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This is a work in progress, I'll continue as often as I can, so please bare with me.

It all began in April 1961. I was born the third child to my parents Jim and Carole. Mike and Bob were 4 and 2 by the time I came along. My father was in the Air Force and stationed at Hamilton AFB (now closed) in Navato California. My sister Judy came along in October 1962. In 1965 we moved to the island of Taiwan. In 1968 we moved back to the states and again to California. This time my father was stationed at Norton AFB in San Bernardino. We moved to the small community of Calimesa, which is about 70-80 mile from the base. This area of the state was very familiar to my parents, this was where they grew up and went to High School. They were even married in the neighboring town of Yucaipa. Both had family very close by. This is also when my mother went back to school and became a Dental Hygienist. After graduating from school she went to work for a really nice Dentist. Dr. Greens office was in Yucaipa so it was a short drive for her. Dr. Green took care of all our teeth.

This is also the time when the family became animal crazy. My mom bought our first miniature Dachshund, Heidi in 1969. We also got Charlie the Siamese cat. My mom would ride her bike around the block and Heidi would ride in the basket and Charlie would ride around her neck. Next came Bonny the rabbit. Now Bonny and Charlie became best friends and would lay on the floor and clean each others ears. What a site they were! Next came Fred. Fred was a beautiful long haired shepherd mix. We found Fred and another small dog at the bus stop one morning and my brothers said they looked like Fred and Barney. They were waiting again when we got off the bus. This went on for several days. One day Fred followed my brothers home. To our great surprise Mom said Fred was a "girl". Mom said maybe she is "Queen Fredariqua" and we would just call her Fred for short. Fred's owner came and took her away, it turns out she was pregnant. We were all heart broken when she left. A short time later she came back. She would go home every night and take care of her puppies and then come back to us. I don't remember all the details, but eventually she came home for good. She was so devoted to all of us. We belonged to Fred for almost 12 years.

In the mean time we got Ricky the raccoon. He was just a tiny baby, but he was very mean and loud. All of us kids were afraid of him, but there was my mom, with great big thick gloves, holding and feeding him. Soon Ricky was one of the family and lived in the house. In fact he made his home on the top shelf of the linen closet. He even had his own shelf in the kitchen. His favorite food in the whole world was Nilla Wafers. There was always a box of them on his shelf. Ricky would run along side my mom when she rode her bike with Charlie and Heidi. Let's see, what else. Oh yeah! My brother Bob had snakes and lots of them. But we won't go into that! LOL

We moved out to the desert in 1971. It was a small community but we loved it. We all made friends quickly. We all felt as if we were home. In 1975 my father retired from the AF and took a job for the government running one of their recreation facilities. We move to Lake Isabella and the whole family helped to take care of the facility. We all had jobs to do but we also got to enjoy all the perks of living at the lake. We learned to water ski, fish, hike, camp and enjoy the outdoors. This was a great place to grow up. Judy and I did Junior High School and High School there.

In 1978 I joined the Air Force and went to basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. From there I went to Keesler AFB in Biloxi MS for Tech School. I trained to become an Air Traffic Controller. It was there that I meet my first husband, Charlie. He was also in training to become an Air Traffic Controller. When we graduated from school our first assignment was to Pope AFB in Fayetteville NC. I loved working in the tower and with the aircraft. I learned quickly. I became a certified FAA Air Traffic Control. Charlie became a Combat Controller so we did not work together. Life with Charlie was very difficult, he was controlling and did not like the way I decelerated my career. Life in the Air Force was easy for me, I was raised in the military and knew the mentality and how it worked. When I started having trouble with my husband, I knew that I could not count on the AF for help. It came to the point where I had to decide between my military career as an Air Traffic Controller or my husband. Well, he made it easy for me. The one thing I did not count on was the way the crew I worked with turned on me. Charlie had all our friends turn on me too. Life became hard and lonely. I was given the opportunity to get out of the AF and go to work at Vance AFB in Enid OK as a console operator. It paid good and my father was going to go work there also. It was so good to be close to my mom again.

More Later - Jan

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November 14, 2002