Wednesday, April 26, 1972

Slept til 9 o’clock. Called Julia Mullen but couldn’t reach her – will try again tomorrow. Sent flowers to Dick Washed hair. Called George Garrett Janet Goldsmith called + Jim died last night. I called Daddy + spoke with him. Asked him to write a note to Dick. Told him about Dr. Boulware + the tests etc. also told him about the letters from the Pigotts + “Uncle T.” Was glad I’d called. Got to the hospital around noon. Dick sound asleep. Didn’t wake til the lunch trays were brought in around one. Shirley came by + stayed for a couple of hours. Dr. Boulware came in Evidently Dick slept through one of his tests + will have to take it again. (It was the electroencephalogram + usually they have difficulty in getting the patients to sleep for a sleeping part of the test!) Oddly enough, however, Dick is beginning to look a little better. I stayed with him all afternoon + had dinner with him. Gave him “The American Savage” – Leon’s Indian book to read + told him Leon wanted his opinion on it. There was a big fat dead lizard across the back door when I left the house + I called Ed Kulick from the hospital + asked him if he could get rid of it for me. When I left the hospital Hartley + Boulware were sitting at the nurse station + discussing Dick with much shaking of heads. Evidently his apparent improvement has them completely mystified. I told them I was completely confused as Dick isn’t getting any of the things he’s supposed to. no vitamins, no orinase, no low-salt diet no protein milkshakes! Hartley grabbed my arm + said wait a minute you’ve given me an idea!” Then asked Boulware about the possibility of ammonia poisoning from too much protein on a weakened system  – (Boulware had asked Dick if he knew of anyone who was trying to “do him in”) Anyway they’re going to test for it. I went by Ed + Casey’s + had a short nice visit + a couple of drinks. Home + bed. [crossed out words] Irene Hall stopped in – was visiting a friend + saw Dick in bed.

Tuesday, April 25, 1972

Had some more to drink at Joyce’s + then slept + then got real nasty with her when I woke at one/thirty – she wanted to drive me to the hospital + I told her to go to hell. I can only say that I got alot of shit out of my system and I ought to be good now for another month or so. Dick had tests all morning + when I got there was getting very restless – hadn’t seen any of the Doctors + wanted to [crossed out word] leave the hospital. Called Boulware + Hartley I don’t know why Dr. Bentley never came. Carl Combs + Danny somebody stopped by to see Dick –  mentioned the price of the rooms + the fact that John Carpenter is back in business. Couldn’t have chosen worse topics if they’d tried. (or did they?) I ate most of Dick’s dinner. Dr. Boulware came in about 6:30 + apologized to Dick for not stopping to say hello when he came by the hospital in the morning. He’d seen Dick but he hadn’t seen him. Boulware also said he needed Dick in the hospital another couple of days for more tests + if Dick wanted him to do what he’s supposed to do he’d better cooperate or get another Doctor. Dick immediately said he understood + it was only because he didn’t know what was happening that he got uptight. It was a good visit + Hartley called too. We watched some TV and I left about 8:00. Came home + mixed up a Dick Michels special – tab + apricot juice + fresca. God awful. Dick called + we had a good chat. Then I called Leon + we spoke for a long time + after I spoke with Shirley for about 40 minutes. We’re going to need more money to go out of business with everything settled honorably + there’s no other way to do it. I dusted in the livingroom + fell into bed about midnight Completely worn out – but as I said above drained of emotion + I think that’s good

Monday, April 24, 1972

Oh dear – terrible day from beginning to end. Dick had a 9 am appt with Hartley. I did some shopping Siemens, Safeway + Skaggs + came back to pick him up. Dr. Hartley had decided Dick should get some neurological tests + made an appt with a Back Neurologist, Dr. Boulware at 3:30. Told us we should pack a bag for the hospital Dick frightened + I too. We went by the office for more insurance forms and saw Jim, Jack + Shirley. Then Dick insisted on stopping at Pat + Georges to see about getting our chairs reupholstered. Dick so unsteady. Saw Ken Dalton there. Dick stumbling around like a bull in the china shop. Fell asleep in one of their leather chairs. I took home some samples + got him out. Stopped at Von tobel’s + picked up some nuts + bolts for that damn kiln, deposited Dick’s check + came home He had some fruit + then he napped for a while. Note from Drue as we left the house. Both of us impressed by Dr. Boulware A big no nonsense man but kind. First we thought we were going home and then he decided to put Dick in the hospital for the tests. We went first to Baskin + Robbins for an ice cream cone + stopped + saw Hartley and then came back to the hospital. Dick fell asleep in the lobby + then one of the admitting nurses got him into a wheel chair + up we went. Nice room with little TV set etc Bentley was supposed to be coming to see him but never showed. After leaving Dick I went to the International + played Keno + 21 I drank + lost money + thence to the Landmark. I just plain went off on a tear + didn’t come home til 7 o’clock. 15 messages from Dick who was upset + furious. Called + told him I hadn’t turned the phone off answer + then went over to Joyce’s.

Sunday, April 23, 1972


Dick very weak today Ed Kulick came over in the am. to say hello + stayed for about 20 minutes. He offered to do any chores that needed to be done + Dick told him he could plaster the pool! I think Ed was a little shook up by the visit. I wrote Gen Millar + sent her a check for $6.00 (gambling debt.) Also ordered 2 of those navy middy blouses. One for Colby + one for Joyce. Later I wrote a note to Pat Moore saying I was sorry to miss her party on Thursday. Cassie called and Mom wanted to come out + help me with Dick. I was completely taken aback + deeply touched. Felt for a moment as though mother were alive. Talked it over with Dick + we called back + said how much it meant to us but that we wanted mom to come when Dick was well so we could really enjoy her. We went over to Jack + Joyce’s to look for Dick’s drill and then we went to the office where Dick just sat. It’s going to be terrible for him to give up that place. I’m beginning to see just how much it means to him. We came home + lay down I fixed crab legs for dinner + Dick ate well. Also had some cottage cheese for lunch. We talked with Leon today. Watched some of the Tony awards and then later I watched Twilight Zone. Heard Dick yelling in the kitchen. Couldn’t turn the disposal off. I came out + flicked the switch + off it went – It was funny to both of us, like that time with the car. We played yahtzee earlier + Dick won both games This is going to be such a long illness. I’ve got to be more patient + understanding.

Saturday, April 22, 1972


Wrote Cotton with birthday check (13th of April – so included a $5 late charge) Watered lawn pottered about Dick wanted to go to Harris + Franks and get the truck overhauled Fortunately the chevy service department was closed so that was taken care of. We went to Harris + Frank + he picked out a very good looking hound’s tooth jacket and 2 pairs of slacks. Nice man served us (75 yrs old) It came to $30 extra but think it was worth it. Went down to the office and I went to Skaggs for his librium Rx + more chocolate protein powder and Thrifty for groceries. Played the slot machine with some quarters Dick gave me + won $12. Betty Droz of the Retreat was at next machine + sent him her love. Came home + I was suddenly dizzy from hunger or something. Cold sweat – felt terrible. Ate something but didn’t feel a hell of alot better. Lay down + napped for a while Finished Mary Jean’s bag sewed Dick’s shorts and did some laundry. Made a pumpkin pie + fixed chicken for dinner. Dick rather difficult – has burned 2 holes in the bedspread + gets furious when I say anything about watching his cigarettes. He’s spilling everything too. If he were at all cooperative as an invalid I wouldn’t mind but he overdoes + then is terribly shaky I can’t reason with him + sometimes I get the feeling I’m being pushed just to test the limits. Had to have his pie before dinner. Promised to eat his chicken if he could have his pie first. Why? it’s like taking care of a spoiled, cantankerous child alot of the time. I love Dick but I could certainly use a little help from him. I didn’t feels so hot today myself + I shudder to think what would happen if I were really ill. I told him I didn’t want to pamper him, that I wanted him to get well but I can’t tell when I’m getting through. Read or rather reread some Agatha Christie – bed about midnight.

Friday, April 21, 1972

175 – Harold Stern called today to say things were picking up + they might still be in business. Wow!

Quiet morning. I called Hilary but she wasn’t there so I spoke to Jim instead who was very busy. Evidently Russell had been to N.L. + told Daddy + them that Dick was in the hospital I thanked Jim for helping Harriet’s brother + told him we were looking forward to their visit in late August. Also asked him to tell Cotton I would write. Then called Daddy + said we were sorry we hadn’t written blah blah blah. He told me to tell Dick that we had his love and he was pulling for us etc. He told me that everyone was going to Jessie’s wedding + I felt a slight pang but that’s life. I told him we’d both call him sometime soon. I vaccuumed the livingroom really thoroughly and the guest room, dusted + washed the bathroom rugs and the front part of the house looks pretty nice. Put out the garbage. Dick had poached eggs (or part of them) for breakfast and then got upset about where the dirt had been dumped in back. I paid some bills – telephone, Bank Americard, mystery guild, Argus Champion + sent contributions (small) to Southwest Indian + Epilepsy Foundation Went out for the groceries at 2 o’clock + came back to find that Dick was out in back in his bathrobe trying to help Jerry grade. I got angry + asked him What the hell he was trying to prove he got angry so I left it but when Jack drove up I told him to get Dick in Evidently he did very effectively! I fixed dinner – veal Parmiagian, potatos + salad + then took a bath + washed my hair. Took Dick to Hartley’s + he was falling asleep. Went + got Dick’s check at the office + came back. Hartley saw me for a while + then us together. Told Dick he cannot drive + should limit his exercises to short walks. We got back to find Jack + Joyce waiting. Joyce is in the thick of “The Godfather” only has a hundred pages to go. Good dinner + then poker. Dick went to bed at 9:30 + I followed at eleven. Joyce said the house looks “really sharp” + I was very pleased.

Thursday, April 20,*1972


Today was a day + a half. Woke to see Dick had left the bed + almost simultaneously there was a pounding on the library door. Jack telling me the truck was gone! He went to look for Dick + I came out into the kitchen. Found a note saying “I can’t sleep – have gone to the office” I called him there + he sounded drunk. When I asked if he’d had anything to drink He said Do you think I’m crazy?” But God knows he sounded it. Told me he could barely keep the car on the road and couldn’t stop for stop signs etc. That he wasn’t picked up was the biggest stroke of luck we’ve had in some time! Jack called to say he was there with Dick (Jack upset that I’d slept through Dick’s departure but with the hours we’ve been keeping I’m knocked out.) I called Hartley about a possible sleeping pill + he told me 2 libriums should do it. Asked me if there was anything to drink in the house + I told him only a 1/2 pint of bourbon that I’d hid. He told me to get rid of it which I did. Called Shirley at home to tell her what to expect + she said she’d call when Jack + Dick left. I vaccuumed the dining area + was cleaning when she called to say things had gone beautifully + we’re closing the business at the end of May. Thank God. Jack + Dick back shortly after. I got Dick’s vitamins + milkshake down him + then tried to get him to go to bed. He lay on the couch for a while. He seemed very happy with the decision + evidently Shirley + Jack said everything right. Now he wants to go to New Hampshire – I’m trying to talk him into July or August. I finished vaccuuming half the living room + then when Dick went to bed started on the kitchen floor. Stripped it + tried to rinse it + waxed it. All of which took several hours + didn’t come out any too beautifully. About 5 I went shopping. Stopped over at J + J’s first for about 20 minutes. Then cleaners, drug store + Safeway. Came back to find Dick in the kitchen fixing oyster stew Hartley called to change tomorrow’s appt from 6 to 5 + asked how things had gone this a.m. When I said [crossed out word] “gorgeously” he said “Are you being funny?” Dick picked up on the other line at that point so that was it but I thought that was funny. Scotty’s books came this a.m.!!! We tried to call him with no luck but we called Leon + had a good talk. Glad we did.

Wednesday, April 19,*1972

Horrible morning but got better. Couldn’t wake Dick to take his pills. He would be sitting up on the edge of the bed + I’d rush to the kitchen + back + he’d be asleep again. Made 2 sets of scrambled eggs – I ate one + the dogs the other. I was in tears alot of the a.m. Prayed + cleaned house Suddenly around 11:30 I got his pills + milkshake down him + he sort of came to. Got up and had some jello + a very small amount of cottage cheese. We called Scotty about the book Dick’s looking for on liquid dynamics or fluid dynamics He said he’d try to find it – we played a game of yahtzee + I made love to Dick + tried to get him to sleep again. Jack came by as we were going to see Hartley. They talked a little. Got to Hartley a few minutes late. I went to the health food store + Safeway + thrifty. Went in + saw Hartley for a while with Dick. More talk about closing the business. [crossed out word] Hartley suggested we try to talk about it unemotionally. I of course have no emotions on the subject except to want out. We went to the store briefly and then to Desert Poultry for lobster tails + oysters. Came home + started to fix dinner. Dick called Shirley who was out + Jack whom he put on the spot. My fault as I’d said lightly in Hartley’s office that I thought “everyone would be relieved + happy to call it a day with the business.” Dick + I talked at length and at the moment his idea is to “cut overhead” + carry on by himself. Good Christ the last thing in the world he can do + get well. We had a very good dinner + Dick ate well + then had his milkshake without a murmur + I shaved him – Watched TV + I sewed on M.J.’s bag (almost finished) I fell asleep around midnight Called Daisy in the a.m and the machine hit around eleven o’clock yesterday! Explained why I hadn’t been back to see her – Dick was rational + calm in the evening and I felt we’d taken grant strides even though he’s still determined to “make it” in the pool business.

Tuesday, April 18,*1972

Horrible day. Dick woke at 4 am with a splitting headache. Hartley had said aspirin were bad so I looked for something else In the meantime it turned out Dick had already taken 2 excedrin pm. He was moaning with pain. Has had only one other so bad since we were married. I made him some tea but then the headache had gone + he went back to bed. I never did get back to sleep. Jack + Jerry started to work on the pool but the wind came up + they had to lay off around 10. I went out to get Jack to help with Dick + they’d left. Dick like a zombie all day. Unable to move well, function or speak. Couldn’t get any protein down him in the a.m except the milkshake just fruit, fruit, fruit. Joyce came over + I gave her some of our bread. Also some Honey glycerine soap that Mr. Fernandez brought by. He said his group is still praying and I think Dick needs it now more than before. Strange day Dark + windy and little gusts of rain. The anti-crime guy came by to check the system Paul Smith called Dick – had heard (?) he was sick. Took out the garbage + I napped in the afternoon Woke about 5 – called Bentley who said the tail end after effects of the drinking could cause a neuritis. He didn’t think it sounded too bad evidently. I went out shopping about 6:30. Stopped to ask Ed Kulick to drop in on Dick but he wasn’t home. I fixed stuffed peppers for dinner but Dick wouldn’t eat any. He couldn’t seem to wake up all day long. I called Dr. Hartley at the hospital + missed him + then called + got him at home. He said to give him the librium. He has an appt with Dick tomorrow at 4. He’s going to try to talk Dick out of the pool business. He didn’t seem to think today sounded too terrible either. We had a bad storm + all the lights went out for an hour. I worked on MJ’s bag. Daisy called this morning to say the progressive was up to $1,000 and I talked with Druscilla. Wedding announcement from Mary for Margie. I gave Dick a shave about 11:30 + he came to bed about midnight.

Monday, April 17,*1972

Saw Jack + Jerry as they went off to Bennick’s pool. Dick up quite a bit during the night. Slept after 6:30 – was pitifully weak. Seemed to realize for the first time (crazy?) how sick he is. I called Shirley who told me we out to close the business that we’re losing money at the rate of a thousand a week. I told her I couldn’t say anything to Dick now but I did – sometime after he said something about wanting to go to New Hampshire I said “Do you know what I wish? I wish you’d get out of the pool business + we could have time for ourselves.” He said “I can’t” + I said “it’s just wishful thinking but it seems such a waste of your talents.” That was all. At about two we went to Sears + Dick got some grinding tools, we went by the office where Jim had just sold a pool + then we went to the hospital + measured the kiln + said hello to everyone Next stop Fletcher Jones where Dick had some keys made + started talking leases on cars. I told him I’d be happy with the VW + he seems to agree. Went + got some groceries + took Dick to Dr. Hartley for a 5:45 appt. I called Shirley about a speech + looked for some ashtrays + then went to wait for Dick When they finished Hartley said “Well we had a very good talk today, we talked about getting out of the pool business.” [crossed out letters] I was so surprised I almost fainted. Evidently Hartley doesn’t think it’s the right business for Dick either. Dick looked so much better when he came out of there but he made me promise not to bring it up at Jack + Joyces. We got over there about 7:15. Joyce talked to me outside + told me Jack thought he ought to close the business + I told her about today. I think one of the things that Dick is worried about is Jack’s job. Not to mention the thought of paying me back which would never be possible – but if we don’t care then maybe we can let this mess go. Came home at 8:15 – Had broiled pork chops for dinner but Dick only ate half – played yahtzee + went to bed. Hartley said that the protein drinks are good + that if Dick is getting them twice a day plus the meat + cottage cheese he should be getting enough. Next appt on Weds.

Sunday, April 16, 1972


Quiet day – Dick slept most of it. I wrote Leon + Timmy with checks and a congratulations card to Virginia Martindale and a too short note finally to Jill (A month since I got her letter – but what a month) I called Alice + told her Dick was home with acute hepatitis + she said among other things “it was coming.” She leaves next weekend for Rhode Island. Got info on how to transplant mums + azalias which I did in the afternoon. We called Philadelphia + spoke to Mom + George – later Cassie called. I went out for groceries around 4:30 or so. Got all kinds of fruit. Dick was working on his chess set when I came back. I did the ironing + changed our sheets. We ate about 8:45. I’d gotten 2 filet mignons for dinner and, after saying he wasn’t hungry, Dick ate all of his. We’d called Jack + Joyce to ask them to dinner but [crossed out word] Jack’s daughter was there + Mike + they couldn’t make it. We played yahtzee and I shaved Dick + took a bath. Bed about midnight I hope that protein drink has all the protein in it that it’s supposed to as Dick has been drinking it twice a day. Also eating one serving of cottage cheese + 1 serving of meat. All the rest of what he eats is fruit and I’m beginning to think he’s eating too much of that.

Saturday, April 15, 1972

175 1/2

Dick slept late – after waking me for good at 6 o’clock My temper is at it’s thinnest in the early am with no sleep. Came out in the kitchen + wrote diary + pottered about – watered [crossed out letter] lawn. Clyde + his partner Al whom I like alot showed up about [crossed out letter] 9 o’clock. I apologized to Clyde for the other day. The quote of the whole week was Clyde’s earnest, concerned “But Dick never drank a whole lot.” Al just looked at him + then said “I have to let that one go by.” Around 10:30 or so Dick said he didn’t want his milkshake + wouldn’t drink it. Got very disagreeable which of course I did too. Clyde + Al finished about noon + Dick went out + talked with them. They had beer + I took Dick’s shake out to him at one point + he drank it. They did a very nice job. Al told me he hadn’t known how sick Dick was + said all kinds of nice things about him + what [crossed out letters] a hell of a cement finisher he’d been etc. We went to the library to look for information on pumps + could find nothing. Dick’s sense of balance is way off, his voice is monotone + halting + he can’t complete a sentence. The ironic result is he looks crocked to the eyeballs + it’s pretty ghastly being out with him. Went to the Blvd + I picked up his razor, bought a new watch + volume two of “The Way Things Work” – in about 6 minutes. Next stop office to get the graph paper. I mailed Hartley’s check for the balance of the 935.00 We got home about 4:30 – played 1 game of yahtzee – Ed + Casey came over for a while. I fixed veal parmiagian for dinner + Dick ate it all – We watched TV + went to bed early for us (this past week at least) watched more TV + I collapsed at eleven.

Friday, April 14, 1972


Hard to keep an accurate acct of Dick’s weight as he forgets + eats first etc. He slept all morning I worked a little on the blanket I’m making for Druscilla. it’s going to be pretty ugly I fear as I’ve gotten it all muddled up. Shirley went to court today on the Pat Sullivan business. Called to say that Dave hadn’t shown up, that the counter claim hadn’t been filed and that we have a judgement of $300 against us. I’m very angry with Dave. Didn’t tell Dick. We left the house about 2 o’clock + went to the Valley bank + deposited Virginia Manino’s check. Went to the bank of Nevada + deposited Rae Odell’s check and 2 small residuals Took Dick’s razor to the Tinderbox to be fixed. Got to the office at 3 o’clock. cashed Dick’s check + went to the Safeway and Skaggs. Saw Dr. Hartley at 4 o’clock. While I was there he said he didn’t think Dick should go to the office – he needed total rest etc. Also the low salt diet very important for the next couple of months etc. I left + went to Siemens for some non-salted bread + mayonnaise – also got some fruit. Came back + picked up Dick who didn’t have much to say except that Hartley felt if the Carpenter business wasn’t settled Dick would have a breakdown. That that was why Dick had been drinking (I don’t believe the latter as he drank almost as much before but I do believe the former) Dick got a haircut while I read a marvelous Ngaio Marsh book came home + Dick had letters + cards from Mom, Cassie + George (5 in all!) Hot roast beef sandwiches for dinner Tony Carillo + his daughter Linda + her friend Sally McKenna came by around 9 o’clock which made a very nice break. We played yahtzee after – Dick a little quicker than last night – bed about 11 or so. I called Leon in the a.m. + had a long talk with him. I think things are cleared up. The phone rang tonight + when Dick answered the voice asked if this was Richard Michel’s residence. He said yes + the party hung up. He swears it was Mary – plastered.

Thursday, April 13, 1972

176 1/2

Quiet day thank God – Dick slept almost all morning. I went out about 11:30 to the safeway + the laundry. I wrote Margie a rather brief letter with love and a check for $100.00 and I wrote Mary explaining my unwillingness to talk last night + asking her please to treat a confidence as such + telling her that Dick + I have to concentrate on our own problems which are immense to the exclusion of everyone else’s problems. We went to Dr. Bentleys at 2:30 – He was very pleased with the physical progress Dick’s been making – Said there is almost no trace of fluid left + that we can stop the diuretics for the time being. Keep on with the orinase + the vitamins + the protein. Dick weighed 181 on Bentley’s scale but that was with all his clothes + pockets full of change. (Last time he came to the office he weighed 196 lbs.) He’s going to see Dick in 2 weeks + in the meantime was glad we’re keeping up with Hartley. Went over to the office + ran into Jim Daniels. I took Dick’s razor back to Dahnkins while they talked + got back in time for a brief word myself with Jim – he’s quit his job – tonight was the last night. He said that Dick had been pushing Shirley pretty hard + we can’t afford to lose her I asked him to do what he can to keep Dick calmed down. We got home about 5 I guess. Jerry had cleaned up the garage. Really lovely job. I’ve had the heater on for the dogs as it’s been cold as well as windy. Dick brought in alot of books to put in the addition. We took shelves out of the garage. I vaccuumed + cleaned pretty thoroughly + now there’s one clean room in the place. We had a chicken dinner. Leon called + was upset because he thought I was angry with him + said he had nobody but us + no reason to live + I got pretty upset. Finally let him talk to Dick + went out in the kitchen to cry. Things are getting to me.

Wednesday, April 12, 1972

176 1/2            Bob got Petie back. The nice news for today.

We called the Desert Retreat to make sure things would be ready to pick up. Asked Lucille to cast the last chess pieces. Took Dick in to the office (poor Shirley + Jim) + went to Wendells + got a little shipbuilding kit for Mr. Chan. Went to Skaggs on tonopah Highway for more of the protein powder, stopped at the safeway to get groceries + ran into Elliott who’s been working there for 8 months now. At the retreat I got Dick’s valuables + his medicines, Mike helped me reload the fire brick (I gave him our number + address) + Lucille helped pack the chess pieces. Mr. Chan delighted with his kit. We exchanged addresses too. Bea took me aside to talk to me + explain what had happened Monday night + I assured her that Dick had since said he was “looking for an excuse to leave” Also he bore no grudge She said to tell him they all sent their love + I know they do. They’re all very good people. Went + got Dick + took him home. Made lime jello + we had lunch at 3 o’clock (hadn’t gotten home til after 2:15) I called Dr. Bentley + he said he’d see Dick tomorrow at 2:30. He was so nice over the phone I felt supported. We napped then Dick started working on some price breakdown Sudden upset because he didn’t have something he needed. Furious with Shirley she’s the scapegoat at the moment + we’re not going to have her much longer if this goes on. [crossed out word] However he got the needed info with a couple of telephone calls. We called Leon + then Leon called back with Scott. Virginia has a new casting job for Quinn Martin. Mary called – endlessly about Margaret + A.A. etc. When I was non-verbal told me not to get up-tight with her – Shit.