Padi at School

Padi at 8th grade graduation, 5th from left in the front row.
Circa 1948.

Padi in the Ritenour High School Band, left end of 3rd row, with saxophone.
Circa 1950.


Gramma Dee Dee

When we knew her, Dee Dee was the best gramma ever. She'd play Chutes and Ladders for hours at a stretch. The sheets in the spare bedroom were ironed white cotton and the bed was piled with quilts. She embroidered Sunbonnet Sue and days-of-the-week dishtowels. She made killer Barbie clothes. Who knew she used to be young and cute and a little bit naughty?

Frances Margery Smith, graduation circa 1934. Just a year later she had my mom. She had eloped while she was still in high school!

Frances, second from right, dressed as a man, circa 1930. Whoa.

Frances, second from right, leaning languidly on some guy who was not my grandfather, circa 1931.

Men Holding Babies

And not doing it too badly, either.

This is our grandfather, Thomas Lyle Drennen (known to us as Grampa Dee Dee), with his daughter Padi in 1935.

Choo Choo Papa and his grandson Leonard, in July 1933.

Paw Paw and his son Leonard, in 1933, on the river somewhere.


Kalogs on the Loose

"Kalog" is Tagalog slang for "crazy in a fun way." This was a ladies' club for the social elite of Cavite City, where the Sangley Point Naval Base was located. Padi and Leonard made a point of "living on the economy" and socializing with the natives. Either because they appreciated my parents' openness, or because she was crazy in a fun way, they made Padi an honorary member.

"Auntie, say 'Whiskey' or 'Sexy'!" They are crazy.

The chair of the Kalogs made an album of their last outing for Padi.

"Now look girls, here's what we do!"

"Aboard the 'jet' enroute."


"Chums ..."

"At the close of a glorious day!"


This is the best shot ever of Anna, Kurt and Susan. It was taken at Kurt's wedding to Karen Stix ca. 1983.

So Cute, You Could Eat Her Like a Cupcake

Padi Drennen at age two (1937)


Four Generations

Frances Smith Drennen, our grandmother, holding me; Gramma Smith, Frances' mother, holding fat baby Kurt; and Padi