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I've Got Some Lovin' To Do: The Diaries Of A Roaring Twenties Teen, 1925-1926 Paperback – August 7, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"As fresh and crisp as they were when Doris wrote them, these delicious diaries provide a colorful portrait of the Jazz Age through the eyes of a teenager. I couldn't help but think of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Doris would have fit right in with Gatsby himself."
-- Jonah Raskin, book critic, San Francisco Chronicle, author

"History is about stories and this book has plenty of them. The Doris Diaries is part history, part personal journey of a young woman finding herself in the mid-1920s. The book captures everyday-living in Portland with a personal perspective that's both fascinating and illuminating."
--John Chilson, historian, Lost Oregon (lostoregon.com)

From the Author

"I never travel without my diary," Oscar Wilde famously wrote in his play, The Importance of Being Earnest. "One should always have something sensational to read in the train."  The same sentiment could be true of Doris Louise Bailey, the teenager who penned what we now call "The Doris Diaries."
The Doris Diaries are a lifetime's worth of diaries kept by Doris Bailey (later Doris Murphy), a Portland, Oregon, native (1910-2011).  Doris Bailey Murphy was my great aunt.  She began keeping a daily record of her life as a 15-year-old in 1925.  
The diaries themselves are enchanting at first glance - filled with pen-and-ink-scrawled daily gripes about school, catching the street-car, buying a new hat, and joyous outings with friends. But very soon, her use of contemporary slang (pep, swell, and sheik, for example) and her daily occupations bring to life the rapidly changing world of the mid-1920s.  Young Doris talks on the telephone with boys, she plays tennis, and dances to records on the Victrola.  Her parents are bastions of the white, Protestant, upper middle class of Portland; they were born and raised in Alabama in the post Civil War era, with Victorian morals. But times were changing in the 1920s, and Doris constantly pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable behavior for a young girl. She flirts, kisses, and rides in cars with boys; she sneaks out, cuts school and chops off her hair. 
Doris's disdain for stolid conventions like being ladylike or behaving properly is evident in every entry.  She is privileged, vain, judgmental, fickle, passionate, fashionable, consumerist, horny, untamed, and very romantic, imagining herself in and out of love with each passing day.  And yet, she knows when her behavior is "not very nice," calling herself out, in effect, when she knows she's pushed too far. In her room, at her desk, she soars into flights of fancy about the lonely hearts living in the city she loves, about an imagined idyll with her beloved Micky, and weaves a confusing tapestry of boyfriends (and a brother) named Jack. 
Doris's interest in politics and culture has not yet awakened in her teen years, as is evident by her attitudes and essentially shallow thoughts.  But in later diaries (college years in Portland and Arizona), her sense of injustice against the oppressed (her transformation from oppressor to liberator) grows, and she continues her growth from Portland debutante to a young social worker, literary publisher and arts champion (The Dilettante, a literary magazine in 1934, and the Skidmore Arts Center, another pet project, 1935).
Doris went on to study social work, shocking the Reed College community when she interviewed prostitutes in Portland for her thesis (the dean called her parents for a conference to discuss the scandalous behavior).  She graduated from Reed in 1938.  She left Portland that year for San Francisco, where she worked with World War II refugees at the Red Cross, and became active in the labor movements that were burgeoning across America.  She flirted with joining the Communist Party, and began an affair with a married man. He eventually got a divorce from his wife; Doris and Joe Murphy were wed in 1948.  They lived in San Francisco where Joe was in labor leadership until the 1960s, when they retired to Occidental, California, a small town in the redwoods and vineyards of Sonoma County.  Joe died in 1987 and Doris wrote her autobiography, publishing at age 96. 
Doris died at home, with her dog and cat nearby, at age 101 in March of 2011, and upon her death, her trustee, my mother (daughter of Doris's brother Rae), discovered another surprise -- the box of journals, kept so many years in a closet.  I received these with joy and surprise, never having known of their existence.  Discovering the historical settings and charming entries in these diaries has compelled me to seek publication for these gems of Americana - a glimpse at the twentieth century from a girl/woman who would not be quiet and behave.  A growing following on Facebook (FB/thedorisdiaries) and Twitter (@TheDorisDiaries) further encouraged me toward publication of these diaries.
I hope you will enjoy them as much as I have.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475939841
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475939842
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,151,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's interesting to see how different from and yet how like our time the 20s were. On one hand, things were different. Cars and phones were still new. There was no Internet or TV, no smartphones (yikes!). But if you peal back the veneer, you find humanity unchanged. Doris is a typical 15-year-old young woman, who seems to mug (make out with) a different beau every day, loves to hang out with her friends and has frequent conflicts with her parents, even thinking of her father as a tyrant at one point.

Most of the entries are rather shallow and silly, talking about how handsome this boy is or what a great kisser another is. Every once in a while, Doris will show a peek at her deeper side, talking about the beauty of nature, the desire to get away from the complexities of modern life and live in the wilderness and her desire to see all the untold stories of all the people of her city told.

Anyway, to conclude, I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who's interested in what life in the 20s was like. Sift patiently through the boy crazy entries and you'll find some true gems among them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...and you'll find that not much has changed in nearly 90 years.

Material things have changed such as technology , as have political correctness, but some things have stayed exactly the same: the dramatics of a teenage girl.

Doris is coquettish, extremely vain, and slightly rebellious. She resents parental authority and is bored (and frustrated) by schoolwork. She gets crushes, backstabbed, and plays hard-to-get. Sound familiar? Change a few words in her diary and you might think you're reading Facebook page updates.

This diary will prove extremely useful not just for educators, academics and period researchers for fiction, it is also a way for teens to learn that some problems stay the same.

Julia Park Tracey does a fantastic job of putting together this diary - there's a very informative introduction as well as useful glossaries in the back. She deserves to be commended for painstakingly transcribing not only the diaries included here, but also for the diaries not yet published.

All in all, a fascinating read, and highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I don't really care for memoirs. Give me a good cyberpunk or zombie apocalypse novel any day. Yep, that was my motto. Then all these memoirs kept landing in my lap: Jolene Siana's "Go Ask Ogre: Letters from a Deathrock Cutter." Anne Soffee's "Snake Hips" and "Nerd Girl Rocks Paradise City: A True Story of Faking It in Hair Metal L.A.." Diablo Cody's "Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper." And I loved them. I mean, really loved them. Then I met Doris.

Doris Louise Bailey Murphy wrote in her diary of one of her many dalliances, "If I live for a hundred years, I'll never forget that kiss. Never, never, never." She lived to be 101. When she passed away in 2011 her journals were given to her great niece, author (and my friend) Julia Park Tracey. Through Facebook, Tracey began sharing snippets of Doris's life in Portland and, encountering overwhelming enthusiasm from her followers, published "I've Got Some Lovin' To Do: The Diaries Of A Roaring Twenties Teen, 1925-1926" this year.

I had the pleasure of being an advance reviewer for the manuscript, and developed a huge crush on Doris, a May-December romance that was more "Somewhere in Time" than "Harold and Maude." Through her diaries, Doris remains young and vibrant. She was, one might say, a hoot. Maybe even a rebel. Definitely full of pep, by gosh and by golly.
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Format: Paperback
This is the intimate peek into the life of a teenage girl during the 1920s. No fiction here, just the true blue authentic words of a girl struggling with boy crushes, friendships, and society's limits on a budding young woman of the times. The realness of it drew me in immediately and held me all the way through. Doris' lingo and perspective carried the flavor of a much more innocent time period, which left me both refreshed and a little wistful for a simpler time. I look forward to the next installment and lots more gosh darn fun with Miss Doris Bailey.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the second collection of Doris's diaries first, and I definitely enjoyed this one more. The entries are longer and more detailed and Doris is doing more interesting things, going for canoe rides and horseback riding...and having no end of trouble with the family Ford, making me wonder if minor fender benders were more common back then. I loved her description of a late night ride to visit and abandoned house that they'd been told was haunted.

It amazed me how much freedom and lack of supervision a teenage girl in the 1920s had. Now I'm wondering if it was typical of the time, or how much her parents knew about what their daughter was actually up to.

The book contains detailed footnotes, appendixes, and glossaries of Doris's slang terms. I did find myself wondering if it was "right" to publish her diaries after her death. In an early entry in the second book, she comments that she would "hate to have the public know all my thoughts." But I don't think that will stop me from reading the next book in the series when it's released.
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