Thursday, May 10, 2007

Postings from my diary: These will be heavily edited. Mainly because it is not interesting, is ridiculously silly, or repetitive.

Beginning when I was 11 years old in 1955

January 1. 1955

Today I went to town. I should have washed my hair but I didn't. I hunted for pajamas but didn't find any.

January 2,
We took Mammy to the depot last night. June and I went to Yvonne and Joyce's . Joyce and I stayed in the play house.

Jan 3
Emily asked could me and her clean the cloak room before Doris could ask.

Jan 6
Doris Hill said she was going to tell on me and Emily. She did but nothing happened.

we ground corn, 21 sacks. We did it with the new pulley Daddy bought.

January 20
Daddy traded disks, tractors, and bought a truck. He traded for a 55 Ford.

Feb 13
We went to Decaturville to see the oil well but we didn't see the oil well. June saw some cute boys.

Feb 19
Mother and I ground 14 sacks of corn.

March 4
I made an A on my report on Benjamin Harrison.

March 15
Uncle Luke died. (This was Big Mama's brother.)

March 19
Today is Johnny's birthday. he is three. John got a little tractor and wagon for his birthday.

May 17
Mother, John, Janice, and I went to Mrs. Vivian's. We got some English peas and mustard. At home we set out four rows of strawberries, some tomatoes and peppers.

June 4
We went to Lexington for baling wire and got back by 9:35 am. They baled 100 bales of Daddy's hay. Joan Talley was on TV.

June 11
Julia and Jerrell got married. I polished silverware.

June 25
Aunt Velma gave Julia a shower. June and I gave her a pitcher and glasses. We were blind folded and then we had to find and put on our shoes.

July 2
We came home and ate stew and lemonade at church. We were over at Aunt Callie's and saw a strange thing in the sky. (UFO?)

July 16
Julia and Jerrell came. I made 5 pints of blackberry jam.

July 18
We went fishing in the big ditch. I caught 8, Bob 1, June 3, and Carolyn 2.

July 20
I canned 5 quarts of grapes.

July 25
School starts today. There are 43 enrolled.

August 24
Charlie Glenn Miller was at school today. he's DJC's boyfriend from Memphis. He's not cute one bit.

September 8
Today we played steal the bacon.

September 15
We played slinging statues at school. I have to feed and water the calfs every day now.

September 16
Today is the last day of school. For dinner we had a pepsi cola.

September 19
We picked cotton Lama, Terry, Carolyn helped us. I picked 100.

September 28
We didn't pick cotton. the Yankees beat the Dodgers. (Evidently this was the World Series.)

October 21
Picked cotton Uncle Cleo's place. Picked 172 pounds.

October 25
Today is my birthday. I am 12 years old.

October 30
Jerrell is sick. Uncle Carmen, Aunt Catherine, Julia, and June took him to the Veteran's Hospital in Nashville.

November 17
I went to school. Mother and John made Janice a birthday cake. She is one.

December 4
Uncle George is at home. We had turkey dinner at Mama's after church. Uncle George is crazy.

December 17
Pulled bolls on Mammy's place all day long.

December 18
I said a poem in the program at sunday School. Emily and I sang The first Noel.

December 22
Christmas play. I started all songs too high or low.

December 23
Just 7th, 8th grades came to school. We cleaned up . Aunt Velma served us wonderful cokes and cookies. Daddy got Mother a TV.

December 24
Of course, I went to Mama's. had wonderful supper, had pictures taken, went to bed and talked to cousins.

December 25
I got 2 slips, a blouse, notebook, permanent, purse. June got a $20 dress from Roy Neal.

(I don't understand the December 23 post. I was only in the 6th grade that year.)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Notes: I think now the teasing about the English teacher was because the boys couldn't think of anything else to say to me. I never went to the teacher's office, only talked to him after class. At that time, MSU was on a three point system. An A was worth 3 points, so George Rodney's 2.111 was better than a B.

Wed. afternoon

Dear Sister,
I always read my letters to Doc so don't write things about him that you would care for him to read. I like him as much as ever now. He brought me a piece of his daddy's birthday cake.

I wish you would write to tell me all about Daddy. Mother seems very worried over him.

This is "Pansy Picking Week." The flowers all over the campus have been looking so pretty for the last few weeks. Next week they will be plowed up, so this week anyone can pick them. I was over in front of Hilbun Hall this afternoon in the middle of the flower bed and I almost stopped traffic. You've never seen such staring.

I think I told you about the April Fool's Joke in my last letter. If I didn't, write me and I'll tell you.

Wed. Night

I'm so glad I didn't quit Doc. Maybe you'll get to meet him yet. I hop you won't be disappointed.

He is a wonderful ballplayer. Wish we could get him to play ball with us some summer Sunday afternoon.

I have come to the conclusion that the only way y'all will get to meet Doc is for him to come up there. It would be too obvious if I just asked him to come. It would seem as if he were going to be inspected. It would have to be a special event. Why don't you think of something?

For the 2nd year in a row, I'm missing the first Sunday in May.

I have changed my research paper title to "The Good-Natured American." My teacher is a very young graduate student, you know. The boys, especially Steve Roebuck, is always teasing me about him. Especially about getting help after class. I like Mr. Bryan though. When I finally finished reading the research booklet, 2 days after I was supposed to, I went up and told him and he said, "Congratulations." It took me forever to pick out a subject. Then today when I told him I had changed, he said " Well, what is it TODAY?"

I'm so proud of Doc's grades. He has a 2.111 at mid-semester. He has C's in calculus and graphics, B's in physics, and A's in chemistry, government, ROTC, and PE.

I'm going to an opera Friday night. It's the German opera "Fladermaus" meaning "The Bat." I've heard the whole story from Cliff Watson and it's in English so maybe I can understand it. I don't understand Cliff. He dates a girl in the dorm-Bobbie Betts. Maybe he's just trying to be a good friend to me. I don't know. However you wouldn't beg a good friend into going to an opera. I mean just insist on it. would you? His father is Jones County supt. of Schools. I like Jones C., don't I!

(Missing pages here)

Ann Carroll is here now. It is 12 o'clock. I wish she'd leave.

thurs. afternoon

My schedule:
thurs. afternoon_Put out this Week in BSU
Fri. night-(1) opera
(2)Hull Dance
Sat. afternoon-Fishing
Sat. night-movie

All except fri. night with Doc.

Write again soon. Be sure to tell me about Daddy.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

January 18, 1962

Dear sister,

I forgot to tell you in my last letter that I made 100 on final chemistry lab test. That counts a third of my lab grade which counts a third of my chemistry grade. I just got back a calculus paper on which I made 85. I honestly worked my head off on that test. I have started reviewing and I am hoping I can get by with a C.

Bill Wheatley wrote me the nicest letter all about Hawaii. His is going to Japan next and he said if he found something there that he thought I might like he would send it to me as a gift. Isn't that sweet?

I told y'all that Wednesdy was Doc's birthday. I called him Tuesday afternoon and asked him to take Mary Kathryn and me to town which he did. He said he was going anyway but if he was he finished his business in a hurry. Anyway that was about 2:30. He sat in the car studying calculus so we were afraid to go into any men's shops because he would see us. We saw we were going to be there for a long time so we told him to just come after us at 4 since he had a class at 3. anyway we finally bought some Russian Leather men's cologne made by chanel who also makes Chanel No. 5.

When we got back to school we started wondering whether he would like it. I really had my doubts but it was too late to get anything else, but I think he did like it. I hope so.

He called me last night for no reason at all. I asked him why and he said he had a telephone ad pinned up in his room which says "When was the last time you called Mary?" A boy came in his room and asked him that. He said he didn't have any change so the boy gave him some change and he called me.

Ellen Gowan and George Long are engaged. She has the prettiest ring. It is white gold with a tiny solitaire that looks beautiful because her hand is so small. We threw her in the shower last night since she only told Mary K, Frances, Sue Beth, and me Wednesday. That night we started to put drops in Mary K's eyes because her contacts had been hurting her. Frances holds her head, I hold her hands, and Ellen puts the drops in. We started to do that and Mary K noticed her ring. You should have seen George yesterday. He was just like a little kid. Doc and I were in the post office and he spoke to us from way across the room and just grinned ear to ear. They hope they will be able to get married in August in the first Baptist Church in McAdams.

I am sitting in calculus and writing a letter, but that's nothing as Ken Casey, Ray Jones, Bobby Moore, and Happy Daze are playing cards. Now Ray and Ken are playing Rock, Scissors, and Paper.

I may not be home between semesters if I decide to go to mid-winter retreat the BSU's having. Everyone is going. It cost $5. What should I do?

Someone asked Bobby Gann last night if Doc and I were brother and sister! That kills me.

Note: Still not spelling tomorrow correctly.

It is 15 degrees outside now. The weatherman said it is supposed to get down to 5 tonight and not get over 10 tommorrow. It is still snowing as I write this at ten o'clock. If it snows all night, we will have no school tommorrow because the professor's cannot get here. Don't you know we'll have a blast tommorrow. I see I have forgotten to say that we have about 8 inches of snow today. Most of it fell as I was in chemistry lab.

There are only two girls in lab. I knew something was going to happen when we got out. the rest of the classes went out a second or two before I did. I went on down to the basement of the Chemistry building and went out the side door. After getting a big snowball, I sneaked around the side. There at the front were four of the boys I'm always playing around with. Then they saw me. I threw my snowball hitting nothing. They begin throwing right on their target. I started running down the sidewalk to the dorm with them chasing me. The sidewalks were just like glass and I absolutely slid all the way.

When I got to the dorm, I found out we had special permission to wear pants to classes and on campus. I put mine on and went to the post office. I carried my umbrella as it was snowing so hard. In front of the post office, I met Edwin Ellis, or more accurately, I met a snowball of his, head on. He must not have thought would hhrow at him, because I had no trouble at all planting one on his face. We threw at each other for about five minutes there in front of the YMCA. I decided to wait for Doc at Lee Hall because I knew had had a class at three there. I waited and waited but no doc. When classes changed along came Carlos and Kenneth. When we got outside, Ken put a little snow on my collar. These boys down here don't think girls can throw snow because I caught him unexpectedly with a handful right in the face. We were standing on the side steps of Lee Hall and just mashing it in each other's faces. When it was just caked on our faces, we stopped. Carlos had been on the inside. When he came out he threw at me and I chased him to the post office. When I got down there, all the boys loitering in front of the Y started throwing at me so I made a wise retreat.

Late this afternoon, I carried a book to the library and Tootie Hill threw a snowball at me. He is a big football player. It really thrilled me to death. He scored out touchdown against Ole Miss.

I finally got to the cafeteria about 5:30. Frances and I ate with Doc, Ken, Carlos, and Whistle.

We borrowed a tray from the cafeteria and later tonight Doc and I went over to Magruder and slid down the hill there. The tray was too small for him but it did just fine for me. Tommorrow we're going to try the one behind Herbert. It has a road going down it. Just knowing it is going to be a thrill and a half. Ought to be able to pass the speed of sound on it.

This is really fun. I love being here so much.

They called the Alabama game off.

Note: Each county used to have a number on their license plate. For example, if your tag was 61-7684, then that meant you lived in Chester County because 61 was Chester County's number. It was done by population with higher population counties having higher numbers. Davidson County was 1 since it has the capitol. Shelby, the most populous county, was 2. I think Madison was 7.

This letter would have been written in the fall of 1961. Evidently this was homecoming and high school day.

I left in the spelling for tomorrow. I have had trouble all my life remembering which is the double letter.

This is written on the back of a mimeographed paper from Petroleum Engineering titled Stimulation of Oil Wells by Hydraulic Fracturing Dawell-Allison Pumper.

Dear Family,

I am o.k. I've been too busy to write. I worked until 11:30 last night on the SA float. It really did look nice when we finished it. I had late permission until 12. The freshmen float looked good, too. I was supposed to ride on it but I worked as a guide for the high school visitors instead.

I had no idea Teddy would be able to come. I waited and waited for them to come. Then it was time for the parade to begin so I went on down past the Y. All the other buses had already gotten here. 10,000 HS students were expected and they're here, too. Anyway, I was with the Kossuth bunch & Mary K. told me there was another bus coming. I had given up hope but I looked & as it got closer I saw the 61 license tag. They parked over behind the stadium so I had to walk all that way. I knew I wouldn't find them but I did. It really was nice to see home folks.

I got a hs ticket and sat on the other side of the students' section.

The centennial started a year ago tommorrow, Sister.

Quay Camp's son is a student here I learned last night. I'll have to look him up. Dan is his name, this girl told me. She is from Guntown.

I'm writing this during the game so forgive the writing, etc.

I don't know when I'll be home.

I'm tired.


Note from June on back:

Dear Sister.

Sorry I haven't written you, but I have been busy as you say and anyway if I had written, I wouldn't have had anything to say. Eve Mae has a little boy, named Larry Bruce.

I have had a very bad cold, then a very bad cough, and a very bad sore throat.

Mammy and Uncle Bob came, he said they tried to make it before you had left for college.

June Maries Webb
is about to go to
sleep, she is very
very sleep, too.

(Part of letter to June. First part is lost.)

I'll probably be home Saturday, too, if I can find a way. I wish I could find a way back Friday afternoon the 3rd.

Doc's birthday was Wednesday. I gave him some Russian Leather men's cologne made by chanel. Law, but it smells so good. You have no idea. His mother sent him a cake with "Happy Birthday, George" written on it. I saved the letter "G" from it. It's hard now but I'm going to keep it as a souvenir.

Honestly I've written so long my hand hurts.

Remember who used to use this kind of pad? (Note: the letter is written on a yellow legal pad sheet.)

I had English 113 final yesterday. Tuesday I have calculus, Thursday, history; Fri., graphics; and Saturday chemistry.

I have a C average in calculus now without any points added. Glory!

Tell me what you like me to write about and I'll write more in my letters about it.

I guess by this letter you know that I see Doc every night. I usually meet him at supper in the cafeteria about 5:30. We will eat and then go to whispers. (I meant vespers!) I never do want to go and he always does. We fight like mad but come 6:15, I'm always over at the BSU center.

Sometimes he goes on back to his room, sometimes we go to the library to study, sometimes we play cards in the lobby or a few other things.

Monday morning.

I slept until 9:30.

Now I must get dressed, go to the hospital, and then to post office.

When I got sick last , Mother and you both worried over it. Don't, I'm not going to die.


Letter from June written on back of letter above.

Dear Sister,

Julia, Jerrell, and Rayburn came last night and we played rook.

It has rained for about a week.

I believe "Doc" can do some of the sweetest things that I ever heard of. Such as the sign: "When was the last time you called Mary?"

Did you get my watch all right?

Rayburn and I looked at furniture yesterday. The bad thig about it is we are not interested in looking at things we are really going to need. So, we looked at a magnificient stereo, which I am just wild about and a TV that Rayburn is crazy about, and a piano we both are crazy about. All of them have a walnut finish.

We haven't decided what we want in a living room suit as we haven't seen anything that really caught our eyes. We haven't found what we want as our bedroom suit. But listen to this, in our guest bedroom we are going to have white French proventional (spelled wrong). But you know how Mother is, When we told her about looking at Tvs, pianos, stereos she nearly had a fit. She commented we should get only the neccessities. She said when her and Daddy married they got only a stove and bedroom suit. Sister, you know me, I want so many things I've never had.

Letter from my future mother-in-law before I met her. It is so sweet. Just charming.

May 15, 1962

Dearest Mary,

George told me he has asked you to visit us this weekend. We are delighted for a chance to meet you. Seems that I already know you as I've heard so much about you.

Carolyn, George's sister, says to tell you she will be glad to have you spend the night in her home. She has a guest room and also has three adorable children who will keep you from having a dull moment. We have four next door. I'm sure George has told you about them.

The oldest, Ray, is sitting on the front parch now. Says he's waiting for George and his girl friend. We will be looking forward to having you.

Mrs. Lightsey

today at Mother's we discovered some old letters and diaries of mine. They seem interesting and funny to me. Please remember that I was very young when these things were written.

Letter to June:

Written on, I think, a physics lab report sheet. At the top it says Mississippi State University, School of Science, Department of Physics.

Hints for interpretation: Doc is George Rodney. Joe Dan Gold played basketball for MSU. Dr. Swor was an evangelist.

Dear Sister June (Clara Barton),

I was so tickled to get your letter. You have no idea how good it makes a person away from home feel to get a letter.

Why did Norris Ray call the Friday night before I was home on Saturday? I never did find out. Was it about that boy who wanted to go with me, the one that looks like Joe Dan Gold? You don't know what Joe Dan Gold looks like though.

Alumni have been here. Old-timers game yesterday. Bailey Howell didn't make it though. Basketball prospects here from far away places. On 6'10" from Florida. One from Michigan, etc.

Glad to hear about my ring. Solitaire most preferred here.

If possible, read Captain Rebel by Frank Yerby. Very similar to Gone with the Wind.

I don't like Doc as much---for no reason. Crush on Walter Simmons. No hope. He's on BSU council-nice boy, blonde, cute. Other crushes.

Have a few minor problems. Have date Friday night but don't know who with.

Have decided to give up dancing. Don't think it's right although it is a lot of fun.

Dr. Swor has been here this week-end. Have heard him speak Fri. night, Sat. night, Sun. morning, and plan to go tonight.

Why do you want stereo so badly?

Am so rushed, have chem. test and mid-term lab quiz Mon.

Walter Simmons

Sister, remember the time Rayburn drove so fast going to Jackson? Teddy and I were with you and the top was down? I wrote a theme entitled My Most Frightening Experience and got an A- on it. Don't tell Rayburn unless you want to. Mr. Bryan wrote "Interesting!" on the outside.

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