First Entry – September 1876
The sun is over the valley below. We here on the mountain have it better than the rest of them, I think. Being up here all the time in the cool fall air of Tennessee. Got me a real-live town building up down there. Built that school and the store and the restaurant and the hotel. Got all kinds of people coming in now and buying up what’s left of the land. Letting it go where I think it’s a good thing to be let go. I like a lot of the people. After the war people needed new and good and they were happy that I’d paved the way. They saw what I saw, that the madness didn’t have to be here forever. Named the place Millsville at the urging of Mary who says she is so proud of me and that she couldn’t have done better in a husband than she’s done in me. God, I love that girl. Why she said yes I’ll never know. She wasn’t after my money. She loves me. It’s in her eyes when she looks at me. She is the dream I’ve always dreamed after and now all the working and saving and being smart in the business world has paid off and we’re well off, got a town named after my family starting down there and we live up here on this mountain with our chickens and our mules and sheep and garden and Mary takes care of them most and she paints and sews and cooks and cleans even though I could hire someone right out to take care of everything. Our livelihood isn’t gotten from up here, but down there. I’m pulling in more from that restaurant alone than I need to live on. I tell Mary I’m taking her to Paris, France and London, England and she tells me to be silent, that she doesn’t need that fancy sort of life, that she’s got her morning walks in the woods and her artistic endeavors and, I can see it, she’s got that gleam in her eye. She wants to have a baby. God it feels good. Everything’s turned out right. And I never stole anything to get us where we are today. Right living and good, sound business practices and everybody trusted me. Now they love me, love us, love Mary. Everybody loves Mary, the way she walks and how beautiful she is. I can’t help but thinking that we’re the king and queen of the whole valley. We’re everything two married people dream of being, except that one thing about having a baby, but that won’t be too long. Mary is simply the love of my life and I am the happiest man on the planet. Mary said I should write this diary like a book so that people in the future can understand the context. She’s also a literary genius and has a book of her own full of poems. I do feel a little stupid writing it like that since I know everything all the time, but I’ll try not to forget about the future people and tell this like a story that I don’t know. Maybe me and the future will learn a few things about what I think I know, but didn’t really know, by following this process of Mary’s. She calls me Nathaniel Hawthorne. She calls me smart. She says I’m a man of importance. God, I love that girl. Don’t laugh people of the future. I’m just a man in love. Goodbye for now, Diary.