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.
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
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 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 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 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 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)
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 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)
- 1. Ellis' youngest brother.
Dotty's Diary: November 11-18, 1942 (Latest Entries)
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)
"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 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)
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)