I remember reading an article about the dash. The one above between the birth and death of a loved one. I knew Martha, I called her Marta, during the dash.
Musta been 1953, I was wandering around the Church Camp Grounds as Preachers Sons are likely to do in the summer when I spotted a cute black-headed girl sitting in a black 1940 ford Tudor. She looked about my age so, being cool, I had to flirt. I learned she was Martha from a town just 5 miles away called Belmont. I flirted, she flirted, we had a good time, then some gray headed guy came out of Bible class and she was out of my life. The ford drove off. (Sherry says he was not gray headed, but that is what I saw. I though he was her dad, but he was her brother, Doug, who later became a very good friend.)
Margaret on the left, Martha on the right!
The next spring, dad announced to the family that he was assigned a church in Belmont, NC. That rung a bell, brought up images of a girl named ‘MARTHA’, now I hated to leave Jim, Bub, Guy, and Peter David. I even hated to leave Betty Carswell, a pretty girl up on the South Mt. who did not know she was my sweetheart. This would be the first move (in 5) that I would know someone who lived where we were moving.
Church service Sunday morning, I looked around the crowd, I did not see that pretty girl with the black hair, BUT I did spy one with blonde hair, Margaret. In a few weeks we were going steady. I got to meet Martha, but by that time it was Margaret. But I did become close friends with Martha. She was sweet. She started Dating Vondale, I started dating Sherry, and for about two years us four were an unseparable group. During that time Buddy came into the picture and started dating Margaret.
(This is Grace on the left and Doug on the right so maybe he wasn’t gray headed! The baby is Joey)
But Martha was always there and sweet. She had a beautiful mother. Beautiful wavy Gray hair. When I started chalk drawings, she wanted one. She kept it in her living room forever.
Martha was dedicated to her family, she never married. She held the family together for many years. She had a niece, one named Angel. She loved her as a daughter. They were living together with Nicky, Angel’s son when she passed away. Nicky looked to her as a grandmother. She did her best to hold the remaining parts of her family together.
Something I love about this picture, I was on Parris Island, that is Martha walking away, with Sherry looking around her. That ‘49 Ford is about 50’ from where that ‘40 Ford Martha was sitting in when I first saw her, this was taken on the Church Camp Ground) What were they doing there? and who were they with????
Martha suffered from Brown-Lung and was on oxygen the last few years of her life. She told me I was the love of her life, Take that Tucker. That might pay for Margaret saying ‘Buddy was the love of her life’, when I thought I was. Hahahaha!
Marta sitting at the church entrance. This is about five feet from where I first say Sherry, she was going up these same steps in 1954.
For you young folk, with these three couples there was no sex. You know these boys tried. One of the last conversations I had with Marta, she said, ‘you never did convince us, even using scripture!’ (I used the Song of Solomon to try to convince these girls it was OK! HA!). But we boys knew these were Church Girls and there was gonna be no sex without a wedding band. (That is not judgmental, just a fact in this case.) Boy was it a fact!
I just got this e-mail from Buddy:
“No more pain, nothing but peace. I remember her smile and how she would laugh at my stupid jokes. May everyone who loved her have a blessed future. Bud”
One of my favorite pictures of Martha!
The passing of a friend hurts. It is so hard to realize that they are actually gone. She was Sherry’s best friend. The day we left NC this year, she was the last person Sherry visited. Our Birthday card was probably the last mail she received. We loved that girl.
She was upset because she had allowed herself to gain so much weight. She even considered not coming to our 50th anniversary and dragging the
Oxygen. But my girl assured Martha, ‘YOU ARE MY FRIEND’ of course I want you there.
This is Sherry, Me and Marta at our 50th. She came! She was with us when we got married at the Justice of the Peace in York, SC and she celebrated our 50th with us. She was a steady friend. One happy guy between two sweet girls.
Rest in Peace our beautiful lady, Martha Jane.
You just cannot say enough about a FRIEND!
For Marta, Fair winds and following seas, and may you have the rest you so deserve.