Category Archives: vintage notes

The Pocket Notebooks of Famous Men

Thomas Jefferson’s notebook via: the art of manliness

As someone who has kept a pocket notebook for almost as long as I can remember (thus leading to my desire for this very blog), and as someone who is rarely accused of having manly habits, I was pleased to see this article in The Art of Manliness blog describing the pocket notebooks of various famous men.

Many were interesting, but I really enjoyed Thomas Jefferson’s (shown above) because it was erasable ivory leaves. He’d go about his day, keeping his notes, and then when he got home, would re-copy them into bigger notebooks, and clean off the ivory leaves to ready them for the next day’s writings. This is the kind of process you could only do prior to the internet.

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The Roach Motel

photo of old notebook the roach motel

I’ve been keeping little notebooks for a long time.  I never wrote a long entries, just little thoughts.  Roaches. That’s why I called this one “the roach motel”.  I bought pocket size notebooks so I’d always have one around.

The notebook above is from 1992, and it’s got a  post-it picture scotched taped to the front by my friend Todd Bonne.

From time to time I’ll  post stuff from old notebooks like this.  They are really old.  Here are a few deep thoughts c. 1992 (Italicized commentary is from today):

•The failures of nihilism and angry violence make the only honest target of true revolution myself.
You can imagine how well that revolution went.  Or you don’t even need to imagine.  Just look around.

•seX:  By Any Means Necessary
A succinct distillation of my typical mental state circa 1992.

•Art is never dangerous without an audience.
And it’s never bad without a critic.

•I’m a street crossin’ man.
I’m making this my new motto.

•Sometimes a hat is your best haircut.
That is for real.

•Many people see their long held fantasies become realities – I’m headed the other direction with the tide – I’m watching my realities turn into fantasies.
It’s as if I could see the future with 20/20 vision.

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