Gloria Hart Elsner

The summer we graduated I went to Orlando to business school. Let me stop right there and mention what an influence Mr. Russell (Bruce’s dad) was on that decision. Most of you should remember Mr. Russell was a typing and bookkeeping teacher at SHS.

As well as I can remember girls in the class of 1960 had four choices; college to be a teacher, a nurse, business school or get married. I knew college was not for me. I couldn’t stand the sight of blood, so I pretty much narrowed it down to business. While at school I met a fine man in the Navy stationed not too far from Orlando. What was so strange was his home town was Bradenton. We fell in love and had planned to marry when I finished the following June. That February my world was turned upside down as he was killed on a routine naval training flight. With a loving family, friends and God’s assurance I was able to wonder through the next couple of years.

I finished school, worked at EMR for a couple of years, but was still restless and wanted something different in my life. The summer before I moved my friend, Marilynn Myer from high school approached me with an opportunity to go to The Bahamas with a small circus for several weeks. We had both done Sailor Circus in high school. It included free room and board. All I had to do was the swinging ladder and dance the twist with an elephant. We had a blast. Can’t tell you all we did (or I’d have to kill you), but we still laugh about it when we occasionally catch up over the phone to see what’s going on in each others lives.

Hope I still have a few of you still with me -- here comes the second chapter.
In 1963 I moved to Atlanta, Georgia. I met Gene through a friend I had gone to business school with. We were married in 1964. We celebrated our 46th anniversary in February. We have two daughters, Paige 43 and Gina 40. Paige is married with one daughter, Madison (12). Paige works for an international company and has the luxury of doing most of her working hours from home. Paige’s husband is a teacher and coach at a private school in Atlanta (Woodward). Gina is married with three daughters, Brooke(17), Kaylee (16), and Sara (13). Gina is a 5th grade school teacher and her husband also is a teacher and high school coach (Chattahoochee High School in the northern part of Atlanta).

We finally built our dream home in 2000 - a log cabin in the northwest part of Georgia. It’s small, but exactly what we need.  Gene retired that same year in June and I the following year.

Our whole family is very sports minded. Gene and I spend a lot of time on the road going to various activities of the girls. All four granddaughters play softball, basketball, active in school activities and this year Brooke’s track team won AA State Tournament. Brooke was so proud this was her first year participating in track. She did shot put, came in 6th in the state and contributed 3 points towards her school’s total of 53. They beat the second place team by 3 points, and Brooke will tell you it was her three points that put them over the top. They are all four good students as well and if you didn’t notice we are very proud grandparents.

Hang in there I’m just about through - I spend one day a week at our local hospital volunteering as a pink lady which is very rewarding, I’ve taken up quilting in my old age and enjoy it very much. We have a scenic train in our little town of Blue Ridge and you’ll find me selling tickets a few times a month there.