The Making and Life of a Blogger: The Story Continues: Chapter Eight–Regena Crane

Regena (AKA Tina) Crane was born on November 4, 1949 in Plattsburgh, New York. Regena enjoyed a loving childhood with two doting parents and two brothers close to her own age. There was the typical good natured ribbing by the brothers. Though when Junior was added to the mix it got just a little more heated as exhibited by the famous firecracker incident that took place on the summer road trip out west. I guess being teenagers they never thought of the repercussions of their actions. My poor sister did suffer some burned buns, and it made sitting for a while a little painful. Otherwise, her childhood went pretty smoothly. She was a lovely young lady and was popular at school. She had her girlfriends that she hung out with and listened to 45 records with. They went to dances together and hung out together after school. Things changed a little when I was born. I became the center of her world. She took me everywhere with her. When possible she bought clothes that matched hers, for me. They used to love and pinch my chubby cheeks. I became quite the big ham. I was looking at pictures just recently and I always seemed to be very happy in the photos. Obviously I knew I was loved. We soon became inseparable. I remember on one occasion where we shared a whole watermelon together. Those were good times. The only event that put a damper on things was that our poor father’s health started to take a turn for the worse. He was especially close to Regena, seeing how she was Daddy’s little girl. It broke his heart when he missed her high school graduation. To try and help raise his spirits, she visited him in the hospital wearing her cap and gown. You could see by the smile on his face that it really helped.

Regena was always very good in school. She showed an interest in business and had plans on going to college. When she met the love of her life and future husband Stephen Crane, she was working as a secretary and making a solid income. They met at a farm converted to a restaurant in Pumpkin Hook near Macedon, New York. At night and weekends, it served as a dance hall where the local residents could enjoy dancing and live music. My sister was quite the head turner with her long flowing hair and Stephen soon became quite enamored with her.

I was soon to know heartache for the first time in my young life when my sister married Stephen (AKA John) Vincent Crane in 1968, I was just five years old at the time. I was the ring bearer in the ceremony. Little did I know at the time that she was going to move out of state after they got married. Soon after they were married Stephen joined the Air Force. He was stationed in Alabama. My father was able to squeak in two trips to see his baby girl. The first time they took their travel trailer with a doghouse strapped onto the back of the trailer. My sister had asked dad to make a doghouse for their dog Mitzi. Of course, dad was all too willing to accommodate her, Mitzi even got his name on the house. Unfortunately, on the way back home my father suffered another one of his heart attacks. Stephen and Regena had to meet them somewhere in South Carolina where he drove the car and trailer back to New York. After Mom and Dad were safely back at home, they drove back to Alabama.

Trust my father to not let a near death experience deter him from doing something he had his heart set on. He made a second trip to visit the Crane family, this time by plane. It was the first time he flew. He wore his suit and hat to commemorate the flight, my father mister GQ himself. He unfortunately passed away before he got to see his first grand daughter born. Rene (AKA Jenny) was born on Aug 17, 1970 in Selma, Alabama. Our poor father died April 15, 1970, so close.

My sister was to have one more child Martin (AKA Hellboy, used in previous book) Scott Crane, unfortunately that pregnancy did not go quite as smoothly, and so the legend that was Martin Scott Crane began. My sister was feeling a little homesick, so Stephen had enough leave to take his small family back up to Rochester so that they could catch up on family matters, even though Regena was getting a little close to her due date. They both thought that there would be plenty of time to spare. After enjoying a relaxing visit socializing with their respective families they packed up and got on board their United Flight back to Alabama. It was supposed to be a direct flight, but Martin had different plans. When the contractions became worse, in order to make her more comfortable they emptied out first class and moved her there. They were able to find a medical professional on the plane to care for her. The professional was an intern with just one more year left, so she was in good hands. Just in case they were not able to make it to a hospital in time, he had the flight attendants cover the floor with plastic and boil water. An elderly lady volunteered to help the intern, and was able to comfort my sister some. By the time they were over Pittsburgh the contractions were so severe, they had no choice but to make an emergency landing. She tried walking down the stairs but the contractions were too severe. So the paramedics picked her up and carried her to the ambulance. Stephen removed her wig and collected her hair stocking and pins as well and put them all in a paper bag that was supplied him by one of the EMTs while they road to the hospital. Even though her long hair was now touching the floor of the ambulance, my sister was past caring, she was in just too much pain. She was rushed to a local hospital in Sewickley where Martin was born none too soon on September 29, 1971. Marty had a rough go of it, as he quickly developed hyaline membrane disease due to his immature lungs. When his condition worsened he was transferred to another hospital that was able to provide more advanced care in their NICU. He spent one month at the Children’s hospital in Pittsburgh. After getting a slow start he finally made a full recovery and he then hit the road running and has not stopped since. To show you that there are truly nice people in this world a volunteer at the hospital and her husband put up Stephen and Rene and Regena when she was discharged at there house while Marty was at the hospital.

As is typical in the military you do not serve your whole enlistment in one location. He made a short hop to Orlando, FL where my stepfather came with us on our first major trip together. We got to visit Disney World for the first time then. He was eventually shipped to Germany where the family remained for a few years. He was stationed for two years in Frankfurt and one year in Munich. Germany is known for their beer, sausages, beer steins and big bosomed barmaids. What they don’t tell is that they are also known for their sandpaper-like toilet paper, no wondered they always look like they are walking funny. We had to send them care packages from Florida loaded with American goodies, especially toilet paper.

Living in Germany gave them ample opportunity to see a good portion of Europe. At least they weren’t getting shot at like our previous visitors to Europe. Stephen also took up photography while he was in Europe. Who could blame him, there was so much beauty surrounding them. Eventually his love for photography rubbed off on me. He was quite helpful in showing me the ropes. I am still going strong over 35 years later in photography. Stephen became so accomplished that he even won awards for his photography.

Their last leg of their military odyssey was in Nebraska. My sister hated it there. There were only two past-times in that state. One was dodging tornadoes. The second and only slightly safer and less arduous was racquetball. Both Stephen and my sister became capable tournament players. It also took the years stay in Nebraska for their backsides to heal from the German scourge.

Finally, they were presentable for polite society and Stephen was honorably discharged after serving ten years and attaining the rank of staff sergeant. After 10 years, he had had enough of the military and wanted to finally live life on his own terms. He used the GI bill to pay for his degree in forestry in Lake City, Florida. My sister still lives there. Stephen soon realized that forestry in Florida was not all that it was cracked up to be. Eventually he got a job working for the county. First, as a surveyor then assistant county appraiser. He would eventually retire from that position. My sister initially put her secretarial skills to work by working at a law office. Eventually she was able to find a better job working at the Veteran’s Administration (VA) hospital working in the pharmacy. Eventually she ran a new program which instituted order entry for doctors in the VA hospitals in Florida. She would travel to several hospitals training the employees and doctors there in the use of the new software. My sister retired from the VA at the age of 56, something I envy her for. I will have to work until I am at least 66 if not 68 years of age.

Regena and Stephen both continued to play racquetball . Though my sister mainly did it for recreation, Stephen continued to play in tournaments. He also for many years coached the local youths in soccer. He was instrumental in developing not only the soccer program in Lake City, he also was instrumental in increasing the interest in racquetball as well. They both continued with their love of the outdoors. They enjoyed canoeing, scuba diving and riding bikes. Stephen also became quite proficient in Golf. They instilled the love of the outdoors into their daughter and son as well. My sister started making arts and crafts and along with our mother and established a thriving business selling their wares at festivals throughout the state. My mother eventually had to stop making crafts when my stepfather passed away. My sister still dabbles in it even today after Stephen passed away in 2020.

Rene (AKA Jenny) married her high school sweetheart Alfred Venditti in August 19, 1989. Alfred followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Air Force soon after getting married. Alfred just retired after serving our country 30 year as a chief master sergeant in the Airforce. He was a veteran of the first Gulf War. Alfred was stationed in South Korea and in Europe as well. His family was able to live with him in Europe. He also acted as a trainer during his time in the military. They currently live in Ocala, Florida where they are currently pursuing other interests. They enjoy traveling and have recently purchased a recreational vehicle. They have two handsome boys, Alexander and Christopher whom just married the lovely Lexie Packer.

Martin (AKA Hellboy) married his first wife Gayathri in Lake City, FL on May 29, 1990. They had a lovely young daughter named Jasmine. Eventually they grew apart and were divorced. He was to enter into the Air traffic program after acing the aptitude tests. He enlisted in the military and served his time in Anchorage, Alaska. He spent time in Saudia Arabia and Hungary as well in the same capacity. While in Saudia Arabia he was part of Operation Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. After serving his time he was honorably discharged at the rank of staff sergeant. He worked for the DOD for two years and then worked for the FAA for one more year, before relocating to Jacksonville, Fl. Martin finally met the love of his life, Mary Velez in Alaska and subsequently married her in Oahu, Hawaii on Dec 8, 2003. They have two children, one girl Miranda Crane and one boy, Matthew Crane. Martin currently works as a commercial Air Traffic Controller at the Air Route Control Center in Jacksonville, Florida. Mary has a daughter from a previous marriage named Toni, who has recently given birth to a bouncing baby girl named Ava Marie.

Regena Crane Family Tree