In Joan’s diaries, she often doodled little drawings. They sometimes depicted a scene she was writing about or might show her latest outfit or hair style. Below you’ll find a few samples of her sketches along with the diary entry that describes the image.
From Wednesday May 25, 1938, Age 15
My feet hurt in art today and I took off one shoe; everyone passed out.
The picture of her on the left has arrows pointing to “foot” and “shoe”; the one on the right points out “people having passed out.”
Joan loved to go to the movies so movie stars names are part of a hangman game in her journal.
In December 1938, Joan was chosen to portray the Virgin Mary at her church. She was thrilled. See under “Journal Entries” for a photo of her as the Virgin Mary and a related journal entry. Here is a different journal entry from that time period and a drawing.
Saturday Dec. 17, 1938, Age 15 (almost 16!)
…You know I’m the Madonna and I sit there in front with a white kerchief on my head, surrounded by all the little angels. There was a straw-filled manger beside me. And suddenly I felt ashamed of myself and silly and good and enjoyed rehearsing it. Just as I was about to leave, my Joseph came and we had to rehearse once together in the dark church. He’s Cameron Brown…. It’s all very beautiful but the rehearsal was terrible. [Drawings of her in costume.]
Joan had to take modern dance. Here is a passage from her journal and some of the sketches accompanying it.
From Monday Jan. 23, 1939, Age 16
[After chatting with a boy we] reached the locker room and I staggered to Modern Dance.
Speaking of Modern Dance, we’ve got a new exercise now. I’ll try to sketch it if you promised not to laugh—it’s sort of a contract and expand thing. Oh, it’s horribly painful. And then there’s this: [Drawing]. And so forth: Oh — And then one more—falling to floor in 3 counts: [Drawing]. Only gracefully—but oh gosh and oh – gee — it hurts!
Joan worked as a Nature Study counselor at camp every summer in Michigan. This dates from Wednesday 7-12-39 when she was 16.
Dear Journal—I wish I were writing this as rapturously as I could have Sunday morning but I had no paper then and I’ll do my best to recapture the feeling. Anyhow—Saturday night was the barn dance. We went to the barn dance—me in a poke bonnet with rosebuds and blue ribbons. Then afterwards our quartet sang—and then–!!! He asked me to go canoe riding with him—oh-oh! It was wonderful. Phyllis was going too and there was only one canoe and anyhow we all went together—oh it was wonderful! We landed at a little beach up the river on the north side and he and I sat in the back and about midnight the gold half-moon rose.