Happy Birthday to Mom! She turns 65 today… which means we’re going to look at 65 things about my Mommy (and the year she was born):
1. I am her favorite child. There, I said it. I know you were waiting for it. So I decided to get it out of the way early. (***Note: Don’t bother asking Mom about this, she’ll just deny it… but you know I wouldn’t lie to you).
2. She was raised in Knightsville, SC.
3. She has a double first name (Linda Sue).
4. Coach McKissick had been the head football coach at Summerville for about 50 years when Mom graduated from there. (***Note: Ok, maybe not 50 years… but he was there and he wasn’t a “new” coach at the time).
5. She grew up on a farm.
6. She is a retired school teacher (she taught music at elementary schools on James Island).
7. She has a son who is older than the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Here’s a hint… it ain’t me).
8. It took her less than 4 years to graduate from Columbia College.
9. Every Labor Day Weekend we get together with her roommates from Columbia College and their families.
10. She was the long time organ player/music director for Johns Island Presbyterian Church. Mom took the job on a temporary basis to help them get through Christmas… she retired over 20 years later.
11. Her mom (my Granny) has a Sunday School class named after her at two churches (Bethany and Knightsville… not 100% sure the class at Knightsville is still named after her, but I know the one at Bethany is).
12. On Mom’s last Sunday as the Music Director at JIPC, the sermon was about her… to the point that I had to look to make sure she wasn’t dead.
13. She had an Aunt named “Sister”. It was many years after she passed away that I realized Aunt Sister’s real name wasn’t “Sister”.
14. Mom’s Aunt Sister has a closet in Bethany dedicated to her. I’m not 100% sure what’s in there, but Mom thinks it’s the closet where they keep the Communion stuff.
15. When I would come up to bat, Mom would always yell for me to hit the ball. I acted like I couldn’t hear her... but inside it always made me laugh. Honestly, what did she think I was trying to do?
16. On second thought, after thinking about my hitting ability there is a good chance Mom really didn’t know I was trying to hit the ball every time at bat.
17. Mom’s favorite music is hip-hop. Haha, just kidding. It’s beach music and classical music.
18. 14 days before Mom was born, Project Diana bounced radar waves off the moon, measuring the exact distance between the earth and the moon... proving that communication is possible between Earth and outer space, effectively opening the space age.
19. The Central Intelligence Group was established a few days after Mom was born (it later became the CIA in 1947).
20. Ho Chi Minh was elected President of North Vietnam the year Mom was born.
21. In a speech given the year Mom was born, Winston Churchill talked about the Iron Curtain.
22. The UK granted Transjordan its independence the year Mom was born. It later chanced its name to Jordan (in honor of Michael Jordan... Haha, just kidding).
23. Mom has 3 children (all born in the 1970’s)... legend has it that she told Dad she wanted to stop having children after they “got it right”.
24. She’s a little over a year away from having two children in their 40’s. WOW.
25. There is a well known story in our family about when her favorite child was born. That night while at the hospital Dad leaned over Mom and their friend Jan thought it was so sweet that he was leaning over to give Mom a kiss... except he wasn’t leaning over to give her a kiss. He was leaning over to turn on the tv to watch Super Bowl XIII.
26. MaMa and I used to lovingly call Mom “Boss Lady”.
27. I remember when I was growing up, she would come into my room and move something about 8-10 inches from where it was and call it “cleaning my room”.
28. She would help me study for spelling tests. She would call out the word and before I could get done trying to spell the word, she would be asleep.
29. After my first or second ear surgery (I don’t remember which) Mom slept in the den so she could hear me if I needed her. I had to get out of bed and walk out to the den to wake her up to tell her I needed her.
30. She won’t admit it, but I think the scariest moment in her life was when I got up to talk at MaMa’s funeral. Can you blame her? I mean, me with a live mic? Even I wasn’t 100% sure what would come out of my mouth.
31. She also probably won’t admit this, but the most shocking thing to her is the fact that Sonny (whose Native American name is “He of Few Words”) fills in as the preacher at his church when needed.
32. Japanese Lt. General Masaharu Homma was executed the year Mom was born for leading the Bataan Death March.
33. Syria’s independence from France was officially recognized.
34. Just a few short months after Mom was born, the League of Nations transferred its mission to the United Nations and disbanded.
35. The Philippines attainted full independence.
36. Bikinis went on sale in Paris the year Mom was born.
37. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis staged their first show as a comedy team the year Mom was born.
38. The first underwater test of the atomic bomb happened.
39. Holiday World (originally called Santa Clause Land) opened making it the first themed park (preceding Disneyland by 9 years).
40. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was founded.
41. Hermann Goring (founder of the Gestapo and convicted Nazi war criminal) poisoned himself hours before his scheduled execution. Guess he showed them!
42. The United Nations’ first meeting on Long Island was held.
43. The New York Knicks played the Toronto Huskies in the first Basketball Association of America game.
44. Vietnamese riot in Haiphong and clashed with French troops. The French cruiser Suffren opened fire, killing 6,000 Vietnamese leading leaders from all over the world to say the same thing... “Wait, the French have troops? And weapons?! Where the hell were they a few years ago when a little dispute we like to call WWII was going on?” (***Note: I can neither confirm nor deny this is an accurate quote from world leaders at that time... but I’m sure at least a few of them were thinking it). Off topic alert: I don’t want to get off topic here, but I can’t help it. I feel I’m not being fair to the French on this one so let me explain my views of that country. Not good. That’s my view of them. I picture them as being something like the stereotypical Punter/Kicker in the NFL. Hey, I don’t know... that guy might have been a real football player years ago when he was growing up. Maybe he played linebacker or on the OL. But somewhere over the years he became the guy that kicked a ball and then pretended to tie his shoes if heaven forbid he found himself in a position to have to make a tackle. Maybe a long time ago, the French were a world power with a mighty armed forces... but when WWII kicked off and Germany had gotten by the rest of the team, what did the French do? That’s right, they took a knee to “tie their shoes” and let the Nazi’s fly right by.End of Off topic alert
Sorry about that, Mom... but I felt like it needed to be said. Now, back to 65 things about Mom and when she was born.
45. It’s a Wonderful Life was released in New York.
46. The Havana Conference began between US organized crime bosses in Havana, Cuba.
47. The first Tupperware was sold in department and hardware stores.
48. The San Francisco 49ers were formed.
49. Binghamton University (where Tony Kornheiser went to college, of course) was founded.
50. John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin, not the US Navy) was born the same year Mom was.
51. H.G. Wells and Walter Johnson both died the year Mom was born.
52. Some other people (besides John Paul Jones) born the same year as Mom: Dolly Parton, Liza Minnelli, Ed O’Neill, Candice Bergen, Gilda Radner, Cheech Marin, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Gregory Hines, Suzanne Somers, Pat Sajak, Sally Field, and Susan Lucci.
53. Doubting Teri is the only child Mom had who learned to play the piano.
54. Mom’s favorite grandchild is Maverick (because he sings Happy Birthday to her). Ok, he might not be her favorite grandchild... but he is her favorite granddog.
55. Mom grew up a self described “Daddy’s girl”.
56. When I was growing up, Mom would read me books from my Summer Reading List. Usually, she would read a chapter to me and then I would read a chapter to her. This is probably a big reason why I’m always reading now.
57. Mom’s favorite sister (really, you could say favorite sibling) is my Aunt Yvonne.
58. Doubting Teri likes to make fun of Mom... even though Sonny, Dad and I try to get her to stop. (Wait... did I say that right? Oh well...)
59. Mom said that the hardest time she ever had being a mother was in the mid 1970’s when Doubting Teri (whose Native American name is “She of Bad Jokes”) was old enough to talk and start telling the worst jokes ever... over and over and over. (Ok, she probably won’t say that... but ask her about it and then look into her eyes and tell me I’m wrong).
60. When Sonny started the 1st grade, Mom would stand at the fence to the playground (with some other mothers) and watch over him to make sure he was ok... This lasted for about a week or so until the principal came out one day and told them the school was more than capable of taking care of their children. (I’m sure I’m not getting that story 100% right... but it’s more right than you might think).
61. Mom has read every diet/healthy living type book ever written and knows every drug/vitamin that I should be taking... but the best “medicine” she ever taught me about is a cold wet washcloth on the head (or neck) and drinking lots of fluids. That can cure just about anything.
62. She spoils The Wife. Not so much by what she does, but by what she tells The Wife I should be doing.
63. She was a musical disciple of Hazel Melia (who was once called one of the most influential women [or something along those lines] at Bethany over the past 50 years... another, it was said, was Granny).
64. Some more people born the same year as Mom include: Alan Rickman (Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films), Anthony Daniels (C3PO in Star Wars... as if I needed to tell you that), Andre the Giant (former Pro wrestler), Cher (though I’m guessing a lot of her is now many years younger than Mom), Donald Trump, Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Sylvester Stallone, Bon Scott (of AC/DC fame), Linda Ronstadt, Keith Moon (from The Who), Freddie Mercury (from the group Queen), Steven Spielberg, Tommy Lee Jones, and Oliver Stone.
65. I once spent a hour on the phone with Mom (while I was driving back home from James Island) trying to walk her through how to do something on Facebook. At one point in the conversation, wrecking my car looked like a pretty good option. But she told me not to talk about that on my blog, so don’t tell her I said anything. Haha.
Mr. Williams Update: Mr. Williams passed away this morning around 5:00. He will be missed. I’ve already shared my favorite Mr. Williams story with you, maybe sometime soon I’ll share a couple more (maybe).
Winthrop Update: The Eagles beat High Point… by a lot. Winthrop’s next game is Saturday at PC.
TheI’m just sayin… Football Playoff Predictions Results
Green Bay at Chicago – I picked Green Bay and I was RIGHT!
Pittsburgh vs. New York Jets – I picked Pittsburgh and I was RIGHT!
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Ship’s Cook William Blagheen (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 5, 1864 on board the USS Brooklyn. His citation reads:
On board the U.S.S. Brooklyn during successful attacks against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, on 5 August 1864. Stationed in the immediate vicinity of the shell whips which were twice cleared of men by bursting shells, Blagheen remained steadfast at his post and performed his duties in the powder division throughout the furious action which resulted in the surrender of the prize rebel ram Tennessee and in the damaging and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan.
First Sergeant James Blair (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions in the Winter of 1872-1873. His citation reads:
Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.
Boatswain’s Mate Robert M. Blair (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions from December 24, 1864 – January 22, 1865 on board the USS Pontoosuc. His citation reads:
Served on board the U.S.S. Pontoosuc during the capture of Fort Fisher and Wilmington, 24 December 1864 to 22 January 1865. Carrying out his duties faithfully throughout this period, Blair was recommended for gallantry and skill and for his cool courage while under the fire of the enemy throughout these actions.
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