Found diaries and journals of a young girl. They run intermittently from grade school to university. Brings back so many memories of childhood and the traumas of high school. Then there are the difficulties of just plain growing up, finding a place in the world. And for us, dear reader, reliving the 1960’s! See how she does..
Rt 2 Box 160
Milbank, S.D. 57252
April 5, 1964
I got your letter yesterday. I was glad to get it and so was my sister because she was wondering if Kathy would write to her. She was glad to hear that she would. When Loretta found out when her birthday was she started to laugh because my sister will also be 11 April 22.
Today we were at my Grandma & Grandpa Skaaress for dinner. Then about 2:00 we wnet skating with our second cousins who are 6 & 7 ½ years old. We are also going skating tomorrow night. When we got home my Grandpa Brown came over and said my Great Grandpa Dragt had died this morning.
In school I was the Y.C.L. Delegate. I had to write a speech and give it to the superintendent. It was picked for one of the top seven. I gave it Monday and I got 2nd place. Now I get to go to the capital of our state Pierre for 3 days. There are 3 others going besides me 2 more boys and 1 more girl. I am going May 4,5,& 6. My mother made me dress already and is going to make me one one more dress & a pair of pajamas to take along. Yesterday when we were cleaning I stuck my had out the upstairs window to shake a rug and the window fell on it. My fingers weren’t broken but just got black & blue.
What church to you got to? We go to the American Lutheran Church. We have our service at 10:45 and Sunday School at 9:30.
My mother s birthday is tomorrow the 6th. For her birthday we got her a charcoal suitcase. We are going to have a surprise birthday party Tuesday night, but she thinks we forgot all about her birthday.
I can’t think of any more so will quit. I have to hurry and get this in the envelope so my mother won’t read about her birthday.
P.S. Please send me some Beatle cards.
Rt 2 Box 160
Milbank, S.D. 57252
May 12, 1964
Jean is fine and so are most of my fiends.Today in school she broke her glasses.They broke off right near the lens.
We have one day of school left,but we have to go to school on Thursday for our picnic.After the picnic we are going bowling.Then on Friday we have to go to school for about five minutes to get our report cards.
Yes,my sister did have a happy birthday.The girls from out school and the teacher came over after school for her party.
Yes, I would like a bookcover from your school.
I like the”Beatle” cards.Ia ma always going to take them to school and show them to Jean.My favorites Beatle is John Who is your Favorite?
To explain my trip and tell about it would take to long.I will send you a copy of my report in my next letter.
Yes,I have heard of Watertown.In fact we live so close we sometimes go shopping there. Its about forty miles from here.
Would you please send me a picture of yourself? I am very anxious to see what you look like.
I have to got to bed now because we have tests tomorrow so I will quit.
P.S. My brother said he would get a bookcover from Milbank High School. I will send it in my next letter.
Was the tornado in Michigan near Detroit?
Rt 2 Box 160
Milbank, S.D. 57252
June 9, 1964
I got your letter yesterday so I decided to write right away because I didn’t have anything else to do.
Yes, I got the bookcover. I think it is real nice.
I would very much like to have one of your comfirmation,because I am anxious to see what you look like.I haven’teven started comfirmation yet,but I will start this fall.I have to go to comfirmation for two years before I get confirmed . I will be a freshman when I get confirmed.
I have found a girl who will write to shelly.Her name is connie dragt.She is my seond cousin.Her address is just Twin Brooks,South Dakota.
Do you think you will have a hard time to find something to do when you get out of school.I sure do now that school is out.I get the dishes done up along with my sister and then I go watch T.V. until it’s time to getva meal again.We have to straighten up the house of course,but that doesn’t take long.
My sister finally wrote a letter to Kathy.She lost Kathy’s address so she sent it to your address,so if you have gotten a letter addressed with Kathy’s name on it give it her if you haven’t already done so.
Do you know how to swim?I don’t really but I am learning from seeing other people swim .Id o Know how to do some of the float On the last or second to the last Tuesday of every June we have a Dragt family reunion in Minnesota. The place we go to has a swimming pool,so you see we get to go swimming in a swimming pool once a year.
I can’t think of much more so I guess this will be all.Please write soon.
Nancy Ann Brown
P.S. Yes,I do like stamp collecting. I have an album to put them in . I am enclosing a stamp for you.
Rt 2 Box 160
Milbank, S.D. 57252
Aug. 4, 1964
I’m very sorry I didn’t write sooner, but I have been real busy and everything’s in a mess right now. We are building a bathroom and a livingroom. Our old living is real small. The carpenters started a week ago yesterday. It will be all done a week from today.
I don’t know what the top hits are but my favorite siners are 4 Seasons & the Beach Boys
Sunday I went to the show Beach Party that was real good! Two weeks ago Sunday I went to Advance to the Rear. That sure was good. Last night I went roller skating.
On the 4th of July we had a picnic with some relatives at the Milbank park.
I am watching T.V. and I can’t think of anything else so I’ll quit
Miss: Go Ay hing
Djl Idjen 4
Some days ago I got your address from my cousin.
She says that you are looking for a pen friend and I will be glad to write you.
My name is Ay Ling I am ten years old and I am in the fifth class of the elementary school of the sisters I am a girl.
My hobbies are drawing, collecting stamps, souvenirs and pictures
I like christmas cards and pictures Jesus and Mary
Where do you go to school? In which class are you?
Where do you live in big or small town?How many season has your town? I live in Malanga cold town in eastern Java.
We have two seasons a day and a rainy season
Now we are in the rainy seasons.
How many sisters are you? And
How many brother are you?
I have three sisters Her name is Elfe, Sive hing, Han hing
I think I have written enough.
Will you write me soon?
2, Inasa court
I am very surprised when I see your letter and the greatting card which you put in the letter, and I got it on the 5th of april 1964 and as soon I got the letter and —? To post office to buy Airmail to reply it. I hope that you are in good condition of health. Hope your work is going on well
Please when you want to reply this letter send me some name of yor friend and your picture as quickly as possible.
I am you faithfully
I bought a Beatle Album. Its called Meet the Beatles. I love it.
Feb 16 I overflooded the toilet. The water went all he way into the hall. It started coming through the tiles in the basement! I got really scared. Daddy said all the tiles were going to pop, so he tore one out.
The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. I just love them. Even Ringo.
Elena loves Beatles Beatles my true loves.
Feb 17 The tiles didn’t pop. Daddy made a mistake.
Feb 20 I not going to write to Joy Hopkins any more Her last letter was very insulting!!
I’m in 9B. My classes are:
Latin Mr. Arbogast; History Mr. Keliher; Algebra Mr. Faust; English Miss Sarin; Homemaking Mrs. Zimmerman; Health Mrs. Kiebler (Micthell)
The offending letter from Joy:
December 21st, 1963
Thanks a million for that gorgeous T.V. guide!
I received your letter to me and thought it was crazy. That was the second last one. I didn’t want to write to you anymore. But then I got your last letter and it was much better, please try to write more interesting letters.
Yes, I love the Beatles, I really think they’re sharp! I saw them on Ed Sullivan Sunday and I nearly had cat-fits! Of those kids would’ve stopped screaming and tearing their hair out, we might have heard more of them. I just bought a record of them a few hours ago! I also got one of cliff Richard’s. All my penpals like Cliff but the Beatles…well I guess you have to be a little queer to like them anyway! The Beatle record I got was “She Loves You”. My favorite guy is Ringo Starr, the drummer!
I just love the T.V. guide you sent me! (The cover anyway)! It took me a week to get over my happiness and I’m still thrilled!
Do I have a boyfriend? That’s a hard question to answer nowadays isn’t it? Because you like a guy for one day and the next day it’s someone else! But I’m not really that type! I’m going steady with my girlfriend! I’m always thinking of Dick Chamberlain, too! So that complicates things! If that doesn’t answer your question this might. When I was in grade 4 (yep, I can still remember)! There was “puppy love” between Ronnie and me. I mean he liked me first and our families liked each other and stuff. Well to make a long story short it wore off about 2 yrs ago. He’s really shy and quite boring now. Being in the clumsy awkward stage of 15.
I’m not interested in spaghetti labels and the offer for pennants is only for U.S.A. and Puerto Rico or something, so I’m sending it back to you.
Sorry about this paper, and for writing so late.
Write an interesting letter soon or….
P.S. I can’t find the spaghetti label, but if I do I’ll send it to you. Do you want it back? JH
P.P.S – Hope you like these stamps. Write soon!
And so ended that pen pal friendship…
Rt 2 Box 160
Feb. 17, 1964
Do you baby-sit? I do. I baby-sit with my cousin who is 3 ½ months old, who lives 1/10 of a mile south of us. My cousin’s name is Joey. I also baby-sit with LeAnne Aden who is a year & 3 months, old.
Do you have a TV? We do. I’m watching it right now. Andy Griffith is on.
I’m making a “Keep South Dakota Green” Do you have to make posters or anything. We have to enter them March 1.
We have a spelling contest Feb. 28. Do you have a spelling contest? We have racing, broad jump & ball throw in the spring. Last year I won in broad jump by jumping 12’1”. The first jump I made this year was 10’4” 12’1” was my last jump last year.
Do you know anyone who would write to my sister Loretta? She would like to write to a penpal. She is 10 years old & is a very nice girl. She likes school just like I do. She is in fifth grade.
I hope you like the birthday card I’m enclosing. I’m sorry I didn’t get it sent on your birthday because I was waiting for you letter. My birthday is July 1st. I will be 13. How old are you now.
If you think my writing is awful it’s because I’ve got lotion on my hands and they are slippery.
Try and write sooner because I want to know a lot about you.
P.S. I am going to send you another picture of me pretty soon, because my brother just took it today.
Rt 2 Box 160
March 16, 1964 (typed letter with some little problems)
I,m sorry I,din’t write sooner but I’ve been so busy I justforgot about it.
Today wewere over to Herb Johnsons, some of or best friends Their eighth grade girl Audrey was confirmed today. My Grandma Grandpa Skaarer were there and also Audreys grandpa. Audrey has 2 sisters and a brother.
Have you found out ifKathy McGlue will write to my sister? Could you please disscribe Kathy in you next letter? How old is Kathy?
The way is sounds you must like the Beatles! I like their music, but every time we listen to it my mom says something bad about them. I saw a Beatles magazine. A friend of mine had one. My cousin on California hathe record”He Loves You”. They are coming here this summer so we can listen to it. My mom doesn’t want me to ask though.
Do you have a birth stone ring? I do . I just got one yesterday. It cost me $2.35.
To you like to bake and sew? I do . I’m making my Easter out-fit. It is a black and white dress with a black jacket. The dress has a figured top and a plain bottom.My mother is going to line the jacket. I have also made3 skirts, 2 nightgowns 2 blouses,2 aprons,and 1 jumper. Last night I made 2 loaves of banana bread.
How much allowance do you get for a week? I get 50¢ a week. My brother ,who the way it sounds is the same age as you gets 75¢ a week.
I couldn’t get your letter finished last night so I will finish it now.
Some of my favorite things are food, sewing , sports reading, and playing the piano.Don’t forget to name some of your favorite.I have to go to school so I will finish this after school.
Well I think I can finish this.I just got home school about 1 ½ hours ago. I just got done doing the dishes.
Do you have a camera? I have a brownie starflex. I got it for my birthday 1962. I just love to take pictures .I think it is very interesting.
Please explain what you mean by T.V. guides of our cities.
Linda Stephens, Beverley Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay, Sydney NSW Australia
Sydney, February 2nd, 1964
Thank you for your letter. My pen-pals are in North Bay (Ontario) in Canada, Cheshire, England, Tokyo, Japan, Montana, U.S.A, you, and one that I don’t write to anymore in Bandung Indonesia, because she is too old for me (she’s 19). I’d love to trade pen-pals in order to build up my correspondence. I think I might put an advertisement (letter) in the Monitor.
To get to languages, I am learning to speak French at school and I too know a little, little bit of Spanish. An American girlfriend of mine lived in Argentina for a few years and she taught me some. We go back to school on Tuesday (4th February) and I am to take French, English, Maths, History, Geography, Art, Music, Scripture and Science (that includes Biology, Physics, chemistry & Science). We do have out choice when we reach the class I’m going into but some subjects are compulsory. Do you only take 6 classes? Gee, we have to take 9!
I don’t have a boyfriend but I know a few boys who have taken me out quite a few times.
Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! I’m sorry I didn’t send a Christmas card but I didn’t remember & nobody got one. I’ve enclosed a Birthday card, though. My birthday is May 11.
While you’re having snow storms, we’re having heat waves, & I’ve taken up surfin enthusiastically these past holidays. My aunt lives across the road from one of the most popular beaches, Bondi, & I’ve averaged 5 out of 7 days at the beach for the past 4 or 5 weeks. I’ll continue going on the weekends during school. My cousins both ride surfboards & they’ve been coaching me. It’s fun. Body-surfing’s safer & better, though.
I just read through your letter again * saw that you take civics & gym. I didn’t mention it but civics is included in History in Australia & gym is taken by everyone in the school in winter with swimming in summer.
Well, music. We have just about the same here as you do. The Beatles are top (of course) & I’ll send you a list of one of our Top 40 to let you see.
I have just one sister, Michele, who is, amazingly enough, 18 too. She works, having finished school & corresponds with people throughout the world. I wonder if Sabine would like to correspond with her?
I, too, will send some pictures of the movies being shown about town & you’ll find some are the same as you have up there. I think.
Tell me, are you a Christian Scientist or do you just read the Christian Science Monitor? Please send me a photo of yourself. I would but I just had my hair cut off last Thursday & the photos I have don’t look a bit like me now. I might take some today. You say you live across the street from a river. Well we live right on the waterfront. We have to walk down the stairs to our tiered garden & then to the grass mext to the swimming pool & then we have a whole lot of the Sydney Harbour in front of us. Just one difference, our water doesn’t freeze in winter like yours.
Well I’ve just about talked myself out. Hope to hear from you soon,
P.S. I hope you can understand the writing. Sorry it is so bad.
Miss Linda Stephens, Beverley Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay, Sydney NSW Australia
April 5, 1964
Thank you for your letter. It was one of the 3 that I found waiting for me when I returned from my easter holiday. Also thak you for the photo, it’s a good one. Please excuse my ignorance, but what type of dog is it?
I am a Beatle fan, and have a Beatle album, namely Please Please Me. Its terrific with Love me do I saw her Standing there, Please Please Me, Boys and about 10 or 11 more. Its fantastic. However, my parents seem to be spending more & more time outside the home. I meant to ask them about that, mm. I have been thinkgin along the lines of purchasingtheir second album, With The Beatles but I am a bit worried as to what will happen to my parents.
Schools in Sydney, at least my school, starts at 9.30 and end at 3.10. My school is about a mile away and my father drives me to school in the morning and in the Winter my mother drives me home. However in summer, I walk home. I don’t know if I told you, but my classes are: History, Geography, English, French, Maths, Science (incl. Physics, Chemistry, biology etc), Art Scripture and in summer swimming & in winter gym. For sport, I take basketball. Our lessons are 40 mins. Long and we have 7 lessons per day. How long & how many are yours?
By the way, the date is now 21 April. At the moment I’m snug in bed, suffering from a heavy cold. But just think, everyone is out in the rain, so who minds. Well, actually I am a Christian Scientist in that I attended a Sunday school for 3 years, but have not been since last year.
As you know, I have a sister and the usual parents, but up until yesterday morning (about 4 a.m.) we had two darling cats. However out little (just 2 years old) pure white Persian cat died of internal bleeding. I was most upset as he had such cute ways about him. But, I suppose its better where he is than here and hurting. I asked for another kitten, but I was flattened, so I’m hoping I get a little white ball of fluff for my birthday next May 11. Keep your fingers crossed. But we still have a tabby cat. He’s beautiful.
I love to go to movies, too and recently I’ve seen charade, Move Over Darling, Take Her she’s Mine, Taras Bulla, West Side Story (well, a few months ago) and several others. I want to see the Beatles film when it comes out in June. However, the Beatles are coming here in June, so you never know. Gerry & the Pacemakers, Brian Poole & the Temelos, Dusty Springfield, Gene Pitney have just finished a tour of the eastern states of Australia. I believe they were good, but I didn’t see them.
I’ve had luck. Everybody I’ve written to, except one, in reply to little letters in the Pen Pal section has replied. But I’m thinking of putting my name in. I don’t know. So far I have 5 pen pas, and one I wrote to in Japan hasn’t replied, so Idon’t know. Thanks for the address of the penpals, I might write if I have a chance. Do you want a pen pal in the U.S. – a firl in Seattle Washington? Please tell me & I’ll give you her address if you do.
I I get a chance, I will enclose a photo of myself.f I haven’t had any taken lately but I try to dig one up from my photo box.
Well, seeing as how lunch is ready and I have four more letters to write, I had better close. Keep you fingers crossed (for my kitten) and write soon.
“Cross Gate” Shute Hill, Bishopsteignton Nr. Teignmouth S. Devon ENGLAND.
Dec 8th 1963
Thank you awfully for your card. I didn’t send them off in time which was very inconsiderable of me.
Anyway I hope you have a happy Christmas. What did you get?
Mummy has recently got a dog & we have called him “Tammy”. He is a West Highland Terrier. Have you ever heard of them. Tammy is about 4 mths old.
This morning David & I had to go to the Dentist! (ugh) But we didn’t have much done to our teeth (thank goodness)
Bobby (our budgie) is talking away in his cage. He can say quite a lot now. Must close now got to get tea ready. Happy New Year.
Cross Gate, Bishopsteignton, Devon
March 5th, 1964
Thanks for you letter. I have got 3 of the “Beaatles” records at home including, “I Want to Hold Your Hand. I’ve enclosed a picture of the Beatles (the best I’ve got.) We can get books on the Beatles in England can you in America? Which of the Beatles do you like best? I like Paul. Ringo plays the drums, George is lead guitat, & Paul & John both sing.
My birthday was on January 19th. When is yours? I wrote to my Swedish penpal & the letter was returned saying that none lived at that address so I didn’t write anymore. My other two penpals are American. Would you like to write to them?
On a television Programme lately we saw a but if Detroit from film cameras in America. It was about the traffic problem!!
Must close now,
Write soon, Jenny
P.S. Thanks so much for the lovely photograph. I’ll try & send you one of me. I think Teddy is lovely.
Nov 20 We have a cat. Having trouble with Biddle and Juilians. So far it seems to be ours. It gets along with Teddy just fine.
Nov 21 7 pen-pals –
Canada – Joy Hopkins
England – Jenny Dean
Poland – Anna Ur.
Nigeria – ??(Not sure)
Aus – Linda Stevens
South Dakota – Jean Brandt, Nancy Brown
Indonesia – Ay hi —-
Nov 22 The President, John Fritzgerld Kennedy died. He was shot in the head and someplace else. (See Scrapbook)
I was in Math when it was announced on the P.A. Many girls were crying. It was in gym that they said he was dead. I just can’t believe it. It seems like a dream; not true. Mommy cried, or almost did. I didn’t cry cause it didn’t seem true.