Saturday, June 22, 2013


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 Stephanie Hatchett  was about five years old when her family moved next door to me. She and her older brother Jason and her cousin Shawn often visited me as children and I used to help them with homework assignments. If I gave them a treat, I made them read the labels before they could eat it.  I always encouraged them to think about education and college as a part of their future.
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Stephanie was on a memory lane kind of trip, checking out her old school, and her old digs, but her son, Jaylen, was bored. When she stopped at my house, he decided this was a good place to visit, it had a trampoline.
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Of course, jumping on a trampoline is hard work and requires a rest.
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We went through my junk box to see what Jaylen could find to put on the totem. This is his Woody Allen look.
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He eventually gave up one of his car toys and hung it up to share. Stephanie put something of hers on the totem, too.
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Jaylen's hands are barely big enough to grasp my camera but he managed to take a credible picture of us. As a young girl I would tell Stephanie to consider college in her future, and that  she was so beautiful she should become a model when she grew up. She did both;  she went to college and worked as the type of  model that is eye candy on music videos. She learned her way around Hollywood, met and partied with famous people and left it all for an ordinary life. It's pretty corrupt, she explained.
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Jaylen is a city kid; they live in Pomona, CA. He wanted to explore but was afraid to get too close to the woods. He eventually did it with some prompting. Stephanie is the bakery manager in a Southern California Costco.
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My neighbor came out and took our picture. We spent a couple pleasant hours  catching up on family stories. Her family moved away from my neighborhood before Stephanie graduated from High School.
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We went to Pizza Plus in Murphys for dinner where you can write or draw on a huge blackboard while waiting for your pizza.
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Jaylen got a turn on a video game, but he doesn't have television at home. Smart mom who doesn't let her kid veg in front of a TV. He is wildly imaginative, and smart and it shows.
I didn't recognize Stephanie when she appeared at my door. She said she introduced herself but I didn't hear it. It took me several minutes before I realized who she was. They say you send your children out into the world to see what they become when they return. She isn't my child, but that is how I felt about Stephanie. I was so glad she stopped in to let me know who she became.

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