About the diary writer

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Kansas City, Missouri, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
In the first half of the 1960s, as Barbara McDowell, I wrote nightly entries on the pages in one-year diaries. A 1961-65 Park College Diary is a transcription of those entries. Now, in 2014, you are invited to read with me the pages I wrote 50 or more years ago. Current entries are about being in Iowa for the summer. I grew up on three farms within 30 miles of Iowa City. As the oldest of four daughters, I sometimes referred to my sisters as "the kids." We helped our parents, but we also had good, wholesome fun - a characteristic I took with me to Park. Park College was 300 miles from West Chester, Iowa in Parkville, Missouri, which was, at the time, a small town on the Missouri River, ten miles northwest of Kansas City, Missouri. In 2000 Park College became Park University. Today Park has additional campuses across the nation. It was one of the first educational institutions in the U.S. to offer online learning. Parkville has shed its small town image with new restaurants and shops.

Reflections on a Summer Boyfriend - Friday, July 31, 1964

Phyllis, Virginia and I all three "overslept" this morning until 20 till 11:00, and yet we all thought it was 8:00. We decided we must have been drugged or something. This evening I mowed the back yard and rode my bike. Ann came home from Marty's. I made $6.04 detasseling corn on Sunday, July 19. Nic can't get over my stopping work at 4:00 three days a week - I "work by the clock." Maybe I should think he misses me or something and stay longer - at least he knows I'm not trying to "hang around" or "chase him" or anything. He certainly has enlivened my summer. He's quite a guy.

Received a Summer Edition of the Park Stylus - Thursday, July 30, 1964

It finally cooled off yesterday and today. Now I'm as chilly feeling as I was hot. It was cloudy today, too, for the first time in a long time. My name stamp came today, a letter from Karen saying my work on the yearbook was fine, and a good summer edition of the Park Stylus. I guess I'll take social psychology as an elective - the fall course offerings were in the Stylus. A girl from England came into the office this afternoon with Mrs. Viggers. I asked her several questions, and when she left, Nic handed me a paper on which he had written everything she said.

The Youth Fellowship Hosted a Bridal Shower - Wednesday, July 29, 1964

The youth fellowship sponsored a bridal shower for Irene Hole at the church tonight. They did a nice job with it. I won a prize for collecting the most ribbons whenever I heard someone say "I." This morning I helped Mom pick sweet corn. She froze 24 pints. We had a stray dog here, so I checked on it at the auditor's office - they deal with absentee ballots and absentee dogs - and found out he belonged to the Don Rinners. I called them, and they had given him to the Clark Bauers. So then Mom called them, and Stan came and got Angus, a big black Labrador.

Spent the Evening with Nic and His Family - Tuesday, July 28, 1964

Nic wanted me to go to the horse show at Kalona tonight, so I did and met him at the concessions stand. The whole Walker clan was there. Cherie was home from nursing school, and we spent a lot of the evening taking her places - to change clothes, for one thing. Then it began to rain and most of them headed for Walkers, but we all had to go out looking for Scott Walker and finally found him. Nic came to West Chester with me, and I drove home from Washington. I just had a feeling a letter from Evelyn would coincide with another "date" with Nic. Phyl and I went in to the dentist this morning. We each had two fillings.

WCTU County Resolutions From Grandma - Monday, July 27, 1964

Well, perhaps at last I can rest assured that I have done about all I can do for the 1964 Narva - I got the receipt back that said Karen had gotten the registered mail package. The girls and Mom went to Cedar Rapids today. Mom got me a name stamp and pad - but the name will have to be sent to me. Ann has gone to Marty's for the week. I'm done with my dress except for a snap and hook and eye. Nic, Charlie and I had a discussion about the Women's Christian Temperance Union County Convention's resolutions that Grandma McDowell, of all people - my own grandmother! - wanted in the paper. I thought Nic was going to have a fit over one of them.

Started Reading George Orwell's 1984 - Sunday, July 26, 1964

I proceeded to get more suntan this afternoon. Maybe I'll be a fairly acceptable shade of "brown" when I return to campus - America and its "status symbols." I started reading George Orwell's 1984. Maybe someday I'll get some of the books read I should have read long ago. The kids had a youth fellowship meeting tonight to plan a bridal shower for Irene Hole. I wrote to Dean Nelson to obtain permission to have a car on campus and wrote some other "business" letters.

The Gaslight Singers Were on Hootenanny - Saturday, July 25, 1964

I have my dress finished except for the buttons and hem. I suntanned for an hour this afternoon. The Gaslight Singers who were at the Park College hootenanny were on Hootenanny tonight. Mom, Dad, Phyl and Ann went to the veterinarian, Mr. Peterson's farm to see about a five year old brown mare. I "wrote" a folk song, "Home Town." I thought we had something going there for a while when Virginia began setting it to music. I don't know which is worse - being "ignored" or being "insulted" by Nic. Today he "insulted" me by acting that way himself when I couldn't think of a caption for an ad cartoon. Men!

Virginia and Ann Plan to Get a Triple Bunk Bed - Friday, July 24, 1964

I couldn't even ride my bike tonight because it had a flat tire. It was just too hot to do anything, so I did things like polish my fingernails, pick at my peeling suntan, pick at the piano, and wash my hair. Virginia and Ann are fixing up their room and plan to get a triple bunk bed. They painted my desk and Ann's dresser blue, green and white to match their color scheme. There were only five or six local news items in tonight's paper - the fewest I've ever had, I think. And after Mrs. Stewart praised my work on the local news and said she misses me during the winter.

"These Most Giddy and Brisk-Paced Times" - Thursday, July 23, 1964

"These most giddy and brisk-paced times." - Shakespeare's Twelfth Night - that adequately describes college days, but right now I need an opposite expression - wonder what it might be. I'm coming along nicely with my dress. I saw a $15 dress in Seiferts of the same material. I also saw that Wards now has the material I've had all summer reduced by 30 cents a yard - I might as well have left it at the store all this time. Orrs are looking for their lost beagle as is everyone else in town - so I learned as I rode my bike on the back road.