And A Better Time

In the 60s, we were living in Oxnard--and despite the racial turmoil going on everywhere else, in our small part of the world, things were going fairly well.

We were definitely lower middle-class, and to be honest quite poor. Hubby was in the Seabees and poorly paid.We barely made it from month to month. We lived in a neighborhood with other poorly paid people--firemen and police officers. We were all buying our homes because in this particular tract, the down payment was only $100.

Our neighborhood was nicely racially mixed, using the terms of the time: white, black, Mexican, Filipino, and a smattering of others. Most of the schools were as racially mixed as was the PTA, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls.

My small Blue Bird group became Camp Fire Girls, and in Junior High swelled to 20 girls from all ethnic backgrounds and stayed together through high school. We had a wonderful time--we had many camp outs including back packing into the mountains, we visited Hollywood and went to free TV shows, on the bus to San Diego to a huge conference for high school age Camp Fire (Horizon Club), we put on musicals to make money, we had all sorts of parties, and our big and final adventure was a bus trip with our first stop at the Gene Pumping Station where the Colorado River water comes into California, we spent 3 days at the Grand Canyon and then we went to Las Vegas.

One of the exciting things about all this was most of the girls had never been out of California, a handful never out of Ventura County. We worked hard to make enough money to pay for our own Greyhound bus and for where we stayed in the Grand Canyon--plus our food along the way. 

Looking back, it was a great time. Most of those girls are grandmothers
now. I'm still in touch with many of them. And one has had a great singing career and is a back-up singer for Barry Manilow.

How I loved my Camp Fire Girls--and I learned as much or more by being their leader.

The little boy was my Makr--oh, how he wanted to be in Camp Fire.
We had a reunion, middle row, me and two moms that always helped.

And another reunion, with just a few--a couple of the moms and me.
Of course many of the girls had moved faraway--the reunion was in Oxnard at my daughter's house--and now she's moved too. Two of the women who helped me, have now passed away.



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