My Dad the Cheerleader

Go Lawndale Cardinals!

“National Cheerleaders Association”; “L” for Lawndale; “Mike,” my dad’s name; Class of 1973. [The Cardinal looks a bit like a pugilist turkey hehehe]

When I was a child, I was somewhat embarrassed about the fact that my dad had been a cheerleader in high school. Never mind that he had also been a track & field star, a bad-ass submarine-based cryptologic technician in the US Navy, or an all-around super-nice, super-smart dude who instilled in me a deep love of music & made me the audiophile record collector I am today, this fact only served to embarrass me further when it came out that Dubya had been a cheerleader too.

As an adult, I am no longer embarrassed about my father’s choice of extracurriculars and now have the pleasure of being the proud new owner of his varsity cheer sweater! My dad has never been a big dude so the sweater fits almost perfectly. I have also been promised his hand-painted megaphone & stool and couldn’t be more tickled! I can’t wait to do a proper photo shoot in it.



Having been a Navy brat, I’ve always had a difficult time answering that classic and inevitable small-talk inquiry “Where are you from?” My answer is never simple and appropriate for small-talk as it’s quite convoluted. I almost feel at this point that I should just say “LA.” Some would deem this blasphemy since the longest I have lived in LA-proper at any given point is 6 months but allow me to elaborate on why with is probably the most accurate answer I can give.

Both my folks’ were born and raised in Los Angeles. My dad attended Lawndale High School and Mom went to Hawthorne High School, in the same school district in South LA.  I moved around a lot as a kid but both my grandmothers lived in LA and we would frequently visit them. Mom and I lived with her mother for some period of time while my dad was stationed on a ship or sub somewhere we couldn’t know about. My Mom’s mom had a model train company which had its factory and headquarters in Compton. I cherish memories of visiting the factory and watching the model trains being tested on the wee tracks. Come to think of it, for safety’s sake, I had more free rein walking around that factory than I probably should have!

Thank goodness Hawthorne’s rival school is Leuzinger, not Lawndale!

After Dad retired from the Navy, I went to middle school and high school in Temecula. After that, my parents bought a house in Hemet so I spent my college years there. I never felt like I was “from” these places though. They don’t represent me or how I feel about who I am and I feel if I say “Temecula” I misrepresent myself. [Maybe I should refuse to answer the question altogether!] After moving out of the house, I had a short stint in North San Diego County then moved to Los Angeles. Had I not met my future ex-husband while living in LA, I may still be living there. While I never planned on living in Orange County, I enjoy it more that I could have ever imagined.

♥ tracey


About traceyheartsart

Check out my blog for smirky, smiley, snarky updates on local music, art, politics, libations, veg food, and thrifty finds in Downtown Santa Ana and beyond... @traceyheartsart
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1 Response to My Dad the Cheerleader

  1. Krayola says:

    Very cool auto bio.

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