Park Tracey says she was surprised to find the raw diaries contained so much more of her aunt’s personality and voice than her later autobiography. She got absorbed by her aunt’s vivid descriptions of her teenage years.
This evening we went to a prize-fight and talk about thrills. I’ve never been so excited before. Just to see them trying to kill each other. They got all bloody and everything. I yelled till I was hoarse. Lots worse than a football game. Hal Hibbard won. He was the cutest boy, too, and it was so thrilling to see him clench his teeth and go after that man.” —July 3, 1926
The more time Park Tracey spent with the diaries the more fascinated she became with how her great-aunt’s experience reflected the historical era. But she says The Doris Diaries project was born as she was transcribing the diaries and posting snippets of them on her Facebook page — her friends always clamored for more, and eventually she set up a separate Facebook page for the project.
If you’ve had access to a close relative’s diaries, what personal or historical meaning did they have for you?
- Julia Park Tracey: Writer and journalist, creator of the Doris Diaries.