Karen Cole Class of  1967

 

  Karen's 60th Birthday January 7th

 

Jeff and Karen

Since I continue to enjoy reading about everyone's escapades, I guess it's only fair to finally add mine. I have made a permanent place for my yearbook next to the computer so I could look up those names and faces that are hard to remember. (Or is it that "junior onset" Alzheimer's??....)

  Hi out there to everyone in email land. I was certainly shocked about a year ago to get a phone call from Jeff!! I had lost contact with almost everyone since high school except Sharon Blau Mathieson and a few mutual friends through her. I did manage to get to the 25 year reunion, but my life had a lot of turmoil in the few years after that and I have lost contact, unfortunately, with many people since then. Anyway, here goes............... I left for college in Sept of '67 never to return to Miami for more that 6 weeks again. I went to U. of Maryland on an Army nursing scholarship and did my training at Walter Reed. Got married between my junior and senior year and since my husband was stationed at the Pentagon, I stayed in the area and was stationed at Ft. Meade, MD for three years after graduation. Then I had to make the great decision - stay in or get out? After changing my mind about 700 times one weekend, I stayed in and went to Ft Benning, GA for 6 months to the Adult Nurse Practitioner program and then came to San Antonio to blaze a trail as the first adult practitioner at Brooke Army Med Center at Ft Sam Houston. It was pretty "interesting", getting more acceptance from the physicians than the nurses, who saw us only as "mini-docs" and somehow could never recognize that patient's need for care and education did not stop once they left the front door of the hospital!! Had my 2 daughters while at BAMC, one in ' 76 and one in ' 77 (The second a little earlier than planned, but have learned over the years that God has plans we sometimes don't understand) Since the Army had been planning a 2 to 3 year "European vacation " for me to begin in " 77 - but without an exact location and no acknowledgment of family attendance, I respectfully declined and had submitted my resignation, effective May, ' 77. My dad passed away in June, Laura was born 15 July and 10 days later, on my 7th wedding anniversary, my husband left me. WHAT A YEAR!! Missed the 10 year reunion in August since really wasn't in the mood to answer "what's happened to your since graduation?" Spent the next year in grad school finishing my Master's degree, living off the GI Bill and Army reserve pay. During that year they developed 2 civilian jobs for practitioners and I was able to return to my same job as a civilian upon graduation. Fast forward to '83 - left Internal Medicine Clinic and took a job at the Dermatology Clinic at BAMC as coordinator for a NIH/ Nat'l Cancer Institute study on skin cancer. Really enjoyed the job and the occasional trips to D.C. where I was able to visit some family and old friends. After waiting 8 years for "Prince Charming", had a storybook romance with one of the doctors and we were married on Valentine's day of "87 (I know, pretty schmaltzy, but it seemed like a good idea at the time :-)) We were stationed in Frankfurt, Germany in May, so missed the 20 year reunion in August! Was able to do much traveling while overseas, seeing most of the countries in Europe and even got to go to Egypt and Russia (will try a Jeff-style travel log another time). Returned to El Paso, TX for 2 years, '90 - '92 and worked in the county hospital in Nursing Education, mostly conducting inservices and orienting new personnel. Eric and I did make the 25 year reunion in June, '92. (would like to thank the planners for having the courtesy not to have it in August during Andrew!!!) The girls and I moved back to San Antonio in June, so they would have a full school year here in the fall, while my husband stayed in El Paso until his retirement from the Army in Dec. Once back, he began teaching at the Medical school, and I worked for a while as a practitioner with a private physician, but quit to keep track of my "problem child" in high school and to care for my mother who had terminal cancer. My eldest daughter, Kristi, graduated from high school in '94 and has been studying architecture at Texas Tech in Lubbock and will graduate later this month with a Master's and has accepted a position with a firm in Dallas. She was married in June of '97. My youngest, Laura, did manage to finish high school in '95. (She decided I was serious when I threatened to take a folding chair and a book to sit outside her classroom and then escort her from class to class.) After graduation, she worked full time and attended classes part time for 2 years. Two years ago she met her fiancee, someone who, as she put it, "really had a future" - unlike, as mom put it, her previous "friends". They commuted to Southwest Texas in San Marcos together for 2 years. He graduated and is working and Laura, who is interested in microbiology and genetics (who says God doesn't work miracles???) will graduate next May. They are planning to be married on July 24th. My second marriage ended 2 years ago. While my first marriage had had problems pretty much throughout, the second was the "made in Heaven" type and the breakup was a real shocker. It's taken me awhile, but I've managed to get my head, heart and life back together. I'm currently working for a rheumatologist in private practice. I am coordinator and sub-investigator for several clinical drug studies, testing new medications for pain and arthritis. I enjoy working with the patients, they enjoy a little special attention, and my job takes me out of town occasionally for a little travel, which is a nice diversion. I've been to Palm Springs and New Orleans so far this year, and had to turn down a trip to Chicago since it will be the same weekend as Kristi's graduation.

  In my spare time I've enjoyed a number of arts and crafts over the years, with my favorites being watercolor painting and calligraphy. Looking for something fun to do after my last separation, I joined a local dance troupe, Carnival de SanAnto. It's based on Afro-Brazillian folk dancing, being done to drums and percussion instruments. Our big event is the Fiesta Flambeau parade and the group is about 200 strong for that. We have other varied performances around town during the spring and summer and the finale is the Folklife Festival in August. It's been a lot of fun and next year I hope to try out for the core group that performs year round. As with many of our classmates, I also hit the big 50 in January. On my birthday, both my office and my exam room were appropriately draped in black, including my skeleton. The staff and the patients all enjoyed the harassment. Of course my favorite part was the tag I got to wear that said "I'm really 50, I only look 29"!!! The next evening my daughters gave me a surprise party, inviting a number of neighbors and friends. All in all it was a very enjoyable occasion.

  Well, if you're still here and awake, that's about all of my story. If any of you are in San Antonio, please let me know. It's becoming a big convention town as well as a great place just to visit. Would love to hear from anyone - kck7877@aol.com. - and would encourage others to "write in" with their stories - even if it takes a year to get it done!!


Bio Update 5/3/1999