Louise Warner and Julie Miccichi

Recorded March 11, 2010 Archived March 11, 2010 39:04 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ATL000234


Louise Warner, 72, talks with her daughter, Julie Warner Miccichi, 40, about Louise’s youth as a first generation American, how she met and married her husband, Bob, and lessons learned from parenting four children.

Subject Log / Time Code

Minister’s wife told Louise that there will be some questions that she will not get the answers to - this impacted Louise, who is a natural questioner
Happiest days - Louise’s marriage and the day her children were born
Louise: “You cannot live your children’s lives for them”
Saddest moment: when her father died. She didn’t stop by to say hello to him one day when she passed him sitting on the stoop. The next time she saw him he was dead.
Louise is a first generation American
Husband is kindest person in Louise’s life
Louise admires Julie’s willingness to go after what she wants. to take chances, to take disappointment, and her ability to put her family first while pursuing other interests
Putting 18-year-old college-bound Julie on a plane to California was a “heart-stopping” moment for Louise and her husband
Louise: “I believe there is a God but I don’t understand what He is”


  • Louise Warner
  • Julie Miccichi

Recording Location

Atlanta Storybooth

Venue / Recording Kit


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00:10 Okay, my name is Julie Mitchy and I am aged 40 today's date is March 11th, 2010. We are here in Atlanta Georgia and I am interviewing my mother. I'm the daughter.

00:29 My name is Louise Warner and I'm 72 and today is March 11th, 2010 and I am in Atlanta and I am Julie's mother. That's not fair. You got to cheat cuz I had a head answer first. All right, so starting with my first question will jumping something very intense wrath about who was your most important person in your life. And what could you say about him or her this is a lot easier asking me what does name a a and an important person not maybe the most important people in my lifetime, I guess because I was a very inquiring kind of person.

01:26 One of them was one of the first people that meant something to me was The Minister's Wife at the church that I was in when I was in high school because I always came to Sunday school with all these questions and I know I drove them crazy, but you know what she finally said was there are some questions you will not know the answers to and I think that is a good answer to things because no matter what you want to know you should pursue them. But sometimes you may not find the answer while you're pursuing them. Do you think she like validated your questioning mind? Yes, I think so. And and how old were you when you met her I was in high school. Probably.

02:19 How about one of the happiest moments of your life?

02:25 Gone

02:27 Again there so many

02:32 I suppose the day I got married and when my children were born.

02:38 Okay care to expand on either one of those. What what what was

02:45 African are meaningful beyond the obvious.

02:50 I I really can't expand on that. I guess marrying. Your dad was a just a very important thing for me and I was sure I was doing the right thing. You were sure you're doing the right thing. I was doing. Why are you sure do you think because he was a very caring person and a nice looking and I think those are two good quality since I had for each one was very special and

03:31 I've you know enjoyed watching how each one developed and each one was very very different from the other and I think that that is something that I learned to appreciate the fact that you know, my children could not all be the same and yet there were wonderful things about each other.

03:53 In that same vein. What do you think is the most important thing that you've learned by being a mother?

04:00 That you cannot live your children's lives for them. You need to accept them for who they are and courage them as you can.

04:13 I think that's probably it. Do you wish you could live your children? So I know you got your own what's one of the saddest moments in your life to say.

04:29 Probably when my father died. And the reason for that was the day before he died. I was driving by his house and he was out on the front stoop and I thought G I haven't seen him for a couple of days. I should stop and I didn't and the next time I saw him he was dead. So you should not miss moments that you know, you should take I got true true and that was some one of us. Obviously a Sofia is he wasn't very yeah and said were weeks afterwards every time I got into the bathtub to take my bath the tears would just pour out for probably two or three weeks. And then finally it resolved someone I spoke with the other day who lost her father about two years ago said

05:29 That it's it's life-changing. Like when you have your kids like it's one of those things no one prepares you for and that you can't explain but you're totally a different person and my mother's death was a Grandma's was totally different my sister and I were with her we held her hand as she died and that was much easier to accept them to take because we were there and it was closure for I was closed down right at the time and she's been somewhat.

06:03 But that was a beautiful experience.

06:08 What else about that experience you remember? What was it like to be there in the actual room? We we held her hand as she died and we just felt that we knew you know, that was the end and I think she knew we were there with her which probably was very important. I'm sure we'll specially because she was so afraid of death remember how she knew kind of obsessed about it almost and then the nice thing was her doctor came after that and sat with us and talk to us both for a long time because he been her doctor for a long time and then Rosemary my sister and I walked around the hospital one time and then we left and it was totally different from an instant right more of a process. And if you remember I had that dream shortly after where she came to me and the dream and said that ever

07:08 It was good and she was happy now.

07:15 For the record. I'm the first one to start, and I was wondering how it how long is going to take before that happen. All right. All right.

07:27 Who has been the biggest influence on your life? And what lessons did you learn from that person?

07:38 It's a hard question because again, I've been very fortunate all through my life special people have come along and help me and influenced me and I have a hard time coming up with anyone.

07:54 Situation or one person this happened as I said before at church. It happened in school. It happened in my work. I don't know. I've always just been very fortunate that when I needed people they were there for me and encouraged me because I was a very shy child and I didn't have a lot of self-confidence initially and being the first generation in this country. You know, I I really didn't know what I was capable of and maybe no one does or what I should aim for but they were people along the way that help my parents who never had much formal education saying that I had those abilities and they should encourage me to do so, even though the relatives of my parents who also didn't have an opportunity for education. So you what do you want to see a daughter?

08:54 Add an education for they don't need it and my parents so I guess it would have to be my parents because they allowed that they allowed that but there were these people all along the way that really took an interest in me teachers.

09:13 Just people that I work for all kinds of people that encouraged me to go on and and do what I could do, but my parents allowed that right to an encouragement when it wasn't an easy popular toys for the night that they didn't really know either. They had no idea in language barriers when I started in high school. In fact, I took the business and I didn't find them very challenging and so I went home and told my parents. I think I'm going to take the college prep courses and they that was at the point. They thought well, maybe I was aiming a little too high but they talked to again the minister and his wife at our church who knew me through youth group and a Sunday school and so forth and they said oh, yes, she should go

10:12 I'm so bad helped. As I said, I had lots of people that helped me.

10:19 Who has been the kindest to you and your life?

10:24 Your dad thought that might be your answer. Yeah, like what kind of what exam sure that's hard to Compass cuz why all years together, but that was needed in terms of raising you children. I mean my mother sometimes said, well, you're going to leave your kids with him.

10:56 He was the father and I did and I never had to worry about that. And when I was when I had my heart surgery, he was there for me and he helped in many ways. He made meals initially when I got home. He had to help me with those elastic hoes like Santa just generally caring and therefore whatever I needed. In fact, I had a hard time having him leave the house after a while and to tell him I would be all right, and I promise to sit in this one chair and not get out until

11:43 What are most what are some of the most important lessons you've learned in your life?

11:52 Well, I guess to trust people was again there have been so many people that have been good to me and have trusted me. But do you think earlier on it was harder for you to trust when you say that's the last night you learned?

12:14 Maybe not. Maybe that's just the way I am. I don't

12:17 Okay. So what lessons have I learned?

12:27 To take each day at a time would be an important thing and to do the best you can but realize that you cannot always have what you want in the way you wanted and that you have to learn to accept things and go on from there because otherwise if you concentrate on something that maybe did not go wrong and keep dwelling on it and dwelling on it to never move forward. And so I think probably that's one of the more important I guess.

13:04 How about what is your favorite memory of me?

13:08 He has a lot of them.

13:14 Chi-Chi

13:23 I guess I don't know if you'd call it a memory, but the thing I admire the most about you is the fact that you really go after what you want.

13:36 And you've been able to also accept things that didn't exactly go right and move on from them and see you develop into a person who does take chances and that I admire in you but you also can

13:57 Take disappointments and you have a beautiful family and I know you they come first to you, even though at the same time you are pursuing other interests because I think as a mother I learn that too that you cannot just give up your whole life to eat the person you marry or grandchildren you have you have to move on with your own goals and needs and I think probably that to me would be the most important thing that I see in you that you're able to do that that I get from you.

14:46 I think I know it's true. I know different generation different situations, but I have to figure I always remember you, you know, when you're home with us like volunteering and doing other things when that wasn't necessarily how other people did it. You know, it's true.

15:07 Okay, are they what about words of wisdom you would pass along to me.

15:14 Continue as you are. Okay, because I mean, how can I do any more than I had already done what you could do what you feel are your goals? Because I have I probably can't even comprehend in the future what will exist or what you will be asked to make decisions about because when I think about my own life and where I started and my parents and where they were things have changed so drastically and everything that I don't know what you're going to face, but I have faith in you that you would face them the way you have other things. I mean you look at things and things you can change you change and things you can't I think you eventually accept and that is what one must do I think

16:07 Can I probably could do that little bit faster? Well, I think we can all get off. We all can do that. But I mean when push comes to shove that is what you do and I admire in you.

16:24 How about are there any experiences are moments in your life that you would consider sacred?

16:32 Sacred well

16:35 I had a very special experience when I went to the hospital to have my heart surgery. I as you know practice Reiki, which is unnatural energy healing thing and I had a group of friends that I did this with and they all said that they would send me energy that morning when I was to have my heart surgery. And when I woke up that morning I couldn't eat or anything in my surgery was scheduled for later in the day.

17:09 And I thought well, maybe I'll do some Reiki as long as I'm laying here in bed with nothing to do.

17:16 And as soon as I closed my eyes, I saw the most beautiful swirling lights.

17:25 And it made me very calm and relaxed and I felt that everything would be fine.

17:31 And and it was

17:34 And I've never experienced that since but I really feel that there was a presence with me at that time.

17:44 And I feel that friends of mine were sending me.

17:49 That Reiki at that time and it was it was very special.

18:01 What what hopes and dreams for the future do you have for?

18:06 Hogs Haven at Saison for my kids just kind of talked about how you and I hope your hopes for me specifically, but what about well, I think I would hope that your children having the parents that they have left which they're very fortunate will make the most of their lives and you and Tony will allow them to go in the direction that they need to go. I think they're all very bright and I think you know, they should be able to make their own way with your encouragement and you're giving them opportunities.

18:47 They're all artistic even and I enjoy having their pictures that they've drawn that you sent to me and

18:57 Maybe one of them will pursue that who knows but they're all good in sports to know. They're all getting School.

19:07 How is your life and different from what you would imagine? That would be maybe what's most surprising thing when you when you look back on it?

19:21 I guess when I look back on it, I've had opportunities to do a lot of different things.

19:29 In high school because I was encouraged to do lots of things. I was in plays and I did creative writing and I, you know went to a special Leadership Camp all kinds of things then when I went on to college

19:47 I had an opportunity to go work in the Mission hospital before I finish my nursing education and that was a wonderful opportunity.

20:02 I don't know. They're just you know, lots of things that have.

20:07 Made me the person that I am and the volunteer work that I've done with hospice. That was very important. And the people that I met through that and even being on the school board for a little while with an interesting thing.

20:29 What do you think is most surprising like if you would have you know, really where you thought you might be when you were 30 or 40 or 50 minute now to look back and

20:41 What surprises you about your life? I think about how many opportunities that I had along the way including having a good marriage and for really great kids who all gone in different directions. They all have different abilities different interest. I think probably Matt.

21:09 Do you have any regrets in your life?

21:12 Not So Much Anymore, you know there were times when I was caught up in raising children or whatever that I thought. Oh, I wish I had done something different but looking back. No, I don't think so. I think I was able to spend time with my parents at the end. I was able to spend time with all of you kids but not to the point where I ran your lives mean. Are you all stood up to me anyway and told me to butt out and I appreciate that and that's what told me. I was doing the right thing.

21:47 Really even though at first it I've heard but when I got to thinking about it, I mean isn't that what a parent should want right children to do what they felt that they needed they could do and wanted to do and not what their mother or father wanted them to do.

22:08 That might be the most important lesson as a parent, right? Yeah. I think that's the one you just have to keep refining as it goes along right and it gets hard. Sometimes it's hard to do some things that you think may hurt them. But if you allow it, I think they usually learn something from it and then go on and I think that has happened with all of you.

22:35 Is there anything you've ever wanted to tell me that you never have his some hidden secret? I don't know about.

22:42 Other than I admire the fact that you were daring enough to go away to school and to do the things that you wanted to do and that you elected to be a mother because I think you are a good mother and

23:05 I love you. I love you too. God. It's always good to have a

23:13 What's a

23:19 What do you think? We're the hardest moments you have and I was growing up.

23:24 Allowing you to do the things you wanted to do something with that right things for yourself and some of it was fine and Dad thought it said let her go. So I mean when we had to put you on that train at the age of 18 to go out to California, that was the hardest thing your dad and I both had playing you mean. Yeah. Yeah, that's obviously a girl that you love to go off somewhere. You don't know where they're going to lie. I think I had $500 I would say that was probably are almost heart-stopping moment. Yeah, but she didn't realize you didn't say they didn't stop you.

24:17 That's true. It really know that was in a difficult situation for you really until they obviously later. You don't think about that when you're the kid now.

24:36 What advice would you give me about raising my own kids see what you're doing allow them to experience things just like you have with sports or whatever their interests are and to encourage them and to

24:55 I think you're doing are you and Tony do that. And I think the fact that you have a husband that also participate is is an important thing.

25:09 And so I think you're doing fine.

25:14 Okay. So, how did you meet Dad on a blind date? You wild and crazy woman you a classmate of mine. This was when I was in nurses training. I was on the bus with her and she looked over at me. That was Joni and she said are you dating anyone and I said well sort of and I was I was dating someone that I had dated in high school, but I was sure at this point this wasn't going to go any further at but I hadn't gotten to the point to tell him and I said so I said done and so she said well she and her husband had this nice man that she liked me to meet and sell.

25:58 Okay. So what were your parents like?

26:02 Well

26:05 Both my parents as you know, we're not born in this country. My mother came to the United States on a ship with her mother when she was 11 years old and her brother when he was nine and they came to this country and there were relatives here that met him and

26:29 They stayed here permanently and

26:35 My father

26:38 Went to Cuba.

26:43 As an 18 year old because his father and youngest brother. We're coming to the United States and there was a quota system at the time and they couldn't bring him and so he found out that if he went to Cuba by himself at the age of 18 and stay there a year, then he could come into the United States.

27:05 And so my mother because she was at Young was able to have some education in this country. And so she essentially got through grade school in this country my father. I don't believe he ever really had an opportunity for Education. He taught himself to read he couldn't write but he could read and he could speak very broken English and he was able to always be employed and my parents met when they were both working at a battery Factory.

27:45 My dad was 6 years older than my mother. She didn't like him at first because she loved to dance and have a good time and he was kind of stodgy she thought but eventually she said come to and they both worked initially for a number of years until they had enough money to buy a house and then they had me.

28:11 And then they had my sister.

28:15 And

28:17 My father at times lost his job, but he always found something to do my mother did anything. She could do Chic and she made some of our clothes. She a Good Housekeeping. She did whatever was necessary. Both of them did and I think my sister and I always realize that they cared very deeply about us even though sometimes they didn't understand what it was we were doing so they encouraged us and I think they had very special qualities because even though they were in an environment that was very new to them.

29:03 They had basic principles that allow them to be really good parents. For instance. My mother most of my friends like to come to the house and just be there with her and talk to her.

29:20 Grandpa, you know loved his gardening and he had all those beautiful flowers and so he was able to have a creative outlet for himself, even though he had no education. They had a lot of common sense. For instance. I never had hours when I went out on a date what I had was the boy came into the house my parents wanted to know what our plans were what time I would be home and if I was going to be more than a half hour late I was to Paul and that's all.

29:56 And that work very well and the boys that I dated respected my parents.

30:04 And smoking was a big thing at that time and my mother and my sister and I got hold of some cigarettes of my dad and sat around to see what it was like to smoke and none of us ever smoked after that. But she allowed then yeah.

30:29 So they were pretty special even though

30:40 What would you say are your spiritual beliefs are your religious beliefs?

30:47 I believe that there is a God, but I don't understand exactly what he is.

30:55 I

30:58 Believe

31:03 That we need to care about each other.

31:07 And one of the first sermons of the minister of our church that he gave when he came to our church and this is what I think we fight over religions fight over the what who's right and who's wrong, but he said that if you love God and you love others

31:31 Everything else will take care of itself. And I think that's probably sums up pretty much it hurts me to hurt people.

31:41 My Ike I have a hard time doing that knowingly. I mean, I'm glad you don't intentionally try to do that.

31:55 What do you believe in the in an afterlife? And what do you think it would be like I do believe there's something but I think it's a spiritual thing. I don't look at it as a physical thing. So I don't know what it will be. I do believe there. You know, how did we get here in the first place? There had to be some way of us getting here. And so I think we have to return to it but I don't understand exactly what it would be and I don't think I ever will and when you well, I I know it's I mean obviously, you know, you don't expect to meet a man up there. I'm guessing right what you're saying. It's a spiritual thing, but I don't know exactly what it will be because I've heard of people who have kind of passed away briefly and come back and they see lights and they have feelings and so forth of something there so I believe there is a God, but I

32:55 Understand what it is and that's why I guess I'm a Christian because I believe Jesus was sent here to help us because we can't comprehend what God is and so it for myself since I was raised as a Christian Jesus was that person for me, but I can then accept that other people will find their God and their spirituality through another means and I think if the world could do that we have a lot less Wars came into that. What do you do? You think that they'll be an actual like I'm maybe it's not a verbal conversation but a communication with that Spirit you think when you're there when you you know, how there's sort of that question What will what will God say to you or what would you say? I mean, maybe it's not a real thing on if it's on my comprehension right now, but I do think there is

33:47 Something there. Yes.

33:50 Because there have been times in my life when I knew I had feelings or I had a direction given to me and I don't know how it came to me, but it did you know, and so I do believe that there is something Beyond this life very definitely.

34:10 Okay. Well, I think we're coming to the end here and I want to thank you for making the time. I'm glad this worked out that you would be here and we would have this opportunity that the South it just so happened. They're having me to open spots when you guys will be here as a nice thing. I'm glad that we can preserve a conversation and hear some of your history and we can understand you know Generations from now how we came to be because I think you know the thing that I'm I realize I probably understood but to hear it becomes clear when we had the conversation is the things that I admire and you I admire myself which is interesting because obviously you get that from somewhere and I got those things from you. I got it. I think my sense of adventure and my sense of curiosity.

35:04 You know, those things are stepped in some other piece. Yeah, those things that you know, I'm proud to be that myself and I realize that I obviously am proud of you for being that and I appreciate that you taught me those things. I appreciate that, you know specially being a woman.

35:22 The generation before me that didn't have all the opportunities that the you know, the opportunities you are able to create for yourself and take advantage of and be a role model in that way so that my generation we do have a lot of opportunities we know what to do and I don't know what we can do.

35:43 Well, I think you also because I don't think we've ever had a conversation in this death Fisher when would tell you has, you know, with family and children and all kinds of things. I'm glad that you came up with us. I am. I was a little frightened of what I see what the person you have become. I love you too. And I admire the person that you are and what you've taught me to be.

36:15 A couple quick questions. What are your parents names?

36:19 My parents her name was Anna.

36:25 And her maiden name is questionable as to the spelling. So when she got married it was Ando ndo Anna Ando and my father was Andrew.

36:39 Honda

36:43 And where's your mom from Czechoslovakia?

36:49 And your dad before he went to Cuba was also from Czechoslovakia. Although they did not know each other in Europe. They met through friends and in this country in the United States and your husband's name Charles Robert Warner.

37:10 He goes by Bob though.

37:13 Oh you guys met on a blind date? Yes. So when did you know he was the one cuz the other guy that you were seeing was not the one it was just a feeling right from the start that this was someone warm and I don't know. I just knew right, you know, we dated for quite a while. I mean, I guess not that long but we met in the

37:42 MC

37:46 Late in the fall and we got married the following August. I just knew it was.

37:54 A Feeling

37:56 He would as I said was a very caring person. He was nice-looking. I just felt comfortable with him and

38:10 That was fairly soon. My oldest son is miles miles and then my middle son is Blake.

38:24 And then my daughter's name is Brady Brady.

38:30 And if you were telling your grandchildren miles Blake and Brady about if you were going to give them some advice when they were older about picking a mate based on your your life with a what advice would you give them if you were picking someone it should be someone who respected you and encouraged you to be the person that you needed to be. I think those two things.

39:00 Thank you so much.