Growing up I attended Lamont Elementary School from the first to the fifth grade, then Mountain View School from grade sixth through eighth. From there onto Arvin High School from where I graduated in 1960.
Growing up I was raised on a diary located on Fairfax Road near Lamont. I was the next to the oldest in a family of five girls. My mother and father owned the dairy farm and we siblings learned it was a privilege to go to school and to be educated as we saw first hand the work involved in farming 365 days of the year.
As I went onto Arvin High, many of my friends through elementary and junior high went too. I fondly remember and recall riding the school bus all four years of high school as well as grammar school. It was on the bus that our “social life” and bonding friendships took place and still remain. To include Donna Clendenen Royal, Lonnie Combs, Allen Anderson are just a few.
At Arvin High School I majored in Elementary Education. My educational goal was to become a teacher. Several of the faculty then had a lasting impression. Mr. Schultz, my freshman history teacher later to become the principal of AHS, was a favorite also my Latin teacher, Mr. Martinez. Mr. Castle, who taught government and economics, was not only an excellent teacher, but a fair teacher. I recall during my senior year of government I noticed Mr. Castle observing Gerald McNeil sliding his text book out from beneath his desk to look up answers for a test. Mr. Castle on response asked “Mr. McNeil, do you have those pages indexed, ha.” Mr. Castle did not ask Gerald to forfeit the test, but simply continue on his own merit. We all appreciated and enjoyed Mrs. Mac-Magruder. She was the main frame of our history years at AHS and never to be forgotten.
From AHS, I went onto Bakersfield Junior College of which I graduated with an A.A. degree. I begin Fresno State extension classes, however, going to school and my part-time job at Brocks Department Store lead me in another direction.
While I was working at Brocks and having a passion for clothes, I soon found myself working with the ready-to-wear buyer of women’s fine clothes. I was impressed with this area so much that I did not continue my college classes. I worked up to being the assistant buyer for the women’s ready-to-wear at Brocks which lasted approximately 10 years.
My position at Brocks faced me with even another challenge – a husband – who we have shared 40 years together. During these years we had two children, a daughter Heidi and a son Matthew. Our daughter is a critical care nurse and our son teaches elementary school.
We are grandparents, our son has two children, Sidney (3 ½ years old) and Riley (10 months old). Our daughter and her husband reside in Ukiah, California and both are employed at Ukiah Valley Medical Center. Our son and his family are in Glendale, California.
After our children were in school for about 10 years, I found myself looking for work outside of home which took me unexpectedly to San Joaquin Community Hospital where I have been employed for 20 years. I am thinking of retirement – ??? – maybe when my daughter and her husband have children.
I enjoy traveling and gardening. My husband and I traveled to Australia to visit our son during his junior/senior year of college. My daughter and I traveled to Maui several times and I must say that I love the nearness of the water. In 2005 my daughter and I flew to New York for a week of fun before her wedding in October 2005.
This past June 2006, I was fortunate to travel with my daughter and son-in-law to London for a week of fun and a wealth of interest. A highlight of my trip to London was to be in the world’s largest department store, Harrod’s, and meet face-to-face unexpectedly with the recording artist, Rod Stewart. After a moment of self composure, I was able to get his autograph. And just as a sidebar we saw Mr. Stewart live-in-concert while we were in New York watching the Today Show live at Rockefeller Center.
I must say that I find a similar pattern and thread with my growing up years as with Donna Clendenen Royal. She has remained a very constant reminder of our friendship through our earlier school years at Lamont, Mountain View, and Arvin High School. The connecting with our classmates through the Arvin High 1960 website is exciting and thank you Donna and Carlos for your enthusiastic and committed endeavor for all of us.