About Pam Kirst

My college friend Kathy’s parents denied themselves treats and trips to save their money and buy a little property in Florida. It was their retirement getaway.

Kathy’s father retired after many years as a healthy, hardworking postal carrier. Less than a week later, he had a heart attack and died. Her mother sold the Florida place and died in their little home only a few years after her husband passed.

Not so long ago, I turned 60, and this story, as I look forward to retirement, haunts me.

I believe each of us has an obligation to realize our gifts. In the higher ed classroom and as a manager, I’ve worked to help others find and use their rich talents. My husband, from childhood, longed to practice law; life spun him in different directions. We took off on a grand law school adventure when I was in my late forties; Mark is now an assistant prosecutor. And I have a wonderful adult son with autism. Jim is bright and funny and full of unlocked potential; as my age creeps onward, it becomes more and more urgent to help him find the key.

And, if I really am going to develop the discipline and the skills to write down all the stories and thoughts and snippets of verse I’ve been promising myself I will record ‘when time allows,’ I’d better stop waiting. This blog is a place where I begin.

As you explore your own path, thanks for reading. It’s a privilege to share the journey!


…and ‘Oh, Revoir’ (a book blog) at


76 thoughts on “About Pam Kirst

  1. Argh! the internet kicked me off just as I had this all typed up…poo! Here’s all I’ve found so far. To me, it seems she was less thrilled about Hollywood than her mother was. I think she may have been the original stage mother! Eek! All the siblings etc who I was able to run down made no mention of having her as a famous sister, just her married name on their obits. Kinda weird? Anyway, here are some little scraps and links I was able to grab. You might want to look her up on Rootsweb.com or Familysearch,org. They’re both free to use and she appears on family trees on both. No one ever notes her being in pictures. Makes me think she didn’t mention it once she got out of the biz…here’s the stuff…have fun 🙂
    DOB October 9, 1894
    DOD 1980

    Eve’s dad died in 1896, and her mother remarried in 1898

    @431 Fairmount Avenue Zanesville, Ohio (I didn’t look real hard, but you could probably find an image on Google, Zillow or Realtor.com if it’s still standing)
    1920 Census: Age 24,single, Living with Mother, Belle,(55) and her new husband Frank Barks(45!)in Zanesville Ohio working as a bookkeeper for a dressmaker “modist”
    Her sister Mary (Marie) was also in the house (26) and single, working as a saleslady at a “dry goods” store.
    They had a little half brother Frank (19) as well as a house maid named Gertrude.

    1924 Eve married her pianist EB Geiger in Ohio. He had also been her dance partner and was 4 years younger than her (cougars!)

    1935 Her mother Belle died after a lingering illness (?), Here’s a transcription of her obit http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=ricknlida&id=I399

    Her stepdad Frank

    1939 She and Earnest B moved to Coral Gables Florida. They divorced in 1946, never having had children.


    1. Kassie, You’re amazing, both as researcher and as thoughtful person! Thanks for all of this…great info,and great leads. I did try driving to 431 Fairmount…the entire block is just gone. I’m hoping to find some old photos in the local library. I do wonder if there’s some dark shadow that keeps the siblings from bragging about Eva’s illustrious career–very odd! I found, in a paper from the late 1800’s, a little blurb about Eva’s much older sister being in a school revue type thing, and I had the same reaction…early stage mom! Not to jump to conclusions from very little evidence, but it sure seems like the mama wanted one of her girls on stage. (In a letter to a friend, James Thurber mentioned Eva and her mother visiting his family, and goes on quite a bit about how attractive the mama was… I wonder if there was some “I wish I had, so my daughter will…” going on…) Anyway, it’s very intriguing, and I’m looking forward to following your leads!!! THANK YOU!


  2. Pam, Hi. My name is Jim Arnold. We graduated together and JoAnne tells me I need you help in writing. Wrote a book called My Angel of Angels. Jo read it and gave me her critique. I asked her a few more questions about the book and she directed me to you. How can I get a hold of you?

      1. Pam, Hi. Sorry it took so long to get back with you. But, I’m so happy you wrote.

        JoAnne Leone led me to your site. I have to tell you, I am very impressed with the way you word your stories.

        There are a number of questions I’d love to ask, but feel ridiculous doing so.
        But all the same, I’s like to talk with you. My email is jimarnold285@gmail.com

        Looking forward to chatting.

  3. I really loved this post. Heartwarming and close to home. My oldest son is in the same boat, I have similar worries. I am also haunted by worries over the death of relatives as I get closer to their time of passing. We all share similar issues, I suppose. 😉

    So, thank you for posting. Was special to read.

  4. I’m enjoying reading your blog and enjoy your authenticity. I understand exactly what you’re saying about stoping the waiting and start doing – now – whatever one’s passionate calling is.

    I’m coming up on 60 myself. Every day I wake up and (try to) practice gratitude for the day in front of me and to think what’s most important for the day – within the bigger picture, not just what’s on my have-to-do list. My brother died when he was 54 after a really ugly 2 year struggle with cancer. Ever since making it past 54 myself, the ugliness of his death process haunts me – I had my own tiny brush with cancer when I was 47 and it runs through every member of our family so… carpe diem, right? My memories of him push me to grab the day – reminds me how short life can be and how precious. Empty words until one faces loss – and none of us escapes THAT.

    YES, realize your gifts, write all your stories and grab the day! I look forward to reading more. 🙂

    1. Kathy, How great to connect like this! A weird little coincidence–a sad one, too–I lost my brother Dennis when he was 55. (Dennis’s sudden death and your brother’s two years of suffering are very different, though!) Heart disease, which also runs throughout our family. I approached 55 myself with a lot of trepidation! I’m trying very, very hard to put aside those thoughts of mortality and the sound of that clock ticking and to think about all the wonderful possibilities yet to be fulfilled. It’s really an awesome thing to connect with other people, like you, thoughtfully approaching the same passage into…our mature years? I’m hoping there’s much to learn and still some fun to be had!

      1. Hi Pam, Thanks for your nice response. I’m sorry to hear about your brother. I guess it’s impossible to avoid loss when you reach our age. I agree, it’s amazing to connect to so many wonderful (and very talented) people through this blogging experience. Quite a surprise to me. I was expecting something more academic, I guess. Pleasant surprise! Oh, I do agree…lots of fun to still be had! We just have to make it happen. 🙂 Enjoy your writing!

  5. I’m looking forward to seeing the first draft of your collection of thoughts when you get down to writing it. Have you begun yet?
    I read a blog written by someone who sold up the homestead and set out in an RV, writing a book about her journey and now it’s in the top 100 in Amazon. The things on offer in life make it difficult to choose but that one has captured our imagination and now that the children are middle aged and their children are grown up and we are 70, why don’t we do that rather than reading the old folk’s rest home brochures? Maybe we will …….

  6. Hi what an interesting about me page! I look forward to following your blog and reading about your dreams and your life! I am Lynn, I lived in saudi for 16 years and have 9 kids. Please visit my blog some time.

  7. Thanks for checking my blog out – from my post on the Blogging 101 Alumni site. Glad I found you and look forward to following yours now.
    We have another alumni who’s writing about her precious young son, Ben, and a bright man in his 40s with the same condition connected with her. I wonder if you’ve connected? I’ll have to search and find their sights.
    We have a only child, daughter. She’s just given birth to her second son. We watched a documentary about GMOs and vaccinations. It seems as if there are now such high numbers of autistic children, why? My daughter never gave thought to these things-so of course we’re concerned about our grandsons. But now that I’ve read about Ben and his older mentor, I’m not concerned. And I look forward to getting to know your son.
    I’m 62. My first tragic loss was my brother-in-law who died of a heart attack at the young age of 52. He entered my life when I was 12 and became my big brother. He tutored me thru junior and senior high. If not for him, I wouldn’t be able to write. His death rattled us to the core. We’re now living the dream as full time travelers. But I never full filled my cream to become a prosecutor. My daughter also wanted to be a lawyer…..
    Oh so much to write about. I need to turn this into a post! “Unrealized dreams.”

    1. Debbie, that would be a lovely post, especially because you can balance it with dreams fulfilled…so many of us watch your travels with vicarious joy! I don’t know if you knew that Mark, my husband, always wanted to be a lawyer; we finally plunged, into law school and a whole new life…for all of us; he passed the bar the week he turned fifty… And I would love to connect with the two bloggers you mention. In our case, I think it’s pretty clear Jim’s autism is genetic; there are quirky individuals of varying degrees on both sides. Of course I only put the pieces together when faced with his diagnosis! So much to share, Debbie! I look forward to reading about your travels and sharing a little of the journey…

      1. Thanks Pam! Yes I read that about your husband. I hope my daughter realizes her dream. In the meantime, we both work (for me worked) with lawyers in our professions!

      1. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! Thanks for the follow!
        Actually thanks to WordPress for providing such a huge platform for us to share pur views where we can put our thought into words! 😊

  8. I’m a Floridian, a blogger, and I have a wonderful grown niece with severe Autism. I too have an unsettling feeling about retirement. A heart condition at 50 leaves me wondering about a lot of things. I look forward to following your blog!

  9. We never know what time will allow us, do we? So glad you seized the day and just BEGAN 😉 Wonderful to stumble across your blog. I’m sure I’ll enjoy following your journey. Good health and great life to you, Pam!

  10. Pam, I see up above that I have been here before and I’ve contacted through alumni but somehow I have missed following, so I’m correcting that now. Thanks for the like on Outta Step… I’ll see you around.

  11. nugget59

    You know, I usually always read the About Me section when I visit a new blog. For some reason, I didn’t do so on yours because I was so easily caught up in one of your wonderful posts. I didn’t read it until I was reading your latest post “The Lord be Thankit” and was prompted to check out your About Me. You mentioned your son and a job interview and a job coach and now, having read this section, I better understand. The burning questions I have are “How did the interview go?” and “Did he get the job?” I hope things went well with the interview and that he is pleased with the outcome. You are an interesting lady and a very good writer and teller of stories. It’s a privilege for me to be able to read your work. I hope you and your family have a very happy Christmas and a New Year full of good health and many blessings.

    1. Thank you for this truly uplifting response! We just got back from a visit with Jim’s coach and his counselor: they think things are going well. He is very discouraged! Interviews have gone well, but no offer as yet. Patience is not part of the autistic mindset, so it’s a challenge. But I am convinced it’s surmountable! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours…I look forward to keeping up with you, blog- wise!

      1. nugget59

        It sounds like Jim is connected with good supports and resources. I am sorry he is feeling discouraged but feel certain the right job for him will present itself in good time and make use of all the many gifts he brings to the table. It will be a happy day for him, you and his future employer. I, too, will look forward to enjoying your continued blogging in the new year. Take good care.

  12. Hi Pam, it’s nice to meet you! Glad I came across your blog. Great bio, I love the story you tell at the beginning. Shows how we need to enjoy life, and not wait for that one magical thing to happen. My blog is on anxiety and mental wellness. Both my daughter and I suffered panic attacks, but are now nearly panic free. Have a nice weekend, Jenny

    1. Hi, Jenny! I am going to visit your blog as soon as I finish writing this. My 26-year old son is on the autism spectrum and suffers panic attacks quite often, too–congratulations on facing that huge challenge with great success. I look forward to learning more; it’s great to meet you!



  13. Shane Kharene

    Hi Mommy Pam, 🙂
    This is my first time to read your blog and I want to say that I LOVE it. And, I was hooked every entry you write. Oww, I love everything in here, it is wonderful. I will follow your blog. I am so happy that I found this kind of blog. I want to read and discover more along the way of your life’s journey because I know that this is exciting. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    1. I am looking forward to reading more…and to finding recipes and ideas. I’m inspired by your spirit and creativity, and anticipate
      enhancing my own Ohio cooking…

  14. Pam, I, too, am a “free agent.” It is so wonderful that I sometimes wonder why it’s so hard to get used to! I have a husband and a home and three dogs to take care of, but my daughter is a 21 year old college student. I have time! Of course, none of us knows how long and the creaking knees and arthritic fingers are reminders that I’m no longer young. I discovered blogging a year ago and just began working out (after TOO many falls)! I’ve really enjoyed perusing your blog…I’ll keep reading!

      1. Thanks for asking. Since I started working out (cardio and strength training), I’m blogging about it as My Journey to Strong), I haven’t fallen once! It was my fear of aging and being a burden on my only child that got me into the gym. I’m truly getting stronger every day and that amazes me! All the best to you

    1. Thank you so much! I am honored, and I am looking forward to following your blog. I can tell that, despite a vast difference in miles and years, we have many things in common. I am also a coffee purist; I read most genres indiscriminately, but horror is not one of them. And I love your description of Peter the Apostle.

      And I love cooking, of course!

      I am off for a five day trip today, so I may not post for the Liebster until next week! So great to meet you via blogging…

  15. This is random, but my hubby and I are doing one of our favorite things together now: watching our beloved SF Giants win! One of our heroes is Will Clark and tonite happens to be “Autism Awareness Night” at the park sponsored by Will and his wife. They have a son on the spectrum and they have done so much to raise money and awareness.

    1. That’s so great…I will be looking up Will Clark! We are from Buffalo, originally, and rooted for the Bills when Doug Flutie q.b-ed. He and his wife also did a lot for autism awareness. Great when athletes and celebs use their super powers for good causes!!!

  16. After all this time, this is the first time I’ve read your ‘about’ page. Shame on me! Boy, the stars and my personal Savior sent me to this page today:

    I’m passing the 55 mark in a couple of weeks, taking on more as far as the needs of my parents go, and feeling the burn after 35 years as a nurse.

    This page made me feel less alone.
    This writer sending hugs your way.

    1. Thank you, Susan! It can be a difficult navigation; and then throw in, oh, I don’t know–a pandemic, maybe? (I’m sure you experience that, as a nurse, in a way that’s hard for us to understand.) I am finding that it’s really important to wrest a little personal time, and the writing is one way of doing that.

      Hugs right back to you.

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