Dead Girl Diary

Long story short – I found an old (1950’s) diary that belonged to a girl that lived in my hometown. After doing a little research, I know her parents are dead, she is dead, and she had no children. Her only living relatives are some second cousins in another county. (They were not close.)

I would like to contact some of her friends from high school (if possible) through the alumni association, but fear it would be strange: “Hello friend of Girl. I have been reading through her childhood diary and want to meet you.”

Is this weird? Am I snooping? It’s really fascinating researching her life, but I can’t find any social guidelines to tell me if I’m way outta line here.

If some third party were to contact you about a (now dead) classmate you hadn’t seen in a while (more than 10 years), how would you feel?

I’d find it very interesting, and would be glad to talk with you. There will probably be some who feel that what you suggest would be a violation of the dead person’s privacy, but I wouldn’t have a problem with discussing old times.

This sounds like the premise for a very interesting book, if you ask me.

I’d say donate it to your local historical society. Tehy love old diaries - they’re a window into the past. I would hesitate to pry into someone’s life, even if they are dead.


Actually, I’m hoping it will be an interesting book, Lissa. I was actually relieved to find she had no close family, as I would have felt obligated to return the diary to them, and I’ve gotten pretty attached to it, and the story.

Do you feel like you’re stalking a dead person or do you feel that you are doing legitimate research, historical sifting in a detective-like fashion?

What motive asserts itself at you is what counts, nothing else.

How did you come across the diary?
Any interesting tidbits you care to share with us voyeristic souls?

Yes, contact the friends. What an awesome thing. They have the chance to talk honestly, you get to know more.

I think she would probably approve.

Turn it into a screen play aimed at the Disney market.

The Trevails of a twelve year old…
One forgets all the angst-y stuff of that age. Periods, boys, ponies, parents,peer pressure.

Turn it into a profit for you.

Adrian Mole but for girls :slight_smile:

Adrian Mole I’d never heard of Adrian Mole. Love google.

It sort of reminds me of that movie, “Somewhere In Time” with Superman and that beautiful Doctor Chick from that program. I see nothing wrong with it as long as she and her family are dead. However, depending on what she wrote about the friends, they might be less than enamoured with the idea. If there’s anything sketchy about the entries, I’d pass on contacting them. Just my opinion. I’ll bet it’s really interesting.

I totally think you should contact her friends/classmates. If it were me you were contacting I wouldn’t mind at all - even if I didn’t like the girl. I would think what you’re doing is very interesting. As for invading her privacy, well, she has no living relatives, no kids, so her legacy is pretty dead. But with you inquiring about her, you’re bringing her memory back to life; so essentialy you are reinvigorating her legacy. I think it is a beautiful thing you’re doing.

Also, no one seemed to have a moral problem reading Anne Frank’s diary.

Well if you’re thinking of writing a book, you have a social guideline. The investigative journalist is a recognized social roll :slight_smile: . I think if you present youself that way no one is going to think your some weird, obsessed creep…you’re not, right :D?

Now you have googled be sure to read. Adrian and Shirley have similar senses of humour. You will like.

I’d find it a bit wierd (possibly bordering on creepy.) But I appear to be in a minority.

How’d she die?

I’m definitely doing this in a historical sense, though I won’t deny I feel a little voyeuristic, too. She was 18 years old and a senior in high school when she wrote the diary.

I don’t know how she died. I learned from her dad’s obituary that she had died about ten years before him, when she was in her late 40’s. I haven’t been able to find an obit for her.

I found the diary, waterlogged and mildewed, in a box full of junk abandoned in a wooded area far from any homes. Who knows how it got there. Judging by the state of it, I think it had been out there for a few years. Weird but cool.

You say 1950’s, so was she an Elvis fan? Buddy Holly or Chuck Berry? Did she think James Dean was ultra-cool? Did she wear poodle skirts and saddle oxfords?

You must tell us more! :slight_smile:

I have it on order from my local library. Quite exciting. Do the books have to be read in order, or is it pretty easy to pick up the gist?