July 12, 1955 - Oct. 18, 1989
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Her Children (Video)

Comments/Additional Pictures: Randy C. Smart

MOTHERHOOD

MATT

 

When Matt was tiny baby Kathy went camping by Hunter Liggett, east of Big Sir, with Sue Heinen and Meagan Harkrider.

Imagine...

Me, a father??? What do I do here???

It's a good thing I had a patient and knowledgeable wife or Matt would really be lost at this point. But Kathy was very helpful to me as a father so I even learned to change diapers.

You can see in this picture that she doesn't completly trust me with her baby.

1976 - Kathy lets Matt crawl around her parents house in Tracy. We lived on North 5th Street in Grover City then. So this was a visit to Tracy to let Kathy's mom, dad and grandmother (who lived next door to her parents) get to know Matt better.

He was a healthy baby boy. Being overdue and cesarean helped him be the prettiest newborn I've ever seen.

Kathy was now a mother--every fiber of her being went into the role. She had prepared her whole life for motherhood and she was ready for the tasks ahead.

As proud new parents, we wanted to show off our beautiful little boy.

Here we are in Merced visiting Jack, Diane, Sean and Stacy Smart.

 

1977 - Taking Matt for his first swim at the local beach in Grover City. Being close enough to the beach was sure handy. Kathy got them swimming lessons and promoted their love of water.

 

When Matt was young, we dropped him off with Grandmother (Mary) in Tracy and took a trip to Utah and Arizona in the Chevy Nomad.

Here we pose in front of the house with Paco, Ed's dog. Ed was probably in Point Magoo with the Navy then.

1976 - Jerry Garcia Band November 19, 1976 Pismo Theater - Taking a break from all three boys left at home, she attending a concert produced by Dennis Koda Jerry Garcia played a couple of shows at Rose Garden/Pismo Theater right there in Pismo Beach.

I watched Matthew while Kathy took a break and let loose.

I didn't think there was anything to worry about--brother Ed was right there. But then, as you can see in this picture, he was watching someone else that night.

The concert, recorded

1978 - Time to clean up the yard after Matt is put down for a nap. Posed here for someone to take our picture. Sometimes I didn't always want to stop and have a picture taken but, when you look at one like this, it makes all those little things seem so irrelevant.

But, with Kathy, she seemed to always have the perspective of someone looking back. She got me thinking more and more about it as I was relegated to family photographer.

So, Matt, when you complain about having to have a picture taken, remember this one here and be thankful that your parents weren't so camera shy.

One of my favorite pictures from this era. Our little family!

This is probably the point in life where I could have been happy frozen in the moment forever. We had just bought the house we would live in for over 20 years, practically on the beach.

I had a job and the prospects were rosy.

Sharing a moment with her sisters in Tracy. Karen holds a football while Kristie holds Sandy, born a day earlier than Matt.

Many trips were made back to Tracy by us and by Kris and Dave, who lived in Atascadero then. But family was there and every effort was made to stay close.

Soon, though, they would pack up the place in Tracy and move to Pittsburgh.

Enjoying a talk with Nanny (Helen Peterman) at her parent's house in Tracy. Helen lived next door in the original homestead she shared so many years with Nate as well as Mary.

Here is the room where I waited so many hours for Kathy when we were dating. I think I read most of Bob's library during those years.

1979 -Kathy plants a garden in the back yard of her Brighton Ave. house in Grover Beach.

We struggle a long time with the back yard, changing it around so many times. This first garden never really took off because I didn't jump in when Kathy couldn't keep up.

But, like me, here genes go back to farmers and there is something about just digging in the dirt that appeals to something basic in our nature. They kids loved it too but made no pretense of growing anything.

Early 1979 - Kathy begins to show her pregnancy (Eric).

This is the house we owned with the fir tree already growing out of control. It would later come down along with some telephone wires.

At this time we had only one car, a 1958 Chevrolet Yeoman station wagon. I sometimes wonder how we got along with only me working and having kids but it sure seems now as if they were the good old days.

 

1979 - Kristie, Kathy, Matt & Sandy in the back yard of Kathy's Brighton Ave house in Grover Beach.

It was wonderful that Kristie and Kathy could raise these two kids at the same time--what a neat collaboration and no doubt they helped each other with problems.

Of course, Mom and Grandma were only a phone call away.

ERIC

 

Here we are enjoying Eric on his third day. Mother is exhausted but I'm holding up somewhat.
Eric get s bath in December.

Summer 1979 - Breast Feeding

Eric says: Keep away! These milk jugs are mine and I'm going to drink it all myself!

Here Eric is just about to pop! Here too was a second very healthy baby boy and Kathy loved him no less then she did Matt. And she took as much care to feed, cloth, and nurse Eric as was her nature.

1979 - Kathy, with Matt and Eric at the beach near our house in Grover Beach.

Mother of two wonderful boys was all it took to fulfill her life at this point. Living by the ocean with the warm weather and the waves lulling her and her babies to sleep at night.

She was certainly happy then.

1979 - Feeding Eric AGAIN! I'd ask where he puts all that apple sauce but it's pretty easy to tell the answer from this picture.

That boy sure could eat!

Kathy's whole live revolved around her kids. She was the best of mothers.

 

1980 - Posing for a picture with the boys outside her house at 270 Brighton Ave., Grover City.

It wasn't much of a house then--just about 940 square feet--but when you live in such weather, you have the outdoors. And the thing that sold us on the house was the nice well-fenced back yard.

We moved in when Matt was about one. We had lived a couple of blocks away (355 N. 5th) for years until we decided to stay in Grover City and could buy a house.

 

Eric starts swimming with help from mom at Avila Beach.
The family at that point was the four of us.
Christmas 1980...
AMANDA
 

1981 - Kathy brings Amanda home from the hospital and introduces her to her older brother, Matt. Matt loved her instantly as did Eric.

Kathy never gave any of them reason to vie for her attention because she gave them all of her--all the time. They certainly were loved and knew it.

The christening of Amanda at the Catholic Church in Arroyo Grande, California.

I don't think Kathy ever looked lovelier than she did here. She seemed to relish motherhood. She positively glowed sometimes.

This is one of my favorite pictures of her.

Playing with a merry-go-round toy she got for Amanda.

She didn't just buy any old toy but put a lot of thought into what would not just entertain but inspire the mind and develop the brain. She read a great deal on the subject of child development and education.

You can sure see the lights in Amanda's eyes.

Home from shopping expedition with Eric and Amanda.

Kathy then had the 72 Dodge Charger we got from my brother and I drove Helen's old 64 Pontiac Catalina.

Christmas 1986...what the hell happened to the last five years?