Disclosure on the coast. I have wondered for over ten years now what had happened to the state of my birth—California, and what God thought about it. It is so different than the place of my memory. I realize things change in fifty years, but this degree is astounding. Let me tell you a little bit about the California I remember, from 1955 to 1966, and then I will share with you what I have experienced since my return in 2005. And then, to conclude I will endeavor to give you a solution that may help, which is the reason I have supplied this particular video in the first place.
A long, long time ago, I was a child actress. It was the late 1950s to the early 1960s. I actually worked on shows such as Bonanza, (with Chuck McCann), Rifleman (with Johnny Crawford and Chuck Connors), Andy Griffith, Bozo the Clown, etc., along with commercials like "Chatty Cathy" (with Maureen McCormick), "Actionware" (with Dian Van Patten), etc. That was such a fun time for me.
Once upon a time, in the eighties, my mother decided to go back to school. She had always wanted to study journalism, but, instead, she got married and had ten children. When my father died, my mom had to raise the six youngest children on her own. Not a small task for someone who never had the opportunity to go to college. When my father passed away in 1965, I was barely ten years old, the youngest of the ten kids. As I said, my mother raised up, mostly on her own, and was the best mother in the world —even the neighborhood kids believed it. As life went on and we all grew up, my mother decided to go back to school to get her journalism degree—she was 55 years old! Six months before she graduated, she was hired by the Cleveland Press to work as a staff reporter. After she graduated the Cleveland Press fell on hard times and was swallowed up by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Although she never did get to work as a reporter, I always have the memory of the poetry she was always writing when I was a child. She had a full album of poetry. And, at least by finishing college, she had the knowledge that she had accomplished what she had set out to do, all those years ago.
When I was almost 14 years old, in 1969, I wanted to go to a music festival everyone was talking about that became known as the legendary Woodstock. I asked my mother if I could go and she said no way, because I was too young! Well I was very upset because I loved music so much so I kept at her for a while, but she never relented. I was very sad about that, but I would not let it deter me. I know that one of my brothers, Ralph by name, who was eighteen, had plans on going. I asked Ralph how he was going to get there, and he said he was going to hitch hike. I thought that was so cool that I asked him if I could go with him and he also told me no. I asked him why not and he also said I was too young! He was looking out for me, I realized that later, but at the time I just wanted to go. So, I decided to run away from home and hitchhike all by myself… so I did! I got there too. I remember that a lovely guy driving a big truck picked me up. He asked me my name and I told him it was Jennifer Jo Johnson, which was a name I made up whenever I did not want to use my real name. He drove me all the way to where the concert was in Bethel, New York and waved good-bye. He never laid a hand on me. Now those were the days, when you could hitch hike and no one would hurt you.