Disclaimer: This is wicked long, but should be a quick read…
You couldn’t imagine the fun I had last night sorting through a bunch of old notes (yes, those notes…the kind you pass in junior high) and letters. I have binders full of notes from my friends Natalie Laton (Henton) and Laura Merrell (mainly sixth and seventh grade), Ashley Milton (ninth and tenth grade) and then literally HUNDREDS of notes, cards and letters from Julie Russell (Cottrell). You can definitely plan on seeing some of those…I’ll have to scan the scary Santa + Neil Diamond collage for sure!
I also found my first ever journal, seen here:
So, drumroll please, here is my first journal entry EVER. Spelling and grammar have been maintained from the original:
December 25, 1988
I have a new friend her Name is Jill and I like her too. (Jill was a lifesized doll and now that I look back, terrifying). on Christmas k morning I found her. (Seriously? I had writing errors just like typing errors? What’s up with that random k?) on mY HelloKiTtY Diary it Says HEllo KittY all DrEssED up anD READY to go!
Jill and HEllo KittY
3o5 seminarY St.
Just so you know, after the first five entries in this diary, I decided that I had to write the name and address and household members of whoever I discussed. I guess so that investigative journalists had a way to track it back later? I don’t know…
Some other gems (or gEms, as I might have said then):
March 4, 1989
Well today I Whnt to the BANk. it Was Fun geting to see Sissy R. I Was gladafrst But thin I did not. (What?) But it trend out to be good. Well I gese that I can be going, oh, and Bye For now HelloKitty! Love your fReind Jennifer Clapp
After this second post, as it’s the second time I’ve referred to a toy as a friend, I want to mention that I had lots of friends and always loved getting to see church and school friends. We lived in a small town so it wasn’t uncommon to see a friend outside of school every single night of the week either riding bikes, walking to the school playground to play, or being at the community baseball park. However, I did kinda live in a dream world…
November 15, 1989
Dear, Diary….. (YES! ellipses!)
Today Grandmama called. I got to talk to her. We had a very, very bad storm. We went to church (our church was a few doors down and offered their basement as a storm shelter…we could even take our dog!). It was fun. Laura Lee, and I got in a fight. I got chect out. Today in enrichmen we finenst our masks. We made pilgram girl hats and indan caneons.
Maybe my favorite post EVER:
April 30, 1990
Today was all right. – Jennifer
In this next post, we learn that I wasn’t always so liberal with the exclamation points, but that my hate-hate relationship with spelling runs deep:
February 17, 1991
I have not written in my diary since Aug. of 1990. It is Sunday the seventeenth nineteen-ninety-one. I am in the same third grade room as Laura Lee Latham. Today is boring. The time is 1:57 P.M. I hope tomorrow will not be as boring as today. In school my favorite subject is journal. My least favorite subject is English. My least favorite subject has always been English. It is boring. All you do is talk about stuff you already knew (I’m pretty sure I mean English grammar, as back then the “literature” would have been called Reading. Also, I continued to hate studying grammar until I graduated, even after realizing that it wasn’t always stuff I already knew, just stuff I’d rather ignore.) In Math we are studing division. In scince we are studing Outer Space. In English we are studing verbs. In Sciocl Studies we are studing map skills that a two year old could read (ouch!). In spelling, we just got finished with chapet review (apparently the words studying, science, social and chapter weren’t in that review). In reading we are studing magic. Bye. Love, Jenn-Jenn (The nickname Jenn-Jenn makes my skin crawl. Ugh.)
It’s book report time!
May 13, 1992
I am reading a very good book. Well, two really. They are called “The Secret Garden and “Many Waters.” In “The Secret Garden” Mary Lennox finds a garden and keeps it a secret (When I was typing this at the library, I audibly laughed after reading that. Obvious much?) She starts fixing it up and her maids brother Dicken and shows him the garden. Then she meets Colin, and tells him that she heard there was a garden but doesn’t tell him that she found the key to it. That’s all I have read. In “Many Waters” Sandy and Dennys Murry go way back in time. So far back that they become a part of the story of “Noah’s Ark.” It’s a really good book.
May 11, 1996
Well, you missed all of sixth and seventh grade. In sixth grade, my best friends were Natalie Laton and Laura Merrell. I also hung out with Marie Turner, Jonathan Conner, Robert Tuart, Sol Davis and Ryan (Flipper) Ward. Towards (OH GOSH…pet peeve! “Towards” is NOT a word…it’s toward…) the end of the year, Donna Tatum hung out with us alot (p.s., also not a word). I really loved the sixth grade. I never saw Heather Skinner, though, and Melissa Till moved right after 5th grade. My teachers were Mrs. Banks and Mrs. Harrison. I love going back and visiting them! Even more than that, I love visiting Mrs. Walthall. I think that the sixths grade is the best year I’ve ever had in school. During the summer after sixth grade, Laura moved to North Carolina. Natalie and I remained best friends. When we started the 7th grade, Natalie and I were friends and Marie and I were friends. Marie, Flipper, Jonathan and I were in the same PE class and we talked about movies, music and other people all year! (Wow…just laid it out there…) Marie andI checked out all the fine guys that were in our PE class! Right after Christmas, though, Flipper moved back to Michigan.
The 8th grade has changed me dramatically! (Oddly, I don’t follow that up with anything.) Julie Rusell is in my PE class along with Casey Raines and Johanna Baker. Julie and I are horrible people! This guy came to our church for a revival and was saying how you only had to sin once to be a sinner. Julie and are are liars, thieves, cheaters, users of “bulgarity” (vulgarity) and, worst of all, avid gossipers! We have a long running joke where we just talk about how bad we are and how we’re going to keep each other company in Hell. (This is a long running joke I’ve actually had with other friends in more recent years…hmmmm…) Melissa Short and I are great friends! We joke and laugh a lot. Julie, Melissa and I are “Grease-freaks” and do the hand-jive on a day-to-day basis.
I actually kept writing in this same diary, off and on, until 1998 (the summer after my sophomore year). Here is one of the last posts (it got kinda sparse at the end, continuity wise):
This is actually a collection. In June of ’96 the FBC Prattville youth choir went on a tour of the northeast. Julie and I….well, hilarious. She’s the most soft-spoken, unassuming ninth-grade girl, in my knowledge, to shout “SHIT!” across the choir tour bus after spilling coffee on her skirt. These are some things I wrote down with the notes “don’t forget”…I wish I knew why I wanted to remember…
June 24 (Bethany, NJ): 1) Boy who asked us for an “ug” 2)Brian Carroll’s “Corn Tonight” and “We’re a Bunch of Hungry Teenagers” 3) BBC kid’s Vincent and Abel 4)Dan the Man 5) “Sound effects!”
I still remember the melody to the hungry teenagers song, but not the corn one, which was funnier. Fail.
June 25 (Philadelphia, PA): 1) the rude waiters at the Spaghetti Warehouse 2) Brian yelling “I love you , Wilmington!” into the mic in DE 3)weird skater guys under the bridge 4) Camoflauge nail polish
June 27 (NYC): 1) seeing “The Real World” logo on the side of the building 2) throwing pennies off the Empire State Building (which, apparently, can kill people)
June 28 (DC): 1) Mark 2)”Chris Hardwick” 3)”Marilla” 4)”Richard Polanski” (I’m guessing Julie and I met or saw a guy named Mark, and people who looked like Chris Hardwick, Colleen Dewhurst and that guy from Caroline in the City whose last name wasn’t Polanski, but I’m still pretty sure that’s who we would’ve been talking about.)
Stay tuned for the next post (hopefully tomorrow), which will start like this:
Dear Robert Sean,
I really don’t know what to call you. Robert? Robby? Sean? Robert Sean? How ’bout I call you for lunch? Just kidding…