Saturday, October 8, 2011

Today Corbin High School's Class of 1961 is having a reunion.  We graduated 50 years ago. I find it hard to accept I am that old. I am unable to attend and sent the below letter to them.  It, along with other letters, will be read to those that attend.  Corbin was then a tiny town in the foothills of Kentucky.   It is a bigger town now, but still not a "city."  Corbin was a great place to grow up. 

Fifty years, it doesn’t seem that long ago that we were cruising through the town and dancing at the Youth Center.  I wish I could be with you all for this reunion.  We did have fun times.

We moved to Louisville while I was in college at Eastern.  I hated leaving Corbin.  I knew no one in Louisville, and didn’t want to go.  It turned out well. I met my husband in Louisville in 1966.

Marty and I were married in 1967.  When he proposed he told me we would move until we died. Marty worked for CHEVRON until 1999 and we kept moving, 8 moves from 1967 to 1985. We have lived in Maryland, and several places in California and Kentucky.  We have had two more moves on our own in recent years.

We have one son who is a geologist and he works out of San Francisco.  He and his wife have no children, so we have pretend grandchildren. One family in our church had no family in the state.  We became the pretend grandparents 12 years ago.  Now our nephew, a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force, is stationed at Travis Air Force Base.  He has three fun and loving children. They live only an hour from us.  My brother and his wife let us be pretend grandparents when they can’t come out for events.

I taught elementary school for several years.  Then we were transferred one time too many. No teaching jobs to be had.  I had to find something else to do, so I became the Volunteer Queen.

I have worked with the church wherever we have lived: taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, chaired committees, served as an Elder, and been on the Church Board.  I was there more than the ministers.  I have worked with the Leukemia Society, been a docent at the Museum of Science and History in Louisville, a docent at a Children’s museum in Baltimore.  In the San Francisco Bay Area I have served on a county United Way Board, and also chaired committees and served on the Board of a Non Profit that worked with the low income and homeless.  Together Marty and I work the San Francisco AIDS Walk.

After years of hard gritty volunteering, I finally found my loves:  volunteering with a first grade class and becoming a Deputy Marriage Commissioner.  I love working with the children and performing wedding ceremonies.

For 10 years I have worked with first graders on reading and math skills.  I still get to teach, but no paper work.  Many things in teaching have changed in the last 40+ years.  But the thrill of a child learning to read hasn’t. 

I volunteer at the Alameda County Clerk Recorder’s Office as a Marriage Commissioner. I have done thousands of marriage ceremonies in the last six years.  I also help train new staff and volunteers as Marriage Commissioners.

One of proudest moments of my life was when I performed the first same sex marriage ceremony in Alameda County.  It was also one of my scariest moments; I was on live TV feed on major networks and news networks.  It was a wonderful historic moment that makes me tearful and happy whenever I think about it.

I developed a need to write in my old age.  I am too undisciplined to write a book, so our son said, “Blog Mom”.  I write about my life, books I read, food Marty and I cook, rant about crazy drivers, whatever hits my fancy.  If you like reading rants, raves, and bragging, check out my blog:  

As you can tell, I keep busy.  I am lucky that my health is good and I do pretty much what I want to do.  I also can claim old age and get out of what I don’t want to do.

I love living in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The weather is gentle, the people are diverse, and there is always something to do.  In many ways I have gotten above my raising.  I am not as small town as I was.  I love the city.  But whenever I think I am a city girl, one of my friends ribs me about my accent.  You just can’t lose a Corbin accent.

I belong to a mystery book group that meets weekly.  This group periodically puts on international mystery conventions.  I have worked on two of them and we have another one coming up next spring.

Many of my friends mostly grew up in big cities.  These city people have led very sheltered lives.  They’ve never fired a gun. No one has lain in the floor of a bus after an away ballgame hoping the rocks being thrown won’t hit you. None of them have ever driven some of the football team to the bootleggers. They have never cruised a drive in or snuck into a drive in theater. They haven’t had a senior skip day.  They never danced to Gary Edwards’ music.  Very few of them can drive a stick shift pickup truck.  They never fired a cannon in the Distad’s back yard.  And the thing I feel most sorry for them is they have never had Pool Hall Chili.

I found out in college that CHS might have been small, but I received a good education.  I had the background to attack any course.  Thank you to our teachers.

Have a great time at this reunion.  I miss you all and think about our years together more than you can imagine.  

1 comment:

Pat Webb said...

Wonderful letter to classmates. I'm sure they all enjoyed hearing from you and about your activities. You won't ever get Corbin out of your system!!