I began thinking more about what I wished to take with me to Park on January 7, 1961 when I purchased the first of what would be six diaries with leather-like covers. Until then I had written in other assorted diaries. I wrote entries for the first six days of 1961 in a notebook and later transferred them to the new diary. I used the six diaries - each in a different color - to record my time at Park.
My three younger sisters and I earned a limited amount - $25 from time to time - for our summer time help with hay and straw baling on two of the three farms we grew up on. That allowance plus babysitting income helped with the purchases of goods I wanted and needed for my first long stay away from Iowa.
Here are some diary entries I wrote about my new 1961 diary and other purchases made "in town" which was Washington, the county seat where I was born 10 miles away from the farms, and Iowa City, 30 miles away, where my mother had received her M.A. in Education on August 9, 1961 from the University of Iowa.
Saturday, January 7, 1961 - New Diary for 1961 Looks Like College
I bought this diary in town this afternoon. I think I kind of splurged - $2.50. I feel kind of funny writing in it, kind of afraid of it or something! But I think it looks like college. Virginia took Julia Hobbs to the matinee, "Polyanna." I got Karen Yoder some hand lotion since she's my FHA secret sister. Phyllis is trying to type at least the bibliography of her research paper. She doesn't know much about the typewriter, that's for sure. I didn't seem to get much done today. I got dinner - Mom was at her Saturday class - did my English, and that's about it.
Tuesday, June 27, 1961 - A Smith-Corona Typewriter for Graduation
I have discovered that Virginia wrote at the bottom of this page. I used her rollers to set my hair after Mom gave me a permanent. I got my typewriter [graduation present from my parents] in Iowa City this morning. It's a Smith-Corona Star-Mist Blue Galaxie. It's sure nice. I bought a new lamp for my room here at home, Magic Mascara, and Mom got me some pants for college. I just put a film into my camera. I'm going to try one more film in spite of the dusty lens. It's been a long time since I loaded my camera. I talked with Jerolyn and Mrs. Kleinschmidt in Kresge's.
Friday, July 28, 1961 - A "College" Shopping Spree with Mom
Mom and I went on a "college" shopping spree while the kids [my sometimes name for my three younger sisters] went swimming [at a municipal pool in Washington]. I used my graduation money [from friends and relatives] to buy a Remington Princess electric razor - light blue. I also got a good girdle, three blouses, an orange (tangerine) bulky cardigan, mattress cover, pillow, hose, and blue suiting and green gingham to make two new dresses with. We also got my watch back. It looks like a brand new $50 watch. I babysat for Fudges tonight. The rest of our family went to the donkey baseball game, but it wasn't as good as the donkey basketball games were.
Saturday, August 19, 1961 - Still Shopping for Things for College
All the things Mom has bought me for college! Everything we got today were things I need and a lot of it we were able to get on sale: my iron, wastepaper basket, summer and winter hats and gloves, two purses, fountain pen, key case, green belt for my dress (which I finished making tonight), alarm clock, slip, three bras, swim suit and cap, and replacement buttons for my car coat. It's just like Christmas! I started cutting out my winter dress. I decided to do it on the back side of the material.
Wednesday, September 6, 1961 - $25 More Spent on College Purchases
I went to town this afternoon and got my driver's license renewed a month early. I took $25 and came home "broke." I'm costing too much to go to college. I got a rust colored suede cloth hip-length jacket that reminds me of one Mom had at Berea [College in Berea, Kentucky, that she and my father graduated from in 1941], two brown towels to have extra, rollers, bobby pins and hair net, etc., and some cologne. I (with Mom's help) altered my magenta dress. The blisters that were on my arm yesterday are going down. I must have gotten them from poison ivy, oak or sumac while I was mowing grass. We're in a 40-mile-wide "sonic boom corridor" from St. Louis to Minneapolis. We've had two since Friday.
About the diary writer
- Barbara McDowell Whitt
- 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 41 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."