My diary – June 8, 1975

Almost the exact type of switchboard I used in my new job.

On the first day of my new job I was so happy. I love it. I was just as happy on the second day and hope to be as happy every day. I have learned to operate the PBX switchboard, It is fun.

On Thursday Frank was looking for me, he finally saw me on the street and made a big stink because I owe him 10 dollars. I told him Mike and I were going out and he starting acting very strangely. He reminded me of my ex-husband. Suck a strange glow in his eyes. Well, he followed me home and when Mike came to pick me up Frank hid in the garage, then called me and demanded his $10. I gave him my last $9.00 and he took it. I really think that was shitty of him. Plus he made some asshole remark in front of Ronny and his new girlfriend. Well, as usual I said I had had it with Frank, that was the end. But on Friday at 4 am. Frank calls and then comes over and apologizes for acting so stupid. I know his heart wasn’t in it. He could really care less but I accepted the apology. I am so DUMB. I just can’t let him go. I keep hanging on to the last thread, although today and he called and wanted me to help him move some stuff to their new house and he said leave Johnny with David. I said no, Johnny goes or I don’t, so I didn’t! He doesn’t like Johnny, he said so himself. Well tuff shit!

Anyway, Mike and I had a wonderful time on Thursday. Mike took Johnny and I to the show. He is very sweet to me and nice to Johnny. Then on Friday he called me at work and asked me to go out. I arranged for a babysitter and then I found out he wanted to take me up on a ski-lift that almost gave me a heart attack last year. So he called off our date. I made an ass out of myself by getting upset and then saying I was getting dependent on him. Boy, that was dumb. Mike is a very good person, but he doesn’t like to be pressured. So I changed clothes and went over to his house and apologized. That was cool. It turned out he never did get up there (it was a night club on Mt. Baldy) and he had a bad night. On Saturday he cooked me and Rick (his roommate) dinner and we just watched t.v. and went to get an ice cream at 31 flavors (my home away from home) Guy (this is my nephew who I was very close to, he was about 17 at this time) was using my house because it was Prom night and I am a nice person. I even bought him the booze! Anyway, We took a shower together and made love in the shower. It was neat! Then we went to bed and I made love to Mike. He told me that he did two firsts. First time he got his cookie in the shower and first time a girl took the time to make him feel good (which I did). I really enjoyed it. I think it was because I didn’t drink or smoke anything. I was just myself. We went to Puddingstone this morning and rode in the boat while Phil skied. But it was too crowded and an ugly day to boot. Mike found out that his mom has a tumor in her kidney (she just had a gall bladder operation) He has been worried about her. We went to the hospital to see her. Then we went to a plant store to buy me a plant and Mike ended up buying a $25.00 fern (huge) and I didn’t get anything. But that’s ok because the fern looks beautiful in his house. He came by about 6:00 and was going to buy us some Gardunos food but I had just washed my hair. I really like the way he treats me. It is so different from Frank or any guy.

There is a cute guy at work who is an inspector, his name is David. He already has asked me out to dinner. No definite date, but I have a feeling it will be soon. The salesmen are all young and good looking., I am wondering whether I better not go out with anyone (at work) I don’t know how they feel about it. I don’t want to mess up my job. I am kind of stuck on Mike right now, but lord knows how long that will last. I hope a long time, he is the best thing that has happened to me in ages. But they say good things never last.

End.

My thoughts on todays entry: So many things run through my head. First, this was 44 years ago and I was so young. Johnny was my son who was only 4 and the love of my life. I don’t remember things in such detail so this diary is bringing things back. Last night I had a dream about Frank still coming around….dredging up old stuff is weird. I think of that job….I really did run an old PBX machine with the cords! It was a trip. But the old lady I worked for was so grumpy and controlling, I don’t remember how long I lasted but, not too long. I remember the emotions with Frank and his behavior became too much for me and I kind of freaked out and quit. But I also worked with such nice people, kind people. I always would mess up any situation with my immature personality and always wanting things my way….not sure I have matured that much, but I have tried. Funny how I had forgotten how kind Mike was to me and to Johnny, but in my pea brain, because he was so short, because he wasn’t traditionally handsome, I just couldn’t stay liking him no matter how good he was to me. I do remember not liking how much dope he smoked so maybe that also had something to do with it. The diary may tell more later !

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My diary – June 4, 1975

Me in 1974

Mike and I went to Charlie Browns for Dinner last night, it was a very nice evening. We then went to his house and made long and beautiful love. I like Mike a lot, he is sweet and considerate and he is fun to be with. We get along pretty good too.

Frank had come over this morning to pick up his dune buggy. He is acting like a real prick. I think he wants me to sit at home and wait for him, but he never asks me out any more. I am tired of kissing his ass. He came back Tuesday night to put the dune buggy in the garage (I let him store it there) and he said he just saw Mike with a bunch of girls playing frisbee (Mike said that was nonsense, never happened) Why does Frank lie so much? He is a compulsive liar. I don’t get mad when he goes out. Oh well, I should give up trying to figure him out. Today Pat, my old boss, called me and told me there was an opening at Short Run Stamping for a receptionist. I got my butt down there and got the job! I hear that Adelle (my new boss) can really be a bitch, but it’s a good job. Start at $500.00 a month ($80 less than when I got laid off) But so what! I start tomorrow.

Mike called tonight, he sure is sweet. I called him at work today and told him I got the job! He was happy. He goes for weekends to the river and stuff so now I can go too Oh Boy!

For some reason, I am wishing that Frank would call now. He called last night while Mike and I were out. I was sure hoping he wouldn’t go to Charlie Browns when Mike and I were there (he goes there a lot) I don’t know how or why I still care for him. Love is goofy, even at at almost 22.

I’ve been cheated
Been mistreated
When will I be loved?
When I find a new man
That I want for mine
He always breaks my heart in two
It happens every time.

– a current hit by Linda Ronstadt

My thoughts looking back: I have to laugh…if only I knew what I know now. But when you are 22 you don’t know a damn thing! Mike was such a good guy, smoked too much weed if you ask me but he was so good to me. Frank inserted himself in and out of my life so much that I should have had whip lash! Neither one would ever become my husband, but they both remained my friends.

My diary – June 2, 1975

Today I was off from work, I shampooed my carpets, they were so dirty! Johnny helped, we went for a walk to the park and then to 31 flavors for an ice cream. Then to Barb’s for Mexican food a la Gil’s.

Mike called today. He wants to go to the river this weekend. We are going out tomorrow night. First time since a party which was our first date about 3 weeks ago. I hope we have a nice time. I wish that I didn’t rely on men so much to make me happy. I must admit though, I have been sewing and embroidering more and I want to go back to school. Well I talk enough but don’t always do what I say. Good night!

My reaction: I smile when I think of 31 flavors, we lived close to one and I always took my son there for an ice cream. Barb is my sister and she was 17 years older than me with a boyfriend/husband and 3 teenage boys. Those boys were like my brothers as we were very close in age. Johnny and I spent lots of time at their house in the 70’s. Gil’s was our favorite mexican restaurant. They had the best refried beans and we still talk about them even though they closed many many years ago.

Mike was the old friend I mentioned in my first post. We did date for awhile but we were better as friends and stayed that way for many years. I remember I kept starting and stopping school. I finally got my degree in 1990 – it took me that long!

1975 – Diary

My son and I in 1974

I found an old diary of mine. It is mostly from June through December 1975, with a couple more entries from 1976 and 1977. It was an odd time in my life. I was a pretty girl with massive issues that I didn’t understand at the time. I have been thinking about transcribing this diary one day at a time without reading it first – and by the end maybe I will hopefully understand my young self better. I remember myself as a good mom, but also drowning in self doubt and always making bad decisions on men. I also think that these diary entries can help future generations of my family get to know me and the times I grew up in and experienced. Here we go!

June 2, 1975 Monday evening

I bought this book today because I thought it was time to start writing down some of the events and thoughts in my life. As of now I am 21, I have been married once and have a 4 year old son. I met my ex-husband in high school in 1969. He was not good looking but he treated me nice and I was looking for an escape from my parents. We went together for almost a year when I finally got pregnant. We got married in February, 1971. I had barely graduated from high school, I went until I was 6 moths pregnant! We had an o.k. marriage until Johnny was born 5/20/71. We were just too young. It lasted until May 1972. I was restless, I had been seeing other men. Trying desperately to escape, if I couldn’t do it with my mind I did it with my body. I went to live with Mom and Dad for awhile but that didn’t work, so I moved in with my sister Barb. She had just had an operation so I took care of her and her family for the summer and fall of 1972. I registered for college in Sept., I got a job at Carl’s Jr and in November of 1972 I got my own apartment. Then in January 1973 I met Frank.. He was 18, tall and good looking. That was a major turning point in my life. We went together for about a year and 4 months. The last 8 months we lived together. I loved him very much but we just couldn’t make it. I was also seeing other men while with him. Looking for an escape. Frank hides his feelings and I couldn’t handle it. He finally left and for 1 year I rarely talking to him or saw him. I ate my heart out and had many short and long term relationships. I was getting more selective at least but he was always on my mind. Now, for the last few months and especially the last few weeks he has been coming around a lot. I believe he is getting tired of me again. But it is o.k. because I am expecting too much from him. He just cannot express feelings. But I will enjoy it while I can and I will probably always love him, yet we cannot get along.

A few weeks ago I discovered a fellow living 2 blocks from me that I used to know when I was a teenager. He has changed (it is 7 years since we saw each other) but he is gentle and kind. He is short but cute, he makes love beautifully and he wants to take me on weekend trips, etc: but I work weekends. I am currently working at Bobs Big Boy in Montebello. It is O.K. but I hate the managers and I work weekends so it’s got to go!

My brother (40) set me up on a blind date with a guy who has a Pantera sports car, the guy was not too bad looking but he acted like an asshole. And I messed my back up getting out of that car. It hurt!

My reaction: I have to laugh. The 1970’s was a time when we were sexually free and open. There wasn’t a sexually transmitted disease that antibiotics couldn’t cure! I made good use of the freedom. But it is sad I couldn’t be true to a husband or boyfriend, it was a continuing problem in my young life. The young man I describe as living down the street from me was a friend for many years, he died a couple of years ago, never married, no children. He remained very sweet all through his life. The Frank I mention also has stayed a friend throughout my life. We have changed and evolved, me to the left, he to the right. Our marriages and kids always in our conversations. He will always be a very, very special part of my life.

I hope you will follow my crazy young 21 year old life as I self analyze…what a trip!

On her gravestone is written “My baby doll”

I was recently at my half brother’s, getting to know him and listening to some family stories. One story really caught my attention, it was about his aunt and her baby girl that was killed by her father who then in turn killed himself.

Now, I didn’t know that Aunt Glady’s had been married more than once. I knew she married Bart Parker in 1932 and he was her husband when she died in 2001, so I assumed they had been married to each other all those years. My brother and his wife swore that the story they told was true, but they didn’t know any names or dates. My curiosity was peaked and I knew I had to try and find out what happened.

When we got home from our visit, I went right to Ancestry and got to work. I first went to Glady’s Social Security record and saw that she had 2 last names besides Parker. In 1942 she was a Brown and in 1946 she was a Thompson. Dang common names. I searched Newspapers.com with Glady’s name, Genealogy Bank, etc. But nothing was coming up. Then I decided to try the California Birth Index, using Glady’s maiden name, the father’s last name (either Brown or Thompson) and a birth range in the 1940’s. I knew she was probably born in Los Angeles as that is where Glady’s lived most of her life. For Brown, nothing came up. But for Thompson I got a probable match:

Now I had a first, middle and last name so my search continued. Since I was told she had died as a baby I looked at the Death Index:

Right away I was struck by how little Barbara Jean was when she died. 6 months.

Then I found the Findagrave listing for Barbara Jean and it had a picture of her headstone:

When I saw “My Baby Doll” I cried. But the saddest find of all was a newspaper article from the Los Angeles Times on October 2, 1947.

Such a horrible tragedy. By 1949 Glady’s was back together with Bart, her first husband and they stayed together until her death. She never had any more children.

So many questions enter my mind. What caused all of her break ups? Her family tells me she was a very strong willed, bossy and controlling woman. All I know is that she must have had a hole in her heart that couldn’t be repaired and I can certainly understand why.

Rest in Peace Barbara Jean

Let us always remember him as he was, and what he stood for.

On November 1, 1944 my cousin Bill Jones who was in the Army Air Corps as a co-pilot on a B-24 stationed in San Pancrazio, Italy, was killed in a landing accident. Bill was only 23. His brother, Al Jones was 21 and in the Navy Sea-bees at that time stationed in the pacific theater. This is the first letter from Al to their father after the news of Bill’s death.

Top left Bill Jones with father Bill Jones 1944. Next is Al Jones with father Bill Jones 1942. Next is Al Jones in Pacific. Bottom left is Bill Jones upon graduating flight school. Bottom right is Bill Jones home on leave for last time in August 1944.

December 12th, 44

Dear Dad

Dad- I just don’t know how to write this letter. I only wish that I could of been there with you when the word came. First received the Red Cross radio-gram on December the seventh. But was sort of advised not to write till I received word of Bill from you. So been holding up this letter, praying that it might not been as bad or that it might not of happened at all.

As you said in your letter that was the way Billy wanted it, if it ever had to come, was to go with his ship, as he did. Let us always remember him as he was, and what he stood for. His high principle, kindness and love for everyone. His politeness and his smile and manner and all that he and others like him stood for and died for.

We did have so much planned for the three of us, the three Jone’s. And now dad there is just us two to do it. And dad I’ll promise to do my utmost to fulfill it to when I return to you, for the three of us.

I know how trying it is for you and how much we both need each other at a time like this. But dad, I’m afraid it’s little too impossible. If there’s really important legal matters to be taken up and that there is a good cause for them and there must be otherwise the Red Cross wouldn’t recommend it to their headquarters in Washington. They might let it go through. If it does I’m almost sure my C.O. wouldn’t stop it. And dad I would like to see you and be with you so much.

Will enclose in another envelope Bill’s letters that he sent from overseas to keep and save for me. Also I’m having something done with the picture you just sent to me and would like another one if you have some more prints.

Dad, I hope you will get settled soon in Los Angeles and that you and Harry will work something out and that everything will go for the best.

And as you said dad there must be a reason for all of this and with Gods permission we shall see Bill and mother again and we will be proud I’m sure.

Good-nite and all my love and thoughts.

Love, Your Son

Al

I cry whenever I read this letter. I am fortunate that I inherited all of the letters that both Bill and Al wrote home during WWII. I became quite close to Al (who went by Dick after the war) in his final years. He was a sweetheart of a man.

When I discovered that I was not biologically related to Bill and Al after doing a DNA test I think that hurt me most of all. They will always be my first cousins in my heart though and I honor them this memorial day weekend.