My Dream Diary from 1969
In January 1969, when I was 15 years old, I began a dream diary after reading a book about dreams that encouraged this practice. At the time I was very interested in studying dreams and dream interpretation, and I had read that keeping a written journal of one’s dreams could aid in this process. While my childish interpretations from my youth appear not to have been very accurate, the dreams that I recorded nevertheless became memorable to me, if only for having taken the time to write them down. By pure chance, the first dream I had after resolving to begin the journal was one of the most enjoyable of my entire life; but also by chance the first pages of the journal, which detailed this dream, have been lost. Hence many details have faded away in time, though I still can recall a few of the highlights but without their contexts. I will reconstruct below what few details I still remember from that dream. The others that follow are taken almost verbatim from the extant pages of the original journal.
January 14, 1969
Two of the characters in the dream came from television programs that were popular at the time. These characters were Hoss Cartwright from “Bonanza” and one of the main male characters in a series called “Here Come the Brides” (in the dream he was named Ross, but I do not believe that was the character’s name in the program — I did not watch it regularly). There also were two young women in the dream, neither named. One was blonde and very pretty and fun. The other was a brunette, not quite as pretty but still attractive, and more sedate. All were dressed in costumes consistent with the TV series. Sadly, I remember almost nothing of what action transpired in the dream, though I know I had a great deal of fun with these three characters, particularly the young blonde who wore a bonnet. The location was in my then backyard, though the area was expanded considerably from reality. At some point I remember seeing Dan Blocker (Hoss Cartwright), who had been chopping wood beside the Ponderosa house pause to introduce what would be coming on his show the following week. To do this he set his axe aside and placed his right foot on the stump he’d been using to split wood, then leaned on his knee to make his little speech. It was all very much like might have happened on television. Beyond that I remember nothing except that the dream was thoroughly enjoyable and that I dearly wished it would continue or that I could have the dream again, which I did in large measure a few months later. If the lost pages ever turn up (though sadly I believe they are permanently lost), I will post them here as I know that I wrote considerably more details in my journal.
January 16, 1969
[N.B. From this point the texts are taken from the original journal.] After a very restless night last night, I finally awoke this morning to a very dreary day. I think maybe it’s appropriate, for last night before I went to sleep all I could think about was the girls in the dream night before last. That wasn’t a dreary thought at all; it’s just that I wanted to continue to dream about them last night more than anything. But I didn’t, and that disturbs me. I believe that I shall someday see her [the blonde] again (at least I pray I do); perhaps in another dream, perhaps in life, perhaps after death. Perhaps (hopefully) all three. Well, to get on with my stupid little dreams last night (I don’t suppose they were really as stupid as they seemed, but I couldn’t quite interpret their meanings as well as the last; if I did interpret them well, then they have very little meaning). I had more than one main dream last night. None seemed as long as night before last, most seeming to be more like 10 to 20 minutes in length, at most. The first one I remember was about three triangles going over the house. They were supposed to be jets, which I infer not only from the sound but also because someone in the house told me they were jets. I remember something about the telephone being outside by the west side of the house (where I was) with a string with four matches tied to it. (By the way, the night was dark and grey; about as dark as it is this morning.) I took this string off and began to wad it up. Then I heard someone in the house tell another person to tell me not to bother that string because it had something to do with helping the jets fly. Of course, I had already taken it off and wadded it up. I became rather frightened, and so I ran to the trash and threw away the string. My father told me that there was some kind of device in the matches that helped the planes. I said there wasn’t and broke them open to prove it. However, when I broke the fourth match there was indeed some kind of device inside it, but it was badly charred. My father then took me into the house where he said he would show me what a good one looked like. The device he showed me resembled a large battery with thin, silver wires coming from the poles. On these wires were three grain-of-wheat light bulbs that would glow when you touched the wire. I can’t associate anything in the dream except the battery and grain-of-wheat bulbs, which were items I once had in a science kit when I was younger.
I rather vaguely remember a second dream in which my brother and I were driving through some alleys in his car. He said something about meeting a woman who asked him if he were the tsar (?). Then things began going wrong with the car. For one, when he turned off the engine it jumped and the motor continued running (it actually does that sometimes). A couple of other things were mentioned about this, but I don’t remember them. The only other thing I remember was that we stopped at a grocery store, but when my brother parked and applied the emergency brake the car would roll back as the brake would not catch. We got out and stopped it from rolling (we were on a raised lot), but it would roll again at the slightest touch. A policeman was standing nearby talking to a little old lady in another car, and when he saw me trying to stop my brother’s car from rolling he yelled at me to “Park it vertically!” I didn’t understand what he meant, and he became angry and kept yelling, “Park it vertically!” I told him I didn’t know how as I couldn’t drive. He understood and wasn’t angry anymore. He came over and helped me stop the car, than began looking at the emergency brake and said his car had “done it like that before but had never had it this bad.” That’s all I remember.
I recall even less of the third dream. The only thing I remember is being disturbed about something, going into the bathroom, and pulling two or three of my teeth (the right canine in which I have some broken enamel that worries me and at least one of my upper molars). In the dream the canine tooth had a black cavity on the back. I was amazed that there was no pain or blood. My father came in and looked at the teeth and told me I had tapeworms (or hookworms). I remembered the tapeworms we’d seen in biology class at school and how terrible looking and gross they were and I pictured them inside me! I sank down as though about to faint. That’s all I remember.
January 17, 1969
I remember even less from last night’s dreams than I did the night before. One dream was associated with a television program I saw last night, and the other could be a prophecy. The first had all the Irishmen that were on the program “High Chaparral” in last night’s episode, only in the dream they were well-dressed in contemporary clothing. (I remember one who distinctly had on a blue suit.) They were on television discussing something, though I don’t know what. (In the “High Chaparral” episode they had been trying to do something about a mine, so it might have been about that.) But I remember one of them saying at some point, “Please, your honor, you’re singing out of tune.” They might have been discussing music as I recall having a little book that I looked at while they talked, and in the back it had some music. Near the end of the program they all got together (previously they had been sitting at separate tables) and the program played back the most important comments each had made during the discussion.
The other dream is very vague. My parents, grandmother, and I were sitting at the dinner table and I was looking down at the floor to my right when my mother said, “I’ve heard that Jackie and Onassis are breaking up because he says she’s been going out.” (I took that to mean she’d been having affairs.) Either my grandmother or my father then said, ”She’s been going out on him a long time.” That is all I remember. [N.B. Jackie and Aristotle Onassis never divorced, so the dream obviously was not prophetic.]
January 18, 1969
I seem to remember less and less of my dreams as I go along. At this rate I probably won’t be able to fill many more pages. I hope that won’t be the case, though. Maybe I’ll begin to remember more of my dreams as I get more accustomed to writing in this book. However, I do find it a bit peculiar that I remembered so much of my first recorded dream (I’m not complaining because it was one of the most beautiful dreams I’ve ever had and hope to have it or something similar again someday soon.)
Well, to get on with last night’s “casual” dream: The only thing I remember is that it was about a woman who was supposed to come to my school for something. I must have been assigned to protect her. However, for some reason when she arrived she wasn’t who I was expecting but was a Negro woman dressed in the correct woman’s clothes. She was accompanied by a very fat white man. When she saw that I knew she was an imposter they both began to run. All I remember beyond that is that we had to put up something of a fight in order to do what we needed to do. Once during the dream I noticed that I wasn’t wearing any trousers and someone said something about it. I went into a room and put on some trousers, then continued whatever I was doing before. That’s all I remember. (I might add that I have dreamed several times before of being in a public place without trousers or of wearing shorts instead of pants. Why?)
January 21, 1969
The last two nights I have remembered next to nothing about my dreams. The night before last all I remember was something about the [LP] records I’d ordered had come (it has been nearly four weeks since I ordered them, by the way). But when they arrived I found that they were not the records I’d ordered.
Last night I dreamed that we (I suppose my entire family) were riding along a highway on the way to Callaway Gardens. (I had been thinking about the Gardens last night before falling asleep.) Just before we got there we had to go up a very steep hill. It was so steep that my father had to keep shifting into lower and lower gears. But just before we got to the top of the hill we stopped. I was puzzled by this. While stopped another car passed us (it was the only other car I remember seeing in the dream). I might mention that the road was perfectly straight. We were barely over the top of the hill when we reached the entrance to Callaway Gardens, only it was more like Six Flags than Calloway Gardens. When we first went in I remember seeing something advertised. It was some sort of new plastic house. It looked like one of the candy houses in storybooks. When we went to see it there was a rather short, fat man with grey hair and a crewcut who was yelling out directions. At one point I remember him yelling something to someone and I said to myself, “He shouldn’t yell like that; somebody might take it wrong.” Then, after he had yelled, he laughed as though to assure the person that he was mainly joking. That’s about all I remember from that dream, but I briefly remember another: I dreamed that the wart I have on my right hand came off and I was very happy about that.
April 29, 1969
It seems that I am having quite a time trying to write in this journal, at least of late. This is the first time I’ve written for some time, not because I haven’t had any good dreams lately, but simply because I either haven’t felt like writing or just forgot to do so. I don’t remember too much except for the past two nights, and those only vaguely. The night before last I remember hitting my head three times on the nightstand by my bed, which definitely did not help me rest. Last night before going to bed I had been working on a table of neumes [medieval musical notation] for an hour or so, and I dreamed that I was trying to transcribe them into modern notation. But the more I tried the more confused I became.
Otherwise a few nights ago I had some rather odd dreams about a house in a seemingly familiar place and some man. That is all I can recall about it, which seems rather foolish but it seems to have some sort of special meaning. I have a rather odd feeling about it. I really can’t explain it. Well, maybe I’ll write again in a few months or, with luck, sooner.
July 17, 1969
Last night I had a dream similar to the first one recorded in this book. It was a dream of love, friendship, beauty, and, naturally as in all dreams, wild exaggerations. I really don’t know how long it was as I don’t remember the early phases of it, and I do not recall the ending. The first thing I remember was that I was walking into my backyard from Mr. Wade’s [our next-door neighbor]. There were three people other than myself: a young man (the one who is in the television show “Here Come the Brides”) who in the dream was named Ross; and two young girls about the same ages as those in the first dream. They were the girls about whom I had such strong feelings in the first dream. One was blonde and very pretty. I think they were wearing similar clothing to the first dream as well. I cannot remember specifically what either girl looked like, but both were quite beautiful.
Let me now describe some of the geographical data: As I said, we were supposed to be in my backyard. It had a similar value structure but must have been much larger because there was an asphalt courtyard on the upper portion covering almost all this section except for a little area around the side of the garage. I don’t remember seeing distinctly either the house or the garage at this point, but I do know there was something there. I don’t think the neighboring houses were there.
When I joined this happy trinity we all were engaged in filming an episode of the TV show “Here Come the Brides.” (By some means or other I was told this.) One odd thing about this is that there was no one else around — no director or film crew. I do not remember anything in particular that we did for the filming other than just literally running around a bit. I nevertheless enjoyed myself thoroughly just by being with them for they were such happy people and didn’t seem to worry about anything. It was so nice — a clean feeling enjoying myself with no thought of anything. I loved them, all three. But I had a special feeling for the one girl in particular. I must have known Ross and the other girl (who I will call Jane to differentiate her from the girl) because I remember telling Jane I had not been introduced to the other girl. The filming had stopped just prior to my telling Jane this (how I knew this I do not know), and I remember seeing the other girl go into a house (it looked like the Segrist house, but I presume it was a dressing room). Jane told me she would introduce us after I did something for her (I don’t know what), so to do this I had to go into my house. I remember going round to the front door in order to accomplish this task and then would exit from the back. Once inside I found myself dressed in some sort of uniform — a very wild one at that. As far as I can remember it looked similar to an old eighteenth-century French army uniform. The only colors I remember it having were red and white, but I think it had others as well. I stopped in the kitchen where on the shelf lay an old period pistol. I thought about sticking the pistol in my belt just for kicks, but for some reason decided against it. Alas, when I went back outside the friends were gone. Such sorrow. I don’t remember how I felt in the dream when I first saw they were gone, but later and even now I felt great sorrow in having lost them.
I’m not sure what happened next, but one thing apparently led to another (I was probably searching for them as I did throughout the rest of the dream), and the next thing I remember was that I was dressed in contemporary style. I walked up what must have been 43rd Street because my house was there (it didn’t look like my house but nevertheless was supposed to be). There were signs along the road indicating that the road was to be repaired and that no one was supposed to enter. There also were wires across the road at each sign. I ignored the signs and the wires and nonchalantly went underneath the wires and into my backyard. There I was quite astonished. The embiciles who were supposed to repair the road had instead taken the dirt from around my yard. There was no grass, and deep gullies led down from the asphalt. I was utterly furious, not only because these people had no busioness tearing up my yard but also because I knew it meant we couldn’t film any more which lessened my chances of my friends’ returning.
I am not altogether sure what happened next, but I do know that 43rd Street had become a gigantic hallway in an unbelievably large building. (I didn’t think too much of its size in the dream, but now it amazes me.) The warning signs were still in place and there were dwellings on either side of the hallway. In the part to be repaired the tiles were somewhat loose but did not appear to be dangerous. The tiles were dark brown. At the end of the hallway next to the entrance was a relatively small room in one corner with two narrow doors leading into it. (It would take too much time to try describe every detail.) At the other end was a stairway that led to the second floor. I went up this stairway and met Mrs. Wingard [my high-school choir director]. We exchanged a usual greeting and I asked her if she knew where they were filming the show. Previously I had thought it might be being done at Saks Stadium because it had plenty of “running room.” Mrs. Wingard told me that she had seen them and told me where, but I do not now remember. She also told me I might find Jane at her home, which was a large room at the corner of the other end of the building.
I was rather in good spirits now because I felt I soon would be meeting my friends again, and I tapped my shoes on the tile floor in rhythm to several classical works as I walked along. When I reached the door to Jane’s house I did not knock for some reason, though I don’t know why. I look back and wish I had, because I feel both girls might have been in there. I’m not very clear on what happened next, but I remember seeing the door open and a woman coming out. I was hoping it would be one of the two girls, but it was a woman with black hair and glasses and short of good looks. She got into a car and said something to me. I’m not sure what she said but believe it had to do with where I could find Jane and the other girl.
Again I am vague about the events following, but eventually I came to a place where there were two discarded cars and possibly also an old truck that had been left to rot. As far as I know, I did not see my friends here but did see someone, and there were three of them. Evidently I didn’t think much about it at the time, but in retrospect they seem to have been ghosts or representations of the dead. What makes me think this is the association with the discarded “dead” vehicles and the tall grass that surrounded them, which was about waist high. I hope these were not ghosts of my three friends, or of anyone really. I feel as though they were not my three friends, though I do remember their being with them at some point. It is all very cloudy here.
Later I recall being in a man’s office. I do not know who he was or what his job, but he must have had something to do with the television filming because I asked him if the talk of parts of “Here Come the Brides” being filmed here were true or were just rumors. He assured me they were just rumors. This lowered my spirits, but I then told him I knew for a fact that it was true because I had seen three of the actors from the show: Ross, Jane, and then I came to her name. Somewhere in the dream I must have been told her name, but when I tried to repeat it I could not remember it. It began with a Ca..., but that was all I could recount. When I came to her name all I could do was stutter. The man had a queer look on his face at this news. It was a look that gave me the impression that I knew something I wasn’t supposed to know.
This is about all I can remember of this dream. I don’t think it ended there as I have a vague recollection of doing something else afterward, but it is completely blank. I feel odd about this dream. It lifts my spirits in one way — in the hope that I shall someday see these happy people again. But it depresses me in another — in the possibility that I shall never again see them and that my search in both dreams and in life are in vain.
Dates not known (still from the 1969 diary)
Of two nights within the past few days, the dates I do not remember, I have had similar dreams ... very haunting dreams. I remember very little of either, but what I do I will relate here. The first was set in a graveyard. I was with Bobby Wideman [my best friend in high school]. The fact that we both appreciate a good scare and love horror may account for his presence in the dream. The weather was not wet, but it seemed to be rather dark and dreary. I remember that we walked down a paved walkway in the cemetery, then the next thing I remember Bobby was in something like a cellar. The cellar was very damp and dark and was cluttered with the usual junk. I don’t know what Bobby was doing, but I came down the stairs and asked him to come with me, that I wanted to show him the grave of William the Silent; the mausoleum was broken and you could see the casket inside. Naturally, Bobby wanted to see it too and came with me. (I might mention that at one time I thought William the Silent to be one of my ancestors. While his descendants do appear to have some connection to my family, there is no direct lineage.) When we came to the sepulchre one corner was broken and you could see the greater portion of the coffin. For some reason I sat down and laid my hand on the coffin. I remember feeling as though I could see William the Silent lying in the coffin, his hands folded on his breast, his clothes somewhat stiff and moldy, and his eyes peacefully shut. I then remembered that I had him pictured lying the wrong way for people are always buried facing the east. I then pictured him lying in the opposite direction. The strange thing about this is that only a few nights before I dreamed I had been in the Oxford Cemetery, standing on the east side of the hill observing a brilliant sun. It was about nine o’clock in the sky, and though the sun was spectacularly large and bright it was not painful to look directly into it, nor did it give off a great deal of heat. It also was not as bright on the ground as one would expect from so brilliant a sun. I noted also the long shadows of the tombstones. It then crossed my mind that they were all facing the sunrise, facing east. Twice in just a few nights it came to me that graves always face east. Why?