Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Dear Diary, Episode Three #diary #TeenLife #Arizona

Dear Diary is a serialized account of one girl's teen years in the 1960s. Although based on my own diaries, the story is fiction. The angst, family drama, and joy are real enough for teenagers in any era. This is an experiment for me. I'm sharing with you the rough, first draft, the skeleton, of what could become a novel. If you  missed any episodes, go to the Index in the right column and click on “Dear Diary” for past posts.


On the following pages is my life from January 1 through December 31, 1964. Freshman and Sophomore years at Columbus High School. Go Stallions! My best friend in grade school, Janice Schmidt, gave me this diary for 8th grade graduation. I’m fourteen, 5’5”, blonde (made blonder by Gentle and Blonde), and I weight 124. I live with my mother, father, sister (Sandy age 11), and my brother (Davie age 2). 


January 15, 1964 Wednesday

Dear Diary, I didn’t feel too good today so I stayed home. Talked to Donna on the phone, and she stayed home too. I think I stayed up too late last night. Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t have talked so late to Mel on the phone, but how could I not? Then I had a short homework assignment after we hung up. Yawn, yawn. My head hurts. I didn’t have any meetings after school or any tests, so it’s no big deal if I missed today. Davie came into my room twice, once to bring me a cookie and once to see if I’d play cars with him. I brought him up on my bed, and we made roads with the sheet wrinkles and mountains with the pillows. Oh to be a toddler and so easily entertained. Mum did some cleaning and watched a soap at lunchtime. I think I’d be phenomenally bored as a housewife. Don’t tell her I said that. Mel called this afternoon to tell me he was coming over. Evan was going to drop him off and then go to Donna’s. But Donna’s mom said he couldn’t come over to see her because she stayed home from school. Sure glad Mum isn’t that strict. So, they both came over here. Mel brought my microphone, all fixed. He asked if I could go to the hayride on the 25th. Mum said yes! I think she likes Mel. Friday we’re going to our game (go Stallions) and the dance. He’s so terribly sweet. I adore him. 

January 16, 1964 Thursday

Dear Diary, I’m just a rotten daughter today. My conscience is pricking me with needles, I swear. I had to go to Corrine’s after school to use her English book and study French. I left my book in my gym locker and couldn’t get back in to get it. Studying French with a partner is better anyway. Mel drove by while we were walking so he took us to her house. Mum told me there were to be no boys at Corrine’s. I was there for studying only. I couldn’t just tell Mel to get out of Corrine’s house. I feel so crappy for lying. It’s the first and last time for me. Not that anything happened, but Mum is afraid I won’t get my studying done. But we did. Lots. He was still there when Mum picked me up so he ducked into the back room. I outright lied. I lied! Mel called me around 8:00. Watched “Bewitched” on TV tonight. I wish I could wiggle my nose and fix a few things. I love my parents, dearly! 

January 17, 1964, Friday

School’s out for two days! Wow! Weekend, Dear Diary. We played Prescott tonight. J. V. lost, but Varsity won 65 to 60. Donna poked me when Larry L. ran onto the field. I don’t care about him anymore. Mel was sitting on the other side of me so, I just gave her a wide-eyed forget about it stare. I didn’t need Mel knowing my once upon a time crush was on the field. We (Mel, me, Evan, Donna, Janice Schmidt, and Corrine) went to the dance after the game. The dance wasn’t so hot, but at least I got to show off Mel to a few people. Mmmm is all I can say. How can I explain how he turns me on? When his blue eyes give me that look…like he can see right inside of me, I melt. His black, black hair does this little curl thing on his forehead. His smile is crooked, and oh my god it’s so cute that it’s all I can do to not attack him. I get quivers that start in my chest and work their way all the way to you know where. Too boss!! Gary Sanders was there and not with Darlene. Just another fling for him I suppose. Did I tell you he’s a sophomore and Darlene is a frosh? Anyway, I guess he’s moved on again. I heard him say, “Like her? Of course not.” Or something like that. Guess he never did. I wonder if his younger brother, Jim, is as much of a playboy as Gary. They seem totally dif. Gary has straight brown hair and a bigger build, but not muscular. Jim has the cutest curly hair, kind of tipped in blond. He’s more athletic looking like a runner or something. They’re both cute. Fun night!

January 18, 1964 Saturday

I’m on the verge of tears, Diary. Mel called a little while ago. He was coming over, but Mum and Dad are going out. What makes me want to cry is he said, “I sure wish you could date.” All I could do was agree. He said he was going on to a party in Cave Creek. We were both invited, and he originally turned down the invite because I couldn’t go. Now, I guess he’s going without me. I lay on my bed listening to the radio after we hung up. Bobby Vinton came on singing “There I’ve Said it Again.” I wish I’d said it to him. If it’s the last wish I get, I want to go on my first real date on my 15th birthday and with Mel. Oh, Mel! Please don’t meet someone new at the party!!! Please, please, PLEASE! Tonight, I’ve known him two weeks. 

January 19, 1964 Sunday

Forgot to mention last night that Donna spent the night with me. Today has been the most fun ever. Mel told me he had an awful time at the party last night, and that made me so happy. Mel, Donna, Evan, Corrine, and I went to the school and played baseball and goofed around. The sun shone on us, and the air was there just for us to breathe. Do you know how it feels to be so in charge of life? To laugh and touch and know you’re so alive? On top of that… I. Love. Mel. He’s such a nut, and a lot of fun to fight with. Play fight. Donna and I had a knockdown, drag out fight too. But just for fun like Mel and me. We ended up at Donna’s. Her mom cooked us hamburgers which was really nice. Her mom is kind of different. But down deep she’s nice. Donna told me her older sister got pregnant a few years ago. Her younger brother is really her nephew. Her mom and dad have raised him like he’s theirs. I can’t imagine. I’ve seen her sister once. She isn’t around much. When the guys left, Donna and Evan were locked in a kiss like you wouldn’t believe, and her mom walked in. Not much conversation after that! 

January 20, 1964 Monday

Dear Diary, Mondays are like eating too many potato chips. They’re so good, but half way through the bag, they make you sick. I should be happy, but I feel melancholy. Last night, on the phone with Mel, he asked me to tell him whether I liked him or not. I couldn’t bring myself to say it, so I joked around about it which resulted in making the conversation difficult. He got rather angry. Tonight when he called, he asked me again. I finally said, “okay, I like you.” He’s told me twice how much he likes me. Then the conversation took a weird turn. He told me about Joyce. He loved Joyce. They were together for over a year. I think I’m going to cry. He said he’ll never feel for anyone like he did her. I love him. No matter what happens, I always will. I’m crying. I better go wash my face and go to bed.

“Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.”