Tag Archives: old writing series

Old Writing: Part 31::My first diary

I received a one-year diary from my parents for Christmas in 1968. I wrote in it a few times.

Inside the cover I wrote:

The property of
Dona Patrick
240 Heine St.
Elgin, Illinois
and nobody better read this or ELSE!


Wednesday January 1, 1969

Dear Diary,

Last night I was playing Yahtzee ((I loved this game — still do)) with Ginny and Mommie ((that’s how I spelled it in the diary)) and Kevin and I won 2 out of 3.

I saw the parades this morning and they weren’t very interesting. ((are they ever?))

Bob and Marge were over early and Kevin, Marge and I played Yahtzee and Kerplunk. We had pork chops and I did the dishes in 15 minutes give or take a couple minutes. I just got done watching Hawaii Five-O and it was about a man who was big who strangled a girl. ((so television has been violent for a long time))


Thursday January 2, 1969

Dear Diary,

Uncle Ray came over to finish the paneling but he didn’t feel too good so he went home. He said Ronnie had the flu and Cindy just got over it and Aunt Alvera was fighting it.

Mom and Dad painted the living room ceiling today. I got a letter from Mrs. Anderson ((my sixth grade teacher)) today she said she liked the sachets and she signed it “Much love, Mrs. A. My mom just read it to Kevin.


Friday January 3, 1969

Dear Diary,

Colleen and Dawn came over and I was still in my pjs. They wanted me to come over and play so I went and is their room a mess! ((I don’t remember hanging out with Colleen and Dawn that much after early grade school so this surprises me))

Well, anyway, I ate lunch there and a boy named Mark Goalson said Jeff ((Jeff was my obsession for a few years)) picked up his noodle soup bowl out of it and his Dad pushed his nose in it so we call him noodle nose! I am going to sleep overnight at Colleen’s tonight. I’ll tell about it tomorrow.


Saturday January 4, 1969

Dear Diary,

I had fun last night even though Colleen always talked about Jeff! We watched The Incredible Mr. Limpet who turned into a fish! ((I don’t remember that I saw that film for the first time with Colleen)) When we finally got to sleep it was 12:50. We woke up at 8:15 and had to rush-rush.

We got our shirts today and they are red and black! ((bowling shirt))

Well, Debbie and Julie are over and they want me to play with them.

My scores were 61-54-80. ((bowling scores — pretty bad))


Sunday January 5, 1969

Dear Diary,

I went to bed at 3:00 last night and got up at 12:00 and thought “school tomorrow, ick!” I sat around all day and got weak from not eating. I don’t really have anything to talk about so I’ll end.


Monday January 6, 1969

Dear Diary,

School again! Guess what, Eugenia broke her arm. She said she broke it the day we got out of school. She broke it at the wrist.


Tuesday January 7, 1969

Dear Diary,

Nothing happened today except I took my old violin to Mr. Christensen.


Wednesday January 8, 1969

Dear Diary,

I can’t remember what happened today.


Thursday January 9, 1969

Dear Diary,

Tomorrow’s the day when my mom goes to the school conference. (see, I’m scared)


Friday January 10, 1969

Dear Diary,

Mom went to school today for my conference. She said they didn’t say very much except that I am a very good student.


Saturday January 11, 1969

Dear Diary,

We’re going over to Pam and Jeff’s tonight. When were went Pam jumped up and down. We made Rings and Things and Strange Change Time Machine. ((I don’t remember either of those toys. Pam and Jeff always had cooler things than I did))


Sunday January 12 1968

Dear Diary,

Nothing interesting happened today.


And that’s it. I only lasted 12 days.

But wait…There’s more!

I didn’t read further —

February 14, 1969

Dear Diary,

I got the neatest V. Card from Jeff. I think he likes me!


Thurs. June 18 1970

Dear Diary,

I just had a horrible experience, Kevin went in my room and got a note that I wrote this morning and I really didn’t want anyone to read so he gave it to Daddy and he did not want to read it and he gave it to me. I gave Kevin a dirty look so he started crying. I went in there (his room) and talked with him a little and low and behold he stopped crying. That made me feel so good. Mom is making me a green swimsuit.


Wed. July 16, 1969

Dear Diary,

What next? The moon now, Mars next? Saw the flight of Apollo 11.

Penny and I had a seance today and we brought back Hitler and Lenin. We think. Didn’t see D.S [Dark Shadows] today. Saw Michael Burke. Didn’t read Dracula today.


Tuesday November 10, 1970

Dear Diary,

I have neglected you very much. But I can’t seem to find time to write. I really love to write in you bit. well, you know.

Guess who pushed me out of his way yesterday? It was John Thompson, the “David kid”. I really hope we don’t move. If we do I will miss Cindy (most of all), Alejandra, Ann, Kim, Susan, etc. I really love this house. I never noticed it before but I think it loves me too. No kidding, I am not koo-koo. (no comments from the peanut gallery).


November 11 and 12 are torn out of the diary.

Old Writing: Part 30::Upstairs, Downstairs

I have had a nearly life-long love of British television starting with the Avengers when I was in 3rd grade. Here I talk about Upstairs, Downstairs. I was in my freshman year of college. I don’t remember writing this though.

English Comp. 102
T-TH- 8:00 – 9:15 am
1-26-76

Upstairs, Downstairs, one of public television’s most popular programs, owes much of its attractiveness to the credibility of its characters. This BBC program portrays life in Britain during WWI as seen through the eyes of one certain upper class household. Both upper and lower classes are shown. Masters and servants (Upstairs and Downstairs) interact, giving the audience glimpses of the happy and sad times of each class.

One character who comes to mind is the overbearing but sensitive butler, Hudson. The viewers can sense the pain felt by Hudson when he is told that, because of poor eyesight, he can’t be sent to “the front” to fight for his country. He overcomes this pain by joining the “Special Constables” and the pain turns to pride.

Upstairs has believable characters as well as downstairs. Richard Bellamy is the kind and patient, but troubled former master of the household. He’s the quiet member of Parliament who loves his son’s wife, Hazel, like a daughter, yet wishes that he were twenty years younger and in his son’s place because that his son doesn’t really love Hazel.

Finally, there is Georgina, the nineteen-year-old niece of Richard Bellamy. She, though not like her uncle, is a believable character. She is a young woman who is afraid of being hurt, yet wants to serve her country in its time of crisis, so she befriends many soldiers, letting take the memory of her charming personality to comfort them to whatever fate has for them. She lets them love her, but never allows herself to love them back.

Every one of the members of the Bellamy household, upstairs and down, has at least something about them that their audience can believe in. An insecurity shown by Hazel or a jealous rage by the master shows us that they are as human as ourselves.

Old Writing: Part 29::How Doth the Little Termite?

I don’t remember this — but I noticed that I didn’t finish. I only wrote one stanza and that stanza was pretty lame.

How doth the little termite
improve his appetite
by eating wood and nothing else
O that fussy termite.

(the assignment is below in mimeograph color)

Against Idleness and Mischief — An Excerpt

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower.

How skilfully she builds her cell.
How neat she spreads the wax
And labors hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.

Assignment: Using Mr. Watts’ poem as a model, make substitutions of the underlined (bolded) words with your own. Try to be as clever, original and as interesting as you can be. YES, you may change any of the other words to suit your idea. Keep the same rhythm if you do decide to change the original plan. YES, you may leave some of the underlined (bolded) words. Be imaginative!