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Personal History for Merrily McCarthy

Dedication Chapter

Title of Your Autobiography


About the Author:

This story is about me, so answering this question might seem rather redundant. However there are a few mentionable facts that will encourage interest: I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in June of 2009 at the age of 64. Sitting in the audience surrounded by fellow academics filled me with great joy. Knowing that I had accomplished at least this much education in my lifetime thrilled me to the bottom of my soul. My major was in Anthropology, Archealogy, Criminology, and Theatre Arts. Someone from my past teased me about, "what, you going to teach the criminals how to act?" My truth is, I wanted to learn more about people and the way that people came to be and hopefully learn how to unravel the mystery of future life. After all, my Father and Mother gave me a to die for educational boost by raising me on a Dairy Farm in California.

Date of completion.

I have not set a date for the completion of this written accomplishment of my life, because life goes on and on...

Words of wisdom, favorite quote, or words to live by:

Growing up on the farm, well, I never got too many words of wisdom because the dogs were always barking, the cows always bellering in their pens and my Father was louder than them all. My Father was a man of few words. We did things. We did not talk about the doing.

If you would like to be contacted by someone who reads your biography, please include a current e-mail address. Remember, it is entirely up to you if you would like to make your biography public and it is entirely up to you if you would like to include your e-mail address for others to contact you.

I love recieving snail mail so you can write to me at:

Merrily McCarthy
P.O. Box 176
Yosemite, California

or text me:


or send me an email:

Please feel free to communicate, perhaps you know me or perhaps I left out some detail or perhaps you have a comment to make. I would love to read your message.

Just The Facts

In a few pages, what is summary of your life story?

My life summary is rather complicated and it begins with my first generation Portuguese Immigrant Father. And my Second generation French Candian/Irish, Scott, Dutch/German/English Mother. They were both Americans! I became a second generation American Citizen right after the Second World War. I was born to a farm family in California. I grew up on a Dairy Farm. I graduated from High School in Exeter, California in 1962. I attented College of Sequoias in Visalia, California. I worked at my first job away from home in Sequoia National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park. I then took my virginity and gave it away to a Norwegian lover who proceeded to beat me for an entire year and left me completely destroyed. I had brain damage, concussions, emotional trauma from hell, and from their I began to reconstruct what I understood of life. I busted out of my cage and moved to the exciting city of San Francisco and floated around in the "Love Child" world of the 60's hippies. People thought I was a Flower Child. I was just trying to mend the domestic violence scars. I got pregnant out of wedlock, rather carelessly, however this helped to change my life for the better, "it gave me someone to love." I job hopped for several years. Raised my daughter and met a young man and fell in love. We lived together for nearly a decade. I earned a living as an exotic dancer because that is all I could do. I was damaged internally and externally from the way back when Norwegian Lad. I lived in Las Vegas, Nevada for maybe 15 years and had broke up with the second important young man in my life, and met another one, whom "insisted we get married!" So we got married. This lasted for another near decade and in that time I was able to open and operate my own Singing Telegram and Exotic Dance Business. This marriage fell apart, as well the business and whatever else we acquired of material value. However my daughter gave birth to my First Grandson and she favored me to raise the little fellow. And I did. For 24 years. In that time we moved to Fresno, California and I achieved my graduation degree. At the moment I am working in Yosemite National Park and writing screenplays, making Origami Designs, and Drawing...and looking toward the next big event horizon.

Please enter the date you began answering these questions.

This written document is being typed beginning on the 5th of May, 2015. This is the Day in 1996 that my Father passed away at high noon in the Visalia Community Hospital in Visalia, California. He left us on Cinco De Mayo. I feel this was rather prophetic as it was 12 noon on the 5th of May.

What is your name (first, middle, maiden name, last)? Do you like your name? If you could, would you choose another? What name would you choose? Who were you named for?

My given name at birth is Merrily Ann Nunes. When I was born I am certain I had no opinion or concern for a name preference. Peter would have sufficed. However when I was old enough to know I even had a name I heard it called often. "Merrily do this. Merrily do that. Merrily wake up. Merrily get the cats out of your bed!" My name had a pretty melodic sound and I found that to be attractive. When I was old enough to learn how to form letters and spell my name, well, things changed. They changed because I could actually see my name and sound it out. I thought my first name was beautiful. Ann, not so much, yet it is English, Christian name and as I learned more about history, I read that there were famous women of royalty named Queen Ann. So I slowly accepted those two pieces of the moniquer. My last name gave me disconcernation. It sounded like a wounded woman. It sounded like the word noon. It did not sound English, nor did it sound spanish and it was not either. It was Portuguese. Only problem was, no one I was around, like the kids in grammar school knew what a Portuguese person was. Times of course have changed, and we are more educated and we have also gotten a great deal older. Every time I was introduced to someone they would without hesitation speak, "My what a pretty name you have. I have never heard a name like that before.!" It is a little embarrassing. I got used to it and had to stop and explain lamely, "well it is really not a name. It is an English adjective that means happy." And then I would see a change of face in front of me, usually followed by a smirk and a tee-hee. Sometimes I got a "Oh I see!" I read somewhere that odd or unusual names lead to odd or unusual lives. I have to accept that knowledge as fact, since I can claim an unusual life of extreme circumstances. The only name I would choose to change perhaps is my last name. Had I waited long enough and married the right man, the chances of that happening would have been assured. In my case not. I found out much later in life that I my Mother had given birth to a first born girl and her name was Dixie Glee. She died of Lukemia, for at the time there was no cure. My Mother's name it turns out was Glee, her Mothers names was Dixie. So this is how Dixie Glee came to be named. My Mother followed this pattern of child birth happiness by giving me the name Merrily. I have discovered that many woman have this name also. I really do like my name. I think Merrily is a beautiful word in any language.

Are you male or female?

Genetics are not my bag. Being born a girl is a good thing for because somehow it seems easier to be female. Men have so many more responsibilities, such as learning and taking care of their families and building things. Women, if they are lucky get to stay at home, raise children and provide love and tenderness for their husbands.

In what country, state, and city were you born? What hospital?

When I learned about the United States of America and the chance I recieved to be born here I have always celebrated this freedom and this amazing wonder. It is not like I was given a choice or anything. I was born in the United States Of America right after World War 1944. I find this incredible, considering all the other countries and places where i could have made my entrance. I have always been thankful i am an American.
The state where I was born was California. Another free loving state with lots of history and historical significance. And the city I was born in was Santa Barbara. What are the odds of such a glorious choice of birthright? My Mother gave me life in the Saint Francis Catholic Hospital. Another amazing journey.
When we are born, we do not know any of this. We only put it together and gather up the information as we go along. Our birth location is really extremely important and gives us the right to bear an honorable heritage. We have a homeland, and we have a community and we have a cultural history immediately. The shame is: we do not know it until years and sometimes years later. What it means. If we realized from the beginning we might change our behavior or our lives, if only we knew.

What is your birth order?

Being born third in line I became the protected baby. Being the baby of the bunch, well there was only my brother and I, since my sister passed when she was seven, and her passage is probably the greatest influence on my being over protected in particular by my Father.
As long as I can remember from about the 50's, my Father kept a photo of Dixie Glee on his wall and a cross beside her and a candle lit for her. Yes, he built a small altar for Dixie Glee. He never let me enter their bedroom when I was small. It was a forbidden area. And he had anger. Oh he had anger. I felt it many times.
I would hear whispered conversations about Dixie Glee. My Mother never spoke of her. My Grandmother revealed to me about her in her quiet disposed way. All I ever found out was that there was another sister, who had a terrible death from a disease that had no cure. She was only seven years old. I was never told where she was buried. From her picture I could see she was an Angelic appearing child.
My Brother was born two years after Dixie Glee. I was born four years after my Brother. So my Brother remembers her and he played with her and I suppose their world was beautiful. Except no one talked about it. I recall just sadness.
I was third in line and my Brother when we were children did not seem to care much for me in the usual way that Brothers and Sisters ought to care. He was a quiet boy. And i was a quiet shy girl. And the reason was my Father.
My Mother had her tubes tied. She had no desire for anymore children. It was too much for her. My Father always complained and nagged at the conversation with, "I wish we had 12 more children, just like you Merrily!" Then he would say, "I would put them all to work!" Even as a small child this made me feel uneasy. Then he would say, "I would put them all to work and sit and watch."

How old are you today? How old do you feel?

Today i am a mere Seventy-One years old. This is a very strange age and time for me. First of all I do not look like 95% of the modernn 71 year old women. And what I have done to continually recreate my youth is to stay moving, eat light, take plenty of vitamins and minerals, think young, hang around younger people, stay on the thin side of the weight line, engaged my body in 30 years of exotic dancing...(minus the pole dancing, way too much acrobatics for me on that pole!) and tried to keep being sexually active to a minimum through abstinance and not putting out to every Tom, Dick and Harriet in the Universe.
I do not recognize much about me that is the typical Seventy-One Year old woman. Except wrinkles and a sprinkle of greying rim hair. I am still interested in One Last Hooray, opening a business called "Just Potatoes", opening a Museum of my Exotic Dance Collectibles, opening an internet library cafe, and opening a Craft Place. I figure I better have enough time left to do all this. Right now I am looking for a way to accomplish my LAST HOORAY! I would love to hear some ideas and feel some real participation for whoever reads MY SELFIE.
Being a chronological age means as much as ones general disintegration or diminishing capactities. I am watching and monitoring my own with serious intent. Although I am not bound to pluck out all the grey hairs nor botox all the incoming wrinkles that blossum with each dawn, however I use lavish amounts of body butters and am into the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid. (No it is not LSD. It is a OTC vitamin product intended to hydrate aging skin. I will let you know if it works when I see you and you an old fashioned 89 and i look the new 25.
Feeling good as we age is important and it is a daily activity with just that in mind: Staying Young and Happy About Life. So folks out side this page, you really have to make every effort to pick your products and make use of your remaining time. It is about making life count no matter who or where or what you are. Give it the best you got, so you will be remembered as a lively soul.

Do you speak any foreign languages?

My primary language is English. Yet I seem able to communicate with other folks who speak other languages reasonably well, and my talent for languages is more about knowing people than the sound of the words they are forming in order to speak their language to me so I can understand it.
There is a language between all languages that does not use words, nor signs. The ancient people knew it. It is more about reading body movement, and facial expressions and hearing thoughts from emoted feelings and bits and pieces of audible information. It is more about reading what is happening in the world of things and human migration and human movement than about what they speak to explain, perhaps the mundane of ordinary living. That is where i live most of the time.
I do speak perfect English. I love words and the English language. I am also fascinated by the way and means that other words change from culture to culture, yet to learn other languages as perfectly as I am able to flow with English, there is always more to learn and discribe and to explain.
Because I was the second generation child of a first generation migrant American Father, I was exposed to his speaking patterns, and those he also did not communicate. My Father did not talk English much. Although he did study English in grammar school, his Mother and Father and Brothers and Sisters, of whom were about 8 all together, spoke Portuguese, but from the Azore Islands. The Azore Islands was my Grand Fathers proper birthland.
I think my Father was just shy. He could not explain things very well, nor could he describe his observations, nor his ideas. He had all that just locked up inside his head. And when I talked, what he described as "too much!" he would become angry. Then I felt he hated me and became sullen and that made him even more angry, thus around we went. It was unpleasant.
The language barrier between my Father and I gave a damaging influence to my relationship. It was not like it started when I was a teen ager. Nope. From about three on, as soon as I was out of diapers, and Carnation Evaporated Milk...we were on. That language conflict never disappeared either. It only got worse with every passing year.
I grew up believing he wanted me to learn English so I would fit it and be a real American. Apparently his shallow English experience made him feel left out of the everyday American Society. He was in business in it, but not part of the "American Family Scene." This is my perception of the way we communicated. A lot went missing between us.

What is your birth date?

At this point I do not know if my birth date was lucky or not. Some say not. However, March 13th of 1944 is a pretty spectacular time to be born. The Ides of March, the third month, on the 13th day, a charmed day and right when the WWII ended thereabouts. Alot was happening in 1944. America was booming and filled with new fangled cars. My own Father and Mother had a Model T, and a tractor, and horses, and cows and a farm. That was in 1944. They both had been blessed during youth to be born in California, and be raised in wealthy Urban Environments. They were both blessed with schooling and loving parents and lots of brothers and sisters who all seemed to aspire to do something GREAT with their lives.
My exit from my Mothers Body into the outer world, a fully formed and healthy baby girl, must have been a dramatic event for my parents. Not everyone could say they were as fortunate as all of us. I was already born rich, according to 99% of all social standards. I was born a ready made success.

Are you right-handed or left-handed?

Nature gave me no choice...I automatically became right handed, although I have always used both hands for many activities, like typing. But when I right in cursive, it is right-handed. My Mother was right-handed, and my Father was right-handed, my brother was not. Brother was left-handed. Most of the people I grew up knowing were right handed. I suppose it seemed strange to me to watch a left handed person write. I tried this a few times, watching my sloppy results and gave in to the easier method.

Are you near-sighted or far-sighted?

My eyes are pretty good. Still. I never wore glasses when I was a child. I thought they made me look homely. My Mother wore glasses and I loved how she looked. Glasses made her look like she was all dressed up. It is now 2015, not 1946 and my eyes have changed. I wear tri-focals and can see up close, only when I wear my glasses. I see far away when I wear my glasses. Yet if I get stuck without them, I am a fuzzy view-finder.
I love the Doctors who take care of my eyes. They always put me through lots of tests and use interesting machines. When I was a child we had a sheet of paper off in the distance and we placed another piece of paper over one eye to read the eye chart. It worked. Now it is all about technology, and machines that puff air onto your eye lens, and little lights that you have to track with a beeper. Everything is about science.

What is your height, your weight, your eye color? Do you wear corrective lenses?

I think my Father was taller when he was younger. Then the older he got he shrunk. My Mother seemed to be taller, but I think she just stood up straighter. He had scoliosis of his spine and tended to bend over all the time. She was different and although I can say for certain, it must have been the Nordic, Celtic blood running through her veins. She had two brothers and they were extremely tall, like giants, maybe over 6' 7" tall. But me I was always runty, delicate and it took awhile, but the tallest I grew was 5' 3". My brother made it to 5' 6" and that was the best we could do. All my Father's family were like me, and him, just plain short...or average I suppose.
Because I was shorter, I always liked to keep my weight down on the slender side. My body was like a dancers, lithe, supple, and I was light on my feet. Dancing was always a joy for me. My Father was always overweight, staying at around 195 to sometimes over 200 pounds. My Mother was on the hippier side, like around 150 pounds. They never correlated weight with physcial body problems. I always thought that the heavier you are the more difficult it was to get around.
For instance: if you weight more you have to use more fabric to make your clothes. Your extra weight wears out to springs begin to buckle, car seats begin to say, and sofas, develop holes wear your weight plops. Wooden chairs tend to loose their legs and break, and shoes wear out faster, seams of pants rip more quickly, and doorways need to be built larger. If you work in a narrow space, like at a Hotel Front Desk you do not have enough room to move around comfortably if one person is bigger than all the rest, or if you have more than one big person in a confined area.
Big may be beautiful, but it has complications. Airplanes fly by weight. So why should one person be allowed to take up more space just because they are obese. Obesity makes smaller people suffer. I firmly believe in monitoring ones body size.

What is your mate's name?

Life has never issued me a specific mate, by one name, or of one person. I have had many attachments to many different people. I usually find myself more connected to a task, or a place, or a thing to do of my own particular interest. I have become engrossed in the selection of reading material to the exclusion of all else going on around me. I have gotten engaged in sewing costumes until I believed that designing costumes would certainly be set for my lifes course. I pursured exotic dancing for 30 years and truely believed I would die onstage chasing after my dream of being a great and beautiful dancer.
There have been times when I loved one man, at a time. I can recall specific characters than compelled me to be faithful where I stayed on the path of loving them. In high school, in Exeter, California it was Jim Schelling, my high school sweetheart. The young who claimed my virginity in the 1960's and destroyed my belief in "the American Dream of lasting love" was Charles Kent Line, the son of Colonel B.B. Abrams of the Savanah Army Depot in Mississippi. Later in the early 1970's it was Chuck Gulovich, a star basketball player from Sacramento. And in 1985 it was Michael Hunter McCarthy, the son of South Carolina Doctors.
To claim one certain and steady mate for me is an impossibility and after the death of my husband from an overdose of sleeping pills, 10 years after we had divorced, well, I have stayed independent and single, within the realm of personal attachments.
That is not to say that I did not have a family that has kept me close to human dependency.

What was your maiden name? If you are a woman and married, was it difficult to give up your maiden name and take your husband's name?

When I grew up I always had the name of Nunes. Years later I married and went to visit my folks. I was explaining how difficult it was for me to adjust to the identity of shifting from knowing my name was Nunes, until now, it was suddenly McCarthy, my legal husbands last name. My Father did not share my angst and laughed at my discomfort.
He said to me, " Merrily, I guess it is time I told you this. Your real name was never Nunes anyway. Our family name is Rodgrigues. It is Portuguese and from the Azores, you see, in order for my Father to come to America, back in the late 1800's he made a deal with an attorny in Irvine, California (or the San Jose area). This attorney sponsored my Father, because that is how we were able to migrate to America. He became an indentured servant to the attorney, giving up his name of Rodgrigues and took up the name of Nunes. As he earned money and gained his independence he brought his wife, and me, and my brother and all of our sisters. So you see Merrily, your name never was Nunes and there is not reason to hang onto it. If you marry you take on your husbands name, and that is that!" With that he gave his splendid customary whistle through his large white teeth and laughed at my predicament.
For quite some time I felt uncomfortable being a McCarthy. However I adjusted and ran with it. After awhile it did not matter. I assumed a new identity and left behind the Rodrigues, and the Nunes and became an Irish Girl, who belonged to the Stag Clan of old Ireland. Michael was from an old Irish family and he was truely an elegant and regal young man.
I did look up Coats Of Arms. I found that I can connect to the Allens of England, The Rodrigues of Portugal, The Breuyettes of France, and the McCarthy's of Ireland. That is the right to bear arms from four different countries.
When my ex husband passed away on June 5th of 2006, and long before then in February of 1992 when we were officially divorced. I kept his last name, more out of love for him than any other reason. It was his name and I always loved his last name.

What is your anniversary date? How many years have you been married or were you married?

Dates flow from one event horizon to the next. That is the way my life has always been. It is never static and is constantly fluid. One anniversay date simply will not suffice. I thought Jim Schelling and I would be married after high school, but on the night of our high school prom, he insisted we stop off in a vineyard and park between the rows of grapes such as high school celebrants often chance. This event did not bode well, as I was not going for the penetration experience, since I was still a virgin and I was absolutely terrified of getting pregnant. I did have a little sense in my head then. So all that occured was a major amount of frustration and the realization that we would never see each other again. I was stuck out on my Father's dairy farm and Jimmy was heading off to an Ivy League School somewhere on the East Coast.
What could have been never happened.
The next important liason was with Charles Kent Line. A total traitor to womankind...or to me. He nearly killed me, and much of the details no doubt will emerge. We did live together for one year, around the mid 1960's. After one year of inhumane physical abuse we departed each other, never to see one another again.
It required another 6 to 8 years of rehab and recovery to feel up to trusting another man. I had acquired a daughter by then, another fluke of fate, and one day while we were sun bathing on the Sacramento River, my small daughter pointed out a gorgeous man who also was sun bathing alone nearby. He was without a doubt the most gorgeous man I have ever seen. He had long flowing blond hair well past his shoulders. A curving eagle like nose. He must have been 6' 7" tall and was all sinuwey and lithe of movement. I have never seen anyone as romantically complelling as this vision of masculinity a stones throw from our lounging spot.
I did not mean to gape, but I could not take my eyes off him. My little daughter could see my interest and said, "I am going to go tell him, you think he is beautiful!"
"No, do not go over there. Do not tell him that!" I said.
Of course, what did she do? She trotted herself boldly right up to him. She told him, "My Mom thinks you are beautiful and wants to meet you."
He looked over at me. Looked at the child. Then he proceeded to get up and amble out into the river and went for a luxurious swim. I watched spell bound by his beauty. When he was finished getting wet. He walked to his beach towel, picked it up and my mouth dropped as he walked over to us.
That was the beginning of a 7 year romantic relationship. He became the only man my daughter ever referred to as her Father.
While we did remain together for quite some time, and happily so, eventually Chuck and I grew apart and he gave me up for the "bigger better deal!" For him it was another woman.
I had believed Chuck and I would legally marry one day, but it did not happen. However, he did marry his "bigger better deal!" Heartbroken, for, not only myself, but my daughter as well, I picked up my crying towel and moved along.
Then along came an extremely shameful relationship. Rebound attachments are not always good. This next one was a total travesty. His name was Robin Connoly, a robust short round middle aged man. He became a stalker, a hunter of prey and I was his victim. Unfortunately I was emotionally needy and still seeking love. The attention Robin dumbed on me was ready, available and certainly uncomfortable. He was one of those dudes who asked a million useless invasive irritating questions that were not essential for anything but discord and chaos. I could not get away from his abuse, so I did the next best thing, right?! I married him...well, for one week. It was horrible and wrong in OH so many ways. After I could not tolerate his torment any longer...I anulled the marriage. I never account for this attachment because of the terror attached to it. I am not providing details at this point, but who would believe that in America any man could or would intentionally terrorize a woman and think that it was OK.?
I realized I had a pattern to be attracted to abusive men. But I hoped the next one would be better and different. That is when I met Michael Hunter McCarthy. He was better and different alright.
We met at the Royal Las Vegas Casino in obviously Las Vegas, Nevada. He was a crap dealer and I was a feature ShowGirl in the nightly stage show. At the time I looked gawdy and Las Vegas Fabulous...some might say sleezy, but Michael, unlike Chuck or any other man, thought I was out of mind beautiful. So I would arrive early and sit at the bar and at the time I would have a drink of soda. Michael would arrive before his shift as a crap dealer and have a drink. After a time he began to tell me he was in love with me and wanted to marry me. But, he had a girlfriend. To cut to the chase, he did drop her in a rather rude fashion and he did marry me.
The problem with our relationship was one that never occured to me prior to this: Michaelf was a chronic alcoholic, drug addict, and heavy smoker. All my adult life I had skirted around the issues of addiction...but Michael brought me full on to face the seriousness of addictions. None the less we worked with his addictions, my addictions and our marriage for about 7 years. Then we quit.
I also withdrew from men, marriage and began to reconstruct my life.

Are you overweight or underweight?

Obesity to me is disgusting and a huge waste of food. People that overeat and are fat also produce more methane gas, flatulence and deposits of fecal matter for recycling. Now this may seem like something no one wants to consider but the point is we are in a situation whereby we all need to consider our social responsibilites to our environment.
Being underweight is much less of a problem and requires less physical and environmental stress. Smaller people usually consume less product than larger people. They generally remain healthier for longer periods of time and have built more resistance to health issue and social issues.
I understand the importance of a balanced diet and healthy nutrition. I wish more people did. I think abstainance is a good practice for everyone and develops internal discipline cues that encourage socially conscious relationships. We are in an environmentally impacted condition right at the moment, with our earth, our sky, our water and our plants and animal colonies. What are we going to do with all of this population and consumption? It is not going to go away any time soon and considering the opportunity we might have to colonize outer space, perhaps we should be taking it.

How many children do you have? What are their names? How old are they?

Starting out as a child, I was vehement and determined to negate the actuality of child bearing and child birth. Nope. No children for me. My Father heard that statement oh so many times from the lips of this babe. By the age of 18, nothing in my mindset had altered. Nope. No children for me. (Sex was another story!)
The biological condition of child bearing was quite a mystery to me. My Mother and Father were extremely conservative and exacting in their modesty of behavior. Physical affection was slim to non-existant in our house, as opposed to be slapped or whipped was almost an every day expectation, a moment to be truely dreaded.
Unfortunately for me I was not exposed to the drama of human sexuality until way too late in my 20's. The reason being was my over exposure to animal sexuality. I was given an opportunity to view animal husbandry, in quantities unknown to other kids my own age. They thought it was amusing to watch a cat or a dog copulate occassionally, often the cats or dogs were down the back alley somewhere yeowing or yelping
My experience was total saturation from the time I could see, or walk around, or go outside. We lived on a dairy farm. To me that meant nothing with a broad view as a small child. Over the years and the things I saw that capsulated view became a world of hideous disgust. It is difficult to separate the good from the bad when all things grow to together in one lumped up area of vision. It was a process from beginning to end.
As miraculous as the process was, that is, of copulation, to birth, to the production of milk, to the process and systematic function and flow of animal bodies before my eyes, to the masses and masses, and the lakes and lakes, and puddles and puddles of wet smelly fecal matter, mixed with urine, made and created by the backsides of hundreds of cows, and bulls, and calves.
Somehow I never could get past this. No matter how many times the cows were cleaned and washed on the apron, by me or other family members, the stuff remained in piles of dryed summer shit layered in huge mounds in the corral by my Father as his tractor pushed, plowed and pulled the crap out of the way. And in the winter months, the horror of cows mooing to come to be milked, as they literally swam through a fecal swamp. No amount of perfume, nor clear water can ever wash away the smell of waking up every morning for all my first 21 years to the air awafting with methane gas. My Mother smelled like cows, my Father reeked of cows and my Brother and myself were prey to the scent of cow shit! To get pure white milk out of this mess was a miracle. But my Mother and Father managed to be successful at their manufacturing and processing of nice white fresh milk for school childrens consumption.
So I used to consider all of this, all of the time, and never want children. Never. (I was curious about human sex however.)
It is not suprising to me that I accidentally got pregnant and gave birth to one child. She was beautiful, although I grew up so traumatized by the life around me, I did not get married. I did not remember the name of the sweet young man . I did not even realize I was pregnant until 6 months into the works. By then it was too late to turn back time or condition. I only gave birth to one girl child and her name was also a demonstration of my intellectual confusion.
Her first name was Genishan. This came to me clearly as a gift through the ether as I sat at my small kitchen table in Mrs. Browns little cabin that I rented for 30$ a month. After I got the name in check I tried to figure out a sane middle name and could not. I tried to figure out a sane last name and I could not. So I created a mutant travesty and named her Genishan Katz-Marie Minugh-Nunes. I loved my daughters first name. Marie was Christian and Minugh was a grabbed name from someone I thought was her Father and it turned out he was not, but her birth certificate already recorded my errors of wisdom and judgement and i have always lived with the sorrow for her dear sweet innocent soul. Nunes was merely satisfying a solid name base, and was the name of our family. Ironically that turns out to not have mattered either.
I did do research on my daughters new name, Genishan. I sinerely believe there is not another name in the entire universe such as her name it. The closest I could get to her name for a definition is Gentian Flower. This is a small lovely blue flower with tiny yellow pestals. Gentius was the King of Illraylius during the days of Babylon...or around the fall of Babylon. Perhaps she was a universal warning. How she came to be in modern times I do not know for certain, yet here she is. I still love her first name. It is as special and precious as she is for me to know.
One child out of wedlock was enough for me. I dedicated all my time and attention to taking care of her. Today she is 46 and she has brought into this world three grandchildren for me, each with a different Father. So how is that for out of wed-lock hand me down genetics?

How many grandchildren do you have? What are their full names (first, middle, last)? How old are they?

Ah yes, grandchildren. They have definitely arrived. Genishan gave birth to Tyler Christian Nunes, and 4 years later to Paige Julianna Nunes and now she has another tyke, Michael Joseph Acosta/Nunes. Today Tyler is 23 and Paige is 19 and little Micheal is 2. That is quite the age spread. In our modern world it can only be a good thing.

What is, or was, your occupation?

I really wished I had an occupation. I have watched many people come and go and those people i know have the smoothiest, seamless lives in the entire universe. I have always envied them in their fluid continuity, their self confidence and their self control. I have never been like that.
There literally is not a thing I have not tried to find something occupational to change my life. I always arrive at the same destination I left days, weeks, or months earlier. Nothing ever sticks or grabs me by the to speak.
When I was a kid, I hoed weeds for my Father out in his pastures. He paid me 2.00 an hour to do this work. The thing I loved the most was little me in all the wide open spaces and above my head, the endless pale blue sky. Walking along the rows of grasses and alfalfa the sweetness of the fields drifted me away, and the gurgle of waters as the rows were irrigated gave me company. The sky and the waters were my childhood companions and my best friends. Finding weeds, or thistles to hoe kept me moving from plant to plant and sometimes the heat of summers gave way to making me feel over heated, but it was not unbearable. I learned to endure weather systems, lonliness, and rote activities.
I had other chores to pursue as well, like getting up every day to water the calves who were locked up in little pens. Then I had to give them bottles of milk, or grain, or small bits of hay. In the early morning even at dawn the flies were up. We had billions of flies, no matter what my Father did to get rid of them. In the heat of the summertime, one step along the row of calf pens and the swams were unimaginable.
My Father made this my daily chore and daily routine. From the time I first became able, watering and feeding the baby calves was my job. It stunk. The smell and the flies, the bawling of the animals and watching the little critters being locked up in their tiny pens...were the most trying of moments. I also had to figure out ways to avoid the goo, the grime, the slop, the splatters of calf poop. It is not as though they had the use of toliet facilities. I learned early on to train my brain to not react to the gross intimacies of animal life.
I had other chores as well back then. After the calf feeding and watering it was my duty, when I was old enough, to make breakfast for all my family members, and that included my Brother, my Father, my Mother and Me. This was everyday. School days, and weekends, Holidays, Summers, Winters, Springtime, and Fall. It gave me joy to spend my time in our kitchen cooking food for my family and learning how to cook. I always valued these warm and cozy moments. I learned priceless lessons from the kitchen at a very early age.
Learning to do laundry was another time consuming and bit weekly task. In the beginning we had a roller type machine. The barrel of the machine was standard, but on the top part was a built in wringer device, the old fashioned roller mechanism. At one point in Mother's life as a brand new housewife she had gotten her hand caught in the wringer so some of her fingers were bent. This caused her to demonstrate extra concern whenever I used the washing machine.
We always had lots of laundry, too much for a little kid like myself so it was an all day task. We had piles of clothes lined up in colors all across the laundry room floor. The machine ran on 30 minute cycles and then we had to hand ring each load through the ringer, being careful not get our hands caught, in particular mine.
All the produced clean laundry went into our wicker baskets and we carried it outside to the old fashioned clothesline. This clothesline was strung between our newer adobe house and the other 100 year old house that sat behind our house. That house was an icky pale green, and made creeks even though it was empty.
My age at that time was only about 8, maybe. The point is I was a kid, and not very tall. I had to jump up to grab the clotheslines. That in itself was a stretch. If I failed to get hold of the clothesline I could not pull the line down close enough to pin the clothes on it. Sometimes I had to find a bucket to stand on. The bucket always worked. Other times I used to toss the lighter weight items up over the clothesline, like the sheets. In any event, between my Mother and I, we got the job completed. Although, like I said it was an all day job.
The worse thing to hand on the clothesline were the heavy Hercules Overalls that my Father always wore. Mother wore a plethora of jeans, however, the Hercules items were the worse. They took longer to dry and they were heavy to carry back and forth. Even after they dried, of course much worse when they were wet.
Farms are endless in there availability of things to do. In addition to the things I used to occupy my time with, we also had canning of fruit in the summer, and throughout the winter Mother always made sure to plant a winter garden of squash, turnips, collards, and ruffled Kale, and Beets. We had string beans and corn in the spring and in the summer, and Logan Berries and Blackberries and how she found the time to do all this was amazing to me. She milked cows two times a day and still found the time to cultivate her garden, raise roses everywhere and plant cactus and shop for groceries, and visit with friends on occassion. How she could do so much I will never understand.

What is your race? What is your religion? What is your political affiliation?

I have a great argument about my race. I was born in America and that makes me an American. People laugh when I say that. Most people do not believe that is a RACE. I, on the other hand do. In every country of birth origin, you become a person of that country and that is your known race. Anthropologists have defined race by four colors, yellow, black, brown and white. Those are colors, not race. However those four colors are directed towards, Yellow for Asians, Black for people originating from Africa, Brown for people of latin descent, and White, for all others. That leaves out the Arabic peoples, because they are neither yellow, black nor white, and not brown either. That leaves out people from India as well, because where they may be Brown, they are not of latin descent, nor Arabic descent, nor African descent, nor Asian descent.
Although the problems is, while growing up, and someone asked me my race, or where I was from, I would always reply, "I am Portuguese." Later when I became more literate in the ways of genetic differences, I added more sophistication by dividing up the entire race process question with, "I am 1/2 Azorean, 1/4 French, and 1/4 English, Scotts, Irish, and Dutch..." No where did I mention I mention I was an American. That is the sad thing we people do. We omit our own heritage by citing our countries of origin, that most of us have never been to nor seen. Many of us have family ties to these various places, that we have never ever met nor heard of. This is truely a sad thing. We have lost connections with our heritage and our ancestory as we have moved our generations forward in America. Some of us anyway.
I say it is the fault of those persons who created all the forms and applications we fill out when we have to CHECK THIS BOX in pencil or ink. Those little boxes that ask the questions, and then go back to the compliation of statistical data and are anaylized and lumped into catagories and spit out answers that declare who or what we are as humans. We are made in America, but America has never heard of us because we are always from somewhere else, until we leave our own country and go away to a foreign country and those people look at us and say,"where are you from?" And we say, "I am from America." And they say," Oh, you are an American!" Suddenly you realize, you are an American. Suddenly it is more than a country, it is also who you are as a "nationality!"
So, "I am an American!"
This leads to the next great quiz question, "what religion am I?" A religion is not something I am, it is a spiritual choice I am given to follow or not follow. Usually we have something going on in our family that directs us to one choice or another. Again, my family was not average is this matter.
When my Father married my Mother, he came from a strong Catholic background. His whole family was Catholic and he had been an altar boy and been baptized Catholic, and always attended Catholic mass. He was devout as he could be.
When he met my Mother, she was a Protestant. A White Woman. However, she was French-Canadian and English/Scotts/Irish/Dutch in heritary descent.
The two of them decided to marry and they first went to the Catholic Fathers and the Church Fathers where they went explained he could not marry them because it was against Church rules, unless my Mother converted to the Catholic Faith. My Mother was not interested in changing her religious faith to Catholism, so the Catholic Fathers refused to marry them. And my Father refused to force my Mother to change to his religion. So the Catholic Fathers ex-communicated my Father and did not sanction their marriage. Instead they went to Las Vegas, Nevada and obtained a civil ceremony and were married by the Justice of the Peace. They were happy way back in 1937 with this arrangement.
What they were not happy about was that the Church refused to bless their marriage. The Catholic Church did not recognize my parents as being married. My Father and My Mother were living in sin according to the Church and this caused terrible emotional problems for my Father because of his strong believe in the Catholic Faith and in conflict with My Mother, whom he deeply loved and refused to give up, regardless of the consequences. They were never happy about this.
They overcame most of the disscord in the beginning of their marriage, however, after their first born child was born, acquired a life threatening disease and consequently passed away, they felt the thorn and wrath of God was answered, and this was the Lords revenge for their sinful marriage vows. My Father was not ever the same about religion after this. This vengance effected my Father so dramatically, he never discussed his religious faith ever again, not with me, nor in front of any of us. He refused to discuss God on any level, other than saying grace at Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners.
I grew up in a religious dissonance environment. That is until I reached high school. In High School our next farm neighbors were Paul and Emily Stone. They were Methodists and they were our friends. Because they attended Church in Exeter, Ca. at the Methodist Church every Sunday, they out of the kindness of their hearts invited me to attend. I did frequently because I really loved going to church. Any church for me would do. Paul and Emily had a daughter named Mary who was as pale as a ghost and blond as any angel could be. She played the piano for the congregation on Sundays and she was my friend.
I never officially became a "Methodist" however I spent much of my church going days with them.
On the other hand, in High School, I had two other close girlfriends that were Mormon. And they also took me to Church with them. This was also a positive experience. It was me that went, and I went by myself, because no one else in my family wanted to go to Church, or with me, or with the folks that invited me. Quite frankly my Father was always angry about it and especially on Sundays. So it was a fight of the good over the evil and the right over the wrong and science of greater consciousness usually held the upper hand.
No one ever took my Brother to church.
I did belong to a religious organization, "The Order Of Rainbow For Girls." I went through the chairs as far as Faith, Hope, Charity, Love and was the Chaplain for a term. I never quite understood the purpose of the thing, other than that we were allowed to wear beautiful formal dresses. We also engaged in pomp and circumstance and recited words of the order and mutual respect for each other. it was a lovely female experience and a rite of passage in our little town that all the upper class girls were invited to join. But I had more on my mind than this party stuff.
For many years I did not join any specific church. In 1969 I had my daughter, out of wed lock and without knowing who her Father was. This impacted me more than I ever let anyone know about, so I took it upon myself to join the Catholic Church and have my daughter and myself baptized. Their was a Father John at the Exeter Catholic Church that agreed to teach me the necessary Church requirements and classes in order to accomplish our Catholic Union and give us the rights to be baptized. My Father was totally unmoved by my attempt to heal myself, and my daughter from our sin and in a way, his painful dissolution. He did not recognize that I was seeking forgiveness from him and from God and from society.
I wanted the Church to forgive my Father. I wanted his marriage to my Mother blessed. I wanted my unwed status to be forgiven. I wanted to be known as a legitimate daughter of my Father and my Mother. Because the problem was for my Father and my Mother was that he thought of me and my Brother as illegitmate children because the Catholic Church had refused to bless his marriage and had excommunicated him from the Catholic Church. I was a bastard. I had given birth to another bastard. And that is all my Father believed. His sin had followed him and lived on through me. Little did I realize what I had done, because I had to put this all together to understand.
Although I stayed Catholic by baptizism for many many years, things changed for me again. I married a man in 1985 and we were joined in both a Las Vegas Civil Marriage and with a Buddhist Ceremony. We stayed Buddhist for quite sometime. Then things changed for me again. My daughter had grown up and when she was 21 she had a son, my first grandson, and she gave him up to me to care for and raise. In 1997, again in Las Vegas, Nevada, me and my grandson were baptized Mormon. This is where I have remained since.
However I have studied some Scientology. As well as I attend any church whenever. I have also studied other alternative religions and taken University Classes in all religions.
So I have to ask, "What religion am I really?" I honestly have no clue, other than a gradual increase in the basic pagaen beliefs of the Norse Gods. That may change again as well.
In high school I flunked out of the American History and Constitution Classes. Meaning that I really could not get a grasp on politics, so therefore never became politically motivated towards any party, or joining up with one of the regular mainstream positions. I did join the Republican Party only because i like Steve Forbes. I always wished him or Bill Gates would become President, but that never happened. I think after high school I joined up one time with the Democrates, only because my Father was a Democrate, however I changed after the Kennedys began to be assasinated. In all my life I have only voted on time, and this is because I think my vote does not make a difference.
Just for fun one time in Las Vegas I created my own party and I named it "The Good Head Party!" It was a jocular intention and was done because of something my Mother always said, "Merrily, you have a good head on your shoulders. I do not know why you do not use it!"
It is interesting to note that a pattern of behavior and belief emerges and these three things: race, religion, and political affiliation have an associative connection in some similar way. In my case all three are is disscord, scattered, chaotic, and changeable. I do not take a solid stand on any one of them, I see a tendency to continue to change as I develop and move along lifes pathways. I do take a stand on my race issue, and claim, I am an American. I do believe I am a spiritual person. And I do tend to follow people as opposed to political affiliation. So things are not so bad with all that. I think people are becoming more univeral in nature and more spiritual in belief and more cosmopolitan in political sentiments. As a society we are trying to unify our human content so we can assimilate and communicate and get along better in a changing world. The problem is we are still simple people with limited abilities.

Do you live in the suburbs, a city, a town, or in a rural area? What is the population? Do you live in an apartment, a house, a condominium, or a retirement home?

I have lived in many many places. Including houses, homes, apartments, dorms, a mini van, a car, a tent, and other persons homes, a garbage dumpster, a horse barn, on a bale of straw, in open fields of grass, I have live outside and inside of things. I have not lived in a cave. I did live for nine months in my Mothers stomach, and this experience is unique to all of us, yet goes unrecognized by virtually everyone.
Today I live in Yosemite National Park. We have a population of 1,800 in our employment community and this swells to a mirgrating population of approximately 4 Million transit travelers per year. Thanks to our donor Corporation, DNC, we are issued one of four residences, a tent top cabin, a dorm room, or a wab, or a managers house if a person is lucky enough to become a manager. I was given a dorm room 5 and 1/2 years ago, and this has been my constant place of residence. On my day or days off, I travel to Fresno to visit my children who live in an apartment. I truely have no home. I am a gypsy by circumstances and placed all my personal belongings in storage. I pray the Lord provides me with a house of my own someday and then I can invite my family to live with me and have a permanent residence. It would be an act of human compassion for this to occur. An for an older person, such that I am, I would rejoice in the comforts of home and caring for and helping to provide a safe haven in this storm of life. And of course I could cook for them. This would be a boon.
I will never live in a retirement home. I prefer to pass away long before this is the final option. I wish to live the remainder of my life with my family as the center of my living hub. Or grow weary, sit in the low ebbing tides, while the high tide gently caresses my lingering moments and in reverent movement carries me into the setting sun.
Long before this occurs I wish to discover real happiness and live there for quite some time, preferably with loved ones, either family or a significant other person.

Are you allergic to anything? What is your blood type?

After being exposed to every disease imaginable in the universe as a kid living on a farm, you would imagine I became not allergic to anything at all. I was exposed to flies, and fecal matter, and calf and cow hair, and dusts and pollens and was around dogs, and cats, and ticks and fleas and spiders, and grasses, human fluids and the list goes on and on even for a microbiologist. I am certain I did not reach the end of the list.
Today I, like my Mother, sneeze on a daily basis. Now, it is not just one delicate ah choo. It goes on and on and lasts for minutes. Aspirin used to be the only remedy for cessation. Now, I have to sneeze my course, usually in big blowing blasts of air. I once counted 36 sneezes blowing off my face. I never know what will start it because I attempt to keep a stable environment. Of course my nose does not realize this.
I ah choo away.
As far as I know I am not allergic to mediciene, or food, but that does not stop me from responding to uncertain air borne floaters.
There is nothing strange or unusual about my blood type. It is one or the other, but not the one that is an O. Lucky for me and unlucky for the vampires.

Please add a question or fact that you would like to answer or share.

I have always been impressed by the numbers of my Fathers assests. I used to cite them to people and it went like this: He has 80 acres plus another 40 and that means he owns 120 acres. The first 80 is where his farm is and the other 40 is where his alfalfa fields are. He has 400 cows, 75 Appaloosa horses, and sometimes we are allowed to ride them. For Easter one year he bought me a burro from the Grand Canyon. I name her Chickie. She did not like to go. So my father told me to blow up a bag and get up on her back, and be ready to ride. I did. He said to pop the bag. I did. Chickie took off and ran for one solid miles without stopping. My Father stood halfway in the neck of the dirt road and laughed until he fell over. Chickie ran until she came to water stand, planted her feet and did a sudden halt, I flew off through the air and landed hard as a bucket of nails in the dirt and grass. For many many years after that he told the story. However he sold chickie long before the end of the story telling.
I went on to say, at one time we had 40 cats, but they got a disease and died out, and we had 8 dogs that were not pets. We had chickens and goats that Mother milked. That was it for our creatures. All this stuff in creature terms was his property and i thought it was important to let everyone know. My Father was an important man.

How would you describe yourself?

A description of myself would be nice because it appears at this time, I am telling more about my folks than me. I see myself in four parts, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical. Myself is a person and the most difficult person to describe is oneself. It is difficult to circumvent the circle of self and see it as a descriptive whole of oneness.
The first part that I am is a spirit alive in the universe who moves according to the laws of spiritual connection and interaction with my environment and the divine spirit entwined in the cosmos about us.
The second part is that I am an emotional human being who feels the joy, the sorrow, and the moments of feeling in between that being that I am.
The Third part is the intellectual human that I am who had the capacity to learn, to experience and assimilate my part and function in the world around me.
The Fourth part is my physical that allows me the privilege to think, to see, to feel, and to connect and join embrace all that I find touchable, hearable, seeable and those things that are unseen, and imagine the possibilities.
All I know and understand is embodied in the word human being...and whatever that might mean to me on any given day, or to someone else whenever we chance to meet.

Your Family and Ancestry

List the names and birthdates of your mother, father, maternal grandmother, paternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, paternal grandfather and other great grandfathers and grandmothers. What did you call them?

We do have factual nexus for the rest of my family ancestry. My Mother's name is Glee Ariel Nunes, nee Allen. She was born on September 23 or 24th in 1917. I called my Mother "Mummy". And later learned a mummy was an egyptian term for a wrapped body after death that lived forever in the afterlife. Maybe she was a spiritual reincarnation of someone particularly important who had the ability to rebirth herself or others. Ariel was a blithe spiritual fairy in mythology. And Glee, her first name, was the adjective for delight and joy. Strangely enough these word meanings ran contra to her actual emotional expressions during her everyday interactions with me. It is not that she exhibited a drone quality, she was neither the blithe spirit, nor the joyful sprite, and often was more like a "mummy". Some ancient character moving through my universe to give me life.
My father's name ran next, Joseph Rudolph Nunes, nee Rodriques. Joseph was a bibical name, ancient as time and Moses and the Hebrews who developed the sounds of Joseph. It indicates a strong spiritual connection to ancient religions and the bearer of one who shelters women as they bring mystical children into life. Rudolph is an old Russian name. And it is the namesake of Santa's Red Nosed Reindeer, who guides the way for others to follow with the shining light from what he knows, or his nose glows. Nunes is Portuguese and is not Spanish, and Rodrigues is a royal Portuguese name passed down through time, and is holder of a royal crest and the right to bear arms. Since the lawyer changed the name to accomodate some binding letters of the laws pretaining to an indentured servant clause, Rodrigues holds more true validity to me than the surname of Nunes. Whatever his name was, I called him Daddy. Unless I was speaking to someone else and then I referred to him as my Father. He was born June 17th of 1913.
My maternal grandmother's name is Dixie Storr and nee Allen, nee Breuyette or something similar. Dixie was a southern name, as my grandmother was from Kansas or Nebraska area, by way of Montreal Quebec where her Mother was born. Dixie held the name Storr from a man whom she married after my Mothers real Father fell off the First oil derrek ever built off the Coast of Santa Barbara, California. Then her last name was his, that is Allen. An English name. Prior to that she was a Breuyette of Montreal Canada. Dixie was born in April on the 12th I believe and the year is dissonant for me and just guessing she may have been born around 1897.
Carl Allen was the name I knew as my paternal grandfather. In terms of English royality he was a Karl. And in later years this shifted to being a mans first name of Carl. His last name of Allen came from a tool invented by an Englishman and or Scottsman or perhaps a Dutch mixture in the line somewhere. He was blond, blue eyes and Nordic European, a Celt. Like I mentioned afore paragraph he was working to support his wife and his 4 children when he fell of the oil derreck and died in the seas. He and my grandmother are buried side by side in the Saint Francis Cemetery in Santa Barbara. I never had the opportunity to meet Carl, as he passed away before I was born.
My paternal grandmother was Mary Nunes. Another bibical spirit. Another altered surname. She came from the Azore Islands. She brought with her Dee and Johnny Nunes and they moved to Irving, California with Joseph Manuel Nunes nee Rodrigues. They were all from the Azore Islands.
My paternal grandfather Joseph Manuel Nunes was a cobbler, a shoe maker and he had his own shoe shop and made and designed foot wear. He helped support his wife and his two sons and his 5 daughters. He passed away while still a young man and left Mary and the children to take care of themselves.
I never knew my Pateranl grandparents, nor my maternal grandfather...nor did I know of any others beyond that. They were either not in contact, nor were they still living.
They remain a part of my myterious past, that is unreachable and unknowable.

Do you have brothers and sisters? What are their names? When were they born? Do you remember the first time you saw them?

All I ever knew intimately was my Father, my Mother and my Brother. My sister, Dixie Glee had died previously of an incurable childhood disease, remember? I never heard when she was born. As for my brother he was born 4 years before me on September 21, of 1940. We were both "after the War babies". His name is Joseph Rudolph Nunes. Exactly like my Father's name and a Jr. My Father was the Sr. He was born in the same hospital I was born in, as far as I know, the Saint Francis Catholic Hospital in Santa Barbara.
I used to see my deceased sister every day because my Father had built a small sacred altar on his dresser so he could pray over her spirit every day he lived. He had an altar on his dresser in Lompoc, Calif and in Exeter, California, the only two places all of us ever lived when we were growing up and my folks were alive.
As for my brother, I have no up front recollection of his presence until well past the walking stage of my life. My earlier recollections of him were from the times at the dinner table, and the times we used to go gopher hunting with my Father in his old beat up pick up truck. I have other vivid memories of him as well, however, not so pleasant.
So It was just him and me, me and him, and our many dogs, and Mother and Father. The four of us.

Where was your mother born? Where was your father born? What circumstances brought your parents to the place where you were born? Were there people already there whom they knew, or did they come into the community alone? Was the community welcoming to them?

As for the birth of my Mother, I am not certain where she was born. It would have had to be in either Summerland, but I do not think they had the hospital there, so I imagine the place may have been the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. Since as far as I know and as long as I can remember my grandmother, Dixie Allen Storr worked there.
My Father had to have been born in Irvine, California or around the San Jose area. Since that is where they were living during the days of their great migrationn. No one ever came out and told me these things. My Father was very secluded and hesitant about speaking any communications with be about his Mother and Father, and his brothers and sisters, and where they originated.
Since my Mother grew up in Summerland and spent all her life there, grammer school, high school, and my grandmother worked her entire life in the Emergency Room of the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, that is where my Mother was, in the area, that is, when she met my Father.
The story they always told was,"Mother would say, she was standing by a fence on a rolling hill where my Father was driving a tractor and plowing the fields in Summerland, near my Mothers family home and she was watching him plowing. They smiled at each other and that was the beginning of their special 60 year relationship and leading to their marriage." Apparently he courted my Mother and met all her family, however there was always disscord between my grandmother and my father. At the time she was pretty much a single mother raising 4 growing children on her income as a nurse.
My Father was a farmer then, and he stayed the course as a farmer, becoming rather successful as a dairy farmer. Eventually he bought a dairy farm in Lompoc, California and did very well for himself, his wife, and his children. That was the reason I was born in the Saint Francis Catholic Hospital.
Dairy farms were important occupations and producers of milk, so as far as I knew he was welcomed into the community as much as he allowed himself to be. He was never much of a social person. And he and his little family were always secluded from public view. He always professed to love his privacy.
How would I know that the city where I was born was an affluent city filled with ocean loving vacationers whose lives were built of tremendous wealth and affluence. I was born into this wonderful town of Santa Barbara, California and did not even know how fancy it was. How upper class status it was. My eyes were not even open, so how could I possibly see where I was at?
I do own one first cognizant memory: the taste of carnation milk in my bottle. I do not remember being held or coddled or cooed or talked to or changed, or put to sleep. No soothing conversations from my parents or my grandmother. Nothing. Just the taste of carnation milk from sucking on my bottle.
My Mother and Father meeting in the plowed field in Summerland was interesting because at the time women were sheltered, and in 1937, the year they married the world was in a topsy turvey place with the upcoming World War 2. My Father could not go to fight becaue he had scoliosis of his spine. Even then in the later 30's men had to have perfect bodies that functioned without pain. My Father had polio he later told me, when he was very young. Fortunately for him, they had found a cure or he overcame it somehow.
By the time I was born in 1944, seven years had passed and the economy and the social life in the United States in general was picking up and booming, well after the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl Days. My Dad was able to get in on the boon of immigration and buy property and begin his dairy enterprise. It was something he could do well and he was proud of his farm and his little family.
Occassionally my Mother mentioned that her family did not approve of my Father. Years later I got what she meant, but when I was a child I understood her to mean that they did not like him as a person. However it was the "old race card" being played. It was subtle predjudice for personal reasons, nothing more than Portuguese people from the Azores were sort of a lower class European.
I never felt that way. I was never predjudice, nor worried about someones tribal connections prior to their existance.

Tell about your aunts and uncles. Did they play an important part in your growing up? Do you remember any special aunts and uncles?

Relatives, although we did have plently were seldom and far between, at least to visit us at Rancho Rincanada in Lompoc, California. That is the settlement I first remember after my initial taste of carnation milk. My grandmother Dixie Storr and her husband, before he passed away, Ed Storr used to visit us for a day or two at a time. They would make the drive from Summerland to my Fathers ranch. There was always alot of bad tension when my Grandmother visited. For some reason my Father did not get along with my Grandmother, although I will never know why. Especially now, since my Mother is gone, since 1994, and my Father is gone, since 1996, and my Grandmother is gone, since 1983 or there abouts. Ed Storr passed away in the 50's I think.
My parents had befriended a little family that operated the Santa Rosa Park. I only knew them as Auntie, Unkie, and David. When my Father and Mother wanted me to go somewhere, or they wanted to do something with me not around, they would take me to stay with Auntie, Unkie and David. There was always the car drive down the windy road and the lovely large old oak trees lining the road and the entrance to the park. A stone wall surrounded the entire parking lot and it was really really big. Smack in the middle of the parking lot was a huge growth of entwined PASSION FLOWERS. There were always blooms on the passion flower vine, maybe it was a bush. Maybe it was twisted around some diminished tree, but it was the center of my playtime. I was engrossed by the Passion Flowers, and loved the purple, yellow and whites of the blossums. The best part was the design that nature grew the flower into.
Auntie grew Dahlias. The most magnificent Dahlias I have ever seen in this world. Some had tiny 2 or 3 inch diameters, and others had diameters of 7 to 10 inches. And the colors were so extraordinary, I think none of them were ever seen on my grammar school color wheel. The leaves were brilliant and fresh green, with stern strong stocks that pushed up straight from the ground toward the sky.
As soon as I passed the stone gate into her yard the garden stretched out in front of me with a tiny two feet path winding through the lovely plants, each inviting me to pause and admire their colors and their patterns. I loved the patterns of the Dahlias. The geometry of each flower was perfect. Perfect. PERFECT! Nothing in my world could compare to the perfection of the Dahlia flower, nor the radiance of the brilliant colors from the whole cloud of blooms. Thus was the path up to Auntie, Unkie and Davids porch.
Auntie always wore long flowery print dresses with lace trim, and on her feet were Dolly Sandles covering the heavy woolen stockings. Auntie had white hair sort of curling into a bun and little spectacles to peer out of. At my coming she always waved me up warmly, followed by my Mother and sometimes my Dad. Usually they just dropped me off. Never did understand that either.
Unkie was there. Unkie always liked to sit in his rocking chair. A sturdy backed wooden rocker, with a comfy cushion beneath his butt. I never saw Unkie wear anything but, overalls, and he liked to smoke from his ever present pipe.
I loved Auntie the best, but Unkie made me feel slightly uncomforable because he always wanted me to sit in his lap. I did not like to sit in his lap because I felt something in his pants pocket and I did not know what it was.
I tried my best to not get close to him. Most of the time I managed to escape his grasp. Auntie never seemed to notice. She always fixed us dinner, and I recall it was not stuff I felt like eating.
She had this room where I stayed. She fixed me a place to sleep on a day bed with warm enough covers that were never warm enough, because Santa Rosa Park was on the coastal weather stream and it was too chilly and damp for me. There was a clock in the room and lots and lots of antiques and other old things and dried flowers and fresh flowers and frilly lacy stuff.
Then there was David. David was a man/boy with a wide smile and crooked limbs. He staggered when he tried to walk, and his hands were limp and shaky all the time. David was able to look at me with his eyes, but he was shy. Talking was difficult for him because David could not make words nor sounds come out of his mouth correctly. I think his condition was called parapelegic...he could navigate without a wheel chair, but it was tiring and difficult. David was Auntie and Unkie's only son.
I do not know how or why I came to be the child of my Mother and Father who was picked to spend time alone with them. But I was. I would have thought they would have taken my Brother, Joe to be their alternate son. I was glad to be away from the farm and from my Father, so I never complained. Instead, I enjoyed the flowers and ran around under the huge Oak Trees on the slopes and hills around their little house.
After a day or two of this my parents or my Mother would come to pick me up and we would go back home. Honestly I do not remember a whole lot of verbal conversation about nothing. Although my Father claimed, "Merrily, you talk too much!"
The other persons who visited us in Lompoc was my Father's older Sister, Dee Gianandrea and her husband Manuel and their kids, Diane and Gilbert. These were insignificant visits for me because they would go out and look at the cattle and wander around and my brother and I would play minimalist type games of no particular importance. Then they would leave. We never went to San Jose to visti them, because as my Father always said, "we are tied to the cows and cannot leave!" And the relatives would always come back with, "Well instead of you and Glee doing all the work, you can hire someone!" But that would be the end-game for their plan of escape.
And the other persons who visited were Uncle Johnny and Aunt Aneva from Summerland area. Interestingly enough, this was my Fathers older brother. And perhaps this was how he happened to be in the Summerland area plowing a field. Maybe when my Mother and Father first met, My Father was working for or with his Brother Johnny....I do not know. So many people have passed away.
But not at this time of their visiting us at Rancho Rinconada. Most relatives visited in the same way: we would fix lunch, and they would wander around the dairy and oh and awe at the animal farm and examine us kids to see if we had flies, ticks or fleas. I felt like every relative I ever knew considered us just another animal species.
Then my Mother"s Sister, Jeanette and her husband Jim Reid and their children Alice, Gladys and Dennis certainly must have made a visit or two. Although they were from upper class Montecito and raised Avocados and were so stuck up they barely considered us humans. We were raised around animals and animals smelled bad, ergo: we stunk.
It is nice to remember relatives that treated us or me like gold, and easier to remember the relatives that thought they were better than us. And Aunt Jeanette made this point clear.
My Mother had two other Brothers who also made the journey to visit upon occassion, Uncle Stanley and Aunt Ruth, and their children, Freddie, Jason, Nathan, Arlene, and Janine. Uncle Stanley was a Highway Patrolman. Auntie Ruth stayed home to take care of the children. Me and my brother made friends with all the kids and played together in childhood fashion.
The other Brother, Uncle Ray was a college Professor in Electrical Engineering. His professorship was at Atascadero State College. He must have visited at least one time although I recall him visiting later, but not so much at the time we lived in Lompoc.
My Mothers relatives dominated visits to our home. Perhaps because they were more social people and perhaps because they all spoke English. I do believe that language here is the key to their social advantages and social responsiveness to the world around them. They all were educated, at least by high school graduation, and some went forward further. My Grandmother was an RN, a registered nurse in the Emergency Room of the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and was the Head Nurse. That is a person of good memory. She had much knowledge of suffering humans and injured humans and traumatized humans. She knew how to facilitate their recovery and helped to keep them from dying. My Grandmother, Dixie Storr was a really important person in my life. She was French-Canadian. She was upper class, and had great manners. Dixie Storr was impressive. I respected my Grandmother the most of all the relatives I met or knew. She was a solid wholesome woman. And She is buried in the Saint Francis Cemetery, in Santa Barbara, California. I am proud of this, I am proud of her.
Language and education seemed to make an impact in my young life and because of the difference between my Mother's English speaking family and my Fathers Azorean or Portuguese speaking family we fell separate in understanding or moving forward. My Father spoke fluent portuguese and so did every one of his family members. They did not speak fluent English. They were in the process of integration and learning English. It takes sometimes years to transist from one language to another unless both languages are used as frequently as the other. My Father refused to speak to me in Portuguese, however his English understanding was limited. What he could do is understand. What he could not do was put it in words fast enough to be understood. This caused him frustration. It also made terrible conflicts between him and me. I wanted to learn Portuguese even when I was small, but he got real angry about using it. But I was learning English rapidly and could speak and understand what I was saying...and since he was the man, and the Father, he felt that he should know more and speak more than his little skinny girl child. Andso it went for years on end.
When we moved to Exeter, California in the 1950's and my Father renamed his farm Rancho Jersey, most of the same relatives came to visit over time. All except Auntie, Unkie and David. I was never to see them again. My Father and my Mother never spoke to me of them either. It was a memory and a time forgotten and lost, like a wind through the willows and the dew disappearing from the Passion Flower. I still have a pain in my head from watching poor David struggling and suffering to speak and to walk. His dispair brought me such sorrow. And Auntie just waved, and Unkie just kept rocking.

Did you play with your cousins? Who are some of the cousins you know best?

During the stretches of time for durations of weeks and months, and years, the closest person I was around for a play companion was my Brother. Above him, I played alone. My early years were spent, not playing much, but learning about things around me on the farm. I explored the hills and valleys where we lived, because we were all alone and I was allowed to wander in the forests and the fields of flowers and lettuce that surrounded our Rancho Rinconada. I do not know how I managed to acquire the beautiful thing called FREEDOM. I was given or I took, freedom seriously and religiously. When my Father was off doing something, as he frequently was, I could either tag along from a distance or when he disappeared, I would also. The same for my Mother. If she was napping. Zip. Off I would go.
In some ways I was around dangerous things. Like animals that could kill or maim in one second. Or spiders, like tarantulas that could poison me. Or I could climb a tree, as I was want to do and fall from a towering branch, be eaten by an animal, or get knocked out, when no one knew where I was. But that was just the kind of kid I grew up being.
I did not play with cousins until much later in life, like until I was 11 or 12.
I did not play like other children anyway. Most kids grew up in cities. They were engaged in entirely different set of social structures than I was. They new next door neighbors, we had no neighbors close by. We had a migrant village of Mexican Migrant Laborers, at least a mile away. I was not allowed to play or interact with them. Never. So I picked the next best thing to play with: ME!
I choose inanimate objects to entertain me. Or I choose animals, like our pets, Dusty, an Alaskan Husky and Sandy, a beautiful Collie dog. Sometimes I played with our cats, of which we never had a small amount. One time my Father nearly whipped me to death because he put me to sleep in a big bed and in the morning he found a momma cat and then she began to bring her babies in through an open window and evenually she gave birth to baby kittens in my bed. This happened repeatedly. He got more and more irrate. He accused me of bringing them all inside to sleep with me. Getting a whipping for this made me hate him. It was not my fault. I did not deserve to be punished for something I did not do.
I played with Dusty daily. I loved Dusty and she was my constant companion for a few years. Dusty got sick from Distemper and could no longer get around and so began the days of my Father carrying her, until he could no longer do so. Then one day my Dad left the house with a rifle slung over his shoulder and Dusty, he carried her in his arms. This was my introduction to the death of things I loved. My childhood began to change without introduction to the horrors of living. Reality was violent, and deadly and without warning, things began to change.
i experienced getting whipped. I do not mean a tiny smack on the butt. I mean I got whipped with a whip and sometimes a leather strap or a leather belt. I look at it this way. It was a physics problem. I weighted maybe 40 pounds. My Dad, maybe 200 pounds. He was a man built like a brick bull. Strong of muscle and thick of strength. One swing of the whip could have slivered me in two pieces. One swing of the whip could have severed my spine. And no one knew of this treatment except my Mother, my Father, and my Brother, who also experienced the same treatment from time to time.
I was still not five years old yet. I experienced death, like no child should have to see death. I would watch my Father kill baby calves, male or female. I watched him shoot cows in the head and watch them fall and beller and scream. Then I watched him cut them open and pull the intestines out. I watched him bleed the cow by cutting its throat. I watched him cut the head off. I watched him skin the cows. And after all this was done and put in tubs, in bloody heaps of meat and bone and grissel, he took it to a cool place to cure. Then after awhile it came to our kitchen in the house where my Mother would take over and process the meat into roasts, steaks, ribs, and so on. It was gruesome.
Other kids never ever saw this level of human and animal integration. Perhaps a few did, but not many.
I saw my favorite most beloved animal go away with a man, my Dad, my Father...and never ever return. I could feel sorry for myself about this, however when I think about it I consider these events just came more quickly to me than to other people. I am certain that my Grandmother, as the Head Nurse in the Emergency Room saw much, much worse happen and she always seemed OK. She did have a fondness for murder mysteries as I recollect, and always had a new one to read at the palm of her hand. I never saw her read anything else other than murder mysteries. When she watch TV, after TV came into invention, it was always Soap Operas.
So play, like a normal kid. No. I never was able to play like a normal kid. Today is May 10, 2015, and I am remembering and recalling things from 1940's and looking around me today at the way kids are raised. I see all sorts of things occuring and many things other children have happen today is the same stuff I experienced when I was a child. It makes me wonder just what do we do to each other?
My Father hired a cow milker one time and he had a son name Freddie. A cute blue eyed red haired freckled face little boy. When he first came to our ranch Freddie and I used to play together. How we played together became the beginning of my problems. One time, and it only took one time, Freddie wanted to do things to me, sexual things. He was not that much older, just curious. So we crawled under the house he was living in, along with the spiders and the sow-bugs and began to experiment with our bodies. I pulled off my little jeans and he got some wax bars and started playing around with things on my body. Nothing much happened that was penetrating nor permanent however...just as I was getting heated up...I hear big boots stomping along the ground supports of the old house. I turned my head to look to see the horror of the truth and yes, there was my Fathers heavy black boots. How did he know where we were? I guess if you were as old as him and knew your kid was doing something naughty under a house with a boy, well you would know right where they were at.
He spoke in a deep and deadly growl, "Merrily, get out here right now, and go in the house." I believe every hair on my body stood on end. We waited until the boots had disappeared and I tried to pull on my jeans, dirt, sowbugs, spiders and all. Freddie quickly ran into his house. I had to drag my feet into my house. I felt like I was dying. To do something or not to do something, either way it was over for me. My Father asked me what we were doing under the house. I had a glimmer of light at that moment, because he could not see that my pants were off and we were playing with our bodies. All he wanted to know is what were we doing.
My tiny frightened voice squeaked up, "Nothing." I said. His angry voice began to quiver, "It did not seem like nothing to me. You are not to be going under houses with anyone, especially not Freddie."
Then he stopped. Then he spoke, "Go to the bedroom. You are getting a whipping."
This meant that I had to go to the bedroom and further humiliate myself by taking my pants down again. I had to take my pants down for Freddie and now I had to take my pants down for my Father. His playing with my body was whipping it severely with a whip. Sometime in the near future he used a specially selected willow branch...thin and whippy...and scumy where he had flayed the skin of the wood.
After screaming for him to stop, when no one heard me but the frightened mice in the walls, or my Mother pretending not to hear in the kitchen, or my Brother cowering off in some closet so no one could see his tears, my Father would stop, and stomp off, leaving the instrument coiled in the corner of their room.
The next day the newly hired milkman was fired. They were gone from the dairy. They were gone from my life. He got rid of Freddie, but he did not get rid of my desire.
So because of this little problem I had, I had no friends. I had no playmates. And maybe Freddie did not cause me to incur another whipping, their was always some reason for my Father to pull off his belt, or bring out a whip, or skin a thin branch off the tree. No matter how hard I tried he always found a reason to get mad at me or punish me. So I hated him. I got no help from my Mother. I got no help from my Brother. I just tried to stay alive and out of the way. I was not always lucky. I was always alone.

Was there someone your family was particularly proud of?

Being proud of someone was not a condition or state of realization that was celebrated in our little family. We did things and celebrated events, but being proud of something always seemed to become clouded by a series of past events and when something special did occur, well, the thrill of the moment never lasted long. My Father had a distinct way of lifting us up and then crashing us down. In between the height of the event and the crash was lots and lots of laughter and making fun to whatever it was that occured.
It was like, I told a joke at the dinner table one time. The joke was about a beautiful girl who went out on a date with a handsome well dressed man in a suit. They ordered spaghetti. As they were eating dinner, he got a piece of pasta stuck between his teeth. But everytime he would smile, she would break out in gales of giggles. She thought it was funny and began laughing. Her date did not know what she was laughing about so he excused himself to go to the bathroom. He smiled into the mirror. And realized he had a piece of spahgetti between his teeth. He was terribly embarrassed. He removed the pasta and went back to the table. "Why didn't you tell me?" he asked his date. She just blushed and looked down.
At the dinner table this was the joke I told to my Father. At first he welcomed the conversation, and allowed me to tell the joke and then he laughed. And he laughed. And we laughed. Gales of laughter. I could not quit because we were sharing a moment of fun together. Then he got dark, like a light switch had suddenly turned off. Bit by bit he began to stop laughing. His facial expressions regressed to a sullen dimness. I noticed and saw the diminished sense of humor falling like a cloak of dispondence across his brow. Soon he would not look up at me. He stared at his dinner plate. He began to glance at me momentarily. His face reddened. I watched the rage surge and it overcame all joy and fun and light.
Menacingly he growled, "Merrily eat your dinner. Enough is enought. The fun is over."
I was not able to stop on a dime and his temper jumped out of control Again.
My Father had things going on in his mind that as a small child I could not begin to imagine. He never talked about them and I was hard pressed to discover the remanants of the Altar Boy and the Reverent Church Going young man he claimed he grew up being.

If you could do anything differently about your family, what would it be?

When we are born, we are born into where ever we are. We have no concsious choice in the matter. None of us that we know about are able to manipulate time, circumstances and matter so that we know beforehand, who will be our Father or our Mother or our Siblings. Genetics is a physical reality, consciousness maybe just happens along with it. Maybe.
Perhaps because my Father set me out on a path of systematic sexual torment I had ideas and dreams from places no child should have known about. I was only born in 1944. I was only with them from the time I was a baby until we moved to Exeter, California. I remember the first grade and the second grade and two teachers, Mrs. Fields, and Mrs. Hellickson. I figure I was between 7 and 8 years old. Since my Brother has all our family history locked up in his house in Visalia, California and refuses to share any of it with me, much less talk to me, I have no way of knowing the truth. There were so many things wrong with our family.
I might have wanted us to all go to church together, and pray together, if that would have helped. But it only outraged my Father to suggest it and Mother cowered in fear and seldom spoke about certain things. Her role was to submit to his dominance and keep her mouth shut. She obeyed that pretty well. I had no idea how things in relationships were supposed to be, then and I do not do any better now.
I did wish my Father did not use belts, or whips or slap me with his huge hands. He never understood me. And when I voiced this statement he laughed. He harumped and turned beet red and began his temper tantrums all over again. I was a little female child. He felt he did not have to understand me. My job was to obey. And if I did not obey, I suffered painful consequences. How he thought this pattern was good for my mental well being, I do not know. I was blamed for bad behavior because he had to express his bad behavior, his rage at someone defenseless and way smaller than him.
After I was into the age of walking and talking, visions began to come up in my mind, and I would see terrible things happening to people. I felt the greyness of death from people somewhere. I felt the stacks of dead bodies. I felt I was or had been a child somewhere and had been raped repeatedly. I saw myself die as I tried to escape some soldiers. The soldiers shot me through the head. They also shot my companion, a large grey wolf dog. I thought for several years, these two persons who cared for my brother and I were not my real parents, but had adopted us from far away.
That had to be nonsense because we both had birth certificates from Saint Francis Hospital in Santa Barbara, Calif. What I envisioned was not the same as the papers. None the less I still recieved these pictures from afar. What were they, was what had or was happening in Germany during the time. The suffering, and the torment affected human consicousness so dramatically that some of us who were sensitive to such emotional experiences, could feel it. But we could not identify it. We had no way of knowing where it was coming from or what to do about it.
I am not aware that either of my parents were aware of these flights of fantasy. Maybe it was my attempt to restructure my family reality in some significant way to relieve my own personal suffering and torment.

Did the family get together much casually, or did you have to travel and dress up to spend time together?

The family I had was my Father, my Mother and my Brother and me. We were around each other 24/7 and we never were apart, other than school, or an occassional trip to visit my Grandmother in Summerland, California. We did not go to church, We did not visit either sets of relatives on either side of our circle because it meant my parents would have to leave the animals unattended. They could never go anywhere, because the cows were first, and had to be milked twice every day. Sometimes they had to be milked by hand, and sometimes they had to be milked by moving machines around and this was difficult, tedious and dangerous labor.
The clothes they wore for this activity were always blue jean fabrics and by the end of one shift, they would be covered in cow manure. It was horrible. It stunk. The worse part was the smelling of the methane gas from all the fecal matter.
My poor Mother had to wear glasses to see, and she was allergic to grasses, hay, dust, cow hair, and this made her asthmatic. By marrying my Father she had sentenced herself literally to her death. Everything she was around made her sick, and literally took her breath away.
She spent her time more with the cows, and out in the dariy barn, than with me, in a sense. She spent more time in service to my Father and his cows. They were married in 1937. I was born 7 years later and they were in the thick of this relationship. She was 18 when she married my Father. So she was 24 when I was born. She was 19 when she gave birth to Dixie Glee. She was 20 when she gave birth to my Brother. Back in the 40's that must have been a difficult strain on a young woman with nothing more than a high school diploma and marrying a young Portugues/American man who jumped right into the expense ways of the dairy industry.
I always thought they were both very brave and entrepenurial to take on this much responsiblity.
In addition to being pregnant, bearing children, raising children and working in the dairy, having permanent breathing problems, she moved her life forward like a true duty bound soldier. From the beginning I could see these things and I understood her great courage.

Was yours a religious family? Did you attend services together? Were these dress-up affairs?

A neighbor of ours in Exeter, California, once said to me from her clean perfect kitchen in the middle of her Peach Orchard: "There is so much wong in that house of yours and in your family." I knew and understood that she meant the unspeakable things that we never discussed.
Emily Stone was a good friend of ours and she also was a devout Methodist and as her family. Mary Stone played piano in the church on every Sunday. Mary was perfect. She had pale washed away complexion, like cream tinted with peach blush. Her eyes were crystal blue, and limpid, so you could see through them or so you might think. Her hair was the fluff of an angel, white blond and gold....the best part of this was that Mary was also my best friend.
It was because of Emily, Paul and Mary that I was able to attend any church at all ever, at least in high school. They always invited me and I never knew why I should attend because I do not know what good it would do. I still got whippings.
I never did nothing, I just got whipped and my Father on Sundays would bury his face in the newspaper and ignore my leaving. If I did not get back at the time he thought I should, well he would have another one of his damn temper tantrums and I would have to stay home for a month of Sundays and my punishment was something like hoeing the weeds.
Emily and Mary thought everything was fine. Obviously they really did not, because he felt like we had a devil living in our house.
When my Father was a child he was the good Altar Boy and then he fell in love with my Protestant Mother and when he married her, they said." If she does not become a Catholic, like you, well we do not confirm the marriage as valid in the Eyes of God and the Catholic Church. So me and my brother and my sisters, we Bastards, at least that is how he felt and what he felt they meant by not blessing his marriage. that is a terrible experience for any human to have to endure.
I imagine that is why my Father punished me so vehemently. He felt I was to blame for their lack of blessing. He felt I was living proof of his shame, his sin, and his excommunication from his chosen religion. I was his living sin. He was at world with his personal lust, or sins, and with the the religious powers that declared and contructed rights from wrongs. It was a war of sin versus religious beliefs. It has not changed. Men are still engaged in this battle of their own personal desires versus the God they choose to follow.

Did your family say grace? Did you sit down at the table together for every meal?

Holidays were our grace saying days. Suprisingly enough, my Father always said Grace during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Those were the big Holidays we celebrated. During the early years, up until I was 21 I helped with the cooking. At first it was the learning and the helping Mother prepare the foods. Then it became more of a me thing when I learned the basics of preparing the various standard food items. A fat delicious turkey was at the center of the table. Prior to the dinner however, I washed down the turkey, removed the innards, and washed the insides. I put together a mixture of bread crumbs and eggs, and celery and onions in a large bowl and with my hands getting gooey stirred and stirred until it was like a solid mushy composition.
This I stuffed into the two open ends of the turkey. I wrapped the stuffed product and placed it into a foil blanket, put it in the pan and readied the over for the 6 hour slow cook. While this was cooking I boiled sweet potatoes, and yams and made mashed potatoes. Gravey came from the Baked Turkey juice and this could be put together later. We had cranberries, and we had lettuce salad, and appetizer plates and a day before Mother and I worked up the Pumpkin Pies, the Pecan Pies, and the MinceMeat pies. It was a massive amount of food for the four of us, and we did this every year for every major holiday. My Father loved to celebrate these special events.
He was not disappointing in that regard. Yes, he said Grace. That was his spiritual moment to shine and bring us together with a little bit of peace, joy, and family community. Since it was such a moment of celebration for the entire world, he put his best foot forward. Those dinners were the best, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.
Sometimes we woul eat Ham for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or Easter. Hams always got spiced up with brown sugar and scored with cloves. My Mother liked to change it from one type of meat to the other depending on what we had last year, or for the last Holiday.
Those were the warmest and best of days. All the trauma of mis or feigned mis-behavior melted away like butter on hot bread. Words, tempers, mixed emotions and whippings disappeared from Thanksgiving to past Christmas. We did not make it all the way to Easter on the forgiving high, but prayers and holidays and the ideas of good cheer remained pasted on our faces for a fair amount of weeks.
The little child in me did not understand how Grace and Prayers worked. My Father did not explain it to me, nor my Mother. They, well he, just said words at the dinner table. They were special words and he spoke them in English. Somtimes he laughed and made small jokes about the words and our dinner and me. He never poked fun, ever at my Brother. It was always me as the butt of his jokes. Mother was the family member he ordered around, "Honey, pass the biscuits. Honey, pass the potatoes, or Honey, get me some more of..." Faltering in this small requests did not become her. She responded mildly and gracefully.
She was my Father's Grace.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner was a family affair. Every day, 365 days a year for all 21 of my first years living with them. My Father insisted I learn to cook just as soon as I could walk, talk, and read recipe instructions or follow verbal instructions. My Mother became my first cooking teacher. She began with small things and then I kept building my cooking skills. That was how it was done.
My Mother and I spent many happy days in the kitchen at Rancho Rinconada baking, boiling, canning, and preparing all types of foods. We baked cakes, cookies, pies and breads and other treats, for the entire family. It was my Father that loved to eat the most. If the cookie jar was about empty, we would hear it and we knew it was time to get out the dough and bake cookies. We prepared the meats for the main course and the potatoes and the vegetables and the salads and whatever else was requested from the kitchen food factory. I had the most fun of my young life in the kitchen with my Mother.
It was one place my Father did not pick at me usually, nor hurt me as often as with over other things. He did require his meat to be cooked properly.
I had habits at the dinner table that while I was under the age of 8 at Rancho Rinconada would cause him to erupt with anger. One was rolling our delicious white bread slices into little tight balls of dough. I would tear off the outer brown crust and then the center white bread I would divide into little pieces of dough so I could roll it into balls of dough. Then I would carefully line them up around the rim of my dinner plate and watch them for a while, because i thought they were interesting, kind of like little white beads only without the hole poked through the center for stringing. My Father would watch me do this. Day in and day out for a few days. Then it began to bug him and he would explode, his face turning bright red. He would sometimes hit the dinner table with his huge tight fist it would make him so angry. I noticed my Mother jump a time or two.
After wards I would hear this loud angry growl, "Merrily, stop that and eat your dinner. Stop playing with your food." I proceeded to stare at him, like the man broke my reverie. I was not that hungry and I was having fun. Somewhere in this world, other kids were actually making beads to string on a necklace...and i was getting brow beaten by the man who was supposed to love me and be a kindly parent. He just did not understand.

Did your family take vacations? Did you go to the same place every year; a summer house or resort?

Our two places of farms, the one in Lompoc, and the one in Exeter are where we lived, vacationed and did it all. It is perposterous to believe that when humans buy into cattle, horses, dogs, cats, chickens and goats...that they can ever leave for more than an hour or two. And sometimes even an hour or two is impossible. There is no one to care for the animals, who at least know how to or who care to. My Mother and my Father did everything on our two dairy farms.
They never left. They never took vacations. They took turns if they had to leave for doctors appointments. or for grocery shopping trips. My Father really enjoyed shopping for antiques, used stuff, lots, and going to animal or thing auctions. He had lots of money because he earned lots of money and he spent it mostly on his farm equipment, things for Mother and him and sometimes me or my brother. We were surrounded by everything workable, usable, and imaginable. The things around us did not belong to us but we had access to them.
I never felt a need to go somewhere to experience another place prettier than where we lived. On our ranch in Lompoc we were surrounded by low rolling hills covered by old oak trees, and red berry trees, grasses and bushes of manzanita. It was my forest playground and I dearly treasured running up in the hills almost everyday. I loved to climb up in the trees and look out at our farm house below and beyond for miles stretched the colorful fields of reds, yellows, purples, blues, and orange and bright greens of various flowers and edibles planted in miles of rows, for acres and acres. Planted around the outskirts of our farm was alfalfa fields, larkspur flowers, stocks, poppies, and lettuce, turnips and beets and other colorful plants. It was these sights and smells that saved my early youth from total disppair and made my youthful spirit blossum.
We lived in a lovely house. It was white with a red roof, and had many windows to look out in the yard. I loved our house. There grew around it a tall hedge with deep green foliage. At least twice a year my Father would get out the electric shears and the long electric cord and go zipping around until the hedge was shorn as tight as a lambs belly. Then we got to help pick up all the trimmed off branches, and pile them in the huge trash heap. The heap sat and decomposed and eventually was burned down to begin the process all over again. Everything on a farm is about process. It had a beginning, a middle and an end, then it started all over again. The process was understandable, regulated, repeated, and predictable.
Once in a great while when my Father hired a dependable milker to milk the cows the twice daily routine he established we would drive by his green ford to visit my Grandmother in Summerland, California. My Brother and I would sit in the back seat and argue and fight. My Father would drive and threaten to pull over and give us whippings if we did "not behave." And Mother would sit there in the front seat innocent and demurly, occassionally instructing my Father to watch the road. Otherwise he was more interested in yelling at us.
I loved visiting my Grandmother at her Summerland home. It was the air of the ocean that permeated everything around it. The house was not fancy, more like a summer vacation home on the coast. It was not even big, considered she raised all four of her children there. I recall more about the outside of it, than the inside. I stayed outside more than inside.
She had delicious smelling plants growing all around her house, it was like some delightful herb garden, with flowers of purples and pinks and vines and sweet feeling mosses that I could run my hands over catching dew droplets of moisture that were cool to my touch. She grew succulents in abundance, but the kind that grew on the coast, like ice plant, and donkeys tail, and hen and chicks. The type of plants that flourished in the moist coast air. Behind her house were plants that towered above me and I could run and disappear in them smelling the sweet licorice fragrance in abundance all around me. Somewhere in the forest of plants was an old rusty trashed car. I loved to climb in it and drive, pretending I was going somewhere. Sometimes my Brother would join me in the car and we would go on a fantasy ride.
If one of my parents were in a happy mood they would take me down to the oceanside. I loved being there. My Dad would dig a big hole and I would drop partly in it and the water would wash up and the sand would accumulate and it was ever so much fun. Dusty was with me on one occassion.
We would have dinner usually prepared by my Mother and my Grandmother and then we would leave the same way we came, the old green ford, sleeping until we reached Rancho Rinconada. That was the most of any vacation we were able to go to as an entire family. The days we did this were happy.
So I had the Santa Rosa Park and my Grandmothers Summerland home as my remembered getaways.
After we moved off to Exeter, and Rancho Jersey became our new home we were stuck again. The only times we left as a whole family was to take short trips up to Rocky Mountain, or Three Rivers. Occassionally I would go with my Father to auction yards and listen to the auctioneers. I loved listening to them ramble on and on. Sometimes my Father would make a bid, by raising his hand or going "yip"..and we might happen to come home with a new cow or bull or horse. It was another fun thing. Those days he seemed not to get mad at me.
Then there was the day we went driving up to Three Rivers in my Fathers brand new bright yellow Edsel Car he was so proud of. It was ugly, but he thought it was the cats meow. That was the year of the great rain and the brand new road was being cut up around the Three Rivers Highway. The construction crews had been busy for a long time, but on this day, because of all the rain water coming down they had stopped and the road crews were gone.
My Father was up around the road above what eventually would become the new dam and we were traversing the road that was cut through mountains. The ground was wet, soggy and loose, but we could not tell that from looking. He was zipping along and we drove under a freshly blown cut. I was sitting in the back seat of the car with my Brother. As we got to the middle of the cut, I turned and looked up through the back window of the Edsel and saw the entire mountain above us descending downward in a swoosh. I saw immense boulders, giant globs of mud, rocks, large clumps of grass.....and as I looked I spoke loudly to my Father...."Daddy, the mountain is falling down on us."
Apparently he believed me and immediately said, "I guess I better speed up then." His foot his the accelerator and we flew forward like a shot. Behind us the mountain roared it loose mess or boulders, rocks, mud and grass filling the entire gorge 20 stories high. Their was not even a space for a sparrow to fly. I think that is the only time he ever believed in me. He told me after, "Merrily, I did not know you could speak that loud."
It was me that saved our lives that day. Immediately my Father said, "We have to get back to the dairy, we have no roads now ." So he rolled off the road down the embankment onto the grassy slopes of the rolling valley and driving like only a man experienced on rolling slopes of Summerland fields, he drove that old Edsel like it was the tractor of his dreams. We crossed rocky streams, and we rolled over wet rivelets melding with grasses and past people in cars that stared at our determination towards a safer destination. The rain came down in gentle rushes, and that old Edsel got us back up on the road out.
If I had not have looked back and had not have told my Dad they "hill is coming down," we would have been buried alive. I am thankful he heard me, and I am glad he believed me. Considering our troubled relationship he could have ignored me, but this is one time I am certain he is glad he paid attention to me in the right way.

Do you remember any special stories your grandmother or grandfather told you? Do you tell any of the same stories to your grandkids?

The most words I ever recall from my Grandmothers mouth were, "Oh Merrily!" That was when I was under 8. After that we talked a little more, but she never talked about her life, nor her family, nor work, nor her mother. Nothing. I am sure she had something to say to someone, but it clearly was not me.
My Grandfather, Carl Allen, had long died before I was born. Ed Storr was a kindly man, who did not speak as much as he demonstrated his love for life by and through the art of woodworking. He placed intricate patterns of wood, inlaid each piece in amazing designs upon little table tops. Mosaic designs. Then he too passed away, along with his art and craft.
After me and the folks moved to Rancho Jersey in Exeter, California, it was me and them for quite a few years, then late in my high years, Junior or Senior, my Grandmother bought a trailer and moved it to our farm. It was located behind our little brick house and between the 100 year pale green wood house. She planted Calla Lillies that grew 10 feet tall all around her trailer and bright red bottle brush bushes. She also grew pots and pots of succulent cactus. Those were the plants I loved. Each pot was filled with different shaped leaves and various colored blooms, and ceramic creatures, like turtles, or knomes, or ducks or birds...whatever creature seemed to catch the spirit of the air.
My Grandmothers presence was a magical time for me. She made a special attempt to befriend me and do nice things for me. Occassionally she would take me to go shopping or eat lunch at the drug store, where she would buy me a fizzy chocolate soda or a malt. None the less conversation was always minimal. I am guessing people I was around might have considered me not talk worthy, or that I did not have anything to say, or maybe they thought I talked too much, or asked too many questions.
The best part of having my Grandmother there was too escape. I could get away from my Father and my Mother. Mostly my Father. He seemed nicer when my Grandmother was around. Me and her had a special arrangement. Every Sunday that she was lived with us, other than the six months she traveled to visit Europe and the times she left town with her ladies club, she invited me over to her trailer to eat breakfast with her and watch, either the Macy's Day Parade, or the plethora of Soap Operas that were featured on the television. Did I mention that she was the only person who owned a television on our ranch. My Father refused to buy one for the longest time.
My Grandmother always dressed in dresses. She always wore nylons. She always wore low heeled shoes. She always looked feminine and lovely and smelled clean. ( As opposed to my Mother who always wore blue jeans, sloppy tops, and mens type shoes and always smelled like cows.) When I came to visit on Sunday mornings, we had a set time for my arrival, so it was specific and special. I had a place to sit on the couch or the chair next to the couch and my Grandmother had a special bedside tray she would pull out and set up just for me. She placed a pretty flowered print cloth over the table and actually set a place of silver, cup and plate in an appropriate order for me to use. One other item was always on my little table. she would place a stemmed flower in a small vase on the tray. It was simple and elegant and just for me. She felt a need to make me feel special for some reason. She never told me why.
This is the only story I have to tell of my Grandmother...Dixie Allen Storr.
She would stand by her little stove and cook bacon, and eggs and sometimes fresh biscuits, or pancakes and serve a few pieces of fruit and for me juice and her coffee. The food was always delicious and always the same. She served me breakfast, and herself. Then we sat and she sometimes would say a prayer and we ate, all the while watching the Soaps on the television.
It was our adult tilted moment.
Our stories became more experiences and as a small family who lived totally outside the town of Exeter, we created our own entertainment. Our access to radio was prominent, but television had not become popular yet. Reception was not the greatest, and my Father had not invested in a television. However my grandmother did. There were certain programs that our entire family really loved. One was RawHide. Another one was Maverick with James Garner. That was the boon spike in our entertainment and our family watching together at my Grandmothers trailer.
We would all squash into her dinky living area, which consisted of a wall to wall couch and one chair by the door. Somewho we all managed to sit in the one area, and Grandma would whip up some popcorn and for an hour we would drift away onto the plains and into the cattle ranch issues of the budding West. For one hour we were best buddies and chummy companions. At least until the movie was over. Then it was back to matters of personailites as usual.
It was always an argument over "the time to go to bed" and "can we stay and watch just one more show". The answer on a school night was an automatic no. If it was the weekend, well maybe, depending on what work needed to be completed the following day, or what type of mood my Father was in. You have to understand, his word was final.
Since I learned to be professionally proficient in our home kitchen I had been given the task of cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for our family. Things changed when my Grandmother moved in. She ate pretty much every evening meal with us. This dramatically challenged the dinner table mood. It put my Father on notice. Now he was uptight and strained. I think I was happier for the friendlier company.
My Grandmother apparently felt a need to do something. She began to show up before dinner was ready and after a week or so of fussing around helping with dinner, she began to assume more responsibilities and take over the planning, the food selections, and implanted her methods of preparing the foods. I indeed felt the elderly pressure because she began to boss me around. She began to take charge and shifted the dinner preparation control over to her corner.
I voiced my concerns to my Mother, "Mom, she is doing it all. I can't do anything any more. She is taking over my job." Then I would pout or sulk and go to my room with my feelings hurt. Eventually I had to give up and let her take over because my Mother and my Father wanted to let her do something and I was expendable. My Grandmother was not dedicated as I was and so when she was not there, I had the cooking job all to myself. I went back to making the breads, the cakes, the cookies, and the pies.
I have shared the "making me breakfast story" with my Grand daughter. But my grand daughter have never had the opportunity to establish a pleasant close relationship. I guess I can count two times having done a couple of things together, and one was the movies and the other was the movies.

What was your relationship with your parents like? Would you describe it as warm? Formal? Loving? Stern? Demonstrative?

In general terms, my relationship with my Mother was sociable and somewhat trusting. She almost always listened to whatever I was wanting to talk about, but she seldom agreed on what my perception was, consequently I learned to modify my conversation just to suit a flowing social chit-chat, without any content of merit. Mother thought I was a chatter-box.
Mother was the kindly parent of my two. She spent more positive moments teaching me patiently how to do things in the kitchen or out in the garden. But I still annoyed her. Her favorite phrase to me was, "Oh Merrily." When I heard those two words, I knew she had heard enough from the likes of me.
I respected my Mother because of all the strenuous work she did on behalf of the farm, my Father, us kids, and the contribution of milk products they made to their community. High flying words for a lady milker, but my Mother never ever complained about the work. She did complain about not getting enough rest, or sleep and that she was always tired. I can honestly understand that.
My Mother begain milking cows back in the 50's every day, twice a day, every week, every month, and every year until they sold all the milk cows back in 1985. That is 35 years of milking cows every day twice a day, without stopping, and without a vacation. That is 12,775 consecutive days of milking once a day, and 25,550 times milking the cows...times four hundred cows....equals, 10,220,000 millions cows milked and moments spent performing this one task. I carried immense sympathy for my poor Mother. I saw her bruised and battered and torn up from being kicked and bumped and squeezed from the cows, the equipment and the life of a dairy wife that she married into.
My Father and I had an entirely different relationship.... it was not healthy.
The best I can say about my relationship with my Father is he encouraged me to do things, lots of things, and to stay busy, and learn and be free. All those things about our relationship I respected, and appreciated and loved. He trained me to continue to live and do and survive, no matter how many bruises, pains, disappointments, and rejections I got from like.
He encouraged me to cook in our kitchens, and he urged me to bake because he loved to eat. However there were times at the dinner table, when I did not eat my vegetables or I made little white bread balls to chew, that he would boil in a red rage, bang the table with his huge heavy fist vibrating every bowl on the table surface. This was display of temper was always followed by, "Merrily go to your room,"
At other times it got more severe. For instance, if something I said or did at the dinner table displeased him, he would "full out slap my face hard." I was a little kid. He was a grown adult man. His hand was thicker and heavier than just about my entire body, so it seemed when he swung to impact my cheek. Every time we were eating and my Brother saw this happen he would cringe and cower like a chicken into his plate of food. I got hit so hard it made me dizzy on impact.
Mother saw. She would just turn red and stare down into her plate as well, or sometimes say, "Joe!"
That would make my Father even angrier. He heard her comment as a threat to his authority to participate in the rite of punishment. He also saw it as a symbol of disloyalty to him as her husband. He could not tolerate anyone taking his authority or control away, or being disloyal to him. He believed he set the rules and he had the right to mete out whatever punishments he wanted no matter how out of balance or extreme they were. For the smallest reasons he was brutal.
No one in my life ever stood up for me. Mother on these punishments responded with little participation in the outcome, walked real quiet around her husband, and stayed out of his way. Her submissiveness caused me to recieve even more trauma and abuse. It was abuse. Various other relatives from time to time rejected this idea: "Oh, Joe, would never do that. You are lying!"
I never had allies in my family. I never trusted anyone of our family members either. Why should I? They never came to my rescue. If it had been them who had been whipped to the point of marks and bleeding or slap until dizzy, they might have grown up just like me.
And this was my connundrum...he taught me and encouraged me and yet he whipped me two or three times every week, or yelled at me and tormented me and then laughed at me. What was I supposed to do? What was I supposed to think? I was a little kid when all this began. This cruel strategy of our inter personal relationship began when I was around 2 and lasted until I was 19. Seventeen years of this torture I lived through and finally left home.
I never ever was as bad as his punishments. In fact I did not deserve any of the things he did to me. The things or the supposed causes, were never as serious as the weight of his punishments. Honestly and truely my life around him was horrible. Not because of being able to cook. Not because I was able to do laundry. Not because I had to water, and feed the baby calves. Not because I had to hoe weeds.
It was because he always got angry at me no matter what I did. He always found a reason to flare his temper at me. He then allowed himself to pursue one of his trumped up punishments and watch me suffer. Again, I was a female, and a kid.
The more I learned in school, the more uncomfortable I felt at home with him because something inside his head, his thinking about me, was not right. Since I was the child no one believed me, and since no one stuck up for me I never could find support and my emotional condition deteriorated considerably during those years. I did the only thing I could do during those years, I focused on learning and on doing, and learning how to do more.
My Father's terrible temper and resulting violence towards me created serious damage to my emotions and to my soul. He set me up for tolerating domestic violence and domestic abuse from any future male friends or partners I had. He also turned me into mostly an intellectual young girl, but not a girl given to external affectionate responses toward any person. He and I hugged mabe two times in my entire life. And even them he pulled away.
Mother on the other hand was a wee bit more affectionate and we hugged more than two times in all those years. Me and her did not have a physically affectionate relationship either. In fact, we were severely handicapped in the touching sector of warmth, all of us. This was my Fathers fault. We were all always walking on egg shells around each other and always off doing something so we did not have to be in the same room with one another.
As a family group we did not communicate well at all in the general comfortable way. All we got were orders, instructions, and commands. It was alot like the military. Only in the military I believe they were treated better.
My Father provided totally for our food, clothing, and shelter, and education and transportation. That should make anyone happy. It certainly would have been enough, if he had not had such a bad temper, and used the whip instead of kind words. My mind became imprinted with his extremely bad parenting motivational whippings and beatings.
When I watered the calves and wandered away letting the water overflow...I got whipped. When I did not show up to feed the calves...I got whipped. When i did not cook his steaks properly, and cooked then too rare...I got whipped. So what was a little girl of 6,7, or 8....other than me doing? They were playing with dolls, me, I one. They might have been baking with their mothers in their kitchens, but they were not getting lashed across a bare naked butt, day after day by a heavy handed Father holding a three inch leather belt that was thicker than my little child arm.
When I did not get up promptly at 5:00 a. m. I got whipped. Living in Lompoc that happened frequently. It was not intentional, however I was a pre-teen. Getting up early was a real chore for me. I did it, but it was difficult. I had to dress to go outside and the sun was not up and the air was chilly and smelled like walking into a methane tank. At the time I accepted it because it was all I knew. I did it because it was my daily chore, and I knew my Mother was out in the dairy barn getting tromped on by cow hooves, kicked by cows when they did not like the feel of the milking machine sucking their teats into the milk cups. The problem with that was the frequent split skin on the teats. The teat cups of the milking machines hurt the cows, so they reacted with a swift kick to get rid of the offending pain. It was only my Mother.
My chore was not in the dairy. My chores were out at the calf pens, 100 feet or so from the house. I had to wear high black rubber boots and a coat, but most of the time, it did not matter what I had on, I shook from the chill, the bellering cresendo of calves, the morning swarms of flies, and the banging and bucking of the animals against the tiny pens in excitment for the bottles of milk they wear about ready to recieve. My job was to fill the bottles and feed each one individually until they sucked the bottles dry. Then I had to give them a flake of hay, for the ones that were old enough. Then I had to water each individual bucket with water. That was just the little calves.
After the watering and the feeding, my next chore was to go in the house and cook my Mother, my Father, and my Brother, and myself breakfast. I enjoyed the cooking. There was no noise. The methane and raw calf poop was not as strong in the house, unless I got some on my jeans or my boots and carried it inside to the linolieum floor. I had to clean that up before I got to cooking breakfast.
I usually fried up eggs, bacon, pancakes and toast. We had homemade butter and jams, or jellies always on hand. When they came in from the dairy barn, usually they were finished with the nights work. I set the table and served up breakfast, and we all ate, mine was in a hurry, since I had a school bus to catch. The bus stopped outside our door about 30 feet from our door knob. I could not miss it. Missing it meant my Mother would have to give me a ride into town and for that I got a whipping. My Mother got extremely tired and did not get to sleep until much to late to help her rest. Town was a 15 minute drive in, and a 15 minute return drive. That was 30 minutes out of her sleep time.
For most women this would not have mattered, however, Mother had to return to work at high noon in the dairy barn. She had to get all of it ready, the machines, the equipment, the staunchion food, the vats for the milk the cows produce at each milking.
The conditions I have been describing are all long past events. I am explaining how this life I lead on the farm impacted my growth and my development. My relationship was not just with my folks, but also included a large part of the entire dairy environment, the animals, the land, the space we lived in, and the chores I performed on daily duty.

Did your grandparents live nearby? How often did you visit their homes? Did their homes have a special cooking smell? Onions? Cookies? What did their couch feel like? How big was the kitchen? Describe their home as you remember it.

Grandmother lived in Santa Barbara, in Summerland California exactly. They lived right across from the ocean cliffs and we could walk across the highway, through the ice plants, and down the steep sandy slopes of the ocean cliffs to the salt air and the roaring ocean waves. My heart was open to the entire area. That was my Mother's mother.
We never visited my Fathers Father or his Mother since by the time I was born my Grandfather had passed away and soon thereafter my Father's Mother was gone as well. That left his brother and all his sisters. The only one brother I recall lived close by Summerland in another small oceanside resort. Uncle Johnny was his name. They lived even closer to the sea than my Grandmother.
All the remainder of the sisters lived in the San Jose, Irving, and Sunnyvale area of California. I may have visited them, but the only sister I recall was Dee. And she and her husband Manuel were wealthy cattle farmers. I met their two children one time, Gilbert and Diane. Gilbert has long gone, as wll his Mother and Father. All of this makes me sad. Everyone seems to keep being born and dying.
Much of my Grandmothers home I do not remember, especially details of the inside. I recall the green moist moss on the rocks in her garden. The scent of the ocean air covering all the space out side. I recall the succulent cactus covering her front yard and the many feet of ice plants with their glowing spikey flowers. I loved the licorice plants in the back of her house that ran amuck all the way to the top of the rolling hills. I loved the vista of the ocean stretching for miles and miles into the horizon.
I can still feel the solid wood of the stiff backed chairs she used to put us on at the dinner table. And the pretty cloths she placed under the dishes filled with various foods. It was a happy moment, sharing and eating with my little family.

Did your family ever have a reunion? What were some of the best reunions and why?

Our family never ever had a reunion, as reunions go. Every so often someone would visit, but as far as recognizing them as relatives, it was a far stretch of the beyond that I felt related. I got whipped so much, I emotionally withdrew into my own doings.
When various family groups came over we would enjoy a meal, and we, the children would run around outside and play. Sometimes we played hide and seek, that was usually a favorite in the evening during the summertime. Sometimes we would play with the dogs and run around until they would find us, or play ball toss or catch.
Badmitten was another fun game. Then we played Monopoly. Sometimes the gamblers games like 21 or blackjack. My Grandmother taught me Solitare and I stuck with that for a long time and got rather good at it.
As far as a big family reunion however, that was naught happening.

Can you remember any stories you heard about your grandparents when they were children? Do you feel as if you knew much about their lives?

I only heard one story about my Grandmother. The story went like this, " She was born in Montreal, Canada, and her Mother was from France. Her Mother moved to Kansas and that is where Dixie was raised and there she met Carl Allen and they moved to Summerland. She became a nurse in the Emergency Area of the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and he worked on the first oil derrick ever built off the coast of Santa Barbara. She and Carl had four children, Ray, Stanley, Glee and Jeanette. One day when Carl was out on the oil derrick, he fell and died instantly. He was buried in the Saint Francis Hospital Cemetery in Santa Barbara, California. Dixie spent the remainder of her adult child rearing days as the Head Nurse in the Emergency Area.
I do not consider I knew anything much at all about them. I must have relatives in France that i have never met and know nothing about. I must have relatives in Montreal that would be a great privilege to know and to meet. I must have relatives in Kansas, as well. I must have even more family because each of the four brothers and sisters have had children that I have never met.
As for my Grandparents on my Fathers side, this is what I know. My Grandfather came from the Azore Islands as an indentured servant to an attorney in the San Jose area of California. I think he was from the Island of Fiaiel, Azores...or Las Flores, Azores. He left his family there, came to the the United States as an immigrant. After working for awhle he was able to bring his wife Mary to the USA and his first son, John, and his first daughter, Dee. As far as I know the rest were all born in Irving, and Sunnyvale, Calif. My Grandfather was a cobbler and shoe designer and had his own store. My Grandmother Mary stayed home and was a housewife. As far as I was told she did not speak much English, nor neither did my Grandfather. I never ever met them. By the time I was born they were deceased. I only met Uncle Johnny, Auntie Dee, Mary, Patsy, Alberta, Rosie and of course my own father: Joe.
I never knew any of them very well. I seldom saw any of them. I do not recall when any of all of these people were ever together in one place, as in a reunion type setting.
For some reason my Father kept us isolated and out of the family loop, on his side. My Mothers side of the family was more socialble. I did have more knowledge of them and spent more time with some of them. My Fathers side of the family was way different. I think because they were immigrants, and did not speak English as their primary language they kept to themselves and were more reserved. As we second generation Americans spent time in this country and went to school here and English became our primary language we moved away from the social isolation and became mainstream Americans. My Father never really got into this aspect of society. He kept to himself. My Mother, on the other hand was much more encouraging because she was an integrated first generation American with English as her primary language and my GrandMother's as well.
Neither of our families were that old as far as generations go as being Americans. In all of these people I do not know of one who has ever served in any American Military Department. My Brother was in the National Guard. My Uncle Stanley was a Highway Patrolman in California for many years.
As far as stories and events and behaviors, I do not know nothing. Apparently no one wants me to know and I find this ridiculous. It might be part of the reason why I am the way I am, in particular about families. Knowing one is there does not mean you have access to family feelings or attachments, especially if they constantly omit or do not acknowledge your presence.
I feel all these people have instigated a cold family environment with little communication or affection, nothing particularly shared or exchanged between any of us for any duration. My exposure to all these people is on the slim to seldom side of the social equation. They are family in name only and not be duty, attachment, nor affection, nor compact relationships.

As a teenager, did you get along well with your parents, or was there trouble?

My mother was a passive, submissive woman. My Father was an aggressive dominate man prone to authoritarian manners. My mother never spanked me or touched me in any punishment oriented way. All the punishments in our family were driven by my Fathers fierce temper. His orders and his commands were expected to be obeyed without question or understanding. He went to the extreme with his irrational out of balance punishments. He felt his was always right. He was never approachable nor could we ever extract kindness from his communications to us, or to me in particular.
There was an extreme difference between my Mother and my Father. My Mother was always kindly, helpful, gentle, soft, and seldom spoke. Maybe she had more to say before she got married to him, but after they were married and she had three children with him, his dominance became a factor that impeded her sociability. She was only 18 when they married. She had graduated from high school and spoke and understood English really well. She did read alot. She read all the time. Which was her way to progress and stay safe, I suppose.
I was caught between the two personalities. On one hand, one was quiet, malleable, and way too gentle to balance the effect of the other, who was aggressive, dominant, loud, and had a violent explosive temper. When my Father got angry, he expressed his anger in physical ways and would accuse us, in particular, me, of violating his expectations.
Somewhere in all that education i was recieving, grammar school, high school, and on the farms, I was not given a personality of my own. It was virtually "do what you are told!" My Father's famous favorite words. I heard those words every day for 21 years, and more often than hearing them, I felt the impact of the expression. His other favorite expression was, "Stop arguing with me." In his mind children has no rights to speak, even tho we were taught words, reading and were encouraged in schools to "speak up." I
In classrooms the best students were the students who raised their hands first and spoke up first. All the other students were second rate and considered by the teachers and the other students to be slow, or dumb. Some were just shy, however knew the information quite well, like me. My home environment was so psychologically abusive and physically abusive I was terrified of speaking up. I knew the information, but I was afraid to speak.
My Father had a syndrome, a pattern of abuse. He would begin by having me do something, and I would do the task, and then he would talk about it, and then he would make jokes about it with me and get me to feeling good and we would share a laugh, and then he would get angry and then he would abusive, either verbally or physically, I heard, "shut up, and eat your dinner" so many times.
The items of interest that were encouraging were always work related. Like cooking, laundry, feeding and watering the calves, hoeing weeds, washing the cows udders, washing the cows on the apron, canning foods from the garden, watering the lawns, mowing the lawns, feeding the dogs, mopping the floors, and sometimes when he left me be, and left me alone...I would be able to read or to sew. I loved to read and to sew. I read alot. Reading took me away from him, away from the farm, and into other places.
We did not have a television so when I read I could visualize really well. That was always fun. I read words and images of pictures, things, places and people came jumping off the paper and formed in my mind. Reading was entertaining and fun. I read piles and piles of books when I started reading. My Mother would take me to the Exeter Library and I would come home with piles of books. Neither of them stopped me from reading.
However sometimes the only times I could read was late in the night under the covers. I got away with this for a long time. Finally my Father caught me reading under the covers and again, the punishment was getting whipped. It did not stop me. I would read during the day and when I felt the heat was off with him, I picked up reading under the covers at night all over again. Resulting of course in disobedience, and another whipping. It did not stop me from reading.
Truthfully I learned to work and do chores, but I never got along with my Father unless I was working at something. We were enemies. No person can expect to become buddies or have a compatible relationship with anyone by repeatingly beating them into submission. One person will become bruised and battered, but that person who is the abuser, will never win over the other person. The result may be tragic, as with myself, I turned to pleasuring myself in order to overcome the extreme torment. It became my only outlet of release and pleasure. It was the only escape I could go to where I could own my own body and it could not be taken away from me. As long as I did not talk about it, all was well. I never talked about it.
Not to say that this practice has or did not cause me trouble. It did, and it has. I have payed a personal penalty and it has taken a toll on my personal health. However now I understand how it happened, what I did to overcome a horrible situation, and I understand more about things in some ways than a good per cent of other people who have not explored other humane possiblities of raising or treating their children.

How about your brothers and sisters? Did you get along with them? Do you remember ever playing a trick on your brother or sister? What pictures come to mind when you think about playing together?

Our first little sister died of leukemia at seven years old. This left my brother, who was four years older than me. My brother and I were not really friendly, however we lived under the same roof and did have experiences together. A few were interesting. For instance we used to go hunting with my Father for gophers. We had a scary event on our back porch one time. And my Brother used to sneak in my bed at night when we shared the same room. I do not recall a happy time with him when we lived at Lompoc.
Gopher hunting with my Father was sort of interesting and something we did, but did not really have a say in whether or not we wanted to particpate. My Father owned an old style pickup truck from the late 1040's. He would have my Brother sit in the back bed of the truck with Dusty and Sandy, and me he would stuff behind his right arm. We did not have seat belts in those days. Sometimes mother would come along for the ride. My Father drove the truck down the dirt roads between the alfalfa fields and stop periodically.
Usually he stopped where there was a water pipe bubbling up fresh water for the individual rows of alfalfa. These fields were all of my Fathers doing. He created many alfalfa fields. He owned a sturdy John Deere Tractor and he also owned a smaller Ford Tractor eventually...I remember the latter more from my days at Rancho Jersey. The rows in these fields he plowed and he seeded and watered and the plants grew thick and bright green. He planted acres and acres of alfalfa fields. So we had plenty of space to roam around in.
The old truck would pull to a halt and my brother, the dogs, and me would hop out. My Father would hand each one of us a shovel or a hoe and off we would go, tromping up and down the green rows wearing our black rubber boots that came up over our knees.
We were searching for gopher holes. Every time a row or a new row in a sequence was watered, the gophers would burrow up out of the ground in order not to get drowned. If the gopher holes were already in existance, the water would pour into the open hole and the gohpers would pop their heads out for air. Or they often had under ground tunnels to run through into the next unwatered alfalfa field. That was where me and my brother and the dogs came in.
The dogs loved to gopher hunt. They loved running up and down the rows splashing in the water and discovering a gopher hole with a live gopher in it. They would dig like crazy through the water, and the mud and the muck until they caught the little half drowned wet creature, who by now smelled really musty. The gophers in general made an attempt to bare their teeth and bite at the dogs, but usually the dogs won. The first thing the dogs grabbed for was the scruff of the neck or the back of the gopher. Once they had a secure grip, they loved to fling them in the air and catch them and bite down with a terrifying crunch.
Of course we never could catch all the gophers, but we did catch a few. It was a constant ongoing process...providing us with more entertainment than actual solutions. My brother and I got to sloosh around the fields for exercise, be outdoors, and smell the fresh air meanwhile playing with our dogs. The dogs got exercise and they found the gophers for us.
It was our job to dig in the holes somewhat, but not too deeply because we had to not make the holes into potholes for the tractor to roll into later in the seeding or harvesting season when we came back to cut the alfalfa, and run the tractor pulling the hay bailer. Everything we did required thinking about something else, then, or in the future.
The unpleasant expectation required from us was to wack the gophers in their heads. Yes, my Father expected us to kill them as well as catch them. It was not a difficult task for my brother, but for me...I really hurt. I did not like nor enjoy the killing of the little creatures. My Father had to explain that they wer rodents and they were ruining his fields and making destructive holes in the rows and of course that all made sense, even to me. However when I had one of them under foot and the little rodent was staring up at me and screaming at me and working his jaws and his claws...well it was a different picture. I was not happy about that. I felt really bad because it was a living thing. And I had a difficult time bringing death to a living thing. All the rest of the event was fun.
When this chore was done, determined, as everything was by my Father, we threw the hoes and the shovels back in the bed of the pickup and the dogs jumped gladly in, and then me and my Brother begged for the privilege of riding and bouncing in the back, all the way to the house. Usually we all got the ride in the bed of the pickup. The dogs, I think loved it the most, running to the rail of the truck bed and hanging their heads over the edge, mouths wide open, with their tongues waving in across their teeth, grinning widely. As the truck gained momentum, the dogs ran from side to side, sometimes putting their paws up on the rails. My Brother just hung on and bounced, as did I.
Our old porch on the back of the house had some pieces of cement missing and sometimes my Father used it as a work bench. This was one of the times he was using it as a work bench. He had a hammar in his hand and was banging away on something. My brother was standing on the step looking down. I was trying to get a good look, and all of a sudden my Fathers hammare came up and caught me above my eye. I got cut pretty bad but my Mother washed off the area and put a bandage over it and then something elese happened that was worse.
There was a large block of dry ice in the back porch sink. My brother said, "Merrily, come in here I want to show you something." It looked really foggy and the ice was evaporating and he took my hand...."want to touch it? I thought it was alright to do so, and he took my hand and stuck it on the block of dry ice, and burnt my entire hand. This was a scary experience. After that I never trusted my brother again, ever.

Did someone in your family cause your folks more trouble than the rest?

I know of no one in my entire circle of family members that have had the traumatic and horrible life that I have had to endure.

Have your pets been like family members, or just like animals? Did you ever have a dog that ran away? Try to list all the pets you've had through the years and their personalities.

Interesting how animals navigate through the complex emotions of family attachments over the years. The most remembered dog pet we owned was a Alaskan Husky named Dusty and an American Collie named Sandy. My favorite companion was Dusty. She followed me everywhere outside during her days alive in Lompoc at Rinconada Ranch. Sandy was always close by as well and I loved her nearly as much. My love for these two pets during my early years inspired me to gravitate toward reading dog and horse stories. I recall my first favorite dog story book was BEAUTIFUL JOE, followed by THE DOG OF NEWFOUNDLAND and then came all of the LASSIE series, and THE BLACK STALLION BOOKS. After that it was the BOX CAR CHILDREN. After that I moved to people and ANGELIC, AND ANGELIC AND THE KING by Serjean Golon. (Whose French novel series sell for 129.00 per copy on Amazon)
Our dogs Dusty and Sandy were not allowed in our ranch house. Our cats were, however they were not given names and we had more cats come and go that we lost track and count. I do recall several times of being severly whipped for allowing the mother cat to bring her kittens from the outside cold into the warmth of my huge king sized bed. Then on a couple of occassions the mother cats gave birth to their kittens in my bed and this enraged my Father as well. Perhaps this is the source of my personal angst against cats. I felt sorry for the cats, and more contrite for myself at my punishment.
Since my Father's business was dairying, we had lots of animals. At one point we had over 400 head of cattle, 75 horses, 8 dogs, 40 cats, a number of goats and chickens. In this quantity I am reasonable certain we did not consider them pets, but producers of milk or compliments of another social function.
During my days on the Rancho Jersey Property my Father bought me a beautiful pale blue parakeet. She flew away. Then i was given a green one and she died. I also was given chamelions. These creatures changed colors of where they lived in their environment. One day my Brother, I suppose accidentally stepped on one of my pet chamelions and squashed it. When I discovered it, before getting on the school bus, I cried so badly that my Brother got a whipping. So I lost parakeets, and I lost chamelions, and I got more pets to replace the ones I lost.
My favorite pet my Father gave me when I was in high school was a BURRO. I named her Chickie. My Father bought her at an auction. About the same time I found a book about a Burro, and it was called BRIGHTLY OF GRAND CANYON. I loved my Burro, and tried to ride her many times, but she did not want to walk when I sat on her back. She would just stand still and bray. If I slid off her back and walked away, she would follow. If I put a rope on her neck she would tug in the opposite direction. I figure that must be where the phrase, "stubborn as a burro" comes from.
I found an Indian ladies costume with a feather head dress, like Pocahantas...I wore it sometimes when I was playing with Chickie. I loved to dress up and pretend. One of the last time Chickie was with me, before my Father sold her I dressed up in my costume and was whining to my Father that no matter what I did Chickie would not "go". He told me what to do to make her run. He said to get a paper bag, get up on Chickies back and while seated there, blow up the paper bag and then squash it with my hands. I thought since he was my Father he would tell me the best way to make Chickie run, right? It was one of those trust moments.
I did as he had instructed down by the barn. He had walked to the end of the lane, about a quarter of a mile away because he was going to open the gate and watch us run toward him. So he said. So I got Chickie in position, and got up on her back, and blew up the bag, then popped it between my hands. It made a loud rustling sound and pop. Chickie heard the sound, thought it was a rattlesnake, and took off like a grey streak of lightening. I was bouncing around on her back like a rubber duck, clutching at her mane and her bridle holding on and trying to get my skinny legs to hold a grip on her narrow back. All I could feel was that black stripe smacking me between the legs, as Chickie burro galloped all the way down the lane toward my Father. When she got to where he was standing, I could see him laughing, his white teeth glistening with mirth, his ah has loud and strong as me and Chickie whizzed pass. I was not frightened, but it hurt so bad to bounce on her narrow bony back. At the end of the second lane was a tall water pipe emerging from the grassy field. At that junction Chickie decided to suddenly stop, using her two front feet as an her door stop causing me to fly head first over her long ears into the grass, barely missing my head getting cracked open on the water pipe. At that point, me on the ground staring up at her braying mouth above me head...I realized Chickie could run real fast when she was motivated to do so.
After, my Father decided that I needed a better pet. He sold Chickie.

Did anyone in your family do handiwork? Needlework? Wood work? Was anyone particularly mechanical or artistic?

When Mother was in high school and in the early days of her marriage back in 1937, she began a table cloth using her embroidery talents. She gave this one item to me and I have it locked up in storage right now. The scene on it is a Mexican tale, of things the Mexicans do to live. It is a colorful piece of work on beige cloth and depicts a cultural glimpse of the Mexican people.
My Mother was an avid reader. She choose as her favorite piece of work, The Readers Digest Magazine. She read other books and magazines as well, but she loved inspirational stories and struggle tales that were favorite reading material right before she fell asleep in her soft cushiony bed. By the time I was born in 1944 she was still reading, of course I was not aware of her love of words until several years later. I certainly understand where I acquired my love of linguistics and books and magazines, all my Mother's encouragement grew within me.
Domestic crafts were less a talent of Mother's than cooking, and gardening and helping to run their dairy business. She seemed to instinctively know more about raising a garden for food and for beauty than do other things. However she was also extremely adept at raising animals and looking after them. I would claim she added alot of expertise to my Father's Farming abilities. Although, according to him, as per his influence, it seemed "he was the only one who made it all happen". Mother worked and worked and worked, and Father got the credit!
On the other hand, my Father really enjoyed breeding the cows and being part of the animal husbandry world. He connected with the Jerseys and Holsteins as though he was the Father of the animals, and in a very real sense, he was. They were his babies, as he often called them. He made certain he charted each and every bull he breed to each and every cow, so he could chart the blood lines.
When a person goes to a store and buys a carton or jug of milk, takes it home, pours it into a glass and takes a long drink of pure white milk....I sincerely believe they do not have a thought nor a clue that the milk came from a registered cow of a specific breed of cow, and the cow had a sire and she carried a name, her name, and during her lifetime she had many calves, all with known Mothers and Fathers and with real given names. My father kept papers and papers of registrations on all his animals. Many had bloodlines of very strong milk worthy bulls and cows, who together formed a linage of healthy bloodlines. Just like people do.
One might not consider this a talent, but I do.
A person might say, "your Father has a gift for farming and raising animals and making a dairy business productive." I say, "yes he does!" He used to tell me he only went to the third grade and then he got a job in a local general store. He worked all his life, and helped care for his family, in particular after his Father died. At least that is the legend he weaved with his words in my mind. I always took his words as truth. I never ever considered it could be any different. I never knew about lies from people then.
The favorite story he told us at family time was always the same story over the years. The story never changed. His story was about how clever and resourceful he was as a kid. He said," When I worked at the General Store the customers would come into the food store and browse, picking and eating from the products on sale. We lost a lot of money and alot of food that way. So I told my boss a way to stop the food browsing. I told him to let me put a large barrel of dried apples at the door and a dipper and pail of up a sign free apples, help yourself. Most of the folks who came into the store were hungry right off the street, so they would stop, grab some apples and chew...well dried apples made everyone thristy and so they would they dip into the free water as well. This technique filled their stomachs because the dried apples would swell up after all the water. By then the customers who ate of the dried apples and drank the water were not hungry anymore and this technique stopped the food browsing. The barrel of dried apples was cheaper than the lost consumer goods." My Father loved this story. He was so proud of his cleverness and he told this story for a good 20 years to everyone in his family.
I was always impressed by all the things my Father could do and all the things he could build and all the things he could make happen. He excelled in the natural world of growing plants and breeding animals and earning money from the natural world, although he was redicent to explain his strategy and techniques to me. Unfortunately I have always suffered from a lack of "good money making sense." I always felt it was not something he understood how to explain, but something he just knew how to do. I also understood he may not have had to right words to be able to explain what he could do. He knew Portuguese, but not so much the English. And Mother did not really talk much. I think she was afraid to talk much about any of the magic that happened on our farm. I only use the word magic, because things happened, but were not necessarily explained. Money from nothing was one of the magic tricks.
My Father built things. He made the earth move into straight rows for his crops of alfalfa, and cotton, and his walnut trees, and his grapes. He made fences and corrals, and pens out of wood and wire, holding them together with nails. He made and poured concrete for an apron for his cows and remodeled his dairy barn to suit the needs of his business and his cows. He never built us a house however. He always thought the way we lived was good enough.
Building the earth to be productive is a creative task. It requires a consideration of the lay of the land, the contour of the crust, the rotation of the sun across the sky, the windscape of air currents formed on windy days. It requires the knowledge of the direction the rain may typically fall into the fields. A land area may appear to be flat to the naked eye, however it may have shallow dips or slight rises and both the low and the high of the earth will affect the way the water is distributed as it flows from an irrigation ditch down the row to the end of the row. It requires the knowing of what to do with the extra water runoff that occurs when the water has not all been absorbed when it reaches the end of the field...what a farmer does about all these things has an effect on his plants or garden or animals and the efficiency of his crops and his fields. These are just a few of the things my Father knew and understood. He knew them. He understood them. But he could not talk about them then. Our lives may have been vastly different if he could have talked about his knowledge. He did not.
My Father could lay out the field, and then build the lane for the cows to walk down or the tractor to travel upon, or the haybailer, or the old truck, or my bicycle. He could make it straight and the same width up and down the distance. He could do this by looking and spacing with his eye, but he could not tell us the correct numerical measurements. He could lay the fence and build the would be a strong fence sturdy and sound in every way, but he could not describe to us what he did to make it that way. He could build calf pens of perfect order and size, using a saw, a hammer and nails. It was measured from hand to eye. There are things he knew, and those things he did not have words for.
Most things he did, he did by showing; he did using action as oppposed to description and instructions.
He had natural God-Given talent to do things. He taught himself whatever he needed to know and he visualized it and created his visions. Much like I did with things I knew and understood at an early age. But where he thought of himself as a "doer", he refered to me as a "daydreamer." Consequently I thought I was stupid and not good at anything.

What did your dad do for a living? Your mom? Your grandparents?

Before I was born our family was thriving. My GrandMother was a registered nurse in the emergency room at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. Her husband Carl Allen worked on the first oil derrick platform off the coast of Santa Barbara.
My Mother became employed by my Father at 18 as his wife and helper in life. My Father was a dairy farmer for all his life. And that would be from 22 until he passed away from multipule systems failure at the age of 83...on May 5th, 1996, two years after my Mother passed away from a Grand Asthma Attack on September 23, 1994. She was 79.
I only spent 21 years of my life with them, but all they ever did was dairy farming. Since those days were the most impressionable of my world, I find them filling my mind every day...even today as I enter my 72th year of life.

Were you considered rich, poor, or middle class? Were times ever tough for all of you, or was it always smooth sailing? Did you have to go without things that your friends had?

Our family was alway considered better off than most of the kids I went to high school with. I always thought this was ridiculous because the kids in town I knew lived in really nice houses, wore stylish clothes and went to church and had friends stay over, spend the night and do fun things together, that I never ever could.
Our wealth was in the way of the farm. Our wealth was in our independence. Our wealth was in our freedom to raise our own food, live a very private life away from the close quarters of people in town. My wealth was learning "how to design and sew my own clothes", teaching myself "how to select foods and prepare them, as well as serve them in an attractive and appealing manner", teaching myself how to read and entertain myself by creating theatre dramas while performing songs for the dogs, or the cats, or the ticks or the fleas, well whoever was watching me dress up and make noises.
I was so hugely entertained by the natural world around me and the introduction into the culture and social life I experienced from my environment that I was not deprived once that I can recall for want of a thing. Yet my sorrow, pain and unhappiness came from my relationship with my Father who constantly felt drawn to punish me for nothing but his own lack of language communication. His frustration came from his not being able to express himself with words to us, and his solution was to resolve issues through anger, fear, and terror. We were all afraid of him. No matter what we did to please him or serve him, he would always get angry with either Mother, Brother or me. I think we all resigned ourselves to his emotional instability and tried to avoid it best we could or get out of the way prior to another episode.
We had so much to do on the farm, we were never bored. Our schedules were like an endless clock, always ticking forward and never allowing for a stop. Life was cows, horses, dogs, hills, cats, gardens, fields, flowers, and the stink of it all. The methane gas was unbearable. Life was breakfast, lunch, and dinner and cookies and cakes and pies and bread on Saturdays and Sundays, sometimes it would be me and Mother in the kitchen, baking and talking softly if we felt comfortable. Usually not.
The biggest differences between other families and mine was the smells, the clothes, and the work loads and the chores I had to do every day. My Mother always smelled like cows. Cows always smelled wet, like urine and cow manure. The methane gas swelled up during the winter months and cascaded across the cow pens, the gardens and poured like rotten manure into my bedroom, waking me to the dismal sound of the sump pumps and filling my lungs with the over powering stink of cow manure. My throat clamped shut, my breathing was ever so shallow and I awoke gasping for clean sweet air...there was none.
For days on end, and months in a row, the only clothing my folks ever wore was on my Mother, blue jeans and sleeveless tank tops, and on my Father, always Hercules Overalls. Nothing other than this would do for them at their ranch. It was the uniform of the farm. I felt totally out of place because i had to wear dresses and I loved wearing dresses, but my folks were looking like people from another world. Either I was out of place or they were out of place. I dreamed constantly of being able to wear beautiful dresses and dance and sing and be a "Hollywood Movie Star." That never happened because one day my Mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said, "I want to be a Movie Star." And we were in our old green ford, she was at the wheel of the car and she turned to look at me, her red bandana on her head, her dark brown eyes shining, "Merrily, you are not pretty enought to be a movie star," Well I felt awful, and my heart dipped into the back seat of that old ford, and no, I never got up enough courage to ever try to be a movie star, because, like she said, "Merrily, you are not pretty enought to be a movie star!"
But in my later years I did get on to become a Featured Burlesque Dancer, and a Writer for other Las Vegas, Nevada entertainers. But I still was not pretty enough to become a movie star. Never believe the putdowns that people say. Other people are predjudice and will steal your dreams!
So instead of becoming a movie star, I remained a farmers daughter who designed stage shows on our front lawn and danced for the dogs, and the cars whizzing by on the road. I sang to myself, and danced when no one was looking and my folks made fun of me and my dreams.
To parlay my silly wishes of stardom, Father gave me tons of chores to do. One of them was hoeing thistle out in the fields of grass, all for 2.00 an hour. That is good pay for a kid. He gave me a place to live and food and i bought my own fabric to make my own clothes out of this "big money". The work experience was good. I was happy to away from the stink of the manure close to our house. The long walks up and down the rows was great training for me to search and seek out a plant anomaly among all the ordinary grasses. I was able to stand alone out under the open sky and be the only person in the entire universe. I felt surrounded by an immense spiritual being and I loved the solitude, but wondered why God had placed me there, so all alone. I did not like being that alone, and as I walked sometimes i cryed because I felt so horrible about my life. it was the punishments and not all the other things.
My friends had Mothers who smelled like perfumes, and wore smiles on their faces all the time. Their homes were clean and not burdened by the stench of manure, and the floors were not spotted with cow stuff or dog spots, nor hay, nor dirt, nor bugs...there homes looked like healthy clean people lived in them. Our did not. We lived so close to the animals that we were more like animals than like humans. I did not like that.

Were your parents fancy dressers? When you think of them, what do you remember them wearing? Did your mother wear a special perfume you remember? Did your father wear cologne or after-shave?

My parents definitely set their own fashion pace. They taught me something about dressing for what you do...they had a sense of reality wear...not dressing for who you wanna be. I will stress the word, functionality.
In the city you may have a selection and a choice of what to wear. Certainly their are many choices to choose from .

What was it like when you took your mate to meet your family? Were they welcoming or standoffish?

Throughout our lives we take various friends home, and boyfriends, and then we also arrive at our more s. erious relationships. It is a lengthy process to grow up ourselves and then take a look at our parents as they relate to our learned reality, and then venture forth on the brave journey with another soul, and bring them home to "meet the folks." This is alway ackward, and always has been. It is the perfect moment of acceptance and rejection.
My introducing any male to my Father was essentially dependent on my relationship or on the mood of my Father. He was not a socialble man towards many of my friends, however, I had to work with his emotional roller coaster.
The uncomfortable times I suppose I recall the most vividly. Like the time I went our with Chip Duncan. Chip was rich and somewhat of a rebel, identified like me and we went out on a date. Chip was super intelligent, but my curfew was 11:00 and that was the magic witching hour. Be in on time or be dead! Well Chip liked to stretch the limits of possibility and consequently we arrived a few minutes after midnight, finding my Father fit to be tired. He was awake of course, and waiting up for me. But then he had to go out to milk his cows, so he was up anyway. But the situation was insufferably dense...I was verbally berated, and sent to bed without a warm hug and kiss...I was like 16 and he gave me a whipping instead. Then he administered the most brutal punishment imaginable...that was in October...and he sentenced me to stay in the house, on the farm for the following 5 months. I could go to school, but, not anywhere else. It was the worst days of my life. I was a teenager at this time, and being a teenager meant enjoying the company of my friends, like all my other friends were allowed to do. They all wondered what was happening to me and their conclusion was; I was a bad girl and had to be punished...but for the "what" of it, they did not have a clue, nor could I explain the reality of my life to them. I had so much happening and going on, of things and events that none of them had experience with. They lived their sequestered sheltered city lives and I had catacalismic events occuring on a daily basis.
My high school dates were essentially potential life partners, and my Father took each and every one of my dates as a serious mating relationship. In my world of growing up, and in the outer social circle beyond my immediate family, my dates were just casual dates. We were teenagers getting to know each other and how to relate to the opposite sex. In my case this was diasterous because my knowledge of men was from my Father and how he treated me. I did not know any male friend that treated any of our female friends the way my Father taught me how men treat women. Nor did I know any of their parents that treated their women or wives the way my Father treated my Mother. He used her as forced labor, and she submitted to everything he said and did. While the other Mothers I knew were home bodies and did nothing, and their husbands worked. I observed two vastly different systems and systems of lifestyle occuring back in the 50's and 60's.

The House of Your Growing Up

Do you have warm feelings about the childhood home that you remember the most?

We lived in two places. One was in Lompoc, California and the other was on a farm 3 1/2 miles outside of Exeter, California

What did you look out onto?

The windows of my bedroom looked out on a small patch of lawn and a hedge of high green leaves. A tree of small size was pluncked in the small patch of lawn. A portion of the hedge was open, like a doorway out into another world. It was like walking through Narnia or Alice in Wonderland. A space was clear and on the other side the great white world opened up to a field of flowers and acres of fresh lettuce in rows and rows and rows. This open view was refreshing, once the block of hedge was overcome.

What was your bedroom like?

The best part of the house was me walking around on wooden floors. Rugs were scattered in the living room, but in the two rooms that were both used for my bedrooms at one time, Mother had placed throw rugs by the beds, kind of like a door matt for the welcome bed.
Mother and Father did not spend much money on furnishings, although we certainly had ample and functional furniture. There were three rooms that were used for bedrooms. One was my parents and the other two were used for my brother and me. My brother and I shared one bedroom that was next door to my folks room. My bed was down wind and his was crammed in the corner upwind. I was nearer the bathroom door than he was. He had a big double bed and I had a narrow twin sized bed. The bed was off the floor, however I was never warm enough. For some reason my folks did not think I should be warm. I was always cold when I was little in size.
i could not have sweaters. I could not have jackets. I could not have warm blankets for my bed. I never did understand this. So when I climbed in bed, I shivered until I fell asleep. I had clothes, but my clothes were not exciting. They were just clothes. I was outdoors quit a bit, so many of the items I had related to boy wear. I wore blue jeans. I wore blouses. Sometimes I was allowed to wear dresses. Anything I was given was practical and suited for farm life.

Did you share it with your siblings, or was it cozy by yourself?

One room had been shared with both of us and the other was mine.

Can you remember the pictures that hung, wallpaper, carpeting, etc.? Can you remember your telephone number and address?

The white paint covered the walls in plain simple expanse. I am not sure we ever had a picture on our wall or walls.

What did you do to make your room your own? Did you sleep with a stuffed animal or doll? What was your animal or doll's name?

One time my Aunt Jeanette made a doll. It was a real pretty hand made doll. It was pink and white and wore a black and white polka dot outfit. Her hair was blond. My Aunt had hand crafted it out of fabrics and stuffed it until its little skinny arms were packed tight with stuffing and its little skinny legs dangled. She had fashioned black Mary Jane shoes and on the doll they looked like little ballerina slippers. I never liked the doll. I was not spoiled but I had visions of one of those beautiful plastic dolls in the store windows in town. The doll my Aunt made me was the only doll I ever owned. I carefully undressed her and left her naked. My Aunt saw her that way a time after and was totally indignant that I ruined her doll she made. I never saw what difference it made. She gave the doll to me. I undressed it and that was that. I never played with the doll again simply because I did not like it. Nor the Aunt. I never ever gave the doll a name. However I did name my animal pets.
I liked real things. I did not like imaginary dolls. Well I take that back. I loved paper dolls and spent hours cuting them out and dressing them in different outfits. My Mother would buy me books of paper dolls. They were cheaper and way more fun to play with. I could change their clothes and combine and recombine their fashions or shoes, or hats, or jackets...and when i was done I carefully put them in their box until next time. Paper dolls were my favorite. But that was back in the 1944 to 1952. And that was one of the pastimes that made time move smoothly.

Can you remember what you daydreamed about in those days?

Dum ta dum, ta ta ta de dum...its time for lets pretend. The story is exciting from start right to the end. So everyone come join the fun, it's time for let's pretend. My ear was always glued to the short wave radio my Father was so proud to own on every Saturday morning of the week. I lived for that radio show. We did not have televsion and My Father got quit the kick out of my fascination with his radio. But that show was the show I lived for.
It was followed by The Lone Ranger and Tonto, and The Shadow Knows, and Alfred HitchKock, and their was another show called Dragnet. They only ran on the radio on Saturday. That was my radio day.

What time did your mail come? Was it exciting anticipating the mail? Can you remember anything in particular that you received that was special?

Our mail arrived in the mail truck, not the pony express, and was placed in a metal mail box with a red flag. I suppose it arrived in the morning. It was not really exciting, more oppressive than anything. The mail belonged to my Father.

Was security an issue? Did your parents keep the door locked or did family and friends come and go with the door unlocked?

My Father was a security nutcase. Everything had to be locked down tight, doors, cars, rooms, storage. He had keys for everything...and during the day, well he was a little lax but always on guard.


Who were your best friends in your neighborhood? Do you still know them or know what happened to them?

When I attended grammar school I made one real good friend. Perhaps her name was Stacy. She was an adorable Black Girl. Probably one of the only black girls in the school. We shared the same class in school. We played together and swung on the monkey bars together.

Holidays and Celebrations

Do you like your birthday or dread it? What birthday do you remember the most?

When I was a small child on the farm in Lompoc my Mother made special things for me on my birthday. The one that always appeared every year on March 13, was The Angel Food Cake dripping with Lemon Confection Sugar Frosting. Of course she always put candles on the cake for the year. I remember this cake came on my birthday every year throughout high school and she always cooked it up just for me. It was my annual birthday celebration cake. I have not had an Angel Food Cake with Lemon Frosting for years and years. In the beginning of my life...they were cakes!
On that day and only on that day Mother prepared the Angel Food pan and the Angel Food Cake Mix. In those days she made it from scratch. She knew how to cook, mostly bland types of English things. I got to watch her mix the conncoction in a bowl. She whipped up the flours and the egg whites and carefully blended them together, then spooned them into the Angel Food Pan. The pan was real special because it was constructed in two parts. Most pans were one piece, but Angel Food Cakes had to be made in the type of pan with the funnel in the middle.
Mother protected this Angel Food Pan for years and years. It was always carefully washed and put away with the other pots and pans, but placed in a protected position in the back of the cupboard where I could look at it every day, until it was pulled out on March 13 for my birthday celebration.
In general we had a small dinner, and the birthday cake, and the song and the lighted candles were blown out and I got to make slices of Angel Food Cake for everyone. Sometimes we shared ice cream. And then I got to open my presents. There were two or three presents, usually. It was not the number but the family warmth and the happiness we shared for a while.
Beyond that, work was always waiting and our family conflicts that never went away.
These birthdays of mine were pretty much always the same. None were ever bigger than the others. No one different than my family ever came. It was always my Mother, my Father, and my Brother, until my Grandmother came to live with us in Exeter. Things changed then. It was not a celebration of my growing up so much as it was Mother became too worn out to make the Angel Food Cake, and Grandmother took her turn at was not the same cake.

Did you get to choose the meal on your birthday? Were birthdays considered a "big deal" when you were young? Did you raise your children to think they were a big deal?

Our meals on my birthday were not the feature, it was always about My Angel Food Cake with Lemon Icing. I never did see a balloon, nor confetti, nor the crepe paper streamers, nor banners...we did not get into that kind of a party scene. We were practical and sensible about the arrangement of the birthday celebration. In fact all our birthdays were pretty much the same, except that Father got a Chocolate Cake, and Mother got a Yellow Cake and I do not remember my Brothers birthday cakes...maybe he did not have any.
In 1969 on May 15 I did have a daughter. Her birthdays became party full works of art in every way I could think of. I wanted her to remember her birthdays and went to great extreme to make them special and fun and exciting and make her feel like the little Princess I imagined her to be. I think I over did this concept.
For all of my daughters birthdays I dressed her in a fancy new dress, and made or bought a highly decorated birthday cake and balloons and lots of presents and all the friends that she had or knew at the time. I made sure she was the center of attention and got lots of presents. I think I now regret making such a fuss over her on her birthday. I was so happy to have a child, and she was beautiful and precious to me then...however it is now pper 2015 and this year on her birthday I did not attend her party. I gave her something trivial afterwards on another day. Some how her behavior has dimenished the celebration of joy and I give her the same as she gives me: nothing.
I do remember one birthday in particular that I felt was the top of the walk! We were living in Las Vegas, Nevada in the 1980's and I held a party at OFarrells Ice Cream parlor in Las Vegas. For the entire day they had placed her name on the billboard: Happy Birthday Genishan. I thought that was the coolest thing ever to see my daughters name on the billboard for the whole world to admire. For that party I bought her a pale green flowered dress with long flowing skirt and gentle ruffles around the neck. She invited about 20 of her young best friends and they all bought presents. They had a clown come out and entertain, the songs, the games, the gifts, and the cake and the special ice cream. I out did this party and it was real fancy. One I will recall often over the years.
These birthday parties I gave her I considered boosts to her self confidence and importance as a young growing girl. They did not work that way. Things later began to go south!
When she turned 21 I put together another party for her at a bar and gave her a male stripper. This time we were living in Fresno, Calfornia. The male stripper was not a young hired an old man on purpose who was in his 70's and looked like a dried prune with a long flowing white beard. My intention was to have a light hearted mood and get her to laugh. It was the fun. We filmed the little dance he did and the odd thing was she actually liked it. So it worked out well. We all got quite a kick out of the event.

Did your family make birthday cakes or did you buy them? What were the favorite flavors? What kind of birthday parties did you give for your children?

Because I was born 71 years ago, we started out making our own food. Everthing we needed we grew, or butchered, or canned, or cooked up ourselves from raw ingredients. Basic items we purchased, but since we lived on a dairy, with cows, chickens, goats, pigs and had a garden growing in the backyard all the time, we did not need as much as the folks living in the towns. The cows gave us milk, and from that we made cheese, cottage cheese, butter, whipped cream, and ice cream. The cows gave us meat and the chickens provided our eggs, and meat, brown and white, and goats gave us another type of milk and other types of cheeses, and the pigs, bacon and pork roasts...we had plenty of food. An endless supply of food and we were only four people.
Mothers garden grew strawberries, plums, peaches, apricots, avocadoes, corn, ruhbarb, turnips, beets, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, string beans, peas, and fava beans. The things we lacked were sugar, salt and flour. So that is what we bought. My Father was very particular about the items we bought because he demanded we use what we grew and did not buy the same items that we grew.
He was so insistent about his ideas about what we ate that when I asked him to have orange juice for breakfast he got insanely angry and began shouting, "You do not need orange juice! We have milk from our cows. It is fresh and more wholesome than orange juice. You drink milk in our house. No you cannot drink orange juice!" I was after the delicious flavor of orange juice and the vitamin C. I never was allowed to have orange juice until I left home after I turned 21. Today I drink orange juice all the time on a daily basis, I occassionally drink milk or use cream in coffee or tea.
So as for birthday cakes I am merely pointing out that we bought flour and sugar and white shortening to make all our pastries. My Father loved pastries, and that includes pies, and cookies and cakes and as quickly as I was able to learn and put dishes and foods together Mother taught me basics of cooking and this includes breads, cakes, cookies, pies, appetizers, main dishes, vegetables and deserts. He was so adament I learn that he bought me my first cook book, which was for little kids. Funny thing is I have managed to save it all these years. The one cook book I loved the most was one my Mother bought for me...The Betty Crocker Cook Book. I was able to keep that one for years and years until my second husband stold it from me when he divorced me in 1992. It was the only carrier of my Grandmothers handwritten recipe for Rum Balls. That was the only reason I valued the cookbook, because she wrote her secret recipe in my personal cookbook. I have always felt sad about this. It was really mean of him and the book meant absolutely nothing to him. He married another lady, she stold the cookbook, destroyed it and him and then he died without ever returning my cookbook, a family heirloom.
So my Mother made my day special and it followed that I made my daughters day special as well, then when she turned 21, well she had a child. This baby boy was given a birthday party celebration on his day of September 7, and they have all been pleasant and mild, until he reached the ages of 18. Then they got to be the kind of parties that he wanted. Not exactly my type of party. But none the less...I have helped create the events just so he can feel loved and have some birthday fun.
I wonder if all this birthday party stuff is necessary. I guess for the sake of modesty, I say it is nice to be remembered on your birthday. I think I made too much of a fuss over my daughter. I think I wanted my grandson to feel special on his birthday. Anymore birthdays are a sad passing of time and tidings. Although I did take myself out for a fairly grand birthday celebration on March 13, and had a grand dinner with friends and my now 23 years old grandson.

What were the most important religious holidays you celebrated throughout the year? What was the significance of the holiday (i.e., why were you celebrating it)?

Birthdays may be blessed, but they are not necessarily religious. My Father was a Catholic. So when he was excommunicated because he married my Mother who was a Protestant, he more than less dropped all his religion into the pond. He stopped going to church and Holidays were Civil Celebrations such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years Day, Easter and the 4th of July. Those are the only Holidays we ever celebrated. I suppose he grew up with them because of the times we lived in. He was never able to serve in the Military so Veterans Day did not become a major event in our home.
He, my Father never bothered with any Catholic Holidays. I suppose we all grew up thinking that Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Years Day, 4th of July, Saint Patricks Day, were religious. However the only religious holiday we encountered during the year may have been Easter...but even that was made up and a configuration of our social imaginations. All the holidays are more or less commercial enterprises and not necessarily in our family we celebrated with special dinners that I often cooked. My Father always said a prayer. And we ate very well.
Each year we alternated Turkey for Christmas or Thanksgiving or Ham or one or the other, but on Easter, my Father always insisted on Ham. I think Christmas recieved the most prepartations because my Father was from the Azores and Portuguese and he insisted on us making Fruit Cakes soaked in Brandy and they had to be prepared months before the 25th. And also I made up GrandMothers Rum Balls. Our Fruit Cakes were something else. The recipe is one I do not even have any longer, but I do know we made the thick dough with molasses and brown sugars and added dates, dried fruits of all kinds, nuts of all kinds and the dough was so thick with everything that it make this incredible delicious mixture, that when baked filled the house with the fragrance of molasses and deep dark scents...after the Fruit Cakes were baked, cooled we had to base them in liquor. Then we wrapped them in cheese cloth that was soaked in more liquor. Then we wrapped them in newspapers and put then all in a tub to sit for a month or more. About every two weeks we brought the tub out and unwrapped each Fruit Cake and rebased it with more liquor and rewrapped the cheese cloth and rebased that as well. This process went on until Christmas and then my Father would give them away and some we would save for ourselves and our own Christmas Celebration.
Our celebrations were about the food. That was what my Father lived for. He truely loved to eat and eat well. He insisted I learn to cook and cook well. I became a gourmet cook at an early age and for this skill I am ever grateful to him. But woe to me if I did not cook something the way he liked it. This unfortunate punishment happened more than once, possibly because he expected way too much from a small child.
I never heard a specific reason for celebrating any of the holidays that was religious or speciaL I always heard our special dinners were about food, or giving thanks or giving presents because we loved one another. I loved to sing christmas songs and at Christmas time we always played music, and at Halloween we would dress up...but since we lived in the country, no one came to our door to "trick or treat".
All the other holidays were "just fancy dinner holidays" or if we were lucky, relatives might drive to see us from far away. We did live far away from all Mothers relatives and Father relatives. Unfortunately my own daughter and my grandchildren do not have close relatives and so have formed their own social community from odds and ends of people who befriend them. This has its good points and its bad points. These relationships are based on substance use, not values and the interests of the relationships are not necessarily similar in content. But then, relatives may or not offer good company either. So my children have learned to form their own social community and move within its self formed circles.
Our holidays then served the purpose of communication with family, relatives, friends, and the shared communion of food. This is all good. Shared food is a religion within itself for some peoples, and discussions about all sorts of subjects can evolve from a mixture of people at a dinner table. Over the years we all learned new information from these dinners and holidays. Although our holidays were not connected to a specific religion we held respect and community for each other.

How did you celebrate each major holiday?

Each holiday brought about a different feeling and a different type of food and companionship. Each holiday had a different purpose. Through out the years we celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, Saint Patricks Day, Valentines Day, Easter, 4th of July....all American Holidays. Each one had its special foods, and dishes and table cloths and sentiments. Some folks would visit us depending on the type of holiday it was.
Our Halloween was just a spooky fun day and I would make things related to that day. Like cookies with orange frosting and black cats and we decorated our house with spider webs and skeletons, and things that irritated my Father because he saw no reason to fill our house with that kind of nonsense. Halloween was not a good holiday for him. Nor me either. I did not really care much about dressing up and looking bad and scaring people.
Thanksgiving was different. This was an important day for my Father. Maybe because he knew he could feast on really good food. We always had a store bought Turkey. I got to dress it and make the stuffing and wrap the entire bird in aluminum foil, bake the bird and serve it up when fully cooked. This was the more traditional dinner because we had to have cranberries, and sweet potatoes and yams, and pumpkin pie. My Father had a palate for specific items with specific holidays.
This could be also repeated for Christmas, but with Christmas we just added more special food groups, like chestnuts, and the fruit cakes, and fancy sugar coated walnuts, and rum balls, and maybe instead of just one meat, we would prepare a ham along with the Turkey, and mince meat pie as well as the pumpkin pie, and of course we had candied sweet potatoes and yams with marshmellows. All this was followed by Christmas Carols my Father would play on his stereo system and then he would bring in Santa Claus and we would have Christmas Eve...sometimes with the opening of one present or he would get excited and want to open all the presents with us. If we waited until morning it was even more interesting because I would have to get up to cook breakfast and we would wait until we ate and then we would open all our presents. He preferred this as a family tradition more when we were younger and then when we got older he swung to opening the presents after the big night dinner.
Then for the entire week leading up to New Years Day we ate Turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes and yams. It was a delicious time of year. New Years Day was not a food day. It was a day of turning and trying to remember to say the date of the new year. It was a day to make resolutions and get going again after the Holidays were done.

What holiday did you especially like? Which holiday was really not much fun for you?

I loved all the holidays as they came and went and they were like the changing of the seasons and brought about new experiences and new growth. I always looked forward to the holidays. My Father was nicer around those times and the energy and spirits seemed to bless us more. People were happier and jovial and more open and generous, just because it was a holiday. Christmas brought on the highest sort of energy due to the fact that gift giving was so prevalent and expected. Which is unfortunate in a way. But it was also fun to recieve and do things that only happened one time during the year.
There were times when I loved Easter because it brought out the sacred in people. I loved the colores of the white bunnies and the pastel tulips and the coloring of the Easter eggs and the hiding of them. There had been times when I was allowed to go on Easter Egg Hunts and Mother bought us beautiful baskets filled with candies and sometimes a toy. Then we ate a special Easter dinner of ham and other goodies.
Over all the Holidays I do believe that Christmas is my all time favorite because of the colored lights and the decorated Christmas trees and the window decorations of fantastic lights, colors, and shapes of things straight from our imaginations. I loved the music of the season. The warmth and glow of the winter air and the spirit of people as they greeted each other. But all of this is the American System. Other folks did not do what we do in this country and I was born into an exciting and wonderful hospitable enviornment.

What were some of the best memories from any of the holidays you celebrated?

Christmas season was my choice of holidays. This began for me sometime in November or as early as October. That is the time of year when my Father insisted I begin baking Portuguese FruitCakes. These were special Fruit Cakes made thick with molasses, brown sugar, white sugar, some flour and nuts, and dried fruits, stirred and then slow baked until moist and solid. After they were cooked each one was soaked in brandy or rum or some other of Fathers special secret concoction. Each fruitcake was wrapped in white cheese cloth and then soaked again in rum or brandy and locked away in an air tight chest for 2 weeks to congeal and ferment.

After two weeks the fruit cakes were brought out again and resoaked. And then repacked and this went on until Christmas week. That week we began to taste and consume our work. They were delicious. Others of the cakes were given away by my parents as gifts to friends, family and neighbors. I suppose others remembered my folks for this Christmas Treat.

Cookies were also cooked in our kitchen on a regular basis. Every type imaginable. Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Chip, and the fancy cutout cookies that were in the shapes of trees, bells, stars, santas and then frosted with pretty colored icing. My Father loved his sweets, and he made sure I learned how to cook them at a very early age. I suppose all that cooking was a good thing for my skill level too.

About as religious as I got on Easter was hunting for an Easter Basket burdened with sweet pastel colored candies, and or going on an Easter Egg Hunt around our family yard. No bunnies, no church, and I was not even aware of the what the Easter was in the other world....ours was about candy, colored eggs and a delicious dinner of ham.

I am seeing that food and family was always important in my early life. Unlike other families where religious and church activities were important, our was about the food connections. Food was our church of choice and our spiritual connection, understandably because my parents were farmers. Everything was about food, the ranch, the cows, the milk, the meats, the gardens, the trees, the vineyards, the fruit trees, and the rows upon rows of alfalfa and other hay type grasses. We were surrounded by green grasses, blue waters, brown earth, blue skys, and food. It was wonderful.

What was served at your holiday dinners? What do you remember about these dinners?

Our holiday dinners were always either Turkey or Ham for the main meat dish. For side dishes we made fresh homegrown corn from our gardens, fresh string beans, sweet potatoes, candied yams and pumpkin pie with whipped cream and a fresh apple pie. We added fresh baked bread as well as salad. This was Thanksgiving and this was Christmas dinner and this was Easter Dinner as well.

Our dinners for holidays were just my mother, my father, my brother and me. Throughout the years every so often other family members would emerge from the far distance lands of California and set about at our feast laden tables.

My favorite part of these dinners became my Fathers prayers. Daddy would say the family blessing each and every holiday. He insisted we hold hands around the table as we prayed. This was a nice touch. His prayers brought us a little closer together in harmony and our appetites relished the meal. Maybe I was an Angel because there was always a warm glow around the table.

What are some of your memorable birthdays from your life? Were any birthdays particularly difficult because you reached a certain numerical age?

The only thing memorable about anything from my life's birthdays was the type of birthday cake that my Mother used to bake on my day of birth. The cake was always an angel food cake with drippy pale yellow icing made from fresh lemons and white powdered sugar. I loved the fluffy white cake portion. It was simply delicious. So for 21 years that was my best birthday present and best memory, Mother baking me my own Angel Food Birthday Cake. Yes she put new candles each year, adding a new one for the new year. And the Angel Food, I suppose that was her sense of humor, either she was feeding me Angel Food because she thought I was an Angel...or because it was her prayer for me. I needed angels around me then and now.

None of my personal birthdays were parties. This was a fact. The early birthdays my butt got whacked. And later on it still was just my mother, my father, my brother, and me celebrating. Then my grandmother Dixie came to live with us...but that was later on in high school. Nothing changed much. We just added another chair to sit at the table for my grandmother.

On the other hand, my daughter Genishan was given a birthday party every birthday she celebrated up until the last days of her teenage life....She expected a birthday party for some reason. She expected presents and blessings and attention. I do not know why she was that way. It was her natural self I suppose. I dished it all out to her like candy on cake with ice i regret it. I spoiled her and made her think she was so special and sacred she did not have to do anything to recieve everything. I wish that is the way life was for me too.

My grandson had a few birthdays that included parties. However the older he got the less exciting the parties were. Some should have been really fun, but after awhile birthdays for me and him became painful experiences of lonliness.

There was one birthday with his father one time in Hollywood that was fabulous. His father arranged a suprise birthday party in his garage and filled an entire table with the most amazing presents imaginable. It was lavish. One of his fathers friends made this fantastic chocolate cake with rasberry chocolate frosting.
That was an incredible event. Although it was so intense I think my poor humble grandson was embarassed by all the presents. (And it made his sister jealous.) So sometimes good things are not always as good as our best intentions.

Is there a holiday present or birthday present that especially sticks out in your mind?

For Christmas and Birthdays we always were given things we really needed, such as socks for our feet and underwear for our bottoms. My folks claimed money was tight, but yet they had plenty of money for many, many things. I even suppose they bought me things that were toys, although I do not ever remember playing or owning anything that was a toy.

My infamous Aunt Jeanette did give me a dolly she made by hand one time. The doll was made of cloth, and had yarn hair and bright pink cheeks with real read lips. The dress she wore was black and white polka dot. I tore the entire dress off of her. My aunt became angry because I ruined the dolly she made and had given me as a present.

The second present Aunt Jeanette made me was a little chest that she hand painted with pretty flower designs. Now that I think about it, that was a nice present. I still have it although it is tarnished and the paint is cracked. I wonder how important things such as these really are.

I gave my daughter all kinds of things when she was growing up. In fact I guess I lavished much on her, from Barbie dolls to clothes, to room fabulously furnished and music and and money. Now I see how she has become and I wish I had not gotten her a thing. She became spoiled.

Then she later gave me a grandson that I dearly love. I gave him whatever I could think of for his various ages in the hopes he would benefit and learn from books, videos, clothes, trips, school things, music, and people. Perhaps he learned more than anyone ever needed to know.

I wish I never had given them anything because, I think children need less, rather than more.

As a child, what did you do on the Fourth of July? What do you do now?

The most we ever did was have a fancier than usual dinner. Sometimes on this day my Father would take us to where ever there was a fireworks display. Often we did not need to go anywhere because we could sit on our roof or our barn loft or just on the lawn and watch up to 10 valley fireworks shows because the family farm was out in the middle of the flat valley and all the towns around would have their own little fireworks displays. These displays we could see from 30 miles away. So our farm being in the middle of it all would be the perfect place to sit and sip and crunch and munch and watch.

My favorite fireworks display was in Fresno. It was the first year of Tyler's life, my infant grandson and my then husband Michael had met both of us out at the Island Water Park . The three of us lay looking up at the stars and watching the fantastic fireworks go up up and explode in the air in different sparkling colors. It was a most dramatic and wonder experience. My Tyler, my grandson, so adorable and such a happy boy. Oh How I wish the days like that will always remain the same. But then we all have to grow up, grow old, and become mature adults...and leave our childish ways to begin anew.

Now a days for the 4th of July I do not celebrate because I live in a National Park. There is no fireworks allowed here. (Although they regularly burn the forest.

High School

Where did you go to high school? What was your mascot? What were your school colors? Do you remember any of the cheers? What was your favorite song during high school? What type of music was popular?

Since we relocated from Lompoc to Exeter, our dairy was 3 and 1/2 miles from the nearest town of Exeter. It was a small town in those days numbering 3,500 people. The High School was not real big, my class number about 700 students. It was named after the town of course, Exeter Union High School. It was located on the outer parameter of the town, a mile or less from the beginning of the towns major income, orange groves and lemon groves and grape vineyards. Miles of all of them. The trees and vines stretched from the outer city limits clear up to the lower edges of the Rocky Hills.
Rocky Hill had one of the best turnouts to drive up to and park, or so I heard from the more sophisticated and sexually liberated upper class seniors. Experiementing with sexual freedom was a big deal back in 1958 when I was a freshman. But then it made no mind to me because my Father did not allow me to date. He barely released me to attend church on Sundays with the Stones, around the corner from us. They owned a Peach Orchard and were our best friends. They were Methodists and they invited me to go to church with them on a regular basis. They had a beautiful daughter a year older than me who looked like a diving angel. She had the clearest and palest blue eyes, snow white skin, and pale blond hair. She played the piano and I worshipped her not because of her beauty, but because she was the nicest person in the world to me.
She attended the same school as me. We were the Monarchs and our colors were blue, gold and white. Our mascot was the mighty Lion. I was a majorette and I was a cheer leader during my Jurnior and Senior Years. I had to beg my Father to let me participate in these activities. He thought the kids would get me in trouble and I would become naughty like them. i eventually got in trouble anyway. And I did not need them for encouragement.
When I tried out for cheerleader, I was chosen for the postiion of Pom Pom Girl. This means we were not quite as important as the cheerleaders because we did not cheer, we yelled and waved pom poms and wore short skirted dresses and moved our bodies provocatively. Of course they only choose the prettiest girls for these positions, so I automatically was designated as one of the elite. I suffered alot to get that positon. It was the beginning of the idea of having fun and being a dancer, on the other side of the tracks so to speak.
I never had a real great memory for lyrics or scripts of any kind, so unless the other girls memorized the lines of the cheer, I was lost. Dancing ar0und or bouncing around I was not much better either. I was young so I was able to mimic and mime and watch and move with scychonisity...that is what save me. I pretended I knew what I was doing.

Who were your friends? What did you like about them? Who were your favorite teachers?

In high school I recall a couple of teachers, not necessarily my favorite, however they were definitely memorable. Two teachers in particular stick in my mind like people pokers. One was Mrs. Partridge, the older lady (to use older) who was the Head Librarian. The other was one of my teachers, a certain Mr. Biggs. Certainly Mr. Biggs and Miss Partridge are no longer llving, however they remain active as part of my repertorie of lifetime contributors.

The minute we students walked into the EUHS library, Miss Partridge would promptly be upon us, guiding, directing, can students know so much? Although Miss Partridge was the admin of the library, she was always pecking at our brains searching for a kernel of life.

Proud, and always wearing purple, or lavendar, or every shade between Miss Partridge appeared as much as a name describes, large of upper body, tight purple coverings, hoovering above diminutive purple shoes. She would strut in front of us, off on her mission to procure a book or two or more, for the many of us shorter scrawny little birds fluttering and scurrying around her as we moved in silly giggly litte groups of ignorance to her vast fluffy grey head of knowledge.

All of us kids loved Miss Partridge since her persona was generous and always identified by her Majestic Purpleness. Miss Partridge was a kindly woman, and in every way helpful...and Purple. Her purpleness was preceded by her purple fragrances that she doused on perhaps daily by the bottlefuls. Her skirts rustled from the underlinings of taffetas rubbing against her heavey stocking, lavenders in shades of mauve or amber pale thickness. Miss Partridge was a fine woman, and our school librarian.

Then there was Mr. Biggs, a most memorable character. Picture an older man, and for us that would place Mr. Biggs in the catagory of perhaps 45 or so. He appeared through the door way, tall, and his shoulders were bent in a round shape with the rest flowing down ward dressed in pale colored shirts, generally, loose darker pants and no tie. Mr. Biggs had a very odd face, with a nose like Ikabod Crane...long narrow at the top with a wide very pointy base and flaring nostrils. His chin dipped and his mouth dropped open all the time. Often he would peer out at all of us "children" and gasp his mouth wide open, and I was not sure if he was thinking of himself or his task at hand teaching us, his students.

Mr. Biggs was not appealing in appearance, and that strange nose of his was placed below really large eyes, and students are impressionable, but we were a class of respectful children, so most of us, did not say much and many of us liked him, only because he was pleasant to us. He brought a sense of humor to our mornings and afternoons. We did not understand what gender he was exactly, some of us whispered that he was a gay man, and some of us were hush to speak such things, so he presented himself as an odd sort of teacher.

Mr. Biggs had no history that we knew of...he made us a strange way...and he was patient to a fault. Underneath his exterior however was a stern sense of discipline that remained steady and consistent. He maintained a distorted unidentified sense of order in his classrooms and always treated us fairly and without is just that there was something really odd about him, but we were too young to know exactly what it was.

it was back in 1958 when I first entered high school. It was my first chance to be a freshman. We were sometimes given different teachers for different reasons, like sometimes the teachers changed throughout the day for the classes and then sometimes we changed classes to go to different teachers. Our PE teacher for the girls was different than for the boys. The girls had a woman at one point. I do not remember her name, I can see a face that was like atheletic, short brown bobbed hair, amber green eyes, slight freckles, and a not so pleasant personality. This was one teacher that clearly did not like me. She may have had gender issues as well. She would stalk me and follow me around.

The big problem with her was my grades in her class. She was the only teacher I ever had that gave me F's in Physical Education and not for not participating or doing the activities. She wrote on my report card she gave me F's because she said I smelled bad...and my gymn clothes, that were supposed to be white, were always dirty. So when I showed my report card to my Mother and my Father, they flipped out at me and I got a whipping for having bad grades, not in an academic class, but in P.E. My Mother went so far as to go talk to her. The teacher told her my gymn clothes, that Mother and I washed every week, were dirty and that I smelled bad. I did take a bath every day, so I know the teacher was lying, but why, I will never know.
After the talk with the teacher my Mother made up her mind that something was wrong with the teacher. She thought the teacher was harassing me. I thought so as well, but she made a miserable child out of me for the entire year. Then I never had to be around her again.


If you went to college, where did you go? Why did you choose that school? How much was tuition? Was it difficult to afford? Did you receive financial assistance or a scholarship? A loan? Was your school large or small? What was it known for?

From Exeter High School I moved on to the College of Sequoias in Visalia, Calif. I did not know what I wanted to do with my life, what I wanted to study or anything. I had things I liked doing alot, but they were not the things that made money to support myself. I had to support myself because my Fathe made it abundantly clear that he would help me, by allowing me to live on his ranch and making sure I had plenty to eat, but beyond that I had to get a job where I could earn a living somehow.

In those days of the summer of 1962, being a girl, and being a farmers daughter, and being 25 miles away from Visalia for the College routine was like putting milk back in the udder of a cow. Nearly impossible. I had to learn how to piece it all together. My Father did encourage me to keep going to school. He was never short on my continuing my education, either by the end of his sharp angry tongue, or the sting of his whips. Although by the time I graduated he had withdrawn the severe whippings to angry sullen stares. I always felt he hated me, until he broke out in laughter, but his mood swings came roaring back at me after the humor had subsided.

I made it through that summer of 1962 mostly spending my time out in the alfalfa fields hoeing weeds and thistle, washing the cows udders off with the long hose on the apron prior to milking, and helping feed and water the calves, and bailing hay with my Dad. When I was not doing any of that, well Mother and I would be working the vegetable garden and canning veggies or fruits depending on what we had available. There was so much about the farm that I did love...the dogs and the horses. The fresh feel of the green lawn beneath my toes and soles of my feet.

Military Career

Name, rank, and serial number? Were you drafted or did you enlist? What was the first you saw of the service - the enlistment center? What did you see there that made you want to sign up? What was it like at the draft board?

Real military life is prevalent eveywhere. Since I was born in 1944 one of my vivid recollections was of young men in uniform walking around on the streets of the small towns we visited. Whenever we would go by car we would pass by buses letting young men in uniform out at various bus stops. When we would go to shop in town. We would see uniformed young men strolling the streets and occassionally chatting with pretty young girls walking along the roads. I wondered about them.

It was the moment of the times. This went on for quite a few years. I listened to the radio and heard my folks talk less about the horrors of Hitler, and more about the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Children seldom have dislike for other people. I was one of those always curious children, always exploring and always asking WHY; about everything. My Father hated answering my WHY questions and explaining the answers. Maybe he did not know the answers to my questions, or perhaps he could not explain the answers from his language of the Azores to mine, stronger English, which was all I knew. The important point here is that he hated JAPANESE for bombing Pearl Harbor.

My Father had scoliosis, a curvature of his spinal column and when he applied to serve in the military, they told him because of his SCOLIOSIS he would not be about serve. So instead that sent him in a tail spin toward farming. He was happy with farming and he knew he would be successful and able to contribute to the community around him, and so
society at large.

Father was intensely fascinated by politics, and the wars raging in other countries. He listened to the news on the short wave radio frequently and created strong opinions of all governmental activities. I am sure his vociferious opinonated self expression had great influence of those things happening beyond our farmland. I only realize this because I had a dedicated sense of interest beyond my own world and realize that events occuring elsewhere influence my own life.

At the mere mention of the Japanese people his temper would flare into


Were you married to a serviceman or servicewoman or did you have a sweetheart in the service? In what year did this person serve and where?

Service was relative to your physical circumstances. My Father never served in the military because he had a condition of scoliosis of the spine, or spinal curvature. Instead he opted out to serve his community by owning and operating a dairy farm. This is did so gladly and successfully. In fact he was considered wealthy by many of the people I knew, which were my school mates. I was always referred to as the "rich farmers daughter." It was a moniker not fully comprehended by me, because I never felt wealthy. From the time I was able to do things, which I learned as I moved along with my life, I was given chores, and jobs to do. I was also paid by things my parents bought for me, the room they gave me to stay in, and the food I ate. All of these were considered blessings by me. All of what the community viewed that my parents owned and what they saw them give to me, was my shared wealth. I felt more like a "business component" than a child who was allowed to enjoy or have fun, like my school mate counteparts.

I was always curious about the military and the messages broadcast by Ike Eisenhower. Whenever I was aware of his public communications, I would press my ears to the shortwave radio and listen to the current news and messages about the Second World War. Understanding was a keen ability of mine and I did listen to these announcements. Hilters show of power and his demonstrations of mass populations extermination did not come completely through to me until later in the years, however I felt that something extraordinarily horrible was occuring somewhere. Without a television I could only pick up the distress signals from the voices on the radio, and the little news they were privey to; the rest came from visualization and imagination, all of this information coincided a few years later and I became enlightened to the horrors beyond our home front doors was as traumatic as my Fathers tempers and punishments. He just did not kill me.

In truth, his temper terrified me, however he never even came close to killing me. I am certain that farm accidents could happen at any given moment to a small female child. My Father made certain I stayed alive and did everything he could to protect me from the dangers of farm accidents. He was proficently proactive in this way, always thinking ahead and always conscious of safey factors, not just for me, but for my Mother and my Brother as well. In fact, many of the issues he ranted on about were to help me become more aware of my surroundings and the impending dangers of the farm and his animals.

Due to the more social emphasis on my early first years I was less politically inclined and through the by ways and on the highways, saw many servicemen standing around in towns, but I never reached a desire to contact them or associate them. Then along about the mid 60's they all disappeared from public view and were seldom ever seen in the general population due to a lack of visual uniforms. Maybe they were around, however they now opted to wear civilian clothing.

My Brother was old enough to enter the military at one point after he turned 18, and being that he was 4 years older then me, he should have enlisted. Instead he registered as a peaceful objector and after they made an agrument about his status, he complied and joined the National Guard as a compliance alternative. This worked out well for him, he was able to serve, and never had to go into active duty anywhere that I ever heard about. Since at this point in his life, considering it is now 2015, and I am 71 years old, that makes him 75 years old and I am sure his days of serving his country will outlive his age limits.

Many people do perform their career skills in the same manner as the military. The military impacts all our lives, whether we are in active duty in official performance of the various branches of the military or not. Corporations are run by former military personnel and they impliment business strategies based on warfare and they utilize aggressive warfare language to operate their business activities. In the theory of trickle might say as we engage in modern business labor or career, we are very much effected by military operations and find ourselves following their rules of military or actually caring out our job strategies according to some basic military tactics.

The military machine is never far away from our lives. It is a basic movement of being on time, or showing up and completing performance tasks. Doing our duty to our jobs, the business, and in this way it also impacts our country of is through business that many of us are charged with the responsibilities of being citizens of the United States of America.

Where were you when he or she received their orders? How did he or she break the news to you? How did you react outwardly? Inwardly? Was separation like that a common occurrence for your friends during the war years?

I must have been raised rather sheltered and sequestered from conversations privey to military orders and activities because I do not recall a whole lot of anyone around me being ordered anyway. The only orders I was ever aware of were the ones my Father yelled at me about: Go feed the calves. Water the lawn. Make something to eat. Go water the calves. Pick up your clothes. Get to school. And at six in the moring it was always: Get up out of bed and do your chores. And in the evening it was: Go to bed. And then it was "Turn out your light."

I loved to read privately my stories under my covers at hight in my bed, using my flashlight for light to see. I thought it was a big secret and my father, who would be snoring heavily would never know I was still awake and reading my stories. He would up and awake after awhile and walk like a tom cat stalking a mouse, softly and with the ease and stealth of a panther. That way he always caught me with the flashlight on, and my book spread out under the cover. And yes, I got a whipping for this many times as well.

For me reading under the covers was worth the risk of getting caught and getting a whipping. It was just another one of his many unacceptible childhood violations imposed on me. The problem was he had too many rules and the more rules he imposed on me, the more I had to find ways to enjoy education and freedom...and aleviate my frustrations. I was convinced my Father never understood me, and that was paramount to my continuing to stay alive.


What was your favorite radio or television show growing up?

When I was growing up on the Rinconada Ranch I had the use of a special radio. It was my Father's short wave radio. Fortunately for me we did get a few stations. When I began listening to the radio it was shortly after the end of the German War and Hitler was ending his terrible deeds. I listened to Ike Eisenhower quite a bit and discovered on Saturdays the entertaining shows of those days like, Lets Pretend, The Lone Ranger and Tanto, Only The Shadow Knows, and there was a Detective yarn always on. They were fun to listen to. I especially enjoyed the stories and glued my ear to the speaker to keep up with the voices and the sound effects. Everything was always so clear.
Today these kinds of old fashioned radio shows do not exist. I can only imagine that most of the performers were first old timers on the radio shows and this was a big deal in the late 1940's. Today we do not get good radio stories and are offered talk shows and counselors over the air waves. It is 2015 and times are way different with videos, television series, movies, books, audio books, and the like. And we have alot more of it.
When movies first came to the drive in theatres we watched the Broadway Musicals. That was my favorite. My Dad would pile us in his old green ford and off we would putt to the outdoor theatres. We would hook up the window radios to the car windows and listen while we watched the activities on the screen. I loved those Musicals and they put this desire in my heart to look and live like those beautiful women in the movies. But my Mother told me bluntly: You are not pretty enough to be in the movies." That put a life long crush on me that prevented me from even trying.
It was not just her words that depressed me and kept me from ever doing the movie thing, but also how many whippings I had to endure during those days. It was like the most horrible experience. I hated my life as a child because of the wonderful things I saw life to be and the traumatic treatments and harsh words of my Father. Mother was not real harsh about my looks, she just said I was not good looking as the women in the movies, but that was enough to prevent me from believing I had anything to offer.
Later on of course my Grandmother bought a televsion to our ranch in Exeter and we used to all go sit on her couch and chair in her small trailer to watch Maverick, and Rawhide. We were not deprived of the new devices, actually my Father made every attempt to stay modern and keep moving with the new technology as it came out. But we did not make it. Instead, we made food, planted gardens, grew herds of cows, and produced milk. A whole different world.

Did you ever go to see your favorite performers in concert when you were young? Who were they?

The performers I liked I never could go see. They were all far away. We never got to go see a concert in live. However I listened to my favorites on the radio. I loved Johnny Mathias, Dean Martin, and Elvis Presley. There were times when I was able to escape to go to church with a friend and listen to a preacher or a minister. I felt privileged to be able to do that.

What radio stations do you listen to now? What talk radio shows do you like? Have you ever called a talk-radio host and had your voice go on the air?

I am a radio station flipper. I do not really have one favorite radio station that I listen to. I try to listen to country western and I stay away from gansta rap...I am not a fan of rap music. I do not like the lyrics, on the other hand, I love the words of country western songs. I also enjoy heavy metal music like Tyr and Lordy, and God Smack, and Creed.
Occassionally I will listen to a talk radio show of no particular one, just flip the dial and if I hear someone yakking about a particular subject, then I will set the dial for a while. Getting to speak to one of those radio host dudes and make a comment if practically impossible. They usually do more talking than their guests, and use their air time as a blow out on their own beliefs or forums. Then they keep you hanging so long that you forget what it is you want to say...or you loose interest in making a comment at all.
That is part of the fun of the Facebook type sights on the internet. At least we can express ourselves and talk some. I did talk once on the radio to a talk show host on radio station KFRE, Fresno, Ca. It was about topless dancing. At the time I thought topless dancing was not such a good idea. So I said so on the radio and later the guy who hosted the show passed away. He died. I felt bad about that he died because I did not think people should die when people are really important and life has so many interesting things to offer.

What television programs do you watch now? What are the shows that you really enjoyed through the years?

I much preferred to read books and watch the real big movies on the screen and even go to live performances, than sit endlessly and watch television. I never could understand how women or even men or children could sit for hours and be occupied with watching the television sets. It is like we let go of our own lives and give ourselves up for the sake of other peoples stories, images, views, and lives. We get lost in this and loose our own stories and our own interests by submerging our time and energies into sitting and viewing mindless sets of stories that continually repeat themselves from other actors and other scenes. It is stupid, or a contribution to the stupidity of humanity.
I think we watch other people too much. Groups form and we watch one or two individuals talk and lead, and give us their information while we are never required to give our own input. How is this supposed to help us become better humans"
When I am attracted to a particular show it is usually about a good story, one that is moving or emotional or beautiful or sometimes lots of action because action movies or shows have handsome guys and I am a sucker for handsome eye candy. I love to watch Steven Seagal, Dolph Lundgren, and Jason Stratham and VinDiesel. They do things in movies that I find impossible to do. And I am certain it is subjects best suited for the movies and that is why we call it entertainment.

What kinds of artistic outlets have your undertaken in your life? Poetry writing? Photography? Painting? Piano playing? Ballet?

I have an extremely artistic nature and have tried to earn a living using my artistic talents, but to no avail. When I was a child I loved to build stages and create dramatic shows and act out my stories on stage. I did this for a long, long time. The closest I came to doing anything with this type of creative talent was when I was in high school and I finally managed to become a Song Leader or then they called them pom pom girls. I did this for a couple of years. It was as close to becoming a dancer as I could get. It was also the only time I was able to learn anything about dance, because my Father was extremely angry that I tried out for the Song Leading position at high school. He regarded it as sinful and unnecessary, an activitiy he felt was merely for personal physical display and a waste of my time and my Mothers time, who had to drive me back and forth to games where we performed.

Song Leading was fun and it got me in front of large groups of people and we got to use our bodies to dance. of course we had on our uniforms, that I helped design and choose the colors for. Ours were blue and gold and white and were significant for the Monarchs. They were short skirted, something my Father frowned upon with great vigor. Eventually my Mother persuaded him to overcome his anger and he just never mentioned the activity any further. He never ever attended a game and he never allowed my Mother to attend a game, so neither of them ever saw me participate in a Song Leading routine. I was used to their negativity towards my choices of activities. But emotionally I felt empty.

When I was in grammar school I used to write alot. I could write quite well in English and I read profusely very sophisticated reading material. I had an active and vivid imagination that I could translate into words that I put on paper. During one of my writing assignments one of my teachers asked to write about something and I did. It was so good she read it in front of the class. She gave me an A on it and then turned around and asked me it I "really" wrote the paper. She questioned my integrity as a child. I told her I wrote it. She did not believe me and shamed me in front of the entire class. Her public humiliation was similiar to my own Father accusing me of wrong doing and then giving me whippings. What good was a public school teacher who made her students suffer from her lack of believe in their abilities? I used to love to go to school because it allowed me to get away from my Father who severity of wrongful punishments put me through constant torments. The teacher so undermined my waning confidence in my developing self, that I tended to underwrite and never produced good works, because what I was able to do that was excellent was diminished by the teachers depreciation of my talents.

I have written considerable poetry. I have one of the worlds largest handwritten poetry collections about people, places, things and life. Some of it is unpublished and in a storage unit at Derrells in Fresno, Calif. However it sits because I do not have the money to buy a house to pull out my belongines to unbury my works. I do have one book available on entitled PROVOCATIVE AMERICAN POETRY. Some of the work in right good. I love to write poetry. I belong to Francis Ford Coppola's ZOETROPE and have written works there on this site, and I have a 100 or so poems on POETRY.COM.

I have written two screenplays, 1.) CHECK THIS BOX, and 2.) ICELANDER...the latter is in collaboration with my Grandson, Tyler Christian Nunes. I write little stories all the time. Writing is one thing that I love to do. However I try to not let the teachers ruin my personal satisfaction at such a joyful activity.

Photography is one of my talents as well. I take thousands of images of all sorts of things that are of interest to me. Many are of my family and many are of the landscapes and many are of events I encounter in my life. Sometimes I paint what I see.

One of my passions in life has been illustrating, drawing, and painting using acrylics and watercolors. I have a collection of hundreds of pieces of work. Not much to do with them except reproduce them as copies and put them in frames and sell them, or try to, or put them on my daughters apartment wall. Often I fancy having a greeting card line, but have sold very few because although people admire my work, they seem not interested in buying it. I often believe that successful artists are not successful because of the quality of their work, but because of whether or not other people actually like them. So it is not the work that is sought but the personalities of the people who produce the work. In big business however most people who become wealthy stay in the background so that they do not generate an image of personal popularity, but generate an image of desire for their products. In actuality a big difference for product performance and generated income.

Many years ago when my best friend was Mary Stone, who played genius piano for the Methodist Church, i wanted to learn the piano. Again my Father intervened and refused to let me learn because he felt it was a useless activity. I have since put my fingers to the keys of a few pianos and play beautiful music because i feel the sounds of the instrument and I make my own compositions. I did learn to play the guitar on my own and put together one piece whereby I sang and played at the same time. Guitar strings hurt my fingers so i quit the guitar. My Mother bought me a clarinet when I was in grammar school. I played it somewhat but pushing the air through the reed was too difficult, so that instrument mostly stayed in the box. I do play the DUMBEK, a drum and am good at it. I also play CHIMES and am good at them, and I do play a RAINSTICK. The rainstick is really a lovely instrument as well the chimes. They and the drum, are my favorite instruments.

Dancing is a totally different story. I can dance. I did dance professionally for nearly 30 years. However not the traditional Ballet, but more of the modern exotic type of dance. I put together my own routines and choreographed the dance steps, and built my own elaborate costumes and selected my own music for my professional shows. Therein we take a turn towards the wild side of life.

Dancing is the only activity that saved my life. I loved to dance with my heart and soul. It allowed me to express my emotions and roll with body movements that opened up my touching humanity and the passion for living life. Dancing allowed me to meet people, and talk to people, and travel throughout the United State, Canada, Hawaii, and live an active lively life in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It also allowed me to open a business and support myself for awhile, called "Merrily's Singing Telegrams and Exotic Dance"

As an artist and as art forms develop I have spent most of my life as a performer, including a stint as a professional clown. I have made puppets, and filmed short documentaries of places, people and events. I have published and printed and rolled on with it all. I have been unsuccessful at most everything except dance arts and performance arts. The artistic elements of life are what I love to do. But without income from self expression or art forms we all have to turn to other mediums in order to live.


What was your first real job? Did you start out in an after-school job that had any relation to what you ended up doing?

My first real job in my life was to "do as I was told." That became the first and only directive I was to pay attention to according to the loud vocal commands of my Father. That command began for me as soon as I could understand language and that anything and everything I did was dependent on obedience. My Father was the first and only authority in our family.

Perhaps this is continually redundant information, however I cannot emphasize how important his domainance ruled our little family world. Maybe it was the style of his marital beliefs and strong catholic faith and his sense of personal responsibility, or perhaps it was his essential duty to the minute needs of all his herds of animals; the cows needed contant attention, the horses needed tending, the chickens had to be taken care of, the pigs, or the goats, or the dogs, or the cats. We had a zoo of responsibility with all the feeding, watering, moving, depesting, treating for various animal diseases, cleaning pens, watering fields, bailing hay, fixing machinery, hoeing weeds, mending fences, planting the annual gardens, picking fruit off of the trees, washing the dairy equipment, milking the cows, washing the cows, washing our clothes, cleaning the houses, cooking 3 meals a day, butchering the cows for meat, shopping in town, cleaning the house, feeding the dogs, watering the lawns, pruning the roses, watering the cactus...the chores and the word and the daily training was immense and more extreme than anyone can imagine...job. I had a job the moment I was able to walk and talk. I was walking under a year and by two I was shadowing and learning about farm responsibilities.

I never did not have a job. My Father believed that children should learn to work and participate in family and farm activities. This really was a blessing because I never sat around doing nothing while I was growing up...from the time I was able until the time I left home at 21. My Father did not believe in the 18 year old, you are ready to leave home law. He told me I COULD NOT LEAVE until I was 21. For 21 years I was a very unhappy young girl, and young woman. Very unhappy. It was not the things, or the farm, or what I did or did not do: it was the unjust accusations and the face slappings and the whippings and the angry yelling at me. I used to cry all the time. Sometimes for hours on end. My father made me sick, and I spent all my time creating things to do to make myself well and escape from his abusive treatment.

I taught myself how to sew and sew my own clothes because my Father would not buy me pretty dresses to wear. He wanted me to dress up like a boy. One time he got angry with me and chopped all my hair off my head. Then he laughed at me. He made jokes about me and made me go to school looking like a boy.

Why would he do that to me? I never will know nor understand his acutely painful tormenting of me. I had no idea how he was treating my brother. Or my Mother for that matter. I just know how badly I felt from his personal activities with me.

The only advantage was, I learned things that most children knew nothing about. I had more independent freedom that most the kids I grew up with in grade school, grammar school, and in high school. When I did make it to college and was ready for the beyond, well, I was in a world of my own.

One of our jobs was to kill gophers in the fields, he taught us to kill gophers without mercy. We had to and so we did. That was the first non-job job that I had. It was kinda fun. I had to help cook too, clean house, do laundry and rake leaves in the yard. When we moved to Exeter in the early 50's I had to help bail hay, feed, water and clean the calve pens. I had to feed them milk from a bottle as well. That was quite the chore. My Father had these silver metal buckets he filled with fresh cow milk from cows who had recently given birth to a calf. He lined up several bottles on a ply wood board layed out on a stack of hay bails and dipped in a ladle and slowly filled up each bottle with the warm rich creamy milk. Each bottle had a black rubber TEAT top that screwed on. He would fix each bottle up and hand them one at a time to me to take to first one and then another calf waiting in their pens. The calves would start bucking and kicking and bawling, but as soon as they saw me with the bottle they came rushing at me, pushing their strong heads at me, head butting the bottle and me if I got too close. It did teach me alot about patience. It did teach me about tolerance and endurance for the worst and most unpleasant of situations.

There were two things I hated the most about the calves. They stunk to high heavens because they had to stand in their own calf manure. The constantly had running stools in bright orange color and in the winter it never dried. In the summer it dried some, but when calf pooped it went all over their backsides and ran down their legs and was grossly unpleasant. When their 5x 5 foot pens got soaked from calf manure I had to throw straw in the pens so they had some way to keep their feet from standing in the mess. It served as a temporary fix. My Father had put across one end of the pen a makeshift roof of corragated tin. It was a roof supposedly to keep the rain off. I used to think of ways for the calves to get out of the shit. I told my mother we should build a wire platform so the calf shit would drain and run off into a pit or something. My Mother told me Father would not do it and it would not work. She said it would make needless work and use up our time without doing any good. So the calves remained in the shit they created, sucking on their milk bottles, attempting to lay on the dry end of the pen on a wee bit of wet straw.

I always figures it was just how life for the calves was supposed to be. In the summer it got hot and this was the other thing I hated: the flies came in the trillions of buzzing humming and filthy little nasty creatures brainlessly landing all over the calves, the boards, the dirty orange straw covered with calf manure and on me, on my legs, on my arms, on my face, and every time I moved they would swarm, again...until by the grace of God, I just let them buzz and fly and crawl, until the milk was fed, the new straw layed, and the cup of grain put out.

It was at these moments, I did not know who I was, where I was, or what I was. It was torment of a child written by a man who was not even born yet. Yes years later Stephen King wrote novels upon novels about the horrors of human life. I was living it. My friends had no clue as to the nasty things I experienced before I caught the bus and was dropped off at school and walked into a classroom of smiling happy clean smelling town kids. They did not know nothing.

I never knew fun. I never knew what it was to not work, nor not be responsbile for a dependent creature and I can honestly say, learn a lot yes, what way? My good health was entirely dependent on my ability to reason. I had to think my way through everything. I had to made sense of the things around me and put them in order. I had to give them purpose and meaning and definitions and worthiness. I had to relate to the farm and its consequences on my life using my intellect and my emotions and my sense of developing spirituality. I guess I put those three things aside sort of an became an automatic working machine, numb, dumb and able.

My Father built a huge barn on his property out of telephone poles and sheets of corragated iron. He was so proud of that barn. I loved listening to it creak in the wind and shift when he stacked bails and bails of hay clear up to the roof for his herds of cows and horses. Sometimes, since he always had plenty, he would sell part of his hay to other dairy farmers. I just know this because I was there and I would watch and help sometimes, not because I got a verbal explanation. My Father did not talk much to me. He mostly just told me, "Merrily do this, or Merrily do that!" He hated it when I asked questions about anything. So I learned to not talk to him, not ask questions and just watch, observe and learn.

In the heat of the summers in the San Joaquin, on weekends when other kids were on fancy vacations, or visiting relatives, or spending the night with each other, or going to the movies, I had to hoe thistles along the fence lines out in the alfalfa and grass fields. Me and a dog usually would trudge down a half mile hoeing thistle, and trudge back up another row. And so my early morning would seep into the lunch time and then into the afternoon. By noon I usually had to stop because then it was milking time again. I got 2.00 an hour to do this. if I worked 4 hours, which was hard for me because it was hot and lonely and there were mesquitos everywhere in the grass, and sometimes snakes, and flies and often bees...but If I earned 8.00 dollars my Father made sure I got it before my Mother had to go to do weekly shopping in town. I got to buy fabric so i could sew and I got to make myself something to wear to school that all the girls would say, "Where did you get your dress." And I would say, "I made it!" And they would act all suprised and say, "You made it?" And I would say, "yes." And they would say, "thats so nice." Then they would stick their noses in the air and walk away sniffing. There clothes were all store bought and they would brag about buying it at Gottschlaks or Macy's or some fancy store I had never heard of. But none of my friends could sew or make their own clothes. So I always felt inferior to them. Because they ran on the sniff track and smelled like cheap drug store perfumes and underarm deodorant, while beneath my smile I could still feel the pull of breaking threads on my teeth and faint odor of calf manure on my skin. Unfortunately the odor from the dairy permeated the entire spread of land, methane stunk everywhere, filling the house with its rank odor, rushing into my drawers of my dresser, and in my closets and staining my bedcovers with its nastiness. I reeked of methane gas from all the cow manure on our property.

I could not get away from it. Neither could my Mother, nor my Father, nor my Brother. Old Spice did not make us smell any more pleasant. That was the worst thing about the dairy, yes, the flys, the methane gas smell and My Father thinking whippings were the solution to being a strict parent.

And this just set me up for all the rest of the bad stuff that happened. It created a real life time need to feel beautiful and do something that was human and exciting. So ultimately I did many things in my life, non related to any thing else. The list is long.

Describe your career.

Any description of my career would cover a huge area. I think my biggest career has been trying to cope and stay alive and understand who I am and what I am to do in the universe. It is very difficult.

I can best say I have done many many thing in my life. Perhaps this time I should work backward, beginning in 2015. Maybe that will explain where I am currently at in terms of a career and where I came from to just be here. This is a far cry from my abilities and talents and that is my lead frustration to date.

My current career reality is being an inspector at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, California. What I do in this particular job is a wide variety of tasks. I am currently working on four different shifts. Why, I do this is unknown to me. I am the only person in the entire hotel who is rigourously put through so many different tasks. Sometimes I think it is because they are training me to be a manager. And sometimes I think they are just abusing my labor and my talent because they do not have anyone else who can be so exploited because they are as flexible as I am.

Management has the expectation of employees as being at their will and whim. They ask the labor or hired employees to do what needs to be done, and this makes them appear to be great managers who exhibit CONTROL over their current work force, disregarding the effects on the individuals and their true abilities.

I am expected to work from a coffee shift at 5 am in the morning until 1:30. Or a morning shift from 8:30 to 5:00 in the later afternoon. Or a mid morning shift from 10 to 6:30 in the evening. Or a mid afternoon shift from 3:00 until 11:30 in the night. I am expected to do all of these shifts in one 40 hour week. Sometimes we get two days off and sometimes we only get one day off. Either way, switching around during every 24 hours from one shift to the other all week long and every day something different can be extremely demanding and I am not giving extra pay, for being trained to perform all the various duties required within all these shifts. On top of this I have been trained to be a manager on duty, but not scheduled for the upgrade. My wage remains consistent as an Inspector. To me, these expectations are excessive and out of the ordinary, as I am the only person I know of who has this many expectations placed upon me under my job title.

I believe if you are training someone to be a manager, they should have a contract that states such and a salary equivalent the expected work load and difficulty of the tasks. So describing this career effort if I should term it as such, seems a bit unusual, if not down right exploitative.

What I do during all this time is a wide variety of duties related to the maintainance of Hotel Operations within the Housekeeping Department. On the coffee shift I set up the complimentary morning coffee table, complete with all the necessary items, such as cups, lids, sugar, cream, honey, teas, hot chocolates, coffee, and hot water. The display is created in a neat and orderly manner and kept up to date and filled with the necessary items to fulfill the guest coffee moment.

While that is going on, I watch out for the guest restrooms, the supplies, the floors, the papers, the lotions, the towels, and the cleanliness of the 3 rooms that need observing. While that is going on, I wash our guest robes, and take them to floors and hang them for easy access by the rooms keepers or attendants.

While that is going on, I vacum out the elevators, monitor the rugs on the 6 floors, and often attend to washing the guest laundry, which requires some knowledge of fabrics and care with water temperatures. While that is going on I have to continually remake coffee, and take it out to the coffee table to place in the coffee urns. At the same time this is going on I have to listen on the radio to orders from rooms keepers or the managers on duty who may send me off to do other errands or deliver products, or help someone in a room. When the coffee table needs dismantling I take everything that was on the table and put it all away. Once it is put away, the coffee urns get cleaned and put away. Then meanwhile it is back to check on the rest rooms. Then lunch can be squeezed in. By that time it is nearing the end of the shift and it is back to the drawing board, meaning, sometimes I am expected or requested to stay longer and perhaps get in 30 minutes to an hour over time and am sent up to rooms keepers rooms to help them flip beds, or make their beds for them because of the general overload of rooms they have on a daily basis. Sometimes this will keep me busy until 3:00 or sometimes 4:00 in the afternoon. Since my initial shift began at 5:00 am...I am pretty well exhausted by later afternoon. I spend all this time of 10 to 11 hours walking around, lifting and carrying and moving things and bending and stretching and putting and placing and watching and listening to everything in my work environment. It is exhausting. The pay is hardly worth all the expectations.

That is the basic description of only one shift. Now if I go to the next set of laborious expectations they go like this: This shift begins at 8:30 and extends to 5:00, with one 30 minute lunch and two 15 minutes breaks which are seldom ever taken and the lunch if we are lucky to hurry through the work and get it completed in order to gain the time it takes to use the lunch break. Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.

At 8:30 we group together in pre-shift to get a management prep talk to line up and start the day. We are issued zone sheets or boards depending on what is happening for each of us. Roomskeepers get the zone sheets and Inspectors get the Board sheets. Then it all is laid out line by line in a detailed manner so we can confront the various changing expectations for each and every guest. It is alot of information. Then we get specialized instructions for various rooms that may or may not be the same as a usual rooms activitiy. We recieve special cleaning instructions for some rooms and special orders for other rooms. We listen attentively to our MOD who explains the rooms keepers daily walking orders, and lines up the duties of the Inspectors. When we have a heavey workload, the Inspectors have greater demands placed on them, and when we have a full schedule of departing guests and incoming guests on the same day...well it is none stop work.

This work is carries the bulk and burden of the entire days staff. Each room departed has to be completely cleaned. The beds completely changed, the linens dumped into the brutes, the dinner trays dismissed from the rooms and placed behind the elevators, the floors vacumed, the entire area dusted, from stem to stern. The bathrooms throughally disinfected, cleansed, and made sanitized, with new towel sets, and new amenities.

Each room requires about 45 minutes to clean. Each housekeeper is given on a slow day maybe 10 rooms and on a busy day, maybe 20 rooms. A moderate cleaning day will be perhaps 6 departed rooms, and a heavey cleaning day will be 10 departed rooms. To this list of departs there will be anywhere from 4 to 10 rooms requiring stayover service. Stayover rooms require about 10 to 20 minutes to clean and this time is added to the needed time of the depart list. It is alot of moving, lifting, listening, and listening to special minute to minute changes. It is alot of bending, stretching, walking, putting, gathering, placing, carrying, looking, observing, picking up, making neat, and being excessively clean.

One housekeeper may have lots of rooms that are departed, each one taking 45 minutes to clean, and say 7 rooms at 45 minutes, well that is 7 hours. So they bring in the Inspectors to help make beds and make rooms for the various rooms keepers, that way the HOUSE gets done on time. Our time to be done with our days duties will be at 4:00.

Rooms keepers only do rooms. But Inspectors do rooms when they are required. Meaning that not only monitoring the halls, dusting and polishing the furniture, filling and stocking the closets, putting up dining room trays from the floor into the back of the elevator lobby, and fetching sheets, or stripping the beds for housekeepers that get behind or run into late outs, or early ins, or hibernation signs on depart guests, well, this means they have to know how to clean the rooms completely as well as Inspect the rooms to make sure that all the points of need or room requirements are in the rooms. Again, this means that Inspectors have to know how to count.

Counting in HouseKeeping is what it is all about. Numbers have to be observed and maintained. Our Hotel is small, it only has 123 rooms. It has 98 rooms inside and it has 23 cottages outside. Some rooms have queen beds and some rooms have a king bed. When every bed is filled we also may have additional people on pullout sofas, and rollaway our carrying capacity of sleepers may be greater than from one day to the next. This shift in numbers causes daily changes in products used, sheets needed, towels needed, and amenities used. The housekeepers depend on the management to keep the Hotel stocked. Sometimes the management gets behind in their counts or the deliveries do not come to the Hotel in a timely manner, or meaning deliveries are late. This runs the needed housekeeping supplies behind, and makes the housekeepers look like they are not doing a good job. The housekeepers are doing a good job, but the management shifts the blame or the angst of the problem onto housekeepers so they appear to be doing the job, but the weaker status of the housekeepers is used to cover up for bad management strategy. This makes for emotional problems and tempers flair because people become not nice.

The bulk of all tension during a days work comes during this particular shift. It is difficult to work and when all labor, including the Inspectors are at the mercy of the managers, it is sometimes becomes a hostile work environment, so Inspectors and housekeepers have to learn how to keep peace, be happy, and stay calm and steady in their work dispositions. At this point it is not just about labor, but about personalities and responsibilities and staying level headed, knowing tommorrow will be a better day.

At 4:00 when the day is supposed to be done and the HOUSE complete, all carts have to be restocked, and so the supplies need to be available to restock the housekeepers carts for the next day. If we get done on time, we are able to fold our needed towels, restock our carts and leave the building by 5:00. That is our intended goal anyway. We usually manage to do this because we do a fair job of working as a team. We try to help each other, and some of the Inspectors make a real effort in helping the HouseKeepers. So do not.

The mid- shift of 3:00 to 11:30 is one I am required to perform. This one entails, washing, hanging, and delivering the guest robes to the elevator lobbies for easy access by the housekeepers for the following day. It also includes the duty of monitoring, replenishing, and keeping neat the guest restrooms, the employee restrooms, and keeping the mezzanine tidy, including the chairs and tables and the rugs. The upstairs elevator lobbies have to be dusted, the furniture polished, the floors vacumned. The dining room trays picked up, and the robes gathered for washing. On this shift there is turndown service, meaning the duties include entering guest rooms and pulling down the shades, pulling down the bed sheets and covers, and putting tiny bits of chocolate on the pillows as a night time treat. It means putting the bed time music on and making neat the bathroom amenties, paper, towels, and taking out the trash. That is what we do at TurnDown.

Turndown is easy and sort of quiet and fun. It is a peaceful moment within the daily duties. Sometimes guests need laundry done for the following day because they are leaving. In the case of laundry, we have to wash this, and leave it for the person to deliver the following day. However, sometimes we have to deliver it the same night we wash the laundry. When the orders of the day are complete, we also have to clean up the restooms, both of them. This is part of this late night shift duties. In my case since I do all of these shifts, I am expected to know all the duties of all these shifts.

Competition for various jobs is often sharp and keen. Some managers are fair minded and some are not fair at all. Some managers play high school favorite games and make work an unpleasant place. Some managers are plain mean and have hostile attitudes toward the very people who are ordered to do the work for them. So it is very difficult in this environment to keep steadfast. It has a high turnover due to all the various tensions that occur on a daily basis.

The other 4th shift that is on the schedule is one from 10:30 to 6:30. This was a recent made up time slot to accomodate mid afternoon and late afternoon shift changes. When beds need to be stripped and made and towels folded and bathrooms monitored during the day when people are coming or going this shift allows for the person who is working it to be like a jack be nimble and jack be quick. It affords a person who can run around and relieve the tensions in all areas. Like a labor peace keeper of sorts.

That leaves one more aspect of this HouseKeeping/Inspector career...MOD, or manager on duty. I have been trained to do this, at night, and am waiting for them to allow me to do this, however it seems that the younger, prettier women are preferred as opposed to those who have workers seniority and long time experience. This is not what I was told was supposed to be the company policy, however it is the active process, making me question the honesty of the management. So I am waiting and watching being snubbed in my current career transition. That is the reason I will not call this a career. It is something I am doing at the moment to pay some of my expenses and support myself. I am definitely not happy with the exploitive nature of this housekeeping process. To many things wrong with it. To many flash in the pan egos, and too many CONTROL freaks. Too many people who are under represented in what they have to say or contribute. Maybe that is the nature of the housekeeping beast.

What I did prior to this current job is to deliver pizza for two companies, one was Pizza Hut, and the other was Dominos Pizza. I drove and delivered pizza for Dominos for the longest time and also worked inside both stores. Delivering pizza kept me moving and I am great at following directions and reading maps. I delivered pizza in Fresno, California, and in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas, Nevada was the most fun. However Fresno provided an ethnic adventure.

Delivering Pizza in Fresno gave me the opportunity to observe inside the lives of Mexican/Americans and participate in their community in a real way. I delivered pizza in a dangerous neighbor, or so they say. I started this job in Fresno at the turn of Janurary first, 2000. I had a great map, and the neighborhood was set our square. I worked in a store across from the Fresno Fair Grounds. That made it feel safe. Fresno was going under some intense and dramatic changes at the time. People coming and going all the time. I think the population of South East Fresno is about 200,000. It covers a lot of territory and alot of people.
Most of the folks I delivered pizza to were Mexicans, and Blacks and the Hmong people. They at the time were all happy about their ethnic backgrounds.

Pizza is simple. It is made by the guys in the store and I worked with all guys for the longest time. It is a notable point that all the guys I worked with were polite and decent. They never were rude or made me feel uncomfortable. They never got out of line with me in any way and were always helpful. I really enjoyed working with them. I worked with a great manager there and several Hmong men, who were very reserved. It was a tremendously interesting cultural mix. We all worked well together and had a decent sense of comraderie. But that was from my point of view.

I being an older woman was possibly the reason we all grooved together. I am certain they did wonder about my safety as an issue. However it seemed at the time to be good. Whenever I got a delivery, I hopped in my car, went to the house, dropped the pizza and collected the money and returned and turned in the money or the credit card receipt. No problems. We got paid a little in gas money. Sometimes we got a tip or two. It was never much, but it helped a little. I think the guys earned much more tip money than me because, one they were either Mexicans delivering to Mexicans, and or Hmongs delivering to Mexicans or Hmongs. They were all guys. And the Mexicans were fluent Spanish speakers and I was not. I only spoke English. They were essentially bi-lingual and the world there in that community was much better than it was for me, because they spoke two languages.

Whenever I went to the houses to deliver, the person at the door invaribly began to talk in Spanish to me, or in the case of Hmongs, they spoke English, but I could only reply in English to the Spanish speakers, and whenever this happened, they would smile, laugh and then speak to me in English. They already knew how to handle it. However at times, I managed to speak primitive spanish in order to get the job done. I taught myself more as I went along and they added words to my volcabulary over time. The main thing was that the customers were generally very nice to me. I never had any problems delivering pizza.

Two times we had gun problems however in the area. I delivered to a place called the Kingsman apartments and stopped the car in a street parking place. I had built into my seats a face and a hat on the back of the seats, so it looked like a person or two was sitting in the car even when it was parked. I did this to deter theives. It worked and occassionally one of my customers wanted me to make him a set of hats and faces for his car for the same reason, to make it look like someone was sitting in the car. Fresno has a lot of car theifts. That never happened, but people were thinking of ways to stop other people from stealing their cars.

I stopped and got out of my car and carried the pizza to where I was supposed to go. It was upstairs and I knocked on the door at the top. No one answered however, the curtain moved. I knocked again and still no one answered. So I walked back down the stairs. I got to the sidewalk and took maybe five steps. It was dark. Out of the shadows stepped two black men. One had a gun at my back and the other hand a gun in the front of me. I figured this would be the end of me. The one in the front told me to give him my money and the pizza. I was really frightened. I handed over the pizza and took the money from my pocket and gave it to him. It was not much, but it was all I had at the time. He then wanted my car keys. I said, "please so not take my car keys." I was really about ready to freak. I said, "that is my car right there, but I need it for work." The dude looked over at my car, and saw what looked like two people sitting in it waiting for me. They were close enought to see what was happening, so the two guys hurriedly stuck their guns back in their pockets and walked away like nothing had happened, carrying the pizza and the Dominos Bags. They disappeared in the darkness and shadows. I hurried off to my car, shaking like a 9.0 tremor. I got in and drove off, not looking back, but wondering if they were watching me. I hated that moment. This is Safe America. These things are not supposed to happen.

I continued to work in the same store from 2000 to about 2008, and then I quit. For two reason. A while after the first incident, the same Dominos was held up by two people, both were Mexicans, and one was a female and the other was her partner. I had just gone on a delivery and came back in to the lot, and parked in the back. I got out of the car and was walking along the side of the building when I stopped at the corner of the window. What I saw scared the heck out of me. One guy was holding a rifle at the insider workers. And a chick was hopped over the counter and holding a gun on one of the other workers who was digging money out of the cash drawer and stuffing it in a bag the chick was holding. I froze. I have had one to many guns held on me in my lifetime.

Dominos has a company policy of no engagement with theives. Give them what they ask for and allow them to leave. That is our instructions. We are not to engage them in any way. That is what the kids in the store were doing, complying. I could have stormed the door and disrupted the exchange and probably got shot or got someone else or all of us killed, so I did not distrub the inside transaction. I left the building area and went over to another building. I tried to hide in the shadows. I heard a gunshot. I fucking hated this moment. I was frightened out of my wits. Too many bad things have happened to me in my life. I froze. And seconds later the chick skated on past me, high gating it down the alley. The guy apparently went in the other directions. I waited until I thought all was clear. By then the police had arrived.

The police took a report on the incident. I was not involved. I told them I had seen it happen and they said they were glad I did not get involved because I did the right thing by not entering the store at that moment. I felt like a chicken, but, Dominos said do not get into a fight with a gun holder...give them what they want and let them get away. I think we all did that. But afterwards I carried an anger around with me. About these two incidents.

Afte the danger subsides and the incident melts away from your moments you just get really leery and you change your opinion of the people and the community. It is not the same.

I did not want to work there much or as much after that. However up until that time, I used to love delivering pizza in the community there because during the winter they always had backyard bonfires, and barbeques and large parties everywhere. It was a festive partying neighborhood with something going on all the time. This was a good memory. Anywhere else in Fresno nothing ever went on like it did in SE Fresno. Nothing. It was like a giant camp. It was like a giant tribe of immigrants or of a cultural phenomena right there in the middle of Fresno City...I loved it, for a time.

Halloween was always an event to celebrate and the Mexicans do it best, especially in Fresno. I saw the good side of the culture. And that it what I loved, until things got violent. Violence in real life is not my thing. But Halloween was filled with all kinds and manners of people who wore costumes and went in droves to crowd up and down the neighbor hoods knocking on the most elaboratly decorated houses. The Mexicans decorate their houses like no families I have ever known. Spider Webs, Goblins, Ghost, Ghouls, Skeletons, lights, pumpkins and on and on and on...then on that special night, all the real spirits come out and crowd the streets gathering trick or treats from neighbors. It is a spectacular event, filled with fun, screams, laughter and talk.

Those were some of the nights where we deliver pizza the most. The folks would collect candy and whatnot, and go home and eat the treat of the hour, pizza. It was one night where Tacos, burritos and other Mexican food was put on hold.

Delivering pizza allowed me to be in the Village area, or their side of town, the Mexican side of town, and watch how really wonderful and cultural they live. I do not think they miss a holiday or miss filling a corner of the streets with their wares. They have Paleta Wagons, with men selling corn, and ice cream, and snow cones, all year long...on the street corners they sell flowers, and on Easter, they sell Easter baskets, and on Valentines Day, they sell Valentine baskets...and on the weekends they have a huge flea market and everyone goes and eats treats, like corn, and fantastic tacos, and the adults buy beer. It gets noisey. It is colorful. It is fun.

Christmas time was the same way, only not roaming groups of costumed children, but the lights on the houses were amazing. Christmas lights in fantastic arrays of designs and colors and some played music all night long...and then they would add the bonfires in the yards and invite huge groups of friends and families. I was impressed. it was Fresno. I was sharing in all this excitment in a city in America, in a state of California, and I was living there, delivering pizza to all these folks. I think they sold more pizza from that store than any other in Fresno.

My last days however came when I was delivering pizza one night at crossed the intersection of Maple and Church and was sidewinded by a car from the other direction. They hit and ran, and later they were discovered to be a man and a woman who were illegals, in a car with no insurance, and he had no drivers license. They were never found. Just found out. My car was totalled. I was stunned because I got T-boned, or broad sided. I remember right after I got hit, I drove across the intersection and pulled off the road and waited for the police to come...or an ambulance. I remember one of my fellow drivers who had been on a delivery stopping and talking to me...Julio. Then he stood in front of me and just stared at me. I think he asked me if I was OK. I said, "leave me alone. Just let me set here." And he did, but before he left he stood for the longest time and we just stared at each other. I remember his big brown beautiful eyes, wide, just looking straight into my pained soul. It was weird.

I recall calling my grandson Tyler Nunes and telling him. I remember talking to my daughter Genishan Nunes and telling her. I believe the police came and the ambulance came and I believe i went to the hospital. They told me I would be OK, just some bruised ribs, and shock. I think my daughter came to pick me up in a friends car. And I believe the car got towed to our place of residence. I got some insurance money for the car and bought another car. I gave the old car to my daughter and she sold it for like 200 dollars to a pick apart place. And life went on.

The worst part of working at Dominos in that particular area was the Night of New Years. On New Years Night they had to send us all home and close the store in order to protect us workers. Because on that one night of the year in that neighborhood, men of the hood, go out into their backyards or streets and shoot guns into the air. The bullets then rain down on anywhere they land. The bullets fall anywhere. If you are outside, you are virtually ordered into a building, your house or under some cover if you can find it. I have been inside the Dominos store when they start shooting early and have heard the shots hit the roof of the building. It is un nerving because "who wants to get shot from a falling new years bullet?" I do not.

So the first place I began delivering Dominos Pizza was in Las Vegas, Nevada. The city was exciting for me to deliver pizza in because I got to see all the lights, work a sort of short shift, and spend time with my grandson. The most notabe excitment came on New Years Night. On this one night of the year the city closed down the Strip to all car traffic, and from Tropicana to Fremont street it would be filled with throngs of people. People in costume, people in love, drunk people , stoned people, people who were dancing naked in the streets. And what Dominos would do, the one I worked from on Maryland Parkway, would send us out in teams of two with a hundred or more 10 inch pizzas to sell on the Strip at a bargain price of like 10 dollars. People would be starving for a snack so they would pop down a dime easy for a quick pizza snack. It was great fun, mostly because we could be out in the streets among the crowds of celebrants and make alot of money. Where ever the people were like that it was always fun and exciting, way more than in the life on the farm from a long, long time ago.

Dominos was not really a career either. It was just something to do to make money and pay my expenses and at the time I was raising my Grandson, Tyler. He was old enough to go with me and participate in the pizza selling enterprise, so it was fun for him to see and be in all the excitment as well.

At one point while living in Fresno, I also worked at the IRS in the numbering unit. What I loved about this was the sense of regulation and consistency. It was a relatively safe environment, with security checks and security guards and we sat in one place in one room and our work was given to us all organzied and put together so we did not even have to think about what we were doing. All I did was lift papers and stamp. And put then in some sort of numerical order. Then put them on a cart and put them away. It was easy and I did not have to strain or think or feel endangered, at least physically. But some of those women that worked there were real wackos. I think the repetition of movement got them going mentally nuts. They were strange. Since this was only a seasonal job, I never returned because the next year when I reapplied, it was for a different department and I could not do what it was: like this, enter data into a machine. I could not type fast enough or accurately. So that was the end of my earning about 16.00 an hour. Probably the most money per hour I have ever earned. Not been able to get very far with earning money in my life.

The best thing about the IRS was they gave me an award. I won an award for believe it or not: "Always showing up on time for work and never missing a day of work." I was flabbergasted on account of this because I was the only one to recieve this award. Considering all the bad things that I have experienced in my life, it made me feel really good and fond towards the IRS.

Before Dominos Pizza, I owned and operated my own business. I consider being an Exotic Dancer, more of a personal career if I had to call any of my work experience a career. I spent more time working and trying to be a decent exotic dancer, than any other activity. My own business was called "Merrily Singing Telegrams and Exotic Dancers." I married Michael Hunter McCarthy in 1985. We moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to live on my parents ranch in Exeter. That first few months I did not work. However Michael took a job at Watermans Foundry in Exeter. It was a terrible job for him. I would never want a human person to ever work in a dangerous place like that. So because that was just not going well, I decided to try my luck in Fresno. I moved to a motel on Parkway and Michael followed. I got a job dancing in a shabby place called the Peek A Boo. Probably the nastiest place in the Fresno area for exotic dancers. It was filthy, and had little wooden boxes for the dancer to girate for private shows for customers who would stand behind thick glass windows. The dancers could not see the customers, but afterwards we had to go in the other side and clean the goo and cum off the walls and windows. It was so nasty I could not tolerate it, but it paid a few expenses. Michael decided to go back to the University, and we did and when he had money we moved to Shaw in a small apartment by the University. That was when I began dancing and I bought a business license. That is when I opened my business and Michael and I began putting together humorous exotic and naughty singing telegrams and dance shows for people to hire for their parties.

Suprisingly enough people went crazy over our materials. I began writing poetry for the songs and putting together a balloon package and clever little costumes for a variety of singing telegram ideas. Then I advertised in the Fresno Bee. For about 5 years we did really good. For about 5 years people loved us. Michael did not think I was very humorous so he began to write the poems. And then we wrote them together. So we accumulated several thousand personal humorous poems that we have written. I put together costumes for him and myself. And music and choreography and we went out and did shows in peoples homes, or offices, or garages, or out in dirt fields, you know, where ever anyone wanted us to sing happy birthday, or anniversay, or celebrate the bachelor or bachelorettes rite of passage. What we did was amusing and not anything more. Our goal was to make people laugh, and have fun at a serious event. We did a good job at that, as neither of us was real good looking, and at the time we were in love with each other and were earning good money for our efforts and he and I were by then both attending the University and going places.

It was so good I wanted to make a cookie cutter business out of it and franchise it across the country. But Michael wanted to turn it into something else. What he had in mind was not the type of entertainment I had in mind as an entertainment goal. He sabotaged the business plan and we divorced, going our separate ways.

When I first met Michael I was dancing as a feature performer in the Casino Royale in Las Vegas, Nevada. And before that I was running for President of the United States out of the Tender Trap and before that I was dancing as a performer at the Crazy Horse Saloon on Flamingo Road in Las Vegas, Nevada and before that in various other smaller clubs around the city, and at the famous Palomino NightClub and the Satan Saddle and I was a feature Burlesque Writer for several years for the Las Vegas Mirror, an entertainment Rag full of Las Vegas Entertainment Reviews, and Advertisements from Casinos and Clubs around the city. And during these years I traveled across the United States Dancing and also danced in Hawaii, and also before moving to Las Vegas, Nevada I danced and lived in Canada for six months. So If I had a career at anything at all. Being an Exotic Dancer is it.

Being an exotic dancer was the longest thing and the best thing I have ever done. Because I loved theatre and dance and making costumes and choreography more than anything else in the world. Until I got too old. I also loved writing and photography and for about four years in Las Vegas, Nevada I devoted all my time to dancing and writing and photography and was a fairly good photojournalist.

I suppose I can say I buried all this by going to Fresno State Universtity and earning a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology, Archealogy, Criminology, and Theatre Arts...and letting other people make me feel ashamed of ever having a happy time of dance entertainment and writing and photography. I wish their was a way to never grow old so I could continue with the things I really love, writing, photography and art.

What career would you have chosen If you didn't have to think about money or education (just assuming both were taken care of)?

If I had been able to do it, without having to worry about money or education expenses or living expenses, like so many other fortunate people are able to do, I would have gone to Hollywood and become a Movie Actress and the othe attachment to this is I would also have written grand scale books, and done photography, perfomed and written theatre and screen dramas. And of course been the artist that lives unborn in my heart. But none of this has happened because of all the tradgey and bad things that have pulled me off course.

By now I believe I should have had a home of my own, an education, and a worthwihile husband...and my poor unfortunate children ostensibly would be way better off with their own lives and living conditions than they are now. Because I have been unable to succeed in normal society, they have suffered and I am greatly depressed and saddened by this. Much effort is needed to produce success in this life. I have only managed to survive the traumas thus far. This is not enough and meanwhile everyone else seems to surge ahead like gang busters. My unfortunate four children have been sucked into the devastation of the cyclone and social degeneration patterns. I ask myself over and over again....why me, and why us. Why can we not succeed like everyone else. I am writing the answers to these questions to find out the answers to our life conditions.

What got you the most upset at work?

In my current job, the most upsetting thing comes from the management. I do not like to be put down, or demeaned on the job. I do not appreciate managers insulting my integrity in front of other people or on the radios where everyone can hear in the tone of there voice how dispicable they think we are or how stupid they think we are. Mangagement in my current job has a habit of disregarding the importance of other people or respecting them as human beings.

When managers are over a group of people they have the attitude that their management status makes them infallible or above reproach and the people they are managing are inferior and theirfore mere slaves to the whims of management. I do not know where they are or are not educated to bring this type of attitude to the main body of the work force, but I can see that it does not help teams or workers or labor get the job done quicker or better. If anything it gets in the way of good job performance.

Some companies have the habit of hiring uneducated or just rotten managers who do not have good human relation ethics on the job. Some managers are just downright dehumanizing and do not care how they treat the help. Some play way too many games with other people just because they are in control of a group and feel a need to enforce their own self importance with underhanded sabotaging methods of cruelty in front of a group.

There is nothing sadder that watching a co worker being demeaned by a manager or being the brunt of a management vendetta. They claim this does not happen but it does and more often than companies that hire thousands of people will like to admit.

Management sometimes thinks they are responsible to verbalize "behavior modification" methods in their handling of certain situations and I wonder exactly where they get these methods or tactics from? They talk as though all the workers are stupid or ignorant. They talk to workers as though they are superior. And I wonder if that is the situation, why are they not doing the work the workers are doing?

When two workers work side by side to do the same job at the same time and one gets awards and allocades for the work and the other get pushed aside, and one is young and suddenly celebrated and the other is older and gets demeaned it is like one is watching the ancient story of Cinderella, where the one who is deserving gets constantly ordered to wash the stairs while the other one is given a seat in the office. It makes no sense especially if you are the one who is being shunted out of the way of the honors or the better job position and you have seniority. When others are constantly put in front of you, you wonder exactly why, when you know your own work ethic is exemplary. You know favors, and politics at work are more important than actual work ethics or work ability. Yet it happens over and over again all because of a demeaning operations manager.

When a manager tells you how great you are and what a good job you do...and then turns around and gives the new job opening that is a better job than either of you have now to someone else who you know is not as qualified as you, it is obvious that something somewhere is not right. So it is either you are working for a bad manager or you are working for a dishonest person, who is also a predjudiced manager, playing favorites with the help. A power hungry control freak. People who are in management who are like this are not good for the long haul of business operations, nor interested in the good of the people.

If the rate of turnover of hired help in a business is extensive you may wonder why. If in one department you see little turnover movement and yet in another department you see a lot it might be something to investigate and question. Why do so many people move out to somewhere else. Generally happy people or happy workers do not readily move on quickly. Of course a seemingly reasonable excuse can be quickly provided by a smart manager who has the business con down pat...but what is really the truth.

When supplies do not come on in a timely manner, is this bad management or is this some other reason? Like is the outside company simply sabotaging there delieveries on purpose because they are not in accord with the policies of their customer? Bad management does not merely effect the hired help, it also leaks throught to other areas of the establishment. How much tension does an entire company handle until the whole of the enterprise fails and falls apart?

Bad management is in the news lately all over the country and it seems that it is rather rampant and for various reasons, that are not just emanating from the employees. Researchers seem to be picking up cues as well. Sometimes the management does not use their personalities in consistent ways, or they allow their own immature emotions to release their own pent up hositilities that are business frustrations. After all managers forget that they are humans and human emotions and human expressions as well, however they seem to think that employees are not allowed to be human and that employees may find phrases like,"end of discussion!" too tolitarian for good worker umbrage.

As an exotic dancer a long time ago I over heard most all of the dancers say this about customers, "watch out for so and so, he is a weirdo!" I often wondered who was the weirdo, "the dancer who strips and moves in front of a customer, in order to turn him on," or the customers, "who pay to feel something from a female who is moving around provocatively in front of them?" I always wondered who was more strange. It seems it a little unbalanced to say it is the customer, and it is a little like, which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

The reason I bring this up is because when I left that particular business I also figured I left the simple minded superiority complex that the exotic dancers always seemed to have. How could they always figure they were better than the men that watched them? They never seemed to think or ask about their own intentions and problems, "why were they doing what they were doing?" I thought I left this sense of superiority behind. Not so.

I work in a fairly sophisticated Hotel. It is considered a National Historical Treasure and is in a National Park. Yet I hear this same simple minded complexity of workers in the Hotel spoken about toward the guests they serve, "so and so is a difficult guest!" Well that is polite way to use the words and the undertone of what is really meant. Sometimes it is not so nicely couched. We have several guests who spend lots of time in the Hotel and we hear some awlful comments of behavior about those "guests" and it is from the management, not necessarily the comments from the lowly employees. I hear the same idea here in a grand place as I did in a not so elegant strip club. What this is to me: I hear who is on the other side of the wall. It is on the employee side of the wall that always tends to have a greater value of self importance than the guest or the customer. I do not get this.

While at the same time the management sets up their self importance as greater than the help...and the help set up their self importance status as greater than the customers they serve. Each group is reacting as a greater than thou status than the group they are serving...where does this injustice come from? Is this the bottom line of all social angst? Is this the prevalent tension that destroys mankind? Is this way society fails and will never truely succeed?

Is this the making of Kings and Queens and their this the origin of law...who is right and who is this the origin of good and evil...of those who are rich and those who this the origin of military might...who shall command and who shall obey. Do we live by this and let it infect our minds so that we are constantly never good enough to rise and to live well and to be happy?

Were you ever the boss? Would you have wanted to be? Did you ever run your own business? How did it start?

Due to the encouragement of my new husband in 1985, I did start my own successful business, "Merrily Singing Telegrams and Exotic Dancers." I did really good with this.

Gallup Organization Questions on Leadership

Let's identify some early role models of yours. How would you describe the parenting style of your mother (father)?

My early role models were of course my Mother and my Father, since they were the only adults around me. They were the strength and the character dynamics that I knew and followed. Since they were right in front of me day and night, I watched and listened and learned. I did not watch much television because we did not have television for a long while and I listened to radio for entertainment. So I watched my Mother and Father and the animals on our farm.

The interesting part of this is that the style of parenting they had may have been inconsistent with good leadership skills, however there were aspects of their behavior that are good to note. For certain they never stopped what they were doing on account of the opinions of others. Father had a firm grip on reality and thinking ahead on how to take care of himself, his wife, his children and what to contribute to society in order to do good works for his family and the community.

My Father loved to farm and loved the animals. He dedicated his entire life to taking care of his farm, his animals, and his family.
I can not make the same claim for his parenting skills. His relationship with me being a female and a child totally sucked. He did not know how to relate in a healthy and sensible way to me and was a total authoritarian monster. While Mother on the other hand was forced to keep her mouth shut and submit to all his rules, regulations, disciplines and his yelling at me or my brother or her. That is my complaint about him.

He did know English. He did have a fabulous and creative mind that always was on fire with working and doing for his farm and his animals. He solved all kinds of living problems and conditions without much schooling or any help from any one else. He never called on his relatives to take him out of a jam, that I knew of. He borrowed money from the banks and paid them back and he borrowed money from my Grandmother and paid her back. My Father was an honest man, as far as I knew and understood from my child perspective. My Mother was the quiessent female counterpart. She never raised her voice at me, nor spanked me, nor slapped me or ever scolded me. Every so often she would chid me in order to get me to pay attention. However she did turn discipline over to my Father and lots of times she would fink on me and I would get in trouble. So if I did not behave to her liking she would rat on me. I never appreciated that. Then one day she stopped doing the ratting because she saw the bruises and the whip welts and saw what his overly abuse was accomplishing. Then she began to get consequences as well. That was not to her liking. So she shut up.

While growing up, who did you consider your role model in terms of your family? What impact did your role model have on your development?

When I was growing up I never considered my family as a role model. I did not know what a role model was, by either not knowing, or having no other identity outside of my family to consider. A role model is only relative if you understand the definition of a role model. Children are not automatically given the idea of a role model. In 1944 to 1950's we were living the life of the times. We were living our exeriences.

In terms of activities, that is all I knew and learned about. Our growing up was relative to the occupation of the adults around us.

Romance and Relationships

Do you remember your first kiss?

My first kiss was a total disaster. I was in the Lompoc Grammar School. The cutest kid ever was in my class. Billie had redish blond hair, freckles all over his face, ruddy cheeks, the bluest of sparkling eyes, and the whitest skin. His size was all huggable and rollie pollie. Billie wore plaid shirts with short sleeves and shorts quite often or sometimes blue jeans. Billie appeared like a dollop of cuddles and giggles and warm hugs with puppy dog licks. And he always pestered me everyday, One of the few little boys back in the second grade that really liked me.
Maybe his liking me is what got us in trouble. I used to sit in the shade on a bench along the side of our building...during recess time. We had monkey bars, swings and tether ball sets for exercise and play. Occassionally I hoped up on the monkey bars, or more often I played tether ball. When I did not feel like exerting myself, I sat on the bench and watched the other kids play. We were fortunate to have all that equipment to play with.

What kind of dating did you do in high school? What is your favorite kind of date - even now?

In high school my Father was so strick, I was never allowed to date. Instead I was allowed to join 4-H, so I attended meetings at Emily Stones house where she gave us cooking lessons every Saturday. I loved Emily and her daughter Mary. They were so kind towards me, and this was a real different human experience for me. When I got really good at cooking I was allowed to enter the food I made in the Tulare County Fair and I used to win grand prize ribbons on a consistent basis. I was really proud of my accomplishment. I suppose my Father was as well. He valued some practical things as being the most important and for me to be a great cook that showed domestic potential was a prime endeavor. Dating boys was the lowest on his list.

Although dating was forbidden, my Father did allow me to join the organization Rainbow For Girls. This was an extreme treat for me because we could wear formal dresses and we were able to have a religious routine experience. I loved this part of my life however, I was not the most popular girl in school, nor in Rainbow For Girls. The whole purpose of it was to help us become more wholesome and better young women. I am not sure it effected me in this way. I did benefit by being able to "Go Through The Chairs". This was a systematic stepping stone layout where you started at a point and progressed to become the Head of The Girls. I was selected chaplin first and this suprised me because I hardly ever was allowed to attend church, any church. So with this responsiblitiy I became closer to God and prayer and lead the group at every session in prayer. I loved this Organization because I could come closer to being a beautiful young girl, and not a dirty stinky smelly farm girl, which is what eveyone thought of me. I was able to dress up in fabulous gowns and pretty dresses and actually "be a girl".

So between 4-H and Rainbow for Girls I was able to leave the house for something more than attending school and riding the long ride to and from on the school bus. Of course we did have high school proms at least once a year and then we had Christmas Dances and a couple of other special occassion dances during the years. I was allowed to attend and usually my Mother or my father would give me a ride to the events and pick me up at a particular time. These high school dances were also loves of mine and dancing to the music of Johnny Mathias was my all time favorite moments. Sometimes a cute boy would ask me to dance and it was usually Jimmy Schelling or Chip Dungan. I was lucky if it was Ronny Ryan. I had a crush on him. But since I was so messed up about boys and what I was or was not allowed to do...I never allowed myself to attach any feelings to any of the boys. They were forbidden.

I think one time I had invited Chip Dungan to a dance for the Rainbow For Girls, because we did have a dance or two, or maybe it was referred to as a Social, anyway I think Johnny Gann and Paulette McQwen were driving and me and Chip were in the back seat and they were driving me back home. Chip tried to kiss me and I totally freaked out. Chip never went to a dance with me or anywhere after that. I just was not his type of girl I guess.

The only really serious relationship I had was with jimmy Schelling and eveyone considered us a couple except me. I never thought of him as mine. Our senior prom night i was allowed to go with him to the senior prom. I made a special silk dress of red polka dots on a white back ground. Jimmy bought me a corsage and he wore a dark suit with a red tie. Jimmy was a handsome lad and I always liked him alot, but in high school I did not expect it to mean much.

The fun thing about dances was the way we got together in little committees to decorate the auditoriums. I loved doing that. We spent weeks before making decorations and then a day or two before the dance we got to go to the place and put up all the decorations we had made. Usually things hung from the ceiling that glittered and spun. We would visit and giggle and chit chat as young people do and hand the ornaments and decorate the walls and often at Christmas time we would have a lovely to look at Christmas tree.

We decorated the prom auditorium. Jimmy picked me up in the family car and I had a cerfew. It was always to be in by midnight. Father was very strick about the time I was to be back inside the house. it was midnight. No latter. When the clock struck 12, I had to be inside the kitchen door with the door locked and closed and by myself. The boy could not come in. Sometimes my Father would wait up and be sitting at the kitchen table with a real stern look on his face. I hated the changes from one mental environment to the next. All the fun prep, and the drive to the dance, and the dance and the quite ride back home and the bam! My Father's negativity. He ruined every good time I ever had. I always felt like he was setting me up for him to pull out his whip and hurt me again.

On senior prom night Jimmy made a decision to kiss me. On the way home he pulled into one of the multiple grape vineyards and drove up the row a ways. It was dark and night time and late. It was close to the time when I had to be in the house. I had told him I had to make curfew. City or town kids were raised much freer and open than me. It is not that they did not respect what I had to adhere to, it is that they never suffered the extreme consequences and punishments that were put upon me. Jimmy simply poo pooed my opposition and went with his youthful desire. I guess boys in high school talk. And apparently all the other girls and boys talked and went all the way. I was terrified of doing it!

In the fronseat of Jimmy's families car he tried. He drove up the row and turned off the ignition. If you have never been in the middle of the country, in the middle of the farms, in the middle of a dark vineyard on a dark night, you would not understand how the echos of car engines sound like the roar of a hurricane or the engine on a night train. Our breathing could be heard at my house 3 miles away. I just knew it. I had a burden of guilt and responsibility unlike anyother ever known, or so I felt. Jimmy wanted to hold me and kiss me and do more than that. I bounced back in repulsion against the passenger door and pushed him away terrified, maybe less at what he wanted, but more at what might happen to me afterward from my Fathers beating. He got really angry because I rebuked him, but he was always willing to withdraw his desires. He pulled aways. Recomposed himself. I tried to explain. No one knew or was aware of the way my Father was. No one understood the danger I was in all the time. They did not have a parent like mine.

Jimmy started the car and backed out of the vineyard. I stammered and apologized and tried to explain. Whatever I said was to no avail. He wanted me to know he was going away and would not be seeing me again and he wanted to express his feelings for me in that physical way. I was wondering, why would I want to do that if he was not going to be around for me to see anymore. The whole event was stupid to me. And it pretty much ended our relationship. He literally dumped me at our kitchen door. The end of this moment was so ackward I was traumatized. Even more so because it was after midnight and I had to suffer the consequences of my Fathers wrath.

As Jimmy drove off he was not privey to the experience I had to endure inside the kitchen the moment the door closed behind me. My Father was right in my face...where have you been, why are you late, what were you doing and so on...I told you to be here before midnight. I got it, I was late, and I am sorry, and well do you really want me to tell you we pulled over in the vineyard and he tried to kiss me? I believe I was not allowed to leave the house with a boy for about six months, all on account of that stop in the vineyard. But it really did not matter because we all graduated and summer was upon us and we were all looking forward to going to college somewhere. I was 18 and still unkissed, and still a virgin. My Father did not believe that of course. But what did that matter...I never could convince him of anything. According to him I never did anything right.

Dates for me were treacherous and not worth participating in because they became inquisitions and moments of extreme trauma. I was not allowed to "fall in love" or even like a boy or someone of the opposite sex. I had to keep quite about it. I could not share the relationship with my parents. If I talked about it to my Mother, eventually my Father would find out we had a secret and then he would make her give me up and then he would start to tease me about it and then he would get mad and then he would find an excuse to be abusive all over again.

Were you always attracted to the same type of person? Did you like the strong, silent type, the bouncy blonde?

At different times of my life I have been attracted to different types of persons and for a variety of different reasons. Attraction to a person is relative to the age we are experiencing. Attraction is also dependent our our interpersonal needs and the availaility of other individuals. Our relationships or at least mine have all been rather complex. Nothing in my life has ever been simple. The older we grow the more we understand the many changes a person goes through during a lifetime. Sometimes the forces of life throw us together with persons of not our choosing. It is our personal responsiblity to sort through how we want our lives to develop. For some of us, we may have to first overcome the quagmire of our emotional experiences, and then move on to where we are physcially located, and then face what we know intellectually and understand the nature of our spirituality.

When we are first born, we have no choice in anything. We exist. We do. We grow. We experience. We put our environment together and continue to explore the world around us the more touch, see, and feel. We are born with a set of parents and other people in this momentary circle of involvement. I personally did not request my particular set of parents. They were given to me upon enlightenment, just as everyone elses are given to them. We are born into our own unique set of circumstances and we have to figure out what we are and what we mean and what we are supposed to do with each moment.

It seems to me that each person we meet effects us somehow and we just continue to build upon our experiences as we grow day by day by day. The more we do and the more we share and the more we learn the more we know about who we are as an individual. I think perhaps we are attracted to people based on how we relate each and every day to each and everyone we know. We are like personality balls bouncing off walls in a container...molecules in a dish or in a bottle...bouncing around...I think like a molecule that continues to bounce and every time it touches another molecule it absorbs it and gets bigger and bigger...until there is only one big molecule bouncing around in the container. Perhaps at this point it is so big that when it strikes the wall again, it just bursts and becomes a bunch of smaller molecules and the process starts all over again.

I do realize that in regards to men, I was not attracted to my Father. He was short and had black hair and little on the too round side of the equation. That being mentioned, are we speaking about the strictly physical or are we talking about what type of personality does another person have? When my Father was happy and jolly, and he joked around with me, we would laugh. And laugh. And then his mood would plummet into anger and then it was over...I did not like him. Since he was the only man that was around me the most, other than my brother, who seldom talked to me, or Unkie and David, every once in awhile, but they did not say much I wanted to listen to either.

My Father mostly told me I talked to much. So that rather influenced my relationship with him as well. My Father did not like to answer my questions and I was a curious little girl. I loved to explore and climb trees and run around with the dogs and play outdoors as often as I could. The inside of our house was just too dark for my liking, except for the kitchen. I never went in the living room very much, and the bedrooms were for sleeping and the dining area was for eating and where I listened to the radio and the kitchen was the best place, because that is where I shared time with my Mother.

I liked my Mother and enjoyed being around her. She was not mean nor meanacing, but when my Dad was around he would seem to get jealous and try to dominate whatever we were doing and start bossing me and her around. She had to put up with and do what he told her. I did until I could find a way to escape and get away from him. I did not like being around him, nor did I like him to touch me.

In high school the boys used to tease me alot. One of them named Johnny Keyes called me Monkey Face. I do not know why. He was freckled and sort of fat and walked funny. Most of the time when he called me names I ignored him.

I sat next to one girl that I really love in grammar school. Her name was Janey and she could draw beautiful people on paper. I was fascinated by the way she drew. She always smelled clean and wore little pretty printed dresses with little crisp white collars. She had a whole book of these wonderful people that she drew. We sat by each other in class for a long time and then we moved on.

I had another friend name Nancy who was a real strong girl, and she and I played together. She liked me and was a decent friend. I also had a friend named Casey. Casey was a black girl and my Father told me I could not play with her. I did not know why. But I got in trouble whenever I mentioned her as someone I talked to or played with at school.

In High School we had a circle of friends. We had Betsy Hansen, Linda Terry, Lois Terry, Becky Johnson, Pamela, Merrily Nunes, and Paulette McEwen. Every day before school we would circle up outside of the class room and wait for the bell to ring. We would gossip, or rather they would gossip and I was very introverted and worried all the time, so I never talked much, instead I just listened to them. It was our high school click. We stayed a high school click for all 4 years and then we all graduated from EUHS and dispersed. I think I saw three or four of them at a high school reunion once back in the 1980's.

I guess you can call that an attraction of sorts. At least the kind of attraction one makes with young people in school when you are around each other every day and you are learning how to make friends and be socialble. What we were doing was learning about ourselves. I do not think we considered how important this time in our lives actually was. We were just living it. Looking back at it is an entirely different realization.

I was embarrassed by young men my own age. I did not know how to talk to them or how to react to them. I never liked boys that were fat. I never liked boys that were short. I was real picky. I wanted to be around a good looking boy, but the good looking boys went with girls that put out. That was not my way. I did not kiss, nor date, nor go all the way, like some of the girls in my circle. I knew who they were because the boys would gossip just as much as the girls.

Everyone thought I was the girlfriend of the Senior Class President, Jimmy Schelling. I did not think so. But we seemed to go to dances together and that was not much...but all we did. Then he went off to the East Coast to go to some fancy Ivy League College and I never saw him again. So much for high school romances.

When I went to the College of The Sequoias Junior College in Visalia things changed just a bit. I like boys and paid more attention to them. I went out with Donnie Davis because he drove an Austin Healey and was cute and had a crush on me. But my Father chased him away. Then I hung out with Spud McKinney, the son of a rich Visalia Lawyer. Spud allowed me to stay at his house for a while when my Father threw me out. Spud and I never got together then. But several years later through many life changes for me, Spud came to visit me after I gave birth to my daughter, who was born out of wedlock. I was nursing my baby in front of him during one of his visits and he asked me if he could taste my breast milk. I was embarrassed by his request and thought it was silly and told him "No". Shortly afterwards he left and I never saw him again. I asked about him from some mutual acquaintance and they told me, "he raped his mother and she put him in a mental institution." I thought this was horrible and I was terrified, not for her, but for him. I thought it was weird it happened to them that way. I liked Spud and felt very sorry for him. He had a deep and gentle soul. And I do not see how any Mother could be so unforgiving. I never saw Spud alive again.

During the summers and winters I got a working in Sequoia National Forest...back in 1962-1966. That is when I knew Bob Torkelson, a young man on the COS swim team. He worked up there as well. But he was in a car accident and he died. We had big group parties up in the park and made lots of noise and stayed up late and had such good fun. I met David Harris then, the young man who later became President of Stanford University and was imprisoned for Dodging the Draft, who at the time married the famous folk artist Joan Baez. We used to have long walks and talks to the edge of the world, a high cliff covered by tall pines and cedars that looked out over the San Joaquin Valley. We would sit on the edge of tommorrow and discuss the world situation in the full of the moonlight.

Then there was my affair with Merrill Collett. He was a ranger or firefighter or something like that. He was a little older than me and cute as a young man could ever be. We did sleep together for a long while, but he got tired of me because I would not allow him to have complete sexual access. It would make him so mad. I wanted to but i was afraid I would get pregnant or it would hurt. I was still a virgin. I still believed that I should stay a virgin and save myself for marriage.

That was before the end of summer and right before the end of summer I met Charlie Kent Line. He was blond, crystal blue eyes, Norwegian, strong and well built. A guy kind of guy. I can honestly say, I was finally attracted to someone...him. Over the course of a month he convinced me to go with him across the country to meet his Mother and Father at the Savannah Army Depot in Savannah Illinois on the Mississippi River. His Mother was Barabara Abrams and his Father was Colonel B.B. Abrams. This time at like 20 years old I fell in love, or what I thought was love. I was done with COS, and had enrolled in Iowa State University, God only knows why, and I packed my bags and was determined to make it all work. I was serious about Charlie, although I do not know why or what made me become serious. I just changed. i though Charlie was serious about me as well.

But then, I did not have very good judgement for men. Charlie nearly terminated my life. Our relationship lasted one year and 4 months. There were elements of extreme domestic violence and sexual abuse beyond the comprehension of anyone or anything I have every read. I was only 21 during this experience with Charlie and he was the same age minus a few months.

The relationship began with my still being a 21 year old virgin. I had held onto that physical aspect of my body as a matter of desire for the perfect relationship with a man. It was symbolic. I wanted to be a virgin and I wanted to marry someone with my virginity in place, as a matter of committment and fidelity. At the time I began my time with Charles Kent Line, I thought he wanted to be with me "forever." Little did I realize at the moment that forever is a myth that humans dream up as a matter of relativity to time.

Human churn out the biological species and humans put together a historical and archealogical sequence of human evolution. At any one point in time from the birth to the death of an individual is "forever." Forever can mean anything depending on your understanding of time and the application of the word to the experience. Women seem to be victims of the word as part of the marital essence formed by the relationship between a man and a women. (Or in some cases, other gender worldly combinations.) In high school we formed this thought, image, perception or triad of concepts we carried around in our minds that defined and explained our developing belief systems.

We girls chatted about our dreams with each other. We came up with our immature answers and resolutions that we concurred as relavant solutions and then we walked away from our chats satisfied that we had resolved our future worldly related issues. Naught. Until we actually put these ideas into practice, we could not tell the difference from our dreams and our realities. So we waited to find the experience to match the situation.

Charlie and I were forever. I announced to my parents, much to their disappointment that I was going to attend Iowa State University. I was driving backwards across country with Charlie and his buddy in Charlies Car, "The Purple Beast". The car was a convertible, painted all lavendar. Charlie referred to it as "the purple beast." All I can say is, he loved that car! Transportation to me was paramount to travel, as opposed to convertible or color, but for Charlie, he associated some transcendent characteristic to the color Purple and the Beast. Maybe it was a phallic symbol of the full blown penis during erection. His penis and that car were and the same phallic aparatus.

It was in that car that I lost my virginity to Charlie. We left California on our road trip. We stopped at a few motels on the way, and Charlie respectfully allowed me personal privacy all during the trip, other than a few tursts of passionate kissing. His friend stayed in the background, tall, quiet, and reserved. From what I could tell he was only hitching a ride to St. Louis. Once he was dropped off. It was up to me and Charlie to resume the road trip up to Mississippi and Savannah. Charlie used to let me drive alot. So I spent considerably time behind the wheel, while he slept and drank.

I had never been around alcoholics prior to this, at least in my personal life. I had not been raised by an alcoholic to my knowledge, and I did not drink, but seldom. Charlie's drinking was not a habit I thought much about. Drinking was not a participation I paid much attention to. I had spent my entire 21 years ignoring negative interpersonal habits, save one. I did not drink, nor smoke, nor use drugs while I was growing up...those first 21 years. My Mother and Father had medical problems that required them both to recieve regular medications, but as far as I knew neither of them smoked nor drank. (Now, I think my Father may have been a closet alcoholic because he did always have wine and hard liquor around. If he did drink more than a glassful on occassion, he kept his habit hid from my view, but maybe that is the cause behind his violent mood swings, and his temper issues.) Alcohol may have also been the reason behind Charlie's eventual violent outbursts in our relationship.

We did manage to arrive at the Army Depot in September of 1964. Before we got onto the government property, the night before we got lost on the road and there was an extreme rainstorm. I had pulled off to the right, up a hill in the midst of a densely forested area. The road was slick with mud and our wheels spun and spun and we slide and simply got precariously imbedded into the slick brown mire. I did not know where we were. Charlie was at a loss. Off in the distance we noticed light through the trees. Charlie was cursing and angry portraying a deeply distrubed side of his personality I had not as yet experienced.

I explained to him he needed to walk to the little village, and get help. Little did I know what I was looking towards was a Negro Shanty Town. In the middle of night, this was not a good idea. One would not know in the deep of the Mississippi Woods what terrible frights might occur. Instead of covering up in a plastic pancho and taking the hike towards the lights to get help, Charlie instead insisted I get in the back seat of the car.

Every bit of me was thinking of his good intentions. I had not considered he had alternative ideas. Frustration and perhaps some prior knowledge of the area caused Charlie to want to have sex before he left. Now maybe he figured he wanted to get his before, whatever came out of the village got theirs, in either event he was determined to have sex with me before walking off up the muddy road in the rainy torrent through the dense woods.

Whatever happened was because I put myself in that situation. I was alone in the middle of the United State of America in a Southern State, hoping on salvation from a Negro Shanty Town. Charlie was tense. His anger compelled him to force himself on me sexually, and since my alternative was to fight him off, and run to the Shanty Town by myself, or allow him to have his way with me...I choose the latter, the moment, rather than the unknown. It was the first time anyone had penetrated my body. It was unpleasant and bloody. It was painful and humiliating. It was as raw, as it was naked.

After Charlie had satisfied himself. He pulled up his blue jeans, announcing he was leaving to get help and left me laying butt naked and bleeding on the back seat of the car. Not a good beginning for a romantic relationship, but a percursor for the remainding year and 3 months. I found materials to clean up, and pull myself together. I locked all the doors with the frightened anticipation of no one coming back or someone coming up to suprise me with more of the same treatment Charlie had left behind.

First time sexual experiences like that leave you with little dignity, no quality emotions and an aching numbness. The beginning of sexual sorrow. The beginning of self forgiveness and self forgetting of sinful behavior. The realization you know it is not quite your fault, and it is not quite his fault...It is the failure of education, and training to prepare us for the realities of living, or perhaps it is the lack of knowledge we did not acquire to anyalize human behavior properly...our own included.

Stunned, I sat watching the clear rain rushing down the windshields, beyond the darkness and the barely visible green of the close by leaves brushing in places upon the slipping car. Time was marked by the roar of an engine heading my way and the lights of a pickup truck. Charlie came to the window. A black man hooked up the front bumper and a few lurches later we were out and back onto solid ground. The truck, the black man left and Charlie, grumbling hunched behind the wheel gently moved forward and back out onto the main road. It was beginning to be dawn. This took us to the front gate of the Army Depot.

Charlie gained our entry, because after all, his step father was the Colonel B.B. Abrams, commander of the base. Apparently Charlie knew his way around the road system. We arrived at the red brick house, that reminder me of the fairytale, The Three Little Pigs and the little piggy that huffed and puffed and could not blow the house down because the house was made of solid red brick. A gracious blond haired woman answered the door: Barbara Abrams, wife of the Colonel, mother to Charles Kent Line. She was lovely and replete with Southern charms. She hugged her son, and welcomed me into their home. I was apparently an unannounced suprise, whom Charlie introduced as "the girl he was giving a ride to who was going to go to the University of Iowa." Nice touch. The beginning of lies and ducking and dodging ones personal habits with the realities of life.

Who was your first love? Did you think it was going to last? Who broke whose heart?

My first real love was a kid younger than myself, named David Waterman. This was in high school and I felt the most intense emotional rapport with him, as it became more evident, it was just a one sided heart affair. I was a year older, and he was from a wealthy Waterman Family in Exeter. It was a ridiculous notion. And I terminated my feelings with a whole lot of reality thinking and age grappling.

It becomes reason versus emotion as opposed to emotion over reason. In the movies we see emotion over reason and we hear all these silly notions of the heart. It does not matter if what you feel is greater than what you think. If the other person does not feel or think the same way you do about things, situations, or you...there is no importance in pursuring the romantic notions being experienced in your consciousness...

Parents can be just as guilty of breaking your heart, as other romantic attractions. Throughout our lives we change and we alter our beliefs, our feelings, our interests, our minds grow and expand with our environments and our experiences. We are constantly adding to our knowledge banks, and our world views and to our accumulation of wisdom...if we do not, we become stagnant and dull and boring people. I believe we need to learn to embrace change and experience and pick and choose our way through life as though we are walking on the leaves of tender grass. We trodd deeply and darkly and we need to try to cherish each precious step with lightness and caution, embracing our intellect along with our emotions and spiritual content.

Do you believe you can be in love more than once?

Is it possible to be in love more than once? I believe when a person is committed to another individual and is fully satisfied with their acknowledgements and levels of communication...we are able to be in love for the duration of that love time. However once it is gone, well then we continue to seek another similar arrangement that satisfies our needs. That is person to person.

We are able to also be in love with ideas, things, occupations, places, activities and so on. David Garrett, a modern primere violinist claims he is in love with his MUSIC. It is the one thing in the universe that he lives for. It is the sum total satisfaction of all his drives, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical. That is his public acclaim. This means alot for me because it leads me to an understanding beyond that of attaching ourselves to one person for all our living lifetime. A relationship with another human is what we are told is the ultimate satisfaction of human life. We need to know and understand the broader perspective, that a human relationship is not the sole satisfier of a persons life. Some persons dedicate themselves to an occupation, and their adopted activities surrounding their career. I believe this is good.

I was raised to believe that we "need a man" to be happy, but that is because I am a woman. I was more than raised with this thought in mind. I have a desire and a passion for male fulfillment in my life. I have not ever found it throughout all my trials, tribulations and efforts to acquire a successful relationship. I have reconciled myself to other alternatives.

Did you know when you very first met your mate that this would be your life's partner? Did he/she know it?

I used to believe in a life partner simply because my folks were together for over 60 years. However after awhile I began to understand the problems my Father caused in me, and the choices I made in men, of whom I could not differentiate the good ones from the bad ones, brought about the unkind truth: I would never have one life partner, or any life partner for that matter, but a series of relationships in a seemingly never ending stream.

Describe your wedding, your outfit, your spouse's, your Mom's, your Dad's, the bridal party, the church or hall, the reception, the food. If more than one wedding - tell all!

In the fall of 1984 I was working as a featured perfomer in a Burlesque Show with Annie Ample at the Las Vegas Casino Royale. She was the headliner and I was one of her featured dancers. (Annie Ample has since passed away I believe from cancer. Her last home was a trailer where she lived by herself in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Not a pictureques ending for a beautiful well formed burleque dancer and exotic comedian. However it is real and one we need all to take note of. It was the end life of a Burlesque Queen.)

I mention Annie because it was at the Royale I met my first legal husband, Michael Hunter McCarthy. Michael was from a landed Irish Clan from Ireland who resided in the hills of Spartanburg South Carolina. Now Michael was attracted to me, for certain. He always claimed his attraction was to my ratted boufant hair-do, my wild sparkly eyes, and my big boobs. (That were totally gel.) It was all about SEXUAL ATTRACTION, for that one reason alone Michael came at me like flies to the honeypot. It was wow from beginning to end.

Michael found me always sitting at the bar before the show sipping on a pepsi or a coke, sometimes a kalua and cream, or my favorite Baileys Irish Cream. He always sat with me. I was like a magnet for him. Zappp. He had the habit of playing the built in bar-slots before he began his shift. They made Mike a crap dealer. And Michael was a young looking blade of 25 years old, with a full throttle bassoon voice, loud, clear, and raucous. I think everyone in the casino loved to listen to him sound out the crap and roulette calls from his table postion. I know I did. He was a fascinating character. And that was how I fell in love with him...

It was difficult to not be attracted to a young man, like Michael. Every time I sat there at the bar, he would come up to me and play the slots, order a before shift drink, and tell me how much he loved me, liked the way I looked, and wanted to be with me. It was almost a believable story, then his older girlfriend would show up. She would sit on the other side of him, and refer to me as "his whore". We had never been out on a date. We had never kissed. We had never done anything but sit before or after work and chat. But his girlfriend accused us of all kinds of mischievous connections.

Was there anything unusual in your wedding vows? Were your knees knocking? Who performed the ceremony?

Michael Hunter McCarthy and I were married in Janurary of 1985 on the 25th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The town was the same town my Mother and Father were married in on June of 1937 years and years before. We had a civil ceremony offered up by the Justice of the Peace. We signed some papers and said the words over the counter. We were married in that unceremonious of a fashion. There was nothing romantic about it. It was my last opportunity at love, or so I thought.

After the little ceremony in Michaels x girlfriends borrowed car, we had to leave the office and go pick his x girlfriend up at her work at one of the downtown casinos where she worked as a waitress in a casino. Maybe it was the Fremont. I think her name was Nina. She and Michael had been living together for a couple of years I guess...and when he was done with her...she apparently did not believe him, and so he had chased after me, and now we were officially married. Thinking back on it, I can not decide whether or not it was a stupid arrangement or just another life change. I was going with the flow, and hoping for the best.

We arrived in her car and he went in to fetch her. I waited in the car. Soon they came out and of course he did not tell her about "us", and then she saw me in the car. She starts screaming at him, "What is she doing here? Get her out of my car!" She starts swinging at Michael and he fends off the blows and tells her, "You shut up! This is my wife!"

That made Nina even crazier. "What your wife? What do you mean? I am your girlfriend! Get her out of my car!" Now Michael is grabbing hold of Nina so she does not tear off the car door, and me with it. She says to him, "What do you mean your wife?" He says to her, "Calm down, we are married. This is my new wife. You are not my girlfriend. She is my wife."

He shoves Nina into the car and she is sitting in the passengers seat swinging at him. He just throws up his arm and knocks her away. All the while I am sitting in the backseat watching their insanity and wondering, "What the fuck did I get myself into. This is crazy. I did not even realize she thought she was his girlfriend."

The only thing I knew was that she used to pick him up from the casino and he said he lived at her apartment. Intimacy between the two of them had not even occured to me. My face was changing 16 shades of red and blue and body sort of melted away into the back seat into silence, while they argued away, even as the car drove down Las Vegas Boulevard. Since the car was hers, Michael drove to where our new home would be, me and him now together, and made her drop us off.

Nina did not stop her wailing and catterwalling even then. She parked the car and hopped out while he was trying to pull me out of the car out of the way of her arm failing manuvers. I was in shock that all this was happening. It was something like out of a crazy stage drama.

Here I was believing in this young mans feelings and affections for me. My understanding of our story was that he fell in love with the beautiful bumped hair-do showgirl from the Casino Royale, he lived with some old lady, as he claimed, and wanted to marry me after he saw me. He was the young buck son of a South Carolina Doctor, and his mother just died and left him a ton of money, and he was entrepenuring as a crap dealer. He took me to get married, in what I thought was his car, but it was the old lady who thought she was his girl, and picked her up after work, and had her take us newlyweds to our, his new home. What a messed up beginning. So much deceit.

So on our wedding night that day in Janurary of 1985...Michaelf and I both worked at the same Casino and we could afford some things, and Michael had his secret weapon in the works, a series of rather moneyful inheritances. At the turn of New Years Night his mother had passed away in Spartanbury South Carlina of acute alcohol posioning. She was a wealthy woman and left Michael and his two brothers considerable money. At the time of our marriage he had not as yet recieved it, however it was a factor in his exhuberant behavior and he used it to create the illusion of wealth and importance. Most of all the pretention went into spending on alcohol and drugs and sex with other women.

He loved to throw money around. It meant nothing to him and I could observe by his behavior that he had no respect for the power of money and the uses of good value that could have been done with it. I never ever had money like that, so it was really sad for me to watch.

On our wedding night, we entered our empty little apartment. My daughter was away with some of her school chums and we had our quarters to ourselves. I could not afford a bed for myself, so I had matts on the floor in my cluttered little room. It was uncomfortable in there yet it was our new home. I had a nice living room. Some pictures of importance were hung on our walls. So on that wedding night we bought a big bottle of champagne to help celebrate our marriage. The more we drank the drunker we both got. The drunker we got the more verbal he became. Suddenly I was introduced to a side of Michaels personality that I had not met before. He ranted and raved and called me names, and swore at me. He said, "You are a piece of shit. Your nothing but a whore...!" Well, I was in shock for him to go from "I love you and want you to marry me" to "You are a piece of shit whore!"

Somewhere during those moments of his raging and my rebuking his tirade, he swung at me caught me in the eye with his hand. I swung out at him as a response and he gave me a strong swift shove that sent me flying over the television set and into the plate glass window. Suddenly he woke from his glaring blackout and realized what had just transpired. He quickly apologized, picked me up off the floor, only thing is I had trouble walking, sprained ribs, and a black eye.

Good work for loving newly weds and a showgirl who needs her health and looks for her job. I felt a desperate depression deeply forming. Necessity demanded I shake it off. The ambulance came and I spent a portion of the night in the Emergency Room tapeing up sprained ribs. MIchael pooed it off like it was nothing. And since we were just married, I did not want to turn back the clock now. What a mess! I just stayed with him.

It was the last night I ever drank alcohol. That was the good thing. It is now 2015, so it has been 30 years of sobriety for me. And Micheal died in 2006 of a drug overdose. He was only 46 years old and weighted 85 pounds by then from alcohol, drug and general physical abuse. But between the time we first married and the time we divorced in 1991 we managed to shove lots of living into those years.

Shortly thereafter we had another marriage ceremony performed. This one was a Buddhist Ceremony performed by the American Nicheren ShoShu Group of Las Vegas, Nevada. Our group leader came to our house to intervene in further marital violence or drug abuse. He prayed over us and for awhile we attended group meetings to help us conquor our addictions. It did work for me, but never worked in totality for Michael. The good thing was, we had a beautiful and lovely marriage ceremony performed and said by the Buddhist Group. That meant alot to me. It was a convergence of spiritual beliefs between them and us. And for awhile it brought peace between us.

That was the begining of a the marital ride from hell. That was in 1985. By 1991, Michael had filed for divorce from me because he found a bigger better deal...she supposedly was a police dispatch girl who had listened in to calls, and knew of his situation from some calls from our house. She had used her knowledge and internal affairs information to stock and track him down. She had used fake names like Nicole and Pamela, decieving my poor distressed alcoholic drug addicted husband, baited him because he had just inherited more money than when we had first married and used her power and position of influence to terrifiy the fuck out of him...blackmailed him into divorcing me and marrying her.

I do not know why it should suprise me. It was essentially the same thing he did to Nina when he first married me, and now it was the same shocking ugly betrayal all over again.

I did have a sincere heart when I married Michael. I loved him. He wanted to marry me and he chased me until I said yes. At my age of 41, I was afraid if I did not get married officially, I might not ever have another chance. So I said yes. Chuck Gulovitch and I lived together, but he would never marry me, even after 6 years of living together as man and I was broken hearted about the rejection from him.

Seriously, every man I have ever been with and every man I have ever loved has betrayed me.

Michael served up the coup de gras however. And what he did nearly killed me.

After he destroyed our home on North 9th Street in Fresno in 1991, after he tore up our mutual possessions, stole our business equipment, and ran off with anything valuable, our three cars were repossessed, and he purchased his own personal untouchable dark green Jaguar which his new "woman" proceeded to drive around waving her flags over. My daughter, and my grandson were devastated.

We were left homeless, destitute and the business I had created because of my entertainment background was a skeleton of its former image. I was devastated to loose my husband, and to another woman. I know I cried everyday for an entire two year period. It was a horrible experience and I promised never to marry again in order to avoid the pain of intimate separation that occurs from a marriage breakup. At least in my personal life.

I pieced together some finances to move along. I found a beautiful rental house at 838 Sussex in Fig Garden. It rented for 750 a month. I was physically healthy and able to work, so I put myself to the task of earning an income. Me and my daughter who was 22 at the time moved in with my infant grandson. It was a lovely home and we appreciated it immensely. Paying for the struggle was difficult, but somehow we inched our way forward.

The divorce between Michael and I was in process and we had an interview in the attorneys office, one of the shyster lawyers my x husband loved. Michael was a legal buff. He tried to steal my business out from under me, but he was not able to pull that one off. Instead he just sabotaged it. He did not need the business, he was just horribly mean that way, and he did not need money because another one of his relatives died and left him either hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions...I do not know which. I guess his new intended knew. The words of his attorney however, echoed through my ears, "Merrily, you are a mess." He said that because I could not quite crying I was so heart broken over the ordeal of loosing everything I had spent years working towards, in particular the man who promised to love me forever and ever. Which became bullshit!

So Micheal ran off with his new "woman" to live with her and me and my daughter and my grandson went to live in our new home. I tried to make up with Michael, but it was a limping process. He had women all over him, because he was able to rent a house, and had money and bought whatever he wanted to keep him in his comfort zone.

One day in July me and my grandson went over to his house. My grandson was about one and a half years old. Michael had an unfenced pool in his backyard. My grandson wandered out onto the patio, and I noticed because a white empty silence filled the air. A spirit informed me of something. I ran outside and saw my beautiful baby grandson floating face up staring towards me from the surface of the pool. I screamed in a dreadful manner, while jumping into the water to retrieve the baby boy. I snatched him up out of the water, flipped him over my shoulder and smacked his back. Tyler coughed and came back to me breathing. He had some blood on his nose from bumping into the side of the pool cement. Then Michael was in the water and snatched the boy from my hands and put him over his shoulder, gave him a little smack on his back until he could see regular breathing. We got out of the pool. I said, "shall I call the ambulance?" Michael who is the son of two doctors and was raised in a medical family, said, "No he will be fine, just let him sleep, he is breathing just fine." They both feel asleep on the couch and the baby slept the entire night on Michaels shoulder. Neither of them moved. The following morning they both seemed to appear fine. But I cannot forget that I almost lost my only baby grandson. Micheal was there for him. And me.

Then a couple of months after this, when we were living on Sussex. I found out Micheal and the new woman were firmly living together and he was planning on marrying her. They had moved into her apartment and one day I went to the mail box and nearly freaked out. Someone, and I to this day believe it was her, burnt a tiny one of Tyler's troll dolls and stuck it like some evil voodoo trick into our mail box. She put a curse on our lives. Some things are difficult to forgive or forget, but I do know it was her. And this was a woman who worked for the Fresno Police Department as a dispatch person.

Some people pretend to be good and work on the side of the community they percieve to be decent but they themselves can not and never will be decent. If that was the end of that, it would have been over and was not the end. Only this time it was Michaels turn to make a message. I felt like I was living with the Klu Klux Klan and was the butt of white hate...and I was an American, born and raised here.

This is what happened next and was the last time I saw Michael, until right before he died in 2006. He was 46 when his girlfriend of the time in 2006 woke up and found him stiff laying beside her. Apparently he passed away sometime during the night having taken an overdose of pills. Sadly he had just graduated from Fresno State University with a BS in Electrical Engineering...all higher mathematic skills.

He came over to see me at our Sussex house. He told me he was going to marry Nicole or Pamela or whatever her current name she was using. I begged him to remarry me as our divorce was not yet final. We could have done that and gotten back together because, alas, stupid me, I was still in love with him. Him hemmed and hawed for a while. Then he agreed to remarry me. He said he had to call around to a find a place that would do it. And he told me to later meet him at another one of his old friends apartments, Shirley. Shirley lived with all her cats near Fresno State. She was an elderly lady who was I guess retired and was just plain alcoholic and immersed in coughing and smoking. She was not well. But her and Michael had become friends, God knows from where.

I was able to drive over to her apartment and I brought my grandson with me. Shirley invited me in and we waited for Michael to show up. Eventually he did. It was a rather honeyed reunion, as we had not had much time to talk and I was not sure what was really going on with his new promise to me and his current promise to his new "woman". Michael had shown up in his Jag and I was in an old beat up car I had bought after my fancy Mitsubishi Eclipse had been repo"ed. My grandson played in the house, but soon I had to get him out of there because of all the cigarette smoke and the cats. He was highly allergic to all kinds of airborne things because he was born a chronic asthmatic.

I was in a terrible fuss and conflict. I believed Michael was wanting to remarry me, but he had not called anyone as he had promised. I had to get my grandson out of Shirleys house because he was starting to gasp and his chest was in early stages of heaving. I kept going outside and out on the patio with him. Then I just told Michael that it was not going to work and I had to leave. He now was asking me to wait and telling me he was going to call a church who performed 24 hour wedding ceremonies. I never heard of such a thing, but opened the phone book and there a few were indeed listed.

I found one called the Plymouth Congregational Church. We got in contact with a voice on the other side of the line that invited us to come over and he would perform the wedding service. I do not remember his name now. I do recall he was not the main minister. So Michael jumped in his Jag and me in my old beat up jalopy and we drove off, me following him. We located the little pretty church. It was old and rather quaint. At first we did not think anyone was there. It was late, like around midnight.

We parked and knocked on the big heavy door. A priest in robes answered our knock. Michael told him we called and wanted to know if we could get married. The priest said he would indeed marry us, and asked for our license and of course, we did not have one. We explained we were getting remarried...and asked if he could do that.

The Dark Robed Priest said, "Well yes. we can do that. It will require the legal license to make it offical, but we can do the ceremony and you can come back tommorrow and make it official. A small donation will be appreciated however, do you mind doing that?"

Michael looked at me. I had an eager desperate expression on my face and the baby boy I was holding was wiggling around trying to see everything. The church was decorated for Christmas and there were greens, and white satan ribbons and strands of fabric flounces above all the windows. Doves flew everywhere, in their feathery stuffed bodies. Glitter adorned the trees in silver reflections moving across all the white surfaces of spiraling fabrics and enhanced by the darker green evergreen boughs. It was a gripping stereotypical Christmas scene out of somewhere far away...ancient and evergreen, crisp in Christmasy decorations and clean in spirit.

The priest escorted us into his office where we paid our dues and after, we were escorted to the main altar stage. The priest placed us facing outward and he stood to our front. The baby boy was now in Michaels arms, wiggling, and smiling. I so wished I had a camera. The two of them were silhouetted in front of the silver, white, and green of the background with the doves circling above their heads. The moment was as real as it could be even without the legal license. In spirit the moment was real.

I felt a trickle of uneasiness as though something was terribly wrong. It was like a stage in a play or a scene from a movie, devoid of the sincerity of real service of marriage and the real meaning of a wedding. Something was missing. The scenery was in place but the true intention was blank.

Our phony priest pronounced his official wedding service. Michael and I claimed our vows. And we were pronounced Man and Wife. For whatever was true or real, we were remarried. Unfortunately it did not mean a thing. The priest asked us to return the following morning and he would make it offical, "just bring the paper license," he requested.

We kissed as expected by the officiator. I took the happy baby who was only too willing to be gone from Michaels arms. He hugged me. It was over. The priest turned and we followed him to the heavy Church door saying our goodnights.

Our plan was to return to my house on Sussex and be together for the official wedding consummation. Nothing has ever felt so phony in my life as this entire event. Mike got in his Jag and I got in my beat up brown mobile and we chugged off.

At my house I waited. I waited somemore. I put the baby boy to sleep. I waited longer. Finally Mike showed up. There was nothing glorious nor romantic about his welcome. There were no guests waiting to cheer us onward. No magic champagne exchange. No watching the crackling fireplace warming the cozy living room with its pale peach carpets.

I really loved the beauty of the house where we were living and if I could have stayed there forever, I would have. Being there that one night with a man I had married several years before and had just remarried should have been special. I was settling in to what I had just done and agreed to do. I believe I was shocked because Michael was always misrepresenting himself in my eyes. He was nothing even close to being similar to me.

He was an alcoholic, a heavy smoker, a basic addict with major addiction problems. He was from an incredibly wealthy family of Doctors and had an exclusive upbringing in the best of South Carolina Mountains. He wanted to marry me, and I said yes. Then he wanted to divorce me, and I could not stop him from leaving. I think he half heartedly wanted to remarry me and so we did that. The thing I loved about Micheal was his sense of humor and his intelligence and the way he always helped me figure things out and do things. When he was lucid and not all fucked up on juice, anyway.

So I threw down some bedding onto the hard wooden floor and we tried to escape into each other. It did not work and was really frustrating. Eventually we fell asleep but fitfully so. Something just did not mesh. The following morning I woke and cooked up coffee and we shared a cup. Then Micheal tells me, "I have to go over to Pamela's house and let her know we got remarried. I will be back around noon."

I watched him drive away in his green Jag, sound booming, past all the hanging evergreen vines drapping off the fences and trees in the yard. Such misery, surrounded by such great beauty. The baby boy was awake and I tended to his needs. We played all morning while I was waiting for Michael to return. Noon hour passed and the clock worked its way into the afternoon. By five oclock I had gotten afraid. My stomach was in knots. A sublte terror rose in my throat and I wanted to scream, but could not. My mind arrived at a fractured state where nothing, absolutely nothing made any sense.

Finally the green Jag pulled into the driveway. I was momentarily relieved. I expected Mike to be bringing his things back over to stay. However he brought no bags to our door. He knocked and he stared at me like a ghost from a savage storm.

I asked, "Where are your things? Are you coming in?" He hesitated, and stepped inside the foyer. I asked, "What is the matter? Did you tell her? He grimaced, "Yes." "Well" I questioned. He said to me, "Pamela and I just got married. After I left here we went down to the court house and got a license. We went to the Church where we were last night and the priest married us."

Incrediously I said, "What are you talking about?" He said, "I took Pamela to the church and we were married this afternoon." I repeated stupidly, not believeing what I was hearing from Mike, "How could you do that, you, he, the priest married us last night." Mike said, "I told him she was you." I said, "she was not me. Did he not notice the difference. Could he not see, she was not me?"

I was devastated. My mind cracked and fractured in ways I had never imagined. What Micheal and Pamela had done to destroy my sanity and ruin my family was beyond anything I was capable of doing. It was the point where two humans you thought were humans put together an evil plan to completely upend all your current and known beliefs in order to revenge whatever cruelty they could plot.

My immediate family saved me and I realized Michael was not the same person I believed he was when I married him or had come to know. He had become some inhumane creature, a freak of nature who had submitted to some other form of female mutation, not humane either. No person with any integrity would ever be that fowl.

He left me in that state. It was the last time I ever saw him. That was in 1992 one cold December evening.
Until he returned by A God Send Off in May of 2006.

After he left the house a man came over several days later. It was the same priest from Plymouth Congregational Church. He stepped into our living room and began a contrite conversation and apology about the night Mike and I had been to his church and the following day when Mike showed up with a woman who impersonated me. It was a crime definitely of sickening proportions. The priest told me how sorry he was for what happened. I thought he was sincere, until he began to push himself onto me sexually. I recall we were sitting on my couch and he kept trying to get closer and closer to me. Then he pulled his penis out of his pants. And before my shocked and distraught mind fully reckoned the significance of the event, he wacked off in front of me. It was a terrible scene out of a horriblly written porn movie. I was flabbergasted, and this does not cover any excuses. I told the priest, who had now become just another man to get out of my house. He tucked his protuberance away and meekly yet apologetically departed. I just sat I was so stunned.

I never spoke to anyone ever about this. It was just too embarassing. But it did happen. Then a few days latter a large lady with a very big chest showed up at my door. She came to interview for a job as a dancer so she claimed. So I invited her in. But as soon as she got in she began questioning me about something she should know nothing about: the priest who had come and wacked off in my living room. She said, "We want to know about a priest who is abusing his privileges with women at our church. He marrys people and then tries to have sex with the women from the ceremonies."

Now I was really glad Michael was gone. I was sick of all of this. Sick from it and sick of it! I clamed up. There was no way she needed to know any further information. It was over and it was disgusting and I did not want to discuss any of it. My reply, "I do not know what you are talking about. This never happened and will you please leave." The woman did not want to leave and persisted with prying. I did hold my ground and walked to the door and opened it and told her plainly, "Get Out."

That could have been the end of it, but it was not. A few weeks later I saw in the Fresno Bee Newspaper that a man who was the main leader of the Plymouth Congregational Church had been sent to prison for embezzeling money from the Church. But before that happened I managed to get a letter of truth, a letter that documented exactly what had happened during those days, and it was written by the head church offical of that church at the time. It is a matter of court records and sits in the County of Fresno Official records office. A signed declaration to the transpired events.

I could say that was the events between Michael and me, however one more thing happened. I did not see nor hear from Michael for 14 years. Not a peep, not a word. One day I was walking down Manchester Mall in Fresno, Ca. I was with my now 14 year old grandson, and we were out shopping. We were strolling down the main mall throughallfair...I spot an ancient looking, terribly skinny man on crutches. The remains of his receding hair was silver white, and his skin was blotched and yellowed and rather pock marked. The man was hobbling along. By his side was a tiny shriveled woman. (She looked like Nina, Shirley...and this one was DeDe. They all appeared to look the same.) The closer the man hobbled on his crutches, the more intensely his stare rested on me.

As we got 8 feet apart. He stopped and said my name, "Merrily?" He repeated it, "Merrily?' And again, "Merrily, is that you?" I began to recognize him. However his appearance was so embarrassing. It was really pathetic from the young man I loved and married from the Las Vegas Royal Casino some 22 years earlier. I did not reply because I intended to continue to walk past and not acknowledge his comments. However he, like the old Michael I had loved, persisted. Again, "Merrily! It is you."

Finally I spoke to his dishevelment. I say, even though I knew now, "Who are you?" Immediately he responded, "I am Michael and you are Merrily, my wife." Incrediously I returned, "Michael? Is that you?" He laughed a grimace, "Yeah it is me. I look a little different now I know." As usual he talked with a drawl and a slur.

This time it was way too many pain medications. We were in front of an ice cream place and there was a table with two silver chairs. Michael took one of the chairs for himself and the other he indicated was for me to sit. DeDe motioned for me to sit opposite Michael. I said, "No that is for you." She says, "No, he wants you to sit there. I know who you are. You are his wife. He needs to talk to you for closure." I sat.

My grandson went to a midbench and sat to wait. DiDi merely stood by, waiting patiently. Mike began to tell me about his life after me. Apparently Pamela took him for his Jag, his house, and his inheritance. Then he went to live in a trailer park and met DIDI. She was like the other old gals he was so fond of. They were all look alike sisters...not really but Mike liked the older gals for some reason.

I asked him what had happened to him, indicating his condition and his crutches. He said, "I had just started going to Fresno State University to get my Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and I was headed to school early one morning and was crossing an intersection. A newspaper delivery truck did not stop, and it ran the lights and hit me on my bicycle full force. It threw me some 300 meet through the air and I landed full force on the asphalt roadway. I was laying there for dead. They called the ambulance and I remember them standing over me and saying, "Leave him. He is going to die. He is too broken up to save." I was coming too and I head that and I yells out, "Put the petal to the metal boys, I am still alive,"

That was the spirit of my husband Michael talking. That was the man I knew and loved. He never gave up. He was always in command no matter how bad the situation was when we were together. I laughed. Then he explained he was in the hospital recovering for a month and then he was out but could not walk. He had broken his ribs, his left arm in several places, his hip was ripped out, and his skull was busted open with his brains falling out. The hospital sewed him back together. But he could only get around of crutches or use his wheelchair. And yes, I felt sad for him.

He told me how happy he was to see me. He told me he still loved me. He told me he wished he had never left me. But maybe that last one was because of all the sorrow he experienced from believing in women who did not really love him. I loved him sincerely. Although it was never enough.

He thanked me for stopping to talk to him. He told me he was sorry for all the bad things they had done to us. And he wanted me to come and visit him and DiDi. Strange, they lived a block from where Michael and I were first together when we had began at Fresno State University. He loved education. And if it was not for him I would never have attempted to get a University Education. Once again his persistence and self belief inspired me to re enroll in Fresno State and work to get a Bachelors Degree and I did.

Since his subject was of a high math order I asked him how he was doing with his classes. Mike said, "I can not do higher math like I did. I do not understand it. I do not even know what I will do when I get out of school. I do not think I can do engineering anymore." So I wondered why did God put him in my path again, after 14 years? The first time we were together it was Mike that got me going into a business, got me to talk, and inspired me to join him getting an education. Maybe, this was another inspiration.

We said a goodbye and he invited me to his place. I agreed to come and visit with him again. Just for old time sake. I still felt love for him even tho 14 years had passed. Time, it was like it never left. A couple of weeks later me and my grand daughter and my grand son went to pay them a visit. DiDi was asleep, but Mike and I got to visit for a while, until he got way too tired. We left and I agreed to return. It was good to see him and be part of this final goodbye. We both needed this time to say goodbye.

When you have been deeply intimate with someone there is no departure from the residual effects of the affection. I still have so much love for this man. Maybe it is empathy or maybe it is sorrow. Whatever I am sure no other woman could have loved him the way I did.

On June 5th I got a telephone call from DiDi her words to me were, "Michael has passed away. He fell asleep and did not wake up this morning." My mind was disfigured with disbelief. He was still so young and much younger than me. Grief overwhelmed me. I could not even grasp that he was gone. He was there and now he was gone. Not possible.

"How did he die?" I wanted to know. DiDi says, "He overdosed on sleeping pills."

"And school? Did he graduate?" I had to ask. DiDi replied, "Yes, he did graduate. He died the day after."

My next question seemed obvious, "Did you call his two brothers and let them know?" Hellr answer really shocked me...."no" she says. My reply was incredulous, " No?!" Why not I demanded.

Didi weakly admitted she did not know them, nor have their telephone numbers. Here it was after going through all that with Mike, I was the last family resort and the only one who had information about his family. I had to make the call to his unbelieving brother Chip. Chip is a Leutinant or a Captain in the Atlanta City, Georgia police department. I had to track him down to give him the news and he did not even believe me. Then I had to find his other brother through his old girlfriend Franny who lived in Boston, Mass. As far as I know they were the last living relatives...except for Uncle Mike and Becky a cousin.

Some of the worst of this story is yet to come. And it shows the degeneration of social depravity unknown to me...and from a fairly sophisticated southern family, how the extinct son of a wealthy family is disregarded by surviving brothers.

Apparently according to the "family" story the McCarthy family only bought a few grave sites. One enough for each brother. Which meant, they bought two for their children, indicating that one child would need to purchase their own burial site. Up until Michaels death on June 5th of 2006, none of the other two brothers had passed on. So you might think that Michael would be brought home to rest.

For Michael that became not the condition of burial residence. Where Michaels remains are, is a mystery. As far as I know, no one knows or will tell. What did happen from and be my account is horrific for civilzed social behavior of modern educated people.

On the telephone the little DiDi lady told me she did not claim the body. Nor did she call the coroner, however someone did. They came to their apartment and gathered up Michaels stiff body and carted it off to the county of Fresno morgue. Again, where it lay, after the autopsy, no one claimed it. I called but they told me I was not his wife, nor his relative so I could not claim his body. Only a relative was able to. So I called his brother who is or was a Captain or a Leutinant in the Atlanta Georgia police department.

Before that I asked DiDi what she and her friends did with all of Michaels things. DiDi tells me that everyone took something and they sold his wheelchair and crutches. I thought to myself, "Michael you sure picked yourself a duzzy of a girlfriend and wacked friends who would do that and not claim your body nor make sure you got buried properly." By then of course he could not answer me and his dopster friends, like ostriches, buried their heads in the sand.

Upon Michaels death he was pretty much disregarded as human. He was ignored by family, and dumped on a cold stone slab in the morgue, true his body was deceased, but somewhere I am certain his soul was watching. For that reason I persisted. I located the morgue man in charge of Mike's body and he explained the cost of the cremation fee. It went something like this: The county holds the body for a couple of weeks in cold storage, if the body goes unclaimed, they cremate the body for 100 dollars and dump the ashes in an unmarked grave. However if a relative steps forward and claims the body within a p
30 day period, it costs 400 dollars and the remains of ash are shipped to any requested address by the claiming relative.

Chip McCarthy had a fit of disbelief when I explained his brother Michael had passed away of an overdose of self induced pills. He did not belief me. Period. I gave him the number and name of the coroner so he could verify my information. Yet his participation or desire sounded really dubious over the telephone. I heard such distaste, disgust and absurdity in his voice. Why? Michael was dead. Why? As Michael has said so many times before, "Chip hates me!" So it sounded the same even after death. Poor Michael. Chip refused to give Michael living peace, and now he still would not let go of his hatred.

The hatred I heard in Chips voice over the phone became redirected at me when I made a simple solution request, "I will claim the Mike's body. All they need is for you to send permission and a release form. Then I can have him cremated immediately and bury his ashes. Why won't you do this for me, Michael and I were married for 6 years and we loved each other. Let me take care of this."

"I will never let you have his body, nor his ashes. You are the last person on earth I will release his ashes to. You stay away from him..." Chip screamed at me over the phone. I cringed at the anger and the hatred he expressed, which from a police officer really galled me. I had more love for Michael than he could ever have held. But Chip is his brother so he did have the last say. I sure did not see Pamela standing behind me waiting in line to claim Micheals remains, nor Shirley, nor Nina, nor DiDi, nor Baby, nor Shauna....nor any of his other friends. So I just let him go.

"Chip is a responsible family member and a police offier," that is what I am thinking. But think again. After Chip and I had this conversation, when he accepted the responsiblity, I communicated to the coroner another time. He said he did have a conversation with a Mr. McCarthy from Georgia and the guy did say he would pay the 400 dollars for the cremation and the receipt of the ashes belonging to Michael.

Two weeks passed and I called again as the family watchdog. Michael was still in the morgue on a cold dark stone slab and had not been claimed nor cremated. I asked the coroner to call Mr. McCarthy in Georgia again to get confirmation and reclamation. Maybe Chip had forgotten. Then I tried to locate and call the third McCarthy brother, Brian Keith, or Kit as we called him. I had his old Boston girlfriends phone number and dialed. Suprisingly she answered. I asked her if she knew where Kit was and if she could call him or give me his number so I could call him. She did not know Mike had passed away.

She gave me Kit's number. I called it and suprisingly Kit answered. He was living around Greenville somewhere and had gotten out of Leavenworth State Penitentiary and was hoping to get a job with the help of his Uncle Mike at a local McDonalds. I wished him well and asked if he had heard from his brother Micheal. Kit said no. Then he asked me if I have heard from him. At that point I had to begin telling him about Michael, about his accident, about his University success, and his demise from the overdose, and about Chip and about the morgue where Micheal still lay on the cold stone slab, unclaimed.

Kit dearly loved Michael. They were the best of brothers, and as good as could be with each other. In the best of times Michael had given Franny and Kit a place to live and supported them for a couple of years. They were always together and always creating conversations and stories and laughter, even though it was through bottles and bottles of beer and hard liquor over ice and packs and packs of smokes.

Spilled out over the telephone wire, but there it was! Kit got the news. It tore me up to listen to his voice and hear the tears falling from miles away. His sorrow and his grief were deeply felt. The worst part of it was, Chip did not have the decency to communicate Mikes death to Kit. Kit was out of the sensible family loop, where ever that went. At the end of our call he said he would call Chip. I do not know if he ever did. About this time I had to let go. Or almost.

Two more weeks went by and I called the coroner again. "Has anyone claimed Micheals body yet?" I asked. The coroner voice told me the unbelievable..."no one as yet, we are waiting for Mr. McCarthy to send the money. Mike's body is still on a slab in cold storage." I could not even retrieve the reality of this inhumane situation. Mike had been dead a month. No one stepped forward with money, just phony promises. But I suspected that Chip was waiting to see if "Michael did not raise up from the dead." As humorous as this may seem, Michael seemed to defy death, time and time again. Not that it was realistic that Mike should do so from off the cold slab of a frezzing storage unit.

However Mike had deyed death on numerous occassions when we were married. He had serious episodes with alcoholic seizures, and the DT's from withdrawals, and had been brought back four or five times by the Doctors on the operating tables when he had gone in comatose states. I am sure Chip knew of Mikes ability to bring himself back to life. Not this time.

I waited for another two weeks. That made it a total of 6 weeks Michael had laid in the mortuary on a stone cold slab in the storage drawer. He did not rise from the dead, as Chip had figured might happen. The coroner explained to me, "Mr. McCarthy sent the money finally, and we cremated the body a day ago, and Michaels ashes have been shipped to the address we were given. I do not know where that may have been. I was relieved. But it was not over. I waited a couple of weeks and called Kit. I asked Kit if they got Michaels ashes. He said he had not heard, nor seen them, so he did not know. He did not seen to think the ashes had arrived. So I said, "where would his ashes have gone?" Kit says to me, "Knowing my older brother he probably tossed them in a dumpster, because we only had one grave left and he wanted it."

My relationship with Michael Hunter McCarthy was over. My only real marriage to any man was over. It lives and rocks my mind however and I live with the memories and the momentos. In our six years together we wrote a new world record number of poems, some perhaps 10,000 of them, all hand written, and all original for various people who solicited our services for entertaining singing telegrams.

Michael was a genius, who could manipulate the socks off an Everest Climber, bring the brightest and funniest comedy routines to life, and someone who understood English and Math with genuine ease. He was determined and persistent, after all, he chased after me until I caved in to accept his marrige proposal. He never gave up his fight for life, despite his battles with his personal demons from alcohol, drugs and cigarettes and the proverbial wandering eye for other women. He was loyal when he was married, never faithful, and when it was over, he went on his way to the next bigger better deal in his eyes. He was my educational inspiration and two times he encouraged me to pick up and continue education. The first time it was to study Criminology, and Theatre Arts, and the second time it was to study Anthropology, Archealogy, and with that I recieved a Bachelor of Arts, graduating in June of 2009 in a cap and gown ceremony at Fresno State University. I am the only graduate in my family who finally got my cap at 65. When I get more courage, and confidence and money, I hope to move another degree forward. Michael always called me Dr. McCarthy...and I hope to earn his prediction and make it come true.

What do/did you like best about your mate? (A physical attribute, his/her being, his/her laughter, his/her smile, his/her mind.) What term of endearment do/did you call your mate?

Terms of endearment from the beginning went something like this from Michael to me, "You are a piece of shit. Shut the fuck up you whor." When he drank, which was every day for the entire duration of our marriage, his terms of endearment rarely every changed in sintax. He drank at least one or two six packs of beer on a daily basis and three or four times a week it would be an additional couple bottles of hard liquor. Not to demean his loving image or nothing like that, that is the way he drank during our marriage. And when he could he would add unknown pills and other substances. I did not babysit his alcohol and drug addictions. I did try to watch out for my personal safety however, because Michael's habits were beyond my comprehension. I married an ADDICT and did not realize the full scope of the addictive personality, so I learned the hard way, boots to the ground experience of the addictive personality. His mother was an alcoholic and his father was an alcoholic and his little brother was an alcoholic, so he knew exactly what the problem was. I was the ignorant person in this marriage.

That is what I did not like. The swearing at me and my daughter and the waste of money on cigarettes and liquor and pills and drugs. I really hated the addictive behavior. Yet, Michael had endearing qualities at times.

He had qualities that I had never seen in any man before. He was 25 when I married him, although I was 41 at the time, looking much younger than my age, and I was nearing the point if I did not find someone to marry, well I was going to wind up an old maid. Michael had this determination and persistance that captivated me from the begining. He had southern boy charm. The swearing at me did not come until much later so he hid that part of his psy makeup real well. It was his love of older women and his persistance and determination that became the magnet for our attraction.

Michael had another great charm: His undenial and generous sense of humor. He was amusing in both spirit, words and intellect. He was also extraordinarily creative and romantic. He often treated me to dinners, although he would over drink simultaneously, which was a bummer. He often bought me flowers and never missed a birthday, or a holiday, or even Mothers Day, or Christmas. I recall one time a few years after we were married, he bought me a fabulously expensive ring with diamond bagquettes, rubies and emeralds...he put the down payment on it and I spent the next two years paying for it myself. Which was odd because he had money of his own. But that was the way he was with me, so this part of his personality was not impressive. If a man is going to buy something for the woman he is married to, he needs to buy, and pay for it himself, otherwise it is not a gift, It was a debt I did not wish for.

The private parts of our being together were great because Michael loved to mate. That is the polite method of explaining we made love every day and frequently because he loved sex. Since I was married to him, I made a point of also enjoying making love. If I had not of been married to him I probably would not have bothered.

The magical attraction for me to Michael was his desire to be married to me. From the first he said he fell in love with me, "the woman with the puffie hair-do and the glitter beneath the curls." After his first view of my I guess his desire and intensity continued to build. He proposed a few weeks after he met me and continued to ask me to marry him regardless of the time we knew each other. We got together one time.

Then a day or so after was New Years Midnight of 1985 and he suddenly up and disappeared. The day of New Years he was gone. I asked one of the Pit Bosses where we worked, "what happened to Michael?" He told me Michael flew to South Carolina. His mother had died of alcohol poisoning at midnight. He did not inform me and so I was left with a void of disappointment, not knowing if he would return or not. I thought, "Bam, there goes another one."

I sat it out for a short week, with no communication. Then one night soon after, I walked in to do the nightly show, and I hear this voice, "Right here, come on down, lay your money on the table....blah blah." It was Micheals booming base voice. His voice was another interesting feature. He had an extremely loud booming voice that rolled across the tables, and through the slots, and over the pit bosses and the cage runners, and his was the only voice on the floor that was ridiculously prominent.

Later at the bar, I caught up with Micheal. He then apologized for leaving and not letting me know and explained that his Mother had passed away on midnight of New Years, dying of acute alcohol poisoning. He said he was going to inherit alot of money and he still wanted to marry me. So this . I accepted his proposal. By January 25th we were married.

The day after our wedding day, when I walked into the casino, the French Pit Boss who had told me where Micheal had gone and why saw me sporting the black eye from my brawl with Michael. He asked me what happened and I told him I ran into a door. He laughed and grinned, "Well, you were not supposed to marry the kid!" It was at that moment the light went on in my head, "Well who was I supposed to marry?" Michael is the only man in my entire life that, number one, pursued me, chased after me, and two wanted to marry me and did. No one else ever expressed the desire to marry me. Never. Not Charlie Kent Line, nor Chuck Gulo. So, for better or worse Michael and I were going to figure this relationship out.

What were the hardest times of your relationship? Was there ever a time that you thought it might really be over?

The hardest times of our relationship were always over the alcohol and the ranting. This was destructive and it was unpleasant. There were times when I could not listen, nor watch, and I did not want to be around him any longer because the addiction controlled his behavior and effected my outlook on my life. I did not smoke, I did not drink, and I did not do drugs. So I really hated that I gave in and married a man who did all three of these. Sex for me was not a problem. I enjoyed our sexual relationship, except when he was too drunk to engage in it properly. Meaning drunk men are pigs. Meaning drunk men are sloppy. And drunk men cannot have proper erectile functioning, they either cannot get it up, or they cannot get it off. That is annoying. All of these addictions made for a rocky road. Also this meant Michael had a wandering eye for substances to feed his neural needs and his addictions. That became the constant problem and I learned I had to be on constant guard.

Who were the biggest crushes in your life? Name your other heartthrobs through the years.

The most romantic crush I ever had in my middle school years and early high school years was on a young fellow named Ronnie Ryan. I recall the feelings he generated in my mind, which connected to my emotions. He always looked at me so sweetly. So he and I did this thing. It was unique to both of us.

We developed a linguistic code, complete with numerical sequencing that had a code breaker list. We sent each other secret messages back and forth throughout school using this technique. It was so romantic.

Ronnie was like my escape from the doldrums of the farm life. He was my first big intellectual love relationship. So write more to me Ronnie.

I saw him during a High School Reunion years later. He continued to look at me the same, although he was now older and his hair had thinned and he was married. Ugh. My first love and he did not even bother remembering or returning to me.

After him there was Bobby Waterman, a year younger than me. He had the bluest eyes of anyone in the world and the most adorable smile, that came with dimples. But he was from a wealthy family, and me...I must have looked like some fuckable immigrant to those two, since I was from the Azores.

By my Senior year in EUHS I was smiling at Jimmy Schelling and we were connected in some odd romantic way. But it never really came to pass. After all, what does it really mean when you are a kid in High School. Jimmy and I were romantically linked throughout High School. We went to the Senior Prom together and then tursted in the vineyard in his car and he dropped me off with wreckless abandon and I never saw him again.

Although I guess I must have been the sexual fantasy of many unknowns. They just never became more than fantasy, including little Chip Dungan.

In College Of Sequoias the most significant thing that happened was a link up with Joe Finney when he became Charity King and I became Charity Queen. We both sold the most tickets for a particular charity function in order to raise money. That was fun and we were both successful. But this was not a romance as such. It was a duel operation whereby we both worked toward a goal, sold alot of tickets and won our prize of King and Queen respectively. So a Queen I was made, of something involving lots of money for a worthy cause.

Romance was just not my thing. Sexuality, that I did not have was more of an interest. So I spent alot of these days maintaining the virginity I sequestered and continued counting up my fantasies.

One such person was a tall black man from Africa. He used to carry a bag of grapes in his hand just to pop one grape at a time in his mouth to keep his tongue down so he could prounouce my name correctly. It was really clever. He always looked for me and approached me to conversate. I do not recall his name, however I do recall his behavior at the time. We never dated nor were romantic, however he simply was looking for me to have a conversation. We were on friendly terms.

Then there was Bob Torkleson, the lap swimmer. He was a darling young man with beautiful sleek body of a swimmer. He was always friendly with me as well. Then he unfortunately died I recall in a car accident. I was very sad about this.

Before he passed away he introduced me to one of my first dating romances, Donnie Davis of Visalia, California. Donnie was also a swimmer, and he owned a real cool Austin Healey Auto. That was our dating car. Donnie liked me alot, although I was not that willing to committ. I was still trying to figure out who and what I was about. I had not reached my 21st year of life yet and so I was floating around with all these Visalia Guys. I was becoming a discovered beautiful farmers daughter and all those boys were wacking off in my direction.

It was towards the end of my years at College Of Sequoias and I was engaged in the work community of Sequoia National Park System. I loved working up in the Park and it was a way for me to get away from the farm, earn a little money and meet what I considered ever more cosmopolitan guys than the Valley Guys.

So one summer I met Merrill Collette. He claimed he was from Puerto Rico and he worked for the Forest Service. He kept me entertained for quite sometime with his generous invitations to spend the night with him. I did on many a summers night, while Merrill pursued his sole interest in me: chasing pussy. I just kept my legs closed, pushed him away and went to sleep. I am certain it was frustrating for him, however I was not concerned. I did not want to have sex with him. So I did not. We cuddled and wrestled until the end of our relationship. Doing sex was a yukky activity for me so I avoided it at all costs.

That took me to long walks and conversations with David Harris, who later became President of Stanford University and the infamous imprisoned Draft Dodger who married folk singer Joan Baez. So by now he might be in his 70's and out doing good deeds and charity work. We enjoyed lovely talks, and sat watching the sun disappear down the slopes of the vast Sequoia vistas...sinking into the horizon far and away.

Around that time I met Charlie Kent Line up in the Sequoia camps and his companion, tall dark haired Steve. Charlie worked for the forest service as well. He had an intensity at the time that drew me too him, although at the time we kept a distance between us. Yet we were drawn to each other like a moth to the flame.

Charlie and I lived together for one year...we sang in the sunshine, so to speak. We roamed from the Sierra Nevadas, to the Mississippi Army Depot, to Carbondale, Illinois, to Aimes, Iowa, to Cedar City, Utah, to Salt Lake City, Utah, where our time together ended. I survived is about all I did. It was one year of verbal abuse, broken bones, 5 times a day of enduring his sexual appetite, and being beaten every day for the entire year...every day. It also resulted in the miscarriage of our dead fetus child. I went into the relationship as a virgin and came out a year later with brain damage, endless emotional scars, and total confusion about the meaning of life between a man and a woman. It was a very bad year.

But now I was 22 and no longer a virgin.

My Mother and Father took me back in to their ranch home. I then worked at a place called Kandarians
Dress Shop in Tulare. The Mr. took a fancy to me, and I not to him, so I quit. I went back to school at COS, and signed up for the Vista Volunteer Program.

They assigned me to Norh Visalia with a beautiful blue eyed young man named Peter Bender. Who got me involved in whatever they were doing...and I never was clear about what that was. I fell in love or lust with Peter, but it was a one way thing, and the results were more heartache for me. However I met Rita Solinas, and her husband George, Kenneth, Richard Unwin, Lui Campos, and felt the social effects of Viva La Huelga.

After awhile of this emotional dislocation I terminated my floatilla and moved to San Francisco. I found a white apartment on Nob Hill and moved in. I got a job as a tailor in Luwanis Tailoring Shop and made suits and listened to the hilarious Mr. Glenn put his customers on hold because Luwani was double dealing his customers on the suits. I worked with Ju Weng Chu upstairs and he was the best part of the job because he knew how to enjoy his life and make laughter from the worst of circumstances.

I ate bagels in a little shop downstairs and felt fat. I was not making enough money and I was not getting paid fairly so I got a job as a night time dancer on Geary Street. I met pimps, and dancers, and hookers and drug dealers, and addicts and sleezy horny night crawlers. I was dancing in a topless club and I refused to take my top did not matter much because I looked like an underdeveloped teenager.

I wrote a letter to Herb Caen, the now passed away columinist. I explained I thought they should end topless dancing. He published my letter. However he sent someone else in my direction. This someone introduced me to the seamy underbelly of San Francisco nightlife: Margo St. James.

So romance did not get better. It got worse, but was bouncing off the back water of my Fathers abuses, and the worst year of my youth of betting battered by Charlie Line. It took a different turn. I got drugged into the psycho social addicitions of the degenerating human social conditions. I went from innocent, on the outset farm girl, to niave victim of society on the downslide. All within a year or two and all without really knowing what the outcome was, or where I was going, or why it was happening to me.

Margo St. James became one of the best (and worst) people I ever met up until then. She took me on adventures that most women never dream are possible. She befriended me and took me under her wing so to speak. She introduced me to Cannibus. It was the only time I ever took a hit. After two puffs I blacked out and that ended my experimenting with cannibus. I never liked it and I did not like blacking out. In fact a couple of puffs made me so high I could not function and the little bit lastest for months.

Me and Margo did some life changes things together, like she formed the psychedelic Raiders and we all entered the night to paint up and redecorate fire hydrants along the North Beach Streets. To this day some of the designs remain and are duplicated as a City Beautification Project. That was her definition of our efforts, although we all did get picked up and me and her were placed in jail for an overnight stay, but the next moring we were released surrounded by a plethora of photographers from the TV stations. Margo spoke to them and I suppose, since I stood nearby my image appeared on TV as well. I recall being very embarrassed. An arrest was not a prideful thing for me to achieve and I was ashamed of being arrested and not in the information loop of the entire event Margo had staged.

It was only afterwards that I got the full impact. Margo was a local and infamous activist for womens rights, usually in the nature of sexuality. I believe she forgot to hand me her manual for the information update.

I loved Margot at the time. She was inspirational, innovative, and creative. One time she dressed up like a nun and we went to see the indie porn flicks at the theatre in North Beach. She got picked up in a limo and Paul Krassner was with her, and me. They caused a flurry of excitment for each other with some unforseen behaviors while sitting in the theatre seats. I was embarrassed. I never knew anyone to act the way they did in public, so most of the time I sat observing in shock and awe at their public displays of bravado. Other people would call it indecent exposures.

I still have some filmy items that I sewed out of gossamer fabrics I found in Margots green plant solarium. I got really designer creative with a remants of cannibus highs or contact highs around her Sprouel Mansion home. She was lucky that someone gave her that historical building to live in. She had it decorated in a decadent style that reminded me of a rebuilt post war attempt at revolution survival.

The best thing Margo St. James did for me, we save my waning life. She tried in every way possbile to help me stay alive. Under the circumstances that was not an easy task. My mind had been desperately blasted by one Easter Sunday Acid Trip on White Lightening. It took years, longer to completely heal. She worked with me right after the trip, when I could barely talk, when I could not read, when all I could do was do the things I remembered doing, one being sew clothes, and the other was DANCE. So I danced and began my career as an Exotic Dancer, because I could feel the music, but could not talk sensibly. I could dance and I could sew. I did. And very well. Dancing is what saved my real life.

Because of the daily beatings I had to survive from Charles Kent Line my belief in men as kind and gentle persons was greatly diminished. I had recieved severe untended concussions from his blows and my emotions were rendered a curve ball. Essentially I had lost the dream man, one life and a virgin marriage and a lovely life married to one man that loved me. It was gone, gone, gone. I being the only human that could repair myself. I became my DOCTOR of self. I had to mend my body, mind and soul. That was my focus and my goal, although I was uncertain how to accomplish this task. So I let go and let God lead me, sort of.

Margo helped somewhat, but since I was unable to articulate my experience with Charles Kent Line, I moved according to what felt good to me and what seemed safe, although social safety was a real issue. I had never been safe around animals, I lived in fear of my Father, and people thus far had brought only terrifying experiences into my life space. I was seriously shattered. I bepopped in and out of the House Of Margot at Sprouel Mansion like a gossamer butterfuly, beautiful, however unable to stay still or light in one place.

Margot made homemade yogurt that she mixed with various items, such as sunflower seeds, honey and sometimes a raisin or two. It was delicious. Out back beyond the kitchen was a sunporch and an outside garden of miniature making. She placed sunning chairs there and because the garden was completely surrounded by buildings, she would lay naked in the open air and sometimes she invited me to suntan naked. Running around naked was not my fortee, however I did sun bathe a few times, with my eyes scanning the overhanging buildings for voyeurs. Her house was interesting and I loved being in it.

She decorated everything in whimsy, color, and with personal passion. Her bed for instance was round, and about two feet off the floor. It did not revolve, but was covered with an orange and hot pink coverlet. Next to Margo's flaming bed was a fireplace that she occassionally lite up. Next to that was a couple of cozy style rocking chairs and a sofa against the opposing wall. I recall sitting on that sofa and not saying a word while others in the room carried on conversations ignoring me and talking as though I was not a complete and whole person. When the tension became uncomfortable I would up and leave the room. Sometimes I would just go back to my own white apartment on Russian Hill. I would be very lonely then and I did not like that. At night I would go to my dancing job.

Life for me in San Francisco was not good. I lost my dancing job after awhile. Then I had to scrub for money. Eventually i gave up living there. I did not like the mental environment and felt out of place, unloved, and had nothing to do that I enjoyed doing. After the toke or two of cannibus, the acid trip, and one hit of hash-hish...and actually saw a hollogramic vision of Jesus in front of me that was 12 high, I stopped all incoming oral additives other than food.

I did meet some interesting folks, like a North Beach Artist named Larry Devers, a Transvesite named Sandy, Hugh O'Brian crossed my path, Paul Krassner, and a few others that I do not remember. Some were around the Haight Asbury Complex, and then there was Marc Wilde Ballet Company. I designed costumes for his Ballet Performance entitled Colors. There is one poster of this in existance, i found it on EBay 50 years later. I was told that Marc Wilde passed on years back. I did a dance on top of a car for the Jeff, a teacher of art at San Francisco University for a HAPPENING. I dressed in a red leotard, and Jeff provided a red car, the wild music of Jeffereson Airplane and two or three cans of strawberry jam. The cans were open and during the music it was my live performance experience to smear the strawberry jam all over the top and hood of the car, uh, without falling off, and I had to do this without falling off and injuring myself. I did this for 50 dollars and no insurance or hazard pay. I was excited about the event and at the time believed it was some kind of kick-off for my career, as God only knew what. It was an entertainment stunt and drew crowds of young hippie music lovers and sensationalists. Right after my performance washed off and covered up and jetted home, truely embarrassed by the HAPPENING because it seemed so pointless.

It was similar to the event when San Francisco had a yachting celebration and Margo had been invited to traverse the bay on a yacht, owned by God Knows Who and invited all of her friends, which included me to play for a day out on the boat. I do not remember much about the loading at the dock, but I do vividly remember being out in the middle of bay with the water slapping the sides of the huge yacht, the sails flapping in the winds, the delicious salt air breathed up my nostrils, and the general excitment. The water looked inviting so I removed all my bathing gear and stepped up to the rail and over the rail I went on a perfectly beautiful curved naked dive from the yacht. The water was wonderful and lapping everywhere, not a rough sea, but a happy semi warm feeling. Some of the people on the boat began to scream "get her out of the water!" I do not know why. I did not see any sharks nor menacing objects nearby, but because they were screaming so excitedly I swam back to the yacht and they dropped a ladder and I climbed back aboard. I guess in my mind it was the highlight adventure of the day. Not that it made the news, but all of Margo's group were talking and whispering about it.

Now that I think back through the years, I have had a tendency to take great risks without due consideration of the effects. Entertainment risks being the most prevalent and less risky. They were more publicity stunts than real acts of danger. I can recall many others. And from time to time mention them.

I recall Ivan The Pimp from the topless club. He was skinny as a rail, always had immaculately tailored dress suits in pale colors with complimentary shirts and silk ascots. His signature item however, was a steletto cane. He allowed me to handle his cane one time, twist off the handle and pull out the hidden two foot long dangerous dagger. He always came in to watch me dance and always wore dark glasses, sat until closing time and left after I went home. He was always kind to me, tipped me sometimes, never bought me a drink, nor did he ever invite me to any parties nor to do his bidding of my body. His behavior was always a curiosity to me. After I quit dancing there I never ever saw Ivan again. I imagine people like him do not have long, nor caring lives. Although my life was a waste at that time, I could not help but consider his life was wasted as well.

I gave up on the idea that San Francisco was a good life for me, so since I did have a car, I drove to my parents ranch, dropped off all my belongings and moved to Los Angeles to Wilcox Street and lived in a social house run by a skinny man with dark hair named Nick. He offered me a real cheap room that was narrow and had a cot. Upstairs lived an amateur photographer. I made a friend named Peter Grigsby. Right away crazy stuff starting happening to me all over again. One look at me and trouble came bouncing. This time I found myself, not dancing but thinking I was a good nude model. Not really but it was easy money and a fluid schedule and at times fun, if you enjoy sexuality or being nude. I did not mentally connect it with any underworld activity, but I guess that is all it was.

People did not randomly appear, however I met a fellow somewhere who wanted to make a movie. He was a skinny guy with a brown shaggy beard. He took me to where the movie was going to be filmed. It was a little fancy cottage attached to a motel setting. Inside the cottage was a huge brass posted king bed covered by a film of white shimmiery sheets. I felt scared and repulsed just looking at it. Then the shaggy bearded dude asked it I mind being tied to the bed? I told him I did not want to be tied to the bed. He said I had to be tied to the bed for the film. I agreed to try out the tying to the bed. So the dude, tied my hands and feet to the headboard and the bottom bedboards. I was stretched out like a naked cracker on a cooking sheet. My legs were wacked open and my altogethers were showing in full view. He licked his lips and I screamed untie me! I felt violated by an unknown drama forming somewhere and unscripted, other than in this shaggy bearded dudes imagination. I did not like being subdued and immobilized for any purpose. I demanded release. The scranny dude smirked, but he did untie me. He did let me go unharmed, although I had to made my own way back to my living quarters. He may have given me a few bucks for my trouble, after all my rent was due. But I was done with the movies and the dishonesty. I did not need anymore forced drama in my life. Yet it kept on coming.

Peter Grigsby would knock, take advantage of me and explain how tough life was and that he was trying to get into the acting profession, so he needed to stay somewhere, and he would remain a day or two, take advantage of me and be off again for days and weeks at a time. Although I did like him, I did feel like being in a relationship with an unstable man.

Following this introduction to the Los Angeles porn industry came an actual film shoot with real film stars and models. I was paid a few bucks and felt a real sense of being directed in order to produce a product, without love, or emotion or connection. It was just pose here and there. Do this and do that. Here is your money, now go home honey. Years and years later when I was in a serious relationship with Charles Gulovitch, who loved the girly magazines, He purchased a magazine up in Canada. I found it among his stacks of magazines, and in the foreign skin mag was a picture of me and Von Meter, and a girl. I recognized myself, yes indeed. I was mostly dressed and posed. It was not a bad recall. And at the time I was 23 years old when the pictures were posed. For a novice skin shoot it was rather interesting and somewhat pleasant, but not what I wanted to do with my life. After seeing the photo work of someone else and looking at me, I wondered, who was that girl? What was happening in my life?

But it all was about trying to recover from a tremendous loss of beliefs and interaction with a social system that had rejected me, and a man that had nearly killed me.

What song do you consider the most romantic?

In the mid 1960's as Jefferson Airplane became prominent in the San Francisco area and Janice Joplin sang, "The While Rabbit", I wandered around in a psychedelic haze, stoned off of ACID and a little POT and some potent HASH. I did not need much to be off and running. There was a song however that turned my emotions on to another beautiful wonderous world of LOVE FEELINGS. It was sung by the Jefferson Airplane group and was entitled TODAY. And they also wrote TOMMORROW. Today, was my favorite all time song. It moved my feelings like no other song.


Everybody has bad habits -- what drives you craziest about your mate?

Yes indeed, we all have a bad habit or two hidden or in full view of society. I think what makes my irritated with bad habits is more of a social problem than a personal problem found within one indivdiual, mate or not. Each one of my three serious relationships with men had the exact same bad habits. I have found these same bad habits in myself and I see the habits as causing major social problems in society as well. They are obvious and well known bad problems: sexual dysfunctions, alcohol drinking, drug addictions, cigarette smoking and food disorders. I am also going to add "people who do not work" so this translate to money problems.

Up until I was 21, the only bad habit I had in all its symptoms, was a love of sex and orgasums. I later discovered that this was not a habit I owned, and that every person in the world has a love of sex and orgasums. The end result is the way we manage our desire and our sexual practices. Some of us abstain in order to control it. Some of us limit our access. Some of us limit our use of sexual activities. Some of us place no personal restrictions and just "do it whenever and however." Some of us find a loving partner, get married and live happily ever after. That would be ideal if that worked for everyone. But, unfortunately it is not that easy nor simple. I have spent my entire 71 years trying to understand my sexual appetite and conquor my needs in a reasonable healthy manner. I have only slowed down, controlled and still have not got it together yet. I probably never will until death does me part.

Still in conversation with my own bad habits; the following next three problems occured after I was 21 and they are drugs, drinking and cigarettes. Drugs were never as much of a problems for me as they are for other people. I did not like the feelings of any drug in my body, so I tried a few one time or maybe a second time and then I stopped totally. Some of the after effects of those one or two times did stay with me for decades after and for that reason, I have really and truely hated drug use and drug abuse. The drugs I did try were one, cannibus, I did not like it at all because it made me useless and pass out for long periods of time. Acid was the second I tried and the results nearly destroyed my brain and the after effects lasted endlessly and took me years to heal. Hash-Hish was a one time stop and I had halluncinations and it was over with. My opinion is drugs like these are really bad for me. Now some people like to knee jerk society into believeing they work miracles. For perhaps people with asthma or some sleep disorders or certain kinds of pain, cannibus will have positive effects. I can only say for myself, it caused me more harm than it did good. However, hemp seeds and hemp fiber is great for healing depression and for bowl movements. So cannibus is not all bad. There are some positive results found for cannibus. Acid is a way too powerful psychotropic to be randomly released on the public. Other drugs I will never touch. No drugs for me for 48 years.

The alcohol consumption I entertained was about as destructive as the drugs. However it usually clamoured in my blood stream for a sleep off and was gone leaving just a headache. I did not like this either. I did find myself holed up in a closet one or twice with a bottle of Baileys Irish Creme and or a bottle of Emmetts Irish Cream. That is when I realized I really had a drinking addiction and had to quit. But there was this wine called was delicious and for awhile after the breakups with the second man in my life, Chuckie Gulovitch, well I let that bottle of wine get the better of me. To make matters worse when I was an Exotic Dancer, a few of the Nightclubs made you sell bottles of champagne to the customers and the customers insisted "you have a drink as well." That resulted in a case of withdrawals and the DTs...was I ever suprised to get that! I went through alcohol withdrawals and stopped drinking.

I quit the night club in Las Vegas where that happened, The Tigers Eye and found the Crazy Horse Saloon, and the Tender Trap. Neither of those made me drink to earn a living. We danced and we served drinks and we had a choice to have just a soda. That worked for me. I made myself stay off alcohol until the night I married Michael Hunter McCarthy and we celebrated with the fatefull bottle of champange and he knocked me over the television and into the plate glass window. That has been the last drank I ever had.
No drinking for me for 30 years! Yes stone cold sober.

Cigarettes were a harder vice to conquor. Charlie Kent Line had me smoking, during and after our breakup. It was a nervous need disorder. After about a year, back in 1966 I managed to stop. I stayed stopped until after I broke up with Chuckie Gulovitch, and that struggle lasted for about a year. Then I married Michael Hunter McCarthy and after 6 years of marriage, when we broke up...bam I picked up the nasty habit for one more year. Quitting was the hardest habit of all. Cigarettes grab your neural need system and that nicotine and all those toxic poisons make you believe that cigarettes are your life force and we can not live without them. Unfortunately I was hard core as a smoker. I smoked three packs of Marlboro Reds per day, in the chain smokers style, one after the other. Then I got the sickening cough. Then I switched to Cambridge lights and would cough and pass out...that is when I stopped smoking. I had to stop, or die. It took me two of the roughest weeks of my life, but I stopped. I have been cigarette free for 24 years.

Now lets discuss my mates. Charles Kent Line was always drinking beer. I lived with him for one year and a few months. He drank everyday. Moving on, Chuck Gulovitch drank beer everyday, but he was a peaceful drinker and never violent with me. Moving on, Michael Hunter McCarthy was a chronic addict. He used drugs, chain smoked, and was an over the edge alcoholic. Every day it was a six pack of beer and then in the afternoon it was the hard stuff, day in and day out. His substance abuse was horrific. His liver was totally shot and he would drink and get the alcoholic runs. He was in and out of several rehab centers and never ever got control of any of his addictions. Basically for an intelligent son of a Two Doctors, and for have the greatest sense of humor of anyone i have ever known, he could not gain mastery of his own addictions, which took his life in the end. In 2006 in June, 5 days after he graduated from Fresno State University he overdosed on narcotic pills while laying beside his girlfriend Dodie, and died.

Society needs to address these addicitions. They are permanent and traumatic. The problem is that the underworld of society benefits from the acceptance and sale of each one of these items and we the public stupidly believe that because they are legal and put in front of us to purchase and use, that they are safe for our health and longevity. Naught. They are not safe for our health. The only persons who benefit are the persons who collect the sales taxes on these products and the persons who sell the products. Society has been brain washed to believe that addictive products will not harm us, while we wind up in serious accidents because of them, with life time health consequences and spent financial resources. They are a bad investment for the public, yet people desire to get high, or euphoric and feel released. Over the long run, the products do not give that type of satisfaction, but we usually wind up dead before we realize this is the only conclusion we purchased.

Every individual develops their own unique set of imbibery habits. How people drink and what they drink depends entirely on their own particular physical and mental biology or physiological composition. the following is a discussion of my knowledge of each individual relationships and their connection with alcoholic beverages.

My first important relationship was with Charles Kent Line. If he is still living, and that I do not know, he would be 70 or 71 years old. He would still have psychotic bright blue eyes and gray blond hair and be about 5' 10" tall. The rest of this condition I have no idea, as I lost complete contact with him back in the mid 1960's.

Charles drank everyday on a regular basis. The more he drank, the more violent he became. The more viiolent he became, the more he had to pound on me physically and sexually. (I will expound more specifically later.)

My second extremely important relationship was with Charles Edward Gulovitch. He was a mountain man from Serbo-Croatia. I loved him dearly and still do, although we have not seen each other since about mid 1980's. Chuck.the last I saw him was outside a Motel 8 on Tropicana Avenue performing Motel gardening duties while working for his friend and business partner "Tom". We hugged and Chuckie said to tell my daughter, "he loved her." The odd thing about this which never helped my feelings, was that he never ever said he loved me; just her. We lived together for approximately 7 or 8 years. He never married me, yet he dumped me for the bigger better deal and married some chick he met at the Car Wash where he worked at the time. Life goes on.

The issue here is drinking alcohol. Did Chuck drink when we lived together. Oh Yes! Every day it was at least a six pack of Bud or Heiniken light. He loved that stuff. In the morning he ate one quart of yogurt with a banana or two. Mid day it was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and for dinner, meat with potatoes and veggies and that ever necessary 6 pack of beer. Then he loved to party with his friends as often as he could on his days off. That was another beer day. Chuck was the mastermind of weekend day off gatherings at some bar and they did have favorites, in particular the ones with the sports televised circuits. A big entertainment device in Las Vegas. This stuff was so boring to me, but because it was the only way I could spend anytime with "my boyfriend" I would tag along, be bored and be irritated because I did not drink. I did not like beer. Eventually this gave way to the guys inviting girls that drank, which excluded me because drinkers always act like and think they are better than non-drinkers and put the make on the guys. Drunk girls do not care about whose guys they sprawl on, so eventually I felt left out.

Except for Freddy when he was alive. Freddy was a young New Yorker with a strong accent and an aspiring comedian. He held up great strings of comedy and apparently felt my angst among the drinking group, so he spent time focused on entertaining me and trying to make me feel good. Maybe three years after these strong bar drinking, sports watching gatherings Freddy passed away. I still have a picture of Freddy playing Racquetball with Chuck.

That was a sport that Chuck loved. Raquetball. In order for me to spend time with Chuck I used to take up raquetball and play a strong game myself. Chuck was great. His size made him nearly impossible to beat. Chuck was 6' 5" of lean mean muscle and tan, with the over developed legs of a bastketball player that he had been at Sacramento State University. He kept his long blond hair, never ever cutting it. His hair flowed out from his shoulders about 6 or 7 inches past his biceps. His eyes were, again, bright blue and loving.

This blurp however, goes to explain that although a man may drink alot, he can still stay healthy and atheletic...and that Chuck was. He got me into another sport that I never ever did: Mountain climbing and hiking. During the summer months we would climb Mount Charleston. It was about 10,000 feet in elevation. It of course was a group experience and he always had eager members of his entourage that hiked with him. And if I wanted to spend time with Chuck, I had to assemble my sleeping bag and get the hiking gear and off we all would go. This often included my daughter who really hated hiking. But she was a good kid at the time and often invited her own little buddies. We fixed up the picnic items and Chuck packed up his beers.

The man always had to have his beers. When we peaked to Mount Charleston the hike was worth the carriage weight of beers. When we stormed up the glacier valleys in the middle of winter to camp out in the snow filled glacier valleys, with me and his buddies, well they had to pack in their beers.

Beers were an essential daily beverage. Chuck was a pleasant cordial drinker. He never got sick. He never got mean. He never ever got violent on beer. He never ever struck me. He was a wonderful lover. I did all I could to make him happy. In the end, however, after he met his bigger better deal, he left me and married her. Even though he and I had lived together 7 years or more.

I loved him dearly. My daughter lost her only Dad. And I felt like I lost a cadillac without an engine.

About 4 years after Chuck, along came the youthful spirited South Carolina man, Michael Hunter McCarthy.
We married in January of 1985, and stayed together until February of 1992. Then we divorced, actually ran as fast as we could away from each other, with memories galore.

Mike was my worst nightmare when it came to substance abuse. He was a chronic alcoholic, drug user, and cigarette smoker...uh, he enjoyed sex as well, but then so did I, so we got along well in bed, and so did all the rest of his lovers that I had to deal with. Yuk!

Mike introduced me to the truely terrible details of alcohol and drug addictions. I just was not a drinker, a drug user, nor a cigarette smoker. I just liked sex more than most people and thank God I had some remarkable partners who lived with me in marriage or as steady mates. Mikes addictions were horrific in nature and I was shocked when I realized how deeply ingrained his addiction habits were.

Like the Dumb Burnette I was, I over looked the drinking, just because each other man I had been with Charlie, and Chuck were always drinking as well. They were light weights compared to my husband.

We lived together after we were married in Las Vegas, Nevada and worked at the Royal Las Vegas Casino. After our marriage Micheal inherited a grip of money from his mother who had died of extreme alcohol poisioning a couple of days after the first night we ever spent together. I woke up one morning and he was gone. The pit boss told me he had flown to South Carolina because his mother has died. I figured I lost another man. I figured I would never see him again. Apparently she was also a bad alcoholic and died on New Years Night of extreme alcohol poisoning at midnight. I guess she was depressed, because her Dr. husband had married his head nurse. And for her life was over in a way.

Mike was gone off to Spartenburg, South Carolina. I was sitting in the Royal Las Vegas Casino counting my chips at the bar and in walks Michael, a few days after he had flown away. He explained the story of his mother. I felt very sorry for him. However he said we could get married because now he was rich. All he had to do was wait for the money.

Of course this was over drinking and his drinking increased and he would come to work drunk and he would propose marriage over and over again. In the beginning I did not believe he meant it because he was always under the influence. This always under the influence lasted for seven or eight straight years. I never ever knew a day that Michael was ever sober. It was illegal meds, or pills, or booze, or beer, or smokes, or cannibus, or some stuff I am sure only Kit knows what all. It never decreased, only got worse and worse. I have never known anyone to be so chronically disordered.

Yet, on the other hand, Mike was the most intelligent poetic and humorous soul I had ever encountered, so the price Mike paid for his genius, was extraordinary addicition, it the end it killed him.

Before Mike left this living earth, he lived a full and well loved life with me. He spent and earned endless amounts of money, he was the doted on son of two Doctors, he achieved a Bachelors Degree, I was told in Engineering, and he and I wrote over 5,000 personal poems, and he became a popular comedian entertainer in the San Joaquin Valley and Fresno, through out business of "Merrily's Singing Telegrams."

He had personality and charisma. But he had a disease so powerful and destructive in nature he could not overcome nor conquer it.

The first time I became aware of its chronic nature was after we honeymooned in Hawaii. He drank all the time we were there. Badly. Sloppily. And then the raging temper storms erupted and he got verbally abusive in torrents of angry loud character stompings upon me. Then it became physical. It was like he wanted to fight with me. Only I did not want to be around. So I snuck out on the first flight and packed up my shit from Las Vegas, and gathered my daughter and told her we were moving to my folks ranch out in Exeter. She insisted on remaining in Las Vegas with her friends. So I drove off.

Mike joined me some days afteward. We were allowed to stay in my Grandmothers empty trailer. Mike drank. He had money. He drank more and more. He read novels and more novels. He was reading a novel a day. He would sit on the toliet and read entire novels and have the alchoholic runs. For hours this would go on. His liver was failing, His bladder was failing. He was so sick and I did not know what to do for him. So I began my quest to cure my husband of his incurable disease. Michael gave me compassion. He developed my sensitivity towards a persons who had problems and began calling me: DR. MCCARTHY.

I loved Michael. I miss him everyday. When we divorced in 1992 I cried for two years straight everyday. His problems were also mine.

In 1987 we had moved to Fresno and lived in a giant apartment complex, Woodbridge I think or something like that. His problems had not got better as far as the drinking, however we were somehow managing. Until one night he put a particular amount of cocaine underneath his tongue. I was not aware of it. However we were making love, and I was ignorant of the drug, but he removed himself from our bed and went into the bathroom naked. I laid in bed waiting.

Then I heard a porcelain clinking like the ticking of two pieces of china, one against the other. It continued for about a minute and did not stop. I got concerned and went to the door, knocked, called Mike's name, and got no response so I had to push the door open.

Greif flooded my face. Wedged between the toliet and the sink was Micheals jerking body producing tremours and spasums. He had fallen off the toliet between the space by the sink. His shoulders were down two feet and his arms were wrestling and struggling to hold up his sagging body weight. His legs were sprawled completely out from his torso across the floor. I dropped a towel on his nakedness.

White foam was oozing out his mouth. He was gagging on his swollen tongue. And me...I have never had to help someone in the midst of a grand mal epileptic seizure before. I was terrified that he would die before I could get help, because he was choking on his tongue. I ran to the kitchen grabbed a spoon, ran back to the bathroom, tried to prie open his mouth and get the spoon on his tongue. Mike was conscious. He gargled no, and some word that sounded like get help. So I ran out to get on the phone, hit 911 and tried to calmy communicate to the operator. I managed. I ran back to MIke. I ran back to the phone. The dispatch operator informed me that help was on its way.

Sirens wailed. The police arrived. The ambulance came. The troopers stormed up the stairs. They got hold of Mike and got him on the stretcher and began administering their first aid. They wailed off to the Saint Agnes Hospital. They interviewed me and I hopped in the car to follow. I was terrified, but my feelings were nothing compared to the mental shock of seeing my husband, a young man, in the midst of his grand mal epileptic seizure. Did he tell me prior that he was prone to seizures. No.

No one noticed me much at the hospital, so I waited in the waiting room until the Doctor spoke to me. Apparently Mike had overdosed on the cocaine narcotic. It was the real source of the seizure. Apparently his heart kept stopping on the operating table and they had to revive him numerous times. They finally got him stable. However it did take overnight to do so. They were able to get him breathing normally.

I felt obligated to call his Father in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and when he was on the phone, I tried to explain the details of the event. I explained Michael had had a drug induced overdose seizure. I asked his father if this had ever happened before. Mike never told me he had problems with his health like this, ever.

So Dr. McCarthy says to me, "You are not talking about my healthy beautiful son. He is not sick. He does not have seizures. He is well and never sick. He has never ever had a seizure in his life. He is not an alcoholic" ....and on and on he rambled. His dear Daddy Doctor was in complete denial about any problems ever connected with his son. I explained, "Well he is in the hospital and he has died three times on the operating table and he did have a seizure and he is here if you want to call him and talk to him,"

So his Daddy Doctor says to me, "tell Mike to call me when he wakes up."

When Michael did wake up, the Doctor allowed me to see him. I say, "hi how are you feeling?" Mike says, "Who, who are you?" I say, "Merrily." He says, "Who, who, are you my Mother?" I say, "no, I am your wife, Merrily." Mike says, "my wife?" I say, "Yes, Merrily, your wife." He says laughing, "Oh my wife, yes Merrily!"
We made it back that far. But Mike never was the same after that seizure. For three years after I could still see the damage to his brain. I loved him. So I stayed with him to help him. Mike brought me into the realm of addiction and substance troubles and the compassion required to work with addicts.

I have seen the worst of bad habits and addiction caused problems. The only solution I have ever found is "dont do it!"

When you are not in a relationship, are you happy to be alone?

I have not been in a relationship of a serious nature in 24 years. Let me first define how I understand the word relationship. I understand this word to mean a loving and intimate involvement with, in my case, because I am not a lesbian, a man who wants to be in a relationship with a woman. I can say that in 24 years I have not been in a man and woman relationship that was ongoing or intimate.

That being stated, I can honestly say, I am happy to be alone. Of course I have reasons. My reasons are set out forthwith. I do have to say this, I had rather have a loving relationship with a man, the right man for me, but since that is not the case, I have to settle for being alone, for the time being anyway. Maybe someday before I die I will discover that happiness that occurs from bliss, beauty and bounty.

My reasons for being happy alone however are quite a few. The first and foremost is the sexual expectation we are dutibound to fulfill if we are with a man, or a mate, or married to a man. I love having sex with a man. There are things however, that men do not consider. They are usually heavier and bigger than me, because well, I love big men. Even if they are not heavier, nor bigger, by comparison, they are still by size between me and them, bigger and heavier than me.

Generally this feels good for a woman. I love being underneath a man, yet I also love being on the top, or the side, or anywhere that feels good. The point is however if a man is squashing your body it is not comfortable. It is unpleasant to downright painful at times. Men are not aware of this as a romantic factor when they are with a woman. Women are supposed to adapt and be manhandled or accept the responsiblity of pain as pleasure and learn to endure and tolerate whatever the man does with her body in bed.

I see this in a different way. My body is still my body whether or not I am in a giving up to a man mood. I do not want to feel pain, and part of the pleasure is being able to experience the rubbing of his body on my body. That is the reason men or women like to pet cats, pet dogs or go horse back riding, is it not? Men have applied pressure that impacts the female form. They use their bodies more agressively than women do even in the heat of passion. I do not think men understand that woman are more delicate than they are. After all most contact sports are about heavy physical impact and boys automatically play this way just because they are boys or men. Women get used to it.

I do not like my boobs squashed. Yet when a man lays ontop of me, they seem to press onto of the boobies like a spatula creating a pancake. They squash out on me and splat out on his chest...or so I think he thinks. I do not like this.

The grinding and pounding of sexual thrusting is another of my pet peeves. Women get vaginal cancer, cervical cancer and are told by the doctors, "they ate something." I say naught!! Men pound their penis's into the womans vagina and it causes tissue bruises and damage over the years and years of impact. Tissue damage becomes cancerous. The cervix gets impacted repeatedly during sex, and it as well becomes tissue damaged. It becomes cancerous. Women endure. Doctors lie to protect male sexuality and the non bruising of the fragile male ego system. Men pay the Doctors their fee because the men need someone to fuck and they cannot be spreading around rumors that they are causing their wives to get cancer and in of all places, the vagina.

I am happy I am alone because I do not have to tolerate being poked and propped and rolled over and having my body continually tormented by male hands or male body parts, even if I love sex and the pleasure of an orgasum.

But really, consider the issue at hand. Women have to endure the penis projectile constantly into their bodies, repeatedly over and over during a good portion of their intimate life or married life. It is what women are supposed to do. It is their duty. It is whether they want to or not. Once in awhile is not fun either. It just messes up the body physiology. One day you get it, and for the next two weeks you have to do without. It is easier for me to do without that have my body go through constant up and down manic depressive stimulation.

I do not have to kiss, I do not have to worry about how my body smells or is offensive to a male partner all the time. I do not have to wonder if I am doing it right, or doing it wrong, or if I am pleasing him or not. Yes, I am happy and there are more reasons.


As a woman, do you remember telling your mate that you were pregnant? As a man, what did you think when she told you she was pregnant? Was it a surprise, or a long-planned for event? Do you remember telling your parents?

Realizing I was pregnant was a terrible time in my life. When I got first pregnant and where I got first preganat and the circumstances surrounding my first pregnancy was a horrifying experience. It was during my first year with Charles Kent Line. We were living in Cedar City at the time. And I suppose I was about three months pregnant when I understood why I had missed my period for a couple of months. Then I started getting sick. The morning sickness was really aweful. I was 21 years old and my situation with Charles was all ready ripe with domestic violence, meaning replete with sexual abuse and beatings of the most horrific kind. This was all occuring the late winter months of December, 1965, and the early months of 1966.

Charlie and I were both born in March. Only I was a 13th birthday and he was a week or so later, but in March. When we met I was 21 and he was 20. By March I turned 22 and he was 21 a week or so later. Not that it mattered when it came to sex or pregnancies. He was way more worldly than I ever was about "the ways of sex."

When I did realize I was pregnant, we were only living together. We were living in the Mormon Conclave of Cedar City, Utah. Living together was a sin in my family, and in Cedar City it also was not accepted. So we were always having to hang our heads to avoid meeting other people we knew had other ideas about morality and self responsible behavior. Charles and I wanted to be together and so we were. We had not factored in having a baby, just having way too much sex! I was submissive and he was violently aggressive. And I do mean violent.

I knew where calves came out of cows...however it was an extreme culture shock to realize that I had to grow a baby inside of my body in order to bring it into the world through a space the size of a quarter between my legs. I felt extraordinary pleasure from sex, but I could not wrap my mind around the human in my stomach and it dropping out of my body. It was not a good thing for me.

Charles sent me to the drug store to get a pregnancy tests and I bought one, took it home, and tested myself. I was indeed bearing the seed of a child. Sex and pregnancy was a totally foreign experience for I had no knowledge of either. I was raised around plenty of animals and I saw plenty of bulls impregnant cows, and saw plenty of calves being born, but never did I relate the animal activity to people. My Mother and Father never kissed, nor hugged in front of us. They always wore clothes and at bed time they stayed covered and slept.

One time in high school toward the end of my senior year, after I turned 18, my Father pulled out the diagram of a cow and called me and my Brother to the kitchen table for a meeting. He rolled out a medical poster of a bull and a cow and showed it to us. I have to say he was embarrassed. He pointed to the male appendages and pointed to the female penetration areas of the cow and read a few words off the poster that explained the manner in which the bull impregnates a cow. I wonder where he thought I had been all the times that he led the bull to the cow in the holding pens and I had stood and watched, the bull with a yard long penis, smell the back side of a cow, blow out through his nose and then jump up on the back off the cow and throughly bury that long shiny pink penis into her backside where she pooped. I had watched this happen so many times. I knew and understood how a cow got pregnant. Just not humans.

I did not relate the cow and the bull experience in real life to humans in real life, so his poster was about 13 years to late. It required all of five minutes for us to look and say, "yeah, we know." And that was it. My Mother and Father never did anything like that. And we were not privey to people information because we got the picture. We never had people magazines around that we in any way suggestive of human sexual behavior, so whereby we knew volumes about animal sexual activity, our people knowledge did not rise up. We were not permitted to think about it. I was not allowed to date and not allowed to kiss a boy. I was a virgin at the time of that chart of the bull and the cow.

So for me to go from the farm animal breeding experience to human sex was a real traumatic occurance. The reality of it was, "I was supposed to do what the man wanted me to do". That was my understanding of the rites of passage of living with a person of the opposite sex. I had spent all my childhood being acused and whipped and I had been prepped by my own Father to be abused by a man. It was the way it was and the conditions a woman had to tolerate or live with whether I was pregnant or not.

In our home we had no pornography, so sexual activities between a man and a woman were out of sight and out of mind. My Mother never told me about sex, nor did she talk about sex with me, or as far as I knew, My Brother. I know I was in the dark. Charlies first assault on my body was on the banks of the Mississippi in the dark during a rainstorm by a Negro Shanty Town...that was the beginning of my knowledge of human sexuality. From that experience forward I began to build the pages of my book of information on people and their sex habits.

So when I discovered all the great pleasurable sex, coupled with Charlies beatings had gotten me pregnant, was astounded at the consequences and impending doom of childbirth. If I thought his temper tantrums had been bad up to that point, well they only increased in intensity. He did not stop beating me, nor beating me while he was having sex with me. His level of violence merely escalated. He did not care that I was pregnant or not. He intentionally would sock me in the stomach and put me in weird physcial positions so that it was assured to produce injury to me and whatever was growing inside my stomach.

As a result of his extreme violence, I left and took my beaten body and pregnant self to Nevada, to Las Vegas, and threw myself into the idea I was going to have a baby. I got a motel room and a job at the Mint Casino as a change girl, and went to work everyday, morning sickness and all. As a young girl of 22 who had a high school diploma and a drivers license, I was prime material for working in the casinos, and I was nice looking. (That is where a man named Robert Irwin noticed me. However at the time, I did not notice him...he enters my life again, numbers of years later and by then he is known as the owner of The Gun Store, in Las Vegas, Nevada. But he is another story.)

Charlie found out where I was living and working and he came all the way to Las Vegas to get me. I was still pregnant at the time. He said he loved me and would never hurt me again and blah, blah, blah. Since I was pregnant with a baby, his baby, I took it upon myself to believe he would change and things would safe. Naught.

For a few days our relationship was stable and although we coupled in bed, he halted the beatings. Then he began a new tactic, I had to get rid of the baby. I was only a few months pregnant under the trimester time when abortions were acceptible, just not around normal couples who seriously loved each other and regarded life as sacred. Charlie did not care about all the moral diatribes, and the philosophies of saving the life of the child. He said in no way was he prepared to take care of a child. He said he did not want me to bring a child into this world. He told me I had to get an mind wobbled. No one gets abortions in the state of Utah in a staunch Mormon town. No one. It is not acceptable.

I did not want to do it. Then the threats came and he started hitting me again. I said we could not afford it. And he insisted he knew a way to do it where I would just start having a period and it would pass away naturally. At this point my sanity was in danger. If I left and went home to my parents house in California, my Father would either kill me for being pregnant out of wedlock or he would disown me and throw me out of his house. I did not know what to do. Go with the Charlies wishes or leave and take my chances all on my own. Physcially I was weak and mentally wrecked and in a state of emotional torment unlike any I had ever experienced. I could not resolve the problem on my own and the Mormons I knew would not help me. I had no friends there at all, neither did Charles.

I submitted to Charlies dominance and his solution. All I can say is that it did not work. I bled and after a few more weeks of intense pain, and several more extreme beatings a dead lump of rotten flesh came out, and this was followed by more extreme beatings and then he beat me so badly I could not walk, instead I crawled out of a dinky cement house onto the dirt and sod, across a grove of trees and hollered and hollered at a neighbors fence, until someone finally came and took me to the hospital emergency. There they performed a DNC. I had blood poisoning, and more decayed flesh growing inside of me and was near death. I layed in the operating room while the surgery was performed without a thought in my brain, no direction of anything, just numb. After a few days my brain became aware of a change in my body and I began to physically heal. No one asked me any questions. No one talked to me about anything. I do not even know who paid for this operation. There was a Doctor named Dr. Prescott who attended me, and I vaguely recall his kindly voice asking me if Charles could come to see me and take me home.

I was owned property and I conceded to the worst but only choice I knew at that moment. Charlie picked me up and took me home to our residence and the whole thing began all over again. Only this time I was not pregnant. Whatever it was did not live and this I can say is by the mercy of God. That was the first time I was made pregnant. But not the last.

The second time I got pregnant I stayed pregnant and I had a beautiful healthy baby girl. She was born May 15, 1969. She was born four years after the first pregnancy. Unfortunately for both of us, she was born fatherless, as I was an unwed Mother.

The House You Raised Your Family In

Was the house you raised your family in big enough for all of you? Did your kids share a room?

The house I raised my family in was a humble beginning and has literally diminished in quality ever since. However, my daughter and I began our sojourn together in a small cottage behind a main house of an elderly lady in Exeter, California. Her name was Mrs. Brown and that is the only name I ever called her. She gave us a place to live.

The small rental cottage was directly behind her main house. She claimed to have lived there all her life. She gave me the house to live in for $30 dollars a month. I thought this was affordable since my Welfare Check was only $150 dollars plus food stamps. At the time, back in the fall and winter of 1968 they only allowed us commissary food items. We did not really get food stamps back then. At the time my Welfare Worker, Mrs. Thompson came to visit at least once a month.

Mrs. Thompson was a really decent worker who treated me kindly and offered her sympathy and support through gentle communication. I truely appreciated this woman. Mrs. Thompson was pretty, petite, with a shower of happy freckles across her face. Her bouffaunt hair do reminded me to the Holy Roller ladies who came a knocking frequently at in towns doors. They would always leave the little pamphlets around in hopes that someone would read their good words. Mrs. Thompson was mostly interested in my Welfare, and checked to make sure I had a roof over my head, and food to eat, clothes to wear, and was in otherwise healty shape.

I was really frugal with the Welfare Check money of $150 per month. At that amount I had to be quite clever. Out of the 150 dollars, 30 went to rent, leaving me with 120. 10 dollars went to one house telephone, leaving me with 110. In the Visalia Times Delta I found a Mexican man who was selling his white Corvair for $200. He invited me to come look at it and drive it, so my Father mercifully took me to take a look at the car. It was drivable and so I offered the man $50 a month until I got it paid for. He was amazingly generous and agreed. That arrangement left me with $60 to spend on anything else.

Right away I bought a couple of cans of paint and a paint brush, of course this was after Mrs. Brown had given me permission to paint inside her little cottage. She agreed. I started painting each room. I had this weird notion that my baby would take notice of the bright colors and be somehow influenced in a positive way. The floors were painted like Purple, one wall was bright orange, another wall was yellow, and the kitchen was red and blue and the bathroom bright pink and green...or something like that.

Mrs. Brown looked at it when it was painted in full and her eyes were wider than the moon and she looked at me, without saying a word, turned walking away shaking her old fuzzy grey head. I thought it looked happy, especially when her purple bouganvia was brightly in bloom. For me it was shades of psychedelic. To her it was gawdy and cheap. Oh well. I had to be the one to live it the cottage.

Once a month Mrs. Brown brought me the electric bill for my share. That came to about another $10 and so I had $50 left to spend for gasoline if I needed to drive my car. Extra baby stuff had to come from thrift stores, as well as diapers. I never could afford the throw away diapers, so I bought a package of cloth diapers and made them small size and washed them out every day. I washed each and every diaper for my baby daughter every day. It was mind blowing to do this, since normal families with a Father and a Mother had the disposable type, but I was way too poor to buy those paper ones.

I had began my unknown pregancy at my Fathers ranch in Exeter. I did not know I was pregnant for six months. I did not show. I just kept missing my periods and my stomach felt uncomfortable and then one day my Mother asked me if I was pregnant. I told her I did not know and that was the truth. I did not see how I could be pregnant after all the drugs and acid I had had within the last two years.
The man I last was with was a handsome blond haired fellow who claimed he danced for the San Francisco Ballet company. That was really all I knew about (David)?.

We met on the ocean shore in along the Warehouse Row in Sausalito. Margo St. James had took pity on me because I had no job and no where to live and she had an empty warehouse space she allowed me to live in temporarily. It was huge and contained one small cot that lay against the wall closiest to the city. That is where I slept.

That is where my affair with (David)? rose and fell and I opened my universe to his messenger of love. That is where I became pregnant with my daughter. Other things and events got in the way. When (David)? was not around I wandered down the warf walkway to another warehouse inhabitant named Michael. He was an extraordinarity handsome young man who made the finiest guitars I had ever seen. His guitars were complete works of art. The only other human I ever knew who made inlay wood on surfaces was my Grandfather Ed Storr, of the same quality as Michael. He was beautiful and ever so serious.

And on other days I wandered way off the warf and down the coast to a boat friend of Margo'skeDr. Zhivago...Margo had introduced him to me and I would hang out around his boat with him. We would have occassional sex and he would want to take pictures of my body. I let him a couple of times. But then one time he took a picture of my private area and I got angry. I snatched the picture from him and he chased me to the brow of the boat where he had made a grill out of a ham can. He shoved me and I fell backwards nearly slicing my spinal cord on the metal can. Fortunately I caught myself in the nick of time and got away from Dr. Zhivago but, I decided at that instance I would leave the warehouse, Sausolito and the life I had been living.

Up the coast aways was where Margo was living in a fabulous artsy house with her elder husband. She hooked me up with another one of her friends who had an airplane. He flew me to Visalia airport and from there I called my Father who came to pick me up. Neither of us imagined I was pregnant. Had he known then he probably would not have been so merciful.


What is your favorite candy bar? Where do you usually buy it? Grocery? Drug store? Gas station? Airport?

Truely the candy bar was not my favorite sweet thing. My Father loved to take us to get hamburgers and shakes in town when I was like 2 or three years old. I got an early addiction and craving for one thing above all other sweets, "the chocolate malt." It was a mandatory treat any time we went out for food. It got so that we bought vanilla ice cream home and chocolate malted mix to make our own with Mothers mixmaster. I do not know if all the calories were the neurological impulse factor or what, but Father would hand me over a container of ice cream and malted milk drink...a long straw....and I was cookies, gone! The straw popped into my mouth and the draw from my lips pulled the delicious ice cold malted up into my mouth and I kept swallowing until I felt the sweetness hit my blood stream. Then i was good and could slow down, to the last slurp of liquid at the bottom of the glass or tin.

Drive-Ins were real popular back in the late 1940's. My Father always loved to take us to the drive in theatres at least once a week. It was our fun entertainment and family night out far and away from the maddening mow's of the herd of cows. We all went. Mother and Father sat in the front seat of the old green ford and me and my brother would sit on our feet in the back seat because the nose of the car was always higher in the front. Most of the time I glued my arms to the back seat of the front seat and breathed heavily all through the movie into my Fathers neck. He never complained. He would buy us foods from the snack bar, like popcorn, hot dogs, or hamburgers and of course the chocolated malted for me and cokes for them 7-up was real popular then as well. We watched lots of Broadway musicals this way. And then we watched lots of John Wayne movies and Audrey Murphy movies, and Elvis movies, and Charlie Chaplin movies. Back then we always had funny cartoons to watch before the main 2 features and sometimes between the first and second movies. Back then they were from the Disney Studios, so we saw many Mickey Mouse Cartoons, and Bugs Bunny Cartoons and The Road Runner. These shows were all percursors to the Flintstones, and Southpark and modern cartoons. They did not realize how things in moviedom would develop at that time. They were just entertaining us and we were just living as fast as we could. America was really just discovering itself.

What is your favorite birthday cake? Do you buy it in a store or does some you love bake it? What ice cream do you like? Do you get it at an ice cream parlor or in the freezer section of a store?

My favorite birthday cake was always made by my mother, Glee A. Nunes. She had a silver fluted angel cake pan and she would whip up the angel food cake batter, gentlly scrape it into the angel food cake pan, bake it and when the cake had cooked in the oven for a period of time the top would become golden brown and split like an earthquake across the smooth texture exposing the pure white of the angel wing dough.

Mother then removed the cake pan and turned the little metal arrow shaped holders downward and stood the entire cake and pan upside down until it cooled. When cool she turned the pan over and gently shook the cake out of hiding and onto a pure white plate.

Mother then got a bowl from the cupboard, and measured out a couple of cups of pure white powdered sugar, and squezzed in the juice from one lemon and sometimes she would add a wee bit of soft butter for flavor. This mixuture was stirred together until it formed a white paste, smooth and creamy and pourable. Over the cake it all went, down the sides drenching the golden brown with white lemon frosting, tinted a pale yellow if you saw it in the light just right.

From another cupboard mother fetched candles and she had little flower candle holders that were pink. The candles and the little flowers stuck together went onto the top of the cake.

That was my birthday cake. We saved it for our dinner desert and my mother and my father and my brother would sing me happy birthday and latter during high school days, my grandmother would join in, as she was living with us during those late teenage days.

Mother and me making my birthday cake were and are wonderful childhood memories. I miss my Mother often. I guess you can say she was old fashioned, but I liked to think of her as progressive.

My favorite ice cream was vanilla and still is. Mother had an old ice cream maker and often we would get it out and add the necessary ingredients to churn our own delicious ice cream. I can still taste it now. My favorite was a freshly smooshed peach added to the white milks and creams and the ice cream starter mixes.

My father loved to eat. He loved food and ice cream was another one of his foodie addictions. Ice Cream was one of his favorite foods and when we were in a grocery store he would pull out large or multiple cartons of the delicious flavors. He made sure we always had plenty of everything to eat.

It is Fathers Day nearly and I miss the way he was in so many ways. He provided for us with food especially and shelter and work. That was his message in a bottle to us.

What's your favorite dessert? Can you prepare it yourself?

it is co-incidentail or ironic that the word "German" showed up so much in my life. We are literaly inundated with thoughts and influences by the things around us, and words and things we see on a constant daily basis. That is our life. That is how are self and our futures are formed.

So I was born during the days of the German rise, and the one type of desert that I just loved was "German Chocolate Cake." Now I do not know why it was called German Chocolate Cake, after all it could have been American Chocolate Cake instead, or Mexican Chocolate Cake. But it was not, it was German. What made the cake was milk chocolate flavored cake mix, chocolate frosting, and a special center of custard and coconut and pecans, and the same on the top of the cake. I learned how to make this great cake and I actually won a grand prize championship when I entered it in the Tulare County Fair for our 4H enteries.

I also loved a mixture of coconut, marshmellows, pineapples, pears and sour cream. It is delicious. And that has been reproduced by me often over the years. Especially at Christmas and other holiday dinners.

Where is your favorite beach? How far did you have to drive or bicycle to get there?

The ocean is a magnet for me, and yet drawn to it, I stay away from it. I am afraid of the water, yet I can swim well, and have been to a few beaches in my life. The earlier beaches I inhabited were along the coast of Santa Barbara and Summerland, and Ventura. That is where my Mother grew up and where we frequently visited during childhood visits to my Mothers hometown. When my dog Sandy was alive she and I played together on the Santa Barbara beaches.

The only other beaches I have played at have been along the coast at Venus Beach. And around the Topanga Beaches and the Malibu beaches...and upland around the Sausolito Beaches. I have visited the beaches along Santa Cruz, and Big Sur, and Morro Bay as well. In fact my Mother and Fathers ashes were taken by my Brother to Morro Bay, where he claims he rented a boat and went out a few miles to sprinkle both sets of their ashes in the waters on the outside of Morro Rock. I have a sadness for this, and I suppose it remains with me. I was not allowed nor invited on this finale journey of my parents life. I have no headstone to visit, except Morro Rock. I can choose to sit on the sand and stare at the rock if I want to, and look out onto horizon of vast stretches of water, and be sad and reflect on the life and times of my poor dear parents. I could do this. But I do not.

The other fabulous beach I have visited is Oahu Island in Hawaii, and the Honolulu Beach of Wiakiki. Fact is back in the 1980's I rode on a tameran and played on the bow of the boat as we took a beach tour.

These moments on the water were also relived in Vancouver British Columbia where my then love of my life Chuck Gulo and my young daughter, Genishan drove our Green and White Bubble top Chevrolet Van out onto a ferry boat, and ferried us and many others over to Victoria on Victoria Island and we drove off onto the Island and drove our van down to Nanimo...exciting times. I really loved seeing how other people lived and where they lived. It never ceases to amaze me.

During this same trip we managed to hit Boston and visited the beaches there. They were cold and windy, and the difference in land and sea and environment between the West and the East Coast impacted me powerfully.

Another beach I visited was Fort Walton Beach in Florida and Coco Beach in Florida. The humidity overcame me, and often I felt like I was looking at the origin of a new world. We drove along the Gulf and watched the pale blue waters and turned to look at the large lazy mansions of the wealthy southern folks. The south impressed me again in another way.

When my daughter and I were in Fort Walton Beach I was there because I was a featured burlesque entertainer at a local strip club. The club had an interesting feature where by the back door opened out onto the waters, where a boat was tied up to a small wharf. I guess if a customer got to rowdy, they could feed the customer to the allegators, or if a dancer was not drawing a big enough crowd of lookers, perhaps she got taken on a boat ride also. At the time I did inquire as to the whereabouts of one extremely beautiful girl who had a large full bodied image hung on the club wall. I asked the matron of the club where she was and the answer and the way she said where she was sent shivers up and down my spine for weeks afterwards. The Matron quitely and in a soluemn low tone said softly into the dank air, "Well she is not here no more, she died." I asked for a little more information, "How did she die?" That was not too much to request I thought. A long slow smile crept across her face and she kept her gaze down at her hands...I never heard her answer. She never spoke, instead raised her swollen eyes, glanced at me, turned, walked away. I was glad to leave that club. I could have been next.

Two times in my life I have been out on the Hawaiian Islands. Some folks have never been anywhere. I was fortunate, but I had to do things most women will never do to get out there. I was a feature dancer at a club called the Hubba Hubba in Honolulu. There were two things really cool about the club, one it was a historical night club for exotic entertainment and dated way back prewar days. And two it was on Hotel Street and Tom Selleck filmed his movie for his television series a block away. I was able to watch Tom Selleck and his film crew act out his Magnum P.I. series every day. I entertained in the club for about 2 months, so I was privey to some cool images I took on my own camera. One of them was of Tom Sellicks double and the other was TOM SELLECK himself. He walked right up to me and posed, just for me. It was frigging awesome. I also got great pictures of his famous red car.

After I left the Island I flew back to Las Vegas. I returned again in 1985. This time I had married and this was my honeymoon with Micheal Hunter McCarthy. It was perfect up to a point. My daughter was not with us and I was worried sick about her. Michael took me out shopping, but his method was giving me money and telling me to go buy something while he sat at a bar and got shit-faced drunk. It was here during the next week or so, I realized the young 25 year old man I married was an alcoholic. I did not realize it up until our Hawaiian Honeymoon. The best part of the trip was a romantic luaua out on a beach partition with food, and drinks, and lovely Hawaiian dancing girls. They were trying real hard to make it a wonderful moment for all of us who had paid the purchase price for the entetainment, but I was horribly sad, and Michael stayed horribly drunk. This sadness was played out beneath a full golden moon shining on silvery Wiakiki waves that lapped the feet of the tan rippling bodies of Hula Dancers. it was perfect, but something was missing.

Since I never lived on any of these beaches it has always been a matter of me or us traveling to a beach. In Summerland we literally walked across the road. For the beaches in Venus, we drove a car parked and then walked and also rode our bikes along the paths. In Malibu I walked from our RV park down the cliff to the beach. The same for Topanga. In both these SoCal places the beaches were right across the road where we were living at the time. In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada we drove in our mini van and then took the ferry. Hawaii on both occassion, the time I danced and the time I celebrated on a honeymoon we flew in a jet plane across the ocean. I was terrified. I never expected to live through either of those times.

In fact on my honeymoon my new husband became so verbally abusive that I became afraid of him and afraid I would not live, nor see my daughter again, so I had to run away, hop on an airplane and head back to Las Vegas, Nevada where my child was staying with friends until we came back. It was aweful. I never should have married.

What is your favorite cartoon character or comic strip? Which comics do you remember reading when you were growing up?

My favorite cartoon characters have always been the simplier ones. Like BC, or the Viking cartoon, or the RoadRunner.

What is your favorite perfume or cologne? What fragrance gives you the nicest childhood memories and which one gives you the best adult memories?

What is my favorite perfume? I so have to laugh at this. I lived on a dairy farm. There is not a perfume product that could overcome or over take the fragrance of cow manure and the waff of methane gas from all the cow efulgence that was created in our fields, in our cow corral or drifting across our gardens on an early foggy morning or during the heat of a summer eveninng. Cow manure stunk, cow manure stinks and it gets into everything when you live on a dairy.

We just learned to adapt and we got used to it....every now and then, we have to come up for air and breathe. I spent more time trying to not breathe it and not to breathe too deeply. It stunk so bad.

So I have no nice memory of the cow fragrance. I had to wash the cows behinds and udders on the concrete apron as one of my many childhood jobs. I had a big black hose and it had lots of water pressure behind it, so that was a developmental task. In the mornings and in the nights I would be out on the apron washing the cows behinds and udders of wet goopy cow shit. Mother referred to it as GOOP. I considered by no word, just a smell and an image of the back end of a cow, a wet shishing tail and a white doolop of udder pushed full of milk and four tightly formed bulging teets. Time and time again....morning and night....the smell of cow urine and fecal matter and wet udders and the urine and fecal exit exposed.

Was there a nice smell? Fresh bright red tomatoes from our garden, and green tomatoe leaves...they smelled good when I worked in our garden with my Mother. Baked bread smelled good when I was baking bread in the kitchen on weekends, and I loved the smell of fruit cake during the holiday baking season. Over riding all the other beautious smells was the cow manure...and the methane gas.

Name your favorite books.

Books, I grew up with loving books. I fell in love with reading when I first begain to put words together. I had one book that was my first book. It was called Beautiful Joe, and from that one I went to The Dog of Newfoundland. Then I gravitated to "Call of The Wild". Then to Lassie. From there to The Black Stallion. And then every Black Stallion book written. Then it was all The Box Car Children. Then it was Angelique, and Angelique and the King, these were written by Serganne Golon, a French writer. Her books now cost $120 apiece. I continued with Hawaii, and Gone With The Wind, and gravitated to Science books. I never stopped reading. Today, 2015 I must have a collection of books worth a lot of money...some perhaps several thousand books, locked up in a storage unit, because I am keeping them so I can have a home and a library of my own.

That is my dream.

What is your favorite rock group?

Back in the mid 1960's, I became immersed in the Psychedelic music induced from the Love Children of the Haight Asbury District in San Francisco. I immersed myself in the Flower Children Culture. It was flowing, graceful and full of saying hi to everyone. Or being always. One puff and I was gone for a year. So with a twinkle in my eye off the hi, my ears tuned into the Jefferson Airplane Music, and again I was gone on Today....and the rest of that eras new albums. Janice Joplins "White Rabbit" being another one. I fell in love with Today. It was the most beautiful sound my ears ever heard. With that being said, Jefferson Airplane was clearly the most entrancing music group. The sound, the clothes, the long hair, the change in culture.

The one aspect that always bothered me however was the Free Love Range and the absence of material things and especially, "money". People do not live well without money. At least I could not. So after getting my ears full of the songs of Today and Tommorrow and Yesterday...I jumped down the rabbit hole.

Much later in life I discovered God Smack, and many other heavy metal bands, but my heart always went back to "Today".

What are your all-time favorite movies?

Without a doubt, Moulin Rouge. Spell binding. I have many favorite movies, many for diverse reasons. The Great Gatsby became captivating with visuals and story and the acting of Leonardo Di Caprio. The House Of The Flying Daggers has one of the greatest dance scenes I have ever wittnessed and the end of the movie was historical, with the seemingly endless battle we all know and understand about love and lost love.

What's your favorite beverage?

My favorite beverage is Spatlaz...a white wine, and Baileys Irish Cream or Emmetts Irish Cream. There was a few times in my life, when none was not nearly enought.

Drinks do not necessarily mean alcohol, so I can also say that at times of extreme thirst, Rasberry Sweet Tea is the best thirst quencher.


What do you prefer for breakfast on a weekend as opposed to during the week?

Breakfast foods have always been a contest between preference and being told "you have to eat!" Children grow up under the direction of their parents and are always told to eat, no matter how they feel about morning food.

In the early years eating breakfast was not my priority. However, since I had to eat the saying was usually a bit of bacon, an over easy egg and a piece of toast. On the weekends we could have pancakes and waffles, a sort of breakfast type treat.

The nice thing about my family of Mother, Father, Brother and Me...was, we always had to sit down and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together. It was a family ritual and family routine and a family tradition, all wrapped about sitting down to the table to eat. The conversation usually moved out of our mouths slowly, and sometimes it varied between the weather, the dairy animals, or sometimes we would remember funny stories from our daily activities. Often enough, my Father and I would find something to laugh about, until the laughter turned into sulleness and then he would get mad at me and raise his voice to a loud, "eat your food." That is when I realized the fun was over.

I loved to cook fresh bisquits as much as my father loved to eat them for breakfast. The best part of the farm life and the dairy was having an endless supply of fresh foods and a Father that loved that I loved to cook, learn and both of those actitivites allowed him to have an endless supply of great home cooked foods.

Since I cooked breakfast and dinner during the week, on the weekends I had more time to play around and experiment in the kitchen. I still have the first cook book I learned from. I made every recipe from every page in the book. Then before we moved to Exeter, I was able to buy a Betty Crocker Cookbook. This cook book became my dictionary of foods, my main buddy, my kitchen directory and my answer for every question I every had about cooking and food. I fell in love with that book.

It was red and white and had a picture of Betty Crocker on the cover. It had beautiful pictures of foods and explanations for every conceivable recipe to satisfy every pallet. My Father was in awe of my cooking skills. My Mother was also impressed, because it made her life a little easier.

She worked out in the dairy two times every day. From high noon to about 7:00 in the evering. And from Midnight to about 7:00 in the morning, 7 days a week. Yes, my Mother spent 14 hours every day in the dairy barn. 14 subtracted from 24 left 10 a day for her to garden, shop, water things, feed the dogs, wash dishes, do the laundry, and sleep. I will never know to this day how my Mother did all she did. She said it was, "coffee."

Coffee was her mainstay, as well as my Father's. They drank an unbelievable amount of hot hard black coffee, all day long. They always had a cup of coffee before work and after work and after dinner and around the clock. Even when they were working out in the dairy they had a pot of coffee going in the house.

Honestly in my entire life, I have never seen two people, and I regard this an independent observation of two people as not my parents, who suffered so intensely with work and with life and yet managed to do what they did and all they did. They were my unsung heros. I admired my parents tremendously. (I just did not like my Fathers bad method of punishments.) All the rest of what he did for himself, our family and the community was admirable and amazing.

I know I cooked the best breakfasts any little kid could have prepared for their parents. I was excellent at a very young age, and my parents both were aware of my talents in the kitchen.

On the weekends I had time to prepare special raised breads and our favorite was on of yeast risen dough balls dipped in butter and then rolled in cinnamon and sugar, stacked in a pan and left to rise, then baked. The whole pans was turned upside down onto a pretty porcelain plate and the outside was all gooey with sugar and cinnamon and butter. This was one of my favorites to cook.

Another one of my dishes were cinnamon rolls. The kids in town went to the store and bought theirs. I made them for my family. Anything the kids in town bought in the stores, I was making for my folks to eat for either breakfast, lunch or dinner. I was always suprised to learn that the town kids did not know how to do nothing! However they still laughed at me if I mentioned doing some of the things I could do.

I did not have much self confidence for as much as I knew how to do. None of the town kids were able to do the things I did. Consequently I stopped talking to them about what I could do. Truely it was all domestic responsiblities, but I was able to do it. It was things like this that made me grateful for my parents. They gave me alot of chances to do things and learn things that other town kids new nothing about.

Moments From Your Adult Life

Did you and your mate often go dancing? Where? What music did you dance to? Did you and your mate have "our song"? Which dances were popular?

Me and my mate went dancing one time in the beginning of our marriage. I was a professional exotic dancer and he could dance but never enjoyed dancing with me, except on this one occassion. It was a Halloween party held at a bar in a nightclub in Tulare County California. We put together S and M Halloween costumes for the party. Mine was an all black costumes with high struting black boots, shorts, top, hat and a whip. Michaels decided to dress as my sex slave. He thought that was funny. The costume was constructed our of a tattered shirt, ragged pants and a chain strung from a collar around his neck, and I had to walk around with basically, him on a leash. It was Halloween and probably was a tame costume by comparison to many that we viewed among the party goers.

That is the only night we ever danced together as a couple. All the days of our marriage during our days of Singing Telegrams, we never danced together. I did my dance entertainment and Michael did his little humorous dance performances. He was not a dancer, however he enjoyed messing around and making women laugh, so he said. They did. They actually loved him because he had a sense of humor that did not quit.

The music in the party at the bar was, like hip hop, rock and roll and some slower pieces, and the style of dancing during the halloween party was the type where every couple got out on the dance floor and moved around separately. No one held each other in an elegant manner. I never liked to dance by myself and gyrate for the sake of independ movement. I enjoyed old style ball room dancing that was romantic. Or I enjoyed dance movement so that others could watch me put on an exotic dance show. I was into the old style burlesque...unfortunately, that was just about a thing of the past. Men had gotten sloppy and their desires were leading all exotic dancers to be pressured into tity shows and lap dances. Nothing elegant, nor pretty about that at all.

My songs that I danced to were mostly slow and romantic. Micheals songs that he chose were just crazy stuff that made people laugh. It is not like we were performing modern dance routines or beautiful ballet movements, or putting ourselves through Broadway musical moves...nope, not at that time.

When you and your friends got together, what did you do? Whose home did you go to most often? Did your children become friends with your friends' children? How did you meet the friends you are most comfortable with now?

Since I did not have one place or residence for years and years, most of the friends I made or had were the girls I worked with or danced with. Sometimes I made friends with the parents of my daughters friends. Occassionally we got together and shared a meal or had a special dinner party.

When I lived with Chuck Gulovich, he loved to go out on a Friday or Saturday after his work at the Car Wash in Las Vegas, Nevada and he was regarded as the leader of the group. So everyone at his word, met at different bars that served beer, chicken wings, and pizza, and featured sports on television and ping pongs, darts or pool tables. These guys all worked really hard, made lots of money in tips from washing all the dirt off the Las Vegas, Nevada swanky rides. So when work was out, they had to and loved to party like fools! They let it all hang out, drinking and laughing and really getting wilder than I ever got in a nightclub, even with my costume removed. I always had to tag along. I never felt comfortable with them though. I did not drink. I was not loose. I just went along so I could be with my Chucky. And then he ignored me because his guy friends were more interesting to talk to than me.

Over the years I have lived in many places. Over the years I have met many hundreds of people, some I was friends with, and not friends with now. Some I have remained friends with. Others have passed on. I have lost many friends to deaths door. In Las Vegas alone, I was friends with Ralph Petillo the owner of the Las Vegas Mirror, the entertainment rag that I wrote publicity articles for. I was friends there with Sunny Day, and she passed away of cancer while working in a Henderson Bar. I was friends with Steve Rossi who was in one of the feature shows at the Royale Casino. He sang and performed comedy with Patty Plenty. I was freinds with Red Foxx before he passed away. I knew Lou Rawls before he died. Chuck had a friend from New York City who did stand up comedy, Freddy, and he died when he was like under 25. Chuck worked with a fellow named Ryan. Ryan was built like a hulk and worked out every night. His heart blew out at the gymn. He passed away instantly.

School chums, like Lois Terry, have passed on. Chuck Brooks died when we were still in High School. Bob Torkelson died when we were in COS in Visalia, and he was a swimming champion. I was friends with my Grandmother, Dixie Storr and she passed away when she was 83 or there abouts. They kept this information away from me after she was gone. I never did get to her funeral. Although they said my Mother took her ashes to the St. Francis Cemetry in Santa Barbara to lay beside her late husband, Carl Allen. So it was. People in my life keep dying.

My Mother died in 1994, and she was always my friend. My Father died in 1996, and I watched him slip away in the hospital, from the strong young handsome Portuguese farmer, to a light living and leaving. My husband, the only man I considered my husband, because we were legally married, passed away from a drug overdose in 2006, at the age of around 42 or 46...and he had just graduated from Fresno State University they said, with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

I am sure there are many more that I will never here about. We come and we go. We make friends and then we travel on. It is difficult to stay in touch sometimes especially over distance and over time and all the changes many of us go through. At the Hotel where I currently work, Steve Jobs, the late owner of Apple Corporation stayed for a few days with his wife. I happened to be walking down the hall one of those days and Mr. Jobs and his wife were walking towards me. As we passed each other in the hall, he spoke to me, "Hi, how are you?" I smiled and replied, "fine thank you." It tickled me that he spoke to me first. A few months later he passed away. I was touched.

My family are the only closest friends I currently have. We have social media friends, mostly for entertainment and chit chat. It is a comfortable long distance interaction. It is good. I know some of my daughters and grandchildrens current acquaintances and friends. We share conversation and watch an occassional movie. Friendships are not the same anymore for me. I keep my family as close as possible because I know I may not be living much longer. I make friends that are co-workers and they are friends from working around them on a daily basis. I have one special set of friends, a couple, that lives in Oakhurst, and I have known them the longest, perhaps a good 25 years. But I have known my daughter, who is also my friend for 46 years and my grandsons Father, Casey, for about 23 years. So some friends go and some friends stay and things change along with our relationships. That is life.

What kind of movies do you find yourself drawn to....adventure, epic, violent, comedy? Do you go to movies now as much as you used to? Why or why not?

My preference for movies began when DRIVE IN movies were popular. Since we lived in rural areas most of the farmers and farm people who lived out in the countryside drove to small towns to see the new movies. The movies I recall were primarily Broadway musical productions, like Oklahoma, West Side Story, Hawaii with Elvis Presley, The Sound Of Music, and even earlier ones with stars like Greta Gardener, Maralyn Monroe, and of course those segwayed into Cowboy and Indian Movies. I used to watch Roy Rodgers, Audie Murphy, The Lone Ranger, John Wayne, and this segwayed into Movies about Crime and The Mafia. I recall when every movie had cartoons from Walter Disney and Company, so we saw lots of Bugs Bunny shorts, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and The Road Runner, and Porky The Pig Cartoons before the Feature Movie was played. Often the movies featured two or more movies. The movies then seemed to be like an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes. Movies began to change considerably when the crime series began. We moved from the beautiful Hollywood Star movies, the grand musicals that I really loved. I loved them because the women were beautiful and feminine and the dresses were elaborate glamorous gowns with beads and laces and colors of the rainbow. All of the glam was a great distance from the life on the farm. Women looked like women and dressed like women, not like farm laborers. The men fawned over the women on the screen, looking at them like they were precious and sacred to be around...not like farm women. The women would dance and be slender, with nicely groomed hairdos...not like farm women or farm laborers. There was singing and dancing and seemingly happiness happening up on the screen stories. That is the life I fell in love with, unlike the life I was born into, or the way the men in my life have treated me.

Elizabeth Taylor in Gone With The Wind and Cat On A Tin Roof, and Marlon Brando were in my vision as well, and The Days Of Wine And Roses with Shirley McLane and Jack Lemmon...those were the days when movies held glamours roots and told STORY. Nowadays special effects compose 2/3 of a movie to keep our eyes moving and dull our brains. The Walking Dead is mindless drivel. The Game Of Thrones is about our decadent American Society, and the immortality of modern day people disguised as olden fantasy characters. The Transformers Movie Series is composed of Giant Robotic Special Effects Machines that rule our visual universe.

When the movies were the rage about bootleggers, and the prohibition era, they began to change the stories and change the effects in the movies. I think a great dramatic change came with star trek and star wars, and the movies became longer and longer. It was usual for a feature to be an easy 2 hours long or even almost 3 hours. That is what the public disappear in a story or a film fantasy and get lost in the virtual reality for awhile before driving back home to their reality. Disney movies predominated the fantasy screen with cartoon characters and Paramount, and Universal were the Kings of the Industry. Movies rocked, but then the whole screen thing changed when television became popular and every home was not a home without a TV. The image of our culture changed as well, now shows like I Love Lucy populated the image of the home bound housewife who does nothing but sit and watch television all day long while her husband works and she barely got off the couch to make his dinner in the evening. On weekends the husband sat on the couch and drank lots of beer and watched the sports and the fights.

These images of movies and television have kept changed and our American society thinks we have to keep up with these changes to be in the know or stay cool and up with the Jones. Singers and Rock and Roll Concerts moved into the play and took over a large segment of the movie entertainment type of business colliding with the other. We then got series upon series of movies and televion shows tossed at Tellie Savalas in Kojack, and the Maverick Series, and Wagon Train, and Bonanza, and Johnny Carson, one type of show jumping on the screens to buffet up the ladder another wave of moviedom excitement, newer and bigger, and better than whatever we had been using to entertain ourselves. We have become entertained into mindless boredom and still new writers and story tellers brought changes, like Game Of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and movies were not one of a kind, each bigger feature has had to have a sequel, like the Star Wars, and The Lord Of The Ring, and The Hobbit, and Jurassic Park, and Fast and Furious, and Riddick, and Tom Selleck, and now stars have become epic showstopping monsters, like DeWayne Johnson...who moved from the WWf fight squad show to main stream featured stardom in movies, and television. Actors became politicians like Arnold Schwarzzneger.

Stars have become people who star in their own drug deaths to gain even more notoriety. Heath Ledger was an epic star in the Batman Series, and Spiderman took on a life of its own. Prince and Micheal Jackson were legendary music entertainers and yet they both took their lives over drug overdoses, along with Whitney Houston, David Carridine, Robin Williams, as though it was not enough to rich, famous and talented and in command of public polarity.

I have long predicted the next wave of movie technology will incorporated Game Theory with audience interaction and participation. The movies and the action will move off the screen out into the audience via the Third or Fourth Dimension of visual representation. Movies may become a means of changing lives and altering viewpoints about life circumstances and actually make social or political changes in real time lives, simply by the stories and the means and methods of this incredible new technology. Movies introduce new ways of thinking and acting to the public and this will become a jump in our collective consciousness.

What books do you like to read? Novels, biographies, romance, science fiction? Do you have a specific part of the house for books? What is the last book you read? Why did you choose that one? Where were you sitting when you read it?

As a young child I spent endless hours reading dog stories and horse stories. I think my first real love was for a book called Beautiful Joe. Then I read The Dog Of Newfoundland. And then I read about Lassie. And from their read all the Black Stallion Series. And from that I moved into The Boxcar Children. Then I took up the Angelique Series by Sergeant Golon...a french writer. I began to read everything I could carry out of the library, science, and geography and anthropology and crime stories. I read some of Hemingways classics, and Catcher In The Rye and on it went. I have always loved to read because my imagination could picture everything I was reading. That was motivated by not having a television back in the 1950s. Television and movies always throw images at the audience and so it was more difficult to imagine things when reading, so I choose to read opposed to watching too much television. Movies were a different story however. My Father took us to the movies all the time on a regular schedule, at least once or twice a month. We watched musicals, and then the cowboy and indian movies became real popular and then it all change into crime movies, and then romance movies, and now it is hero characters and special FX. I liked the musicals and the singing best and the dancing routines and the costumes. Those things influenced my love of life for those things the very most. But everything becomes available and then it goes. And with it sometimes our dreams of doing the things we love. There was one point in my life when I spent time collecting and buying Carl Sagan I owned a collection of all his work. I read it all. The best part was being able to hear his writers voice. I reckon that now I own about 20,000 books.

That brings me to tell you about how I always believed that someday I would have my own in home library and a lovely fireplace and a large desk. And I would sit in my library and study and write and do my work. I would use my library for my art and coloring and drawing and painting and I would be happy. I never had a fireplace while growing up or a library...but I do have the contents of a library, and I am still waiting for this dream to come true.
I hope it comes true before I die so I can share this dream with my living children. It would be so much fun to sit and read stories to my grandchildren. But then they have computers and most kindles have a thousand stories and so you might say...that dream has out lived reality.

When I was a young child and I read Beautiful Joe, i recall reading and crying and crying and crying. My Father would get livid because he never understood why I used to cry. I could not tell him about the story because he did not know how to read or so he said. I loved Dogs and the dogs in the stories had terrible lives and so did I.

My favorite place to read was under the covers. So in the middle of the night when my parents were sleeping I would sneak a flashlight under the covers and read. And cry. and read. And then my Father would sneak into my room and rip the covers off of me and my book and raise cain over me reading when I was supposed to be asleep. I usually got a whipping. I cried more over that. However as mean as my Father was over my reading books I still persisted to read under the covers using a flashlight. I always thought he could not see me. But I guess Fathers see it all!

Are you friendly with your neighbors? Do you sit down for an evening together on the porch or patio or are you merely cordial with them, nodding acquaintances? Have you ever had a neighbor whom you've loved and lost? Were you close to a family that later moved away?

When I was a child I was way too friendly with everyone. However my parents kept me closed in like a prisoner. After getting older and raising my one child I can feel the importance of this practice. Life is dangerous. And children are vulnerable.

As an adult most of the people around me now, today, drink like fish and get drunk and are unpleasant to talk to because of the drinking and smoking habits.

I have lost so many people in my life. My folks, friends, husband, children, and co-workers. I get so sad when I think about these people. I feel very lonely and alone because the best of these friendships are gone and cannot be replaced, even making new friends, is not the same as the dear old relationships that have passed.

Are you a member of any club or social group? Have you ever spent time doing charitable work? If so, why was the charity important to you?

When i was in middle school I was an active member of the 4-h club. I took cooking classes and showed animals in the county fair along with my cooking various recipes. I won many blue ribbons and won the best of the cooking classes at the county fair....I was given a grand champion ribbon. I loved 4-h.

In high school I was in Rainbow for Girls and made all the Chairs and Chaplain....I also entered the Tulare County Dairy Queen Contest. I was a runner up. In my high school I was a prom queen contender....and also a Cheer Leader and Pom Pom Girl. Later in Junior College I became a Majorette and again a Pom Pom Girl. I was also selected as a Charity Queen at College Level. This last honor was based on winning due to money collection for a cause. Me and Joe Finny won.

I wish I had been aware of the greater value and importance of all of this. At the time it just simply felt good to win, I felt like I had accomplished something better than my own immediate life.

Is there anything you need that you don't have?

Right now I do not have a house or a home. I want a house or a home more than anything because then I could be able to do things I need to do and take better care of my family. We are suffering without a house and a home and this is all I ever dream or think about. I know that everyone else has a house or a home and I feel badly that I am not financially able to afford a house or a home. Most women my age have a husband and a house or a home. I do not even have a husband. And a husband might be interested in my happiness by buying me a house and helping me make a home for my family. At least before I die.

How do / did you exercise?

I stay active all the time, at least as much as I can.

What do / did you do for fun?

I never had fun.. Not the kind most kids were having. I learned to cook. I learned to sew. I read books. Other kids were going places and playing around. I never did. I was never allowed to let loose and have fun. I had to feed the calves. Bail the hay. Hoe the weeds. Cook breakfast, lunch and dinner. And on Saturdays make cookies, or cakes, or pies or can fruits or vegetables, or just make bread for my mother and father. I learned to do chores and be a good girl and do what I was told. Then I got whipped. I would do all and everything and then my Father would make up something terrible and start his punishment routine. Getting beaten all the time is very unhealthy for a young female child or teenagers. I was always in a state of terror and fear and anger at the injustice. So no, I never had fun, because I was not allowed to have fun or be happy.

What are your hobbies?

Whatever task I pursued, I took and performed it seriously. I had no hobbies. Take sewing for instance. I was not allowed to sew for fun, I had to sew my own clothes because my Father would not buy me clothes. I had to make them.

Cooking? I never cooked for fun, nor did I learn cooking for fun. It was a survival task. I had to cook meals for my parents, all meals. So the cooking was for feeding food to my Father and Mother and brother.

What has been the worst time in your life?

The worst times in my life...getting whipped by my own Father on a nearly daily basis. Getting beaten for a year by a young man who was supposed to be my boyfriend, or husband. Getting raped by two truck drivers in tandem just because I foolishly hitch hiked on a freeway exit road, all the way from Mojave to the Circle Star Theatre in the Bay Area. Getting raped by two men who claimed they were sheriffs at gun point in a house they owned way out in the middle of orange orchards on my quest to find an old friend who had lived at that address a year before. And getting raped by a young black male at gun point in the back seat of his car in a stall in the midst of an apartment parking lot, again because I was hitch hiking on sunset blvd in HollyWood and he promised to give me a ride to my desired destination. That did not turn out at all like I had intended, My worst times in my life just keeps on. I have never had a really good life.

Have you had to take legal action against anyone? Has anyone ever taken legal action against you?

The law has never been in my favor or helped me stay alive throughout any of my adversities. I have had to get through things alone.

Did you ever have to help a family member, mate or friend through a difficult medical time?

My daughter has chronic asthma, my grandson has chronic asthma, my Mother died from chronic asthma attacks, my grandson now has seizures, and yes...I have been there for them every time. But that does not mean I am able to do anything. In fact I feel helpless and powerless over the disease of asthma.

Politics and History

Who was the best president of any country ever? Who was the worst president? Which president of the United States did you admire most? Did you ever meet a famous politician? What happened?

Deciding what President of any country ever is really a bit complex. For one, I would have to have a bankroll of knowledge on politics and how the human personality effected the population of the country. That is really the most important point of any President, how the person effects the country and its governance. At the time a standing President is presiding it is not always probable to determine the Presidents influence on the behavior of the population. A President should influence the mood of his countrymen. A President should send his people forward and help to direct them in the ways of living that gives them hope and supports life and the mode of economy of the country. All countries everywhere on the globe depend on growing or creating things to sell, they depend on generating a suppyly and the demand, and being able to transport goods and trade with other cultures. In my mind a great President encourages his population to perform these responsiblilities. A great President knows what the people of his country needs at the moment. A good President is conscious of what the relationship of his country is to the members of other cultures and social groups. Being the best President of a country is certainly not an easy task. There is much to consider.

Determing who was the best President is merely a matter of opinion and how you believe your view point is impacted by the Presidents influence during his time of governance. If you ask someone who is close to the man who is President you may hear an answer close to the special interests of the person answering the question. So the answer will be biased in favor of the interests of that particular group and their perception might be "what is best for them." The person then who is the best President, may not be regarded by "best" by other groups or individuals. With that being said, most individuals do not have a broad enough knowledge base of the world view of politics, or governance within a country to determine who is better, or best for the moments of the times.

It is also important to note then, what country does a person considere to be best in order to answer what President of what country is best. This requires more knowledge and criteria about how people live and how people percieve the country where they live. People have to decide what is best for them in a given area of land that is bordered by other areas of land, and all of these have groups, or tribes, or cities, or individuals that comprise a certain way to think and live out their daily lives. Now to answer this question of what President of what country is best, you have to know and understand the lifestyle you consider best for your individual personality. Some of us are just born outright in an area or in a certain group of people. When that is our birthright or god given circumstances we have to deal with the situaltion we are given. That is our job, that is our task. Some of us may not like where we are at.

So in order to answer this question one has to determine what country is best and understand why we feel that way prior to determining what President is best. Some of us may believe we live in great countries, however perhaps our Presidents are not so hot. How do we put this philosophy into action?

I wonder if many people even think about this question and feel like they have a reasonably decent answer?

Over the years of my living experiences I have heard many names of many leaders and those names I recall as important for the times.

Many people regard America as the greatest country in the world. For me, America is the only country I know and of course I regard it as the greatest country in the world, so therefore in my unworldly ignorance or innocence I consider all of leaders the best. However they may not be the best at all. They just look good in suits when they pose in front of the White House. Americans share a romantic notion about the greatness of the home where they live. It is ours and we are attached and partial to our homeland.

At one point in my life I cross the border into Canada and saw how other people lived, and talked and conducted their affairs. I did not know much, but I rather enjoyed the differences. We have to experience other ways of living in order to gain knowledge and understanding about our own surroundings. Travel does this for people. However people adjust and become accustomed to their living styles and so if you have no way to compare, we tend to relax and enjoy our immediate circumstances. Ignorance is sometimes bliss as long as you have enought to eat, a place to sleep, you have clothes to wear, warmth or coolness, whatever comfort zone of temperature satisfies you, means to get around and ways to entertain yourself.

Humans do not like to be stressed, or shot at, or hurt, or be in constant danger. If we live in a country like that, well it is doubtful that anyone would enjoy it long enough to stay alive and talk about the experience. If people live in a country where there is constant threats to life from diseases, and sicknesses, life would not be easy. If people live in a country where there is a struggle for food, or shelter, or clothing or education, and human kindness, it is a no brainer that the country and its Presidents would be grossly unpopular.

America has worked diligently over the last 500 years to overcome the odds of these incidents, and circumstances from happening and as a whole, they have succeeded thus far. In fact America has overcome so many extraordinary obstacles that we have created a miracle for the support of life in our modern days, to the point whereby the entire world has become overpopulated. Now we are beginning to feel the effects of environmental stress, this same stress is effecting the populations all over the globe, thus we see social groups in various modes of adaptation and social adjustments. By this process we are creating new kinds of people.

People are not static individuals. They are growing and learning and altering their old perceptions of the world to accomodate new modes of living and within this releam are the products that are forcing or moving the human elements to change. The changes are dramatic and often over powering for all social groups who are struggling to keep up with the informationa and the ways they understand the patterns of alterations. The impact of these changes on and within social groups is fast, every flowing, and unmerciful in its content. Presidents of social populations that comprise entire countries have to know and understand these changes, if he is to be a worthwhile leader.

There are countries that excell in certain types of knowledge phenomena. Each social group from each country adds something new and vital and important to an era, a decade, a milenium, a year, a month, a day, and the vital changes in one minute. This knowledge base comes from everywhere and we all share and keep building from our daily activities. Some countries who have oppressive political or social values put a lid over their human understanding and human social development. They inhibit the production and progress of their very life they have been given.

I began my early memories of the President of the United States with Dwight D. Eisenhower. I saw pictures of him and I listened to him on the radio. I doubt that as a child I grasped his postion of importance. I did enjoy listening to the radio and President Ike Eisenhower was on my radio more than most other voices.
Off the top of my head, the next President that stays with me is President Kennedy. I followed the Kennedys because I was given a feeling of importance for their work. I recall walking out of the College of Sequoias library and over head the campus loudspeakers were blaring, "the President of the United States has just been shot." That moment was back in 1962 or 1963. I can look it up to find out the exact year. The point of contact and overwhelming loss of control that a person has with their own life came like a life taking burst in my head. Up until that point in my life humans were sacred and no one of grandeur and pompous importance ever died. My perception of Kennedy is that he was a great man, one because he had the courage to campaign for President and two the people believed he could do things no other human man could do. Except save his own life. We all lost a sense of protection and immortality that moment on that day. We all lost more than our President.

We all did gain a moment in history and became something greater than we were moments after the bullets were fired. President Kennedy was a brave human being, his death brought us all to a new understanding of the importance of human values and the worth of a life. In a flash we saw how quickly life moves on.

In terms of American social development, I have to say that President Bill Clinton was the worst President from a social/moral/betrayal of any President in the entire world. Many people admired President Clinton. He was a great orator and spoke excellent speeches with grand words. I appreciated and admired him and his family, up until the Monica Lewinsky incident.

It was not the fact that they were having a decietful affair. It was his lack of discretion and his slight of moral judgement within the duties of a standing President. It was his lack of courtesy and respect for the American people who elected him to office, it was an affront to the United States of America. He asked to represent America, and the people gave him the power to do so, and then he literally and figuratively blue it! The good thing is however, President Clinton exposed Americas moral and habitual weaknesses for the sins of the flesh. America has a problem and Clinton showed us all just how bad it is. This bad thing that happened is a good thing, because we cannot correct a problem unless we stand together and acknowledge the affront to our own interpersonal growth. America could not longer be in denial.

America has gone as far as it should go in that direction, or it will loose its own greatness.

The only famous politician I ever met is a man who ran for President a couple of times, but never moved over the curve. He is one man that I consider would have been a game changer and a great President of our country. The man knows the most of any person about all people in the world. He understands business and is wise and intelligent and gentle of heart. He is highly organized and dauntless and dedicated to the public. This man is Steve Forbes, who ran towards the Republican nomination a couple of times, but apparently his knowledge of many public ideals kept him from overcoming the great fear of people with extraordinary power.

During the Comdex Show in Las Vegas in the 1997's I attended one of his feature speakers at the Desert Inn before they imploded the ancient relic in a puff of smoke. After Mr. Forbes talk we had the opportunity to walk up to him and thank him. It was the only time I was ever brave enough to do so around a famous person of practically any form. My whole body was a tremble, but I rose from my seat, and gave myself some power and walked over to him and spoke. I introduced myself, and extended my hand and thanked him for his talk and said, "I enjoyed your speech." I was so flushed I knew my face was red and the heat was rising all around me...but his hands were the softest hands I have ever shook.

That is the closest I have ever been to a great and famous man, in particular, one that I truely admire.

Prior to this "hand shake" in approximately 1984, I was seeking a publicity stunt for my dance career that was humorous and attention pulling. At that time I was a photojournalist and writer and a featured dancer around Las Vegas, Nevada. However I was trying to think my way into becoming a better entetainer. I was trying to reinvent myself and my life, and this was confusing.

My solution to this dilemma at the time was to "Run For President of The United States." I had to make it believable and yet humorous. Lots of silly dancers do this to make their little political statements and get their name out in the press, because little stories like this are fun for everyone and no one takes them seriously. That was me.

I made a costume that was red white and blue, and performed a patriotic strip tease dance. I got together a verbal speech platform, that was humorous, and invited Playboy and Hustler and Oui, and Cherie, out to watch the show. Playboy came and did a video that was played on the playbody channel. I got a tiny thumbnail image in one of the Playbody magazines as well...and I signed up to gather signatures at stores to get myself on the Nevada ballet. I honestly did not know what I was doing, except playing out a part that even I knew was unheard of and ridiculous. I knew I was not ever going to go anywhere with it.

I was able to keep up the charade for awhile and even stood on the corner of Flamingo and the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada in my fancy costume and held up a sign..."Merrily For President!" It was fun. This moment garnered me a photo and a story in The Las Vegas Review Journal and The Las Vegas Sun. That was it. I rather disappeared after that show for the moment. I felt really stupid and beside...I got married shortly after. I got married to the son of a prominent South Carolina Doctor who actually had real politicians in his family who had been members of the political social scene in South Carolina. I guess I should say, "it ended well."

Now I am listening to Donald Trump and thinking he would stir things up a bit in America. And maybe we can use fresh inspiration.

Do you have a strong political party alliance? Have you ever worked on a campaign? Have you ever worked at a polling place?

It is not that I am not interested in politics, it is just that politics over all my years have seemed to be so messy and ineffective for public and social management. After observing political practices over the years the main thing I have noticed is this is a hotbed for contention, war, and conflicts on an interpersonal nature. Lets take the pressure of politics on the American public.

We always have a man elected President. We always have huge rallies and campaigns. We have the two major parties, of the Republicans and the Democrats. They want the people to know who they are and what they are about. Sometimes I regard this as impossible because they are merely entwined within their own networks, like moss in a pond. where I live and what I see is a bunch of loud mouth bullies trying to convince everyone else that they are better than everyone else. So they spend huge amounts of money, and they wind up never knowing about all the jobless, and poorer people that struggle to live out their lives, usually starving and broke from all the money sucked away from them from all the politics.

After years of sitting back and just watching the behavior patterns of the population and the way they treat the man they choose to represent them as President, I notice two things: On the upswing of the election, the men running are defined and put in the crucible for their policies, issues, and beliefs. On the downswing, after the election, the criticism of whoever was elected is taunted, tormented and tethered to his words by the Watchdog Public Critics. The standing President does a righteous performance and he is praised, but the forbidden sin is to contradict public sentiment and the Standing President is condemned. I have seen this pattern of observation and public outcry, repeated every election, every term in the newspapers, in the political forum groups and on the television news.

This pattern of critique however necessary it is to keep tabs on the behaviors and policies and promises of the elected President makes for a maddening system of broken promises and public lies and political betrayals. It must not be only me that sees this patterning but those who make a living out of attacking and berating Standing Presidents. We are supposed to be a country of freedom of expression. It may be the law, but it is not necessarily the rule of behavior.

The only time I have ever come close to a real politician is when I attended a Republican event at Dr. Lonnie Hammargrins home in Las Vegas, Nevada. The best part of the whole event was to have my picture taken with an Orangutang by the photographer Scott Free. Eventually that image was sent to Carl Sagans wife Ann Duryan in New York and she hand wrote me a letter saying she put in a frame and placed it on her desk. I think that was more thrilling than anything political. It was a touch of humanity and a real event for me. It was a lovely image of me and Lucy or Lacy and I was wearing a Mormon style flowery print dress with a big floppy hat. I was nobody. I brought my grandson to the event with me and it was a lovely experience. That is probably the closest I have ever been to some political and important event. At the time my occupation was that of a Pizza Driver for Dominos. At that time I was no longer an exotic dancer.

The only political campaign I have ever worked on was for my own silly campaign "Merrily For President." I did not like it much. It was way easier to be an exotic dancer than it was to try to recreate my self image into a popular, vocal person who supported and challenged the greater established parties with my own connoction of political humor entitled, "The Good Head Party."

My mother used to tell me repeatedly, "Merrily, you have a good head, why don't you use it?":

"OK Mom, I did and that was the best I came up with!" That is what I would have told her if I could. She was living at the time, but far and away locked in a dairy farm and could not leave, nor would it have made any sense to her.

Which domestic problems are most important in your town today? In your country? In the world?

Social scientists prove we are fraught with continued social problems and the social issues continue to change with every generations depending on what they are given as information or education, or what they encounter in there own environments. Humans changes because we build or are given new things to use and play with. Humans change because we meet new people from foreign lands. Humans change because we travel and see with our own eyes the ways of other humans that make our worlds, and our countries work. Humans change because our families and our homes and our neighborhoods change.

I do firmly acknowledge our very worst domestic problems are biological addictions to things such as alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and sex. We can add food to this list of wankers as well. As I have developed over the years and these substances have managed to infiltrate into our biophysical mass of the population and intersepted our nervous systems, we as humans are creating our own self destruction.

These five addictions are the cause and the consequences of all the wonderful means and methods of exploration of human effort over and through out the globe. It is a thread of self destruction that is running rampant and is self condeming and self damaging to our generations now and into the future. It is a blight and is a crime against humanity.

So blah blah to my soapbox. No one believes me, even though the statistics say it is happening. People still want to escape from reality, alter the scope of there imaginations and run amuck into the universe.

We as humans put bandaides on our injuries, but fear keeps us away from digging for the cure of the domestic problems. The Mormons have a good idea and solution for the purity of the individuals joining the order to be baptized they will not baptize someone unless they the do not drink, do not smoke, do not use drink and men and women have to be other words they cannot in any form be sexually active. At 47 years old I went into over haul and managed to become one of the Mormon choosen "Golden Ones." I was living there addiction free dream. I am 71 now and I am still living this dream. Indicating that I have maintained my system of operational resistance and celebacy for 24 years. Socially solving my own addiction problems has been the best thing and most self responsible thing I can do for myself, my family and my global social society.

Attaining self social responsiblity is the greates achievement i have ever accomplished and I never ever thought i could do this. I managed by on flaw of fate: My daughter gave birth on Sept 7, 1991 to her first born child and my first born GRANDSON, Tyler Christian Nunes. At the time she was unable to take care of him, so I had the greatest privilege of my life, and that was to take care of a baby boy. It was through this human responsibility from my family that I managed to change my social addicition issues that were negative influences in my life.

Obvioulsy that is not a solution for everyone. Taking care of an infant will not make everyone loose their domestic and social addiction problems, but in my case that was my greatest turning point and it proved to be and has continued to be successful, at least for me.

i was able to deny myself things or substance that were causing me to degenerate and deteriorate beyond my ability to adjust to the use and enjoyment of the substances. Taking care of a baby enforced my desire to alter my perception of the world and my own needs. Perhaps this method is impossible for everyone to change by giving up certain harmful substances or behaviors, but it did work for me.

This is why I firmly believe the same will work for other people and the world would be a better place if people gave up on alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs and slowed down their sexual activities. Now I do realzie that all of those things are considered by most people as boons to their freedom of appetite, however if we regard statistics as important vessels of human achievement...the down side comes from over indulgent activities and abuse of everyone of the afore mentioned addicitions.

The only benefits have come for the persons who engage in healing activities, such as drug or alcohol counselors, or car insurance agents, or vehicle repair businesses, or convenience stores who sell an abundance of alcohol, or cigarettes and often provide leads to loose women and outside drug connections.
In Fresno, California, nearly every corner convenience store is owned and operated by someone who is either from India, or from the Middle East. They know and understand the vast social problem that has grown in the United States and most Americans do not want to operate that particular type of store, so they do not. They shove those businesses off on the immigrants or other newcomers to America. The outsiders are the peddlers of booze, bombs and broken homes.

It is the year of 2015. People in America are outraged over guns and the random attacks of public members who are being seiged in places of leisure. People in general are seeing other memebers of their communities attack, churches, schools, theatres, and private homes...killing in numbers and then shooters, shooting themselves. The politicians and the general public think or believe that guns are the problem.

Reverting back to the biological nemesis, the human body and the human brain and the consequences of the substances we place in our bodies that create weak and insipid minds...that head out the door of a home to the corner pawn shop to purchase a gun, or to a sporting goods store to purchase an gun and ammo, or to the corner store to buy liquor, cigarettes, cannibus papers, and inquire about girls...this pattern of human behavior is the one domestic problem that is causing the craziness...and we continue to think it is a gun. If all we see is the end result of the addiction process, then we are lost before we begin.

The gun is the end result of the biological backstory. Society is doing this to themselves to make a buck. To make a dollar. To not be poor. But something is missing and the something that is missing is the deeper nature of mankind that leads to the inventions that make society come alive. The addicitions regardless of the society, the town, the country or the world where we live, are the cause of the man holding the gun in his hand who heads to the mall and becomes the next media shooting star. it is the end of the world, yes, for him, but not the end of the world for the world.

Business people who have a strong hold into the markets based on the addictive products do not wish to alter their economic circumstances...they live well and probably do not use the products they sell to the mass of the people in the common market. They got the public hooked on cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs, and in mass they are the greatest drug dealers and killers of human kind of all time. They escape the sins of addiction because they know better to use and they learned how to legitimately sell death to anyone who buys their products. Now we are wittness to a phenomena of historical proportions whereby all the United States are turning to the belief that CANNIBUS is an ok product to sell to the public.

Unfortunately the uneducated public believes in this mass propaganda, which will make huge amounts of new money for some, while just around the corner awaits death, degeneratization, hospitaliziation and wheelchairs for others who continue to buy into this baloney.

We already have a nation full of asthmatics, or people who cannot breathe well because the air we breathe is filled with pollution and toxins. Well add a fat nightly blunt or two or three, add cough after cought to already damaged lungs and whoever you may be, go out and buy a coughin for your loved ones. If your loved one is coughing and smoking after toking a blunt or two or three, that person is going to die soon or land on a respirator in the hospital. No joke. The sad thing is: that person probably cannot work, because the euphoria makes them too high to function in a non psychotic state of mind. The sad thing is that person is not helping his or her brain, but damaging it beyond normal recognition of sustanable maintainance, meaning they become forgetful, and literally too stupid for clear reasonable thought processes. Their future is about as long as the blunt, and that is 3 inches of smoke and with every huff and puff, the possibility of choking on their own inhalation of smoke.

I do have to admit Cannibus tastes good in brownies, but that is after it is cooked. It does work well in hemp cloth for clothing, and hemp hearts are wonderful in things like yogurt, salads and oatmea, however unless cannibus is sheltered from the ignorant, ignorance will prevail and all the sickeness will profiteer off the making of invalids and degenerate non functioning souls and dead people. Cannibus is being driven by the dollar and the making of money off a deadly unsound product, using innocent uneducated souls as victims.

It is as stupid as saying that Heroin should be legalized, or legalizing cocaine. I think they should legalize abstinance. It is just not as much fun, right? And who every made a billion dollars from not doing something? Me. No, a church mouse has more money than me. However Cannibus has the financial potential to change the face of the economy, and population will decrease because of the ensuing problems. Is that what we want for ourselves, now, or in the future for whomever is left on the earth?

The interesting fun fact is that Cannibus make people who smoke it really really hungry and snack prone. And the other side of this is that in America we are over come with obese people. Fat people are everywhere. Food places are taking over the land and fat people are spreading like wild grass seeds. This is a serious domestic problem. Bullemic America, over eaters in America are everywhere. People have become gourmand pigs. It is true, we love to eat, but we do not want to watch other eat and get fat. Now this over eating phenomena is great for the economy because the more we eat, the higher the prices are for food, especially in fast food restaurants, where the food is now as expensive as fine dining restaurants. Still we continue to stuff our faces. I am no exception to this. I fight with my hunger desire all the time, while I am engaged in the hunger games. I know what I am buying is not good for me. But I keep on purchasing and consuming. Stupid habit.

Who else wants to resist this food addiction? I think America, while people are still starving, throw more food away than they consume. That is the astonishing shame of our country, of our people. American people are the country but they have lost touch with this concept. Americans have let their souls go to every other object, except themselves and their own persons. We buy, we grab, we consume, and we love it. We wear out, we waste, and we throw away things and we hate this.

Leveling out might be a great brand opportunity. Addictionless behavior, mmmm, "I think I will try that."

Is there a government policy that you strongly disagree with? Did you ever demonstrate about it?

When I was a kid in grammar school I read this book, Victim of Circumstances. It frightened me a whole lot. It was a simple story written about a kid who got caught living and trying to survive in a world where things were not handed to him, say on a silver spoon. He had to struggle to achieve every day meals and housing and clothing and a job. I cried a lot over this book. I felt trememdous early age empathy for anyone who had to live that way.

I put the book down and never wanted to think about the book again. However it pulsed my mind over the years and I could not completely forget the topic. And it seemed at times, I was like the character in the book, a victim of my own circumstances. I kept trying to change things in my life and I did not understand how to do it. So my life was a struggle as well. The harder I tried to make things work, it seemed the more I failed. Eventually I just rolled along.

In 1986 I returned to schooling at a University and studied Criminology. I was good at learning about the criminal studies and the law and the operations of the system. It frightened me terribly. However I wrote papers and got A's and made the Deans List and studied Law Enforcement. At the time I did not realize I was past the age of being able to actually take a job in any part of the field. I wish the counselors had told me this prior because I would have studied something more practical, like social work.

But I understood the psycho social entanglements that comprised the criminal matrix.

The thing that threw me off every turn of the wheel was, the idea that a sweet beautiful child filled with love and hope could ever grow up and become some mentally deformed terminator. I did not and still do not get that summit of focus. I figure, it you are good, you are always good. But there was the curse of that book.

I understood how the bad stuff can happen. I am afraid of the bad stuff more than any thing in the world. So I got straight A's in movie anaylisis and understanding the nature of any movie, however we studied criminal movies. Then we wrote papers about the stories. It was very interesting material. I loved that class best of any class I had ever taken because all we did was watch movies and then talk about them. And the movies we like GodFather, and so on...Steven Seagal, etc. You get the picture, right?

That is the direction I wanted to take. I wanted to be in the movie business, but unfortunately I knew nothing about it as a business, and only knew about watching and anaylizing the stories. So of course I never became a person who could get work in the field of corrections or law enforcement. I did prefer law enforcement however.

Correction scared me to death because that was about prisons and prisons took away mobility, and freedom, and rights and meant and still mean only death to me. This brings me to answer the question. I strongly disagree with the prison system and the way people are punished in prison or by using the penal system in our country.

I object to our criminal justice system because the persons who benefit from the social travesty of othes are the wealthy people and not the people who actually need a job and need education and need a home and need food and they are suffering because they do not know how to get it because they can not find anyone to give them work or help them find jobs. To me that is more criminal than the crimes these people are accused of committing. To me that is what is wrong with our country.

Since I am not a prison activist either, I have never demonstrated about it. I do not think that demonstrations work either. I believe men should be given work, education, and helpt to understand and establish responsiblities so that they learn how to take care of themselves.

As I understand the criminal justice system: work is the better choice and rehabilitation through work is the better choice. Incareration never helps and instead it creates worse problems for those who think they are solving something while they are recieving a paycheck, and those who are in need of care and help from humans of compassion, are further traumatized and abused. That is why the criminal justice system makes no sense and is continually abusive.

As of the last 10 years in America we have seen an increase in death by police and persons who committ crimes find ways to die or kill themselves to first make their "statement" and then be offed. Something has happened to the mentality of humans in this country. One person will take the lives of many and this has become the trend...and the trend continues with the one man pursuing death until he is terminated.

So we the people need to correct this situation and find better ways to live our lives and learn the things we need to know to progress as a compassionate human society. We need to work on changing laws and teaching the legal variations and understanding that we make the laws that we expect others to blindly obey. We are a people of legal oxymoronic ideas in this regard.

Recently I had the privilege of being in a guest in a court of law and watching a situation that made me sit in a courtroom and cry for these people. It was the saddest moment to watch a very tiny black lady who appeared retarded wearing orange and in chains and hear a list of case after case clustering fucking her life. The judge read 7 cases against this woman that the judge selected from a stack of person 20 cases against the disabiled black woman. The lady stood solemnly and listened without saying a word, her head bowed. I seriously doubt she understood the social importance of all the case statuses. The judge sent her away finally, but she was going to be in jail for a long long time. I see no since nor reason in this lack of humanity. In Norway they put those who committ crimes on an island and let them serve their sentences with some sense of humanity and socialbility.

Right after that lady came the cases of another man. This man was wearing orange, his hands were free but his body was living in a wheel chair. How truely say and unfortunate for this man. The judge read some 7 cases from another stack, not quite as high as the little black lady, but every bit as tortuous. He had fines, no one without a doctorate could hope to pay off. He was in a wheelchair so obviously his opportunities to pay the fines was dependent on his ability to work...not at all viabile. He was a wee bit luckier than the lady, but the life he was forced to live could not be much easier because he was living it in a wheel chair.

On the other side of this picture were many DWI's and he must have paid with his physical freedom.

Listening to persons with sad lives and sadder opportunities or no chance to ever be able to work and live a normal life seemed to me the worst way to live. Is it all because of the American Criminal Justice System. Oh yes, it punishes, and that is all it does. Those persons have already had terribly bad lives and even though they have been arrested, they are still not free and still not able to take care of themselves in a responsible way. Now they have even less responsibility.

What these prisoners need is work. They need work as people of the community prior to committing crimes, not after necessarily, but they need work, education, and a normal none dramatic life.

They only thing that happens by imprisonment is the commission of more crimes and that is the American Tragedy. Demonstrations do not help this conditioned travesty right or correct itself. We have more people in prison than any other country on the face of our planet...and has it done any good or made us become better people?

Do you think the welfare system is run correctly?

The Welfare system in America is a great charitable concept. It attempts to help those who need an assist. It was created as an organization removed from the wealthy business operators to lift up humanity from its basic needs, in order for those people to improve their life conditions. That was the ideal anyway. My perception is that it has moved away from this concept considerably. It is 2015 and it appears to be an overly used and highly abused business structure that is sapping the strength of the American economy and not perpetuating the integrity of the needy public.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, they do not have an encouraged Welfare System. They believe in making people go out and earn their own incomes and stop sponging off wealthy people who own their own business and work and pay taxes. I give compliments to Las Vegas for its committment to this old world system ofeconomic excellence. If you want to eat, you got to work. So get up off your couch and go out and work. This forces people to interact, it forces people to become members of their society and their community, in some way and some how.

The welfare system possibly is one of the best run systems of the American government. However with every system their is always room for improvement. This is improvement I perceive is by creating more jobs within the organization that actually go out and interact with the users of the welfare system. The clients of the welfare system, are often more needy than merely money as the social bandaide requires. Welfare clients, often, once they get food, money or medical services, will stop and relax and not try to use this moment in time as a stepping stone to their success or educational or self improvement. That then becomes the downfall of the welfare system and its ultimate public degeneration. Ultimately it is supposed to help and not hinder the process of public assistance.

Digging into the character of the women who use public assistance quite often, are those women who get pregnant and produce children. These women have boyfriends who get them pregnant or have men who get them pregnanat (sperm donors), both servicing the women so they will have to use the welfare system to get free money, free food, and free medical services. At this level is where we can observe first hand the human sexulality problem. Producing children without concern for who they may become or how they may behave into the future is a concern for all citizens, in particular if they are using the money provided from the public tax systems. We all are paying for the sins of these women and we are paying for the outcome of their childrens lives. This is where the welfare systems fail.

Welfare systems need follow-up procedures if they are to in effect remedy and salvage human lives as the intended mission statements imply. While welfare systems have many offices, that provide legit job opportunities for those with educations, and many intake workers who sift through case after case of needy applicants, they provide no follow-up service providers. This means essentially, that the money and food, and medical assistance that is freely given to a needy applicant, has no WatchDog, has no babysitter, has no one making sure that the funds, or goods, or medical attention is actually helping to heal or raise up the individual or the family members. Perhaps the law does not require that an adults need to be this closely monitored, however I have experienced close hand that this is not the case.

Our modern days have brought people into connection with substances and fowl systems of behavior to the point where people who recieve assistance are merely using charity as a way of life to build their incomes, or build their assets, or to not ever work period. America has given them this opportunity to live, without contributing, and people are abusing their privileges. No one cares. No one watches. No one monitors. Worse yet, no one seems to be able to do anything about it.

For about a year I went to see a psychologist in training. I was her test subject so she could get her Doctorate Degree. I sat for an hour every week or so and chatted about all the horrors of my past abuses. I talked about it all. From the happy to the sad. To the impossible to tell to the gentle moments. I asked her if she thought I should qualify for the Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome that social services pays to some folks who have experienced nearly unsurmountable trauma. She said she certainly thought I qualified. So I applied.

She also added, "you are lucky, you lived through it and you figured it out. You could and should be a Doctor and you should share your story to help others who have experienced similar problems."

It takes time to get to make an appointment and see someone. Eventually they assigned me to a county psychairist. The lady Doctor was from Pakistan. She was dark with a strong accent, and shrank into her chair like an evil misinformed judge. I felt very uncomfortable speaking to her, because intuitively I felt like whatever I said she was not going to believe me. True. She did not. The meetings were unsuccessful. I filled out some paper work. She looked at me like I was a grub in her bowl of meal.

I was at the age of the end of time when I could apply for help and recieve it, about 65. The Social Service System refuses to give anyone help beyond a certain age because they figure you are either going to die, or if you made it that far without them, you can make it with no assistance at all. No one informed me of this particular rule. My ignorance was in their favor because they would not have wanted to pay me any money because of all the years I have suffered from PTSS. I think this particular shrink knew I needed help but she wanted to keep me suffering because of her background of "women in her country suffering abuse." Essentially she was an educated payback machine, and I was her uneducated victim.

At the terminus of her counseling sessions she says to me in her heavy accent, "You have suffered terrible things, but the thing that is impressive is that you lived through it and you are able and you are working. You do not need help because you are helping yourself. I am going to deny you this assistance."

I went back and entered the world of delivering pizza and getting held up by gunpoint.

There were two reasons she denied my claim. One she knew if she denied my claim I would be too old to get it anymore if approved. If she had accepted my claim, I would have had the help that I was seeking and needed. The other reason she denied my claim was because she was from a country where women have been abused for centuries and are more badly treated than dogs by their own countrymen, and that includes the women as well. She was comparing me with the way they treat women in her country and she saw my life as filled with lovely and unending possiblities, and while she may have felt a twinge of guilt for denying me assistance, she did not care because I was a citizen of the greatest country on earth, America.
And she was a woman who escaped her Pakistani tormentors and came to America and got a Doctorate and rose above her circumstances, so why I had all the chances in the world open before me.

Her reasoning was pure bullshit! She had no empathy for the suffering and trauma I have experienced or still do experience. Her power of position over Americans who suffer was purely political and she was using our politics to gain access to helping to destroy the people who are born in this country, just because she was not. Her denial of my case was political revenge. I am now too old to ever recieve assistance and therefore I can never gain access to the type of salary she requires or is paid by the social services systems, all because she denied me the help I needed to change my life for the better.

People assume American have life easy, but what that woman did was an example of her subtle system of denial using reverse prejudice, where no one could really tell what she was up to. It was a violation of me trusting her and her violating public trust.

Your House Now

Some people prefer to describe the home in which they lived most of their years rather than the home in which they are living now. What is the address of the home you would like to describe in the following series of questions? What are the dates you lived there?

Ever since I graduated from Fresno State University I got a job in the Ahwahnee Hotel in the Hospitality Industry in the Housekeeping Department. I am a called a Quality Lodging Inspector. I have lived in the same 1/2 of a room and my living space in 8 feet by 14 feet approximately. We do not have street addresses because I live in a military barracks that was built in approximately 1935 or much earlier. So my address where I recieve mail is P.O. Box 176, Yosemite, California, 95389. That is where I recieve all my mail at this time of writing. (September 18, 2015.) Yes, I do live in Yosemite National Park.

At 71 years old, this is all I have and the only place I have to live. I have a small single bed covered with an old green firefighters plastic mattress that housing put ontop of a white mattress box springs. This has little short legs that rest on the floor. Surrounding me are the only things I have to help me live, most importantly, my computer, my books, my pictures, and what they always call me: a hoarder. It is not that I am a hoarder, an ugly term, but that I live here out of this room four seasons of the year. It gets hot in the summer, and it is freezing in the winter and the other two seasons, spring and summer require additional clothing items. So I have to be prepared for whatever changes the weather brings. Yet they demean me by calling me their pet name: hoarder.

I feel the way they make us live up here is inhumane considering that they work us with hard labor for 40 hours or more a week. When we are at work we are surrounded by pushy, sarcastic, angry managers who constantly tell us to hurry, and do this, do that, as though we can not think for ourselves or motivate our own selves. This has been one of the most demeaning and demoralizing jobs I have had in my entire life. All because of the attitudes of the managers towards the workers. They are always telling us thankyou but that thankyou does not extend to the pay we deserve, nor the raises we never get, for the amount of money the housekeepers and inspectors bring into the revenue stream of the concessionaire. Point blank, we are grossly underpaid and expected to live in cramped quarters and SMILE.

This one room is supposed to house two individuals. So often over the last going on 7 years I am expected to share this dinky room with another person. For everyone who lives up here, who is an hourly wage earner, we have to share our living quarters with a complete stranger, unless we have a live in partner, are married, or have a general friend. Many people find this living squeeze difficult. It causes many problems of extreme anxiety and frustration for the park workers. It causes gross drinking and partying to relieve the tensions. So houseing here is generally an unpleasant experience. Unless you are a glorified manager and then you get special perks and attentions and are allowed to live well.

Everyday Life

Is there someone you talk with everyday?

For the last 23 years I have talked with my grandson Tyler Christian Nunes everyday. For the majority of those days we were together in person. However once we got cell phones, things changed, because in addition to the cell phones, he got older and started spending more time with his friends, closer to his age, and I spent more time working and getting further along with my education.

However without the cell phone we both would have been lost. I love land lines and cell phones because no matter what people say, if you are able to connect, then you hopefully will hear the voice of your loved ones or family members, that being extremely important in 2015's busy mobile world. I love picking up the phone and talking to my family, especially my grandson. My daughter will answer every once in a while and she and I can visit a bit longer. My grand daughter and I talk by using text lot. She loves to text, but not vocalize as much as the other two. My grandson and I use both talk and long as I either his voice or recieve a text, I am comforted.

Phones are beneficial for other purposes as well. December 23, 2014 I kept calling and calling my grandson with no response. Finally I woke at 4:00 in the morning. I called his number hoping he was awake and willing to answer his phone. The person on the other end of Tyler's phone line was a police officer who said, "We found him. He is passed out in the middle of the intersection of Palm and McKinley." Then click.

At least I knew exactly where he was, and in what condition he was and where he would be for the next few days, locked up in jail. I also knew what had happened. I learned alot from that one phone call. The most important information I recieved by the courteous kindly and merciful police officer was," Tyler was alive, and they would take care of him."

Now it might not be the way a person should take care of themselves, however under the circumstances, it was the best a far distant concerned Grandmother could hope for.

I felt tremendous saddness for my Grandson at that moment. He was lost inside his own emotional world. His girlfriend of the moment had abandoned him. He had to take care of a drug test or be arrested, and she ditched him to the dogs. She allowed him to use her car, even though he was not supposed to drive and she had no insurance on her car. Really a rotten thing to do to a young man having a difficult time with his own responsiblities. This caused me to not like her much.

He took the chance all upon him self and drove to his test. Tested. Then instead of going back to his girlfriend, he went to visit one of his buddies, and they partied too much for his abilities to handle his emotional feelings at the time. He went driving around and fell out at the wheel. Really a bad situation for him. I blame her for neglecting her duties to him as his girlfriend. He took the blame and said he should have drove back to her. Either way it was a bad situation.

The good thing was he stalled out at 4:00 when no traffic was flowing, and he was not killed by a random drive by shooter, and a merciful police officer answered and I said, "Tyler?" And he asked,"Is this his Grandmother?" I said, "Yes"...and I asked is this Tyler, and the officer said, "This is the police, we found him passed out at the wheel in the middle of the intersection at Palm and McKinley." Click. I called back but he never answered the phone again. I am grateful to learn what information he gave me. What suprised me though, was he asked if I was Tyler's Grandmother. Must have been the phone number...!

That resulted in the car being impounded. That resulted in the car being bailed out by me. The car cost me 1,400 dollars that I borrowed against my 2015 taxes from a co-worker. They released Tyler after holding him on a 10 day flash, with no charges except a probation violation. This meant that he was clear of most of the problems related to the incident. However I was out 1,400 dollars that I had to pay back and I am still waiting for the two of them to fork over 1,400 dollars. They have not paid me back. It is like is Grandma....she is supposed to do that for free....naught this time my little sweethearts!

Does a cell phone matter in this incident? Absolutely. Cell phones are important. Talking everyday to someone you love...I do love my Grandson.


Are you usually late or early?

Being early or being late is an interesting issue because throughout our entire lives we are subject to clock education just as soon as we realize the importance of timed events. Timed events seem to rule our lives conspicuously. Everything we do carries the elements of time and length and duration and a begining and an end. We start something and we move through the duration of the activity and we arrive at the termination of the event. Yet the momentum of our existance carries on. The things we did or did not do ripple throughout the universe and touch the lives of millions of people whether we realize this or not. History is a continum of recorded events that have moved the concept of time.

Time means different things to different people. For a woman in the kitchen time is when she puts boiling water in a pan, set it on the stove, and turns on the burner, and then waits, and waits and waits for the water to boil. Scientists have taken "the time" to establish the exact number of minutes required to boil water in different altitudes. Each time varies with the level of air pressure. It is quicker at the lower levels and longer at the higher levels. In very cold weather time takes longer yet.

The importance of time is that it rules our day; it rules our lives. It is the duration of all that we do on many levels. It is our physical sense of relativity. It is our mental cognition during a question and an answer. It is the length of silence between words or thoughts or musical notes that give access to our journey thru the in and out of breathes to our lungs and beats to our hearts. All of these elements that we assume are involved in the more human drama of being late to work or being early to your first date with someone.

Our awareness of time is caused by the first cognitive awareness of hunger pangs when we are first born, to our first bowl movements as time causes the passages of food through our bodies. From the very beginning we build the awareness of the importance of time. Time is more than a clock or a bit of numbers. The meaning of time is built into the depth and breadth of our lives and the operations of the universe.

Weather is a non numerical time clock. I live in a place of four definite and complete seasons with the usual annual variations. We do not have a clock set in the middle of our meadows that begins the operations of the Dogwood Blossums of Springtime, or the changing of leaves at the turn of Fall. No clock on the wall of rocks gives us the date of the first snowfall, nor the hot of summer sun. But what we do have is the temperatures, and their variations of rising and falling, with therir concurrent numbers affecting the alterations of weather via the temperatures of the air. This is how we mark time. This is our calendar of events, when we do not have the human calendar of 365 days, 12 months of 30 days, 4 weeks of seven days, 7 days of 24 hours, 24 hours of 60 minutes per hour, with 1440 minutes in each 24 hour period...and each minute with its 60 seconds of time. We give this to each other. We give each other the idea that time exists.

Time however is open. It is open to the universe and operates on a continum that never ends. We may end as people, but time goes on and it marked by its own operations. So whether we are late or early for work or for an appointment only matters to us, only matters to humans and how they operate their civilization composed of society.

We created birthdays and the birthday party to mark our special event and as a social concept it helps us to be aware of each others duration of life. It helps us to keep our order of operations moving along from sunset to sunlight. That is what it is for. Time helps organize and rule our world. It helps us make sense of events, such as the changing tides of history, or the growth of a child or the length of a marriage, or the moments before we recieve money or earn money. Time for humans is a people experience and is relatively short in understanding because we measure human time with our minds and our bodies. We do not see beyond the shadows of our own walls.

When I worked one season for the IRS I recieved the AWARD for the season, and I was shocked to note what the hulabaloo was all about. They gave one award for this: "the person that showed up everyday, never called in sick and was never late." I was the only person in my entire unit to recieve the award that season. Our unit was composed of both men and women. What I noticed was the behavior of the folks in the unit. Some of them coped really well, I would day normally, and others became like AI Robots, and others cracked up mentally. I understood the first two, but the abberations of the third group was of interest to me.

The folks that cracked up did so in strange manners. One girl that sat across from me, used to work for a while and then take bathroom breaks. We were not supposed to use our cell phones on the job, and she always was sneaky with hers and kept it in her pocket and periodically would play with the keyboard. She did this while sitting at the work bench, thinking of course that no one would notice her activity. I did, but said nothing, because I did not want to accuse her of suspicious activity. But at the same time she would take breaks and go to the bathroom. She did this so often, that I suspected she was up to something. I believed she was stealing propiciary information straight off the tax forms. I thought she was sending private information to someone on the other end of her phone line. Managers should have been watching , but the manager of my unit cracked up as well.

They disappeared the manager off into some foreign house arrest Siberia, I guess. Other behaviors of stress were noted when the men or women broke down in talking...and talking...and talking and telling tales while stamping documents. This one lady from the middle east just went nuts on the conversation, until I decided she was nuts. I felt uncomfortable with her on the shift because she was so explosive I thought she just might nut up and pull her pin. She and her husband had something to do with the military bases...lived on them...or he worked on them...whatever, this was after 9/11 and everyone everywhere was experiencing nervosa concerns.

Needless to say those people who talked to much or acted suspicious never won the "never late for work awards" because they were remiss in showing up for the awards banquet. I loved my job at the IRS. So the following season I tried to upgrade to another unit. Naught. I had no hand eye co ordination for typing in and understanding text. Go figure. It was back to numbly stamping documents. Instead I decided to fill my "time" running pizza for Dominos Pizza Company.

Like I said, delivering pizza is another timed device. Everything in the universe is about time.

Death is about time as well. We grow from baby to teenager, to young adult to middle age, to elderly and the old age. We feel the dimenishing effects of time throughout our lives. Our minds, bodies, and spirits, move through the experience knowing what is going on and we continually try to slow down the trap of time and its effects of biological dimenishing on our humanity. We learn to do this individually and we try to submit our information to the larger social community in order to effect changes or create new values, or create healthier lives for everyone.

Time is required to learn, to acquire information, and to share the information, to digest the information and then to make active the information that we learn. It is all necessary in the grand parade of INFORMATION PROCESSING. It takes TIME.

Are you more comfortable speaking or writing? Do you enjoy talking on the phone more than writing letters?

My favorite activity in the whole world is writing. It is a hand eye united with my mind and my memories and my thoughts that make it way more entertaining than any other activity. The conumdrum is that I do not like to sit still for any long duration of TIME. That was one of the reasons that I loved EXOTIC DANCING. I could express myself through music and I could wear beautiful costumes and I could socialize with persons of the opposite sex. I got too old for this activity and decided I needed to do something less youth-oriented.

I love to write and when in high school I was in a SPEAKING ORGANIZATION. I won awards for PUBLIC SPEAKING. I was good. My difficulty then was being shy and memorizing the information. I have always not been able to memorize great amounts of information on the spur of the moment or ON DEMAND. I can write expertly about my subject matter, I just cannot memorize, so I have to read it off the paper. It is my opinion that reading material when you are simultaneously speaking to a listening audience is not effective presentation. Audience members want to see your face and hear in your voice as much sincerity as though you were talking to them for the very first TIME.

Writing letters for me is like talking to the person. I find more satisfaction writing my words that are formed in my mind than in merely talking through empty spaces on a telephone. Other than the love of hearing from favorite people in order to hear their souls talking to me. I love hearing the sound of the person in real TIME. But I believe more can be explained and said in a deeper way when the words of the world of our thoughts are written down on paper.

I grew up reading and the reading encouraged the actual format of imagination produced by my mind. We did not have a television back in the 1950's but I read the words and could visualize the images the words produced, and them I could draw the images I saw. This was fun for me, but always angered my Father tremendously. My Father blamed all my thoughts and behavior on an over active imagination. He did not understand how my mind worked and he never knew how to associate his adultness with my acute imagination. He wanted to keep me hidden under a blanket for all my life. He did not want anyone to see me. Unfortunately for him, I did have to attend public school and so people did get to see me, but again, that process, took TIME.

Today I would love to verbally share some of my experiences and philosophies on a PUBLIC SPEAKING TOUR. First however I wish to write so I can understand the many and varied experiences that life has thrown my way.

Do you have any superstitions?

Basically I am not a superstitious person, however when good things occur, I am sure they came from somewhere. We can easily access this as some folks do as good KARMA or as some folks liken to VOODOO when bad things happen. I do not believe in superstiitions as such, given the meaning of the word, however I do realize that when certain people are around, bad things do happen and they do happen to me. So I must think back to what caused the event. I try not to blindly blame anyone. I do try to evaluate the cause by thinking about the other people in the room, and their state of mind at the time. I try to consider their egos worthiness, and what their intentions were at the moment of our state of physcial intersection.

It is a matter of logistics and TIMING. As they same timing is everything. All this means is that you can place yourself in the exact location you want to be for the maximum effect of wished for experience. It is a matter of choosing our destiny by our casual or our predetermined presence in some situation or location. This has alot to do with "our personal dreams". The more aware of our ability to do what it is that we want with our lives, the more exacting we can become with choosing the outcomes.

We have had ladders put up to build or repair things around our dairy farm at Exeter. My folks used to tease us to never walk beneath a ladder or bad things will happen. They required that we walk around the ladder. But when you think about the logistics of a ladder suspended by a leverage action, the stable anchor of the bottom legs are a few feet away from the building and the top anchor is smaller and rests squarely on the wall of the building. This gives the entire apparatus a locked in stability and leverage of the brace. When either the bottom or the top sits in an insecure base, the entire ladder could potenially fall and injure the person standing on the top or the base could kick out from the bottom, causing injury.

The point is, my parents always told me or encouraged me to walk around ladders. For them it was a purely practical condition of farm safety. Some others may have noted this as a family supersitition. I am a wee bit nauseous and nervous when I walk beneath a ladder, more because of how they always teased me about walking beneath a ladder than because of the safety factors involved. This is how superstitions get passed on. Supersititions often are started because of safety issues and not necessarily because they bring bad luck.

Often I have heard the story of LaHorona...the wicked latin lady who roams the streets at night looking for her lost child. When she spots a lost child wandering the streets at night she takes the child home, to never be seen again. Sometimes the story teller will say,"LaHorona eats the children after she catches them." A pretty scary story to tell a child. No one wants to be eaten alive, or eaten at all. The effect of the tale is intended to keep little children indoors, where essentially they will remain safe, secure and content.

I have heard this story often while living among Mexican/American neighborhoods. The effect it had on me in my adult life was exactly the same as it has on the young children...I am nervous and insecure when I walk alone in those neighborhoods, and am afraid that a strange old women will get me and eat me alive. Yes this is a superstition. But it does exactly what it is supposed to do. The tale keeps us in at night.

Do you have certain days of the week you do certain chores?

My life has been inundated by duties and chores. Honestly I do not ever believe I was a kid. I was born an adult with an adult mind and given adult duties and chores to help out my family and as a life experience, to keep me learning and living. Chores were survival in our family in order to maintain all the necessary elements to continue surviving and living.

Doing chores became the mainstay of later job survival. Chores became the training ground for all tasks begun and finished. The chores I was assigned as a child were all related to our farm life. My Father started me our between walking and the time we moved to perform and accomplish tasks. The punishment for not "doing what I was told" was always a whipping. These motivational punishments were administered by his strong thick hand, or a milking machine belt made of heavy black leather, a real whip made of coiled rounded leather strips, and a branch from a willow tree that he would allow me to choose. Nice.

In the beginning if I did not do the chores he set for me to do, he would punish me in this manner. "Merrily", he would say, "you are going to get a whipping" and then he would say my crime. My crimes were many when I was a child. The list goes something like this: not watering the calves on TIME, watering the calves, but letting the water run over, going off and leaving the calf water running, flooding the ground, sleeping with the cats, bringing cats into my bed, hiding under the old house with the neighnors boy and playing around naked, and getting in trouble with my brother who would sneak into my bed at night and try to experiement on me, not cooking the meat correctly, burning the meat, playing with my food at dinnertime, rolling bread balls out of bread dough...well those are my crimes that I remember the most. I am certain there are others. But they were all pretty much related to chores because my Father had me cooking, and taking care of the calves in the pens before I was in the first grade. The cats simply liked me, and my Brother was four years older than me and experiencing his own growth spurts.

After we moved to Exeter, well things did not change much. I was given the same chores, plus new chores. The list goes something like this: watering, feeding, and cleaning the calves in their pens, washing the cows udders on the apron before they were milked, (that means washing the cow manure off their udders with a big heavey black hose), hoeing thistle down the rows in the fields, pruning and cutting grape vines, picking cotton when Daddy had cotton growing on his newly acquired 40 acres, helping with the hay baling and hay stacking in the haybarn, washing the dishes after our meals, sweeping the kitchen floors, (we had tile and concrete, no rugs), cooking the three main meals of the day for our family, (and making cookies, pies, cakes and bread on the weekends because my Father had to have cookies, pies, cakes, and bread to survive), selling turnips in the fog of the winter at a stand on the road, (I sold one or two bundles to neighbors and thought it was great), and helping Mother plant the family garden three times a year (one was summer and one was spring and one was winter), and then we would can fruit and can vegetables for consumption throughout the year, (our frezzer was always full), and then there was the washing of the dirty clothes, (in those TIMES we did not have spin washers, so we had to wring out the clothes through a roller, and we did not have driers to dry our clothes indoors, so we had to hand carry the clothes out to a line and use clothes pins to hang our clothes to dry, and then we had to wait and wait until the clothers were dry and take them off the line and back inside the house where we folded them and sortedd them and put them away...only to do it all over again in a few days or wait until the next weekend or a sunny day. We used to hand hang the clothes out on the line in the middle of cold winter fog as well.)

Other things I did but I had to do were not considered chores but were part of my life routine, like 4-H classes on the weekends at Mrs. Paul Stones house. Sometimes they invited me to their church, the local Methodist Church, where Mary Stone, Mrs. Stone beautiful blond haired angelic daughter played the paino, and I got to sit next to them and listen to the gospel truths. It was really difficult for me to hear and understand what they were saying because my head was filled with the trauma and tremors in my home life.

It is impossible to believe in something told with words, that does not exist on a daily basis in your own life. We only lived a peach orchard away, but our lives were extremely different. That difference was like the distance between earth and a super nova. My head and my heart was filled with chores and punishments and never ending pain. While the Stones and Mary's life was filled with light, joy, happiness and prayers. We lived two peach orchards away eh? Mary would go to church on Sundays, and wear pretty dresses and smell clean and be all white and pick and blue and sit at the piano and play her beautiful music, and me, I would sit and cry and remember the darkness of my own life compared to the light and beauty of her life. Yeah, I was the rich farmers daughter alright!

All these chores stayed in my daily routine pattern for years, until I reached 18 and begain to work up in Sequoia National Park, just to get away from the tormentive daily life. However then I also had to attend College of Sequoias in Visalia, and so my Father declared I had to live at home and obey all his continued rules until I was 21. Chores never really ended. I literally ran away when I was 21. He and I had a terrible verbal fight and it ended my world at the dairy, for the TIME being.

Do you eat your meals at the same time everyday? What do you most often eat?

Eating meals has always been a painful experience for me. I used to work really hard at learning how to accomplish the tasks my Father set forth for me. I was cooking so early that I was bound to make mistakes, that I was not allowed to make. Usually I make the salads and the vegetables perfect. I always set the table for my Mother, because that was what she had me do first to acquaint myself with kitchen utensils and dishes of foods. That is probably typical in every family.

It was a tradition for us to sit down to each and every meal together. This was consistent for my Brother, my Mother and my Father and me. Sometimes he would say a prayer. Sometimes he would just glower at us and stare, then loudly say, "eat your food." Mealtimes were broken up with some conversations like, "pass the potatoes." Or at other times my Mother and my Father would say something like, "Sadie is in", or "we got to build a fence." At other moments the conversation would shift in my direction and I would hear from my Father, "Merrily, stop playing with your food."

Meal conversations were not about fun things, unless me and my Father laughed at his jokes and made some of our fun jokes like sexual asides. Then we would laugh at our understanding of this subject and laugh for a few good minutes, then he would batter up again and get mad. I guess he figured it was not appropriate, but it was funny, and he was ashamed he was laughing with me at what then consituted adult humor, and he realized it was not apropriate. The laughter just felt good. And yes, I understood adult humor, because he was raising me as an adult with adult responsibilities, not as a little kid who delighted in toys. The only toy I remember was a doll from when I got older. I do never got toys. I got things to use, like sock, and underwear, and a toothbrush. Things poor people give to their kids to keep on taking care of the basics of living, not the idol fun of life. But that is OK, my compensation was learning how to read, so I could have fun in my imagination. Learning how to sew so I could have nice pretty clothes to wear to school. Learning how to cook so I could make my Father happy. Although he never was happy with me and always, always found a way to turn a happy moment into a punishment.

Our diet at the time was very rich. We had anything and everything to eat, and for this I praise my Father. He never left us to want for any food. We had meat of all kinds, we had vegetables, because we always planted gardens, and we had fruits from trees we always had growing, and milk, and butter because we made our own, and cheese and cottage cheese because we made our own, and breads because I learned how to make breads. Breads were a delightful task my Mother and I shared. On the weekends she and I would cook in the kitchen, and it all seemed to be about making my Father happy.

This really wonderful kitchen center continued until I left home. My delicious diet disappated into a rube of random items from fast food restaurants. I like stopped cooking as soon as I was gone away. I worked in restaurants and ate from the commercial menus. At home I had a love of random items and salads and fast foods that were purchased from McDonalds, and Carl's Jr., and KFC's. The reason for the disintegration in diet choices was that I did not available items from "a ranch". Food is dependent on the amount of money one person has to spend, and no work I ever did ever paid me much money. So I never had alot of money to spend on food, especially after I paid rent on a place to stay, and on a car to drive, and on storage of my goods, and on insurance for the car, and electricity for my place, and clothing if I needed items to wear, so I never made enough money to pay for my needs. My Father as much as he thought he was teaching me, never taught me "how to make lots of money".

So it did not do much good for me to grow up "the rich daughter of a wealthy portuguese dairy farmer." That was pretty much nonsense. He trained me essentially to be a domestic servant, not even a wife, because what wife would want to experience daily punishments with a whip?

Do you sing in the shower?

Singing some words for me was an impossible dream. I loved music and the emotions music made me feel. I tried and tried to sing words and find ways to musically express my feelings. I never could do it very well. Maybe their was a time. But most of the time music just made me cry. I could not stand crying because crying never changed my circumstances. So I just listened and said nothing.

I neve sang in the shower. I did discover one place where I could sing and the cows heard me and my Mother, who loved to sing and read poetry, could hear me. This place was inside the dairy barn in the rooms where they washed the equipment. I was also issued the chore of helping my Mother clean the dairy equipment after she was done milking the cows. Usually this was during the summer months when school was out and I had more time in the evening to cook dinner and help with clean the milking equipment. The days were longer and the light of the sun took longer to hit the horizon at dusk.

In the two rooms in the dairy barn designated for the holding tank filled with milk, and the storage of the milking equipment, is where I would lift my voice and sing. It was joyful because my voice echoed throughout the entire rooms and was amplified in such a way that it moved the sparrows in the rafters. I loved to sing there when I was happy and my Father was off doing some task out in the fields. Usually he would be watering the fields and he had to walk and walk and walk or take the tractor to clear a patch of mud out of the water channels. So I would be with my Mother and I would sing and make up songs. I put words to my tones and melodies and sing and sing. Then just as quickly as the spirit moved me I would stop. Usually when my Father came back and walked into the diary, I knew it was over.

Do you garden? Vegetable, flower, herbs?

One summer my Grandmother, Dixie Storr, went to Europe. She assigned me the task of taking care of her cactus gardens when she was gone. I think she was gone for nearly two months on her tour. I took this job she gave me seriously. I was out at her trailer behind our house every night in the cool of the sun dip, watering her cactus. She had lots of plants. Some that hung from baskets, and some that rimmed her steps into her home, and some that lived in pots along the edge of her wire fence lining her trailer. She had Canna Lillies and Holly Hocks, and many other varieties of blooming flowers in bright colors. I loved her garden.

I wanted to make her garden live and be happy as possible, so I was the most attentive and diligent gardener she ever had, maybe even more so than herself. I know that when i began watering her garden it was green and every day that I watered her garden it became even more green and buds and leaves began sprouting everywhere. It was lovely.

She was suprised when she returned that I had done such a fine job of taking care of her cactus. I do not remember what she gave me in return, probably just a "thankyou". She was not too much on hugging me.

My Mother dug up the lawn in front of our Exeter house and we moved every rose bush and then some new ones to the front of the house so she could have a rose garden to look at when ever the big living room window was open and the kitchen window was open. It was wonderful and smelled ever so sweet.

She planted white and pink and yellow PEACE roses, and pink roses, and red roses, and white roses, and lavendar roses, and orange and white roses...many people would stop roadside and find her outside to ask her if they could have a cutting of a particular rose. She would always clip of a cutting and help share her rose colored wealth. I do not know why she did this; change the lawn of green to a garden of roses. Maybe she wanted to say something to people without using words. Like she wanted people to see her beautiful life work, and the lovely colors of her world, as opposed to just the flat green expanse of a green lawn. Maybe she wanted to protect her home from people accidentally running off the road and hitting the house in a car accident, this is likely probable because she had a collection of large mountain rocks that lined the entire front yard. It was close to the road. Our front bay window was only 15 feet from the road. That is a little too close for comfort.

In the 1960's Mother planted a row of Ocala Cactus along one fenceline. In 2019 I went to visit the property where I spent my youth. The row of Ocala Cactus was still there, at least 1/4 of a mile down the fenceline and over 15 feet tall. My Mothers legacy had lived on for now. Until the new owners of the property may or may not pull them all down and other changes are created. Where our old home stood, was now a solitary cow pasture, the home to one lonely black and white Holstein cow. Our home had been wrecked and the new owners had built a new house, just like the kind I had begged my Father to build for us, but he never would upgrade our home.

My Father liked to eat food, but Mother was the gardener in our family. She loved to plant growing things. We had yearly gardens and semi annual gardens and spring gardens and winter gardens and all year gardens. They all grew in a patch of ground of intense beauty between the old wooden green house, that was 100 years old, my grandmothers trailer home, and our concrete block house and behind the dairy barn. When Mother was not milking cows, sleeping, washing clothes, nor going to town to shop she would be out in the garden hoeing weeds, pruning, picking vegetables or fruits, watering the plants, or tying up vines. She never stopped going. That was her motto, "just keep on going." And she did up until her end in the fall of September of 1994.

Along the house Mother grew herbs for cooking, like Rosemary, Thyme, and Chives, and small onions. She loved having plants around her and in front of her. My Mother had found her joy and happiness in life in some celestial way. She served the needs of her family, the cows, and her plants...and went about her life in a peacefilled and sublime innocent way. She avoided all the negaitivity that I experienced or saw.

My Mother was a Rose in a garden of brambles. She was the queen of simplicity and lived without perplexity in her mind, as simple and sweetly as she dreamed. That was not what happened to me.

What is the first thing you usually do when you come home from work?

Work for me has always been some way to earn a living in order to pay bills and live. I have done lots of type of work in my life, but classified in the domestic titles. I have cleaned houses, cleaned offices, been a housekeeper, been a waitress, been a chef, been a receptionist, worked worked Bennetts Truck Rental in Salt Lake City Utah, worked as a retail clerk at Jaks Dress Shop in Salt Lake City, Utah, worked at the Mint Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, worked at Treasure Mountain Ski Lodge in Park City Area of Utah, worked at Milts Stage Stop in Cedar City, Utah, working in the COS library in Visalia, Calif, worked in Sequoia National Park as a waitress and a housekeeper at Kings Canyon National Park, After I lived in Utah, I moved to Visalia and worked for Kandarians Dress Shop in either Visalia or Tulare, worked as a Vista Volunteer in Visalia, then i moved to San Francisco where I worked for Luwanis Tailoring Shop, and then I dropped out of the world and began a career as a topless dancer at Topless In The Round and moved around alot. Two years of being a homeless drug addicted vagabond and moving between Los Angeles and San Francisco where I had no job, no home no money but I did aquire a plethora of torrid interpersonal affairs or life experiences...leading me to a pregnancy who lead me away from my wayward lifestyle back into the mainstream of living.

My first job after the whirlward of life gone awiry was in sewing clothes through Betty Voltz fabric store in Exeter, and then as my life continued I worked in a packing shed. Then I moved up to a job in 3 Rivers at Pearl and Opals, Noisey Waters Cafe. From there I went to Mamouth ski resort and cooked and then back to the MBAR J Guest Ranch to cook for Bunny and Archie Stockebrand...and I think prior to all this I worked for Ringling Brothers Barnm and Bailey Circus as a Butcha...selling circus birds and hotdogs in the stands before and during the Circus Performance.

Then I went to Sacramento and worked for Al Ross, at Sugar and exotic dance theatre. From their I toured Canada and danced across the continent and then moved to Las Vegas and danced at the World famous Palomino Club and the Satin Saddle and the Holiday Inn, and the Crazy Horse Saloon, and the Tigers Eye, and The Tender Trap, and then the Casino Royale. Somewher in there between gigs I also toured the United States in my Bubble Top Van and danced across the whole of the USA,...and Hawaii.

I got married for the first time. We moved to Exeter to my folks ranch and my husband worked at Watermans Foundry and hated it. I decided to move to Fresno and I danced for a quick minute at the Peek A Boo...and then at my husbands encouragement opened my own business in 1985, "Merrily's Singing Telegrams and Exotic Entertainment." This was great until my husband lost himself to alcohol, drugs and sleeping with the loose entertainers in the troop. Then he divorced me. Then he died in 2006 of an overdose...of some unknown medication.

I moved to Las Vegas, and tried to open a business of selling ads, but that did not work, so I applied at Dominos Pizza as a Driver. I worked for Dominos for 8 years, both in Las Vegas and in Fresno. I worked at the IRS for a season, and decided to go back to school in 2006 to Fresno State University where I got my Bachelors Degree at the age of 65 in Anthropology, Archealogy, Criminology, and Theatre Arts.

So my question to anyone reading this is: "what do you do when you come home from work?"

Do you play the lottery? Have you ever won?

Oh yes, playing the lottery! What a fabulous daydream that is for the majority of people, myself included. We get a thought in our mind, we make a move at the counter, we purchase anything because we believe in the logistics of winning by chance or we make a calculated decision that the numbers we plant on that little tiny piece of paper are miraculously going to make us wealthier than all our years of hard strenuous labors.

We know that one win of a great lot of money will take us out of our abject miserable lives and into the greatest affordable world conquest ever known...we can do this. Naught! For most folks it never happens. We fret and we sweat and we read that some other undeserving person won. It was a random choice and it could have been, but was not yet, us. Why? We are just as deserving as the next other random selected individual?

So we believe that this time we will win, and we purchase one or more lottery tickets, and wait and wait and wait...not believing that the light of all the Gods did not shine on us.
Maybe we are lucky to never win. Think of all the changes we would have to experience. Friends and family memebers would be lining up on our front door steps just waiting to knock on our door of opportunity, with their hands out and their claims to our good fortunate should be shared by all their wants, dreams and desires and dislocated lottery purchases. After all...they have been buying into the free money dream for years as well, so "arent we just as deserving as you are?"

Now I cannot say I have never won anything. I work for a company that has a raffle and I won a blue ray DVD player one time. Then, way back in the beginning of the lottery systems and the scratcher schemes, I did manage to walk into a convenience store feeling all yellow and golden, made my purchase, and lo the Gods smiled on me with a 50 buck smile. I am still waiting for the million dollar spill.

That all would describe me. I could pay off my student loan, my car payment, all my credit card debts, I could buy that house that would keep me off the streets and my family off the welfare roles, and I could get my belongs out of storage, and I might achieve the success story and American Dream that never ever comes to me...just like the carrot always dangling in front of my face, but never getting eaten.

I am like really, really tired of listening to every one else happiness and joys and marriages and houses they live in...and being a citizen in a country that never allows me to share in the dream. Everyone else is educated, wealthy, successful, with careers on the roll, and I am surrounded by over achievers, and aggressive money grabbing personalities. Not touching me.

I hear of immigrant Mexicans win all the time, or the Black American man with 10 kids, and I say to myself, how wonderful, how wonderful. Then I recall the fabulously sorrowful tail of the glamours Las Vegas Cocktail Waitress who had worked for quite a few years at Ceasars Palace. She won the circuit Slot Machine Loop...for something like the largest win in history of 300 Million Dollars. I thought wow, when I first heard it, what a lucky young woman. Within two weeks she had married the man of dreams, and was driving to her home in Henderson, got smacked a drunk driver and made the front page news, "Paraylized For Life" the recesnt winner of the largest slot payout in history of 300 million dollars decked by a drunk driver and unable to move from her neck down for the remainder of her life.

How not worth winning the giant payoff if that is the consequences. I felt traumatically saddened and deed sorrow for such a waste of new beginnings, her golden life crushed by the circumstances created by someone elses carelessness. And she being a former cocktail waitress, and he was drunk. Ironic. Totally ironic.

I would love to win that much money at the end of my life. Perhaps my children would benefits and not have to suffer so much trauma.

Have you ever been addicted to anything?

After years of participating in nearly everything, I finally took a look at the addiction sciences. I am an addict. That is my conclusion. That is my personal evaluation. I have a no holds barred opinion about it. I am an addict. I have an addictive personality. So I have taken great pains and precautions and studied and disciplined myself accordingly. I have learned to resist and evaluate my inner processes and desires, and not I have a firm grip on the addictions.

I have to give all my thanks to my Grandson Tyler Christian Nunes for making me realize the deadly consequences of habits upon the mind, soul, emotions, and body of oneself. If I had not been given him to raise and take care of, the outcome of my life at this moment of July, 18, 2015 might not be the same as it is now. I do not smoke. I do not drink. I do not do any anti social drugs or narcotics. I am celebate. I watch my diet. I listen to my thoughts. I am rather vocal about all of the addictions...smoking, drugs, alcohol, food, and sex. Sex being the worst at all times.

My early childhood beginnings informed me of my primary addictive syndromes. The first addiction I acquired was to the innocent and delicious Chocolate Malted beverage composed of vanilla ice cream, chocolate syurp and malted milk powder. This was my beverage of choice and the only drink I absolutely craved. I was ridiculously obsessive about this particular drink. And when I wanted a Chocolate malted, no other drink satisfied my desire. One of these drinks firmly gripped between my tiny white paws with a white straw stuck between my lips would make my mind quiet.

So I got into the Marlboro Reds, pack after pack after pack, until I easily smoked 3 packs of Reds per day, none stop. My cigarette habit was like a lot of money wasted. Uh...10 to 15 dollars per day wasted on cigarette smoking. My gums were suffering and sore. My lungs hurt.

Eventually the Chocolate Malted Milk Drink lost its power over me. I segwayed to Barbeque Potatoe Chips in exactly the same manner I desired the Malt. These I consumed in quantities. If we did not have a bag of BBQ Chips in the kitchen, I collapsed into a fit of nervous desire. I searched everywhere in the kitchen or the rooms for a hidden bag or a crumb to suck on the BBQ flavor. It was not necessarily the chip itself, it was the BBQ favor my body and my mind demanded. The BBQ Chip rolled into another item.

Replacing the Malted for the Chips, now I replaced the Chips for the little brown bagggies of M&M's. I had to make note none of the foods I was addicted to was diet worthy. Unless you consider the Malt had some redeeming dietary values. But those M&M's were fabulous. I seldom even look in their direction as they sit beckonly on the grocery or convenience store shelves.

I should make mention that at the time prior to the Malted Milk Habit I also could include a special over the edge fondness for ripping the centers out of a white bread slice and rolling it into small tiny hard bread balls. These I popped into my mouth to roll around on my tongue and chomp into the centers, one by scrumptious one. This caused my Father to raise his heavy voice and hit the table with his fist, or sometimes he would full hand slap me across the face and send me to my room, uh, without supper, and without the support of my bread balls.

The ruling addiction and the most destructive of all addictions came upon me early: childhood masturbation. Not on all the earth is anything more powerful of feeling and more pleasurable than the act of self pleasuring. It was the most compelling physical feeling that completely overcame all the whippings, and the slappings and the yelling and the internal torment that occured in my early life. It is the one addictive stimulation that has been virtually impossible to control It is the one pleasure that mounts wars, tears down walls, and causes religions to curse its own believers. It is the profile of a doomed and self destructive relationship within ones own life and the life of potential marital partners. It is also the addiction performed by individuals upon their own person that is the basis of lies and deceits and coverups because in the whole of the world it is a forbidden and shameful taboo. And I am fairly certain this is one of the reasons for my Fathers whippings and my escape from them. It is the basis of sadomasochistic behavior in all people, or bondage behavior. More people need to accept their responsiblities and their participation in this activity in order to understand the outcomes and consequences upon the rudimentary personalities involved: themselves.

Foods have always been a difficult addiction to turn away from. I have come to believe I am a binge eater since thinking back to the different foods I have been attracted to, each represents some type of chemical need within my body or some emotional desire that can only be satisfied by a particular substance, such as coffee drinking.

Coffee drinking held a particular fondness for me after high school and when I began to adopt adult styled activities, such as working to earn money. Coffee was the adult beverage of choice. Then along came Charlie Kent Line and our year long relationship that ended, causing my first bout with cigarette smoking. The cigarette smoking was also caused by my crazy addiction to sex. So the cigarette smoking was merely a pacifier to the sex addition after Charlie and I ended our time together.

Addictions are not singular phenonmena, they are interactive culprits that ping off of other neural needs. One asks the other, one makes a hole for the other to fill, one leaves you feeling empty and so you discover some substance that is bigger and better and the hole gets deeper and deeper, until nothing can satisfy the craving or the need. That is when you know if you want to live a decent life, you stop it all.

I smoked three times in my life. Each time was after I broke up with a serious male relationship. The first time was after Charlie, the second time was after Charles Gulo, and the third time was after my late husband Micheal Hunter McCarthy. Each time I smoked it lasted about one year. Then I got a grip on my addiction and bad habit and stopped, cold turkey. Smoking cigarettes was really difficult to stop.

I believed that smoking was necessary, like food and water and while I was engaged in the smoking habit, it was a paramount activity vital to my well being. It gets to a person real bad. It is a neurological impulse that leads without inhibition. My biggest problem with smoking was and still is, I am a chain smoker because of my addictive personality. I am not satisfied with one smoke every once in awhile, no. I have to have one after the other after the other and still I am dizzy and filled with a desire. My smokers habit was horrible and horrifying to be so hooked on something with such deadly consequences.

I absolutely hated the smell of the smoke drifting off my lips, and wafting up my nostrils, but I smoked anyway. I hated the ashes heaping into the ash trays. I hated the acrid burning sensation as it hit the mucous membranes in my mouth and around my gums. I hated the way the toxins and the poisons in the cigarettes pained my lungs as I inhaled. Cigarettes were horrible for me. I hated the way the smoke chemicals entered my brain and I could feel the neural paths create a mental dizziness and degeneration. I did not think the same thoughts when I smoked, as when I did not smoke. I always felt something was wrong.

So as my habit increased the cost of the cigarettes began to mount up. I easily spent 10 to 15 dollars a day on smoking. Even though my gums were suffering and sore. Even though my lungs hurt. Now 15 dollars a day, every day is 450 dollars per month. That amounts to 5,400 dollars per year...on just cigarettes. Who has that kind of money to burn? I had a habit that was requiring me to waste that much money on something that was killing me.

I managed to get my senses together and stop smoking after I broke up with Charlie. That was about 1966. I stayed smoke free for many years after. I met Chuck Gulo around 1978 and we lived together until about 1983. Then we broke up and I started smoking again. After about another year of the same addiction and same stinky cigarette smell and same dislike of the ashes and the burning tips of the cigarette in my mouth area, I quit, cold turkey.

Then I met Michael Hunter McCarthy and he smoked like a crazy man. He was a chain smoker and worse. All the time we were together I did not smoke, until up to the very end of our relationship when it was over. It has always been the same destructive attitude, and I think everyone must have the same similar thought run through their minds at the ingestion of the first goes something like this, "Oh well, fuck it!" Then you buy a pack and light it up.

After my marriage to Michael quite well ended, my daughter further complicated my life by handing me her first born son to take care became more than awhile, and unfortunately I had begun smoking a bit and I should not have picked up the habit again. However I tried to fool myself into believing that menthols were safer than Reds. And then I further tried to fool myself by trying to convince myself that it would be OK to smoke say, Cambridge Lights. Something truely miraculous occured. The Cambridge Lights made me cough and I knew my lungs had had all the smoking they could stand it I was going to stay alive and take proper care of my baby grandson. I had one last terrible coughing fit and I passed out.

At the time my grandson was playing in the room and pushed and pulled on me to wake up. So he saved my life. He also saved his life as well. The day that happened was the last day, back in 1992, that I every smoked a cigarette. I have been cigarette free for the last 23 years. My Grandson, Tyler Christian Nunes saved my life. It is because of him I quit smoking forever. I realized then that if I did not stop the smoking, I would not live another day, and he would have no one to take care of him, at least not me.

After about two weeks of carefully abstaining and monitoring my smokers behavior I was out of danger and the desire to smoke had abaited. However to get that far without smoking was extraordinarily difficult. It is not easy to break a habit that is neurological, and one that we attach significant emotional importance to. We think smoking is part of our self identification and adultness. Truely it is not. We attach our personalities to the idea that smoking is sophisticated and we require it to attract a man, or a woman, but, cigarette smoking is a filthy habit and is not attractive at all. It is a very selfish and self indulgent practice.

I will not ever be with a man who smokes.

So with the coffee came smoking eventually. What about the alcohol? Ah yes. I was not much of a drinker either. That changed as well. i would drink once in awhile, but with alcohol I did not like the way it made me feel. Alcohol was bad for me. Really bad. The times I did drink I would slip slide away and be loose as a goose and then pass out. I could not hold liquor, and hated wine and had a proclivity to a couple of beverages that were women type of drinks. MY favorite flavors of alcohol were from Kalua and Cream, Baileys Irish Cream, and Emmetts Irish Cream. The only wine I liked was Spatlaz...a pure white wine with a delicious flavor.

I knew I was an alcoholic when I began buying entire bottles of Baileys Irish Cream and taking then into the darkest corner of the room all by myself and sitting with the bottle until it was completely gone...just because I loved the flavor of the drink. I knew I was an alcoholic when I only wanted to be a solo drinker. It was me and my relationship with the beverage in my body. That was all I wanted and all I needed.

One day I was like curled up in the booth of the Tigers Room all by myself with a bottle of real champagne and passed out. It was the last time I did that. I went home and had a case of the DT's and I knew I had a problem. I slowed down after that and pretty much stopped. However after I married Michael Hunter McCarthy, on our wedding night we celebrated with a bottle of champaign. We both got drunk on the beverage and began to argue over probably nothing...Michael became verbally abusive and I swung at him and he got mad and knocked me across the room over a television set and into a plate glass window. I brusied my ribs and got a black eye from the experience.

It did not end my marriage, it was the beginning of it. I thank Micheal for getting me to see the full reasons not to smoke, drink, or do drugs. Michael was a chronic alcoholic, drug user and smoke addict. He was full blown and I did not realize what it was all about, however he introduced me to ADDICTION in a big way. Because he was so bad, I went in the opposite direction. I stopped drinking completely, and did not smoke and did not use drugs at all. This was in 1985 and we stayed married until 1991.

Do you have a habit you'd like to break?

We all have habits we would like to break. Some of us, like myself have more than one habit that we need to work on. I have serveral that I have worked on for years, some successfully and others I have to continue to correct. Some of the major habits that I work on are also social habits that other people have difficulty in correcting. So this is an important question for me to answer. The major social problems across the board are Alcohol, Cigarettes, Drugs, Sex and Food. In America we are inundated by these habits which for many of us are major addictions as well.

I am going to address each habit and upgrade them, in my case to addictions. The first habit listed is alcohol. This is a legal accessible liquid obtainable easily by all people who are legally over the age of 21. In some instances young people under age can acquire alcohol much to the chagrin of the legal and commercial systems and to the parents of those under age 18 who talk someone into buying the alcolholic beverages for them or use fake ID's.

Have you ever smoked cigarettes?

Cigarettes were a nemisis for me during my life. They nearly killed me, and this is how. All my early childhood with my parents and also during my high school days while living with my parents on their dairy farm was cigarette free. The worst thing I breathed from 1944 until 1962 was methane gas, and lots of it, generated from all the cow manure. It was probably worse for me than cigarette smoke. However, my parents never ever smoked cigarettes. Since my Mother was a chronic asthmatic, one cigarette would have killed her. My Father just did not like cigarettes. He felt they were nasty. My Brother never touched cigarettes either because he too had breathing and allergy problems. As for me my first cigarette came after Charlie Kent Line and I left each other back in the mid 60's. I picked up a cigarette after our Year of Singing In The Sunshine.

I believe smoking that first cigarette was the worst thing I have ever done to my body. Charlie had beaten me black and blue every day for an entire year and when I left on the airplane out of Salt Lake City via the direction of the Lawyer Byrd...I landed in Visalia, California. My Father picked me up and I went back to living on the farm with my folks. The feeling of living their again was a horrid experience because it represented my personal failure to succeed with a man and with my dreams of a career doing something beside being on a dairy. So I enrolled in College of Sequoias again, to finish my 2 year education and get an AA. And I started smoking.

I weighted like 108 pounds and got a job in Kandarians Dress Shop in Visalia or one of the local towns. And as school was in session I joined up with Vista Volunteers and worked with Peter Bender at his office in North Visalia. I fell in love with Peter Bender and began smoking alot. I studied in school, worked in the dress shop and filled in with what I thought was "good community works".

Because of all the beatings and abuse I had endured the year before, I was a very nervous and emotionally wrecked young woman of 22. I would begin to shake and so I smoked. I attached myself to the idea that it was a sophisticated habit. I considered it helpful to my well being at the time. However every time I lite up a cigarette I hated the way the smoke burned my eyes, the nasty ashes that always drifted onto my clothes, and the buring of the butts in the ash trays. Then cigarette packages cost around 2 to 3 dollars. Now a days they are 5 or 6 dollars a pack. Ridiculous.

Peter always looked at me sideways when I smoked, but many people in those days that I was around also smoked. Those were the days of Cesar Chavez and the Viva La Raza Movement, so along with the Vista Volunteers came the locals in the movement like Rita and George Salinas, Louie Campos, Richard Unwin, and Kenneth. (Rita Salinas has sinced passed away, and the others, I have not relocated as yet.)

I guess the associations we have are also reasons that we stay in the smokers loop. I picked up smoking because of a man, Charlie Kent Line, and I continued because of my feelings for a man, Peter Bender. And this habit of smoking continued for sometime in Visalia. By the time I finished COS and got my finall AA degree in liberal studies, my association with Vista Volunteers was finished and I headed off to live in San Francisco to explore my life...still a smoker.

My luck was really good and I secured a fabulous all white apartment on Nob Hill that overlooked the city. In the old buildings of the City, rent was somehow affordable back then, being that it was 1966. And also I was able to get a job as a seamstress in Luwanis Tailoring Shop. I loved the job and worked with a strange German man named Glenn and Ju Wan Chu upstairs in the sewing room. It was one of the wackiest places I have ever worked. But it was fun. Then there was the Indian LuWani...he was something else.

Luwanis was my introduction into San Francisco. My first job there, and the first people I met. I still smoked cigarettes. But along about Easter that came to a wreckoning halt with the advent of my very first acid trip. Someone had given me a White Lightening Tab. I woke Easter Morning and decided i would try it on that day because it was a special spiritual holiday celebration and I had the entire day off from my slave job at Luwanis.

I gingerly placed the tab in my mouth believing that nothing bad would happen. I was safe, in my own apartment and I was not going to go outside, my sole intention was to turn internally and study the effects of the acid tab on my brain and my body. It began and I went with the mental changes and the vibrations and the thoughts and the colors and the dreams. It awoke an alternative internal enviroment within my mind. In the beginning it was enjoyable and I cruised with it. After awhile I wished I had not had the White Lightening in my system because once you drop a tab into your body and the chemicals dissolve, their is no going back or stopping, you have to ride the waves until the chemicals dissipate. That can take hours or years, because the chemicals can get lodged or bonded in your cells and in your cranial convolutions.

Chemicals from nicotine from smoking cigarettes will do the same thing. So since I had been smoking for a year, I also had chemical toxins lodged in my brain cavities and now I added another alternate chemical to the mix. I had no idea what was in the White Lightening Tab. In 1966 we did not have the internet. In 1966 we did not have Googling everything to get instant information on questions. We had library research if we could find information. Since Acid Trips were a new phenonmena and albeit, illegal...finding the right information was only available to a druggist or a chemist, or a knowledgeable drug dealer....I knew none of those people, except, Berkley Bernie. I do not even remember who gave me the White Lightening Tab, because it was a hand off and I paid nothing. I was just another human experimentor of the day.

That one Tab on that one day, effectively changed my life for years afterward. The trip went from wonderful thoughts and dreams and colors and designs all during the day. It went to standing at the open window for hours and pondering whether or not if I went out the window I could fly or not...fortunately I did not try this. I lived several stories up in the air and it was down for a long long flight to the roof of the hotel below me. I think perhaps the salvation at this time was the consequences of dangerous activities I recalled from life on the farm. Probably one of the strongest control devices imaginable was the thought of life on the dairy buried deep in my head, I kept thinking, "if I go out this window and cannot fly, I will fall to my death." I was alone in my room and I had no one to save me.

Later that night I continued to be at the window and watched as alien beings flew around and landed on the roof of the Hotel below and it seemed as all the city had turned to watch me. Yet I was unable to move and became frozen in time. Finally the phone rang and it was Bernie Berkley. He came to my rescue and drove into town, knocked on my door and sat for awhile talking to me. I left with him and he took me to his place in Berkley and we of course "made love".

One important thing happened while I was high on the acid and at the window. I smoked a cigarette. This is the most important event that occured while I was high. This was a moment of God speaking to me. I heard the Lord talking to me and telling me not to smoke cigarettes, that they were harmful to me. As I puffed on the cigarette, the chemicals reacted in my body and I saw into the future of the cigarette entire hand wrinkled and shriveled and turned black. It was the scariest effect I have ever had and it was real. It was then that I quit smoking cigarettes. I made the committment, however a few days later I gave in and after a few puffs got sick. Within days I had stopped smoking altogether.

So using one drug effectively removed me from using another drug. Now I had to deal with the acid chemicals from the White Lightening and that became a different issue. Burnt brain leisons require years to heal. That is why the acid trip changed my life. I evolved from a studious farm girl, to a sexually abused young woman, to a seamstress/desginer to a Topless Dancer all in one heart beat. I could dance. The acid trip put me in touch with other components of mind, spirit and body and so I went with it. I changed my life and my job, for the moment anyway.

Cigarettes for the moment where not a problem. Sex was.

Along about 1974/5, approximately 6 or 7 years after my daughter was born in May 15, of 1969, we were have a day at the Sacramento River in Sacramento, California. My little girl and I were laying by the river sun bathing and picnicing and there was this guy. Always is. He was really tall, long flowing blond hair, and bare ass naked strolling into the river to swim. He was a ways away from our towels, and I had not noticed him until my daughter did. She did not mention he was naked. I did not consider it, however was rather amazed when he stood up to exit the river, and there was no bathing suit on him. He strolled to his place downstream, snatched up a towel off the ground, wrapped and dried and then lay back down to sunbath. He never looked in our direction.

I looked at him and saw "the most beautiful man I have ever seen in my life." And of course me and my big mouth, shared my thought with my fatherless daughter. She quickly says, "I am going to go tell him, what you said." I was shocked that she would run up to a strange man and tell her my comment and I exclaimed, "no do not do that." Guess what folks, my little adorable daughter did exactly that! She ran over to the adonis and tells him. She also added, "she wants to meet you." She then runs back and tells me that he is coming over to meet me. I am shocked again. So I says to her, "why did you tell him that, what will I say, I can not meet that guy, he is too beautiful!"

And that is how I met the first love of my life. From that moment on for the next 7 years we lived together. I loved that man. At the end of our being together he left me for "the bigger better deal!" Another woman and brought me to the second time in my life of smoking cigarettes. This bought with cigarettes was predicated as a self destructive move and I smoked because my soul was denigated and destroyed by the loss of Chuck Gulovich, ah yes, Charles Edward Gulo, the star basketball player of the Sacramento University Team. I loved that man. Of all the men in my life, he was the best and the first. Yet he left me too, and for another woman. He and I lived together for 7 years, yet he never married me. He met "the bigger better deal and the laughable matter is, he knew her less than a year, and married her. Men are so fickle.

The only thing I got out of the breakup was another round with cigarette smoking. This time my lungs were worse off and I had evolved into a Marlboro Red chain smoker. I would light would and put it out and pick up another one. I had to have a cigarette stuck between my lips to feel chemically satisfied. That was in about 1984. For one more year I smoked. I finally got disgusted with the look, the smell, the ashes, the smoke curling up and burning my eyes so I quit again. It took me a couple of weeks, but I pulled through. What is so diabolical is that this horrible destructive habit is legal in all 52 states.

Breaking the chemical dependency habit is difficult. Once I realized the harm it was doing to my brain and my body I managed to rise above the dependency and tell it no. I was happy I did. I was healthier because of rejecting cigarettes. Sex was another issue. Physical intimacy is much more difficult. Withdrawing from sex and the concurrent attachment to another human is filled with such sorrow.

I withdrew from both cigarettes and from physical intimacy.

In 1984 I meet Michael Hunter McCarthy at the Royal Las Vegas Casino. He was a crap dealer from Spartanburg, South Carolina. I was a showgirl in the Royal Las Vegas Casino Reviews. We met and we got together and married in January 25th of 1985 in Las Vegas, Nevada. We divorced in 1992. Again over another woman, Mike found a "bigger better deal!" Feeling bad about the loss and the lack and the dispair, I choose to pick up smoking a cigarette again. I smoked Marlboro Reds like a chain saw buzzing off wood. I smoked three packs a day for a year and was on my way to the death bed with coughing and spitting out phlem. My habit was in total destructive mode and I switched to Cambridge Lights. What saved me this time?

My daughter had just given birth to a beautiful little boy. The Father was not around and she could not take care of him, so she left him with me nearly all the time. This went on from the day he was born. I was feeding, changing, playing with him and but I did not smoke in front of him. One day I was sitting on the edge of my bed smoking and he was outside playing in the yard. I began coughing and coughing and as I watched him outside I passed out momenarily from self aphisixation. I blacked out. He was in the room shaking me and calling, "Grandma, Grandma" when I woke to his voice. That is the last cigarette I have ever smoked. I have not smoked in 24 years. I will never smoke again.

Each time I have smoked a cigarette it was because of my breaking up and loosing a man. Three times thus I have tried to solve my weaknesses and my loss with smoking cigarettes. Each time the cigarettes have made me sicker. The only way to resolve the issue is not to smoke cigarettes.

I watch and observe other people smoke cigarettes and I wonder what goes through their minds when they smoke. I was neurologically addicted in a bad way, both to the image of imagined self importance and sophistication, and to the chemicals running through my body and brain. I worked out the schematics of the filthy cigarette image. I dissapated the chemical dependency and threw out cigarettes from my life. I will never smoke cigarettes again. They are a horrible disease that cause gum disease, brain damage and an extreme loss of oxygen to the human body. An oxygen starved body is an unhealthy body and brain.

I look at my daughter who smokes and can see the effects on her life. I look at my grandson and can see the devastation being caused in his life, and he is a chronic ashtmatic. I look at my grand daughter and watch her smoke. I watch my daughter smoke when she is holding her 2 year old son now. I have not smoked in 24 years. I watch them and I pray to GOD for them to come to grips the disease and love their lives. It has not happened yet. Apparently they do not see it. Apparently they have not come to a reckoning with the deadly effects of the death dealer...CIGARETTES.

But it is any smoke: it can just as well be smoke generated from vapors, or from Cannibus...smoke is smoke in any form, from any substance that produces can be from a fireplace, crackling, warm and lovely.

Do you doodle? What patterns?

Doodling is not one of my strongest suits. Yet as a child I was a doodler. I distinctly recall vivid designs that I consistently doodled. I made squares and drew lines and connected the corners and made dots and then made stars and then I proceeded to cover entire pages with the exact same design. It was always the same design and always the same doodle.

It is 2015, and I draw and I illustrate on paper and now I create works of art. I do not know if doodling images and designs when I was little lead to this later talent, however the youthfilled designs still remain with me for no apparent reason.

Doodling is like day dreaming. We all do it and I suppose it helps us work out other thoughts traveling through our minds.

Are you a list maker?

Lists are not my fortee, however I do make lists on occassion. When I apply a sequencing of need, my lists will form an order of necessary events, but usually I just list randomly things or tasks that I wish to accomplish.

Most of my lists I organize in my brain without writing them down. I make a mental list of what I wish to get done and then I move forward. Writing it down just takes more unnecessary amounts of time. There are days when I am feeling like forgetting so a list is the best way for me to proceed.

Generally i am not a list maker.

My Mother used to make lists. My Grandson makes lists. I never saw my Dad make a list.

I think I hold more information in my brain than it takes the time to sit and make lists.

What is your bedtime ritual? Do you read before going to sleep or watch a late-night talk show?

Bedtime rituals change over time and age and whom we are living around or with. If we are a child we have a ritual of brushing our teeth, using the toliet, and putting on PJ's, turning out the light and going to sleep. When I was a child I remember doing exactly that and pretty much in that order. This ritual lasted throughout high school. As I got older, I substituted shabby wearables for PJ's. I never have been into fancy pajamas or fancy lingerie for nightwear. If I have to get up during the night, I want to have something substantial on.

When I was with a man or my husbands, I never wore anything to bed, because men that I was with wanted me naked. As my second husand claimed, "he wanted easy access." That explains quite a lot about my sex life during marriage.

After all the men were done with me, after the marriages and the flings and I turned to celebacy and living without a man, I began to merely wear old clothes. I have no need for beauty in bed, and instead I am concerned that I will be attacked in the night, or robbed in the night, or the building will burn down and I do not want to have to hop out of bed, put on clothes and run out the door. So I wear real clothes to bed.

When I get up, I am ready to fight or flight. As well as if I need to use the restroom, which is not in my room, I can roll out of bed and walk to where ever I need to go, again, without having to stop and choose a wearable. I just get up and go.

When I was in high school, I used to take a book and a flashlight to bed with me and consistently read under the covers. It was fun and I did this because I loved to read and my Father always sent me to bed way too early, because he wanted me to sleep so I could get up real early, at least by 5 or 6 am and go outside and feed and water the baby calves.

I enjoyed hiding under the covers and reading. Way too often he would sneak into my room and catch me reading with my flashlight. So I always had to listen for his footsteps. I could relax if I heard him snoring, but that was not often enough. His voice would rouse me from my story and I would hear him bellering at me and rushing towards the bed. He would throw back the covers and beller like a mad bull at me, and of course "I got whipped!" That was his solution to everything he did not approve of in his life.

Once I moved away from home, finally, it all stopped. I got out and away. If I wanted to read a book, I did not have to hide under the covers. Now, my Mother always read a book before she fell asleep. All throughout my memories of her at bedtime, she would lay on her pillow, covers pulled up and a little light over her head, reading the Readers Digest Stories, or a Book About Angels. I think she owned every Readers Digest Book that every existed. This was alright with my Dad. And he let her fall asleep this way, book resting on her chin, eyes closed, asleep. Me, naught!

When I moved away from their home, and my blue turquoise painted room, well, I tossed out fancy pajamas and flashlights and read until I was sleepy. It worked for me. Now a days after work I love being in my room and reading, writing especially, and I watch Old Elvis Presley Movies and listen to David Garrett and sometimes I talk and text to family or friends off my cell phone. Sometimes I do not care if I fall asleep or not because being awake is more fun.

Do you do crossword puzzles most every day?

I have a friend who does crossword puzzles every single day. I do not. I never have enjoyed crossword puzzles because I can never get them right. You have to know a lot of words for crossword puzzles. I can do SuDuKo for a while. I used to play Solitare alot, and Gin Rummy, but that was about it for games. I like to read, but am not into games. My Grandson loves to play video games and he has played for most of his young life and will play for stretches of 6 to 8 hours a day. If he worked that much or got payed to play, he could be rich or at least take really good care of himself.

Do you read the Bible or a daily devotion / meditation book?

Reading the Bible or a daily devotion book is a sometimes thing for me. It does not help me much. I fast alot and I keep thinking positive thoughts 99 % of the time. I will read science books and I will research, but these sweet talking books are like not helpful to me.

Where is the desk in your house? What do you usually do there?

I have never had a desk in any house. I sit at the kitchen table and do whatever I do there. My Father had a desk. It held a sacred place in the household. We could not approach it, nor could we touch it unless it was on the pain of the whip. He would want to know who touched his desk, who moved his papers...and he would punish us if we went near HIS DESK. His desk was where he sat. It was like it was a throne of his world and from his desk he ruled the house. Even Mother never ever sat at his desk. I never saw her open a drawer. I never saw him read one of his papers. She was not allowed access to any of it either. Most curious, considering she graduated from high school and could read and write English. He did not ever graduate and taught himself English and how to read and write. Strange man.

Is there somewhere in town you stop every day? Every week?

These things change over time. I never really stop anywhere in town on a regular basis except at my own living quarters. Or the residence of my current children. However I go shopping for food at say Carls Junior, nowadays, and WalMart, and Target, and Best Buy, and TJMaxx, and at Penny's. Often I visit a Family Dollar Store or a 99 cent store.

In order to be truthful however, I do stop at stop signs every time I get in my car. Now that may seem silly but I stop at stop signs more than I stop anyplace else. I spend lots of time in my car. I spend sometimes more time in my car as I drive around than I do in a store or in my own place of residence. My car is often more important to me than my place of residence.

I even sleep in my car. I carry things in my car that most people shove into their apartments. Why I do this is because essentially I feel homeless. I feel unstable. I feel a great need to stay mobile. I am insecure everywhere i go. I essentially have no place I call home and no family where I feel safe with. I have been that way all my life. Mobility is the life force for me.

I do not life this feeling of uncertainty and dislocation either. Yet I am forced to constantly move and live this way. I observe that other people are no different. We are a mobile society. We are always moving and flowing through time and space. This is a realization I have come to accept. I have had to accept that I am always alone in this life and i have to deal with this constant solitude. I have no support save for myself. I have no one to help me, save for myself. This makes me sad.

Do you make New Year's resolutions? Did you when you were younger? Did / do you ever keep them?

Once in awhile I would believe that a New Year's resolution would change my life and be helpful. However, resolutions makes no difference unless you are prepared and plan to keep them. Resolutions are about self responsibility and that is up to the individual and their personal motivation.

The only successful resolutions I have made are the three about not using drugs, smoking cigarettes, and drinking alcohol. Sex has been a significant battle ground. Sex addiction is my worst challenge. Sexual impluse disorders are the most obstinant and difficult to conquor. We control them through boyfriends, marriage and religious resolutions, however true honesty about sexual challenges come only through recognizing the problem and daily dealing with abstinance. Sexual addictions are worse than any other addiction in the world.

The domino effect of all the major addicitons is what continues to keep us in the cycle. Therefore when I stopped one and the other and the other and the other was I able to gain a sense of some self mastery over the worst of my own, sexual addition. Because of age and resistance and abstinance and considering the needs of others over those of my own, I have come to grips with the understanding of the nature of the totality of the disorder. I manage to control and to take charge of my self responsibility to this individual and particular personal problem. it is my fight. It is my battle. I will never completely win, but I will move forward.


Describe what you look like now. Have you been happy with the way you look? What did you look like as a teenager? As a young child? If you had to name a famous person whom you looked like, who would it be? Who would you most like to look like?

What I look like today is not too much different from what I looked like when I was about 13 or 14, just older and with some wrinkles. My weight has stayed the same since I was 18, and that is around 115 to 120 pounds, or libs as my grandson used to say. He did not know that lb was pronounced pound.

My height has not changed much. I have stretched as high as I could, but have never been able to reach the clouds, and at 5 foot 2 inches, it is doubtful I will before they or I disapate. My eyes are basicaly brown, dull and unimportant as a color goes, like the color of the dirt or ground, but richer of red tones. I love my eyes because they allow me to see. I love to see where I am going and all the wonderful things one can do when they can see. I love to invent and make things, and my eyes are important for all matter of activities.

The hair on my head is like the color of my eyes, brown. Some like to refer to it as dark brown, or even black. But my hair is not black. Just dark. It is a good evening color because it blends in with the darkness and that way I can disappear. I enjoy not being seen as much as I enjoyed being seen when I was an exotic dance entertainer.

My skin is ordinary olive or pinky tan in color and the texture is rather average. That is me: average all over. Nothing special about me in any way. I look like I blend in with many different nationalities, and lots of people think I am many things. I have been called an American Indian (and I am like 1/16 Lakota Sous.) I have been thought of as a Mexican American. The closest I come to that is having studied Spanish for about 2 years and doing well with it. So I speak a little Spanish, about like a 5 year old, only with much better prounciation. Some of my Las Vegas friends thought I was Italian, and that helped me alot there. When I was around Tulare, Ca. the folks there likened me to an Armenian. Then when I lived in San Francisco they figured I had to be Asian. I guess my looks are about as turpid as a green chamileon that just fancies a new color when surrounded by the prototype.

No one ever understands that I am French/Canadian, English Dutch and one half Azorean from the Islands of the Azores. A real mixed up kid, as my Father used to laugh and tease me about...then I did not fully catch his drift. Now it is apparent I drank too much of the pond.

The fortunate thing about my curves is that I danced for nearly 30 years and that kept me in fairly cohesive shape, so I measure out at 36 26 37....a little over stacked, but still Ok. And I walk about 8 miles every day, so I am virgorous with my activities.

The way I look has always left something for me to be desired. I think blonds are more beautiful, And I am so average looking that I have spent years trying to be beautiful including the wearing of various styles and colors of hair. Nothing really changes much. We stay the same unless it has to do with weight gain or weight loss, or plastic surgery. When you get to be my age, 71, your teeth are either healthy or they are gone into the afterlife program. Mine have been leaving for years. Soon they will all be replaced just so I can eat food. Smiling with a full set would be nice, but smiles are not really important unless you are vying for the Miss USA or Miss America contest....I am definitely not into that.

I did dance, for one primary reason, to be as beautiful as I could be. My sole purpose in this was to find a man who found me attractive enough to marry. I never found a man who thought of me as being beautiful in that way.

Portuguese women are not reall comely and those from the Azore Islands are not great looking either. They are well, at best comfortable looking domestic type appearing women. I think that describe me. Just comfortable and ordinary, a practical lady who might make a good housewife, as long as you did not have great expectations for anything else. That may have been the constant thought of the man, but, it was not my perception of myself.

I always wanted to be a movie star. I always wanted to be a writer, a poet who put prodound words on paper and important people thought my comments were wise and witty. I always wanted to be a singer of lyrics who put forth self expression and emotion into her every sound. I always wanted to be a fashion designer who designed beautiful clothes, and I often did, only I was the only person who ever wore my designs. I had dreams of doing things that I have never done on the scale I imagined my talents to rise about the fray.

The most famous person I identified with when I was a child was Elizabeth Taylor. I loved how her figure was formed and her blue eyes and the soft voice she spoke with on the screen and in the movies. She was my early formative idol. In my dreams I looked like her.

What I tried to do because I grew up more as a realist was to make who and what I was as beautiful and worthy as I could. No matter how hard I worked at it, I was never as glorious as the models in the paper magazines. Seventeen was a favorite magazine of mine, but I did not look like those girls, and Oh I wanted to look like them so badly. I never could and I never understood how they got to be so beautiful and be in the magazines and I could not. The Glamour Magazine was another inspirationa and it sold all those fancy lipsticks and cosmetics that made all those girls in their magazine look gorgeous. So guess what I troubled my mother to buy for me? Lipsticks and makeup and eye liners, and when I put them on my face, my Father would explode with his temper blasting all over the walls of our brick house. I did not get very far with beauty. I looiked like a sad dull farm obedient my mind I had other plans.

Has your appearance played an important part in your getting along in the world? Do you think it's been detrimental or beneficial?

How we look does make a big difference in our future potential as a life partner to someone, or as a candidate on the job market. People take a look and make a quick assessment. That is how we are trained to do, and what we do in the Human Kingdom. It is just how it is done. We can not complain about it because it is a natural ritual of external assessment of an approaching "person whom we will be talking to".

Our parents set us up to do this in grade school, and they do it because it was done to them. I remember one little girl who was a dear friend of mine in Lompoc. Her name was Casey. Casey and I were best friends and we played together every day. She was one of the few girls in the school that I still remember after all these years. I have forgotten all the others from the days of Lompoc, but I am sure there were others I knew.

I told my Father about Casey and he told me "you can not play with that girl." I asked him why and he said, "Because I said so!" Then he emphasized the command with, "or you will get a whipping if I find out!" I was not interested in getting my butt hurt already more than I could stand, so...I played with Casey anyway.
I played with her because I did not understand why I could not play with her just because she was Black. And she was, very black, with very curly hair that sat on top of her head in tight rolls. She was really cute and friendly we had fun.

There did come a day when I missed the school bus and my folks had to drive all the way into town to pick me up. I had missed the school bus because me and Casey were playing out on the playground. And yes, I did get a severe whipping. I got a whipping mostly because they had to milk cows and they really found it inconvenient to stop milking cows and drive all the way into town to pick me up and then all the way out to the dairy to finish their cow milking. So what it did to them was really an inconvenient shame.

It was a brutal way to make a point. But I guess life was brutal on the farm. It was always life and death. It had no element of fun, save for the fun that my Father allowed.

The point of this is that early on I learned that appearances did make a difference. I was not allowed to play with certain people based on what they looked like to the outside world.

Appearances played a role in my association with the Mexican Labor Camp Children as well. We drove through their camp every day on the way to school and on the way to shop and whenever we left the farm. There was only one road into my fathers ranch and only one road out. That road ran right through the middle of the labor camp splitting the houses on one side and the other. That is when the families of men, women and their children would watch as we rolled through. My Father would make comments and sometimes he would smile his wide white toothed grin for them. He tried to be cordial on the outside, but we never were allowed to play with the Mexican Children.

That was practically an oxymoron...we looked just like them, well almost. Our skin was whiter. We spoke English, except for my Father who spoke Portuguese and our faces were more European as opposed to the Lation look of softer browner skin. And we were all short people. This conditioning was about status control.

At an early age I understood appearances do make a difference. When we moved to Exeter, things really got mixed up. For awhile I was an undefined individual. In status my Father was wealthier than the white town kids, and so I was the daughter of the rich Portuguese dairyman. I was accepted on that basis. But not on my physcial appearance. In high school that changed again, because the white blond girls quickly became my friends and the status swung in their favor and they got all the cute boys, and the awards in school, and were "popular" and they got to be cheerleaders and song leaders and so on. I did not. I had to work my way into all that phoney status quo. But by high school I was not the only one who had rich parents. Now most of the white blonds were better off than me. They knew what they wanted to do with their lives and they had healthier minds and way healthier emotions than I did.

The years of being accused for stuff and being whipped and not understanding me as a person had taken its toll. I learned to fake it through relationships with people and hid the truth of my family life and the suffering I experienced, or saw my parents endure, just to eek a living from the dairy that everyone fancied made us so rich. Naught.

What is your best feature? Your worst? Do you have any birthmarks or scars that differentiate your looks absolutely from anyone else?

My best feature when I was a dancer were my boobs. When I grew up, I never had any. So in my late 20s I agumented my appearance with breast implants. I have been happier ever since. Implants are all about my appearance to the external world. I felt like I looked like a woman instead of a boy. I never liked my flat chest, and so when I acquired a set of beautiful breasts I could walk around feeling like I was a beautiful looking woman. Some think that implants are solely about vanity, I think they are about feeling feminine.

My worst feature are my hips. I feel my hips are too big and I do not like them. I also feel like my bottom is too soft and spongy. I do not like soft fat bottoms. I have always wanted my bottom to be uplifted and solid and no matter how many exercises I have done, and how my dance routines I have performed using areobics and ballet, and modern dance steps, my bottom has remained too big and to fleshy. I do not like it and it looks ugly to me.

Have you ever considered plastic surgery? If so, did you end up doing it? If not, why not? In all truth, are you vain?

As a professional exotic dancer I considered plastic surgery. I began dancing professionally in the exotic circuits back in the early 70's. I was flat chested and looked like a boy. I never felt feminine and did not like the way my whole body looked. I was short and skinny and flat chested. Yuk. I moved well to music and could dance up a storm. So I thought I would look much more womanly if I got plastic surgery, ie, a boob job

I was living in Las Vegas, Nevada at the time. I was a dancer at the Palomino Club in North Las Vegas, Nevada, where all the most beautiful exotic dancers performed feature shows in real big fancy costumes. I wanted to look like them. I wanted to wear the fabulous costumes and dance in the best clubs. That was my goal.

I never considered it to be a vain effort. I considered it to be a worthwhile professional achievement. One of my friends in the Palomino Review, Margareta told me about the Doctor who performed her surgery. He was a famous Italian Breast Surgeon, Bongiovanni or something like that...and I made an appointment.

The Good Doctor was a great and gentle man. He showed me what I would look like after, and showed me the implants and explained the procedure. It cost $2,500 at that time. Today I think his daughter charges a whole lot more. But that was the fee then. It was all up front and Chuck Gulo, my live in love of my life at the time helped put up some of the cash. He took me up to the operation area of where ever it was. I think it was done in the Doctors office, and not the hospital. I remember going up elevators.

It was a strange experience, like accepting the idea of recreating your own body to make it appear more perfect and beautiful in a way that the genetic effort of your own parents could not achieve. I really liked being able to do that. Exotic Dance gave me the opportunity to change my own life in this way. I never would have considered the change from flat chested to large boobed otherwise.

I really wanted to look like a beautiful woman, with a womanly body. This was the only way I would ever be able to look like a womanly figure...plastic surgery. They call it a Mammoplasty. I call it having large beautiful appealing breasts.

They did knock me out for the experience. The procedure went well and the Good Doctor inserted the saline bags into the real breasts at the nipple and placed them under the human breast tissue. Then he stitched up the nipple. Nip and Tuck. They got swollen afterwards really really big. Which for me was great. Cause they have never been big enough.

I remember Chuckie escorting me home and when we got there I went into our kitchen and the first thing I saw on the kitchen counter was a bent silver spoon. I saw it and knew that my mind when I was under had reached out and bent that spoon. It was a psychic experience. It had been some type of transdistance communication from my operating table to my loved ones at our apartment. Chuck claimed he had no idea how the spoon got bent. I still have the spoon.

My concern for my body was selfish. Would my breasts still have the same sensitive sexual sensation that they did prior to the operation? The Good Doctor assured me, "that yes, all would be fine." Naught. The sensation does dimenish. It is not that feeling dissappears altogether, but it is not quite the same sensation as it was.

But I had what I wanted: BIGGER BOOBS. That is when I met Patty Wright. She had even Bigger Boobs. And so it went with her and her Boobs. Mine stayed the same because I was happy with my size, they looked like normal woman boobs, and her kept getting larger, grander and now, overdone. We both are living with our fake boobs and I had one operation and my old friend, has had many, many, many of them.

I have had mine plastic implants for 45 years with no problem. They are still holding up well and this is a boon to my compliments to plastic surgery. I would do it again. I would make them bigger now if it were important to me, but it is not necessary at my age. They look just fine.

What would you change about your appearance? Do you wish you were taller or shorter?

Should I ever be reborn again, I would love to look tall, blue eyes and blond haired and be skinny with curves upstairs and slim hipped with long legs. Most folks say you should be happy with the way you look, however, I would love to look different. Since I look like I do, I have tried to make do and make my appearance be as best as I could. I am average looking and average height, and everything about me is average. That is rather bland as a description, but then I am rather bland looking.

When I was in high school the popular girls had big boobs and blond hair, or they flirted alot with the boys. I did not have big boobs, I had black hair, and I was too shy to flirt with anyone. I was also a veryf quiet young girl, because of the relationship I suffered with my Father. It took alot for me to make friends.

I always got in trouble because my Father was never pleased with the way I dressed, or the way I looked. I made all my clothes and they were Simplicity or Vogue patterns and the chums I had in school, could go out to buy whatever they wanted to look all fessed up. If I dressed to tawdry my Father got angry. If the hems of my skirts were too short, he complained and got all twisty faced. If the hems were too long, the kids at school laughed and talked behind my back about my dresses. I could not win either way.

I never liked the way I looked. My Mother was not a good role model for fashion because she wore mostly blue jeans and tank tops. My Father was not a fashion icon either because he wore farmers wear: Hercules Blue Coveralls, with blue collared work shirts. Sometimes during the winter months he would don a heavy plaid work shirt. With my average looks and black straight hair I did not know what type of style to wear.

I bought Seventeen Magazine and tried to figure out a "look" my me...I never could discover a good style. The girls in the magazines were tall or willowy at best and really pretty compared to my ordinary farm girl appearance. Later on I bought Glamour and Vogue and Bazaarr and wondered how on earth I could ever look like those tall lanky leggy models. I loved the dresses they wore and the expressions on their faces and above all, their thin lean bodies that swayed in the winds, at least in my imagination, they swayed in the winds when they walked along the beaches or through the Amazon forests in their silk lingerie and evening gowns.

I put on a uniform from Cheer Leading and being a Pom-pom girl, this felt comfortable and all of a sudden I was not ordinary. I became part of a privileged group of girls, and guys looked at me with a little more interest. Uniforms do that. They make you feel like you belong to a particular social group and that group accepts you. Your appearance then becomes part of a group and you accept how you appear. All of a sudden you are not ordinary.

One of the reasons I wanted to become a movie star was to look better than I did. I always wanted to be beautiful, and never felt that I was. I wanted to wear the glamorous gowns and evening dresses and have beautiful pale skin and move around like a gossemer cloud. Later, instead of becoming a movie star, I became a reachable exotic dancer. I loved the dancing and I was able to design and sew my own fancy costumes. This was exciting and fun. It was the only thing I loved about exotic dancing. I was able to create my own costumes, choreograph my own dance steps for the music I choose, and perform an entertaining dance show. Other people just saw me as a youthful fleshy body. That is where phyiscality and intellect came to a serious divide.

Most of us cannot do anything about the way we look. We are born, we grow and develop and somewhere after 20 something we gain adulthood, and keep on maturing and aging. Somewhere along the line we may have been beautiful. The older we get the more our bodies change and by the time we are 70 something, we are fighting with wrinkles and sags and youthful beauty becomes a day in the past.

We have to learn to accept this entire process and be pleased with physical maturation. The problems with this is that all of us age differently and all of us take care of our bodies differently. These differences in exercise and diet and daily body maintainance effect our entire life. We eat bad food and we wind up all puffly and distorted. We sit around too much, we get fat bottoms. We try to figure out what will happen with our bodies when we perform different job functions...and I have always noticed that women who take on jobs where they sit many hours a day, have overly developed and sloppy fat bottoms. While women who are always moving around, like housekeepers, dancers, waitresses, yoga instructors, sports figures, swimmers, life guards, acrobats, and so on, any women who do not just sit all day, like, secretaries, or some managers, or some factory assembly workers, and so on, well if you observe the difference, you can see what happens to the female form. Students have problems because students have to sit in classes all the time for maybe as many as 26 years. That is alot of studing and a lot of sitting.

Weight gain or loss is always an issue. Women love to eat food, just as much as men do. In truth in America we all over eat and consume so many unecessary foods we have become grossly overweight and unhealthy. This has caused our national female appearance to suffer, unless we have a reason to become a beauty queen or a movie star or a dancer...all requiring as near perfect slim bodies as possible, with narry a pinch of belly fat. To me that is ideal, however, in order to achieve this, well, one has to not overeat and has to resist much temptation. Over eaters anonymous clubs are really popular.

So are loosing weight products, and health slimming foods, and exercise clubs, and on and on. The only good thing about a large sized woman is that she costs more to support and the clothes she wears require more fabric and she has more overweight health problems like those associated with bones, tendons, and muscles in the process of being always stressed or overused. Large women are beautiful and i do believe in living large. However their are consequences to being overweight.

Being overweight is the challenge of our century. It is a way we can change our bodies and look different and control our appearance. Big is beautiful and so is slim and healthy. They are choices and they provide ways to change our appearance that are reachable.

Do you remember getting your first suit and tie? Your first pair of nylons and heels?

I do not know about that pair of nylons and heels, but I do recall the question of "how short my skirt is". That issue raised plenty of reaction from my father.

What is your family look?

My family look when I was growing up was pure farm style. My Mother wore blue jeans and sleeveless shirts and t shirts most of the time. Sometimes she would trade it out for a nice blouse when she drove into town. My Father seemed to usually wear Hercules bibe overalls. When he was younger it was a look of strength and industry, as he aged the style changed to someone old and worn, like his overalls. And then there was the matter of his pot belly. Fairly amusing actually, because the older he became the more the overalls distended and he developed a rather comfortable belly roll.

My folks always looked like they were sweaty and dusty from farm work. They plodded along dutifully performing their daily tasks. My Father typically walked with his head turned down, a straw hat sitting onto of his balding head. Mother on the other hand had a swinging stride, like a warrior. Another item of clothing that my Father wore was blue work shirts, long sleeve, button down the front. I swear he wore then thread bare, but when they were fresh blue and brand new they looked really good on him. Almost like a new penny.

Is there something you remember particularly well that you wore in high school or college?

Since I sewed and designed all my clothes, I did create quite a few favorites. One fabric that stands out in my memory was a chinz pieces of fabric, colored in tones of browns and blacks and whites and on it were printed various horses running wild. The dress had a semi circle skirt, with a snug bodic and small sleeves. It was knee length and looked quite nice on me. Of course I was young and slender, that being always a good feeling.

When I got to the Prom, during my senior year, I sewed a very special dress out of red and white silk. It was pure silk and beautiful. The background was white and on the dress was printed red polka dots. I loved that dress so much. It did have lining so it was acceptable to wear to a high school prom night. I went with Jim Schelling and we had a picture taken together. I think that was about the only time I ever wore that dress.

I designed the dress with a lightly gathered skirt and a tight sleeveless bodice and practically no back to it. So when Jimmy and I danced those slow romantic dances together, his hand caressed my lower back. It was sultry. How young and exciting we were and the feeling at the time was intoxicating for whatever that meant.

I knit a sweater one time. It was white, pale green and pale pink. It had long sleeves and was long past my waste and then I constructed a matching knit hat. I still have it.

In the late 1970's I began to make my stripper costumes because I loved the fancy costumes and the designs and the fabrics of all that elegant dressing. I made one that resembled an Indian beaded costume in black and gold beading, one that resembled a russian zarina with turquoise fabric embossed and threaded with gold and platnum threads, and one that was lavendar with silver threads, and one that was deep reds and gold and rust metallic threads, and one that was a belly dance costume arabic style with green and gold colors in mesh, and metallic friggin gorgeous. I sewed them all, I designed them all, and I beaded them all. I had fancy hats, and beaded necklaces, and boas, and the costumes had many pieces to them. One time I ran for President, out of the funny bone idea, and created a red, white and blue satan costume that was all red satan.

In 1985 I opened my own Singing Telegram Business and created character costumes. I had a Bag Lady, A Cook, A Bondage Character, A clown and on and on...I did alot of business. Put on thousands of mini shows for birthdays, anniversays, bachelor parties, and going away parties and various miscellaneous celebrations. We had so much fun. I wrote thousands of personal poems as well. All of this is locked up now and I have no home to put it in. Oh if only I had a home to put my belongings in. I would be so happy. Sad to say I am homeless and so is my little family. We are a sad bunch. So for all the good we do, we come to the end and we are deserted by those who sought us out for their fun and entertainment. Now we are kicked to the curb.

One dress I dearly loved was one that will forever, as long as I live remember because my Mother paid for the fabric and helped pick it out for me. Well she was with me. She did always allow me to choose the fabrics and the colors and the patterns. The fabric was pale green with tiny white flowers all over it. I made a circle gathered skirt and a bodice with white pearl buttons and a little lace trimmed collar and capped sleeves trimmed with lace. How I loved the smell of the fabric.

One time I made a gray dress of gray, white, and pink plaid. It had a chinese collar and was A styled with small sleeves. I looked great in it. Most girls would never choose grey, but it looked beautiful on my skinny body.

When I was in my mid 20's I constructed about 3 outfits out of the same pattern. The tops all had peplums and the skirts were all A shaped. They looked great on me. One was covered with pink flowers. Another was green and white plaid, well that is two. I believe I made another one, although I am not picking up the image at the moment. Maybe later.

There was a point when I was in lots of cold weather in Massechuesetts and I found a plethora of Portuguese designed sweaters. They were gorgeous. I still have them. I especially loved the designs and the colors in the knits.


What are you driving now? How many years have you had this vehicle?

The car I drive right now has put me in debt 27,000 dollars. I owned a Saturn in a bright red color. It was a Hybrid and I really loved it, but it went caputes. I drove it all the way from the forest land in Yosemite, where I work, 100 miles downhill to Fresno and around town, and then back all the way up the forest land in Yosemite. It stopped working exactly in front of our local forest Yosemite garage. So I had to call a local tow service in Groveland to drive all the way up the hill from Groveland to pick up my car and tow it all the way down the mountain to Fresno to Michaels Chevrolet. I love Saturns, they always seem to give me great service and break down right in front of the garage or the car dealership where I bought them.

When I got my days off I bought a ticket on the Yarts bus and road all the way down the mountain to Fresno, and got off at the Amtrack. My grandson Tyler and his friend Nijah picked me up and dropped me off at the car dealership. I got together with the salesman and Aurthur Kardarian and he hooked me up with the greatest deal of my life. I think so anyway. They explained the red Hybrid I owned needed about 5,000 dollars worth of work on it. I did not have a dime. I owed 5,000 on it. So what they did is still amazing and I think I am still reeling from the greatest deal of my life. They put this package together that I could not turn down.

Aurthur came to me and said, "I have one car for you that you can buy and drive off our lot without putting down one dollar. It sounded good to me. I asked him what he had for me. He said, "come out here and I will show you." So we walked outside and my mouth dropped to my toes. He pointed, "you can have this car and this car only." I stared at a beautiful pure white 2015 CHEROKEE JEEP. Wow. Stunned I stammered out, "That is the only car I can have and you are going to let me drive it away with no money down and take my red Saturn and wipe out the current dept and take care of the repairs...?

"Yes." was Aurthurs answer. I said, "OK lets do it!" A couple of hours later and a few dozen sheets of paper signed and dated, I drove off the lot one of the happiest and (in debt) women in Fresno. They also covered my car on all repairs from stem to stern for the next four years. I could not believe it. I am still in awe.

Now I have a brand new up to date vehicle and am able to commute on my days off in safe comfort...all thanks to the diligent, dependable staff at Micheals Chevrolet in Fresno.

I counted up the steady stream of cars that I have purchased from Michaels over the past 28 years. I have bought 6 cars from the company. Three of them have been since 2006 and three of them were back in 1987 when I was married to Michael Hunter McCarthy. The later three we purchased and two were for us, one was a black Mitsubishi Turbo Eclipse, and the other one was a black and blue Mitsubishi Turbo Eclipse. The third one was a small silver Precisi...for my daughter Genishan. We had money then and were doing fairly well as couples go. However was the proverbial chronic alcoholic/drug addict and wrecked his black Mitsubishi within the first two weeks. Then he got hold of mine one night at a bachelor party and ran it a mile or two in freshly plowed earth, burying the brand new car up to the underbelly and axles. He spun the wheels in the fluffy dirt and the dust flew everywhere. The car got inundated with plowed earth. This he did because he was the way he out of control alcoholic.

I went on with the show out in the middle of the farm field in some ones ranch house. We earned our nights money and rode off in the dusty filthy ruined car. I was not happy with Michael. I have to have the car steam cleaned. I knew how to choose good and beautiful cars, just not good, nor beautiful men.

In 1990 all three cars were possessed because Michael divorced me, tore up our home, and ran off with a woman I refer to as "the bigger better deal!" She worked as a police dispatch officer and had inside information that made her switch from good girl to bad girl. She looked like a line backer for the Green Bay Packers...her chest and shoulders were bigger than the Big Show...and her hips smaller than Bugs Bunny.

I lost my husband, our home, our thriving business, our cars, and any future I ever thought of having with him as a decent married woman. He gained a jade green jaguar, and a new wife, and more fast money from his inheritance from his recently passed away father. They ran off and were rich, and he left me a broken penny stuck in the machine, with my daughter, and my infant grandson, and no business and no income to support myself. Another Leminy Snicketts Series of Unfortunate Events.

When did you get your first car? Did you buy it yourself or did your parents help you?

Clearly the best car I ever had was my first car. It was a bright Turquoise blue Volkswagon Bug. In the 1960's we called them Bugs and every hippy in the world owned one or two, or a VW van. My Father bought the VW as my first car. It was a four on the floor with a stick shift. It was loads of fun and buzzed around all over the place. I believe he bought it for me for my 18the birthday. However he made me take the drivers test when I was 16 so I had two years to learn how to drive and then I got my first car.

The summer I turned 18 I was able to work up in Kings Canyon National Park and in Sequoia National Park. That summer I cleaned guest cabins. All of them were the white tent top cabins with wooden sides and wooden floor boards. They creaked in the wind and they creaked when we walked on the floors. Our job was to sweep the floors and change the bed linens and make them clean and tidy for the incoming guests.

We lived on site in cabins with room mates, or girls we did not know. My room mate was fat, but real friendly and happy. On our days off we rented horses and took rides up to Jenny Lake and hiked around in the rocks and meadows. This was my first summer away from home and I was able to taste the freedom and the adventure of the mountains.

That car provided me good service. The following summer I switched to Sequoia National Park and drove my car around the mountains like a pro. It was very steep driving up to Sequoia and the switch backs were terrible. I guess I was a balls out young 19 year old girl. However I wrecked it all one night.

My job that summer was as a waitress in the Sequoia Restaurant and Cafe. It amazes me the amount of work that they expect young kids to do. A bunch of us handled the entire cafe. I gained alot of weight that year. I weighted in at 150 pounds. It was too much, but I could not quit eating. I ate pancakes and syrup, and ice creams, and everything fattening I could stuff in my mouth. I was going through some changes that even I was overlooking.

One night I wanted to go visit the cafe in Kings Canyon and take a ride by myself. So after I got done with work I hopped into my VW bug and drove through the late evening across the mountains to the other side of the Park system. It must have taken me an easy hour to get there. I said hello to anyone I knew in the Cafe. I sat at the counter and ordered a coffee, which I laced with lots of sugar and cream. I also ordered a plate of strawberries pancakes covered with syrup and whipped cream. That was not all, I ordered a vanilla hot fudge sundae covered in syrup and whipped cream. I could do this. I could eat all that easy. I had grown to be quite the PIG.

Each bite was more delicicious than the last bite. Each surge of sugar powered my need and my urgency for more and more. I did not want to stop eating the sweetness and goo and fulfilling this immense need to get as much as I could into my body. It was a bullemic nightmare. For quite a while now I was eating like this and then I would go in the bathroom and make myself throw up by sticking my fingers down my throat. It worked, but it hurt and I would just go out and eat all over again, and not stop until I needed to throw up all over again. I gourmanded food. I was making myself sick and I knew it, but I could not stop.

The coffee with sugar topped off the gooey strawberry pancakes and the Hot Fudge Sundae. I had a sugar narcosis unlike any I had ever experienced before. I was fat and bloated and my head was swimming with the overindulgence of sugars. I waddled to my car. Opened it, and climbed in. If I had any sense I would have flopped over and fell asleep. But I sort of went into determined to get back to Sequoia, black out mode. No one was in the parking lot. It was real late, like around 11:00 and I was an hour away from where my bed was, and I had to work at 8:00 in the morning.

I did put myself in a big pickle. I turned the car out onto the highway, the Generals Highway and chugged off into the dark forest night. I kept nodding off at the wheel and falling asleep and then jerking awake, over and over again. It is what kids do when they are young and dumb and determined to go where they want to go. I did drive safely for awhile, but came to the top of a hill and a long slope down grade. I remember dropping down the grade and then it swooped up at the end of drop and the road swung to the right. I must have nodded off at the end of the slope and all I saw was a tall thick trunked tree in front of my face. I turned the wheel as hard as I could so I would not hit the tree and the VW Bug rolled over on its top and took the curve to the right spinning on the roof of the car like a little twrirling Turquoise dirvish down the road. It spun like a top on the asphalt for 300 yards, with me in it. I distinctly recall my brain and my thought process reaching out and calling to GOD to save me. I may have even promised to give up strawberry covered pancakes and hot fudge sundaes if he just allowed me to live.

Me and the car twirled down the road in the deep darkness of the woods, and I felt another flip and the car careened over an embankment. I must have blacked out at that point being that I was being tossed around severly from the spinning and now the tumble down the side of the mountain. The VW rolled and rolled and rolled and then finally clunked to a silent stop. I felt the thunk of metal on rock as the car settled into what sounded like a gurgling stream. I know I passed out. When I woke it was darker, than dark, and still, and cold, and silent like no other human existed. My left arm hurt. Apparently it had gotten wrenched between the seats. Somehow it managed to not be broken. I felt around on my body and wiggled different areas to detect pain or use...everything seemed to be working and unbroken. I whispered a prayer of relief.

Where I was the darkness was pure black velvet. I peered up through the tops of the trees and saw a lighter color of darkness and heard the sound of an engine, and then far above me I saw the lights of a moving car dusting through the night air on the road above where I and my disabled car sat. The only way I was going to get help was to get up to the top of the cliff. The passenger door would not budge. However I did manage to get the window of the back to roll down. It was difficult and kept jamming but finally I got it opened. I leaned out and forward and over and fell head first into the rocks and the gurgling water of the little stream where the car was resting. I had to feel my way up the slope. Clammoring upward through brush, rocks and dirt and around strong trees, and other night time objects that could have been anything dangerous, but I did not have a choice.

I was a teenager alone in the deep dark forest and had to get to the top of the cliff. I clawed my way upward. Exhausted I lay on the side of the road. Not in the road, but at the edge of the road. As I got up toward the top, a car whizzed by. I raised my arm and wiggled my hand, but either he saw me or he did not want to stop out of fear. Dazed of mind, and spirit, I layed down again, hugging the tar of the road. Off in the distance I heard the roar of another lone night traveler. I saw the lights approaching. I pushed myself upward and tried as best I could to wave my arms. The car slowed and approached slowly and then stopped slightly before me. A man got out of the car. He called out, "what happened, are you alright?"

I collapsed as he reached me and whispered "I am OK, but my car is down there. We went over the cliff." Fortunately for me he was a Ranger. He helped me into his car and said, "I am on my way to Sequoia and we will get you help." I was mostly stunned, and dizzy and stuffed from the sweets I had eaten. I gave him my name and told him that I worked in the cafe in Sequoia. He got quite and I feel asleep or passed out in the warmth of his car, listening to the hum of the rubber wheels on the asphalt.

He got me to a medic station and called my Father who could not get up to the mountains until the morning because they had to milk the cows. I went to sleep it off. And the following morning I had my Father to deal with. The car was a total wreck and from there after I had to take the bus up one time and live in the mountains with no way out. My Father took it rather calmly considering it was my first accident and all. Considering that I could have killed my fool self. Considering that I wrecked the only transportation I had. He did not buy me another car. He told me this time I had to earn it. So eventually I did.

Looking Back or 20/20 Hindsight

What was the hardest thing that you ever had to do?

I think the hardest thing I have ever had to do was to learn to do mathematics. I have never been able to think in numbers. Consequentially I have shyed away from all things having to deal with numerical facts. All through high school I did not do well with mathematics. I had a terrible time learning how to multiple and divide and with subtraction and often addition. It has always been frustrating.

Numbers have kept me feeling retarded all through high school and college and even in the university. At Fresno State University in 2006,7,8 and upon graduation in 2009, I had to take one basic algebra class a total of 4 times to graduate. I did. I feel stupid about it, but in order to graduate I had to retake the same exact class four consecutive times. I finally passed it by one point. That one point allowed me to graduate. I was really pleased.

Regressing back to 1989, I had to take the same class in the same school when I was married then, to my now long passed away husband Micheal who was brilliant in mathematics. I got a A in the same class, and only took it one time and understood it completely. I cannot fathom what made the difference between then and 2006...some 13 years later. Why I could understand math then, but now later on is a mystery to me. However I feel it has something to do with sex. I feel it had something to do with my having an intimate relationship with a man and providing a solution to my addiction....I have not yet found information to validate this phenomena.

Hard Questions

Who did you trust and / or respect most in your life?

The person i have always trusted and respected the most in my life is my grandson, Tyler Christian Nunes. I have been so very blessed to have the privilege of spending the last 24 years of my life around him and with him. He has given me so much of his time and his energy and has blessed me with his solid wisdom at every turn of the wheel. I cannot thank him enough for all his compassion and kindness that he has shared with me. Ever since his birth, there has not been a day that has gone by that we have not been together or talked or communicated with each other.

He knows me and understands me often better than I know myself. His presence and his needs has inspired me and kept me living in ways that I have often not understood.

I owe him my life and all my effort from every breathe I take. I trust him because he trusts me and believes in me. I respect his devotion and dedication and determination towards his life and his love for his family, including us all, Grandmother, Father, Mother, Sister, and little Brother.

Tyler Christian Nunes is a great person.

Did you have any real vices / bad habits?

I have struggled all my life with real vices and bad habits. The worst habits I have ever had are all sexual habits, with masturbation being the most serious and deadly.

This is a book in itself. I do know more about interpersonal sexual experiences, feelings and habits than any other subject in the universe.

Would you prefer a burial, cremation, mausoleum, Viking funeral, or something else?

Having lived so close to death all my life, and seen so many passings of body and spirits, including those of my own pets and family members such as my Mother and my Father. I have thought alot about dying and how I might choose to dispose of my body. In this case of mine after thus far 71 years of living on earth, I think a Viking boat and a cremation of it and me would do nicely. I am not into remains, nor do I wish to donate my body parts. Nor do i wish to prolong the ongoing trauma of turning my body over to science to become ROBO woman. That does not appeal to me. I prefer a Viking boat and the cremation of the boat and my body in one unit. Over the water is a pleasant and never ending perpetually chaning elemental. Water is a good place to depart the soul as the water is always evaporating and has the permutational ability to carry away the spiritual essence to what once was.

Back in high school in the 1960's the first human death I experienced and was aware of was Chuckie Brooks. He died in a car accident. At the time I did not believe that humans died, especially young teenageers like myself. In my mind we lived in a dream world and were alive for all eternity.

Then Bob Torkelson died and he was in College Of Sequoias with me. He was on the swim team. And he passed away. Another one so close to me and gone.

Years later Sunny Day, one of my Exotic Dancer freinds from Las Vegas passed away. She had gotten cancer and was working as a bar tender and drank too much. She just got sick. But the unfornuate shocker to me was her young age. She was in her early 40's. When beautiful young women pass away it is always a moment of silent regret.

I think our lives are shaped by the passage of these beautiful angelic people. And we need to reconsider what it means to have a body, mind and spirit. Matter does not die, essentially it is reprocessed. So I always consider the order of separation and the dissolution of matter and how then it regenerates itself and recombines. I consider this and regard it seriously.

One of my dear friends Ralph Petillo, the man who operated the Las Vegas Mirror, an entertainment rag that i wrote for in Las Vegas, Nevada from 1980 to 1985...passed away while I knew him. Apparently he was sitting at his desk, layed down his head for a small nap, and never came back. Ralph, just drifted away. I always truely miss people who liked me and he really liked me. One of the few men I have ever met who liked me and we had some lovely moments together although I can honestly say, when it came to relationships with men, I had no idea what i was doing. However Ralph was a forever person in my life, so when he was gone, some spiritual connection he and I shared left as well.

When I got my Bachelors Degree from Fresno State University in Fresno, Ca. a young woman who studied Criminology lived in our same apartment complex. Her name was Kayla Peach. She graduated at the same time I did. I got a degree in Anthropology/Archealogy/Criminology/Theatre Arts and she went on in her field to work as a criminologist...however her life took a different turn than mine...she went to a party with her boyfriend, and took some drugs, and overdosed. Her boyfreind was able to get Kayla home and in her house and into her bed. He left. He also left her there in that condition. Kayla never woke up. Her parents were devastated at her passage and at the young man who let her die. Because of her job he did not take her to the Emergency Hospital. For all concerned it was tragic, in particular for Kayla Peach. My family was close friends with her prior to her death. They loved her and were heart broke.

My daughter who is now 46 years old, had a dear friend whom she loved and spent many happy moments with at his home in Fresno, Eric Cogdell. Eric was a handsome young man, who played the drums and spent much of his last days with my daughter. She was attracted to his Native American Ancestry and his deep love for life. While watching TV on his sofa in his home, with his small son and the son's Mother, Eric's heart blew out. He had a weak wall in his heart and at an early age of 24 he passed away. At the funeral my daughter said she saw Dragonflies emerging from his resting place. He lives within the heart of my daughter and within the souls and spirits of his Mother and family.

In 1994 my Mother had a Grand Asthma Seizure, and fell to her kitchen floor gasping for breath. She was 79. My Father who was sickly and rather frail could not lift her, nor carry her out of the house, so he navigated to the truck outside and backed it up to the kitchen door. Before he could lifte her and carry her to the truck, she had passed away. It was not expected. My dear Mother died where she struggled all my days of growing life.

Two years later, in 1996, on exactly Cinco De Mayo at 12 noon in the Visalia Hospital in Visalia, California my Father passed away. How this happened is due to his conditions of multiple systems failure. He was taking lots of pills back home on the farm and for whatever unknown reason he had fallen backward into a pastic laundry tub and could not get up, nor out of it. He did not die there. His then new gal friend, wanted to know what was happening to him, so she called the sheriff and reported a problem. The sheriff went out to My Fathers Ranch and broke in the door and found him in the laundry tub comotose. They called ambulance. He was placed in intensive care and had tubes operating his entire body. He had multiple systems problems. Then a few days later my one Brother called me and asked me what to do. He said, "the doctor said he will not recover and will only get worse and he cannot function without all the machines...the costs are going to continue to mount and eventually there will be no way to pay for it all. We want to pull the plug, but we need your approval and say so." I said to my Brother, "I can not make a decision like that. It is up to you and the Doctor." They pulled the plugs and let him die. He was my Father and this was an identity crisis for me.

I still do not believe either of my parents are gone. Both of my parents were cremated and their ashes sprinkled out in the ocean beyond Morro Bay. My brother never let me attend either one of their ceremonies.

What do you want said about you at your eulogy?

Right now I think about how unimportant I am. I have done nothing spectacular or great in my lifetime. Unlike people who have, such as Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Larry Ellison, Steve Forbes, Steve Jobs, Carl Sagan,
Jane Goodall, and many others. People who have been born into great life roles like Queen Elizabeth, well they are great by birthright. However most of the people I think are great are those who have earned and invented their achievements through hard work or by education because they have done it by sheer will and steadfast determination. That dedication is from nature and not from family inheritance. They made their lives work and then they shared their work with other people and not a few people but with as many people as they could reach. Of course they also got payed for their accomplishments.

Since I have done nothing special in any way at all, i think the best thing I can have anyone say is: She is glad she is gone. My reason for this is, I no longer have to suffer, or work hard, or be in emotional pain, or try to think of ways to survive and watch my family struggle and suffer. Yes, that is not great at all, just honest and how I feel as I look at my own death. I am so tired of watching people i love die and disappear from my life.

I have not done anything great, but I have always loved my daughter and my grandson and my grand daughter. However they may not think so, because I have not even been a great parent or a great person.

All I have ever done is suffer through it all.

Write your obituary.

I have not died yet. Time is moving on.

Do you feel that you put enough energy into parenting as you should have? Did you have energy left to take care of your parents in their later years?

All my life everything has been backwards. Living on the dairy farm when I was 0 until 18 was an experience of me being a parent. I did adult things. I never had a regular childhood. Certainly not a childhood built on play and fantasy. My childhood was real things; real life. It was the growing of food; i helped grow the vegetables and the fruits. The cultivating of animals; I worked the farm animals alongside my folks. I helped with the dirty laundry every weekend. I cleaned the calf pens and feed the calves. I walked through the swarms of flies, and wore the black rubber boots through the piles of manure and mud. I watched the cows slaughtered and helped skin the cows and then cook their meat; and all the while I saw their large glossy cow eyes staring at me like sacrificial creatures they became. I cooked my parents their three daily meals and ate the food with them. I cleaned up my squashed chamelion from the tile floor after my brother stepped on it; I cryed all the way to school on the school bus as I remembered my father whipping my brother for killing my chamelion and making me cry.

I was a parent, never a child.

And when I was an adult, I was always an adult, never a parent.

My folks were always the parents. Even when my parents were in the late 70's and early 80's...they refused to allow me access to help them. They did not even want me to watch them age, or watch them die. But they did die, Mother of a grand asthma attack on the old farmhouse kitchen floor, and my Father in a hospital when they took him off life support....I could be present as my Father passed, but I could not assist his living life any further.

Is there anyone you envied in life? Why?

Many people in my life have always interested me because they were able to live well and figure things out and never had any problems in the world. I have never been able to figure out how and why some of these folks were blessed with such great good fortune.

So to ask if I ever envied anyone is not exactly what has gone through my mind. I have looked at people differently. I have compared my life to the lives of many other successful friends and famous or rich people, and always wondered why could I not be more like that.

When I was small I could not understand why some people were blessed with beautiful blond hair. I could not understand why they were able to wear beautiful dresses and smell pretty. I could not understand why they were treated like children, or they were able to do things that I was not allowed to do. I did not understand why my hair was black. I did not understand why some of my friends went to church and I was not allowed to go to church. I did not understand why they could buy pretty dresses and I could not.

Things in my life kept separating me from everyone else. The life around me was making me into the person I was growing up to believe I was. I was a farm girl. I was a country girl. I was a farm girl that had to cook, and sew, and clean, and help milk the cows and feed the calves. I was a farm girl that got whipped whenever my Father felt like it. I was punished for things I barely did and for things I did not do. I was miserable my entire 18 years.

It was like the time my small grandson was attending Louis E Rowe Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada and I was visiting the school one day while waiting for him to get out of school. I went out onto the playground to wait outside by the tether ball courts. It was in June at the end of the school year and it was already really hot there in the sunshine. The principle and the teachers had about 20 small children sitting on the asphalt of the tether ball courts in the heat in the sun on the hot asphalt surface of the courts...sitting bare legged on the asphalt...mind the noon time...some were crying and squirming it was so hot. The teachers would not let them get up off the asphalt...knowing that it was burning their skin right through their parents were around to see this horrible inhumane I ask you what could small children do to ever deserve this kind of treatment? Not a damn thing! That school administrator was out of her friggin mind to do that do any children, Mormon woman or not. These were more teachers allowing this to occur. I could not believe it.

I had a meeting with the administrator after I saw this happen. And she got all huffy with me and declared all haughty. " are you (who has no education nor religous upbringing) telling me (a temple worthy married mormon principal of great importance to her church) how (because I might have seen something she does not want exposed) run MY SCHOOL. (Lady it is a public school, and although you have your responsibility to the public, you also should have a sense of common decency and reasonabe expectations of humble kindness to small children who have no idea of self defense.) Teachers? Humbug. What do they really teach.

However I was gifted with talents, that other kids did not possess, yet not allowed to use my talents. I was blessed with lots of food, so I never went hungry. I was blessed with the caring for and the nuturing of animals. I was blessed with fabrics to sew my own clothes. I was blessed with a great love of books and the talent to read at a very early age.

In fact I got in trouble for my ability to read and for my writing skills when i was in the fourth grade. Our teacher at Lincoln Elementary had us write an essay story in class. I wrote it and turned it in and she took me aside and questioned me, "did you really write this story?" I did write the story. The teacher did not believe that anyone at my age could write a story as well as I did. She called my Mother and asked her if I wrote the story? My Mother did not know nothing about my writing skills. So she did not give a convincing answer and it caused me a bad grade on the paper and I got a whipping because I got a bad grade and they did not believe in my writing skills. I hated that teacher because she thought I did not write the paper.

I lost my trust in my parents because they did not believe in me either. This was the beginning of early demoralization. Not all of my teachers were like that one, but I never trusted teachers again. They lie worse than children do. Then they accuse children of wrong doings, when they children did nothing but what they were asked to do. I learned from that teacher: teachers are treacherous people. The complex is that children really want teachers to teach them honestly and the children want to be inspired and look up to teachers. Children become disappointed when that does not happen.

Children notice that some teachers develop pets. And teachers do develop pets. They claim that they treat all children the same, but they do not. The ones that are prettier or smarter or that fit into the teachers classification of status quo are treated better, kinder and given more opportunities to excell than even some who have talent or have skills, as I did. I had natural abilities and knew how to use my talent then. As I grew older and everyone kept stomping on me, I simply lost my ability to excell and do well because i quit caring about impressing their directions and making them look good.

Teachers were all the same, they helped some students excell and that made them look good and so they got bigger and better salaries and got promotions. They did not really care about all the masses of students that rammed through their doorways every season. Teachers are just not nice people.

What I did consider important was a sense of justice and the ability to stand up for my rights as a child and as an adult. Children have rights, but parents are so clouded by their self importance that they do not hear the children when they speak or cry in the night. Parents do not listen.

What big things do you regret? Was there a turn in the road you should have taken? What small things do you regret?

I regret the biggest influence of self destruction in my personal life...was self pleasure by masturbation. Ha ha you think. When you are a small defenseless child and everything you do is wrong and you get whipped for it, well you turn in towards your own soul for some way to save yourself and make yourself feel good or some way to escape the misery of the eternal suffering caused by the adults around you. MIne escape came from masturbation.

A sex therapist might think, wow, what a solution to a problem. I should have suggested that for all my patients.

However what it does do over time is corrupt the person who participates in the syndrome, even though, because folks love sex, it seems to be encouraged, except by church goers and church do gooders. I used to hear them screech: "do not touch yourself! You will go blind. You will go deaf. Your ears will fall off." Whatever they said at the time may have been true further on down the line of life, but they were not the ones getting beaten for doing good and for doing bad....those blabber mouths just stood on the sidelines and watched the show. They watched a little girl constantly tormented and then they would sneak into their rooms and beat off and have orgasums at the expense of someone else's misery. Yes, they had their own private fantasies at someone else's expense. And if they were truthful, they would admit that is exactly what they were doing. But they lie because they know nothing about sex.

If I had not been so tormented as a child I would have stopped masturbating and I believe that would have changed my life. I do not think my habit did me any good for the long term. It was the basis of the sexual addiction that eventually shaped my life away from things and ways that I really wanted to achieve. My habit of escaping always got in the way of real focusing and real achievements.

I really regret this however, when I was two I was always masturbating and my Mother suspected I did, but she did try to be polite and respectful about it. It was a taboo activity especially for a young female child. I think she did tell my Father, but he whipped me and I did not know why. That only made it worse and my Mother I think stopped telling him about it in order to protect me. Usually I got to do it when she gave me a bath at night. I would be in the bathroom and the door would be closed and the water was warm and deep and I would sink into the tub and find a wash cloth and press it against me. It gave me pleasure and took my mind away from the harsh words my Father always yelled at me. Or if he was punishing me and hating on me...then I could do it in the tub and i would feel the rush of the orgasums. I did this alot.

Parents are wrong if they do not believe that there children have orgasums at early ages. I thought it was OK. My parents never really talked about sex. We did not go to church. And nothing felt as good as an orgasum...and I was having them at two, and three, and four, and five and on and on and on, all by myself until I finally got to be 18 and by the time I was 21 I finally met Charlie Kent Line and them I leveled out and we had sex 5 times every day for an entire year. During our first and only year together, we had sex without missing everyday, and even when he was beating me. I can thank my Father for this syndrome, after all he prepared me to expect violence and sex in one and the same experience.

I do believe that if I had not masturbated as much as I did, I would have become different in my relationship expectations and in my educational interests. I might have become something or someone worthy of the life I have been give, instead of this sexually addicted personality that I have had to learn to understand and overcome. But the good thing is I understand sexuality better than most people and understand the addiction syndrome better than most people. I also understand how to stop it in myself. Unlike an out of control addiciton, I have tamed my demon.

This does not mean that I do not like sex, nor does it mean that by my abstinance that I do not care about a relationship that is not celebate; it only means to me that I no longer am dependent on the feeling of an orgasum to be happy, escape, or live. It is like finally not needing a cigarette to feel like it is necessary to my daily well being. It is like finally not needing a drink of alcohol in order to make myself feel altered and able to cope with other people. It is not like getting a high off a drug in order to fit in with other people. I just do not need these things.

Sex has become a means to share affection. But I do not have to share affection to be myself or be human or to fit in with other people.

What I do regret is that i used to think that Seventeen Magazine was the leading magazine in how a young girl should look and behave and feel about herself. This is not so. It is sad to wish one is like all those girls. I know because I used to want so badly to be a model and be like those pretty well dressed girls, and I could not. And because I could not be like them, I masturbated and made myself have great orgasums and I used to think that was happiness. It did not get me any closer to being a beautiful Seventeen Model.

My Mother just told me, "Merrily forget it. You will never be a model." Ok Mom, maybe you married the wrong man.

The other magazine that used to influence me about sex, mostly because I had to seek answers outside my own parents to find out any answers about sex. I was always wondering about relationships and how men and women got married and how they got along in bed. I did not know. I knew how animals did it in the barnyard. I had seen numberous bulls ride the cows. I saw the dogs claw and tie together for hours. I heard the cats screech at night as they copulated. I watched the horses do it. I never ever saw my Mother and Father even kiss or hold hands and we were not an affectionate family, so we seldom ever gave hugs to one another. It was, "pull down your pants and bend over," all the time.

But that Glamour Magazine with Helen Gurly Brown. And all the streams of articles about sex and relationships and love and being pretty and attracting men or women went on for years and still goes on. Does it or did it ever answer questions about love and sex and how people got along? Not for me it did not. It evenually ran into pornography and that is one activity that has always annoyed me. When you want love and love is hard to understand between two people and all you ever get is sex, lust and fucking and being dumped right thereafter...well it leaves me empty.

Love has always been an empty tragedy I have never understood. The older I get the less important an emotion it seems to be. My grandmother always told me, "Merrily the most important thing in a relationship between a man and a woman is tolerance." What Grandma Storr was saying is that the requirement for two people to remain together is to be able to endure and tolerate each others differences. For her begin together was predicated on being patient with each other and being respectful and humble in regards to strengths and weaknesses. She believed those qualities transcended LOVE and or were part of the emotion and committment attached to the meaning of LOVE.

I think addictions are created by the small habits we form as we grow up. My sexual patterns created a neurological need to smoke, to drink and to use minor amounts of drugs. In turn my thinking became influenced by the use of these substances, which altered the outcomes of my interests and my experiences. Theses little subtle changes became apparent in my decision making activities causing me to choose bad turns in my life and choose less desirable outcomes for myself.

Now things are different only because of my celebacy and my abstainance from these activities that over time caused major self destruction in my life. How does that happen when I was an intelligent person. Well instead of using my time wisely and doing things to advance my social activities or education or career, I would masturbate, or I would drink alcohol, or use a drug or I would smoke a cigarette. All these addictive substances or activities caused me to swerve away from healthy interests and people who would be functioning at high levels of activity and work and career advancements.

I would just crash out and burn. I would give up because I did not fit in, I kept hearing, "I am not pretty enough. I am not smart enough. I am not good enough. And then I would feel the whip."

People who were around me, those voices in the crowds of people that we move through as we grow up would say things in my direction that said, "sex is good for you. Do it. Yeah, everyone masturbates. If it feels good do it!" That seemed to be an era philosophy. If it felt good do it. It was like trying and smoking marajuana. What we heard in the 60's was the public voice of encouragement to try and experiment with various ideas and substances that gave us good feelings, however had no attached voice of reason, no further thought and absolutely no consequences of action.

The truth did not come out possibly until bad things started happening and activities of the freedom lovers made the news. Like people jumping our of windows while on acid trips. It is now 2015, I have not heard a peep out of anyone using acid in decades. Perhaps they have all gotten brainless from being wasted. Or perhaps they have all died as a consequences of the dealers and sellers encouraging the buyers to try this or use that. I do not know. I know I tried acid one time and it was one time too many.

I then became the amour of a tiny man, back in the mid 1960's, who drove a Blue Bus, that was his name for his vehicle. He was not a midget, but he was about 4 feet tall and weighted about 65 pounds. He wore loose clothing, never showed and never shaved, but he took me in when I was homeless and kept me with him for about one month. He picked me up in Oakland and we drove up into the hills towards Yosemite. He found a camp ground, parked and opened the back door and let me get out to roam around. Before leaving me at the camp he handed me one blue tap of acid. He drove off into the forest all the way up into Yosemite Valley and there with distributed blue tab acid to anyone who was using. The tiny little man would then return every evening, locate me wandering around the camp ground or sitting on a rock, waiting for him at our parking spot. He would usually bring me something to munch on, and stuff me beside him in the Blue Bus and then we would "make love" which it really wasn't since I was out of the loop and stoned all the time on blue acid, morning to night and the next day and the next day, etc.

There was nothing good about this. This went on the entire mid month of June to the mid month of July. The same routine every morning occured. I woke, hit the public bathrooms, he handed me a tab of blue acid, I ate it and as soon as the feeling came on, I went to sit by and in the river all day. I was about 23 years old at the time. And it was really a bad bad way to live. However I could not work. I could not do anything. I was alive, and that was all. When it was over and the day came for the summer experience to end. There was not too much left of my brain. The tiny man gathered me up, stuffed me in the Blue Bus beside him and drove off back down the hill towards Oakland.

In retrospect, the tiny man must have been fairly conscious, just not concietious, because he could obviously operate a vehicle and run his drug business and take care of me somewhat. He drove me all the way back into the town of Oakland. Pulled over on some curb, somewhere and ordered me to get out. He was done with me he said. I got out and he drove away. I never saw him again. I do not know anything more about him than one summer and one blue acid tab every day...and a clear view of nothing left of myself. I have tried to remember over the years what happened after that. I do not have any reference. I must have been alive and moving along somewhere. At least until the drug wore off and something occured that jolted my consciousness back into reality.

I do recall the tiny man telling me fun stories of the Yosemite Happenings and the Love Fests in the Meadows where hundreds of Hippies gathered and hung out and got stoned. Sometimes someone will mention a vague story or two of those days in the 60's, fondly recalling that it was a gathering similar to Haight Park in San Francisco where all the Flower Children gathered to sing and dance and get stoned.

I was glad it was over because it was not a life I wanted to be part of for any duration. I did not like the feeling and I did not like not being in reality. It took awhile, but eventually the drugs, the acid wore off and my brain came back to life and so did I.

The bad thing about all of that was that people made it sound like it was a great and wonderful experience. So we were being convinced to do without jobs, money, and food, and told by others just to do nothing and make love. Other people were trying to convince us that "everything would be groovey". We were told not to do nothing because it was not necessary to have responsiblities, and someone else would always take care of us. For awhile, when I was being stoned by others, since I never bought any of the substances I was given, I bought into the philosophy, until one day I had no money, I had no food, I had no job, nothing to do, and I woke up and people around me had somehow lived through it all and changed and were opening stores, making things to sell, and living well...out of being stoned? I felt betrayed by their social lie. They were making me sick, while they were getting re established into a money society...and I fell by the wayside, or was pushed out, drugged by their handouts into a fucked up stupor. It was all a social lie.

Suddenly I was surrounded by swinging and winging good looking people who had success and I was flat on my back waiting for the next wave of truth, that never came. I got up and walked away from this crap. I saw all the Hippies as stoned out liars and con artists. Their life style was not mine. So I picked up what was left of myself and tried to make my way back to a sane reasonable establishment.

The bad thing about addicitions is that they work against you synergistically, one dropping into the other, like a chain of deadly dominos. If I did one, say sex, then, I needed the smoke, and if I had the sex, and the smoke, I felt bad and had to have a drink, and then I felt worse so I wanted a greater substance of escape and drugs were there. The drugs were the worst of the feelings. So I stopped because they were the most evil and deadliest of all things to take into the body. In 1968 I had quit all or any drugs. Then I managed to stop smoking. This left me with some alcohol drinking, but not much because the more clean my body and mind became, the less I desired. Sex was the problem. It was the bottom drive factor in self destruction. It was never attached to a normal love. It was not attached to any was doing it for the sake of doing it and because the MAN wanted to do it. I just was easy and always gave in. I had to teach myself to stop randomly having sex. I had to develop my own set of morals. I had to develop my own limits on my own behavior. My mind would think about it, and I would set my mind to work, not allowing my body to randomly participate.

So it was that in 1968, in August, I had sex with a young man in Sausalito, California, inside the warehouse where I had been living, in Margo Saint James's warehouse storage unit, on a small narrow cot in a big empty area, with a large painting propped against the wall, listening to the sounds of the Sausalito Bay slapping on the boards below me and I guess his name was David. We had met beside the ocean waves outside the building along the shore. He was a good looking young man who said he was studing Ballet at the San Francisco Ballet Company. He had blond hair and blue eyes and was of Dutch German descent.

We fell in love, as much as that meant at the time. I do not know anything more about him. He probably is dead by now being that we were the same age then. But we wanted to uh, "make love" and or I fell the compassion to give in, another random experience with a nice looking young man, of my age. We did on that little cot; several times.

The future result was, I got pregnant. In my ignorance and lack of experience I did not fully comprehend the condition for several months. The pregnancy took me away from the relationship, back to live on my parents farm, and gave me my only living child, and my daughter, Genishan. Who is still living and has given me three grandchildren, Michael, Tyler and Paige.

And so it is that the negative begat a positive experience. And again my child did change the course of my life.

Do you have a character trait that you'd like to give up? Are you selfish? Are you timid?

I think of many ways to become successful, but I am afraid to take risks and venture beyond my ideas and my dreams to put them into action. I am not afraid of being successful, but I am afraid of the risk and the void between the dream and the action and the reality.

Do you have any fears or phobias? Have they changed during your lifetime? How much have they affected you?

When I was young I was not afraid of sex. Now I am deathly afraid of sex. I have changed my belief about the importance of sex and ones needs as well. Not because of fear, but because of practicality. I no longer even like the idea that sex as a means to procreation, or to pleasure, or even for marriage, or as a way to communicate between a man and a woman. I simply have lost all interest in sex. And that is a change.

Is there a character trait that you'd like to pass on? Would you like your descendants to have your sense of humor or your knowledge of something you think is important?

The most impressive character trait I admire is to continue to be progressive and keep on going and keep on striving to improve ones life with the things that you want the most. It is important to be curious about the world and try to make things better.

If you could be cloned, would you want that?

No I am not interested in living through this life again. Once is enough. People are hateful and spoiled and inconsiderate about all things.

Have you ever had a feud that went on too long with anyone? Is there someone you just plain don't get along with?

I think everyone has a nexus. Everyone has someone they just can not blend philosophies with. It may not be a feud, it may be a simple difference in desires and in lifestyle.

Do you remember a time when you were acutely embarrassed?

All the time. I have been embarrassed quite a bit.

What was your proudest moment in life? Second and third proudest moments?

When I graduated from Fresno State University with a BACHELORS IN ANTHROPOLOGY.

What person or persons affected your life the most?

At different times different people have effected my life. I think as we go along in life, different people mature at different speeds and we change as we change we meet new people who create new circumstances.

What was your biggest challenge? Was there something that you just did not want to do but had to go ahead and do anyway? How did it turn out for you?

I can honestly admit that my biggest challenge in my life is overcoming not thinking about sex all the time. My entire life from little child to now adult has been inundated with thinking about sex. I have to practice not to think about sex, with myself, with other people, about men, about women and about married couples. It is the thing I hate the most about myself, my brain, my life and my being.

I remember when I was like 10 and 12 and was starting my period and I would look at men who I came into view of and the very first thing I would look at was there crotch and I would wonder, "what it looked like." To most normal people who never thought about sex, or all those who never admit that they think about sex, but really do, I always felt like a freak of nature. To this day I hate this about me. It did not help that I had a masturbation habit.

Since this was a forbidden subject to speak about when I was a child and even growing up in my teens, I had a bigger problem with it because I could not confide nor discuss something this shameful, or this taboo with anyone, not at school, and never at home. I never talked about it with friends. I never spoke about it at a church gathering. I have had only shame and embarassment all my life over this habit.

I think the three major men that I have lived with Charlie Kent Line, Charles Edward Gulovitch, and Michael Hunter McCarthy all were suprised to learn that I had great orgasums. I was a natural freak in bed. I loved sex with all of them when I was with them. With the exception of Charles Kent Line, who was a sexual
pscyopath. I loved Chuck. Mike and I were good partners for awhile, but his addictions got the better of him.

The thing I have never really wanted to do but have always felt I had to do because it was a duty between a man and a woman, is have sex with the one I was with. Suprisingly however, I have always been a faithful lover and never cheated on the one I was with at the time, until it was firmly and completely over. Then I never ever returned to them. It was done. Charlie was done without question. Chuck was over because he cheated on me before we were even apart and Mike, he divorced me and married someone else...I never wanted to return to him even after the phony marriage ceremony he set up with me at the Plymouth Congregational Church.

Of course I dated and was in relationships with other men, trying to find someone to love. And that has always been what it has been about, trying to find someone to find in this elusive mary go round of relationships. I have not been successful. The last thing I want to do is the first thing that any man wants to do and that is have sex. Yet I always give in. I finally have learned to say no, but I still wish I had someone....but it is always been that way...they want sex, I do not want sex, I give in, and afterwards they leave me and I hate the whole thing. So the only way to control this pattern of destructive sexual activity is not to have sex at all. i have learned to stay away from men fairly well. I never believe in what they say, because they will ultimately always want sex...and now we have women after women who are just as agressive about sex as men are...and now we have men who are after men in much the same manner. So life has become a cesspool of sexual co is a society of twinkies versus twitters.

Have you ever witnessed something that you can't forget?

Many many things throughout my life.

Have you ever felt betrayed? Have you ever betrayed someone else?

Everyone gets betrayed in some form or the other. I certainly have trusted different people and then lost my trust in them because their interests change and reveals ulterior motives that are unpleasant.

How would you describe yourself?

I am an extremely unhappy person with little energy left to do the things I would have liked to have done. I am a tragic figure surrounded by people who smoke, drink and are immature. Their habits bother me and I do not seem to have the motivation to get away from their torment.

What has held your emotional stability together through the years?

My center of soul is probably hope, and faith that God will bring some change and it will be that spark of inspiration that I am missing.

If you started an organization or business what would it be?

I dream of owning my own business. I used to own Merrily Singing Telegrams and it worked well for me except that my husband destroyed it. I want to make things, and paint, and draw and sell my works. I want to redecorate homes, and paint chairs in floral patterns. I want to own four different restaurants, one is called Just Potatoes and features potatoes dishes from around the world. The other is called from Tooth to Gum. This is for folks who have teeth and can chew food and folks who do not, or need soft foods. The third restaurant is called Mugs and Jugs....sort of a sexy name but it is about feeding faces and serving drinks. I have a book of my fashion designs and figured this would be another venture. And I have written a movie called ICELANDR. And another play called Check This Box. I have also considered a charitable organization whereby I help obtain jobs for the homeless or those who have been jailed and need to support themselves. I have also considered finding an empty mall and turning it into a homeless shelter. I have always had a dream of building a museum around my career as an EXOTIC dancer, and writing a real book about my life...funds are an issue. No one cares enough about me to help me and this includes my family and I have no man interested in me or any of my ideas regarding business ventures. These are businesses I can do or all try to do, some I have done and have plans for. I have product for, such as the movies, the museum, and the Just Potatoes Restaurant. I want to make face masks that are reusable and keep the polluted air out of lungs and I want to merchandise those and a product that protects the left arm when driving from the hot burning sun on the skin.

If you could have designed your life from infancy up, how would it play?

I would have rather died and never lived. My life has been a steady dose of sex abuse and poverty. I hate my life.

If you hold a fundamental truth or believe in a universal principle, what is it?

I do not know of a fundamental truth and science and facts are only what you can see and hear and no one really cares about the health or welfare or the betterment of societies.

Heavy Questions

What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?

My spirit seems to always come from somewhere else and lifts me skyward again, and again. However throughout my life I have a constant thread of continual sorrow from all the traumatic life events that have befallen me. Possibly the worst sorrow is never being able to find one stable man to love and to love me in return.

What are the most important lessons you've learned?

Never ever stop learning, understanding and moving forward with all or as much energy as you are able to muster together. Keep trying to solve problems and have faith in doing the best you can do with what you are given to work with. Find something to share and multiply it a million fold and sell it to help support yourself and enrich the lives of your community, family and friends, even folks in other countries. The best you can do and the best effort you make might be something created or invented in your do not stop trying.

How has your life been different than what you'd imagined?

My life has been vastly differntly than I imagined. Mostly because I always thought smooth sailing was exactly that. Some people seem to always have it easy and i have never fully understood the why of it. I have tried and tried and studied the whys and wherefores of human behavior and human continuity and still do not know why some folks have it so easy, and other like me struggle with everthing. I think it gets easier, instead, it just continues to be a complicated mess more often than not.

I figure if you do not fight with circumstances and events they will automatically change and the bad stuff will go away. That is not always the case.

How would you like to be remembered?

When computors first went on the market I bought a couple of them from Wal Mart and that was back in the 1996's. It was not the first models, but by the time I bought mine, they were integrated and composed of many usable applications. I fell in love with computors then and now. The Apple is my favorite now. I believe the two I purchased were Hewlett-Packard.

Almost the very first thing I did was get on Yahoo and sign up on their free web building site. I put together something that was always fun for me: I called it the Museum Of Merrily. I build a whole composite of my life as an exotic dancer and singing telegram entertainer. It was all about my family, and me, and my costumes and was really a cool documentary online. Then about 10 years later, the entire web building site disappeared and well, you had to pay money to put things up and uploading digital images became a stream of technology and pizzle. My site disappeared. Apparently however, Yahoo catalogged the material into one area of gigantic web stream into a place called: THE WAY BACK MACHINE. So I am cataloged for life in the Way Back Machine. The strange thing is, it did not keep a record of all of my work, at least as far as I can tell, and the only things that are copied are etchy some things were saved and others were not.

This is my big beef about this entire system. It can disappear and be moved in a New York Minute. Gone. Zap. Zip. When I uploaded images and text I believed I was uploading for posterity. Naught. So what you see and are told is not what you get. Be Aware.

I wanted to be remembered through my MUSEUM OF MERRILY. It recorded and documented the only image I have of my French Grandmother. It recorded one of the few images I had of my Mother and Father. It recorded almost every famous person I interviewed as a photo journalist for The Las Vegas Mirror. It recorded every Stripper I talked to and who allowed photos taken. I had images of Red Foxx, Fred Travelena, Tom Jones, Shirley MacLaine, Scott Free, Sunny Day, Patty Wright, Lou Dupont, Steve Rossi, Georgie Jessel, Ralphie Petillo, Sandy Hackett, Murray Langston, Barbie Doll, Margarita, Salumba, Suzie Midnight, Michael McCarthy, and me...Merrily. And my favorite views of my Serbo Croatian Lover...Chuck Gulovitch. Of course my little beautiful daughter, Genishan, had a few images as well. Life goes on and the site disappeared and with it my memories of my life. I just hope this does not happen here as well.

What does your future hold?

By now i should have a great future. I can only address what I wanted by this time of my age. I wanted to have and own a house for my family of 4, including my daughter, and my three grandchildren. I wanted to have a business, and financial freedom, and I have gotten some of the education i desired. I wanted a healthy life. And I have always wanted the same for my little family.

It has never come.

I got the education. Or at least some of it. I am virtually homeless and so are they. I am really sick of this life of never haveing a home. All my belongings are still locked up in two storage units and the job I do have for the moment will no longer be available and I will be jobless. My daughter is on welfare, and at the mercy of the state of California. My grandson is being bombarded with social problems. My grand daughter is struggling with her size and her life forces. The little baby, well he is dependent on his Mother who is on Welfare for his sake.

What do I want from my future. I want financial freedom and to be able to work and live in a house that I own. I would so love a home. I so want a place to be, where I can have my family around me, safe and secure and knowing that when I die, they will have a place to live without being evicted or forced to leave. Why does not God answer my prayers. I have suffered and endured more than any other woman that I know...and still peaceful home does not arrive. My poor grandson has suffered and endured for his 24 years and is such a sweet young man who deserves so much more than his disability allows for him to recieve. I can only ask why do we have to suffer so much? Sometimes I wonder if there is a merciful God.

Any secrets that you don't mind sharing now?

In this life there are no secrets. Somewhere someone knows everything about us. Usually it is those people who keep the secrets from us, like the Doctors who examine us and write up reports about us. Or the teachers in school that write reports about our behavior that is never shared with us. Or the Credit Bureaus that keep our financial information and never let us know what is going on. Or the Social Security Department that keeps our records from birth until death. They do not share this information with us. We are known and documented somewhere by somewhere everyday of our lives, but we do not know what is being shared. Managers where we work, they make comments about us and write up reports about us, but they never ever share this information with us. It is stashed in secret files and we know nothing.

Secrets? It is not us who keep the secrets. It is the facilities, the institutions, the corporations, the schools, the managers, the lawyers, the litigators, the Doctors, all of these and more learn about people in vast heaps of secretly gathered information called studies, focus groups, surveys, interviews, reports, special behaviors, and the like. Insurance companies gather information. People document the food we eat, the houses we live in, the things we buy, the cars we drive, and from the Department of Motor Vehicles, who record every car we have ever owned, some of whom we forget about, to the IRS, who gathers our life work in numbers and patterns of work effort....nothing in this world is secret to someone somewhere.

I am the last one to know what others know about me. How ridiculous is this. The Doctor draws my blood, but he does not ever tell me what is in it. How wrong is this? I offer up a cup of pee because of a drug background check, but no one tells me what they find. I have an HIV test, and no one tells me whether I am positive or negative, yet I paid money to them to have the test run, and they can not afford to give me the results of my test? What kind of ironic nonsense is this? They just give you blah, blah, blah and send you out the door, leaving you wondering whether it is your last week of biological life or not. I say, "What the hell?!"

The FBI has files on every American Citizen. Are we privey to our own background and information? NO! Our Mothers are pregnant and our Fathers are having sex with our preganant Mothers, and do we declare this highly private secret information to anyone, before birth or are we privey to this knowledge after birth. You may read this and find this repulsive, but these are facts of life, not colored coded rainbows in the sky. This private privileged information between two married people, but is it really. That wife has to tell her doctor how many times she has sex with her husband and in what postiions because it may or may not effect the growth and development of the unborn child. But are we privy to these matters of life and death?

It astounds me all the information that is available and it all came from research performed on unknowling and trusting and unsuspecting individuals. People who wanted to hide the truth. People who wanted to keep secrets. People who died gave up their privacy so others could learn and become aware of the decieits of humanity.

I do not believe anything is secret. Hitler believed his war crimes and his death camps were hidden from the rest of the world. Eventually they were not. The lives he stold from other people were evidence of a grave humanitarian injustice and it was performed in the disguise of secrets. Secrets are bad. If we have secrets that traumatic we should not be keeping secrets. Secrets lead to lies that eventually destroy other people. It would be a better world if there were no secrets and other people lead lives where they were aware and proud of whatever it is that they were doing. Too many secrets lead to a bad person, a bad community, a bad county, and a bad country. Secrets pile up in the graveyards and haunt us forever.

What memories would you like to remain with your children or grandchildren? What memories dwell in you?

I will always want them to know that I loved them in all the ways that were possible. I want them to know that I cared for them and supported them with whatever I had to give. I want them to know to never quit and never give up, they must keep on trying and moving forward. Stand tall and be of great courage. Show compassion and mercy for themselves and others and contribute to the well being of self and family and community. Find that one product that is desired by many, sell your product to all and reap the rewards and profits of your efforts so you shall not want for life giving necessities and more.

What did you think of writing your life story with The Remembering Site?

I really love the idea of questions to answer. However these questions are not getting to my real life story. Somehow they simply do not pretain to the events of my life that I want to tell. My story. The questions are helpful in a general sense and compell the writer to discuss something, but not necessarily the questions that need to be answered. So i have problems fitting the questions to my life.

And, finally, what is the meaning of your life? What is the most important thing you've learned in life?

My life seems to be always in a transistional flux. I am merely passing through onto somewhere else, not here and never quite there. There are so many important things to learn and to remember.

Special Chapter on Personal or Family Medical History

The following questions about your medical history are not intended to pry or embarrass but rather to share what could prove to be important to family members who may seek a genetic or familial connection to a health issue or disease. Do not answer the questions if you feel uncomfortable but answers to these questions could be important to know for your family. Are you allergic to anything, especially medications?

I am not allergic to anything that I know of. I do not take medications if I can avoid them. I take vitamins regularly.

What surgeries have you had? Were there any complications with the anesthetic?

I have had a mammoplasty...that is fake boobs. This operation went well. My Doctor was from Las Vegas and the best in the business there...his name began with a B, and I recall it as being Italian. He had a daughter who was also Italian. I have had lipoma and had it removed once and now it has returned. That is a fat deposit under the skin. It is on my back and on my arm. I am working with a doctor to control my glaucoma, which is mild. I had my tonsils removed when I was about 8 years old. i have had to have all my teeth removed because they were falling out. My collar bone was broken twice in the same place by my first relationship with Charles Kent Line, back in the 60's. I have had two abortions and one terrible miscarriage and nearly died from blood poisoning. I have plantar facisitis...and my toes broken. I have had my left hand severed from my arm due to an ice skating accident and had to have it reattached....i have had lots of respiratory problems due to tree allergies where I work. I fell off the back dock and injured my hips. I have fallen down stairs three different times and injured my arm. My first marriage to Michael Mccarthy resulted in him socking me in the eye and shoving me across the room over a tv and into a sliding glass door, which blacked my eye and broke a rib. I have had several concussions from hitting my head at work in housekeeping on door knobs, and towel racks. I have stepped on a nail in a chicken coop and got tetnus shots. I got hit in the head with a hammer when I was about 4 and had to have stitches. Four times I have been severely raped, once by being held hostage by two truck drivers from Riverside, Ca to San Francisco. Once by a black man in Los Angeles at gun point. Once by two men who claimed they were Sheriffs in Tulare, County...they told me to take my clothes off and lay on a mattress while they pointed rifles at me laying on the mattress naked so they could have sex on my body. And they did at rifle point. Fourth time , was by two Russian Foreign exchange students in Los Angles...who held me hostage and took turns, all night long. Some of these required surgeries. Some required healing in various medical ways. I do not forget all this.

Oh yes...I had several severe epistaxis attacks, those are severe nose bleeds. And had to have my nose cauterized. These occurred in 2013.

What are the medications you are currently taking?

I never use medications if I can help it. I do not like how it makes me feel. I do not use drugs because I do not like how they make me feel either.

What type of reactions did you have with medications?

I prefer to use my own feelings to feel better and heal.

Have you ever had pneumonia, rheumatic fever, heart disease, heart murmur, polio, meningitis, kidney infection or disease, bladder disease, anemia, jaundice, hepatitis or live disease, gallbladder disease, epilepsy, seizures, migraine headaches, tuberculosis, cancer, high or low blood pressure, nervousness, diabetes, mitral valve protapse, thyroid dysfunction, asthma, lung disease, Rh sensitization, infertility, DES exposure, eye disease, impaired eyesight, ear disease, impaired hearing, any trouble with nose, sinuses, mouth or throat, any head injury, fainting spells, convulsions, frequent or severe headaches, skin disease, chronic or frequent cough, chest pain, spitting up blood, night sweats, shortness of breath, swelling of hands, feet or ankles, varicose vain (phlebitis), indigestion, stomach trouble, ulcer, rectal bleeding, loss or urine with cough or sneeze, recreational drug use (what kind?), alcoholism, used cigarettes (for how long and how many per day?), or transfusions?

I guess antihistamines are a medication, so I use these because of runny nose and watery eyes. I ate nothing but pizza for about 7 years when I was a pizza delivery person and had access to lots of pizza. It messed up my liver and this is because of being allergic to the preservatives in the pizza. Since I do not eat pizza, my liver has returned to good operation. I get headaches sometimes and do take aspirin or tylenol. I have used weed before one time...and hated the way it made me feel, so I never used it since. I would just pass out and sleep. I hated being that dysfunctional. I did drink off and on for a couple of years, nothing serious and I stopped that and have not had a drink in 35 years. I have smoked cigarettes three different times over the years, and all over men. I would smoke for a year and quit. So that makes the last time in 26 years ago. I have not had a weed smoke in 47 years. I intensely dislike the effects of all alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, even medications. Americans have easy access to all of these things and they are destructive in quanitiies and habits over the years. The problem is, when you are young you do not think a little bit now and again is harmful, however it is the long term accumulation of the habits and the chemicals that are the most harmful...especially to the young babies being born to women who do not respect their bodies, their lives and the lives of the newborn babies. Weed is the worst and people seem to be ignorant of the truth about weed. The problem is society has a need for euphoria and not wisdom, health and common sense.

Has any relative had cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, heart trouble, high blood pressure, stroke, epilepsy, mental illness or kidney trouble - or any other medical issue listed below?

My Mother was a chronic Asthmatic and had breast cancer. She used to have to have shots to breathe and work in her living environment. My Father had heart trouble, and high blood pressure and did have a stroke. He passed away in 1996 on the 5th of May of multiple systems failure. My Mother passed away on September 23, 1994 of a chronic asthma attack. My only Brother, JOE, had allergies and asthma. They both used inhalers.

I did not have asthma. My sister Dixie Glee died of leukemia when she was 3 or 4.

My daughter who is 48 as of the May 15, 2017...born in me, her single MOM, had a milk allergy that put her in comas and later she got asthma and for the last 25 years she has been drinking and smoking and using drugs and medications. Her first child, Tyler, is a chronic asthmatic. Her daughter has some asthma, but not as severe. Tyler also has seizures from Zanax withdrawals. This complicated with his asthma is very difficult for him, as his health suffers. And on top of that he near drowned when he was about 2 years old. We struggle.

Did you ever have any house quarantines during your childhood?

No we never had our house quarantined, but we should have had our house on Chance Street condemned because of all the cockroaches that lived in our apartment.

Are you allergic to food items, i.e., peanuts, chocolate, or non-food items such as talc or synthetic fibers?

No food that I know of.

List your hospitalizations.

My tonsil operation, my broken collar bones, my miscarriages, my abortions, my breast implants, my toes, my hips, my detached hand, my teeth removal, my pregnancy, and my broken rib.

Have you ever had organ replacements or artificial medical parts replacement (e.g., dialysis, stents, pacemakers, joints, etc.)?

My breasts are artificial.

Special Community Chapter on Living with AIDS

When were you first diagnosed with AIDS?

I do not have AIDS. No one in my family has AIDS.

Special Community Chapter on Surviving Cancer

In what month and year were you first diagnosed with cancer?

In my Mothers later years she developed cancer of her breasts and then along came melanoma on her arms. She already had suffered all her life from asthma, so now she had to deal with loosing her breasts, both of them and her arm condition. This stress on her body was a great pressure for her. She was a brave and courageous human being so she endured what no woman needs to ever endure.

I never figured out how she was able to work for 14 hours everyday milking and tending their herd of 400 cows, plus the shopping and the clean up, the laundry, and finally being able to catch merciful hours or two between milkings and all the rest of her marital duties. If there was anyone else that could command the clock and scynchronize their time and life moments with the demands of husband and a dairy, I never heard of them. My Mother's life was not a piece of cake! She gave me the ultimate sacrifices of her own time. I knew she was doing all she was doing so I could eat plenty of food, wear more nicer clothes than coveralls, have a better education than she was able to get, and not do the hard work she was doing.

The work my Father had her do was the work of two or three men. I never thought it was fair nor right for her to have to work so hard. Truth is, her own Mother, Dixie Storr, never thought my Mother should be working as hard as my Father required.

Mothers famous mind numbing phrase was, "it has to be done. we have no one else to do it." So from 1937 until her passing away on the Rancho Jersey house floor in 1994, all 57 years of her married life, she slaved away for the benefits of holding together her marriage, her family and the farm. I do not know of any other woman who would ever do that. There are women out on the earth that would do parts or pieces of this effort, but not process toward the totality nor immensity of the effect.

Why would any woman do this, especially after having to have two breasts removed, and watching the skin rip off her arms and watch the blood fall from open melanoma wounds? By the end of my Mothers life they had sold off the dairy. However, even though she did not have to milk cows any longer her breathing condition had become much worse. It was not the cancer that took her life, it was the chronic asthma and the asthmatic seizure that ended her last breathe on the cement floor of the kitchen, surrounded by a blue sky color, leading to a cold pale beige tile floor covering.

During the end of her days, no one would tell me about her condition. No one shared how close she was to dying. I do remember one of the last times I saw her alive. I drove out to their farm and visited for awhile, mostly with my Mother. As I was leaving, she came close up to me at the car window and hugged me through the open spaces. She began to cry. I asked, "why are you crying Mother?" She replied through her tears and then I heard the death rattle dead in her lungs, "because I am sorry and I will never see you again." Perhaps she knew her Golden Moment on Earth had come, I did not suspect the deeper meaning of her words, tried to reassur her," Mom, I will be back. We will seee each other again." For whatever reason, I never saw her alive again. I just recieved the fatal news.

I have always felt a numbness about my Mother leaving me. I have always felt that she is with me still. Somehow my mind will not accept the fact, that she is gone. I still see her milking cows, and coming to me through the kitchen door, telling me, "I will help you with dinner, but I am going to go wash up first." Minutes later she would join me in the kitchen to fill in the details of the supper. Usually the entire dinner process had been completed, food was served up in bowls and dishes on the table, the silverware and the china all set and the glasses in place.

"Joe, dinner is ready," she would say. "Joseph, come to eat now." she would add for my brothers benefit. Then we would all suffer through dinner in very carefully crafted conversations. All I was always more talky than the three of them, and that irritated my Father, who would continually be yelling loudly, "eat your dinner!" to me. Sometimes He and I would make up funny stories or jokes, which after the laughter would go sour and he would get mad and overly serious. I cooked some extremely fancy dishes for my family. i was a serious cook and loved to decorate foods. The score I always got was a sarcastic, "Harumph!" from my Dad. Mother was afraid to take sides with me for feat of my Fathers retaliation upon her. My Brother lived in continual fear I think, he seldom spoke.

Although my Father paid for her operation I am sure his lifestlye demands created my Mothers cancer problem. I never wanted to ever be married because of the interaction I observed at our home. I do mean all of it. It was not just the marriage, it was the story, and the life, and the work, and the hardship, and the unhappiness and the suffering we all were forced to endure...but it was all we knew and how we were raised and our job was to get through to the end and be able to leave in one piece.

Describe how you found out you had cancer.

For some unknown reason, I never had diseases, nor have I as of yet gotten cancer. My Mother also had ovarian cancer and had to have all of her female insides removed, another things my Father paid for. Well she worked for it. I never ever saw her get a paycheck. He was in charge of all the money and he bought everything. I know I got paid an allowance if I did what I was told. I got paid by the hour to hoe the weeds, and I had to keep track of this time spent working. I believe he had the same deal with my Brother.

The disease that was bad in our family was ASTHMA. My Mother was chronic, my Brother had asthma, and allergies, my Daughter has asthma, my Grandson has asthma, and my grand daughter has light asthma, The Doctors claim I have slight COPD from the chemicals we use at work.

So far Asthma has taken my Mother from me. So far the rest of us are still living. However the last asthma attack that my grandson had, left him with breathing capacity of a remaining 80%, and he is only 23 years old.

Special Community Chapter on Being African American

Who are the greatest African Americans?

I can not and will not single out solely African Americans as great. Greatness is a human effort and many people are great from all cultures. To say that only African Americans are great is retaining a wall of singularity and predjudice and that is what we are trying to move away from and become more well rounded and healthy people.

African Americans are not the only people in this world who have suffered. They are not the only people who are poor, or who have to work and struggle...from time to time we all have the same issues. However we must listen to each other and create dialogue that moves between individuals, instead of continuing this one sided sense of ethnocentricity.

As for known members of our current communities...I happen to feel that Tyler Perry is an extraordinary man who have contributed immensely to the world of entertainment. He writes his own manuscripts for his movies, he acts in them, he distributes them and maintains his own counsel. What he has accomplished with the quality of his movies in order to message the entire population is epic. He makes folks everywhere feel good about their own cultures and their own lives. Because of his openness and honesty of character we can see ourselves. His message inspires us with the communications from an entire culture and that makes other cultures grow and thrive as well.

What was it like to be raised as a black American?

The question I can answer is what is it like to be raised as an American? That can be considered a long and painful discourse on childhood behavior and adult behavior as people create situations. We are allowed to know things and then these same things become somehow twisted around by the perversions of other people.

I think I had to get used to just being alive and aware all of the time. I had to adjust to continual changes and situations put upon me just because i was a human being alive and in this universe or on this earth at this particular time. I had to pay attention to what was going on around me. My life has never been fun, nor good. I have always had to submit to all types of craziness put upon me by other people with odd behavior...then try to make sense out of it all.

Usually other people claim that they are always right. I think my perception is just as valid as their perception so how does that make them always right? This two sides to everything business does not make sense when you are taught to believe in yourself and in how you think. So being raised an American can become real confusing.

Americans are a great grand mixture of humans from all over the world. I among them. Since my family on my fathers side was Portuguese from the Azores that made them early on immigrants. And they were treated as immigrants as far as I know. My father spoke Portuguese and English. He taught himself how to read, write, and eventually he acquired business skills. He was good in business. Later on when he was 22 years old he met my mother.

Mother was 18 and fell in love with him, as she described the event, he was on a tractor plowing a field on a hill by her family home in Summerland. He smiled at her as he plowed by and she smiled in return. That was the beginning of the marriage relationship and it lasted from 1935 until 1994...when mother died of a gross asthma attack on our kitchen floor....that was when I was born and all the raiseing of me went on, from 1944 until I turned 21 in 1965. That was when I found out by discovery who and what raceism was all about.

I do not think it dawns on us until we are older, this effect of race and the differences we are by birth born into. Usually children play as children and just have fun and laugh and get dirty together and run around and do things, I suppose mostly by impulse. It is the parents that are up the grill because they have been though all the rough times together.

What needs to be done to improve race relations in this country?

The best method I have found for myself...and I am Euro-American...Azores, French-Canadian, and Celtic to listen to what people are saying. The function of human behavior is the most important aspect of the human personality. As well as carefully observing the patterns of behavior and the consistency of actions.

When a person speaks their words to they follow through with the actions or the feelings or the thoughts they are communicating? This is really important. Does a person clearly state what they mean or are they just fooling whomever is listening. Now I am speaking about real heart to heart communication. Not joking because joking is a fun method of speaking and that is lively chatter to keep oneself entertained or to be entertaining.

The important things might be more what a Father says to a son or a Mother says to her children, or what an employer says to an is the necessary life sustaining remarks. Or what we might say to ourselves in order to keep our own council, like for instance, I might think, "I need to eat less." So do I do this? If I am listening to myself, then I will do as I think and eat less, and feel better.

Or I am at work and I explain about my next duty or function, "do I do what I say?" That is important because you are listening to yourself and you are communicating clearly and following through. As a person you are establishing your own honest credibility with your people in your friendship circle or family circle or in your community.

None of this has to do with the color of your skin or the shape of your body. It has to do with your own personal human integrity. Your own code of ethics. Your own sense of honesty. This is what needs to be done to improve human and race relations everywhere.

Clear and honest communication that follows and flows from one point to the next and can be interpreted as good for the masses...that is good for race and human relations.

Special Community Chapter on Katrina Neighborhoods

What state did you live in before Katrina? What county? What city or town? What was the name of your neighborhood? If your neighborhood did not have a name, describe where your neighborhood was located.

Beofe Katrina I lived in California.

Special Community Chapter on Being Gay / Life as a Homosexual

When did you realize you were gay?

I realized I am not gay and have never been, nor been interested in this. However I have had gay friends who had their gay partners and I have been friends with a few transexual people, although I am not a trans either. I am just a regular heterosexual female.

Special Chapter on Religion and Spirituality

What religion, if any, were you taught as a child? What religion/s did your parents follow? Which parent influenced you the most?

The only religion I realized from the beginnings of birth moments up until the word Catholic were mentioned in our household, was SCIENCE. My reality of spirituality was based on nature and the natural world. My Father was an animal husbandry person. My Mother went along with his systems of daily living. Occassionally at the dinner table my Father would say a special prayer for one of the major holidays. However, no religion was ever specifically mentioned, at Rancho Rinconada in Lompoc. My family never went to church. We never dressed up on Sunday and headed in to town to celebrate any religious service of any kind. We stayed on the farm and worked. We enjoyed the out of doors, the hills, the fields, and serviced the yards and the animals. The farm activities were the religion.

Later, after a few years of farm lifestyle, I began to hear the stories of my Father's religious experiences, and my Mothers as well. My Father when he was a young boy in Irvine, California was baptized Catholic. During his early years he was raised in the Catholic Faith. He served as an altar boy as well for many years, to the Catholic Fathers in Irving, California. As the story I was told goes, his Father, who was a cobbler and the maker of shoes, passed away, my Father had to stop and change his lifestyle somewhat. This meant he stopped his schooling, at least that is what I used to hear and he went to work in a grocery store to help support his Mother, and his 5 sisters. Apparently about that time he also stopped being an altar boy and his attendance in church apparently waned.

Unfortunately my Father never talked much in depth about those days. To me they are lost and gone forever. So I have had to piece bits of information together. His sisters never shared family history with me, ever, either. So of course I do not and have never felt much a part of any of THE FAMILY.

Going back to the only story my Father ever recounted was the one about working in the grocery store. He loved to tell us how clever he was. He said the customers of the store would come in all hungry and they would steal stuff off the shelves, even then around 1927 when he was 14 the people had the same habits they do in 2015, imagine that! My Fathers solution was to put a huge wooden barrel of dried apples by the entrance door of the store, and a bucket of water with a dipper hanging from it. The dried apples were free so everyone that came into the store would grab what was immediately free and since they were hungry, they took advantage of the apples and after chewing a moment they would also take a dipper of the free water. I guess in 1927 they were not concerned with sanitation or who used the water dipper before them. They were just hungry. When my Father told this story this is where he began to chuckle and then roar with laughter.

He would tell us: The apples would absorb the water in the stomach and they would swell up after they were swallowed and the water was swallowed...the customers would then be satisfied and not hungry. Shopping for them was much smoother and they did not steal, nor browse the food and eat their way back to the checkout counter. He loved this story and I swear I heard it for years for the first time over and over again, like it was the first time he ever told it. He always brought it up at dinner and it was like he had never told it before. By the time I was 18, I had it memorized and indelibly in my memory. By the time I was 45 he was still telling the same story. He loved that story. I was always fascinated by the fact that he loved telling it and that each time was like the first time we ever heard it.

He never talked about his sisters. He never talked about his brother. He never talked about his Mother. He never talked about his Father. The only thing he ever talked about was the DRIED APPLE STORY, and his days of being an altar boy in the Catholic Church.

My Mother was 18 when she married my Father, and he was 4 years older than her. He was born in 1913, and she was born in 1917. The story my Mother always told about how they met was as follows. She lived in Summerland and the Summerland hills behind their house was used as farm land and the land was plowed on a regular basis prior to planting crops. Most of the farm land was fenced off by wooden fences and that is what separated my Grandmothers property from the neighbors land...a wooden fence. My Mother used to go sit on the fence and watch the tractors plowing the land. Apparently she was fascinated by the tractors, or perhaps the drivers, but she would go sit on the wooden fence and watch the tractors trace up and down the newly plowed earth and dream. That is where she met my Father, who was one of the tractor drivers plowing the freshly dug earth. Some magic attraction drew them to each other and they got to eventually meet. Whether he stopped his plowing to talk to the lovely lady Glee on the fence or if he stopped and she invited him to their house, I will never know, but they met that way and from their they eventually ran off to Las Vegas, Nevada and married in 1937.

Before their marriage transpired the subject of religion came up. That is when the real problems of spirituality evolved. My Father and my Mother went before the Catholic priests, possiblity in Irving, California and or even at St. Francis in Santa Barbara, and my Father asked permission to marry my Mother. As I was told, the Fathers refused to BLESS their marriage unless she converted to Catholicism. My Father told them she should be able to worship as she felt, and not as they commanded, meaning he did believe in the Freedom of Relgious belief. My Mother did not wish to convert to Catholicism, because she was a member of the Protestant Faith.

The Catholic Fathers demanded that they be married in the Church and that any children that were born from their union would be raised in the Catholic Church. Again, the problem was neither my Father, nor my Mother felt as though they should committ their children, born of their marriage to have to be raised in the Catholic Faith. They wanted their children to be able to choose their own religion. Religion was a matter of choice and not a matter of birthright.

The Catholic Fathers refused to marry them in the Church and refused to bless their marriage. Of course anyone could have a civil marriage, that was the right of citizens of America and both my Mother and my Father were citizens of this county of the United States of America. My Father did own a car, and they did drive to Las Vegas, Nevada and they did go to the Justice of the Peace and they did get married, their way.

My Father never went to CHURCH, any church, after that declaration from the Catholic Fathers. It was the end of his church going days. He never entered a church ever from that day forward. His church was his farm. My Mother was not quite as stiff as my Father in that regard and upon occassion when I was in high school she did return to church a few times and we went together usually, but it was only the Prostestant Church and she often fell peacefully asleep while we listened to the sermons. I always felt deep sorrow for my Mother.

The effect the denial had on my Father from the Catholic Fathers was brutal. He was never the same because he had been an altar boy and he did believe and follow all the matters of faith that they instructed him in. When he fell in love with my Mother, he felt by denying him access to the Churches marriage blessing, they were trying to control his path in life, his vital esscence and this made him angry in a way that forever altered his life. And his new wife. And his three children.

The first child born to Joe and Glee Nunes was a girl. A golden haired child that my Father adored and worshipped as though she were the angel of his life. Her name was Dixie Glee Nunes. She passed away when she was about seven or so. Not quite sure about the age. But by then they had also brought my brother Joseph R. Nunes into the world. As for me I was not born yet. I was four years behind the birth of my Brother. But Dixie Glee was born with an incurable disease, something like leukemia. A rare blood disease. She died. And again that forever changed my Father. He felt because the Catholic Fathers had not blessed their marriage, but instead placed a curse on his union with my mother and his punishment for not forcing my Mother to become a Catholic, was the death of his beloved and first born Dixie Glee.

I put this together after I was born, by information and listening to conversations. The real truth was the little altar my Father build on his dresser in my parents room. It had a picture of Dixie Glee and some things from her young life, a cross, and a few baby momentos. It stayed on his dresser completely in tact from Rancho Rinconada in Lompoc, to Rancho Jersey in Exeter, until the day he passed away and my Brother dismantled and took all the family belongings to possess at his house, in 1996.

Their is deep hurt here. I was not even part of my own family. When my Father whipped me on the edge of his bed and my Mothers bed, I lay with my head on my Mothers side of the bed and he would make me take off my pants and whip me on my bare bottom while I was staring at the altar off and up to the left of where he kept it...their would be Dixie Glees photo and cross and things. He would whip me with belts or whatever he felt like it and I would stare and scream and the little girl that died. I always felt he was punishing me because she died, and I lived. And every whip stroke was an act of violence against my Mother who he punished by putting her out in the dairy to suffer milking cows...I think he must have believed everything was her fault. So he punished her, and he punished me and he punished her mother after she came to live with us. And he punished my brother in ways that I do not even know about.

My Brother and I suffered brutality in ways that no one knows about...all because of someone else's spiritual neglect.

Name some people who helped shape your religious or spiritual beliefs and/or practices such as family members, religious leaders, writers, or friends. Who were some influential religous leaders in your time?

Many people influenced my religious and spiritual beliefs, and many in obtuse unexpected ways. My Father made me suspiciously curious about religious beliefs due to the altar he kept in perpetuity on his dresser for my sister Dixie Glee Nunes. She passed away from the them incurable leukemia when she was around 6 or 7 years old. Her death so emotionally impacted my Father I found myself when I was old enough to question these things...I learned of this when I was 6 or 7 myself. The altar and the quiet moments of deep reflection and sorrow were apparent often on his face and in his everyday routine. I could not help but develop a curiosity for his feelings.

It was my Mother that made slow and careful comments about Dixie Glee and it was the overheard conversations that drifted towards my ears from dark corners of the rooms. The older I got the more information I gathered and after awhile I put together a complete story.

Dixie Glee did not, just pass away and die. My Father believed the Catholic Fathers who excommunicated him for his marriage to my Mother, cursed their ability to bear children. And and all of his children, were cursed and even more so after Dixie Glee's death. He never forgave himself, nor the Catholic Church, nor my Mother.
The reality was, it was not her fault, it was his fault because he rebelled against the Catholic Church and married Glee. But he did not see it as his fault. I think because he had grown up with so many sisters, he thought women were tempterous's and he was seduced by lust and thus, he married out of his own passions and desires, not the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This elemental belief in reverance of Dixie Glee's life impressed me spiritually and turned me toward the tenants of religious participation more than any other person or existing church experience.

I say this because had he forgave himself or Mother or us, his children, he would have moved mentally and emotionally forward and let go of his anger. Since he kept the altar for Dixie Glee for his entire life, up to the time of his death, on May 5th 1996 and never missed a day reflecting on her spiritual welfare.

Although my Father NEVER attended church of any kind, after her death, he always prayed, read a bible, and celebrated an active Christmas Holiday Season. He never forced Mother to do this same activity. He allowed her to follow her own path. Since she was a Protestant Follower, she quietly pursured this spiritual teaching whenever she found the time or was not too tired to read about the miracles of faith and intervention of the angels.

Between my two parents I became sandwiched into wondering all the time about how religious thought worked. Through their own sorrow and resistance to attendance and public practice, I found myself always seeking the mystery of religious beliefs. These memories and processes were kennels of interest when I lived in Lompoc, California.

When my Father moved his farm to Exeter, California things changed again. I was older now and in high school and we had neighbors that were staunch METHODIST folk. They invited me to Church with them nearly every Sunday and my Father almost always agreed to allow me this special privilege. He was really rigorous about the check out time and the check in time. He watched me worse that a spy.

After years of reflection I began to understand he held an insane irrational fear that I was going to die and leave the world, just as his beloved DIXIE GLEE had done. The Lord had however, permanently blessed me with one outstanding GIFT...good health beyond all measure. Other folks had money, fast cars, fancy homes, terrific educations, etc. but I HAVE BEEN GIFTED with excellent continuing GREAT HEALTH.

My Father was baffled by this. He did not understand how he could bear one child, his golden girl, and she died, while I was just a girl, with dark hair, and brown eyes, and normal developments, and I was constantly healthy. He did not understand. But then neither do I. I am just the way I am.

But Emily and Mary Stone blessed me with their faithful devout teachings. I just wished I could be like them. But I was not. I felt they were so much better than me. They were good blessed people.

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Hi. I can see you do not have a Chapter On Living With Asthma. So I am entering my Chapter On Asthma here because I cannot change Cancer to Asthma.

I have lived with Asthmatics all my life. The blessing I received was not to have been born with the curse of Asthma. In my little family of four people, my Brother, Joesph, my Father, Joseph, my Mother Glee, and Mother and My Brother suffered from continual bouts with Asthma. (My older sister died from Leukemia when she was about seven years old.) Her name was Dixie Glee. A combination of my Grandmothers first name and my Mothers first name. I never got to meet Dixie Glee, however my Father kept a picture of a beautiful little girl with golden hair twirled in locks all upon her golden head. She wore a white dress with little puffed sleeves and the dress was embroidered, the way the little girl dresses were in the 30's.

My Mother had the asthma the worst. My Brother suffered from lots of allergies, and from asthma. Considering how bad my Mother suffered, she was really a strong and determined woman. She lived until her late 70's, that is about 79 or so. This being 2016, well my Brother is still living and he is about 76. And he learned over the years to make himself very healthy, wealthy and wise.

Of course as a child I knew nothing about anything, and had to learn as I went along. One of the things I could see about my Brother when I was about 3 and 4 was his allergies. They always made his eyes water and his now run. And he was a picky eater at the dinner table. I was much worse, and way more picky.

Mother on the other hand had a healthy appetite. But her chest heaved deeply and I could plainly see she struggled to get air into her body. Thank God I never had that problem. I had other problems.

My Mother and my Father would whisper with each other about the asthma and the shots and the doctors visits. It was real expensive to keep my Mother going. But my Father made a lot of money with his dairy farm. So he took real good care of us, as far as providing us with the basic needs of our lives. He made sure we never went hungry. We always had a place to live. We always had clothes. And we always had work to do. He made sure we attended school. And he had rules for us to follow lots of rules...too many rules!

I think my Father must have treated my Mother really well in their earlier years of marriage, I remember her wearing pretty flowered dresses for a while when we lived in Lompoc, Ca. That was when she was mostly a housewife and was raising me and cooking for the family, and my Dad had hired hands. Slowly I recall the infiltration of jeans and tops and work overalls...and the smells changed from clean to cow manure. There were big black boots in the entry wash room. And my Father seemed to change as well, not his clothes, but his feelings for us, and especially toward me. He was always angry with me. And violent with me. But my Mother ignored it. My Brother did nothing. I think it made their asthma much worse.

My Mother was on a weekly schedule back in the early 40's of going to the doctor two or three times a week. I was told she had to have shots to be able to breath because of the burmuda grass that grew all around us in the lawns. It was bad. It was so bad because my Father would curse because he had to do all the work in the yard. When he made my Bother do the yard work, my Brother would have allergy attacks, like in his eyes and in his nose. He was pretty bad. But I do not think they gave him anything for it. No medicienes.

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