The following are excerpts from a diary written by J. David Williams between 1940-1947. The excerpts relate to his coming to terms with his stuttering and finding a career direction in communication disorders, including the time he was a student at the University of Iowa when he learned from and with many of the historically significant people in the area of stuttering. Early entries demonstrate much concern about stuttering and its effect. Long gaps between entries that mention stuttering in the later part of this diary, demonstrate that stuttering was no longer such an all-encompassing concern. It is shared here with Dr. Williams' permission. Some of the names included in the original text have been reduced to initials only. Dr. Williams has offered to correspond about any questions related to this diary. Contact him at J. David Williams (Judy Kuster)



1940 - Age 18

Wed. May 1. Went to Mrs. Howe's in morning.

Thu. May 2. Went to Mrs. Howe's in morning.

Fri. May 3. Went to Mrs. Howe's in morning. This finishes my third week with her. My speech as improved considerably. Hope I can keep up the good work! I am.

Mon. May 6. Went to Mrs. Howe's in morning

Tue. May 7. Went to Mrs. Howe's in morning

Fri. May 24. Went to Mrs. Howe's for the last time.

Tue. May 28. Our last day in St. Pete.... If I am to get over my trouble, I must change my whole personality. That is, make it stronger, more deliberate. I have had a lot of fun, am apparently well liked, but people don't respect me a whole lot. Things I must get rid of -


It will be very, very easy to fall back into my old way when I get home among familiar people and surroundings, but I mustn't let myself! It would undo all the good that has been done. It will be hard, but I must change if I am to succeed.

Tue. Oct. 1. I feel hopeless and muddled about everything - the old school-stammering complex.

Fri. Oct. 18. My book, "Stammering and Its Treatment" has just come. Now I can continue the work that Mrs. Howe started! There has been a lapse of almost five months in which I have fallen back into my old habits but now I can climb out again!

Mon. Oct. 21. My disposition has become very melancholy lately. After coming home from school I sit around in my room all afternoon brooding. Then I worry about my lessons and don't feel like getting them, but finally I get to work and partially complete them. But always I worry, and have a sense of ineffectualness, insecurity, and a kind of vague dread hanging over me constantly, due to my feeling of incompetence and inferiority at school and in other social contact. The future looks black right now.

Late November. Sometimes, very rarely, I get short, occasional glimpses into what real life is.... It is only at those times that I can fully understand what the above means....A full, rich, noble, satisfied feeling with nothing lacking; something complete; a whole, an entirety in itself; a warm glow that pervades my whole being; at peace with the whole world; no fears or repressions or inhibitions; nothing of the bad or evil; a glorious, expansive warmth; it is perfect joy; it is fulfillment; it is Perfection!

Tue. Dec. 31. It is now about 5 minutes to 12. Goodbye, ol' 1940! I've sure had a swell time this year. So long! It is right now 12 o'clock-the whistles are blowing and firecrackers are going off-So long, 1940! Hello 1941!

Well, I have begun 1941 about 6'2" high, slender, left eye droopy, face scarred, blotched and slightly pitted from acne which is, I hope, gradually clearing up. It's about time, after more than two years with the stuff. My stammering is, of course, my main worry. It isn't stuttering but a kind of hesitating, stammering speech-block, which is variable as to its severity. Sometimes I can speak very well; at other times I am completely paralyzed. It is a serious handicap at school and in any social contacts. It forms a sort of constant, distressful undercurrent which colors my every action. It is like living in a constant mist of vague fear. It's a wonder that I don't have a worse inferiority complex than I have, what with my stammering and my acne. While Mrs. Howe did not cure me, she did show me what might be done through constant effort and the right supervision. The change of location and people had a great deal to do my success in St. Pete, I suspect. If I had the correct supervision here I could probably achieve just as good results, but the situation around home here is certainly not conducive to the curing of this habit by myself. Poor Mom is constantly in a rush and is just a bundle of nerves, and Bennett and Florence are likewise, more or less. This neighborhood, and the people I associate with daily, are all of the lower middle class, for the most part crude, uncultured, and not overly bright. Yet they are the only ones I can associate with, for my halting, hesitant speech makes contact with bright, witty, sophisticated people impossible. The ones I do go with, like P. and J. and W. and B. L., respect me only because my intelligence is greater than theirs. But I don't "fit in" with them. They belong to a class of which I don't want to become one; and yet I can't get into the class of people that I want to join, and which my natural intelligence fits me for, because of my speech. In other words, I "belong" to no one class or type of companions as I am now; I am a social lone wolf, an introvert who broods and worries constantly and who fears and hates school. Yet I dream always of the time when I shall become a famous writer, preferably a motion-picture writer, or, to a somewhat lesser extent, an artist or a cartoonist. Ah, the glories one can conjure up in the remote, unknown, rosy mist of the future! If I am ever to attain this goal, there is going to have to me made some permanent, drastic changes in yours truly, but how, oh God, how----

1941. Age 19

Fri. Jan. 3. Saw Mr. Taylor, one of my High School teachers, in library. Talked to him some. I wasn't afraid, but I stammered some, held my breath, got red in the face, got all twisted up, waved my hand, and all the usual manifestations of myself. Pitiful, indeed.

Sun. Jan. 5. Well, tomorrow I start back to hell. 100 more days of it. 147 days in all until summer vacation. Already I am feeling the old tightening, gripping sense of dread. Tonight ends my short period of being normal, without fear, and being able to think and act logically and naturally, and being able to really enjoy living. So long until summer....

Mon. Jan. 7. Am thinking about going to Boston some time in the near future for my stammering. The Boston Stammerer's Institute.

Tue. Jan. 8. I could kick myself for being such a blind, stupid, ignorant fool as to let last summer go by without keeping up my speech practice that I got such a good start on last spring with Mrs. Howe. Damn it, that's one of my chief faults; I live only in the present. I can't seem to realize that tomorrow will come, and that suddenly tomorrow will be today.

Thu. Jan. 9. Rode home from school with a couple of boys from my engineering class. They talked normally and brightly, but of course I couldn't join in. I just said a few short sentences or single words, and stammered when he asked me where I wanted to get off. I felt like a damn fool. I just can't mix at all with boys I don't know very well. I get paralyzed and can't utter a single original thought.

Fri. Jan. 10. I sometimes wonder about curing my stammering. There's just a possibility that perhaps there's more to it than just my actual stammering. Maybe it's my whole personality, my outlook on life, my mental attitude that needs changing. The hell of it is, is that it forms a vicious cycle: stammering causes inferiority complex, inferiority complex causes stammering. The question is: Where to begin the cure? Where to break the circle?

Sat. Jan. 11. Mrs. Lovett called up to ask about Mom, who is in bed with flu, and I could hardly say a word for stammering. God, it's terrible.

Sun. Jan. 12. I just never can get to work before the very last moment. I do a lot of worrying and dreading but can't actually get to work; then when I finally do start, it doesn't take me nearly as long as I thought it would. Maybe there's a similarity in my stammering: it may be my mental attitude and worry which retard any progress more than my actual mechanical stammering. Of course it is, fool....

Wed. Jan. 15. Having a "good" spell with my speech. Hasn't bothered me much today or yesterday. Probably because the semester is almost over. Everything is finishing up.

Fri. Jan. 24. Sometimes I wonder just what I would have been like had I never stammered. I like to think that I would now be almost perfect in everything - speech, social popularity, studies, poise and sophistication. And yet, if I had all these things, I could wish for nothing more - I would have no incentive for further effort. So perhaps my stammering, while causing me so much untold misery, has strengthened my character and given me a clearer insight into humanity.

Sat. Jan. 25. Wonder what I would be like if I suddenly had the power of perfect speech, but otherwise remained exactly the same. Good Lord, I'd probably go crazy with freedom. Then after the first wild burst I'd probably begin to be what I've always wanted to be.

Sun. Jan 26. Thinking of the "Golden Era" - the period which began last year about this time and ended when we returned from Florida, and the effects of which disappeared completely during last summer - and then the "modern" or College period - dry, barren, altogether lacking in warm, happy memories, of which the "Golden Era" abounds. I resent it deeply, this return to my old life. Perhaps it has been my fault, or perhaps it was unavoidable circumstances. I don't know which. Tue. Jan 28. On my way home I stopped in and talked to Betty for a couple of hours. We discussed and thrashed out weighty psychological problems pertaining to my speech, and as usual got nowhere.

Wed. Jan. 29. Dean Bowers suggested I see Dr. Bean about my speech. As I have Dr. Bean anyway for Psychology, I shall have a good chance to get his advice and perhaps aid. I wonder just what he can do for me. What will I write about him several months from now....?

Thu. Jan 30. Talked to Dr. Bean, my Psychology prof., about my speech. He asked me all the usual questions about my past; and wants me to practice reading poetry. Says I must establish a smooth rhythm of speech. Now ain't that something new...!

Fri. Jan. 31. I have been in a fighting mood about my speech today. Spurred on by new, tough teachers and classes. Got lots of grim determination to improve. My speech HAS been better today. Only way to improve is to keep the fighting spirit alive by deliberately meeting new obstacles and tough challenges. Fight, you wishy-washy lily! Well, this is the end of another January. Nothing outstanding has happened in it. I'm just one month older; and just one more month has gone by without me making any practical effort toward correcting my speech. I am going to continue this bulldog attitude for the next month and see at the end of it what the results are. This will be a character test more than a speech test. I am going to prove myself worthy. Not for an instant must I slacken my confidence or spirit. Fight, you punk! You'll be damn glad of it when the end of February rolls around! I can do it!!! By God, I MUST!!

Sun. Feb. 2. By the eternal, it's working! I have been at great ease yesterday and today, and my speech is vastly better. Last night I talked to Bill Burton at Ben's with ease, and this afternoon I read to Pete for almost an hour, almost perfectly. Tonight at Pete's I did wonderfully, and Mr. H. seemed friendlier toward me. Pete noticed my improvement. This conclusively proves that it is only a matter of open, free-breathing self-confidence; and as long as I have it, my speech is going to improve.

Mon. Feb. 3. I do fairly good with my speech when talking to friends, but when I get in school my self-control and confidence melt completely away and I become paralyzed and terror-stricken. I hate and despise school for this one thing, and I feel a bitter resentment that I should be dragged through this torture day after day; this damned routine which causes more harm than good, and which still further ingrains my fears and inhibitions within me. The nervous strain produced by having to get all my school work and continually worrying over my speech is enough to drive me crazy.

Tue. Feb. 4. I'm so confused in my mind that I don't know exactly what I think. I feel like I'm going nuts more than anything else. I also feel like the time is approaching for a crisis in my speech. I've got to do something. I can't go on like I am or I will go crazy. Talked to Betty today and she acts sore at me because I don't have the "willingness" to get over it. What a laugh. She thinks it's just A-B-C. Anyway, I feel different somehow. Can't explain it, but I just feel different about it. More serious attitude or something.

Wed. Feb. 5. Ha, if I didn't stammer, maybe my outlook on life and my personality wouldn't change very much, if at all. Betty doesn't think it would. Maybe she's right. Stammering is only part of my trouble; just a result of the underlying cause of my whole personality disarrangement. Maybe I'm just a dope who can't see beyond the end of his nose and who expects too much out of life in the first place. It's funny, and yet tragical, how a mental trouble like this can, if he lets it, ruin a guy's whole life.

Thu. Feb. 6. I am just beginning to fully realize that, if I am to ever attain normal speech, I must completely rebuild my entire self from the ground up. So many bad qualities and habits have been ingrained in me that they have become a basic part of me. In order to recover, I must reconstruct my entire personality; I must cease being David Williams. This can only be effected through a long, slow re-training period under ideal conditions, and with a proper mental attitude on my part.

Fri. Feb. 7. The first important step is to understand completely all aspects of the problem, and of myself. It's a pity that I didn't begin to write down my true feelings like this a long time age. I would now have gotten a lot of valuable information; especially if I'd done this while in Florida last year. The next important step is to decide on, as much as possible, a definite course of actions. This is vital.

Sat. Feb. 15. I am just beginning to realize how it feels to talk normally, I can't do it yet, but I can see how other guys talk and the way they don't give it a thought. It is only when I have this normal, objective, extrovertic attitude that I'm ever going to recover.

Sun. Feb. 16. Well, just another day shot to hell. Tomorrow the same old grind, stammering and sliding along and getting nowhere. Everything sure looks dismal right now. (As usual). All this stuff I'm writing sure would provide valuable material for a psychiatrist. Wonder how I'll regard this stuff in years to come. Will I laugh or weep over it?

Mon. Feb. 17. Oh hell, this is a useless life I'm leading. I'll be glad when summer comes to break the grinding, hopeless monotony. I don't even have fear now, just a numb, confused state of being. All I do is lie around and brood about everything. I'm not making any progress in school, and I hate and despise it. I want something, happiness mostly, but I don't know how to get. Going to college has just shown me how many essential qualities I lack. If there is any other possible alternative, I'm not going back next year. It has only done me harm in almost every way. But I can't see any other alternative.

I sometimes wonder just what sort of guy I am. Here I am at an age when I should be going to parties and dance, and driving a car and having dates and girl friends; but I'm just a damn nut with all kinds of crazy neuroses, real or imaginary, a guy who never goes anywhere or does anything but go to shows with Pete H., and who goes to school, and worries, evades and stammers. And broods...

I feel tonight just like I did on that night last year in Eustis when I went out and walked several miles through the darkness to work off excess emotional pressure. I felt like I would to nuts if I didn't. That's exactly how I feel tonight, almost a year later.

I'm probably worse now than I've ever been in my speech. Hell, I staggered along OK when I worked for Western Union, but now I can't even answer a simple question in school. I get along OK out of school, but the moment I go back - flooey, and I become terrible in my speech. What I need above all else is a change of environment and a good speech school where I can get some outside help and cooperation. I'm becoming worse all the time around here.

Tue. Feb. 18. Think I'll stay out of school tomorrow and catch up on some of my math. Hell, why should I go when it's only a cause of humiliation and fear? It makes me feel sort of cheap, but what's the difference. Better that than endure that torture.

Wed. Feb. 19. Well, I stayed home from school. I should feel like a quitter, I suppose, but I don't. This probably won't be the last time this semester, either. Studied trig a good deal and doped some of it out. I'll be doing good if I get through it and algebra without flunking.

Thu. Feb. 20. Had a long talk with Dr. Bean after class. He's earnest and sincere and well-meaning, but I can see right now that he doesn't know much about the proper methods of speech correction. He thinks that all I have to do is just throw away my fear and force myself to talk, and I'll be OK. In other words, he wants me to show results without telling me how to achieve them. Nice theory but jut won't work.

Sat. Feb. 22. When I get over my stammering, I'm going to be a wow. I'm intelligent, witty, and inherently sophisticated, although it will take practice to bring it out and fully develop it. Except for my speech, I'm not the least shy.

Sun. Feb. 23. Well, school again tomorrow. How I hate it. What makes me frantic about my speech is what I am going to do about it. It's a positive certainty that I'm not going to improve while I stay here, especially while I'm going to school. And I certainly can't go to Boston this summer. We haven't got the money. The only way I'm ever going to get the money is to earn it myself, by writing, if possible. I can't afford to not at least make a stab at it. I'll sure be glad as hell when this damnable school business is over for the summer.

Thu. Feb 27. This time a year ago Mom and I were on the train going to Florida. Sure wish we were going again this year. Quite a contrast between now and then in my life! Sure wish I could find something interesting in life to do right now. I've got ennui or somepin'. Feel unhappy and dissatisfied all the time. I'm not a bit interested in any of my schoolwork except possibly English. Oh hell, what's going to become of me, anyway.

Fri. Feb. 28. I sure have been wasting my time since coming back from Florida, socially speaking, I mean. The only two companions or friends that I ever do anything with are Betty Lovett and W. H. All Betty and I ever do is talk, about school or psychology, and things like that. The only thing Pete and I do together is go to shows. He is intellectually dead; never does any real thinking and hasn't got an ounce of imagination or real intelligence.

Sat. Mar. 1. Ah, me, three more months of school, and then freedom! What then? Here's what: one more summer wasted and regretted, and then nine more months of school. Hell, Williams, it will never stop if you keep on as you are. Being out of school isn't going to make life any easier for you in the long run. It's only a brief interlude before getting back to the grind. And there will come a time, my boy, when you'll be on your own. Then there won't be a nice three-month vacation every year. That's what you should be worrying about, old son. There's your real problem. As you are now, you would be totally unfit to make your way in the world. You would eventually learn, of course, after a fashion; adjustment of some kind would naturally come about, but you wouldn't be happy. You would only be half-living, as you are now; and would be wretched and miserable. But, that is apparently how you will be; you'll finally end up still drifting along, cursing your bad luck, and weeping and philosophizing and morbidly brooding. You're a queer specimen Williams; I sometimes can't understand you myself. I really don't know whether you're caught in something from which you actually can't escape without aid, or whether it is something from which you could work your own salvation, and are just too jelly-spined and plain yellow to do so....

You've got plenty of assets, and good ones. You're tall, good looking with the exception of your pimples, but they are clearing up, have an intelligence far above the average, are going to college, have no serious physical defects, and have a swell private room. The only article on the debit side of the ledger is your cockeyed mental attitude and its result or cause, stammering. I wonder which does cause which? Something like the hen and the egg proposition. Still, there isn't any correlation between your assets and your liability. You could have nearly every physical thing in the world and still be unhappy. You say that the only thing in the world you want is the ability to little and yet so much. Well, boy, when a strong enough incentive comes along you'll learn to speak, without a doubt....If you don't lose your hope and idealism, for without them there is nothing. So whatever happens, don't let go of your hope and faith and ideals. If you do, you're sunk right then and there. There is beauty in the world. You just have to learn to extract it.

Wed. Mar. 5. I get really frightened about my speech sometimes, thinking how it will be later on if I don't get over it. Warner's sister is using my typewriter now. She borrowed it several days ago, and they have not returned it as they promised. I want it back, but I can't call them up to ask about it. I'm actually afraid to! I'm frightened to death at the prospect of calling and asking for my own typewriter!

Thu. Mar. 6. Had another talk with Dr. Bean. He gave me the results of a "Personality Inventory" I took a couple of weeks ago. I'm about 93% introvert, very anti-social, submissive, etc., etc. He talked some about himself; told how he was also very introverted and sometimes ill at ease before the class, and about his early struggles to overcome his shyness and timidity. (He's crosseyed.) He was very frank and comradely, and seemed more like a boy my own age than a professor of psychology. He told me of several other people he had known who had similar handicaps. I don't believe that he yet knows exactly just how my difficultly "operates," but the main point he stressed in the way of improvement was that I should take more of a real interest in other people and try to make lots of friends and to forge myself. I am just beginning to realize how absolutely right he is. Good Lord, other people are not ogres; they are very, very human; surprisingly so. My trouble is that I don't have a realistic slant on things; I've formed my own ideas about social relations, and they are all wrong. My sense of values is completely haywire. Actually I'm far superior in almost every way to most of the people I'm "afraid" of. Betty Lovett admires and respects me a great deal, and she is just about the acme in general intelligence. When I get OK, and I will, I'm really going to go places.

Sat. Mar. 8. ....Hell, I could be a big hit with the girls if I only weren't self-conscious and didn't stammer. I know I could. I've got what it takes. Damn and blast me anyway. Just this one thing, so little and inconsequential to others, is keeping me completely out of all social life. I've got the makings of a good mixer, the life of the party, a perfect extrovert, and a very witty and sophisticated companion. But what do I do? I sit around and mope and brood, and spend all the money I get hold of on "Roget's Thesaurus," "How to Write in 6-7/10 Easy Lessons" and books like that! Great Caesar's ghost, what a crackpot!

Thu. Mar. 13. Mom told me that Claire Porter, a girl in my English class, had been here for a fitting, and talked about me. Said that I was nice, and good-looking and very smart. Said that she wished she could write like me...well, well, think of that. Here I think that I'm a worthless, no-good, so-and-so, and everybody else seems to think that I'm pretty hot stuff. I can understand why, but I can't do anything about it. Or can I? My only trouble is that I've just got an A-1 inferiority complex. It's just as Betty says: there's nothing wrong with my speech, it's just fear which causes my stammering. That's it, only fear and inhibition. It's been proved that there's nothing organically wrong, for on occasion I can talk perfectly. It is 100% mental trouble. The cause lies entirely within my mind. Also, it has been proved that I can snap out of it, for I was well on the way to recovery last spring. If I did it then, I can do it now. My speech is purely a result of habit caused by constant repetition of stammering. If I begin retraining myself, slowly but steadily, I can form improved speech habits and patterns which will become automatic. Here is an important angle to the case: if I can conquer the habit which I've had for five years, I believe that it will have a great effect on my speech. I'm going to find out. Another thing which just struck me: I've been putting too much emphasis on the trivial things of life. My friends know this, but I don't. I do have the things which really count. Other people know this; that's the reason I'm always getting compliments. I put all the emphasis on my faults, the trivial, unimportant things, and none on my good points, the important things which really count in the world.

Sat. Mar. 22. Went to Marshall to see three one-act plays in evening. The plays were good. One of them was an old-fashioned "mellerdrammer" which was a scream. I was rather late getting ready to go up there, and just wore my usual red sweater and coverts pants. When I got there, I saw that I was the only guy in sight who was not wearing a suit. I felt like an ignorant, crude dope. And to think that I had a $40 suit at home! I could have kicked myself.

I appeared very suave and sophisticated, and acted like a big shot dramatic expert or critic or something. I always do whenever I don't have to speak to anyone. I play the strong, silent, lone-wolf type. However, I actually felt rather inferior and insignificant, and ill at ease and awkward as I usually do. I always get that queer "submerged" sensation that I always do in a crowd. It feels like all my personality and individual character sort of "drains away" and leaves me with a feeling of weakness and defenselessness and insecurity. I become a completely "submissive" type in a large crowd. I don't have an ounce of dominance. I really let myself "go" on these plays, especially on the "mellerdrammer." I gave myself over completely to the play, and laid aside all inhibition. The result was amazing. I hollered and whistled and clapped and laughed right along with the best of 'em. I got quite emotionally wrapped up in the thing. I laughed quite openly and loudly at the jokes and cracks, and nearly died with nervous tension with the heroine blew her lines. I acted, in other words, exactly like the other "theatrical" people do up there at college. They act like a bunch of nitwits, but have a hell of a good time doing it. I'm that way. I must have a lot of artistic temperament in me. Every time I see a play or a moving picture, the desire to write such stuff grows stronger and stronger within me. I know I'm going to do it. I can't help it.

Dr. Blesi, my English prof., was there, of course. He's very interested in all theatrical stuff. He nearly died laughing at the "mellerdrammer." After the play I wanted to say something to him, so I intercepted him as we were going out the door and said, very crudely and ineffectively, "Well, Dr. Blesi, how did you like the play?" He smiled and mumbled something and passed on, ignoring me. I must appear awfully crude and dopey, socially speaking. It's simply because I've had no experience in that sort of thing. Still, the only way to learn a thing is by doing it. Going out this way is good for me. It gives me a better perspective on other people and how they act. It also takes my mind off myself more. My thoughts now are more wholesome and natural than if I had groused around home all evening.

I'm pretty good looking as it is, when I get dressed up; but I'd be infinitely better looking if my face would clear up and smooth out and if I could raise the lid on that damned astigmatic left eye of mine.

I wonder what I will think of all this stuff I am writing when I look back on it years from now. Will I have changed very much, say ten years from now, either emotionally or in my mental attitude toward life? All this stuff I write now seems inconsequential and unimportant, yet bit by bit, slowly but surely, I am putting down a picture of my character and personality on paper. Taken all together, it shows the general direction my life is taking.

It is said that the older one grows, the quicker time passes. I am just beginning to really appreciate this. The past year seems to have literally flown by. It almost scares me. And yet I'm only 19 years old! I can remember that when I was in my early teens a year seemed an interminable length of time; but now. Whoosh! and it's gone. Maybe that's a sign that I'm growing up and maturing. I know definitely that my outlook and ideas in general are a good deal different from what they were last year. College had been the most important factor in bringing this about, I believe, I am much more poised and self-assured, and am not the least self-conscious except when I have to speak, of course. My attitude and outlook on other people has become more natural and normal than it was, too. ....I can see things now for what they are, with a clearer and unbiased viewpoint. I believe that is what maturity is: simply the ability to see things as they actually are.

Mon. Mar. 24. Sometimes I wonder just what it is I want out of life. Is it only the ability to speak normally, or do I lack something else, something that goes deeper? I now understand that I could have to become a new personality if I am to speak normally, or rather, speak the way I want to. My stammering is not just a mere nervous habit, but is the outgrowth of a deep-rooted personality disorder. Also, as everyone says and I have never believed until now, it is a good deal my imagination. Many people have told me that my stammering is hardly noticeable. I have let my imagination run away with me. Can it be that I am fighting something which does not exist? Yet I know that there is something there; there has to be a reason for my trouble. But what is it? It's like fighting an invisible enemy; something that you know is there, but you don't know what it is and you can't see it. I'm terribly confused. Sometimes I don't know what I want.

Tue. Mar. 25. Went to concert at City Hall in evening with Betty. And of course I was scared lest I met someone I knew and would have to introduce Betty.

Fri. Mar. 28. Had to do some written French translation for Miss Hastings after school to make up for my lack of oral recitation in class. The wages of stammering!

Sat. Mar. 29. Whoosh. I am a bit crocked tonight, due to some wine I drank at Lovett's. B. H. had it in the garage. Funny what alcohol does to one. I feel entirely unrepressed and not the least inhibited. I have no worries of any kind; I feel as free and blithesome as a lark. Nuts to my stammering and nuts to everything. Whoopee! I am not in a state of elation, but I am not worrying about anything. I am sleepy, and feel a trifle sickish.

Tue. Apr. 1. Good Lord, it's no wonder I have this stammering and hesitation in my speech. This household is enough to make anybody a nervous wreck. The house is filled with noisy roomers, and there is an unceasing atmosphere of hurry and restlessness. The phone rings continually, and there is absolutely no real privacy whatever. Mom is so nervous it's pitiful. It's bad enough when she talks to me, but when she talks to someone else, her speech runs away with itself. For instance, Mr. Wine, on of Dad's old friends, was here this morning to fit me for a new suit. Mom talked so much that we could hardly get a word in edgewise. She did all my talking for me. I hardly had a chance to express my opinions. Now wonder I'm not self-reliant or aggressive. She talks so fast that is usually ends up as a nervous, incoherent babble. She runs all over herself, and won't pay the slightest attention to what other people are saying. Yet she gets sore as the devil if I so much as mention it to her!

Wed. Apr. 2. Even if I took the correct attitude toward it, and overcame my fear of it, I would still be a very long time in completely conquering my stammering. It has become ingrained in me over a period of years, and is an essential part and expression of my personality. It would have to be worked out of me over a long period, slowly, tediously, and with persistent, progressive effort, accompanied by a gradual but complete change of personality. If I practice perfectly every day this summer, it will still be just a beginning.

Thu. Apr. 3. Had my usual pointless talk with Dr. Bean. He says that there are times when he gets discouraged about my speech! Good Lord, he sure must think that I should be able to get over it quick. He's nuts. The main thing to work for first is not the actual stammering, but to overcome fear and set up correct breathing habits. Then the stammering will eventually cure itself. I've tried this today and it has given me satisfaction. I've stammered some, but it's better than being afraid of your shadow.

Tue. Apr. 15. A year ago today I was taking my first speech lesson from Mrs. Howe in St. Petersburg. Ah me....

Wed. Apr. 23. Stayed home from school due to feigned illness. Real reason: I didn't have any homework. English theme was due today, and also work in trig and lettering. Didn't have any of it. Drooped around home all day doing not a single damn thing. Didn't even study. God, I'm worthless; rotten to the core. Not a drop of real manhood or ambition or strength of character in me. What makes it worse is the fact that I'm intelligent enough to realize my shortcomings, yet I don't do anything about them. I'm getting so I don't even have the decency to worry over my failures. If I flunk a test, I don't just say "what the hell" or laugh about it or worry about it; I simply have no emotion at all about it. I just continue to slide along and know that I will flunk the next test, too. This is the way I'm getting to be in everything. I apparently don't have a single deep, rich emotion in me; I am shallow, unstable, and completely selfish. I have an I.Q. of about 130 which is supposed to be high enough to insure success in practically any profession or career, yet if I continue with my present attitude and let it get a permanent hold on me I'll never be a success at anything. About the only emotion which I ever really feel is one of a constant, vague dread and uneasiness, and a feeling that I'm absolutely worthless, and barren of all that is really good. There is something seriously wrong with me. Maybe I'm too old for my age. I've seen and known probably a good deal more of the unpleasant side of life than most kids of my age, and this, coupled with my intelligence and somber, over-active imagination, has given me thoughts and attitudes which I am too young mentally and emotionally to assimilate and control. This has seemingly bred within me an attitude that what the hell good or use is anything.

Wed. May 7. Heigh ho, only three more weeks of school. At the beginning of the semester I counted each day, and each day seemed an eternity, but now time is flying by. I definitely have the wrong attitude toward college. It is not a mature enough attitude. I dread and worry about school like a kid. But all this is due, of course, to my stammering. Oh God, it's damnable. Why did I have to be this kind of guy, anyway. Will I ever amount to anything....

Thu. May 8. Talked with Dr. Bean. Next Thursday he's going to try to hypnotize me. Woo woo! He said that I probably couldn't be hypnotized, though, because I'm too much of an introvert. (Not open enough to suggestion).

Wed. May 14. Well, school will be out in two more weeks after this one. I'll probably fail both in algebra and trig. Mom, of course, will be plenty sore and cut up about it for a long time. But that is only a relatively unimportant side-issue. The main thing is that my whole life is on the wrong track. Going sour. I've been at college for a year, and I haven't engaged in one single extra-curricular activity of any nature whatsoever. I have absolutely no confidence in myself, no ambition, and I have no interest in anything really worthwhile.

Thu. May 15. Doc Bean tried to hypnotize me but without any results whatsoever. I just ain't the hypnotizable type. Not open enough to suggestions. Too introverted.

Sun. May 18. Tomorrow begins the last regular school week of the semester. Next week will be for exams only. And I'm not a bit sorry that it's almost over. I'm not particularly happy about it, either, because I'll be going right back into it next fall. The future doesn't have a gilt-edge around it for me right now. I'm not even worrying about my failure in school, because I'm so muddled I don't know what to aim for even.

Wed. May 21. Took a vocabulary test in English today. I made the highest score in the class with 132 words correct out of 150. The closest one to me was Elaine Adams with a score of 129. All the others were way below us. The standard for a college graduate is 127. Mabel Chambers said that I should not only be a college graduate, but I should have a Ph.D. Haw! Boy, I sure have done OK with my speech today. I talked a lot in English and French classes, and really spouted a blue streak in Philosophy. The dam sure busted loose. I felt almost normal, and is it a wonderful feeling!

Thu. May 22. Doc Bean and some other guy tried for two hours to hypnotize me, but without any results whatsoever.

Wed. May 28. This day a year ago was mine and Mom's last day in St. Pete, Florida. It seems impossible that a whole year has passed since then.

Fri. May 30. This is my last school day! I am now out for the summer! The long-awaited day has arrived, but I don't feel terrifically elated as I thought I would. I feel a vague sense of relief down deep inside, but that's all. Otherwise I'm not any happier about it.

Sun. June 8. Went to Lovett's camp in afternoon. Usual big crowd. Had a swell time. We played cards, swam, rowed around in the boat (and sand about 4,176 times. It was B.H.'s little job), played baseball, and of course ate and ate and ate. I got a little sunburned. These active, social, outdoor sports, like swimming and baseball, are just what I need to work those damned introversion bugs out of me. If I would go in for things like that, I would gain more self-confidence and it would improve my speech and my whole personality.

Tue. June 10. Well, hell, I've now wasted over 10 days of my vacation. I'm getting that old useless, no-good, lonesome, dissatisfied, submerged sort of feeling. The thing to do now is to buckle down, plan out a definite program of work for each day and stick to it. And quit trying to be a neighborhood social success. I'll regret it surer'n hell if I don't.

Mon. June 30. Here it is the end of June. I certainly have been shamefully neglecting my writing for the last two-thirds of the month. I've been in that extrovertic "rushing along without thinking much about anything" sort of feeling. It has sometimes been even a great effort to write my daily diary entry. I gotta snap out of it. I've had lots of things and ideas to write about but I just haven't done it.

Fri. Aug. 1. Well, vacation is two-thirds finished, and I haven't done any of the things I intended doing. I just can't settle down to my usual introverted, regressive life with all this upheaval and uproar going on in the house. And I don't regret it. It has sort of freshened me up. (Addition being built on rear of house; downstairs being refinished, etc.)

Mon. Oct. 20. Went to a comic opera at City Hall in evening - Donizetti's "Don Pasquale." I sat with Gay Pauley and Jo Horen, two of the most well-known gals in the Marshall "literary set." They write feature articles for The Parthenon Jo is in my English 377 class. They are the typical 'literary type' - very intelligent, very very witty, sophisticated, and at times a wee bit egotistical. They represent the "smart set." But I more than held up my end in everything that went on. I was just as urbane, sophisticated, witty and clever as they were. They accepted me as their equal in every way, and they both bragged on my writing ability. I can't see anything good about it, but they were sincere, so I didn't argue. It's funny, the contrast in my behavior. Just for example, in French class I sometimes stammer so badly that I can hardly say a word, and act like a perfect dub, yet I can get along well and feel perfectly equal to and at complete ease with such people as Jo and Gay, whom most people could not feel at all equal or sure of themselves with. I tend to go from extreme to extreme.

Sat. Oct. 25. Went on the hayride in evening with Connie, Walter and Betty. It was put on by the college class of the Presbyterian church. There was about forty people in all, and we rode out to the 4-H Club camp on route 60 on the back of a truck. It was covered with hay and didn't have any sides or top; and it sure was cold riding back there. Had a swell time at the lodge. Sang, played games, ate hamburgers and doughnuts, danced a Virginia Reel, and put on short "acts." Ruth Stark, the "master of ceremonies," was looking for amateur talent, and Walter told her that I was good on giving imitations of accents. I tried to stop her, but Ruth made a very flowery announcement about it, so it was sink or swim. And by golly, I got up, looked forty people in the eye, and recited "Mary had a little lamb" in several accents without the slightest hesitation. I spoke perfectly, and got a big hand when I finished. I'm not sure yet that it was I who did that. I can't believe it, but it actually happened.

Mon. Oct. 27. This morning in speech class I read a poem aloud before the class. I had no fear at all, but of course I "blocked" several times from habit. Mr. Leggette had me read the poem over several times to the class until I finally read it clear through without a single block or even hesitation. Then he said, referring to my pitch level, "There you are! Keep 'er down, boy, and your troubles are over." I could speak OK when I kept my pitch level down and spoke unhurriedly. A good rule is to keep it "low and slow."

Wed. Nov. 12. This morning in French class when I was translating I got "hung up" on a word and couldn't say it. I sputtered around for a few seconds, then I got mad at myself and said out loud, "Oh, nuts!" That seemed to "clear the air" or something, for I finished the translation with scarcely any trouble at all. Everyone got a laugh out of the "Oh, nuts."

Sun. Nov. 23. I wrote the script for my "act" I'm scheduled to put on before the French Club next Wednesday. I'm supposed to do an imitation of Charles Boyer. Jo Horen is to be my "leading lady" or stooge. Betty, as might be expected, was the one who told Mr. Yarbro that I was good at imitating Boyer. Mr. Yarbro promptly asked me if I would like to put on a short acct at the next meeting of the French Club, and like a dope I said yes. It might be fun, though, at that.

Tue. Nov. 25. Stayed at school until 3:30 to practice and rehearse my Charles Boyer "love scene" skit with Jo Horen. We practiced it in Mr. Yarbro's room. He watched it and seemed to like it very well. I hope I can put on a good accent when we do the piece tomorrow at the French Club meeting. My official stage debut! It should be a lot of fun. Jo is a good actress.

Wed. Nov. 26. My "Charles Boyer" act went over big. It got far more applause and laughs than any other act on the program. It came off without a single hitch. I wasn't a bit nervous or self-conscious. I made love to Jo as passionately as Boyer ever did on the screen, by gum. There was about 35 or 40 people at the meeting. After it was over I got a lot of congratulations. Mr. Yarbro shook my hand and said I'd done a slick job. Gay Pauley, who had announced the act, pretended like she was in love with me. I felt real proud of myself.

Sun. Nov. 30. Ben and I went down to his office at the Appalachian in evening and played with a Dictaphone machine. I made a recording of my voice. It sounded just like me when I played it back. (Not a compliment.) I'd like to have one for my speech improvement exercises.

Wed. Dec. 3. I read aloud to Mother for a long time, but it doesn't seem to help my stammering much.

Thu. Dec. 11. Vernon Brooks and I had a "conference" with Doc Blesi this afternoon. He asked us about the "masterpiece" we're supposed to hand in by early January to supplant a final exam. I have about decided to rewrite a Shakespearean play into modern prose form. Blesi suggested it. He also mentioned my stammering, and said he thought it had improved somewhat over last year, but that he wished I would try to recite in class even if I did stammer, for no one thought any the less of me because of it, as I thought they did. Which is very true. My worst trouble is lack of self-confidence. I let my emotions run away with me, and I don't have the guts to fight it. As a man I'm a dud. In a way I'm emotionally immature.

1942. Age 20.

Wed. Jan. 14. Habit and thought-association have a great influence on the severity of my stammering. This morning in speech class I stood in front of the class and read aloud Antony's "Friends, Romans and Countrymen" speech, with only one slight blockage throughout. Mr. Leggette said it was well read. Later on in French Class, Mr. Yarbro asked me to tell about a short story I had read, and I could hardly utter a word. I finally managed to stammer out a few sentences. Reason: I always associate speech class with clear speech, French class with stammering.

Sun. Jan. 18. Bennett said that he was talking with A.S. Wills, the district manager of the A.E.P., and happened to mention the fact that he used to stammer badly. Wills told him he didn't know the half of it - he himself used to be a terrible stammerer, and didn't get over it until he was nearly through college. They got to comparing notes, and Wills said he knew exactly what a bad thing it was.

Thu. Jan. 22. Had French exam from 8 to 10. I think I'll make a good grade on it. Only made a few mistakes. But of course the oral work I didn't do in class will pull my semester grade down considerably, I imagine. I at least tried to recite, but couldn't' do very much with it. Took too long for me to say anything.

Mon. Feb. 2. School 9 to 1. Stayed in library with Betty until 2:30, then we went over to the auditorium (under her powerful persuasion) to listen to tryouts for the next College Theater productions, "Mr. and Mrs. North." Betty wanted me to try out for a part, and although I wanted to I didn't trust myself. Then Mr. Leggette spotted me and made me get up on the stage with the others to read a part. I first read a "straight" part, but I stammered a little on it and didn't do so well. Then I read the part of a Fuller Brush Man with a strong German accent, and laid 'em in the aisles. The others could hardly read their parts for laughing at me. Everybody thought I was a wow. I'll probably get the part (I hope!).

Tue. Feb. 3. Went to Marshall in evening (7:30 to 10) to read parts for the play. There were about 20 of us in all. We sat in chairs in a semi-circle on the stage with Mr. Leggette in the middle. I read the parts of the Fuller Brush Man and an Italian landlord, both with accents. My "Italian Landlord" was good, but unfortunately there was a real Italian boy trying out for the part, and he was perfect. Evidently my "brush man" accent wasn't so hot, for as Mr. Leggette was driving me home he suggested that I make the brush man a stammering character. I don't much like the idea.

Fri. Feb. 6. Went to Marshall in evening with Sayre to rehearse the play. There's been a big shakeup in the cast. Several of the players were declared ineligible by Dean Bowers, so they had to drop out. Now I've got the role of Buono, the Italian landlord, and Sayre has the Fuller Brush Man part. Buono's is longer and more important. I suppose I'm lucky, at that. We rehearsed from 7:30 to 10, then Sayre and I went over to College Hall and messed around with a bunch of the girls. Then we went over to College Corner and messed around with different guys, and so gradually messed our way home.

Tue. Feb. 10. It's surprising how much of a difference being in the play is making on my attitude toward college life, and vice versa. People I hardly knew, as well as my friends, seem to have a new respect for me. I've gotten a lot of rather surprised congratulations. I've come to know a lot of new people, and have gotten wise to a new side of college life. For once I'm taking part in a social function without having a feeling of inferiority due to my speech. It's a glorious feeling.

Thu. Feb. 12. In Botany class Irene Drexler asked me if I would like to audition for a radio play to be given by the Marshall Theatre of the Air over station WSAZ. She said she had heard about my skit in French Club with Jo Horen, and that I was good in dramatics. I told her I stammered unless I used an accent, so I had to decline the offer with thanks. Damn it.

Mon. Feb. 16. Went down to Court House in evening to register for the draft. Got my registration card. Then went to Marshall to rehearse the play. In a way being in this play is the chance of a lifetime for me, because, since I use an accent, I do not stammer, and therefore have no feeling of social inferiority.

Mon. Feb. 23. Went to school in evening to rehearse the play. Before we began, Mr. Leggette announced that six of us, including me, were to go down to Radio Center tomorrow evening for a college program over station WCMI, 7:30 - 7:45, to be interviewed about the play, and to give sort of a preview about it. Sayre and I are to use our accents, thank the Lord. As long as I talk like my character in the play, I'll be all right. Odds bodkins, I hope I don't mess things up by stammering.

Tue. Feb. 24. Went down to Radio Center with Sayre in evening to broadcast the Marshall program. The announcer, Raymond Baribeau, put my name down on his list along with the others. Each of us was supposed to say a few words in our play-characters. Sayre was first, I was second, Jim McCubbin was third, and so on. The damned announcer called Sayre up first, then overlooked my name completely and called on Jim next. By the time I could tell the announcer about it, it was too late for me to go on. So later I phoned Mom, Ben and the Lovetts to let them know why I didn't broadcast. I was terribly disappointed. Rehearsed play at school from 8 'til 11:30.

Wed. Feb. 25. The play is improving, but it still needs a lot of speeding up and polishing. The acting is still ragged in many places. Mr. Leggette has called a rehearsal for Sunday afternoon. A lot of my friends at school who heard about it have told me they thought it was a shame that I got gypped out of my broadcast, for I could have made a hit with my accent. When Mr. Leggette was driving me home last night he said that I had one of the best characterizations in the play.

This college theatre bunch...forms a tight and rather snobbish clique. If you're in you're in, but if you're not you're most definitely out. They try to be very sophisticated, dirty in a smart, witty way, and are hard drinkers. They're a lot of fun. I've learned a lot about people, being in the theatre. ... My own case in regards to my speech is peculiar. Everything in my past history would indicate that when I walk out on that stage next Wednesday night and speak before a large audience I would be frightened to death; yet I know that, although I might have the amateur actor's normal nervousness, I will not be afraid. By nature I'm not timid and shy; my speech has forced me to be thus. Or is this true? It is all so confusing. Now if I had to play a straight role in this play, using my natural voice and my own personality, I probably could not do it; but as I am hiding behind a foreign accent and an eccentric personality I have all the confidence in the world. As long as I'm not myself I do fine. I've certainly got some funny quirks in my psychological makeup. I got much more good from Leggette's speech class last semester, where the emphasis was on general voice culture and public speaking, than I did from Dr. Bean's series of private conferences with me last year when we discussed nothing but my stammering. Dr. Bean would be very kind, gentle, and sympathetic, and I would stammer worse than ever. In Leggette's class someone might snicker (not unkindly) if I stammered while reciting, or Catherine McGuire would say "Why the hell don't you quit stuttering?" whereupon I would laugh, my confidence would return, and I would speak smoothly. Mr. Leggette asked me several times in speech class why I didn't try out for a college play, but I could never bring myself to do it. The general opinion of the gang is that I'm a good actor, but I underestimate myself. I need more self-confidence. Although the thought annoys me, it's true that I probably wouldn't be in this play if it hadn't been for Betty egging me into it. I should do my own egging.

Mon. Mar. 2. Went to Marshall at 7 p.m. for a dress rehearsal of the play. Everything was just as it will be for the final performance. The set has been completely equipped with all furniture, "props," etc. We wore costumes and makeup. There is a thrill to be had in the dressing-room just before the play goes on - the glaring lights, the shouting, singing, swearing hubbub of the actors seated before mirrors placed on long tables, smearing cold cream and grease paint on their faces, others dressing or undressing. There is an excitement about it that gets you. Rode home with Mr. Leggette at 12:30 a.m.

Tue. Mar. 3. Went to school at 7 for the final dress rehearsal. My costume for the play is a "sloppy Italian" get up: a big pot-belly, baggy trousers, no belt, old shirt open at the neck, with a loud, loose tie, a worn-looking black coat, and unkempt mustache, and a battered felt hat. The rehearsal went off very smoothly, except that now and then someone would forget a line or miss a cue. After rehearsal the gang went to College Corner for cokes, etc. Then I rode home with Mr. Leggette and three of the girls at 11:30. Damn it, I've got a Botany test Thursday, and have hardly any time to study for it.

Wed. Mar. 4. Ben drove me up to Marshall at 7 p.m. I loafed around the Speech office, the stage and the dressing room with a few of the boys until the other actors began drifting in. Then we began dressing and putting on makeup. Then we went back up to the stage and made final preparations. Mr. Leggette came backstage and wished us good luck. The butterflies were chasing each other around in my stomach. Then everything got quiet, the curtain raised, Russell went on, and I followed a few seconds later. Once I was on, all nervousness vanished. I hated to leave the stage. It was wonderful. After the play the gang went to College Corner for beers, cokes, etc. I rode home with Mr. Leggette about 11:30.

Thu. Mar. 5. School 9 to 1. Dr. Blesi congratulated me on my performance last night. So did a lot of other people. Home all afternoon, sleeping most of the time. Went back up to school in evening for the second and last performance of the play. We weren't as tense and nervous as last night. We of the cast didn't think the play went so well as last night, but Mr. Leggette said it was better. After the play the entire College Theatre gang went to Woodland for the customary party. Sayre, Jimmy Fattaleh, Louis Stern, Howard Mills and I bought a pint and killed it before going in. Sayre followed it up with about five beers and got completely plastered. After the party most of us went to the Whirligig for eats. I got home about 3 a.m.

Fri. Mar. 6. Went to basketball game in evening with Sayre. After the game the Theatre gang collected together and went down to Russell Dunbar's house for a party. When everybody had finally drifted in there was a big crowd. Sayre, Jimmy F., Howard Mills, Louis Stern and I again chipped in and bought a pint. I don't know who went after it. We five sneaked out of the house to polish it off. Everybody had a grand time at the party. We had hotdogs, cokes, candy, etc. The party broke up about 1 a.m. I walked part way home with Sayre, Louis and Dave Zimmerman. Dave and I sang most of the way. I've made about 15 new friends from this play.

Sat. Mar. 7. Well, the big whirl is over. The play and all its excitement is now a thing of the past. I feel rather empty and let-down. Now I'll get back to my usual way of school life. Or will I? One thing I can definitely say: I've had more fun in the past month than I've yet had at any time in my college life. I've made a lot of new acquaintances and strengthened old ones. The theatre bunch as a whole are friendly, witty, imaginative, sophisticated and intelligent.

Fri. Mar. 13. I sometimes wonder what the devil I'm going to do when I get out of college. There's always the Draft to consider, but that seems so vague and indefinite; I don't know whether I'll be called or not. Maybe my heart or something else will keep my out of the army, but there's no telling. If the Army doesn't get me, I suppose I'll just keep on going to college until I graduate. My interests are definitely literary, and I'm concentrating on Literature, but unless one is preparing to teach, which I'm not, literature is a rather unsubstantial preparation for life. All I know is that I want to write.

Sun. Mar. 22. My attitude toward my stammering has become almost completely objective. I regard it as a damned nuisance and a constant bother, but I don't live in terror of it like I did. My recent experiences at Marshall, especially being in the play, have proven to me that I can hold my own and more, both intellectually and socially, with any person or group at Marshall. The theatre group is probably the "ritziest" and most sophisticated gang in Marshall. My self-confidence has grown tremendously. I feel very happy about it.

Mon. Mar. 30. I brought a script of "The Torchbearers" - the College Theatre's next productions - home with me to look over, but I've decided to not even try out for any of the parts. None of the parts suit me, and vice versa, and also I don't want to spare all the time being in the play would require.

Wed. Apr. 1. Went to a "swing" at school in evening. The best one yet. Bob Ellis performed tricks of magic, Sayre game a comic monologue, and Jack Bradley's orchestra played, with several vocalists. After it was over, tryouts were held in the auditorium for the next play, "The Torchbearers." I told Mr. Leggette a couple of days ago, when he asked me, that I absolutely did not want to be in the play. But of course I hung around at the tryouts tonight, dope that I am. It is rather fascinating. Mr. Leggette didn't ask me to read any of the parts at all until, just before he called it a night, he suddenly said, "Dave, get up there and read the part of Mr. Ritter." So I shrugged my shoulders, got up on the stage, and went through a scene. Everybody said I was better than any of the others who had tried out for the part. I was pleased, but I'm not going to take the part. Walked home with Sayre.

Thu. Apr. 2. The selected cast for the play was posted on the Speech Office bulletin board, and just as I feared, right at the top was "MR. FREDERICK RITTER - DAVID WILLIAMS." I stormed into the office and asked Mr. Leggette what the big idea was of choosing me for one of the leads when I had told him before that I didn't want to be in the play. He just laughed at me and said that he was in the Navy now, and that I'd have to take the matter up with Mr. Ranson. So after classes I went back to the Speech Office with Sayre. Leggette, Ranson, and Nathan Wade, the Community Players director who is going to direct this play, were there. I lit into them again, told them I had too much schoolwork to do and besides that I would ruin the play by stammering. They gave me the horselaugh again, told me I looked like hell and to go home and sleep it off. So the matter is still hanging fire.

Fri. Apr. 3. I'm in a dither about that confounded play. Mother and Bennett advise me not to be in it, but they say it's up to me. Florence says it'll either make me or break me. She's right - it's about a 50-50 chance. But I still think it'd be just too much of a load with all of my other schoolwork. I'd have to learn 234 speeches as "Mr. Ritter."

Tue. Apr. 7. Had a talk with Mr. Ranson about my being in the play. He told me that I underestimate myself, that I could play the role better than anyone he knew of in Marshall, and that my only trouble was an inferiority complex - I really wanted the part, but I just didn't trust myself, and that I was passing up a swell chance to improve my speech. He said the decision was up to me, however; he didn't want to force me into it. I admitted the truth of all he had said, but I still didn't want the part, for I had too much school work, and the possibility remained that I might stammer. He told me to think it over until the meeting of the cast at 7 p.m.; but when I went back up I told him I hadn't changed my mind, so that ended it.

Fri. Apr. 10. I am glad that I didn't take the role in the play, now. I'll be having an awful lot of schoolwork from now on, and if I'd taken the part in the play to boot I'd soon be worn to a frazzle. It would have been a lot of fun and glory, of course, but there was just too much work attached to it. Jim Chambers has taken the part. I was in the Green Room yesterday with some of the gang when Gay Pauley came in. She's been hounding me to not being in the play. She said, "I thought you were supposed to be an actor of sorts." Jim McCubbin grinned at me and said, "He is, and a good one, but he won't believe it."

Mon. Apr. 27. I would like to write a letter to Mrs. Howe, my speech teacher in St. Petersburg, but I don't know what to say to her. She would like to hear that I do not stammer at all now, due to the help I received from her, but such is not the case. I could honestly tell her that my speech has improved somewhat, and, even more important, that my attitude towards myself has changed and improved greatly. She would also be pleased about my being in the play.

Wed. Apr 29. The longer I go to college the more clearly I can see how callow, crude, and unpolished I am. There is a certain quality of seriousness which I lack. In many respects I am flighty and unstable; and I often treat lightly what should be taken seriously. Sometimes, however, the situation will be reversed, and I will make the opposite mistake. A sense of humor is imperative in life, but what I am speaking of is something apart from a sense of humor. It is kind of immature lightness or shallowness.

Thu. Apr. 30. (Classroom Sketches): French 224 - Mr. Yarbro - Only 9 in class. I usually stammer, but don't give a damn. I've volunteered three times to ask the questions in class in addition to my regular turns to do it. (Everyday one student sits at Yarbro's desk and asks the others questions from the book.) Yarbro doesn't give us enough French pronunciation practice. Whenever he does, though, everyone stares at me in awe.

Wed. May 6. Went to see "The Torchbearers" at Marshall in evening. It is the best play I've seen the College Theatre put on so far. Bob Hinchman was good in the part of Mr. Frederick Ritter, but I honestly think that, with the exception of my stammering, I could have done better. Bob didn't display the friendly tolerance and compassion toward the antics of his wife that the part required. His performance lacked warmth. I joined the theater gang at College Corner after the show for cokes, etc. Rode home at 11:30 with Howard Mills, Jim McCubbin, "Tootie" McGuire, and Mable Chambers.

Thu. May 14. Today in literature class the "Mighty Blesi Art Players" read Oscar Wilde's play, "The Importance of Being Earnest." I read the part of Merriman, the butler, and my English accent laid 'em in the aisles. Blesi laughed his head off at me. I felt pretty good.

Sun. May 31. It often surprises me how socially asleep I was is high school and even in my first year at Marshall. It's been only in the past year that I've really begun to wake up. In high school I was so wrapped up in myself that I didn't take part in a single extra-curricular activity. School meant only lessons to me. I am just beginning to know people whom I've known for years.

Thu. June 4. Went to see the Marshall commencement program at the Keith-Albee in morning; and also to nose around for a job. Saw Sam Stinson, my former engineering instructor, and asked him where a draftsman could get a job. He told me to go see the U.S. Engineers. I went up to their offices in the C. & O. Building and saw one of the big shots, who asked me a lot of questions. ...I'm afraid I made a bad impression on him because of my infernal stammering, poor scared little fool that I am.

Sun. June 14. I lack a certain quality of vital energy and aggressiveness. This quality or feeling, when it does occasionally come upon me, enables me to do much more work and to concentrate better upon the subject at hand. I am referring particularly to my writing. My character is soft and unformed, too easily molded by my environment. My passive, inert personality is tied up with my stammering, too, I think. In Leggette's speech class I learned that the voice is the result of total bodily response. My hesitating, weak, blurred speech is merely the reflection of my hesitating, weak, blurred character.

Tue. June 30. My interest in Somerset Maugham, apart from my admiration for his writing style, lies in the fact that he, too, suffered a great deal from stammering in his childhood and was interested in writing, as I am. In "Of Human Bondage" (a thinly disguised autobiography) he has his hero afflicted with a club-foot, which represents his own stammering. It is strange how deadly serious stammering is to the person afflicted, yet how trivial it seems to the observer. Betty has expressed surprise at this fact. She said that my stammering had always seemed inconsequential to her, and certainly nothing to get steamed up about, as I do. By inductive reasoning, what is the standard by which anything is judged to be serious or not?

Wed. July 15. It's funny, but I'm not half as scared at the prospect of being inducted into the army as I used to be at the prospect of having to get up before the class and recite. Now I feel rather indifferent to whatever may happen, but when I had to recite I would usually be seized with the most awful panic and terror. Actual danger might give way completely to an imaginary fear.

Sun. July 19. Worked on scrapbook a good bit, and finally got it finished up to date. Also went through all the stuff I've ever written and threw away quite a bit of it. In the main I'm keeping only my completed pieces, and what is representative. No use having a lot of written junk lying around, especially when some of it would cause embarrassment if read by others. (I am going on the supposition that I will be accepted by the Army). I'm giving all my belongings a close going-over, and discarding all that is superfluous. While my natural disposition makes me want to be rejected and to continue with my easy-going home and school life, I know that Army life would probably be the best possible thing for me.

Tue. July 21. Well, I wonder what I'll be doing tomorrow night. By then I'll probably know the answer to the question that's been before me since the war began. Warner has been inducted, and left for camp today. Pete has enlisted in the Air Corps. Dick Penorwood called this morning. He is leaving to begin training in the Air Corps. James is at Kelly Field, as a flying cadet. If I'm inducted, I'm going to try for the Air Corps. Well, the best laid plans of mice and men.....Here goes!

Wed. July 22. Went to the Court House at 7:30 a.m. and from there we draftees went to Radio Center for examination. We were really put through the mill. The doctors tested and examined everything possible. About 200 men, stripped naked, were going in turn from doctor to doctor. For a while it looked as if I would be accepted, then a couple of doctors and the major in command went into consultation about my heart, and decided that I should be rejected because of leakage of the valves. The major and a psychologist had also discussed my stammering, and I think this helped to influence the final decision of rejection. Got home at 1 p.m. Slept part of afternoon.

Thu. July 23. When I found that I was to be rejected yesterday I was, contrary to previous expectations, really disappointed. Army life would perhaps have been hard drudgery at times, but there would have also been fun and excitement. There was nothing I could do about it, however. Most people say that I should consider myself lucky. Perhaps. It makes me feel a bit left out of things, what with many of my friends gone or going. Now that I'm definitely out of the war picture, I'll have to plan my near future. Mom wants me to go back to school this fall, and in the meantime I'm going to try to do some writing.

Sat. July 25. At the examination Wednesday I overhear the psychologist tell another officer that it was really unfair to let fellows like me into the army, for, with my stammering, I could not give orders to others, and so would probably never be anything but a private. I have learned as much about the cause and cure of stammering as can be learned from books, I think, and I know that the final, complete cure can be effected only by myself. I try constantly to keep from stammering, but even when I keep my voice "low and slow" I often stammer badly. What is the angle to it that I am missing?

Sun. July 26. .... Later Ben came over, and he and Mother and I discussed my stammering and the hindrance it would be in getting a job.

Wed. Aug. 12. Ben has prospects of a drafting job for me. Hope we can wangle it. I feel so useless and incompetent, living off Mother and doing nothing but piddle with my "writing." Perhaps, too, the self-confidence resulting from having a job would help my stammering, which has seemingly gotten worse lately (along with my acne). If I get a good job I'm going to hang on to it and not go back to school this fall.

Fri. Aug. 14. I've been reading aloud to Mother a good bit lately. It seems to help my speech somewhat for a while after I read. Sort of loosens me up. Ben and Flo have mentioned repeatedly that my speech was better just after I returned from Florida than ever before or since.

Spent most of the day making a mechanical drawing to give Mr. Jacquith with my application. It will show him the kind of work I do, and that I really am interested in the job (drafting job with Badger Construction Co. - Bennett and I had spoken to Mr. Jacquith, the manager, about the job yesterday).

Mon. Aug. 17. Took the application and drawing down to Mr. Jacquith. He was talking with another man, so I waited, and when he was finished I went up to him and in a weak, timid voice (for I had lost my nerve while waiting) said: "I've brought in the appli- applica-" Then we were silent a few minutes while he looked at it, then he said, "All right, thank you, Mr. Williams." I said, "Thank you, sir" with a sick grin, and left, cursing myself.

Tue. Aug. 18. Pete told me how scared he got in school, even in his one semester at Marshall, whenever he had to recite. His fear was caused by his feeling of ignorance and inferiority. He has worried about it as much as I have about my stammering. He said that I've taught him a lot about life in our talks.

Wed. Sept. 30. This sure is a crappy job I've got. Monotonous, dirty, and usually laborious. I earn every cent and then some of the $2.48 per day I make. Bill Kimball has hopped on me twice for "talking so much that I keep myself and others from working." I get sore at myself for letting him get under my skin. Besides, I don't keep myself or others from working.

Mon. Oct. 5. Worked 8:30 to 4:45 (lunch hour 12:30 to 1:30). At last I've got a decent job. It's clean, and there's a good class of people. It's all happened so quickly I can hardly believe my good fortune. The work is easy. I merely pick up and deliver mail and papers to the various offices.

Went to Marshall in eve. to hear the first reading of the next play, "Ladies in Retirement." ...Saw Jo Horen. She said that in her Elizabethan Drama course the other day Blesi remarked how "minor parts can often steal a play, as did my good friend Dave Williams in 'Mr. and Mrs. North.'" I felt all in a glow, and yet a little unworthy at receiving such a public tribute from Doc.

Tue. Oct. 6. Worked 8:30 to about 5, I ride the bus to South Point, and hitch a ride home from one of the other employees. Went to school in eve. to watch play rehearsal. ... I think I'm going to like Mr. Wheeler. He stutters a little. Kindred soul!

Sun. Oct. 18. It is difficult to form an exact estimate of oneself. In certain respects I am a very mature person, educated, cultured, sophisticated, with stability, tolerance, and understanding far beyond my years; in other respects I'm merely a pimply-faced boy with friendly brown eyes and a rather weak mouth, easily intimidated, and with stammering, hesitant speech. Other people, depending on their own type, see me as one or the other. People like Pete, Lewis, etc., see me as the former, while my co-workers at the plant only see the latter characteristics.

Tue. Oct. 20. After supper Mother, Ben and I fell to talking about my stammering, particularly as it affected my job. Just the same old merry-go-round. Mother wants me to slow up, in my eating as well as my speech, and Ben's theory is that I can overcome stammering by will-power and practice reading aloud. I told them that I've tried all that without success; therefore they say that I don't have a receptive, an open mind about it, and carry a chip on my shoulder.

Wed. Oct. 21. I just sometimes wonder, by God, if I'll ever be a success in life; that is, a success as the word is popularly defined. I know that some aspects of my outlook on life and people are wrong. I'm too much of an introvert and an individualist; I live under high mental pressure and take too seriously the trivial moments of life. I expect too much from myself and others. I should either lower the high pressure or turn it into creative channels. The high pressure shows itself particularly in my speech.

Thu. Oct. 22. Mr. Lindsay returned today, but I had no more work to do than usual. He's a big, gruff, bearish sort of man. Mr. Coleman described him as "a diamond in the rough." He's the roughest damn diamond I've ever seen. Wish I wasn't so easily intimidated by other people.

Sun. Oct. 25. I'd like to get hold of a season ticket to the Community Players. Shank is going to be in their first play, "Squaring the Circle." The director of the Players is Mrs. Hite Wilson Compton. I took a short course in speech correction under her in high school.

Sun. Nov. 1. Well, another month, another job. I seem to be a job-a-month man. I'll probably go to work at the Nickel Plant about the first of December. I'm certainly getting a variety of experience in the working world. My contacts with so many people have helped me a lot. I feel more sure of myself, and am not afraid of meeting new people.

Sun. Nov. 15. One of the things I don't like so much about taking this permanent job is that I'm apt to gradually lose touch with the swell gang I've come to know at Marshall. For slightly under a year I've been mixing with the kind of people that I should have been associating with all my life, but from which I was kept chiefly because of my stammering and its resultant feeling of inferiority. Now that I do know all these intelligent, witty, alive, interesting and nice people, I'd hate to drift away from them. In general they're my type, and their friendship has meant a lot to me. Feeling equal to them makes me feel equal to anyone.

Sat. Nov. 28. Read a bit to Mom. Reading aloud does seem to help my speech, at least for a while after reading.

Wed. Dec. 2. Read a story to Mother. I am going to read aloud as much as possible, to try to improve my speech. My job is the strong incentive for an effort at improvement I have hitherto lacked. In one way I'm glad my school days are over, for now perhaps I'll gradually quit gadding about and settle down to doing worthwhile things like speech improvement, writing, my job, etc.

Sun. Dec. 13. Well, it looks as if the theatrical whirl will calm down for a while, until after the holidays. Shank said "Claudia" would be put on about the middle of February. Think I'll order a script and study my part in advance. It'll be another "accent" role, that of a Hungarian hired man. It's a damned good thing I can hide behind an accent.

Mon. Dec. 14. Mrs. Lovett says that Betty will be home in a week or so. I'm anxious to see her, and hear about life at Iowa U. I would like to be going to a big university like that.

Sat. Dec. 19. Today I am what is technically known as a man - 21 years old.

1943. Age 21

Mon. Jan. 4. Went down to the Community Players' Workshop in eve. for the first tryout for the next play, "Claudia." I was the only one who tried out for the part of Fritz, the hired man, the part I want. I'm sure I'll get it.

Tue. Jan. 5. Went to tryouts again tonight. None other than me has tried out yet for Fritz. I usually get just a bit nervous when Eleanor asks me to get up and read, but I cover my tendency to stammer with a thick German accent. Everyone seems to think I'm good.

Wed. Jan. 6. Mr. Scheuerman, of the Toledo, Ohio, office, called me long distance to ask about a baffle plate on one of my drawings I'd sent him with an order. He asked what my first name was, and I told him, and he said that he was Jack. He evidently thought I was a grown man like himself, but I kept calling him "Mr. Scheuerman" and said "Yes, sir," and "No, sir," with such excess respect that I sounded like a callow schoolboy before an awe-inspiring professor. I stammered hardly any, which was exceedingly gratifying.

Tue. Jan. 12. Went to the Players' workshop in eve. for the first rehearsal. Only the prospective cast was there, besides Eleanor and Wheeler. The big room was cold, so we pulled up chairs and sat around the stove. We read the entire play from the script, mainly to just get an idea of what it's all about. I had a few slight blockages here and there, but covered them up fairly well with a thick accent. Eleanor, whom I don't think knows about my speech condition, said that I was stressing the accent too much and not paying enough attention to the ideas behind the words, and that my reading voice was not quick, light, and lively enough. But the character I'm portraying is supposed to have a poignant dignity, to have suffered great sorrows, etc. At any rate, I'll just have to do it my way and make the best of it. I speak not as I wish to, but as I can. I feel rather depressed tonight about my speech. Will I always have this dead weight, this senseless impediment, dragging me back? Julian mocked me a little today at the office, for which, in a way, I can't blame him, as my stammering seems such a stupid and unnecessary thing. As I do with anyone who makes the slightest fun of me, I get angry at myself rather than at him. But damn it, I hate to even write about these things, because brooding over them only makes them worse. I certainly don't want to fall back into the horrible welter of self-pity I underwent during my first year at Marshall. The only thing to do is to look forward and hope and try in every way to overcome the impediment.

Wed. Jan. 13. Went to the Players' Workshop in eve. to rehearse the first act. Only the actors involved and Eleanor were present. I can see that I'm not going to have any trouble with my speech, because when I'm on my feet, moving around, and using gestures, my excess nervous energy is released through those channels and I have to make my voice louder and more resonant so that it will "project", and this, coupled with my use of accent, eliminates all fear of stammering. It's only when I am forced to sit still and read in my natural pitch that I get that pent-up, trapped feeling (which dates back to my early school days) and the resultant nervous tension and stammering.

Tue. Jan. 19. Went to rehearsal in eve. Only Eleanor, Roy, Lady Lou Jenkins (her real name, not a title) and the Harrold woman who plays my wife were there. I told Eleanor about my stammering, as I've been having a little trouble in Act III, and she said that she had noticed it a little last night and was very much surprised. There's only a couple of bad places, however, and if I feel that I'm going to get hung up I can always substitute words.

Lady Lou said she remembered me in "Mr. and Mrs. North," and that I was the most outstanding and entertaining character in the play, with no flattery intended. Ver-ry nice......

Thu. Feb. 4. Quenon of Fairmont Mold Shop called me long distance about a mold design. Had a little trouble speaking, but didn't give a damn.

Thu. Feb. 11. I got to Marshall in eve. before anyone else. It wasn't long before everyone in the cast and crew were there, and the hustle and bustle and last-minute confusion before the play began. Pauline Wylie helped me with my makeup. She was my eighth grade teacher in history at Cammack Junior High in 1935, and I used to be scared to death in her class and didn't like her because of the humiliation I constantly suffered through my stammering. Reading aloud in her class was one of my greatest bugaboos. I even had Mother write her a note asking that I be excused from as much oral reading as possible. Tonight, as she helped me with my makeup, she seemed just a very commonplace, rather chubby and still fairly young school teacher with whom I amiably chatted and cracked rather shady jokes. I had no especial feeling toward her. She was just a local girl who liked to dabble a little in the community theatrical group. Life is strange.

It's always fun in the dressing room before the play. Nearly everyone is tense and excited, and there is much loud talk, joke cracking, and mumbling of lines as we sit before the lighted mirrors and smear on cold cream, take it off, then put on various tones of greasepaint and other makeup aids.

The play went off fine, and got a lot of applause from a big audience. I wasn't at all nervous. In fact, I felt rather bored at times while waiting for my entrances. At my first entrance, I carry in a big egg and give it to "Claudia." In case she or I dropped it, I had an ad lib line prepared. "Ach, the yolk's on me." After the play a lot of people came backstage and congratulated us.

Fri. Feb. 12. Final performance of the play. I and everyone else were much more tense than last night. Before my first entrance, my mouth was dry and my hands trembled a little, but I wasn't really scared. I gave a much better performance than last night, due chiefly to tonight's increased nervousness. That seems to be nearly always the case. The others said the same thing of themselves.

After the play, before we went out to Woodland for the cast party, Lady Lou handed me an orchid and told me to give it to Eleanor with a few words. I made a little speech in the dressing room and presented it to Eleanor. She thought it was a joke before she opened the box.

Sat. Feb. 13. Ben said I did a fine job in the play, and that he'd heard several other people talking to me. He still wonders how I can speak so smoothly in a play before a large audience and yet stammer in ordinary conversation.

Mon. Feb. 22. Wheeler read aloud to me the first act of a Saroyan play, "Jim Dandy." He reads very expressively, but stutters somewhat. His stuttering is the quick, repetitious kind rather than the long drawn out spastic block like mine.

Sun. Mar. 21. Spent most of evening reading and copying out parts of Wendell Johnson's book, "Because I Stutter," which Betty Lovett sent me from Iowa U. It's from the University library and I must return it. Johnson is a stammerer and is Betty's psychology professor. She's doing her Master's thesis under his supervision. He wanted to be a writer and his book, published in 1930, shows it. His style is verbose and consciously literary, but the book's interest to me is in its subject matter. It is chiefly his autobiography as a stutterer and contains nothing on the correction of the defect. His experiences have been in the main very similar to mine and every other intelligent stammerer's.

Tue. Mar. 23. A couple of Owens' "students" from Toledo who are going to the various Owens' plants to learn as much as possible about the industry in preparation for jobs in the Research Division, are spending a week in our department. Today I had in tow the older one, Art, a quiet, pleasant fellow of about 30, showing him the ins and outs of my job. It's difficult to talk anyway down in the hot-test room where I do most of my work, what with the roar of the furnaces and machines nearby, and the nervous strain caused by my stammering as I explained the job to him left me exhausted.

Sat. Apr. 3. Jeanne Foster and I were talking about ourselves, and I told her what effect my stammering had had on me. It seemed incomprehensible to her, as it does to nearly every normal speaker.

Thu. May 27. ...I am trying to save money to go away to school. I've got over $540 saved up. Betty Lovett sent me an estimate of what it costs to go to Iowa U. She said I could get by on $700 a year. Iowa is excellent for the things I'm interested in: speech correction, dramatic art, and creative writing. I don't want to go away to school merely to be "going away." That's a waste of time and money. I want to have a definite goal in sight.

June 20. I sent for a catalogue from the Univ. of Iowa, but have decided not to return to school this fall. By working another year I'll save more money and know more definitely what I want to take up in school. Mon. July 12. Met Shank at the First Methodist Church in eve. He is to be usher at the wedding tomorrow night of LT. Russell McCallister and Betty Fox, and they were rehearsing the ceremony. Bob introduced me around. After the rehearsals Betty invited everyone to her home for refreshments. The bride and bridegroom's people were there. I felt rather out of place as I knew no one besides Bob except for Johnny Hangar. However I managed to keep up my end in spite of that damned repressed or inhibited feeling and fear of stammering I always get among people I don't know very well.

....The party really got gay. People I hadn't even met put their arms around my shoulders (I did the same to others) and we told more jokes and toasted the couple and in general raised hell. During the evening I tossed off three large shots of whisky, a bottle of beer, and a glass champagne, and only felt mellow. It seems I can hold my liquor too well, for I never get tight enough to really forget myself and "let go." Even when crocked I don't contribute much to the conversation for fear of boring others with my stammering.

Mon. Oct. 11. Went to the Community Players workshop in eve. for tryouts. No new faces except Mr. Husbands, the fellow I met at Randy's, who will direct the show. ... I told him I wanted to read Sasha, the Russian waiter, and no other part. Lady Lou told me "not to start that stuff," but when I tried to read a straight part I proved my point. I blocked like hell at a couple of places, and everybody laughed. It is funny, damn it. ...I think I did O.K. as Sasha. I'll get the part.

Fri. Oct. 15. I generally think of the Marshall crowd I've run with as being typical college students, but they're not. They're more mature and sophisticated in many ways, less afraid of expressing themselves, and take as a matter of course the things which the vast majority of people look upon as being "highbrow" and affected - good music, intelligent books and intelligent conversation, and so on. Many people whom I formerly looked upon with awe and to whom I spoke with diffidence I now regard as being merely shallow and cheap. This may be intellectual arrogance, but if so it's exactly the shot in the arm I needed. When I think of all those years I spent in being shy and afraid of people who were, as I see the matter now, entirely unworthy of such trembling respect---!

Mon. Oct. 25. Talked with Dewey Caldwell after rehearsal...I mentioned that I had a part in "Claudia" last winter, and he said that he didn't remember much about it except that the handyman, Fritz, nearly ran off with the show. He hadn't connected me with the role, so I modestly admitted that I was Fritz. He said that he and his wife and several others he heard had commented on the smoothness of my performance and how I managed to stay in character so consistently when most of the others dropped out once in a while. I told him how I specialized in accent parts because of my stammering. His theory of my trouble was that my mind worked so fast that my tongue couldn't keep up. Partly true, I suppose.

Wed. Nov. 3. At Wilda's in eve. with Harry and Carol. We played records, danced a little, had cokes and chips, and played rummy. And stuff. Had good time. Wilda lives just around the corner from me, and is another one of those people who have lived near me for years but whom I've never really known, like Frankie. Wilda used to go with a lot of boys I knew, but I only knew her enough to say hi. Pete H. used to be stuck on her. Until the past couple of years I was certainly out of this world.

Sat. Nov. 6. the boys in the drafting room wanted to know the football score this afternoon (Huntington vs. Charleston), so I called WSAZ to ask. A woman answered. I stammered a little, and she said, "Is this David Williams?" It was Eleanor Agee, who had directed "Claudia." Now how did she know my voice?....

Fri. Dec. 3. Final performance. ...I had a talk with Husbands before the play. He used to write radio play scripts, and also taught speech correction. He asked me a few questions about my stammering, and seemed to think that he could cure it by means of the International Phonetic Alphabet. We made no definite agreements.

Fri. Dec. 24. "Worked" 8 to 12. Corder and Osborne came in drunk. We all raised hell all morning, singing Christmas carols, etc. ...Guttmann was home sick, so I went up from to Blanche Emerson's office and called Clinton in Guttmann's office, pretending that I was Guttmann. I put on a German accent, and Clinton fell for it hook, line and sinker. I told him that "He and Villiams could vork if they vanted to, or could go home, because I vas sick with the flu yedt." The way Clinton sympathized with me and "sirred" me was just too too. When I strolled back into Guttmann's office Clinton said that the boss had just called and "had sounded a little drunk." Haw.

1944. Age 22

Sun. Jan. 9. ...(in 1940) I was tortured by the apparently insurmountable problem of my stammering. In the intervening years...I have learned that, while my stammering has improved only a little, I can get on well enough, if somewhat lamely, in a world of glib people.

Sat. Jan. 15. ...George Arrington and I parked and had a long talk, mostly about my stammering. He's to be a doctor, and wants to learn as much as possible about psychiatry, etc. I have become completely objective about my disorder and can discuss any aspect of it with complete frankness to anyone interested.

Wed. Feb. 9. went to first meeting of Stoakes' Modern Drama class at Marshall in evening. Over 30 women, and only another man and myself! Must be a war on. Well, back to the classroom after a year and a half. My emotions were composed partly of my old classroom inhibition and fear of being called upon, and eagerness to really get something out of the course and to participate in it. My interest in the work, however, will over-ride my fears. Stoakes asked several questions of the class in general which I could've answered but didn't (one about the main character in So Little Time), but when I finally did volunteer and answer about a play, I became quite talky for a few minutes. But to hell with grousing about my stammering. I'll be a whiz at the written work.

Wed. Apr. 19. Modern Drama class. Later went to tryouts for San's next show, Icebound. San wants me to take a small part in it. Don't think I will because it's a straight role, and there are several places where I might have trouble speaking.

Fri. June. 9. ...Then Cal let fly a few pertinent observations to me....He said that my whole world attitude was that of the disinterested observer, that my conversation continually suggested that I was attempting to glean information and characterization from the other person, rather than being spontaneous, give-and-take talk...He said I was the stiffest, most complete individualist he had ever known. In explanation I said the my stammering made my conversation seem studied and calculating, and my social presence stiff, whereas there was nothing I desired more than to be able to seem spontaneous, free and easy, and positive in my assertions. (Another point that irritates him - my statements always seem to "suggest," to invite discussion, rather than to assert a definite, clear-cut opinion. Cal hates fuzzy edges.) As for my wanting to be more like other people, to know them for themselves, that was the reason I had gone in for all that social activity, theatrical and otherwise, I told him.

Tue. June 20. ....People are nearly all basically kind-hearted (I can speak only of the ones I have known), and are nearly always willing to do good to you IF you are one of the herd, are "just like them" in every respect. If you are different, they do not understand you, and what people do not understand they fear and suspect. ...Like Maugham, I am learning to shrug my shoulders when anyone does me an injustice...when they deride some defect of mine which I can't help. The person with obvious defects (in my case, stammering) is, in a way, better equipped to judge the character of other people, for the normal person never reveals himself to another normal person as he would to an abnormal one. The normal person, if he is weak, petty, and vicious, will invariably attack the abnormal person's defect when friction arises between the two. And by doing so will clearly reveal himself whereas the normal person who has something worthwhile in him will attack only what is truly at fault in the abnormal person, just as he would attack another normal person.

Mon. Sep. 18. Had first meeting of Baxter's class in Contemporary Writers in evening at Marshall. ...Our textbook is a poetry anthology, and in addition to studying it in class, we read one book a week outside of class, of our own choosing, and report on it in class. And of course, oral reports are what I dote on. After class I mentioned to Baxter that I had difficulty with my speech, and he readily agreed that it would be perfectly all right if I wrote out a short report on my reading and hand it in, instead of reporting on it orally in class. And so once again I am faced with my old problem in class: If I recite, I run into trouble; if I don't recite, I still run into trouble. If I attempt to do the oral work required, I will stammer badly most of the time, and will give the impression of being stupid and childish. (My difficulty is not simple repetitive stuttering, which is obvious and funny and easily recognized as simple stuttering by others, but a labored, painful, spastic block which allows me to say but a few halting phrases at a time, and forces me to use inane synonyms for "hard words", all of which distorts or completely obscures my original meaning). Those listening to me can't tell if I'm stammering or if I'm just stupid and cloddish and can't even find proper words to express what little thought I have. There are a few people in the class I am acquainted with, and one or two know me only as a glib clown (I have little difficulty in the casual give-and-take social banter which I carry on with them and with most of the Marshall bunch I know), but in class it's a different matter, and I am afraid of what they will think when they hear me suddenly become tongue-tied and stupid-sounding. Also, I have a horror of boring others, especially strangers, and it is tiresome and a strain to listen to spoken speech like mine and try to get any sense from it. It exasperates me to fury that I cannot project my true personality, witty, interesting, intelligent, by means of the most common and automatic means of communication, speech, but must rely on the written word to convey with any clearness my ideas. On the other hand, if I shirk all formal oral work, my classmates will wonder why the professor never calls on me to recite, and what the hell is the matter with me that I scarcely ever open my mouth in class (in contrast to my glibness out of class) when everyone else has to make oral reports. Also, my self-respect drops to zero, for I know that I am being cowardly and taking the easy way out, and am not taking advantage of a chance to gain self-confidence in my speech by speaking before others. Yet I cannot reason with myself to do the right thing and speak at such times, for in times of stress my emotions are stronger than my reasoning power. I am under bondage to my emotions. And so, it is a problem which seemingly has no answer, an "impossible" situation, for I am afraid of what will happen if I speak, and I am afraid of what will happen if I do not speak. It is a situation which at times in the past has nearly driven more frantic with fear and confusion and frustration. It is at times like these, when my speech-fear arises, that I realize how fruitless was my speech corrective work under Mrs. Howe in St. Petersburg. It is not she who failed, for she did everything in her power to help me, but I who have failed myself. I cannot help but think, sometimes that in spite of all my fancy rationalizing the true reason that I have not improved to any extent is simply lack of guts on my part.

Mon. Sep. 25. Class in evening. Last week I mentioned my speech situation to Baxter, so I am writing out my reports to hand in, instead of giving them orally. Makes me feel rather cowardly, but I can't help it. I can always do a much better job when I write things out, as then I can express exactly what I mean. Orally, I give only a confused, jumbled impression.

Mon. Nov. 6. Went to tryouts for Dover Road. I read a part, but didn't do too well. Had a little trouble with my speech. Pat Kane did much better in the part.

1945 Age 23

Tue. Sep. 18. Got up at about 3:45 a.m. and said goodbye to Mother. Then the taxi came, and I got to the station much too early. The train was late anyway. As I sat in the station waiting, a little groggy from sleepiness, I had a feeling of strangeness, and wondered what the hell I was doing there waiting to get on a train for Iowa. I wasn't lonely or nervous, but just had that feeling of strangeness and unreality.

Went by way of Cincinnati and Chicago, and got into Iowa City just before 9 p.m. Took a cab from the station and went downtown. Most of the hotels were filled, but I finally got a room at the Burkley. Not much of a hotel, but as the manager said, "Better than walking the streets all night." Before going to bed I took a walk around town and down by the river, looking over some of the University buildings. Felt rather elated about the whole thing.

Sept. 19 Walked around looking for a room until my feet nearly fell off. Finally got one at Mrs. Knoke's, 528 North Gilbert, $13 per month. ...Met Jim Meissner, a grad student, who also stutters. He is worse than I, but his blocks are a different kind.

Wed. Sep. 26. Dr. Steve Barron gave a talk on stuttering in Speech Path. He is, or was, a severe stutterer, but has learned how to control it somewhat by means of the "bounce." He did work in speech therapy under Dr. Johnson some time ago, and returns whenever he finds time to take refresher work. He's getting his M.D. degree at the University of Minnesota.

Jim and I lunched together at the Capitol, and happened to sit in a booth with Hank Edwards and Charlotte Gottlober. It wasn't until after we all had ordered lunch and introduced ourselves that Hank said, "Well, at least we've found out something about each other." Hank, from Cleveland, is here to work on his speech while he finishes school. Charlotte is also from Cleveland, where her brother directs the Cleveland Speech Correction Clinic.

Thu. Sep. 27. ...Went to East Hall, where I ran into Steve Barron, Charlotte, Hank, and a Winifred Frear, an ex-WAC who stutters somewhat. Charlotte introduced me to Steve and Winifred, then we all walked around town together. Steve showed us how to handle stuttering "situations," such as approaching a total stranger and, deliberately stuttering much worse than necessary, asking for various sorts of information. The idea is to overcome your fear of strangers and of "hard" situations. Later we all had a coke at Fork Hopkins. Steve "faked" (deliberately stuttered) so much while ordering his coke that the waitress nearly blew her top. After we finished the cokes, Steve had to leave us. Charlotte, Win, Hank and I had a swell time comparing notes on our stuttering, etc.

Fri. Sep. 28. After classes, Hank and I monkeyed around with the Mirrophone, the voice recording machine used in the speech clinic. ...Later I went to Charlotte's room. We talked mostly of Win's problem. Win was married only a short time before her husband, Jim, went overseas. He's a paratrooper. Win thinks that he really didn't get to know her before he went away, particularly as she covered up her stuttering pretty well. So now she's afraid that when he comes back, sometime this year, that he'll become dissatisfied with her, tired of her, and will want to leave her. Win thinks that she can't play the part of an officer's wife (Jim is going on in the army), and says that she "embarrassed" him once or twice before by stuttering in front of his superior officers when he was present.

Sat. Sep. 29. ....Later Steve and I went back to the Speech Clinic and found Win, Charlotte, Hank, and a new fellow from Texas, Bill Basham. We practiced with the Morrophone for a while, then Steve said goodbye to us all, as he had to leave shortly for Minneapolis.

Mon. Oct. 1. ...Met with new stutterer, Mabel Clyatt, from Florida. ...Later Win and I went to the Huddle. Dale, Jim, Vic, Shirley Richardson (Johnson's secretary) and Liz Erdice (Johnson's editorial assistant on the Journal of Speech Disorders) were there together.

Tue. Oct. 2. A group meeting of the stutterers was held at 4. We introduced ourselves, gave short talks, etc. Later a gang of us went to Reich's for dinner - Win, Jim, Charlotte, "Mac" McDonald, Bill Basham, Mabel, and Floyd Henderson. We all "situated."

Fri. Oct. 5. Stutterers' group meeting. Dr. Johnson gave a talk.

Sat. Oct. 6. Met John Smith, the fellow who is going to work with me on my speech. He's a negro, about 30, who is majoring in speech and dramatic art. He has played Shakespearian roles on Broadway and is supposed to have fought in the Spanish Civil War.

Mon. Oct. 8. Election of officers of the Demosthenes Club for the semester. I asked for and got the job of editor of the Demonsthenator, the mimeographed news sheet the club gets out once a month. Copies are sent to ex-Iowa Demosthenators and others all over the country and some overseas. The club gets its name from the Greek orator, Demosthenes, who stuttered. Hank Edwards was elected president.

Thu. Oct. 11. Appointment with Dr. Johnson. We discussed the Demonsthenator, etc. Home in evening, writing autobiography for clinic.

Fri. Oct. 12. Went to a business and social meeting of the Demosthenators on the seventh floor of East Hall at 7:30. Root beer and popcorn.

Sat. Oct. 13. Hank, Mac and I went with Dr. Johnson to give talks to a freshman speech class in Schaeffer Hall, giving them some inside dope on the art of stuttering.

Fri. Oct. 19. Demosthenator meeting - each of us had to tell our most embarrassing experience connected with stuttering.

Sat. Oct. 20. Meeting with Eloise Oxtoby about my speech, then went to group meeting.

Thu. Oct. 25. Home all evening working on the Demonsthenator.

Sat. Oct. 27. Demosthenes Club party at 7:30. Big crowd of Demosthenators, clinicians, etc. We danced, played charades and the pan-beating game I learned from Sam Wheeler. Had cider and doughnuts. Dr. Johnson brought along some boogie records.

Thu. Nov. 1. Gave a talk and answered questions before the class on Stuttering at 2.

Tue. Nov. 6. Meeting with Eloise. At clinic rest of afternoon working on Demosthenator.

Thu. Nov. 8. Meeting with Eloise. Worked on Demosthenator.

Fri. Nov. 9. Group meeting of Demosthenators. Demosthenes Club meeting at 7:30 on seventh floor of East Hall.

Fri. Dec. 7. Demosthenes Club party in East Hall in eve. A friend of Dr. Johnson's named "Slim" Waltonen had sent him some fresh venison from Michigan, and Mrs. Johnson had made up a batch of venison sandwiches for the party.

Wed. Dec. 19. I was given a surprise birthday party at the Mad Hatter this evening by Chan, Dale, Lorna, Mary, Rita, and Cal. After we had finished dinner as usual, a waitress came toward us through the crowded room holding a cake with lighted candles. I never suspected a thing till she put it down in front of me. I nearly blew my lid. On the cake was written in icing, "Happy B-Birthday, D-D-Dave." They also gave me a carton of Camels (I seldom keep myself in cigarettes).

1946 Age 25

Sat. Feb. 9. Big gang for dinner at the Mad Hatter: Chan, Bill, Rita, Mary, Sayre, Betty , Oliver and Annette Bloodstein. Oliver was here in '42, has just returned from service. Working on his Ph.D. Expert in General Semantics.

Tue. Feb. 14. Valentine Party given by the Demosthenes Club, 7th floor, west wing, East Hall, in evening. Big crowd. Eats, games, dancing, "amateur night," etc. I was master of ceremonies.

Sat. Feb. 23. At Liz Erdice's apartment in evening with Liz, Chan, Oliver and Annette for an editorial meeting. We're getting out the General Semantics Society's newsletter, Quote.

Sat. Mar. 16. Demosthenators' St. Patrick's Day party at Congregational Church in evening. Big crowd, eats, dancing, etc. I was master of ceremonies. Helen Carroll was best on program, singing "I Wanna Get married," etc. She sings for a Chicago station. I later danced with her. Dr. Johnson congratulated me on my emceeing.

Sat. Aug. 31. Received a copy of Dr. Johnson's new book, People in Quandaries, from Harper & Bros. It consists practically word for word of the lectures Johnson gives in his class in General Semantics.

Thu. Sep. 19. At Union all day registering for classes. Talked with Johnson, getting his advice on courses in preparation for an M.A. in speech pathology. All my courses this semester will have a bearing on the M.A. with the exception of one English course.

Tue. Oct. 1. Meeting of stutterers and clinicians at East Hall in aft. I was assigned to Bernice "Buddy" Fein, who will by my clinician.

Tue. Oct. 8. Had quite a time stuttering in my drill section of the Voice and Phonetics course.

Fri. Oct. 11. I gave a talk in Johnson's Speech Pathology class.

Mon. Oct. 14. Carried out a "stuttering assignment" in Curtis' Voice and Phonetics class. I had been having a bit of trouble answering "here" to Curtis' rapid-fire roll call, so I had been using the 'starter' "Oh" before I said "Here," so the result was usually, "Oh, here." I reported this to Buddy Fein, and she mentioned it to Joe Sheehan, the grad student who, with George Wischner, has charge of the stutterers in the clinic. Buddy then told me, the next time I answered the roll call, to say "Oh" five times, distinctly and rather slowly, before I attempted the "here." This I did today, somewhat to my own surprise, and Buddy, who is also in the same class, congratulated me. So did Joe.

Fri. Oct. 25. Joe Sheehan and I saw Bedlam and Lucky Partners at the varsity in evening. Talked politics with him later.

Thu. Nov. 7. Abortive Demosthenes Club meeting in evening - none but 8 came.

Fri. Nov. 8. Talk with Johnson about Demosthenes club and its aims.

Tue. Nov. 12. General Semantics group meeting in eve. in East Hall. George Wischner gave a good talk entitled "A Behaviorist Looks at General Semantics." Later a free-for-all developed on the structure and function of that ambiguous word, "science."

Sat. Nov. 16. Served as a subject for a stuttering experiment by George Wischner. ...Shirley Borchardt said she was glad to hear that I wasn't sticking around Chan so much now. She said Dr. Johnson was very angry at Chan or at least at the influence he has had on me. ...I had given the matter some thought myself, but never suspected that anyone else had noticed anything about it.

Mon. Nov. 18. ...Came home to work on the Demosthenator, about which Johnson is riding me.

Tue. Nov. 19. Worked on the Demosthenator. Wrote an article for it.

Tue. Nov. 26. General Semantics meeting in evening. Oliver talked on "General Semantics and Poetry."

Fri. Nov. 29. According to a previous arrangement with Joe Sheehan, Hayes Newby and myself, I went with Hayes this morning to give a short talk on stuttering to his class in Communication Skills. The talk, extemporaneous, was to last about five minutes. I became so interested in what I was talking about, and answered so many questions from the class, that before I realized it the hour was up. The class contained about 25 people, none of whom I knew, but I felt absolutely no anxiety or tensions, much to my own surprise (in a way). I was extremely fluent, talked a blue streak, and kept the class interested. My first hour's lecture to a class! I walked out feeling very much the professor. It was the most exhilarating and rewarding experience I've had for a long time. When I told Johnson about it, he told me to "keep it up."

Sat. Nov. 30. ...Later went with Harry Morgan to his room at the Burkley. He is from Dayton, Ohio, stutters, is here for a short while to work on his speech, is not making any progress, doesn't believe in the therapy, has an M.A. in physics, and is a business man of some sort. We talked about radios, stuttering, and he hauled out a fifth of Southern Comfort to comfort us.

Tue. Dec. 3. A photographer from the Chicago Tribune was at the group meeting of stutterers this afternoon, to get pictures of the group to publish in the Tribune, to illustrate articles being written about the SUI Speech Clinic.

Tue. Dec. 10. To Amana Colonies with Harry Morgan, Buddy Fein, Elayne Merriam, and Joe Sheehan, for dinner. Everything on Harry, at this own insistence, as a farewell fling - he returns to Dayton, O., tomorrow. Joe and I saw Hell's Angels and Scarface (two oldies) at the Pastime in evening.

Sat. Dec. 21. Worked on Demosthenator most of aft., getting it out at the also moment.

1947 Age 25

Fri. Jan. 3. ...Went to Marshall library to return some books. Talked with Otis Ranson for a while in the Speech office. He was in Chicago a few days ago for the speech convention, and heard Johnson give a talk on Communication Skills. He mentioned one bad block that Johnson had on an "s" sound, which usually does give him trouble.

Mon. Jan. 6. Dr. Johnson told me that the Research Foundation for Speech Correction was now an actuality, and that a magazine for stutterers, which he has long planned, would soon be founded. Hope I wind up as its editor some day.

Thu. Jan. 9. Buddy Fein told me of the various therapies for stuttering she had heard discussed at the speech correction in Chicago --- the "air-chewing" method of Froeschels, Naomi Hunter's absolutistic attitude toward her relaxation methods etc. - how everyone seemed so cocksure that he/she had found the answer.

Thu. Jan. 16. At group meeting this afternoon Johnson spoke on the new Speech Correction Research Foundation, and a temporary "investigating" committee, consisting of George Wischner, Joe Sheehan, Jack Bangs, Bill Love, Sary Kadis, and myself. We are to investigate the pros and cons of establishing an official Demosthenes Club or a club of a different name, here at S.U.I.

Fri. Jan. 17. I had a talk with Johnson about my schedule for next semester. Asked him if I could get into his class in stuttering, theory and clinical practice. He said that I could only on condition that I work intensively on my own speech, so that I could show my "case" the proper way to do "situations." He was quite emphatic that there was to be no loafing on the job. As he put it, "...and, God damn it, I mean WORK!" I had a few misgivings, but the only thing to do was to go on and take the course. I need to work more seriously on my speech, and this deal will certainly provide motivation. Also, I want Johnson to think well of me, mainly because he has terrific prestige for me and I identify myself with him; but also because my future work in the speech field depends largely on him, part of that work being - I hope - the editor of the proposed magazine for speech defectives. Feeling quite noble and determined to make good, I had dinner alone at the Hat.

Wed. Jan. 22. Went to Jack Bangs' home in evening to attend an informal seminar in speech pathology. It seems to be a regular bi-weekly affair, but this is the first one I've gone to. About twenty people were present, grad students and instructors in speech, etc. I already knew most of them - Jack, Oliver Bloodstein, Norma Walcher, Elaine Glasser, Eleanor Pond, Francie Robinson, Bill Love, Anita Hale (my instructor in Voice and Phonetics drill section), Sari Kadis, etc. Had an interesting time, the conversation being well lubricated with beer.

Sun. Feb. 2. Went to East Hall for a committee meeting of the Speech Correction Research Foundation, with George Wischner, Jack Bangs, and Sari Kadis. We tried to outline some objectives, but didn't have much existing information to go on.

Wed. Feb. 5. Served as a subject for Bill Love. He's testing the effect of Benzedrine and another drug on stuttering. Later went to the speech path. seminar in a conference room at the Hotel Jefferson. Dr. Jim Curtis spoke on experimental phonetics and its use by the speech correctionist.

Fri. Feb. 7. Yesterday and today, in Stuttering, Johnson has been taking my case history, in order to demonstrate to the class how case histories should be taken.

Mon. Feb. 10. Sat in on General Semantics class. Then went to the D & L with Johnson, Joe Sheehan, and Helen Barr. They just had coffee, but I had dinner. The D & L is Johnson's favorite hangout. He occasionally holds seminars there.

Thu. Feb. 13. Went to Joe Sheehan's group meeting in East Hall, then went to Schaeffer Hall to make a recording for Voice and Phonetics.

Fri. Feb. 14. Went to general Semantics class where Oliver Bloodstein gave his talk on G.S. and Modern Art.

Web. Feb. 19. Went to East Hall for the group meeting at 4:30 - Johnson gave his weekly talk to the stutterers and clinicians. Dinner at the Hat with Chan and Ella. Then I called Betty Ann Rouse. Some other girl answered the phone, and I blocked so badly while trying to say Betty's name that the girl hung up on me. So I rather aggressively called right back and finally got Betty. Made a date with her for lunch tomorrow.

Fri. Feb. 28. Went to George Wischner's office to serve as a subject in one of his experiments with stutterers.

Thu. Mar. 13. Had my first session with my first "case" today - I'm working with Vic Young, and ex-Navy pilot who stutters. He's a good guy, with a sense of humor and a pretty objective outlook on his stuttering. We did "situations" by calling people on the Speech Clinic phone, using the "bounce," etc. I made two calls myself first, as I don't like to ask him to do something that I won't do myself. It gives you a big sense of responsibility, working with someone like that. You also have to keep on your toes and know what you're doing.

Fri. Mar. 14. Met Dick Riley, another stutterer with whom I'm to work.

Thu. Mar. 20. During Voice and Phonetics drill section this morning, I got into an interesting but of course fruitless discussion (rather heated) with Father Hines, a Catholic priest, on the subject of 'absolutes,' the fallacies in many kinds of thinking, etc., all in the general area of General Semantics, which is on the Church's poop list. Hines and I have been on pretty close terms all semester, and there's no point in developing animosities over such a debate where no kind of agreement is possible in the first place. He's young, intelligent, has a well-developed sense of humor, and is in general a good guy. I had dinner at the D & L with Howard Beatty - we had just been doing some street situations in a group with Joe Sheehan, Vic Young, and Russell Boseck.

Mon. Mar. 31. At Johnson's request, I sat in on Speech Path class. George Wischner was "showing off" two of his protégés, Dean Williams and Jim Frick, two stutterers who, using a new technique George had developed, now stutter hardly at all. The results in both cases, particularly in Jim's, are amazing. Though superficially fairly simple, and resembling in many respects the orthodox methods used in this clinic as well as Van Riper's "stop-go" technique, the conceptual framework is different. It's an application of modern learning theory, in which George somewhat specializes. Although I don't understand it too well at present, it seems to be based on the idea that stuttering is cause by the attempt to avoid stuttering, that (as Johnson said in 1939, although he now says that he didn't really realize what it meant at the time) "you stutter because you stutter," that stuttering is a learned response in place of which incompatible responses must be set up, etc. All this sounds like old stuff, but George is stating it in a new and clearer way and adding a few twists. Whether Dean and Jim's newly acquired fluency holds up is a question that even George is cagey about predicting, but even if it doesn't, something has to account for the way in which Dean and Jim have been talking these last few days. Johnson is all hopped up about it himself, and has been doing it with a good deal of success, as in today's General Semantics class. George is, at least temporarily, stealing his thunder. Although both Dean and Jim have only been talking like this for a few days, the 'change' having occurred abruptly about the middle of last week, George has been giving both of them some counseling and psychotherapy for several months back. So their new, overt behavior is in a sense an end-result rather than a beginning, although the new habit patterns have yet to become ingrained sufficiently to prevent any spontaneous recovery of the old speech patterns. At any rate, it is causing something of a sensation around the clinic, and promises to revolutionize a number of procedures. As Johnson says, if this new method holds up, it will make much of the stuttering research now going on obsolete, so that it will have to be thrown out.

Wed. Apr. 2. Saw the grade I made on the statistics exam - out of 40 questions, I made a raw score of 10, which put me in the 20th percentile. Christ. I really blew my top on that deal. Wandered around feeling completely empty and demoralized. I decided to have a talk with Johnson at the earliest possible moment, about me in relation to myself and to my present and future academic position. ...After General Semantics class (during which Dean Williams asked a question and recited without stuttering at all), I asked Johnson if I could have a talk with him about some personal problems. He said that he had engagements after class and all evening, but that if it was urgent he would cancel them and hear me out. God, that a guy like that would think so much of a jerk with not much on the ball. ...Dean and I later had dinner at the D & L, and discussed his new fluency and the way it is "done," which of course can't be verbalized too adequately because it's such a highly subjective, personal matter.

Tue. Apr. 15. Went to the informal Speech Pathology Seminar with Joe Sheehan and Gladys Mumford. Johnson spoke on professional relationships and the status of the speech pathologist. Rode home with Bud and Ted Hanley.

Sat. Apr. 19. together with Gladys and Joe for some Tonette playing.

Tue. Apr. 22. Gat an interview with Johnson today in his office. I did most of the talking. Told him a lot about myself - my assets and liabilities, as I see them, relative to my general personality and my academic standing, now and future. Expressed most of my doubts and anxieties, vacillations, indecisions, poor habits of work, lack of scholarship, etc.

Sat. Apr. 26. ...Gladys, Joe, Rita and I played our Tonettes. We're getting some pretty good harmony on those things.

Tue. Apr. 29. At stutterers' group meeting this afternoon, Joe had us go out in pairs and ask people of the street to come to East Hall for a few minutes to be an audience for the stutterers. I got two, a Mary McCracken and John Snider. ...Steve Barron went with me and Vic Young on our regular speech-situations. ...Today there was an article in the Daily Iowan about the Tonette playing in East Hall as performed by Artistes Williams, Mumford and Sheehan.

Wed. May 7. Informal speech path seminar in evening at the Jefferson Hotel. Joe Sheehan talked on stuttering, using Vic Young and Glenn Frederickson as subjects.

Sat. June 7. Graduation ceremonies this morning at 9:15, at the Field House. So now I have a piece of paper which says I'm a B.A.

Wed. June 11. My first day as a graduate student. Now to start the grind toward and M.A. in speech pathology. ...Joe Sheehan, Gladys, Rita and I had a bite at the D & L, and later Joe and I harmonized in East Hall, recording on the Mirrophone.

Fri. June 13. Met Fred Murray from California at East Hall. He is a stutterer who is here to work on his speech.

Sat. June 14. Spent most of the afternoon with Fred Murray shopping, talking in my room, etc.

Sun. June 15. In evening went to McChesney House to see Hildred Schuell concerning my job as recreational director at the boys' dorm during the summer speech clinic. Met MacKinley, Earl and Mildred Schubert, and others who will also be on the staff. ...Later, Gladys, Joe, Helen Barr and I went to the Huddle where we had a bite to eat and told dirty jokes.

Mon. June 16. Met Dorothy Drakesmith, the recreational director for the girls' dorm next door. I'm on duty nightly 7 to 9. Took the kids down to the river to look at the flood.

Wed. June 18. Lunch at Smith's with Jim Curtis, Gladys, Joe, and Oliver. To Stutterers' Group Meeting at University High School at 3. Joe conducted the meeting. A very live wire group of people - all apparently mature, intelligent, eager to cooperate, and willing to work hard on their speech. ...At 7 I went to McChesney House to look after my dear little charges. Took along some records. Talked most of the time with Jim Hasvold, and 18-year-old stutterer from Flandreau, N. Dakota, about flying. He owns a Vultee BT-13, an army trainer that he bought at auction, and is keeping it at the airport while he attends the summer clinic. He offered me a ride in it. Hot dawg. Been a long time since I've done any sky buzzing.

added with permission
November 3, 2008