1947 - 65 - Page 3  
Click on the thumbnail to see the large picture and comments...

Brother Steven Alan Bland arrived on November 26, 1954
and my days as an only child ended...
When I compare these pictures to Bryce Aaron's
I'm amazed at how much they look alike!


Grandma and Grandpa Willey came to visit in Key West in 1959 and shortly after that Dad was assigned to the Naval Attache in Paris, France for three years.   Mom and Steve and I went to stay in Kansas for six months before we went overseas and I finished up 6th grade in Cottonwood Falls and got to know Aunt Rae and Uncle Glen and the cousins a lot better.  On our way to Kansas we stopped to visit Grandma and Grandpa Willey in De Ridder, Louisiana...


In 1959 we sailed from New York City to LeHavre, France, on the SS United States.  Quite an adventure for a 12-year old girl!  Unfortunately I have no pictures from the three years we spent in France, other than those in my school yearbooks.  It was quite an education, though, and while we lived there we travelled to Spain, Portugal, Germany and all over France.  I took another trip with friends and toured Switzerland, Italy and the French Riviera.  Maybe one of these days we'll get all those boxes of slides and turn them into pictures we can add to this virtual album.

When we returned to the United States we again made the tour to visit the relatives.  Aunt Rae and family met us in De Ridder at Grandpa Willey's house.  While we were there cousin Gary and I were baptized together by Grandpa Willey in the church where Grandpa was not only preacher but had built the altar and pews himself.  It's a very special memory for me.

We settled back on the east coast, Groton, Connecticut this time.  Dad went back to sea on the nuclear sub the Patrick Henry.  It was a great time for me - sophomore year in high school, first boyfriend, hayrides, learning to play the guitar and sing folk music... There were hootenannies and drive inn movies and my first formal dance.  Big brother Larry came east to attend Officer Candidate School and took me to his graduation ball.  I learned to drive and Mom gave me a Sweet 16 party...

Dad retired from the Navy in 1963 and believing he never wanted to see water again, we moved off to Noble, Oklahoma!  I have another gap in the pictures here, but will hopefully fill them in some day (I used to have a great one of me coming out of the outhouse in a formal dress!). I graduated from high school in Noble in 1965 and went from there to floral design school in Houston immediately after graduation.

In the fall of 1965 we again moved back cross country to Groton, Connecticut (I guess Dad had finally had enough of red clay and scrub oak trees) and Dad went to work for Electric Boat company.  From there I went off for a half year of college in Villanova, Pennsylvania.  While I was away at school Dad hired on with the Alvin group at Woods Hole Oceanographic in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where he was to stay until he retired a few years after Mom's death.  I quit college, went to Cape Cod for a brief stay, and then left to start my own adult life in San Diego.  Half brother Larry was living in San Diego and shortly after I got there I once again met Gene Balsley, the son of a high school friend of my mother's, who was to be my first husband and father to my children....

Paths on the journey down Family Lane

  Page  1 - For My Children - Christmas 1998
  Page  2 - The Willey Family - Kansas (My Mom's Family)
  Page  3 - The Bland Family - Virginia (My Dad's Family)
  Page  4 - 1947 - 1954 - Early Lolly - Key West
  Page  5 - 1954 - 1965 - Growing Up - Key West, Paris, Connecticut, Oklahoma
  Page  6 - 1968 - 1971 - Marriage & Babies - Kansas to New York
  Page  7 - 1971 - 1980 - California Years - Southern CA to the Bay Area
  Page  8 - 1980 - 1984 - Single Mom & Kids - Part I
  Page  9 - 1985 - 1987 - Single Mom & Kids - Part II
  Page 10 - 1987 - 1989 - Married Again - California to Tulsa
  Page 11 - 1990 - 1997 - Tulsa, Kansas and Both Kid's Weddings
  Page 12 - 1997 - Now - Kansas to Pennsylvania - A New Life

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