Updated: May 1, 2022
In 1975, I was 7 years old and going into second grade. For those of you that remember 2nd grade, this is when we begin to feel a little more established in our world. We have conquered kindergarten and first grade and are adjusting to the fact that early mornings are no longer about cartoons, but more about learning. For me, starting second grade, was exciting as I knew I was starting in a new school, in fact this was my fifth new school since starting kindergarten. We were living in Southport Indiana and I was enrolled in Southport Elementary School.
When I was just 4 years old, my father went to the doctor for a pulled muscle in his shoulder and after these symptoms became a diagnosis of cancer our family traveled to Palo Alto, California where my father was treated for lung cancer. In the fall of 1972, I started pre-Kindergarten in Palo Alto, California. We, my grandparents, my mom, dad and I lived not far from Stanford University in a one bedroom weekly rental apartment, called the Stanford Arms on one of the main streets in Palo Alto called El Camino Rael.
It wasn't long, just a few months, into my fathers treatments, that he decided to forego any other chemo and radiation to fight the mass in his lung and our family moved to my grandparents home in Orlando, Fla. where he could rest and live his last part of life. It was in Orlando, where I was enrolled in my second kindergarten and where I would remain until Christmas break of 1973, as my father passed away on December 15th, 1973.
In January of 1974, I turned 6 and my mom and I headed back up to Indianapolis, IN, where she could continue to work as a nurse and where I enrolled in yet my third kindergarten.
In January of 1974, my mom and I began a new way of life.