A Momentous Year

April 19, 2021 | My Jottings

From the archives….

The year I turned seven was a momentous year in my life. In good ways and in bad, 1964-5 shaped my youth in ways that still affect me today.

This is my second grade school picture from Workman Avenue Elementary School in Southern California. I was in Mrs. Lokken’s class. Several really important things happened there.

First, I learned that contrary to what my parents had been told by Mrs. Weber, my first grade teacher, I did indeed have some academic potential after all. Who knew? Apparently not Mrs. Weber. I still have all my report cards from elementary school. I keep them in a file that’s labeled “report cards” in my filing cabinet. In first grade I got straight C’s. In second grade I got mostly A’s and a few B’s.

Secondly, I learned from Mrs. Lokken how crucial it is to enthusiastically blurt out “Rabbit!” to random people on the first day of every month (before they say it to you first), so you’ll have good luck the rest of the month, and presumably the random people won’t. I’m in my fifties now and our family still works hard at this undertaking. My husband Michael has been known to lay awake until the stroke of midnight on the first of the month, then gently nudge me and put his lips next to my ear and whisper wickedly, “Rabbit!” before he chuckles and then rolls over and goes to sleep. I am not making this up. My daughters try to rabbit me before I rabbit them, and I of course I try diligently to get them first. Texting has come in very handy with rabbiting. I sometimes text RABBIT! to Sharon, Carolyn and Sara very early in the morning on the first day of the month. My sons-in-law halfheartedly participate in this activity, all because I learned this life skill when I was seven years old, in Mrs. Lokken’s second grade class, in the momentous year of 1964.

Thirdly, I lost my two front teeth in the second grade, and actually let the insensitive nice man photographer influence me to smile with my mouth closed. I had never smiled like that before. For a long time after that I was self-conscious about my teeth and hated my smile. Then a few years later my parents spent thousands of dollars on 1) head gear, 2) braces, 3) a retainer, and 4) myriad orthodontist appointments, and after I heard “we’ve spent thousands of dollars on your teeth!” more than a few times, I decided to start liking my smile better.

Fourth, in the second grade I met my friend Denel. She was in Mrs. Lokken’s class too. She and I were the best of friends for years. I wrote about some of our childhood antics here. Denel still lives in Southern California and in 1981 I moved to Northern Minnesota, but we still keep in touch, pray for each other, and call each other “my dearest oldest friend.”  We still try to rabbit each other too. When I was seven years old in 1964, only God knew that I would gain a treasured friend whose love and faithfulness would span my entire lifetime. Forty-five years is a long time to have a friend.

Also when I was seven years old, I had not yet eaten an egg, a bite of cheese, a green vegetable other than iceberg lettuce, or even a sip of any kind of soup.

While 1964 was an eggless, cheeseless, fiberless, soupless year in my life, thankfully it did not turn out to be completely brainless, smileless or friendless.

Or rabbitless.

Reach back into your memory and share something that happened to you in 1964!


  1. Dorothy Sooter says:

    In 1964 my beautiful Kacie was born – March 26. When Doc and I were married in 1980, they discovered they shared the same birthday. The day after March 26, there was a killer earthquake in Alaska. My sister Isabel had come to help take care of our 2 boys. During the night someone was pounding on the front door and yelling – evacuate, possible sunami (sp)
    could happen. Our dog went under the bed and everyone stayed asleep. Most of the people in that stretch of the beach did leave. They kept new mothers in the hospital for 3 days then and I knew nothing about it. The wave came in at Crescent City in northern CA and killed a few people that had gone down to the beach to watch!!! Amazing, how a date can bring so many memories that I had not thought of in years. Thanks Julie.

  2. Jessica says:

    Sorry Julie. I was not yet even a twinkle in 1964. But I love hearing about your year!! And I’m so sorry that you had such a stinky first grade teacher. I think I’m actually mad at her for being so stinky to you.

  3. Robert Franck says:

    I was born. That’s pretty important.

  4. Just Julie says:

    I completely agree, Rob!

  5. Ember says:

    Aha! The rabbits get up several hours earlier in England!

  6. Deb says:

    1964 was a pretty ordinary year. In 1965 however, I contracted whooping cough and missed 7 weeks of school. When I returned to school, my 7th grade class had a substitute teacher. (I think our regular teacher, Sr. Louise, had a nervous breakdown.) The “sub” was kinda “stinky” but she never made me do one page of make-up work!

  7. Ganeida says:

    The rabbits are a whole day ahead here.:)

  8. Just Julie says:

    Haha yes — you would always win, always have the best days ever! xoxo

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.