George William (Bud) Reeves
I came into this world late in the fall of 1937, on Wednesday morning, December 6th at 6:40 am. I was born in what was then called Women's Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. My parents were DeWitt and Ina Reeves.
Ina Ruth & DeWitt Talmadge Reeves 1936
My parents married in April of 1936 and lived in a house my Dad build on property given to him by his brother, my Uncle Marvin, at 7012 Chalmers Street in Van Dyke Michigan. I have no recollection of the house at all. I only remember my sister telling me that we had lived near Van Dyke and 8 Mile Road.
Both my parents had previously been married and divorced. My Dad and his first wife, Zetta, divorced in 1930 and my Mother was divorced from her first husband, Cecil Cox, in 1934.
My Dad and Zetta had four daughters, Effie, Edna, Dorothy and Opal and one son, Raymond. My Mother and Cecil had three daughters, Dorothy, Betty and Ruth. So although I was born an only child, I had eight half-siblings!
I was named George William Reeves. George after my maternal grandfather, and William after my paternal grandfather. I was told later that Aunt Zoe (my Mother's sister), gave me the nickname of "Buddy" because George William Reeves was too long a name for such a little guy weighing in at only 5 pounds and 15 ounces.
Me on April 8, 1938 - age 4 months
My parents divorced in November 1940, one month before my 3rd birthday. I lived for a time in Detroit with my sister Dot and her husband Jack before being taken to Springfield, Ohio where my Mother was living.
I spent my childhood in Springfield, attending Grayhill elementary school before moving to California in June 1949 with my Mother. We lived with my sister Dot, her husband Jack, and their year old daughter, Julia. I enrolled in John Adams junior high school in Santa Monica, California. Only 11 years old at the time, and not ever being away from home before, I missed Ohio and was very homesick.
In February 1950, the four of us, Mom, Dot, Julia and I, drove back to Ohio. Jack joined us later after completing his work committment. Jack, Dot and Julia stayed only a short time before returning to Southern Californa where they purchased a "Foster's Freeze" store in Reseda, California's equivalent of a "Dairy Queen."
I attended Snyder Park junior high school in Springfield before going to Lakeview, Ohio to live with my other sister, Betty and her husband Buck and their family. Betty was my Mother's middle daughter - Dot being the eldest and Ruth the youngest. We lived on the shore of Indian Lake and I attended the 8th grade at Lakeview junior high.
I returned to Springfield and to Snyder Park junior high for the second half of the 8th grade. After graduating junior high in June of 1952, my Mother and I left for Van Nuys, California. Jack and Dot invited us to the San Fernando Valley just outside of Los Angeles to live with them and help with the ice cream store. When we left Springfield we weren't sure if it would be a temporary or permanent move. Perhaps Mom knew it would be permanent, since she sold our house before we left! It was around this time that my friends started calling me "Bud." I insisted my family do so too, after all, I was now fourteen and "Buddy" sounded so juvenile.
This time I really enjoyed living in California, especially the San Fernando Valley. I attended Van Nuys high school and was graduated in 1955. I had been an Art Major in high school.
I had worked at the "family business", (Foster's Freeze) all during high school. I got my driver's license when I was sixteen and my first car was a 1949 Chevrolet convertible. I first met John Woernley in 1952 at the school bus stop. We hit it off and immediately became best friends. We went everywhere in that Chevy. Back in those days you either torched the springs or put blocks on the axels of your car to make the cars ride lower. I remember not having the money to have my Chevy lowered, so I filled the trunk with huge rocks. It wasn't long after that when the car's axel broke. Everyone thought that was funny. That is everyone but me.
JP Morgan, John Woernley & Me in 1954
John's sister Janice was a year younger than I and the three of us went everywhere together. Sometimes we hung out with Bev Lane and Marvin Morgan who were high school sweethearts and later married. Janice was my first great love. I was fifteen when we met and she was fourteen. Both our mothers always thought the two of us would one day marry but it just wasn't meant to be. We remain good friends to this day.
Janice Woernley in 1955
In January 1956, I drove to Ohio in my 1954 Ford. Although I took the southern route I ran into severe snow storms in New Mexico and Texas. I found myself stuck in the snow twice. Each time the snow plow had to pull me out. The radio said it was the worst blizzard in that part of the country in many, many years. I had to keep the car running with the heater on and sleep on the front seat all night, praying I wouldn't run out of gas. All the cars were in one lane behind the snow plow, heading east and barely moving. It took me the better part of 2 days just to get through the panhandle of Texas.
When I finally did get to Ohio, I visited old friends and met many new ones. One evening, a new friend, Bill Shatto and I went to the Hodges Brothers roller rink in Springfield where I used to skate in the late '40's and early '50's. I fell in love at first sight with a girl I met that night. I thought she was the loveliest thing I had ever seen. I was skating behind her trying to catch up and talk to her when she fell right in front of me. I helped her up and that is how I met the second great love of my life. Her name was June and I fell head over heels for her (should'nt that be heels over head?). I drove her home and we dated until I went back to California in June.
June Anne Jones in 1956
I had met my mother and sister in Ohio and I drove them back to California. I had been so excited about visiting Ohio I wanted to go back. I convinced my friend John that we should take the trip together. He agreed and we drove his car, a 1949 Oldsmobile Coupe that was really lowered.
During our visit to Ohio, John and I stayed with my sister Betty and her husband Buck in Port Jefferson. We both got a job at the Steel Products Engineering Company in Springfield. Everyone in town loved John's "cherry" Oldsmobile, it had a beautiful black paint job and with the California plates it looked terrific. Coming from California - especially near Hollywood - we were treated almost like celebrities. We stayed in Ohio less than a month.
Frank Comer, a guy John and I met in Ohio and who became another lifelong friend, came to California the next month and he, John and I got jobs at the Chevrolet plant in Panorama City California. We started in October 1956. I was trained as a spot welder, Frank worked in the paint department and John was in the trim department. John and I only worked there one month before quitting to join the US Air Force on the last day on November, but Frank stayed on.
After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas, John was assigned to Castle Air Force Base near Lompoc California and later Vandenburg Air Force Base in the same area. I was sent to Stead Air Force Base, just outside of Reno Nevada. John spent his entire four year enlistment in the Lompoc area and I moved around from Reno Nevada to Tokyo Japan to Colorado Springs Colorado.
I was at Stead Air Force Base for seven months and it was great. I came home to LA almost every other weekend. Several of the guys I was stationed with were from the Los Angeles area so they would buy the gas and I would furnish the car and we would take turns driving my '54 Ford back and forth to LA. We usually left around midnight to return to the base, just making it back by 8 am in time for work.
In July of 1957, I received notice that I was to be transferred overseas. I took a months leave and went back to Ohio to see June. We had been been keeping in touch by mail and phone. I stayed with my sister but June and I spent a lot of time together. I asked her to marry me. I even asked her father's permission to marry his daughter. He said he thought it would be better if we both waited until I returned from my overseas tour of duty in two years. His reasoning was if we really loved each other as much as we thought, that it would surely last for two years. I reluctantly agreed, we said our goodbyes and I left for California to spend a day or two at home before leaving for Japan.
My transfer was to Yokota Air Force Base near Tokyo Japan. I was there for a year before being assigned to and sent with the tactical hospital unit for temporary duty in Taipai, Taiwan (Formosa) in the fall of 1958. While there I got a chance to visit Hong Kong, the Philipines, and Okinawa before returning to Japan. I left Japan to return to the United States on June 4th of 1959. June had written me faithfully almost every other day for the 21 months I was away.
Me at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo Japan in 1958
With money I had saved and money I received from selling the two cars I had before I left for Japan, both a '53 and '54 Ford, I was able to buy a new 1959 Ford Galaxie 500. Ford's top of the line. With tax and license the price came out to almost $4,000. A lot of money in 1959 as records now show the average car price then was $2,000. I drove to Ohio and was so excited to see June. Without going into detail, things just didn't work out between us and we decided to go our separate ways. Perhaps the excitement of having a brand new car and the joy of being back in the United States after almost two years helped take some of the pain from the breakup away, but I still felt sad.
I drove back to Van Nuys California to my sister Dot's house. Her husband Jack had died suddenly and unexpectedly in July 1958 while I was in Japan. I miss Jack since he was more like a father to me than a brother-in-law.
I drove to Vandenburg to visit my friend John who was now married. When I got back to the Valley I met Connie Tucker, the third love of my life.
Connie Rae Tucker
Connie was eighteen and working for my sister Dot at the Foster's Freeze. We spent a lot of time together while I was home on leave before I had to report to Ent Air Force Base in Colorado.
In August I drove the 1958 Corvette that I just bought for $3,000 (with a loan from my sister Dot) to Colorado Springs. I had given the '59 Ford to my Mother. She was as crazy about that car as I was about the Corvette.
Me in my '58 Corvette in Colorado Springs Colorado in 1959
I think I was more homesick in Colorado than I was while in Japan. A month or so after I got there, my sister Ruth called from Ohio to tell me that June was getting married on the 6th of August..
I was fortunate to have had several 3-Day passes while stationed at Peterson Field, so I flew home, courtesy of the USAF once or twice a month. It was during one of those weekends that I proposed to Connie. She came to Colorado on the train with my Mother and we were married in a private ceremony in a Justice-of-the-Peace's home on Thursday, November 12th, 1959. She was nineteen and I was twenty-one.
Connie and Me on our Wedding Day - November 12th, 1959
We rented an upstairs apartment in a private home on Willamette Street in Colorado Springs and lived there for the next eight months. We took a trip back to California in February 1960 so I could meet her family for the first time - her parents Leonard and Frances Tucker, and her sisters, Terrie and Christie and brother Guy.
Connie and I returned Colorado and didn't get back to California until August of 1960, just a few months before my discharge from the Air Force. While we were there we bought a new home on Avenida de las Flores in Thousand Oaks. Our next door neighbors who became good friends were Judd and Marjory McMichaels, of the singing group "The Merry Macs." Connie stayed at our new house and I went back to Colorado to spend the next few months alone awaiting discharge on November 29th 1960.
In December of 1960 my sister Dot offered me the job of managing the Foster's Freeze store and agreed to pay me a percentage of the profits. I opened and closed the store working 7 days a week from 10 am until 10 pm while making the long trek back and forth from Thousand Oaks. It was winter and the ice cream business wasn't that great, even in sunny Southern California. I decided in February 1961 to go back to work at General Motors full-time where I was assured of a much better income. My sister wasn't too happy with my decision to leave but she understood. She put the store up for sale and it sold almost immediately.
This was also about the time Connie became pregnant with Steve, our first child and in May of 1961 we left the house in Thousand Oaks and moved to Van Nuys. This cut my travel time to work by about 45 minutes and allowed Connie to be closer to her family in Reseda, just a few miles west of us. We didn't have health or hospitalization insurance at the time since I had just recently gone back to General Motors and I was not yet eligible. I think it had something to do with her "pre-existing condition." I had to pay the baby's $250 hospital bill, and $200 Doctor bill out of my own pocket. Our first-born cost us less than $500, still a lot of money in those days.
Steven William Reeves was born early on the morning of October 11th, 1961. We continued living at the Van Nuys house until July 1962 when we moved to Panorama City, just a mile from where I was working. We rented a duplex at 8712 Tilden Avenue and that's where we met Tom and Sandy Miller. Tom was a manager at the Sav-on Drug Store in Studio City. It was at his suggestion together with my desire to move to a job with a better future, that I started with Sav-on in August, 1963. I remember taking a big pay cut to make the change.
Connie became pregnant at the end of the year and Michael Dee Reeves was born on September 23rd, 1964.
Michael and Steven Reeves in 1966
At the end of 1966 I was transferred to the Sav-On in Burbank. I was there for a little over two years then I was transferred to the Canoga Park store in February 1969. During the early seventies, Connie and I were experiencing serious maritial problems. We had moved to a rental home in Canoga Park in 1968, just before Sav-on transferred me there. Shortly after the Sylmar earthquake in February 1971, we bought a house on Hart Street in Canoga Park hoping that would help our relationship improve. It didn't and we separated in 1972 after a little over twelve years of marriage. We divorced the following year. I took the car and gave her everything else.
It was during this turbulent time that I left my job at Sav-on and became an independent insurance agent. I sold casualty, life, disability, and health insurance. It wasn't something I enjoyed and with the frustration of living alone and not seeing my children everyday as I was accustomed, it was a very depressing time in my life.
One day I ran into Cathy Smith, a girl I worked with at the Canoga Park store who had also gone through a divorce. She had a three year old son, Geoff. We started going out together and before long had started a serious relationship. We seemed to have a lot in common other than just being two divorced individuals. I didn't quite know it then but she was rapidly becoming the fourth great love of my life.
I had taken a position as a sales training manager at an office supply company in Los Angeles. The company was looking for a computer systems analyst and I recommended Cathy. She was hired in the fall of 1973. Cathy and I moved into an apartment together and soon after, on February 10th, 1974, eloped to Las Vegas. We moved a few times before settling down in a home on Woodlake Avenue in Woodland Hills where we lived for the next fifteen years.
Cathy & Me on our Wedding Day 2/10/1974 in Las Vegas
Cathy became pregnant in 1975 and Adam Christian Reeves was born on Christmas Eve of that year.
Adam in 1981
We lived in a "party" house with a large swimming pool. Geoff and Adam loved it. We had friends, family and guests over almost every weekend. At different times, my sons Steve and Mike lived with us.
On November 13th, 1977, my granddaughter Mistie Marie Reeves was born. My son Steve was a father at 16 and I was a grandfather at 39!
Mistie Marie Reeves
At eighteen, Steve married Robin Warner and another granddaughter, Shoshana Elaine Reeves (Shanah) arrived December 11th, 1979.
After Robin and Steve divorced, he married Jenny Parker.
Mike, Jenny, Steve and Adam Reeves with Connie and Don Nielson
Another granddaughter, Elizabeth Ashley Reeves (Beth) came into this world on June 26th, 1986.
Jenny with Beth
Unfortunately that same year on October 8th, my Mother passed away at the age of 87.
Mom with Adam & Me
My ex-wife Connie, remarried in the early 80's to Don Nielson, and in 1989 was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and placed in a Medical facility in Van Nuys where she remained for the next ten years. She passed away on September 1st, 2000 at the young age of 60.
Cathy and I bought a house in Simi Valley and moved in March 1990. I was sad to leave the Woodlake house. I have so many great memories from those years. We had been commuting to Simi for some time and got to a point where we were spending more time in Simi Valley than we were in the San Fernando Valley so the move wasn't as tramatic as we thought it might be. Most of our friends lived in Simi.
2391 Cochran Street in Simi Valley California
The Northridge earthquake in February of 1994 did a lot of damage in Simi Valley but the following month on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, I had my own personal shake up when the company I had worked for was sold and I was forced into an early retirement. For the next year while looking for work, I was at home assisting Cathy with her computer graphics and designs for the various newletters, catalogs and brochures she was creating for the various companies she was working with.
This 24 hour a day togetherness was a bit much for both of us and on March 15th, 1995 we separated and I moved out of our home. I first rented an apartment in Woodland Hills, then moved into a home in Simi Valley, and later moved into a motel in Van Nuys where I lived for the next seven years. During this time, our house in Simi Valley sold and Cathy and Adam moved into an apartment in Tarzana. Geoff was in his early twenties and had moved into his own apartment. Cathy later bought a house in Pasadena and lived there until moving to Atherton California in 2007. Adam and Nancy leased Cathy's Pasadena house until they bought a home of their own in Burbank in 2008.
My son Mike had driven a cab just before college and suggested that I try it. He knew I had lived in the valley for over forty years and was familiar with the area and liked to drive so it seemed to be a logical solution to my employment predicament. I decided to try it. I started in December of 1995, found that I loved it and continued driving off and on through November of 2003. I was surprised how much I enjoyed driving a taxi.
Shanah, Steve's daughter, married and had her first child, a girl on January 26th, 1999 - Chloe Raelin Perkuhn. Her second daughter Lilia Frances Perkuh, was born June 1st, 2003, giving me still another beautiful great granddaughter!
Chloe, Jordan, Shanah and Lily Perkuhn
Mike had met Lauren Poplack while attending college in Arizona in the 80's. After graduation they both moved to the San Francisco area. They were married several years later, on June 23rd, 1996.
Frances Tucker with Mike & Lauren Reeves
My granddaughter Allison Rose was born February 8th, 1999 and later, on October 19th, 2001, my first and only grandson, Maxwell Elton Reeves (Max) was born.
Allison & Max in February 2003
I got reinvolved with the Masonic Lodge and the Shriners in the year 2000, became a clown again and was active in many parades in the Southern California area. I would go to the Shriner's Hospital and the Orthopaedic Hospital in Los Angeles a couple of times a month to visit the children and other patients and pass out candy and toys.
A couple of my Clown photos
In November 2003, I stopped driving for the cab company and moved to Las Vegas. My old friend John lives there with his wife Rosalie. He recently had a heart attack in 2009 but is now doing fine after a couple of stints were installed in the old ticker. You just can't keep a good man down!
Janice, his sister and her husband Dick have been living in Henderson, just a few miles from Vegas, since March 2005. I don't see them as much since I moved to Phoenix but we talk on the phone a couple times a month. As far as the weather in Las Vegas, I remember it as being really hot in the summer with terrible floods in the monsoon season and very windy and cold during the winter. I never got used to it. It's strange but the weather in Phoenix is almost identical to Las Vegas.
When I lived in Las Vegas, I saw more of my kids than I did when I lived in California. Mike would come up from Scottsdale Arizona where he and Lauren moved. I didn't see as much of their children Allison and Max as I would have liked. Mike works for the company that owns the University of Phoenix and is also a realtor. Lauren got her real estate licence in 2010 and is doing quite well despite the present economy. Max and Allison are in school during the day for most of the year. Since I moved to Phoenix in September 2008, I see them and my grandkids a couple of times a month and I'm really enjoying it.
Adam and Nancy had their official engagement party at the Castaway's in Burbank on July 29, 2006 and were married in a beautiful ceremony on July 7, 2007 at Lake Las Vegas.
Adam & Nancy's Wedding 7-7-07
They are currently living in their newly purchased home in Burbank California with my newest granddaughter, Alessandra, born on June 8th 2010.
Alessandra Luciana Reeves
Mistie married her long time beau, Jim Newman in Waihi New Zealand. They're back in the states now happy to be together finally! They are living in Chatsworth California and waiting for the time when they can both move back to New Zealand permanently.
Jamie & Mistie Newman
Misty's father Steve married for the third time in November 2004 to Trisha, a lovely lady he met in Washington state. They are currently living in Chehalis Washington.
Trisha & Steve Reeves 2004
Shanah and her husband Jordan separated in August 2005 and she moved to Las Vegas and after five years in 2010, to Portland Oregon. The kids, Chloe and Lily, are with their father in Washington.
I last saw Jenny, my ex daughter-in-law when she was in Las Vegas with Beth in August of 2005. Beth would visit her sister Shanah when she was in Vegas, usually once or twice a year. In September of 2007 she drove up with her boy friend and Steve, her dad. We were all able to get together and have a wonderful time. Her most recent visit to Vegas was in October 2008 when she attended the Tucker Family Reunion at Ballys. She came with her great aunt Christie and Christie's husband, Danny.
Geoff, my step-son has received a patent on a mattress which he intends selling by way of infomercials. He is currently persuing an undergraduate's degree in business. Our last visit together was during Adam and Nancy's wedding on July 7, 2007, although we've talked on the phone since then. He looked really great and is doing very well.
Geoffrey Gilmore Smith
And as for the four great loves in my life... I still have much respect and admiration for them all.
Janice, my first love is living with Dick, her husband of 56 years. They live in the Las Vegas/Henderson area and as I mentioned before, When I lived in Las Vegas I would see them occasionally but since I moved to Phoenix, I talk to them on the phone more often. They have three married daughters, one bachelor son and several grandchildren, and more recently, one great-grandchild.
June, my second great love is living in Texas and we communicate occasionally by e-mail and phone. She and her ex-husband have three grown daughters, one divorced with two daughters. She remarried and became a widow in February 2011.
Connie, my third love passed away on September 1st, 2000 after a ten year bout with Alzheimer's. I miss her - as do our two children and their children.
Cathy, my fourth love and I separated in March of 1995 after 21 years of marriage and, as I mentioned before, divorced 13 years later . It was finalized in March 2009.
Since April 2007 she has been working for a private college near San Francisco. She said she planned to retire in a couple of years but the last time we talked she said that's not going to happen!
As for me, I have been visiting Ohio during the summer months for the past few years. I get to see most everyone and visit my 93 year old aunt Jean and my sister Ruth, their families and several cousins, neices and nephews. I hope to make this an annual event as long as I can.
My brother Raymond passed away in his sleep on May 19th 2008, less than three months before his 91st birthday and just a few days after Christmas 2010, my sister Opal passed away at the age of 88.
Ruth, Me and Opal in 2009
I recently had a couple of health problems. In June 2009 I had my gall bladder removed and in October 2010, after a heart attack I had a couple of stents put in my right coronary artery. The heart medication started a duodenal ulcer bleeding and currently I'm on medication for that too. Tough to get old!
I've been living in Phoenix since September 2008 and loving it. My place is only a few miles from my son Mike and his family and I see them often. I also keep in contact with the rest of my wonderful family and friends by phone. Talking and texting!
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~This page was last updated on January 16th 2011 ~