The First Journals Part I: Entries From Long Ago

February 15, 1997

I am cleaning my room right now.  You’d be amazed the kind of things you find wedged in a closet or stuffed under a bed in here.  I was going through my cluttered desk when I came across the diary I had when I was in second grade.  I have had several journals in different grades, but at the age of eight lil’ Will wanted to keep a record of his personal struggled and victories. The smaller me was not nearly as detailed in his writing as the present version.  Still, it’s a quaint glimpse.  So, I accomplished my goal.  From this quirky pink diary I am able to squint and see myself as a kid.  And if that book of broad quips is adequate, think about how I will one day look at this collection.  Let’s take a look at the little tike:

September 5, 1986
I will have my tonsils out and I’m going to be out of school for a week and my babysitter is Grandma Connors.  She might stay over night.  She’s never done that.  I will not be running around.  I will bleed if I do.

This is the first time I wrote in here.

September 23, 1986 
I loved all the letters my class made for me.  I read all the letters to Grandma.  She loved them!  My throat was soar after the operation!  I cried!  My mom was in the waiting room.  But I got better.  And lots of people sent me cards.  Last night Dad and I went to Cheddar’s for supper in Peoria.  I went to bed late.

I’m glad to be back in school today.  I missed all of you.  And today will be a Cub Scouts meeting at 2:30 pm at Mitchell’s house.  I’m so excited.  Timmy is at the bookcase now.  Bye-bye.

October 31, 1986
Wow!  Halloween is here.  We are learning about fish.  The Bluegill and the Carp.  I like Halloween.  My favorite is the ghost.  My second is the witch.  My third is the vampire.  Today is the last day of October.  Today we are going to have a Halloween party.  Tomorrow will be November 1, 1986.  So next time I write if I ever do it will be November.  You friend Will Carlson.

November 19, 1986
Today we are going to the gym and have a class picture.  That way everybody will get to look at it when they get it and so will their Mom and Dad.  Oh, I just forgot yesterday I got a badge we hang beads on for our uniforms. I just got one bead at the Cubs Scouts meeting. Timmy made a story about the Solar System.

When I got my haircut I said to Mom, “Since I will get my haircut I think I should get a buzz!”  Mom said, “Well–NO.  I don’t want that beautiful blonde hair cut off like that.”  So I guess I did not but next time we shall see!!!

November 25, 1986
Mom told me that she is going to have a baby!  It will be in June.  We are talking about baby names already.  My mom likes Peter.  I will be 15 when she or she is 7 like me.  I hope it [has] Mrs. Writemark for a teacher.

December 9, 1986
I have been making books.  I made The Pilgrims Lives, Squanto and the Pilgrims, and The Night Before Christmas.  I like to write stories.  I know that I am going to write another story.  My aunt’s going to have a party for Tasha my cousin.

January 28, 1987
Do you know what happened a year ago?  The Challenger exploded.  There were seven people on it.

March 9, 1987
Saturday I had a Grand Opening for my new clubhouse outside.  Noah, Jake, Trisha, and her sister came to it.  Timmy, Mitchell, and Hoke were supposed to come too.

Today I liked the collection of wildlife cards that Trisha brought.  And the football cards that Jake Pruitt and Chase brought.  The dolls that Jill brought.  The shells that Colin brought.  And the (cosets?) Haley brought.

March 15, 1987
Dear Diary,

Today we are going to put on a show for Dad.  It is Star Trek III in the living room.  Mom said mine is like it!  She is Lt. Uhura.  I hope Dad will like it.  Tomorrow my dad and mom and me are going to see GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROADWAY in Peoria.

March 16, 1987
Dear Diary,

I’m on Challenge five in math.  This time I did not pass.  I was not fast enough.  Tomorrow we’re going to Tandy Leather.  It is for Cub Scouts!

Everybody thinks boys can’t have diaries.  Well, that’s not true!  Well, the boy in “Trumpet of the Swan” had a diary!  Mrs. Writemark called me up to Mrs. Carlson’s room for  Zackery Kerpatrick’s address.  He’s very sick, and the school is getting money for him.  I like school.

March 17, 1987 
Dear Diary,

This morning Mom told me quote, “Today is Saint Patrick’s Day.”  I said quote, “Today is Saint Patrick’s Day?!”  Quote, “I have to get some green on Mom!”  I put on my hat but I did not like that, so I put on my shorts.

March 18, 1987
Dear Diary,

On Friday the 20th I’m going to bring the U.S. flag to school.  And I promise that I will sing “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandee” and “Over There!” with all my heart!

March 20, 1987
Dear Diary,

Today I’m going to sing “Yankee Doodle Dandee” and “Over There!” and “Harrigan” for Show and Tell.  Somebody is going to hold the flag and it is Will Davies.

My extra spelling words are “around,” “balloon,” “our,” and “every.”

March 24, 1987  
Today a man is coming at 9:00 AM.  He’s going to tell us about fossils.  One time I went to Chicago and I saw three dinosaurs.  I like dinosaurs.  They were very small.  I guess they were babies.

Three more weeks until the baby is born!

March 26, 1987
Today Timmy came over because my babysitter Bushia was sick.  He came in the morning.  After school I am going to the pastor’s house.  If not, Mom will be waiting for me, and will go home.  My friends are Jason, Timmy, Jake, and Chad, and Wyll Y.

April 30, 1987
Dear Diary,

Today is the last day of April.  P.S. And I changed my name…


 May 8, 1987
Dear Diary,

Today is the second time we practiced Don Goto on the stage for the spring show.  It took half an hour.  Mrs. Whitemark wasn’t sure who James was.  I read that it is the name the most presidents have.  I would like to be president to help people.


May 11, 1987
Dear Diary,

Tomorrow night will be exciting.  I have the lead part in Don Goto and I’m Don Goto.  Maybe we can call it Some Where Over the Sombrero!


May 13, 1987
Dear Diary,

I can’t wait until our field trip to Abraham Lincoln’s New Salem.  Personally I would not go there.  I would go to Lincoln’s home and cemetery.  Because there are water snakes in New Salem.


I notice that I quit writing six days before my sister was born.  I guess things got hectic.  That concludes my personal diary from second grade.  I know some things weren’t very clear, but I was trying my best just to read my writing.  The adventures of lil’ Will shall continue, so look for them in an upcoming entry.  I promise to put them in this journal as soon as they are made available (aka I find them)

It’s been swell,

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