September 5, 1967

Eleven-year-old Diana Lynch jumped out of bed as soon as the alarm clock went off for the first day of sixth grade at Sleepyside Elementary. Her mother had splurged and paid Ella Kline to make a new dress for her to wear today. Gazing at it before slipping it over her head, Diana smiled in spite of her nervousness. The dress was so pretty – plaid in violet, lavender, and navy, with a fine dark green windowpane check running through the design. It had a dropped waist and elbow-length sleeves; the skirt fell in sharp knife pleats to just above her knees. Lavender knee socks and sturdy navy Mary Janes from the Goodwill store – barely worn – completed her outfit. Despite the fact that the Lynches lived in a small, crowded apartment and Diana had to bring a lunchbox to school instead of eating the school lunch, she felt sure that, for once, her clothes were as nice as any of the other girls’.

She would be in the sixth grade – the last year at the school she had attended since kindergarten. This year I’ll have to remember a locker combination. Sixth-graders have gym class instead of recess. There will be tryouts for sports teams, cheerleading, chorus, and band. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach as she thought of all the changes in store this year. I wonder if I’ll be able to participate in any of the after-school activities, she thought. Her mother relied on her to help with her younger brothers and sisters – two sets of twins, aged three and one. In spite of the age difference, Diana loved caring for the little ones -- but sometimes she wished she could spend more time with friends her own age. Trixie Belden, her best friend at school, was so lucky. She lived out in the country, and only had one younger sibling, so her mother seemed to always have time to sit and talk with her after school. Diana’s own mother was usually frazzled by the time Diana came home from school, and retreated to her room for a short rest as soon as she had greeted her daughter. Trixie got to ride the bus with her two older brothers, instead of walking by herself, even in bad weather. Trixie’s dad worked at the bank, and he was home by five o’clock every afternoon, instead of driving a delivery truck as her own father did. Mr. Lynch had to make all of his deliveries before he could come home, and sometimes it was eight or nine o’clock before his job was done.

Diana glanced at the new watch which had been her birthday present just two months earlier. Seven-thirty! I need to hurry if I’m going to have time to eat breakfast before walking to school. Trixie will be waiting at the bus stop with her two older brothers by now. Just before closing the door to her room, she noticed her new zippered pencil bag and snatched it from the top of her dresser. Two new pencils, a new pink eraser, a 12-inch ruler, and a Bic-Stick pen were the school supplies she needed to bring on the first day.

"Good morning, sweetheart!" As she walked into the kitchen, Diana was greeted by her mother, who stood at the stove cooking French toast to celebrate this special day. Her brothers, Larry and Terry, sat at the table on booster seats, eating their own French toast. The babies, one-year-old Barbie and Margie, sat in highchairs and were occupied eating Cheerios with their fingers.

"Di-di, Di-di!" chanted the little boys, and the girls squealed their excitement, pounding their sippy cups on their trays.

"Hi, twinnies!" she replied, giggling. "Mummy! French toast is my favorite breakfast! Thank you for making it today!"

Margaret Lynch smiled. "I wanted your first day to be special. You have been such a help to me this past summer; I don’t know how I would have coped without you. The dress looks lovely." She pushed a lock of black hair away from her flushed face and poured a glass of orange juice for Diana, then served her two perfectly browned pieces of hot French toast, before fixing her own plate and sitting with her children at the crowded table.

"Oh, I hope Trixie will be in my room this year," Diana said. Her nervousness about the new school year made her more talkative than usual. "I’ll just die if Amy Morrissey and Jane Morgan are in my room – they’re so stuck up! And Ruthie Kettner is so quiet and shy – you’d think we hadn’t known each other our whole lives. It will be so strange being the oldest in the school this year! I’m looking forward to it but dreading it too."

"Well, I hope that you are kind and nice to everyone, Diana, sweetie. But I do like Trixie – she is so full of energy and interested in everything around her. She brings you out of your shell. And her mother is such a lovely, kind person." Mrs. Lynch smiled fondly at her daughter. "Oh! Look at the time! You’d better get going, dear."

Diana quickly brushed her teeth, grabbed her bag, and ran out the door after kissing all four twins good-bye. Mrs. Lynch stood in the doorway of the apartment building with a baby daughter on each arm, and a toddler son on each side of her skirt, watching until her eldest was out of sight.

As she walked the few blocks to school, Diana thought about her best friend. Diana was introverted and sometimes sensitive about wearing secondhand clothing and living in a small apartment. But when Trixie came over, she never seemed to notice the things that embarrassed Diana. Trixie liked to be outside, and she was always trying to convince Di to be more daring. Roller skating, climbing trees, and riding bikes were her favorite activities. When she came to the apartment, the two girls would get Diana’s skates out and skate up and down the sidewalk for an hour at a time; at Trixie’s house, they would take turns riding Trixie’s bike. Sometimes Trixie’s brother Mart would let Trixie use his bicycle and they could ride together. Trixie was less satisfactory when it came to trying out new hairstyles and other "girly" activities.

"Di! Diana! Di Lynch!" Diana turned at the sound of her name. Trixie had just gotten off the bus in front of Sleepyside Elementary School and was waving and hopping from one foot to the other. Diana smiled and walked faster. Glancing up at the bus, she caught a glimpse of Mart Belden at a window. He waved at her and she waved back. This would be his first year at the junior-senior high school, where his brother Brian was already a tenth-grader.

Trixie ran to meet her friend, arriving breathless at Diana’s side. "Hi, how was your summer?" she asked, giving Diana’s arm a squeeze. She had to pause for a few seconds to catch her breath, then continued, "I wish we could have spent more time together! Brian and Mart spent the whole summer trying to do things without me, and Bobby hung on me all the time – he wanted to do everything I did! So it was the most boring summer ever! The most exciting thing that happened was going to the seashore for a week at the beginning of August." Trixie stopped and blew the blonde curls away from her forehead.

"Oh, we didn’t do much," responded Diana. "I helped Mummy with the twins, mostly. I took them to the park nearly every day. While they napped after lunch, Mummy taught me how to cook and do laundry. There’s always a lot of laundry with babies! After supper I would give them their baths while Mummy cleaned up the kitchen. Oh, Trixie, they are so funny!"

Trixie had stopped walking and was staring at her friend with her round blue eyes opened as wide as they could be. "Why, Di Lynch! Do you mean that you actually like taking care of little kids? I would go crazy if I had to do that much with Bobby. I have to watch him enough as it is."

Diana’s black ponytail bobbed as she nodded her head. "I love it! And they are so sweet – most of the time, that is! My mom really needed me this past year; she had a lot of trouble after the girls were born. Not exactly sick – she was just terribly tired and there were days she could hardly get out of bed. She would get really upset and cry over nothing – my aunt Kay came to stay with us for awhile, and she said Mummy’s – um, harmonies -- were out of whack – whatever that means! She’s a lot better now; I hope she’ll be all right with me in school all day."

The two girls had reached the front steps of the school. As they climbed the steps, Diana studied Trixie’s new school clothes. Her blonde friend wore a blue plaid skirt and a light blue, "poorboy" type sweater, with white bobby socks and brown penny loafers.

"That’s a cute outfit," Diana complimented her friend.

Trixie frowned. "I wish we didn’t have to wear skirts!" she complained. But I do have on shorts underneath." She lifted the hem of her skirt to show a pair of shorts. "If I want to do a cartwheel or play kickball, I don’t want to think about anyone seeing my underwear." She looked at Diana’s dress for the first time. "How about you?"

Diana shook her head. "No, I didn’t wear shorts. I don’t usually do those things anyway. And I wouldn’t today, because Mummy had this new dress made, and I’d just die if I did something to tear it. How do you like it?" Since they had reached the landing, she twirled to show how the pleated skirt flared out.

"I don’t see how you can stand to wear dresses," Trixie replied bluntly. Diana felt tears gathering in her eyes. She loved her new dress and wanted her closest friend to like it, too. Shading her face with her hand, she quickly pretended that something in the opposite direction had captured her attention. I won’t let Trixie see that my feelings were hurt! Diana often felt she was too sensitive.

Surprisingly, after straining to see what had caught her friend’s attention, Trixie did notice that Diana’s chin trembled a little and that she blinked a lot for someone who was fascinated by an unseen object in the distance.

"Oh, Di, I’m sorry for being such a dip! Your new dress is pretty and just the perfect color for you. I’m just aggravated because I don’t like to wear nice clothes. I always am doing something to get dirty or tear good clothes and it makes me grumpy. Let’s go inside and see if we’re in the same class; we’ll pick our seats together!"

The two friends were excited to discover that they would be in the same classroom, and hurried to choose seats near each other.

"If I sit behind you, it’ll be easier to pass notes," Trixie suggested.

"Or, I could sit behind you," countered Diana.

"Wouldn’t work. I’m shorter, so I should be behind." Trixie was firm.

"Oh, all right. But you can’t whisper to me in class – you know how I laugh, and the teacher will catch us." Diana was willing to concede, but she hated to get in trouble for misbehaving.

As they began to put away their school supplies, Trixie and Diana noticed their classmates filling up the desks. Amy Morrissey and Jane Morgan sat across from each other in the front of the room, while shy Ruthie Kettner chose a seat near the back of the class.

Soon the first bell rang, and Mrs. Turner, the sixth-grade teacher, entered the classroom. Taking her place behind the teacher’s desk, she called the class to attention. At Sleepyside Elementary, nearly all of the students had attended the same school since kindergarten. They all knew each other, and they all knew the teachers. Everyone knew Mrs. Turner was strict, so there was no horseplay as she led the class in the Pledge of Allegiance and took roll call.

After roll call, Mrs. Turner began to announce activities that would be offered in the first few weeks of school.

"Tryouts for a girls’ volleyball team will be held next Monday; basketball tryouts for boys will be at the end of the month; anyone interested in the school orchestra must report to Mr. Shafer by the end of this week. Please pick up permission slips for any extracurricular activity and return them before your activity is scheduled to begin. Permission slips will go home today for the first PTA fundraiser of the year; the cases of candy bars will be distributed tomorrow. Each student is expected to sell 20 candy bars."

As Diana listened to Mrs. Turner’s voice drone on and on, she began to draw in the margin of her new notebook, as she always did. First, she sketched a graceful, detailed butterfly; then a cherubic baby face which resembled her sisters. Next, she began a delicate curly-edged leaf. Suddenly, she heard Mrs. Turner say "art class after school" and sat up straight, listening intently.

"Mr. Harison Petie will be offering an after-school art class each Tuesday between now and Christmas. Students will have an opportunity to learn drawing and watercolor painting techniques from a well-known illustrator of children’s books. Mr. Petie has illustrated several books in the Lucy Radcliffe mystery series. Interested students may stop by the school office to obtain a permission slip. The permission slip contains more detailed information about the class content, required supplies, and cost. Slips must be returned by Monday in order for Mr. Petie and the school to gauge the needed space and to purchase necessary supplies."

An art class! Diana loved to draw and sketch from her imagination as well as from life. Will we be able to afford it? She wondered. And can Mummy spare me for one afternoon every week? Her friends admired her pictures, but she was dissatisfied and knew that she had a lot to learn. This class could be a dream come true.

Diana was startled out of her reverie by a jab to her back, and Trixie passed her a note while the teacher was answering a question asked by Lester Mundy.

"Trixie Belden and Diana Lynch," Mrs. Turner’s voice was firm. "If I see you passing notes again, you will share the note with everyone in the class. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, Mrs. Turner." Trixie and Di spoke in unison.

The rest of the morning passed almost in a blur for Diana, as she planned various ways to approach the subject of art class with her parents and daydreamed of the pictures she could create.

*******

After lunch, Diana and Trixie had English. As expected, the teacher assigned an essay on the topic, "What I Did Last Summer." Diana groaned mentally. I know what I did last summer, but it will sound terribly boring to read my essay on babysitting and learning to cook in front of the class. Besides that, it will take up only a half page!

Worrying about the essay had nearly put the art class out of Diana’s head by the end of the day. As she separated from Trixie at the bus stop, the two girls made plans to visit after school at Diana’s house the next day.

"Mummy, I’m home!" Diana entered the apartment quietly and kept her voice low since she knew the twins would be napping. She found her mother in the kitchen, cleaning up the sink and counters.

"Hello, sweetie. How was your first day at school?" Mrs. Lynch hugged her daughter after wiping her hands on a dish towel.

"It was OK. Trixie sits right behind me. Oh, Mummy, there is going to be an after-school art class once a week until Christmas! I brought an information sheet and permission slip home. Do you suppose I could take the class? It costs four dollars a week."

Diana crossed her fingers behind her back as she related this last piece of information. Money was always tight in the Lynch household, with five children to feed and clothe. There never seemed to be anything left over for extras. And there were the younger children to consider. Diana might be needed as a babysitter.

"Let me see the papers, and I will talk to your father tonight. It would be a shame to lose the opportunity if there is any way we can do it. You do have talent and it would be so nice for you to be able to learn more." Mrs. Lynch smiled fondly at her daughter. "Now, why don’t you set the table for supper before the little ones wake up? I just finished putting a roast into the oven for supper."

After setting the table with plates and silverware, Diana peeled eight carrots and as many potatoes. Her mother slipped the carrots into the roasting pan and placed the cut-up potatoes in a pan of cold salted water. Later she would boil and mash them, to serve with the flavorful gravy from the roast.

No sooner had Diana disposed of the vegetable peelings in the garbage than she heard the sound of the door to her little brothers’ room opening. Larry came running into the kitchen, followed closely by Terry.

"Di-Di, where were you?" they cried. Both of them tried to climb up her legs at the same time.

Diana laughed and said, "Now, boys, you know I had to go to school today! Let me change out of my school dress and I’ll take you outside."

"Outside! Yay! Outside now!" The two boys were shouting and jumping up and down.

"Shhhh! You’ll disturb the neighbors!" Mrs. Lynch tried to train her children to be quiet in the apartment in consideration of the other tenants, but Larry and Terry weren’t as docile and quiet as Diana had been at that age. Diana removed the apron she had worn to protect her dress and went into her room as her mother took the boys to the bathroom. Her baby sisters slept in a single crib in one corner of the small room, and when she went into the room, Margie was standing at one end of the crib, dropping stuffed animals one by one, onto the floor. Barbie sat up, rubbing her eyes, and clutching a corner of her blanket. Both babies began to squeal and raised their arms for Diana to pick them up. She did so, saying "Hi, girls, did you miss me?" and giving each one a kiss. Quickly, she changed into jeans, a pullover shirt, and tennis shoes. Next, she got down on the floor to change her sisters’ diapers. When she headed toward the bathroom to put the wet garments into the diaper pail, the babies crawled rapidly after her. Although they had begun to take a few steps, they weren’t fast on their feet yet.

Mrs. Lynch made the request Diana was expecting, as the three girls came back into the kitchen. "Diana, dear, would you take the girls outside in the stroller with you? I’d like to lie down for a bit before supper."

"Yes, Mummy. Larry, do you have your dinosaurs? Terry, do you have your cars? We’ll go to the sandbox and you can play there while I walk the girls around the playground."

Diana carefully maneuvered the twin stroller down the few steps from the apartment with her sisters inside. Her brothers followed, and took hold of the stroller handles on each side, as she had trained them to do. They soon reached the small playground behind their building and headed for the sandbox.

"Let me check to be sure cats haven’t been using this for a bathroom before you start playing," Diana warned Larry and Terry. The two boys were jumping up and down in their eagerness to get into the sand. Diana got into the sandbox and raked her hands through the sand, throwing out any chunks she encountered. Afterward she pulled a wet washcloth from a plastic container in the tray under the stroller, and washed her hands.

"You can get in now." She smiled as the two little boys climbed into their favorite play area. Immediately they began forming hills with the sand and making tracks for Terry’s cars.

"Budddn, buddn, buddn! I’m a race car!" Terry had the car noise down perfectly. Larry was busy making his Tyrannosaurus Rex chase down a Brontosaurus in another part of the sandbox. Seeing that her brothers were happily occupied, Diana began to push her sisters around the perimeter of the playground, pointing out birds and flowers they passed. She parked the stroller for a few minutes so the little ones could watch the antics of two squirrels which were chasing each other from one tree to another.

At the swing set, Diana set the lock on the stroller and lifted each of her sisters into a baby swing. She pushed them gently to and fro for several minutes, enjoying their giggles and the smiles on their faces. Every few minutes she glanced over to the sandbox to see how her brothers were doing. When some older children came to the sandbox, she called Terry and Larry to come and swing before there could be a dispute about toys and who was taking up too much room.

Terry and Larry came running to the swings, each of them carrying their toys in a plastic bucket. "Swing me! Swing me!" they cried.

When they had played for about forty-five minutes, Diana announced, "Time to go home! Supper will be ready soon." She had let her little sisters cruise around the locked stroller after they tired of swinging, and although they fussed over being put back into their seats, they accepted Diana’s authority. "Let me check your hands," she now said, recalling times when one or the other of the little ones had a bug, a clod of dirt, or a piece of grass that went into her mouth on the way home, when she couldn’t see their faces. Larry and Terry were hungry and didn’t put up any fuss as she ranged them on each side of the stroller after placing the plastic buckets of toys on the carrying rack.

Back at the apartment, Diana took her sisters out of the stroller, carried them inside, and handed them to her mother for changing. Then she shooed her brothers inside after brushing all the sand that she could from their clothes. She dragged the heavy stroller up the steps again and left it in its usual spot under the stairwell, where it was out of the other tenants’ way. Once inside, she washed her own hands and went to the kitchen, after checking to see that Margie and Barbie were playing contentedly in the playpen set up in the living room. Larry and Terry played with their Tonka trucks on the couch.

Margaret Lynch was draining the pot of potatoes in the sink. "Thank you, sweetie," she said to Diana. "I had a refreshing rest for a half hour. Now I’m ready to keep going until bedtime."

She added butter, milk, and salt to the potatoes and began to mash them. "We’ll really have to try to work it out so you can attend the art class, dear. You do so much for me at home with the little ones, you deserve a treat."

"It was fun, Mummy. The kids are good and do what I tell them." Diana opened a can of peas and began to heat them in a saucepan as her mother removed the roast from the oven.

After another round of handwashing, mother and children sat down to eat supper. While Mrs. Lynch minced some of the meat finely so the little girls could eat it, Diana cut up her brothers’ portions. The vegetables were soft enough that they didn’t require further chopping. Margaret saved a plate for her husband, covering it with aluminum foil so it wouldn’t get dried out, and placed it in the oven to stay warm.

After supper, Mrs. Lynch said, "Diana, I’ll clean up the kitchen tonight, if you’ll bathe the boys. Then I’ll put them to bed while you bathe the girls." It was usually their way to divide up the after-supper chores.

"OK, Mummy. I’d rather do baths than dishes any day! Come on, Larry and Terry. It’s bath time!"

Once Larry and Terry were clean and in their pajamas, Mrs. Lynch took them to their room. Diana could hear her reading "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" to them as she bathed Margie and Barbie. Her sisters loved splashing in the tub, but hated having their hair washed and rinsed under the faucet. Diana tried to make a game of it, singing "Hush Little Baby" to each one as she used a plastic cup to pour water over each sister’s head.

Finally it was eight o’clock, and all four twins were tucked into bed. Mrs. Lynch sat on the couch folding a huge stack of diapers as Diana worked on her homework in the kitchen. I have the most boring life in the world, she thought in frustration. "Mummy, what can I write about for my essay?" she called to her mother. "It has to be something I did on my summer vacation."

"Why don’t you write about learning to bake and decorate a cake?" Mrs. Lynch suggested after a moment’s thought.

"All right. I guess that’s not too boring." The cake she had baked for her sisters’ birthday was very cute, and she had enjoyed doing it. Diana set to work describing the experience, and soon was engrossed in her task.

By 8:55, Diana was putting the final touches on her essay. When she heard the sound of a key in the front door, she jumped up and ran to greet her father.

"How are my two best girls?" Ed Lynch was always jolly and smiling, even when he had worked a fourteen-hour day -- one reason why he was successful in keeping his company’s customers happy. He gave his daughter a bear hug, then turned to his wife. She had followed Diana to the front door, and the couple embraced.

"Ed, there is a plate for you in the oven," Mrs. Lynch said as they separated. "We had a delicious roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots and peas for supper. I hope it won’t be too dried out!"

"Margaret, your roast is always delicious. And I don’t know how you do it, but my food is never dried out. You are the kitchen magician." Mr. Lynch’s blue eyes twinkled in his tired face. Diana had observed her mother many times sealing her father’s plate with foil, checking it often, throwing out the food if it did become dry and unappetizing, and fixing a new plate to keep warm against his arrival.

"Mummy always says a man deserves a hot dinner after working hard all day to support his family," Diana told her father.

"Well, she’s never let me down in that way," her dad answered, patting his burly midsection.

As Mr. Lynch sat at the kitchen table eating his supper, Diana told him about her day at school, without mentioning the art class, since she knew her mother wanted to discuss it with him privately. Then, her violet eyes sparkling, she told him about taking the two sets of twins to the playground. They had done nothing today that they didn’t do nearly every day, but her father liked to hear about the little ones’ antics, since he was gone for most of their waking hours.

Mr. Lynch ate his supper quickly and took his plate and cutlery to the sink before getting out his own school books.

"Are you already finished with your homework, or do we get to study together tonight?" he asked his daughter.

"I wrote my essay for English class, but I have some math problems to do. I don’t know why the teachers have to give homework on the very first day!"

"Ah, well, sweetheart, you only get out of your education what you put into it!" Her dad was always encouraging his daughter to work hard and succeed in school.

Finally, the last few math problems were completed and Diana put away her schoolbooks. While her father continued working steadily in the kitchen, she went into the living room where her mother was still folding clean clothes – this time it was a load of all of the children’s play clothes. Diana picked up her favorite book, Anne of Green Gables, which she was reading aloud to her mother every night. Today’s chapter included the scene in which Anne hit Gilbert over the head with her slate because he called her "Carrots".

"Oh, Mummy, I wish we could use slates to write in school like Anne and Diana! Then we wouldn’t have to write so much! But I know I would just die if I had to stand in front of the classroom all afternoon for a punishment," she finished, thinking of the punishment Anne received for her act.

Yawning as she closed the book, Diana checked her watch and discovered it was just past nine-thirty – time for her to take a bath and go to bed.

"Good night, Mummy," she said, giving her mother a hug and a kiss.

"Good night, sweetie. God bless you," responded her mother, returning the hug.

Diana went into the kitchen and repeated her good night hug and kiss with her father, before going to the bathroom to brush her teeth and take a quick bath. As the water was running, she wondered if her parents were discussing the art class. Oh, I hope I can take it, she thought. However, she couldn’t hear any talking over the sound of the water and the bathroom exhaust fan. Even after lying down in her bed, she continued to strain her ears to hear her parents’ conversation, but was unable to distinguish any words over the murmur of voices.

Finally, just as Diana was about to doze off, she heard her father say clearly, "Well, Margaret, maybe tonight will be the night our dreams come true. I bought a lottery ticket today, and tonight is the drawing. It’s up to six million dollars! If I win, Diana will be able to take the art class for sure." He chuckled – he bought one lottery ticket every week, but had never had a big win. Diana heard the click as he turned on the television, and then could hear no more over the drone of the TV newscaster’s voice.

Diana was awakened by the sound of her father’s raised voice. Daddy never raises his voice inside, so as not to disturb the neighbors – what could have happened? she thought groggily.

Silently, she got out of bed and walked to the door of her bedroom, opening it and coming out as if to go to the bathroom. Stealthily, she approached the living room and could see her father bending over the couch, where his wife dozed after folding a mountain of play clothes.

"Margaret, Margaret, wake up! Our dreams are coming true!"

 

 

5222 words

Disclaimer: No profit is being made from this story. Trixie Belden, Diana Lynch, and all other characters named in the Trixie Belden series are the properties of Random House, and are being used without permission – although with great respect.

Author’s Notes

First, I would like to extend a big THANK YOU to my kind and generous editors, Trish (PBahr), AprilW, and Ronda (Rolyru). They each encouraged my writing, made suggestions that improved the story, and helped me see things that weren’t working. Trish’s research into the history of the New York lottery was especially helpful to me since my story is set in the same year the lottery began. I did have to reduce Mr. Lynch’s winnings, but after all, six million dollars could go a lot farther back in the 1960s J.

A great big Bob-White THANK YOU to my kind and generous webmistress, El_/Vivian! She has unbelievable patience and willingness to get the page design just the way I want it – even when sometimes I don’t really know exactly what I want or how to explain it. I had an idea for the plaid background and had made up 4-5 plaids in Photoshop. She was just wonderful in getting the page laid out and did several passes before it was just as I had envisioned it. I have read recently that JC had Elizabeth Taylor in mind for the model of Diana. La Liz was already a mega-superstar when I first became aware of her, and since my own models of all of the BWGs were shaped by the illustrated HBs, I could never see Di as Liz. However, the picture on this story page is from a photo of the very young Liz, and she does resemble my Diana.

Thanks also to Meagan, whose stories gave me the inspiration of the lottery winning.

Finally, thanks to Julie Campbell, for creating interesting, memorable, and human characters, who can still inspire writers after more than 50 years.

This is a Back to School CWP. Here are the required elements:

  • A reference to the book Anne of Green Gables or All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
  • Slate
  • Sales
  • Gym
  • A Bus Stop
  • A Lunchbox
  • School Supplies
  • A Locker
  • An Essay
  • Plaid
  • Tryouts
  • Carryover Item: New Outfit

Now for a few notes on the story itself! Harison Petie was one of the illustrators of the Trixie Belden series, being responsible for the pictures in #7, 9, 13, and 15 in the deluxe format. I like his illustrations because the BWGs look more like teens than Paul Frame’s.

In the 1960s, girls did usually wear dresses and skirts to school (at all the schools I attended, including the public schools). The background graphic represents the new plaid dress Diana wore to school. The style of the dress is like one of my favorite dresses at that age, made by my mom, although my mom would never attempt to make a knife-pleated skirt because it was way too much work! My mom also didn’t make many things from plaid material because of the plaid-matching time and trouble.

Imagine the laundry for a family with five children – two of them in cloth diapers! Disposable diapers were just barely around in 1967, but they weren’t very good (no leg elastic or superabsorbent padding!) and my mother never used them; my youngest brother was born in 1967. So I didn’t think Mrs. Lynch would use them, either. They were also more expensive (relatively speaking) than they are now.

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Copyright 2006-2011 by MaryN.

 

 

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