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My uneventful life in a little bio
-or-
How a little suburban girl came to be.

I was born a poor black--

Okay, thatís a lie. I was actually born on June 20th, 19(mumble, mumble), the youngest of 7 children. My dad was John Gerard Nash, a native New Yorker, the second generation of his all Irish family to be born in America. He was a printer for newspapers and a proud WWII vet who served in the defense force in England. He felt this wasn't enough and volunteered for the front. A day before he shipped out, the war ended. He felt cheated. He was one of those men who was everyone's buddy, a good friend, and a great sense of humor. He died of cancer in 1974 when I was little. I wonder what he would think of me now.

His father was Patrick Charles Nash and his mother was Margaret Nash neé O'Hara. The interesting thing about these grandparents is: I recently found out my grandfather was a career Navy man. That's astounding because I always knew of his last career: a bookie affiliated with the gangster Dutch Shultz. How do you go from proudly serving in the military, raising a son to standby what's right and wrong, and then become a criminal? It caused a lot of problems between my father and him. There's an infamous story of my dad and my mom going to visit my grandfather with their first child, an infant Terry. As they came up to the apartment door, large men in long coats were standing outside as guards. Cursing, my father went into the apartment and there was Dutch Shultz sitting at the table. While my mother sweated, my father and grandfather argued in the kitchen, my Dad saying he didn't want these people around his family. Dutch Shultz, meanwhile, amused baby Terry by giving her twenties to play with. It was agreed my grandfather would keep his family life separate from his 'career'. He died from a heart attack at a boxing match because he was screaming at someone that they had fixed the fight. I never knew him.

My paternal grandmother, called Grammy, by the time I came along was just an older, slightly wacky, grandma. She had very odd taste in knickknacks including the famous ceramic Fighting Chickens centerpiece. Before I was born, she divorced my grandfather, ran a number of successful businesses -- such as a restaurant and a beauty parlor -- that she got eventually bored with. She also had a good time spending the money. Why not? It was hers. She did remarry to Charles Sargent who we called PopPop. He was the only grandfather I knew. Grammy passed away when I was six; PopPop just a few years ago.

My mother was -- get ready for this -- Doris Mae High Nash Alberston. Born and grew up in Doylestown, PA, she (and hence us kids) are part of the Michener family best known for the late James A. Michener, author. Our own family is descended from William, the son of John Michener and Sarah Moore who were the ones to come to America and start all us.

My mother's mother, Marion Michener, married Arthur High whose family was, at one time, Medonite. Like my paternal grandparents, my mother's parents were also divorced which is an amazing thing for that generation. My grandmother, Nana to us, eventually remarried to Walter Hager; we called him Walker. Get the feeling we can't get real names straight? Nana did some amazing things. After getting established with the Red Cross during World War II, she continued being an ambulance driver until her late sixties or something when a broken hip slowed her down. I just found out from my mom that Nana then became the ambulance corp's chaplain; my mother has prayers Nana wrote down. Amazing what you don't know about your own family. I thought Nana only made afghans; I got the last one she ever made on my 13th birthday. She died that Fall. Her husband, Walter, couldn't live without her and passed away one month later.

My mom has a sister, Betty. You knew this was coming: we call her DeeDee. My aunt has been very successful in politics, accomplishing quite a bit for a woman when women were held down in political careers. Right before she retired, she was asked to serve on the Welfare Reform Committee. She is the mother of my two cousins, Tom and Kyle Wilson.

My mom had a few different jobs; her favorite was being in the administration for the Girl Scouts. She kept in touch with the Girl Scouts and had fabulous stories of all the years she was both an administrator and a Scout leader. There are also embarrassing pictures of tiny me getting bathed in sinks and such as I merrily went along with her and the family on camping trips starting from when I was two weeks old (to Nana's horror). Such camping trips with an infant sister caused my siblings to draw sketches where I'd be left out as raccoon bait to save the food in the cooler. But the best camping stories belong to my siblings: the time the Army moved into the area for war games; the time they jumped on wild donkeys and got taken for an out of control ride; and the time my brother ate a moth.

Twelve years after my father's death, my mother remarried to Ralph Albertson. That gave them 12 children combined. Take that, Brady Bunch!

My mom and I were very close; she was my Matron of Honor for my wedding. That's why losing her a few months ago is a very, very painful wound. I haven't been able to update this bio until now, because I hate typing this. I miss her. I was with her on that last day. We went out for my birthday, having lunch with my sister Cathi and going shopping afterwards. I said goodbye to her, but because of cars honking for the parking space, I rushed out without kissing her. I'll always regret that. I got home and had a phone call that she was having a bit of trouble breathing. A few hours later, she was suddenly gone. ....I still can't watch home videos of her yet. But I hope that someday, I can be the legacy she deserves.

Back to lighter things: my parents came up with the cute idea of having their kids' nicknames rhyme which is why, when people ask, we are named Terry, Sherry, Gerry, Pat, Mary, Cathi, and Kerry (me). My only brother, Pat, was one exception; my father hated the name Perry so continued a family tradition of naming the son after the grandfather. My sister, Cathi, is adopted and avoided having her name being changed to something like Cherry. I'd like to go on record for thanking my Mom on fighting against naming me Beryl, thereby being Berry. Berry!

I was born 11 years after Mary -- Mom thought she was in the clear. Ha! My childhood is only noteworthy for giving my brother his nickname (Bats), doing cute tricks like "Dirty Pictures" (immediately covering my eyes when my siblings called this) and "Brains Are Falling Out" (covering my ears); obviously, I was a gifted toddler. I was a tomboy, and got into quite a few scrapes with my two nephews, Art (3 years younger than me) and Rob (4 years younger). My siblings, god bless 'em, were a lot of fun and I thank them for all the times they took me places; they can each tell you some story of places and things they've shown me. I got into trouble on my own too such as jumping up and down on the couch to the "Batman" theme song, falling, and cracking my head on the coffee table. That caused a trip to the hospital just as my sister Terry was bringing her boyfriend home to meet the family; brave man, he married her anyway. I also got my thumb stuck in a soda can for daring to think "Can my thumb fit in there?" As no car was at home, my father had to call an ambulance. I can still remember the ambulance drivers walking up to our front door, laughing their heads off. And there was the sheet stroke of genius where I made up a game of putting my one foot on a floating dock and the other on the stationary dock; then kicking the floating one out to the end of its chains, and jumping in the temporary space into the water before the floating dock shot back. I guess every kid had one game that almost killed them!

My dad got a job with the Philadelphia Inquirer so we moved from Middlesex, NJ to Blackwood, New Jersey, unfortunately leaving our family cat, Mittens -- Mary's favorite --with Gerry who bought our old house from Mom and Dad. Cathi and I, then the only two home, had some fun nights of Italian hoagies from the 7-11 in our development, and Elvis movies on the TV. Cathi also has the distinction of receiving the first present I ever bought with my own money: a ball-point pen. I chose this over the Mexican jumping beans because she was going to college and needed a pen.

I also got my first dog, Rufus. What a great dog. You couldn't ask for a better companion growing up.

Because of my dad's illness, I moved in with my sister Terry for a month. Terry was pregnant at the time, and I shared a room with my soon-to-be born niece, Jennifer. (My niece, Dawn, was born six months before thereby making Rob a big brother and Gerry the only one of my siblings to have more than one child). When my dad came out of the hospital, we moved to outside Mullica Hill, New Jersey, antique store capital of the world. He died shortly after on Jan. 2nd, making sure he saw the holidays.

Me and Terry's chinI've mentioned my nieces and nephews in passing, but I don't want to leave them out. Cheryl and Art had Young Art who, to our heartbreak, passed away at age 25. Gerry and Joey had Rob and Dawn. Terry and Fred had Jennifer. Cathi and Dave had Martin, my godson. Pat and Kathy had Gerard. The generation after them: Young Art had two sons, Matthew and Mathias. Rob and Narin have Robbie, Sadiye, and Leyla, and my niece Dawn and her husband John have Abby, Katie, and one baby on the way. If you ever meet Sadiye and Katie, you'll agree with me that these two strong characters will either lead this nation to a Golden Age we've never experienced before, or become dictators of an island nation.

As I turned into a huge geek in my late elementary and high school years, we'll skim over the details. Let's face it: High School was only notable in that I excelled as a student which is always popular in school. =) I had my first boyfriend, and then my first love, both of whom turned out to be jerks. I also porked up pretty good.

The good thing about high school was all the good times with the O'Neal family whom I still see today. Ann was my Maid of Honor.

College was better -- great friends, more self-confidence, and I slimmed down. I also found something I loved: writing. (Some things about my writing are on the creative page.) The only bad thing is: I went into a major I shouldn't. As a graduating senior, I realized "I have to get a job doing this? But I don't like it!"

Career wise, I've been in computers. For over 10 years, I was a system administrator, PC repair etc. When the web first got popular, I was a Prodigy member, the first company to give users web space to make a site. I enjoyed web design, much more than system administration. I used that Prodigy web space to make a web site for The Road Company, a community theater group I was associated with. That lead to a couple freelance jobs and armed with those, I got a job as an actual web designer.

Unfortunately, things have soured since then. My company took up President Bush on sending the majority of programmer and web jobs to Romania and India. I was out of work a long time, and now work at another company for 50% less money and entry level work, ie: career suicide.

Me with my big mouth openHowever, I made some good friends through my work, friends who are still with me now: like Kim who I met working for Slack, and Margie & Claudia from the Prosecutor's Office who constantly make plans that start too early in the morning. Hi, guys! This is a perfect picture of me with Margie because my big mouth is open (I'm on the right).



John Blackwell In my personal life, I got into community theater, another creative outlet like writing. More importantly, I met my husband, John. That's him ==> Being married to each other is one of our best accomplishments. If nothing else, we saved two innocent bystanders from being married to us instead. My mom said that he reminds her of my father in some ways; the sense of humor, his outgoing friendliness... but my dad was a Jets fan and John roots for the Eagles. =)

We're still very involved in theater and have made great friends there. More about our theater involvement can be found on the creative page.

John and I don't have any children (other than ourselves). But I was pregnant once. The baby died in a miscarriage. I mention it for those people who have just gone through one, and found this site when they searched for kindred souls. You might want to see the miscarriage page, if you're one of those people. I am very sorry for your loss, and know how much pain you're in. Take care, my thoughts and heart are with you, and if you need someone to listen, please don't hesitate to contact me.

We do have three pets who have taken control of the house: our dogs, Casey (a Canine American Princess -- toy fox terrier; basically, it's Casey's world. She's just letting us pay the mortgage.), Morgan (a mix of unknowns and our 'hugging dog' that we adopted from our vet office), and the latest addition, Elphie (a mix of Jack Russell and Pug). That's Morgan and Casey in the picture below in my Mustang convertible. Elphie is below, taking a nap with Morgan. The dogs love the convertible. Every seat is the ultimate window seat. And I've always wanted a Mustang and a convertible so why not combine them?

Morgan is on the left, Casey on the right

Elphie taking a nap with Morgan

Lately, I'm trying to emulate my Nana, Mom, and DeeDee in realizing you have to do something with your life that makes a difference. The world doesn't get better without people taking a hand to improve it. So I'm a volunteer with the Oasis Animal Sanctuary and I also do a website for the Salem County Humane Society. Then after a talk with a friend of mine about people who have trouble in getting someone to perform their weddings -- such as people of different religions like my nephew Rob and his wife, or different cultural ancestry like my own parents and John's, or even people who don't have a strong relationship with a church, and other reasons -- I registered for a non-denominational licensed so I could help those people. I do it with all respect for true ministers, rabbis, pastors, and every leader of a religious congregation. I know I am not the role they have as religious leaders and would never claim that I am. I don't do this to upset or disrespect anyone, but to be simply an officiate for people who are not in their memberships.

So I guess that only leaves one thing. If you're not rich and famous, why buy your name as a domain? Four reasons: 1) Why Not? 2) I got it cheap ($6). 3) An Internet instructor said he foresaw the day when we'd need our own address because everything would be tied to it (your phone etc.). 4) Most importantly, a woman of the same name is an activist writer in California. I'm hoping she'll want to buy the domain for a million dollars. ;)


Copyright 2004 - 2009 Erin Blackwell