For instance, just this week I was having a friendly argument with a guy about something which happened in 1975 (or was it 1974 or '76?).
"Why don't we ask Phyllis?" I said. "Her diary will give us the answer, and we can be 110 percent sure it will be right."
She went to her stack of books and, sure enough, the proof was there � only it was 1973!
Needless to say, we've come to depend on her for the correct information. I tell her that she's recording history because that's what diaries are for.
Of course, hers will not have the impact that Anne Frank's had. I doubt if a movie will be made from it, but it serves a purpose now.
Her journal doesn't tell of battles won or international intrigue (we've got Google for that), but for facts which today seem insignificant, her written word gets them down on paper to settle arguments years later.
Like 1973, not '76!
As a writer I tried keeping a diary once, and I've got to admit that it jogs my memory of things past � like the Korean War, for instance. But I didn't keep it up, to my discredit, and I wish I had. (It's No. 1,567 of the things I've done wrong.)
I'm often asked: How can you be a writer without keeping a journal? I can't answer that, except to say it would help a lot.
But then I've got Phyllis's diary to fall back on. She knows my memory is a bit faulty, and her daily jottings keeps me honest (although I fudge on the truth sometimes).
Diaries help fill in the cracks of history. I know from my experience with the State Historical Society that the scribblings of pioneers sometimes tell of sodhouse living that escapes the writing of book authors.
That isn't to say that Phyllis is a pioneer, but some day her diaries will qualify for that honor.
The things which she describes today may not be stuff for the ages, but they'll be buggy whips and high button shoes before long. (In my lifetime crystal sets emerged as television, and who knows what the future will bring.)
So keep right on writing, Phyllis. Some day your diaries may fill the cracks of our history � until then they sure do settle friendly arguments.
Let's see. I said it was 1976, and the other fellow said, no it was 1974. We were both wrong,.
It was 1973 � and Phyllis's diary provided that!
� 2006 Robert F. Karolevitz