Linette’s childhood journal

Linette had always told me that she was a voracious reader as a child. I remember her telling me early in our relationship that, by the age of six, she was reading “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.,” and that, by eight, she had moved on to the likes of “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders.” I was reminded of this last night, when, after having eaten crab legs with her parents, her mother handed me an old red journal. “Linette started keeping this at six,” she said… Following are three of the entries that I found most interesting.




For what it’s worth, Linette says that, when she was reading Judy Blume’s coming-of-age bestseller, she had to ask her mom what a “b-r-a” was. Sadly, she’s never told me what, if anything, she asked her mother about the Tate-LaBianca murders.

Speaking of bras, do you remember our conversation a few years ago about the Saf-t-Bra – the heavy-duty plastic boob shield that was developed by the Wilson corporation in the 1940s to protect the breasts of female line workers in American factories? Well, I’ve just been contacted by a young woman in the MFA program at Montana State University who would like to “visit” one of these industrial bras, if it can be arranged. So, if anyone out there happens to know what an original Saf-t-Bra might be found, let me know and I’ll pass the information along. [From my last exchange with the young woman n question: “Visiting bras, yes this is what my life is now…“]

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  1. anonymous
    Posted December 26, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    This reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. There wasn’t color until she left the midwest.

  2. Jean Henry
    Posted December 26, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I love this. I was similar– reading mostly Dickens, Polly Anna, secret garden, count of monte cristo etc very young because we didn’t have a book store in town or many new books in the house. By 10 I was reading Herman Hesse, which pretty much explains why I stayed in my room for most of the next 4 years. …That makes me sound like one of the characters in those books.

  3. Jean Henry
    Posted December 26, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Hester Skelter didn’t come out until I was 10 thankfully. Still it messed with my head.

  4. Naia
    Posted December 27, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I highly recommend Damned by Chuck Palahniuk. Each chapter started with, “Are you there Satan? It’s me Madison.” In addition to referencing Judy Blume’s novel, it also references The Breakfast Club.

  5. idea man
    Posted December 27, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Why has no one thought to do a mashup of these two books and create “Are you there, God? It’s me, Manson.”

  6. Peter Larson
    Posted December 27, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Very interesting responses to this blog post.

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted December 27, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Mark– your friends looking for a Saf T bra should contact the Henry Ford Museum. They have a ridiculously extensive collection in storage. I think I remember seeing on at a special exhibit there a few decades ago..,

  8. Thomas Willson
    Posted July 8, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    If you can find the Saf-T-Bra and the box then I would be interested in buying it. Willson Products was my families business.

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