What is more analog than writing in a diary?
She wrote every day in a journal that marked out the date for her in short passages about four lines long. For over 80 years. She still writes every day.
Not only is the pen to paper analog, but her words and her time was analog.
The month of March, 1934 was filled with these words:
“duckiest, gosh, evening gowns,” and an entire sentence of this one word:
She writes about zephyr winds and wanting to know Greta Garbo “or at least see her really.”
She goes to school dances and club meetings.
She drove around with friends in the rumble seat taking turns on two wheels.
She listened to the radio in her home and went to the theater to watch double features not yet in color and printed on film slid through projectors that lit up large silver screens.
My analog passion is reading and transcribing her journals. I hold ancient yellow paper and squint to discern cursive writing. I wonder what the pens she used to write with in ’34. I hold each small book carefully, keep it in plastic bags, cringe as I fold back pages and the bindings crackle.
We lived in different worlds. I have an iPod and listen to music she could never relate to. I take selfies with her and get the best pictures because she reacts with such surprised excitement. I had a “live journal” growing up and she doesn’t yet understand the concept of what a blog is. When I talk about it she wants me to look up the word in the dictionary. Her dictionary was printed in 1975. Yet so much seems exactly the same as what I wrote, do write, in my own journals today. I’ve written about the timelessness of teenage crushes and insecurity, but there’s so much more. Balancing homework, negotiating friendships, trying not to get in trouble with parents. These journals are a bridge to the past and one between us.