If you are old enough to be an adult, you can reminisce about your childhood. If you aren’t you should know or can ask your parents the basic stuff, like where were you born and how your name was chosen and were you born on time, early or late. You can recall or ask where your parents were born and their ages.
What was your childhood like? Hoe did you get along with family members; siblings etc? Where did you live? Was it in more than one place? Why did you move? Do you have friends that you grew up with?
What do you remember about your school years? When I tried to journal this category, I could only remember one teachers name? I am bad with names, so sue me! I think if I go rummaging through my papers and report cards, I can find out some and maybe refresh my memory.
Did things in your family and school experiences help shape who you are now?
I think that I will be adding to that category as I scrapbook old family pictures. In the interest of being honest , I have written some of my memories .
You can read them or not. If you do, they may help to start your memory of your own life.
was the first child of Judith Ann (Harless) and Frank Clifton Taylor Jr.
I was born 10-28-1964 in Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, WV.
I was about a month overdue.
I have a brother named Frank Clifton Taylor III. He was born 4-2-1967 in Cabell Huntington Hospital, as well.
My Mother was born 7-15-1944 in Cabell Huntington Hospital. She was the daughter of William Augustus Harless and Violet Memphie (Wetherholt) Harless.She had an older brother named William Dale Harless.
My Father was born at home in Wellston, Jackson Co., OH. He was the eldest son of Frank Clifton Taylor and Mary Elizabeth (Lilly) Taylor.
He had a brother named Robert Wetzel Taylor.
My parents worked in a shoe factory called Perry Norval in Huntington, WV. Mom had a few waitressing jobs. My Dad worked at the Nickel Plant in Huntington too. He got layed off and work in Huntington was hard to find. Dad had some college education, so he went to Cincinnati, OH to find work. He had his pick of a few companies there. He picked Proctor and Gamble. After we moved there, he worked in several different departments and worked his way up. I remember for sure that he worked in the department that made Folgers Coffee. He worked in departments that designed packaging for Crest Toothpast and several different types of shampoos. Some of the time he worked in the Lab, and after promotions, he was designing packaging. My brother was one of the first test babies for Pampers Diapers. When we first moved to Cincinnati, Mom worked in a factory that did laundry and repair on uniforms.
When I was about six, she stopped working and stayed home.We moved from Hyde Park in Cincinnati to a mobile home park in Mason, OH. It was about 45 mins to an hour from Dad’s job. This was in the 1960’s and there was a lot of Racial Violence in the schools. Dad didn’t want me to be in a school where I might get mistreated for being white. So, to the suburbs we moved.
The school district I was in was called Lakota and my elementary was called Liberty Elementary. I do not remember all of my teachers names but a few stuck in my memory. My first grade teacher was mean and once I asked to go to the restroom and she said yes, but you won’t be allowed to have recess if you do. When I went home and told Mom and Dad that she had made me stay in and put my head down on my desk as punishment for going to the restroom Dad was pretty agravated. Part of his college education was to be a math teacher. He knew it was against the law for a teacher to do that. When he got done with the teacher and the principle, one of them put a big note on my file that said, Don’t mess with her father. He was not violent or abusive, he was just smart enough to know what to say to make them afraid of losing their jobs.
From the very beginning of school, I had trouble fitting in and making friends. I got picked on and called names and I am sure it had a big effect on who I am now. I remember the kids making fun of my clothes because they were different. Mom says my clothers were better than theirs were and that’s why they picked on me. I am not sure. I am very light complected and some of the kids even made fun of being able to see my veins through my skin and my big blue eyes. How was I to know these very things would be considered very pretty when I got older.
I got good grades with very little effort all the way through school. I know my intelligence was something that set me apart from the other kids too. I only had about one friend per year in school, until 3rd grade. I made friemds with a girl named Patty Hastings. She actually stayed my friend the next year even though we were in different classes. We remained friends until a few years after we got married. She married Jerry’s frind Bill Hall and he moved to Cincinnati with her. I believe he thought he was too good for Jerry after he moved from our rural area. We eventually lost contact with them.
In Junior High School, I made friends with 3 girls. Bari Farmer lived two houses down from me and was about 2 years younger than me. Linda Logan was my age and Gina Arno was too. They were a year ahead of me in school. When I started school, there was a rule that if your birthday was after the end of September, you had to wait until the next year to start school. My birthday was in October.I had a lot of trouble getting along with Linda. There were several times we had fist fights, because she started them. I usually came out on the losing side. My heart wasn’t in it, because I wasn’t mad at her to start with. Eventually she made a bad move one day and hit my brother and when I asked her what she was doing, because she knew he had been taught not to hit girls. She basically just walked up to me and slugged me up the side of my head. I more or less blacked out from pain or anger. When I became aware of myself again, I had two pretty good sized male friends pulling me off of her.Evidentally, she had tried to pull me down on the ground andinstead I ended up on top of her and she couldn’t get up. Some of our friends told me that her parents basically told her she had it coming and she was too embarassed to come out of her house for a long time because she was black and blue. We had an on again off again friendship after that and were never close again. Part of her trouble was jealousy. This got started by my first boyfriend who tried to keep it a secret that he liked me because I wasn’t popular and neither was he. He just couldn’t take the pressure. She was popular to a degree and so he went out with her and paid like a date and when he went out with me, we went Dutch. She wasn’t happy if she couldn’t have all of the boys and would only chase after him long enough to make him stop paying any attention to me and then dump him again. The last time I caught them together, they got mad at me because I was mad at them. Very juvenile. I would never have spoke to them again if they hadn’t come to me wanting to be friends again. The whole situation was weird. He paid for dates with her, but bought me jewelry and stuff that was more personal than dates. I would have preffered public ackowledgement to jewelry.
Gina was my friend all the way through high school. She had a whole clique of girls who were in her grade in school and got good grades and semi-popular. She was hanging onto the edge. They weren’t supposed to know that she lived in a mobile home park and anything else tht would make them feel superior. By that time, I had figured out that it was better to have one true friend tha to be popular. I had figured out who I was and the type of person I wanted to become. I didn’t need other people’s approval any more. I felt sorry for her because she hadn’t.
We both had parents who were paying rent on a lot, for a home they already owned and some of those other girls lived in apartments and the first time rent wasn’t on time, they would have been homeless, yet they looked dowwn on us. We were just as middle class as they were.
I had a not altogether awfull home life. When I was a small child, the two sets of my grandparents had a falling out over religious differences. My Mom said it was dumb, because they really agreed with each other on the matter, but said it differently. Anyway, my Taylor grandparents did not like for my brother and I to speak about my Harless grandparents when we were with them. My Grandma Harless didn’t show much either way, probably because she knew it was awkward. I did not know until I was old enough to put the pieces together, that both of my parents came from highly disfunctional families that looked normal on the surface. I loved both sets of my grandparents despite their differences.
I am not sure if my parents should have had kids. Mom had a couple of nervous breakdowns when I was a child. They didn’t have the medicine available that is available now. Part of it was due to the disagreement between their parents, and part of it had been from her bad childhood.
Sometimes both of our parents were abusive. They believed the Bible said they were supposed to use corporal punishment. But it wasn’t the only reason we were whipped. They both acknowledge that they shouldn’t have done it now. I believe my grandparents regretted the treatment that they gave their kids too. I made it a point not to make the same mistakes they did, with my own children. The problem with my parents was when they weren’t sure that beatings were o.k., the Church of Christ preachers taught that it was not only o.k., it was a commandment from God. I am the 5th generation of Church of Christ members on both sides of the family, so “Spare the rod and spoil the child” was ingrained in our family. The Church was not wrong, but some of the preachers were. Many of them have no children of their own to give them an informed opinion. The best way to learn what the Bible really means is to look it up in Greek and Hebrew and not just swallow spoon fed doctrine. Knowing the history at the time of the first Christians is very helpful too. Reading Josephus is good for that.He was a Hebrew and also a Roman citizen and was commissioned to write a Hebrew history for the Romans.
One thing I do agree with and is taught in the Church of Christ is to honor and respect your parents. You do not have to do or agree with everything they tell you. You can still respectfully disagree. My Dad is now 65 and has just learned to do that.Most of his adult life was manipulated and controlled by his need to do what they wanted because he thought that was what honor thy father and mother meant. A lot of the time it was to the detriment of his family with Mom. I guess my Mom learned it when she was much younger. I was a teenager when I figured out that if I didn’t agree with my parents, it didn’t make me a bad child.
I learned to cook and clean at a pretty early age. I had to become good at it, when Mom had one of her breakdowns, I had to take over for her. This meant that I had to see that my brother was taken care of at an age when someone should have been taking care of me. I was sorta like his Mom. I had to make sure my Dad and we had supper and laundry etc. I matured mentally at an early age due to this. The main problem was that I learned to push my needs to the back burner and it is something I still do. When I do get up the nerve or anger to say what I need, people aren’t used to it and they have a tendency to not like the change and tell me I have no right to feel what I feel, because they want me to still worry about how they feel. In other words, they are spoiled to being my priority. I have been learning to take care of me better. I believe that it ultimately is better for my family, if I do.
I wonder what would have happened to my family, if I hadn’t taken over for Mom? I had good grades and because of this, I had little or no home work. It left me with the time to do housework. Despite all the things I was expected to do, I managed to do things with my friends. The more Mom came out of her slump, the more free time I had. She came to depend on me as free labor, so I always had something I had to do before I went anywhere. I went to movies and skating and bike riding. We had slumber parties on the weekend and in the Summer. We went bowling and I even bowled on a league. We played board games and cards; sometimes as a family and others with friends.
During this time, my Father was very ill with Rheumatoid Arthritis. They told him that he would be in a wheel chair inside of a year if they couldn’t get it into remission. The treatments were very expensive and they had to file for bankruptcy. This added to my worries. I guess I was very afraid that we would run out of money and/or Dad wouldn’t be able to work. I started to do odd jobs to pay for things I needed like school clothes. I mowed grass and shoveled snow. Then this worked into a few jobs cleaning house for older people in the neighborhood. When I was 16, I got a job working at a local amusement park. It was about a mile away, so I could walk to work and Dad brought me home. This is about the first time I had what I would later recognize as a flare up of Lupus. I got a real bad case of what the emergency room doctor called sun poisoning. I had a rash and sunburn all over my body. He said that once you had sun poisoning, you would probably get it every time you went into the sun from then on. It was no favor for him to tell me that. If I had known it was unusual for someone to be as sun sensitive as I am, I may have found out I had Lupus, years ago. I had scarlet fever when I was little and just prior to the sun poisoning incident, I had had Mono. Both of these things combined with the many times I had taken sulfa drugs for kidney infections, probably started the cycle of Lupus flares.
Some of my symptoms were more like Rheumatoid Arthritis, which Dad had and I could have inherited it. The blood tests always came up negative.
I also had surgery on my upper jaw during this time. They moved my upper jaw about slightly to correct my cross bite. I had braces all the way through highj school. I finally got them off just prior to my wedding. They left me with a little metal in my head. I don’t knwo if this could have helped the Lupus along or not. Somehow, I still managed to not only finish high school, but to go to vocational school and after that a year of business college. I did have a miscarriage a few months after Jerry and I got married. I was a virgin when we married, but despite being on birth control pills, I got pregnant. I now know that people with Lupus, miscarry a lot. This caused me some trouble at school because I was sick, but I still graduated. The principal at the vocational school didn’t like me because I was married. He told me I should either be married or go to school. He said I shouldn’t do both. I did make one of my lifelong friends there. Vicky Perdue was in a business class there too.
As I stated before I had a boyfriend who was not very good to me and then I also had a couple of others that di not work out very well. When Jerry and I started dating, he treated me with the respect and care that other males did not. I invited Scott DeYoung, my first boyfriend to the wedding. Revenge is a dish best served cold, after all.