Bennett Family life in the 1980’s

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Paul and his sisters
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Brent, Grandpa Bill, Paul and Lloyd

The 1980’s start out with Wesley Ryan Lamb’s birth on March 22, 1980. Lloyd and Maxine couldn’t have loved those boys any more if they tried. The boys were a matched set, two little blond boys, happy and playful.

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1980’s, shortly after I met Paul. This was a birthday party for one of the boys. Seated from the left is Mary, Brent, Wesley, Paul, Me, Anita and Scott.

Next, Anita married Scott in 1984. This was the same year I had just met Paul and they were married in a meadow at Oak Grove Park.

When I met Paul on April 1, 1984, I’d been cruising on the Avenue (Pacific Avenue) and was with a friend who knew his friend. We stopped to talk to them. Paul never said a word to me, the entire night. I saw him again the next week and this time, we did talk.  We hung out that night in the backyard of his next door neighbor’s house. The next door neighbor wasn’t home but we sat in the backyard and talked. At one point, I needed to use the restroom and he said we could go right next door to his house. Lloyd was in the living room and we stopped and said hello.

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Lloyd reading in his chair

Some time a week or so later, Paul had invited me over to hang out at the neighbor’s house. When he needed something from home, I walked with him but waited in the driveway. Anita raced out the door and introduced herself to me. Apparently she just wanted to get a look at me. My husband had a reputation for dating dumb girls with big boobs. I wasn’t dumb haha.

Anyway, Paul and I started dating casually for the first few months. Sometime later, probably about six months in, Paul had been at a party and was drunk and angry at the next door neighbor. Lloyd called me at home to say Paul was very upset and could I come over there? My mother said yes, so I drove over. I calmed Paul down and at this point it was probably 1 in the morning and Lloyd asked if I would stay the night. It was funny because I don’t think Maxine was thrilled and Paul was still angry and insisted I sleep next to him on his bed. His father agreed (nothing happened, for heaven’s sake, haha) and Maxine was, um, formal the next morning. I explained everything to my mother and she agreed it was better that I stayed and helped Paul. I think both of our parents understood that Paul and I were serious and that we’d be in each other’s lives. I think that is when Maxine’s attitude toward me changed. When I met her, Maxine thought I was another girl with big boobs and so she was very stiff and formal with me. However, I guess I wore her down because I know she really came to love me.

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Not long after we met

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After we’d dating for a couple of years, Paul’s parents were headed to Salt Lake to visit Grandma Bea and Grandpa Bill. Paul wanted me to go. My mother agreed and thus I went to Salt Lake for the first time. Nothing could have prepared me for riding in a car that Grandpa Bill was driving. I’ve never been so scared in my life and I’ve ridden in a taxi in Mexico.  Grandma Bea’s relatives were visiting from England. Uncle Jack had been married to Grandma Bea’s sister. Along with Uncle Jack, were his son and daughter in law, Neil and Valerie. They were all very nice and just a bit tough to understand. It was a  lot of fun. Of course, Great-Grandma Bea liked me, and was always on my side. In fact, not long after Dad and I got married, some ex-girlfriend of his called the house. Grandma Bea told her that he was married and Paul wouldn’t want to talk to her.

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Neil, Maxine, Valerie, Jack, Grandma Bea, Paul, myself and Lloyd

The following year, the Bennetts, Junior and Seniors were planning a trip to North Carolina. Paul wanted me to come, too, as well as Grandma Bea. We stayed with Paul’s Aunt Darlene, Uncle Henry and his cousin Rodney. All nine of us traveled in a van together for a week. It was a fun visit. It was the first time I’d had a chance to visit civil war locations and I loved it. I also was able to see Kitty Hawk and Jamestown, Virginia. I really loved that trip. I stayed in the hotel room with Grandma and Grandpa, haha. Paul stayed with his parents and Rodney stayed in his parents’ room. We really did have a fun trip.

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Rod, Darlene, Henry, Grandpa Bill, Me, Paul, Grandma Bea and Maxine.
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In Aunt Darlene’s backyard

 

 

I traveled a lot with my in-laws. One trip was to see the elephant seals here on the west coast and Paul ended up having to work. Lloyd said there was no reason why I shouldn’t go anyway, so I did.

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Wesley, Me and Grandma Maxine
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Wesley

Paul babysat his nephews a lot and little Wesley, he was so sweet as a little boy. He was very relieved when Paul and I actually married, because he wanted to call me Aunt Yvonne too. Our lives were filled with kids, from the get go. Besides his nephews, my nephews went with us a lot and they became friends too.

Birthday dinner celebration at my in-laws
Traveling with Grandma Maxine, Grandma Bea and myself

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Uncle Jack, Paul and Maxine
Dating
Civil War location
Civil war location

Trip to the ocean with the in-laws

In 1988, we traveled back to Salt Lake City for Grandma Bea and Grandpa Bill’s anniversary party. My father in law asked me to help him plan the party.  I had planned a few large scale parties, including my parent’s anniversary party, and Lloyd trusted me.

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Paul, Myself, Mary, Ron, Anita, Scott, Carol, Chuck, Maxine, Bill, Bea and Lloyd
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60th Wedding Anniversary for Bea and Bill

By September 9, 1989, Paul and I were married in Morris Chapel. My in laws had a beautiful dinner in the backyard on Valencia for the rehearsal dinner. It was a lot of fun.

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Bennett family, Morris Chapel, University of Pacific, 1989
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Brent, Mary, Wesley, Ron
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Paul and Lloyd
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Our wedding party and our families, Jacques’ on the left, Bennetts to the right and all the kids in the middle

We left the 1980’s with the Bennett clan just a bit fuller, and head into the 1990’s, where we lose our patriarch.

Here is a video of a very typical scene at the Bennett household on Christmas morning.

 

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