Linda O'Malley - 1963
Bio & Picture from 40th Reunion

Linda O'Malley Fajen - 2003-10-21

Wow, Forty years!  That was fast.  And what do I have to show for it?  Certainly not fame or fortune, but then I chose the path of least ambition – that of a stay-at-home mom.  Mike and I had three daughters all of whom are now potty trained, their teeth are straight, they have graduated from college and are married.  We survived three weddings in four years.  The reception of the third wedding, where this picture was taken, could be referred to as my retirement party.  In honor of the occasion, Mike and I sang a duet to the tune of Oklahoma. It captured our heartfelt sentiments.
Hal-le-llu-ia!  Our three girls have found themselves three men,
And we will not cry as we wave good-bye,
For we’ll be like newlyweds again.
We know we will be in demand.
“Hello Dad, its broken lend a hand”
So, when we say “YEOW- A YIP-I-O-E-A”
We’re only saying, “Sure it’s OK if you leave us,
We’ll be newly weds again.
OK to be on your way”

So, who are these kids that we are so proud to have out from under roof?  Tracey our oldest and her husband Geoff live near Providence RI.  Tracey, who graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Illinois, has red hair and the temperament to go with it.   Naturally assertive and highly opinionated, her spontaneous humor is all that stands between her and altercation.  The thing she loves to do most is offer advice, need it or not.     Geoff is a graduate of SCAD film school here in Savannah.  They work for High Output, a rental warehouse for movie and stage equipment.  Geoff is a lighting technician and Tracey was an accountant and, naturally, an unsolicited advisor to the CEO.  That is until last month when she had our first grandchild, Logan Michael.  For High Output, it was a VERY BLESSED event.  She can now stay home to ‘advise’ Logan.

Betsy, our middle daughter, at age eight was so crazy about horses, she became one.  She ate raw oats and did not sleep in her bed, but in a ‘stall’ made of blankets and rags on the floor.  She galloped on all fours constantly – indoors and out, up and down stairs.  We considered analysis.  Sometime as she approached adulthood, she began to walk erect, but she never lost her enthusiasm for horses.  During her college years at Georgia Southern University, she founded an equestrian team that competed locally and nationally.  Today she lives with her husband, Fitz, in Columbus, Mississippi, where she trains horses and riders.  We managed to keep Fitz, a chemical engineer, in the dark about her past until after the knot was tied.

Kelly graduated from the University of Georgia in International Business and works for Progressive Insurance.  Her husband, David, is a physical therapist.  Their relationship got off to an interesting start.  They attended different High Schools, but knew each other from church.  When Kelly was a sophomore, she assumed a fellow that had been flirting with her was going to invite her to the homecoming dance.  In the course of conversation, it slipped that he intended to ask someone else first.  Playing second fiddle was not her style so she told him she already had plans.  Spurned, dateless and in a panic, she started calling in alphabetical order guys from her youth group phone list.  Mark Anander was not home, so she called David Bringman.  He was not home either, but his mother answered the phone and Kelly asked her if David could go to homecoming.  By the time David got home, it was a done deal.  Six years later, on his twenty-third birthday, they were married.  They live here in Savannah.  It took thirty years to get to this point.  I would not trade a minute of it, but I would not want to start over either.

Mike and I will have been married thirty-five years next June.  In some ways it has been a union of opposites:  he is high tech, I am manual; I am neat, he is not; I like plot driven movies, he likes explosions; I read mysteries, he reads instruction manuals.  In other ways we are a good match.   He likes pranks and I am an easy target.  For example, earlier this year we bought a king size bed.  It seemed so big and that was all we talked about for days.  One night we were in bed in our usual positions, I was on the telephone side, Mike was next to the alarm.  We were doing our usual thing, I was reading, Mike was surfing channels.  It was after 11:00 when the phone rang.  Anxiously, I picked up the receiver.  A call that late is never good news.  It was Mike calling on his cell phone from the other side of the bed to tell me good night.  I told you he was high tech.   Our next challenge will be adjusting to retirement – or maybe not!  Mike has been in the oil industry since we got married, first with Amoco (BP) and now with CITGO.  However, his present position was eliminated and they offered him a severance package he could not refuse.  Now there is talk of hiring him back as a consultant.  The only certainty to come out of this confusion is that Savannah will probably be our permanent home.   And that is alright also.  We like the warm winters, suitable for golf year around, the low country is ideal for bicycling, the beach is thirty minutes away and travel is easy because Savannah International Airport is only a ten minute drive.

So back to my original question, what do I have to show for the last forty years?  Tons of pictures, piles of scrapbooks and oodles of memories.  Isn’t that better than fame and fortune?


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