Glenn came to California from Oklahoma— she attended Central Teachers College in Edna, Okla., for one year—when she was 18. She got a job as a nanny through Hancock College. She was a nanny for one family until she married Corman. Later she got her teaching certificate from a school in San Francisco, though she did not have a Bachelors degree, yet. Her brother, an architect, drew plans “for the most beautiful house in Grover Beach,” Glenn said, which they then built. “We only lived in it for three years,” Glenn said. “I told my husband I was going to sell it and go back to college.” She said he told her to stop making rash decisions. “I said, ‘No, I think about them a long time, then make fast decisions.’” The next day, she said, she sold the home and went back to school at Cal Poly when she was 35 years old, and mother to three boys, Michael, David and Tom. She graduated from Cal Poly with her Bachelor of Education in 1963. She then taught all ages up to seventh grade in Nipomo for 18 years.
It was while she was still teaching that she bought the house her business currently occupies and started the clothing store. “I had designed [and sewed] clothing since I was 9,” she said, adding “that was when I made my first coat.” It was a natural progression for her to open her own clothing business, which led to her designing and making her own lingerie, called Cynthia of California, in the building next door to Mr. Glenn’s for 18 years. “I shipped lingerie all over the U.S. and to one store in England,” Glenn said. “I made beautiful lingerie. It was fun. I still have six commercial machines and hundreds of gowns ready to be made.” Over the years, she has also had a music business with her son, Tom, called The Red Piano on Sixth Street. “I just wanted a music store and my son, the youngest, was a musician,” Glenn said. “We sold beautiful guitars.” The store closed when her son moved to Florida to pursue music more actively.
Glenn has some words of wisdom for making life great: Don’t look back. “My memories make me strong,” Glenn said. “I look at the beautiful times we had. That’s when you look back. … It makes me get up [every day].” She said that is why she continues to work even as she’s nearly 91 years of age. “People need to keep moving,” Glenn said. Glenn is a woman of many talents: she also writes poetry, which is paired with art by her sister, Jo Tarabula, and her brother, Thomas Lungford. Cards with the art work and poetry, along with larger paintings by Tarabula and Lungford are for sale inside Mr. Glenn’s. Glenn’s love of poetry started young, reading her own father’s poetry. Even at 90 she could recite from memory a poem he wrote and she recited in seventh grade. One of the many things Glenn said she’d like to do “before the Lord takes her” is to compile a collection of poems written by her, her father, son, brother and sister.
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