About the diary writer
- Barbara McDowell Whitt
- Kansas City, MO, United States
- You are invited to read with me the diary pages I wrote 50 years ago to the night. I encourage you to ask questions or leave comments following the entries. I always respond to all legitimate responses or queries. I grew up on three farms 30 miles from Iowa City. My parents were 1941 graduates of Berea College in Kentucky. My father's degree was in agriculture and my mother's was in sociology. I was the oldest of four daughters and 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. Although the Blogger platform repeats the above information when you click on "view my complete profile," when you scroll down the page you can see my interests and some of my favorite movies, music and books.
This was pay day again. It only amounts to $41.39 a week by the time taxes are deducted from my $50 total. Charles and Bob are forever joking around. Today after a lady brought in the First Presbyterian Church notice, Mr. Morris said, "If the First Presbyterians are as slow getting to the pearly gates as they are bringing in their church news, they'll never make it!" Well, I certainly will have a lot of locals for a Saturday tomorrow. I've had quite a few all week. Three more engagement pictures and announcements today, one announcement without a picture - three on Wednesday, too.
I went with Mom to a teachers' picnic down at Miksch's tonight. We took Miss Asby along. We went out to their pond for a wiener roast. I enjoyed talking to Mrs. Kephart and Mrs. Leary was also glad to see me again. I talked with Mrs. Carris at the Selective Service office about interviewing Mr. Carris for a feature about his old musical instruments. Mr. Morris suggested I could interview Judy Roland who is a member of the United States High School Band. Her mother works at the Y but I wasn't able to contact her this afternoon.
Helped Stuff Advertising Inserts, Called Mrs. Fisher For Feature Story Ideas - Wednesday, May 22, 1963
Today I helped stuff Journal inserts. The advertising sections have to be put in by hand every Wednesday. Just like stuffing inside pages for six-page Styluses. This was a busier morning again. Yesterday there was hardly anything. I called Oneita tonight to see if she had any ideas for some feature stories. She suggested any interesting hobbies. (I'd already thought of Mrs. Bauer's cruets and Mr. Griffith's shells.) She mentioned a man's old musical instruments and another man's museum. We had choir practice tonight.
We all went in to see "To Kill a Mocking Bird" tonight. It was good. Gregory Peck got the Best Actor Academy Award for it. The three little kids did well with their parts, too. I finally got a letter written to Nancy. Have some others to write, too! I've been out of school a month now. At least my job is keeping me occupied, but lately I haven't been getting much else done.
Virginia cut my hair for me tonight. I wrote to the business office to notify them of my acceptance of the financial aid the college is giving me for next year - $500 ($200 grant-in-aid and $300 student employment) and to ask them about the money I never got for my 18 hours of yearbook work. Charles and Dave both said they liked my feature story. Now to think of some other ones to do. I have the nicest job. I'm lucky to have it. Charley was asking me today if I'd had a quiet weekend and saying if I had he and Bob would take off for a few days and let me take over.
Marilyn Will Go to School in Florida, Parents Bought Her a Red MG Convertible - Sunday, May 19, 1963
By the time I left at 3:10, I doubt if Marilyn got much more done than if she'd come up here. Hope she gets her tests studied for and papers written. She's changed her major from biology to elementary education. We went to the Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church this morning. I drove and Marilyn's nice roommate Sue Brown and another girl went along. Marilyn's folks probably won't let her come back up here to school next year. But they bought her a red MG convertible with spoke wheels! It must be the life!
Spent Night at Iowa Wesleyan, My Feature Article Was on Journal's Front Page - Saturday, May 18, 1963
I drove down to Iowa Wesleyan after work to visit Marilyn. It took an hour to get to Mt. Pleasant. They're on daylight time. Marilyn thought she better not take the time to come up to our house, so I'm staying down here for the night. Tonight a nice blind date, Tom Morrasen and I, Marilyn and her present boyfriend, and another couple tripled. We took Tom's car to Fairfield for pizza. Iowa Wesleyan kids are quite a lot like Park's. In some respects they're different. They have marvelous Saturday night suppers - steaks! (Delicious ones, too!) It feels good to be back in college life! My feature article was on the Journal front page.
I called Marilyn at Iowa Wesleyan tonight. I'm going to drive down after work tomorrow and either bring her back for Saturday night and part of Sunday or stay down there, whichever works out. Journal work went fine today. I should have a nice Saturday review page this week. Jim Young was at the root beer stand today so we were talking some. (He's married to Phyllis Crone.) Mrs. Stewart saw me in Bridges and wanted me to make a list tonight of all the West Chester kids who graduated from Mid-Prairie in 1961. I guess they want to invite us to the alumni banquet, though I'm not that keen on going. Marion probably heard me say something about "If I'd just graduated from West Chester I could be going to the alumni banquet," one time.
Cooper's Splashdown Was Flawless After 22 Orbits, Interviewed a Retired Farmer - Thursday, May 16, 1963
Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper's splashdown in the Pacific at 5:20 a.m., 115 miles southeast of Midway Island was perfectly flawless following his 22 orbits of the earth. There was some concern when the automatic re-entry device was lost on the last orbit, but he brought it in manually "right on the money," as John Glenn said. It was a wonderful climax. This afternoon at 4:00 I went out to North 5th to interview Henry Kiene, a retired farmer, who made three "mosaic" pictures entirely from different kinds of seeds. Two of them are on display at Gevock's. Bob had already taken a picture of one of them.
Cooper's liftoff at 7:00 this morning was perfect. He's supposed to "sleep" in space tonight. No wonder some people would never think of keeping a diary. It can be rather hard to think of anything different to write when you do practically the same thing every day - I suppose some people's lives are that way - they never "do" anything. It's interesting to have the experience of spending entire days doing only one thing. Until this time, nearly every day I ever spent was more "varied," rather than "concentrated."