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I've Got Some Lovin' To Do: The Diaries Of A Roaring Twenties Teen, 1925-1926 Paperback – August 7, 2012
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-- 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
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a good book to read about history from a young woman's perspective.Published 10 months ago by J.E. Thompson
What a life. Rich pampered young lady writes her thoughts....mostly about boys. How the other half lived until the big crash.Published 11 months ago by Maui Mama
A light fun read. 1920's teen chasing boys, driving the folks car, flirting with boys, riding horses, thinking about boys. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Margaret Fago
This is a girl's diary, her innermost thoughts, from the 1920s. It's fairly repetitive. She talks much about kissing boys and the boys she wants to kiss. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Linda Whitney
This had been a great read for me. I'm writing a story that is taking place in the 20's and 30's and Doris had given me a beautiful picture of the time period. Read morePublished 22 months ago by kat
Ms. Tracey is a legend here in the Bay Area, and this book shows her prowess is hereditary. Tracey has collected, edited and published the diaries of her sassy, boy-chasing... Read morePublished on July 2, 2014 by E. Mailman
I’VE GOT SOME LOVIN’ TO DO is the true story of life as teen girl in Portland, Oregon in the 1920s. Julia Park Tracy’s edited collection of the diaries of her great aunt, Doris... Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by Amy Edelman
I've Got Some Lovin' To Do by Julia Park Tracey 3/5 stars
Publisher: iUniverse Length: 230 pages Format: Kindle
Goodreads: It is July of 1925 when, on a whim,... Read more
I related to so much of this book as a teen age girl confused about my own sexuality and my confused feelings about boys. It was funny and introspectivePublished on February 10, 2013 by joi