State Capitols · Midwest Tour
July 2007

H e r e ' s    P a t
Charlie asked if I wanted to write something about myself for this website and this trip.

That's a picture of Zoe, my youngest grandaughter, and me to the left.

I am a New Jersey girl, born and bred. I am a 4x4 that packs a powerhouse of attitude and comebacks, but that's inconsequential. Charlie and I went to high school together and actually graduated together......OMG, what a concept! He went to college, I did not. I got married and had 4 children. Three of those four children have blessed me with 5 grandchildren. How lucky am I? I used to love painting miniature plaster houses to make Christmas villages, read lots of books, but bad eyes have curtailed both of those hobbies, so now I play games on my 19 inch flat monitor, and now am going to travel with Charlie. My sense of humor is banter which stems from the area I was raised (NY metro area). I had one sister who passed last year (2006) and two younger brothers.

After divorcing my second husband, I decided it was time to get a career. So at the ripe old age of 32 I went to a 'technical' school and learned how to program mainframe computers. Did so well at it that I actually parlayed that education into a 23 year career, which of course kept me and my children in clothes, food and a roof over our heads and out of the homeless shelters and off the streets.

Along came Y2K and mainframe computers went the way of all large storage units: in the closet and away from the main stream of programming. I had no interest in learning PCs as the technology for them was changing on a daily basis. Computer technology is something that you have to keep current with or you are no longer needed. I was stressed out from the last four years of my career, not being able to get a job in my adopted state anymore and consulting in places like Richmond, VA...Portland, OR...and Scranton, PA. My kids were grown and married so the traveling was fun and I like to travel so I enjoyed it. Then I got tired of living out of suitcases so I came home after my last gig in Scranton and lived on unemployment, went to school, decided I was not going to stay in computers, and got a job at a call center answering inbound calls. Great job, no stress.

I have always loved traveling since the first time my family traveled on Route 66 in 1954 on our way to California. It was fantastic. This country is BIG and beautiful. So much to see. I never forgot that trip and longed to see more.

In 2001 I found Charlie on a website when I was looking for classmates for our High School reunion. Went to visit him in Louisville, KY on my way back to Arizona from my last gig, got reacquainted and have become good friends. I have enjoyed his trip website often feeling very envious of his freedom to do these trips and his fortitude to constantly be doing it. When he was telling me about the plans for the coming trip through the mid-west state capitols... I started asking him if he was going to go see things I have seen on my 4 journeys cross-country.

I am very excited about seeing all the sights that I have not seen since 1998. This is your land and mine. It is Big and beautiful and amazing. Go see it!

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What are you doing down here? All the good(?) stuff is up above.