I started writing these anecdotal stories about my childhood to be able to share with my classmates next year for our 50th High School Class Reunion. I was surprised that many others were interested in reading my book, so here is how to order one. Thank you for your interest! I’d love your feedback.
Martin Luther King had a dream and I too, have a dream.
The Fair Housing Act was signed into law on April 11, 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. To commemorate its 50th Anniversary, the Clark County Association of Realtors will be having a Ribbon Cutting on April 9th at 10:00 AM, provided by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, with Mayor Ann McEnerny-Ogle doing the honors.
My Dream: There will be hundreds of REALTORS in attendance that we surround the building, that we stand proudly together for social responsibility, and that we continue to promote ethical business practices, adhering to the REALTOR Code of Ethics. What a sight that would be!
April is Fair Housing Month. In Clark County, we celebrate!
I said, “I will”, at my wedding ceremony under a plumeria tree in my dad’s backyard in Kailua, Hawaii.
I honeymooned at the Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki Beach (3 weeks total on the Big Island and Oahu).
We had the first of our two wedding receptions, in Hawaii, then one in California.
I wore my mother’s locket and put the flowers from my hair, on the altar, to share the day with her.
We began creating memories to last a lifetime.
We didn’t take for granted we would one day be celebrating 30 years together.
I married my soul mate.
Aside from visiting old haunts and reconnecting with “old” friends, I came to spend some quiet time writing. I’ve got a great start on a project I’ve been wanting to do and hope I can continue when I get home.
I got to help with putting on a graduation party. This put me right in my element: menu planning, organizing the logistics, preparing food, and being social. “What? You saw it on Pinterest and you’d like me to recreate it?” The watermelon tower was that special request. Another triple digit temperature day in the Big Valley; I don’t miss that.
Final stop on my tour was a visit in the Bay Area with another UOP Alum, Art major, roommate, and dear friend, Betsy Yawn. I couldn’t stay up talking all night like we used to, smoking Benson & Hedges cigarettes and drinking Coca Cola. Her daughter, Carrie, is my Godchild, and I got to meet her two children on this trip.
Lifelong friendships. We’ve gone from being kids ourselves to watching our kids grow and now experiencing the next generation.
In a few months, my Nostalgia Tour will take me to Hawaii to reunite with my childhood friends, family and visiting old haunts there. 2017 is a year of cherishing old memories and making new ones.
Burn’s Tower on the campus of the University of the Pacific, home of the UOP Tigers and my alma mater. I’m pictured here with my friend and fellow Art major, Lori Podesta. Lori sends me a different handmade Christmas card every year. I always look forward to seeing what she will create next.
McConchie Hall was my Freshman Year dorm. Look Sue Pedretti, that’s our room to the left on the second floor. Top floor was for girls and the main level were the boys rooms. Seattle Seahawks coach, Pete Carroll, lived there that year down the hall to the back of the building.
Southwest Hall was my dorm Sophomore Year. If walls could talk…
I taught Art at St. Mary’s High School for 4 years before we moved to Arkansas, then Washington.
Lunch at Garlic Brothers with Bob Giorgi, another Tiger alum. This restaurant was called The Hatchcover when I was in college and my parents brought me here to celebrate my graduation. Bob helped me remember “The Numbers” (The 276 Club), a bar I’d frequent after work at Lyon’s.
Perfect end to a great day!
The stops were random and not in any chronological order, like most of my memories.
So sad to see Gong’s Restaurant in this condition. Many happy times spent here, including Ed’s and my California wedding reception (the other reception was in Hawaii).
This was a Lyon’s Restaurant where I worked as a “Club Room Girl”. The other part of the restaurant was a coffee shop and the Club Room was the dinner house with bar. Ironic that it’s now a Red Robin – Ed won’t be stepping in there!
Taught Grades 6-8, with a 7th Grade Homeroom, at St. Luke’s. My first homeroom class threw me a wedding shower and the following year my second homeroom class threw me a baby shower.
My first home with Ed in Lodi, CA. We remember a neighbor saying they were moving to Arkansas and we looked at each other and said, “Who would move to Arkansas?” The very next year, we moved to Arkansas!
Met Donna at the School of Education at UOP, worked with her at St. Luke’s, and this is her new classroom. We have done a lot of “running around”, and if you know our energy level, that’s a lot of touring.
Part I of my 2017 Nostalgia Tour – California
Started this trek with my friend of 46 years, Donna Young, from Vancouver, WA to the San Joaquin Valley of California, my home of 23 years.
This is my first house, purchased in 1980 for $39,500. This charming cottage featured hardwood floors, arches, and a telephone alcove. Built in 1939 it had 1330 SF with 2 bedrooms/1 bath, 2-car detached garage and a large backyard (I should know as I tore the old fence down so the new fence could go up to contain my black lab and Doberman).
I was a waitress at Mr. D’s Pizza for 2 years. Best pizza in town – its signature pizza had green olives and large pepperoncini. You should have seen the disbelief on people’s faces when we would say, “We don’t have pepperoni pizza, only salami!” Housed in this historic building once owned by the Wagner Leather Company, I remember sitting on those front steps after work. I went in and spoke with the new owners. They’ve owned it for 5 years now and knew nothing about the original owner, Mr. Devalle. I worked for his widow and children.
Fast forward a decade where we brought both of my children home to this early to mid-century duplex. The roofline has changed from the flat roof. I used to be able to walk out the second floor bedroom window and sit outside.
Stopped in at Manny’s around the corner and had a Manny avocado burger on a Genova Bakery roll and their broasted chicken and potatoes. It’s funny how food triggers its own set of memories.
Sue Pedretti was my second semester roommate Freshman year of college. A short visit but we managed to reminisce about 46 years of memories. I spent a couple of vacations with Sue’s family in San Marino, CA and her family visited me in Hawaii. We’re connected on Facebook, but it’s been over 35 years since we last saw each other in person. Sue has always remembered my birthday and sends me a card every year. I, on the other hand, cannot claim to be as thoughtful.
To be continued…
I do not make New Year’s resolutions, but I do have goals for myself for the year. Right about now, it starts to become difficult and so “Start Today”, will be my mantra everyday. Each morning is a new day, a new start. Even if I have to re-start on the same goal, I am one step closer to that goal. I know it takes 21 days to make a habit, and 90 days to make a lifestyle change. It is in my conscientiousness. But it’s hard to appreciate the small successes; I want instant gratification!
I quit smoking 32 years ago in April. It took me 3 attempts over a 14 year period – the first time I quit for 3 months, the second for 2 years. I have to remind myself that I didn’t succeed the first two times. If I wake up a everyday and start my journey to achieve my goals, I know I will succeed. A year from now, I will be glad I started TODAY, even if it’s a re-start!
Do you know the lyrics to Christmas carols? I have my mother to thank for this. We listened to Christmas carols, learned the lyrics to more than just the first verse, and “sang along with Mitch”. She loved Mitch Miller and Lawrence Welk and their holiday specials were a staple in our home every Christmas season.
What amazes me about this is that my mother was a second generation Japanese-American. Her parents were born in Japan and immigrated to Hawaii so Japanese was her first language, yet she knew every Christmas carol, every Mother Goose rhyme, and many Broadway Show tunes. We didn’t have a radio in our car but there was never a lack of music. We would sing songs from “Okalahoma” or “West Side Story” which always made any trip so enjoyable.
Today, Dec. 10, 2016 would have been my mother’s 99th birthday. She’s been gone almost 35 years, yet is so present in my life. She used to have a song for everything. I would groan when she would start singing after a “trigger” word. She would say, “You’ll think of me because of this, when I’m gone.” How right she was. I find myself doing the same thing. I see a sign for the “Brick House Restaurant” and I start singing, “She’s a Brick (musical interlude) House….” I even passed the love of Broadway musicals to my children who couldn’t go to sleep without the Oklahoma video playing in the background.
This year, with each posting of my Christmas sweaters on Facebook, I have included a line from a Christmas carol or poem to honor my mother. Happy Birthday, Mom!
Growing up, Thanksgiving Day was not the picture-postcard Thanksgiving I imagined as the American Holiday. At school we learned Thanksgiving songs, we made Thanksgiving crafts, all centered around learning about this holiday. At home, we didn’t sit around a formal dinner table, we didn’t say a prayer, we ate “sticky”rice with turkey gravy!
As an adult, I tried to set about creating a Thanksgiving tradition for my family – what I thought Thanksgiving should be. With much protest, everyone was asked to say what they were thankful for. We had the roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry relish, rolls and pumpkin pie. Was this Thanksgiving?
Were there more parallels or more differences? The food was slightly different, but it was always a feast and everyone enjoyed the meal. Prayer may not have been vocalized aloud, but the unity of family and friends gathered together, expressed gratitude.
There has always been much to be thankful for in my life, even through the most difficult of times. Thanksgiving. It is just that – giving thanks.
Wishing you blessings of health and inner peace on Thanksgiving and always!