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Memories...

I'm guessing that many of you have some great stories, favorite memories and some good photos to share. I'd love to turn this into a whole section and add as many pages as we need to this "digital scrapbook". You can email me your contributions.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you! Meanwhile, I'll start:


Miss Teresita: The Earliest Years

~ by her Aunt Kathy

I'm likely the only one remaining who has vivid memories of our Teresita when she was a very little girl. Although her big brother John could probably tell a few stories, too....

My earliest recollections of her are from the summer of 1958. I was ten, so she would have been a (precocious!) two year old. The whole family ~ Dad, Mom, Lucy, Rosemary, Johnny and Teri ~ came to Twin Falls, Idaho that year for a brief visit. After they rested up a bit (maybe a day or two) from the long drive across mountains in California, desert in Nevada, and still more desert in Idaho; we all piled into the station wagon and trekked 260-some miles east to Yellowstone Park. Nine of us in the car (all of the above, plus Grandma Ida, little brother Donny, and me). More desert. And no freeway in those days either. Must have seemed like an eternity to the grownups, but all us kids had fun. Teri helped keep us entertained with little songs she made up about things we saw - and the comments she heard about them from her father - along the way. My mother wrote down a couple of them we all thought were pretty good:

"Boys are really dumb to play in the road.
A car could come smash 'em like a toad
Their mom would be sad, but they were being bad
So she prob-ly would have spanked 'em anyway."

"We saw a great big broken bus
The people by it were pretty mad
But we were all just really glad
Because it wasn't us"

We had lots of fun at Yellowstone, too. I still have fond memories of my first encounter with those unique sights, sounds, smells. Stories for another time, though. This is about little Teri.

All us kids ~ and probably Leonore too ~ had a pair of what we now call flip-flops. As I recall, they were originally marketed as "thongs", but Leonore called them shower shoes. They were especially handy for trips from the cabins we stayed in to the communal toilet/shower facility. This meant a walk of 40-50 feet across gravel with some occasional sharp debris mixed in. Besides that, the cement floor was none too clean. Going barefoot was not a wise choice. But Teri didn't care. After her mother had scolded her several times, she asked her why she refused to wear her shower shoes. Teri informed her they were not SHOWER shoes, they were OWIE shoes because they gave her blisters between her toes. After that, if she couldn't wait for someone to carry her piggy-back, she got to shuffle across the way wearing Grandma Ida's terry slippers.

Then there was the bear cub digging through the trash can not far from the restroom. Lucy, Teri and I were leaving when we saw it. There was a woman just in front of us who started screaming at the top of her lungs and pushed us all back inside. Teri wanted to know why everybody was so scared. After all, he was just a baby one. We told her it was because the Mama bear might be close by too, and she would be a lot bigger and maybe mean. "Yep", said Teri, "Moms can be like that sometimes."

After we returned from the Yellowstone excursion, I got to ride along on the trip back to California and spend several weeks with my big brother and his family at the house on Myrtle Street. That time was memorable for many reasons - among them, my lifelong aversion to boiled zucchini due to a never-ending supply of the nasty stuff from neighbors' gardens. (What - nobody ever heard of zucchini bread back then?) Of course, the days were filled with adventures and misadventures in the company of Lucy, Rosemary and their friends, but there are several great "Teri-isms" that stand out:

Not sure if she came up with her names for Lucy and Rosemary at some earlier point, but for that summer at least, we were "Doody, Fahfee (dunno where she got that one) and KittyKat". Anytime she wanted one of us big girls to play with her, read to her or take her someplace she wanted to go, she would throw her arms around our legs, call us by the name she'd coined and say "Pretty, pretty, pretty please, please, PLEASE." Who could say no?

One of the places she liked to go was to visit the fish pond located in the side yard of the firehouse at the end of the block. She swore that when she was "just a tiny baby", the largest of the koi - she called it "Sharky" - bit her on the nose and tried to eat her.

We also spent time at a playground, which I think was at the school across the street. On one visit, we heard a loud "Ow!" from Teri, followed by hysterical screeching from the child next to her. When Lucy and I reached her, she held out her arm to show us faint teeth marks, then put her hands on her hips and said defiantly, "Well SHE bit me, so I bit SHE. Hard."

And last, but certainly not least... She was going upstairs to the bathroom on the second floor. Watching her feet ~ and with each step, sing-songing, "Pee-pee, ca-ca, pee-pee, ca-ca". Uh-oh, there was her mother on the landing, arms crossed and looking very stern. "Teresita Leonor! WHAT did you say?" Without missing a beat, Teri continued on her way. "Mee-mee, la-la, mee-mee, la-la...". She did get a gentle swat on her behind as she passed Mom - but it was pretty hard for any of us within ear-shot to keep a straight face.