Sunday, November 20, 2016

Diary - 1979

Mom's, not mine but as you might just imagine, I get numerous mentions in there.  I scrolled throw the spiral bound notebook quickly, easily picking out her lovely cursive upper case "D's".

Both mom and dad were extremely dedicated about keeping their journals up to date, something I always knew but have now come to appreciate the volumes of "their work" while going through the personal things in their house.  There are a few 5 Year smallish books but my guess is that they discovered that there just wasn't the space to include everything that needed to be recorded in those tight spaces.  Most of the books for both mom and dad were assigned to each individual year.

Dad kept a detailed account of his time in the Pacific events; not sure when mom really started hers or if she was busy with the task before she met dad or not but once together, they were true documenters.

As I said, there are boxes of the diaries but for some reason and I can't remember what it was, mom's from 1979 was on top, in front or in some way prominent enough for me to notice it apart from the others. 1979 was the time when I took my big New England/Maritime trip and that particular year won't be forgotten.  Remembering so many events from the past is actually quite easy for me but tying those memories to a specific year is not easy.  Since the 850 Suzuki was a part of what made the year a special one for me, '79 is an anchor if you will, or a corner post in time.

Prior to the dates below, I had resided at 5 different addresses and spent part of one winter in the Southwest.  During the dates highlighted below, I moved out of my parents home and back in again.  The following winter, the Suzuki and I were in south Texas, Brownsville on the border to be precise.  Eventually, a more stable stability took place in my places of residence.

1/4/79 - Doug to 3M for Physical (24)

1/8/79 - Doug first day at 3M work, 4:00 - Midnight

1/13//79 - New Suzuki 850 arrived at dealer in Mora

1/20/79 - Dad and Doug cycle shop in morning, snowmobiled until 10PM

1/21/79 - Sunday night, Doug brought his toolbox home, quit 3M, "through with machinist work"

1/22/79 - Doug with trailer to Mora, bring 850 Suzuki home, Excited!

1/24/79 - Doug used blower on 4 driveways after snow

1/25/79 - Doug at stockbroker, selling St. Jude Medical Stock (my first and last lost opportunity at becoming a millionaire)

1/27/79 - Doug to indoor cycle races at Mpls Armory

1/29/79 - Doug at Library again

1/30/79 - Doug physical for school bus driver job

1/31/79 - Doug downtown St. Paul Library

2/2/79 - Doug practice school bus driving

2/5/79 - First day of bus driving, morning, noon and afternoon routes

2/6/79- Doug to evening Central Roadracing Assoc meeting

2/13/79 - Doug blew out two driveways

2/14/79 - Doug put new saddlebags on Suzuki

2/21/79 - Doug left for weekend, winter camping in a snowstorm

2/25/79 - Dad and Doug snowmobiling all day

From early March until her death in May, mom's mom, my grandmother was suffering from ill health and it was a challenging time for the family, especially the author.

3/6/79 - Kev and Doug at CRA meeting

3/10/79 - Guy came and bought Doug's 250MX Yamaha

3/15/79 - Doug to Bach concert  (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra??  can't remember this one, saw the SPCO numerous times)

3/18/79 - Doug working CRA booth Auto Show

3/21/79 - Doug first ride on 850 Suzuki

3/22/79 - Doug at CRA booth Auto Show

3/25/79 - Doug rode 350 Honda, dad started Sportster

3/27/79 - Two guys came to look at Doug's Ducati

3/29/79 - Doug rode 350 to work at bus terminal

3/31/79 - Doug rode 850 to Red  Wing

4/2/79 - Doug sold his 125 Yamaha to Uncle Richard ($200)

4/7/79 - Doug too sick to join friends at Prairie Home Companion Show (Back in the olden days, we could often get in Student Rush....last minute.  That night I wasn't the only one that didn't make the show)

4/10/79 - Doug working at friend Fred's bicycle shop in evenings

4/20/79 - Doug waiting for calls on his Ducati

4/22/79 - Steve, Cheryl and Dave here to join Doug on ride

4/23/79 - Dad selling 380 Suzuki

4/25/79 - Doug at bike shop most evenings

4/30/79 - Doug and Danny out all evening

5/3/79 - I helped Doug check bus brakes  ( What ???)

5/4/79 - Doug's friend Ken from CRA came to look at Ducati

5/6/79 - Doug waiting for phone calls on his bikes, found out phone not working

5/7/79 - Doug and Danny went for bike ride

5/9/79 - Doug packing for weekend

5/10/79 - Paul came to see Ducati

5/11/79 - Doug and Kev left for Brainerd CRA weekend

5/13/79 - Doug home from CRA after midnight

5/14/79 - Doug and Horton talking, he wishes Doug would come and join him at shop. Doug returned books to downtown library

5/15/79 - Doug helping Danny put dock out

5/17/79 - Doug riding bicycle everyday between bus routes

5/20/79 - Ducati sold to Ken W.

5/22/79 - Doug and Danny at U of M Film Society

5/23/79 - Steve here to show off new HD

5/24/79 - Doug doing extra charter runs in evening for sports teams

5/26/79 - Doug rode cycle around Lake Pepin

5/27/79 - Doug away early for hillclimb at Bay City, dad joined him later

My grandmother passed away on the 27th.  A time before cell phones, I learned of her death from a cousin in Bay City at a Chicken Q...after the nearby hillclimb.  Marie's funeral was May 31st.

6/2/79 - Doug worked all day at bicycle shop

6/3/79 - Doug rode to Madison, MN to visit Dave

6/5/79 - Doug and Steve went for ride

6/6/79 - Dad transferred 350 title from Doug

6/7/79 - Doug's last day of driving bus, took a long bike ride

6/9/79 - Another CRA Brainerd weekend

6/10/79 - Doug had flat on bicycle, walked it home from Como Park.  Steve and Nels here to see him

6/13/79 - Doug left on big trip 

And it was a DANDY!!


  1. Very interesting Doug. I don't know anyone who keeps or kept a journal, though I have a box full of family correspondence, including daily letters I wrote to my wife when we were dating the summer she spent in Israel.

    Reading them seems oddly pointless to me. Like reliving stuff I've done in the past leaves a memory void in the present.

    1. David, As I see Karen has mentioned below, I think our social media and the blogging that we enjoy are just variations, a more modern version of the same. I see your point though and on the surface, agree with you.

      My only time doing a real journal was during my trips, the long ones away from home and they were less about detailed events than they were about thoughts, questions and possibly the next day after rumination, at least a few answers.

      In mom's case, I pulled snippets out of context, facts only but there's a lot of subjective in there, both hurt and happy. The "happy's" I mostly knew about, the "hurts" more of a surprise than they should have been. I feel closer and understand more.

      Unlike a diary, the blogging I do is much more social and public, both things I really enjoy.

      There are quite literally 100 of these books, I've only spent an hour glancing through one and most likely won't spend much time if any with the others.

  2. ..grab tools, quit 3m..done with machinist... ? didn't go as plan.. :)

    1. Mike, my work history in the Trade has been a checkerboard at best. Finally I mostly settled down and figured it was the path of least resistance to eating, staying housed and enjoying things in life.

      You guys have any openings over there??

    2. is low.. no health care.. no vacation time.. no paid holidays... 100 mile commute... no 15 minute breaks..
      still...better then a real job... :)

  3. Doug I also found a couple of family journals including my grandmother's journal in which she documented, among many things, her daughter's weddings and her wishes for her own funeral. It's funny, but my grandmother's wishes helped me with my own mother's passing more than anything else.

  4. I forgot to mention ... I look at my blog as my journal for my grandchildren.

    1. Karen, I've thought the same and hope that these pages I spend time with have some lasting value, if only for a smile now and then. Hell, I'd even settle for a grimace once in awhile as long as there's a bit of balance.

    2. Doug, I noticed so many journal entries were about'Doug.'Funny, once I started blogging, though my mother still wrote in her journal, she made a point of having someone print off my blog pages every day. She was my greatest fan ... as your mother was yours (by the look of it.)

    3. Karen, I really had to dig through mom's writings. Most days had a large paragraph if not 3. Sometimes small print, 3 days/page, other days an entire page. I honestly don't know where she found the time. She was a homemaker but I don't remember ever seeing her sitting down and writing, other than the letters she wrote to family.

      That's pretty cool that your mom enjoyed your blog. Mine only gets there if I lead her directly there....sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. :)

  5. Wow, to have that kind of look into your parents thoughts. I can only imagine what my mother would have written had she a journal. Somehow I think swearing would have been involved. Not necessarily at us two kids, but at life in general.

    1. Brandy, I'm sure that you'd be surprised at what she'd have written. Putting words to paper has a mellowing effect; you'd have seen it most definitely.