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exclamation Betsy Grant's meanderings (annie)
Posted: 5:01:45 pm on 8/4/2006 Modified: Never
 
For one thing, I don't go by the name at the head of this bio. <img src="emoticons/icon_smile.gif"> I've been Annie since 1969, and find it fits me better. My dh gave me the name before we were dating or anything but friends. But more on that later.....<BR><BR>After high school, I started exploring. And that exploration led to some fairly interesting places. <img src="emoticons/icon_smile.gif"><BR><BR>I joined the counterculture, such as it was in Tulsa in the late 60's. In 1969 I gave birth to my daughter Kris, and left by "thumb-mobile" to San Francisco. I spent something like 3 years in and around the Haight/Ashbury and the Bay area (lived on Mt. Tamalpais for 4 months, out of doors), taking part in various political actions and protest marches. I became a pacifist then, and worked (off and on) with the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, the Black Panther Free Store, and the Diggers. I also silk screened posters, made peace crosses, and worked a regular job...actually, two. Magnolia Thunderpussy (a restaurant) and the Olive Tree Cafe, both in the Haight.<BR><BR>Of course, mixed in with the Haight Ashbury years were sojourns elsewhere: Ojo Sarco NM (35 mi. So. of Taos) in a 200 year old adobe ex-goat shed (hadn't been one in almost 100 years); Albuquerque NM; Kokomo (God help us) Indiana; and an epic trip from San Francisco to Albany NY with some friends in which I saw 43 of the lower 48 states.<BR><BR>In the winter of 1973, I came back to Tulsa and took up residence at the bottom of Denver Hill. The spring of the next year, I ran into Ron Shank, whom I had known as a good friend during the Woodward Park hippie days. He's Rogers class of '68 and was in the band, so some of you may remember him. Anyway, we clicked, and were married December 1st of '74. <BR><BR>Ron and I started working at the Library Restaurant (where we were married), then at Arby's. He worked as a nurse tech at St. John's and St. Francis in the late 70's. And in 1986 or so, he ran into an old friend (from high school) and began to play blues harp for a living. He was a working musician until we moved here; he played with the BluTones with Jim Downing and with Wanda Watson's Middleman, as well as others I cannot remember. It was his first love, music, and it's what he's doing now that we're effectively retired. He plays bass in the praise band at our church. <img src="emoticons/icon_smile.gif"><BR><BR>In 1983 Ron contracted cancer, which took one eye in '85 and has been nibbling away at him since then. He's had more surgeries than I can count. And more coming. Because of the radiation therapy (9 sessions over 7 years) he developed radio osteonecrosis, with which he is still dealing. We hope to beat it this year. And maybe the cancer will leave him alone for a while. Anyway, he did hyperbaric oxygen therapy a year or so ago, which took most of the sight from his remaining eye and left him legally blind. But he keeps a good head through all of this and a cheerful aspect. One would never know that he eats demerol like candy. He's a champ, Ron is, and I respect him.<BR> <BR>Our son Louie was born on Leap Day in 1980. It soon became evident that something was going on with him, and at two and a half he stopped speaking and speech development. We took him to Children's Medical Center for an assessment. They advised us to house him at Hissom, which we refused to do. So home we went. Louie was, and is, an autistic person, fairly high functioning although not able to live on his own. Raising him was a major adventure, but a world of gratification and unexpected joys. At this point, Louie is 26 and has been in assisted living for 5 years. He holds down 2 parttime jobs (assistant Sexton; apt.lawn maintenance), one volunteer gig (filling bird feeders at the wildlife park), and is learning to care for a horse with an eye to maybe working at one of the stables at our fairgrounds.<BR><BR>When Louie was 10, I started at TJC and got my associates. It was so much fun that I decided to take it as far as I could. So I applied to the University of New Mexico and was accepted. And we moved here to Albuquerque! I got my BA in English, and then my MA in English Languages and Literatures (Victorian Concentration). I was 53 at the time. I was aiming at a PhD so I could spend the rest of my life in the 19th century. <img src="emoticons/icon_smile.gif"><BR><BR>However, as life is wont to do, I got thrown a curve and presented with another challenge (I'd love to get bored!). I was diagnosed in 1995 (at the beginning of grad school) with Hepatitis C that I evidently got from a blood transfusion back in '73. I've lived with that since, although it's not as hard as it was. <img src="emoticons/icon_smile.gif"> I've been on the liver transplant list for about 5 years (give or take), and presently I'm doing the chemotherapy that is the specific for this disease. <BR><BR>Why does none of this depress me, you ask.<BR><BR>Well, for one thing, it'd have to get past the anti-depressant. <img src="emoticons/icon_smile.gif"> Plus my naturally sunny disposition (our daughter calls me "disgustingly optimistic"). But also, we went from being unchurched during the entirety of our marriage to being very active in the Presbyterian (USA) church. And that helped enormously. So much so that this past January I was ordained an Elder in the Presbyterian church (USA). And that helped even more. And this year, I started a monthly social dance club for developmentally disabled/delayed teens and adults; we call it DD Dance Club. You should have seen the Spring Ball; a lot of these folks never went to prom, so they really did it up! So being around these folks once a month is a real uplift as well, although that's not why I do it. <img src="emoticons/icon_smile.gif"><BR><BR>So, considering all I've been through, I'm a very happy person! My body is responding to the therapy, my husband is the finest man ever put on the planet, and our kids have both turned out great (Kris is in Seattle working for Princess Cruise Lines). And I get to live right against some impressive mountains (we're in the foothills of the Sandias) into the bargain!<BR><BR>I'm sure this tale will not contain any surprises for those who knew me well during high school, but might amaze many of you who knew me only peripherally (let's face it; I wasn't in the "popular crowd"). I've had an adventurous and exciting life, as I say. And I wouldn't change a thing. <img src="emoticons/icon_smile.gif"><BR><BR>Except maybe losing track of those dear to me from Will on the Hill. <img src="emoticons/icon_smile.gif">
 
  Re: Betsy Grant's meanderings (Steve Hickerson)
Posted: 11:40:42 am on 8/13/2006 Modified: Never
 
<font face="Verdana" size="2" color="Black"><P>Betsy,</P> <P>I remember you well.  Bell Jr. High was a trip, wasn't it?  Thanks for sharing your fantastic and beautiful history.  Steve</P></font>
  Re: Betsy Grant's meanderings (ScottJohn Baker)
Posted: 9:42:02 am on 9/18/2006 Modified: Never
 
Annie:<BR><BR>The joy and courage of your journey are an inspiration. Although you live next to mountains, you have the faith to say, "Mountain, get out of my way!" That mountain gets removed! Your e-mails are always a delight, too! <BR><BR>Keep The Faith!<BR><BR>Da Bakerman
 


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