Meet Carlton Senior Living spotlight resident, Jeannette MacDonald – Jeannette was born on July 8, 1938 in Glendale, California to Mary Louise and Malcolm MacDonald. She was raised in the town of Eagle Rock, in northeast Los Angeles. Jeannette has one brother, Malcom, who is two years younger than her. When they were children, they loved to run around barefoot in the foothills, “where there were snakes, ticks, and poison oak.”
One of Jeannette’s most memorable moments from her childhood was learning to ride a horse. She began taking riding lessons when she was seven and she adored every opportunity she had to ride. She even had her own horse, Poof, for many years. The name “Poof” was inspired by a deodorant company at the time. Jeannette attended Eagle Rock High School, and she says, “I did not like high school. There were some parts that I liked, but generally, school was not for me.” Although both her parents were heavily into mathematics, Jeannette loved working with her hands.
As an adult, Jeannette has lived in quite a few places outside California, including Alabama, New Hampshire, and West Pennsylvania. Living in New Hampshire was one of her favorite life experiences. She loved its interesting history and that its small size made traveling easy. She has traveled throughout the western states. Her favorite vacation was a trip to New Mexico and Arizona that she took with her son. They stopped to see the areas where the Navajo tribes lived.
Jeannette spent two years in the U.S. Army with the Military Police. The Army Military Police (MP) serve as the Army’s law enforcement and security specialists by patrolling Army installations and supporting Soldiers during operations. She met her former husband, Charles Guest, while she was in the service, and she reflects fondly that “those were the days.” Together she and Charles had three children: Cynthia, her late son William, and Edward, the youngest. Together they moved back to California and lived on her parents’ ranch. Charles’ job fell through in West Pennsylvania and Jeannette did not enjoy the dangers of living in the snow. Charles was able to find work in California, making it their new home. Jeannette also worked as a courier and a school bus driver.
Throughout her life, Jeannette has had many pets, including a menagerie of cats, dogs, snakes, fish, chickens, a horse, and a pony. Her most memorable pet was a white, wolf-like dog named Blizzard. Before her son William passed away, Blizzard would always bark to wake him up in time for work, except on Sundays, which Blizzard knew was the day to rest and sleep in.
Jeannette describes herself as, “stand-offish, grumpy, (she laughs), and happy.” She most admires former President Barack Obama, as he was, “a dang good president. He came in when things were bad and left at the best time.” Jeannette’s life philosophy is to, “live and let live.” She suggests that others, “enjoy life as much as you can with what you have. If you are able to do more, than fine, just don’t go knocking your head in and waste your own energy.” She enjoys hard rock, opera, and blues music and her favorite band is Deep Purple. She loves British mystery movies. She generally loves dinner and her favorite dessert is black bottom pie. Her favorite scent is a perfume called White Shoulders. Here at Carlton Senior Living Davis her favorite thing is the atmosphere, as the “people are very kind and helpful.”
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Written by Ben Slade, Resident Liaison at Carlton Senior Living Davis