My first foray into my grandfathers diaries began with this:
It began with this because the two older and smaller books I found were just his copies of the bible, both from the ’30s with no notations inside. So I opened the 1969 to the fist entry for January 1, 1969:
The beginning is fairly ordinary and curious. Why for example did he record the morning temperature every two hours? And, I didn’t think Arlington, TX ever got that cold. As I read on I tried to picture the family home, which is still standing and is the oldest home in Arlington, Mimi fixing breakfast, my brother and I playing, actually I was not even 2 yet so I probably wasn’t doing much else besides eating, pooping, and generally putting everything within my grasp in my mouth. But I digress…as did Poppa! What?
“Note: the above is incorrect, but correct for Dec 31st, 1968 – last day.”
Guess I shouldn’t feel too bad for starting this journey a few days late then. Also, I had heard Poppa was a bit nutty, he did quit school to do Vaudeville for a while, maybe this is just a small taste.
A little disappointed that I didn’t find anything older I rummaged through the box o’ stuff again and came across this:
1908! Now we’re talkin’! And he was a doctor; this makes perfect sense! Pepto-Mangan? What the hell is that?
I open the book gingerly to the first entry:
John Ruskin? Double underlined? Who the heck is that? (Whoa, just realized as I was typing that January 1st was a Wednesday in both 1908 and 1969!) And why is he so interested in the founding of Rome?
Perplexed by this entry I thumbed through a few more pages trying to figure out what it was I was reading. It became apparent that he was taking notes of some kind, and every so often there were mathematical equations..WTF?
Then there’s this lovely poem i discovered toward the back:
He was in high school when he wrote in this book! And obviously as all high school students do he was dreaming of escaping his boring life in the small town to the lights and action in the big city!
The more things change……….
(In case you’re wondering: John Ruskin)