It was 47 years ago today…

I continue to transcribe a diary I kept in 1958 when I was 7 and 8 years old. My obsessive habits were already established, as evidenced by the extended sections when I went back and filled in blank spots so every day had an entry. This resulted in lots of “I went to school today” postings. I’m not sure what to do with this intriguing material. Taking vague shape in my mind now is the possibility of writing a kind of dialogue with that boy, comparing my memory with his terse journaling. I read a review of Joseph Lelyveld’s Omaha Blues memoir in the April 28th edition of The New York Review of Books, in which memoir Lelyveld traces his childhood like the veteran reporter he was, comparing actual accounts by living participants with his own memory. I feel a similar tension with this journal. And were I to probe places where the journal does not match my “memory” of childhood, what might I find? In any event, here is what I was writing 47 years ago today, and a few day later:

July 19, 1958

We went

July 20, 1958

I went to
a barber-

July 21, 1958

Daddy went
to work

July 22, 1958

I went to
camp today.

July 23, 1958

I went to a

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