I was born in Florence Nightingale Hospital in Dallas, Texas . If you are thinking to yourself, “I’ve never heard of it,” it could be because a) you are not old enough,or b) because it is non existent except in the form of Baylor Hospital in downtown Dallas. I’ve only found one other person who mentioned they were born there and funnily enough, it was my second cousin, once removed. I’ve only spoken with her, I’ve never met her. Pretty ironic, don’t you think? Me, too! Even though I was born in Dallas, I was raised and lived all of my life in Richardson, Tx.
Richardson has always been a utopia of sorts. There was a little city newspaper, but I rarely saw any kind of bad news in it. Richardson was a pretty sheltered little community in which doors were not often locked (except at our house). People knew each other, ( pretty cool to know your neighbors) and interestingly enough, liked each other. Kids went next door to play with other kids and most of the time, played outside- kickball, dodgeball, kick the can or even witch. The game “Witch” was more like chase with one person being the “witch.” We played hopscotch, Simon says- you know, most of the games that kids nowadays never heard of. My neighbor, Julie and I , hooked up a tin can telephone from my bedroom window to hers. Suffice it to say that we had to open the windows and yell at each other for them to work properly. It was good fun and something to laugh about later on in life.
My parents owned two beauty shops. The Pandora and The Orchid Beauty Salon. They worked hard and it is my opinion we were fairly privileged growing up. There were drawbacks to being the beautician’s daughter, such as everyone knowing who you were. There was absolutely no way to do something that was remotely “bad”- no- everyone in town knew us, me, and my sister. My mother had her people watching out for us and so we got told on if anyone happened to see what we did. Still, that didn’t stop me from doing my own thing, marching to the beat of my own drum.
My mother and I had a unique relationship. I had always been an independent sort, but in a dependent way. I don’t remember ever thinking about things like self esteem or things that are quite popular these days for parents to teach their kids to think about . I guess I had a good deal of self esteem before I got to junior high with my pimply face and bouffant kind of hairstyle.I can imagine that my junior high and high school years were not all that much fun for me although I had a few good friends who made me laugh quite a bit.
I was not allowed to date until three weeks before my 16th birthday. I was not technically supposed to date until I was 16, but I cried, begged and carried on til my parents relented. And with good reason. I ended up eloping in March of 1974. My junior year in high school.