Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jeff Genet & The British Invasion

The last forty years. My how time flies when you're having fun. Right. Let's see, in 1964 the British invasion changed life completely. I became a big Beatles fan, still my favorite group of all time. Got my first real Fender guitar that year and learned how to play. Didn't play in may bands but wanted to write my own songs which I did, but really didn't like the words until the mid 70s. After high school went to Santa Ana College for three years for the 2-S deferment (remember those nasty draft cards). Me and a friend and Peggy Greene from our class played folk music for a student body presidential candidate the second semester who won. Peggy had a voice remenescent of Joan Baez. Don't know what happened to her. My third year got involved in theater with dance adaptations of Tommy and directing a one act play. After SAC enlisted in the navy, stationed in Jacksonville on a destroyer and spent 6 months on a NATO cruise of Northern Europe, visiting eight countries (got to see the world). We were docked in Amsterdam when the Jewish athletes were killed during the '72 Olympics in Munich.

After the service worked for a year, then attended Fullerton State on the G.I. bill for almost three years, majoring in political science learning all the leftist, radical, socialist theories and wanting revolution and all that, kind of a latter day hippie. Celibrating the "tune in, turn on and drop out" philosophy of Timothy Leary during the bicentennial year. A group of us sold coffee to night students which paid for an eight page newspaper we published and gave away for free. When I realized the revolution was not coming (as it didn't come the decade before) I dropped out and got married. My daughter was born in 1977. Divorced in 1980, raised my daughter til she was seven when she went to live with her mother. In 1988 left Orange County and moved to Fresno for a couple of years, then down to Visalia in 1991 where I am still now. I remarried in 2002. I work as a service manager for a power equipment company. My daughter, Rebecca, is now 31 and married and has provided me with three grandsons, Jason 12, Tucker 8 and Caleb 7. I certainly do not miss the traffic and people in So. Cal.

My grandfather, Warren Hillyard, moved with his family around 1900 from Iowa to Santa Ana-Tustin. He graduated from SAHS in 1905. I have his Ariel yearbook and understand that it was the first year the Ariel was published. My mother, Marilyn Hillyard, graduated from SAHS in 1945. My grandmother was from Escondido and her older brother, Clifford Cravath, played professional baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies hold the homerun record with 24 in 1915. It was broken four years later by Babe Ruth with 29 in 1919.

I have spent the last 10 years researching my family history. Compiling notebooks of paper in the process. This was spurred on by having grandchildren, giving them a heritage of where they came from. Also gives me something to do with this computer besides balancing my checkbook. For the last three years I have been writing the family history one line at a time. As both my parents died in 2004 from cancer I wrote my dad's line, the Genets, the following year. In 2006 I wrote my mother's line, the Hillyards, and last year my grandmother's line, Kregear dads mother. Next year is my grandmother's line, moms mother. I send these out at Christmas time to the family as presents.

The attached photo was taken in January 2004. From left to right: my wife, Janie, myself, Becky and Chris, son-in-law. Front row: Jason, Caleb and Tucker.


Jerry here again... Thanks Jeff! (and thank you Visalia for the onions!) They say if you remember the '60s you weren't really there, but I think you've disproved that theory. Jeff has graciously volunteered to play DJ at the reunion:

"The vinyl junkie I've been, first the 12" grooved and now the 6" laser, I've got the following tunes on CD: Beatles (all), Rolling Stones, Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Donovan, Gordon Lightfoot, The Animals, Ten Years After, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly, The Lovin' Spoonful, Hair, Woodstock, Melanie, Janis Joplin, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Surfaris, Jan and Dean, Cream, Blind Faith, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Harry Nillson, and the Kinks. I'll see if I can work on a boom box to play them on."

Far Out!

Speaking of far out, our next episode of "Where Have You Been For the Last 40 Years" will come from a classmate who has been living with her husband in the Andes mountains of Peru for over 30 years. Adîos

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