The Sunshine State

My parents married at the end of December, 1962. They took off for a honeymoon in Colorado leaving my Granny in tears, because Momma had forgotten her winter coat, and Granny was just SURE she was going to freeze to death. It was a nice coat too–very expensive black wool with a fur collar bought from THE store in a nearby town. They made it to Colorado where Daddy hunted, they experienced their first ever white Christmas, and Momma (much to her own delight) threw caution to the wind and ordered a hamburger for Christmas dinner. It was what she wanted, and there was no one to tell her she couldn’t.

Within two weeks, Momma was back in Wilmot, Arkansas to finish her first year of teaching, and Daddy went into the Air Force. While Momma was teaching 5th grade and renting a room from a someone, Daddy was at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio later moving on to Amarillo. During the course of that (I’m sure long and frustrating) winter and spring, they managed to see each other twice. Daddy was able to fly into Shreveport one weekend. Granny accompanied Momma on the (then) three hour trip–more then likely to make sure she didn’t forget her coat this time–and stayed with her sister, Georgia Bea, while Momma and Daddy holed up in a hotel room. Later on Momma flew to Amarillo–the only time she’s flown in her life–where she also began and ended her life of petty crime by taking the fork from her airline meal. The lady next to her suggested it saying that if Momma put her napkin on her plate when they came to take it away, they’d never miss that fork. I guess they never did. . .but the fork still lived in our silverware drawer when I was kid.

Daddy came home about week before Momma’s school year was done hauling an 8’x40′ trailer with him. He had purchased it in Amarillo with insurance money he’d gotten from his registered quarter horse that had died. As soon as she packed her 5th-graders off for summer, they hooked the trailer up to Daddy’s truck and took off for Homestead, Florida with Daddy’s sister, my Aunt Sue, following behind them in their car. That’s a long trip with a 40′ travel trailer. When they were crossing the Old Mississippi River Bridge which was all of two lanes, they met a tractor trailer rig going the opposite direction. Daddy said the man STOPPED his rig in the middle of the bridge, then covered his face with both hands afraid to look. Evidently there was about a one or two inch clearance. Daddy had to tell Momma about it. She didn’t see that part. She was too busy hanging out the passenger window to make sure they weren’t scraping off the side of the bridge. She probably didn’t tell Granny about that until much, much later–if ever.

Oh. . .and when they GOT to Florida? Trailers JUST LIKE the one Daddy hauled from Amarillo to northeastern Louisiana, then down to the southern tip of Florida–very NEARLY the entire breadth of the country? They had ’em there for, as Momma says, a dime a dozen.

To be continued. . .


Aren’t they cute? I love this picture. . .which is a photocopy, so Momma, I need a better copy. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “The Sunshine State

  1. My dad was also in the Air Force. Daddy was stationed in Newfoundland during their first anniversary and Mom was living with his parents here in Houston. Daddy finally insisted that Mom join him there, but his dad did NOT approve of her going. Mom went, though. When they left Newfoundland, she was carrying my oldest sister, Elizabeth. 🙂 I love stories about our parents and their early married lives. Remind me to show you the picture of my parents that was the source of my “Oh, my word. They were young and in love.” revelation.

  2. I noticed that cute dress too! Like Minnie Mouse 🙂 I also love that your Momma enjoyed a hamburger for Christmas dinner – in her own little rebellious manner. And there’s something to be said about winter weddings and honeymoons… you don’t exactly need a wool coat to keep you warm 😉

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