About Me
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About Me

About myself...Where to begin?

My background is probably totally and completely different than yours, but isn't it nice to find a friend who shares a common interest or two? 

Amazingly, we have discovered each other through Michael Ball...which makes the world seem much smaller to me somehow.  The great diversity of Michael’s fans is truly incredible.  They seem to come from nearly every age group, religion, political background, ethnic group, homeland, social and economic group, profession or school, and so on.  Yet this wonderfully magical musical chain starting with and from an awesome, gorgeous and talented singer named Michael Ball has somehow found and captivated us all...and linked us through this Web site or one or another mailing list.  It seems quite incredible to me.

I am a grandma, with a wonderful husband named Merrill who is my very own Prince Charming and I still call him that. (We are romantics at heart, and my nickname for him is "Prince C" can you believe it?  Lately he has become known as "The Big M" thanks to Heather, a long-time BallFest friend.)
We were both born in Washington, DC. and have been married since 1959.  Merrill was an enlisted man in the US navy for 20 yrs and now works as a quality assurance inspector.  We were stationed in San Diego, Long Beach and San Francisco, California; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (5 yrs); Newport, RI; Rota, Spain (3 yrs); and then returned to San Diego.  Upon his retirement from the navy, we moved to Washington State.  I am a full time homemaker and have been for most of our married life...only being employed for about 8 yrs while our boys were in high school, and in order to make owning our first home possible, and then to help put our boys through college.

We live in a fairly small town. We are approximately 75 miles from Seattle, and about 35-45 miles from Tacoma.  The local economy is based on the US Naval Station and shipyard here.  During WW2, it was a huge shipbuilding facility...now it is a repair facility for Navy ships.

We raised 3 sons, and now we have two lively, lovely granddaughters.

Our oldest son, Jeff, is an attorney, living in southern California. The latest addition to his “family” is Chaucer, his Norwich terrier.  Chaucer’s hobbies include chewing, at which he is something of an expert.  J

Our second son is Scott, who is married to 

Julie, and is the father of our granddaughters, Samantha Renee and Shannon Marie.  Scott and his family live fairly near us.

Philip, our youngest is deceased.

Jeff loves theatre, as did Philip. (Scott is a 100% totally sports-minded  person), but neither of them gives me a hard time over my *obsessions*.  In fact, Jeff and Philip were often my "stand-by date" when Merrill was unable to attend one or another show, trip or some other wonderful thing.  I once told them I must be America's oldest teenybopper or groupie.  They said "No mom, you are just a great fan!"  Am I lucky or what?!!! 

We no longer have any “indoor” pets.  Clyde, our miniature Schnauzer, lived to be 16 yrs old, but is gone now.  Today, we enjoy all the many kinds of birds that visit the birdbath, bird feeders (and squirrel feeders  J) in our backyard.  There is a pond across the street from our house, and the pond is usually home to about 50 or so various ducks and water birds - mallard, widgeon, golden eye, Canada geese, bufflehead, great blue heron and an occasional kingfisher, cormorant, hawk or bald-eagle drops by and hangs out for awhile.  We actually have 3 bald eagles living in the woods near us.  We also have 3 tiny Douglas squirrels that share the yard with the birds, and, recently two beautiful ring-necked pheasants (Percy and Festus) have become regular part-time residents. 

I have many hobbies and interests: I enjoy attending musical theatre, my computer, email (mailing lists especially), our granddaughters, making Barbie clothes, reading, various types of needlework, taking photos, bird-watching, making family photo albums, travel, Michael Ball, Douglas Sills, Greg Stone and a young singer/actor I met back in 1997, named David Burnham, as well as cooking - especially trying out new and unusual but simple recipes. 

I enjoy collecting recipes and fridge magnets, especially ones from other places and those with musical theatre logos, plus playbills, music CD's and videos.   I collect Dickens Village miniatures and photos of my friends as well. 

I always have a few projects in progress. At the present time, I am inventorying our music, videos and book collections on the computer and learning how to build Web sites  J  

I love candlelight, sunsets, rainbows, butterflies, smiles and hugs, and regular Saturday dates with my husband...and just having fun I guess.

Happily, my wonderful husband shares my love of theatre and travel.  He likes and respects the talents of all my favorites, and is secure enough to not be upset or otherwise offended by my *loving them all madly* and *worshipping from afar* shall we say?  (He says he is reasonably certain that none will show up on our doorstep tomorrow...with all their worldly possessions...And I suppose he is right about that.  However...I do keep a spare room ready, just in case!)  His favorites are Greg Stone, Douglas Sills, Michael Crawford, Robert Cuccioli and Neil Diamond, although he is in the process of becoming something of a Michael Ball fan too.  He is doing a really *mean* "One Step in Time" and Do You Love Me" these days!!!  (However, Michael's career is in absolutely no danger whatsoever!!  Merrill plans to keep his daytime job!)  We eat healthy and treadmill five days a week, and usually watch a documentary, a movie musical or a Michael Ball video while treading.

Merrill also loves spending time with our granddaughters, cooking, photography, bird-watching, music, ballet, opera...and he enjoys both gardening and bonsai...

He too shares my love for candlelight, sunsets, rainbows, butterflies, smiles and hugs, and our regular Saturday dates.

It is nice to know that you probably share some of these interests as well.

I have always had a great love for the theatre, (starting when my mom took me to see "Rebecca" on the stage, starring Diana Barrymore, when I was very young) and music, in almost any form.  We have season tickets to the ballet, the opera, and four area theatres, which feature mostly musicals with an occasional play thrown in for variety.  We have annual memberships at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma and the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.  We also go to other places, a couple of times a year, to see other shows, like the S.T.A.G.E. concerts, which aren’t available locally and NYC each summer.

I worked backstage for 3 seasons of "Broadway Comes to Hawaii" when we lived there...and really enjoyed seeing so many shows from sort of a different view, and meeting and getting to work with quite a few theatre folk.  Not long ago, we were quite thrilled when someone from those "old days" returned to Seattle to star in "Fiddler on the Roof" 27 years after having done that show in Hawaii!!! (His name is Theodore Bikel, and we were fortunate enough to visit with him again, backstage.) 

Since I have absolutely no musical talent at all...I could never be a performer, but I most certainly respect and admire those who can.  I have worked backstage as a dresser, and have been on stage only once, as sort of an extra you might say (in "Fiddler on the Roof" with Theodore Bikel, in Hawaii.)   That was fun, but definitely not where my talents lie. J

Our Jeff had a somewhat brief but happy "professional career" on stage between ages 6-10.  His first show was “The Wizard of Oz” and other performances included roles in “Peter Pan” (using the original flying equipment and working with Peter Foy -son of Eddy Foy) and “Summertree” and a few other shows.  He also performed with John Raitt in a revival of Carousel, and did some local TV commercials as well  

I have many *favorites* in the *entertainment world* which include Michael (of course!) plus Greg Stone; Robert Cuccioli; Douglas Sills; Terrence Mann; Michael Crawford; Sam Harris and both Neil Diamond and Harrison Ford as well as Disney movies.  I also love those beautiful fantasy movies like "Princess Bride" and "Labyrinth" and way too many others to list here.  WOW! that IS a lot...I hadn't realized how wide-ranging my interests really were!!!   

I have found many, many terrifically interesting people through mailing lists, with whom I correspond regularly, and I have met quite a few of them in person through Ballfesting.

One benefit of being older now, is that I am free to travel and see and do nearly all the things I ever really wanted to do.

In January 1998, I went to Los Angeles alone, by train...stayed at our son's home and attended two star-studded gala concerts, one with him, the other with some southern California Michael Ball fans.

I have a wonderfully fun-filled life...and owe much of it to Michael Ball, since my joining two Michael Ball mailing lists has led me to so many wonderfully interesting people, and taken me on trips, and to stage doors I would not have dreamed possible a few years ago.

I enjoy administering six mailing lists currently:

BallfestNews                           Continuing the Original Ballfest Newsletter

BallfestNewsLosAngeles       Los Angeles Ballfest Network

BallfestNewsNYC                    New York City Ballfest Network       

BayAreaBallfestNews            San Francisco Bay Area Ballfest Network

GregStone                               A mailing list for Greg's fans

SomethingToThinkAbout       Thoughts for the Day from friends

Love and Hugs, Jackie  (Who always seems to write "Not short Notes") J


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