I was born in Chicago in December of 1942. I don’t remember living in the city, for I was very young. My dad supported us by working on cargo ships.
About age two, my family (mom, dad and sister) moved to Indiana to live on a farm. My younger sister was born there. I would play with my sisters in the surrounding woods. My father harvested wheat and my younger sister, Betty, and I would be in the back of the tractor eating the wheat berries as they were hulled. My younger sister and I also had fun climbing the corn mounds in the silos. We also raised chickens and pigs.
We moved to California when I was eight. We had a caravan of people coming to California with us. It was an eight-day trip and we stopped at many places along the way. When we got here, we lived in Spreckels and then King City to help my grandmother with her motels. We were made to work at my grandmother’s motels for rent, a great deal for my grandmother (four workers for 8 hours a day). Her other grandchildren, my cousins, never had to help out. My mother worked hard, worked the hotel during the day and waitressed at night. She raised us.
After grammar school, we moved to Salinas, where I attended junior high and high school, then Hartnell College. My first job was working in a carrot shed in Salinas. It was like working eight hours in the refrigerated section in Costco. My fingers got frostbitten. After work, I would go to my friend Nelly’s house. She would open her oven and we would put our feet on the oven door to warm them up, huddled with blankets.
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When I was 27 years old, my daughter Keeley was born. It was the same day I found out my father passed away. However, when my daughter asked, “What was the happiest day of your life?” I replied, “When you were born.” I was a single mother and raised her with my mom when we loved in Salinas and on my own when she and I lived in Greenfield. My daughter ended up going to Fresno State and becoming a field biologist, then a biology teacher.
During my daughter’s years in junior high and high school, I worked as a microfilm operator, which filmed forms for IRS. I finally found a job I really liked. It was so much fun that I couldn’t wait to go to work sometimes. However, technology won out and after 11 years, we were laid off.
I helped my mother during her diabetic years before she passed. Right before that, my daughter and I purchased a home in Clovis in 2001 and I worked for the IRS and Supreme Court Archives. We still own the home but this past year moved to a new home two blocks away.
My daughter in 2012 got married and our current household besides myself includes my daughter, son-in-law, our starling bird Babey, boxer dog Beo, and our cat, Annie.
I currently enjoy going to water aerobics class at GB3, attending dancing events at the Clovis Senior Activity Center and playing games on my tablet. Life is good.