OK, this is my first blog – heaven knows I’m full of words to speak, but let’s start this adventure and see if I can write! (we know I can talk – “Yacky Jackie” nickname my family gave me when I was hatched! More of that in later blogs)
My name is Jacque’ (I’m a girl. Just say “Jackie” but with a “Q” ) – don’t let the spelling of my name fool you – my parents did this to me as a way of settling a bet with my Dad’s mom. Apparently, as the story goes, when I was still in the womb, the family was watching one of the very first televised Miss American Pageants and a contestant named Jacque Storensen won the title. My always ingenuous and loving Nana told my young, sweet & selfish mama that if she would allow her to name me, then she – Nana – would give her the TV set in which they had just watched the pageant. Waa Laa! Here I am… Jacque. Hello. Sometimes I feel like the old Johnny Cash song “A boy named Sue” – how do you do?
The spelling has gotten me into trouble throughout my life & no one ever, I mean never, pronounced it right.When I was a kid, they put me on the boys side of church camp every year! (think by the time I was a teenager, it became an inside joke!) Also the time in jr. high school when I was – yet again – assigned to the boys gym class. OK this time – even though I was pretty young, pounced on the opportunity. I was the envy of every 7th grade girl in my P.E. class – I would like to think. The gym teachers made me go set on the boys side of the gym – with all the boys – until they made the changes in the schedule. OK, I’ve got to admit, that time was pretty kool since all the really athletic & popular boys were in the same P.E. period. (I think this single incident accounted for my 7th grade popularity – and then maybe not!)
On my 18th birthday I received a letter from the President of the United States & US Congress (I figured I had done something noteworthy at school and was being given a Presidential award of some kind). My mom had place all the birthday cards from family & friends on the hall table & I remember opening this envelope first. “GREETING” was the first word I read. Puzzled, I walked out to our garage where my dad was working a yet another car project, and asked him what Selective Service meant. Well, he took the letter from my trembling hands, read it, about fell on the floor laughing then trying to keep a serious air about him he calmly spoke “Daughter, you have just been drafted” handing me back the letter, wishing me good-luck as he regained his place under the hood of the car. As I walked back into the house, I could still hear him laughing, his laughter being magnified by the domed hood of the car. I was still in a daze, since all I knew about the 1968 Selective Service was that I just got drafted!
Within minutes my dad came in to the house, proudly announced to my mother that I’d been drafted into the US Army. In usual fashion, my mother panicked, almost fainted & called the family doctor (always her choice when something when wrong – I’m pretty sure it was for Mother’s Little Helpers –very popular in the 60’s!) told him what had just happened to me. I’m pretty sure she went to bed for three days after this incident. Again, as expected.
Thinking fast, I did a reality check and decided on an action plan:
Since I was planning to enter nursing school the following September, I did some quick figuring and decided that this was my round-trip ticket to college. Remember I was just 18 years old & what did I know? – My plan was: I’d simply go to the local recruitment office and sign up for the US Navy . I figured I’d look cute in my little naval uniform going to San Diego State. Yep,that’s right, I thought I could charm my way in to the Navy’s recruiting officer & into four years of college at SD St.! Yeah, right! AH! Duh! What was I (or not) thinking? Announcing my plan later that evening went over like a fart in church. My younger siblings went running for their bedrooms & I was left all alone with my parents. Gulp! Thinks weren’t going as planned.
My parents, family doctor and a neighbor, who had just returned from his second tour in Viet Nam, formed an intervention of sorts. They got the guy that had just come back from Viet Nam to take me out to dinner for my 18th birthday, and to explain the “facts of life” to me via army/navy style. Anyway he did, & I was like “this is weird cuz he’s like a big brother to me.” He took me to a fancy restaurant that one would take a “date”, & when the waiter came to take our order I ordered chocolate cake and a big glass of milk! Not exactly what he expected, but hey, it was my birthday & I wanted cake! I’m pretty sure he wanted me to order a liquid beverage more in the vain of alcohol. Anyway… Over dinner he explained that if I joined the navy I would not be spending my time cavorting around San Diego as a student, I would most likely spend two-years in the Mekong Delta fixing up soldiers & he then hit on me, I was grossed out! He took me home & that was the end of my service career. Two days later, I went with a Dr.s excuse (just like in P.E.) my birth certificate and my still recuperating Mother, to the Recruitment office, explained that I was truly a girl, I signed my name on a bunch of papers & I was free to go back to my senior year at High School. But.. This was not the last time my first name got in a bit of hot water! But those are difference stories…
Oh! Yeah! I was going to introduce myself. Jacque’. I finally included the ” ‘ ” above the e in my name to try to show a difference that I was indeed female! It has drawn a totally different response from people. Good ! 😉
A little about myself…
I am over 29 years old (guess you figured that out by way of date of me getting drafted), I am married for 33 years – fabulous guy – retired fire captain, we have one son – also a fire captain, he is married to a beautiful lady that has blessed us with 2 amazingly beautiful & smart Grandchildren. I love being a Grandmother (something my own mom never embraced – boy! Did she miss out on a lot!) I have worked in the healthcare field for many years & I own an educational business. Love to garden. We live on California’s Central Coast just a bit inland where there are hundreds of vineyards & wineries, LOVE where we live! Life is great. Wouldn’t change anything for the world. Oh! Don’t kid yourself, Jaq- (that’s what my friends call me – again, opening the door for yet more boy stuff!) you’d change a boat load of stuff if you had the chance! Yep I would!
I regress to my opening statement, this is my showcase for thoughts (venting), writings and other stuff worth – to me at least – spending my time and effort in putting fingers to keys & typing.
See ya tomorrow & I hope to get some feedback from anyone out there willing to take the time to read my notes. Thank you!