was taken of me on a Lake Michigan beach in Muskegon when I was 2. I was
born in Muskegon and lived there until I was about 3. My older siblings,
Pam and Rick, and I summered at my grandparent’s on Mona Lake for
years thereafter. Obviously I had a rough childhood. :-)
I still feel
like this when I spend summer time on a Michigan beach! Just look at those
blond curls and sunkissed cheeks! I’m adorable!
Here I am in our Birmingham house at age 3 with my older sister,
Pam, creating stunning crowns for our dog, Ginger, out of brown
paper bags. Ah, the good old days!
written for as long as I can remember. But I shared a room with my older
sister Pam for 17 years!! She was mean! Because I had no privacy, I wrote
in the attic off our bedroom of our house on Borgman near 11 mile and
Coolidge. I’d fill notebooks with stories about our pets, the Beatles
and horses. I loved horses!! I read every book I could find on horses.
I even had an invisible pony named Tony that I kept tied to the Lilac
bush in my backyard.
My sister hated that! :-)
Growing up in Oak Park, I attended Tyler Elementary School
for grades Kindergarten through 5. I remember all my teacher’s names.
Want me to share with you? Are you sure?
Hey, did I mention I was playground Tetherball champion when I was in
the 4th grade?
I spent the first half of 6th grade in the Burton Elementary
School gymnasium (Huntington Woods) because
our new school, Tyndall, wasn’t finished yet. I
think Tyler is now called Avery School after Mr. Avery who was our school
principal when I attended in the 60’s, and Tyndall is now called
Tyndall Center. Oh well. Norup Junior High School, directly
across the street from Tyler Elementary, covered 7-9th grade.
these junior high years, drawings of the Beatles covered our bedroom walls.
Girls at the school had to petition the school board so we could wear
pants to school!! (Yes, I’m serious!) Mini skirts and fishnet stockings
were all the rage: parents ‘raged’ about them and they were
the height of fashion. Yes, I looked stunning in both, thank you!
However, during these formative years I also wore braces on my teeth,
had straight stringy hair, and sported orthopedic saddle shoes when all
the other girls were wearing pointy toed ‘flats’.
older brother, Rick, called me ‘Ugly’. To this day,
he calls me Ug. He was scary mean!!
Singing in the Acapella Choir with the renowned Mr. DeMaria (Mr. ‘D’)
as our director was the highlight of my Berkley High School
years. ( I still have the pin I received for serving as choir secretary.)
I also was on the Student Council and involved in Drama productions, both
behind the scenes and on the stage. In fact, a drama buddy of mine has
made it in the movie business. Remember “Booger” in the movie
“Revenge of the Nerds”? He was a drama buddy of mine named
Curt Armstrong. I was pretty good myself and actually spent the better
part of the summer before 10th grade attending Cranbrook Theatre School
in their amazing outdoor theater in Bloomfield Hills.
Guess the name of one of my drama class instructors there? HINT: You
may know him by the name of Freddie Kruger. I knew him as Robert Englund.
Wow! I knew some famous people way back then!!!
On to college:
Michigan State University : Go Green –Go White!!
I attended MSU for one year after high school. Then, at the end of my
freshman year, my father died. For the next few terms
I attended Wayne State University and lived at home with
my mom on Borgman (my mean older brother and sister were
married). During this
time I worked at Jacobson’s Children Store in downtown
Birmingham. I ordered a chocolate Sunday with marshmallow
topping for dinner every day that I worked from the Sanders store across
the street! Those were the days!!
Back to MSU where I graduated with a degree in English Literature in
1976. I became bored after a few months and, waitressing to support myself,
I earned a Masters degree in Education from good ol’ MSU.
I really wanted to teach and, after tutoring at a private place for many
years, I started teaching Writing classes part-time at Lansing
Community College (www.lcc.edu)
where I still teach and advise part-time today.
About my Family:
earning my Masters degree at MSU, in 1980 I married this guy named Loren
who was a cook at the restaurant where I waitressed. I thought his name
was Warren at first and he didn’t like that. We bought a small house
in East Lansing across from the MSU campus.
Our daughter Amanda Marie was born in 1983, and our son Justin Lee in
1986. Here they are at ages 4 and 7 and last year at Justin’s high
school graduation at ages 18 and 21.
had a dog named Jesse and an assortment of cats over the years. Today
we have a year and a half old yellow lab named Brutus Maximus, brother
cats named Tyler and Charlie, and female cats Oreo and Henrietta.
This past March my husband Warren...I mean, Loren...and I celebrated
our 25th wedding anniversary.
In addition to having a brother and
sister-in-law who live in Minnesota, a sister who lives in Clawson, and
a mother and step-father who live in Rochester Hills, I have an assortment
of nephews and nieces scattered about. I definitely consider Detroit home.
Today when I’m not working at Lansing Community College, I enjoy
visiting schools to share my love of Michigan history and writing. I also
teach writing for children through distance learning for the Institute
of Children’s Literature: www.institutechildrenslit.com.
yes, I write.
Just for you!!!