The Life and Times of Joe College

A Series of Autobiographical Recollections

I promise, dear reader, to post on this blog peeks into my past, in chronological order, beginning with September 1974. My goal is to type in a long collection of handwritten journal entries--errors and all--taken from a series of 25 notebooks I began in the autumn of 1974 and continued into the late 1990s. During that time, I recorded nearly 3,500 "Progress Reports."

I may change some of the names of people, streets, etc. to protect identities where appropriate. In each blog post, I will comment on the entries in an attempt to explain their context, meaning, and the impact the people and events described had on my life.

This variation on a Roman à clef serves no other purpose than our mutual enjoyment; and if in it you do not find enjoyment, I hope you at least find some insight into your own life.

-The Author, Mr. Joe College

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Progress Report #1 (Volume I)

Wednesday, September 25, 1974

I lost the original first four reports. I think I can cover most of what was in them.

We began on September 18, 1974. Moe and I began digging on that Wednesday after school. (We did not dig after supper that day.) On Thursday, Moe, Randy, and I dug after school and after supper. We three dug again with a little bit of help from Kenny.

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Progress Report #2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (Volume I)

Progress Report #5
Monday, Sept. 30, '74

We did not do any work. I think we are slacking off in out work with the fort. Today, the 8th grade had a meeting together in Mr. Shea's room. We all decided on paying 35¢ in dues, to be collected every Wednesday. Really it's hard to [sic] me to afford it with only a dollar a week. Today my father was talking to a man from the bank. Now I'm sure he's trying real hard now to sell this house. We might move to Manhart. Tonight I'm going to write a science fiction book about the Day the World ended.

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Progress Report #7, 8 (Volume I)

Progress Report #7
Sunday, October 6, 1974

Have done no work on the fort. I'm writing with a new pen I got today at the drugstore. It's a papermate. Today I spent more than a $1.50 at the drugstore. My father worked today. I really didn't stay at church for more than 2:00 minutes.

So far everybody believes I went to church. Today I bought some deuds (sic) at the drugstore.

Today we might do some digging. You see, it's about 12:45 right now.

I'll probably keep writing these reports about every three or four days.

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Progress Report #9 (Volume I)

I'm really writing very poorly in this book. - Mispelled words. Keep writing about something and then suddenly change the subject and then later return to the original subject. Not writing my dates correctly.

Already this year I've got two detention slips and both were from Mr. Brooks. Mr. Brooks is O.K. though because he doesn't make me stay after.

I've decided on My first choice and second choice for High School. They are: first choice; Burgard Vocational High School and second choice: Bishop Turner. I've already filled out the application for Turner.

Now I get a dollar and a quarter for allowance. The quarter is for my school dues.

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Progress Report #10, 11, 12 (Volume I)

Progress Report #10
October 14, 1974

We went to Letchworth state park. Bobby and I went down about 250 ft. into the gorge of the Genesee river. We had fun. (I saw alot of "girls").

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