This is the last in a series of blogs I’m writing for Mommy’s Piggy Tales. (Because I won’t be able to link it next week, I’m doing it early.) Janna has provided a forum for members to write and share stories from their youth. It’s a great adventure! In June, 1978, Mom, Louise, Scott, Holly and I went to Provo for a month. Ida joined us after spending a couple of weeks with Cheri and Glen in Idaho. Mom was attending a seminar for her Bachelor of Independent Study degree, Louise and Scott attended sport camps, and I went to Especially for YOUth – all on the BYU campus. The weeks were staggered so that there was always a babysitter for Holly. We had rented an apartment and that was a lot of fun. There was a discount supermarket just across the street where we bought our food; it was exciting to just cook for a few people.

On my sixteenth birthday we went downtown to watch the parade. I don’t think I’d ever before attended one in person. It was a fun experience. I really enjoyed that month, just because I enjoy exploring towns in the middle of summer when there’s nothing else to do. I also enjoyed EFY, although I felt a little out of place because I wasn’t staying in the dorms. However, I learned a lot from the speakers and the activities.

Driving back to California, Mom let (made) me drive a lot so I could have some practice. We were in the Ford truck which had manual transmission and I had trouble shifting. My brothers and sisters in the back did not appreciate the lurching very much. The greatest compliment I received was after stop-and-go traffic in Stockton, that I managed without stalling, when Louise said she thought Mom had been driving.

During the week I was home before Girls’ Camp, I took the test for my driver’s license. I was a nervous wreck, but I did pass it – just barely, but I got it the first time. I was pleased. I’m a much better driver, but it’s hard to learn when your parents get frightened easily, and you don’t have much practice. The day I got it, we went up to San Jose to the grandparents and they all surprised me with a big cake and then all of my birthday presents. Grandmother had hurt her foot so we did all the celebrating around her bed. It really was a lot of fun. My junior year in high school was really exciting. My classes were P.E., Trigonometry, French III, Camerata, Choir, English, U.S. History, and Biology. I was doing my French independent study because of class conflicts, but was in the French II class along with Louise. We studied some during class, but we also did a lot of visiting and just had a good time. Biology has never thrilled me, but I loved the teacher and I did learn many new things. Louise was also taking biology, but from another teacher, so I had someone with whom to discuss the things we were studying.

Mr. Dunn was my trig teacher and he was absolutely fantastic. We had a good group of kids in that class too. I really did have a lot of friends and I knew many people. A lot of people knew me also, and that’s a neat feeling.

At this time I was the official accompanist for choir and Camerata. We had a great time together. Sometimes I wish those days could come back, but that can’t happen. Our spring trip was really special. We were able to participate in a week long festival in Hawaii. I’ll never forget that trip. I loved being able to relax and enjoy the atmosphere with my peer group in a way that would not have been possible with my family. We sang quite a few times and that was a good experience. At one of the schools the teacher was a Mormon so we were able to make it to church on Sunday. It took a lot of courage to ask for her assistance, but I’m glad I did. She picked me and Cindy Stephens and three others in our group up and we attended Easter Sunday services in the Honolulu tabernacle. That night there was also a dinner activity that I declined to participate in and that gave me the opportunity to discuss the church with some more of my friends. Not everyone has the chance to travel as I have done, although many have done much more, so I’m thankful for all the beauties of the world that I’ve seen.

The summer of 1979 was the Martin Family Reunion, this time in the Tahoe-Donner area of California. I truly enjoyed those few days spent with my cousins and other relatives. I feel the closest to this side of my family because we do have these tri-annual events.

Senior year brings back many good memories. By that time I had cut my niche at the high school and I was very busy. I went five periods all year long, instead of taking seven and graduating at the semester. I was at the head of my class, student body secretary, choir and Camerata accompanist, active in three or four clubs, as well as church and community service. I was honored and received many awards, and $10,500 in scholarships by the year’s end, but I like to think that that didn’t change me too much. If anything, I realized that there are many people in the world who have greater talents than I have, but it’s up to me to magnify the ones I’ve been given.

(Here are the Kimball Scholarship Finalists for that year. I’m in the center of the front row. Interesting sidenote: Brad’s mother-in-law is in this picture – the back row, far right – small world!)

June 13, 1980 indicated the end of a fantastic period of my life. I graduated from high school as the valedictorian of my class. I’d been accepted to Brigham Young University where I had been awarded the highest scholarship they had – the Spencer W. Kimball Scholarship. In the letter informing me of the honor, I was exhorted to learn about the life of President Kimball and to follow his example and work towards perfection. That is my life long goal.