Yellow Spiral-bound Notebook – “Private Journal”

Introduction: This notebook (marked “Private Journal” at the top) is one of those 8½ x 11, Mead, spiral-bound kind with lined paper and three holes in the margins for inserting into a three-ring binder. What's funny is if you go to look for school supplies, you'll see the exact same notebook, now, 40 years later. Except that now, if you say “notebook” to kid in high school, it might mean a type of computer.

There are two journals in here; the first looks like it was a class assignment during the fall of my Junior year of high school (1976), and the later, hopefully more interesting one, is from the summer of 1977, guarded by a note that says, “Do Not Read!”—which I felt my mom would honor—so hopefully that one has stuff about drinking beer and smoking weed and crushes on girls. I may never have read it since I wrote it.

This first one, however, I just read over and it's mostly a continuing story about a fictional English detective in a kind of detective story/action movie parody. We had to keep these daily journals in some English classes as writing practice, and this was my solution. It is full of terrible writing and overly descriptive, violent action sequences, pretty hard to take. At one point my teacher, reviewing it, wrote a note in the margin: “I really like this.” It probably would have been more appropriate to send me to the school psychologist. At the very least, s/he could have lectured me about not always using two adjectives before EVERY SINGLE NOUN—but then maybe s/he did, and I just didn't listen (even to this day).

Anyway, I'm just going to include the first entry (of the detective yarn) here, and spare anyone who might be reading this the rest—it's just more of the same with increasingly graphic and bloody description. Also, I'm sparing myself from typing it—though my handwriting is surprisingly legible cursive. So I'm including here only the first and last chapters of the detective story, as well as a couple of other journal entries (that were probably more typical of this kind of class assignment). Then we'll quickly move on to the later, summer journal, which promises to be quite embarrassing.