(If I have said this before, skip it. I just felt like posting it.)
I was 14, I think when I first saw Sherry. She was 15 and out of my class. But I never forgot those beautiful legs. That in itself is funny because in 1954 all I ever saw of a girls legs were the ankles. (You remember those long skirts and crinolines?)But something told me, this girl has beautiful legs. It is funny also that it was two or three years later with a marriage license that I got to see above the knees. LOL But it was worth it.
So began our lives. We went to the same High School for a year of so. She was bent on graduating, the first of her family. I was bent on quitting as soon as age allowed it. I couldn’t set a bench mark in our family, Shirl was the first in our family to graduate.
Sherry was in a ‘work release program’ from school where the schools allowed students to work in mills, part time, to earn HS credits. I was in no programs so I skipped school to walk her to work. This never made my dad (the Reverend) and mama, happy. But it continued.
I tried joining the USMC, forged a birth certificate and just about made it. I got caught and sent home then had to return to school. But on the day I was 17, I was in the USMC.
Sherry and I were married 7 months later. She had graduated from HS and we moved into a BIG 8x26’ trailer. Heaven on earth. It was all we ever needed.
We were at Camp Geiger, near Jacksonville, NC. I was in what we called 4 section duty. That meant every 4th night and every 4th weekend I had to remain on base. That was tough for newly weds, but we made the best of it.
Military pay: My base pay was $87.00 a month. The Marine Corps took $50 of that and added $40 to it, and sent Sherry a check every month for $90. My pay dropped to about $15 every two weeks. Since I did not eat in the Mess Hall the Corps paid me $30 a month for food. that raised my pay to $30 a payday. After taxes we lived off $136 a month.
Rent, food and gas took most of that. Sherry and I took a cigar box, some envelopes and started our lives on a strict budget.
BASICALLY WE NEVER stopped. We have a budget now, but it is not as strict as the first one.
We like to think we have advanced. We started in a 26x8 foot trailer and now 57 years later, we live in a 38x8 foot Motor home. We have gained 12 feet in 57 years. That is 2 1/2 inches a year. Not all that bad. .
Thanks for coming by for the start of our lives. We know that we are in our sunset years, but that is all right.
Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.
~Doug Larson (English runner, won gold medals at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris 1902-1981)
1937 Hudson Terraplane, Sherry’s year!