About the diary writer

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Kansas City, Missouri, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
In the first half of the 1960s I wrote nightly entries on the pages of one-year diaries. A 1961-65 Park College Diary is a transcription of those entries. The first entry was on January 1, 1960 when I was a junior in high school. I grew up on three farms within 30 miles of Iowa City with the University of Iowa and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. As the oldest of four daughters, I sometimes referred to my sisters as "the kids" or "the girls." 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, on the Missouri River 10 miles northwest of Kansas City, Missouri, and across the river from Kansas City, Kansas. In 2000 Park College became Park University. Today Park's flagship campus is in Parkville and there are an additional 40 campus centers across the nation. Park was one of the first educational institutions in the United States to offer online learning. Beginning August 10, 2015, 50 years after I wrote my last entry in a one-year diary, I've written Park related Blogger blog posts to keep A 1961-65 Park College Diary "current."

Friday, February 24, 2017: Memories of Park - Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer

During my four years at Park students enjoyed four distinct seasons. Fall changed trees on campus and in the surrounding woods into brilliant shades of orange and yellow. The same trees were stark brown or black against the white of winter snows. Spring brought out red buds in their reddish pink splendor. The green leaves of summer could appear in late April and last until they again turned to their autumn hues.

Here, then, are four entries noting such times:

A Dozen Red Roses - Monday, October 7, 1963

The phys psych test wasn't too bad but I probably did about the worst of anybody. Nancy and I went to Bob Young's campaign party in the Brig tonight. We bowled with Tom, Ben and Paul while George set pins. However, we didn't have time to finish our game. We had a house meeting tonight. After supper there was an LLC float committee meeting followed by Nancy and me going up to visit Margie in the health center. She has strep throat. We have been having beautiful fall weather, an Indian summer so far. It has only rained about an hour since we've been back this fall. This was Vivien's birthday. Charlie got her a dozen red roses.

Dr. Pai Liked Philosophy of Education Paper - Tuesday, February 23, 1965

It snowed - the deep and drifting kind that causes schools - except for Park College - to close. I didn't have any classes since Mrs. Gibson couldn't get here for developmental psych class. This has been a neat day - first of all, the snow was relaxing. I talked to Dr. Frizzle and Dr. Radloff on the phone about their concept of the mind (for philosophy of education). Dr. Pai implied that I am a stronger - as opposed to a weaker - student. He liked my last philosophy paper. I went to the library with and then watched a TV program about Leonardo da Vinci with Seth. Maybe we, too, can be "da Vincis"!

Spring Has Popped and Red Bud Trees Are Worthy of a Colored Film - Monday, April 23, 1962

We think this was the day spring popped. The red bud is so pretty. I should have a colored film in my camera. There were almost as many magazines to check in today as there were the day after spring vacation. I got a nice letter from Phyllis. Junean won a four year college scholarship to the State College of Iowa for  
sixth place in the Eastern Iowa Science Fair. I'm sending a post card to Mrs. Woodford to let her know I can help with Bible School.

Lowells Win Soccer Game, Everything is Summer Green - Monday, April 30, 1962

I guess I'll sleep in Margie's room to give her some peace of mind since the prowler may be back. A few of us were down cheering the Lowells tonight in the soccer game. We beat the Lances 3-2! I'm afraid Hal Henderson thought I was losing my mind cheering so loud. This was a cool rainy day. I think we had a week of spring and now everything is summer green. Oh, it's too beautiful for words.

Friday, January 13, 2017: Memories of Parkville - Merchandise and Events

During my time at Park I walked many times to Parkville and back or made trips in my car which I had my senior year and some of the summer after it. Park and Parkville have always been near and dear to my heart. Parkville is fortunate to have been among the American small towns that have evolved with the times. It was quaint in an old-fashioned sense when I was there in the early to mid 1960s. Today its charm is due, as it was then, to the friendliness and expertise of its merchants. Here, in the order I found them when I did a blog search for Parkville, is a record of some, but not all, of my trips there and my reasons for going:

Jim got one of the Parkville men to bring a very old truck up here and we took some of Evelyn's and my stuff down to their apartment which they've rented in Parkville. They are letting me store some things in their basement for the summer. *** Fred Haenisch called me tonight and wanted to go down to an establishment that has opened up in Parkville. They were supposed to be serving turkey sandwiches, but after walking up Parkville's main street and back we still couldn't get any. *** I went with Margaret McElwain and Barb Page to the Parkville Presbyterian Church. *** Bonnie and I went to see Dr. Swaney, the folk singer, in the opening performance of the Parkville Fine Arts Festival.

This morning Evelyn and I went down to Parkville. I took my colored film and got some tissue paper and Christmas stamps. *** Nancy and I took a walk through Parkville in the rain this afternoon. The Parkville librarian let me have the copy of the paper with the student council picture in it. *** I was in the restroom at Union Station when I heard an announcement for a train leaving for Council Bluffs and Omaha, so I hurried ("Information" man said I could buy my ticket on the train) and rode to Parkville for 44 cents. *** This afternoon I went down to Parkville. I got Mrs. Cowan a gift package of perfume nips for Christmas at the gift shop. The lady was so nice. She not only gift wrapped it for me but got it ready for mailing.

I made a trip to Parkville this afternoon to get some distilled water for my steam iron, some sandpaper, and to inquire about Parkville-Kansas City Trailways bus trips. I hope nobody thought my jug had gin in it! *** Seth and I walked around campus and through Parkville. *** A number of other senior girls and I went to a tea sponsored by the American Society of University Women, Parkville branch, at the Presbyterian church tonight. It was very nice. *** This afternoon Evelyn and I went to Parkville to buy prizes for the SNEA booth at the Student Union Development Committee carnival tonight.

Evelyn and I went down to Parkville to order Harvest Festival flowers. *** I went down to Parkville this afternoon to get some supplies for the new education department kitchen. *** This afternoon I went down to Parkville to get some boxes so I could get started packing. After supper Evelyn went with me down to the laundromat to dry clean my winter clothes. On the way down the fire department whistle blew when we were across from the fire station and then Jim appeared out of no where. He had been getting advertising in one of the stores.

Yes, I was glad there was a true "town and gown" relationship between Parkville and Park College. And I was also glad Park and Parkville were as close to Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas as the are.    

Thursday, December 15, 2016: Memories of Park - December 1961

Christmas at Park College was always special, but my first Christmas there is the most poignant in my memory. First, because it was my first Christmas there, and then because it was my Class of 1965's one and only year to have two 18-week semesters - meaning we could enjoy Christmas on the campus and in nearby Parkville and Kansas City because students weren't preoccupied studying for finals. That was the case in December 1962, 1963 and 1964. In those years the Park administration had made the decision to put professors, instructors and students on three 15-week trimesters per year, meaning the fall semesters needed to be finished before Christmas. Fortunately the summer trimester was optional. Here, then, is what I wrote about Christmas at Park in December 1961:

Going Down Mackay Hill on Cafeteria Trays - Friday, December 8, 1961

This was pre-registration day for next semester so there were no classes. I will be taking French, world literature, anthropology, anatomy and physiology, introduction to music, and apparatus and field hockey for 16 hours. And today it snowed. It's so perfect. Tonight a bunch of us went sliding on Mackay hill on Commons cafeteria trays. We had a panic. ...

We Go to See the Plaza Lights - Tuesday, December 12, 1961

Tonight a school bus load of us went to see the Country Club Plaza lights. They are really pretty. Some of them follow the shapes of the tower-like building tops. Judy Cox guided Nancy Huebner, Kathy Gillespie and me around the stores. ...

A Candlelight Vespers Service - Wednesday, December 13, 1961

I'm packed and ready to go - if I'm not forgetting anything. Carolyn Frobig is going to get my train ticket for me so that will save me some time and trouble. My one suitcase is pretty bulging - I can just see it coming apart in Union Station! Tonight the family style Christmas dinner was very nice and the candlelight vespers service was so nice. This has really been a nice Christmas at Park. Everyone is packing and wishing each other a Merry Christmas.

Leaving Park for Christmas - Thursday, December 14, 1961

It's good to be home. My train was an hour late. We didn't leave Kansas City till about 10:30. Mrs. Cox took Flo, Nancy Kelley, Ken Peerson and me to the station. We met Carolyn Frobig about 9:00. Her uncle helped us catch our trains. The different train men were nice. It was fun being in a big city train station and seeing another city at Christmas. This afternoon I got ready to leave, cleaned our room, typed Vivien's philosophy paper and got her off, read my biology, locked our room behind me, and left Park College for two and a half weeks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016: Memories of Park- Thanksgiving in 1961 and 1963

As a Park student I stayed on campus for Thanksgiving in 1961, went to and from home in Iowa by train in 1962, remained in Parkville in 1963, and went home again in 1964. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, putting a somber mood on Thanksgiving, less than a week later. I've chosen to reprint what I transcribed from my diaries on the two Thanksgiving days and evenings I celebrated with others at Park in 1961 and 1963.

An Enjoyable Thanksgiving at Park - Thursday, November 23, 1961:

My first Thanksgiving away from home was nice. I didn't get up till 10:30 - it was good to sleep for a change. Vivien's and my breakfast was sweet rolls and tea. The Thanksgiving dinner was served family style and it truly tasted just like a good old home Thanksgiving dinner. I guess the taste and style of Thanksgiving food is a national tradition for sure. Vivien and I walked up to Alfalfa Point this afternoon. It was really inspiring and relaxing to look out over the Missouri. When we got back Mom Hawkins had food left over from dinner in the lounge - again just like Thanksgiving at home. Now I must get busy and read The Odyssey. I intended to write four letters today but only got the round robin answered.

A Professor's Thanksgiving Meal - Thursday, November 28, 1963:

I still don't know why, but Dr. Gochman called me this evening and had me come over to his apartment in Woodward to help him eat some Thanksgiving turkey, "along with some other students." The group - none of whom I knew very well - wasn't exactly my type, but it was a privilege to be invited to a professor's home for Thanksgiving supper. Miss Thomas was there, too. Our Thanksgiving dinner in Commons was very nice, too. I always like to recall past Thanksgivings. I read physiological psychology this morning and did a reading report after dinner. Evelyn and Jim wet to Hans's sister's for Thanksgiving.    

Thursday, October 20, 2016: Memories of Park - Soccer Makes Park Unique

One of the things that makes Park unique is that it has never had an intercollegiate football program. It does, however, have something that distinguishes it - soccer. Every year as the leaves turn bright with color and the outdoor air becomes cooler, I remember afternoons in the bright sunshine, watching Park men in their canary and wine colored uniforms (Park now also has women's soccer) move across the field, back and forth, advancing a ball with feet and heads toward the opponent's goal defended by a goalie.

Under a photo of the 1961 Park soccer team, the 1961-62 Park Narva staff described the season this way:

"The 1961 soccer season proved to be one of the best in the history of Park College. Under the leadership of Coach Ara Zakaryan and Captain Mel Blades, the team was able to win five games, while losing only two and tying one. Outstanding players for Park were Paul Thackaberry, a senior, who led the scoring with a total of 10 goals, and John Clarke, a senior goalie, who had a total of 85 saves."

A year later the 1962-63 Narva stated: "The 1962 Park soccer team had one of its most successful seasons. Park had a 7 win, 2 loss record and was selected to represent Area 1 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Soccer Tournament at Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana. Park took third place in the tournament and positions on the All Tournament were awarded to Sinan Kunt and Desire Assa, with honorable mention to Bill Higginbotham. High scorer this year was senior Mel Blades who broke the school record by scoring 12 goals. Team captain was Hal Henderson, a junior, coaches were Ara Zakaryan and Ed Nelson, student manager was Joel Givertz an student trainer, Dave Bromberg."

In my diaries I wrote, on Saturday, October 28, 1961: "Park beat Emporia State this afternoon in a thrilling soccer game. Emporia had beat Tabor."

On Saturday, September 22, 1962: "This afternoon Flo, Barb and I went down to watch the Air Force Academy play Park in the first home soccer game of the season. It was a good game, but we lost 5-2. Four years ago they beat Park 4-1."

Friday, November 16, 1962: "Park is playing in the national soccer tournament during Thanksgiving vacation."

Saturday, September 21, 1963: "We beat Tabor in our first soccer game of the season, our second defeat of our archrival and the first time in seven years we've beat them at home."

And on Saturday, October 5, 1963: "The delegation to the Park-Tabor soccer game in Hillsboro, Kansas, returned at 2:30 this morning. The game was thrilling, a 3-3 tie after three 5-minute overtimes." I, of course, had gone with the students who went by school bus to attend the game.

In 2016 soccer still reigns supreme at Park.

Saturday, September 10, 2016: A Park College Freshman 55 Years Ago

Fifty-five years ago, on Saturday, September 9, 1961 my parents, three younger sisters and I saw Park College for the first time. Visits to college and university campuses while still in high school were not as common as they are now. Arriving from a farm in Iowa, we drove around the campus, then found a motel room in Riverside. Move-in day for Park students was on September 10.

Yesterday, September 9, 2016 was the 36th birthday for the younger of my husband's and my two daughters. Today she is moving from an apartment to her first house, both near Zona Rosa in the Northland area of Platte County. She sometimes drives through Parkville on her way home from teaching in Kansas City and thinks of her mom as she passes Mackay. 

In January 2015 Kenneth R. Klamm began a Facebook group called Parkville Missouri History. Parkville and Park have a true town and gown relationship, and Kenneth has graciously admitted me to the group and has liked contributions pertaining to A 1961-65 Park College Diary.

Today, in honor of the 55th anniversary of my first 21 days at Park and in Parkville and Kansas City, I have chosen to share the titles I gave my 1961 diary entries when I compiled them as blog posts in 2011.

We See Park College for the First Time -
Saturday, September 9, 1961

Park Days and Nights are Underway -
Sunday, September 10, 1961

Park is a Wonderful College -
Monday, September 11, 1961

The PCCs Give a Roman Party -
Tuesday, September 12, 1961

We Buy Bedspreads in Kansas City -
Wednesday, September 13, 1961

We Register for Classes and Find Books -
Thursday, September 14, 1961

College Classes Sound Enjoyable -
Friday, September 15, 1961

The Social Clubs Choose Their New Pledges -
Saturday, September 16, 1961

A Date for Frosh Court - 
Sunday, September 17, 1961

Dag Hammarskjold Dies in African Plane Crash -
Monday, September 18, 1961

Park's 87th Opening Convocation is Impressive -
Tuesday, September 19, 1961

Hell Week Has Begun -
Wednesday, September 20, 1961

Awakened at 4:00 for Hell Week -
Thursday, September 21, 1961

Planning a Freshman Skit for Frosh Court -
Friday, September 22, 1961

Hell Week is Over and Frosh Court is a Success -
Saturday, September 23, 1961

Mid-Prairie Yearbook Came Yesterday -
Sunday, September 24, 1961

A Day of Successes -
Monday, September 25, 1961

An Individual Microscope for Biology Lab -
Tuesday, September 26, 1961

Will Dress for Dinner on Tuesdays -
Wednesday, September 27, 1961

Liking the Way French Class is Taught -
Thursday, September 28, 1961

A Visit to the Campus Infirmary -
Friday, September 29, 1961

Our Dorm Room will be Colonial Style -
Saturday, September 30, 1961

To read what I wrote on each of those nights, I invite you to find the "Blog Archive" on the right hand side of this blog post. Scroll to read "Archive Explained" and then scroll to find September 2011.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016: Memories of Park - Taking Physical Education Classes

Watching the world's finest athletes compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro reminds me that, when I was a student at Park in the first half of the 1960s, all students were required to take a total of 8 hours of physical education classes. Each class was worth two credit hours. Upperclass students advised freshmen to get them worked into our schedules during our freshman and sophomore years if possible. In that I succeeded. In my competence in the classes I ended up fitting into my schedule, not so much - except for modern dance. In that, I was a leader. Here are segments from some of my diary entries:

Thursday, January 10, 1963: In swimming I found out I can neither breathe nor kick right - I knew I didn't - so I've much to learn - she vows we'll all learn each stroke!

[I didn't, but I gratefully received a C for the course. The "she" I mention was Mrs. Barbara Dorsey, who, during her time at Park, taught each of the phys ed classes I took. She was a talented woman who also coached tennis and golf.]

My introduction to college level phys ed began with the trampoline.

Monday, October 16, 1961: Did I ever mess up on my trampoline practical test. Not only did I about kill myself doing the back drop, I couldn't even go down for the front. She (Mrs. Dorsey) said not to worry about it though.

Tuesday, October 17, 1961: I went over to work out on the trampoline and got my confidence back on the front drop but still need to relearn the back drop.

Monday, October 30, 1961: We started turning flips on the trampoline. [I wrote a collective "We." I don't imagine I did any flips.]

After the trampoline classes were over we began fencing.

Monday, November 15, 1961: We got our foils for fencing in phys ed. It sounds like it will be fun.

Monday, November 27, 1961: I got "yelled at" in gym - "Young lady, don't lift your back foot when you lunge!"

Friday, January 19, 1962: Since I spent two hours on my written fencing final this morning (it called for a lot of details) I didn't get to lunch till 1:00 and therefore didn't get to my world lit reading like I had planned.

In the fall of my sophomore year I wrote on Thursday, September 6, 1962: Modern dance is with Mrs. Dorsey who has studied it under one of New York's leading teachers.

Thursday, October 4, 1962: Leslie, Sarah and I got an A on our modern dance interpretation of "Trees in a Storm." Just one other group got an A. She said as she had looked around beforehand, ours had looked the best. She said that about my group once before, too.

Monday, October 8, 1962: Tonight Edna, Theresa and I practiced for modern dance -we finally decided to use "Good Night, Ladies." It has to be a song.

Thursday, October 18, 1962: We got an A- on our modern dance interpretation of "The Puzzled Centipede"- Sandy, Mary Kit, Kelmie and I. I was the frog.