This week Randy is asking us to answer six questions he heard in in a keynote address given by Judy Russell at RootsTech. I’m going to try to answer as best I can.
a) What was your first illness as a child? I’m not sure what was first, but the first one I remember was chicken pox. I was about 4 years old. My brother got chicken pox and he kindly gave them to me. I don’t remember them being particularly annoying or, at least, not as annoying as my siblings said they would be. I remember I got to stay in my pajamas all day. After I finished, my brother then got shingles on his back (the same brother who had chicken pox). My poor Mom must have been at her wit’s end at that point.
b) What was the first funeral you attended? This was more difficult for me to remember. I did not go to my Grandpa Lassalle’s funeral . I know that. He was the first person I remember dying. I was 8 at the time. I stayed home with a baby sitter. I distinctly remember watching Sandy Duncan in Peter Pan on TV and eating dinner on the TV trays. Honestly, I can’t remember any as a child, though I’m sure we must have gone to one or two. The first one I remember is when my Uncle Matt died. I was 18 at the time.
c) What was your favorite book as a child? This is an easy one. Without a doubt, The Borrowers by Mary Norton. I read the whole series and then reread it. I loved the adventures and it was so imaginative. (Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Amelia Bedelia would have been close runner ups.)
d) What was your favorite class in elementary school?
We didn’t have separate classes in elementary school, so I’ll answer with my favorite grade. It was 5th grade. I had Miss Bos as my teacher. I had her in 2nd grade and she was my favorite. Miss Bos was one of those teachers who didn’t have to be dominating to be effective. She was great at bringing out the best in me. 5th grade was a great time for me.
School was relatively easy. I was able to finish my work early most days, so I earned privileges like working as a reading tutor, helping set up for assemblies, doing different errands for the teacher, and leaving early for recess. We got to go on more field trips in 5th grade. I remember going to plays, factories, and wildlife refuges.
It was also a great time for me socially. An older kid, a 6th grader (note that: older…LOL), took me under her wing. She liked me because I was small (I was only 4 ft 8 in 5th grade and had the face of an 8 year old). It was because of her I was picked for the girls sport team (we only had one that played other schools in whatever sport), was selected at the top whenever the class picked teams, and never got picked on. There were certain perks to be known on school grounds as “Shorty”.
e) What was your favorite toy as a child? I thought of several things but I think that crayons and coloring books were probably my favorite toy. I could sit for hours coloring. I took them everywhere even the ball field where we watch my brother play Little League. I couldn’t draw and I think coloring made me feel artistic. I still color from time to time
. f) Did you learn how to swim, and where did you learn? This is one of those memories I’d rather forget. Well, not really. My best friend, Renee and I, learned how to swim at the local swim center which was at the high school. I think we were 8 years old. I remember this very well because we advanced from the first group to the second to the third. Then, it was time to advance to the middle pool. And, I failed miserably. My downfall? Floating on my back. I could not master it. And, so I couldn’t advance. By the end of the Summer, I still hadn’t mastered it. The teacher bumped me up to the middle pool for the last session. But, since I couldn’t back float, I never progressed and that ended swimming lessons for me. I think I did pretty well with the questions. That certainly brought back a lot of memories!
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com