Dangerous to Men and Etc.

September 4th, 2012

I don’t really care for memoirs. Give me a good cyberpunk or zombie apocalypse novel any day. Yep, that was my motto. Then all these memoirs kept landing in my lap: Jolene Siana’s “Go Ask Ogre.” Anne Soffee’s “Snake Hips” and “Nerd Girl Rocks Paradise City.” Diablo Cody’s “Candy Girl.” And I loved them. I mean, really loved them. Then I met Doris.

And I can gallop full speed with one hand in my pocket. Oh la-la.

Doris Louise Bailey Murphy wrote in her diary of one of her many dalliances, “If I live for a hundred years, I’ll never forget that kiss. Never, never, never.” She lived to be 101. When she passed away in 2011 her journals were given to her great niece, author (and my friend) Julia Park Tracey. Through Facebook, Tracey began sharing snippets of Doris’s life in Portland and, encountering overwhelming enthusiasm from her followers, published “I’ve Got Some Lovin’ To Do: The Diaries Of A Roaring Twenties Teen, 1925-1926” this year.

I had the pleasure of being an advance reviewer for the manuscript, and developed a huge crush on Doris, a May-December romance that was more “Somewhere in Time” than “Harold and Maude.” Through her diaries, Doris remains young and vibrant. She was, one might say, a hoot. Maybe even a rebel. Definitely full of pep, by gosh and by golly. Her little affectations, “Umm” and “not bad – that,” and how she can switch between reflections on humanity and her broken curling iron will charm you. Don’t try to fight it.

PARENTAL ADVISORY: Doris “made love” to quite a few young men. To translate that scandalous behavior into modern parlance, she kissed a lot of boys. LOTS. She was searching for Mr. Right and was having loads of fun looking for him along the way. Good on her.

Love is going to come in a flurry of gladness.

Local events promoting Tracey’s book include a reading at Books, Inc. in Alameda on October 12. More to Doris’s liking, I imagine, is the book signing party the next night at Swell bar in Alameda, featuring the “Rebel Girl” cocktail named in her honor, and tunes from her youth.

“Lovin” is available on Amazon.com, as well as at your local bookstore, if you ask them nicely to carry it. But, hey, I’ll tell ya’ what: The first person who can answer this question correctly in a comment here on my blog gets a free copy of the book:

What was the name of the ranch at which Doris stayed in 1926?

She kept diaries through her nineties, so there’s plenty more where that came from. I, for one, can’t wait.

Keep up to date at thedorisdiaries.com.

Michael Singman-Aste
Postdiluvian Photo

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2 responses to “Dangerous to Men and Etc.”

  1. Nichole says:

    Oooh I think I know the ranch! Was it the Double O (O-O)??? I hope I hope I hope! 🙂 Great review. Been following Doris on Twitter for a long time and I can’t wait to read the book!

  2. Michael Singman-Aste says:

    We have a winner! Congratulations, Nichole!

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