The first move in my mom’s life was from the hospital in Pinehurst, North Carolina to her parent’s home in West End, just a few miles down the road. Mom was born on February 10, 1939. She was one of the first of her family to be born in a hospital. Very early in her life, she was nicknamed “Tukie” and was referred to that even later in life. When she would return home, her family called her Clara Jean or Tukie but the military friends she made with each move, always called her Jean. I wish I had thought to ask why she dropped the Clara.
Being the youngest of 12 and only one of four girls, I suspect her older brothers watched her over, carefully. Many of them were quite a bit older. The first born, Ira Paul, was 25 years older. That is a whole generation difference in age. The next oldest brother, Albert Hamilton Jr., 22 years older, was married and already had a son, Charles, who was born two years before mom. A niece and nephew were actually in the same grade with her, for all their years of school. That would be odd to be in elementary school and have someone call you Aunt Clara Jean.
|Mom's Baby Doll|
I found a certificate from grade school that declared her as the “School Champion Speller”. She was the winner of the spelling competition in 1951. Also, I know from a picture I found, that as a child she was in a play. I wish I knew what the play was and who else is in this picture with her. I think her niece Arlene is second from the left.
|My mom, Clara Jean Garrison, is sixth from the left.|
The box also had lots of memorabilia from high school and her early years of marriage. She had numerous newspaper clippings of her friends, classmates, sports events and boyfriends. Mom was very active in high school. She belonged to the Future Homemakers and Beta Clubs. She attended many of the school's athletic events. I found one of her punch cards for the home football games in 1955. All the games were punched.
Thank goodness he had a best friend by the name of James “Jimmy” Hatch.