To commemorate a BIG wedding anniversary this June, some friends asked me to write a little about our first married years together. The next several blog posts will do that.
I married Charley two weeks after I graduated from Colby College in 1965. A Lieutenant in the Air Force stationed in Dover, Delaware, he'd graduated from Colby two years ahead of me.
Maine is a long way from Delaware! We wore out the tires on Charley's VW, going up and down Route 95 during my last two years at Colby. Somehow I planned a wedding my senior year, while studying for comprehensive exams. Comprehensives were exams that covered four years in our major field of study, and if you failed you didn't graduate - simple as that! A week before graduation, students who failed had to inform their parents that they need not come to Maine. Those students could return to take the exam at specified times over the course of the year. Colby no longer requires "comps," but thankfully I made it through on the first try!
We owned nothing but his car when we got married. What we did own was debt - to Colby for student loans. We lived in an officer's duplex on Dover Air Force Base, where Charley was a supply officer. We got all the Air Force furniture we needed to furnish our "home."
I worked as the Information Director for the Delaware Department of Education in the state capitol offices. A year into our married life, we knew Charley would be reassigned. Our friends and neighbors were pilots who were getting assignments to bases in Southeast Asia. We expected the same.
The personnel officer called Charley into his office. "Lieutenant, I have your assignment here. You're going to Prestwick, Scotland, for two years. You'll be reporting there in three months."
"Are you kidding me?" was all I could say when Charley told me. He would be second-in-command of the base! We began planning our vacations all around Europe.
I gave notice at my job. We hired movers to transport our wedding gifts, a few pieces of hand-me-down furniture, and our car to Europe.
Four weeks later, President Lyndon Johnson went on television to announce a build-up of 50,000 troops in Vietnam. Charley's orders to Scotland were cancelled the next day.
"Vietnam? Where the hell is that?" we asked each other. We got out the Atlas.
The personnel officer called Charley in again. "Lieutenant, you're going to Saigon for a year. You'll be reporting one month from today."
I made plans to take the Graduate Record Exam and applied immediately to graduate schools. A short month later, I was living with my parents again in Connecticut, and Charley had arrived in Saigon. We'd been married fifteen months. While I commuted to Columbia University in NYC, Charley supplied parts to the "Jolly Green Giant" rescue helicopters, which plucked pilots from the jungle who'd been shot down throughout Southeast Asia. Our travel plans to Europe were on "hold" in favor of plans to meet in Hawaii six months into his tour.
To be continued.....
- Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
- Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.