I started small. I created a blog (an online “diary” of sorts). Then I embarked upon big dreams, and I became a contributing writer for a local magazine. But perseverance is what has landeded me this coveted column in the News Tribune! A weekly columnist! I am over-the-moon with excitement! Finally, my passion for writing has become “real.”
As we embark on this adventure together, allow me to briefly introduce myself to you. You will quickly realize that my life truly is an“open book,” as I am often guilty of “oversharing” my personal life...
I am a dynamic figure, the wife of an incredibly “tolerant”husband and the mother of three energetic boys! I am super strict about basic politeness: “please,” “thank you,” “you are welcome,” and “excuse me” are not only required, they are expected. I am sleep deprived, mostly because I stay up late watching recorded, guilty pleasures such as “Young & the Restless,” “90210,” and “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” I was born and raised in Jefferson City. I left Cole County only for my freshman year of college and traveled a mere thirty minutes to the small town of Fulton to attend William Woods. My parents will tell you, “We paid for William Woods, but Betsy attended Westminster,” which is a good explanation as to why I returned home after my freshman year and enrolled at Lincoln University on my own dime (isn’t it amazing that when you pay for your own education, “partying” becomes less important and making the deans list is totally doable, all the while creating a fury within your parents who are wondering why their hard-earned money was wasted on my personal appearance and entertainment.)
My roots in Jefferson City run deep. My family includes influential personalities such as my great-grandfather, Colonel E.I. “Mike” Hockaday, who began his long and successful career with the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 1937. In 1965 he was named superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, serving in that position until January 1973.
The Czarlinskys, my maternal grandparents, who owned and operated a clothing store downtown here in Jefferson City that held a history of over 75 years. I have years of memories created in the merchandise/fashion world from running the cash register to hand making bows for Christmas packages.
My grandfather, Lee C. Fine, whom I never had the privilege of meeting, as he passed away in 1966, eight years before my birth. He served as the Director of Missouri State Parks and has been honored by name at the Lee C. Fine Memorial Airport in Kaiser, Missouri.
I have tales to tell of birthday parties at the Governors Mansion, a guest of Billy Teasdale, son of Governor “Walkin’ Joe Teasdale.” I have shared a meal with Arnold Schwarzenegger, a claim made possible because my biological father was president of the school board during the Schwarzenegger school fitness tour and Arnold came to Jefferson City’s East elementary.
I plan to contribute to the News Tribune a unique voice -a smart, humorous, compassionate and practical column. I plan to combine local insight and life experiences with research and personal perspective. I’ll write about things that interest me and may throw in some social commentary...sometimes an event begs to be laughed at, and I simply can’t help myself! I hope that you will be my guest and attend the celebration of the lives of those of us who are fortunate enough to live here in Jefferson City. My goal is to make the ordinary seem extraordinary by the way the story is told.