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Summer – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Feb 14th, 2012 by Jessica

Week #28 – Summer. What was summer like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

Summers in my youth were all about heading outside to play.  Every day, all day long and into the evening hours, I was outside playing with my friends and wandering around the neighborhood.  I can’t imagine my kids doing that today; it’s far too dangerous to be wandering by yourself all over the neighborhood.  I’m sure it wasn’t safe then either, but that was the norm. I used to play in the ditch next to the house and tromp through the woods and climb random trees.  I would ride my dirt bike through the hills trying not to hit a tree.

I spent the entirety of the summer of 1988 playing with Jennifer Strachan.  We roller skated all over the neighborhood and lusted after Ray Huber.  We wrote him secret love letters and skated by his house to see if we could catch a glimpse of him.  Jennie and I attended All Night Skates, where the roller rink was open overnight for a nonstop party.  Half of my class of Bridgeport Middle School was there and dozens of relationships were started and ended in the course of one night.  It was the summer of fun!

Some of my summers were spent in Mio at my Mom’s house.  I spent most of my time at the Mio Saloon because she was a bartender there, so I shot pool and darts and shuffleboard while she was tending the bar.  Weeks at a time, every night from 6pm to 2am I was at the bar hustling drunk guys at pool and darts for money.  Really.  I won, a lot, too.  I often wandered around Mio during the daytime while Mom was at home.  I would check out Our Lady of the Woods Shrine, a Catholic shrine that my Mom used to attend when she was a little girl.  I would take the money I won the previous night and check out the local antique shops for little knick-knacks to buy, or head over to the ice cream stand to buy some mint chocolate chip in a cone.

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Vacations – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Feb 7th, 2012 by Jessica

Week #27 – Vacation. Where did your family go on vacation? Did you have a favorite place? Is it still there? If not, how has the area changed?

Jessica at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park

Jessica at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park

During the summer of 1989, I was invited to join my Grandma and Grandpa Cole with cousin Christopher on a trip “out west” from Indiana.  They rotated through the cousins, taking one with Christopher on a road trip each summer.  On this trip, we visited Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful, the Continental Divide, the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Badlands National Park, the Grand Tetons, and everything in between.

I was impressed by Mount Rushmore.  Its size and scale, coupled by the serenity of the trees, was a very nice place to visit.  Yellowstone National Park was huge.  I remember us driving circles around Lake Yellowstone trying to find a place to park the RV but we couldn’t, so we had to leave.  Old Faithful was an exercise in patience.  “Sit here and sometime in the next 15 minutes, this geyser will shoot up for a few seconds.”  I remember thinking to myself how hot it was, how bored I was, and what was the point of this thing?  At that point in the trip I think being with my grandparents was starting to wear on me.

We also passed by the Continental Divide which was a non-event in my mind.  The Black Hills of South Dakota offered me an opportunity to peruse the gift shops and look at all the neat rocks available for sale.  I think I bought a few specimens which were lost to the years.  I liked the fool’s gold and anything shiny and colorful.  The Badlands National Park is what sticks in my mind most about this trip.  The hills were so colorful, like rainbows that went on for miles and miles.  I loved watching out the window as we drove through the area and counting how many color strips were displayed in a single hill.  I was also impressed by the size of the Grand Teton Mountains.

Grandpa Cole owned a huge Winnebago RV camper and insisted that we stay only at KOA Kampgrounds during the entire trip.  We drove only during the daytime, and my Grandpa also forced me to eat anything he decided to cook that night, including steak.  Yuck!  I certainly wasn’t used to that.  My parents never made me eat anything.  It was quite a rude awakening – as was the time I was using the bathroom and we hit a major bump in the road.  I fell into the toilet, and Grandma had to come rescue me.  How embarrassing!  I sure had fun though!  It’s a trip I will never forget.

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Wedding – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History
Jan 31st, 2012 by Jessica

Week 26: Weddings. Tell us about your wedding. 

Ten years ago this week, I married my very best friend!  Our wedding was incredible.  We were married on February 2, 2002 in Oceola County, Florida at the Walt Disney World Wilderness Lodge Resort on the Sunrise Terrace balcony.  A destination wedding was the perfect choice for us.  It was an intimate affair with our closest immediate family in attendance.  Andrew’s mother, father and sister came, and my mother, my father and his wife, my sister and her husband joined us.  Andrew’s sister Amy was his Best Woman and my sister Kathleen was my Matron of Honor for the ceremony.  It was very non-traditional.  It was perfect.

I have written extensively about our wedding down to every last detail.  Here is an excerpt featuring the wedding day itself and all the exciting things that happened before and after the ceremony.

The alarm went off at 3:30am. Andrew and I were too excited to really make a fuss about the time. We got up almost immediately and started to get ready. He took a shower while I pulled on my underwear for the dress.

Allison showed up to do my hair and makeup at 4:00am on the dot! She was all dressed and ready to roll. She got right to work and it took her until about 5:10am to complete my hairstyle. She started in on makeup and it was 5:30am when she finished. Then she touched up a blemish for Andrew and set out all of our touch-up makeup. She helped me into my gown, which she had me step into. I tipped her $20 and she was off to another appointment at 5:45am! Just then, Amy arrived from the fourth floor to help me bustle the gown. She got it all hooked up and we were off to the lobby right at 6:00am.

Castle Portrait at Walt Disney World

Castle Portrait at Walt Disney World

Mike Strickland (our photographer) was waiting in the lobby for us. He loaded us into the white van and we were off. Oops, I forgot my bouquet! Turned around and back, Mike went inside and grabbed it from the front desk. Then we were off again at 6:10am. We first did the shots with the colored castle in the background, because it was still dark. We went up to the right side and took more shots, then onto the front stage. Then it was inside the castle lobby. After a few, we went outside up the stairs and did the posed shots in front of the windows by the turrets. Warning: it’s VERY dirty up there, they don’t appear to clean it often. There were leaves and mud and slimy things everywhere. Then Mike took a few in the rose garden and then we went over to Adventure Land to get some on the Ferry Boat. A few last shots in front of the Presidential building and we were done. It was 7:40am when we finished.

Magic Kingdom Portraits

Magic Kingdom Portraits

Mike dropped us back off at the Wilderness Lodge with my bouquet, and we saw my Mom smoking out front. We kind of passed her off (my apologies Mom!) due to total exhaustion. We came right up to the room and grabbed breakfast from the concierge after removing our wedding garb. Then it was naptime from 8am until 11am. Dana from Carolyn Allen’s showed up at 11am to re-steam my gown and drop off my Mom’s dress. I am SO glad I booked her for two steamings. The gown was a mess when we got to Orlando from storage and the trip. It was also a total wreck when we finished the Magic Kingdom portraits with dirt, grass stains, water stains, and wrinkles galore. Dana got it ALL out and the gown looked perfect again! Amazing, and highly recommended, especially if you do your MK portraits before the wedding.

At 12:00pm, Marcia and Irene showed up from Disney Cosmetology to do the girls’ hair. Amy went first, and she got a French twist. My Mom got rollers and then my sister had her hair up just like mine, without the veil of course. Amy’s hair is down past her waist, and Marcia had no problem making it look perfect in a twist! We were all shocked. Irene did Mom’s and Kathleen’s hair in no time flat. Marcia is fairly quiet, and Irene is a total hoot! Marcia said on 02/02 they alone had 10 weddings, with anywhere from two to nine hairstyles each. She said they had 17 cast members doing hairstyles that day. It was a very busy day for weddings at Disney!

Walking Down the Aisle with DaD

Walking Down the Aisle with DaD

Around 1:45pm, the stylists completed and left. I tipped them each another $10 for their help. Amy went down with my Mom to start getting dressed, and Andrew’s parents showed up and joined Amy to get Jerald (his Dad) ready in his tux. At 2:00pm, Kathleen got dressed and they started dressing me at around 2:10pm. My Dad showed up at about 2:20pm and he quickly got into his tux in our bathroom. At 2:25pm, we went down to the fourth floor where all the action was starting to begin.

Brad Crews, our coordinator, showed up around 2:40pm. Rob, our violinist, was there already and was practicing off to the side in the main hallway. All of the furniture was arranged previously somehow, and the candles were placed outside. The florist had already been there and Kathleen went back upstairs to get the bouquet and bout that we forgot in our rented fridge. They were already wilting a bit by the start of the wedding (and were basically dead by the end of photos). They had been done the afternoon before so we could have them for the MK photos. The two videographers (I forget their names!) and our photographer, Mike Strickland, were there too. One of our videographers asked me to say a word to Andrew before the wedding, and then asked Andrew afterwards to do the same for me. I can’t wait to see the videos!!

During the Ceremony

During the Ceremony

The time was 2:50 and Brad was asking me lots of questions about logistics. The waiter gave me some water. Then I saw the cake! It was SOOO pretty! We thought it was going to be small from the photos but oh boy, it was HUGE. We didn’t ask for anything special on the cake, just to use our own topper. Disney did a great job, and the cake was totally delicious! The videographer caught my first reaction to the cake and I was so giddy!

Reverend Day showed up around 2:55pm. He gave me a great big hug and told us how proud and happy he was to be performing our ceremony for us. It was time to go on stage! I discussed the veil with my Dad and Andrew, and then totally forgot to put it down over my face because the start was so rushed and exciting! First, the mothers walked in. Then Amy (best woman) walked in. Kathleen walked in really slowly and then it was our turn! My Dad took my arm and he went through the door first, then me. We got through the doorway and past the first bench and stood there for a minute while people took photos.

Toasting and Cutting the Cake

Toasting and Cutting the Cake

Dad walked me up to the front and confirmed to Reverend Day that he was the one to give me away. We did a triple handshake toe loop backwards forearm freak move with the handoff, but eventually we got the right hands in the right places! I was in Andrew’s hands now!

Most of the ceremony is kind of a blur. I remember trying to decipher which parts of the ceremony I had written, and which parts Reverend Day was adding in. At that point I had no idea. He was just telling us what to do and when. Andrew and I both made it through our vows just fine. We even got the rings on perfectly fine. I do remember when I turned toward Andrew and took both of his hands, I thought, “Oh my God, I’m getting married!” When speaking the vows, I was thinking, did I write that? Whatever, I was just going with the flow! Andrew had this smirk grin thing on his face the whole time, and I was so happy I could NOT stop smiling and glowing bright! I’m sure the photos will show how excited I was and how nervous Andrew was.

Handmade wedding favors with a custom bound book, programs and Ty Halo II Beanie Babies

Handmade wedding favors with a custom bound book, programs and Ty Halo II Beanie Babies

The Moms lit the tapers and we lit the unity candle. Then we exchanged our first gift, a single ivory presentation rose, and we also presented them to our parents (which was a surprise to them all). We had our first kiss, which was excellent! Then we were pronounced, “Mr. and Mrs. Andrew and Jessica Green.” Pictures pictures pictures, everywhere! We walked slowly straight into the video cameras down the aisle and out the door, over to the cake table inside. About five seconds later, Kathleen and Amy came out with Mickey Ears on their heads! They had conspired together and added a little Disney to our non-Disney wedding, unbeknown to us! Ahh well, I’m sure it looks great on camera.

The cider was poured for our toast and Amy gave her speech to everyone, which was very nice! It was short and sweet. Kathleen said a few words too, as did Andrew’s father, who really wants me to call him “Dad!” We toasted several times and then we cut the cake together. It was incredible; I really wanted more of it! In fact I think I did eat more of it before we left for pictures. We had our “first dance” in the hallway. Andrew really didn’t want to, but he did it for me anyway. We swung around like one or two times, and then my Dad cut in on cue. I swung around a few times with my Dad, and that was it!

Waving From Sunset Point Balcony

Waving From Sunset Point Balcony

The entire time, I had no idea what the violinist was playing. I heard him a few times but couldn’t make out what the music was! I don’t know if it was excitement, adrenaline, or just disillusionment, but I’ll have to watch the tape to figure out what happened. One of the videographers took off, and our violinist left too. Kathleen and Amy signed our marriage license, and Reverend Day left quickly after. At around 3:30pm, Brad presented us with our Disney Wedding Certificate, and our special gift. I won’t reveal it per DM unspoken code, but it’s very nice!

Brad took care of all of the candles, the cake, the serving set, the toppers (we got to keep the porcelain Mickey and Minnie topper even though we didn’t use it) and everything else. He put them all up in our room, on the bed, and we put it all away later. It was time for photos! I had given Mike a listing of our wish list and he used it to get all of our pictures. We went outside the back of the Wilderness Lodge, next to Silver Falls waterfall, for most of the family photos.

The Wedding Party - Amy, Andrew, Jessica and Kathleen

The Wedding Party - Amy, Andrew, Jessica and Kathleen

Traveling through the lobby and out by the pool was surreal. Everyone stopped to say congratulations, good luck, and a few said “too bad”. We ignored those last folks. I had an entire fan club of children, mostly little girls. The mommies would say, “Look, she just got married, isn’t she pretty?” They would wave to me and stare in amazement. Some little girls came up and gave me a hug, after Mom asked if it was ok. I shook a lot of toddler’s hands and a bazillion folks took my picture! 99% of the attention was focused on me and not Andrew, which I thought was sad but Andrew loved getting away from it all. He wanted me to shine, and he was holding the spotlight so nobody could see HIM behind it! I loved every single second of it.

Little kids would be running up to the slide at the pool and stop in their tracks when they saw us getting photos taken. It took us a bit more time than usual to do the photos at WL because so many little wet kids were running in our camera path. Also, in the background of the waterfall is a lookout point, which sometimes tourists would stop on. Mike was so funny! He would wave at them until he got their attention, and asked if they wanted to be on camera (very sarcastically).

Our Entire Family Together

Our Entire Family Together

After most of our photos, we went back through the lobby and outside the front down to the left path on the steps to the parking lots. We got some train shots of my gown and a few more family photos there. Then we called it a wrap! The gown was bustled back up, and we went in to take some candid shots. A man stopped on the path and said that his son had just had a vow renewal and I asked what the last name was! I couldn’t believe it, it was KIM! I begged him to have Kim come and find me, I wanted to meet her so badly! He promised to tell her. Andrew and I went up to the Terrace and all of the camera family members went down to the pool area. They took a bunch of photos of us up on the terrace from below. The people downstairs were clapping at us! We kept smooching for photo opportunities from the balcony.

We realized we had not photographed the rings and my beautiful nails (which I spent nine weeks growing and protecting). Kathleen and Mom took photos for us with the bouquet and our new rings. Andrew keeps complaining that there’s something stuck on his finger, and Mom kept telling him he’ll get used to it.

Andrew’s Dad came up to get us and said he found Kim! I ran downstairs (well, down the elevator) and Kim was there! I gave her a big hug and we each got pictures for our DM scrapbook. We both had to go so we only had a second to say hi, but I can’t wait to read her recaps! Andrew and I then went back up to our room to drop off some stuff.

We went back downstairs and waited at Artist Point for a few minutes until they opened at 5:30pm. We were seating promptly at a long table in the back left corner. I can’t say enough great things about AP, it was unbelievable! The background music was wonderfully soft and pleasant. The seating arrangement was great for twelve people. We had waiters getting our drinks right away, and they took our orders promptly. One nice thing about AP is that they started with the bride, and went clockwise around the table taking all the women’s orders, then took the groom and all the men’s orders. It was subtle but very regal.

And They Lived Happily Ever After

And They Lived Happily Ever After

I went way out of my own league and tried something I never thought I would try: the Mixed Grill! Elk, ostrich and venison meats with purple potatoes ($34)! I actually liked every one of them, especially the venison! Andrew had the grilled buffalo sirloin ($30), which he thought was really good. My Mom and Karen both had the chicken dish, and they both liked it. I don’t think anyone disliked anything about the food or the service! We were all very, very pleased. They cut the cake and brought it out for dessert, which was perfect! Everyone was so stuffed from the meal, it was hard to eat the cake but we couldn’t help it! Total bill for 10 adults and 2 children: $438.

We rushed from the restaurant with the extra cake (later given to the concierge staff for them to eat) and quickly got out of our wedding attire. I still had the veil on my head because I didn’t have time to remove it. Our honeymoon coordinator, Matt Titus, threw together a really quick Fireworks cruise with only 4 hours notice. We went out to the loading dock behind the WL at 7:30pm and hopped on a private covered motorboat to go out and watch the fireworks. It was a little chilly but not too bad! We had a great time chatting and looking at all the scenery. We had already seen the fireworks from Narcoossee’s the night before, but we still enjoyed them all from the lake.

After the boat docked around 8:30pm, we tipped the driver ($10) and said goodbye to Andrew’s parents and Amy. We said goodbye also to my Dad and Karen after cashing his traveler’s checks wedding gift to us at the front desk. Kathleen, Joe, Ashley and Cole went back to the All Stars Movies resort. Andrew and I went up to see Mom and she gave me all the Polaroid’s she had taken so we can scan them in and send them back to her. She also gave us her wedding gift to us (more cash).

Andrew and I went back up to our room on the seventh floor to clean up and remove my veil. It only took us about six minutes to take out the 42 pins in my hair and remove the veil. We had the luggage services come up and take the three tuxedos and my wedding gown down to the bell desk for Carolyn Allen’s to pick up the next morning. After cleaning up the room enough to sleep, we literally crashed at 11pm due to total exhaustion.

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Neighbors – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Jan 24th, 2012 by Jessica

Week #25 – Neighbors. Who were your childhood neighbors? Have you kept in touch with any of them? Do you feel the concept of “neighbors” has changed since then?

We lived on a dead end in Bridgeport with only one neighbor – Loreen Scheidler and her kids Ty and Heather.  Kathleen was good friends with Heather and I had a mega-crush on Ty, who was much older than us.  He used to sit on the back deck with his boombox and blast cassette tapes of Twisted Sister and Mötley Crüe in the early 1980’s.  I have no idea what happened to them.  When they moved on, a new family moved in with a young girl my age named Angie.  We became friends for a few years until I moved away to Saginaw, but I never kept in touch with her either.

People these days are much less likely to know their neighbors than they were when I was growing up.  At least, that’s how it seems to me.  We know three of our neighbors today.  I even took them Christmas cookies this year, which was a first in the ten years we’ve lived here.  One of them sent their little daughter back to our house with a plate in return.  People just don’t do that anymore.  None of our neighbors have approached us for anything except a quick wave when passing them on the street.

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Clothes – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Jan 17th, 2012 by Jessica

Week #24 – Clothes. What types of clothes did you wear as a child? What was “in fashion” and did your style compare? What types of clothes did you wear as a child? What was “in fashion” and did your style compare?

Clothes and fashion – two words that didn’t go together in my vocabulary.  Clothes were to keep you at the right temperature and make sure your legs didn’t chafe.  Clothes kept you dry when it was raining and warm when the snow was falling.  Clothes fostered swimming in the summer, and long arms on shirts kept you from getting poison ivy in the ditch.

Clothes are for comfort and purpose, not aesthetics.  That’s my Mom talking right there, let me tell you.  My sister is the exact opposite.

All of my friends wore Nike shoes with neon laces and Adidas jackets.  They sported ten Swatch watches on one arm and a thousand jelly and bangle bracelets.  They wore jean jackets with buttons featuring New Kids on the Block.  They wore Wrangler jeans with the legs rolled up.  Their hair was perfect with those late 80’s sky-high bangs or elaborate french braids with half a can of Aqua Net holding it in place even during a tornado.

I’ve never had a sense of fashion or the concept of style. I’m sure more than a few of my classmates laughed at my simple unstylish clothes throughout my life, but I didn’t care.  Even today, I wear plain old blue jeans and a t-shirt every chance I get.  I hate carrying a purse.  I’d rather use a men’s wallet or just throw my license and some cash in my pocket.  If I can’t go barefoot, then tennis shoes will do.   I don’t do heels – EVER.  (I wore ballet slippers down the aisle when we got married.)

I never do my hair; I never wear make-up.  I just wake up and rip a comb through my hair to get the snarls out and that is it.  A true tomboy, through and through.

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Books – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Jan 10th, 2012 by Jessica

Week #23 – Books. What was your favorite book, or who was your favorite author from your childhood? What do you like to read now? Books or other formats?

My Bookshelf

My Bookshelf

Hands down, there is no question what my answer is to this one.  My favorite author was Beverly Cleary!  From Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy, Ramona and her big sister Beezus, and Ralph the Mouse and his Motorcycle my entire childhood was wrapped up in her books.  One of my favorite parts in a book to do this day are when little Ramona starts kindergarten.  She can’t find a seat in class, and her teacher tells her to “Sit here for the present.”  She sat there all day and still never got a present!  I loved Ralph’s adventures on the motorcycle.  They were filled with mystery and magic in the simplest of places, all due to the tiny size of little Ralph.

Another book that struck a major chord with me is The 79 Squares by Malcolm J. Bosse.  I picked it up at the library for a mandatory book report (groan) but I ended up liking it quite a lot.  It’s about a troubled boy who got involved with the wrong crowd of friends.  To the surprise of his juvenile probation officer, 14-year old Eric ends up befriending a cranky old neighbor who talks him into spending his time observing the world in the back yard garden – one square foot at a time.  The concept of starting at one square foot of earth every day for an entire summer was (and is) fascinating to me.

My Grandma Cole gave me a book called Daphne’s Book by Mary Downing Hahn when I was about 9 or 10 years old.  She said she purchased it because the lead character’s name was Jessica.  I read the book, and I loved it!  It’s about Jessica’s horror in realizing she is paired with the class freak for a very important project.  The story goes through their journey together during the project, and they become great friends in the process.  It’s a beautiful story about assumptions, discrimination, and overcoming misconceptions about people.

I loved these books so much as a child that I bought a few of them used as an adult, just so I would have them available.  After middle school, I pretty much stopped reading for fun until Harry Potter came out, with the exception of poetry (mostly by Theodore Roethke).  I’ve read the HP series at least four times.  I followed that up with Twilight Saga, reading it once, mostly so I could understand the pop culture references to it.

Reading is tough for me.  I don’t retain information when I read it, so by the time I get to page 21 I forgot what happened on page 18 and everything before it.  I’m an audible and tactile learner.  If I hear it, I remember it – no problem!  I think that’s why I’m a poor test-taker.  Reading was always frustrating for me because it meant I was going to be tested on it, which made me anxious.  I never grew out of that.

Today I read blogs and online articles, but you won’t ever see me with a book in my hands except on extremely rare occasions.  I read magazines sometimes, like Photoshop Creative and Consumer Reports.

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New Year’s – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Jan 3rd, 2012 by Jessica

Week #22 – New Year’s Memories: Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?

Ringing in the New Year

Ringing in the New Year

My best guess is that the photo here was taken on New Years Eve in 1980, while my sister Kathleen and I were ringing in 1981.  To give a little historical context, this was three months before President Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt.

I don’t remember celebrating New Years Eve too much while we were growing up in Saginaw.  If I didn’t have this picture to reference, I don’t think I could have said that we celebrated it at all.  New Years was definitely downplayed compared to the other holidays I preferred, such as Christmas, Halloween, Easter and my birthday.

Celebrating Y2k in Boston

Celebrating Y2k in Boston

The only memorable New Years Eve in my life so far has been December 31, 1999.  Ringing in the Year 2000 with the Y2k scare was fascinating to experience.  I had just graduated from college in May 1999 and moved to Burlington, Massachusetts.  I was working for a company named GENUiTY, a full service web hosting provider that eventually went bankrupt and was bought out by Level 3 Communications.  I was standing in the Network Operations Center (NOC) at their corporate headquarters in Burlington when the clock struck midnight, waiting with baited breath in the midst of 100 coworkers, anxiously awaiting the rollover to see if our computer systems were going to crash and burn like so many people predicted.  We had one minor issue with our Helpdesk ticketing system called Vantive, which would not allow us to open new tickets after midnight.  The error kept saying we were trying to open a ticket with a date of more than 90 days from today.  We called the software company, they fixed the bug within an hour and we went on with our lives.

I think New Years Eve 1999 might just remain the most exciting non-event in my life.  These days, Andrew and I typically reserve New Years Eve to upgrade our computers, back up our files and run Windows Updates.  We don’t drink alcohol and are not party people.  We celebrate like geeks, and that’s how we roll.

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Commercials – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Dec 27th, 2011 by Jessica

Where's the beef?

Where's the beef?

Week #21 – Commercials. Do you remember any commercial jingles from your childhood? Share them here.

The commercial that stands out to me was the Pepsi “Summer Fun” advertisements where people were walking around like Egyptians and telling consumers to “Chill Out.”  I remember they ran one with Michael Jackson that was really cool. One of the more memorable ads was for Wendy’s Hamburgers with the little old lady screaming, “WHERE’S THE BEEF?”  They recently resurrected that one but it hasn’t taken off like it did in the 80’s.

I remember in general always seeing ads for toys like He-Man, She-Ra, Nintendo, Cabbage Patch Kids, Strawberry Shortcake, Etch-a-Sketch and Slinky.  I grew up in the days where it was perfectly legal to air commercials for toys promoting the cartoons you were watching at the time.  I think Saturday morning had more commercials than cartoons.

 

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Fame – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Dec 20th, 2011 by Jessica

Week #20 – Fame – Tell us about any local brushes with fame. Were you ever in the newspaper? Why? You may also describe any press mentions of your family members.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if as a genealogist, you discovered an archive that your ancestor had written detailing every single time she was featured in the newspaper throughout her life?  Well descendents, this is your lucky day.  I hope someday this information is useful to my nieces, nephew, my little brother and their families.

My mother Diane Marie (Dreffs, Cole) Kane has been in the newspaper at least four times.

Diane Dreffs holds up a donut on a field trip to Bintz Orchards for school – The Saginaw News (October 10, 1958)

Diane Dreffs holds up a donut on a field trip to Bintz Orchards for school

Diane Dreffs holds up a donut on a field trip to Bintz Orchards for school

My parents’ Divorce Decree was published in The Saginaw News (January 22, 1989)

Divorce Decree - Douglass from Diane Cole

Divorce Decree - Douglass from Diane Cole

She had her wedding announcement to Robert Henry Kane – Oscoda County Herald (November 16, 1993)

Cole, Kane tie knot

Cole, Kane tie knot

Preparing for Halloween, Diane was photographed for the Oscoda County Herald (October 6, 1999)

Preparing for Halloween in 1999

Preparing for Halloween in 1999

My grandfather, her father Walter Anthony Dreffs, was also published in the newspaper – Caught in the Act! He was busted for underage drinking and gambling during Prohibition.  Check out my blog entry with the full text of the article.  The article was published on January 13, 1920 in The Saginaw News.

I have been mentioned in the newspaper and online more than a few times:

My Birth Announcement – The Saginaw News (September 17, 1977)

Birth Announcement in The Saginaw News

Birth Announcement in The Saginaw News

I won lunch with Santa in a coloring contest – The Saginaw News (December 23, 1982)

I won lunch with Santa - December 23, 1982

I won lunch with Santa - December 23, 1982

I was awarded Student of the Week – The Saginaw News (February 14, 1986)

Student of the Week - February 14, 1986

Student of the Week - February 14, 1986

I was on the Honor Roll my entire school career and I have the publications from The Saginaw News for two of those times at Bridgeport Middle School (March 26, 1990 & December 31, 1990)

Jessica Cole on the Honor Roll

Jessica Cole on the Honor Roll

Jessica Cole on the Honor Roll - with straight A's!

Jessica Cole on the Honor Roll - with straight A's!

Two of my poems, “Two Souls” and “Repeat The Question Please” were featured in the Heritage High School student newspaper The Voice (June 7, 1994)

Poetry featured in The Voice, HHS Student Newspaper

Poetry featured in The Voice, HHS Student Newspaper

In addition to being in all three of my Bridgeport Middle School yearbooks (1989, 1990 and 1991) and all four of my Heritage High School yearbooks (1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995) I was also listed in the Who’s Who Among American High School Students (1994-1995, Twenty-ninth annual edition, Volume XIII – Indiana, Michigan, p204; ISBN 1-56244-113-2).

Who's Who Among American High School Students

Who's Who Among American High School Students

Translation: COLE, Jessica; Heritage High School; Saginaw, Michigan; senior year (4); graduated number 58 in a class of 308 seniors; Community worker; Debate team; Junior Achievement participant; Spanish Club; Teachers Aide; Color Guard; High Honor Roll; State Scholar; Tech Engineering Club; Michigan Youth Arts Festival Certificate of Merit in Poetry; Varsity Honor Letter Winner; Arizona State University; Network Administrator (my job title at ASU).

I won a college scholarship from the American Business Women’s Association – The Saginaw News (July 1995)

Scholarship Winner - July 1995

Scholarship Winner - July 1995

My college website The Virtual Rose was featured as an example of great web design in Arizona State University’s student newspaper The State Press (April 10, 1997)

Caught in the Web - The State Press, April 10, 1997

Caught in the Web - The State Press, April 10, 1997

Andrew and I were featured in an article about our new home buying experience – East Valley Tribune (July 7, 2001, Page B1)

Home Buying Experience - East Valley Tribune, July 7, 2001, Page B1

Home Buying Experience - East Valley Tribune, July 7, 2001, Page B1

Our wedding announcement was published in The Saginaw News (February 3, 2002) and The East Valley Tribune (February 12, 2002)

Wedding Announcement in The Saginaw News (February 3, 2002)

Wedding Announcement in The Saginaw News (February 3, 2002)

Wedding Announcement in The East Valley Tribune (February 12, 2002)

Wedding Announcement in The East Valley Tribune (February 12, 2002)

I am listed in the Saginaw Township Community Schools, Alumni Directory 2003, page 54.

“GREEN, Jessica Marie (Jessica Marie Cole); Heritage class of 1995; Software Specialist [address, phone, email also listed]”

Andrew and I were featured in an article named The Shock and Sorrow of Infertility – East Valley Tribune (December 18, 2003, page E1)

The Shock and Sorrow of Infertility - East Valley Tribune, December 18, 2003

The Shock and Sorrow of Infertility - East Valley Tribune, December 18, 2003

I am listed in the Arizona State University, WP Carey School of Business, Alumni Directory 2004, page 324.

“GREEN, Mrs. Jessica Marie (Jessica Marie Cole); 1999; BS Management; Unix Admin [address, phone and email also listed]; married to Andrew Green.”

My portrait of local guitarists Millie and Rusty was featured in the Arizona Silver Belt (Globe, AZ) on November 19, 2005, Page B12

Arizona Silver Belt (Globe, AZ) on November 19, 2005, Page B12

Arizona Silver Belt (Globe, AZ) on November 19, 2005, Page B12

My portrait of the Just Jammin’ music group was published in The Arizona Republic (November 11, 2005, Page E3)

The Arizona Republic, November 11, 2005, Page E3

The Arizona Republic, November 11, 2005, Page E3

My portrait of the Pickett Post House was featured in Superstition Living Magazine (December, 2005, Page 33)

Superstition Living Magazine, December, 2005, Page 33

Superstition Living Magazine, December, 2005, Page 33

Riparian Preserve Volunteer Recognition in the Riparian Institute Newsletter, December 2005

Riparian Institute Volunteer Recognition, December 2005

Riparian Institute Volunteer Recognition, December 2005

I was featured twice on the same day in two local newspaper editions for my first Photography Gallery Opening at Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona

Shutterbug sees the big picture - The Arizona Republic, East Valley Roundup, February 18, 2006, page 10

Shutterbug sees the big picture

Shutterbug sees the big picture

Hobby puts nature in focus – The Arizona Republic, Gilbert Republic edition, February 18, 2006, page 1

Hobby puts nature in focus

Hobby puts nature in focus

A reporter in Canada found this blog post and featured me in their local news with my Monopoly Here and New Edition review – Simcoe Reformer, Ontario, Canada, December 21, 2006, page 3

Monopoly Here and Now Edition Review - Simcoe Reformer, Ontario, Canada

Monopoly Here and Now Edition Review - Simcoe Reformer, Ontario, Canada

WhiteCastle.com chose one of my vacation gnome photos to feature on their website – June 21, 2010

White Castle Website

White Castle Website

I’ve been on television a few times too:

FOX – Andrew and I were interviewed about our infertility struggles on FOX 10 News at 9 – August 25, 2003
NBC – I was in the audience on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno twice – Friday, August 13, 2004 and Friday, May 19, 2006
AZ Family Channel 3 – I was featured for five minutes on a demonstration segment with beginner photography tips on Your Life A to Z – March 10, 2006
CBS – Andrew and I were in The Price is Right audience right behind Contestants’ Row – May 19, 2010

As far as meeting celebrities:

I shook hands with Rod Stewart when I sat front row at his concert (February 1, 1992)

I met and talked with Weird Al Yankovic at Botcon 2009, a Transformers convention, during the Party at Paramount (May 30, 2009)

And there you have it!

I think that just about covered every brush with fame I’ve ever had.  I hope to someday in the future publish more of my photography around the world.

I hope this post inspires you to do some documenting like this for your family’s future genealogists.

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Bedroom – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Dec 13th, 2011 by Jessica

Week #19 – Bedroom – Describe your childhood bedroom. What furniture did it contain? Were there curtains, wallpaper or paint? Was it messy or clean? Did you share a room with your siblings?

Stacy Doran and me in my bedroom

Stacy Doran and me in my bedroom

I was extremely fortunate to have my very own bedroom my entire childhood and throughout my teen years.  The first time I had to share anything with anybody was when I got to college in 1995 in the dorms at Manzanita Hall at Arizona State University.

There is only one known picture of my childhood bedroom, and you’re looking at it.  This is my friend Stacy Doran and me in 1989, sitting on my free wave waterbed.  I have no idea what I’m holding in my lap, but you can see my Commodore-64 on the dresser and its floppy drive reader underneath it.  That sure brings back some memories!

My bedroom was located in the southeast corner of our home at 2011 California Avenue in Bridgeport, Michigan.  I lived there from the time I was born until we moved to Saginaw in 1991 when I was 13 years old.

My room was fairly small although I didn’t know it.  I’d say it was about 9’x11′ or so.  I had a single door closet against the west wall, and that red and white dresser against the south wall.  I had two windows, one on the south wall to the right of that dresser, and one on the east wall above the bed.

My parents allowed me to pick the paint, wallpaper and curtains for my room when I was around 5 or 6 years old, I believe.  You can see the pink paint in the picture – bubble gum pink – and the curtains matched perfectly.  The west wall that had the closet was covered in wallpaper.  The pattern was an ivory or cream satin shiny texture with large pastel pink and yellow flowers with pale green leaves.  I was so very excited to be allowed to pick out my own colors and curtains and wallpaper.  It was possibly one of the most exciting things I did in my childhood.  I remember watching the paint go on the walls and I couldn’t believe I was allowed to pick the color!  Pink was my favorite color, by far.

Property Map - 2011 California Avenue, Bridgeport, Michigan

Property Map - 2011 California Avenue, Bridgeport, Michigan

I started out with a regular twin bed for my first few years. I remember hiding naked Barbie dolls and other toys underneath it when the neighbor boy came over to play with me.  For a while when I was very young, my parents got me a bed tent for Christmas and I had it set up on top of the bed.  I think it might have been Barbie or perhaps something to do with Princesses.  It was a simple one-person “tent” with crossed plastic poles that you could climb inside and sleep in.  My sister had a four-poster bed with purple lace canopy and lace comforter that I was always jealous of, but I loved my bed tent.  When I got a little older, my best friend Jennifer Strachan and I would use sheets to make a giant tent spreading from the bed to the closet door to the dresser drawer, and “camp out” on the floor of my bedroom.  For some reason, I used to love being inside of “tents” in my bedroom when I was little.  I never liked it outside or anywhere else – just in the safety of my own space.

One time, on a trip to Indiana, I accidentally slipped down the stairs at my Aunt Colleen’s house and got the wind knocked out of me.  DaD carried me up to Aunt Colleen’s bedroom and put me on her bed to rest.  Aunt Colleen had a waterbed, and it was the most comfortable thing I had ever layed on.  I must have begged and begged from that day forward.  My parents actually bought me a waterbed!  Not just any waterbed though – a “super single free wave” waterbed.  It was small one, about the size of a twin bed but longer, and it was totally free form from a waves perspective.  There were beds that were listed as a semi-wave all the way down to motionless, but my waterbed had almost no reduction of movement.  I LOVED MY WATERBED.  I would sit for hours and just move around on it so it sloshed and flung my limbs around.  It was warm, too – I kept it at about 90 degrees, as high as the temperature setting would go.  It was so comfortable!

My room was always a total and complete disaster.  My DaD actually took a snow shovel to my room one time and dumped all my toys into a garbage bin and made me haul it out to the curb.  I had so many toys and gadgets and things that I never put away and I certainly never organized any of it.  I don’t remember having any place in my room to store any of it, so that could possibly have been part of the problem although I have no other pictures to prove it… Maybe I was just lazy.  That’s probably more accurate, anyway.  I Hated cleaning my room.  That’s Hated, with a capital H.  I would slack around the house whining loudly about how BORED I was and how I had NOTHING TO DO and my DaD would tell me to clean my room, and I’d groan and sit back down in front of the television.

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