I was born July 10, 1943 in Tulare. My parents Lloyd and Pauline met at church; they were the first couple to be married in that church. Dad was drafted into the Army a short time later. He was one of six brothers who were all in the military at the same time, five were in the Army and one was in the Navy. I can’t imagine what my grandparents went through during this time; fortunately they all came home safe.
We moved to Long Beach when I was two-and-a-half years of age. Dad was a motorcycle officer with the military police. Life was pretty good after the war was over, at least in my eyes, and I had a new baby sister. My brothers came along in 1950 and 1956.
We moved back to Tulare the summer before I entered eighthgrade. I remember pony tails, saddle shoes, pedal pushers, putting peanuts in our RC colas, the music of the 50s, going to the local diner where mini jukeboxes were right on the table (put a quarter in and you could select six songs), and Stan’s Drive Inn’s dedicated request line.
During my first year of high school, I met the young man who was later to become my husband. Things were tight at home, and I convinced my parents to let me get married. After several discussions, they consented and at the age of 15 I got married. A lot of folks thought I was pregnant and one even asked my dad when my baby was due. Dad had a few choice words for that person. Being married at any age is a learning experience and so our lessons began.
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A year and a half after we got married, we welcomed our daughter, the first of four children - another girl and two boys. We started having problems and eventually divorced. I moved to Fresno where my parents had moved a few years earlier. I found work as a waitress and also went back to school and got my GED.
A couple of years later, I moved to southern California, where I met and married my second husband, who just happened to have a Harley motorcycle. Our honeymoon was the 11 western states motorcycle rally in Henderson, Nev.
We moved to Clovis in 1973. I went back to school and graduated as a front office medical assistant and went to work for a local doctor in the billing department. While I was attending school, my sister and two brothers were also going to school and making career choices.
My youngest brother was on the sheriff’s department, my next to the youngest brother became a minister, and my sister became a nurse, so if my sheriff brother had a problem that resulted in injury to a suspect, my minister brother would pray for them, my sister would help nurse them back to health, and I would send them the bill. We had all bases covered.
We eventually moved to Auberry. Our youngest son, Kevin, was living at home and working a job at Shaver Lake. He rode his motorcycle to and from work. On the afternoon of Sept. 11, 1987, he was on his way home when a drunk driver came around a curve on Kevin’s side of the road. Kevin tried to avoid a collision and lost control of his motorcycle; he was thrown into the front of the drunk driver’s vehicle severing his main aorta and died before he hit the ground. My son was 19 and his life ended because of a drunk driver.
My husband was offered a job as manager of a warehouse so in 1990, we moved back to southern California where we lived until he retired. We put our belongings in storage, bought a one-ton dually pickup and 34ft 5th wheel. For more than six years, we were “workkampers” working in RV parks in California, Washington and Arizona.
We eventually settled in Hemet in 2005, where we were assistant managers of a mobile home park. My husband started having health issues the summer of 2009 so we resigned as assistant managers because his health kept getting worse. On Dec. 10, 2009, my husband of 38 ½ years - my best friend, my lover, my confidant, the man who married me and raised my four children as his own - took his last breath. In September 2011, I moved to Clovis to be near my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
I have survived the loss of my son, my husband, my parents, a triple bypass and just recently colon cancer. I am happy with where I am in my life now. I enjoy being a volunteer at the Clovis Senior Activity Center, my ladies Bible study group, my family and friends. Life goes on and I am truly blessed.
~ Submitted by Clovis Senior Activity Center