Life and Deaf – Chapter 12 – The First Day


I did research through the mail and going to the library – there was no such thing as internet – to find the best auditory/oral education for our son, mapped out a route and set a timetable for our exploratory trip. As we traveled we would meet up with my brother and Barb, and another couple of friends, Trudy and Herb, at specified locations around the United States. In between we’d visit with many friends made through the years of college and military life. Since there were no cell phones or email we had to rely on the US Mail General Delivery and public phone booths. Although there were several highly regarded oral schools on the Eastern Seaboard we decided to skip the crowded cities of New England and explore new territory in, for us, the wild west.

I’ve found the old loose-leaf notebook where my dream of telling this old hippie story started. I open it to: The First Day–June 26, 1974. What perfect timing. So we begin:


We left in a tropical storm on our shakedown trip from Ormond Beach to Venice, FL to say good-bye to family and friends. Violent winds and rain christened the new Dodge van and our carefully packed hand-built cartop carrier leaked like a sieve. All had to be unstowed. It took all day in Grandma Fifi’s clothes dryer to dry blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, clothes, while we did an epoxy repair job on the carrier. We tried to pack “intelligently” for the big haul cross-country and still have room for living. In a van? My mother spent many hours ringing her hands (and hankies) wondering what she would do with all the leftover gear that wouldn’t fit. She had just gone through the same thing with Terry and Barb the week before and her patience was wearing thin. I don’t blame her. The Green house has always been used as home base because of a welcoming attitude, ample space, and Fif’s delicious home cooking. Of course the real reason was that two out of three of her children and two of her grandchildren were leaving in vans for “God knows where” to live as hippies for “God knows how long”. Though we’d been hashing and re-hashing the plan for over a year, none of the parents thought we’d actually become wanderers.

I, myself, found it hard to believe that we were actually giving up our stable life with two kids, our little 3 bedroom/2 bath ranch in middle class suburbia. But harder still – how did I ever talk my husband into giving up his successful position as a white-collar “investment advisor” – the new-fangled word for a stockbroker?

50th Class Reunion Made Me Do It – Generate My Bucket List

Benny Walton, Carol Krempel, Jim Lash, Jill Green, Beth Johnson
50th Committee - Ellen Collard, Carol Pearson, Ed Music

















My Venice High class of ’61 just celebrated  its 50th class reunion. Amazing! A few interesting statistics:

  1. There were 119 graduates. First class over 100.
  2. 13 have died. Not bad.
  3. 7 are missing. Not bad.
  4. 33 have been married once for 30-50 years. Wow. That’s got to be a record. Hope they’re happy.
  5. 9 are divorced now. Hope they’re happy.
  6. 6 are widows. No widowers.
  7. 40 classmates attended. Not counting mates. One third.
  8. 35 classmates still live in the area.

Everyone in attendance was stunned at how quickly the years passed and how we all feel the same inside. As you can see by the statistics we’re a very cohesive group and honor our Florida roots. The Venice area was a wonderful, beautiful and unspoiled place to grow up. Continuing health and happiness to us all.

Georgia and David Ross - Committee

While attending the reunion I reconnected with several classmates I hardly knew in high school. Too bad for me. Thank goodness we change and grow, and I’m still alive. Benny Walton was one of them. While catching up we found that both of us had written books. Benny’s will be published by the end of the year. It is part of his “Bucket List”, which I’m hoping he’ll categorize here.

Leo and Gigi Morrell - Committee







Though I don’t have much to regret in my life, I hope I still have lots of room for accomplishing more on my Bucket List. So here goes:

  1. Writing a memoir of my life including bringing up a deaf child.
  2. Expanding my consciousness.
  3. Traveling to Europe to reconnect with my past and experience the grand history there – including France, Italy, Spain, Poland.
  4. Relearning French and improving Spanish.
  5. Taking my children and grandchildren on trips of their choice.
  6. Continuing to volunteer worldwide.
  7. Although we all must deal with pain and sorrow, being as content and positive as possible.

I challenge anyone reading this to compile his/her own Bucket LIst and post it here. Let’s see what the future holds.