Have you ever looked backwards to see what you were doing on this day a few months or years ago? Facebook helps us out in relation to our time on FB, but what about the time before social media’s computers kept track of our every internet move? People had diaries, and I’m not just speaking about those little pink books with very easy to pick locks on them. I’m talking about journals. These books give us insights into the daily workings of households, and many also give us tidbits of gossip from which we learn so much about the social network of the era in which they are written.
For a ghost hunter, these books are invaluable. Ted calls Burt Hicks’s library of journals “The Garage Sale Books of the Macabre.” Here, Burt may find a piece of gossip that will give him a lead on where to look for a treasure, or perhaps what really happened to Baby Jane?
My journals are woefully inadequate. Burt would be leveling a wobbly table with mine. I start off great, and then three days into it, nothing occurs. I think I have six journals that have fabulous beginnings. Most of them start on airplanes going somewhere spectacular. I use the time to record my thoughts and dreams. They cut off quickly - probably meal service had begun - a few blank pages and then there are a few receipts, some postcards I intended to write, and a few squashed Jr. Mints.
I also found in the middle of one journal that I had taken to Exeter, England with me, a conversation my daughter and I had with a little old man carrying two Tesco bags full of young plants. He was going to plant them in a woman’s back garden who loved flowers but had no ability - or was it time - to plant them. It was supposed to be a surprise. I think he was one of those people you would suspect was an angel on earth. Or he could have been a stalker? That’s what I wrote in the journal. The pages still smell suspiciously of spilt bitters…Great trip.
Do any of you keep a regular journal? If you do, what is the secret to your success?
What was I doing twenty years ago today? I was buying a new journal. I have the receipt to prove it.