Saturday, January 7, 2017

My 1963 Diary


For Christmas in 1962 I received a Girl Scout Diary with a key. During the last months spent in my childhood home in Tonawanda, NY, I wrote about my family and three-year-old brother; school; Nancy Ensminger and Janet L.; the death of Phil Ensminger, Nancy's father; Girl Scouts; piano lessons; reading Man O'War by Walter Farley and Marguerite Henry's Sea Star; snow storms and the ice jam at Niagara Falls; Dad's frozen toes; going to Sunday School at the Broad Street Baptist Church; and a lot of television. I added links to the actual television show I watched!

Tommy and me, 1963

One Year Diary
Property of
Nancy Adair Gochenour
1963



A Wonderful Diary, but now just wonderful things in it. I wish I had all of ’63 in it, then I wouldn’t have to count on my memory on remembering Buffalo, N. Y.
Nancy G.[later addition]

January 1
Today when I got up I watched TV with Tommy. Then we went outside. I baby sat Tommy while Mom, Dad and Grama went to a funeral. Nancy E.’s father died December 30, 1962. Then I played with Tommy until dinner. I was tired from staying up until 12:00 last night, so then I went to bed.

January 2
Today was the day we go back to school. I got up, dressed and ate breakfast. Then I watched TV until it was time to go. In school we went to gym then we had music. We did artih., spelling, and Cit. Ed. In Social Studies we started the unit about the Middle Atlantic States. Nancy E. didn’t come to school because she went to her father’s funeral. We had Girl Scouts today. We made our “crest.” It was a penguin. After dinner I listened to my Wonderful World of the Grimm Brothers record. Then I watched TV and went to bed.
Nancy Ensminger pics. I am in lower left photo on the left.

January 3
Today I went to school. In school today we had art, then Arth., Lunch, Cit. Ed., and Science. In Science we are starting a unit about geography. Nancy still couldn’t come to school. Tomorrow, she might. After I came home I did my Arith. homework and practiced.
We ate dinner and then went over to Kuhn’s. When we came home I fiddled on the piano until bedtime. Then when I was in bed I remembered I had spelling to study, I studied my spell. And went to bed.
Me and my brother at my piano

January 4
Today I had school again. We had gym. We also had a spelling test. We did Arith., Read., Science, Cit. Ed. Today. Nancy didn’t come to school today. After school Janet called. She wanted to play. got an American Girl Magazine today. Janet gave me a gold [autograph] dog for Christmas. It was a late gift though. After dinner we went to Skip [Marvin]and Katy’s house and Jerry’s house. Then we came home. Tommy and me went to bed. It was past 10:00.
Janet L. posing at my house near our Christmas tree. December 1962.
January 5
Today is Saturday. After watching TV I ate breakfast. I practiced and went to piano lessons. I then played with Nancy. After that I played with Janet until 3:00. Then I came home. Soon it was time for dinner. We ate dinner then I played with my Barbie and Ken dolls. I dried the dishes. After that Daddy and I looked at different things through my telescope. We then watched Saturday Night at the Movies. I like the movie a little. The movie lasted until 11:00. Then I went to bed.

January 6
Today was Sunday. I went to Sunday School. In worship service I said a prayer. When I came home I watched TV. Then I played with Janet. We played with my horses and dolls. I played with Janet until 5:00. Then I put my toys away and watched TV. Grandma went to the bowling alley across the street to get our dinner. After dinner I watched TV until 8:00 then I read in bed until 9:00.

January 7
I woke up and played laying in bed. Then I got up and I didn’t feel like going to school. But I got up and ate breakfast. I got ready for school. In school we did Arith., Spell., Reading. Then we went to lunch. After lunch we did Cit. Ed., and then the people went to religious instructions. After school I walked home with Nancy. After school I played in my room until dinner. After dinner Mommy told me that the TV was broken. Tommy and I played until bedtime. When I looked in my jewelry case I couldn’t find the key to my diary but at last I found it.


January 8
Today I walked to school with Nancy E. In school we did writing, Arith., Reading, Lunch, Spell., Science. We also had a story and game. After school I practiced and played with Tommy. Then we watched TV until dinnertime. After dinner I did my dishes then I did my homework. I forgot, after school I went to the library. I got Man O’ War and Sea Star After I did my homework I had an orange and watched TV. At a little past 9:00 I went to bed. Tommy was still eating his apple so he went to bed latter.

January 9
Today I walked to school with Nancy. We were a little late for school. First thing we had gym. In gym we are doing basketball. After gym we did Spell. then Arith., then we had lunch. After lunch we rested 5 mins. Then we had Social Studies. In S.S. we had a filmstrip. After school we had Girl Scouts until around 6:00. Then I came home and had dinner. After dinner I baby-sat Tommy and watched TV until 9:00. Mommy came home, but I watched The Beverly Hillbillies. Then I wrote a poem for school. In reading we have to write a poem. The poem is called,

The Bat
There was a bad
Who lived in a hat
And there he sat
And sat and sat.

One day he flew
Into the blue
And there he grew and grew.

And he grew old
And was Oh,
So cold, so cold.

So he flew back
To that hat
And there he sat
And sat and sat.

January 10
Today I went to school. I walked with Nancy. In school we did Arith., Spell., Reading. Then we had lunch. After lunch we had chorus for an hour. Then we had Cit. Ed. Then it was time to go home. I walked home with Nancy. Then I practiced and did homework until dinner. After dinner I watched Sea Hunt. Then I played with Tommy and made a Valentine for Nancy. Then I watched Dr. Kildare until 9:30.

In reading we read a story and while making Nancy’s Valentine I listened to my record The Wonderful World of the Brother’s Grimm.

January 11
Today was Friday. We had Arith., gym, spell., Lang, then we had lunch, Story, Cit. Ed. After school I practiced them played school until dinner. After dinner I played and watched TV. I watched SilentPlease, half of Flintstones, and 77 Sunset Strip. Then I went to bed. In gym we had basketball again. Also at lunch I got to talk with Nancy.

January 12
Today when I woke up I just laid in bed. But I did get up, ate breakfast. Them almost for the rest of the morning I watched TV. Then I made lunch for me and Tommy. After lunch I played with Nancy until 5:00. Then I played with Tommy, watched TV, and helped make dinner. Then at 6:00 we ate. After dinner I watched TV. Then I read books to Tommy. Then he went to bed. I watched TV for the rest of the day.

January 13
Today when I woke up I didn’t feel like going to Sunday School. I was tired. But I did go to Sunday School. After Sunday School, Aunt Alice drove me home. Then I got into some play clothes and watched TV. After I watched TV I called up Nancy to see if she could play. he could play. I went to her house. We played all afternoon. My mother called up and said she would pick me up and that we were going to eat dinner out. After dinner I watched Wonderful World of Disneyon TV. Before I watched TV I ate lunch.

January 14
This morning I got up and saw that there was snow all over. I got ready for school. On the radio it said that there was school. Then Uncle Skip [Skip Marvin] came and said that there was no school. So, I didn’t go to school. I ate breakfast and went outside. The snow was above your knees. Then after a while we came in and ate lunch. After lunch I played indoors for a while. Then I played with David [Ennis] until dinner. After dinner I watched TV, read, then I laid down and went to bed at 9:30.

January 15
Today there was school. The snow was deep. I walked with Nancy. In school first we did writing, Arith., Spell., lunch, Cit. Ed., and Science. Then it was time to go home. When I got home I played with Tommy until dinner. After dinner I washed the dishes, practiced. I took a bath. Then I played with Tommy again until bedtime.

January 16
Today I went to school. In school we had gym, Arith., Spell., lunch, Science and Cit. Ed. After school we had Girl Scouts. I was late because I washed the boards. In Girl Scouts we played games. I was walking with Nancy when Grandma came and picked us up. We dropped Nancy off and went home. After dinner I read books and watched the Beverly Hillbillies. Then I went to bed.

January 17
I got up, got dressed and ate breakfast and went to school. In school we had Arith., Science, Lunch, and Cit. Ed. After lunch we had chorus. Then it was time to come home. I had homework. I had to write as many uses of coal I could think of. I came home and played in my room until dinner. After dinner I practiced. Mommy, Tommy and Grandma went to Great Grandma’s [Greenwood] house. She also went shopping. I watched TV. After I practiced til 9:30. Then I went to bed.

January 18
Today I went to school like usual. We had Cit., Ed., gym, Science, Arith. After school I played with Janet until 5:00. Then I came home and watched TV until dinnertime. After dinner I watched TV until 11:00. I practiced before school.

January 19
Today was Saturday. I got up and watched TV. Soon it was time for lunch. After lunch it was time for piano lessons. Piano lessons lasted 2 hours. Then I played with Nancy until 5:00. We ate dinner and then I watched TV. After watching TV I did my projects. Then I watched the last half an hour of Saturday Night at the Movies. Then I went to bed.

The ice jam in the Gorge 1963

January 20
I woke up and just layed [sic] in bed. Tommy came in and layed [sic] in bed with me. Today I didn’t go to Sunday School. I watched TV, ate breakfast and got dressed. Then we ate lunch. After lunch we went to Niagara Falls. I saw the ice jam. Then we came home and ate dinner. We looked at pictures until 5:30. Then we went to Beverly’s [Ennis] birthday party. We had cake and ice cream. Then I copied my reports. Then I watched TV until 9:00. Then I went to bed.
Niagara Falls, January 1963

January 21
Today there was a snowstorm. We stayed in the kitchen all day because it was cold in the parlor.

January 23
For the last three days I stayed home from school. The second day (Jan. 22) we could go in the parlor. The first night we slept at Aunt Alice’s house on the couch. The couch could be made into a double bed. The second night I slept on the davenport at our house. Most of the time I played with Tommy or read. The third day I slept upstairs and I played with Janet. My father got 1 frozen toe on each foot.

January 24
Today I went to school. I had gym then arith., spell., science., cit. ed., and reading. When I came home I watched TV. Ate dinner and went to bed.

January 25
I got up and watched TV. Then practiced and ate lunch. Then I went to piano lessons. After piano lessons Nancy, her mother, Judy, and me went shopping for dresses for Nancy. I ate dinner at Nancy’s house. Then I came home and watched TV and went to bed.

January 26
Today I had eggs for breakfast. After breakfast I went skating with Aunt Alice from 12:00 til 4:30. Then when I came home we had dinner. Then I watched TV until 11:30.

January 30 Nancy E.’s Birthday
Lucky Nancy. She got a Blaze King, a scarf and handkerchief, and I don’t know what else. We had spaghetti for dinner. I ate at her house.

February 13
Miss Manos came today and she really surprised us. We had candy and of course plenty of Valentines.

March 17
Well of all things, it was beautiful this morning, but the rest of the day it rained.

March 19
Long time no see! Well I got mixed up back in January. I’ll tell you what I did. Miss Manos came on Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day. I didn’t do anything today, except the old routine. I am going to catch up. Bye!
My Brownie uniform. I don't have a pic of my Girl Scout uniform.
March 20
Today was Girl Scouts. We got something like $235.80 cookie money.

March 21
First day of spring. It snowed. Almost all day! We had art today. We had had a student art teacher for weeks. The art teacher had a bad leg and had to stay in a hospital. Well, bye! I have to clean my room. A man is going to look at the house.
Mrs. Sellers

*****
March 21, 1966
Three years ago I wrote that. Three years ago I was in Buffalo. I moved to 512 W. Houstonia. I came to Michigan to stay. I know how to write in a diary now. I’m 13. I was 10 then.



[Later, undated entry]
Silence all around me. Except the ringing in my ears.
12:00 midnight.
All in bed, except Mom.
I will now write.
Starting my greatest story.
Maybe.

(Later entry:
March 19--


? I know it couldn’t be the saucer—Atom? I can’t and don’t remember.
Someday--
*****
The man who was going to look at the house was Mr. Harper who bought the house and gas station from my family. I remember knowing we were to move, but I also know I had no idea the implication or reality of what it meant 'to move'. 

The last entries, added when I was still thirteen, refer to my first short story, The Saucer. It was about a space alien stranded on earth and assisted by children, very influenced by Star Girl by Harry Winterfield, a book read to my class in elementary school. My story was written and illustrated for a school assignment. My Eighth Grade teacher Mrs. Hayden was very supportive of my interest in writing. I had never felt so affirmed by a teacher before.

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