Roadrunner Jo is a nut! When she was asked to do this interview, she wrote back, “Nancy … I will, but in my own good time … my niece has been here for a week ... and I just had cataract surgery ... and need to get my new glasses … and the arm I broke in January has a loose screw .... I KNOW … always have had it, but this one is not in my head. It's in the metal plate they put in .... looks like I will be having surgery to remove it .... hmmmm! I wonder how much scrap metal is bringing today.” Need I say more? Jo the Roadrunner doesn't actually sit still for very long, so we should get right to her story before she rushes off to some adventure......... Beep! Beep!
The Life and Times of Jody Houck - aka - Betty Jo Miklovic - aka - Roadrunner.
I was born on the lovely morning of September 5, 1934 …. according to my older brother it was about 7:30 AM …. weighing in at over 12 pounds (the doctors scales only went to 12 pounds …). I was the 8th child in a wonderful West Virginia family. The day the doctor came back to fill out the birth certificate he had imbibed a bit and asked what my Mother was going to name this child … She replied “Betty Josephine, after the two grandmothers” …. well, the doctor mumbled …”that’s a hellova name to hang on a youngen”… so he changed it to Betty Jo …. Bless his heart! When I was good I was called Jody … which wasn’t too often. It didn’t take long for me to become a real spoiled brat …. just ask my sister, Mary K! Despite my tendency to be brattish, I grew up in a big family full of love and laughter.
Out of eight children (my parents adopted two grandchildren, making it ten altogether), my sister, Mary (six years older than me) and I are the only ones left out of the original eight … she lives in WV and is known as MaryK on Dave's Garden.
I managed to finish high school, despite the very low grade in Algebra, and got married just as I turned 18 in the fall. I moved to Richmond, Virginia, to begin married life and managed to have two lovely children…a boy named Keith and a girl named Melinda. That marriage only lasted about ten years….so…single mom raising two kids.
To the shock and amazement of my High School Business Math and Typing Teachers, I managed to get a job using these skills! (???) Revoking driver’s licenses at the Department of Motor Vehicles. That was so boring that I decided that my brother had the best job in mind for me … Stewardess on the new Hydrofoil boat that was going to start running the James River from Richmond to Norfolk, Virginia, stopping daily at the docks in Jamestown!~! What fun!! … But it lasted only one summer, then back to the drawing board for a job.
On the next job I met my second husband, Carl Miklovic. He worked across the street from where I was employed. We eloped on a windy March day to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and later I had a daughter we named Valerie. Since Carl loved to fish and we loved the beach, we moved to Virginia Beach, where I worked at several different jobs, but became a 4-H leader and worked with lots of children. I started a group of 4-H Square Dancers and we went to State Fair and other places and performed….this got lots of us parents interested in the square dancing too so we took lessons and joined a club. That was a very fun time. Once we even went to the National Square Dance Convention since it was being held in Baltimore that year.
After about 13 years in Virginia … and our children had flown the coop … we were old enough to hie ourselves down to Florida. We managed a Senior’s Mobile Home Park in Lakeland for a few years, then moved to Homosassa, Florida. By then we were completely retired … and could check out all the yard sales!!
The oldest daughter and her retired Navy husband had moved to Arizona … so we went to visit there and fell in love with Sierra Vista. The youngest daughter and her hubby (and baby, Andrew) decided to move also. They got here first, but we came along soon after. My husband was diagnosed with cancer right after we moved and he lived only 18 months. Single again, but now I live next door to one daughter, and two miles from the other, with my son living in Tennessee, where I can visit once or twice a year and fill my desire to see changing seasons again.
I stay so busy in my retirement that I don’t have time to be bored. For a number of years, I volunteered in the visitors center of Coronado National Monument … met lots of nice folks from all over. I have three tote bags filled with what I need for different meetings: One is for my seniors’ group at church…Happy Achers. Two is for the Southern Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery Foundation, where I am Chairman of the Christmas Wreath Committee. (Four of us old ladies met up at the Christmas Wreath laying and there were only 247 wreaths … we decided that we could do better so we formed ourselves into a committee and the Foundation welcomed us. We raised enough money that year to lay wreaths on all 2,000 veterans graves!) The third tote contains my things I need to sell advertising to different merchants for the annual Cowboy Poetry and Music festival held each year in February. I am on the committee to get advertising for the program booklet
For my 75th birthday, my two daughters were giving me a party … I said where ya gonna have it … she said her house … I said, not big enough … she asked me for my guest list and it was 120 people .... but I assured her that only about 60 would come .... 92 attended at the church fellowship hall .... What a ball we had! Folks still talk about it as the best party ever!
This brings us up to my 77th year…and I hope I can keep up my busy schedule until the Good Lord calls me home. But I do hope I can take my laptop so I can keep up with things that are happening here on Cubits!
"Happy Achers!" Too funny! I asked Jo if the idea for the group was hers, because she has that kind of a sense of humor. It sounded like a name she would have chosen. And I asked her about the Cowboy Poetry and Music festival too.
No, I didn't start Happy Achers ... It is a Seniors Group at my Methodist Church .... although folks come from other churches because we have so much fun. Once a month we have a pot luck luncheon, have some type of entertainment, and announce birthdays, anniversarys and who needs prayer. We also take a trip ... somewhere close by ... no farther than Tucson .... about once a month.
The Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival is a three day event every February .... no REAL cowboys but you will see lots of western finery on folks around the county. Talent from quite a few States entertains us. Even my Church has a "Western Sunday" at that time .... Pastor looks great in his outfit.
Gosh, you sure are a busy lady, Jo!! And you are a dear, sweet, funny lady too! You've brightened my day with your "delightful" style of expressing yourself. I don't know where you get all that energy....I should have asked you that. Maybe you can share your secret in one of our comment threads.
I've loved having this time to get to know you better. It's truly been a pleasure having you as our guest! Thank you!!
Jo sent me quite a few photos, and Sharon contributed one from her own album. I've put them all together here.........You can scroll over them to read the descriptions, and click on them to enlarge them.
I hope you have enjoyed our time with Jo today. I know I did! And we look forward to hearing from you in the threads below. See you next week!