On Monday back at the base I went in to see MSgt. Bell. (Dallas has started calling him Ding Dong, behind his back of course.) Sgt Bell was actually a good guy. I went into his office and said, “Sgt. I need the evening off to go apply for a trailer at the base trailer park.”
“Why, you ain’t married.”
“Yes, I am, I got married Sat. night.”
“WHAT? I DON’T REMEMBER YOU ASKING ME ABOUT THAT!”
“It happened pretty fast Sarg.”
“I really don’t care how fast it happened, you are supposed to ask me and then if I say ok, then you have to ask the old man, before you do something stupid like that, you did know that, didn’t you Darnell?”
“Yeah I have heard that, but I didn’t think y’all were serious.”
“Serious as a heart attack Darnell, if the Corps thought you needed a wife, we would have issued you one, that is common sense.”
“Yeah Sarg, but I still want to bring her down here, so I need this evening off.”
“You are off this evening.”
“No I’m not, so I need some time off.”
“Okay, What time this evening do you want off?”
“I need to be there at housing at 1400 (2 o’clock).”
“I’ve met some ignorant Jar Heads in my time, but you take the cake. You don’t ask can you get married and that is going to cost my Corps more money, and to top that, you don’t know afternoon from evening. Boy, evening starts at 1800, that is when you hear the bugle, remember? They lower colors (the flag). Now son, after you eat lunch in the mess hall, you walk outside fat dumb and happy and look up, you see the sun, it then becomes afternoon not evening, evening is DARK is that clear?”
“I got it Sarg. Now I really need to go to housing.”
“I am letting you slide this time. I can’t believe I was dumb enough to make you a team leader and recommend you for Corporal, my head must have been up my a—! Now head over to housing, but remember, before you get married again, you had better ask me, we do have procedures to deal with stupidity!”
“I’ll remember next time Sargent Bell, and thanks.”
Looking back, I know he had a ball with that encounter and enjoyed every minute of it. Except for the evening thing. I had expected the hard time but all my life anything after 12 o’clock was evening. (It must’ve been a family or Georgia thing). I walked out and over to Dal’s Radio van, I jumped up and clicked my heels, then told Dal. “I’m headed for housing.”
I qualified at housing, no problem. They had a one bed room 26 ft. trailer coming open in a few weeks. I was in heaven, I would have my girl, no, my wife, down in a few weeks. If I had died they would have had to break my face to get the smile off.
Radio Relay was a very good outfit. Small and we all got along very well. Sgt. Bell liked to yell, but he was okay and It was good duty.
This is the kind of truck Dallas and I drove, except the back was metal instead of canvas, and the trailer carried our two generators for power for the radio units inside the metal shell on the 3/4 truck.