Fun Facts about Filly Phyliss


This is Filly Fun Fact week and it’s my turn to share with you all some of my life.  First off, I was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle on the caprock.  Lots of folks have the idea that the Panhandle is only sage brush and yucca, but it’s not.  It has some of the most beautiful wildflowers, yucca blossoms, and cattle in the United States.  Okay, here goes ten things that most of you don’t know about me.

palo-duro-canyon-for-trr1.  Probably the most interesting part of me is my heritage.  First of all, Daddy was a “Fly boy” as they called the soldiers stationed at the Amarillo Air Force Base at the end of WWII.  Daddy was walking down Polk Street and saw just the back of Mother sitting at the soda fountain.  He fell in love with her red hair peeping through a drug store window.  They married and about nine or ten months later, I came along and then three more sisters.  So I’m definitely an A personality with a tad of OCD dusted over me.  Need I say more!

My daddy’s family came to the United States following the overthrow of Kiser Wilhelm and changed their name.  We don’t know why they left Germany.  Were they a part of the overthrow and had to leave for protection?  Or, were they part of Daddy’s preferred story … royalty who  were brought to America and changed their name to Pannier for their own safety and to start a new life?  We’ll likely never know, except it’s obvious that we have a lot of German heritage in us.  So, then my mama, a pure southern lady born in Louisiana and Texan implant, married Daddy, a Yankee through and through.  Black-eyed peas were for the hogs, so they were never served in our house!

Now for mama’s side of the family.  Born in 1898, Grannie’s given name was Petrolea Pauline Womack and she wassouthern-belle raised on the Womack Plantation in Louisiana.  You talk about a pure southern belle and Baptist, who never drank but loved Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Until recently, the town of Womack was listed in all road maps and atlases.  She married my grandfather Alva Robert Johnson, a railroad worker who was the grandson of a true Blackfoot Indian princess. There were two things I knew I’d have when we went to their house…Hershey Chocolate Drops and the little 8 oz. bottles of Coke, like those recently released.  He thought the flavor of the larger bottle were diluted.  And, yes, you can see the Blackfoot heritage in our family.

bass-guitar2.  I cannot sing!  My girls even whispered to me in church to please stop singing; however, I can play the bass guitar. I never liked the guitar, although I own a red and white Fender Stratocaster, because the strings hurt my fingers.  In one of my business ventures, my business partner and I owned a true Texas Honky Tonk.  Although I was half owner of the band, they only let me play when it was closing time and most of our patrons had left or needed to leave.

3.  When I graduated from high school my typing teacher told me to go to collage and go into something that did nottypist require typing.  Funny thing, I followed her advice, and ended up in the legal field. For nearly fourteen years as Legal Coordinator for our local hospital district and later being a paralegal  with a big law firm doing  mainly medical defense litigation.  I wonder today if Miss Shows challenged me with her statement or she truly didn’t think I could type well enough to hold down a job that required typing!

4.  I have been a Toastmaster.  The hardest courses I’ve ever taken were the ones that led me to be a Dale Carnegie graduate.

8-kids5.  I have eight grandkids.  Right now half of them are in college, with the oldest graduating this coming May and going into medical school.  I have three more who are taking classes in preparation for medical school.  One, who will go into college in the spring, plans on being a school teacher, which is the career I wanted to go into, plus we come from a long line of school teachers.  I’m proud of all of them.

6.  I think writers should walk-the-walk, which of course something isn’t possible.  My favorite spot is CentralOut of the Texas Night California (Santa Barbara County) where my oldest daughter and her family live.  I’ve written one single title book set in California and ending in Texas while I visited there.  Some of the same characters are in the single title I’m working on right now.  Out of a Texas Night is the second of the Kasota Springs Romance series.

circus-clown7.  I’m married to a authentic Ringling Brothers Barnum Baily clown.  I didn’t have time to reproduce the picture we have of Frosty the Clown doing Bob’s face for his performance, but I do have a picture of Frosty on one of the posters for the circus.  My DH always had a desire to be a clown, although it is truly the farthest thing from his true personality.  One of our dear friends was with an advertising agency for the circus and made his dream come true.

8.  One of my favorite things to do beside writing and being a Granny is to hand quilt. Now I don’t care about piecing but I love to hand stitch.  My motherquilting was wonderful at the lost art of quilting and my baby sister, Mary, quilts on the sewing machine.

acs9.  My favorite charity is the American Cancer Society.  I love Relay for Life events and since my California daughter began with the ACS before she even had children, we’ve been involved in many, many events all over the country.

10.  Now for the thing most people don’t know about me.  I’m a woman with two first names.  Phyliss Miranda.  But here’s the catch Phyliss isn’t truly my first name.  I came from the era that I never had to have my birth certificate filed with the State of Texas.  We got into school, higher education, married and had our own babies using the certificate issued from the hospital.  Mother always told me that my name was misspelled, although I was named after two of my aunts, Phyllis and Bobbie Rae.  We thought it was Phyllis that was spelled wrong, so we used Phyliss.  That was until I applied for my Passport and had to get the original.  Oops, it read Phyllis Rae Pannier.  So I’d gone around with the wrong name but it was too late to change.  The house, our checking accounts and all business records show Phyliss, not to mention my two daughter’s birth certificates.   So, much for presuming.   I knew my Aunt Bobbie was named after her father Robert thus Bobbie and Grannie’s brother Ray.  Recently, while going through old records I found a number of my aunt’s business papers and guess what?  Her middle name fluctuates between Rae and Ray with Ray being in the family Bible written in my grandmother’s hand.  So in reality, both my first and middle names are wrong!

Just as long as you call me for supper, I’ll answer to any of the names! But my favorite name of all is Mrs. Robert Miranda.


Now, how about a prize or two?  I’ll give two readers who leave a comment a e-copy of any of my books that are on Amazon at the moment.  If you’d prefer to have a signed copy of any one of the six anthologies by Sister Filly, Linda Broday, Jodi Thomas, the late DeWanna Pace, and me, you can select that. Thanks for stopping by.

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A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

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27 thoughts on “Fun Facts about Filly Phyliss”

  1. I’ve really enjoyed learning about all of the Fillys. Thank you for sharing.

    My mom tells me when I was born she didn’t notice until months later that they had put the wrong year on my birth certificate…a ten year mistake. I was born in 1952 and they listed 1942. She was able to have it quickly changed since she caught it early. Also, her mom and dad named her Dortha Lee and my mom went by Dortha all through school, until one day she needed her birth certificate and they found out the hospital had misspelled her name and listed her as Dorothy Lee.

    Cindy W.

    • Hi Cindy, thanks for commenting. You’re history on names is as weird as mine. Now if they had put 1962 on your birth certificate, it’d work; although you’d be something like 16 when you went into the first grade! LOL So many post-war babies found out the misspelling of their name when they applied for Medicare. The gov’t. puts the middle initial of your birth last name as your middle name. I was a notary for years and signed as Phyliss R. now it’s Phyllis P. on government records. Next year, it might well be something else. There is definitely a difference between Dortha Lee and Dorothy Lee. Have a great day, my friend. Phyliss, Phyllis, etc.

  2. Wow! I loved you’re article Phyliss, very interesting. My middle name was spelled wrong on my birth certificate whenever I was born. I was very sick and lived in an incubator for 26 days, so my parents only concern was that I lived, not the misspelling of my name. My middle name is Michille, they added a 2nd “I” instead if an “e” after the “h”. So Michelle was spelled as Michille. I love that it’s spelled wrong. I think that makes it unique. Your writing I have always loved, you truly can tell a beautiful story.
    Your DH is a very lucky man to have such a wonderful wife.

    • Hi Tonya, my friend. The Good Lord certainly blessed your family with you coming through 26 days in an incubator and many, many days of loving care afterwards. I hope I don’t insult you, but living in Texas plus having a kitty name Chili…I couldn’t help but pronounce the misspelling as My Chili; but I think I truly love Michelle much better. I have a niece that is named after me, Michelle Rae. Pleases me to no end. Thanks so much for the nice comment about my stories. I need a kick in the rear plus a hug at the moment to get this next book finished, so thank you for the hug. Now, if you asked my DH, he might no agree with you about me being a wonderful wife … but I guess I’ve done good to make it to our upcoming 48th wedding anniversary. And, yes I married at the age of 7! LOL Have a wonderful day, Tonya. Hugs, P

  3. These are very interesting facts about you. The one that got my attention the most was your name. When I was younger, I went by a last name that was never mine. Since my mom had remarried she just tagged that last name to me and I went with it. When we moved from New York to Texas, the school said no way. I had to go by the name that was on my birth certificate. That was an adjustment as I had been using one name since I could remember.

    • Hi Janine. Thanks for taking time to comment. I can’t imagine going by one last name for years and having to change it. I guess the school systems in Texas learned not to use the birth certificates … finally. I’m glad you adjusted to your last name, then I bet you married and it changed again. Just guessing. Take care and have a wonderful day. Hugs, P

    • Hi DebraG, glad you stopped by and left a comment. You are so right, names are very strange. As a writer, I’ve really noticed the “newer” generation of names. Dang it, about half of them I can’t pronounce. I bet you’ll come across a name story in your family one of these days. Have a great day, Hugs, Phyliss

  4. It was great getting to know you better, Phyliss. What a family history! Grandchildren are definitely a blessing and I always tell people that the “grandparents club” is the best club in the world! And with doctors and teachers, what wonderful futures. Thank you for sharing about your life and thank you for sharing your talents.

    • Hi Melanie, thanks for your kind comments. I’m totally with you on grandchildren being a blessing. I’ve been fortunate that mine have lived here (or Texas) most of their lives, so I’ve been very involved with them. The older ones were born in other towns. I only have one born in Amarillo; while the youngest boy who lives out in California was born out there the first time they lived in Cal. He is the one when asked if he was a certain religion, replied, “No I’m a Texan!” The only one born out there!!! I love being a Granny and had to get permission from my family to be called that since we already had one Granny…thus the Grannie and Granny spelling. I guess that’s another name issue for me. LOL Take care of yourself, my friend. Hugs, P

  5. We have something in common, that our father’s were both “Fly Boys”. My father was in the RAF and came to Canada where he met my mom. I am okay singer, but have no musical ear when it comes to instruments.
    Thanks for sharing these fun facts about your Phyllis..

    • Hi Kathleen (my oldest daughter’s name, as well as the middle name of one of my grands). Love it, but hate to answer “Is it Kathy with a K or a C?” Happy to have “Fly Boy” fathers in common. That was when it was the Army Air Corp. I bet you’d learn an instrument, since you can sing. I was always in the choir, so now I know, I must have drove my teachers and choir directors crazy. You’re never old to try out an instrument, you never know but you might be better than you think. Have a wonderful rest of the day. Big Texas hugs, P

  6. Hi Phyliss,

    I enjoyed learning more about you! I always have to stop and think to spell your name because my sister’s name is Pnyllis and to write it differently is an effort!

    What an amazing genealogy you have! I really enjoyed learning of it all.

    • Thanks, Kathryn for taking time out of your busy schedule to leave a comment. Now you know you really don’t have to worry about how to spell my name because either way is correct. If I ever stop writing, I’d love to do genealogy on my dad’s side of the family. We have the Johnson, but not Womack. I know one thing, I plan on writing a story about a Southern Belle marrying a railroad worker and moving to Texas! I have the perfect town. Sister Filly Linda and I have visited it a couple of times. Have a great day and again thanks. Hugs, Phyllis

    • Hi Kim, thanks for taking time to leave a comment. You are right, some of my personal facts are silly-willy but I enjoyed writing the blog. To tell the truth, I promise this was one of the hardest blogs I’ve ever written. I wanted to use some personal pictures, but I couldn’t get everything coordinated to locate and copy them on time. Sounds like poor timing on my behalf, doesn’t it. Sure isn’t an “A” personality that I profess to be! LOL Again, thanks and hugs, P

    • Colleen, thanks for stopping and leaving a comment. I’m glad you enjoyed all of our stories (facts is probably the proper word)! We enjoy each of our readers’ comments more than you all know. Have a great day, Hugs, P

  7. Phyliss, it is so fun getting to learn more about you. What a wonderful heritage you have! So rich and textured. And we have something in common since my roots go deep in Louisiana too (though mine are of the Acadian exile, not plantation, variety) !

    • Hi Sister Filly Winnie, thanks for stopping by when I know you’re so busy. I tried to show some of the silly side to my life, as well as what made me what I am today. To be honest with you, the Fillies have helped me so much. I thought about a fact that I didn’t use and maybe will save it for later. When I first came to P&P as a guest, I did my own drawing (of course with the help of Felicia, that dang horse that I couldn’t get my instructions straight from!!!), so I promise I gave a prize to every Filly, not even thinking about looking at the sidebar to see who was a Filly. I was honest, I put all the names in a Stetson and drew from it and that was the winner. That dang Felicia never told me not to put in the Fillies’ names! LOL We’ve got to get together, Winnie, and talk about Louisiana. Have a wonderful day, my friend. Hugs, P

  8. What fun family history! The name story is just fantastic. What a great thing to pass down! I cannot say that I have anything that interesting in my family history. haha! Thanks for sharing all of it!

    • Hi Susan, thanks for taking time to leave a message. I meant to begin with the name story, but figured it was so complex that nobody would read any further. I bet you have a story in your family history. The thing about my Grannie and Grandpa Shorty (he was short but then over 50% Blackfoot), none of us know the story. Their youngest son who is 86 now lives here and is the oldest of the family with me being the next and he doesn’t know how they got together. Folks back then didn’t discuss things like that with their family. Oh gosh, I recall when I told Grannie that I was “pregnant” with Jennifer, the younger of our two girls. Grannie nearly had a heart attach because I used the “PG” word! Oh my gosh, I was such a bad mother because I didn’t say “I’m that ‘that’ way”. I guess in those days everyone knew what “that way” meant! Take care of yourself and have a great rest of the day, my friend. Hugs, Phyliss

  9. Hi Alisa, glad you dropped by. Thanks for leaving a comment and you’re not too late to be in the drawing. I’ll draw and do an announcement later this evening. Take care of yourself. Hugs, Phyliss

  10. Thank you for the introduction to part of who you area. You certainly have an interesting and varied family background. Have you done any genealogical research to see if you can trace your dad’s family back to Germany and get some real answers about his ancestors. I know how the name changes can make it difficult. We had ancestors in French Canada when the British took over. The rounded up the french, the Acadians, and shipped them south to Louisiana where they became the Cajuns. Many did not want to leave and hid. They changed their names, some several times, and moved around.
    You have been very successful in what you have pursued. It must be a great joy to you to have your grandchildren following your lead and being so successful themselves. It is a relief to know that they will have good lives ahead of them.
    I guess the issues with your name show how important it is to have good records and documentation.

  11. Hi Patricia. thanks for dropping by. I haven’t done the Womack genealogy but am itching to. That’s one of the things I want to do, or get one of my two ultra-busy daughters into. That’s top of my list when I retire officially. I worked with my hubby’s mom when she did her research and that was before the computers, so I’ve got a little bit of experience on how to begin. I’m sure with the Internet it’s much easier than it once was. Have a great evening. Hugs, Phyliss

  12. Phyliss, I’m late, girlfriend, but I had to stop by and just say how much I enjoyed reading all about you and getting to know more about you! WOW–I had no idea you played bass guitar. Did I ever tell you that Gary and I used to have our own little band? Yep! “Back in the day”–before kids.

    Very interesting stuff–I especially loved the mixup with your name. And oh, the mystery of why your family left Germany to come here–wouldn’t you love to know the REAL story?

    Hugs, Phyliss! I loved this post of yours!

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