All About ME

I prefer to be called Linda Mae. I know it sounds southern, but I am actually Canadian. I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, the second child of four in a normal family. Normal for the times. Two parents, four kids, small house, one car, Dad went to work every day, Mom stayed home and took care of the house and kids. Our first (black and white) TV set didn’t have an on/off switch; you plugged it in when you wanted it to come on. Things were very stable.

Copyright 2008, Linda Mae Dennis

All rights reserved

When I was eleven we moved to California and our family got very close. We were all we had for a while. At the same time, all our horizons expanded. We met lots of different kinds of people and learned a lot of new things. Three years later we were asked to move to Houston, and we went, but we really wanted to return to Canada. I think my mother was especially homesick. We lived in Houston for ten years or so and that is where I grew from a child to an adult.

I went to the University of Houston and lived at home. My parents, faced with the prospect of putting four children through college could not really afford housing at a school away from home. I didn’t mind, my parents were always reasonable and treated us with respect. I was interested in Biology and declared that as my major. By the time I was through my 4 and a half years, I was heavily into Ecological Sciences and would have had a degree in same except that they didn’t offer an Ecology degree until the following year. During my last year of University, I got married. I graduated six months later. I moved straight from home to an apartment with my new husband. I thought this was the way you were supposed to do it -- look at my parents.

Shortly after my graduation, my parents had an opportunity to move back to Alberta. With encouragement from my sister and I who would remain in Texas, they took it. My husband and I decided we had had enough of Houston and would move to Austin. This would allow my husband to return to school for a master's degree.

I got a job in Austin totally unrelated to my degree. I was working as a line employee at Motorola. Within a month I was promoted to a Lead Operator, within a year I was promoted to Production Supervisor. I was the youngest Production Supervisor they had ever had. This was the first time in my life that I ever knew that I had above average intelligence. My sister is brilliant and I had always compared myself to her even though she is two years older. I thought I was abysmally stupid.

Once I gained some self-confidence it didn’t take me long to realize that I had married the wrong person. After three years of marriage we got divorced.

I worked at Motorola for a few more years, taking lots of dance classes in the evenings. An opportunity arose for me to dance with a professional tap company. How often does a childhood dream become an opportunity? I could not pass it up. I toured with Austin on Tap Dance Theatre for four years. I was pitifully poor financially by the time I retired, but wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything.

After I retired from the Tap Company I worked at a slide duplication and electronic imaging lab for almost ten years. Again it didn’t take them long to discover my intelligence and background and I have learned a lot that I never expected to. I’ve been a production supervisor, a production manager, learned all about film and photography, can do color timing, and developed their multimedia department. I wrote and produced the first project we did, about Tropical Reef Fish (I knew that biology degree would come in handy). I also found my true love and have been happily married to him since.

When that company folded, I worked at a desktop publishing / web design startup for about four years. That was some good experience too. I learned how to deal with customers, as well as got some good design experience. Plus, I met the woman who introduced me to Scottish Country Dancing.

I had never actually stopped dancing – had my own little tap company, was taking Irish dancing, etc. At my first Scottish Country Dance class though, I met a couple who were both 83 years old. I already enjoyed the music, but here I found a dance form that you could keep doing for your whole life. I was hooked.

From there I went to work for a company in Leander, TX called Glemco. They make replacement parts for semiconductor manufacturers. That was a great company to work for. I was the Marketing person, but they didn’t limit me much. I got to do a lot of design work, redesigned the web site, sent out postcards, put the catalog on CD, and built a huge database of parts. On top of that, they let me do some engineering drawings – even sent me to ProEngineer school, and let me assemble ion implanters because I was attentive to detail and had the right touch.

We wanted to move to the Northwest though, and when the opportunity arose, we took it. My husband and I are now semi-retired, play a lot of music gigs, do a lot of dancing (I’ve even become a fully certificated Scottish Country Dance teacher), and fix up houses for resale. Actually, we’re still fixing up the first house, but we’re almost done – maybe.
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