Written by Charles Giesey, DDS
I grew up at 608 West Louisiana. It was a neat neighborhood with Allen Hitchcock (with the finest comic book collection on the planet) across the alley from my backyard, and Hope Russell across the alley from my front yard. Hope taught me how to play jacks which came in real handy later on. The highlight of my first several years in school happened in the second grade when Mrs. White summoned my mother to school to say “Mrs. Giesey, Charles is the laziest white boy I’ve ever seen.” Well as most of you know things didn’t change much after that. I really didn’t agree with her but Coach Glen Selbo must have when I was a junior as he said “those Giesey kids (my sister Mary played tennis) don’t have enough energy between them to blow someone’s nose.”
Mary Ann Breedlove was my girl friend in the 4th and 5th grades. She was the fastest student in North Elementary for a time, pretty special. I used to ride my bike over to her house every afternoon following school and stay until they said “Charles do you want to eat?” No I’ll just wait. What in the Hell was I thinking. If someone came home with my 5th grade daughter and acted like that I would shoot him. I had a crush on Pat Thompson when I first went to Cowden. I remember all those dances across the street from the school. Climbing out of the window and skipping school. Too cool. Being a student at MHS was pretty special. Too many great times that I hope we can visit about at the reunion.
Anyway I finally graduated and went to Texas on a track scholarship. Bill and Bob Hudson came by to get me and after all my stuff was in the trailer mother started to cry. Bob said “don’t cry Mrs. Giesey, it ain’t as if he were going off to A and M.” My years at Texas were just fantastic. The Delt house was filled with Midland alums and Herb (aka Bubba) Jones was on the track team with me. So many memories and great friends. I thought the Cotton Bowl was just another game on our schedule. Following UT I went to Dental School at UTDB in Houston graduating in 1968. Another great experience with many new friends. Living in Houston was a blast. Jones was my roommate for a year or so. I could tell you some things but we were sworn into secrecy.
I got into a Navy program while I was in school and went to Annapolis the summer of my junior year. We were supposed to learn all about the Navy, as well as who to salute and all that stuff We graduated on the day the new plebs arrived at the Academy. Plenty of parents, plebs, and Naval brass. That’s where my band experience came in handy as most of these future dentists did not know how to march. Our commanding officer told us to take turns marching the platoon around the parade field Gomer Pyle style. After about 30 minutes one of the Admirals came over to our CO and told him “get these assholes out of here, they are an embarrassment to the Navy.”
My short two year naval career was a wonderful experience. I was on two aircraft carriers. The
Roosevelt CV A 42 in Mayport, Fla. and the John F. Kennedy CV A 67 in Norfolk, VA. I was on
several refresher training cruises in the Caribbean and one cruise in the Mediterranean. Join the
navy and see the world. I married my first wife while in Norfolk and she toured around Europe
with a bunch of wives from the flight squadron. We spent a lot of good time in various countries. I liked Spain and Greece the most. Germany was also cool. We were there in the winter and skied the Bavarian Alps around Garmish.
We got out of the Navy in 1970 and came back to Texas. First to Garland and then down to San Antonio where we are currently living. The first house we bought was the house in which John Younger was born back in 1940. 6 Degrees. I started a dental practice and my first son Samuel Charles Giesey III was born. After ten years we decided to divorce. I don’t need to tell you how much fun that isn’t.
The good thing was that I met my second wife Jean and had two more children, Jessica and Chris. We have lived in Alamo Heights or Olmos Park for the past 31 years. We have traveled all over the US and have gone to Europe several times and especially the UK. Ireland is my favorite with Scotland a close second. Since 1998 we have been playing golf with some English friends (The Alternate Ryder Cup) where we play here or there on the off years of the real Ryder Cup. Two years ago we had our final ARC at Carnuiste several weeks after the Open. I’ve always thought golf was the neatest sport. It’s a different game on every course and you are always on manicured lawns with beautiful trees and flowers and wildlife. Before golf it was hard to understand why no one wanted to go throw my javelin with me. Tennis was my real favorite but back surgery ended that. The back also ended my dental practice in 1990.
I started teaching at the dental school in 1993 and still do that as well as being a volunteer caregiver for Hospice. I have really enjoyed Hospice for the last 14 years. Jean has had an antique shop for 15 years or so, and is currently taking a break. We had a condo in Rockport for 8 or 9 years and really enjoy the coast. Jessica went to school everywhere, Santa Fe, Spain twice, Univ. of Cape Town in South Africa, Brooks in Santa Barbara, and even here. Chris was finishing up school at Montana State in Bozeman. Everything seemed on auto pilot until Oct 2007. Nothing could have prepared us for The Great Sadness.
Chris called from school to tell us they had found a large growth in his abdomen. Cancer! Not just any cancer but Burkitts Lymphoma which I found out is the fastest growing cancer. On to
MD Anderson for diagnosis and treatment. Lymphomas are one of the most curable cancers with chemo. Anyway on Fathers Day last year he told me he thought his cancer was back six weeks after 8 rounds of high dose chemo. I was getting ready to take him back to summer school but back to Anderson where they were going to try to get him ready for a stem cell transplant. He died on July 19, 2008
I don’t know why I’m writing all this down in my bio except that my child’s death was the most important event in my life so far. I know there are plenty of us who have experienced such tragedies and I couldn’t have known what they were going through
I am really looking forward to seeing all of you and catching up. I’m putting on my happy face.