Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kansas City, Here We Come

My family with the Young's, somewhere along the 
the Alcan Highway.  Look how dirty our vehicles are. 
We left Alaska in 1973 and headed for Missouri. We were driving the same car down the highway that we had driven up four years earlier. However, this time it was summer. No snow, just a whole lot of gravel and dirt. Traveling with us were our friends the Young’s. Their son Chris was my age and he had two younger sisters. Just the opposite of our family of two boys and a girl. Some of the Young’s now live in Illinois, at least Chris and his family do, and his parents are in California. We all still keep in touch on Facebook. The trip down the AlCan would end up taking almost two weeks.

This was an exciting trip because we were going through Canada in the summer and the flowers there were so beautiful.  I remember thinking how clean it was.  There seemed to be no litter, anywhere. We had a brief stop in Calgary to visit with a "Hatch" family, that we knew from our congregational church in Anchorage. 

One of the most exciting things about the trip was the opportunity to go through Rapid City, South Dakota, where I was born.  I had not been there since I was a baby so it was fun to see the town of my birth as a teenager.

Google Earth photo of the corner I stood on when
I was 16, when it was the hospital where I was born. 

See previous blog for that pic.
We visited the hospital where I was born sixteen years before.  I wrote a little bit about this and had a picture in an earlier blog Honeymoon High Jinks.  As I mentioned there, it is no longer a hospital but is now an apartment complex.  

When you think of Rapid City, you think of Mount Rushmore and of course, we took time to go and see it for ourselves. Until you actually see it in person, you can't believe the enormity.  How did they do it? It almost seems to be an impossible endeavor but there it was, and it was magnificent! Below is a picture of us standing in front of the Presidents.  My brother Kevin looked so cool in his shades. It was a beautiful day to visit and one I won’t forget.   We also visited Yellowstone during this trip and saw Old Faithful

We had been in Alaska for four and a half years, so this was a hard move to make. We had lots of friends, some who we would never see again. We were going to a new place, where I would start high school, and we would not know a soul. Unlike schools on military bases, we would now be in a public school, where most of the kids grew up together. We would be deemed outsiders. But one thing you learn, as a Military Brat, is how to go up and introduce yourself to new people.  That was so important, when moving from place to place.  The kids at my school were very welcoming.  But it was still a scary time.

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  I discovered a really cool website that is great for genealogy but also has so many other possible uses.  It is the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).   DPLA is a platform or a hub for many different resources bringing them altogether for easy access.  I have already found many references to things I have talked about in other blogs.  One was the Wilson County Tobacco Festival in the previous blog, Southern Pines Teen Shot in Hunting Mishap. The DPLA website has a bunch of pictures from that event, dating back to the 1940's.  It was fun seeing that Festival captured in time through those photos.  Some other things I found were old postcards of different towns that I have referred to. I found an old card with the Southern Pines train depot here, and this is what it looked like several years ago. (Please pardon the car mirror!)

There is a tab on the DPLA Homepage that says "Map" and if you go to the state you want, it will bring up all the info they have on their platform for that particular area.  This site has some terrific info but beware, it can be addictive!  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Alaska: Even Better the Second Time Around, Part 3

Our family loved to camp and we would go out a lot during the summer months. Our favorite place to go was Quartz and Crescent Creek Campgrounds. We would go out rain or shine. Mom, dad and Kevin loved to fish but I found it very frustrating as I didn’t have the patience. As a teenage girl, I couldn't figure out where the fun was in standing on the side of a river, waiting for a fish to jump up and take my bait. But there must be something about fishing because so many people liked to do it. My mom and dad loved to fish and it was rare if my mom didn't come back with a bunch she had caught.  So I decided that there was only one way to find out what they saw in this sport and that was to join them.  Before I left Alaska, I was going to catch a fish, no matter how long it took. So I got my rod and headed down to the creek. 

I have to say, it is not something that I would seek out to do now but the thrill of the catch was pretty exciting.  I got a bite and fought my catch for a little while and reeled in my prize.   I had caught a 22 inch Dolly Varden trout.  After that day, I never caught another one near that size but I was happy I had finally seen what everyone loved about fishing.  

We all owned waders in my family.  The tall water boots that you wear to get in the water to fish.  Lots of times we would just wade out in the creek and play in the water or build a dam and then take it down.  

There were a lot of girls in the families we camped with, so we would get together in one of the trailers and play Canasta for hours. Or we would take hikes, never straying far from camp.  We didn't want to run up on any bears.

We had awnings that we would put up over the picnic tables so we could eat outside, even if it rained.  Mom cooked a lot of our meals right on the campfire.  We had a big piece of stainless steel, that was about the size of the fire pit and we would cook pancakes, bacon, eggs, hamburgers, etc. on it.  Some of the best eating came off that big old piece of seasoned metal.  

During the cold months, we didn't camp much but that didn't stop us from being outside, enjoying different activities.  It was not unusual for us to get a bunch of families together and go out to the Rec Area, on base, for sledding or snowmobiling. We would build a fire outdoors and we might cook hot dogs or other things for lunch and would use it for warmth too. We always had so much fun on those outings.

We were very active while in Alaska this second time.  Kevin and I learned to snow ski at Elmendorf's, Hillberg Ski Area, which had beginning and intermediate slopes. It was the perfect place for new skiers.  They had the disk and t-bar lifts, which were a challenge, but before long we had no problems on them.  We used to ski in our jeans.  We would use Scotchguard to help waterproof them but after being out all day, they still got soaking wet.  We didn't care.  We loved it. I think it was $12.00 a day to rent skis and for the lifts.  A real bargain compared with today's lift ticket prices at other places. 

Our family in Alaska the second time.
One of the things we did for PE during the winter was play Broom Hockey, also known as Broomball.  There was a rink right at the school that we would use.  The game is very much like real hockey but with a broom and a ball. You are on skates and you try to get the ball in the goal.  

We liked to roller skate too.  The base had a Roller Rink and it was very popular with the junior high age group.  All our friends would meet up there and we would do all kinds of different fun "skates", like skating backwards.  We would get together with our friends for the holidays and by mid afternoon all of us kids would want to go skating. Our parents would act like they weren't going to take us but would finally give in.  We think they were glad to have us go but were just playing with us.  We always had a blast when we went.  

My Grandfather Hatch passed away in 1972, so we went back to North Carolina for the funeral. I remember there were so many people there that they were standing outside. A lot of people came out to show their love for ole Skybo.  We got to see family while there.  It had been three years since we had been back to the Lower 48 and North Carolina.  I left Alaska with long hair but had my cousin cut it into a shag while back there.  Shags were very popular then.  

I was on the Student Council and served as Secretary.  We got so much accomplished that year but our biggest success, according to the students, was the acquisition of a soda machine.  Everyone loved it.  We also sponsored several dances.  We had a set of twins in our class, Vince and Wayne Watson, and they were both officers too.  They were active in so many things and were lots of fun and always cutting up.  Where are they now?  I would love to know where a lot of the people that went to Orion are now.  (If you happen upon this blog and you were there, let me know.)   

The soda machine we worked so hard to get.
Someone, when signing my yearbook,
wrote in the "Beer" as a joke. (1)
I went on my first "date" in my ninth grade year.  His name was Rick and he was older than I was.  I couldn't car date so we walked to the movie theater to see whatever was playing at the time.  That relationship didn't work out but his family moved to Missouri at the same time we did so we went out again there.  Still nothing.  

I did meet a boy from my grade that I liked and, of course, I fell head over heels for him right before we moved away.  His name was Eddie Bannick. He was a basketball player and very quiet. My heart broke to have to leave him.  I thought my world was ending.  He promised that he would come to Missouri one day to see me.  I thought, yeah right, easy to say now.  But sure enough, three years later, when I was a freshman in college, I got a call that he was in town.  He was driving from Alaska to Texas and stopped by.  He came back through again a few years later but by that time I was in a serious relationship.  It was still great to see him though.  I think he went back to Alaska but I lost track of him along the way.  Unfortunately, that happened with a lot of my friends over the years, during our many moves.  And we were about to make another one.

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  I love doing genealogy and I follow a lot of other genealogists and their blogs.  One of them is Jana Iverson Last and her blog Jana's Genealogy and Family History. Recently she posted the cutest video that I thought was worth sharing.   Watch "Grandparent's Little Secrets", from Studio C, by clicking here.  Do you have a skeleton or two in your family history closet?

(1)  1973 Arctic Highlights Yearbook, Orion Jr. High School, Elmendorf AFB, pg. 7

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Alaska: Even Better the Second Time Around, Part 2

I always loved school and was always involved in something.  Junior high was no exception.   I was a class officer, in the National Junior Honor Society, on the Yearbook staff, on the Pep Squad, and worked in the front office one hour a day. We had so much fun in junior high. I treasured the friends I made while in Alaska and loved just hanging out with them.  Lots of times we would just sit for hours and talk and listen to music.  I would love to know where the girls, in the picture below, are today.  It would be fun to be able to catch up on all the years that have passed since we last saw each other in 1973.  One of these friends moved to Missouri, at the same time we did, but we went to different schools so I very rarely saw her.

Me with some of my friends standing in
front of Orion Junior High School.
I was in Girl Scouts during this time. We had a lot of great times as a troop. We camped out, did projects and cut up. The leader's daughter and I would always get in trouble for talking too much. Can you believe that, me talk to much? One of my friends, Diana Smith, was in the troop with us.  We still maintain contact today.  Our troop went camping one weekend, in tents, and had quite an experience. We worked real hard making no-bake cookies and sometime during the night, a bear came into the camp and ate them. There were empty containers with big ole teeth marks in them. We also saw moose while out there. This camp was right on the base. Elmendorf had a Recreation Area along the backside that was like a big wilderness area, complete with animals and that is where we camped.

I also worked on the yearbook staff with Diana Smith, Laurie Snider (who I would run into in Missouri sometimes) and Rob McKinney.  We had a wonderful teacher by the name of Marian Driskell.  We had a great group of people working on the yearbook and we were able to produce a 80 page book for our Junior High School.  I remember Mrs. Driskell taking us to workshops on things that would help with the production of the book.  One time she took several of us to a restaurant, in Anchorage, at the top of one of the taller buildings.  I think it was the Captain Cook Hotel.  I thought it was so cool how we could see forever from up there.  I still remember that I had a beef au jus sandwich.  Strange that I would remember that but I don't think I had ever heard of such a sandwich before, much less eaten one.

I hated PE! But we had to take it.  In Junior High we had these little one piece things we had to wear during class.  They were navy shorts on the bottom and I think navy and white stripes on top. You would have very little time to get in, get changed, and get out into the gym before class started and then when class was over, you were hurrying to shower, get dressed and off to the next class.  I wasn't the most coordinated one in the class either.  We had the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, we had to do each year, in order to pass PE.  One of the things we had to complete was running a mile in a certain amount of time.  I finally did it at the end of the year, but just barely made it under the required time.  I tried out for the basketball team one year because my mom had been a star basketball player.  I didn't even come close to making the layup, which was one of the key criteria for making the team.  No basketball trophies in my future.

So I didn't like PE but I loved my health class.  I learned so much in that class.  And we had so much fun in there too.  We had this plastic body that had all the parts in it, (heart, kidney, etc.) and the teacher would take them all out and then would time us as we put "Oscar" back together again. We had races and I just loved seeing how fast I could do it.  Having fun while learning!  That worked well for me.

Now that we were in Junior High, we had lockers and changed classes, just like in High School. To this day I still have a recurring nightmare about not remembering the combination for my locker, needing something for class, and not being able to get in to get it.  You had to plan well to get to your locker between classes because of time and the halls were always crowded.  Sometimes it was just easier to carry a bunch of books around.  All the sixth graders from the previous year, came to this school which made it crowded so they put up what they called Relocatables, trailers that provided more classroom space.  They sat right outside the front door of the school.  I had several classes in these trailers.

A picture from my yearbook of the
 crowded halls were at Orion. (1)
Every junior high girl has a crush on one of their teachers and I was no exception. Most of the girls in my class fell in love the day that Mr. Valentine came to Orion. He was young, teaching Boys PE, and very good looking. Needless to say, we all got tongue tied around him too. He probably thought we all were just giggly girls but boy was he cute.  We would have "Mr. Valentine" sightings and everyone would stop and watch.  Teen age girls...what more can I say?  

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  There are so many things you can do on Facebook, even genealogy.  I recently joined the North Carolina Genealogy Facebook page, mainly just to see if there was anything there that would be helpful in my family history research.  I had been looking for genealogy information on my great, great grandmother, on my mom's side.  I had hit a major brick wall and thought, hey, why not throw this out on the NC Genealogy site and see what happens. Within half an hour I had several responses to my post and was able to bring down the brick wall. If you are doing your family history, don't forget to check to see if there is a genealogical society in your state or even the county.  You, too, might just get some information that will further your findings.


(1)  1973 Arctic Highlights Yearbook, Orion Jr. High School, Elmendorf AFB, pg. 52

Friday, April 17, 2015

Alaska: Even Better the Second Time Around, Part 1

We moved onto Elmendorf Air Force Base in the summer of 1969.  We left the apartment life behind and moved into military quarters; into our Quad.  Quads were groups of four buildings with a common parking area and each building had eight families.  So when you moved in, you had 32 instant neighbors. With all these families living in our quad or very close by, we had lots of kids to hang out with.

Our house in the quad.  However, when we lived
there it didn't have a garage.
I started sixth grade that year and it was a very unusual situation. There were so many of us that they had to get another building just for sixth graders. We ended up in an old office building. (Memories of my kindergarten year, The Day the Earth Moved, March 27, 1964.) We actually started changing classes there so it helped us when we got to junior high school. My home room teacher was a wonderful lady named Mrs. Wallace. I had a terrible crush on a boy named Mitch Huff. Unfortunately, for me, he had a crush on a friend of mine named Sandy Martin. Because it was an old office building, our recesses consisted of standing around an empty field ogling the boys.  That's okay because they were doing the same thing to us girls.  Another favorite teacher during that year was Mr. Hadley.  I would love to know what happened to those teachers.  They had a huge impact on my life and because we were military, we would leave and most times not know what happened to them or many of our friends.

It was a fun year being with just the sixth graders.  We were all in the same boat.  All trying to figure out the whole growing up process but we didn't have to deal with any of the older kids that year, or the younger ones.  It was just us and we enjoyed that.  We did a play at the end of that year and I was chosen to be the queen. I remember the king was a friend of mine named John Kennedy. I don't think his middle initial was F.  I kind of liked doing that play and although I didn't have an opportunity in junior high, I pursued drama later, in high school. 

During the winter we would play outdoors a lot.  Yes, it was cold but we bundled up, many times to the point that no one could tell who we were.  We would go out and build ice skating rinks, forts and igloos in our back yard. The ice skating rink was a little bumpy but we still had fun.

I used to babysit a lot for the Paxtons and the Baldwins. If you remember from a previous blog, Land of the Midnight Sun, my family was in the Paxton's wedding the first time we were in Alaska. Now I was babysitting their boys.  It's hard to believe that those boys now have children of their own.  Yikes, I feel old!  This is an older picture of Johnny Paxton and his daughter, from our last visit to Alaska.  A great young man, husband, and father.

One summer I babysat Linda Baldwin all summer. I thought that was really cool to have a full time babysitting job. We couldn't spend any time outside though because she was allergic to the sun. But we still got to do lots of fun things.  One of our favorites was going bowling.  I heard she passed away recently, which really made me sad.  

Seventh grade was fun. I went to Orion Junior High. We were the peons at the school and the ninth graders didn’t let us forget it. They would make us do, what they called thumb ditties. That means that we had to stand on a table in the hall and put our thumbs on our heads and turn around saying that the ninth graders were the best. I couldn't wait to be a ninth grader so I could do the same thing but by the time I got there, I didn't have the heart to do it.

In this Google Earth picture, it shows the quads on the base.
Ours was at the top right at the white arrow.
Schools are on the left.  Expand for more detail.
We had lockers and I felt so grown up going from class to class. We even had dances. I remember that we would go to these dances and all the girls would stand on one side of the room and all the boys would stand on the other. Eventually someone would venture out and ask someone to dance and that would break the ice, somewhat.

During this time, we had Nugget, the family dog. He was a black Pekingese and was the pride and joy of the family. He went with us everywhere. He hated squeaky toys!  I don't know what made him dislike them so much, but if you gave him one he would disassemble it in minutes, to get the squeaker out or at least where it didn't squeak anymore. We timed him once to see how long it would take.  It was amazing how fast he was able to do it. We almost lost him one summer.  We were out camping, and a huge Weimaraner dog attacked him and almost killed him. That was a hard weekend for our family. But he was a tough little guy and he survived.  Nugget brought great joy to our family for a long time.

Today's Terri's Tidbit: Have you ever found a recipe from your grandmother, old church cookbook or even online, and couldn't understand the measurements? What is a smidgen, pinch, dash, or tad?  I found this great little conversion chart website that shows what those measurements are in today's terms.  Also I found this chart, from Family Tree Magazine, with some of the same types of things. Pull out those old recipes and make something yummy, using these conversions!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

North to Alaska, Once Again

Spending time with our extended family always seemed to go by so fast, because visits were few and far between. However, as the day grew closer to leave on our trip to Alaska, we said our goodbyes and finished all our needed tasks. We had bought a new car, a tan station wagon, and decided to drive up to Alaska, up the AlCan Highway. That is a 4,370+ mile trip from Pinehurst, NC to Anchorage. Going at that time of the year was actually better on your car because the AlCan was all gravel, and tended to beat cars up pretty bad. But with the snow cover, it was a lot easier. This journey took two weeks.

We went through a great many states and while doing so, we all got sick. This was the time that the Hong Kong flu was going around. We finally stopped in Great Falls, Montana, at the Air Force Base located there. They had just had a major car crash and some very serious injuries and didn’t have time to look at us so gave us some medication and sent us on our way. Unfortunately, the medicine had codeine in it and therefore, mom and dad couldn’t take it and drive.

Shortly after getting on the highway we slid into a ditch. Now this could be quite scary because you never knew how long it would be before another car would come along. We were very blessed though because within a very short time, a snow plow came around the corner and was able to help get us out. We continued to move toward Anchorage, although not as fast as any of us would have liked.

We had a guidebook called The Milepost that we used along the AlCan, that pointed out all kinds of neat features along this 1200-mile road. Most importantly, where the bathroom stops were. It also had major landmarks, points of interest, historic sites, restaurants, etc. If you ever make this journey, do not leave home without it. They are constantly updating it.

Texas is a big state and Alaska is even bigger. When you reach the border, you still have a very long distance to get to Anchorage.  You can see from the picture below just how large it is. A lot of it is beautiful wilderness and is still uninhabited. I hope it can always maintain those qualities. It is a gorgeous state and if you haven't been there, put it on your bucket list. The cruises along the Inland Passage are nice but you really need to go to Anchorage, Fairbanks and Denali to get a real feel for what Alaska is like.  It is a must see!

Alaska compared to the US as a whole.
By the time we got to Elmendorf AFB, the rest of the family had recovered but I was still sick. I was running a very high temperature and felt horrible. We had been on the road for two weeks, were trying to get checked into temporary quarters, I was sick, and if that was not enough to deal with, as soon as we checked in, my dad got a visit from someone telling him that my mom’s dad had passed away while we were traveling north. We didn’t have cell phones then, and we never knew where we were going to stop, so no one knew how to get ahold of us. Grandpa Garrison was buried by the time we got to Alaska. A sad time for all but a very difficult time for my mom. 

My parents made several phone calls to the doctor, about my fever. They suggested that they put me in a cold shower to bring it down. Cold showers are no fun!  I was feeling so bad and had to do them several times and they didn't do any good. I would get in and the fever would come down for a short time and then go back up again. So they finally took me to the hospital. I ended up having spinal meningitis and was in isolation for a week. Only my parents could come in and see me and then they would have to be covered from head to toe. It was very contagious. It was a scary experience. I had to have a spinal tap, which was terrible. The doctors told me that I had to lay perfectly still. Not one movement or I could have bad headaches for a long time. Little did I know that my first real sight of Alaska would be from a hospital bed.

I remember when I finally got to go home, I was still pretty sickly and my mom would have to get up several times during the night to give me medicine as well as throughout the day. It took a long time to recover fully. I remember sitting in the apartment, in Muldoon, and watching all the kids playing, sledding, etc. on the hill outside and wishing I could join them. One of the first things I did, when I was able to go out was slide down that hill.  I thought it was so huge but on a trip back there, many years later, I found that it wasn't near as big as I thought.  

Our apartment was on the second of three floors.  
I had my first close up encounter with a moose while we were still living in this apartment. I guess it was foraging for food because he came right up to the apartment building. He was huge and I remember that mom and dad said to stay away from him, even if he looked docile, because they could turn mean quick. Especially the momma's with their babies.

Our next-door neighbors in the apartment were the Gaffords. Tracy and I became good friends. We were in the same 5th grade class at Muldoon Elementary. She had two sisters, one of which was in the same school, so my brother and I walked with them to school each day, about a mile away, even in the snow.  I was fascinated with the fact that she played the drums. I had never seen a girl play the drums before. We are still friends with the Gaffords today.

We moved onto Elmendorf AFB in the summer of that year, 1969. We lived in another quad on Apricot Street, at the opposite end from where we lived the first time. I think the address was 21-632 Apricot, Apt. B. However, someone said it is no longer called Apricot Street. Lots of things have changed since we left. Yet much is still the same.

Today's Terri's Tidbit: Help out future generations who may be doing your family's genealogy. When cutting personal events out of the newspaper, (or other periodicals) make sure to have the source data, for the article, picture, memento, with it. Either write it all down and attach with the article or make sure to cut the name, date, page etc. from the top of the paper you are saving. It will make it so much easier to find out more information later, if you are careful to gather that information now.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Hello Peshawar Pakistan, Part 2

Living in Pakistan, as a kid, was fun!  Even though we came in at the end of a war, I don’t ever remember being afraid while living there. It helped that there were eight-foot high brick or cinder block fences with barbed wire on them.  And I think there was glass embedded at the top too.

During this time, the Vietnam War was going on but because we didn’t have access to radio or TV, (my parents would occasionally listen to Armed Forces Radio) my brothers and I didn’t know anything about it. 

 My parents didn't share a lot with us about all that was going on in the world so we wouldn't be afraid and would continue life as usual.  Therefore, we didn't have a care in the world.

While there, my brothers and I, along with our friends, found lots of ways to entertain ourselves, because we didn’t have TV. We used to make up plays and perform them for our friends. We did some of the silliest things but enjoyed the heck out of it. We spent many hours at the pool and I joined the swim team one year. We didn’t like November because they would close the pool down to clean it. We were able to swim every other month. We spent a lot of time at the school playground too. It helped having both so close to our house. 

Family photo taken before we left Pakistan.
Another one of my friends was Veronica. Her brother Warren was my first boyfriend (third grade). I remember sitting with him and listening to Leaving on a Jet Plane, by Peter, Paul and Mary, from one of their records. I didn't know until recently that John Denver wrote that song.  Warren used to carry my books home from school. True love at the age of eight! 

Our back door neighbor had twin girls and they were fascinating. We had never seen twins before. And, they had an adult tricycle, which we also had never see before. It was a huge, three-wheeler, and they let us ride it. We all had bikes in Pakistan because we didn't have a car. It was very expensive to bring a car over so we didn’t have one for two years. The base was pretty small, so you could get around on it pretty quick with a bike.

This was another location where your friends become your family because it is so far from everyone’s home. To this day, we still have very good friends that we met in Pakistan. Our friend’s, the Turner’s, lived directly behind us. We shared the two guys who worked for us. They had one of them one day and we would have them the next. Every week, I think it was on a Wednesday, our two families would get together and have dinner. One week they would do the barbecue and the next week we would do the enchiladas. My mom made a mean batch of enchiladas. She got the recipe from another couple of good military friends, the Garza’s.

When we moved a couple years later back to Alaska, the Turner’s did too. We were blessed to be able to spend that many years being stationed with them.

Some of the things I remember about our stay in Peshawar were the festivals and squadron picnics. I remember being in a race during one of the picnics and losing because I was too concerned about what everyone else was doing. My dad gave me very sage advice after the race about looking straight ahead and finishing the race and then checking out what’s happening with the others. That's good advice for life too.  At some of these events, they would bring in camels and we got to take rides on them. We rode them several times. That was a ride I will never forget!

I remember a softball game that my dad played in that was so fun. Some people dressed up in different costumes, did weird plays and used trick softballs. One of the trick balls was a grapefruit that they had painted white and when it was hit, juice sprayed everyone that was close by.   Another fun time was when our friend, Mr. Turner had a fishing line attached to first base and he was in the outfield.  When the batter hit out to him, he took off running back and as he did the base moved with him.  The batter kept running trying to catch up to the base.  
I remember a lot of laughter at those games.

We had a small nine hole golf course on the base and I remember when people would hit their balls over the wall, little Pakistani kids would collect them up and bring them to the front gate and try to sell them back to the troops. Another way they would try to make money was to charm cobra snakes. We saw them do this once. They had a basket with a top on it and they would take the top off, and lure the snake out. These were big snakes and cobras are very poisonous. I wonder how many people died trying to train them.

We got to go on a day trip one time to the Khyber Pass, which is a pass up in the hills that connects Pakistan and Afghanistan. I remember the people we were with told us that many invasions started through this pass. I read somewhere that it was part of the ancient Silk Road and was one of the oldest passes in the world. I don’t think it made as much of an impression on me then, as it would today.

I was in Pakistan for part of third, all of fourth and part of fifth grade. I actually went to three schools for my fifth grade year.

We left Peshawar and headed for our next station, which was back to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. Before we headed north again, however, we went back to North Carolina to see family. We stayed there for about a month so we went to the school we had been in two years earlier. We got to reacquaint with some of our old friends. During this time we also prepared for our two-week trip up to Alaska, via the Alcan Highway. That’s a long time to be in a car, especially if you all get sick.

Today's Terri's Tidbit: I discovered a YouTube video done by a man named Bryan Nelson, who was stationed in Peshawar about the same time we were, and it shows a lot of what I have shared in this blog, even down to the Leaving on a Jet Plane song. Click here to see the video.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hello Peshawar Pakistan, Part 1

Todd, Terri, Kevin and Dad in Pakistan
So our very long distance journey to Peshawar, Pakistan began. We went from Charleston, South Carolina to Madrid, Spain. We stayed there for a couple days then went on to Saudi Arabia for a brief layover and then on to Karachi, West Pakistan. Out of Charleston we rode on a huge C-5A military airplane. Lackland AFB in San Antonio, south of where we live, has these planes and they still fly in and out of there, 50 years later. The sound they make is unmistakable.   I can still remember when we got on the plane, the military people showed us where to sit and gave each one of us a box meal. This was to hold us over until we got to Spain. We thought those box meals were so much fun. They were made for the crew and as I recall, some came with cigarettes, that they removed before giving the boxes to us. They even had gum, which was a special treat on a plane. Probably to help our ears pop.

During our travels, my two brothers and I got very sick. We got what the locals called the PID’s or Pakistani International Disease. Basically, running from both ends. My mom needed to get us medical attention, but did not know where to begin. She knew we needed to get to the embassy, there in Karachi, to see a doctor. Here she was, alone with three sick children, in a foreign country. That had to be overwhelming. But the Lord provides! A very nice sergeant came to our rescue. Sgt. Boyd, who was staying at the same place we were, volunteered to go with us to the embassy. All five of us, plus the driver, were stuffed into a little taxi and were off to get help. It is a miracle that we lived through the taxi ride. This driver was all over the road and the sidewalks. But we made it, were seen by the doctor, got medicine and went back to the hotel. I think that was our first experience with enemas. Yuck! Poor mom!  Sgt. Boyd's family eventually came over to Pakistan, too, and they lived down the street behind us.

We finally got to Peshawar and what a different place this was. As we saw over the two years we were there, this culture differed greatly from ours. It was very dirty for one thing. They would hang their meat out in the open and it would be covered with flies but they would still eat it. We arrived at the end of one of their wars and the windows in our base house were painted black to keep light from showing through. We also had a dug out area in our back yard where people could take cover, if necessary. We left at the beginning of another war. 

Google Earth view of the base in Peshawar, Pakistan.
The red arrow indicates what was our house.

My best friend in Pakistan was Cornelia Raderrauch. She was the daughter of a German family that was also stationed at the air base. I got to go home with her one weekend and got yet another culture shock. Her parents did not speak English so she translated for me. When we sat down for breakfast the first morning, her mother had fixed 3 minute eggs. Basically they were raw and I had never eaten a raw egg before so was not sure what to do. It was still in the shell on this little pedestal. I must say I learned a lot that weekend.

We had two Pakistani guys who worked for us but never on the same day. One did the gardening and one the housework. They were of different religions and didn't like each other, so there was no way they could work together. Qadduce was the gardener and he definitely had a green thumb. We could not get vegetables in Pakistan because by the time they were transported and arrived on the base, they would be rotten. So growing our own was the only option for us to have fresh produce. However, the fertilizer they used was not like here in America, so everything grown had to be washed in a clorox mixture before we could eat it. I am so thankful we don't have to do that here.

Daniel, the man who worked inside, used to cook his lunch there and it would always smell so good. He used a lot of curry. He would sit my little brother up on the counter with him and let him "help" cook. He asked us to come to his house for dinner one time. We went, and even as a kid I was struck by the small room that they called home but they were so proud of it. The room had a small trough that led outside where they could use the bathroom and there was a larger trough running down the middle of the street, where the culmination of many homes converged. I remember thinking that I was a very lucky girl to be able to go home to my own bedroom in a full sized house. That made a permanent impression on my life. 

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  Do you use Google Earth?  They have now made Google Earth Pro free to the public and it has lots more features than the original.  Check it out here and find some of the places you used to live.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Christmas on Ashe Street

We left Michigan in 1966 and headed for North Carolina. Our next assignment was to Peshawar, Pakistan but we were not going to be able to join my dad there for three months. We needed to find a place to live and get registered in the local schools.

This is the house we lived in, on Ashe Street in 
Southern Pines, NC, while we waited 
to join my dad in Pakistan.
Being in her hometown and close to family, made it much easier for my mom, while my dad was gone. I, on the other hand, was having a very difficult time without him. My grades tanked and I was a different kid. My teacher knew the situation and tried to help ease me through those three months. She felt sure I would be back to my old self once we were reunited with dad. 

We had Christmas without him that year. I remember we had a little dog named Peanuts, a dachshund, and he would go under the tree and grab presents and drag them under beds, tables, etc. We never knew where we would find the missing gifts. My dad had sent a ring back for my mom and that seemed to be Peanuts favorite gift to hide. It is still amazing that we found all his hidden treasures.

My mom was very crafty and loved to make things by hand. During that Christmas season she and my Aunt Gladys took on the project of making homemade candies for our teachers, family and friends. One of the most creative things they made were suckers shaped like Santas. They made little aluminum foil forms that looked like Santa, put the hard candy and a stick in them and decorated with white frosting. They also made little marzipan veggies and fruits that looked so real. We saw some in a storefront in Italy that brought back great memories of what they looked like. (See the picture below.) Then they would make their own boxes out of cardboard, cover them with aluminum foil and even covered pieces of cardboard for the layers. The teachers enjoyed their presents that had been made with lots of love. Family and friends tried very hard to make it a great Christmas for us, despite the absence of dad. Although we missed him terribly, they succeeded in making it a good one. 

Marzipan Candies
During the three months leading up to going to Pakistan, we were getting all the shots we needed to be able to go overseas. We had typhoid, yellow fever and cholera. Our little arms hurt so much. But it was worth it if we were going to get to be with our dad. We also had to get passports and a passport picture. 

The big day arrived when we were to start our trip to Pakistan. This would be a big journey because it would take days with lots of stops in different countries. We were to fly out of the base in Charleston, South Carolina, and would stop in Madrid, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Karachi, Pakistan before arriving at the base in Peshawar.  Our uncle drove us down to Charleston and got us safely to our airport destination. Picture this...here was my mother, by herself, with three children, 8, 7 and 2, heading to a country over 7,000 miles away from North Carolina. Little did she know, what was in store for her on this trip.

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  Everywhere you look this time of year, you see Peeps.  Little did I know that there were so many things you could do with them.  From cakes and rice crispy treats to wreaths and door hangars.  For more fun things to do with this marshmallow confection, check out the Peeps website here.  

May you all have a very blessed Good Friday and Easter weekend.