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Almost had fight at school.
February 9, 2009 12:35 PM   Subscribe

This is the real line-a-day diary of a young farmgirl in 1937.

Mr. Mark Patterson killed himself with a shot-gun. Dad went to town. Vernon Gardin came over this evening.

Dad went to town. Made a cake. Wasn't any good. Fred Johnson's pretty sick.

Went back to school to-day. Fred Johnson has pneumonia in both lungs. Got two new scalers today.
posted by cashman (32 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is the kind of thing I want to find lots more of on Twitter.
posted by Miko at 12:41 PM on February 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like it! Thanks!
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:41 PM on February 9, 2009


I love this.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:43 PM on February 9, 2009


This is the kind of thing I want to find lots more of on Twitter.

What's an Amish girl like you doing in an Amish town like this? #amishpickuplines
posted by bondcliff at 12:44 PM on February 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


They named one of their new calves Wallis Warfield. LOVE IT. What a fabulous little pop culture signifier!
posted by padraigin at 12:45 PM on February 9, 2009


Ohhhh, yes please. Thank you so much for posting.
posted by sarabeth at 12:49 PM on February 9, 2009


Yeah, I was thinking of posting this too. But really, it would have been so much more effective to post the excerpts and leave the explanation to more inside, rather than the reverse as the OP did. You've got to sell the post; teasers help.
posted by orthogonality at 12:54 PM on February 9, 2009


I see what you mean but I thought that would be too cutesy. Sometimes the teasing gets to be a bit much. I could have just put the "Mr. Mark Patterson killed himself with a shot-gun" line as a solitary link, but it starts to feel like the evening news teasers. "Something in your house that could kill you tonight as you sleep! Story at 11."
posted by cashman at 1:11 PM on February 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


Interesting - for the more verbose, (enhanced) blogs work wonderfully, plus Samuel Pepys wrote of his many amorous adventures.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:24 PM on February 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Has anyone else noticed that these web trends seem to follow a common cyclical pattern? Some new technology emerges, a few users jump on board early and evangelize it without every explaining why it is any better than previously existing technologies it rips off, every mundane use of it by a B-list celebrity is embarassingly overhyped (Stephen Fry is stuck in an elevator!), then it gets used for art projects (a flickr set of 50's motel signs, picture-a-day movies on youtube, dead historical figures on myspace, now this), then it sells out to the most nakedly exploitative advertising and revenue model available, then it becomes staid and boring as people move on to something else. Meh.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:27 PM on February 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


My wife found a diary from her grandfather from about the same time period, and it was written in the same matter-of-fact style (e.g. "Went to school. Cold today. Ate a hamburger"). She was hoping for something more, and we chalked it up to it just being his personality. But perhaps it was a wider stylistic thing of the time?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:27 PM on February 9, 2009


She's a total twitter broadcaster! Following no one, no @replies, website goes to a blog post....

Ok, way cool (totally joking above).
posted by cjorgensen at 1:27 PM on February 9, 2009


What this needs is some Farmer's daughter jokes:

Man walks up to a farmers house, knocks on the door. When a woman opened the door, the man ask if she knew how to have sex. Not amused, she slammed the door. Again, the man knocked, again, asked the same question. Again, not amused, she screamed get the hell away. Later, she told her husband of the incident. he said he would stay home the following day just in case.

Sure enough, the next day the same man returned. The husband hid with his gun while the lady answered the door. When she was asked again if she knew how to have sex, she said yes. The man replied, great, give some to your husband the next time you see him , and tell him to keep away from my wife.

posted by KokuRyu at 1:28 PM on February 9, 2009


My wife found a diary from her grandfather from about the same time period, and it was written in the same matter-of-fact style (e.g. "Went to school. Cold today. Ate a hamburger"). She was hoping for something more, and we chalked it up to it just being his personality. But perhaps it was a wider stylistic thing of the time?

....Maybe, maybe not. My grandfather kept notes on his page-a-day calendar that were pretty mundane like that -- weather, events, etc. But then I also recently found a travel journal from when he and my grandmother had taken a trip to Arizona in 1982, and that was much more verbose. (There was even a sweet little passage I saw -- my own family was supposed to join them on the trip a few days after they went, and we got snowed in for three days straight, each day thinking that the NEXT day we'd be able to go, or the NEXT, or the NEXT, or...I saw Grandpa's entry from one of those days, and it talked about our tale of woe and then finished with a very frustrated-looking, all-caps sentence, "I REALLY JUST WISH THOSE KIDS COULD FINALLY GET HERE!")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:32 PM on February 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


But really, it would have been so much more effective to post the excerpts and leave the explanation to more inside, rather than the reverse as the OP did. You've got to sell the post; teasers help.

I completely disagree. I would have found your version repellent and avoided it. The poster says "I thought that would be too cutesy," and he's right.

Nice post!
posted by languagehat at 1:32 PM on February 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


I have started transcribing my old journals to my blog. In my first three entries in 1995, I get high, shoplift, and am menaced by an anarchist with a bike lock who had previously used it to split a friend's head open.

I also name a calf after the Duchess of Windsor.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:41 PM on February 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


The man replied, great, give some to your husband the next time you see him , and tell him to keep away from my wife.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:28 PM on February 9


It's funny because the man's wife has syphilis, so the farmer hiding behind the door realizes he's going to die soon, but not before the disease renders him a drooling, deranged bedwetter. Jokes are funny.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:41 PM on February 9, 2009


Has anyone else noticed that these web trends seem to follow a common cyclical pattern?

You forgot the part about the inevitable backlash from the cool kids who have the need to add "Meh" to every single thread where the new technology is mentioned.
posted by bondcliff at 1:47 PM on February 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


tl; dr. Where's the bit with the traveling salesman?
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:59 PM on February 9, 2009


From the website:
Looking at the terse journal, my sister quipped, "This is the Twitter of the 1930s." We glanced at each other and almost immediately began planning the Twitter account that would become Twitter.com/Genny_Spencer.

Except it's the opposite of Twitter, no? A diary; a personal record of what happened in her day-to-day life. It's not broadcasting every inane detail of her day to anyone with a computer.

Also:
"David Griner is a social media strategist..."
I'd like to see him explain that to his 1930's aunt. Or me.
posted by chococat at 2:07 PM on February 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


What this needs is some Farmer's daughter jokes

Gentlemen, I propose that this Twitter is like a milking machine and unless we shut it down, it's gonna rip our dicks right off!
posted by dhammond at 2:15 PM on February 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Some of these are really great writing prompts. Thank you!
posted by anoirmarie at 2:48 PM on February 9, 2009


Read Metafilter post. Liked it. Boss stabbed himself in eye. Had coffee.
posted by jimmythefish at 3:10 PM on February 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Social media strategist? I know too many people like that; they spend all their time hooking up and produce precisely nothing. Seriously, it's a disease. Just because you can talk to a hundred different people in a day doesn't mean you should.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:23 PM on February 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


The thing I like best about Twitter so far is the number of ingenious ways people have put it to use. I'm (slowly) developing quite the mix of interesting reading; a blend of personalities, intentions, and usage styles which impart the feeling of multiple happy bus-stop conversations while traveling in a particularly diverse neighbourhood.

This is going to be a great addition.
posted by batmonkey at 3:48 PM on February 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


PastaBagel, what does your screed have to do with this post?
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:57 PM on February 9, 2009


I'm gonna bring back "to-day."
posted by krikkit261 at 5:53 PM on February 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the kind of thing I want to find lots more of on Twitter.

This is the kind of thing that makes me not want to join Twitter.
posted by Doohickie at 5:58 PM on February 9, 2009


I used to not want to join Twitter. Then I found out what it was. Now I really like it.

When I think of it as something that can pepper my day with serendipity, it becomes lots better than when I thought of it as some annoyingly narcisstic interruptive thing. You know, for kids.

It helps that I follow all the museum tweets. They're full of neato stuff like this.
posted by Miko at 8:12 PM on February 9, 2009


she could have literally been my mother's older sister - that old way of life is something i find fascinating and the people who lived it often have a calm, matter of fact view of things that we could learn something from
posted by pyramid termite at 9:05 PM on February 9, 2009


This reminds me of Dot's Diary, a diary written by a teenage girl from 1945, 1946. I read it religiously for a year and half until the diary entries ran out. Dot's son posted an entry every day. It was interesting to see how a teenager lived during that time. It was also written in a more matter of fact fashion.

Maybe this will help fill the void left by Dot's absence.
posted by Titania at 11:52 PM on February 9, 2009


Genny Spencer passed away today.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:59 AM on February 26, 2009


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