Monday, May 15, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - May 1977 - Part II

This is the second part of May 1977 and will focus on our trip to New Mexico. While I'm sure it was part of the same trip we took to Arizona and Nebraska, I'm not entirely sure. But I am pretty certain everything happened in May.

We start things off with what looks like a rest stop picnic area where I'm just chilling out on the picnic table. This photo is labeled as May 1977 but it's the small details that helped link this to the New Mexico trip. The key evidence is my dad's hat and lack of beard.

For the visit to New Mexico, we saw my Aunt Lorraine who was married to my mother's brother Dan Lester. The green van would play an important roll in my life much later.

Monday, May 01, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - May 1977 - Part I

May of 1977 was a busy month. There was travel to Arizona and Nebraska and possibly New Mexico. Starting in Arizona, we paid a visit to Aunt Wilma and Uncle George. Make sure you pay attention to my mother's shirt.

After Arizona, came Nebraska where we visited with Grandma Bertha. At the time, she was married to Merle Yaryan, her second husband. When I first started looking at these pictures, I had assumed that Grandma Bertha had come to visit us in California. But then I noticed that the kitchen furniture was different and that there appeared to be a bottle of Dorothy Lynch salad dressing on the table. For those that don't know, Dorothy Lynch salad dressing is kind of a blend between French dressing, Thousand Island dressing, and Ranch dressing. But more importantly, it was almost exclusively found in Nebraska, even into the early 1990s. I remember on later trips to Nebraska when I was older, we would stock up on Dorothy Lynch dressing and Squirt soda because they were impossible to find on the east coast. And while Grandma Bertha could have brought it with her during a visit, the exterior shot of her, my dad, and myself, match an earlier photo I have of her posing outside of her home with Christmas decorations. I was later able to confirm from my father that it was the home of both Merle and Bertha during their marriage when they lived in Mullen, Nebraska.

The New Mexico portion of the trip will be in a separate post, partly because there are a lot of photos, but mostly because I'm not certain it was the same trip.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - April 26, 1977

Not even a week has passed and I'm back in Dr. Cho's office with an ear infection.

Today also marks the 30th anniversary of my grandmother's death. And while I know this #40yearsagotoday project is all about me, I just can't wait ten years without mentioning her. Just last year, I wrote about her and her visit to see me for my first Christmas. And just over ten years ago I wrote about inviting her to Thanksgiving dinner.

Photo from

Ten years seems like a long time sometimes. But when I think about my doctor's visit 40 years ago for an ear infection and then a short 10 years later losing my grandmother, it just feels like the weight of death is sitting on my shoulders.

Friday, April 21, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - April 21, 1977

In what would become a frequent occurrence in my childhood, I see the doctor for an ear infection, a sore throat, or bronchitis. Or in this case, a combination of all of them. This is the first record of an ear infection I could find (as well as bronchitis) in my notebook so I can only conclude that this is the first one I had. It wouldn't be the last.

It suddenly struck me as I was reading this entry how odd my father's word choices were at the time. While he's intelligent, I can only assume he's writing what the doctor is saying or putting in my chart. For example, he writes the reason for the visit is "Acute Pharyrgitis [sic]" which is actually "acute pharyngitis" or in more common terms, a sore throat. While it is frequently caused by strep throat, specifically the Streptococcus bacteria, there's no indication that was the cause behind my sore throat. Cultures were taken but nothing was written down for the results.

However, it was also noted that I had "Bilateral otitis media" (an ear infection) and "Acute Bronchitis." But to go back to the odd choice in words, my father then notes I "had bad infection in both ears."

The back and forth between simple words and medical terms is confusing but I can only assume my father is parroting back what the doctor is telling him then simplifying that. My assumption is based solely on how well I know him and the fact that I often do something similar.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

40 Years Ago Today - April 8, 1977

Once again, I'm visiting the doctor. This time Dr. Cho gave me a "well baby check" that I can only assume went well since there were no other notes.