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
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
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.