About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - 20 May 2010, Grandma's opera glasses

Grandma Emma Marie Hollander Johnson's opera glasses. I come from a long line of theater-lovers. They had a cottage near Hartland, Wisconsin and going to neighboring Oconomowoc to see the Port Players every summer was a traditional activity for the family. Years later I learned that my friend Pernell Roberts had acted with the Port Players. Mom had saved all the programs from the shows she'd seen so I checked them out . . . wouldn't you know it: the family didn't go during the 1951 & 1952 seasons because they had a new baby at the cottage (me!). Those were the years Pernell was there. But we were in the same neighborhood!

I cherish the opera glasses & have used them at many shows I have attended (including those Pernell did - on the few occasions I did not sit in one of the front rows!). Keeping the past alive!

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