Dorothy's diaries

Dotty started to keep a diary at the age of 21 and wrote in it almost every day until soon after her 23rd birthday. She had three diaries in total, beginning on January 3, 1942 and ending on December 11, 1945. As of this posting, about a third of the first diary has been processed and prepared for this website. New entries will appear about once a week, so keep checking back.

Dorothy's 1942-1943 diary Dorothy's 1942-1943 diary (cover pages)

Diary #1: 1942-1943

In the first diary, entries for 1942 and 1943 appeared together on the same page for each calendar day. Entries written in 1942 were briefer and much of her thoughts at that time pertained to her job developing photos, activities with her roommates and the large number of boys who were interested in courting her, including the one who ultimately won her hand, Ellis. On the front inside cover, she lists their essential stats, as can be seen above.

Start reading Dorothy's 1942 diary

Posted: May 3, 2013

Dotty goes back on forth on whether to work while going to school in the summer, goes out with Rubin and teaches him about kissing how to meet people and be a better dancer. Ponders her feelings for Ellis and Rubin. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: May 9-10, 1942

Posted: May 11, 2013

Dotty admires a photo of Ellis that shows the "devil in his eyes", quits her job at the studio because of school conflicts, participates in a candy swiping at Eatons Drug Store. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: May 11-18, 1942

Posted: May 19, 2013

Dotty finds a way to work evenings while going to school. While partying with old friends from Colony High School, Jo Anne gets so drunk she vomits, which prompts Dotty to wonder what her Mother would think if she knew about her lifestyle. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: May 19-20, 1942

Dotty attends her sister Charlotte's high school graduation, learns that Ellis' brother Tillman is in one of her summer school classes, worries that she might be leading Rubin on too much ("Boy his kisses are swell but I can make him do anything.") (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: May 27 - June 3, 1942

Posted: June 4, 2013

Dotty tries out a cigarette in an attempt to be "theatrical" but doesn't really like it. Later she complains when her roommates encroach on her possessions and she hides her perfume. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: June 8-9, 1942

Posted: June 14, 2013

Dotty struggles with lethargy while trying to write to Ellis and begins to grow cold on Rubin. She finally writes Ellis a "a crazy letter" and feels better. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: June 16-17, 1942

Posted: June 20, 2013

Dotty teaches a class for the first time and feels good about the experience but "less excited than I thought I would be". She meets a psychologist who believes in "premarital experience before marriage" and she wonders if he tells all the girls that. In a letter, Ellis asks her how long something that sounds like an engagement might be. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: June 20-27, 1942

Dotty questions whether her mother really cares what she does, wonders if she should accept a ring from Ellis, has fun with soldiers and sailors. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: June 28 - July 5, 1942

Posted: July 6, 2013

Doc Woods' physical examination is more thorough than Dotty expects and his attention and questions are far more personal than she is comfortable with. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: July 6-13, 1942

Posted: July 14, 2013

Dotty is happy when she learns that Rubin is falling in love with another woman, wishes Ellis had just sent her a ring without her consent, wonders what married life with him would be like and pierces her ears. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: July 14-21, 1942

Posted: July 21, 2013

Dotty is befriended by a girl named Wanda "who looks & acts like a boy" and takes a liking to Dotty, but comes on a little too strong. Ellis writes and asks if she wants to marry him after the war. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: July 22-29, 1942

Dotty considers teaching school in the fall. "If you don't look out for yourself, no one else will. After two dates with Glen, she writes,"He has the prettiest lips...I hope he won't think I'm the wrong kind of girl because I like to kiss him."(Read more)

Dotty's diary: July 30-31, 1942

Posted: August 10, 2013

Dotty worries that she may have been too generous with her kisses with Glen and dislikes the idea of being "anybody's girl". She overdoes it on ice cream and then on wine, and wrestles again with the idea of teaching in the fall versus holding out longer for a raise at the studio when she gets another teaching offer. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: August 13-14, 1942

Posted: August 17, 2013

Dorothy and friends steal a delicious watermelon and get away with it. She finally gets hired at an elementary school and begins to ready herself for big changes. Then she dreams of Ellis waking her with kisses while crying, a dream that would haunt her again the following year on the same day. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: August 19-20, 1942

Posted: August 23, 2013

Dotty moves to Custer City to begin teaching 7th grade. Anxious about how she'll perform as a school teacher, she writes, "if they fire me I'll just go back to W'ford and go [back] to college." (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: August 23-24, 1942

Dotty survives her first week teaching at Custer City. "I love my 7th grade class -- they're so cute. The 8th are swell too but some of them are bigger than me." (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: August 31 - September 1, 1942

Posted: September 8, 2013

Dotty has what she decides will be her last date with poor Rubin and decides to tell Ellis that she will accept a ring from him. (Read more)

Dorothy's Diary: September 8-9, 1942

Posted: September 18, 2013

Dotty finally invites Ellis to send her a ring after noticing that he is still "stepping out" with a redhead, and then bonds with his family in Mangum while he is still away. "[Bryan1] talks and laughs so much like Ellis. Oh I miss him." (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: September 16-23, 194

  • 1. Ellis' youngest brother.

Dotty runs into Rubin and accepts a date, but later breaks it. On the same afternoon she runs into Glen and turns him down as well. She wonders if she will regret marrying Ellis, while reading "Facts on Marriage". (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: September 24-25, 1942

Posted: September 29, 2013

Dotty visits a carnival fortune teller who tells her of "a blonde headed & a dark headed guy" who like her, after she develops doubts about accepting a ring from Ellis. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: October 2-3, 1942

Posted: October 5, 2013

When Ellis comes to town and asks Dotty for her hand in marriage, she accepts but feels guilty about the fact that he still hasn't met her parents. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: October 10-11, 1942

Posted: October 18, 2013

Dotty begs Jesus to save her from her horrible 8th grade class and to help her through being ejected by her roommate, Eddie. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: October 18-19, 1942

The ice seems to be breaking as two of her 8th grade boys "have a fuss" over who gets to invite Dotty to the class Halloween party. (Read more)

Dotty's diary (October 26-27, 1942)

Posted: November 3, 2013

Dotty takes a welcome break from 8th grade teaching and heads to Mangum to enjoy the company of the Banisters. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: November 3-4, 1942

Posted: November 14, 2013

Dotty compliments her 7th grade girls for being nice in class and has to send a boy "up for a whipping". Her friend runs into Rubin in town and informs him that he's too late for Dotty, who then dreams of having married Rubin while wearing Ellis' ring. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: November 11-18, 1942

"The wind blew all day -- I stayed home & ironed & kept the baby while the folks went to Grand Dad's to snap cotton." (Read more)

Dotty' diary: November 27-28, 1942

Posted: December 5-12, 2013

"Since I can't visit my fiance I'd like to help her so she could visit hers. I still think I have the dearest fiance tho. I think I'll try to visit Mother Banister this weekend also. I wish this were next week end. Sometimes I wonder if I don't have a wishbone instead of a backbone!" (Read more)

Dotty's diary: December 5-12, 1942

Posted: December 20, 2013

"I had a letter from Ellis today that has convinced me that I want to go to New York Xmas so I'm going I think." (Read more)

Dotty's diary: December 13-14, 1942

Posted: December 31, 2013

Taking a train from Oklahoma to New York, Dotty surprises Ellis with a visit. (Read more)

Dotty's diary: December 21-31, 1942

Posted: January 11, 2014

"I heard the song "Delores" tonight -- it made me so lonesome. Ellis said he might could come home Feb. 1st or 10th -- wonder if I'll become Mrs. Banister then??" (Read more)

Dotty's diary: January 1, 1943

Posted: January 23, 1943

"However, I love Ellis in a sort of way. I'm sometimes afraid I'll marry some ole' no-good fellow and I often wonder if I can take all I'll have to if I marry?" (Read more)

Dotty's diary: January 12-13, 1943

"Faye just now said 'I guess the neighbors think we're trying to see how high we can run the electric bill up but I guess if we paid any attention to what they said we'd never have any fun.' She is a bushel of fun." (Read more)

Dotty's diary: January 24-25, 1943

Posted: February 28, 2014

"Gee, I've had a grand time today. David Lee slept with me last night [and] he said, 'Gee, I'll get to sleep with Ellis' girl before he does.'" [David was/is Ellis' young nephew.] (Read more)

Dotty's diary: February 7-26, 1943

Dotty's Diary Continues (Long Awaited Update)

Thanks for being patient! "Mr. Chapman spanked Loyd Earl & Joe this morning with my paddle because they had carved "I love Miss Scales" on their desks!" (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: February 27 - March 23, 1943

Posted: September 6, 2014

Dotty's Diary Continues

"Dotty -- after all you've got your life to live -- why not do what you like to. Not what someone else would rather you would." (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: March 26-27, 1943

Posted: September 14, 2014

Dotty's Diary Continues: April 29 - June 3, 1943

Another mega serving of Dotty's Diary. We catch up with her as she travels by train from Oklahoma to Virginia. "There were really a lot of soldiers' wives there -- I heard the rumor today that the 45th is going to Ft. Devens again. Gee I hope they don't go across." (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: April 29 - June 3, 1943

More Dotty's Diary

With another 35 days worth of diary entries -- plus loads of 1943 movie clips -- we are gradually catching up with Dotty 71 years ago today, as she continues to juggle working, summer school, a social life and visits with family. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: July 8 through August 12, 1943

Catching Up With Dotty's Diary

With this sixth mega post we finally "catch up" with Dotty on this day in 1943, as she continues balancing a job with a large course load and frequently wonders how Ellis is doing. (Read more)

Dotty's Diary: August 13 through October 7, 1943

Posted: October 24, 2014

More Dotty's Diary

As Italy officially declares war on Germany, and her final examinations approach, Dotty enjoys dormitory life despite her concern for Ellis and being buried in studies. (Read more)

 Edit Diary post Dotty's Diary: October 8-23, 1943