About the diary writer

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Kansas City, Missouri, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
~ About: A 1961-65 Park College Diary ~ As a high school girl and then a college coed in the first half of the 1960s, I wrote nightly entries on the pages of one-year diaries. In January 2010 I began transcribing the entries into a blog and gave each one a title. I grew up on three farms within 30 miles of Iowa City and the University of Iowa with its Iowa Writers' Workshop. As the oldest of four daughters, in my diaries 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 is 300 miles southwest of 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 41 campus centers across the nation. Park was one of the first educational institutions in the United States to offer online learning. My last post was on May 22, 2018. I may be followed on Twitter @BarbaraMcDWhitt.

March 27, 2017: Memories of Park - March Happenings 55 Years Ago

While re-reading my diary entries I've found that I've occasionally incorporated a writing occurrence of each of my parents into my commentary. In the diaries my mother wrote in at Berea College in Berea, KY from 1937-41 she sometimes wrote phrases instead of sentences. When I wrote "Now to anatomy test preparation." in my entry on March 29, 1962, I was intentionally copying her. She began writing in diaries when she was eleven. So did I.

Long after my college years I've read letters that my dad wrote to his parents during his 1937-41 time at Berea. He often wrote that an event was "real good" or "real nice". Likewise, on March 18, 1962 I wrote that the movie "Bridge to the Sun" was "real good". The number of times I used the "real" phrase while in college - before I had had the opportunity to read his letters - tells me that it was a "like father - like daughter" form of writing that passed from him to me.

The month of March has always held special memories and meanings for me. Perhaps the spaciousness - conducive to kite flying - of our last farm (before my dad left farming to become an administrative assistant and bookkeeper at Mid-Prairie Community High School) caused me to think of that pasture as I wrote my March 18 entry. I was likewise undoubtedly thinking of my forthcoming spring vacation in Iowa. Here, then, are five posts written in my first March in Missouri - 55 years ago this month.

Senate Candidate Crosby Kemper Spoke in Assembly - Tuesday, March 13, 1962

I asked Roger Rikkola to the Hawley House Party Saturday evening. Our assembly speaker this morning was Crosby Kemper, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Missouri. If he becomes president someday I'll have met him! That reminds me, I ought to see if I could see former President Truman in Independence. We went upstairs in the gym to have more mat space, barbells and equipment for apparatus class. It was like an attic on a rainy day. Phyllis, Virginia and Ann are having tumbling and apparatus, too.

At Home We Get a New 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air - Wednesday, March 14, 1962

I have just spent exactly two hours on French. The trouble is, I didn't get started till five after 10:00. I wrote home tonight and then went to the anatomy lab for a while to study the bones. I had to go around to the side of the building and yell at them through the window to come and let me in. We got a new car at home, gee! A green Bel Air 1962! Our last "new" car was the 1949 Dodge. Our others have been used cars.

The St. Patrick's Day House Party Tonight Was Fabulous - Saturday, March 17, 1962

The house party was simply fabulous. Roger was so nice. He brought me a corsage. It was a green colored orchid. He didn't need to do that. At present a few of us on the clean-up committee are in the midst of putting things back in order. Our rainbow out in front looked real nice as did the lounge decorations. I spent all day with house party preparations - as did almost everyone. Oh, it was all so sharp. I'm really glad I asked someone, especially a boy as nice as Roger.

Arts and Culture Movie "Bridge to the Sun" Was Good - Sunday, March 18, 1962

I just made my date bars and am waiting for them to cool so we can eat them. Tonight I hope my anatomy sinks in for the test tomorrow. The arts and culture movie, "Bridge to the Sun," was real good. There was such a nice spring evening feel out after the movie. The white fluffy clouds were against the gray sky and it had just rained. This would have been a good day or weekend to go out to the pasture at home. Gee, two weeks till my first college spring vacation.

Religion and Life: John Fry, Presbyterian Life Editor - Thursday, March 29, 1962

One thing for sure, we are certainly taking spring vacation more matter-of-factly than we did Christmas vacation. It doesn't seem possible that it's here. I remember how far away it looked on the year's calendar of events. John Fry, an associate editor of Presbyterian Life, is on campus for Religion and Life Week. He had a good discussion in the lounge tonight and a good assembly speech. I got $33.60 for March through the 26th. Another rainy day following a beautiful one. It's happened at least three times. Now anatomy test preparation.


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