My father (Walter Ratcliff) moved to Aruba in 1951 from
Baton Rouge. He was a chemical engineer and worked in the General Office
Building. My mother (Dorothy) joined him a couple of months later in
early 1952. They lived in an apartment in Seroe Colorado until they made
it to the top of the list to get a house. Then, sometime before 1954,
they moved into Bungalow 1569. They had their first child (my sister
Peggy) in 1954, I was born in 1956, and my brother Tom was born in 1958.
We all attended school in Seroe Colorado in the 1960's.
When I was in 3rd grade, we moved to Bungalow 28, which is right on the
coast about half a mile west of Rodgers Beach (three houses up from the
powerhouse). We lived there until my father retired in 1972.
By the time I was in 4th grade, plans were being made to eliminate the
high school. By the time I was 5th grade, grades K - 9 were consolidated
into a building near the refinery that used to be used as an office
building. High school age kids went to prep schools in the States or
Europe. My sister went first (Emma Willard School in Troy, New York -
class of 1972). Then I enrolled in Northfield Mount Hermon School in
Northfield, Mass. (class of 1974). My brother followed me to NMH (class
In 1972, my father applied for early retirement (he was in his early
fifties) and we moved back to his boyhood home in Upstate New York. My
parents and I moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 1982; my brother joined us
here about three years later.
Both of my parents are still alive and live in the Birmingham area, as
does my brother. My sister has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since
the mid 1970's.