I was brought into this world by my parents, John and Stella, on February 22, 1979. I was born weighing 10 pounds (yes 10 pounds!) at Kaiser Hospital in Harbor City, California. After birth, I later moved into my home in Long Beach, California. My big sister, Artie, helped take care of me through my early years of childhood like all older siblings do!
My early years were pretty crazy! My cousins used to call me the Incredible Hulk, because I was a big bully! I was a child who didn't like to behave and always had trouble being good. When I entered Elementary School in Kindergarten at St. Barnabas, I was a frequent visitor to Sister Thomas Anne's (the Principal) office. No, visiting the Principal's office wasn't as bad as you see in Hollywood films! The catholic priest or sister don't pull out the paddle and start hitting you! I survived Catholic School until I finished 2nd grade! Even though attending Catholic Private School wasn't the greatest experience of my life, I enjoyed many times and memories there.
SURVIVING CATHOLIC SCHOOL:
I started Catholic School at my local parish down the street from my house! My sister had attended the same school from first to eighth-grade prior to my schooling there, so it sort of ran in the family. I started my first day of Kindergarten, and enjoyed it! I had two great teachers, Ms. Fredrick and Mrs. Baker. Both fine teachers that assisted me in establishing my educational base. While in that class, I also participated with my class by singing "Yankee Doodle" at the school's annual talent show! I would end up taking summer school classes after my Kindergarten year with Ms. Fredrick, which helped me out tremendously. I then went on to first grade with Mrs. Peppick! I really looked forward to having her, afterall my sister had great experiences with her. Everyone kept saying that she was the most difficult teacher ever - but I am glad that I had her! Yes, she was hard, but she made me learn! Then Second grade rolled around, and Mrs. Simpson was next. I remember this year the most! I had made my First Holy Communion during that year, and I remember one of our nation's biggest events! The explosion of the Challenger. Actually, we had just come back in from P.E., and Mrs. Simpson had the T.V. on waiting for the count-down. My class was all excited to see it go off, as for me - I think it was my first shuttle launch live. We waited".....5...4...3...2...1...take-off." It took off and then the next thing we saw was a huge explosion! I wasn't sure what to think...and the T.V. was immediately turned-off. I later found out that everyone on the shuttle was killed...
MY BEST FRIEND - BRIAN:
While I attended Cathloic School, my best friend, Brian, was attending Private Christian school! Brian lives three houses down the block from me and we've grown up together since we were like two or something. It seemed as if we couldn't go a day without seeing eachother. Yes, there were days that we actually got down and dirty and started to fight, but it cooled off by the next day and we played as usual! We would either go ride our bikes around the neighborhood, play sports with the local park league, go swimming in his pool, or just plain watch TV. We spent so many great experiences together that I can't even begin to write! Things such as our trip to Disneyland where he won a stuffed rabbit during some customer appreication day, to when we fought and I sunk my teeth into his forehead - which he still has the scares from! Good or bad, Brian & I have shared some of the greatest experiences of our life together!
GOING INTO THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM:
I was really excited to leave the Private school system and get into the Public School system. I started 3rd grade at Madison Elementary School in Lakewood - the same place where my sister had attended Kindergarten! I guess I was just following in her foot steps, but I wasn't going to the same high school she was going to (an all girls high school). My first Public School teacher was Mr. Hubbs! Mr. H was awesome! We had so much in common, we both collected baseball cards, liked the Dodgers, and had the same hairdoo - a flat top! He drove his little Porche around and always commented on it! Going to Madison was a different experience for me! I started to enjoy going to school, and was excited to wake-up and leave! I would take the bus to school with all the neighborhood kids, and Mrs. Morgan (the neighborhood babysitter) would make sure we all got on okay! But one day I had experienced my first really big earthquake. We were all standing on the corner waiting for the bus when it all started to shake. Man was I scared! We had always practiced the earthquake drills, but I never had to do them - but now that I did, I forgot! Also in Third grade, I would join Cub Scout Pack 208, and would start the greatest experience of my life - Scouting! I would later move onto 4th grade with Mrs. Kennedy, who not only taught me discipline and helped me succeed in spelling, but she was the sole person who taught me to make those famous Turkey cookies I make for Thanksgiving every year! Madision would close after my fourth grade year to get renovated! I would be transfered to the City of Rossmoor to attend Lee Rossmoor Elementary School where I would have Michigan's very own - Ms. Blossey! While attending Rossmoor, I would make my first step into the life of Politics by seeking a student body government seat! I ran for Messenger and I won!!! I would work with Mrs. Lagerborg - my Principal and deliver messages and Birthday grams to everyone! I was also on Choir, and sang that year! Man, that was crazy but lots of fun! This is also where I would take my first few steps into enjoying running! I would also meet many friends, including Lorri, a friend that has always been there for me! My elementary school years were great!!
TRUE DODGER BLUE:
Everyone kept telling me that I bled Dodger Blue! What that meant early in my life I didn't know...but now I do! My dad had started working at Dodger Stadium in the Dodger's Locker room in 1981 (I think) and I would start my life with the Dodgers! I would start to enjoy going to almost every Dodger game for 11 years, including the 1981, 1985, and the 1988 Play-offs and World Series! I would meet many players along the way, including my favorite Steve Garvey, Davy Lopes, Ron Cey, Jay Johnston, Tommy Lasorda, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Bob Welch, Tim Crews, Gary Carter, Juan Samuel, Jim Gott, and so many more that I can't name. The Dodgers have always been a part of my life! My second home was Dodger Stadium, and I could give a tour to anyone who attended because I knew that Stadium from the back of my hand!
MIDDLE SCHOOL YEARS:
I attended Charles Evan Hughes Middle School for 6th thru 8th grade. I was so excited to start a new school, a new environment, and a new style of schooling. Now I would have eight different teachers rather than just one or two, plus now I would have a locker instead of a desk to secure all of my belongings! I usually hungout with my friends from Madison, so I was not too popular or anything like that! I would have one of the greatest English teachers of my entire life, Mrs. Beverly Calvert, for my 6th grade year! She taught me so much, and up to this date we still write to eachother! I would become active in the Conflict Managing program which helped assist students with conflicts with their peers. I would also become a Computer Lab assist for Mr. Tom Maggio! Also while attending Hughes, I was placed in Advanced classes, and I was awarded by the teachers' of the school with the Lyman Lough Scholarship Award for service to the school, community and maintaining excellent grades. This would also be the years that I became more active in Scouts and Politics!
WHO NEEDS POLITICS?:
Well, Politics became a major part of my life while in Middle School and High School. I really started to get active after befriend my Councilman, Jeff Kellogg at a Scouting In Government Day event in 1991. After meeting Jeff, I became active in assiting in many community events and speaking at City Council meetings. Kellogg recalls, "JB assisted in bringing the artist Wyland to Long Beach by speaking at a City Council meeting about the importance of art and community spirit..." In 1994, Jeff decided to seek the position of Mayor of the City of Long Beach.