In 1929 a 17-year-old Hyde Parker named Virginia May Garcia had her diary privately printed, titling it A Journal of a Young Girl. She then completely disappeared and, as far as I’ve been able to determine, never published another word. Which is a shame, because the journal’s a great read. Garcia had a gift for whimsical nonsense, whether she was writing poetry, chronicling her travels in Europe, or merely goofing around. In the very first passage she titles the work her “Funny Bunny Diary” because, as she says, “I am going to try to make it funny, and I called it the Bunny Diary because it rhymed so nicely with Funny, and gave the title a quaint sound, don’t you think? Maybe you don’t, but I don’t care. It’s my diary, and I ought to have the right to name it any name I wanted, even if it was the Turkey Waddle Diary, or the Speckled Rooster Chronicle. So there!” The niche where I found the book, deep in the bowels of the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library (call number PS3513.A228J8 1929), remains one of my favorite spots, or slots, in the city. Joseph Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57th, 773-702-8740, lib.uchicago.edu/e/reg. —Noah Berlatsky
We also want to hear your stories about your favorite people, places, and things in the city--go here to share them with the rest of the class.