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Today in My History

2000: I Was OK until I got Arrested
2001: Slacker No More

2002: Raspberry / Chocolate / Whipped Cream, Oh My
2003: The Book

Voices from the Past
2006: I'm Too Sleepy to Be Awake at This Hour
2007: Nobody Understands Me!
2008: Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend
2009: There's No Place Like Home
2010: Siblings
2011: Gettin' our Group On.

Bitter Hack
Updated: 10/08
"The Miracle Worker"

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 10/10
"Other Voices, Other Rooms"

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The Paul Picnic

Mirror Site for RSS Feed:
Airy Persiflage

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mail to Walt


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23 October 2012

I had originally intended to post this for Sunday, as I normally do, but after the Lamplighters Gala, it had to be postponed.

Part 2: Growing Up

15. How would you describe your childhood in general?
Relatively uneventful.  We were a more less typical 1950s family, except that we didn't have our own home. My mother was the dutiful housewife (until I was in high school, when she went to work). My father had a volatile temper (emotional, not usually physical) which made us walk on eggshells when he was home, but he was gone a lot because his job kept him away from home at least 2-3 nights a week (he worked the mail on a train between San Francisco and Los Angeles and back again)

16. What is your earliest memory?
Riding a train to Los Angeles with my mother. She tells me I was 18 months old at the time.  My memory is just flashes and snippets and very, very brief. I also remember an again brief moment when my sister was a baby (so I would have been somewhere between 4 and 5) when I wanted to be in the crib and drinking out of a bottle again. My mother let me, but it wasn't as great as I'd expected.

17. How much schooling have you had?
8 years Catholic grammar school, 4 years Catholic high school, 1 yr at UC Berkeley.

18. Did you enjoy school?
Neutral on grammar school (I was kind of a loner), loved high school, hated the school part of UC Berkeley, but loved all the socialization.

19. Stop and count, Since you were born until today; how many homes have you lived in?
1. The flat my parents rented in San Francisco from 1943 until about 1974, when they finally bought a house.
2. Dorm at UC Berkeley in 1961
3. Apartment in Berkeley, living alone
4. Apartment in Berkeley, living with Gerry (Ned's godmother)
5. Living with Mike and Char for about six months
6. Apartment in Berkeley, living alone
7. The first apartment Walt and I had after we married, in Berkeley
8. A house we rented in Albany (next door to Berkeley)
9. The house we bought in Oakland in 1971
10. The house we bought in Davis in 1973

20. While growing up, did you have any role models?
In grammar school, I was so taken with St. Terese of Lisieux ("The Little Flower") that I wanted to be a carmelite nun.
In high school, my typing teacher, Sister Anne, who was firsts my teacher, then my good friend for the rest of her life, until she died about 20 years ago.

21. While growing up, how did you get along with the other members of your family?
My sister (who was 4-1/2 years younger) and I were never close; I got along well with my mother, not so well with my father.  We were all united in our dislike of my grandmother (my father's mother), though I loved my mother's mother.  My two grandfathers were always kind of distant. I have 32 cousins, but throughout my life I was only close with my cousin Peach.

22. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
First, carmelite nun, then a nurse (until I thought about the smells and yucky stuff I'd have to deal with), then a Daughter of Charity.

23. What were your favorite activities 3 years ago?
Pretty much the same activities that I do today--reading, TV, photography, writing this journal, travel.  Things don't change much when you retire!

24. As a child, what kinds of personality traits did you display?
I was untidy, uncoordinated, shy, lazy, but good natured and lovable with a good sense of humor
I have not changed

25. As a child, were you popular?
No.  I had a few friends, but was never one of the popular guys.

26. When and with whom was your first kiss?
I don't remember when, but I was 13 and it was from Bill, who was my first boyfriend for 3 years, until he went into the seminary to become a Jesuit brother.

27. Describe any influences in your past that led you to do the things you do today.
Sister Anne, of course, had a HUGE influence on me.  I can't imagine where I would be today if I had not had a solid foundation in typing.
I credit Sister Mary William, the music teacher, with getting me started on writing, since she was also in charge of the school yearbook and newspaper and got me on the staff of both.

From my father I got my love of music my sense of humor.
I wish I could say I got the ability to keep house, iron, cook, or garden from my mother, but somehow those traits never "took" with me.

28. What's next?
Beats me.  Too many completely unexpected things have happened in my life for me to predict "what's next"? It's all an adventure.


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We are having a slight fly problem!
These guys were so oblivious, I was able to go get the camera,
focus, and take several pictures, this one from about 2" away
and they never moved...but eventually all broke and flew away.


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