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Mom

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Monday, Feb. 09, 2004 - 1:46 a.m.

Today would have been my mother's 65th birthday. I think this is either birthday number four or birthday number five for me, here in the picture. In any event, to my knowledge, this is the only existing picture of just the two of us, and yeah, we're doing the matching dresses thing. Mom liked that. If she didn't make matching things for herself and for me, she'd make a matching dress for me and whichever doll I had in tow with me at the time.

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My mother, Jo Ann Landerman, was born on February 9th, 1939 in the town of Mt. Pleasant, Texas. She was the only child of Elmer and Marie Taylor. In 1945, the post-war economy brought the Taylors out to northern California, where they settled in Yuba City.

During her teen years, my mom became a lifetime member of the California Scholastic Federation. She also maintained a pilot's license for awhile. She graduated from Yuba City High School in 1957. She didn't finish college, because during her freshmen year, she met and fell in love with my father, Dale Landerman. They married in 1959, and had me in 1965. She had my brother Jon in 1969.

Actually now that I look, I think that's my fifth birthday, because the car in the background is the blue Galaxy, and we had that one when I was five, but we didn't have it when I was six.

My mother always made really great faces when she had to take prescription cough medicine. She also made really great faces when she was trying to crochet.

She was proud of me when I played the piano.

And John was the only son-in-law she ever truly liked.

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Forty years ago on this day, my mother was helping my father study for some of the first rounds of his final teaching exams that he would take at Chico State before he graduated.

They took time out that afternoon to enjoy birthday cake, and later that night, they watched Ed Sullivan to see what all the fuss was about.

Mom never forgot this, and told me about it the night John Lennon was killed.

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Jo Ann Taylor Landerman.

February 9, 1939 -- March 9, 1995.

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