Archived site
Read only

life story books

Alyssa Jaclyn Stephenson Antal

Fathers name: John Stephenson

Mothers name: Gayle Stephenson

Country of Birth:

United States

Year of birth: 1993

Places of Residence:

Atlanta, GA & Columbia, SC


February 3rd, 1993. I was born Alyssa Jaclyn Stephenson in Atlanta Georgia to Andrea Gayle Carter Stephenson and John David Stephenson. My parents were 30 years old when they had me. I recently found out that, unlike I thought, I was born into a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle in a little blue rental house in Jonesboro, GA. Weeks after I was born, Bill Clinton was elected president and the eastern united states experienced the blizzard of the century. I had a sister, Ansley, who was three years old at the time, and very excited to meet me.
Mommy's parents were my Gammy, Margaret (Peggy) Murrah Taylor who was married to my Poppy, LG Taylor (Mommy's step-dad) and Paw Paw, John (Johnny) Carter, married to Gran, Linda Carter (Mommy's step-mom). Mommy's parents were divorced when she was a child, but told us it was always "for the better" and "they just didn't love each other" and thats why everyone was still friendly towards one another.
Mommy was born in Beaver Falls, PA, but moved down south shortly after spending most of her life in Georgia and Alabama. She had a younger brother, Gary Carter, who was always getting into trouble. She met daddy in high school when a mutual friend (Jerry Brown, who Mommy had a crush on) asked Mommy if she would go on a date with John Stephenson....she said "I guess so..." and the rest was history.
Daddy's parents were Big Daddy, Stanley Dale Stephenson, and Nanny, Alice Delene Tankersley Stephenson. Daddy was born in Alexander City, Alabama where he lived for most of his life before moving to Georgia for high school where he met Mommy. He had one younger sister, now Kelly Delene Stephenson Brown.
Daddy went to Auburn University in Alabama where he got his Masters degree in Engineering. When I was born, Daddy worked for Atlanta Gas light. Mommy and Aunt Kelly ran a print shop that Big Daddy bought.
My earliest memories as a baby begin at Gammy and Poppy's house in Jonesboro, Georgia. Sometimes Mommy would drop me off at Gammy's house while she was at work. At this time, I was almost 2 years old and Mommy was now working for Atlanta Motor Speedways in the Public Relations department; she had a degree in Journalism from Georgia State.
I remember the smell of Mommy's perfume as she hugged me goodbye. I remember how the small house was dimly lit, but cozy. Probably built in the 70's. There were brick front steps and a huge tree in the front yard that was great for climbing (when I was older, of course). There was a back deck and I remember when Gammy and Poppy used to smoke out there. Gammy might have stopped smoking before I was born, but Poppy stopped shortly after. Paw Paw and Gran still smoke to this day. Back then, it was common place for people to smoke: indoors, outdoors, everywhere. Public places, even inside restaurants.
There was also a separate porch or extension of the house. I think it was painted blue. I remember playing with toys back there and watching Sesame Street. There was a dining room where I remember a tub of Country Crock margarine always sat on the table at "supper." That was what Gammy and Poppy called it.
There was a wooden high chair that a stuffed bear dressed in a bee-keeper outfit sat in (when it was not in use). And there was a big old-fashioned butter churn. In the kitchen, Gammy would sit me on the counter while she cooked and let me "help." There was a laundry room off of the kitchen and Gammy and poppy used powdered laundry detergent with a green plastic scoop. The laundry room had a door that led outside to the driveway where there was a sandbox we would play in with fun sand toys.
In the living room was a HUGE box TV. Back in those days, a TV was a large, heavy piece of furniture and it had a dial you had to physically turn to change the channel and volume. I remember sitting in the floor and watching "The Puzzle Place" and "Big Comfy Couch" on PBS (Turner Public Broadcasting System). I remember Gammy giving us baths in the tub with a multitude of toys she had saved from McDonalds kids meals. Ansley and I always had so much fun with them. In the bedroom, I remember a doll Gammy had that played the tune to "My Favorite Things."
Gammy and Poppy also had a second house on the border of Georgia and South Carolina on Lake Hartwell. When I was young, I thought this was in the mountains because the terrain was very hilly and the house seemed to be in the middle of the woods. The house was brown and you had to walk up a path and stair to get to the front door. Sometimes we would go in through the garage downstairs. There was a wall that always had tiny snails crawling up and down. The one thing I did not like about this house is there were always a lot of bugs. Spiders, bees and scorpions. Poppy built us an incredible tree house in the yard complete with a sliding pole and pulley for a basket. Sometimes I was scared to play on it because there was a beehive inside. One of my favorite things to do at Hartwell was play dress up. Gammy had a big bin of dresses, scarves, hats and makeup for us to play in. They also had the original Nintendo with two rectangular controllers. We would play Supermario, Duck Hunter (The one with the orange gun), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a Three Stooges game that I didn't understand. There was a crib in the bedroom that I remember sleeping in when I was a toddler, then tried to continue sleeping in as I got older. I eventually had to share a bed with my sister and Gammy would tickle our feet and sing us to sleep. She would sing "Que Sera" and "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad". Sometimes Gammy would collect recyclables and cardboard for us to make crafts out of. I made a miniature house with tiny furniture out of toilet aper rolls, plastic bottle caps and other things. There was a pool in the neighborhood we could go swimming at; it had a deep end-12 feet! I was always too scared to swim in that end. I liked this pool because it had a canteen where you could buy snacks and ice cream. Nearby was a dock where we would take a bucket and a net. We would spit into the water and catch minnows in the net. We always had to put them back.
End chapter 1