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’52 – It was back to the Pacific Northwest

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After several years in Brazil, we returned to Tacoma, and of course would use this opportunity to visit with my Grandparents.

By this time I was truly bilingual, and would switch between English and Portuguese with ease, often in mid-sentence. I would speak to my family in English, but for some goofy-four-year-old-kid reasoning, I would speak to my Grandma ONLY in Portuguese, and it drove her KRAZY!!

She would scold my folks, “Oh you took little Jonnie away, and now look!”

Apparently I would laugh with delight when this happened, and my dumb trick ended as soon as they figured out what I was doing and stopped reacting/over-reacting.

Over the next few years before I lost my second language, I would make my Grandma laugh by answering her in Portuguese. Much to the chagrin of my older brothers, this would occasionally result in an extra cookie or two.

I was extraordinarily blessed to have had such a wonderful Grandma!


’49 – Seattle Tacoma International Airport

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In 1942, construction started on a new international airport between Seattle and Tacoma.

The new airport dubbed Sea-Tac, was formally opened on July 9, 1949 (shown here).

The airport cost $11million and was opened free of debt.

Unted Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Pan American World Airways and Western Airlines started their service at Sea-Tac on the day of dedication.

Seattle PI Photo Gallery:

My Mom would say, “We flew Pan-Am out of TACOMA-Seattle the day they opened the new airport …”

Note: My Mom was a Tacoma-girl.

She would then laugh, because she knew it wasn’t ‘technically’ correct, would add, ” … and when we were walking out to the plane, a ‘flock’ of planes flew over”.

Until just now, I had no idea of how big the ‘flock’ was.

’49 – Front Row (Left)

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The photo was taken on the day we (my Mom, five-year and ten-year old brothers, and I) departed Tacoma, Washington, to meet my Dad who was already in Rio de Janeiro. It was my Mom’s FIRST flight, and for her to take two bratty-kids, and one very sweet baby, on a trip like this by HERSELF, speaks volumes about the fortitude of my Mother.

I of course don’t remember the flights, but I heard the story enough times to know the route went roughly: Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New York, Miami, Havana, Caracas, Recifie, and finally Rio. I also know the story had us laying over in Havana for a full day because of a hurricane.

My Mom said she was met with a kiss from my Dad, and the question, “How was the trip?”

Her answer was apparently, “Here, YOU take THEM!!”

She then proceeded to walk into the terminal, leaving my Dad trying to hold me, and keep an eye on two ‘very happy to be finally off the plane’ little boys.

They both laughed at my Mom’s telling of the story, but I knew from my Dad’s discomfort, there had to modicum of truth to the story.

Years and years later as age caught up to her, I could always make her ‘feel good’, by asking her to tell me the story of our trip to Brazil.

She always told it like it was the very first time, and as the years went on, the bratty kids were no longer so bratty, and the sweet baby, although hard to believe, became even sweeter.