And Now a Word from the Creators of Pig Pen

41 years ago today, I was the fifth child born into the Burns family. Bob and Liz, aka my parents, already had three girls and one boy and were hoping for another son. Weighing in at 11 pound 12 ounces, I certainly was no runt and a big surprise to everyone, a girl.

My Dad likes to quote Bill Cosby Himself and the bit where he is talking about showing his newborn daughter to his dad. The brand-new Grandpop looks down, looks at Cosby, and says “Tsk, tsk. Forgot to put the stem on the apple, son.” He continues to say that if you hold the baby’s nose and blow into her mouth, the stem should pop out. Seriously, my Dad still tells people to do this.

My sister Lysa also writes a blog,, and we both share stories and hilarious quotes from our parents. I loved my childhood and I have my family to thank for endless amounts of writing material. Today, however, I asked my parents to answer several questions about Pig Pen. Better to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth!

What is your first memory of Alison with pigs?

Mom – “My first memory of Alison with animals was that she didn’t like horses because riding them caused her “privates” to hurt. Frank Houck and Ollie Mast, our neighbors, were active in 4-H and suggested raising pigs for prizes and money. It appealed to her immediately. Also having four siblings, it wasn’t something the others were interested in doing so it would be hers alone. I have to admit I was concerned about who was going to keep the stalls clean but she and her Dad kept them in good shape. When it came time for the 4-H Show they went to New Holland headquarters to wash, shave and decorate. The first year pigs were Tom and Jerry, she sold Jerry and whenever we ate Tom, her brother would ask, “How’s Tom taste?” The second year her trio won the Blue ribbon and sold for a large sum, by Pig standards.”

Dad – “First memory was of Tom and Jerry [first two pigs we owned] at the show. Alison washed, shaved and powered them and then all three took a nap in the stall.”

Is Pig Pen an appropriate name for Alison?

Mom – “Any of us who knows Alison know that she is always thinking outside the pen. What is organized /spinning in her head doesn’t mean her surroundings are neat. To her credit she thinks more about spending time with her children and family then removing and folding the laundry off the dining room table!!”

Dad – “I refuse to answer on the Fifth Amendment!”

What do you think of the blog?

Mom – “I love the blog. As any mother of multiple children I will tell you, soon you realize how different they all are in personality. I think her creativity in part came from playing by herself mostly in the driveway and dreaming up games. She also is our entertainer. I’ll never forget how long and hard she worked on her Michael Jackson’s Moon Walk dance for her oldest sister, Lysa’s 21st birthday party. That was her signature dance for many years to come. I think the blog expresses Alison’s true self and that she knows who she is and how much she is loved to be able to write about her feelings from the heart.”

Dad – “Great that you can put STUFF in it and laugh at yourself.”

If you could make a wish for Pig Pen, what would it be?

Mom – “My wish for the Pig Pen is to never change and always be you.”

Dad – “Make time to keep it going, you won’t be sorry years from now that you did it!!!!”

Tip of the week: Give yourself the gift of fitness. I decided and now committed to the following races:

March 23 – Dirty Girl Mud Run, Raleigh, NC
April 20 – Tough Mudder, Austin, TX
June 8 – MS Mud Run, Newtown Square, PA
November 17 – Philly Marathon, Philadelphia, PA



About alisonguzzio

A marketing and public relations veteran, Alison Guzzio has directed projects for a range of high-tech, pharmaceutical, security, ecommerce, manufacturing, chemical, global trade and broadband companies. Strengths include positioning companies to maximize visibility among key stakeholders such as media, investors, channel partners and customers. Alison has a strong understanding of business objectives and she effectively translates this into results for her clients. In addition to her experience managing the demands on emerging companies, Alison is skilled in taking products from conception to roll-out, developing creative marketing plans, generating media coverage along the entire product lifecycle and leading brand awareness campaigns during critical growth stages.
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