missionary. Since then she has
raised a son, run a mission in
San Antonio, worked as a nurse,
taught nursery, kindergarten and
Bible School, managed an orthopedic shoe store and founded
the World Friendship House for
international students in Austin.
She came to Texas for a two-
week vacation after college and
she never left. "I traveled nearly
2000 miles alone from my Iowa
hometown of 1200 people to
Texas," she said. "I had never
even seen a black or brown
"I have done all the things
women want to be given a chance
to do now. I support all the
women's groups. I want them to
have rights in the home, church
community and business world,"
says Fridge, who sometimes
attends NOW meetings and is a
member of Women in Action
(WIA) and a WIA senior citizens
volunteer group called RSVP.
She developed polio and was
paralyzed for three years when
she was in her late twenties with
a young son. She was told she
would be an invalid but "my work
has always been with the public,
relating to people" so she got up
and has been active in public
service ever since.
"My family respected me for
my abilities," explains Fridge,
whose late husband studied to be
a minister, and whose son is an
assistant chaplain in California
where he works with young
adults and children.
Fridge stands at the door of
Rosary Hall, with the help of one
metal crutch, to stress one more
thing before I go. 'Anything to do
with health, religion, communications or international
people, I'm interested and ready
to be involved."
N MARSHA RECKNAGLE
PAM SAKOWITZ AND ROBY
CONNIE REID AND LAURIE
Connie Reid is an incredibly
busy woman with her job in advertising promotions and public
relations on the Houston
Chronicle Add to this her position
on the Houston Advertisers Board
of Directors and her interest in community activities, and
you've got someone who's on the
go most of the time.
Reid loves it though.
It gives her more time with her
Laurie, 6, is practically a
constant companion on her
"Laurie may be the only child
in her class who at "Show and
Tell" can tell that she voted for
someone at a Houston Advertisers meeting," Reid said.
A typical schedule for the two
may entail Reid picking up her
daughter from St. Luke's Day
School, hamburgers for dinner on
the freeway, and a meeting in
which both mother and daughter
cast their votes. "Laurie raises
her hand and votes yes or no with
the rest of us," she said. "People
ask her what she thinks, and she
Laurie plays an even more
direct role in her mother's personal activities. If Reid considers
taking on more time-consuming
activities, she explains what it all
means to Laurie and together,
the two decide how to approach
"When I go out of town or on
dates, or just need some time to
myself, I give Laurie a choice in
who she'd like to say with," Reid
explained. "I never force her. If
there are choices, I want her to
Reid herself, however, might
not have so many choices. One
problem that arises with raising
her daughter alone (she was
divorced three years ago) is the
adjustment she has to make when
Laurie is ill or injured. Recently,
for example, she was heavily
involved in selling Grand Prix
tickets through her work at the
Chronicle. When Laurie got the
flu, Reid set up an office in her
home and sold tickets from there
so she could be both nurse and
But when she can't be there,
Reid said she was lucky to have
friends and family in town who
can stay in the house with Laurie.
Reid likes her single parenthood. "With only one parent
around, Laurie doesn't have to
see any conflicts between two"
"There's only one way," she
said. "Right or wrong, I can
relate to Laurie on a one-to-one
basis instead of a two-to-one, and
it's a lot easier."
She says her financial security
has been a big help in allowing
her the * easy-going relationship
she has with Laurie.
"I have ample child support
and a good job," Reid said. "The
only thing is, it drains my time.
But it's okay because Laurie goes
everywhere with me, and she
doesn't mind the "busyness."
"As she told me once, 'Mommy, the more jobs you work, the
more money you make. And the
more money you make, the more
ponies I get to ride."
g "One day the telephone rings -
g and you give birth."
g That is how Pam Sakowtiz
describes the "moment of birth"
of her adopted son Roby, now two
"Actually, Bob (her husband)
got the call, so I guess he gave
birth before I did," she says,
explaining that in the process of
birth by adoption there is a more
equal partnership between the
husband and wife.
"It's 50-50," Sakowitz said,
"whereas in a natural birth, it's
100 percent, the woman. She does
it — alone!"
The adoption agency the
Sakowitz' chose will not even
take on parent clients unless a
child can be "delivered" in a
year's time. They try to keep the
gestation period as natural as
"Both parents really get
nervous around the eighth or
ninth month, "PamSakowitz said.
"Unlike a natural pregnancy
you try not to think about it until
you are called, and when the
baby does come into your life,
you are at your full-strength. No
afterbirth problems or blues. It's
Sakowitz described her feelings
upon seeing her new eight-day old
son for the first time.
"I thought he was the most
incredibly beautiful baby I had
ever seen. And, I was scared to
death to touch him!"
"It's absurd to think caring for
a baby comes naturally," she
said. "Natural instinct doesn't
show you how to hold, how to
burp, or how to prepare a formula. You need the help of a
professional nurse for at least a
During the waiting period,
Sakowitz read many books on
The best by far was "Right of
Infants" written by Margaret
Ribble in the '30s, she said. The
book defines infant needs in order
that parents may understand the
trauma of the infant stage.
"Old fogeys always say 'it's
good for babies to cry.' Well,
babies never cry for no reason,"
Sakowitz said. "Crying is a plea
for help. If you ignore a plea for
aid, then you are stifling their
communicative ability. The cry
and the pick-up are basic.
"Even though I've used the
books for guidelines I'm not the
perfect mother," she says.
What is a 'perfect mother?'
"Some one that sublimates her
needs and interests to the child,"
Sakowitz replied. "I wish I could
do that. But I can't because of my
conflicting schedules, need for
privacy and private time."
Roby has always had a live-in
nurse, but Pam Sakowitz makes
a strong point of saying "If I
could not afford someone to share
in the care of Roby I would still go
out and get a job so that my
salary would pay for his care.
"Child care is absolutely
essential for a mother," she says.
"It's so deflating to a *
woman's ego to have a
husband be the sole link to the
The Sakowitz' have a heavy
travel schedule for their stores,
but they've taken Roby to New
York at least six times in two
years. Never yet on European
buying trips, though.
"Roby's part of our life and our
life style," Pam Sakowitz said.
"When you adopt at an early age,
you never think of your infant as
'adopted'. He's just yours.,,
There is nothing about Mildred
Hawks to indicate that she is a
grandmother of 17 years, at least
not in the traditional image
conjured up by most of us.
She does! not have a blue rinse
on a conventionally teased
hairdo. Seersucker shirtwaist
dresses or polyester pantsuits are
not part of her wardrobe. Instead, she allows her natural
wavy brown hair to fall onto her
shoulders and wears a blue
workshirt and a comfortable pair
of jeans, j
The traditional image of
grandchild-on-lap is also
replaced by one of a porta-pack
on her back, as Hawks goes out
with her cameraman, Dale
Brooks, to videotape interviews
for her weekly Bellaire cable
station program, '^Bellaire By-
By taking advantage of her art
studies, Hawks landed her first
job as a draftswoman during
World War II. As she explains, "I
know the only reason I became a
draftswoman was because of the
war. The oil companies would
never have hired a draftswoman.
But during the war, they didn't
have any choice."
This type of work has seen her
through two marriages; six
children and one grandchild who
"calls me Granny to teas^ me.
But I do not like to be categorized
like that... I have other interests
... I need to get out arid do
And she does.
A resident of Bellaire since
1938, Hawks has been involved in
community activities for over 20-
years-ranging from the Bellaire
Women's Civic Club ("My
husband felt that was safe") to
writing a weekly people and
activities column, the "Bellaire
Trolley Line" in the Bellaire
Hawks refers to herself as a
"history buff" but is actually a
serious collector of rare books,
having amassed some 2,000 books
and memorabilia of Texas
history alone since the age of 14.
Upon joining the Bellaire
Women's Civic Club, Hawks
proposed their sponsoring a
history of Bellaire, to be written
by her, but "it died for lack of a
second." Twenty years later,
when the club decided to
mimeograph copies of some of
the residents' recipes, she found
the opportunity to "slip in" her
Bellaire history idea, which took
nine months of research. "I
remember that because it was
like having a baby-and I've done-
that so many times!" What was
originally planned to be a capsule
history beneath each recipe,
filled the first half of a hardback
publication entitled, History
Plans for the future? "I would
like to do a documentary on the
Czech people in Texas," Hawks
comments. "But there are seven
major ethnic groups in Texas, so
why just stop at the Czechs, why
not go on?"