23 Sherwood Drive

A diary, a writing prompt, maybe a memoir (sort of)

My personal time capsule

In November, 1964, I went to the Caldor in Danbury, Connecticut and bought a diary. For the next year, I tried to record each day’s events. Sometimes they were actual historical events (the assassination of Malcolm X, for instance.) More often I wrote about the very mundane life of a girl, fifteen going on sixteen, in a small New England town. Since 1964, I have been journaling in notebooks, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and a few other places I’m still finding, through my twenties and thirties and now my seventies. It’s still ordinary stuff: family life, kids, vacations, work.

Every day, I post what I wrote in my journals for that date. It’s a day-by-day spiral trip through one woman’s pretty ordinary life. There are secrets there, and memories, all clues to who I was and who I became. Time looks different from this perspective. Seasonal patterns are more visible; so are recurring themes. I figure I will have transcribed most of the paper journals by February, 2024. What next? I dunno. I might turn it into something else. Or not. At least, I’m creating the primary source for someone else’s novel or dissertation.

Looking for more about my work on gender and clothing? Check out Gender Mystique, also on Substack.

I am also very occasionally on Post (https://post.news/@/jbpaoletti), mostly bits of poetry.

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My diaries, 1964-present, with commentary. More interesting than it sounds.


Jo Paoletti

Retired, writing and knitting. I maintain 2 Substacks. 23 Sherwood Drive is a core sample of life since 1964. I contemplate gender on Gender Mystique, with some of my current work and a lot of my old stuff.