My Life……..then and now
Rita Robinson Pankey
Special to the Village News
I came to Fallbrook in the summer of ‘57, from Washington DC in a 28’ travel trailer. My Dad, a Navy officer with 30 years service, had just retired. My folks had always planned to come back near San Diego. They thought Fallbrook was the perfect town.
For three months we lived in a mobile park (it was where Albertson’s parking lot is now! ) until they could find a home to buy. Before Fallbrook, we had also lived in Guam, Hawaii, Florida, and Texas. Now we were finally settling down!
High school days were full and fun. In my senior year, I dreamed I was a nurse and realized that was the profession for me. I graduated from San Diego State with a bachelor of science in nursing. Over a 23 year period, I worked in different hospitals, primarily medical surgical units with my last four years working in rehabilitation at Scripps Encinitas.
Hospital nursing was always exciting and ever changing. Patients come and go and the nurse has the privilege of meeting many interesting people and helping with a vast variety of diseases and conditions.
I met Bill, in the 8th grade. We were just good friends and never dated in high school, but when we reconnected in 1969, romance was in the air and we started dating and married in 1971 in La Jolla. Bill was involved in the business world and became expert in computers.
We were blessed over the years with three wonderful daughters. Life was busy! We had been living in Cardiff for 13 years and were very happy there, but the family ranch here in Fallbrook was beckoning to Bill and it was obvious that he was needed to manage it. That was in 1986. Our daughters would go to the same high school that we attended!
We never thought that we would come back to Fallbrook but here we are and we’ve been here now for 31 years. How time flies! It has been great living in the country. For many years, we had horses on the property and enjoyed many contented hours of riding. That era passed when the grandkids started arriving.
I retired in 1994 to help take care of my parents. Bill is still working hard managing the ranch and his computer company. We love to travel and read and spend time with the family. I am involved in the Angel Shop Thrift Store and have made many life long friends through that organization. It is a wonderful way to meet people and the shop generates money for many local charities.
Fallbrook is a special and beautiful town and it is wonderful to be here. We are especially blessed that all our daughters and grandchildren live nearby. We love to see our six grandchildren often. I count my blessings to be living here with the beauty of the countryside and the wonderful friends who live here.
Thanks for the memories
Marlin D. Vix
Special to the Village News
It is with great pleasure that I think back on the years I lived in Fallbrook, beginning in 1950 as a first grader through 1962 when I graduated from high school. The experiences and friendships of those years were truly the wonder years. To those of you who were living in Fallbrook in the 1950s and 1960s, you will probably agree that it truly was a magical place.
One was never bored. There were adventures to be had, forts to build, and bike crashes to rival those at the Indy 500. In the summer, you could leave home at 8 a.m. without a penny in your pocket, somehow get fed by a friend’s mother, arrive at home before sundown, and your mother somehow knew everything that you had done that day.
After high school, I attended San Jose State, married Cindy, who has been my wife for nearly 50 years, worked at various jobs after graduation, went to Europe for one year and then decided to go to graduate school.
One month before graduation, I received a call from one of my professors asking me to apply for a lectureship for one year. I applied and got the job. That fortuitous call started my family on a path that would begin my teaching career at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I was a professor in the Agribusiness Department for 37 years.
Cindy and I have been blessed with two independent, delightful children who have spouses that are a gift in our lives. We have five grandchildren, and all of them are energetic and seem to be headed in the right direction.
Now that my wife and I have retired, we are rarely at our home in San Luis Obispo. We have been fortunate to have been able to travel while I was at Cal Poly, spending four months at a time in the South Pacific; Florence, Italy, and London. Our current travels are shorter but more frequent and will continue until we are exhausted, which should be in another 25 years.
A few years ago, I decided to take voice lessons from a teacher who had performed with opera companies. Unlike wine, the voice does not improve with age, and I think I was taken on as a student out of pity. Nevertheless, I now sing with great gusto but only my wife gets to be my audience.
I play tennis with little ability but with great energy; ‘play’ is the operative word since I do not compete. I practice and take lessons. The joy of learning and improving is far more gratifying to me than using the score as an indicator of how much fun or frustration I have experienced.
I wish to thank my Fallbrook friends, teammates, classmates, teachers, coaches, parents and siblings for providing me with the encouragement to take chances in life. I cannot imagine a better place to have grown up.