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.
1. 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 was 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.
2. 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 not 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.
5. 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 Central 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.
7. 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 mother was wonderful at the lost art of quilting and my baby sister, Mary, quilts on the sewing machine.
9. 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.
DRAWING FOR TWO WINNERS!
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.