1945 1946: Today Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct

I built a dream of mansions,
Of formal gardens grand,
Of terraces and parties
And music by a band.

But in the days of waiting
Since that time long ago,
Those dreams, my dear, have vanished
And I have come to know,

They all were built of tinsel,
Oh vain and foolish past!
For in your arms I'm happy,
Since you are home at last.

Dreams, a poem folded within the pages of my mother's diary. Written by Sayda Grey Richardson.

The diaries start here.

Visit Dot's Diary on facebook.

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TIME TRAVEL will most likely not happen in my lifetime, so I've attempted here to create the next best thing. This virtual trip back in time will take you to Monday, January 1, 1945--about five years before I was born, to follow the day-to-day life of Dorothy, my mother-to-be.

With the help of friends, family, a computer, some fair-to-middling software knowledge, the Internet, and--most importantly-Dot's 1945 and '46 daily diaries, you are welcome to join me, Dorothy's son Dave, in a sentimental journey back in time. Leave our present day behind, and begin at the beginning.

This project began back on Monday, Jan. 1, 2007, when I posted Dot's first diary entry for... Monday, Jan. 1, 1945. Every day during 2007, I added another diary entry.

The war-weary world was entering a period of transition during 1945-46--from years of depression, death, despair and destruction to a more promising and peaceful yet very challenging era. Likewise, Dot's South Side Chicago life (16, going on 17) was transitioning from her Englewood High School days to adulthood.

Supplementing the diary, there are lots of her personal photographs, and comments or recollections from me and from Dot's sister Louise (“Sis”). Maps, clips of movies Dot saw, news and newsreel footage, plus sports and sometimes even the weather, add (I hope) a little more context.

A major source of inspiration to me was Jack Finney's wonderful book, Time And Again. I've sought to create a similar experience here.

I sincerely hope these pages from my mother's diary might provide a sense of how extraordinary those times were. Not only for Dorothy, but for everyone.

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NOTE: A scrapbook is located here. There are bios and photos of my mother's friends and family, plus pictures of, and background information about, various places within Chicago and Dot's south side Englewood neighborhood.

Please email me with your comments or questions, or if you have any info to add about the people, places and things contained herein. I sincerely enjoy, and appreciate, receiving feedback from readers.

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MANY THANKS go to to my family--particularly my uncle Lou, my late aunt Louise, my friends Gloria B. and Dan M., and last but not least to the Chicago Tribune and Eric Zorn for showing their interest in what I'd done, and for making their archives accessible.

Thank you very much to everyone who stopped by here, expressed their appreciation, and particularly to all those loyal readers who generously shared their thoughts, photos, and research.

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Note: There is also a post-diary Afterword in five parts which covers the years after October 1946. Please note that it contains spoilers about the events in Dot's diaries.

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Dave (Dot's son), October 2011.

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contents of this diary © 2008 www.dhdd.net Reproductions and reprints by permission only