Julie was always a happy, energetic, strong little one. She was born with curly red hair and I was certain I had the next Shirley Temple or Annie. I remember when Gloria Rendleman came over for a visit and seeing Julie with a cute new hairdo with curls circling around her face, she said,” She’s so cute, I’m going to cry.” Cindy Ginther, also a red-head, wanted to adopt her.
Deb and Julie were the best of friends, almost like twins. Julie was brave and outgoing while Deb was quieter and more introspective. Julie had a laugh that would fill the neighborhood as she wrestled down the boys. One time, they decided to go outside right after their bath. I let them run around naked while I answered the phone. I then got another call from a neighbor saying, “Sue, look outside your girls are going down the slide butt naked.” Yikes.
I remember one time after being up late with Larry that I heard her walk down the stairs to the kitchen. I thought to myself, I better get up and see what my 2-year-old is up to. But it was quiet so I slept a little longer before I came down the stairs to see her covered with powdered sugar. A friend had given us a dozen donuts and Julie had taken a bite out of most of them leaving her and the kitchen a royal mess. I looked at her and said, “Julie, you won’t need any breakfast this morning.” Speaking of breakfast, Larry and I went on a ski trip and left Deb and Julie with Barb and Ken. They fed them pancakes and Julie was able to eat as many as 240 Ib. Ken.
Dad would place Deb and Julie on the dresser and have them jump to him. After Deb jumped, Julie would not hesitate to jump almost immediately afterwards showing her total trust in her dad to catch her. Her spirit of adventure was evident at a young age. Even though Deb was 15 months older, she insisted on doing everything Deb did.
We went on a picnic with a Jesus People group and the gnats were buzzing around Julie’s nose. I had to take her to our VW bus to keep her safe from them. I took her to the doctor the next day, and after some time he found that she had something up in her nose that was rotting. When he removed it, all was well. We never knew what it was. but it brought back memories of my mother putting her finger in a meat grinder out of curiosity and of me trying to make my little iron hot like my mother’s by transferring the heat with my hand.
We loved to take the kids camping at Kettle Moraine and we have pictures of Julie shirtless on the Merry-go-round. We would sleep under the stars and play Hide-and-Seek and Mother May I. Dad and I loved playing with our kids at all their ages.
I remember one trip to Kentucky to see the Mammoth Cave. Dad had a bout of unexpected diarrhea and had to go immediately. He used Julie’s little potty I brought with us in our VW Conversion Van. The rest of the way, Julie chimed in saying, “Julie’s potty, Daddy’s potty” which gave us a lot of giggles.
At a restaurant, we sang songs to entertain our kids while waiting for our food. We just finished singing Six Little Ducklings when the waitress arrived. Julie said, “My daddy calls my mommy “Wibble Wobble”. Dad had names for all of us. Deb was Bear and Julie was Hulia.
Julie never talked baby talk. She could speak full sentences at an early age. She would grow up to be an excellent student, singer, actress, guitar player and a strong and self-assured leader.