Beth-Michele Wargo as of 5/15/97

The Woman

My father was a WWII 90 Day Wonder and I was born in Milwaukee in 1944 while he was liberating Paris. After he came back we lived in 'The Barracks', a housing project, until they could buy a house way out on 68th street (now almost downtown). Mike & Margaret's Page

I am the oldest of three children and of course got all the leadership ability, though my brother and sister just call me bossy.

I played the french horn in the marching band and during high school was a member of the Elks Lodge Marching Band. I still get weepy when I see a parade and try to never miss the Thanksgiving and New Year's parades on TV.

When I was 18 I left home to serve my country. I went into the Air Force. They trained me as a corpsman and sent me to Germany to attain an international flair. To fill my spare time, and augment my Airman's pay, I worked after-hours in the base Snack Bar. I met a very cosmopolitan older lady (almost 24) with whom I visited Florence and other places. I had quite a time by myself too.

I connected with an English boy who had a band that played the bases and went several interesting places (low budget) with him, including his home in England.

After the service, I got my BSN at UofW in Milwaukee and the went back in the Air Force as a Nurse with a commission of Second Lieutenant. They sent me to Del Rio Texas, a training base. There I worked in Labor & Delivery and developed my preference for women's health care. The military was going through a 'Peace' phase then and I failed to augment as a regular officer. This meant I had to leave the service.

Somehow, I managed to get into a midwifery training program at Jackson Mississippi that included a stipend. I did some of my field training with Sr. Angela in Raymondville, Tx and always said I would come back to South Texas if I had a chance.(Chris visited me there.)

After getting my CNM (Certified Nurse-Midwife) I stayed on at Lexington for a few years. A crazy lady named Joanie Edelstein offered me a job in Jacksonville, Fl as the first midwife in the first free-standing birth center in Florida. As it turned out, I was the only midwife there, so after a year of doing it all, I became a student at the University of No. Florida. I was working on an MS and getting the remainder of my GI Bill bebefits. I met Leo in the campus VA office where he had a Work-Study position.

I remember railing at RC about my late checks an threatening to move in with him. Leo told me 'You can sleep on my couch, if I can get the convict off it'. I thought, 'I wouldn't go out with you, much less sleep on your couch'. As it turned out I wound up in his bed.

In October of 1979 we used my student loan to finance a barbecue and wedding right on the campus. Ribs, beans, country music and 300 cupcakes my church friends had baked instead of a wedding cake.

I had joined the Army Reserve after I left the Air Force. In early July of 1980, Leo stopped by Ft. Benning, GA where I had summer camp, picked me up on the motorcycle, and we took off on a 10 week motorcycle camping trip. We went up into Canada via the Smokies and Appalachians, across the top of a couple of the Great Lakes, down through the "Soo" to Milwaukee. We stayed with my folks long enough to have a crown & root canal job amd confirm I had a job waiting in Brownsville, Tx.

Down to Mississippi & the Gulf, stopping for a few days with friends, back to Jacksonville, then with U-Haul, travel trailer and Honda Civic to Brownsville. There, I was the first midwife in the new Brownsville Community Health Clinic Maternity Center (BCHCMC). After a couple of years there, I moved on to Planned Parenthood, TDH (Texas Dept of Health) and PPA of Hidalgo County. I retired from the Army Reserve as a Major in 1990 and if I reach 60 will have a small pension.

I worked at Women's Health Care Group in Brownsville for four years providing perinatal and OB/GYN services. I terminated there in December of 96 and am taking a short, unpaid Sabbatical. I started part-time with Cameron County Health Dept on 1 May 97 to keep my hand in at family planning and postpartum care.

I've had a good time so far, but have the feeling the best times are coming!