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The Story of My Life - Page 16
(by Loma (Groom) Harrison)

Since I had worked day and night and most week-ends, all my life, I decided that I would find something to teach that took only regular work hours and one that I could do well and enjoy doing, hence, my choice of Librarianship. I went to the University of Washington in Seattle to take a second Masters Degree. in Librarianship. I kept my job at Frank Phillips College and went summers to school in Seattle. Instead of writing another Masters Thesis, I chose to do Field Work in the University Library, of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

I have never been so royally treated, not because I was so great, but because I represented my University, the University of Washington. The Dean of the Graduate School of Librarianship, Dr. Stevens, was also the Administrator of the University of Hawaii Library. He and his wife met me at the airport with the traditional orchid lei and iced pineapple juice, took me to my dormitory, and kept watch over me all summer. Since my credits were with the University of Washington, I was not eligible to stay in the dormitory of the University of Hawaii, Dr. Stevens got me a place to stay in the Buddhist Dormitory. It was a very clean, convenient but plain dorm, with the best food you can imagine. The Buddhist Priest and his wife were thoughtful and kind to me. They invited me to visit many of their activities such as flower arranging classes, and Japanese Music and Dance Festivals, etc. It was quite a unique experience.

My "Work" at the library, was to observe all the Departments of the University Library, and to learn the behind the scene operations of running the Library. On Mondays, Dr. Stevens introduced me to the Director of a different Department, and she planned my observing for the week, introducing me to her staff. It was great! Someone was even scheduled to be my host for coffee breaks. Each Director invited me to do something with her, things which she considered to be some of the most interesting on the Island. One of them invited me to her home for Sunday dinner and taught me how to make a beautiful plumeria lei, with flowers from a tree in her back yard.

Dr. Stevens wrote glowing reports to the University of Washington, about my work and added that he would like to have me on his staff.

I finished all my courses for my Masters of Librarianship Degree, with concentration in Librarianship in Secondary School. and I also received my Library Teachers Credential for Secondary School in the State of California.

At age fifty-seven, I embarked on a whole new career, as Librarian of Sequoia Junior High School in Simi Valley, California, where Jeanie and Charles lived with their, now two children, Cynthia and Jeff. I enjoyed my work as Librarian. It was rewarding to make bibliographies for the teachers, of the materials in the Library which we had on their units of work, and suggest and order new materials which they would find useful. I had excellent clerical help and was able select A and B students for Library Practice classes. My Administration permitted me to keep the library a quiet place to study or read. Many schools did not have the cooperation that I had, and I am indebted to my Principal, Mr. Frank Finch, for his help. I taught in Simi Valley for fifteen years.

I loved being near Jeanie and Charles, to enjoy my wonderful grandchildren, Cynthia and Jeff. and to get to watch all their growing up activities: dance and piano recitals, Little League baseball and soccer, High School Drill Team parades, football games, proms, High School and College graduations, marriages, and their finding good jobs. We welcomed into our family, Cynthia's dear husband, Jim Walker, and Jeff's precious wife, Sue. Now Cynthia and Jim have three girls, Kali Nicole, Katelyn Breanne, and Kelsey Jean. Sue and Jeff have two boys, Robert Charles and Jacob Branson, and a daughter, Hannah Jean.

We have all had great fun being together on special occasions: Holidays, camper trips to the snow, water skiing on the boat where I was the "official " red flag waver, trips to Catalina on the Bendix Yacht, many times spending the night on the yacht, and many, many Bendix Company activities where Charles was President of the Company. And then there was all those warm, wonderful times when we've just been together and to use my brother's expression, we would all, "Ring around the groceries".

I was happy living in California. I am grateful for the opportunity to have had more time to just live, and not to work all the time. I had time to make many friends, to have wonderful times dancing , going to Classical Music Concerts, Bendix Management activities, Professional ball games, and time to travel to many parts of the world.

Now I am enjoying being retired. I have a good income: teacher retirement from both California and Texas, and I have some interest from my savings account.

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