Once upon a time, in a small town in the southern part of the United States, a town named Gainesville, Georgia, there lived a young couple, a beautiful young girl named Anna Louise, called “Anna Lou” and a handsome young man named Jesse Jewell – aka Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Jewell. They lived in a small 2-bedroom, 1 bath house on a country road to Cleveland, Georgia, outside of town – called Cleveland Road. In March 1937, Anna Lou was expecting her third baby. She was 34. Jesse had just turned 35 on March 13th. They had two girls, ages 5 and 7. Patricia was the oldest – she was 7. Barbara was two years younger – she was 5. This photo is dated 1934.
Jesse was hoping for a boy. Anna Lou just wanted it over because this was her fourth try. After this baby, she did want to try for a boy any longer. Needless to say, Jesse wanted his boy. At that time, Jesse was helping his mother in a chicken feed store in town. The south was in the throes of a deep depression and everyone was doing his best to make a go of it. Franklin Roosevelt had just been re-elected for his second term as President of the United States and was frequently giving his “fireside chats” on the radio. Jesse and his mother were struggling to help the local farmers get feed for their chickens and the farmers were struggling to pay.
Across the “highway” on the other side of the street, lived the Lilly’s. Johnny Lilly and Jesse had been best friends for years. And Evelyn, Johnny’s wife was also pregnant, expecting her first baby. She was expecting her baby in August. So, in the evenings after work, Johnny and Evelyn would come over after supper and sit on Anna Lou and Jesse’s screened-in porch with Anna Lou and Jesse and talk until around 9:00 p.m. At that time, Anna Lou would make sure the other two girls were in bed.
Then, on March 30, a Tuesday morning at 11:30 a.m., Dr. Davis delivered another baby girl to Anna Lou and Jesse Jewell. They named her “Janet Tallulah”, after Jesse’s mother. Anna Lou was glad it was over; Jesse …. No boy.
That is the way it all began for me – March 30, 1937. I just turned 82. Lots of life and years in between. I have been reminded of this many times during my life. Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” and the speech that will remain indelible in my mind forever, “Let’s really look at one another!…It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another. I didn’t realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed… Wait! One more look. Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover’s Corners….Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking….and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths….and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it–every, every minute? (Emily)” ― Thornton Wilder, Our Town
Two years ago, I posted at least one picture of something I was doing during the beginning year of each decade. The selection process was random and has nothing to do with importance. Here are the results.
1937: During the summer of 1937, we were probably swimming up at Vogel State Park. Mother and Daddy loved to drive in the mountains (Blue Ridge Mountains) and we would go to Vogel State Park – there and back – on a drive to swim in the summers. We did that a lot. It was free. Plus, Patricia looks to be around 7 and Barbara looks 5. I would have been 5 or 6 months. That seems about right.
1947: I am 10 in this picture. It was taken at Camp Dixie in Clayton, Georgia. Every summer, while all of us were out of school on summer vacation, Mother and Daddy would sent all of us off to summer camp. That would give them some time together and keep us out of trouble for two !!! months. My kids used to hate camp for a week!!! I loved being at summer camp. Well, we didn’t have any choice in the matter. But, actually, all three of us loved it – maybe because there was nothing to do in Gainesville during the summers. Go go Green Street Pool. I’d rather be in the mountain lake any day. Cold, fresh water, and invigorating!! Plus there were horseback riding, canoeing, archery, and more. Nature. I LOVED nature. Still do. And, the North Georgia mountains are gorgeous! And, everything cost money which nobody had. (Don’t you just love the “pose”? Posing started immediately after birth. Haha.)
(But, I digress…… Haha!)
1957: I am 20 in this picture. During the summer of 1957, I went to Europe with a group of “chaperoned” girls. There I am in the 2nd row, stage center. I had just completed my sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin and was in love with a guy who had just graduated from U of W. In this shot, I am 3 months pregnant, even though I did not know it yet. (Long story for another time — maybe).
1967: I am 30! Happily married, with three little children, working as the Chairman of the Division of Humanities at a branch of the University of Georgia, living in Gainesville, Georgia.
1977: I am 40, on the set of a lemonade commercial and living in Los Angeles, California. The cast and crew threw me a surprise party on my 40th birthday!!
1987: I had just turned 50. I am on the set of an ABC Afterschool Special, “The Day My Kid Turned Punk”, starring Jay Underwood. I played Mrs. Rehnquist. That is when I work with the exceptional Fern Field and her talented husband, Albert Brooks, producer and director. My daughter is played by Megan Pryor.
1997: I am 60 and back in school – second year LAW SCHOOL!! Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California! During the summer of 1997, I used a time share I owned and stayed in Roquebrune Cap Martins in France for two weeks. That was when I said to myself, “I am going to live here some day.” Pictures are taken in Monaco and Nice.
2007: I am about to turn 70. Happily married to Steve Orlandella and practicing law in Los Angeles, California. We are visiting Gloria Cataldo in Boca Raton. Florida, and on vacation. Life is good!!
2017. I have just turned 80. Steve died on August 31, 2016. I am barely coping. In this shot, good friends have gone with me to Joel Robuchon in Monaco for a birthday lunch.
Well, I have NOT turned 90 yet!! I hope I will still be around. I just turned 82. On March 30th, Andrea treated me to lunch at Le Panier. Excellent!!!
Plus other friends treated me during the month of March. Pamela, Margaret at La Voglia, Christine at Geppeto. Still lunching out with wonderful friends in Nice, France, Cynthia at Le Bistro Gourmand, and thinking about re-locating in Paris —– IF I CAN FIND SOMETHING I CAN AFFORD!!! A big IF. Wish me luck. I really would like to live in Paris, if possible, before my 90th birthday. I stay engaged with life.! For the record, I am STILL posing!! Haha!! Also, as a P.S. to the story, Carolyn Lilly Jones, my lifelong friend, will be 82 in August. We have been friends all our lives. She lives on Maxwelton, outside of Savannah.