BIO Index

Martha "Marty" Norton

circa (61)


Don't look for my photo in the year book for 1961... you will not find me. I returned to Sarasota after spending the summer in Europe and went to night school after we returned to school after hurricane Donna. You will find me in the 1960 year book.

Shortly after I graduated I left Sarasota and headed north to Maryland. I had worked for Dr. James Paulk through Jr. and Sr. High School and when I arrived in Maryland I found a job across the street from where my older brother and I lived. At an orthodontic lab making braces from the molds of the child's mouth. The first day of work it snowed, I think I was the only one that was excited about that. I had played in the snow as a baby but I didn't remember that, so I was excited. We had moved to Sarasota from Chicago before I was two. I didn't really believe in the concept of the lab where I was working, so I started looking for a doctor's office. I did fine one finally and it was a wonderful experience, he was tops in the field. Years later, I left this job and moved to Syracuse, NY and went to work for Mohawk Airlines. When I left Syracuse to return to the Washington, DC area, I went to work for the National Education Association, Division of Educational Travel. Here is where I started my life long career of telling people where to go, how to get there, and what to do once they got there. I have loved my work, and have traveled the world wide, better to ask me where I have not been rather than where I have been. There are just too many stories to tell in a short bio, you will just have to read my book. I have met kings, queens, presidents, first ladies, and have learned they are all just like you and me. They put there pants on one leg at a time. One day I called some one a MR. instead of his title and I was called down by the person. I looked at him and said 'you were a MR a long time before you were a President and you will always be a MR in my book'. From then on we were the best of friends.

I got married in 1973, to John McCall (class of '60) world class boat builder and record holder of outboard speed boats. John died of cancer in 1988. John came with a 3 year old daughter, Stacy, who was taken away from her father right after she started school and was moved to Pennsylvania. He never got to see her again until right before he died. That is a book into it self. Since then she has given me a wonderful grandson, Josh and now there are two great grand kids Liz and Sam. Want to see their pictures and hear all about how wonderful they are????? Let me show you here is the slide projector and screen right here, for you see the latest pictures. OH! My husband Ken also has this funny 'thing-ma-bob' for my keys it has pictures too. Or would your rather hear about my dogs, Harley, Belle, and Sadie? Or you can check our my FaceBook pages. LOL

I took care of my mother after my father, Wally Norton, of Norton's Camera Center, died. Mother died in 1987 just of old age. What a few years I had there between Johns death, Mother, and then one of my older brothers being killed. I really felt like life wasn't worth much, so I retired and started doing lots of things I forgot to do while working. I was only in my mid 40's and have never been real serious about a job ever since. While I did work telling people where to go, I planed and escorted World War II veterans back to the battlefields of Europe. Talk about a natural HIGH, it was wonderful. Of course we all learned there was a war over there, but did we? - - - I don't think soooo.

By now you know I didn't get any 'higher education' I got it as hard knocks. I hardly made it through high school. I have always hated school. Now everyday I try to learn something new. I did teach once for three semesters at MJC. A funny story here, they never asked me for my transcripts, but they wanted my replacement teacher's transcripts. MJC was not very happy when they learned they had never asked me for mine. When they did ask me for mine, I told them that I was a High School Drop Out. I heard a clunk on the other end of the phone. I laughed and said 'I did graduate High School and that was it'. Needless to say they didn't invite me back to teach. No wonder they thought I was a great teacher I wasn't tainted by other teachers. (sorry other teachers)

I finally remarried 7 years ago to a wonderful man that I met online. (Yes, you read that right ONLINE------- cyber space.) We started a mental health chat room along with 3 other people on MSN. We worked with hundreds of people and talked together several years before we met in person at a chat room reunion, we fell in love and the rest is history. We now train service dogs, for people with illnesses, that you can't see, but a dog can see. About 8 years ago I received a diagnosis that I have Multiple Sclerosis, as of today I am not being treated for the illness. Since I have had it for so long, about 20 - 30 years, I just treat the symptoms. Ken and I know that I am walking a tight rope. I keep reminding Ken I was raised in a circus city so I know how to do that very well. Any day I could wake up blind or unable walk, or talk. I have done all of these things as my MS has gotten worse. I just have to learn things all over. I do lots of resting and try to stay out of the way of stress.

I am attaching a picture of Ken and me, Sadie the big dog and Harley the smaller dog. Sadie is a Bernese Mountain Dog, and Harley is a English Shepard they are both rescued and have lots of stories to tell you. They both have more diplomas then either of there owners have or will ever have. The girls have trained us well. Harley will be taking classes at TTU here in town starting this spring for her next service dog class. The dogs do love to learn and work for us. We just rescued a Great Pyrenees dog; we think she is about a year old. Belle is tall enough for me to use as my cane. Ever since she moved in she has been by my side when ever I move. Our house gets crowded with three large dogs demanding space. Belle is the largest of them all and when she finally gets all of her weight back, from being on the street, and starts growing again she should be almost 30" at the shoulders. She sure doesn't like to have her picture taken and all the pictures we have been able to take of her are far away so she can't hear the click or see that we have something up to our face. I think she was shot at, when she was younger. I have let her smell the camera and put it on the floor for her, still no help.

We will not be able to make the reunion this time around we have graduations to attend in Michigan. My grandson is getting married in Pennsylvania the middle of June and I told Stacy I could come early and help with all the last minute stuff.

Martha "Marty" Norton McCall Walker