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 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.