My name is Judy Orlando. I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
on October 10, 1939. My parents were Mack Wellington Kelley
and Mary Belle Hamer Kelley (1).
Mack and Mary Belle Kelley, April 17, 1938
I lived in Tulsa until I was seven when we moved to San
Jose, California. I had some cousins in California and enjoyed
spending time with them and liked where we lived.
When I was about 14 my Dad told me that we were moving
back to Tulsa and I wasn't very happy about this news. To
emphasize my dislike for this move I sat on the floorboard
of our car all the way back to Tulsa. The funny thing was
that after moving back to Tulsa I enrolled in a school that
I really liked and became kind of popular because I was
the new girl from California.
Judith Carole Kelley - August 28, 1942 (almost
3 years old)
I also enjoyed this return to Tulsa because my mom had
two aunts that lived in Tulsa, Ada and Effie, and they owned
a restaurant and hired me to do some work for them in the
summer (e.g., setting tables, etc.). But it was only about
a year and half later that we moved back to San Jose where
I started at Santa Clara High School(2)
and then graduated from San Jose High School in 1957.
Music was an important part of the Kelley family as both
of my dad's parents were musicians. My grandfather, Mack
Kelley, lived in San Jose(3) and
was a drummer and percussionist in the "Mack Kelley Orchestra"
that played primarily in San Jose at places like the Majestic
Ballroom. My grandmother, Minnie Maude Kelley, who we called
Aunt Maude, could really play the piano. She was also quite
funny and had a truly memorable laugh. Her piano specialty
was sort of a rag-time style but as a member of the Mack
Kelley Orchestra she could perform whatever style the orchestra
My dad was an engineer and tool designer by profession(4)
but he loved to play his trumpet and could really blow that
horn. My mother would sing a capella and had a lovely singing
voice and she would often harmonize with my Dad who sang
pretty well but who sometimes seemed to be off-key (though
I never told him that).
My grandpa Mack thought it would be nice if I played an
instrument and asked me, "Honey, what instrument would
you like to play?" I thought about it an decided I
liked the sound of the clarinet. So he gave me one from
his music shop (he also did instrument repairs as a part-time
job) but I didn't practice much and soon gave it up as the
clarinet wasn't for me.
Next in my music career was dance lessons. My mom asked
me if I wanted to take tap dance lessons and I was very
excited to do that. She made me some cute outfits and I
really enjoyed going to the California Theatre in downtown
San Jose where I had lessons on the second floor where my
dance instructor had a studio. I still remember my dance
instructor's name, Gordon Keith, because I thought it was
odd to have two first names as your full name. I did tap
dancing for awhile but I didn't practice enough and eventually
stopped taking lessons. But I never stopped loving to dance.
The California Theatre, San Jose
Although I do not remember us having a record player when
I was very young my parents listened to the radio and a
lot of music. As a teenager I had a portable record player
and some records. I loved to listen to bebop, Fats Domino,
Little Richard and many others and especially loved to dance
to the music.
Music was also involved in some 'hanky-panky' I remember
doing as a teenager. One night after it was dark I snuck
out of the house and met my girl friends. We went to one
of the corners in the neighborhood and starting singing
"Jingle Bells" as loud as we could. We laughed
and had a great time. I don't know why I thought that was
so daring but I guess it was because I was out with the
girls at night and my parents didn't know about it.
In San Jose I had summer jobs in junior high school called
"cutting cots". We had a neighbor who arranged for this
job and I would drive with them each day to go to that job
since his kids also worked there. This was not an easy job
and involved picking up apricots from trays, cutting them
in half, pitting them and finally putting them back into
the tray. It paid 50 cents per hour and gave me spending
money so that I could go to the Kress "five and dime" store
where I loved to look.
Downtown San Jose ca. 1962, Kress down street
on left - photo courtesy of History San Jose/Del Carlo Studio
In high school I worked at the Richmond-Chase Cannery in
San Jose (canning peaches) and used this money to buy clothes
for school and also some extra things that included buying
a few records. Every year mom would buy me seven dresses
but I wanted more in high school and the summer cannery
jobs made that possible.
I graduated from high school in June 1957 and married Andy
Orlando on November 10, 1957 and the adventure of my life
began that was to last over 60 years.
November 10, 1957 Wedding
During those years we raised our two daughters, Kathy and
Sharon and our twin boys, Brian and Bruce, and while the
kids were growing up I have memories of listening to our
stereo console playing Frank Sinatra and Elvis and the kids
playing their 45 rpms and a lot of dancing in the house.
Besides 45's we also went through the recorded music era
of listening to music on 8-track tapes, cassette tapes,
LPs, and CDs. I transferred most of my CDs to iTunes, put
all of the CDs in a suitcase and donated the suitcase to
the Salvation Army.
Sharon, Kathy, Brian, Bruce (6 months),
Brian, Kathy, Bruce and Sharon, 1991
As a hobby my dad opened up a record store
in downtown San Jose around 1974 which he named Nostalgic
Records. At one time he had over 10,000 records. Our
kids thought the store was pretty neat, not because of the
old 78 rpm records and nostalgia that he sold, but because
he had many records that they appreciated such as Led Zeppelin,
Boz Skaggs, Pink Floyd and other pop LPs.
Mack Kelley 1962
Mack and Mary August 1991
I have many memories associated with music, live and recorded.
But in growing up knowing that my grandparents were musicians
and hearing so much music in our own home I think it made
music seem more special to me. To this day I'm still proud
that the Mack Kelley Orchestra was pretty well known in
the San Jose area in its time.
Although my iPad is now the source for most of my music
I think the memory of my Aunt Maude playing away on her
piano, and my dad blowing his trumpet and my mom singing
her songs with her sweet voice all remind me of the variety
of ways I have been exposed to music. And how important
it was to each of them and myself.
Music was a part of my growing up years and it continues
to be something that I enjoy.
Andy's 80th Birthday
1) My dad Mack Wellington Kelley was born in
Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 29, 1917
My mom Mary Belle Hamer Kelley was born in Cherryvale,
Kansas, April 16, 1918. She died on August 9, 1999 (age 81)
Mom and Dad met in Tulsa in a soda shop where
Dad was a "soda jerk". The story goes that my mom,
Mary Belle, came in as a customer and as Dad served up her
order he made some kind of wisecrack to which Mom responded
by throwing a spoon into the milk shake and making a clever
response. Dad would later like to say that when that happened
he thought "Oh boy, that's the girl for me!"
Mack Wellington Kelley was the son of Minnie Maude Kelley
and Mack Kelley (Scottish descent).
Mary Belle was the daughter of Joseph and Mary Hamer. Mary's
mother's maiden name Mary Puterbaugh (German descent).
Here's a brick from my mom's Cherryvale street: 402 East
First Street, Cherryvale, KS.
2) Mack Wellington Kelley was an engineer who was known for
his tool designs and for his work at the E.W. Bliss Company
in San Jose.
3) Grandpa Mack and Maude had a second home
(their vacation home) at La Selva beach near Santa Cruz -
I sometimes went there in the summer or family get-togethers.
In the basement of that house my grandfather had a workshop
where he repaired musical instruments as sort of a second
It was while visiting my grandparents vacation
home that I nearly drowned when I was about 11 (The
La Selva Beach Incident).
4) I did some synchronized swimming in high
school and was a pretty good swimmer.