Girls Going, Going, Gone...

Summer of Love and Beyond

Nancy and Kent's wedding reception. Lower left corner to right: Jan, Kent's mother Denise, Bernie, Nancy, Kent, Dorothy, and Kent's father Chuck.

Around the time when Jan was pinning happy face buttons on her tie-dyed T-shirts and begging for a pair of go-go boots, her big sisters had other things on their minds: leaving home, planning weddings, starting careers and raising families.

When Bernie stood ready to walk Pat down the aisle in September 1966, he tried to talk her into grabbing a beer around the corner instead of taking her vows! Pat's wedding to Joe Egan was followed by Nancy's marriage to Kent Driesbock the next August.

Bernie and his mother, Bimmie, entering the church for Pat's' wedding,
Ce, Bernie, Aline, and Mike Cleveland at Nancy's wedding.
Dorothy and Bimmie at a family gathering.
G-Daddy and Mike headed to watch a nearby baseball game.
Bernie with daughter Jan holding grandson Mike (with Santa photo) and new baby Kevin.

Here Come the Grand Kids

Bernie and Dorothy on their 25th anniversary.

 A few weeks after Dorothy and Bernie celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, the grandchildren began to arrive. Bernie and Dorothy couldn't have been happier to have little boys to love for a change! Pat's boys, Mike and Kevin, spent a lot of time with G-Daddy (as he was affectionately named by Mike) playing, watching and discussing sports. Next, Bernie's first granddaughter, Nancy's baby Kirsten, was born. Pat's family moved north to Portland and Nancy was just one bridge away across the bay in Palo Alto, close to where Bernie worked at the Menlo Park Veterans' Hospital.

 In 1975, Margaret married Bob Caloroso. The following year, Jan headed north to college at Chico State. The house on Brayton street must have had an empty silence about that time. It was the first time in 32 years that Dorothy and Bernie had lived alone together! Suddenly there were no kids using all of the hot water, talking incessantly on the telephone, or borrowing the car. (Clarification for the younger readers: there was one phone number for the whole house, and the telephones were grounded to the wall by a cord; there was one television set without a remote control that received between 5 and 10 channels- depending upon reception from the antenna; there was one car that could be borrowed on occassion; you waited days or weeks for a response to a letter you sent by regular mail; you had to go to the bank to get cash or deposit a check on weekdays before 5:00. Really, the only thing that was instantly available was  coffee - and there was no Starbucks for that either!)

 Bernie and Dorothy quickly adapted to the changes and made the most of their time together. They spent afternoons watching the horse races and went wine tasting in Napa. Of course, they visited their daughters and grandchildren as often as possible.

G-Daddy with Kevin Egan.
G-Daddy with Jack Egan at Seacliff beach.
G-Daddy with Kirsten Driesbock.
G-Daddy with Kirsten helping to mow the lawn.
More on the 1970's...
The Mayer family luck started running from one extreme to the other. Although everyone was excited about the birth of Pat's third son Jack, and Margaret's daughter Bridget, they were deeply saddened by the untimely death of Pat's husband Joe. Similarly, Dorothy's own health seemed to be gradually worsening due to her emphysema.

Even though the hurt from the past year ran deep, the summer of 1978 was one which the Mayers were able to enjoy each other's company to the fullest. Once again, Jan was home for summer break, lifeguarding at the neighborhood Alta pool. Pat and her boys came "home" to Fremont and spent the long summer days enjoying the Mayer activities. The boys didn't have much time to rest! When they weren't swimming at Alta pool, they were busy playing golf on the courses Bernie carved into the backyard landscape. Sometimes their G-Daddy would wisk them away to eat Casper's hot dogs, eat dinner at Banchero's restaurant, go fishing, or attend a sporting event. Once again, the house was alive with the laughter of children and the love of the Mayer family.
...and the 1980's
By 1980, Bernie learned to balance activities with caring for Dorothy when needed. He attended Jan's college graduation alone, but remained at home with Dorothy when Pat was married to Tom Weiland. His daughters helped out as they could, but gradually Bernie assumed the role of caretaker for Dorothy when she was feeling poorly. However, when she was healthy they continued visiting with their daughters and grandchildren whenever they had the opportunity.
More Family News
The summer of 1980 brought several good things to Bernie's family. Margaret had a second child who became Bernie's namesake. Meanwhile, Bernie senior had become quite a gardener like his own father. It seemed that his backyard garden sprang to life as he tended each plant to coax its growth. He developed quite a reputation for his produce, and when offered to friends and family, it was gladly accepted. His dinners couldn't be beat, especially if the home grown vegetables were accompanied by his barbequed chicken!
G-Daddy and Jack in Lake Oswego
A fall visit to Oregon featured opportunities to watch soccer games.
Bernie's youngest granddaughter is Lizzie Weiland.
Thanksgiving with the extended Mayer family
Bernie, Margaret and Bob Caloroso and Kent Driesbock (back to camera)
Lizzie Weiland takes a trip down memory lane showing us where she, her brothers and cousins enjoyed hot dogs at Caspers.
Thanksgiving with Family
Nancy and Kirsten enjoy the Thanksgiving dinner at the Mayer table.
Bernie would add to the comics to commemorate the occasion of the day. Here is a newpaper from the Fremont Argus newspaper where he added comments for Jan's birthday.
See the links on the "Additions and News" page for links to TV shows and songs from the 1960's and 70's.