In 1968, a month after I was born David began writing in a daily journal, or diary. It is a habit that he continues even today. Gladys’ letters continue, and at this point, David’s responding letters did not survive. I have my father’s permission to share these diary entries. He began transcribing them himself a few years ago, and even annotated them! Over the next phase of the blog, I will jump back and forth between Gladys’ letters and David’s diary entries. At this time, David was a graduate student at Boston University and the minister of the Rockport Methodist Church.
David’s Diary Entries
Monday, September 16, 1968
Deborah one month old. AM desk work; assignment for Paul D.S. PM, worked on Paul assignment, meeting with Dr. Uhlinger, Forrest Clark, Jim Bussey on C.A.M.P. Late supper; study Greek—John 1; tired today, last night little sleep. Going to bed—11 o’clock.
Tuesday, September 17, 1968
9:20 train to Boston; Greek class 11:15 – 12:15; Lunch with Larry Carter, Hobart Farrell, others. Talked politics, foresee Nixon victory; Xeroxed Journal articles for Thursday Jeremiah DS; Paul D.S. 3:00 – 4:00 (1st meeting). Includes 3 of us: Dr. Oliver, Dane [Dave?] Mitchell and myself. Looks promising—should be very interesting. 5:15 train home—exhausted, headache; desk work, study in evening: Bright’s History of Israel; 11:30 to bed.
Wednesday, September 18, 1968
Up around 9 o’clock; reading for DS (Jeremiah): Bright, HI, Chronicles of Caldean Kings by D. J. Wiseman—very interesting. 3 articles from journals. Big breakfast (before reading), late lunch, 2:15; supper 6:30; 8 o’clock visit Mr. & Mrs. George Harris, re: baptism of their son; neither had done the reading—home by 8:30; not a very intelligent pair; read short while in Bright, Jeremiah, introduction; study Greek past midnight. In bed 12:20.
Thursday, September 19, 1968
Overslept—up at 7:50; still managed to catch 8:15 train. No breakfast, shaved electrically. In Boston by 9:30—to Mass. Bible Society for copy of Greek NT, to Bank on Beacon St; to BU; Greek 11:15 – 12:00; lunch with Tod Hitchings, Hobart Farrell, Larry McGee; Hobart asked if I call myself an atheist—told him “agnostic” better term; Tillich, I pointed out, in strict sense of the word was atheist. Discussion of the Acts-Pauline problem; xeroxed Paul D.S. article after lunch; DS Jeremiah 2-3—1st meeting—should be rewarding work for the semester; after meeting rushed to xerox two articles; delay at Gov’t Center station—almost missed train (4:10 to Rockport); home 5:20; 6:20 leave for German course at Gordon—this should be helpful too; 10 o’clock home again; desk work. To bed 12:15. Letter from Sen. McCarthy today. Thurs. cont—on the way to bed at 12:15, baby’s feeding time, read while Bonnie fed Debby, looked over some of Fosdick’s sermons—lights out after 1.
Friday, September 20, 1968 Debby 5 weeks old
Slept late—up around 10 o’clock. Big breakfast; spent most of the day, unfortunately, trying to get the special pastoral letter ready. Stencils from Cokesbury no good—too short + all stuck together. We went to Gloucester (to Busseys’) to borrow some stencils, stopped at Mals + market on way home; late lunch around 2 p.m.; worked on pastoral letter. All run off, signed, stamped sealed by 6:30—Bonnie was washing kitchen floor. Debby has gone long periods between feedings = 5 hrs last night, 4 + 5 hours today. CBS news indicates strong support for Wallace in Unions. After supper, tried to deliver letters to Mrs. Cooney—not home. PM—work at desk, on sermon-outline finished; bulletins completed; further reading in Bright’s Jeremiah (Intro.). On way to bed, shortly after 1 a.m. [margin: middle of afternoon short visit over with Ornes—needed to pick up check for postage.]
Saturday, September 21, 1968
Up at 8:50; large breakfast; took letters to Mrs. Cooney, changed Wayside Pulpit; Bonnie had call from new resident in Rockport who wanted to attend our church. 10:30 Debby’s 1st doctor’s appointment; everything fine. He pronounced her “a perfect baby”—she was in a good mood. Worked on sermon, lunch, worked on sermon further. Around 2 o’clock went up to see Rip Hannibal, talked about his daughter in Florida, politics; home by 3:30 to greet Dr. Frederich (sp?)—the new Rockporter. He is an Englishman, teaching presently at Brandeis University, French. We have a common interest in music—although he doesn’t care too much for opera. He left shortly after 5 o’clock; back to work on the sermon; supper around 6:30; then back to the sermon again. Finished about 7:30. Bonnie and I gave Debby her first “solid” food—a soupy rice cereal. She was rather perplexed, very wide-eyed, probably swallowed very little! Further preparations for morning service; translated LK 19:1-10 for scripture reading. Bonnie baked pumpkin pie this evening, so we had a snack after 11 pm; read further in Bright’s Jeremiah; off to read in bed 12:30.
Sunday, September 22, 1968
Up at 9:30; shaved, practiced sermon, then off to church. No processional—only 3 in choir. Used Greek NT for first time for scripture reading from the pulpit. Sang in the choir. Sermon topic: “How to Stand Up + Take It.” (Fosdick’s title and idea.) Could have been preached better by one who is thoroughly theistic. Fosdick is so grounded to belief in a personal loving God, it is difficult for me to appropriate many of his sermon ideas. Home Orne reported that attendance was 32. I was home by 12:30—rested shortly after lunch; 2 o’clock had to be at the church to baptize George Samuel Harris III; took altar flowers to Lucy Patience; went with Loyd Starrett + Dick Bamforth to Gordon Divinity School to interview another candidate for youth ministry—Jim Tanner. We agreed to hire him. Dropped in on the Busseys at their open house, saw Uhlingers briefly. Home after 5—unsuccessful nap. – very tired. Supper around seven. Began reading for Paul DS. (Schweitzer: Paul and his Interpreters). Took break around 10:45 to bathe and fill out Bible Class postcards—read til about 12:30—finished first 100 pgs of Sweitzer book; off to bed at 12:30; read til 1:10.
 Directed Study
 District superintendent?
 Friend from seminary who served church in Gloucester
 Cape Ann Methodist Parish
 I am surprised that I was that much of an non-believer in seminary.
 See previous footnote.
 The Episcopal pastor.
©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by David Madison and Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/04/24/davids-diary-september-16-1968/
Ah, my diaries…is the world ready for these tedious accounts of my everyday life in the late 60s? Some tiny tidbits of history here! 🙂
But it’s fabulous social history! Little tidbits like watching Apollo 7, or the weeks leading up to the election of Nixon, etc.