Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson

If any of you readers have paid attention over the past few years, you know I do not include a lot of family stuff; we all have family stories, so my use of space in a newspaper as a journal about my family seems unwarranted. Today I override that position.

When I was 24 years old, my emotional and spiritual situation made me ripe for plucking when a nationwide phenomenon of young people turning to the teachings found in the four gospels of the New Testament swept the nation. Religious leaders referred to these young people as Born-Again Christians; the press and populace called us Jesus Freaks.

The story of my living in Salinas and meeting a 17-year-old young lady from Las Vegas would burn up far too many words, suffice it to say we married soon after her 18th birthday. According to statistics of the time, our marriage had a 48% chance of survival past five years; we made it just shy of six. The whole legal process went into motion with the normal situation of our children, a girl of 5 and a boy of 3, remaining with the mother, with the father granted visitation rights.

Since those post-divorce days, there have been periods when the three of us (us being Jenny Suzanne Wilson, 46 last month, and Steven Conrow Wilson, 44 earlier this month, and myself) were separated by both distance and social philosophies. During their K through 12 grades, Jenny and Steven lived a religiously sheltered experience, but during those naturally rebellious late-teen years, both began to understand what they were told as children regarding how to live within a socially restricted atmosphere of dogmas was not how they wanted to live as adults. But at the same time, they also understood they did not want to live the kind of life their father was living.

Once again, the words and space it would take to go into all my lost years of alcohol- and drug-related catastrophes (and court appearances and emergency room visits and what all, in five different states and a couple dozen jobs) would take a book, so I won’t go into it all here. I would add, though, it is nice to be three decades past those wasted times.

We have come a long way, the three of us, and have arrived at a place where we appreciate and are impressed with each other’s talents and accomplishments. As one who married and divorced young, Steven presently lives as a bachelor, making his home in Idaho. For the past few years with his 50-plus huskies, he gives sled rides for visitors to a large resort in Montana. Steven is what is known as “a self-made man;” the more I know of him the more I admire him. Jenny has seven children to which I am Grandpa Wilson. It is this septuplet that gives me concern because I don’t care for the politics of where they now live and where some will live in the near future.

To explain all the circumstances behind why these seven are a combination of half-siblings would take up far too much time and space, so I’ll go with this: When Jenny and a classmate from kindergarten reached adulthood, they planned to marry, moved in together, got pregnant and then things soured. He took up alcohol, got violent and she walked out. The firstborn, then, is Steven Cameron Wilson, 26 years old, who is known as both Steven and Cam; I call him Cam because up until he was born, I was Steve and my son was Steven and two Stevens was confusing so we called him Cam. When Cam got to high school, he was called Steve or Steven by teachers and classmates; during his four years playing varsity football he was known as “Big Country.”

The next two are the product of Jenny’s first marriage: Emily Camille Dilleshaw, 23, is a searching soul, like many young people her age she is in the process of finding herself; the age-old philosophical question of “Who am I?” She is the only grandchild with stage experience in youth, high school and college productions. Summer of 2019, Camille and I were cast in separate The Western Stage productions, so both our headshots were on display in the theater; that was a real thrill for me. Her brother Caleb Zachary John Dilleshaw, 21, is the kid with long hair and a beard, a rarity for his generation and something I easily relate to.

The last four are the offspring of a second marriage and are one quarter Japanese; their grandmother is one of many Japanese girls who married American servicemen and came here after the Second World War. They are: Rebecca Sami Kimiko Jarvis, 19, “Beccah” is a university student seeking to be a high school math teacher; Weston Stewart Jarvis, 17, will graduate high school this month so has some choices to make; Leilani Wilma Haruka Jarvis, 13 next month, is the most outgoing; and 10-year-old Samuel Alan Jarvis is an evolving personality.

The cause of multiple marriages was because Jenny just outdistanced two husbands academically and socially; she left them in her dust. That has changed as now she is married to Jeff, who is just as smart and just as driven. I don’t know what her title is exactly, but she handles legal medical aspects for the University of Oklahoma; a position she attained after 25 years of continuing education.

Jenny and all the kids have been together in Oklahoma for the past four years or so, but an upcoming move to Florida will separate them and odds are they will never again live near each other. I’m going to be part of that move because it may be the last time I will ever be with some of them. I plan to write about this imminent road trip in future columns.

Take care. Peace.

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King City and Greenfield columnist Steve Wilson may be reached at [email protected].


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