In 1958 Sherry and I drove into Biloxi, Mississippi in a 1953 Plymouth Belvedere. In that car was all our possessions and we had less than $300. To top it off Sherry was pregnant with our first child. We drove into town knowing one name, Rev. C.H. Matthews. My dad being a preacher had located Bro. Matthews by phone and asked him to help us get settled.
(Sherry's mom came down to be with her at the birth of her first child)
We found a furnished 1-bedroom apartment for $40 a month plus utilities. The old house had ceilings that were 12 ft. high the mosquitoes were bad. Naturally there was no A/C and the screens had holes in them. I had actually forgotten the roaches until this reunion, and they were brought up. These roaches are up to three inches long, big, nasty looking black bugs. 50 years ago there were millions of them in our yard alone. When we drove in at night you could see them moving in the grass like little waves. But this was home for a few months.
I was a high ranking A/2c that is an E-3 pay grade, about as low as you can get. So naturally money was tight. But we had found an active church, and they kept us busy outside my job on base. We were in Biloxi for about 2 years and I never got a promotion, I stayed an E-3. Sherry gave birth to our first son Jack Jr.
(proud (slim) daddy looking at Jack Jr. in OUR HOME!)
We decided paying rent was getting us no where so after talking to Dad back in Belmont, he found a trailer for $1500 we got financing and bought it. That is when we got to know Fred and Frances we parked it in the same trailer park. After paying the little 8x30 trailer off, we traded it for a huge 42x8 trailer. Back then it cost between $10-$15 a month to park, payments were about $35 a month so we were staying about the same as the rent and buying OUR HOME!
We had this Moped for me to drive back and forth to work, also tp put Jack Jr. to sleep riding on it.)
This trip down here to Biloxi, brings back a lot of memories, yeah over the years by saving and cutting back, we have reached a point where we can laugh at the two dreamers in a 1953 Plymouth driving into a town where the pot holes were taken care of by shoveling oyster shells into them. Looking back it was good we did not have a good car; the streets would have killed it. Ha! The funny thing was when I got the oil changed in the car, the man would put the old oil in a spray gun and spray the old oil back on the underside of the car to prevent rust.
Yeah, we all have memories don’t we?
Thanks for coming this way.
PS: I remember this from grenade training in the USMC:
'Five second fuses last about three seconds.'
- Infantry Journal -