November 1973 - March 1974
Age 15 & 16

" ... Every day I wear the same faded blue (jeans) and dark jacket. I'm not trying for a reputation,
it's just that I'm sick of being considered so straight and perfect and dull."

November 21, 1973

This is a continuation of my last ledger ... (which is why it's titled "A Continuation." Such logic!) Second period Spanish ... some rotten film about Mexico, I think.

This will probably be the most unorthodox ledger I have ever had ... I'm sick of all the old "rules" - leaving it at home under my pillow, writing all the events of every single day, going into complete detail all the time. Forget it! I don't want to cramp myself any more. I'll write when I want, what I want.

I just took my felt pen and blackened out all the faces of the people on my peechee. It's a statement. People aren't real ... there's really nothing there but a mask. No mind, no soul. It's all a big cosmic farce. They pretend to live, so I'll think there really is such a thing as love.

What time is it in Italy right now? Or is there really an Italy? Is it all a lie?

Just walked into Algebra. Every thought that flows into my mind (or what's left of my mind), I write down. I have so many really WEIRD hang-ups, I really do. I was just thinking about that. The weirdest is this thing I have about library books. I can never return them on time! I just can't. I wonder why. I owe books at three libraries and the fines are just piling up. But for some reason, something inside of me, I can never bring myself to return them. Maybe a subconscious fear of librarians??! (just a joke)

Feel sicker every minute. As usual my heart is pounding a thousand beats a minute, my ears are ringing, I'm shaking. So stuffed full of (Vivarin) I can hardly feel myself thinking anymore. I feel so scared. I don't know of what ... just this cold, immense wave of pain slicing into me, spreading all through me.

This is probably going to be the dumbest ledger I ever wrote in my life. You probably won't even want to read it, it's so screwed-up. But it's a release, and no matter what I do with it when it's finished - burn it, keep it, have it published (ha!) - I need it right now.

I wonder who will ever read this journal, if anybody. My husband, my children, my parents, my friends? Who? And what will they think? Probably mixed reactions. They'll be amazed by the skillful way I hid my inner self from them.  ARE you amazed by the skillful way I hid my inner self from you?  I know *I* am.

Sitting here in Algebra, with about 5 minutes of class left. Mr. Sahli is sitting in back at his desk, patiently explaining the assignment to a confused Kim Sondreson. The class is quietly buzzing with talk and the rustling of papers. Windows are frosted, and the sunlight bounces off of them, cold and grey. Feeling isolated and safe.


Just managed to wangle permission out of some guy working here in the empty History classroom to let me sit in here and think for the next half hour or so, until 4th period starts. I feel so feverish, you wouldn't believe it. And this stupid ledger ... I don't know, man. This is one journal that I am going to have to keep firmly and constantly under lock and key. No one reads this!! Not even Karen!! About the only person I trust is (my new best friend) Shelly, so she might read it some day.

Maybe I should go now and find out what classroom we'll be in today. OK?


Have this feeling it will probably take me less than a week to finish this ledger. Every time I sit down, I get this terrible impulse to pick up a pen and start writing a bunch of garbage. Garbage. That's all it is. I can't do anything right, besides filling up notebooks with senseless, mindless trash that nobody will ever read. 

The hell with it.

I talked to Terry -- we walked to class together -- and all he could offer in the way of advice was "You'd better tell him!"  The faux pregnancy.  Shit. Real helpful, like that idea hadn't crossed my mind. I wish Terry was my boyfriend ... he's so terrific. But because I really love Shelly, I wouldn't want to break them up. But.

I hate this. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!

Thinking these kinds of thoughts about a guy that belongs to someone else, my best friend, in fact. Really great. Makes me feel like some kind of unfeeling monster, bent on destroying happy relationships ... like a Laurie Q. or a Roberta B. But I know that there is no way that I could ever do it: he'd never break up with her to go with me. I guess the only reason I want a new boyfriend so badly is to take HIS place ... so I can show Clarence, "See, I can do it, too!"

Study Hall:

More inane dribble.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT!! Why on earth did I have to open my big mouth and tell so many people I might be pregnant? Robin knows, Shelly knows, Erin knows, Terry knows, probably Peggy B., too. God knows how many more. Why did I tell anyone in the first place? Now I feel I'm in way over my head. No room to breathe or think or exist. What do I do now?

Clarence and Terry have been talking to each other a lot lately, but Terry (damn him!) won't tell me what they're talking about. Terrific. As for Clarence, I can't believe how shallow and unreal he's become. A real sweetheart. Terry keeps pressuring me by saying, "You've gotta tell him!"  Gee thanks, Terry, what pearls of wisdom. I can't tell him. The way he's acting now, he would probably run out and announce it to the whole world, and make me out to be some kind of slut or something. I always knew it would happen like this.

I wish Karen would go away - she's getting on my nerves. Onion breath, gigantic wad of gum hanging out of her mouth ... she keeps asking me, "Are you in a bad mood?" Just what I need. Maybe I'll walk home with Shelly tonight, just to avoid going home with Karen. That's how mean I feel.

I feel cross and bitchy. Sure wish I knew what Clarence has been telling Terry. Karen, mind your own business - I don't CARE about your stupid pictures. Glad I have Shelly for a friend now - she fills the gap that Karen has fallen thru. Karen thinks that just because she used to smoke cigarettes in seventh grade (oh my, what a sin!) that she's lived this really raunchy, evil life. For some weird reason she holds that over my head, like it's something really dangerously exciting about her, something I could never surpass. Hell of a lot she knows!

But aren't I doing the same thing? You know, holding my new "life of sin" above her head, proud of it all? Proud? Of what?

At home before bed:

Now that I have both feet planted firmly on the ground again, I feel like writing and writing, about all the things on my mind. So I think I will.

You know, I've just been laying here on my bed, listening to my radio and thinking. So many things on my mind lately ...

About guys. I still care for Clarence, some, but I'm finding myself slowly losing interest. I've been finding my new freedom an adventure (all seven days of it)  ...  a way to reach out to others. If Clarence ever changed his mind and started loving me again, I'd probably go back with him. But not right away - not now that I'm starting to have fun.

I think that Clarence's wild stories about what laughingly refer to as our "love affair" are starting to circulate. So I guess that by now most of the guys at school know I went to bed with him. Terrific. (Nathan Jones.) The weird thing is, I don't think I really care. My reputation was starting to slide anyway. It was never much in the first place. So what'll it hurt? (Stairway to Heaven.)

I never do my assignments anymore. Just sit there in class and stare straight ahead. Every day I wear the same faded blue swabbies and dark jacket. I'm not trying for a reputation, it's just that I'm sick of being considered so straight and perfect and dull. Being straight never got me anywhere ... just classified with a bunch of other creeps, that's all.

A rare surviving entry about sex.  Most of them were heavily edited and/or destroyed, down the road:

The first time (Clarence and I had sex) was terrible, of course - first times usually are. It was painful, and we didn't really know what to do, and we were too nervous and rushed. It got better tho. Three times, we really went to bed - that is, took off everything and literally went to bed. Once at his house on a Sunday afternoon when no one was there but us, and twice at my house, once during the afternoon and once at night. Those were the best times. At first I let him make love to me because I knew we were really in love, and I was curious. We were both virgins, so it was kinda funny. Then, it became a habit that we couldn't quit, until I realized that that was the only reason he was coming over anymore. At night he'd make love to me and leave, and during the day he'd be off kissing her.

Enough dirty talk! What an x-rated journal. Once you get me talking about it, though, it's hard to shut me up.



Thursday Nov. 22, 1973

I woke up around noon, groggy and irritable from terrible, feverish dreams. I dream about Clarence every night.

Grandma called at noon to find out what I was planning on wearing to the restaurant. "Pants," I said firmly. After she hung up, audibly hurt by my abruptness, I turned on my radio and thought out my plans.

1:00, finally decided it was time to get up. With two hours to get ready, I leisurely put on my makeup and got dressed. Thanksgiving dinner was OK ... Dad and me went to a restaurant at the Sea Tac Airport with Grandpa and Grandma. I was feeling pretty out of it, had a piece of steak on 2 buns with salad, french fries, Coke and a piece of apple pie.

A thoroughly wasted day.


I've gotta write to (my friend) Mark and tell him about all of this. It's really going to "bummer" him (as he always puts it), but honesty is something our friendship has always been based on. That's neat. I love Mark. He's always been someone I can count on. I haven't seen him for over two years, but that doesn't matter. We communicate through our letters to each other, we really do. Not just words but feelings , too.

Mixed up and sorta scared. I definitely feel the flu coming on ... pounding headache, sinus troubles. Great. 

I'm losing my love for Clarence. The more I think about it, the more I realize how trapped I was in that relationship. I just wish someone would hurry and come along - not necessarily "Mr. Right," just someone affectionate, someone who won't take fourteen years to hold my hand. Someone who'll walk me to classes and take me places. Someone that I can use to rub salt in Clarence's wounds - that is, if the unfeeling monster has any wounds.

This is all going to make one heck of a book some day ... some day.  After the thoughts and words are cleared, and details are added, a few names changed here and there ... some day.  I was already writing for an audience.


I'm glad the Lord made me pretty. Not super-fantastically-gorgeously-beautiful, but pretty. It makes life a lot easier. I'm not trying to sound conceited: I'm just stating facts. Shelly is pretty, too ... a soft kind of pretty, with long curly blonde hair and interesting eyes. I think she's sweet.

I feel sharp tonight. My mind is clearing out a little. Always feel like writing.



November 24, 1973

Spent a very boring day at Grandma's. This will be a terrible Saturday night.

Feel restless and trapped ... no plans for tonight, nowhere to go. I wish I ... I wish I wish. I just wish. Feel so empty. Maybe I could call up someone on Hotline. No. There's a lot of real creeps on Hotline. It's only 4:15 in the afternoon but it feels later. I'm so bored.

The radio is playing ("Let me serenade you") , I'm just sitting in my room. I'm ugly tonight - hair all flattened out, crummy eye makeup job. Fits my mood, I guess. What can I do?? Sit around and listen to music all night, watch all the dopey little TV shows, stuff myself with junk? Real exciting. (Now it's Todd Rundgren, "Hello it's me ..."). Even the radio is starting to get on my nerves. Too repetitious!

I was a real bitch today at Grandma's, don't know why. I can see myself changing; this time, I can really see it. Divided as to whether I consider it good or bad. Wish there was a Coffeehouse tonight so I could see Terry & Shelly. So dull around here, it's hard to believe. I guess I've just gotten spoiled by Clarence, making every Saturday night an exciting time. ("Painted Ladies") I don't really want to go out hawking* tonight, but ten to one that's what I end up doing. Well, if I do, maybe this time I'll get lucky and someone'll pick me up.

*  This journal is beginning to seriously embarrass me. First I'm running around telling everybody I'm pregnant when I'm not ... then I decide I'm a drug addict because I'm taking over-the-counter caffeine pills ... and now there's this "hawking" thing. This was something I invented. Basically it was just me walking around the neighborhood alone late at night, trying to look depressed and intense. I thought "hawking" made it sound glamorous. I was such an idiot when I was fifteen.

This whole stupid world. Moves too slow, moves too fast. People are so unreal. Karen has joined the throng - the crowd of plastic people who only care about status. ("Time In A Bottle") If I could have my way, I'd have Marty or Terry call me up and invite me out somewhere. No chance. Maybe Shelly will call later, but that'll be it.

The Miss Teenage America Pageant

1. Paula Ann Zahn, 17 Illinois (blonde cello player, looks like Laurie Q.)  Yep  ...  it's *that* Paula Zahn.
2. Lauren Axelrod, 17 Texas
3. Janet Louise Daines, 17 Utah
4. *Lori Lee Matsukawa 17 Hawaii (winner)  She goes on to become a beloved TV news anchor in Seattle
5. Sheilah Ann Pierce, 17 Tennessee
6. Patrician Elaine Larkin, California
7. Susan Kathleen Bigler, 17 New Jersey
8. Janie Kay Bowles 17 Oklahoma



Nov. 25, 1973

Sudden burst of joy, sense of well-being.



Nov. 27, 1973

A free minute (or twenty) to write during lunch ... snuck into the deserted History classroom. Someone will be in here any minute now, probably, once they discover the door is unlocked. Only my remarkably good mood is keeping me up at all today. Just said "Hi Marty" (to former boyfriend Marty, obviously). My voice came out all squeaky, sounded like Minnie Mouse with a sore throat. He grunted something in reply, with an obvious lack of enthusiasm. Oh well ... sigh. Clarence and John Sharick just walked past me ... I heard Clarence mutter something about "bitch." Big deal. He has simply lost his power to get me upset, I'm afraid. His new haircut is repulsive. Makes him look like a pointy-nosed country hick.


People yelling out in the hallways. Some guy out there sounds just like John Riley. SLAM of lockers, shuffle of feet. Mr. Lien will have a cow when he discovers me sitting in here. Oh well, it's not like I'm vandalizing the room.

I wonder why Clarence isn't with his darling Roberta today? She probably took one look at him, with his crooked new rice-bowl haircut and his funny "flood pants" and his too-big shoes, and ran to the nearest can to puke. I shouldn't be like that - catty & spiteful. I should be gentle and forgiving.  OK. Poor Clarence, sweet angelic little baby. Life certainly has treated you cruelly, hasn't it ...??

Time passes so slowly. Going out of my mind. Someday this will all pass away - things will change for me. You'll see. I'll get out of this mess and make something beautiful out of my life. Someday.

Oh terrific, now I'm alone in the room with one of the Grosskruegers (Bill or Karl, I can never tell them apart). Oh good - Denise Day just walked in.  I'm saved.

Before bed:

Short time to write. The house is still and dark, all is quiet except for the gentle roar of the rainy wind outside. Perched on the end of my bed, writing by the light of a tangerine-scented candle ... can hear the soft strains of "Let Me Be There" on the radio, an occasional rustle from Dad's room. Calm.

Roberta doesn't like Clarence anymore. Ordinarily, you'd expect me to be jumping up and down with joy over the news ... but I honestly don't know how I feel about it. Glad, of course. But still ... my mind feels too calm tonight to have to hassle with weighty problems or feelings, so I'll just let it lay. Maybe tomorrow I can express my feelings with more clarity.


November 28, 1973

Bad mood - bad bad bad bad bad bad piss-bad mood.


This won't last, I know it won't. Once again Mr. Lien has left the History classroom unlocked, so here I am again, writing and waiting and HERE WE GO/SOMEBODY'S COMING  -- nope, false alarm. Just some girl. (Heart attack subsides.) and doing nothing in particular. Absolute 100% bitch today. Hard rain, cold and chill, and the beginnings of a splitting headache. Have been very silent and withdrawn today. What a bummer. "I don't know how to be if it's winter." Confusion reigns.

Denise just came in - it's 16 after - so the coast must be clear. Wonder wonder wonder. Think I'll go take something to liven up my brain.

Study Hall:

I never made it. Went out to the drinking fountain to take a couple of Vivarin, but Kevan Natario (secret man of my dreams) was standing right there so I couldn't. Now I feel rotten. Half an hour of absolutely NOTHING to do, what fun. Feeling frustrated. Karen is inconsiderate and unfeeling, and that's all I'm going to say on the matter. Terry told me today during History that he's starting to not like Shelly. He said she's (quote) "Driving me crazy" (unquote). Whatever that's supposed to mean.

On my way to class -- hmmm, 25 minutes ago -- Jerry Pitts "tapped" me on the rear. I'll say it again: HMMMM. That'd be mighty OK with me, if him & me got together ... 

...  oh shit, here I go again. Every single time a guy so much as looks at me, BAM, I start getting all these ideas that he's in love with me. It's stupid, it's really stupid, and I wish I could knock it off. I still love Clarence - ugly haircut or no - and I'm determined that one of these days I'll get him back. One of these days. I'll try talking to him next period, in Biology, but you just watch -- he'll act like he hates me, like he always does now. WHY? That stupid jerk.

At home, evening:

Guess I'll go to church tonight, ho hum. Nothing better to do. Have this iccccky feeling Terry's going to break up with Shel sometime soon, by the crummy way he's been treating her.



November 29, 1973

Gettin bored
Being part of mankind
There's not a lot to do no more
This race is a waste of time
People rushing everywhere
Swarmin round like flies
Think I'll buy a .44
And give 'em all a surprise ...

-- Elton John, "Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself" --


Well, score one point for him, I guess - this morning he crossed my name of all his peechees with black ink and vicious stabs, trying to make good & sure I was watching. I wasn't watching, actually: I was talking to Shelly at the time.  But I saw what he'd done, a short while later, when I happened to glance his way. When I saw his "work," tears rushed to my eyes, and I had to pinch myself to keep from crying and making a scene. He had a smirk on his face, watching me out of the corner of his eye  ...  so proud of his victory. The hurt is still very real, I've discovered. I'm not "losing my feelings for him" as quickly as I'd tried to make myself believe. God, why? This is all so asinine.


Sitting here AGAIN in the EHC (Empty History Classroom), only this time Mr. Lien knows about it and doesn't care. Far out. And, that guy that's always standing out in the hallway alone during lunch when I am, the one with the blond hair, brown jacket and weird hat (Keith Stowman) actually spoke to me today. No big thrills, it was just sort of unexpected. I was walking by (nonchalantly) and he goes, "Where were you yesterday? You weren't standing by your locker like you always do." I looked at him and smiled and said "I know, isn't that a shock?" Then I came in here and shut the door.  I felt so absolutely friendless in those days that I couldn't bring myself to go into the cafeteria at lunchtime  ...  I would literally stand in the empty hallway next to my locker for the entire hour, rather than face anyone.  No wonder the "EHC" felt like such a godsend.

This is the only chance during my school day I ever get to be alone & think. I'm growing more into myself I think -- I can feel it. It's kinda weird (some girl just walked in, that one who works at Arctic Circle, Kari Something). I keep losing myself in thought. (I wish she'd leave. She's in the back of the room somewhere, where I can't see her, and she makes me nervous.) SHIT. Kevan just walked in. He looked at me and said, "How do you get in here every day?" 

I panicked. "Stay cool," I thought. "Act sexy and calm." I put down my pen, looked at him and smiled. "I open the door," I said, "and walk in - because it's always unlocked. Real tough." 

He walked out. 

Click, click, click, heels in the hallway, pencil sharpener grinding. Click click click. That girl is still moving around in the back of the classroom. Out in the hall Penny T. and Naomi A., et al, are screaming and laughing about apple cores. Just heard John Sharick's repulsive laugh, and Kevan talking.

This is futile.

Study Hall:


When I said "This is futile," I don't think I made my meaning clear. I didn't just mean trying to get Kevan for a boyfriend, I meant the whole thing. Love. Dating. Sex. It's all so pointless. Why do I have to have a boyfriend? Why? Why can't I be happy without any guys in my life? Why can't I get this terrible craving for affection out of my system? My whole life right now is centered around trying to find "Mr. Perfect." I'm so busy running around trying to find someone to take Clarence's place ... someone I can cram into his mold. I've reached a decision about Kevan, anyway: he is loud, overbearing and oversexed. The only reason I was even thinking about him, I guess, is because he's cute. How could I trust a guy like that out of my sight for more than 30 seconds? Anyway, who the hell do I think I am, "considering" guys? Like I'm Miss America and have my pick of anybody. I'm warped, I really am.

I don't really want to die. I suppose I've already said that, but I just want to make things clear. But, if I have to, I have to. Like, it's a pretty drastic way to put a point across, but if that's what it takes ... seeing your name crossed out on someone's peechee isn't exactly the most joyous occasion in the world. It hurts, it hurts. Deep inside of me, this throbbing pain. Through all of this I've learned how real my love for Clarence is (was?) Despite everything, my love is still strong. How real can a love get?


What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants swimming in the river?

"Look at those elephants swimming in the river."


November 30, 1973
Study Hall

Last period History was kinda strange. We were asked to take a list of ten successful people (ranging from Adolf Hitler to Jackie Kennedy Onassis) and put them in the order we thought they should be in, from most successful to least successful. Somehow or another we got around to talking about suicide, and Mr. Lien made this comment: "Everyone who lives is successful ... the only unsuccessful people are the ones who commit suicide. They kill themselves because they can't stand themselves."

Clarence isn't at school today - he went to a wedding. Terry isn't here either because he's sick.

At night:

Shit. Shit. SHIT!

Those are not angry shits ... they're shits of frustration, happiness, wonder, anxiety and joy. Geez, I can't even write straight. I've found HIM! Mr. Right, Mr. Perfect, Mr. Terrific. Happy, sad, dying of curiosity!!!!!!

I went roller skating with the church tonight, and I had so much fun!!! It was at Auburn, and I really enjoyed myself. And, I'm "in love," sorta - his name is Gary H., and I've absolutely flipped. Where on earth is my head? I think I've lost it somewhere ... oh, I'm so filled with this, I'm incoherent!

I'll write more later, after I've eaten my TV dinner. I'll be more sensible then.

After my TV dinner:

It's almost 1:30 in the morning but I'm so keyed up and excited, I feel wide awake. Besides, I have a chocolate almond "snackin' cake" baking in the oven, so I have to stay up and wait for it to get done. I'm just sitting here in my room, listening to music ("Pictures of Matchstick Men") and thinking. I still don't feel quite calm enough to write about it, so I'll wait until tomorrow. OK?

Gary H. -n- Terri Vert
Gary -n- Terri

read this


December 2, 1973

Oh God, please don't let me lose my foot ... please ...

I'm so scared. It's about 10:30 at night and I'll be leaving for the hospital in a short while. This afternoon I stepped on a rusty nail (it went right through my shoe and into my foot), and now my left foot is paralyzed with pain. I'm so scared! My whole body is shaking. What's gonna happen to me?  A tetanus shot and an attention-getting limp for a few days.



December 6, 1973

Every day I become more confused and more afraid. God, I don't even know where my head is anymore! I just walk through the day swimming in mass confusion. I'm torn. Part of me wants to go on Adventure this weekend, part of me doesn't. I don't know what to DO.  Ah yes.  "Adventure."  THAT was my big plan to run away and live off the streets for a few days  ...  just to shake things up a little.  Obviously I never went through with it. 

Every day Clarence grows more hostile and unfeeling. While I was absent, Shelly talked to him, and she told him I was in the hospital. "I don't care," he retorted. Shelly got mad and said, "Well, I think it's about time you started caring about other people." I still love him, no matter how hard I've tried to shake the feeling. I don't WANT to love him!

I do not see why I should e'er turn back
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.
They would not find me changed from he they knew -
Only more sure of what I thought was true.

-- Robert Frost --


Shelly thinks Paul likes me. He sits by us in English, and his locker is next to mine, and lately he's been so nice to me all the time. So she asked him, and all he said was "I never really gave it much thought." Then he looked at me (sitting there nonchalantly trying to pretend I didn't know what was going on), raised his eyebrows, smiled and said, "Well ...?"



Sunday morning
December 9, 1973

I'm not going to church this morning. Instead, I feel like sitting here in my nice, clean bedroom, listening to my tapes and writing. Dad's at the store buying a newspaper and some Special K for me.

Wherever you go,
Wherever you may wander in your life
Surely you know
I always want to be there.
Holding your hand
And standing by to catch you when you fall ...

-- Olivia Newton John, "Let Me Be There" --

I've decided to do something: I'm going to write a book, I think.

Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused,
I've often felt forsaken
And certainly misused.
I don't know a soul that's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
Or driven to it's knees
Oh but it's all right
It's all right

-- Paul Simon, "American Tune" --

My book is going to be about me, a 16 year old girl who loses her boyfriend, and then nearly goes crazy. It'll be super-terrific if I can ever get the incentive to WRITE it. It'll be a first person narrative, maybe - like she's writing in her journal. That way you can explore her thoughts and feelings.  Too bad the Internet was still 20+ years in the future for me: I could have written an angsty teen blog!

I just love The Who. They must be my favorite group in the world right now, along with Grand Funk. (How about The Monkees? Ha ha) I hope someone gets me the latest Who record for Christmas, "Quadrophenia." And I HOPE Dad's getting me a stereo record player for Christmas!!

These days: $4.98 or $5.98 for 33 rpm records


December 10, 1973


Today is Karen's 16th birthday. Guess I'll have to go shopping tonight and pick up some little thing for her. This is the first day I haven't worn jeans to school in four weeks - I'm wearing the new blue outfit that Grandma and Grandpa bought me  -  and I feel so dressy! Not like a slob, for a change.

Hungry. This diet isn't going to work out.




Dec. 11, 1973

And just like THAT, my depression is over ...

He's cute, he's sweet, he's funny, he's nice, he's popular, and I really, really like him a lot! His name is Scott A., and I've absolutely flipped!!!!!!!

I found out yesterday that he likes me. It was one of the biggest shocks of my life, and at first I couldn't believe it. I'm still not completely convinced that this is really happening ... I feel like any minute I'm going to wake up from this dream.  Life - you're so beautiful! God - You're so wonderful! I feel like I've turned over a new leaf. I've thrown away my caffeine pills, quit wearing jeans to school every day and walking around the hallways like a zombie, wrapped up in my suffocating little world of death & gloom. No more thoughts of suicide! No more lies about being "pregnant"! No more lingering love for Clarence! I feel free, happy, filled with joy, joy, joy.

He's shy around me - after all, it's only our second day together. At first today he ignored me, out of shyness. But towards the end of the day he walked me to some classes, and then out to the parking lot where Grandma, Grandpa & Gim were waiting to take me shopping. He asked for my phone number, but he didn't have anything to write with so he had to memorize it. I LOVE HIM! (sorta)

Things aren't perfect, of course ... they never are. But for the first time in months I feel truly free. I'm so glad I broke up with Clarence now.



December 13, 1973

Aaaaaand what were we saying about the depression being over?

Oh God, I'm so crushed and defeated.

I'm tired of always falling down, always being hurt.

Scott told Shelly today during second period that he wants to "cool it" with me - he just wants to be "friends." When she told me, after school, I broke down and cried. My whole mind and soul just crumbled like a brittle autumn leaf, and again I felt like dying. It was so sudden, so out of the blue. Just yesterday he wrote me a note:


This is dumb writing but I have to write. It will take a while to get used to each other, but it will work out I know! I'd rather talk to you in private like last night because more can be said. I like you a lot! I want to do stuff with you together so we get to know each other. I want to walk you home so I can talk (at church). I'm not worrying about what's-his-name anymore because it's none of his business. Right? Right, I hope so. We have to work it out together or not at all, OK? OK. Well that's all so I'll talk to you later. Please read this alone so it won't be broadcasted all over school. Thanx.

Love Always,

What a hypocrite ... a lousy, lying hypocrite. 

I think the issue here was that I talked about Clarence too much.  The new boyfriend immediately realized I was 'damaged goods' and didn't want to deal with it.



Saturday night
Dec. 15, 1973

Well, here I am again, back with Gary. Damn it. Why I'm going with him, I don't know. Probably because my shattered pride needs the reassurance. Gary really likes me, but ... he's kinda weird, like into drugs and all that. We have a "semi-date" set for tomorrow after church: we're going to go roller skating at Southgate from 1 to 5, maybe with some friends of his. Little junior high punks, that's all they are to me!! I even had to lie to Dad about it - said I'm going with Shelly somewhere.

Happy birthday, Terri. Sweet Sixteen and never been happy. 

Sixteen candles

A muted sixteenth birthday celebration at Grandma's house.
(I'm all depressed about a stoopid BOY.)
L to R: me, Mom, my sister Debby, my brother Dick





December 16, 1973

After church. It's almost 1:15, and I'm just sitting around in my room (wet towels on the floor), listening to records. Gary hasn't called yet, so I kinda think maybe he isn't going to go skating. Still I wish he'd call so I'd know for sure. I should've talked to him in church this morning.


I feel terrible. TERRIBLE! Where's the happiness, the joy, the smiles? Nothing. 

2:18 p.m. and still no word from Gary. I feel so sad and alone.

Doesn't anyone care about me anymore?? I was so happy, those 3 days when I thought Scott & me were going to get together. What happened?



Dec. 17, 1973

I don't even think Gary likes me anymore ... he never calls. I called my brother up and asked him, and he said Gary does still like me. But he said Gary said I like some guy named Tom. TOM WHO???



It was sorta one boy after another at this point, trying to heal my broken heart.

December 20, 1973

Gotta straighten out the whirl in my mind.

I'm in an ickky position. The guy that I like doesn't like me. In fact, I don't think he even knows I'm alive. His name is Tommy G, and he's an absolute doll. I just don't know where to begin describing him so I won't even try. He's incredibly good looking. "Good looking"??? Surely there must be better words. How about gorgeous, fantastic, perfect, beautiful ... I could go on and on.

He's in my Study Hall class.



December 27, 1973

The reason I haven't written in you these past few days, Ledger, is because I thought you were lost, and only found you tonight. I was pretty upset about it. I could just imagine you in the hands of my enemies  ...  my thoughts & feelings laying there exposed on every page.  Shudder.

Christmas was quiet and relatively uneventful. We spent Christmas Eve at Grandma St. John's, of course, as I have for every year of my life. We ate a serve-it-yourself ham dinner in front of the TV, then opened our presents and talked. The people there this year were Mom, her husband Ken, my brother Dick and sister Debby, Grandma St. John, Uncle Dick and his fiancee Ann, his son Les, Uncle Jerry and his wife, Jody. Oh, and Grandma's adorable little puppy, Boots. "Boots?"  Who the heck was "Boots??"  I got some cream sachet, spray cologne and hand & body lotion, all in "Patchwork" - a new pair a slippers and a knitted hat - a pair of silver hoop earrings - some "Snoopy" stationery -

Christmas Day 1973

Christmas Day 1973 at Grandma & Grandpa's house
L-to-R: My groovy Aunt Bonnie, my beloved Grandpa Vert, and me, age 16 (I'm all depressed over some stoopid BOY).


December 31, 1973-January 1, 1974

The start of a brand new year. Let's hope it turns out better than 1973 did.

Here's the most shocking news of the century: Tommy & me are together! 


I suppose I should write down all the details for posterity. It all started at the New Years Eve party at the church, which went from 10 p.m. till 6 a.m. this morning. I came to the party all keyed-up and excited, sure that something neat was gonna happen. When everyone was registering, just milling around and yakking it up, I noticed several "important" people arriving ... Gary with a bunch of his hoodlum friends, Scott A. and Joe H, and (best of all) Tommy G.  Karen got all excited when she saw Tommy because she has a super big crush on him. I went along, playing my two-faced game - I kept reassuring her, "Oh I bet he likes you," etc. etc. - when all the time I was thinking of ways I could get his attention myself.  Never mind that this was the very behavior I'd so deplored in other girls recently.

The first thing we did was play a bunch of relay games. I didn't feel like "participating" so I went and stood in the back with Gary & Tommy and all of them. At first I was a little peeved when Thea and Laurie appeared on the scene and started flirting with all the guys - it looked like Laurie was chasing Tom. Later on, to my relief, she seemed to give up and try some other guy. When I was standing in back, I had my back to Tommy and he was standing right behind me. He goes, "Hi Terri," and I turned around and talked to him for a couple


I wish that Tommy would call me, so I won't sit here all night and die of suspense. I'm so scared that this one is gonna fall thru, just like Scott and Clarence did. I really like Tommy a LOT.

It's so hard to believe that it really happened. Here I've been, with my eye on him for so long, wishing & dreaming & fantasizing (check out my Ledger Entry of Nov. 21) and I never for one second believed he'd ever notice me. And now, BAM, here we are!

After roller skating (at the New Years Eve party), when him and me were sitting alone together in the cold, dark bus ... it gives me chills to think about it. At first only our fingers were touching, brushed against each other for a split second. And then he reached up and touched my face, tenderly, with this LOOK in his eyes. I was so overcome I couldn't speak, couldn't breathe, couldn't do anything but close my eyes and feel his fingers caressing my cheek. I couldn't bear to even look at him. My whole body was on fire. I was aware of everything, the slightest movement of his fingers, the pressure of his leg next to mine. Then he touched my chin and lifted my face to his, bending to kiss me. I died. I put my arms around his neck and he held me close. It was like a dream. I buried my face in my shoulder ...

That's when the bus door opened suddenly, and Karen stumbled in. Her face was stained with tears, and when she saw us sitting there she said "Oh good," and walked back out. She was so miserable, and my heart ached for her. I didn't feel I'd won any sort of victory - I only felt that what I'd done to Karen was awful.

A horrible thought just occurred to me. What if he was just using me last night? Like, maybe he was bored, and decided to liven things up by hustling some girl, any girl. Oh, he couldn't have! But still, it's 6:30 and he hasn't called yet - and I'm a little worried. He may have forgotten my phone number, or may be asleep or not home or anything. Well, I'll give him another 2-1/2 hours. If he doesn't call ...


Last night when the party was over, Tommy was standing in the hallway upstairs, waiting for his ride. I decided to take my chances, and I went up to him and said "Is anything wrong?" He said, "No, why?" We were both leaning up against the wall, facing each other. I looked at him and said, "Well, because you're not talking to me or anything." He just stood there for a couple of minutes, looking at me while I gazed intently at the buttons on his jacket. Finally, after what seemed like years, he reached out and put his hands around my waist and smiled. We talked briefly, and then Gary, down the hall, shouted "My mom's here!"

Tommy looked at me and said, "I have to go now. Hey, give me your phone number." I told him, and he hurriedly kissed me goodbye.

I can't wait to tell Shelly tomorrow in English! She probably doesn't know him, so she'll ask Paul if he knows him.

Take off your old coat
And roll up your sleeves
Life is a hard road to travel
I believe


Well, here it is going on 8:30 and he still hasn't called. I've pretty well resigned myself to the fact that he isn't going to. And I'm not afraid to say that I'm worried! Really worried. I care about him a lot, and if it turns out he was just using me, I'll be crushed. I hope I see him tomorrow at school. Of course, we have Study Hall together ...

I'm NERVOUS about tomorrow. I don't know why. No, yes I DO know why. I'm scared to find out whether or not this is for real.



January 2, 1973

This morning when I came to school with Karen, I was super-nervous. I kept looking around for Tommy, everywhere, but I didn't see him. Then, when we were walking to our locker, I saw him standing against some lockers. I was too shy to talk to him then. Then a few minutes later Karen and me walked past him again and somehow, SOMEHOW, I got the nerve to go up to him and start talking to him. He was busy talking to Leonard Morgan, but when Leonard saw me standing there he gave Tom this LOOK, and walked off with a smile. Tommy walked me to English.

The only other time I saw him was in Study Hall, 5th period. He wouldn't come to church tonight, gave 1,001 excuses, but he said he'd call me at 9. He didn't. It figures.


Monday night
January 7, 1974

I'm writing this a few days later. I don't want to talk about Tommy at all, except to say that it's all over. I told you it wouldn't last.

I think I'll have Robin tell Kevan that I like him. Not because I do, especially, but because it would be something to "occupy" me for a few days. I don't care. I know I could probably get him easily, by the way he looks at me all the time. It would be an interesting little diversion. Probably won't work out anyway.




Tuesday night
January 8, 1974

Man. I don't BELIEVE the weird twists my life is taking. Scott A. and me are back together!!!  I'm so excited, I'm trembling and can hardly write. Besides that, it's past 10 and I really should go to bed and get some sleep - I have to get up at 6 tomorrow morning. But I've got to write down the details!!! While they're still fresh in my mind.

This was a crummy day, to begin with. First, for no apparent reason, Karen was acting pissed-off at me and was ignoring me. That bothered me enough, but then when she announced that she and her Dad wouldn't be picking me up in the mornings any more ... well, that really did it. I sank real low and stayed depressed all day.

Then there was the thing with my jeans. I started wearing these really awful looking swabbies, with my brown wedgies (shoes), which I hate. And when I got to school I realized how terrible I looked. So I walked home and changed! It meant coming to school 45 minutes late, but it was worth it.

Just an all-around crummy day.

After school Shelly asked me if I wanted to go home with her. I was reluctant

(journal entry ends abruptly)


* * * OUR CONVERSATION (a literary classic) * * *

He was standing a few feet away from us with his back to me. Summoning all my courage I pushed my way through the crowd and timidly tapped him on the back. He turned around.

Me: Why don't you want to talk to me?

Scott: I do!

Me: Oh, because Shelly said you didn't.

Scott: Oh.


Scott: Yah. (Embarrassed laugh)

Terri: Is that all you wanted to say to me?

Scott:  I like you.

Terri: Again?

Scott: (Pause) Oh, well ... I don't think I ever stopped, but it's just that a lot of things got in the way. I shouldn't have let them bother me. This time I won't let them.



Sunday night
January 13, 1974

This whole weekend long I've felt so lost and alone.  I feel like I'm drifting without purpose. Writing by candlelight, while listening to my new Moody Blues album.

Evening has come to pass
The time of day doesn't last
Evening has earned its place today
I'm tired of working away

It seems so strange to think that somewhere out in this big, impersonal, depressing world, my future husband is waiting for me. The man to make me happy, the one I can finally count on to be faithful and loving. I love him already. 


Meanwhile, in a far-off land called "California"  ...



Tuesday night
January 15, 1974

I want to put down everything about how I feel, because it's all swirling around in my mind in a confusing jumble. Things are going all weird on me. I like Scott. That much, I'm sure of. I really, really like him a lot. The screwed-up part is, he likes me too, but he's "scared" to go back with me. He told Shelly "I can never seem to go with her."

So they made you a star
Now your head's in a cloud
And you're walking down the street
With your feet off the ground
After all you've been through, tell me what will you do
When you find yourself back on the shelf?

-- Stealer's Wheel, "Star" --

Every time I see him at school I go crazy with longing. He still has the power to move me.



January 19, 1974

I suppose I should fill you in on all the details of what's happened these past four days. Scott and me are together now, for real and (I hope) for a long time. He even kissed me last night, and said "yes" when I asked him to Tolo.

Yesterday after school Shelly asked me if I wanted to come home with her. I said OK, since I didn't have anything better to do. It was pouring down rain, and after I managed to ditch Karen the two of us started to walk through the parking lot. My Dad was there, so we got in the car and on the spur of the moment we decided to go to Scott's basketball game at Tyee.

First we had to stop at Shelly's and ask her mom. She was on restrictions, but her mom wasn't there so she just wrote her a note and took off.

(Journal entry ends abruptly)




January 25, 1974

Written almost a week later, late on Friday night. I can't believe how patchy this ledger is becoming. Seems that these days I've been finding it harder and harder to put my thoughts into words. It used to be so easy and natural for me. Oh well, I'll struggle on in my pathetic little way ...

Today was a shitty day. Oh, by the way, excuse any occasional profanity. I've also been finding myself swearing more and more lately. It's nothing I'm proud of, but a habit that's tough to shake.

Anyway. No school today, because it was a Teachers Workshop. I spent most of the day trying to clean the house, listening to records, attempting to fix my hair, and not much else. Around 3:30, I walked over to Glacier and got there in time for the last half of the sophomore basketball game. Quite a sizable crowd. I sat by Shelly and made a point of keeping my eyes OFF of Scott. It was hard! He still has all the power to move me, and I want to try and forget him. I could feel him watching me, tho, but I'm glad I feigned indifference. I don't want him to think I'm chasing him.

After the game, Shel walked home with me. We hung around my house for an hour or so, ate hamburgers for dinner, and then took off for the evening. To make it short:

(journal entry ends abruptly)



January 31, 1974

I knew she'd lose it! Dammit! (Olivia Walton, her baby)

This month hasn't been all THAT bad. Now I just wonder what February has in store for me ...?

Shelly told me today that Dave D. (from her church) likes me. I don't especially care.



February 3, 1974

Written around 2:05 in the afternoon. Last night, even tho I was about ready to DROP from exhaustion, I cleaned my room -- took over an hour of hard work, it was so dirty. So now I'm just laying around, reveling in all the cleanliness. Laying on my bed, wearing an old T shirt and scuddy jeans, hair a mess, no makeup - a real living doll - listening to KTAC, writing letters to Dee Dee, Mark, Cindy, anyone. Shelly just called and invited me over, but I had to say "no" - I'm in condition to be seen in public, looking like this! I'm going to her church again tonight, for the third week in a row. Partly to see Dave, even though I think she was lying when she told me he likes me. I don't mean to mistrust her, or call her a liar or anything, but I think she was just trying to cheer me up. I don't even know him, for one thing, and for another I don't have any interest in him. I still like Scott, against my better judgement, and there's no one else on my mind right now. (I wonder if they ever called him Scotty when he was a little boy?)



Tuesday afternoon
February 7, 1974

This is one of the dumbest things I've done in a long time. This was a shitty day, to begin with, and I came home from school in a real blue funk. In an effort to RELIEVE SOME OF THOSE ANXIETIES, I grabbed a sweater, whipped out the front door with this ledger and a pen, and am now sitting on an abandoned milk crate in the backyard, among the remnants of my brother's old fort, writing my little heart out. This place offers little privacy, but it's the feeling of freedom that I need right now. (Rats! I've been discovered! Dad just came out and got into the car, so I guess he saw me.)

Oh well. To continue.

This was the awful day that:

1. I realized that even though I have a date with Dave this Friday night, I don't really like him. That is, I haven't gone crazy over him, and doubt that I ever will.

2. Shelly, during lunch, opened her BIG MOUTH and TOLD Randy Weaver that I like him. According to her, he just laughed super-hard when he heard about it. But that doesn't hurt nearly as badly as the fact that she betrayed a confidence. I thought I could trust her! By now everyone in the world probably knows about it (via Randy & Joe), including Scott, and they're all having a good laugh at what an idiot I am. I HATE Shelly for this.

AND (The Grand Finale)

3. Shelly told me that she and Angie Mouton walked home with Scott last night, and of course they had to open their goddamned mouths and ask him if he still liked me. His answer? "No, not at all." When they asked him if we'd ever get back together, he said "Never."

I want to die.



Sunday afternoon
February 17, 1974

Life is still going up and down. Some days I feel terrific, like singing and smiling and loving everyone, and other days I feel so depressed and lonely I want to crawl into some dark corner and hide from the world. Today I'm caught somewhere in the middle. Tonight there's a slumber party at Carolyn Chase's house, for all the girls at Shelly's church, and I'm sorta looking forward to it. I love my new church. Now that I know the people and they know me, I feel accepted, like I belong. Carla, Loralie - two girls I used to hate - now they're like sisters. And of course there's David.

Oh wow, this song I'm listening to right now - it expresses just how I feel. "Tamara" by Apollo 100.



Monday afternoon
February 18, 1974

The slumber party was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I went. Me, Shelly, Cindy, Janet and Cathy all stayed up until 4:30, talking.



February 19, 1974

I feel cruddy. Everything seems so dull, dull, dull. Maybe it's just because I started my period this afternoon -- that usually leaves me feeling a little under the weather. No cramps (yet) thank goodness. I think I must be abnormal in that respect. I always have terrible cramps, but I have them before and after my period, not during. Real fun! Ha ha ha  There was no adult female presence in my life, to tell me that this was perfectly normal.

I'm just sitting here in my newly-arranged, clean room, sitting at my desk listening to the radio. Shoes off, old smock with a pair of jeans I borrowed from Shelly, feeling comfortable. A gray, heavy day, 4:00 in the afternoon. There's a sophomore basketball game at the school right now, and I want to go SO BAD. I've practically had to tie myself to this chair to keep from grabbing my sweater and running the 1/2 mile to school. But I MUSTN'T. It's hard enough trying to get Scott out of my system without having to sit for an hour watching him play basketball. I still like him, which is the dumbest thing I could do, but I can't help it. Something about him. Every time I see him in the halls at school I want to crawl into my locker and die. I know that it's all over, forever - I'm no fool - but it's so hard for me to believe he's quit caring. He's such a strange person, I can never quite figure out why he does the things he does. It's conceited, I know, but I think that maybe he still likes me. When our eyes meet in the hallway between classes, the look he gives me ...

I feel so disloyal to David. He's supposed to be my new boyfriend now & all that, but a girl can't help her feelings. David's a real nice guy, sweet and considerate, and any girl would be lucky to have him. I like him a lot, but not in the way everyone thinks I do! I don't know why, I just can't get myself to feel for him feelings of ... well, you know, being boyfriend and girlfriend. There are simply some boys that you could only feel friendship for, and David's one of them. I haven't told anyone how I feel, not even Shelly. I don't want David to know, either. So there's only one thing to do, and that's stay with him. At least I don't have to worry about getting involved physically/sexually ... he's the original Mr. Shyness. Cathy (his sister) told me that he's only had two girlfriends in his life, and "the most he's ever done is hold hands." So. No need to worry about that, at least. I just hope he doesn't really get emotionally involved - because I'm not going to. 

Hanging out with my best friend

Hanging out with Benji
January 1974


Sunday night
February 24, 1974

Well, chalk up another one.

David and me are all through. I can't say I'm sorry ... I've thought all along that this wasn't going to work out  ... none of this "love forever" crap ...

Meanwhile, Mike Davidson is in love with me. Seriously - I'm not kidding. (He called Shelly and to told her that he loves me, and he sounded really sad and desperate about it.) I've only met him twice in my life, at the Coffeehouse, but I feel as though I've known him all my life. There's just something about him: we can be so open with each other. He's so sincere about his faith, that it's uplifting just being with him. And he seems to understand what I'm feeling. He's terrific. My feelings for him? I don't know, I really don't. I'm afraid of getting involved. I've been used and abused so much this year, I don't want to risk it again. I know that there's no way Mike would hurt me, but still the memories of Clarence, Scott, Tommy, Gary and David prevent me from jumping into ANYTHING, even a sure thing like this.

Don't Forget: Take Dee Dee & Mark's letters - plus new pee chee - to school.



February 25, 1974

Quickly before bed: I'm super SUPER tired, so this'll be short, but I thought I'd let you know ... Wally Hall smiled at me today!!  Dumb of me to dote on insipid details like that, but wow! I've never out & out wanted a guy as much as I want him.

Hi Wally!  Thanks for the e-mail!  :)




February 26, 1974

I feel so normal today ...

I don't know if I'll ever get Wally to like me, but I certainly am enjoying this crush. When I catch him staring at me during 1st period and during Study Hall - it sends me! (Grandma just called.) There's something about him that really turns me on. Maybe something about his biochemistry!

I can't stop this feeling
Deep inside of me
Boy you just don't realize
What you do to me

I know I'm wasting precious time, just sitting here on my butt, listening to the radio, but ... I can't get my mind off Wally (sigh)!!  I should be using this time to clean my room, now an official disaster area.




February 28, 1974


Wally Wally Wally.

Two days have gone by, and here I am, still madly in love with him. DAMN!

It's not doing me any good, mooning over him in the privacy of my own heart ... but I can't help it! I'm wasting time. Why don't I let him know? Because I'm afraid he'll laugh, or he just won't even care, and that would crush me.

Today Rob (Shelly's older brother) told me that John M., this junior guy at my school that I have never even SPOKEN to in my whole life, has a crush on me. Unbelievable. Plus - Mike Davidson called Shelly tonight and told him that he's still in love with me. HOW DO I DO IT? Guys that I couldn't care less about, or that I only consider friends, all fall madly in love with me. And then here I am DYING of a crush on unattainable guys like Wally.

I'm spending the night at Shelly's tonight, by the way. It's 9:00 and no one's home but her, me and her 2 little brothers. They're out in the living room watching TV and eating cereal; Shel and me are in her room listening to the radio. I'm sitting cross-legged on her bed, while she is busily cleaning the shoes out of her closet.

Wally Wally Wally.




Friday night
March 1, 1974

So much to write, so much to tell ... how do I begin?

This was a pretty neat day. I'm still "madly in love" with Wally  - we were really looking at each other a LOT in Study Hall - BUT during History today, Bill Loken, this super super SUPER cute guy, told Colleen G. to tell me he likes me. Him and his friends (Ed Hruby and Byron B.) were watching me all period, and talking about me, so I already had the impression that maybe Bill liked me. Then when they called Colleen over and talked to her, and she came back and told me what they'd said, I wasn't too surprised. BUT I DID THE DUMBEST THING! When she told me, all I said was "So?" like I didn't even care. Probably because Mike W. and Rick C. were sitting right there, and they're both good friends with Wally. But I do care! I think it would be really neat to have Bill for a boyfriend!

Only one problem ... I'm not sure if they were serious or not. They might have only been kidding, to see what I would do. I hope not, but still.

This is the end of this ledger --

for the continuing adventures of Terri Vert, 

read Ledger Nine!


1/2/73 My most frequent sayings: "Oh yah?" "Oh good." "GET EXCITED, man." "Good, good." "How nice."

1/27/73 "A proverb a day keeps Satan away." Tom Horton

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