This is the second in a series chronicling the adventures of Judy, a 20-year ovarian cancer survivor and longtime Support Volunteer. Judy is an award winning artist (see her work HERE) and the kind of daughter, sister and friend you wish you could take on your next road trip! We hope you’ll enjoy her zest for life and eye for beauty as much as we do!

We drove from Virginia to Gatlinburg, TN where we spent the night and looked around before heading to South Carolina and Sumter AFB where our son was born. It had changed a lot in the 43 years since we had been there!

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

The hospital in South Carolina, where Eric entered the world, was still there but no longer used as a hospital. It was MUCH smaller than I remembered.

Our house had been gone for a long time. When my husband told me the old base housing where we lived had all been demolished, I had horrible visions of huge cockroaches scattering everywhere! They were a base housing menace and couldn’t be gotten rid of. In those days I washed the dishes before I used them and after I used them.

highway 90
Highway 90 in Mississippi, along the gulf coast

We said goodbye to South Carolina driving southwest to Mississippi where our daughter was born on Keesler AFB. That hospital was big and still there, but the housing was gone. We moved to Japan when Kathy, our daughter, was a month old and returned stateside when she was 3. Our daughter, Kristen, was born in Japan. We didn’t try to revisit Japan while on this ‘memory lane quest!’

So, Kathy lived her first three years in Japan, then went to kindergarten in S. Carolina, first grade in Mississippi (our second tour there) and second grade in Nebraska. My husband got his master’s degree our second time in Mississippi. I (happily) kept our three children out of his way.