Remember to see the current Fullerton Museum art show featuring portraits by award-winning photographer Donna Edman of local wise women and their advice to their younger selves. The exhibit includes paintings, sculptures, and fiber works by 70 artists over 50.
The Museum Center is located at 301 N. Pomona, at E. Wilshire in downtown Fullerton and is open from 12 noon to 4 pm. Admission is $10/general $7/members. (Participating artists featured in the show plus a guest are invited to visit for no charge in gratitude for lending their artwork to the show.) Call 714-519-4461 for more information.
Below are just a few of the portraits featured:
•Barbara Johnson, a Fullerton Observer Newspaper founding member, is also well-known around town as the founder of Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services (now called Pathways of Hope) with the mission to end homelessness and hunger. Barbara, now 93, credits her parents for teaching her patience, perseverance, and the importance of “living simply so that others can simply live.” She and her late husband Bruce, minister of the Congregational Church, raised five children.
Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “Open your mind and heart to experience people of different faiths, races, and cultures. Learn what it’s like to walk in their shoes. You will develop empathy, compassion, and courage in the struggle for justice and peace as you find your identity, purpose, and vision of the world.”
•LaDonna Chaney, Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “1) Know your worth: focus on getting to know yourself, what you like, and what you want out of life. 2) Learn the power of “no” and establish personal boundaries; don’t be pressured to do things you don’t want to do or don’t agree with. 3) Listen to your intuition; let it guide you through the toughest times of your life. Trust your instincts; it probably isn’t if something doesn’t feel right. 4) Don’t allow your fears to silence your voice; Favor will come after many failures. 5) Practice self-care to improve your mental well-being; Talk to someone you trust or seek help from a professional. Seeking help doesn’t mean you are crazy, but it could very well help you avoid making crazy decisions.”
•Lelien Nguyen was born in Saigon, South Vietnam. “My 20s was a sad time. Communism came to my country.” At age 35, she moved to the US and made her living by sewing and then as a nail technician. At age 44, she opened the nail salon she still owns and manages today.
She raised two sons and one daughter. It brings her joy to be with her twin grandsons. “I am grateful for my family, including my mother, who lives nearby. I am grateful that everyone in my family is healthy.”
Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “Live and enjoy your life.”
•Janet Reed, now 95, was married to her husband for 40 years and raised nine children. We met at university in the 1940s. My husband is half Japanese, and when we met, his family was escaping the California internment. Although my mother advised me not to marry, I didn’t see race as an issue. We married anyway.”
Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “Love people. Love everybody. Love everything.”
•Rosalina Davis met her husband, Raul, in her first year at CSUF. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, and now their two children, plus all the nephews and nieces, have followed her example and received degrees from 4-year universities. After working at CSUF for ten years, Rosalina redirected her energy into Raul’s family’s third-generation restaurant, Tlaquepaque in Placentia, on its 56th anniversary. Through a partnership between CSUF and Tlaquepaque, the family established a scholarship program 35 years ago that provides grants for 20 to 40 Hispanic students annually.
“I am the product of the American Dream, having had a humble beginning as an immigrant child of a widowed mother, the youngest of five. My mother has been an incredible role model, teaching us that no matter what happens in life, we can survive the challenges with grace, respect, and a hard work ethic.”
Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “Do not be afraid to fail because you learn lifelong lessons through failure. If you fall, pick yourself right back up, brush yourself, and continue the journey. Enjoy and savor this beautiful time of your life and trust your instinct; it will always be your friend.”
•Jeanie Yoshihara was born in California and given up at birth. She was adopted at age four and sent to Hong Kong from age 7 to 11 to learn Chinese. After a failed 13-year marriage, she raised her son and daughter as a single mother. Life was emotionally challenging, dealing with cultural shocks, discrimination, and keeping up with finances. I felt I had no identity, always wondering why I was given up at birth.
“Where were my parents? Who did I look like? I was very unhappy. Then my life turned completely around when I met my current husband.” They created a blended family of his two children from a previous marriage and her two children. They have four grandchildren and have been married for 27 years.
After many years, Jeanie reconnected with her foster parents and birth parents and met her half-brothers and sisters, which brought closure to her search.
“I have learned that life provides lessons for you. You endure difficult times to appreciate the happier times. During my forties, I decided not to live a life of negative thinking and self-pity. I attended many self-help classes, eventually bringing me out of the darkness. Being in the light has given me the freedom to be happy! Light attracts light, and happiness grows.”
Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “Love is within you. You must love yourself before you can truly love others. Respect yourself, your family, and your friends. Seek advice from a trustworthy person. Don’t let the past drag you down; let go and move on. Live life in the moment with love, gratitude, and happiness.”
•Roya Saberzadeh, Roya met her husband at 21. They were engaged three weeks later and came to live in the US in 1989. She survived the shock of being newly married and moving to a foreign country with many challenges but says, today, all has become normal in the country and culture where she has raised her son and daughter.
Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “Life is full of new opportunities, surprises, and decisions to be made, some more challenging than others. Always believe in yourself, the choices you make, your strength, your determination, and most importantly, the support of all the good people who cross your path in life. I call these people my village; each has played a part in who I am today. I am so grateful to have them in my life. Life is what you make it to be; enjoy every moment.
Jo Ann Brannock
•Jo Ann Brannock is a retired psychologist, professor, and well-known through her former Cherami Scholarship program for high school students wanting to go on to college and other philanthropic activities. She writes a column for the Fullerton Observer called Healthy Awareness.
Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “Believe and stand up for yourself, as this will empower you. In addition, as you travel your life’s journey, be aware that there are bumps in the road. Remember that there are lessons to be learned from these experiences. My mentor is Eleanor Roosevelt, who wrote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
•Sandra Hill, an entrepreneur, has a passion for technology, something she shares with her husband, Ronan. The two computer science majors met at CSUF and married in 1988.
Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “Embrace and celebrate everything that is uniquely you – Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold!
•Marcy Fry is a retired award-winning teacher well-known through various activities around town. She was inspired to become an educator through her early experiences overcoming a learning disability that made her feel that she wasn’t smart. Her goal became “to create a highly engaging, challenging classroom where students loved school, supported one another, and felt safe to take risks.” Her class motto was “‘Be a pebble in a pond.’ A pebble in a pond creates a ripple effect. Each of us, throughout our lives, can have this effect on the lives we touch. By letting go and risking being my authentic self, I learned I had unique gifts. I could be the person I was meant to be. I am grateful for the opportunity to be “a pebble in a pond” in so many lives.”
Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “Don’t waste so much energy worrying, especially about how you think others judge you. Listen to your inner voice and be who you are. Know that each of us contributes to this world in our unique way. Find your purpose and a career that fulfills you. Pay attention to your passions – what makes your heart sing. Forget trying to impress people and instead be genuinely interested in others and give fully from your heart. Your authentic self will attract people who truly value you and vice versa; life will be better than you ever imagined.”
•Carol Hidalgo, a Real estate agent and loan officer
Advice to My 20-year-old Self: “Start fresh; forgive those who have raised you for what they have done or failed to do. Don’t compare or criticize yourself or anyone else. You are fine, just the way you are. It’s normal to be afraid and to make mistakes. It’s part of learning. Don’t let fear keep you from dreaming and trying new things. Speak up – your opinions count. Don’t hide your strengths; remember it’s ok to ask for help. Don’t take everything so seriously. Enjoy being you, and let everyone else be themselves. Laugh out loud more, and have fun! Don’t lie to yourself. Be kind to everyone, including you.
Other women featured are Ana Acosta, Barbara Rice, and Beverly. Berryman, Beverly Thompson, Carla Zimmer, Carla Jones, Christina Williams, Claudia Miller, Debbie Thompson, Diane Masseth-Jones, Doralyn Seawell, Evelyn Abernathy, Francine Pace, Greta Nagel, Jeanne Gormick, Joanne Harold, Judith Savage, Karen Goodsell, Kari Woodson, Lenore Burchfield, Linda Holman, Lisa Paniagua, Marcy Hermann, Maria Snyder, Marian Jenkins, Marlene Gibb, Mary Ludington, Norma Ames, Odet King, Patty Mouton, Peggy Ricks, Sandee Bryant Chavez Rowell, Sharon Gorrell, Sharon Ricks, Terri Olson, Theresa Harvey, Valarie Pugsley, and Yvonne Lacko
For more information on photographer Donna Edman and the Women of Wisdom, visit: www.donnaedmanphotography.com/Women-of-Wisdom-Book