Memories of Arizona

The heat of the desert. Rock gardens or cacti gardens were found in nearly every front yard on the street. What else could people have? It’s too hot for most flowers and plants, with such little water.

In the way of family history, I was born in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina at the Naval (?) base there. My father was in the US Marine Corps at the time, just finishing basic training at Parris Island, SC. Shortly after I was born, my father transferred to Fort Huachuca, AZ where Jessica was born 2 years and 9 months later. I don’t have any memories of North Carolina, but I do remember Arizona.

I remember living in military housing, and next door was my first real friend. His name was Jimmy and I think he was also about 3 at the time. We used to play in the neighborhood all of the time. I remember riding my tricycle up and down the street. Dad has pictures of me with the “Stoval Street Gang.” Apparently we were the local group of rugrats, and we played in the streets most of the time.

I remember also having a baby pool in the backyard with a few chaise lounge chairs. I know Mom laid out back in her swimsuit, trying to tan her gorgeous body. I seem to remember my grandparents on her side coming to visit, and them sitting out back in swimsuits also.

I think that this was also about the time that my parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Apparently my father’s commanding officer was a member of the Church and he invited Dad to learn more. My parents had been preparing for something like this for a while, as I know Mom quit drinking, smoking, cursing and soap operas before I was born. The sister missionaries taught my parents and they were baptized soon after. To this day, my mom still corresponds with these sisters. Anja, one of the sisters, was originally from Finland (or was it Sweden?) but she has since married and become an American. I’ll let my parents give more detail here, but suffice it to say that I am quite glad that they accepted the CO’s offer to investigate the Church. It has had a profound influence on my life.

Here are some pictures of this era of my life:

This is me in 1979, somewhere in Arizona. I think it’s on base.



This is my mother, I think at her bridal shower in 1972. She looked fairly similar in 1979. Wasn’t she a hottie?!


This is Dad in his new Dodge Challenger. I remember driving in that car, across America, numerous times.



About jaimeanne

I'm me. Graphic designer extraordinaire, urban master teacher of social studies, former adjunct professor, high school principal, and now most importantly-- Mom to the cutest little girl ever. I try to live by the quote, "Work like you don't need money, Love like you've never been hurt, And dance like no one's watching." I believe in Christ, and sometimes I'm just trying to figure out what He wants me to do. This blog chronicles that journey.
This entry was posted in Family, Family History, Missionary Work, Relationships, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Memories of Arizona

  1. Robert A Cobb says:

    Just helping Jaime’s memory here since this is for our posterity also. Yes, Jaime was born at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in the Naval Regional Medical Center at Mainside there. I was stationed with Marine Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 at a nearby Marine base called New River Air Station. We lived there from August 1975 to October 1977. We then were transferred to the Marine Corps Administrative Detachment at Fort Huachuca, Arizona where Jessica was born in the Raymond W Bliss Army Hospital. We lived in Arizona from October 1977 to October 1980.

    We were introduced to the Church actually twice. I had an Aunt Elaine (My Father’s Sister) who was raised Roman Catholic and then converted to the LDS Church unbenownst to me (how do you like THAT word!). I became interested in Family History in 1975 after watching reading and watching Alex Haley’s “Roots”. A few years later while in Arizona, I contacted my Aunt to discuss “family history”. She said she knew “some people” who could help me with that and did I mind if they contacted me? Sure, why not? Then next thing I know is two Mormon Missionaries show up at our door and we are almost swept up in the Missionary lessons. By lesson two, I realized we are going in a different direction than I anticipated and I very calmly and in a most direct military manner told the Missionaries to LEAVE! This all occured before Jessica’s birth. Later when the birth of Jessica was either very close or just happened, Diane and I decided we should find some religion to provide a spiritual guide for us and our growing family.

    I worked as the Administrative Chief at the Marine Liason Office on the Army Post. While checking in a new Warrant Officer, Bill Cavanaugh one day, I reviewed his record as I was required to do. I noticed he had a religious code unknown to me so I had to look it up. I found out he was a Mormon. I told him the story of my initial exposure to the Church and that we were now seeking a spiritual path. THAT was ALL Bill needed to hear. He was the kind of guy who would give you the entire Missionary Lesson Plan and baptise you in a nearby puddle of water if it was deep enough to do so. Well, we didnt get baptised in a puddle but we did do it anyway!

    To set the record straight, Diane and I were never smokers. We both disliked tobacco products and never used them. Well, I did try them for a brief time when I was under ten years old in the street gang, but that is another story. Should I mention the “funny” cigarettes of the 60’s and 70’s?

    The pictures of Jaime above were taken prior to Jessica’s birth in the photo studio of the Special Services Division at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. It was just a practice photo session I was doing one day and I usually took Jaime and later Jessica also wherever I went whenever I could.

    The picture of Diane in the Bentwood rocker was taken in one of our early apartments (maybe in Piscataway NJ ?), no bridal shower that day however. The picture of me in the 1972 Dodge Challenger was taken at the Cobb House in South Plainfield New Jersey. In the background is the High School I attended after a long walk to school every day! The Challenger was our first BRAND NEW car which cost us $4K in 1972. I picked it from a catalog at the dealership because they didn’t even have any models of it on their lot yet. We had that car from 1972 until we left El Cajon, Califonia in December of 1987.

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