Local resident, Sandra McBride

Sandra McBride, a photographer, writer, and social networker uses her creativity and self expression through art projects and was previously a costume designer. Sandra shared a unique highlight during her 15 years of employment with Boeing, “While employed on the B-1 program, I was asked to be a ‘secret courier’, mostly because a gal in her late 30’s would probably not be suspected of operating under cover. My mission was to retrieve and bring back top secret items from Edwards A/F Base. I ran into unusual circumstances upon my return, mostly due to airline delays. My mission was accomplished and I was relieved to finally rid myself of that very awkward heavy steel case that had been left under my care.”


Sandra commented: “I’ve always maintained a lifetime passion for photography as well as an ongoing interest in previous college level studies, which involved: psychology, creative writing and costume design. Other interests include music appreciation, when I had the funds to spend; I was previously an avid collector of items relating to a wide variety of interests.

I do want to point out that out of every line of work I’ve ever taken on, I did find my time employed at the prison in Monroe as a Parole Adviser/Counselor to be the most rewarding.”

Sandra was born and raised in West Seattle. Her parents lived in government housing at Highpoint when she was first born. Sandra explained how it was a popular location: “for newly returning vets from WWII but, decades later it simply became known as ‘the projects’. When I was 3 months old, my parents bought a home off of 46th & Andover St. and we lived there until I was almost 8 years old. Then, simply as coincidence, we moved a mile east again on Andover Street to 35th. I then changed grade schools from Genessee to Jefferson. I attended James Madison Junior High and was active ‘on stage’ with school productions. Also, it was during this time that my love for sewing surfaced and I was even honored as “Seamstress of the Year” at the end of 8th grade. That creative clothing interest remained with me well into the 1970s, when I later studied under a technical program for clothing design. Sadly, it’s been one of those earlier passions that I’ve kind of left behind in lieu of other interests.

I remained at my West Seattle ‘home’ until leaving for Central Washington University after graduating in 1964 from WSHS.”

Sandra described herself as: “outgoing, caring, and trustworthy.” Sandra commented: “I take pride in having a genuine, honest sincerity toward everyone I’m involved with. My pet peeve is that I absolutely hate phony people! My friendships span my lifetime as I still have friends that date back to my grade school days. Anyone that I’m currently connected with knows that they can count on me for honest feedback and moral support. Because I’m known as a ‘gift giver’, I always have more gifts on hand to give away than what I need for any particular occasion. That trait comes in handy at the holidays! Because I enjoy creativity through writing, I’m involved in a lot of correspondence interchange with quite a variety of friends. In addition to all of my online connections, I still enjoy sending actual ‘snail mail’ greetings and written letters. It’s a personal way to remain in touch with so many friends and family that I truly care about. But, my hand writing isn’t the easiest to read so, it’s still better for me to rely on computer generated mailing for most of my correspondence.”

Sandra’s hobbies and interests include: photography, writing, anything that uses creativity such as crafting, and movie genres that include: comedy/drama, some sci-fi adventure themes, and animation.

Sandra explained, “Although I’m not currently involved in a personal relationship, my love for life is also enjoyed through the ongoing associations that I have with a number of younger couples and their wonderful children. I truly enjoy spending time with younger children partly because of their natural energy and enthusiasm and that they haven’t been soured out about life yet. As an example, one of my connections involves playing surrogate grandma to a set of identical triplets. The boys will be turning six years old in January and I’ve been totally bonded to them since they were 18 months old. They are truly one of the special loves of my life.

Another ongoing joy for me is my attraction to and love for animals. I have had the opportunity to visit many wonderful zoos and wildlife parks at various sites around the country. Over my lifetime I’ve had more unique ‘wild’ animal encounters than most people I know and I have lots of stories I could share. Spending the day at an animal park, and getting totally caught up in photographing the combination of creatures and their activities, is what I call my ultimate favorite past time. Even though I don’t currently own a pet, and would like to have another dog, I really enjoy the interaction with other people’s pets. It’s similar to the same joy I get with spending time with children. They both sense whether or not you’re a ”good person”, so when the energy is positive, it’s all about unconditional love!”

Sandra is motivated by many things that stimulate her creativity and allows her the opportunity to put her contributions to good use. Sandra explained: “As an example, that’s been the basis for my involvement with ACT 1 Theater over the past couple of years. Having an interest in theater, which dates back to my early school days, it’s a treat for me to assist with Petra’s [director of Act 1 Theater] training ground for young actors and provide support and encouragement by showing my appreciation for their accomplishments. I was the ultimate backstage ‘mom’ during the four years my son studied drama while in high school. It was such a treat to continue to live some connection with theater through his involvements and watch his joy in performing.

Another motivation comes through outside input and staying aware of the constant changes in our society. In my younger years, I never kept up with the news mostly because I was too busy working, raising a son and trying to have somewhat of a social life. Now that I’m in my senior years and have no daily employment contacts, I’ve found it to be beneficial to incorporate both world and local news into my daily routine. It keeps me aware, alert and certainly provides me with ‘food for thought’!”

Sandra discussed her dreams: “My dreams include being able to do a lot more traveling both within the U.S.A. and abroad. Some of the highlights of my life have all been centered on being away from home and enjoying new sights and experiences. Eventually, I’d love to be able to move to a tropical climate and live out the rest of my days in a warmer environment than what we have in the Pacific Northwest. At the moment, I have no idea how I can accomplish that goal but, it’s definitely on my ‘dream list’.”

Sandra concluded: “Being a supporter of ACT 1, I’m personally looking forward to attending an upcoming production of ‘Tuna Christmas’.

We have the upcoming annual “Victorian Christmas” and that event should get everyone attending in the mood for the holidays. It’s such a well rounded festive tradition including period costumes, music, sights and smells of the holidays along with the variety of gifts and products to purchase. I always enjoy attending that particular event, which encompasses five days and is held at the Fairgrounds in Puyallup.

I’m aware of two different Christmas productions: “White Christmas” at Mane Stage Theatre Co. in Sumner that takes place November 24 through December 16. For more information please visit: www.manestagetheatre.com and a “Wonderful Life” a live radio play at Meridian Habitat Community Center, 14422 Meridian in Puyallup. There is a combination of play dates. For more information please visit: www.valleyartsunited.org.”

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com

12 thoughts on “Local resident, Sandra McBride”

  1. Sandra’s had a very interesting and colorful life. She seems to have done very well for herself. However she mention the main stage theater in Sumner. I recently saw the stage play Little Women with a wonderful friend of mine. I’d like to go see it’s a Wonderful Life with her if she’s up to it. By the way also with this friend of mine we visited the Tacoma Dome Christmas bazaar in Oct and I got an Autographed Copy of the movie It’s a Wonderful life signed by the actress who play Zuzu – (Karolyn Grimes)

    1. Sandra Lee McBride

      In response to your personal invite, Olalla Bob, I certainly would be interested in attending the production of “Wonderful Life” in Puyallup. Since I prefer to correspond via e-mail, you can contact me directly: shirleyugest@juno.com Let me know about your plans to take in that special holiday event. I’ve love to join you and/or whoever in your group may be attending. Thanks for extending your invitation and I will look forward to hearing back from you. Sincerely, Sandra Lee

    1. Yes, it’s always interesting to find someone that has done various jobs. I think it’s interesting when someone does more than one job/business at once. Remember how everyone was intrigued by my former safety director who had a doctorate, worked in safety, and was a pilot?

      Can you think of anyone that you know (you don’t have to mention names) that is an example of what I mentioned? Explain.

  2. Sandra Lee McBride

    This is the first that I’ve viewed the article that Carly has posted about me. I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive in being selected as a local person to feature. I wasn’t sure if highlights from my life would provide enough conversation that would be of interest to the public.
    Thanks for making me feel special Carly, I’ll be looking forward to seeing you again in person!

  3. Maureen VanderPas

    The article on Sandra Lee was very informative, however, she has also held other occupations not mentioned, that are fascinating. I have known Sandra since our younger school years, and she always had a great fascination with people, their interests and hobbies. Sandra Lee was also an airline stewardess, during the days when it was considered a unique experience and she had the opportunity to fly all over. She has always taken many photos of events she attended. School reunions, family trips and just casual gatherings. They are always fun to review and relive the great times had by all. This is a wonderful article about her and she is definitely one in a million and a pleasure to know.

    1. Sandra Lee McBride

      Maureen, “Mo” as I call you,

      Yes, in the late 60’s, after my first two years at Boeing as a Graphic Illustrator, I did fly for United Airlines. The most interesting aspect of that position was being based out of JFK. I was living five flights above a Chinese Laundry in down town Manhattan. Due to the high cost for rent, I was sharing an one bedroom apt with four other ‘stews’. It was ’67 and Grenich Village was the happening spot! Most of my flights were assigned to the east coast actually, not ‘all over’. But, it was definitely educational living in that part of the country during that particular time.

      How sweet of you to leave your comments and compliments about me. You have certainly remained one of my life long friends dating back to Jr. High. For me, an early memory about you was when contact lens first became available (only in hard form). You were the very first person I ever knew to get them and you were so thrilled about leaving your glasses behind!

      Thanks again for your love and friendship over so many years, Sincerely Just Me

      1. Hey there, sandra Lee, in all the two-and-a-half decades that we’ve been friends, I don’t think you ever got around to telling me about your time in Greenwich Village. I never got there, but I spent my entire musical adolescence as a teenage folknik dreaming about what an amazing place it would have to be. Did you ever catch a show at The Bitter End or Gertie’s Folk City? Did you ever get to meet or hang out with any of the local movers, shakers, strummers, or coffeehouse buskers?

        Doug Bright:
        seattle Musician, Unrepentant Folknik and Publisher of HEERITAGE MUSIC REVIEW

        1. Sandra Lee McBride

          Hello “Sir Douglas”
          Nice to hear from you! Yes, I did get to ‘briefly’ hang out with some street performers in The Village. I wish I had specific memories as to ‘who’ was doing the entertaining. What I remember the most was the ‘energy’. Wanting to be part of that scene, in conjunction with the career I’d just started, didn’t jive too well. My hippy nature eventually won out and I shed my uniform and structured life with United. I actually turned 21 yrs old shortly after I arrived in the Big Apple and I celebrated that milestone in grand style.
          Back in the air, I did serve Sonny & Cher while attending to ‘first class’. In late ’67, they already had a following. Everybody knew their tunes and they were easily recognized with their quirky clothing styles. Cher was buried under those heavy bangs and her then unattractive nose. Sonny did most of the talking but, I’m glad I got to have a brief encounter with such a unique couple!
          Thanks for checking in on me, I’m looking forward to seeing you again soon! You’ve certainly remained on my list of truly special friends! Consider yourself virtually hugged! Always With Love, Sandra Lee

  4. I met Sandra in high school, but as I am finding out, I really didn’t know her well at all. Great to learn about her growing up days and how her interest in costume design and theater started. Sounds like a very full life, and one that continues to be. Liked to hear about your connections to the triplets and animals.

    1. Sandra Lee McBride

      Hi Linda,
      Nice to hear from one of my friends dating back to HS days! Since we’re fast approaching our 50th reunion in ’14, we’ve all had interesting life stories to share. I’m really glad that we’ve been able to remain in touch, even if we haven’t always kept up with some of the details of our experiences along the way. I certainly value your friendship! Enjoy the upcoming holidays, Sandra Lee

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