It's my sister Bonnie's birthday! I like blogging family birthdays, because that usually involves getting Mike to pull out the old photo albums so we can meander down Memory Lane. This year M showed me some interesting pics I'd never seen before, and I learned a bunch from them.
First, I discovered that Bonnie's current love affair with phones actually goes back over four decades, when they looked like this, and people just talked to each other on them:
Bonnie was a precocious child, which means she did things that were quite advanced for her age. For example, she began experimenting with makeup when she wasn't yet two years old:
For the most part Bonnie's always been an attractive person, careful about her appearance, but for a short time around the age of eight she went through a downright ugly spell. M says that on October 31st of that year she'd have had to sneak up on a glass of water to get a drink!
Right after that she prettied up again, except for a brief relapse the following October:
When she was still very young Bonnie discovered horses and began taking Western-style riding lessons. A few years later she switched to English tack. Here she is riding a hunter-jumper named Springer:
Her riding ability came in handy later that year, when she and Mike visited Grandpa George in Honduras. Here they are going along a river on their way to Grandpa's coffee farm (L-R: Step-Grandma Teresa, Grandpa, & Bonnie. Mike is the one taking the picture while trying not to fall off his own horse.)
Grandpa and Teresa lived in a little Caribbean coastal village called Balfate (Bal-FAH-tay). One of Mike's favorite pictures from their trip is this one of Bonnie meeting a couple of residents on the town's unpaved main street. (You might need to enlarge the photo to see the chicken.)
While they were in Balfate, they got invited to a barbecue at a neighbor's cattle ranch. Here's a nice photo of M, B, & G'pa from that outing:
This picture's a bit blurry, but it's the only one M could find of Bonnie riding Jeannie's motorcycle. He says those were the days!
Another memory worth savoring was going out into Tampa Bay on Grandma's big sailboat, Night Train. This particular trip looks like it might have been in winter!
Soon after Mike, Jeannie, Bonnie, and Jenny moved to DeLand in 1980, Bonnie found another great pastime: community theater. She joined a group called the Shoestring Theatre, and her first role was as one of the king's wives in a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical called The King and I.
By the way, M wants me to remind Bonnie that he was the one who did her hair before every performance! He says thank God for Kentucky Jelly--whatever that's supposed to mean.
In June of 1990 Bonnie married a really cool Army guy named Fred Taylor. I like this picture of them coming out of Stetson University's Elizabeth Hall after the ceremony. Mike also says that that's the same building where one of the R-rated scenes from the movie Ghost Story was filmed.
Bonnie's last big whoop-de-do at Stetson was the following spring, when she graduated from the College of Law, in Gulfport, Florida (a/k/a Baja St. Petersburg). Here she is being handed her J.D. diploma by then-President Doug Lee.
As you can probably tell, I think Bonnie is finer than frog hair and am just wowed by her many adventures and accomplishments. Mike and Jeannie and sister Jenny all join me in wishing her the happiest birthday ever!
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