Kadlec's first boomer baby reflects

When Carol Jean Taylor Trautman was born, her dad got a new set of spark plugs and 5 gallons of gas. Her mom received a side of bacon and nylon hosiery.

It was 1946.

And she was the first baby boomer -- those born between 1946 and 1964 -- to be delivered at Richland's 2-year-old hospital.

It was the same year Benjamin Spock published The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah played on the radio and W.C. Fields, Gertrude Stein and H.G. Wells died.

Dr. L.B. Harville delivered Carol at 6:22 a.m. at then Kadlec Hospital.

Carol's parents, Elizabeth and Edward Taylor, were showered with gifts for themselves and their new daughter.

The Richland Villager newspaper featured her birth under the 21/2-inch tall headline: "Greetings, Carol Jean Taylor! You are First 1946 Baby in Richland!"

The story is surrounded by congratulatory advertisements from Richland businesses.

"Each of the businesses contributed something," said Trautman, who will celebrate her 65th birthday today at home in Scottsdale, Ariz.

One gift was just for the newborn, a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales from the Village Library.

"I read that beautiful book over and over. I still have it," she said.

For Christmas this year her sister, Lynne Taylor of Kennewick, had the newspaper page framed and sent it to her.

"I couldn't believe that clipping was still around after all these years," Trautman said.

It got her thinking. How many other people were born that New Year's Day?

What about the post-World War II baby boomers, an estimated 10,000 a day, who'll be turning 65 for the next 19 years?

"There's lots of us coming. I can only think what they'll be calling us a few years from now," she said. "I'm glad to be going first."

A few days later, Trautman met a doctor in Scottsdale with a name similar to the doctor who had delivered her.

Searching on the internet turned up Kadlec's website, which had a facility history and a listing of the staff, including Jim Hall, director of community relations.

"I thought about sending (Kadlec) a New Year's card, but it was too late for it to get there, so I e-mailed Jim," she said.

The Herald reached her Thursday.

"It's nice to be talking to someone at a newspaper who's not writing your obit," she said, adding that her mantra is "Don't stop, keep moving."

Trautman has nothing special planned for her birthday.

She likely will spend it as usual, getting up early and watching the Rose Parade before going out for brunch with her family. She and her husband, Chuck, have two daughters and sons-in-law and four grandkids.

"Later, I call people and talk, make sure they know I'm still alive," she said.

When she was young and living in the Tri-Cities, Trautman said her mother was "usually pulling her hair out to organize a party for me because you just can't get people to do anything on New Year's Day. Either they're not home or can't come because it's snowing or have already made plans."

So she is used to spending her birthday quietly at home.

Looking back, Trautman said she feels blessed.

"I've had a good time, and I'm not through yet. I've seen places I never thought I'd get to, met people I've enjoyed and been relatively lucky at things.

"I've had a good run, and I'm still peddling, or at least walking," she joked.