1974
In Which I Have Doubts about Love

Thursday

8:20 pm

Here I am, sitting in my room twelve days after I bid Jeremy adieu. Time really flew fast. Why? Now I know how fast my time in England will fly. But, then, if we still love each other as much as we do now - - - - - Do I love him? I must be honest with myself. I am flattered by his attentions but is it true love? I feel that I am lying each time I say that I love him. I know how much I want him - but is want as good as love? Will I be able to wait six long years for Jez? It is a long time. I can't imagine feeling this way for anyone else. I wish I knew if it was really love. I heard once that if you had any doubt at all it couldn't be love. I have doubt sometimes. But when I read his letters I know I love him, I think. Maybe I am not ready for any commitments but don't want him to be around other girl for fear of finding one he likes better than me.

Maybe Debbie K. is right. She said that I like him because he touched me. He did - that's true - but after I told him that I loved him. I have never in my life told a guy that I love him. But I told Jeremy. Jeff once told me he loved me. I said he was crazy. Almost I feel that Jeremy is at the end of a long and straight road with many misfortunes on it. There are other roads leading off of it and there I could find happiness with little trouble but I have a chance on great love or great troubles at the end of the road. If I would just wait six years for Jez and feel guilty any time I was out with any other guy all those long years Jez could at the last minute say, "I love you Doner but I have found my real Galadriel." Then I would have missed out on a lot of life, waiting for a disappointment. I won't be the one to tell Jez how I feel if I feel it won't work out. I couldn't hurt myself that way.

I have gone farther with him than any other boy, Altough I didn't go far with him.

I just wonder how many other girls Jez has said "I love you" to. Maybe lots, maybe none. Who knows? What about that girl in Wales? Oh well, I am probably working for nothing.

Here I traced the bird pendant given to me by Dan T's father. It was probably a "dove of peace" but I labeled it "J. L. Seagull ?" I also drew some of those m's and upside down v's that kids used for birds. Finally I wrote out Jeremy's full name.

Note

This entry really needs no note. As will be seen, I did exactly to Jeremy what I feared he'd do to me. I waited 5 years and said, basically: "Thanks but no thanks. I've gotten tired of you."

May 13, 1974
In Which I Impatiently Await a Letter from Jeremy

Monday

4:06 pm

No word from Jeremy except the Saturday after he left they called Jim B's house and Jeremy told someone to tell me that he loves me and misses me and that he will write soon. Soon, eh? I expected a letter Saturday. It's been ten days. I found two poems and a theme that he wrote in a paper/magazine of Benton Park.

Only thirty-eight days left before I set off for England. And about forty-two or three before I see Jez again. I told mother that I wasn't sure whether I really loved Jez. She said that I did for sure. I am not so certain anymore. I know I don't love Dan at all -- as a matter of fact I don't even like him much. I have to find a prom dress soon. Ick! I don't even want to go to prom. Especially not with Dan.

Note:

Ten days does seem a long time to wait for an airmail letter. I think that sometimes they would arrive much sooner.

I don't remember my mother telling me that she was sure I loved Jeremy. I'm surprised, but then, maybe not so much.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

May 4, 1974
In which I fall in love

Saturday

I haven't written since last Friday. Too much has happened to write about. But to briefly summarize my life last week: Vilma decided to move out. I met Jeremy B. I fell in love with Jeremy. Jeremy loves me, is speeding away from at the moment at fifty-five miles an hour. Soon he will be going at 600 miles an hour. He lives six thousand miles away. I will see him for three weeks in six weeks and three days. Then maybe never again. I love Jez. Jez loves me.

Last night at the school at 12 midnight was hell. I never let go of Jez 'til the bus moved away. I even gave him a last kiss up in the air. Dan T. held me up there. When Jez was gone I cried in Dan T's shoulder. I have never cried on a guy's shoulder before and now it seems to be a habit.

Nigel L. took my hand and said, "Bye Killer". I broke down again. God, how I love Jez. I feel like I am not really me. How can anyone love me as much as Jez does? He lives so far away. Why? Why? Why?

"God loves ya, Dona. I love ya too."

Note:

When I think back on this time, it seemed as if Jeremy and I knew each other longer than a week before he left. I know I met him earlier - when Sue brought him to English class. But then, I don't think I knew Sue that well at that time.

We went to a movie (The Sting), went to a party (where we kissed and Vilma said something like: "Glad to see you are normal"). How did we have the time to fall in love?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

April 26, 1974
I n which life goes up and down

Oh my gosh! I have neglected thee for so long! What a crazy entry I just read. What made me say those things?

Life has been going up and down this past week like crazy. I am now in a down period. Sort of - it is nice now though. At least I know Vilma and I are still going to be friends... What happened was last Saturday Jeff told me that Vilma felt like she wanted to live somewhere else. It made me very mad. I then decided to hate Jeff and Vilma and anyone else in the picture. I said something to Mr. Jenkins...

Note:

Have I even explained this whole thing yet? In the spring of 1974 a bevy of British grammar school students came to visit Larkin High School. We hosted them and they would, in turn, host us during the summer (with a few exceptions).

My assigned student was Vilma C. She was pretty, and tall and very mature. She worked with Jeremy's father at the library. She immediately attracted the attention of a few boys, some of whom I'd had my eyes on. First and forefront was Jeff. I'd had a crush on him since sixth grade and watched him hang out with other girls, but rarely me. He and I were beginning to get somewhat close until Vilma came. I went ballistic. (you laugh, but I mean it) I threw some major temper tantrums.

One day when mom was elsewhere, Vilma got a phone call from Jeff. I answered and he implied that if he and Vilma didn't get together he was going to kill himself. I didn't think to worry about his mental state. I just screamed "F**k You" into the telephone.

That must have done it for Vilma because she requested a change of host family. It also elicited a home visit from the assistant principal and a few other officials from the school. I'm not sure what happened at the meeting, but a question of my levels of rage was addressed. Whatever, it scared my mom.

I probably should have been banned from the trip -- I believe that it was up to me to find myself a host family, otherwise I would not be able to go.

I didn't know all of this at the time. All I knew was that five years of desire wasted when Jeff fell for Vilma.

I never told my mom that I said the "F-word" on the phone. It was so taboo it was unthinkable. (until a few years later when my dad worked for a trucking company and became part of the teamsters, but that's another story).

April 19, 1974
In which I am comforted by two guys at the same time

I really have so much to catch up on.

Yes, Vilma has arrived and so has Chris. Vilma and I began to get along. We are friendly and have so much in common. But I am angry, now a little bit. This afternoon Jeff left me and I bawled them both out. To make a long story short, Jeff and Vilma really are going strong. We just were at a movie and they were wow! at the end of our aisle. Anyway, Dan and Chris came in late and after the movie I was pissed at Vilma so I went with Dan and Chris. I told them how she and Jeff were carrying on and Chris put his arm through mine and we went to Dan's car. I rode with Dan and Chris. Chris was holding me first, then Dan, then Chris held my hand, then Dan the rest of the time. I have now decided I hate the kid of person I am and I want to have fun. Dan asked me to the dance. He said that everyone had to have something to drink. I will too, so what? I hate being so great! Chris is wonderful!

Note:

Oh my God. Was I that blind to not see what was going on? No, I think I was just selfish. Dan liked me. He wanted me to go to the dance with him. Yet all I could say in my journal was how much I liked Chris. How could that have made Dan feel? And it gets worse later on.

Dan hosted Chris, but could not go to England for his junoir year with the rest of us for some reason. He ended up going later I think. I hung out with Dan sometimes. I remember once going to a party where people were playing a Lord of the Rings game. I'd thought I was alone in liking that series. (this was after this journal entry - by a year or so).

I don't remember what dance Dan asked me to that year. I'm assuming it had something to do with the English exchange students though.

I hate the kind of person I was, I said. What kind of person was that? Probably a prude - someone who never did anything wrong, and looked down on people who smoked and drank and had sex.

I'd forgotten about this particular day - the movie and car ride with Dan and Chris. I have no way of knowing now if this was innocent and they were comforting me or if it was some sort of signal for something I knew nothing about.

March 20, 1974
In which I have lots to look forward to

Wednesday

9:20 pm

I just got home from work and I bought a pen. I wanted to try it out so I guess my journal is the best place for that.

Nothing out of this world great or bad has happened lately. I am going to an art festival next month about C. S. Lewis by the author of Images of His World. I was so excited when I heard about it I wanted to run home and tell my mom. I restrained myself until after sixth hour when I ran out of gym and asked Greg for a ride home.

As far as Greg and I go -- nothing. He's nice and I enjoy being with him. That is just about it. He looks at me like a friend, and old friend reunited, and I should do the very same. I thought he was going to ask me out once-- but I guess he had second thoughts.

I don't understand why I always like a guy if he pays attention to me. It's nice to kid around with others, but he and I are just friends!!!

Just think, only twenty-three more days until Vilma comes. I am really getting excited about that. I have so many things to look forward to:
  1. Vilma
  2. C.S. Lewis Workshop
  3. England
  4. Map of Narnia
  5. Visit with Mrs. Dyson
  6. and other, smaller things.
Oh yes! I forgot about Debbie coming Wednesday. That will be a lot of fun.

Note:

I looked ahead in the journal and it seems as if I never wrote about the festival where I met Clyde S. Kilby. I believe it was entitled Bilbo Baggins' Birthday Party or something like that. It took place at Dekalb High School in Dekalb, Illinois. I went with my friend Jeff and remember only a few things about the day:
  • Jeff doing an impression of a butler (or slave?) from a Shirley Temple movie, dancing up and down the marble steps at the school.
  • Eating poppy seed cakes
  • Listening to Clyde S. Kilby talk in the auditorium and having him sign my book afterwards.
Years later I dated someone who went to that school and was there that day.

I must have ordered the map of Narnia - I had it for years, but somehow lost it. That's too bad because it is a collectible now.
The Vilma fiasco will be described later, so no need to discuss it now.

I think Mrs. Dyson was the social worker at the school. I was considering becoming a social worker, and met with her to talk about what it took to become one. Because she was one of the few blacks on staff, I think part of my interest was to connect to someone of a different race than I was.

March 13, 1974
In which I am delirious

10:27

The last person to write with this pen was Greg!!! I have so much to say about him. Just today I was with him quite a lot. I was more bold too. I don't love him. I hope I don't. But he is so perfect. So wonderfully perfect. Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg. I am just swimming with love for him. He is wonderful. Great. Wow!

Dan said I was cute today. I don't know if he meant it -- but maybe. I love life! Right now I do. Maybe not in a while -- but I am delirious right now.

Note:

As I typed the first paragraph, above, I was embarrassed for my past self. That's all I have to say.

Friday, November 17, 2006

February 22, 1974
In which I no longer love Greg

Friday

11:45 am

I have a lot to write -- but not much time. I thought that my lifetime prolem of boys was solved when Greg came into my life. Why did I actually think something as crazy as that? He is a nice guy who I enjoy being with -- but that is all it can be. I thought that he was Mr. Right - but I forgot that my Mr. Right couldn't smoke. I have nothing against smoking really -- if someone wants to get cancerthat is their business -- but when others are presnet he should be a bit more respectful. Greg smokes and lets the smoke drift into my eyes and I become stinky. Why I didn't realize this before is easy to remember- I thought he was perfect. But now I can look at him through another's eyes. I am not writing this simply because he was at the game last night with Barb L.. I can see him in better light now that my eyes are not cloudy with "love".

Note:

See? I hated being around smoke.

Love the pentultimate sentence. Yeah, right.

Barb L. and I were friends in grade school, not so much middle school and not at all in high school, although she was nice enough to talk to. I remember seeing them at the game and being surprised and jealous. Amazing how I lied, even to myself in my journals.




February 16, 1974
In which I get my ears pierced

Saturday

Boy has today been weird! Debbie K. pierced my ears today. What a strange experience!!! It was painful, but so fun. After she pierced them we went to Ben Franklin and showed everyone my ears. Then we went to the car wash. Deb got scared in the thing. Then her car started steaming. We went to Dan's house and saw his baby sister. I really had a riot today and found out that Debbie sort of knows Bob!!! He sort of liked her. I really can't believe that.

Note

Debbie and I worked at Ben Franklin together. She lived near where my dad grew up and knew some people my dad and grandmother Patrick talked about. Years later I'd know about her through my in-laws who lived on the farm next to where she lived. I saw her about 23 years ago working at the Jewel Grocery Store in Elgin as a Flower Lady. My then boyfriend, now husband and I talked to her a bit.

February 14, 1974
In which I'm confused

Thursday

3:54 pm

How can I explain my feelings to someone when I don't understand them myself? Why do I always make big things from tiny things? How I wish I knew Greg's feelings towards me. How much does he like me? How does he like me? As a friend -- or more? I know that I must like him more than just a friend because the fact that he smokes doesn't bother me.

Note

As I've probably mentioned before, smoking disgusted me and anyone who smoked was someone I didn't want to hang around. I must have gotten to school smelling like cigarettes because as I recall, Greg smoked in the car and at McDonalds where we stopped for coffee and hot chocolate every morning. I let him treat me to the hot chocolate, probably thinking it was like a date.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

January 30, 1974
In which Greg re-enters my life

Wednesday

4:06 pm

I didn't have time to finish my last entry. Anyway -- last night I wrote Deb a long note. I told her not to forgive me if she didn't want to and that I still wanted to work on the staff.

Last night at dinner, Helen Turner called. She had something important to tell me. As a matter of fact Greg P. is living in Elgin, at his grandmother's. Greg P. is also attending Larkin High School. Greg P. is also picking Dona Patrick up in the mornings and taking her home after school! Greg is a doll! I can't believe it for one tiny minute yet. He is just too good looking for dreams! Wow!!! And he is my friend!.

Note

Greg was cute, that's a fact. He'd gotten in some sort of trouble at his home school, so his father sent him to live with his grandmother and attend Larkin until he shaped up or something. He and I were in kindergarten together. I don't remember him much from kindergarten though.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

January 29, 1974
In which I am a real bitch

A lot has happened today. Mostly really bad. I don't want to really remember them but I had better write them down so I can realize why I did what I did.

It began in yearbook -- and ended there too. Everything was going great -- Dan and I were "talking" actually it was nothing but cut down, cut down, cut down all day. Robin got upset and told Deb that we were bickering. Deb came into the room and told Dan and me to either quit it or leave. I said, "Yes ma'am." Then when the hour was over Deb told me to sign up for five ads. I didn't want to simply because I detest selling ads so I put my name down and underneath I put "go to hell". I can't really believe it -- but that is what I put. I meant it at the time. I walked over to get my books and when I left, I saw that Deb had the paper in her hand.

Note:
I didn't remember this incident -- still don't, but it is typical of my temper back then. I normally saved that for my mom or at least good friends, not associates.

I am very ashamed of this behavior and am no longer surprised or curious about what happened with Vilma. It is painfully obvious that I had a terrible temper and must have frightened her. So, after all these years, I realize it was my fault.

The Robin in the story must have been Robin M. She and I were friends of a sort in junior high, maybe high school. She was on the heavy side and I probably treated her like crap. I saw her about 10 years ago at the office where my aunt worked. She looked the same, but stronger, more sure of herself. She adopted at least one African American child.

Monday, May 22, 2006

January 22, 1974
In which I am someone's birthday present

Tuesday
9:10 pm

Life seems to have taken a turn for the worse with me -- or at least my attitude toward it has. Quite a bit has happened since my last entry. I still love my job. But some other experiences connected with it are not so nice. I would like to write down my "date" on Friday, but it is too long and complicated. I think that there is really little chance of forgetting it. I only know now that whenever I think about Dan T. I feel sick. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb!!!

Another sad thing is a closing of a chapter for me. Boys, at least for the time being. I know Gary is completely out of reach. Bob, I found out today, is cold toward me. Jeff is still friendly -- but differently. The only person I still have hope in is Dan F. Today I practically told him and the entire yearbook staff my feelings toward him. I said something like he is a great guy or person or something. I also had a long awaited chance to tell Chris C. what I thought of her.

Teaching isn't so important to me any longer. I think I am discouraged because of everything that has happened to me lately and I am blaming it on TAP or something.

Why do I feel smothered? I really don't have troubles. I don't quite know. Life is cruel. The best things in life are the simple pleasures. The worst things then are simple problems that attack and attack endlessly.

Note:
The "date" mentioned in the first paragraph was one of the most interesting things that happened to me in my youth. I'm annoyed with my past self that I didn't write it down. I don't remember being that upset by it. How many other people can say they were someone's birthday present?

One Friday afternoon while I was working at Ben Franklin a tall man walked up to me and asked if I'd like to be his son's birthday present. I don't remember my initial reaction, but after talking about it I agreed to do it, only if he talked to my family first. It seems as if, as he walked out of his house to go to the dime store, he asked his son if there was anything he wanted from the store. I guess the son replied, "Yeah, bring me a cute checkout girl," so the father thought it would be a funny prank to actually bring a "check-out girl" home for his son's party.

I'd heard of the son. If he had been wildly popular I would have said no, but since he was not much higher than I was on the teen-aged scale of popularity, I agreed to do it. Mr. T (who later I would learn was the music director of my Grandmother Patrick's church) drove me to my house so he could meet my parents and assure them I would be safe. I wanted to change my clothes, but he wanted me in my ugly blue uniform. I did bring along a change of clothes though.

We drove to his house and he presented me to Dan. Dan was surprised and seemed to be amused. The family seemed to do this sort of thing a lot. I remember that dinner was chicken. They ate it by cutting it with knives and forks. I'd never eaten chicken that way before.

I think we then went to a football game or basketball game and then came back to the T. house for a party. It turned out that Dan was a little more popular than I'd expected. I remember not having a very good time at the party, so that is probably why I felt weird about it and didn't want revisit it in my journal.

Dan and I actually remained friends of a sort until graduation. I heard he went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis. His father died of a brain tumor when I was in college; I heard about it from a teacher at Highland School when I was doing a brief teaching practice there.

A quick search on the Internet tells me that Dan is a "weapons engineer" now living in Georgia. He may work at Robins AFB. He is a runner and has finished at least two marathons in the past six months.

I'm sorry that I was nasty to Chris C. She was a pretty nice person. I guess I had/have a problem with authority. She was head of the yearbook staff, I think, and probably told me to do something I didn't want to do.

January 9, 1974
In which I do a lot in a few days

Wednesday
9:45 pm

Lots has happened since I wrote last. I began work, I went tobogganing, I broke my glasses, I am getting wire-rims. Jeff called again, I talked to Bob for a while.

Now to separate these happenings:

Chronologically -

Sunday I went tobogganing with Cindy, Carol, Gail and Leslie. I nearly killed myself! Carol S. and I went down standing up and fell off! I finally stopped after I got the wind knocked out of me, nearly broke my neck and almost broke my hip. Then to get the toboggans back home, Cindy and Gain sat on the outside of the car and held the sleds on the top. it was fun though.

Then on Monday as I walked into school I broke my glasses. They just snapped. Luckily I was able to get an appointment right away and I ordered brass "gold coaster's oval" shaped.

Tuesday night I went to work for the first time. I met everyone in the store. The only people I remember are Pat S. and Lori. Lori is very nice. She is out of school. Pat is nice also. Dan teases an awful lot. But he is quite nice too. One conversation between us was:
Me: I suppose you want me to move.
D: No, I am just sweeping around the boxes.
Me: Oh
Dan: What does that say? On your necklace. pointing
Me: You figure it out
Dan: I am me. That is what I thought it said. But I didn't know who would wear something like that.
Me: I would
Dan: At first I thought it said, 'try me' but I didn't think Dona would be wearing that.
Me: You never know.



Dumb as it was, it was one of the most intelligent ones we have had. His mother had a baby girl. This is number 13.

Then also last night Bob came in. We had a nice talk. I shook like a leaf though.

Tonight after I took a shower the phone rang and Jeff's voice said, "Hi whatcha doing?" The rest of the conversation was normal!!!

Note:
Of all the busy things that happened that week, the only one I remember is the tobogganing. I had a tube of chapstick in my front pocket and remember falling on it after going down the hill standing up on the sled. I also remember the ride home, holding onto the toboggan on the top of the car. It is sad that I remember this because most teens had adventures like this all the time. They were so rare for me that this one left an impression.

January 5, 1974
In which I'm set free

Saturday
5:29 pm

Happy Birthday to Bob today!
Happy Birthday to Jeff yesterday!

Remember I wasn't going to think about past "loves"? Well, that is impossible. I need something of that sort to think about.

Getting off of that subject, I will tell some good news: I begin to work at Ben Franklin Tuesday. I am very happy. Other goodish news is that I am all through with Dr. Rushing! He removed my bottom retainer today and said that he was turning me loose! Great! But I was in too rotten of a mood even to be a little happy. Life today has been good and bad.

Note:
Obviously, since I'm still re-reading my journals, I never did get over "thinking about past loves".

You may have figured out that Dr. Rushing was my orthodontist. I'm actually surprised that I still had a retainer, because I thought I had braces in eighth grade. They probably should have kept the retainer on my teeth since the bottom ones are a little crooked - crowded actually.

Subject | January 1974 - December 1974

Birthday Presents
Greg (again)
England
Vilma
Jez ♥ (Jeremy R. B.)
Love
Phone Call

Note:
If the symbol after Jez doesn't show up, it is a heart.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

December 31, 1973
In which I say goodbye to 1973

Monday

Well I can write 1973 now -- but in less than two hours I won't be able to truthfully. I have to write my "New Year Resolutions". I haven't really thought a great deal about them - but I have formed vague ideas. The first and foremost I think is to be myself. I think that last year my resolution was to be perfect or something like that. That was really stupid -- I realize that now. I think that being myself is as perfect as I am ever going to become. Other ideas are to be honest and not talk about boys and my past. I realize, with mother's help, that people don't care about what happened to me. So I will try to improve my listening power. I will also try harder in school -- since I have such "easy" courses why flunk out of them? I am not going to act silly -- and if I catch myself doing it I will stop and apologize to others as well as myself. I will stop swearing in my head and in private. It isn't healthy. I am sure that there are other things that I ought to improve upon, but I can't think of them right now. But whenever I can think of something that will make me a better person I may "try it on for size and see if it fits". Now I am going to litter the back of this paper with little thoughts of 1973!

Goodbye '73, I'll never forget ya! :-(

Note:
Interesting resolutions. I'm still working on quite a few of those.

I'll try to scan the back of the paper. I've written '73 MEMORIES '73 at the top in black marker. Then in a rainbow of colors I've written many memories from the preceding year.

Brookfield Zoo
Romeo and Juliet
Dan F
TAP
Driving (Mr P)
"monster mash"
Bob W.
Gregg
Progressive Dinner
Fox Valley Roller Rink
Gary C
Ruby Red Dress
"Fiddler on the Roof" (2)
Jeff Y
"Leroy Brown"
DEATH
Ben Franklin?
England?
KISS smak



Not sure about the color coding, but it seems as if my hopes were written in yellow. The words were all over the page - upside down, slanted, sideways -- not in a list. Words that were related were sometimes intertwined like Fox Valley Roller Rink and Gary C.

December 30, 1973
In which I write about a year of firsts and a disturbing incident

I had better write now - in case I forget to tomorrow. There is so much to say and not much paper on which to say it. I will begin by remembering important times of the past year - "1973". It was filled with firsts - both good and bad - mostly good though.

The first first I suppose was my first telephone call from a guy. The guy - none other than Gary C. The next first was first date - Gary again. Then a few months later came my first real boyfriend - Robert W. With that relationship came my first kiss. Then a few days later came my first close death - Grandpa Green. I drove for the first time too. Another first was the first time a guy came to visit me (Jeff Y. it was!) Then came the first time I applied for a job (at Zayre).

I think I learned a lesson from each first and although each day of the past year wasn't bright and sunny, the year on the whole was superb!

Another exciting thing is that is coming up is my trip. This summer I, Dona Lee Patrick, am going to England. I am quite happy -- but nervous. And sort of apprehensive because it seems too good to be true.

Oh -- something not so grand happened Christmas Eve. Uncle Quay was drunkish as usual. When we walked in the house he gave me a "Merry Christmas" kiss which was all right. But was it all right when later he confronted me in the hall and tried to kiss me again? He didn't succeed but instead patted my behind and wasn't fast to remove his hand. Then when I was leaving Pam's room he just happened to be there and pulled me into the doorway of the bedroom (which luckily was closed) and tried to hug me or something. He had his arm around my neck and wasn't going to let me go. He did though and I ran down the steps. I was really frightened -- but I haven't told mother yet. I don't think I should because she will really blow up I think.

Note:
It was my custom to write in my journal on the last day of the year just before the clock struck midnight. Either I had not started that tradition or I thought I had too much about which to write in order to do it properly.

This was a post that I wasn't sure I would upload. At least the last paragraph. It took me decades to forgive my uncle, and I only did so after his suicide. I am still furious about it, however.

I eventually told my mother. I don't exactly recall her reaction, but I think it wasn't the "Oh my God Dona. That is terrible. That should never have happened to you." I think she said that my uncle was notorious for making passes at people.

While we are on the subject of older men making passes at younger girls and I've read ahead in my journal and not found mention of this, my guitar teacher also made a pass at me during a guitar lesson. It may have been the lesson where I met "Tim", but it may have been later, but I think "Tim" was there, but in another room.

Mr. T had been asking me about boys and if I had a boyfriend. I said I didn't and that I liked some boys as friends. He then leaned over and kissed me on the lips. I was stunned and confused, but as soon as he left the room I got up and left. I think I told "Tim" to tell Mr T I had to go home. I didn't return for guitar lessons after that. I didn't' tell my mother about that either until much later. She did seem to get upset about that, and said it was good that I had not told my father because he would have probably confronted Mr T. That too, still makes me furious. Mr T also met a grisly end. He died when his trailer home burned up. I believe I heard that he was somehow locked in. It can't have been a good way to die.

I should feel bad that my uncle stuck a rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger and Mr T died a painful death, trapped in his trailer. Part of me does feel a little bad. I don't feel glad anymore (although I did at first). I just don't really feel anything about either of those men's deaths.

December 19, 1973
In which I am hopeful

Wednesday

If I hurry I can get a few words in before I leave for school. I haven't written since just after Thanksgiving and this is almost Christmas already.

About the job at Ben Franklin - I will get it after this semester (I hope). I think Dan wants me to work there because yesterday he asked someone when the new semester began. I think he said, "Oh good." Maybe because of me? I plan on asking him why he always picks on me today. Maybe then I will see how he really feels about me.

I don't have much more time but I will close with this hopeful statement, "I am going to England!"

Note:
How oddly the seventeen year old mind works. Everything was about me. I might work at Ben Franklin at the beginning of the new semester so when Dan mentions the new semester it had to be because of me. Geesh.

And I finally mention England.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

November 27, 1973
In which I apply for a job and learn bad news

Lots has happened since the last entry. The first thing is Dan quit the staff. He didn't come in on Monday after the party. I missed him but didn't say anything until Debbie came in and said that Dan had just quit. Then I began asking questions. Debbie didn't know why he had quit. I really felt low so I left. The rest of the week remained uneventful until Friday when I applied for a job at Ben Franklin. No one knows but me, that one main reason I applied there was to be near Dan. He had not talked to me at all all week -- but when he saw me at the store he asked me what I was doing there. I told him I was applying for a job. He turned around and told the lady that he didn't recommend me. Of course he was fooling.

Then when I went up to get my application Mr S. recognized me and said, "Oh yes. This is the girl Dan has a crush on." I said, "Oh, I doubt that," hoping that I was wrong.

The lady said that she would call me when the tests came in. I was in high spirits and sure I got the job.

Enough of that for now. I really have a reason to be feeling low. Thursday night I found out that Jim E. was caught selling marijuana at school. I had to promise that I told no one. I will tell no one I promise if God only helps me keep my big mouth shut. I didn't realize how upset I was until I read an article in tonights paper. It is all about him and his friends. I started crying. Why Jim?

Mother says that a big blame is on daddy. I can see her reasoning.

Note:
I don't remember Dan quitting the yearbook staff. I don't know why he did.

I remember applying for the job at Ben Franklin, but I thought I applied for the job because I wanted to go to England and wanted to do it before Cindy J. did.

I am surprised that I had not mentioned England yet. I must have known about it by this time. My parents said I could go if I paid for half of the airfare (which was about a fifth of what it is now).

That summer I'd had a dream or daydream that there was an opportunity to go to England. In the dream/daydream we competed with each other by writing essays. I remember knowing that Beth N. a cheerleader and all around popular (but not mean) girl was also in the competition. In the dream I won the essay contest and got to go to England. What a surprise when I heard that the junior class was invited to apply for a trip to England that June and July. It was to be a sort of exchange program. We'd host an English student and we would then stay with that family. I know that a huge part of the rest of the journal will focus on that.

I had completely forgotten about my cousin Jim selling pot. I guess I must have been able to "keep my big mouth shut". I'm not at all sure what I meant by "Mother says that a big blame is on daddy". Jim's brother, Bob, comes to live with us later after he gets in trouble with the law. Maybe Dad was supposed to look out for his sister's boys or something.

November 17, 1973
In which I play Twister. With Dan.

It began when Dan walked in.

We played Twister at Kris' party. Dan and I were partnered. The call was a hard one and I almost fell over -- but Dan held me up. He could have taken his hand away, but he didn't. He kept it on my back through the rest of the game. Then Julie took our picture.

Note:
At the top of the page on which this entry is written, I wrote Dan's full name (including his middle name).

I vividly remember this evening. I went home and told my mom about it, hoping she would join in my joy. I don't know if she did, but she did ask, "You mean he made a pass at you?"

I didn't consider it a pass. Just contact.

November 16, 1973
In which I feel restless and icky

Thursday

I can't figure out what is wrong. I feel restless and icky tonight. I tried to clean up my room because that usually calms me down. It didn't work. Nothing spectacular happened today.

Jeff and Carol are going to qwe tomorrow. What! I have already said that I don't really care about Jeff. I just wish that he didn't call. I wouldn't feel so blah about him.

I met Tim finally. Mr T. introduced us tonight. He is quite good looking. Maybe that keyed me up. I told Mrs. T. about that guy grabbing me -- I had to tell someone.

I think that I am depressed. Why? I don't really know. I had an average day -- no real bad compliments or any great ones. A girl called me a bitch today though. But to make up for that I made friends with the black girl - Cheryl C. today in CD.

I never wrote about Lori's grandmother I don't think -- well she passed away Tuesday. Looking back I see that I did include that in my last entry.

I wish someone would write so I could write back to them.

Note:
Mr T. was my guitar teacher and neighbor. He was in a country and western band. I babysat his kids (I've mentioned Chad in this journal). He was also somehow related to Greg who will be making more of an appearance later in the journal.

Tim was another of Mr. T's guitar students. The lessons took place in the T. home, two doors down from me. They began in the basement - my brother also took lessons for a while, but for some reason he either quit or since we shared the same guitar we took lessons on different days. Anyway for some reason the lessons migrated upstairs to the bedroom which was off the living room.

I think that Mr T had arranged for Tim and me to take lessons together because he was trying to set us up. Either before or after this particular lesson Mr T asked me about boyfriends. I replied something along the lines of "I'm not interested in boyfriends. I just want to be friends with boys right now."

I wonder what Mrs T's reaction was to my news about the guy grabbing me. I see her now and then when I visit Elgin. She works at a restaurant nearby. They moved from that house years ago. She and Mr T divorced. I'll related more about them later. I'm pretty certain Mr T is going to come up again.

November 13, 1973
In which I don't say much

Tuesday

I really have lots to say but I don't feel like it.

Lori's grandmother died today. I could really feel for her. I haven't talked to Jeff since Sunday night. I dread the next time we meet or talk. He is so stupid and immature. Bob is more mature than Jeff is.

I'll have a busy weekend coming up - Friday I am going to the Play. Saturday I might go to House on the Rock, but I doubt it. Saturday evening I am going to Kris C.'s surprise birthday party and Sunday is Grandma's party.

I wish I could figure out what I feel for Dan F. I think I love him.

Note:
Kris C. was someone I knew from yearbook staff. She was down to earth and I think probably pretty smart.

The loving Dan F. is news to me. Stay tuned to see how that one turned out.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

November 9, 1973
In which I am toyed with

Lots has been happening to me lately. Too much at one time, I guess. I will begin with Monday night.

I was watching a movie on television when the phone rang. I answered it. It was Jeff Y. I was very happy because he wanted me to like him because he liked me, We talked for about forty-five minutes. We met Tuesday and he walked me to a class. He waited and talked to me for a while at my room. Tuesday night he called and told me that he loved me! We made plans to see Billy Jack the next day. Wednesday was a half day and I wasn't going to school at all. Neither was Jeff. I was excited about seeing the movie. Then I looked in the paper and realized that it wasn't on in the daytime. Just then Jeff called. He coughed and said that he woke up with a sore throat and was sick. He hoped I would understand. Mother and I made pumpkin pie all day.

Wednesday night Jeff called again and asked for my address. I told him and he came over. I looked a mess. We had a blast! Then later he took my hand and touched my leg. He left.

Thursday we walked from C.D. to my locker and he said see ya. Thursday night he didn't even call. Today I avoided him and I saw him at the game tonight. I don't think he saw me though. He could have asked me to go to the game with him. I was really depressed tonight. I know that it is over. A week! A lousy fucking week.

I saw Bob there too. That cheered me up a bit. Beth K. and Ruth and Richard were there. We won 17 - 0. I was really happy about that but I felt like crying about Jeff.

Dan hasn't brought me the book yet. Bob won't talk to me. Gary just stares at me. I really am in a rut. Oh well, I had fun while it lasted --------- a week!

Note:
I don't remember any of this except the fact that Jeff and I were going to see a movie but it was not playing the day we were going to see it. I have a suspicion Jeff was playing with me - and I think that it had to do with Maureen, his friend. I may be wrong, but I never felt right around her, even though she was nice enough. They were both from well-to-do families, compared to mine.


November 1, 1973
In which I hear some disturbing news

Thursday

I found out something kind of sad today. The story actually beings on Monday of this week. A friend of mine - actually just an associate - and I were talking. I opened my child development book and looked at the names of people who had had the book in other years. Brenda C. was on and I commented on it out loud. Laurie asked if I knew her and I said tad I knew her brother. We discussed him for a while but nothing interesting came up in the conversation. Then she asked me who else I had liked. I said that I didn't want to say -- but finally after a few minutes gave in and said Bob W. She said that she knew the twins. We discussed them for a while and I told her to promise not to say anything to them--I think.

Well, today she said something about Bob. She had looked him up and remembered that she hated him. Then she said that one of the twins said that he had fixed my room all up. I said that he never was even in my house. I guess, according to this story, Bob told his sisters that he was fixing up my room -- tiling it in fact. That was why he was always over and calling me. He really liked me I guess. I really could cry Why did he lie like that? For what reason would he say that? Why don't his memories leave me alone?

Changing the subject, Dan is going to lend me a book. It is called Dune. Maybe this will be it?...

Note:
I don't remember that conversation, with Laurie. I also don't know who Laurie is/was. (I wrote a note in blue, next to the first paragraph: now dead) Maybe she was the same Laurie that I mentioned was in my PE class, but I spelled that name differently than this one.

I didn't read Dune. I think I tried, but I guess I was not into science fiction. I'd forgotten that Dan loaned me the book.

October 22, 1973
In which I am molested

If my handwriting is shaky I have a good reason. Here it is as follows:

I felt kind of shut-up so I felt like I wanted a walk. Franz felt like walking too. I suppose going over to see if Bob was out was at the back, well sort of in front, of my mind. I told mother that I was going to walk up and down the street. Well, when I got to the corner I figure that a walk around the block wouldn't hurt and mother would never know. I got halfway around and heard Bob being called over by his house. I hoped that he would be out. He may have been but I didn't see him. I did see some kids on minibike though. One stopped and I thought that he was going to come over. He didn't and the rest of the way was all right until I got to [the] Turner's. I was worried that mother might ask where I went. I would probably have told her the truth, thinking that it was too cold to be raped anyway. As I neared the place where the sidewalks don't meet but there is a tar covering I saw a shadow. Then I saw that it was a person. I said "Oh God!" but then calmed down because I saw that it was only a kid. I was about to pass him when he grabbed me and said, "Hi, how are ya doing? Huh? Huh?" He had his hands on my breasts and was feeling me. I just thought it was someone tickling me -- at first I thought it was Bob. A hundred thoughts went through my mind and unconsciously I tried to struggle.

This only lasted a second or two I guess, but my mind wouldn't function quite right until was between the Ehorn's trees. I had just been sexually assaulted. My legs turned to water and I began to shake. I didn't want mother to know so I tried to calm down. I guess I succeeded because when I finally made it into the house she didn't say anything.

I ran straight up here and wrote in this journal. Now I hope no one ever reads it. I'm still shaking.

I wonder who it was. I didn't recognize the voice, but it could have been the guy on the minibike because he had the same kind of coat on. And thinking back I thought I heard someone say "It's Dona..." when I was over by Bob's. What next? One can't even walk in one's own neighborhood safely.

Note:
While this may sound almost amusing to anyone reading it, it was very scary to me. I never found out who it was. I didn't remember that I had walked around the block to see Bob, but it makes sense since I've always felt guilty about this incident.

I finally did tell my mom about it, years later. We actually had a laugh over it because what I didn't write in the journal was that Franz (our toy dachshund) didn't bark or try to save me. Instead he wound his leash around my legs.

This was the first of three incidents involving males that put me in a very uncomfortable situation. Today anyone doing this would be punished. But then, I'm not sure who it was. The coat he was wearing was one of those parkas lots of people wore in the mid 70's. Either blue or green with a hood and brown fur around the opening of the hood.

October 21, 1973
In which my weekend is busy

Well, well, well. Let me begin at the beginning of my exciting weekend.

Friday night was homecoming. Larkin played St. Charles. We won 21 - 20. Lori was having her hand held by a boy named Watt S. She has been having troubles with him. She likes a boy named Glenn M. but she was never sure whether Glenn liked her until today.

Saturday was so beautiful. Lori and I rode bikes from 10:30 to 3:00. She poured out her problems to me and I listened and gave as much advice as I could relating to my relationship with Bob. Lori asked me to tell her truthfully if I would ever go out with her brother, Fred. I thought for a while -- perhaps not long enough -- and answered, "Yes I would -- if he asks me."

Then later that day guess who asked me to go out with him today - Fred S. himself. He asked me if I wanted to go to the circus with him and Lori and Glenn. I said sure, it would be fun. So it was settled.

Then Saturday night was David Koeser and Sue Shauer's wedding. I was really looking forward to it so I could try out my new "approach to people". The wedding was dull and boring. When the people were being ushered out I looked back and saw a guy. There were lots of guys there -- but this one stood out -- he was my kind. I thought that I would see him at the reception. When I arrived at the reception mom and dad suddenly left me standing all alone in the place full of strangers. I stood in the doorway, not recognizing anyone. Then I saw a cute guy. I thought it was the guy from church but he had a CPO jacket on, not a suit. Oh well, better to have two anwyay. This guy looked me when he went past -- right into my eyes really. And this thrilled me.

Then when my family came back and we were situated I found out that he was the piano player of the band.

Then Beth came and we were talking. I went into the room where she and the band were. I told her to look at the piano player. She thought he was cute too. We talked some more and I was looking around. My heart skipped a beat and I practically fainted. There he was. The guy from the church. I looked at Beth and we exchanged glances. I asked her who he was. She said that he was probably a cousin or something. I was uninterested in him for a while then because I saw the piano player again. Then we edged out way downstairs because Beth had to cut the cake. We went down and just about at the end the guy from the church came through with Sue's grandmother. I thought about him again instead of the piano player.

then we ate (he was at the table just behind us). When I was done I looked around and didn't see him. I went upstairs and met my mom and dad. They said I should go up and watch their drinks. When I got up there I couldn't find an empty table with drinks so I figured they had been taken.

I watched the band for a while but couldn't feel so thrilled about the piano player anymore. I also couldn't find the guy from the church. I figured out that he was Sue's cousin.

The next time I saw him was after the garter and bouquet throwing time. I went downstairs because cake was down there. I was just about to pick up a piece of cake and who should I see but Sue's cousin outside the room. I walked out the door and he sort of looked at me. Then as I was going upstairs I looked back and he was watching me. I went up and down the stairs a hundred times last night. Once I even followed him a little bit after he went down. Then my mom and dad came up and so did he. He stood just outside watching the dancing. I stood on the other side of the door watching. He looked at me a few times.

A little later my mom wanted to get some cake. I wasn't going to until he went. I followed him down. I was all set to eat downstairs until he went upstairs, then guess where I went. I saw him sitting all alone on the couch and was really about to speak to him when a woman who knew him started asking him about himself. I listened in and heard this info:

  1. He lives in Woodstock and goes to a school called North something

  2. He plays football

  3. Something about the JV team


I was really honestly about to speak to him when we had to leave. Isn't life a rotten thing? I am infatuated with someone I may never see again.

Today was busy and a day full of experiences. Instead of going to the circus we went to Brookfield Zoo. It took us three hours to get there. The ride there was fine. The time at the zoo was awful because I am repulsed at Fred. I cannot stand being around him. If I was with someone I knew I might have felt better. (of course). I couldn't even pretend I was with Sue's cousin.

On the way back he bought me flowers (carnations - red, pink and white). We stopped at a restaurant that was real fancy.

When we got back to [Lori and Fred's house] we played football a little and then had a dish of ice cream cake. Fred brought me home.

Note:
Don't remember the wedding boy much, nor the piano player. I vaguely remember getting all hot and bothered by a couple of guys when I was somewhere with Beth, but not the details at all.

Lori and Watt. I remember them together. Lori told me things they did and I really didn't believe it.

Fred. Poor geeky Fred. I guess technically that was my first date - if you don't count the Gary C. one as a date. I neglected to mention in the journal entry that Fred brought a huge bottle of soda (coke?) in the car and drank the whole thing quickly (to impress me?). He felt sick. I don't think that he was able to eat at the "fancy restaurant" at all - in fact I think he threw up there.

That is a story I told my son recently -- to let him know that drinking a gallon of coke in front of the girl he likes is a really bad way to impress her. I think that was the turning point of my friendship with Lori. I guess I broke Fred's heart.

::snort::

October 19, 1973
In which I still think about guys

Today has been a funny day. It is Homecoming and life at school was hectic. I wore 1963 clothes and felt full of school spirit. Then later I felt sort of moody. I have become moody lately for unknown reasons. I can't forget any guy who ever paid any attention to me. I still look at Gary a lot. I looked for Bob all afternoon. Why can't I put them out of my head?

I wonder how I would react to Gary asking me out or something???

Note:
No comment.

October 16, 1973
In which I meet a future boss

Journal time once again!! I feel quite moody today. The day went all right but I feel sick at what just happened. Carol S. and I were just selling ads. We went to Ben Franklin and as we were getting the ad I said that I knew Dan F. Were kidding around about him and I said that Dan said that he (the boss) would take it out of [Dan's] paycheck. Anyway to end the conversation I said that Dan was a great guy.

Mr. S. agreed and the conversation switched. Mr S. said that he was real proud that he gave Dan a job. He said that many places wouldn't. Then he began talking about Dan's arm and what he could do with it.

The guy made me mad! Announcing his pride all over the place!

I can't figure out my feelings towards Dan. I really like him a lot -- but not the kind of like I had for Bob. Ok, even Gary. This is a clean and sensible like.

I wish I knew about [Dan] and Teena. Oh well, life is silly???

Note:
Selling ads was part of being on the yearbook staff. The yearbook was supported by advertisements by local businesses. I hated this job more than anything. Remind me to tell you about the time I went to the Elgin Police Station and they acted as if I was a drug using teenager.

I would end up working with Dan at Ben Franklin. Mr S. was a middle-aged businessman. He hired 16 year olds and paid them less than minimum wage. I think I made about $1.70 an hour, maybe less. (according to the U.S. Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration Wage and Hour Division, minimum wage increased to $2.00 an hour in 1974.) Mr. S. acknowledged that he was not paying us minimum wage, but said it would break him if he did.

I remember another conversation I had with Mr S. He said that we kids were so lucky. We had so many years ahead of us. He had much fewer years left to live. I think about that conversation a lot lately. I now know how he felt.

While I have no proof, I think he got some thrills with at least one of the young girls who worked for him. There was a tiny, cute blond-haired girl who would go in his office and sit on his lap. She was not 16 yet -- and I think I remember she was a smoker.

October 3, 1973
In which I feel

I just rode my bike over to Lori's. I was feeling depressed for a few reasons. The uppermost I suppose is he fact that Bob is getting a ride home and I won't be able to "accidentally" talk to him on the way home from school. Another reason I feel depressed is because Carol and Sally helped me collect cards today and I felt "out of it" sort of. Oh, I am such a dope.

Right now I am at Wing Park feeling the wind, just feeling period.

I had better go now before mother becomes worried.

Note:
I'm not sure why Carol and Sally helping me collect cards1 would cause me to feel depressed. I suspect they were being chummy and I felt left out. I never did well when there were three girls together.


1 Our high school used a computer system to keep track of absences. Each student's name was on a punch card. Each period teachers would go through a stack of the punch cards , and put the students' cards who were not in class in a brown attendance envelope. Attendance pages such as myself would pick them up and return them to the attendance office. From there, I'm guessing they were fed into a computer or punch card reader and a report was generated on who was absent or not. We pages were just the "gofers". I don't know who did the actual computer work, but I am guessing it was a man.

Monday, May 15, 2006

September 28, 1973
In which I am judgmental and melodramatic

Friday
Drats and double drats. I have a cold and my nose is stuffy and life is simply terrible. I found out some terrible news today. I walked into the attendance office today and saw, on a green piece of paper, a name that I recognized. Linnette W. Reading further I saw that it was a transfer to the Kane Co. Youth Home. My stomach dropped a mile and I felt dizzy. Bob's sister in trouble. What kind of trouble? I found out later when I was on my way home. Bob happened to be walking in front of me, with Mike S. no less, and he started chasing a kid and ended up walking with me. We talked about the weather and all of a sudden, because I wanted to convey my feelings to him I said, "Can I say something personal?" He said I could so I said, "I'm sorry about your sister." He said that it was all right. That she had gotten into some trouble. Then he added that he hated the guy who got her into trouble. Then it struck me in the face. Lynn was pregnant! I never liked her -- but I feel sorry for her parents. Oh well, it is none of my business.

Let's see, yesterday I walked home with Paula M. She is engaged. She is going to be married in August. I hate growing up. Life is so cruel. It makes so many changes.

One change that I will find it hard to accept when it really happens is not having Cindy in school with me next year. She is graduating early -- in August. Oh well, Changing is a part of growing. But why do I feel so empty already? Cindy isn't my only friend. Why? Why? Why Lynn? Why myself? Can I survive?

Note:
I don't know if Lynn actually was pregnant. I barely remember her and do not remember this incident. I hate how judgmental I sound though.

I also don't remember Paula M. I'll look her up in the yearbook to see who she was. Maybe I sort of remember her.

Won't dwell on the whole Cindy thing either. It was just one of those cases where I liked her more than she liked me I suppose. She's lucky that she can move on while I'm stupid enough to not only save my journals, but read them and post them online.

September 17, 1973
In which I like attention

I've wanted to write for some time but just haven't found the time. Friday after school I walked home with Bob. Today it doesn't seem so fantastic but I was happy about it then. Just because of the attention from a boy. Maybe that is why I like to be seen with Mike S. or any guy. Oh well, maybe it is natural.

Note:
I don't know if it is natural. Maybe it is for 17 year olds. Maybe not.

September 12, 1973
In which I describe my schedule

Wow! I have been home for a week and a half and I haven't written in my journal yet. Lots of exciting things have been happening. My schedule is:

  • Gym - I am in an all Senior gym class. It's awful - but I am trying very hard to live with it. A girl named Lorrie Roth was my partner today. She asked to be. We are playing tennis. Kathy Robatham is in my class also.

  • TAP - Nothing is going on in there because we don't have busses yet. I will go to Hillcrest though.

  • Child Development - It is sort of a dippy class. Not many college bound students are taking it.

  • Spanish - The kids are horrid but Sr. Rosales is cute. He is just like a little kid. I think it will be enjoyable.

  • Love and Loneliness - Fantastic class. Miss Klein is a great teacher and fun too. Even though some kids aren't so great, I like this class.

  • Cerulean - OK. It's fun to be "big juniors" but really the same as last year. Danny seems different to me. I think I had a dream about him lately or something because I feel funny when I am around him. Sort of clean. I can't explain it.

  • Attendance Page - Fun, fun, fun! This class lets me meet people and talk to people who I don't usually talk to. Even Mr. Shuster talked to me today. Thrillsville??


And that is my day. I have a big problem though. I've seen Bob and my heart goes thump-thump. I still don't like him but my want for him is becoming stronger by the hour. It has almost reached what it was before. Yesterday I walked only fifty feet behind him. Today I couldn't find him.

I don't see how two people - once thought to be in love - could be so far apart from each other. One of these days I am going to give in and get up enough guts and say something to him.

Note:
Do you notice an absence of science and math in my schedule? That's because my counselor/student advisor suggested that since I was going to be a teacher I didn't need to take any more science or math. Being a teenager who didn't like math, I was just fine with that. I had actually wanted to take chemistry, but I guess I would have needed more math or something. The schedule is full of nothing but fluff. If I had taken a science and more math perhaps I would have become a scientist instead of a teacher. Or at least a science teacher!

I ended up quitting Child Development because it was full of unwed mothers. One told me the details of childbirth which frightened me a lot. I don't recall what I took instead of Child Development though.

TAP was the teacher's aide program. Most of the students who took that were potential drop-outs. The thought was that they would find it more interesting than regular classes.

Love and Loneliness was actually "The Literature of Love and Loneliness" and we read self help books. Miss Klein was pretty cool though. I took another class with her the following year.

Cerulean was the Yearbook staff.

Danny was Dan F. I may have mentioned him in my other journal. Of course he was different around me -- we liked each other. He was from a family of many children (at least ten). I think I was pretty unkind to him. We had one date and went to prom together -- as friends. Maybe I chronicled it later in this journal. My mom called on Saturday to let me know that Dan's mother died recently, wondering if Dan and I had kept in touch. The last time I saw Dan was at an auction probably twenty or so years ago. I think we said "hi". I think Dad did some work for him occasionally.

Not going to comment on my continued mentioning of Bob.

August 30, 1973
In which I discover what true love really is by watching TV

I just saw The Waltons and learned what true love really is. John Boy fell in love and it wasn't at all like I have ever felt. It looked so delicious to be in love instead of liking someone because they will kiss you. I vow not to go out and find guys this year. I will be me, not Cindy or Lori or Carol or anyone but Dona Patrick. I feel now that if Dona Patrick, glasses and all for now, isn't good enough for someone then I need not bother with them.

There are quite a lot of things I would like to change in me before school begins. But didn't I just say that I wanted to be me?

I am hoping that my mother and father don't come up over Labor Day. I would like to be home earlier than I thought I would be. If only a day. I have a thousand and one things to do before I go to school. Less than one week from this moment. I have to do laundry -- even clean things because everything is going to smell like smoke when I get it home.

I have noticed Grandma looking older than usual lately. The other day I was startled to see her without her top teeth in. I haven't ever, that I can remember, seen her like that.

I am trying to memorize The Highwayman again. I have it pretty well down pat. I make a few mistakes and the last three stanzas give me trouble. That poem is one of the most beautiful in my opinion.

Note:
I remember the episode of The Waltons where John Boy fell in love. So do other people, apparently.

The way I memorized The Highwayman was to I still remember bits of the poem and used it when I taught about metaphors:

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight


A number of recording artists have recorded it including Phil Ochs and Loreena McKennitt.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

August 26, 1973
In which I plot to be a mole

I don't feel like writing really. But I should. Uncle Dick came yesterday. It's all right I guess. But he is quite dominating to Grandma. I guess Grandma doesn't mind though. I am sure Mom and Dad are going to question me about him.

5:20
There are two guys out here fishing and I think I will sit and stare at them. No I won't. Grandma just came out here. The guys are cute-- at least cuter than a lot I have seen up here. Grandma went out on the big dock.

I still have little to write about. I have been thinking about Bob today. About how stupid he was and how stupid I was to like him.

Mom, Dad, and Kevin called on my birthday. It was nice to hear their voices. I really miss being home. Mom said that Chad said to Bob, "Ha, ha Robert, Dona doesn't like you anymore!" I laughed so hard! Daddy told me that Bob has a new girlfriend. It makes me feel sort of sad. Oh well, there are better things than boys in this world. What? I don't know. Whenever I think about Bob I feel sick. My stomach feels heavy and I just about puke.

Note:
I think there was tension between my parents and my uncle after my grandfather died. I know there was after my grandmother died, many years later. I felt loyal to my parents. And for years had bad feelings about my uncle. It was a surprise to me when it seemed that my mom and uncle were good friends again. I've mentioned it to my mom and either it is too touchy of a subject, or she's forgotten it, because she doesn't seem to want to talk about it.

My dad was always getting pissed off at people. Perhaps that is what it was.

Chad was a boy down the street who I used to babysit. I see his mother sometimes when I visit Elgin. She was married to a relative of the Greg I've mentioned in this journal.

August 22, 1973
In which I have unclean thoughts about the soon-to-be minister who lives down the lane

I just had a sad thought. I will never be sixteen years old again. Tonight is the last night I can say, "I'm sixteen years old." Funny -- I don't think I ever felt like this before. I don't want to stay young forever. I know that every age has its ups and downs.

Sixteen showed me many firsts - both good and bad.

  1. First "date" - I don't consider it a true date considering how it ended.

  2. First Boyfriend - funny, but my first date wasn't with my first or even second boyfriend. He wasn't a boyfriend at all.

  3. First Kiss - This was from my first boyfriend. Dumb I still say. Oh well, Bob meant well (I hope)

  4. First close death - I hate to dwell upon that

  5. First driving a car - An experience I didn't look forward to, but liked



Then there were general things like first real high school year and first football games and such. Too bad I didn't have a job this year. That would have been a real first.

I really need to have a heart-to-heart talk with myself. I am harboring um...well unclean thoughts in my supposedly pure mind. I hate to remember what I thought when I began to really notice Bob. I said to myself that I would have him. He would be the first boy I kissed. His lips attracted me very much. I can't explain this feeling. I can only feel it. I wanted Bob -- and I got him. I wanted to kiss him and I did.

Speaking about kissing I have to learn how. I think I kissed Bob four times. The last time he acted like it was all right. The other times I did it wrong. I guess that if you really love a guy kissing comes naturally. I hope.

I was thinking of a neighbor of my grandmother, Mark Lorenz. He is studying to be a minister. The other day I decided that I wanted him. I think that I might have talked myself out of thinking like that -- but I don't know. I do know one thing though. I want to meet him before I leave here.

Tomorrow I want to begin meditating. I read about it in Readers Digest and I think it may work for me. The end of the dock will work beautifully I think. I want to get up before the sunrise and watch it.

Note:
Readers Digest was my first introduction to meditating?

::shakes head::

August 21, 1973
In which I feel guilty

Actually I don't feel like writing, but I feel awful. I know that I should be helping Grandma but I am not. All I have done is lay around like a lazy fool all of the time I have been up here. I am supposed to be helping her to get reorganized - but what do I do? Sit around eating her food. I even broke her mirror last night and some glasses. I'm hindering more than helping. I wish I knew what to do!!!

Note:
I remember breaking the mirror and the beer glasses. They were on top of the dresser in which I kept my clothes and the drawer stuck a little. I pulled too hard on the drawer and the mirror, which was probably not secured on the wall fell over, breaking two beer glasses shape like lab flasks that were resting in a wooden holder. The glasses belonged to my grandfather.

My grandmother was obviously upset about what had happened. I think I apologized, but probably also was defensive. Anyway, she got over being upset quickly and helped me clean up. She said that she was sadder about grandpa's beer glasses than the mirror.

I'd thought about buying her a new mirror, but never did.

August 15, 1973
In which I need someone to confide in and write a story about myself

I really need someone my age to talk to. I will go crazy soon if I don't. Maybe I have gone crazy already because yesterday I went out on the long dock and talked to myself. Of course I had a good reason. I had just finished Five Smooth Stones. That novel is full of truth.

I hate Sally S. I don't know why I said that now -- but she is a bitch. She says things that I can't tell if they are truthful or not.

Cindy J. makes me angry also. Maybe she doesn't have tome to write -- but she should make time. I thought we were best friends -- but she has proven that thought wrong.

Lori S. is going to have a boyfriend -- a real good boyfriend -- not a Bob or Gary. But a true guy who she likes. One good thing about Bob is that I knew I didn't like him -- not like Gary who I thought I loved.

A journal is fine -- but it just can't answer questions for me -- I really don't have any solid questions -- but some vague ones that I can't put into words -- can't even find...

Once upon a time there was a young girl from a low middle-income family. When she was very young -- before she was sent to school she didn't care whether someone was "better" than herself or more a friend of her friend. But in Kindergarten she began to see cliques forming, groups that she wasn't a part of. As she grew up this feeling of being "less than most" grew until it overpowered her. She had few friends and no boyfriends at all.

Finally she was able to almost overcome this feeling with the help of her mother but the inferior complex stayed with her even at seventeen. What happens I cannot tell -- until I grow older to find out -- but I will honestly try.

All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all.

Ducks tails, drakes tales
Yellow feet a-quiver.
Yellow bills all out of sight-
Busy in the river.


I cannot remember the rest of it - a poem by Something Grahame. In fiction it is by Water Rat in Wind in the Willows. The reason I thought of that is because I see just that. Ducks with their heads under water and tails high in the air. Beautiful.

Note:
Unfortunately for the girl in the story, she never did feel as if she amounted to much. She still feels inferior to most -- less than most -- as she wrote thirty-three years ago.

Weird transition [none] to the Grahame Greene poem. I still say that when I see ducks feeding.

August 9, 1973
In which I want Bob

Time for self-analysis again. Last night I wanted Bob. Why can't I stop it? Actually that isn't what is disturbing me -- but I can't remember anything bad while lying on the dock with the warm sun shining.

August 7, 1973
In which I discover alarming news

I just read a letter that I sent to my Grandparents. It was all about Bob. I must be getting better because my stomach gets sick when I think of him now -- at least my legs don't turn to jelly like they used to. I think that as soon as I quit writing I will change my clothes and go to bed and read. Maybe I won't. Mother just went in there to lay down presumably. Too bad I'm not at home -- I feel a good cry coming on.

I just had a shock today. All along I've been thinking that I will have a week or two at home before school starts. Do you know when I am coming home? The day before school starts! How awful. I like it up here - but I will be so tired the first week. Oh well, fate is the hunter or something like that.

I filled out six post cards today to" Lori, Carol S., Carol P., Pam, Chad and Cindy.

Oh great! I was just thinking about school and remembering that Bob is going to be there.

Well I am now going to wash my face and get ready for bed and watch the late movie maybe.

Note:
I'm not sure why I wrote that about Fate is the Hunter. The movie was released in 1964. Maybe it had been on television recently or something.

In that list of people the only person I don't remember is Carol P. I knew a Carol Patrick, but don't think I knew her well enough to write post cards to her.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

August 4, 1973
In which decide to be cool

10:50 am

This is only about six or seen hours from my last entry but a lot has changed from then. It is sunny now and the sunshine has washed away all the ill clouds from my thoughts.

Of course this trip is different. Many things have changed within our family. I was just feeling sorry for myself in the last entry.

Mrs. Lorenz was just over and said that I could use her bike if I wanted to ride to town. Her sons are sitting on their dock right now (I think it is her sons). I have made up my mind to quit looking at guys. It is silly. If someone wants to like me - let him - only I'll be cool. Oh Dona, you know you won't be like that!

Note:


I scanned this photo that my grandma took when I was staying with her that summer.



I really did like going to Chetek and staying with my grandmother. She and I were very close. I wish my kids could be as close to their grandmothers as I was to my Grandma Green. I feel as if they are missing out on something very special by not being close to her.

August 4, 1973
In which I return to Chetek and am heartless

3:00 am

Well, we've arrived! I'm in my beloved Chetek. Beloved? It is terrible! Mom is crying all over the place and getting mad at everyone. I know it must be hard for her -- but, oh. I don't know.

One other thing -- I suppose it isn't so bad -- but I have to sleep in with Grandma. Kevin had the choice of either sleeping in his sleeping bag or in the bed that I usually sleep in. He chose my bed. I want to keep on writing until she wants to go to bed. How stupid Dona!

The next entry will probably be from the dock tomorrow morning, that is if mother will let me leave. Oh God. I sound so heartless. But I feel different.

Note:
My mother's father had just died. It is shocking to read this and think I was that uncaring. I was very selfish.

I think I was afraid to sleep in the bed that my grandfather had been sleeping in before he went to the hospital for the second amputation that killed him.

July 31, 1973
In which I get angry with Lori

12:30 pm

There are a hundred and one things I should be doing right now. I am not even in a mood to write. I got angry at Lori this morning because we have had it planned to go swimming some time this week. The weather rotten and besides Lori's mother has her period. It wasn't Lori's fault and I don't think she knows that I was angry with her - but when she asked if we could do something else today I told her that I would be busy all day and probably all week. Why can't Mrs. S use tampons like I do? Anyway I think she does because I saw a wrapper off of one the night I stayed over. That is another thing. What a boring church! I don't plan on going with them ever again.

I must not have had a nourishing breakfast because I am hungry already.

Dumb Cindy has failed to write me. I hope that she does before I go to Chetek or else we will have a mess. Pam hasn't written yet either.

Note:
I'm willing to bet Lori knew I was angry. I was not too subtle about my emotions back then. I'm surprised that I wanted to go swimming so much. I don't remember actually liking to swim.
Cindy was pretty bad at correspondence. She still is. I've written her a number of times and she never responds. A couple of weeks ago I found her work address on the Internet and wrote her a letter. She has not responded. I'm taking it as a hint to leave her be which is pretty painful.

July 27, 1973
In which I do not understand myself

Here I am again, at Wing Park, writing in my Journal. I think I am facing northwest, facing the swing sets and child park part.

Why do I need to write? Life has been all right these last few weeks. Do I really miss Bob? Yes, in a way I do. When Lori came over the other day we walked around a couple of blocks and I pointed out where Bob lived. Low and behold Bob was outside when we got right in front of his house and he said, "Hi Dona".

Why don't I forget him? He is out of my life and good riddence.

Another thing I fail to understand about myself is why I am attracted to younger guys. Older guys hardly attract me at all. I am not half as attracted to Greg Purdue who came to my house especially to meet me as Iam to a guy on a commercial. I don't know how old the commercial guy is but probably younger than myself

There is one person, quite a bit older than myself who I like. Mr Perkins, my driving instructor. I don't like him like I love him. That probably sounds corny -- but inside I know what it means. It is sort of like a clean like. When I think of him I feel refreshed, like a good cry.

I think I will move on now and read a chapter from F.S.S.

Note:
That attraction to younger guys remained with me for a long time. Most of my long-term relationships were with younger men and I married someone 9 months younger than I.

July 26, 1973
In which I witness two moral codes at work

11:45 am

What is right? When someone changes an answer for you in grading a test should you leave it or tell the teacher? Linda Oper graded a test of mine and gave me four extra points. She did the same for Sally and for others I suppose. I would have let it pass, but Sally saw it and I didn't want her to think I cheated sort of. Linda knows who told (which we did, like fools) and asked us why we did. I feel like everyone is giving me dirty looks. A couple of people are for sure. What does one follow - moral codes or a student code?

Note:
I don't remember this at all. Linda Oper was popular, so maybe she changed grades for her friends and thought she was doing everyone a favor. I'm not sure what I advice I would give my daughter in the same situation. Probably let it slide.

Friday, May 12, 2006

July 23, 1973
In which do something unusual

Wow! In one month I will be seventeen!
The Marshalls are moving tomorrow. It seems kind of sad.

2:30 pm
I never thought I'd have the courage to do it! But, here I am, at Wing Park, sitting under a tree, writing in my journal. It is a terribly gloomy day and I had to deliver some letters for mother and I felt like acting like an authoress of olden days. I wonder if anyone in the world has ever done this besides me -- It's so wonderful having a bike!!!

I am looking at a Chetek setting while feeling an Elgin wind. This really isn't a very good place, I think I will move on and maybe read a chapter of Five Smooth Stones at the new location.

Note:
It is sad to think that I was nearly seventeen years old and had never gone alone to Wing Park. Amazing that it took so much courage. Funny how I wondered if anyone else had ever done the same - what, ridden a bike to a park and written in a journal? Or ridden to Wing Park and written anything at all?

I vividly remember reading Five Smooth Stones, a story of interracial marriage during the civil rights years. I recently found a copy of the book at a library book sale. I don't think I will ever read it again, but I remember that it was one of the first books I'd read where the characters became like a part of my family.

The Marshalls mentioned in the entry were our next door neighbors. Beth was a buxom woman who loved cats and visited our house almost daily. She'd come to the back door and shout, "Yoohoo!" Vern was seemed older than Beth. They had a son, Billy, who'd been born to Beth before she was married and was raised his first few years by her mother. He thought Beth was his sister, and it must have come as a shock to find out she was his mother when they finally told him the truth. He and my brother were good buddies. I had a small crush on Vern.

July 19, 1973
In which hate summer school

That last entry was stupid. I guess I just feel the need of a male companion. I refuse to be like Sally and go boy hunting all of the time.

I absolutely cannot hardly wait until summer school is over. I hate it.

Note:
I took American History in summer school that year. And driver's education. It was the summer of the Watergate hearings and my history teacher let us watch the hearings on TV most of the time. Drivers ed was another story. I took summer school with the idea that I might graduate early - my friend Cindy Jordan was taking summer school classes so she could graduate early. Her father was a teacher and they had plans for Cindy's senior year.

July 17, 1973
In which I listen to some voices in my head

"Ok Dona, stop it. You will get into trouble again. If that Mental Domination really does work, which I believe it does, you will have problems."
That was my conscious speaking. I know very well that I should listen and obey, but at times I stop listening to my moral voices. With Bob my moral voices were drowned out by the pleasure of not being "sweet sixteen" any longer. I still don't regret kissing him in the least. The only thing I regret is walking arm-in-arm everywhere.

My new problem is with a guy (younger of course) who has looked t me. He lives by me and has paid attention to me...

Note
I don't remember writing this and don't know who the new problem was.

July 14, 1973
In which I admit Grandpa died

Why don't I just come out and say Grandpa's dead? Wouldn't it be easier than making a story? I leave too much feeling out of things when I write them down.

The pastor who buried Grandpa's body said exactly what I kept on telling myself. That what was lying in the coffin wasn't my grandpa. It was only an object that had housed his true self, his spirit.

Note

I believe the pastor's word was envelope. Which was a tie in to the fact that Grandpa Green worked for the US Postal Service.

July 12, 1973
In which I write cryptically about my grandfather

I just went on a "shopping spree". For me anyway. I bought some shampoo, stationery, ponytail holders, a pen, some hairspray for mother, and last but not least a new journal. I am not finished with the old one - but I had an urge. Actually I cannot find the other one and I am too lazy to look for it.

I don't want this to sound dramatic or anything gushy like that - but it isn't something I can just flatly say. So, I will put it in a story, sort of:

When I was very young he was present. A tall, now shadowy presence in the back of my mind. I don't know when he became more clear. He lived at my Grandmother's house, it was his house too -- he was my Grandfather. He was quiet. The only thing I remember about him was when he took Coco, his dog away. I remember that my Aunt Ginny (the youngest daughter) had a different story about Coco's disappearance than Grandpa did. Oh well, that's past. One other time I remember him was at Christmas one year he played Santa Claus.

Later on he has become more clear. Like the year Ginny got married. Then the year Grandpa and Grandma moved, it seemed to me he blossomed into what I remember.

Note
I remember a lot more about my grandfather than I let on. I've written a lot about him in my other journal.

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Second Journal - 7/12/73 - 12/31/75

This Journal is a 4-in-one lime-green notebook.

It cost 98 cents.

The Notebook has a space for a Name: Dona Leigh1 Patrick and a subject Begun - July 12, 1973 // Ended - December 31, 1975.

On the first divider I wrote:

July 12, 1973 - Dec 31, 1973

Love

Hate

Fear

People

Life

Death

School

1 My middle name is spelled "Lee", but I went through a period where I wanted a more interesting spelling.

It is possible I've already written some of this earlier; I sort of remember typing it.