Man what a crazy time me and Betty Jo had last night. She met me in L.A. after work and we went to Clifton’s and then went to the theater and saw some fine movies. We left the show at 12:00am and went down to the streets and they were packed! We were having a gay old time blowing our horns and throwing confetti, man what a racket. Crazy! Oh man, guys would gang up on us and kiss us & we got more New Year’s Eve kisses. We picked up 2 sailors for each other and they went around with us. Man we needed something, we were so popular we should have brought a club with us to beat the guys off of us. We didn’t get home till 3:15 am.
Wed. Jan 2, 1952
Went back to work today, ye old salt mines, same as ever, monotonous but simple. Being a Comp Girl is easy as 1. 2. 3.
Me & Betty Jo went to Devotions tonight and we prayed for her. Man she really needs the prayers I think. Being pregnant isn’t any simple thing to brush aside. She still loves Dannie though & vice versa. I hope he marries her but quick, but it won’t be for another year at least as he is already married. Betty Jo's middle name is capital TROUBLE. She is so headstrong & passionate and weak, but she is a good friend & I won’t let her down.
Here we go! The first glimpse into the 1952 diary has been captured: Clearly, Vilma already loved the night life! And why shouldn’t she enjoy some fun? She was coming of age and care free. We also come upon her at a time when her best friend is in crisis. There is already a stark contrast between her and Betty Jo. What is it? Vilma’s purity has not been lost to the first guy she might have met and “fell in love” with. Instead of being care free like Vilma, as any teenager should be, Betty has given this married man her body and soul. She is now dealing with the drama of having a baby and being the "other woman" at the tender age of seventeen.
Instinctively, Vilma knew what Betty Jo needed: a strong spiritual life in Christ and a good friend who would stick by her through thick and thin. It was characteristic of Vilma, not only back in her youngest days, but all throughout her life to try to encourage her friends and family to go to Church, Confession or Devotions regularly. She knew with every fiber of her being how important it was to return to God, no matter what mistakes have been made. It was always a sincere attempt, but sometimes we know the heart wants to go the way of the stubborn horse who doesn’t want to drink the refreshing water.
"The Comp Girl"
Vilma just started her first job here too, working in downtown Los Angeles in the Wilshire District, which was and still is the business and financial hub of the city. For women back in 1952, you were pretty much limited to lackluster clerical jobs or waitressing. A common clerical job was an entry level Comptometer Operator. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one asking “What on earth is Comptometer Operator”? It was a type of accounting job where young women like Vilma attended a trade school to learn how to work a Comptometer machine. To keep it simple we can just call it an early mechanical adding machine. The operator entered multiple calculations all by hand, these early "keyboardists" carried out between 50,000 and 200,000 keystrokes a day. Funny thing is there was never a peep about carpel tunnel syndrome!
One thing to know is that Vilma loathed boring jobs. She was young and full of zest for life, she craved excitement, fun and driving around in the hottest cars-- with the hottest boys to show off to her other girlfriends! We’ll see just how long this “Comp Girl” job lasts… and how things unfold with Vilma’s best friend Betty Jo. Stay tuned!