Connie Bradbury Bolte

Profile Updated: May 26, 2018
Residing In St. Louis, MO USA
Spouse/Partner Stacey Hovis
Occupation Inventory Technician
Children Sarah, born 1978; Rebecca, born 1980; and Andrew, born 1984
Yes! Attending Reunion

My Story
By Connie Bradbury Bolte
It’s hard to believe it has been fifty years since we graduated high school but when I attempt to think back on it to tell my story I keep coming up with the idea that it is a series of struggles intertwined with a few surprising successes. Part of me wants to just make a list of the successes and leave it at that but that seems too dull and boring. I read somewhere once that “only boring people get bored”. My life has been anything but boring.
I began by attending Meramec Community College in the fall of 1968. I took general classes because I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t. After three semesters there, I transferred to Southeast MO State in Cape Girardeau and declared my major in Elementary Education. Through attending summer school there, I managed to garner enough credits to graduate in May of 1972 when I was twenty-one. That would have been great except that the baby boomers had filled up the field and the only jobs open were for substitute teachers. I worked as a substitute for about as long as a June frost. The job I got was in the Parkway School District though and the kids were very well behaved. I just didn’t get lucky, so I left.
I worked for about six months in an accounting office for a paper bag company as a cost clerk. Then I met an accountant who worked for General Electric and he asked me if I knew how much their cost clerk made. Well, they didn’t have that position open, but they did have a position open for a purchasing agent. I got lucky. I worked at “Generous Electric” for several years and was making more money than teachers were at the time. (Well at that time, garbage collectors were making more than teachers).
I stayed at GE for a few years until we got hit with the “Energy Crisis” of 1976. They laid me off and while collecting unemployment, in between obligatory visits to the unemployment office I took a six-week road trip to California with a couple of my girlfriends. Upon returning both decided to move to California. But not me.
Oh, no I kept collecting unemployment until it ran out, traveled all around in Europe for a month, moved back home with the folks in Webster and then I made the decision to go to Kirkwood Beauty College. I stuck it out for the seven months it took and worked at night as a waitress at Yacovelli’s Restaurant on Big Bend (no longer there).
Upon passing the test and receiving my cosmetology license, I immediately met my future husband, Don Bolte, who was a Viet Nam veteran and a union electrician. I had been searching for a place to start working and had something lined up when he offered me an alternative. That was to go with him on a road trip while he worked at some out-of-town jobs and I could just be his travel companion. Well off I went. I had student loan payments to make but fortunately, he paid those for me. We settled down for a bit in beautiful downtown Farmington, New Mexico. I was bored staying home all day. I went to the library a lot. He finally bought me a tv, albeit a little bitty black and white. We also practiced music. He played the guitar and I sang.
We got married in June of 1978 and then our first child, Sarah was born. With baby in tow, we took another road trip first to Cape Girardeau (nostalgic for me) and then on to Lake Charles, Louisiana. We came back to St. Louis two years later and in October of 1980 our second child, Rebecca was born. We had the third and final child in 1984, Andrew. We lived in Arnold and I was a stay-at-home mom in a rented house with a beauty salon in the basement. Well, that was OK because we got a larger than usual tax deduction because of the business, but we decided to buy some property (to build a house on) and we had to move back in with the folks to do that. We kept on practicing our music as we went and hooked up with other musicians.
Things never really worked out for us musically or otherwise. We tried for a few years, paid off the lot but then sold it. He tried unsuccessfully to start a contracting business with a partner, and when our youngest child was four years old, I began teaching at a pre-school. We struggled a lot during those times and it eventually broke us up. He got in a band with some other Viet-Nam veterans and they excluded me from even sitting in. I couldn’t figure out why, when all the other musicians I played with always wanted me to sing. One day I found out that his girlfriend (on the side) met him at their practice sessions.
I left the pre-school when my son was in school full time and began as a substitute teacher in the St. Louis Public Schools. Eventually I found out that I needed to take additional courses to bring my grade point average up enough to be hired full time. I was stuck between a rock and a hard spot. In the mean-time I lost my voice. I sounded all froggy. Turns out that I got nodules on my vocal cords.
I was able to get the nodules removed and my voice returned to normal. Also, I attended classes at Harris Stowe and for the first time in my life I got straight A’s. My husband left me though, and eventually married the girl from the band sessions.
I went on and got hired as a full-time teacher, bought a house and raised my kids the rest of the way there. I ran into Stacy Haynes from our graduating class one day. She was a self-described computer nerd. She told me about a program at Fontbonne tuition paid for teachers to get their master’s degree in Computer Education. Well I got in and started taking classes. Again, I got straight A’s. I also became a lead singer in a local band and did that for about ten years every weekend all over town. That was anything but boring.
Then one day at a band job I met Stacey Hovis. That was in 2000. We didn’t actually hook up until 2002. He is a business consultant and he helps people a lot. I could write a book just from listening to his side of certain conversations he has on the phone. He helped me get a big hunk of money (that I deserved). I will forever be grateful for that.
I was working at Missouri Hills as a reading teacher in 2002. That is like a reform school. Then on November 20, 2002, I was attacked by three students who almost killed me. One of them knocked me down, and held me down, another put his long skinny fingers on my throat and the third one stole my keys out of my desk drawer. Then the three of them ran out of the school building and stole my car. Stacey called his buddy, Mike Owens from Channel Five News at the time and they reported it and showed my license plate number on tv. My car was found abandoned that night in North St. Louis with all the windows broken out.
I never went back to that job and every time I tried for another teaching job after that I guess I was considered “damaged goods” because I never was offered any positions. After a while, I got a job at a Fantastic Sam’s hair salon. I remember asking myself one time,” What do I want to do? Do I want to teach school, do hair or play music?” Well, it turned out that I had to do all those things and then some.
Stacey has been with me through thick and thin for sixteen years now. I gave up the music scene after a few years with Stacey which was OK because I had grown weary of the too-busy fast lane life. Oh, I never got into drugs or drinking because I was afraid I might forget the words and look stupid. I always held with belief that if you are going to put yourself on stage, you better be good or else get the hell off. (It’s hard for me to sit through some Karaoke sessions nowadays.) Also, I never got depressed or anything. I attribute that to clean living. I used to smoke cigarettes but quit that many years ago when I was young.
I quit working at the hair salon, tired of being on my feet all the time and began working for a temporary help agency, Adecco. They placed me at Nestle Purina and I was an Executive Assistant temporarily for seven years.
There was a time in 2010 and 2011 that I became disabled due to arthritis in my hips and was eventually in a wheelchair for almost two years. Stacey suffered some medical issues in 2010 also that rendered him having difficulty walking, so he pushed me around in my wheelchair holding onto the handles. He has improved a lot since then.
As for me, I had to get two hip replacement surgeries. The first one was in February of 2011 and the second was in May of that year. I had to learn to walk again. I was particularly wobbly going up and down the steps.
In the mean-time the management people at Nestle started cutting my hours. It was a popular thing to do during the recession that started in 2008. Stacey and I muddled through somehow. I had an interview lined up for an additional part-time job to be a driver for Scooter Guy. I asked Stacey to come with me and we got hired. We started driving drunk people home. We were a team. Stacey is a retired business consultant, but I insisted on having him work with me. We drove to the places where the clients had made their reservations, he got out of our car and drove them home in their own car. I followed and picked him up. The company is now called DShofer. One time I declared that “we drove ourselves out of debt”. We stopped driving after about six years of doing that. Drunk people are boring.
On May 6, 2015 my granddaughter, Tesla was born. She is Rebecca’s daughter. Rebecca has her own business called Buttonmaker’s on Cherokee street. She makes political type buttons and sells the little machines and button blanks over the internet and in the shop. She is also in a band. I babysit for her on Monday nights so she can go to practice. Tesla is now three year’s old and she is the apple of my eye.
In 2014, I was hired by the St. Louis City Water Division as an Inventory Technician. I still work there today. I place purchase orders and write receiving tickets. I also fulfill orders for supplies and tools needed to fix broken water pipes and hydrants. Stacey and I have collaborated on a bit of writing. We were also chosen as “extra’s” for the “Up In the Air” movie that was filmed here in St. Louis in 2009.
I have some financial goals and when and if I meet them I will retire. I must give the Water Division notice of three months for my retirement. If they make me leave I may have to readjust my goals, but for the time being, I am happy to keep going to work every day. I really like the job. I am grateful that I can walk.

I am now a member (an officer) of the Eastern Star, I still have Stacey hanging in there with me and life is good.

School Story

My memories of school are sort of blurry because I skipped so much. I started forging my mother's name on my own notes to return to school so I got away with it a lot. Mom only caught me once when I was hiding in the basement waiting for her to leave for work.

I was a pretty dumb kid. If I knew then what I know now I would have attended more, read and studied more and I would have joined in on more activities. I'm pretty sure that if I had done that, Stacey wouldn't beat me at Jeopardy so much.

Connie's Latest Interactions

Hide Comments
Sep 14, 2020 at 8:49 AM

Happy Birthday a couple of days late. Hope you had a nice one.

Aug 31, 2020 at 8:48 AM

Happy Birthday!

Aug 23, 2020 at 3:33 AM
Jul 20, 2020 at 11:52 AM

Happy Birthday Linda! Does 70 feel old to you?

Connie Bradbury Bolte posted a message. New comment added.
Apr 13, 2020 at 12:54 PM

Posted on: Apr 13, 2020 at 9:14 AM

I love your gardens. Also Happy Birthday soon!

Connie Bradbury Bolte added a comment on her Profile.
Mar 20, 2020 at 9:48 AM
Connie Bradbury Bolte added a comment on her Profile.
Mar 16, 2020 at 11:26 AM
Connie Bradbury Bolte added a comment on her Profile.
Mar 09, 2020 at 2:24 PM
Connie Bradbury Bolte added a comment on her Profile.
Oct 15, 2019 at 3:04 PM
Oct 07, 2019 at 8:02 AM

Happy Almost Birthday Jill! My daughter Rebecca was born on October 12th 1980. We are celebrating early (tonight). She is a vegan so I made vegan cupcakes. I babysit for my granddaughter on Monday nights so I guess it will be an extended birthday. Hope you have a nice one, too!

Connie Bradbury Bolte added a comment on her Profile.
Sep 25, 2019 at 10:08 AM
Sep 18, 2019 at 10:52 AM

Happy Birthday!

Connie Bradbury Bolte added a comment on her Profile.
Sep 12, 2019 at 8:25 AM
Aug 23, 2019 at 3:33 AM
Connie Bradbury Bolte added a comment on her Profile.
Apr 26, 2019 at 8:57 AM
Connie Bradbury Bolte added a comment on her Profile.
Apr 18, 2019 at 8:33 AM
Mar 21, 2019 at 9:33 AM

Happy Birthday Clare!

Connie Bradbury Bolte added a comment on her Profile.
Dec 04, 2018 at 7:42 AM
Connie Bradbury Bolte added a comment on her Profile.
Nov 26, 2018 at 7:37 AM
Connie Bradbury Bolte posted a message on jerry Baity's Profile. New comment added.
Oct 13, 2018 at 5:59 PM

Posted on: Oct 12, 2018 at 7:54 AM

Happy Birthday Jerry Sue!