Sherry gave birth to our first child. We named him Jackie Jr. He was born in a military hospital on Keesler AFB, in Mississippi.
Back then military hospitals were all ‘military bearing’, facilities. So with Sherry in labor I took her to the hospital. I started following Sherry and the male nurse. He turned to me and said, you can go home airman, we won’t need you. We will call and let you know if you are needed. I stood there for a minute watched my love disappear thru double doors, and I went home. For some reason I ended up at our pastors trailer, giving the phone number to the hospital.
(Sherry just before giving birth)
This story has gone around everyone of our friends there and many at home. Back in THAT day, the only way you knew if you were going to have a boy or girl was the old wives tales of ‘She is carrying the baby high, it will be a girl, or She is carrying the baby low it will be a boy. That could be backwards, but some of you know about that.
Anyway like most macho men, I wanted a boy. I told every one we were having a boy. So around the first of August, I put HIS name in our family Bible. Also the month and year, leaving the day blank. Jackie Leon Darnell Jr. then I went around saying the Bible does not lie, my son’s name is in there. (I know, I ain’t never been just right in the head)
Now, things are getting tight, it was getting late, on the 31st of August and no call. I was beginning to think that was silly to put that in the Bible. The phone rang, The pastor’s wife answered and said it is for you.
“This is Airman Darnell,”
“I am happy to tell you you have healthy baby girl, she weighs 7 pounds and ten ounces,” after that I could not tell you what she said, I thanked her and hung up.
Pastors wife says, “Well? What?”
“We have a little girl.”
“When can you see her?”
“I don’t know.”
Later the phone rings again, for me.
A friend saying it was a joke, a bad one, and they are sorry.
Phone rings again around 10:45. For me.
“This is the Keesler AFB Hospital, glad to announce you have a son, 7 lbs 13 oz. He and your wife are doing well, you can come on back to visit for a little while.”
(Here he is in the laundry basket in the back of the car, a few months later.)
The incident made a good tale, after jack Jr. was born.
I found out 53 years later, the preacher’s wife, and I love her to pieces, was a little tired of hearing all the bragging and the Bible entry, etc and set that up, and she did apologize.
(Sherry and her two boys, Mark on the left Jack Jr. on the right, outside Olive Garden tonight)
Thanks for coming this way.
If I have told that before, act like I haven’t. LOL