1963-1989 Journals

Volume 1 – 1963-1989

By Charlie Doggett

The most actual journal writing here is from 1979 on in what I loosely call “Juli’s Book” or the diary I began on her life from the time we knew we were pregnant with her. I have included other writings of mine, thus marked all of the others as “Juli’s Book” to differentiate.


The Assassination of President Kennedy

Dallas, November 22, 1963

I was working at the Beverly Hills Baptist Church office, not giving much serious thought to going out to see the presidential motorcade. I knew that the crowds would be large and that it was not likely I would be able to see him and if I did, just for a few seconds. At lunch time I went with R.L. Reavis, church financial secretary and organist to the Sivils Drive-in Restaurant for lunch. The radio was on inside where we ate and though a music station, there were occasional reports of President Kennedy’s visit. Then near the end of our meal the music stopped and a nervous voice broke into the music with a shocking statement something like, “Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States has been shot.” A long pause followed before the announcer tried to tell what little they knew of the event. Before we left Sivils, we only knew that President Kennedy was taken to Parkland Hospital. It was after we got back to the office that we learned he had died.

I was in church Sunday morning when Oswald was shot on live TV and didn’t see it live, but of course saw many play-backs of the gruesome scene.  Later Dad told me about how strange it felt when he was watching TV at home in Arkansas that Sunday morning and he saw the first-ever live-on-TV murder.

I think my mourning for Kennedy was done mainly in front of TV and with newspaper accounts. It was the most shocking thing that had ever happened in my life thus far. And I was sitting in a restaurant just down the road maybe 3 or 4 miles away. I think that most of us kept thinking that this was just unbelievable. Unreal!

(Not written at time of event, but written from memory in 2003)


Summer 1966 – A Bear Story

I took a group of boys and two sets of parents to Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center for a week of conferences then moving to the Smoky Mountains for the promised adventure.

After the first night car camping, the two families took us in cars to the top of the mountain early morning.  We hiked on the Appalachian Trail most of the day, arriving at the log lean-to shelter for our 1st night. The boys had complained all day about not seeing any bears in the Smoky Mountains.

When we arrived at the shelter a bear was waiting on us! Some tried to take photos, and then we made noises to scare him away. The bear ran into the woods. We organized to prepare dinner. Two boys were sent down a trail to the spring for water and soon ran back to say the bear was there. So we all went and chased the bear away and returned with water. Once the dehydrated food began to boil, the aroma brought the bear with a buddy – yes, two bears! We took turns scaring the bears off with loud noises until all were fed and we cleaned up. The park provided a food cache – a barrel buried in the ground with a bear-proof latch. Everyone supposedly put their share of food in the cache.

It began to rain, continuing all night which thankfully kept the bears away until about 5:00 AM. The rain had stopped, it was still and quiet as are mornings in the woods. Then I heard Keith Baker’s stuttering, frightful voice, “MMMr. DDDoggett, there’s a bbbear in here.” I looked, and there was a bear bent over Keith, pulling his backpack (makeshift pillow) from under his head. I took my flashlight and banged it against a log. The sudden noise scared the bear away. Keith was shaking and when he could finally talk, said that it was the bear’s bad breath that woke him up. Our two more days of hiking was reduced to just one with rain all that day and some saying they had had enough of the wilderness!

(Not written at time of event, but written from memory in 2005)


A DAD’S DIARY for Jason Everett Doggett

Sometime after Jason was born in 1973, I began a diary or journal for Jason, documenting all the special moments with him, his various accomplishments, first talking, first time walking, etc. I had gotten the idea from Neal Buchanan whom I worked with in Discipleship Training Department at the Sunday School Board. (See article about Neal’s journaling after my March 12, 1983 journal entry.) The many unpredictable statements and events in a child’s life growing up are priceless. And I wanted to preserve them for Jason when he was grown and had a family of his own.

Unfortunately, Jason found his books (2 books by the late 1980’s) when he was a teenager and destroyed both books out of anger over something I had written about him after becoming a teen. It was a sad loss for me and I was deeply hurt but I guess he felt his privacy was violated. One is so self-conscious at that age. But at least I still have Juli’s! I have now integrated hers in with my other journals to make her pages part of my chronological story. But this bigger journal would have been so much richer with Jason’s two books!


A DAD’S DIARY for Julianne Marie Doggett

In the spring of 1979 when we learned we were pregnant with Juli I began another “Dad’s Diary” for Juli which entries I will denote in this greater journal as “-Juli’s Book.” For a few years this diary for Juli will be my only journal entries that I can find. Had Jason not destroyed his book there would have been parallel entries to many of the ones for Juli, talking to the big brother and his important part of the family, but alas! No Jason’s book! See above 1973 entry on him destroying it and how I got the idea from a friend at work.

April 6, 1979 – Juli’s Book


After Ginger received the expected phone call from her doctor’s office, she called me at my office and said that Jason had something to tell me. Jason was soon on the phone saying “Daddy, we are going to have a baby someday.” Jason’s brief phone conversation included some talk of his day’s activities, but this first announcement of Ginger’s pregnancy was the highlight of my day. Her pregnancy test was positive.

According to our records, the baby was conceived on March 10 or 11 (Ginger has been keeping a temperature chart) and will be born by December 8.

September 12, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Since around May or June we have been able to feel the baby kick or move around in Ginger’s womb. More recently we could easily see the movement as a hand, foot or head pushed out her abdomen and even swirled around or moved from the bottom of the womb to the top and back down again. Ginger and I lay in bed watching the activity tonight. There’s a real little person in there!

September 30, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Since the first year of our marriage we have accepted Jeremy Oliver as second boy’s name and Julianne Marie as our first girl’s name choices. Like with Jason Everett, the middle name has family roots. Oliver is Ginger’s maternal grandfather’s name and Marie is her paternal Grandmother’s name.


An older woman in the shoe department of Goldsmith’s Department Store in Memphis told Ginger (when she was pregnant with Jason) that a baby which rode high in the mother’s tummy was a girl and one who rode low was a boy. She told Ginger she was having a boy and she did. This time the baby is again “riding low” which by that woman’s method of telling means we are having another boy. Are we? We are not convinced of any foolproof method of knowing the sex (short of x-ray & sonar) and we will be happy with either!


Ginger is tired. The baby is getting heavier and harder for her to carry. He/she is moving around and kicking a lot which is also hard on Ginger. The next two months will be difficult.

November 19, 1979, 12:45 AM – Juli’s Book


We have all been ready for the baby to come for some time now, especially Ginger! She is so uncomfortable and limited in what she can do. The baby seems to be large (or maybe twins) and very active. Jason and I feel the tension and the anticipation and we too want to hurry up and have the baby. Jason has asked more than once “When will the baby come out?”


Yesterday morning (Sunday) before I went to church (Jason had a bad cough and stayed home with Ginger) Ginger had the cervix plug or the pink blood and mucous membrane to pass. We knew it was about time.


Ginger has had something like contractions off and on every night for several weeks. Last night at 11:30 she began what seemed to be more regular and more sever contractions. At about midnight she called Dr. Cothren and they tried to determine if these were the real contractions. She is now timing and waiting. The labor contractions aren’t as obvious in real life as they seem to be in the books.


Jason woke himself up coughing while I was writing the above. I gave him medicine and rocked him a while. He is now back in his bed asleep. His bed is temporarily the living room couch (a hide-a-bed) and Ginger and I sleep on a borrowed bed in the downstairs guest bedroom. We have done this for more than a month now because it is so hard for Ginger to climb the stairs.


She seems to be having a 30 second to 1 minute contraction every two to five minutes. We are waiting because they don’t seem to be as regular and as evenly spaced as the book indicates. She thinks it might be cramps rather than contractions, but she is not sure.

November 19, 1979 1:00 PM – Juli’s Book


We stayed up all night including two hours in the labor room at Baptist Hospital. They said we were either too early, having false labor, or cystitis. We saw Dr. Bishop in his office at 11:00 AM and he said it was false labor, but could still become real labor within 48 hours or we might have another week or two.

November 20, 1979 – Juli’s Book


The baby is moving around so much that we don’t have to feel the movement, but we can see it as feet, hands, knees, head and bottom rolling around on the side of her tummy. He/she is ready to come out!

November 22, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Ginger is getting impatient and tired of waiting and the baby is very active inside her. But she still prepared her usual, delicious Thanksgiving dinner today. It was good! She was also hoping to go to the hospital before night. Now she is saying “maybe tomorrow.”

It was rainy day today, but a pleasant, relaxed time together for our family. Jason and I worked in the yard when it stopped raining for awhile. We all started addressing Christmas cards too. And a little bit of TV. This was also the first day I went without shaving for the growth of my beard.

November 27, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Last week at J.C. Penney I picked out a little 6 to 8 inch yellow-beige Teddy Bear for the new baby – just right for little hands. I’m ahead of schedule with this baby. With Jason I got a Winnie-the-Pooh Bear on the day of his birth.

Tonight at Castner-Knott Ginger looked longingly at a little lamb for I think $8. I talked her into getting a cute little calico Humpty Dumpty for $2.50, the same price as the bear.

December 2, 1979 – Juli’s Book


The baby’s due date, by calendar and the doctor’s calculations was yesterday. Since Jason came 4 days early, we thought the second baby would come even earlier. Wrong! (If calculations are right)

December 3, 1979 – Juli’s Book


One of the two Bill Cox’s at the Sunday School Board (William R. Cox) has gotten quite interested in the science of biorhythms. One theory is that a woman will give birth when her physical biorhythm crosses over between high and low. According to Bill, that will happen to Ginger this Wednesday, December 5. Since her emotional biorhythm will cross over Thursday, Bill thinks Wednesday night is the most likely time, maybe late. If the baby doesn’t come by Thursday, he predicts it will be a the next physical croo=over, about 10.5 days later. That is around December 16. Bill’s wife says he has been right in 5 out of 6 calculations which is a better average than most doctors. We’ll see!

December 5, 1979 – Juli’s Book


It was an unseasonably warm day in the sixties. I had to attend the last of four days of meetings with state Church Training leadership. It was a breakfast/brunch meeting at Martha Jo Glazner’s condominium in their social hall where there is no phone. Every so often I would run to Martha Jo’s condo and phone Ginger to see if she was ready. At both the 8:30 and 9:15 calls she said her water was leaking, but no severe contractions. At 10:15 I called again and again and again with no answer. Then I called our neighbor Carolyn Jenkins. No answer. In between these calls I continued trying to get the doctor’s office and the line was busy. When I finally go the doctor’s office the first time, Ginger was still in the waiting room. After my meeting, I went home and called again. They said she was now at Baptist Hospital. That was about noon.

I rushed to the hospital, arriving by 12:30. I got her admitted through the Admission Office and began to wait with her in Labor room 27; talking to her, holding her hand when she had a contraction, and getting out of the room when the nurses wanted to do something. I would then wait in the “Father’s Waiting room” and was the typical nervous father. She was dilated to 4 cm in the doctor’s office and was 5 cm at 1:00 PM. This seemed slow to me.

Between 2:00 and 2:30 I ate a hamburger in a hospital snack shop downstairs and drove over to the BSSB to cash a check in CU and make some calls. At 3:00 PM and again at 3:45 Ginger was still measured as 5 cm dilation. It usually requires 10 cm the nurses say. I was anxious and so was Ginger. At 4:00 PM she was suddenly listed at 6 to 7 cm. She had received her epidural anesthesia by then.


At 4:18 she told the nurse that she felt the baby trying to push out. At 4:20 they handed me a scrub suit with mask, cap and shoe covers. While I was dressing and washing, the rolled Gigner into the delivery room and told me I would have to wait while they got her ready. The paged Dr. Bishop. By 4:25 I was in the Delivery Room and Dr. Bishop was telling her to puch. She ws draped to that the only parts of her body showing were her head and the birth opening.

Dr. Bishop used what looked like sharp scissors to cut enough skin for the baby to get through without tearing. I believe the incision is called an episrotomy or something like that. It was bloody and would have hurt a lot if she was not numb from her epidural spinal anesthesia. I was glad they didn’t have the mirro there for that part. I asked them to move it over after that and Ginger was able to see part of the birth too.


Dr. Bishop told her to push and she did and then a nurse pushed on her tummy for her after Dr. Bishop told her she would not get an “A” for pushing. She pushed some more as the doctor opened her up with his hands. There it was! The head! Lots of dark or black hair. The skin was pushed up or wrinkled. It scared me for a moment, then I realized what a tight squeeze it was going through. Bishop used “spoons” or two stainless steel scoop type instruments to help widen the opening on either side of the head.

Then the head came out, and quickly the shoulders and all of the body – purple! I wasn’t expecting a bloody, purple body. The umbilical cord wriggled around like a long, soft, gray rope – much longer than I expected, maybe 6 feet.


When the doctor held up the body for a moment, we saw what we were looking for; the little female genitals. I said “Ginger, we have a girl, a little girl you can make frilly things for.” Then I patted Ginger’s face as we both smiled. It was about 4:37 PM and the hospital said she was born at 4:36 PM, December 5, 1979. The doctor laid her on Ginger’s tummy for a moment and cut the umbilical cord.


The doctor squirted an antibiotic in her eyes and some liquid in her mouth which he said would clean out the mucous from her throat. The nurse took Julianne to a special table for the initial cleaning up. The blood all over her body was a frightening sight. The doctor was removing the “after birth” ans sewing up Ginger’s incision.

Julianne got a suction hose threaded through her nostrils and mucous was sucked out by a vacuum machine. I know it hurt because it has been done to me before, back when I had the auto accident in Dallas in 1963. I hated to see it done to Julianne, yet I know it was best for her, even though it hurt.


Then the nurse handed Julianne to me and I got to hold her for a moment. Then she was laid down beside Gigner for another moment. Next they handed Julianne back to me and I got to carry her to the nursery, following the nurse.


I stayed awhile with Ginger in Recovery, then I went out for supper. Afterwards I went with them when they took Ginger to her room and I started calling people with the news. Jason was real sweet about having a new baby sister when I called him at the Jenkins’ house where he was staying after school.

At 9:45 PM I got to hold Julianne again. She wasn’t ready to eat yet, but I was ready for sleep. I headed for home where I filled in data on announcements before going to sleep.

November 6, 1979 – Juli’s Book


I visited briefly with Ginger from 8:15 to 8:40 AM without seeing Julianne who was in the Nursery. Then I went to work late. I went back to the hospital at noon and got to hold Julianne again. I also talked with her Pediatrician after his first visit with her. He said she was in great shape! She’s 21 inches long.

That night I was with them from 6:50 to 8:10. I held her and sang the Brahms Lullaby to calm her when she started crying. Then it was back home to bathing Jason, washing dishes, and some lace tablecloths I was responsible for after a state leadership reception Tuesday night.

Jason and I fixed pork chops for supper before I went to the hospital and he stayed with the Cooks’ next door.

Julianne looks great! She seems to be having some gas pains tonight and trouble breathing through her nose. I told her that she is pretty. And she is!

December 13, 1979 – Juli’s Book

Julianne is a beautiful baby and a good baby. She doesn’t cry much, just when hungry or hurting. She sleeps through most of the night with about one good wake-up for feeding. I have been too busy to write in here with two jobs, keeping house while Ginger recovers, and helping with Julianne and Jason who is needing or demanding more time and attention now. We all love Julianne.

December 14, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Ginger had postponed some dental work until after the childbirth. The pain forced her to have it done today. I took her to Dr. Dale Sullivan during my lunch hour. Julianne went with us. We just weren’t ready for a baby sitter yet.

I held her in the waiting room while Ginger got a filling. Julianne slept most of the time and looked at me with her big, dark blue eyes the rest of the time. She occasionally sucked on her Nuk pacifier. Unlike Jason, she likes to suck on the Nuk. Ginger had her wrapped up warm with many layers of clothing and blankets.

She stayed awake most of the time from 7 to 10 tonight, so we expect her to sleep all night or we hope so!

December 15, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Saturday morning – we slept late, even Julianne and Jason watched cartoons on TV. We then all went to the Pediatrician’s office for her PKU test and a tuberculin test. She got her first Band-Aid on her left heel where they took blood for the PKU. She weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces, a normal reduction of weight from birth. More people came by to see her in the afternoon. I enjoyed holding her several times today, even though extremely busy.

December 18, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Ginger gave Julianne her first bath in “Tubby,” an inflatable, plastic tub. The sensation of going into water the first time since birth must have been too much. She screamed for several minutes.

December 19, 1979 – Juli’s Book


It was a quiet, pleasant day. Ginger made some chocolate candy tonight. I’m sleepy! Julianne and many chores have kept us awake at night lately.

December 20, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Ginger got brave on my vacation day today and went to Green Hills Shopping Center alone; her first time out alone since the baby was born. Julianne and I did well together with her sleeping, taking a bottle o mother’s milk saved for the occasion, changing a do do diaper while both the water man and the mailman are at the door. Wow!

December 21, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Julianne has been keeping us awake at night from around 9 to midnight or even to 2:30 AM one morning. Ginger talked to Dr. Fields today by pone. He said it was normal and just colic. We are giving her 1/3 teaspoon of Donagel PG for it.

Sunday, December 23, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Julianne has had little bumps on her face for several days. Today they seemed to be all over. We took her to Dr. Fields during the 1 to 2 Sunday afternoon hour he is open. He laughed at our concern and said, “Yeh, she has infantile acne.” Then he seriously explained that it was a “newborn rash” which is common and is technically a reaction to the absence of the mother’s estrogen. It is just a matter of time for her to adjust.

December 25, 1979 – Juli’s Book


Julianne was only interested in eating, sleeping, and being held. She go lot’s of gifts including a “Funflower” and Fisher-Price floating toys from Santa. She got a gold baby locket from Grandmother Hearn, a Raggedy Ann and Holly Hobbie dolls from Grandmother Doggett, and a little soft lamb from Jason.

December 26, 1979 – Juli’s Book

She is 3 weeks old today; looking around more; moving her arms and lefgs more; and trying so hard to hold her head up. She is not larger, but her face is gaining more personality and there seems to be a little bit of overall baby maturity in these three weeks. Daddy is still tired (that’s me!). There is so much to do around here.


January 2, 1980 – Juli’s Book


On New Year’s Eve we took Julianne to a dermatologist, Dr. Bruce P. Pool and Dr. Simpson. They both said the bumps were probably infant acne or acne neo-natal from over active oil glands. The said it would clear up in two weeks to six months. Ginger is quite upset!


She is so much more active. She will grab things with her little hands, smile, say ooooo with a little circular mouth and kid her legs, wave her arms and try to hard to hold up her head. She also tries to crawl, moving to the top of her bassinet.


No celebration, but we know she is older.


My Mom & Dad were here Sunday night, December 30 until Tuesday morning, January 1. They are wild about their first and only Grandaughter. We all had a very pleasant visit.

January 5, 1980 – Juli’s Book


She stayed awake most of the day wanting to be held and/or fed continuously. Her hands are spreading out or opening up from her continuous fists and she is kicking and trying to crawl. She can hold her head up for a short time – few seconds. We took a walk down the block and back today with Julianne in the stroller. It was Saturday and Ginger needed time to herself and time to sew. Thus I held, bathed and generally cared for Julianne all day, except for breast feeding.

January 6, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Julianne did very well, drinking part of a formula bottle and sleeping some. The nursery workers at Belmont Heights Baptist Church are good.

January 10, 1980 – Juli’s Book


I am in Kentucky at Barren River Lake State Park for a section retreat. I miss Julianne as well as Jason and Ginger. By phone last night Ginger said that Julianne was fussy most of the day. Ginger believes it was because she ate tacos last night and they made her milk too spicy.

January 14, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Julianne is smiling more when you talk to her and starting to reach for things or people. She is pretty!

January 16, 1980 – Juli’s Book


It was Julianne’s first time to go to church on Wednesday night. I held her and fed her a bottle while the rest of us ate the church supper.

January 18, 1980 – Juli’s Book


We took Julianne with us to Red Lobster Restaurant tonight. She was a little fussy but did okay.

January 26, 1980 – Juli’s Book



Julianne’s first inoculations caused her to scream with the shot and then cry or be fussy the rest of the day. She also cried even louder when Jason got his shot for pneumonia.

January 27, 1980 – Juli’s Book


It seems like Julianne has always wanted to be held every waking moment. She is drying for it even more with her reaction to the inoculations.

February 1, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Even though she has been spending a lot of time crying lately, Julianne is always quiet during a diaper change. She likes it! Or the freedom to kick and wave those legs around! She maintains a lot of eye contact during a diaper change – just a little sweet angel.

February 4, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Julianne has been trying since the first week but now she can easily hold her head up and turn it around. She is also grabbing things with her little hands, like Ginger’s necklace or my finger. It’s fun to watch her.

February 10, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Julianne is smiling more than ever and had two trips today: One to the Peking Gardens Restaurant and on to evening church. It was her second restaurant visit and her first time for evening church.

February 16, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Ginger and I went to lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s on West End today without the kids! We left Jason and Julianne with the Jenkins. It was nice for Ginger and me to be together and it was Julianne’s first baby sitter, Carolyn Jenkins.

February 27, 1980 –Juli’s Book


Julianne has colic or tummy aches every night. We are giving paregoric which seems to finally help after a lot of crying. She is a beautiful baby! We went to Wednesday night church supper tonight as we do most weeks.

March 5, 1980 – Juli’s Book


12 pounds, 7 ounces

Beautiful! Happy! Laughs, smiles, tries to hold bottle. She has a new brown calico dress Ginger made her.

March 13, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Ginger is making another dress: purple and white pok-a-dot with a striped apron. Nearly every night she goes to sleep downstairs. I get to carry the pretty sleeping baby upstairs. It’s neat! I love her!

March 17, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Everyone comments on how alert Juli is for her age. At three months she is alert and responsive to people as most six month old babies said somebody. She likes to be talked to and she is pretty too! Today, she, Ginger and I had lunch together at Houston’s Restaurant. She didn’t cry at all; just looked around.

March 21, 1980 – Friday – Juli’s Book


Wednesday Julianne went to the doctor and got a prescription for an antibiotic. She has a bad chest congestion. That same day I fell off a ladder at the Sunday School Board receiving lots of bruises, a broken clavicle, and a fractured wrist. Ginger has had a hurt foot for more than a week now. Jason has a bad cold with cough. Wow! Aren’t we a puny bunch?

March 29, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Julianne  has never wanted a pacifier or sucked her thumb, but she now sucks her index finger all the time, both right and left.


Last night I filled out the ten year U.S. Census form on which both Jason and Julianne were counted for the first time – their first census.

April 7, 1980 – Juli’s Book


We had the Garners and Jenkins over for lunch after church yesterday (Easter) and because Ginger was so busy in the kitchen, I got to take care of Julianne during most of the afternoon. She wanted to get away from the noise and crowds of people. She has always preferred quiet, even when playing.


Julianne was 4 months old on April 5 and for several weeks she has been laughing at people who give her special attention. One day while we were waiting for Ginger in a doctor’s waiting room, Jason was running, jumping and rolling on the floor. Julianne just kept laughing for nearly 20-25 minutes.

April 9, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Tonight after the meetings were over and we were about to go, Julianne started crying. She was tired and fussy and the noise of a crowd probably bothered her. SHE LIKES QUIET! I started kissing her around her chin and neck as soon as I held her. She immediately quit crying and started laughing and smiling. She has done this before when I have really kissed on her. She may be just tickled, but it sure makes me proud to see her happy when I kiss her.

April 14, 1980 – 1:30 AM  – Juli’s Book


Julianne woke us up with a cough and stuffy nose. Ginger gave her some Triaminic cold medicine and a half bottle. While she drinks her bottle, she waves her arms up and down, beating her body. She has been doing this for about a week or more now. She is also noticeably growing. She eats strained vegetables and fruit now every day. She gets breast-fed only twice a day now: morning and night. She is beautiful and cuddly – very loveable. She responds to loving well. We were left together for three hours yesterday while Ginger took Jason to a birthday party.

April 15, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Julianne went with Ginger to the Children’s House School. Ginger led the 5 yr. class in singing “Little White Duck” with stick puppets. Julianne sang too!  Goo Goo!

April 17, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Julianne laughs at Jason (she likes him) and he doesn’t know how to react. He is a little embarrassed. She watches and looks at all kinds of things now, not just lights. When I talk to her, she listens attentively.


Julianne laughs more at Ginger than anyone and loves her most of all.

April 21, 1980 – Juli’s Book


When Julianne is excited, she kids and waves her legs rapidly and hard. I guess when you lay down all the time, that is one of the few things you can do.

She had an X-ray and penicillin shot Sunday and another shot today for her lung congestion/infection/virus/whatever.

May 1, 1980 – Juli’s Book


We got in after 3:00 PM today. After unloading we all went grocery shopping, then started cleaning house. Wow am I ever tired! I hope to tell about the visit with my parents during the next couple of days, while it is fresh. But I’m too tired to do it all tonight.

May 5, 1980 – Juli’s Book


The visits with my parents and the Mike Davis’ were some of our best – quiet –relaxed and Julianne even got over most of her chest congestion which came back when we got back home. But she got tired and restless while traveling.

My folks are just wild about their only granddaughter (6 grandsons). Dad made funny faces and sang and talked to her a lot. He also spent a lot of time with Jason.


We haven’t stopped since we got in. Somewhere to go every night. I’m teaching the doctrine of missions book to youth this week, but no one came tonight.

May 11, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Her big new activity is blowing bubbles in her food or in her mouth with saliva. Today was the parent-baby dedication service at Belmont Heights Baptist Church. She was a doll! Cute, well-behaved, etc. We love her.

June 7, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Whew! We have all been so extra busy and so tired at night that these journals (one for Jason and this one for Julianne) have been impossible to find time for. It will be hard to catch up. In fact, I don’t think I will try to catch up very much.

Julianne has been more and more aware of things. She stares at her hands while slowly turning them around – one at a time only. I suspected she might have learned the action from me since I have entertained her by various movements of my hand.

She is also enamored with her feet and plays with them a lot, holding them up and grabbing them with her hands. She laughs and enjoys herself a lot at these times.

In fact, she laughs and smiles a lot anyway and it generally happy and of course is beautiful. Everyone comments on how pretty she is and many say that she looks like the Gerber baby. We agree, but think her prettier than the Gerber baby.

She is still having respiratory problems. I took her and Jason to the doctor today while Ginger was at the urologist. Dr. Fields said it would be at about 2 years before we would know about her allergies and have any patterns set for determining what causes her problems. We are now blaming it on the heavy humidity in Nashville and especially under all of our many trees. But Fields said it is too early to know for sure.

Julianne went to Vacation Bible School this week – every day – her first of course. She likes people and generally likes to get out, but gets tired and fussy sometimes.

She seems to be trying to cut teeth, but there is no sign of one yet.

June 30, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Julianne is so sweet and innocent and dependent on us. Her smile or a sparkle in her eyes makes me happy. She is a pretty baby and I love her.

She has been kept at home for three weeks by order of Dr. Dubuisson. He thinks her upper respiratory infections might be allergy-related which is what Ginger has thought all along. It is sad to see her sick.

She is rolling over and holding her head up well, but not crawling yet and no teeth. We did take her away from the house Friday night for a neighborhood potluck supper. She did very well and didn’t cry like most of the other babies. Everyone comments on how pretty or cute she is.

July 4, 1980 – Juli’s Book


My birthday was celebrated at home on July 2. Ginger and Jason decorated with balloons and we had Richard & Grace Sims over for supper and birthday cake.

Today we drove from Nashville to Ridgecrest, NC for a week of CT Leadership Conferences beginning tomorrow night. On the way here Jason painted some paper airplanes which Julianne soon decided to eat or chew on. Ginger was almost hysterical. We were 30 miles past Knoxville. Ginger and I debated over how serious it was and then Ginger got her way as usual. We returned to Knoxville and the Baptist Hospital there. They called the Poison Control Center and determined that the paint and markers were not poisonous. Then we proceeded on to Ridgecrest, missing the section dinner at Fang’s. It is 11:15 PM and we are all very tired.

July 27 1980 – Juli’s Book

At Youth Camp in Fall Creek Falls State Park


It was hard to say good bye to all of the family today – I haven’t been away for a week like this in a long time. I believe it is the first time I have been away from Julianne for this long. She looked so cute all dressed up in a Ginger-made sun dress this morning.

August 5, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Today is her birthday and she is fussy because of cutting teeth. But still the sweetest, prettiest little girl I have ever seen. I just completed one of my last rituals of the day which is to get Julianne from her downstairs bed, hold her close to my breast and bring her upstairs. I love it because I get to hold her.

August 6, 1980 – Juli’s Book

I fell asleep last night while writing. There is so much to say about Juli that I never have time to write down.


I believe Julianne has taught me more about touching than anyone. During the last two or three months there have been many times when she would reach up and touch my face with her little hand ever so gentle and look very studious or maybe contemplative at me. These times have been the most genuine, most loving touches I have experienced. Ginger’s touches are both genuine and loving but not as tender and innocent as Juli’s. I have never been so tender, so sensitive. It has been an experience of love and exhilaration to be with Julianne.

I am overall experiencing more love lately. It seems that Ginger and I have had more loving moments. We have generally attributed it to “things settling down” which does help. Last week at Youth Camp the youth and all of us experienced a revival of love – bringing the kids together in fellowship and spirit like we have not had since my arrival on the scene. A good week!

August 13, 1980 – Juli’s Book

Juli holds her own bottle now, scoots backward on the floor (almost a crawl), and loves to laugh. She will laugh at funny faces, Jason’s antics, and Sesame Street on TV – the only TV show she likes. She is now aware of what happens when a babysitter comes and will cry. Madonna Marshall babysat last night while we went to a meeting of the Abintra School Board of Directors. We are in the planning stages of a new Montessori Elementary School. I am the secretary of the board. This is a new experience for me. I have some mixed feelings about starting a private school, even though I believe the Montessori method is the best. There is a type of moral obligation for support of the public schools for the betterment of the community. I have always felt that way and been critical of those church groups who have started private schools – mainly in “white flight.”

August 17, 1980 – Juli’s Book

Today is the last day of a stay-home vacation. We are trying to make it a quiet day – staying home from church until CT time tonight. I have spent a lot of time with Julianne this week – feeding, changing, holding, and playing. She is beautiful, sweet, spoiled, and demanding. She is playing with toys more which keeps her entertained for maybe 15 minutes or more, but she still demands a lot of attention. I painted and papered the kitchen this week, but only in short time spans between doing for Juli. I wanted to do more, much more – but it is hard when you have two little kids. It was a nice, quitet week and I am rested more than I have been in months. Ginger and I had our best anniversary experience yet on Friday night. It has been a good week.

August 19, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Julianne went to the doctor yesterday and is doing fine. Weighs 18 pounds and 6.5 ounces. Dr. Duibisson saw her first tooth about to come through. She was fussy and slow to go to sleep last night, but still hasn’t had the diarrhea Jason had during his teething.

August 23, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Juli’s first word-like sound started yesterday when she learned to put her toothless upper gums on her lover lip while making a sound that something like vi or va or maybe vu. When having a happy moment, she says it over and over for several second or minutes: va, va, va, va, va, va, va, va, va, va

August 25, 1980 – Juli’s Book


She has been trying for two months or more, but last night she got off the quilt and across the floor to some of Jason’s toys. We must begin immediately to “child proof” the house.


Julianne hasn’t kept much food down for two days now. Last night while Jason and I were at church, Ginger took her to Baptist Hospital Emergency Room. Dr. Peters (who has seen Juli before) simply said both ears were a little red. He prescribed an antibiotic and aspirin. He said the fever will make her throw up.

August 26, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Everyone at the office raved about Julianne’s Sears photo at about 8 1/2 or 9 months old. She was in a cute pink dress Ginger made. Some said I should send the photo in to an Ad Agency for Juli to get in ads.

She is feeling better today but not well and is refusing to eat much. She drinks Pedialyte some which keeps her fro dehydrating. Her vomiting has changed to diarrhea.

August 29, 1980 – Juli’s Book


She can’t say the words yet, but that is what she screams for every afternoon when I first walk in from work. She especially likes me to walk around with her rather than sit down. She also is very fond of the out-of-doors. We can stand at the door or window for a long time just looking at trees and sky. She has watched a few birds also. This afternoon we sat on the front porch for awhile. She was perfectly happy, but fussed when we went back into the TV room.

August 30, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Juli has been sitting up “wobbly” for several weeks, but now she is getting good at it and doesn’t fall over as much as at first.

September 3, 1980 – Juli’s Book


For a few days now, a sharp little tooth is sticking up from her bottom gums. One other bottom tooth and one top tooth are coming through soon.


During the last two days Julianne has been talking a lot – mainly in non-word sounds, but like a real conversation sounds to her. One of the sounds is Da, Da or Da, da, da, da, da. The next step is Daddy!   🙂   She hasn’t learned to put her lips together for an “M” sound for “Mommy” yet and it will come before a “J” sound for Jason I imagine.


Yesterday afternoon before our department retreat began here at Guntersville, AL State Park, I jogged and walked around the park including an uphill mountain trail in the rain which reminded me of my spiritual journey and the beginning journey of Ben McGinnis, a boy at Belmont Heights Baptist Church in Nashville. It is sometimes a difficult, steep, uphill struggle which I hope I can share with Julianne some day. I don’t want to protect her from the struggle, but rather share with her in it.

September 4, 1980 – Juli’s Book


One of the biggest thrills coming home was the happy greeting from Julianne. She was happy and smiling all evening. She got a lot of my attention since Jason spent the night with a friend, John Craig Gutherie. This was his first time to go alone overnight anywhere. But Julianne stayed up until 9:30 which is late for her.

September 8, 1980 – Juli’s Book


Juli has the hang of biting and chewing enough now to really enjjoy little cookies and soda crackers. Teething biscuits aren’t as good to her. With help getting them in her mouth she has eaten bits of cantaloupe, black-eyed peas, banana bits, and watermelon bits.

September 25, 1980 – Juli’s Book


We have been so busy for weeks now. My head is spinning. Last weekend my Mom & Dad came, Juli’s “Grandmother & Granddaddy Doggett.” They were here Thursday through Sunday morning. Ginger was a substitute teacher Friday and we had a garage sale Saturday, so visiting was a little strained. Of course my Mom & Dad think Juli is the prettiest baby in the world! And we do too! We have two picnics tomorrow, church & office.


Sometimes Juli tries to pat or clap her hands together and also does something else interesting. She places her right hand on her left arm to brace it, then pats her left hand down on the table. She does this a lot.


She rocks back and forth in her play table seat, banging her head against the back of the seat. I think her ears hurt or itch and she tries for relief,f but do not know for sure why she does that.

October 12, 1980 – Juli’s Book


The first suit I put on this morning was made dirty when Juli threw up on it a whole bottle of milk. It just suddenly appeared out of her mouth! This afternoon she wet on the second suit of the day!


Friday, March 13, 1981 – Juli’s Book


I am very tired and have been very busy for months: lots of sickness or colds an more bronchitis for Juli, trips and extra editing and other responsibilities a the Board, more responsibility and work at the church, and entirely too much to do at home.


On December 5, 1980 Juli got her first birthday cake with one candle on it. She dug into the cake with her little fingers and then started cramming it into her mouth. She loved it!


She was really getting into the gifts this time, especially the wrappings and boxes! At least once she chose to play with the box instead of the toy inside. We had the prettiest tree ever. It was a Frazier Fir or Frazier Pine (??), soft, green, and long lasting. Beautiful!

She is still enjoying the rolling horsey, a doll, and other toys she received.


We hired carpenters to “rough in” Juli’s attic room. It is ready for me to finish and I am still not finished taping and bedding the sheet rock walls. I had hoped I could finish this weekend, but we went to see the Tichnor Marionettes tonight and will go to the garden and lawn show tomorrow, so it continues to be hard to finish – but neat when finished!

I was gone most of this week in a writer’s conference for DiscipleYouth, a new product from our section that I am editor of.

March 18, 1981 – Juli’s Book


For several months Juli has been kissing all of us in a very loving but funny way. She forms her mouth or lips into a circle, partly open, then falls against our faces (Ginger, Jason & me). She makes a little sound or sigh, sort of like a big person’s kiss sound. I love it and get one of her kisses every time I come home. In fact, she screams if I don’t pick her up when I first come home.

March 25, 1980 – Juli’s Book


I’m at Lake Barkley State Park for the firs National Youth Summit, a meeting of all SBC & state youth leadership. Last night I called home. As we have done before, she listened silently while I talked. But when Jason or Ginger take the phone back she screams, to say she likes to listen. Of course she doesn’t understand it yet.


I’ve said it several times lately, but my family is just “perfect” as far as I’m concerned. We are getting to be more settled, happier, and more secure than I can remember since Memphis and actually more so than Memphis because of less travel, more experience and maturity and the completion of our family with Julianne. It’s nice! Even though Ginger and I have our differences, we probably get along better and love each other better now than ever before.

We also see our family as perfect from the view of size and sex (1 boy, 1 girl). We also lover our old house and our old neighborhood more than any place we have lived which helps make family life neat!

I am editing a book this week, Youth Affirm the Biblical View of Family by Bill Pinson. This is also causing me to appreciate our family more. I FEEL GOOD!

2019 EDITORIAL NOTE: This may have been close to the high point of my family life with things slowly getting more difficult between Ginger and I over the next 7-8 years until she files for divorce. 

March 26, 1981 – Juli’s Book


I hiked over one nature trail at Lake Barkley alone this morning before breakfast and another one after lunch with Richard Brunson. It is so exhilarating, so peaceful, so enjoyable to be in the great out-of-doors. I hope and pray that I can always commune with nature and that soon our family can go camping again and hiking. I want both Jason and Juli to grow up with many outdoor experiences, even more than I had in Boy Scouts, and those were some of my most meaningful experiences in life!

I feel good again today!

On a different writer’s conference last October (1980) an English professor from Carson-Newman College taught us how to write a type of simple descriptive poem, a type of Haiku poetry. Here’s the four poems I wrote them which reflect on my love of my family right now:


Cute, happy

Smiling, laughing, touching

She’s sensitive to life.



Busy, creative

Drawing, building, talking

He’s a very special boy



Pretty, creative

Cooking, sewing, teaching

She’s much more to me. 



Orange, yellow

Falling, whirling, piling

A carpet upon our yard


March 26, 1981 -Juli’s Book


  1. That you know God  in a personal, experiential way as the strength and enthusiasm of your life which includes becoming a Christian, and when truly lived, means a radiant, happy life style of confidence and purpose.
  2. That you build a strong family upon Biblical principals and mutual love and respect.
  3. That you commune with nature which provides a peace, an order, and a glimpse of God not possible elsewhere.
  4. That you read and study as much as you can about everything related to life.


wants to

do something good

with your life and future!

Let Him!

March 30, 1981 -Juli’s Book


While leaving a hotel in Washington DC where he delivered a speech, President Reagan and three attendants were shot. The President was shot in the chest, puncturing the lung, but missing the heart by just a few inches.

The nation is in a mild state of shock, though not as much as when John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas in 1963. I was just two miles down the same street when that happened. It was terrible! I’m concerned that the nation is not as shocked by violence anymore. We seem to have and accept so much. TV gives us a daily dose of violence and I believe it is partly to blame for some of it.

Please Juli, hat violence and love peace. In Matthew 5, Jesus said “Happy are the peacemakers.”

July 9, 1981 -Juli’s Book


I am spending this entire week, July 5-11, at our Belmont Heights Baptist Church Youth Camp at Falls Creek Falls State Park. (I am the part-time Youth Minister and thus the Camp Director.)  I miss the family, but the facilities aren’t made for a baby to stay her comfortably and it would be hard on your Mom. Maybe next year the whole family can go to camp.


For the last three weeks Julianne & Jason have been taking swimming lessons at Coach John Smith’s Vanderbilt Swim School. They are good teachers! Much better than the baby swim lessons we got for Jason in Dallas! Juli is not strong enough to swim any distance, but she can float and bob and blow bubbles and glide the bank or return to the side when pulled in the water.


Ginger recently reminded me of how she wants the shortened version of Julianne spelled. I knew it and mostly did it that way but also went along with the majority of people who still want to spell it “Julie.” (Which I would have preferred as less complicated or more normal for her when she is in school. But I am learning!

July 21, 1981 – Juli’s Book


Last night she decided to turn loose and walk on her own. She won’t stop now. She falls a lot, but keeps going, even with the big bump on her head. She is as sweet as ever and her hugs and kisses are the best!


Julianne went swimming twice at the Mike Davis’ house in Memphis, stayed in hotels in Ft. Smith & Amarillo, enjoyed classes in Glorieta, and grandparents in Dallas & Hot Springs. We had to take her to St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe, NM for treatment of an ear infection and she enjoyed the Dallas Zoo.

October 20, 1981 – Juli’s Book


I’m at the Youth Section Writer’s Conference at Barren River Lake State Park in Kentucky. I talked with Juli on the phone this evening.


Effective October 1, I was promoted from editor in the Church Training Youth Section to Marketing & Promotion Coordinator in the Management Support Section of the Church Training Department. I’m excited about the many new things I will do and I am now taking a night class in Marketing at Belmont College.


When she wants to Julianne says several words like Daddeeeee, Mommieeee, and she also sort of says cracker, cookie, Buppie (dog’s name), and Jay-zeee for Jason. But most of the time she still finds it easier to make baby sounds like her present “ca ca” for everything. When she is cooperating she will point to eyes, ears, nose, and mouth which shows she understands the words, but she won’t try to sat them. She also understands what “ice cream” means and has a fit, pointing at the freezer when it is mentioned.


She has been weened from the bottle for several months now and we are just waiting (and hoping) for her to be potty-trained soon!

October 22, 1981 – Juli’s Book


One of the cutest things Julianne does at bed time each night is to run to her closet and sit down behind her clothes which hang on a low rod. She waits for me or Ginger to come find her and say “peek-a-boo.” She laughs and enjoys it much. She still loves for us to talk about pictures in her Bible story book and play with toys before bed. She carries around a doll some, mostly the sock monkey.


She is knocking over or throwing down her milk at mealtime and other times and drops food everywhere all around her chair. If she doesn’t like a food she will throw it on the floor and when mad will knock something over or throw the plate down.


She enjoys being with the other children anytime we go to church. Mrs. Carter is her favorite teacher.

November 26, 1981 – Juli’s Book


Juli is talking a lot now and learning new words every day. She is sweet and loving but fusses with Jason who doesn’t want her to bother any of his things and she cries when we fuss at her. Today she was fussed at for writing on the wall.

Our Thanksgiving was quiet with just us, a turkey and all the trimmings! I’m working on the Doggett Family History this weekend.

December 5, 1981 – Juli’s Book


She will say a baby version of “two” when you ask her how old she is. We taught her that today.

I stayed home, skipping a state leadership meeting this morning as I could help with a little birthday party. We had Mary Elizabeth and Charles David Cook (two neighbor kids) over for cake and ice cream. The cake was a Big Bird and cute! She got a play tunnel, Tooneyville Choochoo, and a baby carriage.

December 19, 1981 – Juli’s Book


Julianne carries around a baby doll or Raggedy Ann or a sock monkey quite often now and likes to push them in her new baby carriage she got for her birthday.

December 22, 1981 – Juli’s Book


Ginger and Jason got a white 8-week old kitten from the Humane Association and named it “Snowflake” on the way home We have been calling it “kitty” which comes out “kiggy” by Julianne. It sounds a lot like “Piggy” which is what she calls Miss Piggy of the Muppets.

December 25, 1981 – Juli’s Book


We had a nice day at home all day, just us four plus Buppy & Kiggy. Julianne got a chairs and table for her room, an umbrella which is her favorite gift, a Miss Piggy doll, a little cok stove and some other little things. She had fun!

Our family traditions included lots of decorations and candles and lots of food by Mommy.


January 1, 1982 – Juli’s Book


We slept late this morning and worked around the house today. One big project was cleaning Jason’s room and moving his toy box into Juli’s room. It is historic Juli! It has been Jason’s toy box for most of his 8 years, but it goes back much further.

When I was born in 1940 my Uncle Gene Hardgrave made it as a baby chest for my Mother. She used it to store baby clothing, blankets, etc. until I was bigger. Then it became my toy box. It was also used by my brother Jerry and my sister Bonnie. Mom gave it to us when Jason was born.

January 22, 1982 – Juli’s Book


We had 4 inches of snow which stayed a week, now we are having a week of rain with tornado warnings and flood alert tonight.

I was in Atlanta all day yesterday for a seminar on advertising. The plane was 4 hours late leaving Atlanta last night because of the weather.

February 12, 1982 – Juli’s Book


Julianne has learned to say that she is sorry when she has done something wrong and it comes out like “Solly” or “Sawlie.” It is cute the way she says it and she is still a cute little girl!


Often when she does something against the rules Ginger will sit her in a little chair and make her stay there for 3 or 4 minutes, which is a long time for her and real punishment to her.


If she wants something or doesn’t like something or is mad at Jason or has other irritations, she just screams or squeals loudly. It’s driving us crazy!

February 17, 1982 – Juli’s Book


Before Juli was born, Ginger had us saying Tee Tee around here (from her childhood) like I said Pee Pee as a child. Juli came home from babysitter Sandra Cook saying Wee Wee and Potty and occasionally Pee Pee. So now she uses most all those words but still is not putting it in the potty much.


When I’m Trying to dress her she will run from me and even hide sometimes. On the changing table she will move her foot just as I’m about to put pants on it. In her room she likes to hide in her closet and play peei-a-boo behind her hanging cloths.


She likes to play in her room first, then a story book with Old MacDonald’s Farm a favorite, then we play a Mr. Rogers record while she rolls her head back and forth (left/right) until sleepy.  (NOTE: We did not know then that this rolling her head was a precursor to her diagnosis of Autism & Asperger Syndrome.)


For several months Juli has called milk “ilk” but tonight was the big moment, she said “milk” with the “M” and we applauded her and she was embarassed, then mad. But she is talking better!

February 28, 1982 – Juli’s Book


Julianne is going through a period of having a temper-tantrum every hour or more often. It is a real nuisance.   (NOTE: We did not know then that this was a precursor to her diagnosis of Autism & Asperger Syndrome.)

March 9, 1982 – Juli’s Book


The person at the animal shelter who sold Ginger the cat, Snowflake, called it a girl and so have we for three months. But Ginger discovered a penis the other day. We are trying to change gender and it isn’t easy. Of course Juli has never known the difference, but at least “kiggy” has now become “kitty” with her and she even makes an effort to say “Snowflake.”


Ginger was excited today that Mrs. Maddox called from the Children’s House Montessori School to say that Julianne could get in the school for sure next October if she is potty trained. We haven’t made much progress yet, but we intend to keep trying and hope that someday Juli will decide she wants to us the potty.

Jason went to The Children’s House for two years before First Grade and we love it and think highly of the Montessori methods.

March 17, 1982 – Juli’s Book


I was in Missouri for conferences and came home tonight at church supper time. Juli ran and gave me this big hug and kept hugging. It was nice!   🙂

April 2, 1982 – Juli’s Book


Monday-Wednesday of this week I attended a BPRA meeting in Kansas City. Wednesday night and Thursday morning I visited with my sister Bonnie, her husband Tom Darby and her children by an earlier marriage, Chris age 9 and Sean age 5. I was sorry that Julianne and Jason couldn’t be with the children. They would have enjoyed each other – cousins!

April 9, 1982 – Juli’s Book


“Potty – wee wee” says Juli and she is putting almost all of her daytime pee pee in the potty now, but hasn’t turned lose of her do do yet. Soon we hope!

May 15, 1982 – Juli’s Book


Julianne has had diarrhea for 8 days. Doctors Fields & Dubuisson say it is a virus and suggested liquids and paregoric for her. Ginger becomes upset with no quick progress and goes to a new doctor – Dr. Chazen. He took her off paregoric and made other eating suggestions.


It is 1:00 AM Saturday morning and I’ve been in Phoenix since Wednesday for a state CT Directors meeting. I wasn’t scheduled to return until tomorrow, but I’m getting a 2:00 AM flight which will get to Nashville at 8:45 AM. with no sleep because Ginger is panicking over Juli’s sickness.


Juli is really talking more and has even talked on the phone to me. Her vocabulary is steadily increasing and each new word sounds cute coming from her.

June 17, 1982 – Juli’s Book

It has been so hard to get into a regular pattern of writing in this diary and there is so much to say about Juli all of the time. I’m in the last of five days in New Orleans for the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. I’m responsible for the Church Training exhibit in the big exhibit hall at the SuperDome. It’s hard work but I’m eating well!   🙂

Julianne is talking more and more. She talked to me in single words on the phone the other night. One day two or three weeks ago . . .


“Daddy look. See the butterfly.” Ginger and I were both quite excited! Our two problems with her are her squealing or screaming anytime about anything that displeases her and secondly her rebellion on using the potty or the do do party. She is using it to wee wee regularly now.

June 20, 1982 – Juli’s Book


Juli has been in a parent-child swim class with Ginger for the last two week. On Thursday she jumped off the diving board for the first time in her life and repeated it on Friday the last day of classes. She is going to be a good swimmer.


Every time Juli sees any kind of bug she says “Bee!” I always call the bug by its correct name, but she persists in calling all bugs a bee.

July 29, 1982 – Juli’s Book


Juli will stand at a door and say “Mark, set, go!” and then run all around the house and back to the door sometimes. She learned this from Charlie David Cook next door. Jason has taught her his variation with “1, 2, 3 Go!” They also play chase or tag. Fun!


Earlier this month we spent a week at Ridgecrest, Juli’s second time unless you count the time she was in Mommy’s tummy, then third time!  🙂  She had a good happy class and did a lot of easel painting which she liked. We stopped by the World’s Fair in Knoxville but did not take Juli. It was too hot and boring for a 2 year old. We stayed in the guest apartment of a Carson-Newman college professor’s house (one of my writers). Ginger and I swapped out the two days, one staying with Juli and the other taking Jason to the World’s Fair. It was complicated a little by us having car trouble on our old Volkswagen Van.


I have intermittently said “all gone” or “gone gone” to Juli when a container was empty. She has fused my two expressions and now says “gall gone” when she empties a glass or something else.   🙂


One of the many cute things Juli does is throw a kiss with her hand after saying bye bye. She does it to other people too.


Everybody agrees and comments on how pretty and cute Juli is, but we get mixed opinions on who she looks like. Some say Ginger and some say Charlie. I say she is an individual who looks like herself, but slightly favors all three of her other family members.


March 12, 1983 – Juli’s Book


The Cheatham’s brought Sangria for our Mexican dinner last night. Tonight Jason and Juli tasted it and Jason thought it okay while Juli spit it out and said “yuk!”


One fellow editor in the Church Training Department of The Sunday School Board was Neal Buchanan, an editor of children’s materials. This article in the employee monthly newsletter tells all about what he did and where I got the idea. He just did not have a kid like Jason who would find it as a teenager and burn it. Oh well, I still have Juli’s and you are reading it!   🙂


Sorry, but I let this journal writing go for about three years!  It continues a few years after that while at the same time I went back to writing in my own personal journals, so there is a mix from here on of Juli’s & Personal Journals and a lot of difficult times not recorded as Ginger and I grew further apart.



April 29, 1986 – Juli’s Book

CATCHING UP  —  1983-1986  —  JULI’S BOOK


Juli, you were sick a lot in 1984 – several kidney infections and other things. Dr. Chazen, your pediatrician, sent you to Dr. John J. Warner, a pediatric urologist. After x-rays and other tests it was determined that you were “reflexing” or that urine was backing up the ureter from the bladder to the kidney, thus causing continuous kidney infections. This was due to the ureter going into the bladder at a wrong angle and being enlarged. We also learned that you were born with only a right kidney, no left one at all – just some “rudimentary kidney tissue” there.

My rough drawing from original Journal to explain the situation.

Thus repairing the right kidney became even more important, with it being the only one. We scheduled surgery for the Christmas holidays 1984.

He re-implanted the ureter after cutting it down in size — a very tedious operation. You and I were in the hospital nine days. Mom had a new school and couldn’t be away that much, so I took vacation time and literally lived in the hospital with you day and night. Mom slept at the hospital 2 or 3 nights to relieve me a little.

Grandmother Hearn came up to help with the house and Jason. She relieved me some during the daytime. You had a rough time with I-V tube and catheter. As you started walking, I would carry tubes and bags. We got home 2 days before Christmas.

After you got out of the hospital there were several painful x-rays which you hated but made it through okay. You also hate the blood tests (me too!).


In 1985 you are still at the Montessori Centre Preschool. We went to Glorieta which liked a lot and always did. You enjoyed the Indians in Santa Fe and the annual Corn Dance Festival at Santo Domingo Indian Reservation. Christmas was good quiet, and lots of little toys and dolls for you!


You were sick less and are mostly spoiled and cry too easily still, but showing definite signs of growing up. You have lost 2 or 3 baby teeth in the last 2 or 3 months. You have started reading and doing other things for yourself.

April 29, 1986 – Juli’s Book


The above lengthy catch-up on what happened 1983-through the beginning of 1986 was a special entry on this same date since I had not written in the journal for so long and felt was needed before I started talking about today. There was of course a lot more that happened in those 3 years and things we were beginning to learn about your health and developmental problems, partly from the excellent leadership at The Montessori Centre that helped prepare us for bigger changes when first grade came for you. Now on to daily history . . .


An atomic energy plant near Kiev, Russia blew up Saturday and has been the big news item for three days now. It is still burning and is a nuclear fallout danger to much of the world. We must rethink how we use nuclear energy.

May 3, 1986 – Juli’s Book

We saw the movie “Short Circuit” today. Juli liked it but was ready to go home before it was over.

May 9, 1986 – Juli’s Book

We ate at Garcia’s of Scottsdale tonight and Juli liked the lady who sang in Spanish and played a guitar. Juli said “adios” to her as we left.   🙂

May 10, 1986 – Juli’s Book

Juli and Daddy went shopping for a Mother’s Day gift while Ginger & Jason worked at her school.  We got Mom two aprons (her request) and 3 cards to be separately from me, Jason and Juli.

Juli carefully signed her card, which she chose at the shop (with only a little help from Dad) and she signed it in three colors of ink. Hmmmm. She had gotten the three different colors of ball point pens last weekend and needed to use them, all three! We also got Juli two new bags of sand for her sandbox in the yard which were muchly enjoyed this afternoon.

May 12, 1986 – Juli’s Book

Juli’s teacher called from school again to say that she was complaining of a headache and stomach ache but no measurable temperature. I picked her up and by then she had thrown up and had a little diarrhea. I took her to Dr. Arville Wheeler (another new doctor–Ginger changes frequently) where she threw up again. We have had these similar symptons 2 or 3 times before. After a good examination he determined that she was affected by a common childhood allergy to certain foods (both the headache & stomach).

He listed:

  • Nuts
  • Chocolate
  • Oranges
  • Coke, Pepsi, RC, all colas
  • Cheese
  •  Wieners
  • Chinese Food

We went for Chinese food yesterday with Won-Ton Soup and chocolate bar last night and oranges and a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. He said her sickness was what she ate.

May 14, 1986 – Juli’s Book

Tonight at Wednesday Church Supper Julianne met my old friend from Texas, Gary Buckner. He was one of the youth at Hillcrest Baptist Church Dallas when I was Youth Minister there in 1967-69. He is here for a seminar at the Sunday School Board.

Juli and I “doctored” a doll before bed tonight.

May 15, 1986 – Juli’s Book

Ate at cafeteria tonight with Gary Buckner. Juli misbehaved to get attention. Mom mad her sit with her and it helped for a while.

May 16, 1986 – Juli’s Book

I’m on Long Island, New York for two days. Talked with Juli by phone tonight. She told about Lee kicking her in the mouth today at school.

Ginger talked a length with Mrs. Bernstorff. She (Ginger) thinks Juli’s  immaturity or behavior problems may relate to allergies or a chemical imbalance in her body. Or that she will need a special school like Westminster. I think we should try public school first – Percy Priest.

May 21, 1986 – Juli’s Book

I’m in Jackson, Mississippi tonight for Book Store Personnel Training in the morning.

Ginger called Barbara Gregg and Associates today trying to get testing scheduled for Juli.

Juli had a “party” tonight in choir to celebrate their good performance on Sunday night.

May 25, 1986 – Juli’s Book

Juli behaved well in church worship today. We saw “Back to the Future” and “Pete’s Dragon” video movies tonight, staying up late.

May 30, 1986 – Juli’s Book

The last Montessori Centre school picnic at Edwin Warner Park. We’ve had one each Fall and Spring for three years and Juli loves them.

But next year Juli will be in 1st Grade at Percy Priest Elementary School. Yesterday Ginger took Juli to visit the school in the afternoon. She loved it! The day care (before & after school care) will be a part of Juli’s experience also and she loved what she saw there.

Ginger feels like Mrs. Bernstorff and the Montessori Centre have failed Juli mainly from a lack of love and understanding. I don’t think they are perfect, but I believe they have worked real hard to help her. I think her problems are emotional rather than educational. I think our whole family – all four of us – have some kind of emotional/psychological/personality/relational problems which none of us understand or know how to handle. Maybe we’ll have some understanding in a couple of weeks. We are taking Juli to Barbara Gregg and Associates next Friday, June 6, for psycho-educational testing. We’ll know the results about a week later.

May 31, 1986 – Juli’s Book

Ginger enrolled Juli in a Park Department Ballet Class to begin next Tuesday. They are both excited about it.

Juli played with Katie this morning, went shopping with Mom at noon, and played with Heather in the afternoon.

June 1, 1986

Church – Sunday School – quick lunch – The Dream Weavers Concert at TPAC Polk Theater – The Summer Lights Arts Festival downtown – church picnic at Edwin Warner Park – Mom sick – Whew!! What a day!  Bath – talk – sleep.

Trent & Steve Gilleland were killed in an automobile accident last night. Steve was your babysitter one time Juli. I worked with him as Youth Minister at Belmont Heights Church. I also worked with their grandfather for 6 years when he was Brotherhood Director of Tennessee and me at the Brotherhood Commission in Memphis. Tough! Hard for everyone to accept, especially the boy’s father who gave his son the sports car for his high school graduation. Driving to fast and slammed into a tree.

June 3, 1986 – Juli’s Book

I attended your old baby sitter’s funeral today. It is very sad for chldren or youth to die. I cried a lot.

Tonight you hit Mom in the stomach. She made you “I solemnly swear that I will never hit Mom again.” You repeated it with the big new word “I swallowlemmly swear . . .” which made everyone laugh and broke the tension.

June 6, 1986 – Juli’s Book

Today you spent 2 1/2 hours with Barbara Gregg and Dr. Richards for psycho-educational testing. We won’t know the results until June 26 because she is on vacation beginning tomorrow. I leave for the Atlanta SBC this afternoon.

June 7-10, 1986 – Juli’s Book

You talked briefly with me each night over the phone, telling me about something you did that day and asking when I would come home. Two times you hung up the phone without giving it back to Mom or Jason for them to talk. You answered the phone most nights and your are a good talker on the phone now!

You talk more like an adult on the phone than you do in person. Big words, full sentences, but no crying or trying to manipulate me. I like that!   🙂

June 11, 1986 – Juli’s Book

We talked again by phone tonight. You lost another tooth today! Mom was upset that the second opinion doctor encourages her to get the surgery. (A hysterectomy.)

June 12, 1986 – Juli’s Book

I talked again by phone this morning with both Juli & Ginger. I earlier called Dr. Cothren’s office and he is to call Mom to discuss further the hysterectomy scheduled for Monday. I’ll be home by 6:00 tonight. Jason is sick with a sore throat and stomach ache.

June 16, 1986 – Juli’s Book

Mom had her complete hysterectomy at about 1:30 PM. She had endometriosis in the one remaining ovary – so bad that it had grown to the bowels. There was adhesion from removal of the other ovary about 7 or 8 years ago for a tubal pregnancy. (The human body is complicated!)

Everyone tells Mom she will feel great when it is all over – like a new person.

June 17, 1986 – Juli’s Book

You are afraid to talk with Mom on the phone because she is sick. This is usual for you.

You laid down on the sidewalk and threw a fit at Geny Frick’s house today because I was talking to her rather than giving you the attention.

I enjoyed going to your ballet class today. You dance very well!

June 18, 1986 – Juli’s Book

You were sick when I picked you up from the Oakley’s this afternoon – headache, stomach ache, then you threw up. You felt better after that. Dr. Maroney said it was a virus.

June 26, 1986 – Juli’s Book

Your Mom and Dad had the conference with Barbara Gregg today. We were a little nervous and didn’t know what to expect. We were glad that you didn’t have any severe disabilities. But we did learn that you have learning disabilities which are treatable. As Barbara Gregg said, we will have to “chip away at them for some time.” Most of the problems sound like a slowness in maturing:

    • Low normal range of intelligence
    • Problems focusing attention
    • Verbal & non verbal skills are below average
    • Receiving language but your output is below normal

She suggests we have a conference with our new pediatrician, Dr. Wheeler, and discuss possibly taking a hyperactivity medicine. Then we are to have a M-team meeting with Dorothy Butler and others at Percy Priest School with Gregg present.

She says that Juli will need a structured classroom with few distractions and frustrations. She will need a resource teacher (Special Ed.). We should also request school board testing. We will be busy! We are also to work on consistency at home to get her behavior in order.

July 4, 1986 – Juli’s Book

This whole weekend was a really big celebration on TV for The Statue of Liberty on her 100th Anniversary.

July 16, 1986 – Juli’s Book


We are more than halfway through the week here. The highlight for Juli is playing with Rachel & Laura Ryan. She also loves her class with Katherine Ryan as the teacher. We went to Asheville to see the movie “The Great Mouse Detective.” Rachel has braces on her teeth now. The first time Juli told anyone about them, she said “Rachel has bracelets on her teeth.”   🙂



June 16, 1987 – Juli’s Book

I’m at the SBC annual meeting in St. Louis. Jason is at youth camp with Judson Baptist and Juli & ginger are home together. I hope it is good for both of them.

This has been an eventful year for Juli. She began the first grade last August in Mrs. Tidwell’s class at Percy Priest Elementary School with our concern over her maturity and ability to make it. Dr. Wheeler put her on the lowest level of Ritalin for hyperactivity or to help her focus on one task at a time. The school board did not accept the Barbara Gregg tests, but wanted to wait before they tested. I called the school board director, Charles Frazier and got the tests within a week. She was labeled as having a “Global Learning Disability.”

She was assigned, with our permission, to the resource teacher, Mindy Grantham, for 46% of her time or for all core subjects: reading, spelling, language, math. This was after having failed the first six weeks of the first grade. Both Grantham & Tidwell have been super! They are patient, understanding, loving, helpful, etc. as has been the principal, Dot Butler. We feel fortunate. Juli has done very well – shown improvements to the extent of receiving an award with certificate and five books for the student with the most improvement in Special Education. She also won the 75 yard dash in the May Field Day events. It was a good year.

Juli has also been in a ballet class at the Park Department every Thursday afternoon.

Last Thanksgiving we stayed in a cabin at Pickwick Landing State Park with the Mike Davis’s. Christmas we went to Texas and Arkansas to visit relatives. Next week we leave for  Kansas City, Colorado vacation and Glorieta Conference Center, a long drive.

June 17, 1987 – Juli’s Book

Juli has talked on the phone very well every night I’ve been here at Ridgecrest. She talks better on the phone than in person – more adult-like. She is also very loving. She regularly says “I love you Dad.” She brings me much joy.

July 23, 1987 – Juli’s Book

I’m in my last night at Ridgecrest, by myself. I’m taking a Ridgecrest t-shirt back to Juli, one with trees on it, like mine.

Our vacation trip out west was good but too much and too tiring. Highlights for Juli were swimming in motel pools, visiting her aunt Bonnie, Uncle Tom and Cousins Chris and Sean in KC and riding the Durango-Silverton train. She also liked day camp at Glorieta.

This week has been rough. Ginger has been sick and had plumbing problems all while I’m gone. She doesn’t like for me to be gone. Juli has been the best visitor on the phone this week! I love Juli!

July 30, 1987 – Juli’s Book

Tonight we packed for a camping trip to Fall Creek Falls in our “new” used trailer. It is a pop-up tent trailer we bought from Larry Tidwell in Antioch. Juli loved camping and made several friends.

August 29, 1987 – Juli’s Book

Last Wednesday Juli threw a fit in the car on the way to church supper over whether or not we would stay for her choir. Later that night she threw another fit about going to bed and hit her bedroom window with her hand, breaking it and cutting her hand.

Thursday I got word from Mrs. Butler that Juli was doing good in school. Friday her folder from Mrs. Depriest (this year’s resource teacher) was full of good work – neater and better than last year. Juli likes Mrs. Depriest and Mrs. Counter, her regular second grade teacher. Virginia Counter was also Jason’s second grade teacher – at Burton School then.



September 1988 – Juli’s Book

Your Grandmother Doggett Dies

My mother died in Hot Springs, AR. We all went to the funeral. Ginger was horribly mean and ugly to my Dad, shouting at him right after the funeral. I hurt. I just don’t know what to do about Ginger’s behavior. I have no influence or control over her.

See separate web pages:     Death of Mom 1988

1988-89 School Year Summary – Juli’s Book

This school year was an alright year with Mrs. Muldoon as a resource teacher. Your regular 3rd grade teacher was (can’t remember her name), a very nice lady! I went with you on a field trip to Chattanooga to ride the train. We had fun. Sarah Sasser was an especially nice friend. Your 1989-90 school year was at Westminster (for students with learning disabilities like ADD)  and started great in Summer School.




It was a hard year and I just did not write down events or feeling in a journal. I did keep a “Worry Book” which I learned how to do in some class. I have not typed it, but it is included in my 1989 Scrapbook. It is quite telling about this year.  (lost it)

Below are the only three entries I put in Juli’s “Dad’s Diary:”


July 27, 1989 – Juli’s Book – Divorce Papers

I received a phone call at the office from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office asking me to come down and pick up divorce papers which your mother filed earlier. I was numb and cried for weeks, mostly alone or with a few selected friends. It was the most difficult thing I have ever faced – causing me more grief and hurt than even the death of my mother a year earlier.

July 28, 1989 – Juli’s Book

I had all four wisdom teeth removed today. What a hard weekend this has become!


November 1, 1989 – Juli’s book

The day after I took you trick-or-treating again, Jason and I moved out of the 1403 Clayton Avenue house to an duplex apartment at 292 Le Bon. It was another hard day!

This is when I was limited to seeing you only every other weekend. The absolute worst thing about this divorce is this limitation! I cried in between and worked hard to stay busy and not worry. I prayed and read my Bible a lot and shared my hurts with selected Christian friends who prayed for me. God gave me strength I could never have had on my own.


It was in 2011 that I found this Psalm that described very much how I was feeling during the divorce and child custody hearings and in a lesser way all the way through Juli’s death in 1997:

From The Message (A contemporary translation)

Psalm 86

A David Psalm

1-7 Bend an ear, God; answer me. I’m one miserable wretch!
Keep me safe—haven’t I lived a good life?
Help your servant—I’m depending on you!
You’re my God; have mercy on me.
I count on you from morning to night.
Give your servant a happy life;
I put myself in your hands!
You’re well-known as good and forgiving,
bighearted to all who ask for help.
Pay attention, God, to my prayer;
bend down and listen to my cry for help.
Every time I’m in trouble I call on you,
confident that you’ll answer.

8-10 There’s no one quite like you among the gods, O Lord,
and nothing to compare with your works.
All the nations you made are on their way,
ready to give honor to you, O Lord,
Ready to put your beauty on display,
parading your greatness,
And the great things you do—
God, you’re the one, there’s no one but you!

11-17 Train me, God, to walk straight;
then I’ll follow your true path.
Put me together, one heart and mind;
then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear.
From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord;
I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to.
You’ve always been great toward me—what love!
You snatched me from the brink of disaster!
God, these bullies have reared their heads!
A gang of thugs is after me—
and they don’t care a thing about you.
But you, O God, are both tender and kind,
not easily angered, immense in love,
and you never, never quit.
So look me in the eye and show kindness,
give your servant the strength to go on,
save your dear, dear child!
Make a show of how much you love me
so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed,
As you, God, gently and powerfully
put me back on my feet.


As you read about my life over the next 10+ years, you will see that God did put me “back on my feet!” It was hard and slow and I give God the credit.

Read about the next 10 years, my hardest, in Volume 2: 1990-1999 Journals.

¡Pura Vida!