Growing up, early years:
*Where did you grow up? Describe it.
My very early childhood, we lived in my grandmother's house. I don't remember much about the house, except that it had a pool. I would spend a lot of time in the pool with my aunt, Gloria (Glo).
After my father and mother married, we lived in a duplex in North Miami. I remember holding the football so Eddie could kick it. From there we moved to a motel on Biscayne Blvd. I remember this motel had a pool, and I would jump into it without knowing how to swim. I nearly drowned so often, I had to wear a life jacket all the time near the pool.
When I was in first grade, we moved to Wilson, North Carolina. It was very different from Miami. Very small town. We lived in a big old house that had been converted to 5 apartments. Ours was downstairs. The apartment was set up like a long rectangle. From the living room, you'd have to pass through the master bedroom to get to the one and only bathroom and then to the kitchen. It had a screened in pack porch. I remember washing my Barbie clothes and hanging them on the clothesline during the winter, and them being frozen solid.
Also while living there, one Easter I got a bunny as a present. It was black and white, and I named him Thumper. Thumper had to live on the back porch. One day my mother told me to let Thumper out so he could exercise, and wouldn't you know that rabbit hopped away as fast as possible, and I never saw him again!
*What was your earliest memory?
My earliest memory is sitting in the shopping cart while my mother did groceries. I vividly remember swinging my legs. I had on Dr. Scholls sandals. Mine were red. And I was wearing courdoroy pants. My sandals kept flipping off my feet, and I remember my mother getting mad, and throwing the sandals into the shopping cart. We were in the dairy aisle.
*What games did you play as a child?
I don't remember playing games as much as I remember playing with Barbies. I also loved playing with my Easy Bake Oven, Sew Perfect sewing machine and my Knit Magic! I was kind of a loner kid, even back then.
*Where did you go to school?
I moved schools a lot. I went to Bethany Covenant (FL) for Kindergarten, Gratigny (FL), Adams (NC), Margaret Hearne (NC), Macklesfield (NC), Ojus (FL), William Jennings Bryant (FL) and Sabal Palm (FL) elementary schools.
*Who were your friends?
My best friend as a child was Wendy O'Dwyer. She lived in Wilson, NC. Her mother, Linda, was a nurse. Her father was also named Eddie. He rode a motorcycle. She had a brother named Robbie.
*Who were your favorite teachers and why?
In kindergarten, I loved my teacher Ms. Ethel. She was an elderly woman. I used to go spend the night at her house. Other than her, I do not recall having a favorite teacher until high school.
*What were your chores?
Never had chores at this time.
Growing up, teenage years:
*What activities did you participate in? (Sports, dancing, music, arts, etc.) Explain what you did with each activity.
Did not participate in extra-curricular activities. However, I did volunteer as a candy-striper at Mount Sinai Hospital.
*How did you learn how to drive? What kind of car did you have?
Well, I took driver's ed in high school. We used to go off campus for lunch, and one day while we heading to lunch in a friend's car, we got crashed into by a tourist. It made me very nervous about driving. So, I did not get my license until I was 19, and I had to get it before I moved to Sweden. I did not have a car of my own. I like to say my car was the metro-limousine. (BUS)
*Who were your friends?
I had a little group of friends... Dorothy Mayse and Lisa Smith were the two main-stays. There were others that came and went...Ellen Bregman and Katie Martin. My best guy friend was Cyril Cohen.
*Did you have a girl/boy friend? Talk about him/her (if your spouse is okay with it!).
I did not date much in high school. I had "boy friends," but no one I would call a boyfriend.
*What did you like/dislike about school?
I sometimes feel like I went to a school out of a John Hughes movie. It was very clique-ish. The hardest was getting picked on about my clothes. We did not have a lot of money, and for the first two years of high school, either my mother bought my clothes or I had to wear hand-me-downs.
The other part I did not like was that at the time I did not see the point of it. Now, I regret not putting in my best effort.
I really started liking school in my junior and senior years. I took classes I found interesting, and that was when I started getting better grades. However, if I was not interested in the subject (government and civics...I am look at you), there was no hope for the class.
*What was your first paid job?
My first genuine tax-paying job was at Woolworth's. I was 14 years old. My next job was for Burger King. I worked at Burger King for a year during my senior year. I worked double shifts, opening the store at 6 in the morning, working until 1 or 4 in the afternoon, then coming back at 8 in the evening, and working until close at 1 in the morning. I did this for $3.85 an hour for a year. When it was time for a raise, they gave me a nickle raise. I told them to stick it, and went to work at Winn Dixie.
*What were your chores at home?
I was in charge of laundry. My mother would drop me off at the laundromat every week with all the clothes while she went to do the groceries. I am still a great laundress.