I sure did feel like hell today, especially in the 8 hours I was working. I felt like quitting and going home early and going to bed but I stuck it out. I doubt if I will go to work tomorrow. I got up feeling miserable but the only reason I got up enough strength to go was looking forward to my paycheck.
Betty Jo is in the first day of her 5th month of pregnancy.
Thursday March 6, 1952
Stayed home today and stayed in bed all day. My legs and arms hurt me and also my head and eyes. But at least I had a rest from that damn Comptometer Operator job. I sure know I can’t stay there as long, as some people have stood there as long as 15 years or more or less. It’s driving me nuts right now, doing the same thing minute after minute day after day.
Friday March 7, 1952
Stayed home in bed today. Felt miserable. Think I have the flu. Guess I’ll sit on my rump this weekend.
Saturday March 8, 1952
I shouldn’t have gone to the dance tonight but I did. Picked up a sailor and got in free and then ditched the jerk. Told Mom I would come home early about 11 or 12 and get a good rest. Got in at ten minutes to 4am. Came home with Paul Engel, another sailor, and you know how much I like that guy. I hadn’t seen him for almost 7 months or so and oh man what a double fine looking guy he is. If I ever went steady with that guy I’d be the happiest girl alive. He is the first guy that I’ve gone home with from the Stomp three times, and I never have necked with him. I’ve just kissed him good night. And so tonight we parked, and at least I have the satisfaction of necking with him.
He is leaving tomorrow night for the base. He’s one of those anchor crankers you know, and I won’t probably see him for a real long time again. He knows damn well I like him, that’s the trouble. I didn’t kiss him real heated up or anything, I kissed him like I liked him ever so much. And he kisses so fine. They were such nice kisses, not hot and bothered ones. And I sure do like him, but I don’t think he likes me any better than any other girl.
Monday March 10, 1952
I weigh 139 now. Mom doesn’t want me to go around with Betty Jo anymore. That really isn’t anything new though. Anyway, on Saturday she saw Betty Jo stealing some things from a store and she also saw the detective catch her and now I don’t know what is coming off because that is the second time she has been caught and she will or might be sent to reform school this time. I haven’t seen Betty Jo since Saturday and she didn’t say nothing about it to me. She doesn’t know that I know or that Junie and Mom and some other people were onlookers. And she didn’t even tell me. We really are pulling away from each other I think anyhow. And mom has been nagging me so much to keep away from her that I guess I will.
P.S. On Saturday night found out that Don William’s is married! That is probably why he didn’t come back, thank heavens he didn’t. Really!
Oh the mundane Comptometor Operator job, and I mean really mundane. Vilma was just another one of those faceless office workers lost in a crowded room, keying in manual calculations over and over and over again, the never ending clatter lulling her into sweet oblivion. She is really aching to get out and do something fantastic. If I was a 17 year old with a sense of adventure and sassy wild side, I think I would go nuts too!
We don’t have to worry about Vilma working those boring jobs she loathes for too much longer. She’ll soon land her ideal job working as a Camera Girl at Clifton’s Cafeteria in Los Angeles! As you probably know by reading my blog, she worked at two locations: The redwood forest themed Brookdale on Broadway and the lush Polynesian paradise called The Pacific Seas, originally located on Olive Street.
I know I’m probably teasing you a little here, because we have yet to finish out her 1952 Diary. After that, we’ll time travel forward to the 1954 Diary, where we'll find Vilma working at Clifton’s. I had no idea when I started my blog five months ago that Clifton’s would be opening a short time later! I just wanted to do a special blog post here because it’s now official: Clifton’s will be re-opening to the public on September 22nd.
So many people fondly remember going to Clifton’s with their parents or grandparents. Folks put on their best dresses, suits and hats, then took the old Red Line Electric Railway for a day of shopping and dining. They remember the hearty food classics like Jell-O, turkey and mashed potatoes. All those stories are remembered with the great love of an era gone by. They are sure sweet and lovely memories.
But no one has the inside story of Camera Girl! Soon we’ll get to see more of her adventurous night life, hob knobbing with the tourists, the other camera girls, and most especially her beloved military men. Think Vilma has a pretty wild dating life now? Yeah, we’re just getting started.
Vilma’s young life is a part of Clifton’s living history, I’m so delighted to have the opportunity to tell her ongoing story.
There are worries by some that the iconic Clifton’s will be too altered, so that it is a shadow of its former self. From what I've seen so far, the place looks more magnificent than ever before. However the new space is re-invented, no one can deny there are some very good things coming:
1. The new owner has taken a cue from the original Mr. Clifford Clinton, incorporating his Christian principles of helping the poor and destitute. Mr. Andrew Meieran has dedicated to hire 10% of his staff from the Midnight Mission, giving many of these men and women amazing employment opportunities.
2. Broadway has seen its better days, with revitalization efforts this area may soon shine once again. The old is new and fresh again, it will bring in much needed injection of tourism, commerce and pizazz.
3. With the revamp of the old food menu, the new Clifton’s chef has promised to keep many of the same classics. For the die-hard Clifton’s fans, this should be a comforting thought.
4. Since the Pacific Seas was torn down years ago, the new owner Andrew Meieran has plans to open a version of this location on one of the five floors at the Brookdale location. Tiki kitsch, luau’s and tropical rain forests? That sounds all good to me! Let's hope there will be a couple of glorious neon palm trees thrown in.
For more information on the Grand Re-Opening of Clifton’s please visit their website here: