By Desiree Vavak
HOW WE GOT HERE
My grandpa Albert H. E. Vavak came to LB in 1946, after he married my grandmother in 1945, in Honolulu, Hawaii, in a Marine Corp. wedding. In the mid-1950s, he became an Optical Instrument Maker at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard and raised 4 boys. My dad met my mom in the 1970s and after they were married, they bought their first home in the Dominguez area, and have lived in the Westside, Cal Heights, and Bixby Knolls through their marriage.
WHO’S STILL HERE
Today my two young boys Dylan (7) and Ryan (5) both go to Longfellow Elementary. My little sister Deanna went to CSULB and still resides in LB today with her family and baby girl Jade (1). My grandma Trudy was still alive to see both my boys born and lived until the age of 98 years old until her passing in 2020.
As a teenager, my dad said he would go down to the Pike against his dad’s wishes and go on rides and play games with friends. While growing up, my mom worked part-time at the Queen Mary and she has some old chilling stories from her days on the ship. I participated in endless LB programs including Camp Fire, Sea Explorer Scouts, Long Beach Jr. Lifeguards and was on the Inaugural Women’s Water Polo Team at LB Poly in 1995!