Jan Manzer

Welcome to my Personal JM Site

I'm a card-carrying member of the baby-boomer generation arriving at St. Joseph's hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas a few years after my Dad got out of the Navy. They said something in the birth announcement about Jan Manzer being a new light in the world. That thought likely fore-told a coming event in my life... the day I almost burned down the barn while making gun powder. Hey, it was my parents who bought the encyclopedia that summer I was 10 and that what's gave me the idea. Otherwise the barn burning incident would never have happened.  Sure.

Arkansas is a pretty nice place to be a child, at least it was in the fabulous 50's. I had a glorious time with our house bordered on 3 sides by the National Park. This is a paradise when one is eight, and busting out with unquenchable curiosity. My neighborhood was a forest playground with animals hiding behind the trees and streams loaded with crawdads. that's what we call craw-fish in Arkansas, though folks there never caught the habit of eating the little critters.

The parental units were always stuck in the learning stage for raising kids as I remember... they hadn't had a lot of experience after all. I only had my maternal grandparents to suss out what Mom must've learned as a child. Grandma sported a constant worried frown, disturbed only by the frequent coughs and hacks from lighting up too many L & M's. The Great Depression had that effect on some. As I was to find later in life, my parents had both missed a few meals themselves as young kids in the 30's.

Spoil the rod and spare the child was out-dated even then, but my Dad lived that motto. Being a lineman for the local power company, Frank Sr. had a wide variety of torture tools when it came to punishment time. The heavy strap for pole-climbing came out for the worst infractions. Mom swung a switch carved from a peach tree with deadly accuracy. Usually my calves... I wore the red stripes like a badge of honor. Usually.