Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year for 2014!

I thought I might write down a few memories that I've made between now and 1960 when I was born to celebrate the new year coming on Wednesday 1/1/2014.
Early memories include Mom, Dad, Granny, Pop pop, Grandfather Nathan, Grandfather Albert, many cousins and Aunts and Uncles gathered for birthdays, family reunions or Christmas & holidays.
Chickens in my Granny and Pop pop's back-back-backyard. Lots of stuff growing there too like okra, tomatoes, beans and then the rose garden too. Paul C. had a green thumb and was a good carpenter too. My grandmother Ann, Granny, was a good cook and was great to spend time with at her house in south San Antonio. I remember boiled okra, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, green beans, spagetti with giant meat balls, fried chicken, biscuits with sausage patties, Mazola corn margarine, dark sorgum syrup for biscuits, special oyster dressing, fried oysters just for me, fried catfish that Pop pop caught on one of his fishing trips. I remember roses!!! all different colors and playing rodeo with their dog Lady. Later the poodle Rommie joined the mix and barked at the birds in the climbing trumpet creeper vines and fig tree. They had peach, plum, apple and mulberry trees. Strawberry plants and swiss chard plants. I hated swiss chard but they would give most of it to the chickens that were in the back back back yard. And pizza from a place that made the best NY style pizza that I had as a child. San Antonio isn't much known for great pizza. And some take out fried chicken from Church's and bad BBQ from Bill Miller's if my Daddy wasn't cooking.
At home, I remember our little black and white Boston terrier Shorty and my swing set, little kids' pool, vegetable and flower gardens. Rock and cactus garden. Sitting on the 'breezeway' while my Dad grilled and drank his beer (and smoked his ever present cigarette). I would be having a Coca-cola or Dr. Pepper or Big Red in a glass bottle. Everything was in glass when I was a little kid before they started putting beer and soda in cans... first steel then aluminum cans.  I remember my Mom cooking pear preserves to use up the pears from our two pear trees. Also make fig preserves out of the figs from Great-aunt Pallie's yard with some strawberry jello added in. The pears sometimes had lemons added to the preserves. But she never made pear butter, that would have been good too. Dad and I would hang out on the breezeway when he was home which in the summer wasn't often as he fixed stuff like air conditioners all summer long. He knew how to fix lots of stuff: gas refrigerators, electric refrigerators, stoves, A/C/Heating (central) and window A/C units. If it had a motor, he could probably fix it.  The TV man came with his tubes to fix the TV when I was small before we had a color TV. I remember corded phones with a LONG cord so you could take it in your room for privacy (in high school).
My sister Beckie was born when I was in 5th grade. She had some special medical needs so I didn't get all the things I wanted after that but my parents made sure we always had food, clothes and shelter. Extras like riding or piano lessons weren't in the budget. College wasn't in the budget either, but in 8th grade my counselor told me that I was going for college-prep honors classes in high school. College went on the radar. I don't know exactly how my parents would pay for it, but it happened thanks to lots of financial aid: grants, scholarships and some help from Granny to start with. My sister entered 1st grade when I started college at Trinity University.
I have lots of good memories of my sister and her toddler/small child years. We weren't best buddies but I did love playing with her. Even if she did destroy most of my Barbie collection! College was a big shock as no one in my family had ever been to college. My Dad graduated from 10th grade and went to work during the end of the depression to help his large family. My Mother graduated from Brackenridge HS in San Antonio and went to work too. Dad joined up and served in the Navy in the Pacific on a destroyer. Mom was a Western Union skating messenger according to what she told me as a kid during the war. Then she worked in a drug store, then for the government at Kelly AFB before I was born.  My Dad had his own business before I was born, Zoeller's Servell Service. He went to work for someone else after I was born so that he would have a steady income for the care of his wife and child.
Anyway, college was a big shock. I had been a straight A student in high school at the top of my class (#4) graduating with honors even a few medals from Jr.ROTC.  Trinity classes were hard and someone told me to take 18 hours my freshman year so that I could major in Engineering. Well I made a straight 3.0 average that semester and lost my honors scholarship! Eeek! After one more semester where I took a 2nd computer class (1st was APL) in FORTRAN, I decided that I liked computer programming, so I changed over to the Computing and Information Science department. Good bye Chemistry and Physics and Calculus. Hello computer assembly language and computer architecture. And more time to take some interesting electives like Asian Religions, Medieval History, Abnormal Psychology, Science Fiction & Reality (English class). I didn't take Art, though I wish I did. I did take Ballet, Modern Dance and ROTC (for 2 years). I got to go to Colorado Springs with ROTC to see the Air Force Academy, NORAD and snow for the 1st time. I had my 1st real kiss and boyfriend. I volunteered with my co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. I helped start a non-hazing non-Sorority Sorority called Zeta Chi that lives on to this day at Trinity.
Well that covers 1960 to 1982 when I graduated with my BS in Computer Science. Enough writing down of memories for now. Back to work... lunch hour is over!

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