Thursday, March 6, 2014

Finally, at 17, a Marine.

The accident cost me my driver’s license for 3 months.  I don’t remember going to court. I remember getting a letter in the mail saying send them in! It was ignorance in driving, not actually reckless driving and I was not speeding, just mishandling a problem. Dad had the car fixed and sold it to my cousin Kenneth.

I had also met a new friend. Preacher’s kid, Buddy Sansbury. Buddy was cool.  When Von Dale and I weren’t with the girls we seemed to migrate to Buddy. Buddy was going with Margaret at the time. He was one witty dude and very quick with his fists when needed.

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(Margaret and Buddy, #2 &3 from the left back row, all these were good friends)


Von Dale had to do all the driving then on our dates. No more Sherry-a-matic for awhile.  We still had fun, joking, talking and having a good time. I was still walking Sherry to work and skipping school just waiting for for my 17th birthday to roll around.


My friend Sam wasn’t happy down on Parris Island. He wrote me a letter telling me DO NOT JOIN, they are crazy down here and they will beat you to death. I am not joking!  My 17th birthday came around before Sam got home, I ignored his letter and warning.

Mom and Dad reluctantly signed for me to join the Marines, and I was off on my first ‘adventure’ on my on. WOW what fun.  Well it was fun on the way down to PI. But immediately upon arriving I realized this was not going to be a walk in the park.


(The day of no turning back, I am 2nd from the right kneeling)

I lay awake many nights hoping I would wake up and be back in my bed in Belmont and this would be a bad dream.  That is absolutely TRUE! I was one homesick boy, but I have never been one to blame someone else. I ask for it, I will handle it. (No matter how much FUN it is!)

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Washing clothes on Parris Island.

New Folder (2) 007

(Rifle Range)

It was better in a couple weeks. I looked forward to Sherry’s letters and I think I wrote pretty often. After Boot Camp I was transferred to Camp Geiger, in North Carolina, for Infantry training. I got my license back and bought a 1950 Chevy business coupe.

1950chevyCC rear

We were on what is called 4 section duty. I had to stay on base every 4th night and every 4th weekend. so three weekends I got to drive home. Ralph Smith, Barney J Randolph, & Buck Bryson would pay $5 for a round trip home so my gas was paid for on the trips. Sometimes Mickey Slough would ride.  Sherry got to know all the boys and liked them.

One weekend Von Dale mentioned we should ride up to Albemarle and visit Roger Slack,  he had just gotten married.  So we did.  Roger was the boy who borrowed the Henry J when he was 15 or16.

Roger and his bride were doing great and they were happy as two pigs in mud (as we were known to say down south).  On the way back to Belmont The radio playing some Rock and roll stuff. Von Dale and Martha loving as they rode down the road.  Sherry and I loved up in the back seat, It felt  right, so I gained the courage and I ASKED HER TO MARRY ME!

There I was, a full fledged PFC making $78 a month, ready to start a family. As I waited, I was as happy as a baby laying on its back taking a bottle smiling, with milk running out both sides his mouth. She smiled and said YES. That was the prettiest word in the world, then we sealed it with a LONG KISS!

Thanks for coming by the log

Nite Shipslog


There should be a special word for the feeling you have, when you ask a beautiful girl to marry you and she says ‘YES”.



This ‘56 Chrysler was supposed to be one fast car with a 300ci Hemi


Paula said...

I bet its was a rude awakening being away from home with rules and more rules. Makes me think of my great niece in a different state with four kids from high school to a baby and husband ready to deploy.

shirl72 said...

It was scary being away from home
when we were young. Things change
as we adjust to the big world.
Life can be fun..and a gift.
I guess I was in Charlotte working
and going to business school getting
ready to start my career. We had
wonderful parents for examples.

Lucy said...

TIMES HAVE CERTAINLY CHANGED. Jack, I didn't know you were what was then known as a juvie or juvanile. You seem so sweet, Hey, whoa, did I say sweet. Back off and lets say full of life and a daredevil. I like to hear all of your stories from the past.


What a sweet proposal. I'm glad you got the girl of your dreams.

Chatty Crone said...

I think at 17 and joining the service takes a young man or teen and turns them into a young man real fast.

betty said...

How sweet to include the story of asking Sherry to marry you! I bet you still remember exactly how she said that word "Yes."


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

That yes, had to have been one of the best times of your life. You two have been so blessed to have all these years together.