In my teens I had friends, mostly connected with church since I was a preacher’s son. On Parris Island you don’t have a lot of ‘down’ time to sit and make friends. You learn names of course. I probably knew all 70 names in my platoon.
Nikita Khrushchev ruled in Russia in 1956
One guy everyone knew as the “KEY MAN”, because he carried the keys to the Barracks. He locked up and opened for the platoon. As we were marching and came close to the barracks the DI would yell, KEY MAN! PVT. R. D. (Dallas) Fletcher would answer, ‘Yes SIR’, and leave the formation and double time to open the barracks.
Transferred to Camp Geiger, there was time to talk and learn more about your buddies. Dallas and I migrated to each other because of mutual interests, girlfriends. When we received orders to Radio Relay and Construction we became good friends. The enlisted club in the Marines is called “The Slop Chute”. Most of our platoon were regulars at the Slop Chute or the bars outside the gate, or “The Second Front”, spending that big payday.
Many evenings Dal and I would find ourselves mostly alone and we would sit and talk about our girls, Sherry and Marion. Sherry was always the best looking (when I was talking) and Marion, vice versa. We had one goal, marry these girls and move them down to the trailer park (the most reasonable place to live). I drove to Sherry most weekends and Dallas would hitch-hike to Pennsylvania to see Marion. Our money was spent on trips not on 3.2 beer. We had bigger plans. Of course I told Sherry about Marion, I knew they would be real friends.
(This is Martha & Sherry 1956, Martha is the one who gave the shoes to take back to Sherry!)
We both wanted to be married as soon as possible and NC had too many rules, South Carolina all you needed to do was go apply for the license, wait 3 days and go back for the wedding. We drove down to York, SC and met with Justice of the Peace Nunn. So the next weekend we were going to be married.
Imma smart guy. On the way home the next weekend Mickey Slough was along. He said he was getting married that weekend, I said, hey, I am too. So we made a $50 bet, the one who did not get married paid up. Man I am smiling, I got this in the bag.
I was proud of myself and…….. told Sherry!
“YOU CAN FORGET IT, I WILL NOT MARRY YOU ON A BET!”
WHAT? No amount of logic would convince her. Beg, plead, apologize but nothing worked. NO MARRIAGE. Here I had been so smart, got us money for a honeymoon, and she just could not see the wisdom of her future husband.
Imma tell you, picking up Mickey on the way back to the base was a mind stretcher, until he said, “Well jack I guess you win, I didn’t get married.”
(Customized 1956 VW)
Thanks for coming by the log.
Sometimes it pays to keep your mouth shut! Because girls can be hard headed, did I ever tell you her center name was Lucille?
The 1956 Studebaker Power Hawk